Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Cythereal posted:

To me, Captain Janeway is what sprung to mind. Or the Exile from KOTOR 2 where you're explicitly drawing in people and dominating them.

you could read the captain that way (and indeed, most avatars have kinder and darker interpretations like the Mother as both nurturer and devourer) but to me it reads like an idealized WW2 band-of-brother scenario where the captain is legitimately a courageous person that cares for their squad, and the squad likewise has observed that the captain has their best interest at heart and they all cooperate to overcome what should be insurmountable odds. there's rules for disobeying because it's a game so of course they have to account for that, but my read on the avatar is that if you're doing it right, people are following your orders more-or-less because they want to, and you're just providing them specific direction for things they would already be doing.

the last channel where the captain can make people's bodies work against their will can read like a subversive mind control thing, but i think you could make the case that it can be used positively too - a captain and their squad are caught in a desperate situation and they're tired and exhausted and have had zero sleep in 72 hours and the whole company is about to unravel, but the captain can inspire everyone for one last heroic surge to push towards the objective and secure the landing zone until assistance arrives.

edit: the metaphor works outside a military context too. you could have the captain of a sports team that motivates the other players (their crew) to play their hardest in an overtime scenario and because of their devotion to and respect for their captain the players bodies snap into action even though they might all be mentally exhausted.

Freaking Crumbum fucked around with this message at 15:29 on Aug 10, 2018

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



7th Sea 2: The Crescent Empire - In Theory, Not Canaan

Sarmion may be a small part of the empire, but it has always wielded something of an outsized influence on the world. Within a single generation, the nation has driven out a Numanari invasion and helped place an empress on the throne...but at the cost of much of their population and their greatest city and capital. Sarmion strives to be a place of peace, its people loyal and defended by powerful warriors. When Safiye first left the Empire as a young woman, many of the Chavra went with her, and few were there when the old emperor died and Istani seized the throne. However, King Josiah and his daughters, Esther, Batya and Dinah, maintained their loyalty to the crown princess and publicly spoke out against Istani. When Josiah was stricken with a magical disease that no one could cure, many believed Istani was responsible, and the three princesses stepped up. Esther would rule as regent in his place, while Batya would go out to find Princess Safiye and Dinah would seek a cure.

Esther got killed by Istani's agents. Dinah disappeared on a ship heading towards Theah and never returned. The king lingered, weak and unable to face Istani, while Numa invaded. In 1664, the Numanari assaulted Sarmion for their involvement in Istani's failed attempt to reconquer them, and Sarmion was ravaged. The return of Safiye was their only hope. When she reappeared, King Josiah sent Batya to lead the Chavra in aid of her, and in a single night of combat, Safiye drove Istani from the palace and towards the 8th Sea. However, that victory came at a terrible price. In retaliation, Shah Jalil unleashed a horrific Numanari curse. See, the Numanari had come up with a plan to break the Sarmion spirit, and while they never enacted it, Jalil found out about it during the torture of a Numanari spy. While the Chavra fought for Safiye, Jalil used his dark magic to send a mist across Sarmion. Overnight, nine of the nineteen tribes of Sarmion disappeared. Only a handful of each tribe remained, left in horror while the rest were just...gone. Safiye sent 5000 soldiers along with her Chavra supporters to help Sarmion push back the Numanari, calling on the 8th Sea Tribes to attack from the east. However, storms at sea delayed Safiye's arrival, landing only in time to see the Numanari retreat.

The battle was terrible. The warriors of the Quabilat al-Hisan of the 8th Sea had crossed the border to fight, and they, along with the desperate and heartbroken Sarmion forces, drew on their greatest magic. Many of the Sarmion sorcerers transformed their own bodies into living weapons against the Numanari - and worse, they even broke their own holy laws, using forbidden magic to create life, animating stone statues that had long been left as a weapon of last resort. The Numanari burned the capital, Salemoria, to cover their retreat, including the High Temple at its center, and before they fled, they slew King Josiah. Sarmion was saved, but it would never be the same again.

Sarmion history dates back to its time as warring tribes. After the Covenant of the Longest Night, the nation was divided into two groups - the followers of Elohah, ruled by the family of Isaak, who were called the Yachidi, and the family of Ishamal and the remnant of the other native tribes. The Yachidi dedication to peace produced a short golden age under Yakob, son of Isaak, and his many children. They invited all tribes to come to Salemoria, a city that they had rediscovered and rededicated, to create a united ruling body, both Yachidi and otherwise, to govern the nation. In the fourth century, Yakob's strongest son, Yedha, was chosen to be the first king of united Sarmion. However, Numa invaded before he could be crowned, and when he went to greet the Numanari ambassadors as friends, they cut him down for his insolence and marched on Salemoria. The city would likely have been destroyed, had Yedha's youngest brother Yousef not negotiated a settlement. The Numanari would colonize Sarmion, but not slaughter its people. Instead, they merely sacked Salemoria, scattered the tribes and sold a large portion of the population into slavery to fund their war with the Haximanisiya Empire. Yousef's son and daughter, Manashe and Ephraya, eventually led a revolt against Numa after their father's death, but it was quickly stomped. Ephraya's entire family was slain, and Manashe killed himself in despair, ending Yachidi leadership for a time.

Sarmion would remain a conquered land until a slave revolt a century later, led by a Numanari Yachidi slave named Moesh ben Amram, who succesfully led the slaves back to Sarmion and freed it. King David became the first king of a free Sarmion after the invasion, and his son, Solomon, became renowned as the wisest and most powerful king in Sarmion history, a sorcerer whose power to bind demons was world-renowned. As the Crescent Empire and Numa struggled for control in the 8th century, Sarmion was invaded twice more by the Numanari, and the two nations have been bitter rivals ever since. More Sarmions were enslaved and Salemoria was again occupied. However, from the southern mountain fortress of Hatriza, Queen Elisheva led an ongoing rebellion after the capture and enslavement of her husband and children. Eventually, Elisheva's daughter Ruth was smuggled back to Sarmion and led them to freedom again, breaking the Numanari conquerors and driving them out as well as earning the gratitude of the Anatoli and the Persics.

What followed was an unprecedented era of peace, until the rise and subsequent death of the Second Prophet destabilized much of the region. Many of the Ishamali tribes turned to al-Din and away from their old gods, which led to a crisis, as the gods stirred from their slumber as these tribes forsook the Covenant of the Longest Night. When the entire tribe of Epher converted in 650, the old gods broke free and wreaked havoc across all of Sarmion. King Zedekiah and the Chavra warriors managed to re-bind most of them in a vault under Salemoria, but Zedekiah died while doing it. The few that escaped were twisted and broken by their captivity, fleeing to all corners of the empire to gather strength and plot their revenge.

Shortly after, the Vodacce saw the instability of the region and invaded Sarmion as part of a plan to use it as a base of operations to conquer the Crescent, as the Numanari had done in the past. They didn't imagine that this time, the Sarmions would put up a fight. While the Vodacce raided the Persics and Anatoli in 705, and they even managed to reach the 8th Sea, the Sarmions destroyed their supply lines. When Persis and Anatol Ayh united to form the empire, they offered Sarmion an honored place despite their religious differences. Sarmion accepted. They did follow the empire to war in Numa and Castille, despite the fact that many, including Queen Atara, did not want to be involved in a foreign war - they had enough old grudges against Numa that many still wanted vengeance. Many Sarmions never managed to make it home from these wars, however, settling instead in northern Theah in what would become called the Diaspora. Meanwhile, the Numanari empire collapsed under the weight of the combined Crescent military.

Next time: Sarmion government.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





I'm imagining an ancient, towering demon with flaming wings and horns carrying a tray of blueberry muffins and wearing an apron that says "KNEEL BEFORE THE CHEF."

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Tome of Salvation

Ludwig the Fat is surprisingly important, due to his love of butter and awareness he could create Electoral votes

So, the first millennium of the Empire saw most of the cults assuming something closer to their modern form, held in uncomfortable equilibrium with the powerful and Empire-wide Cult of Sigmar. Sigmarites can be prone to declaring their God the King of the Gods or even declaring him the only true God on occasion, the former of which makes the other cults nervous because the Sigmarites hold so much temporal power (due to their association with Imperial law) while the latter is a grievous threat and heresy in a polytheistic world. During the first millenium, the Holy Family (Morr, Verena, and their daughters Shallya and Myrmidia) of the Classical pantheon gained in popularity alongside the 'Elder' Gods of Ulric, Taal, Rhya, Manaan from the north, and the obviously powerful new cult of Sigmar. Ranald also appeared, though no-one is quite sure when people first started to worship the trickster. His own followers claim that he was a mortal who charmed Shallya and wed her, then accepted immortality to escape her angry father as a condition of divorce. Others say he was always quietly part of the Classical pantheon.

In 900 IC, the Empire was at its territorial height. Despite being the most powerful human nation in the world in 2522 (the 'common' starting year for WHFRP2e) it has actually lost significant territory by that time; in 900, it controlled all of modern day Parravon in Bretonnia and a fair bit of southern Kislev, plus it owned Marienburg and the Wasteland in the west. It would then collapse from there, starting with Emperor Ludwig the Fat in 990. You might remember him from some off-hand comments as the man who gave his halfling chef an electoral vote and created the Mootland as an Imperial province because goddamn did that chef know how to use butter. Well, he also started another practice that led to the eventual Time of Three Emperors and massive amounts of religious strife, again due to butter. The Grand Theoganist of the Cult of Sigmar noticed the Emperor would favor anyone who fed his appetites, and so hosted many, many lavish banquets and 'prayer dinners' with the Emperor. So many that the Theoganist himself actually collapsed and died of heart failure from attending them, himself. However, the damage was done: before his heart exploded, he was able to convince Emperor Ludwig that the Theoganist should have an Electoral vote, as the voice of Sigmar. This is two whole Electors created out of lust for butter; Ludwig is weird in that he had a lot of political ability (to be able to force through these changes) but was easily influenced by food. Naturally, our author only mentions these things in passing, as 'scandalous accusations' because as a Sigmarite priest, he's quite in favor of the enormous temporal power of his cult.

Meanwhile, in the South, they had their own demi-Goddess. The heroic warrior-queen Myrmidia was born in Estalia (or Tilea. They fight over it to this day.) and rose to unite the lands and do the heroic ancestor thing, only to be assassinated on the verge of taking a unified southern throne. The destabilization and civil war over the assassination would split the Estalians and Tileans into smaller sub-states to this very day. They claimed that unlike Sigmar, Myrmidia had always been a Goddess, and that she had come down to aid the righteous of the southern lands in defending themselves from the orcs and beastmen and to personally teach them the ways of strategy and honor. Not wanting to be one-upped by Tileans (or Estalians), this led to an Imperial heresy where followers claimed Sigmar, too, had always been a God and was the son of Ulric. It remains a popular heretical folk-myth to this day, especially in the northern lands of the Empire.

The Empire began to collapse and crumble around 1000 IC. There's an interesting undercurrent to the author's analysis of why the Time of Three Emperors happened; he insists that much of it came from the increasingly unjust laws and self-serving actions of the nobility and high priesthoods of the cults. The Empire was ascendant, after all. They ruled over the largest land empire in the Old World, their rule had been expanding and prospering for roughly a millennium since Sigmar. A growing attitude of 'we are invincible' seems to have convinced many of the powerful people of the Empire that nothing they could do could actually harm the Empire's power. Of course, this is all from a Sigmarite perspective, which teaches that a united Empire is one of the primary commandments of their God. One of the sources of the Empire's original problems was external; Giles d'Breton turned the Bretoni tribes into a powerful military kingdom and this happened at a time when the Empire didn't have overwhelming technological or numerical superiority to them, leading to the loss of modern Parravon and any Bretonnian Imperial possessions. And, of course, this was the time of the Drakwald Emperors and the terrible plagues of 1111.

Emperor Boris 'Goldgather' Hohenbach is the popular bogeyman who caused much of the Empire's woes, according to our author. A nakedly corrupt leader who was kept in power because he was extremely useful (since he could always be bought) for decades, he happily sold whatever anyone would buy. The cults of the Empire supported him as well, because it was as easy to buy temporal powers and political offices for cult officials as it was for nobles and wealthy merchants; the cults of the Empire aren't poor and Boris was happy to get hold of their collection boxes, same as any other source of money. The priesthood of Sigmar went into the crisis of 1111 with its moral authority badly damaged by the way it happily bought off and supported and nakedly corrupt Emperor. The crisis of 1111 also almost wiped out the Empire, killed Boris, and ended the province of Drakwald entirely. The Empire was no longer holding together, and by 1360, when the Time of Three Emperors actually began, it was more an admission that that was how things had been going for about 200 years rather than a sudden sundering of the Empire. It had been operating as multiple separate smaller states ever since the 'every man for himself' days of the black plague.

The reason all this matters for the book on religion is that the eventual formal split was supported by the cult of Taal and Ulric. When a Stirlander was appointed Emperor in 1360 and made it clear he intended to use the Empire to settle his own disputes with Talabecland, Grand Duchess Ottilia decided she'd had enough. The Empire was on fire, everything sucked, and she gained the support of the Cult of Taal and declared herself and her people independent of Sigmar's Empire. With the increase of electoral votes for the Arch-Lectors of the Cult of Sigmar, as well, the Ulricans picked the same moment to say they'd had enough; Sigmarites essentially controlled the Imperial election, and the last couple centuries of Emperors had been disasters anyway. The Imperial office lost its legitimacy, and Ottilia and others claimed that due to the many political sins and corruptions of the current Sigmarite cult, it was clear that Sigmar had never been a God and that Hellstrum had been some kind of clever heretic covering for political corruption. Remember this would have been pretty believable in 1360. Ottilia banned the cult of Sigmar in Talabecland, the Ar-Ulric supported her and agreed, and then hundreds of years of on and off civil war started, interrupted only to get a pope to throw a vampire lord off a balcony and then get back to it. The modern Empire would eventually reform under Magnus the Pious in 2304, but until then I'd say you couldn't say there was an Empire of Sigmar, just a bunch of warring successor states.

We also get some mention of the Crusades of Warhams, which have always been a bit of an awkward 'why is this here' element of the setting. The author herein uses them to point out how the Empire had 'fallen' by not officially sending crusaders to throw back the people of Araby when they conquered part of Estalia in the 1400s, and how shameful it was that the Bretonnians did most of the work, but it's a place where transplanting some random 'historical' event into Warhams really doesn't work. There's no reason for the Empire to have given much of a poo poo what happens to Estalia and no real reason is ever given for why it was shameful or important or whatever that the Empire should be involved in fighting the Arabs (from their home of Araby, of course). The event really only exists to say why there are all sorts of knightly orders in the Empire, as most of them were founded to send nobles off to fight in Araby and Estalia for...some reason. Again, there's nothing like the historical conditions that would create something as messy as the real-world Crusades in Hams. There's no real reason for this part of the story to exist except that 'well I guess the Crusades would have to happen at some point, wouldn't they, can't have French knights and poo poo without that'.

1547 sees the Time of Three Emperors officially begin, with the cult of Ulric having a falling out with Ottilia's descendants and deciding they'll create their own additional Empire, with wolves and axes. This would continue a long, long time, and go badly for everyone. What's important is that each Empire was supported by a different religious cult (and that each had access to tremendously important strategic locations; Talabheim is basically unsiegeable and the strongest defensive position in the Old World, Middenheim is a close second, and the Reikland is the Empire's breadbasket). The Ottilians by King Taal, the Middenheimers by Ulric, and the Reiklanders of the southern Empire by Sigmar. Meanwhile, as we saw in Realm of the Ice Queen, the Gospodar conquered the Ungols and kicked the Empire's remnants out of modern Kislev, the Imperial Province of Solland was wiped out by orcs, the Norse had a 'happy time' of excellent raiding and exploration while the Empire couldn't defend against them, and Marienburg was sold its independence, losing the Empire its one excellent seaport. In 1999, a twin-tailed comet slammed into the capital of Ostermark, Mordheim, creating a spinoff skirmish wargame and also signaling to many that Sigmar's Empire was dead and he was pissed.

I don't need to repeat much about the Great War Against Chaos, we've been over it from multiple perspectives already. What matters for this book is that Magnus the Pious rebuilt the moral authority and legitimacy of the Sigmarite faith and the Imperial government. It is, after all, Magnus that began to rein in and professionalize the Witch Hunters, Magnus who reformed the cult away from some of its worst habits, and Magnus who made the office of Emperor as mediator of the Counts and provinces seem reasonable again. A very long reign of visible rebuilding mirrored Sigmar's own, and a common heresy is that Magnus was in fact Sigmar reborn to save his beloved Empire. Whatever the case, it's clear the ex-seminarian was definitely favored by his God. Of course, he also used his popularity to give the Sigmarites even more Electoral votes, and to only grant the Ulricans one (The Ar-Ulric has an Electoral Vote). Supposedly, he offered votes to Taal and Rhya and was refused, for reasons not explained. In doing he laid the groundwork for future fuckery and blatantly favored his own cult; everyone makes some mistakes. Magnus also tried to create a grand conclave on religious unity to remind everyone they're polytheists and that all the non-Chaos Gods should be honored, which included the Classical Pantheon, and even Ranald. He also created the state Witch Hunters, making the position no longer solely religious in order to keep lunatics from burning Taalite priests or whatever insanity Sigmarite monodominants were up to this week.

The Storm of Chaos is not much treated in this text, though given it's a text written to Emperor Karl Franz with the intent of getting in his good graces it goes into the glorious rule of Karl Franz, Obvious Successor to Magnus the Pious and Obviously The Best Emperor Since. The text is effusive in its praise of Emperor Franz's brilliance as a diplomat and leader through the war, praising him for saving the Empire from the greatest struggle since the Great War Against Chaos. There is only a very brief mention of the death of Valten, the supposed Sigmar reborn, as a 'heroic sacrifice' rather than 'he lost a duel to an idiot while the army won the war around him, then got stabbed in his bed by the Skaven'; the text (and thus the official story) claims that he died of his wounds fighting Archaon.

Thus, we arrive at present day, and the present form of the Empire. The cults are deeply entwined with the political structure at every point, because the rebuilding of the modern Empire happened on the back of the Sigmarite cult and Magnus' attempts to make peace between it and the rest of the pantheon after centuries of warfare over who was Emperor and who was King of the Gods. Sigmar is back on top in the Empire, but the other cults have more of a say than they did pre-Magnus, not just in their communities and parishes but in Imperial law. The people of the Empire are generally regarded as some of the most religious in the Old World, moreso than the Bretonnians and their distant Lady or the Kislevites and their chummier, less exalted relationship with their Gods. The only people who can claim to be as fired up about churches and temples are the Estalians (or Tileans). And so we begin 200+ pages of dense exploration of the religious life of the Empire and the Old World. This is going to take awhile.

Next Time: Cult and Conclave

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Mors Rattus posted:

Briska Naynawi, the Peacock Prophet, worried her parents with her incessant talk of her imaginary friend, an invisible talking peacock, especially when it continued into adolescence. This is because the friend is not imaginary - he is a formerly important angel named Azazel. For an angel he's uncommonly talkative, and if his tales are true, he validates many aspects of both Dinist and Yasnavan cosmology. He claims that he and six of his fellow angels were cast from Heaven after helping al-Musawwir create the world, for they committed the sin of pride. Azazel has since repented and now attempts to serve al-Musawwir once more, although in his weak form he cannot hear al-Musawwir's voice. However, he has found a way to manifest his true form and powers through Briska. In her revelatory form (which sounds a lot like Yasnavan sorcery) she has two immense peacock wings and a robe of brilliant peacock feathers, along with a powerful composite bow and a traditional Persic tiara. Her voice echoed in birdsong when she first publically took this form, sharing Azazel's message of unity between Dinist and Yasnavan faith. Now, she and her growing cult travel beyond Karanduniash, seeking out the six fellow angels that were cast out with Azazel. The shah has invited a team of Inquisitors into Persis for 'diplomatic' reasons (read: to help him kill her).


Holy poo poo, they actually bothered to include a nod to Yazidis. And not just in the sense that they were like "Oh these guys were in the news", but they actually bothered to do the research and put in not!Melek Taus.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I think it is an interesting omission, by the way, considering who the in-character first chapter is written to and how, that it makes absolutely no mention of Luther Huss.

I do not think Emperor Franz is very fond of him.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia, Part 2: "However, there is no mistaking their disdain and disapproval (hey, if that looks like spit in the porridge, you can bet that it is)."

Russian History

Did you miss communism? The hammer and sickle? Five Year Plans? Well, don't worry, in Rifts Russia will decide by 2027 that capitalism is no good and a Communist Party will take over again and hey, it's time for the Soviet Union to return! This works out super-well, though, and it's more liberal and within a decade they're having an economic boom thanks to two things: oil and cyborgs. See, they sell reliable cybernetics at a cheap rate, and I guess there's a big market for cyber-arms or something. Maybe a lot of kids are hanging their arms out the window on the bus, in the big bus arm-hang craze of 2055.

Then, you know, everything exploded into rifts. There was an eighty-year winter, demons ran across the landscape, the usual deal. 68% of the population was lost in the initial disaster, then another 16-20% dead in the eighty years after. Also weirder stuff: the central Siberian Plateau has giant spikes of stone that shoot up out of the ground, or a boiling sea appeared in the southeast, Moscow got made into a crater, etc. This is interesting but won't figure into much.

Other stuff:
  • Technology: We have that mix of rural and high-tech that Rifts loves so much, where people can find laser rifles but can't slap together a tractor. That kind of thing. So most people have basically gone back to the 1800s outside of large cities, the Sovietski, and the Warlords. Except sometimes they have a laser rifle to go with their horse cart.
  • Magic: We're referred to buy Mystic Russia, and teased with the Mystic Smith class.. and magical g.. ethnic wanderers. Yeeep. That's a selling point, I guess. Also, it's noted there are hardly any techno-wizards here.
  • Russian Hospitality: Siembieda always likes excuses to heap trouble on boorish characters, and so if you treat people well, they might treat you well and give you hugs and an extra helping of porridge. But if you don't, they will spit on your porridge! Well, it's all relative when you're stuck with porridge.
  • The New Russian Frontier: Trees! Fuckin' trees everywhere, man! More trees than people - can you believe that?!
  • Roads & Travel: Well, more like paths; even large cities still have half their roads as cobblestone or brick. And though the Warlords and "knights of the realm" (unexplained) patrol them, bandits and monsters are still a common issue.
  • Deep Forests; The abode of supernatural evil: There's monsters in them there woods, which we get a lot of :eng101: on how to avoid getting attacked. Also, it's easy to get lost! It's so easy, in fact, we get the following statistics: running through the woods gives you a 70% chance to get lost, a 60% chance to create a disturbance monsters and bandits can notice, a 50% chance of tripping and falling, 40% chance of running into an object and taking damage (check another chart for the possibility of being knocked out cold or injuring a leg), a 10% chance of running into a monster, and only a 5% chance of finding your way back. You may say "Hey, I have a Wilderness Survival skill at 98%! And a Tracking skill at 98%!", and we say "For all that's good, don't run in the woods, it's full of arbitrary percentages!"
  • The danger of ley lines: Oh, there are monsters around ley lines too, so people avoid them.

Walk, don't run.

Geographic Overview

We get the contents of whatever geography reference Siembieda dumped into this book, so we got of :words: on deserts, mountains, taiga, seas, rivers, steppes, etc. The important changes include: The Barents Sea suddenly being warmed by mysterrrious ocean vents. New set of volcanoes erupted near St. Petersburg as the "Saint Peter's Spine" where gargoyles live. People occasionally experience lost time when travelling near the Volga. A new sea appeared in the Kyzylkum desert that boils at 300 degrees, along with a number of holy healing hot springs. There also "Deadzones" full of mutating and deadly radiation. The Moskva Crater (Moskva is a transliteration of "Moscow") is full of radiation and dangerous ghosts.


"The gun is for people that don't like the hat. The hat is so I can use the gun. Life is good."

Other regions include:
  • Ukraine: They still hate the Russians, but there aren't many Ukrainians left, and "Witches, necromancers, evil gypsies and countless demonic hordes still make their presence known in terrible and destructive ways." Some at least see the Warlords as at least a better alternative to monsters, but most of the Warlords see them as outsiders and foreigners without proper rights. However, most Warlords don't go out of their way to mistreat them. Also they don't matter much in this text. Sorry, Ukraine!
  • Poland: The Warlords sometimes drive groups of monsters into Poland, which is bad. But they're important trading partners, which is good! Everything mentioned about Poland in Rifts Sourcebook 3: Mindwerks is either ignored or forgotten here. Also it gets called a "country" even though there's no sign of a central government? It's just a collection of city-states at best.
  • New German Republic (NGR): The NGR doesn't acknowledge the Warlords, seeing them as just jumped-up raiders, and trades solely with the Sovietski. Generally, though, they don't want to get too involved, and ban sale of advanced technology to Russia. But a lot of it has leaked over to Russia via Poland as a middleman, much to the NGR's consternation.


Have some dots.

Next: Warlord is a martial leader class that- no? Oh, those aren't those. Sorry.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

Foolish child of man...
After reading all this,
do you still not understand?




Panic at the Dojo: Archetypes - Trickster, Underdog, Wanderer, Winterblossom

Final Archetypes update! Then we can move on.

TRICKSTER

Tricksters are built to confuse and inconvenience enemies at every turn. They change the rules of the game, play with different terrain types, and are hard as hell to pin down. Complexity: Three stars.

Focused Trickster Ability: You can spend any token as an Iron Token. When you spend Iron Tokens to reduce incoming damage, push the attacker 1 space, then move 1 space.
Fused Trickster Ability: Same as Focused, but you don't push them a space.
Frantic Trickster Ability: Same as Focused.

Caged Style
Range: 1
A whole style built around enemy movement denial - if someone is near you, they're near you until you decide to let them go. Enemies adjacent to you can't gain or spend Speed Tokens.

2+: Welcome To My Maze
Deal 1 damage to an enemy outside of your Range, then pull them three spaces toward you.

Good stances: Caged Zen forces nearby enemies to contend with your damaging shields. Caged Iron/Reversal has Armor, to let you use this style for efficient tanking. Caged Blaster lets you pull tons of enemies towards you and then stick them there until they kill you.

Mysterious Style
Range: 1-2
Lots of Trickster styles are built around specific kinds of obstacles - this one is Fog. At the start of your turn, place a Fog into the space you're standing on. While standing in (or next to) Fog, your max range is doubled.

3 Speed/Iron Tokens: Ghost Walk
Cost can be paid with a combination of Speed and Iron Tokens. Place a Fog into an empty space within range, then teleport to a Fog space within range.

Good stances: Mysterious Control increases your foggy attack/teleport range to 10. Mysterious Blaster lets you place more Fog at once, and lets you do a Fog-extended Amplified Shockwave to every enemy within range 10. Mysterious Shadow/Reversal keeps Speed Tokens between turns, making it easier to Ghost Walk during enemy turns. Mysterious Iron makes up for Iron Form's slowness with teleportation, while also giving you more Iron Tokens to use Ghost Walk.

Illusion Style
Range: 1-3
The Copies style. If an enemy damages you while standing within range of one of your Copies, you deal 1 damage back to them (2 damage if they're in range of 3+ Copies). Also, you can spend your Copies as if they were Iron Tokens.

3+: Where Are You Looking?
Place 2 Copies into empty spaces within range.
6+: Do it again.

Good stances: Illusion Control/Blaster give you and your Copies expanded range, making them more dangerous. Illusion Shadow can place Copies in the middle of an enemy turn. Illusion Zen makes attackerse suffer as much as 3 damage for each hit against you.

Hidden Style
Range: 1-3
The Walls style. You can move through or stand inside Walls as if they were empty spaces, and can see and target enemies through walls.

3 Iron Tokens: Sudden Strike
Deal 2 damage to an enemy within range.

Good stances: Basically any of them, really.

Whip Style
Range: 2-5
Not a terrain stance at all, instead zoning enemies by moving them directly. Throw targets one extra person within range, and Throw and Grabble both deal 2 damage in addition to moving the enemy around.

5+: Grapple Hook
Teleport to an empty space within range.

Good stances: Whip Dance makes froced movement so good that it's almost insane to ever use an action other than Throw, Grapple, or Try And Keep Up. Whip Reversal can interrupt enemies and throw them away or grapple away from danger as a reaction to an incoming enemy. The real god tier for this one, though, is Whip Shadow - you get six dice, and even if they roll a 1, you can use all six to throw and deal 2 damage to an enemy, for 12 guaranteed damage every turn.

UNDERDOG

The plucky kid hero. An all-rounder type, not bad at anything and flexible enough to handle any situation. The longer the battle goes on, the more effective they become. Complexity: Three stars.

Focused Underdog Ability: At the start of your turn, gain one of any Basic Token. When you take damage, gain one of any Basic Token.
Fused Underdog Ability: Same as Focused, but you can't gain a Basic Token of a type you already have.
Frantic Underdog Ability: Same as Focused.

Collateral Style
Range: 1-2
Deal property damage, then turn that into your own strength. Every time you destroy an obstacle, you gain a Basic Token.

3+: Roughhousing
Destroy an obstacle within range, then choose one: Teleport to where the obstacle was, deal 1 damage to each enemy adjacent to the obstacle, destroy another obstacle within range. Spend 2 Basic Tokens to choose two from the list, or spend 3 to choose all three.

Good stances: Collateral Blaster lets you destroy multiple obstacles, then apply all the chosen effects to all the obstacles at once. Collateral Control increases the range from which Roughhousing can be used to teleport around.

Distracting Style
Range: 1-2
Makes sure your enemies are always weakened, while also moving all over the place. Whenever an enemy damages you, if they have no Weakness Tokens, they get one. The trick is to Challenge an enemy, then get as slippery as possible afterwards.

1+ or 2 Basic Tokens: Flare
Move one space, then give one Weakness Token to one enemy within range.

Good stances: Distracting Shadow lets you move during enemy turns constantly with Flare and Stunt. Distracting Iron/Zen help you survive all the attention you're drawing. Distracting Reversal gives you Armor and reactions to more easily use Flare on enemy turns. Distracting Vigilance is an all-around powerful recovery stance.

Eye of the Style
Range: 1
Obvious guitar riff goes here. A versatile style that can get whatever advantage they need at any moment. At the start of your turn, you gain a Bonus of your choice.

3+: Thrill of the Fight
Pick a target, then choose one: Challenge them, deal 2 damage, or give them 2 Burning Tokens. Spend 2 Basic Tokens to choose two from the list, or spend 3 to choose all three.

Good stances: Eye of the Shadow can use the Freedom bonus (+2 Speed Tokens at the start of each turn this round) to Stunt and move around the field like crazy. Eye of the Wild can use that or Power Up (Gain 2 of each Basic Token) to use Fury more times in a row.

Lucky Style
Range: 1
You can't kill someone who's lucky. They'll just happen to get lucky and survive. You have Armor, and roll an extra d4 with your Action Dice.

3+: Just What I Needed
Choose one: Gain 2 Basic Tokens, teleport 2-3 spaces, heal. Spend 2 Basic Tokens to choose two from the list, or spend 3 to choose all three.

Good stances: Anything that doesn't already have Armor, but especially Forms that have good actions that can use low rolls - Lucky One-Two/Song/Vigilance are good picks there.

Misfortune's Style
Range: 1-3
Maybe it's not that you're lucky, it's that everyone around you is unlucky. When a Trap triggers underfoot, you can redirect the damage to an enemy within range. If there's no enemy within range, gain a Power Token instead.

1+ or 3 Basic Tokens: Bad Luck
Place a Trap into a space within range.

Good stances: Misfortune's Shadow can use Stunt as an extra way to place Traps. Misfortune's Zen will do 1 damage to nearby enemies constantly. Misfortune's Control makes your Trap damage even easier to apply to multiple enemies.

WARDANCER

You know what you want, and what you want is to hit someone really hard, really fast. Each Wardancer style gives you a different hammer for violently pounding in a different kind of nail. Easy to play, big numbers. Complexity: one star.

Focused Wardancer Ability: After rolling your Action Dice, either increase all results by 1, or increase one result by 4.
Fused Wardancer Ability: After rolling your Action Dice, increase two of the results by 2.
Frantic Wardancer Ability: Same as Focused.

Forbidden Style
Range: 1-2
Starting out with the crazy one! This is the only style in the game that gets two Forms. You get the Abilities and Unique Actions of both, and a Skill from either one. Action Dice on the main forms are ignored, instead combining two of these:



As a drawback, you take 2 damage at the start of your turn, although it can't drop you under 1 HP.

Good stances: Forbidden Power Blaster or Forbidden Blaster One-Two will give you the biggest damage gains. Forbidden One-Two Wild can turn any 2 Basic Tokens into 2 damage. Beyond that, this style is so open-ended that the sky's the limit.

Lightning Style
Range: 1
A super-speedy style that deals damage lots of times to lots of targetse. After you deal damage, you gain a Speed Token.

2+: Deadly Dance
Teleport 2 spaces, deal 1 damage to an enemy within range.
5+: Teleport 2 sapces, deal 2 damage to an enemy within range.
8+: Do 5+ again.

Good stances: Lightning One-Two does damage multiple times on every hit, gaining Speed Tokens on every hit too. Lightning Shadow/Dance can take the free Speed Tokens and plug them into Unique Actions that cost Speed Tokens to use. Lightning Wild is a monster of a stance, refunding one of the two Tokens used on Fury every time you use it. Lightning Zen can use the Wardancer Ability to guarantee a 5+ Deadly Dance and an 8+ Deadly Dance every turn.

Overwhelming Style
Range: 1
Hit once, but hit really hard. Whenever an enemy hits you with an attack, spend a Power Token to push them 1 space and deal 1 damage. Your attacks ignore Armor.

4+: Power Strike
Deal 2 damage to an enemy within range, gain 2 Power Tokens.
8+: Instead deal 4 damage and gain 4 Power Tokens.

Good stances: Overwhelming Power can spend all those Power Tokens at once. Overwhelming Blaster/Wild/One-Two can penetrate armor with their multiple hits to avoid getting shut down. Overwhelming Zen can do two 4+ Power Strikes and an 8+ Power Strike every turn.

Relentless Style
Range: 1
This is all about beating people down and pushing them across the battlefield while you do it. Whenever you damage an enemy, you immediately push them one space and move into the empty space they just left.

3+: Rush Down
Deal 1 damage to an enemy within range. Then, deal 1 damage to an enemy within range.
5+: Then, deal 1 damage to an enemy within range.
7+: Then, deal 1 damage to an enemy within range.

Good stances: Relentless One-Two/Blaster hit multiple times, allowing for more pushing and movement. Relentless Blaster/Control have added range to engage with Rush Down. Relentless Zen's free numbers line up exactly with Rush Down's cost.

Weightless Style
Range: 1
Obstacles are no problem if you just float past them, right? All spaces count as empty to you. Edges can't remove you from play. Rubble doesn't cost extra Speed Tokens. Traps can't hurt you.

4+: Effortless
Teleport to a space you can see.
7+: Target ally can teleport to any space they can see.

Good stances: Weightless Power/Iron can teleport to bypass their mobility issues. Weightless Blaster can reposition multiple allies with Effortless. Weightless Song/Vigilance can escape from any situation to recover.

WINTERBLOSSOM

Precise, ruthless, mean. An aggressive debuff archetype that weakens enemies into uselessness, then takes them down with a single powerful attack. Complexity: Two stars.

Focused Winterblossom Ability: At the start of every turn, give a Weakness Token to an enemy within range.
Fused Winterblossom Ability: At the start and end of your turn, give a Weakness Token to an enemy within range.
Frantic Winterblossom Ability: At the start of every turn, give 2 Weakness Tokens to an enemy within range.

Crystal Style
Range: 1-2
Use your own Copies as bombs! Whenever you one of your Copies is destroyed, it deals 1 damage to every enemy adjacent to it.

3+: Splinter
Place a copy into a space within range, then deal 1 damage to every enemyadjacent to it.
6+: Do it again.

Free: Shatter
Counts as a Token Action, has no cost. Destroy a Copy, then give a Weakness Token to an enemy within its range.

Good stances: Crystal Blaster places more Copies per Splinter, and inflicts multiple Weakness Tokens with Shatter. Crystal Shadow can place Copies during enemy turns, then Shatter them instantly. Crystal Control lets you place Copies and dispense Weakness Tokens from far away. Crystal Zen can always Splinter 3 times per turn.

Frozen Style
Range: 1
A defensive stance to punish people who come close to you or try to move past you. Whenever an enemy moves into an empty space adjacent to you, give them a Weakness Token. If they move through your range, that's a Weakness Token for each space of movement within it.

Good stances: Frozen Dance can pull enemies into adjacent spaces and therefore weaken them. Frozen Shadow can Stunt away after an enemy gets into range of you, forcing them to get into range again. Frozen Iron can pull multiple enemies into range, then stay alive with Armor and Iron Tokens.

Precision Style
Range: 1-2
Aim carefully, then hit as hard as you can, make defensive enemies sad. All your Actions deal +1 damage to enemies with Armor or Shields (if they have both, still just +1). Also, whenever you target an enemy, they discard an Iron Token.

3+/3+: Perfect Strike
Requires two numbers from your Action Pool, both of them a 3 or higher. Deals 4 damage to an enemy in range, ignoring Armor and Shields. Tokens and Abilities can't be used as a response.

Good stances: Precision Blaster can make up for the extreme cost of Perfect Strike by hitting multiple targets. Precision Shadow/Wild have lots of Action Dice, which also makes up for the two-die cost. Precision Zen can do a 7+ Focus and a Perfect Strike every turn. Precision Power does insane amounts of damage, ignoring Armor.

Pressure Style
Range: 1-2
Hold this one in reserve for a big finishing attack - the more you've made the enemy miserable, the more you'll ruin their day with this one. At the start of your turn, give a Weakness Token to every enemy in range.

5+: Apply Pressure
One enemy in range takes damage equal to the number of tokens they're holding. Can only be used once per turn.

Good stances: Pressure Vigilance can give enemies tokens and then Apply Pressure on the same turn. Pressure Blaster/Reversal can both cheat through the once per turn limit on Apply Pressure. Pressure Zen gives you a guaranteed Apply Pressure while also using Focus to resist retaliation.

Reflected Style
Range: 2-3
Winterblossom's ultimate defensive option. At the start of your turn, place up to three Walls in empty adjacent spaces. You can see and target enemies through Walls.

3+: Walled In
Place 3 Walls into empty spaces within range 1-3.

3+: Icicle Fall
Deal 1 damage to every enemy who's adjacent to a wall.

Good stances: Reflected One-Two doubles Icicle Fall's damage. Reflected Blaster/Control give you more range, making it easier to attack from behind your wall. Reflected Shadow can teleport to safety if the wall goes down.

Aand with that, we've reached the end of the list! Next up, the stuff you do aside from beating people up with obtuse magical kung fu.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

megane posted:

I'm imagining an ancient, towering demon with flaming wings and horns carrying a tray of blueberry muffins and wearing an apron that says "KNEEL BEFORE THE CHEF."

I'm sensing a sewing project.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



Alien Rope Burn posted:


"The gun is for people that don't like the hat. The hat is so I can use the gun. Life is good."

Clearly what Kevin meant when he said 'not Russian enough' was 'no tall furry hats.' And also he had to come up with the idea of a vibro-sickle on his own.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





Rifts design spec:

  • List some stereotypical objects from {place}
  • Add cyber- or techno- or bio- or mega- or vibro- or a similar prefix to the front of each thing
  • Job's done

Welcome to Rifts France, where bio-musketeers eat cyber-croissants at ultra cafes and fight demon techno-duelists with vibro-rapiers in the shadow of the Eiffel Mega-Tower.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


megane posted:

Welcome to Rifts France, where bio-musketeers eat cyber-croissants at ultra cafes and fight demon techno-duelists with vibro-rapiers in the shadow of the Eiffel Mega-Tower.

occamsnailfile covered France in her review of Rifts World Book 3: England, actually, and it's duller than one would expect. There are: A) goblins, B) undetailed mutants, and C) blood druids. Blood druids are evil herbalists. They do evil herb stuff.

I don't recall if anything's been done with it since. Something really should, because the footnote in England was just a one-note "here there be bad guys".

Sage Genesis
Aug 14, 2014


ProfessorProf posted:

WINTERBLOSSOM
Precise, ruthless, mean.

Hey come now, Mei is adorable.


Thanks for doing these, by the way. I didn't expect to get pumped for a game by reading this thread but here we are.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

megane posted:

Welcome to Rifts France, where bio-musketeers eat cyber-croissants at ultra cafes and fight demon techno-duelists with vibro-rapiers in the shadow of the Eiffel Mega-Tower.

I would like to play this yes

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



megane posted:

Rifts design spec:

  • List some stereotypical objects from {place}
  • Add cyber- or techno- or bio- or mega- or vibro- or a similar prefix to the front of each thing
  • Job's done

Welcome to Rifts France, where bio-musketeers eat cyber-croissants at ultra cafes and fight demon techno-duelists with vibro-rapiers in the shadow of the Eiffel Mega-Tower.

You want a Rifts Middle East? It's all New Ottomans, Techno-Persians, and Cyber-Saudis.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



Young Freud posted:

You want a Rifts Middle East? It's all New Ottomans, Techno-Persians, and Cyber-Saudis.

Vibro-scimitars. Full conversion cyborg camels.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




That sounds awesome instead of racist though.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



7th Sea 2: The Crescent Empire - The Will of the Council

Sarmion is ruled by a king of queen who is aided by the Moatrat Achim, the Council of Brothers, which is commonly called the Moatzra. It cinsists of of leaders from every Sarmion tribe, with one delegate per 300 tribal members. They advise the monarchs on all matters of state, including relations with other imperial nations. The monarchs assign regional governors from within each tribe to serve as liaisons with the government and enforce laws, keeping the peace in each tribal territory. The Moatzra may call up the tribal chayalim, soldiers, to make up an army in times of trouble, but the royals lead them in battle. When Istani ordered a registry of all sorcerers, the Moatzra declared the law assur, religiously forbidden, and encouraged people both publicly and privately to defend magic users within Sarmion. They base most of their law on Yachidi ethics, with freedom of religion being guaranteed across the nation, and proselytizing of any faith, including the Yachidism, forbidden by law. The monarchs are and have always been descendants of the Yachidi forefather Abram, though that's not exactly rare given how many kids he had and how many kids his kids had. Only a child born of a Yachidi mother may hold the throne, but intermarriage into other faiths is not rare in polygamist Sarmion households. With King Josiah dead, the Moatzra have fallen into factions and infighting, with many non-Yachidi leaders calling for the abolition of the monarchy entirely for an independent representational government. Tribal leaders are scrambling to fill the seats emptied by the dead and vanished, and with nine tribes just gone, the Moatzra has shrunken immensely. They have diverted what resources are left to manage the huge swaths of land emptied by the curse.

The Sarmion military is extremely powerful when it gathers. It is made of chayalim of each tribe, primarily light infantry warriors armed with sicar (short swords), daggers, staves, spears and light shields. Most are only lightly armored, favoring training in lechima, a fast-moving hand-to-hand style of combat derived from the guerrilla tactics used against the Numanari. Sarmion cavalry is more heabily armored and favors mounted archery from either horseback or chariots. Sarmion warriors are known for their athletic ability in crossing any terrian and even climbing walls with ease - without magic. Every part of the military keeps at least one sorcerer in each unit. These sorcerers use their magic to augment their own bodies and wield nature against foes, and many of them end up dying in order to ensure victory. The veterans of the victory over the Numanari attack ended up breaking Yachidi law and using kishuf, forbidden magic, which twisted their bodies into grotesque monstrosities to defend the land. These veterans are called Lokkem, the Warriors, and many are no longer able to end their transformations and have been permanently changed. Despite their sacrifice, many more pious Yachidi shun the Lokkem and drive them out of their settelements, which leaves the government iwth a very powerful sorcerous population with nowhere to go and often a large sense of resentment.

Sarmion has always been a Yachidi nation, ever since the Covenant of the Longest ight, in which the Yachidi accepted rule of the land under the tenets of peace, acceptance of magic, respect and cooperation with others. However, while the Yachidi remain dominant, they are not the only religion. The Ishamali tribes that still worship the old gods are accepted as keepers of the Covenant. The Nakor worship the goddess of life, Naana-Astarte, the Shuar worship the gods of dawn and dusk, Shachar and Shalim, the Midaen worship the god of plenty, Baal-Hammon, and about half of the Essa-Edomi worship the god of death and fire, Mot-Melok. These gods are very similar to the ahuras of Ahurayasna, and also to jinn, but the Covenant has kept the tribes peaceful and the gods satisfied. Each tribe recognizes that Theus exists as a creator, but they serve their gods as patron protectors rather than as supreme beings.

The other Ishamali tribes, the Epher, Jokshaar, Massa-Duman ahd the other half of the Essa-Edomi, are Dinists, and al-Din flourishes in Sarmion, though the conversion does provide some tension with those who believe the Covenant is what keeps the old gods peaceful. Some Vaticines have also come to Sarmion in order to learn more about the homeland of the First Prophet. Yachidi are often bemused by the Vaticine and the ORthodox, as they find it hard to understand how a single rebbe managed to make such a strange impact on the rest of the world. They do respect the Vaticine, except as regards their position on sorcery, but are vehement foes of the Inquisition. Many Yachidi who lve in Theah have reported persecution by Inquisition agents, and the empire has recently learned about Yachidi vanishing in places like Castille or Eisen. The largest religious conflicts, however, are between Yachidi and Yasnavans, who disapprove of Yachidi ritual animal sacrifice. While the practice is done with total respect for the animal and has in fact recently fallen from favor with many in Sarmion, it hasn't ended the old grudges.

All of life in Sarmion is built around tribal and family identity. The family forms a backbone for all life, and children are raised to be first loyal to Elohah, then the family, then the tribe, then the nation, then the monarchy, in that order. Sarmion society is polygamous, with the head of a household often having multiple spouses. Families raise children communally, with the eldest of all of them being the inheritor regardless of gender. Sarmions tend to have lives well over a hundred years, thanks to a mix of magic, advanced medicine and healthy living, so family units get very large and extended. Children trace tribal identity through the mother, though a father in the family will generally act as a mentor or guide in their life. Every child is known as the product of a single pairing of adults, though all adults in a family assist in their raising, and they inherit birthright from their birth parents. Birthright consists of any inheritance of money, objects, businesses, land or herds after the death of the parents, which are usually kept within tribes. Intermarriage between tribes or even outside them does happen, but the business of lineage and inheritance means that anyone joining a Sarmion family brings a dowry or at least something to contribute to the family's prosperity.

Peace is kept by tribal affinity bonds. The Covenant of the Longest Night is the example, bringing peace and rule in th eancient times. If not for its tradition of brotherhood, old grudges might have destroyed the country. Instead, the tribes recognize a shared connection as the inheritors of Sarmion, and see each other as friendly neighbors and extended family. Each tribe treats the others with respect, offering aid and comfort to any in need, and recognizing each other's religious practice, often sharing in rituals. Sarmion brotherhood is also extended to the other nations of the empire. A Sarmion sees the other imperial nations as contentious and somewhat difficult family members, but still family. They are especially loyal and dedicated to the monarchy and Empress Safiye.

Sarmion clothing is tied to Sarmion modesty, a practice that dates back to the time of Abram, who taught his sons that envy is the cause of all conflict, and the encouraging envy in others by one's actions invites strife. Therefore, showing off is heavily discouraged, and Sarmions prefer their actions and intentions to speak for them, avoiding ostentatiousness even when wealthy. Outfits are mdoest, and common Sarmion belief is that the body, regardless of size, is merely a single component of a person. Therefore, all people of Sarmion, regardless of gender, wear flowing tunics and dresses, with men wearing skullcaps or turbans and women wearing scarves as head wraps and shawls. However, the Sarmions allow themselves some ostentation in their jewelery. Jewels are seen as a measure of status and tribal wealth, and while it is the height of rudeness to comment on another's jewelery, as this risks being considered envious, the system allows the Sarmion to recognize wealth and standing without speaking of it.

Next time: Language

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Alien Rope Burn posted:


Walk, don't run.

I know it's Rifts, but good lord this illustration bothers me. It's just a forest, with a mountain in the background and two mushrooms in the foreground. It looks like a Bob Ross composition but much too busy, way too many distinct layers of trees for no particular reason. To top it all off, this could be any coniferous forest in the world- they could have at least given one of the mushrooms a fuzzy hat or a hammer and sickle or a pet bear or something.

Alien Rope Burn posted:


"The gun is for people that don't like the hat. The hat is so I can use the gun. Life is good."

That is one smug horse. That smug horse would make a hell of an avatar.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



megane posted:

Rifts design spec:

  • List some stereotypical objects from {place}
  • Add cyber- or techno- or bio- or mega- or vibro- or a similar prefix to the front of each thing
  • Job's done

Welcome to Rifts France, where bio-musketeers eat cyber-croissants at ultra cafes and fight demon techno-duelists with vibro-rapiers in the shadow of the Eiffel Mega-Tower.

How 'bout french power rangers

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Just Dan Again posted:

I know it's Rifts, but good lord this illustration bothers me. It's just a forest, with a mountain in the background and two mushrooms in the foreground. It looks like a Bob Ross composition but much too busy, way too many distinct layers of trees for no particular reason. To top it all off, this could be any coniferous forest in the world- they could have at least given one of the mushrooms a fuzzy hat or a hammer and sickle or a pet bear or something.

I could, with near certainty, but you that illo is from a Palladium Fantasy book.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Young Freud posted:

You want a Rifts Middle East? It's all New Ottomans, Techno-Persians, and Cyber-Saudis.

Siembieda's openly said they don't have plans for it on account of feeling they couldn't do it right. It's on the Palladium "do not touch" list so far.

There was a fanbook about it, but, y'know. Fanbooks!

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Young Freud posted:

You want a Rifts Middle East? It's all New Ottomans, Techno-Persians, and Cyber-Saudis.

And Israel is made the local CS-a-like without a single hint of self-awareness or irony...but you do get a Rabbi OCC!

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Siembieda's openly said they don't have plans for it on account of feeling they couldn't do it right. It's on the Palladium "do not touch" list so far.

There was a fanbook about it, but, y'know. Fanbooks!

:dogbutton:

Barudak
May 7, 2007



I refuse to believe Rifts has enough impassioned fans for such a fanbook unless the head writer was named Sevin Kiembieda

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



SirPhoebos posted:

And Israel is made the local CS-a-like without a single hint of self-awareness or irony...but you do get a Rabbi OCC!

I believe that Israel no longer exists canonically in Rifts. There's a bit about the Phoenix Empire getting SAMAS armor designs from Israel, but them being expansionist Egyptians implied that it wasn't given in trade.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



Barudak posted:

I refuse to believe Rifts has enough impassioned fans for such a fanbook unless the head writer was named Sevin Kiembieda

Oh, I don't have a hard time believing that. Heck, they may have even thought it could get into The Rifter.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Young Freud posted:

I believe that Israel no longer exists canonically in Rifts. There's a bit about the Phoenix Empire getting SAMAS armor designs from Israel, but them being expansionist Egyptians implied that it wasn't given in trade.

Are you implying that what's written in one Rifts book matters in subsequent one?

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

Rifts Israel is an activation code for the worst Manchurian Candidate.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Wrestlepig posted:

Rifts Israel is an activation code for the worst Manchurian Candidate.

For some reason I feel like I must cyberize the president of micronesias refrigerator.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Kavak posted:

That sounds awesome instead of racist though.
There's this cultural undercurrent of "all this Middle Eastern folklore is awesome and sick" which I hope is one day able to be tapped in full. Maybe GURPS will do up that hypertech Muslim dominant world as a core book or whatever.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012





THE GUIDE

quote:

Weíve all had that time in our life when we werenít sure which direction to take. Perhaps we lost faith in our religion after a tragedy, perhaps a bad breakup drove us to the banks of the Thames with thoughts of suicide. This is where the Guide steps in. From the person who drives a taxi to the wise mentor we remember from our youth, the Guide lights a path for us to follow. It may be something as simple as getting directions to the address youíre seeking, or it might be advice that changes your life.

The Guide represents both philosophical and practical guidance. Kung Fu Sifuís, trailguides, self-help guruís, preachers,cult leaders, MLM proponents, sport coaches, and so on all fit into the Guide. They help people find and travel along a path, giving guidance and training and helping them reach whatever goal they seek. Scale and motivation donít matter: Selfish guides making people do things for their own benefit are as applicable as saintly mentors. The homeless guy who helps new bums find dry places to sleep is as much a guide as the financial advisor making 500K a week doing success seminars for Fortune 500 companies.

TABOOS
Guides only have one, but itís a biggie: They cannot walk the path they teach. A boxing coach can never step in the ring, a business advisor can never join the company, the matchmaker can never find love. Guides must teach but cannot do, or else they step outside of the role and lose their connection to the archetype.

CHANNELS
1%-50%: Whenever the guide is asked for help, guidance, or advice by someone they can roll their avatar identity to magickally produce the exact right advice for the situation. The better the roll, the more useful, relevant, and helpful the advice is while failure leads to nothing helpful and a matched failure or fumble leads to maliciously misleading advice that follows the letter of the request but violates the spirit.

51%-70%: Once per person per day, the Guide can give the person advice and if they follow it, they can flip-flop their next roll. If the person being advised has the guru or mentor relationship with the Guide, or the guide has the protege relationship with them then they can receive a once-per-day hunch roll as well.

71%-90%: This one interacts with the ďobjectivesĒ mechanics that are covered in Book Two, but in essence the guru can advise the group to do some task, and if they follow the advice it is essentially blessed. By doing it they progress closer to their objective that they otherwise would even if the actual act they took seemed daft and unrelated.

91%+: An upgrade essentially to the second channel. The advice flip-flops are now unlimited: Anybody can get as much advice as they want for a flip-flop each time as many times a day as they want. The only limit is the Guide canít use this in combat or high-stress situations as it requires a few minutes of talking. The guru/mentor/protege hunch roll is still once-per-day, but now the hunch roll can be flip-flopped upon use.

Another powerful supporting avatar. A guide can really help out any goal-oriented cabals, especially if the Guide in question is the one who knows the path everyone else is following.

THE HACKER

quote:

William Gibson observed that the street fnds its own uses for things. Prisoners turn toilets into whiskey stills, a substance created to purify ammonia for the space shuttle became a popular sex lube, Lysol was supposed to be for feminine hygiene(!), and bubble wrap was developed as a groovy new wallpaper. Email was supposed to be for arguing about Star Trek, but Nigerian princes have turned it into a scam machine. Kickstarter was meant to democratize art patronage, but instead sees a lot of function as an escrow account for pre-orders. Everywhere you look, someone has tweaked a device or idea into a bold new form. Those people operate in the shade of the Hacker.

The hacker modifies, tinkers, invents, reinvents, and improvises. From the junkyard mechanic to the cutting edge cybersecurity experts and disruptive tech engineers, anybody who works to make something new regardless of the morality or practicality of the creations.

TABOOS
An avatar of the Guide must always prioritize their tinkering and inventions over any social obligations or situations. If you have a hot date, but your custom 3D-printed solar-powered go-kart is on the fritz, sorry youíre troubleshooting bootleg solar panels tonight.

Hackers cannot refuse a request to exercise their skills. The morality or importance is irrelevant to them. They only care about the potential of a new idea and invention.

Finally a Hacker cannot use any technological device without modifying it in some way. If you have a smartphone you have to jailbreak it and start running custom kernels ASAP. This of course varies based on exactly what sort of Hacker the avatar is, but generally if they can modify it the archetype expects them to do so.

CHANNELS
1%-50%: When building, crafting, repairing, or tinkering the Hacker can use anything they have to hand to do the job. They donít suffer from lack of proper tools or materials. In addition, once per day they can use their avatar identity in place of any mechanical identity to perform such tasks.

51%-70%: This is the Scotty Power. WIth a successful roll, the avatar can do tasks in impossibly short times. Years become months, months weeks, weeks days, and days hours. This canít be used to replace another identity to actually do the task, it just makes it finish impossibly fast.

71%-90%: With a few hours and some supplies the Hacker can make a single-use device that can replicate a magickal effect that can duplicate spells, unnatural effects, and so on. They can only have one at a time, and it only works once.

91%+: This lets Hackers essentially modify magickal artifacts. If they get any magickal item they can change it to do something else, as long as the change vaguely sorta makes sense to the avatar in question. The item doesnít get more or less powerful, but just does something else. At this level of power the universe also seems to guide magickal artifacts to the hacker, giving them a constant stream of occult objects to tinker with.

While they look underwhelming, the Hacker is heavily dependent on the player being very very creative. You can do some crazy things, especially with the final channel.

THE MESSENGER

quote:

The Messenger carries the news. Anyone who tells you something important, something you didnít know, is weakly echoing the archetypal Messenger. Banishing ignorance and spreading knowledge, the Messenger seems to be a one of the more positive archetypes. But sometimes the Messenger is only as good as the news he brings.

The Messenger was once super-important to the Unknown Armies setting in the older editions via the Godwalker Dermott Arkane. He was a major GMPC and his attempts to assume the Archetype were a major element of 2nd edition. But, Arkane has disappeared in since then and some believe that he succeeded, becoming the Heisenberg Messenger. Now truth is subjective, shaped by the mass consciousness and interaction of mass and social media. There are still traditional Messengers around, so itís still a contested issue whether Arkane succeeded or not.

TABOOS
A Messenger can never knowingly deny the truth. They can lie by omission, refuse to speak, and misdirect with weasel words but they cannot deny a known true fact. This doesnít stop them from spreading mis-information, the Messenger just has to believe it is true.

CHANNELS
1%-50%: When a Messenger communicates an objective truth that he also believes, then anyone listening must either consciously acknowledge the truth or face a stress check from the mental friction of denying what the universe itself is enforcing as true.

51%-70%: When the Messenger is working to deliver information to someone in particular, then synchronicity helps him. Physical barriers between the Messenger and their target are removed. Locks unlock, gates open, chains break, cars that would break down keep going, and if someone tries to restrain him the bonds fall off. THis doesnít work against active opposition or things too big: He canít walk through walls or split an ocean.

71%-90%: A messenger can learn a single important fact about a person, place, or thing. The fact must be important: trivial nothing information doesnít count. Itís either vague and general, or concrete and specific. If specific, then it has to be stated in three words or less. And finally the Messenger has to be physically near the thing theyíre trying to learn about. The Messenger does this through any divination or other occult information gathering information they want. In basic rules term this works like the vague information feature, or like specific information where the information must be limited to three words or less. The effects of fumbles donít apply in this situation. This power can only be used every few hours, so no non-stop information mining.

91%+: The Messenger can get to any important event anywhere, as long as heís aware of it. It has to be happening at the moment the Messenger activates this channel, and it has to be somewhat important or notable. If it wouldnít make at least the nightly news then itís not important enough to matter. This is explicitly teleportation: The avatar just appears wherever they need to be.

The Messenger is highly situational, and can either be hilariously powerful or totally useless depending on the context and type of campaign. But any campaign based around the gathering and use of information, the Messenger is terrifying. Imagine the implications of his channels when applied to blackmail and coercion for example: A Messenger can easily find where to hit you and be perfectly convincing if he means what he says.

THE MOTHER

quote:

This is one of the oldest and strongest archetypes. It embodies nurturing, comfort, protection, and a powerful, sense of a benevolent higher power. Mother stands for comfort, safety, and love. The negative aspect of this archetype involves control and a suppression of autonomy: someone who is always worried about what mommy thinks can never grow into a fully independent human being. Some mothers create a sense of dependence and need in order to keep their children close;,such children may have trouble breaking the apron strings.

TABOOS
An avatar of the Mother cannot harm a child, or allow a child to come to harm by inaction. In these terms this is very literal: This taboo only applies to people under the age of 16 or that the avatar has physically given birth to. Note, what constitutes harm is up to the avatar in question. What one mother might consider harm, another might just consider ďtough loveĒ.

CHANNELS
1%-50%: When a Mother is around someone who fails a stress check, she can immediately make an avatar roll to perform psychological triage. She can also heal minor physical damage of up to 5 wounds. Though physical healing can only work once a week on an individual. The largest limit is that subject must see the avatar as a motherly figure. They must be at least ten years younger, and see the avatar as a comforting motherly figure. Anyone who considers the Mother a guru or mentor qualifies, as well as anyone the avatar has as their burden.

51%-70%: If somone threatens anyone you can use the first channel with, then the mother can hulk out with a lot of combat advantages. The avatar identity now Provides Initiative, Substitutes for Struggle, and any hand to hand attacks do +5 wounds.

71%-90%: If the Mother is physically pregnant, then anyone trying to harm the Mother, in any way at all has to make a Self (10) check to succeed, and the mother can use her avatar identity in place of Connect.

91%+: A Mother this powerful literally cannot die when a child is in danger. She will keep racking up Wounds, just until the child is safe, killed, or separated from her she will not die. Once those conditions are met, then the avatar will immediately drop dead.

The Mother by far is the most situational of all Archetypes so far. To let a Mother be useful you really want to make sure the campaign is built to accommodate her, as without children and pregnancy and other such things a Mother would be sitting about quite irrelevant. But if situations can be built to allow her to shine, for example another PC being her child, or even all of the PCs playing her children, then you have a powerful and flexible Archetype to work with.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Barudak posted:

I refuse to believe Rifts has enough impassioned fans for such a fanbook unless the head writer was named Sevin Kiembieda

Their house mag is made up entirely of fan submissions.

This book is concurrent with when The Rifter first got released, but most of the material in there is explicitly unofficial so I won't be covering much of it... yet. Of course, these days they've been trying to include more "official" material so they can be like "Hey, guys, The Rifter matters! It's official stuff! Your GM / players / possessed dog can't yell at you for using this stuff!"

SirPhoebos posted:

Are you implying that what's written in one Rifts book matters in subsequent one?

Once the books get back to America, that metaplot train's a-comin'.

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012




For Gold & Glory: Chapter 10: Encounters

Before we get to the chapter itself, check out this absolutely dope painting by John Martin:

Sadak in Search of the Waters of Oblivion (1812):

This chapter's all about crafting planned and random encounters. It's only four pages long and full of tables, but it's reasonably educational. But first, what's an encounter? Short answer: Gameplay content for the players.

quote:

Player decision is always a major element in encounters. Forcing PCs into an inescapable situation where they cannot act isnít an encounter (it is, however, poor game design), and interaction between player characters isnít considered an encounter either.


Some scripted railroad bullshit

FG&G divides pre-planned encounters into "keys" (as in map keys) and "triggers". Keys are simply static descriptions of stuff found in an area. Sights, smells, statted creatures, whatever. Triggers are "simple statements" (as in conditional statements) where some predetermined player action causes some kind of GM reaction.

Which is to say that pre-planned encounters should have stuff in them, and the stuff should somehow react to the player characters' presence. :v: The example encounter is much more informative:

quote:

Giantís Cave: This circular room, 80í in circumference with a 30í tall ceiling, is carved into the side of a hill. Itís musty and damp with moss covered walls and poor ventilation. At the far end is a makeshift bed made from dirty rags and animal skins. Boog, the hill giant, calls this cave his home. He always keeps a dirty sack full of makeshift utensils, 100 gp, and a golden idol (worth 500 gp) under his bed.

At night Boog is found passed out drunk in his bed (−1 to attack rolls and a penalty to wisdom checks). During the day Boog hunts and sets a simple snare trap at the cave entrance (the trap ensnares and dangles from the ceiling anyone who steps on it). Boog prefers to take prisoners, whom he eats at a later date. He grabs his hidden stash and runs when reduced to half his hit points.

You have been waylaid by enemies and must defend yourself

Random encounters are just stuff rolled from a table. The stuff is typically wandering creatures, but it could just as well be a reasonable NPC, a battle in the distance or even a random gust of wind that blows out torches. GMs should be systematic about how they check the table, but shouldn't feel restricted to it if the results are dumb or detract from the game.

Crafting personalised random encounters begins with choosing a suitable table. The book recommends either a simple percentile table or a funky 2Ė20 table where the check is made by rolling 1d12+1d8. It's an odd roll, but it produces a neat bell curve where the top has been lopped off and the middle five results are all equally likely to come up. The percentile table's obviously much easier to adjust for your needs.



There's no deep wisdom offered on how to populate the tables. The rarity on the tables above is the rarity listed on the monster's stat block in the bestiary: Orcs are everywhere and thus are "common" encounters, for example, while owlbears are "rare". The GM should obviously adjust to taste, and remember to add some encounters that don't involve wandering monsters as well.

The book doesn't include much advice on which specific creatures to pick, but it does mention that the level of the monsters should be proportional to that of the dungeon. I mean, "dungeon level" as an abstract difficulty rating of the dungeon, not the physical floor of the dungeon. Levels. The creature's level is determined by its XP value, which is also listed on every creature's bestiary entry. For every level above or below the dungeon level, the creature becomes more rare: In a third-level dungeon, a common first-level creature would be rare, and you shouldn't include any seventh-level creatures even if their statblock says they're common. The monsters' bestiary entry includes the "number appearing" for a typical encounter, but the book admits that this might end up being overwhelmingly large and suggests erring on the side of smaller encounters when in doubt.

quote:

Although a dungeonís level should correspond with the PCís level, thereís never any guarantee that a dungeon will be safe or easily conquered.
In case you were wondering.

There's a very short paragraph (that honestly should be a sidebar, but I guess that technology didn't exist in 1989) on good traps and tricks to place in a dungeon, and a reminder that the players should get XP for successfully disarming traps. (Note that the fighter face-tanking the rolling boulder does not count as "disarming".) Instant death effects, unavoidable traps, logic puzzles or riddles are specifically pointed out as frustrating for most people. Suggested stuff include magical bubbles that trap creatures but can be popped with piercing weapons, animated statues that talk of point towards further encounters, one-way doors, room-sized elevators and shifting passageways.

In the great outdoors, there's no "dungeon levels" so the PCs might run into anything from wandering merchants to hill giants. The book recommends giving lower-level PCs a chance to avoid really dangerous encounters.

quote:

If the PCs wish to risk their lives they can make that choice, but forcing them into an untenable fight is poor refereeing.
MMO game for babies. :smaug:

The GM should make different encounter tables for different wilderness regions, towns and even specific districts of larger cities to give each their own character. That's a poo poo-ton of tables, jeez.



The above table is a suggestion on how often the GM should make encounter checks based on the surrounding terrain and time of day. At the indicated times, the GM should roll 1d10 and if they roll equal to or below the number in the "check" column, a random encounter occurs. In a dungeon, the GM should make the check every hour (that is, every six turns) and whenever the PCs cause a ruckus.

For planned encounters, the GM should decide if any creatures are hostile or passive. Hostile creatures attack on sight while passive ones opt to talk first. Being passive doesn't mean being nice however: The book's example of a passive encounter is a group of bandits trying to shake the PCs down for some cash. In case the GM doesn't have a reaction planned, they're instructed to roll 2d10 plus any modifiers, and reference the table to find out how the encounter starts. Modifiers include the characters' charisma as well as any applicable modifiers from the morale section of the combat chapter.


Surprise!

When one or more parties have a chance of getting caught off-guard, a surprise check is in order. The GM rolls a d10 for each party; 3 or lower means they're surprised. There's a bunch of suggested modifiers.

If someone fails their surprise check, everyone not surprised gets a surprise round where they can perform all actions they normally could, except for spellcasting. Surprised characters lose their Dex bonus to AC. If a party purposefully sets up an ambush, they get an extra round of attacks before the surprise round.

Surprise affects the starting distance between parties. Regardless of environment, if both parties in an encounter fail their surprise rolls, they start a mere 3d6 feet away. Unsurprised parties begin the encounter tens of feet apart, depending on the terrain and darkness.

Coming up next: Chapter 11: Experience!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia, Part 3: "Even the association with so-called good spirits, angels, faerie folk, gypsies and dragons is frowned upon."

The Role of the Warlords

So, we're told that Russians have largely reverted to the "pastoral and agriculture-based simplicity of the old 'Kievan Rus' of the 9th through 13th centuries." Yes, this is just like how England was looking to go back to dryads and knights, Africans were looking to go back to ancient tribal cultures, Japan was looking to get back to daimyos and samurai, Romani were just waiting to hop into caravans and steal from people, Western Americans were looking to get back to cowboys and Indians Native Americans, etc. The world ends and Russians are like, "So, we can do anything, we have magic, we have cyborgs, let's be poo poo farmers!" In any case, most communities are self-ruled and have their own traditions, just paying tribute to the Warlords rather than looking to them for leadership. The Warlords generally don't worry about individual communities as long as they get their money and their respect. The only real universal law is that no association with the demonic is allowed, whether it be "witchcraft" or having a gurgoyle you trade with over the hill. Other supernatural creatures are tolerated but generally considered dangerous. Generally speaking, the Warlords generally enforce peace amongst their communities, even if it has to be the peace of death.


Happy days of lifelong toil are here again!

As far as D-Bees go, the Warlords often enslave them, though just as often they ignore them. Some Warlords may accept such communities; others might just burn them to the ground. But overall, they're treated as invaders or foreigners trying to take Russian poo poo farming jobs from good, honest Russian poo poo farmers.

Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

To most Russian people, these D-Bee communities are inhabited by monstrous, alien squatters who have no rights. They are frequently raided, raped, and abused by Warlord Camps and common folk alike. The knights and warriors can enter the town and take or do anything they please. Any D-Bee who stands in their way or raises a hand in self-defense or protest is beaten or killed. The worst of the Warlord's Camp will loot, rape, torture and kill these people with wanton abandon, free of any crime or punishment in the eyes of the Warlord or most members of the human population.

I didn't need to know where the Rapine Cyborgs put their e-dicks, but thanks, Siembieda. :cripes:

Generally when D-Bees show designs of consorting with supernatural evil or generally getting to wealthy or uppity, that's a good sign that a Warlord is going to mete out some form of punishing tribute or destroy the community. Yes, even far from the realm of skull Nazis, anti-immigration policies literally ride high in Russia. Oppression, expulsion, or extermination of D-Bee communities is extremely common. This is where I had to take a break and stop writing for several weeks, and do things that didn't involve Rifts. :eng99:


"Lost my jaw in battle? No, no. I lost my jaw from sweet tooth."

The Warlords

After all this, in the kind of tone failure Rifts delivers reliably, it says "The Warlords stride Rifts Earth like legendary heroes from epic myth.", but at least points out the truth of their legends may be questionable or fabricated. To outsiders, they're seen as bloodthirsty "savages", but internally the Warlords run relatively coherent military organizations. Though they vary in many ways, they're generally united in wanting to defend Russia from threats real (like supernatural monsters) or imagined (the aforementioned D-Bees). In general, they're Russian patriots in both the great and terrible senses of the term. They protect the people, but some also abuse and exploit them as well. Warlords are followed by clans and knighted warriors, along with a variety of peons known as "Reavers". Reavers are occasionally knighted and brought into the upper ranks. However, anybody in a Warlord's camp essentially is at the top of the overall social ladder. However, we're told that they only abuse their power 1d4 times a year, and most people are content with it. How would they feel if it was 1d6? 1d8? 1d30? :raise:


"Look, I don't want to do this, but the 1d4 doesn't come up less than a 1!"

Brass tacks: This is full of handwringing of "Well they abuse and harm people sometimes but really at least people aren't being eaten by demons and gosh, when you think about it-"

Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

The noble and kind members of these War Camps don't abuse the people or make them run around helter-skelter, but the most arrogant, pompous and cruel will demand that everybody is at their beck and call, and treat them shabbily. The worst will threaten, bully, beat, extort, rape and belittle the "peasants," as well as ignore or supersede local village authorities, elders, traditions and laws. Whichever the case may be, ultimately, the rule of the Warlords is no crueler or destructive than any empire-builders throughout history. In fact, they are probably more just, patriotic, dedicated and humane than many.

... mmmmmannnenanghghghghhhhh...

There's so much wrong with that paragraph excerpt that I don't know even where to start, so I won't. I am dying to talk about guns and robots at that point. It any case, it likens them to old steppe clans and gangsters, which is more apt. They have intense psuedo-familial ties, invented or otherwise, and tend to react strongly to any sort of perceived challenge or disrespect.

Ultimately, a lot of a Warlord's camp is mobile, because... that's the imagery we're working with, okay? Their primary enemy is considered nonhuman invaders and foreigners, but they also are constantly on watch for the forces of rival Warlords and other human foes. Also they hate ethnic wanderers! Just FYI. In general, though, military structure is loose, and warriors are expected to be independent and answer for personal failures. As far as their activities go, they generally focus on guerilla tactics and deception to win the way. Which makes sense for small groups, I guess, but I can't imagine how it works for their huge, unhideable cyborgs and hovertanks.

The Brotherhood of Heroes

So, either you're born or invited into a Warlord's Camp, though those that invite are then responsible for those they invited in. Generally, you spend a lot of your time scouting, hunting, and fighting supernatural evil, and what it isn't you spend drinking and dancing and doing all sorts of folksy celebration poo poo.


feeemales

Also you may note the term "Brotherhood". That's not coincidental.

Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

The role of the female. The Warlords and their warriors are predominantly a male dominated society. Thus, females tend to serve as (often crucial) support personnel of the Camp. As "support" personnel, they take on the roles of organizers, accountants, cooks, teachers, nurses, doctors, Cyber-Docs, Operators and Engineers of all kinds, builders, carpenters, communications specialists, and overseers of the Camp and most of its internal operations.

Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

Women can also achieve warrior and knight status if they really have what it takes. About 16% of the warriors in most Camps are female. Women warriors are not given preferential treatment and must be able to perform the same duties as a man in order to be accepted as a warrior. Once they have proven themselves, they are treated like one of the men ó a warrior brother whom the men see as a true equal. However, from a young age, women are generally pointed in the direction of support.

We can do it! - but if it involves fighting then maybe don't, laaadies. :rolleyes:

Speaking of the relentless focus on -isms, foreigners and D-bees can become Reavers, but they can't become knights and are treated as the lowest of all the members of the camp. Sometimes they conscript dirt farmers to bolster their ranks, but almost always temporarily (presuming they survive whatever task they're put to).

The Sphere of Influence

As nomadic warriors, the Warlords generally don't have total control over their region, and there's a laborious metaphor comparing them to wolf packs.

Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

Likewise, they prey on the cattle-like herd animals (the indigenous peasants) and any who succumb to weakness; food for their slavering jaws.

Yeah, life under them sounds great. Just great. Anyway, they rely on intimidation and the loyalty of locals quite a bit because often areas are days away from any sort of immediate response. However, most Warlords don't enforce any universal laws per se, letting most places live autonomously. We get a long list of potential offenses they might enforce, however, which boil down to "don't cross or disrespect the Warlord's forces, don't do black magic that calls upon otherworldly forces, and don't work with our enemies or supernatural forces or... ethnic wanderers". In particular, when dealing with those who betray humanity to the supernatural, they're slain without hesitation. We're told they "do not falsely accuse innocent people". Thinking they don't do things for faulty reasons seems like a stretch given the litany of awful things they to people for no reason at all, but hey, I'm not a game writing professional, what do I know? Otherwise, offenses are treated in a variety of ways from the fair to the total destruction of a village, but use brutality as a means of making sure "peasants" stay in line.

In a very rare break from the usual lack of references to Christianity, apparently most people Warlord areas are Russian Orthodox, and apparently their religious ethics generally keep them in line anyway without the Warlords needing to step in. Seems pretty convenient! Annual tithes from communities (whether that's money or harvest or whatever) to Warlords is roughly 10%, though some rare ones impose much higher rates, and they're expected to house and feed any camp followers that arrive in town, though most Warlords emphasize to their men never to exploit villagers to the point of hardship. Once again, this seems odd given all the awful other things they're established to do, but sure. Sure. Not playing tribute usually results in violence from the Warlords. If there are grievances from a community regarding camp members getting "carried away" (yeah, we know what that implies by now), it's expected that the grand majority of the time, the Warlords will address it. Lastly, Warlords often raid and rob each other, as well as take hostages, and usually only work together to deal with supernatural threats. Overt war is generally avoided, however, as supernatural threats generally keep them too busy to conduct a full-scale invasion. However, if enough of the monsters are driven out, war between the Warlords will be inevitable.


Rifts = D&D + Cyber.

A Digression

Man, I thought the Coalition is bad. Siembieda loves his "truth is in the middle" nonsense, but these guys might as well have multiple-personality disorder. Are they vile thugs exploiting and abusing their regions, or notable monster-hunters who treat people harsh but fairly? Obviously different Warlords are going to have different policies, but if so, why have blanket statements saying "Oh, they never abuse peasants in this way." It wants them to be humanity's last hope against monstrous hordes (that we have no descriptions of yet) but also have a sickening "maybe it's okay for them to punch your mom as long as she doesn't get eaten by a gargoyle" moral compromise.

Also making them a bunch of gross racist, sexist, specist abusers doesn't help. If this is all humanity can aspire to, where's the virtue in our preservation? And even more confusingly, as we get into the warlords, some of them seem like decent folks that wouldn't put up with this poo poo. It seems like he wanted to paint all warlords with the same cultural brush when they really, really should be described as individual factions with their own values and goals. There are are at least two Warlords that are unambiguously are good people, but if their bands of Reavers are acting like what's described above, they're really falling down at their job.

Also, there's the general use of the r-word. Siembieda just seemingly throws it in without too much thought, I'm sure, a box on the checklist of horrible things people might do. However, it's aged extremely poorly, and probably wasn't ever really appropriate for the tone of the game he's going for.

Next: The faces of war.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Wow, Russia is a real shithole, even by RIFTS standards.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Once the books get back to America, that metaplot train's a-comin'.

Oh my, yes. And if somebody thinks the both sides nonsense of the warlords are galling, wait until you get to the actual Nazis becoming heroic defenders of all that is right and good.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Dawgstar posted:

Oh my, yes. And if somebody thinks the both sides nonsense of the warlords are galling, wait until you get to the actual Nazis becoming heroic defenders of all that is right and good.
.
Well, that's over a decade ahead in a metaplot / crossover event that's yet to even emerge. The Minion Warô is a long, long ways away, for better or worse.

(And somehow is still getting books even though the actual "plot" is over.)

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 16:41 on Aug 11, 2018

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

The one thing I'll give Sembieda is that all this poo poo seems to be contained to his books.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



Alien Rope Burn posted:

.
Well, that's over a decade ahead in a metaplot / crossover event that's yet to even emerge. The Minion Warô is a long, long ways away, for better or worse.

(And somehow is still getting books even though the actual "plot" is over.)

Huh. The Tolkeen War must have come out later than I thought.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012




For Gold & Glory: Chapter 11: Experience

This chapter is short and sweet, since it's only a page long.

quote:

Experience is added up and divided evenly among all surviving players at the end of a session or adventure. Dead characters or recently resurrected characters should receive experience for events that happened up to their death.
You get experience whenever you overcome dangerous encounters. You don't need to stab everyone involved, negotiating your way through is fine and so is running. If you're never in any danger (the book's example is "set off a trap with a rock from a safe distance") you don't get any XP whatsoever, which sounds a bit lame.

Unlike in previous editions, XP for encounters isn't determined by the value of loot found, but by the HD of enemies defeated. The creature stats in the bestiary include their XP value, but if you need to make up your own, there's a table. If the monster has special abilities or is particularly tough, you should treat its HD as higher and award more XP. AC 0 or lower is a +1 modifier to HD, magic resistance is a +2 and energy drain is a +3, for example.

Characters can also get XP for achieving "prominent story-related goals", whatever that means, and the characters can set goals for themselves as well. These rewards shouldn't exceed the total XP awarded for the encounters overcome on the way Ė the journey is the reward, or something.

The book appears to have no guidelines for starting characters above 1st level whatsoever.

Coming up next: Chapter 12: Treasure, Magical Items, and Research!

Siivola fucked around with this message at 08:02 on Aug 12, 2018

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5