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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Thanks to this Night's posts introducing me to the wonder of Warhams Fantasy Roleplay I'm going to be running Deep Carbon Observatory as a WFRP 2e one-shot. It's an incredibly cool set of ideas, but it reads more like a collection of GM notes than a published product. Veins of the Earth, Stuart and Scrap Princess's much higher budget project, reads the same way and has a lot more evocative SP art.

While I generally enjoy the base ideas and the grim tone, I get the impression that cannibalism is a... thing for Stuart. We've seen cannibals already in Deep Carbon, cannibalism is presented as a mechanically reasonable option for survival in Veins of the Earth, and Maze of the Blue Medusa (which Stuart was co-author on) has a cult of cannibal critics in a section of the dungeon that spoils all other food. It's almost at the point of self-parody at this point, but I'm not sure if that's intentional or not.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


MightyMatilda posted:

@Alien Rope Burn: In case you don't know, the picture of the true megahorse is unavailable.

Yeah, that's the shorthand I'm using this review for "there is no art of this".

Vulpes Vulpes
Apr 28, 2013

"...for you, it is all over...!"

mllaneza posted:

Was Google down ? You couldn't do some research ? At the very least, you need to get into Argentinian barbecue. Look up a chimichurri sauce and get woke.

Nah, I mean sure I could have done the research, but my group doesn't actually play 7th Sea, so I figured I'd save my energy. I enjoy the extended lore of the setting, but my group are three more or less normal people I've corralled into playing games with me, and giving them homework to study up on would probably not be super welcome.

Metallia
Sep 17, 2014



Just Dan Again posted:

Thanks to this Night's posts introducing me to the wonder of Warhams Fantasy Roleplay I'm going to be running Deep Carbon Observatory as a WFRP 2e one-shot. It's an incredibly cool set of ideas, but it reads more like a collection of GM notes than a published product. Veins of the Earth, Stuart and Scrap Princess's much higher budget project, reads the same way and has a lot more evocative SP art.

While I generally enjoy the base ideas and the grim tone, I get the impression that cannibalism is a... thing for Stuart. We've seen cannibals already in Deep Carbon, cannibalism is presented as a mechanically reasonable option for survival in Veins of the Earth, and Maze of the Blue Medusa (which Stuart was co-author on) has a cult of cannibal critics in a section of the dungeon that spoils all other food. It's almost at the point of self-parody at this point, but I'm not sure if that's intentional or not.

Warhammer Fantasy isn’t a bad idea for it; a lot of the later dungeon crawl would be a fantastic Chaos Dwarf set-piece, if nothing else. I’d be worried about doing a ‘survival in a highly lethal dungeon’ run in WFRP though.

Yeah, the cannibalism...phobia? I guess? Is pretty noticeable. If I can get through Carbon I might post about Veins next.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Depending on tier and armor, WFRP is a lot more survivable than it looks on the tin. Also depending on how you use Fate.

By second career or so, if you mostly ignore Insanity points most PCs are ready to go the distance if they're careful.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



7th Sea 2e: The New World - Today In The Land Of Unmappable Jungles

Modern Aztlan is, of course, not without its dangers and troubles that have very little to do with ancient history in practical terms. Each of the three nations have their own strengths and weaknesses, and all of them are afraid that war will break out across the continent - a fear encouraged by the Kuraq spies and saboteurs in the other two nations, and the Alliance's sheer military might. The Tzak K'ani, of course, trust each other even less than their foes. Despite all this, there is still hope. The Kuraq rebellion grows daily, and Tzak K'ani diplomats and mediators believe that the Alliance's refusal to just attack immediately is a sign of political maturity at long last. First contact with Theah has done much to remind the Aztlani that they aren't alone in the world and that they are more like each other in many ways that matter.

The gods now lurk in the background, meddling in mortal affairs with little care for the politics of the nations or even those of foreign visitors. They are unknowably vast creatures, potent beyond reason, who are as likely to pick out a hero and order them on a quest as to destroy a royal lineage to prove a point to some other god. They do whatever they like, and Aztlani heroes know that opposing them is a risky thing indeed, though sometimes standing up to a god is necessary.

You might expect the Aztlani to have open shipping lanes in the west, heading to Fuso and Kammerra for spices and silks. Rumor has it that once, the Aztlan Empire did trade with the lands that would become Khitai, but after the Fall, such expeditions became exceptionally rare. Castillians who came seeking western passage to Cathay were shocked to learn that western travel is nearly impossible. While the Nahuacan Alliance and Kuraq Empire both have shipping lanes up and down the west coast, neither heads further west. If asked to explain, they simply say that ships that sail into the western sea do not return. Theans who have tried the journey despite their warnings rarely return themselves. One who did, Captain Angela Ines Sancha de Solando, said her crew was devoured by a darkness that rose out of the sea itself, though she refused to speak of anything else she had seen, save for one phrase: los baldios negros.

The jungles and deserts move and shift often, revealing ruins left behind, often Syrne in origin. The New World is renowned in Theah for its uniquely numerous and distinctive Syrneth sites, often coated in untranslatable glyphs and runes and of an architecture unlike any Syrne ruin in Theah, Ifri or the Crescent. When Thean archaeologists came, many believed the runs were the creation of some other, non-Syrne race, perhaps a competitor of the Syrneth. However, as they conferred with their Aztlani counterparts and explored the connections between the ruins, the truth became clear - the Syrne made these as surely as the Star Map of Montaigne, the Vodacce Catacombs and the Aeries of Ussura.

The Inquisition may work to eradicate the artifacts and treasures of the Syrne, but others are trying to find the truth, working closely with Aztlani scholars (most of whom are Nahuacan or Tzak K'ani). In Nahuacan, Ayotia is the home of the biggest depost of intact ancient machines in the nation - or, perhaps, the continent. It was a peninsula long unexplored by the Nahuacan, but drew much attention after Thean contact. Nahuacan archaeologists had given up on the site due to the danger of the machinery, and merely took casts of the etched runes on the outside of the machines. When the Theans learned of them, however, the Nahuacan were happy to give directions in the knowledge that the foreigners would likely fail and, if they did find something new, the Nahuacan would reap the benefits. What they ended up with was a lot of unskilled workers, extremely opinionated Castillians and Dr. Corker O'Shae.

Corker is easily the main archateologist from Theah working in Aztlan now. She is Inish but Castillian-trained, and it's because of her dedication that Theans know much of anything about the ancient machines. She works closely with the Nahuacan to maintain one of the biggest dig sites in Aztlan, on the southern peninsula of Nahuacan territory. Her 1662 thesis revolutionized the view on Syrne ruins for both continents when she proved that the stone used to make the machines had not been carved, but rather molded and shaped, as if it were steel. Her work, copublished with Nahuacan researchers, discredited many earlier theories that the sites were not machinery but merely decorations made by Aztlani using primitive tools. She turned the entire Thean consensus on its head and has inspired a generation to prepare to come to the New World in pursuit of collaborations. She is often found with her hair tied back in a braid or ponytail, wearing a broad hate to shade her pale skin and with an almost stereotypical dark coat and light shirt. One of her Nahuacan partners, Xihnahui Xihuitl, has given her the nickname Itotia, 'the woman with hat,' which O'Shea claims to hate but actually loves. Her work is, in theory, about getting tenure back in CAstille, but her work on the peninsula is consuming her, and she is unwilling to delegate for fear of the Inquisition. (She has also apparently gotten into a complicated relationship with Xihnahui.)

In the east, a group of Thean and Aztlani archaeologists have around a dozen or so digs throughout Tzak K'an, as the jungle shifts and reveals new ruins. The most notable is run by Finnen "Finnegan" O Beigleighinn, in the jungle west of Olom Pa'. The Olom site is a prominent dig by the Txak K'ani chapter of the Explorer's Guild, led by Ix Tukun. Finnegan is less interested in old machines and more in human-scale artifacts, which often has him dealing with dangerous materials. Olom is a huge underground ruin, and it's all the puzzle he could ever want. His companion, Riley O'Lochlainn, does not like the caves. She's the one that has to fight the monsters there when Finnegan finds trouble, after all. She's a young Inish boxer who is renowned in Tzak K'an for her bravery and cheer, and she's saved the Olom expedition many times by squeezing into small spaces, fighting monsters or beating up Inquisitors or thieves. Finnegan is a graduate of Castillian universities, trained by Eduardo Villalobos de Inez y Lobianco, one of the original Explorers. Villalobos is too old to head to Aztlan himself, but Finnegan tries to keep him updated. He is unaware that many of his letters have been intercepted by the Inquisition, which now plans to assault and seize the dig.

Caxazul is the primary ruin being investigated by Atlani archaeologist Ix Tukun. It was already an important cultural site, but Ix uncovered evidence linking the Aztlani ruins to their Thean counterparts, and she believes she has found a gateway the Syrne used to travel between the two continents. She is a founding member of the Aztlani Explorer's Society, having traveled in Theah as a youth, and she has been calling for more resources, which the Society happily sends - especially its Porte mages, who are eager to learn more about this supposed gateway. However, Caxazul is a politically volatile site, due to its cultural heritage, and it's hard even for locals to do research there.

The Kuraq Empire has little in the way of Syrne research being done by Theans, as the Empress has decreed she will not tolerate any Thean intervention in Teqsimuyu and also discourages her own people from doing independent archaeology. Rebels, desperate for resources, will occasionally work with Theans who will pay goods or money for access, but few permanent digs exist. Inquistor Calderon has recently reached out to the Empress in hopes of allying with her. He has proposed to trade money and weapons in exchange for Inquisitorial access to Kuraq's Syrneth sites. The Empress is suspicious, of course, but cannot deny that he is the enemy of her enemies...but then, she views most of the world as enemies. She has yet to reach a decision.

The old machines are, in general, the most puzzling of the Syrne sites. They are scattered across the continent, immense devices of crystal, obsidian or hemtite shaped to some unknown purpose. Thean efforts to map and explore them have expanded, but there's much still unknown. The Aztlani believe them to be more than just ruins in foreign architecture. Their attempted translations of some writings and their study of certain arfifacts found inside suggest the struectures have some unified purpose. They have no idea what purpose this is, however, though it might be tied to the Fall. Investigating the machines is more difficult than it first appears, however. Things go missing or are destroyed around such sites, and entire expeditions have vanished. Someone or something seems to want to keep the ruins a secret.

The Aztlani Empire was itself vastly more advanced than modern societies in Aztlan or Theah. Much was lost to the Fall, but even now, Aztlan has more advanced technology in some areas than Theah does. Thanks to interactions with the gods and attempts to recreate Aztlani Empire writings, the Aztlani have advanced math, art, science and architecture. Their weapons, armor and ships may seem primitive compared to Thean goods, but they're functional enough, imbued with potent magic, and the Aztlani have never been sailors anyway. Their engineering is something else entirely. Irrigation, sewage and architecture are quite advanced, and their music and art rivals that of even Montaigne. Their rich quantities of precious metal and stone are used for decorations and jewelry, and their medicine, astronomy and physics are quite advanced, though less so than their archaeology, which many Aztlani consider sacred. The Aztlani are in awe of their own past as much as the future, if not more, and all seek to understand the lost god-kings.

Thean weapons have proven very useful to Aztlani armies on the tactical level, of course. Their cavalry tactics are somewhat limited by the terrain, but still embraced, and a massive horse breeding tradition has begun in Nahuaca and Tzak K'an. They raise smell, hardy breeds able to handle the heat and climates of Aztlan, and the idea of the baggage train was a welcome innovation, with horse-drawn wagons now in much use for transporting supplies and soldiers. The KJuraq prefer mass infantry, which may be why their neighbors seek cavalry superiority. Kuraq's focus has been on studying gunpowder, and when they learned that black powder was made out of bird guano, the offered the Vendel trader who mentioned it a king's ransom in gold for the secret. It's unclear whether he told them and took the gold or he was killed - certainly no one's seen the man since. While guns are in use by all Aztlani nations, they are still rare, and mostly traded on the black market. The Vendel League doesn't want them to have native-made guns, but the Kuraq are studying gunsmithing from pirates paid in gold, and it's clear that it won't be long before the locals can make guns by themselves.

Thean metallurgy has had a more mixed reaction. Nahuacan warriors are often trained to see their obsidian macuahuitls as extensions of themselves and have been slow to adopt steel weapons, as obsidian is no less good against lightly armored foes, and while they may be unsubtle, they are terrifyingly effective. If it isn't the equal to steel or dracheneisen for armor, well, the Aztlani aren't much for armor anyway. Only the Kuraq Empire has tkaen to steel with any real enthusiasm, seeing it as the natural progression from the copper spear and axe-heads they'd used more often than obsidian. The mountains of Kuraq are rich in iron ore anyway, and steel has proven easier for them to figure out than gunpowder.

Trade between Theah and Aztlan across the Ateab has grown massively, with each Thean nation aiming for the biggest share. Castille has te best trade routes so far, in part because they have more people in Aztlan than any other nation. For a time, their goals were humble insects - the cochineal bug, discovered on cacti by a CAstillian monk. Their powdered bodies produced a bright scarlet dye unknown in Theah and unequalled by any other dye. Vaticine vestments now use the dye, whose origins and production are closely guarded. However, l'Empereur has tried to steal the dye by employing sorcerers. When a few of these vanished and a few more were found dead in the rainforest, the dye craze cooled, and now, the Nahuacans have begun selling it to Montaigne at exorbitant prices. The other Thean nations are more interested in metals, rare woods and gems, which Aztlan has a lot of. CAstille handles most of its own trade, and its soldiers will often hire out to Montaigne and Eisen vessels looking for goods - if they can pay. For their part, the Aztlani are most interested in finished goods to reverse engineer and industrial techniques. The Vesten are extremely annoyed by the Aztlani hunt for knowledge over wealth, as it threatens their guild monopolies. The Nahucans and Tzak K'ani have benefited heavily from the introduction of horsedrawn cariages for overland trade, while Kuraq has had much less benefit for both political and technological reasons - their neighbors don't like them and their roads are bad for wagons. The Aztlani may lack in Thean shipwork, but they're catching up, making larger trade canoes and reed boats, even some double-hulled designs that can go out further. It's not going to be long before someone gets the bright idea to kidnap a shipwright for his skills.

Next time: Religion

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 22:37 on Aug 18, 2018

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia, Part 11: "Thus, wicked designs have emerged to maximize terror on the battlefield."

One thing that's noted here is that two Rubles = one Universal Credit, though that most villagers only barter. The Rubles are issued by the Soviets, but that won't get a mention of that until we get to them. Technically, it's still a mystery.

Body Armor

We have rules for Homemade M.D.C. Armor reprinted, which brings to mind the notion of a parent knitting armor carefully together before sending off their child on a fruitful vocation like "Vagabond Non-Skilled O.C.C."


Wait, is this the Red Star or the Battleforge- I'm confused?

Have we talked about the Sovietski? Well, we'll get to them. Meanwhile, we get Sovietski "Red Star" Medium Body Armor (75 M.D.C.), which is surprisingly bad compared to the other great powers like Germany or the Coalition. After all, the Battleforge Body Armor (90 M.D.C.) is much tougher and most characters have no reason to care about its higher mobility penalties.


sphess bearreen

The Bear Body Armor (150 M.D.C) is supposedly only for high-strength wearers to balance out its good protection, but ironically according to the rules, anybody can wear it and benefit from its strength-boosting exoskeleton.


Catlike durability.

Lynx Body Armor (60 M.D.C.) is the standard light suit with built-in vibro-claws; you can swing with both at once for higher damage in defiance of the paired weapon rules because I guess they forgot about those. Cyborg Battle Armor (140 or 280 M.D.C.) is reprinted because they have art for it now, even though it's already in the core rules. Lastly, armor's getting helmet M.D.C. values to accomodate those who want to go for sweet headshots, but it's probably not worth the bother for most characters. Nor do we have helmet values for all the suits that predate that notion...


Just add Ripley.

We also have the Minsky Mekanical MM-61 Explorer Exoframe, which is literally just the power loader from Aliens with a laser and a drill and bitches getting away from things and all that.

Russian Weapons

Let's see, we have... one, two, three... twenty-two new guns here. We're told that most weapons are bulkier in Russia, and that-

Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

Warlord weapons tend to be of the vicious and destructive nature, very much designed to kill and destroy.
Uh, okay. Isn't that pretty much what all weapons do? "This machinegun was designed to tickle, but it has the design flaw that it mostly just murders you. Ooops."

We also get M.D.C. Shields, which are pretty useless- they roll 1d20-8 (skipping your bonuses) to block any normal ranged weapon fire, or 1d20-3 (once again, no bonuses) to block thrown and arched weapons. Only against melee weapons the have normal effect, but... you can use any weapon to parry a weapon, a shield provides no advantage. I guess getting the automatic parry against shots is better than nothing, but not much more. Granted, Weapon Proficiency: Shields gives a better Parry bonus than most - but you can only actually get that bonus against melee weapons!

The Servo-Harness Rig seems inspired by Aliens, like the Exoframe earlier- it's a harness that basically doubles your strength for the purposes of carrying weapons. Which is handy and welcome. The weird thing is that now, instead of having a Strength minimum or penalty for some weapons, the book just assumes you can use any weapon your Strength can carry - which is actually an improvement and a nice simplification of what was a case-by-case ruling before on each weapon. My compliments stop there though, once we get the actual weapon listings.


Cool guns, bad numbers.

There are also alternate clips called "G-Clips" that have double the capacity. No weapons are listed as using them, but you can buy an unpriced adaptor to use them.

Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

The "G" stand for "gdye." An example of Russian pragmatism and humor in action, because Gdye means "where" in Russian.
Hilarity! (Okay, it is cute.)


Cool guns, bad numbers!

As far as the actual weapons go, the AR-36 "Clenched Fist" Light Rail Gun, the AR-41 "Howler" Rail Gun, the AR-44 "Sledgehammer" Rail Gun, and the AR-60 "Nikita" Super-Rail Gun are all unexceptional varieties of rail gun in increasing levels of weight and damage. the AR-110 Razor Disk Cannon is cool in that it fires sawblades, but not cool in the way it's pretty much just a lousy rail gun in effect. The AR-210 Grapeshot Cannon is actually a rocket launcher and the rockets explode into grapeshot. It's like a rail gun with a blast radius.


How do you hold it, though...?

The AR-M36 Rifle Mini-Missile Launcher, the AR-M45 Cyborg Missile Launcher, and the AR-50 Heavy Missile Launcher only really vary in their mini-missile ammo capacity. The AR-M40 Dual Launcher can fire mini-missiles or wooden stakes separately, I guess for when you're dealing with vampires that wear armor?


And then other artists pick up the weapon thread.

Then we get a variety of energy weapons, almost all of which are forgettable trash- the Belofsky Double-Dealer Laser Cannon, Lynx Laser Rifle, "Homesteader" Ion Beam Rifle, Big Bear Plasma Rifle, G-295R "Steamer" Pulse Laser Rifle, G-294 "Toughman" Laser Rifle, G-21P Laser Pistol, and G-27P Ion Pistol all do average or below-par damage for their weapon type. The G-293M "Fat Boy" Laser is pretty much a reprint of an old Triax weapon with the names changed to protect the writer. Finally, only the G-410C Goldbeam Laser Cannon, Belofsky Heavy Laser Cannon, and the Belofsky Plasma Cannon do damage that rates (that is, 35-45 damage on average).

Bows and special arrows get reprinted. Again. They just reprinted them in World Book 15: Spirit West! Well, here they are again.

Miscellaneous Equipment

Most of these is just reprinted or just minor variations on existing equipment. We get added winter stuff like skits and thermal suits, and the usual camping, clothing, and burgling junk that clutters up any equipment list - tents, wirecutters, five types of jug and five types of cask, etc. The only new device that really stands out is the Ecto-Sensor, which is a backpack-sized piece of equipment that can sense ghosts and similar entities through "neutrino bombardment", though it has a really hard time tracking other immaterial beings.


Sneaking into the grey backdrop.

New Skills

The grand majority of these are not new at all, but reprinted from previous sourcebooks like New West. For some reason they do decide to drill down further and make piloting tracked vehicles and the wingrider flying wing take entirely new skills, though the existing motorcycle skill now covers snowmobiles. Or maybe it's a new skill that doesn't replace the old that's just better? Hard to say.

I think Breed Dog and Falconry are new skills, but they're limited in a world where dogs and falcons are puffs of fur and feathers if any attack bypasses their dodge roll. Also, for some reason, realism enters the fray!

World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

The use of these animals is much more limited than many fantasy gamers would believe.

World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

Players take note! For game purposes, let us presume that these avian predators can be trained to pursue and attack any, visible, flying foe or target, strike down other birds, and return them to its master. Let us further suppose that they can be trained to strike at any "moving" target that they are directed at. This means a falcon could be sent to fly in the face of an opponent and slash at him with its claws for up to two attacks before returning to its master or flying into the sky. These trained birds respond to hand signals and whistles. They are trained to strike and return, little more. Under no circumstances can these birds fly alongside their masters or follow even simple instructions — this is a dumb bird, not a dog with wings.

Note: Falcons or any uncaged birds cannot be taken into underground dwellings or inside buildings without panicking. This is one reason they are always blinded with a leather hood. Another reason is that they instinctively attack any small, moving prey and are easily startled. Furthermore, it is impossible to engage in combat with a falcon on one's wrist or shoulder without injuring the falcon or oneself.
Fine, I'll stick to missiles, geez. :rolleyes:

"Chinese", Mongolian, and Russian are added to the language list. We get a bunch of Lore skills like "Lore: Cattle/Animal" or "Lore: History of Russia". Other new skills include Prospecting, Rope Use Works, and Dowsing.

Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia posted:

This is the ability to locate fresh water whether it be with a divining rod or by more scientific and logical means. For some (like Gypsies) it is a mystical ability, while for others (like the Huntsman-Trapper), it is done through deductive analysis and knowledge of nature.
Yes, dowsing works... at 20% to start. That's probably no better than chance, but you can get better! However, it requires two successive rolls to work. That actually makes it a 4% chance of success. 4%! Worse odds than trying to roll tops on a d20.

Next: Do you think we forget Communism? Siembieda never forget Communism.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 04:37 on Aug 19, 2018

megane
Jun 20, 2008





Having your granny knit you a suit of homemade power armor that flies at 500 miles per hour for days at a time and has laser nipples and 48 different concealed missile launchers? Okay, sure.

Training a falcon to not panic when taken indoors? Whoa, hold on there, sonny, don't be ridiculous, this isn't one of your silly fantasy games.

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Night10194 posted:

Depending on tier and armor, WFRP is a lot more survivable than it looks on the tin. Also depending on how you use Fate.

By second career or so, if you mostly ignore Insanity points most PCs are ready to go the distance if they're careful.

Yeah the deadliness of WFRP is oversold.

thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

strewth



aww, i remember these guys. turns out doing sick flips is no real match for some jerk with a Boom Gun though.

Sage Genesis
Aug 14, 2014


thatbastardken posted:

aww, i remember these guys. turns out doing sick flips is no real match for some jerk with a Boom Gun though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YF28ceFJJ3A

Cassa
Jan 29, 2009


Those are some nifty looking power armour suits.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


quote:

Everything you know about space is wrong.

Infinite space; stars as flaming spheres of superheated plasma; movement through space as a balance of scientific forces, thrust providing acceleration and maneuverability; scientific fact backing up natural phenomena; life on other planets built along blocks of carbon or silicon elements.

Forget all that. It's wrong.

You can get out of the atmosphere on the back of a roc; fly between the planets through a breathable ocean of air; sail between the crystal spheres that surround the inhabited worlds on a river of magical energy; encounter roving mind flayers and beholders. The stars are living things in some areas, great bowls of fire in others, and pinpoints of light panted inside a sphere in others.

Welcome to the SPELLJAMMER™ universe.

Everything You Know About Space Is Wrong: A Fatal & Friends Spelljammer Exploration

So. This is Spelljammer.



Spelljammer is a supplement for AD&D 2nd Edition that has to do with space travel. But not regular old boring space travel, FANTASY space travel. Physics isn't invited to this party. It isn't a sci-fi modification; it really is just fantasy in space with sailing ships (sort of sailing ships, anyhow) travelling through the void (where it is a void). It advertised itself as a setting in its own right as well as a way to link highly disparate settings, if you wanted to go sail from one to another; the boxed set assumes that Oerth (Greyhawk), Toril (Forgotten Realms) and Krynn (Dragonlance) all exist as known worlds, though they don't all have significant regular contact with space.

Spelljammer was originally released as a boxed set including two books, The Concordance of Arcane Space and The Lorebook of the Void, a bunch of cardstock sheets showing deck plans of standard ships, and four poster-sized maps (including the legendary ship also named Spelljammer, a space citadel, a typical solar system, and a hex grid for tactical space battles; it also has some stand-up tokens for this). The Concordance of Arcane Space is the rulebook; the Lorebook of the Void is... well, a lorebook, though it's also where they put the monsters and some other odds and ends.

There were several more books released later in the Spelljammer line, including the Legend of Spelljammer (setting details), the War Captain's Companion (more detailed ship to ship combat rules), Lost Ships (more ships) and Practical Planetology (DM's guide to creating spelljamming settings), and a complete module set, among others. Like many of the campaign settings, it had its own novel series, which I haven't read, and its own computer game, which I have played. Spelljammer was discontinued before TSR was acquired by Wizards, and so there are no official 3rd (or 5th) Edition spelljamming rules. Spelljamming was mentioned in passing in 4th Edition as a way to planeswalk (planes-sail? planesjam?) but didn't have its own book. It's pretty much officially dead despite its cult popularity.

But right now we're just talking about the original 1989 boxed set, so don't worry about all that.

The foreword says to read the Concordance first, so we are, and I'll start there. I'm going to assume that people have a general idea about AD&D 2nd rules, and so rather than also go through the whole ruleset I'll mostly note where either Spelljammer varies or where the rules mean something different or noteworthy in the context of Spelljammer. I do know AD&D 2nd pretty well though, so if there are questions, I can answer them.

I also don't own a scanner so I can't scan the ship layout sheets. I'll try to find copies online but I make no guarantee as to their quality.

Coming up:



Chapter 1: Arcane Space
or
Probably The Only Rulebook I Have Ever Read With A Section Called 'Breathing In Space'

Prism fucked around with this message at 15:14 on Aug 19, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I wonder why Spelljammer wasn't moved over into 3rd, given that almost everyone I know who's done Spelljammer stuff loved it.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Prism posted:

I also don't own a scanner so I can't scan the ship layout sheets. I'll try to find copies online but I make no guarantee as to their quality.

I've got both. I can get my sheets uploaded somewhere today or tomorrow, if that's any help.

Night10194 posted:

I wonder why Spelljammer wasn't moved over into 3rd, given that almost everyone I know who's done Spelljammer stuff loved it.

RAW, spelljamming was an enormous gently caress-you to whichever caster took the helm, so that might be it. It is kind of surprising though; I remember noises about it being optioned for a TV series.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Night10194 posted:

I wonder why Spelljammer wasn't moved over into 3rd, given that almost everyone I know who's done Spelljammer stuff loved it.

They did it as a d20 minigame in an issue of Dungeon/Polyhedron. "Shadow of the Spider Moon"; it was pared down to taking place in a single galaxy to be self-contained, and had a more of a Victorian vibe. I think you can get the PDF from Paizo still.

As much as I don't like 3.x anymore, I really liked how they did all the minigames in Polyhedron. They had a Gamma World thing, a swords-and-laser Mars setting, even a Cannonball Run one where you could play an orangutan. And of course Hijinx, where you played a mystery-solving band.

e: nope, looks like Paizo's not selling back issues of Polyhedron anymore.

Evil Mastermind fucked around with this message at 15:43 on Aug 19, 2018

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Spelljammer combat is essentially an entirely separate naval miniatures war game duct-taped to AD&D. For all it's excesses, the 3.x era didn't really like minigames like this.

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



Aw yeah Spelljammer! The art looks absolutely dope. :neckbeard:

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Bieeanshee posted:

I've got both. I can get my sheets uploaded somewhere today or tomorrow, if that's any help.

That'd be appreciated! There's no rush, I've got a couple sections to go over before then anyway.

Night10194 posted:

I wonder why Spelljammer wasn't moved over into 3rd, given that almost everyone I know who's done Spelljammer stuff loved it.

Bieeanshee posted:

RAW, spelljamming was an enormous gently caress-you to whichever caster took the helm, so that might be it. It is kind of surprising though; I remember noises about it being optioned for a TV series.

We'll get to that, but yeah, someone providing power for the ship is pretty much not useful for doing anything else.

That said, I don't know why it wasn't moved into 3rd. They had the original designer, Jeff Grubb, freelancing for them anyway; hell, he was one of the writers for 3E's Manual of the Planes. They could've adjusted the tactical stuff to be less war-gamy and done something with it.

LaSquida
Nov 1, 2012

Just keep on walkin'.


They've said several times over the years that Spelljammer was a niche inside a niche. It didn't survive to the end of 2nd edition, so I can't imagine it sold particularly well.

Robin Williams
Aug 11, 2018

by Fluffdaddy


Off topic, but were there any Spelljammer PC(or other) games?

Also 2nd Edition best edition

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Robin Williams posted:

Off topic, but were there any Spelljammer PC(or other) games?

One, called Pirates of Realmspace. It uses the Gold Box engine for person-scale combat and has real-time ship-to-ship combat.

It's not bad given when it was released (1992) though it seems quite basic nowadays.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.



Yeah not surprised it didn't make it to 3e, a lot of the more out there settings of 2e got the axe either due to poor sales or needing to streamline things so they can better support their systems.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Robindaybird posted:

Yeah not surprised it didn't make it to 3e, a lot of the more out there settings of 2e got the axe either due to poor sales or needing to streamline things so they can better support their systems.

Yeah, it was one of those games where the people who liked it really loved it, but it didn't gain any widespread appeal because it's such a weird, niche concept.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Robindaybird posted:

Yeah not surprised it didn't make it to 3e, a lot of the more out there settings of 2e got the axe either due to poor sales or needing to streamline things so they can better support their systems.

From working on a game store, it did seem like the setting a lot of people expected but didn't get. Nostalgia, I guess.

8one6
May 20, 2012

When in doubt, err on the side of Awesome!



There was almost a Spelljammer VHS game.
Also I liked the Spelljammer novel line, but I once painted a necron army sunshine yellow, so I'm no real measure of quality.
(The novels were alright. Basic D&D party RPG tie-in fantasy stuff but in Spelljammer. The first one does basically start by having a Spelljammer crash into the main character's farm and meeting a Giff.)

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


I always felt like Spelljammer had a sort of quadratic goofiness to it. Or: "Do you know how goofy D&D is? Imagine a product that's as goofy to D&D players as D&D is." It almost seemed to me to have an almost aggressive lack of style or coherency, and doesn't really work in an intuitive sense given that it's not space as we think of it, nor it is sky, it's... something else. Like, sometimes it's really self-aware and silly and other times dead-serious and it feels a lot like a kitchen sink of notions the authors had.

As you can probably tell, I never really hookd onto it. I think there's definitely the seed of a lot of fun games to be had in it, but it didn't seem quite sci-fi enough or quite fantasy enough for me to grasp what they were going for.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Since it seems to have gotten some chat, let's get right into

Everything You Know About Space Is Wrong: A Fatal & Friends Spelljammer Exploration

Chapter 1 (Concordance of Arcane Space): Arcane Space
Where Up Is Down, Down Is Up, And Sometimes Both At Once


Chapter 1 of the Concordance is a description of what space is like in Spelljammer. There are two major types of 'space': wildspace and phlogiston.

Wildspace is what you're probably thinking of when you think of 'space'. It's the big vacuum bit bwetween planets. (Well, most wildspace is vacuum; sometimes you go somewhere weird and it isn't.) It's what you travel through to get from planet to planet, or planet to moon, or asteroid base to crystal sphere. Phlogiston, on the other hand, is a multicoloured fluorescent gas, or something like gas. Every solar system is surrounded by a crystal sphere, which keeps the wildspace in and the phlogiston out.

Inside wildspace are celestial bodies - planets, suns, moons, weird poo poo. Most, but not all, have an atmosphere, and the size of an atmosphere is directly related to the size of a body. This actually applies to everything; if you are in wildspace, not on a ship, you are surrounded by an atmosphere too. When it's on something small, like a person or a ship, it's called an air envelope.

Outside wildspace is the phlogiston flow.

Air, or How To Breathe In Space

Air envelopes have about the same size in a given direction from the edge of the body as the body holding an air envelope. If you threw a rectangular block of metal that was 2 feet by 2 feet by 8 feet out, it would have an air envelope that was generally rectangular and about 6' x 6' x 24' with the block in the middle of it. This isn't very big, and people run out of useful air to breathe in 2d10 turns (a turn is 10 minutes) if all they have is their own air envelope, which is why you travel on ships.

Air is considered to be in one of three states: fresh, fouled, or deadly. Fresh air is fine. Fouled air is kind of stale and it's hard to exert yourself in; you get a -2 to attack rolls and ability checks in it. Deadly air isn't worth breathing. Ships have a complement maximum, and if you have that many people on board, air is good for about 4 months, then fouled for 4 more. If you go over, it runs out faster. Generally, bigger objects have more air, and really big objects don't need to worry about it.

The Curious Nature of Gravity

Air envelopes are held on by gravity. Everything has gravity! Planets have gravity. Ships have gravity. (Big) creatures have gravity. A human could walk on a dragon's back and stay there because of the dragon's gravity (though the dragon will probably object). The gravity field is the same size as the air envelope. Gravity only comes in one strength: Earth-level. If you're in a gravity field, you feel 1G in the direction of down. If you're not, you don't, and you float.

But the weird part is that gravity isn't 'in'. It is on planets or really big things; everything is pulled toward the center. But on smaller objects, it's more of a plane.



The gravity plane forms along the middle of any object that isn't big enough to be a planet (by Spelljammer rules, the smallest size of planet is 'less than ten miles across', but it doesn't say how big it has to be to have an 'in'; back when I ran Spelljammer I made it about a mile, because the legendary ship Spelljammer is 3100' long and acts like a ship, not a planet). It attracts from both the top and the bottom so you can stand on the bottom of a ship just fine. If you drop something off the side, it falls past the plane, then falls upwards, and oscillates around a bit until it ends up 'stuck' more or less on the plane. This is apparently done to amuse new passengers. Things that have fallen to the gravity plane tend to drift outward over time, so eventually they will exit the gravity field unless retrieved.

When two ship-scale gravity fields touch, you use whichever you're closer to. You can jump ship to ship and change which way is 'down' halfway through the jump. When the objects are actually in contact, though - say, by ramming - the bigger object wins, and sets 'down' for all smaller objects in its field. This means you can interfere with other ships' gravity by ramming at odd angles, if they're smaller than you, and cause chaos on their deck. Because of this, ships are generally built with a definite 'down' in case they get subject to someone else's gravity (or try to land) and also try to mostly match other ships in a battle's orientation.

Things that are not in any gravity field but their own are weightless and move as you'd expect a weightless body to move. They don't go very quickly, and keep moving once they start moving, until they intersect a gravity field.

Helms

Ships travel through wildspace with a spelljamming helm, which turns magic power into thrust. A spellcaster puts on the helm and can drive the ship. We'll get to rules on that later, but for now, just know that while they're powering the ship they're not really useful for anything else, and more powerful spellcasters make you faster in tactical combat (long-range travel is about the same regardless because the real advantage is acceleration).

Ships generally travel through the phlogiston on currents. A spelljammer helm is used for steering.

Phlogiston: The Fifth Element

Outside wildspace is the phlogiston, which is both the term for the gas-like medium and the place where the phlogiston is.

Phlogiston forms natural 'flows' and 'rivers', which you can 'sail' on. You can speed up by going deeper into the flow, or slow down by rising out of it. Sails, fins, and similar ship accessories speed you up because you can catch more of the flow. Gravity in the phlogiston works the same way as in wildspace, though there are fewer large objects other than ships.

Phlogiston is also flammable and explosive. Extremely so. Any flame exposed to phlogiston blows up. Trying to use fire attack spells, gunpowder, or even a cooking stove is a good way to explode your face. (And using a fire attack spell does have it blow up in your face; you can't target it anywhere else.) Fortunately, phlogiston glows, so you don't need light to see by, but I imagine the food gets boring after a while.

Running out of air in the phlogiston doesn't kill a character. Instead, you enter suspended animation, turning grey and stony until you end up in air again. A current will probably push you to a sphere eventually. (Slavers love finding people in the phlogiston.)

Crystal Spheres

And between the wildspace and the phlogiston are the crystal spheres, or crystal shells.

Crystal spheres are usually about twice as big in radius as the last planet in a solar system, but may be smaller (say, only half again). They're really, really big, and look flat when you sail up to one. The crystal spheres are universally an unbreakable, dark, ceramic material. Some legends say that the gods put them there to protect their worlds from phlogiston; others say that they were put there to keep the gods in check.

Crystal spheres are unbreakably solid. No item or magic is known that can break one, up to and including direct interference by a deity. Unlike everything else big in space, they don't have a gravity field. There are five ways through a crystal sphere.

    * You can teleport and just skip past the whole thing. You probably can't bring a ship when you do this though - ships are heavy - so it may not be the best plan you've ever had.
    * You can make the ship or part of the sphere intangible and then drive through. There is a spell for this, create portal (which, unlike what you might expect from the name, does not open a long-term portal like the next point).
    * Naturally occuring portals show up sometimes, opening and closing unpredictably but staying open for days, months, or years at a time. You are going to need magic to find these in a useful amount of time because, as mentioned, crystal spheres are really big.
    * Sometimes there are natural permanent portals around the edges. Some crystal spheres appear to have stars mounted on them - think the old artistic image of crystal spheres with stars painted on, except slightly more 3D. Sometimes those are portals or portholes into the phlogiston. Always check first, because driving into either a star that is not a portal or the solid crystal sphere is a bad plan.
    * Some creatures can just do it, like space dragons. Because of course there are space dragons.

That's it. Nothing else affects a crystal sphere.

More importantly, crystal spheres are the outer limits of a region's deity's powers. Magic that summons things from other planes or opens extradimensional pockets just doesn't work once you're past a crystal sphere, and this includes clerics gaining powerful spells (defined as 'level 3+') from their gods. While there is a relatively simple spell clerics can use to recharge themselves, summoning or extradimensional pockets are basically inoperable. (Wish will let you get into extradimensional storage. Nothing will help with summoning.)

Odds and Ends

Just a few things that are best handled with bullet points.

    * The temperature of wildspace is usually about that of a moderate summer day, but sometimes varies based on what sphere you're in. Krynnspace in particular is called out as being distinctively cold, as it's below freezing.
    * The temperature of phlogiston is about the same but varies less.
    * Seasons don't exist in space.
    * Time-keeping in space is generally based around a standard day (24 hours) broken into three 'sections' instead of morning, afternoon and night: first watch, second watch, and night or graveyard watch. A standard week is seven standard days; a standard month is four standard weeks (so 28 days). There is no standard time longer than that as pretty much everybody in space has a different opinion of how long a year should be, so most long-term things are counted in months, or local years based on where you are.

Coming up next:

Chapter 2: AD&D Rules... IN SPACE!

Prism fucked around with this message at 17:43 on Aug 19, 2018

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Prism posted:

The Curious Nature of Gravity

Air envelopes are held on by gravity. Everything has gravity! Planets have gravity. Ships have gravity. (Big) creatures have gravity. A human could walk on a dragon's back and stay there because of the dragon's gravity (though the dragon will probably object). The gravity field is the same size as the air envelope. Gravity only comes in one strength: Earth-level. If you're in a gravity field, you feel 1G in the direction of down. If you're not, you don't, and you float.

But the weird part is that gravity isn't 'in'. It is on planets or really big things; everything is pulled toward the center. But on smaller objects, it's more of a plane.



The gravity plane forms along the middle of any object that isn't big enough to be a planet (by Spelljammer rules, the smallest size of planet is 'less than ten miles across', but it doesn't say how big it has to be to have an 'in'; back when I ran Spelljammer I made it about a mile, because the legendary ship Spelljammer is 3100' long and acts like a ship, not a planet). It attracts from both the top and the bottom so you can stand on the bottom of a ship just fine. If you drop something off the side, it falls past the plane, then falls upwards, and oscillates around a bit until it ends up 'stuck' more or less on the plane. This is apparently done to amuse new passengers. Things that have fallen to the gravity plane tend to drift outward over time, so eventually they will exit the gravity field unless retrieved.

When two ship-scale gravity fields touch, you use whichever you're closer to. You can jump ship to ship and change which way is 'down' halfway through the jump. When the objects are actually in contact, though - say, by ramming - the bigger object wins, and sets 'down' for all smaller objects in its field. This means you can interfere with other ships' gravity by ramming at odd angles, if they're smaller than you, and cause chaos on their deck. Because of this, ships are generally built with a definite 'down' in case they get subject to someone else's gravity (or try to land) and also try to mostly match other ships in a battle's orientation.

Things that are not in any gravity field but their own are weightless and move as you'd expect a weightless body to move. They don't go very quickly, and keep moving once they start moving, until they intersect a gravity field.

Are ships designed so that below deck works upside down, until you get to a planet and then it works right side up again?

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



It's worth noting that there are other kinds of helms with different power sources, but they're all more annoying to deal with than 'and now your wizard is useless'.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Ratoslov posted:

It's worth noting that there are other kinds of helms with different power sources, but they're all more annoying to deal with than 'and now your wizard is useless'.

I'll get to them when we get to the helm rules. They're not mentioned at all in this chapter beyond saying 'some of the specifics vary'.

DalaranJ posted:

Are ships designed so that below deck works upside down, until you get to a planet and then it works right side up again?

Less than you'd think, according to one of the sidebars, which says that 'the plane of gravity is very low in the ship, in some cases almost on line with the keel itself', though generally this isn't backed up by art. And presumably if you're keeping nothing but boxes at the lowest level, it doesn't matter much if some of them press upward against others pressing downward, though a sudden drop would be an issue.

Regardless, this isn't even mentioned in the section on cargo space or outfitting, even just to say 'the inside of a ship counts as on top for purposes of gravity', or at least I can't find it on a quick skim. I may have forgotten. It's been a while.

Prism fucked around with this message at 18:24 on Aug 19, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



7th Sea 2e: The New World - Praise Gods

This section opens with an explanation by a converso from Kuraq (and an Inquisitor, albeit one who seems a decent sort) explaining that he converted because he had seen the culture that came from multiple gods, and the culture of Castille, and he saw their resistance to l'Empereur of Montaigne and wanted the same for Kuraq, so he felt conversion would help with that. However, it should be noted, the average priest in Aztlan considers Thean priests to be, at best, entertaining. Over the past century, many Aztlani have attended Thean services at some point, but few are able to bring themselves to worship a god that they can't tlak to. They find it odd that someone omnipresent and omnipotent will only use a handful of human intermediaries, the Prophets, rather than acting or speaking personally, even when those Prophets are murdered. After all, in Aztlan, the gods walk the earth and protect their people. Therefore why worship a god who does not?

Theans often find it appalling that the Aztlani seem to have so little respect for Theus. The Aztlani were often interested by the offer of salvation and bliss beyond the mortal coil, but after learning they couldn' speak directly to Theus, they tended to lose interest. Castillians were often shocked to learn that in Nahuacan religion, your afterlife is chosen by how you die rather than how you lived. Attempts by the Vaticines to learn how death and the afterlife work for Kuraq have been ignored and several early missionaries were disappeared. The fact that all Aztlani faiths are polytheistic in nature is often instinctively horrific to many Theans, who believe monotheism is progressive and any form of polytheism is inherently backward. Despite all this, Theans have insisted on sending missionaries to Aztlan in efforts to convert them, despite the fact that it fails fairly consistently. Some Aztlani find the idea of monotheism fascinating and do convert, but they're relatively rare. Recently, some Inquisitors have suggested that more Aztlani might respect Theus if his will were enacted more forcefully - a seductive idea, given the struggles missionaries often face.

In truth, both the Aztlani and Thean perspectives miss quite a bit and also have quite a few points. The Aztlani are correct that a theoretically all-powerful, all-knowing, all-benevolent deity must have answer for the horrors enacted in its name, such as the War of the Cross. However, there is also some merit to a god that allowps the flock to find their own way, providing only gentlue guidance. The War of the Cross may say more about Theah than it does aobut Theus. The priests of Nactlicue may argue that this is irrelevant - that the dead and the fields that burned don't care, of course. The Aztlani experience certainly does seem to agree with one thing - that understanding the horror humans can do is required for progress. Even Kuraq and Nahuacan agree with each other that the old gods punished their followers for laxness with natural disasters, or at least that divine interference played a role in the Fall.

To the extent that the Kuraq will discuss any theology with outsiders, they see their gods as forces of entropy, and they rarely speak kindly of the gods. The Tzak K'ani, on the other hand, fight each other at the order of gods, burning entire cities because the stars favor one god over another. The interventionist gods of Aztlan push humanity towards divine goals rather than human ones, anf attributing the Fall to the divine means that the locals do not have to take much view of their own role in it, if there was one. HJowever, these gods have also protected their people from the greed of Theans, and it is impossible to say how much worse things might have been without them.

The War of the Cross greatly reduced the amount of Theans coming to Aztlan, but the Vaticine has become quite interested in them afterwards. The Church has had no funding for widescale invasion, but have had some sucess in conversion, and Cardinal Verdugo has seized on these conversos by sending his old ally, Don Alanzo Ruiz Calderon, to Aztlan. Verdugo has declared that the Inquisition's purpose in Aztlan is to destroy Syrneth influence, claiming that the old machines and arfiacts are sorcerous, demonic things, and that the governments there are clearly corrupted by such influence. As such, Calderon must exercute the Pogrom, granting him broad authority over the Castillian military there and the Church presence. The Pogrom is an open secret, and many local parishes actively attemtp to resist, but CAlderon is a dangerous, persuasive man. The lack of centralized response from Aztlan's governments has made it worse - whenever he pisses someone off in one region, he just packs up and moves on, taking the best of the artifacts and resources he has access to.

Calderon operates with almost no oversight. Verdugo trusts him, and as long as the reports keep coming in about destroyed artifacts, he can do whatever he wants. If those reports are padded or favricated, no one in Castille knows. Calderon does destroy those artifacts he can't figure out how to to use or which are not useful to his goals. The others, however, he collects as weapons, in the ventual goal of using them to eradicate Aztlani heretics and expand room for Castillian colonies. Thankfully, his objectives prevent even those alliances that he might otherwise have made. He recently attempted to recruit Azeneth MEdellin, daughter of Don Fernando Medellin, but failed when she realized how committed he was to Verdugo. Medellin may want to destroy Apocoatl, but she's got no interest in widespread destruction of ruins or artifacts.

Long before Calderon took his current position, he killed Don Felipe Aldana, orphaning a pair of young men named Sebastian and Miguel Aldana de Soldano. Don Felipe had angered Calderon by taking a full tax on Calderon's many holdings. After the man's death, the boys were adopted by their distant aunt, Andrea Bejarano de Zepeda, who taught them how to fight and inducted them into Lost Vagabundos. After all, their father's murderer was rich, powerful and connected - they'd be in danger if she didn't train them. And so she gave them hope that they might, onde day, be avenged on Calderon. Calderon disappeared a few years later, and neither boy knew where he ended up. Still, Miguel, the more hot-headed brother, demanded that they scour the earth for him, and Sebastien would not allow his brother to do it alone. They reached Aztlan eventually, hearing of Calderon's actions, and worked with an expat named Tomas Ruiz del Gallegos, though he operated under the name Vaughm Santez, who told them that Calderon had managed to get his hands on a mask of El Vagabundo after murdering Santez's friends. Santez, the sole survivor, said the mask had been heading to Kuraq, where Los Vagabundos and Die Kreuzritter had come together to help resist the undead empress. Santez was a Kreuzritter agent that had volutneered to deliver the mask, but he'd been betrayed. Sebastian and Miguel swore to help retrieve the mask and get their revenge, and they know work out of Tzak K'an, where rumor has it that Calderon has secretly taken over a city-state and plans to start a huge civil war. The boys now play the part of idiot bravos, drinking and playing around in Pojok K'anche in an fefort to get Calderon's attention and distract him so Santez can steal the mask before they get their revenge.

So before we discuss what the gods are, let's say what they aren't. Many Thean scholars have prorposed that they are manifestations or representations pf a single god, or that different gods are just reinterpretations of the same god by different cultures. This is not true. The Aztlani gods are not manifestations or representations. They are living beings, complex and with distinct abilities and desires. In many ways, their personalities resemble those of humans, and they can take on human form, but they have power, knowledge and perceptions far beyond those of humanity. The primary reason for this misunderstanding is because of Vaticines attempting toi reconcile their perspective with Aztlani ones, and attempt to make the gods play an equivalent role to Theus, often having difficulty accepting the idea of hundreds or even thousands of individual, distinct and accessible deities.

The Aztlani don't even see religion the same way. For most Theans, religion is something you do. You go to Mass, you learn the credo, you get baptized, you get married, that's religion. The Azlanti know that the gods are real, not just some idea to believe on or some outside judge. They are real, immortal beings of immense power that demand - and deserve - worship. When you pray, you are not speaking to a void, you are communicating with a divine being. The gods are always listening, and sometimes they talk back. The entire structure of the Aztlani worldview is built on this experience of divinity. Faith is not a concept they understand - the gods exist. Period. It's a fact, like chairs. After the Fall, it was the gods who explained the structure of the world to the Aztlani, who told them their history and the truths that are the basis for their advanced science. However, the gods are not infallible. They are immortal, but they have the same foolish passions and worries as people. Some have even died, though they can easily return to life in the same way a human can wake up from a sleep. The death experience is not one any god wants, however, so they avoid as much as normal people, if not even more.

While the minds ot the gods are, in many ways, unknowable, they share the same basic desires as any person. They want to enjoy their existence, be honored by heir lessers and be respected by their peers. Any time circumstances intrude on this, bad things tend to happen. This is the main reason the Aztlani are so devout in their practice of religion - they know that without their devotion, the gods will let bad things happen to them. Aztlani gods are extremely powerful, and while some choose only to take on a few followers - maybe just one nation or even just a few cities - most desire the worship of all humans, and so they appear to anyone willing to listen. You can find various aspects of these gods worshipped in most every nation in Aztlan, often under different names, so that a death god of Kuraq is known to the Nahuacan by a different name entirely. There is only one god that refuses to play by these rules - Apocoatl, the great feathered serrpent. His form may be different to each nation, but his name never is. Some say he is one of the old gods, somehow still of the world, while others say he is just the most potent of the new gods. Either way, he's clearly a head above the other deities.

Next time: Cosmic Truth

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


thatbastardken posted:

aww, i remember these guys. turns out doing sick flips is no real match for some jerk with a Boom Gun though.

To be fair, the Savage Worlds version of the Boom Gun makes the Rifts version look positively restrained.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk








Adventure 1: Exit 23 - Rogue's Gallery






As I mentioned in my last update, Dark*Matter comes with 2 complete adventures for players to experience. The first one even includes 6 pre-made heroes for your players to use if they're unfamiliar with the Alternity rules, and I'm going to run these pre-made heroes through both adventures. This is where the audience participation comes in:

Vote for the 4 characters you'd like to see suffer through the introductory adventure!

I'll give people a couple days to vote, and use the 4 characters with the highest vote totals as the PC party. If there's a tie I'll settle it via my own capricious whims, and the two that don't get picked will be sidelined for the second adventure to replace any heroes that die during this adventure.

I'm purposely excluding their starting skill packages and their starting gear because I don't want that to influence anyone's decisions. The characters function more-or-less how they're presented though, so some of them may or may not own a gun, know how to shoot a gun or even know how to engage in combat at all; you should be able to infer which characters can do what based on their descriptions.

















Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Doug, Donna, Nadine, and Jane.

They seem like the ones most likely to gently caress up.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Leraika posted:

Doug, Donna, Nadine, and Jane.

They seem like the ones most likely to gently caress up.

This seems about right.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Doug hasnt even covered wars. Dude is crispy fried character

LaSquida
Nov 1, 2012

Just keep on walkin'.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

To be fair, the Savage Worlds version of the Boom Gun makes the Rifts version look positively restrained.

...ever consider trying to run that again?

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Leraika posted:

Doug, Donna, Nadine, and Jane.

They seem like the ones most likely to gently caress up.

These are also my picks.

Man, that is quite the unfortunate chin on Doug.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


LeSquide posted:

...ever consider trying to run that again?

I obviously had some things to learn about pacing and running a forums game (and probably still do) but I think a core issue was just getting enough interest. I mean, I went through a big re-recruit and still struggled to maintain a player group, and it's not like I had any competitors. A lot of people seemed interested in Savage Rifts, but none of that seemed to follow into recruitment for whatever reason, and player fall off (some legit, some flaking) made it really hard to maintain.

So the conclusion I drew is that it's just not enough of a draw on these forums, maybe that could change, maybe it'd be better served by Discord. But that's the essential dilemma I'm not sure there's a solution for.

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