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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





My childhood table always did 4D6, drop lowest, six times, sort scores to pick, which at least gave you a fighting chance at the specialist classes.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I think the secret of most roll for stats systems is that most people use less punishing versions of them and allow a lot of rerolls, unless everyone involved wants to be miserable or stats don't really matter.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Nessus posted:

My childhood table always did 4D6, drop lowest, six times, sort scores to pick, which at least gave you a fighting chance at the specialist classes.

That's actually one of the ones in the book. The group I played with most did 3d6 twelve times, pick six and arrange to taste, which is also one of the ones in the book. There were a lot of options.

Even with some of the higher-powered rolling methods, you'd be hard-pressed to get a paladin reliably.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


There's also the pain of assigning a precious, precious 17 to charisma, the joke stat until 3e.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




While they still do the traditional random Ability score generation (using 4d6, drop lowest, assign as you please), Beyond the Wall has one of my most favorite random generation methods because they have these playbooks where you roll for your background and this randomly generates further Ability score bonuses that are numerically identical across all results and tables, just to different Abilities based on whichever result you rolled.

EDIT:

Prism posted:

That's actually one of the ones in the book. The group I played with most did 3d6 twelve times, pick six and arrange to taste, which is also one of the ones in the book. There were a lot of options.

Even with some of the higher-powered rolling methods, you'd be hard-pressed to get a paladin reliably.

AD&D2 had so many options right there at the front of the chapter on rolling Ability scores, but out the gate it defaults to the "gently caress you, and your mother" method and stresses that any other method is only available if you ask your GM and they are kind enough to grant you this boon.

That Old Tree fucked around with this message at 22:28 on Aug 20, 2018

Metallia
Sep 17, 2014




Deep Carbon Observatory
Part 3: "It has returned: the most dangerous duck-billed platypus to ever walk the earth. The battle begins once more."




Last time we left the PCs, they had just been (probably) asked to head upriver from Carrowmore and figure out exactly what the gently caress is happening upriver, in the Drowned Lands. While natural curiosity and promise of ancient treasure is probably sufficient to get them moving, several Carrowmore npcs will offer gp and boating equipment to help get them there. Boats can navigate upriver at normal walking speed, but anyone trying to trudge through the water is going to be moving at a fourth of their movement speed and is going probably going to be deeply unhappy, I imagine.

The land here is still flooded pretty badly, and flotsam and jetsam from destroyed dwellings and villages still float down the river, borne on beds of fish and other odd aquatic life. The water is unnaturally full, in fact, and everything from pike to pale, ugly squid to alien patterned cuttlefish flit to and fro just under the surface of the water. To top this all off, a huge pillar of smoke or ash or grey cloud rises in the distance, carrion birds circling it. The book has a number of set encounters here before players reach the source of the river, but there is also a random encounter chart featuring some...more colorful monsters.





The Three-metre Pike has armour as leather, HD5, HP25, move 40' in water, and a d10 biting grapple attack. It is a stalking enemy, and will trail PCs taking dives at their boat(s) until seriously injured or presented with easier prey.




The Cow-sized Killer Platypus has armor as chain, HD6, HP33, moves 35', and a d8 bite/poison barb attack. Its descriptive bio provides the header quote and little else.



A single Child-sized Scavenging Lungfish has no armor, HD1, HP3, move 5', and only has a d4 bite, but they come in large packs and very vicious. They can leap out of water and will never give up a chase until killed. They are perfectly capable of moving through wet mud with ease, and can also breath on land and water alike.



A House-sized Horseshoe Crab may block your way; it has armour as if it were plate and wielding a shield, HD9, HP50, move 5', a d10 bite, and a 2d20 crush + underlimb scour. This guy is totally uninterested in the party unless they actively try to attack it, which just generally seems like a bad idea. His shell is covered in deep scars and is battle rent, and the descriptive text notes he was the main opponent of the 'Chief of the Lake. Long did they battle, but no more.'



The Turbine Golems are the last entry in the Drowned Lands monster list, and their obviously fantastical nature separates them from the rest of the 'terrifying water life but big' list. There are only six of them, and they're all possessed of the minds of trapped, ancient engineers. Their stats are the same as MM Stone Golems. (chain armor, HD14, HP60, move 30' 3d8 smash/drill hand) Every golem has a different face stone, separated by how many sides the face stone has. They all have names:



The first four golems are available as random encounters or can be sought out, but final 2 are static encounters. This is useful, because the golems are important to a puzzle that lets PCs into the dungeon, further up ahead on the river.

The rest of the Drowned Lands chapter is dedicated to the various set encounters throughout the area, arranged in ascending order number as you get closer to the smoking pillar on the horizon. They are present on the map at the start of this post.

1.Sarcophagus of Ambatoharanana

Two children at 1 on the map float down the river on a large log. If the PCs stop to help them, they quickly realize beneath the moss and mud is stone; the log is actually a sarcophagus. Once they open the sarcophagus, players will find a mummy, wearing a death mask of lapis lazuli and gold. In his hands he holds a Branching Key and a magic iron sword, crossed over his chest. If his mask or weapons or taken, he will awaken and attempt to take them back (armor: as chain and shield, HD6, HP33, move '15, undead, 1d12/causes disease, causes fear.) He is Lawful Good and does not speak, and will dissolve if submerged in water for more than d4 minutes.

His sword is 'Varistor', and is covered in rust and spotted iron. It can never be fully cleaned of these imperfects, one flaw will always remain. Varistor protects its wielder from any unnatural fear effect of any kind, and if the sword prevents an effect in such a way, it radiates an aura of despair that drives all enemy living and undead foes to their knees with hopelessness; the save on this is equal to the fear spell that caused it. Varistor can't break, too. Pretty nifty.

2.Fool's Duel

Two wizards hung out in Carrowmore and rapidly rode out together to check out the mystery of the forbidden zone upriver. After spending more than 5 minutes in a canoe with each other, they have done what most wizards do and realize they hate each other. Now, they face each other in a duel on the river, standing on the surface of a sunken bridge. They are: Rem Koolhaus (Pompous, plump, well-dressed, 'sounds vaguely Dutch'. No armor, HD5, HP12, move '15. He has Fly, Mirror Image, Phantasmal Force, Enlarge, and Magic Missile x2 prepared.) and Ruskin Behaviour (Anaemic, bedraggled, quick to anger. Has a hat 'like a collapsed flan'. Same stat block as above but with HP9. He has Water Breathing, ESP, Wall of Fog, Sleep, Shrink, and Shield prepared.) Neither of the wizards will accept help, unless they are losing, in which case both of them will demand it. An unnoticed pike nearby is likely to eat them both.

3. Church of Selminimum Tem

The church of the Optical God that the cleric back in Carrowmade attended is here. It is hanging on its side and its steepe is a broken mass of crystal that was once a lens, but the floor (was once a wall) and its sides (was once a floor and ceiling) are whole and surprisingly sound. The door on its side sits ten feet in the air and is locked. Inside, the pews are destroyed and the shrine is naturally oddly angled, but the area is safe and otherwise functions as a normal church. Hidden in the askew altar are relics of the Optical God: ten tasteless 'communion wafers' and ten vials of clear, watery liquid. If you introduce the wafers into the liquid and shut the vial again, the liquid becomes chemiluminescent for 30 minutes. While it glows, it functions as both a source of light and generic holy water, and undead will react to its presence as such.

If you break into the church without Tem's keys, the 'relics' lose their power.

4. Corpse Toads

A field of toads, all noted as being as large as a bloated adult man. They've been eating the corpses that have washed up near them. They are hostile (Armor: as leather, HD2, HP12, move 5', d6 bite) but will rupture if they lose more than 5 hp in a round and collapse into toad guts and d6 corpses. This encounter is largely just gross, but has the potential to be a huge boon for the Crows, who are likely behind the PCs.

Next Time: Drowned Lands part 2, and The Dam

Metallia fucked around with this message at 00:15 on Aug 21, 2018

Otherkinsey Scale
Jul 17, 2012

Just a little bit of sunshine!


Bieeanshee posted:

A stray paragraph in a Planescape book suggests that the Phlogiston is basically the Prime Material Plane, but I'm not sure that was ever really made canon.

The Prime Material Plane canonically refers to all the crystal spheres as well as the phlogiston. They're pretty consistent about this;this poster that came with the Planescape boxed set is a good visual example.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Any of you OSR fanatics, what is the best game to pick up that is basically 'AD&D written clearly'?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


That Old Tree posted:

AD&D2 had so many options right there at the front of the chapter on rolling Ability scores, but out the gate it defaults to the "gently caress you, and your mother" method and stresses that any other method is only available if you ask your GM and they are kind enough to grant you this boon.

It's particularly weird when AD&D 1st tells you 3d6-down-the-line is a bad idea and not to do it. (A lot of people miss it, but it's there in the Dungeon Master Guide right off the bat.) For all my complaining about the stat requirements for Rifts (which are still hilariously bad, mind), they don't hold much of a candle to trying to qualify as a AD&D Paladin, Ranger, or Bard on raw 3d6 rolls. The odds are doing that are so low that you may as well tear those classes out of the book at that point.

Splicers (a more recent Palladium game) at least lets you adjust an attribute by up to 2 to qualify for a class by reducing another attribute by the same; the GM is encouraged to "let" the player do this.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Cults: Hellvetics, pt. 2



Degenesis Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 2: Cultures


From Hell To Hell

It took till 2080 for the Hellvetics to clear out the gates into the Swiss heartland. For once, I kinda believe the timeline: clearing massive cave-ins would not be an easy task even for a well-equipped engineer force. The emerging soldiers found cities like Zurich to be empty, sings of looting were everywhere while the survivors were weary of armed me due to run in with your generic post-apoc bandits. Considering the fact that IRL Swiss get to keep their service rifles once they muster out (albeit the ammo is kept in central depots), there might have been more of armed marauders than in other, less gun-happy parts of Europe.

However, the Hellvetics were now slaves to the capital-d Doctrine and thus ready to help the civilians, whether they wanted it or not. They crushed bandit camps and let their leaders choose between death and exile. Many Swiss bandit leaders thus ended up in Borca.

From Hell To Hell posted:

The Hellvetics were never interested in a better world. For them, it was the Doctrine that mattered. They did not give up quickly on goals once found.

Look at that tragic drama of a leaderless army latching onto the first goal they could find! Oh, the humanity!

After all the resistance was crushed, the surviving Swiss welcomed their saviors. It was during this time that the Saugur (did the name come as some freaky mix of SIG and Steyr AUG?)11 rifle got named “The Trailblazer.”

Doctrine and Ethos

Side section! So, when an army finds itself without a government or a leadership, bad things happen. Luckily for everyone, Hellvetics came up with their Doctrine. Now, it controls them fully – this is what gives their lives meaning to the point where Hellvetics don't even worship any god anymore.



This is what Hellvetics actually believe!

Fast Forward

Hellvetics became the leaders of Switzerland reborn. Cantons got back on their feet, more bridges were built over the Reaper's Blow, and the asbestos suits developed into the Harness somehow (I'm sure asbestos provides great ballistic protection). Drilling tunnels into the mountains connected their domain with the rest of Europe, and ensured safe passage. Spitalians were suddenly able to reach their outposts in Pollen without dying. Neolybians quickly became very important friends, providing oil which powered the machinery in the Fortress and “turned tunnels claimed by wild clans into a flaming hell.”

The book states that Hellvetica quickly became Europe's eye of the needle (center for mangled Christian metaphors?). People were very much willing to offer pacts and alliances while Hellvetics were as keen to turn them down.

Relapse

However, civilians soon got uppity. Cantons began fights both political and trade-related. The book blames it all on safety and comfort:

Relapse posted:

Many spoke out loud what Command was not even permitted to think. The confederates were faring too well. Thanks to Trailblazers and Harnesses, they feared no influences from the outside and played their games in the Hellvetics’ slipstream.

So what did the Hellvetics do? Well, they said something about “disrespecting the troops,” quoted that Colonel Jessup speech from A Few Good Men and retreated into their forts, presumably to start printing veteran t-shirts and make veteran Milka chocolate.

This was around the time when Praha fell. The clans were feeling powerful and so they invaded the Swiss heartland, easily overcoming unmanned Hellvetic barricades. Villages burned.

Relapse posted:

While the inhabitants of Torino fled back under the Hellvetics’ protection again in the end, presumably purged, the other Territorial Regions’ inhabitants learned what fighting for survival meant. In the future, everyone would have to earn the Hellvetics’ protection.

OK, what the hell does “presumably purged” mean? Did they just shoot up the people of Torino? What the gently caress?

Anyways, so that’s why you can have wild adventures in Switzerland these days: the Hellvetics have abandoned them to fend for themselves, which I’m sure is a great idea in the long run.

Deserted

Side section! If you can't take being a Hellvetic no more, you can just give your gun to your unit commander, and you'll be lead outside of the fortress to do what you will. Other soldiers won't do anything more than scorn you.

However, should you slink away with your Harness and Trailblazer, they will hunt you down. Yet there is a weird loop to allow player Hellvetics (or Hellvetic PCs) to gently caress around in the wild. The book says that the military will only hunt you down if you don't report/maintain contact with some regularity. Which is, ugh, definitely a way that a military can operate.



Harnessing dat rear end, am I rite?

Territorial Regions

Hellvetics divided their realm into four Territorial Regions: two on each side of the Reaper's Blow.

Territorial Region I takes up the Frankan Alps and makes sure the passes are safe.

Territorial Region II covers all of the Cantons. Originally, the plan was for an old-school Swiss democracy, but, ugh “but this development was rejected by the Hellvetics as anarchistic and non-democratic.” Only Bern had a measure of self-rule without the right to raise a militia.

Had. Ever since the Hellvetics threw a poo poo-fit, the Swiss themselves guard the walls of their cities, armed with old rifles and presumably a pitchfork or two. Hellvetics only care for the roads and waystations.

Territorial Region III covers all of former Austria. Understandably, this is a big bite for the Hellvetics to chew, so their Genies (engineers) have been laying underground rail to give them mobility matched only by Tiberian Sun-era Nod.

Territorial Region IV is “uncharted territory” and basically the backwater of the operation.

Territorial Regions posted:

The Hellvetics’ fortresses are unfinished buildings, tunnels carved into the rock without camouflage or security mechanisms. They are sparsely manned.

The Purgan side of the Alps is watched by Jehammedans and Anabaptists, while the Balkhan side is covered by Voyavodes and their rackets. So yeah, this probably isn't the most popular posting.

Cuts

Side-section! Reaper's Blow is a volcanic hellscape, but Aberrants live there. They weave the Filament - it's hard as glass and cuts you if you step on it (doesn't affect the Aberrants) and eats through the mountains with ease. Spitalians say it has something to do with self-contained or condensed power fields.

Sure, why not.

The Filament is spreading towards the Alpine Fortress, burrowing into the tunnels and unleashing ticks and mites. The Hellvetics don't know what to do with an enemy they can't shoot, so they have invited Spitalians to help.

The Soldier and His Weapon

The Soldiers and His Weapon posted:

Hellvetics are exclusively recruited from their own ranks or from the former Swiss population. The drills start at the age of fourteen, boys and girls are equal. If the recruits prove themselves, they get a Trailblazer the year after. This weapon is at the center of their thoughts and actions until they die. If their weapon is stolen, they are expelled from the army. The same happens if the weapon is irreparably damaged. If they sell the weapon – Off they go! Repeat: What happens if you lose your weapon?

That's very Brotherhood of Steel of them!

Next time: here’s how an idiot runs an army

Siivola
Dec 23, 2012



Night10194 posted:

There's also the pain of assigning a precious, precious 17 to charisma, the joke stat until 3e.
At least it gives you a bonus on reaction rolls. In 3e it, uh, modifies the diplomacy skill? Gives sorcerers bonus spells? I can't remember.

fool_of_sound posted:

Any of you OSR fanatics, what is the best game to pick up that is basically 'AD&D written clearly'?
RuneQuest, probably.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 17: Warlords of Russia, Part 13: "The Thunderstrike and Thunderstorm cyborgs are examples of recent innovations, and are generally unimpressive."


судья Дредд

The Sovietski War Machine
Armiya Sovietski - The New Soviet Army


What would this section be if we didn't have a new set of cyborgs and guns? But first, we get some rehashed information on the enemies of the Soviets (demons, Warlords), and then find out about mandatory conscription. It turns out all men who are not physically impaired or a rare 5% whose academic performance excepts them have to join the military for a minimum of five years at age 19. And if for some reason you are physically impaired, they offer free bionics to fix that if you choose to join. Women have the choice of enlisting or not. Apparently the military loves red, black, grey, and occasionally white for colors. Camouflage is apparently not a thing.


"I am being the law, da?"

The police are actually a branch of the army, and have unlimited search and seizure powers as far as I can tell. While they're nominally civil, their equipment is the same as the military, though training is less strenuous.

Then we get into new O.C.C.s. As always, the % is the average human player character chance of qualifying to play it.
  • The Typical Soviet Police Officer (38%): Just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? This is a relatively generic military police class with some mild combat bonuses leaning towards nonlethal (like a bonus to pull punch or disarm). You also get details on police cyborgs, but it's really unclear whether or not this is something PCs could choose as an option or if you have to randomly roll to play one, or if it's not an option? Or if you have to take a cyborg class instead? It's confusing. The majority of them are partial cyborgs, so presumably it's something you can choose, but it just doesn't say clearly.
  • The Typical Soviet Soldier (39%): Like the police class with some slight adjustments to the combat bonuses towards standard combat and a standard military skill package. Same confusing bionics description. And yes, even though military conscription is mandatory for the grand majority of men, only 39% of characters will qualify. Makes sense. Mind, most people won't play them anyway, because...
  • Typical Soviet Officer (39%): This is like the soldier, only with more skills and better skill bonuses. The requirements aren't even higher, they're exactly the same. The XP table is the same. It's literally just better! There's no reason to play a soldier unless you really just want the taste of humble pie.


This is one of the art pieces that'll get reused 20 years later in Rifts World Book 36: Sovietski.

Sovietski Military Cyborgs

The main difference between Warlord and Sovietski cyborgs is that the Sovietski are much more hesitant to create nonhuman-looking cyborgs because they worry that such will be damaging to the human mind. However, based on all the Warlord cyborgs that become demonic-looking or buglike and seem to cope just fine, this is an unsubstantiated fear. (Or, most likely, Siembieda just doesn't account for this discrepancy, as it's treated as a very real fear later on.) We get a slightly different set of bionic packages for Sovietski Light Machine and Sovietski Heavy Machine cyborgs. The Heavy Machine gets a series of combat bonuses like the Cyborg Shocktrooper does, making it flatly better than other non-Shocktrooper cyborg classes in that sense. I think it was just designed like the various Cyborg Shocktrooper models were, forgetting that the combat bonuses were unique to that type of cyborg. But, speaking of the Cyborg Shocktrooper, we get some new models exclusive to that class as well. You may wonder: do the Sovietski have special vehicles, too? The answer is- wait for Mystic Russia. Obviously, this book spent too much time reprinting old skill rules and cyborg rules to fit that in.


This art would see a lot of use in Palladium ads at the time.

First, we get the Thunderhammer Shocktrooper, the hammer-and-sickle cover girl of the book. It's one of the few new models of cyborg they've designed (most of their stuff is based on old pre-rifts tech) but is "generally unimpressive", we're told. It's got a sickle and a hammer that can shoot generic energy, but both are... generally unimpressive. And since there aren't many visible non-handheld weapons on this thing, it's time to insert some-

Gratuitous Guns: Mini-Missile Launch System (in the back where you can't see), High-Powered Laser (in the right arm, but I'm not seeing it), Concealed Laser Rod, W-42 Concealed Palm Laser, Plasma Ejector (in the left arm, but I'm still not seeing it), and Vibro-Blade Knuckles ("extendable").


The return of Breaux.

Next is the Thunderstrike Shocktrooper, one of the heavier cyborgs in the book at 13'. We're told the "head has an insect look to it" because it has a Panoramic Cluster Lens, but I'm only seeing the single visor. It has (average) rail guns on each arm, and-

Gratuitous Guns: W-42 Concealed Palm Laser.


Just don't ask them to advance through a doorway.

Finally, the Thunderstorm Heavy Artillery Cyborg is a 15' ape-styled cyborg with big ol' cannons. Though slow, it has ridiculous M.D.C.: 1,240, nearly twice that of other heavy cyborgs. Its cannons do boom gun level damage, making it one of the few models of robot or cyborg that can compete with the Glitter Boy. It also has average rail guns in the arms as well, and mini-missiles clustered around the cannons.. It requires a team to reload its cannons, and often relies on a spotter for artillery purposes. There's no note as to whether or not this is available to PCs, so I'd generally default to presuming it's available - making it easily one of the strongest mechanized PC options in the game at this point. But as with every cyborg, we can't go without-

Gratuitous Guns: Concealed Laser Rods (one in each arm), Head Laser Clusters (concealed, of course), and Vibro-Blade Knuckle Claws (extendable).


Breaux art is near-indistinguishable from Kevin Long sometimes.

Weapons Unique to the Sovietski

The only thing interesting about the S-20-20 "Popper" Assault Pistol and the S-1000 "Thunderhead" Assault Rifle is that they have built-in grenade launchers, but are otherwise fairly weak. The heavy S-500 "Cyclone" Pulse Laser Rifle outclasses even most rail guns with 1d6x10 laser bursts, making it the choice for any discerning Sovietski PC, even if you have to wear a servo-rig to use it.

Conclusions

The Sovietski leave me feeling conflicted. There's an appeal to that hokey Cold-War era Russian nationalism, but it's also a fact that it was a government that was historically brutal to its own people on a level that can't be understated. As such, it seems to go in line with the fascist apologism we see for the Coalition. Mind, after the Warlords section, I found myself willing to cling to any positivity like a life raft, so I'm inclined to give it a pass, but with the awareness that it sugarcoats aspects of what was a horrific regime. At the very least, unlike the Coalition, the Sovietski seem to be aware of some of their potential flaws and are trying to do better. But still, it's something to keep in mind, particularly with Palladium publishing a new Sovietski book in YOOL 2018, which I hold in my hands at the time of this review.

One thing I'll point out is that though I haven't done a deep read of Rifts World Book 36: Sovietski, I'm impressed by how much it covers about them that this book skipped. Need an explanation as to how the Soviets didn't starve? It's in there. Wondering why they reverted to communism? That's in there, too. What are their relations like with Wroclaw? Check, it's in. Brandon Aten, one of the authors, has been doing a good job filling in gaps from earlier books like this in other works like Rifts World Book 31: Triax 2. I considered following up these Russia reviews with Sovietski just to add more positive contrast, but the current lack of an available PDF has put that aside for now, along with my desire to work through the last of the World Books leading up the big metaplot climax.

The Warlords themselves are a further extension of the "terrible things are necessary for humanity's survival" you often see in Siembieda-penned books, even though it's objectively not true whenever another writer gets their grubby little paws on the setting. What's more, it wants them to also be both heroes of the people and brutal Road Warrior roving maniacs - a dichotomy which would make more sense it was framed in the light of the differing ethics of the different Warlords. But as a general description, it just comes across as incoherent.

Still, we've yet to come to the nadir of the the Russia books, which we'll see in Mystic Russia, coming up next. That's going to be a rough one, though. Maybe watch this in the meantime, feel better. Have an upper before some downers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73uIn56G1YE

Oh, did I say upper? Well, stick with it. Takes a bit.

концом

shades of eternity
Nov 9, 2013

Where kitties raise dragons in the world's largest mall.

man so glad you mentioned Mystic Russia.

I'm looking forward to when you get to the line that effectively broke palladium books and hearing your thoughts.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





So aside from the cachet, I guess, of being a walking artillery piece you can't ever take off, I wonder what the appeal in being a Thunderstorm is.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Dawgstar posted:

So aside from the cachet, I guess, of being a walking artillery piece you can't ever take off, I wonder what the appeal in being a Thunderstorm is.

HUMAN-LIKE APPEARANCE THAT DOESN'T CAUSE MENTAL DISTRESS

Barudak
May 7, 2007




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

Part 14: If You Die in the Drug Trip, You Die In Real Life

With guns out of the way, time to look at bullets, and boy, are there are a lot of them to look at. There are six types of clips; one for each tier, one optional for tier 4 weapons, and flamethrower ammunition and all come with different prices and rounds in the clip. On top of that, there are 11 different types of special bullets we can load our clips with and absolutely no note that they aren’t capable of stacking effects. Missing rules also crop up here, with the rules for the flamethrower stating it deals bonus damage if an enemy is ignited, but there aren’t any rules for how an enemy becomes that. In a more amusing oversight, flamethrower ammo is also measured in rounds an as such can therefore use special bullets and thus Obsidian presents non-lethal fire.

With bullets done, it’s time to talk explosives. Obsidian dedicates two full pages just grendes with another half-page to detonators and is full of all sorts of florid descriptions of what each of these unique grenades do. It, ultimately, doesn’t really matter because basically every single one of these grenades will kill any human they hit no matter what you roll for damage. A character who rolled the maximum health possible at character generation and maxxed out health attribute and bought all the health upgrade cyberware has 56 HP versus a grenade which costs less than a walkie talkie dealing a minimum of 56 damage.

Enemy demons don’t stand a chance here either; the highest HP enemy has a maximum of around 80 health and 30 armor, but, high end grenades ignore all armor. It gets worse for the armies of hell, using a ranged weapon at point blank can never miss. So long as you roll a 2 or better on the damage roll, any character in the game can kill the most powerful minions of hell with no save as a suicide attack. Now imagine the player character assaulting the demon had the inhuman, and frankly immersion-breaking, ability to accurately throw a grenade 20 feet or more.


Uh, should, uh, should we come back later, Obsidian?

After the awesomeness of grenades you’d be forgiven for thinking detonators would be just as cool but instead they’re a hilariously bad idea for players to ever use in play. There are no specific “remote explosives” so to make a detonator you’re using your skills to slap a remote trigger onto a regular grenade. If you screw up even once, the grenade goes off in your face which as we just established is a one way ticket back to character creation.

Melee weapons then trundle in and they’re utter garbage. Get point blank to your foe who can now no longer miss you with their gun and with the mightiest melee weapon deal 1D10+Strength damage, assuming it isn’t absorbed by their body armor. For 150 credits cheaper than the sword you could have just bought a grenade.

Vehicles are up next and they’re the games only real money sink. The cheapest vehicle costs a little more than the absolute most expensive gun in the game, and for the cost of buying a single pick-up truck you could have kitted out an entire 4 person group in top-tier guns, body mods, and possibly armor. The richest people in the game have the monthly income to buy two stock sedans a month.

I say stock because there are 42 possible modifications to add to a vehicle not including weaponry and boy does that cost add up too. Not only are these things expensive, most of them are niche, underpowered, or both. An ordinance monitor can tell you if a gun has bullets in it, and only if the bullets are in the gun because an unloaded gun won’t trigger it, up to a distance of 50 feet. The disease monitor can tell you what disease are surrounding the vehicle, but confers no resistance against the diseases.

Blind spot indicators are a real thing you can buy in this game and they cost more than ordering an assassination

Cyberware is next, and as we established before most of this is junk. Each piece of cyberware reduces your humanity by a set amount, and dropping below certain breakpoints permanently reduces your characters abilities, “make you susceptible to following orders”, and also can just flat out kill. With only four points of humanity to spend before penalties kick in and extremely steep costs, high skill requirements, and in-legal approvals to collect few if any characters are going to dabble with any of the upgrades like “install a machine in your brain that can identify where you left your house keys” over “get +3 to your Dexterity stat”.


Doc, you sure that’s a normal needle

Security systems are then detailed but basically they all just boil down to a difficulty rating to bypass, a penalty for failing, and additional notes if there is some other way to bypass them beyond hacking. Pro-tip, don’t bother trying to hack them if you aren’t extremely skilled at it, the lowliest penalty has a pretty darn good shot at killing a starting character and the penalties only climb from there. I do mean climb; one of the higher difficulty securities deals 200 damage on a failed attempt to bypass it.

Finally we move onto the good stuff, drugs. All your favorite drugs are here from CrystalFix to N E U R O A C I D * to Ultra Methadone to Tears of the Banshee (Screamers). Few, if any of these drugs provide any concrete benefit to the player to take them or even why a random person on the street would ever want to take them. Worse, addiction is not a possibility, it is a guarantee with most characters being addicted after two uses of a drug and much, much more irritatingly you can never become un-addicted to a drug because the developers forgot to include those rules. The absolute stupidest thing is most drugs have absolutely dire OD effects like permanent stat loss, but due to the way addiction and the drugs work a player character will never, ever OD unless the person playing them chooses to do so for absolutely no reason.

The best drug, by the way, is N E U R O A C I D which gives you intense visions. If you fail a mental roll while on the drug, you succumb to whatever effects happen in the vision as if it were real. The implication is if you die in the drug hallucination you really die. The thing Obsidian overlooked, of course, is that its own description doesn’t imply all the trips are bad so what happens if my character trips out and imagines they are completely immune to all damage and fails the mental roll? What if they take more N E U R O A C I D in the dream? Does the original consciousness get messed up or does only the sub layer get affected?

Whoa.

Lastly it is time for toxins which are frankly a complete an utter waste of time. These things are pathetically weak compared to even basic guns and are nigh impossible to procure and have stringent methods of delivery and long delays to when they take effect. I mean, “Last Supper” sounds cool and all, but if I wanted to only deal 2d6 worth of damage to a foe I’d rather not waste time trying to trick them into drinking from a bubbling chalice or eating a sub-sandwich with devil horns.

Next Time: Build a Demon Workshop

*The spacing is the game’s, not mine

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


And somehow the mouthbreathers who wrote all that managed to scrounge up enough money and not trip on their dicks long enough to get it printed.

Human potential is limitless.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Panic at the Dojo: Enemy Forces



I have no idea what's going on there. Is that a spoon knife?

Designing Encounters
I covered this a bit early, but generally speaking, the rule of encounter design is to have the same number of health bars on each side. PCs (usually) have one health bar, so if you have five PCs, you should have five health bars worth of enemies. Warriors, generally speaking, have one health bar, as do non-super Stooges, so unless there's a boss, "Stooge groups + Warriors = PCs" is a pretty good bet. If you want to have fewer enemies, you can give them extra health bars to compensate. If you want to have more enemies (even counting each group of Stooges as one enemy), then give the PCs extra health bars until it's even again. Each health bar means one turn per round, so tougher characters also get more actions. From there, it's just a matter of choosing the Cinematic Weight and calling it good.

Enemies
So, the remaining part of the book - almost half of it - is a monster manual. It's split up by Archetypes, and each Archetype gets two Stooges, two Warriors, and a Boss. On top of that, the Boss Archetypes add eight Warriors and four Bosses total, and then there's seven Kickstarter backer bosses at the end. That's almost 80 entries, so I'm going to skip most of this and just drop in some highlights.

THE CHOIR (4 Angel Stooges)
Build: Bumbling (At the end of any turn where you took damage, move 1 space)
Annoying distractions. They stack up shields on themselves, punish you for attacking them, and use their Symphonies to heal their allies if ignored. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. As a Stooge, they only get one Stance, so...

Singing World Stance
Action Dice: 7/5/3/1
Range: 2-4
Can hold multiple Shields at a time, and deals 1 damage to any enemy that damages their Shields. Gains a 2-point Shield at the start and end of their turn. After each performed Action, active Shield strengh goes up by 1.

3+: Focus
Gain a 2-point Shield and move one space.
7: Gain a 4-point Shield and move two spaces.

Destroy Active Shield: Symphony
Choose two: Pull an ally 3 spaces, an ally within range heals, Challenge an enemy within range, push an enemy within range 3 spaces, destroy an obstacle within range.

1+: Reinforcements
Heal, then place a Stooge anywhere in play. Uses up the new Stooge's action.


ZOMBIES (4 Demon Stooges)
Build: Tough (at the start of their turn, they gain 1 Iron Token).
You know the deal. It's zambies! Hard to keep down, constantly regenerating, causing groups of four to nine survivors to make bad decisions in TV shows, movies, and video games everywhere. The healing at 3 or less HP notably triggers even if they're at 0 HP.

Zombie Heart Stance
Action Dice: d6/d6/d6/d6
Range: 1
Armor. At start of turn, heals if under 3 HP, then either heals or discards a token. At end of turn, gives a Weakness Token to an enemy in range.

1+: Bow Down
Give a Weakness Token to an enemy within range.
4+: Give two Weakness Tokens to an enemy within range.

1+: Stand Strong
Heal yourself or an ally you can see.
4+: Heal yourself or a different ally you can see.

4+: Hunger
Deal 2 damage to an enemy within range. You may take a token from the target.

1+: Reinforcements
Same as all Stooges.


SIDEKICK (Cavalry Warrior)
A character built specifically to prop up another, stronger character. Sticks to the target like glue, protects them, and generally makes their presence everyone else's problem until taken out.

Ability: At the end of your turn, you and each adjacent ally gain a 2-point Shield.
Skills: Perfect Timing

Heroic Time Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d6/d4
Range: 1-2
Armor. Doesn't discard Speed Tokens or Action Dice between turns, but can only take one Action per turn. Whenever an ally within range takes damage, takes half of it for them.

1+: Counter Attack
Teleport within range of an enemy that dealt damage to you this turn, then spend thsi number on another Action targeting that enemy.

4+: Burning Heart
You and each ally within range gain 2 Iron Tokens.


ZERO TROUBLES (Cyborg Boss)
A perfect battle android. Never makes a mistake, never shows any mercy.

Ability: At start of turn, gains 2 Basic Tokens of your choice.
Skills:Put On A Show, Basically Magic, Perfect Timing, Stoic Android

Rocket Dance Stance
Action Dice: d10/d8/d6/d4
Range: 1
After you Throw or Grapple someone, gain a Speed Token for each space they moved. After each space of movement via Free Movement, may choose someone within range and pull them 1 space (dunno how that's supposed to work with a range of 1). After you push someone, you may teleport to an adjacent space.

3 Speed Tokens: Try And Keep Up
Move two spaces, then heal 2.

2 Speed Tokens: Rocket Tackle
Push an adjacent character two spaces.

Machine Tornado Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d6/d4/d4
Armor. Don't discard Speed Tokens or Action Dice between turns, only take one action per turn. Can spend any Basic Token as if it were any other kind of Basic Token.

1+: Counter Attack
Teleport within range of an enemy that dealt damage to you this turn, then spend thsi number on another Action targeting that enemy.

1+: High Efficiency
Choose three: Heal 1, gain an Iron Token, gain a Power Token, gain a Speed Token, deal 1 damage to an enemy within range.

Burning Gold Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d8/d4
Range: 2-5
Actions can apply to one extra target within range. After targeting an enemy with an Action, if they have four or less Burning Tokens, give them a Burning Token.

3+: Amplify
Next Action this turn has +2 range and can apply to up to three extra targets.

3+: Shockwave
Deal 1 damage to every enemy within range.
6+: Deal 2 damage to one enemy within range.

4+: Burn It All Down
Give one enemy within range a Burning Token, then put a Trap in their space.

The concept of this setup is that the Machine Tornado Stance builds up power which is then unleashed in the other two Stances. Zero starts in Machine Tornado, using low numbers for High Efficiency and holding onto the large numbers, then switches to Burning Gold Stance to drop Shockwaves or Amplified Burn It All Downs, using Rocket Dance to open up distance and heal, while also ringing enemies out when an Edge is nearby.

Next: Phantom, Flametongue, Punk and Gunkata enemies.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Leraika posted:

Doug, Donna, Nadine, and Jane.

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

since everyone agreed with this answer, i'll use these four characters to play through Exit 23.

coming soon: four regular people get wrapped up in a cult's plot to recreate the events of Jack Frost 2.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



7th Sea 2e: The New World - Bad Decisions

Thean contact brought some Theans attempting to conquer the Nahuacan. It did not go well. Lord Adan Armando, for example, had troops with poor morale due to the difficulty of travel, and while they were the superior force in open fields, thanks to horses and steel against feathered armor and obsidian, the Nahuacans refused to fight there. They fled at the sight of crossbows and guns, heading into the jungle. The Theans gave chase and soon realized it was a trap. Their horses were unable to operate in the jungle, and they were pinned down by arrows and slingstones. As they moved deeper, the Nahuacan skirmishers surrounded them, and the longer it went, the worse it got. Nahuacan forces could cross the jungle at amazing speed, using strategically placed supply caches to survive while the Theans struggled with the terrain and figuring out what animals were even safe to hunt. Eventually, Armando's expedition was lost, overwhelmed and outmaneuvered by Nahuacan elites. They were unable to retreat, cut off in the jungle, and those who didn't die to Nahuacan blades died to starvation or poisonous food.

Then there was Fernando Medellin, a minor noble who headed to the New World to escape his overbearing parents and low wealth. He'd been a failure as a lawyer, notary and merchant, and he eventually just gathered up a crew eager to avoid fighting in the War of the Cross, borrowed some money and set sail for Aztlan. He made landfall in a small Nahuacan state northeast of Oloxochicalco in 1631. The locals told him anything he wanted to know, explaining the Nahuacan Alliance and their resentment of its overbearing leaders, and described the gods, who often took on strange human forms and demanded tribute or obedience. Medellin came up with a plan without actually asking after that last bit too deeply. He would tell the "idolatrous savages" that he was the god Apocoatl in human form. Outright assault was clearly foolish, but this trick would work, surely.

Medellin gathered a few hundred allies from disaffected vassals of the Nahuacan Alliance, marrying a few local women who served as his translators. He had some initial problems, but nothing his superior weapons couldn't beat - he was only facing an overconfident militia, after all, who'd never dealt with steel or guns. And so, Medellin went into the great marketplace of Oloxochicalco. The locals had never before seen such pale skin or people with beards, so they gave him space. He spoke to them, declaring that he was Apocoatl, come to rule them. The crowd fell silent until a little girl came forward. She told him that, firstly, Apocoatl was a snake, not a man. Second, he was standing not 50 feet away. And, indeed, Apocoatl's serpentine visage emerged from the crowd. He had come to help alleviate a drought, but now he had some punishment to hand out. Being the gentlest of the Nahuacan gods, he simply had his followers chase Medellin back to sea. Everyone had a good laugh, confident Medellin had learned his lesson.

Then he pulled the same gambit in a different vassal state in the south. This time, Apocoatl and his priest set Medellin's face on fire in front of his shocked and horrified wife and child, cooking him alive. Apocoatl his not appeared to his priests since the event. His absence was kept secret at first, but now the rumor has spread - he has gone dormant beneath the swamps, sleeping off the memory of killing a human for the first time in centuries. Medellin's wife was Tzak K'ani, and she escaped back home with her child, swearing vengeance on the god that humiliated and killed her husband.

In the wake of that event, the Alliance has spent a few decades beefing up border security. The Ocelomah remain on alert in the east, coordinating the local militias and setting traps for any military expeditions. Nahuacan merchants in the Atabean or even Theah send home reports on troop movements. Despite all this preparation, the Nahuacan leadership remain worried. They know the Theans will learn to fight as they do before much longer. They cannot rest easy and assume that potential foes will not learn how to handle the terrain. Further, Medellin's daughter, Azeneth, has tried several times in the past few years trying to track down Apocoatl's resting place for revenge. Fortunately, her last attempt was stopped by the Theans Hieronimus Frederick von Wetherald and Sonja Adalgild, who were warned of her efforts by the Pochteca and felt obliged to stop her as fellow Theans. They tried to convince her to abandon vengeance, but could not. Sonja died defending her best friend in the ensuing battle.

So, how is the Alliance run? It is driven by a volatile equilibrium of ideals and beliefs, which fuel its vast bureaucracy. It must oversee an empire of many ethnicities - both Nahuacans and their smaller vassals. They are an exceptionally legalistic society, and while many joke about their labyrinthine bureaucracy, most truly respect the laws and customs that keep them united. The government is built on its judiciary. The judges are the most senior officials, having spent decades as couriers, secretaries, clerks, teachers and lawyers before receving their rank on the Supreme Court of Pepechotlan or one of the lesser courts in every city or town. Judges preside over pretty much any dispute, holding themselves to an exacting standard of fairness, honesty and wisdom. Nothing makes people more nervous than the possibility of judicial corruption. If a judge is found guilty of misconduct or gross incompetence, they may be executed or sentenced to life in slavery.

Slavery was the fate of Ehuatii, a highly placed judge on the Supreme Court whose clerk published evidence of eight years of bribes. He fled north to hide in the wilderness, where he now stays, sending minions to stir up unrest among the slaves of the Alliance. Many slaves are in favor of revolt for very good reasons, but few are aware their erstwhile revolutionary leader is doing it just because he wants to be back on top and doesn't actually care about abolishing slavery. (We also get a sidebar noting that Nahuacan courts are extremely lively places, and if the PCs end up in court, bombastic speeches, appeals to emotion and personal attacks are the norm for such scenes. Further, if they get convicted, judges have wide latitude in sentencing and are most likely to give actual heroes a chance to redeem themselves by taking on some kind of quest as their sentence, such as retrieval of an artifact or fighting off rebels or invaders.)

The judiciary run the elementary schools, which all citizens are required to attend as children. They were originally founded by the military to teach martial arts and first aid, so that everyone would be able to support the standing army, but the judiciary took over when the curriculum expanded to literacy, math and basic law as well. Most Nahuacan peasants are not fully literate, as the system is mostly meant to allow compliance with government edicts, but the bright and lucky can go from there to secondary school, advancing their place in society. The courts proper have two jobs. First, they use official inquests to check on the economies and lives of the people, and second, individuals, even of low rank, can sue each other. Larger courts have lawyers who help people with suits, though the best charge fees to help with court upkeep. Scribes and sculptors keep track of the records of all cases and rulings. In the past, judges and lawyers memorized these rulings, and the sculptors merely inscribed the most important facts in stone on public walls. However, since Thean contact, some jurisdictions have swapped to stoneless records, using the more convenient but perishable paper.

While the four main Nahuacan cities have defined courts with sitting judges, outlying villages or vassal states have a harder time maintaining permanent formal courts. Instead, they will be visited by traveling judges, who move along a circuit of towns, hearing cases at each stop and then moving on. They hear cases as they travel and will sometimes hold court on the road or do justice in the jungle. The Nahuacan deeply respect judges, especially the traveling ones, and they are given preferential treatment, lodging and food at any town they stop in. Many towns deal with minor issues on their own, asking for the judges to help only with terrible crimes or complex issues. Traveling judges also often take it on themselves to track down and catch dangerous criminals. Some judges stick to a single circuit to build rapport, but most travel the entire nation, rarely visiting any single town more than once a year.

The military represents the pride of Nahuacan, and it exemplifies both their great virtues and their worst flaws. Skill in strategy, tactics, melee combat and logistics are what earns most praise in Nahuacan society. Every child learns self-defense if able, and is expected to drill occasionally in case the militia needs them. Even small villages maintain an armory to use for fighting bandits or wild animals. Typically, peasants use slings and tepoztopilli, a form of long spear with obsidian blade for cuts and thrusts. The standing army is the real power, however. Teens can sit a special entrance exam for it to earn social rank. The top are invited to join priestly seminary, with all the responsibilities that entails. Those below them go to military academies - less rigorous and more dangerous, but definitely just as prestigious.

Military cadets learn full literacy, math, advanced weapon usage, tactics, strategy, logistics, rhetoric, negotiation and leadership. They are also taught basic crafting skills so they can be more self-sufficient on campaign. Cadets alternate between living at the academy and going out on patrols or campaigns under senior soldiers. Working as assistants to other soldiers teaches them practical skills in the field rather than just rote memorization. Even at the academy, however, training is extremely physical, with mock battles common and students vying to join wrestling and Ollamaliztli teams to get the attention of the upper ranks.

Next time: Life in the army

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



7th Sea 2e: The New World - Armed Force

Rank among the armed forces is measured in captives taken, expressed via uniform ornaments. In the time before the Alliance, this was the best route for advancement, as sacrifices needed to be living, and strong foes could count as multiple captives. Now, such sacrifice is forbidden, but capturing foes for questioning is still going to get you promoted, and they make good bargaining chips. Retired officers often become instructors or headmasters of military academies or seminaries, and it is rumored that the only reason Director Xochitl of the Ocelomeh has not herself retired to a teaching job is her suspicion of her counterpart, Grand Master Ome Tochtli of the Cuauhmeh. Ranking officers also often liaise with the merchant corps, who often serve as Nahuacan's scouts, diplomats and logisticians. In war, the army relies on caches of supplies and materiel stashed throughout their territory to prevent supply trains from becoming burdened and slow. Even in peace, vassals must maintain these or face a fine. (Or worse.)

The army is pretty much entirely infantry, divided into regiments from different geographic areas, each led by a colonel from the same area. Experience can vary widely in a regiment, with rank shown by ornamentation on battle dress. Every warrior memorizes the chain of command so that they can obey orders even in the chaos of battle. Colonels and other officers wear large back banners so that runners from other units can easily find them to relay orders. Most of the soldiers use a simple wooden shield and quilted cotton armor, balancing protection with very light weight. The best fight on the front lines, armed with shield and macuahuitl, while those behind use long spears, and the rear fights with bows and arrows, slings and atlatl darts. Berserkers with two-handed macuahutils often cover the flanks.

Outside battle, soldiers train endlessly. They fight, play sports, study or serve as scouts on rotation. A single scout rotation lasts one week and is made of three to four warriors of different ranks, in the hopes of teaching each other new things. Scouts change location, companions and route regularly to stay fresh. When they return, they report anything of note and then have several weeks to train before their next rotation. Warriors may request more frequent rotations, but rarely do, as scouts do not muster with the regiment when war happens. PCs within the military almost certainly have more freedom, rise in rank faster and quickly take on leadership roles as heroes. They are given personal missions or sent to lead small groups for major events. They often serve as forward scouts, rearguard or infiltration and extraction specialists.

The four priesthoods of the four gods of Nahuacan are still the largest and most potent forces in the Nahuacan government. All priests are sworn to a life of poverty and take oaths to forgo good food and drink beyond that which is granted them at festivals. Their clothing is strictly controlled - a simple habit and any battle honors they have earned, that's it. They have a very rigid hierarchy and schedule of duties. However, with all these limits comes power in politics. Priests train at ancient seminaries that sit at the heart of each major city, as long as they score well enough on the examination taken at the age of fourteen to qualify for service. It is a grueling exam that covers many topics, and children of social elites typically do better due to having more free time to study and help from their parents. However, even peasants attend primary school and may score well enough to attend. The seminaries are austere, intense schools, and even those who do not graduate are respected for attending. Students live in windy dorms, spending their morning cleaning and doing chores and their afternoons studying and training. They learn full literacy, history, math, poetry, governance, art, engineering and strategy, and they typically choose a specialized field or major within the first or second year of study.

Priests go to war with the army and serve as officers on behalf of the government and chaplains for the warriors. Martial training is rigorous, but takes up less time than for students of the military academies. After graduation, a student may choose which priesthood to join, but will usually join that of their home state. Each priesthood operates its city's and state's government, serving as governors, chaplains, teachers and administrators as well as spiritual leaders. Established priests will often scout promising graduates, mentoring them as replacements for when they retire or die. Each priesthood follows a strict hierarchy led by a High Priest or Priestess, often the eldest of the priesthood, at the top. The various priesthoods tend to specialize based on their god's purview. Nacatlicue's has many doctors and agricultural specialists, Apocoatl's has artists and philosophers, Itzzohualli's runs hospices and funeral parlors to care for the grieving and the dead, and Tlehuitzin's has many architects and chaplains. Not all priests enter the government, and some simply make a living using their knowledge to help people. In remote areas, priests often have to do multiple jobs at once or do one job for many villages or even an entire vassal state.

The Southern and Northern priesthoods also run the military religious orders. These consist of the best warriors of these priesthoods, plus soldiers from any origin who impress the orders' leaders and are invited to join. Itzzohualli's order is the Ocelomeh, who specialize in black ops, recon and sabotage. They are poisoners, assassins, spies and saboteurs, and they're very good at it. An ocelotl must not only be fast and deadly, but also creative, quick-witted and brave, able to out-think foes. The Cuauhmeh, on the other hand, are the famous soldiers of the front. They wear the best armor and shields, using magical feather patterns to ward off even bullets. They are the soldiers who hold the line, the strongest and toughest there are. These are the two opposite sides of the military doctrine, and before the Alliance they were bitter foes. Now, when they work in concert, they are terrifying. Often, members of both orders will work on elite teams together - especially PCs. They are famously difficult to corrupt and renowned for their skill.

The Great Speaker is chosen by a council of elders drawn from all ranks of Nahuacan life. Whenever the last Speaker dies or retires, they elect a new one. The Great Speaker's job is explicitly to argue with the gods and their priests on behalf of the people, and to serve as the head of state - that is, the governor of governors. They must maintain the balance of power between the states and branches of government, keeping power struggles from tearing the Alliance apart. It takes a strong will, the ability to recognize and correct your mistakes and those of others, and strong rhetorical and leadership skills. The Great Speaker may never be selected from the same city twice in a row, and is advised by the Executive Council, as the body that selects them is called. It is a very stressful position, and many retire well before they die.

The Speaker may authorize human sacrifice in times of great need. It has never been done yet, and ideally will never happen, though some extremists believe in doing it in times of widespread fear. The Great Speaker during Thean first contact a century ago famously floated the idea after bureaucratic inefficiency and his own incompetence cause widespread panic and economic failure. The Ocelomeh performed a popularly supported coup and either exiled or murdered him depending on who you ask. The current Great Speaker, Chicahua Tlatoa, is only 24 - the youngest ever to hold the rank. He's doing the job, but many see him as weak, untested. They push him in ways no other Great Speaker has had to handle. Ome Tochtli, head of the Eagle Templars, believes he can subvert the Speaker and control the Alliance through him. His counterpart, Xochitl of the Jaguar Knights, is aware of this and attempts to influence the Speaker first in hopes of protecting the man. Chicahua is brighter than either of them suspects and is trying to keep both at bay, but is not sure how long he can do so while also running the government.

So far, Nahuacan has never failed during an invasion of another city-state. Often, they win without a fight as the foe surrenders rather than see their capital plundered and their temples burned. It has earned them control of a third of the continent. Their taxes on vassal states are high, requiring not only money, but also art and slaves. They are considering expansion towards Tzak K'an in the south, the Wabanahkik of Quanahlotye in the north, and the Atabean in the east. However, unlike prior conquests, these areas are not ethnically or linguistically close to Nahuacan, and they will be harder to take and hold culturally.

Of the three, Wabanahkik (Quanalotye) is the least likely target. The merchant Centlalia recently returned from a decade working there and has reported several established Thean colonies, as well as the Wabanahkik light infantry, who are some of the best in the world and masters of Nahuacan's own infantry tactics, but specialized in defense of their temperate forests against more numerous foes. Also, they know how to use guns better than the Nahuacan do. The Rahuri of the Atabean are a different challenge - they're in no position to beat Nahuacan in a fight on land, but the Alliance has practically no naval experience at all. The priests are reaching out to Thean sailors and shipwrights, trying to hire them as trainers and advisors, but those seafarers are often wary due to stories of Medellin's death. Further, it is known that Apocoatl trusted the Rahuri to be custodians of the Sea of Monsters, and any plan of conquest would need to pass him first. Problem: he's still asleep. Nahuacan expansionists would love to take the Atabean, but the difficulty of creating a naval tradition they don't already have means they're more likely to instead be diplomatic and offer protective vassalage rather than threaten conquest.

Thus, the Tzak K'ani are the most viable target for invasion. They most resemble the Nahuacan culturally, and they'd probably lose against a concerted assault. This could earn a whole lot of new vassals and resources. However, there's three big problems. First, sending the army into Tzak K'an would leave Nahuaca undefended against Thean invasion. Second, the border states already have enough rebellion issues - wouldn't having a subject people who don't even speak Nahuatl make it worse? Last, most of Nahuacan leadership simply see the government as more than a way to gain power - the Alliance was formed to benefit all, even subject states. If the Nahuacan are to be true leaders, they have to win hearts and minds, not crush them - and therefore another invasion may not be the moral act right now. However, the Nahuacan are a warlike people and do not like to sit and wait without a target for their aggression long. (It doesn't help that 'we should run the entire continent' is essentially Nahuacan policy; the question is just how they should end up uniting it - diplomacy or war - and whether subject cultures are to be preserved or not.)

Next time: Other Nations

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


I love the Medellin stuff.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




The latest System Mastery has Shadowrun's number: it's the best game I know of to spend 8 hours creating characters and maybe 2 hours playing them.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Halloween Jack posted:

The latest System Mastery has Shadowrun's number: it's the best game I know of to spend 8 hours creating characters and maybe 2 hours playing them.

Which Shadowrun though, there are 6.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




I've only played editions 2, 3, and 4, but I don't see why it would be any less so in 5. Shadowrun Anarchy I don't know about.

fool of sound
Oct 10, 2012


Halloween Jack posted:

I've only played editions 2, 3, and 4, but I don't see why it would be any less so in 5. Shadowrun Anarchy I don't know about.

5 character creation is a priority system instead of point buy, so it's quicker. It still takes a while.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




2 and 3 had priority systems; the biggest drag is spending your money on gear and customizing gear. Are there still a dozen or more options for stuff you can put in your cybereyes?

Glagha
Oct 13, 2008

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The only thing I strongly dislike about shadowrun is that it catfishes your on cyberlimbs. It's the kind of game that makes you think that if you want to be a badass you should get your arms lopped off and replaced by chrome ones that have blades and poo poo in them and super strength but it turns out thats a terrible way to build a cybered up character who fucks people up.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Shadowrun also catfishes you on building any front-line combatant that isn't a street samurai with money as Priority A. 2nd and 3rd are the editions I remember best, and they present you with various combat archetypes that you just shouldn't bother with.

I mean, unless your GM is being hardcore, you can certainly make a playable samurai archetype with Resources B. But any front-line combatant that's like "you rely on skills over cyberware," nah bro, it ain't happening. You are going to have metal in your body, and it's your choice whether that's Wired Reflexes or a hail of bullets.

Glagha
Oct 13, 2008

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Wasn't there a physical adept equivalent to wired reflexes because it seems like a real mistake if there isn't.

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Glagha posted:

The only thing I strongly dislike about shadowrun is that it catfishes your on cyberlimbs. It's the kind of game that makes you think that if you want to be a badass you should get your arms lopped off and replaced by chrome ones that have blades and poo poo in them and super strength but it turns out thats a terrible way to build a cybered up character who fucks people up.
I believe you can make a cyberarm-focused character work, but you have to do some really weird counterintuitive poo poo to make it work and it's mostly about cranking your Shoot Guns attribute on it real high and shooting guns with it while tanking your meat attributes.

Halloween Jack posted:

Shadowrun also catfishes you on building any front-line combatant that isn't a street samurai with money as Priority A. 2nd and 3rd are the editions I remember best, and they present you with various combat archetypes that you just shouldn't bother with.

I mean, unless your GM is being hardcore, you can certainly make a playable samurai archetype with Resources B. But any front-line combatant that's like "you rely on skills over cyberware," nah bro, it ain't happening. You are going to have metal in your body, and it's your choice whether that's Wired Reflexes or a hail of bullets.
I think in most editions you can also make an Adept, but then you're basically just trading the chrome for magic to do the same thing the chrome would. Or sometimes you can use genetically engineered meat implants instead of chrome or magic.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



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

The Kuraq Empire makes the Alliance very uncomfortable - especially because of how much they remind the Alliance of themselves. The Kuraq have a somewhat less robust martial tradition, but until Theah manages to figure out jungle combat, they are the main military threat to the Alliance. Invading the Kuraq mountains is simply unviable - altitude sickness is a bitch, and the Nahuacan tactics would be no good in mountain terrain, especially against mountain specialists. Worse, the fact that the Kuraq obey the dead is a terrifying prospect for a people whose dead merge with their gods. The Nahuacan trade extensively with the Kuraq to give their merchants more chances to gather intelligence. The big competition right now is over Tzak K'an. The Kuraq are just as capable of taking and holding the city-states as Nahuaca, and the prospect of losing that territory to them is unthinkable even if an invasion force to the south would be very thin-spread and have trouble. If the Kuraq invade, the Nahuacan probably will as well.

And then there's the Theah issue. Each of the gods has a strong opinion on the matter, and each of the priesthoods has rallied around their god. None of them want to back down, and so the Alliance is utterly deadlocked on what to do about the Theans.

Divine Views posted:

Tlehuitzin: Have Fernando Medellin's misadventures taught us nothing? Never mind their technology and their trade: Theans may have things we want, but they have nothing we need. The unauthorized factories they erected years ago are a continued affront to our sovereignty. Let us not risk invasion - let us drive them from our shores.
Itzzohualli: Imagine what we could do with muskets, cannons and galleons! Imagine if we could cross-reference their medical knowledge with my comrade's in the west! Let us invite them in, show them hospitality, pay them handsomely for what they know - but keep a careful watch on them. Their betrayal will never come - because we will betray them first!
Apocoatl: We will profit far better by diplomacy and mutual understanding than we will by showing them our teeth. Let us give them no reason to invade us when our friendship is far more mutually beneficial. I am sure they have learned from Medellin that to attack the mighty Nahuacans is folly. When I awaken, I expect you all to have learned to get along.
Nacatlicue: I am happy to support whatever you three decide to do, but please decide quickly, because if and when the Theans come, they're coming to Oloxochicalco first.

Nahuacans tend to have brown skin, dark eyes and black hair worn straight or in various styles. Soldiers prefer topknots, for that tiny bit of extra head defense. Facial hair is very rare, and strong muscles are common due to the lives of manual labor that are common even among the nobility. The climate means they wear mostly light cotton clothing, while the rich adorn themselves in gold, wood and turquoise. Earlobes are often gauged. The Nahuacan self-describe as proud and forthright, always ready to help and always proud of their nation. Their vassals and others in the region that dislike them tend to say they are self-important bullies who butt into everything around them, trying to solve everyone's problems with violence or imperialism. (This is not untrue, often; the Alliance is definitely imperialistic towards others.) The stereotype is only reinforced by the military custom of starting every battle with a shouting of obscene, creative insults to raise allied spirits and dishearten the foe.

The four states of Nahuaca are broadly each diamond-shaped, meeting at the center in the city of Pepechotlan, with four roads leading in the cardinal directions to the four main cities. Some of the cities are connected by rivers, but most are connected instead by roads. While Theans often claim the Nahuacan lacked the wheel before they arrived, they are wrong - wheelbarrows existed, as did wheeled toys. However, the largest domestic animal in the region was the deer, far too light to pull carts or barges, so there was little use for wheeled conveyances. The Nahuacans are slowly but steadily adopting them as they get more horses and other Thean beasts of burden.

Nahuacan cities are meticulously planned; they do not develop haphazardly, ever. A strict grid scheme is used, with a central market plaza overlooked by a massive stepped pyramid dedicated to the city's patron god (usually one of the main four). Administrative buildings and schools are kept near the pyramid, as is a stadium for Ollamaliztli games. Even small towns will have a modest ball court. Noble mansions will be kept in a walled area, and typically will show some amazing Nahuacan architecture, with stone foundations raised above the earth, fine stucco and adobe walls and supporting beams of wood. Noble houses are built on a microcosm of the town itself, with a large central courtyard surrounded by important meeting rooms, offices, living quarters and so on. The commoners live in larger districts, with simpler one-room adobe or wattle-and-daub houses. Typically they will cluster around central patios for communal meals and crafting facilities. Merchants and wealthy artisans often spend most of their time in their guildhouses, but also own more spacious apartment complexes with multiple rooms and stone used in their construction, albeit still in the commoner district.

Engineering and architecture are a major focus of Nahuacan study across all classes. Nobles especially enjoy studying engineering to better make use of any land they own, or to design increasingly impressive homes to show off. A recent architect, Ix Nacahualli of Nexhuatipec, rose to fame by designing a modern aqueduct system that can be seamlessly integrated into walls, temples and other public buildings, which has kicked off a huge fad for public works projects. (As was the goal by Nexhuatipec's priests.) Farms are less grid-based, but still highly planned, surrounding the cities. Conventional farms are present for either cotton or maize, or hillside farms similar to the Kuraq, but Nahuaca is most known for its floating gardens, in which a rectangle of mud and plants are stabilized with stakes and piled to a meter above the surface of a shallow lake, using willow trees at the corners and edges to prevent erosion. Typically, a single family will work a number of floating gardens, rotating them through various crops. Often they also raise dogs, turkeys and other domestic animals nearby.

Nahuacan social class is rigidly defined. Laws control what each class may wear, so that their caste is obvious at a glance. The Nahuacan say these laws bring order, but subject peoples with more social mobility tend to hate them. Judges are of the highest social rank, for they know the laws entirely and are its final arbiters. Anyone may become a judge, but few do so without first being priests or soldiers. Judges apprentice to other judges, often working as a clerk or assistant for years before being allowed to take up the job. They are not sworn to austerity, unlike priests, though the town they care for typically pays any expenses they have. While they occupy a privileged position, they must always maintain strict neutrality to do their duties. In small towns, corruption is rooted out and replaced quickly. It's easier to get away with in large cities, though if discovered it will ruin you just as easily. Judges rarely care about social class in others, as all are equal before the law. Their previous social standing is likewise irrelevant.

Priests were nearly all-powerful before the Alliance was formed, as each state was an ironclad theocracy. Now, they remain powerful, but the Great Speaker and the rising power of the other classes (especially merchants) limits them. They are privileged still, but their lives are very demanding. They must master multiple disciplines and wear only simple clothes, but all must honor them. Tensions between priesthoods, other priests in your own priesthood and other powerful figures in society are inevitable, and priests can be just as ambitious as anyone else. Their duties can be extremely diverse, though politicians and warriors are most common among the priests.

The nobles inherit their rank, but it is growing shaky. Before the Alliance, only nobles could be priests or soldiers. That changed fast, and social mobility rose as a result. Family traditions and wealth still set nobles up to succeed more often, but any caste could rise to priesthood or the military. Nobles primarily serve as landowners rather than politicians, managing sets of farms or city precincts and collecting rent from their tenants. Nobles may also become officers, priests or merchants (though that last sacrifices noble status). Many nobles have begun to worry, given the primacy of these three other castes in wealth and power, that their titles are growing very irrelevant.

Merchants are, technically, peasants, and must dress like any other peasant. Practically, however, they stand outside the hierarchy. Anyone of any class may become a merchant or guild artisan by setting their life aside to become an apprentice. Many nobles, priests and warriors end up deciding to do just that alongside commoners. Merchants, after all, control the Alliance's flow of goods and money. They are also the best spies the nation has in other lands, and the military often invests in their ventures, as they often bring reports of new technologies and troop movements. The guilds are secretive, however, trading information between themselves and hoarding it closely. Even the government isn't sure how much they are holding back. One of the most far-ranging merchants of Nahuaca is Gonzalo "Lalo" Terrazas, who oversees the Flower Quarter of San Felipe in Odiseo, managing it as a Nahuacan expat community. He makes excellent money as a guide and fixer for New Worlders in Castille and a salesman of Nahuacan curiosities and foods to Theans. No one has yet realized he's sending home messages about technology and military forces.

Artisans, like merchants, are technically peasants yet very respected. Visual art is a massive deal for the Alliance, because appearance is a big deal for them in general. Looking good and owning beautiful things brings pride and unity. Thus, the finest artists are exalted nearly as much as war heroes - which may be unsurprising, given that some artforms, such as featherwork, are also magical. Artisans of skill can wield a lot of political influence in towns and villages, and may demand political favors for their services to the powerful. They also serve as the Alliance's cultural ambassadors, spreading Nahuacan culture to vassal states and outsiders. They are also the leaders of the Alliance's growing anti-slavery movement. While some artisans still own slaves, they by and large consider slavery to be counter to the ideals of their craft guilds. When a noble or priest makes a slave do inferior work, the artisans who dedicate their lives to the craft lose out. While the abolitionist movement was originally formed out of desire for profit, the most outspoken artisans have now made it a moral issue, too.

Commoners and slaves make up the majority of Nahuaca. They work on farms, manage gardens, labor for public works and construction, serve as valets and aides to the higher castes. They serve in militias sometimes, or as various camp followers for the military such as cooks or porters. They also work to maintain the supply depots that allow the Nahuacan army to move so quickly. While their life is hard, they have excellent access to public services such as temples, hospitals and courts, albeit at a lower level of precedence. Commoners in need of medicine often use folk remedies or hire hedge witches to avoid the lines at the hospitals. They do attend school as children, which can give them a path to higher ranks if they show aptitude. Slaves are a subset of commoners, and closer to indentured servants than chattel. No one may be born a slave, but adults can sell themselves into slavery to pay debts or benefit their family. Slavery is also a common sentence for various crimes, ranging from public drunkenness to murder, and for serious crimes it can last for life. Prisoners of war often become slaves, too. While enslaving prisoners of war and then later releasing them to return home can build up resentment in vassals, it also spreads Nahuacan culture.

Next time: SPORTSBALL

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Glagha posted:

Wasn't there a physical adept equivalent to wired reflexes because it seems like a real mistake if there isn't.

It's called Improved Reflexes and it's what makes MysAds so good.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Zereth posted:

I believe you can make a cyberarm-focused character work, but you have to do some really weird counterintuitive poo poo to make it work and it's mostly about cranking your Shoot Guns attribute on it real high and shooting guns with it while tanking your meat attributes.

I think in most editions you can also make an Adept, but then you're basically just trading the chrome for magic to do the same thing the chrome would. Or sometimes you can use genetically engineered meat implants instead of chrome or magic.
That's true. With Adepts, you're trading less power and versatility now (because you can cram way more cyberware with way more options into yourself at character creation than what you get from Adept powers) for potentially more power later, since there isn't that hard Essence cap. Depending on what type of Adept you build, they can be the frontline combatant, though not the best.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Halloween Jack posted:

That's true. With Adepts, you're trading less power and versatility now (because you can cram way more cyberware with way more options into yourself at character creation than what you get from Adept powers) for potentially more power later, since there isn't that hard Essence cap. Depending on what type of Adept you build, they can be the frontline combatant, though not the best.

Isn't there also a spell that "enhanced reflexes" spell that you can put into a spell or weapon foci and have it run 24/7?

Meinberg
Oct 9, 2011


I’m really digging the Aztlani in general. It seems like a good take on what Mesoamerica would look like if it hadn’t been ravaged by disease and its gods were less colossal assholes.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Cults: Hellvetics, pt. 3



Degenesis Rebirth
Primal Punk
Chapter 2: Cultures


Austerity

OK, we're taking a Scourger buggy and riding that bitch straight into Stupid Town in here!

You see, even with the manufacturing capabilities of the Hellvetics and the taxes they levy on passage use, it's really not that easy keeping them adequately supplied. Trailblazer ammo is hard to make, so it has been rationed for ages. But using any army gear “thoughtlessly and unnecessarily” is considered theft.

And then we get to resource allocation.

Austerity posted:

To spread the resources evenly and effectively, the four Territorial Regions have been further divided into 20 sections. Each of them is entitled to a percentage of a monthly storage output. The amounts also depend on the effectiveness of the Hellvetics stationed in a section. If one of them botches a mission or they cannot meet central storage’s demands with regards to profits from transit fees, drastic cutbacks ensue. The section gets less ammo, and special support weapons and vehicles are suddenly not available anymore. If the soldiers cannot discipline the comrade responsible and get him up to speed again, the whole section’s survival is placed in danger.

Your section is suffering difficulties dealing with Clanner raids and Apocalyptics? Well, maybe you need more personnel... lol, no, gently caress you, deal with the problem with less ammo and fewer guns. I'm sure this will encourage you to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and deal with the situation instead of being a lazy moocher.

Austerity is a horrible brain worm, both in real life and in Degenesis.

Bunker Fever

This sub-section is probably not about underground dance-offs.

The Alps near Laibach are strange; weird lights are sighted, spells of dizziness overcome the patrols, people start going bald. While some would like to attribute this to Bunker Fever (and I'd say something about radiation exposure), these cases have been verified and recorded through the ages.

Somehow connected to that stuff is the legend of Triglaw. A “grotesquely stunted man in billowing layers of white fabrics,” he stalks the Hellvetic tunnels, taking anything he wants from the stores. He is said to be very cunning and over 400 years old.

Tales claim that Triglaw supplied the Swiss with asbestos for the bridges; that he is the soulless husk of one of the first Hellvetics; that he's the original protector of the Alps and a Bygone relic. My money is on experimental Swiss defense android.

But whatever the truth is, if it ever came to light, “the Hellvetic history will have to be rewritten.”



I probably should not be skipping the further prophecies of Jehan de Vezelay, but I don't think anyone is interested in them that much. Here are some actual illustrations instead!

Merits

Delving deeper into the organizational insanity of Hellvetics, we arrive at the section that deals with ranks and promotions. Here's where we learn that soldier rank is gained through a combination of merit points, workshops taken and skills acquired. So, you know, the post-apocalyptic Swiss gamified gaining ranks in the military.

At the end of every tour, each Hellvetic takes his or her Trailblazer, plugs into the system (there's a port for that on the gun) and uploads the stats to a screen.

Merits posted:

The number of shots fired is recorded, as well as the rate of fire or any overheating by continuous fire. Once the weapon has been checked, the soldier turns to his comrades and awaits their judgment. Behind him, his data flickers across the wall-sized display, accompanied by his combat statistics and his commander’s effectiveness assessment. The reactions vary from respectful silence to scornful humiliation.

So yeah, you are publicly judged on your K/D score. I'm sure this is wonderful at building cohesion and camaraderie.

After the public shaming, the computer calculates which section is the best and how much ammo is left. So while the best gaming clans sections can relax a bit, the weaker ones have to go outside on a dangerous mission to improve their score.

I bet some neoliberal opinion writer dipshit is reading this and thinking “hmmm, yes, this is how we should fight a war.”

Grades

This section here is to muddle the waters a bit. It mentions that Soldier, Private and Lance Corporal are but the first, easily abandoned ranks in the career of any Hellvetic. You'd think those are the ranks that would be most plentiful in any fighting force, but there we are.

The noncom ranks of Corporal, Constable and Field Officer (yes, a rank) are the first to involve leadership duties, like “autonomous guard duty” in passes or peripheral tunnels, or command jobs leading “very small groups.”

Once you advance further, you get to specialize as a Sapper, Genie, Grenadier and so on – implying that there are no Grenadier privates or Lance Corporals. Once you get to Sergeant, First Sergeant, Adjutant, Staff Adjutant, First Adjutant and Chief Adjutant, you get to lead a platoon. Becoming a Sub-Altern (1st or 2nd Lieutenant) means you lead several platoons. This feels like a Captain posting, but no, Captains are “responsible for all of a section's formations.”

A Captain is outranked by the Field-Officer grades (I thought that was the rank before Sergeant?) of Major, Lieutenant Colonel and Colonel, who assist the Corps Commander leading the territorial region.

Territorial Service

Hellvetics have no agriculture nor natural resources (abandoning the Cantons to their fate continue to be a great idea). That's why when they need something, they rent out soldiers as mercenaries. The book says that they are respected in Pollen and Borca, despite being really hard to work with.

Territorial Service posted:

They question every attack and refuse to obey if they have any doubts while defending an endangered settlement is almost always considered morally faultless.

These mercs don't help with wars between the city states and cult-on-cult conflict, so you basically hire them if you want to, dunno, keep the Psychonauts away or shoot some Clanners.

Next time: how is armmi formed

JcDent fucked around with this message at 07:23 on Aug 22, 2018

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





I assume the Hellvetics have a magic jar that gushes forth fleets supply points because this is like the stupidest way to run a railroad ever.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Nessus posted:

I assume the Hellvetics have a magic jar that gushes forth fleets supply points because this is like the stupidest way to run a railroad ever.

Unless you're referring to "hey, lets make Austria a territorial region," I don't really get what you're saying.

I mean, I agree that it's stupid, just don't know what you're pointing at.

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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





JcDent posted:

Unless you're referring to "hey, lets make Austria a territorial region," I don't really get what you're saying.

I mean, I agree that it's stupid, just don't know what you're pointing at.
Like, they're more like a sketch parody of some kind of super-elite military elite unit created by a 13 year old who is really into Deadliest Warrior. Basically I'm agreeing with you. In particular, it seems that you get semi-reprimanded and put on penalty duty after succeeding at a mission if you fired too many bullets. They have an entire complex smartgun tracker and screen-stat creating system to yell at you for shooting too many rounds. If bullets are so precious, give dudes crossbows or something.

However, it would be an interesting twist if there was some kind of super-warrior parody group in one of these settings, where the twist was that the glaring deficiencies are compensated for by some kind of covert advantage.

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