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mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007


Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952





marshmallow creep posted:

I was just thinking that if you are the kind of person who can finish a stealth video game like Dishonored with the Ghost bonus, Ranald is with you.

So I would like a stealth game about a Ranaldan priest.

Name of the Rose but with more stealth levels and two sewer levels.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 18: Mystic Russia, Part 10 - "We added 16 pages to this book and we still don't have enough space for everything that our wild Cossack Siembieda wants to include."

More on the Sovietski War Machines

So, the Sovietski vehicle section didn't have enough space in the last book, so here it is. Ironically, for some reason the section on Russian gods gets pushed out of the book. Well, I guess tanks are their own kind of magic.

Bear in mind all of these have less MDC than a heavy cyborg with heavy armor on, because Rifts has no real grasp on scale.


"Ear protection? Is that what you said? Can't hear so well anymore!"

The Thunderbolt Assault Truck (175 MDC) is a half-track that carries the same cannons used by the Thunderstorm cyborg from the last book (the one that looked like an ape), along with a "Cyclone" laser pulse rifle on a cupola turret. It has a surprising amount of firepower, but it's a figurative glass cannon.


Because some vehicles of the 2090s will look 90% like those from the 1990s.

The "Bulldog" All Weather Tracked Vehicle (340 MDC) is practical tread vehicle, if not exciting, with lasers and a rail gun turret. There's Polish knock-off manufactured by called the "Mighty Little Hound".


H.A.V.O.C.? Mad Dog? G.I. Joe had a lot of vehicles like this...

The Thundersword Multi-Combat Platform (530 / 600 MDC) feels like it must be inspired by something else, but I can't put my finger on it. It's an APC with a flexible midsection used for tight turns and high grades. In any case, the front section holds the crew, a laser and a rail gun, and Gratitious Guns - a "pop-up" mini-missile launcher. The rear holds troops and or hovercycles, and though there's a rear bay door, we're told in proper toyetic fashion that the two turrets can slide apart and troops can fly or crawl out of the top. The top has two heavy lasers and medium-range missile launchers, but both are almost candidates for Gratutious Guns. We're told the lasers are "triple barrels protected by an outer cannon-like covering" and the missile launchers don't look nearly large enough for medium-range missiles. Overall, it's got a lot of firepower, but it has a lot of weak points like the midsection or treads. (For some reason "rear treads" are listed twice as well, presumably one of those sets are supposed to be the front treads.)


Tills as it kills.

The SU-52 "Groundthunder" Heavy Tank (375 MDC) was apparently one of the last pre-Rifts conventional tanks, still used in the face of hover tanks thanks to their reliability and lower price. The high-powered cannon, though, does no more damage than a man-portable rail gun or even the hatch / cupola rail gun above it. There's a laser in front, but all of the damage is likely to come from the medium-range missiles on the turret and mini-missiles in front. It also has smoke dispensers (no rules for smoke) and can run over things with those spiked wheels for decent damage. The ram does more than it's main cannon...


Hummer's Slummers.

The SUH-86 "Hailstorm" Sovietski Hover Tank (410 MDC) is really an combo APC / tank, we're told, since it can carry two squads of cyborgs, which apparently are fired off into combat while this is going at full speed. It's got a rail cannon on top (more damaging than the Groundthunder's), a laser turret in front, medium-range missiles, and Gratuitious Guns in the firm of "pop-up" mini-missile launcher we're told are next to the main gun. Why did it need mini-missiles added? Why not go mad?


Hoover's Sloovers.

Finally, we have the SUH-88 "Maelstrom" Sovietski Hover Tank (540 MDC). It's a newer design with a plasma cannon with reduced range which we're told is an "experiment", but given it does two to three times the damage of the other tanks, I'd say it's a success, particularly given that this moves faster than most other tanks. It also has an ion gun, a hatch rail gun, and Gratuitious Guns - a "pop-up mini missile launcher" and "concealed mini-missile launch tubes". This is probably the only tank of the three that's worthy of the tank label, but it's still deeply underwhelming compared to a pair of cyborgs.

Finally, we get a note that the Sovietski used Novyet vehicles, and we finally get some details on who Novyet is. They're a company named Novyet Manufacturers, based out of Kiev (that's Warlord Romanov's region), but with factories in the Sovietski New Moscow as well. We're told that most Soviets citizens only own a bike, horse, or motorcycle.

Rules clarifications on dodging energy blasts

For some reason, we have a new rule on energy blasts, buried in the backmatter of Mystic Russia. Why? Well, when you hear what it is, it gets even worse. Apparently dodging energy attacks and rail guns now carries a -10 penalty and is done without any bonuses within 100 feet of range. Siembieda may as well have just written "Try and dodge a laser? YOU FAIL." Bear in mind dodging eats up an action for character types without the "Automatic Dodge" feature, and being able to parry them is extremely rare (and usually penalized when available).

Oh, but if you're over 100 feet away or have potential cover, the penalty is reduced to a mere -8. No dodge bonus. If you forfeit all your attacks and do nothing but dodge for a round, you can reduce it to -6.

Here's the thing: energy attacks and rail guns are already some of the best attacks in the game! Melee attacks tend to have equal or weaker damage, and parrying doesn't take an action, so they're inherently less accurate. I'm bewildered why a ruling like this is done so late into the game line, in a game where lethality is already a major issue. Bear in mind this enhances the already dominant Glitter Boy armor to godlike status with normal foes, since now it practically never misses and can soak a ton of damage. And what is dodging even good against otherwise? Arrows, spells, and missiles - the former of the two really need the help, but at least missiles aren't any better than the best they already are.

This is exceedingly bad. All I can think of is this is intended to make characters with an automatic dodge more balanced, but basically turns combat into a game of initiative and damage when it comes to high-tech weapons, since most characters will have effectively have dodge removed as an option when these weapons to come into play- the only time it's worth dodging energy weapons is when the attack might kill you otherwise. This also punishes magic characters further beyond the damning "clarifications" in Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic. It's ironic that the books that want to encourage spellcasting just keep making it worse and worse as far as options go.


Justice League of Rifts Russia.

Cool Reference Books

We get a listing of other magic books to buy for Rifts and other Palladium games, but we also get a listing of the reference works Siembieda used: Russian Folk Belief by Linda J. Ivanits, Russia and the Golden Horde by Charles J. Halperin, Essential Russian Mythology by Pyotr Simonov, Russian Tales & Legends by Charles Downing, Bury Me Standing - The Gypsies and their Journey by Isabel Fonseca, and Heroes, Monsters, & Other Worlds from Russian Mythology by Elizabeth Warner.

There's also the usual wonkiness of the XP tables (why is the Gypsy Wizard-Thief one of the slowest to level, it ain't great?) and the book is done. But I'm not done, as it turns out. There's cut material from this book out there in The Rifter #6, so we'll be finishing up with that.

Next: Moist Mother Earth.

MonsieurChoc
Oct 12, 2013

Every species can smell its own extinction.


mllaneza posted:

Name of the Rose but with more stealth levels and two sewer levels.

Sold.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Panic at the Dojo: Kickstarter Bosses (Maybe Lean, Grace Thoruson, Christopher & Christine)

As part of the kickstarter campaign that funded this game, there was a tier where if you donated enough, you could come up with a concept for a boss character, and they would get into the book as a sample character. There are seven in total, so let's see what we got!

MAYBE LEAN (Giant Boss)


Nine feet tall, shredded, jolly. May won't start a fight, but she'll definitely finish one. She's slow, far-reaching, powerful, and unstoppable. Her build shines best on battlefields with a lot of Edges, so that she can show her enemies the door.

Ability: You take up a 2x2 space on the grid. Maximum Range is 1 higher, and you can move over walls, turning them into Rubble. The Giant archetype was actually created specifically for May to use, actually.
Skills: Friendly Giant, Unmovable, Peaceful Heart, Unstoppable

Knockdown Turtle Stance
Action Dice: d8/d6/d6/d4
Range: 1-2
Armor. When you gain Speed Tokens, replace half of them with Iron Tokens. Whenever you take damage from an enemy, deal 1 damage to them.

3+: Secure
Choose two: Gain 3 Iron Tokens, an an ally within range gains 2 Iron Tokens, heal someone within range.

3+: Contain
Choose two: Pull an enemy 2 spaces, Challenge an enemy, place a Trap into a space within range.

6+: Protect
Choose four from the combined Secure/Contain lists.

4+: Take It On The Chin
Each enemy within range deals 1 damage to you, then you deal 3 damage to one of them.

Ogre's Tornado Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d6/d4/d4
Range: 3-8
Armor. Don't discard Action Dice or Speed Tokens between turns. You only take one Action per turn. Throws can target any number of enemies within range, and after you Throw an enemy, they take 1 damage.

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

3+: Watch Your Step
Deal 2 damage to an enemy that moved this turn.

Lucky Lotus Stance
Action Dice: 7/5/3/1/d4/d4
Range: 2-4
Armor. You can hold multiple Shields at a time. When an enemy damages your Shield, do 1 damage to them.

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

3+: Just What I Needed
Choose one: Gain 2 Basic Tokens, teleport 2-3 spaces, heal. You can spend 2 Basic Tokens to choose a second option, or 3 to choose all three.

GRACE THORUSON (Wardancer Boss)


A tranquil warrior who seeks self-perfection and inner peace, but who also expresses herself primarily via violence. Violence for its own sake is bad, but violence to perfect your skills is essential. In a fight, she's extremely mobile, teleporting around the battlefield at random while using stuns to lock down more dangerous opponents.

While Grace uses a regular Archetype, her Stunning Style is unique to her, using Stun Tokens that only she has access to. She uses them to lock down enemies, taking away some of their actions.

Ability: After rolling your Action Dice, increase two of your numbers by 2.
Skill: Tranquil Warrior, Peaceful Heart, Think Fast, Unstoppable

Stunning Moon Stance
Action Dice: d4/d4/d4/d4/d4/d4/d4
Range: 1
At the start and end of your turn, gain 2 Speed Tokens. Don't discard Speed Tokens between turns. At the end of your turn, give one Stun token to an enemy within range.

Stun Tokens: After rolling your Action Dice at the start of your turn, for each Stun Token you have, reduce a number by 4. Remove any numbers below 1, then discard all your Stun Tokens. Someone can't hold more than three Stun Tokens at a time.

3 Speed Tokens: Stunt
Place a fog, copy, or trap into an adjacent space, then teleport two spaces.

4+: Stunning Fist
Give a Stun Token to an enemy in range.

Weightless Sun Stance
Action Dice: d10/d10/d4/d4
Range: 1
When you gain Speed Tokens, replace half of them with Power Tokens. You can spend up to 3 Power Tokens per hit. All spaces count as empty spaces to you, Rubble doesn't make you discard Speed Tokens, Traps don't damage you, and Edges can't remove you from play.

3+: Yell
Gain 3 Power Tokens.

6+: Crush
Deal 3 damage to an enemy within range. This damage can't be reduced or reacted to by any means.

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

Slasher Sky Stance
Action Dice: d6/d6/d4/d4/d4
Range: 1
After dealing damage to an enemy with an Action, hit them again for 1 damage. At the end of every turn, deal 1 damage to an adjacent enemy.

1+: Slide In
Teleport two spaces.

4+: Whirlwind
Deal 1 damage to three enemies within range.

4+: Suddenly...
Teleport into an empty space adjacent to someone who doesn't have anyone else adjacent to them.

CHRISTOPHER AND CHRISTINE (Twins Boss)

Two twins linked by a telepathic bond. Christopher is a crude punkass jerk, and Christine tries (sometimes even with some success) to be a little more classy. They can fit anywhere in the plot as needed, as the enemy mastermind or just as the mastermind's elite bodyguards.

Chris & Chris use a unique Archetype, created only for them: Twins, which lets them be in two places at once, while working together as a single unit. They're agile and favor lots of hits over individual heavy attacks. They're strongest when they're together, but can also spread out for the tactical advantage of being in two places at once.

Ability: You occupy two spaces, one for each twin. After one twin moves, the other can move one space. When the twins perform an action, either one can perform it. They count as each other's Allies and can target each other accordingly, and if one twin deals damage to an enemy with an Action, if that enemy is within range of the second twin, they get hit again for 1 damage. An attack that manages to hit both twins does do double damage to their shared health bar.
Skills: Two Places At Once, Twin Telepathy, Natural Charisma, Professional

Charging Star Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d8/d4
Range: 1-2
Your Actions can all have an additional target within range. At the start of your turn, move 2 spaces. At the start of each ally's turn, they can move 2 spaces.

3+: Amplify
Next Action has +2 range and +3 targets within range.

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

3+: Follow My Lead
Move one space, then deal 1 damage to an enemy within range. An ally you can see may move one space, then deal 1 damage to an enemy within their range. This does apply to the twins themselves, allowing them to use this attack to deliver four 1-damage hits with a single die.

Shining Song Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d6/d4/d4
Range: 1
At the start of your turn, choose Iron, Power, or Speed. You gain 3 of that token, and every ally gains 1 of that token. At the start of your turn, all obstacles and enemies adjacent to you are pushed one space. Enemies cannot move into spaces adjacent to you.

Because the twins are their own allies, they get a total of four tokens of the chosen type.

1+: Sing Along
Pick an ally. Choose one: They remove a token they hold, they heal, or they gain 2 tokens from your current song.
4+: The target also picks one from the list.
6+: Add a 4 to their Action Pool, which they must immediately spend on an Action.

1+: Beacon
Pull one ally up to three spaces. You and that ally heal 1.
4+: That ally heals.

Rallying Watcher Stance
Action Dice: d10/d8/d6/d4/d4
Range: 1-4
At the end of your turn, you and each ally within range heals. At the start of each ally's turn, if they are within range of you, they heal. If the twins wind up in each other's range, they heal twice.

3+: Suppression
Gain a Control Token and move 1 space.
6+: Gain a Control Token.
9+: Gain a Control Token and move 1 space.

2+: Group Up
Pull an ally up to 3 spaces.
3+: Pull an ally up to 4 spaces.
5+: Each pulled ally heals.

Next: The last update.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



7th Sea 2e: The New World - The Vision Serpent

While Tzak K'an has many lesser sorceries, magics that anyone can learn but which do little of true power, real sorcery is only used through willing blood sacrifice. This is called Questing for the Wayak' Kan, or just Wayak' Kan, referring to the 'vision serpent,' and it comes at the cost of pain and blood, physically and mentally. It begins with the sorcerer, known as an Ahez, physically harming themselves as they focus on their intention and call on the gods. This allows them to breach the physical world and tap into something else. For a moment, reality blurs, and the Ahez sees into the world of intention. Rather than blood, the cuts weep colorful smoke, and the great serpent emerges from the smoke. If it is pleased, its head shimmers and it whirls and transforms into the Ahpulul, the item or person called on. Most of the time, these summoned things vanish in a puff of smoke once they're no longer in use, but sometimes, they linger. Then, the Ahez becomes an Ahpul, one who carries something that does not belong to this world.

When you purchase Sorcery (Wayak' Kan), you select two Baxan you can summon and one Pixan. Each time you buy the Sorcery advantage, you get another two Baxan and one Pixan. When you want to summon one of your Ahpulul, you take a single Wound that cannot be healed until the summoned thing is returned to its home. If you summon an Ahpulul during a Sequence, it also costs one Raise to reach through the barriers of worlds to summon the Ahpulul. A Baxan remains for the rest of the Scene, after which it vanishes in a puff of smoke. You may have as many Baxan summoned at once as you like. Summoned Pixan usually vanish at the end of the Scene, but you may choose to keep it around, making you into an Ahpul. At that point, you and the GM must work out what the Pixan wants to do, and once it does that thing, it will go home on its own. You can only have one Pixan active at a time.

An Ahpul has the Pixan active all the time, obviously, but also gets a few other benefits. First, the Wound taken in summoning the Pixan heals, as the Pixan becomes part of you. Second, when dealing with Tzak K'ani, you treat your Intimidation as 1 point higher and your Tempt as 1 point lower, as an Ahpul is feared (if respected) among them. Lastly, the Ahpul are cleansers of souls. Whenever an Ahpul helps another PC complete a Redemption Story, that PC loses 2 Corruption instead of 1. Besides the Pixan fulfilling its desire, there are two other ways to lose a Pixan. First, if you ever summon another Pixan while you are an Ahpul, the first one vanishes and you are no longer Ahpul. Second, if you ever fail a Corruption check while you are an Ahpul, the Pixan vanishes and you are no longer Ahpul.

Ahpulul refers to anything an Ahez can summon. They come in two varieties. Baxan are minor items and objects, not intelligent. They last for one Scene, then disappear in a puff of smoke. You can use them as many times in a Scene as you choose, so long as you pay its Hero Point cost when activating its powers. Pixan are intelligent, and are usually beings rather than objects, though they might be a sentient object. As long as you have them with you, you can activate their powers as often as you like by paying the Hero Point cost. However, all Pixan also have a catch, a penalty or condition that applies at all times while they're around.

Baxan
Bloody Knife of Vatanchu: Vatanchu was the first person, according to Tzak K'ani folklore, to kill someone against their will. Some say it was forced sacrifice, others just murder. The reason for the killing changes with the telling, as does the victim and even Vatanchu's gender. These are cautionary tales, to remind the listener of the price of killing. When carrying this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to apply Pressure to everyone in the scene, causing any violent action to cost 2 Raises instead of 1.
Cit-Tum's Necklace: Cit-Tum was a renowned medicine man, a healer of the sick and mender of wounds. He healed hundreds of thousands of Tzak K'ani. As he lay dying, he lamented that while he had cured much, he had prevented nothing, and swore that he would rather have endured the pain himself to spare the injured. While wearing this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to redirect all Wounds inflicted on another PC onto you. (I think this lets you take them onto yourself after they're caused, so you just shift the damage off someone and onto you.)
Coyopa's Sun Sling: Coyopa was, in her lifetime, the best slinger in all of Tzak K'an. She could throw a stone further and harder than anyone else, even the gods. Once, she challenged the god Kakmo, who told her that if she could hit the sun, he would grant her eternal life. If she failed, she would serve him for eternity. When you are carrying this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to deal (Aim) Wounds to any single person in the Scene.
Feathers from Tepeu's Scales: Before the Tzak K'ani existed, Tepeu, the Sovereign Plumed Serpent, attempted to make humanity in its image. Its first creation, Vucub-Caquix, was swiftly corrupted, proving to Tepeu that it was unworthy of making humans alone. Thus, it gathered others, and after several attempts, it helped to create the Tzak K'ani. While you are adorned with this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to reroll your entire dicepool once, keeping the new result.
The First Armor: Qaholom was the first Tzak K'ani ever to wear armor. She was tired of seeing warriors go out and not return, so she layered cotton, cloth and leather to make a quilted suit of protection. Once her work was done, she tempered it with blood against inhuman foes. While you wear this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to completely negate all Wounds from a single attack or source, as long as it would cause a Dramatic Wound. You may use this only once per round.
Flares from Kinich Ahau's Ears: Even before becoming divine, Kinich Ahau was beloved. Stories tell of how, as a child, he would comfort the sick and stop fights. This may be why the local war chief, Ekchuah, feared him. They day before he turned 13, Ekchuah kidnapped Kinich Ahau and sacrificed him to the gods. Knowing that the evil would always fear Kinich Ahau, the gods made him a god. He was given control over where the sun could shine, that he might always root out darkness. While you wear this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to illuminate the area, removing all shadows and dealing 1 Dramatic Wound to anyone that has Corruption.
Maximon's Pati: Maximon was a traveling merchant, a medicine woman and a midwife. She was the most well-traveled Tzak K'ani in history due to her knowledge of the jungle. The sandals she made were silent, she covered herself in oils to hide her scent and she colored her pati to match the leaves and shadows. While wearing this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to become impossible to see, hear or smell. This lasts until the end of the Scene, or until you interact significantly with your surroundings, such as by picking something up, attacking someone or speaking, whichever comes first.
Nuam's Headdress: When the gods first made humans, they were mindless creatures of instinct. Some gods wanted to give them mind and thought. They made an elaborate headdress and gave it to a human called Nuam. When the headdress was placed on her, she smiled and thanked them. While you wear this Baxan, you may spend a Hero Point. Until the end of the Scene, you pay no Improvisation or Unskilled costs when taking Actions using a Skill you have no ranks in.
Zipacna's Obsidian Teeth: When the god Zipacna speaks, soot and smoke come from his mouth, and this gives him a reputation as an evil god, even though he is, in truth, the most heroic of gods. When Kisin tried to destroy humanity, Zipacna bit Kisin's spear, destroying it and saving humankind. While you wear this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to bite any item, even a magical one, and destroy it. If the object is magical or otherwise unique (such as being a Signature Item, dracheneisen or a Syrne artifact), you suffer 1 Dramatic Wound.
Paint for Yaluk: Yaluk is the wizened grandfather of all Tzak K'ani. Legend has it that, late in his life, he climbed a temple, taking 260 days before he reached the top. As he made the final step, lightning struck from a clear sky and burned his flesh in the most beautiful design. While you wear this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to get 2 Bonus Dice on any Risk that involves wisdom, planning or steadfastness.
Pipe of Oxlahuntiku: Legend says that when Oxlahuntiku was alive, no creature that flew was safe from her blowpipe. She even hunted down the Vucub Caquix, a terrible bird demon that severed the arm of her friend and rival, Ah-Tabai. When you wield this Baxan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to deal 1 Dramatic Wound to any Monster in the Scene that is unaware of your presence.
Sandals of the Bahlam: Some Tzak K'ani communities prefered to be alone, isolated from others. They were protected by the Bahlam, the jaguar gods. The Bahlam would stalk the edge of their villages, high in the trees, and would cry out in warning if any came near. While you wear this Baxam, you may spend 1 Hero Point to act first in any scene. You still spend Raises normally, but you take the first Action before anyone else can.
Shield-Altar of Buluc: Buluc was a warrior, but famous for her defense of her people, not her conquest of others. Legend says that after battle, she would lay her shield on the earth and sacrifice to the gods upon it. The blood and ash of her gifts would stain it, protecting her people from harm. While you carry this Baxam, you may spend 1 Hero Point to divert any attack directed at another character to you instead, reducing the Wounds it deals by 1.
Spear of Ah-Tabai: It is said that no beast was safe from Ah-Tabai. He would stalk his prey for days, and his downfall was only when he chose to hunt something not of this world. It cost him an arm, but the gods took pity and imbued his spear with power. While you wield this Baxam, you may spend 1 Hero Point when dealing Wounds to deal additional Wounds equal to your number of Dramatic Wounds.
Xaman's Elaborate Loincloth: Xaman was the greatest merchant ever to live. He was so wealthy that even his loincloth was made of gold and silver. He was also so generous that his friends were nearly as wealthy as he. He was known to be charitable, kind and honorable, the epitome of what all merchants should strive for. While wearing this Baxan, you may spend a Hero Point to do anything you could normally do by spending a Wealth Point.

Pixan
Alux: Alux are largely benevolent nature spirits that take the form of knee-high Tzak K'ani people. They are happy to run errands or do simple tasks if treated respectfully. It is very rude to call them 'Alux' or order them about, and you should instead treat them as friends and ask for their aid, not command it. While this Pixan is following you, you may spend 1 Hero Point to issue a simple task to them. They either can't or won't perform complex tasks or elaborate orders. Once the order is given, they will rush off, returning when it is done. If you do not treat them with total courtesy and politeness, however, they will also do the same for your enemies, usually secretly.
Camazotz: The Camazotz are giant, bat-like evil spirits of Xibalba with vampiric tendencies. While they will happily take ritually offered blood, they much prefer to attack prey, and only a desperate Ahez calls for them, given the savagery they will inflict. While this Pixan is following you, whenever anyone in the same Scene takes one or more Wounds - including yourself - the Camazots will swoop in and cause an additional Wound. You may spend 1 Hero Point to protect everyone in the Scene for a single round.
Codex Itzam: The first Tzak K'ani was Itzam, born without bias and without gender. They taught the people to sow crops, build homes and bear children. When they finally decided to leave the world, they turned themselves into a series of codices on the history of the tribes, their knowledge and their tales of wisdom. An Ahez may now call forth a codex from the corpse-library to guide them. When summoning this Pixam, specify what topic it covers. For as long as you carry this Pixam, you may spend 1 Hero Point to get 2 Bonus Dice on any Risk involving that topic. You may do this multiple times for the same roll, getting 2 dice per Hero Point spent. However, you may never receive Flair for any action related to that topic while carrying this Pixam, even if you do not use this ability on the roll.
Holcan's War Club: Holcan was a warrior of such skill that his name has become synonymous with warriors. On his death, he traveled to the underworld to conquer it, and he became one with his mighty club. Now, he can be called on in times of conflict to wield him. While you wield this Pixan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to know any one non-Style-specific Duelist Maneuver for the rest of the Scene. If you can already use Maneuevers, you instead consider your Weaponry 1 point higher for purposes of Maneuvers. However, while you carry this Pixan, you may not reduce or heal any Wounds you would take.
Sisemite: The Sisemite are shaggy humanoids resembling large monkeys. They do not speak language, only howl or scream. However, they are powerful prophetic beings able to see and grant visions of the future. Unfortunately, they are somewhat sexist, and rarely work with male Ahez. As long as this Pixan follows you, you may spend 1 Hero Point to have them grant you a vision. This always shows a definite answer, though it may not be easy to understand and decrypt, as it is purely nonverbal. However, as long as this Pixan is with you, it will make requests of you, communicated in visions. These can be as simple (a vision showing you bringing them a cup of water) or as complex (a vision showing you traveling to Ussura, collecting fresh snow and giving it to the Sisemite) as the GM wants. The task may even be impossible, though that seems a dick move to me, because if you fail to grant the request, the Sisemite leaves.
The Votan Stela: Votan was a heroic architect who designed such amazing monuments that the gods of the Aztlani Empire gave her free will even in death. She was given a small, talking stela to persuade the Paddle Gods to carry her wherever she liked. Now, it can be summoned to ensure safe travel. While you carry this Pixan, you may spend 1 Hero Point to arrive safely at any destination you set out to, avoiding any trouble that might be along the way. Such avoidance usually takes the form of apparent setbacks, such as a fallen tree forcing you to go around an area, which turn out to be lifesaving, such as avoiding a bandit ambush. However, as long as you carry this Pixan, death walks with you. Anyone rendered Helpless in a scene you are in will automatically die at the end of the Scene if no Action is taken to save their life first.

Next time: Death sorcery.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Tome of Salvation

General Hospital

Shallya is the most beloved and uncontroversial goddess in all of the Old World, worshiped in every country and important to almost every community. Shallyan Sisters (and brothers, there ARE Shallyan Brothers, we'll get to that) are often the only professional medical care an Old Worlder can afford, and they are known as some of the best midwives available. Most people began life with a Shallyan helping their mother bring them into the world, and many will end their life with a Shallyan providing hospice. Shallyans also organize donations to the poor and food insecure, tend to plague victims and try to prevent the spread of disease, fight the forces of Nurgle (the only time they are permitted to fight; they have a holy laser beam spell that absolutely ruins Nurglites) and stay as far away from systemic criticism and reform as they possibly can for fear that controversy will affect the flow of relief donations and the unquestioned access they enjoy across most borders and countries. They are afraid that if they speak out on why systemic injustice causes poverty, the nobles and merchants will stop giving them the money they use to organize food assistance or will cease funding their hospitals or forbid them to operate on their lands.

Shallya is depicted as the beautiful young daughter of Verena and Morr, a caring woman who feels the pain of every living thing. She is generally depicted crying, and usually surrounded by doves. The idea is that Mercy is the daughter of Wisdom and the gentle guardian of the Dead. According to legend, Shallya is forbidden to help everyone because otherwise she would probably stop the cycle of death and destroy the world, and in some stories her father cannot even bear to see her because her tears move him to shame about the suffering death causes, and she deals exclusively with her mother and her sister Myrmidia. Shallya herself is also not a big fan of big picture thinking, and neither is her cult; what matters is relieving as many suffering and wounded people as they can in the moment. Individual temples are highly organized (and sparsely decorated, money spent on golden statues is money that isn't buying bandages and medicine!) hospitals, with a strict hierarchy and plenty of rules about what sort of ailments each priest or initiate is meant to respond to. The cult's organizational experience at training new doctors means that even Shallyans who aren't blessed with the miracles of their Goddess are highly competent healers and medics (Shallyan Initiate does start with Heal+10, after all), and an individual shrine might be able to process and treat dozens or hundreds of patients a day.

Shallyans advocate for mercy in every case, except possibly Nurglites. The idea is that there are plenty of Gods of retribution and justice; at least one voice should make the argument for mercy and gentleness. This means Shallyans tend to argue against 'common sense' justice like public flogging, executions, or corporal punishment of children. The most uncontroversial and obvious mercy Shallyans grant is their medical experience, but they also act as a locus for charity. Shallyan charities are almost always honest, and manage to bring plenty of aid to the less fortunate; the nobles and merchants love to very publicly give portions of their wealth to the Shallyan temples for prestige under the guise of altruism. The temples don't generally concern themselves with the fact that these donations are buying a noble prestige and are usually well within their means; they care that they can now organize a food drive or expand the sick-rooms to handle an outbreak. An important distinction about Shallyan charity is that they seek to eliminate misery, not to bring about happiness. They are concerned with treating the worst cases in the now, not so much with keeping them from repeating. It's an interesting wrinkle to the cult; on one hand this leaves all manner of injustice free to fester, but on the other, it helps keep Shallyans from going mad and a sort of pragmatic, triage-focused approach does help plenty of people. It's easy to see why there's a myth that she once loved and then broke up with Ranald, though.

Adherents of Shallya tend to give more to charity than most, but the actual Initiates and Priests are people who find they can't ignore suffering when they see it. The priesthood doesn't have elaborate orders and Templars; they are split into those who provide care directly (the doctors, nurses, and miracle workers) and those who organize care (community organizers, administrators). The former group is beloved throughout the Empire, both as most people have experience being treated by one at some point in their life, and because a stock character in Imperial ribalds, operas, and woodcuts is the beautiful, innocent young Shallyan doctor. The portrayal is always positive, even if the archetype is a little over-sexualized (there's a lot of emphasis in Imperial fiction on the lack of a vow of Shallyan chastity, and the heroine of these stories often marries a dashing young patient), so the temples hardly object. They have come to spot a sort of 'dashing young patient', though, and make a point of assigning them the eldest sister working at a shrine. Many Adventurers have come to realize this has the side effect of getting them the best and most experienced of a shrine's doctors, and have taken to faking a desire to woo beautiful young priestesses in order to get better medical care. The organizers are less romanticized, and the popular mythology is of the stern young Shallyan priestess shaming people into getting out of the drinking house and helping her carry food or watch over patients.

As a brief note, the book points out that while the mythology and romantic stories of Shallyans are always about women, there are actually a fair number of male priests of Shallya. They simply don't tend to work in the temples. Because the majority of the Goddess' adherents are women, there's a sense among the cult that leaving young men and women under stress together is going to inevitably lead to medical soap opera dramas and love affairs. As a result, men are generally assigned to travel and care for rural communities, tend to coaching inns, and otherwise segregate themselves from their female peers. This also has the added bonus of weeding out young Initiates who got into the business to spend time around lots of women their own age as peers. Thus, male Shallyan Priests actually make very good wandering doctor PCs.

Shallyan Initiates often come from the temples' orphanages. They are people who have been around those who care for the poor and sick all their lives, and who feel a call to return the mercy that was shown to them. Those who come to the priesthood from another origin tend to be cult adherents and volunteers who find themselves spending more and more of their time working for the cult, until they ask to be initiated. An Initiate is expected to show concern for others above themselves, and are assigned to spend some time traveling or working in a shrine in a more dangerous or crime ridden area as part of their initiation into the priesthood. The idea is to grant the Initiate a wider appreciation for the world at large, to give them a chance to practice their skills and learn from healers who work in dangerous areas, and to experience hardship in the name of the Goddess to see if they are truly called to their path in life.

The Shallyan cult is roughly feudal, with each temple owing some degree of tithe and tribute to larger regional temples, which themselves will owe tithe to the chief temple of their nation, which will itself owe tithe to the Grand Cathedral in Couronne. It's always been a bit curious to me that the center of Shallyan worship is in Bretonnia, given that a common heresy in Bretonnia is that Shallya is the Lady's master and the Lady is a lesser Goddess serving the maiden of mercy (if you'll recall from Knights of the Grail, the Grail Damsels brutally suppress this heresy whenever it shows up.) I suspect the apolitical nature of the Shallyans, the opportunities that they provide for showing off a noble's charity and generosity (without fixing fundamental systemic issues), and the health-care they provide the peasants are uniquely suited to fit into Bretonnian culture. These chains of tribute are mostly a formality, and instead temples tend to have moral authority and power based on the skill of the doctors they graduate. A prestigious temple accepts the most promising Initiates and turns out the most skilled Priests, and that becomes self-reinforcing.

Interestingly, Shallyans actually do have an impression that they need self-care as well. One of the important theological questions for the faith is the degree to which self-care is permissible or necessary. The general orthodoxy revolves around asking oneself if they could have used what they're receiving for the poor instead; a Shallyan offered an invitation to a dinner by a grateful patient is permitted to accept and to enjoy themself. Similarly, it's accepted that it's good if one enjoys their work; enjoying the challenges of one's medical practice or community organizing is generally accepted as making a Shallyan better at their job. Some sects disagree, believing that enjoying oneself or accepting any sort of gift from patients (even if the gift is then given to the poor) sets a Shallyan on the path to corruption. Some extremists even believe happiness is immoral, since the world is so full of suffering that no-one should be able to enjoy themselves until all of that misery is taken care of. The general orthodoxy accepts that a Shallyan should have some semblance of a life outside the temple and should take breaks from work as a practical matter; doctors make mistakes when they're sleep deprived, stressed past their limits, and deep in depression from refusing to accept they have boundaries. Alcoholism is surprisingly common among Shallyans who have seen plenty of trauma, and in the Old World, few people recognize it as an addiction or disorder; these things are thought of as moral failings, instead.

Another major debate in the church is the degree to which Shallyans should concern themselves with who they help. Radicals say a Shallyan should help anyone they come across, radicals in another direction advocate that the temples should stop ignoring systemic issues and work to eliminate the sources of the social problems they treat, and most agree that doing a sort of social and political triage to distribute limited resources is an acceptable use of a Shallyan's time. There is also a debate on the matter of Nurglites. Almost every orthodox temple believes Nurgle and his followers are a living disease that should be destroyed, but most temples don't believe they should do it themselves; they fight him by treating the sick and preventing panic, not by killing Chaos Lords. Some radical Shallyans believe that it is acceptable to learn to combat Nurglites directly, themselves, and often drift away into the worship of Shallya's sister, Myrmidia. Others point out that even if it might be acceptable for a Sister or Brother to fight against Nurgle, most Shallyans have absolutely no martial training and would get in the way outside of providing care. An even more radical minority claims that Nurgle's lies mean his followers are his victims, and that they deserve mercy and care if possible; this is not a popular view, and the cult prefers to support warriors who destroy the followers of the Fly Lord. In general, Shallyan pacifism tends to extend to the Shallyan themselves, not their companions. It's common for a Shallyan aid convoy to bring along several well-meaning and heavily armed warriors to 'carry the food', after all.

Next Up: Sigmar's cult ain't comin' off too great in this book.

shades of eternity
Nov 9, 2013

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

quote:

However, they're weak to fire and "rainwater collected during the first thunderclap of a storm" can damage them,



One of the weird quirks of rifts is not only do you want the biggest baddest M.D.C. cannon/rockets/bfg, you also want the biggest baddest super soaker as well. Normally it's for vampires, but this applies as well.


quote:

Rules clarifications on dodging energy blasts

I've been waiting for this.

The So-Called rules clarification regarding energy blasts is the rule that killed Rifts

Before this, it was assumed if you were cool enough and can justify it, you had a penalty and looked cool while doing so.

But when they added the "without bonuses" it basically broke most rifts fans I know.

The only other rule that did as much damage is the "must hold a spell for both actions while being shot at instead of treating it like a power punch."

This is as opposed to a siege on Tolkeen, which is the sourcebooks that killed rifts (including link because I've already done the rant a while back on the later.)

http://breadthofpopsanity.blogspot.com/2015/08/rifts-siege-on-tolkeen-analysis.html

But yeah

Mystic Russia was the beginning of the end.

Quinn2win
Nov 9, 2011

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




Panic at the Dojo: Kickstarter Bosses (Ahmose Sitkamose, Big Jay, Project Meteor, Princess Ruin)

Final stretch!

AHMOSE SITKAMOSE (Necromancer Boss)

An evil pharaoh from ancient times, resurrected by two museum interns arguing over the pronunciation of the hieroglyphics in his magic tome of darkness. He can be the serious mastermind, a goofy underling of the real villain, or whatever else you want - a proper all-purpose boss fight.

Just as the Giant archetype was built for May, the Necromancer archetype was built for Ahmose. He uses swarm tactics, flooding the board with zombies that do his fighting for him and creating fog to hide his growing army.

Ability: At the start of your turn, place a Copy into an empty space you can see. At the end of your turn, each Copy moves one space, then deals 1 damage to an adjacent enemy.

Spirit Circle Stance
Action Dice: d10/d8/d6/d4
Range: 1-3
After you Throw or Grapple someone, gain a Speed Token for each space they moved. After each space of Free Movement, pull someone in range one space. Edges can't remove your Copies from play, and they treat Walls as empty space. After you move yourself or a Copy with Free Movement, you can move any number of Copies one space.

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

1+: Now You See Me...
Place a Copy into an empty space within range.
3+: Do it again.
5+: Do it again.

Destroy 1 Copy: ...Now You Don't
Teleport into the space of the destroyed Copy.

Dark Star Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d8/d4
Range: 2-5
All Actions can apply to one extra target within range. You can see and target through Fog. At the end of your turn, put a Fog on your space.

3+: Amplify
Next Action has +2 range and +3 targets within range.

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

4+: Darkness Dawns
Place two Fogs into empty spaces within range, then you can teleport to one of them.

4+: Twilight Sorrow
Every enemy standing in Fog gains one Weakness Token. Gain a Speed Token for each.

Zombie Silence Stance
Action Dice: d4/d4/d4/d4/d4/d4/d4
Range: 1
Armor. At the start and end of your turn, gain 2 Speed Tokens. Don't discard Speed Tokens between rounds. At the start of your turn, heal if your HP is 3 or less.

3 Speed Tokens: Stunt
Place a Copy, Fog or Trap into an adjacent space, then teleport two spaces.

4+: Hunger
Deal 2 damage to an enemy within range, then take one of their tokens.

BIG JAY (Punk Boss)


Easily the best illustration in the book. Look at that motherfucker.

Big Jay is a big dragonman in a small world. Loves gold, breathes fire, wants to be ripped and have power and money. If you threaten them, he'll beat you up. He won't help you unless there's something in it for him, and he'll turn on you the instant there's something in it for him to turn on you.

Like most of the kickstarter bosses, he has a unique mechanic - in this case, the Dragon's Ego Stance. It uses a unique set of actions and abilities, combining aspects of Incinerator Style, Blaster Form, and Power Form. His moveset involves hitting as many enemies at once as he can, and spreading massive numbers of Burning Tokens along with his attacks. He also has a unique skill, Dragon Powers, that lets him leverage armored scales, fire breath, a big pile of gold, and an even bigger ego.

Ability: At the start of your turn, add X to your Action Pool, where X is the damage on your current health bar, or 1 if it's full.
Skills: Gang Leader, Dragon Powers, Basically Magic, Unstoppable

Dragon's Ego Stance
Action Dice: d10/d10/d10(/d4? The book doesn't list it but I think there should be a d4 here, since he's a boss)
Range: 1-2
When you spend Power Tokens to boost the damage of an attack, give the target a Burning Token. You can spend any tokens you hold as Power Tokens, and can spend up to 2 Power Tokens per hit.

2+: Dragon Fire
Give a Burning Token to an enemy within range.
5+: Give a Burning Token to that enemy and each enemy adjacent to them.
8+: Give a Burning Token to that enemy and each enemy within their range.

3+: Dragon Slam
Deal 1 damage to each adjacent enemy.
6+: Deal 1 damage to each enemy within range.
9+: Deal 1 damage to each enemy you can see.

Burning Dragon Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d8/d4
Range: 2-5

Your Actions can all have an additional target within range. After you target an enemy with an Action, give them a Burning Token if they have 4 or less Burning Tokens.

3+: Amplify
Next Action has +2 range and +3 targets within range.

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

4+: Burn It All Down
Target an enemy within range. Give them one Burning Token and put a Trap into their space.

Brawling Sun Stance
Action Dice: d10/d10/d4/d4
Range: 2-4

When you gain Speed Tokens, replace half of them with Power Tokens. You can spend up to 3 Power Tokens per hit. Gain a Power Token whenever your Shield breaks. Whenever you deal damage without spending a Power Token, gain a Power Token.

3+: Yell
Gain 3 Power Tokens.

6+: Crush
Deal 3 damage to an enemy within range. This damage can't be reduced or reacted to by any means.

2 Power Tokens: Tough It Out
Gain a 2-point Shield.

M3-70: PROJECT METEOR (Swarm Boss)


Project Meteor is a secret project to create a robot that can go toe to toe with an entire army. It was a success, but it escaped, and now wanders the world as a rogue AI trying to find its purpose in the world. Its magnetic limbs can split off and move independently around the battlefield, letting it fight from everywhere at once. The Swarm archetype was built for M3-70, with its Copies representing its limbs, which fly back and reattach to the main body when defeated.

Ability: At the end of your turn, for each Copy in place, choose one: Gain a Power Token, gain an Iron Token, move one space, each of your Copies moves 1 space, destroy a Copy to deal 1 damage to each adjacent enemy.
Skills: Splitting Robot, Professional, Shadow Walker, Think Fast

Crystal One-Two Stance
Action Dice: d6/d6/d4/d4/d4
Range: 1
Whenever you deal damage with an Action, hit the target again for 1 damage. Whenever a Copy is destroyed, deal 1 damage to each enemy adjacent to it.

1+: Slide In
Teleport two spaces.

4+: Whirlwind
Deal 1 damage to up to three enemies within range.

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

Free: Shatter
Destroy one of your Copies and give each enemy adjacent to it a Weakness Token.

Illusion Control Stance
Action Dice: d10/d8/d6/d4/d4
Range: 1-5
When an enemy within range of a Copy deals damage to you, deal 1 damage to them, or 2 damage if they're within range of at least 3 Copies. Copies can be spent as Iron Tokens.

3+: Suppression
Gain a Control Token and move one space.
6+: Gain a Control Token.
9+: Gain a Control Token and move one space.

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

Machine Shadow Stance
Action Dice: d4/d4/d4/d4/d4/d4/d4
Range: 2-4
At the start and end of your turn, gain 2 Speed Tokens. Don't discard Speed Tokens between turns. You can spend every Basic Token as if it were any other Basic Token.

3 Speed Tokens: Stunt
Place a Fog, Copy, or Trap into an adjacent space, then teleport two spaces.

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.
4+: Do all five instead.

PRINCESS RUIN (Untouchable Boss)


Demon queen from hell who's having a blast running a crime syndicate on Earth. Has mysterious powers that give her sway over her mortal underlings, and loves nothing more than using would-be heroes as pawns in her own sinister plans. As the origin of the Untouchable Archetype, Ruin keeps enemies shut down and fights without getting her hands duty, all while surrounding herself with traps and turning enemy attacks against each other.

Ability: At the start of your turn, gain a Control Token. When you Counter an Action, it targets its user in addition to any other targets.
Skills: Demon Queen, Natural Charm, Basically Magic, Professional

Frozen Song Stance
Action Dice: d8/d6/d6/d4/d4
Range: 1
At the start of your turn, choose Iron, Power, or Speed. You gain 3 of that token, and every ally gains 1 of that token. At the start of your turn, all obstacles and enemies adjacent to you are pushed one space. Enemies cannot move into spaces adjacent to you.

3+: Secure
Choose two: Gain 3 Iron Tokens, an an ally within range gains 2 Iron Tokens, heal someone within range.

3+: Contain
Choose two: Pull an enemy 2 spaces, Challenge an enemy, place a Trap into a space within range.

6+: Protect
Choose four from the combined Secure/Contain lists.

4+: Take It On The Chin
Each enemy within range deals 1 damage to you, then you deal 3 damage to one of them.

...I'm pretty sure this action list is a mistake - none of them belong to the Song Form or Frozen Style.

Pressure Blizzard Stance
Action Dice: d10/d8/d6/d4/d4
Range: 1-5
At the start of your turn, give a Weakness Token to every enemy within range.

3+: Suppression
Gain a Control Token and move one space.
6+: Gain a Control Token.
9+: Gain a Control Token and move one space.

5+: Apply Pressure
Deal damage to an enemy within range equal to the number of tokens they hold. Can only be used once per turn.

Misfortune's Blaster Stance
Action Dice: d8/d8/d8/d4
Your Actions can all have an additional target within range. When you would take damage from a Trap, deal it to an enemy within range instead. If no enemies are within range, gain a Power Token instead.

3+: Amplify
Next Action has +2 range and +3 targets within range.

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

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

And that's it! From there we have a backer list, a glossary/index, a one-page printout of Basic Actions, and the other half of the cover image. I think if there's anything more I would have liked, it would be advancement rules or a sample adventure, but this is a budget project, so fair enough.



Coming out soon. Put your money in it.

hectorgrey
Oct 14, 2011


D&D 3rd Edition: The Core Books

Part 20: Adventures (Part 1)

In case you're wondering why I've gone from part 18 to part 20, it's because I screwed up the numbering ages ago. Combat should have been part 6, not part 5. With that out of the way, let's begin one of the better chapters in the DMG: Adventures. This chapter is all about how to design your own adventures, and begins by defining two types of adventure: site based and event based.

A site based adventure is funnily enough, an adventure based around a location. It's your classical dungeon crawl, or your wilderness exploration, or your town filled with zombies. Essentially, something about the location or its inhabitants is inherently dangerous or challenging, and navigating the area is intended to be part of the adventure. As such, if you intend to run such an adventure, you're going to need a map of some description. The book recommends squared paper (commonly called graph paper in the USA, but when I hear graph paper I think of this), noting that five to ten feet per square is a common scale. Important areas should be numbered, and the numbers should relate to information on a key. If you have ever run a dungeon crawl of any description, you already know all this poo poo, but it's good to have it there for the many people for whom this would have been their first ever RPG.

After that, the book notes that a location can either be static or dynamic. An ancient ruin might be static; the monsters lurk where they lurk, the traps are where they are, and nothing is liable to change based on they PCs actions. A drow fortress, on the other hand, will dynamic - the inhabitants will have defensive plans, and if the alarm is raised it will change the locations of the various enemies and potentially even the layouts of the various rooms. A kobold warren would be a good option for a low level dynamic location; if the party can avoid notice, they can get away with a lot, but if not, that warren could turn very dangerous, very quickly.

Event based adventures, by contrast, are often considered more story based - there is an inciting incident of some description that brings the adventure to the PCs. Maybe there have been some unexplained disappearances, or a merchant hires the PCs on as guards for a trip from one city to another. Rather than a map, there are a couple of ways of organising this kind of adventure recommended by the book: A flowchart, working out some possible ways the adventure might go based on PC action, and a timeline that talks about how things will go if the PCs don't intervene. It is worth noting that many excellent adventures are neither entirely site based nor event based, but are instead a mix of the two. The DMG doesn't mention this, but I suspect after a little time a DM could work it out for themselves.

Following the types of adventure, we have a few paragraphs on motivation. It mentions that greed, fear, need, morality, anger and curiosity are all powerful motivators - as, of course, is fun. It then moves on to the difference between a tailored motivation and the status quo. Tailored motivations are, naturally, motivations the DM comes up with to motivate the PCs to action based on their characters. A status quo motivation isn't really a motivation but is instead a situation that the PCs can choose to intervene with or not that isn't really tied to them. Its main purpose is to remind the players that the world exists outside of the PCs and their actions.

Next, we go into structure. A good adventure should have choices for the PCs to make, be it navigational or moral. The players need to feel like their choices have some meaning. Some of these choices should be difficult and should have consequences - do the PCs help the temple of Heironeous wage war against the goblin menace, or should they stay on track to prevent the evil duke summoning the slaadi assassins? Should the PCs trust the word of a dragon, or ignore her warnings? A good adventure should also have different sorts of encounters. Attack, defence, problem solving, role playing and investigation are mentioned here. These encounters should allow the PCs to use their various abilities, giving all of them a chance to shine. Finally, a good adventure needs to include exciting events.

Pitfalls to avoid include leading the PCs by the nose (i.e. railroading), having the PCs be spectators to the important stuff (if only the writers of Legend of the Silver Skeleton had read this bit of the DMG), or preventing the PCs from using their cool abilities (such as creating a dungeon where flight and teleportation are impossible because you don't know how to challenge players once they reach that level).

The book then goes into the flow of information to the players. Simply put, how the adventure plays out depends entirely on what the players know and when they learn it. If they know to expect a red dragon at the bottom of a dungeon, they'll act differently than if they don't. If they don't know that certain actions will cause the caverns to cave in, they won't take effort to avoid those actions. As such, the DM needs to make sure the PCs receive information as and when it makes sense for them to receive it. Sometimes that means they know everything up front, but sometimes it means they don't learn it until later on. When the party have access to divination and the like, rather than cursing their ability to find out secrets earlier than intended, give them reasons to use that ability.

The next section is on encounters. Just like motivations, encounters are either tailored or status quo. A tailored encounter is one where you've taken into account the player abilities, while a status quo encounter is one where you have chosen not to. An example of the latter would be the players encountering bugbears in a place where it has already been established that bugbears like to hang out. The book recommends that you tell your players in advance if you intend to use a lot of status quo encounters, so that they know up front that sometimes they're going to run into things that they really ought to avoid pissing off.

After this distinction is explained, we get into Challenge Ratings (CRs). Simply put, the CR of an encounter tells you the rough level of four player party for which it would be a good challenge (spoiler warning: the CRs of many 3.x monsters are either way too high or way too low, but it was a nice idea in principle). Naturally more enemies mean a higher over all encounter level. We have a chart at this point saying roughly what CR the creatures should be in certain size groups - if you want a level 3 encounter with ten or so monsters, you should go for something with a CR of roughly 1/8.

This is followed by discussion on difficulty. Basically, 10% of all encounters should be easy - that is to say, a lower EL than the party level. 20% should be easy if handled properly - the example given here is a pack of ogres with an invisible cleric becomes much easier to handle if the cleric gets their invisibility removed. 50% should have an EL equal to that of the party (challenging), 15% should have an EL 1-4 higher than the party (very difficult) and 5% should have an EL of 5 or more levels higher than the party (overpowering). Basically, 80% of all encounters should be "Challenging" or lower, with only 20% having a higher EL than the party in a given adventure. Very Difficult encounters come with the warning that you may well lose a character in such a fight, while Overpowering says the party will most likely lose if they choose to stand and fight.

It's worth noting that if you stick to these numbers and you have more groups than individuals in your encounters, your martial characters will actually have more to do; particularly if there are a decent number of these encounters in a given day, sapping the Wizard's spells over time. There are a number of notes on difficulty given here that you shouldn't necessarily take into account when assigning a CR, but that should be considered when designing encounters:

Dungeon Masters Guide posted:

  • Tight quarters make things more difficult for rogues, since it's harder to skulk about and gain a sneak attack
  • A spread out force makes things more difficult for spellcasters since the area affected by most spells is small
  • Many lesser foes are harder for a character to engage in melee than one powerful foe
  • Undead are much more difficult to fight without a Cleric
  • Encounters involving animals or plants are much more difficult without a Druid or a Ranger
  • Encounters involving evil outsiders are much more difficult without a Paladin or Cleric (and perhaps a Wizard or Sorcerer)
  • A large force is much more difficult to fight without a Wizard or Sorcerer
  • Locked doors and traps are much more difficult to overcome without a Rogue
  • Multiple combat encounters are more difficult to win without a Fighter, Barbarian, Ranger or Paladin
  • Multiple combat encounters are more difficult to survive without a Cleric
  • The Bard and Cleric make good group support characters. Their presence makes practically every encounter easier

Next, we're told that in the Monster Manual, some creatures can be made tougher than usual - if this is done, then the amount of XP added should be proportional to the amount by which their Hit Dice have been increased. For monsters that can gain class levels, their new CR is equal to their normal CR + number of levels, -1 if the levels are in an NPC class, with a minimum of 1 higher than their normal CR.

This is followed by a few notes on location. Firstly, we're told that you can use a location to make things more interesting. For example, picking the lock of the only door out of the top room of a collapsing tower is more interesting than picking the lock on just another locked door in a dungeon. One suggestion is that one might set a series of encounters in a large wooden fort - that's on fire. Secondly, a location can change the difficulty of an encounter. Orcs with crossbows, behind cover, firing down at the PCs while they're trying to cross a narrow ledge over a pit of spikes is going to be a lot more dangerous than if those same orcs are the ones with no cover, don't know the PCs are there, and are carrying barrels of flammable oil.

The last part of this sector of the chapter is on rewards and behaviour. Basically, if you run a game where combat is the primary sort of challenge the party encounters, you shouldn't be surprised that the Cleric and Wizard are only preparing combat spells. Ideally, you want to have a mix of different challenges in an adventure; that way, you're providing a varied and interesting experience to the players, and you're giving the players a good reason to think about more than just how they can reduce the enemies to a fine red paste.

The following page is named The End, and it is all about how to end an adventure and lead into the next one. Generally, an adventure should have a climactic ending that has at least been foreshadowed prior to that point in the game. Leading into future adventures comes next. The book suggests that it's best to have a mix of continuing and episodic adventures - that is to say, adventures that flow naturally one into another, and adventures that are largely stand alone. Stand alone adventures can generally be integrated into an ongoing plot reasonably easily - navigating through a haunted forest during their travels or encountering a village filled with zombies, for example.

The book also suggests that running multiple adventures side by side (i.e. plot weaving) might be worth doing. The example given here is a conflict with a local assassins' guild and the hunt for a powerful magic staff. The reasoning it gives is that such things can make a campaign feel less like a series of adventures and more like real life. It acknowledges that some players might not actually enjoy this sort of thing, preferring to stick to one goal until completion before moving on to something else.

The page ends with a checklist for ending an adventure. Firstly, if you don't award it at the end of a session, you should award XP once the adventure is over. Second, you should make notes of what happened in the adventure, and what the players liked and disliked. This may lead to inspiration for future adventures. Finally, update your notes on how the PCs have changed, who they've pissed off, any friends they've made and anything else important related to them.

Now we come to the next major part of the chapter: The Dungeon. To quote the book:

The Dungeon posted:

Dungeons are deep, dark pits filled with subterranean horrors and lost, ancient treasures. Dungeons are labyrinths where evil villains and carnivorous beasts hide from the light, waiting for a time to strike into the sunlit lands of good. Dungeons contain pits of seething acid and magic traps that blast intruders with fire, as well as dragons guarding their hoards and magic artifacts waiting to be discovered.

In short, dungeons mean adventure.

The term dungeon is used here not just for underground fortifications, but for pretty much any enclosed, defined space where a number of encounters may take place. A fortress may as well be a dungeon, for example, even though it's above ground. The main types of dungeon are ruined structures, occupied structures, safe storage and natural cavern complexes.

A ruined structure is largely abandoned; beasts, traps and magical defences are the main form of danger found within. This will typically be a static location. Abandoned fortresses, temples, cities and other such locations make for good ruined structures.

An occupied structure is in use by intelligent creatures. There will generally not be nearly as many traps, but instead will be a more organised resistance should the party just walk in and start killing things. Some of them may only be partially occupied. They tend to be fortresses, mines, prisons or underground settlements, and will typically be dynamic locations.

Safe storage is simply a place built to protect something. It might be a fabulous treasure, a forbidden artifact or someone's remains, but whatever it is, it is protected. Protections generally involve traps, guardians (usually constructs or undead, since they don't require sustenance), barriers of many varieties, but it will not usually have beasts or intelligent foes. This will typically be a static location.

Natural cavern complexes are exactly that. There are very few traps or even doors here, though they may occasionally lead to other kinds of dungeon. The main light sources here will be either magical or phosphorescent. Fungi are common, and various predators may be lying in wait. They're generally static, but their main use in an adventure would be to conceal something - maybe some bandits have taken shelter here temporarily, or maybe it was an easily defensible entrance to a more permanent structure.

At this point, we have a Behind the Curtains side bar:

Why Dungeons? posted:

Dungeons facilitate game play. Dungeons, being underground, set apart the "adventure" from the rest of the world in a clean way. The idea of walking down a corridor, opening a door, and entering an encounter - while a gross oversimplification and generalization - facilitates the flow of the game by reducing things down to easily grasped and digestible concepts.

You have an easy way to control the adventure in a dungeon without leading the characters by the noes. In a dungeon, the parameters are clearly defined for the PCs - they can't walk through walls (not at first, anyway) or go into rooms that aren't there. Yet aside from those limits, they can go wherever they like in whatever order they like. The limited environment of the dungeon grants players a feeling of control over their own destiny.

A dungeon is really nothing but an adventure flowchart. The rooms are encounters and the corridors are connections between the encounters, showing which should follow which. You could design a dungeon-like flowchart for an adventure that didn't take place in a dungeon and accomplish the same thing. One encounter leads to two more, which in turn lead to others, some of which double back on previous encounters. The dungeon becomes a model, in this way, for all adventures.

Academic analysis aside, dungeons are fun. Deep, dark underground places are mysterious and frightening. Dungeons have many encounters crammed into one small space. Nothing is more exciting than anticipating what's on the other side of the next dungeon door. Dungeons often contain many different kinds of challenges - combat, tactics, navigation, overcoming obstacles, traps and more. They encourage players to pay close attention to their environment, since everything in a dungeon is a potential danger.

In the Dungeons and Dragons game, the classes, spells, magic items and many other facets of the game have been designed with dungeons in mind. That's not to say that the dungeon is the only possible adventuring environment, but it is the default setting. Many of the tasks that characters can do well, such as a Rogue's Open Lock skill or an Elf's ability to notice secret doors, are centered around dungeon adventuring.

When in doubt while creating the setting for an adventure, use a dungeon. However, despite the opportunities for exploration and the combat intensive nature of dungeons, don't neglect to include chances for the PCs to interact with NPCs such as Dwarven strike teams, other adventuring parties, or weird denizens that are happier to talk than to fight.

And on that note, this is where I will leave this post for today. There is far more detail on dungeons to get through. I recall one person saying that they were pretty certain that 3e was designed primarily with dungeon crawling in mind - well, the designers just backed them up. This chapter includes information along with various tables for not only dungeons, but also settlements. As such, I'm planning to design one of each based on the guidelines provided in this chapter - a small village and a nearby ruined temple.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?


Daria Morgendorfer?

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


ProfessorProf posted:

Coming out soon. Put your money in it.

I want to, but I can't, because it's not out yet!

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



LatwPIAT posted:

Daria Morgendorfer?

What a sick sad world.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


shades of eternity posted:

I've been waiting for this.

The So-Called rules clarification regarding energy blasts is the rule that killed Rifts

It's bizarre. I don't know that "kills Rifts", because boy is it already a shameless mess rules-wise, but it turns combat into a bunch of damage rolls and the highest damage weapon wins. It's bad even for non-casters because this is in a setting where armor is all ablative. So any fight is going to have to require you to lug back to the workshop to rebuild or replace your armor, unless you're a regenerating monster or carry a truckload of spare armor suits. There's also pretty much no point in using melee the majority of the time once this rule hits, unless you're out of ammo, since it already does around the same or less damage and can be parried at no cost.

It's definitely "what were they thinking?" only the answer is almost certainly "they weren't thinking".

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 18: Mystic Russia, Part 11 - "He is cannibalistic, which means he'll slay and eat other gods and supernatural beings and also demands human sacrifices from his worshippers (eats 2D4 people a week, and often gorges himself on the battlefield where he may devour as many as a hundred warriors, living and dead)."

Finally, we have deity material cut from Mystic Russia that appears in The Rifter #6. Kent Burles (misspelled as "Buries" in the credits) does a great job with the art, so I'm glad it came about, but the descriptions... are typical Palladium fare. These writeups also refer to Dragons & Gods for the descriptions of some godly powers, expecting you to buy a book for Palladium Fantasy in order to use them, even though they already require several Rifts supplements (Conversion Book, Federation of Magic, Mystic Russia, etc.) So, uh, hope you've got that wall of Palladium books! All the same, let's get to them.


"Dear Moist Mother Earth: don't stand up!"

Mokosh (18,000 MDC), aka "Moist Mother Earth", is the only female figure from the Slavic (the book calls it "Kievan Russian") pantheon, and is an earth goddess figure. As such, she oversees farming, fertility, and women. Apparently she speaks a strange language only the Millennium Druid, Old Believer, and 8th-or-higher level druids can understand. Yep, Brits can understand her better than a lot of Russians, go figure.

However, apparently she likes to speak to demon fighters like bogatyrs or "Cossacks" and give them inspiration. She has an effect where she can grant somebody blessings that improve their bonuses against illness, disease, and death saves. She also has a "disdain" curse that does the opposite. Naturally, she has all the earth and air magic from Conversion Book and all the nature magic from Mystic Russia, along with the plethora of other deific abilities. She most often manifests out of nature, so like a big talking rock or hill. We're told she's also worshipped in China, randomly. Like most gods, she hates all the evil, but not more than actually doing something about it, and only acts mysteriously and enigmatically because... um... that's what it says in the script.

Not mentioned here is the worship of her by praying to breast-shaped rocks or her tendency to have a dick at times because she's also in charge of male fertility. Ah, fertility god worship, always good for a good modern titter snicker. Her name really did mean "moist", but you don't have to rub that in, Siembieda. Moiiist.

There are also a lot of feminine gods missing here, like Kuplala, Marzanna, Dodola, Devana - he mentions Lada but that hardly anything about her. Well, hardly anything is known about Svarog, and he found room for him! So it goes, I suppose.


"No, over here- over here- I'm five hundred feet tall, pay attention!"

Perun (20,000 MDC) is the sky-father leader of the pantheon, and is apparently the god of war and storms. And like a storm, he's a moody old dude, and he's strict and tempermenntal. He hates deception and theft, and loves courage and Slavic people. We're told he fights demons "constantly" and often but will show up at the eleventh hour to aid heroes fighting grand evils like demon lords or alien intelligences in a big kaiju god-duel. Apparently he's showen up a dozen times to fight alongside the "Warlords of Russia and other valiant heroes". I don't know if the Warlords could really be considered "valiant heroes" in a broad sense, though. Apparently his distant wife, Mokosh, is the only thing that can calm this cranky god down. Also sometime he's a bull or a tornado.

In any case, he can do things like throw an axe that does ridiculous damage twice a turn (1d6 x 100 Mega-Damage). But that's not all! He also can send out special birds! Messenger Bird makes messages! Rain Bird makes rain! Basically has all air and electricity-themed spells, has a bow made out of a rainbow that can shoot lightning, etc.

All the "Russians kept their magic traditions alive!" talk at the start of the book ignores how Vladimir the Great tore down all his statues of Perun and had them beaten before throwing them into a river. Well, maybe not all of them.


"I'd shake your hand, but mine are on fire for some reason."

Khors (11,000 MDC) is apparently the sun god and "symbol of absolute good". And as a symbol of absolute good, he rarely intercedes in mortal affairs. Makes sense. Apparently he created Living Fire Magic and gave it to humanity instead. Sometimes he fights evil gods, though. Apparently he is a "crony" of Thoth, because Thoth is such an unbelieveable author darling that gods from unrelated pantheons call him boss.

He can grant a blessing that gives a +2% bonus to skills. Yep, that's some godly power, alright. "One out of twenty or fifty times you succeed? That's me." In any case he's buried in magic, having all wizard spells. Living Fire Spells, and Temporal spells because the sun travels or something. Also he can turn into a firebird and zip around at the speed of light as a spaaacebird.

Technically his name should be "Dazhbog"; Xors is the collective name for the moon god and sun god together, though sometimes that's a sun goddess. If Siembieda wanted a god that was better remembered, Jutrobog (the moon god) was worshipped until the 1800s in Ukraine. Also he's bald because the moon, get it.


"What do you mean you want your sword to be 'human-sized'?"

Svarog the Divine (14,000 MDC), Weaponwright of the Gods, is supposed to be the oldest all-father of the Russian gods. Which isn't accurate to mythology, but we hardly know anything about this god historically, so I guess Palladium can make up whatever. In any case, he's the creator of the Kuznya magic, and can use it to double effect compared to human smiths. In general, he thinks humans should lift themselves up by the bootstraps and doesn't interfere with the real world too much, which at least fits with his Anarchist alignment.

He has sun and wind powers, fire and air magic, and has a hammer that does 1d6 x 100 MDC. Seems like we're getting some godly power creep, but at least some of the gods here could have a fight with another god and have it not take more than a few hours of rolling. That's progress in Palladium rules!

As mentioned above, we hardly know anything about this god other than a passing mention in a text. We're reasonably certain he's a smithing god. That's about it!


"I think Svarog got carried away when I told him I wanted 'a bird theme'."

Svarozhich (5,000 MDC) is the God of Light & Fire, and is a bit of a rogue Promethean figure since he goes around helping humans and shared with them the secret of mystic smithery twice (once millennia ago, and then after the rifts). He's a bit of a black sheep because of this, and generally gives the other gods a bunch of rebellious tongue-lashings for not doing more. Seems legit to me.

Predictably, he has light and fire powers, and can turn into a "bison" and fly around bisoning eyebeams at people. He's a weaker god in general, which is what you'd expect from somebody that actually wants to help.

Nothing too far off from what's known about him, but I don't know his relation with Svarog is actually a thing in myth. He is a teacher of humanity, though, so the mystic smith stuff fits with his mythical counterpart.


"Take whatever the hell this is, whatever the hell you are!"

Dazhbog (5,500 MDC) is where things get really confused, since technically Khors above already was Dazhbog, so we've got some mixed-up research here. He's said to be a sun god (covered by Khors) and of beauty, light (also covered by Khors), and harvests (covered by her moistness). He fights demons (like Perun or Svarovich) but does so in more moderation in a pantheon-approved way. This guy definitely seems like the plus one of the entire pantheon.

Light and fire powers, I know, we already had this poo poo, WAIT gently caress HE TURNS INTO A BEAR, BEAR ALERT , RARE RUSSIAN BEAR IN A RIFTS RUSSIA BOOK- wait, this is in The Rifter. Well, I'll take the flying flaming bears I can get.

As mentioned above, this is just mixed-up research and the idea of two sun gods doesn't have much of a basis or a need. There's only one sun, Siembieda!


"Can I go sledding with you guys?"

Stribog (12,000 MDC) is the frost god and is the god of winter, rival of the other gods, and seems to associate with like-seasoned demons to overthrow them. He can't really even remotely hope to beat them in a straightforward way, instead allying with demons of a similar temperature to bedevil humans as a sort of deific trolling. He's a sponsor of witches and is, uh, sadistic in that he often lets foes live so he can trouble them again. "... a vindictive enemy for life."

Naturally, he has cold, water, and air powers, and can inflict a curse that gives minor penalities and makes people jealous. Also he has a staff the size of a tree he can plant into a ground to freeze an area of 50 miles at the rate of 1 mile per day, which I guess makes a decent adventure hook.

While he's a grumpy god in myth, he's not evil and is an ally of the other gods, actively fighting evil as a warrior. I guess Siembieda was desperate to have a generic evil god instead, even after populating Russia with up to a million demons. There aren't any big evil gods a la Loki in this pantheon, but there are a fair number of sinister or feared minor gods that could have filled this role.


"Why-" "-is the ceiling-" "-so low?!"

Sventovit (13,800 MDC), the "barbarian god", is apparently an egotistical, "savage" warrior. Also he's a cannibal, which means he'll eat gods, and apparently noms 2d4 people a week. He hates the gods of light in a general, but it isn't so much personal as just generic dark rivalry. Despite this, he's clairovoyant and his visions come true 99 out of 100 times. You'd think this would give him a huge advantage, but apparently not. After all, it mentions he's thinking of offering to beat up the Gargoyle Empire for Germany, and "will be surprised when he is refused and attacked". So much for that clairovoyance. But he wouldn't destroy the gargoyle anyway, but would take them over, and likely will seek to do so anyway when rejected.

He has four heads - one knows fire magic, the other air magic, one knows eeevil magic (Spoiling and Necro-Magic), and one is super-psychic. He gets a lot of attacks as a result.

Once again, not an evil god in myth, but one of just war and fertility, and whose priesthood engaged in horse-based or dice-based fortune-telling. Yes, horse-based prediction of the future. How could you leave that out of a RPG book? Geez. Have your Mega-Horse show you the Mega-Future! Anyway, they could have used feared gods like Nemiza, Ny, or mother loving Chernobog! Well, I guess we needed to make sure we had evil of a more generic stripe.

And that's it. The Rifter will be getting some more coverage in the near future, because there's more to dig out of it than I expected on a re-review, like this article in particular (that, mind, came out about a half-year after Mystic Russia.

Conclusion

Mystic Russia continues to be what's the curse of the Palladium line - magic-centric books. England is considered by Siembieda himself to be the most disappointing Rifts book, while Africa and Spirit West are probably the worst books I've had to cover. Federation of Magic is probably the best of the lot, partly due to wonderful Perez designs, and partly because it avoided the core point where Rifts falls down the hardest and most embarassingly - depicting indigenous people and their mythologies. Of course, even it did a lot to undercut the use of magic in general, because for some awful reason they decided to bring the magic of Rifts in line with the updated magic rules from the Palladium Fantasy RPG. Well, I guess we just can't have have nice things.

It's sad to see, because I don't think there's any active racism or maliciousness in it- it just mostly comes from the closely-held stereotypes of the writers and their inability to present indigenous people as individuals and not just broad masses that can be stamped with the same ink. Between Africa, England, Spirit West, and Mystic Russia, how many [u]characters[/i] do we get between all the shamans, druids, and priests presented? Like, three or four? Technological factions get a murderer's row of Warlords, commanders, and mayors. But magic is held by faceless, generic stereotypes, with Federation of Magic being the lone exception.

Of course, there was a writer better at handling this- Carella. The parts of South America he wrote blend psychics, magic and technology more smoothly, meaning it doesn't stand out as much. But, thankfully, there aren't many "magic books" left. I don't know if I'll ever get to the China books, but they'd be the major ethnic-flavored book left in the line as of this writing. But those aren't by Siembieda - they're one of the only books Erick Wujick did for the line. Of course, those who have read Ninjas & Superspies will know deeply well that Erick Wujcik - for all the positive marks he made on the RPG industry - could fall victim to the same cultural stumbling folks when it came to exploring Asia.

To be fair, the book has neat ideas. The treatment of witches and ethnic wanderers falls pretty flat, but most of the other classes are fine conceptually, even downright cool... it's just the mechanics often fail them. The Mystic Kunzya is a cool class with a clipping drawback. The Slayer is all the 90s edgelord you need... who's not actually that great in a fight. Living Fire is neat but, once again, bad in a fight most of the time.

Well, I praise what I can. Art's cool. Russia's done, at least until Rifts World Book 36: Sovietski.

конец

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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7th Sea 2e: The New World - Death Magic

Wanuy Naqay was once a benign sorcery used to commune with the recent dead, but has grown and changes since the Empress took over Kuraq and Suway was made even more tha primary god. Its mortal practitioners are known as Churikuna, the descendants, and it is also the great power of the Venerable Ones. A Churikuna gains control of death magic by using tokens made from the mummified bodies of the Venerable, giving them the power to command death, commune with the dead and more. It is a fine line to walk - when dealing with death and souls so easily, it is easy to become a villain. However, heroic Churikuna do exist. Their morals keep them from using the most terrible powers of the magic, such as destruction and devouring of souls. It's easy to tell who's been officially and legally trained as a Churikuna, as anyone with the legal right to will wear the mask resembling a human skull while in public, and as their power grows, they carry more and more ancestral atifacts to fuel their magic. Churikuna typically also wear the black robes and gold chains of death priests, which the overwhelming majority of them are, but normal death priests do not carry the Death Mask or Death Tokens.

Wanuy Naqay is guarded very closely by the death priests, for it is not a sorcery that comes from any inherent quality. It is wholly and completely a learned one. A Churikuna that goes rogue has all the knowledge required to make new Venerable Ones and to teach others the power. Therefore, the priests take great care to select those whom they teach for loyalty. It is not perfect, but they've at least made sure that the broader capabilities of the Churikuna are not public knowledge, to avoid chaos.

Each purchase of Sorcery (Wanuy Naqay) gives you a new Death Token, 1 Manifestation and 1 Turn. Your first Death Token always takes the form of a mask carved and painted to resemble a skull, and while rarely made from an actual skull, it always incorporates some small bit of a Venerable ancestor's physical remains into it - usually a tooth or bit of bone. Every time after the first, the DEath Token must still have some piece of the ancestor in it, but it can take any form you choose - amulets, rings, gauntlets, bracers, even weapons. The more powerful you get, the more Death Tokens you carry around, so power is rarely subtle. It is possible to make fake Death Tokens for the social recognition, but given the lack of power those hold, it rarely lasts long and the Churikuna tend to come down on it heavily. If you lose a Death Token, you must regain it, either by taking it back or making a new one (and therefore having to ask you Venerable Ancestor to give you more body parts without learning any new sorcery to show for it). If you attempt to use a Manifestation or extra Turns without possessing all of your current Death Tokens, you must pay additional Hero Points to do so.

Further, the cost rises based on time. If you have lost one Death Token, the first day after every Manifestation costs an extra Hero Point, the second day it costs 2 extra, and so on. This is cumulative - if you lose two Death Tokens, you have to pay the extra cost twice. If you lose all Death Tokens, you can't use the magic until you get at least the mask back - and if you lose the mask that is your first, you also just can't use the magic until you get it back. Normally, activating a Manifestation costs 1 Hero Point, and involves ancient chants, sweeping gestures, glowing body parts or other obvious magical practice. It immediately takes effect, and you also activate a single Turn you know and apply its effect to the Manifestation. You may spend 1 Hero Point per Turn past the first to activate more Turns on it, but you can only activate a specific Turn once per Manifestation.

Manifestations
Arise: Activate this when you touch a creature that died within less than a minute of your touch. You seize their spirit and return it to life, causing them to resurrect, though they remain Helpless. Whenever you use this, your Resolve is permanently reduced by 1, and can only be replenished in the same way anyone could - by buying it up again normally. If your Resolve is reduced to 0, you die. Period. Anyone who dies this way cannot be saved by any means, even magical ones. Normally, this Manifestation causes your hand to be wreathed in unnatural energies as you visibly grasp the spirit before it can drift from the corpse.
Channel: When you learn this, choose one Background you don't have, either a general one or a Kuraq-only one. This represents what your ancestor was in life. When you activate this, you gain memories of your ancestor's life and abilities. For the rest of the Scene (or until you choose to end this, whichever is first) you get +1 Rank in each of that Background's Skills and get access to the Background's Quirk on top of your normal ones. While this is active, your ancestor's form appears in a ghostly light, moving with you but slightly out of sync, like an after-image.
Grovel: Activate this when you make a Risk during a Sequence using an Intimidate-based Approach. You may spend Raises to reduce an Unliving Brute Squad's Strength even if you would otherwise not be able to. When you spend a Raise to reduce any Brute Squad's Strength, Unliving or not, you reduce it by 2 instead of 1 per Raise spent. When you spend a Raise to apply Pressure to any character that is undead or possesses Wanuy Naqay, they must spend 2 additional Raises rather than 1 additional Raise to overcome your Pressure. These effects all last until the end of the Round. While this is active, your mask glows and shimmers with unnatural spectral flame.
Leech: Activate this while you touch a corpse or living creature. If the target is unwilling, you must spend a Raise to touch them. You siphon off life essence. If used on a corpse, you choose one effect, plus one per additional Hero Point you choose to spend. A corpse may have any effect used on it only once, and you cannot use the same effect multiple times in a single activation. If you activate all three effects on a single corpse, its soul is destroyed and all of your Wounds are healed, but you commit an Evil Act, period, no matter what. Destroying a soul is always an Evil Act.
  • Heal 1 Dramatic Wound.
  • Heal all Wounds on your current tier of the Death Spiral.
  • Incease one of your Traits by 1 and reduce another by 1 until the end of the Scene.
If you use this on a living creature, you instead choose one of the following effects. Using this on an unwilling living target is always an Evil ACt. If you render the target Helpless through this, you immediately heal all Wounds and Dramatic Wounds, but the victim dies instantly, you consume their soul, and you gain double the normal Corruption for an Evil Act.
  • Cause 1 Dramatic Wound on the target and heal 1 Dramatic Wound on yourself.
  • Heal all Wounds on your current tier of the Death Spiral. Your victim takes half that many Wounds.
  • Increase one of your Traits by 1. The victim has the same Trait reduced by 1. Both of these last until the end of the Scene.
When you use this, a trail of light streams out of your victim and into you, possibly via your palms, mouth or nose.
Obliterate: Activate this when you face an Unliving Brute Squad. The Squad is immediately destroyed and reduced to 0 Strength. You may spend additional Hero Points to target multiple Unliving Brute Squads. You may use this only once per scene.
Sequester: To use this during a Sequence, you must spend 1 Raise as well as the normal costs. Activate this and touch an undead creature. The creature may not move from its current location until the Scene ends or you free them, whichever comes first. They may still act, but cannot inflict Wounds onto anyone outside their reach, as they can't move from the spot. When you use this, a flash of light flies from your hand or eyes and strikes the target, wrapping them in spectral chains and bonds while it remains active.
Witness: Activate this and touch a dead creature, an undead creature or a target that knows Wanuy Naway. For the rest of the Scene, you may see and hear through the target. If the target was a corpse, you can still see and hear normally even though they, obviously, can't. This lasts until the Scene ends, you choose to end it, or either you or the target becomes Helpless or (in the case of a corpse) destroyed. The target is unaware of your presence and has no visual effects. However, for the duration, your eyes glow with a ghostly light, usually green or violet.
Awaken: This can only be learned by Villains. Activate this when your body is killed or otherwise destroyed. Your soul flees it, but may enter the body of anyone bearing the markings of Suway - typically a member of your retinue, but not necessarily. If you attempt to take over a PC, you must spend 1 or more Danger Points. If they spend equal Hero Points, you fail and must choose another target. A successful use causes the target to be immediately killed, their soul destroyed and forced out to make room for you. You return to life in the new body, retaining all your old abilities. While this is active, your soul glows with ghostly light and floats from your corpse's mouth towards the target's, entering their body through it.

Turns
Bestow: Give another character one of your Death Tokens. They can activate the Manifestation once before the Scene ends or before they return the Token, whichever comes first. Any additional Turns must be chosen when you use this, and you must pay all costs for the Manifestation now, immediately, rather than when they use it. So long as they carry your token, they are considered to be undead for any effect that cares about that. This lasts until the Manifestation within the Token ends or they return the Token to you. You suffer all normal added costs for not having all your Death Tokens while they hold it.
Dominant: The target of your Manifestation can't be affected by any other magic, such as Sorcery or the powers of Syrneth artifacts, until the Manifestation ends.
Echo: The Manifestation targets a second character, Squad or other viable target it could normally affect. All effects are repeated exactly - you cannot vary them at all between targets.
Lingering: On an instantaneous Manifestation, like Obliterate, this does nothing. If the Manifestation would end after one Round, it lasts one additional Round. If it would end after one Scene, it lasts an additional Scene.
Rapid: If the Manifestation would require a Raise to activate, it does not. You must perform an Action before you can activate another Manifestation.
Reach: The Manifestation can be used on any viable target you can see, rather than its normal targeting range. It ends immediately if your line of sight is broken for more than a few moments, even if it normally would last longer.
Subtle: The Manifestation has no visual or auditory effect beyond a small gesture or brief flash of light in your eyes. Anyone activately observing you knows that they used magic, but not what it did. Anyone not actively observing you must spend 1 Hero Point (or 1 Danger Point) to notice that you did anything.

Next time: Dueling

Tendales
Mar 9, 2012


Night10194 posted:

They have come to spot a sort of 'dashing young patient', though, and make a point of assigning them the eldest sister working at a shrine. Many Adventurers have come to realize this has the side effect of getting them the best and most experienced of a shrine's doctors, and have taken to faking a desire to woo beautiful young priestesses in order to get better medical care.

I love this.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

Horned Rat-Sempai Noticed Me!


Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's bizarre. I don't know that "kills Rifts", because boy is it already a shameless mess rules-wise, but it turns combat into a bunch of damage rolls and the highest damage weapon wins. It's bad even for non-casters because this is in a setting where armor is all ablative. So any fight is going to have to require you to lug back to the workshop to rebuild or replace your armor, unless you're a regenerating monster or carry a truckload of spare armor suits. There's also pretty much no point in using melee the majority of the time once this rule hits, unless you're out of ammo, since it already does around the same or less damage and can be parried at no cost.

It's definitely "what were they thinking?" only the answer is almost certainly "they weren't thinking".

My guess is that for most of them something wasn't going Kevin's way in a game session, so he changed clarified the rules.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





SirPhoebos posted:

My guess is that for most of them something wasn't going Kevin's way in a game session, so he changed clarified the rules.

He has a Thing with lasers. It's the one place where he oddly tries to ram in something close to 'realistic.' Witness his diatribe about why they shouldn't make noise. Is he right? Actually, sure, but who cares? They go zap because it's neat.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Dawgstar posted:

He has a Thing with lasers. It's the one place where he oddly tries to ram in something close to 'realistic.' Witness his diatribe about why they shouldn't make noise. Is he right? Actually, sure, but who cares? They go zap because it's neat.

Yes, technically they're silent... unless you're in an atmosphere. Then they make a hell of a racket, because if you're pumping enough energy through the air to blow up a tank, the air is going to make a fuss. Even if that wasn't the case, whatever they shoot is going to make a tremendous sound when it superheats. Pulse lasers just powerful enough to damage a beer can or razor make a clear pop or bang, I can only imagine one intended to slice through plate armor would sound like. And while you can't see them per se, they can set off sparks in the air.

There are silent, invisible laser weapons being tested by the US military, but they effectively lock onto and heat a target over a period, as compared to firing out all their energy in a fraction of a second like with a pulse laser. But if you want an energy weapon of any type that outputs destructive energy like a conventional firearm, chances are it's going to make noise.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yes, technically they're silent... unless you're in an atmosphere. Then they make a hell of a racket, because if you're pumping enough energy through the air to blow up a tank, the air is going to make a fuss. Even if that wasn't the case, whatever they shoot is going to make a tremendous sound when it superheats. Pulse lasers just powerful enough to damage a beer can or razor make a clear pop or bang, I can only imagine one intended to slice through plate armor would sound like. And while you can't see them per se, they can set off sparks in the air.

There are silent, invisible laser weapons being tested by the US military, but they effectively lock onto and heat a target over a period, as compared to firing out all their energy in a fraction of a second like with a pulse laser. But if you want an energy weapon of any type that outputs destructive energy like a conventional firearm, chances are it's going to make noise.

Yeah. Kevin's description of what Rifts warfare would look like is mostly people playing a game of flashlight tag except anybody who's 'it' falls over dead.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





In case anyone's curious, here's a video of what a laser sounds like.

More to the point, Siembieda seems to have this bizarre flip-flop thing where in one paragraph he waves his hands and says "this thing flies around at 5000 mph; it's powered by demon magic, it can do anything" and in the next he's furiously ranting about how unrealistic it is to expect someone to reload a pistol without months of training. It's weird and makes me wonder what kind of players he has in his games.

megane fucked around with this message at 20:02 on Sep 1, 2018

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


The ones that could accept the worst of GMs.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yes, technically they're silent... unless you're in an atmosphere. Then they make a hell of a racket, because if you're pumping enough energy through the air to blow up a tank, the air is going to make a fuss. Even if that wasn't the case, whatever they shoot is going to make a tremendous sound when it superheats. Pulse lasers just powerful enough to damage a beer can or razor make a clear pop or bang, I can only imagine one intended to slice through plate armor would sound like. And while you can't see them per se, they can set off sparks in the air.

There are silent, invisible laser weapons being tested by the US military, but they effectively lock onto and heat a target over a period, as compared to firing out all their energy in a fraction of a second like with a pulse laser. But if you want an energy weapon of any type that outputs destructive energy like a conventional firearm, chances are it's going to make noise.

The other thing about beam laser weapons is that it's possible to "dodge" them because the laser has to be on target for a good while before it can do significant damage. The Advanced Tactical Laser took something like 7-10 seconds to burn through a stationary pickup truck's hood to kill the engine, so I've been basing non-pulse effects of that, good luck trying to remain on something longer than a few second with a handheld continuous beam laser in a combat situation. It takes time for a laser to drill through, so moving around might prevent that from happening.

Also, you can see agitated air from targeting laser modules through thermal imaging and night vision equipment, so while you might not be able to see it with the naked human eye, they'll be visible to a wide range of military equipment, cyborgs, robots, animals, and DBs that have their eyes trained to those frequencies.

Dawgstar posted:

Yeah. Kevin's description of what Rifts warfare would look like is mostly people playing a game of flashlight tag except anybody who's 'it' falls over dead.

Maybe it's the progress of laser technology, Siembeida's lack of imagination, or both, but lasers having more combat applications than just point and shoot seems like a missed opportunity. The Monahan brothers over at Stellar Jockeys did some research on lasers for the weapons in Brigador, because there was some applications I had never heard of until they appeared in that game and I was then curious enough to look where they came up with it. Stuff like acoustic lasers that can vibrate materials like a ranged jackhammer and using thermal blooming to impart a kinetic force.

I recall in Eclipse Phase X-Risks that the Warbot can time a laser-induced shockwave that it can disrupt explosive damage. Stuff like that just makes lasers so much more interesting that zapping someone with raygun.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Eclipse Phase has something called a Warbot? It's not like an Extremis Combat Operations Module or something?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Well, Rifts doesn't usually have much thought behind its technology in general or its implications. You have factories that just pump out robots without an obvious wider infrastructure. Nuclear-powered jet aircraft can fly across the country but the Coalition still doesn't know what's in Arizona. Most weapons can fire thousands of feet accurately - missiles can go hundreds of miles - and yet everybody's fighting like it's WWII. Stun guns can down people reliably but people insist on picking away at each other with laser rifles. And so on.

It really owes more to stuff like Star Wars or G.I. Joe or Robotech than any sort of reality, which is why when it busts in with "realism!" it seems so off-putting.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 22:02 on Sep 1, 2018

Speleothing
May 6, 2008

Spare batteries are pretty key.

The GI Joe comparison is the first time I've seen anything that makes Rifts sound appealing

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Nessus posted:

Eclipse Phase has something called a Warbot? It's not like an Extremis Combat Operations Module or something?

They're largely TITAN-manufactured bipedal mecha based off pre-existing pre-Fall human nation designs, so they have a generic name largely on purpose, since the designs have similarities but maybe different depending on where it was made and what TITAN made it.

(image taken from X-Risks)

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Well, Rifts doesn't usually have much thought behind its technology in general or its implications. You have factories that just pump out robots without an obvious wider infrastructure. Nuclear-powered jet aircraft can fly across the country but the Coalition still doesn't know what's in Arizona. Most weapons can fire thousands of feet accurately - missiles can go hundreds of miles - and yet everybody's fighting like it's WWII. Stun guns can down people reliably but people insist on picking away at each other with laser rifles. And so on.

It really owes more to stuff like Star Wars or G.I. Joe or Robotech than any sort of reality, which is why when it busts in with "realism!" it seems so off-putting.

I've been thinking about it recently and I like the idea that the RIFTS "factories" are like giant 3D printers: load up a CAD schematic into a machine, prep the necessary materials, and print up some SAMAS suits or laser guns, etc. Thus, you don't have to worry about stuff like tooling and dies, it's all large-scale additive manufacturing. It also allows for things to be reverse-engineered easy: just take a preexisting design, take it apart, measure out the parts, program the correct G-code into the factory, print out everything, and then assemble it. Of course, the real effort is in sourcing your raw and recycled materials (which I assume that salvaging, scavenging, and stripping ruins, war wrecks, and other detris for materials to be recycled might alleviate that instead of mining it), developing new stuff (which explains the persistence of designs from 300 years ago), and trying to replicate the materials science that's largely lost (why the Coalition was bumming around in inferior copies of NEMA general issue for the longest time).

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Speleothing posted:

The GI Joe comparison is the first time I've seen anything that makes Rifts sound appealing

It's the easiest way, I think, to explain the appeal of something like the Coalition, particularly with the launch of Rifts. To those of us raised on playing with psuedo-fascist baddies as toys (Cobra, Empire, Decepticons, etc.) and having them marketed to us as valid play outlets, of being the bad guys, it almost seemed reasonable at the time. This was, of course, at a time where the notion of American fascism was seen as, frankly, harmless. However, the Coalition had the added issue of having no subtext. I mean, Cobra and the Empire have the subtext of jackboots and being almost entirely white (save for the occasional blue person) but aren't usually portrayed as racist. The Coalition, however, are likened to Hitler and Nazis directly and have very intention of ethnic cleansing the American continent once they have the capability.

I mean, I've been a Cobra fan, though shifts in politics have been definitely taking the shine off the notion of a group of fascist ultranationalists no matter how many Terror Dromes they construct. And literally in the middle of me pondering this, this hits my youtube feed:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAVeyXwy3BE

The weird side effect of seeing my childhood remarketed throughout media, I suppose, is the rebirth of fascism-as-play-outlet, and the Coalition feels like a byblow of that.

Young Freud posted:

I've been thinking about it recently and I like the idea that the RIFTS "factories" are like giant 3D printers: load up a CAD schematic into a machine, prep the necessary materials, and print up some SAMAS suits or laser guns, etc.

Oh, it can be explained one way or the other, and it's not even too hard to come up with an explanation of one sort or another. (And definitely better than "old aircraft carriers we found in a box".) It's just my point is that it isn't. Certainly, the numbers the Coalition has always defied belief and are so far in excess of what is generally necessary for a military and certainly for a country their size as to be laughable.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





I think After the Bomb is a much more realistic (you know, relatively speaking) setting when it comes to numbers and such. Like the Empire of Humanity is really a single town that's hyper-advanced and they have two squadrons of jet fighters. Which doesn't sound like much but they're the only ones with that kind of aircraft capability so they rule the skies. That said, it will shock nobody that Erick Wujick is a game dev heads and shoulders above Kev.

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Well, Rifts doesn't usually have much thought behind its technology in general or its implications. You have factories that just pump out robots without an obvious wider infrastructure. Nuclear-powered jet aircraft can fly across the country but the Coalition still doesn't know what's in Arizona. Most weapons can fire thousands of feet accurately - missiles can go hundreds of miles - and yet everybody's fighting like it's WWII. Stun guns can down people reliably but people insist on picking away at each other with laser rifles. And so on.

It really owes more to stuff like Star Wars or G.I. Joe or Robotech than any sort of reality, which is why when it busts in with "realism!" it seems so off-putting.
The vehicle design, too. All those hidden weapons you keep mentioning in the vehicle descriptions are incredibly reminiscent of the sort of gimmicks toy vehicles and robots tend to have.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


U.T. Raptor posted:

The vehicle design, too. All those hidden weapons you keep mentioning in the vehicle descriptions are incredibly reminiscent of the sort of gimmicks toy vehicles and robots tend to have.

After watching Macross recently in its entirety for the first time, the influential design of the destroids (with their pop-open missile bays) and veritechs (with their secondary head lasers) is impossible to miss for me now. Which is a little ironic, given how the destroids are cannon fodder outside of massed assaults in the series. But I guess Siembieda really liked them, because they get hilariously oversold in the Robotech RPG where they're walking tanks overloaded with firepower... as opposed to the series, where they die if a Zentraedi gives them a mean look. It's also hard not to see the general influence of Breetai / Exedore on how he writes some of his villains as well for me, where you'll have the straightforward military leader and their sidekick schemer (like Karl Prosek / Joseph Prosek).

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 02:44 on Sep 2, 2018

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



U.T. Raptor posted:

The vehicle design, too. All those hidden weapons you keep mentioning in the vehicle descriptions are incredibly reminiscent of the sort of gimmicks toy vehicles and robots tend to have.

Oh yeah, read any of those G.I. Joe tech sheets and you'll notice stuff like some molded outcropping on the fuselage given some detail when it's not a separately molded and obvious gun or weapon on the actual toy.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Alien Rope Burn posted:

After watching Macross recently in its entirety for the first time, the influential design of the destroids (with their pop-open missile bays) and veritechs (with their secondary head lasers) is impossible to miss for me now. Which is a little ironic, given how the destroids are cannon fodder outside of massed assaults in the series. But I guess Siembieda really liked them, because they get hilariously oversold in the Robotech RPG where they're walking tanks overloaded with firepower... as opposed to the series, where they die if a Zentraedi gives them a mean look. It's also hard not to see the general influence of Breetai / Exedore on how he writes some of his villains as well for me, where you'll have the straightforward military leader and their sidekick schemer (like Karl Prosek / Joseph Prosek).

That's another of Kevin's weird attempts at realism. 'The giant metal machines must have hundreds of my special hit points!' Because he never heard of a mook rule (which weren't common when he wrote his stuff, to be fair).

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Dawgstar posted:

That's another of Kevin's weird attempts at realism. 'The giant metal machines must have hundreds of my special hit points!' Because he never heard of a mook rule (which weren't common when he wrote his stuff, to be fair).

Kind of like M.D.C., where while generally you can't destroy a tank with a baseball bat or small arms, you can still do some damage to it by wrecking mirrors and lights, shooting up vision blocks, breaking antenna and targeting equipment, etc.. poo poo, Mototov cocktails have been poor man's anti-tank weapons since WW2 and judging from places like Libya and Syria, they are still effective weapons against armored vehicles.

shades of eternity
Nov 9, 2013

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

If there was ever a game designer that really needed to here the words...

(revised for obvious reasons)

If you're wondering how [the cs has an infastructure /energy weapons are parried / how magic works]
And other science facts (la-la-la),
Just repeat to yourself 'It's just a [game],
I should really just relax.'"

It's KS.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Young Freud posted:

Oh yeah, read any of those G.I. Joe tech sheets and you'll notice stuff like some molded outcropping on the fuselage given some detail when it's not a separately molded and obvious gun or weapon on the actual toy.

Yeah, Kevin is a big toy collector. No idea if he was ever into Joe, but it's hard not to see a similarity between the itemized lists of systems on the old G.I. Joe vehicle blueprints and the itemized list of weapons and features in Robotech / Rifts books.

Tanks were never really the issue with M.D.C. anyway, IMO. Shifting it to the personal level with Invid Invasion and then just losing all sense of scale in Rifts was probably the biggest deal, particularly when M.D.C. keeps increasing but damage rarely does. I pointed out that heavy cyborgs have more M.D.C. than any of the vehicles in the Russia book, and there's a small point in the upcoming stuff I'm covering there it gets even sillier on that note.

Deptfordx
Dec 23, 2013



Dawgstar posted:

I think After the Bomb is a much more realistic (you know, relatively speaking) setting when it comes to numbers and such. Like the Empire of Humanity is really a single town that's hyper-advanced and they have two squadrons of jet fighters. Which doesn't sound like much but they're the only ones with that kind of aircraft capability so they rule the skies. That said, it will shock nobody that Erick Wujick is a game dev heads and shoulders above Kev.

Unless the hyper-advanced town has 'basically magic' manufacturing capabilities isn't keeping a couple of squadrons of jet fighters in the air going to require the existance of a vast collateral infrastructure?

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, Kevin is a big toy collector. No idea if he was ever into Joe, but it's hard not to see a similarity between the itemized lists of systems on the old G.I. Joe vehicle blueprints and the itemized list of weapons and features in Robotech / Rifts books.

Tanks were never really the issue with M.D.C. anyway, IMO. Shifting it to the personal level with Invid Invasion and then just losing all sense of scale in Rifts was probably the biggest deal, particularly when M.D.C. keeps increasing but damage rarely does. I pointed out that heavy cyborgs have more M.D.C. than any of the vehicles in the Russia book, and there's a small point in the upcoming stuff I'm covering there it gets even sillier on that note.

Actually, this got started with the Southern Cross books, because, upon a rewatch of Robotech, I realized that Siembedia has no concept of either "plot armor" or "the golden BB", since there's several scenes of the main characters fighting those big bioroids with personal weapons and wearing just their body armor (which was made MDC in those books), not to mention the open cockpit of the hovertanks.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Young Freud posted:

Actually, this got started with the Southern Cross books, because, upon a rewatch of Robotech, I realized that Siembedia has no concept of either "plot armor" or "the golden BB", since there's several scenes of the main characters fighting those big bioroids with personal weapons and wearing just their body armor (which was made MDC in those books), not to mention the open cockpit of the hovertanks.

This is a pretty common thing with a lot of old school nerds who were really big on facts and details while completely missing the point of genre or even storytelling conventions and considering them vulgar and childish. (I think if you go too far the other way you get TVtropes)

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JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I think the problem that loot-mill based games have is that IRL personal weapons don't have big differences. An assault rifle is an assault rifle is an assault life, and there's really no overwhelming "damage" and accuracy increases (unless you're comparing a clapped out Khyber pass AK and a customized HK417). So if you want to take on a tank, you need something beefier - and goons make a lot of noise about how an RPG-7 probably won't do poo poo against a modern Western MBT. So you need an ATGM for that, but it's a very different weapon from a rifle.

That is, unless you start giving people mag rifles or whatever.

A solution would be to split a game like Rifts in tiers, with some classes/races/guns being available only to higher tier people.

Oh, your Russian Peasant OCC found a Turboclass SuperLass Magblast railgun? Good luck powering it up without catastrophic overload, firing it without breaking your spine and making enough money to bribe people who would know where a reload could be found.

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