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Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

Nah you donít want them to succeed at that stuff. Getting charges and managing taboos is supposed to be self-destructive, you donít want them to succeed

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Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Yeah, actually getting the system to do what you want it to is the one thing Sovereign Citizurgy should never be able to do.

What that magick should be good for is more like... being a persistent nuisance until people let you have your way just to avoid having to deal with you. Only you apply that to, like... old age. You keep filing paperwork on your body until it just stops aging because you just won't shut up.

Precambrian
Apr 30, 2008



Wrestlepig posted:

Nah you donít want them to succeed at that stuff. Getting charges and managing taboos is supposed to be self-destructive, you donít want them to succeed

Trivial wins are the fuel of Sovereign Citizen nutjobbery. The Gurus all have some minor technical victory that wasn't really because of their SovCit beliefs, but they advertise that victory as permanent confirmation that they have the gnosis of how you can get out of paying child support. So the magical gurus would be all about turning every minor win (someone agrees to get you to shut up, the judge grants you a routine stay, etc.) into a grand confirmation of cosmic truth (that actually undermines their power/legal standing). Really big, but easy to dispel, illusions sounds like their domain.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Precambrian posted:

Trivial wins are the fuel of Sovereign Citizen nutjobbery. The Gurus all have some minor technical victory that wasn't really because of their SovCit beliefs, but they advertise that victory as permanent confirmation that they have the gnosis of how you can get out of paying child support. So the magical gurus would be all about turning every minor win (someone agrees to get you to shut up, the judge grants you a routine stay, etc.) into a grand confirmation of cosmic truth (that actually undermines their power/legal standing). Really big, but easy to dispel, illusions sounds like their domain.
Gain a minor charge by obtaining a routine benefit of the doubt. Gain a moderate charge by convincing a large group to distrust the law. Gain a major charge by subverting major regional legal structures.

Spend a minor charge to avoid the attention of the police or other legal authority. Spend a moderate charge to cause a random but significant lurch in jurisprudence. Spend a major charge to get your kids back.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Loxbourne posted:

I also love the way you honour Ulric is to dare him to totally come and have a go if he thinks he's hard enough. Ulric is written decently well for a GRAAAAH VIOLENCE god.

I never quite noticed this and this is a great take.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Ulric is a really shockingly chill god, given his followers are the Ulricans.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I guess if he wasn't, there would be a lot more dead Ulricans.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Mors Rattus posted:

Ulric is a really shockingly chill god, given his followers are the Ulricans.

The White Wolves seem pretty cool.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Dawgstar posted:

The White Wolves seem pretty cool.

They're like, the main group everyone agrees is cool from Ulric's worshipers. Much like almost everyone likes the Knights of the Blazing Sun even if people have problems with Myrmidians.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Yeah, the Knights of the White Wolf are relatively sane, chill guys who just go around in armor, drape a wolfskin over their shoulders and know how to use the fancy cutlery.

The Church of Ulric itself is a bunch of lunatics who desperately wish pants were never invented.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

I guess if he wasn't, there would be a lot more dead Ulricans.

I love the idea that it's a natural extension of him being the god of self-reliance. If his followers want to be suicidally stupid and go die from testosterone poisoning, he's not going to stop them. And if his church dies out as a major political force because of that kind of thing, they deserved it.

He'll give you a thumbs up if you seek his blessing, but beyond that it's all on you.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



I can only imagine there's a insane all-female cult of militant berserker lunatics whose dark secret is that they're also Ulricans and they just wanna gently caress poo poo up and wear wolf skins too but the church won't let them because cooties so they decide 'hey, let's go gently caress up the church'.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ratoslov posted:

I can only imagine there's a insane all-female cult of militant berserker lunatics whose dark secret is that they're also Ulricans and they just wanna gently caress poo poo up and wear wolf skins too but the church won't let them because cooties so they decide 'hey, let's go gently caress up the church'.

They actually explicitly mention the female priests of Ulric pretty much all come from a single temple in Nordland that is too loving stubborn to let anyone close it or start training men because it's existed for 2000 years and gently caress you.

I imagine they have a higher than normal proportion of miracle users.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!




Loxbourne posted:

I also love the way you honour Ulric is to dare him to totally come and have a go if he thinks he's hard enough. Ulric is written decently well for a GRAAAAH VIOLENCE god.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qAugcz9LCI

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

... It's magic. I ain't gotta explain shit.

FFRRPG Part 6: Mages

Mages, mages use mp and have spells, spells have levels and you get to pick multiple spells from each level. So basically you only ever cast your highest level spells.
Mages also have flat damage codes but that's fine as you can just ignore your lower level spells.
ALSO spells have prereqs, which you have to taken at previous levels, and you CAN end up not having enough spells to take at certain levels because of prereqs.

For mages I won't be reviewing individual abilities but more reviewing their spell lists and by extension the class.


Black Mage
Technically black caller is first, but we are skipping them for a bit.

So black mages just get black magic, a level 1-8 progression of spells.
All black that progression EVER does until the very end is give you a long string of single target debuffs/save or dies and elemental attacks, which you expand your selection of save or dies(with flat mp costs) and get higher damage code versions of your elemental attacks(with scaling mp costs), so 2 of your spells per level going to keeping up with the joneses for damage and the other two expand your ever increasing ways to kill a single creature.
And that's it, that's ALL this class does.
It doesn't get damage and status attacks besides poison/bio until lvl7 spells(lvl49), it doesn't get group status attacks until lvl8 spells(lvl57) or multi status spells until lvl7 spells(lvl49). It's just more and more ways to do the same two things.
And the other developers? They thought this class was COMPLETELY BUSTED. Why? Because to make a monster resistant to their damage you'd need like four resistances(or you could just....not do elemental damage.), and they could easily exploit elemental weaknesses(If you know what they are and the GM gives them).

Of course this ENTIRE CLASS could have been reducded to the following.
Elemental- Pay increasing mp at higher levels to do elemental damage.
Status- Get access to single target status effects as your level increases.
All Magic- Pay x2mp and an init penalty to change a ST effect to group targeting for elemental or status.

Throw in some abilities at the mid levels for Bio, Flare, Pain, Break and Ultima. Congrats you have basically the same loving class.
Fun fact there is a class that almost works this way!

Playable Level- 1
I mean they are nominally playable out of the gate getting 3 level 1 spells, did i mention mages get 3 spells at level 1? Because they do. But you know, the next two mages are better in every way.

White Mage
Welcome to possibly the second best class in the game after the Bard, but the White mage is mandatory.

White mages get white magic, full 1-8 progression. Duh.
White magic first off provides the heals and....this is your biggest weakness. Healing is mandatory and you will spend a LOT of time and MP doing it. You are all the horror stories of the cleric. But white magic isn't just for healing!
White mages get both the Wind and Holy line of spells! Wind at odd levels Holy at even levels, meaning YOUR DAMAGE EQUALS THE BLACKMAGE YOU JUST HAVE FEWER ELEMENTS. Now your GM can screw you by deciding the enemy is R: Holy, Wind. You also get a decent list of save or dies having silence, mini, confuse, berserk and charm. Also dispell(Remove barrier/enhance statuses) is on the white mage and NOT the black mage for some reason.
Of course we come back to what we expect from the white mage, a bevvy of support effects are also at your disposal, nowhere near the Bard but you have them, and that's a thing the Black Mage can't say you also get them earlier than the Bard but they aren't group targeting mostly. Notably Null Element(Grant the party immunity to one element) is group targeting and lvl3, so you can shut down any encounter involving elements trivially.

Basically the white mage is a strict upgrade over the Black Mage in every possible way.

Playable level- 1, and i totally mean it.

Time Mage
Welcome to the other possibly the second best class in the game after the Bard, the time mage is possibly not mandatory.

Time mages get time magic, level 1-8. Yada, yada.
We start with damage, let's get this out of the way. Time mages have two damage streams like the White mage, But they have the best set for a single reason it's all non-elemental. The GM can't screw you, you aren't trying to exploit elements. You are legitimately getting two types of attack spells. The Ray burst line is just Non-elemental damage at odd levels, at lvl3 it becomes group targeting so you have non-elemental group damage. The comet line has random targeting armor ignoring multi-hit attacks. So legit two distinct ways to do damage not just different elements your GM has to play too.
Of course you also get a bevvy of utility skills(such as teleport,ie auto escape) as well as eject, % based damage(way earlier than anyone else), and of course every single time based status. HOWEVER, DON'T TAKE STOP. You see if you take Stop the GM basically has to slap I:Time on every boss to prevent you from Stopping them, but if you don't and something has I:Time then the GM is clearly loving with you.
I also wish to call out that while obvious the Time mage gets haste and slow, and at the lowest levels of any class. Initiative is super important in this system, and haste means you can let the fighter really wail away with his moves or possibly even get extreme initiative.

Playable Level- 1, it's a mage, it's going to be 1.

Red Mage
The Red mage is certainly interesting.....

Red mages get red magic a mix of all the greatest hits of white, black and time magic, level 1-6.

Red mages have noticeably lower max magic(12 Mag/10 Spr) stats than the other mages but make up for it in variety and having shields. The only thing they meaningfully miss out on is the time mage attack spells.
However red mages spell progression is slower than the others and again caps at level 6, At mid levels 35-49ish they will start to fall behind until they get the ability that cements them as incredible for the rest of the caimpaign.

Level 50-Dual Cast, for -6 CT you can cast two spells as one action.

There it is boys and girls, the reason you suffered through mid levels as a red mage, you cannot BELIEVE the utility this gives you, I mean you could if you played the chemist. Yes, yes you can Flare*2 for a good impression of a ST ultima for far less MP, More importantly cast Mass Protect+Mass Haste on turn one, cast Flare while steal healing that near death ally. The Possibilities are........very large but still limited to your spell selection, which you should choose carefully in consideration of the eventual unlocking of this ability.

Playable Level- 1, though they dip noticeably in power as they fall behind in spell levels, they don't stop having options and things to do. Just rely more on utility than nuking.

Sage
Right so sages......

Sages get red magic, level 1-8
They also get more spells per spell level than other mages, So bluntly, out of the gate Sages are just better. However Sages have lower magic stats than red mages(10 Mag/10 Spr), the same pathetic 5Vit of the other mages, and remember how I said "Red Magic doesn't lose out on anything at 1-6" that isn't true of 7-8 when spells start getting interesting so sages are like more extreme red mages who when they start falling off NEVER GET BACK UP.

Playable Level- 1, they are still mages

Next time: Summoners and black/white callers

WhitemageofDOOM fucked around with this message at 08:55 on Oct 3, 2018

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Nessus posted:

Gain a minor charge by obtaining a routine benefit of the doubt. Gain a moderate charge by convincing a large group to distrust the law. Gain a major charge by subverting major regional legal structures.

Spend a minor charge to avoid the attention of the police or other legal authority. Spend a moderate charge to cause a random but significant lurch in jurisprudence. Spend a major charge to get your kids back.

This implies Cliven Bundy sent his sons to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in an attempt to generate a major charge, but scuppered the attempt when he voluntarily submitted to arrest at Portland airport. Oh hey, an instant Unknown Armies rumour!

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




sovcits are actually the closest thing the real world has to adepts in terms of worldview and behavior, with the relatively minor addendum that their poo poo doesnít actually work. itís frankly shocking that they werenít an adept type before this, because theyíre really perfect.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




I still say Unknown Armies sounds like a more magical satire oriented version of The Venture Bros.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Ghost Leviathan posted:

I still say Unknown Armies sounds like a more magical satire oriented version of The Venture Bros.

It has a very similar narrative on failure, yeah.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The sense I always got from UA is very similar to the sense from Sovcits, after all: If you really had power, you wouldn't need to dick around with all this insanity to try to find some shortcut to grasping it. For the desperate and powerless, there's dicking about with flags and things while trying to find the magic spell that lets a CEO so effortlessly operate above the law, never really grasping that his power is 'has money and influence and is a member of an intensely privileged aristocracy'.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Rand Brittain posted:

Yeah, actually getting the system to do what you want it to is the one thing Sovereign Citizurgy should never be able to do.

DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

sovcits are actually the closest thing the real world has to adepts in terms of worldview and behavior, with the relatively minor addendum that their poo poo doesnít actually work. itís frankly shocking that they werenít an adept type before this, because theyíre really perfect.

UA SovCits should be guys who think they're actually doing magic and are part of the Occult Underground, and can't understand why their poo poo doesn't work and why all the other adepts hate them.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



The easier way to SovCit your way to greater occult and magickal power would probably be to become an Avatar of the Masterless Man in a very legal sense of "masterless".

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




MAN:OF:THE:FAMILY:MASTERLESS

a computing pun
Jan 1, 2013


Every so often there's a sovcit who tries their whole "maritime law and I'm legally a post office, you can't arrest me because I'm a not a registered mail carrier vessel in this port" or such bullshit and they actually get the result they want, but for an entirely unrelated reason. I'm thinking of one case in particular where the guy claimed he couldn't legally be arrested because sovcit, got arrested, claimed he couldn't be charged with anything because sovcit, got charged, claimed the court had no authority to punish him because sovcit, and the judge threw the case out because the thing he got arrested for wasn't actually illegal and the cop had just made a mistake.

I'd like to imagine that that guy was actually a sovcit adept and used up a moderate charge to make the system work in his favor. But the one thing his powers will never be able to do is make the system tell him he's right. It might, in practice, actually bend to his will, but even if it does he's just a crazy person who happened to catch a lucky break and the fake laws and fake government that he rails against still hold all the actual power.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Unknown Armies is truly the best mental illness simulator tabletop RPG.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




a computing pun posted:

Every so often there's a sovcit who tries their whole "maritime law and I'm legally a post office, you can't arrest me because I'm a not a registered mail carrier vessel in this port" or such bullshit and they actually get the result they want, but for an entirely unrelated reason. I'm thinking of one case in particular where the guy claimed he couldn't legally be arrested because sovcit, got arrested, claimed he couldn't be charged with anything because sovcit, got charged, claimed the court had no authority to punish him because sovcit, and the judge threw the case out because the thing he got arrested for wasn't actually illegal and the cop had just made a mistake.

I'd like to imagine that that guy was actually a sovcit adept and used up a moderate charge to make the system work in his favor. But the one thing his powers will never be able to do is make the system tell him he's right. It might, in practice, actually bend to his will, but even if it does he's just a crazy person who happened to catch a lucky break and the fake laws and fake government that he rails against still hold all the actual power.

IIRC, that was pretty common early on when judges had no idea what was going on and just dismissed them rather than deal with insane rambling over petty poo poo, but between repeated experiences and a couple of SovCits blowing cops away during a traffic stop without warning, nowadays the courts tend to come down on them like a ton of bricks specifically to send a message.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


BTW, I didn't catch that, but is WHF 4e built with maps or theater of the mind in mind? WnG is pretty open about being compatible with jewel like objects of wonder miniatures.

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

... It's magic. I ain't gotta explain shit.

FFRRPG Part 7: Mages part deuce, The Summoning

So part 2 is on summoners and callers.
I'm going to start with callers.

Black and White Callers
Both callers get the same two basic things.

They get either Black or White magic with the progression of the red mage. Hint, white caller's are better.
And they get to Invoke or Call Summons, this is your standard one shot and done stuff. Which isn't bad at all, calling is mp hefty at low levels(Ramuh will run you 21mp and he's a starter!) that however can be ignored as you can just use your black or white magic, at mid and high levels however you get access to a huge variety of powerful effects which many of them are interesting or even completely unique effects not seen anywhere else. The only big downside is the GM controls what summons you get, but almost all summons are pretty good once you get past the starters so as long as you accumulate a reasonably sized collection you should be good.
Callers are great alternative to other mages with greater variety of effects, though their skill advancement is plot based.

Also at lvl30 Callers can pay an Ct-8 and +25% mp to give an invocation +25% damage or healing which is some nice flexibility.

Playable level- 1 as a black/whitemage, 20ish for feeling like a caller(just for mp even if your gm frontloads summons).

Summoners
You'd think the dedicated summoner would be better......

So summoners work on Yuna rules replacing the caster(not the party). Summoning takes an action and lasts until the summon hits 0hp, or you dismiss them. The summon uses your stats for damage, has a multiplier of your hp for it's own pool, and uses your mp pool for abilities.
Beyond the action tax to summoning there is one other glaring weakness to summoners.
Unlike invoking which always uses MAG for damage DIFFERENT SUMMONS USE DIFFERENT STATS. Like the Mime you need all 6 stats.

What's more, SUMMONERS CAN'T INVOKE. You can't even just say "You know what, I need status healing, i call unicorn." Nope, gotta summon him first.
At level 33 you will get for -15CT grand summon which let's you use the grand summon ability while the summon is on the field, this is basically a souped up version of it's invoke effect.

So you would think the dedicated summoner would be at least better at using summons, but nope the simple lack of invoking meaning they can't use the general signature abilities of summons until level 33 and no quick invocations makes them WORSE.
Oh except Cerebus, he's busted on summoners, so busted no GM will EVER let you have him. (183 MP for Mass Haste+Mass Quicken)

Playable Level-Never

Also if you have a summoner AND a caller in your party, A summoner is supposed to only get 6 summons ever. Callers meanwhile should have about twice as many, try working THAT out. Actually having twice as many summons might make the summoner almost not total poo poo if just from the increased probability to get enough mag based summons to have variety.

Edit: Also Summons are in an appendix in the actual PDF, NOT the magic rules on the site.

WhitemageofDOOM fucked around with this message at 08:55 on Oct 3, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



JcDent posted:

BTW, I didn't catch that, but is WHF 4e built with maps or theater of the mind in mind? WnG is pretty open about being compatible with jewel like objects of wonder miniatures.

It can do either, depending on how abstract you want movement to be.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Tome of Salvation

The Doom Song

Rites of passage are common and very important for Imperials. Birth, death, adulthood, a journeyman passing on to a full artisan, a soldier taking the coin and leaving home to fight, all of these things have a sacred component to Imperials. It isn't explicit, but given how much Imperials tend to fear Chaos, I can't help but read into this that every liminal point or time of change has to be protected against it.

Imperials begin to invoke the Gods the moment a woman is certain she's pregnant. The mother is blessed by a priest or priestess of Shallya or Rhya (or both, if possible) and has her belly rubbed with sacred herbs to ward off misfortune and mutation. The father makes offering to Taal for his own part in the gift of life, and Morr to placate the God and ask him not to draw the child into his realm any time soon. Many lay offerings to Morr are propitiatory like that. Auguries are also performed, and for a fee, many prophets and augurs claim they can change the fate of the child for the better. In a world of magic, this is sometimes (though not very often) true; some very powerful priests or wizards can set a child on another path before they're even born.

Infant mortality is high and childbirth is fairly dangerous in the Old World. When a child is born and the mother is safe, it is considered an auspicious event, with prayers of thanks given to Shallya for her mercy. A shilling (or in rich families, a crown) is taken and buried on the family's property, to be dug up and given to the child when they come of age. Birth-coins are an object of many superstitions and even more genuine magic rituals; Necromancers and Chaos Cultists prize the coins of children who died without reaching adulthood as useful magical components. It's also considered terrible luck to have to spend your birth coin. Most Imperials will try to hold on to theirs no matter what, because spending the first gift they were given on entering the world is supposed to ensure a life of pain and sorrow. By contrast, birthdays in the Empire don't involve giving personal gifts; rather family and friends provide sacrifices to Shallya and other patron Gods to thank them for your health and ensure it will continue, with the assumption that you will provide reciprocal sacrifices on their birthdays. Every birthday is a marking of how death hasn't gotten you yet.

Now we come to the centerpiece of this whole section, which the thread has thoroughly discussed already, but goddamnit Dooming is an amazing tradition. Every Imperial child is brought before a priest or doomsayer of Morr and told how they're going to die, at their tenth birthday. Every single one. This is considered a very important part of transitioning from a child towards adulthood, facing that death is certain and it is definitely coming for you at some point. In some communities, this is done on the day of the New Year, with every child of appropriate age coming before the priest for their foretelling, while in others it's handled more individually. Whoever suggested playing as a wandering Morrite who gets into adventures in between traveling off and telling children horrible stories of their inevitable deaths, this is 100% an acceptable PC idea. Also, Ostermarker Doomings are the best because they involve ritual wearing of outrageous hats, while Averlanders often have to make due without a priest and have a parent or village elder just make something up on the fly.

Whatever happens, a child comes before Morr bearing gifts that will forestall the God until their prophesied doom. The augur reminds them that no sacrifices will ward off death eternally, and then tells them, in a smoke-filled room at the edge of twilight, how they are going to die. The child leaves, closer to adulthood and wiser as to the ways of the world and the inevitability of death, and usually in tears.

Dooming is presented as an important part of roleplaying an Imperial. Imperials are a little death-obsessed sometimes, and they love augury and fortune-telling because they often have a fundamental anxiety about the future. The Dooming is one of the most universal religious rituals an Imperial Human PC will have participated in, and it tends to be important to a character because many are traumatized by it. We get a series of questions to ask if a player wants to consider how their Dooming shaped their PC, and they're the usual things like 'how did you react' 'do you believe it' 'do you try to avoid the thing you were told of' and all that sort of stuff. We get notes on how to incorporate Doom with the Fate system: When a PC has run out of Fate, they naturally tend to be played more cautiously, since they both don't have any rerolls left and also can't escape death if they go down. Thus, a GM might want to drop signs of their Dooming to explain why a previously brash hero might suddenly be more withdrawn and careful, as they feel their death approaching for real this time. Also, if you die like your Dooming, 'your new PC can have 1 extra advance' (with no indication of whether a new PC should be brought up to speed with other PCs and then given an extra advance on top; 2e never dealt with how to handle power disparities from PC death). We of course get a 1-100 table of Dooms. They warn of everything, from execution, to making GBS threads yourself to death because of bad sausage, to the doomsayer having a heart attack in terror at witnessing your fate and never actually getting round to telling it to you, on account of being dead themselves. A sidenote says a GM should not be too worried if a Dooming doesn't come true; they're hard to read literally and most soothsayers are faking it anyway. Similarly, if you have 0 Fate and pass a Fear or Terror test with doubles, or roll doubles on the severity dice for a crit, a character is enlightened by closeness to death and gains Fearless for d10 hours, as they realize Morr is not to be feared after all.

Quickening is another very important ceremony, when a child begins puberty. In theory, this ceremony marks the point where a person can join the military, take on an official apprenticeship, or become an Initiate, but in reality most children will have already been learning a trade or helping with the family business long before their Quickening. The ceremony varies a great deal from province to province, but in all cases there is a celebration with family and friends as the child is presented to the Gods as a child and permitted to ascend to adulthood. A favorite childhood toy or article of baby clothing is burned and buried, to mark this passage. In many towns, the young men and women are divided up on Quickening Day and begin to be presented to one another as future spouses, a ritual that the parents love and the children find horribly embarrassing. Sometimes, these are binding oaths and most of a town's marriages are arranged by matchmakers at this time. Other times, it's just a silly formality and the new adults are allowed to choose who they court every time Mannslieb comes full again. In the northern Empire, boys undergo a more thorough rite to Taal where they must prove they can survive in the wilds and learn to use weapons and hunt. If a child somehow dies on this form of initiation, they are to be stricken from the communal memory, and it is not permitted to speak of them again, nor to grieve.

Marriage is simple. Divorce is not. Marriage involves picking a priest, entering a contract between families, jumping over a jug together, and now you're wed. Noble marriages tend to complicate things with huge affairs of conspicuous consumption and much more complicated contracts. The jug you jumped over is kept, and by law if it is ever shattered the couple can consider divorce. It's considered good luck for a match to keep the jug in good shape. In most of the Empire, it is tradition for the man to ask the woman for her hand in marriage, but in southern Reikland and Wissenland the custom is reversed, and the man has right of refusal while the woman initiates. Divorce is strongly discouraged by social pressure and the ties of property and family. If a couple is to divorce, they must find a priest (it's luckier to find the same one who married you) to tie their hands together, then ritually cut the bond with a sacred knife, then throw the bonds into a fire (or the sea, if the priest is a Manaanite). Before this ritual, the couple must decide on the fate of their property, children, and all the other legal elements of marriage, which is the real barrier to divorce. Nobles almost never divorce, because their marriages usually have major political implications that would be very difficult to disentangle; unhappily married noble couples are an unfortunately common thing in the Empire.

Journeyman's Release is the mark of an apprentice ending their apprenticeship and entering their journeyman period, and it is a time of great celebration because this is a major professional achievement. The journeyman presents the finest craft they did as an apprentice to their master, who accepts it and gifts it back to the journeyman, as the first item they can truly be said to have made for themselves. Friends and family gather to praise and honor the master for instructing the apprentice well, and to honor the apprentice's transition into a real craftsperson. It is considered bad luck to directly criticize this piece of work, which has led to an entire genre of backhanded praise and weasel words for crotchety older relatives to use to claim they did way better back in their day. The master then presents the journeyman with three coins, one to be spent on moving to a new community (or renting a home within your current one), one to be spent on tools, and the last to be saved as a memory of your education. Spending the third coin is said to curse a tradesperson's work forevermore, in parallel to an Imperial Birth Coin.

Soldier's Day marks the day when a soldier or squire has finished their training and becomes a full member of their regiment or order. For knightly orders, this is a ritual of great pomp and honor. For common soldiers, a batch who have just finished their training will generally go out and get massively drunk and try to get laid before they go to war, instead. These ceremonies are often led by older members of the regiment, who guide the new soldiers in carousing, getting tattoos, and fatalistic toasts about how they're all off to war and may well die out there. I did mention Imperials are a bit death obsessed, yeah? Tattooing is an important part of Soldier's Day, both to build unit cohesion and celebrate (Imperials love body art and piercings as it is) but also because a unit marker tattoo makes it easy to identify deserters.

Next Time: Holy Places

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Having read what Hey Guns has to say about people in the 30 Year War, being obsessed with death seems on point.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Honestly, poo poo's better for the 2522 Empire than the actual 30 years war. For the most part the agriculture and normal system of government are still working, outside of portions of the north that are under some degree of pillage. The Empire actually has coherent armies and is ahistorically good at paying them. Yes, you occasionally have to fight Satan or Dracula, but without widespread famine and a total breakdown of the social order I'd honestly take the former over being enmeshed in the real 17th century clusterfuck.

Plus you get bitchin' wizards and the regimental chaplain can heal gunshot wounds and summon comets of fire.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




I'm sure I've said this before, but I would go to church a lot more if my pastor could make his hammer light on fire.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


On the other hand, the circus spreads plague, and going into the forests might get you ganked by beastmen, orcs and/or goblins.

But you might see an elf cutie one day!

It's wood elf and she's here to kill you for being in the forest.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk








Adventure 2: Raw Recruits - Background & Overview






Welcome to Raw Recruits, the second pre-gen adventure in the Dark*Matter campaign guide! This adventure is intended to work for either new players or for parties that have some experience under their belts. Since they all survived, I'll be re-using the four heroes from the first adventure - Donna, Doug, Jane and Nadine - and assuming that this second adventure marks their first real operation as agents of the Hoffman Institute. I'm going to assume that they've spent the last few months undergoing the necessary training and education that the Hoffman Institute requires, and consequently I've advanced each of them to level 3. What did each hero learn during their compulsory education at Hoffman University?


Donna

Donna made it out of the White River Station with little more than some slight irritation from smoke inhalation. While the events of the evening still plague her dreams, she's more or less put it behind her and used her new employment opportunity with the Hoffman Institute to distract her from the memories. After signing on, she picked up a variety of new skills over the course of her training - she got better at evading combat, focused on learning how to shoot her pistol effectively, trained her body to resist shock and pain, picked up basic computer skills and learned to pay more attention to her surroundings.

Acrobatics - Dodge Rank Benefit (-2) [Dodge + Action in same round] / Modern Ranged Weapons - Pistol (-4) / Stamina - Endurance (-4) / Knowledge - Computer Operations (-1) / Awareness - Perception (-2)


Doug

Doug had a rough time of it at the White River Station, what with being savagely attacked by a bonafide Stranger. While the physical trauma has healed, the mental anguish he experienced due to the unnatural source of the attack seems to have had a more profound effect on Doug - he's developed a previously unrealized psychic power. Since the trigger was an encounter with a demon of ice and snow, his psyche's response has been the spontaneous generation of pyrokinetic prowess. Unfortunately for Doug his powers only seem to function when he's feeling stress or frustration, and this has driven him to spend the majority of his time with the Hoffman Institute attempting to learn everything he can about his new powers (and researching psychic phenomena in general).

Flaw: Wild Talent (+6) [Powers can trigger accidentally when under duress] / Telekinesis - Pyrokinetics (-12) / Lore - Psychic Lore (-7)


Jane

Jane has made the transition from civil servant to private investigator with some difficulty. While it took very little effort for the Hoffman Institute to secure her "transfer" from her previous job as a highway patrol officer, Jane still isn't completely comfortable in the new world of secrets and the supernatural and conspiracies in which she finds herself. To that end, she's doubled her focus down on the skills that were most familiar from her life as a police officer, and decided that if she's going to work with spooks and spies, she'll continue to keep to her own code of conduct.

Flaw: Code of Honor (+3) [Observe Police procedure and follow the law] / Modern Ranged Weapon - Pistol +1 (-4) [Rank Benefit - Quick Draw] / Knowledge - Deduce (-2) / Investigate - Research (-10)


Nadine

Nadine survived the White River Station with the least trauma and, consequently, felt the least obligated to consider the employment offer from the Hoffman Institute. While they promised her a generous salary, what finally brought her around was the opportunity to test her expertise as a medical professional in new and unusual circumstances - xenobiology, cryptozoology, and alien bacteria are infinitely more interesting to her than anything she had going in her civilian life. Nadine's spent her training time by exhausting the Hoffman Institute archives of their supernatural materials.

Life Science - Biology +1 (-4) and Genetics (-2) / Awareness - Perception (-2) / Resolve (-5)


Adventure Background: Over the past 75 years, nearly 5,000 total case files have been linked to the American Midwest - religious phenomena, hauntings, the spiritualist movement, Bigfoot sightings, UFO encounters and Illuminati machinations. The Hoffman Institute established their Chicago branch in 1927 and the Chicago Specimen Collection in 1934, both to keep a close eye on this region of the U.S. and to provide a safe space to catalogue and research all of the various things that HI operations uncover.


Overview: Raw Recruits focuses specifically on an investigation into the alleged poltergeist activity within the Desmond family home in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The heroes from the previous adventure have been sent out to the HI Chicago branch to rendezvous with the Facility Chief R.A. Patterson, whom will act as their handler for the assignment. Following the introduction, they're sent out to the scene of the incidents to try and figure out whether or not there's genuine paranormal phenomena or whether it's an elaborate hoax. Things are definitely not what they seem at first glance, and it's up to the heroes to figure out why these phenomena keep occurring, and in so doing, potentially save the life of an innocent teen. However, the heroes aren't the only individuals investigating this case, and it's likely to turn into a race against time as the heroes attempt to resolve the situation before any of the other players can beat them to the punch and score their own victories. Much like the Exit 23, there's multiple ways this adventure can be concluded, and not all of the potential endings are happy.


NEXT TIME: Act I - The Briefing, the House and the Poltergeist

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

... It's magic. I ain't gotta explain shit.

FFRRPG Part 8: Adepts Part 1

Adepts are the fighter/mages, the classes that use MP but not magic.
Alright that's a very clear, very understandable distinction. Let's immediately throw it out the window.

Blue Mage
It's right in the name, they have a magic list. Why is summoner not in the adept list and blue mage not in the mage list, gently caress if I know.

Blue magic is....random as hell, normally i praise variety of effects but blue magic is just RANDOM. You also need to learn it by enemies using it. Now this is "From the GM" all cavets of caller apply, except monsters have to use it and we will describe the learning process in a bit, but the big one is monster's have to use it. Not the GM gives you a plot hook and a boss or quest for your new spell, he has to design a monster with **that** particular spell, then they have to use it, then you have to get hit with it.
I don't trust blue mages in normal FFs, in those you have guides.

Azure Lore, you get hit with a blue magic spell and it doesn't kill you, you get it. Pretty staight forward for the damaging spells.
Assimilation, You have a CoS% chance(that's what it says, it doesn't specify AT ALL) to learn a blue magic spell you SEE cast as long as you aren't affected by a long host of statuses, including blind.

Playable Level- By the GM's good graces and good luck
Yeah Blue mages aren't just unplayable, they are unrateable your class is a giant pile of GM fiat and luck.

Dark Knight
Do you want to be incredibly broken at high levels by abusing MP on weapon damage abilities? Than do I have the class for you!

Level 1- Darkside, Pay 25% of your max hp for 200% damage. Wait isn't this supposed to hit all. Eggghhh, It exists, I wouldn't consider it worth the price of admission but it is a good sometimes food.
Level 8- Black Sky, 19 Mp for 75% Weapon Damage as Shadow Damage to a group and a chance to inflict blind. Remember how loving great cherry blossom was? Well that's better at 8, but this gets better as the cost gets better and better and better.
Level 15- Night Sword, 17 Mp for 100% Weapon damage and hp drain. gently caress YES, HELL loving YES.
Level 22- Corruption, 40mp for a chance to inflict zombie, zombie reverses healing, despite only getting 10 abilities they never all are winners even dragoons.
Level 29- Duskblade, 12 Mp for 100 % Weapon damage to MP AND MP DRAIN. YOU ARE THE INFINITE ENGINE, IT'S YOU!
Level 36- Beastflare, 65 Mp to do group fire damage, this should be a huge part of your toolkit being your first group option, not doing shadow damage......17*Mag damage, instantly rendering it pointless.
Level 43- Catastrophe, 70mp Removes all barrier and enhance status effects from all enemies, when this is good, it's VERY good.
Level 50- Nightmare, 90mp, 100% weapon damage as shadow damage and a 30% chance to inflict....Curse, Mini, Sleep, Poison. Yeah 4 statuses. This is cheaper than the black mage spell pain, has more statuses, and does damage.
Level 57- Demon Slice, 125mp, Halves the targets hp and has a chance to inflict sap. Well this is time magey, since % damage is ignored by bosses you can forget about this being relevant, and it costs more mp than the time mage equivalents.
Level 64- Soul Eater, Attempts to kill every enemy those that survive take 150% weapon damage as shadow damage, 175mp. Well we sure took our sweet time breaking the 100% damage barrier and get an AoE besides black sky but a hell of a capstone.

Playable Level- 15
The biggest problem with the dark knight is basically every other ability is a stinker, but your good abilities are SO GOOD, like REALLY GOOD. and those costs don't scale. Black sky is the same 19 MP at level 64 at level 8. Your other big problem is you won't be doing a lot of damage outside using dark side, but who cares, your abilities are still amazing.

Geomancer
What the, why are you an adept and not an expert, you don't use mp, YOU EVEN HAVE AN EXPERTISE SCORE.

Welcome to dancer 2.0, you randomly roll which ability you get based on the terrain and your level. BASED ON THE TERRAIN.
I sure want to do fire damage in a volcano! or ice damage in the tundra!
HOWEVER....This was actually thought of! And you get geotrance, at first level you get to pick one terrain type, every 8 levels after you can pick another you have been too. You can use any terrain you mastered this way....by making a survival roll, yay.

Magic Knight
Remember how I said there was a class that worked like I said black mages should work? Meet the magic knight.

Spellblade- At first level you get 1 element and 1 status, you can add these on to your NORMAL ATTACK for the MP cost(so weapons aren't stat sticks.), they.....think the elemental adding is great to be fair it's okish later as you can drop literally every element by end game so it's literally does it have a weakness? if yes pay 5mp for x2 damage. More importantly you can drop a giant gently caress rear end list of statuses ontop of 100% weapon damage....for the same MP cost as the black mage.
Starting at 22 you get effect strikes these let you do more interesting stuff like halve hp.
Starting at 50 you get ultimate spell blades, this let's you actually do more than 100% damage and target groups! and that's what you will use it for, because poo poo like black hole strike is awful, sure instant death and if that fails drop to 1hp sounds great but bosses are immune.

In addition Magic knights get a blevvy of SOS abilities.
Level 1- SOS-Shell, when at 25% or lower hp you have shell up(50% less magic damage)
Level 15- SOS-Protect, when at 25% or lower hp you have protect up(50% less physical damage)
Level 40- SOS-Haste, when at 25% or lower hp you have haste(x2 iniative)
All your SOS abilities stack.

Playable Level 8- At this point you will have 2 elements but more importantly 2 statuses to inflict, and probably a weapon that naturally does cool stuff.

Ninja
Dear god, this class, this class is such a chop shop. Let's just get into it before the analysis.

Level 1- Throw, you can throw a weapon to destroy it for x2 damage(this always uses agi).
Level 1- Dual Wield, you can equip two weapons, and attack with each.
Level 8- Utsumi, Gain agility up, this ain't no scream that's for sure.
Level 15- Katon, 28mp, 12*Mag fire damage and a chance to inflict confuse.
Level 22- Image, Get a crappy version of blur that loses 5 of the evade every time you are hit.
Level 29- Suiton, I'm just skipping the mp costs now, 16 * Mag water damage and a chance to silence.
Level 36- Shadow Stich, Inflicts disable and immobilize, this is WAYYYYY too late for this.
Level 43- Raiton, Costs mp, 20 * Mag lighting damage and a chance to inflict blind.
Level 50- Sunken State, When you take damage a 30% chance to gain vanish(Can't be targeted by single target effects from enemies), yeah this is great.
Level 57- Doton, 24 * Mag earth damage and a chance to inflict slow.
Level 64- Elan, Add CT-10 to change Katon, Suiton, Raiton, or Doton to group targeting.

Playable Level- Never
Once again we come across a class that is trying to do two things. One which can work and one which can't. The "Can work" Is the Dual wield, utsumi, image, shadow switch ninja who uses mp costing abilities to buff and support his single awesome attack ability(ie dual wield) if the ninja was this for his full progression he'd be fine.
The can't work is Katon, Suiton, Raiton, and Doton which well, it's sort of what I'd want for the black mage except stupid in every way. To begin with, the abilities don't scale if you want to do fire damage or inflict confuse you only do 12*Mag damage, also elan is level 64 which blows.
Also you'd need two stats(Agi and Mag) to do both, also you only have a 12 AGI and 10 Mag.

Pass on the Ninja.

WhitemageofDOOM fucked around with this message at 08:56 on Oct 3, 2018

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



For the Ninja, maybe they should steal from how Bravely Second handled weapon throwing abilities. When you Throw, the weapon is gone until the end of the combat or when you use the (higher level) ability Retrieve Weapon, which for a little MP returns all thrown weapons.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


As someone who regularly use Blue Magic in Final Fantasy, in the actual games it's fantastic and actually one of the strongest tools available, generally. (even in the ones where it's somewhat weaker, there's generally enough good options to use it, X being the exception because of how spectacularly badly it's handled there). The problem is that in actual Final Fantasy games, *the developers program all of the spells in in advance*. You know that if they're offering you a Blue Mage, all the spells WILL be available and a means of getting them all onto your character will be provided. That's not something you can do in a multiplayer tabletop environment. It requires too many things to line up between players and GM.

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

... It's magic. I ain't gotta explain shit.

Ratoslov posted:

For the Ninja, maybe they should steal from how Bravely Second handled weapon throwing abilities. When you Throw, the weapon is gone until the end of the combat or when you use the (higher level) ability Retrieve Weapon, which for a little MP returns all thrown weapons.

That would require them to have thought of that rather than copying how final fantasy worked at the time.

OvermanXAN posted:

As someone who regularly use Blue Magic in Final Fantasy, in the actual games it's fantastic and actually one of the strongest tools available, generally. (even in the ones where it's somewhat weaker, there's generally enough good options to use it, X being the exception because of how spectacularly badly it's handled there). The problem is that in actual Final Fantasy games, *the developers program all of the spells in in advance*. You know that if they're offering you a Blue Mage, all the spells WILL be available and a means of getting them all onto your character will be provided. That's not something you can do in a multiplayer tabletop environment. It requires too many things to line up between players and GM.

Oh I know, I just always considered it more trouble than it's worth.
Everything said after of course remains true, and you know the unstated chance to learn by seeing rather than getting hit which you need for all those useful support skills or just single target abilities never aimed at you.

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Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Actual understanding of design is still a sad rarity in RPG design, and there's a particularly sad tendency with video game adaptation systems to just literally write out the video game mechanics with no understanding of how/why they work in play (or don't work, given how said games can be broken over your knee) and call it a day. To the point where it seems like the intent is to just play out the video game without the computer doing the math for you.

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