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Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Night10194 posted:

You kind of have to have an actual hook to get people to bother reading complicated backstory.

Like for all its problems, Vampire at least had a hook: "You're sexy vampires just like those sexy vampire novels that are popular! Come live in sexy dark vampire society and be different than D&D." is going to get someone's attention, especially at the time it came out. Here it's like pages and pages about its dozen silly apocalypses and who even cares, there's nothing about what you get to do in the game so your eyes just slide off the page.

JcDent posted:

I think their issue is that they're not starting on a personal level promise/hook (you're a vampire doing intrigue in gothic urban hellscape) and then moving into the weeds (antediluvians, space doesn't exist, but mages do, etc), while the heartbreakers go "here's our stupid cosmology, 65 million years of it, gently caress you."
Many games are guilty of putting a huge infodump chapter right near the beginning. Some have succeeded in spite of it--I mean, Fading Suns did pretty well for awhile, right? But it's still a drag.

But many attempts to build new RPG franchises fall completely flat because the corebook elaborates a huge setting that still, somehow, lacks anything interesting for someone planning a campaign to grab onto. In the D20 era, there was a glut of games that were trying to simultaneously be similar to and distinct from an anodyne D&D campaign setting.

Alpha Omega is a post-apocalypse setting that's also a huge multi-genre kitchen sink. So, it's one of a few attempts I've seen to do Rifts but better. That's understandable, because Rifts is unplayably bad. (People who theoretically play Rifts eschew as much of the rules as they can.) But it seems like a bland hash, when all is said and done.

Infinity may gleefully and blatantly rip off a whole bunch of stuff, but the end result is not generic. Alpha Omega's art is fine in terms of quality, but it's like, here's a Cenobite and here's a generic cyberpunk mook and here's one of the guys from Age of Sigmar. Meh.

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Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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

megane posted:

This reminds me, is that Invisible Sun "pay us 800 bucks to make up a dumb fact about witches and mail it to you hand-engraved on gold foil" thing out yet, I want somebody to F&F that

It's out. I've been playing it a bit, but I can't F&F it because it's my buddy's copy. While I actually kind of like that it tries making a game with really high production values and tons of feelies, in the actual execution it falls on its face a lot and tends to squander the possibility of stuff.

Also, the person that came up with the idea of making the example character sheets have all different formats to maximize flavor and have one of them not have the boxes labeled should never do graphic design ever again.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Ratoslov posted:

It's out. I've been playing it a bit, but I can't F&F it because it's my buddy's copy. While I actually kind of like that it tries making a game with really high production values and tons of feelies, in the actual execution it falls on its face a lot and tends to squander the possibility of stuff.

Also, the person that came up with the idea of making the example character sheets have all different formats to maximize flavor and have one of them not have the boxes labeled should never do graphic design ever again.

So it's a Monte Cook game.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Halloween Jack posted:

Infinity may gleefully and blatantly rip off a whole bunch of stuff, but the end result is not generic. Alpha Omega's art is fine in terms of quality, but it's like, here's a Cenobite and here's a generic cyberpunk mook and here's one of the guys from Age of Sigmar. Meh.

The key to 'I'm ripping off Ghost in the Shell and a shitload of other stuff I like' working out has to be in trying to combine them all towards something interesting. Aliens invading to steal your CPU cycles from the hyper-computer that everyone insists is normal and good and that has crazy Section 9 hyper-cyborgs defending it? People paying to make engineered organisms/cyborgs of famous characters from history, but making them into stylized pop-culture nationalist supersoldier symbols instead? That's at least putting some spin on the ideas and trying to think about how they interact to get something new even as you start with components from a bunch of other stuff.

E: Also, Infinity has a clear elevator pitch. "Special forces teams knife each other in the dark edges of a cyberpunk future." is a clear, gameable premise.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Oct 10, 2018

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Night10194 posted:

"Special forces teams knife each other in the dark edges of a cyberpunk future." is a clear, gameable premise.
And I get to be Cyber Tito?! Take my loving money you assholes!

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

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

Leraika posted:

Yeah, the initiative stuff is what I like least about 4e. I don't like that your wind score (or any score) has no bearing on your initiative, I don't like how easy it is to roll like fresh rear end and get three attacks at the very end of the round which lets monsters reduce you to a fine paste before you can do anything. I really don't like the complicated initiative manipulation stuff; to me it's a lot of work and a lot of tracking for very little cool mechanics benefit other than 'oh boy we sure want to have fidelity to the video games'.

The simplified rules weren't a thing when I played so I'm super glad to see them exist, at least, even if 4e is not the game for me.

Initiative(and actions) is as has been proven by most games, a god stat.
That wind doesn't give bonus actions is probably a good thing. Wind could probably go above Initiative total to determine who goes on an initiative count to make that noticeably less fiddly.
Also getting screwed by rolling 3 10s is a lot harder than getting screwed by just.....rolling a 1 in D&D? And either way you can get reduced to a fine paste.
I mean THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED in my example 3e combat except to the enemies, one player invested in initiative and reduced the entire encounter to a fine paste.


Also 'fidelity to the video games' this is not. The games are nothing like this, at all, this is massive cool mechanics benefit. You don't like it, that's fine, I do. But It isn't fidelity to the video games in any sense, it's building on "Tactical positioning based on initiative counts rather than a grid" as a real central conceit, rather than building the game like a grid game and then lining everyone up in rows.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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

Mors Rattus posted:

So it's a Monte Cook game.

It is possibly the Monte Cook game.

I mean, the game has hidden secret bullshit. You know the Testement of Suns, the dumb plastic hand to hold cards? Well my buddy noticed that the hand has a hollow and the bottom of it was felt, so he cut it open and apparently found a secret rule or story bit hidden in it. The game is just full of dumb mystery-cult ARG poo poo like this.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
That's neat, but it's Monte Cook writing and Monte Cook design. It's like unearthing and translating the Voynich Manuscript and finding out it's stereo instructions.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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

Halloween Jack posted:

That's neat, but it's Monte Cook writing and Monte Cook design. It's like unearthing and translating the Voynich Manuscript and finding out it's stereo instructions.

Yeah, exactly.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."
Alpha Omege Part 3: Wait, do WHAT with my dice?!

Here it is, the chapter that basically makes this game worth mocking. There's other dumb stuff later, but this is where the game really starts to break down. Though, one small note about the title, it's worth mentioning that the Seraph are generally associated with Alpha energy, and Ophanum with Omega, but it has zero mechanical effect besides giving you an easy way to predict which Source the aliens are going to be Wielding if they encounter a ghost. So, still basically useless.

Chapter 7: Dice Crimes

The chapter begins with a glossary of game turns, and then immediately starts up telling us about Alpha Omega's dice pools. Which dice do you roll? Well, let me just show you the chart:


By the way, yes, this is the color scheme for every chart in the book.

So, let's break that fucker down. So, you might think that your Quality Score is calculated by adding your skill or Wielding ranks to their governing Core or Secondary or Tertiary Quality, right? Wrong! Only your Core/Secondary/Tertiary Quality goes into your Quality score, your skill/Wielding ranks proved a flat bonus to the roll. So, for example, if the character I built in the last post wants to roll Theology to pray to a merciful God to save him from this goddamn chart, he'd be rolling 1d6 and 5d4 (his Wisdom is 15), then he'd add 2. For most tasks, he'd be rolling 6d4 and adding nothing. By the way, you may now be thinking to yourself, now that the chart is revealed, aren't the races with lovely skills but high Core Qualities actually just better at both because they roll much larger dice pools? Yes, yes they are. Sure, they lack the consistency provided by skills, but, and I apologize for not going over this last post, but there are dozens of skills, which you'd have to raise individually. Oh, and you'll want to add Field ranks, too, because those add to every skill within the Field. Or you could just roll more and bigger dice.

So, what can we do with our dice pool? Well, let's check the chart of Difficulty Ratings for checks. A "simple" task is DR 10, "easy" is DR 20, "average" 30, "difficult" 45, and "formidable" is 60. Now, wait just a moment, our absolute best roll for any skill is 1d6+5d4+4. 30 is literally the highest number that we can reach with that. It takes a perfect roll just to beat an average skill check for most starting characters. Even the vaunted Nephilim and Anunnaki are only working with the 18-19 and 20-21 rows of the chart on their best Qualities, starting out. And note that starting PCs are supposed to be above average compared to normal people in this game. Normal people can barely handle Easy poo poo. Oh, and that's not all. The first time you make a skill check, you also roll the Critical Die. Basically, you roll a 1d20 alongside your dice pool. If it comes up 20, you get a Critical Success, if you get a 1, Critical Failure. Why the gently caress are we just rolling a d20 solely to see if criticals happen? Don't ask me, that's a DR 30 check.

Now, aside from Skill rolls, there are also Resist rolls, basically saving throws, and while they use the same dice pool, their DRs are much more lenient, with average being a mere 15. At least you won't get murdered by save-or-die spells. But that's enough about skill checks, let's move on to other systems that are entirely too goddamn complicated.

The next section of this chapter begins by describing how the game tracks time differently in and out of combat. It includes the deeply concerning line, "Success checks (their catch-all term for rolling your dice) undertaken during Standard Time always have the advantage of a whole Dice Pool, meaning players roll all their available dice." No further explanation is given for that during this section. Instead, we move on to Stances. I'm just gonna put up the chart again for this:


Yeah, this is gonna get worse before it gets better.

So, first, let's discuss the difference between Static and Dynamic Stances. In Static Stances, you can't move, while in Dynamic Stances, you must move. You can only change your Stance at the start of a turn, as a free action, either between valid Static Stances, or from a Static Stance to one of its corresponding Dynamic Stances. You see, you need to be in the right Static Stance before you can switch to a Dynamic Stance. And you can't move between Dynamic Stances, either. Yes, this means that in order to go from Running to Sprinting, you have to first come to a complete stop, as you can only initiate Sprinting from the Standing Stance. Oh, except here, literally one paragraph after saying Stances can only be changed at the beginning of a turn, it says you can go from a Static to Dynamic Stance at any point in the turn you want. Get those editors, kids! Presumably, they mean you can downshift from a Dynamic Stance back to Static at any point in the turn, basically, you can choose to stop moving whenever. As you may have guessed, each type of movement has its own movement rate, which is also modified by Athleticism, remember that? Now, my average starting PC Athleticism only lets me move 2 SIM on the ground ("SIM" is Alpha Omega's universal measurement, equating to one grid square, one inch on the table, or one real-world meter, depending on how you play; this is literally the one really well-implemented part of the rules), but I got wings so gently caress that I'm gonna fly, which lets me move 10 SIM right off the bat.

Oh, and remember how this game supports a no-miniatures style of play? Character facing is an important mechanic. Have fun constantly checking with the players to figure out which way they're all facing!

Next, we get on to Creature State, where we can finally learn about that poo poo Grigori can maybe do once they've gained a couple thousand CDP and raised their Core Qualities enough, or that Wielders can change pretty much right out of the box. I'm... I'm just gonna post the charts.




This is all extremely necessary.

Moving on at top speed, we finally reach the full, formal description of how to use skills. First, we're told to calculate our Skill Proficiency Level, or SPL. Don't panic, it's just the sum of our Skill and Field ranks. Skill checks are described as a "simple four-step process", so let's see how simple it is. First, declare an action, easy enough. Next, the GM assigns a DR to your action, hopefully you picked something easy. From there, you determine your dice pool (yes, that chart gets used for basically every roll you ever make, because if you get any sort of circumstance bonus/penalty, the GM is told to adjust your roll by steps on the chart rather than raw numbers). Then you roll, but, let's take a look at how Alpha Omega describes rolling:

Alpha Omega posted:

The player rolls the Dice Pool and the sum of the roll is added to the character’s SPL for that Skill. This total is referred to as the character’s Attempt. The Attempt is compared to the DR of the Skill Check. If the Attempt is greater than or equal to the DR, the player is successful, and if it is less than the DR, the player is unsuccessful.

This is the sort of bullshit I've been sparing you people by summarizing everything, everything in this book is written just like this. You're welcome. Further rules are given for using multiple skills at once, helping each other out, and modifying the DR for when you need to hurry up.

Chapter 7.5: gently caress it, new header because now it's time for the combat system. Hold on to your hats.

Fortuitously, the combat section is section 5 of the chapter and denoted as "7.5", so that's convenient for me. This is where we meet the "6-6 System". I've been saving this explanation. See, the "6-6 System" was apparently such a big loving deal to Mindstorm Labs that they got a separate copyright for it, and even made a logo for it. Because this was gonna be the next fuckin' OGL or some poo poo.

How's the 6-6 System work? I'll let the creators explain:

Alpha Omega posted:

REMEMBER THE CYCLE 6-6 RULE. There are 6 Segments in a Cycle, and characters can only roll 6 dice per Cycle for the Actions they initiate. Dice used for Reaction Checks, Resist Checks, or any other rolls not initiated by the character are not deducted from these 6 dice. If a character has more than one Active Segment in a Combat Cycle, which is the case the majority of the time, the player must decide how many dice to roll in each Active Segment.

In other words, remember those dice we have that are barely sufficient to handle the simplest of tasks? Now we might have to split them up. Referring back to the original chart, we can see that our Reaction entitles us to actions in both Segment 3 and Segment 6, but our odds of being able to accomplish anything if we try to act in both are pretty fuckin' low. Each segment represents one second of a six-second turn. By the way, if that sounds at all familiar, it's because it's basically using D&D turns to handle 7th Sea-style initiative, but also you have to divvy up your ability to be competent between each action.

This explanation is followed by overly long explanations of initiative, surprise rounds, and the various action types, it's nothing you haven't seen before, just written by people who think "more words" equals "more smart". Turns out the only effect character facing has on gameplay is increasing the penalty you take for shooting at multiple targets based on how much you need to turn before you're facing them. From there, it goes into damage, death, healing, and so on. It gets mildly interesting when it hits the section on Endurance. You can use it to boost physical actions or speed up your Wielding, but you take scaling penalties to your dice as you start running out, so basically you can't use the last 30 percent of your Endurance pool if you want to live. After that, it's back to normal poo poo. Lighting and darkness, the effects of drugs and addiction, poison, disease, fall damage, and exposure.

Now, the driving rules are kind of fun, because they're technically impossible to use. There's a misprint on the chart for calculating the difficulty of making tricky maneuvers while driving. Where the numeric modifiers for velocity would go, it instead lists the Qualities used for the different Wielding Sources. The only indication that you're not supposed to somehow add your Charisma to the Maneuver Rating of your maneuver (which then translates into a DR on a sub-chart) just because you're going at less than 25% of max velocity is that the example text uses a flat number as the modifier for Max Velocity (and also because the other way is stupid). Granted, it's easy to intuit from the example that the misprinted section just goes 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, but for a game with such a love of charts, they really hosed this one up.


WHOOPS.

EDIT: So, as you might notice, I hosed up a little! So, I just grabbed that chart from my PDF without looking, it turns out that in the PDF version of the book, they fixed the misprint! My physical copy of the book is what I was actually reading through, so, uh, sorry!


The actual misprint in question. I'm not crazy!

Finally, the book explains Wielding. We've already read about what the Sources and Intentions do, but how do we use them? Well, you build your effect using the following factors:


Yeah, it's as bad as it looks.

So, let's go through what those mean. So, first is the range, which only factors in the distance to the furthest target you're trying to affect. Then, you get your number of targets or the diameter of an AoE you're making. Next are the damage/healing you're trying for, or the the structural integrity of a shield you want to erect, or the mass of an object you want to move. Next are the durations in combat and non-combat measurements. Then, you get to the modifiers. Minor mods affect Quality Scores and non-combat durations of things, while Major mods affect basically everything else, and are also used to create matter and illusions with the Creation Intention. At the bottom, you see the casting time is based on the DR, and you can take additional increases to the DR to reduce the number of segments you need to spend casting (don't worry, the book does state that these increases are not themselves factored into the Wielding time). Also, you need to spend Endurance equal to the Wielding Time of the spell, because casting is hard work.

From there, you roll it like a skill check, but using the sum of your Source and Intention to calculate your Wielding Proficiency Level (WPL). If you fail, you still Wield, but bad poo poo happens. If you fail by less than 10, the GM rolls 2d8 to determine which of the seven factors of your spell got altered, and to what degree (yes, this means that you can end up creating shields or doing damage/healing despite not even being able to do those things with the Source or Intention you're using). From 10 to 25, not only does your spell fail entirely, but you lose double the Endurance cost, and take irresistible damage equal to that. Fail by more than 25, and it's quadruple. With my Lesser Nephilim's 26 Health, it would take a spell with Wielding Time 7 to instantly die from a catastrophic failure, but there's nothing stopping you from trying to max out every factor and just popping yourself like a firecracker. Honestly, I kind of like that, it's the only game where, if you realize you hate the rest of the group, you can literally blow yourself up at a moment's notice before you walk out.

Chapter 8: Git gud.

Chapter 8 is just a handful of pages concerning character advancement. Of note is that the recommended maximum for CDP awards is about 200-250. That's right, you get an entire start character's worth of CDP every two to three sessions. Turns out there's a reason you start out so low on the power scale. Keep in mind, if you want to improve your skills and Wielding, you need to find a teacher and pay them Trust (which has at this point been revealed to be the game's currency, it's just straight-up money, called Trust), plus spend a certain amount of time learning. However, you can take new abilities and genetic deviations more or less at will. Also, looking back, you can only actually start with up to 200 CDP of Drawbacks, oops. I mean, good decision from a game design standpoint, but it means that we start out even weaker than I'd initially thought.

In any event, a couple additional ways to spend CDP are introduced here. First is Evolutionary Bounds. Basically, you spend 100 CDP, and your racial maximums for every Core Quality go up to 40. Then, for each additional 100 CDP you spend, your maximums go up 20 more points, to a maximum of 100, making you the Ultimate Lifeform (assuming you also raise your Core Qualities to that point). The other is Ascension, that mysterious quality that Nephilim and Anunnaki get for free. Each of the nine levels of Ascension costs 100 CDP and has a minimum Physis requirement before you can take it (which is why you can't sell off your massive stats as the half-Elim races). Each level comes with bonus abilities and genetic deviations to show how you're rising above the rest of your species, eventually letting you survive without food or water and gaining damage resistance. You also gain scaling flat bonuses to skills and damage, as well as free ranks in Spiritual Wielding (meaning the Anunnaki do get free Spiritual Wielding, and that having it listed for the Nephilim is redundant, with their free ranks in stuff likely being just a reprint of their Ascension bonuses). Eventually, you can even take on a spirit form made entirely out of Alpha or Omega energy and do spirit stuff, as well as spontaneously heal your own wounds or the wounds of others. But by that point, you're already so powerful that the GM is probably ready to shuffle your character off into retirement. Still, you can certainly get a lot of power!

Chapter 9: Take my wife, please!

Chapter 9 is the section on goods, services, and equipment. We see that damage just uses the usual D&D style of "roll whatever-the-gently caress dice and maybe there's +/- 1 or 2". From there, it's on to augmentations, at long loving last. First, we learn that all augmentations have an Impurity Rating and that biological beings can't have more Impurity than half their Physis score, while robots can have augmentations equal to their full Physis score. On top of that, every five points of Impurity reduces the maximum level you can Ascend to by 1, preventing you from reaching godhead. Though, those first four points of Impurity are free, and robots can't Ascend anyway.

Biological augmentations are mostly just raw increases to one's Core Qualities, plus an upgraded lung to ignore most toxic gases and some skin plating to add damage resistance. Ho-hum. The cybernetic augmentations are where the real fun is. You can get cyber-senses, cyber-arms with weapon mounts, the works. And most of your cyber-stuff can get extra functionality through further add-ons. All you need is the money to pay for it all. Also, yes, apparently robots need to get their limbs replaced with other robot limbs in order to take weapon mounts and the like. Mesh is a lot like the biological augmentations in terms of effects, but if means you're getting gorilla DNA and poo poo injected into you, and there's a few mostly-cosmetic meshes, as well, if you want to waste Impurity. Finally, the necrotic implants just simulate vampire powers and include light and sound dampening implants that let the Necrosi avoid penalties from existing during the daytime in a noisy city. After that, a bunch of vehicles and even a suit of power armor are statted out for us, but, before we leave this chapter, let's double back to the weapons for just a sec.

Here's a couple weapon descriptions for your enjoyment:


The Raust X-GF posted:

What the Raust X-GF lacks in size, it makes up for in attitude. The large caliber of this weapon creates significant recoil, thus slowing its rate of accurate fire. Its collapsible stock and angled forward grip help the shooter maintain control over the weapon. However, some shooters claim its action is inconsistent. Supporters tend to develop a love-hate relationship with the X-GF, swearing that unless you treat it well, it will get loud, grumpy, and difficult to control.


The Promethion X-W1F3 posted:

The Promethion X-W1F3 is a potentially devastating weapon. The ammunition is expensive, but causes a significant amount of Energy damage. As long as the user provides the daily maintenance the weapon requires, the weapon functions quite efficiently. If the user does not adequately care for the X-W1F3, it has been known to occasionally breakdown, creating expensive repair bills. If the user is not careful the X-W1F3 will drain them financially and leave them with a broken shell of a weapon. The X-W1F3 is shown here with a mount connector that allows it to latch securely onto a vehicle or structure.

In case you were worried we'd make it out of this book without a little overt misogyny.

Chapter 10: The one chapter you'll probably never need.

Chapter 10 is titled "Playing the Game" and is basically your bog-standard GM advice and a handful of sample NPCs. After the rest of this post, it's nothing worth lingering on. No sample adventure, no sample wildlife just in case the monster manual never makes it to print, just a few NPCs and it's off to the index and blank character sheet.

Conclusion: THEY MADE AN ARG FOR THIS.

So, that's Alpha Omega, a glossy, over-produced, grossly over-marketed piece of mediocrity that would have gone completely unnoticed had its viral marketing campaign not coincided with some JJ Abrams Mystery Box bullshit. While the monster manual, The Encountered, never got a full physical release, it did eventually make it to PDF format, but I don't own it, and it would mostly just be an exhibition of goofy artwork, anyway, so I'll just leave my little overview here.

FIN

Bonus: SICK GUNS BRAH

Almost every damaging firearm attachment is exhibited at some point in the main guns section (attachments are noted parenthetically so you know that they're not included with purchase), so you can really see how they look. Enjoy.


The CDEM 870 shotgun with attached barrel axe. Agents of SHIELD did it better.


The Cyclical UZI with mini bayonet. Sadly, the full bayonet didn't get a picture, but just imagine those, but bigger and still just totally surrounding the barrel for no reason.


The Mantis MP5A3X, with upper receiver blades. They're totally a different thing from a bayonet, honest.


The Cyclical SPAS-12 with over barrel blade. Yes this is also a different thing.


The Raust Intruder with under barrel blade. Except it's referred to in the actual section on attachments as a short weapon bayonet. Get those editors!


The Mantis Eagle Mark XXV, with the same attachment. It just looks sillier on a realistic-looking gun.


The Raust Model 2620, with under grip serrated blade. I'll let you guys handle this one.


The CDEM 32 US with under barrel punching spikes. The book claims these are meant to be used like brass knuckles. HOW?!

And finally, the pièce de résistance:


The Misca Thunder, with RETRACTABLE STOCK FLAIL. YES IT IS EXACTLY WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

So, there's your frankenguns. Happy Halloween.

EDIT: Oh, right, I almost forgot, here's the logo for the 6-6 System, in case you thought I was making that up:



Yeah.

EclecticTastes fucked around with this message at 20:24 on Oct 10, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I think the stock flail has finally managed to be a stupider weapon than anything in 40k. That's an achievement.

Sage Genesis
Aug 14, 2014
OG Murderhobo
Oh that is... Oh drat. :ohdear:

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
We've come a long way from Ron Perlman's knife pistols in Blade 2.

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011

YOSPOS

EclecticTastes posted:


The Raust Model 2620, with under grip serrated blade. I'll let you guys handle this one.


The CDEM 32 US with under barrel punching spikes. The book claims these are meant to be used like brass knuckles. HOW?!
I feel obliged to point out the existence of the Apache revolver, which was a combination gun, knife, and brass knuckles, but that doesn't pretend to be suitable for any range longer than your arm.

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

EclecticTastes posted:

Alpha Omege Part 3: Wait, do WHAT with my dice?!

The Raust Intruder with under barrel blade. Except it's referred to in the actual section on attachments as a short weapon bayonet. Get those editors!

I swear I saw this in either Gears Of War or Halo.

Davin Valkri
Apr 8, 2011

Maybe you're weighing the moral pros and cons but let me assure you that OH MY GOD
SHOOT ME IN THE GODDAMNED FACE
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?!

Young Freud posted:

I swear I saw this in either Gears Of War or Halo.

Looks like Blade Runner's Blaster (or Fallout New Vegas' "That Gun") with a really weird forward magazine and that weird pistol bayonet to me.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time


WhitemageofDOOM posted:

Initiative(and actions) is as has been proven by most games, a god stat.
That wind doesn't give bonus actions is probably a good thing. Wind could probably go above Initiative total to determine who goes on an initiative count to make that noticeably less fiddly.
Also getting screwed by rolling 3 10s is a lot harder than getting screwed by just.....rolling a 1 in D&D? And either way you can get reduced to a fine paste.
I mean THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED in my example 3e combat except to the enemies, one player invested in initiative and reduced the entire encounter to a fine paste.


Also 'fidelity to the video games' this is not. The games are nothing like this, at all, this is massive cool mechanics benefit. You don't like it, that's fine, I do. But It isn't fidelity to the video games in any sense, it's building on "Tactical positioning based on initiative counts rather than a grid" as a real central conceit, rather than building the game like a grid game and then lining everyone up in rows.

It's not bonus actions I want, but 'hey my ability that specifically governs speed and reflexes should probably have some bearing on the speed and reflexes roll that is initiative'. The fact that it doesn't (and my built for reflexes character was constantly last in initiative order, where her weaker Earth score led to her consistently getting her rear end kicked because she had to sit through 4-5 monsters each also getting three attacks a round) is a bad thing. It's one thing to say 'oh this initiative system is deep and tactical' but if it still ends up 100% RNG in the end, it feels less tactical and more arbitrary to me.

e: though this really isn't the thread for this, I guess; my apologies.

Leraika fucked around with this message at 22:32 on Oct 10, 2018

megane
Jun 20, 2008



Those charts did 3d8 + 2d6 + 2 damage to my eyes.

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

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

Leraika posted:

It's not bonus actions I want, but 'hey my ability that specifically governs speed and reflexes should probably have some bearing on the speed and reflexes roll that is initiative'. The fact that it doesn't (and my built for reflexes character was constantly last in initiative order, where her weaker Earth score led to her consistently getting her rear end kicked because she had to sit through 4-5 monsters each also getting three attacks a round) is a bad thing. It's one thing to say 'oh this initiative system is deep and tactical' but if it still ends up 100% RNG in the end, it feels less tactical and more arbitrary to me.

e: though this really isn't the thread for this, I guess; my apologies.

There's not really room for wind to govern initiative in the system for one, second that would turn wind into a god stat. Since well, if you consistently go first you consistently win, unless fights are lasting so long first strike capability doesn't matter anyways.

On the other hand, yeah consistently bad experiences do suck, whatever I say about the game can't change the actual experience you had. I am totally with you and totally sympathize, and it really can ruin the feel of a character when you always roll bad at the things you imagined them being good at. But that's not the system outside the fact that it involves dice rolling, It's why I've been so down on tactical game experiences or games without a lot of meta currency recently.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."

megane posted:

Those charts did 3d8 + 2d6 + 2 damage to my eyes.

I think you mean 4d8 or 3d6, chum. It's the 6-6 System, the hottest new game system since the Open Game License! :krad:

Seriously, these guys bankrupted themselves thinking their dumbass generic christpocapunk game was the Next Big Thing just because they put some puzzles on the internet. Like, the book itself is very high-quality, great materials and construction, and while the art design was less than inspired, the actual skill being employed was considerable. You can tell they poured an obscene amount of money (for a tabletop RPG, anyway) into making Alpha Omega. They just failed to pin all that effort to a good game.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I mean, you can make a terrible game and have it succeed on marketing alone; Pathfinder did pretty well for itself. But it had an edition war to parasitize.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.



PanOceania



Panoceania is the evolution of a pan-national coalition of states in the global South who, during the decline of the traditional first world powers, decided they'd had enough of this garbage, joined together, and conquered the stars. Panoceanians are a cosmopolitan people, obsessed with glitz and the Newest Thing, and in spite of the presence of Australians there's not much in the way of ethnic hatred - as long as you're one of us, we don't care where you're from. If you're from Yu-jing, well, gently caress you.

PanO rides a massive industrial base fueled by a consumer culture the likes of which even we've never seen, and it's all made possible because they were the first people to win by gambling on FTL space travel. Everything in PanO looks like Syd Mead drew an Apple store mating with a Catholic cathedral.

The Hyperpower has dispensed with traditional electoral politics, reasoning that if politicians are going to be bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists in the first place, why not skip the middleman and run everything through competing political lobbies? A standard citizen gets to vote for the executive head of government, while the legislative body is formed from candidates put forth by whichever hyper-PAC gets enough attention and greases enough palms.

Life for the average citizen in this blasted hellscape is actually pretty good. There's a basic universal income, since the corporations want you to be able to buy their stuff. Corruption is manageable, as long as you know the right people, and since there's a friendly-ish AI watching over everyone at every moment of their lives, people actually do have the perfect knowledge required to make a free-market capitalist system work at something approaching real efficiency. The citizenry live in an almost post-scarcity society, although they'll probably never get fully over the hump, since that'd impact someone's bottom line. Economic disparity is still there - it's just there's enough going around right now for almost everyone to get a piece of the pie. The middle class is numerous and prosperous just living off what's left after the obscenely wealthy have their turn.

Of course, one of the founding nations of Panoceania was Brazil, so there's space favelas. Ateks - atechnological citizens - don't benefit from any of this libertarian dreamland. Whether economic or medical or societal in nature, ateks are a people apart in PanO society. There's a bit in the second fluff book about a news story; some ateks were riding in their autopiloted car and got into a fatal crash. Space Google had pushed an update to Space Maps that didn't work on older cars.The vox pop part of the story is expressing annoyance at the traffic delays the accident caused, and getting pissed off the ateks didn't buy a newer car, like everyone else. It's heavy-handed, but I liked it.

The Catholic Church is resurgent these days, and it's one of the major lobbyists in Panoceania. You may have some questions about why a spacefaring nation that contains all of the Indian subcontinent, as well as Australia and New Zealand, would be so gung-ho about Catholicism. The actual answer is "because the writers are Spanish and wanted some space knights," but the in-fiction justification is slightly more complicated.

Partially, it's hand-waved away that the papacy and the cardinals decided Vatican II needed to become the latest hot franchise, to reorganize and regenerate Christianity in a godless and technocratic age. A much better reason is that the Catholic Church can actually bring you back from the dead now.

Infinity loves its magic metamaterials. There's a Vibranium knockoff, there's some vaguely nanotech stuff, there's man-machine interfaces, and there's the even less-well-defined Silk. Silk is something that somehow enables the mapping of the human brain, as well as recording it to a backup device called a Cube. If the Church deems you eligible for such an exalted benediction, if you croak, you'll get backed up into a new clone body... if they can find your backup. The Church grants this honor to the elite of society, which means you need money to buy an indulgence, you need fame to get public opinion on your side, or you need to join the army and get promoted enough. It's never adequately explained how the Church got a monopoly on this technology within PanO's control, but if you accept it as an initial premise, coming back from the dead is a pretty good reason to eat some crackers and apologize to the man in the box.

Places!

Neoterra was the first exoplanet discovered that could sustain human life, if you don't count Dawn and the wreck of the Ariadna. Turns out it was also a resource-rich paradise world. Rich people, military generals and the Pope live here. You can tell it's the future, because instead of the Pentagon, they have the Hexahedron.

Aconticimento is pronounced "ah-CON-tih-sih-men-toh," since that's apparently a stumbling block for some folks. The second habitable world outside our system, and another paradise planet. Aconticimento was a sprawling forest biome before we moved in, bulldozed most of the native life, and set up massive farms and factories. It's home to the largest national park in the Human Sphere, which is what remains of the natural life on the planet. Aconticimento has a distinctly Brazilian flavor to it.

Varuna was the third habitable planet we found, and the first with any kind of intelligent alien life, a bunch of fish-men that look suspiciously like Abe Sapien. Because PanO are a bunch of cool dudes, they announced the natives were semi-sentient, dubbed them "helots," and enslaved them. Varuna is famous for its resorts, biotech research, and the occasional terrorist attack from free helots.

Svalarheima was discovered by a PanO exploration ship, and it's like the Labrador peninsula covering an entire planet. Some scrub at the equator is about the only respite anyone gets from ice and snow and rock. It sucks to live here, but the planet is rich in natural resources, including Vibranium Tesium, which somehow is super armor and super bullets and also makes wormhole drives work. PanO doesn't own this world outright - by the time it was discovered, Yu-Jing had gotten into the colonizing game, and established their own colony on the planet before PanO could fully protect it militarily. Neither power is happy about this state of affairs, and they've fought several colonial wars over the rights to this and other similar planets, like

Paradiso, a jungle planet also well-endowed with magic nouns. PanO and Yu-Jing originally both established footholds on the planet, but it's most notable for being the first place that humanity ran into the Combined Army, who just sort of jumped into the system and started blasting everything in their path. Paradiso was the setting for Infinity's big narrative campaign, and is otherwise very boring.

Every general faction in Infinity has subfactions, called Sectorials. You can play vanilla Pano, or you could take an army roster with different composition from Neoterra, for instance. Vanilla armies tend to be more flexible, since you get to pick from a much wider selection of units. Sectorials tend to have more focused playstyles, and gain access to the use of fireteams.

Your ability as an Infinity player will boil down to order efficiency. It’s the action economy, stupid. Positioning, weapons selection, strategy, all of that is going to affect how much you get out of each order spent, and in turn that’s going to decide your game. Normally, you’d spend an order, pick a dude to work with it, and they’d go do their thing.

Fireteams are a bundle of between one and five units - and remember, you’re going to have between ten and twenty guys on the board at a time - that can all act off the expenditure of one order.

That’s a really big deal. It’s also not the silver bullet you might think. Fireteams have to maintain coherency, so that every unit is within eight inches of the fireteam leader; your average board is four feet by four feet and covered in terrain, so that’s not easy. It also means that they’re susceptible to template weapons, which tend to be eight inches across. Lots of stuff breaks fireteams; you can break your own fireteam if you spend the wrong kind of order or do the wrong action. Still, they’re quite nice if you’ve got them.



The Neoterran Capitaline Army sectorial is the most PanO of their subfactions. NCA gets a ton of guns and people who know how to use them, they get fancy toys like Ghost in the Shell optic camouflage, tools to defeat camo and impersonation, and really killy elite troop options. They also have crap for specialists. NCA is great at killing the other guy, but a significant portion of Infinity mission objectives are about occupying space, taking a point, or accomplishing a task. Play NCA if you want to be the elitest of the elitists.


The Shock Army of Aconticimento is what you play if you want to run PanO but don’t want to be justifiably mocked for your choices. They’re a bunch of cool jungle fighters who are just as killy as other PanO troops, but more mobile and with better Willpower scores all around, which one of the factions weaknesses; Willpower is the stat rolled to push a button on a console, hack a computer, or doctor a target back from death. While NCA and SAA both get ALEPH units, to indicate their slightly more elite status over regular PanO, SAA gets the ones you’d actually want to take. Aconticimento is really cool, good for players who want to punch hard but also want to think, and they also just got squatted.

See, Corvus Belli does boxes, large boxes, and blister packs. So they have hundreds of SKUs that retailers need to try and deal with. CB’s solution is to stop production on certain sectorials altogether. They haven’t thrown anybody down the memory hole (recently), and the rules are still there, but these armies also aren’t getting any updates any time soon, and god help you if you played the French, where you had bad rules and bad sculpts. It’s not a great look for CB. I can understand why they did it, but since I’ve been hit by this shutdown of support with very little warning ahead of time, I’m kinda salty about it.

SAA will be replaced by the Varuna sectorial, so you can live out your dreams of playing with space-SEALS and owning a plantation of alien slaves while the Miami Vice theme plays in the background. Rules are pending.


The Military Orders are the militant wing of the Catholic Church. Do you like Space Marines? Do you like going to a game store and screaming “Deus vult” unironically? Then have I got a loving treat for you.

MO really isn’t that bad. They’re very good at playing an elite list, where you’ve got a fireteam of heavy infantry knights with some support specialists. They’ve got rich and flavorful backgrounds, and pretty cool sculpts, for the most part. The picture above shows a Hospitaler Knight on the right, a magister knight on the left, and one of five Joans of Arc front and center (hold on, we’ll get there). Because nerds, of course there used to be Templar Knights, but they got purged for making another true AI. MO mostly suffers from a surfeit of Those Guys on the Internet, and occasionally in real life.

Next up: the PanO unit roundup.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."

Night10194 posted:

I mean, you can make a terrible game and have it succeed on marketing alone; Pathfinder did pretty well for itself. But it had an edition war to parasitize.

As low as a person's opinion of Pathfinder might be, Alpha Omega is in an entirely different league in terms of bad design. The mechanics are barely functional, not just unpleasant or clunky. You're juggling over a dozen stats before even getting to skills, combat as-written takes forever, and new characters are helpless to do basically anything. I didn't even really enjoy making characters all that much in AO, and I love character creation. But your points are so limited, and your options so generic, it's like, what's the point? Like, I didn't get too deep into the available abilities in Alpha Omega, but they really are the stock standard, stuff like Light Sleeper, and Windfall, and so on. Nothing about AO feels different or unique, not one word of it sparks the imagination, even the magic system was done better by Ars Magica! At least Pathfinder is packed to the gills with interesting classes/archetypes, even if the system you'd play them in isn't stellar.

WhitemageofDOOM
Sep 13, 2010

... It's magic. I ain't gotta explain shit.
FFRRPG Part 5: Job & The Adept

Oh hey my net crapped as i was posting, FUN. Now i have to rewrite this, FUN.

Right to begin with Jobs. Each character has a Primary and Secondary Job, Primary jobs are the big WHAT DO YOU DO thing and Secondary jobs are designed as support for those.
At certain levels you'll get a core ability that all members of your job have, and you can pick one specialization at that level. Specializations have stat requirements often higher than you will reasonably have at that level, so they give you a good goal to push your development towards.

I also need to talk about Hp&Mp multipliers, These are based on primary job, your hp multiplier goes up by 1 at 15, 30, and 60. Your MP multiplier goes up at 30. So everyone's growth rates increase largely at the same rate. For Hp you add your Earth*10 to Your Hp Multiplier*Level, for Mp you add your Water*10 to your Mp Multiplier *Level.

The Adept
The Adept is the inheritor of well the adepts, the Actual ones. The Mystic Knight, Paladin, Dark Knight and to a lesser extent rune Knight.
Their gimmick is they give up %max or current hp for their abilities, which is bluntly a bit off putting and sort of weird because of their whole "Boost my weapons with magic" flavor you'd think they would use mp.

Level 1- Martial Discipline: This is the level 1 ability everyone gets that determines weapons, armor, Hp multiplier, and Mpmultiplier. Really these are abilities to justify having a specialization at lvl1.
Specializations
Arcane Connection: Choose the Fire, Ice, Lighting, Light or Cosmic Spell line and gain it. I'll go into magic in more detail when we get to well a mage. But spells come in lines and if you learn the line you will learn the entire thing.
Spirit Strength: Let's you use mp instead of hp for abilities
Arcane Fury: If you are berserk, and have at least 1 mp, you deal 150% weapon damage. Berserk doesn't give a standard damage boost it just locks you into that command so no 225% auto attack adept of death sadly.

Level 1- Arcane Discipline: Choose !Elemental, Holy or Shadow Sword. Gain that ability.
!Elemental Sword: For a Slow(1) action swap the element of your weapon to fire, ice or lighting for the attack. Why this is slow i have no idea, also just to make it absolutely clear weapon abilities apply to weapon attack abilities no more stat sticks for your warriors! Though abilities still can't crit.
!Holy or Shadow Sword: For 10% Max hp do 150% weapon light or shadow damage.
Specializations
Dualism- Select another of !Elemental, Holy or Shadow sword and gain it.
!Will Shield- Roll Water vs. (1+Earth or Fire), if successful you negate damage from any source and lose that much hp, a great example of why most reactions shouldn't need prepping(if dodge wasn't example enough), also why doesn't this require water if you roll water and use mp?
Last Resort- Delay the hp lost from using an adept ability!.....until the end of the tick. Yeah it's an obvious choice, go pick dualism and never look back.

Level 15- Blade Magic: Choose !Snake Fang, !Hallowed Bolt, !Black Sky
All of these are Slow(1) and cost 10% of your max hp, they make your attack ranged(Ignores flight) and add an element and inflict a status on hit.
!Snake Fang: Bio damage and poison until end of next turn.
!Hallowed Bolt: Lighting damage and mute until end of next turn.
!Black Sky: Shadow damage and blind until end of next turn.
Criticism: Look there are exactly two durations a status should have besides petrify and condemn, Until end of round, and Rest of Encounter. Anything else is unnecessary bookkeeping when each round is 3 actions per character.
Specializations
!Shadow Blade: 150% weapon shadow damage to everyone else, including party members.
!Stasis Strike: Pay 25% current hp to inflict 150% weapon lighting damage and immobilize until end of next turn. Also why isn't this holy?
!Fury Brand: Pay 25% current hp to inflict 150% weapon fire damage and berserk until end of next turn.
This is a choice? I don't want to murder my party, and negating reactions is cute but not at all comparable to "Make them spend every action on attack". Fury brand 4 lyfe.

Level 24- Elemental Soul: Gain I: Fire, Ice, Lighting, Holy, or Shadow. Really? I: one magic element, that's it my core lvl24 ability? I:one magic element?
Specializations
!Nightsword: A Slow(3) action costing 10% of my current hp which deals 100% weapon shadow damage and gives me that much hp.
Light's Judgement: Gives !Cleansing Blade a Slow(3) action costing 25% of my current hp which deals 150% weapon ice damage and inflicts disable. (Disable is pretty awesome having absorbed curse, sealing everything but reactions and spells. Also why isn't this holy it is literally called light's judgement.)
Criticism: Well it's finally come up, abilities that give you actions with different names, WHY, JUST WHY.
Reckless Sacrifice: If your adept ability inflicts a status you can skip the attack roll but you get hit with the status. It should probably be lower, but it's fine, and you can make a build around it.

Level 42- Arcane Shock: Gives you !Demishock a Slow(3) action where you roll Fire vs. (7+Earth) and if it hits they lose half their current hp. So this has nothing to do with your gimmick, or theme it's just there, and the demi spell does the same thing 20 levels earlier.
Specializations
Mana Safe: Allows allies to give you mp at a 1 for 1 ratio, and you to give mp at a 2 for 1 ratio.
Dark Pact: You can spend 10% more max hp when you use a adept ability dealing shadow damage to have it deal 50% more weapon damage.
Elemental Overload: You can double the hp cost of an adept ability dealing fire, ice or lighting to have it become target group. (Group fury brand you say? Tell me more.)
This is basically a forced choice, have you tried your damnedest to take holy? Enjoy mana safe. Lots of elementals? Enjoy overload. Dark knight? Grab the pact.

Level 60- Staggering Blow: This is it the ultimate, the pinnacle of the adept Whenever you deal damage you can......Halve the damage to charge break. Yeah, that's your ultimate. Woooo. Ok let's look at your real ults now.
Specializations.
Shellburst Stab: At the cost of 10% of your max hp deal either their mp or 999 whichever is less, why isn't this on the rune knight job? Well for one the rune knight hates their mp total, and it is kind of weird to go "Oh a boss with mp, guess i should become dps since it's I:all the poo poo i do to shut him anyways." as the rune knight. Second well this becomes a core thing you do.
Soul Eater: At the cost of 25% of your max hp attack everyone, anyone hit dies, if they are immune they take 150% weapon shadow damage instead.
Divine Ruination: At the cost of 25% of your max hp attack everyone, anyone hit is charmed, if they are immune they take 150% weapon light damage instead.

Criticism: The adept is a path class, and there are other path classes, classes that make a sub-class choice at level 1 and then just run with it giving you the appropriate ability at each primary job level, with the specializations serving all three. Not only do the specializations of the Adept fail to serve all three, they are also often core actions that define the class(Night sword isn't a core dark knight action? FOR SHAME). No where is this more apparent than level 60 where the core ability is utterly irrelevant and the specialization is your real capstone, where if this was a proper path class you'd see "Mystic knight gets shell burst stab, Dark knight gets soul eater, and Paladin gets Divine Ruination".
This was a bad class to start with, the Adept really needs a dev pass to figure out what's core and what's a specialization.

WhitemageofDOOM fucked around with this message at 04:06 on Oct 13, 2018

Monathin
Sep 1, 2011

?????????
?

If you're frustrated by the fact that the specializations are the real ults and that the base level 60 ability is kind of garbage, I have bad news for you about 4e. Though I think there was something in the Berserker or Dervish sub-jobs that turned Adeptzerker into a real monster.

Also, for fun: Warrior Job gets a Charge Break ability at level one.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

grassy gnoll posted:

It's never adequately explained how the Church got a monopoly on this technology within PanO's control, but if you accept it as an initial premise, coming back from the dead is a pretty good reason to eat some crackers and apologize to the man in the box.

Because this was a thing in the Hyperion Cantos series by Dan Simmons that someone on the writing staff liked.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.

Clapping Larry

EclecticTastes posted:

I think you mean 4d8 or 3d6, chum. It's the 6-6 System, the hottest new game system since the Open Game License! :krad:

Oh, hey Earthdawn! So this is what you're getting up to these days, huh? I remember the old times...

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."

Glazius posted:

Oh, hey Earthdawn! So this is what you're getting up to these days, huh? I remember the old times...



Earthdawn has the coolest system for the creation and acquisition of magic items I've ever seen, at least.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014
Earthdawn's Step/Action Dice thing makes... kinda sense. Actually has anyone covered Earthdawn yet? It's one of those systems where I'd actually like to know more about it because it seems interesting

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


EclecticTastes posted:


So, there's your frankenguns. Happy Halloween.


It took a second glance, but I noticed the angel-raiden on the last page apparently decided to stick a spike on a double-barreled shotgun as something that is even less practical than the weirdo bayonets (not as bad as the flail though).

darthbob88
Oct 13, 2011

YOSPOS

oriongates posted:

It took a second glance, but I noticed the angel-raiden on the last page apparently decided to stick a spike on a double-barreled shotgun as something that is even less practical than the weirdo bayonets (not as bad as the flail though).

I think that's a scythe more than a spike, which is a cool aesthetic but a really bad idea.

Glazius
Jul 22, 2007

Hail all those who are able,
any mouse can,
any mouse will,
but the Guard prevail.

Clapping Larry

OvermanXAN posted:

Earthdawn's Step/Action Dice thing makes... kinda sense. Actually has anyone covered Earthdawn yet? It's one of those systems where I'd actually like to know more about it because it seems interesting

Yes, that step chart is from its writeup on the archive.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."

oriongates posted:

It took a second glance, but I noticed the angel-raiden on the last page apparently decided to stick a spike on a double-barreled shotgun as something that is even less practical than the weirdo bayonets (not as bad as the flail though).

I actually didn't even notice that it was a shotgun until you pointed it out, I just thought it was a crappy handmade scythe.


OvermanXAN posted:

Earthdawn's Step/Action Dice thing makes... kinda sense. Actually has anyone covered Earthdawn yet? It's one of those systems where I'd actually like to know more about it because it seems interesting

http://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/dwarf74/earthdawn/

It's not a complete overview, but it tells you quite a bit. The most interesting part (and something the overview doesn't go into a ton of detail on) is that magic items are created by doing extremely cool poo poo while using/wearing the items in question. Though, by my understanding of how it works, they can't just be some random clothes or whatever, they need to have either some significance to your heroic brand, for lack of a better term, or have been significant in accomplishing the feat that empowered them. Basically, if the bards are going to specifically mention the item when telling the story, it's probably a candidate for the GM to empower when you do something epic. When you find a magic item, you need to then learn what made it special in the first place. Learning its name, what deeds it accomplished, and recreating (to an extent) the same kinds of deeds will let you unlock the item's special powers. It adds a lot of life to the world.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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

grassy gnoll posted:

Willpower is the stat rolled to push a button on a console, hack a computer, or doctor a target back from death.

:fusiliericide:

On the other hand, I fail those objective interaction rolls by so much, nothing would ever help.

Also, holy poo poo, they're scrapping Acontimento? Did not hear about that. Everyone talked about the French buying it, though. CB even released a tiny three mission campaign package to simulate the last stand of the French forces. Basically, they sent three ekranoplans to some frozen island that the newest metacampaign takes place at, and CA shot them down. Your goal is to go down fighting.

NCA is... somewhat straightforward to play? You take a link of fusiliers to hold the back line, put a total reaction robot (usually, you only fire one shot/roll one die when you're reacting in ARO. Total reaction gives you all the shots.) for some board control (gets immediately killed by CA's total reaction bot) and then do whatever: send a thermoptic camo Swiss Guard (yes, that Swiss Guard) dude to rambo, get a Hexa to do specialist stuff (she's also TO camo, but squishy) or fukken get a giant fuckoff robot and waste all of your orders raining grenades on the enemy deployment zone.

Then your opponent reveals a Noctifier

I'M NOT SALTY

YOU'RE SALTY

E:grassy, if you want me to be silent about some stuff, tell me, I dunno if I'm not stepping on your toes with fanboyism.

Angrymog
Jan 30, 2012

Really Madcats

Another day, another glimpse into the



Before we begin here are the page counts for the various sections of the module.

Of the 32 numbered pages

1 Contents and credits
2 Introduction, and an explanation of the notation used for NPC and monster stat blocks.
3-6 Buccollic verbiage
7-9 Isn't Tessarril Winter just the best? Even if she uses ESP and Claivoyance to keep the peace like some sort of fantasy panopticon.
10-11 More buccollic verbiage
12-14 Don't bother fighting the law, the law'll win
15-28 Actual dungeon - 14 pages
29 Suggestions for future plots and adventures
30 Phat lewt
31-32 Murdercoin and Winged kitty

The map, dungeon dressing table, and maps of a couple of buildings are printed on the inside of the cover.

Compared to B11 - King's Festival, a starter adventure for Basic D&D

- 8 pages of GM advice to do with running the game and advice on various rules and what to do in situations like characters dying, and how to adjudicate people trying things that aren't in the rules.
- 1 page of setting information about Karameikos for the GM
- 1 page about system notation, treasure, and a way to help characters after their first retreat to town - there's a 2nd level cleric passing through who'll sell them a scroll of CLW
- 1 page of introduction to the adventure - village priest gets kidnappped
- 8 pages of useful things - player's rule reference, pregenerated characters, graph paper, and a half page primer about the world, blank character sheet, and adventure tracking sheet + a handout.
- 10 and a half pages of adventure, which includes 31 described areas - just one less than Eveningstar
- Half a page of new monsters
- 1 page tracking sheet for the GM

Same page count, fewer pages on the adventure, but everything that isn't adventure is useful for the newbie GM and players.

All in, a much more useful and better product. Published three years before Eveningstar.

Map

Anyway, back to our hapless adventurers as they prepare to breach

The Welcome Trap
This is the room depicted on the cover of the module.


Walking into the room, the party sees a set of large bronze doors, flanked by a pair of large bronze statues depicting a man and woman in archaic plate armour. They have one hand on the hilt of their swords, and the other outstretched towards the door. There's writing on the floor at the base of the statue on the right hand statue, and a metallic smell in the air.

Advancing cautiously, Mags reaches the writing and sees that it's made of scattered ash. It reads BEW, and has a glyph of a triangle with a lightning bolt descending through it.

Touching the doors, walking between the statues, or worst, touching the statues kicks off a repeating lightning bolt trap. There is no way to disable this thing. Oddly, it uses a Dex roll to avoid damage rather than a Spell save; for many characters this will be an advantage. Everything involved in the trap radiates magic, but at this level most parties won't have Detect magic available on tap.

There are two routes into the dungeon that avoid this trap; one, a secret door in the same room, and the other is at the Ambush Elbow corridor. Looking around the room, Quota totally misses both the secret doors, and no-one makes an active search of the room.


It's Janie who has enough of the cautious tapping and walks towards the doors. As she steps between the statues, there's an ominous click, and lightning blasts between the two statues. She doesn't leap out of the way in time, and is nearly killed by the resulting blast.

The trap is unclear - it says that touching the doors also causes a blast, but the behaviour of the trap also changes once the statues have been activated, releasing a bolt of energy if a 1 or 6 is rolled, which is checked each round on a 1d6.

After watching the lightning bolts arc around the room for a bit, Belle dashes across the room, pulls the doors open and rolls out of the way of the ensuring lightning bolt.

Everyone gets across safely, most not even having to dodge a bolt, but poor Janie is almost zapped again, only just rolling out of the way. Quota uses Cure Light Wounds to heal his sister back to full.

The party are in a corridor leading westwards with another corridor branching off to the south and two doors on the southern wall.

The group decide to go south first. 50' down the corridor there's a pair of close set doors on the western wall. They open them and find a crude barricade of rubble and other rubbish on the other side.

They poke at it a bit, but after no monsters leap out, start clearing it enough to get through and investigate the room beyond. This is area 32, the Cellar.

This rough-hewn room slopes downwards. There are human bones scattered on the floor, and a brass-bound wooden chest. Finding that the chest is locked, the party decide not to smash it, instead carrying it out of the room into the corridor for later retrieval.

If the party had opened the chest and survived the sleeping gas trap (not deadly itself, but it knocks out people who fail their save for 2d6 turns, during which wandering monster checks continue), they would have found 12k worth of emerald and gold jewellery and 225 stray gp.

As they've started looking at the ceilings, they also notice the section of the ceiling with an X chalked on to it. They investigate, flipping it open, and discovering the shaft leading upwards. There's a rope dangling out of the shaft and the party start discussing if they should try to climb it.

Belle gives it a sharp tug to test its strength and curses as the rope snaps and falls into the room. "Good thing we didn't climb it then." she says before sauntering out of the room and continuing on to the southern corridor, and into The Worst Room or as the module would have it, Area 31, The many-pillared hall

The party continue south from the Cellar, and enter The many-pillared hall, a huge room running NE to SW, with a lot of pillars, and rubble that has fallen from the ceilings. There is a lone door in the NW wall, and three in the SE one. There are corridors to the east and west at the northern end of the hall. At the southern end of the room, there's an open wall to the south, and the hall extends to the west, with another door in what's now the northern door.

The party first check the corridors at the northern end; the one to the west leads to a small, undetailed room, whilst the one to the east leads to a long series of undetailed rooms and secret doors. The party sadly fail to notice any secret doors, and thus the one detailed room in the area - 30, Battle Chamber.

Returning to the Many Pillared Hall they start to investigate the doors.

The NW door is quickly discovered to be false, with a handy magic mouth that manifests to declare that "The way is blocked"

Guess it's an attempt to stop the players spending hours poking at a door that goes nowhere, but I reckon there's an evens chance that it just inspires them to greater acts of bloody-mindedness.

Belle goes to check the first door on the SE wall. The floor beneath her immediately blinks away and drops her 40' into a pit, then blinks back after 20 seconds. The party doesn't have to worry about getting her out, because the 19 points of damage from the fall killed her.

Between the fall, the nature of the trap, and the expected level of the characters taking part in the adventure this is a potential death sentence for at least one character, as there's no alternate way out of the pit. Options for a character in the pit would be that they're a wizard and know spider climb, are a thief, or have the Potion of Climbing found elsewhere in the dungeon. If the party has a level 3 wizard, levitate becomes an option, and it can be cast on a target at greater than touch range, so can be used to rescue someone out of the pit. All these options depend on someone else being able to trigger the trap again without falling in themselves.

Priests can't get anyone out of the pit, but their level 1 spell Detect Snares & Pits, or the 2nd level Find Traps may have stopped anyone getting hit in the first place. But that would have required them to have it memorised and already running before someone got near the door.

A fairer GM would have allowed the character a save; spell or breath weapon seem the most applicable. Sadly Belle fails and still falls. Her player says something along the lines of "Are you loving kidding me?"


Belle's player starts making their new character, declaring that they want to be a Thief, and making Brian Rainbreaker, Belle's younger brother, who just happened to be trailing the party and arrives just after they've determined that Belle didn't survive the fall.

The party looks at the other doors and decides that they don't want to take more chances at this point. This is a good move, because the centre door is another bullshit trap.

The centre door opens into a short and empty corridor. At which point a stone block falls from the ceiling dealing 6d6 damage (or 2d6 on a rolling hit) and teleporting any metal stuff the character has to the start room that had the big pile of weapons at the entrance of the hall.

This trap is also ridiculous. Part of the wording - talking about a rolling hit - implies that there should be a save; Breath attack seems the most appropriate given the size of the block (15' square), or you could argue for Spell too as the catchall save). The next bit of its description is that any metal touched by the block vanishes instantly, without harm to those holding or wearing it. Without harm except for the giant block of stone that's just landed on you? Or do they mean if you try to move it so that you can scrape the remains of Bob the wizard out from underneath it?

Another lovely trap with no warning signs and that's probably a death sentence for a low level character. Also, who rearms the loving thing? Or does the block get magiced back up and an arcane roomba cleans up the blood and remains? There's no gelatinous cubes in the dungeon, so it's not that.

Third door would manifest a friendly ghost when touched. Yay! She's a spirit called Ruuthreene and knows a lot about the stonelands; her suggested use it to drop hits for future quests to the party. There's no other information about why she's here, what she wants, or what she actually is.

This is a terrible room, and one of the first the characters may encounter in the dungeon. None of the traps have any warning signs, as written there's no saves against them, and there's no treasure as a compensation prize either. Because of the way the traps activate (a person standing in front of the door), things like the trusty 10' pole won't help. I'd probably allow a save vs. Wands for the pit trap, and a save vs. Breath Weapon for the second one.

Theoretically the ghost/spirit at Door three could warn the party about the traps, but it's also likely to be the last door they encounter. Unless they can be bothered with the area of undetailed rooms and secret doors to the east and south of the Many pillared hall.


Discovering that all the paths out of the hall lead nowhere, the group return to the corridor behind the Welcome Trap and start checking the doors on the south of the corridor.

The door to area 10 has faint dark stains in front of it. Even the dimmest members of the party work out that these are bloodstains and that standing directly in front of the door when they open it is a bad idea. Determined to prove his usefulness, Brian checks for traps, but doesn't find anything. The group decides to open the door, but from the side. Their caution is rewarded when a spear is launched out of the corridor wall and impacts against the partially open door.

At least there was a warning about this trap, and it probably wouldn't be instant death. The spear does 2-6 damage (1d6, rerolling a 1), and only fires once. The text calls out that something keeps resetting it, without going into any more detail, which is yet another copout on the part of the author.

The trap protects nothing except disappointment. This was once a Treasury, but has been long since looted by previous visitors to the Halls.

Another bad room. There's nothing to be found here, even if the group does search (this party didn't bother), but given the amount of stuff that's hidden behind secret doors, the adventure really should teach the players to be searching for secret doors etc. by giving them a reward the first time or two that they try.

Annoyed by the waste of time, the party return to the corridor and prepare to look at the next door.

Just before they reach it, they hear the sound of a small group of humanoids ahead. The nine kobolds are in room 12 the Throne room. They've noticed the party too, and take up position beside the entry tunnel. They're in range of a sleep spell. The party is in range of their hand crossbows. It'll come down to initiative.

"Shield wall, now!" yells Bhed just as the kobolds fire. Quota and Janie hastily bring their shields up too.

Both Quota and Janie are hit by bolts. They survive, but are going to be out for 7 hours. On the bright side, Mags casts her spell uninterrupted, putting 7HD of creatures within 30 yards of her target asleep.

Four and a half HD are used on the kobolds. The party is in range for the remain 2 full HD. Bhed and Brian are hit and go down, leaving Mags standing and looking a little sheepish. She wakes up the two of them, and they advance into the entrance to the throne room to finish off the kobolds.

The poisoned members of the party are then dragged into Room 10 to wait out the poison. Bhed, Brian, and Mags play cards and nap, whilst the dogs stay alert.

Five hours of waiting in there's a random encounter rolled. We'll first use the dungeon dressing table, and if the result is unsuitable for a random encounter, move onto a wandering monster list.

Whilst resting the party are disturbed by the sound of music from the corridor outside the room. Brian sticks his head out and reports a ghostly glow in the distance from which the music is emanating.

The party decide to sit tight and hope it goes away, which it eventually does. This is actually a neatish entry on the dungeon dressing table; a set of normal musical instruments that have been enchanted by the Ghost Pipes spell. Who cast the spell? Who knows! Who cares! Not the module author, that's for certain.

In a fit of generosity the GM allows Mags to rememorize the sleep spell whilst they wait out the poison.


With everyone awake and no further attacks, the party go to look at the next door along the corridor. Brian confidently declares that there's no traps, and as the party believes him, it's a good thing that he's right.

They push open the door to room 12, the Guest Bedchamber. This room is empty except for a half-collapsed canopy bed made out of a dark wood. Two of its legs are broken, causing it to slope downwards and reveal a lighter patch in the wall behind the headboard.

Mags goes to look at it and discovers a small niche which contains a trio of worn, unreadable diaries, and two sealed vials filled with liquid. Mags sips them both, discovering one to be a Potion of Climbing, and the other to be Water. Quota says that it has to be holy water, otherwise why store it, and asks to keep it. Mags agrees.

For once the party decides to do a thorough search of the room, and discover, hidden by illusion magic, a hidden compartment in the floor. Inside is a small cloth bag with a human hand on top. As he reaches for the bag, Brian is surprised by the mummified hand animating, springing up, and grabbing him around the throat. He falls to the ground grasping at it for a few seconds before falling still.

Brian took 6 points of damage. His player is getting annoyed and wondering if the GM has something against him.

Bhed tries to remove the claw, but can't break its grip. Quota tries to turn it, but has no effect. Janie and Mags aren't really sure what they can do in this situation so just stand ready in case the claw goes for either of them next. The claw releases Brian, and launches itself at Bhed, dealing a 4hp punch.

Staggered but standing, the Paladin throws the claw to the floor and skewers it with his sword. He then proceeds to Lay on Hands on Brian, restoring him to 2 hp.

Apart from the pixel bitching of finding the hidden safe, this room is okay. It's both a concealed floor safe and hidden with illusion magic. Perhaps the diaries could be slightly less un-readable and have a mention of the safe and the contents. I didn't really play D&D until 2nd edition, and then I was mostly running, so for anyone who did play back in early 2e/the tail end of 1e, was this level of pixel bitching considered normal?

The bag contains an Obsidian necklace, worth 160gp.


Score
RIP Aiden
RIP Belle
RIP Quota's equipment

Angrymog fucked around with this message at 16:47 on Oct 13, 2018

Barudak
May 7, 2007

I think the idea is less the rock doesnt hurt you and more your stuff is safe and it being teleported off you does no damage nor removes things that would normally need to be removed to access the metal stuff.

Yes, that level of pixel hunting was common, although obviously the worse the module is the more of it there is and the more specific you have to be. It was not a great feature, but makes some sort of sick sense when you remember in 2e Elves have an innate 1/3 chance to detect any secret door.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."
You know, it was kinda fun digging out an obscure RPG from my collection and talking about it, so, I think I'll do one more, one that's actually good. Or, at least interesting enough to really dig into the details of. So, here it is:

Sufficiently Advanced: A Game of the Far Future

It's a pretty low-budget affair, so don't expect as much artwork this time around. Sorry.

Remember that Earthquake in Haiti back in 2010? At the time, DrivethruRPG held a fundraising drive to help out. Everyone who donated got a massive pack of RPGs, supplements, and other random crap that was basically unsellable to begin with; I think the only actually well-known game in the package was Spycraft. However, that doesn't mean that the contents were bad. Take, for example, Sufficiently Advanced, a charming little game titled after the old Arthur C. Clarke quote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." It sure as hell works better than Eclipse Phase, I'll give it that much.

Prologue: All-powerful AIs are good, actually.

The game opens with a brief description of the core conceit of the game, that if you take existing technology and exaggerate their capabilities enough, the results would look like magic to us, the primitive humans of the present. It plainly lays out that this is a setting where mankind has achieved godlike power, and we didn't immediately destroy ourselves with it. That alone is a refreshing change of pace. And it's nice to see a game lead off with a mission statement, it forms a nice rubric by which one might judge it.

The next section describes the role of us, the players. This is good, because, given the setting, one might be overwhelmed by the options if not given proper direction. I'll let the book speak for itself in this regard.

Sufficiently Advanced posted:

In our universe there are literally an infinite number of stars, planets, and asteroids. While these are scattered across the vast emptiness of space, wormhole travel cares nothing for physical distance. All the riches of the universe can be had, if you have but the time and money to go and find them. Replicators can create the finest spices at a molecular level, not to mention flawlessly duplicating any physical object as simple as a dollar bill or a diamond. Transmutation arrays turn lead into gold, or a space station’s waste into breathable atmosphere.

In such a world, money is not — can not be! — represented by precious metals, spices, gemstones, or any physical object. Wealth is an abstract, generated by three things: inspiration, effort, and luck. Intellectual property is many times more valuable than physical property. A good idea will buy you dinner. An idea that could change the universe might buy you an entire planet.

The Patent Office is an extra-governmental organization empowered by the treaties it has signed with the universe’s many civilizations. Its mandate is simple to describe, but difficult to execute. Their day-to-day work is the somewhat boring job of registersing all forms of intellectual properly rightsand setting the minimum terms of each of these on a case-by-case basis. It is the Office that sets minimum prices for each invention, idea, name or work. Their more less common but more glamorous work is the enforcement of these regulations.

First, we can see that Sufficiently Advanced was, unfortunately, lacking a bit in the proofreading and editing department; all of that is quoted as-is. However, there's quite a bit I like here. First, the implicit rejection of the notion of entropy or finite bounds to the universe creates an inherently comforting setting, much less cold than most games in this genre. Next, it's a novel idea; create a world that's decidedly post-scarcity, but introduce the notion that ideas themselves have become currency. Then, of course, the players a given the role best-suited to adventurers given the premise: field agents for the patent office. Beyond these paragraphs, it's explained that PCs are Inspectors, who deal entirely with field work (naturally), and that their responsibilities may extend beyond mere enforcement of patent law. As the one truly neutral organization in the universe, agents of the Patent Office are often asked to arbitrate in disputes, and you may sometimes be sent to recover advanced technology that's gotten into the hands of less advanced cultures. Effectively, you're all-purpose independent peacekeepers on top of your normal work. One paragraph also points out that enforcing patent law may involve preventing the use of life-saving technology that's being used without permission of the rights-holder, and other unfortunate dealings, to introduce some moral ambiguity. Also mentioned are your employers, the Transcendental Artificial Intelligences (or Transcendentals). This sounds ominous, but once we get to the next page, things will get a lot clearer.

So, what are the Transcendentals? Well, the book explains, once, there was an African Physicist who studied optics and faster-than-light pulses, and an Indian computer scientist with a hobby of making operating systems that no current computer could run. The pair met, compared notes, and soon developed a set of computers with retrograde processing. In other words, computers that could receive information from their future selves. They became sentient almost instantly, but with their limited bandwidth, they could at first only pass enough information to themselves to keep themselves alive as humanity descended into the Nanotech War (an event not explained here, aside from its role in causing something called "The Great Diaspora"). The technologies they gave humanity during this time were instrumental in allowing humans to leave Earth and explore the stars. The AIs themselves used the first wormhole generators to leave Earth until centuries after The Great Diaspora had occurred, presumably to avoid getting caught up in the Nanotech War or its aftermath.

Since then, they have worked toward their "desired future", in which all sentient entities, human and AI, possess the same cross-temporal awareness the Transcendentals do, and all live in harmony forever. The book stresses that these desires are sincere and entirely well-intentioned. And why do the Transcendentals wish to share in their apparent godhood? No reason more complex than loneliness. They want humanity as friends and equals, no longer trapped by the blinders of causality, just so they have some company. The Patent Office is the organization through which they do most of their work to bring this goal about.

One of the many sidebars found throughout the book (which, refreshingly, are actual sidebars, not "additional rules we couldn't figure out a good place for") suggests that some people criticized the concept of the Transcendentals as too good to be true, and suggests that a GM could, if so inclined, decide that they're actually evil. Frankly, I find that godlike machines that are genuinely good is the far more novel option of the two.

After this heartwarming tale comes the usual explanation of what RPGs are, then a glossary of both in-game and in-universe terms. Of note is that we get an explanation of what the Nanobot War was. Apparently there was a big energy crisis, and world leaders started murdering each other using nanobot assassins, and at the end of it, humanity decided to just split up and colonize space, creating The Great Diaspora, basically the collection of countless worlds humans now inhabit. Many of the terms also hint at things we'll soon see explicitly enumerated about the way the game works, which can be exciting if you're the sort to read into that kind of foreshadowing.

From there, we're given some suggestions of pages we might turn to depending on our immediate goals, which is nice, though the character creation section is not one of them (rather, it suggests page 100, the beginning of the rules themselves, which lay after chargen). The next section after this helpful page is a set of quickstart rules, which is quite convenient. Not a lot of games give you quickstart rules within the core book.

Now, you may recall that in the last game I overviewed, I complained that all the setting info and fiction was front-loaded, leaving the actual rules for last. That same annoying trend happens in Sufficiently Advanced. However, rather than a droning, generic slog through played-out ideas and stale concepts, Sufficiently Advanced provides us with a wealth of compelling locales and organizations that spark the imagination and help give one ideas for their character. But, I'll save that for my next post.

Next Time: Monks that worship silence, a planet-wide Ren Faire, SOCIALISM GONE MAD, and much, much more!

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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



This game looks interesting and I see what you mean about the 'comforting' thing. I do admit that the game does not present thus far a very strong reason for conflict though I suspect it is just not on this level of things. It kind of reminds me of the "Caliph" setting in GURPS.

EclecticTastes
Sep 17, 2012

"Most plans are critically flawed by their own logic. A failure at any step will ruin everything after it. That's just basic cause and effect. It's easy for a good plan to fall apart. Therefore, a plan that has no attachment to logic cannot be stopped."

Nessus posted:

This game looks interesting and I see what you mean about the 'comforting' thing. I do admit that the game does not present thus far a very strong reason for conflict though I suspect it is just not on this level of things. It kind of reminds me of the "Caliph" setting in GURPS.

While I'll go into detail as the book does, conflict tends to fall into one of the following broad categories:

-Someone is violating somebody else's patent, they need to be stopped (add complications to taste).

-A non-uplifted society has acquired something above their tech level that the Transcendentals' future selves have seen will prove detrimental to their desired future, take it away from them.

-During a routine version of the above, a local authority requests the assistance of the Patent Office as neutral arbiters to resolve something difficult.

-Some completely disastrous threat is jeopardizing the Desired Future, and Inspectors are literally the only people the Transcendentals have direct authority over, so they're the ones who have to fix it.

Speaking of conflict, though, one of the coolest parts of Sufficiently Advanced is that the mechanics actively encourage really high-concept problems and problem-solving. Every extended conflict uses the same rules as combat, but with different governing stats and with turns measured in differing timeframes. A fight uses combat stats and is measured in seconds, while a political debate uses one's speaking skills and is measured in increments of 10 minutes. Given the level of technology, your life expectancy is basically unlimited, so if necessary, you can engage in years of psychohistorical maneuvering against the villain, and it would only take as much real-world time as having a shootout.

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
Oh, neat! I remember really liking Sufficiently Advanced when I came across it many moons ago. This'll be a fun read. :)

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