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Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!

Night10194 posted:

This is wrong from like it's first point.

I stand corrected then. :blush:


Feb 13, 2012

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

Cooked Auto posted:

I stand corrected then. :blush:

Sorry, I didn't mean to be like that. Everything he's talking about isn't so much exactly wrong as it's a more common understanding (liturgical use of Job in Christian texts will often use Ha-Satan as Christian Satan, obviously) vs. the academic context I read it in.

E: Editing again to try to say this better: I'm talking about correct in an academic context, but by the way most people understand Job this video is mostly correct in describing a popular way of processing the message of the book. I just really like to talk about the book because it's one of my favorite theological works and again, I spent a lot of time studying it and I think what it meditates on is really important.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 22:38 on Oct 23, 2018

Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?

The Chad Jihad posted:

Way late but I've always loved this picture

To me it's more iconic than anything in any of the later editions. It's always one of the images that's in my mind when I think "D&D art."

Oct 13, 2011


Mors Rattus posted:

Judaism is honestly really into the idea that you can argue with and hold God accountable. Job does it, Abraham does it, there is at least one rabbinical story/parable about a dude maintaining that even divine miracles do not matter in an argument of the law without citation of sources and being correct.

Last page, but I'm pretty sure you mean the Oven of Akhnai.


In the story, a new type of oven is brought before the Sanhedrin and the rabbis debate whether or not this oven is susceptible to ritual impurity. Rabbi Eliezer ben Hurcanus argues that the oven is ritually pure while the other rabbis, including the nasi Rabban Gamaliel, argue that the oven is impure. When none of Rabbi Eliezer's arguments convince his colleagues, he cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, this carob tree will prove it." At this point, the carob tree leaps from the ground and moves far away. The other rabbis explain that a carob tree offers no proof in a debate over law. Rabbi Eliezer cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, the stream will prove it." The stream begins to flow backwards, but again the other rabbis point out that one does not cite a stream as proof in matters of law. Rabbi Eliezer cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, the walls of the study hall will prove it." The walls of the study hall begin to fall, but are then scolded by Rabbi Joshua ben Hananiah who reprimands the walls for interfering in a debate among scholars. Out of respect for Rabbi Joshua, they do not continue to fall, but out of respect for Rabbi Eliezer, they do not return to their original places.

In frustration, Rabbi Eliezer finally cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, Heaven will prove it." From Heaven a voice is heard, saying, "Why are you differing with Rabbi Eliezer, as the halakha is in accordance with his opinion in every place that he expresses an opinion?" Rabbi Joshua responds, "It [the Torah] is not in heaven" (Deuteronomy 30:12). He responds in this way because the Torah, which was given by God to mankind at Sinai, specifically instructs those who follow it that they are to look to the received Torah as their source and guide. The Torah says, "It is not in heaven, that you should say, 'Who will go up to heaven for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?' Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, 'Who will cross to the other side of the sea for us, and get it for us so that we may hear it and observe it?' No, the word is very near to you; it is in your mouth and in your heart for you to observe" (Deuteronomy 30:12-14).

Rabbi Joshua's response then expresses the view that the work of law is a work of human activity, and that the Torah itself supports this legal theory. The Torah is not a document of mystery which must have its innate meaning revealed by a minority, but it is instead a document from which law must be created through the human activity of debate and consensus. Rabbinic literature was capable of recognizing differing opinions as having a degree of legitimacy (Yer. Ber. 3b), yet the community remains united and the ruling which is ultimately followed comes through proper jurisprudence. As such, Rabbi Eliezer's miraculous appeals represent a differing legal theory and were outside of proper jurisprudence which meant that they would not be followed. Instead the Jewish community followed the ruling of the majority in this issue and in others. The Talmud asks how God responded to this incident. We are told that upon hearing Rabbi Joshua's response, God smiled and stated, "My children have triumphed over Me; My children have triumphed over Me."

E: Or, if you're feeling less reverent, I've also heard that story end with


...In frustration, Rabbi Eliezer finally cries out, "If the halakha is in accordance with my opinion, Heaven will prove it."

And a voice from heaven says "HEEE'SSS RIIIIGHT."

The other rabbis look up, then over at Rabbi Eliezer, and say "OK, now it's 3 to 2."

darthbob88 fucked around with this message at 22:58 on Oct 23, 2018

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.
I hear you guys like weird Christian heresies.

Nomad Units

There are going to be few sections without images in this update; Tunguska just got fully-certified as a real people army, and they’re still catching up making models for the new profiles. Image quality may also suffer when they’re available, and I apologize for that.

Alguaciles, Moderators, and Securitate

Nomad line infantry is weird, especially in vanilla lists. Alguaciles map to the basic troop choice from other factions, while Moderators are a little weaker. Both have total availability in vanilla, so you can take as many as you can fit in your list; in sectorials, you get unlimited Alguaciles in Corregidor, total Moderators in Bakunin, etc. You can only take three Securitate in vanilla, however. Securitate are strictly better with Haqq-like Willpower, and are correspondingly expensive.

Of particular note are their equipment choices. Alguaciles are meant to fight other units, and they get HMGs, missile launchers and other heavy weapons. Moderators, as ostensibly the neutrality police, get far fewer weapon choices, but they can take a pitcher, which lets you launch a marker out like a grenade. That marker creates a hacking zone around it, letting your hackers do their work without having to run up board. Securitate have options to just carry a similar piece of gear with them - they can’t throw it out, they just exude a hacking zone. They’re also your best line trooper choice to be hackers, and they get some fancier heavy weapons to represent their semi-elite status.

Weirder still are the lieutenant options. Typically, most factions will let you take a grunt as your LT at no extra cost. Sectorials will change that up as a thematic thing. Here, an Alguacile will cost you one of your six SWC points for the privilege, a Securitate won’t cost you a dime, and a Moderator LT will run a whopping 2 SWC, or a third of your budget for special gear and weapons. I appreciate Corvus Belli offering me the chance to stick a fork in the wall socket, but I’m not sure what this particular LT tax is meant to accomplish.

All three species of line trooper are their mothership’s respective gendarmerie. Securitates do indeed have black sunglasses and collars and ties sculpted onto their miniatures.

The Moderators in that image may look familiar to you. See, CB will do this thing where they want to make a reference to something popular, but instead of a knowing wink and a grin, they just give you the thing. Here, we can see Literally the Collector, Yondu, Gamorra and Nebula. Once in a while it’s a nice joke, but they seriously need to lay the hell off lately.

L-R: Zondbot, Clockmaker, Daktari, Zondbot
Presumably you’re English literate otherwise.

The general support models for the Nomads are atrocious. They’re some of the oldest sculpts in the entire game, and it shows. I had to fix my Daktari by process of constructive decapitation. The engineer’s got frigging raver pants. That wasn’t even a thing by the time this game launched. Just... sometimes it’s hard to like this game.

Daktaris are your doctors, Clockmakers are your engineers. They’re perfectly alright profiles, if maybe a little overcosted. They don’t do a whole lot other than their specified function, so they’re rarely taken.

Clockmakers are described as “the most valuable contribution of Bakunin to the Nomad Military Force,” which is decidedly not true. Daks are a little more interesting. They were originally a corps of doctors sent to Corregidor for absolutely astounding levels of medical malpractice, and volunteered to serve in the military to avoid getting handed back to their former patients during the Red Auction, the sale of all those valuable inmates. These newly-minted field medics weren’t prepared for the experience of getting shot at, to the point that these days screamed profanity and muttered curses on the COs are seen as good bedside manner in a firefight.

Zoe Nemova is the daughter of a once-prominent Tunguskan data banker. Zoe was afflicted with a biological weapon as a child, and Papa Nemov broke the code to get enough money to cure her. The old man turned himself in to his rivals, earning him a short but very exciting vacation for the rest of his life, and five years’ stay of execution for his family. Don’t short the mob.

Zoe, between the remains of her affliction and being blown the gently caress up a few times, is now more machine than person, and she spends her time in transhumanist reverie trying to improve her components. Pi-well is the only confidant she has, as something she build while on the run.

Zoe’s a curious choice as a specialist, since she’s an engineer equipped with a hacking device, so you’re getting two for one. She’s got good WIP but pretty mediocre stats. Pi-well isn’t any great shakes as a unit, but between the two of them, they can accomplish hacker, engineer, forward observer, and scenery destruction objectives. Problem is you’re paying 47 points for one unit (albeit with two figures) to do all that and hope it doesn’t get exploded. Hackers are also vulnerable to hacking attacks, shockingly, so she’s gaining a semi-substantial weakness in exchange for a capability you may not want to even use on her, given the plethora of other great hacking options in the faction. Zoe’s kind of a wash.

Now forget those scrubs, because this is the best unit in the game. Tomcats are zero-gee emergency responders. Here’s their stats and loadout, because I could go on for a while otherwise.

On first glance, they’re not that special. Decent statline, very affordable specialists. The key is that they’ve got just enough in the way of abilities to be very useful, without racking up a critically high price.

Airborne Infiltration lets them walk in off the board edge anywhere that’s not an enemy Deployment Zone. Climbing plus means they can just run up the sides of obstacles and right back down, so terrain between them and their target isn’t a big deal. They’ve got a combi rifle and light flamethrower, so they force a bad decision on any combatants arranged against them - do I dodge or shoot back? They’ve got a robot buddy that’s fast and hard to hit, so the Tomcat can go work on an objective while the zondcat goes off to fix a drone or medic a fallen target. You’ve even got a combat option if you just want to annoy the other player by walking in a rocket launcher off the board in his back half. Tomcats do a little bit of everything, they do it just well enough, and they’re cheap enough to take two. For whatever reason, nobody seems to ever expect you to take two AD specialists. I can’t say enough good things about Tomcats.

Rightly so, the fluff praises them by saying that every kid on Corregidor wants to be a Tomcat when they grow up. When you live on a cobbled-together spaceship made out of a former lowest-bidder supermax prison, you really appreciate having someone around to repair your hull breaches and resuscitate the folks who get blown out into space.

Alright, time to rip the bandaid off.

Interventors are some of the best hackers in the game. Nomads in general are real good at hacking, and Interventors are the best at it. Because you can usually leave them in a safe area protected by your order generators, a lot of people like to make their Interventor their LT, because it’s obvious, therefore you can keep using that Lieutenant Order coupled with their high Willpower, the do-it-all attribute. The little panda is a deployable repeater that can move under its own power, until you have it root in place and start repeating. Interventors have WIP 15 and BTS 9, which means they’re hard to attack via hacking. They are generally good and an excellent choice over many other hacking options in this faction, even if that will make you a little predictable. In the fluff, Interventors are the best of the computer criminal element, recruited by Tunguska for a fat paycheck to keep doing crimes, but on the mob’s payroll. Have you see a science fiction movie made in the 1990s? Then you know what an Interventor is.

Hacking is a really useful set of skills that are presented in the most mind-bogglingly stupid fashion possible. How CB arranged the hacking section of the book is the dumbest thing in the entirety of Infinity, and that’s including all the bad localization and the problems in the FAQs and the Tech-bee.

Look at this stupid loving table.

This is useless garbage. The hacking section is already in the advanced rules part of the rulebook, so it’s deemed more complex than the morale rules, special skills, equipment and ammo types, and basically every other rule in the game. Every hacking program has a twee special name that’s only sometimes descriptive. It has callbacks to special ammo types, so I hope you’ve got those memorized, because here they are in a completely different context. The descriptions are useless until you find the actual program entry. Do you know if you get the program based off the type of hacking device you’re using? No, go look at another chart, eat poo poo.

Worst of all, there’s the loving categories. CLAW-1 and UPGRADE-2 and that poo poo. Those are meaningless. Nothing is ever impacted by those categories, but that’s how the authors chose to organize this entire complex chapter. It’s such a fundamental failure of design that I’m actually getting mad, mad about tables and charts.

Here’s how to fix hacking: Make a list of programs by target. Enemy hackers, friendly units, TAGs, etc. Then give the name. Then a description of what it does. Some program do damage, some cause status effects. Tell the users what they do, instead of crappy abbreviations. Spell out how many dice you need to roll when you use the hacking program. Tell us what happens to the target when they’re hit.

Like this. Captain Spud was able to build this in a basement. From a PDF of scraps.

Hacking works like this. Roll your WIP with the relevant modifiers from the program (a weapon), the enemy tries to respond if they can, if they fail their BTS (armor) roll they take (a wound/status effect/whatever). It’s the same loving mechanic as every other interaction in the game. The only real exceptions are a couple of passives, and those act like regular skills.

Anyway, Interventors are really good at hacking the Gibson. Among their talents: impair guided ammo, impair combat jumpers, boost the combat jump of your own troops, give all your robots better aim, protect your heavy infantry and TAGs from getting hacked with a BTS boost, immobilize or isolate enemy HI and TAGs, force a manned TAG to eject its pilot, create the hacking equivalent of smoke for use against enemy multispectral visors, enter the weakest impersonate state, and of course, fry the brains of an enemy hacker. Interventors get more tools to work with, and better ones to choose from.

Hacking area is important as well. A target of your hacking attempts has to be within a certain distance of a hacker or their repeaters unless otherwise specified - zapping an enemy or buffing your remotes must, buffing your heavy infantry is excepted. Having a ton of repeaters, like the pitcher above or remotes with built-in repeaters, is generally to your advantage, and Nomads excel at making GBS threads hacking coverage everywhere. There is one downside - if an enemy hacker (not an enemy repeater, one of their actual guys) is in your hacking area, they can attack you through it as they subvert your wifi and load torrents of bestiality porn and Last Man Standing onto your network. This is a little harder than normal hacking, so it acts as though the owner of the network being hacked is in internet-cover, making it harder to hit them and they’re more durable if they’re tagged.

Note Ariadna doesn’t have to deal with any of this poo poo unless they really, really want to. It’s a strong argument for their faction.

Zondnautica are the Nomad motorcyclists, introduced when Tunguska became a full-fledged army. They’re as fast as the good bikers, and they’re durable and killy. The best part is that when you dismount, your bike transforms and follows you around as backup. While that’s cool, I’m more interested to see if the addition of bikers will substantially change Nomad listbuilding habits. Motorcycle units are great fun, especially for someone like me who likes go-fast units, but because they use the largest regular base size, they’re very easily disempowered by a table layout.

Hecklers mark the first introduction of a Jammer to non-Haqq units, and there’s a few new profiles coming down the line for other factions, too. Hecklers can deploy upfield in one-time use camouflage. I haven’t heard a lot of scuttlebutt about them breaking games, and they’re nowhere near as cheap as the Ghazi Muttawi’ah. I suppose you could do worse.

Hecklers are harassment and dirty tricks guys, and that’s reflected in their loadout with the jammer and a killer hacking device, and their up-field ambush ability. I’d like them better if they had mines, for the full suite of booby traps.

As a general rule, anyone wearing the red overalls in Nomad pictures is a Corregidor unit, black overalls Tunguska, and mostly white somethingorother is Bakunin. I feel like this gets taken to an extreme with the Hellcats, who are dressed like Alguaciles wearing a jump harness. That seems a little lightly dressed for orbital drop troopers.

As far as jumping goes, Hellcats are some of the best at it in the game. Instead of coming off a board edge like parachutists or AD Infiltrators, Hellcats nominate a position on the board, roll against their Physique value, and scatter if they fail. A Hellcat has PH 13, but with their skills and a friendly hacker guiding them in (or, in a twist I think is really cool, missions with a designated drop zone like a helipad), they have to get an 18 or under to not scatter. They’re even better with this rules season, where you can place ‘em anywhere they fit, rather than on a template.

While they’re really good at jumping into position, once they get there, Hellcats are just kinda okay. You can get a light machine gun model that’s an okay shot, but not great, for about 30 points and 1.5 SWC. A specialist will run you 24 points at the cheapest, which would be okay if you knew you were going to be up against some unfavorable terrain. Their biggest problem is that the Yu Jing drop troop, the Tiger Soldier, is just better.

Wildcats are a cool set of models looking for a useful niche to fill. Notable for being the kind of people that a space prison full of hardened reprobates uses as a penal squad. I guess if you wanted another engineer unit, and you had no Tomcats, and suffered from brain damage, they might be worthy of consideration.

Above, Prowlers. Below, Zeros.

For once, having some samey models pays off. Prowlers and Zeros fill a similar role as camouflage infiltrators. Problem is that Zeros are cheaper and have more specialists and better gear, while Prowlers are slightly fragile, slower goons who’re meant to deploy upfield and shoot people, instead of using sneaky tricks. As you can see, however, the Prowlers are much, much better models - that’s actually the best-looking Zero in the line. Solution: proxy ‘em, which is now tournament legal. They’re basically the same profile anyway, so everyone wins.

Prowlers and Zeros are both part of the Bakunin military contingent. They both sneak. Prowlers are called out as so dedicated to their lives as deniable assets that they don’t have Cubes, except they totally do in their profile block. Zeros got their name because of their astonishingly low casualty rates and mission failure percentages. Big empty shrug.

Bran do Castro is our named Zero, and not actually a recreation of the Monkey King, just a perversion of science. Bran does all the stuff above, but better, for 37 points. He’s pretty good. You remember all that crap about Zeros being Zeros because of percentages? Horseshit, it’s because this guy’s a Triple Zero, which is one zero more than that other espionage guy, aren’t we so cool, neener neener neener. Going to town on someone with Sun Wu Kong never gets old, though.

These guys get the glamor shots because they’re just that good. I take Intruders very nearly as often as I take Tomcats in my lists, and that’s only because every so often I want to see how I’ll do without them. Prowlers wish they could be Intruders. They’re not so great on the surface. They’re about as murderous as your standard PanO jerk armed with an equivalent weapon - they’re actually pretty comparable to the PanO Nisse, which is like a Bolt wrapped in an arctic coat. Intruders have camouflage, but they don’t infiltrate. They’re not TO camo, so they don’t get hidden deployment. They’re just nice, survivable guys with access to big guns and the ability to see through smoke and camo. The sniper variant even ignores range penalties, if you want to put it up somewhere in the midfield and annoy the crap out of your opponent. Intruders die very easily to close combat and weapons that ignore camouflage modifiers, but if you’re smart, you’ll pair them with

Jaguars, another cheap Corregidorian unit. These guys all come with close-range weapons, they’re exceedingly dangerous in close combat, and they have smoke. Traditionally, warband units like are things like the dog-warriors or Shaolin monks. Jags are regular, however, so they contribute orders to your pool, and that’s a big deal.

The Jaguar-Intruder dynamic is a good primer on Nomad playstyle as a whole. Each unit has some deficiencies, but they’re generally a good choice from what you have available, and if you use them together, they shore up each other’s weaknesses and accentuate each other’s strengths.

Intruders are the standard covert operations dudes you’d expect, although I did think it was notable that they’re specifically charged with protecting the Nomad people, as opposed to punishing their enemies. Jaguars are gangsters from the Corregidor slums rounded up by the Alguaciles and put to more productive work, to the point they’re almost a special police division in and of themselves, charged with keeping the peace between the gangs onboard.

Then there’s the Observance. Get comfortable, this parts’s gonna be real Spanish.

The One Holy Apostolic and Catholic Space Church owes its return to power and revival in no small part to ALEPH and the concomitant ability to hand out resurrections. In a shocking display of realism, Corvus Belli’s writers note that this created some severe schisms in the bits of Christendom that weren’t along for the computer ride. The Papacy loves dissent and division in the church, and the word “purge” is thrown around for a paragraph or so. Short version, mainline Christianity in 2177 is Catholic, secretive and Not, or Weird. If you wanted to be space Mormon or space snake handlers or, god forbid, Lutheran, you kept in the closet, or you went to Bakunin. One of these numerous cult commune modules eventually mutated into the Observance.

The movement started in an Orthodox convent somewhere in the Aegean. The Abbess there was one Mother Superior Ligia Persakis, a charismatic speaker and heir to great temporal wealth and access, as well as a genetic proclivity for schizotypal personality disorder. Mother Ligia was also the holder of a PhD in archaeology and ancient Greek history.

Persakis didn’t take kindly to the worship of a false idol, declaiming the transfer of authority to ALEPH as anathema, a forsakening of the covenant between Man and God. Her message began to gain ground among those against the takeover of Christianity by a malevolent, or possibly just dim-witted, supercomputer. So she was excommunicated! Horns.aiff

Mother Ligia went off on kind of a theological bender, being rather understandably upset at getting kicked out of the church that was her life. She reported visions of Mary, interceding on behalf of both Ligia’s convent and womenhood itself. Persakis took a sharp turn into hereseyville, proclaiming Mary the representation of Gaia, of the mother goddess of ancient pagan mystery cults, and of female power in general.

Today, the Observance of St. Alia Mary of the Knife, Our Lady of Mercy, is a syncretic cult that is militantly pro-feminist, seeking to return to a time in antiquity before men defanged the old feminine deities, and violently against any incarnation of ALEPH. The areligious hedonists of Bakunin gave them a quick once over, figured they weren’t going to hurt anyone they cared about, and conscripted them in exchange for more hab space on the ship.

Behold, sexy Catholodox pagan space nun hackers. :spain:

The Observance is the most successful cult on Bakunin, so whatever they’ve got going on, they’re highly competitive in the marketplace of ideas against future space porn and generalized decadence. The highest reaches of the Observance are known of, but not known - there’s an Abbess, who has the final say in things, and a group of Mother Superiors overseeing the various orders. Who these women - and we can be certain they’re women, although there are male members of the Observance - are unknown even to the prying eyes of the Black Hand. The Observance are leading experts in AI research, because nothing makes you hate something like really understanding how it works. Especially in Space IT.

Reverend Moiras are the basic Observance units. They’re substantially better at close combat than most Nomads, and pretty well-armored. They can form fireteams of their own, and either a named character or a doctor-nun can tag along if you want. Moiras are built for combat, with okay special weapon choices. You can take a hacker variant, but you probably want one of their bigger sisters for that. The most notable thing about Moiras is that they all have an Optical Disruption Device, which is Not Quite TO Camo. You force a -6 to all BS rolls against you, but you can’t enter a marker state. It’s similar to Mimetism, which is the -3 to BS rolls from Camouflage, but also without a marker state option. It’s not bad to have for increasing your chances of running across an open fire lane without getting tagged, but you still have to worry about crits just murdering Moiras outright.

Reverend Healers are actually a little better at fighting than Moiras, but their equipment’s less good. They get standard weapons and only Mimetism to help protect them. Every R. Healer is a Doctor, so they’re specialists that can help pick up the pieces of your other Observance units when they get splattered.

Reverend Custodiers are where the Observance really shines. Almost as good as an Interventor, but harder to physically kill, I like to take one as a Lieutenant and let my repeaters do the walking. Custodiers uniformly have great models, even if they’re all on the older side.

Sin-Eaters have one job: sit there and hold a position. They have the Neurocinetics skill, which you may remember from Yu Jing’s Yan Huo. Neurocinetics lets you fire your full burst value in a reactive action, instead of knocking it down to one. So, if you take a Sin Eater that doesn’t have an HMG, you’re doing it wrong. Although taking a Sin-Eater in general is doing it wrong, because a total reaction bot does the same thing but cheaper, can fire full burst in active and reactive turns, and it’s not like you’re not gonna take the requisite hacker in a Nomad list anyway.

Sin-Eaters aside, the problem with the Observance units is that they’re medium infantry, and even if you link them, they only have 4-2 MOV. At most, they’re getting six inches up the board per order you spend on them. They’re expensive but on the fragile side. They’re killy, but not quite as killy as some of the heavy infantry. They get great hacker options, but so does everything else in this faction. They just don’t have anything outstanding to recommend them for how much they’ll cost you. You probably wouldn’t take any Moiras or Sin-Eaters, and Healers or Custodiers are conditional at best.

The Observance is real big on mystery cult shenanigans and mortification of the flesh. One of their core rituals involves hammering sanctified nails into their backs, one for each of their seven core beliefs (which are never elaborated on, to my knowledge). Sin-Eaters get the worst of the castigation, as a means of paying penance for the sins of Man. Becoming a Sin-Eater is the highest you can get as a man in the Observance - otherwise you’re around to clean the floors and keep the mystic incense stocked. Moiras are named after spirits of vengeance, and comprise the majority of the Black Hand’s tactical section. You should paint them so they’re wearing full body armor instead of battle bikinis. Healers are big believers in tough love, specifically the kind where they beat the hell out of you, fix you up, and then go back to beating the hell out of you for being sinful. Custodiers are advanced agents of the Observance, and tend to be young, since their training starts at an extremely early age to get them acclimated for cybercombat against a growing computer god. Lasting a few minutes in a hacking duel against an ALEPH incarnation is equivalent to spending a couple years on campaign as a foot soldier.

For being such broad strokes caricatures of feminists, I actually kind of like the Observance. Horny sculptors aside, the actual fluff continuously paints them as menacing releigious nutsos first and foremost, and in every other context as outstanding badasses. There’s a notable silence on the issue of trans people for such a devoutly female cult, but given their interactions with a character further down the line, I feel like you’d really have to do some legwork to see the Observance as TERFs.

Speaking of radical feminists, here are some of the kick-flipping punk rock variety. Riot Grrls are my choice for the standout Nomad heavy infantry, although I haven’t had a chance to play with the new guys. 4-4 MOV, 15 CC, and a 13 in every other action stat, plus ARM/BTS 3 and two Wounds makes Riot Grrls fast, punchy, and just tough enough. They also get MSV 1 (remove the penalty to shoot at regular camo) and Hyper-Dynamics, which lets them dodge at a 16 or less.

RGs hail from the Beauvoir module of Bakunin, and have established a movement renown for its anarchist tendencies even among the inhabitants of that mothership. Most Riot Grrls come from the marginal neighborhoods of the Sphere, with a particularly high grouping of Ateks, the disenfranchised of PanOceania. They’re good!

Corregidor’s heavy infantry option, the Mobile Brigada are just a hair more adept at killing things than Riot Grrls, but lack their cool toys and cost a lot more. Brigada are really only good for two things, which is 1) taking a somewhat obvious LT choice in Corregidor, or 2) running a full five-man fireteam of them for the maximum amount of shooting things Corregidor can do. You have to fully commit to the gimmick to get your money’s worth out of Brigada, and that utterly devastates me, because they have the best models and fluff.

Corvus Belli posted:

In addition to the usual tasks given to heavy infantries, Brigadas serve a key purpose as an implied threat to any customers of Corregidor who might be tempted to abuse their newly hired labor. In the past, some of the most brazen breaches of contract against Corregidorian workers have been resolved with a ‘hostile takeover’ in the form of Mobile Brigada units forcefully occupying entire compounds. The infringing companies were forced to buy back their own facilities by settling their debt with Corregidor. Their position as defenders of worker’s rights makes them a treasured institution to Corregidorians, who know these armored heroes have their backs at all times.

They’re so cool, and I can almost never justify taking them. It’s a damned tragedy.

Kriza Boracs occupy a curious place in the Nomad roster. They’re Silhouette 5 heavy infantry, so bigger than a RG or a Brigada, but smaller than a dog-warrior or a baby TAG. They’re very good at combat, and as durable as some TAGs. They’re built to be posted up in a place by themselves and defend ground, or to rambo up the board alone - and that’s just not something Nomad units do. As I’ve mentioned, you need to use Nomad units in concert with each other to get the most mileage out of them. Depending on who you ask, Krizas are either a case of incipient power creep, or a new and curious direction for the Tunguska sectorial.

Part of the complaints stem from the Kriza getting introduced at the same time as a new rule, Full Auto. Full Auto level 1 gives you +1 Burst in your active turn, so if you picked the HMG option, one attack would roll five dice against your opponent - that’s a hell of a lot in Infinity terms. Full Auto level 2, which the Kriza has, is level 1, plus when you shoot at someone, they take a -3 modifier to react to you in any way. Personally, I think most of the hubbub was just “here is something new that sounds scary, I don’t like it.” It’s been a goodly few months since the introduction of Full Auto, and nobody’s quit the game en masse yet.

Taskmasters are unremarkable except for the fact they are literally the Moderator SWAT division assigned to deal with escaped mad science experiments.

Geckos may as well be called Mobile Brigada 2: Brigade Harder. They fill the same roles, with higher stat lines and commensurate costs, while not being terribly special. They’ve got an extra hit point, and that’s about it.

Nomad TAGs are PanO cast-offs, bought up through front companies and refitted to be better than new. Practically, this means they’re just a little subpar compared to the current PanO line. If you’re gonna steal a design wholesale, you could definitely do worse than the Guges from Appleseed.

Iguanas are a little more interesting than the Geckos or the likes of the Guija. Strictly speaking, they’re very average in stats. They do carry around a repeater, so they’re more protected from hacking attacks than your garden variety TAG. They also have an ejection system for the pilot - that’s the little model in the picture. At the very least, your Iguana cannot be crit to death right off the bat - the TAG itself has only two hit points, but the pilot will be thrown out of the machine and into a protective cloud of smoke even if it’s shot down right from the first order. Once out of the TAG, the pilot behaves like a typical heavy infantry unit with an HMG, although unlike other TAG pilots, they’re not specialists.

Not much to say about them fluff-wise, but Iguanas have absolutely fantastic models. It’s like Jeuty and Unit-02 had a sextoped lovechild.

Old Szally, new Szally.

Tunguska runs the Szalamandra, named for the fire spirit. Szally is pretty crazy and the exception to the Nomad TAGs, in that it’s one tough cookie. Its pilot can dismount and become a killer hacker, although sadly you can’t hack back when you’re busy piloting your giant robot.

Just a wee difference in sculpting techniques over the years, there. This is also a good time to mention that I love the Nomad racing stripe aesthetic.

Morans are great units in desperate need of new sculpts. Maasai and proud of it, Morans flaunt their African roots with some sweet dreads and capes. They’re solid camo infiltrators that are, yes, also repeaters. His little friends there are Crazy Koalas, perimeter weapons that run up to their targets and explode like a mine.

The fluff spends a good deal of time extolling the martial virtues of the Maasai, how they’re justifiably proud of their heritage, aaand then closes by calling them exotic and noting they’ll cut out your heart and drink your blood. Good work, CB, class act.

Old Morlocks, Uberfallkommando

Bakunin’s got kind of a German thing going on, incidentally. Morlocks and Uberfallkommando are Bakunin’s skirmishers, the answer to Jaguars in Corregidor and Tunguska’s giant pile of bullshit that I’m covering elsewhere.

Morlocks are similar in function to Irmandinos, though none of them are specialists. You could give them a real gun, or you could give your weird mutant a template weapon and let them do their thing, which is to scream up the board leaving smoke droppings all over the place. Six points makes ‘em a winner, especially with Metachemistry, to represent their weird individual mutations. While you can get +1 ARM or regeneration from Metachemistry, the one you really want on your random roll for Morlocks is the MOV boost, so that they can run eight inches, then another four inches. Here’s the problem with Morlocks:

Those are the new Morlock sculpts. They’re just the Zack Snyder Suicide Squad. That one’s literally just lovely halloween costume Harley Quinn. I hate these as much as I love Tomcats and the Szalamandra. Like, they put out a special edition bust for the OG tentacle head lady, since she was so iconic, and then they scrap all those and give us this garbage. It drives a body to drink.

Morlocks are the standard irregular imeptuous model, and they all do their own thing once you turn them loose. Uberfallkommando operate on the buddy system. The fox furry is the controller, called the Chimera, and she does not gently caress around. First off, she’s got a viral close combat weapon (remember viral?), she causes a penalty against enemy units in hand to hand because she’s got scary pheremones, and to go with her CC of 21, she has the Natural Born Warrior skill. A couple of units have had this, and it allows you to shortcircuit the other guy’s close combat boosters. Fighting a berserker, or some rear end in a top hat JSA guy with Martial Arts level 5? Cool, NBW doesn’t care. Neutralize all their bonuses and make them fight fair.

This gets even better when the Pupniks, her band of mutant buddies, get in the fray. They’re all G:Synchronized, like the Auxbot remote, so they all act on the Chimera’s order and move as one. Because all the Uberfallkommando move at the same time and rate, they’re good at staying grouped up. You can leverage this to your distinct advantage if you can get all of them into a fight. Ordinarily, you’d only roll one die in close combat, unless otherwise specified. But you get a bonus die for having a friend in melee with you. An Uberfallkommando unit, if they all survive, can eat Joan or a Fiday for breakfast, possibly literally.

To encourage their survival, the Chimera has Eclipse smoke grenades. These block regular line of sight and multispectral visors - nothing can see through Eclipse smoke.

Take Morlocks if you want a more distributed set of risks and for wider smoke coverage, or take the Uberfallkommando if you want to eviscerate someone in close combat.

Repeat offenders against the common good of Bakunin, or those that repeatedly threaten the safety of the ship, are either spaced, or turned into Morlocks. Grim! The Chimera is actually a Moderator on the Vice Squad. Because it’s the hedonistic anarchist habitat, apparently Battlebots but with genetically engineered lifeforms is a popular sport, albeit one that’s illegal in the public areas of the ship. Chimeras are so wildly altered from their birth body that they no longer have Wounds, they have Structure, like a remote or a TAG. Also grim, possibly dark!

Tsyklon, Salyuts, Meteor Zond

For every Nomad unit that’s kinda ho-hum, there is at least one remote that’s absolutely fantastic.

Nomad remotes are some combination of faster, murderier, more kitted-out, or all of the above in comparison to their peers. Now, remotes are hackable, and they can be broken pretty easily. They don’t dodge well, and they’re usually big targets. Putting a remote into close combat is outright foolish. You might reconsider taking some of them in another army. In Nomads, you’d be a fool not to at least take one of the cheap ones for the orders, if for no other reason than every one of them is a repeater, except the one that’s also a hacker itself.

Lunokhods are like the Tsykon’s bigger sibling. They pack heavy shotguns and either a heavy cannon or a heavy flamethrower, plus crazy koalas and demolition charges. Lunokhods really punch above their weight class, and their only failing is that they’re pretty large targets. Tsyklons, meanwhile, are a touch more expensive in exchange for longer-ranged weapons.

Salyuts are baggage bots with repeater, the somewhat-unique combination of Total Reaction and a combi rifle, or an EVO hacker. EVO hackers are able to do digital knife fights, but are mostly to provide buffs to your army. They get general utility programs, some special utilities, and provide passives like an automatic +3 to PH for airborne deployment rolls, or permitting you to make coordinated hacking attacks. They tend to cost SWC, but they’re good to have around.

Finally, the Meteor Zond rounds out the Nomad unique remotes. I don’t know of any other traditional remote with airborne deployment. As if dropping this bad boy down on your enemy’s head wasn’t fun enough, it’s also a forward observer and can designate targets for triangulated fire, plus it can reveal hidden deployed troops.

Nomads have a bunch of special characters, but I’m going to shunt most of them into the StarCo section. We’ll stick with the tradition of looking at recreations to finish off this already too-long entry.

Avicenna, or Abu Ali al-Husayan ibn Sina (979-1037) was the author of The Canon of Medicine, the standard medical reference for the Islamic world and the more with-it parts of the west for a good four centuries after his death. An important philosopher and medical doctor, who quite enjoyed partying, Avicenna was lauded as the “Prince of Physicians.”

If you’ll recall the Haqq unit update, I very intentionally elided over Saladin not being the first Recreation built for life on Bourak. Project “Hakim” was ALEPH’s first shot at subverting the Haqqislamite diaspora, built to embody everything the religion holds dear. The Hassassins, operating in conjunction with the Black Hand, kidnapped Avicenna before he could be deployed and staged his violent, explosive, evidence-erasing death. The Praxis labs systematically purged the Recreation of ALEPH’s control mechanisms, both physical and electronic. Once that was done, his mind-state was partially reset, giving him temporary amnesia, before being uploaded into a top-of-the-line Hassassin artificial body and shipped off as part of a witness protection program.

This new Avicenna spent some years as a medical student at the University of Medina, carefully and closely monitored by agents from both covert agencies at all times. Like the OG Avicenna, she was a notorious party animal, but one of the most gifted medical minds the University had seen. By the time she graduated, the original fragments of the recreations memory had reemerged and integrated with the witsec programming. Quite happy to chart her own destiny and give ALEPH the finger, Avicenna roams the stars partying copiously, taking mercenary contracts to pay for her excesses and doing the occasional good deed to really piss off the AI.

Gameplay-wise, Avicenna is a pretty respectable specialist. She’s got Doctor Plus, so she can raise someone up to full health from unconscious. She’s not a great fighter, but she’s somewhat hard to put down; her greatest asset is a 6-2 MOV value, so if you need her to book it over to a downed unit or the objective, she’s pretty speedy.

gently caress you, ALEPH.

Next: Tohaa, unfortunately.

Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.
Why are there catgirls in the Nomads. I feel like I missed something beyond horny Spanish anime nerds.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

They appear to just have a bunch of furry biomod folks and some cat-themed power armor for no real reason.

Sage Genesis
Aug 14, 2014
OG Murderhobo

Night10194 posted:

Also, Ha-Satan as he exists would be a good name for the GM in a biblical RPG.

Shouldn't that perhaps be The Adversary?

May 7, 2007

Cythereal posted:

Why are there catgirls in the Nomads. I feel like I missed something beyond horny Spanish anime nerds.

No, I think you got it

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.
Clapping Larry

Cythereal posted:

Yeah, there's a body of theology, mostly Jewish, that holds that Satan is, no pun intended, the Devil's Advocate for God. For that matter, there's some thinking and speculation that Judas turned in Jesus to the Romans on Jesus' own orders - that Jesus knew what had to happen, and that Judas made a sacrifice like no other disciple ever had to make.

Another interesting take on the devil is the Yazidi Peacock King.

Night10194 posted:

You could also get a lot out of the old Enochean sect and their idea that the universe was fundamentally disordered by the destruction of the Flood and specifically by the fact that the Nephelim were partially immortal (being the offspring of angels and human women) and thus the immortal part of their spirits could not die, and became demons and evil spirits bent on loving everything up.

The idea being that even God could not set the universe back to order (and as a result, good things happen to bad people and vice versa) without restarting all of creation. A flawed creation that wants to continue to exist rather than hoping for destruction to bring about perfection could be a fun RPG setting.

Variations on this theme are in Armageddon.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Cythereal posted:

Why are there catgirls in the Nomads. I feel like I missed something beyond horny Spanish anime nerds.

Sep 10, 2003

peed on;

Cythereal posted:

Why are there catgirls in the Nomads. I feel like I missed something


beyond horny Spanish anime nerds.

Feb 15, 2012

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

I love the Nomads' insistence on making all their robots cute and cuddly.

Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!

I worked on a mini-setting based on an extremely loose version of the rapture, called "After J-day". The rapture happened, the world was ruined and the chosen were taken to heaven while those judged unworthy were left on Earth, to be slaughtered by the forces of hell after the gates underneath Megido were opened. As the survivors of all of the armies of the earth gathered for a last, doomed stand against the demons the courage of the sinful inspired a schism in heaven. In the second great rebellion a small army of angels left heaven and descended to earth to fight alongside them. They successfully beat back Satan's forces and sealed the gates again.

The players play as rebel archangels a couple of decades later, wandering the Earth, left a monster-filled wasteland by the war and full of post-apocalyptic cliches: warlords and cults, mutants, monsters and the walking dead, as well as the various apocalyptic Beasts and the threat of escaping demons. The problem is that using their powers in defiance of heaven means corruption and eventual transformation into a devil, if they aren't cautious.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Cythereal posted:

Why are there catgirls in the Nomads. I feel like I missed something beyond horny Spanish anime nerds.

Bakunin are Space 4Chan*. Of course they have catgirls.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

Cythereal posted:

Why are there catgirls in the Nomads. I feel like I missed something beyond horny Spanish anime nerds.
Trade unionists get all the catgirls.

Wales Grey
Jun 20, 2012

grassy gnoll posted:

I hear you guys like weird Christian heresies.
Good write-up, but there's some quick detail bits I want to point out for the peanut gallery Greek chorus:

Moderators are absolutely terrible lieutenants. Pan-O leadership, BS 10 (10!), and ARM 0 is a terrible statline. Why would you ever use one, you ask? The answer to that question is simple: Moderator LT is the least expensive LT option in Nomads. Scraping in at a meager 9 points, an absolute bottom-of-the-barrel price for pretty much any faction. The LT option costs 2 SWC in vanilla lists to pre-emptively cut down on attempts to cheese building a list by scraping points. It's also a terrible idea! moderator lieutenant as part of a moderator fireteam is a good way to score a bunch of cheerleaders in bakunin sectorial lists (0 swc in-sectorial), or skim points in smaller games as bakunin.

Daktari are bog-standard doctor-people, cat ears and cool Algerian war-doctor story aside: same statline as Aggies, just with the doctor special skill and the ability to bring a zondbot for in-home remote visits. Clockmakers are exactly like normal engineers, except that the Clockmaker profile rocks a fantastic WIP 15. Nomads have the best-est, cheap-est engineer in the game. wip 15 means you have a 75% chance of succeeding at any arbitrary engineering roll, way better than pan-o's pathetic 60% success rate on their faction's only engineer!

Tomcats are absolutely the bomb and one of my favorite units. They also have a hero tomcat if you've got 8 points left on the list somewhere to upgrade a regular engineer tomcat.

Interventors are pretty much the reason why Nomads are regarded as "the hacking faction". They're not the best hackers in the game that "honor" is probably reserved for some ALEPH or Combined Army unit but they are the least-expensive WIP 15 hacker who get access to the fancy hacking tools in the Killer Hacking Device/Hacking Device Plus. Your bottom-of-the-barrel hacking options in Nomads are: Moderator with Hacking Device (HD) at 17 points/.5 SWC (WIP 12 is gross, but BTS 3 makes it competetive with Aggie HD), Aggie with HD at 18 points/.5 SWC (boring), and then the Killer Hacking Device Interventor profile at 20 points/0 SWC. And Nomads profiles have a lot of repeaters/deployable repeaters/pitchers/remotes to support/get supported by those hackers.

Interventors are also a decent, if totally obvious, choice for your LT. WIP 15 Lieutenant at zero extra cost to the regular profile? Impersonate-2 status on LT? It's good. until someone notices kerr-nau and bit+kiss have ei khd and pitchers to pwn your hacker lieutenant using your own repeater network, potentially on the first turn

Prowlers get the crowd-favorite Adhesive Launcher on a legit Specialist profile. Good stuff.

Intruders are pretty much the best dang human medium infantry in the game, hands-down. so good

Total Reaction remote versus Sin Eater is mostly a matter of local meta and personal preference. The Sin Eater is more durable, harder to hit, and shoots straighter. Is that worth 7 points and an extra SWC on the Sin-Eater HMG profile? Eh, your call.

Riot Girrls are :krad:, best "normal" HI in the game if you ask me. Rock-bottom prices, PH 16 (really good) dodges, and decent (if short-ranged) gear? Sold. Wait, they're also Regular/Fury, and have Fireteam: Core in their Sectorial list? Where do I sign up to smash the patriarchy? mobile brigada are also good+cool but they're so frustratingly, boringly competent

Kriza Boracs and to a lesser extent, reverend morias are a solid gunfighter unit. Full Auto L2 is an all-powerful offensive tool that lets the Kriza walk around with impunity, shooting its way past anyone who tries to shoot back at it. In theory. In practice, the Kriza is basically a larger, very slightly cheaper Hac Tao or Swiss Guard that trades silhouette 2 and hidden deployment for never losing its defensive bonus when it shoots back. inversely, the kriza is a very small cutter or uhlan that shoots worse in exchange for being half the points

You need to bring a hacker or a TAG to use REM units. Nomads have good remotes, easy/plentiful access to good hackers to buff your remotes and mess up dudes intent on breaking your toys, and if they do break your toys you have both WIP 15 engineers in-faction and good combat engineers. An old-but-good trick people used to widely use as Nomads, back when they were one of two factions with HD+, was to bring a fast repeater remote, an Interventor, and a guided missile remote. You'd paint targets, potentially through walls, using the HD+ through the repeater, and then salvo the unit with guided missiles until it was dead. The trick is harder to do now, both because the rolls to make it happen got stiffer and the missiles got easier to deflect with even the most basic hacking gear, but if someone isn't expecting it you can really ruin a model's day. The guided missile launcher is pretty much the only reason Ariadna cares about hackers. if you spend the points to bring a guided missile remote, everyone will think you are using the guided missile trick

The Lone Badger posted:

Bakunin are Space 4Chan*. Of course they have catgirls.
I used to think this, back before certain relatively-recent events proved otherwise.

Halloween Jack posted:

Trade unionists get all the catgirls.


Wales Grey fucked around with this message at 03:55 on Oct 24, 2018

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
GG I think we have similar taste in sculpts; the Wildcats, Prowlers, and Intruders are like my favourite in the game.

Not only is the one Morlock obviously Harley Quinn, the others are definitely Joker, Croc, and Katana.

Who's that Senor Massacre guy?

Wales Grey
Jun 20, 2012

Halloween Jack posted:

Who's that Senor Massacre guy?

He's Deadpool. No, seriously he's literally just Deadpool, that's it, that's what he is.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Halloween Jack posted:

Trade unionists get all the catgirls.

Is that Sabo-Tabby?

Wales Grey posted:

I used to think this, back before certain relatively-recent events proved otherwise.

4Chan as of when Infinity was first published. Weebs rather than white nationalists.

The Lone Badger fucked around with this message at 09:10 on Oct 24, 2018

May 7, 2007

Please tell me the space libertarians have a catboy named Von Meowses

May 13, 2013

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

The name is :psyduck:

anyways, come to the Christianity thread, share your uniqueness with ours.



The Moderators in that image may look familiar to you. See, CB will do this thing where they want to make a reference to something popular, but instead of a knowing wink and a grin, they just give you the thing. Here, we can see Literally the Collector, Yondu, Gamorra and Nebula. Once in a while it’s a nice joke, but they seriously need to lay the hell off lately.

loving glad he mentioned it. I never noticed the Guardians of the Galaxy sculpts, but gently caress the new morlocks. I fucken love that elf lady original Morclock, and now it's gone, replaced by a lovely reference to an even shittier movie.

Once we get to JSA, you'll have _literal GitS_ in a game sold as "GitS in Space."

At least PanO is kinda safe from this crap.
*cries in failed WIP rolls*

JcDent fucked around with this message at 08:48 on Oct 24, 2018

Jun 6, 2011

The Lone Badger posted:

Is that Sabo-Tabby?

No, it's Tabby, revolutionary communist transwoman catgirl, one of the characters from Natalie Wynn's Contrapoints video-essay series. She is big on combat boots, Marxism, beating fascists with a baseball bat, and alienating everyone with impenetrable jargon and threats of violence.

May 13, 2013

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

LatwPIAT posted:

alienating everyone with impenetrable jargon and threats of violence.


Dec 24, 2007

LatwPIAT posted:

No, it's Tabby, revolutionary communist transwoman catgirl, one of the characters from Natalie Wynn's Contrapoints video-essay series. She is big on combat boots, Marxism, beating fascists with a baseball bat, and alienating everyone with impenetrable jargon and threats of violence.

Thanks, this satisfies my desire to know more.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

JcDent posted:

The name is :psyduck:

Emanuel Swedenborg was a weird guy.

Jul 15, 2017

JcDent posted:

loving glad he mentioned it. I never noticed the Guardians of the Galaxy sculpts, but gently caress the new morlocks. I fucken love that elf lady original Morclock, and now it's gone, replaced by a lovely reference to an even shittier movie.

Once we get to JSA, you'll have _literal GitS_ in a game sold as "GitS in Space."

They're my faction, the one I started with. I didn't expect to get literal Batou and the Major. OR Celty from DRRR!!

May 13, 2013

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

Dawgstar posted:

They're my faction, the one I started with. I didn't expect to get literal Batou and the Major. OR Celty from DRRR!!

CB didn't understand that "can Infinity get even more anime" was a joke, not a challenge.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.
Clapping Larry

Mors Rattus posted:

Emanuel Swedenborg was a weird guy.

No poo poo

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Dawgstar posted:

OR Celty from DRRR!!

I've shat enough words into this thread over the past week, so I'll keep the rant to myself, but I want it known I have strong negative feelings about the Rider.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Tome of Salvation

Miraculous Miracles

The new spells for Ranald are interesting; he had luck and thieving covered in his original book lore, which is reprinted here as Ranald the Rogue. However, he gets a bunch of new spells relating to empathy, smuggling, and bargaining by understanding the genuine worth (or lack thereof) of things as Ranald the Dealer (primarily new spells and mercantile magic) and a mixed lore of luck magic, stealth, and the ability to make people forget you as Ranald the Liberator. The new spells mostly aren't terribly exciting, though they're useful for a merchant or fence; +20% to haggle and evaluate for awhile because you can see true value, the ability to spread rumors of shortages or bounties (which can cause riots if you aren't careful. Unless you're trying to cause riots), the ability to make yourself forgettable or your goods impossible to find by search, but his new CN 20 big spell is great. Perfect Empathy makes you able to completely understand what another person says, breaking all linguistic and social boundaries and making them completely unable to successfully lie to you. They can try, and won't realize you're able to instantly decode their lies and see their real meaning. In a mercantile context it gives a massive +50% to Haggle, but otherwise, I'm sure you can think of plenty of uses for 'this person can't lie to or deceive me and I understand everything they really mean for the next 3 minutes'.

Shallya gets a little shafted in terms of new spells, but this is mostly because her existing Cure Poison, Cure Wounds, Cure Insanity, Cure Disease, SACRED LASER CANNON, and 'damage is shunted to me' spells were already the perfect core of a Shallyan Lore. We also get a sidebar about the Shallyan suggesting that she may be too good at healing people and that GMs who want their game to be 'grim and perilous' should consider making healing magic way less useful to keep players 'afraid of combat'. The suggestion is that a PC who has been Heavily Wounded (reduced to 3 or less Wounds) only gains 1 Wound from healing spells and can only have one healing spell cast on them per day. I dislike this suggestion for a very specific reason: Before 4e added 'Shallyans are permitted to fight to defend themselves', if you're playing a Shallyan the most you're doing in combat is occasionally Striking to Stun with your staff, and healing people. The Shallyans can heal like crazy, fast enough to possibly heal-tank through a serious enemy, especially when they can also actually tank by taking damage done to a softer ally and then channeling it through the Shallyan's armor and possibly better toughness, protecting your squishy wizard. Their magic is really powerful because it's the main thing they've got in combat; randomly taking it away if anyone gets seriously hurt just feels like it would make people stop playing Shallyans.

Anyway, for the new spells for Shallya, they get an absolute loser of a spell called Delay Affliction that holds off a status effect for Mag days, but is harder to cast than either Cure Poison or Cure Disease, both of which would instantly end the status effect as is, so there's no reason to ever use it. Golden Tears is a legitimately useful CN 18 spell that will instantly cure any Critical Effect short of dead or armor damage, instantly healing broken bones or shattered limbs without the chance of losing body parts, if cast within 2 rounds of suffering the hit. Its Ingredient is also a tear, so Shallyans should have plenty of those. Shallya's Endurance is a good, cheap CN 8 buff that provides +10% Toughness to a target for a minute (including increasing their TB). Useful for resisting damage; Shallyans are meant to be surprisingly hardy. Vestment of Purity is a new CN 20 big spell that makes you completely immune to poison and disease for Mag minutes or until you try to harm someone. It also makes all followers of Nurgle need a -20% WP test to attack you, otherwise they cower in the face of Shallya's power. Withstand Disease is a cheap CN 4 buff that gives +10% to Toughness to resist disease. The new spells aren't bad, necessarily; it's just that the standard Shallya the Contemplative list from the main book is so good. Shallya the Enduring is missing any actual healing magic, which seems like a big oversight, and Shallya the Restoring has Delay Affliction (but also Golden Tears) in place of Purify (Sacred anti-Nurgle laser) and Martyr (Tanking), which is a reasonable choice. But why would you want to give up the holy laser cannon?

Sigmar's base book lore has always been awesome. It only gets better here. Sigmarites have always been the most 'D&D Cleric' of Priests when it comes to spells, but they get some stronger theming as the Anti-Chaos Priest with their new spells. Sigmar the Anvil is the defensive lore, giving you a heal and a bunch of defensive, courage, and buffing magic. Sigmar the Hammer is the base lore from the core book, with hammer enchantments (being able to give a hand-weapon hammer Magical and Impact is extremely good for a cheap weapon blessing), attack magic (Soulfire and Comet of Sigmar are difficult to pull off without being a High Priest but pretty effective), and some buffs. Sigmar the Purifier is the anti-Chaos list. Interestingly, Sigmar's lists are all mixed; none of them are solely comprised of new spells. Sigmar's new spells absolutely rule: Heart of the Gryphon is a CN 14 that makes all Imperial citizens and Dwarfs within 24 yards of the caster Fearless for a minute. Vanquish gives you and all allies within 12 yards +1 Attacks against Chaos, Greenskins, or Undead as you imbue them with Sigmar's resolve against those enemies for CN 16, which is a massive buff. Immaculate Flesh is a CN 12 spell that gives Resistance to Chaos for a minute, making you immune to mutation, but prevents further spellcasting while it's up. Heed Not The Witch is *awesome* (and CN 15). It gives you +20% to save against Dark magic, but also permits a WP-20 save to negate any Dark spell, even if it didn't permit a save. This can combine with something else Sigmarites can get when we get to the Divine Marks to potentially make a Warrior Priest completely immune to Chaos magic when cast. Word of Damnation is a debuff at CN 13 that causes any heretics within 12 yards of the caster to fear the wrath of Sigmar and suffer a -20% to WP saves against Divine Lores (including non-Sigmarite ones) and Intimidation or interrogation by showing them a reflection of their own wickedness. No matter what else you might think about Siggy, his spells are really, really good and Warrior Priests of Sigmar are very powerful.

Taal and Rhya's Lore is a little disappointing, and makes me think 4e was right to split the two into distinct cults. It's disappointing because you'd expect their Lore options to be 'Rhyan Magic', 'Taalite Magic', and 'Both'. It isn't. It's 'Mixed', 'Taal as King of Beasts', and 'Taal as Lord of the Wild'. The majority of the spells are Taalite, including all the new ones; the only Rhyan spells are the ones from the core book. The Lore being overwhelmingly Taalite is just disappointing; this would've been a good chance to add in more healing and gentler magic to represent Rhya. The idea is meant to be that the cult of Rhya is currently waning while Taal waxes, with the idea that this will eventually cycle back in the other direction as it has many times before, but I'd rather have more mechanical support for Rhyan priestesses as well. Anyway, the new spells do do some pretty nice stuff: River Blessing will let you swim unhindered (in rivers, only) in plate and let you swim at a rate of SB rather than 1/2 Movement, with +20 to any tests to swim. Useful if you're playing on the Reik. Snarling Rage gives you Frenzy but wait no it also gives +1 Attacks and makes you Frightening, for only CN 10. This means that every non-fear-immune enemy immediately has to start saving or losing turns. This is definitely worth getting into a Frenzy for. Wild Wind is a very hard CN 19 spell that makes everyone around you (but not you) have to make Toughness saves or be stunned for a full minute, and suffer -20 to WS and Agi even if they save from the wind. Similarly, you cannot use ranged weapons nor have them fired at you while it works, except for guns. Gunfire can penetrate the wind. Lord of the Wild is a CN 15 spell that lets you control animals, as long as you don't tell them to do something ridiculously suicidal. Ox Heart lets you buff someone with free Toughness rerolls if they fail a Toughness test for a minute at CN 14. And finally, Taal's Fury is a shittier version of Fiery Blast from the Lore of Fire, at a whopping CN 26 (it is the hardest Divine spell in the game; even a High Priest will greatly struggle to cast it). It causes d10 Damage 4 hits, distributed however you wish, as nature itself gets really pissed off at someone and they're swarmed by biting animals, trees fall on them, lightning hits them, etc.

Whatever problems Ulric has, his spell lists ain't one of 'em. Ulric's Lores, aside from a focus on Frenzy, are very powerful. He actually has what I'd class as the best attack spells in the Divine list, only rivaled by the Sigmarite Soulfire. Ulric the White Wolf is the basic book lore, Ulric Snow King focuses on snow and winter, and Ulric Blood Hand focuses on buffs and battle magic. Frost's Bite is only in Snow King, but I think every Ulrican will want to take Extra Spell for this CN 9 beauty. It hits a target within 24 yards and instantly causes them d10 Wounds, no reduction, while forcing a Toughness test or they cannot take offensive actions on their next turn. This is basically the Shallyan sacred anti-Nurgle laser but 7 CN easier to cast and with no targeting restriction. Unbridled Rage is a CN 21 spell that relies on allies having Frenzy, which is a weird move, but Ulric can give that to people so I suppose it works out. It grants any Frenzied ally +1 Attacks and lets them Swift Attack as a half action for 1 minute. This means a character with a zweihander can full attack at +1 Attacks and then still enter Parry stance as their other half action. This is really useful to do. Also note this applies to you, and can stack with Battle Fury, the easy to cast basic Ulric spell that gives you +1 Attacks. An Ulrican High Priest can reach 4 attacks a round. Crush the Weak is a buff that lets you reroll one missed attack per round at CN 10, which is kind of an odd name for the spell. Hoarfrost Thews can only be attempted once a day, but makes you completely immune to exposure and cold for 1 day per Mag at CN 13. Finally, the Snow King's Decree is a long, long attack spell (2 Full Actions, 1 Half Action) at CN 21 that will completely murder one person if it goes off. The enemy 'erupts in silver fire' as Ulric tests them; unless they are a particularly honorable and brave individual, Ulric crushes their weakness, causing Damage 8 hits once per round for rounds equal to your Mag that ignore all armor. Even your average Exalted Lord of Chaos or Vampire Lord can't resist that kind of damage (doubly so for the vampire, since it almost certainly counts as holy), though casting a spell that takes that many rounds seems an iffy proposition.

Finally, we get the new Verena spells. Verena's aspects are Verena the Judge (the basic book Lore), Verena the Just (Spells about destroying injustice and the guilty), and Verena the Wise (Knowledge and augury). Preserve the Balance is a pretty great CN 13 spell that causes any crime committed against you to be returned against the offender for one minute. This means anyone who attacks you without very just cause suffers the same hits they deal to you, in addition to other curses like a thief dropping his purse after stealing yours. You can also cast it to immediately revenge a crime committed within the last minute. Owl's Wisdom is a CN 17 that makes you brilliant for Mag minutes, doubling DoS on Int tests (and remember, Perception is based on Int) and allowing you to dismiss the spell to immediately reroll a failed test. Reprobate's Sentence is a CN 17 spell that lets you accuse a target, taking a full minute long prayer and reading of charges. If they are guilty of the crime you accused them of, they begin to vomit and become terribly sick until they confess if they fail a Toughness test, making one every hour for 1 day per Mag of the caster. As Verena is My Witness is a buff at CN 14 that lets you Charm twice as many people as normal and gain +10% to Charm, so long as your argument is genuinely the truth as you know it. If you lie, the spell ends. The Blind Maiden is a CN 16 spell that lets you instantly see through any illusions, as well as letting you tell if someone is lying to you with an Int test. It also permits you to see perfectly through a blindfold as if you weren't wearing one. Finally, Retribution is a CN 14 debuff where you name a target you have proof is guilty of a crime. They make a WP-20 test, or else they will be wracked with such pain that they only get a half action each turn for 1 minute per point of Mag. This pretty much takes that person out of a fight. Given that the average Chaos Lord has very certainly committed crimes, this is a rather hefty spell.

We also get some Divine Rituals, though Rituals aren't very interesting. There's procedures for making a temple or shrine into holy ground that will repel demons and vampires and grant a casting bonus to priests of that religion equal to the Mag of the priest who led the ceremony (So +1, +2, or +3 after you roll dice), which is quite useful. The only consequence for failing the ritual is that you will think the site is holy, while the blessing is flawed and grants no casting bonus nor repels the forces of darkness. There is also a spell to summon a holy servant of your God, which you have no control over, and there are no real stats suggestions given for the Divine Servants. Also it's CN 26 (CN 24 if cast on a holy day in a holy place) which is hard for a Mag 3 Priest to hit, and if you fail your God is going to be very angry and use the new, improved 'you really hosed up' Divine Miscast table for you.

With the Lores out of the way, let's talk about Disfavor. Disfavor is a new mechanic whereby you gain a point of Disfavor when you break your strictures. Only priests with Fate Points or Mag suffer Disfavor; others aren't noticed so directly by the Gods. So, for instance, a Shallyan taking up the sword and striking down a bandit that was going to kill one of her allies suffers 1 Disfavor. There's a dumb thing about 'you don't have to tell players when they suffer Disfavor' but also an assurance that any Disfavor suffered should only be for 'significant' acts against the strictures; if you don't tell your players the Gods are mad you're A: A dick and B: They're going to figure it out quickly when they try to use magic. Disfavor Dice get added to any spellcasting check you make while under Disfavor; for every point you have you roll 1 extra die that only contributes to miscasting. Every time you use a spell while under Disfavor, you lose 1 point of it. Non-spellcasting priests instead lose 1 point when the GM decides to give them a -10% to one roll for annoying their God. So, you actually clear Disfavor fairly quickly, and can also clear your entire pool by accomplishing a significant penance or a quest of major interest to your God. The idea is that the average PC is going to annoy their God sometimes, and that your life as a priest should be a give and take between your obligations, your adventures, and your faith. This doesn't sound so bad, right?

Well, it can get bad! If you roll quads on a casting check, instead of the normal Wrath of the Gods you invoke the VENGEANCE OF GOD. This is the 'You Have Really hosed Up Now' miscast table. It can inflict d10 Insanity, inflict 2d10 Wounds with no save, completely wipe out your Divine Magic (regaining 1 point of Mag per act of significant penance), get you divinely excommunicated and tell everyone about it (-30% to Fel with your cult until you do penance), take everything you own except your shirt and pants (with particularly important items or magic items being returned when you do penance), call you before a vision of your God to face ultimate judgment (Burn Fate or lose your PC), or invoke a 4 dice miscast on the Arcane table as the forces of Chaos are pulled through by your wickedness. So yeah. Don't get too much Disfavor. And if you do, don't use magic for awhile, try to do penance. Though the odds of quads are very low, at least, unless you're rolling a monumental number of dice.

Next Time: Divine Marks at last! These are great!

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder

So glad that Taal and Rhya got separated and made way more distinct in 4e. Rhya as just More Farmland-y Lady Taal is boring.

Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
AD&D: 2nd Edition

Analyzing Chapter 3: Character Classes

The third chapter of the DMG mirrors the third chapter of the PHB, in that they're both about character classes. Where the PHB is about the mechanics of player character classes, however, the DMG is more about how classes actually fit into the game world, starting off by pointing out that the vast majority of the world's NPC's are un-classed, 0th-level normal dudes and dudettes. They don't have PC classes, and they don't have their own special classes. They might be proficient with a single weapon relevant to their profession(the pikeman knows how to use his pike, the smith might know how to use his hammer, etc.) and probably have some non-weapon proficiencies relevant to their skills(all that time not spent dungeoneering means they can actually learn useful life skills like blacksmithing, herbalism, etc.). Generally they'll have a single hit die's worth of HP and get dropped by a single sword blow or if they get kicked by a horse(probably, though, the game notes, it might be a good idea to give especially important NPC's a bit of extra health so they don't die accidentally... or intentionally if a PC really wants to sabotage the campaign).

Then it moves on to the specific character classes, because if most people aren't classed, who is? And how many are? It goes over the classes in turn, analyzing who might reasonably have character levels(those who might have Fighter levels, for instance, would be hardened mercenaries, members of elite regiments or perhaps some excellent NCO's and officers.). Classes with high basic ability requirements are obviously the rarest, especially as they also tend to come with ethos requirements that further narrow the pool and potentially cause some to drop out. It also points out how classes fit into society, for instance, while the majority of a religion's clergy will likely be 0th-level theologists, the Clerics and Paladins are the ones who actively go crusading for the faith or defend vital holy sites.

The repeated mantra here tends to be that just because someone has a high rank politically, they don't need to have a high rank level-wise. The leader of a thieves' guild could as easily be a 0th-level merchant as a high-level assassin, that sort of thing.

After this, it segues into an early exploration of just what you do with high-level campaigns, pointing out that after a while, just chopping things up is likely going to start getting dull, especially once the players have such stats that they need ridiculous enemies like dragons or demigods to challenge them. Thus a suggestion of slowly twisting the campaign away from throwing numbers at enemies, and towards political maneuvering and intrigue, especially once players hit their Name Level(9th or 10th depending on class) and start accruing followers of some sort. And, eventually, that once players hit or approach 20th level, it may be time to retire them as powerful background NPC's and start over with some fresh characters.

And then what do you do when you create fresh characters? Usually, the game suggests, you start them at level 1, because those are the "formative" period for character personality, but of course, if the rest of the party is higher level, start the character at the same level as the lowest-level party member, so they aren't totally useless.

Mostly this chapter is, therefore, about worldbuilding. The only solid mechanical part of it is at the very end where it has a short section on creating new classes. First it advises against making a new class for everything, i.e. a Vampire Hunter or a Viking are just Fighters with a certain philosophy, a Witch is just a female Mage, etc. etc. but then gives us a rough system for making our own classes. Basically we cobble together elements of all the existing classes, and then use those to come up with an XP multiplier for the class. The more abilities, the slower it levels, essentially, and if we rebuilt an existing class perfectly, it would advance slower than the existing version.

Oddly enough, despite things being more systematic, and thus making it easier to do so, I don't recall anything like that from the later editions. Or, at least, not anything that I ever saw anyone use. 3E had a "making new classes"-bit in the DMG, sure, but it was just "eh, you can make a new class. here's a thing you could make, theoretically. [example follows]" with no sorts of guidelines on how to actually make a new class or really balance it.

Chapter 4: Alignment

Now, alignment... I know that's a thing a lot of people hate about D&D in general. And while I don't mind alignment, and find it to be a useful guideline, it could have been better explained.

For those not familiar with classic D&D alignment, you've got two axes: Good-Evil and Law-Chaos. Good-Evil really just represents selflessness vs selfishness(the game characterizes most evil characters as not being actively malicious, but simply not caring if the actions that benefit them are detrimental to others) and is easy enough to understand, while Law-Chaos is most easily summarized as collective vs individual. Law wants to put everything into an organized system and move everyone at once, Chaos tends to regard organization as irrelevant or pointless(possibly even actively hazardous) and prefers individual action. When faced with Evil actions that are legal through a loophole, the Lawful Good character runs for government or lobbies the existing government to change the law. The Chaotic Good character, meanwhile, is more likely to don a mask and go on a vigilante crusade against those exploiting the loophole.

The alignments that D&D has always struggled with more are the ones that mix in Neutrality. Not so much Neutral Good or Neutral Evil, which are just Nice vs Naughty without any additional flavouring. But Lawful Neutral, Chaotic Neutral and True Neutral have always been the ones that have caused the most problems, from least to most goofy. Lawful Neutral you can somewhat easily define as the bureaucrat who follows the rules because they exist, not because they benefit him or anyone else. Someone who needs to have a system or a rulebook for everything, and who might try to make it more concise and precise, but would never really question whether the rules are needed or need changing so they provide a different outcome.

True Neutral(in some cases just Neutral), covers a wide variety of bases. It covers the people who legitimately just don't give a gently caress, or creatures without the intellect for morality(animals, plants, golems, etc.), as well as one of the silliest concepts of all, that being ferocious balance nerds who switch sides at the drop of a hat to obsessively maintain some sort of status quo of the universe. The worst thing this loving alignment ever gave us was the Rilmani, a group of Outsiders strictly devoted to setting stasis by allowing no changes to happen if they can help it. gently caress True Neutral.

Chaotic Neutral tends to give us fishmalks, lolsorandumb sporks of dooooooooom penguins!!!!! XD types and the like, because the alignment is literally described as often being the alignment of madmen and lunatics. 90% of the time if someone picks to play CN, it's because they want to be able to do whatever whim takes them, without giving a poo poo about whether it's logically consistent for their character. And sadly the alignment descriptor also backs that up, defining them as going with whatever whim grabs them at the moment.

After the explanation of what the alignments are, we're told that it's a good idea not to make a group with too diverse alignments, and then thrown into an example of what a mess that is... with a theoretical group consisting of one player of each alignment. Both how they'd act while splitting the loot and during the fight. It's a good example of how too-divergent alignments can end up in a brawl, but it's not really a particularly good guide for actually playing a given alignment.

Analyzing Chapter 4: Alignment

The DMG approaches alignment from the opposite side of the PHB. Where the PHB is "this is how you play these alignments," the DMG is more about how alignments affect NPC societies/governments(but as a regular 2e GM I can't remember ever actually going: "THIS CITY IS NEUTRAL EVIL" and advancing from there. I'm not sure if anyone ever has, usually regions don't have alignments, people do. They do have an example for every sort of governmental/societal alignment available, though.) and how to deal with player alignment disputes. I like how the first suggestion there is the simple. "You guys have picked alignments that will be fighting like cats and dogs, how about one of you change it up so we don't have this mess?" You know, just talk to your players like rational adults.

Almost everything that's important to know about alignments has already been said in the PHB, and the DMG here is mostly there to deal with the edge cases that are largely important to DM's and less so to players. For instance, what happens when a magical item forces a new alignment on a player? How effective/precise are Detect [Alignment] spells? How does player alignment change in general? Suggestions for using alignment in a more "classic" way where the entire world is locked in a grand Law vs Chaos or Good vs Evil struggle, rather than many smaller, grayer groups having their own fights, etc.

But, really, what happens when you change alignment? The GM is encouraged to handle it differently depending on the circumstances. For instance, if Joe discovers that he's not having much fun playing a Lawful Good character, and would fit better into the party as Chaotic Good or Lawful Neutral, the GM's encouraged to just go: "Sure thing buddy, erase the old one, write in the new one, and let's get the game on the road." On the other hand, if it's more that the player insists on, say, having his Lawful Good character waterboard everyone he comes across for gossip and secret information, and the GM decides that's enough to flip him over to Lawful Netural after the 20th time, the penalty is twice the XP needed to reach the next level.

I'm not sure I really agree with penalizing players for changing alignment, but if you're going to have alignment in the game, it should have some meaning. Though I feel like I'd rather have rewards/benefits for following your alignment well than penalties for breaching its strictures and philosophy. Carrots usually work better than sticks, after all.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Tome of Salvation

The Sign of God

Divine Marks are so much better than Arcane Marks, and represent a significant refinement of the original system that is much more standardized. They are very much a mixed blessing but generally follow a solid design that is standardized between Gods: The low roll Marks are usually detrimental or mixed, then at 41-50 every single God gives 'X's Mien', making you appear physically more like your God and granting a buff, the higher marks are positive, the 81-90 mark is always extremely cool, and then 91-100 is a Mark of your God that gives +10% to Channeling and +10% Fel with followers of your cult. You get Divine Marks any time you roll two 1s on your casting check and then fail a WP test. Much like with Arcane Marks, my group has always instead played that you get a Mark every time you raise Mag, because my players want to have Divine/Arcane Marks for flavor and prefer the consistency. I like the way that the negatives still bring you closer to your God, just usually closer to more problematic or anti-social aspects of their character. I won't be repeating the various Mark of X talents that end each line at 91-100 because they're all functionally the same.

Manaan: Manaan's marks aren't great, but then, Manaan is kind of the most awkward God to play as as it is.

Fishy: You lose 5% fellowship because you always smell of the sea.
Pelagic Yearning: You suffer a -5% to WP when not in sight of the sea, because you love it so.
Seaweed Growth: Holy seaweed thrives somewhere on your body, giving -10% to Fel in situations where being seen with seaweed in your hair might give you trouble.
Tidal: Your stats shift with the tides. At high tide you get +5 Tough and +2 Max Wounds. At low tide, -2 Wounds and -5 Tough.
Manaan's Mien: You grow d5 inches and put on 2d10 pounds, your hair darkening as you bulk out and gain +5% Str. You also smell of brine.
Piscine Charisma: Fish love you. Any time you're in or near water, fish gather to you. This makes fishing very easy. Sea-birds also love you because you attract fish, granting +20% to Charm Animal tests with fish or birbs.
Riptide: You make the seas rough by your presence, penalizing others' swim tests by -20 if they're very close, -10 if they're merely close.
Webbed: You gain webbed feet and hands, giving +20 to swim tests.
One with the Sea: You cannot drown in seawater. If you would drown, you instead wash up on shore at 0 Wounds. You also gain +10% to all nautical tests.

Morr: Morr's marks are appropriately spooky but also grant great courage.

Enervated: You lose some of the verve of life, taking -5% to Str.
Distracted by Death: You have a morbid outlook and sense of humor, taking -10% to Fel with those who aren't Morrites.
Disturbing Visions: You have visions at all hours, not just when asleep. You take -10% to Perception tests for distraction, but the visions are sometimes prophetic, giving you +10% to one test a day of your choice.
Skeletal: Your frame draws close and you suffer -10 to Charm, but +10 to Intimidate from your frightening appearance.
Morr's Mien: Your features shadow, your hair darkens, and you grow tall and thin, growing d5 inches without any increase in weight. You also feel cool to the touch, and gain +5% Willpower.
Flock of Ravens: Ravens follow you everywhere, perching on your shoulder, tapping on windows, etc. You gain +20% to Charm Animal with ravens.
Dead Eyes: Your eyes never flinch and your glare is frightening. Gain Unsettling.
Morr's Servant: The dead know what you are and know they should be resting in their graves. Any intelligent Undead (one with a WP score) in your presence treats you as if you had the Frightening talent, and cannot be immune to this Fear.
Enlightened: You understand that death is merely a change in existence, that Morr's portal leads to peace, and you no longer fear it. Gain Fearless.

Myrmidia: Myrmidia has the weirdest Mien bonus of anyone since she doesn't get a stat buff. Otherwise, here comes eagles and righteous fury! Her marks are very similar to Sigmarite ones, but annoyingly a bit less impressive.

Vengeful: You carry grudges and honor almost as seriously as a dwarf or Sigmarite. Suffer -5% to Int.
Rites of War: Unless you spend a full round reciting the Rites of War, you suffer -5% to Weapon Skill for not having defined the conflict.
Calculating: You can come off as cold during your first meetings with new people. Suffer a -10% to Fel when you meet someone for the first time.
Righteous Fury: You suffer a -10% to Int when fighting those who have wronged you and your allies, but gain +10% to both Strength and Willpower from your conviction.
Myrmidia's Mien: Your skin darkens to a deep tan and you grow d5 inches in height. Gain a permanent +10% to Command tests.
Eagle Friend: Birb friends love you, +20% to interact with eagles.
Eagle Eyes: You have the eyes of Myrmidia's beloved, gaining a +20% to Perception tests involving sight.
Fanatical Love: Select a Myrmidian ally each fight; this person is reminded of the Goddess's love for mankind by your presence and gains +10% to WP during the encounter.
War-Honed: You are used to war. Gain Stout Hearted. This is one of the less impressive 81-90s.

Ranald: As you might imagine, these revolve around being tricksy.

Weak-Willed: You are a slave to chance and passion. -5% to Willpower.
Liar: You are loathe to tell the truth. +10% to Blather tests.
Knavish: You're prone to breaking social strictures and you generally annoy nobles, guardsmen, and other priests of more stuck up Gods. Take a -10% to Fel with these sorts.
Lithe: You grow wiry and nimble, losing 2d10 pounds and d10 Toughness, but gaining +d10 Agility.
Ranald's Mien: You become lean, your hair and skin both darken, and your smile is always white and mischievous. Gain +d10 Fellowship, lose 2d10 pounds.
Cat Friend: As per the various other animal friends, but you attract cats everywhere you go and get +20 to Charm tests to herd them.
Forgettable: If you don't want to be remembered, people need an Intelligence test to remember anything about your face besides your grin.
Ranald's Luck: Any time you spend a Fortune point, roll a d10; on an 8+, you get it back. This is extremely good!
Irreverant: Ranald has revealed a portion of the great joke to you. Whenever you'd normally be afraid, you instead break out laughing, taking -10 to tests and -1 Move for d10 Rounds instead of being paralyzed with fear or terror.

Shallya: Shallyans tend towards depression and self-deprecation, but surprisingly brave, and amazing doctors.

Pacifist: You have a hard time even thinking of hurting people, suffering -5% to WS and BS.
Bleeding Heart: If you see someone who needs help, you suffer -10% to WP tests, distracted by it. If you don't help, it increases to -20.
Fear of the Fly Lord: Maggots, vermin, and other vectors of disease make you uncomfortable, giving you -10% to WP in their presence.
Unworthiness: You can't stop thinking about those you couldn't help and tend to beat yourself up, giving -10% to Fel tests.
Shallya's Mien: Your hair lightens and your eyes almost always flow with tears. You take -10 to Perception tests, but gain +5% to Fellowship and any Heal tests you make repair 1 more wound. This includes on Heavily Wounded characters.
Peaceful Demeanor: Animals know you mean well and will never attack you unless you attack first. Given Gryphons and Hippogriffs are animals, this could be very helpful if your party wants to tame a catbird or horsebird.
Healing Hands: You are a truly gifted doctor. Any successful Heal test heals +2 Wounds. This stacks with Mien and also applies to Heavily Wounded characters. This means a Shallyan can heal 3-4 Wounds to a Heavily Wounded PC, instantly making them Lightly Wounded again, even if they have no medical supplies on hand.
Tranquil Aura: All living creatures within 4 yards of you suffer -10% to to-hit rolls. You make people reconsider violence.
Emboldened: As long as you are trying to help people or shield others from harm, you are completely immune to fear. You still make the tests and suffer the conditions, it's just that even when you should be running or freezing you can instead declare actions like shielding others from blows with your body or trying to heal the wounded or help others flee.

Sigmar: Sigmarites get probably the best 81-90 in the game.

Stubborn: You single-mindedly pursue your cause, no matter the consequences. Suffer -5% to Int.
Hammer Bearer: You gain +1 Damage with hammers, but -10% to Ballistic Skill. You prefer to do things up close and with a hammer.
Suspicious: Anyone could be a servant of evil. Suffer -10% to Fel with people you've just met.
Grudge Bearer: Literally just Myrmidia's Righteous Fury mechanically, fluffed as bearing grudges almost as hard as a dwarf.
Sigmar's Mien: You gain d5 inches of height and 2d10 pounds, your hair lightens, your eyes become blue, and the weight shows as muscular bulk as you look more like a proper Conan. Gain +5% Toughness.
Dawonger (Dwarf Friend): You remind dwarfs that people like you have always been good and faithful allies. +10% to Fellowship with the dwarfs.
Greenskin Animosity: You gain the dwarf's Grudge Born Fury (+5% to WS against orcs and goblins) because goddamn did Sigmar kill a lot of those.
Symbol of Unity: You make it harder for Imperial to turn on Imperial, giving them -10% to their first to-hit test against a fellow citizen during an encounter.
Enlightened: The big one. A Sigmarite with this trait automatically passes all WP tests imposed by Chaos and Greenskins. Note that this makes you immune to Fear and Terror from those sources, but also a whole host of other bullshit Chaos can pull. Greater Demon tries to mind-whammy you? gently caress you, Sigmar is the Hammer. Slaaneshi tries to use almost any of their magic? gently caress you, Sigmar is the Hammer. This is extremely powerful.

Marks of Taal and Rhya: Hey, Rhya gets a separate Mien.

Wild Mind: Your mind becomes less focused on civilized learning, giving -5% to Intelligence.
Little Friends: Like the Amber mark, you're followed by cute little disney animals everywhere. You take the same -10% to Fellowship if you're at a formal dinner and a squirrel steals an elector count's croissant, etc.
Plant Growth: Plants grow in your hair and body, giving -10% to Fel if people would think this inappropriate.
Seasonal: Exactly like the Jade Magister Mark, this gives -1 Wounds in Autumn, -2 Wounds, -1 Move in Winter, +1 Wounds in Spring, +2 Wounds, +1 Move in Summer.
Tall or Rhya's Mien: Taalites grow more masculine and huge, while Rhyans grow voluptuous and beautiful, regardless of the Priest's gender. In either case, +d5 inches of height, +2d10 pounds, +5% to Str.
Animal Friend: Normal animals will never attack you even if you attack them. Unusual creatures or controlled animals must make a WP-10 test to attack you.
Enlivened Flora: You make plants grow just by passing. Terrain within 4 yards of you halves peoples' movement except for yours, as long as you're in natural surroundings.
Tranquil Fauna: You make animals tranquil and peaceful, gaining +10% to Charm Animal.
Beast Senses: You see the world as Taal and Rhya's children do, gaining Keen Senses (+20% to all Perception tests).

Marks of Ulric: You don't want to talk about boring poo poo, you want to talk about AXES! and PECS! and WOLVES!

Berserker: Every combat, roll WP or you enter a Frenzy at the start of combat, whether or not you have Frenzy. Hey, finally something recognizes Frenzy kind of sucks!
Claws: You suffer a permanent -10% to Ballistic Skill, but gain Natural Weapons as you grow the claws of a wolf.
Wolf's Eyes: You can see in the dark and your eyes glow yellow, but you become completely colorblind.
Predator: People can tell you prefer to solve things with violence, giving you -10% to Charm but +10% to Intimidate.
Ulric's Mien: Your hair darkens and you grow buff as hell. Gain +2d10 pounds, +d5 inches of height, and +5% Strength.
Wolf Friend: You attract a pet wolf. They follow you around and do what you want, roughly, but if you mistreat the wolf it leaves. If you roll this multiple times, get more wolves.
Pack Leader: Ulric endows you with his mighty authority, giving you +10% to Command.
One with the Wild: Ulric won't let you starve to death in the wild like a wimp. You gain +10% to Outdoor Survival tests.
Ulric's Servant: You gain complete immunity to cold in the service of the Snow King, unless it's inflicted by a divine miscast.

Marks of Verena: Do you like owls? Verena likes owls. Verena makes you both wise and just, and potentially an insufferable nerd.

Savant: You are very, very certain of your own intelligence. Too certain. Suffer -5% to Fellowship for growing pedantic.
Daemon's Advocate: You can't resist arguments. If you don't cause one when a strong opinion is stated, suffer -10% to WP for hours as you think of the debate that could've been.
Just Heart: You must speak out against injustice when you see it, no matter the consequences, unless you pass a WP-10 test.
Piercing Gaze: Your eyes stare in a disturbing, but precise way. Gain +10% to Perception, but -10% to Charm.
Verena's Mien: You gain excellent posture and a dignified demeanor, growing d5 inches taller and gaining +5% Int.
Owl Friend: OWLS! +20% to Charm OWLS! You are often surrounded by OWLS!
Eidetic Recall: You can remember absolutely anything in any amount of detail if you make an Int test, and gain +20% to tests involving memory.
Voice of Wisdom: People assume you know what you're talking about, doubling the number of people you can affect with Charm.
Enlightened: You know a little of everything. You gain +10% to all Knowledge tests and you can make Knowledge tests you don't have a skill for at -20%.

So there, the Marks of the Gods. Much more fun than the Arcane Marks, and much more likely to be helpful. Or get you a pet. I went into such detail with them because I love the Divine Marks and also because I think they're a useful and interesting contrast with the much more hodgepodge Arcane ones from much earlier in the line.

Next Time: Relics, Blessings, and oh my the book is done.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.


The Tohaa were a mistake and Infinity would be a better game for their exclusion.

The Tohaa’s greatest crime is that they’re boring. I could deal with being OP, or being superfluous plot-wise, if they had something else going on. Instead, they’re they sad reboot to the Combine Army’s original ridiculous 80’s action movie. In play, they have a few gimmicks they pound into the dirt, and they’re a chore to play against. Some people like them and enjoy playing Tohaa armies; they are entitled to their opinion, and they are still wrong.

Ordinarily, the Tohaa fluff wouldn’t make sense presented outside the context of the Combined Army. Good news, it’s still crap even with context.

Here’s the most interesting thing about the Tohaa: they’re assholes and they collapsed the wormhole the second wave of Ariadnan colonists were traveling through, then did horrible experiments on those colonists.

That’s it.

The Tohaa are visitors from another part of the galaxy, chasing non-sentient but vastly knowledgeable living computers, which the Evolved Intelligence is also doing. These artichoke-headed pricks are trying to use us as auxiliaries in their war against the EI over these slimy McGuffins because they’re absolutely lovely at their job, which is to fight the EI over these slimy McGuffins. If there’s some kind of backbiting antics that involve the EI taking a dump on humanity, the Tohaa probably engineered it. The Tohaa government is lying to its citizens, they started the war with the EI, and there’s an entire civilization of quisling Tohaa living in EI territory that are much happier these days, even accounting getting used as Combined Army shock troops.

Tohaa have bad eyesight and communicate by sounds and pheromones. They’re usually green and look like Thane from Mass Effect. They have a serious hard-on for the number 3, which is holy in their society because ~fartz~, possibly literally. Therefore, Tohaa can form three-man fireteams out of a bunch of miscellaneous units. Cool, except every other army can do that now, and more besides.

That thing the Blackjack and Ratnik did where they lose abilities when they take a wound? Beefy Tohaa units have that, but it’s a biomechanical horror, rather than a power loader suit. Again, wet farting sounds.

The single dumbest thing CB did with the Infinity ruleset are Symbiomates. That’s including the rear end-backwards way they organized hacking, and every dumb mistake and typo they’ve put into a document the entire time they’ve been running.

These Pokemon-lookin’ motherfuckers are Symbiomates and Symbiobombs. Symbiobombs aren’t bad, actually! Tohaa don’t get real hacking devices, just a defensive one and Symbiobombs. The bombs work like a crazy koala, where they run up to a target and detonate. Instead of doing damage, they trigger a one-shot hacking attack to represent the crazy pheromone concoction they just blew all over your trooper. You get to pick from a list that are pretty typical, like immobilizing or isolating a dude. You can also create a nimbus zone, which is hard to see through unless you’ve got MSV, and it reduces the burst of any attack made through it by one. That’s a neat effect and gives you interesting choices. Nobody ever takes symbiobombs.

Symbiomates are the least interesting choice in the game. They also run around with your guys, just like crazy koalas. When you take damage from an attack, the mate will take the bullet or bullets for you. Just negates an attack wholesale, no matter how many hits it causes, no matter if it’s a set of four crits, whatever. Imagine with me - you have spent several orders this turn carefully maneuvering one of your assassin pieces to take out a critical specialist on your opponent’s team. Your ninja or whatever springs from concealment and delivers a devastating blow to her target, dealing three hits, but dying in the process. Your opponent goes “Cool,” takes a symbio model off the table, and goes about his business.


Tohaa should be getting a new sectorial at some point in the indefinite future to represent the shadowy intelligence agency of their corrupt lovely government.

I’m going to do the Tohaa unit parade in this update because I want this over with as soon as possible.

Kamael Light Infantry are your light infantry equivalent. There’s some kind of numerological bullshit attached to each Tohaa unit, about how this or that number that represents the unit’s name in Alienese is significant. Half their units - very nearly actually half - are some variant of Kamael or Kerail or Kusoil or some other collision of phonemes that start with a “K.” This is a smart and clever way to teach people your fluff, CB.

Tohaa diplomat. They made “Artichoke Beyonce” boring.

Not actually Tohaa and therefore are interesting, Kaauri sentinels are semi-sentient beetle things grafted into a synthetic body. The Tohaa use them like the dogs in Terminator, to uncover infiltrators.

“Hey, stupid! I made you this sandwich!”

If you must have bioengineered buddies, Kerail Perceptors are the way to do it. They’re space huntsmen, but they’ve got distinctive pets with great models, which come in melee and short-ranged shooting flavors.

Rasail operatives and their slaves drones.

Rasails are some of your go-out-and-kill-people units, and they suck for that. CC 15, BS 12, PH 11, WIP 13, ARM 1, and a couple of wounds. Rasails are mostly interesting because they have Nanoscreen, a piece of equipment that gives them portable partial cover totally surrounding their base. This, and their symbiont armor, gets deactivated if they’re hit with a flamethrower. Setting Tohaa on fire is generally a good bet.

I’ll allow that Sukeuls are kinda cool. They’re not terrible stats- or points-wise, they’re sneaky, they can be forward observer specialists, and they got some neat toys. One of their choices gets a Nullifier, which is like the opposite of a repeater - put it down and deactivate any hacking or comms attacks in its zone of control, including the Combined Army zombification weapon. They’re also thoroughly kitted out with K1 weapons, which are sort of like a monofilament version of a normal rifle or sniper rifle - resolve a K1 attack by setting their armor to 0 and roll against damage 12. If you fail the armor roll, it just causes a single point of damage, whereas monofilament kills you outright. Not so good against infantry, but great against TAGs and other tough targets.

Sukeuls are soldiers too valuable to let rest, so when they inevitably die, as they’re sent on high-risk missions all the time, they’re brought back to life and immediately redeployed. Constantly dying messes with your head, turns out, and so Sukeuls are just a touch morbid.

”Gorgos” is apparently how i is written in Tohaa. It’s big and it sucks, but it’s also the only thing I can think of that’s got four-ish Wounds available - three on its good profile, and one on its damaged profile. ‘Course, you need to buy the pilot model to take advantage of that.

In conclusion, the Tohaa are a land of no contrasts, just a bunch of grey-green dorks with bad stats and worse gimmicks.

Next: I’m not a fan of their human-killing policy, but I do approve of their Tohaa-killing policy.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.
Clapping Larry

More Setting Stuff

Now we're up to page 31 of a 180 page gamebook. Is the setting fully described yet? No.The next couple of pages are the classic 'What is a RPG/Player/Judge?' kind of stuff and then they have the classic winning/losing the agem and finally on that second page is this...


To really enjoy The End you will have to have a decent grasp of the concept. The End is a game of theological horror. While this concept may shock many of you, the simple fact is that most religions have the stuff of really good horror built right into their doctrine.

Read any horror novel or see any scary movie. The basic premise is that something unexplainable intrudes on the sanity and safety of everyday life. A group of friends is spending in idyllic weekend camping, until Jason, complete with chainsaw and hockey mask, shows up to slaughter the innocent little angels.

Jason is the intrusion of an outside, non-human, power upon the normality of life. Now consider, what was God to the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorra except a really powerful Jason without the hockey mask? Here was an outside force that was slaughtering them on what was (to them) a perfectly ordinary

A bit farther away from the blasphemous, voodoo is a legitimate religion that reveres Christ, but it is at the heart of dozens of horror movies. Read the book of Revelation in the New Testament. If that hasn't got all the trappings of good horror fiction then nothing has.

In The End, the Judeo-Christian Apocalypse is the intruding outside force. Judgment Day comes. Mourning for our destroyed civilization and abandoned souls coupled with humanity's constant drive to rebuild are the motivating forces of The End. While some lose themselves to regrets and fade away, sure in the fact that God doesn't love them anymore; others mount crusades to purge the infidel and draw God back for his newly faithful servants.

Mankind, however, will never be content with what they are given. Some of the ones who are left just as thousands of doomsayers throughout the centuries always said it would, and destroys civilization. That is when humanity discovers the horrible truth. 'The meek shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5) was a threat. Those multitudes who had never chosen God or his Adversary in the war of good versus evil are abandoned here, on earth, while Heaven and Hell close to this place forever.

The twin themes of mourning and hope are prevalent throughout this brave, new world. have set about to rebuild our society. Around these few visionaries, the colonies have grown. They are collectives of men and women who understand that the end of the world meant the end of the drug problem, pollution, global warming, overpopulation, crime, fuel shortages, inflation, wage slavery and all of the other problems that faced mankind before the end. These people have united to rebuild the world we once knew, but to build it better than we did the first time. These proud few hope for, and are building
a better world.

These twin themes are the source of the primary conflict that will torment each and every character. Is it better to follow the past and its God, or do they look to the future?

This is what the designer is trying for and I have to say compared to some writers, this is a legit vision. I'm absolutely not saying that he accomplished it, but he actually had an idea of what he wanted to do and why. That deserves some small props at least.

Next is a section of various groups and concepts in this reborn world.

The Meek
The player characters. Those that did not accept religion and were not able to be judged, and also managed to survive all the physical disasters surrounding them through the end of the world. The players are all these.

The Blues
The world is resetting back to start, so anything that a Meek does not actually claim, possess or use is decaying to nothingness. Buildings, books, roads...everything. Almost all signs of man will be gone in the next 20-60 years.

The Others
The Four Horsemen are stuck on Earth as well and they are not happy about it. Some Angels and Devils were abandoned and are even less happy. Gods that had been trapped since the dawn of Abrahamic religion are now free. Finnally a creature that was declared the Beast, and had been released to feast on sinners during the Last Days is still free.

The Beasts
Humanity had been given lordship over the beasts of the earth, birds of the air, and fish of the sea. With God pulling back all his protections that's not the case anymore. All animals are royally pissed at humans except for one exception; dogs because who's a good boy?

Next is a bunch of questions and answers such as: What was the criteria for entrance to Heaven? Can the Meek have children? Exactly how many people are left in North America? Answers: Surprisingly broad (with a listing of conditions), Yes, and about 42,000. There's a bunch of others but there are two that really soured me on this setting more than almost anything else.


Q: Is there any kind of afterlife for the Meek?
A: No. After life you rot.

Q: What happens to my soul when I die?
A: It dies too. While the soul was thought of as eternal before the Revelation, it wasn't. It was just the part of each person that was saved and taken to the afterlife. Without an afterlife, the soul has proven to be as mortal as the flesh.

Those two answers remove a ton of conflict and story potential, and are the main things that bring this down to a standard 90s post-apocalyptic game, no matter how dressed up the setting is.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
So basically, God is a transcendent AI that uploads your brain if he likes you. There is no actual soul.

Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Tome of Salvation

The end of Gods

Our last section in the book is a fairly superfluous list of holy relics, which are really just magical items, as well as a bit about how only Priests with actual Mag can perform real blessings that make weapons Holy for purposes of loving up vampires and demons. The relics really aren't very exciting; they're little things like a white wolf cloak that makes you immune to cold, protective Sigmarite amulets that provide bonus armor, and the antlers of the first stag ever killed by humans that provide an entire community of warriors +10% to hit before moving on to wherever they're needed next (okay that one is kind of cool).

Instead of spending pages on regaling you with the holy relics, I'd like to talk about this book in general. You might've noticed there is actually relatively little mechanical stuff in this book, even more than is usual for Hams sourcebooks. What's there is very good; the new Priestly and Templar orders as variants on careers are a good way to make the individual cults stand out without needing to write two dozen new minor variants on Knight or Priest. The Warrior Priest is a very solid 3rd tier alternative for people who want to be the classic Sigmarite Priest found in all sorts of Hams art (or for people who want to explore what Warrior Priests of other Gods would be like). The new spells are functional and many of them are fun, the new petty magic goes a long way to making the Priest career feel less generic before 3rd tier, and Disfavor is a decent attempt at a give-and-take of divine favor.

But really, the core of this book was always going to be the fluff. I like the fluff of this book a lot, even if I feel it's a little on the dense side and could have used another editing pass to remove some redundancies (because this book is 260 pages as is, rivaling the Tome of Corruption). This book needs to go into such detail on the religious and cultural life of the Empire partly because the book I'm going to be covering next didn't. Sigmar's Heirs is not a great book for many reasons, and Realms of Sorcery and Tome of Salvation had to fill in a lot on the Empire to make up for the holes in that book. Also, the religious life of the Empire is deeply important to the national character. Imperials are really, really religious people.

One of the reasons I've always liked Hams religion is that while it's a sort of standard fantasy Polytheist pantheon, it actually remembers a lot more about real Polytheism (and religion in general) than fantasy settings usually do. In general, the people of the Empire honor Gods because they're Gods, and you'd be stupid to disrespect any of the Gods. Every region has its own regional spirits, aspects, and variations. Priests are portrayed primarily as religious specialists who represent their Gods and do their service, but who are still bound to show respect to the rest of the pantheon. Cultures cross-contaminate and religious ideas travel between peoples, even between humans and other races. People learn about the religions of their neighbors and adopt foreign festivals that sound good to them. Missionaries rely on syncretism; look at the Myrmidians trying to use Fury to explain their faith to Ulricans. The Gods are real to the people of Hams Fantasy, which was true of most polytheistic cultures; it's hard to imagine it from an Abrahamic dominated American culture in 2018, but our ancestors genuinely believed in a lot of what they followed in the past. There is an element of sincerity to the religious practice in Hams that I appreciate.

There is also a lot of messiness to it, which I also really appreciate. The Gods are real, but the Cults are human organizations with tremendous power, and so they bicker and jockey for prominence. They still generally maintain respect for the other Gods, but that doesn't necessarily extend to wanting another God's cult to get more valuable lay worshipers, workers, art, and money. I've come around on Sigmarite Monodominism as a setting element, too; it works well as a problem in the setting. A darker urge and side to Sigmarism that threatens the unity of the Empire, despite him being the God of Unity (and the Empire). What I didn't actually realize until a deep reading of this book is how often the Sigmarites have been the aggressors in the Empire's religious conflicts. Sigmar's claim to be God of the Empire can be taken as Sigmarites claiming all aspects of Imperial life are his domain, crowding out the need for other Gods in extreme cases (and bear in mind, this is always portrayed as an extremist position.) Sigmarite political religion bordering on a monotheism in this otherwise polytheistic world is actually really interesting and generates a lot of good conflict, both for Sigmarites and others.

The Gods general portfolios follow the Warhams Fantasy pattern where they're cliche on the surface, but have enough twists to them and play with their cliches enough that there's a lot to write about. Things like Ranald the Trickster being the God of the downtrodden and 'worthless' and running around tricking Tzeentch and getting into uncomfortable alliances with Verenans because they both hate tyrants? Those are fun! Those are where you get adventure plots. There's enough tension, but enough hooks, that you can play unusual priests or members of smaller sects that believe differently. You can put multiple religions together in a party and find ways to have them work together and reasons for entertaining friction. The Gods are developed enough to have character, while being distant enough to let religious PCs have their own identities.

Everything about the Crusades sucks though, ignore those.

In conclusion, Tome of Salvation is one of the best fluff books in a line with a lot of really good fluff books. It contains plenty of material to inspire adventures, what mechanics there are are fun to play, and writing this review both made me start a priestly/missionary campaign as GM and one as player because I really wanted to use this material. There's hardly a better endorsement for an RPG supplement than 'it made me want to play with it'.


Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that
Given how blatantly evil The End's God is, I think just dying rather than going to any sort of afterlife is probably the best outcome for people. Can you imagine having to live forever in a place designed by that rear end in a top hat?


Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Resolving the main theological doubt of your theological horror setting in two questions in a sidebar, definitively, is a very odd move.

Also, when were the second group of rear end in a top hat aliens added to Infinity?

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