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JcDent
May 13, 2013

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

Night10194 posted:

Not next to the real superpower: Having a rolodex and money. If you had real power you wouldn't be hate-farming nature, you'd be a US senator. But you don't have real power, so it's time to try to 360 noscope cornshot your way into it.

Koch brothers can't raise someone from the dead... yet.

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Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal


Thus Spoke Aroaleta posted:

... and deep down the world was violated, because the shell is suited for the force within; to add power to power without bracing the hide is as inexcusable as it is inconsiderate. For when the shell ruptures the force released is multiplied by the thousands, from anger and shame.

The Barbarians


even if there is no prios or earth-mother there is always Kamen Raider

The barbarian clans are a loose confederation of semi-nomadic people that claim descent from the lost kingdom of Symbaroum. Their lifestyle is built around surviving in the safer parts of Davokar, and follow the teachings of the Witches, who have established a series of Taboos to protect people from the Darkness of Davokar, as well as leading the barbarian's diverse faiths and handling unnatural threats. The clans became a lot more co-operative when Ambria popped up, although many conflicts haven't been settled. They have a sort of capital city in Karvosti, where the High Chieftain presides (although he doesn't have much power aside from being a neutral arbiter between clans) and where the Chief Witch or Huldra organises other Witches and hosts their conclaves.

There are currently 11 different clans of Barbarians. There used to be 13, but the Ambrians assimilated one and destroyed the other. There are rumors about a mysterious Beast Clan, but they aren't substantiated by anyone, even the barbarians.
  • the Gaoians are aloof and primitive by barbarian standards. They are rumored to worship a Lindworm (Snake Wyvern) called Grandfather Lint and have witches that can turn into giant snakes.
  • the Enoians live in treehouses or inside giant trees.
  • The Godinja claim to be descended from Symbaroum Aristocracy, are very good at making votive masks, and are closely tied to the Elves, even saying their chief, Vikomer, has some elven ancestors.
  • Yedesa has impressive permanent settlements and most of the high chieftains have come from there.
  • the Baiaga tame Bear-like creatures called Baiagorns, and use them in fights.
  • the Zareks really hated the clan that the Ambrians wiped out and have good relations with them.
  • The Odaiovans control the land between Karvosti and the border town of Thistlehold, and have got real rich from trade.
  • The clan of Karohar had some of the first-targeted ruins that treasure hunters hit, and get really sick of all the assholes wandering in and stealing things.
  • the remote Vajvod clan have decent relationships with the Ambrians who have started setting up in their territory. Also they have a unique form of magic based on glyphs that stems from ancient immigrants from the mythical first city of humans, who travelled across the mountains from the blasted desert, near where humans first arrived on the continent or planet, it's not clear. That's only in the advanced players guide though, the core book just says they're chill about Ambrians.
  • the Saar-Khan are a bunch of psychos that live in an ancient fortress and worship something called the Blood Daughter. They consider themselves the true heirs of Symbaroum.
  • the Varakko ride the plains in big wagons and get raided constantly by the Saar-Khan.


seriously why aren't you in the corebook

The other major player is the Elves, and the mysterious Iron Pact. The Elves claim that when Symbaroum fell, humans swore to abandon the forest of Davokar, newly grown to protect the world from its metaphysical Corruption. They also claim that human rulers of the time swore to do so, and gifted them with six thousand iron rings to seal the pact. The Barbarians have some legends that correlate this story and have taboos that prevent disturbing many ruins, but the Ambrian nobility chooses to believe that those are based on elven lies. Either way, the elves attempt to kill people who enter the wrong parts of Davokar, which is probably going to include the players.


if this guy rolls up to you and tells you he told your great great great grandfather not to take cool axes from a ruin what would you do

There are other races around, like the Goblins, Ogres and Dwarves, but they aren't major players in the central conflict, at least on a surface level. There are more secretive factions, like the rumored non-crazy Trolls, the Staff Mages that once served Symbaroum's King, and most importantly, the cancerous darkness deep in the Forest. I don't really have much to tell you about those yet. There's a free pdf on jarnrigen's site that goes over the Secret Lore stuff, and because I'm a player in a campaign following the modules I'm not touching this stuff aside from what's in the advanced players guide. look it up yourself for once instead of living vicariously through overviews by bored australians who are done with uni

Although the Factions seem like they have clear lines of conflict, there's a lot more room for nuance and atypical groupings. There's many people with special interests that don't match their ordinary people. Many barbarians see opportunities with the Ambrians or find work as specialists, the Church of Prios does missionary work, and many Ambrians have decided to protect the forest, even going so far as to join the Iron Pact in rare instances. And of course, if Symbaroum awakens, unlikely alliances will be formed very quickly. The book notes it's a little tricky to fit in devout Sun-worshipers, but aside from that it's not hard to have a diverse group.

Wrestlepig fucked around with this message at 11:18 on Nov 3, 2018

Anniversary
Sep 12, 2011

I AM A SHIT-FESTIVAL
:goatsecx:

JcDent posted:

Koch brothers can't raise someone from the dead... yet.

I don't think you would want to successfully raise something from the dead in UA anyways.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
UA I kinda get the impression is somewhere between magical bumfights and university debate club settled with superpowers.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.
Now for our final character connected section of Adventure, super science. And boy is it a thing.

Super-Science:

Okay, so first some categories. Super-science can do three things: create devices, alter organisms, and develop compounds. Thereís also tiers of invention: Advancements, which merely improve something that already exists, and Innovations, which go beyond simple improvements to create something that duplicates an Inspired Knack. All Inspired can create Advancements, but Daredevils canít create Innovations (though they can use them just fine). You can have as many inventions at one time equal to your Inspiration score, though things you purchased as Gadgets donít count. If a super-science item is important to your characterís concept you should buy it through the Gadget background, because that gives it some level of narrative weight and importance such as to not unfairly rob you of it or make it impossible to get back if itís lost. You can spend TP to buy inventions at character creation, if you feel like it.

It should be noted that neither of these works by what is, in the strictest sense, good science. Itís a bunch of weirdy-beardy hand waving bullshit and illogical jumps that somehow work, with a lot of Inspiration acting as band-aids in reality. Think of an Advancement as being Skaven technology from Warhammer, itís something you know works in principle thatís had a bunch of magic poo poo jammed into it and now works way better (and since you are actually engineers without Ďwarlockí affixed, your poo poo hardly ever explodes). Innovations are 40k Ork technology, thereís really no reason they should work at all. A non-Inspired scientist looking at your poo poo is going to be baffled at how it works, and youíre not going to be able to explain it to them because they wonít follow the logical leaps that underlie its principles since they donít actually make sense and shouldnít goddamn work. Again since youíre actual engineers your gears do at least actually touch but you should probably avoid any papers more mundane scientists write about how your poo poo is bullshit, that way skull shaped fortresses lies.

The Process:

To start, you need Ability Mastery in either Engineering (for devices), Medicine (for organisms), or Science (for compounds). Then, you also need three dots in whatever Ability is relevant to the item youíre creating. We then move on to R&D, which is going to be a roll against the Ability youíve got Mastery in that youíre applying. The more successes you get, the less time youíre going to have to spend in the lab. If you fail but donít botch, you can try again. Lab assistants, spending Inspiration, and those three Knacks I mentioned all come into play here.

Now we get to construction. The time required goes up the longer R&D took, so in general the more complicated something was and the worse you rolled the longer itíll take to make the eventual invention. You also need some funding, how much depends on what youíre doing. Youíll need whatever facilities are required for construction, and finally youíll need the plans you drew up in R&D. If they get stolen youíre hosed, but this also means you can steal someone elseís schematics and make their poo poo. Youíll also need to spend some Inspiration if youíre making an Innovation, because itís got Knacks and that needs power.

Now itís time to use the crazy things. Advancements are weird super-science versions of regular items but at the end of the day theyíre still just a regular thing, and you just need to Ability relevant to them to use them. Innovations are a bit trickier, they have usability requirements that are determined when you create them and also have charges of Inspiration that are required for them to work. If they ever run out of charges entirely they literally just melt down into slag. Repairing a damaged invention requires the same Mastery that was used to create it.

Advanced Inventions:

Advanced items work by adding bonuses to existing things, as Iíve noted. How this works in practice is that there are tables of Advancements and the amount of time it takes to research that. A few notes: You add one to the difficulty of your R&D rolls if you want to stack up the same advancement, and the game specifically notes here that super-science is actually OP as hell and you should glare at people who are just being powergaming assholes.

Personal Weapons:

You can increase accuracy, damage, ammunition and range, make things more easily concealed, have them be hidden as a more mundane object, and swap the damage type (thereís no aggravated damage in Adventure). You can have a total of six bonuses, and most of these are limited. If you want to be crazy and eat the +4 difficulty to R&D, you can do some silly poo poo like make a sword with +3 Accuracy, +3 Damage (which would make it 8L+Strength base damage).

Vehicle Weapons:

These work the same way as personal weapons, though there are fewer options since some of them donít make sense.

Vehicles:

Thereís a whole bunch of crazy poo poo you can do with this, if you can dream it or see it in some old pulp story expect it to be possible.

Medical Experimentation:

This includes both relatively sane improvements to Attributes and Doctor Moreau poo poo. Any Attribute can be improved, and it doesnít actually say youíre limited to the human maximum. You can also do all sorts of crazy poo poo adding animal bits, as noted. Iíd rule you CAN go past human maximums but it leaves you with the + difficulty to social rolls any obviously inhuman augmentations cause. You do have to go down to Crippled as part of this, and a botch on the rolls involved will of course kill you. Whoops.

Chemistry:

A whole bunch of little options, this can make poo poo like drugs that buff Attributes, poisons, silksteel armors, and immortality drugs. Itís pretty cool, and thereís a lot more obvious room for coming up with other things than are on the list.

Innovative Super Science:

Now for the big dog, Innovations. These copy Knacks, with a twist. See, the bodies of Inspired are simply unable to handle the stress of attempting a Level 4 or 5 Knack, which is why they donít exist. Innovations can in theory generate these effects, though. They give some guidelines on how this might work, personally Iíd take some guidance from the Aberrant and Trinity books as to what more powerful abilities in the vein of the Stalwart and Mesmerist might look like. Youíve got a bunch of things you need to spend successes on when creating one of these, including who can use it, how durable it is, and how long itíll last (you have to spend a PERMANENT Inspiration point to make it just last forever without needing constant rebuilds and overhauls, which is a big reason none of this super-science poo poo is still around by Aberrant). Innovations also have Charges of Inspiration that they use to function. When an Inspired is using them, they can just use their own. Otherwise, or if they donít feel like doing that, they can be externally powered by other sources of Telluric energy. Theyíre pretty complicated to make in theory, but in practice itís just deciding you want a Knack you donít have (possibly from another type of Inspired) and deciding not to dream it, but to be it. Take them as Gadgets if theyíre super important because that makes them have guaranteed Permanent Warranty.

Alright, Iím going to do a quick character now, because Iíve been inspired myself. Weíre not going to do the full process, just hit the highlights of what it takes out of your resources at creation to do this. Letís make Jetstream Sam from Metal Gear Rising.

So, Physical Attributes are going to be Primary and weíre just going to start with 3 in each. Weíll be buying those up. The other two Attribute types donít really matter at the moment. We have 23 Abilities and things can be up to 3 right now, which lets us get 7 at 3 then have two more points. So letís go with Brawl, Might, Athletics, Melee, Stealth, Endurance, and Resistance with our last two in Awareness. We can buy some more stuff as we go. We need a three point Background to buy a +3 Acc, +3 damage Sword, and weíll be doing that right away. We have three more Background points to use at this point, they can be whatever. Bonus points can go into whateverís flavorful, thereís plenty of options. Letís get to the Transformation Points. First of all, I bet you think weíre going Stalwart here but no, weíre going Daredevil. Trust me, Iíve got a plan. Three go into maxing our physical stats, so weíve got 12 left. Weíre going to max out Melee then add one each to Athletics, Endurance, and Resistance for another point, then gently caress it letís buy Ability Mastery in Melee. 10 left now. Weíre going to buy One Man Army and Untouchable for Knacks, taking us down to 6. Now letís do some bullshit. One more point buys us 4 dots of backgrounds, and a 4 dot Gadget is Samís cybernetic arm that gives him the Level 2 Dynamic Knack, Piledriver. Weíve got 5 left, and 4 are going into our Inspiration. All 5 dots are going right into our Destructive Facet, because Samís all about tearing down unfair bullshit. Weíve still got a point to throw into whatever we feel like, but hereís the important thing:

At character creation, Sam does 13 base Lethal dice with his sword, and can spend an Inspiration to use the Piledriver knack in his arm to up that to 18. Since Piledriver doesnít normally cost Inspiration at all, Iíd argue that works for the whole scene instead of needing it every single time. If youíre fighting multiple enemies you get bonus dice and eventually a second action, and since you just have your sword and are Destructive 5 Untouchable gives everyone trying to shoot at you +4 Difficulty. And again I need to emphasize this is a STARTING CHARACTER, zero experience spent. You could easily back off on one or two of these things and get a bit more versatility too, then just use experience to pick up what you missed at creation. One Man Army would be an easy one to get later for me, the big things are to have Untouchable, Piledriver gadget, and dat Destructive 5. Oh and remember, youíre allowed to once per session add 5 damage levels boom gently caress it to a successful hit. So when you need to cut a tank in half or something add 5 automatic successes to the result of your 18+ successes lethal hit. Why not have someone with Psychic Synergy and Inspirational Aura around too, give you 5 bonus dice and reduce all your difficulties too. A great way to make the Storyteller base all the plots around delicate social interaction because theyíd have to throw Cthulhu at you to even threaten you.

Weíll be covering systems next time, though thereíll be nothing in there that will be a surprise if youíre used to White Wolf games. Iíll also do another character or two.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

Young Freud posted:

I'm a little disappointed there wasn't a bit about using sound suppressors on guns, considering one of the reasons they ended up in the NFA was because film noir fiction and films overemphasized their effectiveness. The "pfft" sound you hear in most movies is a trope, guns with real "silencers" are still quite loud, like you'll have no doubt a gun went off in the same room, but maybe not outside.

In fact, there should probably be a cinemancer spell that increases weapon effectiveness: grenades make giant propane popper explosions, large-caliber handguns throw people around knockback or can shoot through multiple assailants with Spielbergian overpenetration, body armor can stop anything with no blunt trauma, etc.

Interestingly, Stolze's aware of how silencers actually work. In the New Inquisition book (awesomely titled 'Lawyers, Guns and Money') they have specially machined pistols nicknamed 'Hush Puppies' where the slide does not automatically rack back to eject the casing when fired. You've got to work it yourself. Great for assassinating that obstinate duke, not so much for a running gun battle.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


I wonder if any system includes that WW2 purpose built silenced pistol:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d12AjvEsaHg

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

Dawgstar posted:

Interestingly, Stolze's aware of how silencers actually work. In the New Inquisition book (awesomely titled 'Lawyers, Guns and Money') they have specially machined pistols nicknamed 'Hush Puppies' where the slide does not automatically rack back to eject the casing when fired. You've got to work it yourself. Great for assassinating that obstinate duke, not so much for a running gun battle.

quote:

A modified version of the Model 39 with a wider grip frame to accommodate a 14-round magazine was used by Naval Special Warfare units during the Vietnam War. It was issued to officers-in-charge (OICs) of MST-2 detachments as their sidearm. SEAL Teams used either the Model 39 without modification or a modified version, the Mk 22 Mod 0, which was called the "hush puppy". The modified pistol had a suppressor with a slide lock (which kept the slide from moving backwards upon firing, thereby decreasing produced noise) The Mk 22 Mod 0 had raised iron sights, to provide easier sighting over a bulky suppressor. The gun's purpose was to eliminate sentry dogs or guards without alarming the main target.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_%26_Wesson_Model_39

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
Doesn't Naked Snake use that in MGS3?

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


The Colonies -- The West


Waco Survival Encampment
Population: 793
Tom Harding was a survivalist who spent the family tire rotation business fortune living very frugally and building a fortified bunker to defend against a Soviet invasion. Then came the break-up in 1991 and he continued fortifying against the New World Order. Then came The End and he was actually ready. He had planned to live by himself all secure, then a young woman, Maura, fleeing from very bad people crossed his perimeter. Once he had let her in, she persuaded him to let others join as long as they could pull their weight. He did and now there is a bunker complex built from all the loose cinderblock they can find and more refugees are coming from the 'Indian Lands' every week.


Threats to Waco: The Indian Lands is the largest. The Tribal Elders want Harding's stockpiled resources and they want him and all the residents dead. The other threat is that one of the other residents has taken a shine to Tom and is getting ready to move in on him. If he doesn't respond, well she's half-Seminole and can prove it and to hell with Waco.

Living in Waco: It's basically an extremely well-armed commune. Harding is in charge of course, but he does chores and guard duty like everybody else. It's not as comfortable as Elgin, and there is a lot more danger, but all in all it's not terrible.

Commodities Needed: Nothing but information. Harding stockpiled enough non-perishables to last until the year 3000. With the scavenging they do to keep things topped up, they have a comfortable margin and could easily withstand a siege.

Who's Who:
Holly Ellis -- A slave in Atlanta who escaped and made it to the Swamp Rats. She left the Rats being freaked out by Mary and has finally arrived in Waco. She has fallen for Tom Harding and if he doesn't resond she will send get a message to the Indian Lands with an offer to help.

Diego Ramirez -- Head of the colony's construction crews and Maura's secret lover. If Tom finds out, they're both dead so he is trying to figure out how to kill Tom with an 'accident' first.

Relations with other colonies:

Swamp Rats -- The Rats have sent overtures of Alliance. At least Rachael has. Mary would rather just take the entire colony of Waco by force.

Atlanta -- Dr. Jim wants control of Waco's resources as well and is acting nice for the moment.


The Indian Lands
Population: 1,021
Located in scattered small groups around New Mexico but centered on Albuquerque, the Indian Lands has one firm doctrine of 'No Invaders!'. European, Asian, Polynesian, African. Unless you are at least a quarter-blood native, you need to get off this continent or just die.

Threats to the Indian Lands: Waco isn't exactly a threat but a target. As mentioned, the Elders want Harding's stuff, but it is so well fortified that trying to take it would be extremely bloody. There is also a great deal of covert infighting in between the Tribal Elders as to who's really in charge. They have sent out warbands against the Mile High colony only to have them slaughtered, apparently by a single man.

Living in the Indian Lands: Primitive conditions with scratch farming, some hunting, and very little support structure..

Commodities Needed: Medicine. Traditional cures seem not to be particularly effective against the remnants of Pestilence's plagues.

Who's Who:
John Flying Hawk -- One-quarter Oneida and a dealer at a casino in Black River Falls before The End. Through an almost comedy of errors he is now in charge of the raiding parties and really has no grudge against the 'invaders', so he has been trying to work out some way to minimize casualties on all sides..

Edgar Deertrack-- Bitter, and old enough (102) to remember his grandfather's stories about the west in the 19th century and the treatment of Native Americans. He wants all the invaders dead.

Relations with other colonies:

They have the same base opinion on all the others; leave or die.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!

Feinne posted:

Adventure! time!

Psychic Synergy: This lets you connect yourself and a group of people together into a sort of psionic hive mind. You spend an Inspiration and roll Command. Any successes mean you and your allies (the number determines how many can be effected) can communicate at distance without speaking for the rest of the scene. Furthermore, you all get to add your Reflective Facet to all your dice pools and act on the Initiative turn of whoever rolled highest. This poo poo is straight hacks, itís not even like the Inspirational Aura in that it doesnít specify you arenít affected yourself. Itís a huge rear end buff for a whole combat or any other kind of scene, and almost guarantees your whole party gets to act first, together. THIS is the sort of power that you should be getting for Level 3. Oh and if you try and stack this with Inspirational Aura like nothing says you can't expect your storyteller to put a horse's head in your bed.


Jumping back a bit in the thread and ahead a bit in time, this passage reminded me way too much of how my Aberrant game tended to go. I'd craft a social situation or a combat encounter, I'd know the general powersets of the characters involved, and then a combination of seemingly reasonable powers would turn the whole thing into a walk in the park.

Running supers games in a crunchy setting really relies on NPCs that can threaten characters in ways that don't tie into their powers. Any straightforward mechanical challenge has a solution somewhere in the tremendous PC toolbox. Of course, that requires the characters to be fleshed out enough that they have levers to pull, and the players to be invested enough in storytelling that that's something they're interested in.

Everything Counts
Oct 10, 2012

Don't "shhh!" me, you rich bastard!

Young Freud posted:

In fact, there should probably be a cinemancer spell that increases weapon effectiveness: grenades make giant propane popper explosions, large-caliber handguns throw people around knockback or can shoot through multiple assailants with Spielbergian overpenetration, body armor can stop anything with no blunt trauma, etc.

Cinemancy's domain covers illusions and artifice, so despite those being very real cinematic tropes their power level falls a bit outside of what they can do. (Though I suppose you could have a grenade that seemed to have a much larger explosion than it really did, or a grenade that throws people nearby without actually hurting them much.) The two gunfight spells Cinemancy does have rely a bit more on illusion than your examples: I'm The Guy With The Gun allows you to fire way more bullets than your gun can hold without reloading, so long as you never stop shooting, and Stormtrooper Combat Training makes all gunfire miss you--so long as it's fired by a mook. Anyone with "rank" is unaffected. Beat cops can't hit you, but a detective or a SWAT team will.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten

Everything Counts posted:

Cinemancy's domain covers illusions and artifice, so despite those being very real cinematic tropes their power level falls a bit outside of what they can do. (Though I suppose you could have a grenade that seemed to have a much larger explosion than it really did, or a grenade that throws people nearby without actually hurting them much.) The two gunfight spells Cinemancy does have rely a bit more on illusion than your examples: I'm The Guy With The Gun allows you to fire way more bullets than your gun can hold without reloading, so long as you never stop shooting, and Stormtrooper Combat Training makes all gunfire miss you--so long as it's fired by a mook. Anyone with "rank" is unaffected. Beat cops can't hit you, but a detective or a SWAT team will.

I'm kind of sad that there's apparently no Cinemancer spell to force movie ratings onto real life. Imagine the ability to make everything around you G-rated. Weapons are suddenly walkie talkies, nobody can swear or threaten violence, etc.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal

Humbug Scoolbus posted:




The Indian Lands

Every 90s rpg had to have really strange native american content. I'm glad that law was repealed.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!


Chapter Three: Dominion of the Wind Lords


To the west of Nuria Natal, across the Crescent Desert, lies a stretch of arid land known as the Dominion of the Wind Lords. It is a harsh realm, its great Stone Desert made of sunbaked plains instead of sandy dunes. To the average observer, the Dominion is a no manís land whose past glories of Roshgazi and Golden Ulthar are now lost to the elements. This may be true to some extent, but to the inhabitants who claim this harsh territory home, the Dominion is positively alive with unseen wonders. Precious oases are blessed sources of life, unseen nature spirits walk among mortals. The Tamasheq nomads know of these places and guard them from the unworthy, placating said spirits with offerings for protection if the mercurial spectresí whims align with theirs. The jinnborn are the other major nomadic group, a race of their own claiming descent from powerful elementals. Then there are the gnolls of Dabu and the minotaurs of Cindass, seeking to build new glorious civilizations amidst the wasteland.

The Tamasheq and jinnborn recognize four great primordial spirits but only three of them are typically honored in mainstream society. Chergui the East Wind is the friendliest to mortals, bringing cool ocean breezes to quell the harsh heat; Shamal the West hates mortals and summons deadly weather in an attempt to drive them from the Dominion; Khamsin the South is a creature of emotional extremes embodying the hot gales blowing from southern wastelands. Then there is Boreas, the exiled North Wind who sometimes visits the Dominion to stir up trouble; he is placated by three Tamasheq tribes who are opposed by all of their other kin.

I find Shamalís characterization interesting, on account that the history chapter had the Wind Lords disgusted at Boreasí cruelty to mortals and was the main reason for driving him out. I suppose that millennia can change even a spirit, although the text does not discuss what caused Shamalís about-face.

Beyond the Wind Lords are an endless amount of lesser spirits connected to phenomena and objects of the natural world: every rock formation, every body of water and gale of wind contains a conscious free-willed entity. Said spirits interact with mortals of the Dominion through the Spider Prophet and other oracles and leaders. Politically speaking they are divided between loyalty to the three Wind Lords, or act as agents of Boreas. This civil war operates on a scale imperceptible to mortals, waged with natural phenomena and shifting of ecosystems rather than armies and hordes.

The Tamasheq


The Tamasheq are the Dominionís most well-known population to outsiders and are based off of the real-world Tuareg nomads of the Sahara Desert. Numbering half a million, almost all of them claim the region as their home but some make voyages as far as Nuria Natal for trade. They are recognizable by their indigo-colored clothes, and take great pains to convince and other civilizations that they are but simple nomads. In reality, they have a thriving secret city in the mountains by the name of Kel Azjer, home to magical, artistic, and technological marvels. They hide this from the world so as to prevent invasions and intervention by outsiders.

Kel Azjer itself is a sprawling metropolis full of spires, whose hungry mouths are fed by plateau farms managed by slaves captured in warfare. The beautiful Palace of the Spirits contains three empty thrones in the event the Wind Lords ever choose to physically manifest, but perhaps the cityís greatest marvel are the vril mines. Passed down from their Ankeshelian forebears, a rare ore known as vril is capable of nigh-magical wonders and acts as the Midgard settingís ďsufficiently enhanced technology;Ē naturally the mines are fiercely guarded, but there is a thriving black market of unscrupulous merchants.

Not located in Kel Azjer proper but of great importance to the Tamasheq is the Palace of the Spider Prophet, home to an immortal figure of unknown origin who possesses a seemingly boundless well of wisdom. In fact, this insight is due to a vast network of wind spirits carrying overheard conversations and secrets back to to his ears, as well as being the high priest of Kwansi, a god of chaos and luck.

Dabu, Twin Land of the Gnolls

This loosely organized collection of gnoll packs is not a kingdom in the true sense of the word. Bound in commonality by their race at most, each clan has their own customs and favored divine or demonic patron. The packs operate among themselves in a pseudo-feudal system: secular leaders known as Sas (singular sa) rule individual packs and pledge fealty to a Kasa who is the leader of the strongest pack in the region. The Kasa obey the Ama, who is an oracle. The current Ama is an elderly gnoll by the name of Ninshu who is trying to reign in the gnolls more warlike tendencies. This is not done out of genuine peacemaking, but due to the fact that the tensions with the Narumbeki to the southeast are on the rise and she knows that a true war against them will be one-sided in the humansí favor. One of her daughters does not share her tempered response: Isha seeks to unite Dabu into a true gnoll empire once she takes the mantle of Ama.

An interesting site in Dabu is the Pool of the Sky, a lake filled with clear water capable of granting oracular visions and removal of harmful curses and charms, but with the risk of imposing insanity on the drinker. The gnolls treat the lake as sacred and guard it against unwanted drinkers.

Valley of Golden Ulthar

Within the Crescent Desert east of the Dominion proper is a most unusual site: a lush magical valley seemingly untouched by the surrounding desert. Once home to a grand civilization, its only major structure is the dust-ridden temple of Serbata which has fallen prey to generations of thieves and overgrowth. It is within this temple that Golden Ultharís last remaining citizen still lives: Sepenret the sphinx, a sorrowful woman who seeks to recover the artifacts of her homeland. She employs a company of adventurers and explorers known as the Claws of Sepenret for this task. The other group in the Valley is known as the Order of the Sphinx, a multi-generational group of guardians who serve lifetimes of vigilance in protecting Ultharís legacy.

In fact, intact stonework and magic items within this valley contain powerful transmutation magic related to the growing of plants and crops. Known as Pieces of Ulthar, their properties have not been reverse-engineered by other civilizations; they seem tied to the era at which Golden Ulthar fell, and the only way new Pieces are made is when Sepenret lays a stone egg. The sphinx treats such eggs as the most valuable things in the valley, and will instruct the Claws to retrieve them by any means necessary if they are stolen.

Although some steal pieces for the seemingly noble goal of establishing fertile land in the desert (something Sepenret would approve of if they ever bothered to ask permission), most thieves are more selfish and seek the pieces to gain power and status. In fact, Sepenretís greatest threat is a wererat tribe led by a cruel chieftain building up territory in hopes of claiming the entire valley for himself.

The Ruins of Roshgazi and Emirate of Cindass


The Fantasy Counterpart Carthage of the Southlands, Roshgazi was once the capital of the minotaurís Moon Kingdom. Several centuries ago the Mhraoti dragon-fleets descended upon the city for the dual purposes of creating a western front against Nuria Natal while also destroying an Orb of Dragonkind they believed the minotaurs possessed. Using illusion magic and destructive alchemy, the Mharoti besieged the city in a devastating ambush. They scorched and poisoned the fields and wells around it for miles to ensure nothing could grow from its soil. Roshgazi, and by extension the rest of the Moon Kingdom, never recovered from this devastation.

Most of the city still lies in ruins, inhabited mostly by monsters, ravenous insane minotaurs, and rare explorers from the Seven Cities of the northern continent. Due to the minotaur raceís ability to naturally intuit direction, significant portions of town are a confusing array of mazes meant to hinder invaders (and of limited use against airborne dragon raids).

Several ambient magical protections lie in place, especially the Heart of Roshgazi. This sapient sphere lies deep within the First Labyrinth, tasked with keeping the city safe. Unfortunately a deep crack from a saboteurís magical hammer rent the Heartís personalities in twain. The Poet is the more benevolent of the two personalities and seeks to bring in people to repair Roshgazi and ward them from its dangers. Broken, the other personality, is downright paranoid and believes the city to still be under attack and treats all newcomers as Mharoti invaders.

The minotaur city of Cindass has fared better. It too was razed by dragonfire, but in recent years patriotic minotaurs begun rebuilding and settling it with the aid of jinnborn tribes. Now the city-state is half functional settlement half ruins still inhabited by all the dangerous things in fantasy worlds which are drawn to such places. The rebuilding project is not without its problems: there are disputes with the Tamasheq over grazing grounds, gnoll raiders view Cindass as a risky yet profitable target, and there are people seeking to establish trade with the devil-slavers of the eastern Ghatazi Salt Pits.

Perilous Sites and Adventure Seeds


This miscellaneous collection of locales details minor sites of interest to adventurers. The more interesting ones include the Restless Prophet, a gargantuan camel bearing a gnoll fortress upon its back, and the goblin-inhabited ruined city of Mardas Vhula-Gai which is filled with magical glyphs and vril technology. We also get adventure seeds folding in the major factions of the Dominion: an insane noble who believes her bloodline is descended from Sepenret and seeks her stone eggs; a long-lost copper tablet in Roshgazi claiming to detail a land of peace and safety the cityís Moon Queen fled to long ago; and a Tamasheq tribe seeking to expand their holdings into the dangerous Granite Teeth, a series of broken stony lands inhabited by abominations.

Character Options


The crunchy options for this chapter contain a little bit of everything. We start out with a new race, the jinnborn. It details their culture as well as their game stats. Basically jinnborn are nomadic people who follow mystical paths known as siraati which determine their customs and cultural values based upon the teachings of their tribeís Jinn founder, and they call each other sab siraat meaning ďpeople of the path.Ē They wander along seasonal trade routes and take up occupations which can work for mobile living (traders, mercenaries, herders, etc). Their own cultural origins place their creations at the hands of the Jinn, elemental spirits claimed to be present at the dawn of the world. The world of the Jinn, also known as the Hidden World, plays the role of heaven or enlightenment in their culture.



Stat-wise, jinnborn are a very powerful race. They have their choice of +2 Strength or Constitution, +2 Charisma, and -2 Intelligence. They get +2 bonus on Diplomacy, Knowledge (Geography), Sense Motive, and Survival checks and said knowledge skill is always a class skill. Their defensive abilities include energy resistance based on their siraati and have a constant endure elements spell upon themselves. Furthermore, they have their choice of one of four supernatural abilities reflecting the diversity of their magical powers: 1: bonus energy damage on melee rolls a number of rounds per day based on level; 2: an energy-based ranged touch attack whose uses per day are keyed off Charisma; 3: the ability to increase their energy resistance further for 1 minute per level; or 4: once per day the ability to call upon oneís patron jinn to do an appropriately ďunseen trickeryĒ based ability such as imposing a miss chance on an incoming attack, cast the prestidigitation spell, or gain a bonus on feints or saving throws. Jinn who live for an extended period of time in cities and settlements begin to suffer mental disorders, which is accompanied by a table of sample negative mechanical effects.

There are feats for the jinnborn which can grant them improved uses of their supernatural powers and even new ones altogether. Overall the feats are quite useful in that they grant scaling abilities or broad uses. For example, Vessel of the Hidden World turns the defensive energy resistance to always-active and also grants damage reduction vs bludgeoning, piercing or slashing (based on your siraati) ranging from DR 5 to DR 10 based on your level.


Our new class archetypes include the Blessed Scamp (Rogue), a charmed trickster whose main feature is slightly less sneak attack progression in exchange for the ability to perform a mischief in conjunction with said sneak attacks. Mischiefs impose status conditions on an enemy such as dazed, being knocked back 5 feet away, falling prone, etc. The Gnoll Raider (Rogue) is interesting in being keyed specifically to the gnoll race: they grant others of their archetype as well as the Havoc Runner the Coordinated Maneuvers feat, adding their Intelligence modifier to splash damage, and the ability to create temporary magical Shock Bags which can mimic any alchemical item. Related to the archetype, we get a pair of new rogue talents: Improved Alchemical Formula which increases the damage die by 1 and save DC of alchemical equipment by 2, and Superior Alchemical Formula which doubles the damage value and increases the DC by half the rogueís level (!!!). Overall pretty strong talents.



The Elemental Crusaders (Paladin) are known as the imajaghan* among the Tamasheq. They are warriors who draw their powers from elemental spirits instead of the typical angelic/celestial entities. They gain the ability to cast Summon Monster for elementals whose power is based on their paladin levels, as well as the ability to have a constant elemental whose size and type grows based on level. The Crusader has to give up disease immunity, mercies, channeling positive energy, and the divine bond/mount, but overall this is a worthy trade due to the versatility of elementals in combat and utility adventuring.

*Apparently this is a real word, although the only English google search result I could find was a performance of an Amazigh tribal dance and a Kobold Press article on said paladin archetype.

The Havoc Runner (Fighter) is the other gnoll-specific archetype, who has the Coordinated Maneuvers bonus feat as the Gnoll Raider, a level-dependent bonus on all Appraise checks and the ability to use said skill as swift or immediate action, bonus movement which can be made only before attacking a foe, and the ability to impose attack roll and movement speed penalties on enemies you attack provided you spend each round attacking a different foe.

Finally, the Janni Master (Summoner) gains a janni companion as an eidolon who is stored inside a lamp or similar object. The janni gains new abilities much like an eidolon, although their feats, spell-like abilities, and special powers are more or less already chosen ahead of time. This feels a bit underwhelming in comparison to the sheer versatility of the base summonerís eidolons. The janni is a mobile fighter, gaining things such as a fly speed, feats such as dodge and weapon finesse, spell-like abilities such as invisibility, enlarge/reduce person, etc.

This chapterís only Prestige Class is the Claw of Sepenret, which is synonymous with the order of the same name. Its prerequisites are easy: 5 ranks in Knowledge (Arcana), Knowledge (Nature), and Survival, must have a neutral aspect in your alignment, and be sponsored by another Claw. Their class features are rather specific to the organization, such as the ability to cast locate object but for Pieces of Ulthar, cast spells involving plants as one level higher, the ability to transform into a lion or dire lion, etc. Additionally, there is a grab-bag list of class features known as Boons the Claw can take in lieu of a caster level increase: most of them grant the ability to cast a pair of themed spell-like abilities such as longstrider or pass without trace (Boon of Striding), the ability to treat your melee attacks as certain types for Damage Reduction purposes, and the ability to teleport at will one-way to Sepenretís temple if you have a Piece of Ulthar in your possession.



The Spells section is modest. They include Conjure Oasis and Storm Shelter which summon a lush body of water or energy field respectively to protect you from the elements, and four spells known as Air/Earth/Fire/Water Leap which allow you to teleport up to 30 feet within line of sight as a swift action provided you are in physical contact with said element before and after your teleportation. As you can imagine, Air Leap is going to be the most useful to the average party.

We end things with some new Magic Items. Most of them are carpets and tapestries woven by nomad artisans. In addition to the iconic flying carpet we also have interesting items such as a Bearhide Rug which can make claw and grab attacks, or a Mindweave Rug which plays out a scene from your memory and grants a +5 bonus on Knowledge or Perception checks to remember details of that scene. We have a few non-tapestry magic items such as an Awakening Rod which conjures a spirit from a natural feature as a summoning spell, a Harnessing Belt which merges your physical body with a summoned or willing outsider, and a Turban of the Desert Waste which allows you to meld into sand and create a livable pocket space within a dune or sandy location.

Thoughts So Far: Although not as long or full of detail as Nuria Natal, the Dominion of the Wind Lords is nonetheless a strong chapter. The minotaur rebuilding project of Cindass and a lost tablet of Roshgazi are good adventure fodder, particularly the use of an insane artifact presiding over a maze city. I like how Golden Ulthar is a reverse Indiana Jones: explorers and adventurers traversing the land to return ancestral heirlooms to their proper place makes for a strong plot, and they even have a bad guy faction seeking to take over the Valley for control of its powers.

I also liked the new new rules options, particularly the Blessed Scamp and Elemental Crusaders. They felt overall balanced and had plenty of appealing options. This stands in marked contrast to the diamond in the rough Pathfinder mini-game of searching through uninspiring options for an ideal feat/spell/etc.

Join us next time as we visit the High Jungles, home to the floating city of Aerdvall and the troubled Kingdom of Kush!

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 00:57 on Nov 7, 2018

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal
that flying bear carpet loving rules

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.

Just Dan Again posted:

Jumping back a bit in the thread and ahead a bit in time, this passage reminded me way too much of how my Aberrant game tended to go. I'd craft a social situation or a combat encounter, I'd know the general powersets of the characters involved, and then a combination of seemingly reasonable powers would turn the whole thing into a walk in the park.

Running supers games in a crunchy setting really relies on NPCs that can threaten characters in ways that don't tie into their powers. Any straightforward mechanical challenge has a solution somewhere in the tremendous PC toolbox. Of course, that requires the characters to be fleshed out enough that they have levers to pull, and the players to be invested enough in storytelling that that's something they're interested in.

Adventure is maybe worse than Aberrant on that, because Super-Science lets you stack Knacks that were clearly not designed to be stacked together. As Jetstream Sam shows, because Jesus 18L base damage hits and difficulty 5 to shoot at you together on one character is horseshit.

Also it's actually cheaper to get another type of Inspired's level 2 Knack through a Gadget than it would be to be that type of Inspired and have it for real as far as TP cost.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal

Aroaleta posted:

... and as Eregan foretold: Ďthe wise manís road is long, twice as long through murky woods; the foolish manís road is short, half as long through murky woods, cut short by folly and bloody bashingsí.

DAVOKAR


nice place, wouldn't want to live there

The Great Forest of Davokar is difficult to summarise. Its vast size, varied environments and many dangers make it difficult to break down into neat segments. Nevertheless, the book relies on an in-setting text called the Duality Principle, created by a Wizard called Mallioanos, that divides the forest into Bright and Dark Davokar. The definition isn't perfect, and was designed to be wrong in interesting ways. The text mentions issues with the text, including Mallioanos's close friendship with many theurges of Prios, which adds a lot of flavour.

Bright Davokar refers to the outskirts of the forest, reaching for about 4 days march towards the centre. It's described as strikingly beautiful. Summer and Spring have beams of light shining down through the treetops, supplemented with the gentle buzzing of insects. Autumn brings a fiery redesplendance, and Winter a peaceful calm. Despite the beauty, there is still great danger: poisoned fruits, predators like Etterherds, Marecats and Jakaars, hidden marshes, hostile barbarians and elves, and for the unluckiest, famished Rage Trolls and displaced Abominations from the Dark heart of the forest. The barbarians make their home here, but the Witches cultivate ignorance of the forest's dangers and secrets with a series of Taboos against trespassing many ruins or regions. The Ambrians don't give a poo poo, and have plundered a lot of the best sites in here already, but there's always more, especially up north or hidden underground.

Dark Davokar refers to the inner heart of the Forest, where sunlight doesn't breach the canopy. Well, it sometimes does, but the theory came from devout sun-worshipers trying to encourage a crusade mindset, so that's the term they use. The Deep Heart of the forest is incredibly dangerous, with nature warped into cruelty by whatever destroyed Symbaroum. Although most explorers that survive come back a little crazy or traumatised, there are reports of bottomless streams, carnivorous plants, parasites and curses that drive you insane, rabid or undead, living nightmares, possessed Mastodons, incredibly hardcore Elven wardens, undead and mindless survivors of Symbaroum's fall, a clan of monstrous barbarians, packs of Trolls lead by giant and intelligent masters, and Dragons. Many Barbarian myths speak of wrathful and powerful godlike beings like Lord Bog or the Hawthorn Hag. Of course, the dangers of the forest mean that the Symbar ruins are untouched and plentiful, and if you're crazy and powerful enough like most player characters, you can get very rich if you get out.


theres also a lot of spiders

There's a page discussing Explorer's Licenses that regulate who can explore Davokar. If you're caught by the Queen's Rangers on patrol in the Bright side of the forest, you'll have to pay a heavy fine, or worse. The costs are prohibitive enough to stop any random idiot to enter the forest: after the basic cost there are increased prices for the size of the group, reason for travelling, an extra payment if the authorities think you're incompetent or up to something, and a couple of gently caress you fees if they don't like you. This serves to push adventuring parties into wider conflicts: allying with larger organisations to cover expenses, shady money-making work or just avoiding authorities and smuggling themselves around. A successful expedition will be enough to cover further expenses, but early on it's a good challenge to justify involvement in broader conflicts.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Ghost Leviathan posted:

Doesn't Naked Snake use that in MGS3?

Yes.

Skellybones
May 31, 2011




Fun Shoe

Wrestlepig posted:

that flying bear carpet loving rules

:yeah:

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:

Grimey Drawer

Night10194 posted:

I mean there's a deep, deep vein of 'you will be an immensely hosed up person' buried in 'any relationship you have you have to treat it like a rom-com'.

Finally a school of magic for Rebecca Bunch.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Cinemancers seem like a easy-come easy-go school. Acting out every trope you see can get you minor charges in a torrent and a Significant charge in five hours, but as soon as you stop they all go. Like Dipsomancers who could charge up fast by drinking but zeroed just as quickly when they stopped.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal

The Lone Badger posted:

Cinemancers seem like a easy-come easy-go school. Acting out every trope you see can get you minor charges in a torrent and a Significant charge in five hours, but as soon as you stop they all go. Like Dipsomancers who could charge up fast by drinking but zeroed just as quickly when they stopped.

Itís easy to get charges but itís also a very bad idea to force clicheíd behaviour in the ridiculous and brutal circumstances of most UA adventures.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


Dipsomancers are one of the few types of Adept who can live relatively normal lives, then slam a few drinks and make some magic.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Wrestlepig posted:

Itís easy to get charges but itís also a very bad idea to force clicheíd behaviour in the ridiculous and brutal circumstances of most UA adventures.

Exactly what I mean. You're going to need to break taboo frequently to stay alive and functional, just like a dipsomancer.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012
Fallen Rib

wiegieman posted:

Dipsomancers are one of the few types of Adept who can live relatively normal lives, then slam a few drinks and make some magic.

I mean for certain values of "relatively normal" sure, but pretty much every Dipsomancer is, or will inevitably wind up, a hardcore alcoholic. It's an entire school of magic based around needing to drink to feel powerful and in-control, you don't get to just flip a switch and turn that off when it's time to go into work for your 9-5.

Probably the most normal and least self-destructive adepts in 2E UA were Bibliomancers whose thing was essentially being book hoarders, one of the rare adept schools whose side-effect of accumulating inordinate amounts of books is something that some people might actually consider a virtue.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014
Even being a Bibliomancer is going to come at a significant cost financially, even if it won't gently caress up your life in quite the same manner as other types of magic, and it still involves having an incredibly twisted concept as to the actual value of books, where you care about them more as physical objects than their actual contents. It's not actively self destructive in the same way but it's still unhealthy.

oriongates
Mar 14, 2013

Validate Me!


Bibliomancers actually have to be fairly stable by demand...they need a clean, safe, accessible and organized library. They can't just have a pile of books in their attic. So they're one of the few adepts that has to give things like income, paying rent and utilities the same priority as their charge-gathering. You can't be a bibliomancer on the run, or under a bridge or in the back of a van (well, that last one may not be impossible but it would be tremendously difficult and risky).

Which kind of makes them lovely PCS. They're tied to their home, they need tons of money, they gain charges slowly and have to carry around their books to use their magic. They also are entirely reliant on the GM for anything above minor charges (even a dipsomancer has control of their sig charges once they get ahold of a significant vessel).

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal


Thus Spoke Aroaleta posted:

.. and troll-mother Vouaxís cauldron, lined with the words of the weaver, smeared with the fat of the wardens, fell down the abyss, fell into
oblivion. The vessel brewing the downfall of all may never again be heated, not by fire, not by the dark of the Abyss...

HUB REGIONS

Thistlehold is a fortress-city built on the edge of the Forest. It was created by the current Mayor, Lasifor Nightpitch, with the massive fortune he earned from the Queen when he delved deep into the forest and found rare medicinal herbs that cured the Queen Mother's sickness. The town's economy is centered around treasure-hunting in the forest: it functions as starting point for expeditions, many auction houses and appraisers to sort out incoming artefacts in a cold-blooded turf war, and many different bars, brothels and hostels to waste away the proceeds. The mayor is a lot more liberal, giving the city a high presence of barbarians, goblin laborers and dissidents, like the outspoken Father Sarvola who preaches equality and sends missionaries to the Goblins. It's a wild west style town, but with a giant Toad skeleton with a bell around it's neck.


truly a land of opportunity

Yndaros is the capital of Ambria, and built on multiple layers of ruins by prisoners of war and immigrants. It was once the Barbarian city of Lindaros, but it was wiped clean by plague years ago in what many barbarians say was divine punishment. Queen Korinthia and her court reside here, and much of the city is dedicated to her. Most of the refugees coming from Old Arboretor across the mountains flock to the city, which has led to desperate overcrowding, and the city is surrounded by refugee camps. As well as the standard political turmoil, the city is host to other strangeness, like Dwarven criminal gangs, a strange troupe of dancers liberated from the Dark Lords who may know strange dance-magic, the Vivisectory that conducts scientific experiments on the beings of Davokar, and the mysterious and always masked Executioner that appeared and volunteered to kill prisoners on the Queen's orders about a decade ago.


slave labour helps a lot

Karvosti is the barbarian capital, as far as they can have one. It's situated on a giant plateau in the forest, and was possibly used as a refuge by fleeing citizens of Symbaroum, who built a temple there. The barbarians chose it as their centre of operations when they united to fight the Spider King and his armies flowing forth from the heart of Davokar. They built a stead for the High Chieftain to reside in, and drafted an order of hardcore warriors called the Wrathguard to protect it. The Witches also adopted it as the centre of their circles, and do all sorts of Witch Stuff there. The Ambrians are very interested in the temple, and when they discovered it was ancient and dedicated to Prios, they attacked, and then hashed out a deal after meeting stiff resistance. There's also a grove cultivated by a godlike being called Aloena, who has been there forever and may be either a very old elf or something even more powerful. Fortunately, she rarely treats humans with any attention, as we would to a passing flock of birds.


you may have noticed there's a lot of masks in the art. they pop up in the game a bit later on, possibly because of all the pics, but the guy can do portraits pretty well so I think it's a stylistic choice rather than just a dodge

All three cities are really well-executed. They're drowning in plot hooks and suit a variety of player activities, while still leaving lots of room for exploration. The setting of the game is incredibly well exectuted, with clear themes, conflicts and aesthetics, and it's a model of how to design a setting towards being practical for a role-playing game, unusual in the european scene.


when Aloena came towards the party in our campaign we had one guy flee. He might have made a wise choice.

Next time, we start the Players Guide on page 72 and I get more room to be flippant

Wrestlepig fucked around with this message at 12:21 on Nov 4, 2018

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.
Okay now for a really boring chapter for the most part, the systems in Adventure.

Chapter 6: Drama

We start with a bunch of discussion of things you can do and the skills that you use to do them. Iím not going to talk about these except for the very last one, Staredown, because itís pretty loving cool. You lock eyes with a person, and you both roll Intimidation as an extended action. The person who gets successes equal to their opponents Wits + 5 first wins, and their opponent at that point has to either spend a Willpower to continue the staredown and try to at least get their opponent also losing Willpower or give up and be unable to act directly against the winner for the rest of the scene. Itís pretty awesome and some Heroic Knacks give you buffs to do it.

Now we get to Dramatic Editing, one of our systems that we can spend Inspiration on. This lets you gently caress around with the events going on to the benefit of your character. Thereís a few guidelines given:

1) You must be believable. You canít do poo poo that is just completely implausible. STRAINING plausibility is fine, but youíre going to need to come up with some actual chain of events that makes your edit make sense.
2) You must be consistent. You canít contradict things that are already established or overrule the result of a dice roll after itís happened, except in the case where a player character is being saved from certain death. You also canít contradict or negate someone elseís use of Inspiration.
3) Dramatic editing results in feats of luck, not skill. Itís not something the character is doing at all, itís you the player intervening on their behalf to provide a lucky break.
4) The storyteller can always override your dramatic editing if it would just gently caress the whole drat adventure up. No guessing whatís going on in scene one and using a tricky edit to just win.

So what can we actually DO? Iím glad you asked!

Minor Offscreen Effect: For one point, we get this. Itís some kind of assistance that is somewhere between fifteen minutes to an hour away. It wonít solve your urgent problems but it is good enough if youíre in a bad situation that wonít kill you immediately.

Minor Extension: For one point, you can build on something another player has done with Editing. This basically lets you get Ďin oní the benefit theyíre getting for their character.

Minor Onscreen Effect: For two points you can give yourself a minor bonus. It canít save you, but it can give you some breathing room to save yourself. It can be something like an ally arriving who can help or some unexpected equipment.

Major Onscreen Effect: This is how you save your life/the lives of your team. It costs three points.

Obvious Continuity Violation: This is for stuff that breaks either plausibility or consistency. It requires some creativity, but itís your last resort if youíre really boned.

Plot Ramification: You add one to the cost of one of the other forms of editing to do this. This means that either the editing gives you or the group some unexpected benefits to do with the overall plot of the adventure (like a clue or a setback for the villain), or alternatively is the cost you have to pay if your character has gained advantages at the expense of another player.

Plot Complication: On the other hand this reduces the cost of the editing by 1. This makes your character suffer some kind of negative consequence as a result of the editing. It has to be pretty major, you canít just stub your toe to get out of an Inspiration point.

We then move on to the concept of the Cliffhanger. This is a special type of scene you can use as a Storyteller, where you end a session with something nasty happening then resume with the players explaining how theyíre getting out of this mess. This will likely include dramatic editing from the entire group, and itís intended to be a collaborative effort. Itís not something to overuse and they suggest giving the characters rewards like refunded Inspiration points for doing really cool poo poo during it.

Stunts are a thing, coming up with awesome descriptions of how youíre doing something or using the environment can give you some bonus dice. Be creative.

Attacking is essentially like any other skill check, roll your applicable traits, check the difficulty, extra successes add to the damage effect. Damage only comes in two flavors in Adventure, bashing and lethal. Adventure characters are human and canít soak lethal damage without armor. You always get to soak bashing with your stamina though. Vehicle scale weapons get to add extra automatic successes against human scale enemies.

Armor gives you extra soak rating, which reduces the number of dice rolled for damage (no matter how you get it). Vehicles also get to automatically ignore some of your successes depending on how tough they are if youíre hitting them with personal-scale weapons. This does not stop Jetstream Sam from cutting a truck in half though, trust me he can do that with 18L base. We get a bunch of combat maneuvers, how long it takes to recover, and we end on other ways to get damaged.

Thereís some rules for poisons and diseases, falling, electrocution, fire, suffocation, drowning, freezing, the usual. Thereís also rules for breaking materials. Some light mental illness rules finish things.

Dramatic editing is the main thing we get in this chapter. Itís a lot of what Daredevils will be doing with their Inspiration since their Knacks donít have active costs. Itís strong, but the really good poo poo is quite spendy if youíre not willing to take a complication. They also note that you need to watch out for people using it to gently caress around with other peopleís characters for out of game reasons. Doing that would make you very douchey, and the only defense is the storyteller keeping the reins tight.

Next time, weíre getting to storyteller content.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
God, I hate stunting in every game it's in. 'You have to make every action a big production all the time and run it past the GM to see if they decide to give it extra dice' makes something that should be fun into a chore. I'd rather just be told 'Hey, have fun and describe your actions' rather than have it linked to something mechanical because playing Mother May I for extra dice can go bad real fast.

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.
Also, you know, sometimes you just hit the guy with your sword, especially if its round 5 or whatever of the combat.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth
I like stunting when it's 'are you doing something /interesting/?' rather than just pure 'are you doing six sick backflips and swinging by your dick from the chandelier?' Like, yea a warrior ignoring their fear and going toe to toe with a giant dragon should be a 'stunt', that's them being a badass even if they're not doing parkour and summoning the spirit of their dead father to guide their sword. It should be a narrative thing, not a contest of who can write the most elaborate description.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth
that said elaborate stunts CAN be fun, especially as a 'finishing move' kinda thing. Like I'm pretty sure last time 'stunts' came up in a game I was playing one of my group said for a half second his fist turned into an energy tiger as he punched a storm giant's heart out. That was pretty sweet. It should just be a more fluid thing that fits the story rather than a 'did you use enough cool verbs in your purple prose? Ok you get a stunt then'.

Zereth
Jul 9, 2003



wiegieman posted:

Dipsomancers are one of the few types of Adept who can live relatively normal lives, then slam a few drinks and make some magic.
Yeah, but anybody who's got the right mindset to be a dispomancer in the first place won't live a normal life. Being an adept isn't just "If I get drunk, I get magic powers", it's having a skewed view of how reality works and believing in it so hard that reality bows to your unbending will and you get magic powers from your crazyness.

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


The Colonies -- The Rocky Mountains


The Mile High Shrine
Population: 2,099

I'm just going to quote this...

quote:

Stuart and Lisa Gaines were a storybook couple. They began their lives as playmates and became the best of friends. When they reached high school, they became sweethearts and were on their way to wedded bliss and a house in the suburbs of Denver when the world unfortunately ended. Strangely, they were both spared. Perhaps so many years together had made the lovers identical in the eyes of God. Either way, they pronounced themselves man and wife and set out to discover what this brave new world had to offer them.

One day's drive outside of Boulder they found a smoking crater with what appeared to be a charred man inside it. Miraculously, he was breathing. After pulling the man out and treating him at a local hospital, they nursed him back to health. The stranger's recovery was amazing, almost, as amazing as the wings that grew from his back and the fact that he could be in more than one place at a time. The stranger called a meeting and exposed himself as the Angel Gabriel, the Angel of Divine Mercy who would not leave these children in their hour of greatest need. He showed his true form in all of its magnificence and recruited nearly a thousand fanatical worshippers for doing so.
He began by swearing that they would be safe from all harm, he would protect them. He swore they would have no hardshipóhe would deliver them.

Stu and Lisa, at a loss for what to do next, fell down and began to worship at his feet. The fallen angel soon tired of this and took a more human shape. He then informed the couple that the three of them must go back to Denver before the others arrived. While Stu and Lisa didn't know what he was talking about, they obeyed their new God.

When the threesome returned to Denver, the people began to arrive. Stories conflicted as to why, some spoke of dreams that summoned them, others had waking visions, and still others attested to a peaceful feeling that made them stop as they traveled by. When the colony reached nine hundred occupants, from the elements and the winter. He swore they would know no loneliness; he would care for them all. He would do all this if only they would fall on their knees and worship him...and they did.

The first test of his power came only two weeks after the formation of the Shrine, as its citizens came to call it, when the Americans from the Indian Lands attacked. With a sword that appeared to be on fire, Gabriel laid waste to the attacking force, but not before one of the warriors fired a well placed shot into Gabriel's heart.

That wound has not healed. Despite the best efforts of the Gaines', the wound will not close. So the angel Gabriel lies on a cot in the Gaines' basement, appearing only in the church on Sundays and only then with all wounds carefully hidden. He needs the faith of these people, which he will lose if they learn that he can be felled by a simple bullet. The Gaines' have appointed themselves as the High Priest and Priestess of the Shrine and give orders and spiritual guidance to the flock in order to cover for the wounded angel, and so far it has worked beautifully. They are now the king and queen of this little community, and they are beginning to find that they like it.

The greatest of the Archangels worked his Lord's will upon the Earth. He was to give mercy to the dying who were to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and he was to withdraw the Lord's mercy from all others. He was to see that evil suffered one thousand times the pain that it wrought.

When it was over, Gabriel saw the ones that were to be forsaken...the Meek. In his heart, he doubted his Lord and wished that he could help these people. That instant of doubt kept him outside when the gates of Heaven closed for the final time. The brightest light of Heaven had been put out.

Now he regrets his moment of weakness, and refuses to be damned to this godforsaken place. He has gathered up his worshippers to fill him with the power of their faith. When their faith flows through him, he will storm the gates of Heaven...or die trying.

He cares absolutely nothing for the humans worshipping him. All that matters is returning to Heaven, to this end he will happily sacrifice each and every one of them. While the sniper's bullet did damage him, it is not nearly as grievous as it appears. It has not healed because Gabriel has not healed it out of self-pity and self-loathing. Should Gabriel prove to be equally ineffective in other areas, such as protecting the colony form the coming winter, the unsuspecting colonists will be wiped out.

Having an emo angel is actually creative and interesting. It's unfortunate so much of the rest of this game is just bad.

Threats to Denver: Not many. There is this angel there you see? Even if he's not healed he can still wreck some poo poo if necessary.

Living in Denver: It's a cult worshipping Gabriel as the new Supreme Deity which also pisses the angel off.

Relations with other colonies:

DC -- If DC comes calling they will be in a world of pain..


Rakow Montana
Population: 266
It's Mayberry RFD run by a really creepy old lady named Ruth Remmand. She was a woman that went to church and apparently said her prayers, but for some reason, she was left behind with the Meek. When the first Meek found her colony in the wilderness, they saw it was immaculate and this little ol lady welcoming them and telling them that they should be careful of the wolves that lurked around the town. Now there are regular guard patrols to keep the beasts at bay, but somehow one or two Meek seem to get killed each month by the marauding packs. A terrible shame really.

Threats to Rakow: Except for the wolf packs...none. This colony is very peaceful and nobody that arrives ever feels like moving on.

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

I for one trust the marauding wolf packs to be reasonable and fair and to not spoil the fun too much.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.

Night10194 posted:

God, I hate stunting in every game it's in. 'You have to make every action a big production all the time and run it past the GM to see if they decide to give it extra dice' makes something that should be fun into a chore. I'd rather just be told 'Hey, have fun and describe your actions' rather than have it linked to something mechanical because playing Mother May I for extra dice can go bad real fast.

At least in this game you can get gross enough dice pools that stunts are mainly for special cases.

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

What, drawn, and talk of peace! I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee

I feel like The End would be a lot better if they dropped the meta plot altogether and offered these colonies up as example places you could encounter.

"Great colony except for the Serial Killer Grandma" is a nice hook

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Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

Oh see I didn't even grok that angle, I thought she was a werewolf or a witch. That makes sense.

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