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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



So, how do poisonous bows and arrows work on robots?

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

Also, one of the most setting-warping antagonists later in the timeline is an explicit "here's how you build something that ends the world on a very low point budget," which is neat.
The one that scares me the most is Nguyet Cam.

Mors Rattus posted:

So, how do poisonous bows and arrows work on robots?
Viral ammo is loaded with fast-acting engineered mutagenic viruses, and nanotech containing Twitter, Facebook, Stormfront, etc.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Halloween Jack posted:

Viral ammo is loaded with fast-acting engineered mutagenic viruses, and nanotech containing Twitter, Facebook, Stormfront, etc.

A hollowpoint round consists of PewDiePie's videos on constant loop delivered right to the forebrain.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

Dawgstar posted:

A hollowpoint round consists of PewDiePie's videos on constant loop delivered right to the forebrain.

I'll just take the hollowpoint thanks

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


More Aberrant, more Mega-Attributes. This time weíll go Mega-Mental.

Mega-Perception and Enhancements: Mega-Perception doesnít have any goofy little special benefits, it just makes us really loving good at noticing things. If you want the world to look like those shots from the mediocre BBC Sherlock show, take this. Itís got amazing Enhancements to make up for not having any silliness inherent to it.

Analytic Touch/Taste: Before we even start, while this has the split name you get both for taking this. Your senses of taste and touch are crazy sensitive. On the taste end, you can determine the composition and nature of anything you eat, including detecting poison in food. If itís something trace enough that you need to roll, you get at least three bonus dice on any such roll. You can also literally flick your tongue in and out like a snake to halve any blindfighting penalties because you can taste poo poo in the air. On the touch end, you can tell things apart by touch even when that doesnít make sense and get at least three bonus dice on anything where your sense of touch matters. You also get two bonus dice for detecting things like an invisible Nova, because you can sense the air currents. This does lots of stuff for you, and is great against stealthy opponents.

Blindfighting: You can sense foes that you canít see (in a more focused way than the bonuses from the last enhancement). Spend a Quantum for the scene. You get no penalties for fighting blind, and can roll Awareness (resisted with Invisibility + Stealth) to detect an Invisible opponent. If you sacrificed everything, this is a great enhancement to take. In fact itís making me want to make a certain someone in Aberrant.

Bloodhound: Mega smell. You can track by scent alone with an Awareness roll, but youíre vulnerable to getting scent-blinded by especially powerful smells. Probably one of the weaker ones since itís got a rather narrow focus, Iíd also let you pull other feats of mega-smelliní to conceptually balance it.

Electromagnetic Vision: This is all about seeing in the middle EM range. Spend a Quantum to activate for Perception + Mega-Perception turns. You get three bonus dice to all Awareness rolls related to vision, and a number of other bonuses. First of all, you can see in the UV spectrum and therefore suffer no vision penalties as long as there is any source of UV light (so natural light of any sort works, but some artificial light wouldnít). Secondly, you can see IR radiation. You can see anything illuminated by an IR light and can see things that are hot relative to their surroundings even in darkness. You can also magnify your vision in the visible light range. You can either see way far into the distance or microscope in up close, and the maximum magnification is x10^(Mega-Perception). You donít suffer range penalties as long as youíre able to magnify enough. This is all really good, I hope I donít need to explain why.

High-End Electromagnetic Scan: You can transmit and receive gamma and x-ray radiation in order to see through objects. Spend a Quantum, take an action, roll Perception to see through something. Some objects may be harder to scan through but this doesnít care about what x and gamma rays can really do any more than Mega-Strength cares if itís possible to get leverage to lift an aircraft carrier. A fun one, even if itís maybe kinda weak.

Hyperenhanced Hearing: You can hear and also transmit sounds outside the range of normal hearing. Spend a Quantum to activate for Perception + Mega-Perception turns. Gain three dice on all hearing rolls, and get a few bonuses just like the EM Vision. First of all you can hear infra/ultra sounds (though in some cases you may still need to make the Awareness roll). You can literally do sonar, letting you blindfight (yet another way to do this in Mega-Perception). You can also Ďhearí things like radio and television transmissions, and broadcast your voice on such. Yes I know those arenít even loving sounds, Aberrant does to, they just donít care. This oneís a lot of fun too.

Quantum Attunement: You can perceive Quantum energies. This is stronger than you think it is. You spend one Quantum per turn to keep it active. First of all, you can use this in place of any or all of your normal senses with an Awareness roll, because at the end of the day Quantum forces are intrinsic to all things in the physical world. You can scan Novas by rolling Medicine to get a rough idea of their Quantum, Node, and Taint traits. With three successes, you can even get an indication of what their powers are. This is the spendiest extra sense (which makes sense since nothing can block it), but it does have some definite uses.

Ultraperipheral Perception: The proverbial spider-sense. You spend a Quantum for the scene, and are unable to be surprised or flanked. Maybe a little boring but a big advantage in combat.

Mega-Intelligence and Enhancements: Once youíve got Mega-Intelligence youíre no longer on the scale of normal human thinking. Even if youíre a dumbass, your thinking is still faster and makes jumps of reasoning a normal human couldnít comprehend (and to me the Intelligence 1, Mega-Intelligence 1 character is someone who has no idea WHY something is, but can still get to poo poo faster and more correctly than much Ďsmarterí people).

Analyze Weakness: You can find the vulnerable points in objects, systems, and procedures. Itís a bit complicated, letís go through all this does. Spend a Quantum and consider the target. You then roll Intelligence (with some potential for increased difficulty for really robust targets). A failure means you canít currently detect any weakness in the subject, and need to wait for a future scene to try again. If you succeed, thereís a variety of possible effects. For physical objects providing protection, you get to reduce the soak value of the object by one per success level. For larger objects, you get to add one die to any effort to repair, reinforce, or destroy the object for each success. For systems and procedures, you get the bonus dice to circumvent them. This is actually really broadly useful, I like it.

Eidetic Memory: Crazy mind palace poo poo. You can remember anything youíve ever seen. Two major notes on this. First, this provides you with facts, not skills. You canít just read the library and gain all Abilities forever, hooray. Secondly, itís not instant. It takes a bit of time to sort through everything you remember, basically the storyteller will give you a base time then let you roll Intelligence and halve the time for every success. Itís still pretty good, though.

Enhanced Memory: This is a more short-term focused version of Eidetic Memory. You spend a quantum and make an Intelligence roll at + 1 to power-memorize information on a subject. This CAN give you actionable knowledge of the subject, for example how to speak a new language, but will quickly fade after a period of one day per dot of Mega-Intelligence. Thereís no real system for exactly what this mechanically does, so talk it through to use it. Honestly this one is hard to gauge entirely because itís limited by what you can come up with.

Mathematical Savant: Youíre amazing at math. If something involves math, you can roll Intelligence and then add the successes to your dice pool. Math! Come up with creative ways to use this, and itíll be great.

Linguistic Genius: You intuitively understand language on a conceptual level few can understand. You get 5 automatic successes on Linguistics rolls, know four times as many languages as you otherwise would, and you can make an Intellgence roll when you hear an unfamiliar language to understand but not be able to respond. Focused but great at what it does.

Mental Prodigy: This greatly enhances a single Ability, with a few different versions that have to be purchased separately. All versions cost a Quantum point to activate, and provide a bonus equal to the successes on an Intelligence roll to the applicable area. These include Engineering, Financial, Investigative, Medical, Scientific, and Tactical. Tactical has a further bonus, you get a permanent +3 Initiative.

Speed Reading: What the name suggests. You read four times faster than a normal person by default, and can roll Intelligence to add one to the multiplier per success. Not much to it, not very strong mechanically but cool.

Taint Resistance: Youíre better at dealing with mental aberrations brought on by expansion of your M-R Node. You can subtract your Mega-Intelligence from your Node rating for determining how much Permanent Taint it provides. You also reduce your Taint level by your Mega-Intelligence to determine the severity of any mental Aberration you gain. This is really drat nice and if more Novas had it, the Aberrant War might not have happened. Less Permanent Taint means youíre farther away from turning into a nightmarish NPC.

Mega-Wits and Enhancements: The natural pair to Mega-Dexterity, this is your mental reaction speed. You also get to add your Mega-Wits to your Initiative. And some of these are goddamn brutal.

Artistic Genius: Um, I said these were brutal guys! This lets you roll Wits to add the successes to any roll related to Art. I swear these are going to get rude soon.

Enhanced Initiative: Each turn you can spend a Quantum to add +5 to your Initiative, straight up. You can have more than one instance of this enhancement, which increases the bonus but does not says it increases the cost (and it would, trust me). If you delay your action and go at the same time as someone else, you always go ahead of them unless they also have this or Mega-Dexterity. Good, but we can do better.

Lie Detector: You spend a Quantum point for the scene, and are able to determine whether people believe what they are saying is true or not. Characters who are really good at lying can rely you to make a Wits roll to determine the truthiness of their statement. This is okay but um there is some real competition in Mega-Wits so donít take it first.

Multitasking: This would probably be the best of these in a saner world, it makes you much better at taking extra actions. Spend a Quantum for the turn, roll Wits at +1 difficulty when you want to split an action. If you succeed, halve the penalty rounding in your favor. So for example three actions are at -1/-2/-2. If youíve got a Mega-Attribute to back up the rolls you want to make with the split action then this is just plain crazy. Youíd THINK this would be the strongest there is. Well hold on, weíve got one a bit later thatís just as dumb.

Natural Empath: Which is not Natural Empath. Spend a Quantum point for the scene and you can roll Wits to sense the emotions of a normal person. You also get three bonus Rapport dice. This is pretty good honestly, like in a less strong set of Enhancements Iíd love the hell out of this.

Quickness: If you thought Multitasking was bad for the action economy, just wait! Spend a Quantum point to gain an extra full action in this combat turn, two places later than your original Initiative. This is again a full action (and so can be split, and Multitasked for an extra Quantum a turn). If you buy Quickness multiple times, you can take another extra action each at the cost of an additional Quantum (which will happen at another -2 Initiative, and another, etc). There is a limit on these extra actions, though. You can only do physical actions with them. So, for example, you could punch a fool but you couldnít shoot a Quantum Bolt. But WHO CARES, take this and Mega-Strength or Claw or something and just go to down by hitting a fuckbillion times a round between this and Multitasking.

Synergy: This isnít quite as strong as the similarly named Knack from Adventure. Youíre just really good at helping people work together, and when youíre in a situation where you are in a group that is allowed to pool successes towards a common goal you can roll Wits to give EVERYONE involved your successes as extra dice to their pools. This lasts for an hour or until youíre finished, whicheverís sooner. Good but lol thereís enhancements here that break the game, why arenít you taking those?

Next time Mega-Socials, which are cool in more subtle ways than giving you a ton of extra actions you can use to punch everyone to death with your Mega-Strength.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Oh, Multiple Actions Abilities.

I think not doing that kind of thing anymore (or limiting it heavily) is one of the biggest mechanical improvements in RPG design as a whole.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




grassy gnoll posted:

Yes, yes you do.

Ken Hite posted:

In most Black 5 worlds, the righteous choice is also the right choice; good is fated to win because evil hampers itself through selfishness, short-sightedness, and motiveless waste and cruelty. (To be fair, this is pretty much why the Axis lost the real World War II, and why the Soviets lost the Cold War. Maybe we live in a comic-book world after all.)
I also need to meet Ken Hite, congratulate him on his game design work, and headbutt him right in the nose.

(I kinda just fell of listening to Ken & Robin's podcast. Some of it was just focus on other things, but Ken's Right Wing History Hut was not my favourite segment.)

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

My two favorite parts of Progenitor are:

1) the woman who has healing powers, but also has a chance of turning anybody she puts her hands on into a handsome, muscular Fabio type (this power doesn't let her choose the result, doesn't respect the original appearance or background of the target, and only mostly restricts itself to men); and

2) the horrifying, crazy freak with incredibly disturbing powers who operates as more or less a serial killer, and whose canonical fate is "eventually they met someone with the right powerset to get through to them, get help, work through their issues, and become a happy, healthy member of society."

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




1. not healing:

quote:

Man-tastic Makeover

....The power works only on human beings, which
is fortunate, but it is utterly beyond Briannaís
control. It strikes without warning, capriciously
reworking the entire lives of its targets. Even
people who want to be made young and handsome
have terrible identity problems once they no
longer match their driversí licenses. (Though
oddly, their fingerprints stay the same.) Itís even
worse when it cuts loose with an unwanted gender
reassignment.

EDIT:
Although she actually has an unrelated heal power it might not be safe for cis-females because of the aforementioned uncontrolled power.

EFB

By popular demand fucked around with this message at 16:27 on Nov 13, 2018

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

The healing is her secondary power.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Gender/Sex identity must get even more contentious when multiple people in the world exist that can change you to be 100% biologically whatever.
And with but a snap of the fingers too.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



You'd think that having that power would be a great and steady job. Instant, 100% effective gender swapping with no physiological side effects.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

I don't think anybody in Progenitor has that power. There's just the woman who can turn you into a guy who is buff and hot, but with all other traits randomized.

Big Mad Drongo
Nov 10, 2006







Grimey Drawer

There's a dude who can literally turn anything biological into anything else biological with a lab and time, but iirc he's more interested in creating new kinds of livestock than messing with humans

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




There are more than a million supers by the end of the timeline and only a handful are described, I'd imagine that there should be more with gender switching powers.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

By popular demand posted:

There are more than a million supers by the end of the timeline and only a handful are described, I'd imagine that there should be more with gender switching powers.

I mean, maybe?

I seem to recall that Progenitor tends to lean towards "highly-idiosyncratic powers based on your mindset" once you get past the first couple of generations that are powerful enough to bulldoze over minor limitations, so I don't know that it's the kind of setting where you can just assume that somebody probably exists who can do what you want without a catch.

Of course, nothing prevents it either, so it would be a cool character to create.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




It's true that the powers you get in Progenitor are based on your desires. However, since people get powers from having powers used on them, it's often not based on your personality or worldview at all. If you catch powers because a supervillain is destroying your neighborhood with laser vision, you might get a power like create force fields or control light based on your overwhelming desire to not get incinerated by lasers.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

Halloween Jack posted:

It's true that the powers you get in Progenitor are based on your desires. However, since people get powers from having powers used on them, it's often not based on your personality or worldview at all. If you catch powers because a supervillain is destroying your neighborhood with laser vision, you might get a power like create force fields or control light based on your overwhelming desire to not get incinerated by lasers.

Right, but that doesn't necessarily lead to a surfeit of convenient utility powers. Even the really good powers tend to be slanted by the mindset of the person who uses them. Just look at the two big hyperbrains in the setting. One can model things so well that she can effectively turn the universe into a machine that runs according to her will, people included, because at heart, she's a frightened child who wants a world that can't hurt her any more. The other and equally powerful hyperbrain is a giant hippie, so he gets insight into the nature of god, the meaning of existence, and a bunch of other super-useful questions that ultimately just give him more reasons to be compassionate and understanding.

They both have "super-intelligence," but they both have a really quirky one.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




The third big Hyperbrain zigs when she needs to zag and gets herself purged in a coup at the kremlin.
I love that being ultra brainy doesn't inoculate from making mistakes.

E: You should all get Progenitor is what I'm saying, it's way more interesting than any supers RPG should be.

By popular demand fucked around with this message at 17:25 on Nov 13, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Sigmar's Heirs

German Cowboys

Averland is our first Grand Province, down in the southeastern floodplains of the Upper Reik, the Aver River, and the Blue Reach. The regular floods make the soil fertile, and it's one of the only places in all the Empire that isn't covered in goddamn beastman infested forests. Averland is thus the best pastureland in the Empire and produces many of its sheep, wool, cattle, and horses. The province's most famous products are its wine (this is where you get the famous white wines of the Empire, almost fit for Bretonnians to throw out) and Averland Longhorn Cattle, who have to be driven across the plains to the stockyards every year by outriders and hastily hired adventurers. Yes, you can get hired on as an Averlander cowboy if you want to ride trail and get into intrigues, rustling, and the occasional gunfight. In the far east of the province, humans mine the foothills of the mountains separating Averland from the Border Princes, but only the foothills; the actual mountains are sovereign dwarf territory and trying to claim-jump dwarfs is a really bad idea. The dwarfs will take you before a human court, rather than just shooting you, but the nobility of Averland rely on trade and good relations with the dwarfs, and so those cases are almost uniformly decided in their favor. As you might guess from being one of the best agricultural and pasturelands in the Empire, with the added mineral wealth of the foothills and good access to the Empire's river networks, Averland is not a poor province.

Averland was originally the domain of the Brigundian tribe, which migrated to the region in -1000 IC or so. They were some of the only masters of horsemanship in the proto-Empire, and while they lacked stirrups and other technology necessary for heavy cavalry, many poems remain about their chariot-mounted nobles. They warred with the Unberogen, the future tribe of Sigmar, as well as orcs and goblins and other human neighbors, and established a relationship with the nearby dwarf kingdoms well before Sigmar; they would provide mercenary horsemen and noble charioteers to scout for dwarf forces in return for protection from the orcs and gifts of steel and gold. Such was the reputation of the Brigundian tribe as warriors that their chieftan, Siggurd, served as Sigmar's personal bodyguard during the decisive charge at Blackfire Pass. Modern Averlanders are still one of two major sources of Imperial cavalry scouts and outriders (the other being Ostermark, who we'll get to later).

Despite a previous sentence mentioning Averlanders have a reputation as cool-headed, the rest of this entire writeup will be about how that's total horseshit. The most famous Averlander was their prior Elector Count, who died in 2250. You might recall it's 2522 (officially) when Hams' RPG timeline ends. They've been unable to decide on an Elector ever since Marius 'The Mad' Leitdorf died, nearly 300 years ago. He was infamous for doing things at random, fearing that an attack on a certain day would be 'unlucky' or that something had to happen now for 'good luck'. While he was an extreme example, with his sudden mood swings between crippling depression and scurrying mania, Averlanders keep entire guilds of astrologers in business with the province's relentless superstition. 'Luck' is an important part of Averlander culture. So, this province has lacked for central authority for ages as it remains split between the Alptraums, an older family that had provided Electors for ages, and the bizarre and energetic Leitdorfs. People whisper that this is a function of how Averlanders can never make up their drat minds; any sane person would've had a short, sharp civil war and settled the matter after Marius died. Instead they've shifted back and forth for centuries...In part because without an Elector, the nobles and merchants both have noticed that no-one in Averland has the authority to levy any new taxes above the normal schedule.

Averheim is the capital of Averland, build on a big bluff above the Aver river to both provide it a defensible location and protect it from floods. The town is built around its ancient fortress, first constructed by King (later Count) Siggurd to fortify the traditional main camp of his people after Sigmar unified the region. Averheim's crypts date back to the earliest Imperial periods, but the local nobility won't allow scholars to document or catalogue it, for reasons unknown. One theory is that powerful magical relics lie below, and they want to keep them for themselves; who knows what the real reason is? Averheim is where the famous stockyards sit, and so it's the ending point for many of Averland's cattle drives. It's also home to the Pillar of Skulls, a monument built out of Orc skulls to mark the stopping point of a major invasion in the 18th century. This seems like a very bad idea in a world where Khorne exists, Averlanders! Averheim is seeing a conflict between the salt miners' guilds and merchants experimenting with hiring wizards to magically preserve ice and refridgerate the meat after the cattle drives, and it also sees conflict between the Leitdorfs and Alptraums (and the Leitdorfs and Leitdorfs) over who actually owns the city. Competition that is breaking down public order and allowing thieves and protection rackets to get out of hand.

There are two other settlements written up, but their only important details are that one has a large dorf population (10% of everyone living there) and watches the dorf border, and another has many dwarf ruins and can provide dungeons for PCs who aren't afraid of pissing off dwarfs (so, stupid PCs).

Streissen is the other important city of Averland. Streissen contains Averland's university and is known as a center of the intellectual elite. It was also a truly free town for a long time after it managed to trick the teenaged Countess Ludmilla Alptraum into granting it Freistadt rights. The people experimented with a prosperous and open republic for years, until their town council was overthrown by agitators following food riots in 2502 and the people attempted to establish a 'commune'. This was considered too far by the upper-class merchants of the town council, and they invited Ludmilla (now in her 60s) to send in the troops. She had hundreds of people, including the entire professorship of the university (and the town council) hung and established a brutal autocracy. 'Streissen' is a byword for 'atrocity' to this day after the Countess's brutality. No-one in Streissen dares speak openly of revolution or self-rule anymore...which has instead made it a hotbed of radical political ideas and underground movements. A dozen or more resistance organizations plot the overthrow of the brutal Alptraums, and at least a couple of them are Chaos cults trying to subvert the resistance. If you want to overthrow a ruthless autocracy while fighting Tzeentchian conspiracy theorists trying to astro-turf your resistance, Streissen's the place to put your adventurers.

We also get a simple example NPC, a fat merchant who likes dwarfcraft and pays adventurers to steal it for him, and then two minor adventure seeds: Ride trail for an old count and get his beautiful niece to Nuln for university while fighting off cattle rustlers, and get involved in conspiracy in Streissen.

Averland's fine. It's a bit of a weird place, but cowboy adventures and the mess in Streissen are good hooks for PCs.

We also get a cute sidebar in this part about how other lands view the Empire in their own words: Brets think they have terrible wine and their people don't know their place, Tileans think they drink too much but make plenty of good produce and know how to trade well, Estalians think their love of sausage and fistfights are very strange, etc.

The Elf passage on them is a little interesting. The High Elf envoy thinks they're industrious and clever people who've come a long way and who are good to do business with, noting that an Imperial business partner will wait until after they've gotten as much profit as is possible before they'll knowingly insult elves. He ends his little letter with 'If they ever manage to stop fighting themselves for a couple hundred years, they could really go places.'

The dwarfs, on the other hand, simply say this: "They know fighting, drinking, and cannon. There's a good life to be had there if you can stand to leave the mountains." I think that's as close as dwarfs get to unvarnished praise.

Meanwhile, the halflings simply note the Imperials will eat goddamn anything if you put it in a sausage casing.

Next: Hochland, the land of rifles and not being a dick.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

The Lone Badger posted:

Excuse me, these are tactbots, the politest fighting force in the galaxy.

"Dear Sir,

I must regrettably inform you that the device attached to this missive is in fact a sharped-charge HEAT round, and will detonate on detecting your body on internal radar as you open this envelope. I regret the necessity of searing your face off with a jet of molten metal, but trust that the speed and (if I may say so myself) cunning with which this attack has been deployed reflect well on your tactical value within the current battlespace scenario.

It has been an honor to face you in combat. I hope you have the opportunity to read this far down.

Yours sincerely,

TactBot 45216(c)(XXI)"

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Night10194 posted:

Next: Hochland, the land of rifles and not being a dick.

There is a land anywhere in WFRP that is the land of not being a dick? :psyduck:

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ratoslov posted:

There is a land anywhere in WFRP that is the land of not being a dick? :psyduck:

There are plenty of non-dicks in WFRP! It's only 40k that's dicks all the way down. (There are also plenty of dicks in WFRP)

Hochlanders are just unusually nice and accepting people who mostly get along with everyone.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Night10194 posted:

There are plenty of non-dicks in WFRP! It's only 40k that's dicks all the way down. (There are also plenty of dicks in WFRP)

Hochlanders are just unusually nice and accepting people who mostly get along with everyone.

And do their highly advanced sniper rifles play a role? I can't wait to find out!

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


I feel like my favorite 'who are and are not dicks' fun fact of WFB is that Skaven Clan Mors are considered a bunch of weirdo freaks because they have a semblance of military discipline and clan loyalty to where you can reasonably expect both that competence will be rewarded (and if it does get you murdered because your direct superior is concerned it'll probably be in an actual fight) and that leadership is not going to spend more time backstabbing each other than frontstabbing the enemy. As I recall most of the rest of the Council can't stand them but none of them dare start poo poo because they grudgingly admit 'organized and competent', while not something they approve of, is useful to point at other guys and not something they really want to fight themselves. Also I want to say they're pretty tight with Clan Eshin because they got a lot of their power by absorbing other clans and that generally involves a lot of secret murder.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


I like to imagine Clan Mors has also invented fancy hats.

They seem like the rats who would have hats.

E: They're also the only Skaven who don't enslave/eat everyone from a defeated clan, they just add them as clanrats. Other rats can't understand why those rats don't betray them after.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.


Steel Phalanx

The Steel Phalanx, for when the PanO knights just have too many orders for your tastes. For some reason, CB doesnít refer to this sectorial as the Assault Sub-Section anymore.

At some point, ALEPH took a look at this whole ďalien invasionĒ thing and decided that it needed some serious firepower. Reasonable! And that the best way to get that firepower was to recreate mythological Greek heroes and make them all part of one big, dysfunctional bioroid family. Less reasonable! Also, thereís merchandising and a cartoon. More reasonable!

SPís big thing is being the big stick. Theyíre all tough models, and theyíre all a pain in the rear end to fight. There are no less than 18 named characters in this army, and theyíre all obnoxious. Worse still are their line troops that arenít actually line troops, the Myrmidons, along with their numerous variants. Steel Phalanx is entirely the wrong army for me, but Iím going to try and give them a fair shake for this writeup. Still, if you play these guys, you deserve to be held down in a toilet bowl until you cough up your lunch money.



Letís rip that bandaid right off by starting with Myrmidons. Technically a warband, these guys are highly lethal in close combat and protected by ODD, the same pseduo-camouflage that the Avatar and the Reverend Custodiers get. ODD gives your opponent a -6 to hit you in shooting. You can ignore it in close combat, but these guys are pretty drat murderous in a knife fight. ODD is all over the place in Steel Phalanx, so get used to me whining about it. They get smoke grenades too, to cover their advance up the table.

Hereís the thing about Myrmidons. Theyíve got a rifleman profile for 25 points out of a standard 300. With all the goodies they get, and a respectable stat line, thatís not too bad. Itís maybe a little cheap, since they go impetuous when they kill a guy, but understandable. Youíre not going to take that profile, or the one with the machine gun, or the assault hacking device. Youíre going to take the 16 point one with a chain rifle, which is like just hits and doesnít burn. 16 points is crazy cheap for something with total availability, and thatís why any good TO will ban Myrmidons from entry-level escalation leagues - at low points costs, thereís just not much out there that can compete with them. Iím certainly not bitter about any personal experiences!!!

Myrmidons also come in an officer variant, which you should take because you want Chain of Command. Thatís the one wearing the cheek pads and not a real helmet above. You can take up to three Myrm officers, so you could have a backup for your backup for your backup, if you really felt like wasting the points.

Myrmidons are named for the mythical warriors of Thessaly. Theyíre built using special Lhosts, and their personalities are all knock-offs of Achilles, since theyíre designed to be his war host and drinking buddies.




Machaeon, Eudoros, Phoenix

Because this is Steel Phalanx, there are of course named Myrmidon officers. Machaon drops Chain of Command for Doctor and un-visor-able smoke grenades. Eudoros is better at CC, also has Eclipse grenades, and starts impetuous. Phoenix is more a standard Myrmidon, but he doesnít go crazy when he kills someone and heís got a big rocket launcher. Not too wild as far as characters go, just yet.

Machaon is probably insane, and itís not entirely clear if ALEPH made him that way intentionally. Myrmidon models are not typically inclined to medicine in the first place, but Machaon displays a single-minded thirst for knowledge thatís gotten him into trouble before. The selectionís anecdote tells of a time Machaon was rooting up plants for analysis as potential pharmacological resources, when a nearby Fusilier officer poked fun at him for crawling around in the underbrush on all fours. The only reason the officer didnít lose his eye in the ensuing scuffle is that there was a highly-skilled physician immediately at hand, ie Machaon.

Eudoros is an eternal also-ran to Achilles. Heís fleet of foot, as befitting someone named for a descendant of Hermes, full of braggadocio and self-confidence, and heíll never be as good as the leader of the Phalanx, no matter what he does. This rankles him to no end, and might have consequences if they ever advanced the story in a way that might put Achilles at risk of being interesting or developing.

Phoenix is one of the few remaining models of the first generation of Myrmidons. Heís the old guy who always has some piece of advice to hand out, wanted or not. Mentor to Achilles, presumably still around to get killed in a dramatic fashion at the end of the movie.



Drakios and Scylla are Phalanx NCOs. Their rules are old enough that they donít get the NCO rule, which seems like an obvious choice for an update. Otherwise, theyíre just kinda there. They can both take single or pairs of Devabots, which I guess is neat, and theyíre both able to move freely in jungle terrain. Drakios is pretty dull - he has weapons, and is not quite as useful as a Myrmidon. Scylla is the armyís super-hacker, only sheís not great at it and costs too much for what you get.

Drakios like to eat and chase skirt. Heís a glutton. Repeat for a few paragraphs. Scylla is a hipster chick, and yes, they really did model her with emo kid glasses.


For once, the engineer is the lady.

During the Paradiso campaign, Sophotects could be in short supply. ALEPH decided to make up for this shortfall by producing the Dactyls, a more combat-oriented variety of specialist in doctor and engineer flavors. Imagine a PanO doctor, but theyíre less likely to kill your own guys trying to resuscitate them, and also they can out-knife most standard troop profiles in the game. Of particular note, you can take the engineer profile with whatís effectively a napalm panzerfaust type of thing; if thatís not your style, they can opt instead to roll with the loogie gun from Snow Crash, and lemme tell you, gluing your opponents down and bypassing them never gets not funny.

Dactyls are consummate combat engineers, for whom the biggest question in life is ďis there enough explosive in the charge,Ē and to which the answer is always ďno.Ē The doctors enjoy patching people up so they can go back to making things explode.



Thereís usually a hero version of any given troop type in Phalanx, and for Dactyls thatís Acmon. Standard biz, heís an upgraded Dactyl. Mostly heís interesting for carrying two breaker pistols, which are kind of an interesting gimmick against close, highly-armored targets and kinda useless otherwise. Acmonís gimmick is that he has really bad OCD. Yep.


Diomedes, with Ekdromoi foreground and Deva background

For an army thatís built around getting up in someoneís face and ruining their day, the Steel Phalanx doesnít have very many jump troops. The Ekdromoi fill that role here. Good profile, high CC, and so on. They do have notably high WIP for jump troops, though theyíve only got an assault hacker for a specialist option. My personal favorite bit is that theyíve got Super Jump, so unlike a lot of jump troops, they can hop back up a terrain feature once theyíve hit the ground.

Ekdromoi spend their time harassing the flanks and rears of enemy formations. Their accomplishments include destroying a cache of Shasvastii seed embryos, and taking and keeping alive the first prisoner from the Morat officer corps.

Diomedes, as part of the pattern, is a better Ekdromoi. Heís actually pretty interesting in the fluff; heís one of the few Phalanx heroes whoís not a recreation, but rather ascended through the ranks by chance. Where Achilles is a swaggering titan, Diomedes is a humble thinker. You know, the nerdy character in the cartoon adaptation. Whether in action or in council, no Phalanx operation goes off without the crucial involvement of Diomedes.

Problem is, sometimes he pays for his success with his life, and thereís not always someone around to recover his Cube. ALEPH keeps backups of all the Homeridae, of course, but thatís not the same as a continuous experiential memory. Diomedes secretly worries - heís a hero for things he canít recall. What if he made a mistake heíll never learn from, that cost his life and the lives of his men; whatís to keep it from happening again?



Thamyris is a merely acceptable hacker. He also has the Journalist skill, one of the hold-overs from campaign play. Short version is that if youíve got a journalist in play at the end of a game, their report helps your chances of promotion due to good PR. This usually shows up in the form of the Warcor, a three-point irregular model thatís pretty much there to shine a laser in peopleís eyes if you have three points left at the end of making your list.

Thamyris is one of the official embedded correspondents in the Steel Phalanx, and the most famous one, because he challenged a group of Haqq odalisques to a poetry contest and got his rear end kicked, both euphemistically and literally. An in-character blurb from Thamyris is provided in the entries for all the named characters, if you didnít already have enough reason to hate him.



Andromeda is the only Greek unit available to Vedic, to my knowledge. Along with Cetus, her monster (thereís no Perseus in the roster, sadly), Andromedaís the closest thing that Phalanx has to a camo infiltrator. Which she isnít - she has slight forward deployment (albeit with superior options in Vedic), and mimetism, so sheís just kind of hard to see, instead of playing marker games. Sheís a generic specialist, but youíd never take her in Phalanx because sheís got a huge unwieldy silhouette and sheís dull as dishwater against the rest of the Homeridae.

Cetus gives her martial arts, but with a different name. It should really be condensed into one skill. It wonít be any time soon. Cíest la vie.

Andromedaís fluff falls into the uncomfortably horny segment. Super spy, totally hot bod, cold as ice, hot bod, sheíd betray you to accomplish her mission, did we mention she was hot? Strongly consider her in Operations, hard pass here.



The fluff describes the Thorakitai as the highly mobile mainstay troops of the Steel Phalanx; they are neither. Theyíre 4-2 MOV with no special abilities, and you can only take six of them, tops, unlike the total availability of Myrmidons. On top of that, theyíre really there just to pad out your order pools and maybe to be a backup specialist, because compared to the rest of the army, they suck stat-wise. Haqq and Nomads would be happy to have these guys as line troopers, PanO might consider them briefly, and thereís very little reason to take these here. You can get Netrods for cheaper, or you can get significantly better Myrmidons for not much more in the way of points cost.



Nesaie-Alke, a Thorakites but more so, sucks out loud. Nesaie is a happy-go-lucky manic pixie girl, and Alke is her gruff and gritty split personality that comes out in combat. Fffffuck that.




Agema marksman, Atalanta, Teucer

Agema marksmen are basically what youíd expect. Theyíre decent, but not superlative shots, they get MSV2, and they shoot a thing. Apart from your standard sniper rifle, they also carry a Mk 12, which is sort of like a larger-bore assault rifle but isnít what youíd think of as a long range weapon, or rocket launchers. Theyíre okay.

Agemas are the nerds that slam pick sniper in Battlefield-esque games and crow about their 360 no-scope headshots. Specifically, they brag - theyíre called out apart from your typical gloomy lone-wolf sniper as constantly shouting about how they fragged that guy, fuckiní sikk dude

Atalanta actually is the gloomy lone-wolf sniper. Sheís spooky, so spooky, probably does murders for ALEPH as a side hustle. Somehow. Unlike a lot of the heroic versions of standard guys, she actually is a measurable improvement because of her Spotbot, the bunny rabbit in the image above. Itís a flat +3 to BS attacks, so sheís hitting on a 20 or less in her good range.

Teucer is more of the standard Agema, only heís a dork who constantly tells terrible jokes. I hate Teucer, but heís distinguished by being good buds with



Ajax the Great. Born/created Mrymidon Glaboros DG-056, this individual was one of the test subjects for the AR-1 Lhost, the prototype for the Achilles program. Physically, the new body was without parallel - Ajax is a literal titan of the battlefield, and could probably take Achilles in a fight, if he was prepared to get his own nose bloodied in the process. Unfortunately for Ajax, the processing hardware to run the tactical sims required of Achilles wasnít up to par, and it damaged his mind. As a result, Ajax is a big dumb lummox who can crack a car in half with his bare hands and not break a sweat. I assume Teucer spends a lot of time telling him about the rabbits.

Ajax is literally physically stronger than Achilles, by one point of Physique. His real asset is that he has Berserker and Natural Born Warrior, so he can nullify most close combat skills and force his opponent to make a normal test instead of an opposed roll. Heís got two rifles and a giant hammer, so heís not great at ranged, but will pound the hell out of something in melee - each his he deals causes three potential wounds.

Ajax is still a Myrmidon, which is reflected in his Impetuous attribute, and that he can form an Enomotarchos fireteam. Phalanx gets a special type of Fireteam, which can consist of between two and four members, rather than the typical three-to-five for a standard link. The relevant units can party with their fellows, so you can run a Myrmidon Enomotarchos (good), a Thorakitai link (not good), or with up to four Dactyls (this is weird, why would you do this). Ajax, plus three friends in melee, equals a bad day.



Hectorís classical namesake was the prince of Troy and archenemy of Achilles, back in the mythic day. This modern version is the brains of the Phalanx, second in command and tactical planner for the army. Which is not to say heís a slouch in a fight, either - Hector is nearly as good in a fight as Ajax or Achilles, two of the fightiní-est units in the game. Taking Hector as your LT is probably not a terrible idea, if youíre not taking the big man himself. He gets Strategos level 1, and a plasma rifle he looted off a dead CA goon. I quite like his little hoplite-bot.

What I donít like are Achilles and his closest companions.


Achilles v.2, played tonight by Brad Pitt


Patroclus, Achilles v.1 in the background


Penthesilea

Partially, these are some not-great rules, partially theyíre some badly-reinterpreted backstories, and partially these guys hew very closely to the OG personalities of the Iliad, which is to say everyone is a shithead.

Patroclus is straight forward. Heís Achillesí ďbest friend,Ē and his gimmick is that heís actually kind of crap, except that he can form a two-man fireteam with Achilles and holoprojector himself to appear as another Achilles model on the table. In the abstract, thatís kinda neat - itís Patroclus as Achillesí shield-bearer and bodyguard, and closest companion. In practice, youíre paying 125 points for two models, one of which is garbo, and which any experienced player will see through in a heartbeat, because youíll be able to shoot one of them dead in a heartbeat and the other will take rockets to the chin without flinching. Killing Patroclus does not send Achilles into a huge sulk for days on end, presumably because theyíre both functionally immortal constructs of a bonkers AI. CB also leans heavily into the two of them being ~just good friends~, because itís 2018 and we still canít have a bisexual figure of power.

As evidenced by the entry for Penthesilea, which cannot keep its goddamn hand out of its pants. Penny drives a really fast bike, on part with the fastest bikers in the game, and thatís a real asset in a faction thatís actually kinda limited in its mobility choices. Stats on par for what youíd expect, kinda lacking in the equipment department.

Penny was designed as a way to get Achilles to get busy loving instead of going crazy and murdering people because heís an insane lustful demigod-thing. I donít need to know how my loving soldier smells, book, nor do I need a lengthy description of her delicate eyelashes. This is supposed to be the technological incarnation of an Amazon warrior, not a loving bodice ripper. I hate, hate, hate this.

Achilles on the table is a threat along the likes of the Avatar or Joan. He has crazy-high stats and comes in two flavors, original with ODD, and heavily armored without. Itís probably not a great idea to make him your LT, though he can be, because your opponent will probably dedicate their play to either avoiding him entirely or killing him dead, depending on their playstyle and capability.

In the fiction, Achilles was specifically made to pack the power of a TAG into something the size of a person. The AR-1 Lhosts proved too much for ordinary uploaded humans to handle, so ALEPH cracked its library and started looking for the greatest warrior in human history. It settled on Achilles.

The recreation process did a good job. The leader of the Phalanx is a brilliant tactician and indomitable warrior, feared and respected by his allies in equal measure. Heís also a petulant child with the ability to kill anyone in his path. Heís prone to rages and sulks, and ugly, ugly cruelties that donít get shared via the media. So, pretty much the mythic Achilles to a tee.

Though he ostensibly fights for humanity against the Combined Army, ALEPH has also employed the demigod against its mortal foes in the Commercial Conflicts. The cartoon doesnít play this up much.

There is, most interesting to me, no hint of Odysseus. Heís been bandied about by the fans for a while now, and while Iíd love to see what they make of a character like that in a wargame, I think CB may have let expectations rise too high to ever be met by their product.

I think I like the Greeks even less now. Oh well.

Next, an overview of the non-aligned armies.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Feinne posted:

Also I want to say they're pretty tight with Clan Eshin because they got a lot of their power by absorbing other clans and that generally involves a lot of secret murder.

Every clan is tight with Eshin, all the ones who weren't got secret-murdered. The Eshin Deathmaster (their greatest assassin) is so skilled-feared that only a majority vote of the Council of Thirteen can authorize his use. He's like this animate cloud of sharp things, basically.

Mors just loves fighting even more than they love backstabbing, and if you backstab your commander you're getting in the way of the Horned-Rat-damned fighting.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Well, those greeks sure are kind of disappointing and not nearly as wild or interesting as I was hoping.

Also why the hell would ALEPH go with Achilles, the guy known for his sulking and dickbaggery.

E: I think if I was doing the crazy cartoon hero squad I'd have instead done ALEPH's favorite hits from mythology and history rather than wholly focusing on the Greeks. The base concept is so good! Trying to produce a ridiculous supersoldier army of dysfunctional bioroids is something all clumsy computer gods should aspire to. Just the execution...ergh.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 00:17 on Nov 14, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The Eshin are also decent by a Skaven standards - they are very clear on how their loyalty works, stick to it, and donít backstab because they have a great racket going.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Loxbourne posted:

"Dear Sir,

I must regrettably inform you that the device attached to this missive is in fact a sharped-charge HEAT round, and will detonate on detecting your body on internal radar as you open this envelope. I regret the necessity of searing your face off with a jet of molten metal, but trust that the speed and (if I may say so myself) cunning with which this attack has been deployed reflect well on your tactical value within the current battlespace scenario.

It has been an honor to face you in combat. I hope you have the opportunity to read this far down.

Yours sincerely,

TactBot 45216(c)(XXI)"

Churchill said, "when you have to kill a man, it costs nothing to be polite." The TactBots are just the epitome of that phrase.

White Coke
May 29, 2015


I thought Marius Leitdorf was a contemporary of Karl Franz and only died a few years ago from the present day of Warhammer.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


White Coke posted:

I thought Marius Leitdorf was a contemporary of Karl Franz and only died a few years ago from the present day of Warhammer.

So did I, but the listed time in the book is 2250. Who knows, it might be a typo and they meant 2520, which would only be 2 years ago. I checked and double checked while I was writing.

E: Looking up some other sources, yes. Sigmar's Heirs must have a typo there. Leitdorf died in 2520.

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



grassy gnoll posted:

There is, most interesting to me, no hint of Odysseus. Heís been bandied about by the fans for a while now, and while Iíd love to see what they make of a character like that in a wargame, I think CB may have let expectations rise too high to ever be met by their product.

It'd be pretty funny if that was, in fact, ALEPH's reason not to make an Odysseus- they can't make one that's as cool as what they want an Odysseus to be! And all the cartoon's fans are gonna be disappointed with anything they make! He's just too cool for reality!

Tibalt
May 14, 2017

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


Alternative theory: Odysseus loves telling Gods to jump on a dick and spin, and immediately did so to ALEPH before stealing a spaceship and going sailing.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Also way smarter and more cunning than his creator.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

He's running cons under fifty assumed names across every inch of known space.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

I did warn you all.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



If I were Aleph, I'd probably have gone with Perseus as the leader of the Greek heroes. Also keep Jason around somewhere.


In the Percy Jackson books, when Percy's mom was naming him after a Greek hero, she specifically chose Perseus as her son's name because he was about the only Greek hero who wasn't a complete rear end in a top hat and/or fuckup.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Goddamnit ALEPH just make Cyber-Themistocles.

Whatever you do DO NOT make Cyber-Alcibiades, though. That would go SUPER BAD.

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