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JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I just love the manic energy of the latest Skaven writeup

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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Ghost Leviathan posted:

Eshin are weird to other Skaven since they actually have a degree of respect for each other's lives (because of the skill and training investment said lives represent) and long-term thinking, at least in a 'what'll keep us glorious rats on the planet longer' sense.

Or just as bad, if less powerful, Clan Mors.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Really, the history, the society, and the 'how to think like Skaven' sections in this book are all amazingly well done.

The problem is the mechanical aspects are shoddy. Not unplayable, just shoddy.

I'll probably be posting Mighty Nightfang since I still have his sheet, as an example of how loving bonkers Stormvermin are as physical fighters (we played a short game that was the origin story of my GM's Skaven Army's leadership/heroes). As a 'just finished first tier' fighter he would've been able to dumpster a minor Chaos Champion or lesser vampire.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



It's really amazing how much better the Stormvermin are, at chargen, then any other skaven. Gray Seers also race ahead real quick from common Skaven, but out the gate they're mostly just irritating due to Petty Magic.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


This is also backed up by the official Stormvermin enemy stats in Terror in Talabheim (I'm currently running a version of it right now for my group) that has them as SB 5, TB 5, WS 65 monsters, only held back by having 1 attack and kinda meh armor. Also 17 Wounds each. And they made them fairly brave. They have a Strength and Toughness higher than the Rat Ogre.

For reference, a TT Stormvermin is WS 4, S 3, T 3, W 1, Init 5, Mv 5. They're, uh, slightly faster Empire Swordsmen with halberds and decent armor. No braver than any other rat. The joke being that the Elite Super Ratsoldatan are, uh, about on par with some 17 year old conscript with an arming sword and an old shield. The RPG stat writers seem to have instead bought their hype about themselves. The TT statline would've translated into like, WS 40, S 35, T 35 with good Agi and movement, not, uh, whatever the hell the Terror in Talabheim authors were thinking.

E: Admittedly this is because they're trying to make them chufty enough to get players to avoid direct conflict during some parts of the adventure, and it's an adventure for PCs in the middle/late part of their 2nd career so they're kind of getting to be badasses. Plus the low armor really hurts them.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Dec 5, 2018

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Dawgstar posted:

Eshin seem to be as close to 'honorable' as Skaven get, although that's probably from buying too hard into their ninja cosplay.

Warlord Clan Mors is also, I believe, kind of a weird outlier there.

punishedkissinger
Sep 20, 2017



Night10194 posted:

This is also backed up by the official Stormvermin enemy stats in Terror in Talabheim (I'm currently running a version of it right now for my group) that has them as SB 5, TB 5, WS 65 monsters, only held back by having 1 attack and kinda meh armor. Also 17 Wounds each. And they made them fairly brave. They have a Strength and Toughness higher than the Rat Ogre.

For reference, a TT Stormvermin is WS 4, S 3, T 3, W 1, Init 5, Mv 5. They're, uh, slightly faster Empire Swordsmen with halberds and decent armor. No braver than any other rat. The joke being that the Elite Super Ratsoldatan are, uh, about on par with some 17 year old conscript with an arming sword and an old shield. The RPG stat writers seem to have instead bought their hype about themselves. The TT statline would've translated into like, WS 40, S 35, T 35 with good Agi and movement, not, uh, whatever the hell the Terror in Talabheim authors were thinking.

E: Admittedly this is because they're trying to make them chufty enough to get players to avoid direct conflict during some parts of the adventure, and it's an adventure for PCs in the middle/late part of their 2nd career so they're kind of getting to be badasses. Plus the low armor really hurts them.

Is terror in talabheim a good campaign? i'm considering running it, seems like it could be decent.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


kidkissinger posted:

Is terror in talabheim a good campaign? i'm considering running it, seems like it could be decent.

It's...mixed. It's one of the better minicampaigns in the line, I think, but I can't talk about it too thoroughly because my players read this thread.

I'm still having to change a lot of it, both to make it more fun and active and to fit it to the fact that they've just hit T3 and can do stuff like have their Bright Battle Wizard just blow rat generals up with one Fiery Blast spell. I generally don't think any of the 2e campaigns are worth it without extensive alteration, I just have access to it because one of my players bought the 'entire works of the WHFRP line' package they had on sale in the runup to 4e.

It also has a lot of railroading. A lot. And a lot of sections on how to punish the players if they try to get off.

punishedkissinger
Sep 20, 2017



Night10194 posted:

It's...mixed. It's one of the better minicampaigns in the line, I think, but I can't talk about it too thoroughly because my players read this thread.

I'm still having to change a lot of it, both to make it more fun and active and to fit it to the fact that they've just hit T3 and can do stuff like have their Bright Battle Wizard just blow rat generals up with one Fiery Blast spell. I generally don't think any of the 2e campaigns are worth it without extensive alteration, I just have access to it because one of my players bought the 'entire works of the WHFRP line' package they had on sale in the runup to 4e.

It also has a lot of railroading. A lot. And a lot of sections on how to punish the players if they try to get off.

yeah, in that case i'll just wait for the rest of the starter adventure ubersreik stuff to get released. what they've put out has been pretty neat so far.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also a friend introduced me to Viscera Cleanup Detail, The Game About Throwing Things In A Fire, and now I can't help but think Nagash's survival was caused by a bored Skaven janitor deciding it was 'good enough' and not bothering to get that last hand.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



"Scruffy's on break. [nestles into a bunch of robes turned into a hammock, fishes out a scroll, kicks back and reads]"

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Let’s pick up again with the Aberrant Player’s Guide.

The next section actually lets us in on some of the Aeon Society’s secrets that aren’t horrible dirty laundry. Alongside Project Utopia exist two others, Project Tantalus and Project Pandora. Project Tantalus is literally entirely there to try and figure out what the gently caress Max Mercer even is and is like three guys in a lab who hate to live. Pandora, on the other hand, is researching psionics. The current stage of psionic development is called a Psiad, and we’re going to be getting some rules for them in a sec. First, there’s some other behind the scenes poo poo.

Mercer set up Aeon but was never really big on what he’d consider ‘micromanaging’, which in this case would have been making sue fuckers don’t even CONSIDER some of the poo poo they did in his absence. He fucks off back into the timestream in the sixties, and when he arrives again in the nineties he’s not well pleased with everything that was done in those thirty years. He’s super concerned that Projects Utopia and Proteus are way the gently caress off the rails and that Triton’s research is often super unethical, all rightly, but he’s also not one to burn it down and start over if he thinks things can turn around (while Utopia is of course gone as of Trinity, Proteus and Triton are still around, having been super lovely to Novas is not exactly something in ill-favor after they gently caress up the planet). The only part of Aeon that he’s got full confidence in and control of the vision of is Pandora, which is backing a strong conceptual horse as know from Trinity.

Now we’ve got the section on Psiads rules wise. These were vaguely referenced in Trinity (and still sort of exist then though generally those with such potential have been made Psions instead), and we’re going to kind of cut ahead right now to learn a bit about psionics. See, Nova powers in principle work by manipulating the ‘fundamental quantum energies’ of electromagnetism, gravity, and the weak and strong nuclear forces. In the setting, the Grand Unification Theory ends up getting solved by the discovery of the fifth, subquantum force: Noetic energy.

As its name implies, subquantum energy exists at a ‘lower’ level and binds together quantum forces. It’s best to think of it as the information that defines reality. Anything that exists has a noetic ‘blueprint’ that defines everything about it and essentially tells all the molecules where and what they’re supposed to be. So let’s compare and contrast. Nova powers directly gently caress with reality at a gross level, for example when they heat something up they just vibrate the poo poo out of its molecules and boom hot. A Psiad/Psion doing the same thing effectively goes into the variables behind the scenes and changes the temperature, causing the molecules to go ‘poo poo we’re supposed to be vibrating more’. It should also be noted that Nova powers and Noetic energy do not mix. Again think of it this way, when you’ve got an active Nova power and Psionic power trying to do opposite things then you’re making reality try really hard to disagree with what the Nova’s doing to it.

So how rules wise do they differ as far as Aberrant is concerned? First of all, a psiad doesn’t suffer from Taint in any way. They’re just straight immune. Psiads get to soak quantum energy related effects with their Psi score (their power score). You can’t have any Quantum related backgrounds. You don’t show up on anything that would detect quantum, because you don’t have any. You’re not affected by any of the drugs made from Nova poo poo that I didn’t care enough to detail in the original book because they’re boring.

So we get two treatments for making a Psiad character, one with Aberrant rules and then another that uses Trinity’s rules. So a Psiad only gets 6/4/3 Attributes, because they’re a bit more human. Instead of Quantum you have Psi. Going through the Aberrant rules, you get 12 effective ‘nova points’ to buy things from a restricted list. You can buy up to two dots of non-physical Mega-Attributes, enhancements for those Megas, Psi, and powers from a greatly restricted list.

So in the Trinity treatment, we see that the naturally triggered Psiads are more versatile than the Psions you play as in that, but also more limited in power. You get two Primary Aptitudes and can also actually have proper Secondary Aptitudes with real ratings. On the other hand, your Primaries are limited to four dots (and that requires you to be Psi 9-10), and your Secondaries are limited to three. This might SEEM like it’s way better than just getting one Primary and Secondaries limited to a small one-dot like talent BUT as we’ll see when we get to Trinity you are missing a LOT by losing access to the five-dot powers (for example all the best offensive powers are there). I prefer to be able to delete people’s limbs and poo poo, myself (a real Trinity power).

Okay there’s a bunch of errata and clarifications now, we talked about the one for Clone but I’m going to go through and pick out any that are actually interesting or change how something works significantly.

So, they clarify that if you burn health levels to gain Quantum you can’t be healed with Regeneration or Healing, which is fair.

The Crush enhancement for Mega-Strength is changed, now your attacks are always Lethal damage and the focus effect of the original enhancement now lets you spend Quantum and focus to add more lethal levels to your next hit. This is MUCH better than it used to be, focusing a turn just to do lethal was lame as hell when you could just buy a point of Claw instead. They also clarify now that Crush is changed that you can’t make Shockwave and Thunderclap Lethal by having Crush.

The Mega-Wits Synergy enhancement got nerfed hard, instead of adding a bonus to everyone involved it adds a pool of dice you can split around. Way weaker.

Elemental Mastery was clarified to let you pick any of the Elemental Anima techniques, which makes sense.

They literally left a power out, by the way. It was in the list but not the book. It’s called Psychic Link and lets you link up with someone for a limited but long-duration telepathic communication effect. It’s kinda okay I guess.

They move on to some variant character creation systems. The first is just to give you 15 Attribute dots, split them how you like gently caress it. Another lets you just say gently caress it and start with 1 in each Attribute and Willpower but with 147 Bonus Points, the equivalent of everything you ‘get’ as part of creation. They also suggest some ways you can change up the Nova end of things. The obvious one is changing up the Quantum minimum and maximum (normally 1 to 5). Lowering the maximum will lower the power levels obviously, while raising the minimum and maximum will raise it. They also suggest some ways you can change up on the powers end, like eliminating Powers, Mega-Attributes, or limiting how you can spend your Nova Points on mundane poo poo (for example RAW you can have human max stats for 7 NP). They also give you some suggestions as to different numbers of Nova Points you can give at creation and what they mean for your power level, and for changing up how Taint works.

You know, this Player’s Guide is going okay so far. It’s had some chunky information on variant ways to play the game and overall isn’t too bad. So before I stop for today, let’s look at the next heading:

Merits and Flaws.

gently caress

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Awwwwwww yeah, Merits and Flaws, let's pointbuy Dex to the max, baby! Bring on that sweet, sweet 90s.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




NGL, the delicious minmaxing potential pushes a button in my lizard brain.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Are we about to observe awful interpretations of mental illness?

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


By popular demand posted:

Are we about to observe awful interpretations of mental illness?

Hell yes you are.

So as to Skaven, Clan Eshin is a bit weird because (as I might have mentioned many pages back) you don't get to fail up in it. If stealth isn't remotely your thing then you're one of the relatively few Clanrats that they keep around just in case and you're not going loving anywhere in life. Otherwise you start as a Night Runner and get some black pj's, knives, and shurikens. You go out with a whole bunch of other Night Runners to support the flanks of armies and harass light troops and you're probably going to die doing that unless you're really good or really lucky. You have that job just long enough for them to weed out the second category, then you start getting some real equipment and get called a Gutter Runner. Now your job is to skulk around and try to smoke soft targets and since you've gotten pretty okay at this they trust you to do some harder jobs in general. Managing not to die long enough as a Gutter Runner then they figure you're the real deal, and you get to be an Assassin. You get access to some sweet loving equipment and just in general whatever your little weeaboo rat heart desires in your off-time because now you're part of the core of Eshin's money machine. You advance in the ranks at this point by getting gud, because everyone above you is definitely at least your equal so the standard 'kill your way to the top' doesn't really work here.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



And that's why no one steps to the Deathmaster - he is legit the most competent person in Clan Eshin.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


One of the saddest things in this book is that Master Assassin sucks. The Master Assassin class is not good.

You had ONE JOB, Ninja Rat designers!

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Night10194 posted:

One of the saddest things in this book is that Master Assassin sucks. The Master Assassin class is not good.

You had ONE JOB, Ninja Rat designers!

Sadly accurate to TT as well, if I recall.

Zodiac5000
Jun 19, 2006

Protects the Pack!



Doctor Rope

Mors Rattus posted:

And that's why no one steps to the Deathmaster - he is legit the most competent person in Clan Eshin.

Which I guess might make him one of the most omnicompetent rats in all of the Skaven? He understands merit-based advancement, has an established record of personal success that achieved his position, and he isn't a loving Grey Seer (right? my skaven knowledge is mostly from the tabletop game over a decade ago).

Do they stat out the Hell-Pit Abomination in the RPG?

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


OvermanXAN posted:

Sadly accurate to TT as well, if I recall.

Eh a Master Assassin from the weird Clan Eshin list that turns the game into an unfun nightmare because TT wasn't designed for an army composed of entirely skirmish troops is definitely going to murder almost anything he fights as long as you load him out right but you're still not super likely to get your point's worth out of him.

EDIT: Yeah Grey Seers exist outside the Clan system and are generally a vague unifying force as a result (when they're not committing light treason for the sake of personal gain).

Feinne fucked around with this message at 19:52 on Dec 5, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Zodiac5000 posted:

Which I guess might make him one of the most omnicompetent rats in all of the Skaven? He understands merit-based advancement, has an established record of personal success that achieved his position, and he isn't a loving Grey Seer (right? my skaven knowledge is mostly from the tabletop game over a decade ago).

Do they stat out the Hell-Pit Abomination in the RPG?

Correct. The main thing that keeps him in check is that he has an amazing racket going where he gets paid huge amounts of money and doesn't usually have to do things.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





OvermanXAN posted:

Sadly accurate to TT as well, if I recall.

That depended on the edition, really. In some, the Warpstone Throwing Stars they packed made them great monster hunters as they typically didn't have a big armor save and the Warpstone shuriken could ignore it and did D3 wounds. Sure, getting close enough one may meant they fail their Terror check, emit the musk of fear and flee in the opposite direction with their little rat paws in the air but nobody takes Skaven for their leadership.

Mors Rattus posted:

Correct. The main thing that keeps him in check is that he has an amazing racket going where he gets paid huge amounts of money and doesn't usually have to do things.

It's a good racket being the 'break glass in case of emergency' guy.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Dawgstar posted:

That depended on the edition, really. In some, the Warpstone Throwing Stars they packed made them great monster hunters as they typically didn't have a big armor save and the Warpstone shuriken could ignore it and did D3 wounds. Sure, getting close enough one may meant they fail their Terror check, emit the musk of fear and flee in the opposite direction with their little rat paws in the air but nobody takes Skaven for their leadership.


It's a good racket being the 'break glass in case of emergency' guy.

And a Master Assassin is about as reliable leadership-wise as a Skaven will ever get as I recall.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




The Deathmaster is so mind boggling good at sneaking into places and killing a whole bunch of people at once that the council of 13 decided to call a truce on using him because even the Skaven thought this was a bit excessive.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Feinne posted:

And a Master Assassin is about as reliable leadership-wise as a Skaven will ever get as I recall.

Yeah, I think they were Ld 7 which is indeed about as unshakeable as they get without being Frenzied lunatic Plague Monks or something.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Children of the Horned Rat

Rat Races

You must understand: Rats are cowards because cowardice is usually the best way for them to survive. They live in an authoritarian hellhole where resources are scarce, work is dangerous, combat is moreso, and they are eminently replaceable. Every individual Skaven is approaching life based on what will keep them alive. Skaven are born without family, kept in litters that are actively encouraged to hurt or eat one another, and told at all times that they can trust no-one and that the world is a bad and terrifying place. Add to that the constant pangs of hunger, an insanely overworked adrenal system, and a predisposition to constant, spastic nervous energy and it's no wonder the little guys are so twitchy. When they see no other way, they can be astonishingly brave, especially if there are a lot of other rats around; one of the biggest things that will motivate a bunch of these guys to go to war is going hungry if they don't.

Skaven are a weird kind of contradiction where they're deeply afraid of other Skaven, yet very, very social. They react to one another with constant suspicion and fear the (often projected) covetous designs of their clanmates and fellow workers/soldiers/mad scientists, but a Skaven is also never alone. Nor do they want to be alone. After all, you need other Skaven around so that you can blame someone else whenever anything goes wrong. No Skaven ever, EVER willingly admits to failure; it's always the other Skaven's fault, or a hidden enemy messing with his plans, or outrageous bad luck thwarting his genius. This started as a means to survive in an authoritarian state, but it's become so deeply ingrained in the lower-class Skaven collective psyche that most of them believe it. Most Skaven cannot actually imagine making a mistake; everything is a hidden trap laid by someone else. Leaders do the same thing, but theirs is more a matter of making examples of subordinates or blaming the subordinates of an enemy as a means of discrediting them. Moreover, at that level of Skaven society? Yeah, a good bit of what goes wrong really is someone trying to gently caress you over. The Skaven obsession with culling the weak leads to a brittle society that has, ironically, greatly weakened itself because no-one can actually trust anyone and this makes collective action of any kind really difficult. The rat race is endless, as a Skaven who manages to rise in society has other Skaven above them still, or 'peers' (who are obviously inferiors) even at the rank of the Council of Thirteen. There is no peace for Skaven. The Skaven actually don't know how long a normal Skaven lifespan is; the richest among them live for centuries, sustained by all kinds of technological marvels, while the poor rarely make it to 20. The idea of dying of natural causes, in your bed, is beyond the ratmen.

The ideal for the rats is someone who is petty, jealous, sly, and deceitful. A great leader will take all the credit for success, while finding ways to blame others for failure, not to mention making others take the risks and do the hard work. The ideal for a Skaven is getting to do nothing while being lauded for it. Leisure of any kind is seized on, and even the most minor success will be exaggerated and retold over and over by the successful rat. Every success must be epic! Every struggle heroic! In this, again, we see the rat fascism. Every rat dreams of being lauded by their peers, yet fears attention, because attention means those peers start trying to sabotage you more than usual, and that your superior might notice you're planning to eat him before you're ready to do so. This is not true for every clan, of course; we'll get to that when we get to the clans, but some of them have a very different outlook. But your average minor Warlord Clan Skavens? Dreaming constantly of eating their boss and then pissing on all their coworkers.

Every Skaven knows all they have can be taken in an instant. No Skaven is genuinely secure in life. A Skaven fears losing status, wealth, and position, but more than anything they fear the way their co-workers will make fun of them if they do. Everyone is afraid to suddenly find themselves beneath the people they work with. The chittering laughter of a former peer as you're demoted to doing menial labor for them is the constant, total nightmare of the ratman. Thus, after fear, the most common Skaven emotion is spite. The Skaven consider all this inter-species struggle a good thing. They've convinced themselves it means only the best rise to the top, and that all the competition makes them strong, even as their history is full of 'and we had a civil war and lost all our progress on the matter'. The most powerful clans encourage this mindset, as do the most powerful rats within the lesser clans; it means that their inferiors look on them as the superior rats. Not only that, but by keeping the lower classes divided and constantly squabbling (or the lesser clans from uniting), those at the top can maintain their power. The squabbles of their lessers do most of the work for them. If the little rats ever united, they could change Skaven society, but everything in Skaven society is designed to encourage them not to do this.

When remembering how much the rats hate everyone else in the setting, it's best to remember they consider their victory inevitable. This is one of the reasons they keep turning to civil war; they're going to win and INHERIT-INHERIT whole world eventually anyway, yes-yes? So must make ready-sure the other ratman not higher than me, no-no! Also they do that little thing where they clip their sentences and repeat words for emphasis and Skaven voices are actually really hard to write without a lot of practice; I could do it fine when I was actively playing a Skaven but I definitely struggle with it now. Their speech is basically directly counter to my normal writing style anyway, so I'll be keeping the ratman talk to a minimum during the review.

That said, Skaven hate dwarves. They and the dwarves fight over the tunnels and the mining, but they also hate the dwarf-things for being dangerous at tunnel fighting, physically hardy, and very good at science and engineering. Neither would ever admit the other's engineering was superior, and they both look down on humans (Dwarves in a paternalistic sense, ratmen in a way more racist one), but they're near equals of one another. That said, the Skaven have assumed the dwarves are a solved problem for roughly the last 2600 years. They're a dying race clearly in decline who'll collapse any day now! It never occurs to the rats that they've been saying that for nearly 3 millennia at this point. They also tend to be really scared of dwarves when it comes time to actually fight them. Sure, sure, dying race, doomed in the long run, that isn't going to save you from that lot of bearded badasses with the gromril riot armor and a flamethrower.

Skaven also hate elves. They'd never admit it, but they're genuinely scared of elves. The elves have better magic than they do, and in ways they don't quite understand. Elves also don't have extensive sewer systems for Skaven to infiltrate, so they've had a hard time getting footholds to gather intelligence against them. Moreover, elves have multiple flavors of edgelord ninja that can match their own. They also hate the way you can never tell if the elves are going to show up. Take the campaign in Bretonnia after the red pox: The Bretonnians suddenly pulling out that crazy disease immune duke from Mousillon was already unfair enough, how did they also suddenly get to have a bunch of ninja murder elves and their spectacular tree buddies show up and start punting rats like footballs? That was total bullshit, say the rats! The book mentions they still whine about that particular campaign 700 years later. Oh, rat people.

Skaven ignore halflings, like the rest of the world. Yeah, you can eat 'em, but they're too fatty to really satisfy, and surprisingly greasy. Plus, they whine about everything, refuse to work no matter how much you kick them, and generally just aren't worth the trouble to enslave. Keeping them healthy requires massive amounts of feeding for how tiny they are, too. Just not worth it.

Skaven hate humans. Skaven have hated humans ever since the humans beat them in 1116. They like the way you can often convince humans to turn on other humans by giving them gold and appearing to be less of a threat, and they tell themselves the humans are weak, corrupt, and will be easily conquered as soon as they get serious. But they're still afraid of them, having lost a 'sure thing' to them after the Black Death. They tell themselves they watch the humans so carefully because they're funny, because they're useful tools, and because they make good slaves; in reality, they know humans will be one of their greatest challenges in their campaign to INHERIT-INHERIT the world. In places where humans are clearly aware of their existence, they are attacked at every opportunity; Tileans might not unite around much, but they'll come together to stomp on rat faces. To that end, they do everything they can to keep the Empire believing they aren't a threat. They say it's a matter of convenience, but the Empire is one of the few nations that could really make progress against them if it really turned its fury on the ratmen.

Whether they're born from Chaos or not, the ratmen don't like Chaos, either. See, they know what Chaos is planning, and they know it ends the same place as Nagash's plans would've, so long ago. They're not very interested in being a pile of rat skulls on Khorne's mantle, and they don't trust the Beastmen or Champions, because they don't trust anyone. They'll work with them sometimes, but they're always planning to put a knife in their back eventually. They have no interest in helping to throw some heavily armored faceless dipshit over the finish line so that the Dark Gods can destroy the world; that world is for SKAVEN. Horned Rat will eventually eat the other Gods anyway, and that includes the Big Four. The most useful partners they've had have tended to be the greenskins; they're easily duped and need the kind of help the Skaven provide. These 'friendships' and 'treaty-pledges' rarely last long-term, because in the end, Skaven can't even get along with Skaven, why would they bother making friends with anyone else?

Next Time: The Rat Life

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The Horned Rat should be noted as one of the most interventionist gods in the setting, too. His Avatars show up with surprising frequency when the Skaven are really on a roll...only to vanish once they manage to gently caress up.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Mors Rattus posted:

The Horned Rat should be noted as one of the most interventionist gods in the setting, too. His Avatars show up with surprising frequency when the Skaven are really on a roll...only to vanish once they manage to gently caress up.

Their God is as twitchy and hyperactive as they are. It's great.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Mors Rattus posted:

The Horned Rat should be noted as one of the most interventionist gods in the setting, too. His Avatars show up with surprising frequency when the Skaven are really on a roll...only to vanish once they manage to gently caress up.

Yeah, there's a reason the Council of 13 has a spot reserved for the Horned Rat. It's ALMOST always ceremonial but uh sometimes a Verminlord just loving pops up and you all piss yourselves.

DigitalRaven
Oct 9, 2012

When I kill you with a motor-car, you should have the common decency to stay dead, you horrid little object




One day, I would love to see Night compile a History of the Old World including crap like the Slann/Old Ones that doesn’t get explained in the WHFRP books directly.

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool



Toilet Rascal

kidkissinger posted:

Is there a good source for information on Beastmen? I'm considering as running them a little more empathetically in my game, but I want to see what's out there.

what you see is what you get, really. You can do a bit of pathos about abandoned mutant children getting brought into beastmen communities but even then it's mostly self-sustaining since they're mostly goatmen. I'm pretty sure the Beastmen were just a way for Games Workshop to reuse models for Broo, the beastmen from Glorantha, and are basically just those but without the weird sex stuff or interesting version of Chaos.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


DigitalRaven posted:

One day, I would love to see Night compile a History of the Old World including crap like the Slann/Old Ones that doesn’t get explained in the WHFRP books directly.

This is basically what my GM is doing (albeit with a lot of additions, changes, etc) over the course of our games and what made me love the setting. I actually don't know much about the official Slaan but I make note of all the Old One stuff because it's where my GM got the seeds of his ideas; there's just enough on them to come up with enough of a picture to go in a bunch of different directions.

Wrestlepig posted:

what you see is what you get, really. You can do a bit of pathos about abandoned mutant children getting brought into beastmen communities but even then it's mostly self-sustaining since they're mostly goatmen. I'm pretty sure the Beastmen were just a way for Games Workshop to reuse models for Broo, the beastmen from Glorantha, and are basically just those but without the weird sex stuff or interesting version of Chaos.

From what I understand, some of this is because originally they HAD the sex stuff and fluff about rape camps and all and were straight up Warhammer Broos, but someone at GW was smart enough to shut that poo poo down and say 'no, fine, no, these guys are just Chaos's jobbers/auxiliaries' because they knew that was a bad idea for the company to try to handle. Same with shutting down the original incarnation of the Fimir.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The Slaan are actually real interesting but you have to, like, read the fiction in the Lizardmen army books because no edition of WFRP has ever reached the point of talking about them.

Short form: the day to day work of the Lizardmen civilization is handled without their input at all. The Slann spend their entire time thinking about The Plan, abstruse philosophical argumentation, and how comfortable their chair is. They reserve a tiny section of their consciousness to pay attention to the actual physical world around them, which is about enough to process, like, compliments and pleasantries (they like being called fat) and spend the rest of their minds on telepathic conversations with each other and projecting their consciousness to other places.

This is actually dangerous to them, however- at least one Slann has gone dangerously mad because they spent all their time focusing on the problem of a city that was destroyed and occupied by a Daemon, and this allowed Chaos to get a foothold in their mind due to their mental projection into the city in an effort to figure out how to fight the Daemon. Of course, only other Slann know about this risk because the Slann do not tell the lesser Lizardmen anything, they only give instructions, and then but rarely. The Saurus largely govern themselves as a military cult, and the Skinks are left to do everything else.

(Kroxigor are basically gigantic children herded around by the Skinks for when manual labor or hitting people with a hammer the size of a tree are needed.)

E: Also, there have only ever been four generations of Slann. All of the first generation, who actually personally spoke with the Old Ones frequently, are dead. Lord Kroak was the last one of them. The Second and Third Generation are fading; of these, Mazdamundi is I believe Third Generation but as powerful as a Second, which is why he's respected and obeyed despite being a lunatic rear end in a top hat. These two generations at least saw the Old Ones but largely received instruction from the First Generation. Fourth Generation Slann never met the Old Ones personally, are the most common, and are the weakest, which is to say they're about on par with an Elven Archmaster.

E2: My favorite story is when a Skink takes a Tilean explorer to meet a Slann, and acts as his translator. And then afterwards, he takes the guy aside and explains to him that he refused to translate and instead told the Slann just basic compliments of his appearance, because the Tilean kept asking about diplomacy and matters of state and it would be unthinkable to trouble a Slann with those.

Mors Rattus fucked around with this message at 22:16 on Dec 5, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The main problem with Slaan is the same problem as all non-Skink Lizardmen: It's kind of hard to interact with them in an RPG when their whole thing is 'only ever give instructions' and 'impossibly powerful, but always on the frog internet'.

I think Slaan were hurt some by the fact that the Old Ones stuff is basically written out of WHF as the setting went. It was always treated as kind of an afterthought/relic of the 80s and the writers never really felt like doing much with the Ancient Aliens bit.

Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012



Night10194 posted:

quote:

One day, I would love to see Night compile a History of the Old World including crap like the Slann/Old Ones that doesn’t get explained in the WHFRP books directly.
This is basically what my GM is doing (albeit with a lot of additions, changes, etc) over the course of our games and what made me love the setting. I actually don't know much about the official Slaan but I make note of all the Old One stuff because it's where my GM got the seeds of his ideas; there's just enough on them to come up with enough of a picture to go in a bunch of different directions.
I realize that Lizardmen gossip is second only to rat antics when it comes to Warhammer factoids that get repeated in here, but if it's no trouble is there anyplace I could read more about whatever you guys have got going on here? You're making me curious.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Drakyn posted:

I realize that Lizardmen gossip is second only to rat antics when it comes to Warhammer factoids that get repeated in here, but if it's no trouble is there anyplace I could read more about whatever you guys have got going on here? You're making me curious.

I try to avoid talking about our home games too much because again, they diverged a lot from the canon setting (even if they're inspired by material in these books, like the Shaper being both a renegade and the creator of the Skaven). I'd prefer to mostly stick to the material I'm reviewing mostly because this thread is more for that sort of stuff than several years of metaplot established over a bunch of campaigns.

E: I mostly use home-game stuff as examples of having directly seen the mechanics in motion, like playing a Heroism knight after doing the Bret book and now realizing that Heroism is not just a little busted, but insanely broken (but amazing if you're playing a solo game and so don't have anyone to overshadow).

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 22:57 on Dec 5, 2018

Five Eyes
Oct 26, 2017


Mors Rattus posted:

E2: My favorite story is when a Skink takes a Tilean explorer to meet a Slann, and acts as his translator. And then afterwards, he takes the guy aside and explains to him that he refused to translate and instead told the Slann just basic compliments of his appearance, because the Tilean kept asking about diplomacy and matters of state and it would be unthinkable to trouble a Slann with those.

Is this the same story where the lizardmen don't consider "invasion by a dark elven army" sufficient cause to bother the Slann while he's working on a math problem?

Drakyn
Dec 26, 2012



Night10194 posted:

I try to avoid talking about our home games too much because again, they diverged a lot from the canon setting (even if they're inspired by material in these books, like the Shaper being both a renegade and the creator of the Skaven). I'd prefer to mostly stick to the material I'm reviewing mostly because this thread is more for that sort of stuff than several years of metaplot established over a bunch of campaigns.

E: I mostly use home-game stuff as examples of having directly seen the mechanics in motion, like playing a Heroism knight after doing the Bret book and now realizing that Heroism is not just a little busted, but insanely broken (but amazing if you're playing a solo game and so don't have anyone to overshadow).
Oh, no, I wasn't going to ask you to put it into the thread, I was just wondering if there was somewhere else on the internet you/anyone in your group was writing up info on your campaign. Sorry about that.

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Five Eyes posted:

Is this the same story where the lizardmen don't consider "invasion by a dark elven army" sufficient cause to bother the Slann while he's working on a math problem?

I think so.

e: overall, really, any game about playing Lizardmen should kind of treat the Slann as the social equivalent of weather. Occasionally, some kind of inexplicable orders will come down, and you have to keep this frog alive, but by and large they're not gonna be very important in the day to day adventuring life.

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