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ZeusJupitar
Jul 7, 2009


Mors Rattus posted:

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.

Five generations, with Mazdamundi being the only one of the five remaining second gens who can tear himself away from posting on Something Amphibian long enough to matter.

The lizard's shtick is their paralysing, society wide crisis of leadership. The Slann spend the vast majority of their effort trying to work out what the Old Ones wanted done, while the other Lizards wait for instructions from the Slann. Their two main protagonists are Mazdamundi, who decided to kill chaos first, worry about getting the plan back on track later, and Tehenhauin, the Skink Prophet of Sotek who took the fightback again Clan Pestiliens in to his own hands while his cities' Slann were succumbing to the plague.

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Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Drakyn posted:

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.

No problem. I'm afraid we don't have it up anywhere like that, since it's just something that started to grow out of a bunch of group and solo games over the years.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Mors Rattus posted:

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.

Lord Mazamundi simply has nothing to say to a bunch of PCs. He's got other things on his mind. Possibly he has everything on his mind.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


ZeusJupitar posted:

Five generations, with Mazdamundi being the only one of the five remaining second gens who can tear himself away from posting on Something Amphibian long enough to matter.

The lizard's shtick is their paralysing, society wide crisis of leadership. The Slann spend the vast majority of their effort trying to work out what the Old Ones wanted done, while the other Lizards wait for instructions from the Slann. Their two main protagonists are Mazdamundi, who decided to kill chaos first, worry about getting the plan back on track later, and Tehenhauin, the Skink Prophet of Sotek who took the fightback again Clan Pestiliens in to his own hands while his cities' Slann were succumbing to the plague.

Because I have problems when I used to play tabletop I would chant praises to Sotek as my Saurus smashed poo poo.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



ZeusJupitar posted:

Five generations, with Mazdamundi being the only one of the five remaining second gens who can tear himself away from posting on Something Amphibian long enough to matter.

The lizard's shtick is their paralysing, society wide crisis of leadership. The Slann spend the vast majority of their effort trying to work out what the Old Ones wanted done, while the other Lizards wait for instructions from the Slann. Their two main protagonists are Mazdamundi, who decided to kill chaos first, worry about getting the plan back on track later, and Tehenhauin, the Skink Prophet of Sotek who took the fightback again Clan Pestiliens in to his own hands while his cities' Slann were succumbing to the plague.

They also have a number of saurus leaders like Kroq-Gar who have decided that in the absence of instructions otherwise from the Slann, they're going to kill skaven and Chaos and anyone else who decides to cause problems for the lizardmen.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Isn't Lord Kroak the one who got so distracted bu the frog internet he never actually noticed that he's dead?

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


The Lone Badger posted:

Isn't Lord Kroak the one who got so distracted bu the frog internet he never actually noticed that he's dead?

Yes, his mummy gets carted around and when his ghost deigns to pay attention to things he's still one of the strongest wizards in existence in spite of the whole 'spirit hanging around a mummy' thing.


Cythereal posted:

They also have a number of saurus leaders like Kroq-Gar who have decided that in the absence of instructions otherwise from the Slann, they're going to kill skaven and Chaos and anyone else who decides to cause problems for the lizardmen.

That they get away with it is tacit approval from the Slaan really, since the Slaan are contemplating The Plan and you can't do that without paying at least some attention to how your own people are interacting with the state of the world.

Like at some level I think the Slaan mostly don't give a lot of direction because until they figure out what The Plan is they want to minimize how often they have to account for their own actions when contemplating the world. Unless they're Lord Mazdamundi, rear end in a top hat King of Natural Disasters.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





The Lone Badger posted:

Isn't Lord Kroak the one who got so distracted bu the frog internet he never actually noticed that he's dead?

Yeah, he only has one spell, too. Of course, it's one on the level the Old Ones themselves used so it's enough.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Huh, I finally found Errata for this game after noticing some errors in CotHR and hilariously, they went and decided Grail Virtue of Audacity (You can't take damage from a foe until you've hurt them) was 'too powerful' and needed to be toned down (to you get +4 DR against foes during a fight until you hurt one of them) while leaving Grail Virtue of Heroism (If you'd have done any damage, ignore all enemy armor retroactively, on top of Heroism's instant-kill move) untouched.

I, uh, really don't know the logic there, given how insanely good and broken Heroism is. It is by far the strongest of all of the Bret Virtues and Grail Virtue of Heroism is by far the strongest of the Grail Virtues, because anything that removes armor is often an effective +5 damage against top tier enemies. Not to mention when you combine that +5 damage with 'if you do 11+ damage you insta-crit regardless of HP if you're using a non-magic weapon' and you get Grail Heroism knights one-rounding Dragons.

E: I think in general the designers never quite grasped how important armor was, and how powerful ignoring armor was (given how common it gets in later published spell lists), and that that explains a lot about what happened with Dark Heresy.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 01:45 on Dec 6, 2018

White Coke
May 29, 2015


In one of the Gotrek & Felix books there's mention of Beastwomen who embody the peaceful aspects of nature while the Beastmen embody the destructive. They don't get much other mention though, so how they feel about Chaos's ultimate plan never comes up.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


So Clan Pestilens never seems to come up but they're actually kind of interesting. While there's every reason to believe otherwise, they're really not Nurgle worshippers. There's a very subtle difference that gets into why diseases are also part of the Horned Rat's 'things'.

Nurgle worshippers love disease because they just love the hell out of all of Nurgle's children and that includes some terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad plagues. The horrible gross disease organisms are equally His children as you and you should help them along by letting them hang out in your body, it'll be cool for you because Nurgle protects his own and everyone else, well, they should get with the program.

Clan Pestilens does not give an actual gently caress about the diseases except as a means to an end, and that end is the Horned Rat's: Decay. They thank the Horned Rat for the horrible SYMPTOMS of their diseases, and in turn he fills them with unnatural vigor to counter the ruin of their bodies. The Plague Censers are evidence enough of this, they take some disease agent and mix it in with warpstone incense to create a cloud of stuff that gives you the symptoms of a deadly plague but crucially does not actually GIVE you that plague. They also monkey around with diseases after they find them with warpstone, trying to make them as deadly as possible because diseases are just tools to them in the end. If I had to condense the argument, they're too loving Skaven to actually be Nurgle worshippers.

You can even see it in their design in contrast to Nurgle characters. The stereotypical Nurgle-ite is a bloated jolly mess, a big gross green slow Santa Claus motherfucker who wants you to hear the good word of being a big green gross slow Santa Claus motherfucker. Plague Monks, meanwhile, are just as gross and rotten in their way, but that way is looking like they barely have the strength to walk but whoops they're thrashing frothing loonies who'll stab the poo poo out of you much sooner than look at you.

Another fun fact, the caster from the Clan Pestilens list, as with all Skaven casters who aren't Grey Seers, gets one of the spells from the Lore of the Horned Rat (Pestilent Breath).

Feinne fucked around with this message at 03:24 on Dec 6, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


This is revenge for me going into Divis Mal early isn't it!?

But no, seriously, it's fine to do the clan stuff. I'll get to the book's versions soon, I'm happy people like the crazy rat sons.

E: I will say fighting Pestilens (or having them turn out to be secret Nurglites and sparking a massive holy war) is a good middle ground for a Skaven campaign that isn't too into either spending the whole game passing the buck or granting nazis ultimate victory.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 03:29 on Dec 6, 2018

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Night10194 posted:

This is revenge for me going into Divis Mal early isn't it!?

But no, seriously, it's fine to do the clan stuff. I'll get to the book's versions soon, I'm happy people like the crazy rat sons.

E: I will say fighting Pestilens (or having them turn out to be secret Nurglites and sparking a massive holy war) is a good middle ground for a Skaven campaign that isn't too into either spending the whole game passing the buck or granting nazis ultimate victory.

I just had to counter the scurrilous accusation that a dude named Nurglitch who really, really loves diseases works for Nurgle.

They would totally, totally hang out with Nurgle worshippers to talk shop and both sides would have no fun at all while agreeing to disagree that the other side are doing it wrong. Agreeing to disagree might involve terrible violence.

EDIT: I've actually pulled out my copy of The Loathsome Ratmen and All Their Vile Kin.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 03:48 on Dec 6, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Feinne posted:

I just had to counter the scurrilous accusation that a dude named Nurglitch who really, really loves diseases works for Nurgle.

They would totally, totally hang out with Nurgle worshippers to talk shop and both sides would have no fun at all while agreeing to disagree that the other side are doing it wrong.

My Nordlander Blood Dragon's big final boss was a rat-faced-mutant Nurgle Lord who had managed to convince rat-people that he, too, was a rat, how do you do fellow rat people despite being an eight foot tall fat viking in hellplate.

They deffo hang out.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 03:47 on Dec 6, 2018

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Feinne posted:

I just had to counter the scurrilous accusation that a dude named Nurglitch who really, really loves diseases works for Nurgle.

They would totally, totally hang out with Nurgle worshippers to talk shop and both sides would have no fun at all while agreeing to disagree that the other side are doing it wrong. Agreeing to disagree might involve terrible violence.

Protip: steer clear of the complimentary coffee and donuts.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


The art in Total Hams 2 made me fall in love with Skinks for some reason. They just look like the fun kind of Lizardmen.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


JcDent posted:

The art in Total Hams 2 made me fall in love with Skinks for some reason. They just look like the fun kind of Lizardmen.

Oh, Skinks are great. In general, Skinks and Saurus are both a lot of fun. They're some of the best models GW made/makes... which is admittedly a fairly low bar at times, but still.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




To bring both topics together, Skaven and Lizardmen also have a long history of amazingly brutal warfare by both species' standards, with a mutual genocidal hatred for one another. The Skinks are probably a good match for the Skaven too, being small, numerous, cunning, and having access to big stompy friends and terrifying poorly understood superweapons.

You don't see a lot of fluff about their society, but there's probably a lot to play with how you've got basically a multiracial theocratic society where basic communication between them is difficult; as mentioned, the Slann spend 99% of the time on Wizard Internet and may or may not be senile, the Saurus don't really understand anything outside of war and the Skinks are the ones who basically have to run the society and have the broadest skillsets. (the Kroxigor I like to think are the Skinks' big friends) Funny thing is that the Saurus are basically the Jem'Hadar from Star Trek. (Or vice versa, Saurus may have come first)

I do like the idea that Clan Pestilens is a result of Nurgle cross-pollination where the religious tenets are genuinely different filtered through a Skaven lens.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




Ghost Leviathan posted:

To bring both topics together, Skaven and Lizardmen also have a long history of amazingly brutal warfare by both species' standards, with a mutual genocidal hatred for one another.

As I recall it's thanks to the Skaven that the god Sotek has been growing in prominence and why blood sacrifices have become really popular. All of this comes more or less with the Slann's tacit agreeance.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Skinks Gone Wild

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



It helps that Sotek’s first manifestation as a deity was to appear as a giant snake that ate an entire Skaven army.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Also going to guess given Pestilens got several Slaan with some plagues the rest of them are not exactly broken up to see their followers trying to wipe them entirely the gently caress out with some serious zeal.

Also helps that Sotek is real, he is strong, and he is our friend.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




I'm sure plenty of humans and others could be easily convinced to support hacking off the Horned Rat's horns and feeding him to the snake god.

is that what's up with the amazons?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




So I noticed a coincidence while reading up the Volo's Guide and Skaven writeups: Gnolls and Skaven are basically what people want Orcs to be. Now that most campaign settings humanize orcs somewhat, the idea of orcs as a mockery of a sentient species with no redeeming features just got transplanted to gnolls. As in, they don't care about anything but killing and eating, their only culture is worshipping the Demon God of What We Were Going To Do Anyway, and they don't even reproduce naturally. Skaven are very similar in many ways, being spawned from an "industrialized breeding" process In both cases, it's emphasized that they're aggressive but cowardly, always seeking out the most vulnerable targets. And even on an individual level they have no redeeming features; they're psychopaths with no loyalty or affection among themselves beyond their shared goal of swarming over and destroying their enemies.

(Of course, Warhammer also has Orcs that literally grow from spores, but like D&D's hobgoblins, you can at least say that they love a good fight and are independent enough to have internal divisions and have an actually martial culture.)

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Pretty much.

That and they realized that the Skinks really don't want to fight humans they don't have to and will stop the Saurus if said humans manage to stop being idiot assholes long enough to negotiate.


e: honestly the big secret to understanding and negotiating with the Lizardmen is realizing that the Skinks are the ones in charge, because the actual leaders barely do anything.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Children of the Horned Rat

BE THE RAT

I've already mentioned, but rat language repeats words for emphasis and tends to be very quick and very clipped. They don't do long sentences, instead preferring to yell out multiple short fragments at a time. Monosyllabic words are the most commonly repeated, and sometimes a word will be said, then another word like it, in rapid succession to link the two and get across that both should be emphasized. For instance, Skaven tend to repeat yes or no. They almost never just say yes or no, it's usually yes-yes or no-no. Most Skaven statements are kind of exclamatory because they're very, very excitable. Other common compound words are things like 'treaty-pledge!' or 'eat-kill!'. They have an easy time learning and even speaking other languages, but have a very hard time dropping this speech pattern, even when they want to be disguised. Also, you see how I use a lot of commas and semicolons because I like to link clauses together? Rats don't do that. Ever. Only the most pretentious and educated Grey Seers will have so much as heard of the comma, and the knowledge of the noble semicolon is completely beyond these little lunatics. Queekish (ratprattle) is very hard for humans to speak, not just because of the velocity of the language, but because it incorporates the Skaven's love of musk.

Little guys just love spraying musk everywhere. Skaven can learn to control their musks enough to fool other ratmen with their poker-scent, and very few humans understand exactly how each stink means the rats are thinking, so they don't give away as much as you'd think. Our good buddy the Musk of Fear is actually a communal warning system, and it's only secreted when the rat is scared out of his loving mind. This is intended to warn all the other Skaven in a burrow or unit 'OH NO RATSNIK HAS NOTICED A SQUIG!'' and provoke a communal response to danger. Skaven culture having evolved as it has, the communal response is likely to be 'trip Ratsnik, run like hell'. Each individual rat has different triggers for their fear response, and all Skaven are in a constant state of anxiety, so you never know what's going to set one of them off. Once one goes off, the effect can push other rats over the edge, leading to the famous Skaven chain-rout, where all rats begin to run in all directions, screaming. In contrast, there is also the MUSK OF BATTLE, the musk saying 'alright rat people, we're cornered, we're all dead if we don't fight, bite, claw, and gnaw, until it is done!' which turns the normally twitchy and anxious rats into frenzied little survivalist murderers. This usually grows in response to a community running out of food or living space, and the concentration of murder-musk grows until the rats are sufficiently pungent to overcome their cowardice and go to war.

Skaven loving love drugs . loving love 'em. Skaven culture is surprisingly hedonistic, because if you can get away with goofing off from work and having fun somehow, you'd better do it now because you might be dead tomorrow. Most Skaven drugs are like Skaven: Designed to produce a short lived and intense euphoric delusion. Others have actual medical purposes, but more still are distributed to rats who are going into battle because the only thing faster than a Skaven is a Skaven on amphetamines. Besides, we all know nazis love amphetamines. Because the rats are so deeply tied with Warpstone, rather than just making them catch fire and die while growing eighty tentacles like humans, eating or snorting Warpstone dust is like very powerful cocaine for them. Warpstone addiction is common among Grey Seers, who use it for visions of the Horned Rat and the enhancement of their magic. In general, Skaven think of Warpstone as a divine gift from the Horned Rat that belongs to Skaven and ONLY Skaven. Even in places where a design wouldn't actually need Warpstone, they add Warpstone, because gently caress YEAH WARPSTONE.

Skaven Customs begin with Flattery. If you're the lower rat, you better know how to quickly and efficiently flatter a higher rat without appearing like you're trying to. Customary rat flattery is an actual art form among the Skaven, with an artist who is excellent at bigging up their bosses being expected to rise high in society regardless of any other merits. Skaven leaders can acquire so many titles via their fawning underlings that messages start to take awhile to deliver, oh great-mighty killer of cats, eater of cheeses, shrewd-brave devourer of man-things!

Another common custom is infanticide. You take someone else's burrow, you let the adults become slaves, but you eat the young rats. It's considered a victory party, really. Someone saw the bit where rats eat babies and decided that was going to be perfect for the spastic nazi rats. Skaven also piss on everything. Everything. They feel much more comfortable when their things smell like them, and their things include their subordinates. They also leave behind little trails of marking as they travel, not to mark territory, but to lead them home and show them where they've been.

I'm just going to quote the section on Nose Elevation in full, because it's perfect and I can't add anything:

"Body language plays a large role in Skaven communication. Posture, especially, is an indication of a Skaven's attitude towards his peers, underlings, and superiors. It is important for a lesser Skaven to keep his nose below the level of his master's. This can result in entire rooms of Skaven who seemingly bob their heads at random because each is attempting to give respect to those above him while at the same time maintaining his superiority over those below his station."

Really, that little bit says so much about our Strong Rat Sons. Another important custom is the constant verbal abuse of minions. If you aren't abusing your minions, how will they know you're more powerful than then? Not yelling at your subordinates and trying to make them feel like poo poo would be equivalent to acting like they're your equals, or letting them get away with leaving their nose as high as yours! Such a sign of weakness will surely be your dooooooom.

As many anxious people can attest, Skaven have all kinds of little luck rituals. Some of this is their actual worship of the Great Horned Rat, who really is watching (and laughing) at all times. He might step in to grant you exceptional luck if you please him and he thinks it would be funny, so saying little prayers constantly and wearing holy symbols is never amiss. The number 3 is lucky, for the three kinds of Skaven, and Skaven love bats because they see them as lucky kin that make cute squeaks. They hate cats. They will kill cats whenever they can, retaining an instinctive fear of kitties. They're also terrified of birds of prey, and especially owls. Verenans, you know your duty! Release the owls! Pipes are also forbidden in Skaven music because of an embarrassing incident where a human with a set of pipes (which must have been magic, the cheating man-thing!) led an entire Skaven army to drown itself. Skaven also grind their teeth, both because they're nervous, and because they're rodents. Their teeth grow constantly, so they're always bruxing, an actual thing rats do. Skaven prefer to have something to chew, whether it's food or a toy, rather than just grinding down their teeth against their teeth.

Rat worship of their God is basically the 2 Minutes Hate from 1984. All rats are expected to attend at least one short mass regularly, lest they be accused of atheism and either sacrificed to the Horned Rat ("Go tell-say he not real now, hahahAHAHA!") or just eaten. Skaven believe that younger sacrifices are better, because that means you've ruined more of the sacrifice's life by killing them. They're spiteful little jerks in their religion, and their religion is about being spiteful little jerks. Everything about the Great Horned Rat encourages the worst impulses of the ratmen, meaning he's almost as bad as the elves' Asuryan (he's still a little better, because at least he actually helps his rat sons sometimes). The Grey Seers are happy to keep the Skaven hateful and divided, but have to balance this between the necessity of stopping the masses from rising up and eating their oppressors and the necessity of allowing for mass action towards their glorious divine mandate of INHERIT-INHERIT the earth. No clan dares oppose the Seers directly, not least of which because they have the single most busted combat magic list in the RPG, but also because they are divinely blessed of the Horned Rat. He doesn't grant Divine Magic, but no Chosen rat is born without the ability to use magic. Spellcasting and warp-working are considered a divine gift among ratmen. Seers who oppose one another work to discredit each other, rather than trying to kill one another; they have so many pawns to use, why would they bother getting into a warp lightning duel? Because surviving long-term is hard even for Seers, age is one of their most important qualifiers, with the overall Seer Lord usually being the oldest rat, and sitting on the Council of 13.

Also they throw lightning like Emperor Palpatine, like, all the time. It's great.

Next Time: Skaven Government.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 15:16 on Dec 6, 2018

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



And yet, the Skaven are also the only species on the entire planet that have worked out a way to do magic mechanically.

Which is to say, by building engines. That do magic.

Engines that not infrequently overload and explode, mind you, and which they then staple to their backs because Clan Skryre's Warp-Engineers have less survival instinct than any other Skaven.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Halloween Jack posted:

So I noticed a coincidence while reading up the Volo's Guide and Skaven writeups: Gnolls and Skaven are basically what people want Orcs to be. Now that most campaign settings humanize orcs somewhat, the idea of orcs as a mockery of a sentient species with no redeeming features just got transplanted to gnolls. As in, they don't care about anything but killing and eating, their only culture is worshipping the Demon God of What We Were Going To Do Anyway, and they don't even reproduce naturally. Skaven are very similar in many ways, being spawned from an "industrialized breeding" process In both cases, it's emphasized that they're aggressive but cowardly, always seeking out the most vulnerable targets. And even on an individual level they have no redeeming features; they're psychopaths with no loyalty or affection among themselves beyond their shared goal of swarming over and destroying their enemies.

(Of course, Warhammer also has Orcs that literally grow from spores, but like D&D's hobgoblins, you can at least say that they love a good fight and are independent enough to have internal divisions and have an actually martial culture.)

One of the keys that makes the Skaven work as an Always Evil group is that they're patterned on goddamn Nazis instead of having an easy map to some marginalized or oppressed group.

It's actually really interesting in that you can make the argument that a lot of the Peoples of Chaos are its victims by means of geography and have been forced into service, having cultures that have essentially been colonized by the force that controls them and uses them as slaves. Meanwhile, the Skaven are absolutely the authors of their own misery. Biology plays a role, sure, but their biology and impulses could have just as easily pushed them into extreme cooperation given how social they are. It might have, if their 'build a paradise for ratmen' drill hadn't exploded. Instead, they chose fascism and paranoia, and now they're as sad as they make everyone else. Even their population/food issue is Skaven-made, not biologically determined, because of the lust of the powerful to have more and more expendable workers and soldiers. Whatever you're doing for how they have children, they choose to do it in unsustainable numbers because it suits the top of their society to have an endless supply of workers and soldiers, no matter what pressures and misery it causes.


Mors Rattus posted:

And yet, the Skaven are also the only species on the entire planet that have worked out a way to do magic mechanically.

Which is to say, by building engines. That do magic.

Engines that not infrequently overload and explode, mind you, and which they then staple to their backs because Clan Skryre's Warp-Engineers have less survival instinct than any other Skaven.

They just understand that being incredibly cool is worth dying for. 'HEY-HEY, WATCH-LOOK THIS!' are completely acceptable last words.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Mors Rattus posted:

And yet, the Skaven are also the only species on the entire planet that have worked out a way to do magic mechanically.

Which is to say, by building engines. That do magic.

Based on the descriptions we've gotten so far, this may be because they're the only ones capable of just ignoring warpstone radiation, which is a clear advantage in manipulating sorcerous energies with a material component.

Ego Trip
Aug 28, 2012


Mors Rattus posted:

And yet, the Skaven are also the only species on the entire planet that have worked out a way to do magic mechanically.

Which is to say, by building engines. That do magic.

Engines that not infrequently overload and explode, mind you, and which they then staple to their backs because Clan Skryre's Warp-Engineers have less survival instinct than any other Skaven.

How many Doomwheels? Not enough Doomwheels.

Never enough Doomwheels.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ego Trip posted:

How many Doomwheels? Not enough Doomwheels.

Never enough Doomwheels.

I have horrible news.

There are no Doomwheels in this book.

It was written at a time when they'd been written out of the setting/TT game, I believe.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



I am going to take this opportunity to mention Clan Skryre's sub-chieftain, who is one of my favorite Skaven characters: Ikit Claw.

Ikit Claw is named that because during an experiment, he hosed up and exploded, vaporizing most of the flesh on his face and one arm. He decided to solve this problem by nailing a metal plate to his face and building himself a prosthetic death arm.

The arm is powered by a surprisingly stable warplock engine, which he has named Stormdaemon, on his back, which absorbs ambient magic and converts it to electrical power. He has stolen Cathayan and Lustrian technology for study and trained under Chaos Dwarf forgemasters, and so has revolutionized Skryre industrial tech with his discoveries. And so he has developed a safe, miniaturized version of the warpfire thrower, which fires warpstone napalm.

And he has implanted this in his giant mechanical death claw, so that he can shoot fire out of his palm.

His greatest creation is the Doomsphere, a warpstone nuke that he nearly got to deploy twice. Each time, the dwarves led by Klarak Bronzehammer ended up destroying it at the last minute. He is also the inventor of the Doomwheel.

e: Ikit Claw is who baby Skaven dream of being when they grow up.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


One of the interesting things across the entire WHFRP line is how little they go into characters like Ikit. Whenever they do talk about major NPCs, it's when they're either completely essential to the story/setting (like all the Katarin stuff in Kislev, since the politics of the land revolve around her and her struggle) or you're meant to interact with them, like Mannfred just so happening to have perfect stats to be a final boss.

I suspect this is done for two reasons, both of them good. One, the authors know they're writing for a setting with a lot of other material. If I want to use Ikit Claw, it's probably because I know Ikit Claw from somewhere else, and already have lots of details on Ikit. Two, it lets them avoid the sense of a setting where the powerful NPCs are doing everything, and it can be easy to fall into that with a setting with as many 'this guy is the hardest motherfucker ever' characters by virtue of how wargaming fluff is written. So I can have Malagor the Dark Omen or Morghur the Mutator show up as generals when I want to run a Beastman war arc without the books having to spend ages telling me who they are, because I've got other books to do that. They can then focus more on the kind of stuff individual RPG characters are more certain to run into.

It's one of the better features of the setting writing.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


There's never enough Doomwheels because half of them are careening the wrong way.

grassy gnoll
Aug 27, 2006

The pawsting business is tough work.

Night10194 posted:

They just understand that being incredibly cool is worth dying for. 'HEY-HEY, WATCH-LOOK THIS!' are completely acceptable last words.

SKAVEN, A MORAL TALE

The WARLOCK ENGINEER is in his laboratory, with his ASSISTANT and SLAVES, preparing to turn on a new invention. The ENGINEER steels his courage by taking a long drink from a tankard.

ENGINEER
Hold-hold warpstone-brew!

The ENGINEER passes his drink to his assistant, who discreetly poisons it. The ENGINEER switches on the device, which promptly explodes, setting the ENGINEER aflame. As his master dies and the stink of burning hair fills the room, the ASSISTANT takes a satisfied swig of warpstone beer. The ASSISTANT has enough time to do a spit-take before he dies. The SLAVES fight over the dropped tankard as the laboratory bench starts to smolder.

Enter ANOTHER ENGINEER. ANOTHER ENGINEER looks around the burning laboratory, kicks the SLAVES, and takes the tankard for himself, holding it aloft for the audience to see.


ANOTHER ENGINEER
Glory-triumph to the Horned Rat, darkest of gods, gnawer of world-bones!

Curtain. Performers who survive the backstage knife fights are customarily tipped for their efforts.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


Mors Rattus posted:

And yet, the Skaven are also the only species on the entire planet that have worked out a way to do magic mechanically.

Which is to say, by building engines. That do magic.

Engines that not infrequently overload and explode, mind you, and which they then staple to their backs because Clan Skryre's Warp-Engineers have less survival instinct than any other Skaven.

I mean sometimes exploding is just the price you pay for shooting huge gouts of black lightning and surviving in Skaven society would be impossible if you were the sort to be worried about the risks of your actions.

So on Skaven speech, we even know that only the most pretentious of Grey Seers knows things like 'what is a comma', because you just have to pull up any of the books where Grey Seer Thanquol shows up. It's great because when he feels like he has the upper hand and is calm he rarely does things like link words, but then when everything comes crashing down because he's a paranoid piece of poo poo who spends most of his time doing some light treason because he wants full credit for all success that happens adjacent to him that veneer slips and he goes full rant mode just like any other Skaven.

While they are in fact always evil, I'd almost say that the more accurate term for them is that they're Always Assholes. They don't have a particular commitment to evil as an ideology, they're just little fascist rat assholes who live in exactly the sort of broken society you'd imagine little fascist rat assholes WOULD live in. I also feel like rat fascism manifests a bit differently in the Greater Clans, since they're basically two competing arms of the rat MIC, a weird fascist theocracy, and the secret police.

Feinne fucked around with this message at 17:36 on Dec 6, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


grassy gnoll posted:

Curtain. Performers who survive the backstage knife fights are customarily tipped for their efforts.

Thank you for this.

E: Also, In the Hall of the Mountain King is pretty much all I listen to when writing the updates because it fits exactly these kinds of messes.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:37 on Dec 6, 2018

Snorb
Nov 19, 2010


Maybe "Powerhouse" would fit the mess that is Skaven technology.

Particularly when it starts exploding.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Skaven are weirdly endearing for being fascist little rat bastards (literally) with no redeeming qualities. It's just hard for me to hate them when they're so entertaining. I think that's what makes them good villains that players are expected to play as, because no matter how terrible they are on some level you can't help but cheer for Mange Vermintail as he fails upwards before dyinging in the most hilarious manner possible.

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By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




The best quote about the oVamp Sabbat described them as fun to watch:
"Like the Three Stooges with chainsaws"

Skaven are all that AND Wile. E. Coyote.

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