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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Poison seems like a way to non-magically turn intelligence and knowledge into an advantage against a rampaging beast. Hell, you can also use it to simulate spell-like effects in a lot of ways with some degree of "fantasy world" reasoning - of course if there's bugbears and otyughs around there there might be a way to create a reliable and essentially-never-lethal sleeping gas.

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Tibalt
May 14, 2017


I mean, I feel like the main response to Gygax's "You could just kill the dragon with poison!!" fear is... it's a dragon. Even a Young Dragon is the size of an elephant, and is going to weight 40x your regular humanoid. And if somebody wants to be a poison-maker, just figure out how the class works in a reasonable way. Base it off of save-or-suck spells like Sleep or whatever, just keep it in line with all that.

Edit: Then again, he gave Clerics the turn undead ability because he couldn't tell his one player to knock it off with the vampire poo poo, so... yeah.

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.


Joe Slowboat posted:

I think the real answer is to let poison be powerful and then address the fact that humans haven't actually used it that much in warfare. Probably due to a major difficulty in delivering it, it requires huge expertise to safely apply and use, and it's hard to acquire and keep.

Basically, being stabbed with a sword should be a much more sure way of killing someone unless you're a practiced assassin dedicated to poisons. Even cultures that use poisoned arrows don't have a huge advantage over cultures that just... have arrows, especially against other humans.

Or just say 'poison's not realistic in this setting, it's something about heroic willpower' and make it a debuff you apply with a sword or darts.

It is, you just have to gravitate to mustard gas/artillery delivery or at the least poisoning wells and etc, and if you're desperate enough to do that, so is the guy you're fighting.

Its more an issue of D&D and other fantasy games not really getting the difference between small group brawling/murdering and line/army fighting, which from what I understand only have a moderate overlap of skills.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Ronwayne posted:

It is, you just have to gravitate to mustard gas/artillery delivery or at the least poisoning wells and etc, and if you're desperate enough to do that, so is the guy you're fighting.

Its more an issue of D&D and other fantasy games not really getting the difference between small group brawling/murdering and line/army fighting, which from what I understand only have a moderate overlap of skills.

Fine, for pedantry's sake: Organic poisons of the type generally available to the quasi-medieval societies in D&D-land have not been used in mass warfare on the battlefield, and it is only with the production of mass airborne chemical weapons that it became a major element in warfare. Not coincidentally, the gas mask was mass-produced as a response, which more or less made airborne chemical weapons into a tool of terror, rather than direct military application. As such, D&D characters exist in a milieu where it's quite reasonable to say poison was not a major part of battlefield tactics.

Also if you really want to poison a well you don't need 'poison' the way we tend to think of it, you just pitch a decaying carcass in and you'll do a number on the people who live there. The barriers to that aren't technical questions of poison's applicability or method of delivery.

punishedkissinger
Sep 20, 2017



But there are magic plaints and poo poo

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.


Yeah, I'm just being a pendantic nerdy poo poo but that's really really hard not to do in FATAL and friends.

I'm also really enjoying Battle Brothers because it acknowledges "yeah, I could hire an expensive badass with exotic stabby skills, or I could just hire the biggest cornfed hick I can find for pennies who's only okay at stabbing people but really good at wearing shitloads of armor and not getting tired."

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


The whole 'mustard gas' is an interesting example because oldschool DnD did in fact have that sort of 'poison' gas, green dragons breathe out clouds of chlorine.

I feel like when we're discussing barbarians with ten arrows sticking out of them dismissively pulling them out then stabbing the goblins to death with their own arrows we've already answered the question of 'realistic' poison being a thing because a dude just got shot with ten arrows and isn't in shock bleeding to death or re-enacting the last scene from Throne of Blood.

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.


Well, the "big meaty kill guy who shrugs off all damage" is also in a game with "super stabby ninja guy one shotting the big meaty kill guy" and they're honestly two different families of tropes despite D&D/elf games kludging them together.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Ronwayne posted:

Well, the "big meaty kill guy who shrugs off all damage" is also in a game with "super stabby ninja guy one shotting the big meaty kill guy" and they're honestly two different families of tropes despite D&D/elf games kludging them together.

Well, Game Of Thrones at least balanced that both those two off, quite famously.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Ronwayne posted:

It is, you just have to gravitate to mustard gas/artillery delivery or at the least poisoning wells and etc, and if you're desperate enough to do that, so is the guy you're fighting.

Its more an issue of D&D and other fantasy games not really getting the difference between small group brawling/murdering and line/army fighting, which from what I understand only have a moderate overlap of skills.
Dr. McNinja is best used on the field of war by having him geek the enemy commanders and message runners. But against monsters in a dungeon, now...

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



If you're wearing armour, having ten arrows sticking out of you and not being that bothered by it can definitely be a thing.

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.


Young Freud posted:

Well, Game Of Thrones at least balanced that both those two off, quite famously.

Right after that episode aired I noticed a disturbing numbers of players saying they were inflicting eyeball related violence.

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised




Of course the sensible answer of having poisons be various useful but balanced debuffs, duration effects and damage over time accessible by specialists is icky 4e badwrongfun apparently.

The way people traditionally think about RPGs seems incredibly stupid and inimicable to good game design or creativity, everything has to be a binary of useless or completely broken if it's not swinging swords at each other over and over like video game NPCs until the wizard blows everyone away.

Piell
Sep 3, 2006

Grey Worm's Ken doll-like groin throbbed with the anticipatory pleasure that only a slightly warm and moist piece of lemoncake could offer



Young Orc

HP isn't realistic, why should poison be

LongDarkNight
Oct 25, 2010

It's like watching the collapse of Western civilization in fast forward.

Oven Wrangler

KingKalamari posted:

Basically in the original AD&D Player's Handbook there's an extended section in which Gygax goes on a long tirade where he implores the prospective player to never use poisoned weapons under the justification that it would trivialize combat using the example that players could almost instantly fell a Red Dragon with poisoned weapons. To enforce this aversion Gygax goes so far as to declare all right-thinking NPCs despise the use of poison and will run off to get the city guard to arrest you should you try to use poison in their presence.

Hah, remembering the first D&D campaign I played in as new roleplayer (3.0). My Legolas with the serial numbers filled off tried to buy poison and got thrown in jail forever. Never even made it to his first dungeon.

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.


VERISIMILITUDE

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos


Ratoslov posted:

I dunno, but it shows up all the time in both fiction and amateur economics. See also Dragonlance, where steel is so rare that they're not on the gold standard, they're on the steel standard. Yes, you can make a pretty good living melting down swords into coin in this monster-infested land.

Nessus posted:

It seems like in these situations you'd start seeing a lot of weapons with iron bodies and steel edges, like glorious Nippon.

This is exactly the case. Most (post-Cataclysm) Dragonlance weapons are primarily iron; only really good or really fancy ones are actually steel.

I'm pretty sure even the writers usually forget they said that, though, and it still doesn't work great.

Prism fucked around with this message at 15:03 on Dec 16, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Children of the Horned Rat

Awaken, my masters!

It is time, at last, to talk about making rats. When you decide to make a party of rats, the first thing you do is roll d10 for each player. Anyone who gets a 1 can choose what kind of rat they are. Everyone else is a Common rat. See, there are three kinds of rat: Common (brown rat), Mighty (black rat), and Chosen (white rat). They are very mechanically distinct from one another and both the Chosen and the Mighty are more powerful than the Common. If a player gets a 1 and chooses to become a Chosen, they can nominate and promote one player to Mighty in return for that player promising to be their loyal bodyguard through whatever internecine horseshit the party gets up to; Stormvermin are actually trained to be relatively loyal and to mostly only betray other Stormvermin. Similarly, a character who gets a 1 can trade away choosing their rat type to another player for similar treaty-pledges of working together once in game. If no-one rolls a 1, you're all Common rats, which is a very likely outcome. If you break these treaty-pledges, the Horned Rat will not be happy (the GM is encouraged to set up a specific and agreed upon punishment for betrayal in this case) because this whole process is secretly part of tricking your 'backstabbing' party into still working together enough to sustain a campaign.

Naturally, part of the problem is the high chance no-one rolls a 1. Or that two players do, and you end up with two Chosen and two Mighty and no Clanrats, because while Chosen and Mighty are powerful they're a bit locked into strict 'wizard' and 'fighter' tracks. I'd have probably added a provision that if no-one does, you can come up with another way of picking your one special rat if people want one non-Clanrat.

The stat modifiers for rats are very extreme. The Chosen get -10 to WS and BS, but +5 Tough, +5 Agi, +10 Int, and +5 Willpower, plus start with Savvy and Coolheaded, so they're more effectively +15 Int, +10 WP. They also start with 1 base Mag, but only human Movement. Grey Seers are some of the most powerful mages in the game once they get through their poor first career. Until then, they'll be dependent on hiding behind their Stormvermin and squeaking out orders at the other rats to 'protect-protect me!'. They get 9-12 Wounds (like an elf) and 1-3 Fate. They are the only rat guaranteed to have Fate, which is another problem we'll talk about later.

The Mighty are the best physical fighting race in the game outside of vampires or a Chaos Lord with a lot of favorable mutations. They get +10 WS, +10 S, +10 T, -5 Int, -10 Fel. Plus start with Coolheaded, and their automatic first career, Black Skaven, will get them Very Resilient and potentially Lightning Reflexes as well. They get 11-14 Wounds and 0-2 Fate, with a 40% chance of having 0 Fate. I have played a Black Skaven, Mighty Nightfang, and he rolled well for stats meaning by a little ways into Stormvermin he was up to 64% WS, 60% Str, that kind of stuff. He had stats by a bit into his 2nd career that would've made for a decent 'normal' endgame warrior and could've dumpstered the average Chaos Champion or fledgling vamp by himself. Stormvermin are just nuts as physical fighters. Something in Careers is going to make them even crazier; we'll get to it when we get to it. Suffice to say Mighty Skaven are perhaps a little overtuned physically. Given how vain and huge they are, I tend to assume Stormvermin practice posing and preening all the time.

A Common Skaven gets -5 WP, -10 Fel, +5 Agi, +5 Tough, has 8-11 Wounds, and 0-1 Fate. Only a 30% chance of having a single Fate Point, because you're an expendable little rat. Common roll for their home clan (or pick, if you don't want to be mean to them. Be nice to the poor little rat). ONLY Commons who roll one of the Great Clans can ever go into that Great Clan's cool signature class tracks. The signature tracks are one of the biggest reasons you might want to play a Common. Eshin learn both stealth skills for being Eshin, Moulder learn Animal Training and Command, Pestilens all get Theology and Dodge Blow, and Skryre get Scale Sheer Surface and Silent Move. Mors get Command and Prepare Poison. A genuine minor clan gets nothing. Other Warlord Clans all get a single crappy skill. You want to be a Great Clan rat. If you are, and you roll Clanrat for your starting career (which is very likely) you can replace it with Nightrunner (Eshin), Packmaster (Moulder), Plague Monk (Pestilens), or Skirmisher (Skryre). All of these are better than Clanrat (though Clanrat only takes 6 advances to finish, which is a value in and of itself). Only Commons actually roll for Career. Chosen are all Apprentice Seers and Mighty all start as Black Skaven, which are a bit like Pit Fighters.

Also, unlike in human PC creation, when you replace one of your bad stats with an 11, the fluff is that when you were a pup another Skaven with the slightly better stats ate your first Skaven and you're playing that guy instead.

Now, why is not having Fate a problem? The problem with it isn't so much purely mechanical (though it does greatly weaken Common rats) as it is that managing Fate and deciding when to spend Fortune is one of the important meaningful decisions of the game's moment to moment gameplay. Your stock of rerolls is an important part of engagement in and decision making within the game. I've played 2 campaigns as a Vampire, thus having 0 Fate Points the whole time, and it changes the tenor of the game entirely. I suspect, based on that, that some of the intent in greatly limiting Skaven Fate was that having 0 Fate makes you play a lot more cautiously. A mixture of fluff about how you're probably going to die and you're not special, but also a way to encourage players not to push their luck. The problem is it engenders passivity, and part of being a Skaven is also deciding to take wild, crazy, energetic risks every now and then when your greed and ambition overcome your cowardice. Active PCs are simply more fun to GM for than people who are paralyzed with worry. But most important is that choosing when and why to use Fortune is really important to early gameplay, too; it's what makes the original 50-50 or so odds work at low levels. If I had to compromise, I'd give Skaven Fortune but say they don't have much Fate or just fluff burning Fate as your first rat dying and being replaced by a coincidentally mechanically identical rat with a different hat and perhaps a cute little mustache.

To replace Fate, we get another rule called Favor of the Horned Rat and I hate it. At the start of every session, you roll d10, write down the number and ask the players to guess. Anyone who has precisely guessed the number has The Favor of the Horned Rat, which can be spent exactly like 1 Fortune Point. They do not know they have the Favor until they try to spend it and you tell them they don't. That takes the actual resource management aspect out of the mechanic entirely and just turns it into a 10% chance that you have any rerolls each session. Also the Chosen can steal all the Favors for himself with that 'steal the Favor' petty spell I mentioned in Magic. 'Killing a character who has the Favor grants you the Favor', except you don't know who has it, and earlier and later they're generally going to advise against straight PVP. This is a bad rule made worse by the fact that keeping it secret completely ruins the purpose of a resource management system like reroll stocks. It's a 'whacky' rule designed to produce comedic gotcha moments, which are not a good idea; better to let the rats actually be funny by being overreaching jerks in play, especially when they'll know they almost certainly don't have the Favor and act accordingly anyway.

Next Time: All four major class tracks are broken in some way

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Steel coins don't make any sense, though, because steel is an artificially created alloy and not a naturally occurring substance.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Children of the Horned Rat

Who did the proof reading for any of this

So, Rat Classes. Rat Classes are actually kind of fun, but every single one of them has something bafflingly weird about it.

Let's start with Clanrat, because if you aren't a special rat you're probably going to be a Clanrat (though Common Rats can roll all kinds of other careers from the corebook, like Mercenary or Agitator). Clanrat is what most players would have imagined Peasant to be: Terrible. The very poor skills and Talents hurt because it's your starting class and you get those for free. It also only gets +5 WS and BS, +5 Agi, +5 WP and +2 Wounds for Advances. But this also means you finish Clanrat in 500 EXP (since you get 1 free advance at start). And it goes into loving everything. Clanrats can become the Special Track for their clan. Clanrats can become Barber Surgeons. Clanrats can become Zealots. Clanrats can become Rat Sergeants (Clawleader). Clanrats finish Clanrat extremely quickly and then can go pretty much wherever they want, and with how Career swapping works, that actually keeps that option open at any time in their advancement. This is a really interesting mechanic for a likely first career for rat mooks. Clanrats also get Sling proficiency and are still good at stealth, so they're not totally useless. Also get a shield and most of a set of leather armor!

Black Skaven are basically Pit Fighters and locked into going into Stormvermin if they want to go to second tier right away. This is fine, though, they're happy with 'good at fight'.

Apprentice Grey Seers actually have an unusually long 1st tier, having 13 advances (I'm guessing this is on purpose) to get through it. They're terrible because their Petty Magic is terrible. You play a Grey Seer to get to Actual Grey Seer.

Nightrunners are Clanrats but with better stats, Fleet of Foot (6 Movement means you can almost keep up with a barded warhorse and can potentially outrun a vampire, very important for rat), and the option to learn Throwing instead of Sling. Also actually get Dodge, which is kind of important. With +10 WS and BS, and +10 Agi, the Nightrunner is actually an okay ninja. And they can go right into Ninja Sorcerer or Gutter Runner. Eshin Nightrunner is a fun starting class.

Moulder Packmasters get a pet Giant Rat (functionally pretty equivalent to a Small, But Vicious Dog) and two useful weapon proficiency talents, plus an all new talent called Master of the Lash that gives +20 to Animal Training and Command with Moulder creations. They were originally missing Two-Handed to use their Things Catcher but it was added in in Errata. They also get Entangling. They've got a good spread of wide, minor stat buffs, good Wounds, and combined with their Clan skills, they start with Command and Animal Training at +10. Like all Skaven except Mighty, they also know stealth. They're really solid characters and having a combat pet early is very helpful. That Things Catcher they start with is mean, too. SB+1 and Snare so that you can lock someone in place for your mates to beat on them is the Skaven way.

Plague Monks are little berserker lunatics. They're good enough at melee, and with their Pestilens skills will get +10 to Dodge Blow right off the bat and oh boy they have Frenzy. Their real selling point is being a 1st Tier with Fearless. This means they never, ever need to make Fear or Terror tests, which with Skaven WP is a really good thing for them. Otherwise, they're basically an alternate take on the human Zealot that doesn't know how to use Flails. They can go into their Plague Priest track or become a Censer Bearer if you're a lunatic who loves dying and also killing.

Skryre Skirmishers are Skaven gunslingers. They come with a Jezzail or a pair of Warplock Pistols (or a Poison Wind Globe, but uh, just one and you also never learn to use it) and come with Master Gunner and Rapid Reload plus a good BS. So you're either a solid rat sniper who is good at sneaking and climbing and maintaining his gear (seriously, every Great Clan's 1st tier also gives the skills the Great Clan does so they start at +10) or a scampering rat gunslinger with not one, but two pistols. They don't lead directly into a second Skryre class, instead doing Engineer or Pistolier (depending on if you like the tech or the guns better) from the core book before going into Warlock Engineer. They're really good early on. Warplock weapons deal with early game threats really well.

Advanced Careers are where it really gets weird. The Censer Bearer won't be gone over in detail, but suffice to say they're badass second tiers who will die because of their censer, since it hurts them every round and they're not allowed to leave the career except by dying. They're a high powered dead end.

The Clan Chieftain is the glaring black hole of Skaven Classes. Almost every Career Track can end in Chieftain. Chieftain is also one of the most powerful fighting classes in the game. No, I don't know why. On the Tabletop game, a Clan Chief is a minor Hero who helps stiffen a line by having slightly better leadership and gear. A useful utility leader. Here he is the ender of worlds. At +40 WS, +30 BS, +30 S, +30 T, +40 Agi, +30 Int, +20 WP, +25 Fel, +2 Attacks, +6 Wounds, and a huge host of skills and talents, you have almost no reason to play any other class but Chief as soon as you can get to it, because whatever you want, it's in Chief. A Chief can dumpster a Demon Slayer faster than you can say 'Gotrek Gurnisson'. That's right, they made a minor Skaven hero stronger than the legendary Dwarf Slayer capstone. I do not understand the Chief's design at all. Yes, you still need to buy all those advances, but by having them all available in one place, you encourage everyone to end up a Chief as soon as they can, especially as most of the special talents and skills from another track are acquired by its 2nd class, which can then promote into Chief. Chief is badly designed and needed a lot of toning down; they should be closer to Captain in the main book.

Grey Seer and Seerlord are both very good heavy casting classes, but pretty conventional aside from the Seerlord getting +1 A and much higher physicals than you'd expect. Seerlords also get extraordinarily high Fellowship and WP to go with their +40 Int; there's a lot of power creep going on in the general class design in this book. But what really matters for a Seerlord is that they're a 3rd tier class with 4th level magic the same way an Ice Witch is. Unlike the Ice Witch, they cannot exit Seerlord. You're stuck in that career and just have to make due with Priest level combat abilities and Wizard Lord magic, poor you.

The Gutter Runner is a weird class. They're okay at ranged and melee, they're excellent at thieving and infiltration, and they're sort of a cross between a Spy and a fighter. They also get the hilarious Art of Silent Death, turning their fists into daggers, but sadly lack Street Fighting (+10 WS unarmed, +1 Damage) to really capitalize on martial arts. They promote into Master Assassins, who are...disappointing. They're much worse fighters (and worse at Agility) compared to the Chief that the Gutter Runner could've promoted into, at only +25% WS and BS. They have poor S and T for a third tier fighter. They never get Strike Mighty or Strike to Injure. Also, because you started with +10 in your stealth skills already, you probably bought them to +20 in Gutter Runner and so the option to do so by promoting into Assassin isn't very compelling. The only thing they get is Tail Fighting (which isn't mechanically fleshed out enough to be worth it) and Wall Runner, which doesn't actually let them run on walls. It lets them move faster while climbing. You will be a better assassin by promoting into Chief. That's sad. That's very sad.

Master Moulder and Master Mutator are both solid fighters (except for lacking Dodge Blow) and pet trainers who are supposed to have great physical stats comparatively, but this is let down by Chief being better than Master Mutator at everything physical because Chief is loving insane. Moulders also get Fleshmoulding, which is its own subsystem for dangerous genetic enhancement handled later. They're great pet handlers and warriors, with the Mutator getting +2 Attacks, +30 WS, +30 Toughness, etc. They also get Surgery and the Master Moulder does learn Heal, though they don't get chances to put it up to +10 or +20 by having it at other ranks. If they'd had Two-Handed from the start (they would otherwise never actually be able to use their clan's signature weapon, the Things Catcher) they'd have been the one non-broken class tree! They're fun to play but also suffer from the all-devouring void of the Clan Chief.

I've gone over the primary issue of the Plague Priest track already, namely that they have Divine level casting stats but Arcane casting numbers that are very hard to hit, but they have another hilarious problem without Errata. They get a special ability called Brew Contagion for making plagues. It requires Trade (Brewer) tests. Can you guess what skill they forgot to give them until the Errata noticed? So they couldn't actually use either of their major class features well (magic and bio warfare). Mechanically, they're mostly just Priest-like. Except their Trappings give them a flail they never, ever learn to use but eh. The Priest also can't go into anything but Clan Chief, so they can never go into, say, a Mag 3 High Priest class.

Sorcerers are actually surprisingly good fighters for wizards, though they don't get extra attacks. They also get Mag 2 right in Sorcerer, and you can go into Sorcerer from Nightrunner OR from Gutter Runner (in which case you DO have a second attack). They can also jump into Gutter Runner to become better fighters if they started from Nightrunner, or go on to the core-book Master Wizard class to represent becoming a superior Rat Lo Pan. They're a really neat option and fun side track for Eshin.

Stormvermin is an utterly generic 2nd tier melee specialist who mostly stands out for being minmaxed to hell, getting Very Resilient, Very Strong, and Warrior Born on top of good (if quick) advances that will lead to most Stormvermin finishing their career pretty fast. From here they can go into Veteran or Clawleader for the most part, depending on if they want to be a Champion or a Chief.

Clawleaders are similarly very generic Sargent types who get +1 Attacks and some basic leadership, who are mostly a very quick second tier leader class that you guessed it, goes into Chief.

Finally, the Warlock Engineer never actually learns to throw the globes he's got, and is kind of a mishmash of a class. It can't decide if it's a fighter or totally focused on the engineering, getting a bunch of the Ranged talents and +1 A, but very little in the way of BS for a 3rd tier. It gets good Agi and Int at least. Naturally, it goes into Clan Chief. Also can never learn to use Halberds, despite a Halberd Warp Blade being a signature item for Engineers.

And that's our Strong Rat Sons. They're a mess, and Chief really, really needs to be less of the Inevitable End of All Rat Tracks. I have no idea what they were thinking with that class. Also note how many of the specialists are either weird at their job (Assassin) or needed Errata to put back something they needed to do their job (Moulder, Pestilens), or just never learn to use something despite having it (Skryre). Also they never consider that Pistolier is a cavalryman and rats don't do cavalry, and there's no advice on adapting such classes, of course. This is what I mean when I say this book's mechanical side is shoddy. It needed more attention and more thought put into it than it got, and it always feels hurried.

Next Time: Improve Improve

megane
Jun 20, 2008





Yes-yes, we write Skaven book quick-fast, get-get nerd money. No explosions this time! All rules good-great! Class options balanced! Mostly!

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

See what I mean by being even more of a creator's pet faction than Chaos? Don't those superpowered classes just reek of "Skaven are the bestest everest and best at everything and cool" ?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


It's close enough to normal for 3rd tier in most cases; most of the classes are right on, or too weak like Assassin (who is probably being built to reflect the disappointing human Assassin), just shoddily put together with respect to doing their thing. The Chief is just a weird, weird oversight of a black hole that drags all the class design down by being both easy to get into and much, much too all-encompassing. The problem is primarily that when Chief is there, why take any other third tier, since every second tier gets the option?

E: If I was redoing the Chief, I'd make them a fairly weak fighter for a 3rd tier, but good at leading and give them the TT Verminous Valor rule as a special talent. Something that boosts their party's morale against fear based on how many rats they've got around. That would fill in a gap the rats don't really fill and fit what they're used for in the tabletop game: A 'good enough' easy to get leader character who has some decent armor and gear and fighting skills to back up the other rats.

At least until he runs off to 'get-get help' when things are going bad.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 18:47 on Dec 16, 2018

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.


megane posted:

Yes-yes, we write Skaven book quick-fast, get-get nerd money. No explosions this time! All rules good-great! Class options balanced! Mostly!

I just realized that skaven speak translates perfectly into a Trump-esque twitter account.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





megane posted:

Yes-yes, we write Skaven book quick-fast, get-get nerd money. No explosions this time! All rules good-great! Class options balanced! Mostly!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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




Ronwayne posted:

Is there a term in economics for what a bad idea it is to have whatever your currency is also be an important ingredient/good in your economy as well? I know I'm trying to ascribe anything like sanity to the skaven, but imagining a manratten project where you also had to pay for everything in uranium as well is uh.
Honestly any hard currency system is like this because the currency is itself a commodity; this is why goldbugs are idiots. The Skaven's system would just be hyperaccelerated because you don't get anything out of grinding gold up and snorting it. Though I'm sure it's been done.

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.


Yeah...I don't see fiat currency working too well in that kind of low-trust environment.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.


More Aberrant Playerís Guide, this time with some new Extras and Techniques and such.

We start by discussing special effects for powers, minor alterations that donít fall under the aegis of an Extra. Itís mostly how your powers cosmetically manifest, which again is a thing you should think about and lean hard into.

Weíre going to kind of skip the new Extras here, theyíre not generally interesting enough to talk about. Still, if thereís a cool one Iíll cover it.

Body Modification: They give three new ones. One gives you weird dispersed organ structures that reduce wound penalties and prevent you taking extra damage from targeted attacks. The second gives you a literal second brain, which you divide your Intelligence stats between. It has to remain in your body at all times, though, so you canít Homunculus it off and store the second one somewhere (meaning Homunculus is still 100% useless). The last new one is Subdermal Senses, which covers one or more of your sensory organs with a layer of skin. Itís harder to use those senses but also harder for you to suffer penalties to them other than the one for this power. It also makes you look creepy as gently caress.

Cyberkinesis: A bunch of new techniques. Initialize does a factory reset on a computer, fine. Opening is a Cyberkinetic backdoor technique, it leaves behind a quantum program that makes the computer way harder to secure. This is pretty solid, I like it. Tag lets you mark a computer to make it easier to gain access to it again, a further sort of backdoor technique. The next three move up into high Quantum effects, you need 6 Quantum to take any of them. Animation lets you make computers or computer-controlled machines move in any way they are normally able to. So for example you could take over a computer-controlled car. It canít make things that donít move normally move, though. Possession lets you straight up enter the network like this is a cyberpunk story and do all kinds of super class-A hacker poo poo, big fan. Synchronization essentially lets you mass-hack computers, fine. Animation and Synchronization probably donít need to be Quantum 6 honestly, I donít see how theyíre that strong.

Elemental Mastery: Animation essentially lets you create Elementals, with a system like the similar Molecular Manipulation technique. Very cool, like the idea of this one a lot. Attraction lets you make separate pieces of the element draw together, converging at a point you designate. They donít give a gently caress about physics while doing this, they just do it. Cool if kind of hard to use for much. Excitation lets you heat or cool the element, and this can make it hot or cold enough to actually do damage which makes this pretty useful. Phase Change lets you do exactly what it sounds like, turn the element into a different phase. This even works on things that donít have other phases, you can turn things like shadow and light into weird brittle solids and viscous liquids because sure why not. Super love this. Plasma Conversion turns the volume into pure plasma, which is very damaging as youíd expect. They also remember that plasmas are strongly magnetic, which is legit nice.

Entropic Control: This power gets WAY better frankly in the APG, lots of interesting new techniques. Bioentropic Vortex lets you suck up entropy from people or objects near you into yourself, taking on their damage in their stead. If youíve got a really solid way to heal yourself this can let you be a weird sort of healer that can also do things like fix machines, love it. Entropic Front lets you create a high and low entropy zone in an area. In the high entropy zone everything is more prone to breaking down and going to poo poo, while the opposite is the case in the low zone. This is minor but fine. Point of Failure is super cool, you pick out a specific part of an inanimate object and designate that as the point where it will fail when next it does. This doesnít change WHEN the failure will happen, just sets HOW it will happen. Still, this lets you set up some fun poo poo. Serial Order lets you affect when in a series of similar events a particular outcome will take place, which is great for cheating in a casino for example. At Quantum 6 we can take two new techniques. The first is Failure, which allows you to specify a kind of failure a machine can suffer and boom EVERY machine in a radius suffers it. Stability is a power that reinforces the present state of things in an area (also has an Instability variant with the opposite effect). You subtract your successes from any attempt to change things in the area. This has some really nasty potential uses because while itís hard to GET sick in the area, itís also hard to treat someone who was ill when it started. Thereís also two techniques at Quantum 7. Point of Attraction causes a group of people to either try and gather at a specified point, or causes that group to adopt a one-sentence concept. Synchronization makes objects and people just naturally Ďflowí in a way that they wonít collide (or the opposite). Itís pretty cool I guess.

Information Manipulation: A new Level 3, Quantum 5 power. This lets you manipulate the information in objects, the environment, and people. Letís look at its techniques. Coherence lets you extract a message from something that is otherwise distorted. Disinformation lets you alter the meaning of a targetís communication. You donít get to set what people will hear specifically, just in general. Information Void lets you turn someoneís communication into gibberish, cool. Steganography lets you hide a message inside something, just like youíd expect from the name. Translation lets you do a bit more than its name suggests, it doesnít just let you understand something in a language you donít know. It lets you experience the intent of a communication or the meaning of an object, which is potentially much more relevant information than just the absolute textbook translation of words. Transposition swaps the information content of two targets. So for example, if you target two people the information one tries to convey will come out of the other. Two books will swap meaning. These are all weird cool powers and I like them a lot

Momentum Control: A new level 3, Quantum 4 power that lets you interact with the speed of objects. Momentum Rotation lets you change the direction of objects while leaving their speed an orientation intact. If youíve got Mega-Wits you can use this to do things like dodge collisions. Momentum Swap lets you, well, swap the momentum of two objects. Probably. They left out the system because lol, so you have to try and divine it from the example they give or look for errata for the book that gave you errata for the original game. Momentum Transformation lets you change a targetís speed and acceleration. I feel like this power needs more techniques though itís hard to say what theyíd be.

Okay, now the new general Extras.

Merged: This lets you combine your power with that of another nova with the same power (they donít need Merged). You both roll at increased difficulty but if you succeed you pool your successes for one joint monster result.

Reflexive: This lets you set a power to be able to activate on its own under a condition. Generally this is going to be for a defensive power, and the advantage is that this wonít tie up an action. If you take this once, the power is a bit harder to use on purpose than normal. You can take a second level to negate that, though.

Mastery: This is a special Extra for Novas above Quantum 5. It lets you GREATLY improve the power in question. Mastery 1 makes a level 1 power cost no Quantum at all while halving the cost of a level 2 or 3, greatly improves the range and potential area of a power, doubles the effect, and greatly enhances the duration (notably turning Concentration into Maintenance). Mastery 2 makes both level 1 and 2 power free, and quarters the cost of a level 3. The range and area become crazy large, the effect is increased by a factor of five, and the duration again increases. Mastery 3 makes any of the level 1-3 powers free, and also halves the cost of a level 4 or 5 power. The range and area become insane, the effect increases twenty-fold, and the duration becomes nutso. Note that Mastery 1 requires Quantum 6, 2 requires 8, and 3 requires 10.

Speaking of level 4+ powers, thatís next time.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Ronwayne posted:

Yeah...I don't see fiat currency working too well in that kind of low-trust environment.
Four words for you buddy:

Ratcoin: backed by rats.

Ronwayne
Nov 20, 2007

That warm and fuzzy feeling.


And now i pictured a warpstone bitmining rig.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also, the mentioned Nightfang the insanely powerful Mighty is the rat who got his rear end kicked by a single rat-catcher and their dog when he was being played and had to abandon his first surface mission because of it.

There is no better metaphor for the rat people than a super-rat space marine with insanely good stats fleeing into the tunnels, screaming, with a terrier attached to his leg.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Are black skaven as big as a human? As big as an orc?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


The Lone Badger posted:

Are black skaven as big as a human? As big as an orc?

They tend to hunch over, but when they stand straight up they're usually about 6 feet tall. Maybe more, in the case of an especially big one.

E: The two Mighty Skaven I've made in my time were a super tryhard incredible warrior and the other rolled terribly, being a fat, lazy idiot. It was obvious that Brik'rik was Rat Sgt. Schultz. He knew nothing! He saw nothing! He did not even get up this morning (he wishes)!

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 03:34 on Dec 17, 2018

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Feinne posted:

Momentum Control: A new level 3, Quantum 4 power that lets you interact with the speed of objects. Momentum Rotation lets you change the direction of objects while leaving their speed an orientation intact. If youíve got Mega-Wits you can use this to do things like dodge collisions. Momentum Swap lets you, well, swap the momentum of two objects. Probably. They left out the system because lol, so you have to try and divine it from the example they give or look for errata for the book that gave you errata for the original game. Momentum Transformation lets you change a targetís speed and acceleration. I feel like this power needs more techniques though itís hard to say what theyíd be.
This one was always my favorite conceptually, but it runs into the problems of both lacking systems completely as you said, and also, the classic situation where any time physics interacts with superpowers/any narrative thing written in a White Wolf game, the efficacy can be a spectrum anywhere from "basically telekinesis but worse" to "tiny god astride a planet of insects" depending on ST fiat and player creativity/persuasiveness.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


The Lone Badger posted:

Are black skaven as big as a human? As big as an orc?

Normal Skaven are human sized. They just look smaller cause of their posture.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



MonsterEnvy posted:

Normal Skaven are human sized. They just look smaller cause of their posture.

I thought they were skinnier than humans though? Could be just the malnutrition I guess.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011
I AM A BIG FAT STUPID FUCKER WHO SHOULD STAY THE FUCK OUT OF CSPAM

The Lone Badger posted:

I thought they were skinnier than humans though? Could be just the malnutrition I guess.

yea they're scrawny due to malnutrition and general poo poo lifestyle but a skaven 'should' be pretty much on par with a man in scale once you account for hunching and other stuff

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

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



Night10194 posted:

There is no better metaphor for the rat people than a super-rat space marine with insanely good stats fleeing into the tunnels, screaming, with a terrier attached to his leg.

Do dogs have a god? Because they need one, even if it's just Skaven Satan.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



Ratoslov posted:

Do dogs have a god?

Ulric?

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OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Definitely Ulric.

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