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Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

I'm genuinely curious to see how the book will spin Glitter Boys going from 'best in the corebook even though they can't move and shoot but at least have a big gun' to 'why would you take a Glitter Boy' back to 'FEAR the Free Quebec Legion! Vive la Glitter Boy!'

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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!
How many OCC's does RIFTS have at this point? And what's the other kind, RCC's? Because one of my fascinations is games that go mad with splat bloat.

Zandar
Aug 22, 2008

Just a heads-up, while my French is rusty I don't think you meant "presents" in the sense of "gifts" here. You probably want "présente", unless Canadian French uses a different word.

(Or was that :thejoke:?)

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

NutritiousSnack posted:

I'm not going to do the 'you gotta hand it the Nazis' Candace Owens thing, but I'm going to say this is why you don't listen to Youtubers: what loving ideology? Hitler had to kill or imprison various rivals under the Nazi banner to gain and maintain control of the Nazi party but also to mold his own constantly changing belief system. Under the Nazi banner there were hyper capitalists, genuine socialists who really hated Jews, christian fundamentalists, and dozens of others sub factions of fascism. No one agreed with anyone, outside of insanely weird outliers like Goebbels and his early on Hitler worship, in a coherent fashion in any other manner then 'I'm going to form a political alliance with this guy because a lot of the low ranking members generally like him and the just of what he says, and I can gain power this way.'

Fascism defined by being nebulous and adaptable in it's only aim goal of serving the interest of a small collect few and making notions and sometimes even motions at protecting a religious and/or ethnic minority.
Who won those internal power struggles? The pro-capitalist imperialists.

Fascism is nebulous in its propaganda, not so much in its actual structure. Because fascism arises in a capitalist society that's butting up against problems the system can't resolve, and the fascist answer is to...not resolve them. Smooth everything over with nationalism and violent suppression, and make up the shortfall in the economy through conquest.

It's easy to say that fascism is sui generis and doesn't fit into any point on a conventional political map, because it offends no one and Hitler and Goebbels spouted a lot of contradictory bullshit. But the actual structure of fascism is making imperialism your entire politics, at home and abroad.

Midjack posted:

It would be cool and good if we can avoid moving this thread into C-SPAM.
Talking about the ideology within our hobby is good, actually.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Old World Bestiary

EEEEEE STABIT

Kinear starts us off with the most common view of Goblins: They're just a bunch of little pests who pose no real threat to an army (He uses the opportunity to say the armies should instead fight the POWERFUL AND MIGHTY forces of Chaos instead and ignore them). The key to the common view is that normal Goblins are pests, but the forest-dwelling Night Goblins are unpredictable little psychos who like getting hopped up on mushrooms and are sometimes way more dangerous than they ought to be. Goblins are (correctly) seen as spiteful, cruel little things who love nothing more than getting a chance to kick someone else around the way the Orcs kick them. Verenans seem to have an especial hatred for Goblins; this is one of the few times Malz the Verenan High Priest actually sounds totally disgusted with his subject, saying that Goblins are the antithesis of his Goddess. The big thing with Gobbos is they love hurting things, but they're total cowards. They'll only get out their little knives when they think they have the upper hand and can get away with what they're planning to do. They fawn over their masters (be they Orc or just larger Goblin) and worship powerful figures, especially if that gets them more opportunities to put the boot into the helpless.

Rikkit'Tik suggests hiding Greenbane pulp in birch sap so that when they try to have it as delicious syrup, they all loving die. He is a true scholar.

The Orc perspective on Gobbos is that Gork and Mork made them wrong as a joke, so that the Boys would always have a bunch of miserable little fuckers to kick around and remind them they gotta be bigger than those useless little gits. The only real use the Orc Shaman in the Scholar's Eye presents for Gobbos is that it's real funny when they catch human arrows for the Boys with their heads. It's notable that while Orcs really enjoy life, Gobbos hate it. A lot. The Gobbo perspective on themselves is all about how you need smarts or magic to gain power, because if you're ticklin' someone's guts with your stabbin' knife (they've all got stabbin' knives) they stop laughing at you. They hate their lives, they hate you, and they really want a good opportunity to hurt you. Also, they go EEEEEEEEE a lot.

They are also aided in all this by their Squigs. Squigs are basically a giant ball with legs that bounces and has teeth. The Imperial soldier in the Common View says they're the dumbest, silliest enemy he's ever seen until they bounce through a line like a couple stupid cannonballs, with little Gobbos squealing and riding on their backs. This is pretty true to gameplay: A Squig is funny up until the first time you fight a Great Cave Squig and then they're still hilarious but also really dangerous. The same traveling merchant who talked about bribing Orcs pops up to mention the Squig is the favored food crop of the Goblins and Orcs, and that they're actually delicious, good to eat, and safe for human consumption. He and others actually pay a bounty on dead Squigs and sell the carcasses to inns, who sell them under other names. They're described as a light chicken-like meat that has all the flavor of a ham. So yes, Squigs are good eats.

Waldemarr the Scholar pops up to tell us Squigs are actually fungal, not fleshy, even if they taste like meats. The Gobbos are constantly making new Squigs by poking mushrooms with warpstone. The ones that already exist breed by budding, even though they're angry, fanged cave fungus that bounces. Our Dwarf Loremaster dismisses Squigs as a 'typical Gobbo weapon, bounces everywhere, eats whatever it lands on, friend or foe' with 'no sense of craftsmanship or innovation', set right with a crossbow bolt or two. Rikkit'Tik suggests smearing caltrops with Suntree sap to get the Squig to eat them and die. The Gobbos say they gotta a symbo-whatsit relationship with the Squigs, which means sometimes they eat the Squig and sometimes the Squig eats them, same as their relationship with humies. The Gobbo Shaman is actually surprised and offended to find out from his interviewer that humans do not, in fact, eat captured Goblins. Squigs are a wonderful emblem of the Greenskins.

Hobgoblins are basically a midpoint between an Orc and a Goblin and are wolf-riding mongol-analogues. They're much more careful than is normal for a Greenskin, and work for the Chorfs, or really, anyone else. They seem to enjoy a life as mercenaries and primarily live out on the eastern steppe, and our description of fighting them comes from a Kislevite soldier and just mentions them using conventional horse-archer tactics, just on angry riding wolves instead. The actual Orc Warboss hates them, thinking of them as upjumped Gobbos and worse, Stunty Lackeys (Stunty being the Orc name for Dwarf). He even compares them to Skaven, especially as they like using poison. Kinear describes them as willing minions of Chaos and once again uses them to emphasize that yes, there are definitely Chaos dwarfs, and yes, Chaos can get anybody! Why, even Greenskins can be forced to work for it!

We're going to continue our history of getting some weird racism whenever there's anyone Asian-coded in any way in these books (It's been consistent enough with stuff like the Hung or the descriptions of the Eastern lands in the Companion that I'm now prepared to call this a pattern, 3 data points makes a line) of calling the Hobgoblins 'squinty' as code for treacherous and describing them as the worst of all Greenskins because blah blah at least Orcs fight you straight and what about the goddamn normal Goblins, guys? They use poison too. They backstab you, too. Is it really that much different when the guys you've coded as Mongol-analogues do it? The Merc Company Sergeant mentions that only the most famous Khan of the Hobgobla ever managed to die of old age, and it's considered a huge achievement in their culture if you can do that.

Rikkit'Tik actually doesn't talk about poisoning them. He says they show promise and that he kind of likes them and wants to get to know them. Silly rat.

The Chorfs talk about how the Hobgoblins took their side when the Black Orcs rose against them, recognizing that the Chorfs had way more money to offer. They hate the Chorfs, and the Chorfs hate them, but they're both well aware they're using one another and the arrangement works fine for them both so long as everyone around them hates them both more. The Hobgoblins themselves talk about how it's pointless to die for nothing, and how much fun it is to ride a really goddamn fast wolf and do sick stunts on it. They're also some of the only Greenskins who don't really care about fighting for other species; in their own words, why not get paid for what you were going to do anyway? The normal Orcs are just leaving money on the table.

I think the thing that bugs me isn't so much them being treacherous or whatever, it's that these guys are described as so much worse than, say, the normal Gobbos. It's the same thing that bothered me with the Hung. The Kurgan were described as a people and they had full rules to play them and all, and then when they get to the Hung they're like 'Oh wow these guys are so bad and such greasy liars no-one should ever play them, unlike the slaving murder-marauder guys we just finished giving you rules for'. That's where it really trips the turbo-racism alarm for me. If they were just Greenskins who really liked cavalry and skirmishing and were still described as bastard mercenary raiders, it wouldn't be as bad as describing them as the worst because 'squinty'. There's just something about anything in Asia that seems to trip up this line and when this stuff comes up it's my obligation to point it out and call it poo poo.

It's weird that Kinear really seems to panic when Trolls come up. Calling them all tainted and horrible and in need of burning. He is, for once, not wrong. Burning Trolls is the right move. Trolls are also our first actual 'stupid' group of critters, and that brings up another pattern I've noticed. None of the other races are ever really 'uniformly' dumb. In fact, it's usually a thing that if you assume Beastmen are all idiots that's how you actually lose to Beastmen. Same for Orcs. They aren't actually stupid, they just have a really different set of priorities. That's actually something I kind of like. Anyway, Trolls are dumb as poo poo, but big and nasty. They're a persistent pest for anyone working in the wilderness, but especially anyone working near swamps or certain bends of the rivers. They eat a lot of fish, but they eat a lot of anything; one of our Common View stories is a story where a charcoal burner managed to trick a Troll into swallowing part of the charcoal-making kiln when it ambushed him, then killed it with an axe. This is key to Trolls: If you don't kill them with fire or a very definitive beheading, they're going to get back up.

According to Scholars, Trolls caused a theory that all life contains some degree of Chaos, and that these are what happens when you get too much Chaos via too much life, hence the regenerating and constant eating. Despite this theory, not all Trolls serve Chaos; plenty just follow armies around and smash stuff occasionally and eat it. Rikkit'Tik suggests a randomized mix of everything you've got on hand, and as much of it as you can use, because drat are these things hard to poison. Drakar the Chaos Warrior loves Trolls; he sees them as a manifestation of how Chaos can never be stomped out because they'll regenerate and get back up no matter what you do to them unless you take their head off or burn them.

Finally, we get Snotlings. Snotlings are like even smaller Goblins. They might be baby Greenskins. No-one knows. Elke Rabe, our Camp Follower narrator, certainly thinks they are. Schultz advises that you stop laughing before they stab you in the ankle. Kinear insists that these are evidence that Greenskins reproduce via fungal budding. Malz the High Priest suggests that it might be possible to resolve the issue of whether or not these are Greenskin children by capturing a herd and raising them, but shudders at the thought. Greenskins show them no affection, but that might just be Orcish parenting, and they do resemble tiny versions of the larger ones. So who knows what the little bastards are. Rikkit'Tik is offended that anyone suggests bothering to poison one; the knife wound to deliver the poison would kill it and you'd waste the poison, damnit. The Chaos Warrior hates them, seeing them as the antithesis of strength, and we all know how Chaos worships Strength.

In their own words: "LOOK! Humie! Fight it fight it fight it! JAB JAB JAB! Get it Get it! EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

And that's as much as we're getting on Orcs and Goblins in 2e. They're a good side-dish for an adventure but there's just not enough material for them to sustain a campaign. But if you're ever lacking in action, an Orc with a Choppa crashing down the door can happen almost anywhere, and nearly as reliably as Rat Ninjas showing up out of nowhere.

Next Time: The horrors of the Hell Forest have their own section.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.
The mercenary company guy says he rode with the hobgoblins once and it worked out well once he stabbed the first one to give him any cheek.

I rather like the idea of sardonic piss-taking greenskins who scare everyone with their intelligence because it messes up their stereotypes. There's potential there for some fun opponents and dubious allies (will they stay bought?).

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Loxbourne posted:

The mercenary company guy says he rode with the hobgoblins once and it worked out well once he stabbed the first one to give him any cheek.

I rather like the idea of sardonic piss-taking greenskins who scare everyone with their intelligence because it messes up their stereotypes. There's potential there for some fun opponents and dubious allies (will they stay bought?).

Oh, yeah, the base idea of the Hobgoblins is fine and fun. It's more I've noticed a pattern and trend of anyone from the East being defined as especially treacherous (and it being focused on more, compared to the normal Gobbos, who are already treacherous as hell) in the fluff and that sets off alarms.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

My personal take on Hobgoblins would be that they're basically What If Greenskins Were More Human, to the further extent that...like, entire Khanates are probably not even treacherous. Just, why would you ever trust anyone near the Chaos Wastes? Those dudes are probably tainted. The ones further in? They're no worse than any human kingdom, once you get past their weird understanding of how life works because of greenskin biology.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Night10194 posted:

Oh, yeah, the base idea of the Hobgoblins is fine and fun. It's more I've noticed a pattern and trend of anyone from the East being defined as especially treacherous (and it being focused on more, compared to the normal Gobbos, who are already treacherous as hell) in the fluff and that sets off alarms.

The way I see it, a normal goblin is going to betray you so quickly it doesn't even really count (since it's what you expected). Hobgoblins are less treacherous and you can make deals with them etc which they'll keep for a while, giving them a chance to actually betray you.

White Coke
May 29, 2015
Hobgoblins have bony humps which makes literally backstabbing them fairly harmless. But how treacherous they are is inconsistent. Sometimes it seems like they’re compelled to betray like an orc is to fight, other times it seems like they’re just being pragmatic. The real reason orcs hate hobgoblins is probably because they hate the idea of goblins being as tall as them.

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013

Grimey Drawer
The idea of a single powerful Hobgoblin living long enough to die of old age is a remarkable feat because I don't think any greenskin in either Warhammer or 40K has been able to match that.

Edit: Also I think part of the reason why Orcs hate them is because they represent an actual threat to the Orcs assumed dominance over the Goblins.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
Hello everyone. Way back in late 2013 I wrote up a Fatal and Friends on Zak S' Vornheim product. I am no longer able to edit the original posts, but as the review is archived on the Inkless Pen site, I'm making a formal request for it to be taken down. Some major CW in the following links for many triggers:

https://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/libertad/vornheim-the-complete-city-kit/



I'd prefer to either have my review deleted entirely, or edited to delete the content and replace it with this statement, depending on which gives the least unnecessary hassle to the site owner:

quote:

I no longer stand by this review and have no desire to give the author any more positive press.

These are but two of many reasons why:

EN World: Zak S Accused of Abusive Behavior
Tabletop's Missing Stairs

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 01:29 on Feb 12, 2019

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Hunt11 posted:

The idea of a single powerful Hobgoblin living long enough to die of old age is a remarkable feat because I don't think any greenskin in either Warhammer or 40K has been able to match that.

Edit: Also I think part of the reason why Orcs hate them is because they represent an actual threat to the Orcs assumed dominance over the Goblins.

40k runs with the idea that orks can't die of old age in more recent fluff.

Prism
Dec 22, 2007

yospos

Libertad! posted:

Hello everyone. Way back in late 2013 I wrote up a Fatal and Friends on Zak S' Vornheim product. I am no longer able to edit the original posts, but as the review is archived on the Inkless Pen site, I'm making a formal request for it to be taken down. Some major CW in the following links for many triggers:

https://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/libertad/vornheim-the-complete-city-kit/



I'd prefer to either have my review deleted entirely, or edited to delete the content and replace it with this statement:

The links in the statement don't work, BTW.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

PurpleXVI posted:

How many OCC's does RIFTS have at this point? And what's the other kind, RCC's? Because one of my fascinations is games that go mad with splat bloat.

A lot. Here's a very rough estimate.

Over 250 occupational character classes.
Over 150 racial character classes.
Over 50 races (that can be mixed with occupational character classes or psychic character classes to a limited extent).
Over 30 psychic character classes.

Of course, it also brings up the question: do you count "unofficial" classes from The Rifter? How about template-style class add-ons like the Sea Inquisitor or Warrior of Valhalla? Do you include classes from other Palladium games? If so, which ones? If so, how do you count character types from Palladium games that don't have classes?

"Hundreds" is the easiest way to put it. Around 400 to 600 depending on how you count.

Zandar posted:

Just a heads-up, while my French is rusty I don't think you meant "presents" in the sense of "gifts" here. You probably want "présente", unless Canadian French uses a different word.

(Or was that :thejoke:?)

It is now.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Prism posted:

The links in the statement don't work, BTW.

Thank you, edited.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!

Zandar posted:

Just a heads-up, while my French is rusty I don't think you meant "presents" in the sense of "gifts" here. You probably want "présente", unless Canadian French uses a different word.

(Or was that :thejoke:?)


Siembieda would be proud.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009

We shall dive down through black abysses... and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.



Libertad! posted:

Hello everyone. Way back in late 2013 I wrote up a Fatal and Friends on Zak S' Vornheim product. I am no longer able to edit the original posts, but as the review is archived on the Inkless Pen site, I'm making a formal request for it to be taken down. Some major CW in the following links for many triggers:

https://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/libertad/vornheim-the-complete-city-kit/



I'd prefer to either have my review deleted entirely, or edited to delete the content and replace it with this statement, depending on which gives the least unnecessary hassle to the site owner:

Just as a rando, I don't think deleting it is the best move?

Like I hate Zak S as much if not more than the next person, but honest criticism (I'm pretty sure it's crappy ; haven't read your review) seems like a good thing.

We've all known for like 6 years he's a super abusive creep, but I don't see how denying someone in the future your flaying (again, I'm assuming) of his thing is good. If anything you should edit in an update (if you're willing, obviously).

thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

A contract signed by a minor is not binding!

Alors, Guillaume! Comment se fait-il que Maman te laisse en avoir deux Boom Guns?

apologies for google translate french, but Parisians assure me it's in the spirit of Quebecois.

also you keep saying succession instead of secession.

Thuryl
Mar 14, 2007

My postillion has been struck by lightning.

Xiahou Dun posted:

Just as a rando, I don't think deleting it is the best move?

Like I hate Zak S as much if not more than the next person, but honest criticism (I'm pretty sure it's crappy ; haven't read your review) seems like a good thing.

We've all known for like 6 years he's a super abusive creep, but I don't see how denying someone in the future your flaying (again, I'm assuming) of his thing is good. If anything you should edit in an update (if you're willing, obviously).

It's a positive review.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009

We shall dive down through black abysses... and in that lair of the Deep Ones we shall dwell amidst wonder and glory forever.



Thuryl posted:

It's a positive review.

O okay. Never mind.

Throw that in a in a burning porto-potty.

deathbagel
Jun 10, 2008

Thuryl posted:

It's a positive review.

Wait. There are positive FATAL & Friends reviews? I only read the RIFTS ones so I would never have known!

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Rifts World Book 22, Part 4: "Cold justice for dangerous times."

Quebec Military
By Francois Desrochers & Kevin Siembieda


In general, the Quebec Military previously utilized the same equipment and vehicles as other Coalition States save for the addition of Glitter Boys, but never used Psi-Hounds, Psi-Stalkers, or psychics. Which makes me wonder how they faced the supernatural at all, since they have practically no defenses against an invisible demon, malevolent entity, or a subtle psychic, but that's not a question that will be answered. While it could justify that it's more isolated as an excuse, it specifically says "much of the region claimed by Free Quebec is very much a wild and untamed wilderness rife with D-Bee squatters, monsters, and supernatural horrors." I guess they just throw Glitter Boys at problems and hope that works. Which probably does work the majority of the time, but... when it doesn't, it doesn't.


Note the varied crest patterns of the Northeastern Canadian Fascist.

Unlike Chi-Town, Quebec has never been particularly expansionistic, instead focusing on consolidation and fortification. For the past five years, they've been planning for the possibility of war, and pushing propaganda and jingoism as part of their military buildup. While not advanced overall as the Coalition, they do have Glitter Boys and a much superior navy.

We get a breakdown of troop levels, and it's hilariously high at points - the standard veteran Glitter Boy pilot is 7th-9th level and the average Commissioned Officer is 7th-12th level. As some many remember, the expectation in the corebook for Rifts is that characters will be at 7th-9th level after two years of real-life play. That means your average Glitter Boy pilot is going to be equal to some of the most experienced PCs, to say nothing of officers. Most are just 1st-5th level, though. Most.


Viva la fascisme!

Components of the Quebec Military

Though nominally useful for a wartime scenario, this section is drier than a desert at noontime.

The Regular Army is their main force, mainly resembling that of the Coalition save for the inclusion of Glitter Boys, Juicers, and "Cyborg Shock Troopers".
  • Infantry Divisions: Your basic grunts, for the most part. The Quebec Rapid Deployment Force is meant to be a standalone air cavalry that exists to stymie offensives while the rest of the army is mobilized. The Expeditionary Force are long-range scouts that operate with little or no support; your Naked Snakes. Army Reece Battalions are wilderness experts and rangers that patrol the border regions and perform guerrilla actions. They're hard take-no-prisoners take-no-chances hardasses as represented by the leading quote. Storm Trooper Brigades are cyborg and Juicer units with a problematic title. Lastly, the Army Service Support Division is what it says on the tin- support personnel.
  • Glitter Boy Legion: Though generally in the role of armor, Glitter Boys are apparently used in a variety of missions, including... recon? "Hey, what's that big shiny thing watching us on the hill?" "A Glitter Boy?!... let's pretend we didn't notice it, maybe it won't shoot us."
  • Armored Corps: All your other ground vehicles and robots. Also files Glitter Boys under the role of "support".
  • Air Force: "A relatively new concept that has been embraced by the Free Quebec Military High Command is the air forces." Yep, had SAMAS for over a half-century, but... y'know. They're really just flying tanks, right? No pressing need to organize them differently. Supposedly they've been trained largely in dogfighting to deal with other Coalition forces. Mainly divided into SAMAS Battalions and Armored Air Cavalry Companies (which largely consists of Death's Head Transports and their escorts).
  • Quebec Military Intelligence Corps (QMI): Essentially the Special Operations branch of the military, and though they work in intelligence, their focus is on sabotage and assassination. Naturally, they're super-secret soldiers that if they told you anything they'd have to kill you. The usual.
  • The Quebec Navy: This'll get its own section later. I know you are all excited to hear more about fascist boats after Rifts Sourcebook 4: Coalition Navy, but hold your horses. I know we're all squealing with unrestrained excitement, but we'll get there. Hang in there.
  • Le Surete du Quebec (SQ): This is the intelligence agency focused on civil and national security. They focus on things like counterespionage, keeping an eye on dissidents, watching other city-states, etc. Operation Aide Memoire is their observation operation keeping an eye on Tolkeen's war buildup, while Operation War Doves focuses on watching the Coalition operations in the Tolkeen region and reporting on the results of battles with Tolkeen.

"Talk while I'm choking you, dammit!"

Le Surete du Quebec gets a lot of detail, including on their O.C.C.s, as the book gets a bit ahead of itself. Most of their agents are equivalent of the Coalition cops (the ISS) from Rifts World Book 11: Coalition War Campaign. However, we get a quick class, the Le Surete du Quebec Deep (undercover) Intel Agent, a highlight of pithy class naming. The chance of playing one is 29%, and they have a weird thing where they have to have an average or low Beauty of 12 or less to qualify- if you're too pretty, you get rejected because they want "average looking people". But, RAW, you can have Beauty of 3, be the most ugly person imaginable, and still qualify. Also, they get the Seduction skill with a bonus: "Hey, hon, you ever gently caress somebody... average?" They do get a 1d4 bonus to Affinity, though, which is a rarity. Otherwise, they have an unexceptional smattering of spy skills.

O.C.C.s Common To Free Quebec
By Kevin Siembieda


We're largely directed to Rifts Mercenaries, Rifts World Book 11: Coalition War Campaign, Rifts Sourcebook 4: Coalition Navy, and Rifts World Book 20: Canada for O.C.C.s. For some reason, we're directed to Rifts World Book 23: Xiticix Invasion for Psi-Stalkers, even though they're in the core book and also got reprinted in Rifts World Book 13: Lone Star.

:confused:

In any case, magic is illegal in Free Quebec. Crazies are sometimes employed as mercenaries but the actual conversion process is banned. Mutant animals and D-Bees are banned, and some "good ol' boys" go out to hunt D-Bees for sport. Ironic use of the word "good", Siembieda. Psi-Stalkers are tolerated in the wild but not allowed into Quebecois society or their military. Similarly, Skelebots are banned even though they were being used by the Quebec military in the last chapter. Well, maybe it's just a sometimes ban.


swing batta batta swing batta batta swiiing

We get percentage breakdowns of the army, with the corebook Coalition classes being the most common. They also use cyborgs, which we'll get a class for later, using the same decommission and service guidelines from Coalition War Campaign. Juicers are part of the Quebecois military and generally have two categories - civilian treatments are illegal, but do exist. Most are forced to detox after three years of service and go back to other military service. However there is a "Juicer Maturation Program" where a soldier volunteers to run their course to death as a "Jimmy Juicer" (JM = Jimmy), and either die on the field of battle or are given euthanasia if their burnout becomes unbearable. They get to select a beneficiary to gets money from a "death bonus" upon their passing.

Headhunters are used by the military as mercenaries on both sides of the Coalition / Quebec war.

Rifts World Book 22: Free Quebec posted:

They are often hired by large armies as cannon fodder — expendable troops — to send ahead of the regular armor as scouts or front-line fighting troops to soften up the enemy. Headhunters are pros who know this and take no offense by it. Being treated as a second-rate and/or expendable soldier comes with the job.

Uh, you do know being a mercenary involves surviving to spend your pay, right, Siembieda? Mercenaries are notorious cowards; if you want somebody that'll die for a cause, you want a soldier. But this is genre fiction, and in genre fiction most mercenaries exist to give villains hordes of scumbags to throw at our heroes.

Psychics are treated as extreme second-class citizens and can't join the military in Quebec, and are tagged with ID chips like they are in the Coalition. They have a "relocation venture" where psychics can choose exile and are given money, a vehicle, and a slap on the rear. The consequences of treating a bunch of people who can read minds, crush bodies, or make tool-free lightsabers very, very badly is never explored, especially given that Quebec employs no countermeasures. Somebody with hypnotic suggestion could run roughshod through their society- there are no Psi-Hounds or Psi-Stalkers to identify or counter them. Say what you want about the Coalition characterization, but having a supernatural detection force was at least thought through in the Rifts corebook. Here, there's just nothing to stop a psychic who can keep their powers quiet from wreaking havoc in Quebec, to say nothing of wizards, shapeshifting dragons, or possessing demons. An unscrupulous Coalition officer (like the recurring baddie Colonel Lyboc) could change the course of the war by paying a wizard to teleport a group of assassins into the office of Quebec's Prime Minister. But that won't happen.

Rifts World Book 22: Free Quebec posted:

Consequently, those who discover they possess psionic abilities either try hard to keep it a secret and rarely use their powers (thus, they rarely progress beyond 2nd or 3rd level even when at an advanced age), or leave Free Quebec to make their life elsewhere.

Things that earn you XP in Palladium games: Overcoming challenges. Using skills. Roleplaying well. Things that don't earn you XP in Palladium games: Using your psychic powers. You wrote these rules, Siembieda, and then reprint them in every game you publish. I don't get what you're trying to say.

Next: Glitter Buffs.

8one6
May 20, 2012

When in doubt, err on the side of Awesome!

deathbagel posted:

Wait. There are positive FATAL & Friends reviews? I only read the RIFTS ones so I would never have known!

F&F has 6 types of reviews
1)Rifts reviews (as Alien Rope Burn will never not have Rifts books to review)
2)Incomplete reviews
3)Hilarious reviews of absolute garbage
4) "Let me :filez: that for you"
5) Reviews of books bad enough that just "dumpster fire" isn't enough to describe how bad they are.
6) Positive reviews of stuff

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

Shouldn't Free Quebec's air force be really bad if they've never done anything much with it and be a vector for the CS to dominate? No? Okay. Vive les bateaux fascistes!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
After I finish Vampire, I'm going to need to take a breather and review something hilariously lovely.

Barudak
May 7, 2007

Halloween Jack posted:

After I finish Vampire, I'm going to need to take a breather and review something hilariously lovely.

I had a thought like that once and then a friend revealed to me someone wrote a, if memory serves, 80 page total conversion of basic dnd into a combat loving game and well now my face looks like the Nazis from Raiders of the Lost Ark

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
I find that with stuff like that, the shock and mocking laughter quickly gives way to depression at the suffocating banality of someone quantifying rape into game mechanics, over and over and over.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Old World Bestiary

I kill for the trees!

The Loren isn't a nice place. The things that guard it act an awful lot like demons, and this is the closest we're gonna get to a sourcebook about them. I think that's one of the reasons the OWB is such a helpful book. It gives enough of an overview to latch onto for a bunch of stuff that obviously didn't get its own book, and that's really helpful for filling out the setting. Our first story about the Dryads of Athel Loren comes from a Bret peasant whose friend made the mistake of going into the woods when a beautiful woman beckoned him from inside. Three decades later, the boy comes stumbling out of the woods and then instantly ages and decays to ash in front of his horrified buddy, while the same woman beckons him from the wood. Yeah, that's about right for the hellforest.

Our buddy Pike the Hunter mistakes them for Daemonettes, thinking they're obviously another sort of Slaaneshi demon hiding among the forest and the elves. Interestingly, he's in the Common View this time, to suggest this isn't really his area of expertise. He's wrong, but given how they operate I can see how he makes the mistake. And he isn't wrong about how the best thing to do with Dryads is burn them. We also get a talk from a merc that ended up fighting them; says they approached his unit just looking like a bunch of naked elves, which he couldn't stop himself from laughing at, before turning into hellish tree monsters and shredding his buddies. They left him alive to warn others not to get near the forest, because they liked that he laughed at them. Dryads do that; they're very capricious and playful murderers.

Waldemarr the Scholar has an interesting theory. That they're some kind of automated defense system. Either for the trees or for the Asrai Wood Elves, or both, an extension of the forest designed to protect it. Though he lists other theories from other scholars. Others think they might be transformed elves, made into this by the magic of the forest, or that they might be constructs built by the Wood Elves. Waldemarr is pretty close to the mark as far as I can tell. The elves instead tell us all about their shapeshifting; Dryads are constantly changing shape. Effectively, in game terms, they pick a bonus every turn and can't pick the same one two turns in a row, because they get bored easily and need to keep changing into a different kind of tree and a different sort of war form. Their own descriptions focus on how much they enjoy sharing 'human sap' (blood), and one of the Dryads says that they are the claws and teeth of the forest. Which is a point in favor of Waldemarr's 'automatic Lorax defense unit' theory.

The Treemen are very different. Treemen seem a lot less reflexively sadistic and murderous than the Dryads. The first story about them is about a Bret Knight insisting his peasants get him wood from the Loren for a Trebuchet, only to encounter a pissed off Treeman who just yelled WHY and then smashed him. Treemen can do that. Don't gently caress with Treemen. The second is from an Imperial knight's memoirs about the 2302 War Against Chaos, where his outnumbered knights were rescued from an army of Beastmen by the convenient arrival of allied forces from the Loren. When he and his knights stopped the Beastmen from setting the giant walking trees on fire, they thanked him warmly and invited him to join their Asrai allies for rest and food, with 'Durthu's blessing'. I remember Durthu from Total Hams; I believe he's the original Treeman that made the agreement with the elves. Still, from the Common View, Treemen seem less sadistic and more consistent than the Dryads, and capable of being grateful for help or allying with humans as well as elves in times of war.

Waldemarr has the theory that the Treemen are the generals of the forest's forces, directing the capricious Dryads and the allied elves in its defense. He lists some other pretty silly theories by other scholars, such as 'Treemen are all tended by harems of beautiful Dryads', but his general theory is that the Dryads are much more 'automatic' while the Treemen are the manifestation of the forest's consciousness. The ones who make the alliance with the elves and direct the efforts of the other spirits. He is, again, pretty close to on point as far as I know. The elves just give a generic description of the Treemen as slow to anger but unstoppable when they get going. They do mention that when the Treemen are really mad, the forest stops caring if it hurts elves and the Asrai have to be careful, too.

The Treemen's own description focuses more on talking about humans than themselves. They bemoan the way humans don't seem to 'know their place' and how they haven't figured out what they were made for yet. They wish the whole world would just settle down in its appointed places, as determined by the turning of the forest, and just be at peace with them. That's a very curious way of thinking about it all. They call humankind the 'scurrying of badgers and the flight of starlings', and I don't know what Treebeard's got against badgers. Starlings are assholes, though, I'll give him that.

As you can tell, obviously, Treemen are just Ents, man. But more violent.

Unicorns are magic horses with pointy heads. You know what a Unicorn is. The opinions on them in the Common View go between romantic 'Oh gosh it's the most magnificent of all horses' to 'Eh, they're a little magical but everyone says they can do so many magic things that there's no way they do them all' to an elf Wardancer going rapturous about how the Unicorns represent the power of all nature and are the best thing ever and if the last Unicorn ever cries and then keels over dead Chaos will have already won. Curious that the elf going nuts about them is in the Common View, though. The Scholar's Eye tells us they cannot be tamed, ever. They do what they want, when they want. They'll help people they judge 'pure', which does not actually mean virgins, but rather people they deem of good character. There are many stories of wounded Bretonnian knights being rescued by Unicorns, including ones with families and children, after all.

We also get a long description of them and their relations with elves from a Light Wizard, who claims their horns provide resistance against all magic and that they'll allow the occasional gifted elf maid to ride them in battle, but only with their consent. He also mentions that the huge array of powers attributed to Unicorn horns mean people keep shooting them and selling the horns to cure impotence or poison or whatever, but that the average horn for sale doesn't even come from a Unicorn. Possibly because he's magically sensitive, he notes that if you touch a real horn, you'll feel like you desecrated something. Still, there's not really much to say about shiney magic horses of holy forest power; not like they talk about themselves.

Finally, we get the Warhawks, which are symbiotic giant hawks that work with the elves of their own accord and serve as mounts. Our buddy Kinear is back to say the giant birbs are obviously creatures of Chaos, and a sign of the alliance between the Asrai and Chaos, and that their diffident nature and lack of proper taming (and their hugeness) are just a sign of mutation and constant chaotic wildness. Oh, Kinear, never change. Meanwhile, a Bret Knight has a pretty generic story about how they showed up just in time when his forces were losing to Beastmen, because the Brets and crazy fae elves are sort of allies at times. Aside from the child stealing. And all the random murders. And the times the Asrai wear the bones of Bretonnian children who got lost in the woods as charms because they're deeply hosed up people. Our elf buddies instead talk about how they have a tremendous bond with their birbs, and made friends with them after fighting them for no reason and killing their chicks and eggs. From the story, it sounds like the elves were kind of jealous of the birds being faster than them until one elf was like 'Guys this is dumb as hell, we should make friends with the magnificent giant birbs and ride them instead'. They mention that as part of the peace, those who are going to become birb riders are raised in the mountains, by the birds, to make up for having killed their children. So an elf riding a giant hawk was, apparently, raised by giant hawks as part of a pact with them to make up for having killed their children by giving them elf children to raise. That's weird. Asrai are weird.

And unfortunately, that's all we get on the enchanted hellforest. I've an especial in it because I'm very fond of Bretonnia, but Loren is one of the weirdest parts of the setting and it's better for that. It doesn't really fit into the normal paradigms of the setting; Dryads act almost exactly like demons to be sure, and you could make an argument that Treemen are like the more complex greater demons, but that doesn't really map with how they're capable of showing much more gratitude and warmth. The Asrai have a weird relationship with the wood where they at once regard themselves as its masters, its targets, and its partners. No-one ever really knows what to expect out of the Loren, and that's what makes it interesting.

Next Time: Our Strong Rat Sons

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!
The Loren Wood Elves are interesting in part because they break up the whole neat Order/Chaos line most of the rest of the setting rides on, you can funnel most forces(aside from orcs, I suppose) into one of the two categories, but really only the orcs and the crazy wood elves really feel like they provide an alternate axis for the storytelling to turn on. Because they're capable of being assholes for weird reasons that don't rely on "KHORNE TOLD ME TO" and the magic weirdness of both factions also feel like they're from a different source.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I really like the Wood Elves because you've got the whole thing where the High and Dark Elves are both just pretty normal elves who are having a political disagreement about acceptable levels of racism and arrogance, then you look over in the Loren and they've all got hosed up coal black eyes with neither irises nor whites, some of them have literal mutagenic augmentation from merging with forest spirits, and they're wearing the bones of dead children and looking askance as the Dryads play 'pull the peasant in half' because they're bored.

At the same time they usually help out when things get bad, but they're creepy. The other curious thing is it really doesn't feel like the Laurelorn elves up in the Empire are anywhere near as hosed up as the ones in the Loren. We always played it that they're more of just a community of deserters, refugees, and survivalists from the Grudge War that ended up a state within the Laurelorn Forest, and that they have no idea what the hell happened to the guys who went to hide in the Loren instead.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

The 4E of WHFRP was neat as it made the distinction that even other Wood Elves (read: not in Loren) can interact with humans (and other elves) in a meaningful manner.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Yeah, we adopted their name for them, though we kept a lot of the weird republican culture we'd come up with for them on our own. Because it's interesting; when you look at Hams elves they're almost uniformly authoritarian, and we thought if any of them weren't going to be, it'd be the people fleeing Caledor II's massive foreign policy fuckup. The lack of an elf book has led my group to fill in a lot of elf stuff on our own, like positing the existence of a very large underclass in Ulthuan that just doesn't come up often in the normal setting because it's elves of means that actually travel to the Old World (this from how elves still often have 'lower class' Careers from the random system), or writing about how Malkith actually holds onto power, or making up pretty much everything about the Eonir of Laurelorn because they don't have any official fluff.

I do appreciate 4e making the distinction between the two forests official, though. I am also very much looking forward to seeing what they do for an elf book, if they ever manage one. Secretly, I really like Hams elves. It turns out the key to good elves is to have the setting react to them being racist assholes by being really annoyed with them, or to have their crazy magic king rites accidentally lead to Elf Hitler.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

I mean, you can still play an Asrai Wood Elf in 4e. If your party can handle a survivalist hillbilly ninja with an internalized terror/anger at all non-elves.

MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012

Shocked I tell you
Added on we have seen a protagonist Asrai Wood Elf interacting with other people in Vermintide's Kerillian. She is a massive rear end in a top hat for those who don't know.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014
Out of curiosity, when did Elf Racism really start being a thing in fantasy stuff? It's not super pervasive in Tolkien (There's the mutual Elf/Dwarf antagonism but even that doesn't really go to the same extent).

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Without doing any research, I'm going to posit that Poul Anderson's elves were probably a big inspiration.

Impermanent
Apr 1, 2010
i don't know but it is perhaps the most boring fantasy cliche in a sea of boring fantasy cliches at this point.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Old World Bestiary

Stab-stab

As you might guess, the Skaven stuff is pretty thorough. This book came before Children of the Horned Rat or Night's Dark Masters, so it had to be the Skaven book and Vampire book for awhile, so they both get extensive sections. Still, I've covered both their full books, so not quite as much reason to be thorough as with the Loren or the Orcs. The big thing about the Common View on the ratmen is that people absolutely know they exist. Two of the four excerpts are folks saying 'Yeah, these are thing, no matter what the Priests and authorities say', and a third is Kinear yelling about how they're obviously not real while the fourth is an asylum inmate claiming they got him locked up for trying to say they exist. When every single one of the 'Common View' excerpts is about how they're definitely real and everyone actually knows it, while the only one denying it is the crazy Chaos infiltrator, it's fair to say the average person in the Old World is aware they (or something like them) exist but doesn't really know the extent of them.

Our Scholar's View opens with a dwarf miner saying that it's understandable the humans don't acknowledge them, because what could they do about them? He implies the main force keeping them secret is the Hunters, out of fear of creating a panic, and again this point has never really gone with what I know of Sigmarism. Another existential threat they can be seen fighting to get more secular power and authority should be like crack to the Sigmarites. We also get a note from an Engineer trying out a ratling gun, noted in the after-bits to have died trying to test fire it because Skaven tech is still Skaven tech. It's also very interesting that we get a lot more of the normal voice of the author here, hurriedly going over the basics of the Four Great Clans and the various info you'll need for Ratman adventures. It's significantly more thorough than the stuff on Greenskins or Athel Loren. We also get Chaos's view, from a Nurglite. The Nurglite notes they get the spirit of things a bit wrong and all but that they've come a long way for upjumped rodents. Our Hunter, Pike, is convinced the Horned Rat is just Tzeentch, because the rats keep changing all the time. It's interesting; none of the non-Skaven characters really give any credence to the idea that the Great Horned Rat could be anything but an aspect of one of the Four. I imagine the Horned Rat is very insulted.

Skaven actually get the most extensive 'in our own words' section to date, because they love to talk about themselves. This book is where the cold-brain no-fur insult comes from. I knew it was in here somewhere, and I knew it came from Thanquol. Thanquol is eager to talk about how the man-things have cold brains from not having proper fur, and he gives us a standard Fascist's look at his enemies, claiming all humans are stupid cowards who are led by idiots who don't even know to stay at the back of the battle line. When asked about dwarfs, he suddenly goes a little silent before saying you should avoid the orange-furred ones or everyone dies. Oh, Thanquol. There's also an extensive interview with an Engineer about how Warpstone can alter the physical properties of substances forged in a fire powered by it, in addition to all its other properties. He outright admits that without it the Skaven would be completely turbofucked. He spits on the religious idea that Warpstone is Horned Rat poo poo, saying it's obviously just meteorite fragments from the moon, because he is an enlightened and modern rat of science (he is also right).

Rikkit'Tik has a lot of experience in this one, and answers in one word: Arsenic.

The Master Moulder complains about how stupid humans are to turn out their mutants instead of studying them and trying to breed them to get six armed giant supersoldiers like would be proper. Finally, a non-Thanquol Grey Seer (who I think is the same one from Children of the Horned Rat's big 'all our Skaven units' section) has a big speech about how the Skaven aren't just hiding in their holes, they're just...letting Chaos and everyone else do all the work before they scream INHERIT INHERIT and take over the world. Yes, that's the ticket. Definitely just letting everyone else do the work. Absolutely not afraid of being shot. He also refuses to mention Nagash's name, but he does preen about the Skaven totally having beaten him. Oh, rat men.

The Roger section (Rat Ogres) sells the Rogers a lot harder than they deserve mechanically, like almost all fluff about them. They're played up as huge killing machines that are lightning fast (though extremely dumb) rather than the sort of disappointments they tend to end up being in a fight. Most of the Common View is about how something that big can't be that fast, or how they're obviously an exaggeration and someone mistaking Minotaurs for Rat Ogres because they encountered them alongside some rat-shaped Beastmen. The most interesting view comes from the Tzeentch chap who was student of a Dragon Ogre way back in the Chaos section. He loves them, and loves Moulder, claiming Moulder's existence is proof the Horned Rat is Tzeentch (Really, none of them can conceive of GREAT HORNED RAT!). He's very excited about his professional relationship with the Moulders, and claims they keep every Rat Ogre that survives 3 battles as a special, unique model to customize and study. This implies, fitting to their actual mechanical weakness, most don't make it 3 battles.

We also get an actual Ogre's opinion! He's a little annoyed they're called Ogres because they sure as hell aren't, and worse, they taste awful. They're buff enough to wrestle an Ogre, he concedes, but he calls them the only creature he's ever seen dumber than a Troll. A Master Mutator gives a full on marketing pitch for the wonderful Bio-Organic Weapon that is the Rat Ogre, BUY TODAY, the cheapest models are only a hundred Warpstone tokens! He calls them the very foundation of Clan Moulder, and he's not wrong, as we went over in Children of the Horned Rat. Still, the whole thing with Rogers is just 'big, dumb as hell, real fast, kinda clumsy, strong'. Only so much you can say about the big bastards.

There's not much to say about Giant Rats, try as they might to make a whole section out of them. They're just wolf-sized rats used as attack dogs and cheap cannon fodder, sold in huge batches by the Mutators of Moulder. There's not much to say about them but for the Ratcatcher saying you don't report these kinds of kills, and you kill 'em with a sharp knife to the neck and a torch to the schnozz. All the descriptions are just there so there can be at least 3 critters in this section rather than admitting the only one they really needed to talk about in detail was the Skaven themselves.

Next Time: Fascism Elves and their murderbuddies

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Apropos of nothing: It's been awhile since I saw a skill system as badly balanced as Cyberpunk's. And they kept it up for 3 editions, too!

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