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Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I remember when I played Cyberpunk 2020 somebody in the group had written up just about every gun they could imagine and it was all printed on that old continuous form paper, like 8-12 pages of straight gun numbers.

It wasn't all that terribly useful but was really exciting at the time. So many guns!

Friday Night Firefight basically opened the gunnerd floodgates early on by giving a conversion of 40 foot pounds equals one damage point and by having a decent spread of modern firearms plus some prototypes that entered the gunnerd consciousness at the time (namely the Atchinson Assault 12 and the Heckler & Koch CAWS automatic shotguns). When CP2020 came out, the damage spread changed to a slight logarithmic scale, but all the handgun calibers could still be converted by converting from joules instead of foot pounds. That ease of conversion made such an explosion of guns it could Zardoz vomiting SMLEs and Sterlings from his stone head.

Confession time: when the first Ghost In The Shell film came out, I managed to get a Japanese artbook on the movie, that I scanned in with a hand-rolled scanner and posted onto EarthLink, with conversions to CP2020 and Shadowrun. While the page no longer exists (which is shame because I got props from Manga Ent. by earning a link on the GITS site), you can still see the gif images I scanned, because I had blatantly watermark with a creator credit to Mitsuo Iso. The internet never forgets.

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Midjack
Dec 24, 2007



Young Freud posted:

Confession time: when the first Ghost In The Shell film came out, I managed to get a Japanese artbook on the movie, that I scanned in with a hand-rolled scanner and posted onto EarthLink, with conversions to CP2020 and Shadowrun. While the page no longer exists (which is shame because I got props from Manga Ent. by earning a link on the GITS site), you can still see the gif images I scanned, because I had blatantly watermark with a creator credit to Mitsuo Iso. The internet never forgets.

I've seen some of those images floating around!

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.
Clapping Larry

Alien Rope Burn posted:

I remember when I played Cyberpunk 2020 somebody in the group had written up just about every gun they could imagine and it was all printed on that old continuous form paper, like 8-12 pages of straight gun numbers.

It wasn't all that terribly useful but was really exciting at the time. So many guns!

That was me that did that.

thatbastardken
Apr 23, 2010

A contract signed by a minor is not binding!
at some point i need to find a copy of the Bubblegum Crisis RPG, which was based on the successor system to CP2020.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Fantastic beasts and how to kill them

So, this is going to be a bit of an odd update for the mechanical meat of the Bestiary. Rather than listing very specific monster stats or something, I'm instead going to use this opportunity to talk about the combat system in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e in detail, and talk about some of the elements of combat balance. This will also probably be the last update for the Bestiary, because what's left is the kind of stuff that it's only really necessary if you're intending to run the game yourself and I believe it's still readily available from Cubicle 7's 2e/1e bundle. I really recommend the book; my summary is still a summary and it's one of my favorite sourcebooks, only really beaten out by Tome of Salvation and of course, Knights of the Grail.

That said, it's time to talk about why PCs seem to become so powerful in fighting careers once they hit 3rd tier. See, one of the things about Warhammer Fantasy is that PCs are always stronger than their raw numbers suggest in combat. One of the principle features of the game is that combat is meant to seem extremely dangerous (and it really is early on, before you have damage mitigation) but you often have much more of an upper hand than you think you do; Fury and Fate are huge, huge boosts to a PC. There are big, random swings of fortune, but they're in favor of the PCs; enemies don't crit. Your odds of triggering a Fury on every individual swing aren't huge, but they're not insignificant, either. More importantly, early on you will almost certainly be using rules like Aiming and outnumbering to get an edge in fights with serious enemies if your GM is balancing encounters well; you have to be aware that the early game is the most lethal part of the system. So you have these inbuilt advantages that will help you survive early, when you've got a 36% WS like poor Johan Schmidt, Empire Soldier.

Now think about what happens to those same rules and edges when he's Johan Schmidt, WS 76% 3 attack SB5 Empire Champion once he's got the EXP Joan has. One thing you notice when you run combats with a lot of the Big Scary Monsters of Warhammer is that they're deceptively...weak isn't the right term. Manageable. They often have low DR, few Active Defenses, and 40 wounds don't last long when you're losing 6-10 wounds a hit. Let's think about the effective HP of someone DR 10 (Often the DR of a high tier fighter in plate) vs. someone DR 5 (Many Big Monsters). Not only does the DR 10 guy have good odds of completely deflecting some attacks, but they're taking much less damage on attacks that get through. DR is extremely powerful as both passive defense and damage mitigation, and fighting PCs get good access to it. Add that to a pool of rerolls, and more importantly the fact that PC fighters will end up with a high skill over time, and they're poo poo-kickers.

One of the infamous parts of WHFRP2e combat is how unlikely it is an individual swing connects, due to multiple points of failure for an attack. You have to hit in the first place, they get an active defense (potentially), and then you have to break through armor and actually inflict wounds. Each one of these potential points of failure adjusts the odds significantly; let's say Johan the Champion at 76% WS is swinging at a Chaos Warrior with a Shield. That guy has a 61% chance to block that attack. That effectively makes Johan's chance to hit 46% on the swing the Warrior has a block for. Then he's Damage 6, and needs to get through DR 9; only a 70% chance to do Wounds at all. So on the swing the Warrior can active-defend with a shield, Johan the Badass has a 32% chance to actually injure him on an individual attack. The thing is, this is why Johan has 3 attacks at that level and a pool of rerolls, and that guy is also an unusually skilled and tanky enemy who is good at blocking with equipment designed to block; his second and third hits have 53% odds to do damage. Not only that, but each swing that got through has 10% odds to Fury, 76% chance to Confirm that Fury. This multiple points of failure design can absolutely be frustrating; I know my GM generally tries not to give early game enemies many Active Defenses specifically to avoid slowing the game down too much early on.

The thing is, this is another early game issue more than anything, and I think without it the late game would get extremely rocket-taggy. In general, there is an inordinate amount of attention paid to the balancing of the lower tiers of WHFRP2e because let's face it, the game and the culture around the game really want you to start at level 1 day 1 of your Rat Catcher's career and lots of campaigns don't go on long enough to get that guy up to being a Hero of the Empire. Which is a shame, because high tier play is actually fun as hell. If you want to start at 2nd or even 3rd tier, don't let anyone stop you by saying it's not how you're 'supposed' to play. When I played as Joan, I started as a Questing Knight, and that was one of the best Hams games I was ever in; you actually still have a ton of room for lateral advancement and a sense of character growth even if you start at a really high point. Zero to Hero is a lot of fun and the system does it well, but it isn't the only way to play.

Now, let's talk monsters and examine in depth why Treebeard was so goddamn dangerous to our heroes last time compared to a Hydra. The reason's simple: Treebeard fights like a turbo-charged PC. High Weapon Skill, higher attacks than a human PC can get, higher Strength than a human PC generally gets, Impact, Unstoppable Blows to negate one of the usual best Active Defenses (or at least make it much harder), very high Wounds, AND high DR. He's got the DR of a 3rd tier warrior in plate, he does the damage of an especially strong 3rd tier with a two-handed sword, he has the WS of an extremely strong 3rd tier, and he's got a monster's number of wounds and attacks. The only way you beat him is either to go at him with a whole party and hope your GM doesn't focus fire, or be Joan of Lyonesse and get lucky with Heroism (Either the earlier version, or the reprint updated version I was made aware of that inflicts an SB Crit whenever you roll a 10 for damage instead of Furying; either could kill him). By comparison, the Hydra only has a 42% chance to hit per swing. Sure, it bites 5 times, and does Damage 6 Impact. That hurts. It's a dangerous monster. But it fights like a monster, and effectively, a 3rd Tier with high to-hit and a pile of rerolls is going to land more strokes. The Hydra also has no active defense. Thus, a good 2nd tier party can probably bring one down.

Which gets me to another point of the combat system/monster design: Outside of outliers like Treebeard or something like a Bloodthirster (which you're meant to fight by arranging for a cannon bombardment or a conclave of wizards banishing it while you hold it off for 2 rounds or something) most monsters look more dangerous than they are. A large unit of Chaos Warriors is significantly more dangerous to a PC party than a Hydra, not just for action economy reasons but because being outnumbered boosts enemy to-hit and the more attacks you suffer, the more likely you'll be out of active defenses and having to take them on your armor. Also the more likely they can spare the guys to get around your front line and go for your non-fighters or your wizard or something. But lots of combat is designed around looking scary because at the end of the day, that's a matter of tone; WHFRP wants to convince you you're a doomed peasant who is going to die in the mud with a conscript's sword in one hand and your other having been ripped off by an 8 foot hellviking. This is because when you then shove that sword through the guy's eye-slit and kill him (or keep him busy long enough for your buddy to axe him in the back), it feels goddamn awesome.

Which is important, because 'feel' is really all combat has going for it. Combat in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e doesn't have a lot of deep tactical options. It's actually a really simple combat system where most of your tactics are just deciding who to focus on and whether you should run. Swift Attack is probably the single biggest design flaw in the system, because it tyrannizes all combat options as soon as you have access to it; being able to swing more than once is the most powerful option you have, with nothing else able to compete in the slightest. Which also leads to the silliness of actively hoping your opponent Charges you because now they only got one swing and you can attack back at a full attack. Similarly, while the Adventures and fiction are full of implications that most enemies will suffer morale problems and break before you kill all of them, there are no actual morale mechanics you can exploit or ways to force enemies to surrender outside of the adventure saying they do or your GM ruling they do. The combat system is mostly about rubbing numbers against one another and putting fiction to it. The good part is, the numbers work well enough to work fine in service to the fiction.

The dread secret of WHFRP2e is that the Doomed Peasant Simulator stuff is low level only, and even there if your GM is trying to balance combat properly you've got a way, way better chance than it looks like you do. Take a combat at the Siege of Middenheim where I was playing a young Sigmarite Initiate stuck in the war. He and a fellow Initiate (this one an Ulrican) were up against a Chaos Warrior as their first 'boss' after taking care of a couple piecemeal Chaos Marauders during an attack on one of the gates. Mechanically, Dieter was horribly outmatched; he was in light armor at DR 4, had 1 attack at WS 41, and only did Damage 4 to the Warrior's 5. But he and Carlott had the guy Outnumbered (+10 to both of them), and both had Fate Points. Between being able to reroll parries with my shield, hitting the guy more, and all those other added bonuses, these two sixteen year old Initiates brought down a hellviking after a significant expenditure of character resources (Fortune Points, some Wounds on Dieter the Sigmarite). There wasn't a huge amount of strategy, but the mechanics worked and fit the tone of the setting. You'll often feel outmatched and like you're narrowly muddling through, and that's part of what makes coming back later as a Veteran or Warrior Priest or whatever and just clowning on those guys great.

Like almost everything besides the Advancement rules (Careers are so goddamn good), combat and monster design are workmanlike and functional. WHFRP2e isn't a game whose rules are going to set anything on fire. But you do get enough options for customizing enemies (those Enemy Careers, mutations, books like ToC for making Chaos Lords) and a wide enough array of foes from a mechanical standpoint that you can make the tone of combat match the story you're trying to tell in the game. It's fun to play a fighter, because a fighter is really effective and fighting is often an viable solution to your problems. The monster stats in OWB back this up; when a 3rd Tier Warrior can duel and defeat arguably the 3rd nastiest monster in the bestiary, that says something. Even without Heroism, someone built like Joan could take a Hydra.

That said, there are some serious problems, and I picked Joan partly to illustrate one of them: Anything that bypasses Wounds tends to throw the combat system off a lot. WHFRP2e combat is generally somewhat slow paced and gives you some chances to back off and try to leg it if things are going wrong. Stuff like Joan's Heroism insta-crit (Either older or newer version), or a Chimera's 'I automatically do 1 Wound on any hit no matter your DR, also if you take a Wound you have to save vs. Poison or die', or a Basilisk's petrification glare, or any of the other Save or Dies? They all throw off the pacing of combat and make things much more swingy. It brings in the chance of outrageous fortune taking your PC out in a way that damage generally doesn't, because it's normally really hard to get one-shotted by pure damage. Ethereal enemies like Wraiths are a total bastard because they can hurt you can you can't do poo poo to them without magic, and your chances of having magic in a randomly generated party are pretty low. Enemies built like PCs can be extremely dangerous, though often not too overbearing. Chaos Lords and Vampire Lords are nuts, but you can probably action economy them.

Another thing I must add is that balance-wise, it's also really important that Strength and Toughness advances are generally tightly controlled. On average, an endgame combat character has SB 5 or 6, TB 5 or 6. Most endgame monsters have similar. This is one of the reasons a bunch of the Dwarf Runes and other magical items can throw things off; damage and DR are usually closely controlled. When you fling +3 damage into the mix from an epic magic sword, or a Runefang that ignores all armor, or a suit of armor with +2 DR (for 7 total), you start to throw the scaling out of whack. I've played a character with DR 14 as an Exalted Lord of Chaos before. 13-14 is about the point where DR starts to get out of hand and unbalance the game, since you start to easily deflect normal gunfire and render human-scale characters with SB 4-5 obsolete. The general soft cap of 10-11 works out much better. Magic items aren't a huge deal in most campaigns, but they're another thing that can throw off the normally reasonably balanced if simple combat system, same as instant kills.

And so, from a mechanical standpoint, the actual monster stats in OWB are fine. Like most mechanics in WHFRP2e, they're workmanlike and solid. They work much better than you'd expect a conversion of wargaming units into RPG stats would, and they work well with the general tone and intent of the combat system. Monsters are big and scary and still beatable. Mooks range from pathetic to solid to elite. There are some cool and flavorful enemies and majestic creatures like catbirds. You get enough variety to construct adventures and encounters for a variety of PCs and games. The real value of the book is that in addition to all that, you get some really great setting building, adventure ideas for all these wild creatures, and a better sense of how the people of the world view their world. Encounters with the fantastical are common enough that almost everyone has one; that's part of the point of Hob the Peasant, to show off that an ordinary peasant who never left his farm still had encounters like giving a Giant directions or seeing Wyverns fly over his fields and harass his cows. Merchants sell monster bits as exotic goods. Knights train to fight all kinds of fantastic beasts. Soldiers have doctrine for how to deal with them as an army. The setting might be muddy but it's definitely fantastical and full of weird and wonderful things.

The narrators are also flavorful, and make a good source of NPCs and color-characters for a campaign; when I was playing Dieter the Initiate at Middenheim he got his basic combat training from a wounded Captain Schultz, for instance. Rikkit'Tik could always show up as a weird mercenary rat who buys whatever you're selling off that Wyvern you killed, or a cunning enemy. I used Albrecht Kinear the secret cult professor as a villain for 17th Century German Indiana Jones. The material in this book makes you excited to use it, and the mechanics are solid enough to let you do just that. If you only get 2 books for WHFRP2e in order to run it, I highly recommend this one in addition to the core; it fills out the setting really well and provides a lot of stats that save a GM a lot of time. Old World Bestiary is a great sourcebook, and one of the best Bestiaries I've seen for an RPG.

Next Time: Maybe the city portions of the campaign books? Maybe Old World Armory, for another lackluster book

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

Emerald Empire: Born To Be Wild

Mountains are nearly impossible for most travelers to cross. It takes days to go around a mountain range at best, but it’s safer than going over. Because of this, trade in Rokugan is entirely reliant on the mountain passes. There’s a number of gaps through the Spine of the World, and more passes are likely to be found by explorers. However, they come at a cost. Passes funnel merchants into a small, twisty area that is easy hunting grounds for bandits. Many thieves are based out of the caves or abandoned watchtowers near the passes, benefitting both from the easy prey and the fact that a pass is a territorial morass, where samurai are hesitant to overstep their bounds for fear of starting an incident with a rival clan. In Beiden Pass, the Scorpion and Lion are far more concerned with each other than any petty banditry, for example. Besides the bandits, the passes are also prone to natural disaster. South of the Phoenix lands are the Mountains of Regret, cut through by the Treacherous Pass, which is named that because it’s plagued by beasts, mudslides and floods. Only the most desperate would use it rather than take the time to just go around the mountains.

Scaling the peaks is even worse an idea. In the Great Wall of the North, not all of the mountains slumber. The Wrath of the Kami is one of several active volcanos, and in winter, the snows are stained black with ash and soot, while its tremors cause frequent avalanches. A similar shaking occurs in the far south, in the Ocean Mountains. These small, blunted peaks are broken by the unstable quakes of Earthquake Fish Bay, leaving deep ravines and dangerous footing. And even when still, a mountain is no easy foe. The Spine of the World infamously is near impossible to scale from either side – the storm-buffeted eastern cliffs or the bladelike, jagged heights of the west. The sheer size and height threatens explorers, and even smaller peaks are perilous.

The sheer scale of the mountains means mapping even a single peak in detail could take a lifetime. The Hiruma have spent generations scouting and surveying the Twilight Mountains, which are easily the best documented range in the entire Empire. Despite this, Shadowlands creatures still find secret paths out of Crab lands through them. Miners are often interrupted by tunneling beasts trying to bypass the Kaiu Wall, and once in Rokugan, these creatures make secret colonies where they can. The Spine of the World is home to several goblin tribes, and terrible hags can be found on isolated peaks across the Empire. Deadly beasts are hardly unique to the Twilights, either. Any mountain road could become home to a chimi, a sort of malevolent spirit that surrounds itself in unnatural mists and manifests as one or more grotesque animals with human faces. Surviving a chimi encounter isn’t enough, either – they are able to inflict deadly illnesses on their victims. The mountains also commonly become home to omukade, giant man-eating centipedes that nest in caves. Their exoskeletons protect them from all harm except for their single weakness – human saliva. Any weapon coated in human spit will make short work of the centipedes, at least. Less common but rather more terrifying are the onikuma, demon bears. These are immense, fast and highly territorial beasts that can tear horses apart like paper and crush armor as if it wasn’t there. In the Great Wall of the North, all kinds of humans and spirits live apart from mainstream society. The forested mountains are favored by tengu, and lone Great Tengu are said to dwell on some peaks. The common game meat that sustains the Unicorn also allows the survival of the Yobanjin tribes, who descend from the humans that rejected the rule of the Kami, as well as the hidden settlements of the Perfect Land Sect.

The Jade Mine of West Mountain Village is absolutely vital to the work of the Crab. Over winter, the mine freezes over, but come spring, the ice thaws and the work begins anew. The miners come to purge the mines of darkness that set in during winter – leopards, bears, even hostile spirits might take refuge in the caves, and the tremors from Earthquake Fish Bay often loosen the supports. Once the mine is lit and the tunnels deemed safe, the mining begins. The miners work with cloth tied over mouth and nose, chiseling apart the huge slabs of rock to reveal the jade hidden within. It’s tedious but unquestionably vital work. The miners are hailed as heroes, for they supply the tool used by Crab warriors to strike down the Tainted monsters of the Shadowlands. Without them, all would surely fall.

Jade Mine Rumors posted:

  • Up north, iron miners dig into an abandoned underground city unlike anything else in Rokugan. The miners collapsed the tunnel soon afterward, and they refuse to speak of what they found.
  • In the tunnels, miners have been hearing voices that sound like they are coming from inside the rock.
  • Many of the West Mountain miners are really murderers and other criminals who have fled to the isolated mountains to escape justice.
  • Most of the other jade mines have run dry. Only the West Mountain jade mine is keeping up with demand. If anything happens to the West Mountain mine, it would be dire for all of Rokugan!

We get two NPCs. First up, Kuni Haruna, Sinister Witch Hunter. Haruna is one of the tsuki-sagasu, the Crab witch hunters, and has studied the Shadowlands since childhood. She worked as an apprentice to a skilled witch hunter and has proven herself as an excellent warrior. She is a plain, even ugly woman with a lanky body and a tendency to sneer, smirk and snarl. Her face is covered, like most Kuni, with red and white Kabuki-style paint, which only accentuates the darkness of her eyes. She is always analyzing her surroundings and takes a vicious glee in killing her targets. She is brash, vulgar and rude, and she often mocks social niceties. If she thinks she’s being lied to, she badgers and bullies until the truth comes out. However, while she comes off as malicious, she is dedicated – both to truth and her job. She has seen terrible things, and like most Crab, she’s dealt with it via desensitization and acceptance. She thinks that, in forcing reality onto people, she’s doing them a favor. Of course, she doesn’t need to cackle and snort while she does it, but telling her that is rarely a good idea.

Second, Asako Takahiro, Insightful Inquisitor. Takahiro is a small, lithe man with high cheekbones and a handsome face. He bears the mark of eyes tattooed on his palms, the sign of an Asako Inquisitor, and he tends to smile serenely regardless of what’s happening. This is designed to calm and comfort people…and it’s a trap. He plays at being a naďve, gentle fool to get his targets to drop their guard and incriminate themselves, and once he takes someone in, he enthusiastically monologues about his deductive genius and how he realized what was up. His greatest flaw, of course, is his immense pride. While he is usually an excellent investigator, he recently convicted an innocent woman, only discovering his error after her execution. Since then, he has worked to commit himself to the Noble Silence, a Shinseist practice of keeping silent whenever possible. He hopes this will cleanse his soul and open him to cosmic truths, though he cannot always resist speaking. Even without speech, however, he is highly expressive, with flexible eyebrows, dramatic expressions and exaggerated body language that easily get his feelings across and probably go against the spirit of the Noble Silence. Whoops.

Adventure seed: The West Mountain mine has suffered a cave-in after a strong earthquake in Earthquake Fish Bay. A miner asks the PCs for aid rescuing his fellows, who are trapped on the other side of the collapse. At least some are sure to be injured. After the PCs clear out the rubble, it becomes clear that some of the miners are missing. The rest say that over the past few weeks, they’ve heard voices behind the stone, and they think the quake may have unleashed something terrible. Following the voices will lead the PCs through the mines and out into a natural cave system, where the missing miners are hanging out with Kuni Haruna and Asako Takahiro. They had been pursuing a maho-tsukai cult when the tremors opened a passage into the mines. Now that the tunnels are clear, they want to find those cultists, and want the PCs’ help. It is not difficult to track down the Bloodspeakers, who are at work diverting an underground river in order to flood the jade mine, using a pretty lovely, janky dam. Haruna wants to split the group, with Takahiro leading some of the team to distract the Bloodspeakers while she and the rest of the group destroy the dam. If the dam is not destroyed, the jade mine will become unusable relatively quickly, which will compound the current jade shortages.

Next time: Lizard Places

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I can also cover Adeptus Evangelion if people want to see a vision of someone trying to use 40kRP to make mecha and it being a hilarious trainwreck.

I mean, I did that too. I made a Front Mission hack on the 40kRP chassis years ago, so I am not free of sin.

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.



I really like your Warhammer stuff because I never really played the RPG and the (often) surprisingly good fluff they came up with fascinates me.

Bonus points for anything with more info on either the Lizards are those hilariously dumb murderous Canadians*.

*For the brief time I played the tabletop, I had a Dark Elf army and even at like 11 or whatever, I still adored how stupidly ridiculous they were.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Night10194 posted:

I can also cover Adeptus Evangelion if people want to see a vision of someone trying to use 40kRP to make mecha and it being a hilarious trainwreck.

I mean, I did that too. I made a Front Mission hack on the 40kRP chassis years ago, so I am not free of sin.

I ran a game of Adeptus Evangelion a few years ago. It was a lot of fun (mostly due to the group), but an absolute mess system wise. I'd love to see someone take it apart and explain what works and what doesn't. Hint: the second category is much larger than the first, but the first is bigger than I expected.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Xiahou Dun posted:

I really like your Warhammer stuff because I never really played the RPG and the (often) surprisingly good fluff they came up with fascinates me.

Bonus points for anything with more info on either the Lizards are those hilariously dumb murderous Canadians*.

*For the brief time I played the tabletop, I had a Dark Elf army and even at like 11 or whatever, I still adored how stupidly ridiculous they were.

One of my eternal frustrations is the 2e stuff has material on neither outside of the occasional mention of the Canadians in Tome of Corruption. I'm afraid I cannot give you Warmoose, nor the sacred hockey of Khaine.

(These things are not part of Dark Elf fluff but should be)

E: Also, yes, I had some excellent experiences running AdEva with my friends, but that wasn't because of the rules, it was because of playing with people who embraced turning into tang and having a trippy journey outside their own perspective of themselves. The actual rules are awful.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 18:17 on Mar 4, 2019

mcclay
Jul 8, 2013

Oh dear oh gosh oh darn
Soiled Meat
I've had the Adeva rules explained to me as "a single turn of combat has eight steps." Which sounds, less than fun.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

mcclay posted:

I've had the Adeva rules explained to me as "a single turn of combat has eight steps." Which sounds, less than fun.

They are rules for a game about giant robot fights, from people who thought the best ruleset to use for this was 40kRP because there was some dumb crossover fanfiction about Shinji being into 40k and that making him 'less of a wuss'.

I'm not making that up, that was the reason for the system choice.

You know what gently caress it, let's get onto this trainwreck. I'll start re-reading and get started soon.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



If there were ever a hallmark of grognards, it's coming up with a wacky gonzo cross-over setting and then turning into a miserable quagmire with 300 pages of minutiae on precisely what penalties you get when you miss the roll to properly install the heat sinks in your giant magic robot's leg servos.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

LOL at 'becoming a wargamer makes you fearsome.' Reading the TV Tropes page is just making me shake my head.

Communist Zombie
Nov 1, 2011

Night10194 posted:

They are rules for a game about giant robot fights, from people who thought the best ruleset to use for this was 40kRP because there was some dumb crossover fanfiction about Shinji being into 40k and that making him 'less of a wuss'.

I'm not making that up, that was the reason for the system choice.

You know what gently caress it, let's get onto this trainwreck. I'll start re-reading and get started soon.

If it helps the third? edition realized that 40k is a terrible engine for Eva and went full homebrew engine so that could be an interesting sequel review. But last I checked it wasnt finished, mainly missing rules to play the operations director, aka land forces and the city gizmos.

Also which edition are you reviewing since second edition got forked over design choices that I honestly cant remember?

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Communist Zombie posted:

If it helps the third? edition realized that 40k is a terrible engine for Eva and went full homebrew engine so that could be an interesting sequel review. But last I checked it wasnt finished, mainly missing rules to play the operations director, aka land forces and the city gizmos.

Also which edition are you reviewing since second edition got forked over design choices that I honestly cant remember?

The weird thing is I have the 2.5 or whatever rulebook, but the one I actually played was the original. It's close enough (and in a base system I know very well, anyway) so I can still abide to my normal 'I review things I've played'.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

thatbastardken posted:

at some point i need to find a copy of the Bubblegum Crisis RPG, which was based on the successor system to CP2020.

I have this and its a terrible game but a beautiful book.

mllaneza
Apr 28, 2007

Veteran, Bermuda Triangle Expeditionary Force, 1993-1952




Alien Rope Burn posted:

I mean, ditto for what many classes do, the main issue is that classes like Solos and Netrunners have big dominant systems they get to just win at. In theory, something like the Nomad being able to call in thirty biker buddies to run you over as soon as you try and cross the street should be terrifying, but you need your GM to nod along with that. You can't just point at the math in the book letting you dictate who dies.

Someone needs to port The Chopper to The Sprawl; they'd fit right in.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Organizing this review is going to be a clusterfuck, because organization in this book certainly is. I'm not sure if I should put the mechanics first so they make sense when we get to the Talents and characters and poo poo, or just put it all out there in the order it's in, so that things will only make any sense 5 updates later.

Also, Christ, for a game whose mechanics are always going to be poor, they sure thought the solution to the flaws of the original release's mechanics was 'invent way more mechanics'. I guess they learned from FFG's 40kRP line after all.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

Luckily, I *did* save your old avatar. Fucked around and found out indeed.
I played a game of AdEva that convinced me to drop that group and burn all the bridges.

Thanks, AdEva!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Leraika posted:

I played a game of AdEva that convinced me to drop that group and burn all the bridges.

Thanks, AdEva!

When I was running it I had to drop a player recruited from outside my normal group after he asked me why I wasn't making the women on the team fall in love with his male PC as GM. That was that.

In another incident, when I tried being a player rather than a GM, I made a PC who was supposed to join an existing group as the father to one of the pilots and the Ops Director (adult who coordinates the team). When I got there, I found out there was a subplot where an adult pilot was loving my PC's underaged pilot daughter. I dropped that group instantly.

This is not a game I would ever, ever try to play with anyone but people I know personally after those two experiences. This is a game that feels it needs to provide a PC advantage called 'Unshippable' to make your PC immune to character skills being used to get you into a relationship. That's some of the poo poo we're in for.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017

open_sketchbook posted:

I have this and its a terrible game but a beautiful book.

Did they ever find a genre that Fuzion worked for?

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

open_sketchbook posted:

I have this and its a terrible game but a beautiful book.

It's one of the only game books I have a name credit in. (Nothing in there is my fault, just FYI, you can't pin me down for nothin'.)

Edit: Also I remember looking at AdEva when there was a forum recruit for it and I remember noping out pretty quick. I don't know if I'd say it gave me Absolute Terror but it definitely widened the gulf between me and other people, so it got that part right.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 23:59 on Mar 4, 2019

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!
So I'm starting to read up ARB's Rifts series, starting with the corebook on F&F. My question may have been answered ahead of time, but has anyone developed a "tier system" for the classes/archetypes of the setting? I know that Glitter Boys are the biggest combat monsters, but little beyond that.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's one of the only game books I have a name credit in. (Nothing in there is my fault, just FYI, you can't pin me down for nothin'.)

Edit: Also I remember looking at AdEva when there was a forum recruit for it and I remember noping out pretty quick. I don't know if I'd say it gave me Absolute Terror but it definitely widened the gulf between me and other people, so it got that part right.
I laid the groundwork and will be doing the layout for an Eva RPG where you play the conspiracy instead of the kid, so we'll finally have a good Eva game I guess.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
drat it, where's my like button?

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

Luckily, I *did* save your old avatar. Fucked around and found out indeed.

Night10194 posted:

When I was running it I had to drop a player recruited from outside my normal group after he asked me why I wasn't making the women on the team fall in love with his male PC as GM. That was that.

In another incident, when I tried being a player rather than a GM, I made a PC who was supposed to join an existing group as the father to one of the pilots and the Ops Director (adult who coordinates the team). When I got there, I found out there was a subplot where an adult pilot was loving my PC's underaged pilot daughter. I dropped that group instantly.

This is not a game I would ever, ever try to play with anyone but people I know personally after those two experiences. This is a game that feels it needs to provide a PC advantage called 'Unshippable' to make your PC immune to character skills being used to get you into a relationship. That's some of the poo poo we're in for.

Yeah I decided that I was going to play the Shinji in my game and rolled a boy band musician who joined up with the war effort 'cause propaganda. What I got was a bunch of other characters who literally spent the first night fighting over who got to sleep with him (without his consent or input). At one point he was actually kidnapped by another character.

I decided I didn't want to be part of that group any longer.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.
Buglord

I hope it's cross-compatible with the Harry Potter rpg you're also doing. I want to see if expecto patronum can take down an Angel.

open_sketchbook
Feb 26, 2017

the only genius in the whole fucking business

inklesspen posted:

I hope it's cross-compatible with the Harry Potter rpg you're also doing. I want to see if expecto patronum can take down an Angel.

It's such a shame I am just one person, I don't have time to make The Only Good RPG for literally every genre and fandom.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!

Libertad! posted:

So I'm starting to read up ARB's Rifts series, starting with the corebook on F&F. My question may have been answered ahead of time, but has anyone developed a "tier system" for the classes/archetypes of the setting? I know that Glitter Boys are the biggest combat monsters, but little beyond that.

There have been one or two, but I wouldn't put much stock in them. The main issue you'll run into is that agreement (or, indeed, a full understanding) of the actual rules of Rifts varies. So you'll have people that give wizards extremely high marks not realizing they can only cast a spell or two a turn RAW. Or people who talk about the limitations of X class when said limitations are not reflected by the rules. And so on.

Ultimately, there are several rough "types" of characters.

Humanoids, no major augmentation. These are your basic soldiers, gunslingers, and "adventuring" classes like scholars and scouts, and we're including D-Bees races that are comparable enough to humans, with only modest benefits. They tend to have good or even great skills - often some of the best skill packages in the game - but tend to be very endangered in combat. How useful skills are is almost entirely GM-dependent. What skills can do, and how often they come up, is largely up to the GM, though an aggressive player could try and push creative uses if the GM rolls with it.

Humanoids, major augmentation. These are power armor troops and cyborgs on the high end, characters like juicers, crazies, cyber-knights, and some headhunters towards the lower end. It's a very wide range, but they mostly do the same thing to different levels of numbers. In general, the more cool equipment they get, the better off they usually are. High-augmentation characters like Glitter Boys and Cyborgs are amongst some of the strongest straightforward combat characters you can get.

Humanoids, specialty. These are classes like Dog Boys, Druids, and Psi-Nullifiers that are really good at one thing or do a lot of weak magic things and relatively average otherwise. They're somewhere between lack of augmentation and full spellcasters. Generally not a big deal save when they can leverage stuff like tracking the supernatural or completely shutting down a psionic monster.

Humanoids, wizardry and psionics. These are extremely feast or famine, and can be very flexible and potent given the correct selection of abilities... or absolute garbage with the wrong ones. They can leverage save-or-suck effects to take out some enemies some of the time reliably enough, particularly against weaker foes. And they have perhaps the strongest noncombat arrays of abilities - you don't have to roll to see if you can fly, you just need to have enough energy to cast the spell. Tend to be downright awful at damage dealing and taking, have less actions than most other classes, and have to rely on tricks and traps to not just get blown away. They tend to be pretty weak at straightforward skills. Some get fantastic class abilities.

Superhuman classes, weak. This means things like Brodkil, Grackle Tooths, True Atlanteans, etc. They tend to be roughly in line with major augmentation humanoids but might have some potent supernatural power like invisibility, or the ability to stack a class on top of their superhuman racial features. However, their mega-damage values aren't overwhelming and they're not likely to be game-changers. Their skills tend towards the average, or they have strong magic.

Superhuman classes, specialty. These are weird ones like Faeries, Werewolves, or Star Children that have some standout side powers but are glass cannons otherwise. They tend to have some powers that can really disrupt a GM's ability to plan if used creatively. "I turn into light and go into Japan." "I fly over the Coalition troops invisibly and make them dance." "I facetank the missile swarm." But they have an issue where they have very short life expectancy if caught off-guard or run into their sole weakness. They also tend to have bad skills and not much direct offense.

Superhuman classes, strong. These are things like Vampires, Dragon Hatchlings, Neo-Humans, etc. They tend to have a wide variety of magical effects, M.D.C. on par with major augmentations or invulnerability. They combine solid combat capability with strong supernatural powers. Often some of the strongest and most flexible characters in the game- not as flexible as some spellcasters, but given some double as half-assed spellcasters that's sometimes academic.

Superhuman classes, game-busters. Demigods / Godlings, Phoenixi, Cosmo-Knights etc. These tend to have very strong abilities (all spells of a given type, double class capabilities, powerful exclusive abilities), and so on. Played subpar they're not much different from the "strong" supernaturals, but in a creative and cunning player's hands, they let people do some crazy nonsense. They're far from unstoppable - most things will go down if you just throw enough missiles at them - but these are the sorts of characters that can stand in for two to three other strong classes on their own.

There's also some templates like Warrior of Valhalla or Sea Inquisitor that can easily kick a class up to the next "tier", such as it is. There are also game-breakers like Controllers that tend to bust down the game rules in ways that don't really resemble anything else. It's hard to have a proper "tier list", but that's how I'd break things up at a glance.

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 02:24 on Mar 5, 2019

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Thank you for this detailed write-up! This gives me a better sense of things while reading the F&Fs.

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!
And obviously the Tracker-Woodsman fits into the Game-Buster category.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

mllaneza posted:

Someone needs to port The Chopper to The Sprawl; they'd fit right in.
The Sprawl is not the best-designed PbtA game; it has some basic issues. But the cyberpunk genre and the "one of each type" heist/military genre adapts very well to PbtA. And it understands how "zooming out" from the very specific narration of a dungeoncrawl--pick lock, search room, fight monster--allows characters like the Media and Rockerboy to actually do their thing.

(In fact, one of the common complaints about The Sprawl is that it's possible to put together a group that doesn't feature any of the roles that actually do the breaking-in part, which is a bad idea.)

Cooked Auto posted:

The ACR was meant to be a rifle firing flechettes, which in itself is very sci-fi. Unlike the OICW whose big thing was the programmable grenades on top of a bog standard 5.56 carbine that later on became the failed XM8 project.
In Cyberpunk 3.0, they added a whole class of weapon called BFG ("Ballistic Flechette Gun"). They're anti-tank rifles.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006

Halloween Jack posted:

In Cyberpunk 3.0, they added a whole class of weapon called BFG ("Ballistic Flechette Gun"). They're anti-tank rifles.

Pondsmith wasn't very consistent with what BFG stood for. I think there's at a few points it's referred as "Ballistic Fragmentation Gun", which made some sense that they were in 20mm and 30mm calibers.

megane
Jun 20, 2008




Please let us know as soon as you feel ready to show this around, because drat

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011

Night10194 posted:

One of my eternal frustrations is the 2e stuff has material on neither outside of the occasional mention of the Canadians in Tome of Corruption. I'm afraid I cannot give you Warmoose, nor the sacred hockey of Khaine.

There actually was in Warhammer 1e (along with Amazons and Pygmies :barf: and more than issues of White Dwarf and Carnel.

It's a shame because Storm of Chaos era Lizard had a poo poo ton going for them and a few plot hooks that would make for interesting encounters (to dunk on Elf Racism, have the Book of Grudges be Re- Titled: What Mazadmundi Did, and create new answers for why Sigmar bailed without setting up a successor that include: Sigmar was and is an active Old One, Humanity and Lizardmen as his chosen people, also Dwarf are cool (Elfs need not apply) or Sigmar gave up on humanity and became Sotek.)

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.

Leraika posted:

Yeah I decided that I was going to play the Shinji in my game and rolled a boy band musician who joined up with the war effort 'cause propaganda. What I got was a bunch of other characters who literally spent the first night fighting over who got to sleep with him (without his consent or input). At one point he was actually kidnapped by another character.

I decided I didn't want to be part of that group any longer.

Sounds like the kind of game made by and for people who watch too much anime, or rather, read way too much anime fanfiction.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

After a Speaker vote, you may be entitled to a valuable coupon or voucher!



I want someone to come up with an RPG that can do, like, Gundam or Banpresto OGs, to say nothing of super-robot stuff. About the only novel element of Cthulhupunk was its efforts to also rip off Macross along with the inevitable Deadhorsiel, Sixty-ninth Angel of Expressing Anger At The Protagonist Not Performing Masculinity.

shades of eternity
Nov 9, 2013

Where kitties raise dragons in the world's largest mall.

PurpleXVI posted:

And obviously the Tracker-Woodsman fits into the Game-Buster category.

Especially with his party that consists of a cactus person and a vagabond ladened with soap. :p

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Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

Luckily, I *did* save your old avatar. Fucked around and found out indeed.

Nessus posted:

I want someone to come up with an RPG that can do, like, Gundam or Banpresto OGs, to say nothing of super-robot stuff. About the only novel element of Cthulhupunk was its efforts to also rip off Macross along with the inevitable Deadhorsiel, Sixty-ninth Angel of Expressing Anger At The Protagonist Not Performing Masculinity.

There's Battle Century G, and I've been in games of LANCER that went the Super Robot Wars route.

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