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Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Halloween Jack posted:

I'm not sure why the communities surrounding anime and young adult fiction are a hotbed of people projecting their maladaptive and antisocial sexual and political ideology.

Honestly, it's not unique to anime. Anime is just a very visible acceptable target for that. But look at modern communities surrounding Star Trek and Star Wars, or the Marvel movies. Or, God forbid, Warhammer 40k.

Funny thing is, I can tell you the exact book series that made me check out from 40k as a setting I was really interested in for the writing and generally taking it seriously. It was nothing extreme in itself, it just produced a transcendant moment of welp.

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Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
I certainly have seen this kind of thing in sci-fi and in superhero comics, generally--The Old Iron Dream was written for a reason. But anime and YA specifically seem to be a magnet for "My girlfriend has a 12-year-old's body but she's actually a 900-year-old alien so it's okay. Also she belongs to an order of space knights whose uniforms look exactly like the Schutzstaffel, but it's okay because that's their culture."

Now that I think about it, this seems to be specifically a fanfic thing, and of course there are currently more confused young people writing fanfic about stuff for young people. The first Kirk-Spock pedophile Nazi slash fic was probably written in 1968.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Cythereal posted:

Funny thing is, I can tell you the exact book series that made me check out from 40k as a setting I was really interested in for the writing and generally taking it seriously. It was nothing extreme in itself, it just produced a transcendant moment of welp.

Which book series, if I may ask?

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

Halloween Jack posted:

I certainly have seen this kind of thing in sci-fi and in superhero comics, generally--The Old Iron Dream was written for a reason. But anime and YA specifically seem to be a magnet for "My girlfriend has a 12-year-old's body but she's actually a 900-year-old alien so it's okay. Also she belongs to an order of space knights whose uniforms look exactly like the Schutzstaffel, but it's okay because that's their culture."

Now that I think about it, this seems to be specifically a fanfic thing, and of course there are currently more confused young people writing fanfic about stuff for young people. The first Kirk-Spock pedophile Nazi slash fic was probably written in 1968.

Star Trek fanfic is the very origin of the terms 'slash fic' and 'Mary Sue.' Though the titular character of the latter was actually a parody of the character type in Trek fanfic.

Night10194 posted:

Which book series, if I may ask?

The Beast Arises.

You know how orks in 40k are the setting's comic relief?

Yeah, this book series is all about throwing that way the hell out the window and making the orks as grimdark and serious and horrific a threat as can be imagined. It was when I got to the part where the orks were farming humans for food on a conquered world that I set the book down and decided I was done.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




I think that was a series that made a lot of people just check out. General consensus as I've gotten it is that they were pretty bad overall.
Feels like that came out right before GW had a change of heart overall.

Tulul
Oct 23, 2013

THAT SOUND WILL FOLLOW ME TO HELL.

Hostile V posted:

Dan Olson has a solid two-part series discussing Evangelion and authorial intent that is good watching to get a handle on Eva if you never have. In short, people didn't get the message of "you should accept yourself and utilize introspection to understand you're worth it" due to a mixture of A: scheduling issues that resulted in budget cuts, B: the author being unable to tell the story true to their vision due to hella depression and budget cuts and C: fans being absolute dogshit at any form of critical analysis, relying on a surface level reading of the work and hitching their horses to the Christian symbolism because that's more acceptable and accessible than "it's okay to be depressed".

Just FYI, A and B are completely false but super-persistent myths. The show never suffered budget cuts. They had some serious problems with deadlines and plans for the story changed throughout production, but that was all down to Gainax/Anno, not money. Anno had serious depression a few years before the show was made, which was a huge influence, but he wasn't in a psych ward when he wrote the show.

C is 100% true, though, and is probably the reason A & B get repeated so often and Evangelion got memed up as some kind of anime Ulysses. It being incomprehensible because the director was off his pills and all of the money walked out is a better story than it being incomprehensible because you're bad at comprehension.

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!
Personally I loathed Evangelion. But then again, I generally dislike stories about depressed or insecure protagonists because they almost always follow the same extremely predictable and repetitive story beats, and their intense struggle is mostly reflected in periods where you can go make a sandwich and by the time you get back, nothing's happened on screen that matters. It's not tense, or moving, because you know exactly how it's gonna turn out.

Generally it's not even media that ever pops up in my mind, though, except when someone slobbers all over its knob and praises its brilliance, which I find eyerolly. It's mediocre at best, and the actual interesting story is in some of the development background, not in the actual show.

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

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




All I can remember from watching NGE years ago was that I thought the ending for End of Evangelion to be a bit too much. Everything else I've just kinda forgotten. Didn't really think all that much of it though, just kinda series everyone said you had to watch.

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011

Hostile V posted:

C: fans being absolute dogshit at any form of critical analysis, relying on a surface level reading of the work and hitching their horses to the Christian symbolism because that's more acceptable and accessible than "it's okay to be depressed".

I remember his first End of Evangelion video and it was bad, having to remove lines from Asuka and turning a blind eye to Misato's characterization because the implication of why she wanted to 'Shinji to see that side of herself' (AKA she was a pedophile) scared him and made it about him being an otaku incel or whatever to make his point about how it critiqued Otaku culture. Which it did, but it also was about him trying to unload his own baggage about what it said about relationships in general.

But I'm focusing on this, just because isn't true whatsoever. I mean look at everything from Evageeks fansite to loving FLCL's dig at Evangelion fans (Naoto's dad made a sizable amount of money from a book about Evangelion). Evangelion is the butt joke on everything from 4chan to twitter much like The Shining because everyone knows it's themes and critiques at this point.It's the world's worst kept secert but also a bonding experience because every depressed teenager from the nineties with even the faintest interest in anime or animation loved it and got it

Hostile V
May 31, 2013

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

That's fair; I do know that C lead to death threats towards Anno which didn't help his depression but did lead him to make End of Eva. I'm more familiar with general hearsay and myths so I'm willing to admit I'm wrong.

For folks who are unfamiliar, End of Eva is Anno giving up and telling the toxic fans "okay fine Shinji is actually you, wish granted". Gone is the sensitive and nervous overburdened introspective everyteen with a dead mom and bad dad, here is the selfish and self-centered angst ball who openly demands other people gratify him and justify his existence and then throws a tantrum when women say "you gotta love you, fool, because you put us on a pedestal and forget we have our own lives" before lashing out in petty and clumsy displays of violence (with a dead mom and bad dad).

The show ends with Shinji accepting he wants to live no matter what and that he loves himself. The movie ends with Shinji ruining happiness for everyone else because he can't be alone with himself, and that still doesn't make him happy.

e: also NutritiousSnack, you're right, the themes and metaphors are well trod and well understood at this point. Enough people with good elocution and ability to convey ideas have spread them, and that's good. But I am being serious when I say that, not just when it comes to Eva, groups as a whole are really bad at critical analysis and critical thinking. There are enough folks in any given group who just consume the product on a surface level and don't necessarily understand why they feel the way they do when it's done. They are learned tools that aren't taught and explained to nearly as many people as they should and AdEva is what happens when people who think they can read critically decide they will fix what they think is wrong.

And to be clear I don't mean this as an elitist thing, I don't mean to say that only the cool and smart folks get it and it's their burden to educate the common fandom rabble. It's a systemic problem that should be fixed by giving everyone the tools to understand and criticize. Because that's how you get good creative works or at the very least people try to make something that comes from what they want to say rather than a loose collection of aesthetics and tools. And it's how you get good conversations that inspire or give you a look from an angle different than you're used to.

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 22:13 on Mar 5, 2019

Wrestlepig
Feb 25, 2011

my mum says im cool

Toilet Rascal
I understand wow cool robot but wow cool teenage vulnerable sexuality is a real step beyond that a lot of rpg designers seem to take

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Were the dozens of Talents in DH not enough

So there's a lot of Talents. A LOT of Talents. I'm not going into all of these, I'm just going to talk about their general tenor and how they work out. Lots of the Talents are extremely specific and designed for specific classes rather than general use like the abilities in most of DH; in DH and WHFRP, Talents are very general and classes often vary more in when you learn them. Here? No-one else is getting Precision, that's the Skrimisher's whole 'thing'.

Some interesting things, looking at normal Talents from DH: They heavily limited multi-attack Talents. The Skirmisher tops out at Swift Attack (2 attacks). The Berserker never gets an extra attack outside of Furious Assault (All Out, Hit, then can All Out again, giving up all defenses to swing twice at huge to-hit bonuses). Also, they never actually say which version of DH they're using, but from some context clues I can tell you it's DH1e, so we haven't swapped over to the thing where Swift Attack is 'Semiauto, But Melee' yet. This means most characters are going to struggle to get through Active Defenses with melee. This is a major reason the Skirmisher has some of the options they have.

See, the Skirmisher gets talents like Precision (Weapon Type). They take that, then pick from a big old list of 'Precisions', like 'My melee attacks can only be Dodged, not Parried' or '-20 to Dodge my stab', or 'I always deal at least 2 Wounds a hit even if you tanked everything'. Skirmisher also doesn't get Crushing Blow or Mighty Shot because some of their Precision abilities do the same thing. The Talents that have been added for the physical combat classes aren't out of line with the norms for DH mechanics. DH's mechanics have their own problems, and adding dozens of Talents to them doesn't really solve any of them, but combat in this game is fundamentally different from combat in Dark Heresy and I understand a desire to alter its mechanics considerably. This is the general mold we'll see for all of the classes.

One of the issues comes not so much with physical combat as with Berserk and AT Powers. AT Powers are a huge portion of the Talents, and only one class truly engages with them. Berserks are very complicated, and split up all over the loving book. Your Eva has a Soul type that determines how it goes Berserk, and then your Berserk talents are all also modified by Soul Type and errgh. There's a huge amount of this stuff and it only really applies to the Berserker. Most of the subsystems are entire subsystems invented almost entirely for one class rather than an attempt to make a more cohesive or general design. This means you have to memorize a huge number of abilities if you want to run this game, in a system where you already had to memorize a huge number of abilities. This is, again, what I mean when I say this game really needed an editor.

Unbound by worries about pagecount, this is how we end up with a game that has a player's guide that is over 250 pages long without having to write up its base resolution mechanic or system because those are in Dark Heresy. Similarly, this is 250 pages without anything on the enemies; when the Supernatural Berserk's upgrade talent says 'You acquire the Heavenly trait' I have to look in the GM's guide to see what the hell that actually means (It means you can spend Space Magic points without actually lowering the shield the Space Magic provides you, which is really useful and something all the angels do, which makes Space Magic much easier on them). Oh, I had also somehow missed that going into their version of Frenzy specifically disallows you using multiple melee attacks. There are so many things in these descriptions that require you to wade through the uninspired fluff to get to the actual gameplay elements that it makes reading them an absolute chore, especially as I need to be cross-referencing two other books.

This is why I keep calling this stuff amateur. DH is not a concise or well edited book, either, but it's better than this. I hadn't realized exactly how much I appreciated things like Myriad Song's 'here's a tiny bit of fluff well off the body of the Gift, then solely game text' until I tried to wade through this. I don't need to read how you're collapsing the delta waveform when you use the IMPOSSIBLE wizard talent or whatever. I don't give a poo poo about your technobabble. I need the bit where it says 'You may now play GM May I with one AT power and try to convince them you can do anything with it' (lol). That's the gameplay bit. I don't give a poo poo about all this fluff. I don't care that the 'Evangelion is a force that defies NERV's expectation'. I care about the bit of actual mechanics in From the Grave that let you Spend Fate to try to Go Berserk and get back up at 0 Wounds when your robot was downed. Stop mixing this poo poo together! It's making it harder to report and the fluff writing is awkward fan writing anyway!

Also stop making entire Talents out of 'thing they did in the show once' goddamnit. I know they had the whole episode where they had to learn to dance together so they could dual drop kick a pair of dancing angels. That was a thing. It doesn't need its own description as 'A stylish move favored by aces, which you count yourself among' and a whole paragraph of rules and an EXP cost. But that in itself is indicative of a lot of AdEva's approach to writing for its setting, and thus deserves some examination. 'A thing they did once in the show to kill the monster of the week' becomes 'a major tactic that we wrote a bunch of rules for'. A big moment in the show to show the Evas aren't actually fully controlled because they're alive is turned into a power-set because it would be cool to drive the crazy robot that eats angels, and so Berserking becomes a subsystem. The actual mechanics of the AT field don't really matter in original work, but instead they get turned into a huge array of spells for a wizard class. Everything is mechanized and has a whole paragraph of rules or more devoted to it in multiple spots throughout the book.

Which is really the end of the Talents section; they've put a ton of effort and even a fair amount of mechanical creativity into the Talents. Take the Skirmisher's big Capstone, where they get a 20 point floating pool of bonuses every turn that they can throw around their actions and reactions until the start of their next turn. That's not a terrible idea for a super capstone, especially if they're trying to be higher power than DH (And they are definitely doing that). Or the Pointman gaining the ability to impede and debuff the angel while trying to reduce its AT field so the others can shoot it; if you're not going to do damage, that's a good use of your time. The actual design of the Talents isn't so much the issue as the fact that none of them really address the core issues of DH's combat system. When we get to damage, everything's still mostly going to bypass your armor (and theirs). The combat system still has all its old flaws, it just has a massive amount of additional complications placed on it. Nothing changes or addresses the fundamental issues.

In fact, the fact that it's often PCs vs. Big Boss is going to make most fighting an awful lot easier than the designers intend. I often don't think they understand how precious that one Reaction action a character gets is, because this is Dark Heresy, and

So Talents are full of a ton of material, and it isn't all terrible, but what it is is inconsequential. And again, everything in the next hundreds of pages is going to be mostly about how to fight monsters with a giant robot. Now I am a man who likes a giant robot fight. I couldn't tell you why, but gently caress yeah, mechs. Completely inexplicable. But the level of Giant Robot Fighting Rules, combined with the normal rules it's working on already? It's a huge amount of complexity for very minimal gain. The authors never met a subsystem they didn't want to toss into their robot fighting game. Which is annoying to me, because complexity is something you ideally want to minimize; the fewer things players have to memorize, check, and consult, the better. Even in a crunchy system, you want to cut whatever you can.

But you know, fan project, unconstrained by Pagecount or professional editing, worked on for years. This poo poo is like kudzu.

Next Time: The Giant Robot

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 5, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
While people inevitably will dance around critical analysis, and there were always be people that prefer the puddle over the sea, sometimes the reason something is misunderstood is because it communicated its themes and message far more haphazardly and obtusely than it ever needed to.

That something is Evangelion, for the record.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Cythereal posted:

It was when I got to the part where the orks were farming humans for food on a conquered world that I set the book down and decided I was done.

Imperial propaganda. Orks eat squigs.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Tulul posted:

Just FYI, A and B are completely false but super-persistent myths. [...] Anno had serious depression a few years before the show was made, which was a huge influence, but he wasn't in a psych ward when he wrote the show.

You don't need to be inside a psych ward to be depressed though. Things can get better and you can still be depressed. Which doesn't necessarily mean that Anno must have been depressed when he wrote it, but that he wasn't presently institutionalized is not evidence to the contrary.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

The Lone Badger posted:

Imperial propaganda. Orks eat squigs.

Beast Arises had it as a thing that was happening in the mega-Waaagh. Along with Orks developing better-than-Eldar tier tech, speaking High Gothic fluently, Orks doing legit science, Orks with armies of human slaves taking the place of grots, and doing stuff so horrific you had the goddamn Iron Warriors, Imperial Fists, and Black Templars teaming up because even the Traitor Legions were mercy-killing inhabited worlds rather than let the Orks take them.

The Chad Jihad
Feb 24, 2007


I mean, " Some orks become the super-weapons they were supposed to be" SOUNDS like it'd be a good plot hook, I guess I can't blame them for trying

Hunt11
Jul 24, 2013

Grimey Drawer

Cythereal posted:

Beast Arises had it as a thing that was happening in the mega-Waaagh. Along with Orks developing better-than-Eldar tier tech, speaking High Gothic fluently, Orks doing legit science, Orks with armies of human slaves taking the place of grots, and doing stuff so horrific you had the goddamn Iron Warriors, Imperial Fists, and Black Templars teaming up because even the Traitor Legions were mercy-killing inhabited worlds rather than let the Orks take them.

What the flying gently caress? Everything else sounds like bullshit but the idea of Iron Warriors and Imperial Fists teaming up to do anything together besides killing each other is just loving nuts.

Double Plus Undead
Dec 24, 2010
AdEva looks like hot garbage but the idea of a pilot that goes to sleep and lets their mech do all the fighting amuses me. How playable is it? (For a given value of playable anyway.)

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion


I guess that's sort of the magnitude of what you expect out of a galaxy-wide megawaaagh, but this is a clear case of writers Not Getting the Point.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Double Plus Undead posted:

AdEva looks like hot garbage but the idea of a pilot that goes to sleep and lets their mech do all the fighting amuses me. How playable is it? (For a given value of playable anyway.)

Carrying some sedatives to KO yourself so your robot remembers it's your mom and goes and kills some motherfuckers for you is a good plan. I actually don't see why it wouldn't work purely RAW; if you lose consciousness in the robit, it checks SR-30 for Berserk.

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Or who's just too hungover to stay conscious.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

The Lone Badger posted:

Or who's just too hungover to stay conscious.

Pilot demands they add gin to his tang.

megane
Jun 20, 2008



Night10194 posted:

Pilot demands they add gin to his tang.

Maybe it's actually tequila sunrise.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009

I love the potoo,
and the potoo loves you.

wiegieman posted:

I guess that's sort of the magnitude of what you expect out of a galaxy-wide megawaaagh, but this is a clear case of writers Not Getting the Point.

The Chad Jihad posted:

I mean, " Some orks become the super-weapons they were supposed to be" SOUNDS like it'd be a good plot hook, I guess I can't blame them for trying

Yeah, current 40k fluff has Ghazkgull consciously moving in this direction, too, furthering my decision to emotionally check out from 40k along with my general disillusionment with the Imperium.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.

Halloween Jack posted:

Yeah, a real anime game would have you roll to see if you wake up with morning wood, roll to see if your older sister comes to wake you up and sees your boner, and roll again to see if she gets insanely mad and hits you with a comically large mallet.

Roll to see if you halve your falling damage by landing in boobs.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!



Part 6: Dehumanize Yourself and Face to Cyber-Viagra


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kb1_38445vA

As you might imagine in a game called Cyberpunk, using cybernetics is a major part of this game. Cyberpunk 2.0.2.0. does has plenty of cyberware in just the core book, and more is added with each supplement. But as Iíve hinted at earlier, there are special costs to cyberware aside from Eurobucks. While these costs arenít going to stop PCs from using cybernetics, itís going to make them very careful about what cybernetics they do get.

Before starting with the bad stuff, the game has a quick intro to what cybernetics can do in general because...well itíd be weird to open the chapter on Cybernetics with ďTHIS STUFF WILL DRIVE YOU INSANE DONíT USE IT!Ē, and gives the advice that if you donít have the cash for everything you want at the start, it probably wonít take many play sessions to get that cash. With the high note opening out of the way, itís time to talk about Cyberpsychosis.

As a person slaps on more and more metal and silicon into their body, they begin to become detached from everyone else. If they keep adding cybernetics, this detachment transforms into irritation, and then unending murderous rage. This mental affliction is called Cyberpsychosis, and the danger it represents will dictate how much cybernetics you can have on your character (except-well, weíll get to that soon). When you first create your character, you take their EMP and multiply it by 10. This is your starting Humanity. Every time the character has a piece of cyberware installed, they subtract itís Humanity Cost. For minor items the cost will be .5, 1, or 2, but for any big ticket item you have to roll to determine the cost - thatís because every brain is different and will react to some enhancements worse than others. For every 10 points of Humanity lost, the characterís EMP is reduced by 1.

When a characterís EMP drops to 3, the symptoms of Cyberpsychosis first start to become apparent. These symptoms get progressively worse as EMP falls until the character hits 0. At that point the referee takes over the character, who is now, well, a cyberpsycho. While there are variations on the cyberpsycho such as split personalities, compulsive lying, and other mental maladies that seem to have fallen off of the Palladium insanity table, the usual behavior of the cyberpsycho is to kill anyone and everyone its souped up body can reach.


I still canít figure out what the hell sheís pressing against her cheek

Cyberpsychosis is pretty well understood in-setting. Itís known that some cyberware have harsher effects on the psyche than others, and that the damage of most enhancements canít be fully predicted before installation. Thereís even a rating system for every piece of cyberware that corresponds to the Humanity Loss. Police forces have formed units of heavily armed specialists trained to deal with Cyperpsychos called Pyscho Squads (also known as C-SWAT). Most members of Pyscho Squads are actually Solos, since making an arrest is usually out of the question.

Depending on the jurisdiction, some Psycho Squads will also practice preventative safety measures by keeping an eye on whoís loading up on cybernetics and presenting anyone getting too chrome-happy with a choice: keep on trucking and ďrisk an accidentĒ from ďa concerned citizenĒ, or get registered. With Registration, you get a monitor installed in your bits, and the Psycho Squad will generally let you go about your business They may install a remote bomb, but it depends on the department (ie how big of a dick the Referee wants to be). Oh, and you agree to see a cyberpsychologist, which will regain you 2 HC per week until your original EMP is restored.

That sound you heard is the gameís tone shifting just a little bit before it rockets past Neo-Mega Jupiter.

Thatís right, you can gain Humanity back, meaning with enough time the skyís the limit. Whatís worse is that the rules arenít all that well written. There seems to be two rates of recovery, one where you leave the cyberare in, which is at 2 HC, and one where itís removed (usually when the Psycho Squad makes a capture, for whatever reason), which puts recovery at 2 EMP a week. Except the example they give mixes Humanity Cost and Empathy, so :shrug: How much it costs to do on oneís own, or what a character would have to roll to do it themselves is left undefined.

I have mixed feelings about the therapy rules. I actually like the Humanity trade off, even if I think it needs improvements (like giving everyone the same starting Humanity, reducing the random element and maybe having some consequences for skirting the edge of zeroing out). While Iíve heard complaints about Cyberpunk not letting you have Cyberware, youíll generally have enough Humanity Points to get the items you want (Jamie could have an EMP of 4 and I wouldnít risk going psycho from the starting cybernetics Iím buying). With therapy on the table, that trade off no longer has to be made. And itís not implemented in a great way either. 2 HC back a week will trivialize incremental upgrades, but will be pretty slow for anyone who wants to make a bunch of replacements at once.

On the other hand, just talking about this makes me want to run a campaign where the players are managing an independent cyberpsychology clinic.

Aside from slowly destroying your psyche, thereís another cost associated with getting cyberware, and thatís surgery. While some cybernetics can be added in mall clinics (particularly nanotech or upgrades to major systems), a lot of cyberware requires a visit to a med center or hospital. In addition to their monetary and humanity cost, each piece of cyberware has a surgical code listed that tells you how hard it is to install. The more intensive the surgery, the higher the cost, the more damage the character takes, the longer the procedure takes, and the higher the skill of the surgeon has to be. Surgery cost tops out at 2,500 euro. Back when I played CP2020, we ignored surgery costs when making characters. While thereís nothing in this book that says that you ignore these prices at character creation, I was curious enough that I took a look through the first of CP2020ís gear supplements (the Chromebooks) because I didnít remember any of those items having surgical codes. It turns out I was right. And several pieces of cyberware were different enough that the Referee couldnít just compare it to something similar in the main book. So if R.Talsorian donít give a poo poo about surgery, neither will I!

(For completion purposes, I will point out what the surgery costs would be for the items Iím getting, along with what Iíd cut if I had to include surgery costs).

Not all cyberware is available on the open market. Blackmarket Cyberware includes weapons and, well thatís it honestly. Getting implanted weapons requires visiting an underground MedTech, otherwise called a Ripperdoc (this doesnít stop Cyberweapons from being advertised in the ostensibly in-universe Chromebook, but itís the dark future so w/e). Ripperdocs are important to the setting (they basically explain where the gangs get all their cybernetics from), but the restrictions on Cyberweapons carries less emphasis in favor of going straight to putting chainsaws on your arm.

We get a 4 page table that gives the important info on each piece of cyberware, followed by a longer descriptions thatíre mostly :words: about how they work. For some items the longer descriptions are needed because they provide several benefits, but most of the time theyíre not. The first category is Fashionware: morphing tattoos, changeable hair color, skin patterns, stuff that doesnít provide any game benefit (save biomonitor, which gives +2 to Resist Torture/Drugs) meant to be colorful and highlight that this is meant to be a style conscious game. Only these minor items also have a Humanity Cost. Nothing big, but the fact that they have any guarantees players will ignore them unless theyíre regularly going to the cybershrink (and if thatís the case then getting players to buy Techhair is going to be the least of your worries).

The next category is Neuralware, and this contains items that everyone has to buy to even use Cyberware. The Neural Processor has no benefit except it lets you use Cyberware. It costs 1000 eb (plus 500 in surgery) and 1d6 HC. Itís a boring character tax. Of bigger interest to Jamie is Boosterware. Boosterware provides a bonus to your initiative. This is a nerf from the 1st edition, where it increased Reflexes. Even in its current form this is a must-have for any combat character. There are two versions, and the game explicitly state that you canít get both versions. The Kerenzikov Booster provides +1 to +2 all the time, and costs 1d6 Humanity per bonus (the high cost is from seeing the world in slow motion). The Sandevistan Speedware is flipped on as needed, providing +3 to initiative for 5 turns, after which it has to rest for 2 turns. This only has 1d6/2 HC since itís not on all the time. Jamie is getting the Speedware (combat is not going to last more than 5 turns), which costs 1500 eb (no surgery cost).

Jamie is also going to get a pair of Interface Plugs. This is another gatekeeper that just lets you buy Chipware Socket and Neural links. The wording is a little weird, but the best I can interpret is that one pair can connect to two items that require the Plugs. Interface Plugs cost 200 eb (and 500 eb surgery), 1d6 HC. The Interface Plugs will be connected to a Smartgun Link (100eb/ 2HC, +1 to weapon skill for linked gun) and a Chipware Socket (200eb/ 1d6/2HC). The Chipware Socket alleviates some of the problems caused by CP2020ís skill bloat, because you can just slot in the skills you need (up to your INT score). Thereís a big price list that gives the cost of different skills per point, and these chips go up to +3. The flavour text does a lot of poo-pooing of relying on chips, but because there are so many goddamn skills, and skill advancement is so slow, players are going to need these to fill out skills they only need some points in. Also, thereís no HC from using skill chips, and itís something NPCs can just loan if a character is missing a critical skill for a mission. Jamie buys one skill chip, Weaponsmith +2 (400eb) so she can unjam her gun,

Besides the smartgun link, the only other Neural Links of note are the Vehicle Link (boosts vehicle skill), and the Cybermodem Link, which is what the Netrunner uses to do his Cyberhacking. The only other item here is the Pain Editor, which seems like itíd be useful to have in combat. Only its benefits are to make Endurance checks easier, and Endurance has nothing to do with combat. That seems like an oversight.



The next category is implants, which has a number of miscellaneous cyberware with situational usefulness. The only one thatís really notable is this is where we find Mr.StudTM Sexual Implant (or Midnight Lady for vagina-havers), which gives a +1 to seduction checks. But this cyberware also has a 2d6 HC, which means thereís a greater than 16% chance that the bonus from Mr.Stud is wiped out by the EMP penalty you take from getting it installed. :flaccid:

After Implants we get the category where you get the most bang for your Eurobuck: Bioware, aka Nanomachines son. Jamie is going to be buying a couple of items from this category. The first one is Skinweave. It costs 2000 eb and 2d6 HC, and gives her 12 SP to her entire body. The other item she gets (and the one Iíd have left off if I counted surgery costs) is the Muscle and Bone Lace, (1500 eb/ 1d6/2 HC) which increases her Body Stat by 2, putting it at 12. This increase also boosts her BTM to -5.

Aside from those two items, thereís grafted muscles, which can be combined with Muscle/Bone Lace but have a higher HC (turning into a Rob Liefeld character would shatter anyoneís mind). There are items that improve healing times, though not enough to circumvent hospital downtime. Finally, Toxin Binders provide a +4 bonus to poison saves, which is a big bonus if situational-if the Referee uses poisons once then expect every player to get this ASAP.

Next we have Cyberweapons, which have pretty hefty HC costs. Cyberweapons use the Melee skill. You have various grades of claws on hand, from hardened nails to Wolverine Cosplay. Thereís also hardened knuckles and a mono-filament wire. All these items (except the hardened nails) are black market only. The one interesting item is the Cybersnake. While it doesnít do a lot of damage, it can attack independently. Itís either implanted in the shoulder or ďany body orifice 1Ē or largerĒ :stonk:.

The next few categories of cyberware - optics, audio, arms and legs - are modular. You install a base module and then add 4 to 6 options. A cybereye costs 500eb/2d6 HC each, and you can have 4 options per eye. As I said in the previous chapter, thereís no point to these when you can get Smartgoggles, unless you can convince the Referee that if you get the Targeting Scope in both eyes it gives you a +2 to your weapon skill. CyberAudio is 500eb/2d6, and has room for 6 options. Nothing really sexy unless you want to be able to hear everything.

Unlike the eyes and ears, cyberarms and cyberlegs have some base benefits even before adding modules. They can crush/kick for 2d6 damage, punch for 1d6. They can take 20 points of damage before being disabled, and 30 points before being destroyed. Damage to cyberlimbs is seperate from the wound your normal wound track, and you donít have to worry about shock saving throws or wound penalties. Cyberlimbs are pricey (3000 for arms and 2000 for legs), and while their HC is not super high, their options have significant HC as well. Cyberlimbs can have up to 4 options, with one option for the hand or foot (if none is taken, you have a normal hand). The most outlandish option is getting artificial shoulders, which let you add additional arms to your body (as you can imagine, the HC cost is pretty steep). Beyond that, the options are pretty standard - upgrades to hit harder, take more hits, cyberarm versions of all the weapons, pop-up whatever. And yes, there is the spike from Robocop.

There are two more categories. First are Linear Frames, which I talked about last chapters. These are Power Loaders/Exoskeletons, and give you better base strength, high melee damage modifiers, and improved lifting capacity at a cost of -1 REF. Finally thereís body plating, for armoring your torso and head. These have an SP of 25, a number weíll be focusing on when we go through combat. There is the option for a front optic mount, that lets you mount 5 cybereyes (sold seperately).

(And if you can stack targeting scope for each eye...:stwoon:)

Jamie spent 7000 eb on cybernetics. The HC she incurred is 5d6+1d6/2+2. I do some rolling and she take a total Humanity Loss of 19.5 (unlike other rolls, you donít round HC), just keeping my EMP at 9. In exchange for slightly (but noticeably) damaging her ability to connect to other humans, she now has +3 to initiative on demand (bringing it to +23 total), +1 to hit with her gun (a total of +23), 12 SP all the time for her entire body and +2 BOD (for a total of 12, which translates to -5 BTM). Between the Cyberware and the rest of my gear, I spent almost all of my starting money. However, Iím pretty confident in Jamieís ability to earn money out the gate.



But letís say I was feeling impatient. 12,000 only got me a few cybernetics. Even a budget of 24,000 would only let me spurg on a couple of big ticket items. To get even more money, you have to sell out. Your going to destroy your soul anyways, why not sell it off? So you have the option of joining up with a government black ops, a major crime family, or a megacorporation, and they outfit you with an extra 10,000 in cybernetics. In exchange, you have to do whatever they want you to do, and theyíve got enough hooks in you to make you miserable if you donít want to cooperate.

The big issue I have here is that this is presented as an individual character creation option, rather than as a model for the campaign. Giving someone an extra 10K to buy stuff with is going to heavily shift the tone of the game, especially when it comes with the expectation that the player is going to work for his or her benefactor. As a result, the campaign is either going to be everyone working for this organization, or slowly and excruciatingly pulling that character that took this option out from under the military/mafia/corporate boot. Thereís a good chance the rest of the players wonít appreciate this.


yeah, Iím not feeling this reboot

With Cybernetics out of the way, weíve finished character creation for Jamie. Now itís time to see how all her stats, skills, weapons, andy cyberware come together. But that will have to wait for the next update.

Next Time: ITíS FRIDAY! FRIDAY! GOTTA GET DOWN ON FRIDAY! Friends Through Eternity

SirPhoebos fucked around with this message at 03:52 on Mar 7, 2019

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

The prescience of biomonitors being actually useful for regulating recreational drug intake will never not be funny to me.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso
Having to buy gear that's just plugs for your other gear is the kind of simulationist bookkeeping I don't miss from Shadowrun. At least getting your Humanity back via therapy is less cumbersome than Shadowrun's upgraded cyberware that costs less Essence, and calculating the cost multipliers.

I had to know what the cybersnake was, so I went looking through the CP2013 Hardwired sourcebook it comes from. It's a flexible whipping thing that does damage more or less like a knife--unless you manage to shove it down someone's throat or in a wound, at which point it does some Roto-Rooter poo poo and fucks them up quickly. In that book it was often implanted in the throat, so you can have a big death tongue a la The Strain. And yes, I'm pretty sure the novel that sourcebook is based on has an assassin with a genital cybersnake.

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

Halloween Jack posted:

Having to buy gear that's just plugs for your other gear is the kind of simulationist bookkeeping I don't miss from Shadowrun. At least getting your Humanity back via therapy is less cumbersome than Shadowrun's upgraded cyberware that costs less Essence, and calculating the cost multipliers.

TBF, "humanity loss" has always been a power-levelling crutch that more and more games are just bypassing. Unless it was specifically about dehumanization, like the short story "Snake Eyes" or anime like A.D. Police Files, losing humanity wasn't really part of the literature.

Halloween Jack posted:

I had to know what the cybersnake was, so I went looking through the CP2013 Hardwired sourcebook it comes from. It's a flexible whipping thing that does damage more or less like a knife--unless you manage to shove it down someone's throat or in a wound, at which point it does some Roto-Rooter poo poo and fucks them up quickly. In that book it was often implanted in the throat, so you can have a big death tongue a la The Strain. And yes, I'm pretty sure the novel that sourcebook is based on has an assassin with a genital cybersnake.

Pretty sure Sarah's Weasel from Hardwired was mounted in her mouth, but her dispatching at least two people in intimate situations still gives it a specific reputation.

I recall ICE's Cyber Space having something similar, but often they were basically cyber-whips mounted in the hands, just in case you wanted to get some chump to "GET OVER HERE!".

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

What's an Eva? Is it my mom?

You pilot an Eva by getting into it and then using the normal infantry combat system scaled up to super robot level. You do not use your pilot's stats for Strength or Toughness, but your Eva does use your direct WS, BS, and Agi. This means that a faster pilot has a faster Eva. Being quick on your feet and skilled with weapons is very important to driving a giant killer cyborg. Intelligence, Willpower, and Perception will come into play while piloting, but they're much more nebulous. Strength is useless for any non-Berserker PC; only Berserkers get an ability to add their SB to what their Eva can do. Similarly, Toughness is only marginally useful for a pilot. A high Toughness will give you more Wounds (AdEva adds your TB to your base Wounds), slightly more DR, and make you need to take more Fatigue to be knocked out in the cockpit. Fatigue is more important than it was in DH, but if you're a Berserker there are reasons you might actually want to be KOed in the cockpit. Also, if your cockpit gets breached, you take d100 Wounds, so, uh, good luck saving yourself with 1 or 2 more DR.

Pilots wear a form-fitting armored suit and silly little cat-ear looking 'neural chips' because this is a mecha anime. You climb into a cockpit (Entry Plug) that is then inserted into your robot and filled with the infamous orange goo called LCL, which I will be calling tang from here on in. The tang helps create a link between your pilot and the Eva unit, and serves as impact cushioning and life support. You have hand controls and readouts and poo poo, but you really see the world through the Eva's eyes and control it with your mind/soul; these things are just foci and dramatic devices. Naturally, you can still speak just fine through all that tang. If you try to drive your robot without your form-fitting anime uniform, you suffer -20 to Synch Ratio. Put on the plugsuit.

There's a lot of hyperbolic fluff in this game about how the Eva is the ultimate weapon that ever ultimated, even from characters who don't know that they're heavily restrained alien horrors with (possibly) a human soul shoved in their core and cybernetics. Which is hilarious in light of the next bit: Your Eva needs to operate on an extension cord. If you're ever unplugged (Hit by an AoE that blows off your cord, need to move beyond the cord) your batteries only last 3 rounds. Better get to another power cord or win the fight quick. You'll later get options for improved batteries or an antimatter reactor or whatever that will negate this subsystem, and in the context of DH combat it's never been that big of a deal either; fights are usually pretty decisive.

Still, 'Oh no, the Eva is so powerful and strong! The ultimate weapon that might end mankind in giant robot wars after we beat the angels!' and 'Oh no, the Eva has run out of power after a few minutes and is tethered to a huge support base by necessity' are not too things that gel together very well. I always preferred to write them as an insane stopgap, a weapon that could get through an angel's seeming invulnerability but that was otherwise seen as a kludged together and desperate measure, piloted by children because they can't seem to find adults who can Synch. I get worrying about them if you know what they actually are and that they can break free, but the text going rapturous about how invincible and amazing the Eva would be against conventional forces and blah blah blah is just annoying.

Another big change from DH: Every body part on an Eva has an HP pool. Same for angels. This actually changes DH combat significantly and makes things like Called Shots and the spread of damage from Full Auto actual factors in combat. The issue is your HP pool on every body part is quite small, save for the Body. An Eva has 30 base Tough and Str, then its pilot's BS, WS, and Agi. It gets 2+TB Wounds on its Head, 4+TB Wounds on each limb, and (TBx2)+5 Wounds on the Body. Losing the Body or Head can defeat the Eva. Critical damage to limbs cannot destroy your Evangelion. All body parts have a base AV of 4, Body has 7. Almost everything in the game is Pen 2-4 at least. Like in DH, Armor is mostly useless.

The intent of the body part HP system is for you to take a lot more Critical Damage without dropping than you do in DH. Get an arm blown off? Pick it up and beat the angel with it! Similar, losing your Head can't actually kill your pilot even though it will destroy your Eva (the Eva can be fixed after the fight). Only Body crits threaten your cockpit, and on any destroyed result that threatens it, you have about a 20-30% chance of taking d100 damage or 'merely' taking d10+10 as you successfully eject (which will hurt, but you almost certainly have the Wounds to survive it). The problem in practice is that a lot of the critical results stun or otherwise disable you. This is usually a death sentence if you were already in trouble. Especially when you start to take Fatigue and other problems from the injuries feeding back into the pilot (hey, that feedback thing). You also just don't have the DR to avoid going into crits if you take hits, especially with how powerful angels can be. Nothing about the way the limb system is deployed actually fixes the rocket tag nature of 40kRP combat.

Eva movement is measured in decameters, because 'E Scale' is 'x10'. Evas also move faster per point of AB than DH characters; twice as fast for purposes of moving and charging, 1.5x as fast for purposes of running. This makes it easier to move significant amounts of distance than in DH, but weapon ranges are still very long (and some of them are effectively infinite) and there's much less cover in an Eva scale battlefield. Also, in practice, you're probably going to have to close with an angel for reasons we'll get to when we get to the AT/Deflection system, which is probably the worst subsystem in the game despite attempts to fix it in this update. Still, I appreciate at least trying to make characters more mobile at base than the very static DH.

There's an entire section on 'why do the Evas appear bigger in some parts of the show than others' and a talk about how well they're really about 40 meters tall and 400-600 tons in weight but you see abstractions! And it's some pretty dumb poo poo. The exact size of your robit doesn't matter, just that it's huge and you're fighting a goddamn undisguised angel who isn't here to tell you to be not afraid. They go 'Oh, the 3 rounds of battery don't exactly match your 5 minutes in the show, but that's ABSTRACTION, it shows we are Game Designers!' and this is a waste of page space.

The fun part comes when you roll for distinguishing features on your Eva. You roll 4d10 and keep all 4 dice, then match the results against the tables for your Eva's History, Construction Quirk, Mutation, and Soul. So say I roll a 3, 8, 10, and 2, and I really like the 3 result for History, I assign the 3 to History and then assign the other numbers where I will. The quirks and features are fun and give the machines a good bit of personality, which is important because your Eva is a character in its own right. Making the robots is, I admit, pretty fun. The tables include things like being a high grade super prototype that costs more to run, being a lovely boondoggle whose surplus funding has been used to get it more weapons due to the Military Industrial Complex, all kinds of weird Eva souls, huge size, small size, weird mutations, a fat Eva...it's neat. They also have significant mechanical effects. You'll see the details when we make our example Evas.

You also customize your Eva with Upgrade Points, bought with pilot EXP. Upgrades are 'tiered' based on a clumsy attempt to add in X-COM esque research subsystems to the game. This game loving loves subsystems. It will take some time before you can buy up the more impressive upgrades since they need to be researched and added to your robit. Biological Upgrades are used to buy more Strength, Toughness, and Wounds as well as other unusual, fleshy add-ons. It is extremely easy to get the 'Fire Heavy Weapons as if they were rifles' upgrade for your Eva even early on. If you're a gunner, get ready to use heavy guns. Structural upgrades add more armor, holsters, equipment carrying slots, sensors, etc. You can also get Ablative armor later on that tries to address the rocket tag by giving you some free hits.

Weapon Upgrades don't just upgrade weapons, but buy base weapons. Unlike your other upgrades, Weapon Upgrades are chosen per mission; your pool is how many points you have to spend loading up from available tech and tiers, as well as how many points you can spend upgrading what you buy. Every Eva also automatically has access to an incredibly lovely assault rifle (the shittiness of the Pallet Rifle is a running joke. Though I did have a player kill an angel with one. By throwing it through the thing's core) and a surprisingly useful vibro-boxcutter. It says a lot that the 'default' gun is a worthless joke weapon and the default melee weapon is a solid workhorse. We also get a lot of fluff about how producing your weapons is costing billions and starving thousands of people around the world, because we're GRIM and DEEP. I'll go into the actual weapons later. They are poorly designed.

And that's it for making a robit! Now that we have all the components, we can finally make a couple example pilots. Feel free to toss out suggestions.

Next Time: Poor Dumb Bastards

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 15:53 on Mar 7, 2019

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.



Not gonna quote the whole thing but :

"Eva movement is measured in decimeters, because 'E Scale' is 'x10'."

Someone here has made a mistake, either a typo or not knowing how the metric system works. What?

Also, I know I've watched Evangelion, but I honestly couldn't remember any of it, and after reading your reviews and then skimming the wiki page, I'm really glad my memory decided to just wipe itself.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Xiahou Dun posted:

Not gonna quote the whole thing but :

"Eva movement is measured in decimeters, because 'E Scale' is 'x10'."

Someone here has made a mistake, either a typo or not knowing how the metric system works. What?

Also, I know I've watched Evangelion, but I honestly couldn't remember any of it, and after reading your reviews and then skimming the wiki page, I'm really glad my memory decided to just wipe itself.

It's a mistype on my part. I'll go fix it. It should be decameters, not decimeters.

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.



O okay, sorry. Not trying to be lovely. (I actually assumed it was the authors' error, not yours.)

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time


Voting for the most creepy thing you can make out of morbid curiosity and then how 'bout Shinji, just to see what that would look like?

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'm always a fan of the classic combo of "break the system over your knee" and "make something that should be thematic and cool but is mechanically garbage" as a way to show off the system's foibles.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007



Sean Conneryís 007 as an Eva pilot.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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

Midjack posted:

Sean Conneryís 007 as an Eva pilot.

One of my original ideas was Winston 'More Gin' Churchill as the Blackout Berserker.

Young Freud
Nov 26, 2006

Nise Asuka

(Or Not-Asuka Original Character Do Not Steal, in English).

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Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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

A character made by a player who thought this was going to be a very different style of giant robot game.

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