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gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

The way I see it, a starship combat system is usually a big enough design goal that they're entire games (or at least supplements) unto themselves, and that Paizo might not have had the kind of design chops necessary to pull it off.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Paizo has basically chosen to just ignore the issue, which is easy to do because few campaigns make it that far anyway. The idea that d20 games generally lose steam around level 12-14 or so matches my own experience, at least. And yes, having a fully functioning system would be ideal, but they're not in the business of selling one.

senrath posted:

It's a sacred cow thing, that's all.

As for APs, a quick look over them shows that the vast majority of them include play of at least level 16 in the final book. I think only one of them goes to 20, though, and that one also has the travesty of the Mythic rules bolted on top.

Well, also bear in mind most APs at those levels are muuuch lighter in terms of encounters and are just wrapping things up by that point. And yeah, the Mythic rules were supposed to be an end-run around the issue of presenting high-level play, but... uh...

... well...

... Paizo.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




My eyes have completely glazed over, what's the ratio of potentially useful material to superfluous rule dross? 10%?

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Stopping the game listed figures and such before level 20 would also be Changing It, which is definitely not Paizo's business.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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





MECHANICAL SHENANIGANS

Character Advancement

You basically age a year every time you earn 200 XP. Time is abstracted and the game assumes that you're just, like, focusing on interesting or exciting things happening with your characters. XP suggestion prices are:
  • 5-25 for completing adventure goals.
  • 1-5 for surviving dangerous situations.
  • 5 for making friends.
  • 5 for discovering secrets about the game world.
  • 5 for personal growth that leads to permanent change for your character.
  • 2 for good roleplaying.
  • 1-10 for actively trying to make the world a better place.
  • 4 for having a clever plan.
  • 4 for working together as a group.
You can also lose XP for bad actions or failure: 1-5 for failing the adventure, 5 for splitting the party to the party's detriment and 1-5 for making the world a worse place. On paper the game definitely wants you to play good kids and to enforce that. In execution it falls prey to the fact that the distribution of XP doesn't exactly jibe with the price of upgrading, let alone the price of physically aging. Like at least growing older is just a running tally of points, but.

2 XP can be traded in for 1 Skill Point, 10 XP becomes 1 Attribute point, 30 XP is 1 Health point. Growing older also nets you some snazzy mechanical benefits for free in addition to things you've bought:
  • +1 ADJ.
  • Caps for Charm, Intelligence, Speed, Strength and Will raise by 1.
  • You start to take vision penalties if you're older than 11.
  • +.5 Health points.
  • Lose one Cognitive Deficit at 9, 11, 13 or 16 years old.
  • If you're 16 you're now an adult.
If you want to change classes you just have to purchase relevant skills and then acquire the relevant tools. The only thing that really changes when you change class is you get different skill costs. The only exceptions are A: you can't become a Feral and B: you don't need equipment or the skills to become an adult class due to aging.

Mechanics

Everything is just Attribute+1d20+relevant bonuses vs. TN. Yes, even opposed content rolls. Observe:

quote:

Sam wishes to climb the side of a building to get to the roof. AGY is the attribute and the GM decides that the difficulty will be 20. Sam has an AGY of 9 and so needs to roll 11 or higher on his d20 in order to succeed. Say, however, that Sam has special gloves that give him +8 to climbing. Now he would roll AGY (9) +8 (gloves) + 1d20 vs. 20 (now Sam only needs to roll a 3 or better).

quote:

Amanda and Jovonne are playing blackjack. Amanda only wants to win (moderate difficulty: 20). Jovonne wants to win in a way that makes it appear that she won via dumb luck (hard difficulty: 30). Amanda rolls INL + 1d20 vs. 20 and beats 20 by 3 points. Jovonne rolls INL + 1d20 vs. 30 and beats 30 by 7 points. Jovonne wins with an opposed success of 4 (7 success - 3 success) and Amanda loses with an opposed failure of 4.

Attributes

Okay, there's really only one Attribute I want to talk about here: Adjustment. Adjustment is, as previously mentioned, your sanity stat. It represents how well put together you are and how much of a handle you have on yourself. For example, here are a list of things that would cause your Adjustment to drop.



There are two big reasons why you don't want your Adjustment to drop. The first is that if you hit 0, your character basically goes into a dissociative state because they just can't handle things anymore. Catatonia, permanent rage disorders, withdrawal, running away and abandoning their own life, those are more intricate reactions. A character with 0 ADJ, in general, is in a dissociative fugue state where they will wander off and engage in the absolute basics of survival (sleeping, drinking water, scrounging for food) with no higher desire or drive than to simply survive and live in a numb stupor. The book says most people who hit 0 will just flat-out die, but a PC who is at 0 and is able to actually keep themselves alive (or be kept alive) have a 1/20 chance of snapping out of their state once a week and gaining 1 Adjustment. The other big reason you don't want ADJ to go too low is because it's used to make your character give a poo poo about things outside of hobbies or things that let you disengage from the reality of the world. Re-engaging with the world is an ADJ check every in-game hour unless someone forces you to stop, your life is at risk or your necessities of life are at risk (hunger, sleep, etc). The lower your ADJ, the harder it is for you to do anything besides escapist gratification. And, of course, the only way to regain ADJ is grow older or pay to raise it (with a cheaper price with the help of therapy).

I'm telling you all of these mechanics in somewhat depth because I want you all to truly appreciate how exactly the game chooses to provide an example for ADJ loss and how it is one of the dumbest things I've ever read.

quote:

Brad, a Cadet with 7 ADJ, fights in his first major battle. In the course of this fight his commanding officer for the last 3 years, a surly teen named Tina, is killed, Brad kills another person for the first time, he sustains a hand injury which gets infected and causes him to lose that hand, and his community is forced to leave the town they lived in and wander until new home can be established.

The GM counts 4 major changes to Bradís life: Tina is gone, he is now one handed, he is now "a killer," and is a homeless wanderer. Bradís player argues that because Tina was so surly this counts as a good change and so it shouldnít cost him ADJ. The GM counters that Tina wasnít that bad, that even though she could be unpleasant Brad was used to her, so this count as a neutral, not a good, change. In the end, the GM reduces Bradís ADJ from 7 to 3.

As hobbies, Brad enjoys chess and reading the Oz books. Whenever Brad engages in either of these activities, the GM makes him make an ADJ (3) +1d20 vs. 20 roll, meaning that Brad must roll 17 on 1d20 to stop these activities (unless his life or necessities of life are directly threatened). Brad can re-roll each hour.

One day, the GM starts play with Brad in bed reading an Oz book. Brad is low on food and should go out scrounging, but each hour he fails his ADJ roll to re-engage (he rolls less than 17 on his 1d20 roll). Finally, a friend gets upset and rips the book out of Brad's hands and throws it out a window.

Since this is stopping the PC from doing what he really wants to do, the GM makes Brad roll a save vs. anger. Brad fails his save, meaning he loses his temper. Brad starts screaming and throwing random items at his friend. Since Brad has failed a save vs. emotion he is now in another type of disengagement. He must roll 1d20 + ADJ to come out of the rage. He fails his roll and is stuck in temper-tantrum mode for the next hour. After an hour passes he rolls again, getting 18 on 1d20 (ADJ (3) +1d20 (18) = 20) which is a success, and so he snaps out of his tantrum. He is still probably in a grumpy mood, but he can now choose to go out scrounging.

Brad wants to increase his ADJ, so he starts saving up XP to buy some points of ADJ. He runs into a character with the Therapy skill and ends up talking him into providing Brad with 20 hours of therapy, allowing him to buy ADJ for only 5 XP. Brad buys 3 points of ADJ in this fashion. Then Brad has a birthday (has earned 200 XP total). As a kid, Brad gets various free things for his birthday, including 1 free ADJ. This brings Bradís ADJ up to 8. However, Brad is now 11 and is experiencing the first noticeable loss of vision that will eventually lead to complete blindness. The GM rules that this is a major life change (even though Brad knew it would happen someday, itís still a change when it happens) and so he loses a point of ADJ, going back down to 7.

I wish I could make this poo poo up. It's so overwrought and ludicrous. Yes these things would absolutely be emotional devastating to someone in real life but also truth is stranger than fiction. This could very well happen to someone but when you put it to paper it just immediately becomes too much and too unbelievable. On top of that the GM is playing to punish and playing to win rather than be a facilitator of a game and an adventure. It's the perfect encapsulation of the game the authors want you to play.

And again I don't give a poo poo about the other Attributes because they're not nearly as notable as that.

Healf and Heeling

Something previously not mentioned is that once Body and Blood hits zero, you have Endurance rounds to get medical attention before Incapacity starts bleeding out. And then when you hit ICY, you have ICY+Base END rounds to receive further emergency medical attention or else brain death hits and you die. When you're among children, good loving luck.



There are rules about armor but who gives a gently caress, basically you just have Armor Rating and Protection Rating (AC and DR basically) on a scale of 0-20 and if you have AR 20 no amount of opposed successes can penetrate the armor and the more armor you stack, the more PR it has to pass through which can pretty easily reduce the damage to 0 because it has to penetrate every single piece of stacked armor. So basically all children should strive to wear multiple layers of armor if they can't find something that completely covers them and has no weak points. The downside of course is penalties to heat stroke and also Agility penalties. Anyway, healing. Kids automatically regain 1 BLD and .5 BDY (Blood and Body) every 7 days. That's default healing. Each of the following delays healing by 1 day:
  • If it was burn, radiation or ragged slashing damage.
  • No first aid or bad first aid was applied.
  • The patient is infected.
  • 5 or less END.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Physical and/or mental stress.
  • Poor hygiene.
  • Taking another wound while healing.
All of these are pretty likely to be the default state of injured children running around in this world, meaning it takes a long time for people to heal unless they're not careful or able to find help. Things that speed healing reduce heal time by 1 day in turn:
  • Good first aid.
  • Someone helps with recuperative care and gets a 30+ on an X Medicine (Herbal, Emergency, Pharma, etc).
  • Damage was inflicted by electricity, cold, heat (these three heal faster?!), hunger or thirst.
  • Someone makes a 30+ Cooking DC roll to help keep the patient well fed.
  • Patient has +15 END.
  • Patient can spend unlimited time in bed or in a state of rest.
So yeah the former is way more likely to happen in a post-apocalyptic hellscape where children reign supreme.

I'm not gonna go over drug addiction (it's an incredibly vicious cycle), resisting drugs and handling diseases (long story short, get antibiotics and then take them all).



Skills are just rolls of Attribute+Skill's Level (+4 for each level over 1)+1d20+bonuses (well okay mostly books used as reference materials) vs. Difficulty TN.

Combat

You get one action and one reaction a round. Each round is a half second long. Do not get in fights. No, really.



Your system is incredibly lethal and kids are incredibly squishy. You have designed a substantially high risk/high mortality system intentionally and it's effective. But #1 is not an acceptable GMing tip. It's nice and fun to give your players a moment of power and supremacy where everything is going their way and their cunning has given them an edge. This is good. It should not be such a stark dichotomy. You're creating a system where inaction and failure to act is the inherent state of being for the players, where they will learn to never do anything unless they're absolutely sure they'll succeed at doing it.



The other advice is just...bad when it's on the context of using all of this advice at once. I understand this is advice. A lot of this is bad advice. The one I do appreciate is 3 but, like, if you play most other d20 games, these formulae come pre-installed in statblocks. Like, here's the example of combat the game provides.



Four rounds of PVP and one player is mortally wounded because one of them had a knife and the other was kicking. Delightful. But yeah all attacks are contested attacks where even if you succeed beating the TN it comes down to who had the most successes. If you want your system to be less lethal...you could do away with that, I think. It's just baffling that there's that extra level of squishiness between simply seeing if one side succeeds or if both succeeds because, like, what if one side is doing something that's lower DC than the other, something easier to do. Like, okay. You don't have DCs to beat like a regular Skill check when you're in combat. You have to pick a specific maneuver you're doing (Vital Strike, Strike, Slash, Grab) and there's a DC that comes from that. Ranks in Combat or War Skills add bonuses to certain maneuvers (it's easier to use knives for certain things, for example). It's substantially easier to rack up successes for easier things if you can, so always go for the easier things to do if the number of successes actually matter over whether or not one side was the only one to succeed. It's easier to grab someone's weapon or a limb or strangle them than it is to wrestle them properly so why not just strangle them (DC 25 for Strangling/Grabbing vs. DC 30 Wrestling). It's easier to wing someone with a strike and still deal damage than it is to commit to a regular attack. Just do that then? I don't know. This entire system is flawed, heavily flawed.

On that note, adults take -15 to any attacks against people they can't see unless they're able to discern where the target is. Then it's -7. The game mentions that it's a common tactic for kids who fight adults to designate one kid as a Screamer which means they run around hollering to deny the adult the ability to use hearing to figure out where their targets are. But like even if you're touching someone...it's still -7 to hit.

KidWorld!

Well we're done with mechanics. I just found it very hard to care and I wanted to skip stuff to just move this poo poo along. NEXT TIME it's time for the history of the plague, what really caused it, communities in America, groups, religions and cults.

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



Hooboy being forced to pay experience points to put off your characterís eventual slide into useless-NPC status.

Also, is it technically possible to lose more XP than you gain, thereby enabling Benjamin Button RP?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


I really dislike all the free supplements of DnD or whatever that stat the embodyment of the game multiverse itself as a monster. Like, how can you even play at that level? Can you fathom how a being of that magnitude would operate?

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Valatar posted:

Here's an additional fun bit of absolute idiocy in the starship rules section.



Can anyone in the class tell me why this is a fundamentally stupid limitation to place on teleportation magic?

Planets rotate. Really, really fast.
"Stationary" starships.

So, you cant' teleport to or from a starship that's in orbit around a planet, then?

EDIT: Stationary relative to what, anyway?

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

JcDent posted:

I really dislike all the free supplements of DnD or whatever that stat the embodyment of the game multiverse itself as a monster. Like, how can you even play at that level? Can you fathom how a being of that magnitude would operate?

It's a long-running tradition insofar as one of the earliest D&D supplements, Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes, was nothing but statblocks for deities.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




Is a black hole stationary? Can we dump this mess into one?

Green Intern
Dec 29, 2008

Loon, Crazy and Laughable



JcDent posted:

I really dislike all the free supplements of DnD or whatever that stat the embodyment of the game multiverse itself as a monster. Like, how can you even play at that level? Can you fathom how a being of that magnitude would operate?

Readied actions to use their god powers to unmake whatever attacks them.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




Zereth posted:

"Stationary" starships.

So, you cant' teleport to or from a starship that's in orbit around a planet, then?

EDIT: Stationary relative to what, anyway?

Well in Star Trek transporting to another vessel travelling at a high velocity relative to yours was always incredibly difficult, although this applied more to warp speed transporting where the speed and heading of both ships would need to be almost exact, subspace transporting between vessels was much easier and was usually blocked by shields instead, although there is evidence that beaming through shields is possible as seen in the episode "Relics"...
:goonsay:

(I've got to try and review Decipher's Star Trek RPG someday. I'd do the Last Unicorn games but my copies are in tatters...)

Kavak fucked around with this message at 12:01 on Oct 13, 2017

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Single-seat fighters like this, as previously mentioned, aren't actually supported well, as we'll see...
The way they handle this is so frustrating. Not having starfighters is actually fine as a setting concept. There are at least as many sci-fi settings where it's not a thing as ones where it is. Even when Star Trek finally added "fighters" in DS9 they were two-seaters.

But it's the macro level problem of Starfinder. They couldn't commit to a concept. Making Starfinder just "Pathfinder plus Starships and Laser guns!" is kind of a boring choice, but it's a choice. Making it it's own thing is a choice. But it comes down so perfectly in the middle of those decisions it's not anything. It deviates too far from Pathfinder's assumptions to just be PF in space, but it doesn't deviate far enough to do anything interesting that isn't cribbed from Pathfinder. This is just another case of it. If you don't want your setting to have fighters, just say that, and say "hey you need at least two people to be effective in space in our setting." But of course they didn't do that.

Not that ditching fighters makes the rigid five roles thing less aggravating. Forget the immediately obvious problem that so many groups have three, or four, or six players. Even if you have five, what if someone can't make it to a session? What if you're doing the classic scene where there's a space battle happening but there's also a crisis inside the ship? The fact that space combat doesn't follow the timing rules of other encounters sure doesn't help there, either.

Strange Matter
Oct 5, 2009

Ask me about Genocide


It also seems like even the most minor spaceflight combat would take a million years to resolve.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009




Hooray, being gay means you're mentally unstable and sliding into insanity.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


IIRC They actually do address the teleport thing in the Spells chapter, it basically boils down to
1) Technomancers don't have access to the Teleport without error and Gate spells that let the pre-gap (Read: Pathfinder) wizards teleport around Golarion's solar system.
2) The range on Teleport means it's only really useful around a planet anyway, and the teleport spell will always put you down in a safe environment unless you botch your roll (so you don't arrive 1d1000 feet straight up, or in space) And even "Very Familiar" has a chance to put you off target, and the distance between battling starships would mean you're now in open space probably dying without the 'you always land somewhere safe' caveat.
3) Planets provide their own frame of reference, as does a starship you're on (so you can't dimension door 5 feet away and end up 50 kilometers behind your moving ship)

What they should have done is just have Teleport put you right back where you started since that's the only 'safe' place in the spells range.


Cythereal posted:

Hooray, being gay means you're mentally unstable and sliding into insanity.

Yeah I noticed that poo poo too. Gotta love systems that realistically simulate people detaching from the world by removing players from the game :v:

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Legend of the Five Rings: Wheels

The GM section is truncated, including mainly what FFG decided would be useful for the beta. First: the players and GM should be working together, not undermining each other, and the game works best if no one tries to use the rules to trap other people, because that's being a dick and makes things break. The GM should always offer a choice of Rings when a player's approach might fit under multiple takes (and the rules don't say otherwise, like stance locking you in). You should also allow players to be creative in what skills they use to approach problems, though keep in mind that the TNs for some solutions will be lower than others, as different approaches are of different ease of use. While the GM should reveal TNs most of the time, they can choose to do so after the player announces how they are planning to do it, if the PCs shouldn't have foreknowledge of how hard a task is. When they do, though, you might hint that, say, it'd be easier to smooth-talk this guy they know, rather than browbeating him, even if the player has no idea. For an unsuited approach, TNs should rise by 1-3, to a max of 8, and for very well-suited approaches, drop TNs by 1-3, to a minimum of 0.

Typically, the GM should reveal the TN, however, because it allows players to make interesting tactical decisions about what dice to keep, between successes and Opportunities. When TN is concealed, many players will just choose as many successes as possible without considering the interesting possibilities of Opportunity spends, because they won't know how many successes they need. Thus, the GM should only conceal TNs rarely, and whenever they do, the player making the check gets a Void Point. Generally speaking, players will decide when Advantages or Disadvantages should apply because that means the GM doesn't have to track them so closely, and should describe how they factor in. The game also says to skip using them when their use wouldn't really change much - if you've already clearly failed, no point bringing in a Disadvantage. The GM should ask players and bring it up if they think an Advantage or Disadvantage could apply in a meaningful way, but it's best to encourage them to think about that themselves, perhaps by asking if they have any applicable advantages when they roll a failure and dropping a hint or two about what you think might apply.

The GM is instructed to generally give 2 XP per hour of play, plus 3-5 XP whenever the party hits a significant milestone, gets past a significant obstacle, or beats a recurring foe. You can scale that up or down to taste. XP should generally be standardized across the group, though, to keep everyone roughly on par. When a PC dies or is retired, the GM should allow the player's next character to have an equal amount of XP, so that death is not a punishment, but an interesting story event.

The GM is also instructed to keep everyone's Giri and Ninjo in mind, and to help this, there are the Discord Trackers. These are optional, and designed to lead to intraparty conflict in interesting ways. See, you make a wheel with spokes equal to the number of players. The wheel's outside lists the players' giris, and inside their ninjos. At the first session, you start at the first spoke for both, and for later sessions, begin where you left off last time. You roll and keep Ring dice equal to the number of players, resolving explosions as normal, then count up the successes. Move that many spokes clockwise on the giri track. Count up Stress and Opportunity results, and move that many spaces counterclockwise on the ninjo track. The giri and ninjo selected will be in conflict somehow this session.

The players whose PCs' ninjo and giri get involved each gain 1 Void Point, and the GM may or may not tell them to start thinking about how to bring their ninjo/giri up. Then, the GM notes down the two. Discord can be in the form of direct opposition - two goals that are mutually incompatible and exclusive. However, the game notes this is rarely the best approach, and that direct opposition between PCs should usually be saved for dramatic climaxes or turning points. Rather, it is easier and better to set them into indirect opposition most of the time. You might have both goals be pursuable but limited by time and circumstance so that the group can't easily do both, or you might make an NPC with a strong resonance to a family member, so that one party member wants to help them because it reminds them of their giri or ninjo, or reject them, and then set the other PC into opposition with that NPC.

The idea of Discord isn't to trap the PCs or force them to beat each other - that's usually a very bad idea unless both parties are very invested in it from the start. Rather, the idea is to offer them incentives or rewards to act against each others' interests, overtly or covertly, to make an interesting story. Even if there is a way both can succeed, you have created interesting effects by making them compromise or act against each temporarily. Often, Honor and Glory are good incentives, as they are meaningful resources but can easily be lost and regained. If you don't want to have the PCs act against each other, you can instead use the Discord Track to just pick out PC storylines to highlight in the session and how. It is definitely a good idea to have a tension release valve ready - some way to let the PCs vent frustration or concern without hurting each other too badly, like a shared enemy or a way to peacefully resolve the problem, or an offer to grant the Favor from [Character Name] Distinction as a reward for gracefully compromising one's own desires. This is a temporary Advantage that you can call in once to get a narrative benefit or for the Advantage boost.

Now, Honor in play! As we've discussed, you have to forfeit Honor to act dishonorably, or stake Honor against keeping a promise to someone else if it's really important, and you gain Honor by doing things for your code that require you to make sacrifices or put yourself at risk. There are charts for each of the Bushido virtues to give examples of what might gain or lose Honor. Remember - each clan has one tenet that they earn double Honor on, and one (or two, in the case of Scorpions) that they lose and gain only half Honor on. You may note that Honor is lost and gained pretty frequently - that's intended.

Gi (Righteousness) embraces that there is only truth and falsehood, only just and unjust.
A Trifling breach of Gi might be abetting or covering for a Minor breach of honor or lying to protect someone or their feelings. This would only lose 1 Honor.
A Minor breach of Gi might be abetting or covering for a Major breach of honor or lying to someone of equal or lower status for personal gain. This would lose (Honor Rank) Honor.
A Major breach of Gi might be abetting or covering for a Massive breach of honor or lying to someone of higher status for personal gain. This would lose (Honor Rank)*2 Honor.
A Massive breach of Gi might be murdering someone of equal or higher status in cold blood, or lying to your lord for selfish gain. This would lose (Honor Rank)*4 Honor.
A Trifling sacrifice for Gi might be correcting someone's positive misconception about your abilities or giving proper credit to someone else, forfeiting part of your Glory award for a heroic deed. This would earn you 1 Honor.
A Minor sacrifice for Gi might be delivering bad news to your lord without deflecting blame from yourself, or taking responsibility for the failure of a subordinate or lower-Status character in your charge. This would earn you 3 Honor.
A Major sacrifice for Gi might be retiring honorably from a position you can no longer fulfill properly, or giving up your claim to something in favor of someone of equal or higher Status. This would earn you 6 Honor.
A Massive sacrifice for Gi might be refusing to deny true allegations of a failure or misdeed that'd require you to forfeit 9+ Glory or Status. This would earn you 9 Honor.

Yu (Heroic Courage) embraces that only fear of death can destroy you, and that death in service to your lord is to be embraced.
A Trifling breach of Yu might be allowing fear for someone else's well-being to influence your actions, fleeing from battle at your lord's order (rather than being ordered elsewhere to do something), or concealing your identity in battle or other dangerous situations. This would lose 1 Honor.
A Minor breach of Yu might be allowing fear for yourself to influence your actions, or fleeing from battle to protect your lord's interests without direct orders to do so. This would lose (Honor Rank) Honor.
A Major breach of Yu might be allowing fear to prevent you from acting at all, or fleeing from battle to save your own life. This would lose (Honor Rank)*2 Honor. (And yes, many samurai do prefer survival to maintaining Honor. Honor is lost and gained.)
A Massive breach of Yu might be allowing fear to make you do something despicable or sacrificing someone else to save your own life. This would lose (Honor Rank)*4 Honor.
A Trifling sacrifice for Yu might be refusing to back down in the face of a numerically superior force or accepting a challenge from a foe of unknown skill. This would earn 1 Honor.
A Minor sacrifice for Yu might be refusing to back down from an armed foe while unarmed, or accepting a challenge from someone you know is better than you. This would earn 3 Honor.
A Major sacrifice for Yu might be refusing to back down from an inhuman or monstrous foe (like an ogre, Troll or oni), trying to stop a comrade from performing a Major or Massive breach of honor, or suffering a Severity 8- crit in direct defense of your lord. This would earn 6 Honor.
A Massive sacrifice for Yu might be acting to stop your lord from performing a Major or Massive breach of honor, or suffering a Severity 9+ crit in direct defense of your lord. This would earn 9 Honor.

Jin (Compassion embraces that the duty of a samurai is to help and protect others.
A Trifling breach of Jin might be saying something deeply cruel to an enemy, failing to offer proper respects to an animal you killed or wasting its sacrifice, or letting someone die when trying to save them probably would have killed you. This would lose 1 Honor.
A Minor breach of Jin might be saying something deeply cruel to a stranger, failing to assist someone with a significant problem you could trivially solve, or tormenting an animal. This would lose (Honor Rank) Honor.
A Major breach of Jin might be saying something deeply cruel to a friend, physiscally harming someone for no purpose but revenge, or letting someone die if you could have saved them without much risk to yourself. This would lose (Honor Rank)*2 Honor.
A Massive breach of Jin might be murdering someone of lower status in cold blood or physically harming another person for no purpose but your own satisfacton. This would lose (Honor Rank)*4 Honor.
A Trifling sacrifice for Jin might be showing kindness to someone of lower status when doing so would lose you 1+ Glory, sharing your rations with a person or animal that has no food or acting as a second to someone committing seppuku. This would earn 1 Honor.
A Minor sacrifice for Jin might be giving something useful but replaceable to someone, spending 2+ downtime scenes helping a friend rather than advancing your own interests, or treating a foe's wounds after battle. This would earn 3 Honor.
A Major sacrifice for Jin might be giving up the chance to do something that'd earn 6+ Glory so someone else can or saving someone's life despite knowing they don't like you and may trouble you later. This would earn 6 Honor.
A Massive sacrifice for Jin might be giving someone an irreplaceable item such as an heirloom or relic or completing a dangerous and heroic task for someone that cannot repay you or spread word of your deeds. This would earn 9 Honor.

Rei (Courtesy) embraces that a samurai must always treat others with respect.
A Trifling breach of Rei might be cursing or using disrespectful language around someone of higher Status, publically and explicitly discussing your finances and mercantile business or forgetting the specifics of a minor social ritual, such as tea ceremony or polite address, in front of someone of higher Status. This would lose 1 Honor.
A Minor breach of Rei might be being visibly drunk in the presence of someone of higher Status, directly asking an equal or someone of higher Status about their finances and mercantile business or letting an insult to your clan or family pass unremarked. This would lose (Honor Rank) Honor.
A Major breach of Rei might be directly insulting someone of equal or higher Status or letting an insult to your ancestors, sensei or lord pass unremarked. This would lose (Honor Rank)*2 Honor.
A Massive breach of Rei might be directly insulting your lord. This would lose (Honor Rank)*4 Honor.
A Trifling sacrifice for Rei might be paying an honest compliment to an enemy in battle or letting a serious insult (that ignoring will lose 1+ Glory) to your person pass unremarked. This would earn 1 Honor.
A Minor sacrifice for Rei might be allowing a tired foe to rest before attacking or allowing someone of equal or higher Status have their needs attended first. This would earn 3 Honor.
A Major sacrifice for Rei might be giving an unarmed foe a weapon or putting aside weapons to fight them. This would earn 6 Honor.
A Massive sacrifice for Rei might be taking an enemy of equal or higher Status captive without killing or permanently harming them. This would earn 9 Honor.

Meiyo (Honor) embraces doing what is right, always.
A Trifling breach of Meiyo might be touching dead flesh in battle or openly displaying raw emotion in the presence of someone of equal or higher Status. This would lose 1 Honor.
A Minor breach of Meiyo might be touching dead flesh outside of battle or persuading or manipulating someone else to act dishonorably. This would lose (Honor Rank) Honor.
A Major breach of Meiyo might be neglecting your duty to your lord in favor of your own desires or killing someone in an unjustified duel. This would lose (Honor Rank)*2 Honor.
A Massive breach of Meiyo might be refusing to commit seppuku when your lord orders it. This would lose (Honor Rank)*4 Honor.
A Trifling sacrifice for Meiyo might be suppressing your (positive or negative) feelings about someone despite the angst it causes or choosing to leave a scene in which your Strife is equal to your Composure to avoid an Outburst. This would earn 1 Honor.
A Minor sacrifice for Meiyo might be persuading someone to abandon a plan that'd help you but require them to lose 1+ Honor. This would earn 3 Honor.
A Major sacrifice for Meiyo might be convincing someone not to make an unjustified challenge. This would earn 6 Honor.
A Massive sacrifice for Meiyo might be offering to commit seppuku for failing your lord with the expectation that they might accept. This would earn 9 Honor.

Makoto (Sincerity/Integrity) embraces being truthful without causing offense and never breaking your word.
A Trifling breach of Makoto might be breaking your word to someone of lower Status, spreading rumors you know to be false or impersonating someone of lower Status. This would lose 1 Honor.
A Minor breach of Makoto might be breaking your word to someone of equal or higher Status or using false courtesy to mislead a friend or ally to your own advantage. This would lose (Honor Rank) Honor.
A Major breach of Makoto might be manipulating someone for no reason beyond the satisfaction of it or impersonating someone of equal or higher Status. This would lose (Honor Rank)*2 Honor.
A Massive breach of Makoto might be breaking your word to or manipulating your lord. This would lose (Honor Rank)*4 Honor.
A Trifling sacrifice for Makoto might be going significantly out of your way to keep your word to someone of lower Status, getting someone of equal or higher Status to take constructive criticism by suggesting how they might improve instead of stating shortcomings or claiming responsibility for the failure of a subordinate or character of lower Status that requires the forfeit of 1+ Glory. This would earn 1 Honor.
A Minor sacrifice for Makoto might be publically revealing a truth that loses you 3+ Glory or getting your lrod to accept constructive criticism as above. This would earn 3 Honor.
A Major sacrifice for Makoto might be giving honest testimony against a possible political ally from another clan that jeopardizes future relations. This would earn 6 Honor.
A Massive sacrifice for Makoto might be pointing out a serious flaw in your lord's strategies by claiming it as your own failure and losing 6+ Glory. This would earn 9 Honor.

Chugi (Duty/Loyalty) embraces obedience to one's masters and one's family.
A Trifling breach of Chugi might be disbelieving someone of equal or higher Status, intentionally misinterpreting your lord's orders to protect their interests or asking your lord to relieve you of a duty. This would lose 1 honor.
A Minor breach of Chugi might be committing an act of disloyalty to a spouse or superior, refusing an order from your lord to protect their interests or intentionally misinterpreting your lord's orders to advance your status. This would lose (Honor Rank) Honor.
A Major breach of Chugi might be refusing an order from your lord for personal reasons or obeying an unjust order from someone of equal or higher Status that is not your lord. This would lose (Honor Rank)*2 Honor.
A Massive breach of Chugi might be committing an act of disloyalty to your lord or forsaking your post to serve someone other than your lord for personal gain. This would lose (Honor Rank)*4 Honor.
A Trifling sacrifice for Chugi might be refusing to commit an act of disloyalty to your spouse or superior despite your significant personal feelings or choosing to believe someone of equal or higher status despite evidence to the contrary. This would earn 1 Honor.
A Minor sacrifice for Chugi might be refusing to commit an act of disloyalty to your lord despite your significant personal feelings. This would earn 3 Honor.
A Major sacrifice for Chugi might be refusing to obey an unjust order from someone of equal or higher Status that is not your lord but can make your life very unpleasant or harm you. This would earn 6 Honor.
A Massive sacrifice for Chubi might be giving up a once-in-a-lifetime chance to advance your own interests or Glory in order to complete a task for your lord. This would earn 9 Honor.

Next time: Glory and NPCs.

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




Cythereal posted:

Hooray, being gay means you're mentally unstable and sliding into insanity.

it's really uncomfortable how the rules are so unnecessarily homophobic. it's also a really loving weird design choice to have sexist PCs lose sanity if they are forced to confront their incorrect views, but racist PCs (why is this even an option fffffffffff) apparently don't ever have to change their minds? or are racist PCs totally open-minded about encounter other races in a positive light? only sexists and homophobes are irredeemably corrupted?

it's such a weird curveball because the beginning of the book has that stupid stick figure edgelord warning about how good and evil are presented as equally valid choices divorced from our morality and it's up to the players to decide what's really right and wrong, and then within the actual rules CHOO CHOO it's a freight train to puritan morality town!

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Okay wait, does Paizo microbrew their own IPA? Or do they just sell t-shirts for a fictional IPA?
I'm not sure which would be weirder.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



I love how much of the KidWorld adjustment stuff is the gm and player arguing about it and then the gm going 'yeah you start off the session indulging your hobby, enjoy that 17 TN, fucko'.

actually, I don't love that at all.

edit: I feel like Pathfinder had similar rules for teleporting onto or off of actual ship ships too, like on the water, but I can't be assed to look.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


DalaranJ posted:

Okay wait, does Paizo microbrew their own IPA? Or do they just sell t-shirts for a fictional IPA?
I'm not sure which would be weirder.

They paired with Scotty's Brewhouse in Indianapolis to have a Starfinger-themed IPA promotion for Gen Con this year.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

I assume Scotty's is one of those breweries where the bartender talks to you about the hops the entire time you're drinking.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Alien Rope Burn posted:

They paired with Scotty's Brewhouse in Indianapolis to have a Starfinger-themed IPA promotion for Gen Con this year.

Please tell me it's blue and semiopaque?

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo


The fact that the new L5R skips all the other cruft about an XP system and ties it literally directly to how long you've been playing is something I like. In effect it's always been an assumption about XP systems, they just obfuscate it behind other mechanisms; it's nice to see a game acknowledge that yeah you're getting this because you've been playing this long. You should therefore be able to determine, in a very real way, how long a campaign going from rank beginners to top rank characters will take, based purely off the amount of experience expenditure it would take to get there, and have expectations of how to pace your game come forth from that.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Freaking Crumbum posted:

it's really uncomfortable how the rules are so unnecessarily homophobic. it's also a really loving weird design choice to have sexist PCs lose sanity if they are forced to confront their incorrect views, but racist PCs (why is this even an option fffffffffff) apparently don't ever have to change their minds? or are racist PCs totally open-minded about encounter other races in a positive light? only sexists and homophobes are irredeemably corrupted?

it's such a weird curveball because the beginning of the book has that stupid stick figure edgelord warning about how good and evil are presented as equally valid choices divorced from our morality and it's up to the players to decide what's really right and wrong, and then within the actual rules CHOO CHOO it's a freight train to puritan morality town!

It also overlooks that things like racism, sexism, and homophobia are generally not inborn - they're something kids learn from adults. In a setting like this, you'd figure that if anything kids would be consciously more accepting of each other, as a rejection of adult culture and the old ways.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Freaking Crumbum posted:

it's really uncomfortable how the rules are so unnecessarily homophobic. it's also a really loving weird design choice to have sexist PCs lose sanity if they are forced to confront their incorrect views, but racist PCs (why is this even an option fffffffffff) apparently don't ever have to change their minds? or are racist PCs totally open-minded about encounter other races in a positive light? only sexists and homophobes are irredeemably corrupted?

it's such a weird curveball because the beginning of the book has that stupid stick figure edgelord warning about how good and evil are presented as equally valid choices divorced from our morality and it's up to the players to decide what's really right and wrong, and then within the actual rules CHOO CHOO it's a freight train to puritan morality town!
The problem with designing a system and the claiming it's REALISTIC! means the omissions, whether intentional or accidental, become subtext and supplement the text of what you've actually written. Like there's no doubt in my mind that you could also have realizing that racism is bad and you were wrong about black people also ding your sanity stat but the book doesn't list that as an example so the omission speaks for itself. Really at no point in any of what I've read has the game been like "hey GMs, change stuff if it doesn't work".

And just in general I just do not get what this game's deal is with sexuality. Yes one would argue that coming to terms with things you didn't know about yourself would shake your sense of self and you would have to find new ways to express yourself except A: this game is pretty drat incomplete in these regards because 2008 and omission subtext and B: that is not fun, the system is just so hung up on REALISM! that of course it just leaps right over to stupid and uncomfortable. The "well the idea behind it makes sense" argument is very much a devil's advocate argument that I don't agree with because its inclusion just punishes players further for trying to give their characters some sort of depth and the writers thought "children will generally be homophobic forever and not know what's up without the help of adults".

e: ultimately I mangled this a little bit typing this after I woke up. I understand the design choices behind them. I don't condone the fact that they have been implemented and exist. Homophobia is bad and wrong and no game or product really ever needs it included as an interactive element because it's just wildly uncomfortable and it gives bad people permission to say "well rules as written it's okay for me to hate those drat lesbians!". The thing that I just find strangely fascinating is the fact that it's wrong in a way that isn't just "homosexuality is bad and hurts you", it seems to also be conflating gender dysphoria with realizing you have a more fluid or different sexuality than you realized while also assuming that social gender roles will automatically be adhered to. I don't often see arguments from this level of simplistic ignorance and, hell, it's barely an argument it's mostly just a list of ideas being casually relayed to text. It's so outdated in how wrong it is, it's not even arguing from an "it's unnatural and the Bible" perspective.

Though I also very vaguely remember In Dark Alleys being lovely and bad and wrong about gender and sexuality when it came to the sexomancer class that let you turn your penis into a big bitey death animal and also shift your genitals at will.

But then the game itself is just...having read the whole thing I can't call it puritanical? For starters it later rails against fundamentalist Christians for being assholes and basically says that due to their actions the religion degenerates into a parody of itself with beliefs held sincerely by children. It's not like "never do drugs or drink", it just has a shitload of cumbersome rules about it. It's not like abortion is a bad thing, they just reasonably eschew including rules for it because who really needs that in a game. I can't find any real message in this game except "man it'd be super hosed up if kids ruled the world, huh". If this was a manifesto it would probably just be a rambling text about what they think the apocalypse is like and the last sentence would be "stockpile food, learn Braille and own a cane".

Hostile V fucked around with this message at 16:29 on Oct 13, 2017

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Hostile V posted:

"stockpile eyeballs, learn Braille and own a cane".

:popeye:

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.


Cythereal posted:

Hooray, being gay means you're mentally unstable and sliding into insanity.

Clearly a logical extension from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness, where getting hit on the head hard enough could make you gay.

But yeah, that's really gross.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Hostile V posted:

The problem with designing a system and the claiming it's REALISTIC! means the omissions, whether intentional or accidental, become subtext and supplement the text of what you've actually written. Like there's no doubt in my mind that you could also have realizing that racism is bad and you were wrong about black people also ding your sanity stat but the book doesn't list that as an example so the omission speaks for itself. Really at no point in any of what I've read has the game been like "hey GMs, change stuff if it doesn't work".
I'm a big fan of Brooks' concept of the irreducible number of errors as it applies to design. A certain level of complexity is going to introduce some odd broken situation. Usually, in tabletop games, this takes the form of nonsensical physics tricks like throwing rules that let you lob a baseball for miles, or GURPS' infamous sheepdog armor.

GimpInBlack posted:

Clearly a logical extension from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness, where getting hit on the head hard enough could make you gay.
Fix this by following it through to its logical conclusion. Make a Chuck Tingle version of Call of Cthulhu where it's only a matter of time before something turns you gay.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Halloween Jack posted:

Fix this by following it through to its logical conclusion. Make a Chuck Tingle version of Call of Cthulhu where it's only a matter of time before something turns you gay.
Well it is true what they say: it's the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010




Lipstick Apathy

Halloween Jack posted:

GURPS' infamous sheepdog armor.

I've never heard of this. What's this about?

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

MollyMetroid posted:

The fact that the new L5R skips all the other cruft about an XP system and ties it literally directly to how long you've been playing is something I like. In effect it's always been an assumption about XP systems, they just obfuscate it behind other mechanisms; it's nice to see a game acknowledge that yeah you're getting this because you've been playing this long. You should therefore be able to determine, in a very real way, how long a campaign going from rank beginners to top rank characters will take, based purely off the amount of experience expenditure it would take to get there, and have expectations of how to pace your game come forth from that.
I first saw that in one of the D&D BECMI rulesets (I think it was Companion) where the DM section strongly suggested just leveling your players up every X sessions and just skipping all that complicated XP calculation - your characters were now Big drat Heroes (levels 15-25) who shouldn't need to be tracking every silver piece they pick up or every giant rat they skewer. Just figure out how long you want your campaign to last and bump your players' level appropriately. Blew my mind back in the 1980s when I read it.

FMguru fucked around with this message at 17:18 on Oct 13, 2017

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Halloween Jack posted:

Fix this by following it through to its logical conclusion. Make a Chuck Tingle version of Call of Cthulhu where it's only a matter of time before something turns you gay.

In the Mountains of Grindr

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

gradenko_2000 posted:

I've never heard of this. What's this about?
Something along the lines of sheepdogs having a few points of armor because of their thick fur, so you could use a sheepdog for cover, or strap a poor doge to your chest.

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Halloween Jack posted:

I'm a big fan of Brooks' concept of the irreducible number of errors as it applies to design. A certain level of complexity is going to introduce some odd broken situation. Usually, in tabletop games, this takes the form of nonsensical physics tricks like throwing rules that let you lob a baseball for miles, or GURPS' infamous sheepdog armor.

Fix this by following it through to its logical conclusion. Make a Chuck Tingle version of Call of Cthulhu where it's only a matter of time before something turns you gay.

Pounded in the Non-Euclidean Butt by a Color From Beyond Space

e:
https://twitter.com/ChuckTingle/status/918695231213551616

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Legend of the Five Rings: Glory, Glory, Hallelujah

Glory, as we'll recall, is not an internal measure like Honor, but rather an external measure of how others see you as a successful and competent paragon of samurai ideals. You must forfeit Glory to do certain things publically, such as admitting to failure or dishonor, or publically questioning Bushido or defying it. However, the deeds must be publically acknowledged - if you do something in secret or while disguised, your Glory is safe, though it might be staked against being discovered until you clean up all the loose ends. You will also generally stake Glory when you brag about your plans to do something until you manage to do it (or fail at it), based on how great your claim was.

You gain Glory by being acknowledged for your deeds.
Trifling acknowledgements give 1 Glory, and might include being publically acknowledged by someone of equal or higher Status, getting someone of equal or higher status to accept something you crafted as a gift, bragging publically after being recognized for a great deed, getting others to gossip and speculate about your love life without knowing the identity of your lover, publically defeating a group of bandits, being a Leader in a Mass Battle, publically challenging someone to a duel, getting a marriage proposal from someone of equal or higher Status, or publically reading an anonymous love letter.
Minor acknowledgements give 3 Glory, and might include achieving a Strategic Objective as a Leader in Mass Battle, publically receiving a Rarity 7+ gift from someone of equal or higher Status, being part of the winning side in a public debate, defeating a Glory 40+ opponent in a duel, clash or other relevant contest, receiving accolades for completing a minor task from someone of equal or greater Status, marrying someone with higher Glory than you, orchestrating the marriage of one of your relatives to someone of equal or higher Status or reaching School Rank 2-4.
Major acknowledgements give 6 Glory, and might include being a Leader on the winning side of a Mass Battle, defeating a Glory 60+ opponent in a duel, Clash or other relevant contest, receiving accolades for completing a major task from someone of equal or greater Status, defeating a superhuman creature such as an ogre or oni with the aid of allies, marrying someone of equal or higher Status than you, reaching School Rank 5 or formally settling a longstanding feud, complete with agreements of palliation from both sides.
Massive acknowledgements give 9 Glory, and might include defeating a Glory 80+ opponent in a duel, Clash or other relevant contest, defeating a superhuman creature in single combat, being the Commander on the winning side of a Mass Battle, marrying someone in the Imperial family or reaching School Rank 6.

You lose Glory by doing things that diminish it.
Trifling diminishments lose 1 Glory, and might include choosing to share credit for a deed with someone of lower Status, admitting to a minor lie publicly, having a gift declined by someone of higher Status, declining a gift from someone of lower Status (beyond the customary 2 refusals of politeness), being seen retreating from a brawl, killing an opponent who can't fight back or choosing to leave the public eye for a month.
Minor diminishments lose (Glory Rank) Glory, and might include allowing an insult to your person to pass uncommented, choosing to share credit for a deed with someone of equal or higher Status, admitting a serious lie publicly, declining a gift from someone of equal or higher Status (beyond the 2 politeness refusals), allowing an ancestral weapon to be lost or destroyed, being seen retreating from a skirmish, choosing not to commit seppuku when your lord does if not asked to do so or choosing to leave the public eye for 3-6 months.
Major diminishments lose (Glory Rank)*2 Glory, and might include murdering someone of lower Status in cold blood, withdrawing from a Mass Battle, failing to show up for a duel, attacking a surrendering enemy army or choosing to leave the public eye for 6 months to a year.
Massive diminishments lose (Glory Rank)*4 Glory, and might include murdering someone of equal or higher Status in cold blood, ordering a retreat from Mass Battle, refusing to commit seppuku when ordered to or choosing to leave the public eye for years.

Status changes extremely infrequently, and is mostly used as a comparative value. NPC Status should be shown by how they act towards others, along with their personalities. Most will be obedient towards those of higher Status publicly, but might work against them privately if they dislike them, for example. PCs that learn the Status values of others can often make use of it socially. Players, being notoriously disdainful of authority, should always get the option to un-say something especially rude or biting that was meant as an OOC quip.

NPCs are handled either as Minions or Adversaries, with Minions being simplified minor characters and Adversaries more important and fully statted characters. They always have at least one Advantage and/or Disadvantage, a Conflict Rank, a set of Derived Attributes set for them rather than derived from Rings, Rings, ranks in Skill Groups or skills, various special abilities and a Demeanor. More on those in a bit. NPCs roll dice openly most of the time, but the GM may choose to conceal a diceroll. If a PC has altered that roll in any way, they get a Void Point and don't count as having used the ability if it was a limited-use one. However, concealing dice rolls should not be done often.

Minions function in most ways like any other character, with a few exceptions:
  • When a minion's Wounds exceed their Resilience, they do not suffer normal crit effects. If the crit is Severity 7+, they die. Otherwise, they become Incapacitated and Unconscious.
  • If a minion takes a crit from any other source, they instead take its Severity in Wounds.
  • Minions receive no passive bonus from stance, though they must still take stances to determine what Ring they can use that turn.
  • Minions can only spend Opportunity symbols on the spends listed in their statblocks, except in special circumstances determined by the GM.
  • Minions never have Void Points.
  • Minions have only Skill Groups, not individual Skills - so they might have Martial Skills 2 rather than Meditation 2, Martial Arts [Melee] 3.
  • Minions cannot have Passions or Anxieties.
  • Minions rarely have Ninjo or Giri.

A large group of identical NPCs can be grouped into a squad, and will generally be Minions, though the rules work just as well for Adversaries. A squad is two or more NPCs with the same name and statblock. They share an Initiative value, acting in order the GM likes on that value. The GM may choose to have them all act seperately, or may have all but one of them Assist the one that does a thing. However, if this option is chosen, having more than six NPCs in a squad is not advised due to dicepool size. All members of a squad must use the same stance each round, and the GM may choose to have them pool their Strife, with a 'Composure' equal to 2 or 3 times the Composure of any individual member.

Adversaries function largely like PCs, except for their Derived Attributes being preset, and:
  • Adversaries usually have points in Skill Groups rather than individual Skills except as the GM sees fit.

Demeanor is a broad personality archetype for the NPC. Each Demeanor makes the TNs of social checks targeting the NPC harder with (at least) one Ring and easier with another, and an Outburst that the archetype favors over others most of the time. The list of Demeanors is examples - the GM is free to make up others. Examples:
Assertive: This NPC is used to being in charge and doesn't like taking orders. Social Skill/Earth checks get +2 TN, Social Skill/Water checks get -2 TN. Outburst: Become Enraged.
Shrewd: This NPC is used to manipulating and prefers to avoid direct conflict. Social Skill/Water checks get +2 TN, Social Skill/Fire checks get -2 TN. Outburst: Expose a Weakness.
Ambitious: This NPC pursues power whenever they can and hates giving it up. Social Skill/Fire checks get +2 TN, Social Skill/Earth checks get -2 TN. Outburst: Compromise or Flee.
Gruff: This NPC is rough and no-nonsense and has no patience for niceties. Social Skill/Air checks get +2 TN, Social Skill/Earth checks get -2 TN. Outburst: Inappropriate Remark.
Detached: This NPC is meditative and disinterested in the world. Social Skill checks with non-Void Rings get +1 TN, Social Skill/Void checks get -2 TN. Outburst: Shut Down.

The game believes that, at a certain school rank, a party will generally be able to be assumed to have various capabilities. More rounded characters may be slightly less powerful but are quite consistent, while more focused have more ability in narrower circumstances. You determine what kind of Conflict you're doing - Combat or Intrigue - and add up the Conflict Ranks of that type among all the NPCs involved. Then you take the total School Rank of each PC and add them all together. Compare the two. If the numbers are roughly equal, the PCs will probably win but might not. If the Conflict Rank total is 1.5 to 2 times the School Rank total, the PCs are significantly outmatched and will need to be quite clever to win. If the Conflict Rank total is about half the School Rank total, the party will almost certainly win easily.

There are a set of templates that can be added onto any NPC to boost them. Artistic, for example, gives +1 Intrigue rank, +1 Fire Ring, +1 to Artisan and Social skills, a list of Advantages and Disadvantages the NPC might gain, and a pair of appropriate Demeanors. This is generally how the templates go - +1 to a Ring, +1 to two Skill Groups, a list of Advantages or Disadvantages, and +1 to either or both of the Conflict Ranks.

The GM is told that, most of the time, the dice should fall where they may and fudging is bad. If the main villain dies early, that's fine. Maybe a lieutenant rises to take their place, or their former master comes out personally, our someone close to them swears revenge, or maybe the PCs have to now work to prove the dude was actually guilty because they hadn't done that before and are now in trouble. Sometimes, however, having someone die will not provide a narratively satisfying event for some reason. If the GM wants an NPC to not die when the dice say they should, they may invoke a twist of fate. They tell the players they're doing it and narrate how the NPC is saved - maybe reinforcements arrive and drag them off, or the building is set on fire and no one sees the guy die (so he might not have), or the bridge collapses and sends the villain plunging into darkness. Each PC gets 1 Void Point after the NPC is gone, and 1 extra XP for the session.

We then get some example NPCs. Peasants are pushovers, Ashigaru have an ability that massively boosts their ability to assist each other in combat, so they are really dangerous in a massed mob against one guy, bandits do extra damage to Dazed or Disoriented people, bandit lords can move around other bandits and have them attack rather than acting personally, a ronin can, once per round, redirect an attack that hits them to someone else nearby.

We also get some stealth mounted action rules here. first, mounting or dismounting is an Action done at range 0-1 of the mount. Second, while ridden, your mount can't act. However, while mounted, you get its Water Ring in bonus successes to Movement checks, you can use Survival in place of Fitness (I think? It might be the mount's Survival? It's unclear.) for any Fitness check and during narrative and downtime scenes, you double overland speed. Also, if your mount is a Unicorn warhorse, it always provides assistance to you on Martial Arts [Melee] rolls. There's also an evil Shadowlands horse ridden by the Dark Moto (a group of Tainted samurai descended from or part of a group of Unicorn who, on arriving in Rokugan, declared that they could totally take on the Shadowlands and went to go clear them out). It can breathe horrible withering damage at you.

I'm actually going to end it here - I don't want to cover the boxed adventure, for two reasons. First, boxed adventures are boring to me. Second, you might run the playtest and that adventure is designed to give a guided tour of all four conflict types, plus XP spending (as, due to alpha playtesting, PCs now begin with 24 XP to spend so that they won't get murdered by the NPCs.)

The End.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



It's been a few years, but we now have official art of Helga the Punch Witch, our character created in Witch Girls Adventures: Director's Cit, along with Synnibarr adventurer and real balloon enthusiast Captain Chester Balloonman:



We commissioned the pieces because we'll be playing them as D&D characters in an upcoming Twitch thing for the One Shot network.

potatocubed
Jul 26, 2012

*rathian noises*


theironjef posted:

Witch Girls Adventures: Director's Cit

It says something that I don't know if this is your typo or theirs.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



potatocubed posted:

It says something that I don't know if this is your typo or theirs.

Oh, very much theirs. Especially funny that the literal logo on the inside cover of the remastered, repaired, special edition of the game is spelled that way.

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


You'd probably have to ask the Gen Con thread about the Gen Con drinks, I don't really drink. I had one fireball and I think that was it for 2017.

Given that the Starfinger drink was a blood orange pale ale, I can't imagine it was blue, but I can't say with certainty.

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