Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


i assume it's the same place as dwarf heaven

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


open_sketchbook posted:

It's called 5 Across the Heart, and I've been writing it for about three years now. It's a medium-crunchy system designed to focus on strong characterization, with a focus on character goals and ideas like self-esteem and self-image. It's powered by a pretty weird d8 system and the core mechanic is wagering little chunks of your self-worth (which is also your magic) on your short and medium-term character goals, both to advance your cause and as forms of self-care. Basically, it's Sailor Moon meets spoons theory, attached to a fast-paced, shot-clock combat system, and you make your magical powers by tailoring a costume.

Oh, and the Dark Kingdom already won the battle, the world's been under their control for thousands of years, and you're a meguca resistance group fighting the magical patriarchy, with shades of The Matrix. In between fighting demons, sinister technomagical conspiracies, and evil magical girls cliques, you might find yourself battling the cops and their Witch Hunter swat teams.

I'm quoting this both to express my excitement and interest and also so I can find your name and the game's name for future reference.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


senrath posted:

Also, as far as I can tell the +1 to a stat you get from a theme is literally worthless 99% of the time due to how stat increases work.

3.5 has lots of feats with odd-numbered attribute prerequisites. I assume Pathfinder is similar.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Comrade Koba posted:

Turn/rebuke existentialist is really OP.

The one and only thing that has ever tempted me to play D&D 5E is that there's a paragon path (?) that's basically a Paladin of Communism.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Mr.Misfit posted:

I mean, if we really get down to it...what exactly does DnD model, other than wargaming extended into "free-play" segments where the worth of the characters is no higher than that of other miniatures on the field (as modeled by building NPCs and enemies by almost the same rules as pcs)?

I mean, the answer is hidden inside the "other than" that you mentioned here. If you reverse engineered a genre out of D&D, especially early D&D, what you're basically looking at is military fiction with a fantasy skin.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Valatar posted:

We already have a winner! If teleportation requires an absolutely fixed point in space to work, it cannot possibly work on a planet, given that Earth rotates at 1,000 mph and is moving along its orbit at 70,000 mph. Any attempt to teleport would be instantly lethal, leaving the person nineteen miles above or below the destination point, assuming a six second casting time.

Or teleportation just works on relative position.

Or, more significantly, making rules for the sake of good gameplay and justifying them with whatever in-universe handwave you want is something 3.x-based games need more of, not less.

Like I know dunking on Paizo and 3.x is fun but sometimes folks try a little too hard.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Mors Rattus posted:

Your direction compared to the other side of the planet is moving at great speed in the opposite direction.

I'm quite certain there's some kind of mathematical relationship that's fixed if you're talking about two points on the same sphere no matter how that sphere is moving, but variable when talking about two objects rapidly moving in unpredictable directions relative to each other.

I'm also certain it doesn't really matter.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Mors Rattus posted:

The problem becomes when the game itself decides to bring it up. As in this case. The correct answer, of course, would be 'spaceships have teleport shielding, but it's very expensive to produce for anything larger.'

That raises even more weird, ambiguous narrative/mechanical questions than this does.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Night10194 posted:

The core problem with magic in D20 has always been that everyone else has to ask to do something and then be given the odds. The spellcaster simply tells everyone what's happening, sets the odds for their target and says 'Deal with it.'

Everyone takes the wrong lesson from this, though. :v:

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Halloween Jack posted:

3. An "everything not explicitly allowed is forbidden" design sense built into the feat system. Things that you should be able to just do are gated behind feats. Stiff penalties are built into combat maneuvers so that you have to pay feats, not to be good at things, but to not be incompetent.

This is one of those points where I think people (deliberately or unintentionally) blur the line between "D&D does this wrong" and "D&D isn't even trying to do the thing you want."

Most of the time I'd rather play a game where you have an explicit number of permissible actions and that's all you can do than one that constantly requires ad hoc adjudication. I appreciate the function of narrative roleplaying as a way to keep you invested in your wargamemans but it's just that, a secondary feature that helps make the primary one more exciting.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Like if you were playing Monopoly and you said "I want to file for bankruptcy" people would rightly look at you like a lunatic. (Well, more of a lunatic than you already are for playing Monopoly, anyways.)

It's true that narrative-mechanical flexibility is a potential upside of GM-plus-players game structure but it's not the only advantage, and it's not one that necessarily must exist in every tabletop game where one person designs the environment and encounters and the other people explore them and advance their characters.

e: This is especially true in games with good siloing, where you can easily have a freeform narrative where things happen and you loosely share control via a simple resolution system and then when it's time to do combat (or whatever the main mechanics-oriented part of your game is) you zoom in to a closed, tightly balanced system.

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 19:56 on Oct 16, 2017

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Nessus posted:

Louis Wu was balanced out by being extremely depressed, while Speaker was of course going to dominate most combat encounters that didn't resort to variable swords or similar. Teela, well, let's not talk about Teela right now.

Actually let's talk about Teela. Teela is the product of a program attempting to create lucky humans on the theory that human history was marked by collective good luck to the point where some parties got suspicious about probability manipulation. Evidently it succeeded, which is part of why Larry Niven stopped writing in Known Space: when the narrative conventions become explicit, it becomes harder to create genuinely challenging plots.

Mechanically speaking I suppose you would reflect this by giving her an unlimited supply of Fate points or whatever, if with some caps on their use, since she was specifically portrayed as "lucky," not as Gladstone Gander.

Teela's arc ends in tragedy and the creature that helped engineer her going "huh, I guess luck isn't genetic after all" though.

e: I guess Niven backed down from it later?

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 15:44 on Oct 17, 2017

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Robindaybird posted:

And throwing Cthulhu in space doesn't really work - as a lot of the horror is the Unearthly, Alien things like The Color out of Space or Mi-Gos invading your new england sensible world.

Space is weird and alien by default - it doesn't work.

This isn't really true, though. There's already a Lovecraftian setting where everything is weird and the protagonist is an experienced adventurer who's relatively comfortable with it all but can still get in over his head -- and it's one of the best things he ever wrote, the Dream Cycle owns.

At the end of the day execution is everything.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Nessus posted:

Eh, Arthur C. Clarke did it, if with less total extreme death-metal grinding at the end.

Childhood's End really is a fantastic work of science fiction. It's not really horror in tone, but it absolutely is in concept.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


unseenlibrarian posted:

My most terrible homebrew thing from back when I was young an didn't know any better was and remains "Let's take the setting of Changeling the dreaming and the rules of Feng Shui"

It was called Feng Sidhe and you can guess how bad it was from the name.

the name makes it sound amazing though

just make it C:tL instead so it can live up to that incredible potential

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


hyphz posted:

Sorry, but Fairy Wire Fu sounds absolutely awesome. Heck, itís even totally appropriate for creatures that can fly and are associated with energy and creativity.

why are you apologizing

that's what i just said, except that i proposed using the Changeling setting that doesn't suck (for unrelated reasons)

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 17:39 on Oct 21, 2017

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


JcDent posted:

I never played any WoD but I read oWoDs Mage and Technocracy books in 2012, followed by the nWoD mage book and just started hating how bland the new background felt.

OWoD: something I can't wrap my head around, but friggin cool
NWoD: oh, it's just new age hippie bullshit

Which is sort of tragically funny because oWoD Mage is the one where magic and indeed reality itself bends to the power of belief and anything can be true if you commit to it enough, whereas nWoD Mage has a really cool and distinct cosmology even if the core book goes kinda hard on "ATLANTIS!"

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


of course i'm kind of biased because i love lost cities and secret histories and all that pulpy nonsense and hate stories that make humanity responsible for their own misery because they didn't think positively enough

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


unseenlibrarian posted:

That is straight up a valid and serious NWOD/ChronD plot, especially post God-machine chronicles. And honestly it depends on how the GM frames it as much as anything, it could be entirely cornball in UA too.

One of the nWoD splatbooks has a sample plot about an evil tree that makes squirrels run in circles. This is how it signifies the influence of the Abyss, which is nominally a nether dimension made of horrific false histories trying to become true presided over by parasitic godlings.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


DalaranJ posted:

95. The actual treasure is a permanently invisible two by four.

Talk about removing the plank from your eye.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Halloween Jack posted:

Is this one of those AD&D things where elves are just better than everyone else in every way, so their loving pet cat has to be a magic pet cat?

that's not even an AD&D thing that's literally the point of elves

even the norse myths that tolkien drew on re: elves are kind of ambiguous about whether they're just another name for the gods, or at least for a broad class of supernatural entities who are like human beings but prettier, better at making poo poo, and don't get along with giants

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Zereth posted:

I believe compared to most other species on the planet we have ridiculous endurance and ability to recover from injury.

There's an old copy-paste of a post about this that makes the rounds every so often:

http://www.ongoingworlds.com/blog/2014/11/human-roleplay-characters-are-boring/

tl;dr -- Humans can eat anything, have hyperactive scar tissue that allows us to recover in weeks from injuries that would kill other species from infection or shock, and our ancestors were pursuit predators -- meaning they would just walk after their prey until it collapsed from exhaustion and fear.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Another thing I'd add to this is that it's worth looking at human beings relative to other social animals.

Most primates, including our closest relatives, do not get along well, especially under pressure. Chimpanzees, bonobos, etc. will rip each others ears, fingers, and genitals off over minor slights. Human beings dominated the Earth because our desire to constantly murder each other over petty grudges is suppressed by more cooperative tendencies just enough for us to form civilization.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Mors Rattus posted:

(I suppose it is also worth noting that one of the consistent reasons the Kzinti lose is that they always attack before they're actually ready. To some extent this is based on pure hunting carnivore instincts, and to some extent it's because the Kzinti are overconfident, since...well, they are actually really, really good at fighting, they just keep getting blindsided by new things.)

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


There's a Bronze Age setting for Demon in one of the splatbooks (either Player's Guide or Storyteller's Guide, probably the latter) that's pretty close to a Biblical setting.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Night10194 posted:

Very much so.

Though, it's been ages since I read Dune, but I seem to recall the intended point being 'This is about how awful it would be if Great Man Theory was anywhere close to being true so stop wishing that were so'.

This thread has issues with "representation is not endorsement" in general.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


The Lone Badger posted:

What's involved in permanently relocating to the Dreamlands?

IIRC there are only two characters in Lovecraft's stories who explicitly make that transition, one of them does it by dying and the other is Pickman, of Pickman's Model, who does it by becoming a ghoul.

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 05:52 on Dec 17, 2017

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Loxbourne posted:

Yeah this is basically the Laundry Files series, especially the later ones.

I found the Laundry Files incredibly obnoxious, honestly. They trivialize the horror of the setting and the whole "heroic yet mediocre IT guy who fixes things by knowing the trick to fixing them" thing gets really grating after a while.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


i'm not sure how serious you are but no, "insane power but you have a random chance of arbitrarily exploding" is an awful mechanic

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


I mean there's a whole lot of things at work here, it'd take a while to unpack.

Randomness sucks in general because it's less interesting than player agency.

Extremely strong negative effects with very small chances of occurring suck even more because given how human psychology works no one really ever expects it to happen and they'll almost inevitably be mad or disappointed when it does.

Powers so strong that you have to balance them with "eventually you'll have to tear up your character sheet" are more often than not simply too strong in the first place. (And if they aren't, then there's even less justification for the "tear up your character sheet" part!)

A better way to handle it* is how Going Loud works in Demon: you get ultimate power for a brief, temporary moment and you consent to paying the cost (which basically amounts to losing a major asset from your character sheet and also narratively giving the GM permission to throw ten kinds of hell at you). Everyone can do it, it's a dependable tit-for-tat arrangement, and it conveys a thematic sense of desperation much better than "eventually this will kill you, maybe, whenever the dice feel like it."



* in a game that isn't Paranoia or something else where the point is to abuse the players and laugh at their struggles anyways

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


"My game about piloting a giant robot against alien starspawn would be fine if not for the, ugh, anime"

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


I mean you do you but frankly Evangelion is a better base for a game than Lovecraft is

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Terrible Opinions posted:

Well the objectively superior rebuild movies yes, but the original series would be a pretty terrible game.

nah

it's literally half monster-of-the-week encounters and half character development, and manages to strike a balance between cosmic horror and still giving virtually all agency to characters who could be PCs

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Halloween Jack posted:

So how about this: Rei is undead and if her cockpit isn't kept at below freezing temperatures, she'll melt



"you could try smiling"

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


SirPhoebos posted:

From what I gathered, he made the latest version of Demon: The Fallen, which actually had an interesting premise. Then having lured everyone into a false sense of security, he made Beast: The Primordial, which is basically taking "The Chronicles of the Elders of Zion" and turning into an RPG.

Matt McFarland is a writer for Onyx Path Publishing; he's worked on a bunch of New World of Darkness / Chronicles of Darkness games, and was lead on Beast. He worked on Demon: The Descent which has almost nothing in common with Demon: The Fallen and is generally a good (if poorly organized) game.

He was lead designer on Beast: The Primordial, which is a really weird, ugly game about being a hideous abuse monster that's actually good and cool because people need to be traumatized for the world to work properly; it's gross and kind of incoherent and if you want specific details there's a good review of it in the F&F archives.

Beast's themes go from gross to horrifying when you factor in that he's been accused of raping a minor.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Dawgstar posted:

You know, the talk of Beast got me to re-read the review and given they were developed by the same person, I'd love to know why Beasts have such a hate-boner for Demons.

Zereth posted:

Desperate attempt to make them seem less "When Poochie's not on screen, all the other characters should be asking 'Where's Poochie?'" maybe?

Demons are canonically immune to the Poochy effect. :v:

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


JackMann posted:

I mean, that's part of why Beast doesn't really work as a World/Chronicle of Darkness line. World of Darkness is all about how you have these mysterious things happening in the shadows that most people don't know about. That doesn't really work with dragons or godzillas. Like, you can imagine a society of vampires working behind the scenes, or werewolves out in the country. Mummies have their cults to do the daylight work. Prometheans and Demons at least seem human enough at first glance. But a dragon or a godzilla is right there in your face, destroying downtown. It doesn't work in the setting. They have to cram it into the framework of the setting by making it a spirit animal thing, and what you're left with is just too similar to what other splats do.

I think there are some individual ideas you could work with that wouldn't be retreads of other splats, but you'd have to change things up so much it wouldn't really be recognizable as the same game. Either you'd completely lose the giant monster thing or have to go to a completely different setting that doesn't care about the masquerade.

I mean, sort of, but there are a lots of things you could do to get around this.

You could greatly emphasize the importance of the Astral plane and have the players literally be their giant monster selves there, and have a kind of dual narrative where e.g. you're a great a terrible dragon who haunts people's dreams on one side and a weedy suburbanite on the other.

Like picture a game that throws out everything actual Beast is about thematically, for a start. What do dragons and other giant monsters mean? Dragons are possessive; dragons and krakens and other monstrosities are a symbol of the unknown, but they're also associated with empire and civilization, so there's kind of an interesting contradiction / dichotomy there. They're even more closely tied to humanity than vampires or werewolves are, because Heroes are a manifestation of humanity's will to conquer the darkness and control their own destiny.

Promethean is a game about wanting to become human. This is wildly contradictory to traditional RPG "progress and gain power!" logic, but it works because Promethean commits 100% mechanically and flavorfully. So make Beast the reverse of that -- instead of a game about hope, it's a about tragedy on a grand and epic scale. Beasts are people who are so desperate to escape from their lives that they're willing to become monsters, avatars of the very forces that made their own lives miserable. Maybe it's a one-time snap decision, to allow for the possibility of regret or attempts to minimize harm, kind of like Vampire. Steal a page from Wraith and have each player also play the Hero of the player to their left -- a Hero who will inevitably destroy them, even if takes many attempts or even reincarnations.

Instead of feeding on abuse, Beasts feed on festering systemic issues in communities. Dragons feed on greed, wealth, and the fear of losing it; their ideal lair is a gated community. Krakens feed on suppressed anxiety and fear of the unknown; their ideal lair is suburbia. Minotaurs feed on violence and the fear of being trapped; their ideal lair is a slum. And so on, tweaking these as necessary. Beasts don't necessarily create these issues but they amplify them, while at the same time creating an environment where the human will to overcome spontaneously transforms people into a kind of narrative antibody -- Heroes who in real life are reformers, public servants, exemplary citizens, and in their dreams are powerful forces who can go toe to toe with Beasts.

So now you have choices. Do you lean into monstrosity and let things get worse and worse until eventually you're destroyed by those that have risen up to resist you? Or do you isolate yourself (like Medusa!) and try to live on the bare minimum until finally you're hunted to serve some purpose that barely has anything to do with you? Do you choose to die, when the consequences of your own survival are too horrifying even to you?

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 20:41 on Jan 21, 2018

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Or alternatively if that's too depressing, make their morality stat a measure of where they fall on a spectrum from "basically otherkin Freddie Krueger" to "wise old oracle that the Hero seeks out for guidance." Make defeating heroes or helping them equally valid ways of progressing their power stat, which measures their progress into becoming purely Astral beings -- of achieving their escape. This also sets up fantastic opportunities for Beast vs. Beast gameplay because what part of "magical dreamworld Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, with the soul of Pleasantville at stake" doesn't sound like fun? Maybe go for a more Arthurian flavor than Greek if you do it this way.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Robindaybird posted:

The issue now with either of those is 'how does it work in a group game' as the pitches seem more tailor-maded to solo adventures, which isn't unheard of, but not the norm.

This is true, but at least it's a common problem in nWoD games. :v:

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


the Dream Cycle is the best thing Lovecraft wrote

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply