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Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Kurieg posted:

In Beast the mechanical bits, such as they are, are somewhat well put together. The Atavisms and Nightmares are really good and evocative. But the fluff put together around those mechanics is what kills it. It's one of those things where you think a competent writer could probably come in and salvage it given the opportunity, except a competent writer was given that opportunity,
This is, to an extent, how I feel about Geist. Some interesting mechanics (also some tremendously garbage mechanics that tape game balance to a wheelchair and roll it, burning, down a steep incline), packaged in a massive swing-and-a-miss of who-gives-a-poo poo fluff.

If the color choices for the text/backgrounds in the book itself didn't make huge sections borderline-to-actually-illegible, it'd make for a pretty good write-up candidate for this thread.

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Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



The most important thing to ever remember about oWoD's dice pool mechanics (splitting, changing TN, changing # of dice) is Greg Stolze's anecdote about working on some mechanics for a book and asking the line developer "what's better, +X dice or -Y difficulty?" and being told basically "do whatever feels right, man." It's not even lunatics running the asylum, it's lunatics squatting in an open field and insisting that theirs is a fine institution that serves the needs of the population.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Count Chocula posted:

Supernatural just claims that all 'pagan' gods are demons, which lets them kill them easily. It's pretty lame.
Point of order, that episode actually followed a very In Nomine (and Part-Time Gods, and a couple other games) "powered by belief, so no worship = we're super weak now" so I have no idea where you're coming from with that, and at no point claimed they were demons, at all, ever?

Chernobyl Peace Prize fucked around with this message at 13:17 on Jan 21, 2016

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



MonsieurChoc posted:

Wow. This is way worse than I remember. Setting aside the racism of making Half-Gypsy a loving race option, it's a terrible one mechanically! None of those tiny bonuses are worth giving up the bonus feat and skill points of being human! Even the one that gives a bonus to Initiative is super random and can actually give you a negative one!
And on top of that, unless they did something weird to Sorcerors for Ravenloft, the stat that determines the strength of their spells is Charisma. The thing Half-Vistani get a racial penalty to.

Also, Disguise checks use Charisma as the base modifier, don't they? So not only is their OR worse than half-elves, their mitigation of it is hamstrung inherently?

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Count Chocula posted:

And if you don't like it, why treat it like it's WRONG somehow? It's just a setting element. I think elves and orcs and Medieval Europe are overdone, but I don't get annoyed at every D&D heartbreaker. Accept that, yes, Mage is a 90s game about Chaos Magick. There aren't many of them.
Weirdly, Mage before M20 isn't so much, point of fact. Why, I've got the Mage 2e book right here in front of me, and a grand total of 0 traditions here have chaos magick as a suggested foci, compared to fully half of them in M20. And yet, Brucato's the design and dev lead on that book, too.

Whether it's because back then he was actually tempered by editorial oversight, or had yet to go Full Satyros in print, Phil Brucato Presents Mage is only really a 90s game about Chaos Magick when being rewritten in 2015. If you don't like the review in this thread rightly laughing at it, you could always take some of your own advice and not read something if you disagree with it.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Daeren posted:

You are a comic book supervillain doing comic book supervillain things, like making giant death rays powered by diamonds and puppy tears, in order to threaten to BLOW UP THE OCEAN unless the UN gives you one billion dollars in bitcoins.

The reason you're doing this is that your superpowers actually come from a no-poo poo from-Hell demon bound to you. If you don't keep it appeased by doing bad things, it starts to get very cranky and mess with your life by doing things like activating your "light self on fire" power while you're getting ready for bed with your wife and kids. If you do too many evil things, it gets to drag your soul to Hell. So, by doing cartoonish, EEEEEEVIL things, you keep the demon sated, because demons are cool with playing the long con and like dinner and a show, while not actually being that harmful in comparison to systemic, callous, real-world evil. There's an entire sidebar about it.

So, yeah, you can totally play a game as Dr. Explosions cackling evilly over his diabolical schemes while inwardly making sure to never quite aim the gatling grenades directly at Lantern Jaw Man, because you'd never forgive yourself if he actually died.
And the other reason is because either implicitly or explicitly, the demons need to be tethered to Somebody who said yes to the possession offer, and if it's not you in a garish spandex costume doing themed crimes, it might be an actual psychopath who responds to the demon's constant pleas to roast and eat a school bus full of orphans with "why not think bigger?" and then scorches the planet.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Daeren posted:

It should also be noted that it does Wraith's Shadowguiding correctly. Another player plays your demon, and you play someone else's. There is a looot of wordspace and mechanics devoted to minimizing the risk of it turning into the Shadowguiding problem - that is to say, the game either goes nowhere because there's no conflict because nobody wants to be mean, or it immediately devolves into a daisy chain of spite-fueled backstabs that completely derail the game.
Yeah! Plus chargen involves passing your sheet to the person playing your demon and back, so from the get-go the whole character (and not just the demon part) has mechanical buy-in from the person playing your demon. As well as the minigame of trying to snipe mutually exclusive stat caps from one another and playing that game of humanity Chicken.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Spellbound Kingdoms sounds like it gives a mechanical reason for you to go all Iago on the guy you hate instead of trying to stab him outright, which seems pretty cool, to me.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Rand Brittain posted:

Anytime I hear the suggestion that anybody in this industry is motivated by greed, I laugh until the tears come.
People in any industry can be motivated by greed, they can also just be really bad at picking avenues to reliably satisfy their motivations.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Kurieg posted:

Having people be born the way they are kind of goes against the grain of the CofD. Werewolf is pretty clear on the fact that Luna's just doing whatever the gently caress she wants, and Mage states that anyone can awaken it just requires the correct kind of push.

So let's do some more brainstorming, given as fact that "This game needs a Crossover Focus" and "Beasts need to do horrible things to survive" while also keeping "Beasts have to be compelling to play" and "Beasts aren't born the way they are."

You don't choose to become a Beast, hell your Horror didn't even really choose you. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time and now you've got some unknowable horror where your soul used to be. Horror doesn't particularly care about you, you're some unwanted chunk of meat and sentience that it is stuck to, you dying would probably be the best thing that ever happened to it. But if you don't feed it, it starts to get stronger, it starts to rattle the bars of it's prison, clawing at the walls, screaming loud enough for Heroes and other Horrors to hear. Or it makes a hero, slipping away while you sleep to create its own worst enemy in hopes that it will either drive you to give in, or kill you. So you give in, in little ways. You direct the hatred and violence towards more constructive ends, because you aren't a monster. And hopefully in some way you can either direct your Horror towards some better purpose, or end it entirely.

So how does this bring into the crossover angle? They're your support group. They're the monsters who are out in the world and doing what they can to make it a better place, or at least survive without turning it into a complete shithole. They're your friends who can help you when your Horror calls in backup, they're the ones who can call you back from the brink if your Horror gets too strong. They're the ones who are going to get you out of this mess alive.


But that's a completely different game and would need an utter overhaul of the mechanics and morality system.
Also, while you're overhauling the mechanics and morality system to support the new premise of "placating accidental eldritch horror inside," you've basically written yourself 90% of the way to a new edition of Geist, a system that already has antagonists (ghosts! Underworld stuff!) potentially built into it. Even when being rebuilt Beast would find trouble justifying itself in the face of existing content.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Nessus posted:

I have legit thought a lot about what kind of system you would use to represent Jojo's Stand Adventure Time. It is hard because Stands are both in no way balanced against each other, but also explicitly are not necessarily "stronger" or "weaker" in any kind of obvious way. I feel like some kind of PBTA could be done for it, with perhaps advances involving more involved specification on the tricks of your Stand.
Monsters and Other Childish Things times a thousand probably has you covered.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Yeah, things like Rifts are reviews that I appreciate and cherish, just time-offset until I have a lazy Saturday afternoon to read about DBees and South American vampirostates and stuff for few long hours.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



MollyMetroid posted:

Okay so do more people want to see a writeup of Iron Gods (which is a campaign about ascending an AI to godhood and includes a city built on top of a crashed starship) or Reign of Winter (which is about Baba Yaga but involves travel to another planet and a chapter called Rasputin Must Die, in which our heroes go to 1918 Russia and fight Rasputin in a Siberian fortress)? Also available are Wrath of the Righteous (fight demons become demigods), Mummy's Mask (NOT-EGYPT and flying sky pyramids), or Jade Regent (Go to not-Japan and help your friend become empress, also includes bioware style NPC relationship rules.) My personal preference would be one of the first two but if more people want to see one of the others I could be convinced.
Reign in Winter a thousand times.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, some people lose their poo poo about the druid or monk or fighter being sub-op, or the barbarian or ranger being a bit dull. It's usually gripes over specific classes than anything to do with the rules in general.
It sounds like you may be confusing people saying a class is bad with saying the game is bad (druid is bad, it's three halves of a class that add up to less than one class together). The game is fun and good, which makes those unfun and less-good bits stand out more. Kind of like those Monsterhearts reviews awhile ago, where those (I want to say Skins?) playbooks were a combination of overpowered-or-useless bolted onto inconsistent mechanics and bad fiction. Doesn't make Monsterhearts less good to point it out, or mean that people like it less for saying so.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Nancy_Noxious posted:

This thread is really great! Let us exacerbate 13th Age's flaws and stay mellow about Pathfinder's because

Someone said upthread that it's better to have people playing Pathfinder than playing no RPGs at all. I used to think like that. Today I disagree. After trying to sell 13th Age, Apocalypse World and 4E to a Pathfinder group I used to play boardgames (bad boardgames, like Zombicide) with, just to be rejected everytime because "not realistic enough", "this is too confusing, how come NPCs do not have defense numbers?!" and "this is not a real RPG, we play Pathfinder, D&D's true heir " respectively, I came to believe that Pathfinder is, at least for me, worse than no RPGs at all. It actively poisons people against the games I'd like to have a group to play with.

The fact that Beast's success makes this Pathfinder-loving thread mad makes me glad. Not that I like Beast, I find it worse than bad, I find it uninteresting (like Geist, or Awakening Mage), but the way you people react to it (and the way you put down games I like such as 13th Age) is making me warm up to it. Ripping MRAs to shreds is just icing to the cake.

(Kai - I agree that, design-wise both Strike and Spellbound are more sophisticated than 13th Age, and in an ideal world I should be wanting to get a group to play those. But as much as I enjoy 4e, the square grid is not my favourite part, the balance and variety of "buttons" (i.e. powers) to push during combat is. Also, I am not really married to DTAS. Furthermore, PDQ# is one is my fave systems, so 13th Age's backgrounds plus abstracted distances in combat is like PDQ and 4e lite had a baby, and it hits a sweet spot for me. Plus gorgeous books, I love the hand drawn feeling of the art and the CONSISTENCY you get by having only two illustrators doing the whole thing. Strike's art and layout, on the other hand, are both weak, and I like pretty things. Can you now imagine why would someone go for 13th Age instead of Strike?)
Not sure where you got the idea that people like Pathfinder all that much and are dogpiling 13A---this is a thread for discussing game design, including flaws! 13a's flaws are: it has some. People are talking about them. Take a deep breath and tell yourself it's okay. The fact that you're shaking your tiny fists in hollow glee that a game as lovely as Beast is doing well, just because it spites people you've misread completely on the internet, is the kind of pathetic that leads better people to rethink their life choices.

Also Strike!'s art is great, the layout's fine, and I think this may just be a case of the ol' "~It's okay to like different things~", which you seem to not have cottoned to?

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Cythereal posted:

I prefer Idigam Theory #4, for the effect of making the werewolves eventually realize that these mysterious, ineffable, extraordinarily dangerous entities are the spirits of the race most werewolves disregard as weak and unworthy prey.
I like Theory #4, but because it reminds me the most of Dark Souls and the horror contained in Humanity and the dark.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Nancy_Noxious posted:

That one is easy. The Technocracy are STEMlords, so it's not like they're evil queer monsters or anything, so STEMlord nerds dig them. Take for instance that really unfair Mage20 review that was going on, it was a celebration of sciency nerd types. Fashionable tattooed characters were despicable, fugly characters wearing Darwin t-shirts and sweatpants were awesome!

Viking honor is conventionally masculine, so most straight nerds dig it. Queer Beasts? Burn them!
If you're siding with Count "devil's advocate for any game, the worse the better" Chocula on a point you're probably on the wrong end of an argument, fair warning.

That having been said, I'm not sure we read the same M20 review---at no point does the "fugly characters wearing Darwin t-shirts and sweatpants were awesome" thing come up, unless you're thinking of this, which, what? That's a woman of color with a robo-pokemon consulting a clipboard. I don't know where you're reading "fugly" or "pro-STEMlord nerd" into that. The review does lean into making fun of how many of the sample splat characters are depicted as tattooed 20-somethings in trendy clothing but: there are a lot, and it also goes on to list all the ways the representation inclusive (by being non-white, non-male, and older, where applicable.

I think you may just hate your version of this thread, which may or may not resemble the one being written. It may complicate people talking to you about it.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Nessus posted:

Does anyone give a poo poo if I picked up the W:TA20 thing in order to give some grounding for a bunch of Tribe and Breed books I just dug up? Or would it be better to forge ahead and :justpost:
Definitely just post the hell out of whatever, so I can compare it to this copy of Apocalypse (the line-ending book) I just picked up.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Mors Rattus posted:

That'd be the one where Integrators literally reprogram God. Until then, it will never consider humans to be more than stupid and expendable pawns. Basically: flat no, the Machine is not benevolent, at best it is not actively malevolent all the time.
And angels only have it marginally "better" in the sense that they're considered perfectly obedient and expendable pawns. And the second that obedience wavers, congrats on your fall. The God Machine as written for DtD isn't even a case of "when I say jump, you ask 'how high'," because well, that would be asking too many questions.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Count Chocula posted:

I'd rather be a pawn than food or prey or a lesson to teach, especially if I'm being controlled by the one winning the game.
Are you SURE you aren't a Fascist

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Doresh posted:

I think what this industry needs is a self-aware game like John: The Wickening, the suspenseful horror game of ordinary people or adventurers having to deal with an adversarial, evil presence that is both untouchable and omnipresent.
Dread, but you have to pull whenever you're about to disagree with an NPC or the GM about anything. When the tower falls you have to say you're sorry and that you'll think about what you've done.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Ahahahaha dwarves are coders who politicked their way into management and elves are investors running incubators. This game owns bones.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Hostile V posted:

Gentle Repose. :colbert:
Just because it keeps the orange fresh doesn't mean it's not gonna look like it already got juiced.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Kurieg posted:

Making Beasts a stand in for the LGBT community lends credence to their detractors because even if their actions are completely outside their control the argument is still "Gays are unfairly inflicting their beliefs and lifestyle upon young children".

Also worth noting that Beasts "Feed" at the moment of catharsis when someone gives up and acknowledges that the Beast is right about them and has the right to dictate the terms of their life.

Why are Heroes the stand in for internet trolls again?
Plus there's the whole thing where Beasts look like normal people until they've lured, stalked, or otherwise trapped you in their home, at which point they reveal their hideous true self and inflict themselves on you for their own pleasure. wait is this book a hate crime

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Daeren posted:

I might actually do a review of the line, after years dormant in this thread. I was considering coming back with Beast, but that got taken, and Leviathan, but they're in the middle of compiling all their second edition drafts so I'll give them until that's done. Mummy certainly has enough to talk about in the terrible ideas department and "this is actually sick as poo poo" department.
Doooo iiiiit, I want to read someone else's thoughts on the downward power arc and the Ars Magica style recommended party comp (1 special person, buncha grunts).

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Kurieg posted:

Well it's somewhat telling that 2e Uratha, who have a much more relaxed Oath and will take other supernaturals into their packs, will probably still not want to work with Beasts, except for maybe the Hunters in Darkness who absolutely love creating terrifying murder forests to keep people out. The Iron Masters, Blood Talons, and Storm Lords would make a habit of killing them on sight, and the Bone shadows would probably want to dissect them.
And even HoD would probably be only cool with Beasts until they pop over into the Shadow and see that the spiritual landscape has turned into an unmanageable tangle of fear-hunger-horror-suffering, at which point they probably decide letting the Scooby Gang gently caress around in Old Man Jenkins's cabin is a lesser evil.

unseenlibrarian posted:

Basically the only Changelings that might get along with Beasts are the Scarecrow ministry, but the Ministry take the Beast's lessons gimmick and actually do it right: At their best, they are scooby doo ghosts who are scaring people away from legit supernatural dangers, like open doorways into the hedge leading to True Fae hunting grounds.
Yeah exactly, and even then, Scarecrow Ministry Changelings are still going to look at Beasts and immediately cotton to the difference between being dressing up like Pennywise for Halloween and being John Wayne Gacy.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Lynx Winters posted:

jfc I know WW/OP books are long-winded as hell but that doesn't mean every review has to be.
Shhhh it was good. And better to get the biggest Mummy exposition dump out of the way up front, as befits that game.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Kurieg posted:

Do they also refuse help from outsiders out of matters of convenience or do they accept it because it would be rude otherwise.


Like they wouldn't ask for a ride but they would accept one if freely offered?
Certain communities definitely hitch a ride into town because a friend or neighbor from outside will drive a van to Walmart. And for Amish using prosthetics (not that uncommon, given: farm work) they'll not-infrequently get driven to and from the clinic too, and wear said limbs (just things that are body-powered like grasping hooks instead of myoelectric fancy hands). Source: Living in rural Wisconsin for a number of years.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Evil Mastermind posted:

Intrusions just aren't interesting. They're not really narrative drawbacks, they're just GM "gently caress you"s because you rolled a 1.
Every time I think of GM Intrusions and the core conceit of "bribe you with XP to accept complications, or extort more XP out of you to prevent those complications" I get a little angry at stupid Numenera and its dumb garbage everything.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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But now would be good.



I mean, you COULD use that sheep-shearing spell so you don't dull your existing pair, or if you've got a broken pair (it doesn't specify functioning shears). But you could probably also just sharpen a dull pair or fix a broken pair of shears (using spells that require a whetstone or a toolkit, respectively, and the appropriate hand gestures).

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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But now would be good.



Poland Spring posted:

Holy poo poo a goblin but not just a goblin, the WORST goblin. Make the worst goblin.
This will also be the best goblin. Show us the alpha and omega of goblin.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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But now would be good.



Queegol's obviously a Magician. You don't haul yourself up by your goblin bootstraps like that only to have to get your hands dirty later.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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Night10194 posted:

There aren't any. The idea of being a mythmaker whose job is actually really complicated, sympathetic, or weird and getting inserted into a gothic crazytown is a neat idea, but that's never actually been what Beast is.
Also you can already do that with Changeling, a lot, and one of the groups (Autumn Court, especially the Scarecrow Ministry) explicitly do the "protect mortals + sustain yourself through fear" thing pretty dang well.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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Simian_Prime posted:

It's ironic that D&D-based games that was laughed at in the 90's as "kid's stuff" is now seen as the innovative force and has the most mass-market appeal(even if just for Millennial nostalgia's sake), and WoD, once the hip, edgy alternative in 90's RPG's, seems like a stodgy company still trying to relive its glory days while not recognizing the basic flaws in its mechanics and fiction.
Well, D&D also has the infinite dollars of MtG and Hasbro above that to keep them in the mass market, and (o/n)WoD's in a weird place as a licensed IP that Onyx Path makes most of the new content for (which can be good, like Demon, or awful, like Demon, or "keeping the lights on" like the various V20/W20/M20s), while White Wolf itself is basically an IP holding mill for CCP-and-now-Paradox. Less irony based in any way on the content of the games and more "who got bought by people with deep enough pockets that your failures are a rounding error for the rest of the company."

e: Yeah that too

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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Doresh posted:

This almost sounds like a setting for Godbound. The world broke because too many people glitched through the floor. It also turned out that the Heaven raid dungeon was not particularly stable. Now a few of the players still bothering with this mess of a server have suddenly gained mod powers.
Better yet, the Heaven raid's final boss wasn't intended to be beaten so the legendary heroes of the land have disappeared, locked in an eternal battle with a thing that will not, can not die.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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Evil Mastermind posted:

By the way, I'm actually pretty proud of the facts that a) I'm responsible for the newest thread title, and b) I seem to be becoming a go-to-guy for lovely metaplot-driven 90's RPGs.
The fact that it isn't

quote:

With that, Hellstromme quickly steps into his spaceship, seals the door, and blasts off into the night sky.

disappoints me only a tiny tiny bit.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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For Polaris, I want to see a lovely wizard so you can really dig into this whole

quote:

fugitive hedge mage(read: a Human who wasted a lot of feats on toys they can't use)

thing.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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Crasical posted:

Considering the amount of Shadowrun chatter, I'm not sure I need to be doing a F&F of the game...
Please do, for those of us who want to read along with the discussion but know nothing of the game beyond "yes there are video games based on this."

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

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Evil Mastermind posted:

You laugh, but some of the NPCs in Progenitor were basically Greg Stolze seeing how badly he could break the Wild Talents power system in terms of dealing damage in one capacity or another.
Including the biggest disaster of the late 20th century in-setting, the "this is what you can make if you just designed someone with a very simple, very limited power, very horrible power" (the robo seed guy).

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Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



The super chill part about Conquering Heroes being like half, two-thirds breathless hagiography of Beasts in the face of those icky mean man Heroes is that it undercuts the already flimsy-to-the-point-of-ethereality defense of Beast that "hey maybe it's being somehow written out of character as an unreliable narrator" unless that logic is just supposed to poison every book and line it touches. Which hey: Maybe.

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