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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I'm still disappointed that the GURPS World of Darkness books got axed midway through the project. The mechanical adaptations were hosed six ways from Sunday, but they were still vastly more cogent reads than the original material.

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I can try, but it'll have to wait until I can get some sleep.

Heck, I might see if my copies aren't in storage, and give 'em a go-through for the thread.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I had some very obnoxious people explain to me that Changeling: the Dreaming mapped very explicitly onto SCAdian: the Dream. I think the superior attitudes involved were part of the reason I dropped out of the Society. That and the creepy friends who tried to get oh-so-meta by pretending to be their characters, who were pretending to be them, who were pretending to be their Society personas.

Edit: Weirdly, and I mean weirdly, the proto-otherkin I was aware of back then tended to cling to Werewolf, if they weren't just enormous dragons crammed into tiny, tiny bodies. And by cling, I mean they lifted the entirety of their metaphysics straight from the books. That was really fun to see, after spending the Eighties explaining that no, D&D doesn't actually make you crazy.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 12:45 on Jan 6, 2016

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Without going into detail that I don't have the energy for at the moment, the two big things about the GURPS WoD adaptations are tone and mechanics. I don't know if it's part of the style bible, or just an artifact of Evil Stevie being an old-school kind of development overlord, but they tend to be very straightforward and very light on narrative fluff. One of the first things GURPS Vampire does is set down just what this whole 'gothic-punk' thing is, which I didn't get anywhere near as clearly from reading oVampire.

The other thing is, GURPS is one of those big old Grand Unified Theory systems, where everything is ostensibly 'balanced' against everything else, backed up and buffered by a point-buy chargen that doesn't always work as intended. RAW, you should be able to drop someone with minor pyrokinesis in with a group of amateur Autoduellists, who are facing off against some time-lost beginner fantasy adventurers. They tried really hard to fit Vampire into that framework, and you could hear it give out from a mile off. Vampire disciplines (aside the physically oriented ones like Celerity, Potence and Fortitude) were weighted similarly to psi powers and super powers, which, level-for-level, were very cheap. Dominate was about as expensive as Acute Vision, which was a couple of character points, tops. So you could buy up mental Disciplines at an ungodly rate, but you'd also have to buy up the skills to use them properly. Physical disciplines, on the other hand, ramped up in cost very quickly.

Instead of handwaving the things vampires could and couldn't do, GURPS applied a huge wodge of a template which... codified the things they could and couldn't do, and applied appropriate point costs or breaks. This made the average neonate in the realm of several hundred character points, in a system where your average human was around 25, your starting adventurers were 100, and your wet-behind-the-cape superheroes were 500 points. This would get even weirder with Werewolf and Mage.

Werewolf simply broke the system. The starting template was already in the neighborhood of 400 CP, and where the vampiric disciplines were statted to roughly fall into line with similar powers, they took one look at garou Gifts and giggled. Abilities that might have been worth one or two dots could range from a few to several dozen CP in cost. There was some kind of logic in play, but it certainly wasn't the progression that Disciplines had. Given that the guideline for character progression was maybe a handful of CP an adventure, this could leave certain powers totally out of reach, or eliminate the point of keeping character point tallies in the first place.

Mages had similarly loopy character templates, but the basic structure of the Spheres made it easier to say that rank X of any Sphere cost Y points.

Both Vampire and Werewolf had Companion books, which were basically the mechanical contents of the appropriate Player's Guides. Vampire's was a bit of a jolt because it also included mechanics for the Sabbat, without a lot of context as to who these new vampires were, or what the heck an Antitribu was. Mage was supposed to receive one, though the main book already contained a fair amount of information about things like Umbrood, Paradox spirits and the Technocracy, but relations between SJG and White Wolf broke down before it or further adaptations of the WoD could be developed.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Ugh, I completely forgot about durations, yeah. I've been trying to remember how aggravated damage (and Protean's Wolf Claws) translated over too.

Wasn't there something about damage beyond a certain point going through to Blood Points? Like a vampire was still roughly functional down to -HTx5, but beyond that their physical structure was so ripped up they'd start ablating blood in place of hit points.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Robindaybird posted:

Sorry if I seem incoherent, but I'm pretty mad about this and I have a hard time expressing words to describe why.

It's diminishing. It's the flip side of those Ancient Aliens TV shows that claim 'primitive' cultures couldn't perform vast feats of engineering without something greater pulling the strings. It's worse than that, because it turns tragedy into nothing more than a prop.

I think it's doable, but it requires a subtle hand. Make the monsters opportunists or profiteers, parasites, but not primary causes. A God Machine appendage hoovering up the souls of suicides because people are already disposed to go to Aokigahara is far more villainous than one psychically spamming people with offers of one-way trips there.

It reminds me of an old X-Men special from the Eighties, where the team flies off to solve famine in Ethiopia, and there's all of this wretched Save the Children imagery, and they just can't do enough...

...until they discover that the famine is actually a loving mutant that they can track down and beat the snot out of.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I dunno. Between Brucato in general and the existence of both cyborg werewolves and cyborg wizards in previous iterations of the fluff, I'll be surprised if he's using 'cybernetic' in that kind of scholarly way.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

My very largely ignorant take on things is that the Technocracy became necessary because the assorted other Traditions were happily screwing around, playing Ars Magica in their chantries, and leaving average people at the mercy of wandering Bygone critters like dragons and unicorns. The Technocracy (or rather, Order of Reason) took the opportunity and standardized reality. No more dragons, they aren't real. Want fire? There's an assortment of thoroughly understood chemical reactions available to you-- no conjuring and placating elementals, no hoping for a thunder god to crack one out nearby.

Now, while they may have had the best of intentions at heart, we all know what the road to Hell is paved with. Call it becoming hidebound, or too big to fail, overspecialization or simple hubris all over again, but they've gone far beyond their original mandate and poo poo is starting to get weird in a bad way. Sure, they're systematically digging up hells in the Deep Umbra and redefining the devils that live there as bug-eyed monsters, but they're still bug-eyed monsters that could sell gasoline to a burning man.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Count Chocula posted:

Lucifer is so 70s TV I can hear the Night Rider, Hulk and Supertrain theme songs. Just a lonely AI truck, wandering the highways with its crew of scrappy survivors.

Tranquility is a Doctor Who Base Under Siege story waiting to happen.

Knight Rider, or a particularly wretched version of Ark 2, absolutely. The semi trucks do it, right there.

Tranquility has always reminded me of the video game adaptation of I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, since the Mouth game came out maybe two years before ROS, but the classic Doctor Who connections really do draw themselves.

(I'm a fan of that Qlippothic Cybermen essay, too. Reminds me of reading Promethea in the bleakest possible way.)

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Half of the Camarilla claimed Rasputin as one of theirs at least, and they assigned him to the Corax in the back of some V:DA adventure book (Transylvania Chronicles?). I think that latter one was an easter egg.

Malkavian Rasputin transubstantiating Communion wine to blood, and muttering about how 'these midnight Masses are the only thing keeping me alive' remains my first and favourite.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Hostile V posted:

CHARACTER CONCEPTS AND IDEAS PART ONE

This is about standard for 3E GURPS; regular people are a bit higher point value than average, but that kind of comes with the post-apocalyptic territory and the more hapless folks dying off in droves.

I think the character concepts themselves were intended both as suggestions for PCs and NPCs. I never really saw the use of them until they started writing them up as full-blown templates with point values and skill calculations already done, late in 3E.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I keep thinking that someone thought this was a great way to simulate the tension and risk of piloting powerful, prototype equipment, using disconnection to emulate the need to jury-rig systems at critical moments and such.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I remember waiting eagerly for In Nomine. A new RPG, by uncle Evil Stevie? What could go wrong?

Well, I waited an awfully long time for one thing. Turnaround from the early ads and teaser images to the core book was in the neighborhood of a few years, and most of the occasional announcements were basically notes to the effect of 'yes, it's delayed again'.

When it did emerge... well, that story is in Mors Rattus's eminently capable hands.

I will note that there was a rudimentary, mostly-unofficial GURPS conversion document. It may still be on the SJG site somewhere. It worked out even worse than GURPS Werewolf.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Fossilized Rappy posted:

I don't know about any mostly unofficial document, but there was a lengthy and officially released GURPS In Nomine book for GURPS Third Edition, and a few token mentions here and there in 4E books.

FMguru posted:

There was an actual published 144-page adaptation of the setting called (naturally enough) "GURPS In Nomine".

gently caress me, how did I miss that shitshow? The SJG site was my homepage through to the start of 4E.

Edit: Hey, it's still there. http://www.sjgames.com/in-nomine/gurps/old.html

So's an old assortment of IN-related MUSH links. Erk.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 22:32 on Jan 13, 2016

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

quote:

Scholar: “You were not put here to ‘Get it,’ Mr. Burton.” (This is probably a reference to some pop-culture thing I haven't seen, because gently caress people who don't have your exact cultural frame of reference, amright?)

Big Trouble in Little China, yeah. Nothing like your capsule examples requiring a trip to the Google.

Jesus Christ. I don't know what kind of pro-dommes or alt communities Brucato hangs out with, but the more of this poo poo that comes out, the more accurate that nasty little plop about his Black Dog alter ego seems.

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 13:02 on Jan 14, 2016

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

GURPS zombo.com. You can chargen anything with GURPS zombo.com.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Given how much boils down to winging it, house ruling it, or otherwise telling the player base to use the core books as a toolkit or guideline, and how much of this hobby is ostensibly based on leveraging one's imagination, it has always amazed me that a recognizable industry ever emerged from the RPG hobby.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Each level of Short Lifespan halves the age of maturity (18 base for humans) and the point at which you start making Aging rolls that potentially damage your attributes (50 by default). So those bioroids are going to be adults at five years of age, and showing wear around twelve.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

LatwPIAT posted:

Adulthood at 2.25 and aging-rolls at 6.25, actually. Short Lifespan 3 divides all ages by 8. (2.25 years is, probably entirely coincidentally, about the time it would take to grow an adult human spine from stem cells.)

Oh, gently caress me, you're right. Exhibit A for why I mostly just play storygames these days: my math skills are virtually nonexistent.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Huh, that's cool. I know that beliefs regarding caul birth go back at least as far as the Romans in Europe, but wasn't aware that they survived the trip across the Atlantic to become part of Southern folklore too.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I'm beginning to think that Brucato's problem is less that he has goofy ideas, but that he presents them as incontrovertible fact with nothing to show how he gets from point A to ~, even while he's busily bloviating elsewhere. I know people who identify as gender-fluid or non-binary, outside of Tumblr even, but I don't know anyone who uses spivaks or any of the rest of the menagerie of nth gender pronouns, outside of fictional contexts like MUCKs and old Star Trek novels. A statement like 'gender is dynamic' is the beginning of a contentious argument or essay, not a misplaced mic drop, and it's an essay that's far too big for an isolated sidebar.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Vampire was sexy, transgressive, and both in a period of time when porn was still something most kids got from brief moments of unscrambled TV and occasional bits of lucky discovery in the woods. Where D&D kept telling you to kill the evil critters en masse, and not try to play evil, the WoD flipped that on its head and couched everything in the easily accessible terms of thinly veiled high school drama. They may not have intended it at first, but they were certainly happy to milk it for all it was worth.

And... yes, thank you, LatwPIAT. There's a reason why a lot of my own old essays had comments like 'expand on this' jotted in the margins. Every time I 'hear' Brucato's editorial voice, I imagine him pontificating in the corner of some New Age shoppe that sells mystically aligned stones that were dynamited out of a hillside, and keeps paperback copies of the Necronomicon 'safely' on a shelf behind the counter. The TVTripes shout-out almost sells it by itself.

Cultural attitudes toward gender identity/expression and sexuality were my elective of choice when I studied anthropology an age ago. If I still had JSTOR access, I'd be hunting down papers in that vein today. Tumblr doesn't cut it. Tumblr is just 4chan with a different angle, and both of them really remind me of the great grimdark shift of nerd culture in the Nineties: adolescent rebellion, and lining up to be a unique and special snowflake just like everyone else in the clique they're struggling to align themselves with. There are people I respect, who identify as fluid or non-binary (I don't understand it, but just call me Jack Burton), but I don't think any of them are Tumblrinas. They're not strident enough.

And... gently caress that whole sidebar. I use 'ze' as a literary device sometimes, specifically because it feels alien and othering. Making it sound as if it's accepted practice is deeply hosed up.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I just remembered an exchange with a friend back in... when oWoD was immediately relevant, blue-skying our own heartbreakers and poo poo. We were talking about tactical maps. D&D used squares, GURPS and Battletech used hexes, and while both were functional, I preferred a granularity of movement that probably would have boiled down to tape measures.

"What about octagons?" he suggested, completely seriously. Because hexes had more faces than squares, and they were a bit more elegant in our eyes, and octagons had even more faces...

I had to explain to him that they wouldn't work, because they wouldn't tile smoothly.

Nineties resolution mechanics often strike me as being similarly ill-considered.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Count Chocula posted:

It did remind me of Clive Barker's Imajica. Phallic imagery is everywhere in geek culture, at least Fields is honest about it.

I think he quotes from it in the section where the Universal Dong is described. Of course, being Fields, it's an implication about raping goddesses.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Count Chocula posted:

I just assume all the angels are androgonysly bisexual, like in that Neil Gaiman comic about a murder mystery in Heaven that I forget the name of. Gabriel looks like Destiny of the Endless too.

That was actually titled Murder Mysteries, funnily enough.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Kizke, the demon of Internet Comics.

Yeah, this book is about old enough for a Sluggy Freelance reference, isn't it?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Option A. Black Ops is a neat setting, but the mechanics push 3E like little else.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I like how Evil Mastermind keeps labeling the PSC as PCP. Because whoever came up with this whole scheme was definitely on something.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Details of the interdimensional transit research and the Soulburner are in GURPS Time Travel Adventures, which predates Technomancer by a few(?) years. It's neat, because while that adventure is only a quarter of a 3E softcover, it still manages to offer an intriguing snapshot of the setting to come.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

To me, Gabriel's most potent vessel will always be Christopher Walken.

Talking monkeys indeed, Gabe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-rVEtR9rfQ

Bieeanshee fucked around with this message at 00:08 on Jan 29, 2016

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Count Chocula posted:

I'd give them all the Song of Tongues for free, but that just reflects my personal religious upbringing.

I'd do that or obviate the need for it, because being confined to one Corporeal language is probably going to lead to some serious bias along national or cultural lines. And someone with a Word being unable to communicate it fucks with my head.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Nessus posted:

I imagine one of the ideas was that you would be the angels of a particular area which, especially in would probably be seen to be fairly mono-lingual... though that was not true then, and is less true now. Is the Song of Tongues expensive or does anything other than letting you speak all the hew-mon tongues fluently?

Ultimately, it feels like a silly D&Dism to me. You're a celestial being, not one of those mortal chumps who got stomped at Babel. You may not want to draw attention to your being an ultimate polyglot, but having to spend resources on it just seems dumb.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Count Chocula posted:

I had the same thought!
I kinda default to Angels being the worse side due to growing up reading all the Vertigo comics In Nomine is based on, plus Catholic school. The default is kinda 'the Angels are bad, did I just BLOW YOUR MIND?' and In Nomine seems to come from that tradition.

Plus, as the noted theologian William Joel notes, "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints [3]. The sinners [4] are much more fun."

Why is there an angel of trade/capitalism? Was that part of the satire?

I remember there being an Angel of Teen Suicide in some fluff attached to one of the adventures, and an adventure in Pyramid (?) revolving around some kind of cloak and dagger battle for the Word of Flowers. I always figured that in the case of apparently irredeemable or innocent Words, claiming one was a strategic move to deny the Enemy its potency.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Rawhead goes all the way back to Ireland. Clive Barker made a movie about one variation of him, way back in the day.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Doresh posted:

So humans habe been around for almost a millenium, but gunpowder and probably other sorts of advanced chemicals are tools of the devil? This is yet another medieval fantasy setting eternally stuck in the same vague medieval period, isn't it?

I think it might've been more interesting for the Protestants to meet the brainwashing wizard fleets with cannonballs and Greek fire.

I've always found it to be one of the funniest and creepiest aspects of the setting, in its earlier incarnations at least. It's a more amusing answer to 'can we invent gunpowder?' than a flat 'no'.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Cythereal posted:

Or you could go Screwtape Letters with it and Lilim fill in as the bureaucracy and legal department of Hell. That could be Lilith's secret to staying alive in Hell: the Lilim are the glue of Hell's organization simply because they're about the only ones who can ensure the management and supply of Hell's legions actually gets done. They're not the glamorous succubi you normally hear about, but your average Lilim is the Hellish version of an office drone or truck driver.

I had a lot of fun with a succubus character who operated along those lines. She worked in Procurement, arranging for the acquisition of objects and concepts and delivery to agents working on potential Fausts. Sexual temptation? Not her department. Besides, anyone willing to give their soul away for a lay wasn't worth much on the market anyway.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

The same gods who, kicked out of heaven for stealing AO's tablets of the not-ten-commandments, hosed up the world so vigorously that an entire character class was eradicated and AO put his foot down, declaring that henceforth, divine power was predicated on strength of worship. Prior to that, the fuckers left countless shades sitting around in the Grey Wastes waiting fruitlessly for their gods to come and shovel them off to their rewards.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Kavak posted:

Same. What are the groaner spots besides Greenwood's pet NPC's again?

That's most of it, because they're pretty much everywhere you look.

Rand Brittain posted:

Honestly, my main impression from reading old Realms stuff is that they pretty much just paid Greenwood to publish his campaign notes, because there's a whole lot of pointless stuff in the old books. Like, Cult of the Dragon has full stats for Sammaster at four different points of his life.

I think this is actually depressingly accurate. Even the original FR boxed set had pages of what were obviously campaign notes that involved characters that were never heard from again. One of the 3E books was loaded with weird sidebars like hitherto-unknown fairy trods, not to be confused with the networks of permanent gates littering the world, and even wasted space providing stats for 'boom shrooms', which originally saw light in a Dragon magazine from the mid Eighties.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Kurieg posted:

Don't forget the 3.5 book Faiths and Pantheons which can best be described as "Holy poo poo we've got too many deities guys I can't keep them straight." Including the complete Elvish, Drow, Dwarven, Halfling, Orc, Gnome, and Egyptian pantheons.

No I didn't misspeak. Somehow people from Earth-Egypt got transplanted into the Realms.
Yes it's incredibly racist.

Oh god, that. I remember there being two of those sorts of books for 2E, loaded with poorly balanced Specialty Priests and brand-loving-new gods to confuse your game with. Not that the Realms didn't have more than enough to begin with, and a fair number of those were borrowed from mythological or literary sources.

Speaking of racism, I need to dig up my copy of Day of Al'Akbar, just to confirm my vague memory of a mad bomber running around not-Agrabah, blowing up bazaars with delayed-blast fireballs.

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

And there's Chessenta, where wizards were hunted and burned on pyres made of something called 'witchweed', the smoke of which screwed with spellcasting.

Then again, I can't really blame them, being so close to Thay and all.

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