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MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



LatwPIAT posted:



Chapter 5: Ascension Warriors: Part V: the Fallen
The Nephandi!

The interesting thing about the Nephandi is that you can almost sort of see a coherent ideology and a cause which might rally people to something horrifying and destructive.

Split the Nephandi properly between infernalists who worship edgy outer gods and actual nihilists, and make it a political term to describe the worst kinds of enemies of the Union/enemies of Ascension which people conflate because well, gently caress those guys. And you really want to tar them with the same brush because both of them have something compelling.

For the infernalists worshipping outer gods, their argument is that the horrifying things from beyond? They're going to win. It's inevitable. The Reapers are going to come and eat us all, and Commander Shepard ain't gonna stop them. The wolves prowl the void and exterminate everything that gets too far. Cthulhu wakes up and eats 1d3 wizards a round and there's poo poo you can do to stop them. Why not serve them? That way you suffer less. All fighting them does is ensure that you die horribly and/or get a space in their eternal torture chamber of eternity where you get exposed to bad 90s splatterpunk cliches 24/7. They're sell-outs, cowards, and villains, but at least you can see why they might convince others to be like them.

And for the nihilist Nephandi? Well that's even simpler. They're correct about things. They're the true heroes, you see. They see the world in all its tortured agony, humanity in all its horror and emptiness and the slow grinding death of mankind... and they think that the patient's too far gone. Sorry kids, existence is suffering, the people who can save it aren't ever going to be able to because they're too busy dick-waving at each other while everyone dies, the only moral thing to do is to end it all. And for the World of Darkness-that's a reasonably convincing argument. It's a lovely place full of lovely people and maybe the place is so awful the only moral thing to do is to burn it all down.

Sure, it might end all existence but isn't the end to suffering worth it?

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MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



unseenlibrarian posted:

I remember when Awakening first came out there were a metric shitton of Ascension fans complaining because it was turning all magic into Hermetics! When it actually got around to addressing something like OMage paradigms, the presentation was something along the lines of "All these groups have a bit of lost knowledge because of the big magical diaspora back in the day, so they probably have something to teach us!"

As opposed to the M20 approach, where there's a lot of different magicians with different belief systems but they're all fooling themselves and it's really just chaos magic you guys.

Wait, which one was supposed to be the more respectful and diverse approach again?

To be fair, M20 is not actually representative of the line in general. It's overall representative of a very Brucato-esque version of Mage, the early 2E version where the purple paradigm was king and everything was all about ~chaos magick~ and oh-so-wacky foci. Late 2E and Revised were generally much better at setting a tone for the game.

You also might have noticed from LatwPIAT's review that when M20 gets away from the Brucatoisms and the 1E silliness, like the Technocracy chapter, it gets significantly better.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Count Chocula posted:

Different strokes and all that, and I get why people wouldn't like oMage, but it's still a great game that has an appeal that nMage doesn't.
I also never heard the 'the Technocracy are the good guys' until I joined SA, though the Guide to the Technocracy does make a case for them.

It actually, I think, depends on how you get into oMage. If you got into it from 1st or 2nd edition, it's pretty rare. But if you, like me, get into it from Revised, Revised makes a fairly solid case of the Technocracy being cruel and callous and yet necessary. And you should probably get to work filing those rough edges off, but there's just so much to lose and so little time that maybe you, too, are tempted to cut corners.

When you get into it from the other end, that perspective becomes a lot harder to take.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Rand Brittain posted:

The thing is, the Guide to the Technocracy also mentions how the Technocracy employs mandatory obedience brainwashing because without it people keep defecting.

The GttT is pro-Technocracy but it's also barely-veiled satire, which people on the internet have been intentionally ignoring them for ten million arguments.

First, the quote is "With all that they are subjected to, it's a wonder more agents don't go rogue," not "the only reason most agents don't go rogue is because of Conditioning."

Second, if you look at the standards for 'mandatory obedience brainwashing,' the vast majority of the Technocracy are going to be at 3-5, which means, at 3, that they implicitly trust their supervising authorities and find people they say are suspicious suspicious, and at 5, they have a killswitch which makes them cease violent action. Given that at 5, you're probably some sort of killer cyborg, this isn't actually as sinister as a lot of the pro-Traditions posters claim it is. Even at 7, which is much higher than most people are going to end up at, your Conditioning amounts to "if your commanding officer tells you to trust these people, you will trust them."

The book's also very vague on whether this is a thing-it keeps emphasizing that the very existence of the Procedure is optional, so it's not really "intentionally" ignoring them so much as it is taking an explicitly written option.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Rand Brittain posted:

"Our operatives aren't brainwashed that much" is not a compelling argument against GttT being satire.

When you're classifying "if your immediate superior in the hierarchy says someone is suspicious you treat them as suspicious" as 'brainwashing' literally 99.99% of employees are going to count as having had mandatory loyalty brainwashing.

Thesaurasaurus posted:

I think the problem with the presentation of the Technocracy is that, by presenting them as well-intentioned but fundamentally-misguided, and worst of all, competent, the writing unwittingly buys into the narrative of the Technocracy's real-life inspirations. It's an especially well-established and insidious narrative, of Hard Men Making Hard Choices, and to be sure it makes for good drama because otherwise where's your moral conflict, but a more realistic portrayal would instead make CIA-analogues out to be a bunch of freewheeling lunatics with an unlimited budget, zero accountability, and no capacity to distinguish between reality and an episode of 24.

The fundamental conflict of the Technocracy that Guide to the Technocracy seems to get at is that it's necessary but not all of its actions are, I think. So the narrative is like "we need to have something like the FBI/CIA/police officers but maybe we can stop shooting black guys for the crime of being black." I don't think there's actually people who unironically defend the Technocracy as 100% justified in literally everything it does instead of just overall a force that does more good than it does ill.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Kurieg posted:

I'm re-reading Otherverse America. And honestly I don't know who's worse. Fields is more extreme than Brucato but Brucato is also being professionally published. The only things keeping Brucato's Id in check are his editors and his belief that magic is real.

I think Brucato has a huge amount of Protection Against Editors, so it's probably Fields, because Brucato at least is less... intentionally offensive?

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



LatwPIAT posted:




Some of the combat manoeuvres are also superfluous; why ever use a Kick (DEX+Brawl, Difficulty 7, STR+1 Bashing) when you can use a Haymaker (DEX+Bawl, Difficulty 7, STR+1 Bashing + knockdown)? But really, all the Brawl combat maneuvers are superfluous when you can use Martial Arts, which is simply better and costs the same during character generation. Why use a Kick when you can use an Elbow/Knee Strike? (DEX+Martial Arts, Difficulty 5, STR+1 Bashing) or the Snap Kick (DEX+Martial Arts, Difficulty 5, STR+1 Bashing) (yes, they are identical). You can pick 2 Martial Arts moves per dot in Martial Arts, out of a total of 16, so if you decide you're going to have any melee combat focus at all you can almost exhaust the list - and even at 1 dot, the Snap Kick is far better than the regular Kick.

Martial Arts also gates some things you probably should be allowed to do ever without formal Martial Arts training; you need to buy the ability to throw people from a grapple with your Martial Arts dots.

Except why would you take any other maneuver when one of the available ones is Death Strike, an attack at a Difficulty (target number) of 5 rather than the normal 6, which deals Strength + 2 Lethal damage-i.e. many of the people you fight will have their effective soak against it reduced by anywhere from 2 to 5 points. Note that having a sword lets you deal Str + 2 lethal damage, but a sword can be taken away from you while your Martial Arts cannot. Well, not easily.

Martial Arts literally obsoletes melee unless you're using the greataxe (Diff 7, Str + 6 Lethal damage). On a 10-dice pool, which is relatively easy to get yourself up to soon after chargen, Mr. Fists of Fury with Str 5 Martial Arts 5 will be averaging 5 successes on his rolls, for a total of Str + 6L damage, while Mr. Axe Murderer will be averaging 2 successes on his rolls for a total of Str + 8L damage... except the fists are more versatile, more easily kept on your person, and are much more likely to hit an evading combatant.

So really, at a high level of expertise, fists are generally better than a giant fuckoff axe as a weapon-they lose a small bit of damage potential but are far less likely to botch and far more likely to hit. At least this means that the true way to fight hand to hand isn't having a katana.

MJ12 fucked around with this message at 06:17 on Jan 20, 2016

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Emy posted:

I think you mean Dex 5 Martial Arts 5, for Fury. Also, assuming equivalent skill, Murderer gets 3 successes average, not 2.

I mostly bring this up because

Dexterity is every splat's second power stat. This kind of thing happens in just about every World of Darkness (and now, Chronicles of Darkness) game line. Dex to hit things, Dex to not get hit, Dex indirectly to damage because extra attack successes roll over into affecting damage, etc.

I do mean Dex 5 Martial Arts 5. Nevertheless, the big fuckoff axe is literally a sidegrade to MAXIMUM FISTING. It actually gets even worse when dealing with mages, who can buff their physical stats (so that extra damage means less relatively speaking) and lower their attack difficulties.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



ThisIsNoZaku posted:

I was thinking how an interesting strategy game might be made out of playing as one of the AIs, but realized someone was already making that, albeit as a space 4X.

Which game is this? This sounds like something I'd be interested in.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Look, you have to have rules about how you can pwn tanks with your rad magic powers, so you can brag to friends about how your character could totally turn a tank into a flower pot. It's important!

The funny thing is that because of the sheer ridiculousness of tank durability and the number of health levels they have, by RAW, your character is basically hosed if a tank drives in unless you're like, an evil Technocrat who minmaxes from previous books.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Angrymog posted:

Just started reading this thread, and I'm really sad about how much of s poo poo-show it seems that Mage 20 is. Mage was my game back when I was in my teens/early twenties.

M20 is really disappointing, yeah. It's basically supposed to be the definitive mage but isn't particularly definitive (BRUCAAAAAAATO!). If I was doing M20 I'd probably tear out the whole 'disparate alliance' metaplot, use that space to provide a pile more plot hooks wrt history (what if I want to play back in the 90s? What about if the Avatar Storm didn't happen? What if the Avatar Storm did happen? What should a Threat Null thingy look like?) etc etc. and maybe even more advice on different ways to run magic, a la the Revised Storyteller's Guide.

You could cut out a lot of wordcount and add a lot of plot information if you wrote it concisely.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Asimo posted:

I can understand the impulse at least, since there's usually some kernel of a good idea in a game that could be salvaged with better rules or writing. Thing is, I'm still not sure what Beast really adds to the WoD that the other lines don't already do, and better. Spending effort fixing it seems like it would be time better spent working on a Vampire or Changeling game or whatever. :shrug:

I think you could do something with the Primordial associations.

Stories. History repeating itself. Make both Beasts and Heroes tragic figures-things which are chained to an endless cycle of death and rebirth. Beasts being part of the monomyth-things which exist to create Heroes, which create Beasts in turn... somehow. Being trapped in an endless karmic cycle, and trying to do what good you can before you die.

It might be a worthwhile story to attempt, even if it doesn't work.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



It just said that Venusians are kings of trolling. I think we want to make Venusian Troll Extraordinaire. He uses his trolling powers for good (okay, for lesser-evil) and with his friends he fights crime and Nazis.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Kurieg posted:

I should point out that Beasts hate Demons for some reason. They just do, it isn't adequately explained but Beasts hate Demons.

Clearly it's because the God-Machine persecutes the Beasts and they get crushed under the heels of The Man, man.

I'm not entirely facetious here-if Beast was originally some metaphor for minorities, it sort of makes sense given that the God-Machine is basically an explicit metaphor for the State. Like, it straight-out says that the God-Machine is this inhuman, massive entity made out of infrastructure which acts on the small scale not via its own powers, but via dispatching agents. It's baaaaasically God as a dream of good government.

Which makes the demons basically ex-cops who got stuck in jail, and the Beasts the minorities who now loathe and torment the ex-cops.

Except it's generally not a bad idea to make demons mad because they are very good at what they do, and what they do is terrorism.

So maybe it's because demons, despite not being creatures of primordial terror, being better at actually being relevant and concerning fears to mankind? Maybe it's jealousy?

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Luminous Obscurity posted:

One of my favorite bits of the whole Beast thing was back when the Kickstarter was still going. OPP dev David Hill made a post about pitch season and gave an example of a pitch that got passed over in favor of Beast and it played off similar themes of social justice and oppression but was way more tasteful and interesting.

Tell me more about this pitch. This sounds intriguing in a what-could-have-been way.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Doresh posted:

So a while ago, I said something about doing a review relating to oldschool mechs.


From left to right: Unimpressed pilot lady, casual Samus Aran, Rebel Alliance soldier. And what the hell is going on in the left corner?

So before I get this boy started, I was thinking about making an example character for funzies. My ideas include:

  • A farmer boy who becomes an AeroSpace pilot.*
  • An emotionally unstable, spineless twat who somehow ends up in the cockpit of a high-end 'Mech.
  • A simple grunt
  • Attack on BattleMech

*) There's an April Fools' supplement that lets you build a Not-X-Wing.

I'm of course open for other ideas.

Constable Alex Murphy, who was part of the Word of Blake peacekeeping forces in Space-Detroit until he was nearly killed. With the help of the Manei Domini, they've rebuilt him, and he's rather miffed about his new state of existence.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Hostile V posted:

I won't lie, one of my favorite games of the moment sold me with the developers being up front with their thoughts on turning the PCs into post-human supermen. "Look, cybernetics are cool. Psychic powers (aka Magic in this game) are also cool. What isn't cool is making there be an arbitrary reason for the PCs to not have everything they want. A Humanity/Essence stat isn't fun because it encourages crunchy minmax behavior and that can detract from your game. Let your PCs have as much as they want of one or the other. Let their limits just be cost, occasional maintenance and upkeep and having the proper licenses. Those are fair limits that make sense."

Which game is this? You have to tell me.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Nessus posted:

Does this game have the later-in-history sequel or was that just the one with the rationing and London horrors whose name I can't remember?

The Wild Talents game has a sequel to the GODLIKE timeline, where "Wild Talents" start popping up who have the powers of Talents but none of the weaknesses.

This... basically derails the gently caress out of history.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Nessus posted:

I think you'd want to keep the weaknesses, though, at least most of them - make it so people who break these rules have to like, buy that as a power. You get more interesting narrative out of limitations if you don't go overboard.

What's their AU timeline? Does it involve libertopia? :v:

No actually. If anything it's basically the opposite, where everyone lives under a de facto One World Government made up of a USSR-NATO alliance that is fighting a secret war among the stars for human survival.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Nessus posted:

In a couple of timeline entries we should see some REAL hosed up poo poo.


Are we talking the good kind of hosed up poo poo or the bad kind?

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Ratoslov posted:

I'm honestly surprised that there isn't a bit in there about how the God Machine likes Beasts and thinks they're the only puny mortals that really get it on a deep level and likes to take them for rides on it's pony and go out for ice-cream.

I'm happy there isn't. In fact, I was hoping there'd be more animosity there-the God Machine should hate Beasts and vice versa because they're incredibly disruptive, chaotic things which stir poo poo up (while the God Machine tends towards maintaining the status quo) and Beasts hate Demons because Demons are basically ex-cops who are now stuck in prison with the other inmates.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Evil Mastermind posted:

Oh, people are playing the old system. I've seen people saying that they don't like the changes and will keep using the old rules.

Wait. What. How.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



The best thing about how bad Beast is that Demon actually is a better 'playing an oppressed minority' game than Beast, and it does it entirely unintentionally by being spy fiction.

As a Demon, you need to deliberately take on the trappings and culture of the majority to hide against your oppressors. Indeed, your ability to avoid them weakens if you start acting against what society says you are (your Cover).

As a Demon, the hunters have the advantage of weapons and numbers and organizations, and have a sympathetic populace and the State on their side. In fact, most of your hunters are outright state-sanctioned. Compare to Beast, where your Heroes are on average weaker and can't escalate like Angels can.

As a Demon, the only way to change this state of affairs is to attack the system, but by doing so you reveal your existence and paint a target on your back.

Isn't it interesting that this is a far better metaphor for being a disliked minority than what Beast gives?

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



unseenlibrarian posted:

There were two separate therapy rules, too, IIRC- the one for the full borgs, and then one introduced in the Euro sourcebook trivialized it even more: Roll the humanity loss from the original implant again, subtract new value from old and your new value is the difference. (Which could lead to 0 loss.)

There's actually three. The corebook suggests that C-SWAT/MAXTAC teams tend to find guys who are going around getting a lot of chrome and handily suggesting they get a tracker and also go into therapy, and that therapy restored IIRC something like 1-2 Humanity points a week until you got back to your original empathy for a small cost.

If you assume that this wasn't an oversight, and it was always intended that you could stabilize your empathy it makes a lot more sense but also retunes the balance to be, again, giant piles of money versus any hard limits.

As to the talk about becoming the Terminator, there was actually an augmentation in one of the CP2020 books which let you shove motors and armor plate on your skeleton. Yeah, you could literally have the Terminator endoskeleton installed into you.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



The thing about Tooth and Nail which bugs me is how the Beast writers seem to not have gotten Hunter when they talk about Heroes being too fanatical for Hunters.

I don't think it's unintentional that the Union, who are portrayed as fundamentally decent folk, are also the same kind of 'concerned citizens' who would take fire and pitchforks to a Promethean, TF:VALKYRIE is running straight-up special forces death squads, Chieron is at best a profit-oriented and even more amoral translation of the Technocracy's Progenitors, and at worst is harvesting sapient beings for profit, and so on. Hunter is very much a game which encourages fanaticism-and reflections on how that fanaticism renders you less human, in ways, than even the things you hunt. Remember that a vampire, even the worst non-Draugr vampire, knows, deep down inside, that genocide is bad. A mage, even the most callous wizard, knows that deep down inside killing people-and that includes humans and vampires and prometheans and other thinking creatures-is bad. There is no guarantee that a Hunter thinks the same way even though they might have higher "Morality." This, I think, was intentional.

Heroes also trying to touch upon that would make the book a good place to point these things out and explore those themes, but they just copped out and declared Hunters are the good guys and so are Beasts because ???

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



theironjef posted:

Ah yes, famous for their ability to barely turn at all, their capacity to carry 3 missiles to fool congress into thinking they're fighter planes, and their incredible function of leaking all their fuel all over the place when they're on the ground. Truly the fighter plane of the ages.

Yeah but no other plane can catch the UFOs apparently. I guess maybe they should have a modified MiG-25 variant but the excuse holds up at least superficially.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Barudak posted:

So, uh, do I not understand the basic mechanics of Rifts very well or are the Juicers insanely crap for how many penalties they get loaded with?

Juicers are pretty superhuman. The main issue is that for a similar cost, why wouldn't you just turn yourself into a combat-cyborg, which has similar ridiculous stats but also live, if anything, longer than normal humans and are innately MDC, and therefore you don't have to worry too much about someone stabbing you to death when you're asleep, unless it's a really, really good MDC knife.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Sampatrick posted:

Has anybody in the history of D&D actually used the Immortal's Handbook?

I'm pretty sure the answer is 'no' because it's entirely about huge, huge numbers and not about anything interesting.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



The one thing that bugs me about the Coalition being fascists is their whole 'we deliberately keep people illiterate' shtick.

Traditionally, even non-democratic nations loved mass literacy, because mass literacy means you can quickly, cheaply, and easily put pro-you propaganda everywhere and easily educate the young, which includes teaching them all the propaganda about how D-Bees and wizards are bad and will probably kill you if you don't do your chores.

It seems like if you wanted to make the Coalition even just a little nuanced, in the sense that "yeah it's made of actual people, not cartoon villains, but it's still evil and a net bad thing which needs to be destroyed eventually" the first thing you'd lose is the mass illiteracy. It makes even less sense in a world where if you aren't going to learn wizardry or psychic powers, technological familiarity and mass production is the only thing saving you from being eaten by demons since you sure as gently caress ain't gonna kill one of them with a non-Mega-Damage spear and some guts.

It should be less 'mass illiteracy' and more 'EVERYONE WORKS SHIFTS ON THE FACTORIES MAKING DEATH LASERS. EVERYONE.'

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yes. The explanation actively makes things far more bewildering given that everybody uses the credit, from the Phoenix Empire to New Babylon to Tritonia. But apparently not Tombstone. (Japan's money is different, tho.)

I'm reminded of bizarre conceits like Eoris Essence that ends up going so far as to create an astral dimension from which money can be stored and transferred, with special coins minted that can be transferred in or out of that dimension. Why does such a thing exist?

:iiam:

You know what would be cool if you were doing a more coherently planned out RIFTS with similar concepts (Mega-Damage et al)? Make 'money' come in the form of food, water, power, and ammo. Especially Mega-Damage ammo. Kinda like Metro 2033. So a gun might be worth like, 20 E-Clips or whatever and places with water purifiers and powerplants can literally print money, which is why the Coalition is so powerful relatively speaking-it has a lot of infrastructure and thus can literally print the poo poo that most places consider valuable trade goods.

It also makes looting more entertaining, which in a game about fightin' things and looting, is not bad.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Alien Rope Burn posted:

The Savage Worlds version adds some slight scrounging mechanics, at least. It's not terribly robust. It's a little strange I haven't seen any random rolls for pre-rifts junk or the like in 26 books, it'd at least make for a fun chunk of %s to engage with, particularly in places like the American Southeast or West that might not be tapped out of treasures.

Oh yeah, and if you make 'ammo' a valuable trade good suddenly micromissiles don't seem as ridiculously OP, because you're literally burning cash when you fire them off in large volleys. I think like in the Metro games, the fact that military-grade bullets were also money made a lot of people wary of spending them as ammo, even though they were actually fairly plentiful. The moment you tell the players 'this is actually money' instead of that one-step-removed 'this is ammo you can sell for money' they seem to behave very differently on how willing they are to spend it.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Alien Rope Burn posted:

One interesting thing I think is that the illustration is pretty much the seed for the crazy character in the Rifts graphic novel, too, given the bowler hat sitting to the side.

The Wired Gunslinger sounds like a legitimate and mostly playable Crazy, and doesn't do dumb things with mental illness. Like, that first ability is pretty horrifying for day to day life, but you can see how someone might want soldiers who can always get off the first shot and might not care if they're going to live comfortable lives in downtime or not. That is to say, this is the first Crazy that you've covered which sounds like a legitimate supersoldier project instead of like, Vault-Tec deciding "lol I guess we'll market this dumb boondoggle as a thing to make a buck."

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Daeren posted:

Tzeentch is honestly the most boring of them to me when written well, weirdly enough, because Tzeentch, much like dogs and ghosts, just sorta does things arbitrarily. All it cares about is that things change, and its element of hope for change for the better is purely there to trick people into serving it. It's a cosmic mastermind, super-intelligent unfathomable intelligence, always plotting, etc etc :jerkbag:, but it isn't actually doing anything. The best analogy for it is a griefer in something like Minecraft or ARK, who Wile E Coyotes dumb bullshit plans to grief the server for dozens of hours off in their own little corner and never actually accomplishes jack poo poo most of the time beyond temporary damage.

its me im the guy who still knows volumes about 40k fluff despite holding the modern takes for everything but the Orks in contempt

I think Tzeentch could work better as basically standing aside rather than being a griefer. He doesn't care what kind of change happens, just that there is change. So he finds people who don't like the system and give them powers with pretty minimal strings so long as they make some waves. Basically, I'm thinking the Outsider's role in Dishonored. Yes, Tzeentch expects you, Mr. Disgraced Noble, to go and murder all the conspirators and create a tyranny. But if you don't and you usher in a new golden age, well, that's change.

Of course he'll find someone who doesn't like it, maybe one of those former conspirators, and empower him to gently caress with you, but that's life.

Making Tzeentch actively non-malicious to his followers rather than the griefer, who uses his cosmic mastermind intelligence to just... find places where change can be created, where chaos (heh) can spread, makes him more playable in my mind.

In general though I think where 40k went hugely wrong if they wanted people to take Chaos seriously was treating the Chaos Gods as actual characters (caricatures?) with agency rather than basically making them forces of nature which happen to have manifestations that can talk. And I think it would have worked better for 40k's satire if that was the truth. It's not that taking Chaos's gifts is evil in and of itself, but the Imperium creates its own enemies because Chaos's powers are inherently unstable and chaotic, and by oppressing the gently caress out of so many people you create a lot of angry, angry dissidents who are willing to take that chance, because gently caress the Imperium. It also makes the Radicals and their stuff make more sense, because you can, in fact, use the powers of Chaos without getting burned versus 'lol chaos always wins.'

The Eldar just dug too greedily and too deep and decided to use this powerful, but dangerous source of might everywhere and it turns out giving everyone ridiculous superpowers might actually destroy your empire. That also gives the Dark Eldar a schtick as basically being post-apocalyptic Mad Max elves, which is cool. That would mean that Chaos wouldn't be a 'side' but would rather be a supplement to things like "rogue Space Marines" and "ex-Imperium dissidents" but I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Communist Zombie posted:

How? Theyre giant walking slabs of armour vaguely shaped like a person, whats there to fetishize (that wouldnt be already done with tradition space marines lol)? Unless they were chaos marines. :ohdear:

SOMEHOW IT TURNS OUT THAT WHEN WOMEN GO THROUGH THE PROCESS INSTEAD OF TURNING INTO GIANT SLABS OF ARMOR THEY TURN INTO PERFECT WAIFUS WITH HOURGLASS FIGURES AND ANIME EYES

Or something

You would be surprised at terrible people can be. Or not.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Night10194 posted:

It's another interesting part of the Old World. A lot of people in it are actually pretty good at their jobs. This doesn't make them untouchable by PCs or anything; a human/PC scale character can only do so much to make themselves insulated both politically and physically. But a lot of the various lords, merchant princes, captains, Hunters, etc that you'll deal with are well trained and experienced. They still need the PCs, the PCs can still expose/fight/kill them if they're villains, but it never feels like the cavalcade of idiots you get over in the Imperium of Man.

E: One of the nicest parts is that almost every competent or talented NPC still has a 'This is why they might need or get taken down by the PCs' blurb in their bit.

I think WHFB understands that for a setting to be grim, there needs to be hope and something worth fighting for, otherwise it just becomes kind of pointless because nobody is even vaguely sympathetic and everything is bad and sucks and the end of the universe would be a blessing.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Evil Mastermind posted:

Each realm now has three Laws; two that give a mechanical benefit and one that's more narrative. Core Earth's are:
  • The Law of Hope: Core Earthers are filled with Possibility Energy; this makes it harder to transform them but is also why Earth is a target. It also makes the majority of Core Earth dominant zones rather than pure zones, the idea being that Earth is "more forgiving" to alien concepts.
  • The Law of Glory: Human culture is filled with tales of awesome people doing awesome things, so Core Earthers are more likely to do something awesome. When someone plays for the critical moment with their cards, they can pull a Glory card from the card deck or discard.
  • The Law of the Underdog: Our legends also tend to feature someone succeeding against impossible odds quite a bit. At the start of combat, PCs can play one card from their hand into their pool for free if they're outnumbered or at a disadvantage.

So what are the Cyberpapacy's? Given that it's changed so significantly I'd guess there would be a corresponding world law change.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



open_sketchbook posted:

That's a good reminder for me to update those rules to actually match the finalized PATROL rules.

Terminator rules for PATROL when?

Play a killer robot fighting the Tech-Com insurgency. Contemplate the fact that no matter how good you are at killing-and you are very good- you are still losing the war.

Well, or rather, you would contemplate this fact but your CPU was set to read-only and you can't.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



open_sketchbook posted:

I had actually been working on something like that, but I scrapped it because I couldn't work in enough content. The US special forces alt rules do indeed let you take multiple MOS.

I have been working, slowly, on a modern warfare expansion, but it's rough. I don't have the luxury of decades of cultural introspection and history to draw on; a lot information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are still too bound up in political bullshit. I generally prefer deriving from first-hand sources and memoirs (I read a lot of books for PATROL and most were autobiographical or gonzo in some way), and that'd be easy, except there's a whole cottage industry of Iraq war "memoirs" of dubious validity or overt pro-war posturing which has only accelerated since American Sniper. It'll take a few decades to shake out which have lasting value. Also, the wars are literally still happening, which makes it very raw, and makes me very nervous how I approach it. It's also difficult to nail down a theme because Afghanistan and Iraq are such different wars.

The rules for the book are actually well laid out, because it's mostly just character creation and equipment changes. Probably the biggest meaningful change is that coalition soldiers are effectively a lot tougher than their Vietnam counterparts, especially as the war drags on and body armour gets much, much better. Your advantage over the Taliban and Iraqi insurgency is hilariously one-sided and most of the threats are passive, so the game would have to revolve a lot around dealing with civilians and grappling with how little good you're often doing, especially when your presence draws violence that undoes trust and infrastructure work. That implies some long-term campaign framework stuff that I sort of have sketched out, but then I have to get into researching a lot of local cultural stuff and bleeeh.

More seriously I think the best theme for Patrol: 2017 is... fatigue, in a way, like what PATROL does for the Vietnam War. You're in this long, grinding forever war where you might be able to do some good but all that stuff is temporary and you're not sure when it will ever end. In a way the better body armor and trauma medicine and prosthetics just add to that feeling. Things which would end your military career in PATROL you might well just walk off in Patrol: 2017. You are stuck in this purgatory, and you're never getting out.

This applies to both Iraq and Afghanistan to some extent and is relatively neutral.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



IthilionTheBrave posted:

Kzinti also showed up in Star Fleet Battles, where they were very fond of using drones (missiles, essentially). From what I recall (I mostly learned about all of this from my dad, mind you), they were rivals with yet another species of alien space cat that liked to use Expanding Sphere Generators on their ships, which generated a sort of hard shield that was not only a strong counter to drones but also let them "ram" other star ships. They also showed up in a PC game, Star Fleet Command, that was very heavily based on the rules for SFB. Of course, the Kzin went under a different name to avoid legal issues, but they were there.

Not quite. The Lyrans were the other catpeople, who were normally allies of the Klingons and enemy of the Kzinti.

The Kzinti were specialized in drones. Their ships basically just shat out ludicrous numbers of missiles, which meant that their ships had extremely good speed and defenses for their size (because drones didn't require power to use, and therefore they could manage full offense and good defenses while powering all their weapons) but of course they were vulnerable to PD and had limited combat endurance.

The sequel to Star Fleet Command, Star Fleet Command 2, put them in the game. They did so by changing their name from the "Kzinti" to the "Mirak Star League."

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MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



JcDent posted:

On the more WoD side of things, it's still weird to me that vampires don't seem to be kings of WoD. Mages and werewolves sound more powerful individually. Is it the same in nWoD?

Should have made Genius: The Trangreasion official instead of coming up with loving Beast the Edgening

The trick to understanding oWoD is that the three gamelines are not really set in the same universe. They are basically set in three similar universes with different metaphysical assumptions, which share a handful of defining metaplot events. Think of the difference between Vampire and Mage or Werewolf like... the difference between the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the normal comic books. There's a lot of shared names and events and congruence, but once you look past the surface level you can see a lot of differences.

And yes, in nWoD mages are still God Tier with an immense abyss between their power levels and everyone else.

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