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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



inklesspen posted:

I can get you the first two (pretty sure they're both Mors Rattus), but the third one would probably have to be outsourced to some grad students to assign responses to the reviews and classify sentiment. (Also, I bet the "winner" would be PurpleXVI's Chris Fields reviews).

Only insofar as Play Dirty isn't actually a game.

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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Current total stands at 57 books reviewed. That being said, I maintain that we did a bad job on most of those.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



gradenko_2000 posted:

To touch back on the Gamma World discussion, it's one of the few games* I've read where random rolling works, and hits all the notes that a randomly-rolled process should output (at least IMO):

1. The character works. They're competent. They may not be optimized, but they're within the upper percentiles of whatever you need to be competitive at the game
2. It will let you create a complete character when you lack inspiration for a concept
3. It will let you create a complete character when you're new to the game and don't know enough about the mechanics to make informed decisions

* the others being OD&D and Fantasy AGE/the Dragon Age RPG

I'm planning on taking it to the local store soon and running it for whatever random pack of roustabouts I can muster. Just the starter adventure in the first box, all random rules. See if it works as well as I think it does (spoiler alert, I have played it before and I know it does already).

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



LatwPIAT posted:

Real-world tragedies is not something you should be appropriating for your game. When you say that all these horrible things, like the Mason family murders, and the loving Holocaust, may have happened because of magick, it sanitises the tragedies by claiming they're supernatural in nature. Genocide and mass killings become the stuff of fantasy, which is disrespectful to the victims.

Disrepectful, yes. Also, the length of time in these "magic in the real world" games between when players start talking about the spell system and when someone drags Hitler or some serial killer into it is usually measured in seconds. It's so common that a UA Clicheomancer wouldn't even get a minor charge out of it.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



This is super rad but the rarity would be way off unless they print five commons for every rare. Then again, it's not like you need to cube draft the drat things, and it was stupid that they used rarity in the first place. In fact, I am strongly considering getting them printed.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



That Old Tree posted:

So, there are 120 unique cards just in the expansion? I'd just as soon have a complete set and everyone be guaranteed unique powers, rather than cobbling together however many hundreds of cards I bought into a deck that's maddeningly only 90% complete.

Also, while the cards are a fine tactile game aid, you could just turn out a rolled table if you couldn't or didn't want to use cards, right? The key thing is having wacky random Frankenstein's characters after all.

Someone tell me whether linking a list of all the card texts organized with a rarity-driven rolling guide attached counts as files.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Doresh posted:

Either it's a Scottish Dwarf case were one guy associated it with martial artists and then everyone else copied it for some reason, or people use it because it sounds similar to "ascetic", invoking Shaolin monks and stuff.

That guy was Poul Anderson, I believe. In the 1953 story "Three Hearts and Three Lions."

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Afterthought 23 - Randomized is live and ready to roll. We discuss random elements in games and then dive into the standard litany of weird questions and letters.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



gradenko_2000 posted:

Do those d100 things in your preview picture even work? Aren't those just balls?

They are. I had a D100 for a while and it was basically just a ball. Even once it stopped rolling it was still hard to tell which face was up. The other two dice in that picture are a D50 and D60.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.





System Mastery 61 - Ralph Bakshi's Wizards RPG

At least we don't have to cover any more Ralph Bakshi games. We may be threatened with his other garbage films in the future, but I don't think there's a Coonskin or Cool World RPG.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Doresh posted:

30 Minutes or Less sounds amazing. I hope you make it an OGL supplement. Pizza Time Lord needs to be a prestige class.

That's a great idea. Along with like pizza delivery magic cars that change into era-appropriate vehicles when they shift through time.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Midjack posted:

Excellent, and I was glad to hear that there were a couple of mechanical jewels bobbing in the slime of the game. Have to imagine that art is pretty heinous, though!

I'll scan some of it when I next have an opportunity and put it up. It's basically like slightly worse versions of characters from the movies. I don't think there's a single picture in it that isn't a character from the films, which gets increasingly weird as they introduce stuff like dwarves and gnomes that weren't actually in the movie (I had thought that the two priests in the teapot church might be gnomes, but the book actually calls out the priest class as being mostly a fairy thing).

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Hey guys I also have an opinion about the later seasons of Supernatural!

No just kidding here's an Afterthought episode. It's all pet peeves and listener questions, and an intro that really starts to question the concept of how long an intro is before it's just the actual podcast.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.





This week System Mastery is covering Dinosaur Planet, a book that took us by surprise. With a name that cool, we figured we'd just be generally researching how yet another small print house mucked up the OGL, but what we got instead was some good old down-home whitewashing of the big fence of the Confederate States of America. If you ever wanted to read a book where the Union are rapacious space-conquerors and President Robert E. Lee magnanimously freed the slaves in 1881 because it was the right thing to do, here it is.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Tatum Girlparts posted:

Oh man this game was such a bummer. I got it expecting Deadlands With Dinosaurs where it's like 'ok the confederates still exist but we're in kinda a cold war where both sides are about even but they have to focus on a bigger issue' but nope, just 'hey did you know the CSA did nothing wrong?'

Yeah, and it doesn't even have internal consistency. The Confederates are ... rugged aristocratic individualists? Basically this guy was like "Well who lived in the South? It was like 100% plantation owners that secretly hated slavery and wanted to roam the wilderness, right?"

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Mors Rattus posted:

So, quick question, you do know there's an actual sci fi series out there that stars a band of Nazis as the heroes, who remain Nazis but at one point end up taking in some Jewish members to help fight aliens?

That's a real thing.

I theorized that such a thing exists during the show as well. The world is too full of weirdos for it not to.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Just in case anyone is bored, I made the bonus patreon episode for Gamma World free today. You can listen or download it right here.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



This isn't really about RPGs but I had to tell someone that we just got a real podcast setup. We are no longer both hunched over the same old Snowball mic, we have a sound board and stabilizers and pop filters and everything! System Mastery is a real boy!

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.





Okay, this actually is a podcast. Here's Afterthought 25 - Alternate History, in which we try to think of some better scenarios for alternate historical storytelling and gaming besides just "The bad guys won and I didn't have to stop saying the N-word."

This will also be the last episode recorded on our old gear.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.





Alright people. Someone sent us 3rd edition Synnibarr, the continued brainchild of the oracular madman Raven "Carbonadium Smasher" McCracken, and so after avoiding it and trying not to look at it for months, we finally reviewed the drat thing.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Alien Rope Burn posted:


I'm worried I might get to the Rifts books he illustrated and not be able to make jokes about art anymore.

It's stuff like Psyscape and Federation of Magic though so I'm sure you'll be fine on mockable content.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Libertad! posted:

This reminds me of how in video game RPGs characters have "Intelligence" and "Spirit" stats yet never seem to actually change the behavior of the characters as they increase or make them any more likely to solve the dungeon puzzles. Of course there are exceptions like Fallout which give bonus conversation choices for high stats, but this is a thing I see in various D&D tables where a PC is only as smart/well-spoken as his real-life player is.

The solution is to just smash whatever little toy they give you immediately and say you were roleplaying a strength check

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Last time, on SYSTEM MASTERY: With nothing better to do, two podcasters unhappily trudged through the ruins of the Synnibarr game system. But little did they know that far in the distance an evil and yet more dangerous book was descending upon the Earth. Now, do our brave dudes stand a chance against this new and terrible threat? Find out, on todays

DRAGON BALL Z... the Anime Adventure Game.

theironjef fucked around with this message at 07:15 on Mar 1, 2016

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



The one I'm reading now for next episode shoots itself in the foot by being by overly specific and poorly edited, such that a lot of the spelling errors just turn pointless noodly skill sections I probably would have just skimmed into hilarious comedies.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



OvermanXAN posted:

Oh man, is it going to be as amazing as the skills in Haven: City of Violence? Because I want to know what my chance to Loch Ness Monster is in whatever glorious mess you've found now is. :allears:

Well if this spoils it for anyone don't announce it to anyone else but you have a chance in surgery to remove a gaul bladder. Presumably that means that everyone in this world has a 2200 year old Celtic guy's bladder in them.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Time for some of that Afterthought, people. This is the one where we answer the real question, the question that's only been answered by every roleplaying game ever made: What is a roleplaying game?

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Barudak posted:

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if WGA had bizarrely specific rules rules for Cronenberg-ing something.

It would be weirder if it didn't.

Man I'm glad to hear the version we reviewed has been quietly scoured off the internet. It was weirdly light on Lucinda being a horrorshow of someone's half-closeted fetishes.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

P.B. Crisps. We are aligned.

Man, bringing up that topic made me think my question was going to be addressed, but I'm guessing jef isn't checking his PMs. I mean, that's what's happening, right? :ohdear:

I just forgot that PMs were a potential source for a hot second between email, twitter, site comments, and Facebook. I have your question for the next one, though

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



I want to know who's onboard with my vision of a CCG that competes with magic by including five extra cards per pack that can be used for short duration bonuses by being torn up, having stickers on them, or having scratch off sections.

I just want a CCG that can be destroyed to win.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

How dare you- I mean okay.

Anyway I wanted to thank you for the root beer pulled pork recipe, that was simple and delicious.

Glad to be of service. That stuff is so great. Personally, I'm a big fan of Stubb's Spicy when choosing the finishing sauce.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Hey guys, here's the big System Mastery offering for the week. It's The Great War of Magellan, the only RPG written by the guy that played Captain Apollo on Battlestar Galactica as far as I care to know.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



That Old Tree posted:

I haven't actually listened to the episode yet, so as my last thought I'll just mention that Richard Hatch said that the BSG reboot making Starbuck a woman was ridiculous until they gave him a role. I hope this kind of attitude shines through in his ?licensed? ?RPG? ?book?.

Heh, our copy is also signed by Hatch, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that most of them are. There's also an RPGnet review of the book by Ashok Desai out there, which is sorta neat. Desai wrote one of our rare good books, Vanishing Point. As for Hatch's sexism shining through, the game has a bizarre misogynist streak running through it, yeah. The slang section is more than half terms for women, and there's a spell that can be cast that makes members of the opposite sex fall in love with you, with it noted that it's gross if men do it, but super sexy when women cast it.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Yeah GWOM is the same way. Hardly a chapter goes by where they don't mention another book that is totally coming soon. "Secrets of the Juke" coming to stores near you.

At least with palladium you know it'll happen just twelve years later.

Also I tried to look up the other author and got nothing. Robert Bjork. All I know is that he wasn't in the Supreme Court.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



That would explain it, yes.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



On it. You guys will be pleased to learn i'm literally at Kaiser psychiatry right now for my crappy attention so look forward to a dully robotic but generally more accurate system mastery coming soon.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



I think the GWOM trailer either launched before the book came out or was created first because the book is full of stills from it.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Comrade Koba posted:

The Jukes of Hazzard

We were kicking ourselves the moment we cut the mics for not saying that.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Alien Rope Burn posted:

Speaking of that sort of dull accuracy, did you see there's a tree demon in the OP?

It might be best not to look, it's probably better to leave it a mystery.

For some reason I always pictured them as looking a little like a bush baby that decided to stand up straight and wear a sweater, but that looks like a werewolf bit a minotaur. Still, rad to see a picture of one finally!

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Halloween Jack posted:

I know I just said that Magellan looks like it was maybe handed off by the author to be turned into a game, but at the same time, Jon and Jeff sound really on-point about it including rules written by someone who wasn't thinking of what a player, as opposed to a writer, would do with them. They're good at spotting that kind of thing.

The other thing that looks writerly about GWOM would be the special die. You can see why it exists, because having to roll inside a range precludes a fixed point for a critical or a fumble. The special die seems like a reasonable solution. Add a second D20, assign two faces to be crit and fumble, and you're all set. They even thought to use it for hit location charts as well, so it has a few effects.

Then they gently caress it up, writer-style. Every skill has it's own special die result table. With firefighting, a 7 is a crit and a 14 is a fumble. With seduction, it's a 2 and a 13. They also each have their own specific description of what a fumble entails (instead of just saying "Hey DM, figure it out but it's bad"). So again with firefighting, a fumble indicates that the fire doubles in size, and a crit destroys 9 square meters of fire. And with seduction, a crit is just an auto-success (which brings up a whole question of "what's a non-crit success do?) and a fumble is a failure that increases the chance of future failures.

So you can start to see the problem here. This book has no index. Every time you roll a skill, you have to go find that skill (out of 113 skills and another 60 or so skill-like powers) to not only see what the results could be but also whether or not you hit one of the special results. Every time. If they had just set the crit and fumble to 1 and 20 you could ignore them 90% of the time, but this is the Shield Mind skill, and you don't know if a 15 is something special or not, and if it is you don't what what special thing it is, so you have to go check. True, you could just write down in full all your skills, but then combat's special die brings up a new problem.

See, the special die hit location chart for combat changes based on the creature you're fighting. A dru-ack has a special result on it's vitals D20 for wings. So does a Seibling but on a different number. A cree has a result for torso just like other races but on a different number and the result is something different and complicated (it shuts down their spellcasting for a random time period). You could conceivably write down your own vitals chart for ease of use, but the result is rolled by the attacker. So if you punch a dog, the DM has to go find the dog vitals chart when you roll to punch that dog. And again, every time. Not just like "Oh you rolled a 20, let's check for vital areas." This doesn't sound like the worst thing until you realize that they charts are next to the player race descriptions in about half of these, and then also in the back of the book for several more.

theironjef fucked around with this message at 15:17 on Mar 17, 2016

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theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



Kobold eBooks posted:

And then it goes on to say non-human characters form a 'distinct minority' and that only Final Fantasy IX has more than one non-human in the party. Weird that a nerd group named The Returners, who show all the signs of 2008-fawning-over-FFVI-Final-Fantasy-Nerdism, would forget that FFVI had both a yeti AND a moogle in the party, but I digress.
:goonsay:

I'm only in the shallow end of the Final Fantasy pool and even I know that VII had both a wolf-cat and a robot moogle with a cat riding on it in the party.

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