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JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Longing for a simpler, lower-tech time is much older than WWI. Walter Scott springs to mind, trying to get away from the wretched industrialization with Ivanhoe and Rob Roy, longing for a simpler time of simpler warfare.

quote:

Mark Twain said:
"Then comes Sir Walter Scott with his enchantments, and by his single might checks this wave of progress, and even turns it back; sets the world in love with dreams and phantoms; with decayed and swinish forms of religion; with decayed and degraded systems of government; with the sillinesses and emptinesses, sham grandeurs, sham gauds, and sham chivalries of a brainless and worthless long-vanished society. He did measureless harm; more real and lasting harm, perhaps, than any other individual that ever wrote."

Here's one by Kipling:

quote:

The King

"Farewell, Romance!" the Cave-men said;
"With bone well carved He went away,
Flint arms the ignoble arrowhead,
And jasper tips the spear to-day.
Changed are the Gods of Hunt and Dance,
And He with these. Farewell, Romance!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Lake-folk sighed;
"We lift the weight of flatling years;
The caverns of the mountain-side
Hold him who scorns our hutted piers.
Lost hills whereby we dare not dwell,
Guard ye his rest. Romance, farewell!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Soldier spoke;
"By sleight of sword we may not win,
But scuffle 'mid uncleanly smoke
Of arquebus and culverin.
Honour is lost, and none may tell
Who paid good blows. Romance, farewell!"

"Farewell, Romance!" the Traders cried;
"Our keels have lain with every sea;
The dull-returning wind and tide
Heave up the wharf where we would be;
The known and noted breezes swell
Our trudging sails. Romance, farewell!"

"Good-bye, Romance!" the Skipper said;
"He vanished with the coal we burn.
Our dial marks full-steam ahead,
Our speed is timed to half a turn.
Sure as the ferried barge we ply
'Twixt port and port. Romance, good-bye!"

"Romance!" the season-tickets mourn,
"He never ran to catch His train,
But passed with coach and guard and horn --
And left the local -- late again!"
Confound Romance!... And all unseen
Romance brought up the nine-fifteen.

His hand was on the lever laid,
His oil-can soothed the worrying cranks,
His whistle waked the snowbound grade,
His fog-horn cut the reeking Banks;
By dock and deep and mine and mill
The Boy-god reckless laboured still!

Robed, crowned and throned, He wove His spell,
Where heart-blood beat or hearth-smoke curled,
With unconsidered miracle,
Hedged in a backward-gazing world;
Then taught His chosen bard to say:
"Our King was with us -- yesterday!"

Not only is longing for the simpler, lower-tech times nothing new, nor is bitching about those longing for simpler times.

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JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

I feel kind of bad for Chamberlain. He was actually a hawk, and he''d been pleading with Parliament to fund the military for years. However, they insisted that Germany would never be a big enough threat to be worth starting another war over. By the time Germany started mobilizing, Britain's military was in such a sorry state that they really couldn't prosecute a war at the time. Ony their Navy was really up to snuff.

When he got back from negotiating with Hitler and making the "Peace in our time" speech, his first act was to ram military funding down Parliament's throat. He knew it wouldn't last. He just wanted to buy enough time for Britain to fight back.

Of course, Germany's military wasn't nearly as powerful at the time as they'd led people to think, but no one outside of Germany really knew that.

Anyway, Chamberlain's a pretty poor example of a peacemaker. He knew war was coming, and he did his best to make sure Britain would be ready.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Cripes, finally I'm caught up in this thread. It's only taken five months.

It's about ten to twenty pages too late, but here's my fix for Beast:

You're a creature that feeds on fear. Either you scare them or take advantage of things that have already scared them. You take on the form of various monsters, not because you are a dragon or a giant or whatever, but because that's what people are afraid of. You can also take on the form of modern monsters like aliens or mutants.

Depending on the person, and depending on how you scare them, you can cause one of two reactions in your victims over time. Either you traumatize them, or you improve their resolve. Both have consequences.

Improving their resolve makes them more resistant to your fear abilities (and less scared of things in general). Eventually, you can't feed off of them. They're also much more inclined to chase you off, so once you have a few of these types around, it's time for you to beat feet and find a new hunting ground.

Traumatizing people makes them more susceptible to fear. You can feed on them more easily, and they'll almost never try to fight you. But trauma attracts other monsters. These will not only start going after your prey, they're strong enough to be a threat to you.

You have to try to balance resolve and trauma. Build either one too quickly presents a different kind of risk, and lowers the amount of time you and your group of horrors can stay in the area. You can "teach lessons" and generally make people better (by improving their resolve), but that's a side-effect of your abilities. Ultimately, your purpose is to scare the bejeebers out of people and feet on those sweet nightmares. And even if you do your best to try to help them, you always run the risk of traumatizing them instead.

I had another idea as well that played into the idea of Beasts as scapegoats of their communities, but my idea lent itself too much to victim blaming.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Yeah, that sounds like The Great Ork Gods.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

From the review, I think it's a case of "I can do better than that!" when he really, really couldn't.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

EM, you can't nest quotes. So, the quote that was originally in the laws section disappeared.

EDIT: Ninja'd.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

The Rogue Problem

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

theironjef posted:

Wow, never seen this blog before, and yet I think I've said everything he's said at least once or twice. I'm an immediate fan.

Well, drat, I'll have to start updating again.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Because Drow were made in a simpler (read: more racist) time, and people then didn't know any better. Now it's a big part of the lore of D&D, especially with the existence of Drizzt. A lot of gamers remember it fondly, without thinking about the imlications. Nerds are terrible about identifying with their media, so when you call drow racist, they become very defensive. If they even acknowledge that it could possibly be racist, they try to "fix" the concept, when it's not really fixable without changing it entirely (either drow aren't more evil than other elves, or they aren't dark skinned).

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

They were generally less lovely in 4e, but yeah, there were still lovely things.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Spiders are pretty chill bros.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Night10194 posted:

Admittedly part of that is because arachnophobia is a fairly common fear.

But only in predominantly European societies. It's relatively rare in other cultures.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

New Sgt Nerd post up. I'm open for topics for more columns.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

That'd be fun to do with something like Savage Worlds. Go through established settings like Deadlands, Rippers, and Weird Wars, picking up different characters as you go.

You could do something like that with a lot of systems, especially if you were up for translating settings your players are familiar with into the game.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

New Sgt Nerd post up.

That One Guy and Missing Stairs

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Worse than that. They said that Pokemon and roleplaying games were fads that they had successfully outlasted/beaten. "Who can remember them now?"

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Full quote:

quote:

I have written a great deal over the years about the ‘greatest danger’ facing Games Workshop. It has usually been in response to the expression of some fear of imminent doom. When will the world tire of miniatures? (It won’t; these are not fashion items, they are hobby collectibles.) Won’t all your customers move on to computer games instead? (They didn’t; most of our current customers weren’t born when the Atari ST came out.) How about other games like Pokémon or role-playing games? (Who can remember them, now?). The evidence is there for all to see, but when it wasn’t I was seen as complacent in the face of these real dangers. I don’t think that was complacency, it’s just that we here all make a living from serving collectors and we understand them and their needs. These are paper tiger dangers. The real danger is us.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

I think his point on the video games was, "Our customer base grew up with video games, and they're still buying our models." The rest of it is pants-on-head dumb, though..

I look forward to the Vampire write-up. My one experience with LARPING was when I was dragged to a Vampire the Requiem LARP, so it'll be interesting to see how much I actually understood about what was going on.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

I kind of like the setting for the Sixth Gun, if only because it treats the confederacy as straight up villainous.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

They don't appear to be in any of Mors's posts, so possibly something coming up? I hope?

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Depends on which splatbook creatures the Hunters are interacting with. I mean, some of them aren't too bad or dangerous, and you can get a lot of mileage out of going into whether or not they should. And Hunter lets you have sliding scales of grey. Some cells might have a live-and-let-live relationship with supernatural creatures. They don't eat people, they don't get turned into paste. Coexistence is possible in Hunter, though the focus is on what happens when it isn't.

On the other hand, we're discussing vampires right now. Vampires are not an oppressed minority. They are parasitic monsters that unarguably prey on humankind and give back almost nothing of value. Sure, it's not always their fault, but they are a real danger in a way that real minorities aren't. It's part of why Beast's attempt to map itself to oppressed minority groups didn't work; they really were as dangerous and terrible as their enemies claimed.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Someone must have pulled out the stake.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

There are a bunch of different ways you can take immortality. And while we can all have ideas of how we think it would go, no one can say for sure you're wrong because there aren't any immortals around to tell us.

I like the idea that different people will approach immortality differently, but that's partly just because I think it makes for more interesting stories.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

So, basically, they don't want to become human, they just want to become better vampires? That's cool.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Maxwell Lord posted:

It'd be interesting if a Vampire game adopted the old, pre-Nosferatu trope of Vampires not being destroyed by sunlight but just being completely powerless in it.

That's basically what I'm doing in the Savage Worlds version of Nocturne. Vampires can walk around during the day, they just take fatigue and all of their powers cost double to use.

Anyway, new Sgt Nerd post is up!

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Yeah, but Blade literally is a superhero with fangs. It makes sense for the genre.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

SirPhoebos posted:

I remember when I first read this book I only knew about salamanders from reading a “Big Book of Reptiles” in grade school, so I was pretty confused about this story.

But... but salamanders are amphibians. What backwater school lumped them in with reptiles? I'll fight the scalawags!

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Fun thing. My buddy didn't know you were supposed to lose the fight at the beginning of the first Legacy of Cain game. He kept restarting his Playstation trying to figure out how to beat it for like an hour.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Traditionally, Perseus is the one hero who was the "perfect" hero. Didn't succumb to hubris, served the gods faithfully, died of old age after ruling well for many years. He's the archetype against whom the other Greek heroes are ectypes.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

I like that there are at least two separate vampire rulers in Warhammer Fantasy taken out not for being monsters, but because they were foiling someone else's political ambitions. Three, if you count Ushoran.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

"Look, I don't object to the blood-drinking."

"Of course not."

"After all, who hasn't thought about tearing a peasant's throat open and drinking the sweet vital fluid from their veins?"

"Not me, certainly."

"But letting women have... ideas?"

"Ludicrous."

"Best get the stakes, then."

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Kaza42 posted:

Mostly this just makes me want to run a society where everyone is a vampire, but nobody knows that everyone else is a vampire, so any time someone gets revealed, everyone gangs up to kill the foul creature (while secretly hoping that this will divert attention from themselves)

Fund it.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Count Chocula posted:

Somebody smarter than me can mix the weird blood draining cars from Fury Road with Vampires.

The cars weren't blood-draining. The tubes went into the war boys, who needed blood transfusions due to radiation poisoning.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Young Freud posted:

Except you're forgetting that Max had the Hi-Octane Crazy Blood. They even tattooed it on his back. Nux even mentions he feels different from the normal top-ups with Max as his blood bag.

Right, but the blood still went into Nux, not into his car.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Is it Classic Deadlands or Reloaded?

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Loxbourne posted:

Oh goody! I can rant about Devlin loving Stone now!

In my opinion Deadlands wins the crown for Most Stupidly Obnoxious 90s Metaplot hands-down because of what I'm about to relate.

Devlin Stone shows up in the first Deadlands as a terrifying undead bounty hunter-type figure, a Man With No Name type. He's dark, he's mysterious, he has one of those special "if the players try to fight him they die" clauses in effect. The idea is that he was a Harrowed (an undead gunfighter whose corpse is animated by a demon) who was just so badass that he terrorised his inner demon into submission.

In Hell on Earth we discover that he was really sent back in time, Terminator-style, to ensure WW3 happened. The reason no-one in the 19th century could ever defeat him is that he's also a cyborg packing lasers. There was no way a Deadlands GM could have known that, of course, so they just went the ol' "no PC can defeat him" route. But this one went further than just invulnerability.

You see, Stone's reason to go back in time was that the Reckoners' plans in the future actually don't go too well. Human heroes kept kicking their asses and averting disaster. His true mission is to ensure a dark future by killing off the human heroes who would go on to slay too many monsters in the future and mess up the plan. That explicitly includes the PCs. No really. It's stated outright in the opening to the Hell on Earth core book. Anything your Deadlands party might have done in the 1800s timeframe that threatens to derail the mighty metaplot train is erased from history. Why? Because Stone goes back in time and kills them before they can do it.

In Deadlands game canon, every single PC ever is strangled in their cradle (or killed as a level-1 greenhorn) by the ultra-mega-super-wonder DMPC from the future.

gently caress you, Deadlands.

If it makes you feel any better, you kill Old Stone in Reloaded's Stone and a Hard Place. In fact, the two plot point campaigns leading up to it also involve killing Reckoners. The only Reckoner you don't kill is Hellestromme, and you still end up being the ones to undo his gently caress-ups in Good Intentions. Reloaded is generally a lot better about metaplot than Classic, though I'll admit that's a mighty low bar.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

I actually like the Mojave Rattlers as elder gods, but I came into the game at Reloaded. By that point, most players and GMs already knew about it, so it's integrated into the setting a lot better.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

I'm actually kind of looking forward to Lost Colony. They've been a lot better about metaplot in the last few years. They've figured out that the job of PCs is to bust up NPCs poo poo on the regular, and made peace with that.

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

Night10194 posted:

The main problem with a vampire PC in a mixed party isn't actually so much that they might eat the other PCs (the book seems to assume this is a big issue) but rather that a vamp gets +10 WS, +10 S, +15 T, +15 Agi, +10 WP, +10 Fel, +1 Attacks, +6 Wounds, +2 Movement, and +1 Mag. Just for being turned. That's stat raises equivalent to an entire 2nd tier career.

I'm not super familiar with the way Warhammer Fantasy works, but could you have the vampire player take those stat adjustments instead of their second career, assuming you were starting high level? Would that balance it out?

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JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

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Fallen Rib

senrath posted:

I think you mean ten times out of ten.

There is an actual breed of pig that only gets 50-150 lbs (instead of 300-500 lbs), but yeah, you'll never get a pig that's going to stay small pet size.

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