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Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Burning Sands is fantasy Arabia, yes? Any chance of us getting that book F&F'd in future, it sounds interesting.

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Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

That L5R story was actually a rather neat murder mystery and could (stupid LARPisms aside) make for a solid investigation campaign. Rely on the setting's complex etiquette and rules of behaviour to restrain "PC logic" and you have a genuinely good adventure with a solvable puzzle at the heart of it.

A shame it only "really" happened to an important metaplot NPC, like everything else cool in Rokugan.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Doresh posted:

Oh boy. Will this be better or worse than Prime Directive with its "Punish players by forcing them to pick a dictionary and read all entries from a random letter of the alphabet"?.

:wtc: What the hell? I know Prime Directive comes out of ADB, who are already rather speshul due to their difficult rights situation and rather cracked fanbase, but seriously what the gently caress is this?

In Nomine had a PC power that was represented by letting the player have an encyclopedia to hand at all times (oddly enough it was a demonic power). Is this something akin to that? Or is a Prime Directive GM genuinely supposed to assign out-of-game punishments somehow?

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Did anything actually HAPPEN in that L5R adventure, or was it just ~OMINOUSNESSNESSNESSNESS~ ? There's no way the PCs can change the outcome in any way or force a better resolution (although I did like the way players could potentially get more info from the Scorpion dude than the "canon" version). The whole thing should be a one-session one-shot on the way to something better.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Is anyone else getting an incredibly creepy stalker-justifications vibe from the Beast stuff?

It reads like a serial killer apologist's screed - "no see actually I'm really the good guy because".

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

I know this was a couple of pages back, but a Batman Inc-style game could be really drat good. Trying to balance being a bunch of idealistic dudes who think crime can be solved with thunder punches, with the fact that you're not Bruce Wayne and have to actually keep to a budget or accept donations (or "donations").

Add in some PR/image control concepts (the local cops might look the other way if you obviously rescue innocents/their guys - or they might not), and the risk of getting jaded and increasingly brutalised by the stuff you see every night. It's a better justification than some for a "humanity" mechanic.

The icing on the cake would be that if you screw up too badly Big Bat Daddy comes down on you...but even worse, if you start doing too well some of his A-list rogues gallery think you might be fun to mess with.

I might start looking into systems that could run this.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

All this talk of save games reminds me of the SAVEPOINT build in the Murphy's thread. That would give you an infinite number of do-overs of the last 24 hours (or less if you altered the command spells involved).

I'd hope that coming up with ways for the PCs to short-circuit Acerack's contingencies and kill him while saving the trapped souls would be half the fun of the final battle. Working out ways to kill the undead en masse and slowly driving him from host to host would keep things interesting once the PCs inevitably find a way to neutralise the giant skull.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

It's because they're just so frigging adorable.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

MonsieurChoc posted:

You know what's funny? Beasts are the only supernatural creatures immune to the Disquiet. Everyone else is affected.

Well of course. The grimdark magical snowflakes are doubtlessly the only people who can truly understand their pain.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

theironjef posted:

Best example of playtime penalties like that is in Continuum. The leveling requirements involved include getting a letter of recommendation from NPCs, a mandatory minimum number of months of play, and contained therein a second mandatory minimum number of sessions of play that occur during those months (thinking you spotted a loophole where you just play in five minute sessions? Not so fast there's also a mandatory minimum session length).

I just want to give a shoutout to this book's downright creepy advancement mechanics. You're not even advancing terribly much in terms of in-game power, either (mostly the amount of time you jump by). The sheer degree of control-freakery and life-replacement in Continuum is shudder-inducing. Forget a group of friends, this is an RPG for cults.

I know the idea is to simulate the PC slowly coming to terms with an inherently somewhat alien civilisation, with the option of saying "gently caress it" and switching sides if it gets too creepy, but there are social limits and Continuum tramples them. I wonder if anyone has ever played it entirely RAW?

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Humbug Scoolbus posted:

Isn't Continuum the game where you have to recite the Time Maxims to level?

Eyup. And that's just the start.

Continuum has some truly wonderful ideas, but is best treated as a sort of highly dangerous idea-mine for other settings. Drop by, grab some concepts for a time travel plot in another RPG, and then flee.

I've dearly wanted to see some of Continuum's stuff in, say, a Dr Who game ("yeah this is what Gallifreyan civilisation is like to live in. That's why we all run the gently caress away ASAP"), or even a Star Trek game ("this is what Temporal Investigations have to put up with. Pity them.") but I never, ever want to play the game as a whole.

Loxbourne fucked around with this message at 20:20 on Oct 18, 2016

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

One thing I like about Continuum is the attitude both sides have to their future selves.

Continuum characters respect their future selves as they are probably more powerful, are certain to be more experienced, and generally kick rear end. They're heavy artillery. There are some very fun rules for the impact of future Awesome Stuff your PC will eventually do.

The incomplete Narcissist rules suggested that Narcissists do the exact opposite. Your future self is clearly a total loser who hasn't transcended existence or broken away to rule his own timeline-universe yet. Since you know you'll be supreme grand hot poo poo, and since you and your buddies alter your timelines on a whim, you should treat your older self like the lovely failure he clearly is and that you will never ever be. Honest.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Night10194 posted:

"Do you know what would be great in a gameable scenario? MY SUPER-SPECIAL ULTRACOOL GRIMDARK ORIGINAL CHARACTER OF AWESOME! Better make him unstattable so the ungrateful idiots can't try to kill him and ruin everything forever!." -Every goddamn Metaplot writer for the oWoD.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

I once ran a character in a D&D3.5 game who was a Dwarven lawyer. He turned Dwarven undead by yelling at them to obey the laws of their Hold and of Nature and go back to their graves, dammit. It worked.

Also he had the laws of his hold engraved on stone tablets that he hit people with.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Kaza42 posted:

Edit: If vampires try to vote, is that voter fraud? They are dead after all

There's a nice scene in The Rhesus Chart where two British police officers discuss this - if you view a vampire as already dead, then yes. But if you say a vampire clearly isn't dead on account of walking and talking, and is just a very sick human or one with certain dietary requirements, then they're not just alive but citizens.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

The writers do seem to be more willing to alter the course of the war as it goes on. They've just created a new country and it looks like they're going to have the Warsaw Uprising be rather more successful.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

I'd heard of Simbieda's reputation but never until now realised he actually put little "I had to rewrite your pathetic scribblings, bask in the glory of having your credit taken by THE SIMBIEDA" screeds actually in the books themselves.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Godbound really looks like Dominions: The RPG. That's by no means a bad thing, but it did produce a few chuckles as some of the mechanics were introduced.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Prism posted:

Why try to fix something with no redeeming features?

Because the concept feels like it has potential. So there's a gnawing feeling that this could be a good game if only we could [insert list here] and rip out the [insert other list here].

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Hostile V posted:

Joke's on you, I just tied lances to my feet, now I can have the biggest dick shoes around and not worry about the toes flipping back! Now come outside to see them, I can't exactly bring them in to show you.

In the real world the solution to this problem was to put little chains on the tips of the shoes so they could be tied back.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Night10194 posted:

hobbit vampire hunters

Please please tell me this is a playable class.

Yeah, I liked the WHFB take on vampires, and they did something similar with the Tomb Kings defending their remaining cities of the living. It's a nice twist on the usual horror tropes, and the idea of vampires being decent rulers who see the benefits of the Empire was a good one that opened up some fun storytelling prospects. Alas, their greatest foe was Games Workshop's metaplot mandates.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Babylon Project's UK release solved the lifting-ink problem...but for some reason couldn't or didn't use all of the US edition's internal artwork. So it copy-pasted stuff to fill the gap, giving you silliness like three EarthForce characters all using the same portrait image. I guess Earth has a lot of multiple births in the future?

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

RocknRollaAyatollah posted:

I haven't listened to the episode yet

Don't bother, the first 45 minutes are just one of the hosts saying at length how much he hated the show and how he didn't watch it so hard that he has a loooong catalogue of faults to list. I started skipping 10 minutes at a time and still lost interest long before they even started talking about the game.

ACTA was excellent, although it got horribly bloated after a while. The Star Trek (or rather, Star Fleet Battles) version had a solid core but was badly rushed to meet a Christmas launch date; the Federation and Klingon factions are well-balanced but the others are painfully unfinished or just plain don't work.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Bieeardo posted:

A license to everything available at that point, wasn't it? I know that a lot of the goofier poo poo like Klingons having stasis fields came from the animated series. Well, the earlier goofier poo poo. The later goofy poo poo is all their creation.

ADB, the company behind Star Fleet Battles, bought the rights back during the 70s when TOS and the animated series were all that existed. I also think they actually bought the rights via TOS's art team instead of Paramount, but the history is weird and confused. Nobody thought Trek would turn into such a juggernaut back then, so they got a really wide licence for a song.

Then the Trek movies happened. Paramount sued ADB for breach of copyright...and lost. ADB produced their old agreement in court and Paramount were ordered to grant the company a licence in perpetuity. Paramount quietly vowed to never make that mistake again, and the licence they wrote was a viciously tightarsed, bitter and childish letter-of-the-law document that granted incredibly precise rights over tiny slices of the Trek setting. For example, ADB must always refer to Starfleet as "Star Fleet" with a space between the words. They only have the rights to the Original Series and Animated Series, and according to myth they can only ever refer to the Enterprise a limited number of times in the lifetime of the company.

Do all that to a Trek superfan with a Libertarian streak, and allow the resulting nasty mess to steep in a grognard fanbase for 30 years. That's Star Fleet Battles.

E;fb

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Now if only Games Workshop had agreed with you...

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

I once saw a decent Dune space game that used, of all things, the Babylon 5 Wars ruleset. It took the view that space combat was rare but the Houses did raid each other a lot.

Are Crushers made up for the RPG or do they actually have a basis in the books somewhere?

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

SirPhoebos posted:

[*]Bathe the Teeth in the breath of 32 different types of dragons within 32 days.

This is a really awesome concept for a campaign. Like Pokemon with blast furnaces!

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Strange Matter posted:

It's kind of nice how the whole time through Godlike the timeline is being fairly ginger with Talent influence over real events, mostly relegating them to side missions with minimal relevance to actual events, and then Omaha Beach happens and it's total craziness. Especially the image of whole chunks of the beach being teleported into the ocean.

Just reading that entry gave me the good kind of chills. Superpowered D-Day where both sides throw thousands of Talents into the meat grinder (and given how the Talent seems to work, soldiers all over the place suddenly discovering powers of their own) sounds amazing, and I really really want to see it realised somehow.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

An awful lot of 90s game designers seem to have had bad experiences with either PCs carrying massive unstoppable artefacts, or PCs kitted out to the nines with plot-derailing survival gear.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

I had typed a big furious screed about Deadlands' loving obnoxious metaplot and Devlin loving Stone, but then I saw Evil Mastermind had only covered part of the story so I've held back until he finishes this dreadful train wreck. Wouldn't want to spoil this wild glorious ride :v:

But on the subject of train wrecks...Deadlands had a spinoff called Great Rail Wars. It had an amazing concept - Necromunda/Frostgrave-style skirmishing between railroad work crews, all fighting to be the first to complete a transcontinental railroad in the steampunk weird west. It didn't work that into the mechanics all that much, but it was a solid Weird West tabletop game. If it had had a campaign mode and some way to tie progress to actual railroad construction, then it would have been seriously good.

It's also one of the very very few wargames - maybe the only one - to have a canonical victor.

Yup, it was Helstromme. gently caress you, wargame players, your railroad company and skirmish dudes got explicitly and canonically nuked (no really). By Helstromme.

gently caress you, Deadlands.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Evil Mastermind posted:

Nope! Due to time wonkery he's actually not around anymore.

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.

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.

Loxbourne fucked around with this message at 20:41 on Jan 29, 2017

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Asehujiko posted:

Are people reading but not commenting on Polaris because there's so little to say about the game's bone dry subject matter or is a game that starts off with 90 page fake geography textbook just too much? I've still got another 30 pages of contradictory history sections and those settlement writeups alone to go.

I'm reading Polaris but there's just not a lot to say. Your comments are quite right, it's not very interesting or coherent - which unfortunately means there's not much to add. It's mediocre and very long-winded, rather than funny-bad.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Dedman Walkin posted:

As a nerd who got hooked on RPGs via Deadlands, I gotta be that kinda jerk and bring up that Stone's first name is Jasper.

Alas my copies of the books are long gone. But entertainingly, I checked the name on another wiki before posting and they had it wrong too.

This just makes him slightly more annoying from my standpoint :v:

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Saguaro PI posted:

there's a bit where a previously unimportant German tank driver can snap and have talent powers

This is actually a really good idea and an excellent way to have mechanics work with the setting. A WW2 where anyone, even the most terrified recruit or office clerk, can suddenly manifest a superpower is a brilliant setting.

Count Chocula posted:

The final showdown should be a high noon duel with Stone.

As is so often the case, the problem with mighty setting NPCs goes away the instant players are allowed to meaningfully interfere with them. A character who is actually a noted gunfighter's future self sent back to ensure a future WW3 is a great idea for a villain.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Man, that trivia quiz. You really will read their backplot and you will like it, unwashed gaming scum!

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Wow. That lived up to the hype. That right there is some supervillan-level lovely GMing. Part of me wants to try and dig that Listserv out of the archives to see what actual players and GMs made of that crap. I have a nasty feeling that any fandom community run by this guy would be a murderous echo chamber on pain of bannage though.

If I remember rightly, didn't the Unity come back in the big finale to Lost Colony? I dimly remember there was time travel involved to let the players tie all three game lines together.

EDIT: The part of me that doesn't want to trawl through the ancient Listserv now wants to play a bit more with a space western version of Event Horizon. It has a dash of Bravestarr to it. A Space Western take on System Shock 2 could be a glorious cheesetastic romp.

Loxbourne fucked around with this message at 21:21 on Jan 29, 2017

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

rumble in the bunghole posted:

Why would you do this in the middle of the adventure, in a place with absolutely no way to get a new character?

Because, in the stupid train of unholy logic, that makes it "meaningful". Someone has to get screwed over. Someone has to be stuck watching the rest of the party play. That's their "sacrifice". It's the same bullshit as that Prime Directive thing about making a player read the dictionary while everyone goes for pizza to simulate being in hospital. It's nothing less than a narcissistic desire to harm the player somehow in order to make an in-character action meaningful. What makes this one so lovely is that the player is punished for an action that's supposed to be noble but is pulled as a crappy surprise - heck, the way the text is written, the GM is supposed to expect the players to fight over this.

It's nothing less than a GM expecting a player to suffer just to prove to himself what a good GM he is.

I would honestly bet money that the author has no idea that players might resent this (well, from that textbox he clearly figures "real" players will see it as a moral duty somehow). Surely the dead character's player will stick around in rapt admiration, unable to look away from the glorious finale to this amazing story! This finale that THEY TOOK PART IN by letting their character die for the cause!

The Deadlands metaplot just constantly ooozes this kind of "OH OF COURSE the players want to hear my AMAZING stories about my WONDERFUL setting" tone. Hensley would probably be genuinely shocked if a player told him to gently caress off and walked out.

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Double Plus Undead posted:

OK so the AI is a demon, mad science hellship, I get it, but why didn't Hellstromme, who presumably wants the PCs to succeed, give them a heads up?

He gave them an Ominous Warning - did you notice his line about "at least two PCs have to get aboard to follow the AI's instructions" ?

Anything else might have led the PCs to take precautions, and we can't have that can we :v:

Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Hey Evil Mastermind, do you have the Heart O' Darkness/Fortess O' Fear adventure books to hand? Do you remember if it railroaded Deadlands players into Hell on Earth the way Unity shoves them into Lost Colony?

I just remembered that being killed in the 1880s and then rising from your grave in the 2090s was Hell on Earth's suggested way to get PCs from Deadlands to HoE. In fact the whole opening fiction piece is presented as someone getting some newly-risen Harrowed up to speed. It's not an inherently dumb idea - Hell on Earth's new stuff mostly revolved around cybernetics and this would let established players keep their old characters while giving them a quick route to the new setting's shiny toys. The way it lets the precious metaplot stay intact by having Mr Wankfest kill your dude is just incidental :v:

But it would, of course, be the absolute perfect capper to the entire Deadlands Shitshow Railroad if the default ported character - a guy played the way the game's authors wanted you to, carried from game line to game line in a slavish display of cult-like devotion to the storyline - was precisely the right class to be shut down by that supernatural EMP in the adventure's first setpiece.

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Loxbourne
Apr 6, 2011

Tomorrow, doom!
But now, tea.

Hm, this is where the strict adherence to the WW2 timeline starts to grate a little. I was wondering if superpowers might seriously change the progress of Market Garden; instead it seems to be used by the setting as a handy way to cut down the number of superpowered characters.

I agree on that amazing Paris campaign concept though. Start there, and move into the end of the war with crazed Nazi fanatics, some superscience, and then a Talent-based ASHCAN.

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