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sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

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theironjef posted:



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.

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?'

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sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

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The confederacy can be used very well in western stuff. You can contrast their talk of 'freedom' and independence and all with, ya know the whole slavery thing. You can use its very different environment and landscape for some good storytelling, especially if it's fish out of water style 'a bunch of Yankees come down to find treasure' or something. You can tell a pretty drat good war story focusing on the common soldier who really has little say in the problems around him and explore his feelings on poo poo like 'did we seriously just break away from our country?'

Of course, ya know, all that needs slavery and 'southern culture' to be maintained for the story and not whitewashed away...

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Mors Rattus posted:

I believe also surprisingly good writing.

Yea this is the tipping point, it was a novel setting idea in the age of orcs and 10x10 rooms guarding treasure chests but what really made it stick was they actually put effort into making the righting good quality, and that's pretty critical in horror.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

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Crasical posted:

:allears: I'm totally behind this just for the excuse to play BB Hood and Darkstalkers up the place as a tiny mercenary.



One of Ravenloft's best things is stuff like focusing on how OTHERS see stuff like non-human races. Like it says people don't fear Halflings because they look like kids, no one said poo poo about them ACTING like kids, just, ya know, if you're playing some kinda unscrupulous Halfling sort you can probably run some solid scams on a bunch of people who just go 'aw look at the sweet little kid-thing'. It really just hits a home run for focusing on tone, between that and other stuff like 'you wanna be a Paladin, that's cool, but A) understand you are basically a lone beacon of light in this world, and B) 'evil' is an actual living force that actively is loving you so enjoy your weird evil horse and you can't just magically make people stop being afraid of the objectively terrifying lives they lead because that'd ruin the whole point of this story'.

Also to be fair the few things Fighters do get actually are kinda useful if I remember right. Isn't poo poo like Jaded basically 'yea you're the guy who can reliably keep his poo poo together when stuff goes 2spoopy in here'. It's still lolfighters for sure but they do at least try to make 'you're a motherfucker stupid enough to take a sword to a werewolf with no magic or tricks or whatever behind you' cool.

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I think I said it when the Wick book came up but I genuinely don't understand the 'GM advice' that boils down to 'just fuckin lie'.

Like...yea man, you can just lie. That's the relationship here, you're making this bullshit elfworld up, nothing we're talking about is real, you're in control here. Why not just tell GMs to give the Big Bad a magic sword that lets him go back in time and shove everyone's mom down a flight of stairs because gently caress it? It's not like you have to set rules when you're just lying to people. Why go half assed with 'muaha no the goblin has TEN HP, not EIGHT! YOU IDIOT! YOU LOOK SO loving STUPID RIGHT NOW!!!!'? Why not just give the goblin a loving dragon mount that was invisible up till now?

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Night10194 posted:

Yes, the Voddace, who are the standard 'Machiavellian evil Italians'.

Nah to be fair Voddace often got their comeuppances and their OP fate magic poo poo involved literally fraying the very fabric of reality. They get a bit too far up their own rear end in some parts but he actually does a decent job showing 'yea hey sometimes the big cool schemer guy doesn't actually win'.

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Late to the party but it feels like, in your game about literal monsters, monsters that even with good intents are pretty much always abusers/cruel/whatever, using an image that looks a lot like one of those Indian lady vigilantes that wears pink and beats the poo poo out of abusive spouses/rapists/etc when the cops won't help is a bit...wrongheaded. Like, of all the vigilantes to pull the 'but aren't they just the monster in someone else's story' thing, are we really gonna do it to the people who's first rule is 'go to the cops, and if (when) they ignore violence against women like usual, then we'll club a dude'?

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Bieeardo posted:

Wrongheaded misappropriation? Sure sounds like classic White Wolf writing to me. Ugh.

I dunno these ladies sound pretty monstery to me

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulabi_Gang

quote:

Satbodh saindata was founded the Gulabi Gang, Sampat Pal Devi, a mother of five and former government health worker (as well as a former child bride) first started the group after having been beaten by an abusive husband. Since then, women have joined intending to punish oppressive and abusive men. The women scold men who abuse their wives and even publicly humiliate them if they needed to do so.[5] In some cases, they even go further and threaten the abusive husbands of beating them with laathis (sticks) unless they stop abusing their wives.[1][6] This has earned them the title of "vigilantes".

quote:

The Gulabi gang is not an actual gang, but rather a team of women working towards justice for oppressed and abused women.[5] The women wear uniform pink saris symbolizing strength, and carry around bamboo sticks that can be used as weapons if needed.[5] Most of the women are from a poor background and are of the lowest caste, the Dalit.[5]

Corporate partnerships of the Gulabi Gang include Vitalect, a technology and services company that works with non-profit organizations to assist them with their technological needs, and Social Solution India (SSI), a non-profit company that promotes NGO stability.[5]

There is no discrimination based on gender because the gang not only focuses on male jurisdiction over women, but also on human rights and male oppression.[7] Community service efforts of the gang include food and grain distribution to villagers in rural areas, pension to widows who do not have the means to support themselves in their old age, and helping prevent the abuse of women and children.[5] Dowry, dowry beatings, dowry death, rape, child marriages, domestic abuse, desertion, depriving of education, child molestation, and sexual harassment are all watched for and punished by the gang.[5]

Basically the living concept of bestial vengeance right here

sexpig by night fucked around with this message at 04:44 on Apr 27, 2016

sexpig by night
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Kai Tave posted:

To be honest, the system and metaplot aren't even the sum total of BNW's problems, for a passion project the whole thing feels incredibly dull. Say what you will about Aberrant, and there's a lot to say about it, but at least Aberrant has bits that are compelling and interesting while BNW is just...there.

Really? I've found it to be the opposite for me. It's not the best thing I've ever read but I've felt a lot more effort in making a game world that's interesting to work with a much more focused way.

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Yea there's no real hard mechanics stopping that, and really that could be pretty fun in the right party and all, but the fluff reason is that Archmages super aren't into that poo poo, and if you just start wheeling around the time-stream for shits and giggles enough to start leaving a trail you're gonna get a whole swarm of mages on a whole different level than you asking for a good reason they don't just kill you and hope the next idiot that gets powers is smarter.

That said, all that does it turn it from doctor who to some kinda spy/covert time traveler game which could also be very fun! I could see a campaign based around going back to maybe a couple specific events that are important to a character while trying to keep off the radar enough to not have to deal with archmages getting pissy being pretty interesting.

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I'll still say Brave New World is a pretty solid game but...yea Ravaged Planet is...bad. They don't do a good job at near anything they set out to do.

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Young Freud posted:

From older editions...







Although cooling vests and hot pants have always been used for cheesecake shots of female mechwarriors



Yea there's for sure an issue where for men it's just kinda jacked dudes in hot pants and for women it's skimpy undies and a vest that seems custom made to put her tits out and all, but at the very base level they are pretty good at being consistant where mech pilots are half naked idiots no matter what gender, and isn't that what we all want? Just remember, when the cool guy in the mech has to make an emergency bailout, he's actually just some dude in his underwear and boots and maybe a vest frantically fleeing his soon to be exploding robot. The future rules.


Doresh posted:

AToW actually has a case of this in the ongoing fiction, where one of the officers assigned to the little recon mission is a female MechWarrior who pilots exactly zero 'Mechs during the mission. I think I have to reread that to find a justification for this.

Though with the way the Modules work, you can't actually make a MechWarrior who can only do MechWarrior stuff. Military training always includes close combat, small arms and medical training. And you can't be an officer without having some "face of the party" qualities.

And since the skills are thankfully not too granular where it counts, there are only two Skills (Gunnery/'Mech and Piloting/'Mech) your MechWarrior will never get to use outside of his 'Mech.
Okay, there's that whole thing about spending a bucket full of XP on your first 'Mech, but a sane GM should compensate here during no-'Mechs-allowed missions.

(Though the expansion book is a bit more sane in that the ongoing fiction there is all about a mercenary group using Battle Armor).

Last time my group did BT we had a 'mixed' party. It wasn't too bad, like we were a mercenary company and no one was dumb enough to make a pacifist with only social skills or whatever, but we had a party of a couple different flavors of mech pilots, a spy, a dude who's good with ground vehicles, and our techie/gearhead/also able to crush your head with a wrench because gently caress it and we all had a good time. BT is pretty good about showing war as a huge thing, you really have to actively try to make a one trick pony. Everyone at least has a secondary ability and maybe even a third 'well I'm not AWESOME at this but if I HAVE to...' kinda thing by the time things are done.

It works well with the setting because as hinted at above, in canon BT universe mechs kinda really suck to drive. Like, you do it because they're great weapons platforms and poo poo, but to do it you have to climb into a boiling hot cockpit surrounded by explosives and god knows what else that could kill you, and also the other guy in the mech knows that too so he's gonna probably try to rip your arms off and blow you up. It's just kinda good logic to train those guys to do more than that, because if that's your 100% only duty boy does your life kinda suck a little bit.

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My group likes Aces & Eights. It's not our favorite game by a long shot but it's not that obtuse once you've gotten a bit of practice. It is very much an Old School RPG, which means yea if you don't like poo poo like random creation/advancement and very granular combat you're not going to like it. We've had some fun with it though, you can hit a pretty good balance of cowboy bullshit and a more 'realistic' set-up with it.

Night10194 posted:

I'll give a little credit to a western game for using 'The South Won The War' as a reason to have a would-be slaver empire around instead of the usual lost cause bullshit, at least, if that's the case.

Yea 'the south won' is totally not a good thing, it's a lovely corrupt slave empire that's one bad day away from absolute collapse, that's why you want to be coolguy cowboy on the range not dealing with that poo poo.

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Yea as much as I unironically like L5R the fact that both Crab and Lion constantly get shafted with stories that end in 'we were winning/doing well until the Crane/Scorpion pulled strings and forced us to retreat' is boring as hell.

Like I get that the point is that's how those clans fight their own wars, but nearly every conflict where they're on opposite sides involves that while very few end in 'and we just fuckin murdered some Cranes on the battlefield, suck it you bird faced nerds'.

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Alien Rope Burn posted:

This is probably the one you're thinking of, her Experienced 2 version in the CCG. I don't think it was used in the RPG, though.



Usually she was depicted fully armored, though.

I'm the random sleeve of armor that was made before I guess the smith got bored and wandered away

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AmiYumi posted:

Definitely remember it worse than that, I think after a quick GIS it was this pic*:

with the sort of cringey misogynerd attract text you'd expect from an ad in InQuest or Dragon or wherever I kept seeing it.

*maybe an extended version? I definitely remember an implication she was only wearing a breastplate, although maybe that was in-text

I remember hearing this as the explanation for why PHOENIX DID NOTHING WRONG was the metaplot through 3e/4e.

that loving sleeve bugs me so much. At first I thought it was part of the chest, like an underhsirt thing that was meant to recreate the whole 'one arm free so you can get your sword easy' style and was like 'that's dumb but ok' but only now, looking at it fully, I see it's just a rando sleeve.

Why would one of the empire's best warriors want this, Wick, why would she tell her smith 'yea I need armor...no no, for my upper body I just want to protect my tits and ONE arm. No trust me on this I got it'.

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I really like Crane, even better than Scorpion actually. They're easily my favorite clan.

This is gonna hurt me.

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The jester stuff is genuinely one of the most fun aspects you can pick in old L5R and the fact it didn't survive the many transitions (I think?) is a super bummer.

Being the dude who's literally sanctioned to straight up go 'haha hey Lion guy, remember when you got all hard and tried to provoke a guy into a duel and he saw right through you and laughed at you? That was some cool poo poo, why are you trying to talk all big now like that never happened' is both really fun as a player and added a neat element to a normally very stuffy and formal RPG.

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Night10194 posted:

I don't think anyone actually likes the Scorpion in any capacity, do they?

I like the IDEA of the Scorpion a lot.

I'm not so into what we actually GET.

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Mors Rattus posted:

Samurai were actually super okay with homosexuality, as long as you had kids. Indeed, they were actual books and poetry about how the love of a woman could never equal the love of a man.

I think 'super okay' is a bit of a stretch but yea they, like a few other 'warrior cultures' pretty much had the unspoken rule of 'if you have kids, and don't embarrass yourself and your spouse by making any affair public, yea whatever gently caress who you want' and that translated for a lot of closeted guys as 'cool so I can have my boyfriend and just grit my teeth and bear it when it comes time to make a baby'.

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Kurieg posted:

Yes because PC beasts aren't violent and destructive monsters they are serving a purpose and are therefore good :angel: The book even tells you so like fifty times.

Beast is by far one of the biggest RPG disappointments for me. This game could be so cool as a thing where it's this constant push and pull between the 'hero' and the 'beast' where the entire point is 'good' and 'bad' in these stories is a matter of perspective a lot of times and heroes can do horrible things and monsters can be noble and all that. You know, really push the WoD universe that's supposed to already revel in shades of grey.

Instead, nah, it's just lazy 'but what if the MONSTERS were inherently good and the HEROES were inherently bad????'

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That Old Tree posted:

The disappointment is even bone-deeper than that, though. I remember when the game was just starting to get teased, and myself and many others thought "I'm secretly a dragon and my existence causes 'heroes' to fight me and create legends" sounded pretty cool. Then it turns out you just have the "soul" of a dragon, and further that the game is literally a somehow unwitting metaphor for the dregs of Tumblr stereotypes.

Like, subverting expectations is probably good for any creative project to do at least a little if you want to be remembered for more than a hot second. But way to "flip the script" to such a degree that the obvious elevator pitch vanishes completely in a puff of pretentious argot.

that too yea, the original tease of 'I'm a loving thing, my existence makes these weird 'heroes' decide I HAVE to die because I'm inherently unnatural and I have to struggle between saying 'ok guess I'm eating bitches' and trying to rise above it' was really loving cool.

Then we get...this. This is the absolute least morally ambiguous WoD game I've ever seen which is bonkers because for all its many many issues WoD's always been able to hold a good selling point of 'this is a world where morality kinda goes out the window as a blanket thing and it comes down to what you as an individual feel'. Having a game that literally describes the 'good' guys as the ones who never challenge you, and thus anyone who does is inherently 'bad' completely throws that out the window. No more poo poo like 'hey I'm a vampire, I'm kinda hosed up in tons of ways but on the other hand I literally NEED to feed on people so...what are we gonna do here' and 'I'm a werewolf, I'm also hosed up in a lot of ways but I genuinely believe I need to keep the balance between this world and a world 99% of people will never experience' kinda stuff. Just 'I'm a weirdo with a ~dragon soul~, I'm the good guy, anyone who tries to stop me is the bad guy. This isn't me the character saying it to show my views are rigid and flawed, this is the out of character rule book telling you this'.

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Doresh posted:

Maybe it's just because of the whole post-election shenanigans, but I'm kinda dreading this might turn into some weird Trump vs Hillary allegory. Roma are the noble leftists, all of Europe are the evil jocks.

don't worry I have no faith in the Roma being anything close to 'noble' in whatever terrible remake of that racist rear end book gets excreted out from some european duder.

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Alien Rope Burn posted:

I'm just grateful that I'm pretty sure Champions is where RPG fandom said "You can have this much math, but no more than this."

yea Champions is just at the limit of crunch to still be 'accessible' to most fans it seems.

It has a lot of clunk, especially as splats were added, but I still love it.

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ZeroCount posted:

Vampire is the only one of the WoD splats where I find the endless condescending stereotype quotes to be good.

it's the only part of the line that it makes sense on. A werewolf or mage being a condescending bitch is annoying, but yea a Vampire being all 'aw poor widdle Gangrel did you get tired chasing bunnies in the yard' is like, yea, ok, that fits perfectly fine.

it also helps that lines like 'they call us shallow, we call them concave' are actually decent burns for the setting.

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Count Chocula posted:

Rahl Dahl's kinda the opposite, where 90% of his stuff people just kinda pretend isn't full of stuff that would give Clive Barker nightmares even when people are getting morphed into grotesque forms and eaten.

A Night's Black Agents adventure with Dahl and Ian Fleming on the OSS would be fun.

yea normally it's extremely lazy and never as good as the writer thinks it is, but for Dahl...yea that guy was a hosed up weirdo who wrote a morality story that involves children being tortured, you can work with that. You can't make poo poo like My Little Pony into some dark and twisted story but you can really easily make 'I'm a weird recluse with a factory of strange slaves that will taunt and mock you for your failings as your body is deformed and hosed up forever' into something in horror.

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low hangin fruit makes a smoothie just as well as lofty fruit

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Young Freud posted:

Which goddamn blew all the progression that previous editions had worked on. 4e Hackers felt like a natural evolution on Deckers and Riggers, considering that they had been building up that merger in the Rigger books. I remember reading in Rigger 2, I think, where they say site security system managers acted a lot like riggers, except immobile, that a rigger could pull all sorts of tricks with building security if they had something to break ICE with. It was an inevitability that those classes would be merged together.

Also, after last year, where we had people using botnets made of internet-connected refrigerators, DVRs, and security cameras to launch DDOS attacks that shut down the internet a few days before a big election, 4e's hacking was oddly prescient.

it really can't be overstated how hilarious it is that almost right after they did their big 'no see REAL hackers work like this, and riggers are just kinda morons with RC cars' revert to old bad things we had actual RL hacker/rigger types loving up multiple things one after another.

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Yea it encourages you to simplify it and obviously cut out the dumb rape poo poo so you can run a game for kids but the book itself is in no way 'kid friendly'.

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yea one really really good effect of WHFRP's whole aesthetic of 'you gotta spend some time as shitkickers who may get their heads cut off randomly before you earn your power fantasy' is that 99% of the world books had to be written with the understanding that the PCs could either be a group of mighty wizards and warriors rolling into town as hot poo poo mercenaries...or they could be five rat catchers and charcoal burners who's main goal is 'I'd like to have some food that doesn't suck today'. So for every great wizard in his tower aching for adventurers to help him slay the demon he locked in his basement by accident there has to be five innkeepers who are just REALLY spooked by the large rats eating their apples or fishermen who haven't heard from their brother in the next town over for a while.

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Rigged Death Trap posted:

Which sort of begs the question:
What will chaos's ideal endgame look like?

Everyone is chaos, there is no struggle except against the nature of chaos, nothing left to corrupt and twist. Just endless primordial chaos.

Which the gods will find interminably boring seeing how their flavors of chaos are basically reflections and extensions of themselves and its humans with their gosh darned free will, fuckups and successes what makes the day to day worth living/corrupting. What I think in that scenario is that theyd intentionally leave pockets of resistance to play with.

remember that Chaos is less a thing with an agenda and more a primal force that manifests through different lenses. The endgame of chaos as a force is 'everything's chaos, move to the next universe, make it all chaos, repeat'. There's no 'plan' or 'endgame', it's just a force in the universe that grows like a cancer in whatever dimension it's in until the host is entirely taken over. The different forces may have schemes but follow them far enough and they all end in 'and, yea, everything's hosed I guess and we move on'.

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I always liked that in the oWoD Kinfolk book it was just explicit that even the nicest werewolves are kinda lovely family members to have for most people, that's really all you need.

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Cassa posted:

I like the look of the Kalo Sharkhunter, but I'm a sucker for fish people in reverse huge diving suits.

Yea I'm 100% into the 'fish person who needs a portable aquarium to move around' aesthetic.

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Mors Rattus posted:

So like, a nightmare is a horse but intelligent and eeevil.

This is a horse that shits on things strategically.

it's D-Horse from MGS 5, but on fire

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the only thing I can possibly say to defend HVC's absurd libertarian justification world is that I think the 'corp wars are theater' thing was basically all saying 'corp wars tend to be more for display/money movement than real goals because all the things that could spark one are just normal corp espionage poo poo that would better be handled with more shadowy subtle poo poo. They do big crazy fights because it's a show of force for the plebes and they can profit off the war enough so the original reason becomes moot. People are scared of them because show or not it's still a war and there's always a chance you could piss someone off enough they're willing to take the hit and just go hog wild wrecking your poo poo instead of having a big dramatized dick waving contest.'

HVC is dumb and really has no need to exist in a world where Eclipse Phase does body horror/transhumanism better without a weird libertarians are right coating, but...I dunno I kinda like it as a concept? Like, if they actually stuck to the 'ok that wishy washy poo poo before was corp propaganda, the truth is the only freedom is in saying gently caress your boss and living on an asteroid commune with others like you' without having to also say 'buuuuut you know rational actors...' and cut the hilarious fetish stuff (we gave the winged lion bare titties. Why, what purpose would that serve in our hyper capitalist world? Don't worry about it.) you kinda could have a neat concept around 'we're living in the bones of the creators who played god to make us' stuff.

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Mors Rattus posted:

Let's not say things we can't take back.

I mean the libertarian faction in EP is as close to 'civilization' as most people will get but they're also shown as oppressive and harmful to transhumanity's development without any real punches pulled. If HVC just went the route of 'yep poo poo sucks, the megacorps provide civilization for most average people...animals...but it comes at the cost of a strict and predatory system. There's freedom in the fringes but you're not gonna have anyone to stop a pirate showing up at your door with a laser gun saying 'this is mine now' unless you have a bigger/more guns' it'd be...better at least.

e: Oh, Scum, yea they're pretty dumb but they're presented as pretty much a group of absolute nuts that not even the other underclass want to gently caress around with unless they're desperate. Like, they're literally described as being into Hitler morphs of various gender and racial variants and their signature morph is built around being able to do ALL the drugs. They're not exactly humanity's guiding light.

sexpig by night fucked around with this message at 00:04 on Jan 2, 2018

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Kurieg posted:

It's also demonstrably untrue, since in-universe their culture advanced to where it is now from our culture. Unless they're operating under the delusion that furcorpratbertarian mars is the natural equilibrium for every society.

I imagine the writer literally does expect generic marscorp life to be the neutral baseline for civilized society.

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we absolutely should have games where apes, parrots, and sea mammals are all smarter than humans

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man my group likes Victoriana almost as much as Shadowrun for our -punk funtimes but boy do I always forget how much of the rules were clearly designed, written, then tweaked half way through.

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Sep 8, 2011

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The Victoriana 'uh gently caress it give the not Jews Hebrew' is weird and I don't love it but it has some clever moments.

Like Teth meaning 'containment' and 'release' at once is actually clever because in gematria (numerology with Hebrew) tet is 9, and 9 has a not-insignificant relationship to creation, so having it associated with both binding things up and freeing them fits the Jewish mystic school of thought that talks about creation being a contracting thing associated with 'vessels' and all.

Zayn being 'forgiveness' and 'justice' is also clever since it's associated with potential in the almost quantum sense of 'literally anything can happen'. So, like, if you forgive your enemy and offer them justice rather than just killing them they could redeem themselves or they could knife you in the back, you don't know but you can have faith.

I think there's too many of those little links to be a COMPLETE accident. I don't think they had some kabbalah scholar fact checking them or whatever but I don't know enough about the people who wrote that to declare it just being fetishizing, you know? Maybe there actually was a Jewish person who knows that stuff trying to give a little wink. I wish it wasn't associated with "THEY'RE JEWS, BUT WE WON'T SAY JEWS" kinda coyness, but it's actually kinda a neat concept.

I, of course, also could just be grasping at straws because my edgy jew kid 'I'MMA LEARN MAGIC' phase lasted a long rear end time so I absorbed a lot of this poo poo.

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