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Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
I think Kobal could work if you removed the funny clown aspect and replaced it with a trickster concept. Have all his jokes focus on bringing out the absurdity of a serious situation or pointing out the futility of what's being done. Such as raising Haagenti to being an angelic prince. That is actually funny but not because of 'Lol! Demon in heaven!' but because it forces everyone to stop and confront the truth that what they are isn't important, but the word they bare is, and something as lowly and debased as a demon can find a place in Heaven as a paragon of light. The whole evil aspect comes from that fact that most people would just become emotional crushed and withdrawn whenever one of these jokes went off in their face.

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Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
So I didn't see it mentioned, but I'm pretty sure the guy who wrote RuneQuest was an actual anthropology student. So a good deal of what pops up in the setting and magic system are based off trends in ancient human myth cycles. And if it's anything like the 6th edition,it leads to how each magic system has a different feel but relies on core resolution mechanics.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
A non-grim Tokusatsu/Magical Girl game feels like Golden Sky Stories would make a good base. Since the focus on it is doing good deeds, having the characters spend a portion of the session making things better for their city as normal people before tackling the big bad seems thematic. Handling the fight would be where all the new rules would have to pop up.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
Now I almost wish the Australian flightless bird species could be found somewhere in Japan. An ostrich or rhea henge sounds fantastically odd.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Angrymog posted:

There are zoos. You could have Henge that help around the zoo?

The only downside to this is there are no capybara henge rules and when I think of Japanese zoos, I think of capys for some reason.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Zereth posted:

I want to play a cat and use the cunning plan of convincing people who caught me talking that I didn't by just saying "No I didn't."

I think you mean 'Nyao I didn't'.

A part of me doesn't think I could come up with many stories to run Golden Sky Stories without it getting repetitive. My thought process for game plots has been inundated with the kind of media that results in power metal covers. Still really like the game, though.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
If you ripped it away from Bellum Maga, you could probably work with the basic idea. So keep the feminine planet spirit, that women can work magic because they bring life into the world and links them to said spirit, and that being a man doesn't inherently make you evil. Spin it so the invading god found out that because men lack the link to Earth's deity, they have innate resistance to magic. Set up bad men as being the first agents of the Serpent, which makes the witches think the whole thing is a masculine plot as all they see is male servants. Throw in some detail that the snake worked out that the more 'Masculine'/macho a man is, the more resistant to magic the man is at the cost of the Serpent being unable to interact with them. Cue the building of cultural drives for men to be macho to take off and become out of hand. Now you have a Patriarchy that can be view as both bad and tragic, and the Serpent as being an evil gently caress. Make the heroic, modern maga those of a younger generation who are open minded, accept people for what they are and help people deal with how lovely life is.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Bruceski posted:

I am a terrible person, because my first thought was foxhunts and badger culls. Hedgehog Henge would be adorable though.

It shouldn't be too hard to devise new Henge. Pick some themes and personality traits they most embody, come up with six core and then five weakness/strength pairs. The hardest part would be figuring out cost for using the powers, but you can probably reference closely related powers to get a feel for that. The first expansion released consisted of five new Henge types written by western RPG authors.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Count Chocula posted:

Do they need to be normal animals, or could you make elemental spirits or Pokemon, like the fire spirit from Howl's Moving Castle or a stone Henge?

I don't see why you couldn't. As long as you can give the concept a clear direction to play as and balance the mechanical bits with the other classes, the fluff really doesn't matter. Like a good chunk of games with a focus on story, you could probably rewrite the non-mechanical bits about the core Henge and have them be something else. You could do members of a cosmopolitan galactic society that crashed/came to Earth and their makeup and rubber prosthesis they use to hide don't work as well during daylight hours. Or your band of Tolkien archetypes go around Mordor defeating Sauron through peace, generosity and making everyone's lot better. The narrative what you are isn't as important as the mechanical what you do for the most part.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
Heroes sound like they would be better named Stalkers or Obsessed. Experience a beast and become so focused on it your entire life revolves around it until you destroy it and find a new one to move onto. That right there could be a good plot hook if you made the conflict between humanity and the beast important. How does a Beast deal with those who are stalking it? Does it take the easier, and more bestial approach, and murder them or does it confront them and try to help them heal? That would tie into the aspect of them teaching. Also being a murder engine having to find a place in this new world where you are redundant would have been another interesting direction. How does the hot stove teach people when most people willing accept you don't touch a hot stove?

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
The issue I see with the dissonance between the beasts being teachers and also Dexter/90's comic book hero types is that the lessons they teach are loving busted. When you got a bad dude doing bad things to people and a beast steps in, it teaches two lessons. To the people suffering under the abuser, it straight up says 'You couldn't save yourself and the only reason you're safe is a greater power decided to step in'. To the people who inflict such suffering and who see this someone get taken down by a beast, it gets reinforced that the only thing that can stop them is a freight train of murder pulling in from Fuckyousville in the form of a beast. So there really shouldn't be a reason why they don't plan accordingly and prepare to kill a beast they can keep on doing what they're doing.

The whole concept of the beasts being teachers is neat, but from what's being posted in this thread, how they do it is hosed. Just devising ways that you could use that concept and produce conflict for the beast without making them abusive is a fun thought exercise, but probably one that's going to leave me dissatisfied how it was actually implemented.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Valatar posted:

We have that greater power. It's generally referred to as "the law". While it doesn't make as much of a feel-good ending if the abuse survivor doesn't Rambo out and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, the fact is that many aren't in a position to save themselves and at the end of the day being saved by a greater power is a preferable outcome to more status quo. I'd want them to seek ever how much therapy it'll take for them to reach a point where they could save themselves, but it's more important to get them out of a dangerous situation ASAP and work on the details later instead of hanging back waiting for them to maybe someday do something and hoping they don't get killed in the interim.

I agree with your point and wholly support it in the real world. But in the context of 'Beasts teaching people through their nature', the beast would probably be more powerful symbolically if instead of just murdering the person who is being predatory and saving people incidentally, it taught them how to self actualize, or that they're not alone and there are others who will stand with you. The concept of beasts only hurting bad people and making the world better still leaves them out of touch or distant from why the bad people are considered bad people. And writing a game that deals with you being a magic social worker and psychiatrist trying to save people is probably going to handle victims of abuse and the systems that arise in those relations poorly.

Additionally, the backstory makes the Dark Mother sound like she's pissed that she taught her lessons so well that humanity taught them for her. So now she's sending in her children out of spite. Which doesn't seem all that paternal to me.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Kurieg posted:

Ultimately, what's holding Beast back is it's one definining tenet. Beast is the Crossover Game. Beasts can't be too monstrous because they have to be able to slot into any game and not have motives working at cross purposes. Even though Beasts as Written probably wouldn't be willingly assocaited with by anyone except Vampires. If we take that away, what can we do?

Well, if a Deep Dreamer encounters a Beast in the Primordial Dream, and is given the choice. Sell your soul for Power. It's a bit misleading, though, of course. I mean yes they are exchanging their soul for power, but without their soul they aren't really themselves anymore. They're a dark and primal horror welded to a set of human intelligences and memories with an all consuming drive to inflict terror and become more powerful. There's no equivocation, there's no dancing around the point, Beasts are Monsters and they do not care. If they eat lightly, leave targets alive, or attempt to hide what they are, they do so for a reason.

Because those who reject the choice, who see through the lie, are also empowered. They can see the Beasts for what they are, a throwback to an earlier time, when we needed fear to keep us safe. But we don't anymore, and that kind of primal fear has turned into a malignant cancer in our collective psyche. Yes the fear they inflict does somehow lessen humanity's burden, but slaying Beasts, exposing them for the monsters that they are and showing that they can be killed works even better. These people become Heroes, and in all the ways that Beasts are empowered to be the worst in humanity, they are driven to be the best. They're still NPCs, of course, because they're a rather boring literal definition of good. But they're useful NPCs that the other splats can probably interact with. A werewolf or a Vampire may inflict terror, but they are not fear incarnate.
The fear that a Vampire or a Werewolf inflicts is usually a fear that is useful for humanity. Running away from a werewolf in Gauru form is what keeps a human alive. That's fear doing it's job. What a beast does is wield fear to create fear, to create a mythos of terror around themselves, to build up their own story until they become something beyond themselves. Heroes by extension need to play a kind of brinksmanship, taking down Beasts where they can while avoiding the attention of Beasts beyond their reach, because every dead Hero is one less person fighting against the darkness.


Beast could have been a good game, but the fact that BHM insisted on welding it to existing oppressed groups made it into something horrific for all the wrong reasons.

When you put it this way, Beasts sound like they would have been a really interesting splat for Hunter where you start out as a Hero and eventually breakdown from trying to be a last source of hope in the World of Darkness. Beasts result from a specific set of hunter's gifts that warp the user so badly they become an entity so vile and evil other monsters stop, take note and decide to do something about it. Stick in rules for making Beasts as NPC opponents for the other lines towards the end of the line.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Ratoslov posted:

Okay, here's a fun Beast riff. You take the idea that Beasts teach lessons seriously.

You're a cosmic jobber. Beasts exist to face people with adversity and encourage them to overcome it. They identify people with hidden potential, and then present their students with a situation they have to overcome, either in the real world or in their student's dreams in a crazy psychotronic dream-realm sort of way. And at the end of this, the student defeats the Beast, and the Beast sells that defeat as hard as they can, howling with outrage and chewing on scenery. And when the student is gone, they pack up their props and move onto the next student. There's no real danger here; even in a real-world scenario, the worst that can happen long-term is mussed-up hair and a few bruises. On some level, even the students get that this is theatre, so there's no long-term psychological repercussions to failure here.

But the problem with theatre like this is that some people don't get that it's not real, that the blood is corn-syrup and the swords are made of tinsel. The universe is that guy, and it inspires Heroes, who 'save' the students from instruction. Heroes aren't evil, they're just deeply misguided and completely incapable of breaking kayfabe. They're ridiculously dangerous to Beasts because the same narrative conventions that make their teaching powers work also empower the Heroes. Mechanically, many powers that Beasts get would have a rider about how they empower any Heroes they meet too- the better you are at playing the villian, the better the Hero's gonna have to be to take you down.

I had a similar idea, but in keeping with the melodrama of the WoD setting, the pass/fail of your student is solely based on your ability as a teacher and they keep experiencing what you're offering until they either crack or succeed. It also comes with the caveat that you don't choose your student, they're people you make a connection with in your day to day life while you are trying to survive. Monsters still have to eat and it's not like you can live in a cave with a stream near by so you gotta rent and that means a crappy job.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Night10194 posted:

I mean it wouldn't be a World of Darkness game because a game about a union of supervillains/monsters/demons/mad scientists who exist to prepare heroes for the Actual Threats and teach valuable life lessons about confidence, teamwork, and happiness wouldn't fit the milieu, but there'd be room for it in gaming.

Heck, even have it so when the Real Threat shows up, you can switch over and play the heroes you've raised as they combat it. I should probably jot this down and then get to work later.

You should probably go watch Samurai Flamenco. Bear through the art budget cuts and just roll with it. Because it's this idea, more or less.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Kurieg posted:

What do you think the second step is for?

"Look, honey, it's obvious he doesn't love you. As powerful as he is, he could have stopped this days ago. Just give up, let it end."

And then because she loves her husband, he chooses to bust into the room at that moment, comrades at his back. And then Kevin Costner sword fights Snape through a castle as his band of merry men hold off the sheriff's back up. Digging how heroic you can make the important events.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
That list of tricks is fantastic.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Hostile V posted:

I meant it more in the sense of "can so many people hate the King that the King is made immortal by people's hate" although now I read that sentence and think "Elvis never died, he's just preparing to do a Dread Pirate Roberts on his comeback tour".

From what I'm gathering, the hate has to be felt by the person being protected by it. So being a royal poo poo (no pun intended) and getting everyone to hate you may juuuust end up backfiring when a peasant rebellion to can't stamp out happens. But the king could loathe the unwashed masses so much that they can't actually kill him out right until they clean themselves up or impress him. You can inflict as much tyranny and cruelty you want in your kingdom, driving Doom up and making it harder for heroes to take action.

I think. I should probably buy this.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
I think the Giant may be more like Talos from Greek myth/the original Clash of the Titans. Giant robots work well, too.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

ProfessorProf posted:

So in Spellbound Kingdoms, how does the immortality thing actually work in application? If the PCs capture the bad guy and spend a few hours hacking at his helpless body with axes, what happens? Does he inexplicably show up later still alive? Do the axes bounce off? Does he magically regenerate back to the brink of death? Are you just not allowed to kill him? I'm having trouble figuring this out from the text of the writeup.

Mechanically, it isn't so much that you can't die from a high love/inspiration, it's that your given a chance to get out of the situation. So he gets a Cha vs Rsn roll against the party as he tells them about his 'hidden treasure'. If he succeeds, he can now officially string them along with other rolls until he can escape or lead them into an ambush. When the axes actually fall, he may end up dead, or if no one made sure to remove this head, he gets a scene where the GM rolls body to see if the bad guy crawls off. He could then returned as a maimed, wheel chair bound maniac who has had a lot of time to think about payback.

EDIT: Or you spell surge/crisis surge and suddenly, the dude you offed is back, funneling a poo poo ton of magic and has a huuuuuge axe to grind. Maybe even literally.

Tasoth fucked around with this message at 17:37 on Apr 21, 2016

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
God, I wish they didn't write the game so poo poo. The concept of a stronger foe, being harried, losing important things, etc as a vehicle for learning could be good. Just leverage it so people adapt to it over time and become a better human. But they didn't do that. That really makes me sad.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
"I am a teacher. I will teach you that you are not stronger than me, that you cannot stop me. You will learn that each day I haven't noticed you is a gift from me."

Jesus Christ, beast. Please stop. The best outcome would be for the beasts to remind common humanity that we are exceedingly, exceptionally good at exterminating things that threaten us. Just ask most predators, small pox and things that threaten our livestock.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
If you were to go back and gut the entire book, Beast could be an interesting basis for a game about free-will. You become a Beast, either by choice or accident, and then you struggle against the dark urges the nightmare in you is calling up. The conflict in the book is between your humanity and the thing inside you. You fight against Heroes who are targeting anyone they find abhorrent, Beasts that have just given up and let the nightmare win, and whatever else you hunt to keep your poo poo together. Even the Dark Mother aspect can be saved by keeping her plans completely unknown but establishing that all the Beasts she is creating are firebombs and monkey wrenches hurled at the God-Machine and anything else trying to dominate baseline humanity. The setup could create tension on so many different levels: keeping people free but using immoral activities to do it, having to choose whether the control another monster is exerting is better than letting the people make up their own minds, do you give in or keep resisting the monster inside you, etc. That could even be used to explain the hostility a chunk of the Beasts feel towards Demons.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Kurieg posted:

So for future reference and people who've been paying attention to Beast discussion. Apparently they changed some rather fundamental things about the way Heroes are created (mainly, they aren't anymore) despite the fact that the first and second chapters imply that they are. So, just ignore that whole rant I had about Heroes being tragic figures. Cause now they're something much worse, of course they won't address that until chapter 5. For reference that's page 200, right now we're on page 44.

So, what, they're just like beasts now? Only instead of saying their teaching lessons, they're just abusive pricks who embrace it?

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
So high integrity Heroes are metaphorically the local police chief who is neighbor to a horribly abusive father but throws his hands up and says 'Welp, a boy needs his father'? Because that's loving disgusting and misses one of the most important concepts of a hero on a global level: the willingness to put yourself in harms way or die to make the world better.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
Suburban house wife who's fear of having something horrible happen to her children has turned her into a night-stalking ghoul buster. Holy water grenades made from empty baby food jars and a thrice blessed field hockey stick from her high school days are optional.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
It can get way worse with the Reconstruction era. Portray the North as being full of Heroes/ran by Heroes and the Southerners being Beasts. Sherman's March to the Sea was a massive attack on Beast lairs, the hosed up prisons that sprung up were attempts to lure out beasts, etc. And now the Heroes are moving into the south as carpetbaggers. War of Northern Aggression and all that.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
So a question. If demons are real-as-poo poo and being summoned by behavior against the tenants of The Faith, why isn't the East overcome with demons? I figure this is probably something for the group to decide during play, but it definitely plays into why Dogs do poo poo we find heinous in order to preserve their way of life. And those acts are even just treating the symptoms, not the cause. And the reason for that is again, probably, up to the group.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
I've been drawing monsters for the past five months as a personal project. I could not pass up drawing a hordeling.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
In six months, Onyx Path completes this prank and reveals you're actually Fomori spearheading the Wyrm's assault into God-Machine territory. 'Cause this is kind of what it is starting to feel like. Except there is no catharsis of garou packs descending like the wrath of god on Beasts to rip them limb from limb.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
Y'know, the whole slice-of-life-but-secretly-monster idea is something I kicked around in my head. But the better conflict in my eyes for that situation is having the monsters just be really bad at being human because they just don't instinctively get how to be human. You can still have situations in that scenario where you hurt people, inflict property damage or are a huge poo poo with the underlying drive being it was the quickest, most direct solution but failed to account for how other people would feel about it. Not, you know, because you're a monstrous abuser who exalts in making others suffer just because.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011

Nessus posted:

Doing a Beast game for a few sessions that transitioned into revealing that you were actually Fomori and the Garou are on yo rear end sounds like some high concept art.

I mean hell, why would they tell fomori exactly what happened to them?

If we're talking oWoD here, the fomori would be informed of their state because some aspect of the Wyrm get off on creating anguish and torment. And being told straight up you're literally a monster, all we did was plant a seed and all this evil is because of you would probably lead to some solid anguish for most people.

But that'd be a different game and probably clash with what Beast is actually espousing.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
So this is my first contact with Werewolf: The Forsaken and I want to work out some logic about it and beast.

Slashers and murders are bad news for an area because they taint the spiritual nature of the place.
Once tainted, really bad spirits move in and start to have a bad effect on the physical world.
Werewolves walk the line and make sure humans don't draw in the bad spirits and bad spirits don't make the physical world terrible.
Beast, by their very nature, would heavily taint the spiritual essence of an area by abusing, torturing and generally hurting people.
Iron Masters specifically choose to hunt supernatural enemies.
Werewolves also like prey that put up a good fight.

So how are werewolves and Beasts supposed to be buds again? I would think they'd draw hunting packs like rotten fruit does flies.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
I don't mind the long review, I'm just unsure of how much detail to go into the mechanics. I need to get back to my Armageddon review and that's a good example. The mechanics I have covered are also available for free in the Witchcraft PDF. But if there isn't some free document with the mechanics, I feel kind of guilty if I go into depth since a clever person doesn't have to buy the book to play the game.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
I was hoping Whispering Vault would be, well, better. I mean it has neat ideas, but it feels like it's incomplete. Did the authors get rushed on it or did they just not put just enough polish on it to fill it out? Bastilles & Barker has some untapped potential.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
Warbirds was reviewed in this very thread. Several supplements have been released dealing with using the rules for different eras of real world air combat to mad sciencery. But today I’m going to point out that there was recently released in a Bundle of Holding bundle a first-time anywhere supplement.

What is that supplement? Climb into your space suits, grab your asses firmly with both hands and prepare for lift of because….

Warbirds: Space Age is blasting off.

It’s short, 31 pages, so this won’t be long or crazy in-depth. It picks up from the original setting. The Guild is supreme, they fly around in their tricked out prop planes and dominate against lesser aircraft. That is until a new island shows up, huge and unclaimed, that kicks off the biggest war Azure has ever seen. Big wars mean scores of combatants and The Guild starts getting its poo poo kicked. Hard.

Losing pilots left, right and center, the squadron commanders shout a collective ‘gently caress THIS poo poo’ and raid The Guild equipment vaults. Pilots start launching in jet fighters toting gatling style cannons and self-guiding missiles against prop planes. But that doesn’t end the war. No way.

Nuclear fusion rockets do. Rapidly the Guild takes the lead in space exploration by funding the Azure Space Agency. Missions go to the moon and moonlets surrounding the, recently revealed, gas giant that is Azure. Satellites are launched, planets are explored and Azure seems to be the only place capable of supporting life in system. Space is mostly written off until someone takes a closer look at the LaGrange points. It’s there The Guild and ASA find the next great discovery.

Mother fuckin’ Mass Relays.

Okay, not really Mass Relays, but jump gates. One leads to the Galactic Neighborhood, where mankind comes charging and, more or less, assumes the role of the Orks in their primitive but highly effective fighters; the other leads to a red dwarf surrounded by an asteroid field. And that asteroid field is rife with floatstone.

And that Ork comment is no joke. Humans are the only ones with the resource base to expend floatstone in their nuclear rockets. And Azure has a higher gravity than most worlds, so humans are stronger, faster and capable of withstanding higher acceleration than the other species in space. Mankind even built lasers and plasma weapons over transistors, so most human technologies outside of ‘Go fast’ and ‘blow poo poo up’ are woefully underdeveloped.

There’s a bunch of different alien races from low-grav world scholars, reptilian soldiers that seem to act with one mind to, the funniest, a race of cyborgs whose technology and implants completely fizzle out in the presence of humanity’s nuclear rockets. They even have simple rules to make your own alien races.

Actual rules haven’t changed. You need the core book to play. But the rockets humans use knock out most electronic systems and force alien craft to engage the human fighters in dogfights, which most alien craft are not built for. Downside, the rockets give away human positions and are easy for heat seeking missiles to track. Most of the vehicle stats aren’t different and there are some sample space craft of all sizes in the back of the book. Of note is that human capships are worse than their alien counterparts in all areas but speed, and they can escape at a moment’s notice because of their engines. Most combat won’t be happening in deep space, but around planetary bodies, gates or artificial constructs.

And that’s really it. 31 pages to take your Warbirding from the skies to the cosmos.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
Idigam feel like a great way to link the God Machine and the Dark Mother into a Forsaken game. Huge, unfathomable entities that seemingly popped up from nowhere but powerful enough that they could fabricate their existence prior return from the moon. Or even being one of the Earth-bound idigam. I take it they're mostly hunted because they just warp reality by being, not because they're actually out to breakdown reality?

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
Given the Uratha's focus on territory and being murder machines, I feel like they missed a huge chance to have the Tokyo/Japanese politics reflect the Sengoku period because the Uratha are following a similar mindset to the warlords at the time. Split all the territory up into hierarchies where some brutal packs run the show and shakes up frequent when packs challenge those above or the spirits manage to pit one pack against another.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
I really like the Wolf-Blooded and feel like a game where everyone was playing one could rock. I could see it as a weird combination of Longmire and more grounded supernatural tales.

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Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011
I have to ask, since that Metroid map is based off of nWoD, who the gently caress is Carl and why does he have the gravity suit?

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