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Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Honestly I'm not sure it adds much to a game to worry about being accurate to mental illness unless it's a focus. People who know enough and want to play with a mental illness can, but unless you're aiming to make it a central point of the game, that A) you're not likely to do it justice, and B) getting into the nitty gritty of it probably isn't any more productive than, say, tracking individual bone fractures. That's not to excuse insensitivity or sloppy mechanics, both of which exist in spades, but I don't think it's a subject worth focusing on unless you know you can do it right and it really matters to your game, and that's a slender intersection of game design.

Of course, AFAIK Awakened just dodges this whole question for the most part by excising the Marauders entirely, which is probably the most elegant solution.

Not quite - there's the Mad, although they only really got detailed in The Left Hand Path, the last book released. Essentially they're mages whose soul has fragmented, and now the individual parts roam abroad of the Mage working magic to alter people and places to the mage's vice and virtue.

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Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Count Chocula posted:


Is there an illustration of 'the Great Barrier Reef is filled with dead fish and cancerous coral'? It might make a good political cartoon, since the government just approved dredging and dumping sludge there.

Wtf, really? I know Australia's government can verge on cartoon villainy but that seems bad even for them.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

I think you could make the argument GSS is, if not outright feminist, joyously feminine. It promotes reconciliation over violence, emotional honesty over repression, and community and empathy over rugged individualism.

As far as overtly feminist games go, the big one to my mind is Night Witches - focusing on a historical struggle of a particular group of women, and using that to not only engage with the oppression of the time but also show that women are badass and awesome no matter what society thinks of them.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Bedlamdan posted:

That's where I'm gonna put the slums in my game.

It's a good place for them! In my current game the slums proper are in a network of lashed-together ships around the feet of the statues - Butt Town is instead the city's den of vice, demonology and revolutionaries.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Cythereal posted:

I dunno, I suppose I just have a hard time getting into that mentality without a certain knowing wink and smile that it's satire or actively acknowledging that you're playing the bad guy (see Warhammer).

Maybe it's that this stuff strikes closer to home.

I feel like the text gets across the wink and smile a bit better - as I understand it the whole point of the game is for your Dogs to run up against the limitations and injustices of the faith of the King of Life (and thus Mormonism). Maybe that comes from looking at it charitably, though?

Mover posted:

In Dogs, are the "demons" expressly a real supernatural force or is it left ambiguous/real world religion-y?

Or even, is the default assumption that you are always and obviously dealing with purely human struggles that people try to justify theologically, with that feeding into the conflict?

Up to the GM, but the book discusses both alternatives and I think pushes the ambiguous interpretation.

Flavivirus fucked around with this message at 18:15 on May 13, 2016

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

:eyepop: man they beefed up Spirit this edition. Definitely in favour of that - always thought it took far too long to you to be able to cause effects in the physical world with it.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Man, I really thought it was a lot more ambiguous than that. My apologies for arguing about that earlier - I guess my brain must have edited the memories of the game into something a lot more palatable.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Halloween Jack posted:

I once tried to read DRYH, and didn't get any farther than the part where it tells you that you need black dice, white dice, red dice, pocket change, and two bowls. I probably wouldn't use the Kult system as written but I'd probably also just use some basic functional system instead.

I reviewed it way back when: http://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/flavivirus/dont-rest-your-head/.

Any sort of tokens will sub in for the coins, and so long as you keep pools seperate you don't need 3 different dice colours, though I think it'd be a little lacking.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Count Chocula posted:

The art in Demon keeps getting worse. And the whole 'what we think about other splats' thing will never stop being dumb.


This sounds like a horrific fate.

Huh, we must have different sensibilities - I thought the crossing guard/Guardian was one of the best character type pictures.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Given that if you're buying a book about demon kids you at least have a passing interest in having pregnancy plotlines in your game, I'd much rather they set out all the different ways it could be handled and give the affected player a choice than handwave it. Particularly in such a sensitive topic, it's very easy for GMs (and other players) to slip up, introduce something they thought would be a cool plotline and cause a great deal of upset instead.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Selachian posted:

Which just goes to prove: a penis shaved is a penis urned.

:master:

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Count Chocula posted:

Robin Laws just posted this - https://www.academia.edu/27610983/What_Does_it_Mean_to_be_Orlanthi_Hermeneutic_Challenge_in_King_of_Dragon_Pass

What Does it Mean to be Orlanthi? Hermeneutic Challenge in King of Dragon Pass

I look forward to reading it.

It's interesting but somewhat straightforward - essentially the article's thesis is that while other games require you to learn physical skills or strategy to master them, KoDP requires you to understand what it means to be Orlanthi and act within their cultural mores. I'd have appreciated a bit more discussion on how it teaches you Gloranthan Magic and hero quests as well as Orlanthi customs and social mores, but I thought it was a pretty great read.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

I quite liked how Burning Wheel did it, where dice only exploded if you were using a supernatural ability - sorcery, faith, orcish rage etc. It gave this feeling that when you're using that skill you can go far beyond what's humanly possible, even if it wasn't very likely. Other than that I prefer a consistent curve to dice results in games.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Arivia posted:

No, they're the Tea Party.

I'd agree - especially the elderly, moneyed backers of such. They're largely people who do not see anything of worth in modern society except that which calls back to the world of their youth and even then they see it as a pale reflection. They only interact with the world through hammer-blows of overwhelming power (wealth) or filtered through many layers of subordinates. And their best outcome is to realise that the culture of their youth had a lot of messed up poo poo going on and reject the moral framework it handed them.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Night10194 posted:

I hate to add to Beast Chat but the Mob Song also makes me think it would've been way better off if the HEROES were the ones everyone loved inexplicably. Like, that guy is the rear end in a top hat that can whip up a lynch-mob immediately and come after you. The HERO being the one who warps other peoples dreams and infects them with their obsession and can even turn other supernaturals on you would actually make them scary as gently caress.

I always figured it'd make the metaphor/framing work a lot better if it went:

1) Hero begins obsessing over someone.
2) Hero decides that person is secretly a terrible monster.
3) Hero makes that person a terrible monster in a way similar to Anathema.
4) That victim must then learn how to deal with their terrible life as a beast and work out if they want to embrace it or reject it.

That way you're actually a victim instead of pretending to be one, and the hero conflict actually has some teeth.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

I'm reasonably certain Blood and Smoke has all the rules you need to play in and of itself - same is true of the VtR 2e book as they are indeed the same book with a different cover. You have pretty much all of the Chronicles of Darkness rules there, you're just missing out the investigation system and the antagonist-statting rules blocks.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

hyphz posted:

Edit: Holy poo poo the author is actually publishing an RPG supplement called Vaginas are Magic

Pretty sure that's LotFP's free RPG day offering this year, because of course James Raggi's latest effluence is the *perfect* thing to get people into RPGs and promote your game store...

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Night10194 posted:

It feels like rather than balancing out the fact that cybernetics give meaningful gameplay advantages a game would be better off assuming the protagonists have a baseline of powerful cybernetics or fully prosthetic bodies, balancing the various specialties they could have with their hardware against one another, and then leaving the explorations of the deep disconnect between sense of self and artificial body, the commodification of an agent's actual physical form, and other cyberpunk themes to the plot rather than directly enforcing them with soul-loss.

The game I'm currently working on is heading in this direction - you start out digital, a disembodied brain scan whose original is dead or otherwise out of the picture. Your choice of drone body is a big part of character creation, and its loadout is a question of power, space and cost. The game's more set up for Expanse-style space drama, but there's definitely room for cyberpunk raging against the corporate machine.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Barudak posted:

Oh and their current media output is basically legally mandated to be absolute trash so their isnt much interest in their home made media as of yet.

In fact the process seems to be happening in reverse, with a lot of Hollywood blockbusters adding extensive China-set sections to be more appealing to the Chinese market.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Simian_Prime posted:

That's kinda what I'm afraid of. I'm in this weird place where I actually enjoy the book for its imagination and presentation values, but I don't want to seem like I'm endorsing his despicable behavior.

From what I remember of his 'Endorsements from my haters' post you've already said enough here to be used as a book quote. Personally, I'd say there are more than enough obscure or old RPGs that you don't need to give a serial harasser and arsehole's games publicity, but that's a choice only you can make for yourself!

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

If I did a Favored Enemy mechanic I'd have a mechanic where the Ranger could throw down the narrative resource du jour to say "this adventure / location / dungeon will have an otyugh in it", so they can use their Otyugh Murdering Mastery. There'd obviously be some refinement, but that'd be the notion.

Which is why you have abilities like Come and Get It that influence the narrative, because they're necessary if you really want those situational core abilities to really matter.

Maybe the particular fighting style you've adapted to kill aboleths has things that come in useful fighting just about anything? The Belmonts having favoured enemy: Draculas doesn't stop their whips and magic powers working on ghosts and werewolves. Essentially you could fluff every ranger fighting style as designed to kill a particular favoured enemy.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Mr.Misfit posted:

What the? When did they start copying images from Bellum Maga?

Looks like some of the worst art from Exalted 3e, which worryingly implies they hired that artist for *multiple* books.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Not sure why you're highlighting 'defence' - doesn't it make sense they'd use British English, being French?

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Halloween Jack posted:

I don't get mecha. I mean, I like mecha okay, and I'll play a mecha game. But "X but with Mecha!" is not enough for me.

So, Dream Pod 9 was riding high for awhile, and I remember them having a very enthusiastic fanbase 10-15 years ago. They made a very interesting job of riding the fence between roleplaying and wargaming at a time when, outside the D20 bubble, it was trendy for games to have a very rich setting with metaplot and so on. And they made their wargamer customers happy, as far as I can tell, and wargaming is rules-intensive.

But Silhouette never struck me as a "tried and true" well-playtested system. It strikes me as a unique, pool-based system with a 1-6 scale for traits, made in an era when it was trendy for companies to have an in-house system with these qualities. Perhaps it worked well enough in play--I never played with it, I just read it at a time when I still believed it was possible to find a perfect system for all your gaming needs.

I remember one thing in particular--SilCore contains the suggestion that for Jovian Chronicles, where genetic superiority is a theme, you "flip" the way attributes and skills work so that you roll your attribute as a dice pool and add your skill as a flat bonus. However, this has the opposite of the intended effect. In Silhouette Core, it's easy to game the system. Using their resolution method, the difference between 3d6-keep-highest and 4d6-keep-highest is less than 1. So you're better off buying all the skills you want at 2d, and then buying up your attribute modifiers.

Don't be afraid to use your really long nails, boys!

I played in a long campaign of Tribe8 (which would be well worth an F&F if I had the books) and yeah, silhouette really doesn't work that well. For one thing, as your damage is a flat value multiplied by your roll's margin of success, it was far better to be an agility monkey hitting people with a huge MoS using your dagger than a big dude using a great sword to slightly graze your enemies on a hit.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Yeah, this isn't even a 1.5 - this is a glorified reprint with a setting book attached. Even Call of Cthulhu editions changed more.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Kavak posted:

I blame the Shriners too. This scenario could work for a Turkish player group or someone else in the fez-wearing regions of the world, but in the west it's hopeless.

As far as I'm aware we don't have shriners in the UK, but Tommy Cooper - and thus vintage comedy acts - are even worse for removing dread from a fez.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

They recently experimented with better FTL, which ended up tearing a hole in reality and disappearing the fleet of ships that were about to fly out. Fast forward a few centuries and contact is reestablished with the remnants, half a galaxy away, and now linked to the empire via a mysterious new wormhole. The survivors aren't saying what happened, all their auxiliaries are gone and they're worryingly enthusiastic about genociding aliens. It's heavily implied that though Tau don't get possessed, the same isn't true for their allies, and having to survive the kroot, vespid, nicassars etc get demon-possessed gave the survivors of the forth sphere expansion a bit of the old Imperial xenophobia.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Ghost Leviathan posted:

It's mentioned that while the Tau have a psychic presence, it's incredibly small and barely noticeable from a Warp perspective. Too much work for next to no reward from a daemon perspective.

The human psyker issue hasn't come up much, though likely, it isn't necessarily anywhere near as often a problem as the Imperium acts like it is. Probably on a case by case basis. Might be interesting to have something like an Inquisitor stuck on a defected world trying to make the most of it and convince the Tau of the dangers of ignoring psykers.

I know there's a defected inquisitor now in a command role in the Farsight Enclave, though I've never seen much fiction giving her perspective on the empire.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Yeah, as far as I can tell they're just waiting to finish kickstarter fulfillment and then you'll be able to buy their book online, from http://rowanrookanddecard.com/ if nowhere else.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Yeah, Trump is 100% a Demagogue, complete with the taboo of ever admitting he was wrong.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Night10194 posted:

I'm curious. Has anyone here actually played UA3e? It feels like another major theme is that all these people don't actually change anything because by the time you're powerful enough to try you're just a whigged out avatar of another lovely cultural phenomena and dragged along by your taboos to the point that you no longer possess independent individual agency.

How do you deal with an actual group of people who do this, potentially, in play?

I have! Just coming to the end of running a ~year long campaign and it's been a blast. Generally the key with Avatars is that they are only one route to power - when your party also has one or two adepts, and a few more normals, it's not nearly so overwhelming. Also, it's important to note that a lot of the taboos aren't at all crippling. When I played a Demagogue it was perfectly easy to never admit that I was wrong, and it can still lead to some really fun gameplay watching it distort your character's lives.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

marshmallow creep posted:

If conditions don't stack except with the themselves, what happens when you are Ablaze 1 and get Blinded 1? Does that put out the fire?

The penalties from conditions don't stack. As Ablaze and Blinded do different things, you suffer both. If you were Blinded 1 (-10% to all tests involving sight) and Fatigued 1 (-10% to all tests), the rule just means that you're at -10% to see something, not -20%. If you had Blinded 2 Fatigued 1, you'd be at -20% to sight-involving tests and -10% to everything else.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Most SovCit stuff seems like prototype rituals - it's a good job none of them have found the charging ritual that'd give them the mojo to make them actually work.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Freaking Crumbum posted:

i was raised in a turbo-conservative christian household in the 80s and 90s and i can promise you there's really not anything in this entire preamble that required the author to put "actual thought" into the work. like, with the exception of coming up with fictitious names for the relevant characters, 100% of the disasters listed could have been pulled straight from a Billy Graham or Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell sermon. his "modern spin" wouldn't have been out-of-place in any kind of evangelical church service conducted in the same decade (and likely still wouldn't be). Ex: his concept of the SUCC being the mark of the beast is the same thing as your Social Security Number being the mark, or barcodes being the mark, or the magnetic strip on a charge card being the mark, or RFID chips being the mark or etc.

i dunno, maybe because i grew up neck-deep in the crazy pool none of this stuff seems particularly original or fresh. poo poo, he could have probably sold this directly inside Christian book stores and doubled his potential purchase audience.

Yeah, so far the glaring lack of telecommunication fetishism is all that stops this from reading like someone's Left Behind heartbreaker.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Halloween Jack posted:

I do think there should be flexibility in the schools if it's necessary for a cool character concept, but I don't think it would be possible to include a good build-your-own-school rubric in the rules. That's got to be worked out with the GM.

Actually the Adept chapter in UA3 starts with a section on building your own adept school! It's pretty loose and interpretation heavy, but it works by balancing the impact being an adept has on your life in terms of charging and tabooing with the cost and power of your formulas. It looks pretty useful, though I haven't had cause to use it yet.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

JcDent posted:

Myriad song seems to have a hardon on "births large clutches, many of them die"

I mean, that's pretty common among animals? The two main reproduction strategies are 'make a bunch of kids and hope some survive' and 'make a single kid and pour all your resources into making sure it survives'.

You could say that smarter species tend to focus on the second, but then the species in this game have been explicitly uplifted by space gods so...

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

JcDent posted:

Animals.

But these are all sapient, tech-using species. It's interesting and well-grounded with the in-egg cannibal birds, bit with the others it's just "well, we found a non-human birth circumstance and we're sticking with it."

The angry velociraptors were doing something interesting too IMO, with the cultural divide between 'just stick your eggs in some moss like grandma and grandma's grandma did' and 'maybe we should use modern medicine to make this easier for everyone'.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

PurpleXVI posted:

It's all from human templates, which makes the whole "relapse into being animal-shaped" even weirder because the template is always a human fetus, which I really don't know why they went with, rather than "animal uplifts," since that would have made a whole lot more stuff make sense. For instance, when they were designing the reptile people, they apparently had a hell of a time making the reproductive systems able to handle a live birth... but wait, why? Under the scales, it's just humans. It's already able to handle a live birth!

As for fixing it, oh, they absolutely could. They could have scrapped the ~300 flawed births during the fetal stage and made a new set without the flaw. But it would have been too great a "loss of life," as the author put it, as well as the fact that Vector public opinion was already in full "THESE ARE OUR BROTHERS AND THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL EVEN IF THEY'RE CRIPPLED"-mode refusing to accept the idea of not introducing this misery into the gene pool.

You also misunderstand, they make the bearers of an anti-gene for not having arms, and they are presumably extra sexy because of little raccoon hands. They aren't made to be so, it's just like... assumed that a raccoon will be more sexy to a snake. For ?????? reasons.


I'm perfectly aware that these people actually exist, I'm also perfectly aware that they're literally evil idiots that should be sentenced to unimaginable suffering if they intentionally cripple their children.

Gotta say, dude, with your casual use of the r-word in this very review and dismissal of ethical concerns around eugenics you’re not exactly presenting yourself as a friend to disabled people everywhere.

Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Jesus, I was a big fan of EP 1e but that section on trans issues is loving yikes. Even just the assertion that the non-trans population is totally a-ok with different gendered bodies is completely tone deaf. Not to mention the old faithful of immediately conflating trans issues and drag :doh:

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Flavivirus
Dec 13, 2011

The next stage of evolution.

Nessus posted:

I am at best an informed amateur on the matter, but they seem to be saying that (in essence) everyone is pan-gender except for actually trans people, who do have a fixed gender.

You could probably do something with these SF ideas of body swapping about the deconstruction or reconstruction of gender, but I am pretty sure it would not look like that. It is also probably beyond the primary remit of an RPG.

I mean, basically they’ve redefined ‘trans’ as fixed-gender, and ‘non-trans’ as genderfluid, and then assumed that the majority of people are in the latter category. Which tells me that this was likely written by a cis person who has never really interrogated their attachment to their birth gender and assumes they’ll be fine with whatever.

Honestly my biggest problem with this is that it isn’t sci-fi! Almost everything in that update is something that modern people are doing, just exotified and with sci-fi jargon applied. It’s just straight people going on safari, not any meaningful speculative thought.

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