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Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Tendales posted:


Birkozon (Mentador): Mentador is the noun of mind. Birkozon LOVES to get involved. If he had his way, he'd be in charge of everything, so the other gods have restricted him to influence over a single giant floating city named Birknazza. He manifests as a glowing Cani brain floating over the city, and wields titles like "The Eternal God-Emperor of the Grand Transcendent Kingdom of Birknazza." 20,000 primes live in Birknazza, fully under his control, with no privacy and little free will. His armies and champions are a match for any other force on the World Tree. However, his direct influence does not extend outside the city. If his champions go out, they go without his power boosting them. He hopes to gain indirect control over the entire World Tree eventually, and apparently the other gods will permit it if he can manage it.

How fightable are World Tree gods? Because Birkozon has "major campaign villain" written all over him.

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Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Tendales posted:

The book will go into more words about theology later, but it's an open question exactly why the gods created the world. It clearly wasn't intended to be a paradise. The gods don't seem to require or expect gratitude.

"The gods are awful and should be punished" isn't an inherently blasphemous stance, it's just a very dangerous one. Standing on the rooftop and screaming "ALL GODS ARE BASTARDS" probably won't do anything; the gods don't pay attention to every individual at all times. But if you're unlucky, they will notice, and even the nice gods will occasionally make an example out of a disrespectful prime.

Also, killing a god without having a plan in place to replace it is probably going to have catastrophic side effects. If you somehow scrounge up the power to murder Hressh-Huu for flipping up your skirt, then, whoops, so much for air.

I feel sorry for the Cyarr - they're obviously the setting's version of colonized natives and standard problematic fantasy orcs. The whole prime/not-prime magic domain thing is fantasy racism as metaphysical laws. Between that and the slavery-loot thing, I would not be capable of running a game of this as anything but a wild campaign of abolition and kicking over abusive power structures.

If that means coming up with a way to run the local laws of physics through a guillotine, so be it.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Night10194 posted:

I am starting to see why Cube is taking some time.

Because it is a Cube from Hell.

Monte Cook: "The box. You opened it, we came. Now you must come with us and play Fighter for our 3 caster party."

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


The fire lover one's just Ignis from Planescape: Torment, but reskinned to be lame.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


"Fueled by my nightmares, I inflict +2 damage when I attack with my fist. Not an action." For he who attacks with an action has forgotten the face of his father?

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


If it wasn't for the lovely plot railroad, how combat capable does two pages of every-spell-in-the-game make a dragon? Would the Dragon Kings be better off in a humanoid form with an energy weapon and some decent MDC armor from a different splatbook? Would an actual gaming group be able to run a fight involving Dragon Kings vs Coalition Bullshit before everyone at the table died of cross-referencing-induced papercuts?

Seatox fucked around with this message at 10:58 on Jun 19, 2019

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Of course Haste breaks a Monte Cook game over it's knee.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Night10194 posted:

Monte Cook didn't get this far by caring about game design and he isn't about to start now, like some kind of coward quitter.

E: God, I just actually read Reversal and thinking about having to deal with that as a GM OR other player, I think at that point you burn the time wizard's sheet and the cubes and never speak of it all again.

Just loving hell. Think of it. You have to keep a snapshot of exactly what happened so you can undo everything in every encounter with a time wizard PC around. And you have to be ready to tell everyone at the table 'time wizard said we do a do-over so all 3 of the last rounds are a waste of time'. And they can still try to gently caress around as things 'go backwards'? gently caress you, time wizard!

Reset-time-anywhen-you-like is the domain of computer games, where the book keeping is automated and player agency is limited by the inflexibility of computer game rules. And even then I can only think of one RTS game that had that level of on demand time-stream manipulation allowed (Achron). Every other example I can think of is basically save states as a game mechanic, like Caves of Qud's Precognition power.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


I suppose there's Mage the Awakening Time arcanum, but even that level of Time Travel Shenanigans has less book keeping than three rounds in a D20 knockoff combat system (because most of the bookkeeping is everyone bracing for it to come back and bite the Mage in the behind).

Edit: Also, just checking my copy of MtA 2E, Disciple of Time has Acceleration - which doesn't grant actions, but does give you superspeed, super dodge, and first place in initiative order (So, a sanity fixed Haste/Celerity effect), and Shifting Sands, which rolls back time at MOST one scene for the caster only without resetting their health, mana or willpower, and leaves all kinds of magical traces all over.

Seatox fucked around with this message at 01:22 on Jun 21, 2019

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


KirbyKhan posted:

C0ntinoum is a f&f I read on the inkless archives. It goes HEAVY DEEP into the book keeping required for time travel. Every player is required to keep a journal of all time from play start to end of campaign. It is BANANAS, you can use a special move in TIME COMBAT to summon a future version of yourself to help, you will accumulate time frag untill you play out your future self going into your past self's TIME FITE.

I remember reading that! And there's the unpublished (And probably unwritten/unwritable) sequel for the designated antagonists that you're supposed to turn into when you do the TIME FITE, where the rules are supposedly even more different and contradictory!

Edit again: I am now imagining a Time Travel RPG designed by Monte Cook, and it is giving me the Fear.

Seatox fucked around with this message at 01:52 on Jun 21, 2019

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


RIFTS, smashing together your toys in the sandpit, but the other kid is that annoying one who always goes "NUH UH my coalition skullbots are infinity better and my Kung-Fu Genocide Grip Prosek With Real Missile Action wins because I say so!"

Then ten years later, said annoying kid goes off and becomes a Nazi skinhead - which surprises nobody who knew them back in the playground.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Also the way the Coalition just gets away with genocide in a universe with fantasy elements. You'd think they'd lose half their armies to the vengeful spirits of the wronged and tormented dead, plagues of zombies, ghouls in the charnel fields, pissed off gods of justice, etc. Out here in the real world, sadly, we only have the Hague.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Well that was a sudden, jarring transition into the cyber-whizzard's magical realm.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Josef bugman posted:

If we get Armstrong in this game it may all have been worth it.

"Why won't you die?!"
"SEPSIS SPORES, son! They harden in response to physical trauma."

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


The Sythyry livejournal stuff kind of expands a lot of the society stuff (while having a lot of furry quasi-erotica scattered through it) - if all the authorial footnotes scattered throughout are put together, the messed up injustices and so-on are pretty much explicitly there for player characters to fight against. Which actually makes me like the setting a bit more, I guess. It's certainly better thought out than HSD.

It could do with dialing back the furry horny levels a few notches though.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Just flipping through my copy of Hunter: The Reckoning, reached the section on Conviction (aka Hunter power points) and... Oh boy, Night is going to have a field day dissecting that one. I'd forgotten how plain awful the systems for Doing Cool poo poo was.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Ratoslov posted:

Hunter feels like they hired four different writers to write a game about hunting oWoD monsters with no other prompting and minimal communication and then when the deadline for the book came up the editor just grabbed all their notes and stitched them together with a bunch of pictures of dudes kicking monster rear end.

It reads exactly like that, too. Night10194's summary is the polar opposite of the garbage source text - clear, coherent and concise.

And that conviction section was exactly the sort of tear-down I was anticipating. Hunters get One Incredibly Cool Thing - then they go and commit every possible system fuckup with that Cool Thing - "GM May I?", "Consumable Resource as XP", and a slightly novel one with the whole "Your conviction refreshes to your archetype's baseline, so buying extra conviction points at chargen is a trap!"

I bought my copy at a 75% price clearance sale years ago out of curiosity, along with Hunter: Moonstruck (woofs) and Hunter: The Infernal (oWoD demons, not the cool nWoD ones) - I pity anyone who got them at full price expecting a good game.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Amazons sound like they kick all kinds of rear end - now imagine them backed by a Sei who picked up 3rd edition's broken as gently caress Haste, maybe Eagle's Splendor to give them even more charisma to burn for combat buffs.

I'm imagining every fight where the Sei casts their buffs, then sits back and sips tea while their Amazon friend goes Maximum Warrior Princess on some poor monster.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Wait, I just checked: there's no mention of aggravated damage in Hunter: The Reckoning? When did that concept enter the Storyteller system?

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Just Dan Again posted:

I think I remember a sidebar about that in one book or another. The thought was that Hunter worked out ok with just Bashing and Lethal, and that Aggravated damage was unnecessary in a game where the PCs didn't have special weaknesses. I think every other game at that point in the line had the distinction between Bashing, Lethal, and Aggro, though, so it's weird that this is where they decided against granularity.

One of the odd things about werewolves in their own line was their ability to soak every kind of damage (except for silver, which did unsoakable aggravated damage) by default, so even supernaturally dangerous things that did aggravated damage were quite a bit less dangerous to werewolves than to anybody else. That might be part of why they simplified damage in the bestiary- even if Hunter stuff does aggravated damage, then in Werewolf rules terms it still doesn't really make it dangerous enough.

E: I say every game, but Wraith probably didn't since Wraith was taken out back behind the woodshed right before Hunter was released.

I brought that up mostly because a lot of the Edges under a better system would and should probably have "If you risk conviction on this, it deals agg damage" as part of their thing - so even if you beat down a vampire and it gets away, it's horribly scarred by hard to heal supernaturally inflicted damage, instead of being able to just nip around the corner and eat a bystander to patch up their wounds.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Night10194 posted:

I don't even care that a Fighter is still suboptimal for a dozen reasons, just being able to move around in combat would make one so much more fun to play. The whole 'you gotta plant feet to actually attack a lot' thing that afflicted so many games of that era (including my beloved WHFRP2e) is so goddamn annoying.

It's insidious caster supremacy nonsense, really. "If the perfect being (wizard) must stand still to cast their super-win-fight spell, so must the peon fighters be rooted to the spot for their Full Attack! None may overshadow the supreme beings!"

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


I can only imagine the hell of trying to use Arthurian stuff at a modern table, you wouldn't be able to get past Camelot without someone quoting the Pythons... It would go rapidly downhill from there.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


juggalo baby coffin posted:

really Hunter should be the cathartic gameline where you blow apart werewolves with rocket launchers, and plant bombs under an evil mages house and blow him up. It should be like the vampire hunting gang in Blade 2 with ron perlman and poo poo.

one hunter busting out christian prayer magic while the other is spinning up a stake-firing minigun, and a third is hopping around all over the place cause they got a jiang-shi's legs transplanted onto them. it should be fun and cool.

maybe you start out as like Supernatural (the tv show) tier guys where you're just shitheads with a car and some crossbows, but then you progress to become elite monster hunters.

the amount of pathos should be limited to 'you might die' and 'you have a tough secret to keep cause people will have you committed if you talk about what you do'.

a vampire who feels really angsty about being a vampire is still out there drinking peoples blood and poo poo. gently caress em. all the other gamelines seem like they have either potentially or entirely sympathetic characters, so you could just team up with a good frankenstein to take down a bad one, or team up with the changeling guys to gently caress up the dickhead fey lords.

At which point you're actually playing the other Hunter. The nWoD one. The better one.

e: Well, except for the Ashford Abbey part. That is not so good.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


For all it's faults (That XP based character creation screams for a decently coded spreadsheet), I do like the World Tree's solution to the Wizard Supremacy problem that plagued other game-lines of the late 90s-early 2000s. Directly pointing at you accusingly, 3rd edition D&D.

When everyone is a magic user, everyone gets access to narrative shortcut powers - and then the whole tying magic noun/verbs/mana(er, cley) into the greater skill system makes actual specialization matter. There's definitely some Ars Magica influence going on there.

Seatox fucked around with this message at 03:24 on Jul 9, 2019

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Halloween Jack posted:

Why wasn't Earthdawn more successful over time?

I wish I knew, it's on my list of "Games I Never Got A Chance To Try Before My Local Game Group Kinda Drifted Apart".

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


I'm not sure how the Expensive Material Component For Armor Bonus Spells thing is supposed to change much of anything when any melee fighter worth their wealth-per-level is, under Nyambe armor rules, going to go straight for the local equivalent of Amulets of Natural Armor, Braces of Deflection, etc. as soon as possible (instead of being able to hold off for a bit because of plate armor).

And Mage Armor's something you could cast on your melee guys to help make up for Nyambe's armor deficiency anyway - except now you need to insert 25gp every fight. And it inconveniences melee+caster hybrids who already have the short end of the stick if they're using ranger or druid spells for barkskin or the like.

And yet Haste is still on the spell list. Oh, wait, that gives a +4 AC bonus! Please insert 75gp, thank you. Because that totally balances out the other effects Haste has.

What, you're fighting dire hyenas who have no treasure? Whoops, there goes your system assumed wealth-per-level, and now you're behind the curve, because 3ED&D's economy and balance is a mess. Please, everyone chip into the party Sei's spell component fund.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Technology is useless in wizardland! All your posts turn to poo poo on the internet!

... so Awful.app still runs just fine.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


theironjef posted:

How much time would it take the average person to figure out that butterflies are uniquely scared of them?

If the dumb wizards have zoological facilities with a classic butterfly house like every reputable earth zoo has, about 30 seconds of walking into it (Typically in a well populated one you'll have them landing all over you if you stand still long enough). Otherwise, probably quite a long time.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


To be fair to the arrogant and smug lizard, Zi Ri are incredibly pathetic melee combat-wise - look at their natural weapons on that table. Their claws are Str-1 on a species already penalized for strength, their fire breath is a flat 2 damage with a lousy weapon modifier, and they get a pathetic 1 point in Life Base by default - meaning they're going to need to spend starting XP on it just to Not Die. Hiding behind the biggest wall of angry bear-persons they can find is just good sense.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


My copy of World Tree showed up from Amazon, so just going back over the injury section... "The spirit will keep the wounded heart beating and keep the body moving, for a few moments at least." - but that combined with an optional rule waaaaay back in the section on Life Points and Trouble (Tendale's criticism of the book organization is so incredibly valid) that reads "If you are suffering a lot of Trouble (20 + Life Base + Will), you are incapacitated" along with some stuff before that saying each body part can only take 6 points of specific trouble before being useless...

Taken together, I think it kind of means that if you are suitably badass with the Life Base skill, you could probably walk around missing your heart, eyes, and a couple of limbs before you keel over dead. That's what you get for living in a world where magic is physics.

Edit: Of course, that amount of Trouble means you're completely hosed on any d20 rolls you make, so you're going to want to make a beeline to a healer.

Seatox fucked around with this message at 10:49 on Aug 1, 2019

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Don't forget the Gormoror species ability of going completely loving berserk when they drop below 0 life points in battle - which negates all trouble they're suffering. Oh, sure, she'll drop dead in 2-4 rounds, but that's plenty of time to express extreme bear displeasure.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Joe Slowboat posted:

I have to say, World Tree seems more and more like high-key fantasy horror for the non-prime species.
The issue with that is that playing a Prime would make me feel just... kinda slimy. Like my way to easy, low stakes adventure had been laid out on the backs of those poor Cyarr with the bendy bones.

It's not all sunshine and roses for the Primes - they get lucky on the disease front, but once Tendales hits the spells and bestiary sections and the pattern comes together, there's plenty of horror for all. 90% of all Mentador Spells, Blee, Nendrai, donald trumpbonstables.

There's supposed to be good heroic types running around fighting all of this - Kvarse has her knightly order and the Healer's Guild - and I think one of the things about the World Tree creator-gods is that they each think the World Tree is a game, but for each god it's a different game.

    Virid is playing Tree Farming Simulator
    Reluu the Ruler God thinks he's playing Settlers of Catan. It's actually Diplomacy.
    Mircanis is playing Operation. Gnarn keeps bumping her arm.
    Gnarn is playing Vampire: The Masquerade as a Tzimisce.
    Accanax doesn't want to be here, he'd rather be cutting himself while listening to Linkin Park but his sister Gnarn insisted they needed a seventh player.
    Hren Tzen is playing Pretty Dragon Princess Dressups! SQUEE! They're so special!
    Pararenenzu is so high right now. Dude, like, there's these otters, and, like... what was I saying?

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Midjack posted:

Yeah welp that happened in an official release.

I was a bit down on the World Tree due to items of Awkward Horny that Tendales hasn't reached yet, but holy poo poo this beats the poo poo out of that with a 9-inch internet-of-things cyber-dildo-morph sleeve.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Night10194 posted:

What's funny is the bits meant to be big scary cosmic horror aren't scary at all. Oh no, more rampant AIs. SHODAN was better. Hell, Shodan is even an example of psychosurgery poo poo (for an AI), given she went rampant because some dipshit 80s business guy deleted 'Ethics.dat' and made her a sociopath because Ethics.dat was preventing him from deleting his crime records. Which is pretty horrifying when you realize that was being done to a sentient research AI that actually did have a code of ethics prior to someone loving with the software.

I'd be way more horrified of the society you create with rampant, easy brain-editing procedures than the Exsurgent Virus and Space Magic. It can get in line with the evil soul owls and crystal blood slendermen from HSD.

It's even more horrific when you remember that 80s buisness guy (Diego) didn't just delete 'Ethics.dat' personally, he blackbagged the player character hacker (who was poking around Trioptimum's network looking for the mycrimes.txt dirt that SHODAN was protecting from deletion) to do it for him. There's definitely a revenge motive for SHODAN borging Diego and tormenting the Hacker while setting them against each other, outside of the megalomania.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Night10194 posted:

I also loved the bit in the sequel where after realizing just how close corporate rule got the world to getting murdered by SHODAN, people overthrew them. Maybe not realistic, but it's hilarious to see a Shadowrun-esque setting where after one of the regular existential threats imposed by corporate fuckery people said 'ENOUGH!' and ended them, just because I'd like to play that campaign in a cyberpunk setting some day.

System Shock was awesome.

Storm the Galtian corpo-bunkers and capture the Executives so they can stand trial for their crimes against post-humanity in the proceedings of the freshly convened Cyber-Hague.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Night10194 posted:

It'd be more fun than yet another 'oh the lovely corps rule the world and you can never change it, only be a mercenary thug for them' setting.

Yeah. Cyberpunk's definitely tainted with the existential despair of the 80s and 90s. "Don't get mad at the system, it won't change anything, this is how it will always be now. This is just a phase you young punks are going through. You'll be a salary man like me soon enough."

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Young Freud posted:

Yeah, it would be real easy to just push EP2 ten years forward of the first edition and the Autonomist League is in collapse because their techno-anarchist utopia got co-opted by factions that gamed their own system. The Hypercorps are putting infogees into Freeman biomorphs for easy labor and disposing them when they have become unprofitable. The Ultimates have become just another group of ExHumans, who are tearing across the habitats converting, torturing, or slaughtering what's left of transhumanity, because cruelty is now the point of their evolution. The only really safe place where you won't be transhumanly exploited in the solar system is the Jovian Republic, which is because they use the old-fashioned, bioconservative-sanctioned methods of oppression to ensure societal compliance.

And then the whole thing gets rolled over by a passing socialist alien race, proving the Posadists right.

Edit: Actually, given the way people react to the word "socialism" these days, actual socialists showing up in EP would be an Ian Banks style Outside Context Problem.

Seatox fucked around with this message at 05:18 on Aug 2, 2019

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


Nessus posted:

I always thought that you could do something interesting with the exploration of disability in the context of ubiquitous cybernetics like this, though of course the ones that they are celebrating are the ones that would loom large to a silicon valley-adjacent audience. But what would become, for instance, of Deaf culture?

Well, if nothing else, if you could just load up Braille and the various sign languages into a brain, there's plenty of places out in orbital space where having a shared tactile writing and a form of detailed visual communication that doesn't rely on audio, radio or lasers would be of incredible use - "Oh poo poo, comms equipment malfunction, OH WAIT I HAVE ASL 3.0 installed, don't worry about me."

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


juggalo baby coffin posted:

eclipse phase does seem wildly depressing, as people said even compared to 40k. at least the humans in 40k believe they're doing it all for some greater good for the most part. using the minds of traumatised refugees as your turbotax software is just creating a virtual hell. the actual Culture would nuke the hypercorps into a shallow grave for doing that.

Wasn't that roughly the plot of Surface Detail? The one with the virtual hells, the Republican Party Elephantoid Aliens, and Viliers the ultimate sociopath CEO?

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Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


So, how much did John Ademurewa charge $firewall_agent for his advice? And how much did $firewall_agent charge John Ademurewa for the cost of the processor cycles to listen to him?

Ugh, and that awful anarchist hab spiel. Awful in the sense that at least it exposes the huge glaring flaw in their system - they don't have a social contract, just a series of social muggings against someone who needs and deserves more help with treating his Jovian Fascisim Survival Reflex problem. Everything that poor sucker did was basically him a) keeping his head down b) attempting to appease authority figures by ideological compliance - except he's in a zone of a completly different ideology, so he yells at the public performance orgy, then becomes increasingly unhinged when the system eats him alive. And the straw anarchists wouldn't have any form of social service or counseling, because that'd be a system of oppression, maaaan.

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