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Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Yeah sure, only then can you tell that the art might be wonky.

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Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Magnusth posted:

man, i wish there was a good tween witch girls go to tween witch school and have tween witch adventures. Not because of any particular desire to play a tween witch, but i'd muuuuch rather see more tween girls enter our hobby than well, the usual suspects. Tween girls grow up, after all.

I remember when WGA was first announced that people on RPGnet were super stoked to see someone making a new RPG you could sit down and play with your kids. Boy did that not work out!

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Night10194 posted:

I think the surest sign a game is going to be mechanically awful is usually if extra Agility (or any stat) gives you extra turns.

I committed this sin when I was younger. It is a terrible one.

Anything that gives you the equivalent of extra actions/turns in any game, in virtually any context, is something that needs to be extra thoroughly scrutinized with an eye towards how hard it can let you break the game, because it almost always allows you to do that.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

It's not just RPGs, it's practically any game...board games, video games, card games, find a thing that lets you break a normally restricted action economy and to everyone's great surprise things usually go south in a hurry. XCOM2 recently dropped and just before it went live Firaxis had to tweak something because a dude who does insane YouTube playthroughs of XCOM on a regular basis discovered a way to game the system to squeeze the equivalent of two full rounds of actions in before the aliens got a single one.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Robindaybird posted:

I'm trying to figure out how declaring something Steampunk makes it unusable to everyone else. Everything else had a weird logic, but that one.

If I had to guess I'd say it's supposed to be a take on the way various other RPGs handle gadgeteer-types by restricting their ability to simply hand out an endless supply of rayguns and jetpacks by having the gadgeteer's devices break down and/or cease functioning for anyone but him because only he understands all the quirks and weird science behind it.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

I've actually heard, weird though it is, that the Abney Park RPG called Airship Pirates is supposed to be a game that deals with the oppressive and unpleasant side of the whole steampunk thing, but as I've never actually encountered a copy for myself I'm only going on hearsay.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Count Chocula posted:

More RPG writers need to rip off China Mieville.

Gareth-Michael Skarka will get around to it just as soon as he's finished with Far West.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Adnachiel posted:

Of course Lucinda and Circe will play chess together despite hating each other's guts. Consistency in characterization is optional in the WGAverse.

From what I've heard, Abby Soto literally doesn't grasp the concept of consistency. Apparently she would do disruptive poo poo in her weird MUD/Mush/whatever games to other characters but then act completely baffled when they held a grudge about it afterwards, as though every scene was supposed to be a fresh start and nothing really counted. I mean, of all the bad poo poo to be found in WGA this is kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel, but there you go.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Count Chocula posted:

In a silly cartoon universe, you can have people changing forms constantly. Like in Looney Tunes or Plastic Man. And 'consistency' is only forced on us because we live in a physical world. If you're just making stuff up in a MUD or bullshitting in a game with friends, why wouldn't you change things around? Even in things like Mario or Batman characters can be enemies in one game and go-karting buddies in the next.
WGA has terrible art and writing, so I'm not defending it, but I'm kinda opposed to an obsession with 'consistency' and 'coherent plotting' and all that, especially when there's no reason to do it. But my desired end goal is to hang out in the Ethereal Marches/Marauder Ascension/weird magic moon from Nephilim.

And most RPG campaigns aren't run like a series of disconnected cartoon shorts. If that's the actual way WGA is supposed to be run there's literally nothing to support that assertion in the text, and it takes a willful dedication to obtuseness to conflate basic adherence to the idea that actions have consequences with some kind of weird obsession.

Put it another way, the next time you sit down to play an RPG with your friends, just start arbitrarily murdering their characters or stealing their stuff and see how many of them thank you for tearing the veil from their eyes as opposed to telling you to quit acting like an rear end in a top hat.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Count Chocula posted:

Sure, but they still exist in Ideaspace. 'Actions' only have 'consequences' because we're forced to obey the rules of a physical world. In the imaginative world we can ignore or suspend that rule. But so many RPGs seem to go in the opposite direction, adding MORE rules, until you get things like TORG turning what should be a post-modern play of genres into a mesh of interlocking systems, or that magical girl game turning stylistic choices from cartoons into rules.

WGA sucks, but it doesn't suck because it's too silly and playful. If the authors want a world where form and personality ar mutable, more power to them.

You are drastically misunderstanding the point. This has nothing to do with rules. If your character attacks mine in one scene, then turns around and wants to act like nothing bad happened in the next, and your character isn't explicitly possessed or has multiple personalities or something, then you shouldn't act confused or upset if I decide that my character isn't going to want to hang out with someone who tried to hurt them. This has nothing to do with mechanics or lack thereof and I have no earthly idea what point you're trying to argue.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

And the reason I even brought up the MUD/Mush thing is because Lucinda is in fact Abby Soto's own character she plays in those (as if the transforming and smoking don't make that obvious enough) and so this plus her attitude regarding persistent characterization and consequences helps explain why WGA Lucinda gets to do all this horrible poo poo and everyone still wants to hang out with her, because that's how Abby Soto thinks RPGs work.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Robindaybird posted:

iirc, no one dies in TOON - they just 'fall down' until the next scene, and it's explicitly treated as exaggerated non-lethal violence, the problem with WGA is it tries for the cartoon-y feel, but makes note people do go insane or die because of the actions.

Also Toon doesn't reek of being someone's fetishbait.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

TurninTrix posted:

Oh neat, a Fantaji review.

I like the system a lot; it follows a lot of the mindset that FATE is built on, but in a way that reads a lot more satisfying to me mechanically. But no one really knows the game so I haven't tried it out myself. :(

I have literally never heard of this game until now so I'm actually interested to see where this goes, hyperbolic self-promotion aside.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

I couldn't elucidate exactly WHY the Yu Gi Oh crowd is especially bad compared to, say, Magic players but it is the truth nonetheless.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Lynx Winters posted:

Because nerds can't just let a thing be earnest.

This reminds me that I really need to finish my writeup of Blue Rose at some point.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Maxwell Lord posted:

I do remember a specific wave in RPG publishing where a lot of books were like that- lots of white empty space for no adequately explained reason.

I'm pretty sure it was the same reason high school student essays have as much white space as they can get away with.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Technically it worked for Vampire: the Masquerade :v:

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

The whole girls with plane legs thing just looks incredibly stupid and goofy, I'm not sure how anyone can look at that and go "yeah, this is a thing I'm totally into."

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib


To this day I'm still not sure who thought that was a good idea.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Night10194 posted:

Jesus Christ. And I thought Exalted was a miserable pile of poo poo.

For extra fun, a Google Image Search will show you some of the cards to marvel at. It's exactly as bad as you're imagining.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Midjack posted:

ahahaa I have a copy of this.

You know what you have to do. At least do a writeup of the rules, if I remember correctly the writing is absolutely cringeworthy in all the best ways.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Y'know, I don't give poo poo one about Mage personally but it doesn't seem terribly hard for even me to figure out that if you're going to sell Mage fans a big 20th Anniversary love letter edition of their beloved game that maybe you ought to give them what they want and not "here's the way it should be to me, Phil Satyros Dogfucker Brucato." There's a time and a place to editorialize, and the history of White Wolf's Mage is one of writers being unable to figure that out.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Anybody who likes Phil Brucato's writing is someone whose opinion you can pretty safely dismiss.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Rand Brittain posted:

Well, I mean, it's not like the guy never did anything good. He was behind Guide to the Technocracy, and I don't think any of the complaints listed about M20 would apply to that.

So is Guide to the Technocracy the outlier or is Changing Breeds? I mean, I'm pretty willing to stand by my assertion based on what I've seen of the guy's work here and elsewhere. Maybe he magically managed to write something that wasn't really dumb at best, actively repugnant at worst, but if so it seems more like a happy accident than some deliberate application of skill.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Nessus posted:


Well people can have different sorts of works... maybe he was feeling better when he did Technocracy, or maybe it didn't set off his rants, or maybe there were other writers involved, or a better editor, or perhaps we all just have warm fuzzies over what was actually a Bad Book.

I'm not really well-versed in Mage so you'll need to help me out, was Guide to the Technocracy the book that started the whole "maybe the monolithic secret world order of men in black that like to lobotomize 'reality deviants' and send Terminator cyborgs to kill people aren't, y'know, that bad?" thing which characterized Yet Another Mage Fandom Schism?

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

If we're going to start suggesting that every ridiculous World of Darkness book White Wolf made was actually intended to be some sort of insincere parody that fans were just too stupid to get then the entire line pretty much falls apart right there and then.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

No you see, WoD Gypsies was actually a clever deconstruction of the magical gypsy trope and

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

"I'm going to write this book, ostensibly designed to be informative, but get this! It's going to be presented entirely in-character so that all of the information has to be parsed through my attempts to be clever and obfuscatory while falling back on the tired old excuse of it being the character talking and not me, the writer" is maybe not the most insufferable trend 90's RPGs have to answer for, but it's certainly top three.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

I don't even think it's a good idea when done well, assuming it ever has been done well which I don't have any personal recollections of. Just as I'm not interested in playing an RPG so the GM can have us all be the audience for the adventures of his amazing GMPC, I'm not interested in an RPG sourcebook when it's some writer's attempts to live out his frustrated ambitions as a novelist.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

It's also an extremely half-hearted and lazy way of writing anything to do so in a way that always allows you to turn around and go "no wait you see, it was the character who said it and not me the author." Like, all I have to go on that Guide to the Technocracy was actually intended to be X instead of Y are third-hand accounts from someone on the internet. You can't even try to cut to the heart of the matter by saying "well clearly it's parody because look at how ridiculous it is" because plenty of White Wolf books were both incredibly ridiculous and entirely sincere about it. Are you really expected to be able to tell that this one book out of dozens is obviously meant to be a parody, meanwhile you have Rabid Furry Ecoterrorist Adventures over there next to Otherkin: the gently caress You I'm a Dragon? And that's not even counting poo poo like Gypsies or Freak Legion. But no, this book is clearly not meant to be taken at face value because

e; disingenuous, the word I'm looking for is disingenuous

Kai Tave fucked around with this message at 00:57 on Mar 31, 2016

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Rand Brittain posted:

I feel like if you read it you would probably see what I'm talking about.

I feel like the fact that plenty of people apparently came away from GttT thinking "oh poo poo, these guys are right!" is enough evidence of a failure on the writer's part that I don't actually need to do empirical research of my own to reach that conclusion. Now I guess you can just handwave that away with "well maybe all those people are just huge loving morons," but even if they are it's still the writer's (and editor's I suppose but we're talking about White Wolf here so let's not go too crazy) responsibility to get their intended point across.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

1990's White Wolf: The scientists have lied to you! Wake up sheeple!

The year 2016: Hey look, another measles outbreak because Facebook moms think vaccines cause the autism.

Also most modern anti-corporate sentiment these days takes the form of people wanting higher wages, better job protections, and greater access to affordable healthcare instead of people who unironically believe that Tyler Durden was right.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Ah yes, the "good" scientists of mage, namely people who cling fervently to concepts such as phlogiston and orgone and 133t h4cker$, a truly balanced viewpoint there.

I mean if I wanted to be really unsporting I could just bring up Changeling: the Dreaming.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Alien Rope Burn already reviewed Play Dirty which is like peak Wick, it's hard to top some of the stuff there.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Bellum Maga is the sort of thing a conservative might make to create a strawman out of leftist positions in order to vilify/mock liberals. Nothing about it is appealing in a "punk revenge fantasy fighting the man" sense, it's just a badly written, laughably illustrated peek at a dumb person's fetishes.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Count Chocula posted:

Gotta say, 'THE PATRIARCHY IS AN EVIL CONSPIRACY. BURN IT ALL DOWN' would be a fun game in better hands.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that no, it probably wouldn't be. "Let's sit around a table pretend-fireballing imaginary strawmen for six hours" does not sound like an incredibly compelling basis for a game, and I'll go back out on that limb and suggest that what a lot of actual feminists probably want are regular ol' RPGs about fantasy adventurers and superheroes and urban horror and stuff, just more inclusive and with less gratuitous cleavage and tragic rape backstories.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Terrible Opinions posted:

Does Blue Rose count as feminist?

In the sense that discrimination and inequality are explicitly called out as bad and lame and effort is made by the writers to be inclusive, I'd say so. It stumbles a bit here and there...it doesn't handle the matter of trans persons in the greatest way (there are spells to let you sculpt flesh into new forms...but they all carry the risk of corruption to your very soul so, uhhhhh) but otherwise I'd probably say it qualifies.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Wapole Languray posted:

Well, that spell is like that because they didn't even consider using it for trans purposes in the book, in the game it's pretty explicitly just as a way to explain why the villains can create hideous monsters and the Orc-analogues of the setting. Blue Rose kinda forgets trans is a thing, which is understandable: Gay Rights was a big thing when they wrote it but the idea of Trans Rights being a big issue is actually fairly new and the creators probably didn't even think of it.

Actually I'm pretty sure they do mention that spell being used for such purposes at least in passing, it's just they couch it in terms of using it to transition as a serious dilemma to consider. I agree that it's probably not meant in an intentionally harmful way, it's just a bit awkward.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Nessus posted:

Given the attitude and style of Blue Rose I assume there would be multiple routes to transitioning, but the fell sorcery might be both the quickest and the "easiest" to get hold of. I forget if that stuff was bad because it was against the law or bad because it involved worshiping things with tentacles.

Sorcery in Blue Rose, as differentiated from other types of magic like psychic-stuff and elemental shaping, is explicitly the provenance of the Shadow. It's possible to use Sorcery without immediately falling to the dark side but the book hammers the point home that lots of corrupted sorcerer-king types started out as someone deciding that they could totally handle using it this one time, honest.

Like let's be clear, I don't for a second believe that Steve Kenson is secretly down on trans people, and Blue Rose's treatment of the subject however awkward is a million light years better than anything Abby Soto has ever done. Blue Rose is a good game with some awkward and sometimes embarrassing rough spots, like the whole Magical Gypsy Caravan People Who Are Naturally Suspected of Being Thieves And Love Dancing And Fortune-Telling thing.

edit; they're called Roamers. Get it?

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Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It wasn't so bad.

The gimmick was that you had different worlds being pulled into a interdimensional black hole and basically smashed together. Naturally all the disparate forces in this mini-galaxy worked together to get out of this terrible predicament!... well, no, actually, they all tried to murder each other, because what else can you do in a minis game? Thus, the "VOR" was the interdimensional black hole pulling them all together.

It was published by FASA shortly before their collapse, though, and never found another publisher. And that was that.

The special thing about VOR that I don't think ever manifested in published form was that it was eventually supposed to contain a system for creating your own faction using some sort of point-buy system so you could use whatever miniatures you wanted to play with.

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