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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Golden Sky Stories is an inspiration. I love, love, love the way it specifically sets out to focus on a small, intimate scale and backs that up with its rules. It's really touching to see something that takes the role-playing genre so far from its wargaming roots, but does so with no axe to grind or hearts to break.

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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I looked up GSS and its expansions on Drivethru, and for some reason the "often bought with" section showed Hc Svnt Dracones. It's only $3... I could look into the madness with my own eyes...

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I remember skimming the splats for Beast last year and thinking that it might be interesting if they gave players something cool to do, but that it would have to be a pretty darn compelling something if one of the examples of a playable character was an old woman who fed off of children's terror.

It sounds like the best they could come up with was "Yeah, you're an awful monster with awful monster friends, but there are these Hero jerks who think they're better than you! Doesn't that make you mad?"

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Thesaurasaurus posted:


Golden Sky Stories really is the last nail in the coffin of Beast's reasons to exist, isn't it.

In Golden Sky Stories, the only combat is against less impressive game systems :v:

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


If I remember right the D&D version of Rokugan eschewed ronin as a viable option as well. Reading Oriental Adventures as a kid, I wondered what kind of plot gymnastics you would have to pull to get a whole party of people from different clans to work together on the regular. It might have made more sense to have the big clans act as inspiration and backdrop rather than being the core character concepts for PCs. That would probably have made fans of the CCG super mad when they couldn't play their pet factions in tabletop, but scrappy ronin trying to work their way into a clan's good graces sounds like a really fun low-level game to me.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Doresh posted:

Valor - The Heroic Roleplay System



Alteration Modifiers

This is where most general Modifiers land. A lot of them let you replace the Technique's Active Attribute with something more desireble (for Muscle Wizards and Punch Witches).


I didn't really understand these when I was looking through the book. If you want an area attack based on strength, wouldn't it make more sense to just start with a strength damage core and modify it appropriately? It seems like a waste to spend levels modifying the base attribute when you can start from any attribute you like.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


ProfessorProf posted:

Basically, the stat-swapping modifiers are extremely niche, but we wanted them to be there if someone had a weird build that could take advantage of them.

That was kind of what I figured, but it seemed like the sort of thing that could have a straightforward answer that I had plain overlooked. It's cool to see how many ways people have managed to burrow into the technique system, even just in the thread!

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Rocket Age looks like so much fun, either to run or to play in. The sheer number of adventure hooks they throw at you is phenomenal and they look like they'd suit a ton of different playstyles. It's been interesting to read the review just after running through a bunch of the SLA Industries and Deadlands stuff on the F&F archive; Rocket Age presents so many problems, mysteries, and impending interplanetary catastrophes that part of me is expecting a metaplot book to come along to make sense of it all. Then I remembered that it was made in the 21st century, and that we've mostly left behind the idea that every game line was working toward some conclusion that ultimately doesn't involve any of the actual players.

Are there any modern games that even approach the metaplot shenanigans of yesteryear? Even the most edgelord stuff that's shown up in the thread seems to have found other ways of being up its own rear end.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


theironjef posted:

Our review wasn't really ask that much about Wick the guy anyway, just a few asides.

So one of our listeners(and a lurker here), just sent us a microwave sized box containing the following:

GURPS Discworld
GURPS Hellboy
Blue Planet (with Moderators Guide and Fluid Mechanics)
Feng Shui
Godlike (with Will To Power and some adventures)
Ray Wininnger's Underground
The Whispering Vault
Underworld
Kobolds Ate My Baby
Nexus: The Whispering City
Kult
Witch Hunter: the Invisible World
King Arthur Pendragon

And what I consider to be the Arkenstone of this hoard, Everway.

Amazingly we didn't have a single one of these yet. So good.

Kobolds Ate My Baby was one of the first RPGs I ever played a one-shot in. It's pretty simplistic, but also a great example of adversarial roleplaying done for laughs rather than as a creepy power trip.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


My Cthulhu Mythos Detector went off reading the Pluto section for Rocket Age (especially the part about space mushrooms), but once again I'm glad they've left things nice and vague. A little bit of pulpy horror seems like it would make a good diversion from pulpy sci-fi action from time to time.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Was DitV made for Mormons, former Mormons, the Mormon-adjacent, or some other group I can't quite conceive of? As a former youth group kid I can see the interest in a game that asks hard questions about faith and conviction, but it definitely doesn't seem like something that anybody outside of that fairly narrow niche would find appealing.

The idea of people getting squicked out (for good reason) about playing a game where the entire group consists of people who fundamentally believe that god is on the side of their guns reminded me of a failed RPG attempt inspired by this thread: a Day After Ragnarok game focused around the Chinese resistance to Japanese occupation in World War II. To me it sounded like a super cool idea full of intrigue and mystery, but to folks who had no idea what I was talking about it was just a history lesson they didn't want to take.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Doresh posted:

Can Werewolf werevolves (man, that sounds redundant) learn Shoryukens?


Kurieg posted:

Hengeyokai has some literal hadoukens in it, but Metis can learn "Create Element" AKA "I summon 8 cubic feet of fire into their engine compartment, the car chase is over."

Apocalypse also had Kailindo, a werewolf-specific martial art that incorporated partial transformation into its techniques.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


The longer the Forsaken 2e review goes, the more I want to revisit it. My friends and I played just enough Apocalypse to be thoroughly confused at what we were supposed to be doing in Forsaken. It sounds like the new edition is more clear about what the general idea is going to be: grow your territory, fix its problems, and walk the hundred tightropes that define life as a werewolf. The big problem I still see was pointed out by somebody else a little while ago- it all seems very reactionary. I'm looking forward to seeing if there's any GM advice on how to run a chronicle with a clearly defined purpose rather than a sandbox.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I'm loving the First Tongue terms. They have enough internal consistency that they seem at least a little like parts of a real language, and are fun enough to say that I think players would have fun learning them

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Kai Tave posted:

I think it's pretty fuckin lovely that the last three or four pages of this thread have been more about people complaining about how people post than people posting reviews of games and I would rather see More Rattus transcribe whatever he wants in whatever detail he feels sufficient than someone getting increasingly bent out of shape because somebody was insufficiently critical of Pathfinder for the tastes of the self-appointed F&F police. Seriously, I don't even like Pathfinder myself but gently caress off.

Please come back, Mors :ohdear:

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


The various Uratha tribes having their own favored prey differentiates them in a way that I don't remember being as clear in 1e. The Hunt being central to a werewolf's existence is a great way to make them both monstrous and understandable, underlying their other motivations by weaving that thread through everything they do. The way that each tribe's favored prey sets up conflict also helps to make the Pure stand out more as antagonists rather than just different factions. I really like that there is only one Forsaken tribe that has werewolves as their favorite prey, and everybody else thinks they're probably crazy. On the other hand ALL of the Pure include Forsaken as their sacred prey along with a bunch of other mystical mumbo jumbo about bloodlines and betrayal.

Planes of Chaos is like a trip down memory lane, spending summer vacation reading the Manual of the Planes and whatever setting supplements I could get my hands on... :allears:

I also enjoyed the Pathfinder Beginner Box review more than I thought I would. Seeing what approach a team of product designers took to introduce people to the hobby helps me think about how to do it myself, and it seems like whatever else can be said about their game Paizo did put a lot of effort into making the box both useful in itself and a gateway to deeper investment.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Something I've always wondered about with Mechwarrior is how you'd run an RPG if people actually took radically divergent careers. I can just imagine five players making two mechwarriors, a mechanic, a spy, and an elemental, then turning to me saying "So what kind of adventure are we all going on together?"

I'm sure the solution is don't do that and instead figure out early on which of the various settings the group wants to participate in. It's just weird that RPG core books always seem to present every option as equally valid in every campaign. It's even more bizarre when it's a really crunchy system that's going to lock characters out of situations that they don't have points specifically invested in.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I was surprised to see wereshark show up in the BNW review- just last night I was reading "The Tree is My Hat" by Gene Wolfe, thinking for all the world that the only weresharks that had wormed their way into any crazy 90s/00s metaplot were the Rokea from oWoD. Playing Demon and figuring out how to juggle the players' pacts and agendas would be one thing, but playing a bunch of characters that were born sharks seems like it would be alien in a way that few games can really touch. Maybe there's a White Wolf book from back in the day about playing a character that started life with only instinct suddenly being uplifted into thought and reason, but from my recollection they just kind of gloss over it and give you different starting gifts.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Mors Rattus posted:

At least none of 'em are particularly gross - they just wanted you to be able to have whatever story you want to tell with 'em.

Exactly. They even leave it up to the pregnant demon's player which (if any) of those things happen. That's a good brake to have on other players or even the ST stepping on some very sensitive topics. It's still pretty rules-y at the end of the day, but White Wolf has always been a grognard system masquerading as a story-based one.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Why doesn't every fantasy game have "sapient bug swarm" as a player character option?!

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Godbound is one of the games at the top of my list to try and run once I find the perfect three-person group for it. I've run Scarlet Heroes several times (another game by the same publisher that uses the over-the-top Solo Hero rules) and I'd love to see how a small group of even more over-powered PCs would impact the hosed-up setting the game describes.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Halloween Jack posted:

... the key problem is that D&D isn't generally "sold" to people as that very specific list of influences coming together in a unique way--it's sold as an introduction to the roleplaying hobby through the lens of heroic fantasy adventure. And its many assumptions really start to break down when you try to do certain specific things with it--for example, the whole attack/defense system is built on what kind of armour you're wearing, so if you're doing piratical swashbuckling or John Carter of Mars, you have to come up with a different way of determining defense.


This is something I've been struggling to articulate lately when discussing RPGs with friends. I remember first cracking the AD&D Player's Handbook and being really frustrated by all the charts and tables and comparative weapon speed calculations that went into combat.The idea that the action in games could be as dynamic as a scene from the movies, and just as narratively interesting, is something that it seems like we're only now seeing come to fruition. Even supposedly theatrical games like earlier editions of Feng Shui still carried D&D's historical wargaming baggage.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I played in a DCC game where the GM was like that- any time we were having trouble he'd remind us of how great and useful those bottles were. He even had them do better damage than weapon attacks.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Welcome back, Mors!

For some reason I had a lot of trouble getting into Vampire after the end of oWoD, but it looks like this review will make for a great intro!

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I think "out of context" was meant in the sense of "out of the context of your day-to-day life." Having a clear end goal would help out a lot of campaigns- not everybody likes the political intrigue of a drawn-out Vampire game or the endless fight for turf that can develop in Werewolf. Putting an example end goal right in the core book is also helpful, since from what I remember of oWoD each core book pretty much only explained (in great detail) the supernatural society of its protagonists, leaving the nooks and crannies of the setting that might shake up a stagnant campaign in splat books and metaplot supplements.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Young Freud posted:

WEG managed to get the original core books out and it seemed to gather a following. I'm not sure past the covers how much of the interior art changed, but it looks like, given what we've seen from Revised & Expanded, they had a different art direction.



It's imagery like this that brings me back to the broken promise at the heart of TORG- a group of cross-dimensional Storm Knights, all from different worlds with their own crazy powers, fighting against impossible odds to turn an invasion of Earth into the liberation of half a dozen other worlds from tyranny. You can technically use TORG to tell that story, but good god drat are you going to have to ignore a lot of rules to do it. It's probably the most heartbreaker game I can think of that doesn't make you start out as a poo poo-farmer with a broken sword.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Count Chocula posted:

I saw a European Dracula movie that was pretty normal except it portrayed him as a historical hero who fought off the Muslims? Ottomans?

That was 100% the impression I got of his reputation in Romania- our tour guide told us that Vlad was pretty much a perfect hero of the people, and all of that 'eating dinner in a forest of the impaled' stuff, not to mention all of the occasional defection to the Ottomans, was nothing but propaganda designed to besmirch his good name.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Dareon posted:


Actual Play - Beacon in the Black

That was a fun read!

Interesting to see noqual and the akata- they were a big chunk of a chapter from Paizo's old Second Darkness campaign, and I didn't think I'd ever see those anti-magic, zombie-making, tentacled space lions again!

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Selachian posted:

I think I've mentioned this before, but Orson Scott Card's Enchantment has a protagonist who's a super-fit marathon runner and who travels back to medieval times ... where he's dismissed as a useless wimp, because back then Real Men were massively muscular and fat.

It's gotten kind of distracting when watching any of the Sexy Period Drama series on TV. Ripped abs and toned physiques have joined "having all their teeth" and "ubiquitous English accents" in my list of things that shouldn't bother me but always do about characters' appearances in historical fiction.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


One of the handy things in werewolf culture in W:tA is that even a death sentence can be useful. Having a few werewolf elders with nothing to lose go loud on a Pentex facility or other Wyrm den is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


wiegieman posted:

Isn't a bunch of werewolves with nothing to lose where we got Black Spiral Dancers from though?

They were a bunch of werewolves with something to prove. I think the distinction is that the White Howlers thought they could march to the heart of the Wyrm and win, while a wayward pack sentenced to a suicide mission knows for a fact that they're not coming home.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Mors Rattus posted:

Dragonmech: Shock and Horror



Unlike most lunar beings, a Lunar Dragon is a True Dragon rather than an Aberration. They are immense creatures, larger than terrestrial dragons of equivalent age, and resemble rhinos or elephants more than the cats or reptiles that other dragons do. Their skin is an unhealthy white, and their blood vessels writh not far beneath it. Their face is covered in horns around an asymmetrical maw, and their wings are actually too small to lift them properly on the planet rather than the moon, and their flight is clumsy at best. They do not keep lairs, for the most part - they just wander around and destroy whatever they find. They usually eat it, but don't seme to like the taste of terrestrial flesh. They do not value treasure of any kind. They have a natural resistance to the lunar rain, but will burrow into the earth to avoid meteors. Other kinds of lunar dragon do exist, but this is the most common type. Their breath weapon is a cone of lunar energy resembling white fire, but it has no elemental equivalent. It bypasses all elemental resistances besides a blanket energy resistance.

Next time: Aberrations, so many Aberrations.

I remember being kind of disappointed by the lunar dragons. Earlier in the book they make such a big deal out of them, and the city mechs are built up based on how they're one of the only things that can go toe-to-toe with a dragon, but then they wind up just being big scary statblocks without a whole lot else going on.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Simian_Prime posted:

I ran a Godbound game set during the Time of Troubles where thatís basically exactly what happened. The PCís were all fallen gods trying to set things right and improve things along the way. It was fun watching the players warp the setting to their whims. Moradin and Sethlans built a manufacturing empire out of Narfell while helping Kossuth liberate Thay; Leira worked on a plan to usurp control of the Shadow Weave from Shar.

Meanwhile on the NPC side of things, Gond was the one who got the Troubles started in the first place because he was sick of how stagnant the Realms had become and wanted to shake things up.

Bane, with the aid of the Zhentarim, simply took advantage of the situation like any good demagogue, pairing with the forces of Capital (Waukeen) and Authority (Helm) to Make Faerun Great Again...

This sounds completely Rad. Godbound is so, so good.

It makes perfect sense on a couple levels- given how many FR books there were that directly concerned the gods and their (extremely human) problems and personalities, it's honestly criminal that it's taken this long for an easy-to-run deities game like Godbound to be released.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Simian_Prime posted:

Iíve toyed with the idea of creating a Time of Troubles supplement for 5e now that the OGL is open for Realms stuff; Iíd like to implement some kind of ďAvatarĒ class with Godbound-like rules into the supplement without plagiarising, but Iím not sure how to go about it. Maybe Words in a 5e-alike would work like cleric Domains except you can cast all the spells at-will? Just brainstorming.

That's certainly a possibility- a very narrowly defined set of powers that the PC can use constantly, with a x/day resource they can spend to break the boundaries and do something wild a la miracles. I could see an avatar with a versatile set of Words outshining regular PCs with well-chosen miracles, but then again you could always just balance the class entirely against itself and have a whole party of them. But then maybe you would just play Godbound and skip the 5e part entirely :v:

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


gradenko_2000 posted:

Hot take: character backgrounds should fit into a tweet

This cuts both ways. If you can't fit your core concept into a tweet, that's too much. If you can't even fill half a tweet, your concept needs filling out (and elaborate character build titles for crunchy systems don't count)

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


White Coke posted:

Isn't there a game which lets players retroactively create details for their plan, so they can turn an enemy into their mole or make sure they stashed the supplies they needed in the exact supply closet they've opened? Seems like you could do the same thing with letting players influence the truth about the monster they're fighting.

Sounds like Blades in the Dark to me. A similar mechanic for a game specifically about hunting monsters could be a really good fit. You're about to get roasted by fire breath, so "fortunately" you got that cold charm cast on your armor for just such an occasion.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


DalaranJ posted:

Do you think itís better to design a game with this void in mind or to let it emerge as part of the process of design?

It seems like a lot of more modern games try to avoid having this void at all. They set out from the beginning of design to fulfill a purpose that is stated outright to the players. Is that a result of game design moving away from reality simulation and into genre simulation, or have I missed the point of the fruitful void entirely?

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


PiyoPurun Story sounds like a hell of a trip. Kind of reminds me of the co-op card game Consentacle, where one of the first steps of play is deciding where on the spectrum of communication you'll play between "completely open and verbal" and "no speech, no expressions, no body language."

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


ChaseSP posted:

I'll have you know hunger magic is the most refined form of magic ever seen in the Warhammer World. *jams a bunch of bones in their mouths, breaking other people's bones just by chewing on said bones in mouth*

Looking at it from that angle, Butcher magic is 100% sympathetic. Wanna break bones? Eat bones! Wanna regenerate like a troll? Eat their guts! Wanna be strong? Eat a big ol' heart! None of the arcane manipulation of elves or Slann, or the divine intercession of petty/Chaotic gods- just straightforward "do a thing small to make that thing big."

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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Halloween Jack posted:

I'm starting to think D&D would be better off as its own thing that leans as hard into its own weird peculiar mythos as much as possible

Whenever I say something along these lines, the people I game with look at me like I've grown a second head. The idea that D&D is a generic fantasy game is incredibly prevalent, despite the overwhelming evidence that it's entirely its own specific take on the fantasy genre.

PurpleXVI posted:

This is actually what I'm doing with my own, certainly doomed homebrew at the moment because I'm tired of systems with 900 classes that each have one gimmick and exactly three and a half of which aren't useless or boring. :v: Once it's something approaching done I should let someone here take a crack at making fun of it. :v:

Something I've noticed about D&D diehards (at least among those playing 5e and similar) is that they really don't want classes to be flexible or allow multiple fantasies. When I bring up the fact that players make basically zero choices about their character's advancement after creation, excepting false choices like whether to do a thing that sucks or a thing that's good, I've had multiple people tell me that this is part of the appeal. Every homebrew I make winds up having multiple branching paths of development and they generally read this as "overpowered."

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