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Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Zereth posted:

The witch game's political stance is "murdering people with magic is awesome :fap:" and I mean that emote in the most literal way possible. :gonk:

To be fair, murdering people with magic is pretty awesome. That's 90% of D&D's appeal right there.

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Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


oriongates posted:

The orbs survived (Kalid-ma swallowed them as part of the transformation) and the sorcerer kings powers (magical and psionic) had transferred into them. There are 5 Orbs, each with a theme. The king's mind was shattered into each one, giving each an Ego score, making them capable of dominating the bearer and if all five orbs were brought together and swallowed by a pre-dragon (defiler/psionicist of 20th level or higher) then they would reconstitute Kalid-Ma, recreating him as a 27th level Dragon, with full access to his faculties once more

So... is there any way a player (or, indeed, any character) could work out how these are meant to be used? Because, sure, maybe I just play with boring groups, but I'm pretty sure nobody I know would react to "You find a mysterious orb of unknown magical power" with "I swallow it!"

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Young Freud posted:

Hahaha, sorry if you combine superheroes with cyberpunk you'll either get an Image Comic, probably from Top Cow; Pat Mills' Martial Law; or Ray Winninger's Underground.

Marvel's old 2099 series was basically superhero cyberpunk.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


I still don't get why Beast thinks "Whoa, what about looking at things from the monster's side?!" is such a mind-blowing idea. Were the writers somehow oblivious to, I don't know, the entire rest of White Wolf's oeuvre?

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Kurieg posted:

Just in case someone thinks this is hyperbole, it's not. The same investor call stated that they see their own videogames as competitors to the minis game.

Didn't it also claim they don't want to end up a forgotten fad like Pokemon?

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


wiegieman posted:

A lot of those states in the Balkan-ish area and environs were seen as the shield of civilization against the hordes that had already taken Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul.

During his lifetime, though, Vlad was more famous for his conflicts with Hungary and the Saxons in Transylvania than his campaigns against the Turks. Germany was full of sensationalist woodcut pamphlets decrying his cruelty. How much that reflects reality is hard to say - you can argue either way. On the one hand, these were obviously propaganda by his many enemies and rivals. On the other hand, to have a reputation for cruelty even by the standards of the fifteenth century implies he must have been at least a bit nastier than his contemporaries.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


On the plus side, Beast does succeed in being a good crossover splat - by being infinitely worse than everything else, it means a great set up for a crossover game is "Let's put aside our differences to beat the poo poo out of those loving Beasts!"

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


I like how despite history having gone off the rails in the 1860s, what with the South winning the civil war and, oh yes, a large scale demonic invasion, The Day the Earth Stood Still apparently still got made on schedule.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


I think it's nice of that UCAS country to make the Canadian elements so prominent on its flag, given how it's population must be overwhelmingly American with actual Canadians a tiny, tiny minority...

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Fallout, at least, has post-apocalyptic white people deciding to cosplay as Romans and do away with frivolities like gunpowder and medicine for poorly defined reasons...

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Hipster Occultist posted:

I think they're dialing that back a bit, apparently the Ultramarines Primarch just woke up and went "the hell you guys! I fall sleep for a few thousand years and you all establish a fascist theocracy when I fought for an Empire based on reason and science???"

"At least you kept the genocide!"

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Halloween Jack posted:

My very brief drive-by analysis of the situation is: Mental degeneration in WoD games is generally based on a Romantic idea of "madness" instead of a serious treatment of either ethics or mental illness. This is a big stumbling block for every version of its Morality/Sanity sanity systems prior to the new system introduced in God Machine Chronicle. (Anyone doing WoD: Asylum?)

I can sort of see the logic that "Hey, we're writing about vampires, so our system should reflect more Gothic Horror ideas of madness than actual psychology". It's just that, if that's what they were going for, it's not clearly spelled out, and really shouldn't be the signature of just one clan if that is what was intended.

(Maybe Malkavians should have caused madness instead of being mad? Have everyone around them end up the protagonist of a Poe or Lovecraft short story and their ghouls go full Renfield. Be a bit more playable and more archetypal than 'the crazy vamps'...)

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Robindaybird posted:

Yeah, I'm a bit surprised given how the Brotherhood of Islam had a huge influence in African American culture and politics, and that several north african countries are predominantly or heavily islamic - you think they'd get a decent write up.

There was also, IIRC, Muslim slaves in Haiti during the revolution, and a strong Muslim presence in slave revolts in Brazil.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


I figure just say "Yeah, your chapter's one of a few dozen that recruits women and makes it work. Yeah, it's considered extra-heretical. No, funny thing, nobody ever seems to raise the issue when standing within firing range of anyone in your chapter."

Because, after all, one of the big jokes of the setting is that the Imperium's all about Purity and Unity yet it's a constantly squabbling array of tiny factions and everyone has to turn a blind eye to everyone else's little deviations from the orthodoxy just to stop the whole thing falling apart.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


I always thought there was a nice irony in the chaos god of mages and schemers and knowledge-seekers being so arbitrary he may as well be mindless, but there's not really a lt you can do with that.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Nessus posted:

I believe that outside of ritual/funerary cannibalism, nearly every case of cannibalism attested has been either "extreme desperation leading to consumption of corpses" or "a thing we say about those people over there, who are awful."

I think once any situation has devolved into cannibalism for the sake of survival by non-accursed humans, it probably is no longer going to be much fun for adventure gaming.

It's unclear due to, as you say, cannibalism being a very common accusation used to demonize foreigners, but there do seem to have been a few cultures in New Guinea and Polynesia who didn't have any particular taboo against cannibalism, at least against enemies during wars.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Kavak posted:

Why mix pulp and zombies anyway? Wuxia and other Eastern genres make sense because there's all sorts of crazy local mythology to draw on, but pulp kind of predates the dawn of the dead in the popular consciousness.

Haitian Voodoo-style zombies were a pretty common motif in pulp adventures; the American occupation of Haiti meant there was a lot of interest in Haiti, and sensationalist accounts of Voodoo rituals were common in the US during the heyday of the pulps. You also got a lot of 'weird science' stories where the villain's got some sort of hypnosis power or drug that gives him an army of brainwashed zombie-esque minions, or he can create some sort of mindless monsters or whatever to serve him. They're not modern zombies, but they're close enough and common enough that it's not a completely random mix. And I suppose it could be interesting to have the cheerful violent optimism of a pulp hero crash against the nihilism of modern zombie stories...

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Mors Rattus posted:

Found it.

They're just called elven cats, are super sneaky, have ESP, can shrink and grow themselves, trip foes, and turn into tree branches.

Because elves.

"Many can speak a crude form of the elven tongue"

Elven lolcats?

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


I'm not a big fan of Niven, but most of his stuff is just Asimov style puzzles; establish the rules of the setting, something weird happens, the protagonist works out how that's possible under the established rules. The aliens and weird sex stuff is generally just background details - the Pak are only in a couple of books, and aren't even mentioned in the original Ringworld.

(And reconning them in as the builders of the Ringworld never made much sense to me - why would the genocidally xenophobic Pak Protectors establish colonies of other species on the Ringworld?)

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Terrible Opinions posted:

The typical response is "well they're the bad guys", which for the Ferengi prompts the follow up question "why do they look and act like Jewish caricatures then?"

To be fair, it's hard to do 'evil merchants' or 'evil capitalists' without crossing over fairly heavily with anti-Semitic tropes, just because anti-Semites have associated basically all the negative aspects of capitalism and business to Jewishness.

They did at least try to make the early Ferengi more obviously an allegory of capitalists in general in early TNG - their signature weapon is a whip, Data compares them to 'Yankee traders' - hell, even the name is derived from the Farsi and Hindi word 'farengi', meaning foreigner, but specifically applied to European traders during the colonial era. I think the problem was they never worked as antagonists, so the idea that they were meant to be an interstellar East India Company or United Fruit never came across right, and they ended up just being scheming, cowardly merchants.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


In the next-generation era, Star Trek's also moving into post-scarcity, so its societies actually don't need farmers or tailors or janitors anymore. In that context, it makes sense that personal goals are going to move on from "just get by" to more intangible goals.

Hell, that's be a fun explanation for why Klingons in next gen are more honor-obsessed than the original series ones - they've got the tech now that conquering for the loot isn't worth it any more, but being remembered as a legendary hero worthy of song is something you can't get out of a replicator...

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Dallbun posted:

I know the thri-kreen were in the Monstrous Manual without direct reference to Athas, but it feels really weird to have this encounter outside of a Dark Sun game.

Yeah, if I ran into a Thri-kreen outside of Dark Sun, I'd assume the GM was hinting we were playing on pre-apocalypse Athas, and we were meant to be averting the cleansing wars before they happened or some such...

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Down With People posted:

[b][u]BY THE SKIN OF THEIR TEETH PART THREE

I can't help but feel that the adventure isn't taking into account that this is Istanbul, and so the investigators should have access to a limitless number of friendly cat allies wherever they go...

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


There's still a lot of brimless caps that are essentially variants of the fez in the Muslim world - the Indonesian songkok, for example, was inspired by the Ottoman fez and became a symbol of national and religious identity during the colonial period. It's basically just a black fez without the tassel.

Of course, there you'd have the problem that the hat is so unremarkable that the adventure would become the equivilent of one based around an evil baseball cap. No, I think there's no salvaging the idea.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Loxbourne posted:

See, that's where my attitude gets even harsher than yours. I don't think it's a "theme". I think the writers (or at least the editors) genuinely believe that.

Little of the thematic scepticism you describe actually appears in the fluff. Fans read it into the setting themselves.

Eh, it's been a while since I closely followed 40K, but it is a setting that makes 'great man' ideas laughable. The whole concept of the Imperium is that it's a rotting edifice that cannot possibly be righted because it's too large and too entrenched to be reformed. The Emperor himself, a super-human ultra-psychic, didn't have the power to prevent his vision for humanity being overwhelmed by its own institutions, and now he's the symbol and tool of a religion he would have despised. The old intro about how "The universe is a big place, and whatever happens, you will not be missed" is basically emphasizing that, that an individual won't make a difference. Humanity in the aggregate isn't that much different from the Orks or the Tyrannids; swarms driven by evolutionary pressures to expand, consume, and eventually collapse.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


I always thought it'd be interesting if the darkening of the Tau was an in-setting development - that contact and conflict with the Imperium is forcing them to be harsher and more ruthless. He who fights monsters, and all that - it's harder and harder to maintain a culture of tolerance and mutual respect when you're dealing with a genocidal death-cult on your borders, and maybe the best option when dealing with humans really is to extinguish all traces of their vile culture and start over from scratch.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Wapole Languray posted:

Anyway, the Colluder uses magic to trick and convince its summoner that they are some sort of destined Hero who has a great quest to go on and the Colluder will guide and help them on the quest but it's all bullshit guys and when they're old and wrinkled the Colluder reveals this and CRUSHES THEIR SOUL and EATS THEIR PAIN because:

So... this thing tries to trick people for their entire lives? How does that even work? Like, either it tricks them into wasting their time on pointless errands, in which case they're probably going to catch on after a decade or so, or it actually guides them to real adventures, in which case they really are heroes.

I'm just picturing one of these things trying to reveal the 'truth' to some famous dragonslayer or something...

"Foolish mortal! There was no grand destiny! You merely achieved those things because I guided you!"
"Umm, yeah, you said you were my magical guide."
"No, but see, it doesn't count, because... ahh, crap."

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


JcDent posted:

Lol if you wouldn't add the biology stats to hit in a fight, hit on charisma or repair a computer network that's all, like, neural and poo poo.

I'd rule you can use biology for anything, as long as you come up with a biological metaphor for what you've got planned.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

[*]Mock Funeral: This is a pretty neat thematic spell where you leave a coffin with an effigy of the target around, and when they see it and fail their save, they're compelled to open it and see themselves. The effect depends on the state of the effigy - if it's filled with dirt they feel trapped and stressed, if it's filled with water they can't swim for some time, if it's filled with rats they become vulnerable to disease, etc. The weirdest one is that if they're wrapped in a flag, the target becomes falsely accused of crime by that faction or nation, which is a weirdly broad and wide-ranging effect.

How accurate does the flag have to be? Because I don't want to be in a situation where I've put time and mystical effort into getting my enemies accused of treason by the Dutch, but the flag faded a bit by the time they found the effigy, so now they're only being harassed by Luxembourg's government...

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

The Football Stadium still exists because this is Melbourne and football is still important. Presumably they have several teams now, so it's not like "And the Melbourne Devils face... nobody! Again! Win by default for the Melbourne Devils! Hooray!"

Currently, half the teams in the AFL are based out of Melbourne. The ratio would have been even higher when this book was published.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


ZeroCount posted:

Rifts Australia seems surprisingly nonawful, especially compared to White Wolf's australia books.

Having most of the 'mystical native powers' (as written by a white guy) be set aside for a different book that never got written probably helps.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


God is defined as the greatest possible power. A God with laser cannons would be more powerful than one without. Therefore, Jesus must have laser cannons.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Nessus posted:

It is not dramatically correct, but is not *fictionally* incorrect to be able to one-shot any human with a phaser in Trek... but surely Janeway would have a flaw or two, come on folks.

Even going by stuff that was intended by the writers, she explicitly suffers from depression in one episode, there's a couple of episodes where Tuvok says she's being reckless even for a human, and there's more than a few stories where she's unwilling to let go of a grudge while other characters are advising her "Dude, let it go and let's just get out of here..."

What are Sisko's flaws in the game, by the way? Besides "Unhealthy Obsession (Baseball)".

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Night10194 posted:

Nippon? Uh, ninjas, I guess. They don't even get *two* paragraphs.

Hey, it also says that "doubtless... it will be populated by its own unique and deadly monsters"! There's some useful and specific information to base a campaign around!

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


So, is Erin Tarn secretly a Coalition agent? Because the whole unironic "The worst thing about a war between Coalition states would be it might lead to the collapse of the Coalition!", along with the "It's insane treason!... is, um, what I imagine Coalition leaders are saying!" bit come across as... weird if she's not meant to be broadly sympathetic to the Coalition in its current state.

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Were the Deadland's writers unaware that the CSA constitution limited presidents to a single term, or is there some mention of amendments to allow Davis to remain in power?

(I mean, there'd have to be amendments to overturn everything their constitution said about slavery...)

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


What the hell kind of loser would own a car in a world with teleportation as an option? "Oh, hey, I could arrive at my destination instantaneously, but I'd feel more free if I sat in a vehicle for several hours instead."

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


PurpleXVI posted:

I also want to point out that we've three for three, by this point, on order/family stereotypes despite the intro saying they didn't exist. Dogs are cosmopolitan, seals are optimists and raccoons are loners.

What? Aren't raccoons fairly social animals?

Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

I dunno, that sounds more interesting. Then you could be like "you can't cast spells at the bottom, you have to expend the ones you can reach" and- well, there are so many more interesting ways to do what was done.

Jenga as a spell-casting system.

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Angry Salami
Jul 27, 2013

Don't trust the skull.


I still think Orc/Elf crossbreeds should just average out to 'Human'.

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