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OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Count Chocula posted:

Could you use the rules of Awakening and the setting of Ascension? I want to play/be a Hipster Occultist.

Werewolf and Vampire got "translation guides" for how to convert things from oWoD rules to nWoD ones. I don't know how successful they were, mind, and I also don't recall if Mage got one. I think it did but I don't recall.

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OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


My very cursory reading of oMage, and admittedly this is probably me being willfully blind and inserting a lot of how I feel it SHOULD be done, is that it's less that the Traditions are anti-technology or anti-modern-science, but that they're against the Technocratic paradigm of "these things should work but only these things because they are the safest possible option."

The basic conflict as I read it, and again, I may be being willfully blind, is that the Traditions want a world that allows magic and things beyond the consensus that the Technocracy allows because it allows for the possibility of ascension and reshaping the world. The Technocracy, on the other hand, would argue that doing so is dangerous because it would make it possible for supernatural entities to exist, or be more powerful. In other words, it's a conflict between a risky but potentially more rewarding world and a safer but more secure one. Of course, the fact that they then go on to paint the Technocracy as colossal hypocrites ruins it, but as a basic concept this isn't terrible. The Sons of Ether tradition book from Revised is pretty explicit that it's not specifically the removal of the concept of ether that was their problem but a fundamental disagreement on what the purpose of science should be, essentially.

Moreover, if you look at how Exalted was originally supposed to be "backstory" for oWoD and look at what the closest map onto Mages are in Exalted, the Traditions vs. Technocracy issue maps onto the Gold Faction vs. Bronze Faction debate, which is over the exact same issue. It's a question of risk vs. reward, or at least it should be.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Doresh posted:

I can only assume they only kinda-sorta tested the game for starting characters and found it to be good enough. Why it didn't occur to them to have the numbers scale exponentially or even logarithmically (if you really have to do DBZ in a non-abstract way), I have no idea.

One thing I've gotten from reading these threads is that a lot of RPGs seem to have this problem. I mean, on the one hand with Rifts, White Wolf, or [Insert Heartbreaker Here] you can credit it to lack of (good) editing, amateurishness, or what have you, but it seems to just be common in general that people don't consider probabilities, how numbers are going to scale, or how things are going to balance in general. It seems like a systemic thing in the industry.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Oh man, is it going to be as amazing as the skills in Haven: City of Violence? Because I want to know what my chance to Loch Ness Monster is in whatever glorious mess you've found now is. :allears:

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


I've been considering how to try to fix Beast quite a bit myself while reading this, and it's *really* hard to do because it's really hard to do anything interesting that hasn't been covered by another nWoD splat already (Or JAGS Wonderland, in the case of what I've ultimately come up with), but it's hard not to desperately TRY because it feels to me like there's some really interesting concept buried deep down under the poo poo that's salvageable, but it may be wishful thinking. I think it's the rough idea of something that is literally an expression of primal fear.

At any rate, my thoughts are roughly thus: Have the Beast be in a Jekyll and Hyde situation. The basic effect is that there's something dark inside you alright. But you're only tangentially aware of it, it's just at the very fringes of your consciousness. When you sleep, it takes over your body, warps it into something monstrous and primal, and goes out and *does* things. You don't know what it does, but you wake up to find things in your room not quite how you left them, and you hear things.

But it's not something that comes from without, it's created from your own mind. And what makes it terrifying isn't that it's trying to do bad things or it wants to ruin you, but that it's trying to *help* you. It wants to *protect you*. You encountered something out there that was unnatural and terrifying, and your mind's somehow manifested something even more terrifying, a monster based on your deepest, darkest fears, to go hunt it down. But the problem is, it doesn't want to go away, whether it dealt with the initial problem or not. It wants to keep helping you, but it's basically nothing but your id and it has very... questionable ideas about what helping you might be.

Generally it's hunting down other splats or whatever gribblies are out there, because anything that unnatural is clearly not safe for you. But maybe you wander past where it killed a Werewolf the other day and there's a crime scene, and then suddenly it's offed a vascu guy because he's investigating the crime scene, and suddenly you have a manhunt coming after you. The point is, the consequences sooner or later hit you in the waking world. And then suddenly you remember everything and you're left with how to deal with the fact that you've not been fully human in a while, you've been burning bridges and making enemies and you weren't even aware of it, and now you have *everyone after you*. And you have to decide how you deal with it. Do you accept what you've become and try to take some control, or run away and let your 'Beast' handle everything for you while you pretend it's not happening? Are you going to try to make things right for whatever crazy stuff it got into without your knowledge? Are you willing to kill people who may have an entirely legitimate grievance against you?

Anyhow. Unrelated to any attempt to salvage something from this pile of poo poo, anyone else notice that Beast is somewhat similar to Wraethu in that it's a game that portrays something it's trying to present as an analog for LGBT people as horrible, murderous individuals, and yet claim that they are *absolutely right to be*, and that anyone who won't just sit back and let them do their creepy poo poo is a horrible person and deserves what they're getting?

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Kurieg posted:

If only because the last story re-introduces Changing Breeds to the Chronicles of Darkness.

So Matt's trying to burn Onyx Path and White Wolf to the ground on his way out or something? I can only assume he must have decided that they had committed some sort of slight against him and that he must destroy them by making GBS threads on everything he can touch. I really can't see why the heck else he'd do that. What is the point? Wasn't Changing Breeds so bad that they basically tried to pretend it didn't exist?

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Mors Rattus posted:

What does the True Neutral Paladin do

Be a druid and thus superior to a Lawful Good Paladin in every way?

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Gizmoteer R.C.C.

Psychics that muck with machines, gizmoteers are similar to techno-wizards, but from a psychic end. They're a backbone of Amaki culture, and do everything from mechanics to CSI investigations. And, of course, despite them being vital to the race, they go off on adventures because.

It's not really clear if you can play this class as a human, but Amaki have about a 50% chance of qualifying for it. They can modify machines to give them bonuses to damage, speed, maneuverability - and the rules for these are quantified pretty well, a rarity for Rifts. The higher your level, the bigger the bonus, but... the higher your level, the higher the chance that the item breaks and is destroyed. At really high levels, it just automatically breaks! Given the cost of most technology in Rifts, this is a huge drawback - weapons easily cost upwards of 5-6 figures, and even a modest suit of power armor will run into the millions of credits. Granted, there are ways around this - keep a stock of salvaged equipment from high-tech foes, or use it on disposable weapons like missiles or grenades, but it's still a really stupid, overly punishing drawback for a core ability.

Am I the only one who immediately thinks of Truenamers in 3.5 D&D where your core ability gets actively worse as you increase in level?

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Sometimes I think it's unfair, and sometimes I realize there's no amount of context that will make "The Native American Healing Shamans are some of the most powerful healing psionics on Rifts Earth, rivaled only by the Gypsy Gifted of Germany." any better.

Not happening. :ssh:

Oh boy, is that a real quote? That's going to be a thing. Can anyone name an RPG that has Native Americans, has magic, and DOESN'T pull this sort of thing? I mean after Rifts Africa it's absolutely expected from Palladium at this point, but :wtc:, not only Magical Native Americans but doubling down with Gypsies? gently caress off, Kevin.

What I'm saying is I'm looking forward to the review :magical:

Edit: Unless that was in one of the previous ones and I missed it, of course.

OvermanXAN fucked around with this message at 05:55 on May 24, 2017

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Halloween Jack posted:

Godlike gets a few things flat-out wrong, but having read it in detail, I don't find it chauvinistic towards Russians. If anything it takes pains to point out how many people they lost and how brutal the war was for them. The nations that really get ignored, as far as I can tell, are those involved in the land war in Asia. Like I'm glad that they get into Burma, which most people watching WWII movies will never think about, but barely mention China and Korea.

Actually, given The Bridge on the River Kwai, Burma is likely the only part of the land war in Asia that movie watchers WILL think of.

OvermanXAN fucked around with this message at 16:52 on May 28, 2017

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Well, on the other hand, Rifts gives you the clock whether you want it or not. Apparently clock calendars are super important for murderhobos.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


MonsieurChoc posted:

Only if they want them. I'm not evil enough to send those unwanted.

Hey, it could be worse, you could send them The Crystal Star.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Mors Rattus posted:

And finally, in a perfect encapsulation of the tonal incoherence of this book, the list of inspirational media! Books and movies are combined, and are: Avengers, Dragonheart, Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Lord of hte Rings, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke and Percy Jackson. Games: 7th Sea, Apocalypse World, Blood and Honor, Dungeon World, Houses of the Blooded, Monsterhearts, Mouse Guard, Urban Shadows. Television: My Little Pony: Friendshi Is Magic, Sailor Moon. Video GameS: Legend of Spyro, Mass Effect, Skies of Arcadia.

Wait wait wait. They're suggesting using John Wick's "gently caress you for playing" game of rear end in a top hat doomed highborn manchildren as an inspiration? For a game that seems most inspired by MLP? :psyduck:

I mean not only is this list hilariously incoherent and lacking in theme, but some of these seem MASSIVELY out of tone.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Bieeardo posted:

And with that, the Gehenna docked with Space Station 13.

I'd play a Space Station 13 tabletop, but I feel like there's not really a good way of doing that.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Man, everything you're saying about Brets sounds fantastic, Night. Keep telling us more :allears:. Any good anecdotes?

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Skaven also have a lot of very distinctive weapons that are just excellent set pieces/plot devices, because they tend towards mad science, so they're great for just having ridiculous, over the top stuff. Better, you can always fudge with them if the players are having bad luck because their stuff is all ridiculously break-prone, with their most reliable tech being only "almost" safe.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Cythereal posted:

Because they always backstab and sabotage themselves so there's no real narrative point to opposing them because they'll trip over their own feet in a frenzy of backstabbing the moment they start to really get anywhere, thus preserving the status quo with no input from the good guys required.

Except that while they backstab and sabotage themselves so they're not a setting ending threat, in the small scale where PCs operate, they're capable of doing obscene amounts of damage. Stopping a Skaven plot to assassinate a politician? Because yes, Skaven succeed at that. Skaven plot to take over a small town with a death ray? Sure. It's when Skaven start doing huge, long term, setting shaking stuff that their issues really get in the way, and even then they can do a lot of damage before they self destruct violently. Enemy incompetence is not an excuse to just sit around and do nothing to try to mitigate the effects.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Big Mad Drongo posted:

Advantage is roll twice, take better, right? As someone who doesn't get probabilities, how does that mess things up more than a fiddly pile of +1s and +2s?

Okay, simple. If you are rolling 1d20+3, you have a 0% chance of rolling a 25. If you get a +2 situational bonus on top of that, you now have a 1-in-20 chance of hitting that 25. If you are getting a reroll, you still have a 0% chance.

Essentially, as long as you're only using numerical modifiers, your chance of success is always going to be a fraction over 20, and calculating it is very simply "how many results on the d20 are successes?". Rerolls basically gently caress up that nice, simple math, and also gently caress with the math behind the D&D difficulty curve.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Dallbun posted:

It's pretty good stuff. My favorite part is the description of how he tries to be helpful.

(behir breathes lightning at PCs, people make saving throws, mark off damage, etc.)
Man: That looked like some kind of lightning!

(the round after a PC is constricted by the behir and clawed six times)
Man: Try not to let it catch you!

So what I'm getting from this is that he's a Pawn from Dragon's Dogma.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Evil Mastermind posted:



Yeah, that happened.

I really want to know it it's any good. Looking forward to your reviews, whether it's of the terrible old stuff or of this.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


I'm guessing that Coran's alignment is because Siembieda's insistence that there can be no neutral means there's nowhere he fits into, and violence is 'evil', so he just gets tagged with that? I mean, it's partly an example of how alignment in general is so wonky because it completely ignores any nuance in motives and reasoning, but Palladium's version of it seems completely bizarre.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Barrier Peaks is something that should be experienced at least once. Not *played* per say, this is a tournament scenario after all, but experienced. I say go for it.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Night10194 posted:

This is also the only setting designed and written by Dan Abnett, and I've got to say while I have no idea how his novels are since I never bothered to read any, he is a terrible RPG setting writer.

Dan Abnett's novels are pretty good, by 40k novel standards. They're not humorous like the Caiphus Cain stuff but they're similar in their general treatment of the setting. It's fairly obvious why they chose him to do the fluff for this book, since two of his series are about inquisitors (And he actually makes them interesting, sympathetic, and fairly nuanced (mostly by treating them like WHF Witch Hunters, admittedly) and gives a pretty good analysis of why even an unusually sane, grounded inquisitor can wind up going radical.). That said, he tends to do a lot of ground level humans vs. non-CSM Chaos, so I can somewhat understand how his setting stuff here winds up like it does.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Mors Rattus posted:

What did Thor do to deserve this, anyway? He's historically a pretty likable fella.

Well, there was that time he and the rest of the Aesir hired contract labor and then stiffed them on payment? Beyond that, I'm not sure.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Cannons also can't defend themselves if some random guys walk up to them and start hitting them with pointy objects.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Something I'm sure we're going to get into that I love about magic in WHFRP is how distinctive each of the wizard colleges are. The Empire doesn't really do generic wizards, and it's great.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Most of the stuff High Magic does in the war game really wouldn't work well in an RPG, since it's stuff like "destroy a magic item" that works in a war game where you're playing every fight with an untouched army, but would really be a pain in an RPG where magic gear represents a significant investment.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Elves don't have a compelling reason to switch from their longbows to the currently available firearms in WHF, for the reason that Ghost Leviathan said. Even for the Dwarves it's legitimately a toss-up between their crossbows and what firearms they have available, and not just because of conservatism. The setting is at a point where guns are not yet universally better than other options, but you can be fairly sure that it's on track to hit that point and everyone *will* adjust their combat doctrines at that point if they can. Probably would suck royally for the Tomb Kings and Lizardmen, though.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


The name Bhlaze being used for a race of energy beings makes me so angry. It's just incredibly uninspired.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


JcDent posted:

What irritates me with 7th Sea (and -World, and just story games in general) is willy nilly renaming gaming concepts to be different. It's not a test, it's a Risk, it's not an adventure, it's retro/character/GM story, it's not a success, it's a Raise...

Nah, Risk and Raise are something held over from when 7th Sea was running in its crunchier 90s 1e version, IIRC. Which is not to say it's not stupid, but don't blame it on storygaming, blame it on 90s RPG design.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


While having closing blessures be the requirement for Porte users to get their Quirk activation is a bit limiting, I do love them existing as a concept because A: it's just really cool to have your villains tear screaming wounds in reality, and B: it's a ready made thing for your magic people to deal with while still giving everyone else something useful to do in the process.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Night10194 posted:

Ideally it leads to swordfighting the devil.

Preferably on top of a moving coach.

I mean really that should just be the endgame for your games anyway.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Alien Rope Burn posted:

As far as future books go, I'd suggest Pirate Nations, since a number of books reference some elements of it going forward- namely, the ATC is introduced in that and gets a mention in nearly every setting book that follows.

Going to second this, then. Probably best to get it covered fast

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


It sounds to me like there's a great setup for a climactic, constantly escalating battle between players, Reis, and Fevrier at a campaign endgame, with tons of supernatural stuff crashing the party as stuff gets progressively more nuts. If nothing else, the fact that the fluff immediately puts cool set pieces in mind is a good sign.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


I don't know why there would be any assumption that a tie-in novel should trump rulebook statements as far as what's canon to the setting goes, even if it's written by the setting's creator. As for character genders... At a guess they were rushing to get the core book out and just copypasted a bunch of stuff they hadn't determined details on yet from 1E to meet deadlines. It's stupid but I can't really blame them.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Hattie Masters posted:

I don't think anyone's arguing which one is more canon than the other, more that it's dumb that John Wick can't keep the setting straight.

I suspect it's less that he can't keep his setting straight and more that there were other people contributing for the game, so it wound up going in a different direction. Wick presumably had total creative control on the novel (Aside from editing) and didn't have anyone else to look at. Said novel probably does offer a fairly good into his head, though.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


I'd kinda like to see Nations of Theah vol. 1, so we can see just what is actually going down in the main setting beyond the brief and often somewhat copypasted stuff from the core. At the same time, the New World is tempting, and the Crescent Empire could potentially be cool as well...

Nah, sticking to my guns, Nations of Theah vol. 1

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Aschlafly posted:

whatever the hell happened in 3e.

My general impression is that 3e's problem is that it tried to simplify or fix various mechanics while only looking at those mechanics in a vacuum and not how they actually interacted as a whole. A lot of it seems to have been an attempt to lower the amount of DM bookkeeping required (lowering the amount of NPC characters running around by removing player armies, moving learning spells to be player controlled rather than the DM having to remember to provide them with scrolls, or the rework to AC for one that was less immediately problematic.) Individually a lot of the changes make 3.x a lot easier to manage and keep moving, taken as a whole they give a lot of benefits to casters while penalizing martial characters in comparison

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Night10194 posted:

There's a new Pathfinder?

Is it just D&D 5e with the serial numbers filed off, higher numbers, and 'original setting, do not steal' written on it? That'd be keeping with the precedent and design of the first game.

It's worse. It's still 3.5 derived, from what I can tell, but Taking 10 is a feat now. A multibuy feat, once per skill. With skill prerequisites for effect :smithicide:

Though the good news is that if you have high enough ranks in the skill it becomes take 20 or take 30 in the same situations without spending extra time? But still, more stuff that you could always do that is now locked behind feats. Joy.

OvermanXAN fucked around with this message at 04:05 on Aug 9, 2018

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OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


NoWayToTheOldWay posted:

Anyway! I remain impressed with the amount of world building in 7thS, but I did have two minor quibbles:

1. There seems to be an inordinate focus on local folklore and forest goblins, because I am not sure how they are supposed to fit in campaigns of high intrigue, international piracy and gallant swashbuckling. Are your big-hatted heroes supposed to spend much time hexcrawling the wilderness?
2. People on average seem too nice! Most monarchs, apart from designated villain nations like Mbey or the French, seem like genuinely good people, idealistic pacifists or outright democrats. Itís fine and fun to have a country like the Commonwealth thatís explicitly a chaotic experiment, but looking at the leaders on the world stage itís hard to imagine the world couldnít end up happy and peaceful even without player intervention. A few too many heroes and a few too few villains, perhaps. (And the occasional character too much like the perfect GMPC players are supposed to be super excited to be best buds with...)

1. There's explicitly a society (secret would be pushing it) that you can be part of that's entire thing is monster hunting, so if players decide "Yes, this is what I want to be doing" and take Die Kruezritter during character creation then they have indicated they want to be engaging in Witcher style shenanigans and it's a good idea to have the monsters described and available. One of the really positive things in character creation here is that it really strongly signals what kinds of encounters players want their PCs having.

2. Despite idealistic monarchs, every nation presented has major societal tensions between at least one thing the monarch is doing and what a major social group wants. There's no nation where there isn't inherently some sort of conflict going on. I think part of the focus is avoiding large scale wars going on because when that happens it's a lot harder for PCs to meaningfully interact because the scale suddenly turns into "wargaming" and the system is not built for that.


Not directly related to this, but since there's been the discussion of IKRPG backstory, or just RPG backstory in general... I think that's just such a matter of opinion that I wish people would stop arguing about it. I personally like having the backstory because it makes it feel like the setting is a specific place and there's a basis for all the poo poo going on. I understand a lot of people find it impenetrable, and I get that. I will say that SPECIFICALLY in the case of iron Kingdoms, the backstory so heavily informs a lot of the in-setting groups and what they're doing that it's worth covering, since it's relevant to both of the aforementioned undead dragons, the Protectorate of Menoth, the elves, and the Circle Orboros (who will come up if someone ever gets around to covering Unleashed.). Regardless, as said I feel it's a matter of personal taste, certainly in the case of IKRPG or Warhams Fantasy RPG, where it was determined well in advance of the books being written due to being from a pre-existing wargame. Now, if it's something like one of those 90s era World of Darkness styled heartbreakers, then it becomes significantly more a question of "Why were you spending time on this poo poo instead of ensuring you have functioning rules"

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