Man, I can see why the GURPS books are popular as a setting bible of sorts. As a total Mage newb, this looks like a total nightmare to digest o_O
(Then again I'd probably just end up skipping over most of the flowery prose, scanning for sections that look like plain English. I assume this means 3/4 of the book are useless to me?)
Yeah, at least for me, "all mages are doing the exact same thing; they're just too foolish to admit it" is a deal-breaker. It makes all the cultural differences and the ups and downs of various ways of thinking into nothing but set-dressing for the real paradigm, which is so simple it almost doesn't exist.
We are all the same in your special snowflakeness.
Doresh fucked around with this message at 22:02 on Jan 6, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 6, 2016 21:58|
|# ¿ May 25, 2022 16:41|
Part of me thinks that if it's that much of a problem, maybe they should develop the land or something.
Unlikely. Aokigahara is dense, sits on hard volcanic rock and caverns, and covers around 14 square miles. And it's right tnext to Mount Fuji.
Speaking of Japan...
(Splitting this up for the archive bot)
Doresh fucked around with this message at 19:36 on Jan 7, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 7, 2016 19:33|
Double Cross - Public Enemy
Professor Caudwell and his supposed children - except for the girl with the teddy. She's a ninja or something.
EDIT: Crap, no Professor here, and only one of his kids.
Introduction - Terrorists Assemble
Another thread, another Double Cross supplement.
How can you be a "public" enemy if the public doesn't even know you exist?
Corny Monologues (tm) posted:
We are False Hearts.
In what must be the most John Wick of all the DX supplements (man, associating him with DX in any way just feels wrong), Public Enemy is (almost) entirely about playing as a member of False Hearts, the main antagonists of DX.
Unlike John Wick, Public Enemy doesn't go "False Hearts are actually the good guys!". It's well aware the FH members are self-centered jerks at best and mass-murdering psychopaths at worst, which is probably not the best setup for a long campaign (though that's not really what Japanese RPGs are about, anyways).
Aside from rules for creating False Hearts characters and a couple FH-exclusive T-Loises and Equipment, we get more in-depth information about False Hearts than ever before, which is why I skipped all the FH stuff and characters from the last book. Some are just easier to explain and/or understand with this book's informations.
As a little extra nugget, the book also introduces rules and guidelines for Random Scenarios. Those aren't your typical random adventures were the GM rolls up some goals and complications beforehand and turns it into something coherent. A good chunk of the randomness is rolled up during play, requiring input from both the players and the GM to make sense of it. I'm certainly looking forward to these rules, and the templates presented - especially a certain one with a bit of a The Thing vibe.
False Hearts and You
FH characters are a bit more restricted in their Work selection, as they have pick one of the FH-exclusive ones. Since they relish more in their power and life closer on the edge of becoming a Gjaum, FH characters also have to start with at least one T-Lois. This can be any eligible one from the Advanced Rulebook, but the FH-exclusive ones presented in this supplement are recommended, mainly because they have the added side-effect of granting the character access to FH-exclusive Equipment.
As the pregen characters in this book cover almost all Works available to False Hearts members and all of the FH-exclusive T-Loises, I figured I can present all that stuff through them:
Meet the Pregens
Like the previous books, this one starts with a little comic, in this case 4 pages about the new pregen characters (all members of the same FH cell) having a meeting.
Underaged FH members have issues.
In order of appearance:
Bloody Trump is the dumb fighter / main protagonist guy and essentially an evil, brooding version of corebook pregen Wild Card, right down to being a Chimaera Overed who kills stuff with a big claw. Unlike Wild Card, Bloody Trump also has the Bram Stoker Syndrome. This makes his claw look more evil, and gives him an excuse to weep blood when using his powers.
Not entire sure what "Joker's Blood" is there for, but it does sound better than Bloody Trump.
Bloody Trump has the most common Work of a FH character: The FH Agent, which is a direct counterpart to the UGN Agent, if a bit less formal.
His T-Lois is Super Soldier, which further amplifies his role as the big dumb fighter. All of his attacks deal more damage, but he's quick to go on a rampage and easy to mess with through mental powers since his <Will> is penalized.
Purple Moonlight is your expy for Speeding Bullets, aka your long-range blaster support. Being a pure Angel Halo, she shreds stuff with purple laser beams instead of summoning energy pistols. She is also a FH Child, who is similar to an UGN Child and that she has been raised and trained by her organization from a very young age.
False Hearts' training program is pretty brutal and has a high body count, in parts due to it focusing more about how awesome using powers is instead of how to control those powers. Add in a few cases of deliberate psychological torture and a few experiments, and you can see why most FH Children tend to be sociopathic killers.
Who said murder hobos can't be little girls?
Unsurprisingly, her T-Lois is Destructive Child. Thanks to the above training from hell, our little mass murderer in the making can permanently beef up one of her powers.
The Fanged Swordsman is a tough Exile/Morpheus/Balor dude who fights with a bone sword he can boost through gravity control and wield very efficiently thanks to his bendy and stretchy arms.
Sounds like a fun moveset for a Dynasty Warriors game.
He also has the first Work that's not a direct counterpart to any of the UGN Works: The FH Merc. They are a bit like Illegals in concept, as they aren't technically members of False Hearts. Instead, they are tough mercenary Overed dudes who just happen to work for False Heart because the pay's pretty good.
His T-Lois is a pretty interesting one: Undead. He's not a zombie or anything like that, mind you. "Undead" is just a term used for an Overed who somehow manages to sustain Encroachment Rates over 100% without turning into a Gjaum (up to 119% to be precise, but I assume NPCs can take a lot more, especially when looking at a few writeups).
The reason you don't find Undead in the UGN is because their higher-ups refuse to acknowledge their existance. If you're Encroachment Rate is over 100%, you are a Gjaum to them, no matter of many UGN Agents you've had an encounter with swear that you can't possibly be an insane monster.
Frozen Bullet is your cold-hearted, professional FH Agent. She specializes in ranged combat, and her Black Dog / Salamandra powers are all built around that.
The most sensible FH pregen so far.
Her T-Lois is Item Master, which grants her a free FH-exclusive Item up to a certain Stock point cost. In her case, she settled for Rapid Fire, a heavy assault rifle that trades range for AoE damage.
Lastly, we have Lord of Stratagem, who uses his Hanuman / Neumann powers to support the rest of the team. Is Work as the FH Cell Leader is little different from a UGN Branch Chief, except for not having to worry about higher-ups as much.
Real chessmaster villains wear scarves.
His T-Lois is Spy, which is exclusive to Cell Leaders and allows them to user their 1337 spy sk1llz to hide or falsify intel once per Scenario. Need to get fake passports? Done. An UGN Agent found out the location of your hidehout? Now he's mindwiped. Want do have all traces of your former life erased? Just say the word!
The only Work not covered by the pregens is FH Renegade Being, which is just a counterpart to the normal Renegade Being Work.
Experience and Desire
For fleshing out Personal Data, FH characters can roll on a new Experience Chart all for FH. If you are a FH Child, this chart is mandatory. Results include that you've always been a loyal member of FH, that you are a UGN traitor, or that several kinds of bad stuff happened in your past and you ended up with FH.
Instead of rolling on the Encounter Chart (though there is one for FH members for random Lois generation), FH characters roll on the Desire Chart, which determines the character's ultimate goal in life and reason to hang out with FH. You might be in it for the money/power, try to seek revenge, kill everything or just find some love.
Shiny New Toys
FH doesn't half-rear end it when it comes to outfitting its members:
Melee weapons include the Keen Knife that shreds the targets Armor bit by bit, the Cross Thrust which is a spear disguised as a cane for extra style points, the Innocent Blade that reacts well with powers, the Totsuka Sword which is either Cloud's Buster Sword or Guts' Dragonslayer, and an ultra-light Guard Shield.
The most high-end of all melee weapons is the Rengeade-infested Blade of Destruction, which increases your Encroachment rate with each attack and gains a huge buff once your at or above 100%
Aside from the above mentioned Rapid Fire, FH guns include the very accurate if strangely named FHG - 666 pistol, a friggin' Laser Rifle that pierces through Armor with ease, the R-Cannon which is an EX Renegade rifle reaction to the user's concentration, an EX Renegade pistol in the Devil Gun that increases the Encroachment Rate of both the user and the target, and a good ol' Mounted Rail Cannon for vehicles.
The most powerful rifle is the cursed Heaven's Lightning, which let's you trade HP for accuracy.
FH Armor range from the FH Armored Vest over the FH Combat Suit to the FH Battle Armor, with the FH Battle Coat offering additonal protection. The Combat Suit is especially nifty in that it boosts the user's powers, while the Armor and Coat reduce incoming damage from powers.
The most advanced armor is the Evolving Armor which lets you boost checks with a Base Stat of cour choice.
Connections consist of a FH Excecutive Member and Support Staff.
Vehicle choices are pretty nifty: the Sky Kid is a jet pack, the FH Blade Bike a nifty bike, the FH Light Van an amored car, and the Steel Giganto is a friggin' spider tank that can walk over smaller buildings and tower over every single BattleMech thanks to its height of 20+ meters.
If you always want your vehicle ready when you need it the most, you can attach a Call System to it. Press the button, and your railgun-toting surprise spider tank is bound to be a riot at parties.
General equipment is far too numerous to cover it all, though special mention goes to the Stealth Field (which does exactly what it sounds like), the Magnetic Field Generator (a deflector shield), CR Bullets (bonus damage vs Overeds, aka everyone of note), MASK-ED (a shapechanging mask that essentially makes you Fantômas 2.0) and Gray Sacrifice (makes you appear dead). If you want to punch harder, there are at least 3 different pieces of Equipment that do just that.
The most expensive pieces of Equipment are the Flower of Truth (grants bonus damage and can destroy a anything used to guard against it), the Brainwashing Device (let's you instantly take over a non-Overed, even during battle) and Alpha-Trance from last book's Example Scenario. As Equipment, this powerful drug let's you temporarily use one specific power you can't normally use.
Next Time: False Hearts Unveiled - World of DX.
Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:36 on Jan 13, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 7, 2016 19:33|
Foci "Such tools range from the obvious computer gear (generations ahead of conventionally available tech), clouds, holograms, implants, nanotech, energy drinks, and sense-altering stimuli to the understated chic of dark hoodies, manga-influenced haircuts, fashionable androgyny, and provocative masks."
You see, if Samson gained super-strength through his hair, it is only natural that spiky hair and yelling a lot can make you turn Super Saiyan.
Foci: "Crazy wisdom is the core of this group’s many practices, which include everything from gutter magick, yoga, and martial arts to cybernetic hypertech." Also drugs. They have to do all kinds of drugs because using just one drug means they get complacent.
Why are cybernetics even a thing? I thought modern society and technology is evil? Sure, it's futuristic stuff, but futuristic stuff getting more feasible each year.
Akashics about the Disparates: "Lost children and broken relations… yet there’s more to them than there might seem."
And dear lord, is was fun and all back in Changing Breeds, but this nonsense and bad writing is supposed to be part of WoD's Holy Tri-Force. I think I'm gazing too deep into the abyss
|# ¿ Jan 8, 2016 19:03|
Just to go back a page though to the last DX post, I still want a FH Mercs/Guild game that's basically "Black Lagoon with superpowers." (I just want to play in it, not run it, which is always a problem.)
Sounds like a rad idea. There's even plenty of support for this kind of game:
Double Cross - Public Enemy
False Hearts Unveiled
The first known mention of False Hearts comes from the Asian woman that informed the archeology team of Ryan Philander about the location of the Renegade ruins. Seeing how important the following Renegade Liberation was to the evolution of the Renegade Beings, it's pretty safe to assume this Asian woman was Kyoka "The Planner" Tsuzuki, or one of her flunkies.
Nobody really knows just when exactly False Hearts was founded, but it is known that it didn't really have the same cell structure it has today before the Renegade Liberation (most likely because Overeds were pretty rare before).
Instead, False Heart consisted of a loose gathering of Clans, groups of both Overeds and non-Overeds who have been around for centuries. Their ancient knowledge and secret techniques (which makes their non-Overed members bad enough dudes to fight Overeds) makes them FH's elite combat units, though they are technically still separate from FH, and their members serve their Clan first and FH second. Still, Clans make more and more use of FH's global intel and training facility network.
The oldest known Clan is the Japanese Kasuga Clan, whose members served The Planner since its founding in the late 8th century. Unfortunately, they were just as surprised about The Planner abandoning False Hearts and creating the Xenos organization as everyone else, and she left them not a single note or anything. She just left, leaving the clan in a state of confusion and existential crisis. Some members just continue to work for FH, others have joined Xenos to continue their servitude, and a few are actually fighting Xenos, hoping that Senpai will notice them again if they wreck her new club. I don't think this is a particularly good plan, but I digress.
With the Kasuga Clan in disarray, the most powerful clan (and only other notable) is probably The Black Order. They are infamous for their super sneaky assassins who are also experts in squad tactics, which I think means they found a way to invert the Inverse Ninja Law. They are also so secretive that not even the other FH guys know what's going on with this Clan.
Black Order's leader is Vikarala the Dark One, which not a single person, but a title passed on from one leader to the next (though past Dark Ones might've used othe rnames than Vikarala, but who knows with these guys).
Clan leaders are known as Liaison Lords or just Lords, and together they form False Heart's 12-man executive committee, a structure the UGN later copied for their Axis committee.
There are two major differences between these committees: Axis consists of 6 normal humans and 6 Overeds, whereas Liaison Lords are all Overeds. And whereas Axis is the highest echelon in the UGN, the Lords play second fiddle to Central Dogma.
Who is Central Dogma? Where is he? How does he look like? What gender does he actually have? Is he a single Overed, or just a title? The only ones who could answer these questions are the Liaison Lords or a select few agents working as Central Dogma's messengers. Everyone else has not a single clue about his/her true identity. And if you go by the Advanced Ruleboook, the UGN apparently doesn't even know Central Dogma is a single person and just assumes its FH's main cell.
Below these 13 leaders of False Hearts are the Master Agents, agents whose supreme proficiency in a specific ability or skill has granted them the honor of adding "Master" to their codename. This is in fact the only restriction to code- or nicknames in all of DX, so you can be sure that poo poo is about to hit the fan if anyone with "Master" anywhere in his codename makes an entrance.
As the best of the best False Hearts as to offer, Master Agents take in leading roles in all of FH's activities (intel, research, training,...), act as experts for specific Syndromes or are elite agents tasked with special missions.
A special role among the Master Agents is the Master Wraith, whose top secret missions are always crucial to Renegade research and evolution. There used to be only one Master Wraith at any given time, but recent events have made this a bit more crowded (more on that later).
Spreading from the center of False Hearts' organizational structure is a big spiderweb of Cells. Cells are for the most part very independent from each other, and it is even possible for two Cells to operate in the same city without knowing of each other's existance.
Despite all this relative freedom, there is a certain ranking among the Cells, and a Cell Leader has to follow orders from a higher-ranking Cell. Orders from Lords and especially Central Dogma himself overrule everything, but other than that the actual hierarchy between Cells is a bit muddy and convuluted, especially since Liaison Lords like to make up their own structure for the Master Cells and Leader Cells (the exact name depending on the Lord's rank, though the book doesn't really get into detail here; I'd just go with Leader Cells as that's the only one that gets mentioned multiple times) they control.
As Cells often consist of Overeds with similar goals and tastes, they often specialize into specific roles. These are very similar to UGN departments and are referred to as Combat Cells (killing stuff), Intelligence Cells (hacking stuff) and R&D Cells (science stuff).
And just like the UGN has their Strikehounds and R-Lab, False Hearts has special elite Cells that operate on a global scale: The Combat Cell Moon Dogs, the Intelligence Cell Ratfink, and the R&D Cell Two-Time. And just like with the Strikehounds, Moond Dogs was actually the name of the standard cannon fooder FH goons in the corebook. PCs are just that good.
When Cells have to work together, Executive Cells come into play to coordinate everything. These Cells are the rarest of them all, and often times just temporary in nature.
Another special "Cell" are Personal Cells, which are just FH members who work alone.
The People of False Hearts
FH training is very similar to the UGN (except if you're a FH Child, in which case you're more of guinea pig that might eventuall become an agent as an added bonus), with the main difference being that FH sees the Renegade not as a dangerous thing that eats away at your humanity, but a (more or less) natural part of yourself that helps you in fulfilling your desires and wishes. They also put less of a focus on safety regulations, though they do teach their agents to not keep their powers hidden in public.
While the UGN has no tolerance for Gjaums, FH is essentially a meritocracy: as long as you're sane enough to be a functional member of FH society, nobody cares if you're actually a psychotic monster in human guise. In fact a lot of high-ranking agents and even a few Liaison Lords are actually Gjaums.
Mind you, even FH PCs become NPCs when turning into a Gjaum (as that removes a PC's main source of internal conflict), though I guess it could be kinda fun to have the occasional Scenario involving the players' former PCs making a comeback to go wild now that they don't have to care about Encroachment Rate anymore.
Like UGN Agents and, well, terrorists, FH Agents still have a Cover and live a normal life outside of their FH activities. Relationships between the members of a FH Cell can range from "big happy (terrorist) family" to "no contact outside of Cell activities, and codenames only".
And just to show what kind of shenanigans FH Cells pull off, here are some global events I skipped from the Advanced Corebook:
The New Haven Conflict
Probably the first major incident caused by False Hearts as it happend 20 years ago (and most likely just after the Renegade Liberation). New Haven is a fictional island in the southern Pacific Ocean that has been ravaged by an ethnical conflic, when False Hearts invited itself into the party. With a big dose of weapons, supplies, and people turning into Overeds or Gjaums, the conflict suddenly escalated like crazy for one last year, taking a heavy toll on both sides and creating weird stories about tentacle monster, panther dudes and flying soldiers. And all just to have a field study on battlefield applications for the Renegade virus.
The Krodova Civil War
Your typical fictional Eastern European country (probably a neighbor of Latveria), the Krodova Principality has been plagued by a devastating civil war that has been going on for years, with no end in side. Actual FH Agents are relatively rare in this country, but the organization provides both sides with weapons and Overed creation, as a sort of long-term version of the New Haven Conflict. It's basically Overed Ukraine.
The Baranian President's Assassination
Another fictional coutnry, the Baranian Republic in the Middle East has had a long history of conflicts with its neighboring countries, but things were looking pretty optimistic thanks to the new president. But just when he had a meeting with an ambassador from his neighbors, he was shot by what must've been a teleporting bullet to make it look like the ambassador killed him.
Suffice to say, False Hearts are dicks.
Next Time: Professor Caudwell - or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Renegade.
|# ¿ Jan 9, 2016 13:22|
In general I think I've gotten to the point where Nazis are so overexposed in genre fiction I barely want to see them at all. I'm pretty exhausted on the idea of Nazi exceptionalism - that is, that Nazi Germany was so advanced that they were on the verge of discovering X and it's great that ordinary folks defeated Hitler before they invented time travel or the atomic bomb or clone cyborg Thor or whatever. I'm just tired of them being mythologized and given a lot more credit than they actually deserve.
Man, I once watched this documentary about Nazi UFOs, full of technobabble, "eye-witnesses" (aka "UFO nutjobs who want to be especially snowflakey by claiming their strange visitors spoke German") and artwork which I could swear was borrowed from some pulpy WW2 RPG supplement. I really hope I never get to see such a "documentary" ever again.
(Then again, it gave me an idea for Nazi penguins.)
Go read the military history thread in ask/tell. The goons there will readily agree that the Germans had some really good equipment, but it's almost never the stuff you hear much about. The StuG III, for example.
Why talk about the boring and practical stuff if you can instead talk about hyper-advanced antigrav engines for the above UFOs (which is bullshit) and tanks so big the can mount battleship cannons (which is actually not bullshit, but instead a hilarious failure of a tank concept).
No, that just means you read Mage right.
Seriously, why isn't the game about those guys?
Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:17 on Jan 9, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 9, 2016 20:08|
It's amazing how Campbell can give a pretty a complete and to the point look of the Technocracy, while Brucato meanders all over the place and yet can't bring himself to give the guys players are actually supposed to play as more detail than "They're goths. Also something something art is magick."
Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:13 on Jan 9, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 9, 2016 21:09|
I recall that in 1e Hollow Ones and Orphans were different terms for the same thing. So the Hollow Ones presented in this book not really having a focus or anything makes sense, sort of.
So White Wolf likes to give the same thing multiple names so they might use the alternate names for something else later?
Bubzavav is a giant, sentient bear. He’s generally portrayed in Madlander stories as single-minded, eternally hungry, and kinda stupid; he’ll eat grass, mushrooms, deer, honey oh my christ I give up he’s Winnie the loving Pooh. I was going to be so clever and reveal the gods are Winnie the Pooh characters at the end of the chapter but it’s staring me in the loving face. Bubzavav is cheerful and polite (when he’s not cheerfully eating people). Bubzavav is eternally hungry. Bubzavav has “light brown, almost yellow” fur. Bubzavav is described as “roly-poly”. Bubzavav’s stomach and the word “rumble” are mentioned together three times. BUBZAVAV ONCE GOT STUCK IN A HOLE CHASING BEES FOR THEIR HUNNY AND PIGLET FAILED TO HELP BY PUSHING HIM FURTHER IN. gently caress this GURPS Fantasy II, if you can’t be bothered to take your setting seriously I’m out.
If I ever get around my Silent Legions review, I will make sure to create an Eldritch horror mythos based around Winnie the Pooh.
|# ¿ Jan 10, 2016 10:01|
Mostly I just find it weird that more than once I've heard it come up specifically in reference to dudes that primarily just punch people.
Either it's a Scottish Dwarf case were one guy associated it with martial artists and then everyone else copied it for some reason, or people use it because it sounds similar to "ascetic", invoking Shaolin monks and stuff.
|# ¿ Jan 10, 2016 22:24|
That guy was Poul Anderson, I believe. In the 1953 story "Three Hearts and Three Lions."
Learning never stops. Though I think I've heart that title before in D&D Paladin context...
Lucifer is so 70s TV I can hear the Night Rider, Hulk and Supertrain theme songs. Just a lonely AI truck, wandering the highways with its crew of scrappy survivors.
I get a "Terminator meets Maximum Overdrive" wipe from it. Either way, it's sound pretty rad.
In honor of this detailed inspection of White Wolf properties I have prepared a handy guide to World of Darkness game lines.
Thanks. Now it's starting to make sense.
(He lied, blissfully ignoring Brucato's writing.)
If I recall correctly, cWoD was adamantly "Hitler was just human omg man's inhumanity to man!" Nephandi and Wyrm werewolves and racist regular werewolves and ultimate mind control Technocrats and whatever were just hangers on all the way to the end…somehow. Which might sound reasonable in light of recent tangents, but considering he's basically the only one who gets that sort of treatment it comes off as cheap edgelord posturing. Like many of oWoD's problems, it could've been solved by just having some goddamn restraint.
Wasn't Hitler like the only thing without any supernatural involvement?
Either way, pretty silly to make everything a giant nihilist conspiracy. Humans have always been dicks to each other. They need no weird mages to help them out.
This is what the WoD should be all about.
Still, it gave us the immortal line: "Last time, on Operation Darkness, Operation Valkyrie failed because we failed to account for Hitler being a Dark Wizard." and SAS Werewolves vs. Nazi Vampires. One good way to do Weird War 2 is to have the 'real' war happening as known and then have all the weirdos cancelling one another out on the sidelines.
I thought his head got transplanted onto a giant killbot.
More importantly, the way the guns interacted with the tactical gameplay was one of the best parts about the game and yet almost all the supernatural enemies could only be hurt by melee or special attacks and eventually all you fight is supernaturals.
What a shame. Does anyone know if there are any Weird War (or rather Weirder War) mods for Silent Storm?
|# ¿ Jan 11, 2016 19:21|
I still don't get that chart
I don't actually either, but I take it over Brucato's writing.
Pretty much. One of the best ?jokes? they ever pulled was having like five different supernatural conspiracies claiming Rasputin as their own. That kind of sarcastic self awareness was refreshing sometimes.
Maybe he changed his splat each time he respawned?
Likewise Nazi-hunting Aryan werewolves.
Even Aryan uberwolves can be productive members of society.
|# ¿ Jan 11, 2016 21:24|
Double Cross - Public Enemy
Professor Caudwell and his war
The history of Professor Alfred J. Caudwell begins during his early 30s (aka a few months after the Renegade Liberation), when he worked as a research scientist for an American university. One fateful day, a colleague asked him for help with the autopsy of a strange corpse showing some very odd mutations.
Not only did the mutant corpse disappear a few days later, but also all research data. And both his colleague as well as anyone else who knew of the corpse had no memory of it. Caudwell was just about to accept tha the had just imagined stuff, but his young daughter had overheard the conversation between him and his colleague.
So Caudwell started investigation, making use of whatever connections and resources he had available. He tried to cover his tracks, but eventually he couldn't help but feel that someone was watching him. When he tried to get himself and his family out of town, he got hit with a case of "Rock falls, everyone dies".
I can't help but think the object in question was a piano. Or a 10-tonweight.
While on the highway, an object "randomly" came falling out of the sky and hit Caudwell's car, killing everyone inside...
Since he awakened as an Overed either before or because of this little accident, Caudwell managed to recover from his injuries. Leading his mysterious enemy to believe that he did die, Caudwell went unterground in the bad parts of town, starting a vigilante career.
On his quest to find out what the hell was going on so he could take revenge for the murder of his family, Caudwell came across other Overeds. None of them lead to the murderers as they were all just simple criminals or confused civilians like himself who had just awakened. On the plus side, he managed to find enough like-minded Overeds to create the Guardians, a street-level superhero team that fought criminal Overeds because the police couldn't.
Among these heroes were Jonathan Lancaster - who would later inherit the Lancaster Corporation - and Bernard Blum, the father of Axis member Therese Blum.
After three years of playing heroes, their true enemy finally made himself known. And as you probably guessed, this enemy was False Hearts.
Having more resources, knowledge and experience, False Heart opened a pretty hefty can of whoopass on those Guardian amateurs. Many were killed outright or turned into Gjaums trying to hulk out enough to survive the onslaught.
Still, all these sacrifices allowed the remaining Guardians to bring down FH's main Executive Cell of North America.
After this hard-earned victory, Caudwell began writing a thesis on the Renegade virus, borrowing heavily from the FH data they had captured. Unsprisingly, pretty much all the Renegade- and Overed-related terms originated from False Hearts.
It was also this thesis he sent to Earth's government, which would eventually lead to the birth of the UGN about a year after this little battle for North America.
Over the following years, it dawned on Caudwell that his vision of a peaceful co-existance between Overeds and normies didn't look like it would happen anytime soon, what with the various governments being ungrateful jerks who only tolerated Overeds because they were kinda required to stop FH and rampagin Gjaums.
Five years after the UGN's founding (aka 11 years ago), Caudwell and two of the original Guardians (including Bernard Blum) died when experiments in an animal research facility in New Zealand got a bit out of hand thanks to the Renegade.
If the UGN wasn't so shocked about the death of their father figure, they might've noticed some weird things surrounding this whole event: No documents of any kind existed about this supposed facility, and it was so throughoutly annihilated that no evidence or bodies could've been salvaged.
As seen in the previous book, Caudwell caused quite the urpoar with his sudden return through a worldwide broadcast that cost the UGN an arm and a leg to cover up. He had also de-aged back to his 30-year-old self - which could explain why his Syndrome is always listed as unknown, because who knows what exactly he did to himself.
(Wait... oh crap, that isn't actually Caudwell on the cover. That's Kyoji "Diablos" Kasuga, whose bio paints him as a recurring boss character / eternal loser. Very strange to put him at center stage, which is probably why I got them confused in my first post <_<)
This is Caudwell. Dude knows how to wear a monocle.
Note that the UGN wasn't the only ones shocked by his return. Despite himself claiming to be a FH member now, he didn't actually contact FH beforehand. He just invited himself into the club, declared himself leader of FH Japan by destroying any Cell that didn't bow down to him, and he had the gall to hand out the Master Wraith title to several of his own men, some of which claim to be his children.
The Liaison Lords were naturally pretty pissed about Caudwell just walzing in and taking over parts of FH, but before they could decide on any counter-measures, Central Dogma stopped them in their tracks with one of his rare direct commands: "Central Dogma authorizes the actions of Professor Caudwell".
This command has since splintered both FH (what with Caudweel taking over their Japanese Cells) and the Liaison Lords, who are torn between their loyalty to Central Dogma and Caudwell apparently being allowed to do as he pleases. Some believe Caudweel and Central Dogma are actually working together, but others fear that Caudwell might weaken FH as a whole.
So what are Caudwell's plans? Well, there's the already known "I want to tear down the UGN and everything it stands for" part. He despises what the place has turned into, and several older members had the same feeling and have left the UGN to join him.
Another goal of his appears to rely on some mysterious item he's after. Some kind of "grail" or "vessel" located somewhere in Japan, which is the main reason why he took over the FH Cells there. Nobody knows what this is all about, but it probably has something to do with the Renegade virus... *foreshadowing to next book*
Next Time: Enemies and Alliances - with special guest appearance by SCP-682's brother.
|# ¿ Jan 11, 2016 22:13|
He's also the guy that picks a fight with the "god" t-lois in the Advanced Rulebook, presumably to his detriment.
And the one who gets pwned in the introduction prose of the "Irregular Strain" T-Lois.
Classic Diablos move.
No. 3 Irregular Strain posted:
Before you stands Kyoji “Diablos”
He's also one of those Tri-Breeds who used to be a Crossbreed, giving him new delusions of grandeur, along the lines of "With these new powers, I will finally get my revenge on those meddling kids!"
It's not really an Agent I take very seriously, but he probably works great in campaigns that aren't particularly serious themselves.
While part of the reason for all the melee weapons in Traveller is just "All the other games have them", for some reason it was a -thing- in sixties and seventies sci-fi that everyone would be fighting with swords in space because "Let's puncture space-suits with rapiers and not shoot holes in the ship walls" was a thing that came up in more than one book back then.
Don't forget the knockback you might get from projectile weapons. Though I bet it was very tempting for the attacker (who by virtue of being the attacker likely all carry spacesuits with magnetized boots and everything) to just shoot the walls and wait for the defenders who managed to put on their suits in time. They can still seal the breached sections after taking over the place.
Doresh fucked around with this message at 17:13 on Jan 12, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 12, 2016 17:11|
It's hard to tell sometimes because the translation is dry and the world is a bit dire, but DX is full of in-jokes and self-awareness.
Though I feel the writing has become a bit more "moist" in the supplement. Even if I'm imagining things, Caudwell's backstory can still be summarized as "Like Neo, expect he ran into a Looney Toons trap and decided to create the X-Men"
|# ¿ Jan 12, 2016 18:17|
Ugh, two of my players who don't like anime vetoed Double Cross for our next game. Instead they get 1708 Russia Darkest Dungeon in a ruined estate and hamlet out on the Oblast, which will still be good.
Well, there is always the John Wick method, but that would be quite dickish...
"And then the evil wizard opened a portal and sucked everyone into modern day Japan, were they got infected by a virus that gave them super powers."
I thought he was gonna be Niles Cauldwell, founder of the Doom Patrol.
My knowledge about the Doom Patrol didn't go beyond "DC's Marvel parody team", so I couldn't make. There are quite a couple similarities, I give you that.
I found that randomized as a whole tend to be more useful for GMs than players. Players tend to come into a game with a specific concept in mind, and so they want the agency to create a character they'll be happy playing for at least a few sessions. But as a GM, I've found random tables to be a godsend for those days when I don't have anything planned and I need to generate interesting plot hooks.
Except when playing Maid RPG, where randomness rules supreme.
|# ¿ Jan 12, 2016 23:00|
Double Cross - Public Enemy
Enemies and Alliances
False Hearts' Diplomatic Relations
FH's relations with the other organizations are pretty straight-forward: They hate the UGN with a loving passion (seeing them as traitors standing in the way of Overed supremacy), handle Xenos on a case-by-case basis (depending on whether or not Xenos' actions are beneficial to FH), and work together with criminal organizations if they have common interests.
While they don't get along with governments at all, FH occasionally cooperates with Tempest and other military organizations, as the UGN is stingy with providing combat-related intel about Overeds.
Just like the UGN, FH is confused about where this S-Ranking site gets its data from, and they are very eager to find out who is behind this Overed Power Level ranking site.
The Caudwell Faction
Caudwell's new brand of Master Wraiths are "numbered" with Greek letters (except for female Master Wraiths it seems; no idea on what their numbering is based as there's only one listed), though they do get normal numbers in parenthesis
Master Wraith Epsilon (05), Johan C. Caudwell (Salamandra/Chimaera): Already covered in the corebook, but I'm putting him here again because he was only called "Master Wraith" in that book, without a number or letter attached to it.
Master Wraith Gamma (03), Cain A. Caudwell (Unknown Syndrome): Another supposed son of Caudwell, he's a much quieter fellow than Johan. He is the most elusive of all Master Wraiths, and whatever kind of assignment he has seems to not involve engaging the UGN at all.
Master Wraith Nona (09), Laelia Guily (Bram Stoker/Angel Halo): A very dangerous Master Wraith who has destroyed several UGN branches. She has a somewhat strange personality, as she is continually sad and seems to despise combat - yet fights like a Khorne Berserker.
Master Wraith Xi (14), Sakyo Kurosu (Black Dog): A former UGN Illegal who went rogue after Caudwell's return. He's a rather conflicted and unpopular fellow thanks to high massive hateboner against Overeds (which is a bit weird considering he's one himself).
Mizuki "Pathfinder" Mihara (Neumann/Morpheus/Salamandra): An UGN defector now doing research for Caudwell. Not nearly as crazy as other FH Agents, she despises senseless violence. She works for one of the Apostles, Caudwell's fancily-named elite Cells.
Eiichi "Dog Master" Takajo (Balor/Hanuman): This careful and seasoned soldier is the Captain of the Moon Dogs Combat Cell. Currently working for Caudwell because he pays well.
General FH Characters
Fatum (Unkown Syndrome): A Central Dogma messenger who comes and goes as he pleases, delivering very cryptic advices and orders to FH Agents, and even shows up to inform the UGN from time to time.
Tet, the Tempter (Unkown Syndrome): One of the original 12 Liaison Lords who founded False Hearts. He's both a Renegade Being and Gjaum of probably ancient age. Staying true to his appearance of a snake, he loves to tempt people into giving in to their desires. His stance on Caudwell is neutral. Though he leads a Clan, nothing is known about it.
Vikarala, the Dark One (Angel Halo/Balor): Another founding member of FH, and the third known Black Order leader to bear the name Vikarala. She has a mad scientist vibe going on as she is willing to do anything to create the perfect Overed. She really hates Caudwell's guts.
Yukari "Cold Intellect" Watanuki (Bram Stoker/Neumann): Leader of FH's main Research Cell Two-Time. Being an introverted workaholic, she cares so little about other people that she barely bothers to remember her underlings' names, and she sometimes ignores orders and even works with enemy organizations if it benefits her research.
Ayana "Helter Skelter" Soramori (Black Dog/Neumann): The anarchistic leader of the Intelligence Cell Ratfink, she is one of the best hacker there are. Nothing is safe from her. She once qualified for the codename "Master Hack" but she refused as that just sounded lame.
Yokaze "Wind Master" Tsukishiro (Hanuman): FH's main instructor for FH Childreen and new Agents. If you survive her training from hell, you are one of the best of the best.
Tomoe "Mastermind" Amafune (Orcus/Solaris): A young girl of noble birth whose good manners hide a power-hungry soul whose eagerness to become the new leader of False Hearts has her do all sorts of blackmailing and backstabbing. She's basically the female Starscream of False Hearts.
Miki "Harmonia" Higo (Hanuman/Solaris): An FH Child whose command-focused powers granted her leadership over her own Cell at the young age of 17. Obsessed with perfection, she has gotten a bit paranoid ever since one of her Agents died during a perfectly executed mission.
Chiaki "Spike Hell" Nanasato (Orcus Salamandra): An unassuming no-nonsense FH spy and kind of an introvert.
Keigo "Paladin" Matoba (Black Dog/Morpheus): A former UGN Agent who defected when his family became "collateral damage" thanks to an UGN operation. Desparate the resurrect him, he's now a berserker fighting for False Hearts.
Joshua "Knight of Four Blades" Bataille (Black Dog/Neumann): A young, but pretty badass FH Agent who fights with four daggers at once. Ever since his righ arm had to be replaced with a mechanical prothesis, he has become an avid follower of Khorne, raging so hard that he is losing both his sanity and memories.
Ayumu "Lost Sheep" Kurusu (Exile/Orcus): The black sheep of the FH Childs, he only does the absolute minimum required by him. The only reason he's still with FH is because he's too much of a wuss to flee. Still, his control over the Renegade is pretty remarkable, so who knows what he could do if he were to get his act together. Where is Bright Noa when you need him?
Miyuki "Fenrir's Bite" Aomine (Salamandra): An FH Agent wrecking UGN Kyoto with her ice sword, working for the Combat Cell Cerberus. Her main motive for joining FH his her quest for the Shikoten, an item that can supposedly grant any wish, whish she wants to obtain in order to resurrect her little brother.
Shuka "Phoenix Guard" Daimonji (Chimaera/Salamandra): Another member of Cerberus, she takes on a more defense combat role than her above colleague. A pretty big fangirl for the Cerberus leader Minako Nagaishi, who is her surrogate mother.
Shizuma "Carnage" Orito (Unkown Syndrome): An infamous assassin, FH Merc and overall badass. How badass? He mastered every Japanese martial art there is, and even before awakening, he managed to kill a Gjaum with his bare hands. And he has only become stronger since the Renegade gave his 69-year-old body the vitality of his younger self. With a [Body] of 17 and a ludicrious <Melee> of 40, dude can even punch out Caudwell. Don't mess with him, is all I'm saying.
Mio "Lady Panther" Kasuga (Solaris/Orcus): This little girl (12 years old) is a member of the Kasuga Clan and one of those weirdoes who would like to destroy Xenos in hopes that their senpai will notice them again. I think she has issues.
Robert "Mad Scientist" Short (Morpheus/Exile/Chimeara): The says it all with this guy. He performs his mad science in just about every scientific fields he can get his hands on.
Kanata "The End" Hiura (Exile/Salamandra): This very strange fellow has an almost perfect track record and could've surely been a Master, but he's a bit... odd. He's very gloomy and has apparently given up on life. He does his job just fine, but he doesn't really care if other take credit for him.
Kanako "Grapevine" Kojima (Angel Halo/Black Dog): Former top agent of FH Egypt, she recently fled to Japan to lead the ordinary life of a housewife.
Burnet (Unkown Syndrome, though probably at least Chimaera): A Gjaum said to be the "ultimate life form". He's locked up in a secret FH lab deep underground and spends all day mutating. It currently looks like a mythic beast with golden fur and rampages so hard that its roars reach the outside world. Its Encroachment Rate is also 666%, just like the Other-World Priestess from the Advanced Corebook. A possible connection?
The Recorder (Morpheus/Neumann): A Renegade Being an loyal servant of The Planner. Is entire power set, heck his entire existance revolves around being a silent observer recording all of his mistress' plans.
Phantasma (Unkown Syndrome): A masked fixer with an unkown identity, he acts as a middleman for highly dangerous, but very rewarding jobs.
Fiona Lancaster (Human): A brilliant teenager and member of the Lancaster family. Ever since Caudwell's return and defection to False Hearts, she has been obsessed with finding out his motives.
Next Time: Game Master Section - The Random Scenario System and more Gjaum goodies.
Doresh fucked around with this message at 22:58 on Jan 13, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 13, 2016 22:53|
The funniest part about the later quote (which I found after doing my previous quote) is that it has a footnote... which is him hedging his bets about werewolves and vampires not existing.
"Vampires and werewolves are total bullshit. Magic on the other hand... well, that's the real deal, and it works exactly like I've written in this dice-based make-believe game of mine!"
"But what if I use my magic powers to essentially be a vampire or werewolf?"
|# ¿ Jan 16, 2016 19:53|
Double Cross - Public Enemy
The Random Scenario System
(There's a little mini chapter on Gjaums beforehand, but it's mainly a summary of stuff already mentioned in earlier books, with a bit of extra stuff that boils down to "Gjaums that appear sane only do so as part of their Impulse" and "Shadier organizations actually work with Gjaums as long as they don't just try to eat/kill everyone in sight.")
This is an interesting little Scenario creation system that has the GM only to the bare minimum of prep work before diving into the Scenario as blindly as the players. It's pretty much improv from beginning to end, which is a nice change of pace from the railroady example Scenarios. And you might even play the entire Scenario without an actual GM.
Prep-time only consists of picking one of the nine templates presented (which determines the general type of Scenario), or making your own. The basic premise of the Scenario is then rolled up beforehand, determining the objective and the Presage, a fancy name for DX's holy Scenario trinity of the Heroine (aka the MacGuffin), Ally (aka the BFF) and Rival (aka the BBEG). The Boss of the Scenario (who is usually, but not always, the Rival) is a blank slate at this point who only needs a Desire to be rolled, which in turn determines his Impulse and E-Loises.
The Opening Phase is pretty standard DX affair, with the important difference from the example Scenarios being that the players make up their own introduction scenes.
The Middle Phase is where things get interesting. This is the time in DX were all the PCs finally meet up to start investigations in hopes of finding out what's actually going on.
Instead of having a list of predetermined investigation topics to pick from, the GM instead chooses or rolls on an Event Chart, usually in a two-step process where you first determine the general type of Event before figuring out the specifics. Depending on the roll, the Event in question can be spiced up with Surprise Events, which are unforeseen circumstances (like an important NPC or the Rival making a sudden appearance) that mixes things up a little.
The worst kind of surprises are the Traps, which represent any kind of trouble or other interference (like combat). Traps need to be "disarmed" with a successful check, or they will make the next Investigation more difficult.
Investigation checks are performed at the end of every Scene, using a Skill and Difficulty appropriate to the situation (with the tempaltes providing guidelines). Multiple PCs can perform the check, but only the highest result matters. If susscessful, the final score will be converted into Prize Points, and the GM rolls on the Prize Chart to hand out a clue.
The Middle Phase continues with new Events and opportunities to gain Prize Points until one of two end conditions: Either the PCs gain enough Prize Points meet the Scenario's Flag, or the Advent happens.
Reaching the Flag is the desired outcome. It causes a Trigger Event to occur in which the truth is revealed based on the accumulated clues. This is also the time for the GM to finally roll up the Boss's actual stats (more on that in a minute). The Scenario then proceeds with the typical Climax Phase and Ending.
The Advent is a time limit, either in number of Middle Phase Events or has an actual amount of real time minutes. If the Advent is reached and the PCs still haven't gained enough Prize Points, a Deus Ex Machina is rolled up to skip the Climax Phase and go right to a (usually) bad ending. The Deus Ex Machina presented in the book are all over the place in terms of seriousness and tone. I think I jus thave to paraphrase all of them (ordered in descending order of grim darkness for your convenience):
(Note that the Climax and All Your Base events can't actually be reached with a random roll and are only possible if the GM selects them.)
Despite the Boss not actually having any stats or power sets until the very end, he can still mess with the PCs thanks to the E-Loises rolled up at the start of the Scenario. Some of the new E-Loises in this book are written with the Random Scenario format in mind and may not work in a normal Scenario.
Chaotic Scheme lets the Gjaum mess with the PCs by suddenly increasing the Difficulty of an Investigation or Trap Check. Failure forces a Surprise Event for the next Scene.
The Hyde is an aptly named E-Lois for Bosses that only have part of their mind being a Gjaum, essentially creating a very extreme split personality case. It is up to the GM to decide what happens if the Gjaum personality dies. Though it isn't mentioned in the E-Loises, it is probably a pretty cool idea to have either the Heroine or the Ally be the human personality.
These are some funky ones: Awakening Soul gives every enemy in the Scenario a damage bonus and makes every non-Overed NPC slowly forget all their obligations and duties, while New World not only gives the Gjaum extra HP, but also has him reveal the existence of Overeds to the whole world if he survives the Scenario, adding another bad ending on top of whatever the GM rolled for the Deus Ex Machina.
Grace of the Abyss is vampire as all hell and lets the Boss turn any of the Presage NPCs into a temporary Gjaum by sucking his/her blood. Night Rose has him gain more and more HP as the fight goes on, until a juicy max bonus of +100.
Maw of Abaddon lets the Boss gobble up HP from the PCs during a Surprise Event, while Thirsty Soul has him gain a damage bonus depending on how long the Middle Phase lasted, since the hunger he suffers from is so severe that it makes him go berserk.
Pretty straightforward stuff: Bloody Cascade reduces Prize Points for every scene with a battle, and Throne of Corpses hands out HP and a damage bonus for every KOed character.
Cycle of Destruction is just a better Bloody Cascade (dropping Prize Points gained from the Scene straight to 0), and Shattered Empyrean is a modification of the Advanced Corebook's Manifestation of the Destroyer that not only grants a damage bonus, but has the Gjaum destroy the entire Stage the Scenario is set in if he survives till the ending.
Sadistic Illusions cann cause non-Overeds to awaken, but is mainly there to add a little bit of extra Encroachment Rate for every Scene involving combat. Blood-Splattered Demise works well with this because it spawns suped-up enemies into the current Scene.
Hideous Worldview turns a Scene into a Trap, and Universal Disgust does the same, but also infects the Heroine with the disgust, creating conflict between her and the Scene's lead character.
E-Loises: Battle Lust
Eternal Strife prolongs a battle by having enemies spawn endlessly, essentially forcing the PCs to flee or figure out a clever solution. Abyss Demon is a surprise E-Lois that can be exchanged for another E-Loises, selected from a limited number.
Twisted Dreams lets the Gjaum change the personalities of the Presages, while Construct Fantasies turns the Scene into a Trap, more specifically into the lead character having a nightmare based on one of the Deus Ex Machina. Unless GM fiat is used, this means it is impossible to have a nightmare about False Heart triumphing over the UGN, but there is a 10% chance of having a nightmare about Diablos having a dream (or is it a nightmare about being Diablos?!).
Stigmata Addiction makes the Gjaum a masochist, granting him bonus dice depending on how often he has been damaged. Reaper's Beckoning turns the Scene into a Trap in which the Heroine attempts suicide o_O
Unfathomable Forms lets the Gjaum change any physical and mental aspects of himself (including his political view for some reason). Universal Fear is another Trap creator, this time essentially having the Gjaum be Scarecrow and dose everything with fear gas.
Cycle of Hate creates additional enemy minions during the Climax Phase, based on the number of enemies that have appeared so far (it's payback time, basically). Black Hellfire is another Trap E-Lois involving random NPCs attacking the PCs.
The example templates provided by the supplement, covering your general DX adventures.
The chapter ends with lots and lots of random charts, letting the GM generate anything from locations to NPCs and enemy groups to fight. There's also a big old list with named NPCs to tie the Scenario to the metaplot.
And of course, we got the Bosses...
Boss Templates come in ten flavors, each with two distinct power sets for a total of 20 different Bosses. All of the writeups are meant with freshly-created PCs in mind, though there are guidelines to scale them up for more experienced groups.
The classic case of an Overed who has been turned into a mindless monstrosity by the Renegade. The Uncontrollable Powers Type (Salamandra/Chimaera) is like Tetsuo from Akira in that they actually are sane, but have lost control over their powers. The Physical Mutation Type (Chimaera/Hanumann) is a straightforward beast.
An UGN or FH Child who has turned Gjaum, making for a particularly dangerous foe. The Lightning Mage (Angel Halo/Salamandra/Black Dog) blasts the crap out of PCs, while the Bloody Puppeteer (Bram Stoker/Orcus) creates Red Servants for team combos.
It is only natural that mad scientists who are also Overeds eventually turn into Gjaums. The Mind Assasin (Solaris/Orcus) messes with people's heads, while the Artistic Bomber (Neumann/Exile/Morpheus) creates oversized bombs out of thin air.
Inamiate objects given life by the EX Renegade, including everything from trash to tanks. The Genocide Machine(Black Dog/Orcus) is a single, big machine, while the Destroyer (Black Dog/Bram Stoker) summons lesser machines for help.
Also, their picture is amazing:
Crotch missiles are the best kind of missiles.
Former Overed super soldiers gone really mad. The Sky King (Morpheus/Angel Halo) creates his own helicopter to rain down lead and lasers onto the PCs, and the Flash Bullet (Black Dog/Neumann) just spams bullets nonstop by dual-wielding a point defense weapon and a shotgun.
Former swordmasters who have become a bit too creepy. You know, the type of crazy sword user who is covered in blood all the time and is licking blood off their blade, which is exactly what the lady on the picture is doing:
Not really my kind of waifu.
The Ancient Swordmaster (Neumann/Hanumann) is essentially Miyamoto Musashi on speed, and the Crimson Demi-Fiend (Bram Stoker/Balor) creates a sword and armor out of blood. Gross.
Beast of Catastrophe
Essentially a Rampaging Gjaum that used to be an animal or plant instead of a human. The Beast Lord (Chimaera/Solaris) is a howling beast, while the Killer Plant (Exile/Orcus) is more or less Bulbasaur.
Agent of Genocide
A veteran assassin gone Gjaum. The Commander (Neumann/Solaris) coordinates his attacks with a couple Troopers, while the Two-Man Cell (Morpheus/Exile) are actually two guys with the same dakka-focused power set, with the only difference that one of them has a magnetic shield.
Renegade Being Gjaums who are specifically inhuman in appearance. The Philosopher's Stone (Morpheus/Exile) is a sentient Renegade Crystal shredding people with crystals, while the Star Fragment (Balor) crushes them with gravity.
Also, take a load of its quote:
Star Fragment posted:
The other extreme of the above template: A Renegade Being who is not only human, but has surpassed humanity, becoming something beyond our comprehension that sees us as unworthy vermin. Delusions of godhood may or may not be part of its shtick, and said delusions may or may not actually be justified.
The Heaven's Messenger (Salamandra/Angel Halo) is an angelic creature mostly fighting with a fire or laser sword, while the Mythological Hero (Balor/Hanumann) takes the form of Heracles or a similar mythological character who punches people with superhuman strength.
Next Time: Example Scenarios - You are a pirate.
|# ¿ Jan 16, 2016 22:59|
Given that most of the random charts in Public Enemy's random scenario generation stuff only has one "GM fiat only" option, it feels like rolling GM's choice kind of pushes you to pick that one even if you'd otherwise be more interested in another result.
A weird part about these ROC (Roll or Choice) tables is that they yet again codify stuff GMs usually just wing, anyways. The "Boss pops up so we can have a Climax Phase anyways" Deus Ex Machina was even mentioned as something the GM can just do if he doesn't want the players to completely fail the Middle Phase.
And a lot of Event tables actually have two GM fiat choices. Mind you, one is always "GM's Choice", while the other one is something like "For some reason, the Rival decided to go on vacation" or... "Everyone's wearing a maid outfit", in case you want to John Wick the campaign into Maid RPG. And why wouldn't you? Fighting over Master's affection is always easier if you can both cool and heat drinks with your bare hands. Or summon cutlery out of thin air.
And speaking of beating up 8-year-olds...
Double Cross - Public Enemy
Like the Advanced Corebook, Public Enemy features two new example adventures:
The Girl and the Bloody Sword
Coming soon: The Inside Out manga.
Kaori "Silent Sheep" Yagumo (Morpheus/Neumann) is a former UGN Agent who has defected to False Hearts. She's one of those who felt the UGN did no longer care about peaceful co-existance between humans and Overeds and left the place when Caudwell returned. Unfortunately for her, she didn't feel like FH was any better, and in fact their struggle with the UGN might just be the reason there can be no peace. So she decided to break into a secret FH lab to steal Tyrfing, a Renegade Crystal in the form of a sword that she hopes would make her powerful enough to destroy both organizations.
What she didn't expect was for Tyrfing to try to fuse with her. The process failed, destroying the lab killing Soari... sorta. In her stead, an underaged copy of her by the name of Blood Rain is now running around City N, slaughtering both UGN and FH Agents with Tyrfing.
Basically, this is a Scenario designed for a mixed group of UGN and FH characters, who are eventually ordered by their higher-ups to cooperate in stopping this little mass murderer.
But the situation is a bit more complex than this. You see, Blood Rain isn't the only underaged copy created in the failed fusion process. The other one is simply called Saori and is completely harmless as she has inherited Silent Sheep's desire for peace.
Like so often with these Heroines, Saori first runs into PC1. And by "runs into" I mean "She's just lying on the ground till she noticed PC1 isn't affected by her Warding Field, then she just takes his food because she's hungry, all while talking in the third person because she's a bit weird". It's almost like a "strange alien girlfriend" harem anime, except without fanservice.
Saori eventually spills the beans that there are in fact a lot more underaged copies running around City N, with only Saori and Blood Rain having full sentience and being able to absorb the others in order to bring Tyrfing back to full strength, which would spell doom to both the UGN and FH.
Saori herself is pretty useless in a fight however, so she begs the PCs to stop Blood Rain in her stead, ensuring them that Silent Sheep would've never truly wanted such a bloodbath. This leads to an interesting gimmick where Blood Rain's final Encroachment Rate (and therefore strength) depends on how many of the lesser copies - called Tyrfing Orta - she managed to absorb, aka how many the PCs didn't off themselves.
Having their first real contact with Blood Rain also has her drop a little plot twist that the PCs might've figured out earlier:
Saori having inherited Silent Sheep's dream of a peaceful world for everyone is bullshit. Blood Rain is the real inheritor of Silent Sheep's true feelings. Saori is just making stuff up to feel better. Depending on how the players react to this, Saori will just give up and let herself be nommed by Blood Rain.
Right before the final showdown, Blood Rain starts killing everyone she comes across on the street, forcing the PCs to find her ASAP before she becomes even crazier. Though it notes they have to make checks, the book doesn't actually say which checks. I guess like in a normal Investigation?
Depending on how powerful Blood Rain was at the end, Saori may or may not survive her destruction and life on as the weird little girl she is. Now it's just up to the players to figure out what to do with Tyrfing. So don't worry about them using it for themselves, as the whole ordeal has damaged it too much to be anything other than a test subject.
The Test-Play Report makes its appearance again, and it tells us that the various UGN and FH PCs managed to get into fights with each other.
Dead Man's Cruise
The age-old dilemma of "Is it okay for an ancient being to drink booze if she looks like a little girl?"
This is an all-FH Scenario, and the first so far to not take place in City N. PC1 (or someone else I guess) is also required to have the Super Soldier T-Lois, as that one's pretty important to the plot.
The MacGuffin of this Scenario is the Dead Man's Coronet, an EX Renegade in the form of a crown. In the 18th century, it turned the pirate Captain Jean-Jacques (Morpheus/Orcus/Balor) into a Renegade Being that just keeps coming back to life no matter how often he's been killed. PC2 has in fact killed him at least once before.
The Coronet is currently planned to be showcased on the Eternal Queen a cruise ship in Tokyo Bay. Professor Caudwell is very interested in the Coronet and sends the PCs with false invitations on the ship - except for PC1 who already got one from The Planner because their acquaintances she's very interested in his "gift of death" (hint hint).
The situation on board is a bit awkward with The Planner and her bodyguard Minerva around - especially since PC4 (the recommended slot for the FH Merc pregen) is a rival of Minerva and she keeps on talking about how she "plans to be the one who kills him". There's even a cliffhanger ending scene where both meet again on the battlefield and start rushing towards each other. You just know they're going to kiss eventually.
Anyhow, the party is crashed when Jean-Jacques - also on board - decides to ditch his Xenos membership and grab the Coronet. Now he's immortal to the point of instantly respawning on the spot (the Undying Delusions E-Lois), and he decides to celebrate his reunion with the Coronet by using his Encroaching Impulse E-Lois to turn all the unnamed NPCs on the ship into rampaging Gjaums. Escape is not an option, as he has used the Enemy-exclusive Balor Power <<Space-Time Rip>> to trap the whole ship inside a pocket dimension.
He's also turned himself into a skeleton pirate, because that's friggin' metal.
The PCs now have to fight their way through the ship, making sure that The Planner is okay and searching for any clues as to how it was possible for Jean-Jacques to have stayed dead long for the Coronet to be taken away from him in the first place. Turns out the secret is "Hit his weak point for (not actually) massive damage", aka hit the jewel on the Coronet. Though in the past, the jewel has always regenerated itself, which is the main reason why Jean-Jacques is still around. Though one of the PCs does have a "gift of death"...
The Test-Play Report of this most metal of all Scenarios so far informs of that one group had PC1 be adopted by The Planner in the past, which must be pretty darn weird with her current body.
False Hearts Scenario Guide
The book ends with a few guidelines for making Scenarios about FH characters. Generally, FH characters tend to be a bit more selfish and, well, bad-guyish. Protecting the world is not nearly as important tot hem than fulfilling their desires.
The guide also mentions possible enemies for mixed groups, ranging from Bombs (enemies who will destroy both the UGN and FH if they get their way, like Blood Rain), someone from Xenos, or just someone both sides want to see gone. Especially the latter may or may not be followed by a bit of PVP between the UGN and FH PCs.
Next Time: Infinity Code - A new Syndrome! New Powers! Skill Challenges!
|# ¿ Jan 17, 2016 21:56|
See, this is why I like Percentile systems. Their application is often off (like designers deciding the base success rate should be 30 and then penalizing PCs from there) but I'm not a statistician and with them, I can at least see the exact odds of an action when I'm trying to design my adventures or modify the system.
True. Percentiles are neat in that regard, as are d20-based systems that are just percentile systems where everything has been divided by 5. I'd say that's even better since the math is easier and you just need one die. Though most d20 games heavily borrow from D&D, except for maybe Talislanta, which even includes varying degrees of success.
That being said, I've grown to like d6-based stuff.
On a WoD eelated note: Is it "safe" to pick up V20 as a total newb, or will I just be tempted to claw out my eyes, like every time I read Brucato meandering about chaos magick and his confusing understanding of trans people?
Doresh fucked around with this message at 18:19 on Jan 18, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 18, 2016 17:49|
I don't have a list of all of them, but I do have all the various formats that Orokos supports on their help page.
Neato. I'm inclined to make a d6-version of the DX dice mechanic, with a +5 per dice explosion so you could actually end up with a score that's a multiple of 6. Then again that reminds me a bit of the Prime Directive mechanic of "exploding dice are worth their value -1"...
|# ¿ Jan 18, 2016 19:17|
One of the dice systems I thought was pretty neat was the one used in Twilight 2000, where it's d20-roll-under for skills with a 3d6 range, and then difficulties are "roll under half your skill", "roll under your skill" and "roll under twice your skill".
D&D in general is a bit odd. THAC0 was probably not the best way to explain the hit mechanics of older editions.
If you want a good game to play, I'd probably go for the second edition of Vampire: The Requiem over V20. It just has too much weird oWoD mechanics to recommend to anyone who doesn't know those mechanics already. But if you want to read a distillation of what people liked about Masquerade, go for it. Werewolf and Mage only got anniversary editions because of how good V20 ended up being.
Good to know. That does sound quite nice.
30 Minutes or Less sounds amazing. I hope you make it an OGL supplement. Pizza Time Lord needs to be a prestige class.
|# ¿ Jan 19, 2016 18:39|
Catching up a little here...
A 30 Minutes or Less RPG would interfere with my plans to release 30 Minutes or Less, the Snow Crash sourcebook for Car Wars.
It's time for a fragging contest to see whose book will be in the Yet!
That's a great idea. Along with like pizza delivery magic cars that change into era-appropriate vehicles when they shift through time.
And "era-appropriate" of course includes dinosaurs, because even T-Rexes want pizza.
Published the Tournament of Rapists via DTRPG, leading them to remove it and institute new policies about being able to remove reported content.
Wat (O_____o) ?!
The first hit on Google search is Britbert yelling about "SJWs" attacking Table Top Gaming, so Field's isn't alone.
Sure, why not drop in some generic insults like "autist" and "bronie", and we have every internet argument ever. Glad to see roleplaying is firmly in the mainstream <_<
Meanwhile, I have a sudden interest in pulpy angel/demon adventures...
|# ¿ Jan 21, 2016 18:06|
"Why are not burned by my hellfire?!"
"Because neither you nor Hell exist."
But then as things progressed, you ran into all sorts of situations where they either work against the players or just flat-out don't make sense. Going by the equipment list, a baseball bat wouldn't "work" under Living Land axioms, even though it's basically a club. A longsword has a higher Tech axiom than a shortsword.
*Looks confused* "What do I do with this smooth wood... thing? Someone please hand me a club!"
Doresh fucked around with this message at 20:07 on Jan 21, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 21, 2016 20:00|
Atomic Robo is the prettiest of all pretty boys.
|# ¿ Jan 21, 2016 22:11|
Is part of the joke that Heaven has like 3 separate War/battle Angels?
I guess God created new ones during his move from Old Testament God to New Testament God.
|# ¿ Jan 22, 2016 17:48|
Double Cross - Infinity Code
It's DX Time again, with the - as of now - last translated supplement.
Infinity Code has quite an impact on both the game itself and the metaplot. It presents the result of Professor Caudwell's shenanigans in Japan: The return of Ouroboros, a Syndrome that has gone extinct since ancient times. The Planner and Xenos are not very amused about this at all, for Ouroboros didn't go extinct by accident...
As a result of Ouroboros' return - or just a general evolution of the Renegade - all the old Syndromes have gained new Powers. This is not the first time a supplement did this, but these are the first new Powers not gated behind a T-Lois. There are even Common Simple Powers buyable by anyone, which I'm really looking forward to because Simple Powers are pretty flavorful.
Aside from typical additions like new T-Loises and Items (now with tonfas!), the book also presents a new game mechanic: The Progressive Check System, which are Skill Challenges with a slightl Eurogame touch, providing changing conditions and random events you can build a good chunk of a Scenario around.
Infinity Code of course comes with example Scenarios and a few Scenario Starters revolving around the new Progressive Check System. The latter are especially interesting as one involves a fight against Gjaumzilla.
Like previous DX books, Infinity Code also has a short introduction comic. This one's a bit on the confusing side, but the gist of it is that one of the new pregens goes around killing False Hearts guys until one of the new FH NPCs shows up, which prompts the pregen to remind her that only a select few metaplot NPCs in DX are actually hilariously overpowered, and that she is not one of them.
Next Time: Ouroboros - All your powers are belong to me.
|# ¿ Jan 22, 2016 21:42|
Double Cross - Infinity Code
Ouroboros is the Syndrome for people who think that Tri-Breeds and the occasional "You get a Power from another Syndrome" T-Loises just don't quite offer enough multiclassing opportunities. For you see, the big gimmick about Ouroboros is that it can assimilate Powers from other Syndromes into its own strain, allowing the Overed to copy - if not outright steal - Powers from others.
The existance of the Ouroboros Syndrome was revealed by Professor Caudwell 6 months ago, though it might have been around for longer considering how its copy ability makes it easy to pass as a different Syndrome.
In any case, various scientists have since spend their time arguing with each other about the true nature of this new Syndrome, which is probably where it got its name from: Is it the Alpha, aka a primordial Renegade strain from before individual Syndromes became a thing? Or is it the Omega, a highly adaptable Syndrome that is the future of the Renegade virus (maybe even foreshadowing a potential future DX edition where the Syndromes are mere archetypes)? Nobody knows for sure.
Helping with the whole Ouroboros theme is the tendency for its Overeds to create swirling rings, either on their body or just floating around as part of their Power use. These rings can also twist into the infinity symbol to tie into the Infinity Code the book is named after.
Aside from being copycats, Ourboros Overeds have access to Shadow Manipulation Powers, letting them defend, attack and debuff with their own shadows. Going by the pregen pictures, their other Powers seem to be manifested from their shadows as well.
The Shadow Manipulation also ties to the bulk of Ouroboros' Simple Powers: An Overed can create fake shadows to fool people, use his own shadow for spy duties, make the shadow an actual, three-dimensional creature, and read other people's emotions by touching their shadow.
As a result of their copy powers, they also have advanced Renegade Manipulation Powers. They can heal allies, protect them by redirecting attack Powers at themselves and negate enemy Powers. Most insidious are what are essentially Overed killer Powers that trigger when the user hurts another Overed, which either debuffs the target or buffs the user himself by gobbling up the Renegade (as a sort of reverse Smite Evil). This makes Ouroboros Overeds pretty nasty opponents to face, but if they focus too much on these Overed killer Powers, they'll run into serious troubles when facing normal human goons with Anti-Warding gear.
For Simple Powers, you can directly negate other Simple Powers, which is especially funny when used on a Balor Overed walking on air.
The feature presentation of the Ouroboros Syndrome gets its own set of rules. When a Copy Power is purchased, a Power from another Syndrome has to be attached to it. The Copy Power will henceforth work exactly like that Power - with the exception that it now counts as being form the Ouroboros Syndrome. As some Powers only work with other Powers from the same Syndrome, this allows for combos that weren't possible before, mixing and matching the best meta-Powers from different sources or combining the same kind of meta-Power (like ones that improve the Attack Value) for a huge bonuses.
Even better, the Ouroboros Syndrome itself comes with meta-Powers that only work with Copy Powers, allowing an Overed to use any of them at range and/or give them an area effect (if it makes sense, of course).
Of course, all these goodies come with a price: There are only 9 Copy Powers around, so that's the maximum of Powers from other Syndromes you can get. All of these also have restrictions applied to them: <<Shadow Armory>> can only copy a Power that creates Equipment, and the various "Primordial" Powers are all color-coded (most copy-related Powers have color theme going on to contrast the shadow Powers), with each color having specific restrictions as to which Powers can be attached.
Furthermore, Copy Powers aren't quite as good as the real deal. Stuff created with <<Shadow Armory>> is slightly worse, and the Primordial Powers often have a higher Encroachment Rate cost and always increase the Base Encroachment Rate, pushing the Overed closer to becoming a Gjaum due to all the conflicting strains.
And naturally, Powers already gained through another Breed can't be gained a second time as a Copy Power (and vice versa).
The Ourboros' super moves of sorts (aka Powers that require a high Encroachment Rate) lets you boost all Copy Powers, nullify incoming damage, or play around with Encroachment Rates by dealing bonus damage based on your own rate or causing the target to be nommed by his own Renegade strain (very handy for boss fights). High ER Powers are also where the two Copy Powers with the least restrictions can be found, which are just perfect for slapping other super moves on.
Pure-Breeds can reduce and eventually get rid off the Base Encroachment Rate increase gained from Copy Powers (letting an Overed go really wild with copying) and get one of the lesser Copy Powers a second time, raising the total count of "copy slots" to 10.
For Simple Powers, there's <<Fake Simple Power>>, which lets you have a single Simple Power from another Syndrome. I'd allow this one to be gained multiple times for extra style.
Aside from these fixed Copy Powers, there's <<Universal Rainbow>>, which can be used once per Scenario to copy an unrestricted Power for the remainder of the Scene. This Power is limited to LV 1, but it is always handy to be able to use a boss' most annoying Power against him, or get some synergy from fellow comrades.
Unsurprisingly, all the pregens have Ouroboros as one of their Syndromes. Most of them are your usual suspects:
Infinite Destroyer (Chimaera/Ouroboros) is your big dumb Chimaera fighter and Wild Card expy, mixing up the usual "wreck poo poo with a giant claw" routine with one of those Overed killer Powers and an Armor-piercing meta-Power from the Angel Halo Syndrome.
Though she is not the only pregen here wearing Reinforced Clothing, I have a hard time imagining this outfit being all that protective. Then again this is the same game with bullet-proof maid costumes.
Phantom Mirror (Morpheus/Ouroboros) is your Speeding Bullets expy, though somewhat more badass in style as she fights with a friggin' minigun. She uses Copy Powers to boost her Attack Power and Initiative with Powers from Angel Halo and Black Dog.
Consultor Minor (Black Dog/Ouroboros/Solaris) is your pure support character, making use of her Copy Power for area effect coverage.
Mirage Prisoner (Salamandra/Ouroboros) is the most interesting fellow so far thanks to his Ouroboros-exclusive Shadow Buddy T-Lois, which makes his shadow a living entity. The mechanical effect is simple - it simply gives you an additional Power -, with the implication being that the Power is performed by the Shadow Buddy. In other words, he has a Persona or Stand.
As the power now also counts as being from the Ouroboros Syndrome like a Copy Power, the whole powerset is build around a big combo that involves the Persona/Stand murdering the crap out of a target with a fiery, armor-piercing roar.
Dark Avatar (Ourobors) Is a body-hopping and curious Renegade Being focusing primarily on the shadow manipulation aspect. He also reminds me of Pride from Fullmetal Alchemist.
Next Time: The other Syndromes - turns out words can actually hurt.
Doresh fucked around with this message at 18:18 on Jan 26, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 24, 2016 00:08|
I was really hoping for more Shadow powers in the mix for Ouroboros than it got. Most of the fighty part of the powerset seems to be the copy power/renegade manipulation stuff.
The best shadow powers are definitely found in the Simple Powers. For the normal Powers, there's really only one attack Power that's clearly shadow-themed (though you can probably reflavor other Powers as needed). The Syndrome also only really has two meta-Powers that work with it (the rest is only works on Copy Powers), so you really depend on Copy Powers or Cross- and Tri-Breeding to add some utility and variety. Though this is a pretty good justification for the Syndrome to have developed its copy ability in the first place.
It's a shame there's no dedicated shadow Syndrome, but I guess you can get pretty close by having a darkness-themed Angel Halo/Ouroboros character.
Double Cross - Infinity Code
All of the old Syndromes get six new Powers to play with, except for Bram Stoker who gets a whooping 23. Most of the time, these new Powers are there to allow for alternative builds and tactics.
These are all about light-bending. You can spread your laser beams to cover a wide area, assist a comrade at dodging and confuse opponents. You can also play a D&D 4e Fighter by debuffing an opponent if he's attacking someone other than you.
High Encroachment Rate Powers let you dodge otherwise undodgeable attacks and play bodyguard by switching places with a comrade that's about to be hit.
Here are some nice debuff Powers that use gravity to make the target slower and less useful. The Evil Eyes themselves get some awesome utility, as you can now turn them into petrifying spears or just launch them at foes like a cannonball.
High ER Powers let you spam Balor Powers more freely and create miniature wormholes on your body to make an enemy suffer the same damage he just caused you, making you a less powerful version of that mutant bloke from Vampire Hunter D.
Zap yourself with lightning to boost your powers, shock attacking enemies like Blanka and yank them closer to you like Scorpion. You can also buff allies (or yourself) and make them go faster.
High ER Powers let you ignore [Armor] and give your or an ally an extra turn.
Use your blood to restrain or debuff opponents, boost the effect of other Bram Stoker powers, and get more utility out of your Red Servants by using melee attacks through them or sacrificing them for additional effects.
The new Red Servant Powers make your Servants more tanky while allowing them to ignore [Armor]. The can also now play Red Shirts and take on support forms that buff or debuff just by being there. Going by RAW, these forms buff or debuff anyone in the same Engagement, so they're tricky to use if you're a melee guy yourself.
The main gimmick here is support for <RC> aka Renegade Control Powers in the form of <<Beast Blast>>, which lets you shout people to death. This offers more choices than being a big dumb fighter.
Still, if you want to stay a big dumb fighter, you can get <<Hell Beast's Instinct>> which lets you use [Body] instead of [Mind] when using an <RC> attack. This is really handy if you're a Chimaera Cross- or Tri-Breed that also wants to be competent at breathing fire or laser beams.
Aside from these two Powers, you can make yourself immune against Powers that try to move you around and have an ally ride on top of you if you hulk out. The high ER Powers let you keep your cool when going Berserk and reduce incoming damage.
Pull yourself all over the battlefield like Luffy and mess around an opponent by infecting him with yourself. You can also dabble into Orcus territory by fusing with nearby surroundings to attack. If you want to atake on a more passive role, you can transform yourself into a form that is mainly there to buff another target and makes yourself pretty useless. I think this means you turn yourself into flesh power armour or a Guyver suit, but I don't really want to think about all the possible body horror goin on here.
High ER Powers boost your own attacks by sprouting additonal limbs and temporarily clone yourself for the sole purpose of getting another use out of a limited-use Power.
Gain extra damage from charging enemies and push yourself to spam more powers. New support Powers also let you heal and buff.
High ER Powers let you play bodyguard like the Angel Halo above and negate enemy Powers.
Some of these Powers let you get more mileage out of the sand created as part of your Syndrome, shredding away enemy defenses and building up your own. If you're a fan of normal weapons instead of ones you create yourself, you can now make those ultra light, letting you swing around the heaviest of weapons with ease like you're Cloud. Combined with the Neumann Syndrome, you can now dual-wield miniguns and two-handed swords with ease.
You also gain the ability to split up your weapons, trading in damage for hitting multiple targets. The high ER Powers let you create useful support tools that offer a nice skill bonus and a monstrous bonus to any check.
The best Powers are about weaponized words: Dodge attacks by confusing/annoying your opponent, and use your eloquence to hurt him. Add in some debuff stuff, and you can basically tell the World's Funniest Joke.
You can also hypnotize an opponent to make him forget how to use his Powers, reduce incoming damage to an ally by telling him to make a barrel roll, and the high ER Powers grant yet another bodyguard and damage nullifying Power.
Most of these Powers revolve around bending space to hinder the enemy or assist your own attacks, by increasing their effective range and having them come from all kinds of directions.
The high ER Powers give your attacks area effect and prevent enemies from getting rid Bad Statuses because this is your Domain and they better play according to your rules.
These revolve around boosting your own Powers and healing yourself. The high ER Powers let you guard unguardable attacks and buff the crap out of your allies.
These are pretty fun. Solaris is for the most part a support Syndrome, but these new Powers let you actively attack people by spitting acid and liquid explosives. You can also coat your attacks with poison and use slime to stop enemies from moving.
High ER Powers let you mess people up with poisoned gas and sacrifice yourself by liquifying yourself into a health potion. Yikes.
The new Common Powers give you the DX equivalent to Weapon Focus. You can also get yourself a short burst of speed to cover wider distances and bolster your own healing abilities. There's even a power that lets you send out your Renegade to heal others, giving everyone access to a cheap and reliable (if a bit weak) healing Power.
To mess aronud with the action economy, you can give yourself an additonal Minor Action or use a new high ER Power to get a whole turn. Both have fortunately limited uses.
The big stars here are however the new Common Simple Powers, making them the first Common Powers available to everyone.
So, what do these do? Well, you can have the entire party be super secretive by talking in frequencies normal humans cannot hear, leave markings all over the place that they can't see, get a unique visual mutation you can pop out at will as a form of genetic ID, and try to hide your overedness from examinations. These really give the setting a whole new secret society vibe.
Playing up the effect the Renegade has on the human body, you can make yourself immune against normal diseases and the effects of alcohol, or give yourself a completely different appearance from your pre-Overed self.
Finally, you can stare down people in the form of a more accurate Warding field, and you can extend Simple Powers that only affect Extras and non-Overeds to cover all non-Extra NPC and willing Overeds. This is mainly useful for the Solaris Syndrome withs brainwashing Simple Powers, or if you want to Stare Down fellow Overeds who are just playing along. Other than that, I don't really see a whole lot of Simple Powers that are actually affected by this.
Next Time: T-Loises and Items - introducing Slendergjaum.
|# ¿ Jan 24, 2016 11:09|
Also the Web drains people's life-force by inflicting on them headaches, obesity, and back pain.
I also assumes it causes bad hygiene and a graving for toritos and Mountain Dew. And transports you into your parent's basement. And forces you to draw original Sonic characters (do not steal). And spend hours each day complaining about pop culture.
Man, I think I've finally found something in Brucato's literary ejaculations that actually amuses me: Nerd - The Geekening, the timeless tragedy of people who are (kinda sorta) all-powerful in their virtual world, but are shunned by the real world because of it. Their power is a curse that turns them into despicable manchildren.
|# ¿ Jan 24, 2016 15:15|
Ooo, thanks much.
Excellent. Spread the Renegade!
Really the '90s was a time where "storytelling!" and "rules light!" often were just an excuse not to test anything, because pffft what kind of a philistine are you that let yourself be bound by the rules, amirite?
Though even with the "rules light" excuse, I have to wonder why a game about reality-bending wizard dudes requires writeups for several kinds of tanks. What's next? Submarines?
That reminds me: how are you supposed to use the character creation tables that have 11 entries?
Roll a d12 and reroll 12s?
|# ¿ Jan 24, 2016 21:53|
Look, you have to have rules about how you can pwn tanks with your rad magic powers, so you can brag to friends about how your character could totally turn a tank into a flower pot. It's important!
It's easy bragging about this when the tank in question can barely take out a normal car. Even a vampire probably has a harder punch.
As a side note, the power to hurt people with the Negotiation skill is possibly the best bit of localization in the gameline.
rear end in a top hat Neumann Overed triggers you to death with his evil ideology.
|# ¿ Jan 25, 2016 17:04|
Okay, folks, it's poll time.
Option A. I wanna see snarky bullshit done in the GURPS style.
|# ¿ Jan 25, 2016 21:13|
Double Cross - Infinity Code
This little chapter covers all sorts of player options, from T-Loises to vehicles, including some very odd but awesome choices. So let's get started:
The Demi-Crystal is a failed attempt to create an artifical Renegade Crystal. It has a different effect than the real deal (temporar Power levels for instant HP loss instead of improved Crit Value for higher Encroachment), and you'll turn to ashes upon death.
The Special One is not only one of your Loises, but also the single most important person in your entire life. Once per Scenario, you can turn this special bond into strength, striking through the toughest defenses with ease. But should your Special One become a Titus, the trauma from this event will give you a big penalty towards Encroachment Rate reduction.
Living Dead - unlike the Undead T-Lois - actually is what it says: You were dead once, and now you're back in the land of the living. You don't need to be a zombie or coma patient. Your "death" could be mental (drug overdose?) or social (emo phase / war trauma).
Whatever the case, this experience has made you tougher to kill. Any damage you suffer gets reduced by a random amount. On the downside, your Encroachment Rate reduction is a bit gimped.
Living Legend is... well, I just have to quote the introduction here:
Keep the space shuttle in mind. It will be important later.
No. 61 Living Legend posted:
Do you want to hear my story?
Basically, you're so darn famous that you have excellent connections that allow you to get any procuarable Item once per Scenario without having to make a check. The downside is another Encroachment Rate reduction penalty because you're apparently some kind of self-centered dick.
As a Guardian, you put the safety of others before yourself. At the cost of fewer Titus effect choices, you can play bodyguard and take the hit for someone else. Unlike Powers that does the same, nothing can redirect the attack once you've made yourself the target.
Being a Harmonizer, you are an empathic Overed with the natural ability to stabilize the Renegade activity of others. Once per Scenario, you can increase your Encroachment Rate and have someone else use one of their Powers for free, letting him continue to dish out the hurt even if he's dangerously close to become a Gjaum.
Finally, we get the two Ouroboros-exclusive T-Loises: I've already mentioned Shadow Buddy before. Pretty much all Ouroboros Overeds use their Powers through their shadows, but you are a rare case were your shadow is actually sentient. This so called Avatar typically takes on a form mythology or even pop culture, not unlike a strange Renegade Being. If you're character goes the way of the Gjaum or dies, building your next PC as a Renegade Being that used to be the Avatar sounds like a pretty cool option.
The Avatar doesn't fight as an actual character in battle, it simply helps you out and grants you another Power to use as its signature. It's a Persona or Stand, basically.
The secend Ouroboros-exclusive is Anima Regium, which makes you the host of the strange Renegade Beings of the same name (more on those in a later section). It's a bit like a Renegade Crystal in that most hosts just turn into Gjaums, but you manage to control it. Your Anime Regium buddy lets you be a dick once per Scenario, causing a target to auto-fail at whatever check he's trying to perform. If you go Berserk, you turn into a tall creature with a white mask. And if you turn into a Gjaum, you stay that way. This doesn't have any mechanical effect, but you get extra creepy points for looking like Slendergjaum.
There are some pretty nifty sword options with the Snake Blade (a sword that can turn into a blade whip for extra range) and the Liquid Blade (whose liquid metal blade lets you tinker around with its stats). Ranged characters can get themselves Der Freischütz, a pretty hard to dodge rifle that only has 3 shots per Scenario.
Other interesting choices include the Convict's Restraint Jacket (a haunted restraint jacket that grants you a damage boost if you burst free from it, which makes for some pretty weird combat beforehand) and the Red Nightmare (essentially Overed steroids for a juicy 1-round-buff).
Syndrome-exclusive Unique Items also offer some neat choices (2 for everyone, but I'll focus on the most interesting to keep it brief): Angel Halos can use a Light Amplifier for super-accurate laser beams. Balor Overeds gain a Gravity Absorber (pretty much Captain America's shield without the throwing part). Black Dogs gain access to a Linear Motor Vehicle (a pretty fast vehicle powered by the ddriver's electricity). Bram Stoker Overeds can use the blood-producing Hematinic instead of the usual HP cost for most of their Powers. Chimaera Overeds get The Massive Repercussion (a big club) and Adaptive Armor (armor they can still wear when hulking out to monster form). Exiles can get Junk Food (restorative food only they can digest) and a Metallic Skeleton to become a Wolverine ripoff. Hanumans get funky Sound Armor (essentially small sound blaster to divert attacks). Morpheus Overeds can get a Secret Alchemy Tome is a medieval book that helps in creating Stock points through achelmy. Neumanns can use the Lightning Count (a pistol plucked directly into their brain for easier weakpoint targeting). Orcus Overeds have Mimir's Memorandum (an Orcus-encrypted book that hides Connections for spontaneous use). Salamandra can use the Maxwell Program for precise air molecule manipulation (granting a buff or debuff to someone else in the process). Solaris Overed's can use Misleading Clothing to become harder to resist in social situations *nudge nudge*.
Finally, Ouroboros Overeds naturally get the broadest selection (as everyone else already got a couple exclusive items in the last supplements): The Wendigo Blade is essentially an itemized Overed killer power that poisons targets, the Dusk Mantle is a pretty tough mantle, the Tarnished Mirror can be used to restrain targets, the Symbolic Card can be used for a selb-buff, and the World Egg can hypercharge a Warding field so much that absorbs Renegade strains, debuffing any Overed you want (with an extra debuff for Renegade Beings because they're made out of that stuff).
This is the last and biggest section, so let's cover it one category at a time.
Here we have some sensible choices that are pretty much everything you've been missing so far: tonfas, spears, ballistic knives, war axes and hammers, shurikens, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, machine guns, various kinds of shotguns... and then you have a Guitar and a Drill, in case you want to re-enact Macross 7 or Gurren Lagann.
Here we get some skill-assisting utility "armor", including lab clothes for <Knowledge> skills, a stage costume for <Art>, a motorcycle suit for <Ride: 2-wheeled>... and a Yellow Track Suit for - of course - <Melee>.
Continuing the trend of ridiculous UGN combat armor, we get a willpower-enhancing school uniform that is as protective as the bomb suit we also get. Other highlights include the Jet Suit for temporary flight and Roller Boots for fast movement.
Another mix of the ordinary and the insane: A jet ski, a horse, a sports car, a humvee... and a Submarine and the above-mentioned Space Shuttle. Though my personal favorite is the Segway, which is just the right kind of vehicle for a Neumann Overed dual-wielding a drill and a guitar.
All sorts of new connections ranging from a freelance reporter, a blogger, a homeless guy and - my favorite - an online forum.
This includes quite a bit of stuff to upgrade existing items, be it through better materials, a scope, alternate munitions or vehicle armor. Also includes a couple more restorative drugs, and a voice changer.
Black Dog Items
You might want to take the Vibro-Whip or the Armor Skin, but you really want the Miniature Flying Turret to pretend that you are a Gundam.
This inlcudes shields, armor and other sorts of offensive and defensive upgrades, including one that destroyes the Servant at the cost of a huge die bonus for some desparate measures.
Next Time: The World - the metaplot (what little there is) marches forward.
Doresh fucked around with this message at 19:10 on Jan 26, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 26, 2016 19:07|
It's too bad that the Material synthesis Morpheus power uses the shortest range when you combine two weapons into one, because who doesn't want to go full Desperado/Shadow Hearts and have a rocket launcher or machine gun built into a guitar.
I'd rather go for the almighty drill tonfa. Though rocket launcher plus machine gun does technically equal a bolter, doesn't it?
|# ¿ Jan 26, 2016 19:23|
I will never get tired of this ridiculous system. All that's really left is to assign all these part to a hit location chart, and I can finally build my BattleMechs with the granularity they were always meant to be built with.
|# ¿ Jan 26, 2016 19:38|
Kohta Hirano's doing the Space Jam sequel?
Having Bugs troll the hell out of Alucard would make my day.
|# ¿ Jan 26, 2016 23:19|
Double Cross - Infinity Code
The titular Infinity Code is the goal of Professor Caudwell's grand master plan that lead him to take over the False Hearts Cells of Japan. Nobody aside from Caudwell and probably also Central Dogam knows what this Infinity Code is exactly, but it is safe to assume that it is tied to the Renegade's past and future: Caudwell seemingly wants to uncover the Renegade's origin and true nature, and try to figure out where its further evolution will lead it and how to accelerate this process.
It is for this reason that he helped the Ouroboros Syndorme to make a comeback, as it is both a long-forgotten part of the Renegade's history, and a very adaptable strain that will in no doubt evolve at a rapid rate.
In his quest for the Infinity Code, Caudwell makes heavy use of his Master Wraiths. Though they aren't necessarily as strong as past Master Wraiths (back in the day when only one agent was allowed to have that title), but they all have the right kind of desire to be useful to Caudwell's cause, and they are absolutely loyal to him. In fact most of these Master Wraiths see Caudwell as their father, whether they actually share his surname or not.
The rest of his most loyal followers (bordering on creepy cultist behavior) are organized into Apostles, Caudwell's elite Cells that have been briefly mention in the Public Enemy book. Here we find out that there are 13 different Apostles, each with a different task:
The Legacy is a general term for all those artefacts and relics that have been made with or by the Renegade. They're your Renegade Crystals or EX Renegades.
Ever since Caudwell's return, he has started to collect the Legacy and the knowledge and lore surrounding it, which has previously been hogged by FH Clans and old Overeds.
How exactly he gets this knowledge is sometimes a mystery, and the book mentions an example of Caudwell trolling a Clan by sending them the recipe of the secret Renegade-enhancing poison nobody outside the Clan should actually know about. The promptly send him some assassins in return, which got wiped out (because Caudwell's stats are ridiculous).
Since the UGN is a lot younger than False Hearts and currently in a bit of a chaotic state, its members know very little about the Legacy and have yet to start attempts to centralize their know-how.
The Planner and Xenos are collecting the Legacy just like Caudwell, but their goal seems to be to protect any threats from the Renegade. Legacy relics they aquire tend to be sealed away or destroyed.
As for the various kinds of Legacy categories, there are four: EX Renegade items, knowledge (aka magic), ruins and strains (like the Original Renegade T-Lois or the Ouroboros Syndrome).
The Ouroboros Syndrome
Having a new Syndrome pop up as a category isn't too uncommon in the world of Double Cross, for Syndromes are - broadly speaking - a set of Powers with a similar nature and theme. Balor, Morpheus and Orcus are all Syndromes whose Powers used to be associated with other Syndromes before their official recognition.
The Ouroboros Syndrome however is cleary a distinct Strain that only appeared (or rather reappeared) about half a year ago. Surely The Planner welcomes such a Syndrome, as it will surely help her in her quest to evolve her Renegade Beings further, right? Oh, quite the contrary. She's the reason why Ouroboros went extinct in the first place.
You see, the Ouroboros Syndrome is heavily tied to the Anima Regium, those Renegade Beings who possess and occasionly turn you into Slendergjaum.
The Anima Regium have two unique quirks: They are effectively immortal in that they just clone themselves into another body upon death, and they are the only source of the Ouroboros strain. If you have the Syndrome, its either because of your Anima Regium T-Lois (making you a carrier of sorts) or because you had a more or less indirect encounter with a Slendergjaum. If you're Renegade Being, you've probably been infected/assimilated, or you are a sentient byproduct of an Anima Regium presence.
The "unnatural" origin compared to the other strains, as well as its ability to assimilate them for its own gain, have made the Ouroboros a threat in the eyes of The Planner and other Renegade Beings. In ancient times, she and others destroyed anyone and anything with the Ouroboros Syndrome and managed to somehow seal the Anima Regium away.
Now that the Syndrome is back and Caudwell is actively trying to spread out around through his Project Ouroboros. Naturally, The Planner is not amused, and Xenos does anything in its power to extinquish Ouroboros again, fighting whoever stands in their way. This mainly boils down to an all-out war between her and Caudwell, with the UGN also joining in because they have Ouroboros Overeds of their own and are still trying to figure out what's going on.
Master Wraith Delta (04), Simon D. Caudwell (Balor/Neumann/Morpheus): Another supposed son of Caudwell and master tactician thanks to his precognitive abilities. He has a flawless track record and doesn't shy away from a direct fight.
Master Wraith Hexa (06), Chiaki Nanasato (Orcus/Salamandra): The newest Master Wraith (so I guess the number 6 was free at that time?) and former support agent, she deals heavily in ice powers.
Morbius the Demonic Disease (Ouroboros): A strange man in rags and covered in bandages like a mummy. He is one of the first carriers of the Ouroboros strain, and he's rumored to be an ancient Overed that has been sealed away for who knows how long.
Yayue "Night Legion" Lee (Bram Stoker/Exile/Orcus): A very fanatical follower of Caudwell who usually serves in Apostle One, but does all kinds of jobs for his master. He apparently has a tendency to come back from the dead with an altered set of Powers and even Syndromes, suggesting he has a suped-up version of the Reincarnation T-Lois.
Kaie the Collector (Exile/Ouroboros): The FH lady from the opening comic. A failed FH Child who has been artificially imbued with the Ouroboros, she goes around assimilated strong and rare Powers, which tends to kill the victim. Not that she cares, she's already fanatically loyal and even sees Caudwell as her... whatever the male version of "waifu" is (hasubando?).
Komae "Moon Strike" Tatsumi (Balor/Chimaera): Former FH Agent and founder of Renegade Karate (whatever that is). She now wanders the world like some kind of FemRyu, challenging strong opponents to prove that her Renegade Karate is the best there is - or that's what she likes to tell people. She actually more of a hobo who constantly gets herself in trouble.
Nevertheless, she does tend to pop out at locations connected to the Infinity Code, so who knows what her real deal is.
Kuro "Anima Regium" Ichinose (Ouroboros?): The rather androgynous guy on the left of the cover. His codename comves from the fact that he's the only person the UGN is aware of who is a host for an Anima Regium, but didn't go Gjaum-crazy in the process (unless one of the PCs also has the Anima Regium T-Lois, that is). He's overall pretty negative about the whole situation and feels that the UGN is treating him too harshly, because of course do we need some kind of Shinji or Amuro.
Haruna "Deus Ex Machine Shiomi (Hanuman/Morpheus): The girl and UGN Child on the right of the cover. Her codename comes from the spear of the same name she's wielding, a rare Legacy artefact with the power to actually kill an Anima Regium for good. Despite this awesome weapon, she has yet to actually win a fight against one, but that has yet to break her cheerful mood.
Naturally, she has been assigned to monitor Kuro and his Anima Regium, which probably means she might be ordered to stabbinate him of his Anima Regium goes crazy.
Next Time: Game Master Section - of skill challenges and dickish Enemy Powers.
|# ¿ Jan 29, 2016 20:07|
Isn't that whole "Slendergjaum" thing more of an overt reference to Bleach? Like, I've only seen three or four scattered episodes, but I remember seeing dudes (evil twins?) that look like Hot Topic barfed up a mime.
That sounds like Hollow Ichigo, who in DX terms is the anthropomorphic personification of your Renegade strain telling you how awesome it would be to become a Gjaum. Or something like that. His true nature gets more confusing and contradicting everytime he shows up.
Yeah, it always struck me as a reference to Bleach's Hollows and Ichigo's Hollow form.
And Ouroboros' shtick of copying/stealing powers is something the villains of the last two arcs have been done in some form or another. Though I'm not sure whether or not the book was originally released before or after the Evil Soul Germans showed up.
It probably is a Bleach reference, but calling it Slendergjaum has me avoid thinking about Bleach, because Ichigo plus going Berserk brings me back to that time he went SSJ3 out of nowhere during some weird power-up arms race with an emo who also looked like if Hot Topic barfed up a mime.
(Man, how awesome would it be to have a DX Anime that's like the first Bleach Arc, when it was just about highschool students wrecking monsters with weird powers and the plot still gave a poo poo about their normal life?)
Truly Bugs Bunny is the greatest power in the world
Even Rambo can learn a thing or two about body counts from Bugs.
Doresh fucked around with this message at 23:40 on Jan 30, 2016
|# ¿ Jan 30, 2016 22:12|
|# ¿ May 25, 2022 16:41|
Ultimately, it feels like a silly D&Dism to me. You're a celestial being, not one of those mortal chumps who got stomped at Babel. You may not want to draw attention to your being an ultimate polyglot, but having to spend resources on it just seems dumb.
I don't think there's much attention to be drawn if you just settle for English and whatever the locals are speaking.
Agreed. If you're playing a divine being, any language barrier between mortals should be hand-waved. It's like the rule in Feng Shui where you just assume everyone is speaking Cantonese.
French is Common, after all.
(Speaking of: Does anyone else find it weird how even the most supernatural and Eldritch critters around bother with learning the current trade language of those naked monkeys, instead of just relying on the polyglot / telepathy ability they all seem to have?)
|# ¿ Jan 31, 2016 10:53|