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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

In the grim darkness of the far future there are only skull pauldrons.

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Somebody say Thaumaturgy?




Vampire: The Masquerade (2nd Edition)

Preface
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Setting
Interlude: A History of Face Grabbing
Chapter 3: Storytelling
Chapter 4: Rules

quote:

Character is what you are in the dark.

James O’Barr, Human, All Too Human

Chapter Five: Character

The character creation chapter is strangely unsatisfying. It coaches you to come up with an interesting character concept, gently leads you through the process of spending your points on traits, and explains those traits briefly in terse sidebars, leaving the detailed explanations for a following chapter. That’s standard.

What’s not standard is sandwiching another chapter, on crafting a campaign, in between the two! So Chapter 5 is character creation, Chapter 6 is Chronicle creation, and Chapter 7 explains all the Traits, including the ones you care about most: the Kindred Clans and their supernatural powers. It’s good that Vampire devotes a lot of pagecount to “How do I run this?” since it’s an innovative, dungeon-unfriendly game. But the layout is a spasmodic fever-dream.

This is probably why I’ve never read Vampire cover-to-cover before. After the introduction, I skipped to the middle of the book and read about the Clans and their cool vampire powers. Didn’t everyone? I carried this habit forward to most games I’ve owned.

Nonetheless, I can’t think of a better, nonsequential way to cover it. Guess I’ll just give short shrift to campaign-building on my way to those cool vampire powers, like I did when I was 13.


I’m the best character in Hackers. Admit it.

Vampire emphasizes coming up with a strong character concept before you even think about how their abilities are measured in stats. It features a sidebar with a list of one-word concepts that you can build on, and uses a cooking metaphor to describe how you have to let some ideas sit and stew for awhile before they form a nuanced personality that’s more than a one-note stock character. Since no one is born a vampire, you’re encouraged to develop your character with their mortal life in mind. The only hard limit is that you’re a 13th Generation Kindred with no more than 50 years of experience as a vampire. You can play a character born in the distant past, but that means something happened to put you in hibernation for a long, long time. Vampire suggests that you spend the first session creating characters together, and insists you create characters that can get along. Kindred may be vicious, selfish creatures, but by the same token, a coterie doesn’t survive without mutual trust.

There are seven Clans from which players can choose, which get full write-ups later. From a mechanics point of view, each Clan has a unique weakness, and three Disciplines where you spend your starting points and get an experience point discount later on.

Brujah: Rebels.
Gangrel: Nomads.
Malkavian: Crazy.
Nosferatu: Ugly.
Toreador: Artists.
Tremere: Wizards.
Ventrue: Rich.
Caitiff: Clanless.

Nature and Demeanor is an optional rule, but in my experience, everyone uses it. There’s a list of personality traits, like “Survivor” and “Visionary” and “Caregiver,” and you can choose one to be your Nature (true self) and Demeanor (public self). Your Nature gives you a situation in which you recover a point of Willpower, which is why people like using this rule. It doesn’t have much impact on the game, but it’s a tool for character-building with a mechanical benefit.

Now we get to the meat and potatoes. Vampire has nine basic ability scores, called Attributes and divided evenly into 3 categories: Physical, Social, and Mental. You don’t just get a big pool of points to spend, you have to prioritize. You start with 1 dot in--

Oh, I forgot to mention. Since everything runs on a 1-5 or 1-10 scale, the character sheet has you stat out your PC by filling in dots, and points in a Trait are literally called “dots.” Vampire was my first RPG, and it seemed intuitive enough to me.



The game devoted a lot of effort to easing potential players into the concept and the rules.


You start with 1 dot in every Attribute, and get 7 more in your primary category, 5 in the secondary, 3 in the tertiary. Since the human average is 2 and anything over 5 is superhuman, you’re playing very capable characters even before you get into the spooky vampire tricks.

Vampire’s skills are called Abilities, and these are also divided into categories: Talents, Skills, and Knowledges. You get 13 points to spend in your primary, 9 in your secondary, 5 in your tertiary. I'm not going to list them all out.

You get 3 dots to spend on your Clan’s Disciplines--supernatural powers beyond the ones that every vampire has.

Animalism: Controlling animals.
Auspex: ESP.
Celerity: Breaking the combat system.
Dominate: Mind control.
Fortitude: Super-tough.
Obfuscate: Super-stealth.
Potence: Super-strength.
Presence: Super-charisma.
Protean: Shapeshifting.
Thaumaturgy: Creepy blood magick.

Backgrounds are neat. Vampire has an ahead-of-its-time set of Traits for measuring advantages that go beyond Attributes and Abilities like wealth, contacts, and social status. Unfortunately, some of these have a clear mechanical advantage while others are rather vague.

Allies: Humans you can call on for aid.
Contacts: Sources of information.
Fame: What you get when things are hollow!
Generation: You come from a lower Generation, meaning a bigger Blood Pool. You’re going to buy as much of this as the Storyteller will let you get away with.
Herd: Mortals you can feed on without hassle.
Influence: Political power.
Mentor: An elder Kindred who supports you.
Resources: Money, baby.
Retainers: Renfields.
Status: You have respect and standing among Kindred.





Here’s where it gets weird. The internal struggle of being a bloodsucking monster is part of the rules of the game. Characters have three Virtues, as well as a Humanity and Willpower stat. You start with 1 dot in each Virtue and have 7 more to spend.

Conscience: When you do bad things, you feel bad about it, and thus do not lose Humanity.
Self-Control: You can resist going into frenzy. Frenzy is dangerous and stupid and very very funny.
Courage: You can resist fleeing from fire and sunlight.

Your base Willpower is equal to Courage, and you should raise it higher. You can spend Willpower points to boost rolls, and you roll it for stuff like resisting mind control.

Your base Humanity is equal to Conscience+Self-Control. Your Humanity limits how well you interact with mortals, and if it drops to zero, you lose your mind and become an unplayable beast that only exists to feed and sleep.

(One of the oddities of the World of Darkness is that werewolves, mages, and most other PC types don’t have a Humanity stat to worry about. They’re free to be serial-killing, puppy-kicking, landlord cops, and even the “good guy” factions often tolerated some mass-murdering lunatics among their ranks. But Kindred angst out and they go crazy when they do that poo poo.)

Your Blood Pool is your fuel. You consume a Blood point every night you wake up, you can spend it to boost your Physical Attributes, and Disciplines often cost Blood. You roll a d10 to determine your starting Blood Pool.

Finally, you get a pool of 15 Freebie Points to spend wherever you didn’t have enough dots--with varying costs. (Was Vampire the first game to do this? Maybe.) Disciplines are the most expensive, while Backgrounds are cheap, so you can buy up Generation while no one is looking.


All cops are bastards :pigoff:

Just because Vampire exhorts you to create a complex, well-rounded character doesn’t mean that said character can’t be a gritty action movie protagonist. The example of character creation introduces us to Malcolm, a bitter ex-cop in the Dirty Harry mold who is clearly set up to become a vigilante. Malcolm can’t be a cop anymore*, but he was a narcotics detective and still has scores to settle with drug dealers. So Malcolm is a violent, amoral bloodsucker...and now he’s a vampire too!

*Vampire often ignored the fact that living a more-or-less normal life as Kindred is virtually impossible. How do you hold down a day job when daylight burns you up like an oily rag in a fireplace?

Malcolm’s Nature is Loner, and his Demeanor is Fanatic. He’s a workaholic undercover cop so he can be alone. The details of how all his points are spent is not that interesting, but I’ll point out some highlights: all 3 Discipline dots are spent on Protean, because Malcolm’s player wants to eventually get that cool power that lets you transform into a wolf. Some Freebie Points are spent on a dot of Celerity, because super-speed is good. Malcolm’s Conscience of 2 and Self-Control of 5 give him a total Humanity of 7, which is the human norm, and surprising given that he is explicitly an rear end in a top hat with a dismal view of human nature. Speaking of which, the player decides that Malcolm prefers to feed only on drug dealers and addicts, and is consequently becoming an addict himself, though this has no mechanical effect (at least not yet). He also has a Contact named “Sgt. Grabowski” and another named “Softshoe.” Man, you corny.


Every woman I have ever dated shows up in this game’s art somewhere. Creeps me the gently caress out.


That's it as far as mechanics are concerned. Next is some duh-no-poo poo stuff: describe your character’s appearance, list your Contacts and retainers, and describe your lifestyle. Equipment is basically just a matter of listing whatever notable gear you could reasonably afford based on your Resources or a grant from the Storyteller.

The Prelude is a brief, one-player scenario designed to get a feel for the character and how they react in different situations. (I’ve never played in a group that used the Prelude, but I think it’s a good idea, and something you could do at the same session where you’re creating characters.) It’s meant to have personal stakes or none at all, with no combat. Things like “You come home from work, but your key doesn’t work…what do you do?” Another suggestion is “Your father is dying in the hospital, but visiting hours end before sundown.” It’s also an opportunity to explore and justify the characters Backgrounds (e.g. where they get their Resources or who their Contacts are).

Character creation ends with a Questions and Answers section to help fit your character into the game world. In addition to stuff about your childhood and your job are things like “Who was your sire and how did they treat you? How did the Embrace change you? Where do you make your haven and where do you hunt? Has the Prince accepted you?”


Next time on Kindred the Embraced: Chronic Chronicle Chreation

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 22:52 on Apr 4, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Dawgstar posted:

Malcolm shows up in stuff later in the line, although it's normally just as a mention. He's listed as one of the Gangrel in Chicago by Night and his name would be dropped here and there sporadically, always doing the same thing pretty much and being a 13th Generation schlub.
Ugh! He can hang out with the Ventrue NPCs who are all turncoat labour organizers from the Pullman Strike era.

quote:

Night shift. :smugbert:
One of the better vampire comics I've read was basically Clerks, and moving up the ladder of vampire society meant going from convenience store clerk to an rear end in a top hat who owns a convenience store.

Ghost Leviathan posted:

So only Vampires have a Humanity stat in Masquerade? I know it was a standard thing (with line-specific twists) in nWoD lines.
Just Kindred, ghouls, and the original Mummy. Even Kindred of the East used "Dharma," and when Mummy was revised into a full product line, they replaced Humanity with Balance.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

The Expertise/Focus split in Infinity seems very hazy. The Rank/Complexity divide in Silhouette made more sense to me, though I'm not a big fan of Silhouette on the whole.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

NGDBSS posted:

Was this Life Sucks?
Yeah!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

As much as I hate the modern marketing trend of pretending to listen to your customers and then figuring out what they're really trying to say they want...that's game design for you.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Cooked Auto posted:

Neotech 2
Part 9: Exhaustive crunch.


Welcome to the gateway to the crunch. This chapter contains nothing but rules to simulate the wear and tear of various activities on the player characters bodies. It’s only 8 pages but still incredibly dense with several different kinds of status effects and plenty of rule examples. Let’s begin.
Uh...hasn't it all been crunch up until now? I don't think I know anything about the setting besides "there are space stations and cybernetics." Even the Traveller style lifepath system doesn't give you much implied setting.

I assume Neotech is either a game that buries all the real setting detail in the back half of the book, or one of those games that's a genre toolkit with some baseline assumptions built into the rules, like GoO's Ex Machina. (And D&D, of course.)

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

It's weird that people here are having a hard time grasping that misandry can exist in a fictional setting even if "reverse sexism" isn't a cogent idea in real life.

Don't read Reign. Your heads will pop off like a champagne cork.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Thesaurasaurus posted:

I blame Dune for rehabilitating eugenics within SF/F.
I'm being pedantic, but eugenics wasn't exactly a beyond-the-pale topic in 60s/70s sci-fi. This is the same era that gave us a bevy of handwringing novels about overpopulation.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

NutritiousSnack posted:

Having watched the Chapo boys' Felix play DnD on a lark, along with his friends, I think people in general getting loving weird at the table when you ask them to go to imagination land. Their DM invented rules for sex because his personal group learned how to turn into animals and loving other animals, and Felix's group tried to get laid right away
His character gimmick is "every type of person who's had their brain poisoned by Online rolled into one," so that's hardly a general indicator.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Nessus posted:

Who would win:

Chosen of the Sun, Eternal Warrior, Hero of Creation, Resplendent in his Blades
Severian the Austrech

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

They had way more fun shooting those photos than anyone would have playing with this system, goddamn.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

Trust me, as somebody whose favorite Exalts are Sidereals, Infernals, and Alchemicals, I'm in for a long, slow, painful series of waits.
Have you tried eating more fiber?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Night10194 posted:

THIS GMPC is too strong to be defeated by THAT GMPC, you FOOLS!
It's good that the Heroic GMPC gets owned so that the PCs can be the ones to save the day. Maybe it was intended as a joke? Whatever Jeff Smith was, it wasn't worth including at all, especially since his only impact is to add a really corny element to the final showdown with the Gaunt Man.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Just Dan Again posted:

Reading the finale for Torg makes me want to see an analysis of the four books that WW used to end their various World of Darkness Lines in the early 2000s. Those books at least gave the GM a handful of different scenarios for each line, though odds are good that a healthy proportion of them were the GMPC wankfests we're seeing from War's End.
A lot of them were. Vampire built the whole book around a cosmic phenomenon that weakens powerful vampires, so that you could engage them on a somewhat even level. But they didn't stat them out for you, and Vampire doesn't have good tactical rules anyway.

So one of Gehenna's major flaws is that multiple scenarios call for big street fights with boss vampires, with little guidance on how to handle it, and with many outcomes predetermined. (At least, there's no suggestion on what to do if the PCs lose.) And multiple scenarios have pivotal scenes where you either watch Antediluvian NPCs talk, or watch them fight.

For example, there's a scenario where Lilith comes back, with a squad of Super Secret Antediluvians to help her kill Caine. Also she has some sort of Christlike avatar that the PCs need to protect. Lilith is set to win her showdown with Caine. The PCs can join in but don't make a difference; all that matters is that they're smart enough to pick the winning team. So the whole scenario is basically "Side with this GMPC, do her bidding, and you go to New Age heaven at the end."

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 14:21 on Apr 15, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

As someone who played with the Masterbook system back in the day, it is really weird to me how the system is basically the same as Torg's, and it's a universal system, but it cannot handle anything more powerful than very low-level superheroics.

To zero in on what I'm talking about, spellcasting is handled with skills, and it has a spell design system, but you would have to painstakingly design your own book of spells. Things like magic equipment and super powers are handled with an Advantages system that is shaky and built around "Categories." And a Category IV advantage, the most powerful you can get, would be like "claws that do the same damage as a sword."

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 18:46 on Apr 15, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

I like OSR and indie games with lots of random tables, keeping in mind that I think tables are good for inspirations, not hard-and-fast results. I would never use the spell mishaps from DCC, though I like its stoner metal vibe, and I like Troika and Ultraviolet Grasslands.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

I mean that's a standard bit of gear in CP2020 and Shadowrun

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Barudak posted:

This seems to be a consitent thing in these cyberpunk games, that they struggled to grasp exactly what being a capitalist hellscape would mean.
The ones that do tend to be more out-there, borderline wacky stuff like Underground and the Judge Dredd RPG. Granted, my feeling on Underground is that it's firing satire in so many different directions at once that it would be difficult to put myself in the mind of an "average" person in this setting--who regards commodified religion, cloned slaves, and keeping an assault rifle in your kitchen "just in case" as totally normal.

In Neotech's case it's downright cute, because they're Swedish. They've never really had to grapple with austerity neoliberalism or being a white supremacist empire well into the 20th century like the US and UK. Their main capitalist hellscape issue seems to be the far-right rising up in response to all the dang foreigners, which is what happens when you're a model social democracy but your finance industry is still sucking wealth out of the Global South.

jakodee posted:

They’re written by people who have never left their suburb except on a school field trip once.
Pretty much. You can say that in your game the city is a "concrete jungle" where office buildings are full of "drones" and the streets are filled with "urban predators," there are homeless everywhere, the crime rate is 1000%, everyone has a gun...whoopty poo poo. That's my mother's paranoid fantasy about Richmond, VA in 1999.

Ghost Leviathan posted:

It's not like there isn't precedent for a capitalist hellscape, y'know, the Great Depression? And that's just in the USA.
You ever notice how all these cyberpunk dystopias are strangely devoid of any actual political movements fighting the dystopia? It's more evidence that box-standard cyberpunk is mostly dreamed up by comfortable middle-class suburbanites: they can only imagine resistance to megacorporate dystopia taking the form of some small fringe quasi-terrorist group with a punk rock aesthetic.

As opposed to, say, hundreds of thousands of ordinary people organizing strikes under the banner of the Knights of Labour.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 14:21 on Apr 22, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

By popular demand posted:

:rolldice: Aaaaaannnd get this: you no longer can afford to eat meat and fine cheeses every day.
:confused: -What about my imported wine habit?
:rolldice: that's fine, I'm not inhumane.
This revives unhappy memories of when I reviewed Tradition Book: Hollow Ones, and it became apparent that to the viewpoint character, magick is a synonym for being independently wealthy. If he had a trust fund magick powers, he could live like a foppish gentleman from a previous century all the time.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Nessus posted:

A lot of this stuff in cyberpunk probably runs into some form of the Hollywood issue, where even the child who is poor and being raised by a single parent still lives in a gorgeous suburban California home, because anything else would look filthy and ugly (to the camera, or the director, anyway). I remember looking in the backdrops of the Karl Urban "Dredd" film and thinking, "hey, this place doesn't look so bad, although admittedly the Judge gunfighting the drug gangs would be a pretty big negative."
I don't think the issue is that things aren't ugly and dirty enough, but how power and conflict is framed. Like, the characters in Bronx Warriors and Class of 1999 look way prettier than is realistic for a bunch of impoverished teenagers, but the way the movies deal with corporate power, the police state, the carceral state, etc. is remarkably lucid.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Ghost Leviathan posted:

Neoliberal Crime Squad apparently was too close to home to be made.

Probably wouldn't help that the easiest option would be to just join up with the fascists at the first opportunity.
Yeah, that would be a game of Cabal where you play the World Bank.

I thought about F&Fing Millennium's End to talk about its political bent. Turns out, while the premise of playing what are basically Blackwater assassins is morally gross, that premise is just a jumping-off point for the kind of game that's obsessed with precisely statting out the differences between .40 S&W and .357 SIG.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 14:40 on Apr 23, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Hypnobeard posted:

I think LatwPIAT (forgive me if I mangled that) did some spreadsheets that largely automated shots for their Phoenix Command let's play.
I know that she contributed to the computer program that runs Charlie ei surffaa, the Phoenix Command game that's been running at Ropecon for years and years.

Another game that used a complicated silhouette system was Aces & Eights, thought I don't think that and Millennium's End were made by any of the same people.

Cooked Auto posted:

One issue I have with this is that there are simply too many loving corporations around. There are no massive umbrellas like the megacorps in Shadowrun are but just a bunch of made up and real corporations that just coexist together more or less.
If you'd asked me ten years ago, I'd say one of the most cliche and unquestioned things about cyberpunk RPGs is the handful of enormous super-duper-megacorporations. But Disney will own every show I've ever watched by the time I finish typing this.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 03:56 on Apr 24, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Barudak posted:

I think old cyberpunk games were based on the idea of companies as zaibatsu/chaebol/horizontal businesses without an understanding of how digital would change that arrangement. Like absolutely none of the big tech groups have big media arms or vice versa, but thats what everyone is doing now.
Yeah, none of the "classic" cyberpunk games or the homebrews they inspired could predict any economy where some of the biggest companies don't actually produce anything. It also didn't predict companies like Uber that are huge, but unprofitable, because they exist to angle for a future monopoly.

Cooked Auto posted:

That's true yeah. But when you something like 20+ different companies that are all the real decision makers in the world it feels too busy. Or they may just have needed far more advanced relations than what was described there to show how they work with or against each other.

Although I admit my views on things are heavily coloured by Shadowrun since it's one of the few cyberpunk games I've played.
I think Shadowrun's "AAA megacorps," which shift with the metaplot, is a reasonable amount. I've seen homebrew games that have one megacorp for each type of gear the PCs purchase, and if they're feeling realistic, a company for food and one for heavy industry.

One bit that stuck out to me in Neotech (which I've also seen in homebrews) is one or two media corporations. If ONN does "relatively unbiased reporting," what's their business model? They ain't selling broadsheets.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

If they're going to have dozens of corporations it should be nothing more than a table on a scenario generator. Jesus.

Cooked Auto posted:

In this case there's 7 but only ONN really focuses on news. As for how they get funding? :shrug: Doesn't stop their revenue from being 102.391 million (euros). I assume it's ad revenue that keeps them going seeing how much the book plays up that.
I guess if news is your only business, advertising for all the other megacorps isn't competing with yourself.

quote:

What is hilarious is that Progenex owns 8% of the company and they're considered their biggest enemy.
Welp.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

I'm sure that it's happened in games where things like getting captured and escaping are assumed, and the players have assurances that capture isn't the same as death. That's not the vast majority of games, though.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

One of my main problems with most versions of D&D is that it's so equipment-dependent. It's hard to do a simple fictional trope like getting captured and having to fight your way out of jail, because the rules don't really permit a combat built around the fighter now having -8 to his defense stat and doing 1/3rd normal damage. Not unless you just want the PCs to either die, or have a boring slog of a fight with some 0th level prison guards.

The only time I remember having fun with "you get captured" was in a 3e game where the monk remembered that he does just as much damage when he's bound hand and foot, so he head-butted a guard to death, undid his bonds, and let us all loose.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

EthanSteele posted:

D&D is at its core the dungeon delving game where you get on the equipment treadmill and have a good time. There's a bunch of stuff that it really isn't built to do that people keep trying to do anyway when the solution is pretty much always just to use a different system for what they want to do. As much as you want to do a cool court politics game in D&D, its a game that is fundamentally about fighting and getting loot.
Considering that reaction rolls and negotiation are built into AD&D1e, the possibility of getting captured and getting free should be considered. There's even a well-known module series, designed for tournament play, with such a scenario built into it.

That Old Tree posted:

I can't think of any games that have done a similar thing (except Zweihander, but don't buy Zweihander),
Is it bad, or is the writer a scumbag?


Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 18:22 on Apr 30, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

If you're tired of mediocre rip-offs of Western-style fantasy games, may I suggest you try Kaidan: A Japanese Ghost Story?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

One weird little thing that bugs me about WFRP is "Weapon Skill" and "Ballistic Skill." It's just an artifact of when cutting-edge game design meant sounding scientific. It was a really good idea to make Fighting and Shooting basic ability scores in a game full of fighting and shooting, but just call them Fighting and Shooting.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

I really need to catch up on the thread so I can be properly enraged about all this.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Hypnobeard posted:

Well, actually... the British were reluctant to get involved in World War I. There was pretty serious waffling in the cabinet of the time about whether or not to commit troops to the continent. The British Army was tiny compared to the French Army, and there were doubts about whether it was worth it.
"Hey, let's round up all our fittest young men and have one of our chinless rich dipshits march them toward a machinegun nest."

"Sounds like a plan. The sun shall never set on our Empire!"

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

NGDBSS posted:

That's some interesting historical analysis. Unfortunately that's far more than what ES gave, which remember was "royal relations" + "British exceptionalism". It's not that you can't give reasons for alternate history but rather that the reasons given are just paper-thin excuses for producing a prechosen outcome.
I'm reminded of Victoriana, the game about Victorian England that exhibited a sub-Wikipedia level of knowledge about social class and political movements in Victorian England.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Angry Salami posted:

What the hell kind of loser would own a car in a world with teleportation as an option? "Oh, hey, I could arrive at my destination instantaneously, but I'd feel more free if I sat in a vehicle for several hours instead."
I'm reminded of The Stars My Destination, where almost anyone can teleport at will, so the ultra-wealthy use conspicuously inefficient transportation to make a grand entrance wherever they go.

There's a bit where the protagonist lands in a seaplane, which discharges a boat, which runs aground and discharges a little car, which then shoots him out of a circus cannon.

Halloween Jack fucked around with this message at 14:24 on May 8, 2019

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Just listened to the System Mastery episode on Fading Suns. I just never understood this game. It's mostly Dune with a few shakes of Book of the New Sun and Hyperion, and...Idunno. It just doesn't draw me in at all.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

FMguru posted:

Yeah, FS is good, even if it does have a lot of 90s-isms (lots of potted history, in-character fiction chapters, factions and factions and more factions). It earns points for concentrating on being game-able and it is an original SF property (not a license or a license-with-the-number-filed-off). Best of all: no advancing metaplot - it's a big sandboxy setting that you can run a bunch of different kinds of campaigns in.
That's the thing, I don't find it to be super-playable. The basic system isn't good. Like a lot of stuff from the 90s it talks up its big themes of "passion play" and pilgrimage but doesn't support them in the same way that Pendragon does.

Idunno. It's one of those situations where I flip through the book and get irritated at all the nothing I feel about anything in it.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

In spite of it all, I would love to play a Rifts game with a party of Coalition defectors. Not using the Rifts system, of course. I'd go mad, probably hurt myself.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Ratoslov posted:

As a humorous aside to the genocide, one of my favorite parts of these reviews is how incredibly terrible the Coalition States are at coming up with code-names that don't immediately tell you what they do. Operation Kingkiller? Seriously?
Fascists are, historically, very bad at using code names to encode things.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

And I was thinking of Barbarossa. gently caress, Nazis are stupid!

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Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.

Ugh. Still a better love story than Twilight, I suppose.

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