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Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





Oh yeah I love Iron-Blooded Orphans. I just hate Rustal with every fiber of my being as the ultimate anime incarnation of, like, CIA interventionism presenting itself as pacifistic, human rights supporting heroism. He’s a living drone strike authorization, and Iok is the nepotism beneficiary getting saved from a court martial so he can go drone some more.

Vidar rules but also his personal vengeance motivation led to him signing up with the aforementioned absolute monsters.

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Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Joe Slowboat posted:

The show can be sort of performatively cynical
I mean as best as I can tell to hear people talk, that is what folks who post about this stuff online seem to want. Blown up children and people with unusual abilities being humiliated by an uncaring world. Normally this is just nerds bein' nerds but these are also the people who are largely authoring the games. Lancer seems to be potentially distinct from this.

Fivemarks posted:

I'm not a big fan of Battle Century G- Its devs, who I know, are basically on the level of Kevin S. and John Wick (of L5R) when it comes to dealing with disagreements and creative criticism.

On the other hand, the game system I'm working on does try to put an equal emphasis on player's machine and a player's character.
In this case do you mean that these guys are standard-issue internet weirdos or are they in some kind of culture-war over robot jock cartoon RPGs?

e: I guess to clarify, "this show/style of shows sucks" vs. "feminism is ruining Gundam"

Nessus fucked around with this message at 10:11 on Apr 8, 2020

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




PurpleXVI posted:

so if like, Iron Blooded Children or whatever it's called is a huge step up in quality from [checks] Gundam SEED, ha ha, what wouldn't be, then that's cool and good.

In hindsight I'm amazed I lasted all the way through SEED and it wasn't until the final half of SEED Destiny where I just went nope and burned out hard on Gundam to the point I prefer Macross over it.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!




Night10194 posted:

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: The Thousand Thrones
Our adventure begins 200 years ago, with the sack of Praag by the forces of Asavar Kul. During the whole 'converting Praag into a living hellmouth' debacle, a Hag of the Ungol was caught up in all the bullshit and became a Chaos Champion. The Black Witch then got her skull stoved in with Ghal Maraz, though she survived long enough to die in a pool of brackish water miles from the city. For some reason, Morr himself decided not to claim her soul so the evil witch could suffer forever. This proved to be kind of a mistake, because now she's trying to drag herself back into reality through a convoluted process involving multiple vampires and a magic child. She also already manifests sometimes by demanding a nearby village send her a maiden sacrifice she can possess every ten years. She needs the boy, the blood of one of each of the five vampire bloodlines, and then she'll be able to eat the magic boy and his power and become fully real again, while also spraying thousands of hideous spiders from her gaping hellwomb. Yeah, that's about where we're going. She has somehow convinced vampires that they will get to rule the world if they come to her with the boy, by making up an 'ancient' prophecy about how they'll rule the world from a thousand thrones.

Okay I'm with you so far.

Night10194 posted:

Meanwhile, the magic boy was born to Stromfel Worshippers (crazy evil shark god distortion of Maanan) in Marienburg. They got crushed by Witch Hunters, who didn't kill the child and gave young Karl to the Shallyans. One of the Shallyans realized he had weird mind control powers (which he doesn't know he has) and tried to kill him. The others stopped her because A: Shallyans and B: Mind control powers. Then another evil cult decided to use the boy as a false Sigmar and a not-Valten. They branded his chest with the twin tailed comet after kidnapping him from the Shallyans, but he got away, and grabbed a blacksmith's hammer to defend himself. A little kid with a comet birthmark and his mind control powers going full speed standing against two heavily mutated Nurglites with a hammer drove a bunch of Marienburgers into a frenzy, where they saved him and proclaimed him Sigmar Reborn. Being a lonely nine year old kid who'd just had a traumatic experience, he decided this was fine and is going along with it for now.

Meanwhile, that scheming bastard Johan Esmer...

Is this supposed to be one self-contained adventure?
It seems like you're describing an epic campaign.

Night10194 posted:

Into this, the PCs stumble their way, to get railroaded along with the Crusade of the Child and forced into a nonsense storm of body doubles, women getting mutated into hideous beasts, hellwombs, temptresses, shitloads of vampires (if you have a VAMPIRE RANDOM ENCOUNTER subset in your module, you are DOING VAMPIRES WRONG), lots of unrelated plotting, a stolen chicken, paper thin characters, poor pay, at least one child they have to murder, and an utterly miserable time.

I'm gonna need a smilie of a GM drowning in poo poo.

Fivemarks
Feb 21, 2015


Nessus posted:

In this case do you mean that these guys are standard-issue internet weirdos or are they in some kind of culture-war over robot jock cartoon RPGs?

e: I guess to clarify, "this show/style of shows sucks" vs. "feminism is ruining Gundam"

I guess I would say "Standard Issue internet Weirdoes." This is a reference that only PurpleXVI would get, but think of them as like SweetSoulsBro but with robots instead of guns, and also being kind of arrogant grognards who once gave everything in their game's movement system a max speed of "1" while making ranged weapons able to shoot longer than that while also allowing characters to move and shoot simultaneously, and didn't understand why that wasn't good.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


By popular demand posted:

It seems like you're describing an epic campaign.

It's a full campaign, designed to start at 0 EXP and go to about 2400-2700.

E: The campaign also suggests throwing Terror in Talabheim into the middle of it if your players seem bored. Risky move to put them on a much better adventure.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 12:00 on Apr 8, 2020

Lynx Winters
May 1, 2003

Borderlawns: The Treehouse of Pandora

NutritiousSnack posted:

I'm just going to bite the bullet and do some Fragged reviews. I love the game to loving much

This kinda got lost in all the other stuff but I am all about this.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


PurpleXVI posted:

VOTOMs goes a long way, but apparently past the second arc or so, which I admit is where I stopped watching, Chirico turns out to have magic powers or some such poo poo? Going entirely by word of mouth here, mind you, but yes, VOTOMs is probably the realest robotest show I can name and those two first arcs are loving great.

Gundam is uhhhh... hahahahah. Okay so the problem with Gundam is that it tries so hard to be semi-realistic but the authors can never stop themselves bringing in superweapons and fated ultrapilots that don't need tactics because they just use their soul magic or cyborg implants or psionics or whatever and then they win the fight. I think genuinely the only moment I enjoyed in a Gundam show was the end of the first season of 00 where a bunch of military veterans used tactics and coordination to gently caress up a bunch of idiot super-robots piloted by genetically-engineered ultrapilots(And then of course some even more super super pilots showed up and won the day for them anyway). Take my critique with a grain of salt in the sense that I haven't watched any of the newer Gundam stuff nor the very oldest, so if like, Iron Blooded Children or whatever it's called is a huge step up in quality from [checks] Gundam SEED, ha ha, what wouldn't be, then that's cool and good.

08th MS was also pretty good for the first half, which as far as I know fits pretty well with when the main writer or something committed suicide, which is the story related to me for how the show suddenly seems to jump off the rails and change tone.

People here are using "Gundam" to talk about the original Mobile Suit Gundam series or the more extended Amuro/Char story of MSG, Zeta and CCA, which is absolutely not like the rest of the franchise and absolutely not like SEED where that is 100% the deal while otherwise being a retelling of the original MSG story and it is much worse for it.

Original Gundam starts with the robot being basically invincible to what it fights against, with a super powerful weapon that if it hits you then you're done, but it absolutely doesn't fit the deal that other shows with that setup have and by the halfway point it's busted and worn out and what wins the war isn't the robot and the special boy being the best (though he does get very good by the end), its the antagonist reaction to it and the fact the Earth has a manufacturing base 100 times greater than the space boys and can pump out hundreds of Good Enough robots that can be piloted by basically anybody compared to the Space Nazi/Imperial Japan concentrating on super weapons and picking pilots based on how good their Sieg Zeon is.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





MSG/Universal Century is also about the Age of Aquarius/human potential (Newtypes) being forced into war and being ground down in to a weapon - Newtypes should be so much more than this. IBO has similar themes but with straightforward human potential to be normal people and child soldiers being ground down into weapons.

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


EthanSteele posted:

Original Gundam starts with the robot being basically invincible to what it fights against, with a super powerful weapon that if it hits you then you're done, but it absolutely doesn't fit the deal that other shows with that setup have and by the halfway point it's busted and worn out and what wins the war isn't the robot and the special boy being the best (though he does get very good by the end), its the antagonist reaction to it and the fact the Earth has a manufacturing base 100 times greater than the space boys and can pump out hundreds of Good Enough robots that can be piloted by basically anybody compared to the Space Nazi/Imperial Japan concentrating on super weapons and picking pilots based on how good their Sieg Zeon is.

Yeah, the Geloog is actually a superior weapon to the Gundam period, but by that point in the series only like 90 of them could be made despite them being a cheap, mass production model because Zeon spent all their cash and resources (that they didn't still steal from Earth, but they hadn't added that into logistics yet and by then the war ends, and it's shipped off to Axis) on either Super Wave Motion guns on their battleships, that one of the Zabi's despise and doesn't like using, or competing lines of mobile suits during the early stages of the war before they had to the EF's own mass production model mobile suits, and just had to loving fight half useless tanks and helicopters, instead of focusing truly on a next generation jump on something like the Geloog. Amuro is an amazing Ace, and by living long and giving enough data on the Gundam for the RGM-79 GM to produced effectively, helped win the war, but he very much wasn't the deciding factor. It was as Steele mentioned above.

That's not to get into Zeta Gundam, and why it lead into Zeon becoming a threat (that whole space colony they dropped onto Earth now dealing MASSIVE environmental damage, turning entire countries into desert, them handing off most of their military to the Titans who then start their own collation when EF realizes how power mad they are and how willing they were to wipe them out too, Zeon just mining and gathering materials for 8 years nonstop, building a diverse, but practical line of next generation mobile suits, with a leader (Hamon) who actually played politics and was willing to manipulate various factions before deciding to drop said colony.

Lynx Winters posted:

This kinda got lost in all the other stuff but I am all about this.

I'll have something up by tonight. Ripping images from the PDF.

Joe Slowboat posted:

MSG/Universal Century is also about the Age of Aquarius/human potential (Newtypes) being forced into war and being ground down in to a weapon - Newtypes should be so much more than this. IBO has similar themes but with straightforward human potential to be normal people and child soldiers being ground down into weapons.

Gundam is 100 percent about spiritualism and enlightenment, the idea of a 'higher other', actually having to loving deal with how lovely human society is, even when it's for the 'greater good'. Char would have never went mad by the time of CCA if his comrades in the Anti Earth Union respected his desire NOT to become a political figure and just be a ranking officer in their rebel army. Haman Khan was warped and broken by being forced to be a political figure and general by age 14, and it's thanks to the spiritual connection/ love of Judeah that she decides to kill herself and take responsibility for what she's done, when if she accepted the spiritual side of her powers, she could have stopped much earlier and given her base what they actually wanted (freedom and autonomy from the Earth Federation), and...ah...well, don't want to focus too much on the implications of Haman and Judeah connection.

NutritiousSnack fucked around with this message at 16:58 on Apr 8, 2020

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Thousand Thrones

Marienburgers

Because there's space for 5 characters with the 5 roles, we're getting every single species this time. A Halfling Criminal, a Dwarf Ranger, an Elf Academic, a Human Commoner, and a Human (Norse) Warrior, made using the Norse rules in Tome of Corruption because it's by the same author and they're common in Marienburg anyway. Our adventures begin in Marienburg, the city of dutch capitalists, which is legitimately a good starting point since it's a huge international travel hub and a great excuse to have PCs from all over. Add to it that Marienburg is still pretty Imperial despite not being in the Empire while having its own identity, and there'd be a good bit of space for fun adventures. Sadly, there will be no fun adventures for these five.

Our first hero is the Elf Academic, Syphan of Naggarythe (Actually Naggarond)

quote:

Name: Syphan of Naggarythe (Naggarond)
Species: Druchii Elf (Claims to be Asur)
Career: Apprentice Wizard
Stats:
WS 40, BS 36, S 39, T 41, Agi 41, Int 31 (Shallya from 26), WP 35, Fel 34
Wounds: 12/12
Fate: 1/1
Movement: 5
Attacks: 1
+Mag: 1
Skills:
Common Knowledge (Naggaroth)
Speak Language (Eltharin With A Canadian Accent, Reikspiel, Classical)
Academics (Magic)
Channeling
Magical Sense
Perception
Read/Write
Search
Speak Arcane Language (Magic)
Talents:
Atheyric Attunement
Fast Hands
Coolheaded
Excellent Vision
Nightvision
Petty Magic (Arcane)
Very Resilient
Gear:
Quarter Staff
Backpack
Book
Hand Weapon (Elfsword)
Dagger
15 Crowns

Syphan's career path was decided by a fundamental misunderstanding of what 'Witch Elf' meant. From a young age, she was bigger and stronger than average for an elf, and had always sought to join the Brides of Khaine. Unfortunately for her, she ended up enrolled to become a Sorceress instead; she thought they were Witches. Discovering that magic was actually more interesting than stabbing people, she also quickly despaired of the quality of instruction available to a young Druchii; there was a lot of emphasis on lying to students and encouraging them into lethal traps to 'winnow out the weak', which seemed to promote a very counterproductive academic atmosphere. She eventually signed up for a slave raid and slipped away from the party in the night, deciding she wanted to seek out magical instruction elsewhere and not use highly dangerous Dark Magic 'just because it's harder'. Since then, she's lived in Marienburg, learning what magic she can from humans and the occasional oblivious High Elf. Over the course of her instruction, she's mellowed out considerably; living outside of the authoritarian nightmare realm founded by Malekith and actually interacting with a variety of people opened her eyes to just how nonsense her homeland really was. Now she seeks to hit the road with her 'powerful' magic and her trusty curved sword, to seek fortune and greater knowledge throughout the Empire. She still dearly misses maple syrup.

Syphan has hilariously weird stats. She'd be an incredible warrior, but even with Coolheaded and burning her Shallya's Mercy on Int to get it average, she's a very average wizard. She'll be working towards Light magic, because a Druchii deserter going teenage rebellion and trying to learn the holiest, shiniest, nicest magic she can is funny to me and Light is incredibly good anyway. If the Lore of Beasts worked better she'd be perfect for it, and Fire would also be a natural choice, especially if she 200ed into Soldier or something and started murdering people with fire swords, but Light is still pretty good for a potential 'warrior wizard'. Her big strength is actually that she can use Touch Spells at a whopping 60% WS with Fast Hands, which means Sleep is going to see some real use. She probably has the most ridiculous concept of any of them.

Next up is the Human Commoner, Johan Kleiner

quote:

Name: Johan Kleiner
Species: Imperial Human
Career: Servant
Stats:
WS 32, BS 33, S 39, T 31 (Shallya from 23), Agi 42, Int 38, WP 36, Fel 30
Wounds: 10/10
Fate: 3/3
Attacks: 1
Movement: 4
Skills:
Common Knowledge (Empire)
Speak Language (Reikspiel)
Gossip+10
Trade (Cook)
Blather
Dodge Blow
Search
Haggle
Perception
Read/Write
Sleight of Hand
Talents:
Acute Hearing
Etiquette
Lightning Reflexes
Resistant to Magic
Savvy
Unnoticed (Can use Stealth skills if blending in, gets +10 to them once he has the skill)
Gear:
Good Craftsmanship Clothes (With Big Hat)
Leather Jack and Helmet (AV 0 Legs, 1 Arms, 1 Body, 1 Head)
Storm Lantern w/Oil
Pewter Tankard (His ‘retirement’ gift)
Tinderbox
Hand Weapon (Cleaver)
Dagger
3 Crowns

Johan has always had a hard lot in life. Dreaming of being a chef one day, he sought employment in a higher class inn in Marienburg that catered to business travelers. Unfortunately, no-one ever noticed his self-taught talents at cooking, nor that he'd managed to pick up reading and writing; he accidentally annoyed his boss and wound up assigned to cleaning the privies and sweeping the floors. Possessing a strong work ethic, Johan threw himself into his job, trying to come up with more efficient ways to keep the inn clean and hygenic as he tried to study janitorial science, only to be ignored whenever he made any suggestions or requests for cleaning supplies. Until he met a charming, black-haired elf-maid of enormous stature, a common customer who would come by to lean on various sea elves and passing wizards for a look at their books. The two struck up a friendship over complaining about the people they worked with (and over her actual appreciation for his cooking), until one day she suggested he'd probably make a heck of an adventurer rather than a scullery boy. He's decided to take up with his complaining buddy and see what fortune brings him.

Johan is fantastic. He's strong in the arm, quick on his feet, brave, and very sharp. And Servant is actually a pretty good 1st Career for a Commoner, especially as it goes straight into Spy. He's also got the nice bonus of being resistant to magic, which will help a lot with his high base WP and the amount of magical bullshit coming his way in this campaign. Especially once he has +35% WP from Spy. Having Dodge access and 42 Agi with Lightning Reflexes will make him a little more survivable in a fight, and will eventually help him be a great stealth character. He'll never be a 'major' warrior, but he'll be able to pitch in with roguery and fighting both. And hey, he's a good cook and can do some merchant stuff, too. This humble scullery boy can do big things in the future.

Next up is the Halfling Criminal, Shanna Applebottom

quote:

Name: Shanna Applebottom
Species: Halfling
Career: Thief
Stats:
WS 15, BS 45, S 21, T 21, Agi 49, Int 31 (Shallya from 26), WP 28, Fel 37
Wounds: 11/11
Fate: 3/3
Attacks: 1
Movement: 4
Skills:
Academics (Genealogy)
Common Knowledge (Halflings)
Gossip
Speak Language (Halfling, Reikspiel)
Trade (Cook)
Charm
Concealment
Evaluate
Pick Locks
Perception
Read/Write
Sleight of Hand
Search
Secret Signs (Thief)
Silent Move
Talents:
Resistant to Chaos
Night Vision
Special Weapons (Sling)
Sturdy
Streetwise
Super Numerate
Gear:
Leather Jerkin and Leather Leggings (AV 0 Head, 1 Body, 1 Legs, 0 Arms)
Sling
Sack (For Loots)
Lockpicks (Master of Unlocking)
10 yards of rope
Hand Weapon (Cudgel)
Dagger (Stabbin)

Shanna Applebottom was always considered an overserious and anti-social girl back in the Moot. She'd actually sometimes prefer to spend quiet time alone, working on math problems and 'doing figures', rather than joining in all of the raucous pie festivals and the constant socialization normal to halfling culture. It's hard to be a relatively introverted halfling; she's only happy to spend maybe two or three hours a day socializing, and sometimes prefers a nutritious vegetable dish to a giant greasy meat-pie. With her talent for numbers, Shanna wanted to be a merchant or clerk, but the job required too much prattle for her to take if she took it up in the Moot. She moved to Marienburg, the land of Serious Businesspeople, and quickly discovered she hated Serious Businesspeople. The constant theft, the shortchanging, the dishonesty, all of it drove the poor halfling lass mad. They were messing with the numbers! At all times! Taking up the family lockpick, she decided to get into a much more honest sort of thievery, reckoning that with all the Marienburgers lying on their ledgers there were a lot of slush funds that wouldn't be noticed if they went missing. While that worked out for awhile, the thieves' guilds of Marienburg proved to be exactly like the merchant's guilds, and now she just wants to get the hell out of town. So when a big, weird-accented elf lady and her boyfriend (she assumes they're together) were asking around on the down-low about adventuring burglars, she decided to get in on that action. An elf wizard's probably an indication of a serious adventuring party, right?

Shanna is really, really good at stealing poo poo, sneaking, and picking locks. She's not bad at social stuff despite having a lower than average Fel for a Halfling, either. You can go a long way on +10 Agi, +10 BS, and +10 Fel, even if a halfling's melee and durability stats tank from the -10s. She can pitch in with her sling (which is also nicely concealable) and she got the excellent bonus of rolling Sturdy for her one random Halfling advantage. Add in Resistance to Chaos so she's mutation immune (really helpful if you need to set bombs next to a ratman doomsday cannon without growing tentacles) and she's got a lot of utility for the team. She'll fold like wet paper if anyone ever fights her in melee, though, and she isn't great at stuff outside her specialty. Her Super Numerate is there because Trapfinder is usually pretty useless; Hams never really seems to use traps much the way old D&D did. Plus, Math Halfling made for a fun character concept.

Next up is Oleg Balinson, the Dwarf Ranger

quote:

Name: Oleg Balinson
Species: Dwarf
Career: Runebearer
Stats:
WS 41 (Shallya from 37), BS 27, S 38, T 41, Agi 25, Int 38, WP 32, Fel 25
Wounds: 11/11
Fate: 1/1
Attacks: 1
+Movement: 5
Skills:
Common Knowledge (Dwarfs)
Speak Language (Khazalid, Reikspiel)
Trade (Smith)
Dodge Blow
Navigation
Outdoor Survival
Secret Signs (Scout)
Perception
Swim
Talents:
Dwarfcraft
Grudge Born Fury
Night Vision
Magic Resistance
Stout Heart
Sturdy
Flee
Fleet Footed
Orientation
Rapid Reload
Very Strong

Oleg was never destined to be a great warrior. He's fit enough, and extremely light on his feet for a dwarf, but he was always told he was merely average. His smithing is acceptable, but nothing special. Where he excels is his incredible speed. Oleg won no small degree of fame as a young beardling when he beat an elven ambassador at a footrace during an argument back at his home hold, upholding the honor and pride of the Dwarven people by being faster than a fancy elf. His incredible legs landed him a respectable job as a Runebearer, and he quickly found he enjoyed the long runs and the challenges of navigating old holds and underways to deliver the mail. When his Hold asked for volunteers to make surface deliveries to city-dwarf communities throughout the Empire, Oleg was happy to volunteer. Unlike most dwarfs, he doesn't mind being above ground in the slightest, and as long as he had places to run and messages that needed delivering, he was happy to help out. Having finished his term of service as a Runebearer with a final delivery to Marienburg, he's begun to ponder a career as one of the famous dwarf Rangers; maybe he could help his Hold and see even more of the world if he took advantage of his unusually open mind to explore the surface even further. Oleg is surprisingly good-natured and calm for a dwarf, not prone to fits of temper or wounded pride, and his long journeys above ground have made him able to tolerate almost any companions, even elves. So he doesn't especially mind that he's thrown in with an elf, a manling, and a math-loving halfling.

Runebearer is an interesting Career. Look at Oleg's Movement. Look at it. He can potentially outrun a vampire if he's in trouble (this may be EXTREMELY RELEVANT). Combine that with getting Dodge off the bat, having good exits, Rapid Reload, and pared down but essential Rangering skills and Oleg is really solid right off the bat. His main thing is a gimmick, but a dwarf who moves as fast as an elf (and still has Sturdy to eliminate armor penalties) is a pretty good gimmick. He'll likely end up a Scout, making him decent enough at ranged weapons despite his mediocre BS and making him pretty good in a melee fight, while making him even more Rangery. His high Int helps a lot with the Perception tests Rangers expect to make. His Agi is actually good for a dwarf, as is his Fel, so he's open-minded and quick and will eventually be pretty dodgy.

Finally, Sif Gundredsdottir, the Norse Warrior

quote:

Name: Sif Gundredsdottir
Species: Norse Human (Mutant)
Mutations: Growth (+7 Str, +5 Tough, -2 Agi, +2 Wounds, +1 Mv)
Career: Mercenary
Stats:
WS 43, BS 30, S 43, T 40, Agi 25, Int 31 (Shallya from 23), WP 34, Fel 35
Wounds: 14/14
Fate: 3/3
+Attacks: 2
Movement: 5
Skills:
Speak Language (Norscan, Reikspiel)
Common Knowledge (Norsca, Empire)
Outdoor Survival
Sail
Consume Alcohol
Gamble
Dodge Blow
Ride
Gossip
Perception
Swim
Talents:
Quick Draw
Strike Mighty Blow
Sharpshooter
Gear:
Full Leather w/Mail Shirt (AV 1 Legs, 3 Body, 1 Arms, 1 Head)
Shield
Healing Draught
Crossbow w/10 Bolts (Sold for 25 GC)
3 Javelins (Bought for 3 GC)
Hand Weapon (Sword)
15 Crowns

Sif has always been big. Ever since she started growing, she just didn't seem to stop until she stood well over six feet tall. Her father, mother, and both her brothers are of a similar size, so she doesn't even realize it's a mutation that breeds true in their family; she still passes for an unmutated human just fine, especially with Imperial ideas about how Norse are all tall and buff as hell. Her father was a great adventurer in his day, going south to earn several chests of gold and jewelry that let him buy a freehold from his Jarl, and old Gundred always told her that Sif would be perfect for the family business, while her brothers took more to farming and Skalding. So Sif made her way down south to Marienburg with a trading voyage, and stepped off the boat to find a job. Unfortunately for her, Norse Mercenaries are in vogue just as much because they make stylish and attractive accessories as because of their warrior's skills. Being a particularly exotic specimen (seeing as she towers over most men and women), she grew tired of being hired solely for her looks and stature, and so she's decided to spurn regular employment and follow her father's advice. "Sif, my girl, go sit in the corner of a busy inn or tavern, and look for a group of people. If you see one that's got at least one wizard or elf, plus a dwarf, those are real Adventurers and they'll get you glory and gold." She has no idea what she's getting into, but the team welcomed an enormous, reasonably well equipped Norsewoman who fights like she was born with a sword in her hand. Even if she's a little clumsy from her size.

Sif is probably the weirdest character. She rolled that she started with a Mutation, but she got a benign (honestly, very helpful) and easily hidden one. Imperials think Norse are huge anyway, nobody is going to think she's a mutant for being extremely tall. She's a huge tank of a woman, and rolling Warrior Born only makes her even better. She's about as good of a primary fighter as you could ask for, aside from her low Agi. Her mutation also gives an excellent +2 Wounds and +1 Movement in addition to the d10 S and T (and the -d10 Agi), which means she joins the Movement 5 club. This party is extremely good at chasing things or running away. Mercenary gives her an excellent start on being a soldier, and being a Norsewoman gives her Outdoor Survival so she can pitch in on the basics of Rangering. She's probably just going to slam straight up the 'kill man with sword' fighter tracks. The team has everything else covered and while the Commoner and Ranger are decent enough in a fight, she's it for people who can really stand the line with sword and shield and swing away. And the odds they'll be facing in combat don't give her time to gently caress around.

So these are the poor bastards who will have to deal with this mess. The book tells you to try to avoid killing off your PCs too much and to hand out Fate liberally to prevent this, and tries to get around how badly balanced its combat is by saying 'oh, adjust it to their capabilities, what we suggest is just the defaults', but that's sort of unhelpful. Sif is a badass, yes, but Sif is not a 'fight 12 enemy soldiers with 2 Attacks, SB 4, TB 4, and WS 46 and mail armor, backed up by a vampire' badass, and won't be by the point in the campaign that happens. Honestly, almost no-one is that level of badass outside of Vampires themselves or Chaos Lords. Schwalb consistently doesn't understand that groups of enemies who can action economy you down are much, much more lethal than single enemies, and we'll be seeing a lot of that over the course of the campaign. To that end, I'm glad the party turned out pretty well; showing off how hosed a company of pretty capable adventurers is does a better job of showing the issues in the scenario balancing.

Next Time: Shark Week Begins

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:24 on Apr 8, 2020

Cooked Auto
Aug 4, 2007

If you will not serve in combat, you will serve on the firing line!




You posted Sif's statblock twice by the way.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Cooked Auto posted:

You posted Sif's statblock twice by the way.

Dangit. Fixing it. Thanks, I don't know how I missed that I hit copy twice.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





At least one of Battle Century G devs posted on this board at one point though I don't remember their username.

We also have a Gundam thread for deep dives into that franchise as well as a general mecha thread.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


Midjack posted:

At least one of Battle Century G devs posted on this board at one point though I don't remember their username.

We also have a Gundam thread for deep dives into that franchise as well as a general mecha thread.

BCG is alright, I ran a full campaign for it and while there were some hiccups, it's not bad. It suffers from the thing that plagues a lot of mech games in that it tries to cover Literally All Types of Mecha at once and how to square Pilot and Mech stuff also its an Effect Based game which people tend to either love or hate. The author has put out a retrospective errata thing where he went over all the things and what he wanted to do with each bit and how it worked or didn't and how he would do it now with more experience and play data available.

Lancer is a very good game, partly because it doesn't fall for the trick other mech games do where they try and square Pilot and Mech stuff and end up having two separate character sheets by going "its a mech game, here are the few details you need for a pilot, but all the crunchy game parts are in the tactical mech fighting bit"

Fivemarks
Feb 21, 2015


That's the rub though. You can either make both the pilot and the mech important, or you can make the pilot not important at all and only have the mech have stats. I don't like only the mech having Stats.

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Night10194 posted:

To that end, I'm glad the party turned out pretty well; showing off how hosed a company of pretty capable adventurers is does a better job of showing the issues in the scenario balancing.

That actually sounds like a really fun and interesting party of characters, and that makes me kind of sad that they're going to be wasted on such a terrible adventure.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Jerik posted:

ALPHABET THINGS

Oh don't worry, this is actually an interesting read. I like seeing how accurate (or lack thereof) writers were to the source culture when doing these kinds of reviews, and what parts were worthy of change.

Posters posted:

Criticizing gross sex stuff

You're all definitely right on this part, and while it doesn't predominate the adventure it is definitely something where you wonder if Jesse Sky and James Ohlen got unmuzzled from working on video games and decided to go max edge. For what little it's worth the book doesn't pull a Koebel and have the PCs get raped, but it is something that happens both onscreen and offscreen...usually framed when combat is inevitable and the PCs are going to deliver violent justice to the perpetrators.

GimpInBlack posted:

Personally, I love the logic of calling the ocean in the middle of the drat archipelago the "Forgotten Sea." There's a reason most of the ancient names for the Mediterranean translate to some variation of "the middle sea" or "the great sea" or just "the sea" (or, if you're the Roman's and extremely confident in your naval power, "our sea"), after all.

Like, are all those islands to the south uninhabited? Is there something magical about the sea that makes people forget it? Am I just way overthinking this? I don't know why this bugs me so much.

Also yeah, the Lutheria stuff is loving gross and unnecessary.

The Cerulean Gulf is the more-explored portion of Thylean waters. Sydon has more control over the Forgotten Sea and thus people give it a wider birth. His lighthouse-fortress of Praxys also guards Thylea from unwanted outsiders and is responsible for more than a few crashed ships.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Night10194 posted:

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e: Thousand Thrones
It'll be fine. They'll be fine. It's fine! It's fine.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Hostile V posted:

It'll be fine. They'll be fine. It's fine! It's fine.

This campaign is about on par with the Abandon Hope one. It's that bad.

It doesn't have Hitler's Sex Dungeon, but it will have its own problems.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Night10194 posted:

This campaign is about on par with the Abandon Hope one. It's that bad.

It doesn't have Hitler's Sex Dungeon, but it will have its own problems.
It's fine.

EthanSteele
Nov 18, 2007

I can hear you


Fivemarks posted:

That's the rub though. You can either make both the pilot and the mech important, or you can make the pilot not important at all and only have the mech have stats. I don't like only the mech having Stats.

I agree, one thing that pretty much every piece of mech media has in common is that the pilot is the important part. From Mazinger to Gundam, it's the human element always matters.

Making both pilot and mech important is easier said than done though, or at least to make it feel good and not just end up being two games smashed together, one for pilot scale stuff and one for mech stuff.

Nanomashoes
Aug 18, 2012



I got about halfway through the middenheim adventure before realizing it was bad, but it only took me reading the first chapter of thousand thrones to understand that it was awful and no player would ever want to play it.

Aethyron
Dec 12, 2013


um hello I'm new (longtime lurker, this thread is amazing btw)

Anyway so the other day I came across Night10194's excellent Hunter: the Reckoning review. I was a big Hunter fan back in the day, as a teenager (I suspect now that I loved the version of the game that existed in my head more than anything) and it inspired me to actually crack open some of the Hunter books I still have like 15-20 years later, and uhhhh

So now I'm wondering if people would be interested in a review of the Hunter: the Reckoning Player's Guide (the book with, among other things, an excitingly bad set of Merits & Flaws)?

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



Aethyron posted:

um hello I'm new (longtime lurker, this thread is amazing btw)

Anyway so the other day I came across Night10194's excellent Hunter: the Reckoning review. I was a big Hunter fan back in the day, as a teenager (I suspect now that I loved the version of the game that existed in my head more than anything) and it inspired me to actually crack open some of the Hunter books I still have like 15-20 years later, and uhhhh

So now I'm wondering if people would be interested in a review of the Hunter: the Reckoning Player's Guide (the book with, among other things, an excitingly bad set of Merits & Flaws)?

:justpost:

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Aethyron posted:

um hello I'm new (longtime lurker, this thread is amazing btw)

Anyway so the other day I came across Night10194's excellent Hunter: the Reckoning review. I was a big Hunter fan back in the day, as a teenager (I suspect now that I loved the version of the game that existed in my head more than anything) and it inspired me to actually crack open some of the Hunter books I still have like 15-20 years later, and uhhhh

So now I'm wondering if people would be interested in a review of the Hunter: the Reckoning Player's Guide (the book with, among other things, an excitingly bad set of Merits & Flaws)?

:justpost:

Aethyron
Dec 12, 2013


wow that happened fast okay here goes

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


Aethyron posted:

wow that happened fast okay here goes

Feed us more content.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


The thing about Hunter is the premise is awesome, even more than the usual 'WW elevator pitches that are never lived up to'. I loved the one Hunter campaign I played in, hosed up rules and all. It's totally understandable to be a fan of it even with how many missteps it's got.

And yes, I want to see the player's guide.

Aethyron
Dec 12, 2013


This feels like a dumb question but what's the best way to add images here?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

Probably linking them from imgur or another image host.

Aethyron
Dec 12, 2013


okay yes that makes sense I've got this

Aethyron
Dec 12, 2013


Hunter: the Reckoning - Player's Guide

Part One: Prologue, Introduction

So, I don't have a lot to add to Night's prior review of the Hunter corebook (https://projects.inklesspen.com/fatal-and-friends/night10194/hunter-the-reckoning/), which does a very good job assessing the strength(s?) and weaknesses of the line- mostly, an intensely compelling hook vs an at-best deeply confused text where the mechanics, art, fiction, and play advice are all at odds with each other. Obviously it's not exactly the review I would have written but I agree with it pretty completely.

I've been a fan of World of Darkness stuff for I don't know, decades, but it's been a very long time since I read any old WoD stuff and I'm let's say curious to see how it holds up to a more critical reading than a 15 year old's.

A quick refresher: Hunters, or 'the Imbued' are normal, non-supernatural people who were going about their lives in a world secretly full of monsters until one day mysterious beings (the Messengers) suddenly start shouting in their heads about things that DO NOT LIVE and suddenly you realise that that couple in the alley over there is actually a vampire drinking someone's blood. This is the Imbuing. Faced with this moment, the people who act become Hunters, empowered with supernatural Edges, and the Second Sight- the ability to see monsters no matter how well they try to hide or pretend their people (and also immunity to illusion and mind control, which is key). People who don't act become Bystanders. No powers. No Sight. Just the terrible knowledge that, yeah, Vampires are out there. We'll get back to them later.

There are the requisite White Wolf character splats, the Creeds, divided up based on your approach to the hunt. Zeal Creeds are more militant, more inclined to violence, and are Avengers, Defenders, and Judges (aka the best Creed and the best Edges). Mercy Creeds are a bit more confused, but tend to be less violent, more open to the idea of trying to help and heal monsters instead of universally condemning them and they are: Innocents (who I still honestly don't really get), Martyrs, and Redeemers. Lastly, there are the Vision Creeds, who are just trying to figure out what the hell is going on, and are Visionary and that's it... in the corebook! Because there are two more Vision creeds, the 'lost' creeds that you needed to buy more books to know about. Fortunately, one of those books is the Player's Guide so, well, we'll get to them too. Hunters from different Creeds (especially Zeal vs Mercy) tend to not get along.

Right, that's enough (too much?) preamble, it's time to get into this thing. Welcome to the Hunter Player's Guide. Buckle up, there's gonna be stuff.


I don't know what is happening in this picture, someone please tell me.

Prologue
Send therefor now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou has in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.
--Exodus 9:19


We open, inevitably, with fiction. The prologue, 'Lonely Home' is about 7 pages long and tells the story of a Hunter, Kathy, who comes home after being out all night trying to deal with a ghost and is now exhausted, injured and just wants to get some rest please. We learn that she has a son- hilariously, this child is introduced when he enters the scene as "her son" followed by like 8 paragraphs that simply refer to him as 'the boy'. Is that how parenting works? Ah, the boy needs breakfast. Come with me, the boy, and we will make pop tarts (the boy's name is Bradley, if you were wondering). Wild.

Kathy next encounters her husband, Mark, who confronts her in the belief that she's been having an affair, a sequence filled with fun and well written sentences like "He paused for a second, savoring the silent tension like he was delaying an orgasm". They argue, Mark goes to work and then Kathy flashes back to last night when she visited a haunted house with another Hunter, calls him up and announces that they're just gonna burn the loving place down and see if that works. Alas, Kathy doesn't notice that the ghost maybe followed her home.

It's not great. It's not utterly excruciating. Crucially, it's not really about hunting any goddamn monsters. Most of the story is focused on how tired and injured Kathy is and how hunting has destroyed her life and family, with the added bonus chaser that her plan to burn down the haunted house is maybe not going to work. Opening up the Player's Guide to Hunter: the Reckoning, we have a story with neither hunting nor, uh, reckoning. This is going to be a Thing.

Introduction
I speak in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh, for, just as you presented your members as slaves of uncleanness, and of lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves of righteousness for holiness.
--Romans 6:19


The Introduction gets off to a great start by informing us that Hunter: the Reckoning is the game for playing the common, non-monstery folk of the World of Darkness. Indeed, finally we now have a chance to play 'the lowly victim of monstrous predation' (interesting take). You had a life, job, family, etc. You could still have that life but now you're forced to see the horrible things that prowl the shadows and prey on the unwitting, the book informs us, before grudgingly admitting that maybe you can use your strange new powers to uh do something about that? Nobody will believe or understand or help you, except maybe other hunters. "Now you must cope with a life and perhaps fate that is far from mundane, despite your humblest desires".

So: common folk, lowly victims, humble desires. Just let me go back and look at the cover art for a moment... yes, this all checks out.

The book also helpfully reminds us that this book, and other supplements will help us create our pathetic normal (I so wish I could organically include the book's phrasing of how we can create "the character - the person - we want") so that we can watch contact with the supernatural turn their life upside-down. This book is full of new rules, guidelines, possibilities, options, and Traits. All the supplements are good, but this one is dedicated to us and our characters I mean people. There's also a sidebar reminding people that optional rules are optional which I guess I can't argue with.

Other things we will find are the Lost Creeds, the ones we didn't put in the corebook because uhhhhhhh there's so few of them. Hermits, who isolate themselves from society, and Waywards who are just all kill all the time oh boy you thought Avengers liked killing you poor naive child no: Waywards are "murderers, assailants and psychopaths of an almost perverse magnitude".

Oh, but oops while the Creed profiles for our new friends are here, we'll have to buy Hunter Book: Hermit and Hunter Book: Wayward in order to really learn about them and get their Edges and such, sorry. Yeah, you don't actually get any Hermit or Wayward powers in this book as far as I can tell. Good luck playing one, I guess.

Finally, we get the actual list of the chapters. Apparently the Hermit and Wayward bits don't qualify as a chapter of their own, so even though they're coming up next we have Chapter 1: Bystanders, Chapter 2: Rules of Engagement., Chapter 3: New Traits, Chapter 4: The Measure of Humanity (uh oh), and Chapter 5: Make Your Own Fate.

edit: somehow I overlooked that each of these chapters opens with a bible verse so I'm going to go back and throw 'em up there. I don't actually really know much of anything about the bible so if anyone else can offer commentary there that'd be great.

Coming up: Hermits and Waywards and Bystanders, oh my!

Aethyron fucked around with this message at 03:47 on Apr 9, 2020

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Happily the Wayward book slaps. Like it's one of the good reasons they had Black Dog.

Aethyron
Dec 12, 2013


Oh, yeah, Waywards are actually rad (Hermits are more interesting than they might initially seem). It's just some, uh, interesting description. Plus the sheer audacity of putting the creed descriptions in this book without any of their actual powers.

Also, I hope I'm doing this right please let me know if I should change anything up. I decided to just to the intro stuff as one post, others will probably be a bit longer?

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017





Aethyron posted:

Oh, yeah, Waywards are actually rad (Hermits are more interesting than they might initially seem). It's just some, uh, interesting description. Plus the sheer audacity of putting the creed descriptions in this book without any of their actual powers.

Also, I hope I'm doing this right please let me know if I should change anything up. I decided to just to the intro stuff as one post, others will probably be a bit longer?

You're absolutely right. It was pretty baiting. And as far as your format it looks fine to me. I think Hunter is lowkey my favorite cWOD game warts and all so I love to read on it.

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!


Creating Heroes


Technically speaking these sections are part of the book’s appendices, but they are featured in a free PDF Player’s Guide meant to help players create characters. It also covers important details for a few of the races which are expanded upon in the adventure path proper, so here I am doing it first!

This part of the book goes over things repeated in the Introduction, but adds that dragonborn are descended from one of the bronze dragons who flew the Dragonlords to Thylea. Thylean names have a predictably Greek flavor, although ones from other cultures may be present such as family lineages from a settler races’ homeland. Recent arrivals to Thylea have trouble fitting in, partially on account that certain cultural expectations are presumed to be common knowledge on par with “don’t throw salt on your farm soil” and thus never really explained to foreigners.

Technology is at a Bronze Age level. Iron, mithral, and adamantine are incredibly rare and typically reserved for making magic weapons and armor, and things like platemail and crossbows are cutting-edge technology made only by the most learned artisans and Volkan the God of Forge. Most of the city-states’ standing armies outfit their soldiers in spears, shields, and shortswords with leather armor and gather them in phalanx formations. The spear is the only common polearm, and other heavy two-handed weapons are looked down upon as something only barbarians use. There’s some new weapons available, such as the kopis and xiphos (shortsword variants), the chakram (can be used in melee and as a thrown weapon), the dorata (thrown spears that come in pairs), and the makhaira (curved longsword with greater stopping power on horseback).

We have rules for Fame which are rated on a scale from 1 to 20 and come with increasing benefits. At lower levels of 1 to 10 they include things such as free service at local establishments, advantage on social skill checks during festivals, and higher chances of being recognized in population centers. 11 to 15 you become a household name in Thylea: people build statues of you, politically powerful figures give you minor magic items, and small shrines bearing your likeness are tended over by priests who can forward wealth to your holdings gathered as tithings. 16 to 20 you have huge temples, rival gods fear your power, and at 20 you become immortal and qualify for the Theogenesis ritual which can turn you into a god!

The Epic Paths’ magical items and Divine Blessings are outlined here. The amount of magic items differs a bit, ranging from 2 to 6, although in the case of the Gifted One and Vanished One they can get a dragon companion and eventual mount as part of reviving the legacy of the Dragonlords. Most of the Divine Blessings are constant defensive boons, such as the Cursed One gaining immunity to all curses, diseases, and poison, the Demi-God gaining +2 Constitution (max 22), or the Lost One gaining a 1/long rest ability to reroll any d20 roll but must keep the new result. Many of the magic items are broadly useful: the player can pick from a small list of items to be the reward for the quest/treasure vault/etc. so they don’t end up ‘locked in’ with an option that is class-restrictive. I rather like this choice, for it encourages player agency and better allows said PC to get useful and thematic rewards.

Playable Races

Greek myths contain some of the most iconic monsters in fantasy gaming, and it’s only appropriate that some are upgraded to PC-worthy material. A few are expected, such as the Centaur, but we get some odder choices such as the Medusa. Unlike their original myths none of them are gender-locked: satyr ladies and siren men exist, and while it’s in the later “monster appendix” the book says that nymphs can also be both or neither gender.*

*no mention of nonbinary identities is made for other races or elsewhere in the book, though.



Centaurs are proud nomadic people who live in the northern steppes and shrouded woodlands of Thylea. They claim descent from a now-unknown god of war and expect others to give them the proper respect due to this. Centaur tribes are loyal to the titans, preferring Sydon or Lutheria, and bear a grudge against the Dragonlords and Five Gods for the violence inflicted upon them during the First War.

In terms of game stats they emphasize strength and mobility: +2 Strength and +1 Wisdom, speed of 40 feet, a special charge action that grants bonus damage, and the ability to allow a willing bipedal ally to ride upon them for 1 round as a bonus action on the centaurs’ part. They are Medium, and their equine frame means that they treat unfavorable terrain as difficult; they can still climb and walk up stairs, it’s just harder to do so. Overall a fine race, if a bit one-note.



Medusae are mortals who made a bargain with a dark power or broke an oath, afflicting them with the Curse of the Medusa. Legends speak that the first among their number was a greedy woman who desired wealth and spurned the native races of Thylea during her travels. The Fates granted her wish, to turn all she witnessed to stone so that thieves would not steal from her, her hair became as snakes “to always have company as cold as your own.” Although the circumstances are different for each individual medusa, Thylean society at large distrusts and fears them for their powers and unspoken misdeeds.

Medusa have +2 Dexterity, +1 Intelligence, darkvision 60 feet, and have a natural weapon with snake-hair that can grant the poison condition if the target fails a Constitution save. They have advantage against poison effects of all kinds and at 5th level they gain a paralyzing petrification gaze which can permanently petrify a target if they fail their Constitution save 3 times. Unlike other features the petrification DC is not modified by ability scores or proficiency bonus, starting at a mere DC 8 and growing to a maximum of DC 14. Still, the poison condition is a very useful status effect to inflict upon enemies, and further attempts at petrification on the same target in battle are bonus actions and the save is made at disadvantage, and 3 failed saves even from different medusae cause instant petrification. A party of medusa have a good chance of ‘stun-locking’ an opponent, so they’re a pretty good choice as a race.



Minotaurs had ancestors that were human once, but it is said that their people became like bulls due to being cursed by Sydon because they chose instead to worship a magical bull on account of said bull tilling the soil with never-ending strength to help them survive a winter. The God of Sea and Storms made them like said draft beast, forced to pull plows which carved labyrinthine canyons until they broke free and could walk upright...yet remained forever changed.

In modern times Thylean society (both native and settler races) view the minotaurs with disdain, as unthinking brutes useful only for manual labor. In Mytros they are victims of a legal slave trade and sometimes used as sacrifices, especially by Sydon’s worshipers. In Aresia things are more tolerant, and they’re given the same rights as citizens of other races.

Minotaurs as a race are geared for pure martial pursuits. They have +2 Strength, +1 Constitution, 40 foot base speed, advantage on Perception checks via smell, traversing maze-like environments, and dealing with maze-like puzzles. They have 60 foot darkvision but are colorblind and can only see in shades of red and grey. At 5th level they can transform into a bull as a bonus action 1/long rest, and a dire bull at 9th level (with handy-dandy stats in a sidebar!). As damage absorbed in Polymorph mode does not carry over unless you drop to 0 HP in said form, minotaurs are another strong option for martial types.



Nymphs are fey spirits forged from the natural foundations of the world. Although they prefer the wild reaches of Thylea, they are fascinated by the affairs of other races and it’s not uncommon for them to visit villages and cities for short visits. They are a bit hard to get along with, as they’re more prone to seeing non-nymphs as favored pets to be watched over rather than as a friendship of equals.

Legend speaks that the natural features of the land gained questions, wondering what separated them from each other: the snow on the mountains wondered if they were like the rivers and streams, who in turn wondered if their winding paths were like the roots of trees. Thylea granted their questions meaning, allowing them to become the first nymphs and find the answers for themselves.

Statwise nymphs have a base race and five subraces themed after specific natural features. The subraces gain advantage on Survival checks when in such favored terrain and cast certain bonus spells at 3rd and/or 7th level every short or long rest. All nymphs gain +2 Charisma, +1 Wisdom, are proficient in Persuasion, and can cast Charm Person 1/rest. Aurae are spirits of the sky and air, gaining Darkvision 60 feet and the faerie fire and levitate spells. Dryads are people of the forest, can speak with animals and plants at will, and can cast Goodberry and Barkskin. Naiad are river fey bearing a deep bond with rivers and are thus the subrace that is closest to mortal settlements: they can hold their breaths for 1 hour, have a 40 foot swim speed, and can cast Create or Destroy Water and Control Water. Nereid are of the seas and like Naiads adapt easily to civilization but are rarer; they can breathe underwater indefinitely, have a 40 foot swim speed, and can cast fog cloud and water walk. Finally oread were birthed from the mighty mountains and are peerless hunters; they have darkvision 60 feet and can cast the hunter’s mark and misty step spells.

Nymphs gravitate more towards a spellcasting roll, and their spells are useful for a variety of situations. Given that a rather large portion of the campaign takes place at sea and in one case beneath the waves, the naiad and nereid subraces are very good options on account of their swim speed.



Satyr are fey that come from the woods, but are just as comfortable living in settlements and all the pleasures they bring. They have better relations with the settler races than other native kindred, and can be found in quaint villages and even the great city-states. They are fond of wine, song, and sex, continuously seeking various kinds of emotional heights to avoid boredom.

Satyrs are built to be bards and little else. They have +2 Dexterity, +1 Charisma, advantage on effects which impose charmed and frightened conditions, and cannot be put to sleep. They are proficient in a single musical instrument of choice, gain advantage on all Performance checks with said instrument, and can perfectly memorize and perform any song after hearing it once. They know the minor illusion cantrip, and at 3rd and 5th levels they can cast sleep and suggestion once each per long rest, provided they use an instrument with which they’re proficient in the casting of the spell.

While in line with their mythology tropes, I would have preferred if they gained abilities useful to a broader variety of classes



Sirens concept-wise are a cross between harpies (who are cursed transformed monsters in Thylea) and the sirens of Greek mythology. Appearing as winged humanoids with bird-like claws and talons, they live among the islands, ports, and coastlands and are famed for their mournful songs which have magical properties. The sirens once lived in a brilliant city whose name is forgotten to time where they sung praises to Sydon. The cruel god was unmoved, viewing every attempt at supplication as a failure: “were they truly grateful, they would not build their towers to rival mine. Were they truly repentant, they would not sing so brazenly but meekly offer the proper sacrifices in place of songs.” The sirens were saddened that their efforts were for naught, and so they became mute, their city crumbling and fading beneath the waters in a great storm conjured by the cruel god. Lutheria found their suffering to be funny, and kidnapped, tortured, and transformed some of them into wicked beings, bringing the first harpies into the world.

The Titans’ injustice and loss of their city dominates siren culture. As a race they suffer from mood swings between sorrow and joy. Sirens find ample work among the races of Thylea as winged scouts and messengers, although the circumstances of their being means that they can only take flight when joyful.

As a race sirens have +2 Charisma, +1 Dexterity, have advantage on Performance and Persuasion checks with their voice, and can hold their breaths for up to 1 hour. Every short or long rest the player (or DM in case of NPCs) chooses whether the siren is filled with joy or sorrow as a dominant emotion. Happy sirens gain a flight speed of 30 feet provided they’re not wearing medium or heavy armor, but when sad they can sing mournful ballads which can cast charm person at 1st level, enthrall at 3rd level, or hold person at 5th level once each per short rest.

The fly speed alone makes sirens a very powerful racial option. Furthermore, they among the native races have the best-role-playing incentives to take part in the adventure path. Unlike the centaurs, medusa, and minotaurs they have roles in settler society and don’t face must systemic discrimination. I can guarantee you that sirens are going to be one of the more common options among Odyssey players for both role-playing and CharOps reasons.

Libertad! fucked around with this message at 04:30 on Apr 9, 2020

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!


Class Archetypes & New Spells


Every core class has one new thematic archetype, and several of them tie the PC into the world at large in a direct manner. The Demigod Origin for Sorcerer makes the PC the child of one of the gods, while a Ranger who’s an Amazon hails from the island of Themis and belongs/belonged to said society of warrior-women.* The Fates are not just a Warlock Patron, they are characters you can meet in the Adventure Path, work for, and yes even kill! Fortunately none of the class features mandate that the game be set in Thylea, so they can be ported into other settings with suitably Greek themes.

*or is the daughter of a warrior who left said island.

Herculean Path (Barbarian) is for those warriors blessed with seemingly impossible strength. Maybe you have distant divine ancestry, are a member of a naturally powerful race, or the source of your power is unknown but you know for sure that you have HUGE MUSCLES. You are proficient with the Athletics skill, can initiate a grapple as a bonus action, grapple creatures up to 2 size categories larger than yourself, and can attack with a two-handed weapon in one hand while grappling. Later class features include the ability to use weapons regardless of size category, substitute Strength for Dexterity for all ranged attack and damage rolls, cast thunderwave (AoE sonic) on projectiles you throw/shoot, gain increase rage damage bonus the longer you rage, and can smash the ground and generate an earthquake AoE that can break concentration spells and knock targets prone.

I like this archetype, more for the Rule of Cool factor than anything. I kind of wish that it allowed one to grapple opponents regardless of size, but Enlarge/Reduce spell on a Medium target will allow the Barbarian to wrestle even the mighty kraken and Kentimane the Hundred-Handed (Gargantuan, largest size). Generating sonic booms, earthquakes, and using Strength for ranged attacks are all pretty nice features too.

College of Epic Poetry (Bard) are those storytellers obsessed with making a Magnum Opus to live on down the generations. They can add Verses to their Epic Poem over the course of a campaign, reciting prior events to grant boons and banes to allies and enemies. Verses are added in one of four ways and reflect a theme (Comedy is when someone rolls a Natural 1, Tragedy is when someone’s reduced to 0 HP, etc). As the bard gains levels the amount of verses improves their Bardic Inspiration, such as granting a minimum result value on the dice, advantage on certain saving throws, +5 to passive Perception, and the like. Other class features include gaining proficiency with medium armor, regaining a Bardic Inspiration die when you compose a verse about an adjacent ally’s action, and can expend a Bardic Inspiration die to be that number of hit points when an ally is reduced to 0 hit points.

The concept is cool, but it has a lot of book-keeping and the GM needs to approve if a verse is appropriate, which turns the archetype into “Mother May I.”

Prophecy Domain (Cleric) allows a priest or priestess to see into the future via divine insight. Holy water, which is boiled and breathed as fumes,* allow the cleric to enter a trance. The domain grants mostly divination spells as bonus spells, proficiency in Perception, and can restore hit points to allied creatures whenever you cast divination spells. Their Channel Divinity is a trance state lasting 10 minutes, allowing them to replace a d20 result made during this time with one of two stored d20 rolls which are rolled immediately when the trance is entered. Higher-level abilities include the ability to take a reaction to move up and cast a beneficial spell on an ally hit by a harmful effect, restore bonus hit points on healing spells you cast equal to your Wisdom modifier, and a capstone perfect foresight where Channel Divinity can choose a result between 1 to 19 as well as seeing invisible objects and environments in darkness.

*this is flavor text, you don’t need holy water to use your class features.

This is a pretty good domain, especially the reaction-casting which is tailor-made to save the party’s bacon.

Circle of Sacrifice (Druid) represents an order known as the Keepers of the Old Ways, druids who channel magic from the Astral Plane into mistletoes and understand that offerings must be made to keep the universe in balance. Initial class features include learning the Produce Flame cantrip and adding one’s Wisdom modifier to the damage. They can also light a target on fire as a bonus action when reducing them to 0 hit points,* gaining the benefits of a Bless spell as the slain target is offered as a sacrifice to the gods. Later class features include the ability to imbue magic into mistletoes, being able to cast a limited amount of minor spells** (cure wounds, detect magic, etc) without using a spell slot by offering the mistletoes in place, sacrificing mistletoes to do your burning sacrifice when allies slay an opponent, and the capstone ability to create a Teleportation Circle within a ring of standing stones.

*for any attack, not just Produce Flame.

**ones of higher magnitude can be cast as you gain levels.

The Druid is a strong class, although the power of the Moon Druid means that other archetypes have trouble standing out as worthy choices. The Circle of Sacrifice grants you more effective spell slots, but the spells it allows are relatively limited in comparison to the utility of transforming into all kinds of dangerous animals and elementals.

Hoplite Soldier (Fighter) are the backbone of Thylea’s armies. Using heavy shields and one-handed weapons they gather into shieldwalls of phalanx formations, holding strong against encroaching enemies. We have a bonus fighting style (Hoplite) that 1st level fighters can choose, allowing them to make an opportunity attack as a reaction against creatures who attack an adjacent ally. The archetype itself grants a 1/long rest Shield Wall ability, giving a net +3 AC to allies standing adjacent to each other while wielding shields. Further class features include upping the damage die and range increments of spears, tridents, and javelins; adding their proficiency bonus to an adjacent ally’s AC as a reaction; can either disarm an enemy shield or do a bonus d6 damage on a critical hit; and the capstone ability where they can spend one of their Attacks to make a single attack roll against all enemy targets within 5 feet. As a Fighter has bonus attacks, you can do this multiple times a round.

This archetype is situational on most party members and allied minions being proficient with shields. While the AC bonuses are nicethe close grouping the style encourages makes characters vulnerable to AoE effects. The pseudo-Whirlwind Attack* as the capstone ability comes too little, too late to make up for the rest of the archetype’s features.

*A 3.5 feat for you young’uns.



Thylean monks are hotter and sexier than ones found in other campaign settings.

Way of the Shield (Monk) is one of the fighting styles taught by Aresia’s warrior academies.* Your style encourages the use of shields and polearms over armor to serve as your offense and defense, and billowing red cloaks are your unofficial uniform. You initially gain proficiency with shields, they do not interfere with your Monk class features, can ‘catch’ projectiles with a shield instead of a free hand, and opportunity attacks are made with disadvantage against you as long as you have a shield in hand. Further class features include spending a ki point to vault large distances and make an attack with advantage, using a reaction to attack an opponent who misses you with an opportunity attack, spending a ki point to gain +3 AC, and a capstone ability where you have advantage on attack rolls and immunity to frighten and paralysis effects of Huge and Gargantuan creatures.**

*Fun Fact: the various official Monk archetypes (both OGL and Product Identity) are presumed in Thylea to be an Aresian warrior society and have their own academies in said city-state.

**Who in the adventure path become very, very common at this level and higher.

The Way of the Shield is much more offensive than the default monk archetypes in the PHB, and the shield can add some much-needed AC to this unarmored class (even moreso with a Hoplite Fighter). Several of its abilities are prescient upon triggering opportunity attacks, and the capstone ability is highly situational but very useful if you’re playing the adventure path as is.

Oath of the Dragonlord (Paladin) represents a warrior who seeks to find and bond with a dragon. As such creatures were long-extinct since the First War, and the only person trying to reclaim the Dragonlords’ legacy (King Acastus of Mytros) is a Lawful Evil guy, you more or less have to find a dragon egg of your own. The book also says that PCs with either the Gifted One or Vanished One Epic Paths should not take this archetype as the “gain a dragon companion” major features overlap.

Your bonus paladin spells are themed around air and mobility (fly, haste, freedom of movement, etc), and you can gain a pseudodragon familiar tasked with helping you find an appropriate dragon egg (any metallic save gold). Your Channel Divinity options include mimicking a dragon’s frightful presence or knocking prone and disrupting concentration while intoning the Dragonlord’s Oath.* Later class features include your discovered dragon egg hatching, being able to cast the Dragonlord-related spells upon said dragon (detailed in the next section) without material components, said dragon growing from wyrmling to young age category regardless of their true age, and as a capstone ability said dragon gaining multiattack and having their breath weapon recharge normally** as well as being able to reroll a failed saving throw 1/long rest.

*Dragonlord’s Oath to a bonded dragon posted:

I CANNOT POSSESS YOU,
for you belong to yourself.
I CANNOT COMMAND YOU,
for you are a free creature.
WE SHALL SERVE EACH OTHER
in the ways we both require.
WE WILL INCREASE OUR WEALTH
by righteous means.
WE WILL ACHIEVE HAPPINESS
and harmony through knowledge.
WE WILL AID THOSE OF OUR BLOOD
to achieve their great destinies.
WE WILL AVENGE THOSE OF OUR BLOOD
who have been done harm.
I AM BLOOD OF YOUR BLOOD,
and bone of your bone—forever.

Try saying that in six seconds or less (a 5e round)!

**A Dragonlord-bonded dragon loses Multiattack and their breath weapons recharge based on short/long rests.



Amazonian Conclave (Ranger) is not just a class; it’s a culture from which your PC hails. The Amazons are a matriarchal society who retreated from Thylea’s mainland during the First War after seeing the violence and poor decisions wrought by men on both sides of the conflict.* Most of their number lives on the island of Themis, although smaller bands made ventures to other islands. Men are allowed to live in their society, but in small, easily controlled, and segregated numbers and generally viewed as unsuitable for warfare, rulership, and ‘important occupations.’

*What I find odd is that the setting as a whole doesn’t mention whether or not Thylea was a patriarchal society or not in the past. While Amazons are an iconic Greek trope, they were spawned out of a misogynistic hellworld which initially was “lol wouldn’t it be funny if women ran things?” to a deconstructed “maybe the Amazons retreated from society due to how badly women were treated” in future tales. The Amazons can still make sense as an isolated cultural holdover, but otherwise Odyssey of the Dragonlords is pretty mum in discussing setting gender roles.

The Amazon archetype grants a mixture of bonus spells ranging from mobility (find steed, haste) to wearing at the opponent’s willpower (command, confusion, mislead). They gain a stimfay as an animal companion, clockwork birds which are built by a resident cyclops artisan who is being held prisoner by the Amazons. Stimfay can scout areas in a 1 mile radius, communicate with its companion via a secret code-tongue only its owner understands, adds your proficiency bonus to attacks/saves/damage/ability save DCs, and can be repaired if destroyed. Unlike the terrible Beastmaster Ranger they act on their own turns!

Amazons also start play being able to do a Battle Cry a number of times per long rest equal to their Wisdom modifier, which grants advantage vs favored enemies and against becoming frightened or paralyzed, as well as resistance against bludgeoning/piercing/slashing damage for 1 minute. Further class features include using a pair of bracers Wonder Woman-style to gain +5 Ac as a reaction to an attack, the ability to ricochet a thrown chakram to targets not in your line of sight and/or within 10 feet of the original target, and a capstone ability where a number of times per short/long rest equal to your Wisdom modifier you can make a special melee attack to hit a target’s pressure point and paralyze them for 1 minute on a failed Constitution save.

We get a sidebar stat block for stimfays: they are tiny constructs capable of fast flight (80 feet), gain advantage on Perception checks based on sight, and can carry a single potion to administer to allies and stabilize dying creatures it touches. Creatures attacked by it cannot make opportunity attacks for 1 round, and they can shoot out pins and scream an ear-splitting cry as 2 kinds of ranged attacks. Not exactly a great offensive fighter, but handy for healing allies and battlefield control.

The Amazon archetype is pretty good, containing a nice mixture of offensive, defensive, and utility features. The bracer-block’s AC bonus is very useful given 5th Edition’s bounded accuracy allowing even weak opponents the chance to hit a plate-covered warrior, while the right selection of favored enemies can make the Battle Cry’s advantage attack feature very useful. The resistance against physical attacks effectively doubles your HP in certain circumstances for a battle’s duration, given most fights rarely last longer than 10 rounds. The pressure points are a multi-use save or die, which is pretty powerful given said condition’s rarity in comparison to 3.5, but at 15th level there’s already a lot of spells and abilities (coughholdpersoncough) that can replicate its effects.

The Odyssean (Rogue) is a cunning mortal who appears at first glance to be an ordinary warrior, but whose cleverness pulls them out of many hairy scenarios. Odysseans, by choice or by circumstance of fate, find their way into legends worthy of quill and song as they survive against all odds. The archetype initially grants shield proficiency and proficiency with spears and tridents as finesse weapons, reflecting training as a seeming common soldier. They can also use a bonus action to formulate a clever plan against one target but only 1/encounter: if the Odyssean succeeds on a Deception vs the creature’s Insight, they and their allies gain advantage on all attacks for 1 round. Further class features include shutting down opportunity attacks from enemies who are aware of the Odyssean but cannot see them, imposing disadvantage on concentration rolls to maintain a spell when damaged, adding Charisma to initiative on top of Dexterity, and can spend a bonus action to regain hit points equal to one’s Rogue level via tenacious survival (limited use per short/long rest equal to Charisma modifier). The capstone ability grants the Odyssean a free ranged attack with advantage against a creature if one of their allies makes an opportunity attack against said target. This ranged attack costs no action, so in ideal circumstances they can sling a flurry of projectiles.

This is a pretty good archetype, although it’s highly reliant upon the actions of your allies to be fully effective. This isn’t really a bad thing given the team-focused nature of D&D, and it’s a superior archetype to the pissant Assassin from the core book. The defaults Thief archetype gives it a run for its money with features at later levels, such as Supreme Sneak and Use Magic Device.

Demigod Origin (Sorcerer) means that you have a deity as a distant ancestor or even close parent! Your heritage makes you naturally strong and beautiful, and you can cast 2 spells associated with your ancestor’s Domain* once per short/long rest without using spell slots. You add double your proficiency bonus on Charisma checks when interacting with gods or celestials, are proficient in Strength saving throws, and you add your Charisma modifier to melee and attack damage rolls. Further class features include spending a sorcery point to increase a spell’s level by 1 (non-stackable), choose to succeed on a failed saving throw 1/long rest, and as a capstone ability can spend as many sorcery points as you have when increasing your spell’s level.

*only 2 such spells are available this way per domain: things such as Entangle and Healing Word for Nature, Charm Person and Hideous Laughter for Trickery, etc.

I like the ideal of a naturally strong sorcerer, but the class’ lack of armor and shield proficiency combined with their low Hit Die means that other options are superior for gish types. Auto-succeeding at a saving throw is nice but comes into play rather late. Unfortunately the lack of spell slots used for domain spells means that ones dependent on the level of said slot such as Cure Wounds (Life domain) are in a grey area of the rules for how effective they are when cast this way. I’d rule they’re as powerful as the highest-level slot the Demi-God has access to, given their limited use.

Patron: the Fates (Warlock) are a coven of wicked hags who can see the destiny of all, provided that they weave a person’s future via a magical loom to bear witness. The warlock PC with them as a patron swore service to them in exchange for power. This archetype grants bonus spells of a diverse assortment* and can cast one divination spell at the end of a short or long rest without expending a spell slot, and gain temporary hit points when doing so. Further features include rolling a d20 and being able to replace a future result for themselves or a creature you can see between the next short or long rest, regain an expended spell slot up to two times per long rest whenever you kill or knock out a creature, and a capstone ability where you can compel a creature to move towards another (bound by fate) on a failed Wisdom save while also dealing them psychic damage.

Interestingly it is possible to kill the three Fates** during the adventure path, but the book does not say one way or another how this affects a Warlock with them as their patron

*mostly divination such as detect evil and good and see invisibility, but also ones like levitate, call lightning, and planar binding.

**and possibly some of the gods, which is similarly quiet as to how this would affect cleric spells.

Academy Philosopher (Wizard) hail from the greatest center of learning in Mytros, adhering to a chosen philosophy as a means of understanding their spells and the nature of reality. A wizard with this archetype chooses from one of 8 philosophical schools which grants an appropriate boon: Cynics halve gold and time requirements for copying new spells and can substitute up to 50 gold pieces worth of material components by foraging through junk, Epicureans can impose disadvantage on creatures that attack them a number of times per rest equal to their Intelligence modifier, Hedonists add double their wizard level to hit points restored when they are healed from a spell or ability once per rest, etc. Further class features allow them to change the dimensions of their spells via mathematical equations, such as making ‘safe pockets’ for targets within an AoE, can change an enemy spellcaster’s target to someone else within range once per rest provided they’re a rules-legitimate target, and the capstone ability allows the wizard to automatically avoid losing concentration on a spell a number of times equal to their Intelligence modifier every long rest.

The philosophical schools are versatile and thematic, although the choices in question vary in usefulness. Cynics’ ability to substitute expensive material components has abusive potential, while the Sophist does something a Bard or Rogue can do better with Expertise: double proficiency and becomes proficient in Persuasion, along with learning the friends cantrip. The Eclectic school grants an underwhelming single bonus language, but at 5th level grants the effects of a second school of your choice as a supposed trade-off. But every new wizard PC starting at that level and later will be taking said school, as the waiting period is no weakness at all!

But beyond the imbalanced schools, the Academy Philosopher is optimal for blasters and battlefield controllers, and the ability to change an enemy’s target without a chance for them to resist is amazingly useful.

New Spells: The section on spells is downright quaint in comparison to the wealth of race and class options preceding it. Animal Polymorph turns a creature into a small, harmless being for concentration duration; Bond of the Dragonlords permanently bonds a newly-hatched metallic dragon to the caster, allowing them to act and move on your initiative in battle and are controlled as if they were a PC. In exchange the dragon gives up multiattack and can only use its breath weapon once per long rest. Dirge of the Dragonlords can resurrect a dead bonded dragon (not just your own) to life at the low low price of a 3rd level spell slot. Fatebinding is cast simultaneously on 2 targets and lasts for an hour if both fail their saves, making them take and restore the same damage if one is affected by an ability. Seeds of Death summons three minotaur skeletons who follow the caster’s orders for concentration duration or 10 minutes, whichever comes first; Sleeping Draught is a higher-magnitude Sleep spell equivalent which merely rolls more dice worth of hit points for creatures to be affected; Sword of DamoclesFate summons an illusory sword to hang above a creature’s head for up to 1 hour, and will plunge and hit the target for 10d8 damage based on one of three conditions uttered by the caster: harm the caster or their companions, use a spell, or move more than 30 feet from the sword’s origin point. Finally, Theogenesis is a 9th-level plot device spell meant to be cast as part of a quest during the final chapter of the adventure path. It is a powerful spell requiring three specific artifacts as material components, and if successfully cast the spell allows for a mortal to petition a greater god for the honor of godhood. The percentage chance of said god granting this request is based on the compatibility of their alignment and for how long said target has worshiped said god faithfully. If successful (and the spell can never work again on the same target), the target gains a permanent divine spark which grants a host of benefits.

Said benefits are part of an Appendix all its own, but will show down here for ease of use:



As you can see, it’s a great spell for story purposes, but not the kind of thing you’re actually going to cast during a real campaign. It’s more the kind of thing that happens at the end of an epic tale, and in Odyssey of the Dragonlords this is one of the potential “Ending Sequences” to use video game terminology.

Thoughts So Far: There are many strong and thematic options for players to choose from here. The races, while highly appropriate for the setting, feel a bit samey in places. The satyr and siren both have magical musical abilities, with the siren gaining a better sense of other features and a history for interesting role-play. Centaurs and minotaurs are geared heavily towards martial classes, and the usefulness of the medusa’s abilities increase the more of them there are in the same party. The class archetypes were overall rather good save for a few underwhelming options (Circle of Sacrifice, Hoplite) and I can see players choosing them rather than just sticking with the PHB and Xanathar’s Guide options. The spells, both in brevity and in some of their plot-centric natures, were the weak point of these sections.

Join us next time as we start this adventure path off with a bang in Chapter 1, Heroes of the Prophecy!

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

You can have the last word, but I'll have the last laugh!

Sorry for triple post, but my review hit the front page of EN World:

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Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Aethyron posted:

We learn that she has a son- hilariously, this child is introduced when he enters the scene as "her son" followed by like 8 paragraphs that simply refer to him as 'the boy'. Is that how parenting works? Ah, the boy needs breakfast. Come with me, the boy, and we will make pop tarts (the boy's name is Bradley, if you were wondering). Wild.

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