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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Mors Rattus posted:

To be fair, you can get multiple dots of Azoth per Promethean if you try.

Ye, a single Promethian is a person with great powers that may not want to cooperate and follow your orders to the letter. Instead, you can carve him up to make 5-6 (how do Promethians deal with loss of limbs/Azoth? Can you have a freaky farm for harvesting Azoth from Promethians) utterly loyal subjects who are five hours in Pavlov VR away from being your perfect strike team.

Also, unlike Promethians, they don't generate Disquiet and cause Wastelands. You probably don't know about those, and you're probably an rear end in a top hat in the first place. I mean, if you knew about Centimani and Petrificati enough to carve them up for parts, you could already be an Alchemist.

And sure, Alchemists can create Promethians, but it's hard, requires specialized knowledge and materials (instead of a Promethian foot, a tub of Draino and the toalnail clippings of your cute neighbor), and those fuckers have free will.

JcDent fucked around with this message at 13:28 on Sep 24, 2019

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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.

No. 1 Apartheid Fan posted:

Apart from the suggestions others are making about V:tR's lukewarm reception and general irrelevance - including the (I think) very interesting argument that some of OWoD's problems actually thematically served V:tM, a game about the politics of ancient, self-important, senile perverts - there's this: Requiem (at least the first edition) is a loving ugly book. That is, regardless of your opinion on its crunch or fluff, it's just a garish, aesthetically unpleasant, occasionally illegible book.
And while Requiem 2e looks better, the prose is absolute dogshit.

Someone you laugh at because they're different but they laugh at you because you're all the same posted:

VAMPIRES DRINK BLOOD

True. Feeding is a rush like nothing else — for us and our paramours. The blood sustains us, lets us wake each
night to paint the town red.

VAMPIRES ARE IMMORTAL

Almost. There’s very little that can harm us. Sun. Fire. Maybe a heart broken by a wooden stake, followed by losing
your head to a hacksaw. Other than that, the years stretch out like a banquet.

A VAMPIRE’S PREY BECOMES A VAMPIRE

You wouldn’t be here if they didn’t. Most of the time the prey needs a dose of the Blood to wakey-wake. But there
are exceptions, and you drat well don’t want to meet one.

VAMPIRES HAVE TERRIFYING POWERS

So very true. I can crush your hand before you can make a fist, make you want to kiss me when I’m covered in
blood, and I know a guy who can sniff your dirty secrets from the sweat on your skin.

VAMPIRES DON’T SHOW UP IN MIRRORS

Not so much that we don’t. More that you never see us coming.

THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS VAMPIRES

Poor baby. There’s you. There’s me. And there’re some folks who are dying to meet you…
"Wakey-wake? Poor baby?"

They needed writers, so they went to a Halloween party and hired the first Joker/Harley Quinn couple they saw.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Mors Rattus posted:

It definitely took a while for 1st edition to really figure out what it wanted to do, especially with the first three games.

I think Vampire actually knew exactly what it wanted to be, which is basically late Revised oVampire without the metaplot, Elders, and unnecessary cruft. It's a very streamlined Vampire experience, which makes it a bit unremarkable compared to oVampire, but it's very clear about what it wants to be: you play a sexual assault metaphor who's part of a secret organization in conflict with other secret organizations.

Whereas nWerewolf doesn't know what it's about at all, except that it's not oWerewolf. Hanging around in war form all the time so you can be a big furry? Not allowed. Having sex in werewolf form? Not allowed. it tries to curtail the excesses of oWerewolf but it doesn't have much to replace them with, in part because it doesn't seem to have much pop-cultural material about werewolves to draw on. The WoD werewolf is a unique take, whereas the WoD vampire is refined from the ore of pop culture.


PurpleXVI posted:

Maybe I just hang out with the wrong people, but I've yet to hear a single, well, story, or positive comment about nVamp. Like, that's not to say that I hear bad stories about it. Just no one mentions it. Ever.

nVampire is good, it has some truly excellent sourcebooks (Damnation City, Night Horrors: the Wicked Dead, Requiem for Rome, and some of the Clanbooks), and it's probably the best system out there for getting right to the "essential (low-power) Vampire experience": you feed, you partake in complex politics between secret societies, you try to set yourself up as a feudal lord in an organized crime syndicate, you gently caress up and encounter weird mystical things, you end up killing a lot of people and losing your grip on humanity.

While it doesn't have the deep metaplot of oVampire, it still has a lot of pretty cool setting writing - in some ways better, because instead of having to rigidly define things, it provides suggestions and options that can be used as plot hooks or just set the mood and tone. It's also very flexible, with options for how to take different thematic approaches to vampires and horror being provided as tools.

DalaranJ posted:

Imagine how bad of a bartender you would have to be to not be able to come with an answer to "where can someone find a little adventure around here". That's not a dumb question. It's a question that thousands of bartenders doubtlessly answer every day, because that's part of their job.

There's basically three ways to understand the question in a realistic context:
1) What can I do for entertainment in town?
2) Where's the brothel?
3) I'm looking to hire on a mercenary, who should I talk to about that?

Not exactly unreasonable questions to ask of an innkeeper!

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

I think that under Achilli's leadership, they really wanted to dispense with the metaplot and cruft. But they were on a treadmill, so to speak, and there were some genuine missteps and oversights.

I think that if one really wanted to do a deep dive into the metaplot--perhaps even with crossovers and attempts to reconcile the irreconcilable cosmologies at the End Times--it would be better to just make it an action-adventure game and run it in something like Badass Kung Fu Demigods. That's not a knock. If the PCs are getting involved in things like the Week of Nightmares or the apocalyptic scenarios from the End Times books, they don't really need some mechanical punishment stick to drive home the morality of their actions. The consequences will be enough.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Halloween Jack posted:

And while Requiem 2e looks better, the prose is absolute dogshit.

"Wakey-wake? Poor baby?"

They needed writers, so they went to a Halloween party and hired the first Joker/Harley Quinn couple they saw.

I'd rather not impugn a writer entirely for a misfire. In any case fortunately, from what I recall, that style falls off precipitously after the first couple of chapters when the book starts digging into the rules.

Apart from my complaints that tend to apply to the entire Chronicles franchise in general, for me the biggest problem with nVampire2 is they kept the frequently hard-to-read header font from first edition.

Also, Purple, people talk about how nVampire is good all the drat time. It's mostly in the WoD/OPP thread, but it happens here too.

That Old Tree fucked around with this message at 13:57 on Sep 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.

I don't disagree that the prose does get better in other parts of the book. Unfortunately, the insufferable Hot Topic style is all over the most attention-grabbing parts, like the clan writeups.

Also I'm very sorry I did not finish the next chapter of the Vampire review last night. I spent the last few days nursing my wife through a flu, which I have now caught, and I was hosed up on apple brandy and cold medicine and it seemed like the perfect time to get through another chapter, but I passed out.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


LatwPIAT posted:

I think Vampire actually knew exactly what it wanted to be, which is basically late Revised oVampire without the metaplot, Elders, and unnecessary cruft. It's a very streamlined Vampire experience, which makes it a bit unremarkable compared to oVampire, but it's very clear about what it wants to be: you play a sexual assault metaphor who's part of a secret organization in conflict with other secret organizations.

Whereas nWerewolf doesn't know what it's about at all, except that it's not oWerewolf. Hanging around in war form all the time so you can be a big furry? Not allowed. Having sex in werewolf form? Not allowed. it tries to curtail the excesses of oWerewolf but it doesn't have much to replace them with, in part because it doesn't seem to have much pop-cultural material about werewolves to draw on. The WoD werewolf is a unique take, whereas the WoD vampire is refined from the ore of pop culture.

Yeah, 1st edition nWerewolf was very uncomfortable to read because in deliberately and vehimently separating themselves from oWoof it came off as very puritanical and off putting.
These are the rules of Werewolf society, if you deviate they should have you killed. Except for the sex one, in that one the mother must suffer as much as possible so your horrifying baby can kill the both of you. This is your territory, if you ever leave it another pack should kill you. If you ever interact with other werewolves you should be killed. etc.

And then they tried to bring the weird sex obsessed furries market back in with Changing Breeds for some inscrutable reason.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



Kurieg posted:

And then they tried to bring the weird sex obsessed furries market back in with Changing Breeds for some inscrutable reason.
I would argue the reason is very scrutable

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Halloween Jack posted:

Also I'm very sorry I did not finish the next chapter of the Vampire review last night. I spent the last few days nursing my wife through a flu, which I have now caught, and I was hosed up on apple brandy and cold medicine and it seemed like the perfect time to get through another chapter, but I passed out.

ban this sick filth

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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Werewolf 2e's take on werewolf sex: 'I guess you can do that if you want? We got rid of the murder baby ghosts because those were, on retrospect, creepy. We are going to spend exactly no words on werewolf loving, and only a brief amount of words on what happens if you shapeshift while pregnant. The answer: you're probably fine, the kid's probably fine, unless you and your group want otherwise.'

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


If I remember right, 1st edition Forsaken also had the PC werewolves outnumbered by their Pure NPC counterparts. It made the deck feel stacked against them, but without the heroic last stand quality that made being the underdog interesting in Apocalypse.

2nd Edition Forsaken's sample settings do away with that, and in many cases outline clear alliances between Pure and Forsaken in a given region. They still don't like each other, but if their territories are stable they can live and let live. Then you just throw an Idigam in there and boom! Instant campaign as everybody shits the bed at once!

Fake edit: the handful of things I've seen from nWoD that have to do with pregnancy have been super respectful to the players involved. The Demon sourcebook on the subject was full of ideas, but none of them were prescriptive. None of the weird baby stuff was forced on groups if they didn't want it to be part of their campaign's universe.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

I would argue the reason is very scrutable


Someone had to hire Phil to write that book. Like, I know that it's a book about hypersexed furries because Phil wrote it. But someone also hired Phil to write a book about hypersexed furries in TYOOL 2007.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

Kurieg posted:

Someone had to hire Phil to write that book. Like, I know that it's a book about hypersexed furries because Phil wrote it. But someone also hired Phil to write a book about hypersexed furries in TYOOL 2007.

A lot of Brucato's bad reputation comes from having written that book, so he was probably a "safer" hire in 2007.

What's really perplexing is that he got hired afterwards.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:


I guess. It's just bizarre to me with how Puritanical nWoof core/Blood of the Wolf was with regards to wolf sex and female bodily autonomy (There's roughly two full pages devoted to werewolf pregnancy and what it does to your baby: Spoiler alert-Death Rage=you just ripped your baby's soul out of it's body. good job mom) that White Wolf (because it was still WW at the time) signed off on a book with sidebars about going to Fur-cons to have crinos orgies.

Then 2e Woof and Demon came out and were amazingly sex positive and inclusive of nonbinaries.

Then Swedracula Kramer'd into W20 and tried to make things puritanical there because... edge I guess?

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




one thing that’s always been a bit off putting to me about oWoD AND nWoD is the incredible amount of proper nouns. I know you can’t run a game without naming some basic concepts, but Promethean really struck me as the apotheosis (perhaps Apotheosis?) of this runaway idea: you have a Lineage which has a dominant Humour and Element and grants you Bestowments, and a Refinement which grants you Transmutations according to Role and Alembic, all of which are fueled by Azoth, which can also cause Wastelands, Disquiet, Torment and even Firestorms. In addition to accumulating Azoth to live you try to generate Vitriol to make an Athanor. You must beware of Flux, which leads to Pandorans, separated into different Mockeries and sometimes becoming Sublimati or Praecipati...
There’s a lot. I’ve always really liked the game line though, and 2e seems to have one major improvement over 1e, in that it looks actually playable

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




The one eternal truth about the furries is that there's a whole ton of disposable income to squeeze out of them. Any profit motivated company will hold their nose and sell what they want.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Night Horrors: The Tormented
Part 19: Hagen-Daaz

Fredrich Hagen was at one point a sane man, if not a kind one. Despite rumors to the contrary, he was the first in the world to successfully clone a mouse as part of an effort to better test vaccines. He planned to clone pigs after that, but a jealous colleague destroyed his research prematurely. Hagen's descent into psychopathy started after public announcements of him hoaxing experiments and using sadistic methods on his animal test subjects. No reputable lab would hire the guy, and his life partner left him. He ran out of money and became a hateful, vicious person. He took his hate out on all who dared to insult him, killing his former colleagues in inventive ways. He sliced them up, fed them to lab animals, drowned them in amniotic fluid or disemboweled them via the navel. It didn't take long for him to realize he enjoyed murder. He began to seek out and kill other scientists known for their knowledge of cloning. He obsessively removed and collected their hair, teeth and nails, along with his own. Every morning he scrubbed himself down with steel wool to remove "traces."

One day, Hagen showed up on Jakob Rathben's doorstep, attacked him and stole his work. Using Rathben's records, Hagen temporarily stopped his serial killing and reached out to what few peers he had left. He claimed responsibility for the first human clone, offering up his formula to them in exchange for cash. His boast was disproven, of course, but he remained on the rise, as Rathben never came forward to dispute his claims. Thanks to his sales of cloning knowledge, Hagen became wealthy. He stopped working to clone himself when he realized how much better it would be to clone other people, killing and replacing the originals. He has made a dozen of these, the Hagen Candidates, each of which now awaits orders before their expiration date approaches. He places them near powerful figures, but he has yet to decide whether to tell anyone and sell their services or whether to just murder a bunch of politicians, scientists and celebrities and let chaos run rampant for fun.

Some who have heard of Hagen's work believe that he's placed his clones in key positions in US, British and Russian government so he can trigger World War III. He does have two clones in government positions, but nowhere near key roles, and not in the US, Britain or Russia. Hagen may be a psychotic killer, but he's also paranoid. He doesn't want to draw further attention to his work, especially from major figures in the UN. His current plan is to see if he can destabilize a newly formed government or a puppet state. By starting small, he could use his example as a selling point, targeting the Russians, Chinese or Americans as potential clone buyers. His work has been noticed by some Changelings, who see similarities between his actions and the Gentry. Hagen has no ties to the True Fae, but he does replace people with flawed copies. The main difference is he kills his victims rather than kidnapping them. Both the Lost and Prometheans find him abhorrent and he would make a good antagonist for Changelings, too.

So where does Hagen get the Prometheans he uses to clone people? They've learned he existed and most are too smart to go anywhere near the guy, after all. The rumor - true, as it happens - is that he has backing from an alchemist. Hagen's only alive, in fact, because of his alchemist patrons. His ego prevents him from acknowledging them with thanks, though. He typically receives a delivery of a Promethean limb once per week on Sundays, ready to be liquefied. The alchemists that provide his materials are not afraid of Prometheans, and they want to see how far Hagen can take this science. After all, even before he learned about Prometheans, he faultlessly cloned a living being, albeit an animal. Still, they're growing increasingly disappointed with his results, and soon, they may cease sending him parts to see what he does.


That was the end of Solomon Grundy.

Monday is one of the Hagen Candidates. She has replaced the mother of a child pop star, observing her 'daughter' and reporting back to Hagen. Because the girl spends so much time away from home, she's only just now starting to notice her mother's increasing coldness and odd behavior. Monday often forgets things like blinking, and without makeup her skin is tight and jaundiced. Her behavior becomes increasingly severe and unnatural the more you interact with her, and she entirely lacks empathy. She often stares blankly when someone seems upset. Monday spends her time cooking, washing, cleaning the house and asking about her 'daughter.' Her husband has no idea what's going on but is quite happy with his wife's newfound domesticity and isn't questioning it. Monday doesn't know what Hagen intends for her except to play the role of mother, and occasionally struggles with mixed feelings towards her 'family.'

Monday is average in essentially all ways, though she's fairly charismatic. She's good at very little besides baking, observing people and making meaningless small talk. Oh, and lying. She's decent at lying with a straight face. Her innate power helps with this, allowing her to easily avoid attention, leave no physical traces of her presence and avoid showing up in human memory. She can fight in the sense that she has a single dot of Weaponry but, like, anyone could beat her up if they wanted.

So what are Limb Trees? Well, they're an invention of a utilitarian Rathben named Laszlo Maublanc, who specializes in marketing to other Rathbens. He's a Quebecois scientist who specializes in repair and augmentation of clones and custom-growing clones. If you want a limb or other part to fit a specific standard, he's your man and can find a way to get you exactly what you need. His work would be a great boon for those in the medical community in need of transplant materials...if they were grown in isolation. However, they do not. To perfect living tissue, he needs to attach it to a trunk - that is, a human torso. Thus, Maublanc grows cloned human torsos, reconstructing their skeletons and musculature to accomodate additional limbs and organs. One clone might have three arms of different length and proportion, including child arms, multiple legs, several noses, six ears and an extra dick, plus as many hearts as Maublanc could fit into the torso.

Maublanc sees himself as an innovator and artist, and even other Rathbens appreciate his avant-garde work. His creations exist in a state of constant agony and suffering from 'birth,' and Maublanc doesn't like the idea of waiting for a child body to mature, however quickly, so he tends to instantly produce them in adult form with whatever augmentations already attached. Limb trees are what his clones are called by Prometheans that know of them, and they are weeping, pained monsters who only find calm when Maublanc removes their excess body structure for delivery to his clients. This peace lasts only a short time, as their creator likes to get as much out of a torso as possible, and will shove them back in the cloning vat to remotely stimulate limb growth or just stitches new ones onto the stumps. Sure, the limb trees exist to serve a greater need, but knowing you're being made as an organ farm is no comfort. Worse, the only person they believe they can trust is their abusive creator, so even when they get the chance at freedom, they tend to stumble their way back into the lab out of terror.

Some say that the limb trees aren't really alive or sentient. This is entirely false, though some Prometheans believe it to reassure themselves that putting them down is the right thing to do. In fact, a limb tree is as sentient as any other clone. They don't really have great cognitive abilities, and Maublanc teaches them very little beyond how to stay healthy and defend their parts, but they are as capable of pain and suffering as anyone. Several of them have escaped from Maublanc's facility in Windsor, near Detroit. They lack the freedom to fully turn and start attacking his labs, but one of them had something snap in his mind, named himself Spartacus and led a local revolt. Currently, the pack of renegade limb trees lives in the wilds of Ontario and Michigan, terrorizing locals and trying to grab Prometheans in an effort to extend their lives.

Maublanc is no altruist, but he does have some good results. He uses corpse DNA to make his clones, and he sells the results to anyone that needs them. He provides replacement parts to many on long transplant waiting lists, as long as they (or someone that cares) can afford his services. He once saved a child needing a heart transplant, with requirements so rare that he actually had to unearth one of the kid's ancestors for a DNA sample, regrew his heart and handed it over. Maublanc does this because he thinks it's pioneering in the field (which is not untrue) and he values the funding he gets from his private backers asking him to do these things. So...yes, there's a lot of people out there alive today because of the organs he supplies by backchannels. However, it would be wrong to think Maublanc cares about sick kids, and he does nothing unless he gains from it.


Release me.

Ord is a limb tree. The original Ord was some guy who worked as a stevedore at the docks in Windsor. He doesn't matter. Clone Ord is a trunk for many limbs, and what's left of the Ord personality is barely cognizant of anything except constant pain and suffering. He screams a lot for help. His torso has a wreath of twelve child-size arms, and he has three legs, so he often stands as a tripod, with each leg bent at the knee. He is coated in thick hair and has an unkempt beard, because unlike many Rathbens, Maublanc doesn't care about hair growth. His eyes weep constantly, save for when they get too gummed up to open. Ord will help anyone that removes some of the limbs from his body. He will only ever be without pain once they're all gone, and he's just a torso and head. He'll offer to help anyone that aids him, but if asked to turn against Maublanc he will begin incoherently screaming 'mommy' and try to lurch back to his creator for safety.

Ord is entirely average except for his strength and toughness, both of which are pretty dang good. For whatever use that is to him. He knows a surprising amount about medicine and particularly surgery, and he can fight decently well by grabbing things with his many, many arms. He is otherwise not good at much. His innate power increases his combat ability - it makes him closer to animals, allowing him to sprout natural weapons, turn into a flesh-beast or even an actual animal shape, though it is unclear if he'd still have lots of limbs hanging off. Probably.

Next time: Hybrids

Omnicrom
Aug 3, 2007
Snorlax Afficionado




wiegieman posted:

The one eternal truth about the furries is that there's a whole ton of disposable income to squeeze out of them. Any profit motivated company will hold their nose and sell what they want.

This lamentable fact is why Major\Minor and Winds of Change exist.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Dawgstar posted:

At the time, Forsaken certainly felt like a downgrade. From 'the Earth is dying and you must rage to save it' to 'you're the neighborhood watch but for spirits.'

I'm one of those "read the 1e and never looked again" people.

Specifically, it was about having just read a bunch of oMage fluff (including Technocracy poo poo, which seemed way cool) and going to read nMage's hippy bullshit (caves? Ladders? Atlantis?) turned me the gently caress off.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


DAD LOST MY IPOD posted:

one thing that’s always been a bit off putting to me about oWoD AND nWoD is the incredible amount of proper nouns. I know you can’t run a game without naming some basic concepts, but Promethean really struck me as the apotheosis (perhaps Apotheosis?) of this runaway idea: you have a Lineage which has a dominant Humour and Element and grants you Bestowments, and a Refinement which grants you Transmutations according to Role and Alembic, all of which are fueled by Azoth, which can also cause Wastelands, Disquiet, Torment and even Firestorms. In addition to accumulating Azoth to live you try to generate Vitriol to make an Athanor. You must beware of Flux, which leads to Pandorans, separated into different Mockeries and sometimes becoming Sublimati or Praecipati...
There’s a lot. I’ve always really liked the game line though, and 2e seems to have one major improvement over 1e, in that it looks actually playable

Thanks, I feel the same way.

But I also want to run/be a part of a game where you're Promethean mercs fighting clooones and other mercs. You change refinements to try new roles in your unit.

Dawgstar
Jul 15, 2017



JcDent posted:

I'm one of those "read the 1e and never looked again" people.

Specifically, it was about having just read a bunch of oMage fluff (including Technocracy poo poo, which seemed way cool) and going to read nMage's hippy bullshit (caves? Ladders? Atlantis?) turned me the gently caress off.

I honestly think Mage was worst of the three as the other two had enough left of the old editions to kind of carry you through, but there just wasn't much to Mage 1E on just the core. It took Dave Brookshaw's PBP game that he posted on RPG.net to get me to see what it could be, and apparently this is not uncommon.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Having read the WW wiki, I must say that yeah , having oVamp clan names (but only some) in nVamp doesn't help.

Other than that, heck yeah, I'd be a Catholic vampire.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
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Night Horrors: The Tormented
Part 20: It's Not Easy Being Furry

Making clones is a delicate process that can take ages to perfect, but new discoveries can move things in radically new directions. One of these is the creation of Hybrids - clones incorporating DNA of other beings into the original host's genetic code. This can make alterations as simple as a different hair color to as complex as radically different features, or even incorporating the DNA of different species. Often, these clones are non-viable, and even when they are, Prometheans know that they are an even greater blasphemy than normal cloning. They aren't just recreations made using stolen Divine Fire, but horrific mockeries compared to the promise of humanity offered by the Pilgrimage. Hybrids are generally the result of accidents or radical experiments, and often they are the first step towards a fully human clone. However, some Rathbens abandon the quest for human clones in favor of Hybrids, though they tend to more dangerous and unstable than anyone wants.

See, a Hybrid's mind is a mix of human mental development and animal instinct in ways that often make them entirely unmanageable. Often, they must be put down to prevent them using their abilities to escape containment. Others are so genetically unstable that their bodies fall apart within days of birth, leaving only blood and skin on the floor of the lab and wasting their precious Azoth. Initially, a Hybrid appears fully human, and some Rathbens have even managed to make them look like themselves or family members. Over time, however, their human DNA begins to degrade, causing animal features to appear. Usually, this happens near the end of their lifespan. For example, the part bull Mellifera Model-B looks like a large, husky man with callused skin and coarse hair normally. Over time, they develop misshapen masses on their heads as horns start to appear and their faces begin to bulge out a bit. If they were to survive past the two year mark, it is theorized that they might take on fully bovine characteristics, but most die in agony as their bodies are unable to process their mutations.

Only very rare Hybrids are fully genetically stable. One of these, known only as AP15, has managed to survive for years without any apparent signs of degradation. Mellifera's researchers are baffled as to how this creature, by now mutated to an entirely alien appearance due to the large amounts of wasp DNA used to make it, has managed to survive - especially since they're not wasting Azoth to do it. Some Rathbens suggest that Hybrids represent entirely new evolutionary paths and that AP15 is the first of a new species, while others think stable Hybrids are just a lucky mistake of Azoth and the right chemicals. Few Hybrids ever acquire social skills, as they are barely treated as more than animals, though some surprise researchers by acquiring language entirely through observation of their captors.


Pay the dragon.

Dino the Dragon has operated as a thug and debt collector for his Brazilian creator his entire life. He has no idea if it's because of how he was made or how he was taught, but he's never cared much about hurting people. His Komodo dragon DNA makes his skin tougher, his nails sharper and makes his saliva a bacterial stew that can kill victims within hours of injection. He was sure he'd live forever, and became distressed to find scales growing all over his chest as he began to cough up blood by night. He begged his Rathben for help, but learned that the plan was to euthanize him and activate another, already prepared clone in his place. Dino was filled with a terrible fury at this betrayal, killing both his creator and his replacement clone. It was the first and only time he ever disobeyed orders. Now, he instinctively seeks out another Rathben, in hopes of both a cure for his genetic degradation (and oncoming death) and to provide him with the orders he feels he needs.

Dino's surprisingly short - he's only five foot, but he's made of muscle. He covers as much of his skin as possible, favoring extra-long shirts and saggy pants that reach his shoes. This is because his limbs are starting to grow thick scales, starting just over his neckline, under his black hair. His nose has started to narrow into slits and his tongue is now a deep purple. Dino tries to blend with crowds whenever he can, and while he is by nature a solitary being, he works with others if he has to in order to accomplish his goals. He attempts to remember any Promethean he meets, and he's not above turning on allies the moment they are no longer useful. The only real emotion he feels is intense fear of his own impending death.

Dino's not smart or socially skilled, but he's very tough, strong and pretty fast. He knows a shocking amount about medicine and human anatomy, as well as being a good brawler and decent marksman. He's stealthy, good at surviving in the wild and good at both intimidation and lying. He's got a sense for when danger is coming, is tougher than most humans and reacts quickly, though he has little Willpower. His innate power allows him to smell illness or poison in someone, which he can purge from people if he wants. He can also worsen injuries and pain, and he can cause incredible amounts of pain when he strikes someone, rendering them unable to act. Oh, and his bite is, of course, effectively venomous and deals lethal damage due to komodo dragon teeth.

Next time: Zeky

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah





04 — Geist: the Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition — Chapter Fictions
:spooky::ghost: QUIP. :ghost::spooky:

”I’m under the floorboards.”
Geist 2nd Edition character Oliver LaVoie

As I said in a previous post, since we’re skipping around a bit, here’s where I’ll tackle the opening chapter fictions. This will cover the fiction openers for the rest of the book. But not in order, and you’ll see why.

Chapter 1’s opening fiction introduces us to an idea of Sin-Eaters’ day-to-day. Leah, High Priestess of the Church of the Brighter Morning, is busying herself fixing up her house while her geist, the Abandoned One, lurks. We get a brief flash of memory of her drowning, and the Abandoned One coming to make the Bargain with her. He alerts her that someone’s coming to the door, a krewemate named Mark and his geist the Open-Throated Saint. The Sin-Eaters make some awkward small-talk, while their geists sort of square off like uncomfortable pets before Leah puts a stop to it. They start over with more formal, cult-y greetings, and Mark presents her with the case from the prologue fiction, asking her to take care of it. Mention is made of their fallen comrade Aiden, his recent no-take-backs death weighing on them and driving them apart. Another krewemate, Oumil, isn’t available because he’s in the Underworld somewhere, and Mark has to go “make peace with Fifth Street.” Leah doesn’t want to do it but her geist does, so she acquiesces. This fiction honestly isn’t very interesting narratively, but it does help set expectations for how Sin-Eaters and their geists interact.

Chapter 2’s opening fiction tells the story of how the family from the introductory fiction, the Patels (Hari and his daughters Jade and Trisha) have been persuaded by a family friend to ask for help from the High Priestess of the Church of the Brighter Morning, Leah. The Priestess gathers her celebrants and uses incense, booze and a stick to manifest the ectoplasm that is invisibly slathered all over everything in the house. She uses this to draw forth Oliver and promises to help him and his family quiet their dead hearts and find their eternal rest. Unfortunately some external force goes all poltergeist and riles up Oliver, poo poo goes sideways kaio-ken x20, and the house cracks like an egg before falling into the void. I’ll take a moment here to say that the previous two chapter fictions’ dialogue was…alright. This one’s is not. Narratively this continuation is great, but there’s a lot more dialogue and it’s a bit mediocre.

Chapter 4’s opening fiction picks up in a Dead Dominion, as Jade and Trish scramble to recover their father from the rubble of the house, while Leah and her geist confront the Reaper that dragged them down here. Reapers are a powerful kind of ghost that use Deathmasks to venture into the world of the living and retrieve lingering ghosts into the Underworld. The Reaper starts off as a ball of chains made out of bones, but uses its mask to take a human form. It tempts Oliver with promises of reuniting with his family, but the Patel sisters unearth their sorely injured father and their plight moves him to help them return to the world of flesh. There’s a bit of a scuffle—Oliver tries and fails to punch the Reaper—then Leah diverts the Reaper by forcing her to replay her death on loop while the Priestess, Oliver and the Patels book it for a nearby River which they can follow back to the living world. There is a fair amount of dialogue in this one, too, but it’s mostly short and punchy.

Chapter 3’s opening fiction is an interlude, where Leah’s krewemate Mark visits an apartment building controlled by a rival krewe: the Fifth Street Titans. He’s there to broker peace between their warring groups. His geist the Saint growls at things and he plays with some magical dice from a cheating dead gambler that are an opening peace offering for negotiations. Right as he’s sitting down with the Titan’s Golden Tycoon to talk terms, he gets a 911 text from the krewe. The Tycoon warns him that poo poo’s about to get real if he walks out now, and then Mark proves he’s as badass as his name and does indeed leave the end hardly anything happened. I guess the dice were cool: they’re a pair of normal looking six-siders but the Tycoon asks the dice if they’re the real deal and they roll themselves to show 8 and 10. I give this fiction a “meh” out of 10.

Chapter 6’s opening fiction is the second and last interlude. Mark arrives at the crater where the Patels’ house used to be, and the battered krewe celebrants, who escaped the collapse, give him the low-down. He makes a little pick-me-up speech, and then they all pile into his car to go to the hospital. They hear sirens approaching, one of the celebrants worries what they’ll tell the authorities, and then Mark takes a badass stance and fade to black. This is the most filler-feeling of the fictions. I don’t hate it, but I am glad it’s short.

Chapter 5’s opening fiction finds that Leah, Oliver and the Patels are fleeing down a tunnel searching for a River to navigate by. Some bickering breaks out, but they’re interrupted by Jade’s cell phone receiving a text. Leah uses the phone to call Mark. They have a very brief exchange before being interrupted by Hari Patel collapsing and succumbing to his wounds. Leah tries to enact a rite to ensure he doesn’t leave a ghost, but Jade is furiously playing the blame-game. Hari’s ghost leaves his body and is immediately lured away, trailed by his daughters. Leah informs Mark she’ll have to follow them into the Dead Dominion they seem to be wandering into, then hangs up the phone.

Chapter 7’s opening fiction follows Leah as she creeps into the weird village Dominion the others wandered into. There are insensate ghosts milling about, and when one breaks off to enter an unearthed bomb shelter in the middle of the village, she slips in behind him. The summoned ghost completes a phalanx in the middle of the room; near the front of the formation Jade is suffering some seriously inky, full-body varicose veins as she futilely shakes her father’s ghost to try to get him to leave. A column of wings appears out of the shadows, presumably the Kerberoi of the Dominion, unfolding to reveal a funky chunk of heart-shaped meat in its center that scolds the interlopers before the wings enfold Jade before flinging her viscera around the room. The Cage of Wings approaches Oliver and Trisha, who are cowering behind some boxes. Leah and the Abandoned One argue about what to do, but unlock some of her geist’s memories: he was a little boy, fleeing a war, dying in the cold, snowy forest. Leah acquires new ability: Rock-fist. poo poo’s getting real, Mark and Oumil show up, Oliver makes a valiant sacrifice so everyone else can get out, and they make their way up the River to the sewers and then to daylight.

The final opening fiction, before the appendices, is an epilogue. It has been a couple weeks since the escape from the Underworld, and Trisha Patel’s deadened senses are finally returning. Her mother found her crying in the shower, presumably in grief, but she was actually crying in relief that she could finally feel the heat of the water again. The Underworld will gently caress up a mortal, yo. She can see ghosts now. She makes her way to the Church of the Brighter Morning to talk with them about what happened, and they reassure her they strive to free everyone from the bondage of life-after-death, including her father, who is still trapped down there. Which is why she’ll be joining the Church. The End.

All in all, a good narrative marred by some clunky dialogue and the interludes, which feel like expansions on stuff that should’ve just been off-hand mentions if they came up at all.

Next Up: The unbearable lightness of being (character creation et al).

Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk




That Old Tree posted:


04 — Geist: the Sin-Eaters 2nd Edition — Chapter Fictions
:spooky::ghost: QUIP. :ghost::spooky:

so geist is basically jojo with stands et al

i could get extremely into this

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

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

Why does everyone think every game is JoJo's Bizarrely Named Anime

edit: or Persona

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Freaking Crumbum posted:

so geist is basically jojo with stands et al

i could get extremely into this

You can definitely get up to poo poo with your geist, but they're actually immaterial even to other ghosts, though ghosts can still see and hear them. Despite the fact that none of this would happen without having a geist where your soul used to be, Sin-Eater powers are mostly doing stuff with that power for themselves.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


So, ugh, what happens when you ensure "they don't leave a ghost behind?"

Also, how do Sin-Eaters know that the Underworld is bad and not just functioning-as-intended? How much can they do to change what are probably it's physics?

Btw, what kind of stuff benefits are Prometheans left with after they New Dawn? Can they then become a Hunter? How powerful would they be when compared to lvl 1 Hunter?

Kind of a bum deal than making clones into Prometheans or New Dawning deletes your memory.

Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:



Grimey Drawer



Buck Rogers XXVc: The 25th Century



Introduction and Ability Scores
The book opens with two paragraphs of fiction, about a man named Flint arriving on Ceres in his ship, the Lady Jane, on his way to deliver info about a secret weapon to the New Earth Organization. Two men with lasers leap out, and as the action starts we cut away to a brief introduction to the setting. Along with a few specifics, the intro talks about heroic action and fleets of rocket cruisers and tries to set the space opera vibe. We get the standard “What’s Role-Playing” section next, followed by a brief Choose Your Own Adventure section.

This solo outing is pretty brief; you’re Captain Flint, you’ve got the plans to the new weapon, and you try to evade bad guys and get your info to your contact, Buck Rogers himself. There’s a brief “combat” and a few dead end choices, but it doesn’t take long to get to the end, which is another cliffhanger. It gets the job done, sets some of the mood some more. The game then talks more about the basics of roleplaying, what you’ll need to play, etc. There’s also talk about how the game is different from AD&D; basically the skills system works way differently, and combat is more reliant on projectile weapons. There are also quite a few minor differences, one of which is coming up very soon.

Ready to Roll

And now it’s time to determine attribtues. The standard method is rolling 3d6 seven times, and then assigning those to your attributes in any order you want.

Seven? Well, yes. This game has the standard AD&D attributes- Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma- and a new one, Tech. Tech is like Intelligence or Wisdom but applies specifically to your mechanical knowhow and is independent of your scores for both. The game’s example of a high Tech character is someone who can thump a food dispenser and get free meals for a month, presumably saying “Ayy!”

I actually kinda like this change? It means that in a high tech setting, you don’t necessarily need a high Int to do anything at all. (Intelligence is still important, with a lot of skills associated with it, but this helps split the load a little.)

You may recall that AD&D had little tables for each ability score, with very low or very high numbers giving you modifiers. In Buck Rogers this exists only for the physical attributes. Strength determines your melee Hit Bonus, melee Damage bonus, encumbrance, maximum lift, and instead of breaking doors/bending gates there’s a percentage chance for “Feats of Strength.” It starts at 1% at Strength 8 so even the slightly wimpy have a chance!

Dexterity gives Reaction Bonus, which is a modifier to your initiative (low initiative rolls are good in this game, so low Dex scores get positive bonuses and high scores get negative), bonus to ranged attacks, and a possible bonus to AC. Constitution determines hit point bonus and “System Shock”, which is the chance of withstanding severe trauma.

There’s a section on Ability Checks, which is standard- if you’re doing something that relates to your abilities but the GM can’t figure out any specific rules, you roll a d20 and try to get less than the relevant ability score. Standard stuff, no complaints here.

Lastly there’s alternatives for stat generation. You do have to clear these with the GM, etc., but they’re all pretty solid. One is the 3e way, roll 4d6 and drop the lowest. The next is rolling 3d6 twelve times and discarding the five lowest. (The book says “your odds of getting a 3 using this method are roughly 1 in 100 trillion” and I’m not gonna check that.) Finally, start with a 10 in each score, and add 1d6.

All pretty normal so far. The section on playable races is BIG so I’m gonna handle that separately.

Chernobyl Peace Prize
May 7, 2007

Or later, later's fine.
But now would be good.



JcDent posted:

Also, how do Sin-Eaters know that the Underworld is bad and not just functioning-as-intended? How much can they do to change what are probably it's physics?
Because it's so bad, in so many ways, that if that's the intended function, and you have any knowledge whatsoever of it without being stuck in it, it's absolutely your moral imperative to change it at all costs.

And: A lot, as it happens.

Jerik
Jun 24, 2019

I don't know what to write here.

Halloween Jack posted:

If anything, she didn't interfere in the design process enough... On the whole, I think there should have been greater variety of games and campaign settings, with more unified rules design.

Huh. I thought the common wisdom was that having too many campaign settings was a major contributor to TSR's financial struggles—that having so many campaign settings split the fanbase and they didn't sell as well as they needed to to recoup the production costs. In fact, it was my understanding that Wizards of the Coast in their own analyses arrived at that conclusion and so made the conscious decision to limit the number of campaign settings they supported in later editions.

Granted, when I say this is "my understanding", I mean it's my understanding based on Things I Read On The Internet and not on any kind of inside information, and this could all very well be completely wrong. Actually, I kind of hope it is completely wrong, since I very much like the fact that TSR released such a variety of campaign settings during the 2E era, and would like to hope that wasn't really a terrible business decision.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





JcDent posted:

Btw, what kind of stuff benefits are Prometheans left with after they New Dawn? Can they then become a Hunter? How powerful would they be when compared to lvl 1 Hunter?

Kind of a bum deal than making clones into Prometheans or New Dawning deletes your memory.

I mean, thematically the game is about becoming human, so it makes sense that you lose all the cool Frankenstein powers and stop being much of a PC. You can get, I think, basically 'minor supernatural powers' like 'natural Astral Realms traveler' and such. The memory loss makes sense, I think, mostly to help Promethean Throngs move on from their fellows who've achieved the New Dawn - the character is supposed to be happily retired, not dragged around with the Throng getting Disquieted and Wastelanded.

It is a raw deal, though.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



The New Dawn creates a retroactive backstory for the human a Promethean becomes, altering reality to provide them a place and not, like, spontaneously generate a human with no social security number, home or money (though if they complete 5 or less Refinements, they have amnesia and mental problems). The more Refinements a Promethean has completed, the more likely they are to either remember their Promethean life when they achieve the New Dawn or remember their new backstory clearly, and the higher their starting Integrity is going to be. A Promethean that achieves the New Dawn retains all of their attributes and skills, but none of their magical powers. If they complete at least 7 Refinements they get at least one dot of free mundane social merits as the universe alters itself even more to support them. They may alternatively receive the ability to innately sense the magical activities of Prometheans or retain a single Alembic that they can fuel with Willpower instead of Pyros.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Night Horrors: The Tormented
Part 21: Hell Is INFINITE NUCLEAR RADIATION

There is literally no Lineage that is worse off than the Zeky (singular: Zeka). They, too, are Prometheans, but even more than any other kind, the world burns at their touch. Life withers and dies, for they are literally radioactive. The power of Azoth within them seethes at being caged, unstable and destructive. It poisons the world around them, leaving a metaphysical scar to reflect the burning power that lurks inside them, desperate to be free. Zeky themselves are immune to radiation, even benefit from it, but everyone else isn't. In small amounts, humans exposed to ionizing radiation become tired and weak as their white blood cells die and any exposed skin becomes red and itchy. After prolonged or harsh exposure, the skin becomes blotchy and discolored and blood forms possible hemorrhages below the skin. Hair loss occurs, skin ulcerates and cognitive function is impaired. In the worst cases, victims suffer tremors, seizures, vomiting and diarrhea due to dying stomach lining causing toxic shock. It's an ugly and painful way to die. Every Zeky donor body is dead of it.

We get radiation rules - radiation is rated 1 to 5 in Intensity, with 1 being a mildly radioactive object, and 5 being ground zero at the time of a nuclear explosion. Intensity determines the interval of damage ticks, with 1 being weeks and 5 being turns. After you spend more than your Stamina in intervals near a radiation source, you take 1B per interval you remain exposed. As long as you remain exposed, you can't naturally heal the damage from it. Equipment designed to shield against radiation increases your Stamina for purposes of how long you can remain exposed without taking damage. The game notes that this is not an accurate model of, say, plutonium, which is only going to be dangerous if it gets inside your body, and that the rules assume that you're a PC or have a chacne to get out; if an NPC is powerless to escape, they're either suffering from radiation poisoning but might survive with a bunch of side effects if gotten out or going to die due to terminal exposure within a matter of weeks.

This, incidentally, means that as long as werewolf regeneration is considered magical rather than natural, werewolves are effective immune to radiation under the damage rules, because a werewolf regenerates 1B per turn and therefore cancels out even Intensity 5 damage. Fun! Prometheans, on the other hand, are not immune to radiation, except the Zeky. They do, however, add their Azoth to their Stamina to determine how long they can remain in it safely, and treat the source's effective Intensity as lower than normal if their Azoth is greater than the Intensity. (Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, incidentally, is Intensity 2.)

Zeky use normal Promethean rules, with the following exceptions:
Healing
Zeky do not heal from exposure to electricity. Their Azothic nature is optimized for radiation, and electrical energy is not refined enough for their bodies to process. Instead, Zeky heal damage from nuclear radiation, with higher Intensity healing them faster - rather than taking damage per interval, they heal damage per interval. Some Zeky collect and modify microwaves to bathe themselves in radiation, while others hang out near high-power radio transmitters. They can heal by lying down in the sun, but it takes weeks on end to do. While healing via radiation, a Zeka glows with unnatural luminosity and causes the air to feel heavy. Animals, even insects, flee their presence while they heal this way. Any radiation source that would go beyond the Intensity scale and instantly kill a human will heal all wounds of a Zeka at the end of each round.
Transhuman Potential
Like other Prometheans, a Zeka can wield Pyros to increase their body's capabilities temporarily. Unlike other Prometheans, however, they can create a critical Azothic reaction that sustains their empowerment for longer than a single action...at a risk. Even their bodies were never meant for this strain. They can spend Pyros to increase their attributes based on the amount spent, remaining that way for a period based on the amount spent, starting the countdown on the first turn in which they don't spend Pyros to boost an attribute. They can spend Pyros again to reset the timer. However, doing so hyperextends them, causing them to take Bashing damage if they fail physical rolls. If they add more than their Azoth in dots, they short out or gently caress up all nearby electronic devices, generate extreme heat and set the local environment on fire if they keep it up too long. Also, the area becomes irradiated with an Intensity based on the Zeka's natural Intensity. Because all Zeky are naturally radioactive at all times. Oh, and if someone deals Lethal damage to them at melee range or touches them, they become contaminated by radioactive fallout with Intensity equal to the Zeka's.

There's just one problem: the book forgot to say what that Intensity is, rendering Zeky unusable originally due to the rules not existing. Errata later made their natural Intensity be equal to their Azoth (or 5, whichever is lower). See, the thing is, Azoth goes to 10, and it's not that hard to hit 5. And a Zeka of Azoth 5+ has Intensity 5, AKA 'kills literally anything except maybe a werewolf in about five minutes of exposure.' So they became unusable because they are hilariously lethal no matter what they do.

Whoops.

Zeky are born out of grief and war. Their humour is radiation, and it's not really a tactile thing like most of the other Lineages'. This may be one reason the Zeky differ so much physically from each other, or why the generative act can vary so much between them. One demiurge might try to bind radiation into a corpse, while another just steeps a corpse in something radioactive. Zeky can be biomechanical creations, mutilated corpses or even amalgam creatures made of containment measures. Regardless, their disfigurements leave witnesses horror-struck and irradiated. The Thin Man is a vaguely human figure with the shells of old bombs sewn into his flesh and pistons made of missile casings moving him and shrieking with rust. He has no hair, but he always smells of burnt hair. He destroys anything or anyone he finds that he thinks could beat him in a fight utilizing a cannon muzzle that emerges from his wrist. He remembers being considered a failure, and so he incorporates the strongest parts of his foes into himself to ensure he will never be replaced again.

Three-Mile wants to connect to the world and its people, but that's hard when most of your skin is the remains of an experimental hazmat suit. The black tubes that break her skin and plunge back into it are covered in a strange, oozy film, and her throat is cable and tubing, which makes it hard to talk. Her face remains bare, bloated and distorted by a toxic gas that emerges from her wounds and mouth when she screams. She hates the screams, the insults and the weapons that get aimed at her when she tries to understand humanity. It's much easier to hurt them, especially since she already only knows pain.

Arclight glows from within. The seams of their body, stitched with power cables, their empty eye sockets, their mouth - all emit a neon blue light. They've poked at the strange bulges under their skin and peered into the lightning coils that emerge from it, but learned nothing. They've tried putting the light out, and they can focus to dim it if they stay very still...until they get excited. Then it comes back. Arclight is often excited. When afraid or angry, their light burns brought enough to melt steel and burn flesh. Their favorite bit of the Pilgrimage so far was learning that sometimes even humans have to let loose...though when the party's over, Arclight always seems to get in trouble.

Few things can much the volatile, terrifying nature of the Zeka Torment. In these moments, when a Zeka as at their lowest, their reactor grows unstable, their being is compressed into a reactive explosion. They do what comes naturally, then. They lash out violently and destructively, especially at things they love. They obliterate whatever they care about, and everything associated with that thing or person, everything nearby, everything they run into, leaving a massive destructive path. It is not angry or vindictive, though. This is random destruction, in a sense. It's just turning about, smashing anything nearby, driven by strong feelings but not associated with rage. A Zeka in Torment doesn't care any more, doesn't care what breaks and what doesn't. All that matters is that they destroy, as they were made to do, because it's so much easier than caring. It matters that everyone understands - destruction is what they are. It is all they are. That is what Torment wants of them. About the only good thing is it tends to end quickly. Power surges through them, fueling their rampage and driving it further than even the angriest Frankenstein tends to go. Radiation overflows from their body, burning anything they don't actively smash. Their mere touch sets things aflame, and they leave a terrible, radioactive Wasteland behind them, scorching the Earth itself with their Pyros.

Mechanically, a Zeka in Torment has effective Azoth 8. Which means that, yes, any Zeka in Torment, even one that's deliberately kept their Azoth as low as possible, is a walking nuclear reactor. An unshielded one. If their Azoth was already 8 or higher, it becomes 10 for the duration. While in Torment, a Zeka doesn't have to spend Pyros to do things that cost Pyros. You track the spending anyway, though, to determine the size of the Wasteland they create. When the Torment ends, their Pyros pool fills up completely. They immediately make a Wasteland when they enter Torment, and if they spend enough Pyros based on their Azoth, it immediately grows bigger and worse. If it's already category 4, the biggest possible, a Firestorm happens.

Zeky Disquiet is also hosed up. It's not just mental, like most Prometheans - it's also physical. It causes radiation sickness. Zeky are fueled by the power of the division of the atom, a violent act that replicates itself repeatedly. Their Disquiet is similar - they drive those affected to random acts of cruelty on top of making them feel disgusted by the Zeka that infected them. However, their violence need not be aimed at the Zeka, as the Disquiet also makes victims see other people as threats to drive off or kill, which may or may not mean the Zeka is the first target. Further, Zeka Disquiet is immediately contagious, rather than eventually contagious. Fortunately for everyone, it requires specific circumstances to pass onto others, though. If more than a certain number of Disquieted people gather in one place, they form a critical mass and can contaminate others, and extended exposure to other Disquieted people can quickly push Disquiet into its final stages, driving the group to turn on itself or to see outsiders as existential threats to be wiped out. The Zeky are always outsiders, regardless, and so must be destroyed, though they are given only slight priority over other targets. Victims in these final stages will also die of the radiation poisoning associated with the Disquiet within hours at the most, typically blaming outsiders for their illness.

Zeka Disquiet spreads quickly and goes wild fast, but it fortunately leaves relatively little fallout besides the number of dead bodies it causes. Medical examination will reveal the symptoms of acute radiation poisoning, but no contamination whatsoever (from the Disquiet, anyway). This is, of course, physically impossible and confuses the gently caress out of the doctors doing the examinations, but it does make these incidents easier to hide than actual radiation accidents. Zeky Disquiet spreads contagiously even at stage 1, and as long as at least six people with Zeky Disquiet are in the same location, their Disquiet immediately proceeds to stage 2. If two people with stage 2 Disquiet touch skin to skin for an extended period - such as a lengthy handshake - it proceeds to stage 3 in both parties. Fortunately, they can't push it to stage 4. Zeky Disquiet also causes damage per radiation exposure of equal Intensity to the stage of Disquiet, on top of its psychological effects. Oh, and Zeky Disquiet doesn't need a Wasteland to be present to hit stages 3 or 4.

Zeky Wastelands are, unsurprisingly, super awful. They not only make the area around them really lovely, they make it radioactive. Stage 1 Wastelands have weak, low-threat fallout that causes complex animal life to flee ('everything but bugs') and makes humans uneasy and prone to headaches and body pains. At stage 2, plants begin to flourish again, but in disfigured and stunted ways - possibly warped when mature or neotenic. Small animals or birds that couldn't leave the area sicken and die, the temperature rises and rainfall is less frequent. Headaches and soreness increase, and nausea becomes a problem. Despite the thick haze that fills the air, sunburns are frequent and painful. Category 3 is lethal to small animals if they so much as enter the Wasteland. The fallout thickens, withering and killing plant life, and sunlight barely penetrates the nuclear clouds. Insects begin to mutate radically, and background radiation now poses a threat to human life as an Intensity 1 radioactive environment. Category 4 Wastelands have haze so thick the sun is invisible at all times. Snow and ash begin to fall after a day or two, and the temperature plunges. Insects create ash mounds and take over ecological niches that small animals have abandoned, swarming even if they would not naturally. Large colonies may attack humans or animals still in the region, and the background radiation rises to Intensity 2. Several Superfund sites are noted to have actually been caused by Zeky sticking around too long.

Zeky Firestorms are horrifically dangerous. They are never centered and focused, and they hit the world like a bomb. On top of the normal disasters caused by Firestorms, they also spread nuclear fallout over the entire area. Zeky Firestorms are naturally worse than normal ones, deal massive Lethal damage to all structures in their area, ignoring most Durability, and the entire area is contaminated with fallout that is an Intensity of half the Zeka's Azoth, which remains even after the Firestorm ends.

If you're wondering how anyone could ever play a Zeka or even include one in their game without ignoring a good 90% of these nuclear-powered world-shattering rules...I don't know.

Next time: Nuclear power.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




JcDent posted:

So, ugh, what happens when you ensure "they don't leave a ghost behind?"

Usually, you perform some mollifying ritual so they don't leave a ghost. Despite all that stuff in my second post, "moving on" either at death or from ghostly existence is consistently framed as a happy release or accomplishment. Still no one knows to what or where this leads. Figuring that out might be a good story hook for an Underworld overthrow.

quote:

Also, how do Sin-Eaters know that the Underworld is bad and not just functioning-as-intended? How much can they do to change what are probably it's physics?

It's a lot like a political/economic system. Probably no one deliberately made it that way, but it's obviously horrific and no matter how used to it everyone is there's no compelling reason to think it couldn't be different. It's familiar and hard and a lot of work, but that's not the same thing as natural or not worth remaking. And if someone did make it that way on purpose or it is "natural", this is the perfect opportunity to have a "let's go beat up God" story.

That Old Tree fucked around with this message at 20:12 on Sep 24, 2019

goblin week
Jan 26, 2019



Mors Rattus posted:


Death robot, death robot, he's coming to your town

This dude loving rules.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case




These read like NPC rules, which is a shame, because 1e Zeky had subtler rules that made them viable PCs. Like, their disquiet used to inflict Cold War style paranoia and distrust, kind of like The Monsters Are Due On Maple St. Now it’s just Radiation Madness.

OvermanXAN
Nov 14, 2014


Dawgstar posted:

At the time, Forsaken certainly felt like a downgrade. From 'the Earth is dying and you must rage to save it' to 'you're the neighborhood watch but for spirits.'

I think that says almost as much about WHEN it came out and what kinds of expectations people had going in. oWoD was a mess but it was a mess where the elevator pitches for the game lines were very appealing straight out of the box without much consideration. When you actually look at the material and writing for nWoD it's a lot stronger, especially when you have people with actual experience with the game line to sell them like we have here. From the perspective of "Here's something cool to read about", oWoD is very good at that, multiple people have commented that it's just kinda fun to sit down and read the bonkers lore; from the perspective of "Here's something that generates a good campaign to play", nWoD is much better, both because of game design and because it's very open ended but with enough direction and information provided to give strong ideas of where to go with stuff.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Halloween Jack posted:

Why does everyone think every game is JoJo's Bizarrely Named Anime

edit: or Persona
Jojo and Persona share enough DNA that I can give you a fair guess as to why.

Both of these are essentially urban-fantasy-in-the-modern-world settings where characters have visually distinctive and strongly characterized abilities. They are also generally speaking humans who gained their power through, at worst, an accident, rather than having become vampires or whatever. (There is the occasional vampire etc. of course.) The plots also tend to be strongly character-driven, and the protagonists usually either ultimately succeed at their mission, or at least accomplish something, rather than drowning in the horror and misery of modern anomie. In other words, the struggle is worth it-- it may be hard but you can, by the implicit rules of the material, succeed.

Both of them also invest the characters' supernatural powers in a secondary character/representation connected symbolically to them, which is probably the go-to factor here.

e: So it's really more that people WANT to play Persona/Jojo, or at least something resembling those sources without being heavily authored by a guy with weird phobic opinions/a vampire from space, respectively

Nessus fucked around with this message at 20:37 on Sep 24, 2019

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Aoi
Sep 12, 2017

Perpetually a Pain.


It seems like kind of a missed opportunity to have a clone turned into a promethean lose their memories. I mean, they were already an inhuman creation of azothic power made artificially by some rear end in a top hat, so it seems like it'd be more interesting to have them remember that than...not.

Well, whatever.

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