Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!



welcome to the neo-night future chumboozas, try not to get berked by devil inc

It's Alien Rope Burn here with another a-round of FATAL & Friends, often duplicated, never surpassed. This is a thread where we review, comment, and let's read on RPGs, but occassionally bring up other sorts of tabletop games. It is a rabbit hole where people care about the relative value of Dexterity, like, a lot. Inspired loosely by Darren MacLennan and Jason Sartin's rpg.net reviews of Synnibarr and FATAL, this thread is mostly about doing long-form reviews of fun games, offensive games, and everything inbetween. This all gets dangerously inside elfball, and sometimes can get offensive and gross with some of the games that get discussed. For a long while I was content to leave this as a wild west of turbonerd opinions, but we're cleaning things up a little. But not much.

:siren: As a reminder, there's inklesspen's Official FATAL & Friends Site™ :siren:

:siren: If you're wondering if something's already been reviewed, check inklesspen's Official FATAL & Friends Site™. :siren:

:siren: If you're looking for an old review, check inklesspen's Official FATAL & Friends Site™.:siren:

As somebody that used to have to hand-link all my own reviews on the now depreciated SA Traditional Games Wiki, I really appreciate the work she does to preserve our commentaries. :golfclap:

So you want to post a review. That's great! :D Some things to keep in mind. These are rules.
  • Always include a number and title for your commentary. A header image is better if you can manage it. But otherwise, just bold and/or underline the title of your review in every post, and include what number is in the commentary series. This helps inklesspen archive your posts.
  • Please don't reply to posts in the same post as your commentary. Otherwise, inklesspen has to cut out that part of the post, and that makes her job harder. If you're replying in the ext of the commentary itself, that's fine, but casual replies to posts should be included in separate posts.
  • If you have questionable content - anything Not Safe For Work - spoiler that. Swear words and occasional references to the occasional gross act is one thing, but if you're quoting long bits of ribald text from Sheathfinger: Exploring the Netherrealms for Levels 1-20, you probably want to spoiler that. If you're including images from Sheathfinger, it's even better to have a link to the image with an appropriate warning rather than just using tags.
  • Avoid just rephrasing the book you're commenting on. That isn't a review, it's not a commentary, it's just regurgitation. If you don't have something to say about a book and you just want to share it, donate a copy to a library.
  • This isn't a place to troll or settle personal grudges. Granted, the line here can be hard to draw with our tradition of shenanigans and hijinks, but some people have come in deliberately trying to go against the grain to prove a point to noone. And if you have a axe to grind, that's understandable, there are a lot of bad designers! But a bad game is just a bad game, so let's keep that in perspective, no amount of shoddy rules will destroy this hobby. D&D proved that. And this is a place more to talk about the games themselves than lovely people in the industry, as we have an industry thread for that!
Quick suggestions maybe somebody will listen to: don't try and make posts too long, break up your text with titles / quotes / images, don't post too often or people won't be able to keep up, write as much of your review as you feel comfortable with in advance, ask permission if you want to finish somebody else's review, and let us know if a review isn't going to be finished if possible.

A good example:

quote:



Top Gear d20 Part 3: Why Volkswagens are a Trap Option

Last time we covered how BMWs break the system over their knee with their Reliability Modifier. So you'd think Reliability Modifiers are like, the best thing, then, right? Let's talk about how the Volkswagen shows how this system can go wrong.

A bad example:

quote:

BugFetish posted:

Spiders' extra pair of legs doesn't break the system, their penalties offset the extra action their extra limbs give them. It's centipedes that break the system, at least until they forget what die they assigned to each leg and break the game.

Look, remembering what dice you have assigned to each leg is a balancing factor, centipedes are fine because nobody can remember which of their hundred dice they assigned, and so they get the dilemma penalty, but spider players can always remember now many more legs they have other than wasps and use their d20s for each leg roll in Bugs & Backyards, unlike centipedes that are all d4s and d5s and dΠ...

CarLover posted:

finish top gear already

Anyway, I guess I still have this Top Gear review to finish...

Last time we covered how BMWs break the system over their knee with their Reliability Modifier. So you'd think Reliability Modifiers are like, the best thing, then, right? Let's talk about how the Volkswagen shows how this system can go wrong...

Previous threads (may require archives upgrade) were:
  1. FATAL and Friends
  2. FATAL & Friends 2
  3. FATAL & Friends 2014-15
  4. FATAL & Friends 2016-19

Every so often the question comes up: "Should I write up-" and the answer is always yes, unless it's fantastically inappropriate in some sense. It doesn't have to be a bad game to talk about. If a review has been done before, you can do it again if you want. It doesn't have to be a professionally published game. Don't worry, people will love or hate your thing and trying to science what people will love is- you can't science love.

:justpost:

Alien Rope Burn fucked around with this message at 19:13 on Mar 14, 2021

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Already digging this new vibe.

Brother Entropy
Dec 27, 2009



oh god, now i've got to catch up on the 4k posts i'm behind on on the old one

curse you but also thank you ARB

StratGoatCom
Aug 6, 2019

Our security is guaranteed by being able to melt the eyeballs of any other forum's denizens at 15 minutes notice




LatwPIAT posted:

The Whipper is potentially capable of holding a firearm, but by default it doesn't have the skill to fire it. The GM could always just give it the skill to do so, but unlike Psi powers, it's not really suggested you do so. Exsurgents tend towards melee attacks, while TITAN creations often have firearms.

You're out of date - the version in X-risks is significantly souped up in comparison to the core book

This is for the Slip, Ruqinzhe! posted:


Skills: Beam Weapons 40, Climbing 40,
Free Fall 40, Freerunning 50, Infiltration 50,
Intimidation 50, Kinetic Weapons 40,
Unarmed Combat 45 (Tentacles 55)

The things have gone from a generic shoot 'em space monster, to a fully capable and probably sapient Exsurgent infantry and, with a bit of tweaking, worker unit.

quote:

If the Exsurgent Virus had required active nanotech to be a threat, it would A) have given a reason to not just have nanobots everywhere, B) made exsurgent attacks less save-or-die if you weren't full of nanomagic and C) give exsurgents an actual attack plan other than "lol lets just lick them all so they get infected B)" focused around reaching and infecting a hab's nanofabricators. While giving conservative factions an actual point, a reason to resort to older and more secure tech, and to resultingly also have a more classic economy other than "we're villaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaains lol

I'm not so sure how different that is from the base game, really. The Big E always gets exponentially more dangerous when high grade fabrication is available, and I'm not so sure how that would play that differently then trying to stop a bunch of, say, Skrik exsurgents from pouring Skrik blenderized into a fine liquid into the hab's primary water cisterns, and deliberately primitive hardware is already in use in many counter-exsurgency operations throughout the system, as detailed in firewall - you need a pretty high pixel ratio for a Basilisk Hack. It's the two major ideas that EP tries to push at the same time conflicting again. I do think possibly giving onboard nanoware a large risk of inducing a critfail or similar negative effect in 'resist Exsurgent infection' rolls is a good idea - fluff it as Bionanobots being able to subvert the hives to manufacture a nano-tech version of themselves or, use cognitive nanotech as a Basilisk vector or something.

Edit: Incidentally, I dibs Devotees and Firewall, for when I find the time.

StratGoatCom fucked around with this message at 01:27 on Sep 10, 2019

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Wonder which random nWoD sourcebook will get reviewed next.

Gerund
Sep 12, 2007

He push a man




Always needed any extra kick in the rear end. Probably get caught up again by the 2020 date anyway

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st Edition

The Ride Never Ends, Post 1

I want to begin with a disclaimer that this is entirely a review/analysis based on a readthrough, not actual play. I have not run or played WHFRP1e. However, reading it was really goddamn interesting in looking at how it was changed to create WHFRP2e. I'm always interested in what changes between editions of a game and why. Plus, I think WHFRP1e is actually really interesting on its own for a game that is as old as I am (Literally; it was written in the same year I was born!). 1e is also intriguing because a lot of it seems to have been brought back for 4th edition. It's a very different game from its descendants, but you can still see all of their bones present here in this first book. Also, as someone who got way too goddamn deep into the fluff in 2e, it's really interesting to read material from back when the fluff was still forming and coalescing. I was really fascinated by how Chaos is treated in this first book, and by how front and center a bunch of the 'the world was seeded by mighty sci-fi technowizards' stuff was originally compared to later. Heck, Sigmar's a minor God who doesn't grant spells because he's just patron of the Imperial Family and mostly worshiped as an act of civic pride and loyalty.

The other reason I want to cover it is because for all that it starts with A Grim World of Perilous Adventure it has some surprising GMing advice for a game written in 1986. It's much more player-positive than you'd expect; Fate Points were originally conceived as a way to show you were special without actually making you 'special' and they've added a lot to every edition I've read. There are some really surprising bits where the game outright tells you not to be too rough on the players and to watch and see how pessimistic they seem to be; if the players are down, you need to lighten up and make the game more fun and less punishing. Yes, you can definitely die from an unlucky encounter with a badger in 1e (I'm not exaggerating) but the spirit is still there. That sense that the game is partly interested in looking tougher than it is was there in the beginning.

As was the thing that made WHFRP so attractive to me: The sense that player characters really are still part of the world. And that adventurers are kind of nuts. Adventuring isn't an exalted profession like in D&D. Adventurers are weirdos. One of the things I like about WHFRP is the sense that your background really matters; what you did before you decided to quit your day job and try to fight goblins for better pay is a building block of your character and was from day 1, edition 1. Being an ex carnival strongman actually gives you huge advantages in its own way, which is hilarious. At the same time, the beginnings of the Career system really get at why they worked hard to standardize starting careers in 2e: You roll for a ton more stuff and can come into the game pretty useless much more easily than 2e.

The other thing that made me want to cover it is that 1e is a loving mess, but it's a really interesting mess! It's written with a serious enthusiasm for trying to model everything and anything, but it's actually kind of neat? There's a special rule for everything, there were no Talents, and Skills worked like a sort of mixture of Skills and Talents at the same time. There are honestly a few things where I'd say 2e faltered some in adapting or simplifying stuff! That's not something I expected before I read the book; I actually think 2e's treatment of Basic Skills is significantly more restrictive than 1e in most cases, though I also see why it was doing what it was doing from a point of view of standardizing. If there's one thing I'd say 1e told me 2e was doing, it's trying to cut out subsystems and exceptions and special rules and move the rules into a much more standardized system. At the same time, the crazy enthusiasm of 1e is fun. There's an entire subsystem for detecting poison in your food or wine based on taste and enhanced by whether or not you're a good cook! It's nuts, but also a surprisingly interesting way to make a bunch of the skills that don't sound so useful actually do something for an adventurer, which is neat in its own way.

1e is a huge mess, but the surprise that made me want to cover it is that I honestly think I could sit down with my group, run a game of 1st edition WHFRP, and still have a good time. I'd rather play the later editions, and I'll continue to do so when my group plays WHFRP, but honestly 1e doesn't look like a bad game! Especially not for the time it was written. So here goes, on the first appearance of the grim world of perilous adventure!

(It still had the Small, But Vicious Dog. That's been in every edition, like God intended)

Next Time: Basic Rules, Character, and Career: 1st Edition

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 01:36 on Sep 10, 2019

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012





Money and Goods

Do you wanna hurt? Do you enjoy screaming violently into the sky because goddamnit how stupid can you get? Do you enjoy your faciful magical world’s entire economy being based on industrialized child-labor?

Currencies

Invisible Sun has stupid loving money. The dumbest money possible. You will wish for copper/platinum/gold in reasonable base 10 increments of value.

The first currency is Orbs. Yes Orbs. What are they? Little marble looking things that are full of thoughts and ideas. Let’s just ignore the stupidity of orb-shaped money and how impractical and stupid it is and get into the more esoterically stpuid details.

Orbs come in four kinds: Glass, Crystal, Gem, and Trueorbs. Trueorbs is spelled like that in-book.

Glass orbs are the most common, and each is worth approximately 10 American Cents. All units of currency are given equivalent value in USD, even though they are magical money from a higher dimension. Glass orbs are made of glass and full of common ideas and thoughts of minimal value. Examples given are a taste or the thought to wear a jacket when it’s cold. They are so low value in fact you can’t make money making them. The only way they are explicitly produced are by mass child-labor: Literally kids just daydreaming and thinking in explicitly stated long days to make them. Your base economy is founded on child labor. What the gently caress. They disincorporate after 50 years.

Crystal Orbs are worth 100 Glass Orbs or 10 dollars. They’re fairly common ideas but rarer and more complex than glass orbs. Examples are a recipe or directions to a place. No mention is made of whether these are made by sweatshops full of children or not. They don’t discorporate, but they are fragile. Glass orbs are apparently NOT fragile, but crystal ones are. Why am I imagining GM’s telling you how much money you lost every time you get tripped or knocked over?

Gem orbs are 100 crystal orbs or 1000 dollars, and are rarely used. They are nigh-indestructible, permanent, and who knows what sort of ideas they have inside them because the game doesn’t say, or how they’re made.

Trueorbs are the last kind and are not loving money. They have the same value monetarily as gem orbs, but they’re made out of solid ideas made… somehow. “The essence of the original concept of orbs from days of old” as the book says. What this means is they aren’t useful as cash because what you actually do is eat them because they’re wizard drugs. Consuming a trueorb adds 1 to your Hidden Knowledge, representing you learning whatever the idea inside was.

Orbs are a cool concept,.Wizards trading ideas and thoughts as currency, done as boring as possible. Also loving hell why did you base your monetary standard on child-labor???

Next up we have Magecoins which are even dumber than orbs. They’re large fancy golden coins that come in two denominations: Vim and Lumins. Also they may be called mana coins because we needed two names? Anyway, magecoins can’t be traded for orbs, except they can at a rate of 1 to 1 with gem orbs because loving hell Monte can’t you at least be firm on how your fake currency works? Orbs are used to pay for normal poo poo like real money, but magecoins are only traded to vislae because they’re magical money. As in they’re the money you use to buy magical items, potions, and services. It’s wizard money, separate from normal money. Also they’re wizard batteries because you and destroy one to refill one of your pools: Vims restore Certes and Lumins restore Qualia. There is no mention of how you make magecoins.

Bloodsilver is the stupidest loving thing. It’s money that is literally cursed. The more you have the harder it is to resist the curse, which is basically random magical effects going off at you as you do stuff. Literally if you have more than 1 of them, the GM is supposed to randomly make you roll to not get hosed by some random magical thing happening to you. What do you use them for? Assassins. Literally just assassins. They have no other use and most people won’t interchange them for any other currency (worth 1 crystal orb because Commitment To A Gimmick Is Hard). In other words… I have no idea why any PC would ever touch these loving things.


Demontears are not demon tears, but may be demonic excretions of some kind, maybe? Maybe they aren’t. It’s mysterious. They look like little red pearls, and work just like magecoins. Demons use them as money. There is no other information on them.

Bits and Bobs are random currencies from other places in the multiverse besides Indigo aka Wizard City. They’re worth 5 to an orb.

Cheques are just fuckin cheques. Issued by a bank, for orbs. It’s… it’s just cheques. Why did you have to point out that chequing is a thing?

Noosphere Exchanges just means psychics can… buy and sell things through the noosphere? Which makes no sense because orbs have value because they’re physical items. Just an idea isn’t worth money unless it’s in the physical form, so what would trading ideas in mind-space be worth? Buying… imaginary furniture?

Goods
These are items. There’s annoying dogshit tied into these, as you’d expect.

First up Kindled Items are your… not proper magical items but the boring kind that just give stat bonuses instead of doing cool poo poo. They are things that are “more like itself than itself” which is a stupid way of saying, they give stat bonuses. You can buy them with orbs, they’re small and minor and don’t do specific magical tricks. Just give bene or vex or armor. They don’t count as emphemera or objects of power.

Kindled items are also full of stupid wacky lore that is so quirky you guys. They’re made by awakening the spirit of the object, which gives it a form of life. This mainly manifests by… hating and wanting to devour similar objects. Kindled items will “eat” non-kindled equivalents, and if two similar kindled things are put together they literally fight to the death.

Aethyric Devices are just electronic/electrical stuff that runs on magic. Anything that would be electric runs on aethyr instead, which just means they don’t need power. They don’t need batteries, or plugs, they just have infinite power and just work. This also means they can be controlled by spirits and basically ghost-hack your magic-phone.


Shopping Tables
The rest of this chapter is 8 pages of shopping tables. Just tables of stuff and their costs. These tables are things like “Home Furnishings”, “Supplies and Tools”, “Clothing”, etc.



An example.

Special mention to the crafting materials, which are so uselsessly stupid it’s impressive. They essentially break down crafting by level of the material, and each level has a cost. Level 1 Material is 10 Crystal Orbs, Level 7 is 200, etc. But, they can’t just… have level and cost. No no, they have multiple entries at each level, with the same costs, for… some reason?



Next Time: The First Session

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Ah hell yeah, the Cube is back. Send me that dumb, dumb assassin money.

E: I gotta ask. Why do the assassins want the lovely curse money? Does it help with their edgy monologues or something? Does being cursed get them EXP for their gritty backstories?

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 01:51 on Sep 10, 2019

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!


StratGoatCom posted:

I'm not so sure how different that is from the base game, really. The Big E always gets exponentially more dangerous when high grade fabrication is available, and I'm not so sure how that would play that differently then trying to stop a bunch of, say, Skrik exsurgents from pouring Skrik blenderized into a fine liquid into the hab's primary water cisterns, and deliberately primitive hardware is already in use in many counter-exsurgency operations throughout the system, as detailed in firewall - you need a pretty high pixel ratio for a Basilisk Hack. It's the two major ideas that EP tries to push at the same time conflicting again. I do think possibly giving onboard nanoware a large risk of inducing a critfail or similar negative effect in 'resist Exsurgent infection' rolls is a good idea - fluff it as Bionanobots being able to subvert the hives to manufacture a nano-tech version of themselves or, use cognitive nanotech as a Basilisk vector or something.

Edit: Incidentally, I dibs Devotees and Firewall, for when I find the time.

Well, primarily it would remove the massively lame save-or-exsurgent factor from things, unless you pop exsurgents as a surprise in a mission not slated to involve them, players could divest themselves of nanotech-based augs and gear and bring something more old-school and ruggedized. Like, don't just make it a choice between having a penalty or not, make it an option to make yourself entirely resistant to those lovely save-or-dies. Of course the exsurgents can still stab you in the brain or shoot you, in those cases, but at least that's usually established in graduations of dead rather than instant dead.

Secondly it would make the whole economic argument a bit more nuanced than "capitalists evil, communists and anarchists happy fishmalk friends" as well as making nanofabricators a bit less ubiquitous in at-risk locations.

Thirdly, just anything to make them less of a faceless, mindless horde with no clear goals or tactics beyond "infect people a lot??????"

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



Night10194 posted:

Ah hell yeah, the Cube is back. Send me that dumb, dumb assassin money.

E: I gotta ask. Why do the assassins want the lovely curse money? Does it help with their edgy monologues or something? Does being cursed get them EXP for their gritty backstories?

Bloodsilver is wanted by assassins literally because carrying proves you got BIG DICK ENERGY and don't FEAR NO CURSE. That's the literal reason, it makes them look cool and badass because machismo.

Also, I probably understated how bad Bloodsilver is: the game explicitly says to treat it like magical flux, which are basically miscast effects. Depending on how assholish the GM is feeling, that can have such wonderful effects as:
  • One of your items just vanshishes
  • You get a stat penalty
  • your teeth fall out
  • you pass out on the spot
  • you go blind
  • you just straight fuckin die.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


At the same time a society of van wizards being like 'huh, I can trade the dreams of children for valuables? SET UP THE FACTORY PENS' is a pretty van wizard thing to do.

Though actually I'm not sure it's metal enough for proper van wizards.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



I've said this last thread but I'm gonna just repeat this on page 1: never just write your review in the browser. Always do it in a document you can save.

Also never feel bad about letting something drop if you run out of steam or if you're doing too much or for whatever reason. It's okay to abandon stuff.

megane
Jun 20, 2008





The thread is dead, long live the thread

I assume the reason "kindled items" hate each other is to reify the D&D rule where you can't wear your two magic amulets at once, FRANK, gawd, stop POWERGAMING

Libertad!
Oct 30, 2013

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

Hostile V posted:

I've said this last thread but I'm gonna just repeat this on page 1: never just write your review in the browser. Always do it in a document you can save.

Also never feel bad about letting something drop if you run out of steam or if you're doing too much or for whatever reason. It's okay to abandon stuff.

In process of writing a 2k+ post.

404 bad link.

OR

There is no Internet connection.

OR

Unexpected power outage when a tree falls and knocks over a telephone pole.




Do not let this happen to you! Invest in Google Docs today!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Every Invisible Sun update makes me sadder that I know of no game that is intentionally about playing Van Wizards, the wizards airbrushed on the side of a van who just gently caress up all the time but try to be really metal.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Night10194 posted:

Every Invisible Sun update makes me sadder that I know of no game that is intentionally about playing Van Wizards, the wizards airbrushed on the side of a van who just gently caress up all the time but try to be really metal.

Sadly the Car Wizards supplement for the Katanas and Trenchcoats RPG is about playing people who violate physics while driving instead of wizards -painted- on cars, which feels like a miss.

Cythereal
Nov 8, 2009



Wapole Languray posted:

Bloodsilver is the stupidest loving thing. It’s money that is literally cursed. The more you have the harder it is to resist the curse, which is basically random magical effects going off at you as you do stuff. Literally if you have more than 1 of them, the GM is supposed to randomly make you roll to not get hosed by some random magical thing happening to you. What do you use them for? Assassins. Literally just assassins. They have no other use and most people won’t interchange them for any other currency (worth 1 crystal orb because Commitment To A Gimmick Is Hard). In other words… I have no idea why any PC would ever touch these loving things.

Oh hey, Monte Cook is an Eddings fan. Wasn't expecting a Belgariad reference to pop up here.

Cassa
Jan 29, 2009


Thanks Inklesspen

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


I would play Monte Wick's Top Gear.

Also thank you, Inklesspen.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




Cassa posted:

Thanks Inklesspen

DalaranJ posted:

Also thank you, Inklesspen.

StratGoatCom
Aug 6, 2019

Our security is guaranteed by being able to melt the eyeballs of any other forum's denizens at 15 minutes notice




PurpleXVI posted:

Well, primarily it would remove the massively lame save-or-exsurgent factor from things, unless you pop exsurgents as a surprise in a mission not slated to involve them, players could divest themselves of nanotech-based augs and gear and bring something more old-school and ruggedized. Like, don't just make it a choice between having a penalty or not, make it an option to make yourself entirely resistant to those lovely save-or-dies. Of course the exsurgents can still stab you in the brain or shoot you, in those cases, but at least that's usually established in graduations of dead rather than instant dead.

Secondly it would make the whole economic argument a bit more nuanced than "capitalists evil, communists and anarchists happy fishmalk friends" as well as making nanofabricators a bit less ubiquitous in at-risk locations.

Thirdly, just anything to make them less of a faceless, mindless horde with no clear goals or tactics beyond "infect people a lot??????"

I argue that it might break them too far in the other direction - exsurgents should never be no-sellable completely, and they'd never get to the nanotech if they were completely dependent on it; I'd make it easier to resist though, like possibly inoculations that slow the virus enough that a healing vat can clean it out; - take it from save or die, to save or get to a doctor fast, or die.

I can see a few places where I can lean on that political economics thing - like, I'd explore a subplot that suggests that Firewall is suffering badly from the problems that their rep system causes, such as patronage network problems with some of the big names, like Bainbrige's relationship with Das Frettchen (who's responsible for blowing at least one Firewall op by betraying it to Ozma), or it being simply hard to attack certain high level players such as (hypothetically) Rokuzawa Chi's increasingly rampant and aberrant forking/mind edit habits and their disturbing tendency to show up in various singularity seeker and other neurologically exhuman circles that is shielding bad actors, often to a dangerous degree, or the increasing problems caused by a hypothetical Titanian Clique distorting Firewall operations in the region, and possibly letting unacceptably dangerous research take place on Iapetus, for example.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Cassa posted:

Thanks Inklesspen
Thinklesspen.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Also, yes, thanks Inklesspen!

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!


Libertad! posted:

Do not let this happen to you! Invest in Google Docs today!

I've been saved multiple times by SA's post-saving feature, which is a godsend.

StratGoatCom posted:

I argue that it might break them too far in the other direction - exsurgents should never be no-sellable completely, and they'd never get to the nanotech if they were completely dependent on it; I'd make it easier to resist though, like possibly inoculations that slow the virus enough that a healing vat can clean it out; - take it from save or die, to save or get to a doctor fast, or die.

I can see a few places where I can lean on that political economics thing - like, I'd explore a subplot that suggests that Firewall is suffering badly from the problems that their rep system causes, such as patronage network problems with some of the big names, like Bainbrige's relationship with Das Frettchen (who's responsible for blowing at least one Firewall op by betraying it to Ozma), or it being simply hard to attack certain high level players such as (hypothetically) Rokuzawa Chi's increasingly rampant and aberrant forking/mind edit habits and their disturbing tendency to show up in various singularity seeker and other neurologically exhuman circles that is shielding bad actors, often to a dangerous degree, or the increasing problems caused by a hypothetical Titanian Clique distorting Firewall operations in the region, and possibly letting unacceptably dangerous research take place on Iapetus, for example.

Thing is that if the only scary thing about exsurgents is "hur hur save-or-die checks" then they're a pretty lame terror.

Mostly EP would let you do a lot of interesting things but generally they require rewriting the fundaments of the setting, like how Firewall is always right and good and perfect, or the lolworthy assertion that their space-anarchy is anything but a ticking timebomb that'll blow up any day now, or the fact that the foundation of the whole Humans vs TITANS & Exsurgents thing had 5000000 different ways it could go and they took the dumbest, blandest one.

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





Wapole Languray posted:

Bloodsilver is wanted by assassins literally because carrying proves you got BIG DICK ENERGY and don't FEAR NO CURSE. That's the literal reason, it makes them look cool and badass because machismo.

Also, I probably understated how bad Bloodsilver is: the game explicitly says to treat it like magical flux, which are basically miscast effects. Depending on how assholish the GM is feeling, that can have such wonderful effects as:
  • One of your items just vanshishes
  • You get a stat penalty
  • your teeth fall out
  • you pass out on the spot
  • you go blind
  • you just straight fuckin die.

How do the assassins then pay for their own stuff though? Is it like those coins in John Wick or something? What does the assassin do with the cursed lovely money that only other assassins want? How does an assassin like buy a sandwich or whatever?


Night10194 posted:

Every Invisible Sun update makes me sadder that I know of no game that is intentionally about playing Van Wizards, the wizards airbrushed on the side of a van who just gently caress up all the time but try to be really metal.

This is how I sometimes run Mage when I want to give players a "break" from the themes of hubris and other horror poo poo in the line. You know, things have been a bit heavy for a couple of sessions, so let's just tear rear end around and make infinite shotguns* and resurrect an ankylosaurus except it's made of fire*. Really let our hair down. Some times you just need to relax, head over the Astral Realm and turn into a sentient cloud of bees*, you know?

*And obviously none of this would ever have long term consequences that come up in later sessions. Certainly not. I'm definitely not letting players blow off steam while I get to basically just make a list of plot hooks cause I also want to just drink a few beers and chill. I assure you.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Thanks inklesspen, also last thread I figured out how to read your name instead of pronouncing it like some horrible near-German word. :doh:

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



Xiahou Dun posted:

How do the assassins then pay for their own stuff though? Is it like those coins in John Wick or something? What does the assassin do with the cursed lovely money that only other assassins want? How does an assassin like buy a sandwich or whatever?

No explanation in the currency description. Note that the concept of assassins is stupid too, because death... isn't a state of being. It's a place. Like, one of the Suns, the whole multiverse thing that the game hasn't really addressed but is 90% of the setting? It's literally just the afterlife. When you die you just go to Death Town. You become a ghost, yes, but... you are still, like. Able to exist and interact with people. Your friends can pack up and go to Death Town and meet up with you. This game seems to assume death is like in D&D, but you play super wizards and you can have holidays in the Underworld.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

I'm sorry. I have to do this. I'm sorry. You did nothing to deserve this, this game doesn't deserve this level of thought in its lovely Labyrinth ripoff idea but dumb game economy things bug me.

What the gently caress are orbs? Like, literally what are they? Do you need some Orbcrafter License to make them or can I just jack off in my room making crystal orbs using rando family recipes and poo poo and never not at least have enough on hand to grab a meal and room for a night? Who determines the 'value' of the memory? Is 'wear a sweater if it's chilly' a 'basic' thought to EVERYONE in this magic bullshit game? What about creatures from some kinda world of eternal magma, isn't the very concept of snow a possibly mind blowing thing, let alone wearing a sweater to get MORE warm and cozy? How is it the universe version of :10bux: is so common? Glass orbs are basic poo poo but then they say crystal ones are just slightly elaborated basic poo poo, like recipes? I cook all the time, can I just make countless crystal orbs full of my recipes? Do they lose value when you spend them? If something costs twenty bucks can I pay the shopkeeper with two crystal orbs of the same memory, or does him getting the one make the other devalued because it's mundane now? If that's the case what keeps every merchant guild from building a big Scrooge McDuck vault of crystal orbs and letting everyone dance around in them when they join the guild, instantly turning any repeats of those memories worthless? If it's NOT the case what stops the money makers from just thinking of the same basic memory forever and making an endless supply of crystal orbs that never fade away?

I'm sorry, I have a sickness that makes me do this.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





:orb:

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

I can't even loving touch Magic Chuck-E-Cheese Tokens because I literally got a headache thinking about the questions that bullshit raised. All I can think of now are orbs. Orbs rule everything around me.

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


And I thought "gold pieces weighs 1/3 of an ounce a piece, you need 2.1 metric tonnes of gold to develop the simplest Epic Spell" was a good rag on D&D.

Well, gently caress, the Box has me beat.

Also, apparently between 3rd and 3.5 edition they added Epic Level poo poo to the d20SRD, so if want to look around the Epic Spell stuff I'm going to be glossing over (because big lists of D&D spells is boring as poo poo), you can just look it up on the net without having to :filez: anything and have a fair idea of what's going on - what I've got in the book in front of me and the stuff in the SRDs seem to be fairly closely matched.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



sexpig by night posted:

I'm sorry, I have a sickness that makes me do this.

quote:

The most widely accepted currency is made in Satyrine. These tiny orbs each represent a thought, a secret, or an idea. Most people just call them by their material, so 3 glass orbs are “3 glass,” 6 crystal orbs are “6 crystal,” and 2 gem orbs are “2 gems.” The exception is that sometimes people just say “orbs,” in which case they mean glass orbs.

Glass orbs: More often than not, just called an orb. If someone says the price of a sandwich is 21 orbs, they mean glass orbs. In Shadow, this might be worth about a dime in the United States in the early 21st century. Each glass orb represents a very common thought or idea, like the taste of cheddar cheese or that you should wear a jacket when it’s chilly.

Glass orbs are produced in the Ash Gardens by child laborers who spend their long days conceiving basic ideas and thoughts. This is a slow process, so it is difficult to make much of a profit on the orbs, except through massive quantities. The Deathless Triumvirate attempts to regulate the production of orbs, nevertheless, to ensure that the currency maintains its value.

That's the exact description of orbs.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time



I've collected the orbs with all the thoughts Monte Cook had while he was working on Invisible Sun right here:

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



So wizard money is minted by Bitcoin-mining child slaves.

It seems obvious when I said "wizard money" but I just wanted to boil it all down to that sentence.

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

Wapole Languray posted:

That's the exact description of orbs.

thank you, I hate this.

This is so stupid and needless twee for the sake of being ~whimsical~ but even then it literally invokes CHILD SWEATSHOPS right away!

This, like most of this very good rundown of this expensive clusterfuck, just makes me want to grab a writer, point them at any given fluff page, and just shake them shouting "WHY, THOUGH????"

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

Endorsed by:
Pentecoastal Elites!
fart_man_69!
Terminal autist!
Ruzihm!
Judakel!
Dixon Chisholm!
Nix Panicus!
Neurolimal!

Invisible Sun, because world building is hard, but just farting out a random ~magical detail~ without context or explanation is easy!

Seatox
Mar 12, 2012


At least in Omelas it was a singular forsaken child.

The Wizards Who Looked At Omelas And Thought "Not Enough Suffering"

Boss Gets My Memory Of A Dime

Doctor Orpheus screaming "IT'S POWERED BY A FORSAKEN CHILD" on loop.

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

Orbs are also the worst possible shape for money that isn't just razor blades. It doesn't stack, it doesn't rest on a table, it doesn't tessellate to fill a space. They have none of the conveniences of actual money

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





Actually, wait. So in addition to the question of if the thought of how denim feels or whatever the hell is depreciated by me doing it multiple times, does it also change if different people think about it the same thing independently? Or what about related things?

If the value is independent, it's just fiat currency but with an incredibly inhumane production cause there's no functional difference between making some glass beads or making glass beads while someone remembers what grass smells like : you're just adding a weird extra step. If it's the latter than the currency that's actually least valued is the most finite because you can only have one orb that has the taste of oregano, but hundreds of orbs that have more value that are recipes involving oregano.

I gave myself a head-ache. I'm getting a drink.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply