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TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016



Terrible Opinions posted:

You are correct. There is a reference table by class and level at the beginning, but after that it's all alphabetical.

Hilariously this is a regression from 3.5 as the wizard list is not broken up by school, so for things like Abjurer Ward or Grim Harvest you get to flip the the book.

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MonsterEnvy
Feb 4, 2012


Wonder if they will change that in the 5.5/6e version of the Core Books that are coming.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


90s Cringe Rock posted:

Arrow, Acid
Arrow, Acid, Improved
Arrow, Broken spell redacted in 4th edition
Arrow, Magic +1
Arrow, Patriot

Arrow, TV series that went on a couple-three seasons more than it needed to.

Lemony
Jul 27, 2010

Now With Fresh Citrus Scent!



Ninja Burger: The Role Playing Game - Part 6
Expansion Content

Finally, Burger Tech, the last supplement for this trash fire of a game. Given that the writing/editing quality between the first and second expansion got worse, if anything, I'm not expecting much here. This book is theoretically the rules for running games set in the future, completing their past/present/future trilogy.



Keeping it classy, the special thanks section includes thanking a woman for her "booth bunny-ness". It also thanks your mom, presumably because the authors were twelve.

The narrative premise is that Ninja Burger decides that they should expand into second and third world countries, to take advantage of having dominant regional market share once those nations experience economic growth. The treatment of the terms second and third world countries is a common misunderstanding of the original cold war premise, in which it has very little to do with the economic status of any given nation. Instead, it refers mainly to spheres of influence. Purely economic consideration is such a common treatment of the term that it had more or less warped the original definition, so I can't fault them overmuch here. However, I am extremely hesitant at the idea of seeing how these writers handle playing in "third world nations."

Anyhow, pedantry aside, management decides that waiting for these nations to develop will take too long. So, they instead decide to use time travel into alternate possible futures to expand the brand. On the one hand, I'm glad that we aren't going to be seeing their treatment of third world nations. On the other, they used two pages of pointless text to get to this point of the explanation. I guarantee that none of the characters or situations introduced here will have any impact in the rest of the book.

Long story short, there are only two possible futures that are available to exploit. One is the "high tech future of giant robot combat" and the other is the "annoyingly contrived future of super powered children". If it's annoying, why have it? Lampshading a thing doesn't never make it a good idea.

Employee Development

There is a footnote on this page which forces me to agree with one thing the authors wrote: everyone hates HR consultants.

A ninja who has completed thirty hours of service, equivalent to three deliveries, may apply to join the Ninja Development Program. Hold up, three deliveries equals thirty hours? First of all, if individual rounds can be assumed to be less than ten seconds (a reasonable assumption I believe), then I can't see how any mission takes longer than like five minutes in game time, tops. Secondly, the explicit rule is that deliveries need to be in thirty minutes or less. So, three deliveries would make a max of one and a half hours of service. Pay attention to your own fiction game!

You and the GM mutually agree on a goal. You then must complete that goal within your next three missions, in addition to any other goals you might have. If you succeed, you gain a benefit associated with that goal. You may optionally then select a new goal.

Failure to complete the goal within the three missions results in losing two honour. You can try again, but you need to complete a full regular mission first.

The available goals and rewards are as follows:

Prove Martial Supremacy: Fight and kill 11 non-gaijin enemies. At least two must be killed using each Strength skill that the Ninja does not currently possess mastery in. Given the usage of the word fight, it's not clear if killing someone from the shadows before they are aware you are there would count. Success lets you roll for a second skill mastery under your Strength stat. No double masteries allowed, if you roll one you already have then you can get hosed for bothering to play I guess. Apparently you are limited to a max of two masteries per stat, which I don't recall seeing written anywhere before. I'm way too lazy to bother checking back with the core though.

Exceptional Aptitude in an Area: Select a stat, you then must perform nine difficult actions with that stat. Six must have a minimum difficulty of 5, the remaining three a minimum of 6. Again, vague wording. Perform is not the same as succeed. Do you only need to attempt to do the actions, or do they have to be successful? You also need to use every skill associated with that stat at least once during this process. If you manage all this, you get to add 1d6 to that stat.

Hold One's Honour over Oneself: You must not complete the next three missions with less honour than you started. How this interacts timing window wise with the clan secret goals that reduce honour loss is unclear. Success grants two points of honour gain, two bio-mechanical fingers and a special headband. The headband provides two honour soak, a sort of buffer before you suffer actual honour loss. You can only have one at a time. Seems exploitable though, just take this objective again and make sure you lose it right before you get the new one, if you haven't already. In fact, this is probably the object you should just take over and over again. That honour buffer would shield you from so much insta death bullshit. On the other hand, I bet the writers are the type of GM who think that someone playing a paladin means they should just try to gently caress them harder.

Emphasize Exceptional Preparedness: When you attempt to pull an item from your pocket, you must first announce what it will be. You must do this six times to complete the task. Any time you try to call your shot and fail, you lose a point of honour. How does this interact with the skill that lets you modify your pocket roll? Hahahahaha, come on, you know they didn't bother addressing that. If you can roll that skill first, this probably isn't too bad to complete. If you can't, this is basically suicide, since your odds of failing to call it correctly are significantly higher than of getting it right. Losing a point of honour each time you get it wrong means more chances to trigger insta death results. If you do manage to complete this one, the reward is decent enough. When you take an item from your pockets, you can automatically take the Special result, regardless of what you roll, or you can pick an orthogonally adjacent item to your result.

Reclaim Lost Heritage: Prove you were switched at birth and your heritage lies with another clan. The GM and Ninja devise six tests to undergo in order to prove lineage. Since the designers don't believe in doing work that they can have their customers do, they do not provide a list of tests suitable for each clan. If I had paid money for this product, I would feel cheated for receiving an idea for a game mechanic instead of an actual game mechanic. The tests should be connected to the skills associated with the clan in question. If you complete the tests successfully, you may petition the new clan for entry. This is done by rolling 1d6, because gently caress you for wanting the thing that you explicitly told the GM you were working towards. On a 1-4, you join the clan. On a 5, you stay in your current clan. On a 6, you annoyed too many people and got booted out, now you belong to Lo Cal. On joining the new clan, you modify your stats and masteries to reflect the change. What happens if someone is trying to join Lo Cal? What happens if a Lo Cal Ninja is trying to join one of the regular clans? Or even more so, what if a PARM Ninja PC belonging to Lo Cal wants to change? These are all questions they didn't bother to answer, because writing rules is hard. I mean, I'm sure the page space was better utilized for the inevitable poorly written adventure module that will take up a third of the book.

Oh wait, there is an answer to one of those questions, which I just noticed buried at the end of the play example they provided. Which is a totally normal and reasonable place to add an actual rule. Anyhow, apparently Ninja aren't allowed to voluntarily join Lo Cal. Since this is the most boring and anti-fun option, it is clearly the one they would go with.


Pictured: an implication that you will be able to play sweet robot Ninja. Not included: rules to play sweet robot Ninja.

Corporate Merit Awards

These are basically achievements you can earn for completing significant tasks. I don't necessarily hate the concept, but it does seem odd in a game where your character can arbitrarily die in multiple ways through no fault of your own.

Complete Extraordinary Number of Deliveries: If you complete a delivery in an extraordinarily expeditious amount of time, you can request a second delivery target. There is zero indication as to what constitutes expeditious. None of the missions we have gone through so far have had anything actually approaching a time limit, much less an indicator for what it would mean to be fast. Actually, it really just seems a giant oversight not to have a huge countdown clock mechanic to track your delivery deadline. It would give incentives to tie certain abilities to time costs as a trade off balance mechanic. It would also encourage the sort of silly shenanigans they seem to want you to do, since you are more likely to do stupid things in an attempt to beat a deadline.

Anyhow, back on topic. To request the additional target, you need to leave the building and find a payphone. I guess Ninja never make deliveries to people in outdoor locations, nor do they ever use payphones located inside buildings. I'll give them a pass on the whole using a payphone instead of cellphone thing though, since that's reasonable for when the game was published. If there were more deliveries than Ninja, another Ninja died before completing a delivery, or the GM is generous, you can be assigned a second target. I would think here would be a good place for a time limit, where the second delivery has even less time available. Kind of like that first sequence in Snow Crash with the nearly late pizza delivery. Zero consideration to this is given by the game though.

Now I kind of want to make a not crap version of this game where you play as Deliverators working for Uncle Enzo.

If you manage this very vaguely laid out task, you get a certificate of appreciation. These can be traded for honour on a one for one basis, with your honour stat still maxing at ten. By this point, I assume most Ninja just have all their fingers repeatedly cut off and sewn back on constantly.

Triumph Against Ridiculously Impossible Odds: If, during a mission, you are ever surrounded or in combat with 8+ non-gaijin opponents simultaneously, and are then able to kill all of them, you get a boon. Your weapon will be enchanted, glowing black. It will do one additional damage. You can only ever get one of these and if you lose it you lose 3 honour. No idea if someone else can steal it and use it instead.

Uphold Honour of the Company: If you witness an infraction against company policy and do not intervene, you lose a point of honour. The way this is written is, surprise surprise, super vague and has no rules for about where and when to apply it.

Strike a Devastating Blow Against the Foes of Ninja Burger: Complete a mission, while also having caused serious harm to a foe or rival of Ninja Burger. For instance, kill all employees inside a restaurant belonging to a rival chain. Your reward is a teacup that restores 1d6 hits when you drink from it. No limit to this is listed, so go nuts I guess? You can only ever get this once and you are not able to replace it should it get broken or lost.

Find an Ideal Franchise Location: Should you ever speak with your manager regarding prime opportunities you have discovered that might be exploited by the company, you are rewarded. Your reward is having your eyes removed for suggesting management had failed by not already acting on this opportunity. You are now blind. Apparently there are rules for this later, so that's something to look forward to. You also get put in charge of forming the new franchise. Rules for starting a franchise? You know better by now.

Speaking of, it seems such an obvious thing to have rules for opening and operating a new franchise. You could have made an entire expansion out of the mechanics for it. Hell, make it so the franchise advancement is what actually matters. All the players contribute as a group. Suddenly, your individual PC's exploding randomly isn't as big a deal, because it was for the greater good of the franchise.

Future Equipment



High Tech Arrows: Continuing the tradition of random status effect ranged weapons, you roll a further 1d6 when you get this result. That additional roll governs what kind of arrow you get. As with all other versions of this item, this randomness makes it pretty trash, since you can never be certain if what you get will be of any use. Theoretically, in a better game, this randomness might encourage inventive play where you adapt to your available tools and environment. This is not that game.

Electronic Key Generator: Reduces difficulty of picking electronic locks. Sure, whatever. Another very specific item that you have to roll randomly for, so the odds of getting it when you need it are quite low.

Futuristic Eggshell Grenades: Oh good, another random effect ranged weapon chart.

Magnetic Grapple: Reduces difficulty of climbing things by 2. Can only be attached to metallic surfaces. Requires a skill check with a difficulty of target CD+1. So, you need to use two actions, with two separate skill checks, to use this. That doesn't even account for the fact you also need to use at least one action to even obtain this item. More realistically, two additional actions, one of which requires an entirely separate skill check. (One skill check to be able to modify your pocket roll, one action to pull the item from your pockets, one skill check at an increased difficulty to attach the grapple, one skill check to climb. That's four actions, with three individual skill checks, each of which use a different skill. If you don't use multiple actions, which also increase all difficulties, it will take you for turns. You could instead take one skill check and simply climb the wall.)

I can't imagine many scenarios where it is not straight up mechanically superior to just climb the object.

Reflective Wrappings: 2 points of damage reduction against energy projectiles. No downside, presumably do not take up a hand slot. There is no evident reason for every PC to not try to grab these.

Reactive Wrappings: Same as above but for conventional missile weapons (guns, arrows, etc.). There is no rule indicating you can't stack both types of wrap.

Fun fact about both the above items: There are rules for armour ratings in a later section of this book. Neither of these items actually use those rules, despite functioning essentially the same. As written, this presumably means that non of the items/rules designed to help bypass armour value have any impact on the damage reduction from wrappings.

Stim Patch: Grants 2 points of healing every turn for three turns. During those three turns you also gain one bonus die to all Strength rolls, and take a penalty on all Ki and Extraneous rolls. This would be fine probably, but I guess the designers thought it was too strong. So, when you use one of these you also lose a point of honour. Which, as a reminder, has a decent chance of instantly killing you.

Tool Kit: Grants two bonus dice for checks made to repair, modify or disable machinery. Fine, if situational, but suffers the same problem most items have: it's highly random if you can have it when you need it. I wonder if some of this could be resolved without serious changes by giving all PC's a free equipment slot/selection at the start of a mission.

Futuristic Ninja Weapons

Approximately a full page of the book is spent talking about how they have included archery under the same skill as is used for firearms. I agree that archery probably should have already been included. I don't understand why you would publish an expansion and spend a page of it talking about how you hosed up and didn't include it before. The rules for it are exactly the same as every other ranged weapon.

The first actual set of rules in this section is a chart of Ninja weapons. These are just more weapon stat entries for the sake of more weapons. They are all boring and there is little to distinguish them from entries in prior books.

The second is a list of futuristic non-ninja weapons. This may as well actually read fancy arrows, because that is all the list consists of. You can have everything from uranium tipped/armour piercing rounds, to high explosive anti mech rounds, to straight up explosive arrowheads. I guess these are fine, if a bit redundant. However, if you want to have Ninja PC's cosplay as Hawkeye, maybe give options other than "explosive arrow", "explosive arrow for tanks" and "different explosive arrow". The only real exception on this list is a blunt, lead tipped arrow, which is intended to be used to knock people out. It has no special rules for this, it just does less damage.

I just realized that this game doesn't have any mechanism for knocking people out, or otherwise doing non-lethal damage. ThatÖ seems like something of an oversight. Your Ninja can't even Vulcan nerve pinch anyone. A shameful display.

Apparently there is a lot of gear in this book, presumably because it is quick and easy to fill space with. There is an entire extra page of weapon stat lines to go through, even before we hit the new tag list.

There's a list of enemy weapons, which is mostly just a bunch of slightly varying energy weapons. You also have monofilament swords, chain axes and vibro-blades, to round out some of the sci-fi reference weapons. Fun fact, the monofilament sword has exactly the same stats, and uses the exact same weapon skill, as the regular Ninja sword. Definitely not pointless. Also, being on the enemy weapon chart, you can't even select a monofilament as your default weapon. What's the point of playing time travelling, sci-fi Ninja if you can't have a sick chromed-out, monofilament sword?

Then you finally have vehicle weapons. Oh god, there are going to be vehicle rules, aren't there? These are essentially big gun, big energy gun, big auto-cannon. They are also all boring. Actually, hold on. The auto-cannon entries are tagged as being slow weapons, in comparison to the base turret. It also does more damage, even more so in the heavy auto-cannon variety. Do they not understand that auto-cannon tend to be smaller caliber and faster firing than a regular tank turret? Not that it makes a huge difference, all these weapons do enough damage to wax most Ninja in one or two hits. Your hitpoints are determined by your Strength stat, which will be an average of 9 at character creation. The lowest damage vehicle weapon does 6 damage and can fire twice a turn with no penalty. The next lowest does 10 damage.

For the list of weapon tags, there are a few notable entries. No idea if any of these are duplicates from the prior books and I'm not going to bother checking.

Defensive: You can fight defensively by spending an action, this increases your CD by 1 until your next turn. As with all games that have rocket tag combat systems, this kind of defensive action sucks and you should never take it. The negatives always outweigh the positives.

Fast: This weapon can make a second attack each turn without increasing your action difficulty. On any weapon that is not otherwise nerfed, this is a huge boost in action economy. For instance, there is a Ninja weapon in this book that does 4 damage and has the tags Fast, Reach and Entangle. Making two checks, rather than one, makes your damage output inherently more consistent. Entangle kind of sucks, since at best it slows your target by a turn while doing no damage, but reach is just icing on the cake.


One of the few pieces of passable art in this book.

Armour

Things can have armour, which grants Armour Value or AV. This acts as straight damage reduction. This makes me slightly reevaluate Fast weapons, since straight damage reduction on armour, which you can assume basically everyone will have, means that very high damage, single attack, weapons are probably superior.

Oh god, these mechanics are just so belabored and they take up an entire page. When fighting foes with AV, you can make a skill check, at difficulty 4, to reduce their AV by half for you only. So, you need to first make a difficulty 4 check, which is an above average difficulty. This will either take your full turn, or cause you to have increased difficulty on all your checks that turn. Then you actually need to hit with an attack, at which point you deal damage as though they were at half their AV value. I peeked ahead a little and the highest AV I saw was 9, for a full sized mech. Most AV values were around 2-3, with a few outliers around 5-6. So, the majority of the time, the most damage you could expect to effectively increase your attack by would be 1-3. Assuming you are using the basic 7 damage sword and attacking a target with 4 AV, you can make the check to reduce AV and then make an attack. If we also assume all skill checks succeed, this results in 5 damage. If you instead simply made two attacks at the full AV value, you would generate 6 damage. I love how well they think through their mechanics. I can imagine that there are theoretical scenarios in which it becomes advantageous to use the AV reduction, but you'd need to be fighting an enemy with enough AV and hitpoints to make it worth it.

Oh, and the game doesn't bother to specify what you do with odd AV values when you half it. In a prior book they established that the game only uses whole numbers, but who knows if you are supposed to round up or down. Can you guess if the list of enemy vehicles in the next section includes mainly odd or even numbered AV values? The answer will not surprise you.

You also have the option of using an action and spending a point of Ki for a temporary boost. If you do so, for the next three turns your attacks are resolved as though your target's AV is reduced by two. This completely obviates the prior option in 99.9% of situations. Both options use an action, but this one doesn't require a skill check and is therefore more consistent. You do need to spend a point of Ki, but that is a fairly negligible cost. Not only do most spells kind of suck, but you can always regain Ki via skill checks during lulls in the action. Since this reduces the target's AV by 2, you don't get more efficient by halving AV until the target has an AV value of at least 6 (there are 3 enemies in this book with an AV of 6 or more).

Amusingly, for low AV scores, a straight reduction of 2 is not just of equal efficiency, it is straight up better. For example, a Ninja faces an AV 2 enemy. If they use the action to halve that score, the enemy still has an effective AV of 1. If they instead choose the option to reduce it by 2, the enemy has an effective AV of 0.

But wait, you think! The action that halves the score lasts the entire mission, while the straight reduction only lasts three turns. Surely that must be an advantage? Then you remember, this is a rocket tag combat system. The odds of a target surviving three rounds is very, very low.

These armour rules suck. The implementation is lazy, bland and poorly thought out. I honestly can't believe they actually bothered playtesting these rules.


What the gently caress is even going on here?

Rise of the Mek

We finally get to the first of the two alternate future settings that the book promised. I hate to admit it, but there is a passable section of writing here. They justify the existence of mechs in this future by stating that the Military Industrial Complex got worried that military tech was getting too low profile. This meant that the media couldn't cover them as well. The solution was to make inefficient, but large and flashy fighting machines. People loved these so much that they demanded constant wars so that the cool mechs could see action. Eventually, nations decided that this was inefficient and created a sort of combat league with yearly battles in remote locations. These battlefields are where your Ninja will be making their deliveries.

I don't hate it. It isn't high literature or anything, but it's a passable critique of the MIC for the purposes of a silly and casual game.

On the other hand, they took two pages of this small book to write out a bunch of narrative justifications for having giant mech battles. When it comes down to it, who playing this game actually loving cares? You could just start this section by saying "this future has giant mech battles and you need to deliver food to the people fighting." Then have the rules for doing that. This isn't the kind of game that really should bother too much with justifications.

There is a page of enemy stat lines and descriptions. They are all bland, as you would expect. It's basically just soldier, special forces soldier, power armour soldier, tech, medic, etc. Having stats on hand for these is fine, but it's another situation where most of the page is descriptions for each entry. Why the hell do you think I need multiple line descriptions for what a soldier is?

Next, we get a page of vehicle stats and descriptions. These are broadly fine, I don't have any real complaints. I don't think the rules for the vehicles are particularly interesting or varied, but I guess they're vaguely functional. If I was going to comment, I guess I'd say that they look like something a GM probably could have whippet up in a few minutes when their group asked for vehicle rules.

Not included are rules for actually dealing with these massive battlefields. You would expect rules for dealing with the equivalent of moving buildings, dodging stray munitions, minefields and so forth. I also would have thought that this future would give your Ninja the option to pilot giant robot Ninja mechs in order to make deliveries. I guess that would be too much fun.

Oh, and they insisted on using the spelling Mekô through this whole section. With the exception of the header, I didn't do that, because it's stupid.

Rise of the Super Children

The narrative behind this alternate future is not as good as the one for the mechs. In fact, it is dumb and manages to crowbar in Dragonball references in the form of Wyvernballs. They also include what are basically the X-Men and Sailor Moon. In regards to the latter, they include this lovely footnote, presumably because it had been too long since they last wrote in something overtly problematic:

"Before the femani(nja)sts get mad at us, we would like to point out that we all know that super powered girls are just as capable of saving the world as super powered boys are. However, the girls never learned about the Wyvern Balls and the boys never thought to tell them because they are ten and girls are yucky."

This is in reference to the fact that the boy superheroes are fighting aliens, collecting the Wyvern Balls and saving the world. The girl superheroes are pop stars traveling from mall to mall; singing, shopping and saving the world. I knew we were missing some good old sexism.

A rule is tagged on at the end of the narrative section. Deliveries will be to super powered children, who are busy fighting aliens. You not only must deliver the food, you must also keep the alien busy for three rounds while your client eats.

I just want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that this game about delivering food, has basically no mechanics for determining what food from the menu a client actually wants, nor does it generally matter what is in the delivery bag, nor do you actually have to prep the food in any way, despite there being an entire skill devoted to running a restaurant and cooking fast food. The Ninja food delivery game does not loving care about half of its entire premise.

There are two pages dedicated to lists and charts of super powers. These pages are used to randomly roll up super powered children and aliens for them to fight. Another entire page is example aliens and heroes. Missing are any mention of rules to actually let players utilize any of these super powers. Again, this expansion adds mechs and superheroes and doesn't include rules for PC's to use either of those things.


This is why you shouldn't skip leg day.

House Rules

Why the hell do they keep calling these house rules. Argh, I don't know why this annoys me so much, particularly on the face of all the other issues in these books, but it does.

You Forgot to Add Basic Stats for Kids and Aliens: Both have straight 3d6 rolled statlines. Why wasn't this just in the relevant sections for generating these NPCs then?

Jinx: While in the future mech war zone, there is a chance of getting randomly struck by various attacks. Okay, so they did decide to add a random hazard table. So, as with that last rule, why wasn't it included in the rules section for the mech combat future! God, these books are so poorly edited. They're only like 30 pages each, a solid half of which is charts! That's not that much text to edit and properly lay out coherently.

On the GM's turn, everyone rolls an unmodified 2d6. Anyone with a result of 11 or 12 gets hit by something. You roll another 1d6 to determine what it was. Most results are for a specific armoured vehicle. All vehicles have exactly one weapon system. Rather than just list that weapon on this chart, they require you to flip back several pages to reference a separate chart to actually see how much damage you take. (On the other hand, most vehicle weapons can potentially one hit kill the average Ninja anyhow.) One result is getting hit by a seagull, which leaves a white smear and makes it hard to hide for the rest of the mission. Poop joke!

Oh, and according to a footnote, this is their requisite GI:Joe rule for the book. Lame.

Bad Guys Cheat: Evil space aliens in the superhero future can "cheat". This is in the form of spending an action calling for reinforcements. At least I think it probably takes an action, the game never actually specifies. This summons 1d6 additional aliens. I, uh, don't see how that's cheating? That just seems tactically sound.

Blind Fury: Ah, this is the rule referenced earlier in the new franchise opportunity entry. So, if your PC ever becomes blind (such as through having their eyes removed for example), they can spend 15 years in silent meditation in a remote location. While there, you are tutored by a Ninja Master. At the end of this period, you suffer a one die penalty to all checks requiring sight. However, you become a master of a single Ninja weapon of your choice and gain a bonus die whenever you use that weapon. Okay, unless you have a group that allows a huge time skip when this happens, or I guess a GM that allows some kind of retroactive time travel shenanigans, this is basically a rule that functionally kills your Ninja. Otherwise, this just seems mechanically strong? The downside of the one die penalty to sight checks doesn't seem to outweigh the bonus to stabbing people real good.

Who the Hell is Driving this Thing: Piloting or attacking with a mech or tank is done by crew members. Shocking I know. If there are multiple crew members, assume the one with the highest relevant stat is at the appropriate controls. So, I guess technically you could have Ninja PC pilot their own mechs, though the rules are very bare bones. I know I'm repeating myself alot, but why wasn't this rule in the mech section?

Mech Special Value Combo Meal: Multiple mechs belonging to the same faction can make formations called combo packs. It has no practical application. The writers claim that all mech fiction has such a thing and they weren't going to be left out. I'm so glad you spent a paragraph of this rulebook on a rule that explicitly doesn't include any actual rules or game mechanics. I can't believe they charged money for these.

Mom Knows Best: Deliveries to super powered children requires that you also keep the client safe from aliens for three rounds while they enjoy their meal. Okay, I'm glad this one was actually included in the relevant section. However, why duplicate it here?

Future Dishonorable Disgrace

I'm so glad that they've included another instant death chart. I was worried that only having three of these redundant charts wasn't enough.

Memory Wipe: You're unlikely to roll this one, but at least it's just you wiping the specific memory of your dishonorable act from your brain.

Slap on the Wrist by Ninja Master: You permanently lose one hitpoint. You also lose the use of one hand for the remainder of the current mission.

Majority Report: You are on the shitlist. You lose two more points of honour. At least it specifies that you don't need to roll on the table any additional times.

Pan Dimensional Ancestral Rage: You take 2d6 damage from being ghost punched.

Blade Ruiner: You start to commit Seppuku, but stop when you realise you were never actually ordered to. Take 5 damage. Apparently, shoving a sword through your intestines does less average damage than getting ghost punched.

High Tech Self Abuse: The statistically most likely result on this chart. Take 1d6 damage and gain rock hard abs. There is no mechanical impact to the second part.

Painful High Tech Self Abuse: Seriously, the whole self abuse thing feels kinda gross. Anyhow, this one results in 2d6 damage.

Far Gate SPF 1000: Really stretching for these references. The Ninja Masters open a portal between you and a point of space 1000 meters from the sun. You cannot hide while so illuminated. Additionally, you take 2d6 damage and every square adjacent takes 1d6.

Seppuku: Authorized by management. Your character commits suicide.

Remove Offending Appendage: You cut off a limb. A passing mad scientist replaces it with an inferior cybernetic limb. Lose 2 Agility.

Hari-Kari Booth: Urgh. You incinerate yourself in a suicide booth. Your character dies. No idea if this triggers the rule causing your next character to start with less honour and an offensive name.

The last few pages of the book are maps for a future battlefield and a mall. These are labelled, but have no additional rules or scenario attached. Wow, they somehow managed to be even lazier when writing a module this time.

Whew, that's the last of them. At least until I decide to do the later material in the product line. To its credit, I'd say this might be the best of the four books? That's a real low bar mind you. There was slightly less problematic content overall, and at least some attempts at adding rules that actually expanded the system. It still sucks mind you, and I hate every page of it. I can see why the publisher no longer has these listed on their site.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Friends, it came up in the Industry thread, but Degenesis as a game line has been officially cancelled. One day, you shall all be free!

punishedkissinger
Sep 20, 2017



Night10194 posted:

Friends, it came up in the Industry thread, but Degenesis as a game line has been officially cancelled. One day, you shall all be free!

drat SJWs!!! :argh:

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



Night10194 posted:

Friends, it came up in the Industry thread, but Degenesis as a game line has been officially cancelled. One day, you shall all be free!

Ah, the mythical cancel culture claims another.

I'm actually surprised, I figured this was Marko's money pit and he'd ride it all the way down.

That Old Tree
Jun 23, 2012

nah




SkyeAuroline posted:

Ah, the mythical cancel culture claims another.

I'm actually surprised, I figured this was Marko's money pit and he'd ride it all the way down.

Based on the Discord message posted on RPGnet, it looks like he had the good sense to stop before destitution. The latest(?) supplement apparently sold like 80 copies, and previous books didn't do so hot either.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019


Night10194 posted:

Friends, it came up in the Industry thread, but Degenesis as a game line has been officially cancelled. One day, you shall all be free!

It was Avatara Karoline from your Myth game doing magic. As part of The Liberation, she has freed us from Degenesis.

Hipster Occultist
Aug 16, 2008

He's an ancient, obscure god. You probably haven't heard of him.




SkyeAuroline posted:

Ah, the mythical cancel culture claims another.

I'm actually surprised, I figured this was Marko's money pit and he'd ride it all the way down.

I'm surprised too, I knew he wanted to make money but I figured that he was comfortable bilking the 40 or so people that funding the lion's share of development for his roadmap. Apparently they even issued refunds for books already funded.

Here's the discord message in question.



Those are some rough numbers yeah. Apparently they had 3 more metaplot books planned all the way through to 2024, and Marko's said he won't be revealing the metaplot because there's too much to spoil or whatever the gently caress.

This was weird news to wake up to, but I'm glad nonetheless. It feels good to see this piece of poo poo admit defeat.

LongDarkNight
Oct 25, 2010

It's like watching the collapse of Western civilization in fast forward.

Oven Wrangler

Leaving your magnum opus (magnum crapus?) unfinished is a real dick move but what you'd expect the DeGenesis guy.

Pvt.Scott
Feb 16, 2007


Oh no, not Degenesis! Where will I get my post-apocalyptic dick art, now?

Asterite34
May 19, 2009




LongDarkNight posted:

Leaving your magnum opus (magnum crapus?) unfinished is a real dick move but what you'd expect the DeGenesis guy.

Magnum o' piss

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





The Degenesis guy used light mode? I always knew he was no good

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Age of Sigmar: Fyreslayers
Blackbeard's Treasure



Greyfyrd Lodge is one of the most widespread of the Fyreslayer lodges, though their strongest presence is in Chamon, home of their chief hold, Gateswold. It is built on a site that houses several realmgates, allowing them easy travel across many lands. They are famous throughout the entire Mortal Realms as mercenaries who have successfully won wars for Obsidia's Ninefold Kingdoms, the Shyishan Gloomtribes, and more. They are expensive, but the price is worth it. Over the past few centuries, they have worked for and against every major faction in existence. Unlike most other lodges, they have no stipulations or exceptions about who they'll work for, as long as they get paid. They don't care about justice or tyranny, just the contract. They have turned everything they are to warfare.

Literally everything - the Greyfyrd do not mine, and their forges are tended only by their Zharrgrim and Battlesmiths. Battle is their only purpose, and every member of the lodge takes part. Even the Vostargi cannot claim to have as many seasoned veterans, and most Greyfyrd warriors are easily spotted by their heavy muscles and thick scarring, along with frequent amputated limbs or lost eyes. They believe that only when Grimnir returns and leads them to the final battle will their eternal wars end. While their Battlesmiths keep their history, they do not ever discuss it, particularly with outsiders.

The dark deeds of their ancestors are left silent, and they sing only of the great sagas of their Runefathers, beginning with Hurdar-Grimnir, who defeated the Skaven of the Verminvaults and won a duel with a Bloodthirster, or the berserker Asgeran, who was the first to take the Grimwrath oath. These epics are intricate, detailed and often take many hours to perform. Some are even still being written - the Greyfyrd have heroes yet. Their current Runefather, Hursgar-Grimnir, claims to have fought and killed every kind of creature in the Mortal Realms. He has at least a dozen Runesons who are equally eager to gain fame and glory, and several have started their own lodges on the back of their mighty deeds. The greatest of them, though, is the Grimwrath berserker named Braegrom, Blessed of Grimnir, whose fury is so terrible that even the Battlesmiths have trouble describing it.



Hermdar Lodge claims descent from the ancient Grymdar, who ruled the First-Forged hold of Karadrum. However, their home was captured in the early Age of Chaos and the Grymdar royal family was destroyed entirely. The survivors elected their greatest warrior to lead them, and he became Hermdar-Grimnir, who led them in their oath to reclaim their lost lands and to slay every Skaven and Chaos warrior that had harmed it. He had the ruins of Karadrum sealed with magma and took his people to the Adamantine Chain, to make their new home.

Aqshy has known the Hermdar well since then, respecting them as true masters of the secrets of fyresteel, a metal they use in their weapons. It is said that it never loses the heat of the forge, glowing red in battle. The Hermdar have earned a reputation as mighty warriors and defenders of freedom against Chaos in the region. They still take gold whenever possible, but they are a rarity among Fyreslayers in that when their foe is a tyrant, they have been known to sign on to fight without pay. That's how much they hate Chaos and evil.



Lofnir Lodge has more Magmadroth eggs and trained Magmadroths than any other, and they have the strongest bond with their mounts. It is unclear whether this is the cause of their reverence for Vulcatrix alongside Grimnir or the result of it, but either way, they believe the godbeast had the same spirit as their god. Their strange dual worship has not gotten in the way of their Zharrgrim's skill, either. Few can chant the Magmic Invocations as well as their priests, and their piety is nearly unmatched. Combine that with the magmadroths and you have a rising power among the Fyreslayers, despite their home being in Ghur.

Lofnir fighters are easy to spot - their hands and feet are blackened with soot before each battle, and then ritual tattoos make those marks permanent over time. Originally, this style is based on a Lofnir rite of passage, where young Fyreslayers must cross a bridge made of red-hot fyresteel while carrying the egg of a Magmadroth. This is said to recall the battle of Grimnir and Vulcatrix, which the Lofnir Battlesmiths say featured Grimnir's flesh burned and smoked under the heat of his foe's body.



Tangrim Lodge is relatively young, formed in the early Age of Sigmar when a small group of Fyreslayers settled in Azyr. They are grim sorts, like most Fyreslayers, but highly honorable and close allies of the Stormcast. They refuse to take work from any follower of Chaos, though some Azyrites claim this is not out of innate honor but rather to avoid angering Sigmar. It doesn't especially matter if they're right, does it?



Ulrung Lodge of Shyish can be told apart from others easily by their ash paint. They mark their beards, faces and hands with white ash from the corpses of their dead, which is in part now a sign of mourning for their lost forges. Their old magmahold fell in the Necroquake, you see, overrun by ghosts. They are determined to either found a new one or reclaim the old one, but either way, it has made them determined and willing to fight to the last in almost any circumstance.



Baeldrag Lodge is an offshoot of the Vostarg that settled in Ghyran's Wandering Mountains. They are most notable for their utter and eternal hatred of the Skaven. They will fight Skaven even if there is no possible profit in doing so, these days. While they've always hated the ratmen, it is now a very personal feud. Their Runefather, Grumgen-Grimnir, has lost his two eldest sons to the Skaven...and worse, seen them captured by Kritket Doomeye, a vicious Gray Seer who has had the two Runesons stitched together into a horrible monster named Ummglug.



Sigyorn Lodge are Chamonite Fyreslayers noted for their red tattoos which take the shape of symbols of martial brotherhood. They live in the Forge Cities, a massive stronghold of linked Free Cities protected by lavafalls. It is a trade beacon for the Spiral Crux, which has made the Sigyorn very familiar indeed with the Kharadron. The two duardin groups get along quite well here and the lodge's fyrds are often found in contracts with them.



Thungur Lodge occupy the Lunarest mountains of Hysh. They are not close friends with their aelven neighbors, though, and have actually fought several wars against the Lumineth for land access and gold. One of their stranger customs is the melting of ur-gold with gigantic lenses, which they use to create gold powder with forge runoff. This powder is often used to coat their skin in battle, and their Runesmiters have the power to ignite it as a weapon.



Gelvagd Lodge, like Tangrim, are a Vostarg offshoot that settled into the mountains of Azyrheim after Sigmar reopened the gates. They are known to be colder and more mercenary than their Tangrim cousins, vindictive and vengeful to those that cross them. They maintain a forge-temple in the Eternal City, where every single one of their ancestral grudges is carved into large metal tablets. When a grudge is settled, its tablet is melted down in the forge and drained into the moat the separates the lodge from the rest of the city.



Volturung Lodge is very old, bearing the name of one of the First-Forged. They still live in Aqshy, and while they aren't so large or powerful as other lodges, the skill of their Runesmiters is undeniable. They have wielded the power of their magmic chants to reshape the entire slope of their volcanic home into a giant statue of Grimnir. They also are historically notable for having been the first lodge to align themselves with the Stormcast when the Age of Sigmar began, and have worked alongside them many times since.



Lastly, Caengan Lodge of Ulgu is secretive and subtle in its quest for hidden ur-gold. They are masters of clandestine warfare, having once worked for the Shroudling Kings. However, when their best clients stiffed them on a bill, the Caengan turned on their former employers and ransacked their lands, killing all of the Shroudling royals and seizing their payment by force. Few are willing to betray a Caengan fyrd these days - the story's gotten around, and no one wants to risk their vengeance.

Next time: The flames of war

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Yet another game brought to its knees by a Scottish teenager's drug-fueled dying dream ending due to him finally bleeding out. Rip in piss.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Lemony posted:


Ninja Burger: The Role Playing Game - Part 6

Thanks for reviewing these! I hadn't looked at my copies in 15+ years and it's definitely a lot less funny than college age me found it to be. :cheerdoge:

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Hipster Occultist posted:

This was weird news to wake up to, but I'm glad nonetheless. It feels good to see this piece of poo poo admit defeat.

I claim Degenesis' demise to be a joint achievement by me and Hipster Occultist. :toot:

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Hostile V posted:

Yet another game brought to its knees by a Scottish teenager's drug-fueled dying dream ending due to him finally bleeding out. Rip in piss.

Is that an SLA Industries reference?

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


JcDent posted:

Is that an SLA Industries reference?

Is it pronounced "Ess Ell Ayy" or "Slay?" Every time somebody mentions "an SLA" at work I read it is "slay" thanks to the RPG putting that idea in my head.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Just Dan Again posted:

Is it pronounced "Ess Ell Ayy" or "Slay?" Every time somebody mentions "an SLA" at work I read it is "slay" thanks to the RPG putting that idea in my head.

The in-universe character who owns SLA Industries is "Mr. Slayer".

edit: it's "slay".

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



JcDent posted:

Is that an SLA Industries reference?
I think you know the Truth.

Lemony
Jul 27, 2010

Now With Fresh Citrus Scent!


Midjack posted:

Thanks for reviewing these! I hadn't looked at my copies in 15+ years and it's definitely a lot less funny than college age me found it to be. :cheerdoge:

Man, that's basically what happened to me here. I figured that it wouldn't have aged well (I mean, that title font alone...), but that'd it'd mostly just be primarily stupid and silly at worst. I honestly was not prepared for how much I would dislike the writing and design, or how many aspects I would just find straight up gross.

I may still get around to doing a review of the second edition. It's a lot longer though. Plus, I flipped through my copy earlier today and it just looks like a huge headache. Might stick with something a little smaller, I have problems motivating myself to finish projects that I can't finish in a certain period of time.

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


Has the other BEER engine game, Kobolds Ate My Baby, been reviewed?

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Hostile V posted:

I think you know the Truth.

I hate it that I know basically nothing about SLA Industries, had probably forgotten the Truth, and was still correct.

Whenever an author declares "twas all but a dream," a ruler should descend from the heavens and strike their hand until the idea is abandoned or their ability to write it down detaches at the wrist.

TheGreatEvilKing
Mar 28, 2016



Ding dong the witch is dead!

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




JcDent posted:

I hate it that I know basically nothing about SLA Industries, had probably forgotten the Truth, and was still correct.

Whenever an author declares "twas all but a dream," a ruler should descend from the heavens and strike their hand until the idea is abandoned or their ability to write it down detaches at the wrist.
Eh, The Truth for SLA Industries wasn't quite "it's all a dream", the world actually existed. (A lot of poo poo IN it was fake, though.) It was a lot more complicated than just "it's all a dream".

JcDent
May 13, 2013

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


Do tell.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Scottish teenager with split personality locked in mental hospital and given powerful drugs that make his imagination so real that actual beings can exist in it. Invasive personality becomes Mr Slayer and locks original personality out. Learns that any of the beings that live in the world disappear and die if they realize the world isn't real, so sets up oppressive weird-tech society to prevent the people being curious, and to provide retroactive explanations for weird stuff in the imaginary world.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





JcDent posted:

Do tell.

See for yourself: https://writeups.letsyouandhimfight.com/traveller/sla-industries-the-truth/#2

If you have archives read the post here.

Edit: fixed link

Midjack fucked around with this message at 01:12 on Oct 26, 2021

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019



So, bottom-lining it, SLAworld is a real, parallel universe that's kind of crappy due to its origin. Said origin seems like it could make a semi-interesting novel if handled correctly but is otherwise mostly irrelevant to the things the PCs in SLA Industries will be doing most of the time. Still the overall endgame would seem to be bring about some kind of integration between Slayer, Bitterness and Intruder.

Everyone fucked around with this message at 13:42 on Oct 26, 2021

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


SLA Industries as a game is not setup for dealing with any of this and for PCs the general details of the Truth only matter in that it gives an explanation for how Life After Death works. Which really doesn't need an explanation. So, none of The Truth actually matters for PCs. In fact, SLA doesn't really have much in terms of character progression, or an endgame, or anything for supporting a game beyond being a street-level bounty hunter despite the setting including interstellar corporate warfare, PTSD afflicted war veterans wearing power-armor mech suits, killer robots, immortal psychic aliens, and characters that are basically right out of The Matrix.

Ithle01 fucked around with this message at 22:36 on Oct 26, 2021

Fivemarks
Feb 21, 2015


Ithle01 posted:

SLA Industries as a game is not setup for dealing with any of this and for PCs the general details of the Truth only matter in that it gives an explanation for how Life After Death works. Which really doesn't need an explanation. So, none of The Truth actually matters for PCs. In fact, SLA doesn't really have much in terms of character progression, or an endgame, or anything for supporting a game beyond being a street-level bounty hunter despite the setting including interstellar corporate warfare, PTSD afflicted war veterans wearing power-armor mech suits, killer robots, immortal psychic aliens, and characters that are basically right out of The Matrix.

So it's another 90's RPG with a big metaplot full of BIG BADASS OCs that the players can never interact with, NEver Ever. Unless they're being hosed over by them?

Sounds like Shadowrun and Dragons.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


Fivemarks posted:

So it's another 90's RPG with a big metaplot full of BIG BADASS OCs that the players can never interact with, NEver Ever. Unless they're being hosed over by them?

Sounds like Shadowrun and Dragons.

Kind of, it is very 90's RPG design, but the game is really about being street level bounty hunters working to catch serial killers, terrorists, and rival corp agents in a sci-fi dystopia where you have to build up your marketability so you can get more cash and be on TV and ask for more cash and better assignments. You are allowed to play as aliens and wizards but the games focus isn't really on the high-scale big stuff that occasionally gets mentioned in the fiction and in the Truth so it's just like "Hey here's a really convoluted and weird backstory to this game". However, it is worth pointing out that The Truth was never actually part of the game supplements so this actually isn't the game devs fault in any way and they never intended the general audience to engage with it.

Hipster Occultist
Aug 16, 2008

He's an ancient, obscure god. You probably haven't heard of him.




Interestingly enough, the new edition of SLA seems to integrate The Truth (kinda) into the core book, that is to say there's elements of it in there that you'd recognize if you've read The Truth doc.

If you haven't, those bits of fiction are bizarre non-sequiturs.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Age of Sigmar: Fyreslayers
A Short History

We return to the Fyreslayers in the Age of Sigmar, resurgent as new battles begin and old sieges falter. Those forced to remain within their holds can emerge once more, and there's plenty of clients looking for warriors. Many lodges have been forced to expand their vaults just because of the sudden surge of work. As the Free Cities have risen, the Fyreslayers were there to help clear out orruks, ogors, beastmen, Chaos warriors and more. They didn't help with the construction, but they definitely helped defend them. Several lodges have established close ties with the Free Cities, like the Bulder and Hermdar, or even settled in Azyrheim, like the Tangrim. It's been a period of expansion, growth and wealth.

The Necroquake, however, caught them all by surprise. While many magmaholds had held out against Chaos for centuries, most were entirely unprepared for an assault by spectral foes that could go straight through their gates or appear inside their fortresses. They could fly over the magma moats and bypass all manner of defenses. The Vardhraz Lodge of Aqshy fell overnight. The magmahold of Brynbak Lodge was breached for the first time ever, and they had to empty out their vaults to produce enough ur-gold runes to defeat the spectres. While they won the battle, many of the Vulkite Berserkers were so overloaded by ur-gold in the process that they died shortly after, their hearts unable to handle the strain of that much divine power. And yet it was worst in Shyish, where six holds were entirely wiped out and even more had their royal lines ended - sometimes just one Runefather, sometimes a whole family. Bharnak Lodge lost every member of the leadership except a single Runeson - and they were the lucky lodge. Durnhok Lodge, on the other hand, had only a handful of survivors at all, with their only surviving Runeson taking the Doomseeker oath out of grief and his followers swearing to be grimmnyn alongside him.

Others fell to the newly risen predatory spells...or worse, lost their flame. Many Shyishian holds had the magic of their forges drained off, and some, like the Ulrung and Zhuffnok, entirely lost their flames. The Zhuffnok Lodge's members all took the grimmnyn oath, seeking either new homes or death while painting their faces with skull marks. The Ulrung did not give up hope, though, for their fyresteel still burned, and they fought their way out of the fallen Ulfort to escape the ghosts around them and seek a new forge. Many other lodges found that ghosts were seeking out ur-gold, drawn by its power, and that some of the deposits they knew of were being drained by the Necroquake, as if Nagash were trying to steal Grimnir's soul. It has become ever more urgent to release as much of the ur-gold's power as possible.

The fyrds of the Fyreslayers are organized in a similar structure to the lodges themselves. A lodge may have multiple fyrds if it's big enough, but some only have one. All are ultimately commanded by the lodge's Runefather, who is responsible for equipping, training and housing the warriors of the lodge. In recognition of their power, each takes on the title 'Grimnir' at the end of their name, honoring their claim to descend from one of the original Fyreslayers serving the fallen god. The Runefather must be a warrior himself, seeking combat to prove his closeness to Grimnir. They always lead the fyrds in battle when the lodge's own existence is at stake, when the best of their warriors are called for by a contract, or when they feel they have gone too long without fighting. For lesser battles, the Runefather typically sends one of his sons to lead instead.

These Runesons are skilled warriors and leaders as well, and each hopes to inherit leadership of their lodge some day. They all seek to stand out from their brothers, as inheritance is always judged based on martial skill and proven ability to lead. It's the system that the Fyreslayers have always used, and it's made them strong. Alongside these royals, the lodge's Zharrgrim priesthood helps to command the fyrds. The Runemasters that lead the order and command the forge-temples are relied on the guard and protect the ur-gold, as well as to shape it into the runes they hammer into the warriors. Many do the hammering themselves, and all at least command the undersmiters if they don't. A lodge will only have one Runemaster, who will join the fyrd in battle when their mystic power is required. Under them are the Runesmiters, the more common priests. Their job is to unleash the power of the runes in battle. They're always found with the fighters of the fyrd as a result, often attached to specific berserker teams to lead them. Runesmiters are known to use the power of molten rock to create underground tunnels for fast transport of warriors across the field, too. In addition to helping fight, the priests advise the royals and perform various kinds of therapy to help them control their tempers. The Zharrgrim are among the few Fyreslayers actually trained to control their own aggression, allowing them to provide wisdom and guidance to others.

The majority of a fyrd is made from Vulkite Berserkers, professional fighters dedicated to pursuit of gold and the oaths of their lodge. The strongest of them are called Karls, serving as unit champions. The largest lodges may have tens of thousands of Vulkite warriors, while new lodges may have only a handful. Most head into battle accompanied by a Battlesmith, who bears an icon of Grimnir. The Battlesmith is there to record the deeds of the fyrd into epics, reciting them in the hold's Hall of Fyre to entertain the others. Each lodge has many, many legends, which every Battlesmith in the lodge must learn by heart. Alongside them are the elite Hearthguard, divided into two groups. The Hearthguard Berzerkers chosen from the best of the Vulkites and given the duty to protect the royalty, while the Auric Hearthguard are chosen to protect the Zharrgrim and defend the forge-temples.

Sometimes, a fyrd is also accompanied by individual heroes who stand outside the normal lodge structure. Primarily, these are the Grimwrath Berzerkers and the Doomseekers. A Grimwrath Berzerker is the best and most ambitious warrior of a lodge. They are seen as avatars of Grimnir, blessed with the might of their fallen god, and excel at usage of ur-gold runes. Indeed, often they fight so hard that smoke rises from their skin and sparks fly from their beards. They are allowed to essentially do whatever they like in the field. Doomseekers, on the other hand, are wanderers who belong to no lodge, questing to end their lives in a heroic final stand. They will often temporarily join fyrds in exchange for ur-gold runes, giving the lodge temporary use of their terrifying combat skill.

Next time: For the Royalty

Zereth
Jul 8, 2003




Hipster Occultist posted:

Interestingly enough, the new edition of SLA seems to integrate The Truth (kinda) into the core book, that is to say there's elements of it in there that you'd recognize if you've read The Truth doc.

If you haven't, those bits of fiction are bizarre non-sequiturs.
I think there were some weird-rear end elements in the setting fiction in the original SLA and supplements that made a lot more sense once you'd checked out The Truth, too.

NutritiousSnack
Jul 12, 2011


Ninja Burger more Ninja...uh, Blunder

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Zereth posted:

I think there were some weird-rear end elements in the setting fiction in the original SLA and supplements that made a lot more sense once you'd checked out The Truth, too.

There was supposed to be a White Earth supplement that would bring the main part of The Truth into play but I donít think it ever came out.

Whatís normally not mentioned is that the bit about the teenager is only a small portion of the Truth and the rest covers origins and explanations for parts of the setting, including Halloween Jack (aka Mary Sue) that might be much more useful. For example, the fact that Mr Slayer runs the corporation oppressively because he knows that anyone trying to learn too much about the world risks destroying themselves, so itís much easier to have them focus on hating him and blaming him for keeping technology secret.

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Ithle01
May 28, 2013


hyphz posted:

There was supposed to be a White Earth supplement that would bring the main part of The Truth into play but I donít think it ever came out.

Whatís normally not mentioned is that the bit about the teenager is only a small portion of the Truth and the rest covers origins and explanations for parts of the setting, including Halloween Jack (aka Mary Sue) that might be much more useful. For example, the fact that Mr Slayer runs the corporation oppressively because he knows that anyone trying to learn too much about the world risks destroying themselves, so itís much easier to have them focus on hating him and blaming him for keeping technology secret.

Yeah there's a bunch of stuff in The Truth about the real antagonist(s) of the setting. Mr. Slayer is locked in a battle with another personality/aspect of the teenager who created the world and there's some other stuff in there that I forget because it's been close to a couple decades. I've always wondered about the copyright date on the game because there's a ton of stuff that is very close to The Matrix in here as well and if you learn the universe is a hallucination you get Matrix-like powers. The downside is that if too many people learn this the universe might self-destruct which is why Mr. Slayer has hit teams of what are basically Agents to kill you if you gently caress around with this. The hit teams are mostly made of immortal psychic wizards with power armor (in addition to everything else they have going for them). Also, Halloween Jack is sort of Neo, but also a serial killer. I don't know, there's a lot of influences and stuff going on in SLA Industries. Once again though, almost none of this interacts with the main thrust of the game, freelance FBI reality tv stars who hunt serial killers, terrorists, etc. Honestly, the general ideas the devs had were pretty great overall, but it's the execution of said ideas that's .... not ideal.

I have a suspicion that SLA Industries is basically what most people who play Shadowrun actually want to play, but just don't want to admit they like the idea of working for The Man. If I had to pick one to run I'd probably go with SLA. If I had to pick one to play in though, then I'm not sure.

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