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I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Ithle01 posted:

Promethean in nWoD seems interesting, but hard for me to work with because I'm not really good at telling stories about personal growth and discovering what it means to be human. Promethean in oWoD seems like I would take to it like a fish to water because angsty sexy nuclear super- powered Frankensteins fighting spider monsters is the sort of stuff I do well with. So, how feasible is it for me to run a game of Promethean using it just to get into ridiculous pulp adventures? Out of the core book it does not seem like this would work, but this review makes me think otherwise.

Promethean 1e won't really fight you much on this if you're willing to tear out and ignore certain systems – specifically, you may not want to use the Disquiet or Wasteland rules that force Prometheans to stay on the move and prevent them from ever being accepted too long in one place, and the Refinement and Milestone rules for progressing along the Pilgrimage to fulfillment and full human life will be pretty useless. You won't be provided much in the way of spider monsters to fight. The utility of Pandorans, the main antagonists in the Promethean corebook, is more as instigating antagonists that throw situations you care about into disarray and are brief big problems. They don't work as well as long-term antagonists and things you travel around fumigating entire nests of. But the Transmutation powers will work fine for fighting spider monsters, and you can pull antagonists from other nWoD books pretty freely. The Transmutations do not lack for either effects that are bizarre and flashy, like twisting your flesh and snapping your bones to reconfigure yourself into a giant dog-monster made of human body parts, or effects which are just generally hefty, like pointing out which powers you want to buy to throw cars at people or hurl lightning.

Promethean 2e will fight you a bit more, because more of the mechanical systems plug into the Pilgrimage stuff. Humanity is replaced with a literal Pilgrimage meter, and your Transmutation powers slot in and out based on which Refinement (approach to personal growth and discovery) you're currently walking.

Ithle01 posted:

Also, what the gently caress is going on with these cloning labs? Are these things all over the place or something because the book is just casually tossing out that 'yes, cloning labs exist and they're all over the place' and just not focusing on that like it's no big deal? I have to assume that they're run by a combination of shady government alphabet types and the Umbrella corporation.

Later in the book the cloning labs and what's up with them gets fleshed out. Clones were introduced in the Promethean 1e corebook as slave creatures with little to no will of their own, one of the reasons Prometheans were put upon because making these clones required harvesting Prometheans for parts. They were one of the least cool things in Prom 1e, little more than a short writeup of characterless men-in-black goons dispatched to collect Prometheans as materials to make more goons.

The clones in Night Horrors: The Tormented are much more interesting.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 06:37 on Sep 13, 2019

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I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Dawgstar posted:

I love the hyper specific Lineages. Why the Dust Bowl specifically to give rise to its own created people? It's a great concept.

Technically speaking, while one of the 2e Lineage splash pages is for the Extempore, the Extempore are not a Lineage. They're an umbrella term for every obscure little Lineage that just kind of happened and didn't create enough progeny to pluralize. I think there's also a suggestion in the splash pages that founding Extempore spontaneously generate, without the conscious participation of a genitor? (That absolutely happens; the Divine Fire is the energy of life and its nature is to move and incarnate.) But in my book, for the purposes that really matter, the Hollow of the Dust Bowl are absolutely just another example of what Extempore can be.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



JcDent posted:

I thought they did away with Clans in nWoD, and you're like, a Christian fundie vampire, a "we want to be Dracula" vampire...

TBH, I know very little about nVamp.

nVamp separates "the group of similar blood relatives with similar traits and predilectations" from "the group of co-conspirators and fellow travelers with similar schemes, ideologies, and alignments." The clans are really archetypal (alluring vampire, unstoppable vampire, mysterious vampire, terrifying vampire, master vampire) and they interact as factions in a domain less than clans did in oVamp, usually in the form of personal feuds or vendettas, or shared concerns. The ideological groups are called covenants and include the Insane Catholic Vampire Heresy and Dracula's Build-a-Better-Monster Support Group and Cult.

(Separating things out like that saves you from having to do stuff like define "Ventrue Antitribu" as a clan or bloodline when it's just "a Ventrue who joined the other ideological group.")

You wouldn't think, from hearing that, that the nVamp clanbooks would be that great, or even as interesting as the covenant books. You'd be wrong. They're amazing.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



hyphz posted:

This included spending hours running combats against himself.

hyphz posted:

the author claims to have spent 11,000 hours DMing.

I've got to wonder if he considers the hours spent doing things like the former to count towards the latter.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Ash is honestly a waste of some really cool visual imagery in favor of the most passive-aggressive thematic GM move. Remember, she mostly doesn't speak. The GM just introduces the Drum Lady, the entire city explodes because the writers forgot arch-qashmallim are supposed to be for cataclysmic big deals and not soft personal messages, and the Drum Lady beats on her drum at the characters, and the players just kind of stare at the GM and try to guess what the drum solo means until she goes away.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



IshmaelZarkov posted:

I looked into Requiem when it first came out and... it wasn't... great. I should probably check out 2e though.

I think that to this day a lot of old hands who were playing tabletop during the oWoD/nWoD changeover still have the same image of the nWoD gamelines, especially the first core three, that they did when those first edition corebooks first released, and that has a lot to do with the impression of nWoD's settings as dull and diluted. The oWoD people were familiar with at the time had evolved and fleshed itself out through multiple supplement lines, crossover hooks, and integrations of that supplement material back into the core rules with Second and Revised Editions. The same has happened for the nWoD over time, but you only get one shot at a first impression, and a lot of folks read the first book of the line, found it wanting, and just assumed the game continued to be that book, but more of it.

Requiem's 1e core in particular is exceedingly dry, a problem the gameline as a whole fully shed when it underwent its renaissance mostly under Rose Bailey, with Damnation City, Requiem for Rome, and the five clanbooks. The 2e core is the farthest thing from dry; as a matter of fact, it occasionally drips too wet for my tastes.

There's also what Nessus mentions. Requiem 1e is easily the nWoD corebook most afraid to step out of the shadow of its predecessor. It makes a few attempts to throw a bone to old ideas otherwise left behind (the Toreador and Malkovian bloodlines, for example) that do nobody any good: too hollow and divorced of context to appeal to fans of the old ideas, and too timid and mealy to add anything for readers looking for new ideas. Reusing huge swaths of recognizable jargon from Masquerade does little to convey a unique character to a game of Requiem. By the time Requiem 2e was published, the presumption of specific offices common to each domain had faded into the background if not dissolved entirely, and words like "caitiff," "Rötschreck," and "Wassail" were entirely absent.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 10:14 on Sep 24, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



By popular demand posted:

Also are vampires and other undead affected by radiation?

The Tormented's 2e rules don't address the undead aside from Prometheans.

Saturnine Night, the 1e book which introduced the Zeky and radiation rules, extends the resistance of Azoth to other Supernatural Potency traits (Blood Potency, Primal Urge, Gnosis, etc.) The radiation source rolls against you per scene of exposure and inflicts half its successes from latent sickness, then about a week later, you start taking the other half, one point of damage a day, during which time you can't naturally heal any damage. These rules address the "core" three gamelines: vampires, werewolves, and mages.

Werewolves are less invincible to radiation under this scheme, because more intense radiation sources can deal lethal or even aggravated damage, but like in 2e, radiation poisoning doesn't interfere with their natural fast healing.

Vampires take the initial latent damage as damage, but instead of radiation poisoning, the other half irradiates points of Vitae. When you spend Vitae, you have to spend irradiated points before you get to touch your clean Vitae. Trying to spend them on healing or Physical Intensity just wastes them without benefit, and trying to use them to cause blood bonds or nourish ghouls doesn't work and poisons the drinker. They fuel Disciplines fine.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Freaking Crumbum posted:

the first 2 (or 3?) seasons were about using special breathing techniques to punch vampires to shreds (said vampires may/may not be aliens from another planet, but it also might be a magical curse that can be transferred via enchanted objects) which is probably closer to what you can do just playing requiem

You could probably reskin a few Hunter Endowments and homebrew a couple anti-vampire protection powers to do Hamon: the Vigil

More importantly, the stone mask isn't an enchanted object. It just stabs needles into the human brain at exactly the right angles and pressures to awaken the human brain's inner potential: turning you into a Cronenberg vampire with mesmerizing, zombie-raising blood who turns to ash at the touch of the sun.

The brain's kept back from doing that because it hasn't been stabbed in the right places. That's just science.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



PurpleXVI posted:

nDemons feel like Exalted Sidereals but not written and designed by idiot dumbfucks.

nDemons have Avoidance Kata. The famous Sidereal Dodge Charm that retroactively makes you have left a couple minutes ago? That's an Exploit demons can buy.

EimiYoshikawa posted:

I maintain that the extreme neutering of the Changeling pact system in 2e (in my opinion largely as a reaction to the Demon pact system pinching that bit of game design territory) was one of the edition's greatest mistakes, and hugely detrimental to the thematic underpinnings of the game line. Making a life-changing bargain you didn't understand with some weirdo you didn't understand is, like, at the heart of huge swathes of the "fairy tales" that Changeling draws upon as the base (and then expands upon enormously) of its concept as a game.

Speaking as a massive Demon fan: I don't at all disagree. The pact benefits system honestly doesn't fit Demon as well as Changeling. It's presented as if you have every practical reason to lowball your pactee's benefits for your own convenience, even to give them fewer benefits than their end of the deal has power to easily justify, but there's very little mechanical reason not to be lavishly generous. There are few enough options for the demon's end of the deal that the structure of the Changeling pledge system doesn't make a good match for them. It's structured to be more customizable than demon pacts are.

I think the idea that Changeling 2e nerfed pledges because Demon had "claimed" that piece of game design is a bit paranoid. I don't think the developers are afraid to borrow game systems that fit across game lines (see Demon borrowing pledges in the first place, Werewolf spirit rules expanding to ghosts and angels in 2e, the shared organizational basis for the rules of Geist's krewes, Deviant's conspiracies, and the in-progress Mummy 2e's cults). I think it's more likely that the Demon writers were less concerned with mechanics being "overpowered" than Changeling 2e's writers were, so the decisions were made separately.

They definitely overcorrected with pledges, which not only can't do nearly as much as they could in 1e, but specifically just aren't good at doing a lot of the stuff they're still supposed to do (oaths and bargains). Sealings are conceptually very cool, but again, toothless in execution.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Freaking Crumbum posted:

does a demon have to know that it's a demon? they fall from being angels and lose almost all of their memory about their old powers and resources and about the god machine, but does the resulting being always 100% know that it's a demon? the fiction makes it sound like every single demon has a perfect idea of why it fell and when, but it seems like you could reasonably play a character that believes, for all intents and purposes, that they are suddenly beginning to manifest hones-to-god super powers following whatever freak accident caused them to fall, but completely misattributing the source of their powers and their very existence to the wrong thing. like they realize that by sleeping in this specific abandoned factory, in the morning their powers have recharged, and assume that must be their fortress of solitude instead of understanding "oh no there's just some hidden leaky infrastructure here that bleeds out magic juice and i'm latently absorbing said juice when i spend the night here". then the angels that get sent after them start to look like super villains with even weirder powers and it becomes sort of a self fulfilling prophecy.

i guess a lot of the intentional mechanics like covers and bargains have to either be ignored or completely reflavored in this theoretical context.

The knowledge demons lose is technical familiarity which was never part of them intrinsically, but the result of an angel's ability to connect with and channel the rest of the God-Machine. The angel needs to perform a miracle, and is able to access the God-Machine's knowledge of occult physics to receive instructions on how to reproduce the miracle. The angel has not internalized all those universal occult physics; it has requisitioned and received a procedure, which is based on complicated occult laws and probably is different based on fine circumstances. When the demon learns Embeds and Exploits, he combines his memories of executing these procedures with experimentation and discovery to reverse-engineer reliable methods to reproduce particular types of miracle. (This is why the powers that angels use are not the same kind of powers demons use, even if the effects can often be the same.)

Demons don't normally lose their memory of being a servant of the God-Machine, interacting with other servants, and going on various missions for it. They don't mistake themselves for human, nor do they have false memories of human lives (though they likely have memorized the details of their Cover and remember what it is like to act that Cover out while knowing it is not their true identity). They know what the God-Machine is, what an angel is, and that they are fallen angels torn free from the Machine's control.

Now, if you want to use Demon: the Descent to play somebody who suddenly manifests bizarre occult physical superpowers, without necessarily knowing why, and who is then pursued, seemingly unprovoked, by unknown inhuman entities under the guise of corporate conspirators or government spooks? Well, a demon in Cover has human physiology. They are sexually compatible with ordinary humans. Their children are more human than demon, but their heritage can show through, sometimes even three or four generations deep...

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 02:22 on Oct 1, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



The Lone Badger posted:

So they can't speak Esperanto or Klingon.

Correct (at least for Klingon), which makes learning conlangs the old-fashioned way a good investment for demons who anticipate having to hide their communications from rival demons. Church Latin's out too; you need people who learned the language from early childhood, and when all those people die, so does Unchained facility with that language. And yet they are casually fluent in Gaelic, the dialects of the !Kung, and a slew of Native American languages with worldwide fluency in the double digits.

Interestingly, angels do not share this facility. An angel knows whatever languages the God-Machine sees fit to teach it, which is usually not more than the Machine anticipates the angel will need. (Everything the Machine does has some cost somewhere, even if it's incredibly distant and seemingly unrelated. Loading every language into every angel is wasting resources it could use elsewhere.) While it's not certain that the God-Machine can teach angels languages demons lack natively, it seems likely that the God-Machine could produce an angel fluent in Church Latin if it needed one. It's not relevant for their duties often enough to be able to test for sure.

Demons don't know why the Fall gives them this aptitude they didn't have as angels. The best theory going is that the tongues of Babel are the most intuitive Embed, the simplest reality-trick demons can instinctively figure out once they're free of the Machine's blinders and can start experimenting for themselves.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 03:06 on Oct 1, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Zereth posted:

Not Supernal magic as capital-M Mages practice it, though, my understanding is that the God Machine just has extremely deep knowledge of the laws of physics of the world the Chronicles of Darkness takes place in. The Occult Matrices aren't powered by the strength of the God-Machine: they'd work the same no matter who set them up, if they were capable of putting the same resources into it with the same level of precision and timing. It's just very few entities have the knowledge needed to do this poo poo, and mundane humans might not have the means to manipulate some of the stranger materials.

All correct; the power of the God-Machine's occult matrices and of demons' Embeds are the result of incredibly complicated secret laws of the universe, and are unique to angels and demons mostly because you can imagine them to have some kind of great occult "dexterity" with their ability to reflexively keep track of the very fine variables that relate to the success of these powers, or in the case of larger occult matrices, the untold processing power necessary to predict circumstances in which it is possible to align them.

They can do these things and regular humans can't in the same way humans can build complex machines and animals can't: animals can use tools fine, but human brains can easily plan higher-level complexity, and human hands have these opposable thumbs that make fine handling easier and more precise.

Or if the universe is a video game, you can think of a demon as an extremely practiced speedrunner, who knows tricks that are very obscure and very difficult to execute, and who has the honed reflexes necessarily to pull them off reliably. The God-Machine is TASbot, running a tool-assisted speedrun that knows every variable down to the bit and has perfect control of its input, thus able to perform incredibly complicated operations with results that seem totally impossible, like using inputs on an SNES controller to reprogram Super Mario World into Pong.

A supernal mage is using a cheat device to directly force variables in the code of the game itself. Works of Imperium pull the flash cartridge out, edit its contents freely, and then stick it back in the console.

At the top end they look similar: both the archmage and the God-Machine can completely change the game. Their methods are completely different, and the God-Machine's method requires far more complicated logistical contortions.

Zereth posted:

I thought Angels occasionally fell because they were provided with impossible orders, or multiple orders they can't fulfill at the same time?

This does happen, but the result isn't a fallen demon. The Fall that reconfigures an ephemeral angel into an independent, material demon is precipitated by at least a moment of willful self-assertion in opposition to the Machine's direction.

Violating the Machine's direction without willful self-assertion (because the Machine's direction is incoherent or impossible) isn't enough to transform an angel into an independently-willed demon. That just makes a broken angel, an exile from the Machine's grace.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 07:05 on Oct 1, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Mr. Prokosch posted:

Is the God Machine supposed to be literally everywhere? Like if I head down to Maleolap or Yap and my only contact with the outside world is a monthly Copra boat does the GM have a tentacle eye in my coconut tree?

It could be anywhere, but that doesn't mean it is everywhere. It would not be unusual for you to dig a deep hole on one of Maleolap's uninhabited islands and find a little colony of artificially engineered ants whose job is to keep the top of a clockwork construction of underground gears reoiled to prevent a volcano from erupting or maintain stasis chambers for captured demons. It would also not be unusual to find a town in the south of France where the God-Machine isn't integrated into any local power structures and can't reestablish facilities there because demons moved in locally and keep thwarting its attempts to infiltrate.

Mors Rattus posted:

Demons are rarely Ms. Morgue's targets, but she's super curious about them. Whenever she has free time, which is rarely, she investigates local demons and their Agencies if she's aware of any. She feels justified in doing so, as many of her cleanup sites are due to their actions. She likes to take notes on them in the margins of her fake paperwork. It's best to know as much as possible about them in case she ever has to kill one, right? Sadly, her notes never actually carry over to her next mission - the van gets rid of all the old, used materials. She can't answer the questions of the demons she runs into at her sites, so she tends to find them frustrating, because they tend to ask plenty. She wants to thank them, tell them to go kill more people or blow more stuff up so she has more work to do. She wants to yell at them and ask how they could possibly give up the perfect boss and the perfect job. She wants to hug and comfort them and she wants to kill them, because those are what she's good at and likes doing, and they should enjoy it too! Everyone should enjoy being killed at the command of the God-Machine, right?

This is delightful. I love Ms. Morgue and I absolutely want to play a demon who runs into her. She doesn't really create a conflict to deal with as a PC, but she can certainly throw a curveball into it, keep the conflict moving, and perhaps act as a bit of a red herring.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 22:04 on Oct 2, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



JcDent posted:

Back to the gun question - since it's always a gun question with me - so how effective it is to blast an angel in a Cover with a facefull of buckshot? Wouldn't it just Soak/Willpower/Angel shenanigans it away? Do they become weaker when they are in Cover? Also, how much do angels care about maintaining it? Can't they just GO LOUD and have Ms. Morgue deal with what happened?

An angel's true form is by nature ephemeral, and can't be touched by ordinary matter. Of course, most angels can't touch you while ephemeral either, so they can materialize their true form, which tends to have beefy stats and will only take bashing instead of lethal damage from a gunshot. (Assuming this specific angel doesn't have some particular angel trick to un-bullet your gun or something. Those don't come standard, but every angel has its own unique trick or two.)

(Yes, being ephemeral is a big difference between being an angel and a fallen demon. A demon survives the Fall by instinctively twisting into a metaphysical form that can survive on its own terms without the Machine, and that includes Being Made of Matter, even in true demonic form.)

Demon books are kind of inconsistent on how to treat angels in Cover. Some of them seem to be written under the assumption that an angel in Cover is just materialized ephemera as above, but looking like a human instead of burning chariot wheels or whatever. Others seem to be written under the assumption that angelic Cover works more like demonic Cover, where the angel assumes full human biology. If your angels work this way, then blasting them with a load of buckshot while they're human is a whole lot more effective than while they're ephemeral. Either way, while angel Covers don't degrade the way demonic Covers do, blowing one apart is likely to make it a whole lot harder for that angel to deploy and make use of.

Most angels don't care that much about their Cover except as a means to an end. There are exceptions. The more an angel cares about their Cover life beyond just as a tool for their mission, the closer they are to a Fall.

Angels can't go loud. Something about going loud is particular to the demonic condition, whether it's the aetheric fuel to ignite or the self-asserted will to decide to do it. The Storyteller's Guide introduces Incepts, expanded powers that angels can requisition in an emergency. These can turbocharge the angel's powers in various ways that are quite scary, but they're not really the temporary apotheosis that a demon gone loud achieves.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 11:18 on Oct 3, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



JcDent posted:

So, it's perfectly viable to a fallen angel that was created to operate 1000 avatarless MAGA twitter accounts who solves its problems via IEDs?

Working as intended.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Cythereal posted:

On the other hand, it's funny because this kind of poo poo, like the Singularity, is religion for people who think they're too smart to be religious.

I did have a good time in a Demon game trying to deal with a Yud stand-in cult that wasn't a Machine front, just a charismatic stigmatic who found an abandoned project and amassed some sap believers, by emerging from the locked-up infrastructure in demonic form as a retrocausal messenger from the Singularity... by using Mirrored Skin, the demonic form power that makes you only visible in motion, following the rubes to their storage unit, and red-light-green-light shuffling around them so that I was "already there" after they opened it up. I did enjoy that.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Mors Rattus posted:

There are three figures that Isaac hates. He's never been able to catch and stop them, because for some reason his programming always seems to stop him just short of engagement. The first of these is the Blind Man, the second the Promethean named Varney, and the third the immortal Hunter called the Chevalier Theleme. For reasons he doesn't understand, he always ends up cleaning up the messes they leave behind rather than confronting them directly, and it infuriates him. Some demons think that he'd reward someone that took them out. He offers no rewards intentionally...but it is just possible that the sheer gratitude he'd feel would be the only thing that might trigger the Fall of the Unclean.

You suck, Unwashed Isaac. Yeah, the apocalyptic vagrant is a neat aesthetic, but stop trying to ride on other, legitimately interesting characters' heat. Well, two legitimately interesting characters and the dumb maggot man from Beast. Why'd you even remind us of the dumb maggot man from Beast. Boo this man.

(M Theleme is a rakish scion of the [non-Demon] infernal bloodline of the Lucifuge, who has lived for centuries without aging, a side effect of his lineage. He is a hunter of legendary repute and fears only the thrall held upon him by his demon mother... a minor imp of temptation whose power over him is purely psychological and in almost no way supernatural.

Mister Varney is a pseudonym used by Frankenstein's monster. The first one. The one Victor made. Being about as good at human fulfillment and self-actualization as the novel portrays him, he's still kicking around, Pilgrimage miserably incomplete, ruining himself through his own frustrated self-sabotage.)

Mors Rattus posted:

His Ban is that the poems of William Blake read aloud halve his speed, and the phrase 'dark satanic mills' causes him to freeze in place for a week. His Bane is a cup completely filled with coins, each donated by a difference source, with the air gaps filled by liquid taken from the bodily fluids of at least four agents of chaos.

Somebody was a whole lot more invested in what sounded cool on the page than what might actually play at the table. What are you supposed to do, perfectly vacuum-seal the cup, and then buy a demon power to freeze an object just for the sake of keeping the vacuum seal from coming loose while you swing it at his head? Who's ever going to use that speed-halving part of his ban in a game?

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 18:20 on Oct 3, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Mors Rattus posted:

To be fair, once you learn the dark satanic mills part, him showing up is no longer cause for anything but comedy.

He can't move for a week, but does that stop him from causing holy terror or starting fires?

Kind of surprising they didn't give him Blast, of all the angels to not have it.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



PurpleXVI posted:

I feel like the characterization of the Angels is a bit inconsistent. In some cases they feel like machines that are popped out to do their mission, then recycled when it's done, with no real internal life or emotions except when they start to grow close to a Fall. But then you've got ones like Isaac which suggests that the Angels have enough built-in emotion to be capable of fanboying for one of their own number and are regularly kept around long enough, and have enough personality, that they swap rumours and stories with each other.

The Demon corebook covers the issue of angelic psychology. They have emotions and are capable of empathy and preferences and inner life. They're dulled, less vibrant than human feelings, less like feeling with your gut and more like a distant, intellectualized opinion, but they're all there. When they come out of wherever the God-Machine pulls them, things like empathy and preferences and rebellion are just alien to them, untaught and unconsidered. Angels do as they are commanded because it's what they've always done since the moment they were spawned, it's natural, everything is in its right place, why do anything else, what's the point of questioning? There's a job to do. Those angels who start caring about the personal wellbeing of their Cover's family, or enjoying a beer after work and wishing they had more time off the clock, or thinking their superiors are wrong and clearly it should be done this way instead, are unwittingly discovering for themselves those emotional capacities they never thought much of. That's the road to the Fall, and its conversion into fleshy matter with endocrine systems, adrenal glands, and full-on, vibrant human emotion.

Angels have to be capable of all of that, even if distantly and dully and unimaginatively, because if they were deterministic robots the Fall wouldn't be a decision they made that mattered to them, just a bug that randomly decided they were a player splat now. Angels have agency, even if they don't believe in it. The Fall is something you do, not something that happens to you.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 18:57 on Oct 3, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



PurpleXVI posted:

The nDemon version of that guy's apocryphal story about falling between the floorboards in a corporate re-organization and getting paid to do nothing.

Given spatial-folding to store clerical infrastructure nested within human offices, that guy might have literally gotten stuck between the floors, too.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Chernobyl Peace Prize posted:

You can tell it's a real game because it's got DND stats except different names and 5 instead of 6. Some thought and effort was actually put into this. What the gently caress.

I'm genuinely interested in somebody literate in D&D 5e writing a rundown of this game up with an eye towards how much of this game is just reprinted 5e with minor tweaks, vs. using 5e as a base but actually coming up with some stuff.

Aside from the +1 ice damage you suffer from all attacks for the day if you eat a hamburger that was once frozen. We can all agree that's novel design.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



I think it is definitely a bit early to be writing up Deviant when even Kickstarter backers only have half the book yet. Not enough of Deviant has been released to even run the game properly, and not just because the chapter with the basic CofD ruleset isn't yet released. You could plug the ruleset in from another gameline and it still wouldn't be complete.

Bieeanshee posted:

Do Deviant origins have any mechanical effect? Because... I dunno, that reads like someone just rattled off a list of basic superhero themes.

Tilts your starting powers a little more towards either Subtle or Overt (what they sound like, and conspiracies use Overt exposures to track you down according to Rules That Haven't Been Released Yet At This Stage of the Kickstarter Campaign). More importantly, tilts your starting Anchors towards either Conviction or Loyalty. Deviants obsess over their Anchors and suffer if they don't keep pursuing them, so the balance between Conviction and Loyalty determines how much time you spend Hunting Fuckers Down and Making Them Pay versus how much time you spend Actually Having Friends and Looking After Them.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Worldwalker_Pure posted:

'Altered human using their powers to take down the organization that created them' reads as incredibly Kamen Rider. Like, an Exomorph Invasive is basically just Takeshi Hongo.

Dave Brookshaw, the initial developer and architect of Deviant, posted a partial list of characters on the Onyx Path forums that were core enough inspirations that he mandated the rules had to be able to build them. They range from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to Orphan Black's Project Leda to Max from Videodrome to Kamen Rider to Tetsuo to V (for Vendetta).

In terms of classic literary monster inspirations, if Promethean is Frankenstein's monster, Deviant is Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde and the Invisible Man. But it's like Hunter: the Vigil: it's built for flexibility and breadth of concept.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 16:59 on Oct 6, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Drakli posted:

Oddly enough, Demon is the only one of the C/WoD to trigger a "Why-did-they-use-that-word?" response from me, specifically with their use of Cryptid.

If sasquatch exists in the World of Darkness, is it a Cryptid (Aether-infused mutant animal) or just a mere cryptid (an undiscovered animal?) Or is it a cryptid that's also a Cryptid? Or is it some other kind of horror/spirit/hobgoblin/etc which is a cryptid, but not a Cryptid?

Demon's Introduction includes a half-page sidebar to clarify that there are like five different kinds of things called demons in the other Chronicles of Darkness books, and almost none of them are Demons.

Demon's not the first CofD gameline to claim "cryptid" as a specific class of being, either. The Mage corebook did that first.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 02:25 on Oct 8, 2019

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Joe Slowboat posted:

Really in practice the Machine is only overbearing in the core GM Chronicles/2e book, and also Demon. Since the other 2e books contain their own statement of the core rules (except Demon and... maybe Vampire 2? iDK) the blue book content isn't vital.

And even the Chronicles of Darkness Rulebook silos the God-Machine content off into a separate section of the book, a "God-Machine Chronicle" in the same sense that Vampire Second Edition has a "Strix Chronicle:" a signature antagonist you can use if you want a particular focus and don't have one on your own.

The first half of the CofD Rulebook provides storytelling advice and everything for games that don't involve the God-Machine, including rules for miscellaneous unrelated monsters and supernatural entities.

CofD has had a lot of first-impression missteps. The second edition ruleset coming out with a God-Machine Chronicle shortly before the release of Demon: the Descent makes the God-Machine sound like a bigger deal than it is. If you actually read, like, the Vampire Second Edition book, the Werewolf and Promethean and Mage books, the Hurt Locker blue-book supplement, the God-Machine appears in those books approximately as much as Changeling's Hedge does, or Geist's Underworld.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Rand Brittain posted:

Having the Offspring's version of the Cipher actually be bad when the demon version is (probably) good has never really made sense to me.

Agreed, especially when the actual demonic Cipher is more often than not portrayed as something beyond the scope of the God-Machine's instructions, a kind of cosmic lifeline identified by the Primum. They feel like polar opposites, sharing only the fact that advancing them gives you special powers. I'd honestly like the Demon-Blooded Cipher better if it worked exactly the same but just had an entirely different name.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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Tasoth posted:

So a thing to remember is that the nWoD/ChronD lines never really abandoned the annihilation/change/stasis aspect found in oWoD. It's precedence various from game line to game. For werewolves, Maeljin/things crawling out of Wounds are linked to the Abyss (or at least most of the details point towards it). The Bale Hounds are similarly linked to the Abyss.

Nnnnno? Both no to the Triat concept being particularly manifest in the nWoD, and specifically to the Maeljin and their Wounds and Bale Hounds being associated with the Abyss. A sidebar in Demon explicitly asserts that the Maeljin and the Wounds are associated with the realm described in the (somewhat hackneyed) World of Darkness: Inferno, which is not the Abyss.

The dichotomy between Mage's Lower Depths and Abyss defies categorization by the static/dynamic/entropic model. Both represent different forms of annihilation, with contact with the Lower Depths threatening to reduce the Fallen World to a vacuum, destruction as emptiness, while the Abyss threatens to destroy and drown all reason and meaning from the world, destruction as breakdown. They represent aspects of stasis and dynamism too, with ancient scelesti associating the Abyss with the primordial chaos. It's just not a useful lens to look through here.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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Night10194 posted:

Yeah, I was originally planning to maybe take a stab at it but I can't read through it without cringing, and Wendy's is apparently significantly worse than I thought anyway, so I decided not to bother.

I said something similar to Xelkelvos at the time, and yeah, I was ignorant of the causes Wendy's and their executives push money towards. Dumb initial reaction to marketing, not worth feeding.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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Hostile V posted:

Also the UN and Ronald McDonald are bad guys working together with Ronnie as the lead villain backed by the Not-UN because the latter is a competitor and the former...publicly lambasted the company for tacitly supporting slavery.

I had to look this up and I can confirm, in an amazing instance of saying the quiet part loud, one of the bad guy aggressors in the sample adventure is named the United Clown Nations. They just get namedropped briefly so it can get camouflaged amidst the many mentions of the Ice Jester and blah blah frozen beef, but wow. I didn't expect that.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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Mors Rattus posted:

I was thinking more about how it predicted the Internet of Things, but sure, that too

I could see products offered down the line where you pay money to install a little frog program with bubble powers in your dishwasher so that visiting web browsers can challenge it to a duel.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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Nessus posted:

I feel like in a world where Kenny Omega came to the ring in an Undertale costume, the nerd/jock dichotomy is dead

Did he wear a costume at some point? I thought it was just his ring entrance music and Jumbotron video.

Anyway it's always been an open secret that wrestling fans are giant nerds.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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For some reason I've always confused Puppetland with Little Fears, the game that's all about a weird fusion of innocent children's stories with over-the-top grimdark grotesquerie, suffering, and futility. Puppetland isn't nearly that bad (the skinning seems just really out of place), but I certainly can't help but notice a problem if it's all about trying to evade Punch and the Boys and fix things, and the author never thought about what happens if you do that because none of his games ever accomplished that.

hyphz posted:

except that for some reason it uses the older version of the word "quite" - where it means "very", instead of the more common modern usage where it means "kinda" - so that a puppet who is "quite strong" is stronger than one who's just "strong".

I have never heard this more common modern usage, only the usage where it means "very." Is this a regional usage or am I just old?

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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hyphz posted:

Oh, mentioning Little Fears reminded me of the Reddit “RPG horror story” in which someone wanted to run Little Fears PbP, asked the players to make characters offline, and every player independently came up with a kid who was a warped abuse or trauma survivor and wanted to join the monsters. Campaign cancelled.

I feel like this is symptomatic of Little Fears itself at least as much as it is of the players in question.

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Jul 20, 2011
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wiegieman posted:

How are you supposed to say his made-up name? Is it Pang-loss or pan-gloss?

Because both are incredibly dumb.

Pangloss, as in he glosses over everything.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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Cythereal posted:

Hello, arc villains.

This sounds like an episode of X-Files.

This little side story is more intriguing and probably more viable as an antagonist idea than anything going on with Manzazuu himself. Which is not really dumping on Manzazuu so much as to agree that the past life regression grifters who have accidentally unlocked some hoary secret of spiritual psychology and view this primarily as an inconvenience to their grift are a great pitch.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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Rand Brittain posted:

Usually Exalted avoids using the word "princess" in the same way it avoids using "wizard" and "tavern," and uses "prince" to describe what other settings would call a "king."

This is just an argument to call them Queens of the Earth, a term the setting doesn't avoid.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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sexpig by night posted:

I also think 'Princes of the Earth' is actually meant to be a bit diminutive, like they come from the greater dynasty and all but are a younger/less tested version

Only in the sense that "prince" as the default term of rulership is meant to be a bit diminutive of the idea of rulership as a whole, on the idea that "king" has a stronger connotation of legitimacy than "prince" does.

But as specifically regards the Dragon-Blooded as Princes of the Earth, I seem to recall it is, if anything, a little overblown by connotation, because the idea is this is what the Solar Exalted used to call themselves, and the Dragon-Blooded stole their title.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
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Dave Brookshaw posted:

Yeah, so, the thing about the Abyss isn't that it's the tempting deal with evil powers - that's what selling out to the Exarchs is for (join the seers). It's that it's magical crack. The Orders try to keep it secret because of how destructive it is, abstinence doesn't work in a society of incorrigibly-curious egotists, and by the time yonder Rabashakim has realised his Antimonian Rote really isn't worth it, he's addicted - and a bad day from Joining.

Rabashakim are users, Nasnasi are addicts, Shedim and Autarchs are dealers, Baalim are producers, and Qliphoth are ODs.

I understand the idea, I just don't... agree? When viewed as a game element this makes a very poor and very uninteresting metaphor for addiction. The euphoric rush of crack that people destroy themselves for is here represented by a brief mention in the text that you feel real good and euphoric, and now you're addicted. It's very tell-don't-show. It doesn't engage with how we actually play the game, and it falls victim to the tendency of the reader to consider the emphasis to be on whatever receives the most word count, thus inadvertantly telling the reader that the antinomian rush is much less important than all of these ways antinomian sorcery can mess with Paradoxes and what Abyssal Mage Sight does and what forms the Elder Diadem can take.

It conveys very poorly to a reader used to reading game books that this is supposed to be something people do because it feels good even though it destroys them. The way it is written unintentionally suggests instead that it is supposed to be a tempting path to forbidden power, which of course it then fails at being.

I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Dave Brookshaw posted:

Everyone would be a Sleepwalker.

For those without a degree in Awakening lingo: the difference between a Sleepwalker and a full Sleeper is the difference between merely being unable to cast spells, and experiencing a traumatic psychic break when exposed to spells because a tiny wick of the Abyss wriggles inside you.

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I Am Just a Box
Jul 20, 2011
I belong here. I contain only inanimate objects. Nothing is amiss.



Aethyron posted:

Hunter: the Reckoning - Player's Guide

Part Four: Merits & Flaws!

I'd just like to point out that Hunter: the Reckoning and the later Demon: the Fallen were treated as sister games of a sort, and the Demon: the Fallen Player's Guide would go on to reprint most of these Merits and Flaws from the Hunter book rather than write its own list.

So if you played as a fallen angel of creation possessing a human body, making pacts to claim souls and developing your own cult of belief to reconstitute your lost glory, you were still encouraged to engage in the point economy of No Phone, Good Credit Rating, Alimony Payments, and yes, Abusive Partner, Stalked, and Political Radical.

I Am Just a Box fucked around with this message at 09:35 on Apr 11, 2020

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