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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Could have had orbs be "produced" by capturing them on film, ghost hunter style, but that would have been a concrete tie back to the real world which might have created some adventures organically so I guess not.

Hats off to Inklesspen for doing such good work!

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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Kurieg posted:


pure horror


The whole idea of "setting secrets" that you have to pay for is so regressive and ludicrous. The setting isn't real! It's all made up! Secrets can make for drama in a story, but in an RPG if they're not told to anyone then they just don't exist.

I'd love to hear from someone who actually got some of the pure unbridled big Monte energy to know how satisfying these secrets turned out to be. My guess is "as satisfying as a 9th grade English writing prompt."

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


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

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

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

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Dawgstar posted:

I wonder how hard it would be to give her that push. Here, you can be good at your job AND talk about it to people who would be impressed!

That would make for a good basis for a PC character as well- someone who really loved their job and was very good at it as an angel, but after losing their access to Influences and the God-Machine's information network they suddenly had to work much, much harder at it. The character could learn to love the difficulty of the work, or rage against the loss of their powers and go in a different direction entirely, or wish desperately for reintegration so that everything could go back the way it was.

...I have got to figure out a way to get some other folks in my gaming crew interested in this thing.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I Am Just a Box posted:

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've seen "quite" meaning "kinda" mainly from British sources. The only definition I ever heard was "very" growing up.

edit: Ah there was a whole page of people talking about this that I missed.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Night10194 posted:

Extremely good stuff about elves

The aelfir approach to immortality is pretty wild too. I don't want to step on your review's toes, but I will say that it's yet another thing that offers plenty of opportunities for a band of enterprising Drow revolutionaries to screw a powerful aristocrat over while making that aristo somebody they really can't afford to gently caress with face-to-face.

It also make me wonder how much (if any) inspiration the Spire team took from Steven Brust's novels. That setting also has entrenched, extremely powerful elves who kick a less magically powerful species in the teeth over and over again, who have a fairly blase attitude towards the undead lifestyle.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


wiegieman posted:

Healthy people do not join the Ministry. Shrines to Our Hidden Mistress are red string murderboards. You're going to die, badly, because of this organization.

Honestly it's that last sentence that almost soured me on Spire before I got into the good bits. For me it pushes the bleak and hopeless parts of the setting just a bit too far. I probably won't run any campaigns that end with "And then Spire was saved! Good job!" but at the same time I'd like the possibility that PCs will leave the game world a better place than they found it.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Jumping ever so slightly ahead on Strata chat, I found the sample adventures super hit-and-miss. There were a few that seemed usable as-is, a few that seemed ok but where the writer had missed some important setting information from the core fluff, and a couple that just made me mad. The core fluff additions, though, are spectacular for spinning ideas off of.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Draconians were always one of my favorite parts of Dragonlance, both from a "puzzle enemy" perspective and as "former shock troops of an evil empire who want to live their own lives." Maybe I'll homebrew up something for them in whatever I run next.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


MadDogMike posted:

Interestingly there was a short story about trying to redeem draconians by good dragons (these were their corrupted children, after all) that basically didn't work because the draconians were too frightened by the idea of going that far from what they knew, so somebody definitely thought about the possibilities. I believe later on they did discover how to reproduce without stealing eggs and the resulting draconian nation/race was much more neutral, they weren't working for Takhisis by then at least if memory serves. They had certainly been generally portrayed in large part as professional soldiers working for a harsh boss (with admittedly no real familiarity with ethics or even much about civilian life) rather than pure evil monsters.

The Legion from Fragged Empire would make a great point of comparison for more fully fleshed-out Draconians. Bred for war, the war is lost, and now they have to keep on going somehow.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Fizban probably inspired one of the things I really wish I'd gotten to bust out when I was running 4e: The Old Man with the Canaries. It was a setup where the PCs meet Bahamut disguised as an old man (accompanied by seven canaries), and he helps them fight an encounter ten levels too high for them through buffs, heals, and debuffs to the enemies. The PCs still have to do the work of making the attacks and using their powers effectively, but having a god on their side gives them the boost they need.

You could probably do a more comedy-oriented version with Paladine as Fizban. Then again players familiar with the character as the original modules present might not trust him enough to buy into the scenario.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


EthanSteele posted:

Burning Wheel. It even has those things (except getting tired) in the social combat! It's good!

I like all that in Burning Wheel (and Blade of the Iron Throne, etc), but the thought of trying to run all that with a big group of people is maddening.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Libertad! posted:

6. This is more something I wouldn't immediately review given that it's more of a backburner for a book I haven't read in like...forever, but the Midnight Campaign Setting by Fantasy Flight Games doesn't look like it's ever gotten the FATAL & Friends treatment.

I vaguely remember seeing part of the Midnight movie trailer at a GenCon many years ago. Kind of wish I'd picked up those books during one of FFG's year-end fire sales now. Was the limited spellcasting system of any use in correcting caster supremacy, or did the rest of the d20 system's limitations still hold it back?

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Spiral seems like an excellent villain for a Mage/Werewolf crossover, and that Bane for her Tulpa reminds me of the Idigam just enough that it'd be an interesting hook for further adventures down the line. She'd also be a solid just-Werewolf villain, since her abilities would be just far enough out of context for them to make tracking her down a challenge and she's tough enough that they'd still want to plan ahead for the physical fight.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


The Silmarillion is a true slog but it's also full of some extremely metal concepts. It's worth mining for content if you want larger than life, age-of-wonder kinds of adventure ideas.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Everyone posted:

I kind of loved Changeling because of the disparity of comparable foes, like:

Vampire: Human hunters who know your weaknesses and come after you at daytime.
Werewolf: Twisted abominations of flesh and spirit working for an evil mega-corporation.
Mage: Actual loving Terminators imbued with anti-magic.
Wraith: Your own death-wish tempting you to destruction.

Changeling: The mean old man who owns a toy store but doesn't believe in fairies.

Like, running crossovers with Changeling would be kind of hilarious. Hmm, there's a [whatever the hell Changeling magic items were called] in that store that the mean old man owns. Who should we send in to retrieve it. Hey, what about Rips-Out-Livers, the Get of Fenris who's in the party?

Old Man: Aren't you a little old to be playing with toys?
Fenris: ....

A little later.

Sidhe: Oh, you got the thingie. What's this stuff on it?
Fenris: Blood and brain matter. It'll wipe off.

That was something about old Changeling I could never really get past- if none of the stuff that's happening is "real" in any sense to anyone who isn't a Changeling, the stakes just don't seem quite as high. Like, you can disbelieve the Antediluvians or the Wyrm. There are still tangible evil vampires and werewolves who can do real damage to the things your characters care about. If a Changeling only has Changeling friends then the stakes are plenty high, but it seems like it'd be pretty hard for evil changelings to actually do anything to a PC's mortal friends or family with their magic.

My knowledge of oChangeling is pretty scanty though, so maybe I'm just coming at it from the wrong angle.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I love Rosa. She has clearer motivations than any of the villains in this adventure.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


There's so much fun to be had in Hams, but it seems like the GM needs to have a really thorough understanding of the system in order to let that fun come forward. And the folks who made the game did a really bad job making that clear to prospective GMs.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


WHFRP 2e really seems like it benefits from long-form scenarios moreso than adventures. Something like Deep Carbon Observatory can work, where there is a general goal to work toward and people to interact with, but no specific plot. Characters are capable of so many different things, it just seems wild to make everything boil down to a linear series of fights that a bunch of armed men make you do for them.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I picked up Soulbound and skipped ahead to the rules (the little overview they give at the start of the book really doesn't explain much about the system), and I'm pretty impressed so far. It'll be interesting when you get to magic and miracles, Mors, since the distinction in how they work is one of the areas that I'm least sold on, balance-wise.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Skaven are already so over-the-top wild, I wonder what it would take to make a new Skaven sub-faction on the order of "metal balloon dwarves" and "turtle cavalry elves."

edit: I just noticed the fish in the trade pioneer's belt bottle! That's going to be one healthy fish

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Night10194 posted:

You mean the gladiatorial games are considered a form of entertainment, I imagine, rather than the grisly blood rites.

I can imagine a City of Sigmar where the blood rites operate under the pretense of being a place where ordinary citizens can "blow off steam" sacrificing Chaos warriors they'd never be able to fight toe-to-toe. That's grim as hell, but it also sort of fits in with the heavy metal album cover aesthetic that AoS is going for as it evolves.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I really enjoyed your description of the adventure and the climactic fight! The complete immunity to nonmagical weapons on a lot of the enemies really irked me, though. This group had a handful of options to solve that particular problem, but totally immunity is just a frustrating thing in RPGs for me in general. At least in tabletop Warhammer ordinary troops could still beat a bunch of invincible ghosts through combat resolution. Combat resolution would also potentially help with the "kill every single zombie" situation- the undead didn't break and run if they lost a fight, but if you beat them real bad their magic would unravel and some of them would fall apart (at least in some editions)

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Thank you, Night! Your posts have really turned me around on WFRP, which I used to see as a randomized misery simulator. Your descriptions of the system's successes and foibles have been insightful, and the stories you've told have been inspiring.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


When it came up earlier that characters could start with a baneblade, for one shining moment my mind jumped to "but of course they wouldn't stat that whole thing out, and it would just be a power you got to call on from time to time."

But no, this is 40kRPG. Of course tanks and APCs are a problem for the system. Space marines are a problem for the system, and they're the most popular thing in the setting.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Robindaybird posted:

The Couple who stabs together stays together.

And the couple who épées together touchés together!

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


PurpleXVI posted:

My experience is generally that anything OSR which is interesting, inspired or decent would be much better if it had the same concept but wasn't OSR. Like, Godbound's absolutely weakest aspect is the OSR-related skeleton that the otherwise-decent organs and skin of good game are wrapped around.

I'd really love a Godbound that kept its system light, but had a bit more game under the hood than the six-stat OSR basics provided. One of the issues I ran into with my own game was how combat should have been all of these huge wild abilities getting thrown around, but more often turns into pure numbersmash. Folks tend to alternate between their most powerful attack and their less-powerful but still reliable attack, and using anything else runs the risk of getting overwhelmed by lucky damage rolls.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Falconier111 posted:


...so Kovacs took action on his own initiative. Instead of waiting for Terra to send along bureaucrats, he instead stripped his staff to the bone and sent evil officers to govern huge swathes of territory – we’re talking people going from commanding patrol boats to ruling worlds with billions of people.


I've tried to figure out what this word was autocorrected from to no avail. Unless he really did just send out a legion of Skeletors and Hordaks to rule over the conquered territories...

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Mors Rattus posted:

Age of Sigmar Lore Chat: Gloomspite Gitz

The spider subfaction is one of my favorite things in the Gloomspite book. It really goes to show just how much character GW can milk out of three model kits when they're pushed to it. Based on my recollection they don't overlap with the rest of the Gloomspite army all that much, but have enough synergy with each other that they can still add up to a pretty potent force.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Glorantha and Arthurian legend share a weird characteristic that I absolutely love, which is the Single Buckwild Sentence. An idea so goddamn ridiculous that a part of my brain demands that I spin a story out of it. My personal favorite from Le Morte D'Arthur is "...and Sir Marrok the good knight, that was betrayed by his wife, for she made him seven years a werewolf." There's a French story (Bisclavet) that is though to be Marrok's, but setting that aside I think it's wild to just drop "oh yeah this guy's wife made him a werewolf for seven years. Moving on..."

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


TheGreatEvilKing posted:

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything #1: Why are we doing this?

five whole years to officially publish one new class

Racial Determinism

Feats and ASIs

"DM Empowerment"

These are all points that deeply bother me yet I've had a lot of trouble articulating them to folks who still play 5e. There's a pronounced population of D&D players who like that you can make characters who are worse at their job than others based on their race, but when you point this out they'll say that the problem is with you (you filthy power gamer/rules lawyer) and not with the game for forcing that situation in the first place.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


JcDent posted:

"Fighters suck" is a great argument, though, since to get Fun Stuff, they have to play a few levels to get battlemaster to gain abilities that are not just "I hit a dude - twice."

The first two levels in 5e are basically busywork, and the latter half of the range almost never sees any actual use. Squishing the levels down to 10 (and even then overtly suggesting that you blow through 1st level as quick as possible; the sample adventure has you do it mid-session) is one of the smartest things 13th Age did.

Various Folks posted:

Stuff about bounded accuracy

Bounded Accuracy isn't a problem in and of itself, but as TheGreatEvilKing points out it's not applied evenly. Scattered around throughout various places are straight-up bonuses to accuracy and AC. There aren't that many, but if the developers had wanted to make bounded accuracy a real thing they could have had zero such bonuses. The design philosophy is so vaguely understood even by the game's creators that they don't know what works and what doesn't.

There are a lot of little things that appear to be clear design decisions, but even those break down under actual use. Stats maxing out at 20 so that folks who roll well and folks who choose sub-optimal class/race combinations will all come together in capability seems like a good idea, but it takes as many as 12 levels for that to actually happen. Getting rid of precise magic item values seems like it'll reduce crunch, but that just divorces item progression from experience progression even more than it was in previous editions. Warlocks get a small number of spells that refresh per short rest while full casters get a large number of spells that only refresh per long rest, but there's no established rhythm to when rests are supposed to happen so the actual balance varies wildly.

So much is left to the DM to just figure out on their own, and it's not like the game gives you anything back in exchange for all the work you do fixing it for your table. You could just have played a game that was actually designed for a specific experience from the jump and saved a lot of heartache trying to salvage a slapped-together product.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


SkyeAuroline posted:

The old system for traveling between "waypoints" (I forget the term the game actually uses) was based around rolling a random number of encounters between two points that *had* to somehow be solved with one and only one dice check, because the progression was based off the results on the single check. Rolled mid-session, too, so you didn't get time to prep anything. The stress system was also way overtuned and stress recovery was essentially unavailable because of its costs, a given character was unlikely to make it much of anywhere without getting destroyed by stress they couldn't offset. Vermissian Knights hosed with both systems and were essential as a result. In short the core gameplay loop worked against the aims of the game, against fun for the players, and against ease of running for the GM.

The release version completely replaced the encounter/travel mechanics and fixed much of the stress system, while also improving playbook variety and balance. I haven't played it to see how well it works in practice now, but that's more due to being in no shape to GM lately.

In my playtest one player shot ahead on stress early due to a bad roll, and since you only lost half stress for taking fallout they wound up at high risk of fallout basically forever after that. There was also basically no guidance on when to give resources so healing stress wasn't really available, since you need to trade resources for healing. I included both problems in my playtest notes, and it looks like they fixed both; the stress system is way more forgiving (minor fallout clears the associated stress completely, major clears all stress from all tracks) so the death spiral isn't nearly as tight. Their guidance about when to give out resources isn't super robust, but at least it's present now. They also give starting characters a resource now and I don't think that was present in the playtest. They definitely listened to feedback about the Junk Mage's powers not all being explicitly spells, thus making their core abilities not actually work depending on your chargen choices.

Basically every issue I brought up in my notes was addressed in good faith, and I'm super impressed with the final result. Heart's muscling its way into my "games to run" list, especially with the option to run it as Vermissian Black Ops and tie it into a simultaneous Spire campaign.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


It can't be understated just how little balance there is in the 5e PHB. A friend of mine is starting a drop-in 5e campaign soon, and when asked about homebrew he said he wanted to hew to the PHB since he can't take the time to make sure homebrew content is balanced. It took a lot out of me not to point out that if he was worried about balance then he was going to have to do a lot of homebrew of his own to bring the ranger out of the muck and full casters down from the ceiling, or to figure out what spells of a given level are supposed to be capable of.

A part of me envies the wider D&D community's ability to assume that the books are balanced and that everything in 5e is working as intended. TheGreatEvilKing is spot on in pointing out that there is no intention for 5e to work toward. How often should PCs take short rests? Do them or don't, it's not important! How does stealth work? However you want, baby! New class features? Grab some out of the bag, no worries!

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I'd be down to see the Flesh Eater Courts

Also, I really like the casual description of what daemonettes get up to when they're not on the tabletop. AoS presents the realms of Chaos as places that you could go to and the chaos entities as beings with some kind of existence other than as a rampaging thought-form. I think easing the forces of Chaos back from "unbeatable cosmic forces" toward "four big dudes whose little dudes follow a theme" helps make the setting feel less overwhelming despite its size.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


RiotGearEpsilon posted:

It turns out that marketing is hard. Sometimes you release a product at like exactly the wrong time, and it vanishes instantly in to the lightless depths of the internet. If either of you want to take a gander at it and toss it on the review pile, feel free. It's PWYW at the moment.

Full disclosure, I'm one of the authors.

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/147845/BLEEDING-EDGE-HighTech-LowLife-RolePlay

I followed the link and saw the cover, and I think one of the only times I saw this was when Sanguine sponsored some of Allison Pregler's Movie Nights videos. That seemed like an odd match at the time, but I'm sad all the same that this flew so far under the radar. Night's reviews have increased my appreciation for the Sanguine system quite a bit over the years.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


A little of the fiction I've read for Flesh Eater Courts shows that sometimes the mask slips for them and they come close to seeing what's really going on, but yeah I'd love to see more "tarnished nobility" and "almost doing the right thing" in their fiction. The trouble is that they're based on basically four model kits from old Fantasy and one new character model, so they are a bit limited on how they can actually look on the tabletop. I suspect they're leery of having a bunch of cool art for models that don't actually exist- that can be a real enthusiasm killer, and GW thrives on enthusiasm for new models.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


I'm excited to see a more in-depth look at Quest. I skimmed the PDF and was pretty impressed with the imagery and visual design, and getting a bit more insight into the way it works mechanically would be really helpful in deciding whether to dig back into it.

Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Horrible, big tanks will always be funny to me. If you build a tank that can't cross a bridge I will smile for days. The Maus and Ratte are two of my favorite tanks for a) being completely worthless even if they could have been produced and b) costing the Nazis a bunch of cash and resources anyway.

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Just Dan Again
Dec 16, 2012

Adventure!


Cooked Auto posted:

C7 announced that Seraphon is getting a supplement later this year in a recent production update by the way.

That sounds less like player content and more like GM content. They'd probably have talked up species traits and archetypes if they were going all-in on making them player characters.

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