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[#] FATAL & Friends Repost: Hc Svnt Dracones: Part 7
12:24am EDT - 8/03/2015
Hc Svnt Dracones

This post contains art of Mormon Charizard







Morphisms



So, in case everyone blocked it out, this setting has weird body shapes. I mean, weirder than being a cat or whatever, shit like "taurs." This is the chapter that has all of the weird deformities you can end up with, though you can bet that the amount actual treated as deformities with drawbacks are probably going to be minimal. We also can't just be Jeff Jenkins, Dog Detective Dude(Pththya, I want to point out that I made this comment before I saw your post, and only saw you when I previewed, so that's some weird fucking hivemind), we have to pick a wacky physical trait. This is an RPG about being human, guys. Each deformity has a drawback, a perk and a "momentum trigger," i.e. if you do a thing in combat, it "triggers" your "momentum" and you get a momentum boost, which is some temporary advantage. Some are generic, some are just weird and meaningless.



quote:

You must pick a Morphism, but if you donít want to have any of the anatomically bizarre ones, take note of the first option: Plantigrade/ Digitigrade. All this does is describe whether your character walks on feet that look somewhat human (with the heel on the ground) or on paw-like toes. Pick the one most suited to your mental image and your Morphism requirement has been met.




So anyway. Let's go through the list!



Plantigrade/Digitigrade: For some reason, having normal person/animal person legs just makes you better at fighting and gives you more proficiency points. I don't know why. This is just how the setting works.



Atypical Patterning: You look real wacky, refer to the below image just for how fucking wacky you turn out. Looking like a GOFFYCK RAVER FURRY means you're camouflaged, no matter what your pattern is, as long as you're really acrobatic in fights, attacking enemies and then running away from them again. I'll also note that all of these weird deformities run with the whole "have a quote from each family of animal," despite them not being able to be stereotyped, and the ferret ones remain annoyingly fishmalky/hyperactive.







Hemivector: You look more human than most! Because humans are inferior to furries, you're more fragile, obviously, yet because humans are also sinister and deceitful, you become better at lying to people and talking them into things. Sneaky humans.



How did THAT get here?: Despite us being told about how the Vectors CLEANED UP THEIR GENES and MADE THEM MORE EFFICIENT, some weird mutation popped up in you anyway, and you get to mix and match animal traits. So you can be an alligator with feathery wings, a bird with fangs or something otherwise weird. It notes that these modifications are "non-functional," i.e. entirely cosmetic, and then a paragraph later notes that it just takes one brief doctor's visit and they become totally functional. Unless you actually do that, though, it's entirely a drawback that just makes you slower and, for some reason, it makes you a better wrestler/grappler in combat.





Mormon Charizard wants to tell you about Jesus



Hybrid: This finally explains a term I never really noticed much, earlier in the text, and hence skipped over. "Mutt-Reduction," which is a thing that means that while two given species can bang, and have kids, the kids won't look like a weird mix of the two, but instead purely inherits one parent's traits, appearance and family. Sometimes it fouls up, though, and the RACIAL PURITY of the Furry Space Future is despoiled, resulting in a Hybrid. It also means that anyone from either of your two parent species dislikes you, because RACIAL PURITY is good. The only advantage is that you get to pay for more "Gene Refreshment" boosts later on, whatever they are, I guess we'll learn. The "momentum" advantage for this one is the same as for the prior deformity, being "YOU ARE GOOD AT WRESTLING IF YOU PUNCH PEOPLE THREE TIMES IN A ROW."



Lateral: Remember those unfortunate furries that ended up with plain animal bodies because no one would do the merciful thing and abort them while they were in the tubes? This is them.



quote:

Being a tiny Gecko could be useful, but it also makes you rather vulnerable to boots. Lateralism affords the greatest advantage to disadvantage ratio of any of the Morphisms present here. Being able to slip through air ducts as a ferret or run at a cheetahís true speed could be tremendously useful. But at the same time, you donít have fingers or thumbs and you donít stand upright. Consider your day to day tasks, and how many of them would be affected by even those simple changes.




Clearly the best use for this deformity would be to fluff your character as a pack of tiny geckos in a trenchcoat or suit who pretend to be a normal animal person. But I doubt the game would let you do anything quite that fun.



quote:

Itís worth noting, for the sake of roleplay and general association, that Laterals wear clothing. Despite the relative inconvenience of having to wiggle into pants, Laterals are Vectors: intelligent, integrated, contributing members of society who have been present since the earliest days of their existence. As such they are subject to the same rules of decency: you donít wander around nude on the street. Laterals rarely begrudge it; they have as many feelings of modesty and as much desire to decorate themselves appealingly as any other person does. Itís a bit more difficult to get dressed without hands, but no one said having a rare morphism was easy. In most casual situations the illusion of decency is enough: a jacket, shirt, something to cover the majority of the body. Other people can then exercise the restraint of not looking where they shouldnít. If nothing else, it keeps them from being confused for wild animals.




(Note that one of their bonuses is actually that they can be confused for wild animals, so, say goodbye to that minor bonus if you don't want people looking at your balls all day)



Good luck, you get to look like one of those pitiful animals whose owners make them wear pants, a shirt and some sort of retarded hat. Who even came up with this miserable fucking idea? Also, I note that snake-species furries HAVE to take this. I guess this means that no snakes, first off, have any limbs at all, and secondly, that most of them are fucking tiny. Unless you're a goddamn boa constrictor or something, what are you even gonna do? All you really CAN do is coil up on a chair all day and watch TV. At least a lateral, say, tiger, would have some paws to bop stuff, or a lateral bird would have a beak and claws to maneuver things around.



Aside from whatever advantages you might get, whatever minimal ones they might be, from your choice of animal, your only real advantages are in combat(socially and skill-monkey-wise you get completely shafted with massive penalties for just about anything more complex than pushing a button or saying hi), where you don't provoke HSD's version of Attacks of Opportunity and have a constant cover bonus due to odd size and shape. So you're great at fighting! With a body that can't wear most armor. And paws(or claws, if any), that can't wield most weapons. And. Well, I guess maybe we can glue a sword to your head.





This tiger looks so sad that someone made it wear a dress.



Micro-ism: You're tiny. Or, at least as tiny as your originator species was. I guess this is a better choice for Swarm Of Geckos Man than actual Lateralism, which just makes that modifier even more pointless. Their main advantage is, obviously, being absolute dodge monsters in combat, and the fact that they can still wield weapons(though they assume them as being some size categories larger), so they're basically Laterals except better, they even get the same permanent cover bonus on TOP of more dodge bonuses. This deformity is an excellent chance to highlight how fucking annoying the Mustelidae quotes for all of them are, though.



quote:

Mustelidae: YOUíRE ADAWWWARABUUUUU!




Imagine that sort of shit for every single "morphism."



Note, that while Micro-ism applies hard maximums to some physical stats, lateralism does not, and while lateralism allows, even outside of the GM fiat usually required for multiple morphisms, and even suggests, combining with micro-ism, it's not required. So technically you can be a tiny Lateral animal with absurdly maxed physical stats. Play a fucking sparrow and min/max your way to one-shotting people with one peck of your beak. I wonder if the game will let us do that.







Taurism: This is the only way for snakes to have limbs(arms only, though, no legs), which also buffs them up to normal human size, meaning that you can't be a tiny snake with a pair of beefy arms, like a horrible mutant Trogdor. Avians get another special variant of this, in that it just detaches their wings from their arms, actually making them angel-shaped, and explaining why they might be less shit at flying than other avians... though I'm not sure whether that would actually be the result. I mean, it actually seems like a way more awkward location for the wings with regards to actual flight(though perhaps better for dramatic posing, angels can look pretty cool).



One of their combat advantages is that you can attach a machinegun to their back and use them as a "stable firing platform." That's actually a reasonably entertaining idea. Aside from that, all they're good at is rushing enemies and shoving them around, which I guess is handy, assuming that this game has non-shit grappling rules. But what are the odds of that?





Can't be a furry RPG without fetishbait. Why is her midriff even exposed? Can't she afford clothes that fit?







Twin-Tailed:



quote:

Canidae: Alright, alright, I get it, you were young, you thought the kitsune look was hot, weíve all been there, itís time to get it removed. Maybe. Maybe not. Itís natural? Are...are you doing anything tonight?




Not, and I repeat, not, a furry fetish RPG, guys. Get it straight. But aside from helping someone at the game table get their rocks off, all it does is let you slap people around with your tail better in combat, and make you a mild pariah in social interaction.



With that out of the way, though, we can start to actually touch the system! Because now we're gonna do the things that actually affect our dice and things!



Actual character creation!





Beats the character sheet from Eoris, at least



So, anyway, note the Mind/Body/Community/Economy columns. We assign dice to those, we've got a D12, two D10's and a D8. For everything we roll using one of those columns, we use that die, and it's about rolling high, so obviously we've got one good, two average and one poor category. If we assume we put a D12 in Body, and need to roll to do something STRONG, and we've got five dice in STRENGTH, we roll 5D12, and we need an 8 or better on any one of those for a success. I've heard of worse systems. Most modifiers add or subtract dice, and specialties(called "proficiencies") add static modifiers to every die in the pool. So if we had a proficiency called BEING REAL STRONG, we'd be rolling 5x1d12+1, hoping one or more of them would be an 8 or better. If something is trying to do something to us, we roll a "save" instead, which is a single die(if we somehow use our Body to make a save, then a D12), plus one of our "defenses," which then has to beat whatever the difficulty of the incoming attack is. This is my understanding of the system so far.



And... it's actually not a bad system as such, I've certainly seen worse. Of course, it takes more than the core mechanic, we also have to assume that none of the numbers we get to use are completely unbalanced.



It's also not just aesthetics that the four columns are split into two blocks. We've got eight dots to assign to one block, and six for the other. Everything has one free dot to start with, we get another free dot from our choice of Family, and everything maxes out at three on chargen. Crunching a few numbers, this comes out to roughly ~70% chance of success for 3d12, ~65% for 3d10 and ~35% for 3d8, assuming no bonuses from proficiency, circumstance, morphism, etc. and that it's a totally standard out-of-combat roll. This, again, actually seems pretty fair. We can have a decent number of 3d12 and 3d10 skills to roll, and we start out with a reasonable chance of success, so we're not going to be failing at everything right out of the gate.



My main issue with the next part is the terrible terminology and some overlap.



Mind posted:

Mind:Dexterity represents your mindís ability to wrap itself around new ideas and come up with creative ways to approach a situation.



...



Mind:Resilience represents your ability to bounce back from or resist mental trauma.



...



Mind:Acuity represents your ability to perceive patterns. In everything.



...



Mind:Strength represents your intelligence, in terms of sheer horsepower. It is how well you cogitate, how quickly you can compute a solution to a problem, or how much knowledge you can absorb and retain.



...



Mind:Presence represents your spiritual wholeness of being. A little abstract, but it plays a role in your ability to resist supernatural attack, operate supernatural equipment, and in some cases, exert your willpower over others.




For instance, Mind:Dexterity and Mind:Strength... how do I decide whether a situation needs RAW THINKING or CREATIVITY? Mind:Acuity feels like it should just have been called "perception," and Mind:Presence like it should just have been called "charisma" or something just a bit more traditional, though I appreciate the urge to try and stuff everything into a neat scheme, it doesn't always work out well.



Body posted:

Body:Dexterity represents your physical ability to manipulate small or complex tools, move, stretch, or contort.



...



Body:Resilience represents your ability to bounce back from or resist physical trauma.



...



Body:Acuity represents how acute your bodyís sensory organs are. How well you see, how well you hear, how well you smell and what information you might pick up from your various senses.



...



Body:Strength represents the physical strength of your body. It also represents your endurance.



...



Body:Presence represents how wholly you embody the paragon of your being. Donít confuse this for ďbeauty,Ē as it has nothing to do with whether or not youíre a pretty person.




A few minor oddities here, Body and Mind:Acuity could both overlap at points, it seems odd that Body:Strength is for Endurance, when there's a Body:Resilience right there, and I'm really not sure that any game needs more than one "Charisma"-esque stat. Though I do appreciate that they point out that Body:Presence can also be used for stealth, so stealth isn't purely a function of being dexterous(which often ends up being a god stat in a lot of skill-based RPG's), but also a function of knowing how to look unobtrusive. But seeing as how Body:Presence is entirely about LOOKING EXCEPTIONAL, it seems odd to put it in there, it would seem to fit better with Mind:Presence, in that it would seem to be an understanding of how your appearance works and how to modify it... if that makes any sense, I've been looking at this thing on and off for like, over an hour now, and it's probably doing bad things to my SAN score.



Community posted:

Community:Dexterity represents your ability to move throughout different communities without committing social mistakes.



...



Community:Resilience represents your ability to recover gracefully from failings in your reputation, or typecasting caused by your breed, career or morphism.



...



Community:Acuity represents your ability to pick up on problems, events or shifts in the local community simply by being there.



...



Community:Strength represents your reputation. It doesnít necessarily make it a GOOD reputation, itís just how widely your name is known in your community.



...



Community:Presence represents your influence throughout the communities of the galaxy. The higher the rating, the more fingers you have in other peopleís pies.




This whole thing just gives me unpleasant flashbacks to Exalted and its desire to basically try and make "social combat" function like physical combat, right down to initiative rolls, but with arguments instead of swords. I repeat that I really think this is way too many kinds of charisma, and that a third kind of perception that only works on people, seems like a step too far in that category, too. You can already use Mind:Acuity to note if something's up just by people-watching, just look for patterns. And Body:Acuity should let you help spot anything that stands out or that people try to hide, simply by being eagle-eyed, so Community:Acuity seems to exist just to get shafted.



Economy posted:

This Stat governs many of the behaviors of your Ledger, which is one of the primary means characters use to advance their wealth and influence in HSD.



Economy:Dexterity represents the diversity of your Ledger. It helps keep your finances safe from market fluctuations and makes you more appealing to corps looking to hire someone with good market presence. In the balance process, this lets you re-roll the dice used to determine your credit value for the day.



...



Economy:Resilience represents the ability of your ledger to recover from outside attack.



...



Economy:Acuity represents your ledgerís ability to pick up on new opportunities and invest in your absence.



...



Economy:Strength represents the strength of your investments, and how much they pay. It also contributes to a corpís willingness to pay you more for a contract, and your ability to demand more money for a sale.



...



Economy:Presence represents your physical footprint on the landscape of the corp market. You can use this Trait to ďthrow your money around,Ē which can get you admission to events or locations only interested in dealing with a certain class of individual.




I had a few gripes with the other three categories, but they were largely okay, perhaps with a few adjustments here and there, but this one is fucking shit. Firstly, how can your ledger even be different from anyone else's? They're all running on the same, ancient calculations and software, that no one is allowed to edit and no one can hack. So everyone should just have flat 1's(defined as "normal") here. Secondly, outside attack? How is anyone even going to attack your ledger? It's unhackable, as we're told, and since everyone's investments are automated, how would anyone even attack yours, specifically? And hell, if ledgers CAN be attacked, sabotaged and people's finances actually damaged, doesn't that mean that, despite all we're told, there probably are, poor, suffering furries that can't afford all the necessities of the day?



And wait, "in my absence"? So ledgers AREN'T automated, after all, but actually require furry intervention to function? And if people can intervene, and hence potentially fuck up, again, doesn't that mean that there are probably plenty of furries that DON'T have what they need, and the whole concept of the ledger as automated, behind-the-scenes welfare doesn't work? Colour me fucking amazed.



As for the Strength and Presence, options, here, I mean, come on, aren't they basically Mind:Presence and Community:Presence? But with a modifier called "filthy fucking rich" for Economy:Presence? The existence of this entire column is a terrible fucking idea. Go home and revise your homework, furry designers. They even admit that this whole column, on the whole, gets less checks and has less game impact than the others, so can't players just fucking dump this one hardcore down to its d8's and survive by stealing gear off dead enemies or starting the game by robbing some stores and whatever, since they can min/max themselves into unassailable superthieves/adventurers who now just need gear?



Now, what I will congratulate the devs on, even if they bungled it a bit, is the way they did their "specializing." It's a better version of White Wolf's Physical/Social/Mental split, in that even if you go Body, you've got some degree of social interaction to fall back on, if you go Mind, you've got something willpower-esque to fall back on. Unfortunately with the huge, missed thing that there's no combat whatsoever outside of Body, and nothing about knowing and thinking outside of Mind. The attempt at mixed categories, a sort of "archetypes," if you will, was a decent idea. Maybe if it had been something like... Savage/Civilized/Noble instead... Savage has RAW PHYSICAL CHARISMA, savage weapons(melee, brawling, etc), knows about nature, survival, that sort of thing. Civilized knows society, understands books, uses firearms, makes reasoned arguments for social interaction. Noble gets along socially by dressing in a way that impresses people(he has the money for shitloads of diamonds, after all, why not make a hat out of them?), has fancy, flashy weaponry, and uses his social connections as his form of "charisma."



But that's basically just designing a game from scratch, rather than pointing out how they could have not fucked up, so, eh.



At any rate, what I'd like to do at this point would be to read through the rest of the chargen, make fun of what needs making fun of for being stupid or poor design(and praise any of the, unlikely, gems to be found), then try and see how hard I can break the system. So, what sort of breaking should I aim for? Combat monsters? Invisible stealth guy? Something completely absurd like a five-inch gecko that Fist of the North Star's his enemies? Someone who breaks the game with money?



~PurpleXVI

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