Reviews and Ramblings
MIDDENARDE - PART 7 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 6 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 5 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 4 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
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GM Startup Guide by PurpleXVI - 06/10/09
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DORF FORT ELLPEE by CAPSLOCKGUY - 10/19/08
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Roll for Soume-Lam circumference
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 7
05:25pm EDT - 8/12/2015
Also known as...
That's right! 159 pages into the book and we reach the first thing that has ANY relation to the rules whatsoever! And right off the bat we're informed what system we're using, it's called... The Storm System. At least they picked a pretty bitchin' name for it.
So let's take it as the text informs us about it. Everything is on a scale of 1 to 20, and 20 is the maximum human limit, while Wraeththu have no limits on anything whatsoever. 'cept... apparently... there IS an upper limit, but the Wraeththu just don't know it? And if they don't know it, apparently they can just completely ignore it? Goddammit! And then they completely ignore the system, so, just so we can actually UNDERSTAND this fucking chapter, I'm jumping ahead to page... 239 to see what the basic mechanic is.
It seems like what we've got is a basic D20 roll-under mechanic. For opposed rolls, both sides try to roll under the relevant number, and whoever rolls the farthest under theirs(for instance, rolling a 3 when your number is 10, is better than rolling a 14 when your number is 15) succeeds. Critical failures/successes are reversed from D&D, predictably, so we want 1's and hate 20's.
Now back to chargen!
: This is the part where you decide who your character actually IS. None of this affects the system, but there are some pre-made questions to help you(this is actually a nice idea that more systems could benefit from) and some sidebars! For instance...
This game can be enjoyed just as much if you play a group of humans battling against the Wraeththu. Although such characters are essentially doomed either to die or one day be incepted, you can at least explore the world as a character perceived as the enemy.
Not sure if this means all humans fighting the RAY THOO are fucked due to being inferior or whether this is just a reference to the fact that humans definitely age while RAY THOO sort-of-maybe-kinda-don't.
For the humans, and for the human part of any Wraeththu's life, here are the relevant questions.
What did your character do at school, college? Did your character have a part-time job, or were they in full-time work? Was your character a member of any subcultures? Did your character take a specific educational path? What was your character's family life like? Did your character travel much or stay at home? How did your character hear about the Wraeththu?
So all in all, nothing too fucked up. Decide what he did, where he came from, what he liked, what he hated, whether he knows the world or if he's been sheltered from day one. Also here we actually get to see some sidebar quotes from the recently-Incepted, suggesting that the Wraeththu might just NOT be the height of intellectual perfection compared to humanity...
Can I change my name to Merlin? -Quote from a recently-incepted Sulh(PurpleXVI's Note: Those being the MAJYCKAL BRITISH WRAETHTHU)
And then, questions about the Inception.
Why did your character become har? Were any of your character's friends and relatives incepted? Into which tribe was your character incepted? Did your character know what to expect or was ti all new to him? Did your character have any strange experiences during the Inception? Did your character dream, and if so, how did these dreams affect them? When your character's body had fully changed and he awoke, what did he feel? With whom did your character have his first aruna, and was the experience positive or negative? Now that the character is no longer human, does he feel bound by humanity's laws?
Again, none of this is particularly odd, though it all basically pares down to two important questions: Was the Inception traumatic, horrifying and against your will? And what tribe did this to you? The sidebar quotes also start getting more obnoxious, descending into Fishmalkitude.
Peanuts! Don't mention peanuts near me. When you live with Chinchillas, peanuts become the bane of your life." -Calambus Mint
I mean seriously!
Anyway, finally there are two last categories of question, which I can't be fucked to transcribe. First Days(after Inception): "Who did you make friends with, who did you piss off, what did you do?" and Future: "What are your motivations?"
And then, SUDDENLY, huge side-section! "Women And Inception."
In the world of the Wraeththu, women seem to get rather a raw deal. It appears they are unable to become Hara, and the Hara claim the best and brightest men to become like them. Women who wish to play characters in the world of Wraeththu may feel this is rather off-putting. After all, a Wraeththu character is neither male nor female(and yet in some ways both). Almost all Wraeththu have begun their lives as men and see the world initially from a male perspective. A Wraeththu is essentially a male character coming to terms with their new female nature, so women may find it unfair they cannot play a female character coming to terms with their male aspect.
Also apparently they're all Asians who live in the FAR EAST as part of tribe Zigane. The book also suggests that the character could just be a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE who was incepted by normal Wraeththu(trying it for the 1000th time, just in case the other 999 dead women were a fluke) and yet it somehow worked. They turn into androgynous man-likes anyway, though, instead of masculine lady-ish things.
The alternative for women wanting to play female characters is to play a female human
. "Female humans have far more potential as player characters than their male counterparts." Also apparently women are far less terrified of Wraeththu(well, okay, probably because Wraeththu blood doesn't make their genitals turn into horrifying monstrosities), and can totally get along with them far better than men. So you could be a lady hanging out with the ladyguys. "Women tend to be less physical in their attempts to fight the future." Then the book backpedals and says BUT, UH, YOU CAN TOTALLY PICK UP A GUN AS A LADY ANYWAY.
Oh and then comes the rape!
Human males are usually the ones trying to fight the Wraeththu, but women seem to be ignored by them. When the world starts to fall apart, might becomes the only justice. With women being physically unable to dominate men, they fall prey to man's desperation. They are often kept hidden away for safety and sometimes used as little more than breeding stock to replace those that the Wraeththu have taken. Taking this to an extreme, "rape gangs" may stalk the cities trying to ensure every woman is pregnant in a desperate and horrifying attempt to repopulate the human race.
As the physically weaker members of society, many women are forced back into the kitchen to do as they are told. With this climate, it is small wonder that many turn to Wraeththu society, running for the ironic safe haven of a Wraeththu city, happy to be rid of men. The Hara are happy to leave them alone, as women are of no interest to them as either mates or slaves. They also know women want nothing from them, they neither beg to be incepted or resort to violence as easily as men. So the Wraeththu are happy to treat them as individuals and trade and work with them as required. In fact, with Wraeththu being originally male, many may turn to women to help them deal with their newly awoken feminine side. Who else in the world is there to council the Hara about the new aspects of themselves?
The potential is already there; in today's society many women find close friendships with gay men, so why not with the Wraeththu? To a woman, Wraeththu may well seem to be perfect men. They are strong and powerful, as well as deeply attractive, with all that power tempered by a sensitive feminine aspect. It would not be surprising for many women to fall in love with a Hara, even when she knows that love can never be returned. However, in its place can often form a bond of love dependant not on sex or lust. Aruna for a Wraeththu is not only something reserved for those they love. So it follows that Aruna need not be an essential ingredient for any loving relationship as well. In such a way, a Wraeththu could easily come to a non-sexual but still loving relationship with a woman. Such a relationship would make them perfect adventuring companions.
Yeah, just read that. Think about it for a moment, and in the meantime I'm going to take this as a chance to sneak back into the crunchy parts of chargen.
: Traits are basically more fluffy character generation stuff. The only crunchy part is the selection of tribe. Also it has a list of selected names that heavily added to the "dumb fucking names in this chapter"-list at the end of the post.
: It starts out with some stuff about height and weight, apparently all Wraeththu are mass-produced when it comes to physical traits, as a given height will always result in approximately the same weight. You also want to be as HUGE as possible as apparently heavier Wraeththu can store more MAGICAL ENERGY.
: Interestingly enough, while we have physical and mental stats(STR, DEX, STAM, PER, WILL, INT) we have no social stats. For a setting which supposedly puts so much focus on mentally, seduction and social/sexual interaction, you'd think it'd have something like Exalted's social combat, or at least a Diplomacy skill. Still, I suppose that could be folded in under Intelligence, we shall see! All the stats have a little descriptive "fluff" paragraph which chronicle the adventures of Dag, Mint & Zip, terminally drunk Uigenna on a beer run. It's not exactly well-written, but it's a nice change from the overly dramatic examples you get in some books. As mentioned before, the human scale is 1 to 20, all stats start at a base of 4, then we roll 6d6, each die presents us with a number we can add to one stat, and finally we get 10 free points. And the starting limit in anything is 15(unless, the book says, we can sweet-talk our GM into removing that limit). So far nothing seems particularly fucked up or hard to follow.
There's XP(Development points), Merits & Flaws(not listed yet), Resources(your funds and equipment, this is NOT decided by stats or points, but entirely by your background, so the more Sue you write it, the more sweet gear you get!).
: As far as I can tell, you can end up rolling against EITHER a skill OR a stat, not the two added together, as in many systems. But each skill also has two associated stats, and those stat gives it a bonus or penalty(from -2 to +5, for the 1 to 20 range, you average the two stats to find where on the scale they lie). Your total skill points are dependant on minor boosts from Intelligence and Perception(at 15, your max starting, they'd give you a total of +6, with both at 20 it'd be a +15), +2d6 and finally a flat +45. The game promises a list of skills soon, soon! Just like it promises a list of Merits & Flaws soon, soon!
: Yeah, weirdly enough, combat skills are not normal skills, and they DON'T get stat bonuses? Except then the text backpedals less than a line later and says they DO get bonuses, just not bonuses for specific skills, instead you get general boosts to ranged and melee combat. You also need to specialize in EVERY damn weapon you use. "Pistol" is not just "pistol," you apparently need to specifically specialize in DESERT EAGLES or GLOCK 9MM or something. I'm sure a gun nerd can tell me whether this is completely irrational or not(I am suspecting that it kind of is). Oh, reading a bit down, it seems DESERT EAGLE is the specific example for the fucking Pistol skill. Goddammit.
So, to recap what the book says... you get your Base Combat Modifier to all weapons for which you have the relevant style(for instance, all pistols), but you only get a further skill bonus if are actually using your specialization: DESERT EAGLE. Except on top of this, there are also FIGHTING STYLES? I'm getting completely lost in this fucking text. Apparently, a ONE-HANDED fighting style, would only apply to the KATANA that the example character(AGROTH) is specialized in, not a broad sword. But you still need to have 10 in the STYLE to have 10 in the SPECIALIZATION. Also fixing your weapons is a COMBAT SKILL instead of a normal skill. I think, from re-reading it, that in addition to skill with the weapon itself... (Broad category: SWORDS. Specialization: KATANA.) you also need a combat style for what you want to DO with the weapon(like 1-handed or 2-handed for melee weapons). Styles also represent your maximum for other skills, if you have 2-handed at 12, for instance, and no other melee style, you cannot have any melee weapon skill above 12. There are no styles for ranged combat, so ranged combat dudes totally get it all cheaper, it would seem.
But it's fair! Because "anyone can pick up a gun and pull the trigger"(then what about bows, jackass? I thought tech was mostly falling apart in this post-apoc world!), while swords are apparently some sort of NOBLE ART that require years upon years of mastering, unlike dishonourable guns.
This is totally stupid and I'm putting the book down for now as it starts preaching on about how this system is for REALISM.
New stupid names for this chapter: Essence, Seraph, Crimson, Lynx, Tiamat, Shiva, Antarax, Foxhawk, Silver, Gorlagon, Blackfern, Thoth, Zap, Nubia.