Reviews and Ramblings
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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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I put on my Rehuna robe and hat
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 10
06:01pm EDT - 8/12/2015
The bad art starts up again in this chapter in a rather serious way. It also starts with a metric fuckload of in-character fiction which I'm going to summarize for you all, because fuck transcribing four pages of this trash.
Basically, back in YE OLDE ANCIENT TYMES, humans were totally enlightened because they were ONE WITH NATURE, chatted with the spirits, and believed that gods, demons and elementals were behind everything that happened. Human shamans talked to these spirits, fought the bad ones, etc. What directly led to humanity's "madness and decay" was the fact that we became advanced, started believing in science and became "robotic and isolated."
Then the Wraeththu writer starts wanking off about them not knowing if they were made on purpose or just an accident or yadda yadda yadda bullshit. And apparently the only thing that stops someone from being a bitchin' wizard is that they cannot PERCEIVE THE UNIVERSE correctly, seems like as long as you can just perceive everything as being part of everything, all energy interconnected, and everything as energy, you can wizard it up by force of will. There's also an expansion on how Wraeththu telepathy lets them send messages into both past and future when they get trained enough. We're also finally told that the MAGIC FLYING HORSES are actually real, and can ride through magical wormholes.
Short glossary: Agmara(Wraeththu Mana), Magari(Wraeththu spells), Majhahn(Wraeththu ritual magic), Nayati(Wraeththu temple), Rehuna(Wraeththu wizard), Ruhan(Wraeththu wizard in plural). I'm still personally fucking wondering where they get all these stupid terms. Can anyone tell me if they're ganked from some real-world language? Because that might make SOME sense, at least if those terms were used by a culture in North America or Europe, since those are the only places the Wraeththu seem to really be from.
Also the existence of "Dark Matter" means that science cannot explain the universe, because real Magic can't in any way be measured or explained by SCIENCE! Scientists secretly suspect that Dark Matter is magic, but they just never got a chance to admit it before the Wraeththu showed up and fucked everyone over. "Unfortunately, human scientists could not tolerate the idea that ancient peoples, whom they considered primitive, could have known more than they did."
Disintegrating things can apparently also be done magically really easily since you just tap every object's internal energy to tear it apart to atoms or warp it out of reality. Which makes you wonder why the fuck any Wraeththu Wizard would ever bother with the described-as-more-complex options of blowing it up, dropping heavy objects on it or setting it on fire. Wizard Wraeththu are directly encouraged to game the system to find the cheapest and least backlashy methods of accomplishing everything. Wraeththu players shouldn't also worry about not solving everything with magic, since their very EXISTENCES are magical. Every Wraeththu is a wondrous, sparkling unicorn of enchantment. This is followed by a short monologue on how we should just flip off technology and embrace wizardry instead, replacing guns with fireballs and computers with magical memory crystals.
Pretty much every paragraph includes or ends with a bit about how science can go get fucked
because magic is the real power
. More rarely there are also bits about how religion can equally go get fucked
because having rules for how things work or believing in cause and effect makes you a worse wizard.
Science, in a human sense, has had its time. Its tools have either been abandoned or broken, and the more rigid of its views have been rejected by the majority of hara.
With the influx of magical knowledge, the unknown now has a framework for explanations about how the universe functions, and scientific facts aren't as cut and dried as they were. New theories and ideas are showing themselves and the mysterious of Dark Matter will be explained.
Don't ask me why the fucking obsession with Dark Matter. This chapter is also, oddly enough, where we have Wraeththu morality explained. Basically it's generic subjective morality where no specific acts are evil, it all depends on circumstances and intent, yadda yadda. There's also another fresh glossary about all the goddamn goofy magical accoutrements Wraeththu wizards us. Vakei, WIZARD DAGGERS with MAGICAL CRYSTALS. Shayyai, WIZARD BOWLS, that are very boring. Naqi, WIZARD DAGGERS that you use for the whole Bishie Herpes transferral process. Nayati, as mentioned, is the local WIZARD HUT or stone circle or where ever.
Sidebar: "Aruna plays a big part in the novels, so should not be ignored in this game." Hoo boy.
Aruna or Sex Magic
: Alright, so it starts out by recapping that every Wraeththu has their wacky fucked up genitals and can get up to whatever craziness they like. Oh also that boning can be a MAGICAL RITUAL that affects reality. Also contradicting the very first thing I posted about this RPG
, this bit also says it would be inappropriate to roleplay the dickings.
Then there's a bit of bullshit about "blah blah blah we're ripping off Paradox and vulgar/subtle magic from oMage blah blah blah we're unoriginal fuckfaces." And then we hit another gold mine:
To summarize! Humans cannot do magic right because we are selfish, afraid and do the whole Dogma thing where we try to systematize stuff and understand it(shades of In Dark Alleys! Hello!). Yet at the same time, apparently most humans believed in Miracles but hated Magic. Aren't Miracles basically stuff that's accepted as inexplicable bullshit from some Other Force? Stuff that cannot be set into a system or explained? So would that not make that... not-Wraeththu's-definition-of-Dogma? But anyway, we could totally have saved ourselves from destruction if we had learned how to throw fireballs and disintegrate stuff.
The few humans who figured out their WIZARDLY POWERS got locked up for being crazy or burned at the stake. So basically we can blame THE CHURCH and THE MAN for us not being awesome wizards.
(PS for those reading along: After noting all this science-hating stuff, please note that Wraeththu's spirituality and magic has been marketed as a real "spiritualism" that has been gobbled up by thousands upon thousands of Wraeththu fans! You may know some of these people!)
I told you there'd be more bad art
Alright so, having awesome brains and an "androgynous spiritual being" is what allows Wraeththu to tap into magic that humans can't ever hope to approach. This follows a goofy-ass pseudo-alchemical system of elements and states. Air magic covers anything
gaseous, including oxygens and chemical weapons. One example use is specifically creating more gaseous oxygen, so I can't see why you'd be barred from filling someone's lungs with sarin gas.
Earth magic, mysteriously enough, requires Strength as its major stat(it was Intelligence for Air), so I guess we have MUSCLE WIZARDS in the house, Earth magic includes manipulating and creating everything solid and radioactive. Hello Wizard Nukes. Fire is Dexterity and is heat, flames and anything combustible
. And if these terms seem VERY EASILY ABUSED, then note that the intro text for this bit specifically says that what fits into which category is personal and basically up to how a given Wraeththu defines it.
Water is Willpower and is, predictably, creating and manipulating any liquid. Any liquid
, I'm personally not seeing how this prevents us from gaming the system by creating liquid versions of normally-solid materials. Hello raining molten iron on assholes I don't like. For anything that isn't water, we need a "knowledge of their structure and effect." So some high school chemistry classes or a pre-apocalyptic chem textbook is all we need to fuck everyone over forever.
The four "spiritual" elements are Spirit(minds, basically), Kinetic(literally kinetic energy, yes, yes, this is going to be amazingly broken since the description of magic so far has left nothing to prevent us from accelerating someone's heart out of their ribcage at ridiculous speeds), Attraction(Gravity and magnetism. Make your own conclusions about how to break the world) and Plasmatic(The "miscellaneous" category for everything not already covered. The example given is basically electrical power and creating enough heat energy to weld things together).
Four "states" that can be fucked with, Temporal(yep, TIME MAGIC, time travel is specifically mentioned as an option), Phase(the odds of something happening, teleportation, stepping into other worlds), Destruction(fucking shit up, oh and it can be combined with Temporal/Spirit to completely delete someone from reality, not just exploding them like a Fallout critical hit) and Conversion(basically alchemy, we cannot change complex things into other complex things, but we can change lead into gold, that sort of thing).
It also took me a solid ten minutes to find the hidden paragraph that actually describes how magic works. It's another skill check, but they decided that nothing relevant to it should actually be in the RULES chapter, and the actual RULES for magic should be something like a literal fifty pages into the Magic chapter after shitloads of fluff. Did I mention that the magic parts during chargen will make NO FUCKING SENSE without having paged 150 pages ahead and reading the Magic chapter?
Gods & Goddesses
: Wraeththu still have religion but it's ENLIGHTENED RELIGION with an androgynous, hermaphroditic God.
Then there's like a dozen fucking pages about the INCREDIBLY DULL tribal wizard levels and castes. Skipping that because my patience with this pile of shit has gotten worn kind of thin. And then MAGIC RULES. Which inform us that we can completely skirt someone's resistance to being fucked over by magic by, for instance, making molten iron above their head rather than in their lungs. This also lists how we can completely break this thing. Instead of limiting us to a few handy spells, the system determines what we can do by saying: "You can effect X volume/weight." Even a beginning Air/Fire wizard can affect a cubic meter(of nerve gas or pure burning), Earth is a bit more limited with a maximum of a kilogram(so what can we do with a kilogram of refined uranium?) and water gets 1 liter of any given liquid. And that's at the VERY LOWEST levels of knowing anything about this stuff, we could easily start at twice as much as these, and after a while we get exponential gains(level 1 is 1, level 3 is 4, level 6 is 32 and level 10 is 512).
Plasmatic gets a single kiloJoule, Kinetic and Attraction get 1 km/h/kg(a tad wimpier than the others, though if we find a small enough object we can hurl it at bullet speeds or better), Temporal is in days, and Phase and Spirit don't get units(though Spirit is suggested as defined number of souls/minds affectable at once). Instead they're defined by Storyteller Handwavium. Oh and for the record this is how much effect we can have not at any one given time, but every five seconds
. Oh and if we want to have a big effect all at once, we can basically do a DBZ-style power-up and just focus our ability until we're hammering away at a higher scale at once. So for instance if we just sit around and pour Agmara into a single effect for a while we can hurl a truck across the sky.
Sure, this eats up Agmara, but we're talking something like 2 or 3 Agmara(of our starting 45, up to 450 if we've chilled out for a while), for every liter/kilo/cubic meter/day/soul/kilojoule/kph we want to affect. Oh and we can apparently perform human/animal/Wraeththu sacrifices and chain up their souls as magic batteries if we want to break the rules even harder, and we don't even need WILLING sacrifices! Awesome
. Like just a given animal would be another 50 Agmara points, meaning say another 50 cubic meters of whatever gas we want. And the worst these unwilling victims can do is literally to make annoying sounds at us while we're tapping their energy.
Now, you might be wondering, what about the knockoff-Paradox effects? Well, it's like this, something as vulgar as(the book's actual example), shooting fire at someone from your fucking eyes
incurs one point of "Probability." Up to 6 points or so won't really do any real harm, at worst we'll get -10 or -15 to one or two actions and be slightly unfortunate until then. Once that disadvantage actually incurs, we burn off a point of Probability instantly. But you know what? We can do better: As long as any magic we do is RITUAL, rather than spur-of-the-moment, it never incurs any Probability
. So yeah, as long as we take a couple of hours to launch an artillery-like barrage of old cars at a nearby fortress with Kinetic and Earth power, we can do it with impunity. Bang off for a few drinks to chill out and recover Agmara, then show up, spend an hour making a car out of pure TNT and then hurl that
at the enemy fort.
So yeah, another thing they FUCKED UP INCREDIBLY. And you know what? That basically finishes Wraeththu. There's one last appendix, basically a single pre-made adventure and GM'ing advice, but it's really fucking boring.
Thanks for putting up with this misery.
Stupid names for the final chapter: Myth, Twitch, Blackrose