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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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FATAL & Friends Repost: Kromore, Part 4
06:29pm EDT - 8/15/2015
"Outland Professions" are basically described as adventurers, characters who travel the globe getting into fights and stealing stuff. They consist of the Privateer, Mercenary, Duelist, Grifter and "Ferrian Vanquisher." Most of them are relatively unremarkable, aside from the Grifter and the usual bizarre wording and logic that pops up in some of the abilities.
Outland Trickster: The privateer is often stuck off grid from the rest of society. The privateer learns to combat the forces of mad men, wild beast, and thieves with the power of quick thinking. As 1 action and a hard survival skill check they can render a target prone until their next turn. The privateer uses their survival skill to find a weakness in terrain, environment, or enemy gear.
Because yes, I absolutely translate "often out in the wilderness" to "knows how to trip people up." Also note that despite this being related to fighting the forces of "mad men, wild beasts and thieves," nothing prevents you from knocking over a robot or a cop with this. It also simply specifies "target," so unless something is specifically unable to be knocked prone, you can flip over tanks, giant mecha and just about anything else with it. There's also no specified range, and the fluff on how it works is delightfully vague, so potentially you can do it from across a room as long as you can come up with an excuse? Or from even farther away? I mean, the fact that you can use a "weakness in the terrain or enemy gear" that, presumably, the player gets to invent himself opens it up to just about anyone, anywhere, in any situation, as long as you know they're there.
The real star of this update, though, is the Grifter.
Grifter Charm: A grifter makes a negotiate check in combat as 1 action and gains up to 1 point of their charm attribute as a bonus to attack that chosen target until it flees or is defeated.
The Grift: A grifter can steal anything from a target they have declared their grifter charm on as long as the grifter is within reaching distance of the object. The grifter is not required a sneak roll to steal the object nor is the target allowed an awareness check as long as the grifter has initiated combat and succeeded their grifter charm.
So yes, we can literally steal ANYTHING from an enemy as long as we're within reaching distance and manage to "grifter charm" someone. If you wanted to be very technical, you could presumably steal someone's eyeballs or, if you rule that "distance" only considers how far you can theoretically reach, and not what's in the way, also internal organs. Also again, even without wording it to instakills, remember that we have three actions in a given round, and unless specified otherwise, anything we do defaults to requiring one action. So even if we need to use one action to close up to stealing range, we can still steal a dude's weapon and armor. By the level where we get THE GRIFT, our Grifter Charm has also been upgraded to apply to three targets at once. So we can literally disarm an entire squad of dudes in one round if we can get into melee range.
The Grifter is made even more amusing by an ability detailed in another chapter, where any class is allowed to spend points to get a "Civilian Vocation." The first rank of the Chef vocation provides:
Cooking Persuasion: A chef gains the ability to cook amazing meals that can persuade targets by allowing the Chef to make a negotiate check against their target after feeding them a meal. The negotiate gains them x2 their normal bonus to negotiation against that target.
Also note that there's no limit on how long after eating a meal that they'll be easily persuaded by you. At the most aggressive you could rule that "feeding" means you have to at least serve it to them, so you can't be the owner of a candy shop or kebab booth that eventually makes an entire city vulnerable to his Negotiate attempts. So if you use your presumably sky high, if you're going for this, Negotiate abilities to charm your way into taking over an army's field kitchen or something, moments after dinner time you can declare you're starting combat and start liberating everyone of their gear.
It also notice that it just says a meal
, not even necessarily a meal that the cook himself made. The RAW for Kromore is hilariously dire.
Weirdly enough this also seems to make the Grifter a far more potent thief in combat than out of combat and in any stealth situation, and looking up the rules for Negotiation, it's basically ROLL FOR MIND CONTROL. If you get 16 or more than the target number(determined by their Charisma), you can literally convince them of anything, and there appears to be no upper limit on how high skill bonuses can go.
Duellists and Mercenaries are both dull, except that mercenaries get the weird ability to make makeshift bombs out of "a simple fuel and a hard object. (Ex. Rocks, Tin can, Battery, etc.)," and can, at higher levels, and with a decent intelligence score, guarantee that they can make makeshift bombs so fast that they can make and throw them in the same round, and still have an action to spare. A quick glance ahead in the book reveals that these bombs made out of tin cans and batteries do more damage than "plasma sniper rifles," at least by just looking at the value on the tables and without involving any skills or other modifiers. By the point he gets to do this, the Mercenary also has three NPC companions, so he could just spend all three of his turns making bombs, passing them to his companions, and having them throw them. This seems to add up to way more damage than he could ever do by actually giving them or himself weapons, and cheaper, too.
Ferrian Vanquishers are only notable for the fact that their weapon is their hair, and telling us that apparently it requires "diamond blades" to cut Ferrian hair. Why no one captures Ferrians to shave them bald and weave an impenetrable set of clothes/armor out of their hair, I don't know.
Next up are the "combat professions," listing the Battler, Warrior, Combat Artist and Brawler. Including them, we now have the: Soldier, Duellist, Mercenary, Battler, Warrior, Combat Artist and Brawler, to list the ones that are just a fighter by any other name, and that's being very generous and leaving out some. In any fucking sane RPG they'd just be the same base class/profession but with different fluff and specializations chosen by the player after first level. And there's literally no interesting fluff or detail to any of them, they're all just a tiresome blur of combat modifiers. The Battler can go berserk and the Brawler is a 3rd ed D&D Monk, that's about it. The art does seem to try to outdo itself by being fucking awful in new and exciting ways, though!
And now it's time for wizard supremacy. Sci-Magi, who are chalk wizards. Adepts, who are sorcerers. Sci-Priests, who are "soulful combat fighters." And Demon Hunters, who are dark, brooding characters that no one trusts.
In addition to getting skill boosts and abilities of their own, some of them quite rad and even, dare I say it, kinda cool, Sci-Magi also have an additional column in their level up spreadsheet that no other class does, that grants them free abilities
. Any class can buy into magic abilities, but these guys, in addition to getting as much shit as everyone else, gets them for free.
Chalk: A Sci-Magi can procure 1 piece of chalk every action without the use of an action to draw the chalk, but the chalk is required carried.
The Sci-Magi can also create chalk as 1 action and a basic focus check out of thin air if they need to. This created chalk disappears if the caster drops it and is only useable in a spell. Often casters use both created and drawn chalk for spells.
Chalk? Well, sure. CHALK, but what can a wizard do with CHALK? Well, for starters, a Sci-Magi can crush a piece of chalk, specifically, nothing else, to have it function as a flashbang that he's immune to. Chalk is also the item needed for most sci-magi abilities, drawing sigils, etc. and since he can just make more out of thin air, he can never really be disarmed of those abilities unless he's tied up. He can also find anything non-living(easily circumvented, just tell it to find the guy's shirt instead), without needing a check, as long as he has a "crystal" to imbue with a desire to find it, then he has a magical compass for finding it.
Doorway: A Sci-Magi can use chalk to draw doorways to the other side of a wall or structure.
Realm Fire: As 1 action the Sci-Magi can use a medium focus check to transform a piece of chalk into a blue fire like ball of energy.
Invisibility Spell: Using a hard focus check and 2 actions, the Sci-Magi can turn invisible with a crushed piece of chalk in both hands. ... Attackers make epic awareness checks to discern the location of the Magi.
An "epic awareness check" requiring that someone get over 24 as a result of d4's+skill modifiers. And no, it doesn't require any check to turn invisible, just chalk, chalk that you have an infinite fucking supply of. Without chalk, the sci-magi still has telekinesis and the ability to turn any reflective surface
into a portal gateway. The text specifically calls out "the surface of the ocean on a still day," and specifies that it counts as one continuous surface, which happily negates the limits on how far two surfaces can be from each other. So, you know, have fun teleporting from one continent to another as long as the weather permits.
And this isn't even getting into the fact that anyone with Realm Magic can make an infinite army of ghosts. Yes, you heard me right, we'll get to that in the Abilities chapter.
Adepts don't get as much overpowered shit as sci-magi, presumably because they're not proper wizards and hence don't deserve proper supremacy. Instead they get to make inferior lesser classes like rogues feel irrelevant.
The adept can produce basic elemental items. The items are not completely stable and deteriorate into air after a number of mins equaling the adepts SOUL attribute. Often times the adept will create a key or something they are searching for without realizing it, but then the object vanishes again in a few hours. The items created are elemental in nature and fit into the hand of the adept as a solid item with no moving parts. Example: chalk, flint, wood, soft rock, metal, coal.
Suck it, lockpickers. Also if you want to break the game, point out that there's clearly permission for organic chemistry since coal is mentioned, and that there are plenty of toxic and corrosive substances that could do notable damage even if you didn't produce more than the weight/volume of a key, and they certainly have no moving parts. This stuff also takes up only one action and with an "easy focus" check to pull off, we can do it pretty much at will.
Homeopathic Touch: The adept can identify the status of a persons thirst, hunger, core temperature, sleep, salt hunger, and LP by touching skin to skin.
Though what the fuck is a salt hunger
? Like is that a term in another language that means something, but has no meaning when translated literally to English? Please. Help. But aside from making rogues irrelevant and checking if someone's cold or hungry, basically they can throw fireballs and heal themselves, that's it.
The Priest is a soulful combat fighter
The jazziest of professions, but it's hard to judge whether they suck shit or completely break the game until we get to the crafting rules, because that's literally all these guys get a bonus to: Crafting and being able to melt non-living matter with their hands. Of course since this is expressed in hit points' worth of damage to stuff rather than in some sort of narrative term or a volume of decayed matter, it's impossible to tell how much it actually matters. I tried searching the entire book and nowhere does it seem to actually list what, say, an average door has in terms of hit points, making this ability entirely pointless.
Despite being in the wizard section, this one is actually a trap choice for fools who think fighters are relevant! That is to say, literally half their abilities don't work unless the storyteller is merciful and let them fight demons on a regular basis, as said abilities require demon blood, souls, etc. to craft items from. And of course their only actual cool ability, being able to trap demon souls in equipment for bonuses, is sequestered at the very top of their levels.
Tune in next time when we check out magic and abilities and how they let us become an evil overlord as long as we've got time to waste. And of course as long as we're a wizard, we don't get to break the game if we're not a wizard.
Pop quiz for the next update: Which of these three is it possible to do with/to a zombie: Negotiation? Intimidation? Or logical debate?