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/tg/ - Traditional Games

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How does the AP system work?

I want to be able to demonstrate it to my group so they will give the system a try, but I don't understand how everyone and everything can go at once, or what the use of Spine is.

Everyone starts at their maximum AP, minus any capacity lost to damaged parts. Is it better to have big attacks that consume a lot of AP or small attacks that consume a little?

Rapids, I'd I understand them correctly, are based on precognition or time travel because they happen before the events that trigger them. How do they work, when do they work, and how do they stack?
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>I don't understand how everyone and everything can go at once, or what the use of Spine is.
Everyone who goes on the current Count declares an Action timing maneuver (typically it will be the Necromancer going first and then the players reacting). Multiple maneuvers on an Action timing occur and resolve at the same time as each other. For example:
>Doll shoots horror with a gun, using 2 AP and dealing 2 damage
>Horror swipes at the Doll with a melee attack, using 1 AP and dealing 2 damage
Since both of these are happening on the same Count and on Action Timing, then they will both go through unless something happens to stop them [a Rapid, Defend, or Auto timing manuever]. What this means is that Actions can't cancel Actions on the same count, so if Horror breaks Doll's gun, Horror still gets shot because damage isn't accrued until after Action timing is finished.
Spine spends one AP to make your next Action-timing maneuver 1 AP cheaper. It's basically the 'sit and wait' option if you want to try and synch with another party member or something.

>Everyone starts at their maximum AP, minus any capacity lost to damaged parts.
Yes. Unless they went past 0 AP on the previous turn.

Rapids are declared in reaction to an Action manuever and occur before the Action timing takes place. If a Rapid manuever would make an Action maneuver impossible (either it breaks the relevant part or moves one party out of range) then the AP that would be spent on the Action is still used. Rapids used on the same count occur at the same time, just like Actions happening on the same count. So Rapids can be used to cancel Actions but not each other, because all Rapids happen on the same timing.
You can also technically declare Rapids on the Action timing if you want, but it still counts for the manuver's one-use-per-turn limit so the utility of that is limited.

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So a breakdown of how things are declared by the players
>Necromancer declares enemy Actions
>Players declare Actions
>both parties declare any Rapids
>Rapids happen
If Rapids require dice or would deal damage, Defend and Check manuevers go here
>Actions happen
>Defend and Check manuevers go here
>calculate damage and spent AP
>go to next relevant Count

If you were to list things happening sequentially as if you were watching the scene happen:
>characters telegraph something [Actions declared]
>quick reactions [Rapids]
>Telegraphed Actions that haven't been stopped go through

You can also think of Timing like a priority list, so from top to bottom priority it's
Things that are always on, like Gun God
So Auto is considered before Rapids which are considered before Actions, etc.

>Is it better to have big attacks that consume a lot of AP or small attacks that consume a little?
Situational depending on build but usually more attack rolls = better. Melee and Unarmed builds thrive on the Chain Attack and Area properties since they can boost their own damage directly while Shooting attacks benefit more from cheap weapons like Shotgun and Sniper Rifle for crit-seeking since Gun God effects your dice results instead of your direct damage (though you shouldn't sleep on the AT rifle because 5 damage from across the map is no joke).

Generally character builds are going to vary a lot based on what the party as a unit is doing, since it can be easy to step on each other's toes if you aren't careful.

It's a slow work day so I'll be around if you have any other questions. Hope this was helpful.

This anon >>80496616 >>80496871 has the right of it.

Except that rapids can be declared in reaction to other rapids. So an action can be reacted to with a rapid from someone else on the battle map, which is then reacted to with a rapid from someone else on the battle map, which is then reacted to with a rapid from someone else on the battle map, which is then reacted to with a rapid from someone else on the battle map, which is then reacted to with a rapid from someone else on the battle map and so on.

Towering pillars of Rapids are interesting because they don't happen often and represent a lot of units blowing resources they cannonly use once per turn (so they have to wait for the AP count to reset, and in the dolls case take an automatic madness point, before they can use them again).
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Also where did you get the OP pic?

Since someone's already answered AP/Action/Rapid thing.

>Is it better to have big attacks that consume a lot of AP or small attacks that consume a little?

Overall, "Attack early, attack often" is frequently the strongest approach. That said, big smacks have their use and place in the system. Buying a bunch of supports and damage boost maneuvers to allow you to absolutely destroy one target (or an area) with one attack once per round is viable too. Ideally, a party has PCs that can do both big smacks and small slaps is best as 3 shots from a shotgun won't impact a savant as much as a Anti-Tank Rifle to their head, but the former's better at wearing down horrors.

>What use spine is

Surprisingly handy, though a bit risky. One example is that you share the same count as an enemy, and you're both out of range. They declared a move maneuver, however, to move into your zone. You can't hit'em yet, but you can spine to delay your action to the next count and smack them after they arrived. You could also be playing as a Thanatos with Drama of death who isn't sharing a count with a sister, so spine to put yourself on the same count as the requiem so you can coordinate with her for that bonus. You can even store enough AP with spine up to the point where you can do multiple maneuvers in a count when you finally do act. The downside is you absolutely HAVE to use that stored AP on the next count, so if you spine and then have to declare a scales to avoid losing your head, you lose that spine discount because you won't be active next count.

Things that occure on Damage timing (this includes all non-passive defends) can only be used once per turn unless the effect text of the part or skill it comes from specifically says otherwise.

Anything not action or auto is once per round unless otherwise specified.
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IIRC, everything except Autos and Actions are once-per-turn unless stated otherwise.
I appreciate your help.

Spine is for synchronization.

AP is the powerhouse of the doll and and determines when event chains start

Auto is always on

Action timing are the the first actions delaired, with the DM declaiming first.

Rapids happen in reaction to, and resolve before actions, but can only be used once per turn. You can also spend a rapid like it were an action and declare rapids in responce to other character's rapids but not your own.
Rapids can invalidate actions via destruction but not other rapids.

Damage is like a rapid but only happens in responce to the user taking damage.

Many smacks are better than big smack.

Fear the Artillery Tractor: Rifled

You usually want to hit first.

I just pulled the lable image from the wiki.
>Damage is like a rapid but only happens in responce to the user taking damage.
Kind of? Damage timing occurs when something is hit with an attack, but it there aren't actually Damage maneuvers that keep things from happening. Some Damage timing manuevers with Defend keep you from taking damage but in other cases it can be used to trigger other abilities, like the Gothic's Predator or Delight In Corruption skills.

Strictly speaking, a manuever with Damage timing just happens when someone gets hit, though their most common use is probably damage reduction.

>Auto is always on
Some have to be declared, like Instrument of Evil or Cover.

>declare rapids in responce to other character's rapids but not your own.
Pretty sure you can declare rapids in response to your own maneuvers.

>Rapids can invalidate actions via destruction but not other rapids.
No, they can explicitly override other rapids. The rapid declared last resolves first.

>Damage is like a rapid but only happens in responce to the user taking damage.
They are like rapids in that they're once per round, but that's about it. Also damage timing maneuvers aren't only from the user taking damage because while Defends are the most common damage timing maneuvers, there's maneuvers like Spikes (when the user deals damage) and protect (when someone else takes damage). Also, unlike rapids, damage timing maneuvers cannot "pre-empt" the maneuver that is triggering them as they resolve "after" it.

>Many smacks are better than big smack.
On average, yes, but you usually want someone with a big whallop.
Sooo... Nechronica thread?

Anyone got any stories? Been a minute since we got to share any.
I'd post up my more recently completed game but it still needs to be cleaned up before it'll be coherent in greentext.
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I don't have any but I look forward to seeing what you put together, be it in time for this thread or a subsequent one.
the completion of my 3 sessions mini relay campaign is not over yet, so maybe next thread, or maybe if one of the player talk about it before hand.
>Many smacks are better than big smack.
Big smacks more situational than many smacks. If you can find a way to knock out two of them in quick succession then they make a wonderful finishing move on a damaged enemy which is a big deal, because making the fight even one round shorter is one less Madness Point you have to deal with.

Pairing up with an Automata with Cover or using Extra Arms to turn one of your attacks into a Rapid can let you bust out two big attacks on the same Count and can be incredibly gnarly. Imagine hitting a massive Horror with two hits from rocket launcher; that's twenty damage from downtown on the same Count. Stuff like that is hard to ignore.

It does tend to take extra coordination with your party though.

I got off of work early today so I'll see about piecing something together. Likely won't be able to get the whole thing together but maybe enough to start posting and finish up Monday or Tuesday if the thread's still up.
>No, they can explicitly override other rapids. The rapid declared last resolves first.

Let's say we have a PC and a Savant who both have their relevant attack parts in their arms and neither have relevant negation parts nor enough defend parts to cancel out all the damage.

In responce to something the Savant targets the doll with a rapid attack with dismember aiming for the arms.
The PC responds by using a rapid attack with dismember targeting the Savant's arms.

Assuming the roll to hit and the dismember check both go the attacker"s way, does the PC hack off the Savant's arms and cause the hit against them to never happen, or do both parties lose all their arm parts?

Does the PC need to declare their rapid before they roll their dismember check or can they do it after?

>does the PC need to declare their rapid before they roll their dismember check or can they do it after?

You declare rapids before any rolling occurs, but in your example, the PC declared last so if their dismember goes through, the savant's rapid would get negated because it was declared first, though it'd never get to the stage of rolling because you'd resolve the doll's attack first.

>though it'd never get to the stage of the savant rolling their attack check
My dolls decided to rebel against the humans and ambushed a human convoy that included 4 savants.
The dolls ate some grenades but were saved by the return of an old comrade who tanked hard. They pushed on and killed the humans in fire, the voracious holic keeping them from fleeing, whilst the savants were dismantled and the human officer had his legs surgically removed with a shotgun. And then eaten.
Next session? The great escape.
Why were you guys rebelling against humans?
Typically I'd think living humans would tend to be on the player's side since the Necromancer is usually the main antagonist of your standard campaign.
Its a long story. Basically the dolls captured two savants, a generic and a character leader from the enemy. After turning them over to their human commanders they realised they had condemned the two and went after them. They ambushed the convoy and now have effectively defected. They have a hope but I'm not telling them.
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I wonder when and where this is happening.

Nechronica is so easy to change the setting on that this could be taking place on some backwater world in the StarWars universe from what you've told me so far.

I like that idea. Use Nechronica to play out some planet of continent or island scale horror in the StarWars during the Old Republic from the perspective of one side, and then after that the players are make characters for a Republic Era StarWars game and wind up crash landing where the Nechronica game just happened with everything restatted in the new system.
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>exposed joints
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>They have a hope but I'm not telling them.

How did you get them invested without giving them hope?

Is it possible to learn this power?
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I'm amazed as word with two "ch" one right after the other can be so pronounceable.
>Nechronica thread?
Nechronica Thread.
>I just pulled the lable image from the wiki.

Good to know. Thank you.
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Turn is more of a literal translation
If you were using our technical rpg lingo you would use round for how it works instead
So they've kind of undead camaraderie'd themselves into being loose cannon independents? They have any reason to really care about the Savants>
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It turned out my dad needed help building some temporary scaffolding, so not as much spare time as I'd hoped, but I managed to get the first session put together and readable.
First, some quick intros for the characters. These are three of five premades I put together for the campaign. If anyone's interested in seeing the other two I can post those as well, though they don't really come up in the actual game.

>Name: Noel Khalida
>Age: 14
>Height: 6' 10"

>A product of Mara.
>Disproportionately tall and gangly. In contrast to the military bent of her sisters, Noel wears a flowing white robe that exaggerates her awkward, loping gait. White metal plates have been grafted over her skin below her neck.
>Her hair glows a dull, warm white.
>Her weapon of choice is a plasma torch implanted into the palm of her left hand.
>Class: Psychedelic/Stacy
>Position: Alice

>(Premonition) Seeker:
>Your sisters all have something you don’t. Did you have it before? Did you lose yours? What was it? You long for it, even when you can’t remember. You long with all your heart.


>Alone in the ash. You were a burden. Too much food, hard to hide, a lure for the Dead. So they discarded you.
>And Mara found you.

>#Song: Someone is singing. Singing... your name?
>“Noel! Noel!”
>Whose voice is this?
>“voici le Rédempteur!”
>You do not understand the words.
>“Noel! Noel!”
>It’s so cold...

>Treasure: Hymn Book
>A hardback hymnal bound in red with gold print on the title face. You hum the notes to yourself now and then.
>The words to the songs are all missing.

Starting skills: Pawn's Gambit, Shared Loss, Made to be Broken, Remain Dead, Princess
Reinforcement Parts: Armor Skin, Animal Legs, Albino, Cold Light
Custom Weapon: Plasma Torch [Act/2/0]: Melee Attack 1 + Dismember + Chain attack 1. Enemies have -1 to their Dismember check
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>Name: Betty Williams
>Age: 15
>Height: 5' 8"

>Like her sisters Feliz and Mathilda, Betty is a product of Aker.
>Her body is less augmented than might be expected. She wears the typical black and gray military outfit and her body armor has been supplemented with implanted dermal plates.
>Her weapon of choice is her Eviscerator, a personally modified Flying Guillotine.
>Class: Stacy/Thanatos
>Position: Holic

>(Premonition) Trapped:
>A rat in a cage. An inferno in the West, traitors in the East. Your masters will spend you like ammunition. Tear it all down!


>A crown of flowers, a gentle laugh, the warm sun. The face of your mother...
>What you would give to hear her voice again.

>#In the Rain:
>Fat, heavy drops fall all around you. It drowns the quiet in a constant dull roar.
>You can’t feel your legs.
>There is a dragging sound at the other end of the street. Something splashes in the water.
>Quiet... quiet...

>Treasure: Rufus
>An undead squirrel. A little experiment you found wandering the streets. The only sane person here, probably.

Starting Skills: Carnage, Corpse Style, Made to be Broken, Calamity, Drama of Death
Reinforcement Parts: Adrenaline, Boost, Gauntlet, Armored Skin
Custom Weapon: Eviscerator [Act/2/0-1] Melee Attack 1 + Dismember + Stagger
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>Name: Feliz Isadore
>Age: 19
>Height: 5' 11"

>Like Betty and Mathilda, Feliz is a product of Aker.
>Feliz is only lightly augmented, sporting a small suite of cranial implants. Her only means of defense is her set of basic body armor.
>As a member of Aker’s shock infantry division, she is issued an automatic cannon for dealing with undead Legions, but her favored weapon is her grandfather’s .405Win Model 1895 rifle.
>Class: Requiem
>Position: Sorority

>(Premonition) Happiness:
>There are songs to sing, stories to be shared, wrongs to be forgiven. If only you can survive to see them again.


>#Let Me Out!:
>Circling, circling. You must be going in circles. You have to be. It’s so dark now. You can’t stop, you have to get away. What if they find you?

>Lights in the forest, shouts, crashing branches. They’re close now! Too close!
>You charge through a bramble.
>A hole opens up beneath you, swallowing your legs. You struggle to climb out.
>A hand clamps onto your shoulder.

>Treasure: Family Photo
>An old photograph of Feliz’s expansive family. Several of them have had crosses drawn over their hearts in white ink.

>Starting Skills: Gather in Elysium, Gun God, Concentration, Lullaby, Order
Reinforcement Parts: Kung Fu, Head Bolt, Boost, Undead Gun, First Aid Kit
Custom Weapon: Grandpappy's Rifle [Act/2/0~3] Shooting Attack 1, add +1 to the result of the Attack Check
Onto the game:
>The overhead lights leave streaks through your vision.
>You are on your back. The cold metal under you rattles. You’re moving.
>Where are you?
>There’s an emptiness as you try and get your bearings. You can’t remember…
>Almost anything.
>Your name is there.
>Your purpose is there. You’re a soldier. Or playing at soldiery.
>There is a war going on.
>Where are you?
>Voices echo down the hallway as the dolls proceed. It isn’t long before they can discern the loudest.
>“ . . . shipments from Occulus are being unloaded now.” It reverberates through their bones. “Hostile forces are moving along highway one-one-four. The hospital along that route has been fortified by thirteenth Battalion; they are requesting support.”
>Another voice speaks now. Melodic and soothing. “Twenty and twenty-first gargoyle squadrons are en route as we speak. Your third armored division is bringing up the rear behind them.”
>A third voice. A gentleman’s this time, refined and crisp. “Reports from the scouts are trickling in. Coordinates are being transferred to relevant artillery units as we speak and firing solutions are being provided. Shelling along the eight-twenty loop has also been completed; enemy losses are near totality.”
>There’s a lull in the conversation. The ceiling above the dolls disappears into black.
>The first speaker resumes. “The sapper teams?”
>“Are taking positions along the route for the next wave. As they neutralize the stragglers, of course,” the gentleman answers easily.
>“And Oculus?”
>The woman answers this time. “Picking the meat off the carcass. As is their nature.” A pause. “But their ammunition shipment has arrived at Miller Railyard. Runners are readying to distribute it to the front. The IFV and urban fighting vehicles at the airport should be rolling off of the runway in just a moment.”
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>The room falls quiet. The first speaker growls; the dolls can feel it reverberate through their body.
>The gentleman speaks first. “We’re falling back on Scoop Shot, then?”
>Heavy footfalls start somewhere in the cavernous room. They are coming toward the dolls. “We are,” says the first speaker. "Which brings us to the matter at hand."
>The beds holding the party tilt forward, propping the dolls up so they can see the others in the room.
>All three of the party are heavily injured, their bodies broken and burned and held together only by the hasty efforts of a very ambitious medic.
>Part of Noel’s head has been caved in and several of her limbs are broken
>Feliz is missing her face from the nose down, both her legs, and one hand.
>One of Betty’s eyes has melted, one of her arms is missing, and one foot has been severed at the ankle.
>The leading figure before them is a hulking shadow, outlined by a harsh unseen overhead light. His form is shrouded in a flowing, black cloak. Wires and cables converge around his feet, shuffling as he walks. His head is enclosed in a shining metal mask in the shape of a lion's head.
>"These three are among those who were recently recovered from Baal's flame. They are the ones who will carry out the operation."
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>"Quoi de neuf?" Noel Blinks at them with her sunless eyes, her limbs squirming as they are too broken to allow locomotion, so she settles down. "Where is Mara?"
>The figure on the man's left flank speaks next. She is cowled in a cloak similar to the first, though she is a head shorter and slender. Her head is encased in a helmet crafted to resemble a jackal’s head. “Oh Aker. You wrapped up poor Noel into this scheme of yours?” She sighs. “In calmer times I’d stick you right now over such an overstep.” She flexes a hand; needles on the tips of her fingers glitter in the lamplight.
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>“Now, now Mara. You know as well as I do that there’s no time to be playing favorites.”
>This man is almost normal looking. Average height, pinstripe suit, slicked back hair. He’s horribly out of place next to the other two if only because of his apparent normality. If it weren’t for the dull glow at the back of his eyes, he could pass for a completely average, if well groomed man.
>As he speaks his hands make minute, apparently random gesticulations. “With things how they are, it’s a wonder we can even assemble a capable fireteam at all. Especially after this last incident.”
>His eyes focus on each of the three dolls. “Good morning.”

>A smile comes to Noel's face as she sees Mara, then she turns to examine her slab sisters. Her smile is a little less bright as she takes in their myriad injuries.
>"What happened to you?" She croaks.
>Betty shifts her head in an attempt to focus her gaze. 'Shit, can't see too well. It's all blurry.' "Doesn't feel to good. Pretty sure I'm missing an arm here. Think one of my eyes are melted." She squints. "Can't say I'm too happy 'bout what I'm seeing though."
>Aker comes to a stop in front of Betty before turning his head to address Mara. “Morte is correct. If there were more time I would have brought the idea forward for deliberations. But there is not.” He turns to face Betty, rotating like a marble statue on a dias. His eyes shine in the depths of his mask. He looks at her.
>"Regression. But the core is still there." He sounds... not displeased? His monotone is difficult to read.
>"Corporal Williams, what do you remember?"
[All characters roll a check. Feliz succeeds, Betty and Noel fail.]
[Noel remembers stepping on a live shell]
[Betty remembers seeing an animal skull][
FFFf- Lesson on why not to compile and post shit up when you're sleepy. I forgot Fetters.

Noel's Fetters:
>Mara: Grateful
>Betty: Trusting
>Feliz: Friendly

Betty's Fetters:
>Aker: Unease
>Feliz: Possessive
>Noel: Rival

Feliz's Fetters:
>Aker: Trusting
>Betty: Possessive
>Noel: Attached

[Feliz: You were in the same squad as Mathilda and Betty. You were holding your position against a line of flaming, smoking infantry advancing on your position.]
[You were doing well.]
[Until a massive black deer's skull peered out from behind the smoke and your entire position was engulfed in flame.]

>Betty scowls at Aker in concentration. Bonus if it makes him upset. "Don't know. Something in the sky. Think it was a skull, but wasn't like a human skull or anything. Bunch of fire after that." She struggles to think of anything else. "Not sure about anything else. Woke up here burned to hell and a wonderfully cheery 'Good morning'."
>Feliz rolls her eyes at Betty's snippishness. A hanging strip of her masseter flexes and she remembers after trying to speak that the necessary implement is absent.
>"I remember stepping on a buried shell. It took exception to me waking it up," Noel volunteers. "That may have been another time entirely though."
>Morte and Mara trade a look at Noel's comment.
>"That's... very far west, isn't it?" Mara asks in a knowing tone as she begins to pad across the mirror-black floor towards the dolls.
>Morte's eyes loop down and then up as if they're following something. "It is."
>Aker speaks without turning to face the others. "And we may have confirmed the Leviathan." He leans down and moves to place a hand over Betty's eyes. "Corporal Williams, please hold still."
>"Not like I've got anywhere to go." Betty still moves her head back slightly before it makes contact with the table.
>'Leviathan?' Feliz muses internally. 'The deer?'
>Betty's mind is being searched. Observed. Cataloged.
>Every thought and emotion laid bare and examined before being placed in neat order. A hand sorting through her disheveled mind and restoring normalcy.
>As the light pulls away things are... clearer now.

[Betty removes one madness point from Aker’s fetter]
>As Aker pulls away, Betty realizes her body is whole again. Without speaking, Aker moves to stand over Feliz.
>Betty tenses as Aker probes through her mind, her mind being sorted and ordered against her natural thoughts. As he finishes and moves on to Feliz, a feeling of violation and fear begins to creep up Betty's spine, accompanied by an alert wariness, as if priming her to hit something or run. ‘Fuck that…’ She gets up from the table and looks down at her newly repaired body. ‘Don't even know if it was worth that.’
>Aker leans over Feliz and repeats the process of repairing her body and ordering her mind.
[Feliz removes one madness point from Aker's fetter]
>There’s an unpleasantly wet sound as a gush of cerebrospinal fluid forces Noel’s skull back into the right shape as her brain begins to regenerate itself. She squirms uncomfortably now that she has a brain to better appreciate her injured body's feedback. "Can someone straighten my legs out? I'm having trouble positioning them," she asks plaintively.
>Mara taps up to Noel's bed and 'tut-tut-tuts' in a motherly way. "There's no need for you to run yourself ragged over these little scratches dear. Come here." Gingerly, Mara reaches down and lifts Noel up by her chest as if the girl were a child's rag-doll; even at Noel's considerable height, she is dwarfed by Mara.
>Mara embraces Noel in a hug.
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>Noel's back prickles as Mara's needle-tipped fingers lance through her spinal column.
>The pain of her injuries vanishes abruptly. And then her bones set and her flesh mends.
>There's a peculiar tingling sensation along the sides of Noel's skull and she feels at ease in Mara's arms.

>"Ça va? Les autres vont-ils bien?"
[How are you? Are the others okay?]
>"Je ne sais pas."
[I do not know.]
[Noel removes one madness point from Mara’s fetter]
>Mara pulls back. "Better?"
>Noel wraps her arms around Mara and squeezes tight, setting her chin in the larger woman's shoulder. "Yes, Much better."
>"Je suis content que vous basedez ici. Nous les trouverons ensemble," Noel says before the needles are removed.
[I'm glad you're here. We will find them together.]
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>Aker pulls away from Feliz and turns to walk back toward Morte. "It is the Leviathan. Feliz's memory is clear."
>Morte frowns. "Less time than we'd hoped for."
>Mara pulls the needles from Noel's back and holds her in the hug for just a little longer, stroking her hair for a moment before pulling away and moving to stand beside Aker and Morte.
>Feliz gingerly works her jaw as Aker pulls away. She manages to get it down to just ‘uncomfortably stiff’ by the time the three necromancers have congregated again. "May I ask... Time for... what?"
>"Hardening our defensive position," Aker answers Feliz. "And preparing countermeasures for Baal's final advance."
>"Aker, if I may?" Morte raises an eyebrow expectantly.
>"You may."
>A map springs into life above Morte’s head.
>Morte turns his back to the dolls and points up towards the map. A small dot flits across the map at pace with his finger. "As I'm sure you must remember, there's a war on." The laser moves to hover just under the spotty, orange prong lancing through Texas' panhandle. "You are here. This area lined in green is the land occupied by our-" He motions towards Mara and Aker. "-shared forces."
>The laser moves to hover vaguely in the blue section of the map. "The area lined in blue is held by the Oculus Consortium. A loose organization of human paramilitary organizations aligned with us against Baal. Who's territory you can see here, lined in red." The pointer flits again.
>Aker takes his turn to speak. "Baal is attempting to burn the continent."
>Betty clenches her teeth. ‘Lovely.’
>"Or so we gather," says Mara. "Neither Baal nor his servants respond to communication of any sort."
>Aker nods. "But his actions speak clearly enough. The entirety of the Great Planes has been bifurcated with a curtain of flame and walking dead."
>"And I'm guessin' this is the part where our 'operation' comes in?" Betty interjects.
>Imagine hitting a massive Horror with two hits from rocket launcher

That's blast attack 4+ explosive

Wouldn't that be 8 damage twice on a horror? So 16 damage?
>"Very astute, Corporal Williams," Morte says with good humor. "Yes. You can see here, here, and here-" The dot flits between the spears of orange encroaching on Texas. "- that Baal has begun making incursions into our territory in earnest. The northern push being his most aggressive."
>"The three of you-" Morte turns to face the dolls. "-will be helping us put a stop to this incursion."
>"Not by yourselves, of course," Mara assures.
>"You will be reinforcing certain elements already in place," Aker breaks in. "Foremost, the ground forces around this location's largest airport. After the railyards, it is our most valuable asset for bringing in material for the war."
>"What kind of defences do they already have? What has Baal sent to try to overcome them?" Noel asks.
>"So we're just backup? Doesn't seem like we'd be adding much just by being there. Is there something specific we'll be doing?" Betty asks before anyone can answer.
>The three necromancers exchange looks
>"It's quite bad, isn't it? The scouring." Morte mumbles just loud enough
>"Severe." Aker agrees
>"They are three among five of the only one's we've been able to recover properly," Mara reminds them.
>"Mm." Morte's tone is noncommittal.
>The necromancers turn back to the dolls. Morte speaks first. "Baal's primary forces are light, minimally intelligent infantry deployed in large numbers. Principally they overwhelm positions through sheer volume of fire and volume of bodies. Occasionally there will be a sort of hound construct striking ahead; it's unclear as of now if this is part of a scouting force or if they're simply forward attackers."
>"As for defenses; you can guess at most of the basics. Entrenched gunnery, fortified buildings, pillboxes, artillery. The airport itself is defended by some twelve thousand of our soldiers. Eight of that is entrenched infantry, one is armored support and their crews, one is an extensive artillery division, and the last two are dispersed air assets."
You're correct. I was mixing Anti Tank Rifle and Rocket Launcher in my head, I think, since ATR deals five and has similar stats to ATR otherwise.
>similar stats to ATR
Similar stats to the rocket launcher*
I'm even mixing their names up now. That's probably a bad sign.
>"But... I don't understand." Feliz says, "there are only three of us. In an operation this large... why are we being briefed in person if we're simply to reinforce the position?"
>"First-" Aker speaks now. "While this objective takes precedence for time, it is not your primary purpose. Once Baal's assault has been broken you will be tasked with a new objective. One which may decide this chapter in the war. Second; the three of you are well known among the rank and file. Rumors have already circulated about your return from the front and the fact that you might be the first of those who have survived immolation. Showing your faces while fighting and alert would be a well-needed boost to morale."
>"Third: You are among the best. Otherwise you would not have survived this long."
>"I appreciate your candor," Noel says.
>Betty’s temper is still short. "So what's the other objective? Aside from getting the place safe and parading around to show we aren't 'dead' dead, what are we actually going there for?"
>"You are going hunting, Ms. Williams," Morte answers casually. "Or more specifically, you will be linking up with the Forty-Second Special Operations Team, Black Ball. You're to reinforce them, help them penetrate Baal's front line, and buy time for them as they search for and then disable the Leviathan."
>Noel nods. "Do we know them? Because I can't recall. If so, could you refresh my memory?"
>Betty grimaces. ‘Well that's helpful. I have no idea who they are.’ "And I'm guessin' that since this is time sensitive and all, we're heading out soon. How're we getting there?"
>"...and how are they going to bring it down without burning up?" Feliz finishes the line of questions
>"Black Ball are skilled explosive experts," Aker answers. "They have been provided with the appropriate armaments. But their progress has stalled. You will only need to get them on location and they will handle the rest."
>Mara speaks next. "You'll be shuttled to the airport by VTOL. There's a craft waiting for you once we wrap up your briefing."
>"Where do we group after the leviathan is down?" Feliz presses.
>"Were we on bad terms with them?" Noel begins speculating aloud at the conspicuous lack of an answer from the assembled necromancers.
>"You've nothing to worry about, Noel. You haven't met them," Mara assures gently.
>Aker answers Feliz; "With the Leviathan incapacitated, our forces will be free to move forward and crush Baal's line. Your objective will be to fall back in the direction of the airport and meet up with our advancing forces. At that point you'll likely be pulled off the front for recovery."
>“Oh, alright then.” Noel answers somewhat airily. “Sounds good.”
>Aker turns to face down the hallway the party entered from. “Come. Our pilot will be waiting.” Morte and Mara follow.

Fin for now.
I forgot to mention it at the start because I'm up past my bedtime, but this is a prequel campaign to one that was already storytimed here: https://desuarchive.org/tg/thread/72655511/#72667093
You can read through that if you like for a bit of extra context (if you haven't read it already), but this game was pretty self-contained so it's not strictly needed to understand what's going on.

See you lads tomorrow.
Yay storytime!
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I still haven't really figured out how to work a lot of part acquisition into roleplay. Mutations can just kind of pop up (and can make for a nice bit of body horror if you want) but armaments and enhancements get more complicated and it's not always easy to justify an implant like Hopper or a weapon like the laser sword just materializing where you happen to be (let alone the process of implanting something).
why does this game give me vibes similar to somwhat more levitous nechronchia campaigns i've read?
I can kinda see it.
>inhuman but still emotive robots
>animu fightan humanoid robots
>plenty of mild body horror with the spore creatures
>eclectic mix of smooth future tech, modern tech, and scrapped together stuff that works but is definitely not supposed to be put together that way
I can't listen to the vids at work but the visuals have plenty standard mix of what I commonly associate with Nechronica; a world fallen while on the very cusp of a technological golden age. And the MC's irreverence for the situation is very standard 'player-character' mood if you happen to have a snarky player in your group.
We Texas now?
The storytime takes place in DFW, yeah. I needed a city with robust transit and freight infrastructure near the midpoint of the country to justify making into a hardpoint for the players' Necromancers and the two options off the top of my head were either north Texas or Missouri, but I wasn't familiar enough with Missouri that I felt comfortable doing a near(ish)-future campaign set there.
They are intelligent and there is more than one side to the war. If they rescue the savant admiral...

One of them promised to save one of the savants. I think they have been smelling the hints of dodgy things happening under the veneer the humans paint.
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I learned a new word today.
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>tfw my tank doll game has been plagued with scheduling issues
Life ain't fair man.

Not being able to play that doll you wanted is one of the greatest curses.
This was a fun game.

Storytime here http://archive.4plebs.org/tg/thread/76162495/#76238783
How do you convert a savant into a PC if a player wants to take over one after their doll got annihilated or broken hearted?

>if a player wants to take over one after their doll got annihilated or broken hearted?

Did the rest of the PCs pull a runner? Annihilated dolls can be put back together in the event that the PCs win the fight, but not if they run away. Broken hearted also doesn't remove a doll from play, it's just that the game is over if all PCs are broken hearted.

The snap decision would be to say no since, depending on the savant, there may be a lot of information you have to give one player that the others shouldn't know to make it work. Mechanically. if it's just for an encounter or two, until you can justify introducing a new PC, you might not even have to bother doing much, just let them play the character as is, assuming it doesn't break the game too hard.

For a long term arrangement where a PC is permanently taking over? "Here's her classes and position. Here are the parts she has. Here are her fetters. Here are her memory fragments." Even dictating parts isn't that big a deal since those can be swapped out as they get broken.
Do you go organic or not with your undead abominations?

We had a character revealed to have an alt-mode to their legs they had forgotten about.

So that's how they got animal legs.
>Noel's Fetters:
>Mara: Grateful

>Betty's Fetters:
>Aker: Unease

You can see it.

>Feliz's Fetters:
>Aker: Trusting

I wonder why she trusts Aker when Betty doesn't.
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Please post insane signs, notices, offers, warnings, posters, billboards, and other similar things for inspiration and use in a game. From the eccentric, to the slightly mad, to the wildly unhinged.

>the completion of my 3 sessions mini relay campaign is not over yet, so maybe next thread, or maybe if one of the player talk about it before hand.

How did your group come together?

Ask the GM about it if it's an issue. "I want to buy shotgun with the favor we got, is there some place my character can pick it up?" PCs are constantly getting bits torn out of them and stuffing them back in. Being able to shove a different augmentation in isn't that unreasonable. All enhancements are plug and play compatible.
I'm considering running a short Nech game. How often should I give the dolls a bit of respite between the corpse fields and horrible monsters? How can I point them to a specific landmark that, logically speaking, wouldn't have signs pointing to it?
Moreover, how hard do I go on the themes and premise I've got in mind?
kinda wanna draw some nech stuff, hit me up with some weird or interesting ideas
a nesting Doll with hr giger elements.
I'll try to hit you up with some stuff when my shift is over in a few hours if I don't pass out the moment I get home.
Also https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyWVnUy2K74
Yeah this channel is full of awesome work for inspiring Nechronica and other games.
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>How often should I give the dolls a bit of respite between the corpse fields and horrible monsters?
Good rule of thumb is to give them some breathing room after each combat. It doesn't have to be anything super comfy, just a nook or hideaway where they aren't in any blatant danger. Like a Left 4 Dead saferoom or something.
>How can I point them to a specific landmark that, logically speaking, wouldn't have signs pointing to it?
Like a secret lab or something? They could always find a document or map talking about it, or someone with a stake in the plot could direct them that way on purpose. You could have the Necromancer herd them that way by dropping a GIANT monster (or swarm of monsters) on top of their heads and chasing them toward it. Question is kind of open ended and it would be helpful to have a clearer idea of what you have in mind.
>Moreover, how hard do I go on the themes and premise I've got in mind?
Going to be down to your group. Nechronica's pretty flexible on that kind of thing so you can go as grounded or as anime-villain-speech as you like.
>point to landmark without signs
Rather than literal signposts or obvious signs of plothooks, you could try making a "breadcrumb trail" of interesting events or features that would naturally draw them in closer. They don't necessarily have to be tied into the event, just little coincidences that bring them closer.
>hard on themes and premise
What's your theme and premise? Like >>80527687 said, some more information would be nice to have.
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>spitballing a doll concept I had the other day
Four armed 'knight' with proportions a bit like pic related, toting a pair of twin pistols in one pair of hands and a rocket launcher in the other pair. Digigrade legs and a tail (probably also armored, or maybe entirely robotic). Helmet's visor has 'teeth' along the edges, kind of in the same vein as Guts' Berserker armor.

>Other things
Necromantic utility vehicles could be interesting. An excavator that's half-way made of meat and using bone instead of metal with tracks that can become legs. Or a bulldozer whose front blade is just a massive jawbone. People could be integrated into them as permanent operators or they could be Horror-tier constructs; you could get pretty creative with the shape of them since you wouldn't need to design the whole thing around a central driver's seat with high visibility. Operator could get input through eyespots or possibly something more esoteric.

A Horror incorporating parts of a carved/cast statue could be neat. Like the necromancer took a half-crushed gargoyle and used it as the base for a new pawn. In the case of a metal statue, parts of those could basically be worn like armor since most of them are hollow.

idk. Hopefully there's an idea somewhere in here that sounds interesting.
Minor storytime spoilers but in the interest of bumping the thread:

I flubbed Betty's arch a little in the actual game (because she was admittedly the least developed of the ones I'd made) but the fetters mostly reflect the dolls' attitude toward their necromancers on initial meeting/conversion to Dolls, which is why Aker refers to Betty's attitude as a 'regression.' Baal burned away a lot of the party's more recent development.
>Moreover, how hard do I go on the themes and premise I've got in mind?

That really depends on the group you are playing with.

>How often should I give the dolls a bit of respite between the corpse fields and horrible monsters?

After combat/during the end phase, even if you don't stick to closely to the phase structure is often a good time to provide a bit of respite. It's the wind down after the wind up of the action phase and the crescendo of combat.

>How can I point them to a specific landmark that, logically speaking, wouldn't have signs pointing to it?

Why wouldn't things you want the PCs to go to have some sort of sign pointing to them? You can give a karma so that the PCs can decide on their own reasons to go there. Really though, nechronica is a system that works fine with a degree of railroading. The scenarios assume set points to stop at, even when there is hypothetically alternative routs. This isn't to say that what they do along the way is unimportant, but people who aren't shit won't mind following the trail as long as you give them a reason to/don't make is stupidly suicidal to follow it.

>Moreover, how hard do I go on the themes and premise I've got in mind?

Depends on the themes and premise and the group, generally speaking though, the system works well with going hard on such things.
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Return of storytime
>"And who's that going to be?" Betty hefts her Eviscerator as she and the other dolls hop off the table to follow the three Necromancers.
>Aker answers. "Her name is Elizabeth. She's a pilot attached to the 6th Logistics Battalion and as skilled as any of you. If there were more time she would meet you on the landing pad but we're short." The Dolls can feel the floor move beneath them as they walk; it shifts left and right and they can feel the acceleration as it pushes ahead underneath their feet. Despite this, the hall around them appears static.
>"I could go for a stick right now..." Noel mumbles to no one in particular as they walk down the moving hall.
>Mara gives Noel a light swat on the back of the head. "Don't call them that, Noel. It's uncouth."
>"Like... the pilot's sti--- ok, nevermind." Feliz starts, and then stops as Mara speaks up. "I should have asked earlier, but... Are we expecting a contested landing?"
>Noel straightens up at the dopeslap. "Sorry." She looks over at Feliz, and eyebrow arched curiously over her right void. "Meal needles. Day makers. Belly warmers. You know. All the fun of personal chef and none of the mess."
>"...Thanks." Feliz says quietly, fervently -not- filling in the blanks as to what, exactly, Noel's referring to.
>Mara sighs at her little creation like an exasperated mother.
>Aker's footsteps thunder in the corridor. "We aren't expecting the airport to fall under attack for another hour, at least. The sapper teams have been doing a satisfactory job of delaying their advance and the air forces have done well enough at cutting down the stragglers who survived the gauntlet so far. But it would benefit you to be prepared for anything."
>After a short time the party come to a set of steel blast doors. There’s a hiss as the pneumatics activate and the doors open.
>The noise is deafening.
>The dull hum of rotor wash, the repetitive thump-thump-thump of artillery, the howling of a rocket calliope, and other indistinct sounds of war too far away to be discerned over the cacophony.
>The wind comes next, carrying the smell of smoke and ash. As the party takes their first steps out into the world, it whips their hair and scours their exposed skin with coarse grit.
>The world is… dark. There’s a wall of black to the west. The rest of the sky is a dull, burnt orange even though it must be midday.
>Aker, Mara, and Morte loom ahead of you like shadows in the dust. It’s hard to see very far beyond them; the ash is so thick in the air that the only thing the Dolls can see beyond them are the overhead area lights and the streaking tails of rockets in the distant sky.
>Betty looks up at the burning sky and the death flying above. ‘No place like home…’ She blocks her eyes from the wind and ash as she moves forward.
>Feliz swallows dryly, but firms her face. "Once more unto the breach, then."
>Noel fishes a couple ribbons out of her robe and goes about corralling her hari against the wind.
>They’re at the transport almost before they realize it. A fat-bellied bus of a thing. An upward turned turboprop engine sits on the end of either stubby wing. The sides of the transport have been opened for boarding, and they can just glance the outline of the pilot in the cockpit as they wave a greeting.
>The necromancers stop several feet short of the transport. The Dolls can see them deliberating between themselves for a moment before Mara and Morte step aside and Aker steps up into the belly of the transport. He turns around and beckons the party forward.
>The rotors on the craft begin to spin up.
>Feliz's eyes widen as Aker steps aboard. "Ah... Should you be coming, sir?"
>Noel gives a bow to Mara as she boards.
>Mara catches Noel by the arm, pressing a small metal box into her palm before letting go and ushering her toward the transport. "And don't let me catch you calling them something so crass again," she teases over the noise of the rotor wash.
>"Yes ma'am." Noel stands up on her tip toes and gives Mara another hug, then she's moving along like nothing happened.
>Aker shifts to face Feliz. "I expect we'll need every asset in place for this particular offensive out of Baal. I'll be deployed in a separate area than yourselves." As he moves, Feliz notices the tips of a pair of cannon barrels peaking out beneath the hem of his cloak. "It is Morte who handles the bulk of battlefield communications and strategy. I help where I may, but I have other obligations as well."
>"R-right," Feliz accedes. Even Aker was going to be on the frontline somewhere. Even. Was that abnormal? Feliz ran into an empty space, and found nothing there... Still. Abnormal or not... 'Well, here's to the poor saps on the other end of the field from him.'
>The engines whine as the props speed up. The transport lurches unsteadily it finally leaves the ground.
>Morte and Mara stand away from the transport as it begins to gain altitude, both apparently unphased by the violent wind.
>Morte raises a hand to wave goodbye. "Happy hunting, ladies," he hollers over the rotor noise. "And remember! Even if you can't remember just now, you've got quite a bit to live for!"
>Feliz passes a perception check. It's subtle, but... Morte is definitely looking at her and Betty specifically. His eyes pass right over Noel.
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>The pilot can just barely be heard grumbling something about weight over the craft’s intercom as the transport begins to gain altitude and pull away from the improvised landing pad.
>A flight of other figures rises to join it; six new dolls the party hasn't seen before, clothed in white. Their torsos are distorted, their arms having been replaced with bat wings and their chest muscles having been reinforced to sustain flight. They each hold specially constructed rifles and other such infantry arms in their modified feet. Their hoods make it hard to see their faces, but as they rise they turn to stare at Noel. Their eyes are covered in a myriad of lenses and optical equipment.
>Noel smiles and waves to the fliers outside.
>The leader of the flight smiles, waves at Noel with one of her feet, and then the flight breaks away and ahead of the transport. As they do so, the transport finally rises above the ash and dust.
>The entire western horizon is ablaze. A curtain wall of black smoke dominates the world and cuts the very sky in half. Patches of fire dot the parts of the city that haven’t been claimed by Baal’s front yet.
>Noel feels an acute sense of vertigo. She’s been here before.
There is a helmet.
There is a face.
There is sound and wind and fire.
There is a roaring all around you.
A girl’s face.
You’ve never seen it before.
The rushing air pushes her hair back.
Her skin darkens in the heat.
Her eyes boil away.
Her flesh turns to ash.
The bones disintegrate in the face of the fire.
“Mary! Mary!” Someone is yelling.
The roar consumes you.
The city is beneath you. Flying so quickly. The wind whips your hair.
You have to get back! Where are-
"Mary! Mary!"
The ground comes up to meet you.

[Noel gains the memory fragment: War]
>Betty scowls as she looks out the window at the flaming horizon. "Great scenery. Can't wait to get a closer look." She moves to lean against the wall.
>Noel flops backward against the cabin wall and fumbles for one of the overhead handles while she looks into the middle distance. Eventually her hand finds one and she just sort of hangs there like a droopy sapling on a string.
>"Hey, hey," Feliz says soothingly, leaning over and rubbing at Noel's shoulders with one hand - the other remaining tightly gripped on a safety cord, "Stay with us now."
>"Mary..." Noel mutters quietly after Feliz nudges her.
>"What's going on? You're not losing it are you Noel?" Betty walks over next to Feliz. "Not like this is the first time you've dived head first into certain doom."
>"I think she's remembered someone burning up." Feliz guesses, based off the name. And the fire. "Don't worry. I'm sure they can be brought back, if they haven't already, yeah? We just gotta make sure there's a place for them to be brought back to."
>"I'm- uhhh, yeah no, what?" Noel clears her throat "Right. I'm back. Just old memories, dead friends. Let's send the devil's buck back where it belongs."
>"Like in the blast we were in before we woke up?" Betty presses Feliz. "Thought the higher ups said we were the only ones that came out of that."
>"No, no." Noel corrects. "Falling out of the sky. I think it was a crash."
>Betty stares at Noel for a moment.
>A small, muffled squeak from one of the pouches on Betty's vest diverts her attention. She unbuttons the flap as a ragged looking squirrel with a missing eye peaks out. "Hey Ru. Don't worry. We'll be fine. Not like we'll be going down with Aker on board." Betty moves to lean against the wall again as she scratches the squirrel's head.
>Noel perks up a bit at the sound and looks over to Betty. "Cute Squirrel. Its it a he or a she? How long have you had them?"
>"He's been with me for a while," Betty answers. "Not sure why he stays, what with all the crap we go through. He's not alive though, so guess he doesn't really have much to lose." Betty pats the pouch that Rufus is sitting in and looks back out the window. "Probably gonna be a bumpy ride."
>A deafening horn blast pierces the rotor noise.
>“Elizabeth! Altitude!” Aker barks.
>A black deer skull pierces the wall of smoke, fire licking along its teeth.
>Another horn blast.
>A wall of fire is racing toward the transport.
>The engines whine as the pilot kicks the throttle up, and sure enough they're climbing. Climbing…
>The wall is gaining.
>“Everyone brace!” Aker shouts as he wraps a fist around a lifeline.
>The engine's exhaust vents are glowing red in the dim light.
>Not enough.
>The firewall slams into the transport. The heat itself is momentary enough to only singe hair, but the windwall with it...
>The transport tips. Spirals.
>The city is a blur beneath them.
>Aker vanishes from the transport as the sky spins.
>Elizabeth’s voice blares over the intercom. “Hard landing! Hard landing!”
>There's a ringing in the heads of the Dolls. The crumpled body of the transport is wrapped around all three of them, but... everyone appears to be intact. The transport is on its side, Noel is wedged into the rear corner, secured by a wisely applied buckle. Betty and Feliz are tangled uncomfortably in the lifelines but otherwise intact. The only view outside they have is the sky from the loading door that now happens to be facing skyward.
>Elizabeth's voice crackles over the radio. She sounds a bit disheveled herself. "All present...?" Without the sound of the wind and the engines the party can actually hear it as she tries to manipulate some of the craft's control surfaces. "Bird's shot. And I'm, uh, stuck for now. Can you three pop your heads out and see where we landed? And see if Bossman landed nearby? I think I saw him fall out early in the spin."
>There's the sound of something shifting behind the wall between the party and the cockpit. If they listen closely the party can hear Elizabeth grumbling under her breath about 'that heavy motherfucker.'
>"Here." Noel sounds off as she gives up grappling with her belt and simply cuts it away with a pulse from her plasma cutter.
>Taking a breath, Feliz releases her death grip on the pull cord. "Here. Betty?"
>"Here. Not happy about it though." Betty cuts at the lifelines twisted around her in an attempt to regain mobility. "We'll get a visual in a sec. Just gotta... get... out."
>"I've got you." Feliz takes a wary glance out of the bird before moving to assist Betty.
>There's a fair deal of grumbling, untangling, and general confusion as the party gets their bearings and eventually gets themselves free of their bindings. Things can be heard shifting back and forth in the cockpit as the Dolls work.
>Eventually, Feliz waves over Noel and gestures up toward the rim of the loading door. "Can I get a hand up?"
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>"Sure thing. Up periscope." Noel bends her knees, grabs Feliz, then straightens up and lifts her up so Feliz can just see over the rim of the aircraft's floor.
>Feliz pokes her head up and over the wreckage and takes in the street around her.
>They’ve landed smack between a pair of sizable skyscrapers. Or things that used to deserve the name; they’re just very, very tall piles of rubble now.
>Long shadows dance hither and thither in the orange light. At the far end of the street is the wall of flame.
>And a wall of Baal’s forces.
>A woman with exceedingly long, digitigrade legs towers over a line of heavily armed and armored infantry. They march in lockstep ahead of her. In the shifting light, she can just make out the glimmer of spider-silk-like strings leading from the woman's fingers down to the horde.
>Every one of them glows like hot coals.
>"Ooh yeah," Feliz murmurs gravely, "We've got plenty of friends. Few dozen of them. Mostly mooks. Tall woman with beast legs. She's got the horde on strings. They're marching right on over."
>"Fantastic. They know we're up?" Betty asks.
>"Want me to lower you? Or turn you to see if we have friendlies or better cover?" Noel follows.
>"Dunno." Feliz replies. "Doesn't seem like she sees me, but she might just not give a shit. Looks like the big girl's melee... Ah. Good point." Feliz glances behind her at Noel's prompting. "Nah. No friends."
>There's a creaking sound in the cockpit. "Shiiiiiit!"
>Elizabeth switches the comms off and swears profusely through the cabin wall before flipping them on again. "My ejector tabs are stuck! They bent in the crash!"
>"Damn," Betty grunts. "Well, guess we're stuck here for the whole party."
>"Betty, let's set up on the back and suppress, yeah?" Feliz is already getting her rifle out as she climbs up and out of Noel's hands.
>"Sounds good to me." Betty is getting a grip on one of the safety lines to pull herself up.
I like this. It shows how odd doll bodies can get as they repair and rebuild themselves with what's available.
>Noel swoops in instead. "Sure thing." She wraps an arm around Betty's midsection and lifts her up and out of the cabin.
>Betty starts as Noel hefts her out of the craft. "OK SHIT THAT WORKS TOO!"
>"I'll be right back Liz. We just have to deal with the welcome wagon," Noel hollers toward the cockpit wall as she rises out of the wreckage herself.
>The forces of Baal are arrayed before them.
>Noel lights her cutter.
>Betty revs her Eviscerator.

Storytime has to be continued tomorrow. There's quite a bit of reconstruction I have to do on this fight and it's well past my curfew. See you lads tomorrow!
>hit me up with some weird or interesting ideas

I want to describe some of the PCs and NPCs of the game I'm running to you but I don't have the words to do them justice at the moment.
Sleep well Anon.
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I can't tell if these are angry bones or scared bones.

Clearly scared.
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>implying they aren't funny bones
Thanks i didnt think about any of that i just opened the thread and drew something
What flavor of gross cute dead robot zombie girl is the best
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merged the two, hope that's ok
I like variety.

One of the am y things I've liked about running a Nechronica game is how I can get creative with what is running around in the world.
Oh my god.
I want you to draw Coleo, Imp, and Melico so bad.

I but they have undergone changes in appearance over time so I need to figure out what versions of them I want.
This is really cool.
The Jerry cans strapped to the legs, that components in varying states of repair, the mixing of different parts with different aesthetics.

It looks like they have both been rebuilding with what is available, and had the time to try to look decent.

A very strange combination of factors that makes it feel like they are living in a situation very different to our own.

Then again when you don't have to eat I suppose that gives you more time to make the most of what you do have, hense how they look at once like they have put themselves stogetber with limited parts that weren't meant to go together originally, while also looking like they have put in work to look nice and semetricsl and be adapted to work as best they can manage.
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That anon is probably my GM. Those are the PCs in our campaign which we've storytimed some of in previous threads (though the storytime has been on hiatus for a minute due to my work schedule turning to ass + some other IRL obligations) Pic related is my character, Coleo. She's a pure Baroque doll styled after a centipede.
If you'd like to take a crack at her, her current description is pretty much as follows (complicated, because I had too much fun with her anatomy):
>light skin
>amber eyes
>eyes have no 'whites.' She has compound eyes made of overlapping pupils and irises
>dark hair
>hair is short because she had to regenerate her scalp, so it looks like she got a buzzcut
>pair of antenna that curl into a spiral and sit pretty close to her head
>lower jaw is actually a pair of mandibles coverered with white chitin. She can manipulate them like a normal human jaw or split them open to swallow large portions of food or bite things
>a seam continues down from her mandible and splits the vertical middle of her neck, traveling down to where her torso ends and the centipede trunk begins
>skin only extends from her head down to her shoulders and first pair of arms.
>2nd and 3rd pair of arms are covered in chitin plates and the fingers on those hands end in sharp claws
>skin past her clavicle transitions into a mesh of overlapping chitin scales. This can hang loose on her skeleton or be pulled taught depending on if she's standing at her full 6ft 2in of height or not
>no organs in her torso, just bones and muscle, so she looks cartoonishly slim
>upper torso can open up along the middle seam into a massive mouth. A serrated muscle mounted to her sternum is used to cut up large chunks of meat for her to eat
>Centipede from the hips down
>her centipede trunk has 24 legs
>when standing, her trunk is ~2.5ft tall
>wider sections like a common garden centipede, rides on longer legs tho
>she commonly sits with the trunk coiled into a spiral, a bit like a snake.
I'm bazooka anon. It's great.
I'm sorely tempted to just rip this art and make my next doll based on it because you have officially just illustrated my single favorite representation of the Extra Head part.

Out of curiosity, do you happen to take any inspiration from Keith Thompson? The arms and legs on this doll strongly remind me of his 'Sequester' mech suit concept.
maybe, we'll have to see tomorrow
Good to hear, feel free to use it for your game.
I know of Keith Thompson, but I wasn't actively thinking of his work when drawing this.
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gawdamn, thats some sick shit. i find human like mechas to be unsettling.
You know Nechronica undead would be perfect for a game that revolves around high speed dangerous races with combat.

Like a mad cross between podracing and Mario kart.

Because the racers have a chance of surviving to race again.
It's more that I'd want them to go to the gigantic evil tower piercing through the clouds and into space. I assume most dolls would see the gigantic evil fortress that seems to be the source of the horrors, and go the other fucking way. Best I can think of is leaving evidence that other dolls went there before.
I know you are talking about the concept not the game mechanics of undead, but I wonder what would be a good way to approach homebrewing races, in this case races with pilots and vehicles, for Nechronica.
Part of the issue is that Nechronica's mechanics are so based around killing the opponent. Even in racing games with weapons and such, the core of the game is movement and maneuvering based - jockeying for position to be the first over the line. I'm having a hard time figuring out a satisfying way you would represent that on Nechronica's battle map.
Give evidence that they were there before. (Fun thing about dolls having holes in their memory and recovering memory fragments being a game mechanics is you can tempt players with stuff like that since the players don't have complete knowledge of their character's past)
Evidence that something they care about is there.
Bait them.
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As someone whose campaign partially took place in a pseudo space elevator, you just need to give the Dolls a personal stake in the location.

Or railroad them. Nechronica is a system that railroading kind of works pretty well in because one of the core conceits of the game is that the party is already being lead around by the nose for the Necromancer's entertainment.

Maybe have the finish line X rounds away.
Tartarus is the "top" of the map
Map segments lower than Eden are Eden X
So 1 below Eden is Eden 1, two below Eden is Eden 2

At the start of each round everybody moves 10 down the map.

Final placing in the race is determined by the order people get to Tartarus in the last round and/or closeness to Tartarus at the end of the last round.

Have everyone start the race in in Eden if you want to force early violence to represent everyone starting the race closely packed and so in easy range of eachother

Or start everyone in Eden 5 if you don't want to force violence early.

The necromancer should plan what obstales to spawn on the map at the start of each round and where they are to spawn.

This structure assumes the race does not use a lap structure.
To clarify

The X representing the number of rounds and the X in Eden X are two entirely unrelated numbers.
>Oops! All Eden!
I feel like this is going to require a major rebalance of movement/forced movement options. If you tried to port this into the game as-is, I think you'd quickly run into a clusterfuck of everyone just brawling it out in Eden 17-20 and then running down to the end.

I assume you'd also take out the end-of-round Madness Point for the duration of the race? Otherwise you're going to be racking them up just because of how long movement normally takes.

Yeah I assumed at the conception of this idea that end of round madness would be suspended for the race, and then didn't think about it again and so didn't think to include it when I actually started typing.

Since we are talking about vehicle racing not footracing I assume everyone would have access to parts at least as fast as animal legs.

I wonder if having that much speed available would mitigate the power of pilots with forced movement skills or parts.

The idea of a psychedelic using the force to their advantage is amusing but could also be broken AF.

Same with using wire reel to try to pull a teammate up or pull an openent into melee range.
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Do you think a rule where
> If you make 0 forward progress after the start of a round, then when you hit 0 AP, or go into negstive AP, you are disqualified or eliminated.

Would encourage forward movement and not just getting into a murder pile in the bottom Edens?
I was going to ask what happens if you start a round in Tartarus, but the rule says "after the start of a round" which means the rule applies to not making forward progress after being moved down the map at the start of the round.
So from the rule's point of view nobody ever starts in Tartarus.

While I only made the example map go to Eden 20, I figured if anyone fell behind that you would just mark their token with what Eden number they are really in and stick them in 20.
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Would the symptoms and signs used in the Deep Space 9 episode Equilibrium be a good way to handle a big memory fragment starting to surface?
How does one get into the head of a necromancer so I can play them appropriately when the dolls meet them.
>How does one get into the head of a necromancer

With giant scissors.
Or meatsnake and super strength.
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I'm not familiar with DS9. Elaborate?

The same way you try to get into any other character's head.
>core motivations
>what sort of longterm goals do they have?
>Why did they create the party?
>How does the party fit into their plan?
>personality quirks
>what/who are their plans threatened by?
>what sort of themes are you going for with this character in the first place?
One of my campaigns had the Necromancer as a warrior poet god-king trying to sheperd the party out of harms way before he nuked himself to destroy the people that had undone all his work.
Another was an impartial AI that was essentially putting new bodies together at random (base templates + random variances) and trying to use them to revive specific people it saw as valuable to the continuation/restart of humanity on Earth. To it, the party were just failed experiments that had been shuffled off into storage at the start of the game. It basically ignored our party completely until the final chapter of the campaign, where we eventually ended up on it's radar as useful after taking out some smalltime threats and proving ourselves capable against some larger ones it was already trying to deal with.

Both of these Necromancers were ultimately altruistic but the king that personally tries to safeguard you as everything is collapsing around you and the AI that simply shoves Savants and Dolls into a closet because it doesn't have the resources to do anything more with them are going to be completely different in practice.

The only thing to really keep in mind I guess is that Necromancers tend to be several orders of magnitude stronger than your standard party. It's not inconceivable that a Necromancer could be put under threat by standard Dolls, but a Necromancer like that is going to be a pretty different character to the one whose found a weather machine and likes to impersonate Zeus by evaporating undead hordes with lightning storms.
20 spaces is probably enough for any race you'd want to run, really. Dictate length of the race by length of the map, start at the bottom (or in the appropriate Eden if you don't want to fiddle with it), first one through Tartarus wins.
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>that Necromancers tend to be several orders of magnitude stronger than your standard party.

Well, this is not really true. A necromancer is just whatever can raise undead, it can run from a 7 year old that has no other real capabilities to immortal, inscrutable superbeings. "Kill the necromancer" is a very common end of campaign/arc goal for a game so to say they're beyond party capabilities like that is misleading.
That's a mistake on my end. I specifically meant to type '0 favor' in front of party and again in 'standard dolls' and somehow managed to miss it both times (and again on my own reread before posting).
In this case I meant to say a party fresh out of character creation.
Karma for this combat: Save Elizabeth
>Noel takes the forward position, flanked by Betty as Feliz posts up by the downed transport
>the opfor includes the Herald Savant, two larger undead toting flamethrowers, two more toting high caliber automatic rifles, and a swarm of infantry
>Betty and Feliz go first.
>Feliz pings one of the flamethrower undead with a shot from her rifle, tripping Betty's Drama of Death.
>Betty lands a fat crit pretty much first thing and cleaves the poor Horror in half
>Noel's count rolls around and she triggers Cold Light, which casts a soft halo around her head
>On the same count, the Herald raises a new Legion from the ashes
>the entire midfield devolves into a brawl as Noel marches straight into the midst of the enemy.
>Feliz and Betty continue to pick out targets to tag team, with Feliz essentially 'marking' targets with her rifle for Betty to cleave apart
>the second flamethrower unit only got to move once before sharing a similar fate to the first
>the gunners in the rear of the enemy formation, too far from Feliz and too befuddled by Noel's Cold Light to reliably target Betty, lay into Noel with everything they have
>the Herald is creating Legions and amalgamating them into new Horrors as quickly as she can but can't keep up with Betty's destructive pace as the Doll continues to chew through the hordes like a ccombine harvester.
>The Herald isn't helped by the fact that Noel keeps using her Psychedlic skills to forcefully yank the Herald out of position, at once spending the Herald's actions on forced movement and getting her close enough for Betty to stagger with the Eviscerator.
>most of the Legions down and the Herald being dealt with, Feliz starts taking apart the gunners in the far back.
>It's hardly even a fight for the Herald. She falls under Betty and Noel's combined assault in short order, leaving just the gunners in the back alongside a smattering of Legion units
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>Noel triggers Shared Loss on the fresh gunner, crippling it
>Betty comes in just behind her.
>Betty triggers Calamity, followed shortly by every support she still has left as she makes a mad swing with the Eviscerstor.
>the entire enemy backline vanishes in a spray of embers and whirling steel

>Ending Tally
>Enemy losses: Total
>Feliz: Untouched
>Betty: Minor damage
>Noel: Moderate damage
>Elizabeth is safe: Karma acquired
>Madness Neutral
>that thumbnail
That is definitely smaller than the file I saved.
Think a couple of my images got borked in a recent data transfer. That's annoying.
>>80562930 #
>Herald Savant,
>two larger undead toting flamethrowers
>two more toting high caliber automatic rifles
>a swarm of infantry

What do these motherfuckers look like?

Are they generic zombies,
Robots that look like iphones,
Leather clad biker mutants,
Skeletons covered in dried out meat?
Do you get your parts back after a fight or do you have to take the ones your enemies left?
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Mostly generic undead. Herald is described here >>80540401, I forgot to actually name them in the original storytime post though. Picture a woman's silhouette on fire and you basically have it. The gunners and flamethrower undead were just larger and more heavily equipped versions of Baal's infantry, so they're just moderately taller fire zombies with meaner equipment.

I'll try and be more descriptive in the next fights. Something about writing combat always manages to fry my brain after I actually get started and I wind up leaving out random shit.
Certain parts automatically repair after combat, but generally you'll either need to scavenge new parts from your opponent (the available number of how many of each type is calculated off of enemy threat level) or you'll need parts like First Aid Kit and Coffin which allow you to repair a certain number of parts on a doll that is not yourself.
>Do you get your parts back after a fight or do you have to take the ones your enemies left?

Mechanically the difficulty of the fight factors into calculations of how many basic and reinforcement parts you can repair by salvaging the remains of enemies (with some people throttling this down to make survival more of a challenge since otherwise fights just star RAINING repair resources. In fact the Dallas game that is being storytimed in this thread had reduced repair resource outputs from fights [I played Noel]. It made us think more about our plans in combat since we needed to succeed while losing as few parts as possible.
It definately made me feel more engaged. )
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>tfw you have to repair another doll's Boy part

Like in the fight that just happened for example Noel did a lot of tanking because she could lose the most parts while still being able to contribute meaningfully to combat.

That said we just barely had enough resources after the fight to get fixed back up.
Saved this I have.

Badass this is.

>I'm not familiar with DS9.
Netflix have do you not?

End up killing her adoptive parent does she not?
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not necessarily
Netflix dropped all the stuff I was interested in watching years ago and these days I generally dislike them as a company.

IIRC I gave you guys like 5 parts total? Need to go back and look at the edits on your sheets but I think Betty had like two basic parts broken by the end of combat, one of which was fixed while Noel got the lion's share of parts + first aid kit because she spent the entire fight being a target for the gunners.
Headpat simulator.
>one whose found a weather machine and likes to impersonate Zeus by evaporating undead hordes with lightning storms

Ya' should'nta given me that idea, but I'm glad ya did.
How did you get the group for this game together?

I want to play but don't know how to find people for Nechronica.
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not exactly but actually yes
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> ' thank you for keeping our restrooms clean. if you see anyone making a mess let me know and I'll clean them up too. '

>Please post insane signs, notices, offers, warnings, posters, billboards, and other similar things for inspiration

Thank you very much.
>>80568918 You're welcome.
It looks like a broken doll got sent back in time to an era when humans still ruled the earth.
>How does one get into the head of a necromancer so I can play them appropriately when the dolls meet them.

Watch this. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=qKobL5oj3Zg&pp=sAQA
Jack is how a necromancer sees themself.

Nobody else sees reality this way.
I would like some more please.
>>80558864 >>80570665 These are brilliant.

But I like this. >>80557819
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I knew all of them already. I GM'd this game as a way to give my longterm GM (Noel) a break and help him with his burnout.

Noel is the GM for another one of my games (the Coleo/England game if you've been around for that storytime) and Betty and Feliz are my party members in that game.

I've known Betty's player since middle school, and he DM'd a long running IRL game for our highschool friend group. I've been online friends with Feliz's player for a long time and he GM'd my first Nechronica game a while back along with a mutual friend of ours. I met Noel's player while storytiming that game and he asked me if I would be interested in another game, I said yes and wound up recruiting Feliz and Betty's players to that campaign.

I met Noel on 4chan and knew the other two beforehand, and we'd already been playing Nechronica for a while before this.

Generally speaking, I think if you have any players who enjoy horror games and weeaboo magic fightan then Nechronica shouldn't be a hard sell. You may just need to downplay the yuri parts of the game, which is what my group does anyway.

It'll be up tomorrow night (or possibly piecemeal throughout the day). I had to go up to a property after work and try to keep one of my trees from splitting in half, so I only walked through the door at 9pm and I gotta be up by 5 tomorrow. Good news is that I'm slated for a slow day at work tomorrow, so I should have time to put together more stuff on my downtime.
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>try to keep one of my trees from splitting in half

Do you run an orchard?
I wish, but no. I purchased a house last year and have been working on it, and there are mature trees on the lot. The largest one split some time recently and I just noticed the other week. Had to go up tonight and put a pair of ratcheting straps on it to keep it from getting any worse until we can get some actual braces put in (hopefully in the next couple weeks).

No real idea how I'm going to ratchet the thing together. I guess I'll have to do some research on my downtime.
The thing that gets me about players of this game is all the character art they find. Where the hell do you all pull it from? Especially the weirder ideas.
I may or may not be on the lookout for something that matches my character.
You know that scene in Clone Wars where palpatine gets thrown off a high balcony and his response is to use the force to yank his opponents off after him?

Could you do the same thing to a single opponent with a rapid forced move part, or responding to a forced move with a forced move of your own if you are both on the same count.

Like boost or wire reel?
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There is literally an artist taking requests in this thread. Make a request before it's too late!

See >>80525005
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Unironically, Pinterest has a lot of good content if you can figure out how to dig through it. They've actually figured out how to web similar images together and clicking through things that are close to what you want but not quite what you're looking for has a pretty decent chance of returning something you can make use of.
One of my players is an artist, another has powerful Bing-fu.

That helps.

Also I collect lots of random inspiration images and people post cool shit on 4chan sometimes which I save on sight.
Why are their tits amongst all that hardware?
is there a convenient way to play this without centering it all around little girls?

i genuinely couldn't care less myself and the system looks unbelievably sick, but there's absolutely no way i could link my party the wiki without putting them off the whole thing
You could respond with your own Rapid movement manuever, yes. With the caveat that if your response would move your target out of range for their own manuever then you wouldn't move, because your target's manuever would get canceled.

I should go into the archives some day just to tally up how many times I've written the word 'manuever'

The system takes to re-fluffing very well.

There is nothing stopping you from playing adults. Everyone has emotional and mental vulnerabilities.

The sanity system works for adults or children and all parts and skills are easily refluffed.
You can just have the PCs be older. Young adult (early 20s) works OK as long as your players get with the program on the whole 'not mentally stable' and 'battle is inherently traumatic' and 'anime as shiiiiiiit' parts.

A lot of the charm the game is sold on has to do with the juxtaposition of innocence and the cold reality of the apocalypse colliding head on, but the system is flexible enough to not necessarily require you to play that way.
I use Tumblr archive and viewer sites to pick through the corpses of blogs that were were shut down or fell in the great NSFW purge.

Some of those blogs are treasure troves of lost art that's great for wierd characters.

Isn't headpat simulator a genre of games now?
>Young adult (early 20s) works OK as long as your players get with the program on the whole 'not mentally stable' and 'battle is inherently traumatic' and 'anime as shiiiiiiit' parts.

You don't need to be a YOUNG adult for those things to work well either.
And I don't mean "really 700 years old" type stuff either.

Most people are fragile things and I'm not talking about physically.
I may be retarded but thanks for spoon feeding me anon!
I’ll dig though there at some point then.
>one of my players is an artist
Eternally fortunate
>tumblr archive
Didn’t realize that existed

If you’re still taking requests, and thank you very kindly in advance.
>has a nice dress as the treasure
>up to you if she’s just skinny or she lacks any flesh between pelvis and rib cage entirely - she’s cybernetic so go nuts on the mechanical stuff.
>character has a kind of angel motif going, but the wings are made out of recognizably human limbs.
>for halo, think ‘sun disk behind the head’. Don’t care if it’s fleshy or mechanical. Don’t care if it’s square or circular. Make it weird.
>wings are also covered in eyes. Don’t care if they’re human eyes or cameras, whichever is the weirder image to you.
>wings also have retractable razor blades
>wings are large enough to cover someone else as well.
>always calm and measured.
a guess a better way to phrase my question is do you know of a better way to reskin it than manually renaming the relevant material then reorganizing all the information players would need to know into my own text documents or something similar?

i get that it's technically just a bit of fluff putting on the emphasis on being young girls and they've enjoyed playing call of cthulhu before so i don't think there'd be any issues getting them on board with the general tone, but most of them are the type of people that would be outright uncomfortable reading about things like the classes if they're presented alongside pictures of children
Oh you wanna fuck someone up good and proper?
Wreck their shit so bad they’re convinced they legitimately have no future. That they’re simply trucking along on inertia, that all their ‘life story’ so to speak is in the past and is a finished project.
>a man can endure any how so long as he has a why
As the famous quote goes, but the corollary to that is ‘remove all the whys, and there’s no reason left to endure’.

>Copy the skills to a text document that you can keep on hand as a replacement for the wiki
>Rewrite the entries for each class/position to better reflect your home brew setting.
>Rewrite flavor text from the skills/parts for the same reason.
You’ll have to rewrite the basic rules for a group like that anyway (has a bad case of the ‘clearly sounded far better in its native language’) so just take the plunge. I did it, not as daunting as you might think. Game’s really small and most of it is DM specific anyway.
Also, refluff boy as something else entirely if you’re in a normie group.
i actually think the cold, stilted nature of translated japanese kind of adds to the setting ironically enough, but i'll probably try exactly this as soon as i can find time to convince them to try out something new
the alternative was scrapping the system for parts to add to my homebrew anyway, but that seemed a bit ambitious without trying the system as written first
>refluff boy as something else entirely if you're in a normie group.
i'm not sure i follow your meaning
Boy is a part.
It may be literal, it may be a euphemism (I’ve seen plenty of arguments on either side).
Given all it does is make conversation checks more reliable, it’s easy to refluff.
ah, i see, i had only skimmed the parts lists.
i'd be curious to know what the original japanese is but there's no way i could be assed to find the untranslated pdf
anyways thanks for the recommendations
>i actually think the cold, stilted nature of translated japanese kind of adds to the setting ironically enough

I agree. Paradoxically it also makes re-fluffing easier. The translation feels alien, so swapping the entire setting for a different one (I've heard of at least 3 games set on Mars and more set in different interpretations of sci-fi or science fantasy space, as well as the Dallas and Aqen game's alt-futureNorth America and the Gravel game's alt-future Afroeurasia, and whatever the fuck is going on in the Melico game and the Good Morning game) without introducing terminal awkward is pretty easy cause you are starting out having already crossed that line twice.
It's actually really REALLY hard hard to get your hands an original japanese pdf. Not trying for it is a smart move.

>I use Tumblr archive and viewer sites to pick through the corpses of blogs that were were shut down or fell in the great NSFW purge.
>Some of those blogs are treasure troves of lost art that's great for wierd characters.

My dark skinned brother of African extraction!
>Oh you wanna fuck someone up good and proper?
>Wreck their shit so bad they’re convinced they legitimately have no future. That they’re simply trucking along on inertia, that all their ‘life story’ so to speak is in the past and is a finished project.
>>a man can endure any how so long as he has a why
>As the famous quote goes, but the corollary to that is ‘remove all the whys, and there’s no reason left to endure’.
>wings are large enough to cover someone else as well

What does this mean?
Should have elaborated, I’m going to be picking up the protect skill from the Stacy list, and given mechanically the wings are meat shields, that’s how I was gonna flavour it (she’s using the wings to shield her sisters)
There's a .pdf someone made that omits the artwork that sounds like it might be useful to you. I'll see if I can dig it up.
some retard is getting paid to destroy nechronica by another faggot on some discord server.
Just sayin'
Probably just some autist with a bot. Apparently servers all over the service have been getting botted to death for one reason or another. It's actually grown into a massive issue for the company, last I heard.
He is getting paid to make a version of nech that removes the Loli
Even though he thunks anime Grylls are essential to nech
I know you don't have to be, but a lot of the game's flavor is predicated on playing characters that really just don't have the mental tools to properly grasp what's happening in the world around them. That's why you have Dolls develop unhealthy coping mechanisms in the form of (most) Position skills and co-dependent Fetters.

These behaviors and neuroses manifest in adults too, but a lot of them are learned during the formative years and into early adulthood while the brain is still developing, past thirty or so you get into the territory where individuals are better able to adapt their behavior to their surroundings in according to their preconceived principles; they're less morally flexible because they've already been through the trial-and-error ethics phase in their life and have a system in place that they think works and makes sense.

Again, I'm not saying you can't play Nechronica with older adults. I just think you wind up with a notably different sort of content if you extend the age bracket much farther than the early 20s.
This is pretty much what I picture when I think of what it feels like to get hit with a spirit attack. I can only imagine how unpleasant it would be to experience a scene like this while in motion.
lol i look at the posts on the discord and notepad anon is getting paid to strip the little girls out of Nechronica at his own dismay
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Because juxtaposing the feminine with the military industrial aesthetic is the point.
Oh ok then.
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>Her legs ruined in the engagement, Noel floats over the battlefield and back toward the transport under the power of her own telekinesis, the tattered remains of her legs trailing behind her like streamers off a pinata.
>Betty trails just behind her, not much worse for wear at all. She stops short while Noel continues around to the transports cockpit. "Feliz, think you can patch up Noel? I'm gonna take a look around."
>"Sure thing. Be careful, yea?" Feliz says, somewhat cheerfully now that the enemy has been decimated.
>Betty waves her off as she turns back to the battlefield. "Don't worry, I won't get lost. More worried that Feliz is gonna break something while cutting Elizabeth out."
>Noel comes to a perfectly still halt over the canopy of the transport vehicle, though the transparent alloy playing is already so caked in soot and ash that it's all but completely opaque. "Hang on Liz. I'm gonna cut you out. Lean to the wall now. Three. Two. One..."
>She plunges her plasma cutter into the topmost panel of the cannopy and begins cutting.
>"Ack!" Elizabeth squeaks as the sparks start flying. "Stop! Stop!"
>Noel can hear her through the cockpit glass this time. She hasn't thought to turn on the comm.
>Noel shuts off her plasma cutter and lines her mouth and an eye up with the glowing slot in the canopy. "What's wrong?"
>An external speaker crackles to life. "There's- hang on! There's a set of latches on the cockpit glass. I just need you to pop those."
>"Oh." Noel reactivates her cutter and sticks the manual release handles like bubble wrap with a needle.
>"That was easy."
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>The canopy pops free without ceremony.
>"I'm stuck..." Liz grumbles. Noel can see her now that the soot-caked glass is out of the way. From the waist down she's integrated completely into the craft's cockpit. Her arms are both cybernetic implants. Connectors are visible on her wrists, though they've been unplugged now that the craft is downed. Aside from her flight helmet, she's just wearing an olive drab T-shirt.
>She's hanging askew in her mount. "The crash bent the locking tabs in my mounting socket. Can you..." she motions to a warped piece of metal pressing up against her side. "-really carefully- cut this part here?"
>"I've cut nosehair with this thing," Noel assures, flaring her cutter for emphasis. "Just hold really still."
>She floats down inside the cockpit, the glow of he hair cranking up to full and bathing the area in soft light as she assesses the job before carefully going to work.
>Elizabeth picks up cussing again as the metal starts to heat up. She slams a fist against a control panel. "Hot-hot-hot-FUCKING HOT!" And then there's a creak and the sound of shearing metal as Liz lurches and falls out of her socket. A pair of very basic mechanical legs follow her out, kicking weakly as she rolls out of the cockpit. She hisses in pain, hands on the cooked-red section of her waist. "Gaw, that stings!"
>"Awww. Want me to kiss it better?" Noel says with mock sweetness.
>"Don't make fun of the chairforce, Noel." Feliz pipes in from behind as she retrieves her first aid kit, "...and hold still; I need to take a look at the both of you." She brandishes a needle and aluminum thread.
>Liz snorts in equally mock derisiveness. "I thought the First Chosen weren't allowed to have a sense of humor." Then she turns to Feliz with an angry pout. "I'm not a jet jockey, either. Logistics division is rolled into the army." She leans down and smacks away the ash collecting in her knee joints. "The air support here is mostly all Mara's and Morte's kids, I hear."
>own dismay
If it bothers him so much then why continue. Why not hand back outstanding money and stop working on it?
>inb4 money
Self-loathing lasts longer than cash. Even the brokest, most shit out of luck fucks walk away from paychecks they find demeaning.

Q.e.d. He’s clearly not that dismayed.
>"Oh," Feliz says, genuinely sorry to have missed the distinction. "...I didn't know. Sorry." The bulk of her attention remains on getting Noel to sit still while she patches up her everything.
>"And how many First Chosen has Tin Legs Lizzy met before me?" Noel asks as she floats down from the cockpit.
>Liz waves off Feliz as she turns back around and starts rifling through the cockpit for something. "S'fine. I was told you guys were real scrambled anyway, right? You got caught up in a nasty flame wall or something." After a moment of fidgeting, a small compartment on the wall pops open, dropping a package into Elizabeth's waiting hand. "And I guess I haven't met any Chosen asides you," she says to Noel as she turns back around, inspecting her find. "But you guys, uh... do have a rep. With the silent marching and the white robes n'... stuff. S'not really personable."
>There's a series of clicks and clacks and suddenly Elizabeth is holding a short carbine in her hand. The receiver glows a dull red as the heatsink embedded over the trigger starts venting waste heat. "There we go."
>Betty finally returns to the group, carrying a modest heap of dessicated limbs and dry bones. "Alright, was able to scrounge up some stuff that didn't look too bad. You get Elizabeth out?" She looks over at the pilot. "Ah, good. Hope you're good with walking, because it looks like we'll be on foot from here." She dumps the pile of body parts off to the side and begins picking through them. "So, what we got here?"
>Seeing Feliz trying to reach for her, Noel moves again and parks herself in the air to the side of the now-open canopy, leaving the exit path clear for Elizabeth and in a slightly more convenient spot for Feliz.
>While she hovers there she reaches into her dress and begins feeling around. She blinks after a moment "Huh." then keeps searching. "Where it is? Gotta be in here somewhere."
>"Sit still, would you?" Feliz grumbles halfheartedly, "You'd think a girl missing her legs and half of her arms would wiggle less."
>Noel, apparently oblivious to Feliz's reprimand, sighs with relief as she fishes out a rectangular clam shell metal case with rounded edges. The metal is buffed to a mirror finish. One side is inscribed with a plate crossed by a fork and knife.
>It's Mara's meal needle case.
>She opens the case, quickly looks inside, and then grins. "They're still good."
>There are a set of six automatic injectors in the case, each labeled with a different dining theme ranging from 'Southern Comfort' to 'Extravagant Italian.' This case has been half-used already.
>Elizabeth perks up on seeing the tin. "Ooh. You got a chilimac in there?"
>Betty looks over to Feliz struggling with the floating Noel. "Speaking of missing legs, found a few spare." She holds out a disembodied thigh and a mostly intact foot. "See if they'll take?"
>Feliz blinks at that. "Um. Wha...." She turns a bit to Betty as she speaks up, "...ah... maybe. I'll probably need to splice something together... Noel's legs were very... unusual."
>"Chilli... Umm maybe she's got a day with that in it." Noel moves the empty injector rack to read the explanation card pressed up against the back wall of the case.
>Elizabeth quirks an eyebrow. "A day?" Then her eyes widen. "Aw, no way! They give you guys the multi-course ones?! Those're 'sposed to be expensive as balls!" She stabs the butt of her carbine into the dirt. "But... I guess Mara's the one who makes those anyways, isn't she? I guess she'd hand them out to her own dolls." She starts chewing on her own cheek like it's a pinch of snuff. "Man. I guess that's the way it just works out."

The meal needles were 100% Noel's idea, btw. I thought they made sense as a morale item so I went ahead and included them. Kind of the Doll equivalent of cigarettes.
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That's a clever concept. Undead clearly can't or have no use for eating, plus an atomic wasteland makes good food a myth.
Smoking girls is a great aesthetic, too bad tobacco likely can't grow in hell on earth.
Great story so far.
Glad you're enjoying it.
Technically good food is still a thing: humans are still around in this timeline and the Long Sequel hasn't quite come to pass [yet?]. But Dolls don't get any as standard because logistics are already a nightmare and it would be a huge commitment of resources for a small morale boost that they can just replicate with recreational drugs instead.
... Which sounds pretty grimdark presented that way, but Dolls don't get side effects from it, so no drawbacks.

>It's Noel's turn to look surprised. "Wait. When did she start selling you guys monomeals?"
>Elizabeth shrugs. "Forever now? Since before I enlisted. And sometimes the family will send a couple of nice ones out in the care packages. Been a while since those came through, though."
>"It's Mara's personal case so there's no junkfood in here." She holds the case out for Elizabeth to peruse. "Here. pick one."
>Elizabeth's eyes widen a bit at the mention of Mara's name. "Uh... thanks. That, uhm..." She peers into the case and picks out the capsule labeled 'Southern Comfort.' "Bet this is what those GIs felt like getting wine out of the Eagle's Nest," she mumbles mostly to herself. "... 'sept I guess Mara's actually nice and not shootin' at me."
>"Feliz, Betty. Want one?" Noel waves the case vaguely in the other dolls' direction. "You two were damned impressive out there. How long have you been working together?"
>Feliz shrugs, "I... suppose I can't say for certain, but quite some time." She eyes the case warily, "These are... what again?"
>"Long enough to be better together than not," Betty says for her part. She glances over the selection of injectors. "Think they're some kind of food? They supposed to be something good?"
>"Teetotalers..." Elizabeth grumbles. "I hope you two at least handed your ration out to someone who'd appreciate 'em."
Who here is excited for the closest we are ever getting to a Nechronica movie to come out this October?

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Jiminy Christmas that looks grim.
Will probably go see it in theaters (if it's even available in theaters) just because I'm an artsy snob but damn that looks rough. Wonder if there's a solid plot or if it's more abstract.
I didn't know this was a thing until you posted it.
Im kinda impressed this thread is still kickin
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apparently it'll be more abstract

yeah I only knew about it since yesterday
Well Necromancy is kind of part and parcel with the setting.

>apparently it'll be more abstract
Kind of a shame because I like structured narratives but not a surprise. Should be interesting either way.

Storytime to continue tomorrow. I sort of forgot I had a game tonight.
Thank you very much.
I’m going with ‘grey goo scenario, but it’s medical nanomachines’ for my explanation.
>"...Wouldn't know." Feliz shrugs. "...they're probably dead now, though."
>"Ehhh." Noel looks at the Feliz and Betty with worry. "Well, food's hard to come by these days, and humans will pay out the nose to get it. So we don't eat our food, Mara trades it. These let us still enjoy it. It's common to synch your shots with friends so you can enjoy your meals together. Though I've also heard some teams take off the labels stagger them on a long march and make a game of guessing who is going to taste what next."
>Betty shrugs. "Doesn't really seem like they'd be worth the weight and space in the field." Betty straightens and looks about. "Speakin' of which, we should probably move a bit further from the field of bodies here. Pretty sure Baal's not gonna be happy we tore up some of his pets."
>Noel blinks. "But they hardly weigh anything. Uhm, but yeah you're probably right. Are we set down there Feliz?" She looks down at where Feliz is putting her legs back together.
>"Maybe. Try wiggling your toes..." Feliz blinks, "you're supposed to have toes, right?"
>"Yes. Ten of them." Noel tilts her head and tries to wiggle them.
>They wiggle.
>Elizabeth gives Betty and Feliz a look. "We missed the actually dangerous part of the firewall, but the draft put us way past the LZ. And bossman's probably walking in that direction, too." She looks at Feliz. "And sorry to hear about your squad, too. But you're in good company for what it's worth."
>She kicks the butt of her carbine and catches it mid-spin. "The airport is going to be east of here. If we're lucky we'll just run into one or two more patrol forces and not... something nastier." She pulls her carbine's sling over her shoulder and adjusts her helmet. "Oh, and thanks for not ditching me."
>"The crash did a good enough job of that," Feliz says, smiling wryly.
>Elizabeth grimaces. "Very funny." She flips her goggles down and fidgets with some of the cords trailing between her helmet and neck, hooking and unhooking them apparently at random as she gripes something under her breath about 'that fat bastard.'
>"I think we're... maybe five clicks west of the lines? My nav's all bugged out from the crash too. Probably a loose connector in the projector." She looks down and checks over her carbine out of habit. "But the airport is hard to miss. We hit an overpass we can follow the signage."
>"Well, no point standin' around. Anything else in there worth taking with us?" Betty gestures at the wreckage.
>"Good question." Noel nods. "Flares? An emergency radio?"
>"Don't think flares would show very well," Feliz says, pointing at the orange-red sky.
>"Might be good to have if we need to go somewhere dark. Can only rely on Noel's hair so much," Betty counters.
>Liz fidgets with her helmet some more. "Dallas doesn't really have super extensive tunnel networks. You'll really only find those between the military holdouts but the city never adopted them for infrastructure, so we're going to be pounding pavement until we're outta here." As she talks, Elizabeth waves a dismissive hand toward the crumpled aircraft. "As for that thing, nah. It was lightened up to carry around captain Big and Tall so the only thing that was on it was this." She holds up her carbine demonstratively. "It was only ever meant to go back and forth between points of interest around here."
>"Then let's get goin'. Heading East, right?" Betty shoulders her weapon.
>Noel nods in agreement. "How fast are you on those legs Lizzy?"
>Elizabeth raises one leg and rolls her mechanical ankle around, testing its flexibility. "Good 'nuff. These things will carry me at about normal walking pace for my height."
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The website mentions 'warpigs' of some type. It may very well be a Nechronica-tier scenario with techno-wizards and biotechnology run amok.
Hope our explorer buddy in the trailer makes it out OK. He's got a cool look to him.
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>Noel nods, apparently satisfied with that, and turns to Betty. "Thanks for scavenging the parts Betty." She only just now notices Betty's mangled fingers and the hole in her right palm. "Wait, are you going to be all right with your hands like that?"
Self-inflicted btw. She got hit once by a Legion or something and then promptly cleared half the opfor.
>"Nothing I can't work with. What, you think I can't tear things apart if I've got a few shattered fingers?" Betty rolls her eyes. "Not like I'm missing my legs or anything."
>"As long as you're good with it." Noel hops down off her perch on the transport to the ground, bending her knees before coming back up into a stride.
>"What if you need to run?" Feliz asks Elizabeth, starting down the road, eyes scanning the buildings and rubble.
>Elizabeth shrugs, heels clinking against the asphalt as she follows along. "Same difference. Aker's stuff isn't fancy but it gets the job done and doesn't break. Would be nice to be one of the Chosen or one of the Artisan projects but... eh."
>"So Ba'al's big burning buck." Noel breaks in after a moment of quiet. "Have you all seen that thing in action before? I don't recall If I have."
>"You have, most likely, even if you don't recall," Feliz opines. "I think that's why we were all gathered together, though I guess I had the clearest memory of it? ...That still wasn't much, mind."
>"Probably what blasted us before we woke up. Seem to remember something 'bout fire and an animal skull, so willing to bet that was it," Betty says.
>Noel makes a noncommittal 'hm.' "What do you remember Feliz?"
>"We were suppressing an infantry line and mopping them up," Feliz says, "...and then this big black deer skull pops up over the smoke and everything's on fire."
>Elizabeth kicks a pebble down the road and grimaces. "Man you guys got it rough." She adjusts her helmet a little before talking. "The leviathans - the deer head things - are Baal's siegebreakers. You all have probably seen one. And I guess what makes you special to the head honchos is that you're still around to talk about it after getting barbecued."
>Her expression turns dark under her goggles. "Normally it burns all the necromancy out of you and just leaves the meat behind. You three are real lucky. Especially dodging it twice."
>"Oh yeah, sure feel lucky." Betty continues to scan the surrounding area. "Couldn't imagine a better situation than this."
>"You know what they say about good work and its rewards," Feliz says wryly as she steps over a burned out motorbike.
>While the others talk, Noel takes the opportunity to find the gap in her armor near her elbow and casually injects one of Mara's syringes. She relaxes visibly as the drug takes effect almost immediately, simulating the sensation of eating a finely prepared course of savory crepes topped with melted butter and dark maple syrup. The effect is so vivid that she can even feel the texture as she 'chews'
>She sighs loudly in apparent contentment before stashing the spent injector back in the case.
>Looking as mellow as she's ever been, she turns to Elizabeth. "So has our side taken down any before, as far as anyone can recall?"
>"A couple." Elizabeth kicks another pebble as she walks. "Normally I think the M.O. is to saturate their calculated positions with heavy artillery, but... All the guns big enough for that are a gooey pile of scrap back in New Mexico." She shakes her head. "Now it's the sappers' job. Which I think you guys are actually here for?"
>"Long as they're still there, yes," Feliz agrees.
>Betty mumbles under her breath. "Guess that makes us backup for the backup plan."
>"At least there is a plan," says Noel.
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>Elizabeth scoffs. "You woulda heard about it from Aker it if Old Annie had bitten it. You probably don't remember but those sapper girls are buttoned up good. Black Ball likes to strap on tac-nukes just to show off."
>Betty raises an eyebrow. "Think that's the plan now? Have 'em climb up to the Leviathan and toss a nuke in?"
>"I want to make a joke about being hot but it seems I'm still warming up after being out cold." Noel opines.
>A pile of rubble near the side of the road shifts.
>eliz and Noel notice just in time to weave out of the way, but Betty and Elizabeth aren't so lucky.
>The air splits with the ripping noise of machingun fire. Two hidden emplacements on the right hand side of the road begin spitting bullets. One round pierces Betty's abdomen. Three rounds stitch a line up Elizabeth's torso and she gets sent flat on her back.
>"FUCK! GET ELIZABETH TO COVER!" Betty charges the rubble that's spitting bullets and whips her Eviscerator toward it in an attempt to demolish whatever is firing upon them.
>Meanwhile, Feliz boosts Elizabeth behind a concrete barrier and dives behind one herself.
>Noel dives behind a gutted car, then sprints forward along the drainage ditch up the far side of the road before running up and leaping across the street, She deploys her cutter halfway though the air and corscrews into one of the emplacements like the worlds most ostentaious lawn dart.
>Betty's Eviscerator cuts a clean horizontal line in the pile of rubble. A light machine gun goes careening down the sidewalk, followed closely by a hand without an owner.
>For Noel, the rubble pile has a conspicuous lack of give for an entrenched emplacement. In fact, as she finishes her initial burn an pulls the torch back... it's just a pile of rubble. She's burned a neat cone into it, and she can see a red hot lump of steel where the receiver of the weapon used to be. A carbonized eye sits just where the rear sight should be.
>Elizabeth is swearing profusely, coughing dark blood up as she tries to peel herself off the ground. "Shit, those are real."
>"Well... they did just shoot at us," Feliz says obliviously as she also stands, the threat evidently dealt with.
>Betty leaps up the pile of rubble to where the machine gun had been, expecting to find the owner of the now disembodied hand.
>"What?!" Noel reashes into the molten cone as she fumes. "What kind of kind of ghetto rigged knockoff bullshit necromancy is this?" Noel pulls the cooked eyeball out of the hole and holds it up for Betty to see.
>Her tone brightens as she sees the loose hand from Betty's target. "Oh hey, you got some replacement fingers."
>"Tch, nothing here either! Damned disapointment!" Betty kicks a piece of concrete of the heap of rubble. She looks down at the holes in her stomach. "Can't believe I lost my guts for this."
>"Do you need to borrow some of mine?" Noel offers.
>Elizabeth hocks up another glob of coagulated blood as she gets herself into a sitting position. "I heard Baal had started seeding ambushers but I thought that was just ghost stories from the boots. Fuck." She teeters upward. "At least it wasn't my face. I guess."
>Betty stomps down to where the hand landed, cursing under her breath as she picks up the limb. "I'm no charity case! I don't need your stinking guts!"
>"Betty." Feliz calls as she approaches, "Simmer down, yea? If she has the right setup then there's no good reason to turn her down." She turns her eyes to Noel, "But you don't, do you?"
>"I can grow parts back. But it would probably take a while to grow back whatever you cut out and put into her, and taking them out might just ruin them," Noel answers before turning to Elizabeth.
Hey man, money is money and I can get rid of self-loathing through drinking. Fun fact though, the guy who wants it probably won't even fucking pay up at all.
>"As in Ba'al himself goes around setting these up? Or he has little bastards to it for him? Actually I guess he could body surf his minions for all we know. Maybe that's why he never says anything, he's having too much fun being a thousand psychotic pranksters at once." Noel's little ramble comes to an abrupt stop. "Oh." Surprise. "Ohhhhhh." Understanding. She smacks her lips.
>"Damn that's good espresso."
>Feliz gives her a bit of a look.
>"How bad are you two shot up?" Noel asks.
>Betty grumbles to herself as she examines the hand. "Don't need it anyway. Just organs that don't work anyway. Stupid machine guns. Send some real mosters and I'd kick their ass..." She continues to mumble as she starts picking knuckle bones out of the new hand.
>Elizabeth levers herself up onto her feet and prods a wound with one of her fingers. "I think my guts got shredded good," she says matter-of-factly. "I guess Baal's assault forces set these up. He didn't used to fight dirty like this back in the Rockies."
>"Have you been transferring from necromancer to necromancer or did Aker have territory all the way out there?" Noel asks.
>Elizabeth blinks at the question. "Man y'all got fried up good." She leans back to sit on the hood of a blown out car and produces a roll of bandages from a compartment in her upper calf. "Aker's a five star general. In the army."
>"We're what's left of the U.S. armed forces."
>"C’est pas vrai!" Noel looks between her three comrades in astonishment and blinks her sunless eyes. "Do I count as a citizen?"
>Betty shrugs. "Don't know. You a private military for Mara? Could be you're a foreign mercenary."
>"How's about we let the girl who doesn't have scrambled eggs for brains answer, yea?" Feliz says, not unkindly.
>"Fine, why not. So miss Elizabeth, is Noel an illegal or no?"
It's wierd to think this is set in America.
When I think of continents being consumed by war I think of Europe.


>Not demanding your beer money in advance.
Hasn't paid me shit, he ain't getting shit.
Even if he does pay me, I'd be working on his "Sanitized" Homebrew (i.e. A homebrew project with how to make it presentable to other people while not working without knowing the rules already) as well as a personal project of chopping Nechronica apart to its base components for homebrewing it for others.

I'd call it the Notecramancer's Guide to Cutting and Sewing.
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>"Mara's also U.S." Elizabeth explains. "A lot of her girls talk french for some reason, though. I think she got a lot of the Chosen out of Creole land." She starts packing one of her bullet holes. "Mara and Aker came out of the same program, I hear. But, y'know, Necromancy. Even the government couldn't work around quirks I guess."
>"Looks like we don't have to deport you Noel. Congrats."
>Noel gives a sarcastic "Hooray!" which then transitions into a more serious "We're going to have a lot of catching up to do when we get home after this."
>Elizabeth pushes off the car and starts back down the street. "Lets get moving again. The firewall will be coming up behind us if we wait too long."
>"'Course." Feliz agrees.
>The four of them continue east, picking through rubble and abandoned cars and craters in the like as they go. The light doesn't change even as the afternoon wanes on.
>Eventually the taller buildings start to thin out, giving way to warehouses and residential buildings.
>They're about to cross a four-way intersection in a nondescript shopping square when suddenly the wind picks up. A howling rises behind them. A pillar of black, twisting smoke detaches from the firewall and lurches forward at an uneven pace.
>It's getting larger. It's getting closer.
>Elizabeth claps a hand down on her helmet as she breaks into a sprint. "Fuck! FUCK! Book it!"
>"...Is it singling us out, or are we just in the way?" Feliz wonders as she sets into a sprint as well.
>Noel Scoops up Elizabeth into a princess carry and sprints down the road. "Which way are we going flygirl?"
>Betty tears down the road a few paces behind the others. "Anywhere we can hide!?" She glances over her shoulder at the looming pillar of smoke.
>"It's just going to toast everything in the way anyway, isn't it? Wast'f time!" Feliz calls back, keeping her eyes ahead.
>Version with none of the book art
>Homebrewing guide

I like these parts of the idea. If done well.
You're sweet
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I have made a statblock for this occasion.
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That actually reminds me that I should probably figure out what's happening in the rest of the world while all this is going down. The two games set in this timelime both took place in North America.

>"That's a Cerberus," Elizabeth huffs as she tries to wriggle her way around so that she's laying sideways in Noel's arms, facing backward. She manages to get the muzzle of her carbine around Noel's shoulder and squeezes the trigger. A distinctive electric 'crack' punctuates the wind. "No point in hiding, just keep running! If we're lucky I can blast a section out of its foot!" She squeezes off another shot.
>"Best you get a head start then!" Betty boosts Noel and Elizabeth forward. She continues to run down the road after them.
>Launched by Betty, Noel arcs though the air holding Elizabeth like a football, before landing into a roll and springing back up into a run.
>"Is there a river or canal around here?!" Noel shouts as she runs.
>"The most you'll get here is a culvert or stream bed." Elizabeth cracks off another shot, already having recovered from the tumble. "It can't be much farther to the friendly lines now. We just need to get under the arty umbrella and then they can take care of it. The hard part is- uh, it's gaining."
>The pillar begins to loom higher and higher behind them. Once a thin line, it towers up into the blazing sky and draws a line of coal-black across the atmosphere.
>They can hear the rolling thunder of a horse at gallop.
>A black silhouette rounds the corner in front of them.
>And suddenly the world is white and noise.
>A pressure wave lays them all flat. The wind howls and thrashes them against the pavement. For a brief second the stench of smoke is replaced by the scent of ozone.
Heavy footfalls. In the rain and ash.
Quiet . . .
Stay quiet . . .
Step. Step.
You try to move your legs, but they don’t respond.
You hurt.
You scrabble weakly at the ground, retreating precious inches deeper into your hiding space.
The shape of a man appears at the entrance to your burrow. He towers over everything.
As he looks back and forth you can see the outline of a metallic lion helmet covering his head.
Quiet . . .
His eyes settle on you.
He looks off to his side and says something before turning back to you and reaching out a hand...

[Betty gains the memory fragment: Silhouette]

>A hand wraps around the lip of Betty's plate carrier, hauling her to her feet. "Up! Up! C'mon!" It's an older girl in black combat armor. She's looking somewhere behind Betty as she raises a carbine with her free hand and lets loose a burst at something outside of Betty's field of vision even as she backpedals with Betty in tow.
>A squat, six wheeled IFV lumbers around the corner and lets loose a burst of cannonfire close enough that the party can hear the shells whizzing by overhead. Another girl in a helmet two sizes too large is hauling up Elizabeth.
>Feliz hauls herself to her feet and - with a quick glance to assess the situation and locate her companions, starts moving with the surrounding friendlies.
>Splayed facedown on the street, Noel spits a loud stream of French vitriol as she scrambles to her hands and knees and lifts her head up to look around. Black eyes wide open. "Girls! Where-are you all alright?" Her head whips over to look at the newcomers picking up Betty and Elizabeth.
>"Thank you. Who are you?" she calls as she finally starts to bring herself vertical
>"WHO ARE YOU!?" Betty stubbles and staggers as the girl drags her forward, her legs flailing beneath her. "WHAT DO YOU WANT!?" Her head whips around as thunderous sound of gunfire echoes around. No. Something's different. She looks toward the sky, not at the blazing inferno closing in on them, but at something else. "Where'd the rain go?"
>"It wasn't raining, Betty." Feliz says, "We're in Dallas, en route to the airport, remember?"
>Down the road, the remnants of the Cerberus’ cyclone of smoke and fire has halted. It drifts apart in two halves, as if a great ax had fallen from the sky and split it down the middle. It was close.
>The split column spills embers and flames all about its feet in irregular ripples. Bodies fall from high up in the sky.
>Some of them manage to stand back up. Others are pulled upright on glowing strings.
>The girl in the large helmet looks over at Noel as Elizabeth finds her footing. "What's left of the the 3rd Light Cavalry company. And I take it you're the reinforcements command promised?"
>Elizabeth coughs road dust as she gets her legs under her. "Oh God. You guys are the 3rd Light?"
>The girl pulling Betty lets go as soon as Betty gets her legs under her. "Morning to you too."
>Noel dusts herself off and looks around to try to guage how number and condition of friendlies and if that hostile looks like it's still going to be trouble. "We got shot down and are hoofing it to DFW. What's the situation?"
>"Huh?" Betty looks toward Feliz. The look of confusion in her eyes is quickly dispelled as she regains focus. "Yeah. Right. That." She blinks a few times and hoists herself to her feet before turning to face the other girl. "Morning's as shitty as always. Yeah, we're trying to get to the airport. That where you guys came from?"
>"You're here." The girl in black armor answers casually as she continues to hoof it back toward the IFV. The cannon lets rip another burst over their heads.
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I finally get to use this token in context.
>The girl in the large helmet follows close behind her. "Y'all are at checkpoint Kilo, airport perimeter. And if you're the Burnt Unit we heard about yesterday then you're right on time because it looks like the fun is starting."
>There's a whistling noise as something begins to descend from the sky in a smear of greasy, black smoke.
>Elizabeth slips by the side of the IFV and takes a spot behind the building's corner. Her chest is puffing with exertion. "Hey, yeah. You're our rendezvous. Fancy that." She leans over to peak around the corner. "Thanks for the save with whatever that light show was."
>"Where do you need us?" Feliz asks, scanning the area for positions suitable to roost in.
>Betty trots along behind the girl two girls. "Sounds like a party. Who else do we got? Anyone besides you two?"
>Noel moves over to get into cover with the rest of the team while operations are sorted out. "Anything broken?" she glances over each for signs of injuries.
>"I'm good here." Feliz assures, giving a thumbs up.
>The girl in black stops with a foot up on the IFV. "Need you right here, looks like. 2nd and 4th Cav are holding the two blocks to our north and south but it's just us for checkpoint Kilo. Name's Alex, by the way. The one in the bucket is Cammy-" Now that they aren't running for their lives, the party can see a massive camera lens poking through Cammy's helmet, centered about where the bridge of her nose should be. "-and the two still in the IFV are Rory and Louise. We'll be mounting up before Baal's buddies hit the line. Which is probably in about ten seconds." She heaves herself up into the hull.
>Cammy is way ahead of her. "Get out of my gunnery seat, Rory!" she shouts as she dives headfirst into the hatch.
>"Heard anything from the big man? Well, anything except that we'd be here," Betty asks.
>The greasy black smear makes impact within fifty feet of their position. It's... a giant black horse head, sans neck. It's easily the size of a standard work van. The one eye facing the Dolls rolls in its socket to glare at them.
>Alex ignores it. "Aker leveled three city blocks fighting his way to the airport's line after you got knocked down. Took out a good chunk of the assault force like it was his morning jog, apparently. Command also forwarded your rendezvous point for Black Ball for once you're done here." She finally turns to acknowledge the head laying in the street. "What I wasn't told was that you had a WMD on hand for dealing with the Cerberus. You'll have to let me see how it works before you leave."
>A line of Baal's infantry is closing on their position, flowing around the Cerberus' head and shuffling down the roadway.
>The cannon lets rip with another burst into the crowd; Alex doesn't flinch.
>Noel turns to look at the Alex. "We didn't do that. I thought you did."
>"Think we might need to have that conversation later." Betty hefts her Eviscerator and takes a step toward the approaching enemy. "Could use a good fight right now anyway."
>Alex blinks. "Yeah. That's definitely something we'll have to talk about." She lowers herself down into the crew hatch. "See you girls on the other side!"
>Elizabeth holds her carbine to her chest and takes a deep breath. "Man. I'm really not trained for this."

>The lines are formed
>A rank of walking dead, urged forward on burning strings by one of Baal's Heralds
>Behind her, a rank of burning riflemen. Two of them stand taller than the rest, armed with heavy machineguns.
>The horse head lurches, writhes. Articulated, chitinous tendrils spurt from the stump of its neck. Somehow it manages to stand.
>The head bellows a roar and charges forward

Fin for now. Tomorrow's slated to be pretty busy at work so updates may be sparse.
The awkward Japanese to English translation in this system amuse me.
Alright, maybe I jumped the gun a bit on being judgemental.
>”fuck you, pay me”
I can respect this.
>base components
Actually I’d be keen on that. A system for working out appropriate AP costs for home brewed parts/skills would be something I’d abuse to death.
Well, the continental U.S. hasn't really consumed by war the same way that industrial warfare like WW1 and WW2 consumed Europe or Asia. There was the civil war, but even that was (fortunately) before the true advent of industrial warfare as we saw later on.
How do you spell and Grammer check your storytime?
Is there more to it than just cramming it in a word processor?
>he does it for free
>he does it for free despite morally objecting to it
>he does it for free despite morally objecting to it while using money as the only excuse for why he's doing it
>he does it for free despite morally objecting to it while using money as the only excuse for why he's doing it AND he wants to play the victim and have himself a little pity party
Unironically kill yourself. You dilute the basic definition of human with spongelike behavior.
I go mechanical that approaches organic.

You sure convinced me with those hot opinions.
I could see a nech combat working on a moving train
But how would a combat on a moving lift work?
I did that in a game once. The idea was that the players automatically moved up the field when the lift moved but couldn't move otherwise, and as the lift moved up more zombies would drop down on it so they had to clear the existing ones quickly enough not to be overwhelmed.
>doesn't read the thread

My browser has a built in spell checker so I mostly just huck the text archives into a post and let that do the heavy lifting for spelling, though I also do some light editing to try and keep things flowing nicely for the reader like reordering in character posts so that the two simultaneous conversations taking place don't constantly swap back and forth between each other.

Occasionally I'll have to fill in things that were described verbally, or make some edits to one player's post so their phrasing makes more sense, but it's usually pretty light work.
On the subject of zones has anyone tried expanding the zone rules for nech and how well did it go?
Adeva has some interesting zone rules I wounder how expanding something similar onto the existing Nech rules would go
You mean something like expanding the battle map into a grid instead of a measure of how far forward or back you are?

I guess the core problem with that is it starts to create issues with range calculations and movement costs. You're only expected to actually move ~2-3 times per turn, max. If you start adding a second dimension to the map then you have to figure out how to rebalance things so that you don't suddenly have to spend six AP just to move up and to the left by one square.
I've read the thread, the dude sounds like a whiny pussy and should cease existing.
Depends on how big the lift is.

Compressing the map into fewer areas might work.

Or maybe shrink the party and have them fight little things on a suddenly relatively much larger elevator.
Sorry, give me a bit. I have ideas, but schedule picked up suddenly, so it may take some time.

Attacks are fairly easy at a most simple baseline.

>T1: Around 0.5-1 damage per AP (Chainsaw, molotov, and remote attack are outliers here)
>T2: 1-1.5 (Important to note that there are a few T2's that fall below this but have some sort of big gimmick)
>T3: 1.5-2+

This is treating explosive/dismember as doubling a weapon's damage, which they do vs horrors. High base damage weapons like ATR tend to sit at the lower end with this, but tend to function as "fuck you, break reinforcements" when used on savants. Other reasons to be on the lower end are staggers and special gimmicks like pilebunker. Reasons to be on the higher end might be awkward range bands or special draw backs, like molotov's -1. Pretty much every gun is made to be dependent on lullaby, but most melee/unarmed attacks aren't really "balanced" around Super Strength/Gauntlet so you will have to decide if you want to try and make things with those skills in mind.
General question: How does one go about building around Blast weapons (without dipping into fan classes like Erudite)?
My gut says you just make a very tough utility/support character and then slap some Blast parts on them for good measure, since there aren't any skills or parts that benefit them specifically. IIRC there was an anon in another thread who did just that; they made a nearly unkillable Stacy and handed her a flamethrower to round out her offensive potential. Is that basically the gameplan or am I missing something?
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>How does one go about building around Blast weapons (without dipping into fan classes like Erudite)?

Ask the GM to let you use Erudite. More seriously, it is possible to build around blast, but you're essentially building something you can slot any attack type into. Holic and Stacy are the two major picks for building for blast attacks.

>IIRC there was an anon in another thread who did just that; they made a nearly unkillable Stacy and handed her a flamethrower to round out her offensive potential.

Being the anon who did that, unless there was some other flamethrower stacy around, that's one of the better options for doing it. There's 4 relevant blast attack weapons: flamethrower, molotov, dynamite, and rocket launcher. Flamethrower and Molotov are basically handled the same and being chain weapons, you want the +1 to hit, which leaves you springing for Made to Be Broken (stacy), Concentration (requiem), or Insane Swiftness (holic). Dynamite and Rocket Launcher can have similar builds in that you can forego an auto timing +1 in favor of more supports since you're only doing 1 or 2 (or 3 for dynamite) attacks per round anyway. Drama of Death (Thanatos) is also an option, but that one does require coordination with the team and shouldn't be relied on as your sole source of attack check bonuses, though it does make Flamethrower/Molotov kinda terrifying, being a 2+Ex+Chain 1.

>since there aren't any skills or parts that benefit them specifically
There's one part, Scope, that explicitly benefits blast. There is also one skill, Rear Guard's Pride, which is dog shit and no one should ever take if they know what they're doing.
No rush anon, I’m just grateful anyone was interested to listen.
>dogshit parts and skills
Any stand out ones and what should a DM do to buff ten into viable options?
Don’t want these options to exist for the same reason I can’t stand D&D:
>”yeah that thing that seems like it’d be an autoinclude in your build, and that a reasonable person would think is the right call? Yeah no, you’re doing it wrong, let me explain why you’re retarded.”
I’m not saying every build should be viable, just would prefer that subpar builds happen as the result of genuine retardation.
This art style amuses me.

Also the look on her face as she hefts that flamethrower.

Do you have more art you could share?
I'm the anon asking the Blast question but Rear Guard's Pride is almost impossible to save without reworking completely. Because you should be crit failing only very rarely to start with.

If you wanted to get silly with it, I guess you could make it so your area attacks didn't hit friendly characters instead of just having it affect crit fails.

The only pointless parts off the top of my head are Junk Part (just because it's redundant past the very beginning), Boy, and Machine Gun.

For Machine Gun I guess you could just pump the damage by one, but it would still be pretty underwhelming even then outside of particular circumstances.
>junk part
Can’t a baroque make good use of it though with Mutated Being?
I could see an Alice getting a ton of value out of it if there’s a Sorority in the group with Grace. Have the Sorority burning Madness aggressively for those rerolls, and combining the part with Undefeatable Heart to make that more reliable.
But that’s also a very specific level of coordination to leverage properly.
It’d probably have a better home as a tier 1 mutation.
>machine gun
Would be DM specific wouldn’t it on how much Area Attack comes up?
Junk part just makes repairs cheaper. If it isn't broken then you get to repair the section it's in for free, but unless you're homebrewing your own repair rates then this basically becomes a random spare part past the third or fourth combat due to threat level inflation.
Valid fix imo. The crux of the problem is that killing enemies is the best thing to prevent madness gain and there are some pretty useful parts at T2 in the mutation tree that most people would take over a +1 to conversation checks
>Machine Gun
The problem is that AoE chip damage is just not very effective at crippling the enemy.
In a very favorable scenario, say you hit four things. We'll even say one is a Legion. That makes it 5 damage for 2 AP.
That sounds great, but 5 damage spread over four enemies is < 5 damage on one enemy, because Nechronica's combat is basically a test to see which side can cripple the other fastest. You cripple the enemy team way more when you remove the Savant's head instead of just burning an ablative part off of her.

You can kind of see this same dynamic in MMOs and other vidya. Area damage is great, but only if it actually causes your targets to die before they can kill you. Otherwise you're usually better off focusing one target at a time because it tapers off the incoming damage and actually helps lower the incoming pressure as the fight continues.
>That makes it 5 damage for 2 AP.
That's supposed to be 3 AP.*
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>Dogshit parts and skills
It's a T2 mutation when it's just Fire Axe (a tier one ARM) that goes on any location. From an optimization stand point, every Unarmed/Melee attack parts will eventually want to be on arms for Gauntlet, so this difference is negligible one, and that's not even considering that almost no one takes fire axe. Tier 1 but otherwise unchanged is fine.
Making it T1 is reasonable too, as someone has said here, the main reason to want it is warm smile builds and building for that is a pain in the dick as is, so making it slightly easier is fine.
>Junk Part
Just take maggots or even goddamn patchwork. This is one of those parts that already has usable alternatives so the obvious changes already exist.
>Machine Gun
Reduce AP cost by 1, maybe add a +1 to the check if you're feeling saucy. This means that with lullaby it becomes 1+Area for 1 AP. You can go nuts hosing a zone down at the expense of it not dealing as much damage as undead gun when it crits/has its damage boosted by skills, and a narrower range band.
>Net Gun
Just make it range 1-2. It'll be a rarely used meme weapon still, but at least it's less awkward.

>If you wanted to get silly with it, I guess you could make it so your area attacks didn't hit friendly characters instead of just having it affect crit fails.
Erudite has the skill "Careful Placement" which does this, with the two caveats that on a normal failure, it functions as a critical failure and hits a friendly in the zone, and any attack with it does not gain additional damage when it gets a critical hit. Even with these two downsides, being able to toss dynamite into limbo clusterfucks is incredibly powerful and can easily clear out zones very fast if there's no area/explosive negation. Area is situational, but also one of the most powerful properties in the game, letting you completely depopulate zones in one or two attacks if you know what you're doing.
I just realized you can have a doll who is an unrepentant professional killer who loves their job, and still have them be emotionally and mentally vulnerable.

You just have to expose them to the right things.

Being warped compared to normal people doesn't mean you don't have weaknesses.

It also adds to the complexity of supporting eachother since you have dolls with very different perspectives that need to come to try to understand eachother to be able to help eachother stay their versions of sane.

Furthermore if you do this you better have a good idea of how your character can be helped since having a doll who nobody, not even the player, knows how to help isn't fair to the others at the table.
I played a single session some five years ago; I'd kill to be able to get in a game again. The storytimes here are great for filling that thirst vicariously, though.
theme for a game?
The discord usually has someone starting up a game once in a blue moon
I think +1 on the check is a hair too much. That makes it into a crit-seeking weapon and probably steps on Shotgun and Sniper Rifle's toes just a little too much.
Being able to go full giggle-switch with Lullaby does sound like a good time though. Would make the MG feel like an actual MG instead of a blunderbuss.
>successfully hunt rabbit
>as soon as you kill it it starts getting pulled away on a rope
>it's a trap
Not the brightest bunch, these three.
so about as smart as player characters huh?
I'll have you know, last time someone tried to lure us into a trap I actually talked the other party member out of bothering with it and we let the police make it their problem.

And following literal bait on a string... man. I'm not going to say I haven't seen something even dumber, but that player was in middle school so I'm not counting him.
Necromancy can often be a hit or miss affair.

In the stock setting creating a sophont doll is HARD with the knowledge and resources that are still left to Necromancers.

So necromancers treasure their savants and even more their dolls because they provide novelty and entertainment in ways that their lesser creations can't and because they are very rare and hard to replace.

That said. What KIND of person (be they mostly formed from a single mind with patched in bits of otherminds to fill in the holes or a mind that is put together from many many many sources) a necromancer gets when they successfully create a doll can potentialy vary a lot.

This song feels appropriate to show that not everyone that comes out of this is someone you would want to meet or want anything to do with, even before their necromancer starts to abuse, condition, or modify them.
I like that net gun change and the idea of putting stinger to t1.
>fire axe
How about this for a change to it:
“Cost: 3
Melee Attack 3
This part may be used with Rapid timing at a range of 0~1. If used this way, this part cannot be used again until next turn.”
Would fire act be picked up if it looked like that?
>junk part
Would this look better then:
“At the end of the battle phase, if this part is not damaged, you may either regenerate all damaged basic parts, or regenerate a single damaged reinforcement part.”
>Rear Guide’s Pride
Hows this for a rework then:
“Timing: check, cost: 1
When you succeed an attack with Explosive or Area Attack, you may give it Stagger and Hinder Move 1.
In addition, at all times you treat shooting and blast attack critical failures as normal failures”.

Meat cleavers also seem completely forgettable, but I want a second opinion on that.
Only had this thought after I posted this, but would it be better on Rear Guard’s Pride if instead of the ‘ignore crit failures’ line it read: “your manoeuvres with Area Attack and Explosive cannot harm you or your sisters” or is that too strong at this point?
Thank you very much for posting this.

This is what druids should be like. As encounters.

Also yeah. Making everyone and everything in Nechronica an obligate carnivore would be interesting.

Sure repair parts are plentiful, but you also gotta eat, and you can only carry so much with you.

Desperation is desperation.
But yeah I think this movie is more a tech demo than story driven price.
>“Timing: check, cost: 1
>When you succeed an attack with Explosive or Area Attack, you may give it Stagger and Hinder Move 1.
>In addition, at all times you treat shooting and blast attack critical failures as normal failures”.

Jesus Christ.
As a player I like this.
As someone who thinks Overpressure should be more hardcore I like that this gives blast more bite.

As a GM though it's the stuff of nightmares.
It feels like something where you would have to build any fights that are meant to be challenging around this one doll.

The number of ways they can fuck up a battle is nuts.

Stagger +area (for instance ball and chain + calamity) is strong as fuck.

Ranged forced movement is also really strong. Does any sort of area forced movement exist besides combining calamity and pilebunker?

Oh wait. You said explosive not blast.

So you can use this with shotgun or nail bat.

What would the hinder be effecting? Hinder is done in reaction to someone rolling for something.
I've been fiddling with the idea of converting it to a hex grid as part of a mecha homebrew. The tl;dr is that 1 range = 3 hexes.

>• The default battle map is replaced with a hex grid map. References to ranges now apply to range bands, as described below:
>Range 0: The center of the effect or skill, and all hexes that are located up to 3 hexes away from it.
>Range 1: Between 4 and 6 hexes away from the center.
>Range 2: Between 7 and 9 hexes away from the center.
>Range 3: Between 10 and 12 hexes away from the center.
>• Before the Battle Phase starts, the GM should designate an area as the Starting Zone in which the players can place their mechs. Depending on the size of the map and the circumstances surrounding the battle, the size and shape of the area can vary; a typical Starting Zone would be all hexes within Range 0 of one side of the Battle Map. In most scenarios the Starting Zone will be one contiguous area, and it should generally be large enough that mech placement is a tactically relevant decision for the players.
>• When a combatant with an undamaged Move part uses a Maneuver with a non-zero AP cost, they may move themselves 1 hex either before or after resolving the effects of the Maneuver. This movement doesn't apply to Maneuvers that already move the user.

There's also several changes to skills and effects that reference specific battlemap areas. I haven't been able to actually playtest this yet, so I don't know how well it works out in practice.
adeva uses sectors now but a square grid for nech seems intresting
Rereading Hinder Move, I realise you’re right, I thought it simply reduced speed but no, it reduces speed on the manoeuvre you’re reacting to.
In my defense, it’s not a common mechanic.
At the same time though, Requiem have access to Hand of Death. Maybe if a new line was added “if this is used with a manoeuvre with Action timing, the target suffer Hinder Move 1 on their next movement manoeuvre instead.”

You misunderstand, Fire axe doesn't need extra functionality. It serves the intended purpose, it's a part you can take to have some sort of attack that hits fairly hard in the event you don't really care too much about investing in higher tiers or such. It doesn't need extra functionality, especially for a T1, even if it rarely sees use.

>That rear guard's pride change.
You should be making the timing damage, since it only occurs on a successful attack, but that dodges the real issue here. You're making a wonkier, but more cost-effective Predator that can hit further away and has extra, unnecessary, functionality. A bad skill isn't the end of the world, and doing something strange like this when you're uncertain on the essentials is likely to make things worse than a skill that never sees use.
>“if this is used with a manoeuvre with Action timing, the target suffer Hinder Move 1 on their next movement manoeuvre instead.”

That would be amazing against most dolls.

Just hit them with it and they can't manuver or escape.

And anyone with animal legs would still suffer slowdown.

It's diabolical.

Also hinder stack so if it's on an attack that you can spam then there is no escape and no repositioning unless you have adhesive pads or a skill that teleports you into a specific map area. And even then there's no retreating from the fight because you need to use movement to try to disengage.
Interesting idea, would like to keep an eye on that
I just tend to not worry about it that much, desu. I just try to keep the combat area large enough that you can still have people be in front or behind of each other.
Stinky zombie robot girls are gross yuck
Proper maintenance and upkeep are necessary to avoid bad smells, anon. Are you sure you're up to snuff with your soft tissue preservation procedures?
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I assume you mean to connect this to.
>The Herald whips a hand, summons another swath of burning undead from the surrounding ashes
>Noel's hair rises to full brightness, the halo drawing the attention of the lower undead all around her
>3rd Cav. rakes the gunners in the enemy backline with a withering burst of cannon fire.
>Betty and Feliz fall into a now-familiar pattern; Feliz nails the herald in the midsection with her rifle and Betty is already gearing up for the kill.
>The Eviscerator comes sailing in, striking the Herald in her midsection. Betty's arms and shoulders bulge as her necromantically enhanced musculature gears up for the finale. She yanks-
>The chain on the Eviserator goes taught like a fishing line.
>The horse head has the blade between it's teeth. In Betty's head, she can hear the sounds of steel and bone straining as her and the head maintain tension.
Horse head had Meat Shield and saved about half of the opfor with this maneuver.
>"Ah. I get it," she says through gritted teeth as she digs her heels into the asphalt. "I get it." She wrenches back, freeing her weapon from the horror's mouth.
>The horse head lurches forward into the midst of Betty and Noel
>Elizabeth's carbine cuts white-red streaks in the air from her spot in the far back; she narrowly misses the Herald
>Like the first combat, things quickly devolve into something of a brawl.
>3rd Cav, their position now embroiled in Baal's walking dead, gets something of a wild hair and burns rubber. They plow clear through the crowd trying to hold them down and into the horse head menacing Betty and Noel.
>Noel eschews her plasma cutter in exchange for using her psychic abilities to thrash the Herald to and fro, effectively removing the Savant from the fight

Yeah, misclick on my part.
>The gunners and the horse head wind up splitting their attention between 3rd Cav. and Noel. The shots taken at Noel go wide, but the head's full-powered tackle into the side of the IFV sends the entire vehicle spinning and crumples the armor underneath the commander cupola.
>It's the last thing the head ever does. 3rd Cav.'s driver answers back with a well-placed ram of her own and then Betty and Feliz descend on the horror in short order, cutting it to pieces.
>Elizabeth has been poking holes in the Herald this entire time. With the horse head taken care of, there isn't anything to protect the Herald from the advancing dolls and she falls in short order.
>With the Herald and horse head dispatched, there isn't anything standing between Betty and the backline of riflemen. She promptly wipes them off the map (with an outrageous crit) and puts and end to the fight.
>Enemy losses: Total
>Feliz: Untouched
>Betty: Minor damage (self inflicted)
>Noel: Untouched (somehow)
The dice loved her this combat.
>Elizabeth: Untouched
>3rd Cav: Moderate damage
>Madness Neutral
>Karma acquired: 3rd Cav survived the combat

This was kind of a weird combat because I accidentally countered Betty too hard with Meat Shield but also Noel clamping down on the Herald + the gunners rolling absolute trash most of the game still turned the combat into a complete sweep. Pretty much the hardest time I'm having with learning to GM and construct fights is just trying to plan around the dice.
Another fun fact: 3rd Cav. had unique combat rules. While they functioned as a single Doll, each crew member was their own hit location and each one had parts loosely related to their role in the vehicle. If the commander's seat had taken two more damage then Alex would have been Annihilated and someone else would have had to do the talking. They also took 'turns' taking actions, so it would start with Alex on their first count, then move to the next crew member on their next turn to go, etc.

It probably didn't come across super well in the actual combat, but it was my own attempt to make them function on the map as an actual crewed vehicle with the soldiers inside barking at each other instead of a single entity.

>The IFV putters to a halt, crunching the ember-filled skull of a fire walker underneath as it does so. The commander and driver cupolas both pop open simultaneously; Alex pops up out of the commander hatch like a jack-in-the-box while a freckled redhead rises out of the driver's hatch just high enough for her chin to clear the rim.
>The left half of Alex's uniform is wet with... something dark and her left shoulder hangs awkwardly even as she uses her left arm to vault off of the hood of the IFV and saunter over to the party. Half-coagulated blood seeps out from under her helmet. Despite her injuries, she carries herself with about as much confidence as her skeleton can physically support.
>"Excellent showing, ladies!" She's practically grinning from ear to ear. "Wiped those chumps right off the map! I guess Aker was right about you three."
>Noel picks up the bisected remains of an enemy and carefully cuts it's head and neck off "Nice work yourselves! What did he say?" her fingertips lightly drum on the head's scalp.
>Betty calls over her shoulder as she searches through the pile of viscera, struggling to speak as she does so "Mah hehehg eh eor ee ah agi?"
One of the parts Betty broke was her own jaw.
>"Not like mopping up canon fodder is a good measuring point anyway," Feliz mumbles as she reviews what parts are available and prepares to mend injuries.
>Alex stumbles to a stop by Noel. "He said the three of you would be worth about twenty entrenched infantry. And I guess you were; a wave like that would have put an end to our day pretty quick if you hadn't been here."
>Noel's head snaps look for Betty. "Don't worry Betty. We're on out way with a spare," She she leans forward into a loapy walk. "How bad are you all banged up?" She asks Alex as she starts moving.
>"Guo ao oh." Betty lifts what she believes to be a jaw and searches it blindly to see if it still has a tongue.
Broke her eyes too.
>Alex limps along beside Noel. "I got some spalling through the shoulder, and I think some through my ear. Rory-" she jabs a thumb back to the redhead sticking out of the driver's hatch. "- got a bit of shrapnel through her legs. And our driver Louise got her legs crushed by nasty hit that warped the floor. Not fantastic but we can limp back to dispatch once our replacements come to rotate us out."
>"Aghk ong hah uah oo ah, uh phui ee!" Betty tosses the body part she was examining over her shoulder and waves her hands in Noels general direction before sitting down sharply.
>"Where'd you even get this head?" Feliz asks, coming alongside Noel. "It's remarkably uncharred."
>Noel seizes the head in her right hand and walks up to Betty, leaning forward and reaching out to lay her right hand on Betty's shoulder. She straightens up a bit and squats down as the rest of her catches up. "Alright. Let's get you fixed up."
>She looks over at Feliz and smiles. "I distracted it long enough to get it's lower two thirds crushed by several tons of speeding metal."
>Alex looks at the head and back to Feliz. "You'd be surprised how much meat you can find on them. Especially the fresh ones right out of the carrier creatures like the Cerberus. If you guys find any of their ambush constructs, those usually aren't burnt up at all, though they don't have much to them."
>"Oo agh ah oh eah!? Uah hah ai eehe ooghi ahou or eh!?" Betty gargles indignantly.
>"...We ran afoul of some on the road here, actually. Just a hand and eye, really." Feliz notes as she starts busily preparing the head for recycling. To Betty, she says, "Hush you. I'll have something workable of this in just a minute, yea?"
>"Mm." Alex nods. "Yeah, that sounds like them. With us it was thermobaric 'nades strapped to crawling hands." She grimaces. "Rory had to get pretty good at the MG to deal with those."
>"Doesn't that sound just delightful." Feliz returns distractedly.
>Noel levitates the head for Feliz to work on and gives Betty a gentle squeeze on the shoulder. Making use of her extensive wingspan, she reaches into the pile of gore Betty was digging through and pulls out some limbs and sections of torsos.
>After setting a few aside she holds one up toward Alex and bounces it, causing it's shoulders to do the same and it's spine to wiggle loosely. "Look like a good fit for you?" She asks.
>Alex makes a face. "Probably. But we're really not going to take to replacement parts as easily as you three; we're just vehicle crew. The process isn't exactly the same between us and shock infantry or Chosen."
>The engine of the IFV shudders off. Rory and Cammy climb out from the two cupolas and start making their way over to the other Dolls.
>"Huh. Guess we'll bring it back for someone else to use. can't afford to let the workable bits you find these days go to waste." She sets the torso aside. and turns to watch Feliz work.

>Some time passes as Feliz disassembles and cleans the head and eventually grafts the relevant parts back on to Betty.
>"'Bout time." Betty blinks and rubs her jaw. "Did you guys actually just have a whole head while I sifting through piles of garbage looking for eyes?"
>"Well, yes." Feliz admits, "Noel found it."
>"I saw it's former owner get crushed during the engagement," Noel volunteers.
>"Well, least I could still hear you all." She stands up and stretches. "Alright, when's this guard change supposed to happen?" She looks over to Alex. "Think it'd be better for you guys to get patched up and us to find out what we're working with."
>Alex blinks. "Working with?"
>"Until we link up with the specialists," Feliz ammends. "To defend this position."
>Rory raises an eyebrow. Cammy shrugs. Alex makes a face. "Uh, this is it. This is the 3rd Light Cav. If you mean who's coming to rotate us out, 32nd Light and a couple infantry squads will be by in about a day. But you'll be out by then."
>"You were just supposed to blunt that wave and... hang on." Alex turns to look at Cammy. "You still got that drive?" At which point Cammy starts rifling through her pockets. Alex turns back to Betty. "We've got the coordinates for your next hookup here, just one sec."
>Cammy produces a small, black flashdrive and hands it over to Alex, who promptly inserts it into a port at the base of her own skull.
>Alex's left eye lights up blue and projects a small 3D map of the local city into the air. "We're at the green dot here," Alex says, pointing to a point on the southern end of the projection. "You three are supposed to meet up with Black Ball on the north-western tip of Grapevine Lake, here." A red dot appears almost exactly forty-five degrees North West of your position. "That'll put you right on the edge of the smoke curtain, where Blackball should be waiting for you. It's about a twelve mile hike."
>"How long do we have to get there?" Noel asks before straightening up and smoothing out her dress.
>"We should probably get moving then, yea?" Feliz sighs, packing away her first aid kit.
>"Huh. Figured we'd meet up in the airport, but guess that'd be too convenient for Ol' Aker, wouldn't it." Betty grumbles.
>"However fast your feet can go," Alex answers Noel without enthusiasm. "Most everything else is committed, and what isn't is being checked for bugs because Oculus are a bunch of rancid c-" She cuts herself off, very obviously chewing down on her own tongue.
>Elizabeth speaks up for the first time since the fight ended; she looks exhausted. "The plan was to drop you off on a helipad in the airport and then shuttle you out here to shoot at stuff. I can't believe we actually got here ahead of the assault."
>Noel nods. Then looks over at Elizabeth. "Are you staying here or going with us?"
>Elizabeth hugs her carbine close to her chest, rocking back and forth on her metal ankles as she talks. "I'll be sitting it out here with 3rd Cav. until the rotation comes in, and then I'll be headed back to the airport. I wasn't really supposed to get involved in the shooting at all." She blushes a little. "Thanks again for peeling me out of the bird."
>"Don't mention it. Doesn't look like we can afford to lose anyone with the way things are going." Betty takes one more look at the projected map. "Think you might be more use here anyway. Can't imagine there'll be many spare planes at a lake."
>"No soul left behind. Take care of each other," Noel says
>"Try not to die before we kill the big one, yea?" Feliz says
>"We'll all get together for sticks and-" Noel waves casually toward Betty and Feliz. "-whatever these two have after this."
>Elizabeth snickers at Feliz. "A little late, but I'll try and say in one piece."
>Rory pipes up. "How'd you guys blow up the Cerberus?"
>Betty turns and waves her hands an an exaggerated arch. "With maaaagiiiic."
>She shrugs. "Or bullshit. Call it what you want."
>Feliz snorts. "You're horrible."
>Rory gives Betty a deadpan glare. "So... you guys didn't call it in either?"
>Noel shakes her head. "We didn't. I thought it was some big bad toy Aker dug out of Uncle Sam's garage until Alex asked how we did it."
>"If it didn't come from you guys, couldn't tell where it came from." Betty looks back toward the mutilated remains of the Cerberus head. "If it happens again, here's hoping it's never aimed at us."
>Cammy and Rory look at each other before turning back to the rest of the group. Rory talks first. "It looked a bit like lightning on the gunnery screen, but I'm pretty sure it chopped the Cerberus clean in half."
>"Yeah, it came out of the smoke cover and pretty much split the cyclone in two," Cammy affirms. "It almost blew out my photocells. I've got a dark spot on the camera that won't go away and it's probably going to stay that way."
>"God bless America." Noel intones with mock solemnity.
>"Assuming it's ours, fuck yeah." Betty grins.
>The tanker girls share a mutual chuckle.
>Betty hefts her weapon and hangs it over her shoulder. "Well, best get going. Think there's a highway we can follow most of the way there."
>Alex nods. "The one-one-four is pretty much parallel to the lake. You guys take that to three-seventy seven North and you'll basically be there. Black Ball should be waiting for you near the freeway, but they'll probably come to you; their job involves a bit of hiding and they can be hard to spot if you don't have a tracker planted on them. So I'm told."
>Alex blinks like she's just remembered something and turns to Feliz. "And say hi to Anne for me. It's been ages since she was by base and she still owes me an ice-cream stick."
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>The march towards the rendezvous point has been mercifully uneventful. Though highway 114 is pockmarked with the scars of combat, it looks like most of the ambush points were cleared out well ahead of the party. Occasionally they spot massive craters along the side of the road, easily deep and wide enough to swallow a school bus.
>The lake is a muddy gray splotch off on the horizon. The smoke curtain looms taller and taller as they approach the coordinates. The rumbling of fire grows louder and louder.
>Eventually they come time to ditch off of the freeway and move off into the residential area built up around the lake's shore. The houses here are in a sorry state, almost universally burnt out and hollow. They pass at least one abandoned civilian shelter on their way; a blackened concrete knob jutting out of a low hill like a charcoal briquette. The metal blast door is ajar on its hinges.
>Finally, they're at the shore of the lake. Right where they're supposed to be. The water is thick with ash and laps against the shoreline like gently stirred sludge. Aside from the fire, there's hardly a sound anywhere.
>"I wonder if this is what Belisarius' army felt like marching up through Italy." Noel asks as she looks around at the ruins.
>"Great scenery." Betty remarks dryly. "Hope the weather lasts."
>"Maybe we can fish later." Feliz remarks, eyeing the world about them with a wariness at odds with the comment.
>Suddenly, a pile of nearby debris springs to life, tackling Feliz.
> As Feliz tumbles, her vision is abruptly dominated by a glassy, black sphere with a figure eight crudely painted on in gray paint.
>Is the junk pile... hugging her?
>"Ah--" Feliz starts, as she's suddenly face to 8 with what seems to be an 8-ball. "--hello...?"
>Noel sweeps Feliz and the ramshackle figure up and tries to pry the two of them apart.
>Betty's Eviscerator is in her hand in a flash. She dashes up to where Noel is holding both Feliz and the strange creature and raises her weapon. "I don't who or what you are, but you better let her go right now if you want to keep livin'"
>The glassy orb spins to face Noel, apparently not even phased by being picked up. "You three are my contact, right?" She - the voice is definitely a she - giggles. "This is a surprise. A Chosen, too. Aker's spoiling me"
>Two 'legs' formed out of loosely held together wood and metal appear out of the glob of debris and reach down to the ground. "Sorry for startling you guys. I just-" she chuckles happily to herself and looks back over to Feliz. "It's just been such a long time since I saw a familiar face. I got excited"
>She releases Feliz from the hug and puts up her 'hands' - again, two limbs mostly composed of repurposed detritus. Now that they look closer, the Dolls can see a small web of black laces woven through the interior portions of her body, holding everything together.
>Noel looks her sternly in the ball. "I nearly cut you in half. Be more careful"
>Feliz doesn't have an answer to that. She looks awkwardly to the side. The voice is familiar, but she can't place it.
>How do you tell someone you forgot you ever met?
>Betty glares at the walking pile of garbage, looking it up and down. "Guessin' you're Black Ball then? Might want to try thinking a bit more before getting excited like that again." She steps over a bit, putting herself slightly between the girl and Feliz, keeping her weapon ready
>"Hey, hey," Feliz says placatingly, "...no need for that much. I know her, yea?" She pauses, "Um, Knew... anyway."
>The girl's chest abruptly splits into two halves. "Oh no! I've been slain!" she says in mock horror. And then it snaps back together with a loud rattle as the black laces go taught again. "And technically my callsign is Eightball. Though I am squad lead for Blackball. So I guess... technically?"
>Eightball's head turns to face Feliz. "Knew? Ah- oh yeah. You guys are the Burnt fireteam huh..." She droops. "Uhm..." Her head rotates a hundred and eighty degrees so the 8 is laying horizontally. "Does this help?"
>"A little." Feliz says, squinting. "Did you... wear glasses?"
>Noel lets Feliz go and then transitions from gripping Eightball to holding Eightball, then lets her go. "Did I or Betty know you by more than reputation before our untimely charbroiling?"
>Eightball shifts a little as she loses Noel's support. "No. You may have seen us around but I don't think we ever spoke. But I'm pretty sure you were in Mary's squad, right? You're pretty tall even for a Chosen."
>She rolls to look at Betty. "They're in their own positions. They're clearing the way ahead of us so we shouldn't have to deal with anything before the smoke curtain. I'll be hitting the Leviathan with the payload once you three get me in." Several plates in her chest flip over to reveal a satchel the size of a man's torso, and then shutter closed again.
>Satisfied with her own answers, she looks back to Feliz. "Yeah, yeah. You used to call me Cokebottle. Grampa taught us how to shoot back at the old river house, remember?"
>Feliz blinks. You does remember the river house. It's been... a long time since she last thought about it.
>Feliz blinks again. Anne. Her name is Anne.
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You rock back and forth on the porch swing. It’s mid-spring, the land all around the family house is alive with fresh growth. The breeze is still nice this early in the year.
Anne is here with you, on the swing. Her giant cokebottle glasses glint in the sun as she laughs at something. She looks at you.
“Yer lucky, Feliz. With those big ol’ eyes of yours. Pappy says you could pop a cap off a bottle at two hundred yards if you keep practicing. I’ll be lucky if I’m ever able to take a doe at fifty…” She takes off her glasses and glares at them.
You put your arm around her shoulder and ruffle her hair. “Oh, You know how Pappy likes to talk. You’ll get there one day, Anne… Or you could go run off to the army and get new eyes, I guess. But your ma would have a fit.”
Anne makes a face like she just bit into something supremely bitter. “Wouldn’t catch me dead in the army, Feliz. Ma says what they do in there these days ain’t natural. And I don’t wunna be a spook anyway.”
“Even if it let you take a doe at three hundred yards?” you tease.
“Well… maybe at four hundred.”
The two of you giggle at the absurdity. Becoming undead. How horrible that would be.

[Feliz has gained the Memory Fragment: Happy Times.]

>"I... do!" Feliz says, with some surprised enthusiasm as the memory comes to mind. Enthusiasm that rapidly fades as she recalls further context. "...oh. Oh, Anne..." She looks down at her rifle - Pappy's rifle. "...this is horrible. I can remember the lake and the words we said... but that's it. I know your name, and your face, and... almost nothing about who you are." She gulps. "I'm sorry."
>Betty's face transitions from one of suspicion to confusion and concern. She shuffles awkwardly before stowing her weapon and stepping next to Feliz. "This something bad? Like... real bad?"
>Feliz shakes her head in response to Betty's question, "No. I mean, well, yes. Half of the US is on fire, so that's pretty bad," she says wryly, "...but no. It was a reference to a conversation that happened... I don't even know how many years ago. I just... realized how many things I should remember that I just... don't."
>Eightball ruffles Feliz's hair. Hey, that's backwards, isn't it? "It's all right. If that can come back maybe more can, right? We can do some catching up after we knock the ankles off the Leviathan; we'll all be due for an R&R rotation after this mess."
>"Right... Guess that makes sense. Some things probably aren't too fun to remember, but they're also probably important." Betty looks around at the lake. "Probably not going to be too fun moving forward, but guess we gotta do what we gotta do."
>"Oh no," Feliz says, "these are good memories. Probably. Mostly. I just... Yeah. It's something to fight for, yea?"
>"Yeah..." Betty looks up at the orange tinted sky. "Always need something to fight for. Good memories are good enough reason."
>Noel pats Feliz on the back. "You've got friends, family, and a cause. And like she said, if that came back so easily who knows what else will shake loose after this."
>"So let's go bag ourselves a buck."
>The walk to the smoke curtain is mostly uneventful. The larger craters they've passed on the way to their meeting point are beginning to become more common, and on more than one occasion they've found the remains of Baal's soldiers scattered... everywhere.
>And in some cases apparently thrown clear through hard cover.
>The work of Blackball Team, according to Eightball.
>They're about four hundred yards from the smoke curtain when Eightball holds up a hand and signals to stop. She does a quick scan (which they can only tell thanks to the crude drawing representing her face; the orb is so smooth they can't even track its rotation) before turning to the rest of the group. "Before we go in: were y'all briefed on how this is goin' to work? Like how I'm gunna hit the Leviathan?"
>"Nah, we just know you're supposed to do it and we're supposed to make sure you can," Betty says
>Noel makes a nervous cough. ""Iiiii think that it would be something they would have thought to explain to us... but it slipped their minds."
>"Don't look at me," Feliz says, "I didn't even recognize you on sight and... Well. I really should have."
>Eightball makes a kind of noise that the Dolls can only guess is disbelief. "Willickers. It's good I asked. Well, first -" she holds up a 'finger,'
>"- I'm not a direct combatant like you three. I can knock a skull in every now and then if one or two guys get through, but you'll have to count on doing the heavy lifting."
>She raises another finger. "Two; I'm going to deliver the package by running up to the target, latching on, and hitting the plunger."
>"I know how that sounds." She looks directly at Feliz. "But that's what this thing is for." She taps against her black orb of a head. "This thing protects my head from the blast, and I'll be thrown clear of the combat area by the explosive. Once I deliver the package it'll be up to you three to extract to friendly lines. Hopefully with some support from Mara or Morte if we do as much damage to the Leviathan as we're hoping."
>"Blackball does this sort of thing all the time. It's kind of what we're built for."
>Noel blinks twice "It is a good thing you asked. Who's picking you up from wherever you land?"
>Betty's next. "Any idea how we're supposed to get to it? Pretty sure I've only seen the head and that's pretty high up for you to jump at it."
>Feliz winces and her vision nearly tunnels in for a moment before she reins herself in, "...Rather than pick you up, how're you going to be found?"
>Eightball raises a hand. Her 'fingers' extend to the point that the individual pieces are practically floating in space, only connected by the thin black threads intermingled through her whole frame. "I can just walk back to base. Blackball members collect junk using ichor threads from the base of our skulls and make skeletons out of 'em. Compass in my head points me at a waypoint and I just make some legs and... go there."
>The hand snaps back together. "Some basic propulsion and gyro systems in the ball give me a lot of latitude when coming down, so there's not a lot of risk of me landing behind enemy lines. I'll probably be home way before you three, even."
>"Well that's good," Noel says, evidently relieved.
>"As for getting up to it..." Eightball continues, "We're pretty sure it has legs. There's no known instance of Baal using air forces at all. The plan is that I grab on and climb up. Pretty much as basic as it gets. If it's anything like the Cerberus, the smaller undead that make it up won't be active enough to fight me off."
>"Not a whole lot to work off of then." Betty rolls her eyes. "Sounds like a great plan. Guessing that means we'll be walking in to the smoke cloud blind. Can't imagine why they didn't tell us this to start."
>"Yeah. Makes it hard to plan." Noel seconds.
>"Well," Feliz says, "I imagine we'd be here a few minutes later, so..." She shrugs, "...that's a long time in battle."
>"Sure. Not like we're wasting time going over it now." Betty snarks
>"We wouldn't be, if we'd just do it," Feliz snipes back.
>"Because our job is to walk in and wreck stuff," Eightball answers blithely as she turns back to the smoke curtain. "And there's no time to work out the little details anyway, like Lizzy says. Our job is to think on our feet and get it done. I just, y'know, didn't want to give my cousin a heart attack because she thought I went full rag-head."
>Betty sighs. "Yeah, fair point. So where're we heading exactly?"
>Noel looks up into the advancing storm of choking black and taps her chin. "We should have brought a big harpoon gun on a jeep. If we hit something solid in the big smoke cloud we could send you up the line on a sounding rocket and you'd be part way up much faster."
>Some of the other girls give her a confused look and... just sort of continue the conversation.
>"... Pretty much straight ahead." Eightball resumes walking. "I got seismics giving me a loose direction, but there's some stuff with the smoke curtain that makes things a bit... wonky."
>She looks back over her shoulder, though continues walking forward without missing a beat. "Oh, and if we get bogged down in Baal's grunts before we hit anything, two things: don't get bogged down - as in, don't try and get into a pitched fight. Shoot n' scoot. And second, you might see some familiar faces that you rather you didn't. Don't get bogged down with them, either."
>Betty grumbles under her breath as she follows behind Eightball. "'Nother day in paradise..."
>"Could you tell us who now so we're not shocked later? Or do you not know?" Noel asks.
>"There are a lot of dead people, and there are a lot of gaps in our memories," Feliz says at that, "....how would she know? It could happen. So, let's just be ready for it."

I'd kinda forgotten how much talking we did in this game.
>Eightball shrugs. "We might not find anyone. But Baal's fire has a way of burning out who you used to be, and sometimes we find the fallen stumbling around with the bad guys." Her voice loses a bit of its brightness as she speaks. "So you might see a face that shocks a memory or two back, but you gotta remember that they aren't there anymore. They're all burnt up just like all the rest."
>You can hear her sigh, and when she starts speaking again she mostly sounds back to her energetic self. "Makes me glad I got this helmet. Keeps me nice and sealed up."
>"Thankfully I already wrote my will and goodbyes before the last time I died," Noel says.
>Feliz wondered if she'd remembered to do the same. "...Alright, so let's go save Texas.... or at least spit in Baal's eye."
>Eightball kind of tilts her head. "Aren't Mara's kids usually, like, orphans?"
>Noel's grin lessens to a smile but it still meets her eyes. "Ah. That's complicated Eightball. Ask me again when this is all over and I might tell you about it."
>They're on the very edge of the smoke curtain by now. The fire's rumble consumes and overrides all ambient noise.
>Betty sidles up beside Eightball. "Well, no point standin' about. Shall we?"
>Eightball turns and gives a mock salute. "See ya'll three on the other side." And then she turns and steps through the dark, rumbling flames and vanishes.
>Noel puts a hand on Feliz and Betty's shoulders and steps inside.
>Feliz follows quickly.
>Betty ducks her head as she moves in line with the rest.
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>The world beyond the smoke is... wrong.
>There's no more concrete. Or grass. Or brick and mortar.
>The buildings and streets are all here. But they're wrong.
>Concrete has been replaced by intricately carved stone. Grass, ashes. The buildings are Gothic, supported with fluted columns and watched over by inert gargoyles along their corners.
>The streets are paved with teeth.
>The air is thick with red dust, ash, and floating embers. It's hard to see much beyond thirty feet in any sort of detail. Every so often they pass bonfires fueled by nothing.
>The air rumbles all around them.
>Time flows oddly in the firestorm. Distance doesn't seem to be constant, and the spatial relation of the landmarks around them shift and change when the Dolls aren't looking, even their own steps don't seem to be consistent.
>Eightball moves forward apparently unperturbed, walking deliberately as she paths through the ashland. The other Dolls use her as a lodestone.
>As Eightball rounds a corner, a bright trumpet note pierces the rumbling.
>"FFFFF-Fudge!" Eightball almost swears, ducking back behind the building. "Company right ahead of us, and, uh, they saw me first. So guns out."
>They can hear shifting stone around the corner.
>Feliz peeks the corner.
>There are two Heralds standing in the square before them, though they lack their normal accompaniment of fodder.
>Two black knights stand beside them, each holding a glowing red halberd. A pile of charcoal rises from the ground as she watches, forming the loose simulacrum of a human form.
>Beyond all of them is a withered form carrying a torch at the end of a tall stave, blowing into a trumpet.
>Eightball points. "Y'all will want to kill him."

Karma for this combat:
Destroy the Torchbearer before the end of Turn 1
Eightball must survive

>I'd kinda forgotten how much talking we did in this game.

Got to get those conversation checks.
>"What kind of kind of ghetto rigged knockoff bullshit necromancy is this?"
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>"As in Ba'al himself goes around setting these up? Or he has little bastards to it for him? Actually I guess he could body surf his minions for all we know. Maybe that's why he never says anything, he's having too much fun being a thousand psychotic pranksters at once."
>The knights move first, closing the distance between themselves and the frontline formed by Betty and Noel with a flurry of irregular, halting steps.
>The Herald is next, trailing her burning threads through the ashes around her to raise a meager harvest of shambling corpses.
>Feliz fire's the party's first salvo, putting a bullet right in the back of the fleeing Torchbearer
>Betty steps right past the two knights, eyes locked on the Torchbearer beyond them.
>Noel, hair aglow, engages the two knights herself. Her cutting flame flares blue-white in stark contrast to the ashen yellow and red of Baal's domain.
>Eightball, no slouch herself, charges forward, bodily tackling one of the knights engaging Noel. The impact crunches it's ornate armor and her considerable mass brings her victim to its knees.
>Betty heaves, flinging her Eviscerator high and over the head of the Torchbearer; the force of the impact shreds her target almost as effectively as the blades themselves.
[Karma Acquired.]
>The key objective is down, but now the Dolls are intermingled heavily with some of Baal's elite.
>Targets are called. Herald next.
>Betty and Feliz fall into their rhythm, and Noel assumes her old roll of holding the Herald in place while the other two tear into it.
>Eightball continues her brawl with the knight, doing her best to keep their attention diverted from the other Dolls
>The ember creature moves at last to swing a titanic fist at Betty, who only barely manages to avoid the impact.
>One of the knights abuses Noel's concentration with gusto, savaging her with a flurry of halberd strikes
>The other continues its brawl with Eightball, the both of them giving about as good as they get.
>Herald down
>Ember creature next
>Betty lays into it (with another fat crit, go figure) and manages to sheer it half with a single, brutal strike. Her follow-through swing makes quick work of whatever is still left of the Herald's Legion.
>It's only the knights left
>But Noel and Eightball are in rough shape and Betty is showing her own severe wear and tear, half from chip damage throughout the combat, and half because her body keeps wanting to tear itself apart.
>Noel makes another swing at her knight, misses.
>She's wide open
>Her opponent raises its halberd in a killing stroke and-
>There's a temporal hiccup; the knight's position is suddenly in two different places at once and it cleaves through its own shoulder before the error can correct itself.
>Such occurrences start becoming almost common as the brawl drags on. Even as the Dolls are ground down by the knights' relentless assault, the knights themselves are hampered by- something. Something is just not quite right.
>Blades become incorporeal, shift off target, are suddenly several inches too short.
>Strikes land, but not with the frequency or lethality demonstrated early on into the combat.
>The interference, plus being outnumbered two-to-one, spells doom for the two knights, and they eventually fall under the Dolls' combined onslaught.

>Enemy losses: Total
>Feliz: Untouched
>Betty: Moderate damage
>Noel: Moderate damage
>Eightball: Minor damage
Destroy the Torchbearer before the end of Turn 1: Success
Eightball must survive: Success
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>With little time to lose, scavenging for parts begins almost immediately as combat concludes.
>Here in Baal's domain, the fallen do not remain for long; the Herald has already dissolved into embers on the wind, and the knights have already begun to dissolve into ash where they lay.
>But by some luck, there's usable parts still present in the ash piles. And the disintegration saves the team some digging.
>A femur here, a hand there, some organ meat . . . ~
>"Movement!" Noel summons her plasma cutter and turns to point in the direction of the sound.
>Feliz draws a bead on the area Noel is gesturing to, trying to spot anything out of the ordinary.
>One of the ashen knights, only a head and arm now. Laying just three yards away from the group.
>Ash spills out of what remains of the breastplate. Its visor is turned towards Noel. It grasps weakly at the dirt, trying to pull itself forward in a pitiful display. Of Tenacity? Desperation?
>Its weapon lays abandoned on the cobbles behind it, apparently forgotten.
>Noel grasps the knight in her telekinesis and drags it up into the air so she can look it in the eye, and so it can't reach her or the ground. She shakes it back and forth lightly to shake loose its visor and establish eye contact.
>Betty moves to stand on the opposite side of the now floating knight, her weapon in hand.
>Feliz keeps her gun pointed on the target. "...There a reason you're playing with the remains?"
>"Never heard of one doing this before," Noel answers. "Maybe we can learn something the big brains back home can make use of."
>The knight hangs limply in the air, staring ahead at Noel. The visor pops upward almost as if it's on a spring.
>Two embers sit in the shadow of the visor.
>There’s a face in the helmet.
>It’s that face. The face you saw in your memory.
>It’s Mary.
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It’s awful loud today.
Not in the bad way, though. It’s nice, really.
Everyone in the barracks is moving here, there, and everywhere.
Some are stringing lights, others are moving the bunks around.
You saw a tree near the mess nook. Normally plants weren’t allowed in the barracks.
There’s a sort of buzzing energy under everything. Some of the girls are smiling for the first time since you were adopted.
You sit apart, picking at the still-sore seams in your new armor.
No one’s asked anything of you. You’re really not sure what is going on.
The motion changes subtly. No more tools or moving beds or hanging things, everyone is shuffling up to stand next to the tree; Mary is ordering all the girls into a line.
She pauses for a moment, looking around, then her helmet visor (does she ever take it off? Can she?) settles on you sitting alone in your bunk.
She starts moving across the barracks.
“Noel, c’mon now! It’s time for the carols!” she says as she gets to you. She puts a hand on yours and gently tugs you out of bed. You stumble like a baby deer; these legs are so long...
“Carols?” You ask. “Like songs? What are we singing for?”
Mary’s helmet tilts, she almost manages to look aghast. “For Christmas Noel! Tomorrow’s Christmas Eve!”
“ . . . I’ve never had a Christmas,” you mutter as you let Mary lead you up to the end of the line.
Now the other girls are aghast too. “No Christmases?” “Never had a Christmas?” “N'est-elle pas adulte?” “Elle est juste grande.”
Mary presses a book into your hands. “Well, then I think I have the perfect carol to welcome in your first Christmas, Noel.” She opens it up to a particular page titled ‘Minuit Chrétien.’
“I know the words are a bit faded, but just follow along, all right?”
You nod, looking down at the book. It’s warm in your hands.
Mary steps back, raising her hands. The girls fall to attention at once.

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Mary presses a book into your hands. “Well, then I think I have the perfect carol to welcome in your first Christmas, Noel.” She opens it up to a particular page titled ‘Minuit Chrétien.’
“I know the words are a bit faded, but just follow along, all right?”
You nod, looking down at the book. It’s warm in your hands.
Mary steps back, raising her hands. The girls fall to attention at once.
“Minuit, chrétiens, c'est l'heure solennelle,
Où l'Homme-Dieu descendit jusqu'à nous
Pour effacer la tache originelle”
The sound is beautiful.
There’s a warmth in your chest.
Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d'espérance
En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.
You begin to sing before you even realize it.
You’re smiling.
Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance.
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur !
A tear falls from the corner of your eye.
Is this what it feels like to come home?

[Noel gains the memory fragment: Big Sister.]
>She is mouthing something beneath the helmet. It's hard to see.
>"Mon dieu. My Mary? Mary" Noel's cheast heaves and she coughs invulatily blinking tears from her sunless eyes.
>"Mary no Mary if you can understand me. You have to blink. You've no voice. Mary Blink for me, please."
>Her arm stirs, only barely.
>Ash is spilling out from her armor.
>She blinks once.
>And then...
Fades away.
>Noel Ghasps. Her face lighting up with the heartache and joy. "Mary! You-
>And then the light dies in her eyes as everything within the helmet collapses to ash and falls out the bottom to plume against the ground.
>Noel reaches out and takes a faltering step as a sob wracks her lanky frame. She teeters for a moment, the helmet wobbling in the air.
>(with another fat crit, go figure)

When telling a story with combat that is meant to be exciting successes should be played up not bemoaned.

You have two operators, a superhero who hand delivers nukes, and an undead white knight cyborg fighting undead dark knights, a golem that looks like a coalmine fire got up and went looking for trouble, and an evil trumpet man in a surrealistic hell reality.

This should be tense and exciting in the telling.
>She hurries forward and grabs it before her mental grip vanishes completely. Realizing what she's now standing in, she stares down at the ash pile completely unsure what to do but desperate to do a number of things.
>Whimpering, she starts to very awkwardly try to negotiate her way to a lower position without moving her feet. It isn't going well, leaving her somewhere between standing and squatting but somehow neither.
>Feliz hisses in sympathy as she lowers her rifle, before carefully approaching, "...Hey now." She doesn't want to step into the ash and upset Noel even further but she glances around at the squad, "...there'll be more of that if we don't finish this, so take a minute-" They still had to finish patching up after all. "-but we're going to have to move on soon, yea?"
>Betty shuffles around the ashes toward Noel. "Yeah... We need to keep the mission in mind. And remember what Eightball said, we knew we might see people we know, but they weren't them anymore."
>Noel mutters through her whimpering and tears. "Mary blinked." She sniffs.
>"She stopped trying to talk and blinked."
>Eightball shuffles at the perimeter of the group, more than a little awkward. Her head swivels once as she scans the surroundings before tiptoeing up to the border of Mary's ash pile and stretching herself high enough to put a gentle hand on Noel's shoulder. "Noel, she's gone now. She's not here no more. I know it's hard losing the people you know but- you can't let it stop you- not out here. We gotta move."
>"Eightball." Noel's wavering voice is blatantly shackled with a forced formality. She clears he throat. "Take a note. We encountered a fallen comrade taken by Baal. After neutralizing her, she attempted to make contact, and responded to communication and commands when addressed."
I wasn't meaning to talk down about it, she just got a lot of them at critical moments during the game and when it happened I was just kinda like 'man wouldn't you fukkin' figure it would be Betty?' We were having a good laugh about it.
It was good that it'd happened, desu. If the death spiral had gotten much worse then the party would have been in very severe trouble. This combat came very close to ending them.

>Then she sobs, and the formal tone is gone. "I need a bag." She tries to lower herself again and nearly falls over, and nearly dislocates something in her zeal to keep her feet planted. "And help."
>She turns the helmet over in her hands, the thought of using the helmet as a container obviously flashing behind her eyes before she decides against it and tosses it away and goes back to pondering her current dilemma.
>"Noel," Feliz says somewhat firmly, "...we don't have time to gather all the ashes." Even so, she hands Noel a spare magazine pouch.
>Noel reaches out and takes the pouch. She nods but doesn't say anything.
>"Uh... if you don't want to step on the ashes, can't you float?" Betty suggests.
>She blinks twice. Then Snorts. Her face twisting up in an ugly mix of giggling and crying at the same time. "Yes Betty. You're right I can."
>She very slowly, starts to levitate in place slow enough to leave fully intact prints in the ash. Then maneuvers herself into a squat at the edge of the pile. "Help me scoop her up so we can get going. Can't take her back home with us if we don't get the job done."
>Betty lets out a small sigh, doing her best to hide her relief. "Sure, yeah, whatever." She bends down and begins collecting the ashes into a pile.
>"Thank you Betty."
>"Yeah." Betty scoops the remains of the ashes into the pouch. "So hey, not to bring you down anything, but maybe we try stayin' away from of Baal's forces after this. Don't want to have to go through this stuff again. Only have so many pockets, you know."
>Noel Elbows Betty in the ribs, but not hard enough to break anything. "That was uncalled for. You're right though."
>Betty winces slightly at the jab, but chuckles. "Heh. Yeah. Sorry about that."
>Eightball nods to Noel before stepping away to stand at the perimeter and scans for movement. Random spots in her body twitch every now and then as she fidgets. She keeps watch until Mary's ashes can be secured and the group starts off again
>The architecture becomes denser, dreamlike, and more esoteric the deeper they go into the smoke. There are suggestions of arms, bones, eye sockets, and other such things in the architecture but never anything clear enough to focus on. Soaring spires, squat bunkers, labyrinthine steeples leading off to nowhere. It's starting to get cramped; their route shrinks in on itself more and more as they go. >Eventually they're practically single file.
>Oddly, they notice that there doesn't appear to be a street level access for... anything.
>It's also become apparent that they're traveling steeply downhill
>"Betty, I don't think we're in Texas anymore." Noel says
>Betty looks around warily at the buildings closing in around them and the road heading downward ahead. "Well, at least we'll probably see anything coming."
>"Unless Baal hid one of his goonsquads in the walls somewhere," Eightball quips. "But he really don't leave ambush routes in the smoke very often. At least not hidden ones like those LMGs he started to plant around."
>"And yeah. Baal, uh, does this." Eightball turns to look over her shoulder to address Noel before turning forward again to peer around a sharp corner. "Stuff gets all warped up, but GPS and the rest of the sensor suite works. We're not sure exactly what it is Baal does. You might notice we're going pretty far downhill, I'll give you each two guesses how mountainous Argyle Creek was before it got burnt crispy."
>"Is the whole western half of the continent like this?" Noel asks.
That's cool and I'm, glad you and your players had fun but anons here have no context for any of that.

You are telling us a story based on the events and story you and your group created through the playing of a game.
>"Basically. Probably." Eightball shrugs. "It's hard to say. Haven't gotten eyes much deeper into the smoke than we are now, so if things have changed I couldn't say. Suffice to say, any time I get stuck on fire duty it's about like this. We're about to come up against my record for excursion depth, so maybe we'll see if things get more extreme."
>She pauses. "We're coming up on the target, by the way. Not close yet but we'll be in visual range before too long if our sight lines clear up any."
>"Jeez." Betty grumbles. "Don't care to know how he gets the bones and teeth. Wonder where he put the old stuff."
>"That's a better questions than the ones I was thinking." Noel says.
>As they turn into yet another alleyway, red light spills around the corner ahead of them (outlining the profile of a particularly grizzly gargoyle). It's the first hint of direct light they've seen since getting stuck in the corridor.
>"Maybe we should climb up and ambush it while it's still sleeping." Noel says quietly.
>"Ambush... what?" Feliz asks, perplexed.
>"The gargoyle?" Betty is equally confused.
>"I mean, we can break it if you want. Think it's just a statue." Betty looks over the gargoyle again. "Well, I guess it has a few bones in it, but pretty sure it's just terrible decoration."
>Eightball's head swivels around. "Hm? Oh. The wall ornament?" She looks up at it. "These things never move. Never ever. There's never even been anything like them recorded in combat. We're still not really sure if they have an actual purpose; apparently even the Necromancers have given some a once-over and they just... are stuff."
>"I'm not so sure. Baal likes to get get artsy with his non-fodder toys," Noel insists. "Back in a sec, you know what to do if it fights back."
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>Noel descends on the gargoyle like a majestic bird of prey, saber flaring white in the orange pall of Baal's domain.
>Her plasma torch cuts through the construct like butter, slicing it neatly in two from its left clavicle to the opposite hip.
>The top slides off with a stony hiss and drops to the street below. It shatters against the pavement in an explosion of rock dust, knuckle bones, and a mix of both carpentry nails and fingernails.
>Eightball looks at the carnage, then looks to Noel. "Told ya."
>Betty rolls her eyes and shakes her head. "Wow. Sure showed that gothic architecture who's boss. Won't try being a gargoyle again if it knows what's good for it." She kicks at one of the broken pieces. "Didn't see the fingernails coming, though."
>Feliz sighs, glancing around the street for any unwanted guests now that Noel had gone and made a truly unnecessary amount of noise.
>Noel bends and folds like a collection of springs to absorb the impact of her landing before straighening up. "Better safe than sorry." She stares down at the two kinds of nails. "What the hell is wrong with him?" Noel wonders, visibly creeped out at the sight.
>"No one knows," Eightball shrugs. "But if you guys are whigged out by this, then you're going to love what's coming up," she says as she moves up and around the corner.
>The 'city' falls away ahead of them into a steep canyon before terminating at the bottom in a river of fire. A massive wrought iron bridge, easily large enough to accommodate six lanes of traffic, spans the gap ahead of them. To the north and south they can see more bridges along the canyon, every half-mile or so. The stylings of the bridge are markedly austere compared to what they've encountered so far, though it does appear to be cast into one gigantic piece of iron.
>Looking down... there are people in the river. Thousands and thousands of them, marching along the bottom. The air is alive with the sound of their march, but only after the Dolls have looked down to see them.
>If they listen, they can hear a rhythmic thunder over the cacophony.
>Eightball whistles inside her helmet. "Would you believe this is US-377? A little two-lane interstate."
>"Not going to be much of anything after we blow it all up, yea?" Feliz answers
>"Guess it had some work done. Seems Baal can actually finish road work." Betty snarks
>"We're not here for the bridge Feliz... yet anyway. Maybe something can be done for them later."
>Eightball starts padding onto the bridge. "Yeah, Noel's got it. Our target is across the bridge." She grumbles something indistinct. "All the noise is making it hard to tell exactly where though."
>"How hot is the bridge?" Noel asks. "Not all of us have trash for feet."
>Eightball stops and quirks her head for a second. "Basically ambient. If we were still alive it'd be unpleasant but nothing that'll actually hurt us."
>"Okay then. At least there's that." Noel walks onto the bridge. "Guess he can't show off his art to guests if no one will walk through his gallery"
>"Probably been cooked by worse, if the big wigs are to be believed." Betty follows after Noel.
>"Can't be too hard to spot when we get closer..." Feliz mumbles, scanning the 'skyline'
>Eightball grumbles some more. "True, but the smoke layers make it a pain to gauge distance. It's fogging my rangefinders bad enough."
>The walk along the bridge is... quiet. Except when they look down at the river. There's no movement anywhere but down below them and in the swirling smoke all around.
>Noel get's a full body shudder when she realizes she can only hear the damned when she looks at them.
>She wraps her arms around herself and hunches a bit trying to banish the shivers as if they were from cold. "I hate this place. I-hate-it-so-much."
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>Betty does her best to resist the urge to look down at Noel's comment. "Couldn't agree more. Baal's got some weird taste."
>"I'm going to really enjoy that R&R stint, for sure," Eightball agrees. "Shouldn't be too long now. I think once we're over the bridge-"


>An earsplitting roar rocks the chasm. The bridge shifts and undulates underneath the party as the earth heaves.
>Sections of the bridge shear off from the stress.
>The section of iron underneath Feliz vanishes from right under her feet. Her stomach flips as she starts to accelerate down into the chasm.
>There's a pain in her shoulder.
The hand clamps down on your shoulder.
You have to get away!
You have to get out!
The grip tightens and hauls you up out of the sinkhole.
You try and wrench away but you have no leverage.
You have to get away! They can’t- they can’t-
“Liz! Lizzy! Get a hold- just hold still god-dammit!”
You make one last desperate bid to pull away, but something knocks your feet out from under you.
The hand on your shoulder yanks you back, pressing your face into your captor’s chest.
You go slack. Give up. Too late.
A second hand settles on your head, gently stroking your hair.
“Land, child. What’s gotten into you?” It’s the voice of your grandfather. A voice colored with relief and worry and warmth all at once.
Your vision is blurry with tears. “Pappy, I- I can’t- they can’t see me- see me like-” Your voice breaks. “I don’t want to be remembered like this.” Like this dead thing.
Your grandfather hugs you just a little closer, rocking you gently back and forth. “You gave your ma a heart attack when you bolted off into the woods, you know? Running off in hysterics like that.” He sighs. “They don’t care what the army did to you, Liz. They just want to see you again. The whole family’s wanting to talk to you, you know?”

“But- but I’m…” The resistance doesn't come. Your heart isn’t in it.
“My granddaughter. Now come on home, Lizzy. Everyone’s waitin’.”
You give up, and let yourself be led out of the woods by your grandfather. To a warm, welcoming home full of warm, welcoming people.

[Feliz has gained the memory fragment: Hug]
>Her vision spins as she feels herself getting torqued by gravity and- something else. There's a metal hand on her shoulder. Eightball heaves, and suddenly Feliz is sprawled on her back, on stable ground again.
>Feliz's eyes glisten a bit as she stands.
>The air here was dry enough before all of the smoke and fire.
>It was really too hot.
>"...Thanks, Anne."
>Eightball manages to sound breathless despite the lack of a respiratory system. "No problem, Lizzy. I mean, it would be a waste to get put back together and bite it to gravity. That would suck shit."
>"... Sorry. I picked that up in boot."
>Eightball heaves herself up off the ground like a marionette. "I guess we're a whole lot closer than we thought."
>Noel windmills bit but manages to stay upright She breaks into a run, "Come on Betty, London bridge is falling down."
>She makes to scoop up Betty and lengthen her stride
>Betty stays up as the bridge heaves, but goes to her knees as it settles. She looks up as Noel rushes up to her. "Hey, cool it! This thing ain't stable and it's probably not a good idea to be running across it!" She shifts away as Noel reaches out. "And having everyone piggyback in one spot is probably a bad idea too. And again, can't you float?"
>"You can't though." Noel steps up and begins to slow walk about a foot off the ground next to Betty. "I hope you're right about this. I don't want to think about that would happen if any of you fell in the river."
"Yeah, but you're heavier. We're practically crossin' thin ice here, we've got to take it slow." Betty begins to crawl her way across the bridge.
We getting another thread?
Anon still needs to finish his story.
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>Noel shuts up and looks around while listening for any rumbling or sign or sound of distressed metal.
>Eightball walks up behind Betty and yanks her up by the collar. "It's wrought iron, not glass. We need to get off before the Leviathan calls again, so get those dog's barkin', c'mon!" She drops Betty on her feet and gives her a (very) firm slap on the back.
>"...dogs?" Feliz blinks as she chases.
>"Sumfin' papa used to say. Means your feet are sore. But seriously." She starts into a jog down the road. "We need to scram."
>Noel plops to the deck and holds her arms out to carry Betty. "Come on."
>"... Still don't need you to carry me."
>The squad makes it to the last quarter of the bridge before-


>The very air reverberates with the roar. The earth shakes again, but the group's close proximity to the edge of the bridge saves them from the worst of the structure's flexing. A blessing; as a sizable portion of the bridge's midsection snaps off and goes careening into the chasm below.
>The smoke ahead of them swirls.


>A head looms at them from high up in the smoke.

I think I'll be able to finish before thread death, there's not a whole lot left. Though if you'd like I could go ahead and start a new one.
You've got a point.
I'll start making a thread and link it when I'm done.

It's so late it's early in my part of the world though so I'll be going to bed after that.
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New thread
>How does the AP system work?
Just keep reading and you will get the answer.
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