Reviews and Ramblings
MIDDENARDE - PART 7 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 6 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 5 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
MIDDENARDE - PART 4 by PurpleXVI - 12/12/16
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GM Startup Guide by PurpleXVI - 06/10/09
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DORF FORT ELLPEE by CAPSLOCKGUY - 10/19/08
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Humans of Kromore
FATAL & Friends Repost: Kromore, Part 3
12:17am EDT - 8/16/2015
So, I was mildly wrong, there are 17
human nations, six of which are restricted by era, and the remaining 11 of which have existed, apparently, for the entirety of humanity's existence on Kromore. Obviously humans are not from
Kromore since only the Zatilok are natives.
The disparity of Kromorian Humans are as vast and as their Earth ancestors. Though they share a historical bond, Human’s of Kromore distinguish themselves by the Kromorian nation they hail from.
All humans share an ancestry to Earth with the exception of Daeadrin who have an unknown alien origin. A merging of Daeadrin and Humans becomes the future Kromorian races. Though both Daeadrin and Kromorian Humanoids are identical at first glance, the Daeadrin are immortal.
Hmmm, yes, I'm sure that it's entirely reasonable to simply list an "immortal" race alongside the human races. Certainly immortality would result in exactly the same culture and statistics! It actually does, and Daeadrin don't even have the highest skill bonus total or anything. I guess they spend a lot of their immortal lives doing nothing productive that they can learn from. In general the human nations are described haphazardly, sometimes we learn what wiped them out, sometimes we don't, sometimes their government style is mentioned, sometimes it's not, the only constants are average weights and heights, and what their diet largely consists of. Not sure why the latter's so important unless the book contains a detailed section on gluten and nut allergies later on.
This section also reveals that when Earth was threatened by an alien species wanting to suck it dry of resources, humanity just relocated en masse to the rest of the galaxy. Considering that humanity had the ability to just do
this, apparently before this insurmountable alien foe destroyed them or enslaved them, you have to wonder why humanity hadn't spread to the rest of the galaxy before then. Earth refugee humans are also for some reason far less restrained by their culture than the other nations, just getting a pool of free skill points to assign however they want, rather than having four to six culturally pre-assigned skill points.
Also note how every single non-human species live in exactly one location, with one culture, while humans have spread everywhere. Lazy fucking writing. Also
note how there's an "Outlander Human" nation, even though they're specifically described as the "humans without nations or borders." I also skipped over dozens of terrible wordings because you guys have the gist of the bad writing by now.
Note that even though the game prides itself, in its sales pitch, on not having "pre-determined classes," instead it has pre-determined professions
, which are basically treated like 3.x/5e classes, you gain a new "level" every time you level up, and you can use that to continue a profession you already have, or straight up just grab a tier of a new one. The text in the book here even admits
that professions "resemble the concept of 'classes'."
I do legitimately like some of the art, though. This is really well done.
The one in the heavy armor carrying a two handed weapon in one hand while killing you with the other. That's a Soldier.
Soldier: Continuing in the proud tradition of shitty fantasy RPG's everywhere, by and large all the soldier gets is increasing numerical bonuses to shooting/stabbing things, or using things that shoot things. It turns out that "Operate," at least by the description here(yes, we still have no skill descriptions, so while making our character we have to guess at what half these things actually benefit), is about "operating" vehicles, meaning that's yet another huge part of the lifepath chargen that only really works with post-fantasy/post-medieval stuff and... hey, wait a minute, that also kind of means Soldiers don't fit into that stuff for shit either. So much for being setting-agnostic. About the only hilarious ability Soldiers get is "Weapon Redirect." Any time an enemy within reach of the soldier fails any action, including some attacks(specifically grapples and charges), the soldier just gets to pick them up and throw them away. It doesn't even have to target the soldier, and seems to completely ignore the target's weight and size. In fact
, it specifically just says "attacker," so potentially a charging tank attempting to run someone over would count, or a giant robot just trying to move past and failing some check.
In general, though, even 3.x Fighters get more options than these poor goons(well, after a couple of feats, anyway).
SOME of the art, I don't like all of it.
When everything begins to spin and the room grows dark a Medic is hopefully closing in. Lofting the wounded onto their shoulders and carrying them to safety, the Medic will slap a bandage on wounds before the target can realize they are pushing them back into the fray of combat. After all, who else are they going to hide behind as the bullets come flying past.
Medic: Fuck all not-wizards, I guess. In the same way Soldiers just get +attack, all Medics get is +heal and the special ability to carry allies a very, very short distance. So unless your friend collapsed just on the other side of some handy cover, this is fucking useless.
As the rush of air blows hair wildly into the open sky and a smile breaks across their face, it's evident the Pilot is having that dream where they are flying again.
Pilot: The pilot is yet another
one-trick pony, in this case "fly better, fly better, fly better." Their few abilities that break the monotony is that above a certain level, they get a Red Baron-ish renown and get to intimidate enemy pilots just by telling them that they're in the air and fucking shit up, and that they get to "Cloud Fall." I.e., if they pass their skill checks they can drop from 100' with little to no damage, of course, if they fuck up their skill checks they probably die instantly, so you can't even really rely on it. And how often are you 100' off the ground in an RPG without your friends being so as well? I guess this might save YOU, but the rest of the party is still fucked. Good luck playing a Pilot unless the entire party does or it's a solo game.
Instinctive Foresight: Shady characters are found on refueling pads, in space stations, and within and environment vehicles are brought for repairs and construction. When the pilot is first to act in a fights initiative against enemies they gain a bonus 1d4 to their first attack in their rounds turn. Any time the pilot has a better initiative than their target they gain this bonus.
I also don't know why associating with shady characters somehow gives you an attack bonus?
Banned from DeviantArt for being too shit
The Officer excels at controlling a large force of men and women on the battlefield. Their leadership abilities are unmatched by any other profession. Negotiating or blasting their way through conflict, the Officer is always prepared for any battle. An Officer is available through the background origin or by Story Teller approval.
Officer: I hope you like sitting at the back of the battle with a megaphone and giving everyone boosts in combat, because that's literally all this class gets to do
Knight Agent: Finally there's the option to be a "Knight Agent," if you have high enough stats, totally not a prestige class, honest
, which basically means you're a member of the Kromorian CIA. Interestingly enough, unlike the four preceding classes, they acknowledge that Knight Agents will function differently in different eras... which they accomplish by changing the gear, and not the skills. They have the ability to interrogate enemies... except they don't use it to interrogate, apparently they use it to yell at enemies in combat and scare them into lowering their defenses? Why is this ability called "interrogate" at all? They also get the ability to PASS JUDGMENT which... again has nothing to do with passing judgment in a legal sense, instead it just means that the agent now gets a huge bonus to fighting.
With this level of fighter oppression, I can't wait to see what options wizards get.
Aristocrat: Interestingly, even though we have to beg storyteller permission to become an officer if we don't get it during lifepath chargen, nothing stops us from just declaring at level-up that Bob the Officer is now in fact Bob von Schnauzer, Officer and also heir to the Schnauzer mercantile empire. Despite being described as negotiators, diplomats and fast-talkers, almost every Aristocrat skill is somehow using their charisma to better beat up people in combat by distracting them. In fact, almost EVERY fucking ability so far, for all the classes, have been for combat. I think the only exception being that Officers get a military agent network that gives them a bonus on knowledge checks. Oh and I guess Aristocrats also get a monthly allowance depending on how charismatic they are.
Dark Blade: Half these guys' skills are prefaced with the word "Dark." Dark Sneak, Dark Survival, Dark Blade Veil, etc. which is no surprise to anyone. It also takes seven levels
before this EPIC ASSASSIN CLASS actually gets any special ability making them better at sneaking. All their other abilities up till that point are just combat tricks. Did I mention that this game is REALLY FOCUSING ON THE COMBAT yet?
HELLO I AM A SUBTLE ASSASSIN, PAY ME NO MIND
Shadow: The first class to get almost
as many non-combat boosts/skills as combat boosts/skills, generally related to stealth and traps, and avoiding being blown up by traps. A momentous day! They also have the ability to "trick" enemies in an undefined way to remove their actions in combat, at higher levels. They can steal "two actions" from an enemy, and as I understand it, PC's and NPC's only have three actions per round. Judging by the shitty wording, they can do this once per enemy adjacent to them... but nothing seems to require them to target different enemies, and it only costs them one
action... so two Shadows working together could basically stunlock up to three enemies completely, as long as they're in relatively close quarters. Resisting being "tricked" is possible, but takes a "legendary" resistance check.
Inventor: Holy shit, this class only has one ability
directly focused on combat. And it only took us nine classes
to get there! Their one ability focused on combat is dealing double damage to artificial enemies, an ability that is, puzzlingly, named "Bad Breath." It's also, again, one of the few classes that acknowledge different eras. For instance, apparently even in eras without electrical devices, they're able to make short-distance, radio-wave remote controls that can set off, as per the book's example, trebuchets.
In tech level settings that do not allow for electronically machinery the device works as a short wave frequency radio or trigger device that can operate a trebuchet or device to be set off.
Christ, there's another 13
classes to go, including the "Combat" class category. Yes, Combat and Military classes are, inexplicably, separate from each other. At least the final category will be the various wizard professions, Sci-Magi, Adept, Sci-Priest and Demon Hunter. They, at least, have to be able to do some shit that not everyone fucking else can do. In fact, I think it's almost entirely guaranteed, by this point, that having access to magic will mean that they get a huge swathe of things they can do while fighters and thieves can eat shit.
FATAL & Friends Repost: Kromore, Part 2
12:10am EDT - 8/16/2015
So in Kromore's defense, at least the character sheet doesn't look Eoris-levels of bad, but much in keeping with the rest of the writing so far, the author just cheerfully launches into everything with what I can best describe as bad pacing. The very first page of chargen is just a huge smear of mechanics and how to calculate derived attributes. Also apparently how much you can carry, drag and push is derived only
from your character weight, not your Muscle stat, just the first of what I'm going to assume will be many
puzzling design decisions. Chargen starts off with a "lifepath" sort of thing, where we follow a flowchart through four decisions that give us some starting bonuses, as well as helping determine our starting money.
Most of it seems relatively setting-agnostic, meaning that Kromore might at least slightly deliver on being able to function through any of its five supposed settings, though quite a few lifepath options get "piloting" and "tech," which I'm not sure how relevant would be in the "fantasy" or "medieval" settings. Also, while we've had the basic stats explained, and know what they would benefit us for, we've had no skills explained so far, so, for instance, "Operate"? What does that
help us do? And of course, almost all
of the lifepath bonuses are skill bonuses. Also some puzzling choices, most of the bonuses to skills are static +X bonuses, and we've been told that skill ranks are static +X's to things we do, while stats define how many D4 we roll.
But there's a "+1d4" to skills in places, does that mean that I get a RANDOM bonus for choosing this lifepath option? Or that I get another 1d4 to roll whenever I use that specific skill? This isn't explained anywhere. In general, though, the lifepath doesn't seem too
badly constructed, and is followed up by assigning points to our basic stats. It's a pointbuy system and, as a first for any pointbuy system I've seen, actually lines up some suggested stat arrays for new players, as well as doing some of the basic math for the player(how many free points a given array leaves them with for the next stage of chargen. Though the terrible organization of the writing and the occasionally "I ran this through Google Translate"-tier phrasing made me confused on the actual calculations and made me think the book got some of them wrong at first.). As clumsy a first impression as Kromore gives, this is actually a nice touch, as pointbuy is something that can occasionally trip up new players.
Players should remember they will automatically receive an equal number of free abilities to their attribute score totals.
A number of free abilities EQUAL TO their attribute score totals, as it turns out. But anyway, small slip-ups aside it's time for the EXCITING RACES OF KROMORE and oh my God what's wrong with your FACE
Hahahah, what the fuck? Is she a smurf or something? Uh, I guess we've got four colours of human, the weird fucking things from Avatar with huge noses instead of huge eyes, and dwarves.
If players decide to choose a Human race they must select which nation the Human is from. Each Human race holds grudges politically and socially against one another.
I look forward to a list of all the human nations that have existed throughout KROMORE's 10,000-year DETAILED HISTORY, cross-referenced by which ones existed simultaneously, and with each one having a detailed rundown of who they hate and who they get along with. I'm pretty sure, though, that we're just going to get, like, five nations, and two of them will have a sidenote of "Only exists during STEAMPUNK ERA" or "Blown up during SCI-FI ERA, replaced with LASER COUNTRY." And, of course, only humans avoid being a monoculture.
All races start with the bonus language of Trade. Trade is a language comprised of 100 different words, phrases, and sign language symbols used for basic means of communication.
Wait, so, there's 100 words, 100 phrases and 100 sign language symbols? Or there's 100 if you tally up all the words, phrases and sign language symbols? Because the latter's not going to let you do much communicating beyond asking where the fucking toilet is or ordering a beer.
Natural Defense applies to a characters dodge and is always constant even when the character is caught prone or disabled.
Which makes me imagine a team of commandos trying to assault a sleeping Metal Man and falling all over each other because even though he's asleep, his Natural Defense is somehow still applying to his Dodge. I don't know if +2 is a lot, but I hope so, because that would be fucking ridiculous and a little bit hilarious. Like, I could see if it was applied to armor
of some sort, but dodge? Why dodge
Natural defense for some races is higher due to the races small stature or the races thicker than normal skin.
Oh, I guess because the designer is a lazy sack of shit and went with D&D-style "armor"/defense as being a rolled-together lump of all your defensive attributes, both dodging and armor.
Due to social relations, size, and origin several races have negatives applied to them. These are not bad qualities of the race, but represent their social and physical standings in the ever changing political world of Kromore.
I like how it represents their standing in an EVER-CHANGING WORLD, but apparently over 10,000 years, the world doesn't change enough for these things to be different during different periods. Jesus fucking Christ. This is even more offensive when the game, a paragraph later, acknowledges some degree of change in that some races only exist during some periods... and of course those are all shunted off to the appendices, but include, we're told, H.I.V.E. Vampires and "realm races."
“Bendai khu beiz’nehet y’ Razz-I”
-Death without battle honor is Razz-I
Why fucking bother to translate it if you leave out translating a word that's core to the fucking meaning of the statement
So the Ferrians were transported to Kromore in "the 70th century BSC" by the "Tesck" that have so far gone completely unmentioned anywhere. They live on a continent referred to as "the jungle paradise of war"(???), and they used to live on another continent, but something fucked it up so that it's now "vastly uninhabitable for sustained life." As opposed to very temporary life, I guess? Fucking hell.
The Great Metal War during the era of Steam and Steel left it destroyed after the humanoid Innate wielder inhabitants formed an alliance with the allied nations against the Kalin Parliamentary Order. Metal Men arrived and destroyed the small island continent, a destruction the land never recovered from.
Hmmm, yes, these sure are a lot of terms. Not that I give a shit what they mean. But the whole thing is basically meaningless without knowing who the fuck these people or things are, what "humanoid Innate wielders" are.
Though the Ferrian have cat like appearances in the eyes and face, they are far more human than cat despite their tails and ears which are both docked at birth.
Nothing about them is fucking catlike, at all. Has this person ever seen a cat?
Exiled Ferrian in their native tongue are called “Razz-I.”
So "death without battle honor is exiled Ferrian"? Aaaaaargh.
Whatever, these guys are basically Cat Orcs/Klingons. BATTLE HONOR, tattoos, live in noble savagery, can wear their SUPER HAIR as armor, don't do much with technology unless it's for war, and when they're in other cultures they're mostly mercenaries or criminal muscle.
Many Ferrian do not seek honor battling amongst the stars unless something proposes a threat to their home.
The author of this is supposedly from New York, born and raised. You wouldn't have fucking guessed it from this writing, would you? I would've guessed, like, Poland, myself. Maybe Dutch. If I quoted every single fucking awkward or downright WRONG term or phrasing, I'd be quoting the entire fucking book so far. Did you know it's possible to "miss-use" magic? I just learned that, from this book.
Their existence was declared a mistake after many rebelled slavery in the Order’s military. Thousands of Metal Men were dishonorably discharged into space before their existence was revealed, but thousands more managed to escape.
Hard to tell if he's making a joke or actually thinks that a "dishonorable discharge" involves throwing someone away into the ocean or space or something. But anyway, they were a magical experiment into making SUPER SOLDIERS that accidentally developed free will, like basically every super soldier project in any piece of fiction, ever. At this point it would be a surprise to have an android that actually stayed true to the spirit of its programming or an artificially created species/creature that didn't eventually eat its creator.
In addition to their immortality the Metal Men all begin life at the age of twenty seven and never age beyond it. Their previous human memories are gone,
Except I guess they used to be humans, yet no matter what, they're always 27 years of age? What if you turn a child into a metal man? Does he become huge and buff? Do old people turned into metal men become young and strong? Can you even do that? Can they reproduce in any sort of way, resulting in a horrific sudden aging of metal man babies? Apparently they're engineered not to procreate, but some "metal women" mutate to "reveal" offspring(what? WORDS MEAN THINGS). So I if all metal men are instantly 27 years of age, that's gotta result in some weird stuff when giving birth, or possibly an Alien-like explosion during procreation. Gross.
But aside from that, if new-born metal men are a rarity, and they're all functionally immortal, does that mean that the player is most likely centuries, if not millennia old, and hyper-experienced compared to every other member of the party? I guess this is just completely ignored. And mind you, if metal men don't care about aging, what about other biological necessities? Do they need food and water? Do they breathe? Maybe this would be relevant to address, considering that their description makes them sound like fucking robots
(metal skin, no aging, no natural procreation, outside of mutants, have trouble with "complex emotions.")
I'd also like to point out that while the Ferrians got an entire page to themselves, all the other species basically get a single half-page column. Also for some reason only half the races(Ferrian, Metal Man, Laerish) get a quote, while the other three(Gyx, Human, Zatilok) go without.
The Gyx get literally no biological or sociological details shared about them. Nothing. They're just some red dudes that the "Tesck" dropped off on Kromore a couple of times over the eras and who were generally enslaved or murdered by roaming packs of xenophobes, but now they're free.
The Gyx are known deadly with a small blade due to thousands of years in servitude.
Apparently a history of being enslaved means everyone assumes you know your way around a shiv. Or that you DO know your way around a shiv. I can't tell.
GAH, it doesn't get any less horrifying the second time
So, the Zatilok are apparently the only true natives of KROMORE, a bunch of NOBLE SAVAGES, not to be confused with the NOBLE SAVAGERY of the Ferrians.
Though they are the oldest, the Zatilok are the least technologically advanced of all Kromorian races. They are referred to as space monkeys by Kromorians, because they are no more apt at flying than a monkey is in space. A term used negatively against Zatilok.
This also makes no sense to me. Firstly, they're pretty clearly feline-inspired. Secondly, why would monkeys have trouble in space? I mean, if anything, a semi-prehensile tail, and feet that can be used for grabbing and clinging far better than human feet might actually be an advantage in a zero-G habitat. Hell, I'm pretty sure a lot of apes and monkeys would transition to zero-G/micro-G pretty fast, faster than some humans, in fact, once they got the hang of it. But anyway, yeah, they're cats, JUST LIKE THE FERRIANS, GUYS, NOTICE HOW CATLIKE THE FERRIANS ARE, but more catlike than the Ferrians because of their "furry complexions."
“There was a wee man named Harboro Sam, He took up some drinkin’ with main sail in hand,With nothing but hot air to sail him to land, He shored up to sailors, befriending with man,He threw down his skivvies and threw up his hands SHOVE OFF UNLESS YE DRINKIN!”
–Laerish drinking tune, unknown composer, unknown meaning.
Everything in this book has an "unknown meaning."
During the time prior to the Three Kingdoms and over the era of Three Kingdoms, Laerish lived in barbaric clan houses and sailed long ships. The Laerish of this time focused on pillage and wealth along with technological advancement.
Their inventions eventually allowed them the ability to control technological trade and after several thousand years removed their instinct and aggressive anger from their social personalities.
So the Laerish are basically honourable Irish(or Scottish? Can't tell) drunk techno-vikings. Or something. Also they've got almost no women(for some reason?). Also everyone likes the Laerish despite the fact that the Laerish used to raid everyone and now, apparently, maintain a stranglehold on high-tech trade because they're just so good at it.
Wow, Christ, this is off to a great start. I'm going to handle the humans in a separate post, because it turns out there's actually a few pages' worth of nations/human variants. Not that I expect them to be particularly inspiring, but dealing with this writing is a bit of a challenge.
Kromore Roleplaying Game!
FATAL & Friends Repost: Kromore, Part 1
11:43pm EDT - 8/15/2015
I crack open the book and it looks reasonably organized compared to a lot. Glancing at the index, for instance, the fluff is in the back
, for once, rather than forcing us to read an ill-advised novel before letting us play the game. Basics, chargen, rules and then
fluff. I suppose this means we'll be frontloading all the dry stuff and saving the real laughs until the end.
Or does it? DARK BLADE, that's a profession name right out of someone's shitty fanfic.
No, really, that's the title of the very first chapter. It gives us the basics of what a roleplaying game, as per usual, elaborating in detail on the role of the storyteller, how to tell a good story and some suggestions that seem to encourage railroading and DMPC's to keep the PC's on track and on mission. Mostly what stands out here are the damn weird phrasings, the next one is a particularly odd one, which kind of strange given that the developer doesn't seem
to have English as a second language.
is this even English? posted:
Sometimes if players choose not to get involved in a situation a great story element to develop a mistaken identity theme can occur. Use all story that occurs around players to drive back to the larger story. Every choice including inactive choice is part of a story.
This form of manipulation of a story is called organic story telling and will create for your players the knowledge and belief that they can actually change the course of a story simply by making a different decision.
Adding a third grey area of perspective will layer realism of your story creating a deeper imaginative universe.
The third line is mostly just there because the phrasing, again, seems awkward as fuck. But in general this entire chapter heavily implies that you shouldn't actually let your players affect the story, or go off on their own adventures. Keep driving them back to the "larger story" and give them the "belief" that they can change the story, which may again just be shitty phrasing, but seems to imply that they should only BELIEVE they have the power, not actually have it. Then after that, the book dropkicks us into EXAMPLE COMBAT before we've even had a look at the rules basics.
“Kromore is on the verge of total civil-war between Steam Rebels and those who favor tech advancement. This real issue lingers at the back of your head as you ride the bumpy, uncomfortable, and yet highly familiar upper D train across the exposed open track over Mavens Sky District. The sound of steel reverberate a steady cha-chunking as the train car whistles against the steam filled airy exterior. An old Mavish woman clutches her purse next to a red skinned Gyxan who has been eyeballing a gold watch hanging from the lapel of a short and whiskery Laerish. The Laerish seems to check the watch impatiently every few seconds. He is finely dressed with a small bowler hat atop his head. Also in the car are three passengers. The first passenger of our players is Steve's character, Steve please describe your character."
The example of play rolls on with, well, excessive rolling. EVERYTHING gets a roll, even for NPC's.
Player Jane: "Ut oh. I quickly yell for everyone to duck."
"Ut oh?" Have I mentioned that this thing needs the loving care of an editor? Anyway, the players are on board a train, the train gets attacked by a driveby shooting from a hovercar, lots of dice are rolled that we don't really know a damn thing about because the example of play is well before the example of rules
, a guy steals a watch and runs off, and then the example ends, continuing into some advice that's mostly praising itself about how awesome the example was and how great
an example it was, specifically, of all the previous advice.
As the Story Teller you can always change the outside hovering vehicle to a civil police ship that is arresting the Laerish for stealing a top secret watch,
A top secret watch
. But really, there's some good advice here, like what to do when the players ignore your carefully crafted railroad to engage in something they find more interesting.
Some ways of getting stories back on the right path are by reminding the players of story goals through a third party, friendly messenger, newspaper article, television program, or deadly assassin.
Without involving actual enemies to hack and slash, weather and natural disasters can add realistic layers to the story, but adding in Deux-Ex- Machina (god like) moments often can make the players feel insignificant. Use your major events sparingly and only to drive the story back on track or add drama.
For instance, have the world and NPC's nag them about the main plot until you lose your temper and try to have them killed. And don't forget that Deus Ex Machina should only be used for
When dealing with Story Telling never take the power away from a player. Don’t tell a player how their character feels, instead present them with a scenario and ask them how their character feels. This motivates role playing and a bond between player and character. It’s also a lot more fun.
Don't take away power from the players by telling them their character's emotions, allow them to properly roleplay the anguish of being trapped in an unfeeling, railroaded world where evil assassins and blizzards stop their every attempt to deviate. I mean, this isn't bad advice, it just seems kind of hilarious when it's right after all that other shit. Then the book harps on a bit about how there are rules for literally everything you could ever want to do in or outside of combat, which seems to me less of a promise, and more of a threat that no matter what we try to do, we're going to be fucking rolling for it.
Sometimes the best stories start with the simplest of concepts. Here are a few of our favorite plot hook ideas: Rescue a missing person from some villains. Explore a cave or ancient tomb. Survive a natural disaster and travel back in time to stop it from occurring. Defeat a power hungry leader who is exploiting their citizens. Track down a stolen item and the one who stole it.
Outside of Bill & Ted, I don't think I can recall many stories with time travel that I'd define as "simple." Time paradoxes and becoming your own grandpa aren't exactly GM's First Adventure.
Players will find the system easily adapts to any game setting world.
Challenge fucking accepted. Start considering what worlds you're convinced
Kromore won't work for, and we'll see how it turns out. My guess is that it's going to be basically "all of them." But who knows? It sort of flows into the "basic rules" chapter which tells us literally everything except
the basic fucking resolution mechanic. We get told what the stats mean, how we calculate HP, how we calculate how much we can throw, what languages we know, and so on, all sorts of stupid minutiae. The closest we get to actually getting a basic mechanic before launching us headfirst into chargen is, as far as I can parse the bad phrasing, the mechanic for skill checks, where our skill level is a static modifier, and the associated stat is the number of D4's we roll... but no one tells us what the "average" DC should be, so there's no real way of judging whether it takes 1d4 or 10d4 to make us competent at something. I mean, it even tells us what the difficulty "categories" are("basic, easy, medium, hard, epic, legendary, unimaginable, uncanny, and in some cases ungodly."), but neglects to point out what a given "difficulty" translates to in DC.
Off to a great fucking start, here. I'm expecting some fucking gems once we get into the actual chargen, and even more once we hit the fluff.
I put on my Rehuna robe and hat
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 10
12:01am EDT - 8/13/2015
The bad art starts up again in this chapter in a rather serious way. It also starts with a metric fuckload of in-character fiction which I'm going to summarize for you all, because fuck transcribing four pages of this trash.
Basically, back in YE OLDE ANCIENT TYMES, humans were totally enlightened because they were ONE WITH NATURE, chatted with the spirits, and believed that gods, demons and elementals were behind everything that happened. Human shamans talked to these spirits, fought the bad ones, etc. What directly led to humanity's "madness and decay" was the fact that we became advanced, started believing in science and became "robotic and isolated."
Then the Wraeththu writer starts wanking off about them not knowing if they were made on purpose or just an accident or yadda yadda yadda bullshit. And apparently the only thing that stops someone from being a bitchin' wizard is that they cannot PERCEIVE THE UNIVERSE correctly, seems like as long as you can just perceive everything as being part of everything, all energy interconnected, and everything as energy, you can wizard it up by force of will. There's also an expansion on how Wraeththu telepathy lets them send messages into both past and future when they get trained enough. We're also finally told that the MAGIC FLYING HORSES are actually real, and can ride through magical wormholes.
Short glossary: Agmara(Wraeththu Mana), Magari(Wraeththu spells), Majhahn(Wraeththu ritual magic), Nayati(Wraeththu temple), Rehuna(Wraeththu wizard), Ruhan(Wraeththu wizard in plural). I'm still personally fucking wondering where they get all these stupid terms. Can anyone tell me if they're ganked from some real-world language? Because that might make SOME sense, at least if those terms were used by a culture in North America or Europe, since those are the only places the Wraeththu seem to really be from.
Also the existence of "Dark Matter" means that science cannot explain the universe, because real Magic can't in any way be measured or explained by SCIENCE! Scientists secretly suspect that Dark Matter is magic, but they just never got a chance to admit it before the Wraeththu showed up and fucked everyone over. "Unfortunately, human scientists could not tolerate the idea that ancient peoples, whom they considered primitive, could have known more than they did."
Disintegrating things can apparently also be done magically really easily since you just tap every object's internal energy to tear it apart to atoms or warp it out of reality. Which makes you wonder why the fuck any Wraeththu Wizard would ever bother with the described-as-more-complex options of blowing it up, dropping heavy objects on it or setting it on fire. Wizard Wraeththu are directly encouraged to game the system to find the cheapest and least backlashy methods of accomplishing everything. Wraeththu players shouldn't also worry about not solving everything with magic, since their very EXISTENCES are magical. Every Wraeththu is a wondrous, sparkling unicorn of enchantment. This is followed by a short monologue on how we should just flip off technology and embrace wizardry instead, replacing guns with fireballs and computers with magical memory crystals.
Pretty much every paragraph includes or ends with a bit about how science can go get fucked
because magic is the real power
. More rarely there are also bits about how religion can equally go get fucked
because having rules for how things work or believing in cause and effect makes you a worse wizard.
Science, in a human sense, has had its time. Its tools have either been abandoned or broken, and the more rigid of its views have been rejected by the majority of hara.
With the influx of magical knowledge, the unknown now has a framework for explanations about how the universe functions, and scientific facts aren't as cut and dried as they were. New theories and ideas are showing themselves and the mysterious of Dark Matter will be explained.
Don't ask me why the fucking obsession with Dark Matter. This chapter is also, oddly enough, where we have Wraeththu morality explained. Basically it's generic subjective morality where no specific acts are evil, it all depends on circumstances and intent, yadda yadda. There's also another fresh glossary about all the goddamn goofy magical accoutrements Wraeththu wizards us. Vakei, WIZARD DAGGERS with MAGICAL CRYSTALS. Shayyai, WIZARD BOWLS, that are very boring. Naqi, WIZARD DAGGERS that you use for the whole Bishie Herpes transferral process. Nayati, as mentioned, is the local WIZARD HUT or stone circle or where ever.
Sidebar: "Aruna plays a big part in the novels, so should not be ignored in this game." Hoo boy.
Aruna or Sex Magic
: Alright, so it starts out by recapping that every Wraeththu has their wacky fucked up genitals and can get up to whatever craziness they like. Oh also that boning can be a MAGICAL RITUAL that affects reality. Also contradicting the very first thing I posted about this RPG
, this bit also says it would be inappropriate to roleplay the dickings.
Then there's a bit of bullshit about "blah blah blah we're ripping off Paradox and vulgar/subtle magic from oMage blah blah blah we're unoriginal fuckfaces." And then we hit another gold mine:
To summarize! Humans cannot do magic right because we are selfish, afraid and do the whole Dogma thing where we try to systematize stuff and understand it(shades of In Dark Alleys! Hello!). Yet at the same time, apparently most humans believed in Miracles but hated Magic. Aren't Miracles basically stuff that's accepted as inexplicable bullshit from some Other Force? Stuff that cannot be set into a system or explained? So would that not make that... not-Wraeththu's-definition-of-Dogma? But anyway, we could totally have saved ourselves from destruction if we had learned how to throw fireballs and disintegrate stuff.
The few humans who figured out their WIZARDLY POWERS got locked up for being crazy or burned at the stake. So basically we can blame THE CHURCH and THE MAN for us not being awesome wizards.
(PS for those reading along: After noting all this science-hating stuff, please note that Wraeththu's spirituality and magic has been marketed as a real "spiritualism" that has been gobbled up by thousands upon thousands of Wraeththu fans! You may know some of these people!)
I told you there'd be more bad art
Alright so, having awesome brains and an "androgynous spiritual being" is what allows Wraeththu to tap into magic that humans can't ever hope to approach. This follows a goofy-ass pseudo-alchemical system of elements and states. Air magic covers anything
gaseous, including oxygens and chemical weapons. One example use is specifically creating more gaseous oxygen, so I can't see why you'd be barred from filling someone's lungs with sarin gas.
Earth magic, mysteriously enough, requires Strength as its major stat(it was Intelligence for Air), so I guess we have MUSCLE WIZARDS in the house, Earth magic includes manipulating and creating everything solid and radioactive. Hello Wizard Nukes. Fire is Dexterity and is heat, flames and anything combustible
. And if these terms seem VERY EASILY ABUSED, then note that the intro text for this bit specifically says that what fits into which category is personal and basically up to how a given Wraeththu defines it.
Water is Willpower and is, predictably, creating and manipulating any liquid. Any liquid
, I'm personally not seeing how this prevents us from gaming the system by creating liquid versions of normally-solid materials. Hello raining molten iron on assholes I don't like. For anything that isn't water, we need a "knowledge of their structure and effect." So some high school chemistry classes or a pre-apocalyptic chem textbook is all we need to fuck everyone over forever.
The four "spiritual" elements are Spirit(minds, basically), Kinetic(literally kinetic energy, yes, yes, this is going to be amazingly broken since the description of magic so far has left nothing to prevent us from accelerating someone's heart out of their ribcage at ridiculous speeds), Attraction(Gravity and magnetism. Make your own conclusions about how to break the world) and Plasmatic(The "miscellaneous" category for everything not already covered. The example given is basically electrical power and creating enough heat energy to weld things together).
Four "states" that can be fucked with, Temporal(yep, TIME MAGIC, time travel is specifically mentioned as an option), Phase(the odds of something happening, teleportation, stepping into other worlds), Destruction(fucking shit up, oh and it can be combined with Temporal/Spirit to completely delete someone from reality, not just exploding them like a Fallout critical hit) and Conversion(basically alchemy, we cannot change complex things into other complex things, but we can change lead into gold, that sort of thing).
It also took me a solid ten minutes to find the hidden paragraph that actually describes how magic works. It's another skill check, but they decided that nothing relevant to it should actually be in the RULES chapter, and the actual RULES for magic should be something like a literal fifty pages into the Magic chapter after shitloads of fluff. Did I mention that the magic parts during chargen will make NO FUCKING SENSE without having paged 150 pages ahead and reading the Magic chapter?
Gods & Goddesses
: Wraeththu still have religion but it's ENLIGHTENED RELIGION with an androgynous, hermaphroditic God.
Then there's like a dozen fucking pages about the INCREDIBLY DULL tribal wizard levels and castes. Skipping that because my patience with this pile of shit has gotten worn kind of thin. And then MAGIC RULES. Which inform us that we can completely skirt someone's resistance to being fucked over by magic by, for instance, making molten iron above their head rather than in their lungs. This also lists how we can completely break this thing. Instead of limiting us to a few handy spells, the system determines what we can do by saying: "You can effect X volume/weight." Even a beginning Air/Fire wizard can affect a cubic meter(of nerve gas or pure burning), Earth is a bit more limited with a maximum of a kilogram(so what can we do with a kilogram of refined uranium?) and water gets 1 liter of any given liquid. And that's at the VERY LOWEST levels of knowing anything about this stuff, we could easily start at twice as much as these, and after a while we get exponential gains(level 1 is 1, level 3 is 4, level 6 is 32 and level 10 is 512).
Plasmatic gets a single kiloJoule, Kinetic and Attraction get 1 km/h/kg(a tad wimpier than the others, though if we find a small enough object we can hurl it at bullet speeds or better), Temporal is in days, and Phase and Spirit don't get units(though Spirit is suggested as defined number of souls/minds affectable at once). Instead they're defined by Storyteller Handwavium. Oh and for the record this is how much effect we can have not at any one given time, but every five seconds
. Oh and if we want to have a big effect all at once, we can basically do a DBZ-style power-up and just focus our ability until we're hammering away at a higher scale at once. So for instance if we just sit around and pour Agmara into a single effect for a while we can hurl a truck across the sky.
Sure, this eats up Agmara, but we're talking something like 2 or 3 Agmara(of our starting 45, up to 450 if we've chilled out for a while), for every liter/kilo/cubic meter/day/soul/kilojoule/kph we want to affect. Oh and we can apparently perform human/animal/Wraeththu sacrifices and chain up their souls as magic batteries if we want to break the rules even harder, and we don't even need WILLING sacrifices! Awesome
. Like just a given animal would be another 50 Agmara points, meaning say another 50 cubic meters of whatever gas we want. And the worst these unwilling victims can do is literally to make annoying sounds at us while we're tapping their energy.
Now, you might be wondering, what about the knockoff-Paradox effects? Well, it's like this, something as vulgar as(the book's actual example), shooting fire at someone from your fucking eyes
incurs one point of "Probability." Up to 6 points or so won't really do any real harm, at worst we'll get -10 or -15 to one or two actions and be slightly unfortunate until then. Once that disadvantage actually incurs, we burn off a point of Probability instantly. But you know what? We can do better: As long as any magic we do is RITUAL, rather than spur-of-the-moment, it never incurs any Probability
. So yeah, as long as we take a couple of hours to launch an artillery-like barrage of old cars at a nearby fortress with Kinetic and Earth power, we can do it with impunity. Bang off for a few drinks to chill out and recover Agmara, then show up, spend an hour making a car out of pure TNT and then hurl that
at the enemy fort.
So yeah, another thing they FUCKED UP INCREDIBLY. And you know what? That basically finishes Wraeththu. There's one last appendix, basically a single pre-made adventure and GM'ing advice, but it's really fucking boring.
Thanks for putting up with this misery.
Stupid names for the final chapter: Myth, Twitch, Blackrose
Some of these rules are not 100% realistic
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 9
11:52pm EDT - 8/12/2015
Alright, now let's figure out how the fuck we play this game. This chapter starts with four rules beyond the rules, basically rules on how to run a game without it being unfun.
Rule #1: "The Rule of What If and But!"
For Players: You're not allowed to argue with the Storyteller.
For Storytellers: Don't rule with an iron hand.
Rule #2: "The Rule of Common Sense"
Unless the numbers say otherwise, everything functions like it does in the real world. Apparently this game relies on the Storyteller to have some "common sense" and "insight into the world." I think that if he did, he'd have strangled the first asshole who suggested that they actually play this fucking game.
Rule #3: The Rule of Rules
Don't use all the rules, all the time, unless it'd make the game more fun.
Rule #4: Always Make Sure Your Players Love Their Characters
Help the players make cool characters, even if it means breaking the chargen rules ever so slightly. If your players get to have characters they enjoy, they'll actually want to hang around and play the game.
Ultimately nothing too odious and, honestly, the basic system isn't that bad. As we've already seen, it's a simple D20-rollunder system with a "who has the better margin of success" for opposed rolls. Even the combat probably wouldn't be too bad if they actually bothered to have an editor go over it and remind them to actually add in all the rules.
Another nice thing Wraeththu does is that it provides a huge, two-page table(I know, tables are usually bad, but stay with me, here) listing shitloads of common modifiers. Along the horizontal you have what the modifier is based on(like how familiar the character is with what he's doing, what the environment is like, distractions, combat stances, etc.) and along the vertical you have the extent of it. For instance, +10 in the "Situational Familiarity" Column is "an everyday task with which a character is very familiar." And +2 is "an action or task the character has performed only a few times in their life."
-2 for Environmental Conditions is "character is kind of uncomfortable due to heat/cold/something else," and -10 is "the temperature is so extreme the character is in pain or danger. Local objects could be flying around in the wind." I could think of a dozen situations where I as a GM could have used a table like this to flip over to in D&D, BESM or some other system, just so I had a good idea of what sort of modifier I should apply. At least when I was first finding my legs as a GM. So, actually, props to Ray-Thoo for this one.
It also turns out that psychic abilities and magic are actually two different things. Everyone it seems has PSYCHIC POWERS, while magic is only for Wizard Flowerdicks. The book reminds us that the things any Wraeththu can do are Telepathy(which apparently some humans can also do!), Thermokinesis and Healing. Telepathy does what it sounds like, no psychic warfare, just talking to others with miiiiind poooowers. Thermokinesis allows us to, as an average Wraeththu, heat or cool any object by 26 to 60 degrees centigrade. It only has 10cm range, though, and living things get a roll to resist it, so at first glance it seems like we can't be a Wraeththu Hitman who sneaks up on people and freezes their brains to lumps of ice by tapping them on the head.
After cracking the numbers, however, this seems like it's a lot easier than it might at first appear to be. See, Magic Resistance is basically (STAM mod + WILL mod)/2. At the human average(10), there are no modifiers for either, meaning that the only chance of someone not being brain-iced is if we fuck up our roll. So how much damage CAN we do? For each Agmara(mana) point, we can affect 1 kilogram of matter. ANY matter. Our starting Agmara is our weight in kilos/2, and our maximum Agmara is ten times that. We're of course going to be as ridiculously tall as possible, because we're powergaming, meaning a weight of approximately 90 kilos.
If we're completely fuelled up with MAGICAL ENERGY and ready to rock, we can then freeze 450 kilos of matter. At chargen, assuming it's not already warmer than 60 degrees centigrade. We regenerate a point per minute when awake, and two points when asleep, when meditating it's 4 points an hour. So it's not like we need to be CAREFUL with this stuff. The one obstacle is that it takes some time to wind up, so for every second we can only add another 1 kilo to the burn/freeze area(or 1 liter). The actual temperature change seems to happen instantly over the course of these 5 seconds, however.
I'm sure some biologists, physicists or chemists can enlighten me on the effects of heating/cooling a kilo of living creature or physical object by 60 degrees in the span of five seconds, especially since we can bypass any skin or surface layers. How would YOU break reality if you could do this? Oh and presumably boiling or freezing someone's brain/heart is instakill since there are no specific rules for how much damage it does and the start of the chapter says to use "common sense" and reality's rules for things we are not specifically told to roll for!
Healing, by comparison, is remarkably non-broken, and actually, gasp, acknowledges that genuine medical knowledge helps with being a healing wizard!
We've already gone over the shittily written combat system before, so I'm not going to dig into that again. Beyond the Morass of Combat there are tables. These tables are... suspect, because they insist that the average person(10 Strength) can lift 236 kilos. This emerges from the calculation of STR x 23.6 for lifting. It seems an oddly specific number, what with the .6, so I wonder what the hell the source of it is. Though I'm pretty sure this means that we can literally yank the floor out from under most enemies. What we can actually carry for extended periods of time is more sane, though, being only 20 kilos or so for the average person. There may also be some fuckery with the basic running speeds, I'm having trouble finding the definition of how long a "Phase" is, but if it's around a few seconds, the average person may be able to give Usain Bolt a run(literally) for his money.
Just when you thought I was going to let a post pass by without any shitty art
In the end the Rules chapter isn't too
stupid. Something tells me that'll change next post, though, when we hit... The Magic chapter!
This chapter's stupid names: Wraith, Dustspinner, Binding-rocks, Muffy
Randomly generated Ray-Thoo
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 8
11:45pm EDT - 8/12/2015
Alright, so, before we continue, let's prod at the numbers a bit. Ignoring stats for the moment, we've got skills. On average probably around 60. Since it appears to be assumed that most people are going to swing around melee weapons, we'll need both a style and a specialization. Let's say we go Swords(Big Ones) with the style Two-Handed. Since everything's roll-under, anything under 10 is rather dire, and we can probably assume that a 50% chance to succeed is what we'll want to be able to rely on a skill.
This leaves us with 20 points burnt on being able to fight with even just one
kind of weapon, and 4 skills beyond that which we can actually be competent at. Our stats are unlikely to ever give us more than a +2(barring an unreasonably generous GM, points-wise), so this means we get to do four things and swing one weapon. So much for Wraeththu being vastly superior to humans.
Past that little look at what the numbers actually mean
, we get the usual derived stats, Energy, Composure and Psyche. How long we can walk, how easily we lose our shit and freak out, and how much PSYCHIC MANA we have. And then MAGIC! Complete with pseudo-philosophical ramblings!
Chaos and Order posted:
For example, a piece of paper and a house brick represent significant amounts of order. The shape of a wild tree, or the way fire dances, reflects the actions of Chaos.
Magic's split up into three general schools, Elemental(Fire, Earth, Air and Water), Energy(Spirit, Kinetic, Attraction, Plasmatic) and Changing States(Temporal, Phase, Destruction, Conversion). The Chaos & Order stuff seems to be a pseudo-Paradox thing, where fucking around too much with THE BALANCE OF THE UNIVERSE gets your ass kicked by reality itself. We are then told NOTHING AT ALL about how magic works, instead being pointed 100 pages further ahead if we want to know(yes, really handy to generate characters based on principles that are still 100 pages off) and dumped into Equipment and Hit Points.
The Hit Points actually follow a sane system, a sort of merger of White Wolf's health levels and hit points. You've got a buffer zone of "Minor Wounds"(Hit Points) that you can lose without being much more than in pain, and then you've got your final Major Wounds that require medical attention to fix, as you progress through piles of Major Wounds towards death, you start getting severe penalties to Doing Stuff. Every 10 Minor Wounds suffered also punches right through the buffer to deal a single Major Wound.
Generally the editing and organization are also alright for this part, usually things are in sensible locations and there are plenty of summations of most things, saving you having to dig through twenty paragraphs of flowery text looking for the calculations for, for instance, how many hit points you have.
Once we actually get to skill descriptions, though, there are some oddities. For instance, BLACKsmithing and WEAPON smithing are filed under brute strength, while ARMOR smithing requires dexterity and Mechanical Repair is also a BRUTE STRENGTH skill, you'd figure that fixing precision things that need to interlock well and etc. would require, again, either finesse or intellect.
In one of the rare occasions where I'll praise Wraeththu, it rewards picking non-combat skills by having some of them have skill synergies with combat, like being an epic-level butcher also granting you advantages with melee combat. Still no charisma-analogue, instead its role is split between willpower, intelligence and perception, meaning that everyone should be able to participate in social interaction, rather than having to choose between being good at socializing or good at fighting/thinking.
On the subject of combat skills, I still really don't quite understand why the various 1-handed and etc. styles are there at all, it seems like a pointless complication to split up how many hands you know how to use a sword with, rather than just saying you know how to use a fucking sword. I'm going to flip ahead to the COMBAT chapter real quick and see if they describe it any better...
This is where I get completely confused, as nowhere does it seem to describe how you actually fucking ATTACK someone. Instead it goes completely obsessive about describing their weird-ass initiative system where every round consists of five sub-rounds and there are all sort of goddamn mechanics relating to what negates further sub-round actions that make me want to just go pick up my D10's and play Exalted, because it has a combat system that's better thought-out and written.
It seems like there might be a fun and tactical system here, but I can't parse it. I really cannot fucking figure it out. Even between the efforts of TWO chapters on combat mechanics, I still can't, for instance, find out how basic stuff like dodging works. It literally lists it nowhere, and just assuming that "dodging" is another skill roll doesn't seem sensible, because the way its calculated leaves it at a rock-bottom bonus, even on the pre-made character sheets, meaning that it'd never actually succeed.
There are a shitload of small-and-optional rules about encumbrance, armor weight and hit locations. The hit locations are split up into twelve "quadrants" of the body(yes, you read that right, TWELVE. QUADRANTS. The writer did not know what "quadrant" meant.), complete with different percentages of hit-chance depending on whether you're attacking someone from the back or the side. It looks like there are options for going full ADVANCED SQUAD LEADER with this shit if you want. Complete with specific rules for cranial trauma.
Each "combat phase" is split into five "slices," and you can act in more or less of these depending on your weapon and personal speed. If you only have 1 action, for instance, you only get to act in the third of five "slices," but if you have six actions you get to act in all five AND have a sixth "interrupt"/"spare" action that you can throw around at any time, for instance to block, roll, dodge or do some crazy bullshit.
Then there's a list of MERITS & FLAWS, which some RPG's seem contractually obligated to include, whether they're a good idea or not. They're split into the sections of HUMANS ONLY, ones that can survive the crossover from human to RAYTHOO and ones that are only for the Wraeththu. Here we learn that Wraeththu cannot be blind, fat or have brittle bones. Sexual fetishes are apparently NOT destroyed by the crossover(it's a flaw), so sucks to be you if you have a fetish that doesn't work with a flowerdong!
Also, being a foot shorter than average is worth the same amount of flaw points as being addicted to drugs, just thought I'd point that out. To be fair, being shorter does, if I recall correctly, lower your total WIZARDRY POINTS, so I guess midgets can't be magical.
In general, though, the Merits & Flaws list isn't too bad, and largely sticks to PHYSICAL ones, meaning that there are few of those social/psychological merits/flaws that are so easily gamed for cheap points in other games.
And with that, we've passed the chapter that allows us to make a character. Keep in mind, though, if I hadn't paged ahead, I would literally have had nooooo fucking clue what any of these numbers meant in play! Good editing! Anyway, after this is RULES and MAGIC, those are the last two major sections. I really don't expect them to be all that horrifying. Rules I'll probably breeze through next post, but Magic might have a bunch of hilarious misogyny, racism and absurd assumptions about human psychology.
Roll for Soume-Lam circumference
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 7
11:25pm EDT - 8/12/2015
Also known as...
That's right! 159 pages into the book and we reach the first thing that has ANY relation to the rules whatsoever! And right off the bat we're informed what system we're using, it's called... The Storm System. At least they picked a pretty bitchin' name for it.
So let's take it as the text informs us about it. Everything is on a scale of 1 to 20, and 20 is the maximum human limit, while Wraeththu have no limits on anything whatsoever. 'cept... apparently... there IS an upper limit, but the Wraeththu just don't know it? And if they don't know it, apparently they can just completely ignore it? Goddammit! And then they completely ignore the system, so, just so we can actually UNDERSTAND this fucking chapter, I'm jumping ahead to page... 239 to see what the basic mechanic is.
It seems like what we've got is a basic D20 roll-under mechanic. For opposed rolls, both sides try to roll under the relevant number, and whoever rolls the farthest under theirs(for instance, rolling a 3 when your number is 10, is better than rolling a 14 when your number is 15) succeeds. Critical failures/successes are reversed from D&D, predictably, so we want 1's and hate 20's.
Now back to chargen!
: This is the part where you decide who your character actually IS. None of this affects the system, but there are some pre-made questions to help you(this is actually a nice idea that more systems could benefit from) and some sidebars! For instance...
This game can be enjoyed just as much if you play a group of humans battling against the Wraeththu. Although such characters are essentially doomed either to die or one day be incepted, you can at least explore the world as a character perceived as the enemy.
Not sure if this means all humans fighting the RAY THOO are fucked due to being inferior or whether this is just a reference to the fact that humans definitely age while RAY THOO sort-of-maybe-kinda-don't.
For the humans, and for the human part of any Wraeththu's life, here are the relevant questions.
What did your character do at school, college? Did your character have a part-time job, or were they in full-time work? Was your character a member of any subcultures? Did your character take a specific educational path? What was your character's family life like? Did your character travel much or stay at home? How did your character hear about the Wraeththu?
So all in all, nothing too fucked up. Decide what he did, where he came from, what he liked, what he hated, whether he knows the world or if he's been sheltered from day one. Also here we actually get to see some sidebar quotes from the recently-Incepted, suggesting that the Wraeththu might just NOT be the height of intellectual perfection compared to humanity...
Can I change my name to Merlin? -Quote from a recently-incepted Sulh(PurpleXVI's Note: Those being the MAJYCKAL BRITISH WRAETHTHU)
And then, questions about the Inception.
Why did your character become har? Were any of your character's friends and relatives incepted? Into which tribe was your character incepted? Did your character know what to expect or was ti all new to him? Did your character have any strange experiences during the Inception? Did your character dream, and if so, how did these dreams affect them? When your character's body had fully changed and he awoke, what did he feel? With whom did your character have his first aruna, and was the experience positive or negative? Now that the character is no longer human, does he feel bound by humanity's laws?
Again, none of this is particularly odd, though it all basically pares down to two important questions: Was the Inception traumatic, horrifying and against your will? And what tribe did this to you? The sidebar quotes also start getting more obnoxious, descending into Fishmalkitude.
Peanuts! Don't mention peanuts near me. When you live with Chinchillas, peanuts become the bane of your life." -Calambus Mint
I mean seriously!
Anyway, finally there are two last categories of question, which I can't be fucked to transcribe. First Days(after Inception): "Who did you make friends with, who did you piss off, what did you do?" and Future: "What are your motivations?"
And then, SUDDENLY, huge side-section! "Women And Inception."
In the world of the Wraeththu, women seem to get rather a raw deal. It appears they are unable to become Hara, and the Hara claim the best and brightest men to become like them. Women who wish to play characters in the world of Wraeththu may feel this is rather off-putting. After all, a Wraeththu character is neither male nor female(and yet in some ways both). Almost all Wraeththu have begun their lives as men and see the world initially from a male perspective. A Wraeththu is essentially a male character coming to terms with their new female nature, so women may find it unfair they cannot play a female character coming to terms with their male aspect.
Also apparently they're all Asians who live in the FAR EAST as part of tribe Zigane. The book also suggests that the character could just be a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE who was incepted by normal Wraeththu(trying it for the 1000th time, just in case the other 999 dead women were a fluke) and yet it somehow worked. They turn into androgynous man-likes anyway, though, instead of masculine lady-ish things.
The alternative for women wanting to play female characters is to play a female human
. "Female humans have far more potential as player characters than their male counterparts." Also apparently women are far less terrified of Wraeththu(well, okay, probably because Wraeththu blood doesn't make their genitals turn into horrifying monstrosities), and can totally get along with them far better than men. So you could be a lady hanging out with the ladyguys. "Women tend to be less physical in their attempts to fight the future." Then the book backpedals and says BUT, UH, YOU CAN TOTALLY PICK UP A GUN AS A LADY ANYWAY.
Oh and then comes the rape!
Human males are usually the ones trying to fight the Wraeththu, but women seem to be ignored by them. When the world starts to fall apart, might becomes the only justice. With women being physically unable to dominate men, they fall prey to man's desperation. They are often kept hidden away for safety and sometimes used as little more than breeding stock to replace those that the Wraeththu have taken. Taking this to an extreme, "rape gangs" may stalk the cities trying to ensure every woman is pregnant in a desperate and horrifying attempt to repopulate the human race.
As the physically weaker members of society, many women are forced back into the kitchen to do as they are told. With this climate, it is small wonder that many turn to Wraeththu society, running for the ironic safe haven of a Wraeththu city, happy to be rid of men. The Hara are happy to leave them alone, as women are of no interest to them as either mates or slaves. They also know women want nothing from them, they neither beg to be incepted or resort to violence as easily as men. So the Wraeththu are happy to treat them as individuals and trade and work with them as required. In fact, with Wraeththu being originally male, many may turn to women to help them deal with their newly awoken feminine side. Who else in the world is there to council the Hara about the new aspects of themselves?
The potential is already there; in today's society many women find close friendships with gay men, so why not with the Wraeththu? To a woman, Wraeththu may well seem to be perfect men. They are strong and powerful, as well as deeply attractive, with all that power tempered by a sensitive feminine aspect. It would not be surprising for many women to fall in love with a Hara, even when she knows that love can never be returned. However, in its place can often form a bond of love dependant not on sex or lust. Aruna for a Wraeththu is not only something reserved for those they love. So it follows that Aruna need not be an essential ingredient for any loving relationship as well. In such a way, a Wraeththu could easily come to a non-sexual but still loving relationship with a woman. Such a relationship would make them perfect adventuring companions.
Yeah, just read that. Think about it for a moment, and in the meantime I'm going to take this as a chance to sneak back into the crunchy parts of chargen.
: Traits are basically more fluffy character generation stuff. The only crunchy part is the selection of tribe. Also it has a list of selected names that heavily added to the "dumb fucking names in this chapter"-list at the end of the post.
: It starts out with some stuff about height and weight, apparently all Wraeththu are mass-produced when it comes to physical traits, as a given height will always result in approximately the same weight. You also want to be as HUGE as possible as apparently heavier Wraeththu can store more MAGICAL ENERGY.
: Interestingly enough, while we have physical and mental stats(STR, DEX, STAM, PER, WILL, INT) we have no social stats. For a setting which supposedly puts so much focus on mentally, seduction and social/sexual interaction, you'd think it'd have something like Exalted's social combat, or at least a Diplomacy skill. Still, I suppose that could be folded in under Intelligence, we shall see! All the stats have a little descriptive "fluff" paragraph which chronicle the adventures of Dag, Mint & Zip, terminally drunk Uigenna on a beer run. It's not exactly well-written, but it's a nice change from the overly dramatic examples you get in some books. As mentioned before, the human scale is 1 to 20, all stats start at a base of 4, then we roll 6d6, each die presents us with a number we can add to one stat, and finally we get 10 free points. And the starting limit in anything is 15(unless, the book says, we can sweet-talk our GM into removing that limit). So far nothing seems particularly fucked up or hard to follow.
There's XP(Development points), Merits & Flaws(not listed yet), Resources(your funds and equipment, this is NOT decided by stats or points, but entirely by your background, so the more Sue you write it, the more sweet gear you get!).
: As far as I can tell, you can end up rolling against EITHER a skill OR a stat, not the two added together, as in many systems. But each skill also has two associated stats, and those stat gives it a bonus or penalty(from -2 to +5, for the 1 to 20 range, you average the two stats to find where on the scale they lie). Your total skill points are dependant on minor boosts from Intelligence and Perception(at 15, your max starting, they'd give you a total of +6, with both at 20 it'd be a +15), +2d6 and finally a flat +45. The game promises a list of skills soon, soon! Just like it promises a list of Merits & Flaws soon, soon!
: Yeah, weirdly enough, combat skills are not normal skills, and they DON'T get stat bonuses? Except then the text backpedals less than a line later and says they DO get bonuses, just not bonuses for specific skills, instead you get general boosts to ranged and melee combat. You also need to specialize in EVERY damn weapon you use. "Pistol" is not just "pistol," you apparently need to specifically specialize in DESERT EAGLES or GLOCK 9MM or something. I'm sure a gun nerd can tell me whether this is completely irrational or not(I am suspecting that it kind of is). Oh, reading a bit down, it seems DESERT EAGLE is the specific example for the fucking Pistol skill. Goddammit.
So, to recap what the book says... you get your Base Combat Modifier to all weapons for which you have the relevant style(for instance, all pistols), but you only get a further skill bonus if are actually using your specialization: DESERT EAGLE. Except on top of this, there are also FIGHTING STYLES? I'm getting completely lost in this fucking text. Apparently, a ONE-HANDED fighting style, would only apply to the KATANA that the example character(AGROTH) is specialized in, not a broad sword. But you still need to have 10 in the STYLE to have 10 in the SPECIALIZATION. Also fixing your weapons is a COMBAT SKILL instead of a normal skill. I think, from re-reading it, that in addition to skill with the weapon itself... (Broad category: SWORDS. Specialization: KATANA.) you also need a combat style for what you want to DO with the weapon(like 1-handed or 2-handed for melee weapons). Styles also represent your maximum for other skills, if you have 2-handed at 12, for instance, and no other melee style, you cannot have any melee weapon skill above 12. There are no styles for ranged combat, so ranged combat dudes totally get it all cheaper, it would seem.
But it's fair! Because "anyone can pick up a gun and pull the trigger"(then what about bows, jackass? I thought tech was mostly falling apart in this post-apoc world!), while swords are apparently some sort of NOBLE ART that require years upon years of mastering, unlike dishonourable guns.
This is totally stupid and I'm putting the book down for now as it starts preaching on about how this system is for REALISM.
New stupid names for this chapter: Essence, Seraph, Crimson, Lynx, Tiamat, Shiva, Antarax, Foxhawk, Silver, Gorlagon, Blackfern, Thoth, Zap, Nubia.
WraeththuIt's pronounced "Ray-Thoo" [#]
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 6
10:35pm EDT - 8/11/2015
Note: While I'm not going to show it off, I'd just like to point out that this section has quite a few "shitty editing" errors that even a basic spellchecker should have picked up, such as "soldier" becoming "solider." So much for production values.Gelaming
My mind keeps wanting to read their name as "Gleaming," am I the only one? Anyway, these particular prettyboys have a country in the Balkans named Almagabra, which includes the Balkans themselves, part of Turkey and a bit of Europe. They also claim that they know how to make bishie babies. Their Thing is that they want to be the Best of the Best and are therefore poaching talent from the other tribes. They're SUPER magical even compared to how magical the other tribes are.
Also goddamnit, MORE mentions of magical horses! Apparently GIANT WHITE MAGICAL HORSES sometimes teleport to where they are, when they're out and about. What is this author's boner for magical horses? They've also mastered the art of never having to make compromises, it seems, as their clothes are "simple and practical" but also "stylish and flattering," at all times. And of course there are so many fucking words wasted on describing HOW THEY'RE SO GODDAMN PRETTY THAT IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THEY'RE COVERED IN PIGSHIT AND BLOOD, THEY'RE STILL GOING TO APPEAR STUNNING.Kakkahaar
These guys are STEALTH NOMADS who do a lot of trading. They're rich as balls on account of selling and trading all the shit that the other RAY-THOO are too stupid to produce or grow for themselves. And of course, these are the author's reminder that ANCIENT HUMAN CIVILIZATIONS were morally and ethically superior to our modern-day one, and that we should totally LEARN FROM THEM, GUYS, because this is the Kakkahaar opinion.
So anyway, in the opening paragraphs they're simultaneously materialistic and mystic, interested in knowledge and obsessed with getting rich, great at stealth AND great at fighting, they have everything you might want to trade for, but they're short on necessities themselves AND they enjoy hedonistic lifestyles.
They all turn golden-looking when incepted, and have super-long hair, apparently long enough sometimes that it "covers their body like a shawl." Oh and they dress in appropriate deserty clothes, robes and stuff, but at the same time all their servants are dressed real fancy and occasionally wear nothing but their hair. So I guess they must go through a lot of servants who die in the cold of night or the heat of day. Also despite being nomads CONSTANTLY ON THE MOVE they love to weigh themselves down with shitloads of heavy gold jewelry!ObliviataSome of the art isn't TOTALLY bad
So these are the Islamic Nomad Wraeththu, basically. Where the Kakkahar are pseudo-gypsies, all MYSTERIOUS AND DISTRUSTED AND ASS-FULL OF MAGIC & DIVINATION, the Obliviata hang out in the Middle East and mostly just keep to themselves, not even doing much magical bullshit, but instead believing that "Allavé" guides them. Their tribal signet even has four crescents and a scimitar on it.
Except somehow THESE guys are the ones that the text says are spiritual descendants of the gypsies(or maybe they're all actually Bishie-tized gypsies, it's a bit hard to tell), and despite the NO ETHNIC HATRED clause from pages earlier, this still gives the Obliviata a bad rep with all the other tribes. Yep, other tribes specifically consider them "thieves and vagabonds."
"Even though they lack much in common with the old ways, having transcended beyond any ideals followed by their human predecessors, other tribes appear unable to forget the past and will not accept the Obliviata for the free hara they are, instead regarding them simply as thieves and vagabonds."
Maybe I'm just paranoid, but it reads to me like the author is suggesting that the ideals of the gypsies is/was actually based on HEE HEE LET US BE SNEAKSY THIEVES AND ROB THE WHITE FOLKS.
Also unlike the other tribes who BURN THE FAILED ONES, the Obliviata actually think they should help out the poorly-Incepted. Unlike the others who have ENDLESS DESCRIPTIONS OF HOW BEAUTIFUL they are, these guys are just described as "of refined features" and wearing desert-y robes. No fancy bullshit. Also the book cheerfully reminds us that the Americans were oppressing the Middle Easterners and THANK GOODNESS THAT THE WRAETHTHU FUCKED UP AMERICA SO THE MIDDLE EAST COULD BE FREE.SulhWhat the future holds for the British
They start with the geography of Alba Sulh(the UK), the big island is Alba(Britain), to the west is Keltoi(Ireland) and the strait between them is the Monaig. Also of course the entire region of Alba Sulh is just soaked
in magic, to the point where using psychic communication has replaced anything like letters or telephones. "Many claim to have seen strange and mythical creatures roaming the countryside there, and the Freyhella tell stories of sea monsters that prevent outsiders from getting too close to the shore."
Welcome to Fairytown! There's apparently so much fucking etheric energy floating around Alba Sulh that you can't even trust your senses to parse reality correctly in the area.
These guys are also Wiccans, Wiccan astrologists. Wiccan astrologists who can tap CRYSTAL POWER for magic. And mark them up as another tribe with SPECIAL HAIR, these guys believe their hair is magical! And they always tell you the truth, but it's actually not the truth, it's just what you already believe, so what they actually do is called lying
in a lot of cases, making any statements as to their truthfulness completely retarded
. UigennaCan ANYONE explain what the fuck is going on with his hair? With his everything?
Alright, so these are basically the Sabbat Brujah of Ray-Thoo. They love guns, they love partying and they love FIGHTING THE MAN. They are also huge assholes. They're the guys who're holed up in the fucking Space Needle, and they kill pretty much fucking everyone they bump into. "In the cities that they began to populate, they would use their psychic abilities to lure human boys to them, offering promises of freedom, dark secrets and adventure." These are also the guys from the INTRO FICTION and, judging by this description, about as pedo-tastic as the Colurastes.
They've done so many drugs that it's somehow made them specialists in alchemy and making drugs to kill people and Wraeththu with. How does this even make sense? I could smoke meth every day for two years and it wouldn't give me a fucking PhD in chemistry! "Personal hygiene is not a great concern, as baths and fresh water are often a luxury in the slums and ghettos of the ruined cities. Despite this, many Uigenna are strikingly beautiful, in a bizarre fashion."
They're also the biggest idiots when it comes to Incepting, and thanks to them, many North American(sorry, Megalithican!) cities are now full of roaming, zombie-like mutants. Unneah
Unneah are basically for the people who want to DRESS as stupid as the Uigenna but don't want to be Chaotic Evil meth heads. Also apparently these guys are the source of the stupid "THE GELAMING HAVE PEGASUSES!"-stories. They're also some of the only Wraeththu who realize that farming instead of scavenging is a good idea. And they're shamanistic people who are CLOSE TO THE LANDSCAPE.
Ultimately they aren't too interesting, they're just Uigenna-lite.VarrI shall name him... DARK SHADOW!
So these are the STRUCTURED MILITARY GUYS to the Uigenna's CRAZY BARBARIAN GUYS. They capture the STRONG AND POWERFUL humans who actually manage to fight well against them, give them the Bishie Herpes and throw them into the ranks for the next war. Oh and gasp, we know that they're kinda evil because... THEY HAVE TWO GENDERS, sorta. They've got the USUALLY WITH DICKS dudes who lead society, and then they've got the USUALLY WITH VAGINAS dudes who wear dresses and are hoping to one day get knocked up with "Harlings" by their manly husbands.
Generally, though, it's hard to hate them too much, because unlike the pretentious other fuckers like the Gelaming and Kakkahaar who have ORIGINAL SOCIETIES DO NOT STEAL, the Varr are just like: "Hey, humanity did have some pretty good ideas, let's just do shit their way." and it seems to be working out for them. They also prefer guns to WIZARDRY, earning them another point in my book. They've got horses, farms, livestock and are generally not retarded.Minor TribesFreyhella
: VIKINGS. GRRRRR. RAID ALBA SULH, BRAID HAIR, TRAVEL SEA, PARTY BIG.Smalt
: They live in the Caribbean, are good with poisons and have generally taken over human businesses and farms there.Hokule
: Pacific Islander Wraeththu, supposedly they live in volcanoes and love to party, and they only accept willing inceptees. Kheops
: Native American Wraeththu, which have subtribes named stuff like DARKRIVER and BLOODCLOUD. Sometimes they raid people, sometimes they just farm.Inukshuk
: Inuit Wraeththu. Apparently they don't even know how the fuck they got incepted, and don't seem to give a fuck about it. They just shrugged their shoulders and went on living as usual. Supposedly the only Wraeththu with a particularly good sense of humour.
Dumb Name Listing for this Chapter: Aries Strala, Marius Frost, Netspinner har Sulh, Dag Viking, Besta Zamhalama.Next time! We finally get to the fucking rules!
Why are we here?
Why are we here?
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 5
10:21pm EDT - 8/11/2015
No, really, that's a headline for this section of the book. For anyone who cares, by the way, we're still some 50 pages from chargen, and over 100 from anything resembling rules. This thing is just loaded up with shitloads of miserable fluff. BUT ANYWAY, this particular fluff section has THEORIES about why and how the Wraeththu are around!
: The first Wraeththu was a horrifying mutant born from a human mother, part one of the creepy psychic kids from Village of the Damned, part misogynist(he hates his mother from birth, apparently), part crazy fucking rapist murderer
. So he runs away from home after fucking another dude to death, and a hobo tries to eat him, BUT GASP, THIS MEANS THE HOBO GETS WRAETHTHU BLOOD IN HIM... And then those two are the start of the whole fucking mess!
Humans have abused and abandoned their natural strengths: In Wraeththu it begins to bloom.
Except I thought humanity's "natural strength" was the fact that we could make nukes and guns and chuck them at things? So weren't we expressing that quite excellently?
[Wraeththu's] bodies are immune to cellular destruction through time. As they are physically perfect, so must they strive towards spiritual perfection.
Then after that, we're presented with a bunch of OPTIONS, if we choose that this is true. Option #1: Wraeththu are all a horrible, horrible accident. Option #2: Wraeththu are someone's INTENTIONAL horrible, horrible fuckup, like a genetic experiment. Option #3: It's not true, and is instead a CONSPIRACY THEORY. So... I guess that's... not an option about it being true after all... Fuck it. NEXT THEORY.
: Wraeththu are angels and/or devils, divine punishment/purpose. Apparently loads of pagans totally think this is an awesome idea and/or the truth. Christians and other followers of "traditional" faiths decided it was time to kill themselves because OH GOD THE END TIMES, while the Pagans all went "OH BOY GAIA IS KILLING US, THIS IS AWESOME." and rocked out.
: Wraeththu have always been around, just hidden! Because flower-cocked bishounen with acid jizz and magical powers would be SO subtle.
: They're the next step of evolution. More blathering on about how they have the potential to be FAR more stable and self-fulfilled because they don't have their male and female mental halves punching each other in the neck all the time. According to the book, as drastic a mutation as the Wraeththu occuring in the span of one or two generations is TOTALLY REALISTIC, because diseases have absolutely caused such things to happen before.
It is difficult for human scientists to accept that such a drastic evolutionary step could ever be natural, but many diseases have caused mutations in the past, and human technology, with all its advances, never did fully understand the workings of the human frame.
Evolution is a messy and misunderstood process. Even in the days before Wraeththu, some dual-gender offspring were born to humans, and on a cellular level, a high percentage of males possessed cells of the opposite sex.
Just a quick quote for any Bio majors in the audience who want an aneurysm.
Threats, you might ask? What could ever threaten our perfect, unique bishie wonders? I'll tell you what. DIRTY GODDAMN HUMANS.
I'm assuming that dude is a member of THE HUMAN RESISTANCE/THE HUMAN THREAT on account of A) not looking like a glam rocker, B) not looking like a girl and C) not looking like a goddamn retard. Also while the Wraeththu have basically descended into semi-primitivity, seeming only to have really retained technology when it comes to stuff like partying and drugs, the humans are apparently still fully teched-out with biological weapons, chemical weapons, missiles and other war machines. They built a huge, fortified border that protects THE HUMAN DOMAINS from any flower-dicked dongheads that get too close.
They're also described as Cunning and Devious!
That said, with regard to toxins, there is one substance that humans developed which is fatal to our kind. It was discovered during the development of DNA separation and profiling. A chemical was developed to separate the strands of DNA for use in profiling systems. You can appreciate the lethal application of this substance. The merest contact is enough to degrade a human frame at an astonishing rate.
Then the humans made an anti-Wraeththu version of this factually dubious substance and a few drops alone will melt them!
Threats that aren't as cool as humans
: "We don't age, we can't have kids and most of us are too retarded to farm! Waaaaah, life is pointless!"
The Ancient Ones
: So apparently they read a lot of leftover Lovecraft and thought that references to Old Ones and Elder Races were actual goddamn scientific literature. Because the Wraeththu are now fucking terrified of these things coming back and wrecking their shit. No details on what they actually are, but a lot of Wraeththu are scared shitless of them nonetheless, they think some ELDER RACE existed before humanity and that it'll doubtless be evil if it returns. I have to admit, THE HUMAN RESISTANCE vs Creepy Rapethu and Elder Things might be a better Lovecraft RPG than CTech...
: "OH MAN OH MAN WE MIGHT PARTY OURSELVES INTO DESTRUCTION."
Mythology & Legends
Okay, so there's a grand total of four of these. And they're all really short, let's summarize.
: So Immanion, the great big city in the Balkans that was TOO PERFECT FOR WORDS might be fucking Atlantis or something. Also supposedly the Wraeththu there ride fucking Pegasuses.
Werewolves of the Desert
: So some people think there are REAL MONSTERS. Like vampires, werewolves, sea serpents, krakens and Pegasuses.
Even More Than We First Thought?
: MAYBE WE CAN LEARN TO SHIT OUT KIDS AND MAYBE THERE ARE FEMALE WRAETHTHU.
: So some Wraeththu apparently dropped LSD and are convinced that the FLYING HORSES are messengers from ANGELS OUTSIDE OF TIME who created the Wraeththu.
And this is what passes for fucking quest hooks so far, I guess. Goddammit, why do the fucking flying horses pop up in three out of four of them? But that actually does finish off the major fluff chapter! Next up is Tribes! Again! Yes, they decided to list the fucking Tribes twice! Before we just got one-paragraph summaries, now they all get multiple pages!
Alright, so. There are eight major tribes, and a bunch of smaller tribes. Tribes are split into bands called Phyles, which are ruled by Phylarchs, and the Phylarchs are lead by an Archon.
While most tribes contain members from different human ethnic groups, many of them have adopted styles, customs and traditions from very early human civilizations. Wraeththu scholars have pondered this phenomenon, and several agree that it may have arisen because the planet itself retains certain memories or templates, like archetypes, which Wraeththu, being more attuned to the planet, absorb and manifest
So Wraeththu absorb and manifest these stereotypes entirely on grounds of being superior and more sensitive than humans... except that humans already did this first? This shit doesn't even have the vaguest pretense of internal consistency, sometimes. Of course, as mentioned before, despite being PERFECT AND AT HARMONY, the Wraeththu are violent fuckhats who love to murder each other for being from the wrong tribe.
Also we're reminded that the Tribes are not formed because of ethnic issues, as the Wraeththu are way above this completely human failing. They only hate each other for SENSIBLE things, such as being born in the wrong territory, or a citizen of the wrong state or... oh wait. Yeah, if anyone's confused, pretty much every tribe is limited to one or two major geographical parts of the world, so hating another tribe just for being another tribe IS essentially completely down to racism, as what tribe you're a member of depends on what creepy man-woman raped you, not what you believe in.
Ethnic origin does not appear to be a contributing factor, as it once was for the humans. This is undoubtedly because hara do not suffer the same psychological problems over "differences" that humans do.
Also despite humanity being basically obliterated in North America, and Wraeththu being MAYBE 1/10th the number that humanity once was, they're such utter mongoloids at infrastructure, farming and other necessities for survival that they're already suffering for lack of good land and locations.
Tribe #1: The Colurastes
Jesus, ladyguy, I think you have a fucking jellyfish on your head!
So these guys are apparently serpent-themed, which they "embrace," because the serpent has "long been the ultimate symbol for androgyny," which is fucking news to me. They never cut their hair, which supposedly bleeds if you cut it, and it may or may not be prehensile. Though all stuff leans towards it basically being head-tentacles. Also, just in case anyone was still in doubt: These assholes kidnap and bone children. Creepy shit! Somehow their recruits are much less susceptible to various mental disorders than the others, because being put through a HARROWING AND MISERABLE EXPERIENCE THAT ENTIRELY REWRITES WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE, ALONG WITH BEING KIDNAPPED FROM YOUR FAMILY, is apparently less scarring for children!
Also these guys can "feel others' emotions, even those of the dead." Though I shouldn't think a corpse has much in the way of emotions at any given moment. It must be a rather boring special power. Oh, yeah, and despite the lack of ethnicities, every tribe apparently has common enough appearances that they can have a subheading for describing their archetypal looks.
They worship some sort of snake-dude and are BROODING LONER ASSASSINS.
And then, before I can subject myself to more BISHIE BULLSHIT someone comes along and wants me for something. So you'll have to read about the rest, next time! And maybe we'll get to the system, too!
Geography & Culture
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 4
09:57pm EDT - 8/11/2015
Okay, so just to try and make sense of the dumb new names we're dealing with(There's nothing resembling an actual map so far). North America is now Megalithica, and the entire west coast collapsed into the sea, the humans are in charge of the east coast, and the Wraeththu are being fuckheads all over the center, north and south.
Almagabra is either South America or somewhere in Asia. I think it might be South America, fucked if I know, what's important about this place is that it has the CITY OF IMMANION, which is the magical idyllic city of the Wraeththu. On the other hand, it also has a place named "Floridana," so maybe this is what became of the West Coast and it's just sort of floating around in the Pacific somewhere? Fuck this stupid shit.
Alba Sulh is the UK, you can tell because they decided to name the capital fucking "Avalona." Seriously. Olathe seems to be the Middle East.
Just about the only two places that have recognizable names otherwise are Freygard(Sweden/Norway) and Nunavut(far north Canada).
The only places that are marked as THE HUMAN DOMINIONS seem to be Denmark, 'round the edges of the Baltic and Russia. The rest of Europe has gone Full Bishie. Nothing about Asia whatsoever.
Apparently despite the world going Full Post-Apoc just a decade or so ago, there's already a thriving entertainment industry among the Wraeththu. You'd think that, what with the vivid descriptions of biological and chemical weapons being deployed, nukes thrown around "with abandon," volcanoes, earthquakes and tidal waves, even the Superior Bishies would be fighting just to have a functional farming system or something going on.
Oh and apparently there are ghosts and demons now and they haunt places. This is really only given a side-mention so we know that there are SPOOKY HAUNTED FORESTS and shit.
Soda Lake Cat Lair
: So there's this really spooky lake where some humans used to live but now the HUMANS ARE ALL GONE, so now it's full of SPOOKY CATS who are NEVER HUNGRY OR MALNOURISHED despite there being no food so all the Wraeththu are like "THESE CATS ARE OBVIOUSLY MAGICAL GUARDIANS OF THE LAKE." Oh and if you don't bring gifts for the cats I guess something bad might happen? Maybe they'll take a dump in your shoes while you sleep.
Did I mention it's barely been a decade or two since everything went tits up? Somehow this has still done enough brain damage to the Wraeththu that they refer to machines and cars as METAL BEASTS.
There's also a list of FAMOUS WRAETHTHU. Spoiler: They're all pretty, perfect and incredibly fucking boring. You've got the MYSTERIOUS ONE, you've got the WARRIOR GUY, you've got the PHILOSOPHER DUDE and oh wait, did I say THE mysterious one? Because like half of these are MYSTEEEERIOUS AND SPOOOOKY AND NO ONE KNOWS MUCH ABOUT THEM, EXCEPT FOR HOW PERFECT THEY ARE.
I'm sorry, this section is just so fucking bland I can't even make fun of it.
(because OF COURSE there are tribes who each have their own distinct stereotypes and stat bonuses)
: Pedophiles with prehensile hair.
: Wizards and scientists.
: Gypsy wizards.
: Religious nomads.
: Literally the third out of five tribes so far to be praised for how ESPECIALLY PSYCHIC AND MAGICAL they are. Also British.
: The generic GRAR FIGHTER BERSERKER dudes.
: Flamboyant pirates.
: A bunch of military dudes and just about the only ones who don't prance around as completely androgynous, instead preferring to act masculine.
If you believe in some deity hard enough it becomes real, no, really. Which kind of offers puzzling questions of why major pre-Wraeththu deities didn't do anything to stop all the bullshit, or maybe turn the Wraeththu into pillars of salt. And despite shitloads of different religions, Wraeththu are totally too civilized to ever have religious wars. Because they're not huuuuumaaaaan, guuuuuuuuys.
Also if two Wraeththu make out they become telepathic together forever.
: Supposedly enlightened beyond most human faults, Wraeththu nonetheless base most of their choice of inceptee on who looks really cute.
: Despite their superhuman intellect, Wraeththu used to just cut people open with broken bottles, pour blood on them and see what happened. Now most of them are less retarded and use, you know, syringes and clean knives and shit.
: First they starve you and wash you for days. Then they shave you and bleed on you. Then your body forms a cocoon of shit and blood
which somehow protects you from infection and saves you from having major organ failure while your DNA is being rewritten!
Internally the Wraeththu DNA will latch on to that of the humans in a manner similar to that of a virus. Then, harish DNA gradually overwrites the human code. Also the DNA brings ribosomes with it, which help the mutation process to change the human tissue and organs.
The genetic mutation takes place over the first two days, with the organs changing at a slower rate. The process is similar to an embryo gestating in a womb, as the cells and organs of the human are literally reborn.
Then you suffer miserably as your new pseudo-vagina gouges out a pocket inside your stomach for itself. Then your cock turns into a flower. "Muscles will at first retract, then regrow in a stronger form. The bone structure will become denser, but at the same time more flexible." And then the cocoon of human shit and scabs falls off and you're now a beautiful butterfly!
Also if no one fucks you afterwards you become a crazy zombie Wraeththu who attacks everything. And if you're not perfect and beautiful after the transformation, for instance if your bad eyesight or hearing has remained, the other Wraeththu will set you on fire or ritually murder you.
Mostly just adding this because the art style changes a bit around here, getting a bit more anime
There's a bit on the extremely boring tribe-specific Inception rituals, but the only ones that stand out are the Obliviata, who are the only ones that DON'T kidnap and rape random humans, instead only taking willing supplicants, the Varr, who actually do it in a scientific way instead of a religious fashion(note that the Varr are heavily implied to be the badguys of the Wraeththu tribes), and attend to the poor person with painkillers and stuff if the UTTER MISERY becomes too miserable, and the Colurastes, who, as mentioned repeatedly, are creepy, creepy pedophiles!
Bad names of the chapter: Wraxilan, Laice, Loveless.
Aruna is the Wraeththu term for sexual union
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 3
10:22pm EDT - 8/07/2015
So today we study how Wraeththu think! If you suspect the answer is "superior to humans in all ways," then you're right! Trigger warning for any psych majors who read this, since you may have an aneurysm from rage. Delayed trigger warning for doctors and biologists for the previous post.
Attitude to Humanity
: Predictably they think we're below them, but whether they kill us for laughs to treat us like animals is up to the individual Wraeththu. Wraeththu who start to think like humans in any way are "deprogrammed" by Wraeththu psych-wizards.
Whatever their viewpoint, every har can see that humans suffer great inner conflict between their masculine and feminine aspects, which is hardly surprising, as outwardly they have to conform to their gender's accepted stereotypes. Hara frown upon this black and white perspective of the world. However, many humans have now begun to realize that life isn't quite as black and white as they used to think. These individuals are now beginning to attain an inner harmony similar to that achieved by the Wraeththu.
: Polyamory! They can totally love each other but they have free sex across all bounds, because having an exclusive physical relationship with one person will inevitably
involve jealousy and mistrust, and be self-destructive.
: Wraeththu don't have any kids of their own(except for the Colurastes who Incept human kids and then fuck them), but they're totally superior parents to humans because they understand not talking down to kids, and under Wraeththu guidance all children mature much faster and become much more awesome! Treating children like children will only make them hate and distrust adults.
Deep down, humans need to rationalize everything that they perceive through their senses. They want explanations for the things their minds cannot understand, for in not knowing lies fear. Fear of the unknown causes great problems for the human mind. Even if many of the answers they seek lie before their eyes, humans seem not to see them, or are too lazy and cannot be bothered to comprehend them.
Apparently "very few" humans ever bother to look for The Truth, but of course Wraeththu are superior and totally understand the universe much better. And they don't believe in religion or Gods either, of course they kind of have the advantage of being able to SEE SOULS, so that settles a lot of the fucking debate for them.
Do we exist for a reason? Is there a meaning to life? If so, what is the great plan? These are questions that even hara cannot answer. Humans struggled to grasp the reason for their existence, which may have contributed to their downfall. Perhaps, if humankind had joined with Wraeththu, in accepting the force of nature, and had helped the earth rather than continued to abuse it, the rebellion of nature and the spread of horrific plagues might not have occurred. Humanity's self-importance and their misunderstanding of existence were partly responsible for their decline. This is illustrated through examples from their history, from the Crusades to the great world wars. Humans fell prey to their own failure to understand why they are alive.
What this meaning of life is, we're not told, but we're told that it's definitely not a desire for power, and that only the best and brightest of the Wraeththu understand this. Also apparently Wraeththu are deadly afraid of introspection, because that's a flaw they inherited from humans?
: "Because of the amalgamation of both feminine and masculine aspects of their psyche, hara do not face the same degree of inner conflict experienced by humans." You know, this goddamn focus on how important anima and animus are to the human psyche really reminds me of IDA's insistence of Freudian psych being gospel truth. But anyway, aside from that, Wraeththu are totally awesome and never racist, but instead the different TRIBES want to strangle each other, regardless of skin colour!
Also in these paragraphs we're introduced to someone named Velisarius and his incredibly stupid quotes, he's apparently one of the first fucking Wraeththu or something and a super-important prophet to a bunch of them.
This one gets a BOLD headline because this is about Wraeththu cocks.
So they used to think boning was still just BONING, but then somehow through autopsies, an examination of the physical, they discovered the meta
physical and spiritual aspects of it? That part makes no fucking sense to me. Then they started using Tantric Techniques(described as the Ancient Art of Sex Magick) to discover the TRUE DEPTHS of wizard dicks. But what you guys are REALLY here for are the vivid descriptions of the sex organs, right? I sure fucking hope so, because here they come!
When aroused, the masculine organ of the har resembles a petalled rod, sometimes of deep and varied colours. It possesses an inner tendril which only emerges when stimulated by the feminine organs of any arunic activity. The secretions from the ouana-lim at this time possess healing and euphoric properties. There are seven energy centres found within the ouana-lim, which correspond to the seven main energy centres, or chakras, within the body's torso and head. Experienced hara can utilize these energy centres to intensify arunic energy during Grissecon(PurpleXVI's note: Boning SPECIFICALLY for dick magic purposes), or else to heighten pleasure. As in human males, hara possess two testes, but these retract into the body cavity when a har takes a soume, or feminine, role in aruna. The ouana-lim too shrinks during these occasions, and then most resembles a dense, many-petalled flower on the surface of the body.
Behind the masculine organs lies the soume-lam, similar in some respects to a female generative organ, in that it is a self-lubricating passageway into the body. The interior of the soume-lam is pleated or furrowed, , but also elastic, to accommodate the stiffed petals of an ouana-lim. Like the masculine organ, it possesses seven energy centres, although only five of them are accessible during normal aruna. High Codexia Malakess, the Sulh researcher, says that the remaining two must come into play during procreation. During normal aruna, the secretions from the stimulated soume-lam mingled with those of the ouana-lim to create an intoxicating substance that can sometimes be hallucinogenic. The culmination of aruna often provides an extremely visionary and spiritual experience for those involved.
And then there's Pelki which, as we already know, is rape. And yes, all the body secretions of Wraeththu are extremely caustic to humans, and will melt them. Also there are EVIL DARK SEX MAGICS that can only be used by rapists! Spooky.
To recap, Wraeththu can: Set stuff on fire with their minds. Move things with their minds. CREATE PHYSICAL MATTER WITH THEIR MINDS. Do telepathy. Heal people. Change temperatures. And probably whatever the fuck else they want, considering that the following examples involve mind control, changing the past, causing earthquakes and blasting castles to ash with energy bolts.
Also there's something kind of like oMage-style Paradox here. If you just disintegrate something out of hand, that's gonna cause Backlash, but causing a vicious earthquake to rattle it into rubble doesn't. Because the earthquake doesn't need a fucking cause, I guess! Fucking stupid.
There's a bunch of dumb bullshit about what they call their wizards but seriously who GIVES a fuck, none of it sounds funny and it's sure as hell not interesting.
Stupid names of the last few pages: Loveless, Sovances of the Kakkahaar, Zip Hamstring, Silk, Zillah Shemercy.
MEGALITHICA AND BEYOND
Aka., the fucking history/geography section where they throw out a bunch of stupid names and describe how wacky they are.
So in YE OLDE WAY BACK PAST shit was going bad. More wars, more plagues, more viruses, people dying, oh nooooooo. THE INTERNET also collapses. Fertility rates drop. Power networks and water supplies collapse. "Nuclear bombs were dropped with almost careless abandon. Whole countries were destroyed and deserts turned into huge, glass plains due to the immense heat of the explosions."
BUT GASP, THE PLANET FIGHTS BACK. Now you can add earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanoes to the list of things that hate humanity. You'd think that the volcanoes at least would be a stupid fucking idea, though, also killing off plenty of animal and plant life and shit like that. In fact doing about as much damage as human warfare.
Most people who can afford it move into CITADELS to avoid getting murdered by roving gangs, possibly lead by mysterious, huge martial artists that could make men's heads explode with their bare hands.
And then just to top it off, the fucking Bishie Herpes kicks the fall into full gear. Now they've got child-molesting, STD-infested, bishounen rapists roaming the streets and trying to kill people as well. Also the Wraeththu apparently kicked things into gear by being crazy-ass terrorist bombers. And of course they totally defeat the human militaries because they're miserable Mary Sues. Oh and apparently they can KILL PEOPLE WITH THEIR FUCKING VOICES.
Long story short humanity gets FUCKED. The end. Now the Wraeththu get to play around at screwing the Earth over!
And then I look and see that there's like 30 pages for the next section on the INCREDIBLY DULL places you can have INCREDIBLY DULL ADVENTURES ABOUT COCKS. So I put down the book and go do something more interesting...
UNTIL THE NEXT POST
Wraeththu...however, this should not be perceived as homosexuality [#]
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 2
09:57pm EDT - 8/07/2015
And we're on to the Introduction!Introduction
Alright, so we're playing Hara, who are both male and female in one body, something which should "not be perceived as homosexuality," in case anyone ever thought this might be GAY or something. Sex is called "aruna," and is essential to staying alive. We're told we can "breeze over" the details, though, unless it's really important who we're fucking and where. However, this is just a ruse so the GM can ease us into the really creepy shit. Let me paste a roleplaying guide from deeper in the book...
Aruna and the Single Gamer posted:
Unfortunately, sex and sexuality are, for many people, a very embarrassing subject, and not one they really want to discuss while doing a hobby, especially when their mother may be in the next room. However, in a game of Wraeththu the subject must be broached somehow, after all the characters' lives quite literally may depend on it.
In Wraeththu you cannot ignore the whole aspect of character sexuality.
Love triangles and dark passionate pasts are a staple of fiction, and can only improve your game.
Most of our time in the real world is taken up with the pursuit of love and sex, so how can our characters be so ambivalent towards such issues? In most other role-playing games such issues are optional, but in Wraeththu they are essential.
In fact, one of the things that may have drawn your players to Wraeththu is the unique opportunity for such a role-playing experience.
As a storyteller you can assume the characters are taking Aruna with each other, simply as often as they have to. You still need to actually mention what is going on though, not ignore the act completely. Simply say "So once in the inn you all take Aruna and wake up the next morning."
(PURPLEXVI'S EXPLANATION: Aruna = Wraeththu boning, Wraeththu need to get their alien/mutant boners on or they die.)
With everyone aware that Aruna is going on, it becomes easier to take the next step.
When you are comfortable, you can move to the second level. Here you ask the characters to pick partners for Aruna. They still need only explain who and when rather than how and what they like. However, sex and relationships are now part of the game.
All characters need to do at this stage is specify which character(s) they are taking Aruna with, and(perhaps more importantly) who they are not. This develops relationships in the game as well as sex.
The third level brings more role-play into the activities mentioned above. Now it isn't enough to say what is going on, now you must describe it as well. It is essential at this point for characters to take on Aruna as an essential part of playing their characters. At this point you can bring sex magic into the mix as well.
By now the players should feel comfortable with theri characters taking Aruna and describing the way they like to do such things. Are they gentle or harsh? Do they prefer Soume or Ouana? (PURPLEXVI'S NOTE: This is basically "DOES YOUR SEA ANEMONE BECOME A PROUD SCHLONG OR A HORRIFYING PSEUDO-VAGINA?"). Is Aruna like an itch they like to scratch or a sacred spiritual union? Do they like it a lot, or not so much, and how do they treat their partners afterwards?
The last level allows you to be as graphic as you like. You can now bring in elements such as pelki(PURPLEXVI'S NOTE: Rape. When raping humans, Wraeththu sex sludge kills 'em) and all the darker sides of sex and Aruna. This need not be restricted to the NPCs either. Players should feel free to create quite nasty or sexually predatory characters, if they so desire. The storyteller is now able to bring in NPCs designed purely for sexual storylines and adventures. Such NPCs can act as sexual foils for characters, forming jealousies and love triangles in established relationships.
Don't get fixated on sex, as it can easily dominate a game.
And then the game tries to sell us the original Wraeththu books. Nice try, but no cigar.
Now, I have to say, the first subsection "What is Roleplaying?" is actually pretty well-written. It's actually formulated in a way that gets the point across quite well to anyone who's never touched the hobby before. "How Do I Role-Play?" is also surprisingly well-written, emphasizing various social aspects like not constantly trying to hog the spotlight, and the fact that a character doesn't have to be perfect and infallible to be interesting. Even the section on how to be a good GM is actually kind of great! It advises against railroading aggressively, against being too easy or too harsh on the players, suggests what volume of preparation is handy...
RAILROADING BAD posted:
Another aspect to bear in mind is that only an incompetent Storyteller plans the plot "to a tee" and then religiously sticks to it, without giving the players a chance to explore other avenues. If you want your players to keep to the plot, then give them a good reason to and don't force them into it. If you insist, for example, that they go to Location X, then Location Y, without doing anything else, you will probably end up with rebellious players, whose characters just sit there doing nothing or perform anarchic or insane acts out of boredom.
Even in much better games, this is some advice I've rarely, if ever, seen pop up, yet something that a lot of GM's could stand to learn from.
Live Action posted:
Due to the nature of the game, we do not suggest any players attempt to act out aspects of Inception or aruna. The Wraeththu are an inhuman race, the players are human. These acts should be confined to the imagination.
In order to not get too praise-y, I want to point out that the miserably bad art still continues for this section.Some of it is flamboyantly hilarious, other bits are just sorta-okay
But the good advice comes to an end soon enough and we start hitting stuff about the actual gameworld.
It is the end of the world as we know it. Much has changed in the past decade and continues to do so. The greater part of human society has disintegrated, and the up-and-coming Wraeththu have set up small, feudal governments in the areas they control. Some Wraeththu have tried to develop different forms of government, taking ideas from the human administrations of past centuries and using them to suit their political aims.
Now imagine a world that has had enough of human depredation and, like any organism, desires only to rid itself of troublesome parasites. A few well-placed natural disasters have drastically changed the face of the planet. Weather systems have mutated and some major rivers now flow in new directions.
Over the last ten years, the human population has dropped by a staggering 50 percent, and is still dropping, with no hope of reverse. Even so, because they are a resilient species, groups of humans still strive to survive. In their desperation, and with a growing awareness of how dire their situation really is, many have returned to a more harmonious existence with the earth. Unfortunately, this about-face has come far too late. Other humans, victims of despair, have given up hope for humanity and simply roam the lands like lawless bandits.
Then we get to the Wraeththu. Apparently they popped up as soon as humanity started declining, so far with no real explanation. Androgynous, as we know, slim and fragile-looking, as we know, deadly warriors, "mystics and seers of great power." They poison humans with their blood to turn them into similar creatures, and apparently only a few of them have so far figured out how their genitals can be used to reproduce sexually.
Apparently they mostly "Incept" people who already hate humanity, meaning that most Wraeththu use their new superpowers to get revenge on a species they feel has bullied them since birth. Predictably, most humans blame the Wraeththu for all the shit that's going down and hate them. I think I'd hate these assholes, too.
So what does the world look like aside from this? Apparently the "Great Western Continent" is now called Megalithica and is under the boot of a human military government. The Wraeththu, on the other hand, bailed on this place pretty fast, moving east to the "Island of Alba Sulh"(the UK, I think) and then "moved east to the continent." Apparently Europe got more fucked than the US by all that went down and we were easier prey for the Wraeththu.
Interestingly enough, the Wraeththu are described as kind of horrendous, their behavior is called "raping cities and towns for resources and souls." And it seems like they don't really have any clue of their origin, either. Oh and apparently the Wraeththu can travel to other dimensions, too, so there's that. Props to the book, though, for suggesting that it's possible to play humans fighting against the Wraeththu as well, which would actually be kind of interesting! You've got this inhuman plague of post-human creatures, kidnapping people, spreading their way through the bowels of cities, lurking on the outskirts of settlements. Individually they're stronger than people, but a well-coordinated pack of humans can still take them down.The Wraeththu
"The origins of Wraeththu are unclear, in the same way that human evolution is unclear." I thought we had a pretty good idea of wherefrom humans evolved? At any rate, this chapter is about the Wraeththu(as if the title wasn't a big clue). Apparently they're a big enough leap that natural evolution is completely out of the question, and the book waffles a bit on the subject, saying they could be aaaaaaaliens or a genetic experiment gone wrong. No clue whether there is a FOR GM'S ONLY section later that tells us which it is.
The book then instantly blows all goodwill left over from the decent "how to GM"-section by launching into a description of Wraeththu genitals.
MONSTER DONGS posted:
Wraeththu are creatures with both Ouana and Soume sexual organs, these being their equivalents to female and male genitalia.
Most creatures that use sexual reproduction to continue their species are unable to control impregnation naturally. Some believe that Wraeththu could be sterile, and therefore need no control. They maintain the species via the act of Inception, whereby Wraeththu blood is transfused into a human with a Naqi(PurpleXVI's Note: Fancy word for "a goddamn sharp knife.") and the recipient undergoes vast physical, mental and spiritual changes. These changes are then sealed by aruna, the harish term for sexual intercourse.
And then paragraph upon paragraph of how the Hara/Wraeththu are far superior to humans. They're faster, stronger, have better health, more efficient immune and digestive systems, heal faster, have more stable minds, no sexual anxieties or worries, and they're smarter, too. Their only real downside is that if they don't get their monster boners on for long enough, they start becoming mentally unstable and irritable. Oh and they also have telekinesis, pyrokinesis and telepathy. "We could speculate that the harish state of androgyny has contributed greatly to their enhanced mental condition." Then it caps the section by saying that it's KINDA POSSIBLE that humans could get psychic powers, too.
Let me just interrupt here, though, and say, that as much as I respect that FANTASY SHIT BE ALL WEIRD YO, this offends my understanding of psychology. I imagine that if you just had an unwanted, forced sex change operation performed on you, you would probably be a mental wreck for a while, even taking into account the superpowers you got in the bargain. Oh and let's not forget that everyone you ever liked or cared about will probably consider you a monster now, and that even if you "Incepted" them so they could join you, there's every chance it'd just kill them(in the prologue section, I think it was something like 2 out of 20 that survived the process).
On the subject of pronouns, we learn that apparently the Wraeththu themselves use "Har" as a pronoun, to the point of jamming it into other words. "Everyhar," "anyhar," "somehar" are just examples(everyone, anyone, someone). The same section also says that the psyche and memories are essentially unchanged after being Incepted, further bringing into focus the point that WHO THE FUCK WOULD NOT BE A PANICKY WRECK AFTER THAT EXPERIENCE? The section is also written in first-person by a Wraeththu who, hilariously enough, comments that he thinks the weird new pronouns are bullshit and "abominations of language."
I'm also not inlining it, but there's STILL more of the art, but it's just the same goddamn shit. Pale, ugly, badly-drawn androgynes looking confused or determined about things.Inception
So, the Wraeththu are total cockbaskets, because as soon as someone's been Incepted, they usually force him or her to say that they totally let it happen of their own free will, despite the fact that kidnappings and such were involved in 99% of all cases. Then we get some stupid words! Forale: The fast before Inception! Harhune: The infection with Bishie Herpes! Althaia: The part where your cock falls off, i.e. the actual mutation process!
Also the Wraeththu have stupid names. Just on this page alone: Swithe Tresillian, Calambus Mint, Zackary Raven Black
, Swooner har Sulh, Malakess har Sulh.
This subsection is mostly just fluff about how each Wraeththu group goes about infecting people(because OF COURSE they have wacky themed clans). The Uigenne are a tribe who cut people up for inception, the Varr are SCIENCE about it, the Colurastes choose children for Inception and happily fuck them afterwards, and presumably there are other weird-ass methods that aren't elaborated on just yet.Wraeththu Physiology
More on how Wraeththu are totally better than humans! None of them are shorter than 5'8", they've got no body or facial hair, they lose all facial asymmetry, being Incepted counters baldness, your teeth become perfect, sometimes your skin colour becomes purple or gold, and sometimes your hair becomes anime-coloured. And supposedly one tribe even grows tails.
Agility: Far more. Muscles: Far better. Joints: Even more better.
You can't become fat, drugs never have any hangovers or side-effects related to them, poisons can't hurt you in 99% of all cases. You have magical healing and... even though earlier sections said Wraeththu were far more mentally stable than humans, apparently NOW it decides to state that yes, people can actually get mentally fucked up by the whole transformation misery. But luckily, Magical Wraeththu Healing can cure mental illnesses, too!
All senses are better, and you have super-awesome sixth and seventh senses and shit! But gasp, unlike other things, it's actually possible for Wraeththu to have flawed senses, oh my GOD
. Aging causes no damage, and Wraeththu live a baseline of around 150 years or so.
DNA-wise, apparently Wraeththu have an extra base pair, K and L in addition to GATC. But apparently they have LESS genetic information because all the redundant parts of the genome have been flushed out? Also the "ribosome" has become more complex, but none of this has been elaborated on, possibly because the authors didn't know jack shit about science.
Are you impressed by how impossibly awesome these bishies are yet? I hope not, because the entire book is about that! Next time, even more bishies and the world they live in!
The Wraeththu RPGFrom Enchantment to Fulfillment [#]
FATAL & Friends Repost: Wraeththu RPG, Part 1
09:43pm EDT - 8/07/2015
That gray shape behind the dagger is supposedly the genitalia of the Wraeththu. Nice introduction to the book, right?
So, page 1, book 1, let's take this from the top. Despite the quality of the contents, the cover does at least look reasonably nice, I mean, I have seen worse, and for a soft-cover it seems to be of reasonable quality. There's also a neatly organized index right at the start of the book, which is another pleasant surprise after shoving my way through the muddled, ill-organized jungles of several other games.
What's less of a nice surprise is the internal art... well, no, not art
, that would insult artists, I believe the appropriate word is "miserable scrawlings of retarded children." Don't believe me? Have a look:
Our first look at the goddamn Wraeththu. A bunch of pale, prancing bishounen assholes. But any RPG can do bad art, the real misery lies in the writing, so let's get reading.Prologue: Genesis
The intro story is a first-person viewpoint tale of a dude about to be Wraeththufied. Apparently he and a bunch of others have all been locked in a basement, strapped down, and starved and thirsted for several days. None of them seem to have believed that the Wraeththu were real before this happened, and it sounds like becoming one of them was not a choice they made willingly. Then someone cuts him open and pours Wraeththu blood on his wounds, giving him Bishie Herpes.
Then we get a flashback to what happened before our brave protagonist got captured! Apparently he's a chubby, acne-ridden, unattractive teenager. Super-clever, a nerd, supposedly got picked on for not being a jock. I think why he got bullied was his vocabulary rather than his braininess, though...
This in turn meant you were ready prey for those higher up the social hierarchy than you. Needless to say, I was near the bottom of said hierarchy, quarry that even other prey could hunt without many feelings of remorse or pity.
For all prey, there is a certain safety in travelling in numbers - the protection of the herd. Of course, the slowest was often culled by the predators, while the others scurried for safety. He or she became a sacrifice to the rampant sadism of humanity. Unfortunately, over the last few months, my "herd" had been culled. One by one, they had either transferred to different schools, moved on to other "herds" or had run away. Some kids had even killed themselves in despair over everything that had happened over the last few years.
Man, I was one of the nerdier kids back in my high school days and even I
feel like shoving this guy around a bit for being a fucking dork. But anyway, he talks about how his BEST FRIEND, Adam, had disappeared a while ago. While wondering about what happened to Adam, he mentions that there are big, roving gangs forming. Between this and the mention of "everything that had happened over the last few years," we get an impression that the world is somewhat worse off than it is in our times.
So anyway, he goes to school, presumably gets bullied, comes back and then DUN DUN DUNNNN... HE FEELS AN OMINOUS TERROR... because a Wraeththu pedophile is going to kidnap his chubby, high-school ass.Our protagonist
So he's briefly shaken out of his flashback by the Bishie Herpes giving him a gnarly, gruesome fever, and then sinks back into fever-dreamy flashbacks instead. Oh snap, PLOT TWIST, turns out it wasn't a Wraeththu scoping out porkins here for a kidnapping, it was THE BULLIES! And of course The Leader of THE BULLIES is the captain of the football team, "face and body of a Hollywood actor, personality of a barracuda."
ALPHA MALE posted:
Jamie never went anywhere without his "pack," all predators like himself, althoughthe was clearly their Alpha-male. And I had the misfortune of being the prey they had cornered this day. There was no reason for them to be out where I lived, except for the corner store across the street from my bus stop where they were remarkably lax about carding people for cigarettes or alcohol. From the reek of beer and tobacco surrounding those guys, it wasn't too hard for me to figure out why they were around here. I just had the bad luck to be in the area at the wrong time.
Jamie and his pack were infamous amongst the herd students for the strange types of "entertainment" they enjoyed. No one who'd been forced to entertain them ever said a word about it, but there was a strange sense about these victims, as if their spirits had been totally broken. I had always believed that my friend Rick had committed suicide because of somethign Jamie's pack had done to him, and that was probably the same reason Adam had run away as well.
And then they act like stereotypical jocks, knocking Our Protagonist around, calling him "piggy" and generally being douchebags. They drag him into a car and... FLASHBACKUS INTERRUPTUS.
Now he's crying after the Bishie Fever has passed and some EMOTIONLESS VOICE talks about how several of the victims have "already died" and how they're going to burn the corpses "before dawn." Also odd! Our protagonist is tied down less loosely! I wonder why?! (hint it is because he is becoming a skinny fucking bishie wreck)
BACK TO THE FLASHBACK. Vroom vroom, Jamie is driving Piggy the Protagonist through the city of Carmine! They drive into an alley and drag him into a dark room where a bunch of guys are breathing heavily. And basically it turns out these bullies are capturing nerds and selling them to the Wraeththu. And of course these Wraeththu, the "Uigenna," turn on the jocks and kidnap them for Bishie Transformations as well or something. Apparently the Wraeththu are mostly dressed in "vinyl and leather," just a minor note from that paragraph.
Flashback over, our protagonist wakes up and he's all OH MAN WHAT IS MY GENDER WHERE IS MY BODY OH WHAT. When a Wraeththu intercedes to lay some PLOT AND EXPOSITION on him in a highly dramatic fashion.AAAAA OH GOD WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY PENIS
SLEEPING BEAUTY posted:
Then a shadow falls over me and a voice murmurs, "So, our sleeping beauty awakens."
It is the stranger from the basement: the tall, slender figure in ebony, ivory and indigo. He smiles and something within me stirs. There's something oddly familiar about him,. And beyond this recognition is another feeling.
He approaches me slowly. "Good morning, Mikey. I'd ask if you slept well, but I remember how painful the change is."
I pull the sheet up to my neck, say nothing.
He smiles wistfully and shakes his head. "What? Don't recognize me? No, guess not... I was a bit different the last time you saw me. Well, guess that means we need to be reintroduced. Down here, they call me Athame, but the name my parents gave me was Adam."
I stare at him, and shake my head in denial of his words, yet as I look into his eyes they are familiar to me, and part of me believes him.
So basically the only survivors of THE RITUAL are Mikey(aka Piggy) and Jamie, of course he and his entire gang also got bled on and it turns out most of them kicked the bucket in the process. Athame/Adam renames Mikey to Boline, "The light to my darkness and the darkness to my light." He also mumbles some shit about how Jamie is "no longer the top predator," which sounds VERY VERY WORRYING considering the sexually laden nature of this entire game.
This appears to be the horrible thing that Adam/Athame has become. Jesus Christ in Heaven
He leans over me and exhales. The steam of his breath conjures pictures in my mind: new possibilities unfolding, of dark days filled with riots, rage and flames; of a glorious glowing city filled with others like ourselves; of a new world rising from the ashes unlike anything anyone could have ever imagined. Something within me blossoms in the darkness of my soul as those images fill my mind, a glowing bloom of light that fills me with a new sense of purpose, a new reason for being. I am no longer Mikey, the frightened and ugly kid from the suburbs of Carmine. I am Boline, the blade who will help usher in a new world.
And on that note, we finish off the introductory fiction. Next post we'll actually start on the game itself! THE END COMES.
Hc Svnt DraconesThe home stretch [#]
FATAL & Friends Repost: Hc Svnt Dracones: Part 10
09:36am EDT - 8/04/2015
So what's left? About 50 or so pages of Adventuring, Character Sheets, Advancement, Adversaries and ships, and I'm pretty sure there's going to be more retarded to find in there, or at least more shitty art. So let's chew through the rest of this pile of trash... and of course they fuck up right from the get go, with something as simple as suggested quest rewards.
> 300-500 for jobs with substantial personal risk.
Basically, a couple of sessions that we drag out with extended shopping trips or some sort of intercharacter drama can, unless we have rock bottom Ledger stats, basically land us as much money as a highly dangerous adventure
. In fact, unless a given adventure only lasts one or two sessions, we're in fact almost guaranteed to earn more during
it than we will at the end
of it. Did anyone playtest ANY of this? Mind, they're allowed to "negotiate" for better payment, but it's not something they can mechanically roll, the book informs us, they have to have a legitimate argument for it. How about the argument that "hey, chief, I can earn more than this sitting at home and scratching my nads for a week, get fucked."?
Vectors don’t need to worry about muscular atrophy due to low or no gravity; they were specifically designed to adapt to such conditions.
And of course the everlasting parade of SPECIAL FURRY ABILITIES because ~superior genetics~ just fucking keeps on going, and going, and fucking going.
Fall damage is standardized across the game system regardless of what planet you’re on. It also applies in zero gravity situations where your character collides with objects.
Fall damage begins at 10 feet (6 feet for micro characters). Calculate how many feet you fell beyond 10, and multiply that number by 2. That is the accumulated damage on impact. So a character falling 30 feet with nothing to stop their descent hits the ground for 40 damage (20x2).
So, apparently velocity doesn't matter for this mechanic, which means that if you gently drift a hundred feet in zero-G at a snail's pace and then "collide" with an object, you'll gorily explode, going by the rules as written.
Remember how Eclipse Phase had transmitting a copy of your brain to another location, as a way of travelling, but with the cost of needing to use a local body and perhaps the complications that entailed? HSD just has magical technology that builds you a perfect body-copy on-site in a span of hours. Despite the fact that a "round trip" costs 1000 credits, which then includes the cost of manufacturing first one new body, and then a second, the game suggests that PC's can sell their organs to cover some of the costs. But why? Growing an entire new body
is apparently fucking effortless, the work of hours
, growing a box of new livers should take five minutes. Also, wait, why does a "Body Replacement" surgery, which just involves one
new body, which doesn't need to be a carbon-copy replica of the original, cost 2500 credits, when this costs 1000? Can't a PC just ask for a new
body to be transmitted to on arrival, rather than a copy of their old one?
There's a section on loans, which caps you at loaning 500 credits(your max is equal to your Econ:Strength*100, so in practice the cap is more like 300, but let's be generous), which we've already established you can just earn in a couple of game sessions with plain ledger rolls as long as you don't put them all at 1 dot or something.
A note to Guides: You do not always need to make loans available to players. Using just the rules mechanics it is possible for a team of players to borrow a substantial amount of money right off the bat. This is intentional, as it gives them a means to purchase things like ships without having to play a long campaign first. However, it can also be used to outfit them with high-tier weaponry much sooner than makes narrative sense. Players should keep in mind the sort of character they’re playing. It isn’t always particularly believable for the first action of say, a scientist or sports star, to take out two loans, go to the nearest store, and buy a high powered rifle and fully enclosed suit of active armor just on a whim.
I don't know, if I was a fucking PC in a sci-fi game sorta-styled as "horror," with monstrous space-creatures and fucking Libertarians all over the place, I know I'd invest in a sniper rifle and decking myself out like a Space Marine as fast as possible. So this seems like an entirely reasonable route of action, especially after the first encounter with something scary.
Why the fuck does the evil red bloodbad space creature of starterror have tits
. Fucking Christ, HSD.
At any rate, the Adversaries chapter is mostly dull statblocks for a bunch of generic furry enemies, the only ones that get anything resembling fluff are Vitae Demons, Pale Men and Whispers. The red-titted wonder up there is a Whisper, while the Edgy Fursona above is a "Vitae Demon." Apparently if you can't feel pain, for instance if you're using Vitae, which also removes all need for nutrition or other things that generally keep a body and mind alive, it makes you go insane. Like, the whole description reeks of them having invented Vitae as a WONDER DRUG but then needing a reason why everyone wasn't just juicing up on it while letting the farms go fallow instead of having to eat, why they didn't just replace oxygen storage aboard spaceships and in spacesuits with it, etc., and they arbitrarily decided that while it keeps your brain alive without oxygen, and thinking without oxygen, and capable of controlling your body without oxygen, it just so also happens to make you go insane if your brain lacks oxygen.
For some vaguely defined reason.
So Vitae Demons are the completely crazy Vitae junkies that despite each vitae hit lasting only an hour, and despite their clearly not being able to function without it, somehow still exist. How are they paying for it? Is someone still hiring them when they're described as amoral sadists who know only violence? Do their Ledgers just keep piling on money for them anyway and corporate vending machines keep pouring out Vitae to sustain them? A Vitae Charge costs 150 credits, the book lists a Vitae Charge being consumed as lasting for "one hour" or "until the end of battle," whichever comes first. So a Vitae Demon, to survive, must apparently need... 3600 credits per day
. This is enough to buy multiple Instant Death Cannons and suits of powered armor. So long story short, someone did not think about how the rules and fluff lined up, here.
Transcendent Manifestations are space ghosts. That's basically it, they're space monsterghosts that show up, do things because the plot requires them to and then... disappear? The game doesn't even really have any rules for why they show up, what they do when they do, or what makes them leave again. They don't even get any stats of their own, they just use some of the REAL TOUGH GENERIC GUY templates with some random superpowers slapped on. Also despite being Transcendent
Manifestations, they don't actually get any of the space wizardry from Transcendent
implants, despite the two being linked by fluff in very vague ways.
We don't learn anything about Whispers that we don't already know, they're bad and spooky and they kill dudes, and when they kill dudes, sometimes those dudes explode into more Whispers. They're also literally
made from blood, when they die, they turn from "crystalline blood" back into plain normal blood. Also if you just hide for ten minutes, they'll turn themselves into crystal art installations. Seriously. If they can't find anyone to kill for ten minutes, they just shrug, merge with the nearest Whispers into a big crystal. If you attack the crystal, they all come back out again, but according to the fluff, blowing the whole thing up in one go will negate that. So just call in the Scrooge McDuck Battallion to nuke the fucking thing with their death rays.
Also if they try to infect someone who's got a Transcendent Implant, there's a 12.5% chance that the Whisper trying it, and all Whispers in the area, spontaneously explode. However, if the person with the implant ever tries to use their implant again, they
explode, into more Whispers, without a save or any response possible, and if they don't have the requisite combination of stats and/or corporate allegiance to have information about this, the PC will just unknowingly be able to suicide at any moment by deciding to use their superpowers. Fun gameplay!
We also finally get art of the Pale Men... and they look a lot less Slendermanny than I had expected. Despite being TERRIBLE THINGS THAT CAN MURDER EVERYONE, they basically just have high stats and use guns, there's nothing really that unusual about them. The fluff doesn't particularly give them any motives or establish any behavior for them, and since they're all on Earth, which is a shithole no one wants to deal with... I can't really see why they would ever really feature into the game at all
There's a section on ships which is largely space gun wankery, but does contain a section that's kind of weird. In normal combat, high-charisma characters can issue "commands," that basically buff comrades or allow them to switch places in the turn order, handy things like that, one of the few things I liked about the combat system, but it wasn't unique enough to merit my pointing out. In space combat, stuff like telling the ship to run quiet or telling people to "launch drones," is the counterpart, requires a specific level of charisma and command skill. Even if the "commander" is the one doing the thing themselves, instead of using a Mind stat and some sort of technical skill to know what to do, they still use Body:Presence(physical beauty) and the Command skill. The most complicated SPACE COMMAND is apparently ramming enemy ships, because "ALL POWER TO ENGINES" is clearly a complicated concept that only the most brilliant strategist can understand.
Other things that require a command check: Hitting the brakes and scanning an area.
So, the advancement section! Interestingly enough, the game doesn't run on XP or anything similar, but instead simply suggests giving a certain number of stat-ups/skill-ups/focus options per time played(either in number of hours or number of sessions), of course while this is somewhat novel, there's also no such thing as diminishing returns(more XP needed to be paid for the same amount of boost, for instance) or other things to limit hyper-specialization. It's also worth noting that you can't use these stat-ups to boost Economy and Community stats, and Mind and Body stats can only be raised to 3 this way. How do you get Mind and Body Stats up to 4 and 5? Why that's simple. Surgery! Surgery that you pay for... with ledger stats! It's at least somewhat expensive, being 1500 for a stat-up, either from 3 to 4, or 4 to 5, but it's not that bad if you really focused on your ledger stats. Also for some reason you can boost Body:Acuity by +1 just for 200 credits with an "Augmentation" operation that jams more eyes into your head.
I also somehow missed this, but for just 500 credits, you can get a Celerity implant that "levels up" one of your dice groups(d8's become d10, d10's become d12, etc.). Now, it can only be taken twice, and it has another 600-credit thing as a prereq, but one of our groups is already "maxed" out with d12's, so we only have three that need boosting, and that means we can just stat-dump something like Community and run around with three d12 groups instead pretty fast.
There does in fact not seem
to be any surgery for improving your mind, now that I look around for it. There's Muscular Enhancement, and the Advancement section references a "Mind Enhancement" surgery, but it's not in the book as far as I can tell. Not sure if its an editing error or if mental stats really are capped at 3 for PC's.
You also can't increase Community stats at level-up time, only the GM can say when the party as a whole deserves to have them levelled up. But what about Ledger stats? Well. That's kind of funny.
Economy Traits grow as the player achieves certain conditions. Since your Economy Stat represents your footprint in the cash flow of the universe, it increases on its own as you achieve certain landmarks of wealth and importance.
Consult the following questions, and consider each one to be a separate condition.
Has the player completed three contracts successfully?
Has the player reached allegiance level 4 with a Corp? Temporary allegiance from abilities will not count.
Has the player team purchased a 1000 credit or higher item?
If any one of these conditions is true, you may add 1 to any Economy Trait. Once a condition has been met, it must be met again to count again. If you’ve reached allegiance level 4 in a corp or your team has purchased a 1000 credit item, you must reach it with a different corp or purchase a new one to receive the bonus again.
So, let me get this straight. If I start out by buffing my Ledger stats sky high, quickly earn 1000 credits, buy a death ray, then I get a boost to my Ledger stats, which will allow me to buy more
death rays, or other stupidly expensive items(I guess it could be taken as meaning a different item each time, but I only need one Annihilate-status weapon, anyway). So it's like some sort of self-sustaining reaction where the richer I am, the faster I'll get richer. Then I'll use my normal level-ups to bump my body stats to 3 as fast as possible, so I can pay money to boost them even quicker... actually, surgery counts as an item, right? So hey, I'll get a ledger bonus for increasing my body stats under the scalpel, too!
This system is fucking stupid
Also if you want the body/mind stat boosts you have to make a case to your GM that your character did something that made you deserve said stat boost. Hope your GM isn't a cockhead.
But what about proficiencies? Simple, you buy a trivial item that teaches you while you sleep. Seriously. As long as you get enough sleep for 14 days while wearing your stupid sleep-learning eye implant, you gain a proficiency point with no costs, penalties or checks, though it caps any given skill at 3(or 2, if you already have too many skills at 3). Considering that the item is of trivial cost, I'm kind of wondering why not everyone in the fucking universe has a baseline of 2 in every skill.
There are 30 skills, you can get up to at least 2 in all of them, 16 days per skill point(14 days of learning plus a two-day downtime period afterwards), meaning it'd take... 960 weeks, or 18 years, for it. So by the time everyone is out of their teenage years, they'll pretty much know everything, or early 20's if they don't make "Neuroplex" implants for toddlers.
Going above rank 3 requires "a special quest themed around the skill." I look forward to my exciting and inspiring Finance-themed quest my amazing quest themed around the "Swim" skill. Advancing above rank 3 also frees up another skill to rise to rank 3... players have the same max on rank 4 skills as on rank 3 skills. Rather than, perhaps, some sort of shared
cap for "advanced" skills(anything beyond tier 2), indicating the difficulty of mastering everything. It's. Augh. It hurts my brain and it's fucking retarded.
And then the book just... ends. No metaplot suggestions, no premade adventures, nothing. Except for the list of fuckwits who supported the thing, accompanied by two last pieces of art crammed in alongside all the names.
Hc Svnt DraconesScrooge McDuck: Capitalist Space Marine [#]
FATAL & Friends Repost: Hc Svnt Dracones: Part 9
09:35am EDT - 8/04/2015
So last time we discovered that simply pouring all your skill points into physical stats let you effectively murder anything you could get close to, up to and including the setting's supposed horrifying big bads that killed everyone on Luna. And you could do this as a gecko
. But what if you didn't ignore all your ledger stats? What could you do then? Could you, perhaps, get a "V-801 Mag-Lance," a weapon with the attribute "Annihilate," which means the weapon does a staggering total of 1000 damage. In a line, counting off damage for every object(like cover) or enemy in that line, until all 1000 points are spent or all objects and characters along the line's passage which are hit, are eradicated?
That's a good question. The Mag Lance costs 1000 credits. It also has a size of "LAN" or "Lift-Assistance Needed," which means we can't move-and-shoot with it in the same turn without a Body:Strength of five, only achievable with a suit of powered armor(at least at chargen). It doesn't matter much since the Mag Lance specifically requires you to stand still to fire it anyway
, but since the best suit of powered armor in the game, enough to let us actually survive a round of beatings from El Gecko(but not two rounds of it), only costs 500, we may as well see if we can get that, too. So our goal is to see how fast it's possible to milk 1500 credits out of the game's shitty Ledger mechanics.
So anyway, let's get started. Obviously we're going to be Family: Avialae, which gives us a +1 to Body: Acuity and lets us fly. Sadly, the closest we'll get in Species is simply Bird, so we're a Bird Bird who happens to look duck-like. Our "Morphism" will simply be the plantigrade/digitigrade one that means we look perfectly normal and don't freak anyone out.
Dexterity * /***/* /*
Acuity ** /***/* /***
Resilience * /* /* /***
Strength ***/* /* /***
Presence * /* /* /***
On the left side of our stat spread, we pick up some Strength so we can carry our huge gun, we then grab some Mind:Dexterity and Mind:Acuity, the former lets us make more attacks in a round(assuming we have enough points in our Battle Pool) and also improves our initiative, while the latter lets us actually have a chance of hitting stuff, and also increases the range we can hit at. On the right side, obviously, we attempt to crank our moneymaking to maximum. We ignore Economy:Dexterity since all we can use it for is rerolls, while the others let us maximize our rolls.
So how much does this min/maxing actually get us to start with?
Our Ledger Score is Econ:Presence + Econ:Strength, so 6. Our starting cash is three rolls of (1d8*Ledger Score)+30, so minimally 114, maximally 234. Not quite enough to start out with a Mag Lance, admittedly. How many sessions would it take us to actually afford our instakill weapon, though?
Ledger Balance: Roll an Economy die and add your Ledger Score to the result; every dot you have in Economy is worth that many credits today.Add them all up and add the result to your Credit total.
So we get between 91 and 234 credits at the end of every session, simply as a default. On top of that, we can gamble with our profits by rolling Econ:Resilience and/or Econ:Acuity + Finance, with the former multiplying our Ledger Score by number of successes(every roll over 8), and the latter doing the same, but for our final profit result. We're obviously going to max out our Finance, so all our rolls are 1d12+3, meaning that it's basically impossible for us to get 0 successes on either roll and no multipliers whatsoever, and relatively likely that we'll get a multiplier of 2.
Assuming we just get average luck on our very first roll and get two multipliers of 2? 338 to 624 credits at the end of a session. Meaning that even if we completely flub most of the rolls involved, within three or four sessions(or less, if we get lucky, and it wouldn't even require getting that
lucky) we could be hauling around an instakill weapon that can take down every pre-generated enemy in the setting and pretty much anything else the GM can generate. Give us a couple more sessions and we can be firing our weapon from a suit of powered armor that's basically like having our very own mech. Firing the weapon requires not having made any "move actions" the turn you're firing, or the turn prior, meaning that, going by the rules as written, you can just start firing on the first round of combat. The description makes it sound as though you need to spend an action setting up the weapon, but the rules for it don't actually require
that, simply that you're not moving. So even in the middle of a fight, you can spend two turns firing off some other weapon, without moving, and then fire the Mag Lance, or you can simply fire the Mag Lance on the first round of combat since, with it being the first round, you haven't actually made any actions in the rounds before. And once we fire the weapon, it's basically all over for anyone we're firing it at, since even under the worst of possible circumstances(highest cover bonus), we've got about an 80% chance of hitting someone, and enough damage points to destroy an armored bunker and
There's also some extremely poorly worded rules about our attacks being disrupted if we get hit in the round before we act(but since we don't declare our actions until our turn, we can just do something else if we get hit), but the way it's phrased "if you take hit point damage," suggests that as long as its our armor getting knocked around, and not us, we're still in the clear. And having our mecha power armor destroyed in one round would require a GM so out to get us that any fuckery we do within the realm of the rules would be meaningless anyway.
On top of all of that, the fact that we can also fly
and buy powered armor to basically make us invisible is kind of chump change.
As mentioned, they also tucked away all of the cybernetics and surgery after the rules/combat chapter, for some reason, which I can kind of understand, because it's hugely underwhelming, even compared to the rest of the book. There are barely modifications, and about a third of them are basically cosmetic, while the remainder come with huge drawbacks or offer you stuff that you can get much cheaper just by buying
it(like having built-in armor. Have fun paying twice as much as you would for powered armor that's three times as effective and boosts your stats, too!). Then there are the Reclaiming Surgeries, which vary between the neat and the retarded, but are mostly only things that Laterals would bother with(because they get them for free). Now, keep in mind, as I mentioned earlier, the fluff for all of the "Reclaiming Surgeries" is that they're about re-activating genes that your particular brand of animal had back when it was still an animal, and not an anthro thing, so...
Since when have dogs had genetically superior work ethic and healing saliva? Because those are some of the things they can recover with Reclaiming Surgeries. Also note that while dogs get these chump change boosts, reptiles get to be poisonous, scale sheer walls and regenerate lost limbs. So much for game balance.
Of course, I also promised you that there'd be space wizards in these chapters beyond the rules chapters, and damn straight, there are space wizards or, as the game calls it, "Transcendent Implants." Unfortunately, you can't even build your concept about being a space wizard or starting as one, the highest possible starting allegiance for a corporation is 2, and they require 4 before you can buy any, meaning that it's basically entirely down to GM benevolence whether you ever will
have access to them, especially since only one corporation sells them. After getting one, it's also entirely possible that it'll be randomly locked at a power level where using it is literally suicidal.
Implants function at "Cuil"-levels, the higher the level, the stronger the effect(and the stronger the side effects), at level 5, using it means you die or stop being a PC in some fashion, usually in a very dramatic way. Your implant's Cuil level, at implantation, is decided by rolling 1d10-(Mind:Presence+Body:Presence), with a maximum result of five. Keep in mind that while Mind:Presence sort of makes sense for this, as it's effectively your "spiritual wholeness"-stat, Body:Presence does not make even a whit of sense for this, as it's your "physical beauty"-stat. But hey, sure, I guess being really fucking pretty makes you good at harnessing the POWER OF THE STAR GODS or whatever the shit this stuff is.
You also have a 1 in 4 chance of the implant you getting spontaneously turning into another implant after installation. Just because fuck you
, dear player, for wanting to have fun with space magic.
Did I mention that some environmental effects, critical failures and Transcendent Implant usages can also escalate Cuil levels? Because self-destructing meaninglessly is what translates to "fun!"
If you took a Transcendent Implant and did not have enough Trait points to prevent the chance of a Cuil 5 implant, you leaped into this a little earlier than you should have. None the less, it is the character’s choice if they want to use their implant or not, and it could lead to a rather spectacular end depending on the situation. You can still use the small, utilitarian functions of your implant even if it’s Cuil 5, but if something should occur to force its activation, the You that was will be no more.
if something should occur to force its activation, the You that was will be no more
Man, who doesn't just love even more
chances of random death?
But just to make things better, you don't always have to be at Cuil 5 to have your implant be useless and/or fatal to use! Let's take the Translocation implant, for instance. At Cuil 1 it lets you teleport(note, though, that as far as I can tell, the combat chapter doesn't seem to explicitly note what kind of action using these implants is. Is it movement? Offense? Standard? Support?) a given number of hexes in a fight. At Cuil 2, the same, but with a chance of being a bit off on your location. At Cuil 3, it drags along everything around you and the minimum warp distance is 10 miles... on a roll of 1 on the scatter die, you arrive a mile under
your target location, if you arrive inside something solid, you die. Better hope you're teleporting to somewhere with a lot of caves. At Cuil 4...
4 Cuils: You and everything around you in a 100 foot radius translocate to an extreme location.
Roll a d10.
7-8: Random inhabited Jovian moon
Once you arrive at your target world, refine your position using the rules in the previous Cuil. If you roll 9 or 10, roll the dice again to determine which planet’s orbit you arrive in. If you roll a 9 or 10 twice, you don’t arrive in an orbit at all. Your character arrives in the black with no point of reference, perhaps not even in the same solar system, and is effectively lost forever.
We've confirmed that Earth would be suicide to arrive on(unless you're El Gecko or Scrooge McDuck five sessions into the game, anyway). Mars, Venus and an inhabited Jovian moon are alright, empty interplanetary space is basically the same as death, pretty much. Of course, you may also get 9-10 twice and get warped out of the game, or the Cuil 3 rules might dump you inside solid rock or something. Fucking, awesome, right?
Excitation, or Pyrokinesis, at Cuil 4, has a 25% chance of throwing your mind into the void after briefly turning you into a fire elemental. Excitation, or Telekinesis, has a 37.5% chance of instantly destroying your body if you touch anything
after activating it at Cuil 4. And on, and on, and fucking on. Most of the powers are handy at Cuil 1, useable with danger at Cuil 2, then at Cuil 3, some of them remain useful while others are basically game-ruining/character-ruining, and Cuil 4 are pretty much always fatal or have a really high chance of being fatal, just in a slightly less instantaneous way than Cuil 5.
And remember, just a single one
of these shit-tastic implants costs 1500 Credits, as much as it would cost Scrooge McDuck to become a living tank with the Annihilate-effect weapon that, I'll just remind you, can't backfire and wipe him out of reality
So, they managed to somehow make a version of the psionics from Eclipse Phase which are even more useless to the player
, despite largely involving the cool, reality-breaking exsurgent shit that you wished
your PC could get to play with. That's a fucking accomplishment!
I feel like I've been reviewing this fucking game forever. But thankfully we should be down to just one fucking post after this, one last post of shitty art and shittier writing.
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