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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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.