[MADCorp] I'm posting class handbooks on my blog

Perhaps somewhat inspired by all the talk of webcomics, I'm posting the "Employee Handbooks" (class guide pamphlets for the players) from the design-in-progress MADCorp on my blog. Each week, I'll post between 1 and 3 of them until they're all done and posted. I've got the Bruiser, Crasher, and Carver up now.

I invite discussion, comments, questions, feedback, etc. about them! On the blog or off it.

-Marshall
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Comments

  • Damn I want to play that game. The clothes, the abilities, the buddy score thing, it all looks pretty freaking sweet. You've got me on the edge of my seat for more!
  • edited October 2009
    Good stuff, I'll definitely run this. Will it include rules for randomizing a dungeon?

    Btw I ran a super short Rustbelt thingy (waiting for the last player to another game to show up) with a fat trick shooter who was looking for perfection and also was grieving some kid he had shot. During one of his shows a father shows up and insists he does a Wilhelm Tell and places a big juicy apple on his sons head. The audience put more and more pressure on the trick shooter to make the shot harder by increasing the distance and to not get hit by his Vice for pleasing crowds he agrees and the difficulty is up to 40. He makes an excellent shot but still has to push 22 which he divides between Sweat and Tears and when the apple halves hit the ground he rushes to embrace the boy and weep.
  • Those are pretty awesome. One thing I didn't quite like was what I saw as limitations on the Crasher... Why only hip clothes? Why only skateboards or rollerskates? I totally see this guy going through places riding a motorcycle, or atop a pogostick, depending which side of damned awesome/damned weird you wanna fall.

    Also, and this is probably just me, but while Bruiser and Carver are the refined essence of memetic badassery, the Crasher seems like some sort of a wannabe kid. Maybe less street kid on wheels and more 'live fast die beautiful' stuntman? Or broaden the clothes/tools range to include both possibilities.

    S'just something about narrowly predefined character colour that I don't quite like.
  • edited October 2009
    Thanks, guys!

    Wilhelm,
    There'll either be tables for random dungeon creation, or dungeon creation on-the-fly will be trivial to do.
    Also, that Rustbelt mini-AP sounds awesome :) God, I love the Psyche and Price mechanics. (The way I see it, the Push ins't the cool part; the Price is where it's at)

    Daumantas,
    The clothes thing is intended to be a limitation. The Buddy Score is actually a pretty important thing. It gives you a bonus when acting to aid your buddy (anyone that you have a +1 or better Buddy Score with), but it also is important to advancement. When you gain an experience level, you have these options:
    1. Gain proficiency in a selected weapon or armor type
    2. Change a +1 trait to +2.
    3. Gain a trait from a buddy's Employee Handbook.
    4. Gain a skill from a buddy's Employee Handbook.

    This simulates the idea that, once you make friends with your coworkers, you start learning from each other and showing each other tricks. To complicate this currency, certain classes are more limited in their starting friendships (such as Crashers and Gloomdolls are the worst in this regard), or have a hard time making friendships in the first place (ex. Hardcases and Maddogs)

    I considered bicycle in addition to rollerblades and skateboard, but I decided it would be too difficult to use in tight spaces (like dungeon corridors), and that picking the bicycle would thus, many times, rip out half of your niche -- the Crasher's niche being a.) mobility in action sequences, and b.) coping with damage. Only one other class ignores damage better, and the Crasher is the only class that becomes more dangerous when damaged.

    The Crasher is, as I see it, a punk kid. But, when you take into account his ability to deal with being damaged, he's still just as badass as the other killer/muscle classes (except maybe the Hardcase, who will be in the next batch.)
  • Daumantas,
    I want to clarify and say that the Crasher isn't set in stone already. I'm still willing to talk about how he's constructed.

    Let's talk clothes. The following fashions are available in the game: hip, rugged, badass, casual, sharp, & weird. (Mostly I think these are obvious, but I'll point out that "rugged" is what a hunter or explorer might wear, and "badass" is what a biker might wear.)
    Given those options, which other ones would you like to see available to the Crasher?

    Also, what other mobility tools (for lack of a better word) would you like to see? Bicycles and motorcycles and stuff are really cool in concept, but remember that there's going to be lots of corridors and hallways.
    (As odd as it sounds, I can totally see a pogostick working.)
  • EXERCISE
    For anyone who feels like it,I've got an exercise for you:

    If you played a [insert class name here], what would you name him/her?
    Of the options provided for starting equipment, what would you choose and why? (Feel free to ask any system questions that make it easier to choose.)
    Is there something that you wish your [insert class name] had or could do? Why?
  • This is so great. I don't have critical feedback at the moment... just very excited to see this game rolling.
  • Casual - erring on the side of brave of the brave/stupid/deathwish equation. Casual here meaning sportswear - t-shirt, running shoes, nothing fancy and everything practical.

    Weird - erring on the side of stupid. Dressing up as a chicken, setting yourself on fire and then rolling through the enemies while singing the KFC theme song. Stuff like that.


    As for lil' rides... I was thinking segways, maybe? That would be HORRIBLE in the most awesome of ways.

    Also, maybe some combination of a surfboard and explosions?

    And bikes make sense to me, actually... I'm picturing the guy never getting off of one, ramming through doors, crashing into faces, throwing it into the thick of enemies and then having the gas tank explode, stuff like that. As for reduced mobility in closed spaces - you saw those youtube vidues with parkour guys running on walls, being all parallel to the ground and such? Imagine that, only with a bike.


    Oh, just so there is no confusion: what you're doing is unbelievably cool. It's like you took dungeoncrawling and chopped everything away except for its beating heart. And damn, that heart's got rhytm!

    As for the exercise...

    Mikey "Puppy Eyes", Carver. Suit and tie. Sharp clothing, and he keeps it that way. It's not easy avoiding all that blood, you know, but you gotta manage if you want to look good, and he does. Has a longsword and a straight razor (giving him two of either just seems weird for some reason).

    While playing a Carver, I'd like to get to be able to cut the enemies' major blood vessels of my choice. You know, really mess 'em up. "Find the weak point" would be pretty much what I had in mind, but I guess I care more about doing more damage to exposed flesh than being able to ignore armor better. Maybe that's already what that means? I'm not fully sure what "armor" really means in MADCorp, I guess (due to mention of blades having some sort of effect on armour, mostly). But I wouldn't have even thought about this if you haven't asked about it specifically. All in all, a Carver is pretty much already a class I'd like to play, with no changes needed.
  • Posted By: DWeirdCasual - erring on the side of brave of the brave/stupid/deathwish equation. Casual here meaning sportswear - t-shirt, running shoes, nothing fancy and everything practical.

    Weird - erring on the side of stupid. Dressing up as a chicken, setting yourself on fire and then rolling through the enemies while singing the KFC theme song. Stuff like that.
    Convinced.

    Also: append the "deathwish attack" to include fire as well as explosives.

    Concerning rides:
    Ok, Segways, bikes, motorbikes, unicycles, I'm convinced. Change the wording of "deathwish attack," "inadvisable stunt," and "Roller 4 life" to talk about wheels instead of just rollerblades and skateboards. Also to explicitly mention that you can run on walls (which was always intended, but I just realized I wasn't explicit about it).

    However, I'm thinking that the motorized stuff wouldn't be available as starting equipment: you'd have to buy it. Or have a Gearhead build it.

    Concerning major blood vessels of choice:
    When you roll edged weapon damage, the following results are possible: Minor, Grievous, Severe, Dead, Crippling, Mangling, Amputation. These are on a chart with weighted probabilities (f'rinstance, Minor is 25% of the time, while Dead is only 5%). Whatever you end up with, you can totally describe it however you want to.

    Armor penalizes damage rolls. Normally on a damage roll, you roll one die and compare it to the appropriate damage table, and that's what you get. If you have a damage bonus (f'rinstance, from the "bleeding edge" trait), you roll additional dice equal to the bonus and choose from the results. If you have a damage penalty (f'rinstance, from armor), you roll additional dice equal to the penalty and your opponent picks one of the results -- so, if you've got -1 damage, you have to roll "Dead" twice, so the probability drops sharply from 1/20 to 1/400.

    What the mention of "armor effectiveness" refers to is that armor is divided into different classes:
    clink: chainmail and plate
    street: reinforced leather, hoodies lined with light chain, phone books strapped to your chest
    tactical: kevlar, steel mesh, hard plastics, and ceramics
    gadget: customizable, mechanical armor

    Each of these is effective against certain types of damage to varying degrees; f'rinstance, clink is really effective against edged weapons, only moderately effective against blunt weapons, and not very effective at all against piercing weapons and guns.
  • edited October 2009
    Johnny is a Crasher. In the war he served as a tunnel-rat due to his small but springy frame and taste for adventure. He lost something down in the tunnels however and he knows he'll have to venture down in to the earth again to reclaim it.

    Johnny is wearing a fresh pair of combat pants and his old ranger cap as well as his dog tags. For wheels he has a kick bike, not that he's very attached to it, figures a vespa or cross would be better. He's armed with switchblade, snapgun and a frag.

    This guy has good THINK and ENDURE checks but not so hot MOVE checks.

    I'm a little worried about the coolness attack since everything else seems not dependant on arbitrary stuff.
  • To tell the truth, I'm not so certain that the bonus damage for coolness is going to go in. The Ref has a lot of adjudicating to do, but it's not usually based on something without principled basis. I might just let Crashers get bonus damage on their Deathwish Attacks by wagering self-damage on the Accidental Injury table. Like, you can try for +1 damage, but if you bust, then you take +1 on the Accidental Injury table.

    By the way, I've just posted the next three: Hardcase, Junk Knight, and Maddog. The Hardcase is a hardened, grizzled veteran. The Junk Knight is an expert at using gadgets to hurt people. And the Maddog is pretty much a psycho killer, really.
  • New classes look cool. I can't really comment on most of it since I don't know the full rules, but it looks like another set of interesting dudes all around.
  • edited November 2009
    Yesss. I was waiting for this.

    Hardcase and Maddog (is a mask really a must, though? I'd trust a hula-skirt of entrails would get the point across just as well) are both great, especially the Maddog's "kill the unsuspecting or helpless" thing. I'm a little worried about the Hardcase - he's a total loner, which is very awesome, but might maybe make his player lose out on the common fun in battle where everyone's talking to each other and making on-the-spot plans and stuff. When that happens, it seems like a Hardcase's job is either over (meaning other players had to wait for it to be over), or won't come at all. Not sure if this is an issue, but I thought I'd float it.

    The Junk Knight though... I dunno, he seems to have some sort of vibe. Like, if in D&D, I went all "I am a fighter, but I am also a mage!". I can't tell without also seeing the Gearhead, but this guy seems like he's all "Yeah, I do gadgets like that guy, but I also am damned good at killing stuff." Seems like an overlap of colour where the Junk Knight hogs the spotlight. 'cause killing stuff is where it's at, right?

    I'd maybe like to see him go in one of two directions - one, where he's more of a user of gadgets than a maker, some sort of cyborg with body grafts on his body grafts...

    Or him having a more direct, more intuitive approach to tech and machinery - stuff like using some sort of magnetised pole to stick two armoured foes together and then using that as a weapon, punching through some robot's hull and then using the hand inside to take control over it, throwing a wrench at a speeding car in a way that would make it deconstruct itself to pieces and then having those pieces impale the enemies present... Getting successes when evading mechanical traps he knows about, and using those same traps to fight enemies (changing the timing of the classic swinging blade, or something). Using random machinery to kill people. Making improvised mechanical stuff that lasts for that battle, but no longer.

    Something instead of his "I'm a maker and maintainer of complex gadgetry" aspects.
  • Does the buddy score do anything else except color and learning from each other and is it cumulative or can two people have different relationships to each other? I can easily see a crasher having +2 towards a Maddog, does the Maddogs dislike of everyone put them at -1?
  • I like rules questions! They help me write the core rules in a useable format, which is awesome.

    Maddog & mask: you're talking about the "Boo!" skill, right? You only need a mask if you're not already covered in blood. Or entrails, as stands to common sense as an extrapolation from blood, but would be fun to add into the description.

    Junk Knight vs. Gearhead: the primary difference between these guys is flexibility and efficiency. The Junk Knight can repair and maintain any gadget, but can only [i]make[/i] combat gadgets. The Gearhead can make any kind of gadget, and is better and more efficient at maintenance and repair. If you're gonna have a Crasher with a motorbike, you'll need a Gearhead around; likewise, a Gearhead to attend to a Junk Knight's armor leaves the Junk Knight free to concentrate on weaponry and killing.

    But, yeah, the item creation thing is inspired by D&D's magic item creation. I like the fact that, in D&D, being able to use and create magic items is part of the currency. I took it a step further, by making different kinds of special items (gadgets, oldTech, drugs, and talismans, so far) and dividing the knowledge of use and making between certain classes, and going another step further by adding the ability to instruct others in the use of certain special items. I'm excited about it, can't wait to see how it plays.

    On the Buddy Score:
    1. Other effects of it: positive scores can be called on for a once per job bonus to any action that is collaborative with or done for the sake of your buddy. He can also reciprocate once per job. Negative scores are applied as penalties to cooperative actions.

    2. The modifiers are cumulative with each other, but cap at -3 and +3. So, your Crasher and Maddog: the score is -3 because the Maddog is a fuckin' psycho. But let's say him and the Crasher are wearing the same style: +1, for a total of -2. Now let's say that the Crasher decides that the Maddog is the "most extreme" guy in the crew: +1, for a total of -1. But, wait, the Maddog also has drugs: +1, for a total of 0.

    3. The modifiers in the handbooks apply only to starting relationships. The scores change over time based on the characters' interactions: how much they help each other out, how much they screw each other over, and whether we get some fun conversations roleplayed between them. Daumantas, this ties into your concern with the Hardcase: he's a loner, and thus has to gradually build relationships in order to become effective at teamwork.

    4. Buddy Scores are mutual: both characters involved have the same score with each other. (I thought about them being individual, but I realized it would be hard to figure out which bonus/penalty could be applied to a given cooperative action.)
  • Posted By: DWeird stuff like using some sort of magnetised pole to stick two armoured foes together and then using that as a weapon, punching through some robot's hull and then using the hand inside to take control over it, throwing a wrench at a speeding car in a way that would make it deconstruct itself to pieces and then having those pieces impale the enemies present... Getting successes when evading mechanical traps he knows about, and using those same traps to fight enemies (changing the timing of the classic swinging blade, or something). Using random machinery to kill people. Making improvised mechanical stuff that lasts for that battle, but no longer.
    What class would I have to be to do this kind of stuff?
    Most games put a hurting on trying to do improvised actions/ weapons. If there's a class that specializes in improvising everything, but otherwise walking around totally unprepared, I wanna be that.
  • At one point, I was working on a different game where the whole thing was like that.

    I can't see it quite working in this, though, 'cause I want the fun to be in combining your party's skills in clever ways to overcome dangers and challenges with minimal cost for maximum gain. It's not unfriendly towards improvised stuff, though. It's negotiated with the GM, who makes a judgment call and decides if it's possible, and if so decides what stat you're rolling. Improvised weapons are actually a big part of it, because equipment breaks.
  • A couple more thoughts (aside from the stuff send straight to your doorstep, so to speak):

    The Maddog seems way too awesome not to have an offset of sorts, even if only symbolic. Maybe give him a small malus when there are no people around him that are either scared or dead? This would have the nice effect of him having to lug around corpses, or pieces of such, to stay at his optimum. Throphies and such.

    Also, very small adjustment to the Hardcase that would make him, I think, much more awesome... When he stares someone down, the person he targeted becomes, for all intents and purposes, "in single combat" with the Hardcase. Like, the Hardcase looks at the guy and whispers "That one's mine," and the other guy is all like "Jesusfuck he's coming to get me!"

    Both the Hardcase and his target can be shot at during this, but those two cannot pick other targets until their foe dies or leaves combat. Which means the Hardcase gets the pretty awesome niche of having to single out the meanest motherfucker of the opposing force and then takin' 'im on all by himself. Would essentially nullify the multi-hit possibilities an enemy Bruiser or a Carver has, for instance.
  • Nah, the Maddog is only awesome if he can sneak up on you. In a melee, he's a cut below the Carver, Tank, or Bruiser.

    I really really like the idea that a Hardcase can force someone to engage him in single combat. That's going in.

    Also, I've posted the Shootist, Tank, and Cooler. I know I said I'd do it once a week, but a.) I'm too excited, and b.) I've got a playtest next weekend, and this is really helping me with the design.
  • Another great set. Rules question on shootists: if I go critical and then die do I get two shots with that shoot em ability?
  • Nah, just the one. Once you go down or go critical, you're totally incapacitated; that skill just lets you peel one last shot off before you hit the floor.
  • I thought it would work that way, I was just wondering. Good set though, love the flavor text on the shootist and the cooler is a pretty awesome concept.
  • Do you get more emotional trauma from friends dying? It would be awesome if being a loner could also be an asset, like in Dwarf Fortress were squads were everyone is friends and love their wardogs usually go nuts and kill themselves after a bad fight.
  • Posted By: KripplerDo you get more emotional trauma from friends dying?
    Yes! If you see a partner die more-or-less cleanly, you get Spooked. If you see a buddy suffer the same, you get Harrowed. Increase these by one notch (Spooked to Harrowed, Harrowed to Horrified) for messy deaths.
  • That'll teach them to have uniforms!

    Is there any way of tracking progress in a dungeon? Like, instead of drawing a map with hallways and stuff you could smoothly make events like: this part of the dungeon collapses, make a MOVE check or fall to deepness X? Monsters could have ferocity equal to the deepness, or just be limited to certain depths. Also depth would give an approximate time/resource drain when you try to get out so it's never a question of if you turn back but rather of when you turn back.
  • edited November 2009
    Yay!

    Here's what caught my eye when reading the Shootist:

    Where's the skill that makes sure that sometimes, a Shootist will under no circumstances miss? Make damn sure seems to occupy that position, but it seems like the guy's pretty much just allowed to waste bullets like candy there. Which is good and effective, but doesn't really capture the colour of the Shootist I'd like to play. Maybe, uh... Shootist always gets first shot? If he's the first to move in a specific battle (once per battle, not per round), his first bullet will allways hit?

    The Ammo conservation rule is weird. Imagine this: I have a harpoon-gun with 1 shot. That's 1.5 shot, rounding up to 2 shots. I shoot them both at my enemies and kill them. I go over and collect my bolts, now I have 2. That's two whole reloads for the gun, therefore 2x1 == 2x1.5 == 2x2 = 4. I now have four shouts at people. Wouldn't be so weird if I couldn't collect the ammo afterwards, but even without that... I had 6 real bullets in my clip and used 9, all of which hit. So now there are more holes in the bodies than I had bullets. This can make sense sometimes - I shot through a guy and straight into another guy, or something. But if I keep using this skill, I'll have to keep thinking on how all those extra bullet wounds got there, which makes me distance myself from the game a bit...

    Maybe just, I dunno... allow the Shootist to never have to reload? As long as he has ammo, he can shoot. Or... he can empty his clip and shoot again next turn without spending an action to reload?

    Otherwise, the Shootist is great. I especially like the hate/love relationship with other shootists... The "fuckin' amateurs" thing is also sweet. One thing that I immediatelly thought of after seeing the "make own bullets" thing was the "I've got a bullet with your name on it" line. Maybe allow Shootists to create special bullets once per job for killing enemies they know about and really hate?

    The Tank is great. I was kind of picturing this huge guy walking around with a tiny psychotic crasher on his shoulder. They walk in an enemy-filled room, the Tank tosses the Crasher into the middle of it to do whatever crazy thing he planned... And the rest of the company just kind of huddle behind the Tank. No changes needed, but I would maybe like to see him using his armor offensively sometimes? Cracking skulls on it, crushing people with it... A simple adjustment would be to give the Charge! a +2 when there's a wall behind the enemies he's attacking. He doesn't just attack attack them... He runs into them and crushes them between his armor and the wall.

    Also, one very small thing - when a Tank cracks it, he takes his armor off, instead of ripping, busting, or tearing it?

    The Cooler... Man, his initial description is kind of lacking. Usually, when you talk about a class, you just kind of take me there, to the raw center of the abilities in question. For the Cooler, you're explaining things. If this makes sense?

    Also, his job description seems to be to stop cool things from happening. Whatever cool and dangerous effect an enemy weirdo just cast, it's not there anymore, and nothing gasp-worthy is taking its place. Which is useful, but decidedly not awesome. Maybe give him some bonuses when fighting Occult Weirdos? Most of them should be damned afraid of him, at the very least. Also, the "contain magical energies" rule feels like it needs some extra oomph. Not in the sense of powering it up, but just... Making the action of storing the energies itself to have some sort of effect in the situation. "I have mystical energies in my belly" just doesn't seem to cut it, for me. Personally, I feel the need to somehow combine bloodletting and all his refrigerators somehow... Maybe he makes ice blades out of his own blood that shatter on impact and release some of the the weird magic along with that? Or maybe he chops up pieces (stringman's hand, tattooist's skin, gloomdoll's face...) off of peeps he slays, freezes them up (what is with me and corpse mutilation?), and every once in a while, drips some blood on them and makes use of their powers? Two weird things about him are the boiling magic-infused blood and the refrigerators, and methinks there should be more stuff on his sheet about that. Somehow.
  • Posted By: DWeirdYay!
    Where's the skill that makes sure that sometimes, a Shootist will under no circumstances miss?
    Damn, man, he's scary enough! He gets +2 whenever shooting guns, which is really damn good. Let's say he's got an average-ish HIT score of 11; with a +2 bonus, he'll have to roll over 11 three times to fail. That's, like, 9% chance of failure.
    The Ammo conservation rule is weird.
    Nah, it's fine. The ammo scores on guns aren't the number of bullets in them. It's the number of attacks you can make with it before you have to reload. The ammo rules assume that each "attack" is going to consist of more than one shot, because that's how people actually fight with guns. The Shootist is the only person who even approaches "one bullet, one kill," although with most guns he isn't even that.

    That, and it only counts for bullet-shooting guns. Stuff that's clearly a one-shot thing, like harpoon guns or bazookas, don't need ammo rules.
    "I've got a bullet with your name on it"
    That's really interesting, although I'm not sure if there'd be much opportunity to use it. Of course, the Ref is encouraged to hand out bonuses for careful planning and cunning versions of actions, so something like that could still come into play in an impactful manner.

    As for the Cooler, yeah, I'm not happy about his description. It's too boring and too long (my favorite descriptor is the Root Doctor, who I haven't posted yet. It's just, "Who do that hoodoo so well? This guy." and that's it). Just haven't thought of a better one yet.

    I'll have to test it, but I'm pretty sure that the Cooler will be hugely devastating against magicians and magical monsters, as is. Sometimes preventing interesting things from happening is good, because sometimes "interesting" is a nice way of saying "oh FUCK that hurts."
  • Also, announcing the Changer, Helter-Skelter, and Gloomdoll.

    The Changer changes parts of his body into animal parts. The Helter-Skelter eats gunpowder and belches fire, among other things. The Gloomdoll wears spooky, androgynous makeup that gives him dark powers.

    I have a specific request for help re: the Gloomdoll! The blue lipstick is over-powered compared to the others, and the black lipstick is underpowerd. But I'm out of ideas.
  • Posted By: KripplerThat'll teach them to have uniforms!

    Is there any way of tracking progress in a dungeon? Like, instead of drawing a map with hallways and stuff you could smoothly make events like: this part of the dungeon collapses, make a MOVE check or fall to deepness X? Monsters could have ferocity equal to the deepness, or just be limited to certain depths. Also depth would give an approximate time/resource drain when you try to get out so it's never a question of if you turn back but rather of when you turn back.
    I'm really not sure what you're getting at here, but here's how I'm treating the dungeon:

    The Ref has a map, which he doesn't show to the players. The players make their own map as they go, assuming that their characters aren't moving too quickly to permit mapping. The map represents an in-game object that the PCs have and are making. The Arko (archaeologist) has skills that benefit this, allowing him to ask the Ref if X thing on the map is accurate, and, once per job, allowing him to peek at the Ref's map briefly.

    Depth isn't what determines how bad things get. Only the time you spend in the dungeon. Time comes in categories, not really durations. In an extended time, nothing actiony happens, and it goes pretty slow, like when you're thoroughly searching a room, and the Ref adds 2 to the "Tension Meter." (Which I figure he doesn't show anyone; he tracks it in secret). A moderate time is a little faster -- smoke breaks happen in moderate time -- and the Ref only adds 1 to the Tension Meter. Quick time only occurs in action sequences, and adds no Tension, but does tend to lead to fatigue, which leads to resting, which leads to Tension.

    As the Tension Meter rises, worse and worse things start to become available for the Ref to throw at you. Including monsters. These things are collectively termed Contingencies, and are mechanized in a way that I totally ripped off from Cruel Fortunes in Poison'd.
  • edited November 2009
    It's hard to say not knowing how bad +0 on the weird magic table or a severe wound is. Perhaps blue dazes and black perhaps tags them as undead for the next turn? Like: kiss that scary ass monster and it's not so scary anymore (and it might be sucked into the gateway).

    Tension is exactly what I was looking for except it can also rise from unexpected stuff like falling in deeper.
  • K. Damage on the Weird Magic table is fuckin' weird. It's like, in the Rustbelt, when you use Uncanny and Push. It includes some wounds, but also random stuff like teleportation, insanity, coma, and so on. +0 means that you roll on the table once, and that's what it does.

    A Severe wound means that you have to ENDURE or else you go into critical condition and might die. Also, if you've already got 3 Severe wounds, a fourth one kills you outright.

    Blue=Daze might not be a bad idea.
  • So, I haven't read the classes yet. I will, when I have time.

    But, just from reading this thread, I want this game. Bad. I haven't had a chance to get Rustbelt, but I've read your blog on-and-off for a while now, and everything you put up there tends to be interesting, awesome, or both. This takes the cake though, and it taps into my deep-seated love of dungeoncrawling.

    Sorry I don't have anything more useful, but... I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas after reading all this!
  • Thanks, Alexander!

    The Reader, Root Doctor, and Yegg are now up. The Reader is a psychic with psychic powers. The Root Doctor is a mash-up of folk magic stuff. The Yegg is a master thief.

    I'm not happy with the Root Doctor's poppet skill. I don't really like the effect, and thus I don't really like having it in there at all. But I gotta think about audience a little, and I know that people would be disappointed with there being a class like this without the ability to make voodoo dolls. I don't know what to do about it.
  • Hahhahahahhahahahahahhaha.

    Helter-Skelter with electric-eel organs. Yesss.

    Yeah, sorry about that. :D I loved the three mages, the Helter-Skelter especially. Me, I'm totally seeing him like a smoking guy who does things with his cigs. Inhale, exhale, flick accross the room... But I guess I should stop bugging you with all these little details already and just assume that I can weave them in when I play one, yeah?

    As for Gloomdoll's Black... kind of a variation of what Krippler just said, but maybe the guy kissed with black becomes a scapegoat? Every endure roll that a Gloomdoll would normally have to make - the target makes. Gloomdoll gets sucked into gateway - wait no, that guy gets stuck there instead. Also, and again with random detail... Maybe the Gloomdoll doesn't get the colours from lipstick, but by kissing corpses of various types and/or level of decomposition and/or type of death? Violent bloody death - red lipstick, suffocation or magic - violet lipstick, poison or disease - green lipstick, undead or rotten - black, and frozen for blue?

    Still reading on the newly released classes... 'till I finish up and let myself ruminate on those, a response and a question:

    Regarding the Cooler's abilities being cool or non-cool. Please compare: "I have a viscious hound from hell loose somewhere in this house. Watch your testies." and "I have a viscious hound from hell tied and drugged up in a bullet-proof box with like twelve seals of Solomon plastered over it." Kinda the difference between OMGWTFBBQ and "Nice! Would you like some tea?" Succesfully containing threats gives you a payoff in the tactical dimension, but it doesn't much emotional impact situation-wise. If this makes sense?

    And, the question: The occult weirdos seem to have lots of skills that are not as, uh, "jumpy" of the fighty classes. Like, I'd probably need the makeup skill before being able to use any of a Gloomdoll's powers, and similarly so for the Helter-Skelter. Am I seeing this right, and if yes, is this intentional?

    Oh, and 'nother thing. Some of the skills seem to be bound very strongly to the concept of a character. Like, a Cooler cools because he's born into it. The Changer too, I'm assuming. I would kinda like dabs of their powers by hanging out with them, but it sometimes boggles the mind that I could indeed do just that.
  • Maybe the Root Docter's poppet's aren't tied to specific people, they just protect him - they act as surrogates for him, and when something bad would happen to him he can use a poppet as a scapegoat?
  • edited November 2009
    I instantly want to play a root doctor, preferably while with some Dr John on the stereo Dr John: I Walk On Guilded Splinters
  • Suppose the black lipstick automatically causes the victim to panic? Also, blue=daze is good, because dazing leads to the loss of actions which is quite nice when you need people off your back or you're trying to run away, but it's something available to several other people (the Helter-Skelter, and anyone with a flashbang, not to mention gadgets made for the purpose). Suppose the blue lipstick made the victim temporarily insubstantial? He can't affect anything physically, or physically effect anything. I like this idea because it's unique -- nobody else has an ability like that. (So far.)
    Posted By: DWeirdAnd, the question: The occult weirdos seem to have lots of skills that are not as, uh, "jumpy" of the fighty classes. Like, I'd probably need the makeup skill before being able to use any of a Gloomdoll's powers, and similarly so for the Helter-Skelter. Am I seeing this right, and if yes, is this intentional?
    Yes. With the exception of Snap Bang, a Helter-Skelter's skills are useless without either Build Up Your Firepower or Powerchild; a Gloomdoll's skills are useless without Hair & Makeup; a Cooler's skills are useless without a PRU and a physique capable of lugging one around; a Root Doctor's skills are useless without a medicine bag; and so on. You can still learn magic from people, but in most cases it's difficult, requiring two steps.
    Succesfully containing threats gives you a payoff in the tactical dimension, but it doesn't much emotional impact situation-wise.
    I'm okay with that. Thematically, this game is about having a shit job but being good at it, and the strange mixture of pride and indignance that this circumstance produces. (There's more stuff to the game, like interference from upper management, rolls to subvert management, customer satisfaction surveys, and interns*, that really brings this to the forefront.) But, gameplay-wise, it's tactics and strategy all the way. It's Step On Up with a theme built in, but that theme is secondary.

    Alexander and Daumantas, I'm curious why the potential harm that the Cooler might suffer as a result of containing energy doesn't make it interesting. Should the risk be higher? Crazier? Would you prefer that a certain degree of harm be mandatory?

    * I'm REALLY excited about interns. They're sorta like hirelings in D&D, except you're encouraged to put them at risk instead of yourself. There's no Charisma mechanic for controlling them; they do what they're told because they're interns. They're good guinea pigs, and also handy sources of certain rare resources (like, say, innocent blood). The catch is that they're roleplayed by the Ref, as people, hapless, helpless people who you're doing all this shit to. And the reward systems encourage you not to care.
  • I really like the insubstantial lipstick! It's cool, because you can use it to take an enemy out of the fight for a while, or to keep an endangered (low HP?) ally safe.

    Is there another Alexander? I didn't see one in the thread, so I assume me; I've got absolutely no problem with the Cooler.
  • edited November 2009
    When a Reader cracks does the Ref have to roll damage for every creature in the dungeon or just the visible or preplanned ones? Depending on how rare Readers are getting a few of them and nuking a dungeon by having them search for monster minds till they crack and explode might be a good idea if the last party members have amulets that protect against psychic damage.

    About Root Doctor: I imagined he would be about pulling out teeth. How about letting each living mouth be a (one time) source of medicine and he starts with tongs so restraining someone and pulling out their teeth is a good source of juice or even doing it mid combat (difficult) or against a monster (super dangerous but more potent). Another good use for an intern!
  • edited November 2009
    Posted By: KripplerWhen a Reader cracks does the Ref have to roll damage for every creature in the dungeon or just the visible or preplanned ones?
    He'll have to roll for every rival dungeoneer, and every planned monster. Critters will just take a hit and die, 'cause that's what happens when you hit a critter. Unplanned monsters don't exist until they show up. They basically just spawn spontaneously generate. Dungeons are weird that way.
    Depending on how rare Readers are getting a few of them and nuking a dungeon by having them search for monster minds till they crack and explode might be a good idea if the last party members have amulets that protect against psychic damage.
    Hey, why not? If the players decide it's worth it, I say let 'em. It's clever.

    About Root Doctor: I imagined he would be about pulling out teeth.
    WOW I did not see that coming. Man, I thought this shit was twisted enough as is :)
  • About the Poppet thing...

    I'm not typically a fan of this kind of thing either, just so you know.

    What if, after making a poppet, the "victim's" body was given free resistance to pain. Not death, just pain. And the the poppet gives the holder access to the "victim's" pain. that prevents outright killing and such and can be used for the parties benefit (if they're brave enough).

    Perhaps destroying the doll Harrows the victim?

    Also, teeth as power? Sounds like the root doctor has a helter-skelter buddy and he took the power with a twist of the "color".
  • Actually, "Stick a pin in the doll to inflict a pain penalty" is pretty good. Likewise, if you make one of your friend, "Stick a pin in the doll to remove a pain penalty." Because, historically (and I care a little too much about historical accuracy in the portrayal of folk magic), poppets are, like 90% of the time, used for healing, not harm.
  • Do all body types give stats? I can see that Massive gives you a few traits but what about the types? Like: when is it ever good to be scrawny? I could imagine crawling through tight spaces (man, tight spaces are by far the scariest moments of real life dungeon crawling, I'll totally have tight spaces requiring MOVE rolls and being skinny is needed for those moments were leaving someone to be eaten by the darkness is more profitable) would be easier when you're scrawny or wiry.
  • Yeah, they each have mechanical effects. They determine your strength level (which is not implied AT ALL in the HIT stat -- that's just your ability to harm), how much your corpse weighs, how well you deal with fatigue, and what size you are (the small size of a scrawny physique is its only benefit).

    The different physiques aren't balanced. It's like this: your physique is a set of statements that are true about your character. Given that these are true, how do you minimize the degree to which they compromise you, and how do you take maximum advantage of them?
  • Wait, why did you stop posting these?
  • Holidays and illness.
  • OK! I've actually got a new one done.

    Announcing the Tripper.

    Also, new intro text for the Cooler:
    You ever have that thing where bad vuggum is making everybody sick? Or when the Helter-Skelter’s fire has got a little out of hand? Or when you touch an artifact and its eldritch influence takes over your mind? Don’t you hate that? Yeah, so does this guy, ‘cause he’s the one who has to take care of it. He’s a master of abjuration: warding, containing, and shutting down magic. Cooling.
  • Question: can a class without proficiency use a weapon or armor at a penalty?
  • Posted By: KripplerQuestion: can a class without proficiency use a weapon or armor at a penalty?
    Yes. With weapons, you get -1 to HIT. With armor, you are "burdened," which makes you -1 to MOVE in most situations.
  • The Hustler, Stringman, and Arko are now up!

    The Hustler is a con man. The Stringman does magic by playing weird sounds on stringed instruments. The Arko is a specialist on old shit (i.e. archaeologist).

    Check 'em out.

    I need help with the Hustler! What happens when he cracks it?
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