posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

We have not published any secret rituals, or magic spells, text or runes.
With everyone adequately warned, and those of a nervous disposition gone, let’s get our horror on.
Beyond the Supenatural is a role-playing game of contemporary horror, offering a new magic system for a contemporary world, ancient mystical arts, places of power, psychic abilities, and everything you need to play this complete role-playing game of horror.
It must be true, it says so on the back of the book.
There’s some art, too.

I don't know what they are, but they all look pretty goddamn happy.

Beyond the Supernatural (BtS) is from 1988, a year after movies like Evil Dead 2, Bad Taste, Hellraiser, Lost Boys and Monster Squad. Let’s find out which, if any, of those BtS is like, at all. We start off with the disclaimer I posted on the first page; after that is the usual copyright blurb and credits- Kevin Siembieda, as ever, assisted by Randy McCall, and Erick Wujcik .
I hope his contribution was up to his Amber standards (he is credited as writing the 'Victim Rules').
Three pages of contents pages, and then we run into the crazy.

”Beyond the Supernatural” posted:

Over the years there has been a controversy that some people who play role-playing games can not tell what is real and what is fantasy. The conjecture is that the person can lose himself in the fantasy world. With this in mind, I would like to , right now, what is real and what is not .
Kevin, you think the RIFTS movie is a real thing that's going to happen. You're not best placed to talk about confusing fantasy and reality. There follows a column of ranting (we're in the Palladium column layout here, which makes everything a pain in the ass to find) about how magic isn’t real, and they made all this shit up. Most games manage to cover this much more briefly, and much more effectively- even so, the last part is worth a mention as being, y’know, a good point.

”Beyond the Supernatural” posted:

Beyond the Supernatural is a game. It’s meant to be fun. A brief respite from the ordinary, humdrum routine of daily life. It is a fanciful entertainment that lets its players build a story around characters they have created. An elaborate version of cops and robbers. Role-playing should be like playing Monopoly or Yatzee; a gathering of friends to share a few laughs, devour some munchies, guzzle soft drinks, and have a good time playing. That’s right. Teens and/or grown men and women sitting around, playing a game. What a concept! If you find yourself turning out lights and lighting candles, wearing a robe, casting spells or seeing spirits, toss this book out the window and talk to somebody quick. Talk to your Mom and Dad, a friend, a priest, a psychologist or someone who cares, because this isn’t normal. Remember it’s just a game .
I’m down with most of this- this hobby should be about hanging out with friends and having fun. Despite all the things BtS does wrong (there are a lot of them), it’s up-front about the idea of having fun, and I can’t fault that.
Anyway. Next up, we have HOW TO PLAY A ROLEPLAYING GAME . It’s standard stuff ( really standard stuff if you’ve read a Palladium game, because Kevin copy-pastes all his content), about imagination and whatnot, followed by a small glossary.
That out the way, lets move on to CREATING A CHARACTER . No, I haven’t missed anything out. This follows directly on from WHAT IS REAL? and HOW TO PLAY A ROLEPLAYING GAME . There's no setting, no intro fiction, no fluff, no rules to tell you how things work or what any of this stuff means, just character generation.

Things we know about BtS-
-it's a contempory horror roleplaying game
-it's got the happiest monsters
-it's not real

Personally, I think we're bang on form to make a character. We're going to make one, in fact. There are seven steps here- attributes, hit points and SDC, selecting a Psychic Character Class, occupation, education and skills, equipment and money, and rounding out one’s character.

What’s a Psychic Character Class (PCC)? Who knows. What’s an SDC? That's not explained yet either. There is this table, though.

Looks like any attribute under 17 doesn't do anything. Maybe that's an average value, or something? I mean, you have a 50% chance to charm or impress someone with PB 20. That sounds about average, right?

BtS characters have eight attributes, rolled on 3d6.

Huh. Okay, then. It doesn't look like those eight attributes are going to do much. No re-rolls, no 4d6 drop lowest, no point buy, and no stat assigning. Roll the dice, hope for the best.
If you manage to roll a 16 or higher for an attribute, your attribute is exceptional and you get to roll another d6 and add it to your total. Stats therefore range from 3-15, and 17-24. Nobody has an attribute at 16 in BtS. Ever. Despite exceptional attributes being called out as a thing, exceptional is never used as a rules term or keyword. Instead, we get lots of references to ‘characters with attributes of 17 or better’. I'm going to use exceptional from here on in.

Let's find out what the attributes are.
IQ - Intelligence Quotient . How smart you are. IQ x 10 gives your characters actual IQ. If you're exceptionally smart, you get a one-time bonus to skills.
ME - Mental Endurance . ME is used to resist mental and emotional stress, and to save against psychic attacks.
MA - Mental Affinity . MA is how empathic you are, and your social aptitude. With an exceptional MA of 18, you have a 50% chance to make someone trust you.
PS - Physical Strength . PS is RAW PHYSICAL POWER. You can carry PS x 10lbs, unless you have exceptional PS, in which case you can carry PS x 20lbs. Once you can carry 150lbs, if you keep working out you hulk out into a slab of muscle that can carry 340lbs like it ain't no thang. This is just carrying stuff. Lifting stuff (specifically not weight lifting, just picking something up that you can’t actually move) is double what you can carry.
A quick check on some weightlifters at the 2004 Olympics gives a snatch lift weight of 138kg. That's the grab and lift it above your head in one move weightlifting thing. Anyway, that works out at 304lbs. A BtS character with a PS of 15 can almost beat Olympic weightlifters, lifting 300lbs without any kind of training.
A guy with exceptional strength? At PS 17, the bottom end of exceptional , he could carry 340lbs, just sauntering around with it. If he actually lifts something (not weightlifting, just picking some shit up), he can lift 680lbs, or 308kgs.
In the Athens Olympics in 2004, gold medallist Hossein Rezazadeh was only able to snatch 212 kg, after training and everything. Wimp.
PP - Physical Prowess . PP is dexterity and agility, and used for kicking people in the dick.
PE - Physical Endurance . How many times you have to be kicked in the dick before you fall over. Also used to not get horrible diseases, and determines how long you can carry stuff for, and how long you can run at full speed for (one minute per point of PE).
PB - Physical Beauty . How hot you are. If your PB is 17 or higher, you get a chance to charm people. Personality is not enough to charm people in BtS.
Spd - Speed. This is your maximum running speed. Spd times 20 yards is how fast you can run in a minute.

That's a lot of words, so have a happy bat.

Let's roll up a... character? I was going to say 'investigator', but I don;t know if you investigate, yet. 'Monster hunter'? Who knows, the game isn't saying.

IQ 15 The best you can get without being exceptional. With that IQ of 150, Mensa membership beckons.
ME 6 Oh, dear. Our smartypants doesn’t handle stress well, at all.
MA 12 More personable than most, but nothing spectacular.
PS 10 Better not try to impress anyone with flexing. 100lbs of carry weight, 200lbs of lifting.
PE 15 Nothing exceptional, but at least the body is stronger than the brain. Fifteen straight minutes of running or carrying.
PP 13 Better coordinated than most, and he doesn’t look like he’s doing the robot all the time.
PB 15 Almost pretty. Almost.
Spd 23 Oh, fuck you. This is exceptional? Runs fast? 460 yards in a minute, and he can keep it up for 15 minutes. I guess if he sees something scary, he can get about 4 miles away from it before he has to stop for breath. I guess that’s kind of useful? Maybe?

For next time-
Is our sample character going to be an Ordinary Person, a Latent Psychic, a Natural Genius, a Nega-Psychic, a Physical Psychic, a Psi-Mechanic, a Psychic Healer, or a Psychic Sensitive? What are they called? Do they have a gender? Should we use the random tables for Character Background (yes)?

No, I'm not going to tell you what any of those classes mean. You'll find out in 40 pages time. I leave you with the knowledge that all of this has been mashed into 10 pages out of 255, and 6 pages of that was contents, credits and warning.

Oh, and this-

Character Creation 1

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Beyond the Supernatural

It is best to assume that psychic beings live and work in the country of the players.

There's not too much in this update, but since I'm going to be busy over the next few days I'm taking the chance to post something. More scans of happy monsters later, I promise.

Last time, we were at page 10 and making a character, and the game hadn't told us anythign useful about what we were meant to be doing. Let's carry on, shall we?

Nega-Psychic was the first PCC suggested, so lets go with that. Let's skip 40 pages onwards and find out what that involves.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The person who is a Nega-Psychic has an absolutely unshakable belief that psychic power, the paranormal and supernatural do not exist. No amount of evidence, speculation, scientific confirmation , nor personal experience with the supernatural, will persuade this character to change his conviction. The supernatural and all the other hogwash that goes along with it, like ESP, ghosts, monsters and UFOs are all nonsense! This character will tenaciously cling to the line of thought that everything must have a plausible, logical, scientific explanation .
So I guess if you manage to get scientific confirmation of ghosts and whatnot, these guys won't believe you because science isn't scientific enough?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

This is the guy who may have spent the last two hours battling with supernatural creatures, witnessed magic and psi-powers firsthand, and who will definitely state: "Alright, maybe I can't explain it, but it sure wasn't magic or spooks." Then he might add, "Science will figure it out. Maybe not in my lifetime, but they'll put all the pieces together." Swamp gas, practical joke, mass hysteria, weather balloon, sunspots, or hypnosis, are all more acceptable explanations to bizarre phenomena, no matter how lame that train of thought might be.
Oh, so they're just idiots. Okay, then.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

But there is a humerous irony that nega-psychics just can not appreciate. He is psychic and uses his psychic energies daily.
That's right. Nega-psychics are psychics who use their spacebrain powers to stop other psychic spacebrain powers from working. So, they're just dicks. They're resistant to supernatural forces thanks to their dickery, but are deaf and blind to those same forces. Okay, then.

Everyone gets Potential Psychic Energy (PPE) points, which you use to activate powers and so forth. Our nega-psychic gets 6d4+12, and comes up with
25 PPE. He keeps 8 as his base PPE, and gets to spend the rest on notpsychic psychic powers. He also gets some free abilities!

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The nega-psychics powers are a natural psychic resistance that protects only the psychic.
Does it protect the psychic? Or the nega-psychic? Maybe it's the psychic nega-psychic. Who knows.
10+ save versus all pychic attacks. This is automatic , so he doesn't have to try and resist, or know he's under psychic attack (which he can't know anyway). Sure, a crazy guy might announce, "I'm psychic, do a handstand," and the nega-psychic does it uncontrollably half the time, but that's not proof, okay ?
Serves as a disruptive force. Being a colossal prick is an actual ability these guys have. In group magic, where everyone can contribute PPE to make stuff happen, each point of PPE from our nega-psychics counts as -4 thanks to his dickery. If something is fuelled by spending PPE to produce a percent-based chance of success, nega-psychics give -4% per point. If someone uses a psychic skill within 10' of our nega-psychic? -10% to their chance of success.
Basically, he's four times better at making things not happen than normal people are at making them happen.
Vulnerability. Our notpsychic psychic is resistant to all psychic powers, both helpful and unhelpful. He also can never understand or imagine the forces he's up against. So he's not just a dick, he's an ignorant dick who can't even research the stuff he thinks is bullshit to say why he thinks it's bullshit.
17 points of stuff! Time to spend that PPE! Here's what's up for grabs-
Permanent Mind Block- completely prevents telepathy, empathy, empathic transfer
and hypnotic suggestion. 6PPE
+1 to save vs psychic attack. 1PPE each
+1 to save vs magic. 2PPE each
+1 to save vs horror factor (this is basically fear). 1PPE each
I'll leave it up to you guys to spend those points.
So, we've a mentally weak psychic notpsychic who can run fast. What's next?

The first hint about what players will be doing is given in this step, adding to our knowledge-
Things we know about BtS-
-it's a contempory horror roleplaying game
-it's got the happiest monsters
-it's not real
-weightlifters just aren't trying
-there are psychics
-there are psychic not-psychics

We're told that character's occupations don't usually have anything to do with the supernatural, they're for paying the bills, and using your psychic abilities will probably get you fired or branded a freak and make you an instant victim of extreme prejudice, suspicion and fear . So you can't use your telekinetic abilities to make money doing a stage show, or whatever. No, you'll work 9 to 5 like everyone else, and levitate on your own time.
It's suggested that players try and conceal their powers, or use them sneakily. Or, they take a job as a stage magician, circus act, psychic investigator or mystic.
So, don't be a psychic investigator, but do be a psychic investigator.
And don't do magic, but do do magic.
The last suggestions are investigative reporter or detective- presumably freelancing and private detectivery, rather than contracted reporter or actual cop.

It's worth pointing out that your occupation doesn't do anything for you, except let you get fired because you went monster hunting when you should have been working on that report for the guys on the sixteenth floor.

Just like real life, Beyond the Supernatural characters are educated in a completely haphazard fashion, first finding out how long they were at school and only later discovering what is was that they studied Skipping past the Alignments, Experience Tables and then the Insanity section, we find out how to get an edjumakashun. Let's see how our asshole nega-psychic did in school, and then we'll figure out what he actually studied.
A d100 roll of 57 gives us 4 years of college . He'll get +15% to any skills he learned at school, but doesn't have a degree- you need to have rolled 73-81 to get a Bachelor's Degree, 82-90 for a Master's, and 91-00 for a PhD. Yes, you are more likely to have a PhD than a Bachelor's or a Master's. PhDs and High School Graduates are equally likely, both with a 10% chance. There's only a 9% chance of getting everything else- military training, trade school, x years in college, or being a military specialist. I guess half the army in BtS-land is regular army guys, and the other half are spies or something.
Anyway. He gets 3 skill programs , which are (kind of) themed packages, and 8 secondary skills , which is just stuff you know.

Here's where we are-
unnamed asshole
occupation unknown, but 4 years of college education
notPsychic Character Class - Nega-Psychic
IQ - 15
ME - 6
MA - 12
PS - 10
PE - 15
PP - 13
PB - 15
Spd - 23
PPE - 8
Save vs psychic attack - 10+

We need a name and an occupation , and to spend those PPE points . Additionally, we need to decide on college classes - three of Communications , Computers , Domestic , Electrical , Journalist , Language , Mechanical , Medical , Physical , Science , Technical , Ancient Weapons , and Modern Weapons .

I didn't know you could take college courses in shooting and stabbing.

Anyway, to help you make these important choices I've made some character background rolls. Our notpsychic asshole is investigating the supernatural things that don't exist because he's Haunted . Ever since he was a child, curious ghosts show up around him. Curious ghosts which he cannot see or hear. He has No Family History of the Psychic Phenomena , and grew up in the Countryside in Australia , and his family are Labourers .

Presumably, it was his childhood in a fucking desert wasteland filled with poisonous animals that left him prone to breaking down crying and able to run away quickly. His Special Ability First Manifested Itself recently.

So, we've got Crocodile Dundee who's poor parents somehow sent him to college where he studied for four years and then dropped out because he couldn't see ghosts anymore, then got a job and investigates the supernatural on the side.

Should I roll up a Physical Psychic, too? Maybe someday we'll even find out what characters are meant to do.

I should point out that the word psychic has lost all meaning to me.

Character Creation 2

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Beyond the Supernatural

This will increase a character's awareness of suspicious rope, strings and wire.

Let's make another character! A Physical Psychic , this time!

Hello, ladies.

3d6 down the line for stats and...
IQ - 6
ME - 13
MA - 16+5
PS - 15
PP - 12
PE - 11
PB - 6
Spd - 11
Hit points - 14
Welp. Despite being a hideous imbecile, he has a 65% chance to get people to trust him, or to intimidate them. Luckily, being hideous and having an IQ of 60 doesn't stop you being psychic. Or psychically notpsychic.
This fine fellow is going to be a Physical Psychic . Personally, I think that's just cruel. He can't even spell it. What does a Physical Psychic do?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Most physical psychic powers induce some sort of physcal change or create a physical force that can affect the material world. They are manifestations that can be seen, heard and felt by anyone.
Except possibly nega-psychics, I guess?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The physical psychic is a person who has focused his potential psychic energy into the area of physical psychic phenomena. His is the world of cause and effect.
Wait, the rest of us aren't in a world of cause and effect?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Telekinesis, for example, enables him to open the door or bring himself a book without ever leaving his seat.
I told you this was an example. We've got a lazy, ugly, psychic idiot to go with our notpsychic psychic. I hope you're all proud of yourselves.
Time to roll up some PPE. 4d6+10 gives 25 PPE , 6 of which are set aside as his base PPE. The rest can be spent on psychic abilities.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Before you do anything else, you must determine your psychic Inner Strength Points (ISP) .
Whoah, wait what now? Oh, okay. Potential Psychic Energy doesn't represent your potential psychic energy. Potential Psychic Energy determines how many Inner Strength Points you have, which determine how often you can use your magic spacebrain.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

To determine psychic ISP, look at your total PPE points, including the permanent 6 base points, take that number, double it, and that is your initial ISP.
These are the actual words and punctuation in the book. So. 25 PPE, 50 ISP. Can we buy powers now?


Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Although the physical psychic possesses psi-powers, he is not receptive to the subtle sensations of the supernatural world. He is simply not in tune with psychic emanations. However, the physical psychic's presence and powers are part of the paranormal and, as such, may become known to those who are sensitive to such things. This is not all bad. It means the physical focus closes the character off from supernatural forces. While this makes telepathy or clairsentience difficult and clairvoyance impossible, it also creates a natural defence to possesion and psychic attack. Ironically, this defence also makes the character vulnerable, because he lacks the ability to see or sense the presence of his inhuman foes until they take a visible form.
Oh, god damn it.

10+ save versus psychic attacks at all times
Is 'at all times' different from 'automatic'?
+2 to save versus horror factor
+5 to save versus possession
+1 to save versus magic
Psychic attacks per melee equal to his physical attacks per melee
Just going to point out it will be a while before we find out how combat works (it's badly).
This character is unusually attuned to mind and body, providing a bonus of +10%, where applicable, to all physical skills and +8 to physical SDC.
When is this bonus applicable, exactly? Whenever you you need to think about what you're doing with your limbs? Is driving physical? I mean, you use your arms and legs and stuff. Picking locks? Who knows!

Can not sense evil.
Wait, at all? Is 'evil' a thing? Can normal people sense it? Is this guy the idiot without fear? Maybe when we get to the Ordinary People PCC we'll find out what's normal in BtS. Until then, we're going in the order the book throws stuff at us.
Can not sense the supernatural.
Wait, how did he find out he's psychic? Does he even know if he's psychic?
Can not open oneself to psychic or supernatural emanations including telepathy, clairvoyance, clairsentience, or other psychic sensory experiences.
Can not see the invisible.
I think I might be a physical psychic, because I can't see the invisible either.
Psychic sensitives and supernatural creatures may be able to sense the presence of psychic abilities in the physical psychic.
Unlike the physical psychic, apparently.

Purchasing Psychic Abilities
Fucking finally. 19 PPE to spend , and a laundry list of spacebrain abilities that he might (or might not) know he can do, and that notCrocodile Dundee is certain he can't do.
Alter Aura           - 2PPE
Bio-Manipulation     - 8PPE
Death Trance         - 1PPE
Ectoplasm            - 6PPE
Electrokinesis       - 5PPE
Hydrokinesis         - 5PPE
Impervious to Cold   - 2PPE
Impervious to Fire   - 3PPE
Impervious to Poison - 3PPE
Levitation           - 3PPE
Mind Block           - 2PPE
Meditation           - 1PPE
Pyrokinesis          - 6PPE
Resist Fatigue       - 2PPE
Resist Hunger        - 2PPE
Resist Thirst        - 2PPE
Speed Reading        - 2PPE
Summon Inner Strength- 2PPE
Telekinesis          - 6PPE
Total Recall         - 3PPE
I'll leave it up to you guys to pick these things. Yes, they're blind choices. I'll point out that our actually psychic psychic isn't very psychic, and has an IQ of 60. Whatever you pick will be perfectly fitting.

Lets give him some background and education!

He's interested in the supernatural because he's just curious . Okay, then. There's no history of psychic phenomena in the last two or three generations, but a distant relative was 'known' to have unusual powers. He grew up an agricultural/farming community in Canada , part of a lower class family . His special ability first manifested in his late teens . He has a Master's Degree , giving him 3 skill programs at a bonus of +25% (from the same list as notCrocodile Dundee), and 10 secondary skills . Thanks to his Master's Degree, he can be a Medical Doctor, although not a legal, practicing doctor (probably because of his IQ of 60).

Character Creation 3

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Beyond the Supernatural

Roll for the type of legs. Each roll represents a pair of legs.

So, we're making characters! Once these guys are done, I'll go over the background and skill sections, as well as look at the various PCCs in more detail. I thought the lunacy of character generation was worth jumping right into, to be honest.

Here's out first character-
notCrocodile Dundee
occupation unknown, but 4 years of college education (skill programs- Ancient Weapons , Modern Weapons , Science all at +15%) and 10 secondary skills, which I'll use for Domestic and Mechanical skills.
notPsychic Character Class - Nega-Psychic
IQ - 15
ME - 6
MA - 12
PS - 10
PE - 15
PP - 13
PB - 15
Spd - 23
PPE - 8

He's Haunted by curious ghosts that he cannot see or hear, he grew up in the wilderness in Australia, and recently realised he's not psychic.

What did he learn at Sydney's College of Stabology and Shootology?
Ancient Weapons Program - select three
Weapon Proficiencies let use weapons, proficiently. Ancient Weapons Proficiencies are used for stabbing and clubbing, Modern Weapon Proficiencies are used for guns.
Let's give notCrocodile WP Knife , WP Sword , and WP Blunt so he can stab, slash and bludgeon [strike]monsters[/strike] weather balloons.
This gives him-
WP Knife - +1 to strike when thrown. More bonuses at levels 2, 5 and 9.
WP Sword - +1 to strike and parry, more bonuses at levels 4 and 8.
WP Blunt - +1 to strike and parry, more bonuses at levels 4 and 8.
These bonuses only apply when those weapons are used, so they won't stack.

Modern Weapons Program - select three
Modern Weapon Proficiencies provide bonus for ther associated weapon, just like Ancient WPs. They give +3 to strike with an aimed shot, +1 to strike with a burst, and no bonus or penalty when firing wild. These bonuses increase by +1 every three levels. You can also easily reload, disassemble, unjam, clean and otherwise maintain the weapon. If you were a Military Specialist (or went to Trade School), you can learn how to use laser guns, too. Because he's got a Modern Weapon Proficiency, he also gets Recognizes Weapon Quality at 30% , and +6% per level . Since he studied shooting holes in people scholastically, he gets the benefits of his four years of college, +15%
WP Revolver - +4 to strike with an aimed shot. Reveolvers just get an extra +1 to hit, deal with it.
WP Rifle - +3 to strike with an aimed shot, +1 to strike with a burst.
WP Sub-Machinegun - +3 to strike with an aimed shot, +1 to strike with a burst.
What does burst fire do for you? Let's find out.
Firstly, you roll once to see if the entire burst hits. If you miss, all the rounds in the burst miss.
Short bursts fire 20% of your magazine. You fire short bursts at single targets, and do the normal damage for one round, doubled .
Long bursts fire 50% of your magazine. You fire long bursts at single
targets too, and do normal damage for one round, times five .
Entire magazine fires 100% of your magazine. You fire at a single target (unless you have a machine gun), and do normal damage, times ten . It takes two attacks to do this, though.
I'll talk about combat more in a little while, when the book gets to it. It's really badly laid out.

SCIENCE! Program
Studying SCIENCE gives notCrocodile Computer Operation and a choice of five other scientific skills. Let's see what he can do with Computer Operation.
Computer Operation - A knowledge of how computers work (but you can't repair them with this skill) . Characters can follow computer directions, enter and retrieve information, and other basic computer operations. Starts at 60% +15% for spending four years doing data-entry at shooting school, or something, and then +5% per level. Four years of college, and 75% of the time the can turn a computer on.
Let's make notCrocodile good at saying monsters and ghosts are bullshit!
Biology is a basic understanding of cells, anatomy, evolution and genetics. He'll learn how to use a microscope, cultivate bacteria, and classify organisms. 40% + 5% per level.
Botany is an extensive study of plant categories and functions. Was Biology was just fucking about in a lab? Anyway. 40% + 5% per level.
Chemistry - Analytical will let notCrocodile analyse and synthesise chemicals, and makes him highly skilled in the use of lab equipment. 45% + 5% per level.
Chemistry - Pharmacautical teaches notCrocodile all about drugs and what they do to people. He'll be able to say, scientifically, that they've been huffing swamp gas and that's why saw monsters. He can also identify and administer all kinds of drugs, so he'll be fun at parties. 40% + 5% per level.
Psychology should help figure out if the guy talking about monsters is just nuts, and spot the influence of drugs, hypnosis and mind control (which doesn't exist). 40% + 5% per level.

You get some basic skills, too!
Mathematics- Basic is the usual adding, subtracting, dividing, multplication and fractions. 80%, +2% per level.
Read/Write Native Language lets you do just that.
Speak Native Language lets you make noises that people can understand.

Okay, so Secondary Skills . These are hobbies or non-professional things you can do, taken from a slightly different skill list. Let's try and fill out notCrocodile's abilities-
Land Navigation will let him flee at top speed in the right direction, 40% of the time, and Wilderness Survival will let him survive in blasted hellscape of his native land, 40% of the time. Pilot:Basic- Automobile will let him drive cars, 76% of the time.
Research should help find out about this supernatural bullshit (although he can never understand it), and he can do this 50% of the time. Research isn't needed to investigate stuff, only to get hard to find information, and it speeds up normal research. Photography will let him document the notmonsters and notpsychics he encounters (half the time, anyway).
Let's throw in First Aid , Basic Mechanics , Advanced Mathematics , Hand to Hand: Basic training, and some Athletics training for the last few picks.

Hand to Hand: Basic gives two attacks per melee, and +2 to pull/roll with punches and falls. It gives more stuff as you level up.
Athletics gives +1 to parry and dodge, +1 to strike with a body block, +1 to roll with a punch or fall, +1 PS, +d4 (3!) to Spd and d8 (5!) to SDC.

That leaves notCrocodile looking like this (I'm just going to spread his PPE points around)-

notCrocodile Dundee
notpsychic psychic (Nega-Psychic PCC)
IQ - 15
ME - 6
MA - 12
PS - 11
PE - 15
PP - 13
PB - 15
Spd - 26
PPE - 8
Hit points - 21
SDC - 14
Permanent Mind Block (6PPE)
Save vs magic - +3 (6PPE)
Save vs psychic attack - 15+ (5PPE)

Recognize Weapon Quality - 45%
Computer Operation - 75%
Biology - 55%
Botany - 55%
Chemistry- Analytical - 60%
Chemistry- Pharmaceutical - 55%
Psychology - 55%
Mathematics- Basic - 80%
Mathematics- Advanced - 64%
Read/Write Native Language
Speak Native Language
Land Navigation - 40%
Wilderness Survival - 40%
Pilot:Basic- Automobile - 76%
Research - 50%
Photography - 50%
First Aid - 50%
Basic Mechanics - 40%
Hand to Hand: Basic
WP Knife - +1 to strike when thrown
WP Sword - +1 to strike and parry
WP Blunt - +1 to strike and parry
WP Revolver - +4 to strike with aimed shot
WP Rifle - +3 to strike with aimed shots, +1 with bursts
WP Sub-Machine Gun - +3 to strike with aimed shots, +1 with bursts

Next Time! Doctor Psychic! Tables! Jetpacks!


posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Okay, now that everyone has experienced the scattershot layout and total failure to explain anything that's in this book, let's try skipping back and forth to try and put things into some semblance of order. I'm going to include page references, so you can see how bad this mess truly is.

Characters have eight Attributes (p9) , ranging from 3-15 and 17-24, but never 16. They are irrelevant at 15 and below, unless you care exactly how much you can carry and how fast you can run.

Damage to characters is represented by Structural Damage Capacity (bruises and scratches) and hit points (serious harm). A character's SDC is determined by their occupation ( p13) (2d6, or 3d6 if you're in a physical job (p10)), which is otherwise useless you care about how much characters earn in their day-to-day not-investigating-the-supernatural life.

Skills (listings start on p32) let you do stuff and are rated as a percentage, which increases by level (experience charts are on p20) . They are also given a one-time bonus based on a character's IQ (if it's 17 or higher) (p9) and a second one-time bonus from the a roll on the education table (p27) .

Starting cash to buy equipstuff is also determined by a random roll (p15) , as are background details like notCrocodile Dundee's antipodean past (p25-26) .

Mashed in between all these things are Alignments (p16-18) , a page or so on why you should use experience points and level systems (p18-19) , Insanity rules (p21-23) , cures for insanity (p23) , the effects of alcohol and alcohol withdrawal (p23) , and the effects of drugs, drug addiction, and drug withdrawal (p23-24) .

Lady, I am so fucking baked right now.

Learning new skills through training (p28-29) comes after the education table but before the skill lists, sandwiched between the lists of skill programs you can take at school (p28) and information about what secondary skills are (p29) , and the list of which skills are secondary skills (p29-30) . After that is a list of all available scholastic skills (p30-31) , then the actual skill descriptions and details (p32-42) . Dropped into this are a bunch of combat-specific skills and rules (p35-36, p41-42) , the various penalties some skills suffer, like lockpicking (p39) , and the rules for firing automatic weaponry (p41) .

The actual combat rules come later p43 , and what those combat skills listed on p35-36 do is on p45-46 , helpfully after finding out how long it will take you to punch a 18-wheeler to pieces.

Good job, Kevin.

Being a ghost is fuckin' sweeeeeeeeeeet!

I'm going to cover BtS's combat rules now, as knowledge of those will be useful when covering some of the skills later- especially those available to Trade School students.

Combat is mostly carried out using d20 rolls, and is pretty clunky. I'm going to use page references for this part, because even this (small) section is all kinds of fucked up.

STEP 1: Determine Initiative
Okay, we're told that successful Sneak Attack or Long-Range Attack will always have initiative for that melee. Otherwise, whoever rolls highest on a d20 will attack first, and you reroll ties. Initiative is rolled only once per melee. (p43)

Your Physical Prowess, representing your dexterity and agility, does nothing for you. The PP3 gump is as likely to go first as the PP27 pinnacle of human achievement.

A Sneak Attack (p45) is simply getting the jump on someone. If you walk up behind a dude and smack him upside the head, you've done a sneak attack , you have initiative, he can't parry or dodge. You don't need to sneak to do a sneak attack , just suckerpunch some poor fuck. Also, you don't sneak in BtS. You Prowl .

A Long-Range Attack (p44) is- Well, fuck it, I'm going to quote Kevin here-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

By using a long-range weapon from a distance, an attacker can perform an undetected, first strike . Provided the attacker is not seen, the defender automatically loses initiative and may not dodge the first attack that melee round.

First strike is never mentioned anywhere else in the book. No mention is made of the distance needed for a Long-Range Attack , either. Six inches? Six feet? What losing the initiative means isn't entirely clear, either. Everyone who didn't go first seems to have lost the initiative, according to a vague hint in the paragraph on continuing combat (p43) .

Anyway, now that that's clear, let's move on. Initiative is rolled only once per melee doesn't mean that intiative is only rolled once per melee, because 'melee' means melee round, sometimes (p44) .

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Melee or Melee Round: Exactly 15 seconds. The segment of time combatants have to strike, counter and/or return strike.

Everyone up to speed? Good. Now that we know who's going first, or maybe not, let's go on to

STEP 2: Attacker Rolls Strike
The puncher rolls a d20, and adds any bonuses from PP and skills- 4 or less is a miss, 5 or more is a hit. If your opponent has armour, you hit that unless you beat it's AR on your roll.

There's no mention of, y'know, announcing who you plan on swinging at. So maybe you roll a dice, and see who's punchable.

Finally in Step 2, if you have a special attack then you should have declared you were planning to use it at the start of Step 2 or it doesn't work. Thanks, Kev.

What kind of special attack? Well, two are called out- Death Blow and Knockout/Stun .

Death Blow is near the start of the glossary, so actually on the same page. This kind of proximity is a rarity. Death Blow just kills people.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Death Blow: An automatic kill. The defender can try to roll with death blow by rolling over the attacker's strike. If the defender is not killed, then the current SDC and hit points are reduced to half. This attack is available only under certain conditions.
Okay then. Uh. If you roll with a Death Blow, does that mean you're not killed? Because Death Blow doesn't say that. I mean, it implies it, I guess. What conditions is it available under? Let's try to find out!
Step 5 of combat tells you what happens if you roll with a Death Punch . Is that same thing? What if you get Death Kicked? Whatever, it doesn't say you don't die there, either. So maybe you roll with Death Blow and lose half your SDC and hit points and are still dead? Maybe rolling with Death Blow (or Punch, maybe Kick) just makes sure you keep enough bits intact to identify your body.
I wonder when you can use Death Blow? Hand to Hand: Expert (available on p28, listed on p35, (kind of) detailed on p45) gives you Death Blow on a roll of natural 20 at level 15. No other details there, but Hand to Hand: Martial Arts (p28, p36, p46) gets it at level 15, too. Hand to Hand: Assassin (only on p46, not listed in the skill section) teaches it at level 12.
I guess the 'certain conditions for using Death Blow' are 'be at maximum level', or have a skill you can't take and be at almost maximum level.

How about that Knockout/Stun thing? Knockout/Stun attacks knockout/stun people (thanks, p44!). Hand to Hand: Expert (the part of it on p45, anyway) gets Knockout/Stun on an unmodified 18, 19, or 20 at level 11, and Hand to Hand: Martial Arts (p46) can get it at level 13. Those cheeky scamps with Hand to Hand: Assassin get it at level 7, which might be useful if players could get the skill.
Boxing (back on p36) allows you to knock people out- except that you don't have to declare an attempt at a Knockout if you're a skilled boxer, and you can do it at level 1. Welp.

Not mentioned- does declaring a Death Blow or Knockout/Stun have any impact on your attack if you whiff? Should you just do it every time? If the poor bastard you're punching has some kind of AR 19 suit of armour on, can you knock him out by punching his armour and not him?

Okay, you've punched/shot/suckered someone, and have connected. You can now roll your damage and wreck their shit, right? It's not that easy, my friend.

STEP 3: Defender May Parry, Dodge or Entangle
The punchee can now try to not be punched, using one of three methods.
Parrying can be done automatically by anyone trained in any form of Hand to Hand combat. Is Boxing a form of Hand to Hand combat, or does only Hand to Hand: blahblah count? Parrying automatically also doesn't mean you Parry auomatically; it means you don't have to give up your next attack to Parry. Anyone who's untrained has to give up their next attack to try and Parry an attack, and anyone who's untrained has one attack per melee round. Anyone who's trained has two , and doesn't give up attacks to Parry.

Don't Parry if you're untrained. Better yet, don't be untrained.

You can't Parry bullets (guns are covered before these rules (p41-42) ) or energy attacks (laser guns are on p241 ). Flamethrowers (p241) are not energy attacks, and technically can be Parried. Just throwing that out there.

If someone is shooting you with bullets or lasers, you want to Dodge . Dodging always eats up your next attack.

Fianlly, you can try to Entangle , which snares your opponent's weapons. Nothing says you can't choose to Entangle when someone shoots at you.

Defenders can only defend against attacks they can see, and you can't do anything about attacks from the rear. I can't find anything, at all , about movement in combat, which may mean you can be slowly, inescapably, donkey-punched to death.

You may notice that this step doesn't actually tell you how to Parry, Dodge, or Entangle. That's because it's over the page, in the glossary of combat terms.

So, you might have punched or shot someone, they might have been hit. They might also have teleported over to you and tried to strangle you with your gunbelt. Let's assume it's the former.

STEP 4: Attacker Rolls Damage
If the defender doesn't Parry, Dodge or Entangle the attack, you roll damage and add any modifiers (usually from exceptional PS or skills). Critical strikes double damage. If you already do critical damage and you roll a natural 20, for example, you do triple damage. Oh, you didn't know natural rolls of 20 were critical strikes? Well, now you do. Yes, this is mentioned after being used in an example of criticals stacking. Oh, and a punch does d4 damage. Why stick that in here? Because fuck it, why not.

For comparison, being hit with a blackjack also does d4 damage- if you buy the one on p226 for $10. If you take the $20 blackjack on p243, you do d6 damage. It's a much better buy than the $20 cattle prod that does d4 damage. (Neither is as good as the $3 hairspray that gives -6 to strike, parry and dodge for d4 melees, although your victim can still entangle you just fine.)

So, we've hurt a dude! Yaaaay!

Actually, maybe no.

STEP 5: Defender May Attempt To Roll With Punch
Blunt attacks, like punches and clubs and stuff, can have their damage reduced by a successful Roll With the Punch roll. Roll a d20, add your modifiers, beat the attacker's total. If you do, half damage. So, stab people. Always stab people.
If you roll with a Knockout punch, you don't get knocked out, but you take double damage instead. Rolling with a Death Punch results in a loss of half your remaining SDC and hit points, and you may enter a state of being dead but not people pizza, or be alive and all kinds of fucked up.

Once all that is done, you
Continue the Combat
Repeat the process for whoever lost the initiative- no mention of multiple combatants. Maybe whoever wins the initiative roll goes first, then everyone goes at the same time. BtS isn't telling, at any rate.
You do this back-and-forth until everyone has used all of their melee attacks; once that's done, you start a new melee round with an initiative roll.
Note: Also see robot and missile rules.

Yes, that's there. No, there are no robot or missile rules.

Combat Terms

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Considered to be a primadonna maverick who operates by his own rules.

I was going to cover some skills in this update, but this was bigger than expected (because the rules are terrible).

We've (kind of) covered the basics of combat. Let's take a look over the glossary of Combat Terms , and next time we'll make a start on the clusterfuck that is the skill system.

We've already covered Armour Rating (AR) , in character creation, and in rolling to strike, so let's not cover it again, unlike the book.
Next up is a Damage Table (Basic) . There is no Damage Table (Advanced).
Human Fist             d4
Human Kick             d6 or d8
Black Jack             d6
Bull Whip              d8
Thrown Small Objects   d4
Falling                d6 per 10ft
Collision              d8 per 10mph
Smashing Through Glass d4
Dropped or Thrown      1d8 per 100lbs
  Large Objects        1d8 per 40ft, and 1d4 per 4mph
Human Kicks only do this damage if you have Hand to Hand: Basic and are level 3 (d6), Hand to Hand: Expert and are level 5 (d6), or Hand to Hand: Martial Arts and are level 3 (d8). Hand to Hand: Assassin only learns to kick people at level 9 (d6). Can you kick people normally? Wait and see. Just so you know, you can use a frying pan for d6 damage with no level requirement and no training.
Black Jacks have different damage ratings depending where you look and which ones you buy.
Bull Whips , remarkably, do d8 damage consistently.
Thrown Small Objects have no reference point for what counts as 'small'. There's also no thrown medium object damage listed. Checking way back under Different Applications of Physical Strength (p10) tells us some stuff about throwing, but doesn't actually categorize anything, or interect with the damage chart here.
Falling seems straightforward, and matches the Falling damage listed under the Climbing Skill, which surprises me.
Collisions are good for d8 damage per 10mph. Okay, notCrocodile Dundee can run at about 15mph, so I guess he'll do better sprinting at people than punching them.
Smashing Through Glass seems an unusual thing to have on a basic damage chart. It's especially unusual when you consider that Windows, Ordinary Glass , have 20SDC, and will need about ten punches to break. You'll also notice that a car driving into a window (SDC 20) at 30mph (3d8 damage) is unlikely to break it.
Dropped or Thrown Large Objects is... Well, I don't know. Does it do damage based on it's weight and it's speed and it's distance? If a PS 17 character throws a 340lb barbell 5'6" (thanks, Different Applications of Physical Strength !) at someone, does he do 4d8 (weight) + 1d8 (distance) +d4 (speed) damage?

This is a succubus.
No, really.
Next up is Death Blow (or maybe Punch) , which we looked at, as well as Dodge and Entangle . You have to keep rolling Entangle every melee round to keep the weapon trapped (no mention of what you roll against, though), and the Entanglee can try to dodge your Entangle by beating your roll.
Hand to Hand Combat tells us about characters who don't have Hand to Hand: blahblah , not about characters who do .
Hit Points are up next, and we're told how to determine them (again). Initiative helpfully tells us that whoever acts first has the initiative, but doesn't mention losing the initiative.
Kick Attack should probably be quoted here, as printed in the book.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

This is a karate-style kick. It is a normal attack that does d4 damage for the untrained , or higher with hand to hand skills (1D6 or 1D8). Anyone trained in hand to hand combat can do a kick attack.
Untrained kicks do d4, but you can only do untrained kicks if you trained in hand to hand combat? So you train to do untrained kicks? If you don't train, you can't do things untrained? I don't even-
Moving on, Knockout/Stun knocks out or stuns people. For how long? Again, who knows.
Jump Kick can only be used by those skilled in hand to hand combat (who are also morons). How skilled? Hand to Hand: Basic doesn't teach you, nor does Expert , nor Assassin . Only Martial Arts teaches a Jump Kick (at level 5). What do you get for the privilege? Well, it must be your first attack, you can't make any other attacks (but you can still Dodge, Parry and move into position (hooooooooooowwwwwww?), and it's automatically a cirtical strike, for double damage. Since you'll have two attacks for having Hand to Hand: Martial Arts , and gained an extra attack the level before learning to Jump Kick, you'll lose two attacks if you jump kick.
Next up is Leap Attack , which is the same as Jump Kick except that a) you can use weapons b) you can hit two guys standing beside each other and c) you have to be level 8. Hand to Hand: Martial Arts basically gives you nothing at two levels, I guess. For bonus funtimes, you can automatic parry mid-leap but can't dodge- however, you reroll tied initiatives, so you never act simultaneously (OR DO YOU?).
Long-Range Attack is next up, and gives you first strike (never mentioned again).
Melee or Melee Round tells us each round is 15 seconds long.
Multiple Opponents are next, and tells us that you can parry any attack you can see coming, and you can only swing at one guy at a time. Fair enough. Natural Twenty explains, at fucking length, that only a roll of 20 is a natural twenty, you can't have an 18 and +2 modifier and call it a natural twenty. Oh, and natural twenties are critical strikes that you can only beat with another natural twenty.

Puuuuullll my fingeeeeeeer.
Paired Weapons lets us know that some weapons can be used as a pair (maybe somewhere it will tell us which ones). If you use paired weapons, you get two actions per attack but lose your automatic parry- so it's probably a bad idea unless you're just beating up one guy.
Parry tells us nothing new, but
Pull Punch is all new. You can declare in adavnce that you're pulling your punch, and you only do it half the time (roll 11+ on a d20). If you fuck up, you do full damage. If you don't fuck it up, you can do half damage, quarter damage, one point of damage, or no damage.
Roll With Punch/Fall is why you just want to stab a bitch, because otherwise people get an extra defence roll to take half damage. Things you can't Roll With? Bullets, blades, energy blasts, fire, psionic attacks, and radiation .
Saving Throws Did you think a d20 based game wouldn't have these? You get minor modifiers from some exceptional attributes and skills. Here are the basic saves-
Lethal Poison       14+
Non-Lethal Poison   16+
Harmful Drugs       15+
Acids               no save, dodge!
Insanity            12+
Psionics            15+ for non-psionics
                    10+ for psionics
Looks like the best way to kill people is to non-lethally drug them, and then throw barbells at them.
SDC is still SDC, but there is this-
SDC Table (Basic) which tells you how hard it is to smash shit up.
Here's a scan-

Bullets do about 2d6-3d6 damage, and we've covered punching and kicking damage. It takes forever to kick open weak interior doors and smash windows.
We're also told here that bullets can pass through stuff and hit other stuff. Bullets lose 2% of the SDC of whatever they went through to whatever's behind it. Shoot through a 200SDC Wall, Exterior Brick at someone? Your bullet does 4 less damage. Have fun with that.
Also, motorbikes and interior doors are as tough as each other.
Simultaneous Attack is up next. Instead of Parrying an attack, you can just hit the other guy right back. Nobody gets to parry, dodge or entangle, UNLESS you have Paired Weapons, in which case you can try and Parry with your other weapon. Your other option is to stab the dude twice, with each of your weapons, so you may as well do that while he's standing around like a dork since you'll come out of it best. That Leap Attack 'can automatically parry while doing this' thing? Yeah, that's pretty useless, as your opponent can just do this to you and deny you your parry (or he can just dodge while you leap around like an idiot).
Sneak Attack comes from ambushing, attacking from behind, or you can try to sneak up on someone using Prowl. Since there's no benefit to doing that over walking up behind him (in fact, failing to Prowl lets him know you're there and denies the Sneak Attack entirely), just walk up behind the poor schmuck and do him.
Strike is hitting people, nothing new.
Throw is throwing. It's strike, but you use 'to throw' bonuses instead of 'to strike' bonuses.

That pretty much covers combat- there are the Hand to Hand skills to cover, but they just provide bonuses to doing stuff, and I'll cover them as I go through skills. Congratulations! You now know almost everything/nothing about how combat works in Beyond the Supernatural ! If you want to know more, you're shit out of luck!

Skills 1

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Okay, we've scratched our heads at combat and puzzled at the inept character creation rules. Let's press on with the 'how to do things that aren't beating people up' part of BtS- skills!

Everyone gets some skills for free-
Automatic Skills - Mathematics: Basic, Read/Write Native Language, Speaks Native Language
Everyone gets these, for free. If you're 'of a non-English speaking ethnic background' you can speak and understand that language at 75% efficiency, but cannot read the language. You get a 30% bonus to that language if you study it as a foreign language. Yes, if you made Swedish Parapsychologist you would speak English better than Swedish, a quarter of the time you tried to speak the language you grew up with you'd just make some confused honking noise, and you couldn't read Swedish.

Beyond that, your character's Education Level is determined randomly.
Here's the Educational Level chart-

This is isn't affected by your characters attributes (remember, IQx10= actual IQ) so a character with an IQ of 30 can still bag a Doctorate, and a borderline cripple can become a military specialist.

Skills come in two varieties- scholastic skills and secondary skills .
Scholastic skills come as part of a skill program , and are formal education. They recieve the bonus listed on the Education Level table.
Secondary skills are stuff you learn on your own, and do not get the Education Level bonus.
Finally, all of your skills get a one-time bonus if your IQ is exceptional .
Skill programs are areas of study- taking one can either give you all or a selection of skills from a category.

Here are the available skill programs -
Communications , Computer , Domestic , Electrical , Espionage , Journalist/Investigation , Language , Mechanical , Medical , Military , Pilot Advanced , Physical , Science , Stage Magic , Technical , Ancient Weapons and Modern Weapons .
You can have a Doctorate in shooting, or a Master's in stabology. There are more restrictions, naturally.
The Espionage Program can only be taken by Military Specialists and Trade School students. The Espionage Program can teach you Sniper , so I guess the Trade School is in a rough neighbourhood.
You can only learn one hand to hand combat skill . No word on whether Boxing is a hand to hand combat skill, or only Hand to Hand:blahblah counts.
The Medical Doctor skill can be taken if you have a Master's (but you aren't licensed and can't practice), or a Doctorate/PhD (in which case you can be a proper doctor ).
You need to take the Science Program to be a Medical Doctor. Yes, it is in this order.
The Advanced Piloting Program (or maybe the Pilot Advanced program) is only available to the Military , Military Specialists , Doctorate/PhD holders and Trade Schoolers . Really. Rough school.
The Stage Magic Program is only available to Trade Schoolers .
If you went to High School , you can only pick Computer , Domestic , Physical , Language , Technical and Ancient
. I'm not familiar with American High Schools, but I'm pretty sure they don't have 'killing people with chains' on the syllabus. Or Geomancy, for that matter. Do correct me if I'm wrong, Americanians.
Also, squeezed in at the bottom, you can only pick a skill program once .

Just like Kevin, I'm going to drop in A FEW NOTES ABOUT SKILLS after mentioning some that you can get, but before talking about them or mentioning anything else about secondary skills .

First off, you can't have a skill higher than 98%. One time in fifty, you'll forget the meaning of every word in your native language. You get two new secondary skills for free every third level; this isn't mentioned anywhere else.
Also, you can learn a new skill or skill program by going to school- kind of.
It takes 4-6 hours per week in class, per skill, and another 6-8 hours on homework and study. Learning to use and program computers by studying the Computer Program will eat 8-12 hours in classes, and 12-16 hours in homework. You have to do this for three semesters to get the skill at it's base level. Miss three assignments or three classes? Fuck you, you fail and get nothing.
You have to pay, too-
You can go to Community College for a mere $200/skill per semester, and if you manage get the skill, you get a -5% penalty.
You can go to College for $500/skill per semester.
You can got a Good College for $1200/skill per semester, which takes twice as much class time and study time, for no benefit.
Good luck learning anything new!

A notpsychic psychic.

Secondary skills are less good than scholastic skills , and are more limited in what's available. I'll indicate them with an S when they come up. They're not so interesting, so let's try looking at a skill program !

Communications Skill Program
Taking the Communications program in college gets you all of these skills, just like in real life!
Cryptography lets you crack codes. Any codes. In your head. You have a 30% base chance, plus anything from your schooling and IQ. Look at a code for 10 minutes, and you can try to crack it at a -10% penalty. Want to crack Enigma ? Get five guys to look at it for 10 minutes, and one of them will probably do it. If they don't manage it, they can try again after two hours of study, using their full skill.
Laser lets you use laser communications systems, 40% of the time. Odds of you needing to use a laser communications system while ghost hunting are approximately 0%. And there aren't any in the book, soooo...
Optic Systems is what you ened to use night vision goggles, thermo-imagers and, er, camcorders. 50% of the time, anyway.
Radio: Basic Communications lets you use walkie-talkies and change the batteries. You can only learn these ferociously difficult skills at college or in the army, or by spending a year and a half at night school, whereupon you will have a 50% chance of success.
Radio: Scramblers lets you use scramblers, 40% of the time.
Radio: Satellite Relay is unlikely to see use, but you'll fuck it up anyway. There's only a 25% base chance of getting it right.
TV/Video is the last in this skill program, and it covers... not TV and Video. Nope, this is for editing, special effects work and broadcasting. Bonus Palladium fuckery - by spending two skills on TV/Video, you're professional! Except the Communications Skill Program gives you all of these skills, you can't take a skill program twice, and TV/Video isn't a secondary skill either!
Read Sensory Equipment is also included, which we'll cover much later in the Pilot Advanced section.

Not included in the skill program , but still a Communications Skill is
Surveillance Systems , which covers... Well, a lot. Knowledge of motion detectors, simple alarm systems, complex alarm systems, video equipment, camera equipment, amplified sound systems, using bugs, phone tapping, recording methods, CSI-style ROTATE ENHANCE techniques, tailing and stake-outs. You need to have Basic Electronics to get this, but you can take that as a secondary skill. I'm pretty sure this is more useful than a knowledge of satellite radio, and you can learn of all this in the same period of time. 40% chance of doing it right, or you fuck it up/get caught/leave your bug sitting on the coffee table.

Skills 2

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Last time, we looked at the college classes you needed to take to use a walkie-talkie. Let's press on through the useless, in search of the crazy.

The Computer Skill Program gives you
Computer Operation ( S ) is basic, non-programming comupter use (including the 'skills to operate periphals like keyboards'), and allow you to turn them on 60% of the time.
Computer Programming is just that, 40% of the time. It has Computer Operation as a prerequisite, which only matters if you want to waste a character's time/money going to school.

Probably worth a mention is the fact that Computer Repair isn't taught in this skill program. It's in the Mechanical Program (alongside Aircraft Mechanics and Lockpicking), and not, say, the Electrical Program (with Basic Electronics and Electrical Engineer).

Weak. Lets get weaker, with the
Domestic Program
Cook ( S ) lets you cook, 50% of the time. If you fail, you burn or ruin the food. Don't have cook? I hope you like eating out!
Dance ( S ) lets you move with a modicum of rhythm, 40% of the time. Naturally, smart people dance better. Graceful people can suck it up and just lumber around.
Fishing ( S ) is fishing. Nothing to add, except that you can do everything fishing-related 60% of the time, but fuck up boiling eggs half the time.
Sewing ( S ) lets you sew, 40% of the time.
Sing ( S ) lets you sing, 40% of the time.
All of these are considered to be of professional, commercial calibre if you take the Domestic skill program (so if you're a pop star who's aprofessional when it comes to Sing and Dance , you're also a chef, commercial fisherman, or tailor- about half the time, anyway.

Let's get our on, with the
Electrical Skill Program
There are only two skills listed as Electrical Skills -
Basic Electronics ( S ) lets you do wiring work and repair appliances (but not computers, which are mechanical or something). 40% chance of success.
Electrical Engineer gives, I shit you not, 'knowledge of electricity'. Does nobody else now about the magical zap-stuff that comes out of walls and wires? Anyway, Electrical Engineer lets a character put together electrical equipment (but not computers, which are magic), and also lets you try to bypass security systems and burglar alarms at -25%. Your basic chance of success? 45%. If you've got Surveillance Systems from the Communications program, you get +10% instead.
In the skill program you also get Surveillance Systems (listed under Communication Skills , not available through the Communications Program ), Computer Repair (listed as a Mechanical Skill ), and Computer Operation (under Computer Skills ) or TV/Video ( Communications again) or Computer Programming ( Computer Skills again).
Yes, you can take the Electronics Program and get the useful part of the Compuer Program ( Computer Operation ) and a bunch more stuff.

Moving on, we get a much more expansive skill program, the
Espionage Program
First up, the Espionage Program can only be taken by Military Specialists and Trade Schoolers. Been in the Miltary? Nope. Not good enough. Taking this skill program gets you six of the skills; the most someone can have is twelve (a Military Specialist using their single skill program pick to take Espionage again). There's nothing in the rules stopping you taking them at community college or whatever, though, so go for it.
Concealment lets you hide things on your person by constantly moving them around from hand to hand or place to place. You can only do it with objects no up to 14" x 14", 6" deep, and 10lbs or less. Maybe Palladium people have really big hands. Apparantly, giant sized characters can add 6" to he size and 6lbs to the weight. There are no rules or guidelines for what counts as 'giant', but you can be 'tall'. If you try and use Concealment on an object over 7" (wide? tall?), you get a +5% penalty. So it's easier, I guess? 20% base chance.
Impersonation allows you to, well, impersonate people. Only not really, because that's Disguise , right? So I guess you can look generically like someone, only no, there's a modifier for impersonating someone specifically. How does it work? Well, there's a 40% chance if you Impersonate general personnel (like a soldier or a cop), and a 20% chance to Impersonate a specific individual, which might take weeks of study. To actually do it, you have to roll under your skill for the first three encounters with whoever you're trying to infiltrate (a first level character with the maximum IQ 27 has Impersonation at 63%, by the way). After that , you roll for each encounter with an officer. If anyone asks you questions, you have to roll every other question . Fail one roll, and you're rumbled. Good luck with that.
Interrogation , which you can learn at community college in Palladium-land, lets you get information out of people, 40% of the time.
Land Navigation allows you 'to stay on course, while travelling over land, by means of observation'. You should roll every three miles you travel, and if you fuck it up (base skill is 40%), you stumble d10x100 yards off course, and don't have a chance to figure it out for three miles. If you keep fucking up, you keep going further and further of course, and you have to correct every single fuckup to reach your destination.
Palming lets you palm things. It also gives +5% to Pick Pockets . Synergy! You only have 25% base chance of palming, though.
Detect Ambushes lets you spot 40% of ambushes, as long as you don't walk too fast. How fast? Who knows!
Detect Concealment lets you spot camouflage, but not ambushers. It also lets you camouflage yourself, with no way of knowing you've succeeded, 30% of the time. So good luck with that, too.
Disguise lets you disguise yourself or others, 40% of the time. Can you spotted? Kevin isn't saying.
Escape Artist is for escaping things, and concealing small objects on your person. Isn't that what Concealment and Palming do? Escape Artist starts at 30%, so you're better off using it, anyway. Oh, and Escape Artist doesn't let you pick locks.
Forgery does exactly what it says 30% of the time, and lets you spot forgeries at -6%. Nobody else can spot forgeries, it seems.
Intelligence lets you do some pretty useful stuff. You can figure stuff out about your enemy, assess sights and sounds, estimate ranges, know what to report, know how to handle prisoners of war, know what to do with captured equipment or information, identify enemy troop numbers, know about guerrilla warfare, concealment techniques (wait, isn't there a Detect Concealment skil for that?), identify booby traps, and identify enemy troops and officers. This would be pretty handy for a soldier. Shame regular Military guys can't learn it (but Trade Schools teach all this stuff). 42% base chance. Why 42%? Because fuck it, why not.
Picking Locks lets you pick locks, in d6 melee rounds (so between 15 and 90 seconds) with a 35% base chance.
Pick Pockets gives you a five-finger discount, 30% of the time. If you fuck up, the target notices 67% of the time. Oddly specific but useless numbers are a Palladium speciality.
Sniper gives +2 to strike with the Semiautomatic Rifle or Bolt-Action Rifle skills, only one of which exists. Also, taught in Trade School.
Tracking is tracking, and identifying animal poo. You also learn some counter-tracking stuff, giving anyone following you -20% to their tracking skill, which starts at 30%. To track, you need to succeed at a roll; once you're following someone, you roll every 40 yards . Fail and you have to roll again. Fail three rolls in a row, and you completely lose whoever you're looking for.
Finally, Wilderness Survival lets you survive. You know, in a wilderness. Although anyone can stay healthy for a few days, and there's no indication of what happens if you do end up in a wilderness with no food and water (but it probably ends up with you dead).

Next Time! More happy monsters! More uselessly specific skills! Underwater movement rules! Back flips!

Skills 3

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

The first few powers to manifest just surfaced one day.

Sad news, backflips and SCUBA diving will have to wait for the next update, because Physical skills are a huge section.

This is mostly boring, with outbreaks of dumb, that's Palladium for you. At least you'll never have to read it for another Palladium game, because they're all the same.

The Mechanical Program gives you-
Locksmith is the study of locks, oh and lockpicking. You can try and open any mechanical or electronic lock, 25% of the time (with a bonus +5% if you have the Electronics skill, which doesn't exist). If you fail to open an electronic lock, you'll irrepairably break it 32% of the time.
Mechanical Engineer tells you how machinery is designed, operated, built, maintained, sabotaged, modified. The first perecentage is how to operate/analyze/design stuff; the second is repair/construct/sabotage. There's only one percentage, which is 45%. Tagged on bonus out of nowhere! This skill also gives you +5% to Locksmith and Surveillance Systems , which neither skill mentions.
It also gives you one of the following-
Automotive Mechanics (S) lets you repair, rebuild, modify and redesign conventional vehicles, 50% of the time.
Aircraft Mechanics lets you do the same for single/twin-engined aircraft, jets, helicopters and shuttle craft 45% of the time. Want to improve a space shuttle? You'll succeed about half the time, after some night school classes.
Computer Repair is taught alongside space shuttle repair and the magic of cogs. It doesn't include knowing how computers work (that's Computer Operation , so you fuck about with a broken computer and then give it back, hoping that you've fixed it). 40% base chance.
One of those doesn't seem overly mechanical to me.

Also listed under Mechanical Skills is
Basic Mechanics (S) , 'a rudimentary understanding of how machinery operates' (40% of the time, anyway. I guess it's incomprehensible magic the rest of the time).

Uninspired clip art throughout this section.

Let's push on, and see which other non-existent skills are referenced.
The Military Program teaches all three Military Skills -
Demolitions lets you blow stuff up and set booby traps, and increase your character's awareness of suspicious rope, string and wire. 60% chance of doing it right, and if you fail it's a dud.
Demolitions Disposal (or Explosive Ordnance Disposal) lets you stop stuff getting blown up and disarm booby traps. No modifier to your suspicious string awareness. 60% chance to disarm, failing detonates whatever you're poking.
Pilot Tank is, naturally, part of this package of explosive use. You can drive tanks, armoured assault vehicles, amphibious recon vehicles, and construction vehicles- 50% of the time, anyway.
You also get Hand to Hand Basic and Read Sensory Equipment thrown into the bargain.

Next up, the Medical Program .
Criminal Sciences & Forensics makes you CSI-guy. Criminal law, fingerprinting, ballistics, investigative tecniques, forensic medicine, the full monty. You're required to have Biology , Chemistry , Chemistry-Analytical , and 'some' Mathematics before you can learn this stuff. Functionally, this means that you need to have taken the Science Program . Your chance of figuring out all that stuff? 35%, so you're not actually good at any of it.
Paramedic is more in-depth treatment, but also includes everything you learn in First Aid . You still only have a 50% chance of success, and if you want to treat serious injury, you have to roll three times and succeed on two out of the three- so don't get seriously injured.
Medical Doctor 'needs a PhD with Master's of Science, to be a practicing doctor'. Okay, then. You're a doctor. And a surgeon! And a pharmacologist! 70% to diagnose, 60% to treat. Professional medical treatment ('from a doctor, clinic, hospital or psychic healer ') lets you recover 2 hit points a day for the first two days, then 4 hit points a day. You recover 6SDC per day.
Pathology teaches you about diseases, their causes and symptoms. Uh. Medical Doctor says it covers those, too. Anatomy? Medical Doctor . Physiology? Medical Doctor . Tissue injury and repair? Medical Doctor . Requires Chemistry , 45% base chance.
You get Biology (from the Science Skills ) thrown in, too.

Not included in the skill program , but still a Medical Skill , is
First Aid (S) is basic medial stuff- stopping bleeding, bandaging wounds, CPR, use of antiseptics and painkillers, get 50% base chance. Half the time you take an aspirin. The other half, you jam it up your ass, I guess- and that's with training. You'll recover 2 hit points and/or 4SDC per day with basic medical treatment, so you'll be over most gunshot wounds in a couple of days.

You try and save him. I'm having his watch.

Next time! Overcoming your terrible attribute rolls (maybe)!

Skills 4

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Suddenly attacking a friend or ally and shouting "I hate you! DIE!" is not normal.

So, you've rolled up your attributes and your character is a pathetic specimen, seemingly composed of toast-racks and pipe-cleaners.
It's time to get swole, taking some Physical Skills with the Physical Program - four, to be exact.
That's right, you can Charles Atlas your way to (almost) competence by picking Physical skills. Sure, you can only take the Physical Program once, and you can only pick each skill once, but you can make your character not suck in some areas, at least. It's not much, but in this system, you take everything you can get.

Hand to Hand Combat comes in three flavours - Basic (S) (counts as one skill), Expert (counts as two skills) and Martial Arts (S) (counts as three skills). Here's what they do-

Martial Arts gives you Jump Kick , Leap Attack and Paired Weapons , making it both the most useless and the most costly; Expert can only be taken as part of a skill program , and there are better picks in the Physical program . This usually leads to everyone picking Hand to Hand: Basic as a secondary skill.

Acrobatics teaches trapeze skills and stunts. It gives a whole bunch of stuff, which you get your smartypants exceptional IQ bonus and college education bonus for-
Sense of Balance 60%
Walk Tightrope or High Wire 60%
Climb Rope 80%
Climbing 40% (or adds +15% to the Climb skill)
Back Flip 60%
Prowl 30% (or adds +10% to the Prowl skill)
So far, so good. Picking Acrobatics gets you Climbing and Prowl for one skill pick, not two- okay, they're not as good , but how often will you be climbing a mountain to fight the Evil Everest Elemental? And in the meantime, you can wirewalk between buildings and backflip and shit. What else do you get for your skill pick?
+2 to Roll With Punch/Fall
+1 to PS
+d4 to PP
+1 to PE
+d6 SDC
Oh, right. Faster, stronger, tougher, better able to half damage from blunt attacks. This seems like a solid pick so far-
Leap four feet high and five feet long, plus two feet per level
Fearless of heights
Well. Uh, okay then. At level 2 you're equalling the world high jump record, but sure, fuck it.

Archery is shooting arrows into things and people. Is it any good? Well, you get +1 to strike with a bow and can fire 2 arrows per melee (round) at level 1, and +1 every two levels after that. At level 5 you can fire four shots per melee, each with +3 to hit strike. How does this fit in with attacks? Are they your attacks? Who knows. Do they hurt much? That we do know. I'll add a 9mm Browning (one shot per attack) for comparison, and add the costs.
Bow Type and Range    Damage per Arrow   Cost
Short Bow    (420ft)        1d6           $130
Large Bow    (700ft)        1d8           $270
Compound Bow (800ft)        2d6           $200
Crossbow     (700ft)        1d6           $160
9mm Browning (135ft)        2d6           $590
Hmmm. I wonder which one to pick.

Athletics (general) (S) is non-specific sporty stuff. Pfft. how useful is that going to be when you go monster hunting?
+1 to parry and dodge
+1 to strike with a body block/tackle (d4 damage)
+1 to Roll With Punch/Fall
+1 to PS
+d4 Spd
+d8 SDC
Oh, okay. Pretty fucking useful.

Body Building (S) lets you get swole-
+2 PS
+10 SDC
-but that's all. Since your PS is only useful once it's exceptional , that +2 isn't much use. +10SDC is nice and all, but you could instead take-

Boxing , punching people until they have brain damage.
Automatic Knockout for d6 melee rounds on a natural 20 (you don't have to declare this, unlike other Knockout attacks
+1 attack per melee
+2 to parry and dodge
+2 to Roll With Punch/Fall
+d4 to PS
+2d6 SDC
That Body Building isn't looking so hot, is it?

Next up we have Climbing (S) . You get a 50% base, which is better than the Acrobatics benefit (65% if you have both). How does climbing work in play? Well, you roll every 20ft. If you fail, roll again to hold on- otherwise, you fall off and probably die. If you take Climbing you get Rappelling too, which you use for scaling walls and cliff faces (and descending from helicopters). Rappelling also gives you
+1 PS
+1 PE
+d6 SDC
Why are the bonuses listed under Rappelling , and not Climbing ? Because Palldium, that's why.

Ready to sacrifice another cake.

Fencing comes next, and you learn a little bit about stabbing, for
+1 to strike and parry
as long as you have WP Sword . Go back up there and look at Boxing again, would you? Yeah. You'll pick that one.

Gymnastics teaches you about falling and rolling and the usual gymnastic stuff. If you have both Gymnastics and Arobatics , you take the highest base percentage of each ( Acrobatics for everything but Back Flip ).
Leap 4ft across and 4ft high, +2ft per level
Sense of Balance 50%
Climb Rope 70%
Climbing 20% (or +10% to a climb skill)
So... any climb skill? There's only one. Unless you count Rappelling, I guess?
Back Flip 70%
Prowl 30%
+2 to Roll With Punch/Fall
+2 PS
+1 PP
+1 PE
+2d6 SDC
Leap 4ft across and 4ft high, +2ft per level
Yes, it's there twice.
Since all of these bonuses stack, you see a lot of Gymnastic Acrobat Boxers around when you go ghost hunting.

Prowl (S) is used for sneaking around, but you don't have to sneak to get sneak attacks . It teaches you balanca and fotoing, pacing, crawling, prone positions that lower your visibility... and rifle positioning. Even if you learned to sneak around in your spare time. 46% base chance, fucking up means you're detected and can't make a sneak attack.

Running (S) is running.
+1 PE
+4d4 Spd
+d6 SDC
notCrocodile Dundee's exceptional Speed can become truly remarkable with a good roll.

Swimming (S) is up next, and without it you can't swim. Period. With it, you can swim 50% of the time. Smarter people can swim better, because. The percentile you roll indicates the overall quality of form as skill of execution. What does this cryptic message mean? Who can tell. What I can tell you is that you get +1 to parry and dodge in water, and you can swim 3xPS in yards per melee.

Advanced Swimming is Swimming , but better (and Swimming isn't a prerequisite, so fuck taking it). You learn SCUBA diving and whatnot, and swim 50% of the time. Also, you can swim 4xPS in yards per melee, and get
+2 to dodge underwater
+3d4 to Spd when swimming
+d6 SDC

Wrestling is touching men inappropriately in High School and College, and you learn
Pin/Incapacitate on a natural 18, 19 or 20
Crush/Squeeze for d4 damage
Body Block/Tackle for d4 damage, and opponent must Dodge or Parry to avoid being knocked down
Being knocked down has no effect, and no other body block knocks down. Just saying. Oh, and punching someone does the same damage as body blocking/crushing/squeezing.
+2 to Roll With Punch/Fall
+2 PS
+1 PE
+3d6 SDC

So, everyone is an Acrobatic Gymnastic Wrestling Boxer , with secondary skills of Hand to Hand: Basic , Athletics and Climbing .
3 attacks per melee
+1 to strike with a Body Block
+3 to Parry and Dodge
+11 to Roll With Punch/Fall
+2 to Pull Punch
+7 +d4 PS
+1 +d4 PP
+4 PE
+9d6 +d8 SDC
+d4 Spd
Knockout attack on natural 20 that doesn't need to be declared
That's why.

Skills 5

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Yes it can keep up with a jet aircraft.

Okay, we've looked at the skills everyone takes in Palladium games. Lets push on through the last of the skills. Once that's done, you'll know the wonky foundations of every Palladium game, and will only have to worry about Psychic/Racial/Occupational/Whatever Character Classes from then on.

Pilot Skills aren't part of a skill program , they're all secondary skills, they're all boring, and they do exactly what they say. Available options are-
Pilot: Automobile 76%, Pilot: Race Car 55%, Motorcycle 60%, Truck 60% Airplane 70%, Sail Boats 60%, Motor Boats 60%

The Pilot Advanced program is more stupid. You get the following skills, and learn two of the skills from Pilot Advanced Aircraft . You can only take it if you rolled Military, Military Specialist, Trade School or got a PhD, but you'll never want to.
What's covered?
Navigation (S) , which gives you a 60% chance of going where you want to. If you fail, you miss by 2d6x100 miles in n aircraft, 4d6x100 miles in a fighter, and 1d6x100 in a land vehicle. You roll this distance every hour you're off course, but how often you try to use Navigation isn't mentioned. Thanks, Kevin.
Navigation: Space is next. 60% base, works the same as normal Navigation - so no guidelines about when you use it, and no mention of what happens if you fuck up.
Read Sensory Equipment (S) lets you read your instrument panels and radar and whatnot. You'd think you'd have a good base chance with this, since you need it to, oh I don't know, navigate and flay and stuff. Base chance is 40%, so I guess you can't read your insturmetns and can't navigate and end up a million miles off course in your jet fighter.
Weapon Systems covers the use of vehicle mounted weapons; it gives you +2 to strike with them. It has a base 50% chance, so maybe you roll every time you try to use them? If you don't have Weapon Systems (or maybe if you fail the skill roll that you might have to make) you lose the initiative and get no bonus to strike.

The available Pilot Advanced Aircraft skills are-
Basic Helicopter 60%, Combat Helicopter 52%, Jet 60%, Fighter Jet 50%, Space Shuttle 50%

Want to be a ghost hunting MD who travels by space shuttle?
No problem.

Science Skills are up next. Taking the Science Skill Program gets you Computer Operation and five of the following. Take a guess as to how many are ever useful!
Anthropology is anthropology. 35% of the time, you won't greet someone from another culture by kicking them in the dick. Well done, you!
Archaeology lets you do archaeologist stuff, with a 40% base. More space is spent on a table telling you that you can guess the age of something 5000-10000 years old to within 2d6x10 years than on actually useful stuff.
Astronomy (S) comes at 50% base, and lets you do astronomy stuff. That's it.
Astrophysics is useless, unless knowledge of nuclear physics, quantum mechanics and relativity is relevant to your ghost hunting. 30% base, needs Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics .
Biology is, well, biology (and how to classify new organisms). 40% of the time you won't fuck up.
Botany is biology, but for plants. 40% base.
Chemistry is what you'd expect, 50% of the time.
Chemistry- Analytical lets you analyse and synthesize chemcals, so if you want to find out what's in ectoplasm, this is what you want. 45% base, needs Mathematics and Advanced Mathematics .
Chemistry-Pharmaceutical lets you drug people and recognize people who have been drugged. 40% base, fuck up and your attempt at drugging people does nothing.
Mathematics- Basic covers addition and subtraction and such. 80%
Mathematics- Advanced (S) covers everything from algebra onwards. 64%
Psychology lets you recognize abnormal behaviour like psychoses, phobias, magical enchantment and possession. Y'know, just like in real life. 40% base chance, so more than half the time you don't notice possessees, and that's when you're trained .
Psychotherapy lets you treat diagnose and treat people with abnormal behaviour like psychoses, phobias... Wait, this is familiar. 40% to recognize and treat abnormalities. 30% to assess characteristics, disposition, alignments. Oh, and tacked onto the end is a prerequisite of Psychology .

Next time! Stage Magic! Technical Skills! And still nothing about the game!

Skills 6

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

The goqua find that the sowki make wonderful pawns.

Three skill categories and we're on to more interesting stuff, so let's gooooooo.

The Stage Magic Program is only available to shuttle-flying, sniper-trained Trade School characters (and is only in Beyond the Supernatural , as I recall). You can pick any five of the following- a bunch of the skills are from the Espionage Skills list, only they're slightly better. Note that Trade Schoolers have the option of taking the Espionage Skill Program to be worse at these skills, if they like. I guess the moral here is that you should go to clown college to be a better spy.
Concealment 25% (Espionage 20%)
Detect Concealment 35% (Espionage 30%)
Disguise 35% (Espionage 40%)
Escape Artist 35% (Espionage 30%)
Palming 30% (Espionage 25%)
Pick Locks 37% (Espionage 35%)
Pick Pockets 40% (Espionage 30%)
The real reason to take Stage Magic is the new skills !
Sleight of Hand counts as two skill picks, and doesn't do anything in itself. It gives you +5% to Palming and Pick Pockets , +6% to Concealment , and +10% to Escape Artist .
You might think the double-pick restriction makes this-not-so-useful, but since you can take Escape Artist , Pick Locks , and Pick Pockets as secondary skills, it's not exactly a handicap.
Because this is a Palladium book, we're treated to a huge section on time taken and difficulty modifiers for picking locks, just dropped into this list of skills. I'm going to skip it becasue it's really tedious and amounts to 'fuck you, you can't pick locks'.
Contortionist is also on offer. How contorted can you get? Folding yourself into a two foot ball, or flattening yourself to four inches. Hmmm. Not sure anatomy works like that, Kevin. Being a Contortionist doesn't require any skill rolls, unlike everything else, so I guess you can accordian yourself around inside your space shuttle all you want, and hide in drainpipes and shit with no problem. It gives you +5% to Escape Artist , and +2 to Roll With Punch/Fall .
Juggling is the last of the Stage Magic skills, and it sure is a thing. It's not just, y'know, juggling.
Oh, no.
Four attacks per melee with a thrown weapon . This can include darts, knives, throwing axes , javelins and small spears . All of these things are good for d6+PS modifier damage, so if you take the Physical Program we talked about last time, you can be out-damaging and out-attacking a guy with a gun thanks to your clown school training. You get additional attacks every third level, so you probably want to buy a golf bag to carry your fucking javelins or whatever.
+1 to strike with any thrown weapon, +1 parry These are in addition to any hand to hand or WP skill. With WP Knife and WP Targeting you have a total of +3 to strike with your clown arsenal, which is as good as aimed shots with a firearm.
Juggle four items, +1 per level of experience , 50% of the time. Just hucking stuff doesn't need a skill roll, though.
So yeah, go to clown school, get swole, and learn to juggle. It's better than your other combat options (remember, long range strikes go first and can only be dodged , and each dodge eats your opponent's next attack).

Lady, have you thought about seeing an optometrist?

Technical Skills are next. Are they any good? Nope. You can take the Technical Skill Program , and pick five of them (but no language skills), or the Language Skill Program and pick three languages. Alternatively, the Journalism Skill Program gives you Computer Operation , Intelligence , Photography , Research and Writing . Meh.
Up for grabs are-
Art , doing arty things. 40%
History , which lets you recognize major types of ancent architecture, weapons, demons and dieties. You get a Lore as your area of expertise (but you don't get your education bonus, so I guess your knowledge isn't that expert). 45% base chance.
Journalism lets you write, 40% of the time.
Lore skills are knowledge stuff. Options are-
Lore - Demons & Monsters , which tells you what the christ that thing with more teeth than the Osmond family it , and more importantly how you kill it . 35%, so good look with that.
Lore - Ghosts & Faeries does the same for, well, ghosts and faeries. 35% again.
Lore - Geomancy or Lines of Power lets you recognize places of power and ley lines and stuff. 30% of the time, you figure out that Stonehenge is important. The rest of the time, you're as dumb as anyone else.
Lore - Religion covers all religions. Yes, all of them, past and present. 30% base.
Language Skills let you do things with your cakehole other than mashing food into your face. Each Language is a seperate skill, 55% proficiency.
Photography uses cameras 50% of the time, so it's like a more limited Surveillance Systems .
Research lets you research stuff. Okay, that's not true, anyone can research stuff, but Research halves your researching time. 50% base chance for Research , and some useful GM advice- keep things moving, don't fuck around when there's nothing to be found out, don't drag out the research part, but consider a reasonable length of imaginary game time. Also, only roll for difficult or hushed up pieces of information.
Writing is the last of the Technical Skills , and it lets you write about stuff scholastically, journalistically, or as fiction. 34%, fail and it's horribly written, try again.

The last skills are Weapon Proficiencies , so you can put sharp things into soft things. Anyone can use any weapon without the associated Weapon Proficiency , but you get no bonuses. Does this include your PP bonus to strike? If Kevin knows, he's not telling.
WP Blunt , WP Chain , and WP Sword are broad categories and are almost identical in effect, giving +1 to strike and parry at level 1, and then additional +1 to strike and parry at levels 4 and 8. WP Chain doesn't get the +1 to parry at level 1; that's the only difference.
WP Knife gives +1 to strike when thrown, then +1 to strike and parry at level 2, +1 to parry at level 5, +1 to strike at level 6 and then +1 to strike at level 9. Why such a wierd breakdown? I have no fucking idea.
WP Targeting is throwing stuff at people and using bows, because they're the same thing. Wait, that's not right. Anyway. +1 to strike at levels 2, 4, 7, 10 and 13, and +20ft range per level (+10ft for knives, darts and throwing axes).

The modern WPs are just as boring; they all give +3 to strike with an aimed shot (ie, a single shot) and +1 to strike with bursts , which are almost entirely worthless. How worthless? You roll to hit once, and the entire burst hits or misses.
Short bursts use 20% of your entire magazine, for double damage.
Long bursts use 50% of your entire magazine, for five times damage.
Entire magazine bursts use 100% of your entire magazine, and do ten times your normal damage, using two attacks.
This sounds not-terrible, until you realize that the burster has (+1 +his PP bonus) to strike, while the burstee has (+his PP bonus +dodge bonus) to dodge. The Physical Program we looked at, for example, gave +3 to dodge.
The only real use for bursts is sneak attacking , which stops your opponent dodging. After that, start juggling.

Welp, that's it.

The core of Palladium system, all covered. Everything else is pasted crudely on top of this, in the form of Psychic/Racial/Occupational Character Classes.
From here on out, I'll try and mix things up a little. A monster, a place and a class should cover a decent amount of ground, but eventually we'll have to look at... magic.
There's only one class that can use it, and it covers almost 30 pages in spell lists....

Sample Character

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Since that's covered all of the skills, let's finish off notCrocodile Dundee, and see how good he is at investigating and disproving ghosts!

Alligator Aberdeen
Rational investigator of the unknown and unexplained, but it's only a matter of time until science solves the mystery. (NegaPsychic)

Four years of college gives +15% to scholastic skills, 3 skill programs, and 8 secondary skills.

Let's go with the Physical Program for
Sense of Balance 75%, Walk Tightrope 75%, Climb Rope 95%, Leap 6' high x 7' long
Back Flip 85%, Prowl 40%
And if we mix in a Science Program to prove things aren't supernatural-
Computer Operation 75%
Mathematics Advanced 79%
Botany 55%
Chemistry 65%
Chemistry- Analytical 60%
Psychology 55%
And then give him soem more investigative tools with the Medical Program -
Biology 55%
Criminal Sciences & Forensics 50%
Paramedic 65%
Pathology 60%
And for secondary skills, we'll try to make his phsyical attributes less-shitty, so he has a chance against werewolves rabid dogs that have been drinking toxic waste.
Climbing 70%
Hand to Hand: Basic
WP Knife
WP Revolver
WP Sub-Machine Gun
Research 50%

This leaves his attributes looking like this-
IQ 15
ME 16
MA 12
PS 21 (+6 to damage)
PE 21 (+3 to save vs poison, +3 to save vs magic, +12% vs coma/death)
PP 18 (+2 to strike, parry and dodge)
PB 15
Spd 40 (800yds/minute, 1 mile in a little over 2 minutes)
Hit Points 18
SDC 61

His notpsychic psychic powers are
Permanent Mind Block
+3 to save vs magic (total of +6)
+5 to save vs psychic attack (for a save of 5+ on a d20)

In a fight, he has
3 attacks per melee
+3 to strike with a Body Block (d4+6 damage)
+5 to Parry and Dodge
+11 to Roll With Punch/Fall
+2 to Pull Punch
Knockout attack on natural 20 that doesn't need to be declared

There we go. Half Crocodile Dundee, half Dana Scully, half Roadrunner, all investigator.

Psychic Character Classes 1

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

all with no bonus due to incompetence

We've covered the Palladium core, so let's move on to the BtS specific stuff- Psychic Character Classes come first, and holy balls we find something out about BtS!

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

For like our real world, this is a modern world of science and technology. A world that regards the supernatural and psychic phenomenon as pure fantasy. It is a world that is too stubborn, fearful and fragile to wilingly embark on a journey into the unknown.
Science has closed it's open mind to such fanciful nonsense as ESP mind powers. The existence of ghosts and supernatural beasties is even more ridiculous. The pioneers of paranormal research are regarded with disdain; social outcasts of the scientific community looked upon as the misguided, foolish, lazy, dreamers ands charlatans.
With this shameful bias prevalent in the revered halls of science, it is no wonder that the truly gifted psychics prefer to remain anonymous. They have little to gain from public admission and much to lose. It is the fear of the unknown that has prompted science to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the very real existence of psychic and supernatural phenomena. If science is not ready to embrace such ideas, how will a less informed and less prepared public respond to them?
Okay, secret psychics fighting things that science ignores, and everyone thinks they're nuts if they talk about it. Fair enough, we're into X-Files territory. At least we know , now.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The characters are among the rare few who have, throughout history, been able to tap into their inner psychic energy. An energy that can be moulded and directed in many ways, all with spectacular results. It is an energy that draws them into the mysterious and deadly world of the supernatural and beyond.
That's almost a callback to the title of the book. Y'know, if this stuff had been about 50 pages earlier, it would be pretty handy.

Anyway. We've got a quick summary of the Psychic Character Classes , although more space is spent talking about typical personalities of those classes than anything else, and then a mass of useless information about Potential Psychic Energy .
The salient points-
The retarded points-
Classes! Finally!

First off, the Arcanist ! Arcanists are notpsychic psychics who use magic! Read old books and do spells? You're an arcanist, whether you call yourself a mage, wizard, warlock, necromancer, whatever. Arcanists go to college, usually, but don't get a degree. Fair enough. I wouldn't recognize four years at Hogwarts as a valid academic qualification either.

unlike random supernatural creatures, arcanists do not understand light switches

The focus of an Arcanist is to probe the supernatural world, and learn more about it. Supernatural creatures can sense magic , so if you go nuts using your powers you'll attract something horrible that thinks you're just delicious .
Arcanists get 6d6 PPE points to start with, and an extra d6 PPE per level . This will be relevant when we look at their giant fucking spell list.
Just for funsies-
There are 7 character classes with psychic powers , and those powers take 15 pages to cover.
There is 1 character class with magic spells invocations , and those spells take 35 pages to cover.

Anyway, PPE recovery . Uh.

"Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Half of the character's PPE will return within 12 hours, all PPE will return within 24 hours. Rest and relaxation are not a factor. Note that the percentage of PPE is used rather than x-number per hour. This means that if an Arcanist has 44PPE, 22 will be recharged and available for use within 12 hours and all 44PPE will have regenerated at the end of 24 hours.
I hope that's made PPE recovery clear for everyone.

Oh, Arcanists have attribute requirements . Of course this wouldn't be mentioned near the top. No, we'll get about a page into the PCC and then drop these in. Minimum IQ 12, ME 10 and MA 8 if you want to be notpsychically psychically magic.
You remember the Education Table ?
Well you can forget it again, Arcanists get their own stuff.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Read/Write Native Language 98%
Mathematics: Basic 98%
Lore: Demons and Monsters +30%
(Yes, they do say +30%, leaving you to go back and look up the skill bases) (for a total 65%)
Lore: Ghosts and Faeries +30% (65%)
Lore: Geomancy and Lines of Power +30% (60%)
Lore: Religion +30% (60%), Research +30% (60%)
Okay, so they know magic stu-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Select three science skills (+20% skill bonus)
Select two technical skills (+20% skill bonus)
Select four languages (+20% skill bonus)
I guess that covers archaeology and ancient languages, so that's about what I'd expect from notwizard school-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Select any two skill programs (excluding Espionage and Military, but Stage Magic can be taken) (+20% skill bonus)
Holy shit, do these guys get every fucking skill-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Select ten secondary skills (+5% skill bonus)
Lets take a look at what you can get on the Education Table again.


Suck it, psychics!

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

In addition to conventional skill areas, the arcanist/mage devolps a number of skills which directly relate to magic and the paranormal.
Understanding the Principles of Magic lets you recognize magic symbols and circles and suchlike, and figure out what kind of spell was cast. 70% base, but you might have to check your library if the GM feels like it.
Read Magic lets you read a magic scroll and figure out if it's authentically magic, or cast it, or whatever else you want do magically with your scroll. 80% base.
The Practice of Magic lets you learn and use spells.
Sense Magic lets you feel magical energy within 120', but you can;t pinpoint the location.
Recognize Magic Enchantment does exactly what it says, 50% of the time.
Well, that's about all for arcanis-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

+1 to save vs psychic attack
+4 to save vs possession
+4 to save vs magic
+4 to save vs horror factor
can use any type of magic
Right, is that everything now?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

-needs a 15 or higher to save vs psychic attacks
-has no natural psychic powers.
-can not sense the supernatural, but can sense magic.
-high PPE base attracts supernatural creatures.
Okay, first off that's the standard save for non-psychics. Secondly, they've got magic to make up for their lack of psychic powers (oh, and better skills than everyone else). Thirdly, how can you sense magic but not the supernatural? Magic's supernatural, isn't it?

Fuck it, let's move on to the next cla-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

At First Level of Experience the Arcanist Knows:
oh god fucking damn it

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

1d6 Level One Invocations
1d6 Level Two Invocations
1d6 Level Three Invocations
1d4 Level Four Invocations
1d4 Level Five Invocations
1d4 Level Six Invocations
1d4 Level Seven Invocations
1d4 Level Eight Invocations
1d4 Level Nine Invocations

These guys get a whole fuckton of stuff, don't they? Maybe next time, we'll look at invoc-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Spell or Ritual
the player must decide if the knowledge is a spell or a ritual. Spells and rituals are two completely different approaches to magic. This means that each time an invocation is selected, the player must state whether he wants it to be a spell or a ritual: the character does not automatically know both.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The player also rolls 4d6 to determine the number of invocations for which the Arcanist does know both spell and ritual knowledge . The selection is made from the invocations known by the character.

Psychic Character Classes 2

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

PurpleXVI posted:

Forkbanger: That guy's bald head looks like a cancerous testicle.

Black Tokyo!

If you slap your nuts against the monitor to compare them to artwork, I'm not surprised they're cancerous.

Black Tokyo makes me glad my book is just a bit shitty, instead of... that .

We must again express that this is purely fictional work and has absolutely no bearing on the real world! Really!!

So, notpsychic psychic magic.
Arcanists can do magic (and everything else), and Parapsychologists can do some magic; other psychic psychics can't use magic. At all. Magic itself isn't good or evil, it depends what you do with it- that said, you pick what a kind of magic (voodoo, thaumaturgy, sorcery, whatever) that fits your alignment, and that's what you practice. This has no effect, at all, except to let your GM tell you to get bent when picking spells, or stop you having whatever crazy-ass magic a bad guy has. Finally, you spend PPE to cast spells.

This takes Kevin two pages to explain.

You can use your own PPE with no problems, and it will regenerate sometime (not per hour, but you'll get half of it back in 12 hours). You can also draw on other peoples' PPE, with or without their consent- 3 people per level if they don't know about it, 6 if they do (per level?). Ordinary people have 3d6 PPE, by the way. That's about 20 pages back.
There's also a claim that nega-psychics will suck the PPE out of you, but they don't actually do this. Unwilling people have to be within 60'. Willing people can be within 60', +10' per level. I guess cult leaders want apartments in the middle of buildings, not penthouses or basements.

Spells come in- wait, weren't they invocations a moment ago? Well, fuck it, whatever. Spellvocations come in three delicious flavours-
Spells - yes, spells come as spells. That's probably why you called them invocations earlier, Kevin. You can only use your own PPE on a spell-spell, and can only cast one every two melees (30 seconds) .
Rituals - rituals need a bunch of people clapping and whatever the fuck, and take between 20 minutes and 2 hours . Get interrupted for 30 seconds? Start again. So everyone turn their phones off, okay, or we can only draw 70% of your PPE. Despite this clearly being the best place to plonk in cult guidelines (if you're Kevin S), I'll cover them after-
Summonings - are rituals that make mosters and ghosts and other gribblies appear. They're a seperate category because

Anyway, cults! Yes. Step 4 out of 5 in ritual magic took a bit of a diversion to tell us about them. Let's check that shit out.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The optimum number of participants is the mage/leader and a dozen followers.
To successfully manage and manipulate a group of 13-20 individuals, the mage must have MA 17.
For 21-32, the mage must have a MA of 22.
For 33-56, the mage must have a MA of 26.
If the optimum group is 12, why would you want more? I'm pretty sure you can not invite people to join your crazy-ass cult. Anyway, I guess this means you can suck PPE from 6 willing participants per level, and that clarification is only two pages away from the confusion, which is probably a record.

Oh hey, this is a good place to drop in the simple and intuitive mechanics for developing new spells ! Actually, it's not, but fuck it. I refuse to keep this pain to myself-
Players must be at least 7th level , an Arcanist , and have an ME of 17 or higher and an MA of 14 or higher . So good luck with that.
There is a 16% chance of success.
If you try and fail three times, your chance of success drops to 6%.
If you try and fail three more times, your chance of success drops to 3%.
If you try and fail twelve more times (no more than three rolls at a time!) at 3%, you reduce all your PCC magic skills by 5% and can't make any new magic. Ever.
If you succeed at one of your final 12 3% attempts, you get bumped back up to a 6% chance! Sadly, your 5% skill loss is permanent. Wait, don't you only get that skill loss if you fuck up all 12?
Oh, and 12 failures in a row will cut your succes rate in half.
But if you succeed on a 16% or 6% attempt, you get +2%, but 6 consecutive failures will drop your success rate by half, where it will forever remain.

There isn't actually anything on what this parade of bullshit even does.

Let's move on, and see if the game contradicts itself (yes).

Spells are redefined. This time, you can cast two level (1-3) spells per melee (15 seconds) . That's much quicker than p95, thanks p100! You can even cast one level 4-5 spell per melee . Once you try to cast higher level spells, you're out of luck- one level 6-7 spell per melee . Level 8 takes about two minutes, and since some asshole who went to clown school can throw 32 spears into your face in that time, don't try it.

Rituals get the same redefinition! Level 1-8 rituals take 20 minutes . Level 9-12 rituals take 1 hour . Level 13-15 rituals take 90 minutes . None of these take 2 hours, so this is also much better than p95, which is for scrub casters. If you're a little bit durpy, you can cast as many as 5 level 1-8 rituals in one ceremony, but they take 90 minutes each . You can cast four-and-a-half low-level rituals in that time, silly cultists!

What does magic do? It makes you roll a save vs magic , duh.
Save vs Spell Magic varies on the caster's level. It starts at 12+ , and increases to 15+ .
Save vs Ritual Magic is a flat 16+ .
Animals get -4 to their saves. Because.
If a spell zaps you with something, you don't need to make a save, you just dodge. What do you roll against? Naturally, that's explained a page or so later- 12 for spell magic , 16 for ritual magic . Those numbers are familiar, oh wait they're the same target numbers as the fucking saving throws .

Fuck me sideways.

Right, let's try and get this over with. What the shitting christ do spells actually do?

Spell Invocation Descriptions
Level One
Blinding Flash 1PPE, 60ft range, 10ft radius, standard save to avoid. Blinds you for d4 melees, giving you -5 strike, -10 parry and dodge. So if you get hit, you get your shit wrecked. Okay, then. Also, somewhat cryptically,

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The chance of falling is 50% every 10ft.
Cloud of Smoke 2PPE, 90ft range, up to 30 cubic feet, lasts 4 melees per level, no save. Blinds you for- heeeeeeeeeey, wait a minute. Actually, this isn't quite the same; it only gives -5 to strike, parry and dodge, and limits your vision to three feet. But you can't save aagisnt it, so it's probably better.
Death Trance 1PPE, self, 10 melees (2.5 minutes) per level. You seem dead. No heartbeat, etc, can only recognize vague sensations, can stop it whenever you want.
Globe of Daylight 2PPE, 30ft range, lasts 12 melees (3 mins) per level. Does what it says, vampires don't like it. Moves at Spd12.
See Aura 2PPE, 100ft range, lasts 1 melees, no save (but psychic mind block will hide psychic powers, PPE and possession. Sees experience levels, presence of magic and psychic abilities, PPE, possession, 'unusual human aberrations'. Doesn't let you see alignment.
See the Invisible 2PPE, 200ft range, 4 melees (1 min) per level. You can see invisible things .
Sense Evil 1PPE, 90ft area, 8 melees (2 mins) per level, no save (but psychic mind block or protection from magic will block it. Senses supernatural evil . What about supernatural evil? Or supernatural evil ? Can pinpoint the source of evil (room; object; person) but approximates distance and number. That isn't a conventional definition of 'pinpoint', Kevin.
Sense Magic 2PPE, 120ft area, 8 melees (2 mins) per level, no save. Senses magic, can detect 'near' (within 20') or 'far' (the rest of the 120' area). Can't detect arcanists or supernatural beings unless they're actually doing magic, right now .
Sense PPE 3PPE, 120ft area, 4 melees (1 mins) per level, standard save ( ley lines and inaminamte objects don't get saves). Senses PPE in living things, using the near/far bullshit that Sense Magic does.
Thunderclap 2PPE, 30ft area around caster, save vs horror factor 8) . Surprises everyone except the caster, who gets +5 initiative, +1 strike, parry and dodge.

Next time! What the fuck is horror factor? More spells! Other stuff to try and fill this shit out because Arcanists are pricks with hundreds of things that only matter to them!

System Tidbits

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Until it is burnt to a cinder, all you've done is make it a flaming monster.

Since looking at Arcanasists and their caster supremacy magic will take a while, we'll have some minor infodumps that don't really fit anywhere else. I'm going to try and fit them together in a decidedly non-Palladium way, with some kind of theme.

First off, Horror Factor . This has been mentioned a couple of times, so what is it? Well, it's a measure of how terrifying something is; whenever a human encounters something with a horror factor , you roll a d20 and try to beat the horror factor . It's basically a save vs pant shitting.

If you succeed, you're good to go. If you fail ... Well. You lose initiative, you lose an attack that melee, you're the last person to act (wait, isn't that what losing initiative does? Well, I guess you're super-last, or something). Oh, and you can't parry or dodge the creature's first attack that melee.
How bad is it to be suckerpunched by an unnatural abomination?

Let's look at a monster and find out!
Monsters are all mashed into The Monster Section . The sole guideline about using monsters as antagonists is a division between Lesser Supernatural Beings and Greater Supernatural Beings . No kind of threat-level, challenge level, scaling, nothing.

The first beastie is The Banshee , The Harbinger of Death . In BtS, Banshee's are stupid psychic vampires that wail a lot, scavengers that show up when someone's about to purchase a tract of arable land (people have double PPE at the moment of death, remember).
Banshee's don't use PPE for anything except food, so they're actually pretty simple, mechanically. Much like 3.5ed D&D, other monsters have player-character style spells and abilities and pain-in-the-ass booking bullshit.
Anyway, Banshee's show up when they figure someone's going to die. We're told that if someone's going to die, it'll be within 72 hours of the Banshee turning up. Fair enough. If nobody dies within 10 hours of it arriving, the Banshee is sad.
Poor Banshee.
In fact, it's so sad, it puts a 60ft zone of empathic misery and starts moaning louder and louder, and will do this for up to six weeks . Basically, they're like a Coldplay concert.
Banshee's are actually invisible noisy depressed psychic vampire scavengers, so you need to be psychic or an arcanist to spot them, sulking in a corner and -ing, and then you can zap them with your brain-powers.
Okay. Let's check out a BtS statblock.

The Banshee
Horror Factor: 14
Size: 6 to 10 feet tall
Giant invisible noisy scary depressed psychic vampire scavengers, then.
Weight: n/a, they're spirits
Armour Rating: None
Giant invisible noisy scary depressed psychic vampire scavengers with no pants .
SDC: 50
Hit Points: 50
The Eight Attributes:
IQ 2, ME 1, MA 1, PS 1, PP 3, PE 1, PB 1, Spd 4
Creatures in BtS don't use your mundane stat arrays. Oh, no. That's how many dice you roll to determine their attributes, then you go and look them up in the attribute table to calculate any bonuses they happen to get.
Simple! Easy! Elegant! These are not words Kevin Siembieda approves of.
Natural Abilities:
Ethereal is what you'd expect. Banshees are immune to all physical attacks, and can walk through walls and stuff.
They Hover and Float up to 100ft off the ground, and can Teleport themselves up to 2000miles , when going to a new feeding site. I guess if you try to wreck their shit while they're lurking, they could just fuck off and find someone else to mope near. They're Invisible and can't become visible, and they're Natural Empaths who automatically feel the emotions of others. Intense emotions of love can drive them off, probably due to jealousy- nobody loves giant invisible noisy scary flying depressed psychic vampire scavenger ghosts with no pants.
They're also clairvoyant, and can sense magic, so delicious dying arcanists are probably a favourite. They're a little bit shit, but can they do anything if PCs show up to deal with their incessant whining?
ISP: 100 PPE: 10
Empathic Transfer equal to a level 5 psychic, one per melee.
Fuck. Back through the book to the psychic rules, I guess, and Empathic Transfer ... doesn't exist. Smooth. There's Empathic Transmission . Maybe that's what Banshee's do.
Empathic Transmission ISP 6, 60ft range, lasts 2d6 minutes, standard save.
Despair makes someone sad. 50% chance to flee or surrender, -2 parry and dodge if you stay. This seems Banshee-like, so I guess it's what they have.
Confusion gives you -3 to strike, parry and dodge, and you lose initiative. That's worse than a can of hairspray.
Fear gives you -3 to strike, parry and dodge, and you flee 66% of the time. Wait, isn't that just flat-out better than either Confusion or Despair ? Why would you even use those?
Hate or Anger makes you attack someone you don't like 60% of the time, and gives +1 to strike, -1 to parry and dodge.
Love or Peacefulness stops people attacking 60% of the time. That's it.
Trust makes you believe what it tells you.

Giant invisible noisy scary flying depressed psychic vampire scavenger ghosts with no pants who are dicks , then.

Arcanist Spells
Level Two
Befuddle 3PPE, 100ft range, lasts 8 melees per level, standard save. Confuses you for -2 strike, parry and dodge, halves number of attacks, gives -20% penalty to skills.
Climb 3PPE, self or 40ft range, lasts 20 melees per level, no save.
Gives you Climbing at 98%. You can climb something unclimable 60% of the time. Rappelling is included. Do you get the attribute boosts listed under Rapelling , too?
Concealment 3PPE, small objects up to 40ft away, lasts 5 minutes per level, standard save.
Makes a small object invisible. Well, a 14"x14"x6" 14lb object, so not that small. Pretty big, in fact. Pass the save to see it, unless someone gets smacked with it or it's picked up.
Detect Concealment 4PPE, 30ft area, no save. Negates Concealment , for the caster anyway. Costs more and has no ongoing duration, so it's a pain in the ass to use.
Extinguish Fire 4PPE, 20 ft area within 80ft range, lasts 4 melees per level, no save. Lets you ruin firework displays. Puts out 20ft area of fire, can put out a maximum of 40ft in one melee. Why? Just because.
Fear 5PPE, 20ft area up to 100ft away, lasts 4 melees per level, save vs horror factor 16. Forces horror factor saves on everyone in an area. Horror Factor 16 is pretty high- ancient gods and demigods are the scariest things, and they're HF 18.
Heavy Breathing 3PPE, 60ft range, lasts 5 melees per level, standard save. Lets you make obscene calls without a phone. 60% chance the victim flees, -2 strike, -1 parry and dodge if they stay.
Levitation 4PPE, 60ft range, lasts 12 melees per level, standard save. Levitates stuff. You, an object, another person, whatever. 60' height, plus 10' per level, only verical movement. Use it to fuck with your nega-psychic, and see how he justifies suddenly shooting over 60' into the sky. Use it on bad guys for the (at least) 7d6 falling damage, or just heft them into the sky and leave them there while you shoot at them!
Mystic Alarm 4PPE, 12ft range, lasts one year per level, no save. Sticks a magic ward on a non-living object. If anyone else touches it, it sets off an alarm in the mage's head before disappearing.
Turn Dead 4PPE, 60ft range, standard save. Repels d6 animated dead per level. They leave and don't try to hurt anyone, and won't come back for 24 hours. Won't affect vampires, zombies, or any possessed corpse. Any confusion about this is quickly resolved by a look at the monster table- there are no skeletons or zombies, vampires aren't affected, and everything else uses possession. So, useless.

Monster Creation

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Nightbane is completely bonkers for character creation, even if it's a little insipid in terms of setting and has the godawful Palladium system. I might try and mash it together with FATE or Apocalypse World to get a decent combination of freakshow and system, and use Nightbane's Dark Day as a jumping off point for Apocalypse World's first-session world-building.

Let's roll another freak!

(8) is Almost Human , which is boring. One Nightbane Characteristics roll gives (52) Alien Creature , and (6) Plasmoid .

Our almost human Nightbane is semi-liquid, made of jelly-like blood, and can change shape and flow through grates.

That's it, and disappointing. I think it's no match for Mr. sexy-Johnny-Five-head-with-razorblades-and-thorns-and-tiny-horrible-mouths, so let's try again.

(74) is a Monstrous Lycanthrope - Animal Form , Stigmata and a Nightbane Characteristic . Sounds promising.
(63) makes it Avian , (40) makes it a Man-Bird . Legs, arms, and wings, clawed hands, feathers, and a beak. It can flyyyyyyy!
(91) gives it the Stigmata of Biomechanical - roll on that table, but it's been hammered or nailed into place, instead of being an, uh, 'organic' part of the thing.
(84) gives it Wheels or Treads . This may, apparently, make it difficult to operate indoors or in confined spaces. To be honest, I think the wings would do that.
So, half man, half bird, with it's legs hacked off and some undercarriage riveted into place. What's next?
(14) gives it Unusual Facial Features . Wait, the beak wasn't unusual?
(97) means Two unusual features (and the perfectly normal beak and feathers.
(40) gives it Sharp Teeth , long fang-like teeth. In it's beak.
(85) means it has No Face! . It's face is perfectly smooth, with no eyes, nose or mouth visible, but it's senses are unimpaired. Since these came from the Two result, we mash them together for a faceless feathered thing , with a beak filled with fucking fangs.

It's also horror factor 19 (21 when it flashes it's fangs), and can fly at Spd... 119. That's 240yds in 15 seconds, about 30mph.

Not bad for a half-bird-half-man-half-car abomination that just flies around grinning and scaring the shit out people.

Critters 1

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Whenever 13 or more are together, they are compelled to mate.

Whoops, this is long.

Last time we looked at Banshee - pantless, invisible emo-monsters that are harmless, if depressing, prey for notghostbusters. Next up is another Lesser Supernatural Being , The Boschala .

What's a Boshala? Well, like all BtS monsters, it's pretty goddamn happy. (scan to follow, once I've got access to the thing). They're shapechanging monsters from another world, that are pretty bad at figuring out how life-forms function here. So, they're The Thing , if it was terrible at impersonating things.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

It may, for example, have the head of a human, the body of a worm, bat wings, eight spider legs, and a crab claw.
Okay, maybe they're actually pretty rad.

Okay, they're definitely rad.

So, they're all different, and they're carniverous predators- their awkward collection of parts makes them questionably effective, however. The reason they're around is because they're giant PPE batteries (allegedly; actually, they've got d4x10).
Y'know, if evil arcanists lived in apartment buildings they'd be able to suck PPE out of their neighbours and the people living upstairs and downstairs and get more. I guess that's not evil enough, though.
Anyway. Boschala!
They show up 'like obedient misshapen puppies' when summoned through a summon lesser being pentagram, and now I cannot think of them as 'carniverous predators'. The downside to keeping extradimensional carnivores as batteries is that they'll eat your fucking face dumbass if thirteen or more are together, they uncontrollably get it on.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

It is a repulsive, horrific scene in which all the boschala merge and flow together in on one twisted undulating mass of limbs.
How very Fields-ian. After half an hour of undulating they seperate, and you've now got 14 Boschala. They can do this once every 24 hours, which is a problem. A bigger problem is that thirteen or more cannot be controlled by a mage . They won't attack him (see, they are crap carnivores!), they'll completely ignore him- oh and Boschala's banging drains all of their PPE, so they're useless as batteries.

Should have moved into that apartment, evil dude.

Anyway! Boschala tables!

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The following tables will allow games masters to compose one of these abominations with relative ease.
And they do, too.

Our new abomination has a Horse body , and five heads . All the better to predate with. It's heads are monkey , lizard , rat , spider , and bull . It only has two legs , and they're from a spider , but it has six arms - two crab claws , two ape hands , a tentacle and a human hand and arm . Oh god, it's some kind of horse-spider-monster thing. It's menace is somewhat undermined by it's fluffy bunny tail .

Okay, what do they actually do ? Let's check out their statblock.
Horror Factor: 18
That's as scary as things get in this game; 18 is the maximum horror factor on monsters.
Alignment: Anarchist or any evil.
Size: 8 to 15ft tall or long.
Okay, first of all where the fuck is the evil arcanist keeping these fucking things. Secondly, where you could you keep the thirteen you need to fuck up keeping them?
Weight: 500-2000lbs
No, really. These aren't small notanimals.
Armour Rating: 8
so you need to beat 8 on your strike roll to do any damage to them, and they have...
SDC: 100
Hit Points: 60+d4x10
They're pretty tough- as tough as two motorbikes (or a front door), anyway.
The Eight Attributes:
IQ 1, ME 3, MA 2, PS 6, PP 3, PB 1, Spd 2
No, they don't have a listed PE. Remember, this is how many dice you roll for monster attributes (and then you get to check the attribute table 150 pages back to see what modifiers you get), so you recalculate it's abilities and saves.
Natural Abilities: Nightvision (100ft), track by smell (70%), normal day vision, see the invisible, impervious to toxins, regenerates d6 hit points and 4d6 SDC per hour.
PPE: d4x10
Look, just stop dicking around with monsters and go and live in a populated area, you magical dumbass. No giant goddamn monster to feed and care for, you can probably get about a dozen people within your magic vampire range, and no fucking clown school graduates will throw javelins through your head for doing it.
Attacks per melee: Three, regardless of number of heads/arms/limbs. Does 2d6 + PS bonus (so anything up to 2d6+21 damage, per strike). If it has human hand(s) it can use guns, too (at -6 to strike).
Bonuses: +1 to strike and parry, +1 initiative, +3 to save vs magic.

With those attributes, Boschala are just horrible slabs of meat that soak up damage and can't hit you back- except for the 5% of the time when they hit you like a fucking freight train, anyway.

Let's take a look at a place while we're here. The section of the book dealing with ley lines and magic places is brief, but it has a couple of fun (read: bonkers) points in it.

Like all Palladium games, the world is crisscrossed with magical energy, forming a network of ley lines . Stand on one of these conduits of PPE, and you can use it do powerful magical stuff. Stand at a point where ley lines cross or convers, a leyline nexus , and you can do really powerful stuff.
These sites aren't all good, though. Sometimes rifts just open, and things come through. Sometimes if you use a nexus to do powerful mojo, that's not all you get- creatures from elsewhere are attracted to the PPE you unleash.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Consequently, the majority (approximately 74%) of supernatural, paranormal, psychic and unexplained phenomena, throughout history, has occurred near ley lines or places of power.
Best not to ask how that figure came about.
Let's have somemore awkward numbers!
Ley lines run in straight lines for about d6 miles, before stuttering out and reappearing scores or hundreds of miles further along their path. They radiate energy over a five mile area along the path of the line, which characters can draw upon.
Psychic Psychics, Psychic Magicians and Monsters (sensitives, healers, latents, mechanics, physical psychics and arcanists) get 5 bonus ISP/PPE to spend each melee, even if they've run out of their own.
notPsychic Psychic Assholes (negapsychics) get +2 to all their saving throws.
notPsychic Psychic Savants (naturals) get +2% to all skills, unless they're physically focused (more on this later), in which case they get +1 to strike, parry and dodge.
Parapsychologists get +3% to parapsychology skills.
Okay, so they don't do too much, they're just handy to be around (well, except for the occasional monsters).

What about being on a nexus ?
Well, that depends when you're standing on it- but usually, you're superpowered. Exactly what happens depends on time, whether it's an equinox, and whether there's a lunar or solar eclipse. There's a load of this stuff, but it boils down 'these are important dates for magic'.
A total eclipse of the sun multiplies an Arcanist's personal PPE by ten , for example.

So, unless you have a calender fetish they're plot devices that make monsters. There are even rips of magic and transitional places of power that are even more plot device-y. Sometimes a hole opens up in reality and magic pours out, attracting or summoning monsters and cultists and what-have-you. They do this regularly, so you can set up some back story for players to investigate and stuff. That's pretty handy, leaving you able to drop an adventure out of nowhere, or a wierd occurance- unless you do something stupid like put in some stupid fucking tables to govern them.

stupid fucking table about the effects of a transitional place of power
17% of the time a dimensional doorway opens and a major supernatural force of evil falls out. It might be a two-way door, so you can make your players fall through it the other way. Whoever falls whichever way, they're stuck until the doorway opens again in a few years time. Fun!
17% of the time, the same shit happens but 2d4 lesser evils fall out.
The rest of the time it's as though either an equinox or eclipse is happening.
stupid fucking table about the intervals between incidents
17% chance of each of- 7 years, 9 years, 20 years, 30 years, 40 years, and 40+6d6 years.

Stupid, stupid, fucking tables.

Let's finish off with some magical funtimes-
Level 3 Invocations
Breathe Without Air 5PPE, self or others by touch, 12 melees per level Lets you, uh, breathe without air (and avoid getting gassed).
Energy Bolt 5PPE, 150ft, 4d6 damage, dodge on 18+ Zaps someone. Pretty simple. 6d6 damage if you're on a ley line , 8d6 if you're at a nexus .
Fingers of the Wind 5PPE, 90ft, 3 melees per level You can poke people, slam doors, put out candles and knock over small items. Oooh.
Float in Air 5PPE, self or others within 30ft, 10 melees per level, no save Makes someone hover 12 inches above ground, slows falls. Gives the floatee -1 to strike, parry and dodge, and halves their movement. Not as funny as levitating them.
Fuel Flame 5PPE, 100ft range Doubles the size of a fire, affecting a 10ft area. Boring.
Ignite Fire 6PPE, 40ft range Ignites any material that can burn, but only if you can see them. Can affect 3ft of material. Any material that can burn, eh? Definitely not boring.
Impervious to Fire 5PPE , self or others within 30ft, 20 melees per level[/i] You and your stuff are fireproof. Practical, but boring.
Impervious to Poison 5PPE , self or others by touch, 20 melees per level[/i] Does exactly what it says.
Impression 5PPE, touch, 1 melee Object reading. Tells you alignment, human or not, old or young, gender, healthy or sick or hurt, important or not. Kind of useless.
Invisibility: Simple 5PPE, self, 12 melees Turns you invisible. Anything you pick up afterwards stays visible. Anything you drop becomes visible. Anything with see the invisible can see you when you're invisible. You stay invisible for the duration, even if you're punching someone.
Negate Poison/Toxin 5PPE, self or touch Makes a poison inert. Makes a poison in you inert.
Paralysis: Simple 5PPE, 60ft, 4 melees per level, standard save Gives someone a dead leg/arm. That's it.
Telekinesis 6PPE, 60ft, 4 melees per level, dodge Lets you throw 60lbs of stuff around with your brain and hit people with it, as long as you can see it. +3 to strike, +4 to parry, physical skill doesn't stack. Damage is based on weight, weight is doubled on a ley line , tripled at a nexus . Fun in bowling alleys.

Next time! The Bermuda Triangle! Braineating monsters! notGhouls!

Critters 2

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Horses have the following abilities: see the invisible

Last time, we looked at Boschalas- impractical, inefficient, gigantic magical batteries that look like this-

This time? Burrowers .
As we've seen, something bad occasionally falls out of another dimension. One of those things is eel-like, festooned with tentacles, and wants to eat your brain. They'll slither up to someone who's sleeping, grab their head with it's tentacles, and then burn a hole in it with acid . Once that's done, they crawl inside and start chowing down on sweet, sweet brain.
After about an hour so, the horirble little thing will have eaten half of the victim's brain- at that point, it can start using them like a puppet, temporarily absorbing their ability to do stuff like drive and getting snatches of memory.
Since having half of your brain eaten is incurable, they're not much use unless you want kind-of-zombies menacing players and being all-round creepy, with their fragments of memory and almost-being-human schtick.
Naturally, that isn't suggested, with the space devoted to a statblock devoted to a six-inch eel-thing instead.

On a similar theme is the Dybbuk, or Demon Ghoul .
Summoned by an idiot sorceror who they promptly ate, Dybbuk have spread around the world to be assholes to all and sundry, delighting in torturing humans. They're colossal dicks, and can't stand each other- the best you'll see from them socially is hanging around with an arcanist who's too dumb to know better. He's probably got a Boschala farm somewhere.
Anyway, they used to hang out in slums and graveyards, but they've started moving into abandoned buildings now, lurking in ruined and run-down inner-city areas. Dybbuk love eating dead, rancid meat, but they also find humans super-tasty.

Hey buddy, got any rotting meat?

They're huge (6-8' tall, 400-700lb) four-armed things- one set of arms is heavily muscled with big hands and claws for digging up graves and making an underground lair, the other set are tiny T-rex arms for slicing up and eating what they find.
For bonus funtimes, they can inhabit the recently dead, provided the body isn't too badly messed up- the dybbuk just kind of slips on in there, seamlessly . They can stay in there indefinitely, provided they can feed on human blood every day.

Stat-wise, they've got horror factor 14, PS 5d6, PP 4d6, and six attacks per melee that do 2d6+PS bonus in damage; they will fuck you up if you try and throw down with the horrible bastards.

Onwards, to the Bermuda Triangle . The Bermuda Triangle is what's called a power triad , and there are a bunch of them- the South American , African , South Pacific , Japanese and Mediterranean Triangles . The locations are helpfully illustrated on a map 20 pages later, if you're wondering (I'll give you a clue- they're near South America , Africa , South Pacific , Japan and the Mediterranean ).
They're formed by ley lines , of course, connecting to form a triangle of mystery (and death), with a hole in space and time in the middle. Periodically, the hole opens up into a doorway to other dimensions, staying open for anything from hours to days. When this happens, the sea and air get churned up by vicious storms, but there's always areas of lower turbulence... that lead to the rift.

The storm is scary and disorienting, but not that bad (it's the usual instruments go wild/weird glows/strange skies stuff). What is bad is the assortment of extradimensional things that are lured to the vortex from the other side , drawn by tasty psychic energy.

There is a table. What's on it? Well, the usual X-Files time distortion stuff, poltergeists and spooky stuff, and flying saucers , a giant, hungry octopus (or squid) attack, a greater entity makes itself a body out of whatever materials are handy and tries to kill everyone ('It will be in a foul mood'), find there's now a Creature in the Hold (it's not happy about this turn of events), oh, or you might be warped through space a few hundred miles or encounter a ghost ship which sets you on fire.

If you don't want to be set on fire by ghosts, beaten up by ghosts, anal probed by alien ghosts, or attacked by killer calamari, don't go into a magic ley line triangle when the weather's bad, basically.

Anyway. Grinding on with some magic-
Level Four Invocations
Astral Projection lets you sneak around in another dimension, where you can be beaten up by ghosts. Also, you can lose your body which is just careless. Roll to find it when you want to return, succeed on 77+. No, your level and competence don't matter.
Blind lets you blind someone. Duh. -5 to strike, -10 to parry and dodge.
Charismatic Aura makes yousuper-trustworthy, kind-of-terrifying or a master liar who convinces people 80% of the time. Also, prettier with +8PB.
Cure Minor Disorders lets you cure headaches and indigestion. Totally worth going to magic school.
Energy Field lets you create 8ft magic forcefields that have 60SDC.
Fire Bolt shoots bolts of fire, and is strictly better than Energy Bolt .
Multiple Image makes 3 identical copies of the caster that mimic his movements.
Repel Animals repels animals. What more do you want?
Seal summons a magic seal sticks something shut for 2 mins/level.
Shadow Meld lets you hide in shadows. Well, better than normal, anyway.
Swim as a Fish gives you Swimming and Swimming Advanced at 96%. Should be Swim or Maintain SCUBA Gear as a Fish , then.
Trance puts people in trance for 5 mins/level, and they'll follow simple instructions.

Next Time! Ghosts Entities! Incubi! Succubi! Psychic Psychics!

Critters 3

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Human hair should not be considered a combustible substance.

Last time we looked at some kind of wierd four-armed asshole monster, and pyromaniac ghost ships in the Bermuda Triangle.

It was surpisingly boring.


Dimensional Ghouls are like normal Ghouls, only dumber. They're the usual flesh-eating abominations everyone knows and loves, only... Well.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The dimensional ghoul is so named because it has the power to move from dimension to dimension through any ley line nexus point. If a mage can control it, the ghoul can be commanded to take one living, man-sized creature with it into another dimension. The problem with this method of dimensional travel is that the process is excruciatingly painful (d6 x10 damage) and the mage will lose any mustic control he may have had over the ghoul the moment they reach the new dimension. Of course, there are countless dangers and environmental problems when travelling through dimensions randomly.
I am honestly unsure if this is the most metal form of dimensional travel, or the most retarded.
Anyway, Dimensional Ghouls are stronger and tougher than humans, can see the invisible, resist heat and cold- y'know, useful stuff when you can pop into random dimensions and see what's there. They can also become temporaly intangible , so dimension hopping doesn't hurt them- unlike the poor schmuck they're holding on to.

How useful they are in-game is questionable, but a dimension hopping ghoul-punching campaign could be fun- Quantum Leap , but with furious ghouls that get donkey-punched after taking you somewhere.

Next up are Dar'ota , which are BtS' Succubus and Incubus . In a brave blow against objectification in RPGs, the artwork for them is this-

Not even with yours.

They change shape into someone hot (minimum PB is 18 as a human), then do the usual succubus seduction and murder routine. They're not as dumb as they look, and they'll team up with evil arcanists for some tag-team sadism.
They can stay looking human for days, need to drink blood every couple of days, and have to revert to their monstrous forms to feed or when fighting (after two melees, they revert).
They're pretty badass- horror factor 15 as a lizard thing, 18 if you see them change, 5d6 PS (minimum 18), 110-160SDC and 20-80 hit points, natural armour rating 12 and their bite is good for a minimum of 3d6+3 damage. Ouch. They're also level 4 arcanists, so they have a metric asston of spells, going all the way up to level 9 invocations.

Entities is the catch-all term for spirits and supernatural energy beings. They're all invisible , and they're all PPE vampires. They include Poltergeists , Trapped Entities , Haunting Entities , Tectonic Entities and Possessing Entities .

Poltergeists are dumb and mischevious, and don't cause any harm as they leech tiny amounts of PPE. They like playing with their food, though, and they discover that emotional energy is tasty- but being invisible and intangible, they're limited in what emotions they can provoke. Since fucking around slamming doors and rearranging furniture in the middle of the night scares people, that's what they do.
Remember I said they were dumb? Yeah.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

They don't realize that telekinetically hurling cutlery could kill someone, or that dropping a chandelier on top of someone could kill them, ot that pushing old gramps and his wheelchair down the stairs could have deadly repercussions.
Fortunately, most poltergeists just hide keys and socks. They do come in packs of 2-8, though, and they hate to leave a nice home when they find it.
AS an additional note, these little assholes sneak into our world whenever arcanists summon extradimensional beings or natural rifts open over ley lines or nexus sites, so they're every-fucking-where.

Trapped Entities are... Well.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The trapped entity or syphon is an evil entity that inhabits inanimate objects.
They possess rocks and trees, and sometimes jewelry. Then they sit there, like the magical dumbfucks they are, until someone who's got a big PPE reserve comes within about 60 feet of them, whereupon they'll try and establish telepathic contact with the big-brained fool. They claim that they're a source of magical power, and demand blood sacrifices so they can eat the double PPE of the victim.

So yeah.

Your bad guy can be a possessed rock.

Less embarrassing is the Haunting Entity , which is your classic ghost. They're confused psychic bloodhounds that sniff out traumatic psychic imprints, and play them back over and over again. They don't have an identity of their own, and end up thinking that they're the central person in the psychic impression.
You can fool them into leaving if you can resolve the memory they're reliving (since they think that's why they're there), or, if you're truly heroic supernatural murderhobos, you can try and beat it up or exorcise it.

Tectonic Entities are asshole poltergeist-y ghosts, that like fucking with people. They follow someone around, wait until they're alone, then use their poltergeist-y powers to make a body out of whatever's available and kill the poor fuck.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

This means that the body can be made out of trash (rags, tin cans, plastic, milk cartons, garbage and so on), twigs and wood, skeletal remains, leaves, toys, junk, dirt and rocks, and so on.
So you can get killed by an animate trash heap, nice.

Possessing Entities possess people and act like assholes- that's pretty much it. The person they're inhabiting doesn't know about it, and might occasionally find themself standing in alley holding a bloody knife while sirens approach. Because they're assholes, possessing entities like to give their victim control back for a little while, trying to convince him and everyone else that he's gone mad and has multiple personalities or is a psychopath.
You can get rid of them by talking them out (good luck with that), exorcising them, or drugging the body into a coma for about 6 months. Those don't seem to be overly practical solutions.

That's enough monsters for now, so lets try some more Places of Power !
Anywhere there's a stone circle or other megalithic site? Ley line nexus. There you go, job done.

A little more magic, and we're done with this update!

Level Five Invocations
Calling lets you send a telpathic summons to a known individual you have personally met. Save vs magic and you hear it once. Don't save, and it repeats itself every fives seconds until you show up where the message demands, or until the spell wears off (5 minutes per level).
Circle of Flame does what you'd expect. It's a 5ft high wall of flame, forming a 20ft wide circle around the mystic.
Domination is an improved Trance , that leaves it's victims a little more competent.
Energy Disruption lets you knockout electrical devices; one device per casting, until you're level 4. Then you can shut down everything in a 40ft area.
Escape lets you unlock things, with no skill roll, for 8PPE a time.
Eyes of Thoth lets you read and understand all languages, but not speak them.
Fly lets you fly. Kind of. You cast it on a non-metal, non-plastic inorganic object and fly on it- flying carpet, broomstick, dead dog, whatever. You need to sit on it or hng on as it flies, so carpets are good. 35mph top speed.
Heal Wounds fixes up bruises and bullet holes, but won't do anything for damaged organs or broken bones, or any illnesses. Casting it if a bullet is still in someone heals them around the bullet, so don't do that.
Horrific Illusion makes horrible illusion, horror factor 14.

Sleep lets you enchant food or drink to make someone go to sleep for 10 minutes per level, as long as they ate the food within 15 minutes of your casting.
Superhuman Strength gives you PS 30, PE 24, and adds 30SDC.
Superhuman Speed gives Spd 44, +2 to parry and +6 to dodge. That's only slightly faster than notCrocodile Dundee, who isn't magical.

Next Time! Dumb Spirits! Less Dumb Spirits! Parapsychologists! Bonus Wujcik!

Critters 4

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

The creature is dumb

Last time we looked at haunted rocks and poltergarbage. Let's move on to something that's little bit more horrifying, shall we?


Okay, maybe next time we'll find something horrifying.

This is the Garkain , or Dumb Spirit. It's Australian, which explains a lot, and it likes eating people. While it's not a spirit, it does manage to be dumber than it looks- oh, and if you kill it, it'll dissolve into goo, so no proof of cryptozoology for you, investigators!
It's a nocturnal predator that's pretty strong but not so tough, and flails around with four atacks per round before flying off when it's badly injured to regenerate. Horror factor 14 because you're too busy laughing to put up a fight, I think.

Next up are Gargoyles (and Gurgoyles ). Gargoyles are the usual huge demon lizards with bat wings, the works. They're not too smart, but they're smart enough, and they're aggressive predators. Gurgoyles are smaller, wingless, weaker versions.
Gargoyles are 10 to 20ft tall and weigh 1-2000lbs, so they're not exactly sneaky, and Gurgoyles are only 8 to 10 ft tall and have the same weight band, so I guess they're more than a little tubby.
Both the larger, slimmer, winged version and the shorter, chunkier, wingless -goyles have the same attributes- 5d6 PS (min 20), 5d6 PP, and 3 attacks per round for 3d6+PS bonus damage, but while Gurgoyles have 20-120SDC, Gargoyles have 100-400SDC. So they take forever to kill, and hit like freight trains. Oh, did I mention they're psychic? They're psychic, too- mainly along the lines of don't do psychic stuff to me .
They lay eggs, too- 4d6 eggs every 10 months. Better hope you don't screw up fighting them, because a pack of gargoyles is seriously bad news. On the bright side, people will probably start to believe your wild tales about the supernatural (except negapsychics, obviously- you'll hear them shouting something about weather balloons as a dozen gargoyles carry them off into the distance).

Grave Ghouls are grave robbbing demons who eat the dead. They hang out in gangs in cemetaris near ley lines, and like running away and hiding.
They're pretty much bulletproof, taking half damage from physical attacks, they're impervious to poisons, can see in the dark, don't need to breathe, have prowl at 68% and the Shadow Meld spell at level 10, so they can vanish into the shadows and become invisible 93% of the time for 20 minute stretches.
They have a minimum PS of 16, and three attacks per melee for 2d4+PS bonus.
Since they come in packs of 2-8, I guess they run away so they don't demolish eveyone else with an unstoppable parade of bullshit sneak attacks that vaporise people before they can twitch.

Let's take a look at another PCC, the Parapsychologist .

Parapsychologists aren't psychic, and this time I mean it. They're not notpsychic psychics, or notpsychic wizards, or psychic psychics. No, they are simply notpsychic.
How rare.
They're ghost hunters and psychic investigators, doctors and professors, and they want to figure out this supernatural bullshit.
Parapsychologists don't trouble themselves with the random education table- instead, they learn a grab bag of ghostbusting stuff.
Read Sensory Equipment 65%
Biology 65%
Psychology 70%
Parapsychology +30% (this isn't a skill that's in the game)
One Medical Skill at +25%
Five Technical Skills at +25%
Three Science Skills at +25%
Two Skill Programs at +25% (can't take espionage or military; can take stage magic)
Ten Secondary Skills
That's a lot of learning.
They also get some of their own super-special parapsychology skills!
Understanding the Principles of Magic at 50%. Parapsychologists know all about magic, but we're told they can't actually use magic. Chances of this statement remaining true? Slim.
Read Magic at 34%. This is the skill parapsychologists definitely do not use to do magic, okay? They do not use this to cast spells and invocations from books, and they likewise do not use it to follow the instructions for rituals. If you don't use this to do magic and fail, you can not try again with no problems. As a parapsychologist who can't use magic, when you don't use magic it doesn't take you two melees to cast a low level spell.
Recognize Real Psychic Powers at 40%. That's right, after years of study you can tell the difference between a faker and psychic almost half the time.
Recognize Mind Control at 50%. Okay, parapsychologists get the Psychology skill at 70%, which lets you recognize mind control, hypnosis and drug induced manipulation. Maybe they feel 50-50 is good enough for a possessed guy they don't like that much.
Knowledge in the Use of Equipment at 70%. You know those little bleepy things they use in Ghostbusters to detect ghosts? That's what this skill is for- using your loopy parapsychologist gear (most of the time, anyway).

Like the other PCCs, parapsychologists get a bunch of bonuses and vulnerabilities.
Bonuses are +2 save vs psychic attacks, +2 save vs possession, +2 save vs magic, +3 save vs horror factor, +1 save vs mind altering drugs, and can read and use magic to a limited degree.
Vulnerabilities are 15+ save vs psychic attack becasue they're not psychic, can not sense the supernatural, has no psychic abilities, has no magical abilities.
No magical abilities except for the ability to use magic to a limited degree, anyway.

So, you're a smartypants who can/can't use magic. Not that exciting.


There's equipment for parapsychologists, and only parapsychologists.
Let's see how much money characters get to play with. Naturally, it's randomised.

You get an inheritance, too. But Kevin hates you trying to use that pretend money in his game, and does things like... Well. you'll see.

You get a car, too. Whether you can drive or not.

Shitbox, or you're still paying for it. Those are your options.

Anyway. That's your starting cash. Let's see what those ghost-hunting toys cost so a ghost hunting character can hunt ghosts!

Infrared Optics Systems let you see invisible things (ectoplasm, poltergeists, ghosts) in a limited area- whatever you can catch in the infrared beam. Basic goggles with shitty batteries will set you back $550. Basic goggles with less-shity batteries are $880. One of those little monocular eyepiece doodads? $800. Binoculars? $2100.

Ultraviolet Optics Systems let you see astral travelers and ectoplasm. That might be handy. It costs $500 to add an ultraviolet package to another optics thing, so I guess you can get IR/UV goggles for $1050/$1380.

Conventional Optic Systems like night sights can be used, but won't let you see supernatural things. Multi-optic systems are suggested, though. You could buy an optics band, one of those headband things with the lenses and stuff? Yours for only $2800, comes with UV and IR (useful for ghost hunting), night sight, magnification lens and colour filters (not useful for ghost hunting).

Kirlian Photography takes pictures of psychic and magical enery in BTS-land. That sounds pretty sweet if you're ghost hunting, right? What if it was only useful 60% of the time? Less sweet. And if a Kirlian still camera was $3200? No? What about a Kirlian motion camera, so you can film ghosts (60% of the time, still), at a mere $6900? And then another $200 per hour of film?

Portable Magnitometers measure electromagnetic energy in the air and surface, so you can find ley lines and other supernatural hotspots. Sounds handy, since those are the best places to find ghosts and stuff! At $850, you'd better hope so. Sadly, they only have a 20ft range. Oh, and ley lines pump energy out over a five mile area. Still, you might be able to find a haunted house if you drive around slowly while leaning out of the car window with this thing.

Portable Temperature/Humidity Recorders are useful if your drive-by magnitometering found something. Just put this gizmo into a room, and it will record temperature and humidy for a day ($450 recorder) or a week ($550 recorder). Don't forget the $20 charts you need for them to record on, though. Or the 2 $7 pens each recorder needs. A little bit of maths tells me that if I wanted to monitor my (small) flat for ghostly activity, I'd need 7 recorders ($3850, I'm going to do this a week at a time), 7 pads ($140), and 14 pens ($98), for a total of $4088.

Digital Pocket Thermometers are the cheaper option, only $50 each, even if you do have to wander around the maybe-haunted house with them and hope for the best.

So, ghost hunting is expensive; this isn't mentioning the other stuff you might want to have around, like Motion Detectors ($400), or a portable labortory to analyse any samples of anythign you find on the scene ($42,000), cameras ($250), or camcorders ($700) or video cameras ($2,000, comes with a tripod).

Luckily, you can work for someone and they'll provide you with stuff! Hooray! Sadly, there's a 40% chance they'll think you're a fuckup, or a PARAPSYCHOLOGIST ON THE EDGE.

Next Time: Wujcik. Magic. Wujcik magic.

Erick Wujcik Special

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Erick Wujcik Is Still A Colossal Dickbag

As you may remember from Rulebook Heavily 's Amber reviews, Erick Wujcik's DM advice is 'be a colossal dickbag'- as the ultimate authority in the game, you should lie to your players, fuck with the stuff they paid for to make their characters interesting, and, generally speaking, be a prick.

Will this be the same attitude he displays in BtS?

Let's find out in this Erick Wujcik Special!

These sections are all specifically credited to Wujcik, so I'm going to roll them up into this single post and show them off, like some kind of exhibitionist dung beetle. That reviews books.

That analogy could have used more thought, but fuck it.

Before we get into this stuff, a few points about the GM section-
It's just over 12 pages long (193-205), in a 255 page book.
The equipment lists are more than twice it's length.
The magic section, usable by one (maybe two, kind of) character class, is more than three times it's length.
There are less than three pages on running a 'standard' horror game.

The first thing in the GAME MASTER's SECTION is Role-Playing the Victim Character . Yes, before anything dealing with a standard take on the horror genre. This is a game variant where the players all suck and have no chance against NPCs.

Just like Wujcik's Amber, in other words.

This being a Palladium game, there are rules for sucking. A whole new character class, dedicated to suckery- the Victim OCC (Occupational Character Class). I'll condense two pages into two sentences.
-You get 2d6 in each attribute.
-You get one 'job' skill, and whatever secondary skills fit (so cooking, driving, etc).

Then you get your shit pushed in by whatever horrible monster the GM decides to fuck you up with.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

It's also a neat idea to throw victim characters against outrageously difficult monsters and situations.
Doesn't that sound like a ton of fun?

Luckily, there are suggestions about keeping things relatively fair!

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Make sure there are solutions to the problems in the scenario.
Okay, no problems there I gue-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

If the horrible, icky monster won't pursue anyone into the kitchen, it's possible for the players to figure out that the thing dissolves under attack from dishwasher detergent.
Well, that sounds totally fair. Wait, that's not right. At least he suggests letting people generate new characters quickly (although 9 2d6 rolls isn't a lengthy process).

And that's how to run a victim game!

Next we have A Game Master's Guide to Beyond the Supernatural .

Erick Wujcik posted:

First, let me tell you what this section is not . It's not an introduction to the art of game mastering.
Oooookay. So this book has... no advice for novice GMs? At all?

Erick Wujcik posted:

If you aren't an experienced game master, then I suggest you learn the skills of running a role-playing game. How?
How indeed ! I don't know about you , but I'm sure I can learn a lot from Erick Wuj-

Erick Wujcik posted:

First, you play some role-playing games.

Erick Wujcik posted:

Second, watch game masters run games.

Erick Wujcik posted:

Finally, read the rules of various roleplaying games.
I don't know about that last point. Somebody might read a game that wasn't written by an idiot and had solid mechanics.

Erick Wujcik posted:

Remember, this is not an introductory role-playing game.
Remember? You never mentioned it, you buffoon.

Erick then drops a series of knowledge bombs that will blow your mind , with The Rules of Horror and the Art of Role-Playing .
I advise you to make notes on this high-level advice.

Describe instead of Tell.
Imply rather than Tell.
I'm not sure if you're allowed to combine these and imply instead of describing. But you should totally fuck with your players, though.

Erick Wujcik posted:

"You're slipping. The gravel is giving way beneath your feet. The only thing you can grab onto is the door knob by your hand. And you notice it is an odd green color. What are you doing?"
Falling or grabbing the fuck-you device, I guess. Also, there's a lot of telling going on there, Erick, and not much describing or implying.

Erick Wujcik posted:

By rights, the player should grab the knob. The only other choice is falling into the unknown. Yet the player hesitates, toen between two fears.
If he's played in a game with Erick Wujcik before, he knows he's fucked. He's just deciding how he's fucked.

Erick Wujcik posted:

An "odd green color." What could it be? Is that just discoloration from age and decay? Or a trap made of some vile acid? Or a little harmless mold? Or the slime of an evil entity waiting to possess a new victim?
Is it harmless, or is it made of "fuck you"? It's Wujcik, so you can probably guess which. What other awesome advice is here?

Erick Wujcik posted:

Another great tool of intimidation is that of questioning the players about seemingly innocent actions. A simple question like, "You're reaching out into the darkness with your left hand... or your right?" can really raise the tension in any scene.
Or, it can cause an investment in 10' poles (about $100 in BtS-land) and slow the game to a crawl, as everything is poked, prodded and carefully inspected before any interation takes place. Player skill , in grognards.txt terms.

Keep the Suspense of the Unknown.
That's reasonable for a horror game, you shouldn't give things awa-

Erick Wujcik posted:

If you tell the player, "The monster is hiding int he corner of the shed" you've made it far to easy. "You hear one drop of liquid, then another, coming from the far corner of the shed," is setting the player up for a myriad of possibilities.
Like poking a lawnmower's leaking fuel line or a draining garden hose, then getting exploded by a monster? Fun!

Erick Wujcik posted:

Don't tell the characters what monster they are facing, let them figure it out. And when they do figure it out, don't bother congratulating them. After all, as long as the GM keeps silent, they don't really know what they're up against.
Ways to figure out what a monster is-
a) use your character's skills. Lore Demons & Monsters, for example, with it's 35% chance of success!
b) read the monster section, compare that description with the monster.
So, we've got adversarial GM and player skill . This is old school, by which I mean terrible and boring.

Use All the Senses.
When seeing monsters gets old, try tasting them. Also, sensing is a sense.

Build the Suspense with Forewarning.

Erick Wujcik posted:

Yup, it always started with that danged high pitched whistle. Then sure as shootin' one of the cows would burst open with blood spraying everywhere."
I am horrified by this, but only because there is no monster in this game that explodes cows with a wolf-whistle. There should be.

Finally, we have What To Do When The Players Start Thinking Logically . This is in game terms, rather than running away from a Wujcik-run game, though. It's how to railroad your players into doing stupid shit so they don't ruin your scenario.

Don't Believe Them.
If you call the cops, the army, or a research establishment to try and get help dealing with a vicious entity from beyond time and space, they will think you're a nut. End of story. Get your ass down into that basement and fight , mano a mano.

Swallow the Evidence.
If you get help to show up (by shouting FIRE! or whatever), the help get themselves perished by the monsters. Get your ass down into that basement and fight the monster, mano a mano.

Arrest Them.
If you get help to show up, they arrest you for being a nut and lock you up in a room with rubber wallpaper. Prove you're not crazy, then get your ass down into that basement and fight the monster, mano a mano.

Hide the Evidence.
If you get help to show up, the vicious entity from beyond time and space fucks the fuck off for however long the cops are investigating. Wait until they've gone, then get your ass down into that basement and fight the monster, mano a mano.

How Come Everybody Else Looks Funny?
If you get help to show up, they turn out to be vicious entities from beyond time and space. Fight them mano a mano, then get your ass down into that basement and fight that monster, mano a mano.

We finish Erick's contribution with... tables!
Scenario Construction Tables!
Four (maybe five) d100 rolls, gives you a BtS scenario, like some kind of retard madlibs. Let's try some!
An African source is causing problems in an Inner City Slum . The players discover this through a Major Media Report .
The skeptical media report a supernatural occurrance, but do so as an unusual natural event.
A Chinese source is causing problems in a Federal, State or Local Park . The players discover this through A Public Declaration .
The skeptical media interview a Chinese supernatural entity, which announces it's going to haunt a park, or something.
A Chinese source is causing problems in a Suburb . The players discover this through A Sudden, Violent Attack .
A Chinese ghost or monster fucks up one of the characters, out of nowhere.

I think we can all agree we're better GMs thanks to this stuff.


Wujcik Adventure Special

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Wujcik Adventure Special!

We've read the man's tips on running a game.
Let's read his scenarios!

Teeny-Bopper Terror OR The Tomb of the Perpetually Cool Adolescents .
This is a beginner-level adventure (for this not-introductory role-playing game) designed for Victim characters . So, splat-death disposable teen time, recommended play time is four hours.
Wujcik Warning - This is a pretty silly adventure; just remember it's supposed to be fun .

Think of something fun.


Do you think it will line up with Erik Wujcik's idea of fun?

Erik Wujcik posted:

This scenario calls for all the players to take the part of 13-year old girls .

I know what you're wondering. Given that this is a Palladium game, how many tables have been shoehorned into this adventure, and how much of the space dedicated to the scenario do they take up?
Four tables, and two pages out of seven.

What are the tables?

Level of Adolescent Maturity

Erik Wujcik posted:

Remember, no matter what a player rolls, two things are true. They're embarrassed by what's happening biologically. And none of it has any bearing on the adventure whatsoever.
Uh... So why would you...

Creepy Pedo Table posted:

01-25 Your character is still a little girl. Nature hasn't seen fit to perform any little miracles on your character. From the point of view of the character, that measn she's still just a kid. If any of her friends knew about this she'd be embarrassed enough to just wrinkle up and die!
26-50 Nature is playing evil tricks on your kid. She has the hormonal changes andall the incredibly icky stuff that comes with it, but there's no physical change. Like, ah, up front? You know what I mean. It's all so incredibly embarrassing and like to die! (Yes, it says this. No, it doesn't make sense.)
51-90 Hormones are slowly turning this girl child into a woman. She's growing up and it'sa ll incredibly embarrassing. She's not sure if any of the changes in her body are right. I mean, what if it's cancer or something? And you can't talk to anyone about it, becasue you'd just die!
91-00 Your character is over-developed to the point where she can pass for someone a lot older. She recieves unwanted and critically embarrassing comments from adults. She doesn't want to talk about it to anyone/ In order to avoid being embarrassed by the obvious she tries to cover it up a lot. She just dies any time anyone makes any references to her figure.
Great, now we're all on some kind of watchlist. Thanks, Erik!

Thankfully, the others are less pedo-riffic.
There's the Level of Social Acceptability table, which decides whether you're one of the cool kids, and the Level of Baby-Sitting Ability table, which decides how well you get on with little kids, and the Level of Parental Acceptability which determines your allowance.

All of these are irrelevant, except for being creepy as all hell.

Let's move swiftly on, to Secret Character Potentials . You've rolled on the creepy tables, you've rolled your 2d6 for all your stats. There's also something special about you, that the GM won't tell you! Fuck your player agency!
Whoever is high in IQ has the potential to be a Mage .
Whoever is high in ME or high in Baby Sitting Ability has the potential to be Psychic .
Whoever is high in MA or PB has the potential to be a Princess .
Whoever is high in PP or PS or PE has the potential to be a Valkyrie .

With characters randomly rolled, adolescent status randomly and creepily rolled, and super-secret stuff assigned by the lord of all GM, it's time to adventuuuuuuuuure!

There's no kind of overview about the adventure. At all. It's just straight into the creepy table, then boom, go! To give the full Wujcik experience, I'm not going to summarize it either.

Things are going to go down in The Town - there are three important places in The Town . The Hang Out , at the entrance to the local mall, The Girl's Houses , which are all on the same street with the third location, The Library .

Pointless Palladium note posted:

Pointless Palladium note- it's a 20 minute walk to the Hang Out , or a $3 cab fare. Of course you have to track your 13 year old's allowance in this horror game.

We start off with some filthy children, playing near the girl's Hang Out , fooling around with a sewer cover. Nice hang out.
The girls will drive the boys away. There is no other option, because this is where we find the plot. The sewer cover has curvy, twisting holes, like writing , a keyhole in it, and oh hey check it out, a gold key underneath it, with a diamond stuck onto it.
As it turns out, the boys who were previously fooling around in a non-descript manner were actually trying to get the key out, with some bubblegum on a stick, which they leave behind. How convenient!
Can the girls get the key out? Well, all they have to do is roll under their PP on a d20, and yes. I don't know about you, but railroading that's dice-dependent is on eof my favourite kinds!

Pointless Palladium note posted:

Just to make it interesting, continue reminding the players that this activity is both childish and dirty.
The key tingles when someone touches it. Oooooh, spooky. It unlocks the grate, but not now. Nope, you need to go to the Library and learn a chant to open it.
But first, drama! Oh no! A sinister black car with gold trim arrives, and out come two black-suited figures! Their menace is slightly undercut by the fact thet they're only two and a half feet tall. Still, the third figure who gets out of the car is tall, although he's wearing a cloak and has sinister red eyes.
The dork squad probably maybe kind of chases the girls, until they get a cab or on a bus or just run off or whatever.
The Wujcik railroad directs the players to the Library , by creepy phone calls from cloak-dork and some light stalking, or by applying Wujcik's How Come Everybody Else Looks Funny? rule if the cops are called.
In the Library , the key points down. Doing anything other than going down into the basement will get the girls scolded by the librarian, so just do fucking do it, okay? The key leads the girls to a note hidden in a book, and

Pointless Palladium note posted:

Before reading the following section, you should instruct the players to write it all down. Encourage each one to make their own copy.
The note is a magic chant.

Pointless Palladium note posted:

Note: This is not a real magic chant.
Okay, it's a notmagic chant.

After reading it, the key points back to the sewer grate. Oh, and cloak-dork shows up, making the lights go out to make a dramatic entrance. Time to nip out the back entrance, to the magic sewer grate at the Hang Out again.
Naturally, there needs to be some notmagic chanting before the key will open the lock.
And of course the players all have to chant it. Every time.

Once the lock opens, the key pops out and the sewer grate fills with burning coals.
Oh, and cloak-dork shows up again.
Oh, and a fuckton of fifteen-feet tall grey wooly monsters pop up out of nowhere, surrounding the girls, with huge mouths filled with razor-sharp teeth.
Luckily, if you treat them like little kids they're friendly and like being petted.
Okay, then.

Oh, and then cloak-dork appears with a popping noise. Wait, didn't he just appear? Did he disappear again after showing up the first time, just scouting for his next dramatic entrance?
He's clearly a man who likes to impress.
I mean, he's done "screech up in a sinister car accompanied by menacing midgets" and "loom out of the darkness with red eyes glowing". Sauntering on over just doesn't cut it after that.
Anyway, this time he pops out of nowhere, surfing on a giant snake and shakes his sleeves back to show he has creepy tentacles instead of fingers.

Good entrance, cloak dork.

Back onto the railroad, as the fluffy monsters (the Kroth) attack him and stomp his snake. Then cloak dork zaps hole in one of them, then another.
The girls should now do the notmagic chant again, and escape the world of the Kroth.

Wait, they're in a different world?
That's probably more important to mention than the hot coals thing, Erik.

This time, the notmagic chant definitely takes them to another world, dropping them into a clearing in a spooky forest of dead trees. If they wait or chant, sticky blob creatures jump at them out of the darkness. Better follow the convenient trail out of the clearing, I guess.
The (t)railroad leads to a spooky castle, where 20 guards with pikes approach. They look like Michael J. Fox, and they fall in love with the thirteen-year-old girls and try to lure them away from the castle.

This is less creepy when you realize this is 1988 Michael J. Fox, not 2012 Michael J. Fox.

Then the girls go into the castle. Because.

The castle has one room, and those secret potential things that the players don't know about? They decide what the girls see.
Mages see a magic spell book, that lets them zap shit with lightning bolts and fireballs.
Psychics get a magic staff that can hurt or heal whoever they point it at.
Princesses see a magic tiara that commands creatures.
Valkyries get a magic sword that lets them cut a bitch.

Naturally, there's only one of each of these items, so if you have two Mages , somebody's screwed.

Then the castle collapses, and the army of Michael J. Foxes go nuts and attack. So do the bouncing slime blob things. The railroad dictates that the girls go back to the clearing, and use the magic grate again.

This time, the girls end up on top of a huge, magic pillar. Something flaps towards them.

Pointless Palladium note posted:

"What are you doing?"
It doesn't matter much, eventually the creature will land.
The Rabey is immune to any of the artifacts the characters have picked up.
In fact, it's immune to just about anything.

Cloak-dork pops up again, and wiggles his tentacle fingers- then the Rabey sticks him in a magic globe and rolls him off the pillar. A truly menacing villain.

Then... Well, I can't do this justice.

The Rabey posted:

If you wish to see the divine ASHKENOBISTAR, you must prove that you are suitable. I will determine if you are suitable. You must prove your suitability to me.

Fuck You, Wujcik posted:

Anyone who asks to be returned home is out of the game.

No, Really. Fuck You. posted:

Suitability consists of exactly the kind of things that 13-year-old girls would consider when determining whether a new girl would fit into their group. All it takes is for one player character doing one of the following-
1. Singing a current hit song.
2. Raving about Madonna, or some other current teen idol.
3. Talking about shopping and picking out clothes.
4. Talking about the qualifications they had to meet to get into their own group.
You see, the real challenge is for the players to play in character .
Rabey has rote dialogue to be repeated if the group fails to impress him, and there are no clues or hints that this is what will impress Rabey.

Impressing Rabey lets the girls do the notmagic chant again, and takes the girls to-

This is what girls like, right? posted:

Once again you are transported to a new place. This time you see a beautiful palace, glittering with gold and jewels. Coming down the red-carpeted steps you see a girl that's exactly your own age. She's wearing the latest fashions and carrying an armful of the latest hit songs on cassette tape. She says, "Oh, I've been so bored and I'm so happy to see you here!"

Ashkenobistar is a magic 13-year-old girl who's looking for friends.


Pointless Palladium note posted:

These are not demonic names; just made up.

Next Time: Another magical Wujcik scenario!

Adventure 2: Wujcik Boogaloo

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

None of the rooms on this floor are likely to be interesting.

Adventure 2: Wujcik Boogaloo
The Randolph Family Mansion is the second Wujcik scenario, and does double duty as an adventure for Victims or regular characters.

It's not really an adventure at all. More of an experience. The Erick Wujcik Experience.

Given that one of those groups are unskilled, penniless chumps and the other are (probably) wealthy psychic/notpsychic murderbeasts, this should be interesting. Impressively, it's specifically designed for any number of characters.

I guess Wujcik is either
a) an unheralded RPG genius, or
b) a tool who'll kill them all.

I'm guessing b).

We start off with some player background. If the characters are victims created for this scenario, they should be members of the same family, there should be at least five family members, and one of the family should be a youngster (and can be an NPC).

Choo choo! No matter what wealth is rolled, the family suffer a sudden reversal of fotunes and lose their home.

Erik Wujcik posted:

Simply condemn it to make room for a new freeway exit ramp. Their only asset is what's left after the bank takes back it's mortgage, a lump sum payment of $14,000.
The only available house that's large enough is-

Wait. You already guessed this, didn't you? It's the Randolph Family Mansion . Because Wujcik loves petty financial stuff, the mansion is worth $150,000 of $170,000, but the bank only want $58,000, and will accept any serious offer over $23,000.


If the characters are victims but aren't part of a family, the mansion is an abandoned building. Nice. If the characters are kids, they're exploring it. If they're adults, they're clearing it out. All the Phitynic Artifacts work within 30ft of the mansion and become inert beyond that.

Didn't Erik just say that Victims should be part of a family? And what's a Phitynic Artifact ?

Maybe we'll find out later.

Anyway, if the characters are psychic psychics or notpsychic psychics or psychic magicians, they're called in as troubleshooters by the bank. What trouble is there to shoot? Erik's not telling. Maybe it's something to do with those artifacts he's not telling about, either.

What he is telling is a History of the Randolph Property , because sooner or later someone's going to investigate it.
1864 Property owned by William Tecumseh Randolph
1908 House built by the Randolph family.
1919 Deed transferred to Millicent Gloria Randolph.
1962-64 Deed transferred to First Commonwealth Bank.
1964 House bought by Barney and Theresa Zimmerman.
1975 Deed transferred back to First Commonwealth Bank.
1976-1985 Deed transferred eight times, to a family and then back to the bank. None of the Loyola, Kreb, Ackerman, and Young families owned the house for longer than four months.

I duplicate this tedium to replicate the full Wujcik experience as best I can.

SO, the characters are evicted/employed and end up in specific place. So spooky stuff happens, they investigate, find the truth, defeat the evil... right?

Nope. That kind of structure is just too much for Erick, so instead we get a room-by-room guide to the house, and some possible events. I'm unsure if this is structureless mess is better or worse than the previous railroad.


A Room-by-Room Guide to the Randolph Mansion
This section is mostly pointless, filled with useless minutae that isn't relevant, ever. I'll make sure and point it out when it comes up.

The Grounds
The Fence is eight foot tall, chain-link, and surrounds the grounds of the mansion.
Pointless Minutae There are three feet of chicken wire stretching into the ground beneath.
The Garage is a converted small barn. Electrical devices will flicker on and off inside, provided there's only one person there.
Pointless Minutae And they're a young person.
The Gazebo is overgrown.
Pointless Minutae Gazebos are usually fitted with screens.
The Shed used to be a chicken coop.
Pointless Minutae Nothing unusual happens here.

The Ground Floor
There are three doors into the house- one into the living room, one into the study, one into the kitchen.
No, there isn't a map of the layout. In fact, there's not art assets at all in the GM section.
The Living Room has a picture window looking into the front garden, and doors into the dining room and stairway up.
Pointless Minutae This is one of the places where people put their TVs.[/i]
The Kitchen connects to the dining room and stairway down. Appliances turn on and off randomly.
Pointless Minutae There are shelves and cabinets in here.
The Study is a converted back porch with a concrete floor. There's a door to the back porch Sometimes the floor vibrates.
Pointless Minutae The floor only vibrates in the middle of the night.
The Dining Room connects to the living room, kitchen and study.
Pointless Minutae Doors go both ways.

The Second Floor
None of the rooms on this floor are likely to be interesting.
There's a Master Bedroom , Small Bedroom , and the only Bathroom . They all connect to the landing and stairway, which continues up into the attic.
Pointless Minutae All of the rooms have doors.

The Attic
There's a bedroom in the front, and a storage area behind. There's also a hidden storage area, which is hard to find.
The Storage Area is empty.
Pointless Minutae It's ready to be filled with the family's junk.
The Attic Bedroom is small, and has the only access to the storage area. Early morning light shines through cracks in the wall. Peeking through the cracks lets you see the hidden storage area.
Pointless Minutae The hard to find hidden storage area isn't hard to find.
The Hidden Storage Area is tucked away behind aging plasterboard, which is easy to break down. It's filled with junk.
Pointless Minutae The hidden area contains three dining chairs (rickety and easily broken as the glue has dried out), an elephant's foot umbrella stand, two umbrellas, a walking stick, a Phitynic Energy cane (still not detailed), a document tube (containing architectural drawings of the house (containing in turn a secret room in the basement), and more drawings of a spherical object), and a trunk. Inside the trunk are a pile of rejected manuscripts, threee illegible journals, science books dated prior to 1911, and four loose boxes containg soent rifle and pistol cartridges, glass tubing, jars and beakers, 150 nuts and bolts, and a rock collection consisting of 38 pieces of granite. Even more boxes contain two formal shirts (white), one pair of pants (khaki) with front, thigh, back and side pockets, a brown tweed jacket, a black beret, a pair of leather gloves, and four butterfly cases.

There's a fifth butterfly case that contains something obviously not of earthly origin. What the something is is never covered.

The Basement
There's a utility room with three closets and a bedroom opposite. Also, a secret laboratory. The walls are concrete, except for one that's cinderblocks. I wonder where the secret laboratory can be?
The Utility Room has a drop ceiling, and if you look up into it you can see a small gap in the cinderblocks that offers a glimpse of the secret lab.
Pointless Minutae There's a washer-dryer, a double-sink, a roller-type washing machine, and the house's circuit breakers here. So it's a utility room.
The Bedroom is a bedroom.
Pointless Minutae It's wood panelled to cover up the concrete.
The Hidden Basement Laboratory is fairly difficult to find. Suggestions from Wujcik- tear up the drop ceiling and look over the cinderblocks; find the architectural drawings in the secret attic and study them (architecture is not covered by the useless skill system); drilling through the concrete floor of the study. I don't know about you, but drilling holes in the floor Shallow Grave style is the first thing I do when I move into a new house.
We have now reached the second point in this 'adventure' where the GMis told to do something (the first was 'railroad them into the house').

Hidden Basement Laboratory posted:

The room appears to be some kind of strange laboratory. On the far right there is an old roll-top desk and wheeled chair. To the left you see a large worktable covered with tools. Still, you hardly notice these mundane things, for, suspended in mid-air, and glowing with a weird yellow light, is a huge metal sphere. The sphere seems to be made of copper or brass and is about twelve feet in diameter. Like some fantastic magician's trick, it is simply floating, unsupported, a good two feet off the ground.
We get on to the importantly stuff now - how to break into that desk. Fuck the floating sphere of mystery, there might be something in the roll-top.

Hidden Basement Laboratory posted:

The desk is locked but can be opened easily enough with a pocketknife or screwdriver. Read the following if the desk is opened:
"Inside the desk are hundreds of papers, two ledgers, and, currently in use as a paperweight, is a huge pistol. Also, built into the desk, along the back of the desks's surface, is an odd utility box made out of black wrought iron. The box has four old-fashioned electronic switches, one large and three small."
Yes, we go straight into busting that desk open. And yes, Erick Wujcik hates commas.

So, about that sphere-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The Webley Horse Pistol is loaded with .620 calibre bullets, and weighs over six pounds. It's a massive weapon, with bullets twice the size of those found in modern pistols. If used, the shells gve off an incredible amount of smoke, flash and noise. Obviously, they put huge, messy holes (6d6 damage) in anything they hit. This isn't just a pistol, it's more of a portable cannon. It's alos important to note that the weapon is incredibly unreliable, difficult to aim, and with corroding ammunition (spotted with green crud), it will tend to go off by itself if jarred.
Fuck. I'm sure the huge sphere of mysterious mystery will be covered next.
So it's a massive paperweight that's more dangerous than almost every conventional weapon in the book (only .50 calibre heavy machineguns do more, at 7d6 damage), but that's okay because it's inaccurate (no mention as to how that inaccuracy works) and only works through GM fiat anyway. Oh, and it might just go off whenever, again thanks to GM fiat.

Okay, giant floating brass sphere, let's go-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

All the switches in the control box are currently off . Playing with the small switches does nothing. However, if the big switch is moved to the on position, the whole lab will be suddenly moved into the Void . Moving the switches after the lab is in the Void will do nothing.

What the hell is the void? What's going on? What the Jesus shitting Christ is the sphere?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The sphere is

Yeeeeeeeesssss! Finally! Maybe thing will start making sense!

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The sphere is the Trans-Phitynic Perambulator . More of a description will be found in the Randolps Artifacts section.


The Randolph Artifacts section, by the way, is seven lines further down the column. One of those lines is RANDOLPH MANSION ARTIFACTS . The other six?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The workbench is covered with ordinary, turn-of-the-century tools, old fashioned electronic devices, and a large (three foot high) jar. Inside the jar is a multi-eyed, multi-tentacled creature flaoting in a bluish liquid. Also on the bench are tow spare Phitynic bateries , copper cylinders that cna be used as replacements in Randolph's Effectuator .

Tentacle beast from another world- footnote amongst junk.
Floating magic sphere-thing- maybe later.
Busting open a desk- fuck, yes.


Next time! The thrilling conclusion!

The Randolph Family Mansion p2

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Last time, a number of questions were raised.

Has Erick Wujcik ever been in a basement?
Was his father killed by a comma?
Who needs a 6lb paperweight?
Why is a desk more interesting than a 12 foot diameter floating brass sphere?
Does this thing even have a plot?

Let's find out in the thrilling conclusion to Randpolh Family Mansion!

Time to find out what the sphere is, I guess! Oh, and that walking cane thing in the Hidden Storage Area . And, uh, a third one. Which hasn't been mentioned yet. Then again, what the fuck is going on hasn't been hinted at yet, never mind mentioned.


First up, tucked away in the attic was the Phitynic Energy Cane . You're allowed to read the following is you find the cane and examine it closely. I'm not sure if you're meant to include the typos and grammatical... strangeness, but anyway.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

You see something that looks like a heavy cane. Closer examination reveals some interesting details. First of all,dthe cane seems to be made up of two long pieces of heavy wood that have been screwed together to form a cylinder some 3ft long and about 2 inches in diameter. The four screws have standard flat head and seems to be made of copper. The head is made of a heavy piece of copper-colored metal, perhaps bronze or brass, and the same material is found at the tip of the cane. The strangest aspect of the cane is the tip. Normally a cane would end in a rubber tip to provide sure footing. This cane ends with a glass ball that rotates freely; a strange property for the tip of a cane.
Wait, is the tip glass or copper-colored metal?
Anyway, if you fuck around with the cane and twirl it, it vibrates; also, there's a weight that moves up and down inside it, taking about 8 seconds to move from one end to the other. Eight seconds to travel three feet seems... odd. Well, maybe unscrewing it and looking inside it will help.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

"As soon as you loosen the last of the four screws a 'sproing' kind of noise comes out of it. What are you doing now?"
At this point, the canes internal machinery has become detached. Attempting to move the cane, duplicating the earlier experiments with the vibrations, results in delicate tinkling noises as tiny glass objectsa re shattered by a brass ball. Getting the thing open is only possible by removing both the brass end-pieces simultaneously. Then read the following:
"The cane suddenly flies apart, sending tiny springs, wires, balls, and pieces of glass, all over the room. You see that inside the cane there was a winding track made out of long springs, upon which moved a brass ball. Colored pieces of glass in odd patterns apparently bordered the track. Currently, the cane seem scompletely unusable."

Well, fuck. You destroy the thing if you try and find out how it works, but you can see what used to be there, so I guess you have time-travel eyeball powers or something? Never mind, it probably wasn't import-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The cane, assuming it hasn't been taken apart, can be used either as a pointer or as an energy draining weapon. When pointed towards a source of phitynic energy, the ball inside will move towards the energy, vibrating the cane. If the glass tip comes into contact with any of the monsters
Wait, monsters? There are monsters?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

any of the monsters, it will drain off their energy. This completely dissipates energy creatures and leaves tentacled creatures limp and immobile.

Yup, it's a monster zapping energy sucking stick. If you touch the tip to the other phitynic devices, it will recharge them. Luckily, none of the phitynic devices have any kind of power expenditure that would make this a concern, because Erick Wujcik is pretty fucking incompetent.

So, easily breakable, irrepairable mysterious zap-cane is artifact number one.

Artifact number two is the Trans-Phitynic Perambulator . It's the giant-ass brass sphere. Let's examine it.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The entire outside surface of the sphere seems to be made out of brass. It's smooth, but with little nubs of brass centered in each two foot square of the brass plating, and each nub seems to be tipped with a sharp point of clear glass. The different plates are attached to the body of the sphere with tiny brass nails, set less than an eighth of an inch apart. The only other feature is a round door, or hatchway, again made out of brass, and inset with some kind of green glass. There is just one large hinge, opposite a complicated latch. The latch has a rotary pointer, which can be set for 'open', 'close', or lock, and a large handle.
Personally, I wouldn't describe something studded with spikes every two feet as 'smooth', but whatever. That hatch is as inviting as the screws on the cane. Will opening it destroy the sphere?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The inside of the sphere is jammed with all kinds of dials, levers and foot pedals. The chair seems to be an old-fashioned leather armchair
So all of this stuff was built by a colossal fucking moron, but that doesn't seem so bad-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

and in order to get into it, you have to crawl all over the controls.

The sphere is a vehicle that lets you travel through the Phitynic Regions . What they are is never mentioned, but they're probably the things listed under Extra Dimensional Encounters , later on. Still, suburban dimensional exploration could actually be kind of fun, right?

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

Its controls are astonishingly complex, especially considering that very few of them are even connected to the drive mechanism in any meaningful way.

Tits. Okay, so you kind of spin wildly and see where you end up, and then shenanigans ens-

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

A. Power Switch. This immediately removes the whole vehicle from existence.

Luckily, that's just the startup sequence. Once the thing is removed from existence, you can steer it into other existences. Kind of. Tiny coloured circles appear on the green glass at the hatch door, if you've closed it. Otherwise, you get very cold.

Anyway, there's big-ass fucking list of controls, which I'll summarize- they're bullshit. Okay, to make it a more accurate sumamry, there are five foot pedals, which move the little circles left, right, up, down and focus on the one closest to the center of the glass. This is how you steer through dimensions Phitynic Regions .

There are a couple of levers, too. One is the two-part dead-man's-handle style thing. It makes the center circle get bigger. Keep pulling, and the circle will 'pop' and you'll be inside it, whichever reality it happens to be.

Okay, circles are realities. Sweet.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

G. Main Lever, with push button mounted on top. Pulling this lever back will cause the circle in the center of the window to flicker. Pushing the button while the circle is flickering will cause the circle to burst like a soap bubble.

No, you don't really get a dimension shooting sphere-thing. That would be player agency, and there will be none of that here.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

This doesn't really do anything.

Do you know what we haven't had for a while? That's right, a table. Here's a 20-entry table of colours for the circles.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

1. White - House
2. White-Pink - Gazebo
3. Pink - Swamp Place
4. Gray - Forest Place
5. Blue-Green - Place of the Glowing Lights
6. Dark-Green - The Void
7. Bright Blue
8. Bright Green
9. Bright Red
10. Dull Red
11. Red-Orange
12. Bright Yellow
13. Dull Yellow
14. Reddish Pink
15. Dark Grey
16. Dark Blue
17. Silver
18. Dull Gold
19. Bright Gold
20. Dull Brown

Depending on what possibilities you'd like to make available for the player, you roll different dice. Roll a 1d6, if you want to limit players to the possible dimensions listed in this adventure. If you wish to add more dimensions of your own devising, then roll 1d8, 1d10, 1d12 or 1d20, depending on how many dimensions you've got prepared. You can also describe all the colors, but only allow those that are prepared to be reachable by the player characters.
One last thing about the Perambulator. It will automatically return to the lab if it is left anywhere for more than ten hours. This works regardless of whether or not anyone is inside. The machine will switch itself on, and the characters will have two full melee rounds to get on or off before the machine leaves.

So yeah, 30 seconds or you're stuck in another dimension.

The third artifact (which hasn't been mentioned yet) is the Trans-Phitynic Effectuator . It's a backpack version of the sphere, and there are desing notes on it on the desk in the lab. It would be nice to mention that in the lab. If you guessed that this doohickey is in one of the dimensions listed on that table above, you're right!

Fun as these descriptions of massive fucking basements and crazy science are, wouldn't it be nice to have some idea of what to do with them? I mean, this is an adventure, right? Luckily, we've got some Possible Events listed! Yes, between the dimensional doodads and the dimensions they can go to. Yes, long after the house descriptions. Yes, before talking about the things in these events.

Most adventures use an intro to cover some background and setup, so the GM knows what's going on and where the adventure is headed. That's not the Wujcik way, though. Shit is just thrown at you, with no kind of rhyme or reason. Let's see what kind of supernatural stuff happens around the house, which might lead to someone calling in supernatural investigators .

So, these are events to initiate after the characters have unavoidably moved into the house. Skipping over dead time is suggested, with descriptions like:

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

It was a normal day, with school, work and play weaing everyone out. Dinner was uneventful, and, afterwards, Mom did the dishes while everyone else watched TV. It wasn't until Freddie climbed into bed that anything unusual happened.
I have little interest in Freddie's nocturnal activities. And really, Erick? "Everyone watches TV. Not you, Mom. You know your place."

Things that can happen!
1) The youngsters, any kids under the age of six, will attract the attention of Energy Creatures . So if somebody is playing a 5-year old, good for them. If they're not, it's NPc-on-NPC funtime. Y'know the thing in Poltergeist where the kids talk to the TV and stuff? Yeah, so does Erick (Poltergeist was '82, BtS was '88.) Anyway, do you like rolling dice for NPCs? For each day of exposure to the Energy Creatures , kids under six roll 1d20. If they roll under their IQ, they learn a year's worth of graduate math. Watch static, get smart.

2) Anyone alone has a chance of seeing a Tentacle Creature . They wave around on the ceiling and then vanish. Ooooh.

3) Energy Creatures might go for a joyride, possessing appliances and seeing what they can do. They stop as soon as they're discovered.

4) Tentacle Creatures will help out around the house.

5) Sometimes you look out of a window, and you see another dimension.

6) Things start falling into other dimensions when you put them down. SO you lose more socks than usual in the laundry, and occasionally Tiddles vanishes for a few days and then shows up with some odd debris. Eventually, the kids might might walk in and out of the TV to play with their new friends.

I have had worse neighbours than this.
One guy played the guitar very badly, at 3am, pretty much every night. I'll take the occasional wierd view and blender-whirr, thanks.

Anyway, dimensions and energy creatures and tentacle creatures. They were mentioned, let's check it out.

One: House. The dimension jumping doodads go to the basement laboratory. This is where they return to automatically.
Two: Gazebo. The sphere or backpack can land inside the (gigantic) gazebo. Wujcik dickery suggestion- fuck with your players by pretending they're in a dark, mysterious jungle.
Three: Swamp Place. It's a swamp, it's got a pinky-blue sky, and it's filled with weird insects. Presumably, one of these insects is in the case in the attic. They're eight to twelve feet long, curious and friendly. No, not Black Tokyo friendly. Oh, and they're psychic. And they can send you back to your home dimension, even though they don't have much control over Phitynic effects that move you through dimensions.s How convenient. They help out around the house sometimes, too.
Four: Forest Place. A forest that's incompatible with human life. There's a dead body under a tree, and guess what? It's the asshole scientist guy, Madison Randolph. He's been dead for about 80 years (the deed for the house was transferred to his wife in 1919), and he's got the backpack dimensional doodad, another energy cane, the holster for the horse pistol, and a journal. The journal contains a letter to his wife telling her that the environment is toxic and his backpack thing has run out of power. It's recharged over the past 80 years, though.
Five: The Place of Glowing Lights. This is where the energy creatures come from. The ground is like white marble, the stars are red in the dark sky, and ghostly energy beings flit around. They can understand people but can't communicate. You can interact with them by sucking one of them into your energy cane, killing it. The rest then fuck the fuck off.
Six: The Void It feels like gravel underfoot, it smells like bacon is cooking, but you can't see or hear anything. Oh, your toes go a little numb after five minutes. That's it.

So, those are the fabulous dimensions available to explore. One kills you, two have nothing in them, one is a swamp filled with friendly tentacles, and one is your gazebo.

Aaaaaaand, that's the adventure. The end.

Actually, not quite.

There's a choice of endings!

The Big Bang. The various Phitynic devices glow more brightly, then the Phitynic rift in the basement glows and vibrates and blows the house up. Oh, there was a Phitynic rift in the basement? Okay, then.
The Weekend Explorers. The GM makes up some more dimensions, the characters explore them.
Adventurers of Tomorrow. The adults vanish, the kids survive. They've got energy creature advanced math, and they use the Randolph Journals in the attic to do some Phitynic research of their own. Fifteen years later the adults appear, everyone is an adult, they explore together. Wait, there are journals in the attic explaining this shit?

And that is the end of the adventure, and the end of Erick Wujcik's contributions to this miserable game.

Next Time! A non-Wujcik adventure! Monsters! Psychic psychic character classes!

A Window on the World

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Hey, some of these games look like fun. Time to change that!

And they did boy (more giggles).

This is a goddamn wall of text, but that's fitting for these adventures. There are no art assets for any of them. No maps, no sketches, just pages of badly-laid out text. I'll drop some scans in once I'm not busy at work.
Okay, maybe I'm not that busy at work.

Scenario 3! A Window on the World This one's by Randy McCall, who worked for Palladium and did some Call of Cthulhu stuff, so I guess he's your go-to 'fuck you and die' scenario guy. His BtS scenario is meant as either an opening adventure for a campaign or an encounter for an existing group. So far, so good.

Randy McCall's second sentence posted:

The players will not come under attack from much in the way of the occult or magic, but there are lots of terible physical dangers waiting around every corner.

Wait, this supernatural horror game doesn't contain supernatural horror?
Actually, it does! Randy's just a terrible liar!

Randy McCall's third sentence posted:

Because of this, the playing group should consist of no less than 6 characters , unless you wish to modify the scenario to give a smaller group a better chance of survival.

I don't want to think about how this aberration of a game will work with six players. If they go up against a single enemy, that's at least eighteen actions per melee round, and each attack will be at least three rolls- strike, dodge/parry, damage- four if you roll punch/impact.

Anyway, Randy doesn't trouble himself to provide an adventure summary, so I will. The army poke a hole in reality, gargoyles kill the shit out of everyone. , the players achieve nothing. Let's go!

We kick off with with the characters in driving along a country road at night, a diversion taking them off into the lonely, hilly wilderness, that immediately turns out to not be so lonely as they pass a campground and see groups of people toasting marshmallows and yearning for indoor plumbing.
Suddenly, the plot!

Boom! Plot device! posted:

The campground is just fading off into the darkness when suddenly, from behind a hill to your right, there comes a blindingly brilliant flash of multicolor light! At the same moment, a screaming, screeching sound rips through the air like a thousand giant fingernails scraping across a blackboard.
As you try to blink dots of light from your eyes, you realize your evhicle(s) is rolling to a stop; engine dead, headlights out, interior lights dark. Even your radios have gone silent. A glance at your electronic watches show that they too have gone dead, and all at the same moments- exactly midnight.
The cars are wrecked, with all the electronics burnt out, the batteries cracked, and the alternators melted. Maybe it's time to investigate that flash, huh?

Investigate it, you fucks posted:

It's then that you hear a low-pitched, all pervasive, throbbing noise coming from the direction of the noise coming from the direction of the flash. Looking towards that direction, you see an odd glow with the same strange array of colors as the original flash."
Somebody has fucked up your ride, and now they're having some kind of dubstep festival. Oh, and there's screaming from the campers.
Luckily, any electrical devices that were turned off ( torches flashlights, walkie talkies) will still work, so you can kind of see where you're going as you stumble around in the woods at night.

Wait, an actual choice? posted:

At this point the players have only two real choices; they can either go directly to investigate the cause of the flash of light, or they can head for the campground."]
Investigating the campground is a waste of time (a half-hour walk, to be exact), by the way. The only meaningful thing to do is go for the source of the light . Either way,
[quote="Sucker, like you'd get a choice"]During the characters' trek through the nighttime woods, the game master can use the following table to create the proper atmosphere of apprehension. Remember the characters do not yet know what they are up against.
Yes, it's another fucking table of tedium! Contents- owl hoots, bush rustles, furry thing runs over foot, sleeping bear, glowing wildcat eyes, bats, dog howls, something kills a rabbit, wind howls, moon covered by a cloud, something flaps overhead. Thrilling!
We're also told that dark woods are horror factor 10. That's more than a poltergeist or a UFOnaught (psychic UFO, probes you with ectoplasmic tentacles).
So, nothing happens. Unless the characters freak the fuck out .

I guess they might shoot the shit out of a bear posted:

So long as the players don't make any tremendously loud noises, like everyone screaming at once, or several people firing off guns, they aren't going to have to worry much about attracting attention to themselves.
If they do freak out, some Gar/Gur-goyles come to check out what's going on- three Gurgoyles and a Gargoyle, to be exact. I covered them in a monster round-up earlier, but lets look at them in a little more depth.

Gargoyles are huge demon lizards with bat wings. They're not too smart, but they're smart enough, and they're aggressive predators.
Gurgoyles are their smaller, stupider, weaker, fatter, wingless cousins.
Gargoyles are 10-20ft tall and weigh 1000-2000lbs.
Gurgoyles are 8-10ft tall and have the same weight band.
Both share the following attributes-
5d6 PS (min 20, for +5 damage), 5d6 PP (average 18, for +2 to strike/parry/dodge), Natural AR 10 (any attack roll of 10 or less does no damage), 3 attacks per melee round (for 3d6+PS bonus damage), and horror factor 16.
Gurgoyles have 20-120SDC and 20-80 hit points.
Gargoyles have 100-400SDC and 30-120 hit points.
Gargoyles can also fly at 50mph and are psychic, but not usefully.
Both varieties have superior night and day vision and can see a foot tall target 2 miles away, and they lay 4d6 eggs every 10 months.

Remember this shit, it will be relevant later.

Randy tells us that Gargoyles are the size of a linebacker. I'm not big on American Football, but I don't think linebackers are 8-10 feet tall and weigh 1000-2000lb.
Anyway, these monstrous pricks show up and try to capture the characters. If their prey proves to be too troublesome, the creatures will give up. To be honest, the only troublesome part might be trying to find all the pieces after one of them punches a character.

Anyway, at some point while meandering through the woods a guy comes crashing through the woods, torn and bleeding, dressed in a shredded military uniform. If the players hide, Randy dictates that he just fucks on off, never to be seen again. This is a bad thing, since he
a) explains what the fuck is going on with the flash
b) tells the characters about a weapon stash and how to get into it
c) tells them what they're up against
d) tells them what they need to do
So really, he shouldn't just run the fuck off into the night.

Anyway, this is Corporal Jeff Exposition Farnham. He monologues for half a page about what's up, which is the longest section of this adventure. I'll summarize-
So yeah, not stopping Jeff is a remarkably bad thing.

Bullshit time!

Randy McCall is such a fucking dick posted:

From the point they encounter the soldier (even if he just runs past them) the clock starts ticking. If they arrive within the hour, they will find 2d6 Gurgoyles and 1d4 Gargoyles in and around the base. Another 1d6 Gargoyles have already flown off into the world to scout ahead. 1d6 Gurgoyles will return to our world every hour and wait for the others. At the end of six hours the place will be overrun by hundreds of Gurgoyles and Gargoyles. Fortunately, that's five or six hours away yet.

Wait, do they show up in five hours or six?
And if a handful of the egg-laying murder-fucks have already flown off into the woods in the ass-end of nowhere, isn't that seriously bad news?

Anyway. The weapons cache that Jeff blabbed about is hidden in a concealed bunker half a mile east of Sigma. How far is that from where the characters meet him? That sure would be useful to know in a time-critical situation, right? And if it's only half a mile from Sigma, doesn't that mean the Gar/Gur-goyles will see the characters approaching it?

Anyway, it contains goodies.
Better hope you went to murder-school and learned how to use giant fucking guns, I guess. Remember, firing at Gar/Gur-goyles needs 11+ to do anything to them thanks to their armour rating.

Okay, so the characters
a) didn't waste time going to the campsite
b) didn't freak out in the woods and get blown up by gar/gur-goyles
c) stopped Corporal Exposition from fucking off and taking the plot with him
d) got shown how to use the guns and got tooled up

Lets say they did that last part in less than hour, too. Time to save the world!
They open the door and are pounded into pâté by the Gar/Gur-goyles, who saw them and snuck over for an ambush.

Okay, that's not exactly what happens.

The characters wander over to the Sigma base and then get pounded into pâté.

Sigma base is loving detailed, but that's useless information because it blew up before the characters ever got to see it when the matrix device blew a hole in the world. I'll skip the details on how many huts there were , because-

Before the explosion doesn't matter, Randy posted:

Now only two of the furthest storage buildings stand completely intact. The other buildings were blown down by the force of the explosion, leaving only an occasional wall standing among the debris field. In the center of the destruction is a giant pentagram, and at each corner of the pentagram is a matrix generator still humming with life. Apparently the force of the blast detroyed everything around it within a thousand feet, but left the pentagram unscathed. Above the pentagram is a doorway to another world. A black, swirling cavity in the center of a whirlpool of coloured light.

Randy, you said this adventure didn't contain much in the way of the occult or magic. You've got monsters from another world and a techno-magic hole in reality. That's quite a lot of occult, dude.

Oh, for fuck's sake posted:

The solution seems simple; destroy one or two of the generators and the portal should close. The problem is that there's a good 1000ft of open space between it and the nearest piece of cover. An attack with automatic weapons will certainly create a ruckus that will capture everyone's attention. It's also quite a distance to hit a four foot by five foot (1.2 to 1.8m) target enough times to knock it out of commission. The ideal situation would be to get in close enough to lob a couple of grenades or drill the generators with several rounds of lead.

So you need to sneak across a fucking bowling green to blow up a generator, while hawk-eyed murder-fucks who can see in the goddamn dark circle overhead. And why has generator size been singled out for metric measurements? Why not that 1000ft of open space?

Fuck you, Randy McCall posted:

There is one little surprise too. Destorying one, two or three of the generators isn't enough. As long as two continue to operate, the dimensional portal remains open. The underground power system will keep supplying energy until doomsday. It can't be shut off because access to it lays buried under tons of debris.

I hate you, Randy McCall. The only thing worse than this bullshit is if you had some dumb-ass solution that players would have no way of knowing about.

Randy McCall's dumb-ass solution that players would have no way to know about posted:

Freeing the imprisoned hostages is another possibility. All three of the scientists know about the secret access tunnel that leads from the furthest west warehouse building to the power system under the pentagram. At that point, it's a matter of hitting the right switch.

Naturally, the characters have no way of knowing there are hostages. They're also subject to GM fiat, as the gargoyles are only keeping them as a snack and they get hungry quickly.
Let's make Jeff even more useful, and pretend that he saw a bunch of survivors, including the scientists, being herded into one of the surviving buildings (luckily, it's the building with the secret access tunnel in it, too!). Let's say he tells them that the scientists should know how to shut the matrix down, too. Instead of 'cross a bowling green to blow up four generators', the plan becomes 'free the nerds, let them save the world'.

Let's see how that goes.

Location of the Gargoyles
Weren't there random numbers of these pricks earlier? Well, whatever. That flying Gargoyle is going to make sneaking up on the base tricky. And the Gurgoyle on top of the building is still going to be hard to kill, becasue it's a Gurgoyle. Even if you do sneak up on it and light it up with M-16s, the others will hear the noise and come for you.

Seriously, this is what he says posted:

If anything seems amiss, one or more will investigate.

Try and shoot your way through the bullshit and shut down the generators, or try and shoot your way through some of the bullshit and watch a guy press the 'off' switch.

Then it's high fives all round, right?


The military will pull in moments after the characters pull the plug on the power matrix.
Or if the players have gotten themselves into a tight spot, you can have the military arrive in the nick of time and save the day.
The military troops will hunt down any Gurgoyles and Gargoyles that may have escaped into the woods.

The aftermath posted:

The characters will be gathered up, placed under military protection and escorted, under heavy guard, to another underground complex just beyond the western warehouse building. There they will be detained for several days while they undergo extensive questioning and debriefing.
After 4 to 6 days the characters will be released and presented with a brand new automobile to replace the one damaged in the "incident". Monetary compensation will also be provided for any medical treatment and loss of work.
Independent research will reveal the Sigma complex is built on the site of an indian burial ground with a long history of apparitions and unusual occurances. (Yes, it is a ley line and the dimensional portal just happens to be on a ley line nexus).

That's the adventure!

(And thanks to the Automobile table in character generation, 70% of characters will still have to make payments on their wrecked cars.)

Next time! The stuff I as going to put in this time before it got too big!
The time after that! A scenario by Kevin Siembieda!


posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Hydrokinesis may demand an underwater eyemask with unusual attachments, or a shower head.

Time for a break from some horrible pre-written adventures, and a look at some more character classes; we've previously checked out Arcanists , who do psychic-magic, Parapsychologists who have no magical abilities and do magic, and Nega-Psychics , who are psychically not-psychic.

Yes, I know Nega-Psychics didn't get much space when I talked about them. I did cover everything that they can do, though (better saves against psychic powers and magic, being assholes).

What's left are Psychics , in a variety of flavours. They're presented in a completely random order that doesn't make much sense, so I'm going to rearrange them in a way that mostly does-0 as much as anything in this fucking game makes sense, anyway.

We're going to start with the Psi-Mechanic - a psychic gadgeteer. He builds what can only be described as contraptions , and channels his psychic ability through them to do... well, the same stuff as every other psychic, but he can break/drop/lose the things he needs to be useful.
Oh, and he's more limited because of his gadget dependence.

Oh, and his gadgets can only be used by psi-mechanics or latent psychics (we'll see about that later on), so if he builds a ghostbusting doodad that will stop the big bad guy and then gets knocked out, everyone else is shit out of luck when it comes to the aforementioned doodad.

Psi-Mechanics get 4d6+10 PPE, and keep half of it as their PPE base- they won't use this to power their gizmos (because Potential Psychic Energy doesn't fuel psychic powers), they'll use their derived Inner Strength Points. The other half of their PPE is used to create psi-machines .

Psi-machines should 'suggest some scientific common sense'. This means that if you want to make a device that uses the See The Invisible power, you should put it into some goggles or a device to Sense Evil might be something like a geiger counter.

Each gizmo permanently costs PPE, so hope the GM isn't a dick/hasn't read Wujcik's advice. Luckily, duplicates only cost half as much, so replacing a gadget isn't crushingly expensive.

What's up for grabs? Well, two categories of psychic powers. This is meant to be kind of a big deal, but it's not really.

Sensitive Abilities are usually the domain of the Psychic Sensitive , and are basically ghost-spotting stuff.
Clairvoyance ( 4PPE ) lets you see the future! Well, sometimes. Maybe. The power has a 58% chance of working, but the psi-mechanic gadget version gives it +10%. Also, it lasts 6d6 melees. Will that time-scale matter? Probably not, as watching psychic TV to find a killer is kind of pointless if they're in the room and punching you in the face over and again. Is it useful? Let's look at the example GMs are recommended to use as a guide.

Hahahahahahaha, no posted:

The psychic character is in a trance or meditation, thinking about his friend Janet. Suddenly, the mind is flooded with an image of Janet rushing down a crowded street. It's dusky, like morning, twilight or evening. She seems very upset. The traffic light changes to amber. Janet races into the street, ignoring the light. It turns red. There's a car, a squeal of tires, Janet screams. The image ends.
Um. That's not really helpfu-

Why would you waste points on this shit? posted:

The glimpse into the future could be 20 minutes, 8 hours, 24 hours, or a week. The psychic has no way of knowing.
Let's move on.
Empathy ( 4PPE ) let's you be the useless empath on Star Trek.
Empathic Transfer ( 6PPE ) doesn't exist, but Empathic Transmission does, so lets use that. It's the power that Banshees have, to instill emotions in others (only you make them put on your special misery hat first, I guess).
Mind Block ( 2PPE ) gives you the ability to not sense anything supernatural or psychic, not use psychic abilities, and not be psychically influenced. Turning your psi-blocking psi-gadget on might block your ability to use your psi-blocking psi-gadget, turning it off again. Soooo...
Presence Sense ( 4PPE ) alerts you to supernatural and magic creatures in the area. The psychic equivalent of carrying a geiger counter while being radioactive, I guess.
See Aura ( 2PPE ) lets you see experience levels and possession and stuff. Also, 'the presence of an unusual human aberration which indicates a serious illness, non-human or mutant, but does not specify which' , so you might beat up a dude with cancer because you think he's a ghoul.
See The Invisible ( 4PPE ) lets you see the invisible. It costs you 4ISP per minute, so you'd better hope already know where the invisible thing you're looking for is or you'll run out of brain juice.
Sense Evil ( 2PPE ) lets you detect the alignment of supernatural creatures (hint, they're evil) and follow their trail.
Sense Magic ( 4PPE ) does pretty much the same for magic.
Telepathy ( 6PPE ) lets you read someone's mind and maybe shove a short message into it. Presumably, psi-mechanics either need to make someone wear a special hat, or have some kind of knowledge gun to shoot messages into peoples' heads. Maybe a vacuum cleaner would work. You could use a dustbuster for a portable version.
Physical Abilities are usually associated with Physical Psychics . They're less useless than the Sensitive Powers, but so are chocolate teapots.
Electrokinesis ( 6PPE ) lets you manipulate electricity, but not in a cool way, so don't get your hopes up. It gives you a bunch of stuff, all of which you have to pay for seperately to use- you can be electrically resistant, generate static electricity, jolt people (for as much as 1d6 damage as often as once per melee!), and control electrical devices with your brain (light switches, blenders, whatever . This is Palladium so there are numbers attached (12 functions per melee, so you flick a light on and off 6 times in fifteen seconds! Whooooooo!) Oh, and you can sense electricity.
Hydrokinesis ( 4PPE ) lets you do stuff with water, and is vaguely useful. Maybe. You can sense chemical impurities 70% of the time, and tell what the impurity is 35% of the time. Woop. You can boil water, heating one gallon to boiling point in a minute. No, you can't do it to people. You can, uh... Well, with your awesome powers you can sense open water within 20ft of you. Not underground rivers or airtight containers, just, y'know, rivers and glasses of water. The one useful thing you can do with this is Hurl Water . Up to one gallon, 20ft range, the fluid must be at least 75% water and not frozen. If you fling boiling water into someone's face is horribly painful, causes 2d4 damage, makes them lose initiative, makes them lose all attacks for 1d6 melees, and gives -10 to strike, parry and dodge for 3d6 melees. It kills you stone fucking dead, in other words, because you're completely defenceless. Characters of a good alignment will only do this in life or death circumstances, so stop by Starbucks before confronting anyone.
Impervious to Cold ( 2PPE ) does what it says.
Impervious to Fire ( 4PPE ) lets you shrug off some prick throwing boiling coffee in your fucking eyes, among other things.
Resist Fatigue ( 2PPE ) lets you do physical stuff without getting exhausted, so you could run at full speed for an hour, but you feel like shit afterwards.
Telekinesis ( 6PPE ) lets you hit people with stuff, with your brain. You can also flick light switches and physically turn the TV off to annoy anybody dumb enough to be electrokinetic.

On reaching second level, you get 10PPE to build this trash with; each level after that gives you another 2d4. It takes 48 hours of work to build these things, so better hope you don't need them in a hurry- three days is the shortest time you can cobble something together in.

Who else can use this shit?
Another psi-mechanic? Maybe. 20% chance of success, but with personal instruction from the creator and 24 hours of practice, you have a 55% chance!
A latent psychic? 12% chance of success (but they get +5% if the use Object Read first!). With personal training, they get a whopping 64% chance.
Oh, and 6-12 year olds have a 32% chance.

Oh, and if you fuck up, you can never use the device.

Bonuses and Vulnerability
The main vulnerability of the psi-mechanic is that they're god-awful. But that's just my opinion. Let's see what's listed for them.

And that's the psi-mechanic!


posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

The stench of evil, supernatural entities is as tangible as the smell of a rotten egg.

Let's push on with Psychic Character Classes !

The (useless) Psi-Mechanic takes ome of his gadget powers from the Psychic Sensitive , so looks look at that!

Psychic Sensitives have focused their psychic powers into their 'third eye', letting them see the supernatural and sense things that normal people can't. They can smell ghosts and taste magic, and I guess they get a lot of funny looks.

They get 4d6+10 PPE, keep 8 as a base and can spend the rest on sensitive abilities - as usual, they're actually fuelled by ISP, which work out as double your PPE total. You get 10 more ISP each level, but you don't gain any more PPE. Better hope that first roll is good!

Psychic Sensitives get the ability to Recover ISP . Actually, everyone does, but it's listed here as one of their abilities, because Palladium. You'll get back 2ISP per hour of total relaxation or sleep, 4ISP per hour of meditation, but you have to buy the Meditation power to do that.
Next is the ability to Sense Supernatural Evil . They'll automatically detect any supernatural source of evil within 300ft, but to actually find it, they need to but the Sense Evil power.
Finally, they can Open Your Brain to the Psych - sorry, having a flashback to a good game for a moment. Psychic Sensitives have the abilty to Open Yourself to the Supernatural . No, not in the Black Tokyo way. Doing this lets the sensitive feel large fluxes of energy- magic power, PPE (As long as more than 80 has been spent, either on magic or psychics), ley lines, ley line nexus', electrical energy, and, uh, the intersecting of underground streams, all within 600ft.
Helpfully, the sensitive must Open Himself to the Supernatural to usea bunch of his powers- Empathy, Empathic Transfer, Clairvoyance, Divination, Mediumship, Object Read and Telepathy. Doing this drops all of his psychic defences, so good luck with that.
You Remember that whatever you're trying to sense doesn't have to go through this shit, it can just see/sense you. Maybe you are opening yourself to the supernatural Black Tokyo style, because it is going to seriously fuck you.

You get some bonuses, too!

Bonuses and Vulnerability
Inviting the supernatural to pound the shit out of you is a major vulnerability. What do you get that makes up for it?
Better hope you recognize someone is possessed before you open yourself to check out what's going on.

Wait, does tht mean the initiative/attack penalty happen all the time? Sense Supernatural Evil is a psychic ability that's always on...

Let's move on. You can spend your PPE on the following powers-
Astral Projection ( 4PPE ) we've mentioned before, you've got a 30% chance to find your body again after your little excursion.
Death Trance ( 1PPE ) lets you pretend that you're dead for up to four days. You decide how long you want to be 'dead' for in advance, and you're helpless , obviously.
Divination ( 3PPE ) lets you see the future, those gleaming railroad tracks leading off into the distance. It takes 15-20 minutes and the method of your choice (tea leaves, i-ching, whatever), and is as useless as all fortune telling in RPGs. You get a 42% base chance, and -10% for trying it on yourself.

Really? posted:

The game master should never predetermine the outcome of a game or an event within the game.
Also, a page of this book is wasted listing divination methods.
Meditation ( 1PPE ) lets you meditate and recover ISP. It's a must-have, basically.
Mediumship/Clairsentience ( 3PPE ) lets you talk to the dead. Sometimes. You've got a 30% chance of success, but get +2% per PPE point you can draw on. It lets you invite ghosts for a chat, and then either stick them into your own head and let them say whatever they want, or jam them into somebody else, temporarily possessing them while you ask questions. Sometimes they can talk, sometimes they write or draw, and if they're in someone with a PPE stash, they can use telekinesis and empathic transfer to rattle stuff and make you feel scared (or homicidal). Oh, and they lie.
Anyone can have a seance, if they like. Their base % chance is the total amount of PPE in the people sitting around holding hands, and normal people have 3d6 PPE each. Three people can call forth a ghost about a third of the time, five people will be 50/50.
Object Read ( 4PPE ) gives you a 56% chance to get an impression of the last person owner of an object, and 38% chance to get general information about where the owner is now (but it's pretty useless, since it's 'a bedroom, an office, etc').
Sixth Sense ( 2PPE ) triggers automatically if there's unexpected life-threatening danger that's going to happen to you within 60 seconds, and gives you some bonuses in the first melee when said threat arrives.
Speed Reading ( 2PPE ) lets you read 30 pages per minute, with normal recall. Highly technical stuff halves the speed to 15 pages per minute.
Suggestion ( 5PPE ) lets you fuck with people by putting ideas in their head- you have to say it, subtly working it into a comment. Let's see how subtle you have to be.

As subtle as a brick to the head posted:

"You feel like you have a fever. Yes, you do have a fever. You're burning up with fever. You should lie down."
"At midnight the spectre appears. Everybody who is present sees the spectre at midnight."
You can't make people into zombies or stop them punching you, though.
Summon Inner Strength ( 4PPE ) make syou ever-so-slightly less weedy. You get +10 SDC, +2 to save vs toxins, and +5% vs coma/death.
Total Recall ( 4PPE ) gets your ass to Mars. Okay, maybe not. It gives you a 50% chance to remember stuff that you read, 30% chance to remember the gist of it, and 20% to recall the basic ideas.
You can also but Clairvoyance , Empathy , Empathic Transfer , Mind Block , Presence Sense , See Aura , See The Invisible , Sense Evil , Sense Magic and Telepathy , as detailed under Psi-Mechanic.

And that's the psychic sensitive!

Physical Psychics

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

They are, without a doubt, the most flamboyant of all psi-powers.

We've covered Psychic Sensitives, Psi-Mechanics, Parapsychologists and Nega-Psychics, and looked at Arcanists until the spells got too fucking dull.

Let's move on to Physical Psychics . They don't do any of that psychic sensitive stuff, and they don't dick around making magic doodads that only they can use. No, they're kick-ass psychic Bruce Lees whohahahahahahahha no they're kind of shit, too. Okay, one of their powers is totally batshit.

4d6+10PPE, double it to determine ISP, keep 6 as PPE base, spend the rest on powers. You know how this works by now, even if you don't want to.

Available powers for Physical Psychics include Electrokinesis , Hydrokinesis , Telekinesis , Resist Fatigue , mpervious to Cold , and Impervious to Fire , which were covered under the Psi-Mechanic, Death Trance , Mind Block , Meditation , Speed Reading , Summon Inner Strength , and Total Recall , which were covered under Psychic Sensitives.

As well as that lot, they have the choices of-
Alter Aura lets you fuck with your psychic aura to avoid being monster bait. Okay, it does a list of stuff, but it's all useless except for that.
Bio Manipulation lets you zap people with your space-brain, provided you can see them or know exactly where they are, and are within 160ft. This lets you do drive-by fuckery if you like. It lasts for 4d4 minutes, but you can extend that by another 4d4 minutes if you spend extra ISP on your psychic whammy. Things you can do are-
Blind them. Yup, you use your psychic powers to shut down their optic nerves, leaving them incurably blind for the duration, with -9 to strike, parry and dodge if you like smacking blind dudes around.
Deafen them. Annoying, but not as effective as blinding them. They notice, so you can't use it to sneak past someone (unless you sneak past while they freak out, I guess).
Mute them. People only find out when they try and speak, and then they freak out.
Pain cripples people (-6 to strike, parry and dodge, so you can beat them to death if you like), but it also does 1 point of damage direct to hit points per minute. As a reminder, your hit points are your staring PE + d6 per level, so you can kill someone over an agonising 20-30 minutes with an incurable, unstoppable brain-whammy if you roll a good duration.
Paralyse them and completely incapacitate them for the duration. Fun in car chases.
Stun them, costing them 1 attack per melee, halving their speed (still undefined), and giving -4 to strike parry and dodge. Or you could, y'know, paralyse them. In the same time. At the same cost. And then beat them to death.
Tissue Manipulation allows for more dickery- unscratchable itches, sudden feelings of burning heat and icy cold- (this is done by manipulating the body chemical that absorbs heat, apparently). It's annoying, and gives -1 to strike, parry and dodge.
Ectoplasm lets you spurt psychic goo 40ft, either as a probing finger of vapour (that's not really vapour, it can get snagged on things) that can only be seen by psychics (and infrared optics) and can touch stuff, knock on doors, whatever, or as a solid state that everyone can see. It looks like silly putty, it's connected to it's creator, and it can stretch 40ft, +5ft per level. You can use your horrible spirit-snot to fight, very badly.
Impervious to Poison negates poisons that you've already taken, which is less than useful. It goives you +2 to save vs poisons for 2 minutes, which I personally wouldn't consider 'impervious'- unlike the Impervious to Poison spell , which makes you actually impervious to poison, and lasts for 5 minutes.
Levitation lets you lift things with your brain, to a height of 8ft (small things)/ 6ft (big things), +1ft per level. Definitely worse than the spell, which is 60ft+10ft per level, and gives no fucks whether you're lifting a newspaper or a person.
Pyrokinesis lets you control fire, in the same way that the other -kineses controlled other stuff. The only effective thing in those powers was the ability to fling coffee in someone's face. Let's see if Pyrokinesis breaks that trend.
Fire Resistance reduces fire damage by half.
Spontaneous Combustion lets you set combustible materials on fire (human hair is not a combustible material), and it starts off as a spark.
Fuel Flames makes a 10ft area of fire double in size.
Extinguish Flames puts out 15ft of fire.
Create Flame lets you make fire appear, and none of this 'tiny spark' business. No, this lets you make 4ft wide, 8ft high pillars of flame, or 6ft wall of fire out of nothing. (4d6 damage from the pillar, 6d6 from the wall, 72% chance of setting combustibles on fire). Oh, you can throw fireballs, too. 6d6 damage, 30ft range. Hadoken!
Sense Fire gives you a 90% chance to detect fires within 100ft. On a failed roll, you only detect 2d4x10% of the fires. Why? Because , okay.
Resist Hunger lets you resist snacking. It lets you survive without food for 60 days, provided you activate the power every six hours, so don't sleep in. You'll still be malnourished and stuff, though. Oh, and on day 61 you fall into a coma.
Resist Thirst is the same, but for water.

Like all the classes, you get some bonuses and vulnerabilities, too!

Huuuuuurrrrrr posted:

You may find meditation and mind block more useful than pyrokinesis.
And neither as useful as bio manipulation.

Psychic Healers

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

It is wise to have one or more assistants to help defend against the being's attacks.
Assistants can be a liabilty, for the creature may attempt to flee by possessing one of them.

Last time, we looked at psychics who only have one useful power, but it wrecks your shit.

This time, we'll look at Psychic Healers . Their powers are focused on healing, so let's find out if they're useful or just healbots. They get the usual 4d6+10 PPE, double it for ISP, and spend all but 4 on powers.

Psychic Healers get Meditation , but this Meditation psychic power isn't the other Meditation psychic power, this is their own special thing.

It doesn't do anything.

Okay, that's not entirely true. It doesn't do anything, and it takes 30 seconds to go into your deep trance and perform psychic healings on other people.

They get the other Meditation power, too.

They get Bio-Regeneration , too- it's, uh, well. If you've been poisoned or drugged, you can simply slip into a deeper meditative trance to affect yourself and 15 seconds later, the chemical effects stop. This doesn't stop you being poisoned or whatever, though- you need to spend another 20 minutes in your trance to destroy the poison. Oh, and you seem to be dead while you're doing this.

A normal psychic could cast Impervious to Poison 332 times in this time period, by the way.

That's not all Bio-Regeneration does for you! You can use your crazy mind powers to heal your wounds, too. You put yourself into an even deeper deep trance in 15-60 seconds, and then...

Nothing happens for 1-4 hours.

But! After that , you heal 2SDC and 1hp for every 2 hours of meditation. That's better than hospital treatment, so it's pretty sweet.

Just kind of thrown in at the end is the ability to become resistant to fire/heat and cold, taking half damage. 15-60 seconds of preparation, and you're good to go. I mean, sure, Impervious to Fire makes you immune to fire and heat damage, and Impervious to Cold does the same for cold, and you don't lose the initiative and half of your attacks maintaing them, but, uh... Well. Look, it's free, okay. And you can maintain it indefinitely (well, until you burn/freeze to death becasue you're still taking damage).

Nyyyyaaaaaaaaawwwwww pewpewpewpew

So, yeah. They can buy powers!
Deaden Pain is a psychic anesthetic.
Exorcism drives possessing spirits out of possessees. Maybe. 30 minutes of preparation, 6d6 minutes of psychic mumbo-jumbo, and you get a 28% chance (+7% per level) to drive the spirit out. Congratulations! Now, roll to see if you sent it back to it's own dimension (21% chance, +7% per level)- if you fuck up, it can try to possess you . Oh, and if it's powerful? Half those percentages. Oh, and it can attack you for the duration of the exorcism process, so you're looking at at least 24 rounds of melee with the fucking thing, and sedating the possessee doesn't stop the possessor zapping you with it's psychic powers, magic, or, y'know, trying to possess someone else. Like you, say.
So good luck with that.
Healing Touch lets you heal someone else for 1d8 hit points or 2d6SDC, after 2 minutes of mediation.
Impervious to Cold is like the regular version, except you have to meditate for 15-60 seconds first.
Impervious to Fire is, again, like the regular version, except you have to, you guessed it, meditate first- for 2d4 melees (30-120 seconds).
Increased Healing doubles hit point and SDC recovery for someone else, so if they're in a hospital they'll be recovering almost as fast as your Bio-Regeneration .
Incude Pain lets you inflict terrible pain without causing and physical harm. Just meditate for 15 seconds first, and zap some poor sucker. They get -6 to strike, parry and dodge, lose initiative, lose half of their attacks, and get a 30% penalty to their skills. Oh and after 5 minutes of terrible agony, they pass out half the time, but that's 20 melees of them shrieking and trying to punch you.
Induce Sleep takes 2 minutes of meditation to prepare, then makes people SLEEEEEEEEEEEP . Unless they're in combat. Or they don't feel like a nap, in which case they get +5 to the saving throw. Oh, and it's regular sleep, so you can wake them up really easily.
Psychic Diagnosis takes 2d4 melees of meditation, and then you know what's wrong with someone.
Psychic Surgery let's you deal with whatever you found in your Psychic Diagnosis , after another 2d6 minutes of preparatory meditation and then more meditation as you do the surgery. It lets you fix broken bones and internal injuries (only represented in this system as an optional rule, only applied when you've lost more than 75% of your hit points). Oh, and you can get people out of comas, 66% of the time.
Psychic Purification detoxes other people, after 6d6 minutes of mediation. Better hope it's a slow poison. Nega psychics have to take a saving throw if you try and purify them- it just works on everyone else.
Resist Fatigue is like everyone elses version, but with 15-150 seconds of mediation beforehand.
Suggestion (Hypnosis) is the same as the psychic sensitive's power (ie not at all subtle), only it's made even less subtle by the 15 second trance that precedes the suggestion.

They get the usual slew of Bonuses and Vulnerability , naturally-

That's the psychic healer!

Remnant Classes

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

I am going to continue grinding relentlessly through this shit.
Alien Rope Burn is covering the incoherence of Palladium games nicely, but it lacks the relentless, tedious grind of the actual books. I'm replicating that feeling, but only until I finish this fucking shit. After that, I'm just gonna pick over the more fun stuff in Nightbane (after an interlude of something that's actually fun ).

There are only two PCCs left in Beyond the Supernatural , and I'm going to get them out of the way in this post. After that, there's a handful of monsters to look at, and I'll finish up with Kevin Siembieda's adventure (2 pages, 4 columns of text, no illustrations, split into two sections).

This time, it's The Natural Genius . Their psychic powers are allegedly focused into specific aptitudes, making them awesome at specific things. This isn't exactly true.
4d6+10 PPE, spend all but two on either -
a) skill buffs . One PPE point can be converted into a +5% skill bump. You can put these wherever you like, so if you want to crank one or two skills up to the maximum 98%, go nuts. If you want to spread them around, that's fine too. You get one opportunity to do this, so no holding back to pick up skills later (hahahahahaha, right) and then bumping them up.
b) special abilities . You can buy one, and only one of these things-

Electrical Genius gives an intuitive understanding of electrical gear. You get Basic Electronics at 60%, a one-time bonus of +15% to Electrical Engineer , and the unique Electrical Hot Wiring at 92%. This alowsd you to hotwire stuff- steal cars, disarm security alarms, open electrical locks, tap phones, and bypass security keypads. Natural, there's a table giving penalties and modifiers.
Computer Hacking or Hacker gives an intuitive... yeah. Computer Operation at 88%, Computer Programming at 74%, and the unique Computer Hacking at 74%. There's an accompanying table, naturally.
Human Calculator gives you math skills. Exceptional Mathematics (Advanced) at 80% and Remember Numbers at 76% let you remember numbers and do complex math in your head. They get some one-time bonuses to a bunch of skills, too.
Weapons Expert lets you modify weapons 72% of the time (with tables of penalties, duh). You can adapt a weapon to fire ammunition up to two grades higher, whatever that means. It's not in the book. You can do some other stuff that's not in the book, too. Oh, and you get +1 to strike and parry with ancient weapons (swords and stuff), +1 to strike with modern weapons (guns and stuff), and you pick a specific weapon and get +2 to strike with it. Whooo.
Bio-Feedback lets you master your chi. Somehow, this is something a natural genius can do. Whatever, it's not the dumbest thing in this book. You get The Cleansing Spirit at 66%, hich lets you unpoison yourself and heal 10 SDC- after 24 hours of meditation and a skill roll. Fuck up and you get nothing. Positive Energy at 70% is your other ability- by halving your attacks per melee and making the skill roll, you get to half the damage of energy attacks and poisons, get +2 to save versus magic, and get +3 to save versus psychic attack.
Exceptional Physical Prowess gives +d6 to PP and Spd, +1 attack, +2 initiative, +1 parry and dodge, +10% to physical skills involving dexterity.
Exceptional Physical Strength gives +2d4 to PS, +d6 to PE, +d6x10 to SDC, and lets you carry 100 x PS in lbs.

They get the usual Bonus/Vulnerability crap too, and just like everything else about these guys, it's fucking terrible-
15+ to save vs psychic attack

Yeah, that's it. These guys are shit. I mean, really, really bad.

Heeeeeey, just a minute...

The last PCC is the Latent Psychic . They give no kind of a fuck about developing their powers, so they get to roll on some tables- they end up with one minor and one major psychic sensitive power, and one phsycial psychic ability. None of them are good.
They get 4d6+10PPE, and half of it is their base. The other half is off-limits until they reach level 3, when they can buy one power each time they level up.
Somehow, they're worse than the Natural Genius .

In summary, be an Arcanist if possible, because your spells are all great, or failing that be a Physical Psychic and whammy people with your super-cheap Bio-Manipulation fuck you ability.

Oh, and go to trade school so you can learn how to juggle.

Fake edit: ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ ™ I think that about covers it.

Monsters 1

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Last time, we looked at the last of the PCCs, and noticed they were trash. Let's check out some more of the monsters, who range between awful and almost unstoppable.

Gremlins , or Techno-Terrors , or fuck no, Gremlins!
They're the ugly little fuckers you'd expect who sabotage electronics and machinery. Palladium are nothing if not original.
Wait, that makes them nothing.
Well, whatever. They've got a 50% chance of sabotaging stuff, thanks to the Palladium skill system, so I guess they're really persistent, and they can levitate so they can sabotage things above knee-high.
Oh, they shrivel up and turn to ash when they die.
Does that mean that the monsters don't vanish/rot/whatever? Why does nobody believe in these things? Has nobody killed a monster and had a camera nearby for the last 50 years or so?

Hell Hounds are hounds- from hell! They're shapechangers who aren't very good at it, like Boshala (The giant, impractical magic batteries for retards, love gangbangs? Have ridiculous tables to decide their appearance?
Y'know, these guys.)
So, they look like malformed dogs. the most famous of these are allegedly the Headless Hounds of Dartmoor. Not being picky, but if a dog has no head it can't bite you, losing much of it's menace. The most dangerous are, uh, the Devil's Dandy Dogs. Dapper and dangerous. Australia is supposed ot be plagued by these things. Oh, and they live in sewers, too. Y'know, if you're not setting Beyond the Supernatural in England or Australia.
They come in packs of 4d4 (of course it's random), they've got horror factor 16, they've not too tough (but there are 4-16 of them), their attributes are 'not applicable', and they can run at 20mph. They can see in the dark which is handy, because that's when they hunt, before fading into invisible energy beings during the day. They're not very good at hunting things, since they've only got +2 to strike and do 2d6 damage with a bite, or 1d6 with their claws.
When killed, they fade away to nothing.

Malignous (Malignii? Malignouses?) are also predatory energy beings, but they possess things. Insects. Menacing . Okay, so after a few hours they transform the possessed bug into an insectile abomination the size of a horse, which is menacing, especially it grows a giant scorpion stinger. Oh, and a kind of anteater mouth with three-foot tongue. And, uh, twenty eyes. On stalks. Sooooo... Less menacing again, more hilariously dumb.
It likes people, cities, night, and long walks on the beach. And it spins a nest. It's horse-sized insect body makes it very hard to find, apparently. Even though it's the size of a horse , makes a nest, and weighs 800lbs.
They're moderately tough (40-160SDC, d6 hit points (yes, d6)), can run at 15mph, leap 20ft up or across, can see in all directions at once, has nightvision and is resistant to poisons. If you kill it, it's got a 64% chance of returning to it's home dimension, so two thirds of the time another horse-bug-monster-thing pops up within a day or so.
Oh, you can try and give it an exorcism (if you like 6d6 minutes of standing near the thing while it punches you in the face, or try and tie it up or something). Like all exorcisms, you only succeed 30% of the time and only send it home 20% of the time, so (like all exorcisms) don't bother.
They've got a save-or-suck stinger attack, and three attacks per melee- d6 damage, and you need a 14+ save vs poison. Fuck it up, and you get paralysed after one melee, losing control of you arms. Four melees later, your legs stop working too and you're fucked. The poison lasts for 4d4 minutes, by which time it will have nibbled you to death with it's d4 damage bite from it's ridiculous trunk.
As an additional 'fuck you', they get an automatic dodge which doesn't eat up their next attack.

A Nacarant , or Scarlet Hunter is an entirely original creation, and not The Blob. It's a red pulsating blob that absorbs living things that touch it- one touch and it'll start climbing up your arm. The only way out is to cut your arm off. Yes, only that. If you don't, you get eaten over the next half hour.
This strikes me as a very Wujcikian monster.
Anyway, it's not really The Blob because once it's eaten someone, it assumes their shape and wanders around like a jelly-zombie, going on a killing spree. Once it kills people, it kind of mashes their body into itself, and grows another head somewhere. It does this for five days, and then explodes.
Huh. Okay, then.
If it eats enough people (getting 180PPE), it makes another blob another five days later, and waits for someone to poke it.
They're horror factor 17, and range from man-sized to 18ft tall, and 100-600lbs. That's pretty light for an 18-feet tall corpse filled blob. They've got d6x10SDC, and d6x10 hit points, +10 hit points per person absorbed, and they're impevious to physical attacks and poisons. You can set them on fire for double damage (and they're scared of fire) or zap them with magic or psychic attacks, but they regenerate 4d6SDC and 4d6 hit points per hour.
They've also got Prowl at 36%, so they can senak up on you a third of the time. Not bad when you're 18 feet tall and covered in heads that 'howl, grunt and moan'.
Once they arrive, they will fuck your shit retarded with attacks and damage that are based on how many creatures they've absorbed.
Helpfully, we're told you can't give a Nacarant an exorcism, but you can banish them. If they fail to get their 180PPE in five days they die, too, so evacuation is better than fighting (unless you fight the people it wants to absorb and set them on fire, I guess).

Monsters 2

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post


Last time, we talked about these guys-

Does it make it scary if it's the size of a horse and makes nests? No?

Oh, well.

How about Sowki , or The Serpent ?

Sah-woo-key, if you give a shit (you don't). They are 'tall, powerfully built men who, from a distance, might look human'. Yeah, they might . And Elvis might have been taken by aliens. They have snakeskin, three eyes, and five inch fucking fangs. So if you're a fucking idiot, or blind, you might think they look human. Or you just count limbs and shrug, figuring it's close enough.
Anyway. They're smarty-pants who think humans are delicious, and they want to rule the world. They use illusions to disguise themselves, becuase they don't look human at all , and use magic to build up a fortune and get themselves influence. They like setting up cults of humans, with themselves as head honcho.

They are also colossal assholes, who do the whole 'I've been expecting you, Mister Bond,' schtick- they're compulsive megalomaniacs who always go too far, and overconfident- basically, like everyone who does this, they get their dumb asses perished.

They're pretty weedy phsycially, but they've got some psychic powers and all know all illusionary magic. It then knows some magic spells, which are illusionary in nature. Oh, and some shapechanging spells.

And it has a 50% chance to know 2d6 spells from levels 1-3, and is a level d4+2 Arcanist.

Seriously, look at that shit. This fucking book is full of stuff like that. I guess if you're running a game and figure you'll use one of these guys as a cult leader, he might be really shit at it? Or, like, super-powerful or whatever. Or you could just ignore this shit and give him the power the plot demands, like a normal fucking person.

Anyway. They're moderately punchy, and have a poisonous bite- it's not a save or suck/die, so that's a plus, I guess.

Spider Demons! Or, The Death Weavers . They are demon spiders. They are only found in tropical regions that haven't been claimed by man, so they just fuck around and ruin holidays. Pricks.

They also hoard magical books.


Do they write them, then? I mean, if they're in remote tropical regions and stuff, where people don't go, I'm not sure where they'd get the books to hoard. Unless they hoard all the book they snatch off holidaymakers, so they've got libraries of airport trash?

Oh, and they're fucking nuts . Like, batshit fucking insane.

They're 8ft tall, weigh 1000lbs, can spin 200ft of web (for climbing) per melee. I'm not sure how that's useful, but I can say that about this whole book. The web is fairly tough but dissolves in 4 minutes, unless the spider drools on it. Then... somethingsomethingbooksnotsaying.


6d6 magic rituals form levels 1-8, 3d6 spells from levels 1-8, one ritual from each of level 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13, and d6 level 9-12 spells. It's a level d6+2 Acanist, too. Do these Arcanist levels include the first level Arcanist spells, too? They're not too punchy, but lets take a quick look at some of those high level spells they have.

Create Mummy (level 11). These got mentioned in the Rifts write-up, where they're nothing, because MegaDamage weapons exist. Beyond the Supernatural characters can't get MD weapons, so maybe it's more of a threat to them. Let's see. Three attacks per melee, 2d6+5 damage per swing (or is it +10? They're got PS20, which is +5 damage, but also +5 damage, so who knows). Psychic and magic powers have no effect. You can't scare it. You can't shoot it (bullets have no effect). You can't stab, bludgeon or beat it. You can hit it with a flaming torch for d6 damage per hit, but if it hits you it will wreck your shit, and you'll need to do it 120SDC to kill it, so at best you can beat it down in only 20 hits. Or you could blow it up, I guess. In an effort not to be bullshit, more bullshit is added, since if you can destroy the mummy's wrappings you do extra damage to the corpse inside. Player skill .

Create Zombie (level 12). More badass than mummies, zombies are also bulletproof and psychicproof, and you can't turn undead them because they're not undead, and you can't banish them because they're not living supernatural beings. You can zap them with magical energy attacks for full damage, electrocute them, and, uh, shoot them with particle beam weapons and lasers? Okay, then. Silver and fire work just fine, too.

Then they regenerate to full health (150SDC) 24 hours later, so fuck you players.

Okay, if you cut their head off and bury the bits seperately they die, for good.

Oh, and there's no limit to how many of these fuckers you can summon and control, so giant spider demons can go nuts with this shit.

Dimensional Portal (level 15) lets you open a two-way door to another dimension. Once a minute, something comes through from the list of-
elementals (bad news), UFOnaughts (will touch you in your special place), Banshee (harmless, but miserable), Dybbuk (meh), Dimensional Ghoul (will fuck you up if your GM is a dick), Poltergeists (fine, so long as it's not your house), Gremlins (will break stuff, sometimes), Possessing Entity (will try to possess... someone?), Gargolyes (will end the world if they escape), Poltergeists (yes, again), Tanglers (not in the book), Haunting Entity (oooooooooOOOOOHHHHHHooooohhhhhhh), Vampires (bad news), or Dar'ota (derpy dinosaur succubus things).

Probably best if you don't give them high-level spells, really.

Next, the Tokolosh or Sea Serpent .

Not present in this picture- anything like the description given.

Water spirits with 80ft long bodies and 20ft long arms, weigh 2 to 8 tons. They're passive and peaceful, eat fish, and will run away underwater. They'd be MegaDamage creatures if it existed, with 2d6x100SDC. Oh, and they're about as smart as 6 year olds.

You should feel bad if you go monster hunting for these gawky fuckers.

UFOnaughts , Flying Saucer Creatures , like psychically probing people (in the ass). They're energy beings that show up as glowing discs, and blink with lights that look like window ports and landing lights and stuff. They are allegedly 'playful', if shy.
If they overcome their crippling shyness and visit people, they mind-probe them and see what's expected, and stuff a false memory of that encounter into the person's head- you think you'll meet little grey dudes with big eyes and they'll fly you around in space? Super, that's what you remember. If you think you'll be abducted and anally probed, then, uh... Yeah. That's what you get.

Beyond the Supernatural posted:

The UFOnaught may even form a physical alien out of ectoplasm (also used to create probing tentacles and hands).

Thanks, Kev.

If the UFOnaught and human have a particularly pleasant contact, the UFOnaught will stay in touch, but they will not follow humans around like a puppydog .

Werewolves cover all werebeasts, whatever kind of were- noun they are. They're human but dumb, so they just turn into animals and hunt stuff, and by stuff I mean people. They hit like freight trains, and are impervious to all normal weapons and poisons and stuff. You can knock it down, though, which I'm sure is a comfort. Explosives will stun it for up to a minute. Super. Magic, psychic attacks and silver do usual damage, and they're comparatively wimpy. If they run off, they'll heal all damage within 24 hours, so you really want to finish them off quick, like.

Oh, and evil Arcanists can summon them, but how isn't mentioned.

I advise avoiding barely-explored tropical regions, to be honest. The demon spiders and their werewolf buddies are a drag.

Next time! The last of the monsters!
Next next time! Siembieda special as we look at his adventure!
Next next next time! not this fucking book!

My lot refer to John Wick simply as The Wick, The Most Electifying Man in Role-Playing Entertainment.

Having met him a few times now, I can safely say he's a colossal fucking tool, by the way, in case you wondering if it was just his writing, videos, panel appearances and stuff that gave that impression.

Greater Beings

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post


No, wait! Not monsters!

Greater Beings! These are the serious business bad guys of Beyond the Supernatural, maybe. I guess? I mean, the book doesn't really talk about it, except to say that they're kind of Lovecraft knock-off.

This is not an original idea, so it fits in just fine with the rest of this book posted:

Monsters so far removed from humanity that we are a totally alien and unimportant race, except as the plaything of the so-called "greater powers".

There's only a handful of them, so let's get them done so I can do Kevin's adventure next time and be dooooooooone.

Elementals! They come in the usual four flavours, and almost always possess smaller supernatural creatures, humans, or trees and stuff to anchor themselves to our world- if they don't, they just kind of wander off home in 2d6 hours.
They're big and dumb, and usually (dangerous) pawns "for other supernatural beings or arcanists"-specifically, arcanists who know level 14 spells and can get their hands on 800PPE (normal people have 3d6, remember).

This might be an elemental. Things are unclear in this book.

Goqua! They're eight feet tall, twenty feet long, kind of demon-slug-ish things with shark teeth and tentacle antennae, they've got three foot wide squid eyes and they can bite elephants in half and shit lightning.
Okay, I made up the lightning part, but they're supposed to be able to bite elephants in half. 2d6x10 damage (+7 for it's PS bonus!) is probably enough? Elephants aren't on the SDC chart, so I can't check.
Things it can definitely , 100% bite through- cardboard boxes, windows.
Things it can maybe probably bite through- canoes, padlocks, assault rifles.
Things it can maybe bit through, if it's super-lucky- interior doors, car windshields, interior plasterboard walls.
I leave it up to you decide if it could bite an elephant.
It takes a couple of tries to bite through an exterior wooden door, so they don't quite measure up to the hype.


They're interdimensional pricks, who like fucking with people. They manipulate people and set them against each other, or other supernatural beings or whatever. They're insecure, because the other superintelligences and look down on them, so they act the prick.

Fuck it, fine, I'll quote Victor Lazlo posted:

...and among the scores of figures, all featureless in shadow, stepped out a coyote whom I instantly knew to be 'the' Coyote of the American plains indian's legend. He smiled a coy smile as some of the other figures stepped out of the shadows. All figures from legend, Thoth, Loki, Mercury, Chantico, and Mephisto, all ancient god of mischief who tricked and used their fellow gods with cunning, for their own winsome purposes. The Coyote spoke the only word in my dream, 'Goqua', smiled, with it's tongue lolling to one side, winked, and I awoke. Makes me wonder.

This crap is scattered at random through the book, and I've done my utmost to not share it, because it's horrible.

So, d6x1000SDC and d4x100 hit points, stats attributes between 22 and 28. Don't try and beat them up, I guess (or hope the GM rolls badly, maybe?). They're impervious to cold and poison, take half damage from fire, turn invisible at will, have a bunch of psychic powers that fuck with people, and 4d6 spells from levels 1-7. Oh, and all spells from levels 8-15. Since they've got 2d4x100+200 PPE, they can use those top level 'fuck you' spells, too.

Mindolar! They're mind slugs , controlling people with their horrible alien brains. Luckily, they hate it here so they only show up if some idiot summons them. They're super-smart, hugely powerful psychics who can control people's minds. I can't see summoning one being a brilliant plan.
They don't have any fucks to give, so they'll do whatever as long as they get to go home, but if an arcanist fucks them around, they'll just eat him and go jhome anyway.
So they're kind of super-dumb super-smart slugs, if they could just eat the dude and go home.
d6x100SDC, 2d4x100 hit points, regenerate, cold resistant for some reason, have all the psychic sensitive powers, oh and 3 attacks which it could use to bite you and force a 15+ save vs magic or be completely dominated and mind-controlled until it dies or goes home.
It can control 200 people, by the way, so don't think it can only get one or two of the group and turn them on the others- it can get everyone .

These were, it turns out, a bunch of alien dicks who just fucking with humanity. The real evil intelligences are...

Vampires .


Vampires, as it turns out, are kind of interdimensional amoeba that can divide their life-force to create a bunch of blood-sucking ghouls.

This is actually a vaguely interesting idea, so let's see where it goes.

Beyond the Supernatural vampires-

As you can see, interdimensional amoeba vampires and very different from traditiona-

Waaaaaiiiit a minute. They're just the same as other vampires, only they're made by extradimensional blobs!

Anyway. How do they work in game?

Well, they are literally invulnerable to everything except wooden weapons, and even then it will only actually hurt if said weapon is driven through the heart. There are no rules for this.
Luckily, you can stun them (for d4 melees) using explosives or massive jolts of elecricity. What counts as 'massive'? No idea. Cattle prods? Power lines?
Sunlight inflicts damage on them (quite a lot of damage, maybe enough to kill it in one melee- of course their hit points and SDC are a random roll!), and the Globe of Daylight spell will burn them a little.
If you hurt them and they get away (unlikely, since you either a) do nothing, b)stake them and paralyse them, or c) they explode when sunlight catches them) they fully heal in 10 hours.
They turn into bats or wolves at will, can see in the dark, and have Prowl at 80%.
Baby vampires punch for 2d6+5 damage, uh... Well, it doesn't say how many attacks they have, so who knows.

The Master Vampire also has a bunch of magic spells, can make new vampires, has psychic powers, and will punch the shit out of you (minimum 2d6+10 damage, four attacks per melee).

There's also a Vampire Intelligence! This is the alien space amoeba thing that's behind vampires. There's nothing as mundane as a description, but we are told it's 8ft tall with a 25ft wingspan, and weighs 600lbs.
We're also told they never, ever risk entering our dimension (and don't need to since they know everything the fragments they send do), so I guess they're a waste of space?

Anyway, they're the source of this picture that looks like a monster flying into a window-

Next time- Kevin Siembieda! The End!

Siembieda™ Special™!

posted by ForkBanger Original SA post

Siembieda™ Special™!

City Ruins is big Kev's contribution to Beyond the Supernatural™'s pre-written adventures. Is it is bad as the others? Can he out-Wujcik Wujcik? Will it make sense? Does it have any art assets?

One of those I can answer right now. There is no art here. There is nothing but words. Two pages of Palladium™ double-column , with only three bold headings to break them up - Player Background , Investigation , and Game Master Information .

There is also

Victor fucking Lazlo posted:

The contemptuous bastards who wear science like a suit of armor insist that there are no 'monsters'. I only hope that when some hellish thing crawls out of it's hole it grabs one of those popinjays. Of course, it won't happen that way. It will be some innocent fool who put his trust with those men in armor. That's the way it's always been."
Victor seems to be a very crazy angry man when it comes to science.

I'm pretty sure scientists would be pretty psyched to find a monster to poke and whatnot- y'know, increase their understanding of the universe and such.

Maybe Beyond the Supernatural scientists are colossal assholes who are terrible at their jobs. It explains why they've never noticed the countless monsters that fall through holes in reality all the goddamn time .

Anyway, the last of Lazlo, so let's ignore that and adventure !

Reusing art, the way Palladium™ would want it.

Player Background
First off, the characters are watching the news on TV, specifically an item covering a drug-related shootout that has left three people dead. Okay, that's pretty easy to fit in whenever and wherever you like, so we're already doing much better than Wujcik.
Suddenly, an adventure hook strikes! While the reporter is, um, reporting, a wild bum appears! a bum barges in and starts babbling a different story before cops drag him away.

Fast babbling, or inattentive cops? posted:

It weren't no druggies shooting it out. A monster, it was! Wit fer arms. Them boys found it's home an' it busted 'em up for it. Kill two of before they seen what hit 'em. Hell yes there was shootin', but bullets don't do nuthin to the (expletive deleted) thing. Now mebe youse so somethin' 'fore it kills us all. It's killin' us! You hear well. It already got old Frankie, n Lisa n Bob n Angie... it got 'em. An' that little girl; got 'er too."
The cops eventually get around to grabbing the wino, and the TV station figures that maybe now is a good time to go back to the studio, y'know, after letting the babbling crazy dude rant on for a good ol' while.

...and that's the Player Background . Using my Wujcik-inspired player skill , the monster is a Dybbuk - they're the ones with four arms that can punch you into jelly becasue they're freakishly strong, dig tunnels, and have a remarkably useless Armour Rating of 4. Why is this useless? Because any roll to strike over the AR inflicts damage on the creature, and any roll of 4 or less is a miss .

Dybbuks have armour that only protects them when you don't hit them, which is pretty goddamn zen.

Anyway, we're going to end up in a monster-hole, fighting this thing. Obviously.

Let's assume that the players recognize this as the plot, and go for it. Kevin™ certainly does, and moves on to Investigation .

What are the possibilities?
Checking the cops gets nothing.
Checking news agencies gets nothing.
Checking newspaper archives in the library gets a child abduction, six-year old Thelma Brown , two weeks ago.
Checking the word on the street gets 'wierd shit is going down'.

Eventually, after finding nothing wherever they look, somebody takes pity on the investigators and suggests they should talk to 'the Reverend' at 'the mission'.
'The mission' turns out to be a homeless shelter, and 'the Reverend' is Reverend Desmond Wilson , who runs the shelter. They meet him, and he gives a speech that takes up 1/8 of the space in the adventure . It's definitely tl;dr, but the summary is this- homeless people are disappearing, nobody gives a fuck except him.

Maybe the players try to find the bum who shoved his way onto the news and started this bullshit in the first place (although at this point, I'm not sure whether they'd want to talk to him or murder him). They are graciously allowed to eventually find him. Of course, if they talk to Reverend Wilson, he can take them straight to him.

The bum is Louis Garmond , found in a rundown flophouse, with 6 cloves of garlic nailed to his door. He'll only talk to the characters through the door, unless the Reverend is there. Really, talk to the Reverend. Or suffer .

Oh, and Louis is drunk.

And he takes up 1/4 of the space in this adventure with his exposition. Imagine these next points are (much) longer, rambling, and written in the same Siembieda-ese as the bum's news interruption.
He tells the characters-
1 - about the area where people have been disappearing.
2 - about a particular building in the area where people have been disappearing that his friend disappeared in.
3 - about a particular building in the area where people have been disappearing that his friend disappeared in, and the mysterious noises he has heard coming from that building.
4 - about a particular building in the area where people have been disappearing that his friend disappeared in, and the mysterious noises he has heard coming from that building, and that Thelma Brown , the kidnapped six-year-old, is being held there.
5 - about a particular building in the area where people have been disappearing that his friend disappeared in, and the mysterious noises he has heard coming from that building, and that Thelma Brown , the kidnapped six-year-old, is being held there, and the hole he has discovered that leads into the basement where the monster lives.

After revealing that he's done all the investigative work that they couldn't, Louis shows the characters his penis his switchblade, gun, and crucifix, and asks who's coming with him now that he's drunk enough to hunt the monster.

At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if my players let the old fuck go and do it himself, since he's done everything else in the adventure.


That's it for the investigation. It is a remarkably simple process- everything you try fails, until the GM tells you to talk to guy A, who then takes you to guy B, who then tells you everything you need to know.

Time for some Game Master Information !

Louis wants to go and rescue Thelma, right the fuck now. He's really goddamn drunk, so it'll be hard to persuade him otherwise.
The monster is a Dybbuk. Y'know, that might be mor mysterious if there was more than one four-armed monster in this fucking book.

That's the GM information, and then there are two ways this adventure can play out-

Louis kills the Dybbuk and saves the girl, rendering the characters absolutely useless.

The short version has the characters find and kill the Dybbuk. The end.

The long version is tedious, and very Palladium. In it, the characters blunder through the tunnels in the dark and then save the girl, but don't encounter the Dybbuk. Palladium™'s horrible alignment system promptly rears it's ugly head, compelling Good characters to return and kill the monster. They battle, they kill it, whooo, but in a shocking twist Revered Wilson calls them three weeks later and tells tham that Louis has vanished.


The characters return to the tunnels, again , and find Louis rummaging through a dumpster, claiming he just left the mission a couple of hours ago.


So what if there were two Dybbuks, and...

Louis adjusts his jacket, revealing strangle marks and scratches on his throat.


And that, as they say, is that.

Boring, confused, overlong and pointlessly complex, filled with irreleveant information and lacking in useful information, bereft of any hints of setting or useful GM advice, and crowned with horrible adventures- that was Palladium™ Games' Beyond the Supernatural™ !

Next time! something different!