Adeptus Evangelion 2.5 by Kitfox88
Intro/ChargenOriginal SA post
I’m Kitfox, and I’m here to blabber at you about a dumb anime game conversion system that got me this dumb red text avatar I have, and why it’s
actually worth giving it a shot
if you have some people to play with who aren’t horrific human beings. I also sorta hope to show how a bunch of grognards from 4chan of all places wrote a less horrific game than Bliss Stage. I'll probably fail on both accounts and instead make my group switch to FATE or something instead.
The system has a decent share of issues, some of them stemming from attempts to stick as much from the show into the system as they could, others from the inevitable grognard input on the team. Me and, sometimes, the other players in the game will inject their comments and critiques into the write-ups before I post them, since they’ve had experience with parts of the system that I haven’t yet simply due to the fact that they’re playing different characters than myself.
Hi, I’m MagicHateBall, and I’m the guy dumb enough to run a game of this for about a year. I generously offered (read: forced my way into) this walkthrough of Adeptus Evangelion in order to provide a GM’s look at the game, show off my sparkling wit, and occasionally rant about how the designers have their heads up their asses/tell embarrassing game stories. For clarity’s sake, I will be putting my commentary in these quote tags.
Additionally, after Kitfox finishes his review of the main book, I will be covering the expansion book, Cruel Thesis, which is the effective equivalent of the DMG and Monstrous Manual for AdEva.
Welcome to a surprisingly workable total conversion for Dark Heresy that allows you to play as horribly fucked up kids thrust into the pilot seat of large terrifying cyborg monsters made from dead alien gods. Spawned from 4chan’s /tg/ board, it’s been through two and a half revisions at this point in time, with 2.5 released just a short while ago after a few months of open beta testing. But don’t let me sell you on the system, because surely it can do that with its own words.
Adeptus Evangelion posted:
Adeptus Evangelion is a modification of the Dark Heresy Roleplaying Game ruleset geared for running games in the world of Neon Genesis Evangelion. Inspired by the fanfiction “Shinji and Warhammer40k by Charles Bhepin, Adeptus Evangelion brings the grim dark brutality of the 41st millennium to Earth’s defense in its darkest hour.
Welp. At any rate, let’s start our wonderful descent into orange-colored beverage products and insanity with a quick primer from the first pages, for any of you out there who aren’t familiar with one of the more well known mecha animes out there. Spoilers for a like, 15 year old show follows.
Adeptus Evangelion posted:
It has been 15 years since Second Impact.
An explosion in Antarctica vaporized the entire continent. The resulting tidal waves killed billions worldwide and flooded coastal regions of every continent. Worse yet, the very axis of the Earth itself was permanently shifted, causing a global climate change that devastated crops and added incredible strain to already decimated regions.
In the following devastation, many countries and governments collapsed entirely as the United Nations struggled to hold humanity together. Rioting and war became common as vital resources disappeared virtually overnight. The months following Second Impact left no one unscathed, and all told only half of the human race survived the disaster and our resulting fear-induced stupidity.
It was years before the situation stabilized enough for the UN to mount an expedition to ground zero to investigate the explosion. A report was published, proving that Second Impact was the result of a 4-inch meteorite traveling at 95% of the speed of light, much too small and traveling far too quickly to have been detected before its devastating collision with the Earth’s South Pole. To this day, all but the most well-informed of individuals believe this.
In truth, Second Impact was caused by the awakening and subsequent defeat of a powerful being since labeled “Adam. A being older than life on Earth, and of extraterrestrial origin.
Adam was the first. He was not the last. Humanity is under threat again, and if even a single battle is lost it could mean the end of the entire human race.
That fate of the world is in your hands. Don’t fuck it up.
It leaves out that the attacking threats are called Angels, the robots you as a player will be piloting are called Evangelions, and that said robots are actually giant cyborg horrors reverse engineered from Adam. Of course, it’s also sort of assuming anyone playing this would be somewhat familiar with the setting, so we can forgive it for that.
Anyways, after that setting spiel, it kicks us straight into the Character Generation chapter.
Fairly standard boilerplate in this chapter, really. At least they skip the “SO WHAT’S ROLEPLAYING? section and get straight to the point.
Also, yes, that’s a direct quote and is accurate, this is a fanwork based off a fanwork based off of the most hilariously poor idea for a piece of fanfiction you could think of. It’s horrible fanfic all the way down here, kids.
Chapter 1: Chargen
The chapter opens with a mention about how the system works best with 2-4 pilots, and then gives us an overview of what we’ll be reading.
They’re not kidding. The system does not work so great with more than three or so pilots, or with more than four players total. This is definitely a small group game.
Background , which is our character’s history prior to joining NERV, becoming a pilot of an Evangelion unit, and exactly why they were selected as well. Each background affects what sorts of skills and characteristics you can start with, and each has a few unique positive and negative Traits. They’re somewhat obviously based off of the pilots from the show, given that each one has a picture of said pilot right beside the background.
Characteristics , simple Dark Heresy stats like Strength, Agility, etc. They’re gained by rolling 2d10 11 times, ditching the lowest roll, and then assigning the numbers as you see fit. Those who are sharp with DH may notice that there seems to be a roll left over. The background you choose also modifies the rolls slightly.
Those who are sharp with DH will notice that there are two rolls left over: the dropped one and the magical tenth stat that AdEva has: Sync Ratio. Sync Ratio (commonly abbreviated to Sync or SR) is essentially a power stat for AdEva. The more of it you have, the better you pilot your robot, and the more stuff you can do with some rules we’ll get into later. Note that this is an actual in-fluff statistic -- pilots actually have their Sync Ratios measured on the same scale used in the game, and SR dickwaving in the locker room can actually happen. Normally, having a lot of power stat would be a good thing, but given that SR measures how deep your connection is with a horrific alien monster barely shackled by Man’s technological prowess, there are certain downsides to having a good connection with the thing’s soul.
Mostly insanity and death, by the way.
Drawbacks and Assets , which are positive and negative things you can select to give your character some depth. Literally, in that the points gained are called Depth, and you need to have at least 10 Depth worth of Drawbacks. You don’t gotta spend it on Assets though, if you have some overpowering need to give yourself no benefits for required downsides.
Career , which determines what role you’ll play while stomping urban areas flat in your Evangelion. Much like backgrounds, they’re somewhat based off of the show’s pilots, and determine what skills and talents you have access to as you advance up through the ranks, just like in regular DH.
Evangelion , which is the designing of your massive cyborg battle monster through a series of random rolls that’ll give you something entirely useless for the career you chose.
Finishing Touches , which is all the stuff that makes your character a character and not a statline. Their history, their personality, physical looks, where in the world they’ve come from, etc.
Of course, the only parts of it actually listed in the Character Generation chapter are Backgrounds and Assets/Drawbacks. The rest are their own chapters that follow, probably due to all the lists involved.
He’s not kidding. For a game which uses a lot of stuff from Dark Heresy and doesn’t reprint a single word from it, there is a huge amount of extra, setting, and genre-specific content in this book.
It’s actually occasionally a bad thing in a way -- AdEva is something like 500 pages of additional material bolted onto the 400 pages that Dark Heresy already has (not including errata and house rules for both systems), which can occasionally make it... unwieldy. This is not a game for people who do not like reading rulebooks and constantly looking things up.
There’s 3 backgrounds that are designed for Pilots and one designed for the Operations Director, which is a whole different beast than being a pilot, to the point that it gets an entire chapter dedicated to it. Each one has different skills and talents they start with, and each has 5 positive and 5 negative traits associated with them, out of which you select 2 positives and 2 negatives. As mentioned before, they’re based off various characters from the show, which is pretty obvious if you’re familiar with it.
Neo-Spartan . The gist of the career is that from a very young age, the pilot’s been shaped into a soldier who pilots the Evangelions, at the cost of not having anything approaching a remotely normal childhood. They tend to have good WS, BS, and AG.
The traits they can select from are things like increased breach for ranged weapons (a mechanic the book hasn’t explained quite yet), being able to spend a Fate point to reduce how long they spend freaking out after something horrific happens, and having improvised weapons deal more damage and be overall more effective. Negative traits generally represent the fact that their childhood was completely screwed up, with things to choose like a single memento from your old life that you freak out over if taken from you, needing to roll vs WP to not immediately try to solve problems with violence, starting with an effective Insanity total of 10, and being trained to obey people and thus a viable PC to use the Command skill on.
Prodigy . This career doesn’t get much in the way of weapon skill and whatnot like the Neo-Spartan does, but in exchange they can have some of the highest sync ratios normally possible. Sync determines how well you can actually control your Evangelion, as well as some other fun things covered under the mechanics explaining it later in the book.
Prodigy traits range from getting a +5 to any of the characteristics not directly related to combat, being really good at running away from the enemy, being able to ignore your most expensive Drawback unless you’ve spent all your Fate points, or controlling your Sync Ratio disruptions to a degree (another mechanic not yet explained). Drawbacks mostly focus on how you’re the only normal person caught up in the mess, giving you extra insanity whenever you take any from critical damage, penalties to WS and BS, and taking additional Ego damage (again, no explanation just yet on what that is and why it’s bad).
Being able to control Sync disruptions is absolutely amazing and is simply the best trait across all of the backgrounds. Without digging too much into mechanics covered later, at certain points in combat, pilots’ SR will change, having random amounts added or subtracted from it. We’ll get into why this is not entirely a bullshit mechanic later. A Prodigy with the disruption control trait can mitigate the effects of this mechanic somewhat -- or, when need be, enhance them -- and this is a big advantage.
Manufactured . Genetically designed to pilot an Evangelion, with all the cloning blues associated with it. In addition, it’s possible to keep spares around for when the first dies/goes mad/etc. On the downside, there’s some big issues that come with being mass produced and vat-grown to your teenage years.
Traits for them rather obviously focus on the whole ‘literally designed and manufactured to pilot an Evangelion’ thing. Positives include having spare bodies on tap for when you inevitably get permanently removed from the game for whatever reason, a free 5 Depth for assets since your genetic donor is a talented person, a boost to Strength, Toughness, and Agility, and free skills from your awesome artificial implanted memories. On the downside, your negative traits are some of the craziest, ranging from making you take an extra 10 Depth in drawbacks with no associated 10 to spend on Assets, being a giant gullible sperglord and giving anyone trying to socially manipulate you large bonuses, 10 less on your Ego pool, and most extreme having a horrific allergy to some common thing that makes you roll Toughness whenever you come into extended contact with it or consume it. If you fail, you get to have such fun as temporary blindness, characteristic loss, and whatever else the GM can think of. And potentially worst of all, you aren’t a valid target of the Medicae skill anymore, so good luck stopping that internal bleeding or whatever.
Impact Survivor . This background is for someone who was born prior to Second Impact and who was old enough to remember the shit that went down afterwards, yet managed to live through it all. The only background that takes a penalty to Sync Ratio, they can pilot an Evangelion, but are rather obviously geared towards the Operations Director career. In addition, it more or less automatically makes them an older character in game than anyone using the other 3 backgrounds.
Traits for survivors are based mostly around what they went through during Second Impact and the times that followed, and how it’s helped and harmed them over time. Things like reducing insanity gain, being able to spend a Fate point to reverse the digits of your roll instead of merely re-rolling or such, and spending a Fate point to simply have a small helpful object on them without having mentioned having it before since they’ve learned to carry around little useful things. Negatives include starting with a minor Mental Disorder and some insanity, having hallucinations whenever Stunned, having to roll to share items with other people instead of hoarding, and having to roll to not rush to the aid of someone who’s in danger of imminent death.
After selecting your background, there’s a table with what the base stats for each background is. They don’t vary from one to another too much, the average baseline score being 20. The largest change is a 5 point drop/raise on one characteristic and a few different other ones getting a mild bump. Things like the Prodigy getting a +5 to Sync, Neo-Spartans getting -5 to Fellowship, etc. Since you can assign rolls where you want them to go, getting a bad roll or two won’t fuck up your character forever and ever.
Backgrounds, as treated in AdEva, substitute fairly decently for the same thing in Dark Heresy. While you’re sort of pigeonholed into a certain concept by a given background, you’re at least not limited in class selection like you would be in other RPGs. Each background has different bonuses to stats, but there isn’t so much of a difference that it renders any class unworkable for certain backgrounds -- you just might need to pitch your better rolls at those key statistics.
This is, of course, with the exception of Impact Survivors taking any class other than Operations Director. Their SR scores tend to be crippled compared to the other backgrounds, making them poor pilots -- in fact, it’s more or less assumed that older characters will not be pilots.
After you roll stats, you go on to the massive list that is...
Drawbacks and Assets
Yeah, it lists the bad shit first. After all, this is Evangelion. Fairly self-explanatory, these are additional positives and negatives you can tack onto your character to give them a bit more of a unique kick. Each one has a different Depth cost, and you’re required to take at least 10 Depth in drawbacks, with a maximum of 25. This gives you points to buy positives though, so at least you can run fast in exchange for being ugly as sin or such. This is the first really huge list of new stuff that Adeptus Evangelion thrusts at us, so I’m not going to showcase every single one. Many of them are the kinds of stuff you’d expect to have; things like being a coward and taking penalties to fear checks, or getting a bonus to fellowship rolls with a chosen gender. However, some of them stand out a bit, and I’ll point out a few of those here.
Compulsive Behavior Take a -10 to all tests until you satisfy your obsession.
Dark Secret , which has it’s own damn sublist of ways people can react if they find out the horrible knowledge you strive to hide, ranging from having to roll to not beat the shit out of you to just forcing down the knowledge and gaining 15 Insanity (‘because they picked the most boring option’ according to the book.)
Medicated , where you select one of your characteristics that’s not WS, BS, Fel, or SR. Don’t take your meds for a week and you lose 1d10 from the characteristic until you get your dose. Oh, and lose 1 permanently for each week you didn’t take it.
Second Fiddle has you latch onto someone like a puppy and if you roll higher init than them in the same fight you hem and haw while waiting to see what they do, or if they scorn you you take a -10 to all rolls because your personal hero just said you suck. Oh, and if the person dies/becomes your mortal enemy, you take 1d10+5 Insanity and roll on the mental trauma chart in DH as if you had 2 degrees of failure.
Unstable , which is perhaps one of the single worst drawbacks you could take. For every three insanity you gain, drop your Sync by 1. It is almost a given that you will be gaining insanity. Maybe not as fast as in regular DH, but fast enough that this is almost certain to cripple your ability to pilot your Evangelion if the campaign lasts any sort of long time.
Celebrity , which is exactly what it sounds like; before piloting a giant cyborg horror, you were famous. Child star, boy band member, etc. You get training and a bonus for the Performer skill, and also get bonuses to interacting with the media and your fans.
Mad Skill , which lets you spend a Fate point and choose a characteristic any time you’re piloting and gain at least 1 Insanity. In exchange, you get to add half your current Insanity to all rolls you make that use that characteristic for 5 rounds, at the cost of having to roll on the Trauma table afterwards and then add half your Insanity to the roll. Yeah.
Made for Each Other , perhaps one of the most powergaming oriented assets you can take. For 5 Depth, you get to pick one of the four things during Evangelion creation that you normally roll for instead. And you can buy this multiple times. So for 20 of your 25 possible Depth, you can instead create the exact Evangelion you want, or simply pick one part of it that could make or break whatever concept you’re going for.
Privileged Family Name , which gives you a lot of mild benefits in the stomping grounds where your family’s got pull. Given examples are having cops let you off for things like driving without a license, and people thinking twice before giving you shit for anything. Oh, and you can also call in a Political IOU favor, something that normally is restricted entirely to the Operations Director career. And they need to pay XP to get it. And they can only get it once.
Effects of an IOU include but are not limited to: humongous piles of cash to blow on hookers, blow, and guns, political assassinations, heavy lift rockets for shooting a 400-ton giant robot into space for that low earth orbit vacation you’ve always wanted...
Unshippable , which shows the creators knew exactly what sort of people they might attract to this game. It gives you the effects of Chem Geld from DH and immunity to Charm, unless you willingly have your character enter into a relationship with someone, in which case only that one person can ignore the effects of Chem Geld/Charm immunity. Maybe they’ve read the Bliss Stage rulebook too.
At this point it should be readily apparent that Assets and Drawbacks are in the game in order to drive the characters and make the game focused on them -- or, perhaps more accurately, their damage. All characters in AdEva are essentially required to be fundamentally flawed, and a large portion of the game should be dedicated to those flaws and how the characters either cope with them or are consumed by them.
While the system is kind of awkward, as it has to work within the Dark Heresy ruleset without adding too much material to it, it works out okay in practice, I’ve found. Something like FATE’s aspects would be better, but that’d involve a lot more addons.
And that concludes the Character Generation chapter. The next one focuses on the Career paths you can choose and what exactly they entail.
Career PathsOriginal SA post
Speaking of horrible shit from terrible people, looks like it's time for more
Chapter 2: Career Paths
This time we’re gonna cover Chapter 2, which focuses on the Career Paths you can choose. Careers determine essentially what role you will play in combat while piloting your Evangelion, and there are 4 possible choices for pilots to pick from. The chapter starts out with a mechanical distinction the book added. Talents are now Evangelion Scale, Personal Scale, or both. Essentially, it’s a mechanical divide so that you can’t, say, go into a frothing murder rage while walking around in public, instead limiting it to while you’re inside your giant biohorror. Overall a rather decent divide, albeit with a few oddities here and there. It then goes into the four Careers in more detail.
Hey, remember how I said that I’d end up ranting about how the designers are occasionally really, really dumb?
Well, it starts here. Kitfox is being polite about the scale divisions, I won’t be: it’s a stupid fucking idea except in some edge cases, because it pretty much serves one purpose, and that’s to cripple pilot player characters outside of their mecha. This transpires because a lot of the combat-related talents, both from Dark Heresy and the new book are Evangelion-scale only, which means pilots basically end up not having access to half their sheets when not in a mecha.
The argument in favor of this is that these conditions are accurate to the TV show and movies. Outside of giant robot fights, there wasn’t much combat -- and the combat that was there mostly consisted of the main character getting smacked around by a classmate or running like hell. Making the ability to be effective in combat an Evangelion-only thing stays true to that. My thoughts on it are sort of double-pronged: first, it doesn’t quite fit with the fluff as written. An Evangelion’s controls seem to be as reliant on pilot skill as they are anything else, and appear to work on a mental interface: what the pilot thinks, the mecha does. Someone who’s not any good at firing a gun outside the cockpit probably wouldn’t be any better at firing an Evangelion’s weapons.
Second, and more generally, it’s part of an overall subtext that tries to get across the idea that pilots just shouldn’t be good at stuff outside of the cockpit, or perhaps more accurately, that they shouldn’t have a lot of influence on the plot. For a TV show, this works fine. For a roleplaying game, not so much.
Fortunately, it’s a problem easily enough fixed by ignoring the column.
One general thing between all careers is that they’re quite light on specific purchasable Skills. This is because there’s simply a few purchases every rank you can make that are a generic ‘Skill’ ‘Skill +10’ ‘Skill +20’. This way, you can have your Skirmisher be a good guitar player, or your AT Tactician can be an accomplished gambler, etc. Some skills, mainly the direct combat related ones like Dodge, are exempt from this and still purchased in the same method as Dark Heresy.
Skirmisher is what starts us off, and it’s my personal favorite. Skirmishers don’t dip too much into the fancy stuff the other careers get like pulling out the beast from within their hellmachine, or breaking the laws of reality constantly. Instead, they focus on the weapons side of things, amassing lots of Weapon Upgrades (a mechanic explained in the Evangelion chapter, same as the Structure and Biological upgrades mentioned below) to buy bigass weapons with, and the abilities to use those weapons to put a hurting on whatever they’re gunning for. Their characteristic advances are designed to make it cheap to pump WS and BS, as well as Agility to dodge and be acrobatic and show-offy. A natural match for the Neo-Spartan background, both fluffwise and mechanicswise. As they progress up the ranks, they can get some truly ridiculous Talents related to their offensive output with weapons. On the downside, their Sync characteristic is heinously expensive to advance, and the Pointman’s in a similar situation.
Ask Kitfox why Skirmisher is his favorite.
Actually, better yet, ask him about his perfect gunnery skills. Or faultless leadership. Or any of the other things that earned him that avatar.
Anyways, they start out with Skirmisher because it’s supposedly the easiest class to play. I’m not quite sure how true that is, but given that its focus is on killing things with guns specifically and killing things generally, that’s probably not far from reality.
Pointman comes next, and serves as the boring utility person that nobody seems to ever want to play. They’re geared around taking a beating and not going down until there’s no other choice, and in addition get Talents to help direct the flow of battle by doing things like moving enemies around and reducing enemy abilities and such. They get cheap and plentiful Structure and Biological Upgrades as well, letting them deck their Evangelion out in lots of armor upgrades and boost their health and the like. Their characteristic advances are similar to the Skirmisher’s, but their talents are wildly different, focusing more on survivability, enemy disruption, and taking hits meant for other people. It can mesh well with any of the backgrounds.
I think Kitfox is selling the Pointman short -- they get rapid BS and WS advances, so while they aren’t rocking the same talents the Skirmisher is, they can still bring the pain in short order, and their support stuff means they’re built like a tank.
A lot of their cooler talents (like playing hot potato with an Angel and an antimatter annihilation warhead) got taken out in the edition change because they decided to try and focus on emulating the TV show, rather than the movies, and the Pointman in the series didn’t do that kind of stuff. Which is kinda balls. Half of the fun of playing a property-based game is pointing at something and going “Hey, I wanna do something like THAT!”... and unfortunately for the Pointman, all of the iconic Pointman’s really cool stuff is in the new movie series.
Berserker is the career based around one of the more iconic aspects of Evangelion; the fact that the giant robots can actually flip out and start driving themselves, generally in a way that ends in a whole lotta gore and guts flung everywhere. It may seem odd to base a career around a mechanic that somewhat takes control out of your pilot’s hands and puts it into the hands of the robot, but they get several Talents later on that serve to increase the likelihood they’ll berserk, increase the potency of the Evangelion while it’s berserking, and give them a little more control while doing it, with a side focus on just not staying put down once they’re knocked there. In addition they get a fair bit of cheap Biological and Weapon Upgrade points so they can turn their Evangelion into a real damage spitting monster. The rest of their Talents tend to focus on making them able to handle themselves in melee combat, and their characteristic advancements are geared towards that as well, with BS being as expensive for them to raise as the Skirmisher and Pointman’s Sync. On the other hand, their own Sync is incredibly cheap. As you might expect, this meshes well mechanically with the Prodigy, much like the next career.
It should be pointed out that when the Evangelion goes berserk, while it’s outside of the pilot’s control, it’s not outside of the player’s control, which is the important part. You’re just required to go shithouse over something every turn -- the Angel you’re fighting, the city, large chunks of scenery, other pilots... it’s all good.
AkodoBob, Berserker posted:
As the Berserker Player. I'd like to point out that it's really hard to get your Eva to berserk in the first few ranks. Unless something horrible happens to you or your Eva (knocked unconscious or take damage after you run out of power) you won't berserk. The early talents don't help much, you still need to lose a limb, be stunned, or be defeated (and burn a fate point).
So far, I've been more likely to Berserk outside of the Evangelion than inside, and the betting is strong among the players concerning not who, but how many of the other pilots will berserk first.
AT Tactician is the last pilot career in the book, and lives up to its name. They’re mediocre at everything else the other classes have done so far, being only acceptable with guns, worse in melee than the Berserker, and not having the durability of the Pointman. On the other hand, they get the most access to AT Powers, which are essentially 3 ranks of spells that the Evangelion can use. While not quite as Wizard Supremacy as say, D&D, they can do a whole, whole lotta shit with their AT Powers that none of the other three careers can do, having an entire rank of powers all to themselves and several chances to buy powers while the other careers make do with a few choices of the lower tiers. In addition, most of their Talents are geared towards enhancing their ability to use said powers effectively, which means at higher ranks an AT Tactician can be a battlefield massacring machine. As you’d expect, they have piss cheap Sync advances, with Willpower and Intelligence following the line. In addition they have cheap BS advances, but not a whole lot of talents to go along with them.
Actually, I don’t think Tacticians are Wizard Supremacy-y at all. Yeah, they get a lot of cool AT Field shit -- but so does everyone else . Wizard Supremacy is a bad thing because A) spells are Just Better mechanically and B) only spellcasters get them. The Tactician gets more AT-related advances than the other classes, and I do believe that the most powerful stuff is limited to them RAW, but everyone gets access to at least some of the cool stuff, and Elite Advances to pick up things you couldn’t get otherwise are A Thing in Dark Heresy.
Also, as my Tactician player has pointed out, an AT Tactician is actually pretty reliant on the rest of the team -- not only does some of the Tactician’s crazier bullshit require the other players to help them with it, they absolutely need a bunch of other people covering their ass anyways. You can have good defenses or crazy AT magic bullshit, but you can’t have both at the same time... at least, not without a Sync Ratio that sends literal sirens going off somewhere. That’s mechanics for later, though.
Each career has a table of advances and ranks under them just like in Dark Heresy, but those tables don’t mean anything without the next chapter to tell us what all the new stuff actually does, which is why the next chapter we'll be covering in this post is Talents and Skills.
Chapter 3: Talents and Skills
The chapter is essentially just a list of the new Talents and the minor modifications to skills that have been done, mainly the removal of some non-setting relevant skills and the addition of a new one. On literally the first page we’re slammed with a massive table of the new Talents and a short blurb of what they do, just like the Talents chapter in the base Dark Heresy book. Afterwards there’s more detailed descriptions of what each talent does, again rather identically to DH. Like I did for Drawbacks/Assets above, I’ll list a few of the more exciting ones, and a few Career unique ones to give a further example of what each career is all about.
A talent the Berserker gets, and one that anyone familiar with the show should be able to figure out quickly. If an enemy Angel or Evangelion is defeated and doesn’t blow itself up (which honestly is somewhat common. The blowing itself up, that is), and the Berserker is... berserking, they have the option of eating the enemy’s biomass. As a result, the berserker can either heal his Evangelion or get a free Biological Upgrade point.
Carnage is Cannibalize’s badass older brother, though. By spending a Fate point while berserk, the Berserker’s Evangelion has one arm shed its armor, revealing the flesh beneath. And then they slam that arm into the enemy, it merges with the enemy’s flesh, and they rip some out and absorb it, immediately getting the same effects as Cannibalize above. And if they miss, they don’t spend the Fate point. Berserkers get really, really gross.
Commission is a Skirmisher unique talent, and it lets the Skirmisher pick 1 of the 4 ranged weapon types in the system to get permanently upgraded for themselves. General weapons do +2 Damage, Maser weapons do +2 Breach, etc. The weapon types are explained later on in the book, in the Evangelion chapter.
Deadeye is another Skirmisher unique talent, modified from the Dark Heresy version of the talent to instead remove the called shot penalty entirely. Very useful given that a lot of Angels tend to leave the only part of them that matters damage-wise exposed.
From the Grave lets you spend a fate point when your Evangelion is defeated and test to berserk. If you make it, your Eva just regenerates the damage that put it down and stands back up to kick some more ass and enters Berserk. Oh, and if the pilot fails the WP test they need to make they take 1d10 Insanity. If they make it they only take 1d5.
Guardian is a talent that Pointmen get. Rather simply, it lets them Parry attacks directed at adjacent allies instead of themselves, if they wish.
Like a Cruel Angel is another Berserker only talent, and one of the key ones that sets them apart from the other Careers. After all, any Evangelion can berserk, although the Berserker career makes those chances far more likely. If they buy this, however, their berserk type is greatly enhanced, offering additional benefits it didn’t before based on what sort of berserk the Evangelion has.
Paragon of Skill is one that the Skirmisher gets in their final rank, for good reason: It gives them a pool of 20 points that they can use to modify any percentile roll (which is essentially any skill roll in Dark Heresy since it uses a d100 system) downwards, to split as they want during their round. Oh, and at the start of their next turn it regenerates back to 20. Fucking badass.
Please Move , however, is one any career can buy, although some get it more than others. It is, essentially, a single free berserk in your Evangelion when you want. It’s suggested that the occasion be a suitably dramatic one when the chips are down.
Precision is another Skirmisher specific one, with a talent for each class of weapon: Melee, Pistol, Basic, Heavy. You buy the talent and then you select from several features that apply when you fire a single shot, all generally showing what a badass with weapons you are. They range from simply rolling twice and taking the better roll to being able to use Pistols in melee range with WS instead of BS, or Heavy Weapons doing extra Breach when fired at long range.
Sacrifice is another Pointman unique Talent. If they get hit with an attack, they can say it hit their arm instead, assuming they still have arms to get hit. They can do this for adjacent allies if they have Guardian as well, intercepting what might have been a fatal attack by throwing an expendable limb in the way.
Support Fire continues to follow the Pointman’s ‘teamwork’ motto, allowing them to attack an enemy with a ranged weapon and forgo doing damage to instead allow one of the more damage-oriented careers like Berserker or Skirmisher to pile the hurt on even more, or to give the enemy penalties to actions for a turn.
Synchronize Group is an AT Tactician power. It’s more or less a ‘let our powers combine’ thing, in that it lets him combine the AT related stats of his teammates near him with his own so that he has more juice to fuel his own AT Powers. This means he can amp his asskicking up exponentially fast if everyone nearby is willing to help.
The skills section basically just states that some skills that don’t really make setting sense (Chiper, Secret Tongue, Psynience, etc) have been removed, some (like Drive, Scholastic Lore, etc) have been modified, and then listing the new ones (like Computer Use, which is the only new one).
I actually don’t have any snarky comments for this section -- sure, there’s some stuff I wish they hadn’t taken out or revised so heavily from the last version, but honestly, none of it’s that terrible, and this isn’t meant to be (wholly) nitpicking about revisions. Overall, this chapter has required the least amount of house ruling, so that means I’m pretty happy with it.
And that’s it for the Talents and Skills chapter. The next chapter in the book is Evangelion creation, but before that there's one final career to choose from that's not pilot related, that being the Operations Director. Unfortunately it's got quite a few rules specific to it and because of that it's segregated into a chapter dedicated entirely to it later in the book, but the next post will cover the chargen related aspects of the chapter in the interest of keeping chargen contained to the first few posts. On top of that, our Operations Director player will be writing it up since it's quite different than any pilot player's experience will be, so I couldn't do it justice.
Evangelions part 1Original SA post
Hey, I lied! Our Operations Director is LARPing as Misato in that he’s being lazy and drunk and not writing up the post so let’s keep going with the next lined up segment!
Chapter 3: Evangelions Part 1
The finale of the chargen process (for pilots at least), this chapter focuses on rolling up your horrible 400 ton reverse Guyver as well as containing the various upgrades and modifications you can make to it as the campaign progresses. It opens with a short explanation of what Evangelions are, and then... launches into a longer explanation of what they are right under it, explaining how piloting one is different from say, a tank or plane, and thus doesn’t use the Piloting skill.
Adeptus Evangelion posted:
Evangelions are not machines. They are cybernetically enhanced and armor plated, but they are still living creatures. The proper way to stat their abilities in the Dark Heresy rule set (of which Adeptus Evangelion is a modification) would be as creatures. Albeit very large and powerful creatures.
Evangelions are not controlled through a manual interface. Hand controls are present, but lack the ability to actually manipulate the Evangelion with the range and dexterity required. They are merely a focus for the pilot, a part of a larger, telepathic control system achieved by synchronizing with the Evangelion. At this point the Evangelion becomes an extension of the pilot, and normal vehicle rules cease to apply.
For these reasons, piloting an Evangelion is represented by control of a large, powerful character fighting similarly sized opponents. This does not render your ‘true’ character obsolete, as many of your skills and talents carry over. After all, your character is the one in control, not the Evangelion itself.
Basically a nice little quick intro to the mecha themselves for anyone not familiar with the series. After that, it goes on to explain a few of the other semi-unique things about them, namely the Entry Plug, Plugsuits, and Umbilical Cables. The Entry Plug section just explains what the plug is, essentially the cockpit system for the Evangelion. The Plugsuit section describes what plugsuits are, namely a pilot suit that helps the pilot sync with the Evangelion better. The section also hides an important mechanical tidbit, namely that a pilot who isn’t wearing a plugsuit takes a -20 penalty to their Sync Ratio. Finally, umbilical cables are basically plugs that give the Evangelion itself power, with a decent bit of spool so the things can move around. It includes rules for detaching, reattaching, and targeting the cables with called shots. To be blunt, disconnecting from your umbilical is a Bad Thing unless you’re immediately going to reconnect next turn, which takes a Full Action and has you move your maximum run away. Oh, and there’s a limited number of times you can do that in your own base, and if you’re deployed away from it in the field god help you if the one cable to your one giant mobile battery building gets cut.
After all that, it’s time to actually generate the terrible things.
As the book mentioned above, they’re not generated as a vehicle or something, but instead as another character of sorts that uses a mix of its own stats and the pilot’s stats. The Evangelion’s only stats that it uses though are Strength and Toughness. Every other stat is a simple transplant of the pilot’s stats, since it’s a telepathic control system and all that jazz. On the other hand, various systems in the Evangelion can alter or modify the derived stats, so once you start taking into account purchased modifications or the various traits rolled during generation, there’s a little bit of math to juggle. The base Strength and Toughness of the Evangelions are 30 for each. After that it kicks us into the armor and wound pools for each body part.
Yeah, Evangelions have armor and wounds for each individual limb plus the torso, since they’re fucking huge and losing an arm isn’t exactly life threatening for the things: It’s entirely possible for your horrible robot monster to be reduced to literally a head and a torso and not actually be defeated yet mechanically, although the chances are rare and the pilot will not be having a very good time. The Evangelions start with 4 Armor on every limb, 7 Armor on the torso, and wounds for each area derived from the unit’s Toughness Bonus. All in all, your average unmodified Evangelion starts out with 7 wounds and 4 armor on each limb, 11 wounds and 7 armor on the torso, and 5 wounds and 4 armor on the head.
I expect MHB to make a snarky comment here about how that won’t save you from the sheer output Angels are capable of.
No, I’ll have plenty to say on that when we get to Cruel Thesis and I talk about how Angels are made and how they can make your pilots’ life an absolute living hell.
They do a lot of damage. A lot of damage.
After that is a short blurb about the starting default equipment for every Evangelion: A pallet rifle, a progressive knife, and a dock on one of the wings to store the knife in. These items will be dived into once we enter the section of the chapter after Evangelion generation, but here’s a protip for you: the pallet rifle sucks utter, complete shit and is a horrible weapon.
On the other hand, the progressive knife is a box cutter. Pick your poison.
Next are two charts explaining movement distance and fall damage for your 400 ton biohorror, including ‘orbital’ fall distance. (It’s 2d10+8 to the Evangelion, 1d10+5 to the pilot, and more likely than not will make you pass the fuck out when you land.)
By which he means “you are looking at risk of serious injury or death”. 2d10+8 wounds, even if it doesn’t ignore armor (can’t remember if falling damage does that), will put the average Evangelion into critical damage, if it isn’t already.
Surprise: an unpowered descent from orbit will seriously ruin your day.
What comes next is essentially a page of them explaining abstraction, and how it plays into AdEva in a mechanical way. The focus of it is on the Evangelion’s operational battery time once umbilicals are unhooked, and the gist of the section is ‘5 minutes of battery power in DH as a system is infinitely longer than virtually any battle will last, so instead you have 3 rounds of battery once you’re unplugged.’
Adeptus Evangelion posted:
AdEva, then, chooses to use abstraction to replicate the intent of the operation time limitation, even if we can’t do so with the same numbers used in the series. As such, the battery lasts 3 rounds. The battery also last 5 minutes. One round is not one third of the 5 minute timeframe. Yes, this is logically inconsistent. But it is an abstraction you are going to have to accept. Don’t worry about it. Or, if it bothers you, you can redefine battery times in your campaign, or say that rounds last for longer, to find a more palatable compromise.
Essentially, chill the fuck out and accept that you can’t perfectly represent this shit mechanically.
I actually kind of like this -- it’s both mechanically easy and true to the show. The power limits always operated off of dramatic time there anyways, as opposed to any real sort of clock. If the game had more simple rule-of-thumb mechanics like this, I’d be a happier man.
After that is two tables for you to roll your primary and secondary colors randomly if you want to, and then we get into the true meat of Evangelion generation: Distinguishing Features.
For something that plays such a core role in how your character will go about using their Evangelion, it’s extremely simple. Roll 4d10, and apply one roll to each of the 4 charts as you wish. Each chart represents some part of the history or design process of your Eva that made it unique, and offer mechanical negatives and positives. Sometimes rather extreme negatives and positives. As before, I’ll list a few of the more interesting things you can get from each table.
For as much as he likes to bitch about random rolling on this, it does accurately capture what the designers were going for: the creation of an Evangelion isn’t done to the pilot’s specifications -- or even to NERV’s, given the Eva’s biological nature. While a lot of the shit you can roll can have a dramatic effect on the Evangelion you get, I don’t think any of them break it, for better or for worse, so I sorta like it.
Still, I allowed rerolls on the characteristics. Cruel Thesis also has suggested houserules on the subject: everyone rolls up an Evangelion randomly, then players can swap them before any upgrades are applied, which also isn’t a bad way to do it.
The first distinguishing feature is related to your Evangelion’s History , before you were assigned as the pilot. Where it came from, what sort of unit as a whole is it. Some sort of one off prototype? A cutting edge next-generation equivalent? A piece of shit built from leftovers?
Resurrected , which is the kind way of saying your Eva’s all sorts of messed up and it’s basically frankensteined together with parts from other failed units. You get your sync ratio lowered by 5, but you get 1 additional feedback threshold. (No, the book has not explained what that is yet.)
Super Prototype , which is a fucking death sentence. While it hasn’t been explained yet, this means you’re treated as being a level higher on the Sync Ratio chart. Unfortunately, that means whoever is piloting this thing will enter an area where they start essentially dying way quicker than someone who’s not in this walking coffin due to oversync issues.
Flagship , which is a pretty interesting one in my opinion. Essentially your Eva has a lot of work put into it by some large sort of backer. Governments, huge corporation, etc. If you come out of a fight without being defeated, the group gets 1d5+Pilot’s Fel bonus in surplus to spend after a fight. (Again, not covered, but the cliff notes is that surplus is spent to do stuff like upgrade the base your Evangelions are based out of, and while 1d5 isn’t a ton, it can add up over fights if you don’t always get your ass kicked.) If you come out defeated, however, extra collateral is gained for the defeat. Double, to be exact. (Collateral’s explained later on as well, but suffice to say you want it as low as possible.)
Akodobob, Berserker posted:
Do what I did and have your Evangelion literally be “Built Ford Tough”.
Nemesis , which you don’t want the group Berserker to get under any circumstances. Ever. While piloting you have the Hatred (Evangelions) and Hatred (Mecha) talents, because the gist is your Eva was designed not to fight Angels, but to take on other Evangelion units. Oh, and if you berserk you automatically start going apeshit on your own teammates and even your conventional forces that are present to support you.
After History comes Construction , which are traits relating to how your Evangelion was built. Is it a lightweight zippy thing? Are there extra systems for pilot safety? Or is there a little tiny component buried deep inside that nobody knows about?
Wingless means your Evangelion lacks the signature wing pylons that Evangelions are equipped with, so you don’t look quite so much like a WoW character who raids a lot. Normally, Evangelions are restricted to a maximum of 2 upgrades that slot into the shoulder pylons, things like storage for Progressive Knives, extra batteries to extend operation time, integrated weapon systems, etc. However, an Eva with this can fit as many wing upgrades as the Eva has Toughness Bonus, which means a minimum of 3 and, if you work at it, 5 or 6. Awesome, except those upgrades now cost an additional Structural Upgrade point to purchase. Oh, and there’s only a limited number of SUPs you can buy per character rank. And they can get expensive.
Rescue Charges , which are hilarious. Some Angels can do things that essentially attack the pilot’s sense of person and all that metaphysical shit instead of just shooting a laser at the Eva, and some of those Angels do so via ‘corrupting’ the Evangelion’s body. If an Evangelion with these suffers one of those body corruption things, and it’s on an arm or a leg? The charges kick in and the limb in question immediately takes just enough Explosive critical damage to sever it messily. Hurray, the pilot is saved!
Faulty Wiring , because there’s no sense in throwing out perfectly good biological godhorrors just because of a few loose wires here and there. Take a -5 to both BS and WS, but in exchange you get a +5 bonus to sync rate because they’ve completely fucked all the safety systems trying to make this thing work.
Given that it’s fairly trivial to get bonuses to BS or WS in an Evangelion, this is pretty much the game tossing free SR at you.
Reactive Armor , the slightly less hilarious cousin of the rescue charges. First time your Eva takes critical damage in a fight, the damage is halved. And then it becomes Explosive damage, because the charges are just a tad too deep to be safe.
Black Box , my personal favorite entry on this table. What’s it do? Who the fuck knows, there’s not a thing listed. It’s literally just a tiny box in your Eva that’s not on the schematics and nobody has a clue what it does. A blank slate for your GM to
The best part is, there’s literally zero guidance as to what this should end up being, so the sky’s the limit when it comes to
screwing your playersfacilitating their immersive gameplay experiences.
Next up is the Mutations chart. After all, Evangelions are mostly biological, and they’re horrible chimeras of human and alien flesh. Some unpleasant side effects are to be expected from that.
Perverse Anatomy , because your Evangelion is fucking freaky as hell. It’s fat, it’s bloaty, and shit does not work or look like it should. You take -5 to Agility because of how fucking unnerving and hard to pilot the thing is, but all the extra flesh gives every area +2 Wounds.
Steel Giant , because being a 40 meter tall 450 ton behemoth wasn’t quite big enough. You get +2 Armor in every location, but any test to attack you is at +10.
Small-Scale Model , the exact reverse of the above. -2 AP, but -10 to all attacks vs you as well. Because, you know, you’re only as big as a small office building.
Extremeophile , which makes it the Evangelion version of Bear Gryllis minus the piss drinking, since this isn’t Ctech. Normally to do things like fight effectively underwater, or fight in space at all without instantly dying, the Evangelion has to mount different (expensive) armor sets. This bad boy can fight to 500 meters of depth or in orbital conditions without giving anything approaching a fuck, and it’s also fireproof. -5 Strength though because you’re built to be tough not buff.
This is actually pretty solid, surprisingly enough. When Kitfox says that the hazardous environment gear is expensive, he’s not kidding -- plus you have to purchase a suit for each Evangelion, and you have to get a different type for every environment. For what is generally a one-episode gimmick, this can rack up some bills. Having an Evangelion with this trait means your PCs are saving a whole lot of money, which they can then spend on more worthwhile projects, like
feeding the millions of people starving worldwide, housing the homeless, and situating displaced refugeesever larger and more impressive guns for their base.
The Beast , which is what your Berserker wants. +20 to any tests to go Berserk, but a whole 1 additional point of collateral whenever it does. Oh no.
Finally, we have the Evangelion’s Soul . In the show’s canon, every EVA unit has the soul (or part of a soul) of a person inside it, because the only thing better than a human/alien god chimera is the addition of human sacrifice. These affect not a whole lot actually. All they do is give a bit of fluff relative to stuff, and then determine the sort of Berserk type your Evangelion has. Which, coincidentally, is the next section of this chapter.
The next section gives the rules for Berserking. If the pilot goes unconscious, or if the Evangelion runs out of battery power and then is attacked, the player rolls against Sync Ratio at a -30 penalty. If they make the roll, it’s time for some fucking fury to be unleashed.
This penalty is pretty much why it’s really difficult for Berserkers to, uh, actually go berserk. Not only are the conditions pretty narrow and come up infrequently, especially if your PCs fight smart (or you pitch them softballs all the time -- I need to stop doing that), your average pilot is only going to have a SR around 60 or so to start with. This means that in narrow circumstances, you’ll have less than a coinflip’s chance to go balls-out crazy. When an entire class’ gimmick is built around this, it’s not that great. They get talents to fix that later, but I’m of the mind that it should happen a little earlier than it seems to.
Once an Evangelion Berserks, the pilot is no longer in control and some shit changes as a result of that. The state of the pilot doesn’t really matter anymore. Fatigue, Fear, Shock, Bloodlust, etc, none of that matters period for the unit at this point. In addition, your Evangelion gets +2 Breach on all its attacks, the cliff notes of that being that it’s more likely to smash through the Angel’s super bullshit ‘no your attack totally didn’t hit me because I said so’ field.
Which is good, because the default tactical options now are ‘Flip Out’ and ‘Wreck Shit”. Every round you are either moving full steam at the closest thing it considers an enemy, or you are attacking the thing that you are in the face of. This state continues until either there are no more enemies in the area, or your Evangelion is defeated. Even after the enemies in the area are defeated, the Eva will remain active another 1d5 rounds. After that, the pilot tests either their Willpower or Fellowship at a +10 bonus. Success, the Eva shuts down. Failure by 0 or 1 degrees, the Eva thrashes and is grumpy about it and causes 1 extra Collateral damage before shutting down. 2 or more Degrees of Failure? It turns on any remaining allied Evangelion units and starts going at them full force.
The other aspect of Berserking is tied to the Souls above. Every 2 souls ties into 1 of 5 ‘types’ of Berserking the Evangelion does.
Savage , which means your EVA is a monster among monsters. When it Berserks it gains +30 WS and +10 Strength. On the downside, that test to fall dormant is made at a -10 penalty instead of a +10 bonus.
Hunter , which turns you into a flash-stepping motherfucker that
Supernatural , which is the AT Tactician’s berserk of choice. When your Evangelion Berserks, you get a +20 bonus to Sync Ratio and any disruptions are always upward disruptions . In addition to that craziness, you get to pick one AT Power from a level equal to the highest level you know +1, and then can use it the rest of the fight like you had already bought it.
Cooperative , the boring one, at least in terms of allowing you additional asskicking potential. On the other hand, the Evangelion remains under complete pilot control so it doesn’t always need to be in something’s face fucking it up, the pilot gets +10 Sync, and any Ego damage incurred while berserk is halved, which is a pretty major thing.
Unyielding is the final type, and it turns you into the Terminator. When it goes berserk it gets to regenerate Wounds equal to the Toughness Bonus it has to distribute as wanted between injured areas. Unfortunately, the pilot takes Insanity points equal to half the number of wounds restored that way whenever it does it. Rounding up, because that’s not enough of a fuck you already.
This is only about half the chapter, but it’s all the chapter needed for the barest of character generation purposes. However, in the interest of not burning you all out on walls of text, I’ll be splitting the second half of it into a second post. So next time, we’ll focus on the customization options pilots can get as they buy Weapon, Structure, and Biological upgrade points to spend, as well as a closer look at the weapon mechanics.
What he means to say is that it’s TFR time.
Evangelions part 2Original SA post
Speaking of doom pools, let's get another set of posts up for...
Chapter 3 Evangelions Part Two
Well, now that the godchimera’s been generated, it’s time to look at how we can pimp the rims and lower the shocks. The chapter starts out with a small blurb about how Pilots can purchase various upgrade points as they move through the ranks. These points are the previously mentioned Biological, Structure, and Weapon Upgrades. Each one goes towards buying customizations for specific parts of your Evangelion.
Adeptus Evangelion posted:
Biological Upgrade Points (BUP) may be used to increase the Strength and Toughness Characteristics of the Evangelion, or provoke changes in its external or internal anatomy.
Structural Upgrade Points (SUP) may be used to buy more armor for the Evangelion, or otherwise modify the technological aspect of the Evangelion.
Weapon Upgrade Points (WUP) work differently from the other types and have their own expanded description later in this chapter.
Because what we needed were more expanded descriptions. This is also when we get a hint of an important mechanic explained later: Research. All you need to know for now though is that there’s 3 levels of it, and each level unlocks progressively more powerful upgrades for Evangelions. A way to keep the Skirmisher from sinking all that WUP into a ground to orbit railcannon right off the bat.
Not that it stops people from trying. It’s also important to note that costs for upgrade points vary across classes -- for instance, a Berserker will end up getting an Evangelion that’s powerful in and of itself, while a Skirmisher will have fewer internal upgrades... but a lot more guns. I’m not entirely convinced of the balance of this, but it seems to work out well enough in play.
However, there’s another catch that factors into Research, and that’s the fact that various upgrades require prerequisite technologies to be acquired as well, another mechanic explained later. The gist of it though is that things like Positron technology, Ablative armor, and other exciting things need to be purchased before you can use them. It works decently enough as a mechanic.
The other important thing you need to know about research is that the amount the players get is directly linked to how well the players do in combat -- the more damage the Angel (or they) incur during a fight, the less research they get. Which, of course, basically means that the amount of research they get is directly linked to how hard you make the fight and how you build the Angel.
After all that though, it’s finally time to get to the upgrades themselves. And once more it’s a shitload of tables. So many fucking tables.
First are Biological upgrades, which as you might expect related to the non-machine aspects of your Evangelion. There’s basic things like strength and toughness characteristic increases like mentioned above, along with things like increasing the number of wounds each body area has, and upgrades to reduce critical damage or have your Eva regenerate a few wounds or critical damages after battle to potentially reduce Collateral. In addition there’s a few that increase your Evangelion’s fighting potential when you’re unarmed and simply ripping and tearing into stuff with your bare hands. Or mouth. Berserkers especially should look at those because they stack with some Talents they get that’ll make the Eva an unarmed monster mash when Berserk.
There’s also a few one-off unique things in the tree that are pretty interesting.
Unnatural Eye is a group of 3 vision related upgrades that are mutually exclusive from one another unless you have a certain Evangelion mutation from chargen. There’s Clarity , which lets you roll Awareness tests twice and pick the better while in your Eva for free, Spectrum which gives your Eva the equivalent of those fancy goggles from Splinter Cell so that you can roll Awareness to see even invisible things and are never counted as being in Darkness, and Farsight , which increases all weapon ranges by 10 for non-melee weapons.
Dense Field is similar in that it’s 3 upgrades that you can only select one of, and on top of that they require the pilot’s sync to be 60 or above to purchase. They modify the Eva’s AT Field, another mechanic we haven’t seen yet! In particular they boost Breach, Deflection, or available ATP.
After Biological comes Structure , which focus on things like the Evangelion’s armor systems and also encompasses batteries and various other non-bio related shenanigans. There’s a basic progression to increase armor levels, a basic progression to increase batteries so you can fight longer while removed from the umbilical, and then a whole bunch of odd one-off items for various bonuses, like +10 to Acrobatics or upgrading your Entry Plug for a +5 to both BS and WS, or +10 to one or the other, or armoring it to reduce pilot damage if it’s penetrated (yes, your plug can be fucked up during a fight and in that case the pilot is in a world of ungodly hurt where they’re probably gonna need to burn a fate point to live.) Another one lets you mount heavy weapons to your EVA so you don’t need to brace to use them, and also lets you use some other unique things. At any rate, there’s a few really odd ones in here too that are worth mentioning.
Alternative Plugsuit is one of them, and it’s one of the ideas they
Ironically, while I think Borderline gets a lot of things wrong (which will be covered in the eventual writeup), their implementation of fancy plugsuits I find a lot more to my taste, which makes sense given the difference in their design philosophies. Borderline tends to give a lot more cool benefits to the players, and mainline AdEva doesn’t, so the alternate plugsuits in Borderline have generally more useful benefits. This is a problem in some situations (there’s one that should get banned because it’s broken as hell) but mostly letting players spruce up their characters isn’t really a bad thing.
N2 Powercell , because Jet Alone was such a great idea you needed to make it twice as destructive. You can no longer plug into Umbilicals, but who cares! You have an entire hour of operational time with this thing. On the downside, if the EVA’s defeated due to body destruction, it auto-takes 10 Energy Critical damage to the body (again basically forcing the pilot to burn a fate point to live), and then the cell explodes, dealing area damage and the like.
Wargauntlet is essentially a way to give your Evangelion’s natural weapons upgrade tech normally reserved for other melee weapons. Feel like outfitting the huge horn on its head with a chainsword style sheath, or a superheating element? Now you can! A boon for Berserkers, as you might expect.
Wing Loadouts , mentioned shortly during the creation writeup we did. Essentially they’re shit you just stuff into the Evangelion’s wings, which it normally has 2 of. They hold batteries, storage for ammo or a small weapon like knives or pistols, integrated missiles or other sorts of weaponry, or odder things like a direct link to the crazy supercomputers back at your base for better rolls regarding them! No, that rule hasn’t and won’t be mentioned for a bit yet. Sorry.
Ablative Upgrades , which are sort of unique. They require a technology to be researched, Ablative Tech, but after that they’ll prove their worth quite quickly. They essentially consist of tech that blocks one attack no matter what it might be, and then it crumbles away. On the other hand, since many later angels have a strong chance to literally one shot your Evangelion if they connect with it, being able to just ignore that shot is excessively helpful. On top of that, one tech in the tree means you cannot be Righteous Furied, which is amazing.
And now it’s time for Weapon Upgrades , which is such a hideously long part of this chapter that I’m gonna be splitting it into its very own post. Next time we’ll talk about guns that obliterate the ozone layer when you shoot them and things that, in the show’s canon, required the entire power output of the country of Japan to shoot.
A TFR post! The TFRest post!
SO MANY GUNS AND SHITOriginal SA post
SO MANY GUNS AND SHIT
There’s one thing I’ve been leaving out of these reviews which I was mildly sad to, and that’s various in-character quotes from the sort of default ‘cast’ they use for such things. Several pilots, an Operations Director, etc. They’re pretty neat but not really relevant to a lot of things, except for one quote in this chapter which is just amazing.
Adeptus Evangelion posted:
"The pallet gun? Oh lord, not another reporter asking about that travesty. Look, no one had ever designed something that large to be moved before. To fire at anything other than single shot? Never. To be accurate in the hands of someone 40 meters tall? Does this line of questioning answer your question? I admit, the thing is and was pathetic, perhaps the single worst part is that we can’t get rid of them, its listed in the production procedures that 'all Evangelions are to be issued a Mark 2 progressive Knife, and a Pallet
Rifle at the time of production.'
Now the progressive Knife, there’s a solid piece of work, designed by some no name corporation that made Box cutters. Can you believe that? Box cutters. Even has a built in second
blade in the event the first one shatters."
-Dr. Joseph Zarkev, Evangelion equipment engineer
"You want me to fight those with a defective gun and a box cutter?"
- Trooper Hong
It pretty accurately sums up the weapon situation at the start of a campaign.
Unless one of your players is a Skirmisher with a stiffie for pimped-out assault rifles. Which one of them probably will be. For as much as the fluff is designed to grind in the fact that the starting weapons on an Evangelion are shit (and the Pallet Rifle is total shit), it’s entirely possible for characters to come out of the gate with upgrades.
And, of course, the progressive knife is a miniature chainsword, so....
The chapter opens with a listing of weapon special qualities. Some are transplanted from DH, some are modified slightly or renamed, and some are entirely new.
One of the interesting new ones is Beam, which means if you fire and hit the enemy you can just spend a half action on the following turn to maintain the attack with the same degrees of success and dodge and deflection. Strike a good, solid hit with a beam weapon and you are set.
Beam is a quality that makes me wonder if people examined it closely before putting it in -- if you hit, you hit until something happens that make you not hit. Given that it’s on a high-tier heavy weapon, it’s probably not going to come into play a lot, but I am just automatically wary of anything that is essentially labeled “you automatically hit”.
A modified one is Chain. The weapon you apply it to has a Breach of +0 and becomes unwieldy. On the other hand, it deals +1d10 damage and, if it’s parried with an Angelic weapon (basically a special angel weapon that is part of the angel’s body), it still does damage; it’s just that it does damage to the body part that the parry would best fit. Angel knocks your bigass chainsaw to the side with a spike on the arm, the arm gets to eat said chainsaw. Nice.
Longshot is something that, in my opinion, is pretty neat. That may be bias due to the fact that Skirmishers can use it wonderfully, though. Longshot weapons are basically guns designed for hyper range sniping; we’re not talking a few kilometers, we’re talking shit like ‘ground to orbit’ or ‘cross-continental’ artillery barraging. They reverse the normal range penalties and bonuses, so that in close range you’re taking penalties and at long ranges on the weapon you get bonuses.
There’s more, but I’ll mention them in the individual weapon write ups if they matter.
After Qualities comes the actual weapon tables and descriptions themselves. They’re divided up into specific melee weapons, basically distinctive things from the show itself such as Progressive Knives, which you can’t apply the more extreme modification qualities to, a table of general weapons that you can apply the more extreme modifications to, melee upgrades, and then Ballistic, Maser, N2, Positron weapons and ranged weapon upgrades. Since I’m lazy, I’ll continue to list a few of the neat ones from each list along with a general one that gives an idea of what each type of weapon does well.
Specific Melee weapons are, essentially, weapons that have special qualities like Progressive as a core part of the weapon’s concept. Progressive Knives from the show are here, along with the Sonic Guillotine.
Progressive Knives are weapons that come with the Compact quality, which has been modified to mean that the weapon’s small enough to store in one of your Wings. Progressive as a weapon quality is just a slightly modified Chain quality from DH, basically. As for the Knives themselves, they’re solid enough weapons, and you start with one basic one that you will always have no matter what going into every fight. There’s also a slightly buffed one that can get destroyed one time by Angel fuckery and then still be able to be used without any negatives.
There’s also a hilarious gimmick one that you can have shatter and destroy itself if you hit an angel’s core for critical damage, to deal even more critical damage. Because dealing tons of critical damage to an organ that tends to blow up if it takes too much critical damage is a surefire plan.
In addition, there’s also a full sized Progressive Sword you get a Tier 3 that’s basically a katana.
The really wacky weapon in the category is the Sonic Guillotine , also ripped straight from the show. Basically, you throw two of these things in the ground and anything between them straight takes 1d5 Critical damage to the Body area with no chance to dodge. They burn out afterwards and AT Fields can still go ‘fuck you nope’ if they’re not removed somehow first, which helps balance it out.
After this is just the stats and shit for general sorts of weapons. Axes, Lances, Hammers, etc. These are usually relatively cheap WUP wise because you’re kind of intended to apply the various melee upgrades to them for some customization. Speaking of upgrades, you can spend WUP to upgrade melee weapons. The upgrades are separated into two categories: Enhancements which you can put on any melee weapon, and Technologies, which can only go on the general sorts of basic weapons and are all mutually exclusive from one another.
One of the three Enhancements lets you use the weapon as a throwing weapon, and the other two are mutually exclusive ones that basically have you take a minor penalty to hit for a minor boost in damage or the reverse of that. Technologies apply rather major alterations to a weapon, such as making it Progressive or Chain. Sorry, no progressive chain knives that are on fire.
After melee weapons come guns, and holy shit there’s a fair lot of them. As said before there’s 4 categories, each with at least 4 weapons to their name. Whether all those weapons are useful is another question entirely though.
First up is the Ballistic category, which is essentially weapons involving propelling metal at high speeds. Research tier 1 starts you with shit that is entirely useless and would be better utilized as improvised weapons to smash Angels in the core with, and includes the beloved Pallet Rifle. Tier 2 gives you some awesome shit, including an upgrade to railguns powered tech. Tier 3 gives you one final thing.
The Rocket Rifle is one of the Tier 2 guns, and is pretty awesome. Fluffwise it’s a scaled up gyrojet system essentially, and is an acceptable sniper system with decent damage, penetration, and breach. Unfortunately, it’s got the Blast quality along with it, which means every time you shoot it you’re eating a decent chunk of collateral damage, which is Bad. There’s a full-scale Bazooka that you get at Tier 3 which is basically just an upscaled version of this, with a larger blast radius as well.
The Heavy Railgun is one of my favorite weapons in the entire book, and if I’m blunt, purely because of the hilarious fluff description and unique rules it has. It’s the gun in the picture above, and it’s one of the few weapons with Longshot. Great damage, great penetration, great breach, and if you can see the enemy chances are you can engage said enemy with it. On top of that, you also get this hilarious along with it, word for word from the book.
Adeptus Evangelion posted:
Before the Evangelion Project was completed, a number of anti-Angel weapons were planned, some of them even reaching prototype stages before eventually failing. One such project was the “EM Funnel Warhead”, which was intended to be a form of anti-Angel munitions. A two stage warhead, the round absorbs ambient electromagnetic energy and releases it directly ahead of the round prior to impact to overwhelm a hostile AT Field… at least in theory. In practice, it turned out to be woefully inefficient and proved unable to overcome even a weak AT field in standard field tests. The project was shelved, until recently
The simply named “Heavy Railgun” is little more than an enormous series of electromagnetic plates and rails forming a rectangular, open "barrel". Requiring a colossal bank of high performance generators and electrical capacitors, the Heavy Railgun is too heavy to be easily portable without specialized shock absorbing braces. Otherwise, it would be more than capable of knocking over an Evangelion unit with its tremendous recoil! The Heavy Railgun can even fire rounds into low earth orbit, though at extreme range penetrating the enemy AT Field is almost impossible with normal munitions.
It was a Magi resources audit that finally connected the dots, pairing the experimental EM Funnel Warhead with the Heavy Railgun delivery system. In a standard engagement against forces on land, sea or air, the special munitions are only marginally more effective than a solid steel slug of similar size. But when fired against an enemy in space, the warhead passes through the Ionosphere, gaining a charge in the process beyond man’s ability to replicate otherwise. Against orbital opponents, the Heavy Railgun gains a +5 to Breach and deals +2 damage. However, there is reason to believe that use of this weapon does irreparable damage to Earth’s ozone layer with every shot.
That’s right, if we can’t kill the Angels then by god we’ll kill as much as we can in the process.
Next up are Masers , directed energy emissions of the microwave sort, and their weapon Quality is pretty rad, giving every weapon in the category Proven (4) with the benefit of it also applying to critical hits. For those unfamiliar with the system, it means if you roll less than a 4 on the d10 damage die/dice you roll, it counts as a 4. Not half bad. In addition, some of the weapons in this category have chances to set the target on fire, which while not exactly being a massive threat if you’re in a robot the size of a building, is still another nice bonus.
The sorts of weapons are spread between short range guns with a high fire rate, or long range guns with low fire rate and slightly higher damage and penetration.
The Mas Rifle is the initial Tier 1 entry in the first category, and gets a nice rate of fire boost at Tier 2 with the Mas Repeater . There’s also weaker pistol versions of them, the Tier 2 one of which gets a neat bonus of giving ranged attack bonuses to one ally of your choice when you hit a target with it, even if it doesn’t do actual damage.
The HELIOS Rifle is the initial ranged entry, sporting one of the longest ranges for non-specialized sniping weapons in the system. In addition, it can set shit on fire and has decent enough stats.
At Tier 2 you also get a heavy weapon that’s basically a huge HELIOS Rifle with the range aspect removed and the damage boosted in exchange. It also has a charged mode that eats up 3 ammo instead and gives it almost doubled damage and a blast (3) quality in exchange for needing to spend a turn recharging and having a possibility of overheating and, you know, melting the Evangelion’s arm a bit.
Tier 3 has a dumb pistol that does hilarious damage at the expense of basically destroying itself in the process, and then a weapon has one of the most broke-ass Qualities in the book.
The Seige Maser is a Longshot weapon, so you can engage ground to orbit with it. It also does great damage, great penetration and breach, and is altogether a really solid choice. It also comes with the Beam Quality, mentioned before. Let’s see what Beam does exactly, shall we?
Adeptus Evangelion posted:
This energy attack, when used on single shot, automatically succeeds its roll to hit with as many degrees of success as last round if it successfully hit the target last round. A new half action must still be spent on 'maintaining' the single, continuous attack. Deflection and dodge is assumed to resolve in exactly the same manner as it did in the previous round.
Yeah, RAW if you manage to land one solid, good hit on the enemy with the thing, you can keep that train rolling next turn as long as there’s still ammo to spend. Complete, utter brokenness, just in case you thought I was kidding about that when I mentioned it earlier.
The next weapon group are the N2 Shell weapons. They’re basically just reskinned Bolters, that start with a shitty short range gun at Tier 1 and end with a full-auto only backpack ammo bin gatling gun of a monster OR a fucking portable ICBM system at Tier 3. There’s also a nice rifle in Tier 2. They all do excellent damage with shitty penetration, but since a whole lot of Angel damage resistance comes from toughness, which penetration doesn’t do shit to, this is not exactly a horrible downside.
Also, the naming scheme is just lovable, starting with the Bohrgun and going upwards in the order of Planck Pistol, Faraday Rifle, and Dyson Cannon.
The Faraday Rifle is a decently ranged sniper system that does the aforementioned high damage and is just a very solid way to ruin something’s day.
The Dyson Cannon is the previously mentioned full auto gatling system, only able to fire full auto at 6 shots. If it’s not deflected, it is entirely possible for this gun to utterly demolish an Evangelion unit, or the less buff Angels, in a single round if the attacker rolls decently.
And finally, the Supershell Launcher , which is roughly as hilarious as the Heavy Railgun in terms of insane fluff. Longshot, which means over the horizon or orbital engagement, Blast Fucking (12), which means it’ll obliterate a hilarious amount of the area around whatever you hit, and on top of that it’s basically a bazooka that you’re firing a WMD-scale cruise missile out of. It doesn’t have the potential to one shot stuff like the Dyson Cannon above, but it trades that for the ability to inflict the fairly large amount of damage it can output in a huge area, with the accompanying huge collateral. On the other hand you’re basically launching an ICBM off of your giant robot so it’s still amazingly awesome.
The final weapon category is home of the Positron weapons. Positron weapons have one role, and one role only: completely ignore AT Fields that are between them and the thing they’re shooting at. To reflect this, they have the Positron weapon quality, which directly links their Breach and Penetration. Anything that boosts one also boosts the other, and this means that the Positron guns have some of the best breach and penetration out of any ranged weapon in the system, meaning they’ll slice through most AT Fields like butter because
The tree starts with a fairly short-ranged prototype rifle that still has good damage, good pen, and good breach, but overheats. It ends with a gun so huge that it is not actually even Evangelion portable.
The Positron Rifle and Positron Cannon are the two most plain weapons in the tree, the first having the ability to rapid fire at decent range for decent damage. The second does one of the highest single hit damage amounts in the game, has amazing penetration and breach, and the longest range of any non-Longshot weapon.
Tier 3 gives us the Great Positron Cannon , a beast anyone familiar with the show should know of right away. It has two huge building-sized particle acceleration chambers that need to be set up and started on-site wherever it’s deployed, it can only be fired prone, and if you dodge or move you gotta spend actions replacing yourself at the gun and grabbing it. On the other hand, it has the highest Breach, Penetration, and single-attack damage of any gun in the system, and when you shoot it you’re using up the electrical production of an entire reasonably sized first world country.
Finishing the chapter are the upgrades you can apply to ranged weapons, which are essentially a holster for a knife or ammo magazine, an under barrel single shot grenade launcher for smoke grenades, a scope, a bayonet, a plate that lets you use the weapon to parry like a melee weapon, or the extra grip attachment from DH base. And that finally fucking wraps up the Evangelion chapter proper.
Next time the book actually bothers explaining some of the new stuff and finally lays off the fucking tables a little in the process! We’ll get to hear about things like Sync Rate, Feedback, Ego Barrier, and more!