1 Prehistory
2 The rest of Chapter I: History
3 The first part of Chapter II: Game Mechanics
4 Continuing Chapter II: Game Mechanics
5 Still continuing Chapter II: Game Mechanics
6 None
7 The first part of Chapter III: Races
8 Continuing Chapter III: Races
9 Still continuing Chapter III: Races
10 Still continuing Chapter III: Races
11 None
12 None
13 The last part of Chapter III: Races
14 The beginning of Chapter IV: Classes
15 Continuing Chapter IV: Classes
16 Still continuing Chapter IV: Classes
17 None
18 Not actually done yet with Chapter IV: Classes
19 Yet another installment of Chapter IV: Classes
20 We are still spinning our wheels with Chapter IV: Classes
21 We are getting close to the end of Chapter IV: Classes
22 The end of Chapter IV: Classes
23 The first part of Chapter V: Skills
24 Crusin' on through Chapter V: Skills
25 The start of Chapter VI: Combat
26 Continuing Chapter VI: Combat
27 Moving on to Chapter VII: Magic
28 Waltzing on through Chapter VII: Magic
29 Celebrating the new year with Chapter VII: Magic
30 Finishing up Chapter VII: Magic
31 Bustin' things up with Chapter VIII: Weapons & Armor
32 Double dippin' in Chapter VIII: Weapons & Armor and Chapter VIX: Equipment
33 Augmenting ourselves with Chapter X: Cybernetics
34 Simulated amusement in Chapter X: Cybernetics
35 Pedal to the metal in Chapter XI: Vehicles
36 Learning how to run this crap in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
37 The increasingly random Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
38 Stuff that should probably not be in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
39 Something something still in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
40 Playing the damn game in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
41 Wrapping up Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
42 Touring the universe in Chapter XIII: The Galaxy
43 Meeting new "people" in Chapter XIII: The Galaxy
44 We all just died in Chapter XIV: The Afterlife
45 Death is too good for Chapter XIV: The Afterlife
46 Fighting through the hordes of Chapter XV: Beasts & NPCs
47 The final entry


posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 1: Prehistory
Or, introductory crap

Right off the bat we are greeted by this charming fellow.

Click for huuuuge.

Well, that's certainly...a thing. In case your eyes refuse to focus on that abomination of red text on a black background, it explains that the setting is post-apocalypse, there's magic and technology and aliens and demons, and seriously it's Rifts crossed with Warhammer 40K. It also promises us over 20 races and classes and 100 levels of advancement.

Well that will be fun.

This is the book's back cover. Yes, the back cover is on the second page of the .pdf. The organization is all kinds of sloppy.

Following this we get some opening fiction. There's an image pasted behind the text so it's really hard to read in places (this will be a theme with this book). I'm not going to link it because it's fairly mundane, just a generic guy in a cloak shooting pistols at the ground. The story itself is sort of badly written but not laughably so, so you get the executive summary: you (the story addresses you as a player, as if you were playing the game, which is actually an interesting take) wake up in a prison cell without your gear. The guards outside have all been slaughtered, killed by "a slimy green secretion" which has apparently eaten through their armor. The cell door is for some reason unlocked, so you leave, but as you do so you find a slumped-over corpse that's been half devoured and there's a fairly extensive description of the gore. The guard has a "9mm Geeza" which you nab. As you head out, the corpses all rise up as zombies, ending with the line, "What do you do?" Honestly, it's not that bad - better than I made it sound anyway - and I like the "you are the player" angle. It's kind of neat.

Then we get the table of contents, and discover one of the game's foibles: it likes to jump from single-column to double-column at random. It's the sort of thing the editor should've noticed right away (believe it or not, there are four editors credited).

The contents have sub-headings with page numbers listed, but no hyperlinks. Also, the page numbers are in reference to where the pages would be in an actual, physical book, so they're all off by like 5 pages in the .pdf. Considering this game is only available as a download, there's no excuse. There are bookmarks, but only for the chapters themselves, not the sub-headings. And the bookmark for the history chapter links to the opening fiction, right before the table of contents and several pages before the chapter actually starts. Like I said, sloppy.

Kuthalan Symbol Meaning "Demon Gate", apparently

I'm not going to bore you all with the sub-headings, but you need to be aware of what I'm getting myself into.

Chapter I: History
Chapter II: Game Mechanics
Chapter III: Races
Chapter IV: Classes
Chapter V: Skills
Chapter VI: Combat
Chapter VII: Magic
Chapter VIII: Weapons & Armor
Chapter IX: Equipment
Chapter X: Cybernetics
Chapter XI: Vehicles
Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
Chapter XIII: The Galaxy
Chapter XIV: The Afterlife
Chapter XV: Beasts & NPCs

Here, a dwarf from the Road Warrior set fires a belt-fed Nerf gun.

After this we get the title page, which probably should have gone where the opening fiction was. Unsurprisingly, the author, game designer, and artist are all one person, Brandon Williams "Rogue."

Brandon Williams, 'Rogue' posted:

I’m the only one who does anything around this mutha!@#$er


Next we segue into Chapter I: History, by which I mean it starts on the next page with just a bold text header. The title of the subsection is larger than the chapter title. Also we're back to single column text again. I'm going to try and keep track of how often that changes.

This subsection is titled "The Apocalypse," and it's pretty much a summary of what happened as told by one Brother Zohl, a "monk of the Order" in the year 6010 A.D. According to Zohl an asteroid hit the earth in 2206. We attempted to stop it but only managed to split it into four parts. The impact spread destruction worldwide and caused a massive cloud to circle the planet, blocking out sunlight for a hundred years. This was known as the "Age of Darkness." How anything at all survived a century of night I don't know. In the resulting ice age humanity was largely forced underground. Then in the very next sentence it declares that we "came to combine [our] strengths into nomadic clans." Nomadic, underground clans. I'm not sure how that would work, but dang if that isn't an awesome idea for a campaign.

Meanwhile, we were unaware that the asteroid brought with it an ancient relic (type and nature unspecified) that opened a "soul gate" to the sixth dimension. Which is hell. Anyway, a bunch of demons started pouring out onto the earth. "It took heroes to stop them." I'll bet.

At this point the eldryyn showed up through magic portals. What are eldryyn? The book doesn't say yet. Where did they come from? Also unknown. Anyway, apparently the "spirits" had warned them about the "demon gate" (the terminology here switches back and forth a bit). They came to destroy it, and immediately made nice with the humans, because. So the two races formed your bog-standard demon slayin' pact, and shut the gate down. But now...bad stuff? The end of the text is a little vague and just implies heroes are needed again for some reason. This whole section is really badly written. For instance:

Brother Zohl posted:

On January 18, 2206 A.D., the old world came to an end. The entire planet Earth suffered through the greatest disaster it had ever known. The realm known to us was changed by an asteroid from ages long past. This fireball of the gods could not be stopped by the technology of man. Thus, it became the demise of the old world. All that had been achieved became undone. This world could not be saved by any amount of prayers or mathematical equations. The universe is and always will remain a being of neutrality; not caring if those that dwell within it live or die, or are evil or good. It simply exists, it simply is.

Now picture that in Comic Sans. Or, for that matter, spoken by the Amazing Crisswell.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: A timeline! Totally devoid of context! It's baffling and pointless and should have gone in chapter XIII!

The rest of Chapter I: History

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

You know what, here, have some Comic Sans on me.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 2: The rest of Chapter I: History
Or, a whole bunch of stuff happened once

The next two pages are a timeline of events going from the asteroid impact in 2206 through to the game's present in 6010. Most of the entries are brief and either pointless or so totally devoid of context that you can't make sense of them. It really should have gone in Chapter XIII with the rest of the setting information.

I wasn't going to list all of these, but, honestly, I feel like I would be doing you a disservice if I didn't.

Remember, this is a serious grimdark sci-fi game. No laughing.

Now, I do want to make a few comments about some of these items.

* Firstly, I have no idea what the shadulyn eldryyn are. They get mentioned a lot. I'm gonna assume they're drow straight out of Forgotten Realms, because this is that kind of game. At least we now know that eldryyn are space elves.

* In 2386 dragon eggs were discovered on Atlantis. Apparently nobody thought to do anything about them, because by 2915, dragons are attacking Europe.

* Warp drive is invented in 3005. The first spaceport isn't built until 3622. Humanity doesn't set foot into deep space until 3950. So, what were we using warp drive for, exactly?

* Androids were invented in 3012. Cybernetics didn't happen for over seven hundred years after that.

* Korangar is still leading the Dark Brotherhood over seven hundred years after he formed it, even before he became an undead blood mage. That is the sort of sentence I never saw myself typing, by the way.

* Cities formed a trade agreement (with who?) back in 2830, 700 years before governments were re-established?

* Yes, the space police is named the City Guard.

* So, the emperor and empress were evil (which apparently exists as an absolute philosophy here a la D&D, moral ambiguity be damned in this grimdark cyberpunk game) and were executed for it in 5925. Shouldn't that end their imperial dynasty? Why would you let their daughter be the next empress when her parents were consorting with demons?

* The Trinity cut out their eyes so they could not be affected by hallucinations.

Well, that sure is a timeline, let me tell you. None of this is going to be explained or expanded on anytime soon, so I hoped that helped you grasp the intricate details of the Chaos 6010 universe!

The next two pages are the "lineage" (read: not the lineage at all but rather the organizational chart including troop divisions) of the Empire and the Order/church. There's nothing especially funny or interesting in them, beyond the fact that they exist, so we'll skip it.

Finally, we get the map of the galaxy, as promised in the table of contents! Except we don't. It's just a page of single column text-with-picture-behind-it discussing the setting of the game. Well, that's useful too, I suppose. Or would be if it were even half as detailed as that crazy timeline.

Basically, it's Rifts earth. Huge fortress cities separated by wilderness. The cities are ruled by the Order, which is part of the Church of Sol. Surprisingly, the theocracy here is generally played as a good thing, not an oppressive and conservative overlord like you see in most of these sorts of games. Of course, we have no idea what the church's belief system is beyond "it's based on the eldryyn faith," so for all we know they make daily sacrifices of puppies to Ba'al. But so far it seems pretty benevolent overall.

The game suggests that we start our campaign in Haven, a city in what used to be the northwest US. I'm going to assume it's Seattle. It gives us a very generic description of the town - picture Blade Runner mixed with Chi-Town - and assures us that there's lots of adventure to be found there, without really telling us what.

Then it explains what the Dark Brotherhood is. Man, the organization of this stuff is awful. Anyway, they're cultists from Warhammer who want to open Soul Gates to the sixth dimension and let out demons. They have done this successfully one time in the past three and a half millennia according to the timeline. They suck at their job.

Then the game shifts gears again to tell us that megacorporations called Syndicates control entire nations all their own, apart from the Order. "Wars are fought everywhere and crews can often finc (sic) work with these corporations in order to keep the company a secret." Wait, how are these companies a secret if they own entire countries?

Organized crime still exists. That's the gist of the next paragraph.

Finally, we end on a paragraph assuring us that we can run any type of game we want because the setting spans countless worlds and dimensions. That's nice, but so far I still feel totally lost. We've been given only the barest of barebones information about this place, and I have tons of questions - if teleportation was discovered 500 years ago, do people use that instead of vehicles? Do you need passports to enter or leave corporate territory? Why do people on the timeline live for hundreds of years?

Oh well. Guess we'll learn some answers in time. Next up: Mechanics! We find out how awkward this sucker is at the table.

Bonus: Last time I chose not to link the text-with-picture, but you guys should see what I'm working with here .

EDIT: I just noticed that the mongru (what's a mongru?) joined the Imperial high council in 4513. This would presumably be the same High Council that wouldn't be established until the year 5000. I guess they got their membership cards punched early.

The first part of Chapter II: Game Mechanics

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 3: The first part of Chapter II: Game Mechanics
Or, not really game mechanics at all

This chapter, unlike the last one, opens with a quote.

Dan Ubach posted:

27 frenzy is how many spenzy I’ve frent.

Oh...kay... I'm gonna wear out that emote, I just know it.

There is precious, precious gold to be found here. We open with the craziest damn "What Is Role-Playing?" section I've ever seen. I can't not give it to you verbatim.

"Everything is television and computers now," indeed.

I will now remind you all that I paid fifteen bucks for this and did not steal some high schooler's homebrew campaign notes. This is an actual product that is sold for cash monies in a real online store. I have to keep reminding myself that, because otherwise I start to feel bad about making fun of it.

Next, we get a section explaining what the Game Master's role is.

Chaos 6010 A.D. posted:

You are the teller of tales, the lord of the table.
You must interest and consume the characters into the plot, help them become a part of this chaotic world. You must become the referee at times and are persuaded to know the rules of the game well.
You don’t have to know everything. Hell, I wrote this book and I still don’t know it all.

I'm not touching that last one.

In all seriousness, the description of the GM is pretty grognard-y: there's no room for player agency, it's all "MY WILL IS LAW!" It does advise you to change rules you don't like and try to have fun, though, and while that's nothing special, it's still always nice to see.

But what about...the players?

Chaos 6010 A.D. posted:

They become an important part of the story and can even change the outcome or the plot.
They may even wish to change their voice, or use certain gestures while playing in order to add realism to his or her icon.
Remember, there are no “real” acting scenes out, no larping.

No LARPing you guys!

Yeah, the emphasis here is on being totally passive, reacting to what the GM says. No participation, no collective worldbuilding, no narrative control. Just sit back and wait for your turn.

There's also a section on gaming accessories, by which Brandon Williams "Rogue" means what you need to play. Paper, pencils, a full set of polyhedron dice (two full sets preferred). We're told that if we're using miniatures then 1 inch on the mat = 5 feet in the game. I really hope that's repeated elsewhere, because I would never think to look for it here. Finally, we're told we can use music to set the mood.

Chaos 6010 A.D. posted:

Heavy metal, techno, movie soundtracks, hard rock, hip hop, or whatever fits the mood. You may wish to change the music to fit different parts of the game as well, or have none at all. It’s up to you to decide, I’m just trying to give you ideas, so f!@# you alright!

Well f!@# you, too! t


About time!

(Back to two-column text!)

It starts by explaining to us how time works in-game. Turns, rounds, sessions, campaigns, turns last a few seconds or so but there's no fixed limit, a round is usually about 5 seconds. Fair enough.

Actions! Most people get 2 per turn. Each action lets you do something simple like draw a weapon, throw a grenade, etc. There are four types: unarmed, melee, armed, and magic. Most PCs get 2 of each except magic, of which they get 0 (unless they're a spellcaster). Monks and Mu Dai (what the hell is a Mu Dai?) get 3 unarmed. It directs us to see page 90 for more info, but we'll wait on that.

Hold on a sec. If I get 2 unarmed, 2 melee, and 2 armed attacks, and I'm holding a pistol in one hand, a knife in the other, and wearing giant 80's spiked boots, does that mean I get to make 6 attacks? What if I'm a monk and I use two actions to draw and fire a gun, do I still get to make a badass kung fu attack? It says drawing a weapon is the same type of action as using that weapon (so pulling a knife or sword would be a melee action, but pulling a gun is an armed action) but it doesn't say how different types of actions can be combined, or even if that's possible at all. I hope this is clarified later on. It does say there's more info on pages 97-99. Which, jumping ahead, says that you can combine action types but they overlap, so a monk or Mu Dai (seriously, what is that, it sounds kinda neat) could take two melee or armed actions plus one unarmed if they wanted. That's an interesting approach and it seems like it would reinforce certain character classes as relying more on certain types of attacks by just giving those classes more actions for those attacks specifically. Too bad the monk and Mu Dai seem to be the only ones who benefit.

Pages 97-99 are actually correctly numbered in the .pdf by the way, and the page number at the bottom of the page matches. But I'm currently on page 14 and the book says it's page 9, so somewhere along the line, the page count will be corrected.

They just didn't bother to go back and fix all of it.

Anyway...this subsection ends with this bit of wisdom.

Dave, why do you have to talk to your connect and leave us under the big pause button?

Next it tells us about dice, as in how to read a die code like "2D6." I'll assume you can all follow along without that tidbit.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Character creation!

...But don't get too excited.

Continuing Chapter II: Game Mechanics

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Honestly, I would be pretty cool with a revival of old pulp genres. Superheroes and the Comics Code killed off a lot of really neat stuff. Stuff that, when I think about it, kind of reminds me of...

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 4: Continuing Chapter II: Game Mechanics
Or, character creation, sorta

Character creation time! I'm excited! Are you excited?

So, our first step is to pick a race. There are twenty one of them, and we don't know what any of them are or what they can do. The book offers us no help, not even a summary or a "pick this, this, or this if it's your first time playing," nothing. Chaos...

Screw it. This is our first time through, we'll be a human. Looking ahead, humans get the following:

Racial Abilities
Vision: Normal
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: gain 1 free skill slot.
Spirit: 12
Movement: 3
Race Type: Humanoid

I don't know what any of that means but it looks like humans are, per tradition, the most boring and unspecialized race. Should be easy enough to muddle through.

Next up, attributes. There are 7: Strength, Body, Dexterity, Intelligence, Perception, Willpower, Charisma. So, D20, more or less. We can either roll 4D6 drop the lowest, arrange to taste (average roll: just over 12) or distribute 100 points, minimum 3, maximum 18 (average: just over 14). Point buy is strictly better unless you get really lucky with the dice, on top of the usual issues with random stats. Okay, well, since the attributes are pretty much D&D, we'll try and make a D&D style thief. I'm sure Brandon Williams "Rogue" would approve.

Strength: 14
Body: 14
Dexterity: 18
Intelligence: 13
Perception: 15
Willpower: 12
Charisma: 14

Probably not really optimized, but whatever, we're just playing with the system at this point.

Now we apply our race's attribute adjustments. We have none. Cool. It mentions that we may get further modifications from cyberware down the line, which is cool by me.

Next, it says to locate our Attribute Level on a chart on the next page. Let's see...

Fortunately, it's fairly straightforward. Our attributes have an Attribute Level, kind of like how attributes in D&D have a modifier. And, like in D&D, we use our attribute level more often than our actual attribute. And, like in D&D, I question why we have to generate one number in order to find a different number that we actually use.

Whatever. Here's those attributes again, with attribute level and dice.

Strength: 14 (Attribute Level 4, 1D10)
Body: 14 (Attribute Level 4, 1D10)
Dexterity: 18 (Attribute Level 6, 2D6)
Intelligence: 13 (Attribute Level 3, 1D8)
Perception: 15 (Attribute Level 4, 1D10)
Willpower: 12 (Attribute Level 3, 1D8)
Charisma: 14 (Attribute Level 4, 1D10)

This means that whenever we make a Strength check, we roll 1D10. When we make a Dexterity check, we roll 2D6. We want to roll equal to or better than the target set by our GM. Makes sense.

For those of you playing along at home, please note that this is exactly the same as the D20 system but being better at a thing gives you better/more dice to roll instead of just giving you a bigger bonus. Which, in fairness, makes this system a bit more interesting. It also makes it a bit clunkier, though, since you roll different dice for different actions from different characters. I imagine it'd be a bitch to GM. For players, since your dice presumably won't change in-session (situation modifiers appear to still be +/- applied to the roll itself) it shouldn't be too bad.

Seems decent enough for what it is.

Next we get the rule of "Maximum Continuance," which is an awkward as hell way of saying that your dice explode. All of them. Ironically, the larger die size means that rolling 2D6 is actually worse than rolling 1D12 if your target is really high, according to AnyDice, anyway. ( 1D12 vs 2D6 ). Awesome.

Well, anyway, after that bit of mechanical incompetence we get a description of the seven attributes. Seriously? Shouldn't this have gone, you know, in the section about generating attributes?

Then it tells us how to make an attribute check, and then comes the chart we were referred to earlier. I covered this a second ago. I'm sorry but reading ahead is the only way I can make sense of this mess. The layout is not reader-friendly.

At the bottom of the page, we get this.

So, wait. Does this mean that if I have two dice, I need to get a 1 on both to fumble, or does it mean that rolling a 1 on either die is a fumble, but two 1's is a really bad one? The odds of fumbling could be very, very different depending on which of those is the case. What's a fumble mean in this context, anyway? Is it just a failure? That's the only penalty listed. Rolling a 1 (or 2 if you have two dice) is probably a failure anyway, so...what's the point?

Whatever. The next page talks about target numbers, but all it says about them is that they're set by the GM. It also mentions that the GM doesn't have to tell the players what the target is, because "it could give out important information."

Resisted checks! This is what the 61st century calls an opposed check. It works exactly the way you think it does. There's no mention of what happens when both characters tie. Teamwork! In "some" situations you can have multiple characters combine their dice to hit a really high total. The example is two characters working together to move a stone slab, their Strength dice are combined. Beyond this we get no guidelines as to what types of situations teamwork may apply in or how many characters can assist on a single roll.

I really, really hope this is clarified elsewhere because almost every rule here seems missing or incomplete. It's like I'm reviewing Rifts.

Oh, hey, remember when this subsection was about character creation? Let's get back to that with Special Attributes ! Our Physical Beauty is 2D10. No, there is no way to point buy this, it's random or nuthin'. We roll a 16. Apparently, we're purdy. This only applies to our own race, although some races are similar enough to find each other attractive (ie humans and eldryyn). Not listed: any way to apply or make a check off this. Presumably it would work like any other attribute, I guess? It neither says nor implies that, but otherwise this score is utterly pointless, so...

Spirit is a measure of our soul. Cyberware lowers this. If it hits 0, we become a cyborg and lose all emotion. That is not exactly how Webster's would define the word cyborg, but okay. "Humans gain a slight advantage in Spirit. They begin the game with a Spirit of 12." Ah, so that's above-average. Good to know! It mentions that some classes start with cyberware, but we can opt out if we want. I wonder if our class gets any? I wonder what our class is? We haven't been asked to pick one yet!

Mana is equal to our Willpower + 1D6. Again, there's no non-random way to determine this, and for a wizard type character it could increase their mana pool by as much as a third. We roll a 3, for a total of 15. I'm not interested in making a mage yet so that's fine.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: we continue to try and make a simple human thief! Tables are involved. Oh, the tables.

Still continuing Chapter II: Game Mechanics

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 5: Still continuing Chapter II: Game Mechanics
Or, character creation, this time with charts

Okay, when we last left off, we were trying to create a character. The game was fighting us by throwing rules out of order and not giving us all the information we needed. So far we've got a race and some numbers, and that's about it.

Next up: oh crap. It seems our attributes also give us additional bonuses to certain things, kind of like 2nd edition D&D did. There are...charts...

These kind of charts.

These charts cover attributes ranging into scores of over five hundred . The max starting score, before race or other bonuses, is less than twenty . Jeebus. Astute readers will be reading reviews of better games may also notice that the bonuses rise in, uh, predictable patterns. The damage bonus from strength is just +1 per point of strength above 14. The movement bonus from Dexterity is just +1 per every 5 points above 10, rounded down, to a maximum of +6. I didn't need a page long chart to convey that information out to a theoretical score of five hundred.

Moving on. Strength gives us a bonus to damage in melee and unarmed combat, and gives us our weight allowance. The weight allowance is a rating from Very Light to Very Heavy. We can only use weapons and armor that fall within our category. That's not a bad way to handle encumbrance. Hey - wait a minute...

Oh goddamn it, Chaos.

Yes, that is exactly the same information as is found on that enormous Strength chart, minus the damage bonus (which, as I mentioned, is just +1 per point above 14), only presented in a concise and simple way. One page earlier.

There was no reason to include that giant chart. At. Fucking. All.

Moving on again. Dexterity gives us a bonus to defense and initiative, and a bonus to movement (in inches). Base move is 3 for humans, or we can double that if we run. Fair enough. Body gives us extra hit points, Toughness (read: freakin' armor), and a "body save." It works like a saving throw in D&D - roll equal to or over your body save on 1D20 to avoid nasty bad stuff like poison and death. By the way, the body save for a Body score of 18 is...15. So good luck with that.

Anyway, Willpower gives you a bonus to Mental Resistance (works like defense bonuses from Dexterity, but for mind attacks) and may give you a bonus to mana. You need a minimum Willpower of at least 16 to get a measly +1 to Mental Resistance and a minimum of 30 to get any bonus mana, so don't count on those happening. And, finally, Intelligence gives us some bonuses.

Don't ask me what this means because the book doesn't say.

There are three more special scores that aren't on the charts! Chi Is equal to our Body + Willpower. "Only characters possessing martial arts or higher will possess the ability to channel this power." Magical Defense is only for cool kids. "Lower level characters usually do not gain these." And finally, Frenzy Pool is 2. "To find out more about frenzy and how they are used, refer to the combat chapter. Frenzy kicks ass."

The combat chapter starts on page 97. We're on page 18. The game seriously expects us to just flip from section to section rather than read any single chapter through. This really is a Rifts book, all circular references and unfinished rules.

Okay, we'll just take their word for it and assume Frenzy kicks ass. Next is Hit Points. "Refer to the section in Combat called “Getting Messed Up.” This will explain the details of hit point loss."

Configuring Hit Points then. This is just Body + a die roll based on your race. For humans it's D6. You are allowed to re-roll 1's or 2s, so it's not total bullshit. We get a 5, for a total of 19 HP.

I'm not sure what this is but it's very Chaos-y.

So, our character so far:

Strength: 14 (Attribute Level 4, 1D10)
-Damage Bonus: None
-Weight Allowance: Moderate
Body: 14 (Attribute Level 4, 1D10)
-Toughness: 0
-Hit Point Adjustment: 0
-Body Save: 18
Dexterity: 18 (Attribute Level 6, 2D6)
-Defense Mod: +4
-Movement Mod: +1
Intelligence: 13 (Attribute Level 3, 1D8)
-Spell Time: 2D4 months?
-Languages: 2?
Perception: 15 (Attribute Level 4, 1D10)
Willpower: 12 (Attribute Level 3, 1D8)
-Mental Resistance: 0
-Mana Adjustment: 0
Charisma: 14 (Attribute Level 4, 1D10)

Hit Points: 19
Chi: 26
Physical Beauty: 16
Mana: 15
Spirit: 12
Movement: 4
Vision: Normal
Unarmed Combat Damage: D6

Combat Training is dropped smack at the end of this section for no reason. "Combat training is usually only gained through level advancement." Then why do I care now, when I haven't even finished making the damn guy in the first place? Basically, this is a type of weapon specialization, but we can also apply it to spells. Each level adds +1 to attack rolls. The wording here is a little baffling, but I think you have to apply it to a specific weapon type or a specific spell. Then again, maybe only certain weapons can get it. Hell, you be the judge:

Combat Training posted:

Combat training is added to one weapon of choice and jotted onto your [character] packet. It may also be added onto a certain spell. The combat training will then be added to whatever specializations the character may have, finally giving you a total (+ to hit). Ex: you are specialized in Shotguns +6. Then, over the course of your adventures, you have gained a +3 for combat training. Adding the combat training to your Street Reaper shotgun will give you a +9 to hit with that weapon. Combat training does not work exactly like specializations though. C.T. modifiers are only added to a specific weapon or spell. They are not added to an entire category, such as shotguns or combat spells.

It is also entirely possible, based on the above wording and the stuff I didn't quote, that you can only ever have Combat Training in one thing. I'm not sure. I'm not sure why it even matters right now because we apparently can't have it yet.

Excuse me one second, I have to find one of the editors.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: I finish this stupid chapter. I nearly finish making a character.


posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

DivineCoffeeBinge posted:

I could seriously get behind a game where you start with All The Power but get progressively weaker the more you use it; make 'recharges' few and far between (if you have 'em at all!) and you end up with awesomely powerful guys who hate using their power because they know that eventually it runs out. You could tell some awesome stories with a game like that.

I'm reminded of Larry Niven's The Magic Goes Away and The Magic May Return , actually...

It occurs to me that this is pretty much the premise behind Spawn as well. You have a limited amount of infinite power, and when it's gone, so is your soul.

On that cheerful note!

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 6: Still continuing Chapter II: Game Mechanics
Or, why is this taking so long

I apologize for the length of this post. We are still working on creating a human thief, which ought to be a pretty simple concept. Let's finish this sucker and get on with our lives.

The next step is to pick a class. Finally . There are twenty of them. Classes differ primarily in abilities and skills. The abilities are in the form of a list with no summary or description, just the level you get them at. The actual game effects are found later in the book. Imagine if your class features in D&D 3.5 consisted of just your spell list, and that's what I'm dealing with here. So, basically, I don't know what's what. But fuck it. There is a Thief class (of course there is). We'll pick that.

We do not get a level 1 ability. Apparently all classes are identical at level 1 save for their skills.

Speaking of which, these are our skills:

Primary Skills - stuff everybody gets, though they might have different specialties (like Armed Combat: Pistols instead of Knife).
Unarmed Combat: Fighter +2
Armed Combat: Knife +1
Stealth: 2
Concealment: 2
Negotiation: 1
First Aid: 1
Piloting: 1

Bonus Secondary Skills - stuff unique to our class.
Thievery: 2 (dex)
Looting: 1 (per)
Traps: 1 (int)
Street Survival: 1 (int)
(Skill Slots: 2)

As a human, we get an extra skill slot, so we have 3 picks left over. Let's go back to the character creation section and find out how the skills actually work .

You knew this was coming posted:

look to the chapter on skills for information and the slot cost of each skill. This starts on page 87.

Okay. Fine. To the skills chapter.

Hey, check it out, that chart for Attribute Level was abridged. Here's the full chart.

Try not to squint.

Okay, the Way Skills Work TM . Each skill falls under an attribute. You add your attribute level to your skill's rating and that gives you the skill level . For example, we have Thievery 2 and a Dexterity of 18, which gives us an attribute level of 6. Our skill level for thievery is 8 so we roll 2D8 for Thievery checks.

Our class also gives us some open skill slots, which we can fill on our own - either buying up new skills or improving old ones. BUT, different skills cost a different number of slots to learn, and improving old skills costs exponentially more slots (2 slots to go from +1 to +2, 3 more to bump that to +3, etc). Because my patience is wearing thin, we'll grab Blind Fighting for 2 slots (seems useful) and Forensics for 1 (because it is ridiculous). That's all our open slots. Back to the freakin' character creation chapter.

Starting equipment: it's based on your class. We get:
Knife (weapons)
Lock Picks (equipment)
Flash Light (equipment)
(Starting Pay: d8x100c)

Yippie. We really are a D&D thief, aren't we? We don't even get a cell phone.

Cyberware! Also based on class. We get none and I don't care because it's one less thing to look up.

Magic! Again, we don't get any. Fine. Great. Good.

Religious belief! Every character has to have one, even if we're atheist. I'll just let you see it for yourself, I can't do it justice.

So, to summarize, you can be a sun-worshiper, an agnostic whose soul is doomed to eternal nothingness, or a black hole acolyte who is totally not evil, honest. Or you can be a heretic who wants to destroy all religions (another fine example of this game making up new definitions for words), or you can worship one of those old-timey religions if you must . But if you do that your faith is wrong because this game is gonna tell you how the afterlife works later on.

I suppose we'll take the Path of Darkness, because this is a dark and gritty game and we're so edgy .

Your character also gets Spiritual Influence, which is a chance that the spirits will come and help you when you're really desperate. For instance, they might save you from a nasty death. Unless you're a priest of some kind, it starts at 2%. It goes up when you do things that further your chosen path, and goes down when you do things that are in opposition to it. Naturally the GM awards these bonuses/penalties at their discretion, with no guidelines whatsoever. We are told that the GM shouldn't allow too many SI rolls, because "It can get out of hand." Honestly, this isn't a terrible mechanic, but it needs to be fleshed out a lot more.

Next, we're told to determine height, weight, etc. What an odd place for that. I arbitrarily decide we are a young girl, short-ish, with blue hair (blue hair is still cyberpunky, right?). This section also includes guidelines for age modifiers: basically just make it up yourself. Gee, thanks, that was helpful.

Next, a background and other such details. I decide that we were raised on the streets of Haven by ratlings (seriously, it's a thing, I'll get to it) and are now a freelance medical examiner/cat burglar. Also, we have a German accent. You know, for roleplaying.

Next up, Ghost Points! Ghost Points work exactly like Cool Points ( ) except you have to spend 'em before the game begins or they're lost. The fact that we have no idea what Cool Points are is apparently of little concern. They can be spent "raising Skill Ratings, Hit Points, Mana, Chi, Attributes, and Frenzy (get more frenzy)." We can also buy character Values (Perks) with them, or take Flaws (Flaws) to get more. We start with 5.

There is no limit to the number of Flaws you can take, but many of them are awful as you'll see. Unless I specifically mention a target number associated with a check, there's none listed. Hope your GM isn't a dick!

Addiction (+3 GP) You're an addict! Make a Willpower check at the GM's whim or you can't focus! Being unable to focus has no mechanical effect.
Allergy (+4 GP) You have an allergy, in the sense that Superman is allergic to Kryptonite. Make a Body check vs a target of 8 or suffer -2 to attack and dodge for 1D4 rounds, or possibly the length of exposure plus 1D4 rounds, it's not clear.
Amnesia (+5 GP) You are every JRPG hero ever. Lose one skill slot! Note that a skill slot costs 10 points, so this is a net loss.
Archenemy (+5 GP) You get your own special snowflake nemesis, whom the GM must stat up "at least 2 levels higher than [you] at all times." Congratulations, you are now the center of the plot and you got paid for it!
Arrogant (+3 GP) "This mother !@#$% thinks he is hot !@#$. He’s the best thing since warp drive. He knows his friend is in melee combat but who gives a !@#$. He’s got ‘em. He never misses. -1 to Charisma." The cost to raise your attribute one point is equal to the attribute score (not level), so this is a huge loss unless you don't care about Charisma at all.
Blind (+8 GP) You can't see. -2 to Perception, and if you don't have Blind Fighting and/or Blind Shooting, you suffer -4 to attack and dodge. Another awful deal since those skills cost 20 points or 2 slots each plus you lose attribute points.
Burnt-Out (+4 GP) You're a space case/stoner. -1 Intelligence. Again, awful.
Compulsive (+2 GP) You're OCD. No mechanical effect, so go nuts.
Dark Past (+1 GP) You're all dark and mysterious. Again, there's no reason to ever not take this.
Deaf (+6 GP) Exactly like Blind, but you don't need to take extra skills to avoid penalties. Still awful though thanks to that -2 to Perception.
Death Wish (+5 GP) Exactly what it says on the tin. You can't take cover in combat. Depending on how deadly combat is in this game, that could be meaningless or it could be a death sentence, so...maybe awful?
Deep Hatred (+1 GP) You're racist. Willpower check not to attack people you're racist against! Either great or awful, depending on how sadistic your GM is.
Disease (+4 GP) "This character has a terrible disease that has not yet found a medical or magical cure. They may get deathly ill at times or suffer mild penalties during play. Feel free to elaborate." Basically a license for your GM to fuck with you. Pass.
Hunted (+3 GP) Exactly like Archenemy, but you have a bounty on your head. You even get to create the NPC who wants you captured/killed!
Impulsive (+2 GP) Self-explanatory. No mechanical effect, so again, pretty much always grab this.
Insanity (+4 GP) You get to roll for a random insanity, which can range from mildly annoying to crippling. Can be taken twice, for some reason.
Lost Love (+1 GP) You have a Tragic Past TM . Willpower check to avoid mood swings or depression! Basically toothless, so you should always grab it.
Merciful (+2 GP) You'd rather kill your enemy than let them live in pain. Seriously. Fits the psychotic profile of a typical PC to a T.
Mute (+6 GP) You can't speak...unless you know sign language. Or telepathy. Or...you know what just take it. Unless you're a spellcaster, in which case you can't.
Oblivious (+5 GP) Exactly what it says. -2 Perception, so, awful.
Tormented (+4 GP) Hey, remember Insanity? Yeah, here it is again.
Uneducated (+5 GP) -2 Intelligence. Terrible.

So, seeing this list, let's take Addiction, Archenemy, Compulsive, Dark Past, Hunted, Impulsive, Lost Love, Merciful, and Mute, for a total of 28 Ghost Points worth of completely toothless flaws. Our GM hates us but we just Won Character Creation.

This is actually kind of cool.

So what can we spend this on? Well, there's Values...

Born Again Hard (8 GP) +2 to Body. Considering how good Body seems to be as an attribute, that's great.
Bravery (5 GP) You don't need to make Willpower checks for fear.
Channeled Rage (8 GP) +1 to hit when using a "Rage Attack." No idea what that is or how useful it is.
Cool (5 GP) Immune to intimidation.
Common Sense (4 GP) The GM may warn you if you do something dumb. You're better off just not doing dumb stuff.
Danger Sense (8 GP) The GM rolls a secret Perception check for you if there's danger. Kind of pricey and only good if your Perception is high.
Driven (6 GP) +1 to Willpower. A steal unless your Willpower is ridiculously low.
Emotionless (5 GP) You get a Willpower check to avoid falling in love. Seriously.
Intimidating (5 GP) Enemies have to make a Willpower check or become afraid of you. Take this if you want to annoy your GM with a bunch of pointless rolls.
Iron Will (8 GP) +2 to Willpower? Awesome.
Mental Resistance (8 GP) +1 to Mental Resistance, +3 to resisted checks. Seems pricey for that.
Painless (6 GP) You don't have to make a Body Save to avoid Trauma. No idea what that means.
Perceptive (8 GP) +2 to Perception, worth it.
Photographic Memory (4 GP) You get an Intelligence check to remember details about people or things you've encountered before.
Smooth Talker (8 GP) +2 to Charisma. Charisma seems to be a bit of a dump stat, but for the party face, this is great.
Walking Library (6 GP) +1 Intelligence, not bad.
Well Educated (8 GP) +2 Intelligence, great for casters.

Most of these are pretty iffy, but we'll grab Born Again Hard, Iron Will, and Perceptive . The remaining 4 points we'll spend to upgrade Forensics and Armed Combat: Knife to +2 (the cost to raise a skill rank is equal to the new rank, so 2 points each).

I kinda like this one too.

Next up: Insanity! Here are the tables we could have rolled on. Not much to say other than it's a lot like Palladium's insanity system, only simpler and looser.

And hey, what's this next to it?

That would have been very helpful a couple of posts ago!

Immortal 2: The Quickening

There's a "character packet" (read: character sheet) at the end of the chapter, so I took the liberty of filling it in for us.

Note that the character's still not done! I'm not about to go looking up how to calculate armor class or whatever just now. We'll come back to it.

This chapter is history. Good riddance.

Next time of Chaos 6010 A.D.: Races! Could...could I have found something in this game I actually like ?

The first part of Chapter III: Races

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 7: The first part of Chapter III: Races
Or, the best part of the book, part 1

The book's page count corrects itself on this page!

And we're back to single column, because consistency is for people who don't write in Comic Sans.

Once again, we get an opening quote:

Brandon Williams posted:

You pezzy human.

Don't ask me what it means .

So, races. The book lists the most common ones, but says there could be a lot more, and asks us to check out pages 242-243 for rules to make our own. That's genuinely cool, assuming the rules aren't just a bunch of random tables (spoiler alert: the rules are just a bunch of random tables ). I think we'll play with those a bit later.

Anyway, all the races here can be found on Earth, because it's The Future TM . Most of them were subjugated by humanity centuries ago and their homeworlds are even bigger crapholes than Earth is. Kinda gets you right there.

There are seven types of races: humanoid, goblinoid, "sectoid" (insects), "mutoid," "beastian" (animal-like), "evoltian" (no idea?), and reptilian. These categories don't appear to mean anything.

The description of each race is pretty standard. Appearance, "Customary" (read: culture), History, etc. It also includes a set of tables for random name generation if you want, which is kinda neat. And each race gets a full illustration, which is pretty cool considering the author did all the illustrations himself. Honestly, this section is the best part I've found so far, I like it.

Oh, and I know what you're thinking: it should be species, not race. Except several are referred to as "cousins," despite coming from entirely different worlds, so...I dunno.

That said, let's get down to it!

BEZA (bay-za)

Four-eyed JarJar loves his pool cue.

Beza love gambling and haggling. They're only about four feet high, but good luck putting anything over on 'em. They're also crazy about family, with weekly family gatherings, and hold celebrations at twilight and dawn because I guess they're just born romantics. Their society is egalitarian and the women take the lead in romance.
Unlike most of the aliens in the book, the Beza homeworld is actually a pristine world of forests and waterfalls. This may be because they didn't resist at all when the empire came knocking. Instead, they immediately turned their love of gambling and negotiation and started weaseling their way into imperial politics. Long story short, these guys now have a special place in the High Council despite running the most notorious gambling dens in the empire.
So, basically, they're like ferengi crossed with halflings.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Normal
Gamble: no matter what, they always get one more die to roll or additional upgrade in a gamble and games of luck. (+d4)
Lucky: on any skill check, the beza can add a +1 to the result by spending 1 saved cool point after the result is rolled.
Unarmed Combat damage (d4)
Attribute Modifications
-3 Strength
+1 Dexterity
+1 Perception
+1 Charisma
Roll a d4 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +1 Concealment, +1 Negotiation
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Evoltion

Verdict: I like these guys!

BOGKROLL (bog-kroll)

Go ahead, Karl, I think he's friendly.

They're ogres. The book even comes right out and says so. They're 12 feet tall, 800 pounds, and they don't like you. Most other races hate them, except the orgs, who see them as cousins and like them. Some believe the bogkroll evolved from giant orgs, despite originating on different worlds and despite the bogkroll being one of the youngest races in existence. But this is a setting where magic portals are A Thing so who knows. The orgs actually took the bogkroll under their wing the same way that eldrynn did with humans, teaching them about technology and science, which is kind of a cool concept.
Their homeworld is the planet Gargon, a storm-wracked wasteland of barren rock that not even the bogkroll give a shit about. Its twin moons affect the climate in unpredictable ways.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Low-Light
Lob: throw boulders, vending machines, or other large objects for falling damage. + to hit is the same as unarmed combat.
Heavy: carry weapons / armor as if +10 more to strength.
Unarmed Combat damage (d12)
Attribute Modifications
+4 Strength
-2 Dexterity
+1 Body
-2 Intelligence
-1 Charisma
Roll 2d6 + Body for Hit Points.
Skill Adjustments: -1 Stealth, -2 Concealment
Spirit: 10
Movement: 2
Race Type: Goblinoid

Verdict: Sorta boring, with some interesting bits.

DJACHYAN (ja-kie-ann)

Why the long face?

Djachyans are built like Grays, but their skin is white, and they have incredibly graceful birdlike movements. "It is hard to tell the females from the males since they do not posses any visible reproductive organs; they use their tongues for this." I can't decide if that's interesting or revolting. Since they're basically albino, they burn easily in the sun, hence the big robes.
The djachyan homeworld is a blasted wasteland with a surface that's practically uninhabitable; the race lives underground. About a thousand years ago a human ship landed there for repairs, and the djachyans were happy to help. The humans, in turn, were happy to insert a special strike force to secure the planet for their empire. Humans are dicks in this setting. Needless to say, djachyans don't trust them, even if they are valued members of the empire these days.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Low-Light
Telepathic Bond: they may speak telepathically to members of their own race or allies they have known for some time.
Emotion Sense: females of this species may read the emotions of all other races, but not those of their own race.
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
-1 Strength
+1 Dexterity
-1 Body
+1 Intelligence
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Evoltian

Verdict: Kinda so-so.

Okay, let's leave the official races for a minute and play with those random tables. Maybe we can make something neat?

Race Type: 1 - Humanoid
Disposition: 1 - Deadly, Hostile
Size: 9 - Giant (gundertot size) - Gundertots are monsters, but I have no idea how big they are because their description doesn't include their size. It's bigger than a bogkroll, anyway.
Diet: 2 - Herbivore
Optics: 4 - 2 eyes
Vision: 4 - Astral - I have no idea what that means, either!
Intelligence: 1 - Low
Willpower: 2 - Moderate
Dexterity: 4 - Very Fast
Path: 4 - Void - This is the spiritual path, presumably the one the race leans towards since PCs can pick their own regardless.
Special Abilities: 10 - Movement

So, it's a humanoid, but huge. None too bright, but really fast and has some kind of special movement ability, and "astral" vision, whatever that means. Also, it's incredibly dangerous and hostile. I arbitrarily decide that it's a race of giants who can see into and move through the 6th dimension. They hate other races because their first contact with one was when humans conquered their homeworld so they could strip it of resources!

Do you guys want me to continue playing with the random tables until we're through the race section? Or would you like to try your hands at it? Or is one example of the tables in action enough?

Here's the tables in question.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Lizards, elfs, and hyoo-mans!

Continuing Chapter III: Races

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 8: Continuing Chapter III: Races
Or, the best part of the book, boring edition

Continuing the races section! This time we get a couple of boring races, but whatever. We'll deal.

First, though, chameleon people!

DUMATHOIN (doo-ma-thoin)

Steve, you can't go trick-or-treating with us anymore.

The dumathoin were a peaceful race of explorers before their contact with humanity. Then we came along and asked them nicely for their planet. Well, okay, it wasn't nice at all. Six months later, their fleet was decimated and we were scouting McDonald's locations and "droid labor camps" (labor camps for droids?) on their mineral-rich desert surface. They maintain a small underground resistance force which the empire keeps under wraps. Wow, crazy. Good thing nobody in real life would go knock over a foreign nation for their mineral wealth!
With their homeworld occupied and their race all but extinct, the remaining dumathoin have become nomadic. They're scattered and broken. The only thing keeping them going is the hope that someday, somehow, they will get to kick humanity so hard in our collective nutsack that our great-great-grandchildren still feel it. Yeah, they don't like humans much. Not too fond of eldrynn, either.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Thermo
Chameleon: +10 levels to Concealment skill by spending 10 seconds to blend with surroundings. (This is insane and should basically read "if they spend at least 2 rounds hiding, you can't find 'em.")
Climbing Claws: +5 levels to climbing.
Resist Fire: 10 fire resistance.
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
+2 Perception
+1 Intelligence
-2 Willpower
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Reptilian

Verdict: Really cool!

ELDRYNN (el-drin)

My, what big boots you have.

They're elves. I'm going to save you a lot of reading and just say they're elves. There are also half-eldrynn (of course there are), which are, you know, half-elves. And there's the shadulyn eldrynn, which are (wait for it) drow. Oh, but the shadulyn have white skin and dark hair.

Artist's conception.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Low-Light
Forest Walk: +5 levels to Stealth, +5 levels to Concealment (only woodland terrain).
Half-eldrynn: Low-Light vision
City Walk: +5 levels to Stealth, +5 levels to Concealment (only urban terrain).
Shadulyn: Thermo vision
Cave Walk +5 Stealth, +5 Concealment (only in cavernous terrain).
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
-1 Strength
+1 Dexterity
+2 Physical Beauty
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
(half-eldrynn only gain +1 to Physical Beauty on Attribute Modifications)
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Humanoid

Verdict: You could not make them more boring if you tried .

HUMAN (hyoo-man)

In the grim darkness of the future, whoever smelt it...dealt it.

Humans. They're dicks, as we've seen. Crossbreeding with eldrynn is gradually replacing the species with half-eldrynn, and I can't tell if that's some kind of elf fetish or some kind of white supremacist horror. Maybe both? Why not. In general, humans are seen as greedy and aggressive and not very nice. By the way, the average human lifespan in 6010 is 100 years, so that timeline makes even less sense than before.
Racism and civil conflict are over, too. Humans now only fight other species . That's much better.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Normal
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: gain 1 free skill slot.
Spirit: 12
Movement: 3
Race Type: Humanoid

Verdict: Boring, unspecialized, assholes.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Bugs! Also our first kinda-furry.

Still continuing Chapter III: Races

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 9: Still continuing Chapter III: Races
Or, the best part of the book, bug hunt edition

Bugs! We get two of our 3 "sectoid" races here. Also our first "beastian" race, which sounds like a furry but isn't.

IZKRITCH (iz-krich)

Somebody's seen Alien.

These cute little guys like long walks on the beach, romantic candlelit dinners, and galactic conquest. They care only for their hive; individual life is meaningless. In fact, izkritch adventurers are almost exclusively hiveless, since it's only with the loss of their hive that they develop a desire for independent wealth or glory. Oh, and ladies: the young eat their mothers at birth, as well as any siblings they can catch.
Their homeworld is Mikti Tik, which exists outside of imperial space. It used to be basically one massive hive from which the izkritch were preparing to launch a massive galactic invasion. The Luw Kar showed up (remember them from the timeline?) and gassed the planet, then stripped it of all its resources and abandoned it. A few izkritch were offworld at the time and took refuge in imperial space, where they were immediately put to use constructing atmosphere generators. It seems pretty in-character for humanity in this setting to turn refugees into a cheap source of labor.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Normal
Poison Tail: 2d6 dmg + Body Save or take 2d6 poison dmg for 2d6 rounds. (Remember, a character that is heavily optimized for Body might still have only a 50/50 chance to make that check.)
Great Leap: may leap their maximum movement by using a dexterity check. (difficulty?)
Exoskeleton: Toughness of 1
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
-1 Strength
+1 Perception
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 10
Movement: 4
Race Type: Sectoid

Verdict: Crazy broken.

KUTHALAN (koo-tha-lin)

The Foot Clan is alive and well in the 61st century.

If you thought the izkritch were dicks, you're gonna love these guys. They'd stab their mother in the eye if it would get them somewhere. All they care about is power, and they don't care who they have to kill to get it. The galaxy as a whole considers them evil. "These sectoids are mainly followers of the path of shadow, thus meaning that they care little for religion." That's, uh, not what you said the Path of Shadow was, game.
The kuthalan homeworld was conquered just four measly years ago during the inquisition. Since then, most kuthalans have fled to Hive Space and the Kuthalan Boarders, where they are rapidly expanding. The only thing currently holding them back is that the imperial fleet outnumbers them.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Thermo
Resist Cold: soak 10 damage from frost or ice based attacks. (Is that anything like the dumathoin's Resist 10 fire?)
Exoskeleton: Toughness of 1.
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
+1 Dexterity
+1 Body
+1 Perception
-2 Charisma
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +1 Stealth, +1 Concealment
Spirit: 9
Movement: 3
Race Type: Sectoid

Verdict: I get the feeling these guys are meant to be villains.

MHEN TEP (men-tep)

Pictured: a cat. Maybe.

Mhen tep are also known as catlings, which tells you all you need to know about...wait, these aren't catgirls? They're desert-dwelling, secretive felines who communicate via sign language. They're strong believers in destiny, and if you save one's life, they believe your destinies have become bound to each other and they will follow you until they can return the favor. "They believe the future has already happened, and the present is the past." Oh...kay...They also enjoy puzzles and philosophy.
These guys have one of the coolest backstories in the the game. Their world, Oonta, was home to an advanced technological and magic mhen tep civilization in the distant past, but a barrage of asteroids devastated them. Then, as they were recovering, an alien force arrived and erased their memories . Now, only the "Six Seers" retain the knowledge and memory of their world. They were forced into an alliance with the empire, because they were in no condition to resist, but they secretly hope to someday regain independence.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Low-Light
Great Leap: leap as far as max movement. (With no Dexterity check, making this strictly better than the similar izkritch ability.)
Retractable Claws: 2d6 dmg (That is insane and only the izkritch's sting is more deadly.)
Climbing Claws: +5 levels when climbing.
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
+1 Dexterity
+1 Perception
-2 Charisma
Roll d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +2 Stealth, +2 Concealment
Spirit: 10
Movement: 4
Race Type: Beastian

Verdict: Broken, but not as much as the izkritch, and pretty damn cool.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: A rare glimpse at one of Mr. T's surprising early roles! "The teeth of the mungreel are like daggers." Aaaaaand a race that appears lifted, conceptually at least, from Palladium's Heroes Unlimited.

Still continuing Chapter III: Races

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Hey, speaking of mutants...

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 10: Still continuing Chapter III: Races
Or, the best part of the book, Palladium edition

More races! This time we get a nice mix of boring, cool, and what the fuck broken and awful.

MONGRU (mon-groo)

It's a little known fact that Dorf was originally to be played by Mr. T.

They're dwarves. Their homeworld was rendered uninhabitable by org bioweapons, so most of them now hail from Mars. Other than that there's nothing interesting or unique about them.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Thermo
Stone Speak: they can communicate telepathically with spirits of stone by touching it for about 30 minutes and making a willpower check. They may use this to find hidden passageways, minerals, water, etc. (What's the difficulty on that check? What's the point of this ability in a sci-fi game?)
Hard Headed (+1 to Body Save rolls vs knock outs).
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
+2 Strength
-1 Dexterity
+1 Body
-1 Charisma
Roll a d8 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 10
Movement: 2
Race Type: Humanoid

Verdict: Boring and not very good.

MUNGREEL (mun-greel)

How do they kiss?

The mungreel are considered disgusting little monsters. They breed super-quickly, which they consider to be a pretty amazing accomplishment and everyone else considers too gross to think about. The orgs use them as spies and assassins, not because they're particularly good at those things, but because they're small and don't mind crawling through sewage. Oh also their faces are like wood chippers crossed with chainsaws.
Mungreel originated on a swampy world in org space, but they're common on all org worlds. They'll live absolutely anywhere and, as mentioned, they breed like rabbits. During the wars between the orgs and the empire, a handful of mungreel were "liberated" from org ships. Fast forward to the present, and...yeah, every world in the empire is infested with these guys. Way to go, humans.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Thermo
Bite: d12 dmg
Poison Resistance: they soak 10 poison damage and gain a +1 to Body Save rolls vs poisons or toxins.
Unarmed Combat damage (d4) (Or I can bite for 1D12, hmm, which should I do...)
[Attribute Modifications
-2 Strength
+1 Dexterity
+1 Perception
Roll a d4 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +1 Stealth, +2 Concealment
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Goblinoid

Verdict: Kinda cool!

MUTANT (myoo-tant)
No picture for these guys, sorry!

Mutants are humans who've been exposed to you know what we all know what mutants are. This race is horrendously broken . That is balanced by the fact that your powers are random, so you might suck! In an odd bit of inspiration from Palladium games, you have to roll for the source of your mutation - even though it makes no difference and is just for fluff - and then roll D% for your actual abilities. I'm not going to reproduce all of 'em since you can see for yourself by clicking the race name up there, but some choice results include:
Dicephalyn (sic): Two heads! Which means you can roll twice for any attempts at negotiation and for every perception, willpower, or charisma check! Also +4 to perception!
Teleporter: Teleport to any place you can see, with no chance of failure, as a single action! As often as you want! Note that a monk could teleport up to an enemy, punch 'em, and teleport to safety every round.
Tetrabrachian: Speaking of ways to abuse your actions, here, have 2 more!
Elemental and Psionic: Not only do you get special abilities, the GM has to give you new abilities every 4 levels! These are the clear winners, since they effectively give your character free spellcasting regardless of class.
Regen: Heal 2D6 HP per round! Note that a starting character probably has less than 20 HP, so this is basically "recover HP equal to your healing surge value every round."

Racial Abilities: specified by mutation.
Attribute Modifications: specified by mutation.
Skill Adjustments: as listed
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3, unless otherwise noted.
Race Type: Mutoid

Verdict: Absolutely insane and awful.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Orcs, undead cyborgs, and wild hair!


posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 11: Still continuing Chapter III: Races
Or, the best part of the book, undead cyborg edition

Today we finally see what the fuck is up with the orgs (hint: they're orcs), hit one of the most interesting races in the game, and take a look at a race whose defining characteristic is weird hair. Well, they can't all be gems.

ORG (ohrg)

Oh what a surprise the futuristic orcs are stereotypically "urban"

Like I said, they're orcs. Green skin, tusks, the works. They're sloppy and undisciplined, even in combat where they refuse to use formations or coordinate, so it's not too hard to see how they're losing to the empire despite having equal technology. Orgs were discovered by the skogs, whom we'll get to in a later post. At first the two played nice and went exploring the universe together, but that was just a ploy by the orgs until they could steal enough technology to kick the skogs to the curb.
The org homeworld is a polluted wasteland and stripped of all resources. Let's just say they aren't exactly feeling the green movement.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Thermo
Berserk: if hit in combat, a willpower check must be made to supress anger (target number = to dmg). If failed, the org gains +1 to hit with any unarmed or melee attack for d4 rounds. (So, an ability where you want to fail a check, that's good game design.)
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
+1 Strength
-1 Charisma
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Goblinoid

Verdict: Boring, like all the fantasy races.

REVENANT (rev-ah-nint)

That's not how you pronounce "revenant."

Revenants are a sapient race of cyborgs. By which I mean they're artificial intelligences housed within a partially organic body. Specifically a corpse. As a result, revenants can look like a cyborg version of any race, or just about any creature, really. They contain dim memories of their previous life, but it comes in random flashes that they have no control over. For the most part they're cold and calculating, but they're not emotionless like cyborgs apparently are.
No one knows where the revenants originate from, not even their own kind. It's rumored they were created by the luw kar, but no one knows for sure and no one knows why. They simply came online one day with the knowledge of how to create others of their race using cybernetics and, you know, corpses.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Sensors (not sneak attacked from melee range).
Electrical Vulnerability: x3 power dmg from electricity. (I assume that means they take triple damage, which seems pretty likely to kill 'em pretty quickly.)
No Pain: refer to pg. 80 for the mechanics of this ability. (This just means they don't have to make a body save vs trauma.)
Radiation Resistance: 1/2 dmg and +3 to Body Save rolls. (Uh...presumably those bonuses only apply to radiation, but RAW...)
Recharge: no sleep. 2 hours to recharge every 48 hours.
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
+2 Strength
+2 Body
+2 Perception
-3 Willpower
-3 Charisma
Roll a d10 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +2 First Aid
Spirit: 20
Movement: 3
Race Type: Mutoid

Verdict: Undead freakin' cyborgs rule, but their abilities kinda suck. Also note that they get no cyborg parts at all unless they buy 'em themselves or pick a class that starts with some, and that's lame.

I'm gonna have to go off on a small tangent now so you can understand just how awful this is. The only cybernetics I've seen granted by a class are basically just data ports and a computer in the head (which, by itself, does nothing). They're also crazy expensive, so good luck getting more than one or two with your starting cash.

Also, having cybernetic parts means you take x2 damage from electrical attacks (x3 if your Spirit is reduced to less than 4). Since, RAW, revenants don't have cybernetic parts, this would stack with their racial trait and they would take x6 damage as soon as they install their first part. (Damage multipliers get multiplied, not added, which is crazy .) Except there's a line in the cybernetics section which says "[a]ll creatures that possess any cyberware will take x2 power dmg from electrical attacks. Those with a spirit of 4 or lower will take x3 power dmg." Which, if read literally, means adding cyberware to a revenant makes them less vulnerable to electricity.

Oh, fun fact: if you installed every piece of cyberware in the game, you'd lose just 20.3 points of Spirit. Why revenants aren't just immune to Spirit drain is beyond me, because they will never run out in actual play.

(Also yes you'd loose 20.3 points, because Spirit drain is measured in tenths of a point. )

Okay, tangent over.

RO SEEDI (roh-see-dee)

Nice hair.

The ro seedi are traders, merchants, and diplomats who love wild hairstyles. They're not pacifists, but they prefer stealth and superior tactics to a straight-up brawl. Speaking of which, they're also really good martial artists so don't brawl with 'em either. They were discovered after an org attack on a human ship; the ro seedi rescued the survivors. They've since become the preferred diplomats and negotiators of the empire, provided it doesn't involve the kuthalans, with whom they're at war.
The ro seedi homeworld is voon kilella. It's not part of the empire, which probably explains why it's still a tropical paradise. A multicolored atmosphere and twin suns make it a popular tourist destination.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Normal
Mental Resistance: +1
Empathic: burn 1 cool point to add d6 to charisma before attempting checks or skills based off charisma. (This adds 0-4 levels to your Charisma skills depending on the starting score and roll, which probably isn't worth spending XP on. Can you do this more than once per check? If you can, it just becomes a question of how badly you want to succeed...)
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
-1 Strength
+1 Willpower
+1 Charisma
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +2 Negotiation
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Evoltion

Verdict: Still pretty neat!

Next time on Chaos 610 A.D.: We continue to plod through the races! Primitive dragon-men! The Skog! ROUSes!


posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 12: Still continuing Chapter III: Races
Or, the best part of the book, penultimate edition

We are almost done with this stuff, I promise! Just two more posts and we can move on to classes. Which will probably be a slog in and of itself because Brandon Williams "Rogue" does not know the meaning of "option paralysis."

Enjoy it while it lasts, folks.

Oh, also, a correction: last post I said that damage multipliers get multiplied. That is true, but multipliers of the same type get added instead. Since the revenant's electrical vulnerability and the vulnerability for having cyberware are both power damage bonuses, they would combine into x5 damage, not x6. Huge difference I know.

Now back to the usual BS.

SHARPHEEN (shar-feen)

I am a noble savage.

The sharpheen were a primitive tribal race when humanity found them and conquered the shit out of 'em . They're basically D&D lizard men, swamp dwellers who spend a good deal of their lives underwater. There's also a subrace called the mulpheen, which are desert-dwellers. They're described as more "aberrant" than the sharpheen, and that's the second time the book has used that word to mean "evil, but honorable." It's a Palladium thing, and also an idiot thing.
The sharpheen homeworld is a swampy moon which is basically swarming with super-predators. They test their warriors by sending them out into the wilderness and seeing if they come back. Why humanity felt the need to capture a mudhole filled with deadly monsters and absolutely no resources is anybody's guess.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Low-Light
Breathe Water: breathe under water (sharpheen only).
Burrow: under sand to sleep or ambush (mulpheen only).
Toughness: 1 (both sharpheen and mulpheen)
Forest Walk: +5 lvls Stealth & Concealment (woodland terrain)
Unarmed Combat damage (d8)
Attribute Modifications
+3 Strength
+1 Body
-1 Intelligence
-2 Charisma
Roll a d10 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +2 Swimming
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Reptilian

Verdict: Yawn.

SKOG (skog)

I'm too sexy for this game.

Skog are huge, bestial creatures who supposedly look a bit like dogs, but I'm not seeing it. They're Calvinists who place equal importance on knowledge and ass-kicking. So, uh, don't go shoving skog nerds into lockers, I guess? Their entire culture is based around war and basically they're klingons.
Humanity never conquered the skog. In fact, the skog tried to conquer them , and in this setting that takes balls. When the orgs turned on the skogs they allied with humanity to kick them orcs around the galaxy for a while. Their homeworld is tide locked to their sun, only Brandon Williams "Rogue" has never heard the term "tide locked" so he had to explain it in small words he understood.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Low-Light
Fearlessness: immune to fear or fear causing magic.
Howl: +1 to initiative for all allies when a skog howls. This can give a +3 max if 3 skogs howl.
Unarmed Combat damage (d8)
Attribute Modifications
+2 Strength
+1 Body
-2 Charisma
Roll a d8 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +2 to all Piloting skills
Spirit: 10
Movement: 3
Race Type: Beastian

Verdict: Kinda cool as far as klingon knock-offs go.

TARKANYS (tar-kan-is)

Master Splinter's back and this time it's personal.

They're rat men. "They are thought to be a race of thieves and spies. This is quite true due to the fact that it is in their nature, and they are very good at it." The tarkanys were once org slaves, but like the mungreel they were "liberated" and that's why the slums of earth are overrun with disgusting rat people. Thanks, Obama. < >
The tarkanys homeworld is a planet that is "half fireball and half jungle," so it's understandable that they want to live in our slums instead. They divide their time between fighting the shadulyn eldryyn and making alliances with them against the surface. Dicks.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Thermo
Carrier: they are immune to disease or plague, but they can carry the virus and spread it to other races. (What a useful and not dumb ability! )
Bite (d8 dmg)
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
-1 Strength
+2 Dexterity
+2 Perception
-2 Charisma
Roll a d6 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: +2 Stealth and Concealment
Spirit: 10
Movement: 4
Race Type: Beastian

Verdict: Kind of interesting, kind of redundant.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: The final three! Dragons! Parasites! Good guy bugs!

The last part of Chapter III: Races

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 13: The last part of Chapter III: Races
Or, finishing off the best part of the book

Last part for races, let's get these out of the way so I can go back to making fun of the game again.

THOKK (thawk)


The thokk are your standard dragon mans. They're really intelligent and passionate about learning, but also very stoic and distant. They don't hate any races but don't necessarily trust any, either. Their gestation period is a whopping 4 years, so sucks to be a lady dragon I guess.
People think the thokk may be descended from dragons. They lived side by side with 'em on their homeworld, which is a bizarre world of floating islands and a gaseous core. Like a few of the other races, their homeworld is outside the empire and they've never actually been annexed, but several have emigrated to the empire because they miss being oppressed by greedy overlords I guess.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Thermo
Scales: toughness of 3.
Fire Resistance: they soak 10 fire damage.
Wings: may fly x3 their normal movement (dex check). (Difficulty?)
Unarmed Combat damage (d10)
Attribute Modifications
+3 Strength
-2 Dexterity
+1 Body
Roll a d8 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 8
Movement: 3
Race Type: Reptilian

Verdict: Predictably overpowered, but not tremendously so.

VOG (vog)

Why hello, handsome.

That's not a vog. That's just the host. The vog is the parasitic worm inside it. See, the vogling burrows into the host through the stomach, attaches itself to the spine, and forces out the host's soul so it can take over. The host goes through some physical changes - you know, tendrils bursting through the skin, claws ripping through the digits, the usual - and becomes a fully functional member of the vog race. This takes about 20 minutes. An adult vog can vomit up a handful of voglings once every few days. For some reason they aren't well liked by other races, possibly because their spawn kill other sapients all the time . The vog give approximately zero shits about that. They're tolerated only because they're extremely intelligent and knowledgeable about genetics and biochemistry, but they aren't allowed to reproduce and it's treated as murder if they do. The vog, being vog, give no shits about that, either.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Low light
Claws: 2d8 dmg. (Apparently I lied when I said the mhen tep had the most powerful natural weapons after the izkritch.)
Smell Fear: the vog’s perception verse willpower. (I think that means versus Willpower, also maybe give us some guidelines as to how this ability could be used Mr. Game Designer?)
Spawn: 2 actions, create d4 voglings once per week. (Voglings have no stats whatsoever anywhere in the book, so this ability is pretty much useless.)
Unarmed Combat damage (d6)
Attribute Modifications
+1 Strength
+3 Body
-1 Perception
-3 Charisma
Roll a d8 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 9
Movement: 3
Race Type: Mutoid

Verdict: Awesome in concept, but the abilities suck and feel unfinished.

ZERABRED (zayr-a-bred) (How the hell do you pronounce "zayr?")

No, it's okay, just gimmie a hand up. I think my knee spikes are stuck in the floor.

This is actually three races in one, but only the zerabred are playable. The zeranites are servants to the hive and stand just three feet high or so; the nezeran are huge beasts that they use as guards. Both are only semi-intelligent. The zerabred are the fully sapient human-sized warriors. Their homeworld was destroyed when their star went supernova, and they were saved by...humans? That can't be right, it's decidedly non-dickish. Anyway, as a result, the zerabred actually like humanity, and get along pretty well with the squishier races. I'm sure we'll find a way to exploit that down the road.

Racial Abilities
Vision: Thermo
Exoskeleton: Toughness of 2.
Combat Skill: gain 1 specialization in a combat skill. (Does this mean you have to pick an additional specialization, or can you increase an existing one by +1?)
Unarmed Combat damage (d10)
Attribute Modifications
+1 Strength
+1 Dexterity
+1 Body
-1 Intelligence
-2 Willpower
Roll a d8 + Body for hit points.
Skill Adjustments: None
Spirit: 10
Movement: 4
Race Type: Sectoid

Verdict: The most boring of the bugs, but still pretty cool.

So that's all 21 races. Overall? I like a lot of them conceptually. Their abilities are really all over the place though, with some being extremely broken, others being extremely underpowered (hello dwarves), and some just being borderline unplayable due to the rules being incomplete. Character balance is pretty much completely fucked . And, of course, there's too damn many of these things. We could've stood to cut at least half of 'em.

Oddly, the races section suggests a completely different game. It almost seems like a Star Trek-eque universe of interstellar diplomacy and exploration on the final frontier, with multiple factions both good and bad - you've got the kuthalans plotting against the ro seedi, the orgs fighting the humans, the vog trying to trade their intelligence and technology against their murderous spawning...but none of that comes into play in the default setting of Haven. Which, by the way, means that a lot of these races, while cool, are totally fucking pointless because the things that make them cool don't come up in game .

Of course, if we kept only the races that actually matter, we'd have humans, eldryyn, and orgs, and those are all crazy dull.

Whatever. Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Classes! There's 20 of 'em!

The beginning of Chapter IV: Classes

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

You know what? How about instead of me overstating how broken these classes are, I just show you.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 14: The beginning of Chapter IV: Classes
Or, back to stupidity

Dave Whiting posted:

Mental effects have no spell on her.

I'm starting to think these chapter opening quotes were written by a Markov generator.

Classes! You pick a class at character creation and stick with it for your first 12 levels. It gives you your primary skills, which are the skills everyone gets, and your secondary skills, which are unique. It also gives you your starting equipment and any cyberware or magic if your class has 'em. Lastly, it gives you abilities from levels 2 through 12. After level 12, you can either choose to multiclass or you can just start picking abilities that you qualify for. Some abilities can only be gained after level 12. Also, you need to be of a certain level to get certain abilities, as shown on a big chart (that only applies to abilities you pick, mind, not to stuff you get from your class).

Multiclassing isn't covered for a bit, but I'm going to jump ahead and explain how it works. Basically, once you hit level 13, you have the option to multiclass. You don't have to right away, but after 30th level you're no longer allowed (for some reason). Once you're in you gain the abilities of the new class from level 2-12 and can't opt out. You must have certain skills to qualify for the class you're joining, which is listed on a big boring chart. In a few cases you actually gain new skills by multiclassing, usually when you join a class that has spellcasting.

So, why multiclass? Good question. It's a crap option. Your class generally gives you jack shit aside from abilities, and you can pick whichever ones you want after level 12 including the class abilities of other classes without multiclassing. If you pick your own, you can skip crap abilities or ones that don't fit your build. Oh, and here's a bit of genius game design: by opting to multiclass, your cool point (XP) rewards are reduced to the level of the new class . So, if you're a level 12 Assassin and a level 2 Thief? You earn CP like a level 2 character.

Cool points are used to buy things like Hit Points.

The only cases where it makes any sense whatsoever to multiclass are when the class gives you access to a new ability you didn't have and can't buy, like spellcasting. There are very few of these.

I'm not listing everything for every class, because it's a bunch of boring lists. I will list the abilities the class gets. Also, because I like you more than the game likes me, I will look up what the fuck these abilities DO and summarize it for you so you're not just staring at a list and guessing.

Each class gets a portrait and a quote. Enjoy, I guess?


Why hello, badly upsampled Boba Fett.

Assassin posted:

I have little time, let’s talk about the money.

2nd level: Blend - You can make a Concealment check opposed by an opponent's Perception attribute to become lost in a crowd. Seems like this should be part of the Concealment skill, really. It will fool Hunter's Senses though.
3rd level: Cat Fall - Make a Dexterity check to avoid taking damage from a fall. Target is 4 x the number of stories, up to 4 (target 16). Note that your chances of pulling off anything higher than 2 stories/20 feet is pretty slim.
4th level: Lock n Load - Burn 1 Frenzy once per fight to reduce the number of actions it takes to reload a specific weapon by 1. Since Frenzy is gone forever when you spend it and has to be bought back with cool points, that seems crazy expensive for such a minor effect. Especially since it seems to work only once and not for the entire fight. Also since reloading is 2 actions this just reduces it by half.
5th level: Hunter’s Senses - Once per day you can make a Perception check against a target of 6 (base) to get a general idea of where a target is. Farther the target is, the harder the check. No guidelines on that, of course. As I noted earlier, this allows you to bypass the normal concealment & stealth rules, provided you don't need pinpoint accuracy.
6th level: Whisper Walk - You can burn 1 Frenzy to add 1D6 to a Stealth check, even after it's been rolled.
7th level: Invisibility - +10 levels to concealment if you don't move.
8th level: Weapon Bond - You can apply your specialization and combat training bonuses with one weapon to a second weapon. Dull, and probably useless since you've spent 8 levels specializing in one weapon and aren't likely to trade up at this point.
9th level: Shadow Walk - You can step through shadows so long as it doesn't exceed your normal movement. While using this ability you get +10 to concealment and stealth. Seems like the power is instantaneous, though?
10th level: Sniper - If you're using a gun and land a surprise attack against an unaware "normal sized" enemy, that enemy has to make a Body Save or die. Even if they succeed the damage is tripled.
11th level: Quick Dodge - Burn 1 cool point to reroll your defense once per fight.
12th level: Cutthroat - Exactly like Sniper, but applies to blades.

Verdict: All your abilities for actually killing people are severely back-loaded, so you might as well just be a different class and grab Sniper at 15th (that's the earliest a non-assassin can get it). The other abilities are crap and most of 'em can be earned through other classes anyway. Pass.


Check out the tiny head in the lower right.

Bounty Hunter posted:

Dead or alive?

Bounty hunters can apparently get weapon and energy weapon permits. "Those are not so easy to come by either." No, those have not been mentioned before.

2nd level: Hunter’s Senses
3rd level: Lock n Load
4th level: Whisper Walk
5th level: Hawk’s Eye - Burn 1 Frenzy to add 1D6 to any Perception check, even after it's rolled. Feeds Hunter's Senses nicely.
6th level: Repute - Burn 1 Frenzy to add 1D6 to any Negotiation check, even after it's rolled.
7th level: Weapon Bond
8th level: Improve Weapon - +1D6 damage with any weapon you use.
9th level: Capture - For 4 actions (you may need to spend Frenzy for that, 1 per extra action you need to take) you can attempt to capture an opponent with an unarmed attack. They can't resist unless they're much bigger than you are. Save or lose, without the save! Note that some mutants can pull this off without Frenzy, meaning they can do it every round .
10th level: Melee Master - Once per fight, spend 1 Frenzy to reroll a failed melee or unarmed attack roll, even after it's rolled.
11th level: Weapon Master - Like Melee Master, but for armed combat.
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: Makes a better assassin than the assassin does. If you're a mutant and you roll the Tetrabrachian (4 arm) power, this class becomes incredibly broken at 9th level. The capstone abilities kind of suck until you realize that Melee Master can apply to Capture attempts.


You've got to be shitting me.

Clansman posted:

The sky is red, and the wind says there will be war.

I swear I did not make any of this up. Seriously .

2nd level: Bio Resistance - Half damage from weather and +2 to Body Saves against radiation, mutation, or "disfiguring toxins." Whatever those are.
3rd level: Endure - Burn 1 cool point to add +1D6 to any Body check, even after it's rolled. Yes, cool point, not Frenzy.
4th level: Wilderness Walk - +10 levels to concealment and stealth in the wilderness.
5th level: Hawk’s Eye
6th level: Blood Rage - Spend 2 Frenzy to rage for the encounter. +3 to hit and damage in melee or unarmed combat, +20 HP (but the extra HP are lost at the end of the fight).
7th level: Scalps - If you kill an equal or higher level opponent in melee or unarmed combat, take a scalp! Scalps give you 1 extra cool point at the end of the encounter. Each. Why, that's charmingly racist!
8th level: Improve Weapon
9th level: Destruction - Burn 1 cool point to deal x2 damage after you roll your melee or unarmed attack.
10th level: Melee Master
11th level: Weapon Master
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: Another class that does the assassin thing better. Again the capstone abilities seem a bit lame until you realize that Melee Master and Destruction can feed each other.


Demon hunters apparently listen to The Cure a lot.

Demon Hunter posted:

Burn the bodies of the fallen, so they do not rise again.

2nd level: Unnatural Senses - You can sense demons, undead, or spirits to a range equal to your Perception score in inches (that's tabletop inches, or 5x that amount in in-game feet). Always on, no check.
3rd level: Lock n Load
4th level: Hunter’s Senses
5th level: Demon Hate - +2 to hit demons and undead.
6th level: Destroy Undead - Make a Willpower check to destroy undead, the target is listed in the monster's description. For skeletons and junk, your Willpower attribute is the number you can destroy at once; stronger undead it's just one at a time. You only get one chance per individual/group and it takes 2 actions. Congratulations, the GM can now never use undead as enemies for the rest of the campaign .
7th level: Improve Weapon
8th level: Weapon Bond
9th level: Melee Master
10th level: Weapon Master
11th level: Spirit Shield - Burn a point of Spiritual Influence (you know, that stuff that's extremely hard to get and entirely up to the GM's whim) to gain plus fucking one to resist demonic possession, but only after you rolled and failed by exactly one point . Well that ability is sure to come in handy all the time yessir.
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: Melee Master and Weapon Master don't work on Destroy Undead, most of your other abilities suck, and your capstone abilities are lame. Be a bounty hunter instead, capture demons and execute 'em, never look back at this shameful pile of crap.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Mage! Mech Runner! Merc! Monk!

Continuing Chapter IV: Classes

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Sorry about the delay, these take longer to write up because I have to go hunt down the abilities and see what they do.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 15: Continuing Chapter IV: Classes
Or, caster supremacy

More classes! Are they any good? Who knows! But we've got a caster and the monk, so I'm gonna predict that yes, they are really good.


It's okay, pudgy Egyptian dude, you'll show those jocks next time.

Mage posted:

Now you will witness my power.

Just wanna point out that the quote for the mage is almost word for word what the magician Sander says in the MST3K movie Cave Dwellers . You know, in case you weren't already laughing at that picture.

2nd level: Astral Perception - You can see into the astral realm and see magic up to your Willpower in inches (table inches, x5 feet in game). You can also be seen by things in the astral realm while doing so, and your eyes glow while it's active.
3rd level: Alchemist Stone - You can burn a cool point to reroll an Alchemy skill check once per day.
4th level: Mana Burn - Once per day you can halve the drain of a spell chosen by you. Does that mean you pick the spell when you get the ability, or every time you use it? Sorcery only, whatever that means.
5th level: Wards - You can enchant objects with magical rune traps that will trigger a spell (cast on the ward when you create it) that affects anyone passing by who doesn't speak a password chosen by you.
6th level: Logic - Once per hour you can burn a cool point to add 1D6 to an Intelligence check. Oddly, this one doesn't specify that you can do so after the check is made, so maybe you can't?
7th level: Absorb - When rolling for magical defense, on a natural 20, you can burn 1 cool point to convert all the damage you would have taken into mana for yourself.
8th level: Familiar - You get a familiar! Both it and you gain Toughness 1 for some reason, and you can see anything it can see.
9th level: Astral Armor - As an action you can gain 10 points of armor (i.e. damage reduction) against magical attacks for up to 8 rounds. Costs nothing. I feel I should point out that some abilities, including this one, can be upgraded after the fact by picking the same power again once you're able to pick abilities (level 13 or higher). This one can be taken up to 10 times, giving you 100 points of fucking magical resistance for 8 rounds as a single action.
10th level: Spell Blast - Burn a cool point to multiply a spell's damage by 2. "Basically, you are adding 2 to the level of the spell caster." Holy fuck spellcasters sound broken if their damage doubles every 2 levels.
11th level: Enchantment - You can make enchanted items. The rules for this are buried in a later section so for now I'll just assume it's broken as fuck.
12th level: Quick Cast - You gain 1 additional magic action. "This ability cannot be countered."

Also mages get the Sorcery skill. You can't buy it, you can only get it by having a class that gives it to you. Also they get spells.

Verdict: Somehow even more broken than in 3.X D&D.


Disco Mech Runner Boots: Run Mechs in Style.

Mech Runner posted:

Need a ride?

Warning: This class contains roughly 0 mechs.

2nd level: Quick Fix - You can make basic repairs by spending 4 actions and making a Dexterity check against a target assigned by the GM. You can also reduce the time needed to make major repairs by your Dexterity check in days.
3rd level: Repair - Burn 1 Frenzy to add 1D6 to any check made to repair something.
4th level: Pilot Ace - Burn 1 Frenzy to add 1D6 to your piloting check, even after it's been rolled.
5th level: Stunt Ride - For 2 actions, make a resisted Piloting check. If you win, your opponent gets a -2 to hit you for 1 round.
6th level: Lose Tail - You can make a Piloting and Concealment check (2 actions) to force someone following you to make opposed Piloting and Perception checks. Win both and they can't follow you, even with Hunter's Senses. Lame, and since you have to win both checks, it's actually kind of hard to pull off.
7th level: Tech Redemption - Burn 1 cool point once per scenario (adventure?) to reroll a technical skill. (I think they mean once per scene, but earlier we were told a scenario is an adventure, so...)
8th level: Mek Warrior - Burn a cool point to add +1 to hit with vehicle artillery, mounted weapons, or ramming, or to add +1 to your defense during vehicle combat. You can spend up to 4 at a time. Note that this is strictly better than Quick Dodge, the capstone ability for tons of classes, because it can be used as often as you have points to spend and you can spend more than 1. Too bad it's limited to vehicle combat.
9th level: Weapon Bond
10th level: Weapon Master
11th level: Backup Power - When you fall to 0 HP or less, make a Cybertech or Intelligence check. The result is the number of HP you regain. Hilariously, it doesn't put a limit on how often this can trigger, so you basically can't die unless you take massive damage in a single hit.
12th level: Gadgetology - You're MacGuyver. Make an Intelligence check at a target of 6 (base, although it doesn't say when or how this base is adjusted) to build something out of random crap, within reason.

Verdict: Lame as hell. Some of the individual powers are nice (Gadgetology is great!) but the overall package makes you a guy who's good with vehicles and nothing else . Needs more ways to apply those tech skills in combat!


He looks just as confused as we are.

Merc posted:

Eat this motherf!@#$ers!!!.

2nd level: War Cry - Once per fight you can give a war cry that gives you +1 to hit in melee or unarmed combat for up to 4 rounds. Too bad this class uses guns!
3rd level: Lock n Load
4th level: Harden - For 1 action once per day you gain 10 points of Toughness. Lasts for 30 minutes.
5th level: Struggle - Burn 1 cool point to add 1D6 to a Strength check, even after it's rolled.
6th level: Damager - Burn 1 cool point to reroll damage once per turn.
7th level: Improve Weapon
8th level: Weapon Bond
9th level: True Aim - Critical hit with armed attacks on an 18+.
10th level: Tactics - You can spend up to 2 actions giving orders to your team, giving everyone else +1 to attack and defense for each action spent. The group can't get more than +2 out of this no matter how many people have this ability.
11th level: Weapon Master
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: A great class for killing things! Damager + Improve Weapon + True Aim + Weapon Master means things will be hurting. So far, this is the class to be if you like guns.


Didn't Indiana Jones just shoot this guy?

Monk posted:

Be fast like wind, strike like steel, move like water, and make your wrath burn as flame.

Oddly, these are monks in the sense of being Shaolin martial artists and monks in the sense of being cloistered priests. Unlike the other classes so far, monks are restricted to spiritual paths of Light and Darkness. They start with a Spiritual Influence of 10%, not 2% like most folks. Oh, and they get Chi abilities every other level, but I'll cover those later.

2nd level: Blood Rite - You pick an ally. You both get +1 Toughness. For life . Can only have one active at a time.
3rd level: Cat Fall
4th level: Endure
5th level: Bless / Curse - Once per fight you can spend 2 actions to either give a friendly target +3 to hit or give an enemy -3 to defense for the rest of the encounter. Bless cancels Curse and vice versa.
6th level: Blood Rage
7th level: Parry - Once per fight, burn a cool point to force an opponent to reroll a melee or unarmed attack.
8th level: Melee Master
9th level: Mighty Blow - Critical hit with an unarmed or melee attack on an 18+.
10th level: Destruction
11th level: Quick Dodge
12th level: Death Blow - On an unarmed or melee attack roll of a natural 20 your target must make a Body Save or die. Succeed and they take x3 damage. It only works on normal-sized enemies and, in case you didn't notice, is strictly better than the assassin's Cutthroat ability (less reliable, but can be used whenever you crit with any melee weapon even if the target is aware of you, so you'll get it more often).

Verdict: The abilities alone make this class worth it, to say nothing of the chi powers every 2 levels and the unadvertised-but-totally-present bonus abilities (monks get an extra unarmed attack, increase their unarmed damage by 1 die type, and can spend 1D6 Chi for +1D6 damage up to three times per unarmed or melee attack).

I'll cover the actual chi abilities after I finish the rest of these classes. I wouldn't want to be making any more sense than the book is!

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: We figure out what the hell a Mu Dai is! Also, the Outlander, Priest, and Ronin!

Still continuing Chapter IV: Classes

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 16: Still continuing Chapter IV: Classes
Or, more of this crap

More classes! We're halfway done!


What the hell is wrong with your feet?

Mu Dai posted:

Concentrate on the task, there is your enemy, destroy him.

The big reveal! Mu Dai are...a combination of monk and mage, but worse than either at their specialty. They get less magic to start with and they earn chi abilities slower (every 4 levels instead of every 2). The description says they must choose a melee weapon to specialize in, but their skills list just gives 'em Armed Combat: Sword +1. So, uh, I hope you like swords.

2nd level: Astral Perception
3rd level: Rune Slot Maker - You can add rune slots to equipment. We have no idea what that means! Thanks, game!
4th level: Mana Burn
5th level: Blood Rage
6th level: Weapon Bond
7th level: Melee Master
8th level: Parry
9th level: Riposte - If your unmodified defense roll beats your opponent's modified attack roll by 10 or more, you can make a free attack against them. Bear in mind that attack roll modifiers are kinda low in this game so it's possible to pull this off but really, really unlikely.
10th level: Destruction
11th level: Enchantment
12th level: Quick Cast

Verdict: Yawn. Turns out the class is pretty boring. The only abilities they get that we haven't seen before are Rune Slot Maker and Riposte, and while both are kinda neat, the rest of their abilities are bland. Of course, we haven't seen Chi or magic yet so they might still be pretty good.


Same question as before, actually.

Outlander posted:

You won’t need that anymore.

Don't get excited, "Outlander" is a generic term for a rough frontier sort of person. If this game had an "adventurer" class, this would be it.

2nd level: Blend
3rd level: Repair
4th level: Lock n Load
5th level: Repute
6th level: Pilot Ace
7th level: Improve Weapon
8th level: Parry
9th level: Weapon Bond
10th level: Weapon Master
11th level: Escape Artist - You can attempt a Dexterity check against a target of 15 (good luck, you need a Dexterity of about 28 to have a decent shot at that). It takes 2 actions. Since they left out the part saying what the check is for, we can only assume it's for escaping from bonds. Or maybe it's for escaping from cells? Both? Neither?
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: Abilities are all over the place. This class has no focus or definition, it's just a grab-bag of powers and most of them are lame. Jack-of-all-trades but bad at all of 'em. You're better off picking a class with some focus and building on it.


Isn't that the Necromancer from Diablo II?

Priest posted:

Purify the infidels.

Another spiritual class, you have to pick either the Path of Light or the Path of Darkness, but you start with 10% Spiritual Influence. Your magic is more focused than the mage's. I betcha can't guess what the focus is. It's healing. Duh.

2nd level: Astral Perception
3rd level: Arcane Tongue - Concentrate for 5 minutes and make a Willpower check against a target set by the GM. If successful, you can speak to the spirits of the dead/nature.
4th level: Bless / Curse
5th level: Mana Burn
6th level: Destroy Undead (Light only)
6th level: Death Lord (Darkness only) - Exactly like Destroy Undead, but you can control the undead instead of killing them. So, uh, much better than Destroy Undead, actually.
7th level: Spirit Bond - When you encounter a summoned spirit, make a resisted Willpower check. Succeed and you learn the spirit's name, allowing you to summon it at a later time. This seems of limited usefulness to me since summoned spirits will either be A) summoned by the PC, thus making the ability pointless, or B) summoned by hostile opponents, thus likely to be killed/destroyed. The actual summoning mechanics are, of course, not listed here.
8th level: Spirit Call (Light only) - Once per night while meditating/dreaming you can have a telepathic conversation with a spirit that you've already Spirit Bonded. Or, if you're evil, you can...
8th level: Raise Dead (Darkness only) - Spend 2 actions and make a Necromancy check. You can raise up to that number of skeletons or zombies, limited by how many bodies you have to work with. This ability has no time limit or maximum number you can raise. Yes, of course you have absolute control over them.
9th level: Convert - Make a Charisma check resisted by the target's Willpower. If you succeed and they're lower level than you, congratulations! You just gained a permanent follower. They will leave if you mistreat them, though.
10th level: Enchantment
11th level: Quick Cast
12th level: Astral Gate - For 2 actions and 2D20x2 drain, open a gate to the astral realm. It allows two-way travel. There's a 10% chance there are spirits or demons on the other side. You can close it with 1 action or it will close on its own in 4 rounds. Demon summoning, that seems pretty priestly I guess.

Verdict: Dark priests are insanely broken once they can summon zombies. Light priests? Not so much, although Convert is pretty crazy-go-nuts (of course, the bad guys get that, too). Without knowing how the magic system works it's hard to say much else.


Proxima Centauri represent.

Ronin posted:

Transfer the money to my usual account.

Ronin are freelance corporate agents who specialize in sabotage and espionage. Pretty much Shadowrun PCs.

2nd level: Blend
3rd level: Whisper Walk
4th level: Lock n Load
5th level: Trap Finder - You can burn a point of Frenzy to get a +1D6 bonus to Perception checks to find secret doors or traps, because that is A Thing that exists in this ultra-futuristic not-at-all-D&D game. As usual, you can spend the point even after it's rolled.
6th level: Invisibility
7th level: Hack - In cyberspace you can burn a point of Frenzy for +1D8 to any attempts to break a code. You can spend it even after you've rolled but only once per wall.
8th level: Weapon Bond
9th level: Improve Weapon
10th level: True Aim
11th level: Weapon Master
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: Not bad for what it is, but what it is is very limited. This class is pretty much a Tekker crossed with a Thief, but we haven't seen those classes yet so forget I said anything!

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: 2D20 x your character's level in damage seems...excessive.


posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 17: Still continuing Chapter IV: Classes
Or, friendship is magic, also so is technology

More classes! Today we hit on a few of the more tech-savvy types, also a few of the magic types, and maybe there's a bit of crossover there because why not.


Previously on Avatar: The Last Airbender...

Shaman posted:

We all have a spirit animal that watches over us from the sixth dimension.

Of course we do. Shamans are, predictably, druid proxies who specialize in elemental and nature magic. They can choose any spiritual path but start with 10% Spiritual Influence.

2nd level: Astral Perception
3rd level: Arcane Tongue
4th level: Animal Speak - You can speak to animals, including alien animals.
5th level: Spirit Guide - Literally the same as the Familiar ability, but listed again for some reason.
6th level: Shape Shift - For 2 actions, shapeshift into the form of your spirit animal for up to your Willpower in hours. "You cannot cast spells or use a gun in the form of a crow." Uh...that's...oddly specific. Or is that meant to mean that you can't cast spells or use tools in any animal form that doesn't have hands?
7th level: Creature Command - For 2 actions, make a resisted Willpower check against a creature of low intelligence. Succeed and it becomes your personal servant/pet! This is basically Convert for animals.
8th level: Summon Creatures - Once every 3 days you can make a Conjuring skill check vs a target of 6. Succeed and you take 3D12 mana drain. You then summon random monsters under your control for up to 30 minutes. There's a chart, naturally.
9th level: Enchantment
10th level: Quick Cast
11th level: Astral Gate
12th level: Storm Bringer - For 4 actions (may need to spend Frenzy there!) you can summon a storm. If there's already a storm in the area, don't bother! Once you've got your storm, you can spend 3 actions to call down a lightning bolt. It costs 20 mana and strikes in a 1.5 inch (15 foot) radius, dealing 2D20 x your level in electrical damage. Holy hell. Activating this ability drains 2D4x10 mana and it lasts for up to 30 minutes, can only be used outside. Average of over 250 damage when you get this power. In a radius.

Verdict: 2D20 x your level in holy fuck what were they thinking.


It's okay, man nips are considered SFW. Dunno about the skirt though.

Technomancer posted:

War is inspiration.

The technomancer combines magic with cyberware. This is incredibly dumb because cyberware lowers your Spirit, and if your Spirit falls below 7 (8 for anybody else), you can't do magic. You take a huge hit to your mana for having a Spirit below 10. Also cyberware really isn't worth having alongside magic because it's not that great from what I've seen. But anyway!

2nd level: Astral Perception
3rd level: Lock n Load
4th level: Alchemist Stone
5th level: Bio Resistance
6th level: Mana Burn
7th level: Improve Weapon
8th level: Weapon Bond
9th level: Weapon Master
10th level: Spell Blast
11th level: Backup Power
12th level: Quick Cast

No unique abilities at all!

Verdict: Cyberware does absolutely nothing for this class, their weapon skills aren't good enough to make them good at fighting with guns, and their magic skills aren't as good as a pure spellcaster. Basically the worst of three worlds.


In this rare issue of Detective Comics, Calender Man checks his email.

Basically a hacker/engineer.

2nd level: Quick Fix
3rd level: Repair
4th level: Net Crawler - When you jack in to cyberspace, you can burn 1 cool point to increase all your skills by 1 level until you log out.
5th level: Cyber Warrior - Spend 1 cool point to add +1 to hit with a cybernetic attack, whatever that is, or +1 to defense. I think this only applies to virtual combat in cyberspace, but the wording is vague as hell.
6th level: Hack
7th level: Tech Redemption
8th level: Weapon Bond
9th level: Improve Weapon
10th level: Tactics
11th level: Gadgetology
12th level: Backup Power

Verdict: Not only does this class have all of the same problems as the Mech Runner, but it makes a better hacker/computer intelligence agent than the Ronin, lacking only the stealth abilities (which both the Assassin and Thief do better). So it's a lame class that renders another class redundant.


I just want to cut that one braid right off.

Thief posted:

F!@# off.

2nd level: Blend
3rd level: Whisper Walk
4th level: Cat Fall
5th level: Leap - Burn 1 Frenzy before you jump to add 2 levels to your Dexterity attribute for the purposes of that check only. Wow, I phrased that way more concisely than the game did.
6th level: Quick Hand - Burn 1 Frenzy to add 1D6 to Thievery blah blah you know the drill.
7th level: Trap Finder
8th level: Spider Climb - When climbing, burn 1 Frenzy to add +10 levels to your Climbing skill or Dexterity check.
9th level: Invisibility
10th level: Escape Artist
11th level: Shadow Walk
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: If all you want is stealth, this is your go-to class. But the Assassin gets most of the same abilities plus murder, and for most players that's actually a better choice.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: The final four! Racism! The predator as a private dick! Midget crime fighters! Boba Fett, again!

Not actually done yet with Chapter IV: Classes

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Yawgmoth posted:

I tend to think "looks like someone's from the upper peninsula" because I would see girls in tank tops and short shorts in 10F weather.

That particular brand of insanity is not limited to the UP.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 18: Not actually done yet with Chapter IV: Classes
Or, the last few dregs

The last four classes! They all suck. Let's get 'em over with.



Thug posted:

Yo you said sixty thousand. What the f!@#?.

I would like to point out that this is the first non-white human we've seen in any of the game's art, unless you count the clansman, which you should because that one is just as bad.

2nd level: Beckon Foe - Make a Charisma check resisted by the target's Willpower. If you win, the target must attack you for the rest of the round. It's not clear if this means that the enemy must spend all its actions on attacks, or if it just means it can't make attacks against anyone else but can take non-attack actions freely. Doesn't count as an action and can be used on another character's turn, but only once per round. So, essentially a 4e mark as understood by people who do not play 4e. Hope you have good armor because this class has no defensive abilities to back this up other than Blood Rite!
3rd level: Blood Rite
4th level: War Cry
5th level: Lock n Load
6th level: Repute
7th level: Mad Connects - Hey. Brandon Williams "Rogue." I've been meaning to say this for a while now. Connections . Connections, you oaf! Not connects! They are not the same thing! Whatever. You've got a 30% chance of being able to pay 500 credits for information once per scenario.
8th level: Homies - Dear lord. You can spend 2 actions twice a week to call in 2D6 homies, which are of course Thugs of lower level than yourself. You must have "connects" in the area and a means of communication. They arrive in 1D6 rounds. I can't decide if this is insanely awesome or insanely racist.
9th level: Weapon Bond
10th level: Weapon Master
11th level: Melee Master
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: Absolutely awful. A combat-heavy class that isn't good at combat. A defender who's also squishy. Racist overtones. It's worse than the Outlander.


You don't see many predators in trenchcoats these days.

Tracer posted:

I’ll find him.

Basically a private dick. It's a lot like the Bounty Hunter, but with more focus on stealth.

2nd level: Blend
3rd level: Whisper Walk
4th level: Hunter’s Senses
5th level: Hawk’s Eye
6th level: Trap Finder
7th level: Detect Lies - You can make a Perception check resisted by the target's Charisma attribute or Acting or Fast Talk skills. You better hope it's Charisma because otherwise it's attribute vs skill and you're likely to fail. The effect of the check is unlisted but I think we can figure it out.
8th level: Invisibility
9th level: Capture
10th level: Visions - Pick up psychic impressions off an object by making a Willpower check.
11th level: Shadow Walk
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: Redundant. Assassin, Ronin, and Thief all do the stealth-heavy character archetype better, with overall more useful abilities. The only abilities Tracers bring to the table are Detect Lies (slim chance of success, though Hawk's Eye helps that) and Visions (useful, but obtained very late and keys off an attribute you otherwise don't need). Pass.


Space helmet? Check. Egyptian ceremonial Bowie knife? Check. Yeah, he's ready to fight crime.

Vigilante posted:

They will suffer as I have suffered.

Vigilantes must take the Dark Past or Lost Love flaws, but you might as well take both anyway so that's no real drawback.

2nd level: Blend
3rd level: Endure
4th level: Leap
5th level: Costume - Pick an armor that you like. You can add 5/5 (impact/ballistic damage soak) to the armor's AR because it's custom made for you and your crime fighting identity.
6th level: Blood Rage
7th level: Repute
8th level: Weapon Bond
9th level: Improve Weapon
10th level: No Pain - You don't have to make a Body Save to resist Trauma. Revenants already get this for free. (If you are a revenant and you get this power again, you can pick something else for this level.)
11th level: Second Chance - Burn a point of Spiritual Influence to reroll a Body Save.
12th level: Escape Artist

Verdict: Seems to have a lot of abilities that add to its endurance, but not a lot that improve its ability to kill things, and only one that actually makes them harder to kill in combat. Merc fills this role better both offensively and defensively. Pass.


Boba Fett enjoys firearm deer season as much as the next guy.

Zone Rat posted:

Just pay me... and I’ll be on my way.

Zone Rats are rangers; they travel the wasteland looking for treasure and adventure while living off the land. Kinda neat, but what about their abilities?

2nd level: Bio Resistance
3rd level: Wilderness Walk
4th level: Endure
5th level: Leap
6th level: Hawk’s Eye
7th level: Trap Finder
8th level: Spider Climb
9th level: Weapon Bond
10th level: Improve Weapon
11th level: Weapon Master
12th level: Quick Dodge

Verdict: Clansmen are better at doing this exact same thing. There's nothing interesting to see here, and aside from better equipment, the class has nothing to offer.

So, that's classes. My overall impression is that this list is bloated as fuck . Do we really need Ronin, Tekker, and Thief to be separate classes? Bounty Hunter and Tracer? Merc, Thug, and Vigilante? At the same time, classes are so narrowly defined that you're almost certain to get at least one ability you'll never use. Do Assassins really need both Sniper and Cutthroat? Why do Mercs get War Cry when they're focused so heavily on guns? We need fewer classes and more options when leveling.

Since we've covered all 20 classes, this chapter is done...except for abilities ! There are a shitton of 'em and we've only scratched the surface!

The list is here. I'm planning on tackling them by power level, but I'm open to suggestions because that list is pretty damn huge. Sadly, with this game's tendency to use words in odd ways, there's little to no way to tell what a power does until we actually read it! I guess we're in for a few surprises!

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: It begins!

Yet another installment of Chapter IV: Classes

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 19: Yet another installment of Chapter IV: Classes
Or, why did there have to be so many abilities?

I apologize for the next few updates being really freakin' dull.

Abilities! Your access to them is limited by their Power. There is - say it with me - a chart.

I don't know about you but I'm getting tired of these things.

Note that this doesn't apply to class abilities, only free picks. Pretty much every class includes powers that are granted at a lower level than they are otherwise available at. I think you can get free ability picks as you level in addition to the ones your class gives you, but with this game, who the hell knows? The rules are scattered all over the place and the book assumes you're already familiar with all of 'em.

Whatever. I'm doing these by power level, to make them somewhat organized. I won't repeat the descriptions on ones we've seen before because seriously, come on. By the way, abilities with an asterisk require some kind of spellcasting, and two asterisks means you need to have a religious type class (Monk, Priest, or Shaman, presumably).

Power 1

Alchemist Stone
Arcane Tongue*
Astral Perception*
Blood Rite
- For 2 actions you can make a Charisma check against a target determined by the GM to calm a creature. This does include dispelling magical fear.
Cat Fall
- You aren't affected by fear.
Hunter’s Senses
Know Strength
- You can ask the GM for stats on any creature at any time. Seriously.
Lock n Load
Quick Fix
Tall Tales
- Once per day you can make a Charisma check against a target of 6 to tell stories. If successful, your party gains 5 points of reputation. Wait, did they just lift the Tale Tellin' mechanic out of Deadlands?
Unnatural Senses
War Cry
Whisper Walk
Wilderness Walk

Most of those we've seen before, all are boring.

Power 2

Animal Speak
Anticipate Attack
- Burn up to 2 cool points for up to +2 to defense. Wait, this is a power 2 ability, but quick dodge is a power 5?
Beckon Foe
Bless / Curse**
Blood Rage
- Cancels a class or chi ability used by an opponent. Costs 1 cool point and can only be used once per fight. That sounds incredibly useful, so it's no wonder none of the classes get it!
Counter Spell* - Exactly the same as Counter, but for spells.
Cyber Warrior
- You can make a defense roll for an attack aimed at someone else, but you need to be close enough to the enemy and burn 1 cool point. Once per battle only.
Demon Hate
- This is exactly the same as Anticipate Attack, only worse because you have to use it before rolling and can only spend 1 point. There is no point to having both of these abilities.
Hawk’s Eye
Mana Burn*
Net Crawler
Pilot Ace
Quick Hand
Rune Slot Maker
Spirit Guide

You may notice at this point that the actual power level of abilities in the same tier still varies wildly!

Enjoy this random art.

Power 3

Bleed Poison
- If you've been poisoned, you can cut yourself as an action and spend a cool point to roll your Body Save again. When you inevitably fail it because the Body Save targets are too high, you slow the poison for your Body score in rounds, hours, or days (depending on the poison).
Death Lord*
Death Sense
- You're immune to stealth instakills like Sniper and Cutthroat.
Destroy Undead
- Burn 1 Frenzy to add +1D6 to a Charisma check when talking to an NPC. Once per meeting, can be used after you roll, etc.
Improve Weapon
Lose Tail
Mad Connects
Mighty Blow
Spider Climb
Spirit Bond*
Stunt Ride
Tech Redemption
Trap Finder
True Aim
Weapon Bond

Again, wild variance in power level. These tiers are pretty useless really.

Power 4

Creature Command*
Crowd Speak
- Make a Charisma check when you make a speech; the result is the number of people who stop and listen. By itself, useless. Used in conjunction with Tall Tales or Legendary Tales (or a similar ability) it grants you a bonus to the reputation points you earn equal to the check result.
Detect Lies
Mek Warrior
Melee Master
No Pain
Raise Dead* (only with necromancy skill)
- Oh this is good. When you take this ability you can reroll any number of Talents (what's a Talent? No idea!). The new results are permanent and you don't get the ability slot back. You know how retraining in 4e D&D is free? Imagine if it cost a feat or a power slot.
- Once per week when you murder something you can make a Spiritual Influence check to steal the goddamn soul of your opponent , permanently increasing your Spiritual Influence by 3. The victim is allowed an SI roll of their own to avoid having their soul stolen, but they still die. An ally is allowed an SI roll to save the victim's life. Kind of cool, but not real useful since SI rolls are pretty hard to pull off.
Second Chance
Spell Blast*
Spell Master*
- Exactly like Melee/Weapon Master, but for spells.
Weapon Master

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Oh dear lord why won't it stop?

We are still spinning our wheels with Chapter IV: Classes

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 20: We are still spinning our wheels with Chapter IV: Classes
Or, boring lists of abilities continue, feel free to scroll by

The slow slog of abilities continues. This time we get to some power tiers that are actually new!

Power 5

Alchemy Craft
- You can use the Alchemy skill to make potions and stuff. You have to wait until 20th level to get this ability.
Astral Armor*
Astral Gate*
Backup Power
Death Blow
Escape Artist
- If an ally fails a Spiritual Influence check by 3 or less, you can give them up to 3 points of SI so that they succeed. The transfer is permanent.
Improve Magic* - Increases your magical damage or healing by 1D6.
Legendary Tales - If you have a crowd of at least 8 people, make a Charisma check against a target of 10 (good luck). Succeed and you can tell a tale of your adventures that gives everyone involved +10 Reputation and gives everyone actually present 2 cool points.
Quick Cast*
Quick Dodge
Shadow Walk
Shape Shift*
Spirit Call*
Spirit Shield
Storm Bringer*
Summon Creatures*

What I find most notable is how ridiculously high level you need to be before you start getting cool or useful abilities. Many of these are similar to abilities D&D characters can have at level 1 .

Meanwhile, in the Fire Nation...

Power 6

From here on out, all the abilities are new. I think.

Backup Power II - Backup Power restores twice as many HP. You need the lower level version to take this. Backup Power, lest we forget, makes you virtually indestructible .
Blast - Spend 1 cool point to multiply armed damage x2.
Blood Rite II - You can form a second Blood Rite, granting +2 Toughness to both allies. The wording implies that you gain no additional benefit yourself, possibly in a rare nod towards balance. This potential goodwill is immediately squandered by the fact that you can take this without taking Blood Rite.
Bombard - Spend up to 10 cool points for up to a +10 bonus to the base damage of artillery or explosives. No mention of duration - is this supposed to be permanent?
Cataclysm* - I have been dreading this one. Okay, deep breath: spend 4 actions and 2D4x10 mana to summon a random cataclysm in an open area. It lasts for 2D6 rounds normally, 10% chance that it lasts until the GM decides to end it. There are four possible results:
Ahem. Cataclysm is a slightly insane ability.
Cover Tracks - You're immune to detection via Hunter's Senses. Please compare this ability to the previous.
Customize Craft - You can add additional mounts to vehicles. No idea what that means.
Dark Hatred - +2 to hit spirits of good/light/justice/friendship/cuddlyness. Please note that Demon Hate is a tier 2 power.
Encampment - Once per week you can spend 3 cool points to regain all HP, Chi, and Mana with a full night's rest for you and your party.
Evade Damage - Once per combat you can spend 1 Frenzy to avoid up to 100 points of damage. You can upgrade it to a rating of up to 100, allowing you to avoid up to 10,000 damage, but the cost is 1 Frenzy per rating , so...
Formation - +5 levels to Perception and +5 to initiative when traveling in formation. Seriously, do these seem a little wonky balance-wise to anyone else?
Funeral Pyre** - If your body is burned on a funeral pyre, all your possessions will follow you into the spirit realm. Viking, Egyptian, it's all the same, right?
Good Luck - Once per day you can lower the difficulty of a check for yourself and all allies by 1 by spending a cool point.
Gun Fu Mastery - Requires Gun Fu, which we'll get to in the next chapter assuming I live that long. When defending against bullets at point blank, a roll of 18+ counts as a natural 20.
Marauder - Spend 1 cool point to...oh, you're shitting me. To get an additional loot roll. Seriously?
Mighty Spell* - Exactly like all the other "expand your critical threat range" abilities, but for spells.
Raise Chi Damage - Spending 1D6 Chi allows you to deal 1D8 extra damage instead of 1D6. Remember, you can spend that multiple times per attack. Also remember that, since dice explode, this is mechanically inferior to a straight +1 to damage.
Remove Curse* - Spend 2D12 hours and 2D4x10 mana and make a Willpower check at a target of 20. Now pretend that you didn't fail. Also pretend that you have a personal item belonging to whoever or whatever cast the curse. And that the curse was not a permanent one, like lycanthropy. You know what, screw it, nevermind.
Reroll Advancement - Burn 1 cool point to reroll a level advancement roll (what?) once per level.
Scribe - For every page you write about your party or your character, you get +20 reputation and your allies gain +10. Presumably this is per real-life page.
Tek Master - Exactly as per Melee/Weapon/Spell Master, but applies to cyberspace, and is higher level for some reason.
Word of Honor - +20 cool points and +20 reputation if you succeed at a mission after giving your word of honor not to fail. If you do fail, -10 cp and -10 rep.

Power 7

- Give an ally some cool points or Frenzy once per fight.
Attribute Pool - 1 Frenzy for +1D6 to any attribute check, etc.
Blood Rite III - If you have both previous Blood Rite abilities, the bonus your allies get increases to +3.
Defender - Allies within 10 feet gain +1 to defense rolls.
Defrag - Exactly like Damager, but works only in cyberspace. Damager also works in cyberspace. Damager is a tier 1 ability.
Demolitions Master - Works like the other "Master" abilities, but applies to Demolitions skill checks instead of attack rolls.
Disable Emotions - If you have cyberware, spend 1 cool point for +2 to Willpower for 2D6 rounds.
Divine Counter - Exactly like Counter, but works only on divine abilities and costs a point of Spiritual Influence.
Divine Degression - Spend a point of Spiritual Influence to degrade an opponent's skill or attribute by 2 levels before they make a check. Note that "degression" isn't a word.
Ecosphere* - For 4 actions and 2D20+5 mana per hour, you can create a sphere that protects you and your party against harmful environments. At, you know, level 30.
Enrage - Spend 1 Frenzy to give yourself or an ally +5 to damage for 1 round. Hell, that's not even worth a Frenzy point at level one .
First Strike - Burn 1 cool point for +1D6 on your initiative roll. Improved Initiative is a level 30 power in this game.
Heavy Wound - Spend up to 10 Frenzy to increase your damage by up to 10. Again, not worth the cost.
Momento - I think they mean "memento." Works like Escape Artist but for mind control.
Overkill - Burn 1 cool point to multiply your damage x1. Yeah. In fairness, if you already had a multiplier, this would increase it by 1, but that's not immediately obvious.
Re-Damager - Spend a point of Spiritual Influence to force an opponent to reroll damage once per fight.
Redemption - I'm going to spoiler this so we can play a game. Based on the name alone, what do you suppose this ability does? When you spend cool points to increase your HP total, you now get 2-for-1. I am reminded of a Mr. Show sketch: "you don't know what words mean, do you?"
Rune Master - Armorers can add up to 4 rune slots to armor.
Shell Shock - Spend 1 Frenzy when you hit an opponent with an explosive to force them to make a Body Save or be stunned for 1D4 actions.
Skill Pool - Spend 1 Frenzy to add 1D6 to any skill check.
Summon Creatures II* - Exactly like Summon Creatures, except the target for your Summoning check is 12, it costs twice as much mana, lasts twice as long and the creatures summoned are level 20.
Tek Blast - Exactly like the other "Blast" powers, but applies to cyberspace.

Stop me if you've heard this one. A human and a mongru were walking through a swamp...

Power 8

Assemble Faction
- Allows you to build a team of henchmen, which is actually kind of cool, but you need to be at least level 40 to take it, which is not.
Blood Line - For every child that "lives on to tell your stories," you get 1D6x100 reputation points.
Cheap Shot - Burn 1 cool point and 1 Frenzy to make a non-magical attack against an enemy once per fight. Can be used at any time.
Deep Hood - Wearing a hood makes you appear to be of a lower level. There are no mechanics for this.
Demonic Curse** - Spend 10 Spiritual Influence to regain 1D6x1000 HP, Chi, and Mana. Then roll for a random insanity and a random mutation.
Dispossess - For 2 actions you can expend 1D4 Spiritual Influence to drive out any spirits or whatsits possessing you or an ally you're in direct physical contact with.
Enchant Technology* - You can use Enchantment on technological items like guns.
Evade Curse - Once per combat burn a cool point to negate any curse sent your way.
Imbue Weapon or Armor - Spend a point of Spiritual Influence to turn non-relic weapons or armor into unique relics. They gain +1D6 damage or +4 AC. You must give the item a name.
Magic Resistance Boost - Once per fight burn 4 cool points for a +4 bonus to a defense roll against magic.
Mental Barrier - Burn 1 cool point for a +1 bonus to your Mental Defense.
Merit - You gain 1 additional cool point each time they're awarded. This is peanuts, it's like getting 100 extra XP per encounter at level 7.
Mutate - Roll a random mutation from the table provided for the mutant race.
Pay Homage - Once a month you can donate credits to gain Spiritual Influence; $1 million for +10. Can't go over 50 this way.
Raise Morale - For every $1 million you spend on your troops and factions, they gain +10% to their morale.
Rehabilitate - Allows you to retrain abilities. It works when you get the power and whenever you gain a Talent during level advancement. Still blows.
Rune Master II - Allows you to add 1 additional rune slot to armor.
Show Off - Once per round as an action you can make a Dexterity or Acrobatics check against a target of 20. Succeed and you get a cool point. Is that worth wasting everyone's time and becoming a showboating idiot?
Skull Collector - For every opponent of level 12 or higher you kill, you gain 1 additional cool point.
Weave to Spirit* - You can spend Spiritual Influence to weave items to you, allowing you to take them to the spirit world when you die.
World Gate* - Allows you to open a gateway anywhere in the solar system. You must have an item taken from the place you want to appear , so it's not just a long-range teleport. There is a 1% chance you will die when you travel through it, so I really strongly recommend you stick to spacecraft that are presumably safer than that.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: It never ends!

We are getting close to the end of Chapter IV: Classes

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Well it's been a while since we did one of these.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 21: We are getting close to the end of Chapter IV: Classes
Or, stuff you will never get because your campaign will implode long before you reach 50th level

Our long night continues as we explore more abilities for ultra-super-high-level characters!

Power 9

Amplify Armor
- As an armorer, you can spend cool points on a one-for-one ratio to increase the effectiveness of armor by up to +10. This would be nice if you weren't already at level 50.
Amplify Damage - As above, but increases damage on a weapon. Cost is equal to the maximum of the die you're adding, which is 6, because you can only add 1D6 unless you invest more in this awful ability. Magic and chi at this level surpassed weapon damage a long time ago.
Arcane Sorcery* - Add an extra D6 to your spell effects. This seems to stack with Improve Spell.
Backup Power III - Increase your multiplier to x3. Useful for keeping pace with the increased levels of damage you'll be dealing with.
Befriend - Works like every other +D6 ability, but can be applied to just about any Charisma-type skill and costs a cool point.
Benevolence - Once every 6 months you can donate $1 million to the poor to gain 100 points of rep.
Bitch Slap - Hit an enemy at melee/point blank range and spend a point of Frenzy to steal 1D6 cool points. That's peanuts, especially since it's 1/encounter.
Contracts - Allows you to hire other adventurers to go on quests for you. Like, you become a quest giver. Apparently you can't do that without this ability?
Counter Divine Spell* - Works like Divine Counter, but limited to divine spells. Please note that divine counter has no such limitations and is only a power 7.
Divine Chi - Spend 2 Spiritual Influence to double your chi for one fight.
Divine Life - The same, but for HP.
Divine Mana - Guess.
Draw Crowd - Doubles the results of Crowd Speak, which is a prerequisite.
Fortify Vehicle - Spend 1 cool point and make a Mechanics check to add 1000 Structural Hit Points to a vehicle.
Glory - Gain 1 cool point every time you roll a nat 20 to attack or defend. Again, peanuts, and it gives the GM another pointless bonus to keep track of.
Gridlock - For 1 cool point and 2 attacks you can raise the difficulty on an opponent's piloting check by 10 during a vehicle chase.
Plane Gate* - 4 actions and 2D4 x 100 mana to open a gateway to an elemental plane. Which is apparently a thing. As before, 1% chance you die for no reason.
Resurrection Survivor - You can be resurrected if you haven't fallen to -300 HP or more yet.
Rune Master III - One additional rune slot.
Summon Creatures III* - As per Summon Creatures, but the mana cost is tripled, the duration is increased to 4 hours, and the creatures are level 40.
Tek Lord - 1 additional action in cyberspace. Mages get an extra spell action at level 12. You get an extra action in cyberspace at level 50. Sound fair?

Ugh, power 9 sucks. Moving on.


Power 10

A.I. Possession
- For 2 attacks, make a resisted Computers skill check to take control of any resident A.I. Sounds fun, too bad you can't get it until level 60.
Attract Enemies - Like Beckon Foe, but it costs a cool point, can't fail, and affects every enemy simultaneously. Again, like a 4e mark as understood by someone who doesn't play 4e.
Auxiliary Power - Once per fight, spend a cool point to add 1D6x1000 to your ship's shields.
Call to Arms - You can use your reputation to recruit a militia squad.
Decode - Spend a cool point to lower the difficulty to bypass a wall in cyberspace by fucking 2 .
Degrade - For two actions you give an opponent in cyberspace -2 to attack/defend if they fail a resisted Computers check. This is pretty pathetic shit for a level 60 character.
Demonic Creation* - Allows you to make an undead monster with up to 1000 HP. Any other stats are up to the GM. 1000 HP sounds like more than it is at level 60.
Eat Magic - When rolling to defend against magic, a natural 20 causes you to absorb the spell and heal 4D6x100 HP. This is an awesome ability for the name alone and it's a shame it's buried in the well-beyond-epic tier.
Elder Chief - +2 Charisma, +2% troop morale. Level 60, folks.
High Commander - Gives your troops +2 to attack and defend.
Improve Income - +$10,000 to your income every 6 months. Does that mean you get $10,000 twice a year, or that your income improves in $10,000 increments twice a year? Either way, by this point you should have plenty of ways to make extra cash.
Opportunity Attack - Gain 2 attacks when you roll a natural 20 to defend. Since, RAW, you can't use those actions outside of your turn, this ability does nothing.
Rally Troops - For 4 cool points you can give your troops +1 to defense, even after it's rolled.
Reinforcements - For 10 cool points and 2 actions, call up 1D6 additional squads as reinforcements.
Retrain II - Exactly the same as Retrain. It would be necessary to take this since Retrain can only be used once. Also, don't ever take this, fuck it's awful.
Revenge - When you drop below 0 HP you gain 2 actions which can be used immediately before you drop (meaning unlike Opportunity Attack, this power actually works). Costs 10 cool points to use.
Rune Lord - Really just Rune Master IV, you can add one additional rune slot.
Steal Frenzy - Exactly like Bitch Slap, but with a shittier name. Spend 1 cool point to steal 1D6 Frenzy. There's no rule saying you can't use both on the same hit.
Transfer Power - For 10 cool points and 2 actions, give an ally an ability or talent you have for the rest of the encounter. That's actually pretty neat.
War Party - An upgrade to Contracts, this allows you to gain a pathetic number of cool points and reputation points when you hire someone to perform a successful quest.
Weaken - Allows you to damage an opponent's Strength, Dexterity, Body, or Perception scores on a successful hit. Ability damage. That's always a blast, right?

Okay, fuck power 10 as well. Maybe 11 doesn't suck?

Power 11

Ally Chi Pool
- You can give or take chi to/from an ally for 2 actions. Any amount up to your/their max.
Ally Health Pool - Same, but for health.
Ally Mana Pool - Guess.
Bestow Influence** - You can permanently give up 10 of your Spiritual Influence to give an ally the same amount for half an hour. It's almost certainly better for you to just make a Spiritual Influence check on their behalf.
Chi Pool - Once per fight you can spend an action and burn 2 cool points to regain 100 chi. Makes Ally Chi Pool kinda pointless.
Divine Influence - Spend a point of Spiritual Influence for plus fucking one on an attack roll. A level 70 ability, ladies and gentlemen!
Divine Intervention - When you're hit in combat, burn a point of SI, then make an SI check. If you succeed you take half damage. See previous note.
Divine Strength - Burn 2 SI points to double your Strength attribute for the encounter. Actually pretty useful, especially for monks.
Fire of God - Spend a point of SI for +10 damage on an attack. Seriously, what is this shit? If I'm spending Spiritual Influence I expect more return than just a few points of damage.
Fleet Master - Exactly like Melee/Weapon Master, but works for fleet attacks and costs 10 cool points.
Health Pool - As per Chi Pool, but for HP.
Legion Master - As per Fleet Master, but for Legions (whatever those are, infantry I guess?).
Mana Pool - As per Chi Pool, but for mana.
Manipulate Mind - As per Weaken, but targets mental abilities.
Never Gate* - Works like the other gateway spells, but costs 6 actions and 2D12x100 mana. Works up to 1 light year per level. As before, you need something from the exact location you plan to travel to. 2% chance of random pointless death. Max of 10 people can pass through.
Rage of God - As per Fire of God, but for unarmed/melee attacks.
Spell Parry* - As per Parry, but for spells.
Spiritual Initiative - Burn a point of Spiritual Influence for a measly +1D6 to initiative, once.
Steal Soul - Increase your max HP by 1 for each creature you kill belonging to the Path of Light. They must be at least 20th level. Their souls become your prisoners and will only be released upon your death. I should point out that for a level 70 character, killing a level 20 opponent should be pretty easy I would think.
Summon Legendary Beings* - Like Summon Creatures, but you summon better stuff like dragons.
Treachery - Allows you to use instakill attacks like Cutthroat on an ally (or at least, someone who thinks you're an ally, doesn't have to be a party member even though we all know it will be) who would otherwise be immune by spending a point of Spiritual Influence.
Word of God* - As per the other "of god" abilities, but for spells.

Okay, lots of crap ways to burn your extremely valuable Spiritual Influence. Maybe power 12 is good?

This art sure as hell ain't.

Power 12

Astral Possession*
- Allows you to project your spirit and possess people.
Boom Town - Increases income from cities you control. Wait, are we suddenly playing Civilization?
Create Artifact* - Exactly what it says on the tin.
Create Atrocity* - In another fine example of the game using words incorrectly (or at least really weird), this ability allows you to create a monster.
Divine Invulnerability - Exactly as per Divine Intervention, but it costs more and works for an entire round.
Domination - After you kill an enemy force's leader, this ability forces them to make a morale check with a -10% penalty or surrender/flee.
Fleet Lord - Your fleet gains 1 additional action.
Fleet Tactics - 2 actions to give your fleet +2 to attack and defense.
Industrialization - Increases profit from industrial colonies you control.
Legion Lord - As per Fleet Lord, but for legions.
Legion Tactics - Ditto.
Monopolize - Exactly the same as Industrialization, but you get 10 times as much money and it doesn't matter what type of colony it is. Hmm, which to choose...
Monument - For $50,000 you can create monuments to yourself on your colonies, adding +5% morale and +20 to your reputation. Not much of a bonus at this level.
Morale Boost - Raise Morale now applies to an entire core or star system fleet.
Regenerate Chi - Gain 1D20 chi per round. Chicken scratch and another pointless thing to keep track of.
Regenerate Health - If you can't guess, you may have trouble recognizing patterns.
Regenerate Mana - Likewise.
Slaughter - It's the Avenger's Oath of Enmity/D&DN Advantage with one major catch: roll a 1 on either die and it's a fumble. Okay, seriously, D&D characters can have this ability at level 1 without expending any resources on it and it works better than this does at level fucking 80 .
System Gate* - As per Never Gate, but you can fly an entire ship through (and then lose it to the random 2% chance of instant death for no reason).
War Trainer - You can train troops to give them +1 to attack and defend.

Ugh. These high-level powers are pretty depressing.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Power 13 abilities! Chi! The end of this fucking chapter!

The end of Chapter IV: Classes

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 22: The end of Chapter IV: Classes
Or, fuck this chapter, seriously

Okay, I hate these ability updates and I'm sure you're none too fond of 'em either. Let's get this over with.

Power 13

Ability Craft
- Literally you and the GM just make up an ability. Thanks, game. The fun part of this is that it effectively makes homebrew abilities illegal prior to 90th level.
Absolution** - Once per day if you convert someone from another spiritual path to your own you gain D10 Spiritual Influence.
Air Strike - For 1 cool point you can call in an air strike that destroys 1D6 enemy squads.
Counterstrike - Allows your units to counterattack when attacked, which seems insanely broken.
Deadlock - For 5 cool points you can prevent an enemy from using a combo attack. Combo attacks have not been explained and won't be for a while.
Defensive Maneuvers - Burn 1 cool point to reroll a unit's defense.
Destruction Fleet - As per Destruction, but costs 10 cool points and applies to damage inflicted by your fleet.
Destruction Legion - Likewise for your legions.
Dimension Gate* - Travel between dimensions, costs a bunch of mana, 2% chance of just dying for no reason, you know the drill.
Fortitude - If you fail a Body Save by 1, you can burn 1 cool point for a +1 to that roll so you succeed.
Indestructibility - Resurrection Survivor can be taken up to 3 times. Once that's maxed out you can start taking this. The effect is the same, each level increases the amount you can fall below 0 and still be resurrected by 100 HP.
Legacy - You can bequeath your worldly possessions to another. When you die, you will gain duplicate possessions in the spirit world.
Mighty Fleet - Increases the critical range on your fleet attacks.
Mighty Legion - Likewise, but for your legions.
Parry Military - As per parry, but applies to mass combat.
Powerful Presence - Opponents who are less than 20th level flee from you unless they succeed at a Willpower check with a target equal to your Charisma. 20th level opponents are, of course, no threat to you at 90th level.
Resist All - Gain 10 points of resistance to everything.
Soul Rift* - I'll be honest, I'm not clear on what this ability does. It opens a portal large enough for a space station to fit through, so maybe it's an upgrade to System Gate? It mentions souls though so maybe it means to the spirit world? No idea.
Summon Divine Being** - Summons an angel/devil/death incarnate.
World War - If you already own your own planet, you can institute a draft to draw up forces to assault another world.

Not a good time to lose one's...head?

That's it. All the abilities. Final thoughts time: they suck. ARB mentioned balance by nickels; this is advancement by nickles. A lot of it is stuff that should be rolled into the existing rules (spending 1 Frenzy for +1D6 to a skill check or 1 cool point for +1D6 to an attribute check should be something everyone can do). More importantly, though, imagine making a level 100 character and picking 99 separate abilities and then recording them and remembering what they do. The fact that most abilities grant only minor or fiddly bonuses is just icing on the shit cake. This entire system needs to be revised or eliminated.

Oh, and we're not done! They chose to cram chi in here as well. Fortunately, this will be shorter.

I said shorter, not shooter.

Monks and mu dai get chi powers as they level up. Everyone else, fuck you, you get nothing and like it. Some magical items may give characters access to some chi abilities. Provided, of course, your Spirit doesn't drop below 8, because if it does, you're unable to use chi ever again.
Like many abilities, you can reinvest in a chi power. Unlike abilities, though, it doesn't have much effect beyond lowering the amount of chi you lose when you use the power. For instance, it might reduce D8 chi loss to D6, etc.
Single-classed monks can take a new chi power instead of a new ability when they reach a new level, provided they're at least level 13 and can pick their own abilities.
Finally, if you learn every chi power for a given element, you gain the ability to summon an elemental of that type for 2 actions and 100 chi. The elemental is of your level, totally under your control, and remains for 1D6 hours.

Since the chi abilities are only one page long, I'm gonna cheat this and just post the list. I'll highlight any powers that seem particularly interesting, broken, or dumb.

Burning Strike: - Your hits stun the enemy and cause them to lose 1D3 actions if they fail a Body Save. Insanely useful to the point of being an "I win" button for combat.
Circle of Fire: - Recharge your chi to full in one hour provided you can meditate near a candle. Makes regenerating chi between fights trivial.
Dragon Stance: - Allows you to gain a Body Save to remain on your feet when an attack should've knocked you down. If Body Saves were easier to make, this might be worth taking!
Fire Strike: Adds a cumulative +1D6 fire damage to your attacks. You can combine this with Burning Strike. What's better than stunlocking? Stunlocking with cumulative damage.
Heal: - Restores HP equal to twice the amount of chi you spend. This is a terrible way to spend your actions in combat and a terrible way to waste your chi.
Orb of (Insert Element): - You can hurl bolts of fire/electricity/rock/ice that deal 1D20 damage! Oh, also you can multiply that by up to x10 if you also multiply the amount of chi drained. Some of the best powers in the game and worth investing heavily.
Resist Pain: - Trade HP damage for chi drain. A pretty raw deal unless you have tons of chi, because you're better served by pumping up your attacks.
Stone Skin: - Grants additional Toughness. Would be great, if the chi drain wasn't so damn high.
Submission: - Basically lets you bear hug an opponent into submission. They can resist, but suffer massive penalties and are basically guaranteed to fail. Never mind the Burning Strike/Fire Strike combo, just use this.

So, how do the monk and mu dai look now? Well, for starters, fire is clearly the element of choice to focus on. It grants many of the best combat options, plus a rapid way to regain your chi, and none of the other elements come close to matching it. The other elements do have more utility, but since you're not penalized by picking chi powers a la cart , you can easily grab just the stuff you want. There's no good incentive for a monk to stick with any specific element, since they get chi abilities so rapidly (by 20th level you can have up to 17) and summoning an elemental doesn't seem very useful until you have a pretty substantial chi pool. Mu dai might need to be a bit more focused, but mu dai frankly suck outright compared to the monk from everything we've seen. I don't know, maybe magic can redeem them.
In terms of overall utility, monks blow most other classes out of the water with excellent hand-to-hand combat and lots of out-of-combat options. They are easily the best melee class if not the best overall combat class. We'll have to withhold judgement on the latter until we've seen the magic rules, though.

Which will not be for a while.

Up next on Chaos 6010 A.D.: We move on into new territory with skills! Gun Fu is explained! We (fail to) learn the difference between a fumble and a botch! We groan as the skill list makes no sense!

The first part of Chapter V: Skills

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 23: The first part of Chapter V: Skills
Or, punching people for fun & profit

Mandi Williams posted:

Combat spacecraps!

I think when I said earlier that these were generated by Markov chains, I might have been a bit too generous. Spacecraps? seriously?

We covered a bit of how skills work waaaaaaay back when I tried (and largely failed) to make a simple character. But, since that was before The Chapter That Shall Not Be Named TM , I'll refresh your memory: you have primary skills, which everyone gets, and secondary skills, which are unique to your class. You also get some free skill picks - the exact number varies from class to class - which can be used to grab some extra skills you want. Each skill has an associated slot cost. A skill with a SC of 1 counts as 1 pick, an SC of 2 counts as two picks, and so on.

This is actually from last chapter, I just didn't cram it in.

You can specialize in a combat skill by spending one skill slot. Specializations are a subcategory of the parent skill, such as Armed Combat: Shotguns. Mages can opt to specialize in magic of a specific color instead. Your specialization gives you +1 to hit with the chosen weapon/spell. You can improve this: it costs 10 cool points times the level of the specialization (so to go from +1 to +2 costs 20, from +2 to +3 is 30, etc). Alternately, you can expend a number of skill slots equal to the new level. You have to buy each level in order, but you can buy multiple levels at a time if you want - going from +1 to +3 costs (20+30) 50 cool points or (2+3) 5 skill slots. Amazingly, the math on this is actually correct , because a skill slot is worth exactly 10 cool points. You are limited to a maximum of +10 in any given specialization.
Unarmed combat is a bit wonky. It has no specializations, it is itself a specialization and everyone gets it. If you advance up to getting Martial Arts (we'll get there in a bit) you get a happy fun bonus of an extra +2 to every other melee weapon specialization you have, forever . Yes, this means that if you buy a new specialization at +1, you get it at +3. This is supposedly because your weapon becomes a part of your fighting style. The real reason is because Monks needed yet another bonus.
You can also specialize in skills, which naturally works differently, because. One skill slot is good for +2 to your chosen specialty's skill rating, which must still be a sub-set of the skill in question. You can take up to 3 levels of specialization in a skill, for a max of +6.

That is a hell of a lot of words for what should be a simple concept.

Skill rating + attribute level = skill level, which is where that hugeass step table comes in. The cost to improve a skill's rating is equal to the new rating you want. Remember, rating is not the same as level! Hold on...I feel like I need to start taking notes...

Hey guys, just chillin' out here by Stone Face Temple.

Maximum continuance always applies to skill checks. This just means the dice explode. Also, the game reiterates and clarifies the Rule of One: if you're rolling dice, any 1's you get count as a fumble. If it's all 1's, it's a botch. The difference is not explained. The implication is that a botch is an automatic failure, but, uh, you'd fail it anyway because a botch is going to be like a roll of 1 or 2. Astute readers will note that, thanks to this rule, rolling more small dice is categorically worse than rolling fewer large ones, even though the step table places more small dice on a higher step.

The GM sets the target of any given check, based on a difficulty table. No word on how to scale this table with the players, so I guess high level characters just get to do a lot of f!@#ing impossible shit. Also note that the difficulty ranges are huge and leave a lot of variance. There's a pretty big difference between an average roll of 10 and 14.

You can learn new skills in several ways, but seriously just buy new skill slots with cool points, it's the fastest. For completion's sake, the other two methods are:
So, yeah. Just buy the damn things.

Unarmed Combat
Like Palladium games, there are several types of hand-to-hand combat training. Unlike Palladium, they exist in a sort of goofy continuum, where additional training can raise you up to a better style of fighting. Basic is pretty much untrained. "They throw petty punches and kicks. They often bite or pull hair." You're only considered to have Unarmed Combat: Basic if you're at +1 or less, which mostly applies to spellcasters and other weenies. Fighter is professionally trained and covers +2 to +3 - and at Unarmed Combat: Fighter +3, you get one extra unarmed attack per round. Most classes start with Fighter +2. Mu Dai start with Fighter +3. Martial Arts covers everything from +3 to +10 (yes, there is an overlap for some reason, Martial Arts +3 is a step above Fighter +3). Starting at Martial Arts +3 and again at +8 and +10 you can increase your unarmed damage (determined by your race) by 1 die size. You also get the extra attack from Fighter +3. Also you can use Chi. Seriously, martial arts is just better , don't you understand?
As a special option, once you get to Martial Arts +6 you can opt for (drumroll...) Gun Fu ! If you take Gun Fu, your unarmed combat caps at +6, then you start gaining Gun Fu from +1 to +4. This is a shitty option, never take it. The benefits of Gun Fu are...you get your Gun Fu bonus to defensive rolls against point-blank armed attacks. On a natural 20 to defend you can actually redirect the enemy's shot back at themselves or one of their allies. Sounds great! But before you throw your life away on Gun Fu, let me point out a few things:
Yeah, it's basically a huge trap.

Don't mind me, just magiking my dagger.

Martial artists, by the way, can use Chi! This is different from chi abilities which can only ever be gained by the monk and mu dai, ever. Anyone with at least Martial Artist +3 can channel their chi into their unarmed attacks. That's dumb. But they can also channel it into any melee weapons they're specialized in, which, remember, automatically jump up to at least +3 and do more damage than even a bogkroll monk does bare-handed, so do that instead! For 1D6 chi drain you can add +1D6 damage to your attacks. You can do this as often as three times per attack. This is why monks are such insanely powerful fighters in this game. You can very, very easily wind up with a character that has four attacks per round, each of which deals 2D10+3D6 damage, plus Strength bonus, plus Body Save or be stunned and lose 1D3 actions. At level 1 . Granted you'll burn through your chi pool in like half a round, but still.
Speaking of which, there are two ways to recover chi. One is to meditate. You get back 1D20 chi per hour. That method sucks and is lame. The other is to rest for 6 hours, after which you get it all back. (The third, unlisted option is to snag the Circle of Fire chi power and meditate for an hour next to a candle or flame, giving you full chi. :shh:)
Oh, one last, sage bit of advice:

The drinking skill lets you resist the wanton carnal lust of a female.

There's just no way I can top that.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Powering through the skills in record time!

Crusin' on through Chapter V: Skills

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 24: Crusin' on through Chapter V: Skills
Or, skills that you will never have because they're dumb

Our whirlwind tour of the skills chapter continues! Up next: armed combat!

There are seven types of armed combat. Melee and Firearms cover most weapons, and everyone gets them. If you want to use something else, you need to take the appropriate skill or suffer a -3 penalty to hit.

Dual Melee and Dual Firearms (cost of 3 slots each, ouch) are for fighting with two weapons. Two weapons gives you an extra attack each round, so these are definitely worth it. You need a Strength of 20 or more to wield two medium-sized weapons at once, 30 or more to dual wield heavy weapons. I believe RAW this means that if you have a Strength of, say, 19, at least one of your weapons has to be small but they don't both have to be. You can't specialize in dual-wielding, you can only become proficient in it.

By the way, I don't know if you've noticed but Strength is one of the most important stats for a melee fighter, second only to Body. I dunno, it seems odd to me that ogres make better monks than, say, elves.

I unironically like this and I don't know why.

Anyway, moving on. Armed Combat: Projectiles covers attacks with bows, crossbows, and other non-bullet ranged weapons. Except thrown weapons, which are covered by Armed Combat: Throwing. Both cost a single slot to learn and are painfully dumb. The last armed combat skill, Heavy, is for bazookas and whatnot, and also costs a single slot. Of course, you need a Strength of 20 or better to use a heavy weapon, but who's counting.

The remaining primary skills are Stealth (sneakin'), Concealment (hidin'), Negotiation (talkin'), First Aid (not dyin'), and Piloting (drivin'). Only two of them get a description longer than a sentence. First Aid restores HP equal to the check result, or deals a point of damage to the victim on a botch. You can only apply it once per fight to any given character. Piloting covers only ground vehicles (you didn't think that the piloting skill would let you be a pilot , did you?) and is only needed if you're driving recklessly/at high speed/through an orphanage. If you're unfamiliar with the vehicle in question you need to make an Intelligence check to operate it, so I guess those new model years result in a lot of crashes.

The rest of these skills are either granted to you by your class or can be selected by paying the listed slot cost. It's worth noting that there are way too many skills here and most classes only give 1-2 free slots, so everyone will end up being very specialized and probably not even very good at the thing they're focused on. There's almost no room to take skills just for fun or flavor.

Skills are broken down by category, but those categories don't mean anything, they're just a way of organizing the mess. Most skills have only a sentence for a description. Normally I like skills that are largely open-ended like this, but not when they're so niche.

That said...

Cultural Skills

The equivalent of Palladium's Domestic skill group, and largely useless. Consists of Acting, Architecture, Art, Cooking, Dancing, Drinking*, History, Music, Singing, Story Telling, Sports, and Writing. All of them cost 1 slot to learn and most are completely useless. A few can be applied outside of their novelty value, for instance Acting can be used to trick or deceive opponents. Mostly boring.

*Due to the way this skill is worded, merely having it trained allows you to use chi. I'm almost certain that wasn't intended.

A Thok skull, apparently.

Magic and Mystic Skills

Skills mostly applicable to spellcasters. Naturally, they are better than normal skills. There's Alchemy (costs 3 slots) which claims to allow you to make potions and such. Not being fooled, I remember that the ability Alchemy Craft - literally just "you are finally allowed to use the Alchemy skill" - is a level 20 ability. Pass.

There's also the insane Battle Chant and less insane Chant skills. Both cost a single slot. With Chant, you can make a skill check while you meditate and add that result to the amount of mana/chi you recover (d20, remember?). Battle Chant does the same thing...every round of combat. For free. Both are an absolute must for any caster or martial artist.

There's Conjuring for summoning and Exorcism for, you know, exorcising. Both cost 2 slots. Necromancy, at 3 slots, allows you to create undead servants, and so it's the clear winner here. Summoners might want Protective Circles for 1 slot, which allows them to replace the base difficulty for a spirit to cross their barrier with the result of their check. There's Sorcery, which allows you to use magic, but it can't be purchased at all ever so the only way to get it is to either start out a spellcaster or multiclass into one. Harsh.

The last two magic skills are Spell Craft, which lets you make your own spells (for 3 slots), and Thaumaturgy, which works like Spellcraft in D&D and costs 1 slot. The latter is a prerequisite for the former.

Of course all the magic skills are just ways to give spellcasters more special abilities. Of course they are.

Medical Skills

We already covered First Aid, which everyone gets. Biotech, for 2 slots, combines with it. Literally: make both checks, add the results together, that's how many HP you restore. A must for any healer. Forensics, for 1 slot, lets you play CSI. Paramedic, also for 1 slot, allows you to use First Aid/Biotech more quickly, but you need to hit a target of at least 15 to do it in less than 2 rounds or 4 actions.

Navigation Skills

Land, Space, Underworld (as in underground, which is a crying shame because damn , what a lost opportunity!), and Water. All of them cost a slot and no one will ever take them because GPS is A Thing now.

Physical and Miscellaneous Skills

I love that "and miscellaneous" in there! This is the broadest category, so bear with me a bit.

Acrobatics! For 3 slots you can jump to your feet without spending an action, otherwise it's just back flips and tumbles and not really worth the price. Animal Kinship costs 2, does the obvious. Begging can earn you pennies at a time at a cost of 1 slot. Blind Fighting and Blind Shooting (2 slots each) negate combat penalties for being, you know, blind. Breathing costs 1 slot and allows you to hold your breath longer (there are no rules for this). Climbing, Disguise, Fast Talk, and Forgery do exactly what you expect for 1 slot each.

Game, surprisingly, is for seducing opponents! Because of how the skill is worded, gay or bi characters can seduce willing partners of either sex, but straight characters can only seduce individuals of the opposite sex. Ladies and gentlemen, a progressive moment: Chaos 6010 A.D. is the first game I am aware of where gay or bisexual characters are flatly (if marginally) superior.

Impersonation & Interrogation also cost 1 slot and offer no surprises. Looting, for 1 slot, allows you to rob your victims or their surroundings, netting you cash equal to your check result. This makes it strictly better than begging. Then comes Mining, Observation, Read Lips, Teaching, Thievery (actually more like picking locks), Tracking, Trailing, and Traps. They all do what you expect and they all cost 1 slot except for Thievery (3) and Tracking (2).

Piloting Skills

Continuing the Palladium influence, Decipher Instruments (1 slot) is a separate skill tax on pilots. There are only three types of actual piloting, Hover-, Water-, and Spacecraft. I guess airplanes don't exist anymore? They all cost 1 slot, except for Spacecraft which costs 3.

Science Skills

These are basically all knowledge skills and most offer no specific benefit. There's Alienology (the study of alien life), Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Law, Linguistics, Occult, Psychology, Religion, and Research. Each costs 1 slot. Of note, Linguistics will net you an additional language, and Research can reduce the time needed to find information or research spells.

Supposedly a Kuthalan skull, but the morphology is all wrong. That's a human skull with tentacles.

Technical Skills

Skills requiring specialized knowledge. Uh, excluding all those other categories that required specialized knowledge, I guess. There's:

Armorer (3 slots, allows you to make armor), Communications (1 slot), Computers (2 slots, and seriously? Shouldn't this be a primary skill?), Cybertech (3 slots, building/repairing/installing cyberware and robotics), Demolitions (2 slots), Electronics (2 slots), Inventive Mechanics (3 slots, be an inventor!), Mechanics (2 slots, repair stuff), and Weaponry (3 slots, allows you to make weapons).

Survival Skills

Skills to stay alive in a hostile environment! Reduces a potentially interesting and/or challenging situation into a simple die roll! There's Street, Underworld, and Wilderness. The first two are 1 slot each, Wilderness Survival is 2.


Hey, this is the first time this rule is mentioned in the rulebook! You are automatically fluent in your native language. In addition to that, you can speak a number of languages fluently based on your Intelligence. Later, learning a new language costs 1 skill slot, and it begins at a skill rating of 1. By spending another skill slot on it you become fluent. There are a lot of languages, but not nearly as many as there should be: humans have only 2 , for instance.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: We begin the combat chapter! Maybe we'll figure out what the hell we're doing with this awful kludge of a system.

The start of Chapter VI: Combat

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 25: The start of Chapter VI: Combat
Or, how to kill people for their stuff, part 1

Ray Boettger posted:

Let’s keep going, we’ll fight after the battle.

In case you're wondering, these quotes all appear to be from playtesters (Ray here is credited as one, Mandi Williams from the last chapter is a playtester and editor). I'm assuming 'ol Brandon Williams "Rogue" jotted down quotes he found funny or quirky without any thought as to how they'd sound out of context in dry text form. This is one of the few that almost works.

So, combat! We are reminded that time is broken down into 5-second rounds, during which each participant gets a turn of undefined length. Fair enough. Initiative is 1D10 + your initiative modifier, Maximum Continuance applies. If it's a tie, the person with the highest Dex score goes first, and if it's still a tie, roll a tiebreaker. In the event of an ambush, the first character to successfully launch a sneak attack gains initiative, everyone else rolls. The game advises GMs to use group initiative for large groups of enemies and to use counters or tokens of some kind to track it. Seems solid enough, although why D10's are used here is a mystery.

We've long ago inferred that attack rolls are made on a D20, but now we get that actually spelled out for us. It also covers the use of actions in combat and how we can combine actions of different types (I went over this a long time ago during character creation, but the gist of it is you get 2 actions of each type by default and can mix and match freely so long as the total number of actions you take doesn't exceed the largest pool you've got - i.e. if you have 2 armed and 3 unarmed you can take up to 3 actions, at least one of which needs to be unarmed). It talks about spending Frenzy to take additional attacks, but we'll wait on that because there's a more detailed explanation coming up.

Movement! You can move up to your normal movement as one action or run double that. If you run you may have penalties to some actions or attacks. If you spend more than one action on running to close into melee range with an enemy you must make a rage attack at the end of it.

So what's a rage attack? Basically a charge, except you don't actually have to move anywhere. You spend 2 actions and deal x2 damage, but you have to be unarmed or using a melee weapon. It says you can use a rage attack to hit two enemies that are close together with a single attack roll. I don't see any reason why you would ever not use a rage attack if you were in range. I also don't see how it's possible to spend an action running and then do a rage attack without either having extra actions (being a monk or mu dai, using two weapons) or spending Frenzy. But RAW you have to , even if you can't.

You may notice that, as far as we've seen, there is no penalty to running away from melee. Hell yeah gotta love kiting.

A roll of a natural 20 is a crit and deals x2 damage. Already have a damage multiplier? Lucky you, they multiply. So, f'rinstance, a crit on a rage attack deals x4 damage. Yes, this is insane. Want more fun? If you attack forces a Body Save, a crit doubles that, too. So if you normally make a Body Save on a 15 or better? Now it's 30. Maximum continuance makes that possible, but the odds are just under 3%, so good luck. The only defense against a natural 20 (aside from being immune to damage or whatever) is to roll a natural 20 to defend. Even then, if the attacker's modified roll is higher, you still get hit, it's just not a crit.

All this adds up to combat being a less powerful version of rocket tag. Defensive bonuses are hard to get and they cap out lower than attack roll bonuses do. Frankly, you're going to get hit, and it's going to hurt because damage in this game is crazy. The only chance you have to survive is through stacking damage reduction and having shitloads of HP. Hope you have a high Body score.

Anyway. A roll of a natural 1 is a fumble (of course it is) unless the defender also rolls a 1, in which case it's just a miss. If you fumble you get to roll on the following chart. I note that there's a just-under-1% chance on any given shot that your rifle will go flying out of your hands for no reason.

I also note that the fumble table fucks over weapon users hard . There's almost a 2% chance with every attack you make that your weapon will be lost or destroyed. Guns are also much worse than melee weapons, having generally harsher penalties on a fumble.

Oh, spellcasters don't get off too easy here; there's a spell fumble table in the magic section. (Why is it back there and not here with the rest of the combat rules? Fuck you, that's why.)

Frenzy! Spend a point of Frenzy, take an extra attack. That's an attack , not an action ; you can't spend it on running away or swapping weapons. You're limited to 2 Frenzy per round. How do you get Frenzy back? By buying it with cool points, naturally. It doesn't regenerate.

Next, the book goes over armed, melee, and unarmed combat, basically repeating everything that we read in the last chapter about it. The only bit of new information is that weapons whose damage value ends in an "x" (ie 3D6x) can be fired in bursts.

Brandon Williams posted:

Rage attack stab him right between the face.

I don't know how he expected that to come off, but I don't really think fucking stupid is what he was aiming for.

The next page is just a long list of different types of bursts and sprays (the takeaway: controlled and heavy bursts are awesome and you should always use them if you can), plus some example actions and some basic combat modifiers. It ends with a quick blurb on reloading - short version is it takes 2 actions.

Dude's got quite a beak on him.

After an attack roll is made, the defender rolls 1D20 + their defensive modifier to see if they can get out of the way. Ties go to the defender. If the target is under cover, they get a bonus to their defense roll, so always, always be behind as much cover as you can get. Cover doesn't work against point-blank or melee attacks. You can use a shield if you want - these also grant some cover depending on the type of shield used, but if an attack deals more damage than the shield's Armor Rating, the shield just soaks it's AR in damage and breaks. Same with cover - it can be destroyed. There's a table listing the Structural Hit Points (SHP) of some common types of cover. I find it kind of funny that an inch of glass can take 20 points of damage, about as much as a 1st-level character.

Roll a natural 20 on your defense and you can make a free attack against your attacker. Yes, this does mean Gun Fu is even less useful than it appeared.

Roll a natural 1 on defense and you can forget about any armor you've got. It's ignored, and only Toughness counts. Why, yes, there is a fumble table for defense rolls, how did you guess?

Hell yeah another chance for your weapon to be permanently destroyed.

Damage time! Your weapon tells you what to roll. Magical damage is usually multiplied by the caster's level. So, earlier when it said adding two levels to the caster was equivalent to doubling their damage, it lied! Casters still sound pretty goddamn crazy, though. Oh, maximum continuance also applies to damage rolls, you poor, poor bastards.

Next, the game explains how to deal with multipliers to damage, and it's a doozy. Basically, you have four possible "types" of damage. The Base Damage is what you roll, including modifiers (ie 2D10+6). Then you move on to Power Damage , which represents just making more powerful or focused attacks. You can get these from abilities, talents, runes, and a bunch of other crap that we don't understand yet. Add all of these up and multiply your base damage by that amount. Next, Combo Damage multipliers! These represent multiple attacks in a short span of time - burst fire from automatic weapons gives you combo damage multipliers. Add all of these up, and multiply the damage by that. Yes, this means that if you have both power and combo damage multipliers, they get multiplied. Finally, if you get a natural 20, you get a Critical Damage multiplier of x2.

Remember when I said burst fire was awesome? This is why. Power damage multipliers are easy to get, but combo damage multipliers aren't. Since they stack, you can combine both of them with a burst to get some really crazy damage going - it's not hard to wind up with damage totals in the triple digits, especially if you crit. Mr. Merc is looking a lot better as a class all of a sudden.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Ways to maybe try to not die! Special combat situations! The Disfigurement table!

Continuing Chapter VI: Combat

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 26: Continuing Chapter VI: Combat
Or, wait what was that about disfigurement?

Hey, just noticed that we are one third of the way through this book!

Armor! Your armor has an armor rating, which is listed in two parts, like 2/6. That's impact/ballistic damage soak, and you can add your Toughness score to both. Impact counts as pretty much anything in melee, plus thrown and projectile weapons. Ballistic covers firearms. Neither appears to apply to energy damage like fire, and I really hope that's not the case because otherwise casters get a pretty huge advantage.

A hit that deals more damage than your Body score (not clear if this is before or after you figure how much was soaked by armor) knocks you down. Standing up takes half your movement. If you're near a ledge you need to make a Dexterity check against a target of 4. "Anytime you fall off, well... look to falling damage in Combat Scenarios. That’s on one of the next pages s!@# face!"

Seriously, Brandon Williams "Rogue," fuck you. t I don't need to be insulted by the game I paid you for .

Anyway, fall to 2 HP or less and you start getting penalties:

That's actually fairly generous, or would be if damage was a bit less insane. Several of those categories are razor thin .

If you lose 90% or more of your HP in a single hit (odds of that happening: likely, especially at low level) you have to make a Body Save to keep fighting. Fail, and you can keep attempting it every round until you succeed. Either way you need to roll on the trauma table. You do not want to have to roll on the trauma table, as you'll see.

Naturally, the trauma table is several pages away.

After a battle the GM should award cool points. You can spend them immediately if you want. This seems like it would drag the game to a screeching halt after every fight, but what do I know.

I thought this was traced from the 4e Avenger pic, but it's just really similar. Might still be traced from somewhere though.

Next up is "Special Combat Scenarios," which is just a grab-bag of random rules. Most are pretty straightforward, I'm only going to hit the interesting ones:

Falling: There's a short little falling damage table. It ranges from 2D6 for 10 feet to 3D6x100 for 200. If it's more than 20 feet you can make a Dexterity check for half damage. If you fall on spikes, roll 2D6 for the number of spikes that hit, each does 3D6 damage (average of 73.5 , spike pits are nasty - but oddly the distance you fall doesn't affect the damage you take).
Flame Attacks: Fire ignores cover, shields, and armor. Oh boy. Napalm and other kinds of "sticky fire" cause you to take a cumulative 1D6 x 1 damage per round (1D6 x 1, 2D6 x 2, 3D6 x 3, etc). You can extinguish yourself with magic, an Anti-Fire Canister, or 2D6 actions worth of flailing. Regular fire takes just 2 actions to extinguish. There's a 30% chance that a normal fire attack will set you on fire; flamethrowers and other "sticky fire" attacks just do it automatically.
Fleeing: Okay, I was wrong! You do get a free attack against anyone who tries to flee from melee range. You don't get one if there's another enemy engaging you, though.
Holding a Hostage: Spend an action to put a gun to a target's head at point blank, another to push them in the line of fire. Any attack against you that doesn't succeed by at least 5 points hits the hostage. The hostage can, as an action, make a resisted Dexterity check against the attacker; winner gets a free attack against the loser. A dead body is worth about 80 SHP as a meatshield. That's...grim.
Knock Out Abilities: A natural 20 to attack with an unarmed or blunt weapon has a 10% chance of knockout; otherwise, it takes 2 actions and you need to roll an 18+. Fail and the target takes half damage, succeed and it's a Body Save to avoid KO, and even if you succeed you lose D4 actions. If the target's unaware, your attack roll target drops from 18 to 11.
Scatter Dice: Miss with a grenade or similar, roll 1D10 for distance and 1D8 for direction. This is why all of those abilities that moved in random directions (like Catastrophe) had no distance listed.
Severing Limbs, Breaking Bones, Oh Yea: That's how it's listed in the book! It's a called shot at a -3 to a -6, takes 2 attacks and the hit must deal at least 25% of the target's HP in damage. The victim is allowed a Body Save to render the limb useless instead of severed.
Sneak Attacks and Sniping: This works pretty much as expected, with the bizzare caveat that sniping an unaware opponent doesn't get a damage bonus , making it a largely useless tactic.


If you get hit by a disfiguring attack like acid, make a Body Save! Fail and you get to roll on this happy little guy. "Die b!@#$es Die! Roll that s!@#!"

The good news is, any roll below a 65 will only result in a penalty to Physical Beauty, a.k.a. that stat that you can't actually make any rolls or checks against. The bad news is, rolling 65 or higher will at least result in permanent blindness and may actually kill you. That's enough to render most characters unplayable.


It's a bad scene, man.

Up next is an example of combat. It's not particularly funny or interesting, so I just clipped out the one amusing bit:

You guys are f!@#in’ these guys up.

I was going to save vehicle combat for the next update, but, reading ahead...there's just not that much to it. Lots and lots of tables! Tables for damage, tables for crashing, tables for what happens when your ride gets trashed. But the actual rules are pretty much exactly the same, with the sole exception being that vehicles use their handling and defensive modifiers when they make defense rolls instead of the pilot's values. Otherwise it's completely straightforward and dull. Space combat seems inspired by Star Trek , with rules for how many actions it takes to raise or lower shields, plot a course, what the attack penalty is to target specific enemy systems, etc...but there's no meat there, just a few loose concepts. So we'll just skip the whole thing and call it a day.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Sure to cause me another headache, it's magic!

Moving on to Chapter VII: Magic

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 27: Moving on to Chapter VII: Magic
Or, caster supremacy

Todd Bauman posted:

Stabbing you with a fireball or something.

Either this game is getting to me or that quote's actually kind of funny!

Magic. It's a force of nature blah blah blah we know.

Wizards cast spells by tracing intricate patterns in the air one-handed. It is very careful to point out the one-handed part. I ain't touching that one, folks, even I have standards.

Spells are cast using mana. For those playing along at home, you will note that this is the fourth separate pool of points that can be used to fuel abilities, after cool points, Frenzy, and chi. Yes, you can potentially use all four with the same character. I would have thought one or two would be plenty. Anyway, if you're out of mana you can cast from HP instead, but it's 2 HP for 1 MP, so don't do that.

There are two types of magic*: Sorcery , which is using magic directly, and Conjuring , which is summoning spirits. I'm pretty sure anybody who learns magic can learn either, but depending on your class you may lean one way or the other.

*There are actually many ways magic is divided, as you will see.

Cyberware is bad for wizarding. If your Spirit falls below 10, you take a nice, meaty -10 to your mana pool. Below 9 it's -20. Below 8 it's -infinity, sorry, no magic for you. The sole exception is the Technomancer, who can go as low as a Spirit of 7 with no penalties. Cyberware from what I've seen is crap even if you are a Technomancer so this is really a non-issue.

The Spirit World

He's from da other side...

Astral space is a dimension that surrounds "everything and everywhere." Basically it's the Shadowfell/Chessboard Two/Dark Aether, only not quite as dark and brooding. If your character can see into the astral realm, then...they see stuff there. It's all magic-y and aura-y and weird. There are creatures in astral space, but they can't harm you unless they're in the primordial (real) world at the time. Casting spells creates astral disturbances.

Auras have different color depending on the type of magic*. This is true of casters, too, so you can spot specialist wizards by the color of their aura.

*There are two types of magic: sorcery and conjuring. Also, there are many colors of magic.

If you go visit the spirit world and die, you die in the real world. The reverse is not true - kill a spirit in the primordial plane and they just go back to the astral realm to chill for a millennium (this isn't a physical law, just a rule enforced by some big bad do-not-fuck-with-me type entities for some reason). Kill a spirit in the astral realm, they stay dead.

If you die, you'll end up in astral space. What happens then and who you end up working with/for depends on your spiritual path.

By the way, the stars are all gods. Hey, I read that Sandman story too! The gods create life, but they don't actually care about it. There are other really powerful things that might be gods in the spirit realm, too. Sure, why not.

There is a 1% chance (if I'm reading this right, the actual phrasing is "a roll of 100%") that you will remain as a spirit in the primordial realm when you die. Haunt that fucker, bro! The light of a star will kill you dead, though, because the stars are gods and they hate you for slipping out without permission. This is why the undead shun sunlight. That...is legitimately cool.


Sorcery! It lets you make with the magic. You have to make an attack roll to cast a spell against someone, just like any other attack. There are some common sense modifiers, and one crazy one - specialist mages get +3 to hit with their specialized color. Remember, they can get up to +10 to hit with said spells in addition to that bonus, making specialized magic a quick way to become insanely accurate. You do suffer a -1 to hit with any other color, but we'll see how terrible that is when we see what the colors can do. You may not need to rely on other colors much.

Spells, unless otherwise listed, have a range and/or area of effect of 150 feet (30 inches).

Oh, hey, guess what? You can buy magic tattoos! They give you an additional bonus to hit, up to a max of +3. Costs $300,000 times the bonus you want. That's a sweet deal, and also crazy broken.

You can buy spells from libraries, schools, churches, "special connects" ( ), even over the internet! Which is funny, because remember, sorcery can't be purchased after play begins and can only be obtained through your class, meaning only a fraction of the population can use these services. Anyway. The cost is $10,000 times the maximum drain of the spell. As in D&D, once you read the spell book, poof, it's gone. No resale for you.

You can also opt to go to wizard school! No, it's probably not like Hogwarts. Tuition is $200K and you need to pass an entrance exam (Intelligence check at a target of 10, good luck) and a background check. It takes 6 months and will grant you the Thaumaturgy, Research, and Alchemy skills (or increase your rating in those skills by 2 if you have them) plus teach you 1D6 spells. That's a goddamn steal . Of course, wizard schools won't accept you if you're not a spellcaster already, which raises quite a few questions, really.

Spellcasters are ranked by "rings," which are not at all like Earthdawn circles, no siree. (They're Earthdawn circles.) You can't learn magic of a higher circle* than you've attained.

*There are two types of magic: sorcery and conjuring. Also, there are many colors of magic. Also, magic is divided into rings of ascending power. Okay there's a shitload of different types of magic.

Specialized Mages

Finally, some rules.

If you're a mage, you can opt to be a focused mage. (I thought we were talking about "specialized" mages? What's with the terminology change?) It means there will be some changes to your class abilities. Firstly, your starting spells and your title will be different - you're not a mage, you're a "seer" or "necromancer." Yay. Also, your entire class ability list is different, making each specialty effectively its own class.

Each specialty also gets a short blurb, but really, I think you can figure out what they do. I am going to give you this one, though, because holy shit:

Necromancer posted:

The sorcerer of the dead. They must possess the necromancy skill in order to become a necromancer. Necromancers learn to control the undead, using their rotting bodies as servants and slaves. Necromancy or black magic is illegal in the Armethian Empire, but still, it is all over the place like a plague. This is why bodies are cremated at funerals , if their parts are not donated. The old saying, “Burn the bodies of the fallen so they will not rise against you” was made from enemies of a necromancer.

Despite being illegal, necromancy is so common they burn their dead so as not to have their loved ones resurrected as a shambling corpse.

Finally, you can, of course, opt to multiclass as a specialist mage, even if you're already a focused mage of a different type, and I don't even know which of those terms to use because the book keeps using them interchangeably.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Enchanting! Spell fumbles! Actual spells!

Waltzing on through Chapter VII: Magic

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Hey guys, I'm not dead, just been busy. Sorry for the lack of updates! Let's get back on track here.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 28: Waltzing on through Chapter VII: Magic
Or, oh ho ho it's magic, you know...


Right off the bat we're told that this is for high-level magic users. Exactly what they mean by "high level" isn't clear; I normally consider level 15 or so pretty high, but this game has rules for playing up to level 100 and beyond.

Whatever. There are two ways to enchant items. One is to just store a spell charge in the item. It works like a wand in older editions of D&D, allowing you to cast the spell from the item instead of from your own mana pool. Naturally, you have to be a spellcaster to use an item enchanted this way. The other method is to empower the item with magical properties. Doing this requires that you place a rune into one of the item's rune slots. What's a rune slot? I don't know, it doesn't say.

To create a charged item, just cast the spell you want to store on the item. You need to do this once for each charge you want the item to hold. You need to roll a spell check each time because "you may roll a fumble and mess something up real bad." And...that's it, really. The item is now charged with the spell you selected. Using the item works exactly like casting the spell, but it burns a charge from the item instead of draining mana. The spell effects are determined by the level of the person who made the item, not the one who uses it. You have to be a spellcaster to use charged items. There's a cost equation (drain x charges x 10 x level of caster), but it's not clear if that's the cost to purchase or the cost to create the item.

No word on recharging, I suppose it's impossible.

Assuming that's the cost to buy and not to make, this is hilariously broken. There's no reason not to spend all your down time creating wands of every spell you know - and buying and stockpiling ones you don't. It says this is for high level casters, but there's no reason you can't do it at level 1.

Most of the pictures in this section are little doodles like this, so sorry for the lack of crazy crap.

Moving on. Suppose you want to make an empowered item instead? It's a bit more difficult. It takes time based on your Intelligence and you need to have the right rune - you can either find 'em, buy 'em, or make 'em (how? not listed yet). After you're done with your magical incantations you can make an Intelligence check (target of 10, did the author seriously know how hard a target that is to hit?). Fail, and you get a free ticket to the magical fumble table.

You can't enchant technological items unless you have the Enchant Technology ability.

You can remove runes from an item and replace them with new ones, but runes can't be recycled - once removed they're dead.

To place a rune slot on an item takes someone with the Armorer skill and at least the Rune Slot Maker ability. It says we can find more information in the descriptions for those abilities, but if you'll recall, the only info to be found there is the number of slots you can install.

Next, we get a glossary of terms, for some reason! It contains exactly two entries: Rune and Ring . How utterly pointless.

Hey, forget all that crap about enchanting, let's talk protective circles! These are used to protect you from summoned creatures, just like in every other game that has protective circles. You need to purchase special tools from a "magical connect" ( ) or vendor to make one. Once established, it's a resisted Intelligence check between you and the summoned creature to see if it holds. If you have the Protective Circles skill, you can use that in place of your Intelligence check.

So, here's how summoning works...no? We're going to switch gears and talk about mana recovery now? Okay, game.

You recover mana exactly the same way you recover chi. Well, that was thrilling and worth the derail.

When you're out of mana you take a -2 to attack and defend. You can still cast spells, but you take 2 HP in damage for every point of mana you would have spent, and you can't soak it with Toughness or armor. This is a really bad thing to have happen. Fortunately, the Battle Chant skill makes it pretty much impossible for you to ever be without mana for more than a turn.

You defend against spells normally, save that if it's a mental spell (gray magic), you don't get your defense mod from Dexterity. Instead you use the Mental Defense mod from Willpower. It's okay, I'm sure the fact that Mental Defense bonuses are few and far between and that Willpower is otherwise worthless for most classes will not in any way make these kind of spells ridiculously likely to hit. (+3 focused mage, +3 magical tattoos, +1-10 specialization, against in all probability a +1 or +0.)

Hey, remember the fumble tables for physical combat? Here's the one for spellcasters. Naturally, it uses a different die type, is more likely to fuck over and/or wipe your party, and has a random chance of giving the caster a permanent fucking attribute bonus . Ain't being a caster grand?

Spells of Sorcery

Yes, for no reason it's the spell list. Did I mention this book has six editors? Because I refuse to believe it was edited at all.

Anyway. Highlights!

Red Magic - Mostly hurty stuff. Used mainly by unspecialized mages and Mu Dai.

Overall, red magic is really boring, and you should never focus on it because it's far too limited. Damage is really shitty at first - like, 1D6 shitty - but becomes crazy high after about 10th level. On the other hand, you have to wait until 10th level just to keep pace with a monk or a merc.

White Magic - Healing/defense. Mainly used by priests and Mu Dai.

Wow, nothing really interesting here. Mostly it's just defensive bonuses and healing, with very little along either lines that stand out. You can largely get by without this so long as you can cast Heal Wounds and Hard Flesh when it counts.

Blue Magic - Divination. Mainly used by vanilla mages and Technomancers.

As in D&D, this type of magic is really powerful. Okay, yes, they did try to limit applications of clairvoyance/clairaudience by requiring you to have a personal item of the person you're scrying, but that's hardly a limitation. Basically, once you start investing in this heavily, you'll either bypass every plot and skip to the end or your GM will start using anti-scrying spells so heavily that your investment becomes worthless. (Sort of. As I mentioned, lackeys and other minions probably won't have these protections, so you can sneak around the limitations that way.) You're damned either way.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Green, Gray, and Black magic! Conjuring! Maybe even alchemy!

Celebrating the new year with Chapter VII: Magic

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Well, now that the holidays are done, let's see if I can't get back on track with this so-called game!

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 29: Celebrating the new year with Chapter VII: Magic
Or, more caster supremacy

Continuing our look at magic spells!

Green Magic - Nature-themed stuff. Mostly used by shamen.

So, yeah. Green magic is crazy powerful, ridiculously unfocused, and most fun of all, has little or nothing to do with its own supposed theme. If you want to be a focused mage at all (and you do), this is the color to focus on. It is notable, though, that a lot of the more broken-sounding stuff is tempered by being either high level (you can't cast Fly until 20th level), weaker than comparable magic (Displacement does a comparatively anemic 1D4 damage per level), or both. Still, the versatility here alone makes up for any shortcomings.

Gray Magic - Mental stuff and illusions. Mostly a Technomancer thing.

Overall, gray is, again, insanely powerful. Aside from the few spells it has which do nothing at all , most of its spells are pretty powerful. Many of them have ill-defined restrictions that could be used to the player's advantage - the spell Split Image makes duplicates of the caster and says opponents can't tell which is real, but offers no advice on how to deal with it in combat - random roll to see if the caster is hit? I suppose, but a player could argue that they're not standing in the right place/that the illusion is in the way/whatever. Add to that the fact that almost all the spells here require the victim to beat the caster at a Willpower check or ignore the target's physical defenses, and you have the potential for some serious cheese.

Black magic - Necromancy and scary dead people magic. It's supposed to be illegal, but it's so rampant that you probably won't ever be caught.

There's surprisingly little worth talking about here. Most black magic spells just deal damage directly, or allow the caster to deal more damage with their normal attacks. Many of the rest are only useful around undead or only useful while controlling undead. Not worth focusing on.

So, spellcasting? Pretty solid. A spellcaster is going to be just plain better, full stop, than a non-caster by endgame. That said, it takes them a while to get there. For at least the first ten levels or so, spellcasting is a gimmick, something that will be useful occasionally or will make a big impact once per fight then be sidelined. Monks, meanwhile, are tearing through opponents like paper, and mercs are laying down heavy bursts and dropping guys left and right. It takes a long time for magic to come into its own. Even longer than early versions of D&D.

The mu dai, our half magic/half monk oddball? Well, they're okay. More like full magic/half monk, really. But they start with red and white magic, which are two of the worst types (especially at low level), and can't focus, which makes them strictly worse at being a spellcaster than a mage. With green magic and some experience they can be pretty formidable, but it still seems that your best option if you want to go the magic/chi route is to be a monk and multiclass into a focused green or gray mage at 13th level. Yeah, you'll lose 12 levels of caster progression but you'll be a much stronger melee combatant, and you'll have the cash to buy level-appropriate wands so those lost levels mean nothing. You'd really be better off going straight monk or mage in either case but a monk/mage beats a mu dai any day.


Finally, the summoning rules! It's quite simple. Just 11* easy steps!

1. Make a protective circle. Optional, but you really, really want to.
2. Choose whether you're conjuring an elemental or a spirit. If it's an elemental, you need some of the appropriate element to summon from - a bowl of water, a brazer, etc. Spirits don't need nuffin'.
3. If you want to bind a spirit so it'll actually, you know, obey you , you need to carve a totem of some kind as you summon.
3. Roll your conjuring check. Yes, this step number is mislabeled.
4. The DM rolls 1D12 to determine what answers the summons. Your level and check result are irrelevant here. Bumbling apprentices can summon arch demons and archmages can summon common ghosts! The summoned creature's level is 6 times the result of the roll.
5. If it's a random spirit of the dead, roll 1D3 to determine the path (light, shadow, dark).
6. The GM can roll up a random NPC here if they want! (No.)
7. Lose (spirit power + level x 6) mana. I have no idea what spirit power means in this context, and no idea whether it's the caster's level or the summoned creature's.
8. Attempt to bind the spirit to your will!
9. If the summoned creature resisted your binding, it can try to break out of the circle.
10. If you bound the creature successfully and have your totem, hooray! You can control your pet and it won't attack you. Unless the totem gets destroyed, of course.
11. The summoned creature stays for a number of hours equal to its Willpower score. If you die before this time is up, anything you summoned can choose to return, but doesn't have to.

Well, isn't that simple!

Oh, you can also use your Conjuring skill to banish stuff, which involves way less bullshit.

Overall? Conjuring is crazy broken at low level (but costs too much to use), rather weak at high level, and way too complicated to bother with. Sorry, summoners.


Simon Yates posted:

What color blood? Like an icky colored blood?

Alchemy is comparatively easy. Buy ingredients, make a check against a target of 6 - succeed and you make a potion! You need a formula, of course, and it takes a good 6 hours. Oh, and of course there's a fumble table if you fail.

By the way, I had earlier said that you need to have the Alchemy Craft ability to use the Alchemy skill, but on re-reading, it looks like Alchemy Craft lets you make up your own potions, not brew up existing ones. So that's at least a bit less insane.

Next, we get magical loot tables. Like, that is what they're actually called. There are no guidelines for when to make these checks or what constitutes level-appropriate loot, so you could be handing out the equivalents of +5 Holy Avengers for your entire party at level 1. Better yet, it suggests letting players roll for their own, so you don't even have the option of fudging any really unbalanced results.

I have no idea what this is but it's pretty hilarious.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Magic items! There are several of them!

Finishing up Chapter VII: Magic

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

I apologize for the lack of images, this chapter is pretty barren.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 30: Finishing up Chapter VII: Magic
Or, magical toys

Magic items! There are nine pages of these, presented as a huge list of three-column text (yes, we're on to three columns now, I guess the one/two split got boring). Again, there are no suggestions as to what's level-appropriate, or how enemies can/should use them, or what society does with them, anything like that. They just exist .



There's nothing very surprising in the alchemy section, though some pretty obvious items (potion of polymorph, say, instead of that crappy beast potion) seem to be missing. Oh, and if you guessed that there's multiple different types of health/mana/chi potions that restore different amounts, with prefixes like "heavy" being the only difference in name, give yourself a gold star. Fun fact: the best healing item (Healing Crystal) requires 2 actions to heal 100 HP. A typical mage can deal more than that per round with attack spells by level 15 or so, and can heal more than that per round by about level 10. The game is intended to be played up to level 100 or more and non-spellcasters are intended to remain viable the whole time.

Books & Scrolls
What I didn't list here are the heaps and heaps of scrolls that raise a skill or attribute by 1 (if you don't have the skill, it teaches it to you at a rating of 1). There are a few that grant some defensive abilities like Counter Spell on a one-time basis, too. Surprisingly? No scrolls to protect against elements.


I skipped a lot of these because they're very, very boring. You've got multiple variations on a bag of holding, you've got magic mirrors you can teleport through, you've got a skull that monitors a room for you...it's all stuff we've seen before. Very little interesting or fun crap.


The runes are...okay. There seems to be a lot of overlap - most of them just add extra damage to your weapon or give your armor an AC boost. The level restrictions, though, are what kills this system. You have to be around level 50 to have any interesting options open to you, and the really fun stuff is generally level 80+. I just can't see a campaign lasting that long unless levels are handed out like candy.


We are told in the random loot section that these are intended for characters at level 40+. They can hold 10 runes, and you get an ability if all 10 are the same rune - these abilities generally aren't worth it (as an example, 10 regeneration runes nets you the Fearless ability, which just makes you immune to fear). In addition, each artifact has a focus, and a random special ability related to that focus. I'm only going to list the best/most humorous/most interesting of each type, but there's generally 3-4 abilities you can get.

Unique Artifacts

Oh we're not done! There are still three pages of unique artifacts to cover! I'll limit myself to the best 3 per page.

Hilariously, we gets costs for these, too, even though they're unique and can't be bought or sold.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Weapons!

Bustin' things up with Chapter VIII: Weapons & Armor

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Sorry to double-post, but this is overdue.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 31: Bustin' things up with Chapter VIII: Weapons & Armor
Or, how to kill

Steve Astacio posted:

If I’m gonna die, I’m gonna go out dying.

Truly, Steve, you are a poet.

Weapons! "There are enough weapons within these pages to have lots and lots of fun using them." Um...'kay. Didn't think the fun of using a weapon was dependent on how many you had to choose from, but whatever. Ancient weapons like swords are legal on Earth. Energy weapons require permits, as do "ancient" firearms. Wait, so it's a-okay to carry around a huge fuckoff axe, but a musket requires a permit?

The Empire, church, and City Guard (who, in case you've forgotten, are the misleadingly named interstellar police force) will try to nab you for illegal weapons. No word yet on what the punishment is if you're caught, or how they check your permits or anything. Is a city guard officer allowed to just pull you over and ask if you have a license for that plasma rifle? Do they have checkpoints? Who knows.

So what hoops do you need to jump through for these permits? Well, there's two methods. 1) Know somebody who sells weapons, or 2) have connections. Wait, what the hell?

I don't believe it posted:

To gain access to weapons like energy and other highly illegal weapons, one must know someone involved in that area of sales, or be connected to someone who can hook them up.

Connected! Not "have a connect!" It's a goddamn miracle.

Anyway, my point is if you don't know a guy you ain't gettin' that disruptor pistol. Seems inefficient to me, but what do I know.

We get a quick rundown of what the weapon's stats mean. I wouldn't even have mentioned it but our esteemed author decided to throw this in there for some reason:

Seriously, Brandon Williams "Rogue," fuck you . t

Anyway, the weapons themselves: pages upon pages of statblocks and very little if any backstory on what the weapon is or why it's interesting or notable. They're are all pretty much identical save for their damage and such. It's very Palladiumesque. However, to the author's credit, every weapon is given a hand drawn illustration. Many of the images are fucked up in the .pdf, though - they've been stretched so that they look right - so I'm reduced to taking lots and lots of screenshots to grab 'em.


Melee Weapons

Sharpheen Battle Tooth: A sharpheen (lizard-man) spear. Does modest damage, slightly better than a sword.

Shaanook Battle Flail: A silly name for what appears to be an axe-bladed flail. Sharpheen design. Damage is comparable to the battle tooth.

Stun Rod: Arguably the most broken of melee weapons, it deals light damage plus the target loses 1D4 actions.

Blade Saw: Badass. Deals decent damage, about the same as those goofy sharpheen weapons.

Kofferain Lance: A kuthalan (foot clan bug people) double-bladed weapon. The blades are retractable and possibly powered in some way; it doesn't say so but the target has to make a body save or lose actions like a stun rod. Decent damage.

Blade Fan: Decent energy damage plus it gives you +2 to defense, so well worth the 25K price tag for a melee fighter.


Energy Crossbow: I don't get it. It does 2D20 damage - not energy damage, just regular, "I hit you with a stick" damage - but the ammunition is in the form of energy cells. Man, bowcasters are confusing.

Disc Thrower: It, um, throws discs? It's one of them goofy sharpheen weapons. Decently high damage, 10 shots.

Dart Spitter: Apparently a wrist-mounted dart launcher. Deals pathetic damage per hit but it can fire up to 4 darts at a time. Holds just 24 shots. Also a sharpheen design.


Burthook 30: A skag (aka dog-klingon) double-barreled pistol, heavy damage but it's breech loaded.

.480 Barracuda: It's charmingly goofy. Modest damage for a firearm, 8-round cylinder, runs 1490 credits at space Walmart.

Bolt Hurler (Oghnu): A bogkroll pistol. For its size - it's Medium, which is heavier than most pistols - it does pretty anemic damage. It can fire in bursts, but it's pretty crap all around and there are better automatics.

Phazed Pistol (Ku Zad): A djachyan (aka the greys) energy pistol. Does decent damage or can stun for 1D6 actions, so pretty great all around.

Sub Machine Guns (what an odd way to parse that!)

Zentec Scorpian: Nothing notable about any of these (decent but not spectacular damage, and they can all fire in bursts) but I did want to point out that they misspelled "scorpion."


Double Barrel Shotgun "Booya Stick": It's boomstick, you chowderhead. Boomstick. Does heavy damage, of course. Not too surprisingly, shotguns get a bonus to hit targets close up and can hit multiple targets if they're close together, despite the fact that shotguns don't work that way.


AK-60 Assault Rifle: There are a bunch of guns listed that are just existing modern day firearms with bigger numbers, and this is the most egregious. Damage is pretty solid.

Warhog Blaster Rifle: Warthog . Man, there are times when this book reads like it was written by an alien who has only a passing familiarity with human culture. 3D20 damage, but no burst fire capability.

Light Machine Guns

E50 Chain Gun "The Hydra": Here's the gun trivia lesson of the day: chain guns are defined specifically by having only a single barrel. Weapons that use multiple barrels in rotation are miniguns.

Heavy Weaponry

2000 TE Annihilator: Oh now that's just silly looking.

Hellbringer 6 Energy Cannon: Deals 1D4x100 damage, is not even the most powerful off-the-shelf firearm in the game, and that's all we need to say about it.


UX4 Bazooka: The proper term for this is a recoiless rifle , "bazooka" is a slang term.


No pictures here, but I thought this was worth quoting:

Warheads are bad m'kay posted:

Warheads are bad, and are used in dire situations only. They are highly illegal, and most people do not want them around, especially governments, military, police, or even colonists for that matter. Who wants more radiation around anyway?

I wonder if he realizes that conventional missiles also have warheads.

After missiles we get a big list of explosives and weapon accessories, nothing new or interesting.

Special Weapons

Matter Displacement Rifle: Brings new meaning to the phrase "gun porn."

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Armor! Also, since that section is super-short and the next chapter is super-boring, equipment!

Double dippin' in Chapter VIII: Weapons & Armor and Chapter VIX: Equipment

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Did someone say bad mechanics?

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 32: Double dippin' in Chapter VIII: Weapons & Armor and Chapter VIX: Equipment
Or, two more chapters down, six to go

Armor! It gives you damage reduction. It's rated separately for impact (i.e. pointy things) and ballistics (i.e. "booya sticks"). Some also protect against energy, though we aren't told which rating to apply to those attacks. None of the armor is interesting enough to note and very little of it is illustrated.

The frontline during the Hive War on Nimbus III. I'm pretty sure that's the planet where Star Trek V starts out.

Oddly, most armors resist ballistics better than impacts. Some provide equal protection, none are better rated for impacts.

The best armor in the game provides 10/20 protection, and that costs 30,000 credits with only a 35% of being available for purchase in any given location. More typical armor is in the 5-10 range if that. You can layer armor, which you absolutely want to do because damage is insane and 5 or 10 points of damage reduction will not be enough to save your life.

Just your average zombie with a shotgun.

Shields work differently; they add directly to your defense roll. If your defense roll is greater than the opponent's attack roll but only because of the shield bonus the shield absorbs the damage first. If the damage exceeds the shield's armor rating it's destroyed, otherwise the attack is deflected harmlessly. If your defense roll is higher than the opponent's attack roll even without the shield bonus then the attack missed and you take no damage. What this means in practice is that a shield only has a 10-30% chance of actually blocking any given attack, and there's a not-insignificant chance the first time they're used successfully they'll break. Honestly, they should have left it as just a flat defense bonus and called it a day.

The last page of this chapter is devoted to a series of random charts (of course they're random) for designing new or alien equipment. They're not particularly balanced - shocking, I know - as the minimum possible damage is D20 + D6 (average of 14, up there with a high-caliber firearm) and the maximum is D% x 10 with burst fire possible (average of over 2500 on a heavy burst, enough to reduce most opponents and even some vehicles to a greasy smear).

That's all for that chapter!

Chapter VIX: Equipment

Simon Yates posted:

It’s a good job I have that.

Equipment! Not much to say here: it's just a huge, dry list of gear that's available.

A huge dry list. That's a pretty good description for most of this game, actually.

Anyway! Let's see what wondrous technology awaits us in the year 6010 A.D.!

Bio Diagnostics Scanner: It's a medical tricorder.

Bio Regenerator: Works like a health potion, only it restores 2D6x10 HP and can be used three times per day. Solar powered.

Chameleon Tarp: Throw it over your car, press a button, and voila! Instant camouflage.

Environmental Scanner: It's a non-medical tricorder.

Hold Out Gauntlet: It's a concealed holster for a small pistol. On command they'll drop the pistol into your hand, saving you the trouble of drawing them.

Matter Teleportation Unit (MTU): It's a transporter. You need one unit at each end - no site-to-site transport for you. Also if you guessed there was a random chance (1%) that using it would just straight up kill you, give yourself a gold star.

Mental Probe: It extracts information and images from a person's mind. No roll, no resistance. Just...mind reading. 100% reliable. Imagine all of the staggering implications that portable mind reading helmets bring to a setting. Now ignore 'em because the game does too.

M.R.E. Caps: Ever see one of those old 40's sci-fi serials where food comes in pill form? Well...

Sonar Shades: Lets you "see" sound, like Daredevil. Again, imagine the implications of a world where sonar vision is widely available and relatively cheap. Now imagine a world where this technology is widely available but largely ignored.

Simulated Realism Recorder and S.R.R. Chip: The SRR is a unit that attaches to a cyborg's com port. It allows you to record everything you experience - sights, smells, even touch. You can then copy that file onto a chip and trade it to someone else, or buy a commercially available one, or just replay your favorite memories whenever you want. So, instead of watching James Bond seduce the girls and kill the bad guys, you get to become James Bond and experience everything he does firsthand. Imagine how this would revolutionize entertainment. Imagine what it must be like living in a world where other people will pay you for your memories and experiences. Imagine you are playing Eclipse Phase where these kinds of issues might actually get addressed properly.

Thieves' Tools: You knew these were in here somewhere.

A marketplace on haven, I guess.

The next-to-last page is full of licenses and permits. Apparently a weapon permit runs around 1000 credits, which is more than most starting characters can afford. So, that pistol you're carrying? Probably illegal! We're also reminded that energy weapon permits are hard to get, being restricted to military and law enforcement for some reason. Energy weapons aren't actually that much better than regular firearms, and they're far more expensive both to own and operate, so I'm not sure why restricting them is such a big deal.

The last page is a huge D% table for random gear. No explanation on how it's intended to be used, and everything in the equipment section - I mean everything , including the Matter Teleportation Unit - has an equal chance of showing up. So apparently 1 in 100 goons is carrying around a transporter pad on his back!

(Also, there is a 1% chance that anyone you meet will be wearing a pimp suit. That makes up for any other nonsense right there.)

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Cybernetics! We learn why being a 'borg is lame.

Augmenting ourselves with Chapter X: Cybernetics

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 33: Augmenting ourselves with Chapter X: Cybernetics
Or, I have no com port and I must interface

Brandon Williams posted:

Called shot to the Achilles ankle.

That's almost coherent! Also it has no bearing on this chapter whatsoever!

Cybernetics. It's another section where the influences of Palladium games is really apparent. Nothing interesting is done with this system, it's just a bunch of parts you can collect, pokemon-style. Most of them give you a very minor ability or a small stat boost. They can pretty much all be replicated with equipment or surpassed with magic. There are no real compelling reasons to want to be a cyborg and some pretty good ones not to.

If you remember as far back as character creation there is an attribute, Spirit, that governs how much cyberware you can have. Most races start with 10, humans get 12, revenants get 20. These numbers are astoundingly retarded because Spirit drain is measured in tenths of a point . Boy, I sure love tracking fractional attributes, don't you?

Whatever. Install cyberware, lose Spirit. Remove that cyberware later? Your Spirit doesn't come back. You need really, really powerful magic, like an artifact, to do that. Also, be aware that having of Spirit below 10 will give you some pretty severe penalties to chi and mana (unless you're a technomancer), so if you're going those routes cyberware in general is not recommended. Thanks to a colossal rules blunder, revenants are severely penalized for having cyberware, so their one racial advantage is pretty much impossible to use.

So who should consider cyberware? Nobody, really, but the best candidates for it are spy or espionage types (assassin, ronin, thief) or guys who just don't give a crap about magic or chi (merc, thug). They have the least to lose and the most to gain. Technomancers and tekkers can more or less be assumed to have some, but neither is going to need or want much.

Have a random eyeball for no reason.

The big problem with cyberware is that having any implants at all - doesn't matter what they are - means you take x2 power damage from electrical attacks. Electrical attacks aren't common but they're not rare either, and you really do not want to start stacking damage multipliers onto yourself. Oh, and if you lower your Spirit to below 4 it becomes x3. Revenants? You start out taking x3 power damage from electricity before you've installed your first part . Since RAW that's a racial penalty and not from cyberware you get to stack those multipliers. How's x5 power damage from electrical attacks grab you? Before you answer that, bear in mind that a starting character has around 20 HP and a typical attack is almost certain to break 10 points of damage.

On top of that, there's a 10% chance when you're hit with an electrical attack that one of your implants - determined, you guessed it, randomly - is destroyed. You're also vulnerable to Tech Bombs, which can stun you or shut you completely down.

Did I mention there's a pistol available that deals electrical damage, or that mages can cast Lightning Bolt starting at 3rd level?

Let's hope the implants are worth it (spoiler: they're not).

So how do you get cyberware? Two methods: 1) you get it as part of your class, or 2) you buy it. Class wise, you don't tend to get much. Assassins, Mech Runners, Ronin, and Tekkers get a chip port (read: USB port) and "100mc" of internal memory. Tekkers also get a com port to interface with other devices. Mercs get a Strength enhancement and Technomancers get an in-head data display. That's it . As for buying it, the cheapest implant will run you over 12K, and most are into the hundreds of thousands. A starting character might manage to swing 1K.

In other words, you don't get it at all without doing a bunch of jobs and saving up to it. By the way, you can opt not to take the cyberware your class gives you, and unless you're a tekker, you'd probably be wise to do so.

So how bad are these implants, anyway? Well, here's a sample:

Body Upgrade: Gives you +1 to Body per rating, to a max of +3. One of the rare parts that might almost be worth it if not for the crippling vulnerability to electrical attacks. Drains 0.5 Spirit and costs 300K, both per rating.

Electro Shock Suppressors: You can tell something is wrong when one of the best implants does nothing but reduce the penalties for having implants in the first place. Reduces electrical damage multipliers by 1 step. Costs 0.6 Spirit and 420K credits.

Gills: Lets you breathe underwater. Costs 0.5 Spirit and 275K credits. A rebreather mask from the equipment section costs 7K.

Liquid Purifier: Filters toxins and impurities from liquids. 0.3 Spirit and 115K credits.

Nano Tech Bodywire: Regenerate 2D6 HP per round. Hey, that's pretty nice! I wonder what the catch is...oh. It increases your damage modifier from electrical attacks to x4. And costs a full point of Spirit and 800K credits. No thanks.

Self Destruction: Allows you to explode, probably taking your party along with you. Even that costs 0.4 Spirit and 110K credits.

Skull Web & Torsal Webbing: The only cybernetic armor available, the skull web gives +1 or +2 to Toughness, the torsal webbing +1 to +3. For those playing along at home that's five whole points of damage reduction, maximum, which is pretty negligible. Skull web costs you 0.3 Spirit and 100K credits per rating, torsal webbing runs 0.5 Spirit and 120K credits per rating despite doing exactly the same thing.

...And, of course, the usual Strength enhancements and audio/visual upgrades, most of which can be replicated with a nice set of goggles.

Not really very impressive at all, is it?

That Dr. Robotnik/Alf crossover fanfic couldn't end soon enough if you ask me.

We're also told that cloning is an everyday thing in the 61st century. In fact, cybernetics is rarely used for medical prostheses these days, replacement parts are just grown in a Biosphere and can be ready to go in an hour or so. You can clone your entire character if you want - it's illegal, of course, due to "Armethian Cloning Act 122231456895" - but you can do it. If you do, you have to make an exact copy of your character sheet and spend at least 2 million. Your clone starts with the base Spiritual Influence for your class, because even though it's genetically identical, it has its own soul. You can also do this if your character dies, but in that case the clone loses attribute points for some reason.

We're warned that "Some game masters may only allow up to 6 resurrections or 6 clones." I can't see any reason for that at all, beyond the fact that I'm pretty sure that's how many clones you get in Paranoia. (Maybe. I'm guessing because knowing the rules to that vastly superior game would of course be treason.)

Of course, some GMs just won't allow clones at all. You know, that seems a whole lot simpler.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Artificial intelligence! Which...includes...cyborgs...for some reason. My head hurts.

Simulated amusement in Chapter X: Cybernetics

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 34: Simulated amusement in Chapter X: Cybernetics
Or, do cyborgs dream of electric sheep?

AI! There are several different types. Tekkers can apparently build 'em - a class feature? Nice to have it explained here, six chapters after the section the explains what tekkers can do! All AIs have a Realism Rating, which is the difficulty a character has to beat on their Perception check to notice it's not an organic. Apparently the idea of shipboard AI's or other nonhumanoid intelligences never occurred to the author.

AIs are divided into three types. Androids are fully synthetic. Cyborgs are emotionless artificial intelligences housed in an organic frame (I think Webster's would take issue with that definition). Droids are...also fully synthetic, but non-humanoid, or at least they aren't designed to look organic and have no realism rating. This directly contradicts the above statement that all AIs have RR's. Droids, by the way, can't become citizens. It points this out very specifically. What about androids and cyborgs, you ask? Who knows, let's move on!

We get a huge list of different types of droids, but the list just has some very basic stats (SHP, which non-living things use in place of HP, plus attack and defense mods and Toughness) plus an idea of what they were built for (mechanics, security, etc) and nothing else - no idea on their size, appearance, armament, capabilities, etc.

The list of androids gives us at least some details. The 200 series was built on Earth, but the more desirable 220 and 250 models hail from Mars. Which is almost entirely populated by mongru (dwarves). So, uh, I guess dwarves are pioneers of advanced artificial intelligence? Or maybe someone's just a fan of the Armitage movies.

The cyborgs are all terminator-style death machines, save the archaic 600 series (domestic/civilian) and the 860 series (Robocop).

Realism ratings are all 10 and up, save for the old 200 series androids, which are a 6. That's a pretty tough Perception check to make - remember, for an 18 Perception score you're still just rolling 2D6. Hope the dice like you.


Mandi Williams posted:

I was torn between staying and not going.

Oh what a card you must be Mandi. That's right up there with it was so funny I forgot to laugh .

Anyway, yes, this is crammed into the cybernetics section for some reason. You can access the internet with a comlab - it's like a smartphone - but to actually enter "the dimension of cyberspace" you need a cybernetic com port.

They're not kidding, by the way. That's not a euphemism or a metaphor. Cyberspace is the 12th dimension.

That... may not be how dimensions work.

Anyway. Cyberboards are a...well, they're this...look, it doesn't say what they are, it's just this thing that you can plug in to give you bonuses in cyberspace. Apparently tekkers like to use 'em. Information on cyberboards is presented in the most amazingly cluttered and confusing way:

Editing at its finest.

In addition, cyberboards can store and run special programs for you when you're in cyberspace. These work a lot like special abilities, only they're very limited in scope - you've got weapons, shields, stealth and detection programs, but not much else.

Next up, we get an overview of how cyberspace works!

Step 1: Entering Cyberspace. Plug a cable from your com port into a computer terminal or comlab. No, there's no wifi in the 61st century, why would there be? Anyway, congratulations! You have entered the 12th dimension. While inside the computer you lose sensory awareness of your body, but you can still talk to your allies via comlink if you were smart enough to wear one.

The lens flare is a nice touch, very mid-90's CGI.

Step 2: Getting Around. The 12th dimension (snicker) is like a big virtual city. Websites and online stores are buildings and shops, chat rooms are bars and clubs, you know the drill. There are virtual cops to take care of hackers and virtual transit systems to connect different cities and worlds.

Step 3: Breaking Codes. All security walls have passcodes. If you don't know the code you've got to break it. There are 6 classes of walls, but 1 & 2, 3 & 4, and 5 & 6 are identical, so...3 classes, really. Each is rated numerically, which is the target you need to beat with your check to hack it. Class 1 and 2 walls allow three attempts before alerting the cyber police. Class 3 and 4 only allow 2, and class 5 and 6 walls alert security on any failed attempt. Seems like that would generate a lot of false alarms to me, but what do I know.

Some hackers like to bypass the outer walls by sneaking into a facility in the real world and then connecting to cyberspace. That sounds like a monumentally bad idea compared to, say, hacking in from another star system where it'll take time to get the cops to your location.

What's her hair plugged into?

Step 4: Jacking Out or Blown Away. I'd make the obvious jacking/blowing joke here, but the author beat me to it. If you want to leave cyberspace you've got three options. 1) Find a communications entry point or terminal and log out. That's your best bet. 2) Have a friend yank you out. That'll forcibly sever your connection and leave you blind, deaf, and dizzy for 1D4 hours . 3) Get killed in the virtual world. Any attack that reduces your board to less than 0 HP will fry the physical hardware. Excess damage is dealt to you with a x2 multiplier and you have to make a body save or go unconscious. That's bad.

Cyber Combat

I'm going to save you all a lot of words here: it's exactly like normal combat but physical bonuses don't count. Only bonuses from your board and your computer skill apply.

Oh and there's a special cyberspace combat fumble chart because the game needs more of those.

Complete with random "fuck you" option.

The last bit in this section explains how cyberspace is big business. Megacorps have a vested interesting in getting people in and keeping them hooked. They've cultivated the image of cyberspace as this perfect utopia, a fully immerse and perfect world. People can and do become addicted to it.

The outside of Cybertron headquarters, which if I remember my Transformers fancrap correctly means it's a picture of Iacon.

We're also told to be careful of Tekkers monopolizing large parts of the session with cyberspace crap, but are offered no ways to avoid it beyond "be prepared for it" or "have an NPC do it instead." Yes, the game is suggesting that one of the character classes might be best used exclusively as an NPC. Chaos, ladies and gentlemen.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Vehicles!

Pedal to the metal in Chapter XI: Vehicles

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 35: Pedal to the metal in Chapter XI: Vehicles
Or, Driving Miss Djachyan

Dave Whiting posted:

Two birds, one stone, you hear what I’m thinking?

Seriously, it's like every one of the quotes was made by cousin Balki, it's annoying.

This chapter, as you probably guessed, is one big list of vehicles. Very few of them are illustrated and none of them have a description beyond the basic type. Let's see if we can cruise past this in one go, shall we?

I have no idea what this is but I want one.

Ground Vehicles

Anything with wheels or treads falls into this group, as well as hover vehicles that have a limited ceiling that's especially low. They're cheap, but not especially fast or maneuverable. You've got your pick of the Hoverboard (from Back to the Future Part II , presumably), Dune Rider (a dune buggy I guess?), Mag Bike (a hover bike limited to 5 feet), Road Bike , Quadrone (car or truck), Dundra (van or bus), or the ultra-super-illegal police-only Riot Control Tank .

Water Vehicles

Stuff you will never see because the campaign will never involve high-speed boat chases! Take your pick of the equally useless Water Bike , Wind Ship , Speed Boat , Cabin Cruiser , Fishing Boat , Freighter , Cruise Vessel , Squid Craft (?), and Submarine Vessel !

Hover Bikes

Not to be confused with the Mag Bike, which is not a hover bike, it's just a bike that hovers! They have retractable wheels or can fly at a height of up to 500 feet. There's several with names like the S-X Falcon or the Orion Saber , all of which differ only slightly in handling, top speed, and armor/SHP. The best overall are either the Orion Saber (top speed is a mere 110 MPH, but has good handling and the best armor and SHP) or the Horizon (the fastest at 200 MPH and still has good handling, but has lighter armor and less SHP).

Hover bikes, probably.

Hover Cars

Exactly like the bikes, only they're cars so they seat 2-10 adults comfortably. There's a bunch of overlap here - the Highway T-250 and the Highway Ascent differ only in that the Ascent has marginally more armor and SHP and costs slightly more, for instance. The best of the lot is undoubtedly the insane S.G. Interceptor , a police cruiser that seats 6, has a top speed of 200 MPH (the second-fastest), armor of 20 (a full 10 points higher than the second highest) and 10,000 SHP, twice that of the second-highest.

At this point we break to see all the bells and whistles we can add to our vehicles. You've got the usual upgrades to the game stats (speed, handling, etc), plus a few simple vehicle options like an ejection seat. The most hilarious option? You can buy insurance for your vehicle. It includes a transponder that, once activated, will send space AAA speeding to your rescue. Now that's roadside service.


These work a little differently, in that they have slightly different stats, but I won't bore you with the details. They're not important. Spacecraft are divided into two categories, civilian and combat. Again, we are given few pictures, so the names and statblocks don't really help us much here. We aren't even given any way to judge a ship's size beyond comparing how many passengers they can hold.

Only two of the ships are given colorful names, the Knarr and the Drakar . Everything else is a generic "planetary shuttle" or what have you.

A Knarr, the only ship type to get a labeled picture.


Mecha! There are three . There's the M19 Spider (sounds very familiar but I can't seem to place it, maybe a Battletech mech?), the M21 Leviathan , and the M56 Beholder . They differ in speed, size, and other game stats, but the armament is always a missile rack and one or two energy cannons.

Next up, we get a section for customizing spacecraft and mekmods. No, you can't get insurance for them, and yes, it is a shame. You can upgrade stuff pretty much indefinitely, aside from weapons (you get a fixed number of those based on the craft), so it's possible to have a warp-capable escape pod with more SHP than a battleship.

The last page gives us a set of random starship generation tables. Oddly, the tables can produce ships with armor and shields well below those of a common shuttle, or they can produce ships that are so heavily armored even the imperial flagship would balk. At least the results are in rough size categories so you won't end up with completely crazy results. It seems okay-ish, as far as this game's random tables go, but there's a lot of rolling involved.

That's all for that chapter!

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: The GM section! We learn how this crap is supposed to be run.

Learning how to run this crap in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 36: Learning how to run this crap in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
Or, one chapter to rule them all

Brandon Williams posted:

The door will remain open until it is closed.

Game mastering! We're told that if we're experienced with running RPGs we can skip this section. It's for beginners . Imagine trying to run this as your first RPG.

Anyway, we're told that we should learn the rules and make sure our players' characters are built properly. It advises us to pay especially close attention to the combat rules so that we don't have to look stuff up in mid-fight. We're also told to look over the weapons chapter to see how each weapon is used. I just read that section a few days ago and it contains no such information, it's just a list of statblocks. The magic section is also listed as a must-read, even though it's entirely possible to run a game without any magic-users and cutting out an entire complex sub-system would seem to be a good idea for your first time running this leviathan.

It does suggest that we change or drop rules we don't like. I heartily endorse changing or dropping just about all of 'em.

Chaos 6010 A.D. posted:

The system is pretty well tested to make it easy and quick to allow more storytelling to take place.

I've never run this myself so I can only guess, but I seriously doubt this system is easy or quick to run in practice, what with all the fumble tables, special bonuses, and dozens of abilities and modifiers. I don't see how it could run at high level at all without handwaving huge portions of it, because every single action will have tons of riders and effects and you'll be managing four pools of points (mana, chi, cool points, and frenzy) that regenerate at different rates. In fact, I would be pretty surprised if this was playtested at all beyond level 20 or so, tops.

I wish the game were as cool as this art.

The introduction to GMing continues by giving us advice for making missions and stories. Notably absent is any advice regarding what your players want to do: it's all about you, the GM, being in sole charge of the universe. It warns against railroading and stresses that it's important for players to have the freedom to go where they want, but never even mentions the possibility of asking them what they'd like to do or how they'd like the story to unfold. It's a bit jarring and archaic feeling.

GMs are instructed to keep a cheat sheet on hand with their player's stats, which is probably a good idea since character strength can vary so wildly. The cheat sheet doesn't include their attributes or notable skills, though, which would seem to be pretty important since not everybody rolls the same dice for the same thing. It'd be a lot easier if the step table worked like Earthdawn, where the step number is equal to the average roll, but that's not always the case here.

There's a section on creating stories, but it's notably absent of any advice pertaining to, you know, creating stories. Just helpful non-suggestions like "[y]ou want to make a story that has the players excited about being a part of it." Yeah, thanks, how do I do that? The game doesn't say.

There's a section on creating memorable NPCs, including (of course) random tables for generating them. They're optional, but they're not especially fast , since NPCs - surprise, surprise! - have class levels. That means figuring out how many abilities they have and what those abilities do. Many of the calculations aren't even given random rolls, you're just expected to pull a number out of your ass using some loose guidelines: minor things like attack and defense mods work this way. Yes, the combat stats for NPCs are entirely up to GM fiat, I see no way this could possibly go wrong.

Cool Points

Cool points! These work like XP. You get more for the usual things (RPing well, doing fun stuff) and lose them for "sucking" (RPing badly, being disruptive). You also get more at higher level. If you choose to multiclass you go back to earning cool points at the lower level rate, which is why that option is awful and terrible and bad.

Fun fact: an extremely difficult task will get you 1500% more cool points at level 1 than an easy task. At level 120, it nets you just under 15% more.

Players can spend cool points to improve their character, as follows:
You can buy these between adventures and can spend any amount on any of them - you could take a skill from a rating of 1 to a rating of 5, for instance, but you'd have to pay (2 + 3 + 4 + 5) 14 cp to do it. Buying Frenzy is, of course, for suckers, because Frenzy is gone forever when you spend it but the other upgrades are permanent.

But wait, you say! This game has levels, so why do you get to spend experience between adventures? Because this game is bloated and confusing and uses two types of advancement. Cool points are both a resource to be expended and also a measure of growth to be hoarded. It works like this:

(section missing)

Yes, they neglected to include the part that explains how cool points work in regards to leveling up. I think you're intended to record both how many cool points you currently have and the running total of how many you've ever been given, and when the running total hits a certain amount, you gain a new level, but it doesn't say. You might actually be expected to save up towards a new level, in which case you'd be smart to put that off as long as possible and build up your character first.

See previous note.

Whenever you gain a level you get some special gifts, usually minor stat bonuses or more Mana or whatever. The number of gifts you get is shown on, you guessed it, a chart. The actually gifts themselves are determined by - say it with me - rolling on a chart. Most of the results are useful to anyone, which is nice, but a few could be completely useless for certain characters. Spellcasters get fewer level advancement gifts, but not by a huge amount.

Reputation Points

This is crammed in here for no reason. You get rep points for doing stuff that gets you known - it could be from completing missions, but it could also be from getting interviewed on TV, or from just buying a round of drinks at the local bar. It's honestly kind of neat, though I'd prefer a system that didn't involve tracking a bunch of points.

The goofiness comes in when you find that good stuff gives you positive rep points, and bad stuff gives you negative points. I think it's a little odd that if you're known throughout the galaxy as a paragon of virtue, murdering a space bus full of nuns and orphans will make you less famous. You're also strongly incentivised to be either cartoonishly good or evil, since flip-flopping will ensure that your rep stays more or less flat. You get free talents and abilities for reaching new levels of renown, so that's bad. Renown also affects troop morale and will affect what you're reincarnated as in the sixth dimension when you die.

Guy looks like he just caught a whiff of the game rules.

Getting Paid

What the hell is a random loot table doing in this part of the chapter?

It's not even useable by itself, it just suggests which of the previous loot tables we should roll on, then provides another one of miscellaneous stuff.

Ugh. The layout here is atrocious as always. We'll pick this up later.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: We finally (fail to) learn what Talents are! Another example of play! Random facts about Haven! Random random random!

The increasingly random Chapter XII: Game Master Rules

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 37: The increasingly random Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
Or, where editing goes to die

Talents! You get these every 4 levels. At level 32 and up, you can opt to instead take a new ability rather than a talent. It really doesn't matter if you do or not.

So what is a talent, anyway? Just another type of ability. Don't believe me? Go ahead and guess which of these are Talents and which are Abilities:

1, 3, 5, and 7 are Talents. 2, 4, 6, and 8 are Abilities. 9 is a gotcha because it's available as both a Talent and Ability, despite the fact that the two don't stack. Depending on your class and Talent tree selection you may (read: probably will) be forced to take both.

Yes, it's possible to have abilities, talents, magic spells, and chi powers, all of which are listed on your character sheet in different places if at all and oh man is it a mess.

There are four categories of talents: Melee, Shooting, Sneaky, and Magical. Each has four tiers (normal, master, grand master, and supreme grand master), and each tier has 10 talents in it, save the normal tier which only has 6. You can't take any master talents until you've taken all of the normal talents in the same category, and so on. In addition, you can only change categories when you finish off a tier, so if you grab all of the normal melee talents and then decide to take a sneaky talent next, you can't take a master-level melee talent until you've got all the normal sneaky talents.

Since none of the talents are all that different from abilities it's a useless subsystem that just adds complexity. Except the magical talents, of course, which are generally and predictably much better than the others. Of special note is the magical talent Power Surge , which is intended to add 1 to 3 levels to a spell when cast (already a decent bonus) but is instead written to multiply the spell's damage by x1 to x3. Also of note are the talents Lightning Attack , Rapid Fire , and Rapid Cast , which add combo damage multipliers to melee, ranged, and magical attacks, respectively. There are no abilities that add combo damage multipliers and these are the only way to get them outside of using automatic weapons. Other than that, though, the talents system is pretty lame.

In lieu of art, have...this.

Next up, we get another example of play. We had one back in the combat chapter, but more examples isn't a bad thing. Well, except this one is less an example of play and more a transcript of a session, involving exactly two die rolls (one to negotiate a price, the other for a random encounter). It doesn't explain anything about how the game is played and actually contains a brief out-of-character argument between two players. There's no reason this should've been included at all.

Of course I'm gonna post all of it. My character is a playa, yo!

The Shadows of Haven

Sgt. 75428 (A.S.P.) posted:

Halt citizen. Identification please. Are you carrying any illegal weapons today?

How else would you find out if you don't ask, you know?

This section deals with the city of Haven, and probably should have gone in the next chapter. The game assumes you're going to start your campaign here, and honestly, it's not a bad place for it - Haven's a huge metropolis, the largest city on Earth, and it has a little bit of everything. Plus it's surrounded by wilderness (you know how cities just kind of stop at the city limits and turn to virgin forest, right?) and has a starport, so you can branch off to pretty much anywhere you want to go.

First, though, your party needs a hideout! This is something that really, really should not have been put in the GM chapter, because it's an aspect of character creation when you think about it. Whatever. You can choose to live in the Undercity (dirty, dark, smells funny) or the Overcity (less dirty, less dark, costs more), with several different options presented for both. Hideouts range from living on the streets like a bum to a 2000-square-foot high rise loft. Starting characters, of course, can't afford any of these if they want to own any equipment at all, since the cheapest option that doesn't involve sleeping in a cardboard box runs 400 credits a month. Most will only rent to folks with ID cards, as well, so fuck you if you're from offworld.

Moving on, we're told that the city is divided into zones (large areas), areas (several blocks), and sectors (specific blocks). Then we're told that street names are still used, which means the old fashioned "street name and number" address system would seem to be more efficient. But, what do I know.

Gangs! There are a lot of them. We're given a brief list of the more influential ones. None are noteworthy.

Then we jump into crime and punishment. Man, this section is really, really disorganized. The Church of Sol is in charge of the justice system, and there are some astoundingly stupid sentences found here. Attempted murder will get you an average sentence of 14 years. Actual murder? An average of just 9 years (per victim, but still). Perjury carries a 10% chance of torture ; smuggling has a 10% chance of execution.

From there we jump into rates for transportation and medical care. Public transport is free, at least, but health care costs you an arm and a leg and insurance won't cover it (thanks, Obama! ). Being hospitalized will run you, minimum, 1000 credits, so try not to let that happen too often.

The next section is pretty big so I'm gonna stop here for now.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Points of interest in Haven, and a city map!

Stuff that should probably not be in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

There is so much not right about those dinosaurs.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 38: Stuff that should probably not be in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
Or, the city of Haven on 25 credits a day or less

Haven! It's the default focal point of the campaign, and most every group will probably start here. But what's there to see? Fear not, friends, we're about to take a look at the key points of the city.

By the way, this map goes at the end of this section, but I think it's more useful up front so we can follow along. Not that the points are laid out in any particular order.

I went over the key points in red to make them readable.

1. The Church of Sol: A massive cathedral with a pyramidal steeple and a holographic star floating overhead. It's practically a fortress, guarded by church acolytes as well as police, monks, and other crazy crap. Weapons are not allowed inside. Mass is held twice daily and translated by the acolytes. The Arch Bishop (sic) is Boragyle III, an unfortunately named 47th level mongru priest. Yes, 47th level. That detail is vitally important. So important, in fact, that it was included despite not having room to talk about his personality, ambitions, or even what he looks like.

2. Club Destiny: An underground nightclub (not literally) that's been getting pretty popular recently. It's frequented by, you know, shady type people. Look, it's the cantina from A New Hope , okay? Owned by Snarl (18th level bogkroll thug), who runs a pretty tight ship and will come down hard on anyone who causes trouble. His right-hand man is KnuckleHammer, a 12th level mongru thug who usually works the door. There's a modest cover fee.

3. Cybertron: Not the metal planet with the robots. Cybertron is an advanced cybernetics company led by a large group of "syndics," whatever those are (syndicates? That doesn't seem to make sense either). It's a 160-story megastructure, and is described as being one of the most heavily guarded places in the city. No idea why you'd want to break in unless someone was paying you to do that.

4. Dragon Town: Not-Chinatown. That's all you need to know.

5. Haven Mega Dome: A gigantic sports stadium. Sports in the 61st century are a little different than today. One of the most popular is a sport called Kill The Man With The Ball. Yeah, I know what you're thinking - that name is awful . "Deathball" or something would be catchier. It's apparently an evolution of American-style Football. They also play a Skog game called Oktaak, which is basically a demolition derby only the vehicles are designed to destroy each other, Death Hockey, which is pretty much just hockey with spikes and blades, and Predator, which is a lot like Thunderdome except you play it in a boobytrapped maze. Yes, the latter does stick to the "two men enter, one man leaves" rule. I get the feeling sports in the 61st century are enjoyed a lot more by the spectators than by the players.

6. Haven Space Port: Exactly what it sounds like.

7. Museum of the Apocalypse: Hell yeah, I'd visit a place called the Museum of the Apocalypse in a heartbeat! It's a massive structure stuffed with preserved bodies, vehicles, and other artifacts from before the Age of Darkness. Charges 100 credits a head, though. Also, as the game points out, there's nothing much to actually do here game-wise. Really, though, if you as a GM can't find a way to shoehorn The Museum of the Apocalypse into your game, you've failed as a human being.

8. Mystalis: A high-class nightclub catering to the rich and powerful. It's four floors of booze and entertainment, topped by a casio. Security here is top-notch and you ain't getting a weapon through those doors.

9. Peace Park: Not-Central Park, it's a big area of forests and benches. There is a secluded grove in the center protected by Druids who won't let outsiders enter. It's called, unimaginably enough, the Forbidden Grove. What goes on in there? The game doesn't say.

10. R.T.C.: Located outside the city walls on one of the Shattered Isles, R.T.C. is the world leader in robotics and technology. They sell everything from androids and droids to cyberware and full-on cyborgs. It's heavily guarded, employing a bunch of mages alongside the regular contingent of troops (which you'd almost have to, given how powerful magic is in this setting). Owned by Narcolys Dumont, a 42nd level eldrynn tekker about whom we are given no other information.

11. Sector 42: One of Haven's most notorious red light districts. It's a crime-filled sleaze zone, but it's popular.

12. Carn 8123: A military base located to the north of the city. Visitors are discouraged by the high walls and force field. This is where the empire's most elite units are trained, including shock troopers and the Arcanum Syndicate spies.

13. The Dark Cathedral: Actually located in the undercity, but there's an entrance on the surface. This is the opposite of the Church of Sol, a temple for folks following the path of darkness (which, if you'll remember, are totally not evil even though they're always evil). Mass is held every night.

14. The Embassy Towers: Six massive towers which house the High Council of Haven, the city's governing body. It's made of of representatives of various races of the city. Everyone on the council is a magistrate or lord of some kind. We're not told anything else about it, so...

15. Haven University: A massive palace which houses the highest center of learning in the city. There's uh, not much else to say.

16. The Loft: Not-Alcatraz. It's a maximum security prison "suspended above horrible vats of toxic chemicals." Wow, that's got to qualify as cruel and unusual, or at least break a few OSHA guidelines for the staff. There's no escape from this labor camp and no chance of early release.

17. The Undercity: More accurately, the primary entrance to the undercity. The undercity is a crappy place. It's dark, water leaks down from the pipes in the ceiling, and there's perpetually a flood of murky water at least a foot thick covering the streets. Cops do patrol down here, but they aren't super-thorough. You'll probably be living down here until you can scrape some credits together for a nicer place.

18. The University of Thaumaturgical Studies: Not-Hogwarts. It's a hollow hexagonal building 20 stories high with a domed roof. Six towers owned by sorcerers hover around near the top. Mages enroll here for a base of 10 years to learn their magical arts.

19. Valhalla: It's a three story inn and bar, but the main attraction is the live gladiatorial arena. Fights are held on the weekends and anyone is free to participate. Some are death matches, some aren't, you can choose what level of maiming you're cool with. There's a 10,000 credit purse for the winner! Oh, and in case you're planning any funny stuff, they scan participants with both technology and magic before the fight.

That's the city. Honestly? It's a pretty fun setting. I could see running a long campaign here. There's a good variety to the places and they cover a lot of ground thematically, from rough inner city gin joints to high-class nightclubs and powerful megacorps. I really could've used a bit more detail on each place - many of these are only given a couple of sentences of description. The NPCs we're introduced to need more in the way of personality and appearance and less about their classes and levels. Who cares if Narcolys Dumont is 42nd level? I'm not going to fight him. I might want to work for him, though, and I need to know how he runs his business. Is he some kind of shrewd operator or an oblivious playboy?

Overall, though, I'm going to file this section of the GM chapter in the "not suck" pile, along with most of the races, the art, and...um...well I'm sure I'll find something else eventually.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Back to the crap as we look at drugs, the rest of the world, and a bunch of random tables.

Something something still in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 39: Something something still in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
Or, this is seriously a very long chapter you guys

Drugs! These are very bad and not awesome at all (except when they are). Drugs come with an Addition rating, which is the target you need to beat on a Willpower check to avoid becoming hooked. You also need to make a Body check for some reason, and if you botch it, there's a 20% chance you'll need to make a Body Save or roll for a random insanity. There is no effect if you fail but don't botch.

So for every drug you take, you're potentially making 5 rolls: a Willpower check, a Body check, a percentile check, a Body Save, and a random insanity if all that crap fails. Simplicity.

Oh, and you loose all chi while high, because, I dunno, you're not mystically pure or whatever.

So let's see what the game will hook us up with!

You may notice that most of these drugs have really low Addiction scores, to the point where even characters with extremely low Willpower scores will make their check half the time, and they tend to have really, really good effects. Drugs are cheap, too! So what I'm saying is being a cokehead totally pays off in this game.

A Game Master's Guide to Earth

Brother Cardagghen Spellbender (17th lvl eldrynn / monk of the light) posted:

After the apocalypse of Earth, the sky was void from the light of Sol. The heavens cast a shadow on the surface world to hide what the humans had become. The eldrynn came through the ashen veil from a holy place to see what life existed. We came to stop the evil we knew had landed on Earth.

I think this is the eldryyn equivalent of "we saved your asses in World War II," and it's just as obnoxious.

So, what's the rest of Earth like? Well...

This is from much later in the book, but it helps to follow along.

North America
Mostly wilderness. Aside from Haven, there's a city called Colorado, which is basically the same thing only smaller. The east coast has Trade Port, an imaginatively named port where they trade things. Canada and Mexico fall under the part of North America called "it's not the US, so fuck 'em."

South America
Home to jungles and mountains, plus two major settlements, New Brazil and, ahem, "Bagota." Mostly populated by tribes of humans and eldryyn.

A handful of settlements here - Scotsgrim, New Ireland, Germania, Stockholm, and Moscow. Europe is wrestling with a bit of an undead problem at the 'mo, so I dunno, bring some silver bullets or something. There's rumors of a necropolis under Norway, which we will file under "how the hell did we fail to notice that before."

Arabia, Mutan, Mongolia, Thai, and Wuhan are the major Asian settlements. The rest is mostly wasteland. Oh, and there's New Tokyo, the world's 2nd largest city, now celebrating its new location in a fucking dome on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Oh, Japan.

There's only one major settlement here, the underwater supermax prison Bordertown. Yes, seriously. The rest of the continent has been shattered into small islands and is presumably even more deadly than it was before, somehow.

If you guessed Africa in 6010 would be nothing but a continent-sized wasteland populated only by savages, you are probably racist. But no more racist than Brandon Williams "Rogue" because that is totally what it is. Most of the continent was flooded during the apocalypse and what's left is slowly dying.

It exists, but it's smaller than it was. That's literally all we're told about it.

The Forbidden Continent, in the sense that you are not allowed to go there. It's the seat of the Empire and only imperial forces are allowed. Rumors persist of secret knowledge and magic that was found here when it was discovered, which supposedly the Empire now controls.

This section really says a lot about the author. The old US territories are given the most attention, with Europe a close second and everything else basically an afterthought. Africa is a goddamn joke , and Mexico and Canada don't even warrant a mention in the North America section. South America is reduced to two cities . India apparently doesn't exist. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but RIFTS Earth is more thought out and less Anglocentric.

Okay, so, what about the wastelands? They're...pretty cool, actually. Most of them are scorched, baked earth and desert, but there's also dense jungles, frozen tundras, and yeah okay you get the picture. Ruined cities from before the Age of Darkness are known as Graveyards. They've been rotting in the wastes now for four centuries. Graveyards are dangerous, because undead like to use them as shelter from the sun (sunlight kills undead, remember?) and wasteland tribes like to use 'em as fortresses. Oh, and there are automated factories still churning out war machines from ages and ages ago, so they're also prowled by killer robots. The best and most valuable loot, of course, is found in these ruins, mainly in the form of ancient artifacts, so there's good reason to adventure in them despite the risks.

The wastelands, I guess? The CG art is very 90's.

It's very cool until you realize that this world is the center of the largest empire the galaxy has ever known, and only small pockets of it are civilized. How has the Empire not cleared the wastelands by now? They have billions of soldiers and enough firepower to glass everything that isn't a city a hundred times over.

Anyway. We get a list of the notable tribes and clans in the wastelands, but since none of them are interesting, we'll just note it as present and move on. There are also some rules for hunting, fishing, and foraging, which involve, yes, tables.

This is more like it.

Then we get...random encounters. A hundred entries each, for Wilderness, Streets, Space, Deep Space, and your Hideout/Base. Many of the entries are bizarre or nonsensical. This post is getting long but I'll squeeze in a few of my favorites:

Following this, we get tables for bad weather, job creation (ie random adventures), ruins, and...traps, of all things. No reason. It's all just there , like everything else in this chapter.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: A special treat! We run through the included sample adventure!

It is bad.

Playing the damn game in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

I wish I could say it's bad in an entertaining way, but it's just bad in a Chaos 6010 way. Apologies for the length here.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 40: Playing the damn game in Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
Or, the sample adventure

Smack in the middle of the chapter on GM rules...or like...three-quarters through it, or whatever...there's a sample adventure. It's intended for beginners and is both extremely short and fairly awful. Let's take a look, shall we?

First, though, we need a party. Normally I'd ask you guys for ideas of what to make, but since this adventure is so short I just went ahead and made some up. In the true spirit of Chaos, I did it as randomly as possible.

We ended up with:

Mr. Roboto , a revenant technomancer. His stats are generally mediocre, but with a decent Body score he'll probably at least be able to take a hit. He's also got some useful spells and a pistol. Technomancers get a Data Display implant, but he has chosen not to take that, both because it would increase his already-crippling electrical vulnerability and also because I forgot to write it down on his sheet.
Robin, the Boy Hostage has had an unfortunate life and it is soon to be a lot more unfortunate. Blessed with absolutely awful rolls - his best attributes barely qualify as average - he's pretty much just waiting to be killed. As a mu dai he's capable of dealing some decent damage in melee, but with a Strength of 7 (used to resist grappling) and just 13 Hit Points, the last place he wants to be is on the front lines. He can cast Heal Wounds if he lives long enough.
The Shredder is the complete opposite, a monk with plenty of above-average scores. The only roll he botched was his race, as he ended up as a mungreel instead of the far more advantageous bogkroll. He's not great at dealing damage, because he couldn't afford any decent weapons. Still, he can abuse Chi to pump up his damage by an extra 3D6 per hit, and can manage to do that for all of...oh, maybe two rounds. After that he becomes a fast tank that can't kill anything. Joy.
La Cucaracha is our wild card and token female, a zerabred vigilante. The good news: vigilante is pretty much a "design your own" class, so she has combat skills with a variety of weapons and has some medical and piloting skills the others lack. The bad news: vigilantes don't start with guns and can't afford to buy 'em on their starting cash, so until she does some mid-adventure looting, she's another superfluous melee fighter. At least her HP is pretty solid.
Da Lizard Wizard rounds out our team. A sharpheen green mage, he's got some handy spells like Light and Darkness. What he doesn't have is any way to deal damage that isn't laughably pathetic. Like all mages his spells will grow with him, but since this is a level 1 adventure that's small comfort.

That said, let's get down to it...


The adventure has nothing to do with nightmares, aside from the insane difficulty the players face. I put our team's odds of winning at slim to none.

Personal comments about the structure/plot are in italics.

Act I: Indus Below

The adventure opens in Indus Below, a nightclub in Sector 42. Off the hallway near the entrance are rooms where druggies and junkies chill, then there's a big two-story central complex with dancing, a bar, a holographic light show, and some kickin' bass. The players are free to do whatever they want at this point. I suppose most groups will opt for "hang around at the bar because there's nothing else to do."

At this point a bald human in sunglasses and a black armored long coat (it's like a trenchcoat, only sorta bullet-proof) shows up and approaches whoever has the highest Charisma score. Among our particular group, that's La Cucaracha, because who wouldn't find a seven-foot-tall murderous bug-thing charming? Anyway, the dude from The Matrix offers our boys a job. He's Agent 620 and he works for Earth Colony, a company that designs atmosphere generators. None of that is important. He wants the party to find a Dr. Richard Harrison. Seems the good doctor ran off with some data and is in hiding at the rival Dreamtech corporation. Our suddenly-good-buddy the agent them slaps La Cucaracha five, slips her 200 credits, and asks the party to meet him at his hotel room across the street.

The entire scene in the Indus Below is pointless. It could happen literally anywhere. It's only meant as a colorful backdrop to get the players to accept the job. Likewise, the upcoming hotel scene is just for exposition. Act I is totally disposable. There are no provisions made for what happens if the players refuse to jump on board, either; if they say no, the adventure's over.

Since the party decides not to drive this adventure off the rails just yet , they meet at the hotel with Agent Matrix. Who, by the way, is using fake ID papers for some reason. The GM is informed of this but there's no way for the players to find out and it isn't a plot point. He's not going to betray the party. He's just lying for no reason.

Anyway, Dr. Harrison was working on a new type of laser used inside atmosphere generators, but he made off with the specs. Earth Colony has traced him to Warehouse G-7 of the Dreamtech complex. The players are to find him and bring him back, alive. For this they're offered 60,000 credits, but can negotiate for up to 100,000 if they're stubborn. There's a few more bits of info that players can learn here if they ask, like what Dreamtech does (manufacture microchips used in "dream control," one of those holy fuck ideas that never actually matters in-game) and whether Dr. Harrison is a mage (no, which is a total lie ), but nothing terribly vital. If the party agrees, Agent Matrix here will send them off to Dreamtech ASAP. If you don't want to opt for public transit you get to roll for a random encounter! Our crew wisely takes the bus.

Act II: The Dreamtech Corporation

We arrive at Dreamtech HQ. The first obstacle the party faces is...a wall. It's unguarded and will take only a Dexterity check of 6 to climb. No, you can't use your Climbing skill, fuck you, it's Dexterity. There are no consequences for failing, just dust yourself off and try again.

There is no other way into the compound. No door, no nothin'. I have no idea why this compound is built this way. I have no idea why the adventure doesn't just say "you scale the damn wall" and move on.

Dr. Roboto, The Shredder, and Da Lizard Wizard make it over on their first try. It takes La Cucaracha two attempts. Robin flails against the wall multiple times before the gang finally drags him up by his useless hair.

Once in we hit our first real "fuck you" moment. Each character needs to make a concealment check to cross over to where the warehouses are located. Why is that a fuck you? Because if any one character fails, everyone fails. And the difficulty is randomly determined (D8). So, it might be a breeze, or it might be fairly challenging. Failure sets off a silent alarm that the players have no way of knowing about but will make things much, much harder later on. Also setting off the alarm disqualifies you from the best rewards for the mission. Most parties will likely set the alarm off, either here or shortly afterwards.

So, our party makes a bunch of Concealment checks. Maybe they set off the alarm, but we can't know for sure!

Regardless, the party locates warehouse G-7 (they're all labelled, so this is automatic). Now they need to get inside. The warehouse has windows on the second floor, a vent, a garage-style door and a regular door. Our heroes opt for the latter, sending The Shredder in first since he's the least likely to be noticed and the least likely to be murdered.

We chose wrong. The worst way to attempt entry is via the windows - it takes a climbing check, and while failure before had no consequences, this time a GM could easily rule that falling off alerts the guards inside. Even when you get up there, you find that the windows can't be opened from the outside. Mr. Roboto could use his Telekinesis spell to open them, maybe, but his climbing ability is a bit of a crapshoot and the party has no reason to send him up there over, say, La Cucaracha, who is trained in climbing.

The best way in is through the vent. It allows you to bypass the guards inside and/or take them out stealthily. Unfortunately, three of our five party members will have trouble fitting in a vent that's barely big enough for an adult human, so that's a no-go for us. Otherwise it's incredibly obvious and most parties will probably try to go in that way. It does require a Concealment check to take the vent cover off silently, but you can have your stealthiest party member do that.

For our group, though, we need to use the door, which is a fuck you option because...

As soon as The Shredder opens the door he spots two org guards at a card table. They're listening to music and playing cards, not watching the door. Looks clear...until the unseen human guard on the catwalk above spots the light from outside, looks down, and sees our little mungreel friend trying to sneak in. He shouts a warning, sets off the alarm if it wasn't already, and now we're into our first combat of the game with four-fifths of our party still outside.

You can't hide in the doorway. If you use it the guard can make a pretty easy Perception check to spot you. This is about to go very badly for us.

The opponents are two org thugs, levels 2 and 3, and a level 2 human tekker. All are armed with guns and have a +2 to defend, +2 to initiative, +1 to hit, and armored vests (AC 1/3). All have at least twice as much Frenzy as we do.

What the adventure fails to mention is that these guys have a few class abilities. The tekker's Quick Fix is useless here, but the level 3 thug has Blood Rite, which gives him and one other ally - we'll pick, say, the other thug - +1 to Toughness. Both have Beckon Foe, which...well, you'll see.

Initiative lands us in the following order: The Shredder, Roghn (L2 Thug), Mr. Roboto, Gorit (L3 Thug), La Cucaracha, Jack (L2 Tekker), Robin, and Da Lizard Wizard.

The fight starts and The Shredder spends an action running up to Roghn, hoping to put the hurt on him. Gorit then decides to use Beckon Foe, because he can use it at any time and it doesn't count as an action. This allows him to make a Charisma check opposed by The Shredder's Willpower, which Gorit happens to get lucky and wins. Now The Shredder is only allowed to attack Gorit for the rest of the round, but he can't reach him . Shredder sighs, probably grumbles something about the rules and/or turtles, and spends another action running over to Gorit.

At which point Roghn uses Beckon Foe on him.

Assuming these guys are standing far enough apart and the guy they're working over has no ranged attacks, they can do this every round, ensuring that at least one PC is completely unable to act.

Fortunately for The Shredder, the fates are kind, and the second attempt fails. He uses his last remaining action to take a swing at Gorit. Which misses.

Now he gets to stand there like a chump while these guys use him for target practice.

Roghn is using a Bolt Hurler, which you may remember as being capable of burst fire. A lucky hit reduces The Shredder to well past the point where Spiritual Influence checks need to be made. Our first fight, and our first casualty.

The rest of the battle doesn't go much better. Mr. Roboto charges in and manages to drop Roghn, but Gorit then returns the favor, blasting holes all through his chasis. La Cucaracha then rushes in, but only manages to wound Gorit before taking a nasty hit from Jack, who's positioned above and behind him. Robin manages to finish Gorit off, and Da Lizard Wizard - sensing this may not be a great time to stand and fight - blinds Jack with Darkness and leads the party away from the open floor of the warehouse and down a stairwell to the lower level.

The good news is that Robin has Heal Wounds on hand, and between that and La Cucaracha's medical skill the bug is back on her feet before they continue. The bad news is that they're down two party members, including the only guy who was worth a damn at ranged combat. La Cucaracha honors his memory by stealing Mr. Roboto's gun. Domo arigato.

In the sublevel our bumbling heroes soon find a laboratory full of corpses strewn out on tables. Before they can do anything, Dr. Harrison, who's hiding in the room beyond, animates them as zombies.

At this point our party is fucked and will die.

If you set off the alarm at any point in the adventure, the zombies here pop up before you can do anything. If, by some miracle, you manage to get this far without setting off the alarm - maybe you took the vent, which can allow you to bypass the fight on the main level - you'll surprise him, but the first chance he gets he will try to raise the zombies to help. The zombies aren't too tough individually but there's eight of them, so yeah, unwinnable fight for our three idiots.

The real threat here is Dr. Harrison, a 5th level necromancer armed with magic and a shitload of Frenzy. Best of all, killing him results in failure of the mission - you have to take him alive. He has no such restrictions. While you're busy with the zombies he'll be hitting you with Rot for 10D8 damage and using Necral Armor on himself for +10 Toughness. This is an adventure for 1st-level characters.

This man will fuck your shit.

Act III: The Escape

Assuming, by some miracle, you don't die in that fight, you still have to escape. There's a hover van waiting for you in the ground floor of the warehouse (I didn't mention it before because, you know, everyone was dying), but - fuck you! You set off that silent alarm earlier, didn't you? Well, awesome. Then there will be 4D6 security guards present, each of which has 50 HP, flak armor (AC 2/5), whatever weapons your GM is sadistic enough to arm them with, and the abilities Hunter's Senses/Hawk's Eye (no hiding for you!) and Harden (+10 Toughness).

You. Fucking. Lose.

Yeah, this adventure sucks. It's stupidly short, the plot is pretty much non-existent, and surviving - let alone winning - is basically impossible. If by some miracle your party pulled this off perfectly , captured Dr. Harrison, killed all the guards, and never set off the alarm, they get 20 cool points. If they succeeded but not perfectly, it's 14. If they failed but escaped, it's 8. Success also nets you 10 rep points and you can mark down Agent 620 as a "connect" ( ), failure gets you just 4 rep. If you fail to mention that Dr. Harrison is a mage when you hand him over there's a 30% chance he will break free and come after you sometime down the road.

But you'll never have to worry about that because he will wipe the floor with a 1st level party even if they haven't been whittled down through attrition.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Mass combat, and we wrap this stupid chapter up.

Wrapping up Chapter XII: Game Master Rules

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 41: Wrapping up Chapter XII: Game Master Rules
Or, stuff that probably did not need to be in the core book

The next-to-last section of Chapter XII covers hideouts and strongholds. There's a table listing possible buildings, ranging from simple guard posts and labs all the way up to fully functional bases and fortresses, plus a second list of accessories you can add to your structures. The cheapest possible structure is a warehouse, which will run you 200K credits; the most expensive is a megacity-sized space station at 4.8 billion-with-a-B.

Most structures also generate an income for you every 6 months, so having a base is pretty advantageous. They take a decade or more to pay for themselves, though. Not all structures bring in money, either, so you'll never see a dime off your barracks for example. You also need to pay upkeep for any troops you have.

You're allowed to control as many outposts as you can pay for. Each one takes 6 months to establish. Cities or space stations have to start small and can be upgraded to the next largest size, from colony to megacity, but it costs money and takes a lot of time. Owning larger colonies gets you a better imperial title, not that that does anything for you.

So, what kind of fun accessories can you slap into these suckers?

Okay, those are...kinda dumb, actually.

A zone rat looking for a place to put a base. I would do that from orbit, but what do I know.

For those too lazy to build their own colony, there's a list of different types you can construct (research, mining, etc), complete with total cost and income. Cheapest to build is a penal colony at 20 million, and you get 2% of that back every 6 months, which is the best ROI of any of 'em. Best of all, who would want to try and take it? You can build in the middle of nowhere on a shithole planet and claim it's a security feature. Hell, who needs guards? Send prisoners down via MTU and let 'em fend for themselves.

Once you're done abusing prisoners in your own private gulag, why not relax by raising an army and knocking over your neighbor's gulag as well? It costs money to recruit troops, which can only be done every 6 months, plus there's upkeep fees involved to keep them clothed, fed, equipped, and trained. You need to control a city to recruit more than 200 troops at a time, and even then you're limited to no more than 10,000 fleet troops or 20,000 infantry. If you have at least one megacity you can recruit twice as many.

The War Machine

...Is the name of the mass combat system in the D&D Rules Cyclopedia. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

So, mass combat time! It's suggested that these rules be used in conjunction with the normal rules, and alternating every other round between the PCs and their skirmish and the overall conflict. It's not a bad suggestion, but really the GM should just handwave mass combat (as you'll see).

So, first, take your force and divide it into infantry and fleet. In a planetary invasion, deal with the fleet first, and only if the fleet battle is going well for the attackers should the infantry forces be able to land and move the conflict to the planet.

Next, figure out what the modifiers are for each side. I'm going to list all of these, because it's kind of important. Bonuses and penalties apply to attack and defense rolls.
Keep these numbers in mind.

So, time to actually fight! Roll a D10 for each side for initiative. Highest goes first. You get 2 actions per round, and can either make 2 normal attacks or a single Full Attack that does double damage. There is no reason to ever make a Full Attack.

How do you make an attack? Roll a D20.

Let's look at those modifiers again.

Troop level? It takes 6 years to reach a +1, 10 to reach +2. Your opponents will probably always be at least at a +1, you'll only hit that if the campaign takes large breaks for months at a time. We'll call that a draw. Gear? You can maybe get a +1 out of this by spending a small fortune on outfitting your guys with magic stuff. Situational mods? Probably a draw there as well, unless you can eliminate air support which nets you a whopping +2. On 1D20.

The only mods where you can consistently get a large bonus is by having shitloads and shitloads of troops. But a battle where the good guys outnumber the enemy 4 to 1 is not exactly very epic, and not really worth playing out. So let's say at best you outnumber 'em 2 to 1.

So, you're looking at +4, maybe +5 to attack and defend over what the opponents get. On a D20. On a good day. Yeah, that's significant, but it still leaves a lot to random chance. Expect battles to be ridiculously swingy.

I love whatever's going on with that chick on the right.

Okay, so, you landed a hit. Now you figure out how many casualties you inflict. To do this you - hold on?

No fucking way posted:

The GM is the judge of how many are lost during combat.


This system isn't even fully complete. It doesn't work as written because the GM is supposed to just assign damage rolls based on "feel." A battle between thousands of troops? 1D6 x 100 per hit! A few squads? 1D6 troops lost! It's just based on whatever seems right at the time!

So what if you have an elite force of, say, 300 Spartans, holding off against a force of, I don't know, 300,000 Persians? Do both sides roll 1D6 x 10 for casualties? Do the Spartans destroy ten thousand troops per attack? Do the Persians just steamroll the opposition? There are no guidelines for this kind of situation.

You know what else you can't do? Flank. Outmaneuver the enemy. Retreat. There are no rules for troop movement whatsoever. Other things there are no rules for: artillery, scouting terrain, the effect different terrain has on your troops' performance, surprise, stealth, jamming communications, etc. There are morale rules - a flat percentile check that you will probably fail as it starts between 10 and 20%, base.

So. Your modifiers don't matter much. Your tactics certainly don't matter at all. What matters in this system? Numbers. Did you bring more troops to the party? Congratulations, you win!

Mass combat without tactics, of course, completely misses the point of having a mass combat system in the first place. Since so much of this system depends on equal parts luck and GM fiat, you might as well not even bother. Hell, use the rules from the Rules Cyclopedia, at least they work .

That's it for this stupid chapter.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: We learn about the galaxy! It will be...interesting.

Touring the universe in Chapter XIII: The Galaxy

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 42: Touring the universe in Chapter XIII: The Galaxy
Or, Chaos 6010 A.D. does not understand astronomy

John Norton posted:

I guess this is in real life, my mind is folding inside.

I assume he was trying to make sense of this chapter when he said that.

The galaxy! It's a big place. Okay you know all that blah blah on to the meat of it.

We start off with an introduction to the Sol system (it's where Earth is, you've probably been there once or twice) and the Armethian Empire (it's that big conglomerate made up of humans dicking over every other species). Nothing new here.

Then we're introduced to the Inner Core, and things start to get very stupid very quickly. We're told that "The Inner Core represents a layer of the spherical mass that surrounds the center of our galaxy." I think they mean it's a sphere centered on the galactic core. But! A few passages later we're told "This place exists primarily 600 light years away in every direction from the center point of the Armethian Empire." Earth is about 30,000 ly from the center of the Milky Way, so...I don't fucking know. Whatever. The Inner Core is centered on (pick one) the center of the galaxy/Earth and contains all of the major empires and such. This is "known space." It may or may not be 600 ly in diameter, and may or may not contain most of the stars in our galaxy. Yes, those statements are contradictory, we just have to deal.

While you're trying to twist your brain into whatever sorts of torturous knots Brandon Williams "Rogue" has in his head, consider the Outer Core. This is basically fringe space - we've been there, but have no real holdings and it's largely uncharted. The Outer Core starts at a distance of 180,000 light years from the galactic center -

Hold it. Full stop. Not only is that well beyond the fucking galaxy (the Milky Way is just over half that from end to end), it's nowhere near the Inner Core, which at best only contains "most" of the mass in the galaxy. So what the hell is the stuff in between? I don't know, but it includes such landmarks as the Large Magellanic Cloud, so it probably merits at least a mention. Chaos, naturally, doesn't agree.

Then there's Deep Space. This is what lies outside our galaxy. Aside from, I assume, the Outer Core.

My head hurts.

As you can see from this picture, much of what we just learned is a lie. For instance, there are no alien empires within 600 light years of the Earth.

Following this little tour we get page after page of star systems, with every inhabited world sketched out in very broad strokes. There's no way to tell which are key worlds and which are colorful backdrops for a story or two. I'm going to condense this nonsense for you.

Sol: Aside from Earth, there's a thriving Mongru population on Mars, human military compounds on the moon, a droid factory on Europa ( why? ), a trade port on Titan ( why?! ), and a space station out in the Oort cloud that's used for commerce. For some reason.
Galavian: Eight planets, mostly gas giants, orbiting a red star about 11 light years from Earth. Oveek is a jungle world populated by the le' nuk (we'll get to them), Arosh is an org mining colony, and sagoon is a forest moon populated by the deeig and menyak (again, we'll get to them).

Sagoon looks a lot like Second Life mixed with something painted on the side of a van.

Demtatrial: Three planets, two are gas giants. Tachthucarus has a djachyan colony underground. It's a shithole and you'll never want to go there, but it's close (about 8.6 ly).
Maga: A white dwarf star system just under 11 light years from us (no such star exists anywhere close, but whatev'). It has 12 planets, but again, only two and one moon are inhabited, and the outer planets are under constant bombardment from asteroids. Levy is a turbulant ocean world inhabited by the beggablub, Astolanon is a research station and a craphole world full of carnivorous plants and a species called the weegyn, Phen is a small swampy world which humans use as a penal colony. It's inhabited by deadly carnivores called the chyronites. That we created and put there intentionally. Seriously, humans in this setting are dicks.
Cygethe: A binary system composed of stars Cy and Gethe and nine planets. Narcadia is the only inhabited world, a blasted wasteland ruled by demons but it was once inhabited by many races. Gana, a small moon in the same system, is inhabited by the refugees who fled narcadia through portals during the apocalypse.
Acrux: A pretty distant system at over 500 light years away, it's got three suns and six planets. Dun Garin is the only inhabited one, used as a military training outpost. The landscape is jagged onyx shards and black deserts, littered with jungle-filled canyons. There's also a penal colony in the system, Fordlock, on an orbital station.
Sirius: A pretty large system. First up, Dezeen - remember when I mentioned those chyronite creatures, and how we created them? This is where that happened. Rather than nuke the planet, the empire uses it for experimentation. Can't see how that could possibly go wrong. Then there's Mathus, an uninhabitable wasteland with a hydrogen atmosphere and freezing temperatures. The mongru have a mining operation there. Mathus II, the planet's second moon, has a full-fledged mongru colony. Oonta, the mhen tep homeworld, is in this system. There's an automated shipyard on the mechanical moon of Ming (what a fun sentence!), and there's the moon of Boob Fabyn (snicker), which is an eldrynn world of floating continents and domed cities. It's also home to fierce but largely hushed-up corporate warfare. Oh, and in another great example of Chaos dropping vital setting information out of the blue in random places, "(i)t is presumed that many syndics ruling some of these corporations are vampires."

Boob Fabyn, a scenic wonderland as realized in KPT Bryce circa 1998.

Hadar: A system smack in the middle of the Hadarian Nebula, which you've got to assume would hurt property values. Voldar is a dark world with an ice and crystal core, it's used as a staging ground for fleet activities against the org empire. It's supplemented by the orbital station Voldar V.
Beta: Another huge system, Beta is a red giant orbited by two asteroid belts and sixteen planets. As far as inhabited worlds there's Zenk, homeworld of the enigmatic phesen thai; Begga, a jungle world inhabited by the planetlike mondago; Xenus II and III, which are mystically enchanted paradises; Bee 'Zuun, which is Nar Shadda with the serial numbers filed off; and Dun Khor, a windswept world populated by the degahean, a race of four-armed goblinoids.
Tekk'Ram: Originally controlled by the org empire, now owned by the Armethians. The planet Gargon is a rocky hellhole populated by nomadic bogkroll tribes. Klyn Titalus is a frozen moon where kuthalan rebels maintain a network of hives.
Vega: A violet dwarf star (how does that work?) located about 25 light years from earth. Sistun De Loon is a scorched hellscape, but its people, the yonnadu, have learned to mine valuable minerals from the core. Daytime temperatures soar to over 250 degrees (presumably Fahrenheit), while nighttime temperatures fall to 200 below, cold enough for dry ice to form naturally. Not exactly a beach resort is what I'm saying. The moon of Ra, meanwhile, is a dark swamp with a luminous atmosphere and natural black light from the sun. It's inhabited by sharpheen because no one else wanted it.
Wolf: Not much to say about this system. Lyllander, the eldryyn homeworld, is here, and it's exactly what you expect an elf homeworld to be like. They also maintain a military station for defense, Adowynn VI.

Well, that's all of 'em. Some interesting places, some dumb, mostly boring.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: More races! We get to meet the guys who didn't make the cut as PC material!

Meeting new "people" in Chapter XIII: The Galaxy

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Massive number of images in this update, sorry.

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 43: Meeting new "people" in Chapter XIII: The Galaxy
Or, Races II: the Revenge

Okay, so we've gone on a tour of the galaxy, and we've come across some new aliens. They're not fit for making PCs. In fact, we aren't given any stats for these guys, so they're not fit for NPCs, either. Oh well. Last time the races were pretty interesting. Let's see how these guys shake out!

First up, there's the Beggablub , the aquatic natives of Levy in the Maga system. They look like a cross between a headcrab and an octopus, but they're fairly peaceful. They're also telepathic and can survive out of water for hours if not days. Fuck with 'em and they'll melt your brain while tearing your throat out with their teeth. But other than that, peaceful.

...Well, okay, that's not too friendly, but there's always...

...the Chyronites , which are...oh yeah. These are the genetically engineered super-predators of Dezeen in the Sirius system. They're mantis-centaur-things with four lethal blade-arms, plus they're intelligent and have a taste for humanoids. Let's, uh...let's move on.

Okay, the Deeig! These guys are herbivores and totally peaceful. They're native to Sagoon, a moon in the Glavian system. The Deeig were conquered with no resistance. Then the empire discovered that Deeigs are annoying little shits who constantly steal things. If the Beza are Chaos's version of the Ferengi, Deeigs are their version of Kender.

Christ, are any of these things not assholes?

Next up is the Degahean , four-armed orgs who...surprisingly, are not dicks. They're warriors, yes, but they're also artisans, and they're not as prone to violence as orgs are. They're a young race who'd only barely discovered steel when the org empire found them, but they've been gaining in political power and respect.

Then there's the Ganites , an offshoot of the eldryyn race from the moon of Gana. They appear to have interbred with some aliens somewhere down the line (bow-chicka-bow-bow) as unlike eldryyn they have black eyes and telepathic abilities. So, basically, they're elves who are even bigger special snowflakes.

Moving on, we have the Le' Nuk , a race which I'm sure hails from the distant world of Jymm' Hen-son . They have four arms and look a lot like the mystics from The Dark Crystal , only they are exactly the mystics from The Dark Crystal .

There's also the Menyak , who share the Deeig homeworld. They're gargoyles minus the statue part. Also they're adorable .

The Mondago , on the other hand, are not. They're one-eyed plant monsters from the jungles of Begga in the Beta system. All told, they're pretty chill, except they don't like strangers and will try to kill you if you wander into their territory. Also they regenerate.

Next up, the Phesen Thai , a race of asshole bugs. Their interests include being assholes and being bugs. Good luck dealing with them.

From further out there, both geographically and conceptually, there's the Rodzu , a "formian" race of sentient vapor. They hail from the Outer Core, that part of our galaxy that's outside our galaxy, and are telepathic and can read minds. If they want to, they can become solid, but it takes effort on their part.

Closer to home, there's the Sybot , an artificial race of creatures who maintain a network of linked intelligences. No two are alike. Sybots have to interface with their master computer about twice per year, at which time their memory and intelligence are upgraded, so older models are more intelligent. They can also build new bodies to transfer those intelligences into, so it's an ever-expanding swarm of increasingly-intelligent robots where anything any one individual experiences they all share. Try not to piss them off, please.

Let's see, what else...there's the Weegyn , which look like Wookies because they are.

...And, last and certainly least, there's the Yonnadu , a neutral race of oh holy hell what is wrong with her SKIN!

Bonus features time!

The chapter closes out with tables for creating your own race (we've seen it before), a random star system chart, and some diagrams:

The Org Empire (1 millimeter = 10 light years).

The Ro Seedi Federation (1 millimeter = 10 light years).

The Armethian Empire.

Hive space (1 millimeter = 10 light years).

The Skog Empire (1 millimeter = 10 light years).

A sample system.

A (useless) sample system diagram.

A random ship's deck plans.

And we close with a table of travel times at warp. At warp 5, the fastest an off-the-rack ship from the vehicles section can go, it would take you 246 years to reach the Outer Core. Better start now!

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: We start in on the Afterlife and learn what it's like to be dead.

We all just died in Chapter XIV: The Afterlife

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 44: We all just died in Chapter XIV: The Afterlife
Or, this is literally what hell is like

Jason Caster posted:

Shhh... don’t let us be alarmed.

Chapter XIV opens with an old friend we haven't seen in a while, Text With A Picture Behind It Making It Hard To Read TM . I have no idea why they decided to bring back that annoying bit of layout fuckery, but I hope it's the last time we see it.

So, the afterlife. It's where you go when you die. If you were powerful in the living world, you'll be powerful here, too. It's also possible to die in the afterlife, in which case you pass on to become part of the energy of the universe and cease to exist as a sapient being. So try not to get double-killed, I guess.

If you ever die and manage to return to the world of the living - maybe you were summoned or something - try to remember that sunlight will blast you back to the afterlife regardless of whether you follow the path of light, darkness, or shadow. Gods don't care. Some abilities may help you survive in daylight by possessing another being, though. While in the real world spirits are fully real and can be hurt normally, but some have the ability to turn ethereal or whatnot to avoid harm.

There's a quick section on the elemental planes, but they're exactly the same as they were in D&D (plane of fire burns you, etc) so I won't bother.

Next, we get a rundown of the three main realms of the afterlife. There's the Heavens, which are all angels and light and all that. No surprises there. Then there's the Void, a shadow realm that forms the battlefields of the wars between light and darkness. If you're neutral you'll end up here. This place is prowled by spirits called Deaths and their local servants, the Deliverers. Deliverers will try to capture free spirits and bring them to their Death masters, who will them abscond with the captured soul to wherever they come from, usually hell. Speaking of, hell is exactly the sort of place you imagine, with cartoon devils and fires and all that jazz.

Eldryyn representation of the afterlife, which they stole from the Norse.

Next we get a repost of the reputation table, then a table showing what you incarnate as in the afterlife based on your rep. Not listed: how to accumulate rep if you're on the path of Shadow, since by definition you're neutral and rep points are either positive (for good acts) or negative (for bad). Oh well, I'm sure nobody will want to play a character who isn't cartoonishly good or bad!

When you incarnate as a spirit you get a new name or title (this is so that you can't automatically be summoned by people who knew you in life). You also get the abilities and unarmed damage of the type of spirit you've become, and can add their HP to your own. You don't get that spirit's attributes or other stats. When you level up as a spirit you can roll for a special spirit gift as well as whatever you usually get.

For GMs who want to make random spirits to use as opponents, it's easy! And not even remotely balanced or fair! See, first, roll 1D12. The result is the type of spirit they fight, of whichever path you want. Remember that the chart you're pulling from lists spirits in increasing levels of power, so right off the bat it's a bit fucked. The spirit's base level is six times what you rolled, so if you rolled, say, a 6? Level 36. If you rolled a 12? Level 72. Then you add 100 HP x the number you rolled to their HP, so that level 72 spirit also gets 1200 extra HP. Then you calculate how long since they incarnated here (method not specified) and roll gifts for each one. All told, this method will generate spirits as low as level 6 to above level 72, with between 100 and 1200 extra HP. Like I said, not even remotely fair or balanced.

Spirits all get special abilities. These are like class abilities. A given spirit will also possess all abilities of the lower-ranking spirits of the same path, since they're cumulative. They're listed alphabetically since the progression changes from path to path.

Remember, these are in addition to class abilities, talents, all that jazz, which spirits also get. There's no way to quick roll that, either, and since all abilities are hand-picked after level 12...hope your quick-roll spirit NPCs are low level.

Tradjadinus, which is apparently a castle in hell. The afterlife looks a lot like alien planets I guess.

Next, we get a list of the base stats for each type of spirit, which are practically useless , since we have to figure out all their extra abilities and crap by hand. The HP progression is pretty notable, though, as the weakest spirits have 200 HP, and the toughest, a cool million. Remember, that gets added to your total when you become one. Spirits are ridiculously tough for some reason.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: Gifts! Astral beasts and elementals! The end of the chapter!

Death is too good for Chapter XIV: The Afterlife

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 45: Death is too good for Chapter XIV: The Afterlife
Or, playing Virgil to your Dante

As you advance in levels as a spirit you get gifts. There's a table for them and the specific gifts you can get vary depending on your spiritual path. Most of the results are just attribute bonuses, like +4 to Toughness or +100 to HP. Some are actually unique abilities. Highlights?

Okay, pretty much all stuff we've seen before, but with bigger numbers.

Symbol of the Dark Brotherhood, who you probably forgot are the game's main antagonists since they were last mentioned a couple hundred pages ago. Also their symbol seems over-designed. Logos should be simple, man.

Next we hit up heaven's bestiary! When an animal dies in the spirit world, they don't join with the cosmos, they evolve into a more powerful beast. The game hints that this may be the origin of intelligent life in the universe. Whatever. We're advised that we can do the D12 x 6 level thing here, as well, and add more HP and all that crap. Christ, shit in the spirit world is just nothing but walking sacks of HP.

Anyway, there are no pictures here, so we'll just plow through 'em.

Mostly crap, but some of the shadow monsters are pretty cool.

Chaplain Korangar, whom you may remember from the timeline as one of the guys who lived for like centuries even before he became a lich.

There's a random astral beast maker, and a random god maker, and a list of some major players in the astral scene. Nothing too notable. We close with a list - FINALLY - of all 12 dimensions. Are you ready for this?

The 1st Dimension: Nothing. It's the universe post-heat death. Just a frozen black void forever and ever.
The 2nd Dimension: Altern, the mirror universe. Good is evil, evil is good. Spock has a beard. You have an evil twin here, and if you kill them, you die too. Wait, does that mean anyone you kill here dies in your world? Best just not to visit.
The 3rd Dimension: The Primordial Realm, a.k.a. normal reality.
The 4th Dimension: The past. Yes, the fucking past . If you fuck with it, the Time Keepers (a.k.a. the Luw Kar) will come hunt you down, reprogram your mind, steal your shit, and fix it.
The 5th Dimension: The dream world. Like, Morpheus' realm.
The 6th Dimension: The spirit world, where you go when you die. Not to be confused with...
The 7th Dimension: The realm of order, where everything is perfect and idyllic. It's currently engaged in a war against...
The 8th Dimension: The realm of chaos, where everything is horrible and it's basically a superfluous second hell.
The 9th Dimension: Inside your own mind. That's...trippy.
The 10th Dimension: The future. Again, you can look, but don't touch, or evil alien overlords will melt your mind.
The 11th Dimension: Nothing. Again. Apparently unlike the 1st dimension, this one is a dimension where something used to exist, but it was destroyed. Not that that makes any difference.
The 12th Dimension: Cyberspace.

...The author may not know what a "dimension" is.

The elemental planes we've already talked about. There are four outer planes - gas, electricity, plasma, and ice - but we're told literally nothing about them and I don't care. My brain hurts. Goodnight folks!

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: The final chapter!

Fighting through the hordes of Chapter XV: Beasts & NPCs

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 46: Fighting through the hordes of Chapter XV: Beasts & NPCs
Or, things to shoot at, volume 1

Ray Boettger posted:

I think he was a roundem encanter.

Yes, we've made our way to the beastiary! Scoffing at the now-established convention, this chapter doesn't have even a single page of one column text to introduce it. Just two columns right from the start. Saves time, I suppose.

We are told that, as with spirits, the GM may modify creatures by slapping additional levels on them using the D12 x 6 method. Okay, seriously, this mechanic sucks. When a difference of a single point on the dice translates to six levels, complete with a crapload of extra HP, abilities, and other junk, you cannot make a random encounter balanced. At. All. I'm sorry, but level 10 characters should not be able to just bump into a level 72 zombie or whatever. It doesn't even work from a verisimilitude angle because having randomly super high or low level opponents show up makes no sense. It's a shitload of extra work for the GM so you can't argue it saves time. There are no redeeming qualities here, it's just bad, period. Any decent editor would have cut it and any decent playtesting would have revealed how awful it is.

Oh, and on top of that:

That's the last fucking time, Chaos. Some games can pull off a friendly "fuck you" towards their fans. You are not those games. It's crass, it's juvenile, and it's getting old .

Oh, and while I'm ranting, censoring the swears? At what point did that seem like a good idea? If you're afraid of offending people, clean up your goddamn language. If you want to pretend to be edgy, then fucking swear. You can't have it both ways. You come off like a goddamn ten year old.

Jesus Christ Chaos just try to be competent at one. Fucking. Thing.

...Sorry, had to get that out of the way.

So! NPCs. There are several of them. None are terribly interesting and all but three are below 10th level: we get stats for a 12th level security guard, a 12th level org raider (hilariously armed with a bow and arrow), and a 20th level mongru armorer . The last one makes more sense when you realize that the author was under the impression that an armorer is a mercenary who makes his own weapons.

We get no NPCs at all above 20th level, so I hope nobody ever wants to run a high level game. And I seriously, genuinely mean that, because fuck that would be a nightmare.

After that, we get the proper beastiary. There are 32 entries, each of which has its own portrait. What say we do half now and half later?

It's a smallish sarlaac. The thing grabs victims with its tentacles, pulls them underground, and eats them. Once you're buried you are literally defenseless as this thing chews on you, making it deceptively deadly despite its low-ish stats.

Blood Mage
An undead mage. How many spells does it know? Depends on its level (D12 x 6). Would anyone ever go to the effort of using one in an encounter? Not likely.

Blood Raider
Exactly the same as a blood mage, only these guys were warriors and not spellcasters. That means they're both far more usable and far less powerful.

Basically a living pile of garbage. If it lands a hit with one of its tendrils it'll stick like glue, and you have to burn it off. If it actually manages to envelop you it deals a whopping 2D20 x 5 damage, enough to one-shot most any level-appropriate hero.

Cave Imp
A shitty little monster for low-level parties to slaughter. Or it would be, if it didn't hang around in huge swarms that can tear a low-level character to shreds in seconds. They were created by a mad ecoterrorist geneticist . Well, gotta give that one points for originality.

Shapeshifter aliens who will try to murder you and take your place. The have no special abilities beyond stealing your appearance, though. Can't even copy your stats.

Huge sacks of Hit Points with 20 Toughness and breath attack that does 4D20 in whatever kind of burst they want. There are four types, but they differ only in how their breath attack murders you.

Just a wildman/super mutant. They're not especially tough so even a beginner party should be able to deal with 'em. Provided your GM doesn't follow the book's advice and have them roll in packs of 4D10.

Just your typical animated state that's really an earth elemental. They sometimes have magic, get resist 20 to everything, 10 Toughness, and 1000 HP. Considering that you need to be at least a 30th level mage to create one, though, I'd have expected them to be tougher.

Like a skeleton or a zombie, but free-willed. It's hinted that the ghoul condition may actually be a form of dementia, which is kind of a cool hook. Except anyone killed by a ghoul becomes one in a few rounds so no, it's not crazy people, they're actually undead.

Actually a mutated form of mungreel, they're as greedy and mean as you'd expect. Typical low-level trash mobs.

They're big, they're mean, and they have no special abilities to speak of. Their unarmed attacks deal 4D20+26 damage though, and they've got 10,000 HP, so you should probably bring a tank or something to deal with 'em. Seriously, these things must be a joy to fight, ridiculous stamina and ridiculous damage but no notable talents or abilities, what fun.

They're basilisks that can swim. Naturally, they hail from Australia, because that place wasn't deadly enough before.

Korrud Intruder
Basically a much weaker version of the gargoyle. "Korrud" is apparently Drow for "protect against," they're used as temple guardians.

A carnivorous plant that will attempt to swallow you. They do pretty heavy damage, but that fact is slightly offset by their tendency to not be able to move from wherever they're rooted. Also they have no ranged attacks.

Necro Demon
Based on the picture I'm guessing these are something along the lines of Frankenstein's monster, but the description doesn't say. They're definitely undead, created by necromancers, and as they kill things they earn cool points so they can level up. Which is good because the base monster is pretty weak and wouldn't pose much threat to even a first level party.

Next time on Chaos 6010 A.D.: All good things...

The final entry

posted by Masiakasaurus Original SA post

Chaos 6010 A.D., Part 47: The final entry
Or, it's been swell, but the swelling's gone

16 more monsters. Let's do this.

Plague Hounds
Undead dogs. They're not very tough, but their bite carries an infectious rotting disease, so fail a body save and you're looking at 2D6 damage per round until you get the disease cured by magic. If there isn't a white mage in the immediate area, enjoy your new existence as a ghoul!

Rot Worms
Exactly the same fuck you monster you remember from D&D. If one infects you you've got to burn or cut it out within D4 rounds or you die.

A race of mutant eldryyn banished to wander the wastelands. They're not evil, but they are thieves.

Sewer Slug
Why, hello there, random fuck you monster. I see you've got an acid attack that permanently degrades armor. Also you travel in groups and have too many HP to be taken out in a single round by an average party. Good show.

I suppose this one had to be in here. Union rules.

Ah, that most elusive of creatures, the Pointless Low-Level Aquatic Encounter. It's a killer octopus, but not as fun as I just made that sound.

Skunk Ape
Anything I say about this thing will diminish it.

Sludge Beast
Another living pile of garbage, this one attacks by projectile vomiting on you. That earns you a trip to the disfigurement table. They're pretty tough, too, and extremely stealthy in the sorts of places they like to hang out in - sewers, etc.

A fairly tough race of cyborgs. 1000 HP and 6 toughness, plus all the cybernetic implants and weapons you could ask for, and they travel in packs indiscriminately murdering people. The wastelands are lousy with 'em.

They're bullywugs.

Mutant bogkroll with strange deformities like horns, extra heads, etc. They do regenerate but mostly they're just weird-looking ogres for mid-level parties.

It's actually a pretty nasty mid-level opponent that can eat your thoughts and use that energy to heal, but look at it. Look at it.

Surprisingly fairly tame, they have 400 HP and regeneration, plus their bite, and do impressive unarmed damage, but not much else. They can't fly or hypnotize or even turn into a bat. Kinda lame.

Water Serpent
While these things are almost as nasty as dragons, the fact that they're only found in water kinda limits their terror factor a bit.

Considerably tougher than vampires, werewolves get plenty of HP, decent Toughness, do impressive melee damage, and can opt to switch back to human form at will to use weapons. One of the more fearsome mid-level opponents.

Like skeletons, these guys are only here because they're expected.

Thus ends the chapter. There are several pages of tables and suggestions for creating your own GM screen from them, but we've seen all of these before. Then there's the reasonably useful index and two big maps that I posted already (the map of the galaxy and the map of the world). We end with an ad for Arcanum Syndicate's fantasy RPG, Dark Kingdoms:

The website is defunct and the game seems to have vanished from the internet. I've done a bit of digging but haven't been able to find any copies anywhere. If it was bad enough that Arcanum Syndicate pulled it, I'm not sure I want to find it.

Fin . The end. Review over.

Final thoughts: it's both better and worse (so, so much worse) than I was expecting. There are actually some neat ideas in here. I like a lot of the aliens, some of the setting details, and a lot of the art is pretty cool. But the rules are broken in the bad don't-work-properly sense. The book is incredibly bloated with unnecessary sub-systems, like mass combat, and like mass combat many of them aren't fleshed out enough to make them worth having. Character balance is a joke, I doubt it even occurred to the author that there should be any. The game is so incredibly lethal that low-level characters might as well come with clones a la Paranoia.

I do want to add that this game does have a few splats. First, there's a downloadable character packet (Chaos for "character sheet"), presumably because the one in the core book is so useless it doesn't even have space for your abilities. There's also a downloadable Sevatus Atlas , which contains both a map of the galaxy and a better description of what's there, including some junk the core book left out (remember the Luw Kar? Chaos didn't!). There's a whole series of contracts for various factions of the game; these are basically just packs of adventure outlines - not even actual adventures! - and sell for between nothing and a couple of bucks. Then there's the actual sourcebooks: Chaos Armory is a weapons and equipment guide. It also includes a new character class, the Armorer. Urban Encounters is a collection of random street encounters pretending to be a useful supplement. And, finally and most notably, Pray For Dawn is an actual module (more sandbox than adventure) set in a Graveyard south of Haven. None of these are written in Comic Sans, so what's the point, really?

If there's interest after this I have a few other books I could review:
Chaos 6010 A.D.: The Supplements: Probably Pray For Dawn , but I could do any of 'em. I might also review one of the freebie contract packs, just to give an idea of what those are like.
AD&D 2E: The Complete Book of Humanoids: Not as cringe-worthy as the Complete Book of Elves , the CBoH is still notable for trying to suck all the fun out of awesome character concepts like "dinosaur mage."
Shards of the Stone: This is an old game that I saw reviewed on some gaming site a while back. I downloaded it (it was free at the time), told myself I'd look at it later, and never did. It apparently uses the Fuzion system (maybe?) and is notable not so much for its rules as it is for its setting, where elements like Order and Chaos exist as physical substances. So adventurers can get paid in elemental Greed or whatever. I'm typing this from memory so it may be wildly inaccurate!

Other than these I've pretty much exhausted my obscure game supply. So, uh, thank you all for reading, thanks for making this thread continually awesome, good job to all the reviewers and I'll catch you later...