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Lying Cat

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  1. I've been spending a fair old while working through an RP setting and as I'm partially awake at the moment I figured I'd drop a recommendation here on the forum because the game absolutely deserves recognition because of the incredible quality of the work. The game is called Degenesis and it follows the struggle of humanity in the centuries after the apocalypse happened. The other thing that's worth noting is that they make all the PDFs completely free on their site. Well. you need to sign up, but it's a good trade. The game is set approximately 500 years after Earth was struck by a swarm of asteroids; none as big as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, but large enough to effectively destroy society as we know it and push humankind back into barbarism, individuals completely fucked and groups doing everything they can to survive, banding into clans. So far so awful, but it was only after the dust had started to settle when the actual true horror started to become known. The Asteroids were carrying a payload - a substance called The Primer, the stuff of raw evolution - breaking down our DNA and sending some of us in a completely different evolutionary path. Homo Sapiens soon found itself locked in an existential struggle with Homo Degenesis, similar to us in some ways, but utterly alien on the inside. Worse, the Primer bonded with fungal structures and began to creep into the ecosystem of the ruined planet causing what is referred to as The Sepsis, strange landscapes where life mutates out of control and the spores that drift out across Europe causing infections. You'll never mutate yourself, you're more likely to just die from the fungal infestations, but the children of the infected are more likely to be Homo Degenesis than they are to be human. The game is set in Europe and the northern coast of Africa only - Nobody has been able to reach America, Asia or Russia - and if they have they've never returned. But ships bearing strange markings not associated with the known world occasionally wash up. There may be other people, other cultures out there. The problems don't end there though - from beneath the Earth, the locked and hidden bunkers of the mysterious Recombination Group unlock and the Sleepers rise from cryostasis, in possession of the miracle technologies from before the end occurred. They move with a purpose, infiltrating communities, killing their leaders and imprinting their own views on society, seemingly able to shackle people into mimetic chains through their words alone. The first emerged after 100 years, and they had the number 100 tattoo'd on their upper arms. Then came the 200's after another century has passed. Each generation filtering out into the world to play a different part in somebody's ineffable master plan. They were the best of the best before, and their blood - thick with nanotechnology - makes them more than human. Beyond even the Sleepers stand the Marauders, worshipped as gods by the tribes. They annihilate communities with a gesture. Impregnable metal doors leading deep into the mountains open in their presence. Some call them "The Sleepers who never Slept", and time tears as them. Seemingly held together by technology bolted to their forms and pus-drenched bandages, they gift some with ancient secrets, while others feel their seemingly endless fury. In the centre of all of this, humanity does what it does best. It factionalises. It seeks profit - and potentially to survive as well. Player Characters 90% of humans are in clans, and the remaining 10% are organised into what is known as "The Cults", groups of people who come together with a singular purpose to achieve something in the world, and both are absolutely playable - The Sleepers are not as the truth of Project Tannhauser remains mysterious, and they are in effect pretty overpowered. They remain as antagonists. There are a large number of cults for the players to follow, from the effectively fascist Spitalians, the Chroniclers who are seeking to piece the past back together and ultimately bring the internet back online, through to the Judges who are basically the 2000AD Judges in cowboy outfits. One of the issues with the game is that everything is in such massive, overwhelming detail in the fluff that it's pointless to try and describe it all in the scope of an internet post. If you're interested in seeing more of the clans, their website has it all HERE. The game isn't strictly about survival in the wasteland; indeed, it surprised me by being much more of a conspiracy based game where the group seeks to uncover and unravel the mysteries of the world, battle and hold back the Homo Degenesis and try to make some money along the way. While there are rules for starvation and the like, they're themed to the places the game is set in. Borca (roughly Germany) is mostly spore free, and has a relatively high level of civilization with much if it reaching the industrial era. Franka on the other hand (France) is a warzone between humanity and the disease carrying swarm - the insects acting ever more intelligently, cutting off routes through the world, isolating and devouring communities. The tone of the game ranges from desperate survival through to relatively metropolitan conspiracy and mystery stories. The Books The books are lovely and the production values are off the chart as far as I'm concerned. So much is explored in depth, the new nations of Europe through the delicate political balance of the cults. I find my expectations regularly subverted, and when I initially thought that the Chroniclers were going to be a post-apocalyptic version of the Adeptus Mechanicus, I was wrong. They see technology for what it is, not something to worship and are on the whole a bunch of sneaky manipulative fucks who have used their position and technology to abuse society into something that benefits them rather than anyone else. The Judges are just a slightly lower-lying Mega City One construct? On the surface until it gets properly into the history, the factions and the bureaucracy of the organisation and how the strict adherence to their laws has utterly failed them on several important occasions. The whole thing is split into two books, the fluff and the rules (ignoring all other sourcebooks), and it's presented almost as written fiction. Hundreds of pages and not a single table in sight - and if the system has something that lets it down it's that it's just too dense and coherently presented. There's no real elevator pitch for the game, and I don't think I could get a pick up group for the game and explain exactly how it works quickly enough before they moved on to something a little less enormous. And it's a shame, because the background and setting for this game are absolutely stunning. Mechanisms Degenesis is a D6 game, and it turns the dice into a duel-resource thing. The GM sets a difficulty for the task and you roll dice equal to your ability and skill - 4+ are successes, 6+ is a success and a 'Trigger', which allow you to spend them to activate certain abilities and bonus effects (while keeping the success). A good example of this is medicine and healthcare. You have a health tracks for both Flesh Wounds and Trauma - flesh wounds are easy to treat with successes, but repairing the more damaging trauma faster than just waiting for it to heal on it's own needs the Triggers spent on it. ... other than that, the system is mostly as you'd expect, weapons do damage, armour reduces damage and a whole heap of stuff in between to help manage infections, hunger, mental breakdown and addiction to drugs, including the most dangerous drug out there, Burn, which is created from the spores of the Sepsis - you can risk infection to rapidly recover your Ego track, which is vital in a fight. Combat is dangerous and deadly and should be a last resort or well considered by he group. The world is a rough place and the players will be people who accept that guns will occasionally be pointed in their faces as part of a negotiation, even if the trigger rarely gets pulled. --- All in all, for a system which gives away it's PDFs for free, I simply cannot recommend Degensis enough if you're looking for a world so solidly realised that I feel like I could throw on a backpack and travel there. It showcases the best and worst than humanity has to offer in a setting where we're almost sort-of back on our feet after life on the planet almost ended and with layers upon layers of deepening conspiracies and horror for those who wish to explore the dark history of planet since the Eshaton. I can't imagine running it for a group that wasn't completely on board. I often struggle to get people to read two sides of A4 when it comes to setting background, without trying to compress the sheer, terrifying amount of amazingly written fluff into the heads of people who might just want to go and smack some monsters. I mean, fuck - the central city of the world, Justitian has a source book that is approaching 700 pages. For that one city. It's crazy.
  2. I just wanted to say that this is an exceptionally lovely game, and that people should pick it up. I thought that Rapture was okay, but the atmosphere in this one is pretty much a cut above that. Double plus good. Obviously short, but sensibly priced for what it is.
  3. I still don't know if I'll be able to play my Steam levels on Epic, or if I need to just wait a year for exclusivity to expire. I've concluded that I'm just going to wait until release and then see what the Internet has discovered.
  4. Hopefully every boss character will be completely invulnerable, forcing you to rely on environmental kills.
  5. Very sorry @Welrain, not had this in my head this weekend. Yes, you are innif you would still like to play. Will post up about dates tomorrow! edit - I'm going to create a PM group, rather than keep jumping this to the top.
  6. I was very hyped for this until I saw the price tag. I'll wait.
  7. A bit more about Dustin? Dustin is very much the amateur occultist, and it all started a couple of years back when when you were feeling a little thirsty on shift, and grabbed a carbonated beverage off the shelves. You didn't recognise the brand but the taste was simply incredible. Every bubble was like a galaxy exploding on your tongue. The drink of dreams. But you only got to drink half of it. Midway through it was snatched from your hand by the tentacle of... Something, which poured the rest of the drink into one of it's many mouths, burped in your face contemptuously and slinked off back into the depths of the store. The best description you have for it is "Fat Slender Man". You see it from time to time, and it seems to work to thwart you. You've already told your colleagues on the night shift, but none of them could say for sure that they've seen it. But since you drank that beverage, you've just had this ability with the Exostock. Finding it, ubderstanding it. I'll write more about Ann when I get home. Ann is... Well, nobody knows this, but she's not human. Not at all.
  8. God dammit. Should have done a poll. This is how it's looking from what I can tell. ... because we've got a specific preference for Monday from Hiero and we can field a full group for it, I suggest we shoot for that - and I think we should schedule for Monday 18th, just so I've got time to work on the details and get character information over to you, y'know - the usual stuff. This does mean that Aluco can't play sadly - but if this is actually successful, I'll probably run more "mundane but something's up" scenarios in future, as I like them. So. If that's a go (speak now or forever hold your peace), did anyone like the look of any of the characters. Genders can be switched easily enough if that's something you're fussed about.
  9. Oh man. I proceeded through this exact series of emotional hallways too.
  10. What sorcery is this? You ask the impossible. It's more that I have 1&2 on Steam and because I'm impatient, I'll be buying 3 on Epic!
  11. I'm still very confused about how importing Hitman 1 and 2 to take advantage of the new engine is going to work. I have 1&2 on Steam, and they're showing up on my IOI account, but other than that I can't seem to find any information at all as to how this works.
  12. Monday is looking hopeful then. For those of you who don't mind Trello, I have started assembling the cast of NPCs (store regulars, other departments etc) here. Only the people with pictures have anything up about them at the moment.
  13. Also, just to explain how Unknown Armies works a bit as I realise most people won't have played it, it's actually a pretty lightweight system which doesn't bog itself down too heavily when it comes to specific knowledge. At it's core it's a D100 game so you've got a skill level and you're looking to roll a number under than on a D100, taking into account any modifiers the GM might apply. There are 3 core elements that basically make up your character: - Relationships Meters and skills Identity ... I'll just talk about them quickly here. Relationships Unknown Armies is a social game, and is about cultivating relationships with people. These stats won't come up too much in a one-shot but basically these are people you can rely on, and your dice rolls for success with them become dependant on the quality of your relationship rather than the skill. Even if you're shit at making connections to people, that won't matter with your mentor if you have a strong bond. Each pre-genned character has one Relationship pre-formed, and you'll be able to define two more if you wish. Meters and Skills Your core skills and your sanity are balled up into one area in this game and while it's a little weird, it's great. Here's an image in the spoiler of the section on your character sheet, which might help getting your head around it. Unknown Armies stipulates that there are basically 5 ways that people can be "vulnerable". Helplessness - A sense of control is crucial for feelings of safety - even if that control is all smoke an mirrors. When you lose the ability to understand how to control a situation around you, the sense of powerlessness can strip away your ability to hold yourself together. Freddy Kruger would attack this first! Isolation - A subtle danger - isolation corrodes your sanity by denying you input. Without the opinions of others, you can lose the ability to be able to judge yourself. Self - This is guilt and self loathing. It's conflict between you and what you believe, and this sort of stress damages your ability to believe at all. If you find out in one horrifying moment that your actions mean you're not the person you thought you were, then this can rise very quickly. Unnatural - You know how you feel when you try to comprehend an infinite thing too long? That's Unnatural. This is the Cthulhu one - where if you're exposed to the universe not working the way you believed, it can start to drive you crazy. Violence - The game assumes that people have an instinctive revulsion towards violence. It's stressful to hurt others, to see others hurt, or to be hurt. ... All of this pretty much makes perfect sense, right? We want to be safe and stable, we don't want to be exposed to these deeply unpleasant things. You see those Failure boxes? You can only withstand so many mental shocks before you become numb and then insane. Each time you fail one of these checks, you your hollow out a little - and eventually you're gone. It's not pretty, and the roads back are very hard. It also means that you can have a character who is mostly unphased by violence, but starts to go to pieces when they feel like they've got no backup. But you're not TOTALLY vulnerable to them. Because you know what? You can harden the fuck up, snowflake - facts don't care about your feelings and all that. You can see that two skills are attached to each meter. and each meter has 9 dots. Lets look at Unnatural specifically. So you can probably see that by having a score of 60 in Notice, you have a score of 20 in Secrecy, and Vice Versa. In theory, your character untouched will be at the top of the "Notice" side of things. You are curious about the world, you see things. Nothing has hurt you. If some strange thing happens to you and you fail your stress check, instead of ticking off the box, you can choose to Harden Up. Hardening up means you fill in dots equal to the level of the stress (between 1 and 10). So with a completely clean slate, your Notice is 60% and your Secrecy is 20%. Mark off the first box and your Notice is now 55% and the Secrecy is 25%. Once you mark off that level 1 box, you'll never be phased by Level 1 Unnatural stressors again. You've just accepted it and it can't hurt you any more. Of course, in a longer game, there's only so many psychological calluses that can form before something starts to go wrong with you as a person, but this is a one-shot so there not need to worry about it too much. I know what you're thinking - "Lying Cat, these skills are incredibly vague, and it's a bit hard for me if I wanted to be an introverted Private Investigator - wouldn't that mean I needed high Notice and high Secrecy? Well, yes. This brings us on to the last section. And probably the most fun. Identities Your Identity or Identities are who you are. If you were making characters, you would have 120% of points to spend on as many identities as you like, but the more you have the weaker they'll be. These completely override your skills and they can be absolutely anything at all. It's totally freeform, you just need to be able to justify it in conversation. So you might say "I am a Private Investigator, of course I can Notice Clues at a Crime Scene". And since you probably put 60% into Private Investigator, that means you're not rolling your useless score of 20% on the Meter, you're rolling 60% because that's who you are. Private Investigator is a pretty simple example. One of the pre-genned characters has an identity of "I'm not going to take this shit any more", so you can start to think about what this might substitute for in the world of a shelf stacker. These identities are only vaguely defined in terms of stats, and are about roleplaying. In a longer term game, these Identities improve whenever you fail a roll with them - after all, you get better by picking yourself up and trying again. --- So that's the core of it. The strangest part is not being able to define your core skills specifically as they're slightly out of your hands because of your stress levels, but the Identities heap a whole bunch of control and flexibility right back to you, and let you be properly creative with it.
  14. Well that's five people interested, whoop! Now we've just got to work out a day of the week when everyone can play. I'm fairly flexible but can't do Tuesdays, and since Dr. Shark has said he can't do that, Saturdays or Thursdays - that leaves: - Mondays Wednesday Friday Sunday ... anyone else got any definite no's? If we can get a day sorted out, I'll go away for a week or so to get everyone briefed on characters and to just ensure I know where all the trolleys are around the place.
  15. They could just release them now. It didn't matter last time that they had nothing to sell - why not just take the next logical step and release without the designs being finalised.
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