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OSSR: Nightbane
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

koz wrote:
The fact that Kev assumes game design was perfected by him in the mid-80s and nothing better ever happened since then is made pretty much crystal clear by the inclusion of these rules as-are


WTF D&D summed it up pretty well with regards to awful Palladium rules vs awful White Wolf rules: they both listen only to records, but for different reasons. Kev does it because he's an old man shouting at kids to get off his lawn, WW do it because they're fucking hipsters.
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deaddmwalking
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

koz,

Just wanted to join in sending some appreciation your way. I'm enjoying the review immensely.
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koz
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Koumei wrote:
WTF D&D summed it up pretty well with regards to awful Palladium rules vs awful White Wolf rules: they both listen only to records, but for different reasons. Kev does it because he's an old man shouting at kids to get off his lawn, WW do it because they're fucking hipsters.


This is almost exactly what I said in my review! I'm not sure whether this was me subconsciously paraphrasing something I've read from them before, or just the fact that great minds think alike. Could you link me to that please?
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Koumei
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 5:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

...sorry, it turns out I'm a fucking mongonaut and lack even the basic memory skills to remember what fucking review a great line is from.

It wasn't from one of their articles, I was remembering the point you made in this very review.

Moral of the story: don't comment on stuff after a drinking game.
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Kawazu_Delta
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Quote:
This is rather typical of Kev, who goes on several such tirades throughout this book. They all have a very similar structure, which goes something like this:

1. Describe either a valid complaint with the rules making no sense, or certain players playing the game by the rules, but 'wrong' according to the Gospel Known Only To Kev.
2. Kev insists that they read his perfect ruleset wrong.
3. Kev then produces some asspulled shit about how to slap this down, despite not having said anything of this sort anywhere and none of that being supported or emerging from actual fucking rules.


My favorite example of this, and maybe my favorite part of any of Kev's work, comes from the Palladium RPG. One of the classes knows runes, one of which can be used to make a piece of parchment indestructible, so that their rune-book or whatever can't be destroyed.

This is followed by a page long rant detailing exactly why, no, you cannot make a suit of armor out of this indestructible paper, and all the reasons that it wouldn't protect you.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kawazu_Delta wrote:
Quote:
This is rather typical of Kev, who goes on several such tirades throughout this book. They all have a very similar structure, which goes something like this:

1. Describe either a valid complaint with the rules making no sense, or certain players playing the game by the rules, but 'wrong' according to the Gospel Known Only To Kev.
2. Kev insists that they read his perfect ruleset wrong.
3. Kev then produces some asspulled shit about how to slap this down, despite not having said anything of this sort anywhere and none of that being supported or emerging from actual fucking rules.


My favorite example of this, and maybe my favorite part of any of Kev's work, comes from the Palladium RPG. One of the classes knows runes, one of which can be used to make a piece of parchment indestructible, so that their rune-book or whatever can't be destroyed.

This is followed by a page long rant detailing exactly why, no, you cannot make a suit of armor out of this indestructible paper, and all the reasons that it wouldn't protect you.


Who would even want to make armour from indestructible paper? You could just use it as glued-on coatings for existing armour, making it more weapon-proof.
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erik
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Judging__Eagle wrote:
Kawazu_Delta wrote:


This is followed by a page long rant detailing exactly why, no, you cannot make a suit of armor out of this indestructible paper, and all the reasons that it wouldn't protect you.


Who would even want to make armour from indestructible paper? You could just use it as glued-on coatings for existing armour, making it more weapon-proof.


I think you missed it. Kevin says you cannot. I don't think anyone was espousing that you would create armor made Only of parchment folded origami style. It would just be the key component of a suit of armor or plating on a vehicle like the indestructible wax coating on KIT from knight rider. And Kevin says no, because reasons.

Edit: actually ill recant that since it sounds like he wrote it as a disclaimer rather than response and who knows what he was imagining people would do before he tried to shoot it down.


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koz
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

"By my will, arise!"

So anyway, it's been way, way too long since I sat down to kill braincells using the unique method that is 'trying to make sense of a Palladium product'. However, I am now a confirmed PhD candidate, and thus, braincells must die. For your entertainment.


Which will also be my soundtrack while I write this. Some of its lines are far too apt a description of what this will involve...

Modern Weapon Proficiencies

First-off, we're getting some rules for 'modern weapons', which apparently means 'guns'. Kev doesn't even pretend to not be on the Recycle-Go-A-Round here: instead, he openly states that the rules are wholesale cribbed from like four other books. However, apparently, this take on them plays 'more quickly and cleanly', but is 'less realistic'. But, despite this, these rules can be applied to 'all of Palladium Books role-playing games' (emphasis in original). This is yet another microcosm of bullshit. Providing rules from entirely different games as direct reprints, for entirely different games to the one you're reading? I don't even know how to respond to that. This is Trump levels of bluster and incoherent drivel, which won't improve as we continue, I assure you. So, here we go...

First-off, we're explained to about 'Weapon Proficiencies', which give you a bunch of bonuses to various things with a specific weapon, as well as benefits to rolls to maintain the weapon in question, recognize its quality, various ways of shooting them, and then a note on 'natural energy blasts' for some reason. You know what Weapon Proficiencies don't give you? Any fucking reason to care, because we haven't seen any rules framework into which to situate them! Anyone reading this book would be utterly confused by all this, as we've not seen anywhere near enough of the system yet to make any sense of any of them. However, I do know enough that martial arts masters who have eye lasers can apparently fire them more often than non-masters who have eye lasers. How it is that training in karate makes you better at shooting lasers out of your eyes is left to the reader's imagination, and frankly, I have no clue.

Hand to Hand Combat

Now that we have no understanding of rules for firearms, we're about to be completely lost on the topic of non-firearms too. Right after a note that the Recycle-Go-A-Round is still spinning with us attached, we learn two things:


  • These rules are meant to be 'fast moving and easy to understand'.
  • 'All combat strikes, parries and dodges are resolved by rolling twenty-sided dice.'


Immediately after that, we learn two further things:


  • We now have to re-read about twenty pages of text now that we've been explained something so basic it beggars belief it took this long.
  • Bad rules can in fact cause cancer. Of the ass.


It seriously takes this long to explain something this basic about the system. I don't even words, again. But we don't have too much time to pick ourselves off the floor in astonishment at how badly-organized this book is; instead, we get unceremoniously launched into five steps of (what I can only assume is) a combat ... round? Turn? Who knows! None of this needs explaining, apparently. So first, we determine initiative, by a straight d20 roll, no bonuses, Final Destination. Then we get some very weird and confusing wording about how long this result stands - if we interpret 'melee' (as I believe it should be) to mean what everyone else calls a 'round' or a 'turn', then you have to re-roll initiative every turn; however, the way the writing seems to lead you, a 'melee' means 'a whole battle'. Now, given what I know, it's the former, but you'd never tell from the text the way it's worded. It's also notably stupid that no modifiers apply to this roll at all; the speediest, most aware Tetragrammaton Cleric could end up acting after a wheelchair-bound stoner in this system pretty regularly.


Learning these will not help you act any faster according to Kev.

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Then, we discover that any attack, from anyone has exactly a 20% chance to miss. No accounting for relative skill, distance, motion, weapon quality, nothing - 20%, always and forever. However, there is a chance you end up damaging the armour of your target instead! The fact that this means you potentially have to track the hit points (sorry, SDC) of your armour as well as yourself certainly seems to fly in the face of the claim that this ruleset is 'fast moving'. We then find out about dodging, blocking, entangling, damage, and that indeed, the system's reference to 'melee' above did mean rounds, but it didn't call them that until the end of the section. The result is slow, confusing, clunky and ultimately, while finally explaining an awful lot that we had to take on faith before, doesn't really leave us much wiser.

We then get pages after pages of tables about all manner of things, masquerading as a 'Combat Terms' glossary. Seriously, the mixture of information in there is pretty darned eclectic - we get a bunch of SDC values for common objects, a damage table, saving throw rules, rules for sneak, simultaneous and throwing attacks, a bunch of hand-to-hand rules, psychic combat and something on ISP ('power points' to sane people). Calling this a 'confused, rambling mess' is unfair, in the same way that calling Donald Trump 'somewhat incapable of being a President' is unfair: it is an understatement of epic proportions. I honestly have very little inclination to wade through all this stuff: it makes my eyes glaze the fuck over just trying to parse this shit.

The section gets rounded out by rules for perception and horror factor. The former is basically an IQ roll (using the bonus table of a different attribute for no adequately-explained reason) against a fixed set of DCs, as well as some rules for converting relevant skill checks to perception rolls. We also get our first opposed roll rules, although they're not described that way, instead referring us back to combat for some reason. Relative what we just witnessed, these rules are actually quite coherent and sane. Horror factor is simply a d20 roll against a fixed DC; if you fail, you basically get a one-turn stun. There don't seem to be any modifiers to this roll either, which is strange, but unsurprising by now. It's a much simpler system to represent 'freaking the hell out at a monster' than CoC's, and is, once again, pretty sensible and coherent relative everything else we've seen so far. Did CJ Carella wrest the typewriter away from Kev for a while and write these in or something?

This is a short post, and I apologize. However, we're about to head into psionic powers, and I think for that, I'll need to come at it fresh. Sorry about the wait!
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DrPraetor
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Congratulations on advancing to candidacy!

I would recommend drinking less than I did in graduate school, but that would be incompatible with pursuing Palladiumology (Siembiedaism?)

  • Does it explicitly state that initiative is an unmodified roll, or does it simply fail to mention any modifiers? Because I bet if you look later in the book you will find things with initiative bonuses; but maybe this is a "fast paced" revision in that those bonuses are absent in this game?

  • Likewise, save vs. horror factor - are you sure you don't get a bonus from your M.E. attribute?

  • Do bonuses to strike not help you hit at all (armor aside?) I'm pretty sure they do (but that you always miss on a natural 1?); not sure, though.
    Also some targets have a "Natural A.R." which causes you to miss on bigger numbers but they... you know, never mind, we'll save that for later.
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    Koumei
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    PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 3:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    DrPraetor wrote:
    Does it explicitly state that initiative is an unmodified roll, or does it simply fail to mention any modifiers? Because I bet if you look later in the book you will find things with initiative bonuses; but maybe this is a "fast paced" revision in that those bonuses are absent in this game?


    Most of the Palladium (R) games fail to mention any modifiers, then some Skills and OCCs (with little rhyme or reason) grant bonuses to it. It would not surprise me if the same applies to Nightbane.

    Quote:
    Likewise, save vs. horror factor - are you sure you don't get a bonus from your M.E. attribute?


    I quickly checked my RIFTS (R) Ultimate Edition book, and it doesn't grant bonuses vs Horror Factor for high ME either. That might again be one of those things where the only time you get a bonus is if your OCC or something specifically gives it to you.

    Quote:
    Do bonuses to strike not help you hit at all (armor aside?) I'm pretty sure they do (but that you always miss on a natural 1?); not sure, though.


    Again, going based on other slightly different games, if you roll a 2 but have a +5 bonus, the total of 7 means you hit and it's all good. But maybe they didn't do that for this game. Also, depending on the game and the individual fucking book within the cockgrinding game, you either need "a four or more to hit" (4+), "a five or more to hit/more than a four to hit" (5+) or "more than a five to hit" (6+). There's a lot of weird shit in Palladium (R) games that annoys me that I'd honestly put up with if they could just iron out some basic incompetencies like that.
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    erik
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    PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Koumei wrote:

    I quickly checked my RIFTS (R) Ultimate Edition book, and it doesn't grant bonuses vs Horror Factor for high ME either. That might again be one of those things where the only time you get a bonus is if your OCC or something specifically gives it to you.


    I likewise found that, because I am a skeptic and wanted to see what the hell ME did. But before I found that I first found myself fucking furious that descriptions of attributes are buried 280 pages into the book. Jesus fuck!

    I cracked open my olde Rifts book that is old enough to to be in Congress, and found that it too has the same bonuses for ME (vs. Psychic attack/Insanity) on a more sane page 8. and after 5 printings they still couldn't spell "Charm" correctly on the PB bonus list. Kudos Palladium. Kudos.

    There are bonuses to Initiative for Alcoholism and Drug use, naturally (only +1's, but still). Insanity gives bonuses too I imagine, but I'm getting tired and blurry eyed. 6th Sense psionic power is the bestest, gives +6 to Initiative. What's even better is that cats, dogs and horses get it for free without needing to spend ISP. I'm sure there's something abuseworthy in there.
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    koz
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    PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    DrPraetor: The only way to survive something like Siembiedaism as a PhD topic is liver failure. I'll stick to computer science - it's better for my health.

    Koumei and erik: The ME entry in the attributes-be-double-plus-good table in Nightbane, as far as I can tell, says nothing about Horror Factor bonuses: only on saves against psychic attacks and insanity. While I wouldn't put it past Palladium to bury this somewhere else unexpected (like the rules for hedge trimming or something), as I haven't come across much in the way of arboreal rulings, I can't really say.

    I also checked the description of to-hit rolls and indeed, as Koumei and erik claimed, martial arts bonuses do apply. However, I stand by my choice of wording: relative skill still doesn't matter. If I'm a crazy kung-fu master and hit you on 1s, whether you're a crazy kung-fu master or not makes no difference here - I still hit you on 1s, always. But I do appreciate the clarification: maybe with our powers combined, we'll make Captain Understand-Bad-Rules.

    As for Initiative bonuses for alcoholism ... all I can say is that maybe Captain Hobo is a playable Nightbane archetype. It's certainly a better concept than 'Look like an eminently-fuckable underage doll', which is totally a thing which I will totally be losing my shit about in a future post.
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    koz
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    PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Alrighty, I am refreshed. Time to delve back in.

    Psionic Powers


    Almost, but not entirely, quite unlike this.

    It would be remiss of me to not say a few words about DnD and psionics before launching into this tirade. Psionics has been part of the DnDverse, in one way or another, for a very long time (basically, since Bruce Cordell decided to take up the mantle of Eternal Psionic Warrior), but it's always been a bit of a strange fit. Conceptually, it was a little too sci-fi for DnD when it was being played straight (i.e. not a post-apocalyptic modern setting or Spelljammer); from the point of view of rules, it was weird, often clunky, and frequently quite badly balanced relative everything else. As I don't have experience with editions prior to 3E (or really post-3E, to be honest), I can't say much more than those generalisms (which I have, in turn, lifted from others on this very forum), but one thing that always struck me about 3E psionics is that it basically had no thematic niche. Everything it did was 'I can't believe it's not magic', except it was worse in almost every way at everything that magic did that it also claimed it could do. Whether it was field control, utility, direct damage, or practically anything else, psionics always lost. From what I can tell, the trend continued into the future, because for some reason, paying in mechanics for flavour is something we're supposed to accept in 2017.


    DSP, I'm looking at you, you fuckers. Considering that one of your writers coined the Stormwind Fallacy meme, you should be ashamed. Ahem.

    With all this in mind, being that at the end of the day, anything written by Palladium is a dilute DnD clone from the eighties, it comes as no surprise to anyone that psionics would be a part of Nightbane as well. Given that Nightbane is dark urban fantasy, at least the thematic fit isn't quite as awkward here. What of the rules? Let's find out.

    We're firstly treated to a surprisingly coherent blob about what psionics are - nothing really new to see here. We're also told that there's a bunch of classes (called PCCs, in true acronym-wanking fashion) that deal with psionics extensively, but that we're only getting one of those here. I find it a bit surprising that Nightbane, which are extremely supernatural creatures, aren't given extensive psionic capabilities (or at least, none of these get mentioned here). There are also a couple of suggestions for ports from Beyond the Supernatural, which unlike prior suggestions, actually seem sensible.

    Much like (just about every edition of) DnD, psionics operates on a power point system, except of course, being that this is Palladium, we have to give it a daft acronym (ISP). I find this one especially jarring, as I interact heavily with computers, where that acronum has a very different meaning. Needless to say, in the context of psionics, it seems rather weird, but hey, whatever. It's not like we didn't know that Kev faps himself to sleep every night with acronym listings by now or anything.


    No, I am not posting any pictures of any of the above.

    Given that we've all interacted with (or at least seen) power point systems by now, I won't belabour them. We are then told about how we can recover our power pointsISP: meditation and sleep. Apparently, one hour of meditation gives you 6 ISP, and one hour of sleep (or total relaxation) gives you 2 ISP. We're also given a note that one hour of meditation is equivalent to two hours of sleep or rest 'for the physical body'. Now, we can't really evaluate this recovery rate, as we have no indication of how many ISP we can expect to have at any level, but we're already in confusing territory. As anyone who's ever pulled an all-nighter or been a graduate student knows, sleep has fairly non-trivial mental benefits. However, according to this, meditation apparently does not provide you with any of these. This is extremely weird conceptually-speaking: meditation restores your ISP, which is your 'mind power', at triple the rate for sleep, but yet somehow, gives you no mental recovery. Maybe this is meant to smack down exploits for avoiding sleep? If so, it's a fucking vague and annoying way to do it.

    We then begin some rules wtf. Let me quote directly; all emphases of all sorts are as in the original:

    "All saving throws are made on a 20-sided die. Non-psionic characters must roll a 75 or higher to save vs psionic attack."

    Why such an elaborate scheme to say the equivalent of 'non-psionic stuff gets no save against psionic, tough fucking luck'? Why set up the situation where psis power through normies with no defence at all on the part of the normies? Is this a typo? What could it have been then? Minor and major psis need 12, and master psis need 10, so I'm not really sure what mis-combination involving 5 or 7 could have been involved. 17? 15? Some other thing? The fact that we get ME-based bonuses (yay, flipping back again!) doesn't really act as any saving grace for the poor normies - by the rules as written, you could be a normie with ME 30 and still fail 100% of the time. I'm not even going to discuss how pointless and stupid source-based saves (as in 2E, or possibly even 1E) are, because nobody on here is shadzar and therefore we all get it, but of course, this is yet another criticism we could level if we cared enough.

    We then get a bunch of rules about ley line influence. Now, unless you've read Rifts or happen to be a serious occult fanperson, you would not have the first, second or tenth clue what this has to do with anything. No discussion of ley lines has been done here (unlike in Rifts, where they're talked about extensively), and I strongly suspect copy-pasta from Rifts (or something else, maybe). However, they clearly weren't just copy-pasting, because they managed to sneak in this little gem:

    "Note: Most damage-causing psionic abilities are not described in this book, but will be in future Nightbane sourcebooks."

    Clearly there's been some cross-pollination of ideas here - apparently Bruce Cordell thinks that blasters shouldn't get nice things either.

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    Now the next part is where it gets really weird, and we get more information about the weird alt-reality that is the Nightbaneverse. Apparently, every damn animal everywhere is psionic! They don't use ISP to power these things (because reasons). They can also sense the supernatural in a 183 metre (or 600ft if you're a Murrican) area (what kind of area? Radius? Diameter? Square? Hemisphere? The fuck?). Animals also react quite strongly to supernatural displays (in the case of dogs of all sorts, they just go straight for you most of the time apparently). Let me just reiterate that last point for effect: every single animal has psionic powers in the Nightbaneverse. Their power list isn't very long (5 powers, with one being restricted), but this makes your dog a more capable psi than you are. Why is it that humans specifically are excluded, but even very close ancestors of ours (like chimps) are not? There's also a bit of confusion here, where the text literally contradicts itself within three sentences - they first say only close human companion animals are psis, they then say that they're just the strongest animal psis, and then everything's psi, fuck it. Which one is it Kev? Stop taking bong hits when writing!


    Inspiring sourcebooks since 1981!

    Of course, this utter argle-bargle wouldn't be complete without Kev Viking-hatting away a sensible consequence of all this nonsense - apparently, we can't train dogs to sniff out the supernaturals because reasons. Apparently, as it is their natural instinct to run away, they won't search these things out, and will flee immediately. Setting aside the fact that this blatantly contradicts shit in the previous paragraph, I call bullshit. Dogs can be trained to detect a lot of things, and we've gotten very good at conditioning away their instincts. Ever seen a guide dog? They are so well-trained that they'll ignore a lot of shit before messing up what they've been told to do. I find it totally and utterly ridiculous that we can't train magic-sniffer dogs because Kev has a hateboner for players having nice things. It's inconsistent, disempowering and ultimately stupid - much like most of what we've read in this section. I'm also gonna jokingly mention that animals save against psi on 15s, which makes them more resistant to psi than normies, but not quite as resistant as minor psis, because fuck you consistency, that's why.


    Just imagine this coming at you from the page with every line. That's pretty much how it feels.

    With Kev having sufficiently demonstrated his incoherency credentials, his Viking-hat credentials, and his inability-to-worldbuild credentials, he now has to finish wiping his dick on the page and demonstrate his mechanical incompetence as well. We are now (for the first time) introduced to potential psychic energy (or PPE), which apparently everything has, and which doubles at the time of death. This energy can be used to power your psi. This is not only severely under-explained (Can I go over my max ISP with this? How long do I have to use it? Why aren't humans on this list, but 'apes' are? What's the range I can absorb from? What the fuck were you injecting between your toes when you wrote this?), but is also horribly open to abuse. I'd make a 'bag of rats' joke here, except that this actually seems the most sensible approach - rats give 2d4 PPE (so 4d4 when they die) and only have 1d4 hit points. We now have a complete Kev breakdown - failing at everything.

    The Psychic PCC

    Let's just stop and recollect for a sec. We are at page sixty-fucking-eight of this abomination. Character creation rules ended over twenty cockgrinding pages ago. We only now actually get an actual fucking playable class, which is not the Nightbane! No words exist to describe how incredibly backwards all this is. I guess we should be somewhat thankful for the small mercy that this is at least with the fucking psionics rules so that it's a bit easier to find, and the concepts it revolves around are fresh in our minds? I dunno, but fuck this book, seriously.


    Don't fuck books. You might end up a Trump voter.

    Well, now that we actually have our first playable class, let's see how it all stacks up. We start with what looks like a decently-long list of powers (nine, because meditation doesn't really count). Our ISP is equal to our ME (Will save stat for those too bored at home to remember this shit) plus 1d4 times 10. That means your average starting Psychic has 20-30 ISP. We now get our first wtf: the recovery rate postulated previously is way too slow! Let's take 30 as a good middle-of-the-road value. If you'd burned through your entire allotment, you'd need to meditate for five hours to bring it all back again! Note that as you also need to sleep for eight or so hours anyway (because fuck you), we can actually get by on eight hours of sleep (16 ISP regained) plus three of meditation (for the rest). That's an awful lot, and it only gets worse with time, as each level gives you ten more, which for the nice people counting at home, is two extra hours of meditation or so. Better start with those rat-bags - you're gonna need 'em. It's also worth mentioning that because your PPE has been spent in developing your psi, you only start with 1d6. This is likely to end up lower than your average rat, which hasn't developed shit. Fuck you for being a human, I guess? I'm not even sure what could motivate this kind of thinking, and thus, I won't make any jokes about it, although I totally should.

    We then hit the real motherlode of wtf. As usual, straight from the sphincter:

    "Attribute Requirements: Only psionic powers, but a high IQ and ME are strongly recommended."


    ...

    Let's try and unpack this shit. First of all, how the fuck are psionic powers an attribute? They're ... well, psionic fucking powers, not something like ME or PP. Secondly, as far as we can tell, there are only two ways to get psionic powers in this game:


    • Be a member of this class
    • Be a dog


    Clearly, thanks to this restriction, the first one is off the table. So is this a class only suitable for animals? What? What? How did this even get past ... anyone? The more I think about it, the less sense it makes. However, it sure reads hilariously if you consider that the only species that qualify for it are non-humans.


    Pictured: Your next Nightbane character concept.

    We're then told to just make up a bunch of skills we apparently have based on background, add a few more, turn ourselves into an assassin if we're evil and we like, and that we have 3d6 times 100 (what? Dollars? Pesos? Rupees? Bars of gold-pressed latinum?) in cash and 1d6 times 1000 (again, what?) in possessions, as well as 'a basic car, pick-up truck or motorcycle'. So yeah, this is a class for driving, psychic dogs. You're welcome.


    Me neither, doggo.
    Alternative caption: Pictured: Your next Nightbane character concept.

    OK, this is about 3 thousand words, which admittedly covered few pages, but much hilarity. There's a big list of powers coming up, which I am sure is full of funnies. Old Palladium hands - I welcome suggestions for some of the weirder ones I should look into in particular.
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    Voss
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Not much, Palladium psychic powers are often really boring and do a lot of shit that you don't care about. But you have to take them because a lot of the real powers are either level gated, list gated or both. This includes that psi-sword, which deals level based damage in a system that... doesn't do level progression very well.

    But then there is mind wipe and the mind control power, which are largely just fuck you powers, partly because the save really is 15 for most targets (75 is a typo). Luckily nightbane seems to lack the long list of psychic classes that aren't allowed to take the good stuff.

    No idea if the machine meld (which is not the real name) power is in this one.. It was in a random book in the original Rifts, and it was fucking nonsense. Take control of any machine and do whatever is fuckoff nuts in a partial scifi setting. Yes, 'I take control of the planetary defense cannon' was a thing you could do, and I'm not really sure what the limits were. It was also amazingly useless when backdoored into the Palladium RPG 2nd edition. Yes, the fantasy RPG core book has a power intended for taking over computers and shit, because it existed by that point, and Palladium thrives on copypasta.


    PPE vs ISP. This is a palladium thing. Basically wizards use the former and psychics use the latter, and developing the latter somehow uses up the former. Unless you exploit (can find the rules for) multi classing, it which case you have both and whatever. Or be psychic and get Atlantans tattoos, which give you PPE, but often not enough to actually use them. Or roll psychic wild talents (which was also a 1st edition AD&D thing, and you'll be sad to know that Cordell actually made some progress in the field of psionics in D&D).

    Mostly though it just sounds like large chunks of the explanatory text from Rifts, the Palladium RPG and Beyond the Supernatural just didn't get copy-pasta'd correctly, presumably due to their bizarre and anachronistic printing process. Or they just randomly hacked stuff until they got the page length they wanted. neither would be a shock.


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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

  • The 75 is a typo; non-psionics need the same 15 as dogs which give you a 75% chance of fa... no, wait it doesn't. Anyway it's a typo they meant 15. http://riftsimcn.weebly.com/uploads/5/6/8/7/56872659/rifts_psionics_reference.pdf

  • The whole alternative psionics universe that animals live in was ported from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles RPG, because the author of that had his own psionics house rules for Palladium that he used in that game.

  • In most Palladium RPGs, you roll for psionics during character generation - so in Nightbane that step is missing?
    In Rifts: Ultimate, which wins at organization by having the character generation rules on page 279, and then on page 289 you have a 10% of being a major psionic and a 15% of being a minor psionic. In the original Palladium RPG, the same table gave an additional chance of being a Master psionic. There really isn't such a table in Nightbane? The author of this psionics section might've just assumed such a table existed?

    In some Palladium games, or for other games depending on how the author for an individual race/class works: Depending on what psionics you get, you may or may not qualify for different classes. In the original Palladium, you had to roll psionics to join the illusionist or mind mage character classes. In Rifts, the Arkhon's (Kzin) in World Book 9 seem to work this way, even though...

    In other Palladium games, or again sometimes varying within the same game: In Rifts generally some OCCs (RCCs, PCCs) over-ride the roll - in the basic book, the Mind Melter and... Burster? - are automatically Master level psionicists.
    Some OCCs, like the Mystic (Major), Cyberknight (Major) and Technowizard (Minor) also get psionics. So this means you don't roll, right?

    Rifts Ultimate, pp. 289 wrote:

    The third way is to roll percentile dice on the following random table. If psionics are rolled, the character has some psychic ability in addition to his usual O.C.C./R.C.C. skills and abilities.


    ... so if I'm a Mystic, do I get the mystic psionics and also a die roll to get more? I don't think anyone plays that way, but it's not at all clear from the text.

  • P.P.E. stands for "Potential Psychic Energy." The deal, as explained in Beyond the Supernatural, is that you convert it into real psychic energy when you develop your psychic powers and that's why Psychics have so little.
    Of course, you also use it as straight-up spell points when you cast spells (as opposed to Psionics), so... well, it is what it is.
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    Voss
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    Yeah, that. Sane GMs would say if you have a species that could be psychic, you could take an PCC. Others (and I actually think this is the intent, because Kevin is a dick) would insist that you randomly generate psychic ability at some point in the character creation process between choosing a species and choosing a class, and if you don't have psionics, fuck you, you can't play what you like, be a Hobo OCC or something.

    And sometimes there was a random clause that just says, OK, you're psychic, here's some random shit that is terrible and you'll never use.
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    erik
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    DrPraetor wrote:
    ... so if I'm a Mystic, do I get the mystic psionics and also a die roll to get more? I don't think anyone plays that way, but it's not at all clear from the text.


    I've never met anyone who thought that was at all implied from the text. There's plenty of ambiguous edge cases, but this ain't it. The roll is to determine if you are a minor or major psychic, of which a Master is neither. And if you rolled on it, there is a 3/4 chance of being not psychic. Not no additional psionics, but out and out "Not psychic"... which doesn't quite fit with being a Master psionic. So no, it is not at all unclear unless you're being intentionally obtuse. For Palladium rules that's amazingly cut and dry.

    Could they have written it better? Of course. This is fucking Palladium. Even their cleanest rules writing is a B- tops. But is anyone at all confused about whether Master Psychics roll on the table to determine if they get Major Psionics, Minor Psionics, or are not psychic at all? Nope.

    [edit: further, they list taking Psychic character class as a separate option from rolling on the random psychic table.]

    Maybe we should fork our dumb Rifts/Palladium digressions away from the Nightbane thread. At least while review is in prog.


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    DrPraetor
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I realize this is a different game book, but I think it will help to put this in perspective.

    This is what Rifts:Ultimate - a re-release, differing from the original primarily in that the organization is supposedly improved! - actually has.

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    koz
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I can confirm that Nightbane does not have a 'roll to see if you're psychic' step anywhere in its chargen process. It might perhaps be an oversight (wouldn't surprise me honestly), but fact is, by RAW, you can only be a Psychic if you happen to be a dog. Or a chimp.
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    Voss
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    erik wrote:

    Maybe we should fork our dumb Rifts/Palladium digressions away from the Nightbane thread. At least while review is in prog.


    That'd be pretty pointless, since they're all the same damn system, and for most of us, not digressing means there isn't anything at all to talk about.


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    Koumei
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    I love the XP-and-levels rant. Because it's never "We chose levels and XP (with each class having its own XP table) as opposed to buying up individual things with XP or improving each individual thing through use or whatever, because ___" which could be a legitimate discussion. It's always "Obviously people get better with practice so it just makes sense" and wanking himself off over having invented the idea of character growth. Because the only options in the world are "The wonky-ass AD&D thing" and "nothing".
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    PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

    DrPraetor wrote:
    I realize this is a different game book, but I think it will help to put this in perspective.

    This is what Rifts:Ultimate - a re-release, differing from the original primarily in that the organization is supposedly improved! - actually has.


    Yeah... I was actually reading that exact book and passage when framing my arguments. They all still stand. Rifts didn't have a clean A-Z system of character creation. Despite the number order, they cannot even stick to it . In step 4 they reference using step 5 as how to choose Psionics. There were 3 options to create a psionic character in step 4, pick a psionic master class, or pick a major/minor psionic class, or roll on the table which outputs either Not Psychic, Minor Psychic or Major Psychic. They seemed like exclusive options. Now obviously there's other options such as having a psionic race. This was written by Palladium and they couldn't find their dick with both hands stuck down the front of their pants.

    So it does make it hard to assume there's anything straightforward given their incompetence, but still I find it really, really hard to draw a conclusion that you get to roll on a table that determines if you have major/minor/none psychic powers and which actually lays out your psychic ISP progression and what kind of powers you have and how many... as something that stacks with other classes which are listed as separate options from that table.
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