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Bitching About Poltergeists
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:57 am    Post subject: Bitching About Poltergeists Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So i just got done MC'n a game of After Sundown, and I set the party against a Kaibhit Witch with Hide From Notice, Revive the Flesh, Nightcry, Telepathy, Potency 2, and Zombie Mastery.... and was that an underwhelming ordeal. So let's start with Zombie Shamblers; there were 400 of them and the party chewed through 76 without ever taking a hit. 4 dice of strength doesn't really hit anything and their damage can't be staged up to useful levels. not so much a real problem, I get that Shamblers are basically like a mobile wall of chaff, but if the PC threshing through them has Devastation they can't even get surrounding bonuses. They only chewed through 76 not because they ever took damage, but by then it was just a foregone conclusion that they could mop them up regardless of rolls.

But the real kickers were Solid Darkness and Night Cry. Night Cry sacrifices 4 (FOUR!) PP, and even if you burn edge to get your 12 Willpower poltergeist capable of telekinesing 50 tons of stuff.. any fool can walk up to it with a stick and do automatic damage. It has no actual strength for any physical resistance test, and even if it did it would only roll 2 (GODDAMN TWO!) dice because that's all it gets with basic fortitude. It has no agility, no combat, and is a threshold 0 (No Agility or Combat) to walk up to it and hit it with a stick. Is this for real? any (automatic) hit with a stick lying on the ground just wrecks it. For a 4 power point power! Oh yeah, and Telekinesis is can only pin creatures under rubble IF and only if you have Devestation, because all thrown weapons do a base of 1 damage with no text that i can find concerning the mass of what you are beating them over the head with. I guess a 50 ton full tractor-trailer combo just freaking stages up from 1 damage?

Solid darkness is just as asstastic. It is technically a summoned monster, that only has a STR equal to your Intuition? I mean at least it uses your combat skill, but it is still a 0 damage attack. I guess it is invulnerable and can only be dispelled, or probably only be used to immobilize someone?

Bottom line: Don't play a Khaibit. I'd have been pretty pissed if basically all my offensive power just freaking evaporates the moment somebody picks up a stick.
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Grek
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Poltergeists don't have a Strength of 0. They have Very High Strength (due to Clout and especially Vigor) which they can only apply to wooden or magical objects (due to Empty Body) and an effective Strength for their telekinesis equal to their Willpower (which can also be Very High). Only Wisps have decreased Strength for being a ghost; Poltergeists explicitly have no upper limit on Strength.

Furthermore, "Car" is listed as having a base 6N damage. Presumably, something much larger than a car would do more damage. But even if you assume it caps out at 6N damage, that's still a fuckton.
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm more concerned about staying power. Firestarter does 7 fire damage on any starting character that stages up for no PP, but the best room clearing combo is actually have Hand of Fire + Body Colony + Magnify the Swarm for 1PP, which affects a 10m cube per hit. Nightcry costs 4PP, and it just isn't worth it unless I am missing something. Which I could be I mean it's only the second time I've run it. The first time was when the document was called Alternate World of Darkness.


There is no table that links item mass to a damage code. I guess since poltergeists are potency 0 they can use vigor for 10 strength... which is actually less than the 12 I ad-hocked for it. They still have no agility or combat, so the threshold to hit them with a stick or chair in melee is still 0. They're also weirdly suceptable to mind control? Maybe not because they don't have eyes. But they have an Intuition of 0 and no edge when Nightcryed into existance so one hit minds slaves them too.
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shadzar wrote:
those training harder get more, and training less, don't get the more.

Lokathor wrote:
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Tibellus: You can tell by the lobster on my head.


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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

You need to pick better powers to make a Khaibit truly terrifying. I suggest:

-Empty Body (wear silver mesh glove to touch things, but basically be invulnerable)
-Frozen Note ("Let's see you soak that damage with Willpower bitch!") [note: I forget if it's actually Frozen Note, but I do know that one of the Symphony of Silence sorceries can K.O. a target via Willpower-soak targeting; can totally own a Kaiju in one combat round).

The "target soaks with willpower" spells are fairly accessible for Dryad, Khaibit and Warlock; so if you want to put fools down you'll want them.

Empty Body is also a colossal pain to get around if people forget that you're not a ghost, and are instead only targetable by silver.

This wasn't even my PC, but a semi-rival PC that a friend played in an AS game I joined partway through. Interestingly enough, the whole party were different types of Witches; a Khaibit/Liche, a Dryad, and a Baali/Warlock. The Baali went for "turn into a dragon" type powers b/c they could (attempt to) refill their PP tank via combat damage after triggering: Warform, Giant Size, &whatever else they had, while using some sort of great weapon). My Dryad used their silver & iron inlaid staff as their focus for Grass Ropes, along with Telekineses, a lot. While they held off using Pain Drops until it was necessary against an actual enemy of the party (the look of surprised fear on the other players faces when they realized the "Merlin out of time" PC I was playing had been previously fighting them w/ the magical equivalent of kid gloves, instead of using Pain Drops on them; was worth the delayed gratification it cost of having them pretend to be defeated by them (even the dragonform of the Baali wasn't strong enough to actually KO the character due to Universal discipline bonuses)).
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Grek
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Poltergeists aren't potency 0. They're potency 1 or higher, just like everything else that isn't specifically called out as being potency 0. Furthermore:

Quote:
Like all Ghosts, a Poltergeist has an Empty Body unless they are in Mictlan. They also have a Charisma and Logic of zero. They have no specific limits for other attributes, larger storms have more Strength and more Willpower...


What part of this implies "Every single stat and skill is zero." to you? Attributes don't default to 0! That is stupid and produces stupid results, as you have clearly seen. If a monster doesn't have attributes and skills specified, they default to human standard range of 1 to 6. Not zero! Monsters get skills! This isn't D&D, everyone gets skills. Even Soulless get skills and they're fucking zombies.
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But more importantly if you elevate jerkishness into a principle, if you try to undermine the rules that keep niceness, community, and civilization going, the defenses against social cancer then your movement will fracture, it will be hugely embarrassing, the atmosphere will become toxic, unpopular people will be thrown to the mob, everyone but the thickest-skinned will bow out, and the people you need to convince will view you with a mixture of terror and loathing.
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Judging__Eagle
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
Even Soulless get skills and they're fucking zombies.


Zombies that can open doors, use guns, and drive vehicles.... as long as they're controlled, or don't see a human.

Even the relatively stupid, animalistic, Mirror-Goblin has some skills. While actually animalistic Chimera have a bunch of skills.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
What part of this implies "Every single stat and skill is zero." to you? Attributes don't default to 0! That is stupid and produces stupid results, as you have clearly seen. If a monster doesn't have attributes and skills specified, they default to human standard range of 1 to 6. Not zero!


If there are no rules anywhere in the book that give even the faintest inkling what a stat or skill should be... what should it be?

Hicks defaulted to 12 Strength, same as the Willpower, but if the poltergeist had also had 12 Agility, then it probably would have been able to just dodge/soak our melee user.

But hey, maybe when a Kaibit Nightcries a 12 Willpower Poltergeist they also have Edge 6 and 9 Combat ranks, who knows, because Poltergeists are literally created by slamming wisps together, so there are no rules anywhere that give the faintest idea what skills they should or shouldn't have.

Grek wrote:
Monsters get skills! This isn't D&D, everyone gets skills. Even Soulless get skills and they're fucking zombies.


"A Shambler loses all of their skills, even combat skills."
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Once again, Nightcry dosen't determine skills, and every monster that has a potency of 1 or more is specifically called out. The rules don't tell you and have some weird divide by zero errors in it. You can mind caulk that nightcry gives you a poltergeist with N potence, N agility, N skills at N rank, but that is literally you making stuff up that isn't there. Sure, if you go to the gloom you could find a poltergeist with 7 or 700 in all characteristics and skills, cuz that is an MC placed monster, but the power Nightcry dosen't talk about anything concerning the Intuition, agility, strength, skills, or potence of the creature Nightcry summons.

The point isn't to pick powers that work over powers that don't because all the powers should work . If there are basic questions raised when a power is used it should be brought up because it isn't broken in the "daaamn that's powerful" sense but rather "that needs to be repaired to actually work as intended."
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shadzar wrote:
those training harder get more, and training less, don't get the more.

Lokathor wrote:
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Grek
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:
If there are no rules anywhere in the book that give even the faintest inkling what a stat or skill should be... what should it be?


The Persona non Grata chapter gives an example statblock for three playable supernaturals, a Luminary, an extra, a goblin and a couple animals. It then tells you to take the example statblock and switch around the exact assignment of skills and attributes while keeping the general shape of it the same.

If you're feeling particularly lazy, you can just take the example extra (Chris) and apply the Poltergeist template to him. If you have the time, you can and should rearrange the skills to be more poltergeist-like and less skater-like. Switch out that Operations (Mechanical Bull) for some Sabotage (Traps) or that Background: Food Service for Background: Graveyards. Maybe even switch around the Charisma and the Willpower if you feel like it. If you're feeling particularly fancy (or are building a Luminary) you can use the same rules used to generate player characters of various competencies and just apply a non-playable template instead of a playable template at the appropriate step.

But at no point do you go "Well, gee golly, I don't know what to pick! I guess I'll just make everything zero! Except for the attacking stat, that can be 12." If you intentionally build a glass cannon, you have nobody but yourself to blame when somebody breaks it by hitting it once with a stick.

Kaelik wrote:
"A Shambler loses all of their skills, even combat skills."

The exception that proves the rule. If that was the case for all supernatural creatures, it wouldn't even need mentioned. Just like how Mirror Goblins get specifically called out as having 0 Potency, because that is an unusual thing and not at all the default.

Hicks wrote:
Once again, Nightcry dosen't determine skills, and every monster that has a potency of 1 or more is specifically called out.
That is the opposite of true. The rules specify that Shamblers, Mirror Goblins, and Spawn have a Potency of 0 and that Ifrit have a minimum Potency of 4. While it's never outright stated that every supernatural defaults to Potency 1 unless stated otherwise, a default Potency 0 is ruled out by the repeated reference to "before their Potency modifier" and "plus Potency" in the various monster entries for stuff that doesn't have a listed Potency.
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But more importantly if you elevate jerkishness into a principle, if you try to undermine the rules that keep niceness, community, and civilization going, the defenses against social cancer then your movement will fracture, it will be hugely embarrassing, the atmosphere will become toxic, unpopular people will be thrown to the mob, everyone but the thickest-skinned will bow out, and the people you need to convince will view you with a mixture of terror and loathing.
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So how much potency does a poltergeist summoned by nightcry have? And what is your source for that? You can infer, and by infer I mean mind caulk because the correct answer is that there is no answer and you are making stuff up that isn't there. It's undefined and is a literal divide by zero error.

As long as we're on the subject of weird things you have to mind caulk to work, I haven't found any penalties for fighting in darkness. Like can you even target a creature or object with a power if you do not have line of sight? Where are the line of sight rules? Under ranged attacks, no mention of "line of sight" or even "the limit of vision" exists. It does have one unlabeled bullet point that says thresholds increase by 1 or 2 if the target is difficult to see... so when is it 1 or 2? Fuck you that's when. That means you can Pain Drops through complete darkness with no mitigating that for a 1 or 2 threshold increase. Have you sucked the MC's dick today? Hrmm, I guess your threshold increases by 2 then.
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shadzar wrote:
those training harder get more, and training less, don't get the more.

Lokathor wrote:
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Tibellus: You can tell by the lobster on my head.


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Chamomile
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

After Sundown has a serious bestiary problem. This not only makes it difficult to predict in advance what you'll actually get if you have a power that does things like summon poltergeists, it also makes it that much harder to assemble an adversary on the fly as MC. Even if the AS bestiary were dense enough to make reliable guesses as to what monsters will have which attributes (and it's not), it isn't really obvious to go and do that, which means that neither players nor MCs can be counted on to have done it, which means MCs can't count on players understanding what their summoning powers actually do when they buy them nor can players count on MCs to give reasonably reliable results on summons, especially if they have to make them up on the fly and don't have time to find the Persona non Grata chapter, figure out which entries in it are relevant, and then modify their relevant stats to match the specific monster that's needed. An MC can get good at doing that quickly, but it's not a skill that any reasonably competent MC necessarily has.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
The Persona non Grata chapter gives an example statblock for three playable supernaturals, a Luminary, an extra, a goblin and a couple animals. It then tells you to take the example statblock and switch around the exact assignment of skills and attributes while keeping the general shape of it the same.

If you're feeling particularly lazy, you can just take the example extra (Chris) and apply the Poltergeist template to him. If you have the time, you can and should rearrange the skills to be more poltergeist-like and less skater-like. Switch out that Operations (Mechanical Bull) for some Sabotage (Traps) or that Background: Food Service for Background: Graveyards. Maybe even switch around the Charisma and the Willpower if you feel like it. If you're feeling particularly fancy (or are building a Luminary) you can use the same rules used to generate player characters of various competencies and just apply a non-playable template instead of a playable template at the appropriate step.


.....

Poltergieists are not made from extras. Or Luminaries. Poltergeists are made from a seething mass of Wisps. There is no possible way to determine what stat something like that should have.

You are claiming "pick one of the hundred thousand wisps making it up, and it just uses that wisps skills and agility back when they were alive." That's pretty fucking stupid, on a number of levels, but mostly because there is no evidence that should be the route taken. It makes just as much sense for them to not have any skills, or to have every skill at the highest that any wisp has it, or to have every skill at 9 and edge 6. It makes just as much sense to have an agility equal to their STR and willpower, or agility 1 or 0, or agility 6 as it does to have specifically 3 BECAUSE OF COURSE YOU JUST BASE IT ON WHAT AN EXTRA HAS DUH, THAT'S SPELLED OUT RIGHT IN THE......... oh wait, that isn't spelled out anywhere, and there is no reason to pick that option.

Nightcry is an ability that both NPCs and PCs can take. If you have the ability, you spend 4 Power Points to summon a Poltergeist. There's an actual way of finding out sort of the Willpower of the Poltergeist you want, you can even maybe infer the Str as being equal to that.

But when I evaluate as a player whether to take Nightcry or Glimpse of the Abyss I am evaluating on the one hand, an AOE 1 round stun opposed by Willpower, and on the other hand, the ability to summon a thing with an agility + Combat somewhere between 1 and 500000000000000000000000000000000 with equal justification for both those numbers and every number in between.

How the FUCK am I supposed to evaluate that choice?

Grek wrote:

Kaelik wrote:
"A Shambler loses all of their skills, even combat skills."

The exception that proves the rule. If that was the case for all supernatural creatures, it wouldn't even need mentioned.


Hicks: Shamblers are bad, because they have no skills.
You: WHY WOULD YOU THINK NO SKILLS, YOU IDIOT! THIS IS YOUR FAULT FOR BEING SO WRONG!
Me: [quote rules that say shamblers have no skills]
You: Exception that proves rule, totally unrelated.
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That's libertarians for you - anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.

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Grek
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Kaelik wrote:
Poltergieists are not made from extras. Or Luminaries. Poltergeists are made from a seething mass of Wisps. There is no possible way to determine what stat something like that should have.


Wisps ARE extras, you nit. Wisp is literally extras turn into when they become ghosts. But that's entirely beside the point. You use the extra statblock for a Poltergeist, not because it is meaningfully 'made from' any particular extra, but because it, itself IS an extra. Everyone in After Sundown is either an extra, or a Luminary. If you're not a Luminary, you're an extra. If this specific Poltergeist isn't a Luminary, then it is an extra. And to build an extra, you take the basic extra statblock, swap out the nouns for appropriate nouns, and apply the appropriate supernatural template even if in the fiction no such transformation occurred. Templates aren't always about turning into something, sometimes it's just about what a creature already is. Just ask an Android.

Kaelik wrote:
Hicks: ShamblersPoltergeists are bad, because they have no skills.
You: WHY WOULD YOU THINK NO SKILLS, YOU IDIOT! THIS IS YOUR FAULT FOR BEING SO WRONG!
Me: [quote rules that say shamblers have no skills]
You: Exception that proves rule, totally unrelated to Poltergeists.


There, fixed for you.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
Kaelik wrote:
Poltergieists are not made from extras. Or Luminaries. Poltergeists are made from a seething mass of Wisps. There is no possible way to determine what stat something like that should have.


Wisps ARE extras, you nit. Wisp is literally extras turn into when they become ghosts. But that's entirely beside the point. You use the extra statblock for a Poltergeist, not because it is meaningfully 'made from' any particular extra, but because it, itself IS an extra. Everyone in After Sundown is either an extra, or a Luminary. If you're not a Luminary, you're an extra. If this specific Poltergeist isn't a Luminary, then it is an extra. And to build an extra, you take the basic extra statblock, swap out the nouns for appropriate nouns, and apply the appropriate supernatural template even if in the fiction no such transformation occurred. Templates aren't always about turning into something, sometimes it's just about what a creature already is. Just ask an Android.


No you idiot, try reading THE ENTIRE THING I said instead.

Poltergeists are explicitly not made from extras or luminaries, they are made from a pile of Extras of indefinite but possibly increasing numbers.

That's not 1 extra, that's MORE THAN ONE.

So again, when trying to decide their skills, there are a variety of options, and all of them are EQUALLY valid (in the sense that there is no textual support for ANY of them)

1) ADD all the skills of 500000000000000 extras to get your skills for the poltergeist. Because you are all of them!

2) Don't get any skills from any of the many many many many many extras that just got smashed together, because you aren't any of them.

3) Get the highest skill of the highest person (and perhaps 5000000000000000 assisting rolls) because you are 5000000000000000000 extras cooperating as a group, so you can use the person with the highest skill.

4) Pick one specific wisp, and claim he mind controlled and enslaved 5000000000000 other wisps and erased all their skills with no textual support.

Your option: 4, is not appreciably more reasonable than ANY other choice for a composite entity.
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Grek
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Let's port this logic over into Shadowrun (a very similar system) and see how it checks out, shall we?

Kaelik wrote:
No you idiot, try reading THE ENTIRE THING I said instead.

PoltergeistsHumans are explicitly not made from extras or luminariescells or transistors, they are made from a pile of ExtrasCells of indefinite but possibly increasing numbers.

That's not 1 extracell, that's MORE THAN ONE.

So again, when trying to decide their skills, there are a variety of options, and all of them are EQUALLY valid (in the sense that there is no textual support for ANY of them)

1) ADD all the skills of 50000000000000037000000000000 extrascells to get your skills for the poltergeisthuman. Because you are all of them!

2) Don't get any skills from any of the many many many many many extrascells that just got smashed together, because you aren't any of them.

3) Get the highest skill of the highest personcell (and perhaps 500000000000000037000000000000 assisting rolls) because you are 50000000000000000003700000000000 extras cells cooperating as a group, so you can use the personcell with the highest skill.

4) Pick one specific wispcell, and claim he mind controlled and enslaved 50000000000003700000000000 other wispscells and erased all their skills with no textual support.

Your option: 4, is not appreciably more reasonable than ANY other choice for a composite entity.


Yeah, this argument is still retarded. It's as if treating all of the components that comprise a creature as individuals produces absurd results! As if the only non-retarded option is to take the creature as something other than the sum of its parts and to completely ignore the fact that it's technically made up trillions of tiny things that are also alive.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
Yeah, this argument is still retarded. It's as if treating all of the components that comprise a creature as individuals produces absurd results! As if the only non-retarded option is to take the creature as something other than the sum of its parts and to completely ignore the fact that it's technically made up trillions of tiny things that are also alive.


Grek, you yourself said before
Quote:
The Persona non Grata chapter gives an example statblock for three playable supernaturals, a Luminary, an extra, a goblin and a couple animals. It then tells you to take the example statblock and switch around the exact assignment of skills and attributes while keeping the general shape of it the same.

If you're feeling particularly lazy, you can just take the example extra (Chris) and apply the Poltergeist template to him.

and
Quote:
Everyone in After Sundown is either an extra, or a Luminary.


If you are saying that Poltergeist=non-Luminary human because they are both extras, that's like saying that a cell is like a person because they are both made of meat.
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Zaranthan
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I don't know about you, but when my rogues trip a poison trap, everybody at the table whips out a microbiology textbook and a copy of Syphilis sive morbus gallicus.
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Hicks
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek... are you trolling? You know, you can just admit that you're wrong and grow as a person in the process. Shadowrun dosen't have skills or ability scores for individual cells, there is no parellel to draw. You might think you're presenting some sort of 'gotcha', but you are truly advocating the 4th Option with literally no evidence to back you up, and your counterarguement to the option that you actually advocate is as nonsensical as it is pointless, and you should reexamine your position because you don't have one at the moment; a complete non-sequiter that has does not disprove my or Kaelik's position that Nightcry has a number of necessary but undefined outputs that are not addressed by the rules. You are basically shouting noise and fury at nothing like a crazy person ranting on a street corner.

Please, take a step back and really think about your arguement, then rethink it, maybe read it to a friend, all in the effort that you don't lose touch with reality in future posts.

It is ok to criticize games. It is ok to realize their shortcommings. And it's ok to admit that you are just making stuff up that you want to be true. And there is nothing wrong with making stuff up in your game that you MC. But your house rules has no bearing on what was and is actually codified and presented for all to use. House rules don't fix the base rules that are presented, and we are not allowed to infer unstated rules that are not presented in the written rule set to mind caulk how a game works in a discussion about the rules as presented and how they affect every instance of play of that game with those rules.

You are implicitly advocating the Oberoni Fallacy by continuing to make up rules that don't exist to fix a problem where the answer is truly unkown.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
Let's port this logic over into Shadowrun (a very similar system) and see how it checks out, shall we?

Kaelik wrote:
No you idiot, try reading THE ENTIRE THING I said instead.

PoltergeistsHumans are explicitly not made from extras or luminariescells or transistors, they are made from a pile of ExtrasCells of indefinite but possibly increasing numbers.

That's not 1 extracell, that's MORE THAN ONE.

So again, when trying to decide their skills, there are a variety of options, and all of them are EQUALLY valid (in the sense that there is no textual support for ANY of them)

1) ADD all the skills of 50000000000000037000000000000 extrascells to get your skills for the poltergeisthuman. Because you are all of them!

2) Don't get any skills from any of the many many many many many extrascells that just got smashed together, because you aren't any of them.

3) Get the highest skill of the highest personcell (and perhaps 500000000000000037000000000000 assisting rolls) because you are 50000000000000000003700000000000 extras cells cooperating as a group, so you can use the personcell with the highest skill.

4) Pick one specific wispcell, and claim he mind controlled and enslaved 50000000000003700000000000 other wispscells and erased all their skills with no textual support.

Your option: 4, is not appreciably more reasonable than ANY other choice for a composite entity.


Yeah, this argument is still retarded. It's as if treating all of the components that comprise a creature as individuals produces absurd results! As if the only non-retarded option is to take the creature as something other than the sum of its parts and to completely ignore the fact that it's technically made up trillions of tiny things that are also alive.


Wow Grek, that is a very good takedown of the dumb idiot who said "You should just give humans the same skills that one of their random cells had before becoming a cell."

Or whatever the Aftersundown equivalent of that statement would be..... Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
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Grek
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Trill wrote:
If you are saying that Poltergeist=non-Luminary human because they are both extras, that's like saying that a cell is like a person because they are both made of meat.

No, a Poltergeist is an extra because it is a non-Luminary. This is a very basic and fundamental part of the game's rules that all characters fit into one of two categories, and that every character who doesn't fit in one category instead goes into the other. Once we've established that the Poltergeist is an extra, we look over to the chapter on making NPCs and see:

Quote:
What follows are some sample characters. It is entirely intentional that these characters are entirely recognizable rips from popular culture. Ultimately when creating NPC cast members of your own, you will want to transform ideas in your mind into the numbers and abilities that represent a character in After Sundown. Therefore it is more useful as an example for the sample characters to be ones which you could plausibly be familiar with the idea in addition to the stats themselves.

Quote:
Chris is an Extra, and is of primary note in that his stat line can be used with minor adjustments for all kinds of extras who work in different parts of the realms of horror.

Quote:
It is important to note that the various nouns selected here are merely examples, and while it is fine to grab them for use in your own campaign, it is well within the prerogative of the MC to modify them or write them out entirely.


The procedure explicitly suggested is to start with stats that are similar in quality and quantity to the example characters, and then modify them up or down or sideways as appropriate. A Poltergeist is a character. It's a monster that a necromancer summons up to haunt people. That is very different from being a spell effect, five hundred trillion individual characters, an inanimate object or whatever other stupid shit Kaelik is advocating. You just build a poltergeist, any poltergeist, using the normal rules for building NPCs.

Hicks wrote:
Shadowrun dosen't have skills or ability scores for individual cells, there is no parellel to draw.
And After Sundown doesn't have skills or ability scores for the individual component wisps of a Poltergeist. A Poltergeist is a bunch of wisps in the fiction, but game mechanically it's just a kind of monster. You stat it up like any other kind of monster. If you make good choices that produce dicepools appropriate to the scale of the rest of the game, your results will be appropriate to the scale of the rest of the game. If you assign it numbers that are weirdly low, it will be weirdly weak. If you assign it numbers that are way too high, it'll be way too strong. There are examples, use them.

Hicks wrote:
It is ok to criticize games. It is ok to realize their shortcommings.

After Sundown has many flaws. The hiding rules. The poison rules. The weather rules and the healing rules. Water Prison. Using Alcohol as a power removal substance. I have pointed these out in other threads at length. But "Hicks refuses to read the chapter on how to stat reasonable NPCs, and then makes bad choices when stating up NPCs." is not on the list of flaws. At least not with the game. After Sundown is, in this regard, no worse than the industry standard on 'How to DM' sections.
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But more importantly if you elevate jerkishness into a principle, if you try to undermine the rules that keep niceness, community, and civilization going, the defenses against social cancer then your movement will fracture, it will be hugely embarrassing, the atmosphere will become toxic, unpopular people will be thrown to the mob, everyone but the thickest-skinned will bow out, and the people you need to convince will view you with a mixture of terror and loathing.


Last edited by Grek on Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:20 am; edited 2 times in total
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Actually

"When a PC uses a power just make up a Potency between 1 and 5 billion, then a set of stats between 1 and 5 billion and 6, then make up skills between 1 and 6. Or heck, maybe it's a luminary poltergeist with Edge 6 and skill ranks of 9. But the power gives you ABSOLUTELY no guidance on what to put ANY of those stats and tells MCs to make up SOME NUMBER possibly even different numbers each time your summon a poltergeist, and hahahahahaha man, wouldn't it be funny if Nightcry turned out to be better than any elder or worse than any basic, and no Player could possibly know before taking it on their sheet and using it. HAHAHAHAAHAAHA"

Is in fact very much a problem with After Sundown.

EDIT: actually, it needs to have at least a Potency of 6, now that I think about it, so... still.
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Last edited by Kaelik on Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:38 am; edited 1 time in total
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Grek
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Do you also complain about the fact that the game doesn't explicitly tell you not to give the orcish warlord a base strength of 5000? That it doesn't rule out giving a ring of three wishes to whoever gives a coin to the beggar in town? That the DMG doesn't explicitly lay out in detail how to procedurally generate every single map, and chastises DMs who deviate from the stated algorithm?

No?

It's as if instructions to the MC assume that the MC has a sense of impartiality, comprehension of the implications of their choices and the ability to synthesize reasonable contributions to the game based on a small number of examples! And then gives a small number of examples while instructing the MC to use them as a guideline for what sort of numbers are and are not appropriate, even when generating content on the fly.

(I should also point out that even your intentionally stupid example says not to do what Hicks decided to do, and that even if you decided to throw reason to the curb and be as maximally dickish as the rules technically permitted, the actual allowed range is 1 to 16.)
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But more importantly if you elevate jerkishness into a principle, if you try to undermine the rules that keep niceness, community, and civilization going, the defenses against social cancer then your movement will fracture, it will be hugely embarrassing, the atmosphere will become toxic, unpopular people will be thrown to the mob, everyone but the thickest-skinned will bow out, and the people you need to convince will view you with a mixture of terror and loathing.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I like how Hick's argument against Khaibit is that a power they don't have is too weak.

Snark aside, the bestiary and poltergeist confusion issues are real. I can also see the argument for giving khaibit a more newb friendly power selection but overall I don't think the individual powers are actually all that weak. The biggest issue I've found is that Reanimate is unwieldy and Khaibit are much, much better investigators and ambush monsters than reluctant defenders. They can see in the dark and can can produce Solid Darkness from any shadow within line of sight and then it's the grabby tentacles themselves that attack. Practically speaking that means that you're just strangling people to death with their own shadows at no range penalty whatsoever. Khaibit can basically own anyone ignorant of how magic works automatically at absurdly low risk to themselves; you can seriously just grab someone with the Darkness and shoot them in the face or else order your zombies to move in and chow down while you personally just fucking leave. Problem is, that's way, way better for being a proactive bully than being some dingus boss monster who waits for the PCs to come to them--it's cool having a flood of zombies rush out of your dungeon when your castle is attacked but they're not actually going to pose much of a threat to a pissed off Animate. Taking away a single investigative power or poison bite in exchange for some durability or stealth would probably be a positive move overall.


[Edited because Grek posted]

Oh, c'mon man, don't give me that "Just let the MC figure it out" bullshit. Yes, judgment calls are part and parcel to running a game but the power list is short enough that people can and should expect better from their character creation scheme. Starting characters in AS roll out of bed with Strength scores ranging from 1 to the double digits based off just a small selection of powers. It's entirely plausible to me that players and MCs could have strong disagreements about what they should be getting out of the deal. It's an open question whether Nightcry is just a reasonably efficient way to school mortal mooks or whether it's supposed to be an unpredictable "Oh Shit!" button that shits on the Masquerade but is capable of holding off werewolves.
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Kaelik
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Grek wrote:
Do you also complain about the fact that the game doesn't explicitly tell you not to give the orcish warlord a base strength of 5000? That it doesn't rule out giving a ring of three wishes to whoever gives a coin to the beggar in town? That the DMG doesn't explicitly lay out in detail how to procedurally generate every single map, and chastises DMs who deviate from the stated algorithm?

No?

It's as if instructions to the MC assume that the MC has a sense of impartiality, comprehension of the implications of their choices and the ability to synthesize reasonable contributions to the game based on a small number of examples! And then gives a small number of examples while instructing the MC to use them as a guideline for what sort of numbers are and are not appropriate, even when generating content on the fly.

(I should also point out that even your intentionally stupid example says not to do what Hicks decided to do, and that even if you decided to throw reason to the curb and be as maximally dickish as the rules technically permitted, the actual allowed range is 1 to 16.)


I like how in D&D, creatures have CRs in the MM. I like how in D&D, spells are sorted into levels, that are all trying to be approximately reasonable. I like in D&D how when you summon a monster with a summon monster spell, the spell gives you a list of monsters, and doesn't say "You summon a monster somewhere in between a Badger and Pit Fiend. Your DM will tell you what after you cast the spell, sure hope you and the DM don't disagree about anything....."

Those are all things I like about D&D rules, and I wish specifically Nightcry did more to mimic some of those.

I actually have no problem with Reanimate or Shamblers, I've played Kaibits, and used both, they are much more utility than an army, but that's fine, I like them.

But Nightcry is pretty shit in terms of being impossible to know what it does. Shamblers are made from people, people have reasonable stats. But if you are using Nightcry to summon a Poltergiest with a Willpower of 14 (Something you can just straight up fucking do at character creation) then it has to have Potency at least 8. I have no fucking clue what Agility or skills a Potency eight fucking amaglamation of wisps is supposed to have, and neither do you, and neither does Hicks, and neither does fucking anyone.

Your suggestion of "3 agility like a random normal asshole" is honestly WAY fucking stupider than the "all stats equal to it's willpower, but no skills" approximation Hicks wanted to go with.
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The perfect analogy for capitalism is a teenage kid, who refuses to listen to his dad when he gives him a tip on solving a problem. And keeps optimizing how to rake the yard using the handle instead of the head.

DSMatticus wrote:
Kaelik gonna kaelik. Whatcha gonna do?
That's libertarians for you - anarchists who want police protection from their slaves.

Last edited by Kaelik on Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Grek
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Whipstitch wrote:
Oh, c'mon man, don't give me that "Just let the MC figure it out" bullshit. Yes, judgment calls are part and parcel to running a game but the power list is short enough that people can and should expect better from their character creation scheme. Starting characters in AS roll out of bed with Strength scores ranging from 1 to the double digits based off just a small selection of powers. It's entirely plausible to me that players and MCs could have strong disagreements about what they should be getting out of the deal. It's an open question whether Nightcry is just a reasonably efficient way to school mortal mooks or whether it's supposed to be an unpredictable "Oh Shit!" button that shits on the Masquerade but is capable of holding off werewolves.


I'm perfectly willing to admit that there's room for disagreement in the range of 1 to 7 for most attributes, since that is the standard range for a supernatural extra with a Potency of 1. I'm even willing to consider arguments for a Strength anywhere between the bare minimum of 3 (ie. a base one Strength for existing at all, plus two for having Advanced Clout) and Kaiju-strength of 35, if with considerable skepticism toward the high end of that scale. Picking an extreme value will probably be pointlessly disruptive to the game, but only to the same degree that having the villain perform a magic ritual to summon an actual Kaiju would be.

It's picking numbers like zero or five hundred trillion that I object to as obviously and maliciously incorrect. Accidentally summoning a Kaiju might be funny once, in the right campaign or as a plot element about calling up what you can't put down. Having the Boss Monster go down like a chump because you don't understand how dicepools work, or demanding that the players roll more dice than physically exist in the universe lacks even that marginal iota of merit.

Kaelik wrote:
Your suggestion of "3 agility like a random normal asshole" is honestly WAY fucking stupider than the "all stats equal to it's willpower, but no skills" approximation Hicks wanted to go with.

Read the OP you asshat. Hicks went with 12 Willpower and 0 in absolutely everything else, including non-telekinetic Strength. It died in one hit as a result, to his dismay and confusion. That was a transparently poor choice and produced transparently poor results, as Hicks would have known if he had read the chapter on designing challenges. Having all of the states be 12 would be less stupid than that (in that it would at least be a challenging component to a boss battle) but still pretty awful insofar as it would be a summoned monster more powerful than the entire party combined.

Yes, it would be nice if the Poltergeist had a stat line. No, that doesn't mean that there's no earthly way to which numbers you should use in the absence of that stat line. Nor does it mean that there isn't advice in the rules that you can use to inform your decisions. If Hicks had come up with numbers that were less obviously and ludicrously awful, I would be much more sympathetic than I am being right now.
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Quote:
But more importantly if you elevate jerkishness into a principle, if you try to undermine the rules that keep niceness, community, and civilization going, the defenses against social cancer then your movement will fracture, it will be hugely embarrassing, the atmosphere will become toxic, unpopular people will be thrown to the mob, everyone but the thickest-skinned will bow out, and the people you need to convince will view you with a mixture of terror and loathing.


Last edited by Grek on Mon Jan 22, 2018 6:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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