Original SA post
Are there actual depictions of the
? Because if so, it's practically a foregone conclusion that some enterprising soul is going to arrange a new avatar for you.
A quick browse, thankfully, finds no art of it. However, it does find me this quote!
Aruna and the Single Gamer posted:
Unfortunately, sex and sexuality are, for many people, a very embarrassing subject, and not one they really want to discuss while doing a hobby, especially when their mother may be in the next room. However, in a game of Wraeththu the subject
be broached somehow, after all the characters' lives quite literally may depend on it.
In Wraeththu you cannot ignore the whole aspect of character sexuality.
Love triangles and dark passionate pasts are a staple of fiction, and can only improve your game.
Most of our time in the real world is taken up with the pursuit of love and sex, so how can our characters be so ambivalent towards such issues? In most other role-playing games such issues are optional, but in Wraeththu they are essential.
In fact, one of the things that may have drawn your players to Wraeththu is the unique opportunity for such a role-playing experience.
As a storyteller you can assume the characters are taking Aruna with each other, simply as often as they have to. You still need to actually mention what is going on though, not ignore the act completely. Simply say "So once in the inn you all take Aruna and wake up the next morning."
(PURPLEXVI'S EXPLANATION: Aruna = Wraeththu boning, Wraeththu need to get their alien/mutant boners on or they die.)
With everyone aware that Aruna is going on, it becomes easier to take the next step.
When you are comfortable, you can move to the second level. Here you ask the characters to pick partners for Aruna. They still need only explain who and when rather than how and what they like. However, sex and relationships are now part of the game.
All characters need to do at this stage is specify which character(s) they are taking Aruna with, and(perhaps more importantly) who they are not. This develops relationships in the game as well as sex.
The third level brings more role-play into the activities mentioned above. Now it isn't enough to say what is going on, now you must describe it as well. It is essential at this point for characters to take on Aruna as an essential part of playing their characters. At this point you can bring sex magic into the mix as well.
By now the players should feel comfortable with theri characters taking Aruna and describing the way they like to do such things. Are they gentle or harsh? Do they prefer Soume or Ouana? (PURPLEXVI'S NOTE: This is basically "DOES YOUR SEA ANEMONE BECOME A PROUD SCHLONG OR A HORRIFYING PSEUDO-VAGINA?"). Is Aruna like an itch they like to scratch or a sacred spiritual union? Do they like it a lot, or not so much, and how do they treat their partners afterwards?
The last level allows you to be as graphic as you like. You can now bring in elements such as pelki(PURPLEXVI'S NOTE: Rape. When raping humans, Wraeththu sex sludge kills 'em) and all the darker sides of sex and Aruna. This need not be restricted to the NPCs either. Players should feel free to create quite nasty or sexually predatory characters, if they so desire. The storyteller is now able to bring in NPCs designed purely for sexual storylines and adventures. Such NPCs can act as sexual foils for characters, forming jealousies and love triangles in established relationships.
Don't get fixated on sex, as it can easily dominate a game.
And by "this quote" I mean the official Wraeththu guide to get your players giving each other handjobs under the table as they describe how they're raping a bunch of humans to death.
Jesus fucking Christ!
Edit: Chocula, sure, I'd be quite interested in learning more! It seemed like a very interesting subject.
From Enchantment to Fulfillment
Original SA post
The Wraeththu RPG
From Enchantment to Fulfillment
And so it has come, The Beast has arrived, my scanner is online and I am beholding this horrific incarnation of all mankind's ills. Shall we crack open the cover? Well, I already did, I was consumed with curiosity upon its arrival and decided to see what forbidden things this dread tome contained.
(PS: That gray shape behind the dagger is supposedly the genitalia of the Wraeththu, ugh)
What I found was a goddamn guide on ohw to slowly ease your players into erotic roleplaying. I believe it set the tone very well. This is an RPG that is about fucking and it doesn't really try to hide it.
So, page 1, book 1, let's take this from the top. Despite the quality of the contents, the cover does at least look reasonably nice, I mean, I have seen worse, and for a soft-cover it seems to be of reasonable quality. There's also a neatly organized index right at the start of the book, which is another pleasant surprise after shoving my way through the muddled, ill-organized jungles of several other games.
What's less of a nice surprise is the internal art... well, no, not
, that would insult artists, I believe the appropriate word is "miserable scrawlings of retarded children." Don't believe me? Have a look:
Our first look at the goddamn Wraeththu. A bunch of pale, prancing bishounen assholes. But any RPG can do bad art, the real misery lies in the writing, so let's get reading.
The intro story is a first-person viewpoint tale of a dude about to be Wraeththufied. Apparently he and a bunch of others have all been locked in a basement, strapped down, and starved and thirsted for several days. None of them seem to have believed that the Wraeththu were real before this happened, and it sounds like becoming one of them was not a choice they made willingly. Then someone cuts him open and pours Wraeththu blood on his wounds, giving him Bishie Herpes.
Then we get a flashback to what happened before our brave protagonist got captured! Apparently he's a chubby, acne-ridden, unattractive teenager. Super-clever, a nerd, got picked on for not being a jock. I think why he got bullied was his vocabulary rather than his braininess, though...
This in turn meant you were ready prey for those higher up the social hierarchy than you. Needless to say, I was near the bottom of said hierarchy, quarry that even other prey could hunt without many feelings of remorse or pity.
For all prey, there is a certain safety in travelling in numbers - the protection of the herd. Of course, the slowest was often culled by the predators, while the others scurried for safety. He or she became a sacrifice to the rampant sadism of humanity. Unfortunately, over the last few months, my "herd" had been culled. One by one, they had either transferred to different schools, moved on to other "herds" or had run away. Some kids had even killed themselves in despair over everything that had happened over the last few years.
Man, I was one of the nerdier kids back in my high school days and even
feel like shoving this guy around a bit for being a fucking dork. But anyway, he talks about how his BEST FRIEND, Adam, had disappeared a while ago. While wondering about what happened to Adam, he mentions that there are big, roving gangs forming. Between this and the mention of "everything that had happened over the last few years," we get an impression that the world is somewhat worse off than it is in our times.
So anyway, he goes to school, presumably gets bullied, comes back and then DUN DUN DUNNNN... HE FEELS AN OMINOUS TERROR... because a Wraeththu pedophile is going to kidnap his chubby, high-school ass.
So he's briefly shaken out of his flashback by the Bishie Herpes giving him a gnarly, gruesome fever, and then sinks into fever-dreamy flashbacks instead. Oh snap, PLOT TWIST, turns out it wasn't a Wraeththu scoping out porkins here for a kidnapping, it was THE BULLIES! And of course The Leader of THE BULLIES is the captain of the football team, "face and body of a Hollywood actor, personality of a barracuda."
ALPHA MALE posted:
Jamie never went anywhere without his "pack," all predators like himself, althoughthe was clearly their Alpha-male. And I had the misfortune of being the prey they had cornered this day. There was no reason for them to be out where I lived, except for the corner store across the street from my bus stop where they were remarkably lax about carding people for cigarettes or alcohol. From the reek of beer and tobacco surrounding those guys, it wasn't too hard for me to figure out why they were around here. I just had the bad luck to be in the area at the wrong time.
Jamie and his pack were infamous amongst the herd students for the strange types of "entertainment" they enjoyed. No one who'd been forced to entertain them ever said a word about it, but there was a strange sense about these victims, as if their spirits had been totally broken. I had always believed that my friend Rick had committed suicide because of somethign Jamie's pack had done to him, and that was probably the same reason Adam had run away as well.
And then they act like stereotypical jocks, knocking Our Protagonist around, calling him "piggy" and generally being douchebags. They drag him into a car and... FLASHBACKUS INTERRUPTUS.
Now he's crying after the Bishie Fever has passed and some EMOTIONLESS VOICE talks about how several of the victims have "already died" and how they're going to burn the corpses "before dawn." Also odd! Our protagonist is tied down less loosely! I wonder why?! (hint it is because he is becoming a skinny fucking bishie wreck)
BACK TO THE FLASHBACK. Vroom vroom, Jamie is driving Piggy the Protagonist through the city of Carmine! They drive into an alley and drag him into a dark room where a bunch of guys are breathing heavily. And basically it turns out these bullies are capturing nerds and selling them to the Wraeththu. And of course these Wraeththu, the "Uigenna," turn on the jocks and kill them to kidnap them for Bishie Transformations as well or something. Apparently the Wraeththu are mostly dressed in "vinyl and leather," just a minor note from that paragraph.
Flashback over, our protagonist wakes up and he's all OH MAN WHAT IS MY GENDER WHERE IS MY BODY OH WHAT. When a Wraeththu intercedes to lay some PLOT AND EXPOSITION on him in a highly dramatic fashion.
AAAAA OH GOD WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY PENIS
SLEEPING BEAUTY posted:
Then a shadow falls over me and a voice murmurs, "So, our sleeping beauty awakens."
It is the stranger from the basement: the tall, slender figure in ebony, ivory and indigo. He smiles and something within me stirs. There's something oddly familiar about him,. And beyond this recognition is another feeling.
He approaches me slowly. "Good morning, Mikey. I'd ask if you slept well, but I remember how painful the change is."
I pull the sheet up to my neck, say nothing.
He smiles wistfully and shakes his head. "What? Don't recognize me? No, guess not... I was a bit different the last time you saw me. Well, guess that means we need to be reintroduced. Down here, they call me Athame, but the name my parents gave me was Adam."
I stare at him, and shake my head in denial of his words, yet as I look into his eyes they are familiar to me, and part of me believes him.
So basically the only survivors of THE RITUAL are Mikey(aka Piggy) and Jamie, of course he and his entire gang also got bled on and it turns out most of them kicked the bucket in the process. Athame/Adam renames Mikey to Boline, "The light to my darkness and the darkness to my light." He also mumbles some shit about how Jamie is "no longer the top predator," which sounds VERY VERY WORRYING considering the sexually laden nature of this entire game.
This appears to be the horrible thing that Adam/Athame has become. Jesus Christ in Heaven
He leans over me and exhales. The steam of his breath conjures pictures in my mind: new possibilities unfolding, of dark days filled with riots, rage and flames; of a glorious glowing city filled with others like ourselves; of a new world rising from the ashes unlike anything anyone could have ever imagined. Something within me blossoms in the darkness of my soul as those images fill my mind, a glowing bloom of light that fills me with a new sense of purpose, a new reason for being. I am no longer Mikey, the frightened and ugly kid from the suburbs of Carmine. I am Boline, the blade who will help usher in a new world.
And so, we push our way through the prologue and enter the book proper. We'll see what the Introduction chapter has to tell us... next time, suckers! THE END COMES.
however, this should not be perceived as homosexuality
Original SA post
...however, this should not be perceived as homosexuality
And we're on to the Introduction! Which is not the same as a prologue, somehow!
Alright, so we're playing Hara, who are both male and female in one body, something which should "not be perceived as homosexuality," in case anyone ever thought this might be GAY or something. Sex is called "aruna," and is essential to staying alive. We're told we can "breeze over" the details, though, unless it's really important who we're fucking and where. As we've already read, however, this is just a ruse so the GM can ease us into the really creepy shit.
And then the game tries to sell us the original Wraeththu books. Nice try, but no cigar.
Now, I have to say, the first subsection "What is Roleplaying?" is actually pretty well-written. It's actually formulated in a way that gets the point across quite well to anyone who's never touched the hobby before. "How Do I Role-Play?" is also surprisingly well-written, emphasizing various social aspects like not constantly trying to hog the spotlight, and the fact that a character doesn't have to be perfect and infallible to be interesting. Even the section on how to be a good GM is actually kind of great! It advises against railroading aggressively, against being too easy or too harsh on the players, suggests what volume of preparation is handy...
RAILROADING BAD posted:
Another aspect to bear in mind is that only an incompetent Storyteller plans the plot "to a tee" and then religiously sticks to it, without giving the players a chance to explore other avenues. If you want your players to keep to the plot, then give them a good reason to and don't force them into it. If you insist, for example, that they go to Location X, then Location Y, without doing anything else, you will probably end up with rebellious players, whose characters just sit there doing nothing or perform anarchic or insane acts out of boredom.
Even in much better games, this is some advice I've rarely, if ever, seen pop up, yet something that a lot of GM's could stand to learn from.
Live Action posted:
Due to the nature of the game, we do not suggest any players attempt to act out aspects of Inception or aruna. The Wraeththu are an inhuman race, the players are human. These acts should be confined to the imagination.
In order to not get too praise-y, I want to point out that the miserably bad art still continues for this section.
Some of it is flamboyantly hilarious, other bits are just sorta-okay
But the good advice comes to an end soon enough and we start hitting stuff about the actual gameworld.
It is the end of the world as we know it. Much has changed in the past decade and continues to do so. The greater part of human society has disintegrated, and the up-and-coming Wraeththu have set up small, feudal governments in the areas they control. Some Wraeththu have tried to develop different forms of government, taking ideas from the human administrations of past centuries and using them to suit their political aims.
Now imagine a world that has had enough of human depredation and, like any organism, desires only to rid itself of troublesome parasites. A few well-placed natural disasters have drastically changed the face of the planet. Weather systems have mutated and some major rivers now flow in new directions.
Over the last ten years, the human population has dropped by a staggering 50 percent, and is still dropping, with no hope of reverse. Even so, because they are a resilient species, groups of humans still strive to survive. In their desperation, and with a growing awareness of how dire their situation really is, many have returned to a more harmonious existence with the earth. Unfortunately, this about-face has come far too late. Other humans, victims of despair, have given up hope for humanity and simply roam the lands like lawless bandits.
Then we get to the Wraeththu. Apparently they popped up as soon as humanity started declining, so far with no real explanation. Androgynous, as we know, slim and fragile-looking, as we know, deadly warriors, "mystics and seers of great power." They poison humans with their blood to turn them into similar creatures, and apparently only a few of them have so far figured out how their genitals can be used to reproduce sexually.
Apparently they mostly "Incept" people who already hate humanity, meaning that most Wraeththu use their new superpowers to get revenge on a species they feel has bullied them since birth. Predictably, most humans blame the Wraeththu for all the shit that's going down and hate them. I think I'd hate these assholes, too.
So what does the world look like aside from this? Apparently the "Great Western Continent" is now called Megalithica and is under the boot of a human military government. The Wraeththu, on the other hand, bailed on this place pretty fast, moving east to the "Island of Alba Sulh"(the UK, I think) and then "moved east to the continent." Apparently Europe got more fucked than the US by all that went down and we were easier prey for the Wraeththu.
Interestingly enough, the Wraeththu are described as kind of horrendous, their behavior is called "raping cities and towns for resources and souls." And it seems like they don't really have any clue of their origin, either. Oh and apparently the Wraeththu can travel to other dimensions, too, so there's that. Props to the book, though, for suggesting that it's possible to play humans fighting against the Wraeththu as well, which would actually be kind of interesting! You've got this inhuman plague of post-human creatures, kidnapping people, spreading their way through the bowels of cities, lurking on the outskirts of settlements. Individually they're stronger than people, but a well-coordinated pack of humans can still take them down.
"The origins of Wraeththu are unclear, in the same way that human evolution is unclear." I thought we had a pretty good idea of wherefrom humans evolved? At any rate, this chapter is about the Wraeththu(as if the title wasn't a big clue). Apparently they're a big enough leap that natural evolution is completely out of the question, and the book waffles a bit on the subject, saying they could be aaaaaaaliens or a genetic experiment gone wrong. No clue whether there is a FOR GM'S ONLY section later that tells us which it is.
+1 points for not calling these things Hir and Sie or anything like that, though, the book apparently decides that masculine pronouns will suffice. Then it instantly blows that goodwill by launching into a description of Wraeththu genitals.
MONSTER DONGS posted:
Wraeththu are creatures with both Ouana and Soume sexual organs, these being their equivalents to human and male genitalia.
Most creatures that use sexual reproduction to continue their species are unable to control impregnation naturally. Some believe that Wraeththu could be sterile, and therefore need no control. They maintain the species via the act of Inception, whereby Wraeththu blood is transfused into a human with a Naqi(PurpleXVI's Note: Fancy word for "a goddamn sharp knife.") and the recipient undergoes vast physical, mental and spiritual changes. These changes are then sealed by aruna, the harish term for sexual intercourse.
And then paragraph upon paragraph of how the Hara/Wraeththu are far superior to humans. They're faster, stronger, have better health, more efficient immune and digestive systems, heal faster, have more stable minds, no sexual anxieties or worries, and they're smarter, too. Their only real downside is that if they don't get their monster boners on for long enough, they start becoming mentally unstable and irritable. Oh and they also have telekinesis, pyrokinesis and telepathy. "We could speculate that the harish state of androgyny has contributed greatly to their enhanced mental condition." Then it caps the section by saying that it's KINDA POSSIBLE that humans could get psychic powers, too.
Let me just interrupt here, though, and say, that as much as I respect that FANTASY SHIT BE ALL WEIRD YO, this offends my understanding of psychology. I imagine that if you just had an unwanted, forced sex change operation performed on you, you would probably be a mental wreck for a while, even taking into account the superpowers you got in the bargain. Oh and let's not forget that everyone you ever liked or cared about will probably consider you a monster now, and that even if you "Incepted" them so they could join you, there's every chance it'd just kill them(in the prologue section, I think it was something like 2 out of 20 that survived the process).
Also forget what I said about pronouns, apparently the Wraeththu themselves use "Har" as a pronoun, to the point of jamming it into other words. "Everyhar," "anyhar," "somehar" are just examples(everyone, anyone, someone). The same section also says that the psyche and memories are essentially unchanged after being Incepted, further bringing into focus the point that WHO THE FUCK WOULD NOT BE A PANICKY WRECK AFTER THAT EXPERIENCE? The section is also written in first-person by a Wraeththu who, hilariously enough, comments that he thinks the weird new pronouns are bullshit and "abominations of language."
I'm also not inlining it, but there's STILL more of the art, but it's just the same goddamn shit. Pale, ugly, badly-drawn androgynes looking confused or determined about things.
So, the Wraeththu are total cockbaskets, because as soon as someone's been Incepted, they usually force him or her to say that they totally let it happen of their own free will, despite the fact that kidnappings and such were involved in 99% of all cases. Then we get some stupid words! Forale: The fast before Inception! Harhune: The infection with Bishie Herpes! Althaia: The part where your cock falls off, i.e. the actual mutation process!
Also the Wraeththu have stupid names. Just on this page alone: Swithe Tresillian, Calambus Mint,
Zackary Raven Black
, Swooner har Sulh, Malakess har Sulh.
This bit is mostly just fluff. The Uigenne are a tribe who cut people up for inception, the Varr are SCIENCE about it, the Colurastes choose children for Inception and happily fuck them afterwards, and presumably there are other weird-ass methods that aren't elaborated on just yet.
More on how Wraeththu are totally better than humans! None of them are shorter than 5'8", they've got no body or facial hair, they lose all facial asymmetry, being Incepted counters baldness, your teeth become perfect, sometimes your skin colour becomes purple or gold, and sometimes your hair becomes anime-coloured. And supposedly one tribe even grows tails.
Agility: Far more. Muscles: Far better. Joints: Even more better.
You can't become fat, drugs never have any hangovers or side-effects related to them, poisons can't hurt you in 99% of all cases. You have magical healing and... even though earlier sections said Wraeththu were far more mentally stable than humans, apparently NOW it decides to state that yes, people can actually get mentally fucked up by the whole transformation misery. But luckily, Magical Wraeththu Healing can cure mental illnesses, too!
All senses are better, and you have super-awesome sixth and seventh senses and shit! But gasp, unlike other things,
it's actually possible for Wraeththu to have flawed senses, oh my GOD
. Aging causes no damage, and Wraeththu live a baseline of around 150 years or so.
DNA-wise, apparently Wraeththu have an extra base pair, K and L in addition to GATC. But apparently they have LESS genetic information because all the redundant parts of the genome have been flushed out? Also the "ribosome" has become more complex, but none of this has been elaborated on, possibly because the authors didn't know jack shit about science.
Gah, fuck it, I need a break from this shit: Next time! Psychology, magic and The World In General!
Original SA post
Well, since people seemed to care about arguing about about the DETAILS of Wraeththu WE ARE BETTER, I'll add what details the book gives.
Hara possess superior muscle structure and bone joints to humans, but this is mainly due to the fact that their physiology enables them to remain far fitter than the average human. Some can run extremely fast, leap impressively both in height and distance, and most hara possess quick reflexes.
The muscles have become far denser, which makes them stronger and able to function more efficiently. As a har has less bulk of muscle tissue to move around, they become more agile.
Similarly, a har's bones are also slightly denser to accommodate the more efficient muscle structure. The cartilage that secures and holds the joints together is much more elastic and hardwearing, and the junction between two bones now moves more freely and is less susceptible to damage.
That's the FASTER, STRONGER, BETTER bit.
Digestion isn't specified, it's just "flawlessly functional" and any excess nutrients they ingest that'd make them pack on pounds literally just gets flushed out when they take a dump. The drugs are not detailed either, just "narcotic effects can be experienced without lengthy side-effects."
Again, I guess they KIND OF get around the "trauma of being almost killed and then raped by a stranger"-bit by having MAGICAL BRAIN HEALING afterwards(it specifies that those that get incepted without a BRAIN WIZARD CLERIC around can and do often develop psychoses), but that's still a shitty, shitty cop-out.
Harish bodies are not subject to cellular deterioration in the same way as human bodies, but as yet nohar knows the full extent of a harish life-span
I guess they could have some improved telomeres or something? I seem to recall a suggestion for a human longevity cure would be genetic alterations to prevent our telomeres cutting themselves shorter when our cells split(DISCLAIMER: NOT A BIOLOGY STUDENT, PROBABLY TOTALLY WRONG HERE.).
Genetics: K and L join the four base pairs for DNA, and presumably they'd have to do so for RNA as well because otherwise DNA transcription wouldn't really
for them at all, would it? "It might also be that, having six base pairs instead of four has made the information contained within the them more dense and efficient." RE: Why their genome is shorter.
Aruna is the Wraeththu term for sexual union
Original SA post
Aruna is the Wraeththu term for sexual union
So today we study how Wraeththu think! If you suspect the answer is "superior to humans in all ways," then you're right! Also I'm going to include plenty of text chunks for the same of the psych majors whom I know are just itching to learn more about sentient minds!
Attitude to Humanity
: Predictably they think we're below them, but whether they kill us for laughs to treat us like animals is up to the individual Wraeththu. Wraeththu who start to think like humans in any way are "deprogrammed" by Wraeththu psych-wizards.
Whatever their viewpoint, every har can see that humans suffer great inner conflict between their masculine and feminine aspects, which is hardly surprising, as outwardly they have to conform to their gender's accepted stereotypes. Hara frown upon this black and white perspective of the world. However, many humans have now begun to realize that life isn't quite as black and white as they used to think. These individuals are now beginning to attain an inner harmony similar to that achieved by the Wraeththu.
: Polyamory! They can totally love each other but they have free sex across all bounds, because having an exclusive physical relationship with one person will
involve jealousy and mistrust, and be self-destructive.
: Wraeththu don't have any kids of their own(except for the Colurastes who Incept human kids and then fuck them), but they're totally superior parents to humans because they understand not talking down to kids, and under Wraeththu guidance all children mature much faster and become much more awesome! Treating children like children will only make them hate and distrust adults.
Deep down, humans need to rationalize everything that they perceive through their senses. They want explanations for the things their minds cannot understand, for in not knowing lies fear. Fear of the unknown causes great problems for the human mind. Even if many of the answers they seek lie before their eyes, humans seem not to see them, or are too lazy and cannot be bothered to comprehend them.
Apparently "very few" humans ever bother to look for The Truth, but of course Wraeththu are superior and totally understand the universe much better. And they don't believe in religion or Gods either, of course they kind of have the advantage of being able to SEE SOULS, so that settles a lot of the fucking debate for them.
Do we exist for a reason? Is there a meaning to life? If so, what is the great plan? These are questions that even hara cannot answer. Humans struggled to grasp the reason for their existence, which may have contributed to their downfall. Perhaps, if humankind had joined with Wraeththu, in accepting the force of nature, and had helped the earth rather than continued to abuse it, the rebellion of nature and the spread of horrific plagues might not have occurred. Humanity's self-importance and their misunderstanding of existence were partly responsible for their decline. This is illustrated through examples from their history, from the Crusades to the great world wars. Humans fell prey to their own failure to understand why they are alive.
What this meaning of life is, we're not told, but we're told that it's definitely not a desire for power, and that only the best and brightest of the Wraeththu understand this. Also apparently Wraeththu are deadly afraid of introspection, because that's a flaw they inherited from humans?
: "Because of the amalgamation of both feminine and masculine aspects of their psyche, hara do not face the same degree of inner conflict experienced by humans." You know, this goddamn focus on how important anima and animus are to the human psyche really reminds me of IDA's insistence of Freudian psych being gospel truth. But anyway, aside from that, Wraeththu are totally awesome and never racist, but instead the different TRIBES want to strangle each other, regardless of skin colour!
Also in these paragraphs we're introduced to someone named Velisarius and his incredibly stupid quotes, he's apparently one of the first fucking Wraeththu or something and a super-important prophet to a bunch of them.
This one gets a BOLD headline because this is about Wraeththu cocks.
So they used to think boning was still just BONING, but then somehow through autopsies, an examination of the physical, they discovered the
physical and spiritual aspects of it? That part makes no fucking sense to me. Then they started using Tantric Techniques(described as the Ancient Art of Sex Magick) to discover the TRUE DEPTHS of wizard dicks. But what you guys are REALLY here for are the vivid descriptions of the sex organs, right? I sure fucking hope so, because here they come!
When aroused, the masculine organ of the har resembles a petalled rod, sometimes of deep and varied colours. It possesses an inner tendril which only emerges when stimulated by the feminine organs of any arunic activity. The secretions from the ouana-lim at this time possess healing and euphoric properties. There are seven energy centres found within the ouana-lim, which correspond to the seven main energy centres, or chakras, within the body's torso and head. Experienced hara can utilize these energy centres to intensify arunic energy during Grissecon(PurpleXVI's note: Boning SPECIFICALLY for dick magic purposes), or else to heighten pleasure. As in human males, hara possess two testes, but these retract into the body cavity when a har takes a soume, or feminine, role in aruna. The ouana-lim too shrinks during these occasions, and then most resembles a dense, many-petalled flower on the surface of the body.
Behind the masculine organs lies the soume-lam, similar in some respects to a female generative organ, in that it is a self-lubricating passageway into the body. The interior of the soume-lam is pleated or furrowed, , but also elastic, to accommodate the stiffed petals of an ouana-lim. Like the masculine organ, it possesses seven energy centres, although only five of them are accessible during normal aruna. High Codexia Malakess, the Sulh researcher, says that the remaining two must come into play during procreation. During normal aruna, the secretions from the stimulated soume-lam mingled with those of the ouana-lim to create an intoxicating substance that can sometimes be hallucinogenic. The culmination of aruna often provides an extremely visionary and spiritual experience for those involved.
And then there's Pelki which, as we already know, is rape. And yes, all the body secretions of Wraeththu are extremely caustic to humans, and will melt them. Also there are EVIL DARK SEX MAGICS that can only be used by rapists! Spooky.
To recap, Wraeththu can: Set stuff on fire with their minds. Move things with their minds. CREATE PHYSICAL MATTER WITH THEIR MINDS. Do telepathy. Heal people. Change temperatures. And probably whatever the fuck else they want, considering that the following examples involve mind control, changing the past, causing earthquakes and blasting castles to ash with energy bolts.
Also there's something kind of like oMage-style Paradox here. If you just disintegrate something out of hand, that's gonna cause Backlash, but causing a vicious earthquake to rattle it into rubble doesn't. Because the earthquake doesn't need a fucking cause, I guess! Fucking stupid.
There's a bunch of dumb bullshit about what they call their wizards but seriously who GIVES a fuck, none of it sounds funny and it's sure as hell not interesting.
Stupid names of the last few pages: Loveless, Sovances of the Kakkahaar, Zip Hamstring, Silk, Zillah Shemercy.
MEGALITHICA AND BEYOND
Aka., the fucking history/geography section where they throw out a bunch of stupid names and describe how wacky they are.
So in YE OLDE WAY BACK PAST shit was going bad. More wars, more plagues, more viruses, people dying, oh nooooooo. THE INTERNET also collapses. Fertility rates drop. Power networks and water supplies collapse. "Nuclear bombs were dropped with almost careless abandon. Whole countries were destroyed and deserts turned into huge, glass plains due to the immense heat of the explosions."
BUT GASP, THE PLANET FIGHTS BACK. Now you can add earthquakes, tidal waves and volcanoes to the list of things that hate humanity. You'd think that the volcanoes at least would be a stupid fucking idea, though, also killing off plenty of animal and plant life and shit like that. In fact doing about as much damage as human warfare.
Most people who can afford it move into CITADELS to avoid getting murdered by roving gangs, possibly lead by mysterious, huge martial artists that could make men's heads explode with their bare hands.
And then just to top it off, the fucking Bishie Herpes kicks the fall into full gear. Now they've got child-molesting, STD-infested, bishounen rapists roaming the streets and trying to kill people as well. Also the Wraeththu apparently kicked things into gear by being crazy-ass terrorist bombers. And of course they totally defeat the human militaries because they're miserable Mary Sues. Oh and apparently they can KILL PEOPLE WITH THEIR FUCKING VOICES.
Long story short humanity gets FUCKED. The end. Now the Wraeththu get to play around at screwing the Earth over!
And then I look and see that there's like 30 pages for the next section on the INCREDIBLY DULL places you can have INCREDIBLY DULL ADVENTURES ABOUT COCKS. So I put down the book and go do something more interesting...
UNTIL THE NEXT POST
Original SA post
Geography & Culture
Okay, so just to try and make sense of the dumb new names we're dealing with. North America is now Megalithica, and the entire west coast collapsed into the sea, the humans are in charge of the east coast, and the Wraeththu are being fuckheads all over the center, north and south.
Almagabra is either South America or somewhere in Asia. I think it might be South America, fucked if I know, what's important about this place is that it has the CITY OF IMMANION, which is the magical idyllic city of the Wraeththu. On the other hand, it also has a place named "Floridana," so maybe this is what became of the West Coast and it's just sort of floating around in the Pacific somewhere? Fuck this stupid shit.
Alba Sulh is the UK, you can tell because they decided to name the capital fucking "Avalona." Seriously. Olathe seems to be the Middle East.
Just about the only two places that have recognizable names otherwise are Freygard(Sweden/Norway) and Nunavut(far north Canada).
The only places that are marked as THE HUMAN DOMINIONS seem to be Denmark, 'round the edges of the Baltic and Russia. The rest of Europe has gone Full Bishie. Nothing about Asia whatsoever.
Apparently despite the world going Full Post-Apoc just a decade or so ago, there's already a thriving entertainment industry among the Wraeththu. You'd think that, what with the vivid descriptions of biological and chemical weapons being deployed, nukes thrown around "with abandon," volcanoes, earthquakes and tidal waves, even the Superior Bishies would be fighting just to have a functional farming system or something going on.
Oh and apparently there are ghosts and demons now and they haunt places. This is really only given a side-mention so we know that there are SPOOKY HAUNTED FORESTS and shit.
Soda Lake Cat Lair
: So there's this really spooky lake where some humans used to live but now the HUMANS ARE ALL GONE, so now it's full of SPOOKY CATS who are NEVER HUNGRY OR MALNOURISHED despite there being no food so all the Wraeththu are like "THESE CATS ARE OBVIOUSLY MAGICAL GUARDIANS OF THE LAKE." Oh and if you don't bring gifts for the cats I guess something bad might happen? Maybe they'll take a dump in your shoes while you sleep.
Did I mention it's barely been a decade or two since everything went tits up? Somehow this has still done enough brain damage to the Wraeththu that they refer to machines and cars as METAL BEASTS.
There's also a list of FAMOUS WRAETHTHU. Spoiler: They're all pretty, perfect and incredibly fucking boring. You've got the MYSTERIOUS ONE, you've got the WARRIOR GUY, you've got the PHILOSOPHER DUDE and oh wait, did I say THE mysterious one? Because like half of these are MYSTEEEERIOUS AND SPOOOOKY AND NO ONE KNOWS MUCH ABOUT THEM, EXCEPT FOR HOW PERFECT THEY ARE.
I'm sorry, this section is just so fucking bland I can't even make fun of it.
: Pedophiles with prehensile hair.
: Wizards and scientists.
: Gypsy wizards.
: Religious nomads.
: Literally the third out of five tribes so far to be praised for how ESPECIALLY PSYCHIC AND MAGICAL they are. Also British.
: The generic GRAR FIGHTER BERSERKER dudes.
: Flamboyant pirates.
: A bunch of military dudes and just about the only ones who don't prance around as completely androgynous, instead preferring to act sorta masculine.
If you believe in some deity hard enough it becomes real, no, really. Which kind of offers puzzling questions of why major pre-Wraeththu deities didn't do anything to stop all the bullshit, or maybe turn the Wraeththu into pillars of salt. And despite shitloads of different religions, Wraeththu are totally too civilized to ever have religious wars. Because they're not huuuuumaaaaan, guuuuuuuuys.
Also if two Wraeththu make out they become telepathic together forever.
: Gotta be pretty! Oh so pretty!
: Despite their superhuman intellect, Wraeththu used to just cut people open with broken bottles, pour blood on them and see what happened. Now most of them are less retarded and use, you know, syringes and clean knives and shit.
: First they starve you and wash you for days. Then they shave you and bleed on you. Then your body forms a cocoon of
shit and blood
which somehow protects you from infection and saves you from having major organ failure while your DNA is being rewritten!
Internally the Wraeththu DNA will latch on to that of the humans in a manner similar to that of a virus. Then, harish DNA gradually overwrites the human code. Also the DNA brings ribosomes with it, which help the mutation process to change the human tissue and organs.
The genetic mutation takes place over the first two days, with the organs changing at a slower rate. The process is similar to an embryo gestating in a womb, as the cells and organs of the human are literally reborn.
Then you have a WICKED tummy-ache as your new pseudo-vagina gouges out a pocket inside your stomach for itself. Then your cock turns into a flower. "Muscles will at first retract, then regrow in a stronger form. The bone structure will become denser, but at the same time more flexible." And then the cocoon of human shit and scabs falls off and you're now a beautiful butterfly!
Also if no one fucks you afterwards you become a crazy zombie Wraeththu who attacks everything. And if you're not perfect and beautiful after the transformation, for instance if your bad eyesight or hearing has remained, the other Wraeththu will set you on fire or ritually murder you.
Mostly just adding this because the art style changes a bit around here, getting a bit more anime
There's a bit on the extremely boring tribe-specific Inception rituals, but the only ones that stand out are the Obliviata, who are the only ones that DON'T kidnap and rape random humans, instead only taking willing supplicants, the Varr, who actually do it in a scientific way instead of a religious fashion, and attend to the poor person with painkillers and stuff if the UTTER MISERY becomes too miserable, and the Colurastes, who, as mentioned repeatedly, are creepy, creepy pedophiles!
Bad names of the chapter: Wraxilan, Laice, Loveless.
EDIT: For anyone who cares, here's a somewhat more believable-looking picture of Storm Constantine than the prettied-up one a page or two back:
Why are we here?
Original SA post
Ettin: Honestly, Ettin, all these adventures sound like they could be played through in ONE session. They're all the same, two or three fights, a bunch of descriptions of situations where the PC's can't do anything. Then the next Plot Hook or Order arrives and they go do that.
InfiniteJesters: Also the guy blowing out his own brain seems so non-chalant about it. And the woman next to him getting sprayed with chunks of gray matter and skull doesn't really seem to be reacting, either.
Why are we here?
Why are we here?
No, really, that's a headline for this section of the book. For anyone who cares, by the way, we're still some 50 pages from chargen, and over 100 from anything resembling rules. This thing is just loaded up with shitloads of miserable fluff. BUT ANYWAY, this particular fluff section has THEORIES about why and how the Wraeththu are around!
: The first Wraeththu was a horrifying mutant born from a human mother, part one of the creepy psychic kids from Village of the Damned, part misogynist(he hates his mother from birth, apparently), part
crazy fucking rapist murderer
. So he runs away from home after fucking another dude to death, and a hobo tries to eat him, BUT GASP, THIS MEANS THE HOBO GETS WRAETHTHU BLOOD IN HIM... And then those two are the start of the whole fucking mess!
Humans have abused and abandoned their natural strengths: In Wraeththu it begins to bloom.
Except I thought humanity's "natural strength" was the fact that we could make nukes and guns and chuck them at things? So weren't we expressing that quite excellently?
[Wraeththu's] bodies are immune to cellular destruction through time. As they are physically perfect, so must they strive towards spiritual perfection.
Then after that, we're presented with a bunch of OPTIONS, if we choose that this is true. Option #1: Wraeththu are all a horrible, horrible accident. Option #2: Wraeththu are someone's INTENTIONAL horrible, horrible fuckup, like a genetic experiment. Option #3: It's not true, and is instead a CONSPIRACY THEORY. So... I guess that's... not an option about it being true after all... Fuck it. NEXT THEORY.
: Wraeththu are angels and/or devils, divine punishment/purpose. Apparently loads of pagans totally think this is an awesome idea and/or the truth. Christians and other followers of "traditional" faiths decided it was time to kill themselves because OH GOD THE END TIMES, while the Pagans all went "OH BOY GAIA IS KILLING US, THIS IS AWESOME." and rocked out.
: Wraeththu have always been around, just hidden! Because flower-cocked bishounen with acid jizz and magical powers would be SO subtle.
: They're the next step of evolution. More blathering on about how they have the potential to be FAR more stable and self-fulfilled because they don't have their male and female mental halves punching each other in the neck all the time. According to the book, as drastic a mutation as the Wraeththu occuring in the span of one or two generations is TOTALLY REALISTIC, because diseases have absolutely caused such things to happen before.
It is difficult for human scientists to accept that such a drastic evolutionary step could ever be natural, but many disease shave caused mutations in the past, and human technology, with all its advances, never did fully understand the workings of the human frame.
Evolution is a messy and misunderstood process. Even in the days before Wraeththu, some dual-gender offspring were born to humans, and one a cellular level, a high percentage of males possessed cells of the opposite sex.
Just a quick quote for Tasoth, SWMadness and the other Bio majors!
Threats, you might ask? What could ever threaten our perfect, unique bishie wonders? I'll tell you what. DIRTY GODDAMN HUMANS.
I'm assuming that dude is a member of THE HUMAN RESISTANCE/THE HUMAN THREAT on account of A) not looking like a glam rocker, B) not looking like a girl and C) not looking like a goddamn retard. Also while the Wraeththu have basically descended into semi-primitivity, seeming only to have really retained technology when it comes to stuff like partying and drugs, the humans are apparently still fully teched-out with biological weapons, chemical weapons, missiles and other war machines. They built a huge, fortified border that protects THE HUMAN DOMAINS from any flower-dicked dongheads that get too close.
They're also described as Cunning and Devious!
That said, with regard to toxins, there is one substance that humans developed which is fatal to our kind. It was discovered during the development of DNA separation and profiling. A chemical was developed to separate the strands of DNA for use in profiling systems. You can appreciate the lethal application of this substance. The merest contact is enough to degrade a human frame at an astonishing rate.
Then the humans made an anti-Wraeththu version of this factually dubious substance and a few drops alone will melt them!
Threats that aren't as cool as humans
: "We don't age, we can't have kids and most of us are too retarded to farm! Waaaaah, life is pointless!"
The Ancient Ones
: So apparently they read a lot of leftover Lovecraft and thought that references to Old Ones and Elder Races were actual goddamn scientific literature. Because the Wraeththu are now fucking terrified of these things coming back and wrecking their shit. No details on what they actually are, but a lot of Wraeththu are scared shitless of them nonetheless, they think some ELDER RACE existed before humanity and that it'll doubtless be evil if it returns. I have to admit, THE HUMAN RESISTANCE vs Creepy Rapethu and Elder Things might be a better Lovecraft RPG than CTech...
: "OH MAN OH MAN WE MIGHT PARTY OURSELVES INTO DESTRUCTION."
Mythology & Legends
Okay, so there's a grand total of four of these. And they're all really short, let's summarize.
: So Immanion, the great big city in the Balkans that was TOO PERFECT FOR WORDS might be fucking Atlantis or something. Also supposedly the Wraeththu there ride fucking Pegasuses.
Werewolves of the Desert
: So some people think there are REAL MONSTERS. Like vampires, werewolves, sea serpents, krakens and Pegasuses.
Even More Than We First Thought?
: MAYBE WE CAN LEARN TO SHIT OUT KIDS AND MAYBE THERE ARE FEMALE WRAETHTHU.
: So some Wraeththu apparently dropped LSD and are convinced that the FLYING HORSES are messengers from ANGELS OUTSIDE OF TIME who created the Wraeththu.
And this is what passes for fucking quest hooks so far, I guess. Goddammit, why do the fucking flying horses pop up in three out of four of them? But that actually does finish off the major fluff chapter! Next up is Tribes! Again! Yes, they decided to list the fucking Tribes twice! Before we just got one-paragraph summaries, now they all get multiple pages!
Alright, so. There are eight major tribes, and a bunch of smaller tribes. Tribes are split into bands called Phyles, which are ruled by Phylarchs, and the Phylarchs are lead by an Archon.
While most tribes contain members from different human ethnic groups, many of them have adopted styles, customs and traditions from very early human civilizations. Wraeththu scholars have pondered this phenomenon, and several agree that it may have arisen because the planet itself retains certain memories or templates, like archetypes, which Wraeththu, being more attuned to the planet, absorb and manifest
So Wraeththu absorb and manifest these stereotypes entirely on grounds of being superior and more sensitive than humans... except that humans already did this first? This shit doesn't even have the vaguest pretense of internal consistency, sometimes. Of course, as mentioned before, despite being PERFECT AND AT HARMONY, the Wraeththu are violent fuckhats who love to murder each other for being from the wrong tribe.
Also we're reminded that the Tribes are not formed because of ethnic issues, as the Wraeththu are way above this completely human failing. They only hate each other for SENSIBLE things, such as being born in the wrong territory, or a citizen of the wrong state or... oh wait. Yeah, if anyone's confused, pretty much every tribe is limited to one or two major geographical parts of the world, so hating another tribe just for being another tribe IS essentially completely down to racism, as what tribe you're a member of depends on what creepy man-woman raped you, not what you believe in.
Ethnic origin does not appear to be a contributing factor, as it once was for the humans. This is undoubtedly because hara do not suffer the same psychological problems over "differences" that humans do.
Also despite humanity being basically obliterated in North America, and Wraeththu being MAYBE 1/10th the number that humanity once was, they're such utter mongoloids at infrastructure, farming and other necessities for survival that they're already suffering for lack of good land and locations.
Tribe #1: The Colurastes
Jesus, ladyguy, I think you have a fucking jellyfish on your head!
So these guys are apparently serpent-themed, which they "embrace," because the serpent has "long been the ultimate symbol for androgyny," which is fucking news to me. They never cut their hair, which supposedly bleeds if you cut it, and it may or may not be prehensile. Though all stuff leans towards it basically being head-tentacles. Also, just in case anyone was still in doubt: These assholes kidnap and bone children. Creepy shit! Somehow their recruits are much less susceptible to various mental disorders than the others, because being put through a HARROWING AND MISERABLE EXPERIENCE THAT ENTIRELY REWRITES WHO AND WHAT YOU ARE, ALONG WITH BEING KIDNAPPED FROM YOUR FAMILY, is apparently less scarring for children!
Also these guys can "feel others' emotions, even those of the dead." Though I shouldn't think a corpse has much in the way of emotions at any given moment. It must be a rather boring special power. Oh, yeah, and despite the lack of ethnicities, every tribe apparently has common enough appearances that they can have a subheading for describing their archetypal looks.
They worship some sort of snake-dude and are BROODING LONER ASSASSINS.
And then, before I can subject myself to more BISHIE BULLSHIT someone comes along and wants me for something. So you'll have to read about the rest, next time! And maybe we'll get to the system, too!
It's pronounced "Ray-Thoo"
Original SA post
Self_Invention: It sounds like a pretty cool idea, sunk by the lack of a competent editor. That's kind of a shame. Any clue if the author is still planning on trying to do anything with it? Or is it a dead project?
Count Uvula: What in the name of flying Christing fuck. Also I took a quick poke at the site to see if I could find the rulebooks, but this thing seems to have been programmed by an epileptic chimp.
Also RE: Divination.jpg "I'm so stoned that this outfit seems like a good idea."
It's pronounced "Ray-Thoo"
Note: While I'm not going to show it off, I'd just like to point out that this section has quite a few "shitty editing" errors that even a basic spellchecker should have picked up, such as "soldier" becoming "solider." So much for production values.
My mind keeps wanting to read their name as "Gleaming," am I the only one? Anyway, these particular prettyboys have a country in the Balkans named Almagabra, which includes the Balkans themselves, part of Turkey and a bit of Europe. They also claim that they know how to make bishie babies. Their Thing is that they want to be the Best of the Best and are therefore poaching talent from the other tribes. They're SUPER magical even compared to how magical the other tribes are.
Also goddamnit, MORE mentions of magical horses! Apparently GIANT WHITE MAGICAL HORSES sometimes teleport to where they are, when they're out and about. What is this author's boner for magical horses? They've also mastered the art of never having to make compromises, it seems, as their clothes are "simple and practical" but also "stylish and flattering," at all times. And of course there are so many fucking words wasted on describing HOW THEY'RE SO GODDAMN PRETTY THAT IT DOESN'T MATTER IF THEY'RE COVERED IN PIGSHIT AND BLOOD, THEY'RE STILL GOING TO APPEAR STUNNING.
These guys are STEALTH NOMADS who do a lot of trading. They're rich as balls on account of selling and trading all the shit that the other RAY-THOO are too stupid to produce or grow for themselves. And of course, these are the author's reminder that ANCIENT HUMAN CIVILIZATIONS were morally and ethically superior to our modern-day one, and that we should totally LEARN FROM THEM, GUYS, because this is the Kakkahaar opinion.
So anyway, in the opening paragraphs they're simultaneously materialistic and mystic, interested in knowledge and obsessed with getting rich, great at stealth AND great at fighting, they have everything you might want to trade for, but they're short on necessities themselves AND they enjoy hedonistic lifestyles.
They all turn golden-looking when incepted, and have super-long hair, apparently long enough sometimes that it "covers their body like a shawl." Oh and they dress in appropriate deserty clothes, robes and stuff, but at the same time all their servants are dressed real fancy and occasionally wear nothing but their hair. So I guess they must go through a lot of servants who die in the cold of night or the heat of day. Also despite being nomads CONSTANTLY ON THE MOVE they love to weigh themselves down with shitloads of heavy gold jewelry!
Some of the art isn't TOTALLY bad
So these are the Islamic Nomad Wraeththu, basically. Where the Kakkahar are pseudo-gypsies, all MYSTERIOUS AND DISTRUSTED AND ASS-FULL OF MAGIC & DIVINATION, the Obliviata hang out in the Middle East and mostly just keep to themselves, not even doing much magical bullshit, but instead believing that "Allavé" guides them. Their tribal signet even has four crescents and a scimitar on it.
Except somehow THESE guys are the ones that the text says are spiritual descendants of the gypsies(or maybe they're all actually Bishie-tized gypsies, it's a bit hard to tell), and despite the NO ETHNIC HATRED clause from pages earlier, this still gives the Obliviata a bad rep with all the other tribes. Yep, other tribes specifically consider them "thieves and vagabonds."
"Even though they lack much in common with the old ways, having transcended beyond any ideals followed by their human predecessors, other tribes appear unable to forget the past and will not accept the Obliviata for the free hara they are, instead regarding them simply as thieves and vagabonds."
Maybe I'm just paranoid, but it reads to me like the author is suggesting that the ideals of the gypsies is/was actually based on HEE HEE LET US BE SNEAKSY THIEVES AND ROB THE WHITE FOLKS.
Also unlike the other tribes who BURN THE FAILED ONES, the Obliviata actually think they should help out the poorly-Incepted. Unlike the others who have ENDLESS DESCRIPTIONS OF HOW BEAUTIFUL they are, these guys are just described as "of refined features" and wearing desert-y robes. No fancy bullshit. Also the book cheerfully reminds us that the Americans were oppressing the Middle Easterners and THANK GOODNESS THAT THE WRAETHTHU FUCKED UP AMERICA SO THE MIDDLE EAST COULD BE FREE.
What the future holds for the British
They start with the geography of Alba Sulh(the UK), the big island is Alba(Britain), to the west is Keltoi(Ireland) and the strait between them is the Monaig. Also of course the entire region of Alba Sulh is just
in magic, to the point where using psychic communication has replaced anything like letters or telephones. "Many claim to have seen strange and mythical creatures roaming the countryside there, and the Freyhella tell stories of sea monsters that prevent outsiders from getting too close to the shore."
Welcome to Fairytown! There's apparently so much fucking etheric energy floating around Alba Sulh that you can't even trust your senses to parse reality correctly in the area.
These guys are also Wiccans, Wiccan astrologists. Wiccan astrologists who can tap CRYSTAL POWER for magic. And mark them up as another tribe with SPECIAL HAIR, these guys believe their hair is magical! And they always tell you the truth, but it's actually not the truth, it's just what you already believe, so what they actually do is called
in a lot of cases, making any statements as to their truthfulness
Can ANYONE explain what the fuck is going on with his hair? With his everything?
Alright, so these are basically the Sabbat Brujah of Ray-Thoo. They love guns, they love partying and they love FIGHTING THE MAN. They are also huge assholes. They're the guys who're holed up in the fucking Space Needle, and they kill pretty much fucking everyone they bump into. "In the cities that they began to populate, they would use their psychic abilities to lure human boys to them, offering promises of freedom, dark secrets and adventure." These are also the guys from the INTRO FICTION and, judging by this description, about as pedo-tastic as the Colurastes.
They've done so many drugs that it's somehow made them specialists in alchemy and making drugs to kill people and Wraeththu with. How does this even make sense? I could smoke meth every day for two years and it wouldn't give me a fucking PhD in chemistry! "Personal hygiene is not a great concern, as baths and fresh water are often a luxury in the slums and ghettos of the ruined cities. Despite this, many Uigenna are strikingly beautiful, in a bizarre fashion."
They're also the biggest idiots when it comes to Incepting, and thanks to them, many North American(sorry, Megalithican!) cities are now full of roaming, zombie-like mutants.
Unneah are basically for the people who want to DRESS as stupid as the Uigenna but don't want to be Chaotic Evil meth heads. Also apparently these guys are the source of the stupid "THE GELAMING HAVE PEGASUSES!"-stories. They're also some of the only Wraeththu who realize that farming instead of scavenging is a good idea. And they're shamanistic people who are CLOSE TO THE LANDSCAPE.
Ultimately they aren't too interesting, they're just Uigenna-lite.
I shall name him... DARK SHADOW!
So these are the STRUCTURED MILITARY GUYS to the Uigenna's CRAZY BARBARIAN GUYS. They capture the STRONG AND POWERFUL humans who actually manage to fight well against them, give them the Bishie Herpes and throw them into the ranks for the next war. Oh and gasp, we know that they're kinda evil because... THEY HAVE TWO GENDERS, sorta. They've got the USUALLY WITH DICKS dudes who lead society, and then they've got the USUALLY WITH VAGINAS dudes who wear dresses and are hoping to one day get knocked up with "Harlings" by their manly husbands.
Generally, though, it's hard to hate them too much, because unlike the pretentious other fuckers like the Gelaming and Kakkahaar who have ORIGINAL SOCIETIES DO NOT STEAL, the Varr are just like: "Hey, humanity did have some pretty good ideas, let's just do shit their way." and it seems to be working out for them. They also prefer guns to WIZARDRY, earning them another point in my book. They've got horses, farms, livestock and are generally not retarded.
: VIKINGS. GRRRRR. RAID ALBA SULH, BRAID HAIR, TRAVEL SEA, PARTY BIG.
: They live in the Caribbean, are good with poisons and have generally taken over human businesses and farms there.
: Pacific Islander Wraeththu, supposedly they live in volcanoes and love to party, and they only accept willing inceptees.
: Native American Wraeththu, which have subtribes named stuff like DARKRIVER and BLOODCLOUD. Sometimes they raid people, sometimes they just farm.
: Inuit Wraeththu. Apparently they don't even know how the fuck they got incepted, and don't seem to give a fuck about it. They just shrugged their shoulders and went on living as usual. Supposedly the only Wraeththu with a particularly good sense of humour.
Dumb Name Listing for this Chapter: Aries Strala, Marius Frost, Netspinner har Sulh, Dag Viking, Besta Zamhalama.
Next time! We finally get to the fucking rules!
Roll for Soume-Lam circumference
Original SA post
TK-31: Personally I PREFER percentile systems because you can be guaranteed to be GOOD at something. If you have a 50% chance of Doing A Thing, then in 50% of all cases you can rely on Doing That Thing to work out barring really extenuating circumstances. While in D20 systems, it often feels like ALL numbers are constantly rising, so sure, you may have a +20 to Doing That Thing, but the DC is also 20 higher than it was when you started out, so you haven't really moved at all.
Of course, that's barring crazy min/maxy stuff.
Now back to what we all REALLY care about.
Roll for Soume-Lam circumference
Also known as...
That's right! 159 pages into the book and we reach the first thing that has ANY relation to the rules whatsoever! And right off the bat we're informed what system we're using, it's called... The Storm System. At least they picked a pretty bitchin' name for it.
So let's take it as the text informs us about it. Everything is on a scale of 1 to 20, and 20 is the maximum human limit, while Wraeththu have no limits on anything whatsoever. 'cept... apparently... there IS an upper limit, but the Wraeththu just don't know it? And if they don't know it, apparently they can just completely ignore it? Goddammit! And then they completely ignore the system, so, just so we can actually UNDERSTAND this fucking chapter, I'm jumping ahead to page... 239 to see what the basic mechanic is.
It seems like what we've got is a basic D20 roll-under mechanic. For opposed rolls, both sides try to roll under the relevant number, and whoever rolls the farthest under theirs(for instance, rolling a 3 when your number is 10, is better than rolling a 14 when your number is 15) succeeds. Critical failures/successes are reversed from D&D, predictably, so we want 1's and hate 20's.
Now back to chargen!
: This is the part where you decide who your character actually IS. None of this affects the system, but there are some pre-made questions to help you(this is actually a nice idea that more systems could benefit from) and some sidebars! For instance...
This game can be enjoyed just as much if you play a group of humans battling against the Wraeththu. Although such characters are essentially doomed either to die or one day be incepted, you can at least explore the world as a character perceived as the enemy.
Not sure if this means all humans fighting the RAY THOO are fucked due to being inferior or whether this is just a reference to the fact that humans definitely age while RAY THOO sort-of-maybe-kinda-don't.
For the humans, and for the human part of any Wraeththu's life, here are the relevant questions.
What did your character do at school, college? Did your character have a part-time job, or were they in full-time work? Was your character a member of any subcultures? Did your character take a specific educational path? What was your character's family life like? Did your character travel much or stay at home? How did your character hear about the Wraeththu?
So all in all, nothing too fucked up. Decide what he did, where he came from, what he liked, what he hated, whether he knows the world or if he's been sheltered from day one. Also here we actually get to see some sidebar quotes from the recently-Incepted, suggesting that the Wraeththu might just NOT be the height of intellectual perfection compared to humanity...
Can I change my name to Merlin? -Quote from a recently-incepted Sulh(PurpleXVI's Note: Those being the MAJYCKAL BRITISH WRAETHTHU)
And then, questions about the Inception.
Why did your character become har? Were any of your character's friends and relatives incepted? Into which tribe was your character incepted? Did your character know what to expect or was ti all new to him? Did your character have any strange experiences during the Inception? Did your character dream, and if so, how did these dreams affect them? When your character's body had fully changed and he awoke, what did he feel? With whom did your character have his first aruna, and was the experience positive or negative? Now that the character is no longer human, does he feel bound by humanity's laws?
Again, none of this is particularly odd, though it all basically pares down to two important questions: Was the Inception traumatic, horrifying and against your will? And what tribe did this to you? The sidebar quotes also start getting more obnoxious, descending into Fishmalkitude.
Peanuts! Don't mention peanuts near me. When you live with Chinchillas, peanuts become the bane of your life." -Calambus Mint
I mean seriously!
Anyway, finally there are two last categories of question, which I can't be fucked to transcribe. First Days(after Inception): "Who did you make friends with, who did you piss off, what did you do?" and Future: "What are your motivations?"
And then, SUDDENLY, huge side-section! "Women And Inception."
In the world of the Wraeththu, women seem to get rather a raw deal. It appears they are unable to become Hara, and the Hara claim the best and brightest men to become like them. Women who wish to play characters in the world of Wraeththu may feel this is rather off-putting. After all, a Wraeththu character is neither male nor female(and yet in some ways both). Almost all Wraeththu have begun their lives as men and see the world initially from a male perspective. A Wraeththu is essentially a male character coming to terms with their new female nature, so women may find it unfair they cannot play a female character coming to terms with their male aspect.
Also apparently they're all Asians who live in the FAR EAST as part of tribe Zigane. The book also suggests that the character could just be a SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE who was incepted by normal Wraeththu(trying it for the 1000th time, just in case the other 999 dead women were a fluke) and yet it somehow worked. They turn into androgynous man-likes anyway, though, instead of masculine lady-ish things.
The alternative for women wanting to play female characters is to play a female
. "Female humans have far more potential as player characters than their male counterparts." Also apparently women are far less terrified of Wraeththu(well, okay, probably because Wraeththu blood doesn't make their genitals turn into horrifying monstrosities), and can totally get along with them far better than men. So you could be a lady hanging out with the ladyguys. "Women tend to be less physical in their attempts to fight the future." Then the book backpedals and says BUT, UH, YOU CAN TOTALLY PICK UP A GUN AS A LADY ANYWAY.
Oh and then comes the rape!
Human males are usually the ones trying to fight the Wraeththu, but women seem to be ignored by them. When the world starts to fall apart, might becomes the only justice. With women being physically unable to dominate men, they fall prey to man's desperation. They are often kept hidden away for safety and sometimes used as little more than breeding stock to replace those that the Wraeththu have taken. Taking this to an extreme, "rape gangs" may stalk the cities trying to ensure every woman is pregnant in a desperate and horrifying attempt to repopulate the human race.
As the physically weaker members of society, many women are forced back into the kitchen to do as they are told. With this climate, it is small wonder that many turn to Wraeththu society, running for the ironic safe haven of a Wraeththu city, happy to be rid of men. The Hara are happy to leave them alone, as women are of no interest to them as either mates or slaves. They also know women want nothing from them, they neither beg to be incepted or resort to violence as easily as men. So the Wraeththu are happy to treat them as individuals and trade and work with them as required. In fact, with Wraeththu being originally male, many may turn to women to help them deal with their newly awoken feminine side. Who else in the world is there to council the Hara about the new aspects of themselves?
The potential is already there; in today's society many women find close friendships with gay men, so why not with the Wraeththu? To a woman, Wraeththu may well seem to be perfect men. They are strong and powerful, as well as deeply attractive, with all that power tempered by a sensitive feminine aspect. It would not be surprising for many women to fall in love with a Hara, even when she knows that love can never be returned. However, in its place can often form a bond of love dependant not on sex or lust. Aruna for a Wraeththu is not only something reserved for those they love. So it follows that Aruna need not be an essential ingredient for any loving relationship as well. In such a way, a Wraeththu could easily come to a non-sexual but still loving relationship with a woman. Such a relationship would make them perfect adventuring companions.
Yeah, just read that. Think about it for a moment, and in the meantime I'm going to take this as a chance to sneak back into the crunchy parts of chargen.
: Traits are basically more fluffy character generation stuff. The only crunchy part is the selection of tribe. Also it has a list of selected names that heavily added to the "dumb fucking names in this chapter"-list at the end of the post.
: It starts out with some stuff about height and weight, apparently all Wraeththu are mass-produced when it comes to physical traits, as a given height will always result in approximately the same weight. You also want to be as HUGE as possible as apparently heavier Wraeththu can store more MAGICAL ENERGY.
: Interestingly enough, while we have physical and mental stats(STR, DEX, STAM, PER, WILL, INT) we have no social stats. For a setting which supposedly puts so much focus on mentally, seduction and social/sexual interaction, you'd think it'd have something like Exalted's social combat, or at least a Diplomacy skill. Still, I suppose that could be folded in under Intelligence, we shall see! All the stats have a little descriptive "fluff" paragraph which chronicle the adventures of Dag, Mint & Zip, terminally drunk Uigenna on a beer run. It's not exactly well-written, but it's a nice change from the overly dramatic examples you get in some books. As mentioned before, the human scale is 1 to 20, all stats start at a base of 4, then we roll 6d6, each die presents us with a number we can add to one stat, and finally we get 10 free points. And the starting limit in anything is 15(unless, the book says, we can sweet-talk our GM into removing that limit). So far nothing seems particularly fucked up or hard to follow.
There's XP(Development points), Merits & Flaws(not listed yet), Resources(your funds and equipment, this is NOT decided by stats or points, but entirely by your background, so the more Sue you write it, the more sweet gear you get!).
: As far as I can tell, you can end up rolling against EITHER a skill OR a stat, not the two added together, as in many systems. But each skill also has two associated stats, and those stat gives it a bonus or penalty(from -2 to +5, for the 1 to 20 range, you average the two stats to find where on the scale they lie). Your total skill points are dependant on minor boosts from Intelligence and Perception(at 15, your max starting, they'd give you a total of +6, with both at 20 it'd be a +15), +2d6 and finally a flat +45. The game promises a list of skills soon, soon! Just like it promises a list of Merits & Flaws soon, soon!
: Yeah, weirdly enough, combat skills are not normal skills, and they DON'T get stat bonuses? Except then the text backpedals less than a line later and says they DO get bonuses, just not bonuses for specific skills, instead you get general boosts to ranged and melee combat. You also need to specialize in EVERY damn weapon you use. "Pistol" is not just "pistol," you apparently need to specifically specialize in DESERT EAGLES or GLOCK 9MM or something. I'm sure a gun nerd can tell me whether this is completely irrational or not(I am suspecting that it kind of is). Oh, reading a bit down, it seems DESERT EAGLE is the specific example for the fucking Pistol skill. Goddammit.
So, to recap what the book says... you get your Base Combat Modifier to all weapons for which you have the relevant style(for instance, all pistols), but you only get a further skill bonus if are actually using your specialization: DESERT EAGLE. Except on top of this, there are also FIGHTING STYLES? I'm getting completely lost in this fucking text. Apparently, a ONE-HANDED fighting style, would only apply to the KATANA that the example character(AGROTH) is specialized in, not a broad sword. But you still need to have 10 in the STYLE to have 10 in the SPECIALIZATION. Also fixing your weapons is a COMBAT SKILL instead of a normal skill. I think, from re-reading it, that in addition to skill with the weapon itself... (Broad category: SWORDS. Specialization: KATANA.) you also need a combat style for what you want to DO with the weapon(like 1-handed or 2-handed for melee weapons, and I guess, GANGSTA-STYLE SIDEWAYS GRIP or SHOOT GUN for ranged weapons or something similar.). Styles also represent your maximum for other skills, if you have 2-handed at 12, for instance, and no other melee style, you cannot have any melee weapon skill above 12. And I was mistaken, there are no styles for ranged combat, so ranged combat dudes totally get it all cheaper, it would seem.
But it's fair! Because "anyone can pick up a gun and pull the trigger"(then what about bows, jackass? I thought tech was mostly falling apart in this post-apoc world!), while swords are apparently some sort of NOBLE ART that require years upon years of mastering, unlike dishonourable guns.
This is totally stupid and I'm putting the book down for now as it starts preaching on about how this system is for REALISM.
New stupid names for this chapter: Essence, Seraph, Crimson, Lynx, Tiamat, Shiva, Antarax, Foxhawk, Silver, Gorlagon, Blackfern, Thoth, Zap, Nubia.
Randomly generated Ray-Thoo
Original SA post
Randomly generated Ray-Thoo
Alright, so, before we continue, let's prod at the numbers a bit. Ignoring stats for the moment, we've got skills. On average probably around 60. Since it appears to be assumed that most people are going to swing around melee weapons, we'll need both a style and a specialization. Let's say we go Swords(Big Ones) with the style Two-Handed. Since everything's roll-under, anything under 10 is rather dire, and we can probably assume that a 50% chance to succeed is what we'll want to be able to rely on a skill.
This leaves us with 20 points burnt on being able to fight with even just
kind of weapon, and 4 skills beyond that which we can actually be competent at. Our stats are unlikely to ever give us more than a +2(barring an unreasonably generous GM, points-wise), so this means we get to do four things and swing one weapon. So far it doesn't seem like characters are particularly well-rounded in any fashion.
Past that little look at what the numbers actually
, we get the usual derived stats, Energy, Composure and Psyche. How long we can walk, how easily we lose our shit and freak out, and how much PSYCHIC MANA we have. And then MAGIC! Complete with pseudo-philosophical ramblings!
Chaos and Order posted:
For example, a piece of paper and a house brick represent significant amounts of order. The shape of a wild tree, or the way fire dances, reflects the actions of Chaos.
Magic's split up into three general schools, Elemental(Fire, Earth, Air and Water), Energy(Spirit, Kinetic, Attraction, Plasmatic) and Changing States(Temporal, Phase, Destruction, Conversion). The Chaos & Order stuff seems to be a pseudo-Paradox thing, where fucking around too much with THE BALANCE OF THE UNIVERSE gets your ass kicked by reality itself. We are then told NOTHING AT ALL about how magic works, instead being pointed 100 pages further ahead if we want to know(yes, really handy to generate characters based on principles that are still 100 pages off) and dumped into Equipment and Hit Points.
The Hit Points actually follow a decent system, a sort of merger of White Wolf's health levels and D&D's hit points. You've got a buffer zone of "Minor Wounds"(Hit Points) that you can lose without being much more than in pain, and then you've got your final Major Wounds that require medical attention to fix, as you progress through piles of Major Wounds towards death, you start getting severe penalties to Doing Stuff. Every 10 Minor Wounds suffered also punches right through the buffer to deal a single Major Wound.
As another nice touch, at the end of the somewhat poorly-written(but not entirely poorly-conceived) chargen, there's a quick-chargen list that notes all of your derived stats and modifiers(you need TWELVE of these for combat, not counting hit points and your actual combat skills) and similar stuff that can be summarized into a few lines, I could think of a lot of games with better concepts that could've benefited from looting this idea.
The intro text for the skill list suggests something similar to Exalted's "stunting" mechanic(essentially: if you describe an action in an interesting or cool way rather than just going "I PICK THE LOCK" or "I BASH THE DUDE" then you get a bonus.), it suggests that the players think of every action as a paragraph in a written story and describe it as such. Personally? I rather like that way of writing it. Also some goodwill points from me for STARTING the skill list with an actual LIST and
progressing to the huge list full of descriptions of the individual skills.
Once we actually get into the descriptions, though, there are some oddities. For instance, BLACKsmithing and WEAPON smithing are filed under brute strength, while ARMOR smithing requires dexterity and Mechanical Repair is also a BRUTE STRENGTH skill, you'd figure that fixing precision things that need to interlock well and etc. would require, again, either finesse or intellect. Some of these slight oddities are alleviated once you note the secondary stats also associated with each skill, but it's still just downright
decisions in some cases.
One thing I approve of, however "realistic" some of these decisions may be, is that some of the various "you can do a boring job"-skills, like being a butcher, also have side-effects. The aforementioned butchering, for instance, gives you a combat damage bonus since you apparently know where flesh splits the easiest. Also, as I noted earlier that we lack a Charisma-analogue, that seems to be split between Willpower, Intelligence and Perception. Perception, in particular, seems involved in most of the social skills, which does make sense, if you can read how people react, you know what pushes them in which directions.
I also appreciate the absence of a pure social stat, as it means that someone who wants to be a good negotiator doesn't have to be completely useless in all other situations. There's generally little to hate or comment on.
On the subject of combat skills, I still really don't quite understand why the various 1-handed and etc. styles are there at all, it seems like a pointless complication to split up how many hands I know how to use a sword with, rather than just saying I know how to use a fucking sword. I'm going to flip ahead to the COMBAT chapter real quick and see if they describe it any better...
This is where I get completely confused, as nowhere does it seem to describe how you actually fucking ATTACK someone. Instead it goes completely obsessive about describing their weird-ass initiative system where every round consists of five sub-rounds and there are all sort of goddamn mechanics relating to what negates further sub-round actions that make me want to just go pick up my D10's and play Exalted, because it has a combat system that's better thought-out and written.
The weirdness is because normal attacks, I imagine, are just the standard "roll-under, find-success-level" dealie, but it says the same thing for Dodge. We do not have a skill level for Dodging, instead our Dodge modifier is the same as our Dex modifier, a measly +2 or so. Either this means that Dodging is fucking IMPOSSIBLE or it means that it adheres to some logic I really do not understand. Browsing back to example character sheets, that's all it says for Dodge, "+2" or "+3" or something similar.
It seems like there might be a fun and tactical system here, but I can't parse it. I really cannot fucking figure it out.
Then I realize this is because they put the "Combat Mechanics" chapter after the chapter called "The Art of War" which lists loads of shit about the various combat skills and actions(which is ALSO what most of the "skip forward here to learn about combat!"-asides point you at!). So it turns out I was right, just straight-up attacking is a standard roll-under skill check, and predictably rolling REALLY GOOD means you skewer a liver instead of bruising some skin. Also there is some pretty rad art here, let me show you:
Doesn't he just look COMPLETELY FUCKING NUTS? I love this piece
There are a shitload of small-and-optional rules about encumbrance, armor weight and hit locations. The hit locations are split up into eight "quadrants" of the body, complete with different percentages of hit-chance depending on whether you're attacking someone from the back or the side. It looks like there are options for going full ADVANCED SQUAD LEADER with this shit if you want. Complete with specific rules for cranial trauma.
But alright, here we go, the blow-by-blow combat... Roll initiative(A simple 1d20+modifier, unlike most of our other rolls, we actually want this one high), this determines who acts first.
Each "combat phase" is split into five "slices," and you can act in more or less of these depending on your weapon and personal speed. If you only have 1 action, for instance, you only get to act in the third of five "slices," but if you have six actions you get to act in all five AND have a sixth "interrupt"/"spare" action that you can throw around at any time, for instance to block, roll, dodge or do some crazy bullshit. This actually reminds me a bit of WFRP initiative, as everyone goes through the first slice first(in order of initiative), then the second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. But with the improvement that fast characters don't just get more actions in the END, they're also more likely to be the ones busting out their first actions first.
And all the rest is just combat skill checks, opposed or not and... STILL NO FUCKING EXPLANATION OF DODGING, GODDAMMIT. Fuck it, either I'm blind or they literally just fail to explain this anywhere.
So, WEAPON SKILLS, did I mention those? I actually kind of like them. Because as you improve with them, you get bonuses beyond HIT BETTER. Often related to the weapon itself. For instance, super marksmen with rifles get incredible bonuses to taking aim, while guys who're really good at planting mines and traps get crazy damage bonuses, melee weapons largely get a wide spread of smaller bonuses rather than being specialized like that, but still get different enough bonuses that it seems like they'll feel differently, mechanics-wise.
Then there's a list of MERITS & FLAWS, which some RPG's seem contractually obligated to include, whether they're a good idea or not. They're split into the sections of HUMANS ONLY, ones that can survive the crossover from human to RAYTHOO and ones that are only for the Wraeththu. Here we learn that Wraeththu cannot be blind, fat or have brittle bones. Sexual fetishes are apparently NOT destroyed by the crossover(it's a flaw), so sucks to be you if you have a fetish that doesn't work with a flowerdong!
Somewhat amused by some of the Wraeththu flaws, like the "Beacon to Other Realms" one, basically you're incredibly delicious/super cool to some creatures on another plane, spirits or gremlins or demons or something. So they keep popping in to say hi, steal your stuff or try and bite your leg off, usually assuming twisted, mutated or supernatural versions of normal creatures for their form. Mostly seems to happen when the character or someone near him uses powerful magic. Not that I ever plan to play Wraeththu, but this could be one hell of an interesting plot hook in another game.
Also, being a foot shorter than average is worth the same amount of flaw points as being addicted to drugs, just thought I'd point that out. To be fair, being shorter does, if I recall correctly, lower your total WIZARDRY POINTS, so I guess midgets can't be magical.
In general, though, the Merits & Flaws list isn't too bad, and largely sticks to PHYSICAL ones, meaning that there are few of those social/psychological merits/flaws that are so easily gamed for cheap points in other games. That's a bullet dodged there, really.
And with that, we've passed the chapter that allows us to make a character. Keep in mind, though, if I hadn't paged ahead, I would literally have had nooooo fucking clue what any of these numbers meant in play! Good editing, ladies and gentlemen! Anyway, after this is RULES and MAGIC, those are the last two major sections. I really don't expect them to be all that horrifying. Rules I'll probably breeze through next post, but Magic might have a bunch of hilarious misogyny, racism and absurd assumptions about human psychology.
Some of these rules are not 100% realistic
Original SA post
Some of these rules are not 100% realistic
Alright, now let's figure out how the fuck we play this game. This chapter starts with four rules beyond the rules, basically rules on how to run a game without it being unfun.
Rule #1: "The Rule of What If and But!"
For Players: You're not allowed to argue with the Storyteller.
For Storytellers: Don't rule with an iron hand.
Rule #2: "The Rule of Common Sense"
Unless the numbers say otherwise, everything functions like it does in the real world. Apparently this game relies on the Storyteller to have some "common sense" and "insight into the world." I think that if he did, he'd have strangled the first asshole who suggested that they actually play this fucking game.
Rule #3: The Rule of Rules
Don't use all the rules, all the time, unless it'd make the game more fun.
Rule #4: Always Make Sure Your Players Love Their Characters
Help the players make cool characters, even if it means breaking the chargen rules ever so slightly. If your players get to have characters they enjoy, they'll actually want to hang around and play the game.
Ultimately nothing too odious and, honestly, the basic system isn't that bad. As we've already seen, it's a simple D20-rollunder system with a "who has the better margin of success" for opposed rolls. Even the combat probably wouldn't be too bad if they actually bothered to have an editor go over it and remind them to actually add in all the rules.
Another nice thing Wraeththu does is that it provides a huge, two-page table(I know, tables are usually bad, but stay with me, here) listing shitloads of common modifiers. Along the horizontal you have what the modifier is based on(like how familiar the character is with what he's doing, what the environment is like, distractions, combat stances, etc.) and along the vertical you have the extent of it. For instance, +10 in the "Situational Familiarity" Column is "an everyday task with which a character is very familiar." And +2 is "an action or task the character has performed only a few times in their life."
-2 for Environmental Conditions is "character is kind of uncomfortable due to heat/cold/something else," and -10 is "the temperature is so extreme the character is in pain or danger. Local objects could be flying around in the wind." I could think of a dozen situations where I as a GM could have used a table like this to flip over to in D&D, BESM or some other system, just so I had a good idea of what sort of modifier I should apply. At least when I was first finding my legs as a GM. So, actually, props to Ray-Thoo for this one.
The XP section is also kind of nice since it specifically says that it's a good idea to give people XP just for doing stuff like making the session more fun for everyone. Including real-life stuff like someone who offers to take over part of the number-crunching/record-keeping task or things like that. I find it hard to hate a game who encourages people to be nice to the other players.
It also turns out that psychic abilities and magic are actually two different things. Everyone it seems has PSYCHIC POWERS, while magic is only for Wizard Flowerdicks. The book reminds us that the things any Wraeththu can do are Telepathy(which apparently some humans can also do!), Thermokinesis and Healing. Telepathy does what it says on the box, no more, no less, you can't terrify people by screaming into their heads or put them in a psychic headlock. Thermokinesis allows us to, as an average Wraeththu, heat or cool any object by 26 to 60 degrees centigrade. It only has 10cm range, though, and living things get a roll to resist it, meaning that we can't be Wraeththu Hitman who sneaks up on people and freezes their brains to lumps of ice by tapping them on the head.
After cracking the numbers, however, this seems like it's a lot easier than it might at first appear to be. See, Magic Resistance is basically (STAM mod + WILL mod)/2. At the human average(10), there are no modifiers for either, meaning that the only chance of someone not being brain-iced is if we fuck up our roll. So how much damage CAN we do? For each Agmara(mana) point, we can affect 1 kilogram of matter. ANY matter. Our starting Agmara is our weight in kilos/2, and our maximum Agmara is ten times that. We're of course going to be as ridiculously tall as possible, because we're powergaming, meaning a weight of approximately 90 kilos.
If we're completely fuelled up with MAGICAL ENERGY and ready to rock, we can then freeze 450 kilos of matter. At chargen, assuming it's not already warmer than 60 degrees centigrade. We regenerate a point per minute when awake, and two points when asleep, when meditating it's 4 points an hour. So it's not like we need to be CAREFUL with this stuff. The one obstacle is that it takes some time to wind up, so for every second we can only add another 1 kilo to the burn/freeze area(or 1 liter). The actual temperature change seems to happen instantly over the course of these 5 seconds, however.
I'm sure some biologists, physicists or chemists can enlighten me on the effects of heating/cooling a kilo of living creature or physical object by 60 degrees in the span of five seconds, especially since we can bypass any skin or surface layers. How would YOU break reality if you could do this? Oh and presumably boiling or freezing someone's brain/heart is instakill since there are no specific rules for how much damage it does and the start of the chapter says to use "common sense" and reality's rules for things we are not specifically told to roll for!
Healing, by comparison, is remarkably non-broken, and actually, gasp, acknowledges that genuine medical knowledge helps with being a healing wizard!
We've already gone over the shittily written combat system before, so I'm not going to dig into that again. Beyond the Morass of Combat there are tables. These tables are... suspect, because they insist that the average person(10 Strength) can lift 236 kilos. This emerges from the calculation of STR x 23.6 for lifting. It seems an oddly specific number, what with the .6, so I wonder what the hell the source of it is. Though I'm pretty sure this means that we can literally yank the floor out from under most enemies. What we can actually carry for extended periods of time is more sane, though, being only 20 kilos or so for the average person. There may also be some fuckery with the basic running speeds, I'm having trouble finding the definition of how long a "Phase" is, but if it's around a few seconds, the average person may be able to give Usain Bolt a run(literally) for his money.
Just when you thought I was going to let a post pass by without any shitty art
In the end the Rules chapter isn't
stupid. Something tells me that'll change next post, though, when we hit... The Magic chapter!
This chapter's stupid names: Wraith, Dustspinner, Binding-rocks, Muffy
I put on my Rehuna robe and hat
Original SA post
I put on my Rehuna robe and hat
The bad art starts up again in this chapter in a rather serious way. It also starts with a metric fuckload of in-character fiction which I'm going to summarize for you all, because fuck transcribing four pages of this trash.
Basically, back in YE OLDE ANCIENT TYMES, humans were totally enlightened because they were ONE WITH NATURE, chatted with the spirits, and believed that gods, demons and elementals were behind everything that happened. Human shamans talked to these spirits, fought the bad ones, etc. What directly led to humanity's "madness and decay" was the fact that we became advanced, started believing in science and became "robotic and isolated."
Then the Wraeththu writer starts wanking off about them not knowing if they were made on purpose or just an accident or yadda yadda yadda bullshit. And apparently the only thing that stops someone from being a bitchin' wizard is that they cannot PERCEIVE THE UNIVERSE correctly, seems like as long as you can just perceive everything as being part of everything, all energy interconnected, and everything as energy, you can wizard it up by force of will. There's also an expansion on how Wraeththu telepathy lets them send messages into both past and future when they get trained enough. We're also finally told that the MAGIC FLYING HORSES are actually real, and can ride through magical wormholes.
Short glossary: Agmara(Wraeththu Mana), Magari(Wraeththu spells), Majhahn(Wraeththu ritual magic), Nayati(Wraeththu temple), Rehuna(Wraeththu wizard), Ruhan(Wraeththu wizard in plural). I'm still personally fucking wondering where they get all these stupid terms. Can anyone tell me if they're ganked from some real-world language? Because that might make SOME sense, at least if those terms were used by a culture in North America or Europe, since those are the only places the Wraeththu seem to really be from.
Also the existence of "Dark Matter" means that science cannot explain the universe, because real Magic can't in any way be measured or explained by SCIENCE! Scientists secretly suspect that Dark Matter is magic, but they just never got a chance to admit it before the Wraeththu showed up and fucked everyone over. "Unfortunately, human scientists could not tolerate the idea that ancient peoples, whom they considered primitive, could have known more than they did."
Disintegrating things can apparently also be done magically really easily since you just tap every object's internal energy to tear it apart to atoms or warp it out of reality. Which makes you wonder why the fuck any Wraeththu Wizard would ever bother with the described-as-more-complex options of blowing it up, dropping heavy objects on it or setting it on fire. Wizard Wraeththu are directly encouraged to game the system to find the cheapest and least backlashy methods of accomplishing everything. Wraeththu players shouldn't also worry about not solving everything with magic, since their very EXISTENCES are magical. Every Wraeththu is a wondrous, sparkling unicorn of enchantment. This is followed by a short monologue on how we should just flip off technology and embrace wizardry instead, replacing guns with fireballs and computers with magical memory crystals.
Pretty much every paragraph includes or ends with a bit about how science can go
because magic is
the real power
. More rarely there are also bits about how religion can equally go
because having rules for how things work or believing in cause and effect makes you a worse wizard.
Science, in a human sense, has had its time. Its tools have either been abandoned or broken, and the more rigid of its views have been rejected by the majority of hara.
With the influx of magical knowledge, the unknown now has a framework for explanations about how the universe functions, and scientific facts aren't as cut and dried as they were. New theories and ideas are showing themselves and the mysterious of Dark Matter will be explained.
Don't ask me why the fucking obsession with Dark Matter. This chapter is also, oddly enough, where we have Wraeththu morality explained. Basically it's generic subjective morality where no specific acts are evil, it all depends on circumstances and intent, yadda yadda. There's also another fresh glossary about all the goddamn goofy magical accoutrements Wraeththu wizards us. Vakei, WIZARD DAGGERS with MAGICAL CRYSTALS. Shayyai, WIZARD BOWLS, that are very boring. Naqi, WIZARD DAGGERS that you use for the whole Bishie Herpes transferral process. Nayati, as mentioned, is the local WIZARD HUT or stone circle or where ever.
Sidebar: "Aruna plays a big part in the novels, so should not be ignored in this game." Hoo boy.
Aruna or Sex Magic
: Alright, so it starts out by recapping that every Wraeththu has their wacky fucked up genitals and can get up to whatever craziness they like. Oh also that boning can be a MAGICAL RITUAL that affects reality. Also contradicting
the very first thing I posted about this RPG
, this bit also says it would be inappropriate to roleplay the dickings.
Then there's a bit of bullshit about "blah blah blah we're ripping off Paradox and vulgar/subtle magic from oMage blah blah blah we're unoriginal fuckfaces." And then we hit another gold mine:
To summarize! Humans cannot do magic right because we are selfish, afraid and do the whole Dogma thing where we try to systematize stuff and understand it(shades of In Dark Alleys! Hello!). Yet at the same time, apparently most humans believed in Miracles but hated Magic. Aren't Miracles basically stuff that's accepted as inexplicable bullshit from some Other Force? Stuff that cannot be set into a system or explained? So would that not make that... not-Wraeththu's-definition-of-Dogma? But anyway, we could totally have saved ourselves from destruction if we had learned how to throw fireballs and disintegrate stuff.
The few humans who figured out their WIZARDLY POWERS got locked up for being crazy or burned at the stake. So basically we can blame THE CHURCH and THE MAN for us not being awesome wizards.
(PS for those reading along: After noting all this science-hating stuff, please note that Wraeththu's spirituality and magic has been marketed as a real "spiritualism" that has been gobbled up by thousands upon thousands of Wraeththu fans! You may know some of these people!)
I told you there'd be more bad art
Alright so, having awesome brains and an "androgynous spiritual being" is what allows Wraeththu to tap into magic that humans can't ever hope to approach. This follows a goofy-ass pseudo-alchemical system of elements and states. Air magic covers
gaseous, including oxygens and chemical weapons. One example use is specifically creating more gaseous oxygen, so I can't see why you'd be barred from filling someone's lungs with sarin gas.
Earth magic, mysteriously enough, requires Strength as its major stat(it was Intelligence for Air), so I guess we have MUSCLE WIZARDS in the house, Earth magic includes manipulating and creating everything solid and radioactive. Hello Wizard Nukes. Fire is Dexterity and is heat, flames and
. And if these terms seem VERY EASILY ABUSED, then note that the intro text for this bit specifically says that what fits into which category is personal and basically up to how a given Wraeththu defines it.
Water is Willpower and is, predictably, creating and manipulating any liquid.
, I'm personally not seeing how this prevents us from gaming the system by creating liquid versions of normally-solid materials. Hello raining molten iron on assholes I don't like. For anything that isn't water, we need a "knowledge of their structure and effect." So some high school chemistry classes or a pre-apocalyptic chem textbook is all we need to fuck everyone over forever.
The four "spiritual" elements are Spirit(minds, basically), Kinetic(literally kinetic energy, yes, yes, this is going to be amazingly broken since the description of magic so far has left nothing to prevent us from accelerating someone's heart out of their ribcage at ridiculous speeds), Attraction(Gravity and magnetism. Make your own conclusions about how to break the world) and Plasmatic(The "miscellaneous" category for everything not already covered. The example given is basically electrical power and creating enough heat energy to weld things together).
Four "states" that can be fucked with, Temporal(yep, TIME MAGIC, time travel is specifically mentioned as an option), Phase(the odds of something happening, teleportation, stepping into other worlds), Destruction(fucking shit up, oh and it can be combined with Temporal/Spirit to completely delete someone from reality, not just exploding them like a Fallout critical hit) and Conversion(basically alchemy, we cannot change complex things into other complex things, but we can change lead into gold, that sort of thing).
It also took me a solid ten minutes to find the hidden paragraph that actually describes how magic works. It's another skill check, but they decided that nothing relevant to it should actually be in the RULES chapter, and the actual RULES for magic should be something like a literal fifty pages into the Magic chapter after shitloads of fluff. Did I mention that the magic parts during chargen will make NO FUCKING SENSE without having paged 150 pages ahead and reading the Magic chapter?
Gods & Goddesses
: Wraeththu still have religion but it's ENLIGHTENED RELIGION with an androgynous, hermaphroditic God.
Then there's like a dozen fucking pages about the INCREDIBLY DULL tribal wizard levels and castes. Skipping that because my patience with this pile of shit has gotten worn kind of thin. And then MAGIC RULES. Which inform us that we can completely skirt someone's resistance to being fucked over by magic by, for instance, making molten iron above their head rather than in their lungs. This also lists how we can completely break this thing, by again, instead of limiting us to a few handy spells, goes the "thermokinetics" route of saying: "You can effect X volume/weight." Even a beginning Air/Fire wizard can affect a cubic meter(of nerve gas or pure burning), Earth is a bit more limited with a maximum of a kilogram(so what can we do with a kilogram of refined uranium?) and water gets 1 liter of any given liquid(taking suggestions!). And that's at the VERY LOWEST levels of knowing anything about this stuff, we could easily start at twice as much as these, and after a while we get exponential gains(level 1 is 1, level 3 is 4, level 6 is 32 and level 10 is 512).
Plasmatic gets a single kiloJoule, Kinetic and Attraction get 1 km/h/kg(a tad wimpier than the others, though if we find a small enough object we can hurl it at bullet speeds or better), Temporal is in days, and Phase and Spirit don't get units(though Spirit is suggested as defined number of souls/minds affectable at once). Instead they're defined by Storyteller Handwavium. Oh and for the record this is how much effect we can have not at any one given time, but
every five seconds
. Oh and if we want to have a big effect all at once, we can basically do a DBZ-style power-up and just focus our ability until we're hammering away at a higher scale at once. So for instance if we just sit around and pour Agmara into a single effect for a while we can hurl a truck across the sky.
Sure, this eats up Agmara, but we're talking something like 2 or 3 Agmara(of our starting 45, up to 450 if we've chilled out for a while), for every liter/kilo/cubic meter/day/soul/kilojoule/kph we want to affect. Oh and we can apparently perform human/animal/Wraeththu sacrifices and chain up their souls as magic batteries if we want to break the rules even harder, and we don't even need WILLING sacrifices!
. Like just a given animal would be another 50 Agmara points, meaning say another 50 cubic meters of whatever gas we want. And the worst these unwilling victims can do is literally to hum stupid songs at us while we're tapping their energy.
Now, you might be wondering, what about the knockoff-Paradox effects? Well, it's like this, something as vulgar as(the book's actual example), shooting fire at someone from your fucking
incurs one point of "Probability." Up to 6 points or so won't really do any real harm, at worst we'll get -10 or -15 to one or two actions and be slightly unfortunately until then. Once that disadvantage actually incurs, we burn off a point of Probability instantly. But you know what? We can do better: As long as any magic we do is RITUAL, rather than spur-of-the-moment, it
never incurs any Probability
. So yeah, as long as we take a couple of hours to launch an artillery-like barrage of old cars at a nearby fortress with Kinetic and Earth power, we can do it with impunity. Bang off for a few drinks to chill out and recover Agmara, then show up, spend an hour making a car out of pure TNT and then hurl
at the enemy fort.
Anyone who's ever played oMage for even five minutes would have a field day breaking this shit in half.
So yeah, another thing they FUCKED UP INCREDIBLY. And you know what? That basically finishes Wraeththu. There's one last appendix I might add, basically a single pre-made adventure and GM'ing advice, but that is pending a read-through to trawl it for hilarity. If it's really fucking boring and just BAD but not bad enough to be funny, I might skip it in favour of getting directly to Birthright.
Thanks for putting up with this misery.
Stupid names for this chapter: Myth, Twitch, Blackrose