[Play by Post] Better Angels - No Soul Left Behind


#230

Maybe. All I am saying is that it would have taken up far too much space to cover every conceivable possibility, so perhaps they just focused on the most likely/common.

Regardless, this should have been addressed somewhere, in some form, but the rules are sloppy. They have a stream of consciousness feel to them. This quote (which supports your view) would have been a perfect spot to discuss this:

“In the game you frequently use a Sinister Tactic with a Virtuous Strategy or vice versa. Greed is usually Cunning, but sometimes it’s Patient; and you can be Sly with your Courage by fighting from a distance. See Chapter Four for details.”


#231

It’s not that thick a book. They could have covered other combos in maybe another 10-15 pages. I don’t see that as being a big issue. Especially after they published No Soul Left Behind which is about twice as long. I agree that it should have been addressed, mind you.


#232

Well, I decided to ask de designer (via email).

This is what he said:

So I guess that settles it :) . Related strategies and tactics except for very exceptional stuff (if ever).


#233

Makes sense.


#234

Cool. I was thinking of asking Stolze myself (he’s pretty approachable, in my experience) but hadn’t gotten around to it. And that does make sense. :)


#235

Brad Stevens

Cunning 2 / Patient 2*
Greed 1, Generosity 2
Espionage 0, Knowledge 0

Sly 0 / Open 4
Cruelty 3, Courage 3
Cowardice 0, Endurance 3

Devious 3 / Insightful 1
Corruption 3, Nurture 0
Deceit 3, Honesty 0

Aspects

Flame-Wreathed (Devious)

When you turn this on, you’re covered in fire. That’s simple enough, isn’t it? You can describe the flames as you wish—guttering orange flickers, bright green jets, surging tendrils of gusting red—it all works the same way. Anything you hit gets hurt, and anyone dumb enough to hit you gets hurt. The only exception is other people who are Flame-Wreathed, or people who have some kind of fire immunity, but how often are you going to brawl someone like that?

Any time anyone hits you with a close attack, he slides a point of Courage away, except as described above. When you make hand-to-hand attacks, you can add your Devious to your Open Cruelty pool. If this produces a pool of more than ten dice, you are objectively awesome. Roll the engorged pool and enjoy your guaranteed success.

Note that the pool increase from being Flame-Wreathed is not a surprise bonus, a weapon bonus or any other kind of bonus. Effects that remove those sorts of bonuses do nothing against Flame-Wreathed.

Carapace (Sly)

This looks like Armor (see page 73 for its howling faces and swirling negative energy voids) but functions differently. The two powers are quite complementary, so if you want to really, really soak up punishment like nobody’s business, Armor + Carapace is the way to go. Just stay clear on which hideous disfgurement comes from the power (suppurating pustules? gnarled scales?) and which comes from the Aspect (parasitic demon fetuses that jump out of enlarged pores to martyr themselves on incoming bullets? blizzard of wind and hail obscuring you and forcing back attackers?).

When your Carapace is active, every physical attack against you has its Height reduced by a number equal to your Sly. If Height is reduced to zero or less, the attack misses.

Powers

That Hideous Strength (Cruelty)

Super-strength is simple to understand. You can lift, crush and uproot this, that and the other thing. But in an RPG, it can be hard to implement, especially if you want to be accurate about your physics. Can someone pick up a semi-trailer by the back axle without it snapping in half? If someone holds a main battle tank over his head, shouldn’t his feet get poked into the ground like fence posts?

Better Angels is not focused on Newtonian physics. Rules are provided for bludgeoning people with your bone-breaking thews. Any other feat of strength—pulling up trees, flipping over cars, throwing garbage dumpsters through cathedrals, punching out skyscrapers—is pitched to the GM’s judgment, within some simple guidelines.

Cruelty 1:
Combat Rules: +1 weapon bonus
Without a Roll, You Can: break handcuffs, tear phone books, bend steel bars.
With a Rolled Set, You Can: lift a car over your head, kick through a steel door.

Cruelty 2-3:
Combat Rules: +2 weapon bonus
Without a Roll, You Can: tear a half-inch steel plate, uproot a parking meter.
With a Rolled Set, You Can: jump through a brick wall, break a foot-thick living tree in half.

Cruelty 4-5:
Combat Rules: +3 weapon bonus
Without a Roll, You Can: tip a locomotive engine onto its side, throw a car engine a city block.
With a Rolled Set, You Can: collapse one corner of a skyscraper with your bare hands.

Those weapon bonuses come into play whenever you punch someone or throw something at him. If you’re hitting someone with an object that would normally give a +1 weapon bonus or more, your weapon bonus rises by a single point until it maxes out at +3. Note that it doesn’t matter whether you’re throwing a full beer keg at someone or a single peach pit. We just assume the beer keg is slower and easier to dodge, while that peach pit can do some hellish damage at high speed.

[details=Body Control]Body Control (Deceit)

With this power, people do as they are told. It doesn’t change people’s emotions or opinions or decisions, but it does very effectively hijack control of their bodies. You can force them into any perverse or dangerous actions that you desire. The power doesn’t make people forget or misperceive or misremember things, though. It’s only for concrete movements.

To use Body Control, you need to make eye contact and issue a command. (It’s especially fun if you preface this, or follow it with either “My will is stronger than yours! You must obey!” or just “Sleeeep!”) The target doesn’t have to understand the order, but he does have to hear it, so you can use any language you want. You can only target one person at a time.

Roll Devious Deceit. Your Height determines how many words long your command can be. The GM should interpret it in the most straightforward and obvious way. Characters can choose to defy a command, doing nothing instead. Doing so costs a point of Nurture. The Nurture point vanishes, it does not slide. The point comes from Insightful if Nurture is at zero. Characters who have run out of both Nurture and Insightful can still disobey, but doing so leaves them unable to act for the remainder of the scene. Commands that would take more than one scene to complete are begun but are abandoned when the scene ends.
[/details]

Relevant rules posted for future reference
Note: The Evil Eye replaced by Body Control after quick foruming


#236

Remind me not to piss you off…


#237

I figured we needed some muscle. :P


#238

Yeah, we totally did. I just hope you have it covered, because if anything can outmuscle you, the rest of us are in for a world of hurt.


#239

You’re going to love angels. :)


#240

Yeaahhhhhh, I didn’t want to make Mr. Guided lose confidence, but we are all definitely in for a world of hurt. :D


#241

No one is waiting on me, right? I think I’m waiting on Craig for demon stuff for Brad, and waiting on Marcus for step two on Jose, so I can demon that kid. Otherwise I think I’m good.


#242

Sounds right to me.


#243

Any news from anyone we’re waiting on? I’m super stoked to get going on this demon stuff. :)


#244

I’ll be posting both Jose’s stuff and my demon tomorrow.


#245

Okay. We still need step four for everyone but Thomas Albertson, but Jose’s the only one that doesn’t have step two, so basically everyone but arrendek could be rounding out their Screwtapees. :)


#246

Thanks, guys!


#247

Huh, I missed that you had done yours. Will screwtape you… right now!


#248

Had considered An Utmost Foulness, but figured carapice was good for our default tank.

And enjoy your stern looks having some more… force.


#249

Ha, after what you wrote about the character I really expected you to go with Body Control. “Human scum, time to obey the law!” sorts of situations.

[details=Body Control]Body Control (Deceit)
With this power, people do as they are told. It doesn’t change people’s emotions or opinions or decisions, but it does very effectively hijack control of their bodies. You can force them into any perverse or dangerous actions that you desire. The power doesn’t make people forget or misperceive or misremember things, though. It’s only for concrete movements.

To use Body Control, you need to make eye contact and issue a command. (It’s especially fun if you preface this, or follow it with either “My will is stronger than yours! You must obey!” or just “Sleeeep!”) The target doesn’t have to understand the order, but he does have to hear it, so you can use any language you want. You can only target one person at a time.

Roll Devious Deceit. Your Height determines how many words long your command can be. The GM should interpret it in the most straightforward and obvious way. Characters can choose to defy a command, doing nothing instead. Doing so costs a point of Nurture. The Nurture point vanishes, it does not slide. The point comes from Insightful if Nurture is at zero. Characters who have run out of both Nurture and Insightful can still disobey, but doing so leaves them unable to act for the remainder of the scene. Commands that would take more than one scene to complete are begun but are abandoned when the scene ends.[/details]

Also, what’s the demon’s name?