Friday, September 30, 2016

Kirin, the Koi Goddess, the Light Magister of Tea, Immigration, Education, Etiquette, Koi Fish and Rain

The Chinese Unicorn, the k’i-lin, is one of the four animals of good omen; 
the others are the dragon, the phoenix, and the tortoise. 
The Unicorn is foremost of all the 360 creatures that live on land... 
Its appearance foretells the birth of an upright ruler. 
To wound the Chinese Unicorn or to come across its dead body is unlucky. 
The span of this animal’s natural life is a thousand years. 
-Jorge Luis Borges, the Book of Imaginary Beings

No Imperator is more beloved of Vancouver (and perhaps the world) than the beautiful Koi Goddess, Kirin. She is your dreams made flesh. She descended from her Island that Isn’t, the Mountain of Dreams, Peng Lai, and brought with her the promise of a better life. Her passage makes turns peasants into kings. A wish in one of her ponds can give you the most loving of wives. Invoking her name can substantially improve your efforts to find the cure to dangerous diseases. She has been worshiped throughout the world in a thousand small cults, by those who would be kings, or who would fall in love, or simply those who wanted a better life. Even so, the goddess of Rain struggles with a tragic existence. Peng Lai has been poisoned and cracked by saboteurs unseen, and now her precious Abigail Ng has been taken from her. Torment is often visited upon her, and she makes no secret that she believes this comes from her opposition to many of Lord Entropy’s Laws:
  • The Windflower Law: We must all learn to love
  • The Chestnut Law: We must learn to forgive
  • The Rule of Man: Humanity deserves our respect.
  • The Rule of War: Why must we make war on the Excrucians? Has none tried to understand their grievance?
  • The Crowfoot Law: Makes us all complicit in Entropy’s tyranny.
  • The Code for Humanity: Let humanity be as they would be.
Thus far, she merely voices her objections, but she has begun to grumble that Lord Entropy seeks to destroy her.

She has three powers.
  • Abigail Ng, the Power of Tea, who was always destined to be Kirin’s power, who brought solace to the the tormented Koi Goddess. She’s taking Abigail’s death pretty hard.
  • Bob, the Power of Immigration, a Zeta Reticulan who has forged a pact with Kirin to evacuate doomed humans from this world and resettle them elsewhere. In exchange, she allows him to smuggle aliens onto Earth.
  • Deirdre Brooks, PhD and the Power of Education, a Bodhisattva who transcended both life and academics to become Kirin’s most potent power.

Her Flowers are the Lotus (the Key of the Descending Angel) and the Star of Bethlehem (the Key of Something, Changed Forever)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

My feelings on GURPS Dungeon Fantasy

You've probably heard about the DF kickstarter already from better blogs.  I've been silent on it, mostly because I've been very busy with life (I actually had a few half-finished blog posts on it that I just couldn't get worked out).  I'll also confess to not backing the kickstarter at all, but to be fair, I've never backed a kickstarter (I lack a credit card).  That said, I did make a point of buying a GURPS book once I heard that funds from that would go to the kickstarter (I picked up a digital copy of GURPS Religion, which I already had a hard copy of.  I'll make use of it in Psi-Wars iteration 5 and 6).  But since Douglas Cole is going to make a giant pull of every GURPS blog post, I wanted this sitting at the top of mine.

Starfighter Tactics

Spaceships 4 already includes several maneuvers, which encourages starfighter pilots to hav their own unique approach to combat.  We can expand this out further, including techniques for gunnery and torpedos and tactics to create complete schools for starfighter pilots to follow!

As with military combat tactics, I don't recommend treating these as complete martial arts (though if I were, I'd make them work like gun-based martial arts, in that gaining style familiarity gives you cross-specialization with all appropriate starfighters).  Instead, use this as inspiration for creating standard/simple mook pilots, and to expand the Fighter Ace template.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Psionic Martial Arts

Pyramid #3-69 contains one of Christoper Rice's articles, Mind and Body, which details 3 psionic martial arts.  Those could certainly fit into Psi-Wars without much trouble.  We'd already looked at them briefly when analyzing existing GURPS martial arts.  Now, we can take a look at how those might actually play out in the form of signature moves.  As usual, these signature moves are not exhaustive.

We cannot use the Way of the Cerulean Blade, but we can cannibalize it for a new style.

These are not Psionic Styles.  That is, they are not studies of ways to be psionic, but instead, they are a study of ways to use psionics in combat. This does blend with studies of psionics themselves, but you'll have to wait until next week before we can look at psionic styles directly.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Unarmed Styles: Fancy Techniques

Martial Arts exist for more than just pure practicality.  They can express culture and beauty and, in a cinematic setting, those beautiful styles might exhibit profound and subtle power.  The following techniques generally focus more on style than on substance, though they still have some merits.

I've favored grappling techniques over striking techniques, because effective striking techniques against characters with DR 20-100 is very impractical.  Allow Breaking Blow to apply to characters in armor.  If you want to include a proper cinematic striking style, I recomment Wushu (the premier movie martial art), Wing Chun or Shaolin kung fu.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Unarmed Styles: Practical Techniques

Unarmed techniques often represent a tactic of last resort. Every weapon presented thus far does more damage and has far superior penetration to fists.  The only real advantages that unarmed techniques have is that they offer the best stealth, that they allow superior grappling, and that they cannot be taken from you.  They also offer a unique avenue of attack, given the presence of unarmed etiquette, and mastery of unarmed techniques grants a character both access to this avenue and defense from that avenue of attack.

The following styles focus on pragmatic unarmed martial arts, techniques that focus foremost on survival, stealth or grappling tactics without fancy flourishes.  Nearly any unarmed style will work in Psi-Wars, as nothing substantially has changed from TL 8 to TL 11 when it comes to purely unarmed techniques.

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Nemesis System

The Nemesis System

Properties of the Nemesis System

  • The Final Law: All Things End
  • The Law of Laws: Laws have physical weight, and must be followed.
  • The Law of the Black Sun: Only the truth may be spoken under the gaze of the black sun.

The Shape of the Nemesis System

The sun has a sinister twin, the Black Sun, the Occulted Star, which orbits at the rim of the Solar System. The Black Sun, also called Nemesis or the "Apocalypse Clock", travels on an elliptical, and its pertubation can send asteroids and comets cascading down upon the inner solar system. Nemesis, thus, determines the end of the world.

The detritus of slain worlds circles the yawning mouth of Nemesis, and the bones of dead civilizations decorate these free-floating boulders and world-fragments. Upon these, Azrael resides, gazing upon her Black Sun and waiting to be called to End All Things.

The Nemesis System houses
  • the Crossroads of Worlds
  • the Library of Truth
  • the Gaming Underworld
  • the Tomb of Azrael

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