September 01, 2011

Link Round-Up: Repairer Reviewed, Santeria Smear, Detective Dee

The Repairer of Reputations scores a gratifying review at RPGnet.

Mirror appliques on mayoral campaign signs prompt Santeria smear.

Tsui Hark's delirious return to wuxia form, Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame, starts its limited US theatrical run tomorrow. One of my faves from last year's TIFF. Reindeer fu!

Illustrations and Expectations, or the Four-Gun Kch-Thk

In what might be our first Ashen Stars FAQ, I've been asked if Jerome Huguenin's cool image of a kch-thk warrior means that player characters of his locust-like species get four Shooting attacks per round. As the questioner pointed out, the illo will have his players making an impassioned case for it.

The reality is that Jerome came up with a great idea for an illustration independent of a specific crunchy bit in the rules text. Getting a roleplaying game out the door and into your hands is a long enough process without a stage where we look at the art and see if we want to rebalance character abilities based on what it seems to promise players. The ever-hungry kch-thk already come with a nifty array of unique schticks, not the least of which is being able to migrate their discarnate identities into new, fast-growing larval forms when they get killed. The idea of immediately adding yet another bit of defining crunch without testing for balance fails the caution test.

For the moment, let's say that some kch-thk fire four-handed, but that this is a style move. Holding four weapons is easier than coordinating them, even if the shooter sports a set of compound eyes. In the end the four-handers are no more effective than any highly-trained marksman carefully firing a single gun.

The four-handed stance might also show us what it looks like when kch-thk crew members make Intimidation spends. Sure, maybe their accuracy leaves something to be desired. It's still a hell of a way to bust into a room.
(Or he might just be holding four special scanning devices. But that would be too much of a buzzkill, wouldn’t it?)