Alternative games

Does anyone know about this?

They seem to do lots of source books but I don’t want to spend cash on something that looks shiny but has nothing new to offer for fluff or background.

Steve

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4 thoughts on “Alternative games

  1. Here’s the review I read about it a while ago on Bolter & Chainsword:

    “I quite like it. It doesn’t exactly go into anything new, but it does have a rather creepy cult on the planet of Melancholia similar to the Tzimisce, filled with flesh-shapers, and a much more in-depth description of Slaanesh’s realm. Archetypes are the Noise Marine, Dark Apostle, Pirate Prince (human warlord who specialises in either close or ranged combat, or in his piloting, and loves showing off), and the Flesh Shaper of Melancholia (a cultist who, while not a psyker themselves, have the ability to reshape their own flesh, and that of their Sculpulites).
    The new gear is fairly cool, bringing in stuff like more (non-Legion) sonic weapons, a man-portable Ectoplasma cannon, the thunderhammer, Needle of Desire, Lash of Torment, and of course many new drugs (including specially cooked progenoid glands). Social combat seems interesting, although I’ve never played before, so I’m not the best judge of how the rules are written.
    You’ve got expanded rules for Minions, including Horde Minions (for everyone who ever wanted their own Cult), and Superior Minions (a Greater Minion that you can spend exp on to improve). Nothing too crazy here.
    No new psychic powers, but they did introduce Curses, essentially Rituals that anyone can perform, assuming they know the words, but that require a very personal link to the target. No using them to blind the random guy you just met, but rather to break the mind of your most hated rival. A few new rituals as well (including the ritual of flesh-shaping, and a ritual to summon the weakest daemons like Furies).

    The thing I absolutely love though are the Glorifying Acts, special deeds that raise you up in the eyes of the Gods. Each God gets 6, ranging from relatively simple (kill 8 people, put their skulls on a chain and wear it, for Khorne), to quite in-depth (create at least two serial killers along the lines of the killer in Se7en, killing others with excess, for Slaanesh), and sometimes at the expense of the group (charge headlong at the enemy, bellowing as loudly as possible, with extra “points” if it screws up a detailed plan of the group, for Khorne, as if it could be anybody else). Each God has their own theme to them, with Khorne focussing on killing (duh), Tzeentch on misdirection/Warp, Nurgle on creating widespread panic/trouble, and Slaanesh on domination.

    The planets discuss Contrition and its many daemons, the Grand Game and daemon engines (including the Subjugator!) of Ghibelline, the jungles (and Dark Eldar) of Malignia, the eternal war of Mammon, the flesh-cults on Melancholia, the twisting Gates of Moment, the Harlequin guardians of the Forbidden Portal, and the Pirate Princes of the Ragged Helix.

    The Adventure revolves around proving just how Slaaneshi you can be to one of the most powerful Pirate Princes.”

    “The Glorifying Acts give varying amounts of Corruption Points and Infamy, depending on which act is performed (2 CP, 1 Inf for creating the Tail of Skulls above, 2 CP 3 Inf for No Plan Should Survive the Enemy), and in a few cases, how well the act was performed (the Desire to Kill act for Slaanesh, where you create a cult of Se7en-style killers, gives a flat rate of 2 CP, but 1 Inf for each assassin created).

    The Noise Marine is a very shooty-style Character, with most Talents being related to ranged combat, and with skills reflecting their corruption and screwed up voices (Forbidden Lore Daemonology or Heresy, Intimidate etc). Their abilities are Intoxicating Uproar, which increases their hearing, and causes them to go beserk in large-scale combats, getting bonuses for each other active combatant, but are reluctant to leave combat, and the Dread Wail, where they can spend Infamy to either tighten the focus of their Sonic Weapons, increasing its capabilities, or widen it, to cause psychological damage to all nearby opponents.

    There aren’t many new Rituals, mostly being the new Curses. Rituals are the Ritual of Loathing (summon a group of Furies, Charnel Daemons or Nether Swarms), and the Rite of Fleshmoulding (use the Warp to magically steal the flesh of “donors” to reshape that of a chosen subject, killing the donors, and granting the subject abilities representing their new form). The only God-specific things it has in this section is the Curse “Words of Power”, a Curse which you can tailor the effect depending on which Word you use, and each God has their own unique Word, like Bleed, for Khorne, which increases the chance for Blood Loss in the target, or Benumb, for Slaanesh, which reduces their Agility and Perception.

    Daemon Weapons are the Lash of Torment, the Needle of Desire, one option for the Accursed Crozius, and Deii’Sh’Thuhl, the Whispering Blade.

    I’d almost forgotten, but the book also includes rules for the Sacred Numbers, which work along the lines of “if a character has (insert Sacred Number here) more (insert God here)-related advances than any other type, they get X bonus”, like Tzeentch getting more Willpower to resist psychic powers, Khorne getting more Weapon Skill when hitting opponents multiple times, etc. You can also gain the Dark Patronage of a Daemon.”

    And from another poster:

    “In my humble opinion, it’s a superb tome; vastly, vastly superior in terms of both quality and general ethos than the books that GW itself are currently producing. The background material is vastly expanded and also far closer to the knuckle than GW’s products, delving much deeper into the insane excesses of Slaanesh and how they can manifest. The artwork is also generally superb; the image of what appears to be some sort of noble man being simultaneously murdered and seduced by a daemonette with an expression of the most grotesque ecstasy on his face is particularly striking.

    The book also demonstrates how certain aspects of the 40K background actually suit an RPG far more comfortably than a war game. Whereas Khorne’s aspects are represented quite broadly within the constraints of your average game of 40K, Slaanesh, who primarily represents excess in all things; inventive and inspired perversity; conscious and deliberate transgression beyond proscribed and imposed parameters, undoubtedly has more breadth and room to be explored in the role playing format. Of particular note are certain additions to the standard game that particularly suit subtle and guileful characters, such as seductions, expanded minion rules and a kind of combat via character interaction; the use of speech and dialogue to pursue ones ends and seduce characters to your cause.

    The new character archetypes are all quite fun; I’m particularly interested in playing as a pirate prince character, but it’s the worlds and cultures dedicated to Slaanesh that really pique my interest: like the previous tomes, the book goes out of its way to detail the nature of Slaanesh and how his/her aspects manifest and are expressed. The worlds and cultures explored are not universally places of daemonic insanity, but actual, functioning cultures dedicated to the Prince of Perversion, comparable in many respects to any “civilisation” within the Imperium of Man.

    As for the custom scenario provided in the back of the book, it is potentially the most Slaaneshi thing I’ve ever seen expressed in a licensed product: down playing combat, the scenario involves proving your worth to Pseudanor, Pirate Prince of the Ragged Helix. In order to do so, the players must master six particular “sins” over which Pseudanor and his lackeys preside. How they do so is left up to their own imaginations, but I imagine it can get pretty damn graphic and ultimately obscene given the right band of players.

    Easily my favourite of the tomes thus far. Cannot wait to see what is done with the next book. “

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