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Bad Jim

Above the Law at Gencon?

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So, Above the Law was available at GenCon, right?  Is there an embargo on any info from it?   I was hoping to find out a bit more particularly about the pursuits.

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Well, what do I want to know....?  

How’s the book overall, thumbs up?

What’s the full list of pursuits?  Particularly interested in the Enchanter.

Anything particularly interesting in there that we might not know about?

Appreciate any info or thoughts you can share really. A bit gutted I decided to wait for release.

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10 hours ago, Bad Jim said:

Well, what do I want to know....?  

How’s the book overall, thumbs up?

What’s the full list of pursuits?  Particularly interested in the Enchanter.

Anything particularly interesting in there that we might not know about?

Appreciate any info or thoughts you can share really. A bit gutted I decided to wait for release.

1) Haven't read much yet. Flipped through. Looks great as always. 

2) Bureaucrat, Commander, Gunner, Mage Wright, Marksman, Propagandist. Advanced pursuits= Executioner, Guild Lawyer, Mage Killer, Soulstone Aficionado, Witchling Handler. 

3) I am enjoying how the book breaks down the hierarchy, methodology and recruitment and training in the various divisions of the Guild. Also the history of the Guild is good in that it finally answers the questions of where the guild came from definitively. 

Haven't gotten much further than that. The new tarot is fun as well. You get a Vice card that you can swap out for any other flip on the Ram's Head tarot. It gives your character one of 6 vices (based on suit/joker) that shows how the guild is corrupt. If your character decides to up her standing in the guild, she has to give in to the corruption. At least that is my spin ;)

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Well to give a quick summary after reading through the majority of it *I have about 25% left of the fluff section*

On 8/15/2018 at 3:46 AM, Bad Jim said:

Well, what do I want to know....?  

How’s the book overall, thumbs up?

What’s the full list of pursuits?  Particularly interested in the Enchanter.

Anything particularly interesting in there that we might not know about?

Appreciate any info or thoughts you can share really. A bit gutted I decided to wait for release.

Overall the book is good, IT GIVES A TON of earth lore compared to what we have gotten before.  Lots of interesting things that could be used to have interesting backstory elements for characters or for the Fatemaster to pick away at for little nuggets they can put into their campaigns.  The gear section is just Melee and Range weapons, no other additions.  Melee section is a tad small, only 5, and I can see two of them not being used much.  There are 13 new range weapons though.  7 are Heavy Guns, 2 Long Arms, and 4 Thrown Weapons.  Of the 7 new Heavy Guns, two are 20 scrip and one is 15 scrip.  So people could potentially start with those if they have the right pursuit.

The two Long Arm options are a AG Netgun and Rifle Grenades.  Rifle Grenades are basically inserted into rifles and fired from the gun for an explosive shot.  Of the four thrown weapons, two are types of grenades for more explosive action.

Full list if Pursuits are thus; Basic Pursuits are Bureaucrat, Commander, Gunner, Magewright, Marksmen, and Propagandist.  There is only 6 so less than the other expansions but they told us fairly up front that there was going to be less when they were previewing them on Mondays or Fridays *cannot remember which days they were*.  They said that was partially because with 8 a book it was starting to make quite the list so they started to cut back a bit.  It does not hurt this book as much of the stuff to make Guild characters can be done with existing pursuits.  There is also only 5 Advance pursuits compared to the 6 in the other expansion books.  They are Executioner, Guild Lawyer, Mage Killer, Soulstone Aficionado, and Witchling Handler.  The Executioner, Guild Lawyer, and Witchling Handler of course are tied to working for the Guild, but Mage killer and Soulstone Aficionado can be more neutral occupations.

I will say right now I am a tad let down by the Marksmen.  The reason being is from the original description and discussion on the preview some of us were hoping it would not focus entirely on Long Arms and have more options for other weapons among their talents.  Only the 0 Step and one other are really of much use to non-Long Arm users.  That said the 0 Step will have most range specialists considering taking at least one step in Marksmen no matter what they use.  It gives you a (0) action that increases :ToS-Range: by +4" until your next activation.  So even thrown weapons and bows can profit from this action making it fairly strong.

I am actually kind of surprised by the magic sections.  There are more Magia then was expecting and a whole new Magic Theory.  It is The Eternal Dance, which is basically the Magical Theory of the Domandor De Cadavers.  When you use a spell or Manifested power this this theory you move a number of inches equal to your walk for every AP you spent on the spell.  It is considered a walk for purposes of disengaging and such.  If you fail to do the whole move or retrace your steps the spells TN is increased by +2.  So basically it lets you combine walk actions with your spells but you have to do that or it becomes harder to cast.

There are 15 new Magia, 3 for each Magical skill and 3 for Counter-spell.  Yes they created spells for the Counterspell skill, apparently this is a whole new set of Magia.  The Three magia for Counterspelling is Adaptation, Banish, and Nullify Magic.  Adaptation lets you become immune a Magia, Elemental Immuto, and magical effects after being hit by it once for 2 rounds.  Real useful if the character is stuck with either the same spell or element for their offense.  Banish removes a summoned creature from existence, regardless of how long of duration it has left.  Also it does not trigger any demise type effects like gamin blowing up.  Nullify Magic is a powerful anti magic tool; hit someone with it and they lose any suits associated with their magic skills for a round and any attempts to cast spells is at :-flip:-flip.  Get some extended duration immuto on that and you can really hurt magic users.  Players will have a hard time getting around the Double Negatives outside of using Soulstones and Focus and Fatemaster NPC will have a hard time casting without built in Suits as they cannot cheat *they would have to go off the Defense flip of the player which the player is technically at :+flip:+flip to resist so should not have a hard time avoiding that suit*.  Only three new Immutos.

The critter section in the back as you can imagine focus mostly on Guild associated characters though their is a surprisingly number of undead entries such as bone piles and undead outlaws.  Overall useful for anyone mixing any Guild associated things with their campaign as it is a wide spread with some interesting elements mixed in.  Also for the potential future Guild Models they can made as some have not shown up in Malifaux yet.

I will do a more detailed break down for the Pursuits later.

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Thanks, all sounds interesting. Assumed they’d need some cheaper heavy guns with the new pursuit.

magewright is the new pursuit I’m most interested in though.

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15 hours ago, Bad Jim said:

Thanks, all sounds interesting. Assumed they’d need some cheaper heavy guns with the new pursuit.

magewright is the new pursuit I’m most interested in though.

Magewrights are kind of like Dabblers and Graverobbers in that they start with a Grimoire. Theirs contain one enchanting magia, one of another type, and three immutos. Also like the Dabbler and Graverobber they have access to Mastered Immuto and Mastered Magia as options during their steps. So a lot of their options are either a new talent or either Mastered Immuto or Mastered Magia.

There 0 Step talent is Bolster. When they are casting a spell or manifest power that affects one or more people they can discard a card to pick one of those characters and an aspect to give the target +1 to the aspect *to a max of +3*, for the duration of the spell or power. If the spell does not have a duration then the bonus lasts till the start of the caster’s next turn.

Its next talent is Minor Enchantment which is a (0) tactical action. It lets you discard a card to target a weapon within one yard and nominate an Elemental Immuto you have access to. If the card was a 11+ it can be any immuto *well technically any elemental immuto*. Until the start of the caster’s next turn whenever the weapon deals damage the target also suffers one instant of the Elemental Immuto. So basically you are going to want to have access to at least one Elemental Immuto for the most part.

Transmutive Comprehension is like the similar Step 3 for Dabbler and Graverobber. It gives the character a Ram to their Enchanting Skill. I don’t see many people skipping this one for the Master Magia which is the other choice unless they somehow already have a Ram for some reason.

Enchant Item is going to be a kind of nasty talent. It is the one that lets you when you cast a spell infuse it into an item within one yard. It adds +2 to the TN but should you succeed the spell does not immediately go off. Only spells that do damage can be put into weapons but when you hit you may discharge the spell. The NASTY part is the target may not attempt to resist. It then notes that if you are using a projectile weapon you have to enchant a round, not the gun itself unless you are using it as a club, for this. So I imagine you got to be very sure your bullet is going to hit or you might waste it.

For non weapon items the spells are ones that do damage via a pulse, those that affect or summon another character, or that affect the caster. You can discharge the spell as a (1) AP action. At which part the character becomes the target of the spell *or center of the pulse for damage*. If the spell can be resisted it has the same acting value as if it had been cast by the character.

Once discharged the spell is gone. They also never produce Margins of Success and any damage flips from them are at a negative. Also items can only be enchanted with one spell at a time. A character can sustain a number equal to their cunning plus half their ranks in the pursuit *Rounded Down* to a minimum of 1. Exceed the limit and you choose one of the infused spells to fizzle. Otherwise stored spells last indefinitely till used or dispelled.

Spontaneous Animation gives you a trigger on your Enchanting when you cast casting spells. It is a double ram trigger that turns a scrap pile within 3” of the target into a Clockwork Trap subordinate. It lasts to the end of the scene and you can order up to your cunning in traps for a (1) action.

Next is Split Enchantment is a nasty one. It lets the character when they cast an enchanting spell pick a willing target within 3” to gain the full effects of the spell as well. Basically it lets you buff two people with a single spell *as I doubt you will debuff allies*.

The Step 10 talent is called Layer Upon Layer. Kind if like Split Enchantment it lets the caster have one spell hit multiple people. When you cast an Enchanting spell you can discard a card to generate a pulse on the target. Every legal target in the pulse is affected. The pulse’s size is based on the value of the card dropped. Weak cards give you a 2” pulse, Moderate a 4”, and Severe a 6”. Potential great party buff or possible a huge enemy Debuff zone.

 

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On 8/20/2018 at 7:45 AM, yool1981 said:

Thx for the info !

Do we get more information about the Death Marshalls (origin, magic, secrets) as well as the Elite Division?

We get more information about the marshals but not really anything extra on them in regards to origins, magic, or secrets.  We do know that apparently part of her deal with the former Governor General for joining up, Lady Justice had her records and history erased.  Most of the information we get is how they recruit, what their HQ is like, and how they operate.  With the Elite Division we do get some history on how they evolved into what they currently are, a Division that only exists as rumors and in the shadow.  No real official Elite Division exists, it is mostly Shadow Op stuff and they have hidden members in the other divisions.

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19 hours ago, Qualvanda said:

One thing I've been wondering ever since I first heard it is:

How does the Bureaucrats favor-system work? 

There are a few minor examples of this across several talents but the Big one for calling in favors is the Step 1 Talent called Web of Allies.  This lets you gain an “Ally” *subject to Fatemaster approval*, that the character can call upon once per session for aid. This means a Bureaucracy Challenge with the TN based on what you are asking your Ally to do for you. Obviously if it is something easy for the Ally the TN is fairly low but if it is risky or have considerable backlash it can get up to a TN18. Also each time you get a General Talent you can gain another “Ally” instead. What lets it grow is that any time you can take a General Talent you can instead add another Ally.  As you determine what each Ally is when you acquire them you can end up with quite the collection.  It points out they can even be characters you encountered in a session.

There are also other references to using your means to getting stuff done, like the Step 0 letting you replace certain skill challenges with Bureaucracy such as Barter, and using your network to handle it.  Or another lets you basically get away with a crime once per session with nothing more than some scandalous rumors for a few weeks.

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5 hours ago, EnternalVoid said:

Or another lets you basically get away with a crime once per session with nothing more than some scandalous rumors for a few weeks.

They sound amazing! I must play one! 😮

On 8/20/2018 at 7:26 AM, EnternalVoid said:

I am actually kind of surprised by the magic sections.  There are more Magia then was expecting and a whole new Magic Theory.  It is The Eternal Dance, which is basically the Magical Theory of the Domandor De Cadavers.  When you use a spell or Manifested power this this theory you move a number of inches equal to your walk for every AP you spent on the spell.  It is considered a walk for purposes of disengaging and such.  If you fail to do the whole move or retrace your steps the spells TN is increased by +2.  So basically it lets you combine walk actions with your spells but you have to do that or it becomes harder to cast.

I read this, and in my upcoming campaign, one of my players is a performer who wants to join Collette, and this seems like a fitting theory for her. 

Is there any drawback for this, or is the theory just as stupidly op as I think it is?

I mean moving and casting spells at the same time seems really strong. 

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10 hours ago, Qualvanda said:

They sound amazing! I must play one! 😮

I read this, and in my upcoming campaign, one of my players is a performer who wants to join Collette, and this seems like a fitting theory for her. 

Is there any drawback for this, or is the theory just as stupidly op as I think it is?

I mean moving and casting spells at the same time seems really strong. 

If you can’t move, you can’t cast. So if you’re tied up or confined to a small space, casting will become next to impossible.

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19 hours ago, Qualvanda said:

They sound amazing! I must play one! 😮

I read this, and in my upcoming campaign, one of my players is a performer who wants to join Collette, and this seems like a fitting theory for her. 

Is there any drawback for this, or is the theory just as stupidly op as I think it is?

I mean moving and casting spells at the same time seems really strong. 

Well the magic theory is not super wide spread, it mentions in the description that it largely is found in spain, the Catalans area specifically.  So likely the vast majority of those that practice the theory are of Spanish origins or learned it from a Spanish spellcaster.

As for drawbacks it really depends.  Yes it lets you double dip on AP, but it is spell casting and movement.  Also as mentioned if you don't move your full distance or retract your steps, the TN of the spell is increased by +2.  So really cannot stand in a crowd and use your magic without drawing attention to yourself.  Also using it in a confined space like a passenger train, the sewers, or even a small room will prove difficult to not get the penalty.  And if you think about it, all the other Theories have some pretty nice bonuses too.  It is all about knowing what fits your character and what speaks to the player.

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A deeper write up of the Bureaucrat

Bureaucrat is a largely Social based pursuit that uses the Bureaucracy Skill a lot. Their starting equipment is a “Favor” owed by a powerful fatemaster character. It says to discuss with the Fatemaster as to the identity of this individual. This Favor can be called on once for something pretty large. Examples it gives is having criminal records of the character and their associates expunged or temporary access to a powerful weapon. But once used it is gone.

Its Step 0 Talent lets the player discard a card when making a Bewitch, Intimidate, or Barter challenge to use Bureaucracy instead. If using it for Bartering you need time to contact your people to uphold your end of any deal but basically it means having favors done perhaps in leau of paying the full price.

The next Talent you get is Web of Allies. This lets you gain an “Ally” *subject to Fatemaster approval*, that the character can call upon once per session for aid. This means a Bureaucracy Challenge with the TN based on what you are asking your Ally to do for you. Obviously if it is something easy for the Ally the TN is quite low but if it is risky or have considerable backlash it can get up to a TN18. Also each time you get a General Talent you can gain another “Ally” isntead. So this is the talent that can get a Bureacrat its many resources it can call on.

The next step gives you a choice of two talents. The first is Long Winded Speech and the second is Do you Know Who I Am?. The Speech is similar to other pursuit talents we have seen in that it makes the character stand out but Notice tests for noticing other characters are at a negative. Also if your speech goes at least 5 minutes and you finish you can make a Leadership test to get a positive to social challenges for those that listened, with a margin you can adjust their opinions by one degree. Do you Know Who I Am? gives you an manifiested power that goes off Intimidation and Tenacity. It gives the target till end of Dramatic time a negative to attacks against the character. It requires a Ram and has a Ram Mask trigger to make them slow and dazed as well.

Next is Information Network and Favors Owed. Information Network basically lets you take a Bureaucracy test to gather information in the area about a person, the time it takes based on the size of the settlement you are in. Favored Owed lets you add your Charm to your Web of Allies Bureaucracy test. It also lets you call on your allies more but they require additional margins of success for each time you called on that one.

Next two is Administrative Initiative and Plausible Deniability. Administrative Initiative lets you discard a card at the beginning of Dramatic Time and manipulate a number of characters’, based on the value of the card, initiatives. Either lower or raising it by your Bureaucracy rank. Plausible Deniability lets you once per Session discard a card to avoid any sort of repercussions of being accursed of a crime save for some scandalous rumors for a few weeks.

Bureaucratic Meddling and The System is Rigged are the next two talents. Meddling lets you at the start of your turn in Dramatic time look at the top card of a character’s twist deck. Then they can either discard it or return it to the top of that deck. The System is Rigged lets you treat all Ram and Mask cards that are flipped, cheated, or revealed as if they had both suits.

The last Talent is “Synergy”. Whenever a friendly model in 10 yards Cheat Fate, another character in range may draw a card after resolving the action. Ya this one pretty much means when one player cheats fate another one gets to draw a card, effectively making it nearly impossible to run players out of cards unless they discard them for things.

 

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10 hours ago, EnternalVoid said:

As for drawbacks it really depends.  Yes it lets you double dip on AP, but it is spell casting and movement.  Also as mentioned if you don't move your full distance or retract your steps, the TN of the spell is increased by +2.  So really cannot stand in a crowd and use your magic without drawing attention to yourself.  Also using it in a confined space like a passenger train, the sewers, or even a small room will prove difficult to not get the penalty.  And if you think about it, all the other Theories have some pretty nice bonuses too.  It is all about knowing what fits your character and what speaks to the player.

True, it just seemed really strong at first :P

 

10 hours ago, EnternalVoid said:

Do you Know Who I Am? gives you an manifiested power that goes off Intimidation and Tenacity. It gives the target till end of Dramatic time a negative to attacks against the character. It requires a Ram and has a Ram Mask trigger to make them slow and dazed as well.

[...]

Next two is Administrative Initiative and Plausible Deniability. Administrative Initiative lets you discard a card at the beginning of Dramatic Time and manipulate a number of characters’, based on the value of the card, initiatives. Either lower or raising it by your Bureaucracy rank. Plausible Deniability lets you once per Session discard a card to avoid any sort of repercussions of being accursed of a crime save for some scandalous rumors for a few weeks.

Bureaucratic Meddling and The System is Rigged are the next two talents. Meddling lets you at the start of your turn in Dramatic time look at the top card of a character’s twist deck. Then they can either discard it or return it to the top of that deck. The System is Rigged lets you treat all Ram and Mask cards that are flipped, cheated, or revealed as if they had both suits.

The last Talent is “Synergy”. Whenever a friendly model in 10 yards Cheat Fate, another character in range may draw a card after resolving the action. Ya this one pretty much means when one player cheats fate another one gets to draw a card, effectively making it nearly impossible to run players out of cards unless they discard them for things.

 

This seems just too fun, I really need to play one next time I get the chance.

Do you think my players mind if I abort the campaign I'm holding and say "Screw you, I wanna play this instead!"? xD

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