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Street Legends supplemental review

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CanRay

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« Reply #15 on: (19:11:29/01-06-12) »
The flipside is that Bull and his team just did LSD with Harley while in the NAN, and not every got through the trip intact.  :P
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Mirikon

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« Reply #16 on: (19:13:16/01-06-12) »
Because the books are written from a runner's point of view, why would there be more reports of Harlequin doing stuff like that? If there were any survivors, there are any number of reasons why they might not talk about it much, including the whole 'Exposure to Horrors may cause insanity' thing. And there just may have been no survivors. And we all know how talkative the immortal elves are about their secrets. Frosty is the closest thing to an informant we have on them, and you can see how little she speaks about them. These are people who spent the entire downtime between the Fourth and Sixth worlds hiding, plotting, and planning.
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« Reply #17 on: (19:26:12/01-06-12) »
And now watching as the wheels of those plans come off in record time!  ;D

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The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #18 on: (19:41:35/01-06-12) »
Because the books are written from a runner's point of view, why would there be more reports of Harlequin doing stuff like that?
  Because the fluff isn't written from a runner's point of view.  How the hell do we know so much about Harlequin, Ehran, Dunkelzahn, et. al. anyhow?  Because stories, short and otherwise, have been written about them.

If there had been fluff previous to this, H talking to F about needing to be off in the netherworlds again, okay, great, that's one of the things that Bull-the-character was on.  But there hasn't been, which makes the writeup on Harlequin (not Bull, note) ... sketchy, I think the term would be.  Unstable.

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Bull

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« Reply #19 on: (19:48:26/01-06-12) »
It *is* always possible, however slight, that Bull is just crazy and imagined the whole thing ;)

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« Reply #20 on: (19:59:06/01-06-12) »
Blows to the head happen a lot to shadowrunners, I bet.  ;D
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Mirikon

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« Reply #21 on: (20:04:22/01-06-12) »
The fluff is written primarily through people posting to Jackpoint (or Shadowland before it). Frosty has already shown that she doesn't like talking about the secrets she's privy to. Sure, Dunkelzhan, Hestaby, Harlequin and others would post to Shadowland from time to time, but how much did they actually give out, other than cryptic hints or warnings? And did we ever get anyone from, say, Lofwyr's inner circle to spill the dirt on him? Of course not. Daniel Howling Coyote is dead, but I don't think that fact ever made it into Shadowland or Jackpoint. There were frequent posters on Shadowland who knew about AIs a decade or more before Deus took over the Arcology, but they didn't say anything. There were signs that the Universal Brotherhood was infested with insect spirits years before Bug City, but no one said anything. Why? Because the people who were involved decided to keep quiet.
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« Reply #22 on: (20:28:13/01-06-12) »
*looks around*  Player, player, player, GM, GM, GM, writer, writer ...

You know, I'm pretty sure we're all out of character here.  I'm not talking about how much my character knows, Mirikon; I'm talking about how the world is written, and what we, as consumers of Shadowrun products, know.  We-the-players/GMs/writers know Harlequin generated a run in order to clear off the Great Ghost Dance metaplanar spike point; that run is the adventure 'Harlequin's Back'.  We-the-P/G/W know that Dunkelzahn for all intents and purposes did the same thing with the metaplanar spike point being extended by Oscuro -- and that the astral cyberzombie/ghost he'd become remained out there, doing just that.

What we don't know, which is something that whomever did the Harlequin writeup put forth, is that Harlequin has also been going on / sending runners on metaplanar quests to wreck other spike points.  This is new information -- an entirely new proposition -- which comes out of nowhere, which is in no wise suggested in any of the other writings, in or out of character, background material, novels, discussions-to-the-GM or whatever.  This makes the writeup appear to be doing something that Shadowrun has, as a game, been careful to side-step -- naming the IC people who were responsible for the actions of public adventures.  And that, you see, is my problem.

If it had been proposed anywhere that Harlequin was still bringing shadowrunners off to the metaplanes to take care of spike points, okay.  It hadn't; not okay.  Comprende'?
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Mirikon

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« Reply #23 on: (22:02:19/01-06-12) »
But where was it ever suggested that he HADN'T been doing that? If he did something like that once, why not do it again, at other spike points? What was there to ever suggest that, having had such a tactic work once, he wouldn't use it again? What suggestions do we have for any of the plans of the various Great Dragons, or all the other Immortal Elves? Every plot point we get about the Immortal Elves and the Great Dragons is new information, whether it is happening now, or happened in the past.

But really, it comes down to this. Do you really think Harlequin, who apparently sees some kind of personal need to keep the Horrors from returning early, would STOP acting against them, if there were other spike points he knew of?
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« Reply #24 on: (22:08:36/01-06-12) »
But really, it comes down to this. Do you really think Harlequin, who apparently sees some kind of personal need to keep the Horrors from returning early, would STOP acting against them, if there were other spike points he knew of?
House of the Sun.

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Neurosis

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« Reply #25 on: (13:44:43/01-07-12) »
Thanks for the feedback, guys.

Edit:

Quote
In general, his character sheet reads like someone’s masturbation aid.

Not sure what way in which you mean this rather nasty little comment. To respond to one possible interpretation: I had statted Lugh Surehand in a way I thought was "adequately excessive" without going "completely over the top" and a few people responded that they genuinely thought he was "too weak". I really did not want to make that mistake ("too weak") again so it's possible I overcompensated. I can't really respond further without understanding exactly why and how you feel it was "masturbatory".

As for the "Hermetic only cooler tradition" that is heritage stuff from previous appearances of the character that I personally felt obliged to carry over. It's how his tradition is described in both of the classic Harlequin adventures. In hindsight, I wish I had just put "Harlequin resists drain with Willpower + Intuition" as that's the only important distinction from Hermetic.

As for the buttons, that was purely my idea and I thought that the idea that he carries around a bunch of Hot Topic bargain bin buttons attuned into foci at literally random Force would be a good way of converying how powerful and mercurial (for mercurial read: he does not give a shit) the character was and ah fuck it-

It does seems like rather a small thing for you to be quite so caustic about, though.

Quote
To have violated this policy, placing Bull (and crew) as the runners involved in Harlequin's Back, and having an unnamed someone be the 'last survivor' of the crew that did Harlequin is ...

Look, the reason why the policy existed was to be able to place into Published Adventure your own characters.  "I did that run."  The identities of the people who performed a published run were never, ever identified, because who knows who it was?  Maybe the results of the run were chosen and placed into canon, but the cast was specifically left blank, so that every single GM and every single player could put their gaming group, or their characters, into that slot.

I want to be clear here. I am aware of and I support the long-standing policy you're referring to, and I did not intend to countermand or subvert it. I like to think that if I had really come close to doing so, I would have been stopped by the firm hand of the editorial infrastructure. So how do I feel that I did NOT do that? Well...

The most important thing to remember is that this entire discussion occurs in the context of unreliable narrators who are professional criminals, unconfirmed third-party evidence, rumors, and hearsay. It is not meant to state that anyone's PC(s) did not canonically participate in Harlequin or Harlequin's Back; that would not be my place. There are people who PC'd in those adventures before I was old enough to go to kindergarten, after all.

The events that Bull is described as being a part of are not necessarily those of Harlequin's Back--there are similarities, but certainly Bull's account is not a blow-by-blow description of Harlequin's Back. 

Relatedly, the UNNAMED PC from Harlequin is A) Unnamed and B) Possibly the last surviving member of that team. Neither of those filters should exclude the open-ended class of "your PC". At least what I can say in all earnestness is that they were not meant to.

So in the first place, that was not necessarily meant to be Harlequin's Back and in the second instance, the description of the source of the information and his status is so deliberately vague that it really ought not to exclude anyone's PCs. What I was going for was the heightened level of vagary employed by certain video-game franchises with heavily customized characters when they refer to the protagonist of the previous game (like for instance the way that later Elder Scrolls games refer to the Nerevarine who could have been of any race, class, and gender, for instance).

I naively thought that seeing that "possibly the last surviving member" line might make people who PC'd Harlequin back in the olden days wonder about how their PCs are doing at surviving to whatever ripe old age they're at in 2073, which I thought would be a pleasant thing to muse on.
« Last Edit: (14:17:20/01-07-12) by Neurosis »
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snowRaven

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« Reply #26 on: (16:34:28/01-07-12) »
Actually, read Harlequin a little closer.  The run Bull was on was not the same one as Harlequin's Back.  As i recall HB doesn't require any willing sacrifices on the players parts.  It's a similar concept, but taken to another level, I believe.

The implication is that Harlequin has gone into the Metaplanes several times to plug up "Horror leaks".  Harlequin's Back is just one of those.

(In the original game, Bull did go through both H and H's Back.  HB was the run he did as a favor for Harley that got him and his family out of Chicago, which is the only reason we did it.  The original H ended fairly ugly, which was the start of Bull's animosity toward the elf.  But I avoided specifying that for a reason.  But the final run was an original one by our GM that officially "ended" the original Bull & Johnny 99 campaign, which ended up with 4 dead PCs, 3 who let themselves become sacrifices, and 1 who was an idiot).

I'm not certain about the "sole survivor" of the original Harlequin's run, though.  But yeah, that's not H's Back he's talking about there.

Bull

Ah, that's very good to know! It means I can use both the story of H's Back as it happened at our table, AND Devon's write-up on H without conflict.

Harlequin's Back did have a sacrifice at the end, though (with the suggestion that the GM let them live on in the real world despite the sacrifice). One or more of them has to stay with Thayla at the bridge, for the quest to succeed.

snowRaven

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« Reply #27 on: (16:46:52/01-07-12) »
Quote
In general, his character sheet reads like someone’s masturbation aid.

Not sure what way in which you mean this rather nasty little comment. To respond to one possible interpretation: I had statted Lugh Surehand in a way I thought was "adequately excessive" without going "completely over the top" and a few people responded that they genuinely thought he was "too weak". I really did not want to make that mistake ("too weak") again so it's possible I overcompensated. I can't really respond further without understanding exactly why and how you feel it was "masturbatory".

I actually felt that Harlequin was a bit on the 'weak' side as well, if only because of fewer metamagics than initiate grades...  :P  ...but at the same time, I really liked that fact since it makes it easier to fit in 'special' metamagics there, like the ones Frosty got in AU, and my own custom ones based on old Earthdawn magic...

Quote
As for the buttons, that was purely my idea and I thought that the idea that he carries around a bunch of Hot Topic bargain bin buttons attuned into foci at literally random Force would be a good way of converying how powerful and mercurial (for mercurial read: he does not give a shit) the character was and ah fuck it-

It does seems like rather a small thing for you to be quite so caustic about, though.

Personally, I felt that this move was pure genius. As I read it, I literally exclaimed: 'Ah! So THAT'S why he has them! Brilliant!'

CanRay

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« Reply #28 on: (16:56:21/01-07-12) »
Personally, I felt that this move was pure genius. As I read it, I literally exclaimed: 'Ah! So THAT'S why he has them! Brilliant!'
Or it could be an entirely new thing, as he was looking at his coat one day and going...  "Why not?"  :P

Of all the IMs, he's one of the ones always willing to try new and interesting things.  I mean, hell, he plays MMOs!  His immortal foe can't even figure out how to use a TYPEWRITER yet!
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UmaroVI

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« Reply #29 on: (17:45:40/01-07-12) »
To be more specific: I feel like Harlequin's character sheet contains far, far too much space dedicated to explaining how super-duper-awesome and amazing he is, and how much cooler he is than everyone else, and how much more powerful he is than everyone else, and so on. The result is that instead of coming across as an NPC, he comes across as an enormous Mary Sue. Specific examples:

The sidebar about his tradition. I agree, a simple note saying "Harlequin uses a custom tradition similar to Hermetic, but with Intuition resisting drain" would have been plenty.

"The initiate grade and Magic attribute given here do not necessarily represent the upper limits of Harlequin’s magical capacity, merely the upper limits of what the Sixth World is likely to require of him."

Saying he knows all spells, and then having that enormous, bloated list of favorite spells. A shorter list would have been far more useful. The "Demolish Pants" spell, for example, got buried under a tide of generic spells. I think everyone can figure out that if Harlequin needs to knock out a bunch of people, he can Stunball them. I'd rather know that he likes casting Physical Double Image and other "trademark" spells like that.

The thing with the buttons - do you see anyone actually sitting down and rolling to see how many buttons of what force he has? Why not just say "he always has around 20 pins that are sustaining foci of force 5-10 as needed."

That said, I do recognize that part of the fanbase wants characters like this. To be charitable, I'll describe the different positions as "I only want information about NPCs that's relevant to using them in a game" vs. "I want the game stats for my favorite characters, I don't care if they are useless for actually running a game so long as they are super awesome" and the latter camp tends to want increasingly powerful and Mary Sue-esque NPCs at the cost of usability. I doubt you can please both camps.