Trial Shadows Rules

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Trial Shadows Rules

Postby MongooseMatt » Fri Sep 19, 2003 1:55 pm

Hi guys,

This should be popular! We have just posted some trial rules for the Shadows on our web site. Download them, have a play and let us know what you think!

http://www.mongoosepublishing.com/babyl ... nloads.php

I think the galaxy just got a lot more dangerous. . .
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Postby hassanisabbah » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:38 pm

It just got a lot more dangerous. Rock and Roll, the shadow ships kick proverbial
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Postby Silk » Fri Sep 19, 2003 4:33 pm

Yeah looks great, thanks for running them past us matt, they realy do kick ass...

I have a question about the use of jamming:

With each hex= 5,000 feet in the game (starship scale).

The new shadow rules it states jamming has a range of LOS, in the rules LOS is 100 feet or 200 with the far telepathy feat.

Under jamming it says a P10 can use the ability up to medium range, and a P12 can use the ability up to a range of long 400feet + 40feet per P-rating or 880feet for a P12.

This seems to imply that the teep must be on a ship in same hex as the shadow vessel to even attempt the ability(EEEK!!)

I dont recall any ranges being mentioned in the series with relation to the ranges teep abilities were used at, but it doesn't seem very playable currently.

I hope i have explained this accuratly, can anyone shed any light on my observations?

Thanks in advance..

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Postby Morden » Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:34 pm

Looks great! I'm really happy that you guys have been making so much available early. Putting the White Star into Signs & Portents 1 so that they can be used before the book they're actually released in was very cool. This is extremely cool as well. Keep up the great work with this game! You're making a die-hard B5 fan very very happy.

I'm looking forward to seeing real information on the shadows and the vorlons themselves.

I'm thinking vorlons should be something like 12d12 HD, AC 30 (most of it natural), incorporeal, fly (good), dubious appearance (have the abilitiy to appear as whatever they wish to whomever they wish when outside of their encounter suit), high ability scores all the way through.

Shadows should have about the same HD and AC. They should get get damage reduction. Also, like their ships, they should have the ability to move freely between hyperspace and realspace, while keeping their consciousness in both at all times. Also high ability scores all the way through.
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Postby Eryx » Fri Sep 19, 2003 6:40 pm

Thanx for the playtest preview. Looks very good.
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Postby Bekenn » Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:43 pm

Looking good so far.

One brief quibble:

"In addition to this, the consciousness of a Shadow ship exists in both real space and hyperspace simultaneously."

Problem: If this is so, then why do they have the scout as seen in Shadow Dancing?

In my game, I had only one race with the ability to see beyond their spacial limitations. That particular race was quite a bit older than both the Vorlons and the Shadows. Maybe I'll tell some stories from that campaign at some point....
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Postby ShadowScout » Fri Sep 19, 2003 7:48 pm

One brief quibble:
"In addition to this, the consciousness of a Shadow ship exists in both real space and hyperspace simultaneously."
Problem: If this is so, then why do they have the scout as seen in Shadow Dancing?
In my game, I had only one race with the ability to see beyond their spacial limitations...
Well... they must have this ability, at least in some way, or some scenes from the show (like SHadowShips phasing in on a perfect attack position and firing instantly) become impossible. However, their sensors must also be limited when "peeking through dimensinal barriers", so that for full sensor efficiency they still need to be in the space they want to scan, otherwise the scene with the scout would Really make little sense.
See? With a little good will, it can all be explained... :wink: :lol:
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Postby Enlightened Bystander » Fri Sep 19, 2003 9:15 pm

Baraendur wrote:
I'm thinking vorlons should be something like 12d12 HD, AC 30 (most of it natural), incorporeal, fly (good), dubious appearance (have the abilitiy to appear as whatever they wish to whomever they wish when outside of their encounter suit), high ability scores all the way through.

Shadows should have about the same HD and AC. They should get get damage reduction. Also, like their ships, they should have the ability to move freely between hyperspace and realspace, while keeping their consciousness in both at all times. Also high ability scores all the way through.
Two points:

A) The Shadows are far wealker physically. Compare what it took to take down Kosh2 to what was needed for Mr Morden's associates.

B) The Vorlons can't be incoporeal, because B5 has no magic weapons.
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Postby jadrax » Fri Sep 19, 2003 10:39 pm

Shadow fighters should have a pulse weapon not a beam weapon.
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Postby Guest » Fri Sep 19, 2003 11:06 pm

Enlightened Bystander wrote:Two points:

A) The Shadows are far wealker physically. Compare what it took to take down Kosh2 to what was needed for Mr Morden's associates.

B) The Vorlons can't be incoporeal, because B5 has no magic weapons.
A. Good point. I hadn't actually taken that into consideration. They still can stand up to several PPG shots, so perhapse they have half or even a third of the hit points of a vorlon.

B. True enough. Perhapse instead of incorporeal, they can be a new creature type (energy or somesuch), that functions as incorporeal in many respects except that energy weapons can harm them. Since they are energy themselves, maybe it could be explained as disruptive energy as opposed to the energy dealing physical damage as it would to a physical creature. In fact, that could be an explanation for why it takes far more PPG shots to take them out. You aren't damaging them as much as disrupting them. In game terms this would translate more to some pretty serious damage reduction.

Just a thought.
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Postby ShadowScout » Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:30 am

Enlightened Bystander wrote:Two points:

A) The Shadows are far wealker physically. Compare what it took to take down Kosh2 to what was needed for Mr Morden's associates.

B) The Vorlons can't be incoporeal, because B5 has no magic weapons.
A - that's debatable. If it was true, and Shadows were really that weak physically, Kosh would still be alive. However, the scenes with Morden on Centauri prime, or Sheridan on Z'ha'dum show that in some ways Shadows Can be hurt with simple PPG fire.
Personally I think Shadows have built-in offensive and defensive systems (imagine something like the tech they gave the Technomages, but a few millenia more advanced); and when they are expecting trouble, and activate those systems, they are all but invincible to anything short of an army, or an nuke, or another first one.
But when they feel safe (either because they think noone can see them for their invisibility, or because they "know" Sheridan gave up his gun at the entrace) and do not have these systems activated, they can be hurt by normal weapons...
I'm not sure how hurt though; as I never saw a body in these scenes - the shadows were shot at, became visible for a few moments, and then vanished completely. No exploding parts flying around like with that "Soldier of Darkness"... and obviously someone saw what happened between Londo and Morden that day, and told the Drakh... so I think the Shadow was shot, wounded, and used it's phasing ability to phase out completely to save it's life, being too hurt to want a fight (it also may have been to stunned by the unexpected attack).
(That would also give more weight to Sheridan's bombing of Z'ha'dum - because if Shadows don't die as easily as some think, then Shadows don't usually die, as they would have been that much more shocked when their biggest city was suddenly atomized before the Shadows in there even knew they were in danger)

B - well, not incorporal in the fantasy kind of thinking, but also not fully corporal in the realistic kind of thinking (otherwise, how can they hide pieces of themselves in humans, squeeze through encounter suit openings, fly through the station hull without causing a hull breach, etc.).
Perhapse instead of incorporeal, they can be a new creature type (energy or somesuch), that functions as incorporeal in many respects except that energy weapons can harm them. Since they are energy themselves, maybe it could be explained as disruptive energy as opposed to the energy dealing physical damage as it would to a physical creature. In fact, that could be an explanation for why it takes far more PPG shots to take them out. You aren't damaging them as much as disrupting them. In game terms this would translate more to some pretty serious damage reduction.

Just a thought.
And a good one. Not common energy though... that wouldn't let them enter other beings. But some esotheric kind... hmmm...
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Postby Neo » Sat Sep 20, 2003 6:45 am

I'm with Shadowscout on this point, I suspect Shadows are physically more capable than vorlons, but vorlons are likely more telepathically capable than shadows.

The Vorlons are very Ehtereal in appearance (and I mean that literally not as in the D&D translation of the word <g>) moving by drifting along, not really showing arms (further enforcing that they rely on thier minds more than thier limbs), are never seen wielding weapons and even thier encounter suits are non offensive.

shadows however being insectile like have numerous long sharp, barbed limbs, hard shiny black carapace, a knack for invasive physical bio-tech, natural invisibility and telepathic powers...they also have arms with long talon like fingers that are perfectly suited for rending things apart. It's also quite feasible (although never seen) that they could wield weapons with these arms.

I have a picture of a shadow and I don;t know about anyone else, but I for one think they are very physically intimidating, they LOOK like they could do a lot of damage physically IMO.
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Postby ShadowScout » Sat Sep 20, 2003 11:43 am

I'm with Shadowscout on this point, I suspect Shadows are physically more capable than vorlons, but vorlons are likely more telepathically capable than shadows.
That is another point where I have my own thoughts... I presume that Shadows themselves have a kinda spacial relationship with telepathy... for one it seems inconcievable for a race that old not to have some powers in this regard, and there are also instances in the show showing them tho know their stuff when it comes to minds (the Shadows almost whispering "wait" telepathically to Talia, their ships "screaming" in the minds of beings nearby, their "mouse" telepathy bomb, their mere presence "entering the dreams" of the Narn mindwalkers and thus destroying them -could be use of TP bombs though-; and last but truly not least, the mind-control effect shown by the Eye when the WhiteStar two went to Z'ha'dum and was only saved by Lennier's auto-pilot use); on the other hand, they just don't seem the type to use mental powers a lot, and we never see them truly read anyone's thoughts (though I find the way G'kar and Londo suddenly decided to answer Morden's question truthfully and from the depths of their hearts somewhat suspicious, and reeking of some mental influence... watch those scenes again sometime. It's as if there's some mental pressure building, then suddenly they change their minds and answer Morden... of did they have their minds changed for them? And afterward they both have this "ach" reaction where one can almost see the thought "why the hell did I tell him this" in their eyes...).

Now, I had an idea about all that... Shadows are as telepathically powerful as Vorlons (or most other ancient races), but their telepathy functions on a "mental frequency" radically different from almost all current species, while the Vorlon tampering with just about all younger races also included "setting" their mental frequency to something the Vorlons could affect quite easily (yeah, They were the ones who started stacking the deck in the "galactic game" between those two... the Shadows only reacted to that unfairness... or in the words of a Shadow of that time "hey, They cheated first!").
Meaning that whenever a YR teep tries to enter a Shadow's mind, he'll find an very high-level P-15 waiting for him (and one with mastery of feats he probably hasn't even heard of, and in a "mental landscape" that's alien and wierd enough to make even strong minds crumble into insanity...), but a Shadow on the other hand will find it extremely difficult to even snatch up even a casual thought from any of the younger races without some "translating device"... (or without "resetting" the YP mind to work with theirs, or putting at least some translation device in, like I assume they did with the Drakh when one reads the TM trilogy)
The Vorlons are very Ehtereal in appearance (and I mean that literally not as in the D&D translation of the word <g>) moving by drifting along, not really showing arms (further enforcing that they rely on thier minds more than thier limbs), are never seen wielding weapons and even thier encounter suits are non offensive.
Well, agreement to all but the encounter suit stuff... as was shown, those things can be offensive - Kosh slapping and cutting Sheridan, Ulkesh using sonics and small lightning bolts against Garibaldi and his men... and I assume these were the lowest settings; if you get a Vorlon to a point where he does see you as threat, assume force blows strong enough to crack skulls, and lighting powerful enough to burn through any ship hull... and all that from behind a force field powerful enough to hold off multiple PPG blasts simultanously (Ulkesh).
shadows however being insectile like have numerous long sharp, barbed limbs, hard shiny black carapace, a knack for invasive physical bio-tech, natural invisibility and telepathic powers...they also have arms with long talon like fingers that are perfectly suited for rending things apart. It's also quite feasible (although never seen) that they could wield weapons with these arms. <
More likely that they have weapons built into their bodies - as they did give the technomages such tech, one can only assume they'd use something similar yet a lot more advanced for themselves. And their sheer physical strength was enough to dent a vorlon encounter suit's helmet... (though I wouldn't be surprised to learn their physical strength is bio-enhanced too)
I have a picture of a shadow and I don;t know about anyone else, but I for one think they are very physically intimidating, they LOOK like they could do a lot of damage physically IMO.
Agreed. And two of them did make short work of Kosh, peeled away the encounter suit and tore him apart, something a full squad of EA guards and a electrical trap using a good deal of the station's power wasn't able to do with Ulkesh before Kosh aided by Lorien entered the fray...
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Postby Bekenn » Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:18 pm

ShadowScout wrote:
One brief quibble:
"In addition to this, the consciousness of a Shadow ship exists in both real space and hyperspace simultaneously."
Problem: If this is so, then why do they have the scout as seen in Shadow Dancing?
In my game, I had only one race with the ability to see beyond their spacial limitations...
Well... they must have this ability, at least in some way, or some scenes from the show (like SHadowShips phasing in on a perfect attack position and firing instantly) become impossible.
Nah, I don't think so; I think those attacks can be attributed to simple planning. We never saw them do that when they didn't know exactly where or when to strike beforehand, and I'm certainly willing to grant them pinpoint accuracy in jumps. Additionally, they could be using simple probes in normal space, perhaps similar to the probes used by the Techno-mages (as seen in Jeanne Cavelos' books).
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Postby MongooseMatt » Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:38 pm

Bekenn wrote:Looking good so far.

One brief quibble:

"In addition to this, the consciousness of a Shadow ship exists in both real space and hyperspace simultaneously."

Problem: If this is so, then why do they have the scout as seen in Shadow Dancing?
For the same reason nations today do not automatically deploy cruisers and carrier groups for every military action. Despite the enourmous power of the Shadows, there are at least some limits to their resources. So, for scouting operations, smaller ships will be used - and, as you'll see in Point of No Return, they are also more specialised for scouting than the main vessels.

The PDF is a glimpse of what we are planning, in general, for the Shadows and we welcome any comments you chaps have about them. With regards to points like this, trust us. It will all make sense in the end :)
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Postby ShadowScout » Sat Sep 20, 2003 7:49 pm

Bekenn wrote:We never saw them do that when they didn't know exactly where or when to strike beforehand,...
Except when the toasted the Raider Strike Carrier in "Signs and Portents"
and I'm certainly willing to grant them pinpoint accuracy in jumps.
That is something the Minbari can already do, so I'd expect more of a race Millions of years older then those...
Additionally, they could be using simple probes in normal space,...
...but at their level of advancement they should be able to do this "seeing from hyperspace into normal space" without any such tricks the younger races still need.
It can't be That difficult - even younger races can send messages from normal space into hyperspace (Minbari Flyer to "Drala Fi" in ItB, Garibaldi to the WhiteStar in "Endgame").
So why do some people think it would be so difficult to find a sensor system that can do the same? Sure, don't expect the Centauri to come up with it soon, but for a race that has seen at Least a few million years...

BtW, from what I have seen on the show, even the Streib have some limited kind of "scan from hyperspace to normal space" ability...
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Postby Neo » Sat Sep 20, 2003 8:31 pm

Well, agreement to all but the encounter suit stuff... as was shown, those things can be offensive - Kosh slapping and cutting Sheridan, Ulkesh using sonics and small lightning bolts against Garibaldi and his men... and I assume these were the lowest settings; if you get a Vorlon to a point where he does see you as threat, assume force blows strong enough to crack skulls, and lighting powerful enough to burn through any ship hull... and all that from behind a force field powerful enough to hold off multiple PPG blasts simultanously (Ulkesh).
I could be wrong but I don't recall any instance where a vorlon acted aggressively that did not involve thier iris-like eyepiece in thier suits extending in order to allow thier Teep abilities to more readily function. The suits as can be seen in the pilot episode and later episodes whereby the eye piece open etc.. seem to act largely as a Dampening effect for the vorlon too. As opposed to the shadows whose technology seems distrupted by Telepathic influence.
More likely that they have weapons built into their bodies - as they did give the technomages such tech, one can only assume they'd use something similar yet a lot more advanced for themselves. And their sheer physical strength was enough to dent a vorlon encounter suit's helmet... (though I wouldn't be surprised to learn their physical strength is bio-enhanced too)
Well those shadows did pretty much rip kosh to pieces something I doubt would be relatively easy to do.

As an side does anyone know if the novels are canon or not though?
IAgreed. And two of them did make short work of Kosh, peeled away the encounter suit and tore him apart, something a full squad of EA guards and a electrical trap using a good deal of the station's power wasn't able to do with Ulkesh before Kosh aided by Lorien entered the fray...
yup, very scary creatures
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Postby ShadowScout » Sun Sep 21, 2003 5:16 am

Neo wrote: could be wrong but I don't recall any instance where a vorlon acted aggressively that did not involve thier iris-like eyepiece in thier suits extending in order to allow thier Teep abilities to more readily function.
As I wrote, watch Garibaldi trying to send Ulkesh into exile again. He creates sonic attacks strong enough to make their breather mask's viewplates shatter, and sends small lightniong bolts from the "tips" od his encounter suit's "horns". Oh, and Ulkesh has also shown us with Lyta that Vorlons can fire some kind of energy bolt from their eyepieces...
With Kosh it's always the eyepiece stuff, though when he throws Sheridan agaist the wall, there we see something similar to the "slap" effect of Sebastian's cane IIRC, so I assume that's technical instead of mental too.

And as I wrote, I think they used all those attacks on the "gentle slap" setting, as one would with a dog that has been slightly bad. If someone gets them really angry one can expect more, and if someone is seen as a true threat by them, expect Really heavy firepower. (The Vorlons didn't get that old without making sure their suits are equipped for everything they might encounter...)
As opposed to the shadows whose technology seems distrupted by Telepathic influence.
Actually not their technology, just the "CPU" of their ships. All that super-powerful organic tech, yet it usually is controlled by a simple younger race brain, the function of which teeps can "jam". That's why they wanted blips as cores, because those could block telepathic jamming of their minds... and if a Shadow itself flies one of their ships (though they would prefer better and more powerful ships then the expendable cruisers we see on the show... yes, a lot more scary!), don't expect TP jamming to work unless you're at Lorien's level...
As an side does anyone know if the novels are canon or not though?
Well, some are almost canon, some aren't. "The Shadow Within" was mentioned as "90% canon" once by JMS IIRC, and "To dream in the City of Sorrows" is as canon as any episode by the words of the great maker. The later books are all watched and therefore mostly canon, while the earlier books weren't checked, and some include glaring errors...
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Postby Neo » Sun Sep 21, 2003 6:21 am

ShadowScout wrote: Actually not their technology, just the "CPU" of their ships. All that super-powerful organic tech, yet it usually is controlled by a simple younger race brain, the function of which teeps can "jam". That's why they wanted blips as cores, because those could block telepathic jamming of their minds... and if a Shadow itself flies one of their ships (though they would prefer better and more powerful ships then the expendable cruisers we see on the show... yes, a lot more scary!), don't expect TP jamming to work unless you're at Lorien's level...
The so called CPU as you point out is a member of one of the younger races. But as you failed to note it is a member of the younger races whose body has been implanted with shadow tech implants and conditioning as can be seen when they recover some pilots. Not only are thier ships piloted by others "teeps" but they are forced to do so via thier technology... I for one would find it hugely coincidental if the Teep attacks that disrupt the shadow vessels were not able to do so because it also disrupted the technology that keeps those brains from being focused on flying the ships
also the shadows themsevlves are never actually shown or described as piloting the vessels themselves directly, at least not in the role that the captured teeps perform, but more likely as a commanding officer issuing commands to this bilogical CPU from on the ship. Therefore shadow or not onboard I seriously doubt that is either here nor there.
Well, some are almost canon, some aren't. "The Shadow Within" was mentioned as "90% canon" once by JMS IIRC, and "To dream in the City of Sorrows" is as canon as any episode by the words of the great maker. The later books are all watched and therefore mostly canon, while the earlier books weren't checked, and some include glaring errors...
thats cool, some of the books I realy enjoyed.
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Postby ShadowScout » Sun Sep 21, 2003 7:04 am

The so called CPU as you point out is a member of one of the younger races. But as you failed to note it is a member of the younger races whose body has been implanted with shadow tech implants and conditioning as can be seen when they recover some pilots. Not only are thier ships piloted by others "teeps" but they are forced to do so via thier technology... I for one would find it hugely coincidental if the Teep attacks that disrupt the shadow vessels were not able to do so because it also disrupted the technology that keeps those brains from being focused on flying the ships
Hmmm... let's see... what would be more logical, telepathic jamming disrupting the brain (which we KNOW can be affected quite easily by TP), or the implant tech (which we also know can be affected by telepathy, but it taxed the enhanced Lyta to do it!), or the rest of ShadowTech (which we don't know anything definite about, except that teeps scanning it seem to go mad - Psi Corps trilogy)

I'd say, teepy jamming affects the brains, and not the tech... maybe the "interface" between tech and brain - but more likely from the brainy side.
also the shadows themsevlves are never actually shown or described as piloting the vessels themselves directly, at least not in the role that the captured teeps perform, but more likely as a commanding officer issuing commands to this bilogical CPU from on the ship. Therefore shadow or not onboard I seriously doubt that is either here nor there.
Well, yes, now. But while now they stay at home on Z'ha'dum while directing their ships via the Eye, some time ago they must have piloted their ships themselves. And when they went "beyong the rim" after Coriana, they certainly didn't book passage on an EA liner :wink:. AND we know from the TM trilogy that fully activated technomages can merge and unmerge with ShadowShips without trouble - all that led me and others to assume that Shadows can do it too. Especially since they seem to be more "hands on" kind of people then the Vorlons - they have to be, since their hibernation cycle doesn't allow them long-time manipultion tactics.
But there is more - current era YR-CPU-controlled ShadowShips are portrayed as weaker then Vorlon ships of comparable size, while the Shadows are mentioned to be quite a bit older then the Vorlons (actually the oldest of the "First Ones" {more accurately "second ones" as lorien was before all of them, and had the same status to them as they now have to the "younger races"}, older then the Walkers "by a smidge" according to JMS").
And considering their conflict-oriented nature, it seems inconcievable that the Shadows were slackers in that tech department, so there must be a reason why their ships seem so weak compared to other ancients.
And the one that makes most sense is that they build them as "cheap" and "quick to build" attrition units, because They don't have to die when one of those vessels goes pop, and it makes sense for them to do so in face of their long inactivity periods to quickly get their fleet to the levels they need in their "kicking over the anthill" strategy.
Yet from this follows that in the times before they used younger races, they must have piloted their ships personally, and then they would likely have taken more time, effort and care to build them (as they as ancients have low birth rate and therefore must protect their lives more carefully), resulting in ships that probably outmatched the other ancients (oldest of them And kinda warlike focus).
But of course, we never see Those ships in the show, because they are not really used by the Shadows during that time.
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