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Dave Sherohman
Works at Lund University Library Head Office
Lived in Minneapolis, MN, USA
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Dave Sherohman

Rules discussion  - 
 
A couple questions on the hacking rules (spurred by the final proof release, but both are unchanged from Hacking Final):

1) Under "AMS", it states that "Using more than one skill engram at once works just like the multi-action rules [sic] Savage Worlds."  Does this include all running engrams or only those which require the character to make a roll?  Specifically, does having a Stealth Module, AI/Expert Sprite, Neural Armor, or Skill Specialization Bonus active impose a MAP for other actions taken?

2) The cost for additional AMS is listed as "10,000 credits per AMS", but the cost for firewall upgrades is a chart with prices of 10/20/30/40/50,000 credits.  Is this intended to indicate that the firewall upgrade costs are incremental (i.e., Firewall 7 costs 10+20+30 = 60,000 credits total) or am I just overthinking this?
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Dave Sherohman's profile photodavid j's profile photo
4 comments
 
Thanks for the clarifications!  And I tend to agree with your preferences for the gritty.  Unfortunately, I made the mistake of letting two of my players take Rich at character creation, and then one of them upgraded to Filthy Rich with his first advance...  It's been a continual fight against gonzo as a result.
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Dave Sherohman

Rules & Advice  - 
 
A week or two ago, I asked on the PEG forums about whether anyone has done a weapon design system for Savage Worlds which is more of a (hopefully simplified!) 3G3 style, focused on in-gameworld design of the weapon and then deriving its stats based on that design, rather than the abstract search for balance embodied by Savage Armoury.

I came up empty over there, so I suppose I should ask here, too.  Does anyone know of something like that?
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Richard Woolcock's profile photoCameron Corniuk's profile photoClint Black's profile photoJames Schrecengost's profile photo
9 comments
 
I love what Agents of Oblivion did, they list the guns as a generic caliber instead of calling it a Glock, it's medium caliber pistol.  There's no reason you couldn't take that abstract and add tags to adjust it to more specific weapons.  There are add-on equipment pieces, too - like the laser sighting (+1 to hit).

A lot of settings use custom ammo types, too.  Rubber bullets, armor piercing rounds, slugs in shotguns vs. shot.  Lots of things to do to customize your weapon to do what you want.

And just like fantasy settings, there is no reason why you cannot get a 'customized' weapon to allow for creative adjustments.  Wellstone City does a lot of ammo types (loads) and even talks of a shop (Cassetti's Customs) that customizes your weapons for you, allowing your creativity to go wild with some generic cost modifiers.

I am not sure if this post is helpful as I am not listing specific sources to help your detail, but I think that anytime this level of detail is wanted, the beauty of the Savage Worlds FFF is pushed a bit.  Mostly what Clint said.. :D
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Dave Sherohman

Rules & Advice  - 
 
So...  Experience numbers.  Is there a particular reason why they're scaled to getting 1-3 xp per session?

I'm set to GM my first "real" Savage Worlds session next week (I've done a bit of solo SW with the Mythic GM Emulator, but never played it with other people) and I have a strong impulse to multiply all the numbers by 5 (5-15 xp/session, 25 xp/advance, 100 xp/rank) so that I can make xp awards more achievement-oriented.  e.g., It's a post-magical-apocalyse setting, where they're trying to (among other things) rebuild civilization, so maybe 5 xp/session base, plus 1 xp for every X man-days of food recovered or for finding a weapons cache or recruiting a group of survivors or whatever.

Good idea, bad idea, or simply yet another case of "play RAW for a few sessions before changing anything"?  And why?
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Michael Grancey's profile photoClint Black's profile photoJeremy Jackson's profile photoJerrod Gunning's profile photo
13 comments
 
I prefer using Bennies and the Adventure Deck for achievement rewards.  It's easier to just hand them out rather than to try to come up with a rules modification that remains balanced.

Also, I never explicitly award XP.  After a major plot point I just tell them it's time for an advance or they gained a new rank or whatever.  It cuts down on record-keeping a lot.
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Dave Sherohman

Rules and Setting  - 
 
The Buddhist Magic "Exorcism" ability (SimpleTextRules 189) appears to be buggy:

One of the listed uses is to cancel a samurai's transformation.  However, the exorcism takes a number of rounds equal to the larger of the target's Spirit or Possession rank.  The default duration of samurai transformations is the samurai's Spirit.  Therefore, unless the samurai has taken Prolong Summoning as one of his abilities, the transformation will expire on its own before the exorcism can be completed.
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Dave Sherohman's profile photoMichael Knarr's profile photoJason Miller's profile photo
6 comments
 
+Michael Knarr I love your samurai revenge idea.
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Dave Sherohman

Rules and Setting  - 
 
+Andy Kitkowski or others who have read the Japanese version: What are the effects of the "Smoke and Mist"/"Phantom Mist Delusion" ninjutsu technique?

The rules state "If the target is affected by the art this round, they can only defend themselves with the Evasion skill." (SimpleTextRules 219), but it's unclear whether this is intended to mean "the target may act normally but, if attacked, may only use Evasion to defend" or "the target may take no action, but may still defend with Evasion if attacked".
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Dave Sherohman's profile photoDylan Boates's profile photoAndy Kitkowski's profile photoJason Miller's profile photo
8 comments
 
+Andy Kitkowski Thanks for the clarification!

+Dylan Boates Assuming that you're referring to Heaven's Dark Death, my reading of it is that the targets can act and counterattack normally (it says nothing about restrictions on action or defense), they "just" take all attacks as sneak attacks.

Even as a ninpou technique, I think it would be too powerful if it included a Smoke and Mist effect, given that it affects a number of targets up to the ninja's Spirit at no additional cost (S&M/PMD cost is per-target) and resisting requires a number of Willpower successes equal to the ninja's Spirit (rather than 2 for S&M or 3 for PMD).
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Dave Sherohman

Discussion  - 
 
So.  Gyroc weapons.  I realize that I'm way late with this, but should they really have a blast template?

I've just recently been taking a good look at the IZ publications to date and I can't see how I managed to miss the SBT on gyrocs when I looked at them previously.  I see two problems with it:

1. One of the changes from Savage Worlds Explorer Edition to Deluxe is that area effect attacks now go against the least-armored location and, if your armor isn't sealed, it's ignored entirely.  Gyrocs just went from AP 2 to Ignores Armor, which I suspect may not have been intended.

2. Entirely aside from rules, I get the very strong impression that gyroc pistols are intended to be the standard-issue sidearm (and often only ranged weapon) carried by corporate security personnel.  And they have a 3m blast radius.  Corp security's purpose is to minimize the damage inflicted by intruders, so why would they be given a weapon that will destroy valuable equipment (and possibly sections of wall/floor/ceiling) every time they fire a shot?  And don't even think about trying to shoot the guy who's grappled your head of R&D and is holding him hostage at gunpoint...

So what is the intention of the gyroc weapons' design and should they still have the SBT in SW Deluxe, considering both balance and the design intent?
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Jordan Peacock's profile photodavid j's profile photoR.S. Tilton's profile photoCraig Judd's profile photo
11 comments
 
Awesome, that's good to know! :)
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Dave Sherohman

Discussion  - 
 
There are a ton of resources out there for post-apocalypse gaming.  But almost all of them are either Mad Max-style or zombie-infested "post-apocalypse".  Tech levels are invariably modern or beyond and the apocalypse is generally at least a few years in the past - long enough for things to have fallen into ruin and looters to have stripped most places bare.

I'm gearing up to do a post-apocalyptic fantasy game, in which a wave of insanity swept over the world about a month and a half ago, killing 95% of the (human/demihuman) population within the first week and just getting worse from there.

Does anyone know of resources that would be directly applicable to this type of setup?  I'm thinking both "tips on doing this"-type articles and random generators for maps, encounters, etc.
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Ryan Prior's profile photoMicah weeks's profile photoGeek Ken's profile photoDan Roth's profile photo
11 comments
 
+Dan Roth Superficially, the insanity was caused by the arrival of The Silence, which happened at the same time as the timeline was shattered and different time periods were forced into direct contact with each other.  (e.g., "On the other side of that hill, it's 500 years ago.")

Out of game, no, I haven't thought much yet about what actually caused all this.  It's primarily intended as an explanation for why a civilized area was suddenly depopulated and why the PCs are the only ones out wandering around in it, not as a mystery for the PCs to solve.

If you're interested in more of the details, I created an Obsidian Portal page for the campaign yesterday at http://www.obsidianportal.com/campaigns/savage-marches and posted my initial pitch for the game there.
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Dave Sherohman

Rules & Advice  - 
 
I'm currently preparing a Savage Worlds campaign based rather loosely on the setup from the PC/console game A Valley Without Wind.  For those unfamiliar with AVWW,  it's a post-magical-apocalyspe in which anyone exploring too far from the surviving village will be quickly killed by magical "fallout" from the apocalypse, unless they are a "glyphbearer" (i.e., a PC).  AVWW has quasi-permadeath, in that, if you die, that character is dead and gone for good, but your "glyph" jumps to an NPC, allowing you to keep all the spells you've learned and continue play with the new character.

Although I've reskinned the names, this "glyph" business is one of the things I want to carry over into my game, but I'm unsure of how best to balance it.

My current thoughts are to define the glyph as a character in and of itself, albeit a very weak one - probably one attribute at d6, the rest at d4, player's choice of an Arcane Background, a d6 in the Arcane Background's skill, and that's it.  The glyph would have to inhabit a host, which would be created as a normal Savage Worlds character and, on the body's death, the glyph transfers to a nearby henchman NPC.

The glyph will gain XP/advances/ranks very slowly (I want to say 1/5 normal rate, but that feels like it might be a bit too slowly) and players will always use the higher of either the glyph's or the host's abilities.

Has anyone else run a game with this sort of combined symbiote/host PCs before?  Are there any suggestions for a better way to handle it mechanically?
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Dave Sherohman's profile photoTimothy Hannon's profile photoSteven Black's profile photoDan Roth's profile photo
9 comments
 
Well could do some interesting things. The symbiote's Smarts and Spirits always override the host. The host's Agility, Strength, Vigor should be used. Maybe have the host's body be the one that determines physical skills with mental skills being determined by the symbiote. This keeps things relatively separate so that you don't run into the double skill die scenarios. To avoid the crappy extra D4 dies, the glyph once bonded enhances Agility, Strength, Vigor to a minimum of D6 barring any injuries to the host body (Or maybe just +1 die type, but that would be slightly stronger).

As for hindrances, you have those of the symbiote, but you add in the host's as well. The symbiote and the host sort of fight for control, occasionally the host's desires come to the fore and cannot be stopped by the symbiote. This gives the player the option to ignore the hindrances or let them come into play as a result of lapse in the symbiote's control of the host.
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Dave Sherohman

Rules and Setting  - 
 
So, crazy question this time:

We met for our second game of TBZ on Tuesday and had our first real fight.  The PCs (an annelidist, a Buddhist monk, and a custom "failed Shinto priest" made with the Doctor, Kabukimono, Thief, and Assassin archetypes) got into it with a samurai and an onmyoji (based on the linked image) who headed a bandit gang.  It was mostly the annelidist and samurai going at it, but, at one point, the failed priest asked if he could grab the samurai's weapon.  When he heard that he would take a hit if he failed, he asked if he could pants the samurai.

How would the rest of you have handled that?  I'll tell you tomorrow what I did...

As for how the fight turned out, the annelidist was getting beaten down pretty badly before finally remembering that his mouth creeper could paralyze people.  He was out of Kiai, out of Aiki, and down to just 1 Vitality and the Dead Box when he finally managed to paralyze the samurai.  Then the monk leapt into the air and landed fist-first on the samurai, putting him down for the count and smashing a 3-meter crater around him (he spent all his Kiai and rolled 27 successes, for 14 points overkill).
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Dave Sherohman's profile photoAndrew Glasscock's profile photoJason Miller's profile photo
22 comments
 
I might have extrapolated that to give players some sense of self-sufficiency if they get knocked out. Otherwise they're out for the entire scene unless they can get first aid. I haven't had it happen yet in a game, and from a practical standpoint the scene would probably just end if a PC passed out while they were out alone. 
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Dave Sherohman

Rules and Setting  - 
 
In the "Basic Combat" chapter, under "Defensive Actions", the rules state that "_[The ability to defend against an unlimited number of attacks per round] holds true for ideas like a single attack of one thousand incoming arrows. It’s absolutely better for the GM to treat that as “one 1000-arrow attack” or ”5 200-arrow attacks” instead of rolling to evade each of the 1000 individual arrows._"  However, there is no mention elsewhere of how a 1000-arrow attack should be handled.  1000 arrows should reasonably have a better chance to hit and/or damage a target than a single arrow.

How would you approach this?

Based on mechanics I've seen in other games for handling similar things, my first thought is to add one die for every doubling of the number of identical attacks, so +1 die for 2 arrows, +2 dice for 3-4 arrows (because you always round up in TBZ), +3 dice for 5-8 arrows, etc., giving +10 dice for the 1000-arrow attack or +8 dice each if you resolve it as five 200-arrow attacks.  (This mechanic could also be used as a replacement for the standard rules for making multiple attacks against the same target with a high-RoF ranged attack.)
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Jason Miller's profile photoAndrew Glasscock's profile photoCraig Judd's profile photoMatías Nicolás Caruso's profile photo
16 comments
 
+Dan Strokirk "The Qin archers are powerful.  You alone may not stop them."  The characters, at least, seemed to consider that hail of arrows to be a greater threat than a single arrow.

+Andrew Glasscock Yeah, treating it as a simple success test rather than an opposed roll also makes sense, especially if they're blanketing an area rather than targeting a single character.  Personally, though, I can do powers of 2 in my head faster than I can look up the difficulty table.  :)

+Craig Judd It's not just in your mind.  According to the Basic Combat chapter, "Once the amount of damage is determined, the target of the damage decides how to distribute those damage points." (SimpleTextRules 67, emphasis mine)
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