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Dave Sherohman
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Dave Sherohman

Discussion  - 
 
Setting-specific calendars: Yea or nay?

Does it add to the experience for you to hear that the date is "Volutag, the 23rd of Mithuna" instead of "Saturday, April 23"?  Or is it just a distraction when you can never remember how many months it is from Mithuna to Vishika?
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Writer of Minds's profile photoRainforest Giant's profile photoron d's profile photoDave Sherohman's profile photo
23 comments
 
+ron d A calendar consisting solely of "day 1", "day 2", "day 3"... is still a calendar, as far as I'm concerned.  Either way, you're assigning a unique label to each day.
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So...  Let's talk about Blood Like Water.

I certainly get the concept behind it.  "This Mob is mindless and out for blood and they don't care about suffering losses to get it."  Absolutely works for me.

The math, on the other hand, doesn't.

The mechanic for it is "The mob automatically hits all targets in contact with it, but before the damage is resolved the mob automatically takes a maximum-damage hit from those affected."  This doesn't make it an "I'm gonna get you, even if it hurts" ability, it's an "I'm going to throw myself on your sword and die without accomplishing anything" ability.

Kevin has said that Godbound is balanced around an assumed party size of 4-5 PCs.  So let's see what happens when an Undead Horde uses Blood Like Water on a group of 4 PCs:

First off, I'm going to assume that everyone has a weapon-boosting gift for one of their Words, so they'll all be doing d10 or better damage, which means inflicting 4 HD when doing maximum damage.  Other groups may vary, but I'm used to playing with people who consider combat a core enough part of any RPG that two of the first three gifts they buy will invariably be a weapon booster and an AC3 defense, so I think this is a fair assumption.

Small Mob: 14 HD, takes 16 HD damage before attacking.  Mob destroyed with no effect.

Large Mob: 28 HD.  Survives to make its first BLW attack, destroyed when attempting the second.

Vast Mob: 42 HD.  Survives two BLW attacks, destroyed prior to the third.

Note that, since Large Mobs get 2 attacks per round and Vast Mobs get 3, this means that all Undead Hordes, regardless of size, are capable of using BLW to wipe themselves out in a single round of combat without requiring the PCs to attack them (or use Fray dice against them) at all.

Is BLW really meant to be quite that much of a "die pointlessly" ability?

(Now, yes, the Undead Horde can make normal attacks instead of using BLW.  The Verminous Swarm, on the other hand, has no listed attack bonus, just "Attack: Special", which I presume to mean that it can only attack with BLW.  With 12 HD for a Small Mob, you may as well not even place them in the game, since 3 PCs will automatically destroy them before they can attack, with no action or resource expenditure required.)
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Matías Nicolás Caruso's profile photoKevin Crawford's profile photo
2 comments
 
Yeah, I was thinking of a single-target victim there, and forgetting the results of BLWing a swarm of individuals. Here's the beta 1.3 version:

Blood Like Water: In place of an attack, the mob swarms over its foe, utterly heedless of casualties. The mob automatically hits all targets in contact with it. This violence comes at a price; any victims of Blood Like Water treat any of their attack rolls made against the Mob in their next turn as automatic hits.This ability is usually only possessed by mindless foes or fanatically determined enemies. This power substitutes for a single attack each time it’s used.
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Couple questions about Godbound and faction Problems:

1) Godbound can use Dominion to create Features for a cooperative faction, and the faction also gets a corresponding Problem as usual.  Since Influence can, as a rule, be used as a substitute for Dominion, it can presumably also be used to create Features.  But what happens when the Influence is withdrawn?  The Feature will obviously go away, but does the Problem also go away along with the Feature or is the Problem permanent?

2) Can Godbound use Dominion/Influence to solve Problems directly, by spending it the same way that a faction would?  If so, what happens with a Problem solved using Influence when that Influence is reclaimed?

Also, in the Restore Cohesion description on p.137 (beta 1.2), it says "The cost is a number of Dominion points equal to that needed for an Improbable change: 2 points for a village, up to 10 points for a realm-sized empire."  According to the cost chart on p.129, shouldn't it be 32 Dominion for a realm-wide Improbable change?
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Kevin Crawford's profile photoDave Sherohman's profile photo
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OK, thanks!
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Dave Sherohman

Discussion  - 
 
I'm currently working on a post-technological setting, conceptually similar to something like Clark Ashton Smith's "Xothique" stories, except that high tech is at least still remembered.  Over the last 6,000 years, in a series of wars and pogroms, humanity has banished or exterminated extra-terrestrials ("Those Who Walk Among the Stars", or simply "Starwalkers"), transhumans ("Skinchangers", in reference to body-swapping), androids/cyborgs ("False Men"), and mutants.  But I can't come up with a good name for them to use to refer to mutants.  All I've got at this point is "Abominations" or "Abhumans", either of which is functional, but they lack the flair of the other names.  Any ideas?

Suggested improvements on the other names are welcome, too, although I'm pretty happy with them as they are.
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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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david j's profile photoDave Sherohman'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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Dave Sherohman's profile photoStephen Hutchison's profile photoRichard Woolcock's profile photoJames Schrecengost's profile photo
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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 photoStephane Gauthier's profile photoClint Black's profile photoJeremy Jackson's profile photo
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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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I'd like to brainstorm a little about Godbound as symbionts.

A couple years ago, I ran a Savage Worlds campaign in which each PC was the combination of a metaphysical Song and a human Host.  In game-mechanical terms, the Host was a normal fantasy-setting character, while the Song was an Arcane Background (basically a set of supernatural powers, such as "magic", "psionics", etc.) that attached itself to the Host.  Songs could also pick up other abilities and the composite character used the better of the Song's or the Host's abilities in any given situation.

(Aside:  The point of all this was that I wanted to run a highly-lethal old-school-type campaign, but not force players to start over from scratch every time they died.  Thus, the Song served as something of a "save point", with its abilities providing a minimum capability which would automatically carry over to your next character, while other abilities would be effectively randomized as it took over the nearest available Host.)

Now I've been thinking about reviving this campaign as a Godbound game, which raises the question of how to implement the Song/Host model in the new system.  My current thoughts are:

- Songs are created as Godbound characters, but without stats.  Words, Gifts, Effort, Dominion, and that's about it.  They start with only one Fact and gain a Fact each time they level as usual, but I'm contemplating requiring the new Fact to be taken from their Host (basically "locking in" that Fact to remain available after moving on to future Hosts).

- Potential Hosts are created by the GM as common mortal NPCs and can level up as such, becoming heroic mortals if and when a Song possesses them.  The Host provides ability scores, HP, etc. and is created with four Facts as usual.

- The combined Song+Host character acts as a single entity in play, so, e.g., they only get one action per round in combat, during which the Song can use an Action gift or the Host can attack, but not both.

- The Song and Host each gain XP and levels independently, so you can have a level 5 Song in a level 1 Host, or vice-versa, if higher-level NPCs are available to become Hosts.  Influence is based on the average of the two levels.

- I'm uncertain about whether to use the Host's or the Song's level for determining saves.  I also keep going back and forth on whether there should be a cost for Songs to move to a new Host (loss of XP and/or Dominion?) or not.

I've probably left out some details, but does anyone see obvious flaws I've failed to address or have suggestions for how to improve on it?
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Michael Blank's profile photoDave Sherohman's profile photo
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Song + Host = one character in play, run by one player.  In theory, the players should have been required to maintain the Host's previous personality, but I didn't want to force that on them, so I decided that Songs have the ability to override the Host's decision at will, so it became a matter of how much the Song (i.e., the player) wanted to allow the Host to express themselves.  In practice, most (but not all) of the players really got into playing up the Host's background/personality, often to an exaggerated extent.  But that probably has more to do with the specific players than anything else, of course.

Regarding your gift suggestions, I'm not sure I see the value in assigning a list of gifts to it (especially when those gifts need to be modified) rather than just saying "when you die, take your package of words/gifts and apply them to a new host body".  (This is, of course, in the context of a campaign where Songs are the only (playable) immortal entities.  If you had a regular Godbound campaign in which one character happened to be a spiritual symbiont, then defining it in terms of gifts, or at least assigning a gift point cost, would obviously be necessary.)

The intent of my question, though, was more about ways of combining the Host body's physical abilities with the Song's supernatural abilities in a reasonable way which makes both parts sufficiently relevant that moving to a new Host allows the player to continue playing their chosen core concept without making it an Agent Smith-style takeover that renders the Host utterly irrelevant beyond providing a flesh suit to wear.

As you've probably guessed, this is basically the reason I was disappointed in the Bladewife example character.  "Artifact PC wielded by another, independent character" is basically the same thing, aside from which one defaults to ultimately being in charge, and mechanisms for combining the sets of abilities in one case would almost certainly apply to the other.
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Say, +Kevin Crawford...  Setting design question.

Reading through the backstory about Realms and the Sundering (yeah, I see that you mostly use "Shattering", but I prefer "Sundering"), I immediately thought of Realms as being much smaller, with no more than 2-3 major nations/cultures each, and imagined that traveling Night Roads and Realm-hopping would be significant parts of a typical Godbound campaign.  With Arcem, though, you seem to have gone the opposite direction, making the Realm a fairly complete, self-contained world (even if contained within only a single continent).

Of course, this doesn't stop me from running an "Islands in the Uncreated Night" setting, but I'm curious...  Why did you decide to go the other way?
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Kevin Crawford's profile photoMatías Nicolás Caruso's profile photoNathan Easton's profile photoRay N's profile photo
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I'm counting on the Night Roads being a major feature of my campaign. Allowing fast-travel around Arcem mostly at this point, but other Realm fragments will be found later.
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I've been looking a lot at the faction rules in Godbound lately, since that's the section which I'm likely to be getting the most use out of, and I'm starting to question the mechanics around Ruin.

Specifically, because Ruin is applied as a failure chance to every action a faction might take and because reducing Ruin works just like any other action (including the same failure chance), it seems clear that every faction should be Enacting Chance to remove Problems (and thus reduce Ruin) at every opportunity, so that the Problems won't get in the way of other actions.  This is boring, both directly (because it's obvious and invariant) and indirectly (because Problems are a major source of interesting developments).

So I've come up with an as-yet-untested house rule to address this by both making Ruin reduction more difficult than other actions and reducing its effect on other actions:

- When attempting to Enact Change to reduce or eliminate a Problem, roll two Trouble checks.  The Problem shrinks only if both checks succeed.  If one or both fail, the indicated Problem(s) interfere.

- When taking any other action which requires a Trouble check, make the check as normal, but, if it fails, reroll and use the second result.  If the second result is a success, the action succeeds despite interference from the Problem indicated by the first result.  (These rolls are made sequentially because rolling them together and only failing the action if both checks fail would mean that actions generally won't fail due to only a single Problem.  You'd get two Problems for any failure unless the roll is doubles.)
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Aaron Hamric's profile photoDave Sherohman's profile photoKevin Crawford's profile photo
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I've folded in one new mechanic into the faction system- Interest. You can build Interest with your rivals and allies by doing things that entangle yourself with them- spies, bribery rings, open economic deals, et cetera. You can then spend the Interest to drain Dominion points even as they're trying to accomplish something or modify their Trouble or Conflict rolls. You can modify these rolls beneficially, too, however, so if factions trust each other, they have a reason to allow each other to build Interest. Combined with the new rules of "roll equal or under your Trouble to eliminate Problems", there should be less incentive to just sit and stockpile Dominion to eliminate all your Problems.
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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?
1
Dave Sherohman's profile photodavid j's profile photoCraig Judd (Shiro Kuro)'s profile photo
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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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Geek Ken's profile photoDan Roth's profile photoDave Sherohman's profile photoRyan Prior's profile photo
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sorry for the late reply
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