I've been watching Altered Carbon lately, and that show reminded me a lot of my Eclipse Phase campaign in Savage Worlds. As a result, I thought I'd offer up the adaptation I did for anyone who is interested. The rules adaptation definitely depends on having the Eclipse Phase core rulebook, but it's been thoroughly Savaged here.
The No Power Point Rules in Savage Worlds are pretty clear for the most part - your casting roll suffers a penalty equal to the cost of the power in power points divided by 2, rounded down. So a 3 point power has a -1 penalty, as an example. My question, which I've had to rule on as recently as Sunday, is about "full auto" bolt.
Bolt costs 1 power point per missile, and you can cast up to 3. So, the question is, if you cast three bolts, is that one casting at 3 power points or three castings at one? My take on this follows the logic of the full-auto firing power. When you roll for your three bolts, you roll three of your arcane skill die plus one Wild Die. I interpret that to mean that casting 3 bolts is a single action, which means it costs 3 and therefore would have a -1 penalty to each roll (plus any other penalties for range, lighting, etc.). Anyone disagree?
In yesterday’s post, I talked about the content of the Savage World of Flash Gordon as it relates to the actual setting. Today, I’m talking about core rule changes.
One of the major shifts is in the skills list. Climbing, Swimming, and Throwing have been combined into one skill, Athletics, which is Agility-based; Lockpicking is generalized to Thievery; and a specific list of Knowledge specialties is provided. A new skill, Performance, is added and linked to Spirit. In general, I like these changes (despite some echoes of that other system), with the possible exception that they make Strength even less important as a stat, since the Athletics skill is no longer linked to it.
A second significant change is the addition of four new states to the game - Distracted, which gives a -2 on trait rolls; Vulnerable, which gives a +2 on actions and attacks against the target; Entangled, which confers Distracted and also prevents movement; and Bound, which is Entangled plus Vulnerable and incapable of any physical action other than attempting to break free. These states play into the next major changes, which involve grappling, tricks, and tests of wills.
The Grappling rules are modified mostly to take the new states into account. Instead of an opposed Fighting roll, grappling is an opposed Athletics roll (unless you’re a Martial Artist, in which case you can substitute fighting). Success means you’ve Entangled your foe, a raise means he’s Bound. If you’ve already Entangled a foe, another success also means he’s Bound. Escaping a grapple is an opposed Strength roll (not Agility, which helps offset the loss of Strength as much of a factor in skills), and an opposed Strength roll can also be used for damage. Martial Artist is a big win here, since it can be used not only in place of Athletics but also in place of Strength on any of these rolls. I think these rules make Grappling a little more interesting without drifting into the realm of sub-turns and general rules insanity.
Tests of Wills and Tricks are also changed to take advantage of the new states. Tests of Will now involve opposed tests of Smarts, Spirit, or any linked skill, while tricks involve Strength, Agility, or any linked skill. A successful Test of Will Distracts the foe, while a raise gets you a roll on a new “Creative Combat” table, which can Shake your opponent, heal your character, give you a benny, or even add a free turn! Tricks work similarly, except that the opposed tests are based on Agility and Strength, and the foe becomes Vulnerable on a success. The Creative Combat table comes into play on a raise here as well. This is probably my favorite rule change; I think it makes Tricks and Tests of Wills much more attractive as combat options, and it also somewhat mitigates the effect of the previously-revised Shaken rules (more on those in an earlier post), since Shaken is not automatically the result of a raise on one of these actions.
One last minor change - the Aim action can now be used to shoot a weapon at Extreme range (4x long range) at a -8 penalty, or -6 with a scope. Snipers rejoice!
Overall, these core rule changes look solid, and I expect to see most or all of them in the next edition. I’ll be interested to hear from Flash players and GMs how they work out in practice.
After Wednesday's game, I think I've come around to the conclusion that the base No Power Points rule, with a couple of tweaks, will work for my supers setting. Part of the challenge was making sure the players knew all of their options, such as concentrating on a power for a round to reduce the penalty. What I will be doing, though, is offering some edges that reduce the penalty further, basically a "power mastery" edge that gives a bonus to using a specific power - which, of course, offsets any power point cost penalties.
In my previous post, I talked about selecting Edges to build different kinds of ranged combatants. This time, I'm talking melee. What are some of the classic melee archetypes? You have your martial artist, your fencer, your greatsword fighter, your hammer and shield wielder, and your two-fisted knife fighter. What Edges would suit each of these, on top of some solid Fighting skill?
For the unarmed fighter, the Martial Artist/Improved Martial Artist and Brawler/Bruiser pairings put her on a par with a regular sword-swinger. Quick is good for any combatant, but especially important for a martial artist who needs to hit first and hard, and Sweep can reflect the ability to hit multiple foes with a flurry of kicks and punches. The fencer, on the other hand, starts with Florentine, providing excellent defence when fighting single-hand, and to get a real swashbucking feel, you can add Acrobat and Block/Improved Block, to make a fighter that's nearly impossible to hit.
What about the two-handed weapon fighter? Traditionally, he's a damage engine - Mighty Blow and No Mercy help maximize the punishment he deals out. Add in Frenzy/Improved Frenzy for extra attacks (and Berserk, if you don't mind occasionally nailing an ally) and you've got a serious potential for destruction. At the other end of the spectrum, the "sword and board" shield-based fighter is often tasked with tanking; give him Brawny, Nerves of Steel, and Hard to Kill to boost his ability to wear armor and take punishment, and add in Strong Willed to make an unshakable fighter to hold the line. Consider also making this fighter your leader and taking some Command-track Edges.
The two-fisted knife fighter will want Ambidextrous and Two-Fisted, of course. Extraction is also a nice one for an assassin-type fighter, so she can move more freely around the battlefield. Fleet-Footed adds even more to that ability, and this is another fighter where Acrobat makes great sense. Add in the Assassin Edge for a classic rogue sneaky attack.
There you have it - five different melee fighters with five completely different tactical option sets. Sure, if you're looking to min-max damage there's probably an optimum in there somewhere, but these five give a ton of tactical versatility.