Monthly Archives: September 2011

Yep.. Just When You Think People Can’t Get Any Dumber…

Then this goes on..   Honestly what the hell?  Why is it nerd stuff that is always attack and labeled as violent, offensive, and “dangerous?”  Why is it that colleges shun this kind of stuff yet advocate football (which isn’t violent at all) and drinking?

Nevermind that many college towns have increased incidences of rape on nights after a game.  Nope.  No violence there..  but that’s ok..  but a post is obviously a dangerous and terrible thing.

Advertisements

Into the Ol West

Last week Mad Brew Labs launched a series of posts dealing with the Old West RPG’s. I looked at some of these for inspiration for my Firefly RPG as well as just being a fan of the Old West in general.

One that caught my eye was the Go Fer Yer Gun game which basically uses the rules that seem to be from, or heavily inspired by. Castles and Crusades and is FREE, by the way. It is awesome and extremely rules-lite. Everything you need is in the 81 pages.

Through my exploration of Go Fer Yer Gun I saw people asking if there were any rules for making the game more Weird West. I couldn’t really find any so I decided to throw in three “classes” that add more of a Weird feel to it. Feel free to use this.

Enjoy! Here it is in PDF (Weird Classes for Go Fer Yer Gun)

I also created rules for draws or “High Noon” at the bottom of the article.

Weird Classes for Go Fer Yer Gun

 

Chosen

Where the Preacher can get those to believe and they themselves believe, the Chosen are extensions of their Gods will and can perform miracles that others could only dream of or read about in holy books. Chosen tend to inspire fear and jealousy even from their own religion.  People fear what they do not understand, and the Chosen are just that.

 

Repel the Unworthy– A Chosen can touch the Divine and use it to cause all who would do him harm to shy away from them.  The target(s) must make Willpower save.  If they fail they will cower away from theChosen and try to flee if too close.  All unworthy targets get -4 to rolls against theChosen for the duration of the encounter.  If they succeed against the roll they only suffer -2 to their rolls and do not cower away from theChosen, but feel right uncomfortable.

 

A Chosen can use Repel the Unworthy equal to their Charisma Modifier per day.

 

Lay on Hands-A Chosen can touch a target and heal them for 2 HP per level.   This cannot be divided up among multiple targets.  TheChosen can use this ability on himself.

 

Smite the Unworthy- Once per day a Chosen can call down Divine Retribution and channel that into their weapon, be it a pistol or dagger.  A Chosen gains +20 to hit and deals an extra 1d6 plus an addition +1 per level of damage.  This can only be used on those who are attempting to hurt theChosen.

 

Level 5- Divine Favor- A Chosen can call upon the graces of his deity for blessing.  This allows theChosen to reroll one failed roll, excluding damage.  A Chosen can use this once per day. This increases to twice per day at 10th.

 

Level 6– Aura of Courage-A Chosen radiates an aura of assurance.  Any ally within 10 feet of theChosen receives +4 to saves VS fear.  The Chosen is included in this effect.

 

Level 10- Divine Healing- Once per week aChosen can call upon the Divine and heal an ailing person.  This cures all health, heals terrible injuries, deafness, blindness, or feeblemindedness.  This does not cure negative levels or ability score drain.

 

Chosen Stats

Prime Attribute- Charisma

Hit Dice– d6

Weapons– Stingy Pistol, Pocket Pistol, Medium Pistol, Rifle, Bowie Knife, and Dagger.

 

Level

HD

BTH

BTD

1

D6

0

+2

2

D6

+1

+3

3

D6

+1

+3

4

D6

+2

+3

5

+1

+2

+4

6

+1

+3

+4

7

+1

+3

+4

8

+1

+4

+4

9

+1

+4

+5

10

+1

+5

+5

11

+1

+5

+5

12

+1

+6

+6

13

+1

+6

+6

14

+1

+7

+6

15

+1

+7

+6

16

+1

+8

+7

17

+1

+8

+7

18

+1

+9

+7

19

+1

+9

+8

20

+1

+10

+8

 

Shaman

 

While Scouts and Braves respect nature and can survive in it, Shaman are one with nature.  They are able to channel the energies of nature and the animal spirits to strengthen themselves.  Shamans are highly respected in the Native American tribes, many being leaders, advisers, and priests.

 

Animal Empathy (Charisma or Wisdom)- Shamans respect all living creatures.  When attempting to read, calm, or commune with animals they receive +2 to their attribute roll.

 

Animal Companion– A Shaman’s band with nature can be seen in the love and care they treat their animal companion.  A Shaman may pick one animal native to their area to serve as a faithful companion.  The animal gains +1d8 HP and has the ability to “read” the Shaman’s emotions.  The Animal Companion will obey almost anything the Shaman asks of it, so long as it doesn’t go against the creatures nature.

 

Heal

 

Level 2- Endure Elements (Constitution)-A Shaman receives +2 to any save against any form of elemental damage or hardship.

 

Level 3- Woodland Stride-A Shaman has become one with nature and is able to move through obstructions like thorns, brambles, roots, thick branches, and the like as if they were water.  A Shaman will suffer no damage from troubles like Thorns.  A Shaman also leaves no tracts when walking in nature.

 

Level 5- Spirit Talker (Wisdom)– The Shaman will commune with the nature spirits in order to receive direction and guidance.  The Shaman will pose a question that can be yes/no or require explanation.  The Spirits reply may be cryptic, repetitive, and an assault of visions that hit all five of the senses.  If the Shaman preys over a fire and drinks Peyote he receives +4 to his roll, otherwise he suffers a -2 to the roll.

 

A Shaman can do this one per day until level 10 when he can perform this two times.

 

Level 6- Call of the Animal (Wisdom)- A Shaman has the ability to call upon the savagery of nature and channel it into his being.  He must make a successful Wisdom test to call the Animal Spirit into his body.  If he fails the spirits do not heed his call and this consumes his attempt for the day.  If successful the effect lasts a number of rounds equal to the Shaman’s Wisdom.  Each Animal Spirit grants a different bonus (see below).

 

A Shaman can use this ability once per day.  This increases to two times per day at level 10.

 

Animal Spirit

Granted Bonus

Mountain Lion +2 to Dexterity Attribute checks and movement is now ’40.
Grizzly Bear Fists harden and nails grow slightly longer.  1d6 + str dmg.
Fox Foxes are fast and hard to hit.  Increase defense by +2.
Wolf Pack Leader- Add +2 to intimidation rolls and +2 to charisma.
Coyote Gain the ability to track by scent.
Hawk Gain Hawk Eye Ability as Drifter (pg 13).
Owl Ability to see clearly in the dark.
Snake Gains Back Attack Ability as Scout (pg 25).
Mouse Gain Move Silently Ability as Scout (pg 25).
Elk Inspires those around him.  Adds +2 to all Attribute rolls.

 

Shaman Stats

Prime Attribute- Wisdom

Hit Dice– d8

Weapons– Medium Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Shortbow, Hatchet, Spear, Staff, and Tomahawk.

 

Level

HD

BTH

BTD

1

D8

0

+2

2

D8

+1

+3

3

D8

+1

+3

4

D8

+2

+3

5

+2

+2

+4

6

+2

+3

+4

7

+2

+3

+5

8

+2

+4

+5

9

+2

+4

+5

10

+2

+5

+6

11

+2

+5

+6

12

+2

+6

+7

13

+2

+6

+7

14

+2

+7

+7

15

+2

+7

+8

16

+2

+8

+8

17

+2

+8

+9

18

+2

+9

+9

19

+2

+9

+9

20

+2

+10

+10

 

Witch-

 

Bewitch– A witch is able to beguile a person into believing that she is his best friend.  The target must succeed a Willpower check VS the Witches Charisma roll or he will do pretty much anything that the Witch asks.  If the Witch asks the target to attack friends and allies he is allowed a second Willpower save with a +2. This lasts 1 hour per level.

 

Blood Boil– Once per day a Witch can draw dark power from within herself and make the blood of a target boil.  They must succeed at a Constitution Save -2 or be wracked with feverish pain as the innards are cooked.  Targets take 4d6 damage.  Successful save means target takes half damage.

 

Nightmare– The Witch is a thing of nightmares.  A Witch can turn her gaze upon a target and cause them to see horrible visions.  The Target must succeed a Willpower save VS the Witches Charisma roll or become frightened of the witch, running full bore away from her.  This lasts a number of rounds equal to the Witches Charisma Modifier.

 

A Witch can use this once per day till level 5 where it increases to two times per day.

 

 

Level 5- Succubus/Incubus- You are somehow you have been imbued with the ability of being able to heal yourself by absorbing another person’s life essence through sex.

You and the target (if unwilling) must make opposing Attribute rolls; Your Charisma VS the targets Constitution.  The victim receives a +2 modifier.  If you succeed you heal yourself for 1d6 damage while the target takes that amount.

If you continue to feed on the same victim for more than a 3 of days the target will start looking pale, fatigued, and sickly.  The wounds taken do not show up physically except that they will have low energy and perhaps look starved.

If they succeed against you, you are unable to feed off of them for 24 hours.

 

Level 5- Hex– A Witch is able to tap into dark powers and direct them at a foe, hindering them.   The target of this check must make a Willpower check -2 or suffer terrible misfortune.   If successful the next roll the target makes must be rerolled and they must take the lowest of the two.

 

A Witch can cast this once per day until level 8 when it increases to twice a day.

 

Level 10- Death Hex- The Witch has become shrouded by Dark Powers.  She is able to reach in and snuff out the life energies of an individual.  The target must make a Constitution Save +2.  Failure means the target’s life force starts fading and the target will die in 1d6 rounds.  Success means the target takes 3d6 damage.

 

A Witch can use this ability once per day.

 

Witch Stats

Prime Attribute- Charisma

Hit Dice– d6

Weapons– Stingy Pistol, Pocket Pistol, Club, Dagger, and Staff.

 

Level

HD

BTH

BTD

1

D6

0

+2

2

D6

+1

+3

3

D6

+1

+3

4

D6

+2

+3

5

+1

+2

+4

6

+1

+3

+4

7

+1

+3

+4

8

+1

+4

+4

9

+1

+4

+5

10

+1

+5

+5

11

+1

+5

+5

12

+1

+6

+6

13

+1

+6

+6

14

+1

+7

+6

15

+1

+7

+6

16

+1

+8

+7

17

+1

+8

+7

18

+1

+9

+7

19

+1

+9

+8

20

+1

+10

+8

 

 High Noon

 

Both characters make Charisma checks- this is to psych the opponent out.  If a target fails they become rattled at take -2 to their Initiative roll.  If successful opponent adds +2 to Initiative roll.  If both opponents succeed or fail this cancels the effect out.

 

The opponents then roll initiative factoring appropriate modifiers.  Whoever goes first gets to attack.  Roll to hit.  If successful roll damage.  Damage is slightly different here.  Damage can explode and once the total number is calculated, multiply that by 2.

 

If the first attacker misses resolve the attack for the second opponent.

 

If both opponents miss it can be considered a draw or can continue as a regular gunfight, although the law might step in by that point.

 

A duel is a dangerous matter and most men don’t take it lightly because they know they are one bullet away from worm food.

 


You’re in Hell (or a Nebulous Vortex)… Now What Did You Happen to Bring With You?

So you are sucked into a black hole, void of everything except for a few people (see Anthology of Interest I– Futurama or No Exit by Sartre) and it JUST SO HAPPENS a few other objects that were carefully stowed in your backpack.  I am interested in what they are..  You tell me.

Three role-playing books- Which ones?
Three movies- what are they?
Three music albums- which ones?
One Novel (fiction or non-fiction)- Which one?
And finally a bottle of some refreshment- What is it?

Feel free to explain choices etc.

Here’s mine-

Three role-playing books– First off I would definitely take Vornheim as my first choice, as I’ve found it to be an amazingly invaluable book. Second would be Savage Worlds, since it’s a system that is easy to convert to whatever and can handle so many genres. The final one is Pathfinder. I actually had to ponder a bit between that and Castles and Crusades (which I also love). In the end I went with Pathfinder because it is such a hefty tome and if I’m going to be stuck in a room for all eternity- I want something that is a hefty tome like Pathfinder.
Three movies– This is a no brainer for me. A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. The ORIGINAL unedited Holy Trilogy. Not the plate of shit that dear ol’ George has been serving us lately.
Three music albums– Again a no brainer for me. Louis Armstrong All-Time Greatest Hits, Nirvana Unplugged, and finally Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.
One Novel (fiction or non-fiction)– If I could sneak on all 7 Harry Potter books I would, but I can’t.. So I won’t. However if I could only take one book I would take a history textbook (nerdy I know). Probably a Western Civilization I book as there would be invaluable information in there to draw from for creativity.
And finally a bottle of some refreshment– A Nalgene bottle of fresh brewed unsweetend black Iced Tea. Mmmmmm.

In Other News

Well school has once again reared its wonderfully ugly head and bogged me down with homework.  This semester I’m taking creative writing (hopefully I’ll have no problems with that) and Intro to Shakespeare (I used to read him quite often, 12 years ago, but now am quite rusty..  This will be a bit more challenging).

That is why I haven’t really posted much the last couple of weeks.

I have gotten to run two Firefly Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse games and created an Obsidian Portal page for the campaign. I’m hoping to have time to write up recaps for the session in the near future.

The brunt of V2.1 of my Firefly rules are done. I just need to go back and do a proof of it all. I’ve set it to the side and will let it sit for about a week or two so I can take a stab at it with fresh eyes. I may also have another moment of levity and add more to it. Who knows.

I’ve also started working on my annual Halloween One-Shot. I can’t say anymore due to the possibility of my players reading the blog.

Sorry for the lack of posting, but hopefully I’ll get into my new groove and be able to manage it all just fine!


You Either Die a Hero… Or Live Long Enough to Become the Villain

Something that has always confounded me about high level characters is how they are treated as awesome awe-inspiring heroes in many GM’s campaigns and pre-made settings.

I was thinking about this the other day and it dawned on me a completely different way to handle this.  Now my realization here is not novel and it may have been blogged about in the past and I just missed it..  Oh well.

In fantasy games, even old school games, the characters are just slightly a cut above your everyday-ho-hum-person.  They are brave, have skills that many people may not have, and are crazy enough to actually venture into the wilds and pit their mettle against things that would make most people piddle in their pants.

In many fantasy games I’ve played in or read about the highest character you tend to see is around level 5.  I think that this is to make the PC’s feel even more mighty when they are the same level as the captain of the guard or the king himself.  I think the other reason is that the world is extremely dangerous and your Average Joe has a hard enough time feeding himself and surviving toiling in the fields and dealing with bandits than anything else.

Think about it this way: The sight of a Goblin or two is scary.. The sight of an Orc is terrifying..  The sight of a Ogre is horrific.  Anything beyond that (to keep monsters fresh and not carbon-copy stat blocks) is like staring at something out of Cthulhu.  It is incomprehensible and can reduce people to jibbering idiots.

So what does that make PC’s?  They are the adventurers who do venture out and find themselves gaining power and tackling these horrors that gobble up people in the night and lay the bandits in the ground for disrupting the trade paths between villages, towns, and cities.

You Either Die a Hero…  Or Live Long Enough to Become the Villain

So we reach the meat of my thought process here..  The PC’s first find themselves lauded as heroes…  but eventually they are feared and despised for their power they have gained that sets them above the normal man…

Characters, especially in many of the older games get keeps and castles and followers starting around level 9-10?  Why?  Is it because the king has granted them a boon and gives them land, castle, and servants as a reward?  Or is it that the hero has attracted a few people who aren’t afraid of her and had to use her own resources to build a keep out on the boarder lands.

The heroes killed a dragon that has been plaguing the kings eastern most territory.  The heroes killed a dragon.  Something that many Average Joes look at with fear, awe, and possible even reverence.  Now the people are going to look at these heroes and beging to wonder what they are.  After all how could anything mortal or moral yield the power to kill a dragon?  Tensions will rise and eventually the heroes are turned into monsters that have entered congress with beasts of the deep.

What if the king needs the help of the heroes again?  He may turn to them in desperation, but there is true fear that he is making a deal with the devil here.  Sure the heroes might with whatever problem is now plaguing the kingdom, but do we really want to deal with people who can kill a dragon?!  Is it the lesser of two evils?  Will they set upon us next?!

I just think that this would be an interesting approach to handling PC’s at higher level.  They aren’t monsters and wouldn’t let a whole city die of something terrible, but they aren’t exactly welcome there either and they know it.


Incorporating Cyberware and Gene Therapy into Firefly: Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse or into the AGE system

I mentioned last week that I am doing a pretty large update for my Firefly campaign setting that utilizes the AGE system.

I have really added quite a bit more and changed things around and I’m pretty happy with the outcome thus far.

One thing I really wanted to added to the game was cyberware.  I didn’t want to go crazy with it and make it like Cyberpunk 2020 or Shadowrun, but I did want to give enough give it that flair of a ‘Verse heading into that more dystopian feel (as if it wasn’t already).

One thing, that I’ll admit freely, that inspired this is playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution.  I already knew that there was some cyber-technology in the Firefly Universe, as seen in the “Those Left Behind” Serenity comic book and I’ve thought for a long while that it would be fun to do.

Not only that but the fun of thinking how a corrupt and all powerful company like Blue Sun would capitalize on all of this.

In Deus Ex there is cyber rejection and a drug that keeps that from happening, but there are side-effects, addiction, and the need of the drug to keep the body from rejecting the metal implants.  I think something like that would be awesome in the Firefly Universe and would add a whole new level of tension and desperation to the ‘Verse.

When I decided to create this for my game I did not want to create a whole new rule set to go along with the AGE system or just cut and tape a rule set from another game onto Firefly..  I limited myself to what was in the 4 books available to us right now.

I think what I’ve done is good, fast, and easy for play.  It may not be the most realistic of options and it may not be what everyone is looking for, which is why I made it an optional rule.  Ignore it completely if you feel so inclined.

Well here it is..  This will be in the Firefly: Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse update coming out soon.

Enjoy!

Cybernetics and Gene Therapy (Optional Rule)-

Cyber-technology is something that didn’t get fully explored in the Firefly and Serenity (aside from the robots) show, although there are hints of it here and there.  A full view of cyber-technology is finally displayed in the Serenity comic “Those Left Behind.”  Ex-Federal Marshal Lawrence Dobson (from the Pilot episode Serenity) has a cyberware eye that allows him to see a thermal heat pattern. 

 

It is possible had the show not met an untimely demise further examples of cyber-technology would have been seen.

Cybernetics and gene therapy are new technologies in the ‘Verse and both are under strict enforcement by theAllianceand Blue Sun Corporation.  Usually only the very wealthy can afford Gene Therapy, which they do, and pay large sums of platinum, to further better themselves over common folk.

Cybernetics, generally, are used to replace limbs, eyes, damaged tissue, and the like on soldiers of theAlliance.  It is not illegal for normal citizens to get cybernetic augmentations, but they must apply for a license, be approved, and then have theAlliancecredits to shell out for the procedure.

Seeing cybernetics on the Boarder planets, except for Beaumonde and sometimes on Persephone, or in the Rim is rare and people tend to gawk at those who have it.  So if remaining inconspicuous is your goal, this may make it a tad more difficult.

Cyberware

Adding cybernetics to a game setting can be a tricky business since they can introduce complicated and convoluted rules into an otherwise simple and elegant system.  Firefly: Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse will outline simple suggestions for implementing cyberware and gene therapy into your own campaign.

Cyberware is expensive and the procedure to add it to the body is dangerous and time consuming.

When a character is about to be operated on they must make a Constitution (Stamina) check with a -2 at a TN of 11.  Each time a character goes under to add on another piece of cyberware they must make the test.  Each piece of cyberware raises the TN by one degree on the Basic Test Difficulty Table (pg 56, Players Handbook, Set 1).

Failure means that the doctors “detect” something that hinders the operation.  Due to this the character cannot get that or any other cyberware for at least 30 days while recuperating and they move to the next rank of difficulty.

Once a character reaches the “Nigh Impossible” level of Basic Test Difficulty Table they are unable to add anymore cyberware to their body since it just can’t handle the strain any longer.  Additions do not need to be rolled in this manner since the alteration is to the cyberware itself and not to the body.

The cybernetics listed below not exhaustive.  These are meant to be a quick list and examples.

The first thing to consider is pricing.  Rather than coming up with a complicated listing for each piece of cyberware just use a base line price of 3,000p and add the modifier for each bodily section listed below.  Additions (see below) cost a straight 500p.

Eyes (1,000p)

Sharp Vision*– Characters with this augmentation can see double that of normal eyes and receive +1 when using the Aim function.

Lowlight Vision*– Characters are able to see clearly in poorly lit conditions.

Thermal Vision*– Thermal vision allows a character to see heat signatures of various objects, people, and animals.  These eyes give the character +2 to Perception (Seeing) against a target wearing a Chameleon Suit.

*A character can only have one style of Eye Augmentation.  All characters can switch between normal vision and that granted by their cyberware.  This is not automatic.  A player must state that they switch over.

 

Legs (500p)

Cyber Leg(s)– Adds +3 to Speed and +1 to jumping (per leg).

 

Mouth (500p)

Rebreather– Filters out toxins, gas, and poisons when activated and lasts for 1 hour before running out of air.

Voice Emulator– Allows person to sound like another target where a good sound sample has been obtained.  When using this piece of cyberware the character receives +4 to Communication (Deception) rolls against computer recognition software or person (that cannot see character).

Arms (500p)

Cyber Arm(s)– Unarmed Damage is now 1d6 +2 and +1 on Strength (Might) checks (per arm).

Brain (2,000p)

Cortex Jack– This device provides faster interaction between a cortex station and the user.  The character gets +2 to initiative rolls (if so desired for that function) while hacking the Cortex.  The character also receives a further +2 to Cunning (Hacking) rolls.

Adrenal Stimulator– This device activates a surge of adrenaline into the body giving the character +2 to initiative rolls and thickens the skin granting +3 armor for the encounter.  This can only be used once in a 24 hour period.

Hyper Reaction Articulator– This piece of cyberware sends a an electrical jolt into the brain and allows the target to take one additional Major Action and one additional Minor action (these can be activated separately).  This can only be used once in a 24 hour period.

Data Module– This allows the insertion of disks that have vital information in them.  When a player inserts a disk they must make a Cunning (Hacking) roll, TN 15 to gain access to the information.  Failure means that they cannot access the Data Modules for 24 hours due to feedback.  Only one data disk can be in the module at one time.

Emotional Override– This kills all emotions of the character.  They cannot be rattled or shaken during this time.  They are also a might unsettlin’ in this fashion and suffer -2 to all Communication Ability tests.

Reboots- Reboots are a failsafe jack that detects a problem slightly before it arises and allows the character to quickly correct the situation.  The reboot is a small chip that has 7 small plugs.  Each plug represents a link to an ability score.  Each Reboot program must be purchased and installed separately.  Reboots allow a character to re-roll a failed roll but they must take the second roll.  This can be used once per day per reboot.

Head (500p)

Hearing Amplifier– A character can activate this to hear more acutely.  This gives the character +2 to Perception (Hearing) Ability Tests.

Short Range Comlink– Functions just alike a normal short range comlink, however this one cannot be taken away from the character.  It can still be jammed however.

Olfactory Sensor- Heightens the characters sense of smell.  +2 to Perception (Smell) checks.

Skin (1,000p)

Flesh Weaving– Thin fibers are woven just under the skin, giving the character a permanent +2 Armor.

Additions (500p)

Legs-

Storage Space (Must already have Cyber Leg)*– Leg is altered to have small cavity that will allow the storing of a small pistol, Adrenaline Shot, etc.

Retractable blade (Must already have Cyber Leg)*– A small blade that slips out of the tip of the foot (1d6).

*A character can only have one or the other in a given leg.

Foot Spikes– Small spikes jut out of the bottom of the foot (1d6 damage) and give +2 to Strength (Climbing) checks.  Both legs must be replaced for this augmentation.

Arms

Storage Space (Must already have Cyber Arm)*– Arm is altered to have small cavity that will allow the storing of a small pistol, Adrenaline Shot, etc.

Retractable blade (Must already have Cyber Arm)*– A small blade that slips out of the arm (1d6+1).

 *A character can only have one or the other in a given arm.

Finger Needle– A single dose of poison or tranquilizer can be put into an opening in the index finger.  A small needle will pop out of the finger and allow the character to attempt to poke the target.  Resolve poison effects normally.

Finger Line- The tip of the index finger can pull away and is attached to a thin, but strong, piece of cord that goes into the hand.  This can be used to sneak up and strangle an unsuspecting target.

Eyes-

Camera- A small camera is inserted in the pupil area.  Data is then stored on a blank data disk in the brain.  A character must have the Data Module for this piece of cyberware to work properly.

Brain-

Data Disks- Disks contain information, such as schematics, plans, and other information.  When a character has successfully installed the data disk they gain access to the information.  This can be just general information or can be access to an Ability Focus.  Did the character find a disk on information on reading and understanding people?  While the disk is in their Data Module they are treated as having the Perception (Empathy) Focus.

Communication Reboot- Read Reboot description above.

Constitution Reboot- Read Reboot description above.

Cunning Reboot- Read Reboot description above.

Dexterity Reboot- Read Reboot description above.

Perception Reboot- Read Reboot description above.

Strength Reboot- Read Reboot description above.

Willpower Reboot- Read Reboot description above.

Gene Therapy-

Gene Therapy is another invasive, time consuming, and expensive operation.  While not exactly being cut open and ripped apart, as is the case with installing cyberware, gene therapy is harsh on the body due to the chemical attack on the system.

A specially engineered virus which contains the patient’s own DNA is injected into their body.  The virus then attaches itself to the patients own cells and begin to add the new genetic coding.

Over the course of a month the patient will begin to see improvement in whatever therapy they were treated for.

Rules for gene therapy work exactly the same as cyberware.  When a character is about to receive the injection they must make a Constitution (Stamina) check with a -2 at a TN of 11.  Each time a character goes under to receive another session of gene therapy they must make the test.  Each injection raises the TN by one degree on the Basic Test Difficulty Table (pg 56, Players Handbook, Set 1).

Failure means that the doctors “detect” something hinders the operation and makes it so the character cannot an injection for at least 30 days and they move to the next rank of difficulty.

Once a character reaches the “Nigh Impossible” level of Basic Test Difficulty Table they are unable to undergo any further sessions of gene therapy to their body, it just can’t handle the strain and their cells may become unstable.

As with cyberware the baseline pricing for gene therapy is 3,000p.  You then multiply the base by what the new Ability is going to be.  For example- Burgess “Skinny” Rollins has decided that he needs to be stronger to do his job as a body guard effectively.  His employer knows that Burgess is loyal and dedicated to his job, so he agrees to pay for one session of gene therapy.  Burgess’s Strength Ability is a 4, thus the cost of the session will be 12,000p.

A Deadly Game

 

Cyberware and Gene Therapy are new technologies and not whole heartedly safe.  If a character fails the Constitution (Stamina) test and the Dragon Die comes up a 1 then the target has suffered a major infection or complication.  They move up two levels of difficulty rather than one and must make another Constitution (Stamina) test at the current difficulty level.  If this roll results in a failure the character has died.

Cheap Cyberware (Optional)

Whenever new technology is discovered and brought to the market there are those who want to exploit that new money pot.  Sometimes this is a person wanting to bring needed technology to those who need it, and other times its vultures picking at the desperation of the poor and destitute.

Cheap Cyberware is substandard, looks clunky, but it’s functional.  If a character purchases cheap cyberware it is ½ the normal cost and all target numbers stay the same as outlined above.  However anytime a character uses that piece of cyberware they must roll 3d6, TN 11, to make sure that it functions properly.  If the roll fails the cyberware is useless for 1d3 turns, at which point it works itself out.  If the roll fails and the Dragon Die is a 1, the cyberware has suffered a major failure and needs to be repaired by a Mechanic.  A mechanic rolls a Cunning (Mechanic) Ability Test, TN 13 to successfully get the cyberware up and running again.

This does not include using a leg to walk or an arm to grab something or any other mundane function.  If a character decides to run with that leg and use the boosted pace or the arm to lift something or perhaps punch a foe, then the test must be made.


Update Coming For Firefly: Hurtlin’ Through the ‘Verse

I’ve put working on my Firefly campaign setting for a bit while I worked out some nagging issues I have the AGE system and worked on other things like my Wrath of Zombie game and got two different campaigns up and running.

Problems with the AGE system?!  Whaaa–?!

I love the AGE system for its overall simplicity and feel, but I became disenchanted with it due to the thing that many people applaud about it…  Stunts.

I’ve read several game reports and forum posts about rulings on attempting to do stunt-like things without the use of Stunt Points, like disarming, knocking a target back, or tripping them.

Many GM’s seem to have ruled that a player can’t do that unless they have stunts..  And that just bothered me big time.  The whole “NO you can’t do X” just grates on me unless what the player is asking is really unreasonable.

The other thing about Stunts that was bothering me is that seems to be a big thing that people focus on and add more of, and I honestly fell prey to this when I developed Firefly, especially when you look at my Talents and Specializations.  These are great stunts by Saisei and I have used them in a few Dragon Age games that I have run, but I noticed that adding these bogged down game time because the players had to look through their available options and decide what to do.

I love Stunts, but I’d also like a few more abilities and the like for each class rather than a huge plethora of stunts (that’s just me though).

So What’s a Dude to Do

After sitting on it for a bit I hit a Muse (no literally I did) and came up with some bits of levity that I think fit (for me) the conundrum that plagued me.

So first was what to do with those pesky actions that players wanted to do even if they didn’t have Stunt Points?  Simple, just read below (this is from the upcoming Firefly update).

 Stunts

One complaint heard about the AGE system is the randomness of Stunts when dealing with actions like disarming or tripping an opponent.

If you desire to let your players attempt these actions without the need for Stunt Points it is easy to do.

Allow them to make an appropriate Ability (Focus) test with a -2.  If they reach the TN then they are successful at the desired action, but they do no damage, where as the stunt allows them to disarm and damage.

If the player roll doubles and generates Stunt Points they must select the appropriate stunt that they are performing.  You can also rule that performing “stunt” like actions does not generate SP when doubles are rolled.

Second- dealing with an overabundance of Stunts.  An awesome post over on Dragon Age Oracle made me sit down and think about how I had approached designing my game and what I thought the AGE system was directing me to do and that I was slightly off key.

I’ve gone back through and redesigned MANY of the Talents and Specializations (some from the ground up) and hopefully they’ll be more interesting and have more use than just waiting to roll stunts.

I also changed how poisons work (from Box Set 2) since it bothered me that delivering the poison to a target was a stunt.  I played a game where the rogue had poison on his blades, hit several targets during combat, but didn’t roll stunts once.

He was disappointed and understandably so.  I didn’t like that design for poison- so I went with a more direct manner.

Delivering poison to a target is no longer a stunt, as per the standard rules of DA.  When the target is hit by the weapon with the poison they must succeed at a Constitution (Stamina) ability test, TN 13 for Novice, 15 for Journeyman, and 17 for Master or fall prey to the poisons effects.

Hopefully the decisions I’ve made will be useful to myself and anyone else who takes my version of Firefly for a spin.

I’m not sure when the update will be out, but hopefully soon.  I don’t want to rush it.  I want to put everything I intend to in it.

Next Week- Firefly and…. Cyberware?!