Doomsayers: Magic or Miracles?

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Doomsayers: Magic or Miracles?

Poll ended at Tue Apr 08, 2008 5:07 pm

Magic
9
53%
Miracles
8
47%
 
Total votes: 17

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Calabim
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Doomsayers: Magic or Miracles?

#1 Postby Calabim » Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:07 pm

I started work on my own savage Deadlands HOE system today. I banged out Templers in no time but had trouble with starting on Doomsayers. I was having trouble choosing which AB to choose. My gut says magic but since there magic is based on faith I was thinking Miracles may work as well. What's your vote?

Also any ideas on how to do the mutations on the busted faith roll let me know.

I wanted to add that I voted magic because they also have no sins to adhere to. If I am wrong here please correct me.
Last edited by Calabim on Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Postby Capnsmitty19 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:12 pm

Id say just for that reason. that their magic is based on faith, that is how i would do it if i were making a conversion....
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#3 Postby Bill » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:17 pm

Basing the power on Faith would mean that they would need to have some guidelines for that faith. Why are they Doomsayers? Do they focus on a comming doom, warn against it or try and make it happen? If you don't have any tenants for them, and can't think of any that apply, then I would go with Magic. The fact that they "believe" in "magic" doesn't make it a Faith. If that magic came from outside themselves and they were merely granted it's use by a power that wanted them to use it for a particular purpose THEN you have a Faith based AB.
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#4 Postby Jordan Peacock » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:55 pm

Bill wrote:Basing the power on Faith would mean that they would need to have some guidelines for that faith. Why are they Doomsayers?


I would have to concur. Although the Doomsayers certainly have the stereotypical trappings of some sort of "religion," there was nothing that really seemed to make it clear just what rules practitioners had to observe. They cast their spells "by the power of the Glow," and so forth, but it wasn't like they actually had any deity to serve, or even a unifying mission.

I ran a HoE campaign in which we had a Doomsayer in the group for a while, and the player did a grand job of playing up the schtick of coming across like a stereotyped evangelical preacher, but substituting key words to talk about the Glow rather than mentioning, say, God. But the general gist of the Doomsayer "faith" seemed only to be that "Radiation is good, and Mutation is the way of the future."

That's all well and good, I suppose, and great for a laugh, but a Wizard could just as easily be dedicated toward the pursuit of magic.

A divine spellcaster usually has some sort of higher authority to answer to - and Doomsayers (in classic Deadlands HoE) who are members of a PC group are generally NOT following the higher authority usually associated with their "faith" - and yet they still have power anyway. Just occasionally going "Hallelujah!" and inserting the obligatory radiation-themed pun makes for great roleplay gags, but doesn't put any limitations upon a PC's behavior that is usually assumed with a divine arcane background.

I guess I really ought to dust off my old books and see if I'm missing something. It's been a while, after all.

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#5 Postby Zombi Bobb » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:24 pm

This lack of religious guidelines has bugged me for awhile. I personally see them as being a version of the Blessed because frankly without some sort of sinnin' boundaries, they are too powerful to allow in my game. (I think that Amarna was also an attempt to make the religious connotations more obvious)

When a player wants to play a Doomie in my games I go over and explain the gist of the Doomsayer religion (at least purple-flavored). I'm still working on these so I don't really have them in list form, it's just a couple rules to guide, and from there I'll start making more if I ever get someone to play one ever again.

First are what I call the "universals". Thou shalt not kill, steal, worship other gods before yours, covet your neighbor or his wife, so on. Be a good guy.

Then more specific to the Glow: Spread the word. Specifically, bring the word to mutants who are lost and downtrodden and to norms that misunderstand and condemn mutation. Bring peace to the process of the Glow guiding humanity to their next step(s) on the path.

The other one I'm working on the boundaries of how to enforce and I think I've got it down pretty well is a clause to not killing. Killing is bad, but in this new world, it's sometimes go to be done. The Glow has given you abilities however to cope, and simply destroying what gets in your way is not cool. What's worse than killing? Killing a mutant. Life is to be cherished but to kill a mutant is to kill the future, to kill the very thing for which you strive so hard to promote. I take this pretty far too. Even killing a Trog gets you a sinnin' check. If you are promoting mutants as good, who are you to decide that certain ones are bad? That's up to the Glow.

Another one I just thought of that I'll probably start including is a Christian Science-y kind of idea that it is a sin for Doomsayers to heal radiation damage and poison (that may already be a rule, I don't remember). If the Glow has poisoned you, it has done so for a reason and you will rise up in the ranks of the chosen or die in the very culling the Doomsayers preach is occurring. And along with this, there is going to be a growing demonization of Dr. Pepper (I'm sorry elixir of wonder, I am so sorry!) possibly to the point that Doomsayers and followers of the Glow detest it's presence and demand it be disposed of.

So I guess I'm in favor of religion.

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#6 Postby Clint » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:33 pm

By the book, there are no "sins" that affect their powers for Doomsayers. They're power is actually originally based off scientific evidence of how a human body can channel energy that they ascribe religious meaning to. Of course, the scientific knowledge is just the basis it requires spiritual focus (Faith) to channel the power.

In short, yeah, for SW, they would just use the AB: Magic rules with Faith (Spirit) as their Arcane Skill. And a critical failure would cause a random mutation.
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#7 Postby Wendigo1870 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 5:08 pm

Clint wrote:And a critical failure would cause a random mutation.
Which they would oddly enough see as a blessing then! :-?

In a way, 'faith' (their belief in what the Glow can do) 'sets the meridians' in the doomsayer's body. The higher the faith, the better they channel the Glow's powers, which in itself is still magic. It's often been referred to as 'radiation magic' or 'doomsayer magic' in the HoE books too.

Zombi Bobb wrote:This lack of religious guidelines has bugged me for awhile. I personally see them as being a version of the Blessed because frankly without some sort of sinnin' boundaries, they are too powerful to allow in my game. (I think that Amarna was also an attempt to make the religious connotations more obvious)
The religion only exists for about 13 years, which explains the lack of guidelines: the religious system isn't stable yet. In fact, 3 different versions of the faith in the Glow already exist, and all their magic works fine, regardless of creed/dogma.
Even then, they're just that; guidelines. They're not set in stone (yet).

Zombi Bobb wrote:When a player wants to play a Doomie in my games I go over and explain the gist of the Doomsayer religion (at least purple-flavored). I'm still working on these so I don't really have them in list form, it's just a couple rules to guide, and from there I'll start making more if I ever get someone to play one ever again.
Sinnin' would seem okay to me if 'The Glow' was an actual entity with rules it needs His followers to obey. But it's not, it's actually a passive raw (supernatural nuclear) power, ready to be used by anyone who somehow learned to control it (in this case, by 'believing' they can).
First are what I call the "universals". Thou shalt not kill, steal, worship other gods before yours, covet your neighbor or his wife, so on. Be a good guy.
Calling the Ten Commandments "universal" sounds rather odd, since they're hardly 'universal' (more enforced by law rather than religion in lots of countries). Even Joan's belief before the Glow was more a mish-mash of all sorts of weird stuff. And "thou shalt not worship other gods before yours" and going from God to Glow sounds very hypocrite. ;-)

Zombi Bobb wrote:Then more specific to the Glow: Spread the word. Specifically, bring the word to mutants who are lost and downtrodden and to norms that misunderstand and condemn mutation. Bring peace to the process of the Glow guiding humanity to their next step(s) on the path.

The other one I'm working on the boundaries of how to enforce and I think I've got it down pretty well is a clause to not killing. Killing is bad, but in this new world, it's sometimes go to be done. The Glow has given you abilities however to cope, and simply destroying what gets in your way is not cool. What's worse than killing? Killing a mutant. Life is to be cherished but to kill a mutant is to kill the future, to kill the very thing for which you strive so hard to promote. I take this pretty far too. Even killing a Trog gets you a sinnin' check. If you are promoting mutants as good, who are you to decide that certain ones are bad? That's up to the Glow.

Another one I just thought of that I'll probably start including is a Christian Science-y kind of idea that it is a sin for Doomsayers to heal radiation damage and poison (that may already be a rule, I don't remember). If the Glow has poisoned you, it has done so for a reason and you will rise up in the ranks of the chosen or die in the very culling the Doomsayers preach is occurring. And along with this, there is going to be a growing demonization of Dr. Pepper (I'm sorry elixir of wonder, I am so sorry!) possibly to the point that Doomsayers and followers of the Glow detest it's presence and demand it be disposed of.
This would be really hard for the purple Doomies, since their not-so-friendly Green opponents can blast'em away without Sinnin' (they're obviously not opposed to killing). And even the Purple doomies kill mutated hordes who've been led astray by Silas' dogma.
If you still wish to insert some 'faith' restrictions, I'd just ask to incorporate them into the character, and reward the player for proper roleplaying. (Maybe by requiring Hindrances, or just by having the player play out his religious rules).
Zombi Bobb wrote:So I guess I'm in favor of religion.

I guess I'm in favor of Magic :-).
Really, I can see all kinds of things going wrong with making them Blessed-kinda characters with Sinnin' rules (with different sins for each faction), when just allowing them powers according to the magic system seems so easy. It would even make Doomsayers a more 'average' PC in SW magic, compared to the overpowered nukes that they often are in HoE Classic.
I'd just use magic, with a few religious overtones for flavor or trappings, but that's it.
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#8 Postby SlasherEpoch » Thu Apr 03, 2008 11:33 pm

I think it's magic that happens to have a belief structure around it. I think it would be the AB: Magic, but with its arcane skill (Spellcasting) tied to Spirit rather than Smarts. I like Clint's idea of a critical failure causing a random mutation.

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#9 Postby Zombi Bobb » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:01 am

I realized awhile after I posted that it's just over a decade old so there's not many guidelines yet. That is an important point.

I just used Ten Commandment wording to sum up a generalization. From my understanding of world religions, murder is uncool, theft is also not smiled upon, and picking your spiritual team is encouraged. There are exceptions to these in a lot of the religions also, but for the most part I'd say it gets the job done. Going from God to Glow doesn't sound hypocritical to me, it sounds like how most religions I know of convert.

I want it to be really hard on a PC. To have the power to nuke anything but practice the control to not use it or sparingly is the path I feel Doomsayers should walk.

I guess I was getting away from the point of the thread. Straight up rules translation, yeah, Magic will work better. For my house-rule outlook on Doomsayers, I'd insist on Miracles.

I didn't realize how much I've strayed from canon on Doomsayers before now. Looks like I have some reevaluating to do.

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#10 Postby Calabim » Fri Apr 04, 2008 4:43 pm

So I have decided to use Magic. I was thinking of changing the name of Spell casting to Channeling, and tying it to Spirit. They start with only two powers however begin with one random beneficial mutation. (I am using the mutation tables from Shark Bytes) I also like the idea of a random mutation for a critical failure.

Does This sound fair and workable to you guys?

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#11 Postby Seeker Jon » Fri Apr 04, 2008 6:58 pm

I like using magic, like linking the Arcane Skill to Spirit (though I'd call it Faith still, for old times sake). The only issue I'd say is the problem of less powers and the random mutation. The only reason I see an issue with this is that sometimes this will be a good thing, sometimes a bad thing. Depending on how you write up the other Arcane Backgrounds, this may or may not balance out just fine. Maybe have it be that they have a much better chance at getting the good mutations (I'm not familiar with the mutation system in Shark Bytes, so you'll have to figure out a possible way of doing this).

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#12 Postby SlasherEpoch » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:15 pm

How about: Whether beneficial or random, every random mutation fron a Critical Failure is treated like a non-permanent crippling injury. That way, you lose it after a week or so.

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#13 Postby Calabim » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:47 am

I like the idea of splinting Spellcasting and Faith. I plan to make Faith a Prerequisite for a few Doomsayer only Edges though. This was my thinking on the power vs. mutation. You basicly trade one power for a free Edge and or a limited use power and a few free PPs. When the Doomsayer gets a crit failure I was going to pull on the original chart and come up with new rules as needed.

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#14 Postby Clint » Sat Apr 05, 2008 7:34 am

Eh, I should have been clearer.

Use the base AB: Magic rules but with Faith (Spirit) as the Arcane Skill. So a 1 on the Faith die causes a Shaken. A critical failure causes a random non-beneficial mutation.

It is a critical failure after all, and the whole point is the character is boned by it.

At the very best, the GM might allow a once in a blue moon chance that the character gets a beneficial effect from such an event. Something like a 2d6 random chart where if a 12 comes up (double 6s), the character actually gets something slightly beneficial, but everything else pretty much sucks. Like...

2 - Roll twice, ignoring this result and gain both effects
3-4 - Gain a major physical mutation Hindrance
5-6 - Gain a minor physical mutation Hindrance
7 - Gain a minor unattractive cosmetic change; -1 Charisma
8-9 - Gain a minor mental mutation Hindrance
10-11 - Gain a major mental mutation Hindrance
12 - Lucky waster! You gain a minor benefical mutation. Thank the Glow!
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#15 Postby Calabim » Sat Apr 05, 2008 3:54 pm

What about trading in a Legend chip to get a draw from the beneficial mutations list? You are right a crit failure should be bad news.

P.S. Thanks for all the feedback and ideas. Though I am taking what I like and leaving the rest please don't think I don't appreciate any of the feedback. If anyone is interested I may post my Templer edge write-up and get a few more eyes, because it has really helped me here.


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