[DL:R] Armor and Mad Scientist

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NinjaMonkey
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[DL:R] Armor and Mad Scientist

#1 Postby NinjaMonkey » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:44 pm

Ok, this is a minor gripe. I get that power points are just an abstraction, and in the case of certain power trappings they can signify how often the power is narratively important. But still.

How can the Armor power with a trapping of Bullet Proof Vest have an activation cost, a maintenance cost, a duration, and an activation roll? You're wearing the armor and it's not like its just gonna poof out of existence once the power points wear out.

It seems like in Reloaded, Mad Scientist player characters are meant to work more like the hybrid Mad Scientist/Hucksters found in Hexarcana. If that's the case it would make sense. You'd summon the armor and then it'd go back when you're done with it.

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#2 Postby Templar » Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:49 pm

My guess would be that on some level the mad scientist is working magic in creating their devices. In essence their power is needed to hold the bloody thing together. It even makes some sense in the classic game where the better your rolls were in making the thing the more reliable it was, IE the better your casting the easier it was for the thing to stay manifested.

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#3 Postby newForumNewName » Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:03 pm

I'd wait for Cutter or Clint to comment...

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#4 Postby Lord Skudley » Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:48 pm

It's like any other weird science doohickey. The Ghost Rock used to charge the infernal thing can only maintain it for so long before it poops out.
Yes, it is a "bullet proof vest" but in those days such a vest would have to be made of iron and weigh about a million pounds (that's a little exaggerated, but you get the point). This gadget only weighs a couple of pounds and looks kind of odd, but that’s because the Ghost Rock/Steel used to line it and channel the power is a bit like iron only not…
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#5 Postby Cutter XXIII » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:02 am

If a Trapping simply doesn't make sense by the rules, it's probably not a great Trapping for the character.

Plus, in your example the mad scientist "invented" something that exists and is commonly available from Smith & Robards. Mad science is hardly required for that project.

You could conceive of it, e.g., as a bullet proof vest that requires a static charge of some kind to actually repel bullets, so there's a small, ghost-rock-powered mechanism attached. Or as Lord Skudley suggested, a vest that's much lighter but functions like a heavier item. Or any other number of things that do make sense within the mad scientist rules.
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#6 Postby professor_q » Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:44 am

I've always thought a mad scientist would be fun.


I'd make a "protective placebo" - a vest that makes you INVINCIBLE with the power of SCIENCE without actually making you wear any material that would work as armor.

It'd give anyone trying to shoot you or hit you with projectiles a -2 to hit you, unless it malfunctions.

The ghost rock "Ironing" accidentally ironed in a disgruntled manitou that occasionally will pull bullets TOWARD you.

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Re: [DL:R] Armor and Mad Scientist

#7 Postby Clint » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:26 am

NinjaMonkey wrote:Ok, this is a minor gripe. I get that power points are just an abstraction, and in the case of certain power trappings they can signify how often the power is narratively important. But still.

How can the Armor power with a trapping of Bullet Proof Vest have an activation cost, a maintenance cost, a duration, and an activation roll? You're wearing the armor and it's not like its just gonna poof out of existence once the power points wear out.


Then it doesn't. Seriously, the rules from the core book still apply and a power's effects can be altered by its trappings. In fact, Mad Science is specifically the AB where it states in the book...

"Mad science is a little different because it can come in so many forms. Use the usual procedure for determining its Trappings (let the player make it up based on his concept of the gizmo that produces the effect); some ideas are presented here to help you."

If the trapping is a "bulletproof vest," then guess what...

1 - No roll to activate
2 - No Power Points
3 - Works while worn

But on the flip side...

1 - With no roll, no chance for a raise to activate, so only +2 Armor*
2 - No way to use the power on more than one character.
3 - Only protects the area covered instead of normally full coverage
4 - No escape from Malfunctions, they work as for the S&R vest.

*As Marshal I might allow it to go up to a maximum of +4, but I would tie it directly to the weight of the vest similar to the S&R vest, trading out better Armor for eating up more of the Load Limit.

Bam, it's done. The benefits and the limitations are pretty obvious from the trappings, and really, bulletproof vest is one of the easiest ones in that regard given the very clear limitations it applies to the power's normally available effects.
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Re: [DL:R] Armor and Mad Scientist

#8 Postby Kirkland » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:55 pm

Clint wrote:Bam, it's done. The benefits and the limitations are pretty obvious from the trappings, and really, bulletproof vest is one of the easiest ones in that regard given the very clear limitations it applies to the power's normally available effects.


It can be hard to wrap your head around something that requires materials to make costing an edge instead of money, or that you can rebuild it for free if it gets lost.

Either way, no action to activate and on even if surprised are pretty nice advantages, I'd definitely prefer that form over the regular armor power.

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Re: [DL:R] Armor and Mad Scientist

#9 Postby NinjaMonkey » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:49 pm

Clint wrote:
NinjaMonkey wrote:Ok, this is a minor gripe. I get that power points are just an abstraction, and in the case of certain power trappings they can signify how often the power is narratively important. But still.

How can the Armor power with a trapping of Bullet Proof Vest have an activation cost, a maintenance cost, a duration, and an activation roll? You're wearing the armor and it's not like its just gonna poof out of existence once the power points wear out.


Then it doesn't. Seriously, the rules from the core book still apply and a power's effects can be altered by its trappings. In fact, Mad Science is specifically the AB where it states in the book...

"Mad science is a little different because it can come in so many forms. Use the usual procedure for determining its Trappings (let the player make it up based on his concept of the gizmo that produces the effect); some ideas are presented here to help you."

If the trapping is a "bulletproof vest," then guess what...

1 - No roll to activate
2 - No Power Points
3 - Works while worn

But on the flip side...

1 - With no roll, no chance for a raise to activate, so only +2 Armor*
2 - No way to use the power on more than one character.
3 - Only protects the area covered instead of normally full coverage
4 - No escape from Malfunctions, they work as for the S&R vest.

*As Marshal I might allow it to go up to a maximum of +4, but I would tie it directly to the weight of the vest similar to the S&R vest, trading out better Armor for eating up more of the Load Limit.

Bam, it's done. The benefits and the limitations are pretty obvious from the trappings, and really, bulletproof vest is one of the easiest ones in that regard given the very clear limitations it applies to the power's normally available effects.


Thanks Clint, that power and trapping combo was just driving me nuts trying to explain to my players. I didn't realize that things like duration and activation and such could be dropped for the mad scientist "powers" based on trappings. That really opens the door to some really cool possibilities for a mad scientist.

And thanks everyone else for your input.

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Re: [DL:R] Armor and Mad Scientist

#10 Postby Snate56 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:07 pm

Kirkland wrote:It can be hard to wrap your head around something that requires materials to make costing an edge instead of money, or that you can rebuild it for free if it gets lost.


Naw, It's like you are the only guy with the recipe.




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Re: [DL:R] Armor and Mad Scientist

#11 Postby Sitting Duck » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:58 am

Kirkland wrote:It can be hard to wrap your head around something that requires materials to make costing an edge instead of money, or that you can rebuild it for free if it gets lost.


Then you might find the version of the Weird Science AB featured in Space: 1889 more to your liking.
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