Conversions Bending

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DaRealJudas
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Conversions Bending

#1 Postby DaRealJudas » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:05 pm

Okay since it is obvious that a lot of people here have more fun at conversions (and are therefore much better at it) than me, I think I will post this here for your opinions.

I really enjoyed a certain animated TV-Show, which as my friends pointed out to me is only for children. Personally I can’t concur; I even believe that it would be great for a fast, furious and fun game. (you just know what I mean :mrgreen: )
The story is about people in a Chinese/Asian-kinda-setting who have the ability to “bend” the four elements. One of the four actually and the plot follows the young boy who has the unique potential to become master of all four.

My question now is how to create the Arcane Background that would player characters and their opponents allow controlling a specific element.

In my head there are two options, but I’m not sure, which one to follow:
1.) Use a variation of the “classical” AB (Magic) and give each element a pool of spells the player can choose from. So for example the Healing spell would only be able to use for Waterbenders.
And maybe give them Elemental Trick as power for free.

2.) Use the NE system and the Energy Control Superpower. Again with some extra powers which are available for certain element like for example the Earthquake Superpower for Earthbenders or Ensnare for Water- and Earthbenders

But as I said, I’m not that good at conversions and fear that I would forget or overlook things that are crucial for game balance and the
Triple-F-Factor. Like which powers fit for which element and stuff or one element becomes more powerful that the others.

Please give me your two cents (don’t worry I have change :wink: )
Last edited by DaRealJudas on Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#2 Postby WickedRoland » Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:53 pm

50 Fathoms has elemental based mages. If you pick up a copy you've killed 2 birds with one stone. Got your element benders and helped to sustain our wonderful hobby. :)

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#3 Postby Control » Thu Oct 30, 2008 12:35 am

With most settings & conversions using the core AB's and power lists works fine. If you have NE using those powers lets you create much more powerful characters. Which is OK if that is the direction you want to go. I'd suggest using the core rules. Then try to pick a couple of hindrances and special rules specific to the setting. I can't suggest any because I am not familiar with the show.

If every one (or all players) in the setting can bend then give AB (Bending) as a free edge for the setting. Perhaps have element based limitations. Are water benders vulnerable to fire? Are all fire benders bloodthirsty? Are air benders clueless? See what I mean?

A well written setting for Savage Worlds only needs a few pages, especially if the players are already familiar with it from novels, TV, or movies.

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#4 Postby Sadric » Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:02 am

The problem with bending ala Avatar is that a bender could block a other bending power. A Firebender hurl flames against a airbender and he toss them to the side with a swirl of air. Thats hard to do with the core AB's.
A lot of the bender combats work this way. Both slash against each other with their power, but block it allways. Then one is tired and get smacked down.

Against normal people bending would be easy as most of them are attack powers.
Have the limitation that there have to be the element you bend (except fire bending, they create fire).

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#5 Postby DaRealJudas » Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:22 pm

Sadric wrote:The problem with bending ala Avatar is that a bender could block a other bending power. A Firebender hurl flames against a airbender and he toss them to the side with a swirl of air. Thats hard to do with the core AB's.
A lot of the bender combats work this way.


I agree. Also I don’t like the usage of Power Points in this case. I fell that it may make the players hesitant to use bending and also would slow things a little bit down.

So using the NE Superpowers I came up with the following:

Arcane Background (<Element> Bending)
Energy Control with one Elemental Trick (Air, Earth, Fire or Water [Cold]),
Matter Control (including Binding and Gliding) with the Elements trapping
and one extra Power.

Once per Rank it will be possible to choose the New Technique Edge. This allows access to a new power.

The possible powers for each element are:

Code: Select all

   
                     Air      Earth      Fire      Water   
Absorption           x         x         x         x   
Animation            x         x         x         x   
Aquatic              x         -         -         x   
Armor                -         x         -         -   
Attack, Melee        -         x         x         x   
Attack, Ranged       x         -         x         -   
Awareness            x         x         -         x   
Burrowing            -         x         -         -   
Damage Field         x         x         x         x   
Darkvision           -         -         x         -   
Deflection           x         x         x         x   
Earthquake           -         x         -         -   
Ensnare              -         x         -         x   
Explode              -         -         x         -   
Flight               x         -        (x)        -   
Healing              -         -         -         x   
Leaping              x         x         x         -   
Parry                x         -         -         x   
Speed                x         x         x         -   
Stun                 x         x         x         x   
Swinging             -         -         -         x   
Wall Walker          x         x         -         -   
Whirlwind            x         -         -         -    



There are some Problems:
Air- and Earthbenders got 14 Powers to choose from, Water 12 and Fire only 11. Plus Aquatic costs 1 Power Point in the NE rules, Absorption with Reflection Extra costs 7.
That doesn’t seem to be very balanced… (See, I told you I suck at this. :wink: )

But I really like the mechanics of the powers and how they would fit to describe a thrilling battle.

So can you help me guys?

btw. I would use Metal- and Bloodbending as Edges that have to be bought and that will have Earth- or Waterbending as Requirements.
The Powers would be Decay and Mind Control.
Last edited by DaRealJudas on Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#6 Postby Antendren » Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:45 am

Sadric wrote:Have the limitation that there have to be the element you bend (except fire bending, they create fire).
Fire benders need a source of element, just like any other bender. They can fulfill that need with their own body heat, however. A subtle distinction, but it could matter to an undead or immaterial bender.

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#7 Postby DaRealJudas » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:16 am

Antendren wrote:
Sadric wrote:Have the limitation that there have to be the element you bend (except fire bending, they create fire).
Fire benders need a source of element, just like any other bender. They can fulfill that need with their own body heat, however. A subtle distinction, but it could matter to an undead or immaterial bender.


Or a very cold one as we have seen with the Fire Nation Prison in the 3rd season. But it’s true that Air- and Firebenders have a small advantage or to be exact that it's much easier to put Water- and Earthbenders at a disadvantage by separating them from “their” element. (the inexperienced at least :wink: )
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#8 Postby DaRealJudas » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:34 am

*Bump*
Since Sordorel had some questions about Avatar I thought I save this post a little while longer... :wink:
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#9 Postby Sordorel » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:42 am

perhaps your idea is more FFF then mine indeed. Tough i do wonder, how do NE characters balance against non super's? Then again soka does feel useless at times. Even if he has mastered about all the non bending fighting styles in a few days each, making him by far one of the best warriors alive.

I think that avatar also allows for the weird science background, as strange and new inventions seem to be done all the time both powered by bending and not.

oh yea, there are a few points of discusion on your table of powers.

Absorption should have the requires activation modifier, and could perhaps have reflection. But I’m not entirely sure they should apply at all. Fire benders are not immune to fire, nor are water benders immune to cold.

Animation needs to be limited or modified, as benders don’t make things come to life, with perhaps the exception of vine bending.

All bending should have attack melee and attack ranged. Earth benders shoot rocks and water benders shoot shards of ice. Very common in the series.

Fire benders don’t really have dark vision, tough the can produce light.

Water benders can have speed limited to water surfaces. (they often surf on a piece of ice)

There might be a few things that need additional making up, I’ll look for a list of powers used in a D20 system I helped on. See if that has anything this list lacks.

The edges that provide metal bending and blue fire/lighting bending should probably be legendary rank, as only the few best fire benders in the world and the best earth bender have them.
Healing should perhaps be a stand alone power edge, water benders normally don’t learn how to heal and the girls that learn how to heal cant do much in the way of normal water bending.

and damn i have more idea's for other edges already (dragon fire bending ?)

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#10 Postby Sunwolf » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:06 am

Sordorel wrote:Tough i do wonder, how do NE characters balance against non super's? Then again soka does feel useless at times. Even if he has mastered about all the non bending fighting styles in a few days each, making him by far one of the best warriors alive.


General stuff about using NE for fantasy/scifi games
http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20875

Clint talks about using NE super powers in other games (posts 5 and 8 by Clint especially)
http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20829

That may help. I've taken Clint's ideas and run with them for my Rifts game.
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#11 Postby Sordorel » Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:49 am

So, at base the best way to balance it is to allow non benders to take the same feat, they just get different trappings? I’m not sure what I think about this. There are a quite a few non-benders doing stuff that would probably best be emulated with super powers. But then again I think it would sometimes have a hard time using some of the powers for some character concepts that are common in the avatar world. But EN super powers probably gives to much power not to make it universal, tough I could be wrong there.

one of the ways things could be balanced a bit more, perhaps, could be by downgrading the power of powers a bit, so to say. First of all most of the bendings already have a drawback build in because of the fact that they needed their element near. Water benders need to carry water with them or be near a water source. Fire benders don’t function in extreme cold and earth benders cant do much when their of the ground. Airbenders don’t suffer anything like this as far as we know. Further more introducing some sort of bending skill that needs to be used every now and then might work, especially if benders take penalties (ie, wounds) to it.

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#12 Postby Sordorel » Wed Mar 18, 2009 12:07 pm

New post, as I’ve come to a few more conclusions now.

First of, the super power background basically gives an answer to the balancing problem in the shape of the edge and skill powers. Basically these show that the power points are of the same value as drawback and character points right? This way we could simply say that characters start with 10 bonus points that are universally spendable. One still needs the bending edge to aces bending powers. This means that a non bender will not have powers but end up with one more edge.

Another balancing point, many of the powers are “always on” we could balance things further by making them all take an action, even passive ones. This is very much in tune with the series imho. As for instance deflecting arrow does take away from ones ability to attack, this works well with the multiple action penalty. We should make the powers cheaper because of this. That would mean that benders can start with more powers OR we could reduce the number of “bonus points” one starts with, thus brining characters a bit back in line with normal Savages.

hm, i am putting a lot of tought into this thing.

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#13 Postby Sunwolf » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:14 pm

You got it. Normals would basically get more edges and skills. I might allow a few points in armor, as a kind of Combat Luck (ala Hero) or anything else that makes sense.

Most "always on" powers have the activation option listed. I wouldn't mess with the point costs. From what I've seen it can throw things off real quick.

The one thing I'm not sure about is how to handle the power parrying. One idea would be to have each combatant roll the damage for their attack and subtract. If the defender rolls more the attack is stopped. If the attacked rolls more the difference is applied as damage. That way more skilled (higher ranked/more points spent0 characters have the advantage. Adds a roll to combat, but is still FFF IMO. I'm sure Clint will be along shortly to point out another way to do it. The man is a genius.
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#14 Postby Sordorel » Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:22 pm

wasn’t planning on altering the point costs of powers, im sure there has been quite some thought on their cost, more then i care to spend right now. but most powers do get cheaper if you ad the activation option, this option however does only mention it takes one action to activate the power for the entire combat, and i think that it would be more appropriate if it would take an action per turn. I cant think of any bending stuff that doesn’t take attention.
So that would be something of a double activation modifier, thus making some powers el cheapo, thus makes reducing the number of PP starting with even more logical, right?

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#15 Postby Sunwolf » Wed Mar 18, 2009 4:39 pm

Sorry, I misunderstood what you were getting at.

I see your point on the activation issue. Defense seams to flow out of the offense in the series. Having to account for multi-action penalties and such doesn't feel right to me. So my concern is that it could slow things down. YMMV.

As I typed the above, I'm struck by the idea of having the "bending" aspect of combat just be a Trapping. Ranges are typically close in the show, give the benders the ability to strike at range equal to their Spirit die and run the whole thing as hand to hand combat. Damage could be whatever feels appropriate. Superpowers are probably the way to go though.

If you are looking for more detailed superpowers you should check out Dawn of Legends. The powers in their are like Hero System for SW. I worked up a waterbender with their rules set. Very nice, very functional, but that kind of detail goes against the spirit of Savage Worlds for me.

Hopefully Clint will stop by to comment on the double activation thing.
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#16 Postby Sordorel » Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:44 pm

from what im hearing in the tgtt podcast, dawn of legends is more towards Mutants and Masterminds. If so its les FFF then NE, and avatar should very much be FFF. Anyhow, now im curious what Clint will say as wel, bloody fanboys!

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#17 Postby DaRealJudas » Thu Mar 19, 2009 2:03 am

[bait]I don't think Clint watches cartoons.[/bait] :mrgreen:
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#18 Postby Sordorel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:30 pm

We could of course split even on the defense thing. Making it possible to buy auto on defense and action taking defense. Heck we could even combine them into one power.

Power wise, I must say I haven’t read all the powers in the book thoroughly but for what I can see we need at least to homebrew a power that creates a tangible barrier (earth and ice) and a fire barrier. I think we also need to make a power that produces a area of effect that provides cover/bad vision as produces by fog and dust clouds. Otter then that I think I’ll be working my way trough the power list and putting down what everybody should be able to take.

Oh yea, what about elemental tricks? The air one seems appropriate, the electric might work for lightning bending. Fire would seem to take away from the fast, if everybody has to make a fire catching check every time. I also think that it doesn’t ever happen in the series, it seems avatar universe clothes are fire proof. Of course a fire benders power can burn wood etz.

Slow from cold would also seem inappropriate. The waterbeder doesn’t even cool the enemy, only the shards of ice she throws at him. Of course it IS possible to slow an enemy with water or earth bending, but there are powers for that purpose.

Another side note, I would think firebenders should have a auto drawback since fire bending comes partially from anger and other strong emotions. This should of course be possible to buy of with dancing dragon style edge, as this stile teaches to bend from the fire of life within oneself instead of raw emotion. The drawback is perhaps set off by the fact that firebenders can cause fire and don’t need any energy source like most other benders.

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#19 Postby Clint » Fri Mar 20, 2009 1:13 pm

Wait... what... huh? I think my name was said three times (or more).

Somebody want to summarize? I'm a bit lost.

Haven't seen but a few of the shows, but do they really have distinct powers or a general ability to do things that fit their element (maybe with some rare special things that few can do).
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#20 Postby Sordorel » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:10 pm

Ill sumarise, but expect this to be a bit of a wall of text, fannboy, cant help myself.

Important to note is that all the moment of the benders were based on actual martial arts, the design team went as far as hire en expect on martial art styles to help them with this.

Simply put there are four type of benders, each one has control over a specific element. Earth air and water need the presence of their element while fire benders can create fire themselves.
In general all they can do is manipulate their element, move it around, compact it fire it of etz. Waterbenders can also freeze and defreeze water, but not heath it. Fire benders can not cool something down but can quench flame if they have enough control. All benders need to perform large motions with their bodies, the martial arts, to perform bending. The bigger the bending the more motion needed. A bound bender generally is powerless, tough it is knows that some of the most powerful benders can bend even when only their head is free to move.

Here is a list of bender types, what they commonly do and what some of the special types of bending are.

Waterbenders use water whips at close range and ice shards at further range. They also are capable of creating ice walls, freezing in solid ice and drawing water from the ground etz. Water benders can make water float still tough there will always be some motion inside the orb of water floating. The main character water bender caries around a watersking to make sure she always has enough water for at least a waterwhip. Water benders live on the north and south pole.

The special types of water bending include vine bending, using the water in living plants to create things like vine golems around the bender. Used by a isolated jungle swamp subculture.
Blood bending, officially named the most powerful type of bending in existence blood bending allows the bender to control the body of others, tough not any of their powers. (only 2 knows users)
Water benders also can heal tough during the age the series plays healing was all female benders would learn and male benders did not learn it at all, this is cultural taboo of the southern tribe.
The strength of water benders is adaptability and spirituality. (their powers come from the moon and ocean spirits)

Earth benders can not “glide” trough earth but can make tunnels. They can control any sort of earth from crystal to meteorite ore to desert sand, tough sand is hard to bend if one is not used to it. They can not bend metal. Earth benders can float rock in the air and tend to hit or push these rocks to fire them at the enemy, sometimes they use a hammer for this. Making walls platform and trapping enemy in the ground are common tricks. They also can form golem suits, “surf” on a rock. It should be noted that one can not fly on a rock one lifts himself, as it would be like puling yourself up by your own hair. Earth benders are tough and strong, perhaps somewhat stupid in most cases. Interestingly enough the main character earth bender is a small blind girl and the youngest of the crew. She uses earthbending to echolocate her surroundings, is the most powerful earth bender alive and has learned to bend metal, tough her metal bending is very crude at best. There are sand benders mentioned, so it can be assumed one can specialize in using loose sand rather then solid earth. The bending of earth was learned from badger moles, a special of creatures that naturally bend earth. (and are blind as well)

Fire bending is based on emotion and breath. It’s a passionate and aggressive element. Fire benders aren’t strong persee but they are always on the attack. Fire benders can make fire flout but when they aren’t touching the flame it needs to stay in motion. Fire benders use a lot of martial arts and enhance their punches and kicks with daggers and swipes of fire. They often use fire blasts which are initiated with punches and kicks as well. They are not immune to fire, only the fire they control and made themselves. The power of firebenders comes from the sun, thus is les powerful at night, near useless during eclipses and high power during the appearance of a comet.
Special fire bending include; lighting bending, the control of energies allows a fire bender of supreme skill to learn how to fire lightning from the fingers. The person who uses this most also has blue flames instead of orange ones. A fire bender who studies water styles has learned how to redirect but natural and bended lightning.
There is a special style of fire bending that is learned from the near extinct dragons. It is based not upon emotion but uses the fire of life that burns within all. The practioners of this style tend to be more balanced in emotion and capable of breathing fire from the mouth, this makes them also much more resilient to cold, which can normally prevent a firebender from using his powers.

Air benders are harder to describe, as the only common airbender is a young kid who is the last of the airbenders, and also the avatar who shall master all four of the elements. Hence the name of the serie’s. it can be assumed that some of his style is influances by the other types of bending. Air benders can fly using a small glider type of device, commonly hidden in a staff. Racing along on a ball of air (air scooter) or simply moving at extreme speeds are all common. They use slashes or blasts of air to attack. It should be noted that airbenders are largely pacifistic monks by culture, so it can be assumed their powers are less aggressive in nature.

Now I left out a lot of details and exeptions even now, but this should give you an idea of what bending is. Also, watch the freaking show. Its awesome, believe me it is.


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