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ziegenpeter
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Your opinions to my homerules

#1 Postby ziegenpeter » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:53 pm

Good day fellow Savage World players!
I recently started to look for a new rule system for our group, when I stumbled over SW. We've been playing "Das Schwarze Auge" (I think it has been published in english as "The Dark Eye") for quite a while, but since we are playing quite unregularly and the DSA-System is kind of detail-obsessed, I was quite happy to have found SW.
So I would like to ask you, the more experienced players what outcome you think my rule changing suggestions would have.

First of all I'd like to get rid of the extra d6 Wild Cards have for every throw they do. I know that this is a major change but I was thinking about setting the lowest skill/attribute dice to a d6 and maybe give the players more bonuses, or a flat +2 bonus on every throw.

The second thing I'd like to change is adding charisma as an attribute, or rather splitting spirits into willpower and charisma, and thus rendering all charisma edges obsolete. Taunting, Intimidation and maybe streetwise would be some skills that would be charisma based aswell as AB(Miracles). Of course I'd give the players six instead of five attribute raising points during character creation.

The last change is a somewhat minor change: In the spirit of avoiding to many dice rolls, instead of countering spells with a spirit roll you have a fixed "magic resistance" tn which is 2+half of spirit (or willpower if included)

So these are the changes I was thinking about. What is you opinion? I have never played this game before, but maybe some of you have already made changes similar to mines.

Thank you and regards

ZP

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#2 Postby Enno » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:41 pm

Not a good idea...

The Wild dice is the kind of "second attribute" die. To change this system, you have to recalculate the Target Numbers, level-ups etc. To much work, for what its worth.

I don't see any advantage for changing Charisma into a primary attribute. When you change this trait you have to reconstruction the whole reaction and test of will mechanics. Your charisma roll is SWs persuasion roll. So if you need high charisma as an requirement for an edge, take persuasion instead.

Your idea about a magical parry stat is not new. But that assumes that you have A LOT of magical duels and that even a mundane character has some magical resistance. AFAIK DSA this is not the case, neither of it. And there ain't so much SW spells that were you roll opposed rolls.

Understand the mechanics and philosophy behind the SW rules before you try introduce new mechanics. The rules are a set of variable modules, changing one in the "wrong" way may have catastrophic and unforseen consequences. So play the SW core rules RAW before writing your heartbreaker setting conversion.

Then read the article Vorüberlegungen und Stolperfallen bei Conversions available in on the unofficial german SW forums.

Last but not least study the best DSA-Conversion, called Wildes Aventurien available on Savagepedia.de. It combines the F!F!F! of SW with the love in petty detail of DSA. It's still in development, but runs like a charm.
Last edited by Enno on Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#3 Postby Zadmar » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:48 pm

I've done something similar to your last suggestion for a campaign in which magic was common - I had a derived statistic called "Willpower" which was 2 + Spirit/2, and was used instead of an opposed Spirit roll when resisting magic. The victim could also spend bennies to make a spiritual Soak roll.

But your other proposals (particularly the removal of the wild die) will have a massive impact on the game. I would strongly, strongly, recommend that you play at least a few sessions with the rules as written before you start changing them.

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#4 Postby ValhallaGH » Sat Sep 15, 2012 3:55 pm

Welcome to the forums! I hope you manage to find much joy in Savage Worlds. :-D

Warning: a lot of this will sound negative because I think you're making a lot of mistakes, and some of it might sound insulting because I'm an unintentional jerk. I mean it to be informative and helpful. Try to take it in the spirit it is offered.

First advice. Play a few sessions before you change anything. Get a feel for how the rules work, what works better in play than it does on the page, what doesn't fit your group, and notice the things you're simply doing wrong (always more of these than you think :lol:, and yes, that is experience talking).

Second - Wild Cards. Wild cards are amazing because they are tough and consistent. They do this despite having the same numbers as everyone else, due to the presence of another acing die, multiple wounds, and bennies.
It sounds like your complaint about the wild die is that it's a lot to keep track of - that it will slow the game down. It doesn't. It's much faster than adding - roll multiple dice and keep the highest. So, your change defeats your purpose of speed while simultaneously making wild cards either much weaker or much stronger (depending upon what bonuses you were going to give them).
If you're wanting to delete the wild die for some other reasons then you'll need to explain them.

Third - Why do you want Charisma to be an attribute?
Seriously, why?
What will the Charisma attribute do directly? What are the advantages of linking skills to it? How will it be on par with Agility, Smarts, Strength, or Vigor? And how will this change allow Willpower to maintain anything like the prominence and importance of Spirit?
Until I know the goal, I can't give useful advice. I will say that it sounds like a bad idea. Depending upon you and yours, it might be a great idea, though that's highly unlikely.

Fourth - Creating a mental toughness is presumably to speed up play. Unlike the other proposals, it actually would speed up play, especially if you used it for all the villains.
However, it also removes a vital resource and choice from the player - the option to re-roll a spirit roll (by using a benny) to resist magic and fearsome things. Using that option says a lot of things about the characters and what is important to them (or to their players); it's a great role playing opportunity.
Further, it makes mind-control magic a lot more powerful, since the caster is up against a flat TN (between 4 and 8, inclusive); by simply spending a benny to re-roll (with the +2 from Elan and the +2 from the Mentalist edge) they can practically guarantee successful mind control - and then use their meat puppet to drop a grenade at his friends' feet and kill the entire opposing force.

All three proposed changes strike me as Bad Ideas. However, if you stated your reasons for wanting to make them, I might be able to suggest alternatives that would be much better choices.
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#5 Postby ziegenpeter » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:17 pm

Just a quick answer: Ok I will definetly keep the Wild Dice then and try it without Charisma as an attribute but I think I will stick to the Arcane Resistance. Thanks a lot for the Wildes Aventurien link!!!
I stumbled upon SW because I watched the Youtube channel of the guy who is the main author of this. So the circle is closed... in a way ;-)
Thanks to all of you!
ZP
Ps: Enno you're german aswell?
EDIT: Enno, the "Vorüberlegungen..." link is wrong, it leads to the WikiAventurica page of WA...?

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#6 Postby Enno » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:46 am

ziegenpeter wrote:Ps: Enno you're german aswell?


Yep. A friesian in swabia.

The location under my avatar is a dead giveaway, isn't it? :P

EDIT: Enno, the "Vorüberlegungen..." link is wrong, it leads to the WikiAventurica page of WA...?


The link above is corrected. If it isn't accessible, you have to register yourself - as usual.

Aktion-Abenteuer.de and Tanelorn.net are the two unofficial hangouts for german-speaking Savages. My nick is Kardohan in both of them. See you! ;)
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#7 Postby ziegenpeter » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:35 pm

Thanks a lot! I'm very happy with Wildes Aventurien, Zwart is a genius!

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#8 Postby Enno » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:46 pm

You're welcome!

I will convey your thanks to him... ;)
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#9 Postby Takeda » Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:32 pm

I just want to put a "Seconded" on much of what was said here ... I know from where you coming on some of the changes ... most of us have felt that way when we started ... but the Wild Die is totally intuitive and not rolled seperately so it doesn't slow things down. It just sets Wild Cards apart from everyone else ... they're just luckier ... Trying to change that dynamic is really trying to reinvent the wheel in 4-dimensions ...

Charisma is already a Stat and defaults to +0. If you're a charmer (Charismatic), hideous (Ugly), annoying (Habit), Cute (attractive, very attractive), influential (Noble), etc. you'll have modifiers.

Lastly adding in the Resistance stat will totally bugger how magic works in the game. If it's a flat stat you can't resist something that the caster has cast with a good roll. Leaving it with a die-roll gives you a chance. As for the damage a spell will do that's handled by armour and toughness per usual.

I've played RPG's that you need a PhD in Geek-Dom to play as they were so complex and required so much note-taking ... charts to look up charts to look up charts. Worrying about 'missing detail' will be an ongoing thing I'm sure ... like quitting smoking ... but stick to it and soon you'll wonder why you ever played games that required calculus to play!

Welcome to this new and glorious frontier to gaming that opened up to you! :-) :-) :-)
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#10 Postby Zadmar » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:20 pm

Takeda wrote:Lastly adding in the Resistance stat will totally bugger how magic works in the game. If it's a flat stat you can't resist something that the caster has cast with a good roll.

You can if you introduce a spiritual Soak roll as well.

That's exactly what happened with Toughness - it changed from an opposed roll to a derived stat with a Soak roll. I think it was an improvement for physical combat, and I found it worked just as well for magical combat.

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#11 Postby Takeda » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:28 pm

Zadmar wrote:
Takeda wrote:Lastly adding in the Resistance stat will totally bugger how magic works in the game. If it's a flat stat you can't resist something that the caster has cast with a good roll.

You can if you introduce a spiritual Soak roll as well.

That's exactly what happened with Toughness - it changed from an opposed roll to a derived stat with a Soak roll. I think it was an improvement for physical combat, and I found it worked just as well for magical combat.


But you can soak any damage with a bennie and retest with a bennie so I don't see what the point is?

I mean if you're going to do that do the same for Ranged: base Dodge is Agility/2+2.

It makes ranged combat much less effective ... Sort of what I see you're proposing to do with magic. The problem is it will seriously undermine opposed magic but leave the rest of it alone ... which opens the Pandora's Box of the dreaded Balance Issues. I simply don't see the point.

But that said ... "Whatever floats your boat."

As I suggested though try the Rules As Written for a bit before you try to adjust it too much.
Last edited by Takeda on Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#12 Postby Zadmar » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:32 pm

Takeda wrote:But you can soak any damage with a bennie and retest with a bennie so I don't see what the point is?

Previously: Toughness was an opposed roll. You could spend a benny to reroll it.

Now: Toughness is a fixed TN. You can spend a benny to make a Soak roll.

My point is that the same change works when applied to resisting magic with Spirit.

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#13 Postby Takeda » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:43 pm

Zadmar wrote:
Takeda wrote:But you can soak any damage with a bennie and retest with a bennie so I don't see what the point is?

Previously: Toughness was an opposed roll. You could spend a benny to reroll it.

Now: Toughness is a fixed TN. You can spend a benny to make a Soak roll.

My point is that the same change works when applied to resisting magic with Spirit.


Sorry but a re-roll and a Soak roll are too totally seperate things regardless of what an earlier incarnation of the rule set was. As you don't roll to resist damage all your trying to do is fluke out and dodge/glance/belt-buckle that hit.

Bringing up the old rules is like comparing OD&D to 4e D&D ... Resemblance is in theme & spirit only IMHO.
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#14 Postby Zadmar » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:16 pm

Takeda wrote:I mean if you're going to do that do the same for Ranged: base Dodge is Agility/2+2.

It makes ranged combat much less effective ... Sort of what I see you're proposing to do with magic.

Ranged combat is against a fixed TN, it's not an opposed roll. I do actually have a derived stat for that as well:

Evasion indicates your ability to avoid missile weapons. It's 4 unless you have Edges or Hindrances that modify it. This is the Target Number (TN) to hit your hero with ranged attacks.

But for Willpower (like the former Toughness) we're talking about an opposed roll. Therefore:

Toughness is half your Vigor plus 2.

Willpower is half your Spirit plus 2.

The benefit is that it's faster to resolve (only one person has to roll) and less prone to luck (the defender can't roll very high or very low). I feel it was a good change to Toughness, and I've found it works equally well for Willpower.

Takeda wrote:Sorry but a re-roll and a Soak roll are too totally seperate things regardless of what an earlier incarnation of the rule set was.

Soak rolls were explicitly introduced due to Toughness no longer being an opposed roll. As explained in The Making of Savage Worlds, "One last change really helped as well. Since there was no opposed roll to resist damage, bennies (which allow re-rolls) weren’t much use. So we added the Soak rule, which allows a hero who got nailed a chance to save his skin. This side-effect worked out really well."

It did indeed work out really well, and that's the exact same change I've applied to Willpower (where it works equally well).

Of course if you're opposed to the idea of derived statistics in general (and prefer opposed rolls instead of Toughness and Parry) then fair enough. Each approach has its pros and cons, and there are some cases (such as Sweep) where using derived statistics instead of opposed rolls can have some strange side-effects. But personally I think the idea of derived statistics is a good one, and I'm not just sticking with it - I'm extending it!

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#15 Postby Drue » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:29 pm

If you're using a spiritual soak roll, it's a bit different than a physical soak roll in that physical soak rolls may be partiality successful (e.g. soak one of three wounds), where arcane effects often (always?) have no partial effects.

Doesn't this kill overwhelmingly successful attacks though? If A hits B with a physical attack and causes eight wounds, B has a big hill to climb on the soak to stay standing, but if A scores eight raises on a Puppet cast, B only needs a simple success to shrug it off?

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#16 Postby Zadmar » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:14 pm

Drue wrote:Doesn't this kill overwhelmingly successful attacks though? If A hits B with a physical attack and causes eight wounds, B has a big hill to climb on the soak to stay standing, but if A scores eight raises on a Puppet cast, B only needs a simple success to shrug it off?

I have spiritual Soak negate successes in the same way that regular Soak negates wounds. So if someone casts Lower Trait on you and gets a raise (lowering your trait by 2 steps), a simple success on your spiritual Soak roll would reduce their spell to a regular success (lowering your trait by only 1 step). If they scored eight raises on Banish or Slow, then you'd need eight successes to reduce the effect to a regular success, or nine successes to negate it entirely.

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#17 Postby Drue » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:34 pm

Zadmar wrote:
Drue wrote:Doesn't this kill overwhelmingly successful attacks though? If A hits B with a physical attack and causes eight wounds, B has a big hill to climb on the soak to stay standing, but if A scores eight raises on a Puppet cast, B only needs a simple success to shrug it off?

I have spiritual Soak negate successes in the same way that regular Soak negates wounds. So if someone casts Lower Trait on you and gets a raise (lowering your trait by 2 steps), a simple success on your spiritual Soak roll would reduce their spell to a regular success (lowering your trait by only 1 step). If they scored eight raises on Banish or Slow, then you'd need eight successes to reduce the effect to a regular success, or nine successes to negate it entirely.

that's simultaneously obvious and brilliant, clearly a indication of good design!

do you use the same concept for tricks and tests of will?

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#18 Postby Zadmar » Sun Sep 16, 2012 7:03 pm

Drue wrote:do you use the same concept for tricks and tests of will?

No, although there's no reason why it couldn't be extended to those as well.

I've used it for dodging though - an Agility-based "Soak" roll to subtract successes from Fighting, Shooting or Throwing attacks made against you. It's obviously pretty good for Agility-based characters (and Agility is already a strong attribute), but not quite as good as it sounds on paper, because I require the decision to be made before damage is rolled. If the damage roll would have been below your Toughness, you'll have wasted a benny.

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#19 Postby Clint » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:16 pm

Zadmar wrote:
Takeda wrote:But you can soak any damage with a bennie and retest with a bennie so I don't see what the point is?

Previously: Toughness was an opposed roll. You could spend a benny to reroll it.

Now: Toughness is a fixed TN. You can spend a benny to make a Soak roll.


Just to clarify, in no actual version of the Savage Worlds rules was Toughness an opposed roll. It came up in early playtesting well before the game was ever first released.
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