Hucksters - critique please

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Better than the last version
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Better than the last version
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Better than the last version
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Better than the last version
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Useful/ Pretty good
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Useful/ Pretty good
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Useful/ Pretty good
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Useful/ Pretty good
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Still Piss Poor
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Still Piss Poor
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Still Piss Poor
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Still Piss Poor
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Total votes: 32

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Hucksters - critique please

#1 Postby Mort » Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:45 am

EDIT: Hmmm, well I looked over this & could barely make out what I meant last time. Sorry. This should read more clearly. Thanks for the criticism.
EDIT 2: It's late here so I'll tidy this up better in the morning


What I wanted to do was replace the skill roll for magic with a card draw (by itself) to better keep the flavour of deadlands without slowing the game (I’ve tested the following & can usually determine the effects within about 5-10 seconds every time -I'd like some other opinions though).

Hopefully I got this right this time.

EDGES

AB: Huckster – Start with 3 powers – You may gain more by finding a different edition of “Hoyle's book of games” & succeeding on an investigation roll (similar to 50F tomes- but if you fail it’s useless to you [apart from some rather good card games])

Old Hand (seasoned, d10 gambling) allows you to stop drawing at any time before you see the next card

MECHANICS

Hucksters do not use power points

Hand size is a derived attribute coming from your Gambling skill (like your parry is from fighting). Half your Skill +2 is the number of cards you may draw.

You always draw this many cards & live with the consequences (unless you have "old hand")

For powers that have an additional effect from a raise, that is gained by getting the next higher hand than is needed for the required PP's. (I'd advise noting the minimum hands before playing)


HANDS & EFFECTS

Less than a pair - tough, take a wound & you’re shaken
Pair – Shaken but successful - 1PP
Two Pairs - 3PP
Three of a Kind - 4PP
Straight - 5PP
Flush - 6PP
Full House - 7PP
Four of a Kind - 8PP
Straight Flush - 10PP
Royal Flush - 15PP
Dead Man’s Hand – roll twice on serious injury – 20PP


SPECIAL CARDS
Red Joker - Wild card
Black Joker – roll on serious injury table (but counts as a wild card)
Suicide King - roll on serious injury table (temporary injury only)
Last edited by Mort on Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:36 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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#2 Postby Redeucer » Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:12 am

Sorry to say this, but it doesn't look very FFF. Yes the cards are an ingrained part to DL, but I think they will be left out completely for DL:R simply to keep it FFF. Hucksters I think should roll their skill just like everything else. As for handling the powers themselves, maybe something like the Super Sorcery in NE, but with each level requiring a level up. That part I'm not real sure about yet. Anyway, I may be wrong, but wouldn't be the first time (or last). ;)
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#3 Postby palehorse » Sun Oct 03, 2004 12:40 pm

redeucer wrote:Sorry to say this, but it doesn't look very FFF. Yes the cards are an ingrained part to DL, but I think they will be left out completely for DL:R simply to keep it FFF. Hucksters I think should roll their skill just like everything else. As for handling the powers themselves, maybe something like the Super Sorcery in NE, but with each level requiring a level up. That part I'm not real sure about yet. Anyway, I may be wrong, but wouldn't be the first time (or last). ;)


Shane mentioned awhile back that he planned on including card use for Hucksters, FYI. (Note that that was the plan; how it ends up playing out remains to be seen, but I figure if it's doable he & his players will figure something out!)

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#4 Postby Clint » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:06 pm

I don't have my original version here, but one way to use cards is that Hucksters don't have Power Points.

Instead they roll their skill as normal. On a success, they can draw 5 cards, and each raise allows an additional card to be drawn. Then the rank of the hand determines how many Power Points they get for the spell. If they don't get the minimum, they can't use the power.

I don't have the exact chart, but it was something like this...

Ace High - 1PP
Pair - 2PP
Jacks or better - 3PP
Two Pairs - 4PP
Three of a Kind - 5PP
Straight - 6PP
Flush - 7PP
Full House - 8PP
Four of a Kind - 10PP
Straight Flush - 15PP
Royal Flush - 20PP

Then on a natural 1 on the Hexslingin' die, they would be Shaken. A critical failure or drawing the Black Joker would lead to Backlash. For Backlash, you could make up a chart or just say the manitou does 1d6+PP's gained in damage to the Huckster with the huckster only losing the hex if he takes a wound from Backlash.
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#5 Postby Marc Hameleers » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:03 pm

This is what we came up earlier here on the list ( several people cooperating, and a little additon from me.

Roll hexslinging skill. A success allows you to draw 5 cards for your hand and each raise adds a card to your hand. A "1" rolled on the Hexslinging skill leaves the caster Shaken, but if the Wild Die is successful, the hex still activates before this occurs. If a Critical Failure occurs, you face full scale Backlash (up to the Marshall but nasty).
A huckster can use a bennie to draw an additional card after seeing his inital hand.

For each hex, the hand required to cast is based off the Power Points it costs to activate. Thus...

1 = Ace
2 = Pair
3 = Jacks
4 = Two Pair
5/6 = Three of a Kind
7/9 = Straight
10 = Flush
15= Full House
20 = Four of a Kind
30 = Straight Flush
30+ = Royal Flush


The powers still cost PP to activate, but the advantage the Hucksters have for taking this extra step to use their powers is that for each hand higher than what they need to cast the hex, they reduce the PP cost by 1, minimum of 0.

As a second option, raises may be converted into more power instead. For each 2 raises, one may repower the spell as if it was cast costing 1 PP more ( so a bolt can become more powerfull etc. )

For example, Silk Van Helter (daughter and protegee of Velvet) casts Bolt at a pair of cultists. She's going for two 2d6 bolts at a cost of 2 Power Points. She rolls her hexslingin' and gets two raises, drawing 7 cards. She gets Two Pair. Not only does the hex go off, but because she got two hand higher than she needed, it didn't coste her any PP. She could have opted for paying the 2 PP, and have shot a third Bolt.

Failed skill rolls only cost 1 PP.

Failing to make the needed hand does cost you full PP, and the power obviously does not activate.

Quick Backlash results: roll 1d6 (open-ended) and deduct the result from the character's Power Points. If this would reduce Power Points to less than 0, apply the Backlash roll as damage vs. Toughness (armor does not apply).

Oh, and just so it's clear, Backlash occurs on a critically failed skill roll or when the Black Joker is drawn.
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#6 Postby steamdriven » Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:58 pm

looks a bit long winded to me sorry to say this but it's not FFF. i'm going to wait for DLR. shouldn't be too long know (i hope) the other reason i'm waiting for the new deadland is that i can't come up with a way of hucksters using cards that is quick and easy. so i'll just give up and wait. don't get me wrong i'm not saying what you have come up with is crap. far from it! looks good. a lot of thought has gone into it, you can tell. it's just that it slows the game down a bit to much. sorry, i'm not trying to offened it's just feed back.

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#7 Postby Mort » Wed Oct 06, 2004 6:35 am

Fair enough - I'm going to go back through my first post & clarify it (I was in a hurry when I posted it originally & I think I didn't read through it to make sure it made sense)


Clint wrote:Instead they roll their skill as normal. On a success, they can draw 5 cards, and each raise allows an additional card to be drawn.

Clint, I was trying to avoid taking the "roll then draw" mechanism from deadlands - I figured it would slow the game way too much.


memoriam wrote:... waiting for the new deadland is that i can't come up with a way of hucksters using cards that is quick and easy. so i'll just give up and wait.


Likewise - mine is fine if you know the poker hands by heart but if you don't it'll slow the game down.

memoriam wrote:don't get me wrong i'm not saying what you have come up with is crap. far from it! looks good. a lot of thought has gone into it, you can tell. it's just that it slows the game down a bit to much. sorry, i'm not trying to offened it's just feed back.


No worries. Takes a lot more than that to offend me.
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#8 Postby Mort » Wed Oct 06, 2004 7:46 am

Right that's it updated. Reads more like what I meant now.
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#9 Postby Bill » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:19 am

Are there any limits on the powers that can be taken? How do you handle variable powers? A success on greater healing is all you need yet that costs 10 power points normally. A success is all you need to cast a 3d6 bolt and a 4d6 bolt with a raise, why go for less? By making all the powers equally easy to cast the power is just too great (although your penalties are pretty viscous also). Moreover, most of the raises over the first are wasted so why ever try for the better hands?

Will the player get both the "Find a new Hoyle deck and research for a new power" and the "New Power" options?

I like how you get your hand (4 to 8 cards per hand based on skill seems reasonable) but you don't explain if you would ever need to roll your skill. It seems to me you could just allow this to be based off spirit with more cards based off the "More Power" edge giving one more card per More power edge taken. Then you wouldn't need the skill. Optionally, base the skill off gambling in order to make that skill used outside of casting.

Finally, which two kings are suicide kings?
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#10 Postby Clint » Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:07 pm

Bill made the point I was going to mention. Your version has no provision for the "cost" of the spell.

Based off what you've said you want, this is what I'd do...

If you don't want a skill roll, then drop the skill entirely. If you take the AB: Huckster, you get to draw 5 cards to make a poker hand. Like Extra Power Points, you can take the Extra Card Edge once per Rank to be able to draw an additional card when making your hand, but you must draw all cards.

Old Hand Edge allows a character to stop drawing cards at any time. They may not get a better hand, but they reduce the chance of drawing the joker.

Change the effects of the hands to PP's gained similar to my effects. Thus the cost of the power still determines difficulty. For powers that have an additional effect from a raise, that is gained by getting the next higher hand than is needed for the required PP's.

As far as any skill goes, use a Knowledge (Hexslingin') to learn new hexes and as a requirement for Edges like Old Hand or others that might be related to skill instead of power.

Anyway, I think this covers what you want. No, they don't need a skill like other AB's, but with the hand requirements you have listed, it will be much harder for them to cast than a normal AB, but then they also don't run out of PP's.

Oh, if a power is based off an opposed roll or something, you could either set a success number for each hand, or it might be better to just make it an opposed roll of the Hucksters Spirit instead of skill.

Hope this helps.
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#11 Postby ragnarok » Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:32 pm

You new version with "Hand=Sucess+Raises" seems next to useless. Beyound "Three of a Kind" (Sucess with 1 raise) most spells will not have benefits from greater hands.

What about: AB:Huckster grants you 3 Hexes and 10 Extracards(Kinda what PowerPoints used to be). Whenever you Cast a spell you draw 5 cards and you can draw one extra card per extra card spent (duh!).

Depending on your Hand you'll get Powerpoints to Power your Spells (Just like in Clints Post). All PP gained thus have to be spent on the Hex(simulating that you couldn't choose how mauch damage a Soulblast did ;)).
If you have a penalty on your "roll", that much PP are lost additionally. If you still have Powerpoints over(Such as a Bolt with 7 PP), you have also a raise. Black Joker=Backlash.

One ExtraCard regenrates(per hour), "Power Points" gives you more cards instead.

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#12 Postby Mort » Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:54 pm

Bill wrote:Will the player get both the "Find a new Hoyle book and research for a new power" and the "New Power" options?

Yep

Bill wrote:base the skill off gambling in order to make that skill used outside of casting.


Good idea. Thanks

Bill wrote:Finally, which two kings are suicide kings?


The club & heart Kings are called "suicide kings" because in standard card decks they have a sword drawn through their head.

Clint wrote:Change the effects of the hands to PP's gained similar to my effects. Thus the cost of the power still determines difficulty. For powers that have an additional effect from a raise, that is gained by getting the next higher hand than is needed for the required PP's.


Perfect - I may need to make the results a little less harsh though.

Clint wrote:Old Hand Edge allows a character to stop drawing cards at any time. They may not get a better hand, but they reduce the chance of drawing the joker.


True - Since I'm adjusting the power costs anyway I might revert this one to the classic version.


ragnarok wrote:Beyond "Three of a Kind" (Sucess with 1 raise) most spells will not have benefits from greater hands.


Yep but they'll still cast & not injure the huckster too badly
Last edited by Mort on Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#13 Postby Mort » Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:21 am

Clint wrote:If you don't want a skill roll, then drop the skill entirely. If you take the AB: Huckster, you get to draw 5 cards to make a poker hand. Like Extra Power Points, you can take the Extra Card Edge once per Rank to be able to draw an additional card when making your hand, but you must draw all cards.


I think a player (possibly) drawing 9 cards at Veteran is too much.

Clint wrote:Hope this helps.


It did indeed. Thanks all. I'm happy enough with the new version for now.

Any opinions/ changes are welcome though.
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#14 Postby Clint » Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:47 am

Mort wrote:I think a player (possibly) drawing 9 cards at Veteran is too much.


8 cards. 5 + 1 each for Novice, Seasoned, and Veteran. And that's as opposed to the skill-based version where a player can start with a draw of 8 cards since there is no limit on how high skill can be bought at character creation.

Personally, I really dislike the way it's possible to only draw 4 cards in some of these options like if you have a d4 skill. That's one reason why I went this way. Very simply, you have to have 5 cards to make a poker hand, or it isn't poker. And I also don't buy the "well, no one would ever have a d4 skill anyway." Every character had to have a d4 at some point. It just smacks of a kludge to me.

If I went with cards based on skill, I'd at least go with half skill + 3... but then that gets back to being able to potentially have 9 cards at Novice. Although the character would have no further growth in ability other than secondary Edges, and it would more in line with other AB's based on skill.

I'd also recommend you look at some poker odds charts. Getting a pair is simply not that easy, and that only gives 1 PP, which won't be enough for the majority of powers. The chart then skips directly to Two Pair to get 3 PP. The odds of getting two pair are fairly significant.

For a character with a d6 skill, drawing 5 cards, there's over a 50% chance of failure for every casting, and the chance of drawing Two Pair or better is only 7.63%.

I really suggest you add in the hand options of Ace High and Jacks or Better. They'll help flatten out the power curve quite a bit.

Plus going back to statistics, I'd also consider dropping the Joker effect to only the Black Joker like in the revised DL rules, but I think Suicide Kings would be okay since, unless I'm wrong, there is actually only one, the King of Hearts. I think you were thinking of One-Eyed Jacks of which there are two, but only one Suicide King in the deck.

Just my two cents.
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#15 Postby Mort » Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:02 pm

Clint wrote:
Mort wrote:I think a player (possibly) drawing 9 cards at Veteran is too much.


8 cards. 5 + 1 each for Novice, Seasoned, and Veteran. And that's as opposed to the skill-based version where a player can start with a draw of 8 cards since there is no limit on how high skill can be bought at character creation.


Starting edge, Novice, Seasoned & Veteran - was how I calculated it. Apologies.

Clint wrote:Personally, I really dislike the way it's possible to only draw 4 cards in some of these options like if you have a d4 skill. That's one reason why I went this way. Very simply, you have to have 5 cards to make a poker hand, or it isn't poker. And I also don't buy the "well, no one would ever have a d4 skill anyway." Every character had to have a d4 at some point. It just smacks of a kludge to me.


See below

Clint wrote:I'd also recommend you look at some poker odds charts.


Clint - That was the first thing I did.

Clint wrote:Getting a pair is simply not that easy, and that only gives 1 PP, which won't be enough for the majority of powers. The chart then skips directly to Two Pair to get 3 PP. The odds of getting two pair are fairly significant.


The odds of getting a pair on a 6 card draw (the median number of my distribution - which is why I chose a derived stat) is just under 1/2

The odds for the same 6 card draw of 2 pair are 1/8

If I use your 5 card draw for a d4 there is a 50% chance of success (pair or better).

Since a standard Wild Card Roll at d4 is about 66% likely character balance is affected by the fact that for a drop of success of 1/6 (2 in 3 successes for standard 1/2 for hucksters ) the Huckster has no finite number of power points.
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#16 Postby Clint » Thu Oct 07, 2004 7:37 pm

Mort wrote:Starting edge, Novice, Seasoned & Veteran - was how I calculated it. Apologies.


No need. Zeke just clarified on the forum that Extra Power Points in Character Creation count for the Novice Edge. Even I didn't know that. :wink:

Mort wrote:The odds of getting a pair on a 6 card draw (the median number of my distribution - which is why I chose a derived stat) is just under 1/2

The odds for the same 6 card draw of 2 pair are 1/8

If I use your 5 card draw for a d4 there is a 50% chance of success (pair or better).

Since a standard Wild Card Roll at d4 is about 66% likely character balance is affected by the fact that for a drop of success of 1/6 (2 in 3 successes for standard 1/2 for hucksters ) the Huckster has no finite number of power points.


Okay, let me put it differently. You need to look at the odds and how they interact with your system. I don't think the numbers above reflect how it works as a whole.

A Wild Card mage with a d4 spellcasting has a 62.5% chance of casting any spell they have the PP's for, they also have a 25% chance of being Shaken.

Now, even using my 5 card draw for a d4 skill, a Huckster has a 50% chance of being Shaken when casting any hex. And, yes, while he does have a 50% chance of getting a pair or better, a pair only gives him 1 PP, which is not "success" for any hex costing 2 PP or more. That means the Novice Huckster only has a 50% success rate on three hexes; a single 2d6 bolt, Light, and Speed. If he takes any other power, that's when he has to get the Two Pair and the success rate drops to at best the 7.63% chance I mentioned before. And to top it all off, this Huckster has a 25.72% chance of taking a serious injury every time he casts a hex.

Mage: d4 skill
25% chance Shaken
62.5% chance successful spell

Huckster: d4 skill, drawing 5 cards using original hand:PP ratio
25.72% chance of rolling on Serious Injury table
16.48% chance of checking to see if the Injury is Permanent
50% chance Shaken
50% chance of casting one of 3 Novice hexes costing 1 PP
7.63% chance of casting a hex costing 2 or 3 PP's


Now, let's look at what it would be for your median 6 card draw with a d8 skill (what would be a d6 my way).


Mage: d8 skill
12.5% chance Shaken
81.25% chance successful spell

Huckster: d8 skill, drawing 6 cards using original hand:PP ratio
30.27% chance of rolling on Serious Injury table
20.18% chance of checking to see if the Injury is Permanent
32.47% chance Shaken
67.57% chance of casting one of 3 Novice hexes costing 1 PP
19.72% chance of casting a hex costing 2 or 3 PP's

See, I don't know that the success ratio is as important to the balancing factor as the fact that a Huckster is facing damage every time he casts a hex, and the more cards he draws, the greater the odds of damage. Even a huckster with Old Hand stopping at 2 cards has a 10.9% chance of a Serious Injury with 3 cards in the deck.

So anyway, my worries are more of a holistic nature (that's me, all Zen-like). :wink:
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#17 Postby Leitchy » Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:26 pm

One question that's just occurred to me is .... how do you handle spell maintenance for hucksters? Sometimes, you want to maintain the spell effect passed the normal duration.

I'm guessing you'd want to draw a hand that gives you enough points to do that. So for a spell that has a duration of 3/1 per round; a draw which gives 4PP would allow the huckster to maintain the spell for 4 rounds...correct?

BTW, my vote is to keep the card draw for hucksters. Getting rid of that would destroy the "feel" of that AB. I don't care if it isn't as Fast or Furious, but it definitely is Fun!! :)
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#18 Postby Mort » Fri Oct 08, 2004 4:55 am

Clint wrote:Okay, let me put it differently. You need to look at the odds and how they interact with your system. I don't think the numbers above reflect how it works as a whole.
...
So anyway, my worries are more of a holistic nature (that's me, all Zen-like). :wink:


Owch - I just realised I never revised the injury stuff since my first draft ( the one where Hucksters could casty any spell on a 2 pair).

With the power point limit It's just a little harsh. I'll have a think & get back to you on this but Black Joker & the suicide king sound good to me (you were right about the suicide king - You just can't trust net poker sites :wink: )

Think of the d4 draw as similar to texas holdem -you just have less diferent cards than the opposition.

Leitchy wrote:One question that's just occurred to me is .... how do you handle spell maintenance for hucksters? Sometimes, you want to maintain the spell effect passed the normal duration.


Yep. Pretty much as you said. The other method I was considering was a high card draw at the start of every round - If the GM wins the power ends.

Leitchy wrote:BTW, my vote is to keep the card draw for hucksters. Getting rid of that would destroy the "feel" of that AB. I don't care if it isn't as Fast or Furious, but it definitely is Fun!! :)


Thanks Leitchy
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#19 Postby Mort » Fri Oct 08, 2004 1:42 pm

I just had a thought - maybe I've been going about this the wrong way.

I removed power points because Hucksters never had them in the original Deadlands.

However neither did Blessed, Mad scientists or Shamen. Chances are pretty good that they will have PP in SW.

So I'm going to keep most of this but dump the limitless power points & give them 15 powerpoints to start with


HANDS & EFFECTS

Less than a pair - tough, take a wound & you’re shaken
Pair –successful but shaken
Two Pairs - 1 raise
Three of a Kind - 2 raises
Straight - 3 raises
Flush - 4 raises
Full House - 5 raises
Four of a Kind - 6 raises
Straight Flush - 7 raises
Royal Flush - 8 raises
Dead Man’s Hand – roll twice on serious injury (for self) & double the effect of the power (otherwise as royal flush).


SPECIAL CARDS
Joker – roll on serious injury table (but counts as a wild card)
Suicide King - roll on serious injury table (temporary injury only)

Does this look ok?
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#20 Postby Bill » Fri Oct 08, 2004 2:28 pm

I'm still not sure why you are bothering with the multiple raises? For FFF just say:

A pair you succeed but are shaken
anything better you succeed with a raise.

Now if the better hands reduced the power point costs to a minimum of zero then they would be worth going for! (up to six points off a casting with a royal flush!)
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