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Diabolists: Shorter Lived than Juicers?

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  • Diabolists: Shorter Lived than Juicers?

    A long-standing complaint about Summon Ally is that, in Savage Rifts, the things you can summon simply are not up to the task--even Force Multiplication doesn't do much because of area of effect, which will paste just about anything. (The exception, of course, is Mirror Image, which is about the only thing I ever see get used for 'vanilla' Summon Ally in an SR game.) The ability to pay, point-by-point, for minor buffs doesn't really accomplish much, because by the time you get something halfway decent, you've already burned through your PPE cap. (To see where I'm going with this, compare a Seasoned-capable Bodyguard to a Bandit or CS Grunt from SFoNA, in terms of capabilities, durability and damage output.)

    The Elementalist and Diabolist Edges from the Tomorrow Legion Field Manual give some real change on this front, though it would be nice if there were a Veteran-level option on the chart.

    And Diabolist would be great... except of course that it gives you a lifespan akin to an SWD Juicer's.

    For one thing, the roll is opposed--so even if you roll well, that's no guarantee of safe harbor, since the GM's die could explode as well. And even a max-Spirit Shifter will have at most 6 failed Corruption tests before being removed from play. The fact that the Corruption is irrevocable further makes it become a matter of time before the character implodes.

    I'm not saying there should be no potential consequence for the Diabolist Edge--but as it's written, it's almost guaranteed to leave a sour taste in the mouth of any Shifter Player who has a bad string of luck and either has to ignore the Edge for most of the campaign, or get turned into an evil NPC before he even gets to Veteran.

    I've considered a couple possible fixes for this, that I think still keep to the intended flavor, without completely screwing over the Diabolist PC:

    1: Fixed TN. Base TN is 6, with -1 for every Rank above the minimum for that type of creature you are. So a Veteran summoning a Gurgoyle is rolling against a 5. As an alternative, fix the TN based on the summoned creature's Spirit--a d6 is 4, a d8 is 6, a d10 is 8 and a d12 is 10. (Then apply the Rank modifier as above.)

    2: Corruption Pacts. The idea here is that Corruption represents the danger of accepting an obligation to perform 'unnamed favors' at some time in the future. By pinning down exactly what you owe your summoned allies, you can act indefinitely, though with costs. Essentially, every point of Corruption can be swapped out for a roll on the Crazy's Psyche Degradation Table. (For a gentler version, you can allow the player to pick the Hindrance taken, and possibly even extend it to 1 point for a minor Hindrance and 2 for a Major hindrance).

    Any thoughts? Am I being completely insane here, either in my assessment of the Summon Ally power in SR, the impact of Corruption, or the notion of allowing/encouraging Diabolist PCs at all? (BTW, I don't tend to run 'evil' campaigns, but I like characters who are subject to temptation, and have to balance those temptations against the good they're seeking to do.)

  • #2
    IMO the intent behind the Diabolist edge seems to be that it's fit for NPCs and that's about it. There's no way any sane PC would ever take it. And I'm okay with that. Ethical necromancy is one thing, but binding literal demons into service isn't the kind of thing the Tomorrow Legion wants or needs.

    Comment


    • Freemage
      Freemage commented
      Editing a comment
      I have a few issues with this position:

      1: As I've said, without something of this nature, the baseline Summon Ally is simply completely unsuited to the task of being a useful Power in SR, doubly so as the lynchpin Power of an entire IF.

      2: If they don't want an ability to be used by PCs, then they shouldn't put it in the player section of the book, and in particular not in the player section of the Tomorrow Legion Field Manual. If it's an NPC only thing, stick it in the Shifter write-up in SFoNA or in the villains' section of the

      3: It's an oddly arbitrary dividing line for the Tomorrow Legion--"You can raise corpses with their soul's permission, and you can use abominable technology that will either kill you or drive you utterly and irrevocably mad, but demon-dealing is right out!" Also, really, if that's going to be a TL position, then it should state that in the Edge explicitly.

      4: Not every game is a Tomorrow Legion game in SR; if the TL wants to draw that line, fine, but this also rules out an archetype that makes perfect sense in a more amoral mercenary game (which, I'll note, the books give us guidelines for).

      5: If it's meant for NPCs only, then a formal write-up is entirely unnecessary. A standard SW design philosophy is that you don't make villains the same way you build PCs.

      I expected this answer, and I would respect it from a table GM, but I also find it wholly unsatisfying..

    • Ndreare
      Ndreare commented
      Editing a comment
      I concur with Freemages points in his comment, but would add.

      So it is morally superior tip forcefully enslave one sentient group over another?

      The same character could take Elementalist and have just as powerful options but no corruption to deal with.

      Once you move away from constructs (things summoned with default summon ally) and into other options for sentient being you are talking about forced slavery. I do not see it mattering much if your slave is a demon, or an fairy. The moral corruption is already there.

      On that note, also not all games are TL heroes. The edge should be addressed as what it is, a viable edge for player access.

    • PEGRoberson
      PEGRoberson commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree that enslaving another entity is morally questionable, a theme which for instance is embedded in the Master Elementalist and Familiar Edges. The difference is that most elementals, faeries, etc. aren't driven to lure you into evil, immoral conduct. They aren't trying to corrupt your immortal soul.

  • #3
    I think Fixed TN is the way to go. To keep it simple, why not change it to a Fear check? Everything on the table requires one unless I am missing something and you can further modify it by the Horror Factor of the region. The Shifter's Psychotically Brave ability offsets penalties and represents becoming more and more jaded by its description so fits in nicely and gives them a leg up on other casters who have the Edge. On a failure the caster gains Corruption instead of rolling on the fear table. Critical failure results in gaining two Corruption and/or getting a Hindrance that represents influence of the entity (Mean, Bloodthirsty, etc.)

    I'm taking a page from Rippers and comparing Corruption to Reason here. The Reason system is a little more convoluted but can also be adapted if you wanted a little more variability. One thing I would suggest is that gaining Corruption has an effect on Persuasion and Intimidation like loss of Reason does. A legendary shifter probably isn't going to have a problem with summoning brodkil but is also likely to have gained some Corruption along the way and be a little less personable.

    Comment


    • Ndreare
      Ndreare commented
      Editing a comment
      I really like this approach.

  • #4
    Well...Shifters aren't subject to Corruption just because they're doing morally questionable things. I mean, they are doing morally questionable things, but that's actually besides the point. They're subject to Corruption because the thing they are summoning is actively exerting itself to mystically corrupt them via Spirit. That's explicitly what the first two sentences in the Corruption entry say. It isn't a situation where "you're doing things people think are naughty and so people think you're naughty too"; it isn't even 'corruption' in the sense of them being tempted by the power of transgressive acts, and so they are corrupt in the conventional sense.

    The objectively evil creature is trying to actively infect them with an actual real measurable spiritual taint via a Spirit to Spirit connection.

    Do agree the utility of Summon Ally is more limited in Savage Rifts. Agree Savage Rifts AB users could use more setting-appropriate options for that Power. But seems like a better route is to just add more non-pure evil creatures as options. There's gotta be a middle ground there that allows questions of morality that maybe aren't actively spiritually poisonous while being less specific than just elementals.

    I will, though, also agree the current danger of Corruption is similar to SWD Savage Rifts Juicer. Of course, I wasn't one of those who had a problem with the old Burn, and I would be willing to play a Shifter with Diabolist. But given that a similar mechanic was deemed too harsh and softened for SWADE, them sticking with such a mechanic for Shifters makes it seem like they'd prefer demon summoners as cautionary tales and NPCs.

    As far as the proposals for alternate versions of Corruption, I find swapping Corruption for Psyche Degradation interesting metaphysically (sacrificing the Mind to keep the Soul intact?), in keeping with some of the old Palladium lore, and a substantive cost for enlisting actual evil.

    Comment


    • Freemage
      Freemage commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, I absolutely am not arguing that there should be 'no' cost for regularly dabbling in dark arts like this. there should, and I agree that the PR lore seems to back this up. I just greatly prefer to avoid largely binary 'on/off' switches.

      Again, comparing it to the (current) Juicer, the Juicer actually gets stronger as he gets closer to Burning out, and since his Burn Die gets bigger, his odds of getting hit with a Burn Loss actually drops as he gets closer. Meanwhile, the Corrupted Shifter increases his odds of getting more Corruption every time, with no particular benefit at all.

      And it is largely an on/off switch--a Shifter with a d12 Spirit with 5 Corruption doesn't suffer any ill effects; one with 6 Corruption is removed from play.

    • Sgt Anjay
      Sgt Anjay commented
      Editing a comment
      A Shifter with a d12 Spirit w/ 5 Corruption does suffer ill effects; you mentioned it yourself. They're way more susceptible to more Corruption. And its hard to see how there should be a benefit to being infected with a taint of evil, other than it being easier to be evil.

      I do see your point vs. the current Juicer, and the changes made to their mechanics. I'm not against ways to mitigate the taint of Corruption for those who want something similar in the way of mechanics to be a tainted-but-not-wholly-gone type dabbling in diablerie. But I'm not much looking for ways to turn literal evil into literal power, outside of an explicitly evil campaign.

  • #5
    There’s that Summoners Circle book I saw once, I think it lets you Customize your summons and even has an early version of locking your PP to keep them around. Maybe something like that where it’s not explicitly evil? Also I remember in a forum somewhere that someone was saying how you could get like a Raksasha Demon and force it to teach kids math because you have it bound. Getting these things to contribute to something good should help or something, as corruption doesn’t really match with the original source material. The closest is the link to the supernatural character option, with which I could definitely see a justification for a corruption mechanic, but there was an instant power gain for your troubles.

    Comment


    • Ndreare
      Ndreare commented
      Editing a comment
      Clint Black (the official rules guy) wrote a good essay about customized summons and how they where priced in SWADE.

      Makes it pretty workable IMHO, and very nice.

    • Freemage
      Freemage commented
      Editing a comment
      I like Clint's essay for vanilla SW. I just don't think the math scales well to match SR. Summoning a horde of creatures that can't do damage to most of the creatures in SFoNA, and that die from a single laser blast, isn't really going to do much for a spellcaster. Summoning something useful in a fight is pretty much going to drain more than half a caster's PPE.

    • Ndreare
      Ndreare commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree on that.

      The only help is to double the base build points or do as Sean Roberson did and pick arbitrary npcs at given ranks.

  • #6
    Originally posted by Freemage View Post
    A long-standing complaint about Summon Ally is that, in Savage Rifts, the things you can summon simply are not up to the task--even Force Multiplication doesn't do much because of area of effect, which will paste just about anything. (The exception, of course, is Mirror Image, which is about the only thing I ever see get used for 'vanilla' Summon Ally in an SR game.) The ability to pay, point-by-point, for minor buffs doesn't really accomplish much, because by the time you get something halfway decent, you've already burned through your PPE cap. (To see where I'm going with this, compare a Seasoned-capable Bodyguard to a Bandit or CS Grunt from SFoNA, in terms of capabilities, durability and damage output.)

    The Elementalist and Diabolist Edges from the Tomorrow Legion Field Manual give some real change on this front, though it would be nice if there were a Veteran-level option on the chart.

    And Diabolist would be great... except of course that it gives you a lifespan akin to an SWD Juicer's.

    For one thing, the roll is opposed--so even if you roll well, that's no guarantee of safe harbor, since the GM's die could explode as well. And even a max-Spirit Shifter will have at most 6 failed Corruption tests before being removed from play. The fact that the Corruption is irrevocable further makes it become a matter of time before the character implodes.

    I'm not saying there should be no potential consequence for the Diabolist Edge--but as it's written, it's almost guaranteed to leave a sour taste in the mouth of any Shifter Player who has a bad string of luck and either has to ignore the Edge for most of the campaign, or get turned into an evil NPC before he even gets to Veteran.

    I've considered a couple possible fixes for this, that I think still keep to the intended flavor, without completely screwing over the Diabolist PC:

    1: Fixed TN. Base TN is 6, with -1 for every Rank above the minimum for that type of creature you are. So a Veteran summoning a Gurgoyle is rolling against a 5. As an alternative, fix the TN based on the summoned creature's Spirit--a d6 is 4, a d8 is 6, a d10 is 8 and a d12 is 10. (Then apply the Rank modifier as above.)

    2: Corruption Pacts. The idea here is that Corruption represents the danger of accepting an obligation to perform 'unnamed favors' at some time in the future. By pinning down exactly what you owe your summoned allies, you can act indefinitely, though with costs. Essentially, every point of Corruption can be swapped out for a roll on the Crazy's Psyche Degradation Table. (For a gentler version, you can allow the player to pick the Hindrance taken, and possibly even extend it to 1 point for a minor Hindrance and 2 for a Major hindrance).

    Any thoughts? Am I being completely insane here, either in my assessment of the Summon Ally power in SR, the impact of Corruption, or the notion of allowing/encouraging Diabolist PCs at all? (BTW, I don't tend to run 'evil' campaigns, but I like characters who are subject to temptation, and have to balance those temptations against the good they're seeking to do.)
    This is an ability that is all about high risk high reward. This is very much in line with what a Shifter is in Rifts.
    This singular action can also completely change the outcome of an adventure all by itself. So end of any adventure with a showdown, your adding a very extremely powerful unit on to the table that will almost guarantee success or a dramatic failure for the party. And if a failure, it offers a great rp opportunity for the party now decide how to deal with all this chaos. And I assure you the enemy faction most likely didn't see that one coming and by no means is off the hook either from the Fiend.

    Now there is a couple of things that need to be adjusted for sure to make this edge be what it's suppose to be but also give longer use for a Shifters carreer.

    1.) Corruption needs to also have a wind down. So as a Shifter gets corruption, there needs to be a time limit and spirits challenge to be able to reduce that corruption rating. This way they can keep using this edge over the span of their life as long as they are taking the time to re-balance their soul. This also would also automatically add great roleplaying options for a player to show how the corruption is affecting them and their efforts to fight that corruption.This also puts limits on how many times in a short period that a Shifter will be using this edge, and how much they are willing to risk at the casino.
    (Inner Monologue: "Ahh my best bud the juicer Maximus Overdrive just asked me to go hang with him at the local juicer bar where there will be hookers and blow, drinks galore and this new juicer drug called crash that everyone is raving about... but but I'm a better person, that is not me, I would never have been interested in this, so why now... ahh but just think of all the deviant fun to be had there.... maybe i should go bake a cake and show the fellas how much i appreciate them and a unofficial sorry for loosing control of that Fiend yesterday... ok compromise, I will bake em a cake with crash in it, that will cheer everyone up and make them forget yesterdays events!"))

    2.) The power level of each tier summons NEEDS to be superior to a safe summons on the same tier. This edge is about punching above your weight class and failure already has great consequences, so that adventure ending risk needs to be rewarded above the safe options for risking it.
    -Caveat: The expected use of summoner circles, which is also a big part of Rifts should help reduce the risks on this. It means preparation and time needed for a 'safer' chance to bring forth these fiends, and doing it on the fly is the higher risk shown here.

    Also in regards to some of the posts about how this interacts with a player and the Tomorrow Legion, well to be blunt, the Tomorrow Legion has nothing to do with this. Actually the Tomorrow Legion is a weak to bad Rifts concept that diminishes much of the world the more they are splashed on everything.

    The concept of the Summoner in Rifts along with many other "questionable and grey" character classes has very much been a core element to the Rifts world, where surviving by choosing the grey to darker options weighed against doing the righteous thing that has the greatest chance of ending you/party one way or another (starvation, no money to repair or recharge weapons which will only hasten desperation and downfall, overwhelming enemies at odds with this choice ect).The summoner desire power over everything else, that is why they traffic in using questionable and corrupt entities of power and how much is to much or not enough. Let the weak suffer the hardships so I do not and can have others serve me, or maybe in order to save my people I have to risk my soul to use the powers that would destroy us to save us. The CS Tolkeen story arc is a perfect example of the black and whites on both sides and neither side was entirely good or evil, but both qualities exist in both of them.

    Sorry about the long and slightly off rant at the end here, but it saddens me to see such a goody two-shoes and silly faction as the Tomorrow Legion being splashed across Rifts as the premier player faction and element.

    PEGRoberson please for the love of god do not update the Shifter to be a happy go lucky good guy. I think this Edge fits in greatly to what the Shifter is/does and great job on that part, minus let the Shifter work off his corruption rating.
    Last edited by Nether; 03-29-2020, 08:15 PM.

    Comment


    • #7
      Originally posted by Nether View Post
      PEGRoberson please for the love of god do not update the Shifter to be a happy go lucky good guy. I think this Edge fits in greatly to what the Shifter is/does and great job on that part, minus let the Shifter work off his corruption rating.
      I have been summoned!

      Rest your worries about the Shifter getting a cutesie makeover, lol. The playtest is over. I am very satisfied with what we were able to come up with for the Shifter. I'm keen on expanding options for the Shifter IF, as evidenced by me not being able to fit all of their potential Edges into Blood & Banes—they spilled over into the TL Field Manual.

      I plan on adding more "summoner" Edges (like Diabolist, Elementalist, etc) for use by arcanists, including the Shifter. I agree that the current summoning rules don't easily stack up to a Rifts® power level. Sean Bircher and I discussed it. Shane Hensley and I did a lot of brainstorming over it. In the end, we went with the Edge-based "summoner" model.

      I will say that I don't see Corruption as some sort of default ticking clock like a Juicer's Burn. Instead, it is a stark warning to take care when cavorting with pure evil. You can summon other stuff (with more options to come) and I have my own personal, very real, "wish list" of Edges that I would like to get to for Shifters (and other IFs) that will change the game up. Expect to see them trickle out (or possibly gush out) in future releases. I appreciate all of the ideas brought up by Freemage



      Originally posted by Nether View Post
      The concept of the Summoner in Rifts along with many other "questionable and grey" character classes has very much been a core element to the Rifts world, where surviving by choosing the grey to darker options weighed against doing the righteous thing that has the greatest chance of ending you/party one way or another...maybe in order to save my people I have to risk my soul to use the powers that would destroy us to save us. The CS Tolkeen story arc is a perfect example of the black and whites on both sides and neither side was entirely good or evil, but both qualities exist in both of them.
      Agreed, I see this as integral to the depth of the lore and an important part of the cosmic and survival horror themes explored in the setting. This is part of the reason that I added the High Octane Horror section to the Game Master's Guide.

      It is also one of the big reasons that I dialed back the baseline power level and made combat a little more treacherous—to help players and GMs experience a little more gritty, deadly storytelling. All of this makes for more situations where players are forced to deal with ugly Death & Defeat results, or choose to sacrifice themselves for the greater good and go out in a Blaze of Glory.




      Originally posted by Nether View Post
      ...in regards to some of the posts about how this interacts with a player and the Tomorrow Legion, well to be blunt, the Tomorrow Legion has nothing to do with this. Actually the Tomorrow Legion is a weak to bad Rifts concept that diminishes much of the world the more they are splashed on everything...but it saddens me to see such a goody-two-shoes and silly faction as the Tomorrow Legion being splashed across Rifts as the premier player faction and element.
      As you might expect I disagree, lol. But I also agree. Let me explain.

      The original Savage Rifts® design team did some really great work and created an accessible Rifts® lore that was easy for new players to dive into. That said, many factions and conflicts became a bit too black and white or two-dimensional for some people's tastes (I've had tons of feedback saying so). This includes the Tomorrow Legion. Across the Savage Rifts® product line's second edition, we tried to wipe off some of the "shine" of the trade dress and internal graphic design (we swapped in the beat-up metal sidebar art, etc). We are attempting to make future adventures much more nuanced in their morality as well...more grey choices. I included a more morally ambiguous choice at the end of the Empires of Humanity Plot Point Campaign, for instance.

      Now, Kevin Siembieda really likes the idea of the Legion. I do, too. It always seemed to me that the heroic figures up in Lazlo should team up with the Cyber-Knights and others to organize a permanent "gathering of heroes" army after Plato's warning of the dooms coming to Rifts® Earth. This is what I like about the Tomorrow Legion, it really seems to fill that need.

      What I want to do more of is show that the Legion is full of humans who make mistakes and do their best, but sometimes still fail or make poor choices—or are forced into lose-lose situations by circumstances. I'd like to do a "Secrets of Castle Refuge" supplement that will show the grittier, grayer side of the Legion and its founding.

      Anyways, my advice is that if the Tomorrow Legion seems too shiny and nice, then don't portray it that way in your games. Fill it with conflict and intrigue. Put some depth underneath the propaganda poster veneer. If you have fun and tell cool stories then let me know—it might help to inform or inspire better stories.

      But either way, the Legion isn't going anywhere so I hope you can find a spin on it that you enjoy. If not, then run the game that you want! It's your game and there is no "right" way to play

      Sean Owen Roberson
      Line Manager, Rifts for Savage Worlds

      Comment


      • Nether
        Nether commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey Sean, I appreciate the follow up and the reasoning offered! PEGRoberson (not sure comment notifies you or not)

        I will say that I don't see Corruption as some sort of default ticking clock like a Juicer's Burn. Instead, it is a stark warning to take care when cavorting with pure evil. You can summon other stuff (with more options to come) and I have my own personal, very real, "wish list" of Edges that I would like to get to for Shifters (and other IFs) that will change the game up. Expect to see them trickle out (or possibly gush out) in future releases.
        I'm glad to see we are on the same page for that, and I love the Shifter so looking forward to additional edges. With that said, I was hoping they would have had a 'pact' ability in the IF or partly simulate that by having the same PP as a Leyline Walker (double PP edge effect) as Summon Ally gets expensive fast and PP is one of the few ways to show how much they can handle in that area vs other casters.

        As for the corruption, the only real thing I would like to see is a way to reduce that corruption rating over time. As it is, if you fail just a few times, you lose your character and means this Edge is not seeing very much use for your characters career, like probably a handful of times unless you always play it safe.

        As to the Tomorrow Legion;
        I had previously watched your channel on the unboxing of the new books and realized how passionate you're about the Tomorrow Legion, which is great but it is how they are brought across.

        The faction feels like a bunch of hypocrites, who obviously learned nothing from the Tolkeen event that brought this group together and are setting up to exactly that again but 3 times worse. All the players in my groups don't like them per say, no one likes the fairy-tale of Snow White and her many Dwarves come to build a castle, from a clan of Dwarves that don't sound very rugged and tough, not the mention the overdone Dwarf master builder theme. It all just feels very childish in appearance not something that fits the serious, gritty, apocalyptic world of Rifts theme.Then Lord Coake is fine as he was, but then add the knight to the castle and dwarves theme?

        They sell the image of classic super hero that patrols the hood, is completely selfless and doesn't put any value on more tangible needs, like personal needs and growth, making money as well as what they want/need. BUT then they expect that anything you acquire like vehicles and power armor ect should be turned over to them with no compensation except maybe recharging your eclips and a breakfast burrito for free. (hyperbole i know)

        Then the Castle and its horrible location. Remember what I mentioned about not learning anything from the Tolkeen event that inspired them?
        I remember reading somewhere that SPF described the location as intentional, as a strike point which would be fine if it was described as that but it's not. Just like Star Wars Rebels, they have bases all over and are designed to be movable, disposable ect, because that is what they are, strike points. They don't prop up a city and dig in to make it a home to raise the family and spread good will to their neighborhood.

        It is a castle that they are most obviously building as a stronghold, a place they fully intend to live and stay, in a place that completely SURROUNDED by enemies, let alone right in the middle of 3 CS States. They are a fraction of the size of Tolkeen, and there is no reason why the CS would even wait to smash this place.

        But but all of these 'allied' groups that they have been making friends with will make the CS think twice... KS set the precedent for this already;
        Other than the CK's, not a single faction got involved or helped Tolkeen fight the CS directly. Considering all the other groups, and the CS was very stretched thin and weak as their whole military might was focused on fighting a close to equal enemy, none of them did anything. Dunscon didn't invade, and there was no better or obvious time to do it, none of the other 'good guy factions' like Lazlo ect got the army out to go help, the Pecos bandits at that point could have changed the boundaries significantly, they all keep going on, but what KS showed is that no one was willing to put their kingdom on the line to help Tolkeen. That is the precedent he set for the environment. And now you create a group to be Tolkeen #2, but drastically smaller and weaker, but in a even worse place and ultimately the faction is just out of place in Rifts.

        I think the idea of putting in a good faction where new players have something to get them involved right away was a very good idea. The implementation of that group is what needs to be changed. Merc Town would have been a great place to start players off at, as the merc theme already fits, they can get all kinds of work for all sorts of adventures, they aren't all hardcore about getting right in the CS's face and giving them the finger while proclaiming whatcha gonna do!?!

        Sure, make the Tomorrow Legion a faction there, one of their main places for finding adventurers, but not the only one. They should be a rebel cell that exists in many of the cities and trying to help. Dweomer, Magestar, Lazlo, New Lazlo, ect. It also lets you change the adventure environment easily enough as they would be represented all across NA. Want an New West adv? Easy, pick some wild west town or city that has a TL hq to get things rolling. This would have allowed you to introduce many aspects already in NA like Dweomer, Psyscape, Lazlo, New West, Spirit West ect ect. All existing areas and PB Books on those notable areas could have been given just a slight lip service to introduce the players to the many iconic areas of NA, and be TL envoys that go to help where it is needed.

        Just my rant on why I don't like them in the simplest terms, though I do appreciate the effort you guys are doing and trying to do.
        Last edited by Nether; 04-02-2020, 05:37 PM.

    • #8
      Originally posted by Nether View Post

      This is an ability that is all about high risk high reward. This is very much in line with what a Shifter is in Rifts.
      This singular action can also completely change the outcome of an adventure all by itself. So end of any adventure with a showdown, your adding a very extremely powerful unit on to the table that will almost guarantee success or a dramatic failure for the party. And if a failure, it offers a great rp opportunity for the party now decide how to deal with all this chaos. And I assure you the enemy faction most likely didn't see that one coming and by no means is off the hook either from the Fiend.

      Now there is a couple of things that need to be adjusted for sure to make this edge be what it's suppose to be but also give longer use for a Shifters carreer.

      1.) Corruption needs to also have a wind down. So as a Shifter gets corruption, there needs to be a time limit and spirits challenge to be able to reduce that corruption rating. This way they can keep using this edge over the span of their life as long as they are taking the time to re-balance their soul. This also would also automatically add great roleplaying options for a player to show how the corruption is affecting them and their efforts to fight that corruption.This also puts limits on how many times in a short period that a Shifter will be using this edge, and how much they are willing to risk at the casino.
      (Inner Monologue: "Ahh my best bud the juicer Maximus Overdrive just asked me to go hang with him at the local juicer bar where there will be hookers and blow, drinks galore and this new juicer drug called crash that everyone is raving about... but but I'm a better person, that is not me, I would never have been interested in this, so why now... ahh but just think of all the deviant fun to be had there.... maybe i should go bake a cake and show the fellas how much i appreciate them and a unofficial sorry for loosing control of that Fiend yesterday... ok compromise, I will bake em a cake with crash in it, that will cheer everyone up and make them forget yesterdays events!"))

      2.) The power level of each tier summons NEEDS to be superior to a safe summons on the same tier. This edge is about punching above your weight class and failure already has great consequences, so that adventure ending risk needs to be rewarded above the safe options for risking it.
      -Caveat: The expected use of summoner circles, which is also a big part of Rifts should help reduce the risks on this. It means preparation and time needed for a 'safer' chance to bring forth these fiends, and doing it on the fly is the higher risk shown here.


      .
      Point 1 would definitely address my concern, yes. The notion of using the Crazy's Derangement Table was just another approach to instituting a 'wind-down' of Corruption-as-such. I've noted that in a lot of the PR Lore that I've read, Shifters who make lots of deals with darker entities tend to be mad as hatters, even if they they aren't explicitly serving the aforementioned dark powers directly--this seemed a way to represent that.

      To Point 2, there is a way to factor in summoning circles--Magic Rituals. Use "Increased Effect" to get a more potent boost Trait: Spirit Power, or to hit the Demon with lower Trait: Spirit. Either option would be represented by a circle that has powdered silver or gold, or other more exotic materials costing 10,000 Credits.

      Comment


      • Nether
        Nether commented
        Editing a comment
        Your second comment for using rituals and boost trait works perfect for that, thanks for the tip!
        As our next session (I am one of the main GMs) was going to have Rituals going down and two players use summon ally all the time, so this will help a lot. It just works so simply and to the point.

    • #9
      I like a lot of the ideas here, and think they can be syncretized into something cohesive. The one important thing there's not a consensus on is "fixed TN" vs "opposed roll," but I think that Sean has made it clear why Rifts went with the latter -- this isn't just "the mage trying to hold it together," it's "the mage and demon actively battling for hold on the mage's soul." Let me know what y'all think of this:

      Summoning Circles

      Any smart diabolist will create a circle before summoning a demon. This is a Ritual, often with Improved Duration and/or Improved Effect. The cost reflects powdered metals and gems which are used to draw the summoning circle itself. Any bonus which would normally be applied to Spellcasting (from Improved Effect and/or extra PPE) may instead be held over and added to the diabolist's Spirit roll to resist the demon's corrupting influence.

      Working Through Corruption

      The Corruption penalty reflects an evil taint working its way into a diabolist's mind and soul, generally playing off of denial and overconfidence to lead them to a great fall. However, one who admits that the stain is there can work their way through it, accepting it and "owning it." This reduces the Corruption penalty by -2 but requires the diabolist to roll on the table below, as the subtle taint becomes "merely" a new, sinful facet of the magician's personality. Reroll duplicate results.

      Accepted Sin Table (d12)
      1. Arrogant
      2. Bloodthirsty
      3.Clueless (as "not caring")
      4.Driven (Major; something selfish)
      5.Greedy (Major)
      6.Jealous (Major)
      7.Mania (Major)
      8.Overconfident
      9.Ruthless (Major)
      10.Suspicious (Major)
      11.Thin-Skinned (Major)
      12.Vengeful (Major)

      Comment


      • Freemage
        Freemage commented
        Editing a comment
        Working through/buying off Corruption would meet my biggest concern with the system-as-is, yes. I also like the idea of a Summoning Circle aiding the opposed Spirit roll, rather than the Spellcasting roll--it's 'off-book', but a reasonable application of the concept, at least for summons meant to be long-term (it's not much use for combat-summoning, of course). And that does leave an issue--Summons of all sorts are inherently fragile. Long-term Summons thus represent a fairly hefty investment for something that could be 'dispelled' by a decent grenade hit.

        A further option for Rituals might be "Pacts". Pacts would use the same rules for Enhanced Effect Rituals suggested above, but would add an extra wrinkle--the summon would not actually occur right then. Instead, the spell would be 'hung' (by locking up the PPE to cast it). To activate a pact on combat time-scales, the Shifter would just need to make a simple Spellcasting roll (TN 4).

        So, for instance, a Seasoned Shifter could perform the Ritual to Summon a Gurgoyle (4 PPE base cost). He goes fro a Challenging Dramatic Test at a -1 Penalty, granting him two applications of the Increased Effect Modifier: +4 to opposed rolls (in this case, the Corruption check). This costs 20,000 Cr, to create the Summoning Circle for a Seasoned Summons.

        Assuming the Ritual is successful, he would then roll for the Corruption check as normal (at +4, as noted above). He invests the 4 PPE in the Pact--that PPE does not regenerate. However, he does not have a Gurgoyle following him around Castle Refuge, nor is the spell itself 'active'--it cannot be dispelled, and Duration is not counted yet.

        Later on, during a fight, he invokes the Pact. The Gurgoyle appears on a simple success of the casting roll (a Raise has the usual effect). The Duration of the effect starts now (if the Shifter had done a Difficult Ritual, he could've also added Duration to the spell, conceivably pushing it up to minutes, hours or even days from the time of activation).

    • #10
      That’s similar to the dissonance/discord system in In Nomine. It’s a game about angels and demons and whenever you act against your nature, you get a point of dissonance, and the only effect that dissonance has is that you have to make a roll every time you get some and if you fail the roll you “fall.” The only reliable way to get rid of it is to cash it in for a discord, which is like a Hindrance. You might suffer from constant stigmata but at least you done become a fallen angel. I really like it in that system because of how absolute it is, you have to carefully monitor those things that can bring you discord because it has a very real and lasting effect on your character.

      Comment


      • #11
        Originally posted by Nether View Post

        As to the Tomorrow Legion;
        I had previously watched your channel on the unboxing of the new books and realized how passionate you're about the Tomorrow Legion, which is great but it is how they are brought across.
        Well, I'm passionate about Rifts® and I agree with Kevin that the Legion fits the setting—he loves all of the new stuff in our "slightly-alternate-universe." This doesn't mean its all perfect though, so I appreciate the feedback.



        Originally posted by Nether View Post
        The faction feels like a bunch of hypocrites, who obviously learned nothing from the Tolkeen event that brought this group together and are setting up to exactly that again but 3 times worse. All the players in my groups don't like them per say, no one likes the fairy-tale of Snow White and her many Dwarves come to build a castle, from a clan of Dwarves that don't sound very rugged and tough, not the mention the overdone Dwarf master builder theme. It all just feels very childish in appearance not something that fits the serious, gritty, apocalyptic world of Rifts theme.Then Lord Coake is fine as he was, but then add the knight to the castle and dwarves theme?
        I mean, I hear what you are saying on one level...but Rifts® has been full of Knights, Elves, and Dwarves from the beginning. Just as the Cyber-Knights started out very "simple good-guy" and got more complex and interesting over time, so will the Tomorrow Legion and Castle Refuge story.

        In the meantime, if there are elements that you don't like then add some tarnish or introduce story threads to explore the "dark side" of the Legion and its possible origins as I suggested previously.



        Originally posted by Nether View Post
        They sell the image of classic super hero that patrols the hood, is completely selfless and doesn't put any value on more tangible needs, like personal needs and growth, making money as well as what they want/need. BUT then they expect that anything you acquire like vehicles and power armor ect should be turned over to them with no compensation except maybe recharging your eclips and a breakfast burrito for free. (hyperbole i know)
        So, to be fair, neither the Tomorrow Legion Player's Guide nor the GM's Handbook frame compensation or salvage/spoils-of-war this way. You may be playing the Legion wrong.

        I have made a lot of tweaks to both books and their lore (in addition to mechanics). You might want to reread the first part of Chapter 2: Gear in the TLPG (up through page 84) and Chapter 4: Savage Rifts® Encounters in the GMH (especially the section for Rewards, page 80 to 85), because in my estimation many Tomorrow Legion teams function very similarly to Mercenaries or "Private Contractors" loyal to a cause. All of that is written assuming the Tomorrow Legion is the primary game-play paradigm.



        Originally posted by Nether View Post
        Then the Castle and its horrible location. Remember what I mentioned about not learning anything from the Tolkeen event that inspired them?
        I remember reading somewhere that SPF described the location as intentional, as a strike point which would be fine if it was described as that but it's not. Just like Star Wars Rebels, they have bases all over and are designed to be movable, disposable ect, because that is what they are, strike points. They don't prop up a city and dig in to make it a home to raise the family and spread good will to their neighborhood.

        It is a castle that they are most obviously building as a stronghold, a place they fully intend to live and stay, in a place that completely SURROUNDED by enemies, let alone right in the middle of 3 CS States. They are a fraction of the size of Tolkeen, and there is no reason why the CS would even wait to smash this place.

        But but all of these 'allied' groups that they have been making friends with will make the CS think twice... KS set the precedent for this already;
        Other than the CK's, not a single faction got involved or helped Tolkeen fight the CS directly. Considering all the other groups, and the CS was very stretched thin and weak as their whole military might was focused on fighting a close to equal enemy, none of them did anything. Dunscon didn't invade, and there was no better or obvious time to do it, none of the other 'good guy factions' like Lazlo ect got the army out to go help, the Pecos bandits at that point could have changed the boundaries significantly, they all keep going on, but what KS showed is that no one was willing to put their kingdom on the line to help Tolkeen. That is the precedent he set for the environment. And now you create a group to be Tolkeen #2, but drastically smaller and weaker, but in a even worse place and ultimately the faction is just out of place in Rifts.

        I think the idea of putting in a good faction where new players have something to get them involved right away was a very good idea. The implementation of that group is what needs to be changed. Merc Town would have been a great place to start players off at, as the merc theme already fits, they can get all kinds of work for all sorts of adventures, they aren't all hardcore about getting right in the CS's face and giving them the finger while proclaiming whatcha gonna do!?!
        Well, Castle Refuge is right next to Kingsdale, Whykin, and Merctown. As far as the CS's military force projection abilities are concerned, I don't see a massive geographical difference between the location of Castle Refuge and Merctown. The lore also explicitly states why Kingsdale and Merctown are allowed to exist, and Castle Refuge is just another tough nut to crack in the same neighborhood. I think their known relationship with Lazlo, the Cyber-Knights, and Glitter Boy brotherhood (and tons of other "law bringer factions") coupled with their proximity to Texas (a massive CS debacle), the Juicer Liberation Army (another stinging CS defeat), and the stomping grounds of most of North America's independent and not-so-independent merc/privateer companies means the region is very dangerous for the CS.

        The location of Castle Refuge could be its downfall, but the CS war machine got mired down and lost a lot of steam in Tolkeen, Texas, and their civil war with Quebec. I don't know if you've had a chance to read Chapter 6: The Coalition States, Empire of Man (Empires of Humanity page 73) but it should be pretty clear why the CS isn't able to curb stomp the Legion...yet.



        Originally posted by Nether View Post
        Sure, make the Tomorrow Legion a faction there, one of their main places for finding adventurers, but not the only one. They should be a rebel cell that exists in many of the cities and trying to help. Dweomer, Magestar, Lazlo, New Lazlo, ect. It also lets you change the adventure environment easily enough as they would be represented all across NA. Want an New West adv? Easy, pick some wild west town or city that has a TL hq to get things rolling. This would have allowed you to introduce many aspects already in NA like Dweomer, Psyscape, Lazlo, New West, Spirit West ect ect. All existing areas and PB Books on those notable areas could have been given just a slight lip service to introduce the players to the many iconic areas of NA, and be TL envoys that go to help where it is needed.
        Umm, I thought that was exactly what we were already doing, it's basically what we did in all of the new books. The chapter for every region lists why the Legion is involved there, and what kind of adventures to have there. We don't explicitly list which towns do or don't contain a safehouse, loyal Legion contact, etc but the idea is exactly what you are talking about. We have a ton of feedback praising this adventuring paradigm. Apologies if this was somehow unclear. I will try to make sure this is clarified in future materials.



        Originally posted by Nether View Post
        Just my rant on why I don't like them in the simplest terms, though I do appreciate the effort you guys are doing and trying to do.
        It's cool! I appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback because it really helps me hone the material.

        As mentioned above, it seems like we have very different impressions of the Tomorrow Legion lore. I think impressions are there for a reason, so I don't say that to discount your feedback! On that count, I have included some lore references above—I hope they will help clarify some of the nuances that our team worked hard to create.

        Cheers

        Sean Owen Roberson
        Line Manager, Rifts for Savage Worlds

        Comment


        • #12
          IMO The Tomorrow Legion was a very much needed addition to Rifts Lore. There are so many armageddon scenarios baked into Classic Rifts that it really does border on he absurd. To me the Legion is an essential addition to try and bring some balance to the world view. I don't think everyone needs to base their group on the Legion but I do thing it's important that the Legion exist as part of the Lore.

          Comment


          • #13
            Originally posted by PEGRoberson View Post

            Well, Castle Refuge is right next to Kingsdale, Whykin, and Merctown. As far as the CS's military force projection abilities are concerned, I don't see a massive geographical difference between the location of Castle Refuge and Merctown. The lore also explicitly states why Kingsdale and Merctown are allowed to exist, and Castle Refuge is just another tough nut to crack in the same neighborhood. I think their known relationship with Lazlo, the Cyber-Knights, and Glitter Boy brotherhood (and tons of other "law bringer factions") coupled with their proximity to Texas (a massive CS debacle), the Juicer Liberation Army (another stinging CS defeat), and the stomping grounds of most of North America's independent and not-so-independent merc/privateer companies means the region is very dangerous for the CS.

            The location of Castle Refuge could be its downfall, but the CS war machine got mired down and lost a lot of steam in Tolkeen, Texas, and their civil war with Quebec. I don't know if you've had a chance to read Chapter 6: The Coalition States, Empire of Man (Empires of Humanity page 73) but it should be pretty clear why the CS isn't able to curb stomp the Legion...yet.
            The biggest difference here, I believe, is that Castle Refuge is explicitly populated heavily by Tolkeen Refugees. That's going to raise it up on the Coalition's paranoia scale considerably. If CR were not in 'official' Coalition territory (say, just outside the border of CS Missouri), then it would be easier for them to open diplomatic relations with the CS on the basis of, "Look, these people don't want to fight you--they just wanted a place to run away and live their lives." But having a group of people whom the CS regards largely as terrorists setting up shop literally in their back yard does seem to be the sort of thing that would not only raise the CS High Command's hackles, but might very well put out those neighbors you mention--who, after all, have to play a song and dance routine with the CS themselves to stay below radar. CR seems like the sort of outfit that would draw a lot of attention to a region that most folks therein would prefer to avoid.



            Originally posted by PEGRoberson View Post
            Umm, I thought that was exactly what we were already doing, it's basically what we did in all of the new books. The chapter for every region lists why the Legion is involved there, and what kind of adventures to have there. We don't explicitly list which towns do or don't contain a safehouse, loyal Legion contact, etc but the idea is exactly what you are talking about. We have a ton of feedback praising this adventuring paradigm. Apologies if this was somehow unclear. I will try to make sure this is clarified in future materials.
            I believe what he's suggesting is a bit stronger than that--the idea is that the Legion would consist almost entirely of such safehouses and underground operations--you meet in bars and get your orders and sometimes you even wonder if there's another agenda in play because they never give you enough information that could hurt the Legion if you get captured. CR, if it exists at all, would be someplace not merely inconvenient to attack, but downright inaccessible to the CS. Consider Dweomer (hidden by illusions), Stormspire (mobile, at least the portions that the CS would be tempted to attack over), and the City of Brass (hidden underground, and then actually in a pocket dimension). Ie, he's suggesting that the Legion should be more of a shadow-operation, one that strives to resist the various dark forces in Rifts Earth, but not one that could be taken out by a well-placed nuke.

            Comment


            • Scottbert
              Scottbert commented
              Editing a comment
              The CS talks a big game -- and they ARE very strong -- but they overreach by claiming entire old state borders. The new map shows better which areas they actually have the resources to control.

              The Tomorrow Legion, at least in 109 PA, is a new, small organization. People form new settlements all the time on RIFTS Earth -- many of them don't survive. The CS needs to recuperate from the war it just had, and it makes sense that it might be worth seeing if the TL gets itself wiped out (they're also up against the Federation of Magic, plus it's RIFTS Earth, a leyline storm could just drop killer dinosaurs on Castle Refuge or something, you never know.)

              But that can only last for so long. If your campaign covers years of in-character time, and the TL grows bigger and becomes more than just one town, an explanation will be needed.

            • Freemage
              Freemage commented
              Editing a comment
              Scottbert: The complaint, I believe, is that the location seems to make such a showdown inevitable, which in turn makes it a very poor tactical choice by the founders of the Legion: "Hey, let's take in all these refugees from a horrific war. And then let's drop them in a spot where we can be sure they're going to get to relive those horrors within a decade." In particular, given Coake's actions during the Tolkeen conflict itself, it seems grossly out of character for him to take such a risk.

              There IS one thing that might help explain the discrepancy, though--add in a vague prophecy (which, frankly, is about half of what passes for mass media in Palladium Rifts...). If the founders are convinced that there NEEDS to be a "Stronghold of Light" in this region--or even this exact spot--in order to prevent some great calamity, then they might be willing to take the risk.

            • Nether
              Nether commented
              Editing a comment
              Freemage Both of your comments are on the exact same page as me, and very well said.

              In general response;
              Why would the the CS even wait after going through the horrors of the Tolkeen battle?
              I mean the back half of that war got super ugly and evil on both side, but Tolkeen took the crown in corrupted morality and became exactly what the CS propaganda says about all magic users, but one thing the CS should have already known due to their decades of fighting the Federation of Magic and Tolkeen would have exacerbated this point, is magic users given time and allowed to fortify will magnify their strength faster than anyone else.

              So if they thought Tolkeen was a hard fight that was barely won with their massive 5 state military vs just one city state of magic users, then they really can't afford to have a magical castle chalk full of tainted dirty Tolkeen magic user refugees who would all naturally hate the CS fanatically set up shop right in their backyard.

              Out of all the places in that pocket region between their states, none would raise a red flag greater than CR to the CS. CR if still accurate is heavy built with TW and magic... full of evil Tolkeenites... right in their backyard... I mean how would this not be priority number one to them to rectify?

              Even if the CS is hurting, the comments (need to find which book it is in) that the CS offering citz to any human was met with overwhelming success, greatly suggest to me that the CS would have replenished its losses and then some from the war. They just need to get them trained and equiped now, but now is the time they need to strike this small upstart before it becomes another Tolkeen city state right in it's center. The CS already know, there is no other good guy factions coming to their rescue as has been proven with practically every major engagement in NA, no one ever (faction/city) risks getting involved except the Cyberknights. Being a CK is hard *** work that requires eyes in the back of your head, as they will have everyone else backs, but no one will have theirs.
              Last edited by Nether; 04-11-2020, 08:57 PM.
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