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  • Machine Maestro, Mutilated

    This is "They Killed Kenny!" level . In addition to losing 3 HJ rolls and a die-type from their starting arcane skill, Techno-Wizards suffered a massive nerf to Machine Maestro, which no longer applies to Fighting, Shooting or arcane skill rolls.

    When I first read v.3, I though the MM bonus had just been reduced to the old "in-combat" bonus -- ie. +1 for mundane mechanical, +2 for magic/TW, instead of +2/+4 out of combat. But on second reading, I noticed it now only applies to a select group of non-combat skills, and not to the creation or use of TW gizmos, gadgets and other devices.

    This is a severe nerf, and really hampers TWs, who were given Machine Maestro largely to account for the action economy pressure they face. As opposed to other casters, TWs almost always are incurring MAP, due to having to retrieve, then activate a gizmo, create then activate a gadget, etc. They suffer significant penalties when using their basic abilities, hence the bonus from MM to offset that.

    So, I can see reducing the bonus to the in-combat level, especially considering some of the options for Support, rituals etc that could help out of combat with item creation, etc. But the +1 to +2 MM bonus is needed for arcane skill rolls just to provide parity with other casters, and letting it apply to Fighting and Shooting at least lets TWs use their own creations with moderate skill.





  • #2
    Readying weapons (or a gizmo) now being a free action does help somewhat but for the most part I agree. Techno-Wizards got hosed on this one. Other than just "casting" a power a lot of what a TW does is to improvise something the party needs and doesn't have on the flay and this generally requires multiple actions which used to at least partly offset by Machine Maestro. This will be the top of any play test I get a chance to do.

    Comment


    • Ndreare
      Ndreare commented
      Editing a comment
      I think the latest version of Gadgeteer does not allow MAP as it requires the full turn. So you use a power you have, or you build something. But not both.

    • Tribe of One
      Tribe of One commented
      Editing a comment
      The TW's Arcane Machinist varies from SWADE Gadgeteer in a couple of ways: "As often as half her Smarts die per session, and as an action ..."

  • #3
    I'm in the opposite camp - I never liked the old Machine Maestro, because it felt like a universal combat bonus to a class that was never meant to be a combat champ. But! With the MAP they sometimes face, maybe it would be worth changing around Machine Maestro to negate MAP incurred by using tech? So rather than give a combat bonus, just let them ignore two points of MAP each round if they create and use a gadget in the same round?

    Comment


    • Freemage
      Freemage commented
      Editing a comment
      This would be a solid compromise, and seems to fit the SWADE spirit.

  • #4
    Nerf em all and let Prosek sort em out, I say!

    In all seriousness, I'm glad that Machine Maestro got revamped. I always felt it was overpowered, especially in combat. I had previously proposed just giving TWs a reroll where tech was in play, but this went further than that. I'm interested to see how it works in playtesting and if folks feel Machine Maestro is now underpowered.

    Comment


    • PEGRoberson
      PEGRoberson commented
      Editing a comment
      Haha, evil natural selection at its finest.

  • #5
    As it is, TWs are sort of like the old D&D Cleric -- most of your power and purpose are wrapped up in saving the group's bacon. Making that harder, and also making it harder to contribute more directly, is not a good way to entice folks to be the utility player. As of v.3, a Ley Line Walker with an Edge or two dropped on New Powers is a far more effective swiss-army-knife, utility caster.

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    • #6
      Agreed. I liked playing the original version of the TW but I feel little desire to try out this new version at all.

      Comment


      • #7
        Seems appropriate to the general feel of the other IFs. I am a big fan of the IFs feeling like novice lvl IFs. I am interested to see if TWa got some iconic edges in any of the other books.

        Sure this change makes it less powerful but given enough time and advances these TW will still be just as awesome! The important part is that it still feels like a cool TW.

        Comment


        • Manx
          Manx commented
          Editing a comment
          The problem, as discussed above, is that the current TW does not feel cool because it has been nerfed for no good reason. And having to earn half a dozen advances just to bring it back in line with its first edition version is just the equivalent of adding XP taxes. That's even less fun.

      • #8
        Neither the TW combat bonuses or the HJ was what made them cool. Their ability to make powers on the fly and permanent magical items was what made them cool. That was all I was pointing out.

        Comment


        • Radecliffe
          Radecliffe commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, and making those gadgets on the fly during combat were largely only possible due to the Machine Maestro bonus. Those MAP penalties add up fast.

        • Manx
          Manx commented
          Editing a comment
          This thread not about what they've kept, but about what they've lost. And Machine Maestro is central to the TW.

      • #9
        I must be missing something here. Seems like a fine change to me. I just don’t see the bonus to TW combat rolls being central to who they were. I am not really to familiar with how they worked in PR so perhaps that is why I am not getting how this change ruins them. They seem the same just not as good, and really feel like a novice rifts character.

        Comment


        • #10
          Making gadgets on the fly to deal with something unexpected is the TW's niche. Due to the way the rules work and MAP penalties, they can't reliably do that without Machine Maestro. Also, unlike other casters, TW's are required to keep up several skills (Occult, Repair + Arcane Skill) instead of one to use their iconic abilities. Machine Maestro helped with that, too.

          Comment


          • #11
            I guess I am not understanding how the TW still could not create an item on the fly any less reliable that a spellcaster can cast a spell. Sorry about my lack of kn on SWADE magic.

            Comment


            • #12
              Creating and using a gadget is two actions, so you have a -2 MAP, which is (was) offset by Machine Maestro. Other casters just cast the spell, with no MAP.

              Comment


              • Radecliffe
                Radecliffe commented
                Editing a comment
                Except since powers are gear in SWD it required reading that gear as an action to use that power. Use a different power? Another action. TW's are the slowest of all the AB's due to how they interact with their gear. SWADE does help this somewhat since readying something is now a free action (mostly) but they still don't have the action economy that others do.

              • Café Truck
                Café Truck commented
                Editing a comment
                All depends on trappings, I suppose. You could have a power built into a pair of boots or goggles, for example, which don’t require your character to draw anything. And, as you say, readying an item is free now in SWADE, so that further lessens the impact.

              • Freemage
                Freemage commented
                Editing a comment
                Cafe Truck: Then the option (in SWADE) is to play a TW and choose between a short Power list or improvise a Power over the course of two rounds (or at a MAP, which as noted is pretty harsh). Or just play an LLW with two to three times as many Powers to start with and probably have something in your bag of tricks to deal with any situation.

                The idea of having the ability to create gizmos as a no-MAP action (not a free one, since that messes more with the action economy) is a solid way to balance this without returning to the old silliness of being able to build a combat-god TW (I admit, during a playtest I built an Altaran TW who never used her ability to make stuff--she just ran around using her TW weapons to get +2 to all her combat rolls).

            • #13
              Full disclosure a TW has was my first Rifts character in the early 90s and my first PBP Savage Rifts character. I am a very big TW fan. When they first appeared in the original TLPG I was shocked when they didn't have telemechanics like in classic rifts. I couldn't wrap my head around how they couldn't use that key piece of lore until I saw that it was just reskinned under Machine Maestro. I loved the IF from then on. That one ability was able to be used to cover so much flavor in game and streamline what could have been overly fiddley mechanics.

              I understand while the bonuses could need to be reduced but I am not at all a fan of this version at all. Prior to this playtest doc releasing somone proposed using the previous incombat levels all the time and simply adding a reroll for out of combat. I thought that sounded like a good option.

              If this version is ultimately kept then some iconic edges to build on this feature would be welcome to either expand the skills, spend PPE to reroll or use spend PPE to gain bonuses to tech similar to how major psionic does for psionics.

              Comment


              • tbone9581
                tbone9581 commented
                Editing a comment
                I like the reroll option just with TW items.

            • #14
              Bumping this in hopes of a response or explanation as to why TWs needed to take a hit.

              Comment


              • #15
                I hear what everyone is saying. I have a few thoughts to add. These aren't meant to be definitive justifications or anything like that at all, but Tribe of One asked so I am just sharing my personal angle on this change and my thoughts surrounding the current discussion.
                • Machine Maestro got the exact same update that Telemechanics did, essentially.
                • For what it is worth, building items in the middle of combat is a uniquely Savage Rifts thing. Not some determining factor here at all, just mentioning it because tbone9581 has a fresh perspective and I respect that.
                • In my personal campaign, my TW player had a Gizmo for quickness which he activated every battle step #1, and he got tons of mileage out of that using his non TW skills as well.
                • Regarding the action economy, while it takes an extra action to activate a power you basically have an unlimited power list and a vastly expanded total PPE pool. You can also share those things.
                • You can still do tons of crazy stuff like make boats fly, etc, which you know, is pretty rad. And convert basically anything to be TW, which is crazy rad if you look at your character as more of a Tony Stark type, especially from the third Iron Man. Half the battle happens in a techy montage before the actual battle. I have always wanted to play this TW, btw.
                • TWs are getting some awesome free access to magic item creation in Arcana & Mysticism. This is very powerful stuff.
                Love it guys. Keep respectful of each other's ideas, and keep up the discussion. I am open to doing something to help with the MAP, by the way, or some other stuff. I would also like to hear ideas/thoughts regarding TW Iconic Edges.
                Sean Owen Roberson
                Line Editor, Rifts for Savage Worlds

                Comment


                • PEGRoberson
                  PEGRoberson commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Great ideas, those are all in the file labeled "cool possible edges"
                  Cheers!

                • Ndreare
                  Ndreare commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Consider allowing a TW to begin with both Artificer and the SWADE version of Gadgeteer would bring them up quite a bit.

                • Psychonus
                  Psychonus commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I must ask, how does one make a boat fly? Other then the fly power, which was previously unable to target vehicles, I would love to know how to make that happen.
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