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[Gun Metal Games] So, a 3rd edition of Interface Zero...

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  • #16
    My 2 cents:
    Absolutely clean up the system, and semplify it for what is possible. Try to use the Savage Worlds "standard" routines (Cooperative Rolls, Chases, Dramatic Tasks, Social Conflicts etc.), opportunely reskinned, to power your necessities (hacking, cyber part installations, drugs creations etc.). Try to not add too many details (I think this is not what the "standard" Savage Worlds customer wants): I still can remember the 1st (maybe 2nd) edition rules, when you were playtesting them around, and I made some comment about the complexity of the rules about the drugs...
    Of course, this is not a suggestion to "turn all the nice, slightly crunchy things to nothing more than narrative trappings for what is already in the core system". I still like an added layer on the core rules (so, mechanical crunch for cyber, or a cool - already made by you - list of chemicals, so I don't need to eyeball a re-skinned power to simulate them, etc.). Simply, don't overdo it.
    Final idea: don't rush the whole thing. I'd suggest you to wait the publication of the new SW edition (Black edition?). Then, wait again, to see if they do a fast correction about things not well received from the fans. Then, you can have the brand new IZ edition, well paired with the new shiny rules, and taking advantage from all the new ideas / routines / mechanics (for example, the new Conditions). If you don't, you risk to have a new edition that looks like an "already old" one, if you link it to the SWD rules.
    Best luck for it, obviously! I hope I'll have time, in the future, to give you my usual insights, if you want it, as I did in the past.
    "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance


    Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY

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    • Lord Lance
      Lord Lance commented
      Editing a comment
      Side note: maybe you could make good use about powerful, "meta" "narrative" elements from other systems (or already floating around here from a while). For example: if you are annoyed about the price of all that stuff, and the GMs around the world are annoyed to have difficult balancing the money they give to the players, you could substitute the whole $ costs with a dice based "Wealth" system. Or another kind of management, related to "equipment/possessions" slots, that increase with successful adventures, character's rank, maybe some re-designed edge etc.

  • #17
    I won't be rushing anything. I'm waiting for Savage Worlds Black before I do any system writing, though I'm still making notes. I'll likely cut drugs, just because...meh. If people want to include that sort of thing, I think it's fine, but any ideas I have for those will perhaps be put out in a supplement.

    The core of cybernetics probably won't change, though my development with other systems has led to new ideas about types of cybernetics. As for hacking, a lot will change, though there are still some basic ideas, like hacking the world around you as a real-time event, that won't go away. I'm just going with a different core ethos about the role of the characters in a cyberpunk setting, what makes them heroic, and how too many rules, while technically realistic, can hurt that concept. Hacker characters who can't hack because it's too hard are NOT heroic, and that is not fun.

    Prices for gear and other things are being completely revamped. I'm hoping to get the 2.0 MM catalog out soon, and that book is going to probably be the first real preview of how things are going to look in 3.0 (at least as far as gear goes). The book will also have some errata from the 2.0 gear chapter , too.

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    • #18
      Speaking of cybernetics, it would be pretty nice to see some bioware as well in the next edition so there are a bigger difference between playing a construct race or playing a fleshy race.

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      • #19
        I feel like Professional Edges would work better. It feels like many settings avoided using them, but I think they are the best solution, and still stick to the core rules better....

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        • Gunmetalgames
          Gunmetalgames commented
          Editing a comment
          Proffessional Edges will be in the book, but I'm curious, what types would YOU like to see?

      • #20
        Also, using the Slugthrower weapons chart from the Sci Fi Companion, as well as select elements for melee weapons, will help eliminate weapons bloat.

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        • ValhallaGH
          ValhallaGH commented
          Editing a comment
          Agreed. Specific models will have different brand names, and may vary magazine size and weight by a small amount, but the vast majority of their game stats will be the same.
          Including model names and manufacturers provides some great in world detail, but I don't need to see five 9mm pistols with the same stats and different names. Just list them all as "Light Pistols: Colt Victory, H&K 47653, FN Blazer, Khalash Oligarch, and Taurus Executive", except with more appropriate names.

      • #21
        Thanks for all of the feedback so far!

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        • #22
          I would like more crunch not covered by the Sci-fi companion.

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          • Gunmetalgames
            Gunmetalgames commented
            Editing a comment
            What types of crunch do you have in mind?

          • Mara
            Mara commented
            Editing a comment
            I would want the guns to be more mechanically unique or at least have more unique options. I would like to see more unique mods for both power armor and cyberware.
            I really like the Golems from 2.0.
            I would like more unique psychic powers.

            Basically I'm a sucker for extensive well designed 3rd party crunch that the core book and companions don't cover.
            I don't mind seeing books lean on the sci-fi companion to save page space either.

        • #23
          Mara: Much of what you want to see can be done, but I'd stress that "unique" options for things like weapons add a level of complexity to what is supposed to be a pretty streamlined game system. Under the Savage Worlds rules, many guns, rifles, etc are straight forward, so when it comes to new mechanics, I'm not quite sure what you mean there. If you mean MORE and DIFFERENT types of weapons, sure, that's doable. If you want ways to upgrade weapons, add special mods to weapons, that's doable too, but writing mechanics that fundamentally alter HOW guns work is counter-intuitive to the goals of this new edition.

          As for unique Psychic Powers, well, that can also be tricky, because the Savage Worlds power structure is generic enough that you can just add trappings to a power to make it unique rather than writing a new power.
          Last edited by Gunmetalgames; 05-07-2018, 05:04 PM.

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          • #24
            First off, I appreciate you seeking feedback for a new IZ 3.0. I also have to add, that while I agree with or at least appreciate the issues raised with IZ 2.0, it's still one of my favorite cyberpunk rpgs.

            As for what I'd like to see changed from IZ 2.0, my initial thoughts are:
            1. Occupations - great concept but flawed execution. I love the idea of "packaged gear" and cost of living but tying things to advances made no sense.

            2. IZ2.0 pre-dated the SW Science Fiction companion. Expanding upon topics in the SFC is great; contradicting it not so much. For example, if you have a mod system for weapons that's cool. If you have weapons that are noticeably better or worse than what's in SWD or SW SFC, they're going to get yanked from my game. Pre-made vehicles that are easy to reverse-engineer from SFC's vehicle rules = cool. Vehicles that break those rules = bad.

            3. Conversion notes. The prices in IZ2.0 are thematically in-line with cyberpunk. But they're grossly inflated over prices in every other Pinnacle SW book that I own. Give me a conversion rate in a sidebar at least.

            4. I really like the different races. Just bring them in line with the SFC.

            5. Hacking - while the IZ2.0 system isn't perfect, it's better than most other RPGs. However, it seems like the logical step is to build off the Dramatic Task or Chase systems so that it's a flavored/tweaked mechanic vs. a brand new subsystem.

            6. I absolutely LOVE the setting trappings and those should be kept, expanded, and have examples/pre-builds made so this concept can really take off.

            7. I pillaged cyberpunk content from IZ rather than straight-up using the setting because of many of the reasons/flaws you cite with the setting from its True 20 days. Honestly, I'd advance the timeline far enough to provide adequate distance for re-writing much of the setting or just do a straight-up clean-slate and write it how you want it to be. Cyberpunk doesn't have to be a few decades away and honestly, usually only exacerbates the problem of "dating" the setting. The Altered Carbon show on Netflix is definitely cyberpunk and it's far in the future (at least as depicted in the show) in a civilization that is interstellar in nature.

            8. Provide genre/thematic guidance & content vs. the "Power structure" method of IZ2.0 that seemed in line with SPC superhero tiers. Differences in character power should be tied more closely to SW character tiers. For example, a near-full cybernetic street samurai, shouldn't be a novice-level character that gets more starting money; rather focus on genre shift changes that occur with say noir vs. technothriller. I apologize if the point I'm trying to make here isn't clear. I don't have a copy of IZ2.0 on hand at the moment, so I'm going from memory and my recollection may be off.

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            • #25
              First off, I appreciate you seeking feedback for a new IZ 3.0. I also have to add, that while I agree with or at least appreciate the issues raised with IZ 2.0, it's still one of my favorite cyberpunk rpgs.
              Hiya. Thanks so much for your feedback. I really appreciate it!

              1. Occupations - great concept but flawed execution. I love the idea of "packaged gear" and cost of living but tying things to advances made no sense.
              Occupations are going to be cut. Like you, I thought they were neat in concept, but...I don't know, it seemed like they added more complexity than was needed. I'm going to replace occupations with a simple Profession (X) skill and tie it to your archetype and Interludes rules.

              During Interludes, characters get to make a Profession roll to see if they make any cryptodollars (Interface Zero's equivalent to money) from doing side jobs, creating and selling programs or gear, doing investigative work, etc. If you succeed on the roll, you make X cryptodollars based on your final score. If you fail the roll, you don't make anything during the interlude.

              In this way, you don't need to take an extra step and chose an occupation. The extra work you do flows organically from your existing character concept.

              2. IZ2.0 pre-dated the SW Science Fiction companion. Expanding upon topics in the SFC is great; contradicting it not so much. For example, if you have a mod system for weapons that's cool. If you have weapons that are noticeably better or worse than what's in SWD or SW SFC, they're going to get yanked from my game. Pre-made vehicles that are easy to reverse-engineer from SFC's vehicle rules = cool. Vehicles that break those rules = bad.
              All of the equipment will be built from the base stuff introduced in the Sci-fi companion. Modification rules are on the table for possible inclusion, as are weapon edges and hindrances, but I won't develop them if they make the game more complex. I still need to discuss this with the development team I'm putting together.


              3. Conversion notes. The prices in IZ2.0 are thematically in-line with cyberpunk. But they're grossly inflated over prices in every other Pinnacle SW book that I own. Give me a conversion rate in a sidebar at least.
              The (2.0) Malmart Catalog is being worked on as we speak. I'm going to include errata from the Equipment chapter in that book, and drastically reduce the prices of all of the gear to conform to the Sci-Fi companion prices.

              4. I really like the different races. Just bring them in line with the SFC.
              That's the plan.

              5. Hacking - while the IZ2.0 system isn't perfect, it's better than most other RPGs. However, it seems like the logical step is to build off the Dramatic Task or Chase systems so that it's a flavored/tweaked mechanic vs. a brand new subsystem.
              Hacking will require a lot of discussion with my team. The design goal has always been based on the idea that a hacker can literally hack the world around her. This keeps things in real time and does away with the notion that the hacker is off somewhere else while the rest of the team are physically penetrating a building. It was always meant to be a 3 step process that happens alongside whatever the rest of the team is doing, but as I mentioned in the original post, tons of penalties made it very difficult to pull off.

              I'm not convinced that dramatic tasks can reflect this. I need to refresh my memory on the system. I'm not sure chase rules capture the feel of hacking in IZ, but right now everything is up for discussion.

              6. I absolutely LOVE the setting trappings and those should be kept, expanded, and have examples/pre-builds made so this concept can really take off.
              I think you mean city trappings? Yes I'm going to keep those, and expand on them.

              7. I pillaged cyberpunk content from IZ rather than straight-up using the setting because of many of the reasons/flaws you cite with the setting from its True 20 days. Honestly, I'd advance the timeline far enough to provide adequate distance for re-writing much of the setting or just do a straight-up clean-slate and write it how you want it to be. Cyberpunk doesn't have to be a few decades away and honestly, usually only exacerbates the problem of "dating" the setting. The Altered Carbon show on Netflix is definitely cyberpunk and it's far in the future (at least as depicted in the show) in a civilization that is interstellar in nature.
              The setting will be rebooted. Yeah, Altered Carbon was one of the original inspirations for IZ. As an aside, I wish they wouldn't have changed the nature of envoys in the TV show, but other than that I thought it was great.

              Good insights on pushing the timeline even further out. Altered Carbon meets the Expanse...hmmm

              8. Provide genre/thematic guidance & content vs. the "Power structure" method of IZ2.0 that seemed in line with SPC superhero tiers. Differences in character power should be tied more closely to SW character tiers. For example, a near-full cybernetic street samurai, shouldn't be a novice-level character that gets more starting money; rather focus on genre shift changes that occur with say noir vs. technothriller. I apologize if the point I'm trying to make here isn't clear. I don't have a copy of IZ2.0 on hand at the moment, so I'm going from memory and my recollection may be off.
              I'll keep that in mind as we move forward.

              Thanks again for your suggestions!

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              • #26
                Originally posted by Gunmetalgames View Post
                I'm going to replace occupations with a simple Profession (X) skill and tie it to your archetype and Interludes rules.

                During Interludes, characters get to make a Profession roll to see if they make any cryptodollars...
                I don't mean to sound like a poop, but I'm not entirely sure tying a money-making mechanic to Interludes is a sound idea.

                Interludes are a distinctly roleplay-driven rule, meant to reward players who develop their characters by engaging in "in-game" conversations with their teammates. Tying an abstract die roll to that just doesn't thematically fit.

                Now the actual mechanics you have for Professions is fine! No complaints there. I just think it'd be better suited as its own stand-alone setting rule.

                All of the equipment will be built from the base stuff introduced in the Sci-fi companion. Modification rules are on the table for possible inclusion, as are weapon edges and hindrances, but I won't develop them if they make the game more complex. I still need to discuss this with the development team I'm putting together.
                I share the concern for weapons that are either over- or under-powered compared to core or SFC weapons. Still, modifications are an intriguing concept. One thing you can do to offset the boost mods would provide is to find a suitable drawback.

                An anecdote...
                I'm currently working on a scifi setting myself. I introduced an Edge that allows a character to hack an opponent's weapon from a distance, rendering it inoperable for a round or possibly frying it completely with a raise. To offset this, weapons can be tinkered with... mainly to install firewalls to help protect against said hacks, but also allowing for other effects, like increased damage, RoF, or clip capacity.

                The character can continue adding mods all they want, but if their Repair roll ever botches the weapon is completely ruined. If the weapon is rebuilt, ALL previous mods are gone... they'll need to be re-installed individually if the player wants them back. So, there is an inherent danger in trying to build a "BFG".

                If this sounds like something you can use, feel free to gank it, tweak it, or do whatever you want with it.

                Cheers, and good luck with this project.

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                • #27
                  Deskepticon:Thanks for your insights! I appreciate your comments on the Interludes; negative feedback is most often the best feedback. My rationale was that I didn't want to put in a mechanic where, say, if a mission went into multiple game sessions, players are making profession rolls while they are still on a mission. Maybe I could reign it in to say you make a profession roll every advance.

                  I wish you well on your setting! I like what you want to do with hacking a gun. That's something hackers can do in Interface Zero as well. Good thoughts on the mod system!

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                  • Lord Lance
                    Lord Lance commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Probably, "Interludes" wasn't the best word to use. On the contrary, you could design the adventure time in a more structured way (as other RpGs do, for example Blades in the Dark, or The Sprawl), having a "Mission phase" followed by a "Downtime phase". This way, you could give a better pacing to the world around the PCs, AND enforce "background things" like working on private gigs, doing legal jobs, building stuff, modding equip, pre-planning gaining useful Info to be used in the next "mission" etc.

                • #28
                  Gunmetal games for weapons, and idea I have been toying around with for Savage Rifts is equipment manufacture trappings. For example real world the 5.56 M4 and the 5.45 AK-74 are very similar weapons in when you compare the ballistics of the round. However it is how they are manufacturer that makes them different. AR15 off shoots are light, with precision esngineering. Which makes the easier to use (lower str die required) and has a slightly longer range (increase ranges by x) However it has a higher failure rate (critical failure when a one is rolled on either die). Whereas the AK-74 as an AK variant is extremely reliable (when a critical failure is rolled, reroll the wild die. If it comes up with a 1 again, then apply the technical complications.) and less expensive (reduce the cost buy x) However it is heavier (increase the required str die by 1).

                  Just a suggestion for how to differentiate your weapons.

                  salcor

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                  • Gunmetalgames
                    Gunmetalgames commented
                    Editing a comment
                    So, kind of like Corporate Trappings for gear?

                  • Salcor
                    Salcor commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Yes, exactly that. That way you can put various flavor on each piece of equipment.

                • #29
                  Originally posted by Gunmetalgames View Post
                  My rationale was that I didn't want to put in a mechanic where, say, if a mission went into multiple game sessions, players are making profession rolls while they are still on a mission.
                  I don't perceive that to be that much of an issue (GMs can always just say No), but you can put it right in the text if you have concerns.

                  On the other hand, if a character really wants to run off and make some extra dough (perhaps they are a bit short on funds needed for the main mission?), they ostensibly could do that. But since using Profession requires time, they might also jeopardize the time-table of the main mission.

                  Just saying, I could see both sides.

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                  • #30
                    Looking forward to the new edition! The previous was excellent.

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