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

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  • #31
    So...here's a small teaser of the intro to the alternate setting. I hope you like it.

    __________________________________________

    Welcome to 2092!

    Imagine if they had cryo a hundred years ago and they thawed some guy out today.

    Everyone has a place to live. There’s a machine in every kitchen that makes foods and clothes and whatever else you need for free. If it’s too small there’s a larger one down the hall and even bigger ones in the basement for everyone to share. We all have little robots in our blood to keep us healthy and in our brains to give us hyper reality. Want to learn quantum physics? Summon an avatar and start asking questions. Don’t like your walls? Make your place look like a jungle. If you can look and touch and taste and smell how is hyper real different from just plain old real?

    Seventy-five million people live on mars.

    That guy would think we lived in a paradise.

    Idiot.

    There are fifteen billion of us almost all crowded into just a handful of cities. Most of the world that isn’t flooded or poisoned is crammed full of trees trying to suck carbon back out of the air. Sure no one goes hungry, but how many of us have a job? And who wants to be the kind of nano trash that eats food from a machine or wears clothes covered in nothing but brands?

    Learned a useful skill? Want a job? The corps only hire people with real diplomas. Yeah, an avatar can teach you anything but ever since the Statue of Liberty melted poking into the wrong kind of tech is a good way to get pinged. I don’t care what they say after a while you start to feel that signal to the cops every minute.

    If you don’t keep your filters updated hyper real can stop your heart. If you’re lucky. My sister got spammed so hard she joined a cult. Something about Nigerians. She didn’t make a lot of sense before she disappeared.

    Want to get out? Sell yourself to a corp. Debt. Wage slave. Just remember, those nanos that keep you healthy? Once you sign on the dotted line they get control of them. Miss a payment and cancer eats your guts out. Painful but slow enough for you to get caught up; hopefully. The bottom line is all about percentages so not everyone makes it. And if you mess up at work they call you in sick. A week wishing you were dead is a pretty good teacher.

    And guess who pays for those tickets to mars?

    Comment


    • Skubmarine
      Skubmarine commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm having a hard time reconciling this with cyberpunk as a genre, to be frank I don't like it very much.

      I think the biggest problem I have with it is that the question of subsistence is answered in the form of nanites. No one goes hungry, no one goes sick, so no one out and dies because of who they were born to. If you are fed, clothed, housed, and have access to a magic make anything machine, and damn near unlimited knowledge and entertainment at your call, in hyper reality no less, is there a reason to sell yourself to a corp other than your own hubris?

      The difference between the haves and have-nots is actually smaller in this universe, no one has to question where their next meal comes from or if they have the right clothing for the coming winter, its not even a question of opportunity either, you are free to learn almost anything, the only time you need to pay out is if you want a diploma.
      I think nanites should be handled very carefully in cyberpunk settings. I think that nano fabricators can lead to much towards a more idealized version of the future, more Star Trek than Blade Runner.

    • Monkey
      Monkey commented
      Editing a comment
      I was thinking about Skubmarine's comments and the idea of nanoproduction in cyberpunk. It occurred to me that you can have both, if you treat it much like automation happened in the real world. Back in the day, everyone thought we were going to have all this leisure time because of automation. Instead, we have less. Rather than everyone having a nano-fac in their kitchen, what if Malmart has a couple of big ones in their store. They can print out whatever the customer wants right there. Low materials cost, no shipping or storage costs and all the savings from that gets passed on to the corp and it's shareholders, not to the consumer. The corps get richer and the poor get cheap products that break quickly, but boy is it convenient that you can get anything you want right at your local Malmart!

    • Gunmetalgames
      Gunmetalgames commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree with both of you. There's so much planning going into this, that right now everything I discuss should be considered theory, and not set in stone.

  • #32
    I'm a HUGE fan of Interface Zero 2.0 -- it and Low Life are the two settings that brought me to Savage Worlds, and continue to be the only pre-made settings I use. That being said, one of the things that I've always enjoyed about Interface Zero is the layer of complexity it adds to Savage Worlds. Savage Worlds, while intended to be "fast, furious, and fun", is also a toolbox and designed to turn the crunch up and down depending on the GM and group's tastes.

    I hope 3.0 doesn't go too far in wiping out what the rules-light brigade deems "not savage". My group enjoys the tension, complications, and stories that come from things like counting bullets, not having the appropriate skill specialization to crack this system, managing finances and taking the underpaying job to be able to finally afford that shiny new cybernetic, etc...

    Have you thought about the size format the new book will use? While I love the look of the current letter-size book, it would be nice if 3.0 somehow matched the dimensions of the new Savage Worlds Black core book. Out of all the RPGs I've collected, the Savage Worlds books look the most like a row of mismatched Legos.
    Last edited by lazergoblin; 06-09-2018, 10:09 PM.

    Comment


    • #33
      Hi sir, thanks for your support! I'm sorry about the late response; I've been pretty swamped lately. A fair bit of granularity is expected from sci-fi/cyberpunk games, and we'll have some of that, though the more detail we write, the less savage the book gets, and that runs counter to what we want to do with the 3rd edition.

      Skill specializations MAY stay, but I'm going on the record to state that I don't like them. I lost track of how many questions I received asking what a proper specialization for a given skill would be. To me, it's just not fun when you have to constantly track what specialization works for what skill, what you need to do to get that specialization, etc.

      The size of the book will ultimately be determined by the size of the manuscript. It's size will also determine whether whether we do 2 books ( a Players guide and Gm guide like many Pinnacle settings do) or one big book. Going with a smaller format is good for books that don't have a large page count, but they can have issues if you push above 300 pages.

      Comment


      • Doomande
        Doomande commented
        Editing a comment
        I would personally see it as a big loss if skill specialization goes away. While it can lead to some frustration about what specialization does what, especially with hacking, is it really weird in my book when a character suddenly can pilot any vehicle, or pick up every weapon in existence with just a single skill.

        Right now is it an optional rule, so let it stay like that and write a comment about how if there is a lot of confusion at the table can the rule go out the window, as any other rule in the rulebook.

      • lazergoblin
        lazergoblin commented
        Editing a comment
        Exactly! I feel like if any setting has skill sets as a defined trope, it would be cyberpunk. Typically you're characters who form a team of specialists because of their proficiency in a given field. If everyone is an excellent driver of every vehicle, uses every weapon with military precision, and can hack with the best of them --- well that just sounds like a bunch of Mary Sues. Keeping skill specializations as an optional rule is a must for me. It's not unique to IZ, hell it's in the core SW rule book. If people don't want to use them, they can revert to the regular skills - as you already explained in the current version of IZ.

        Speaking of which, cyberpunk is very easily pulled off with just the core SW rulebook. It's simple to trap a few weapons and vehicles with near-future descriptions, slap on a few setting rules and you're good to go. Why I run Interface Zero is because it adds definition, crunch and mild complexity that doesn't exist in the core rules.
        Last edited by lazergoblin; 06-24-2018, 08:04 AM.

    • #34
      Originally posted by Gunmetalgames View Post
      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.
      Well that is the balancing act isn't it? You need to justify the complexity that you add to the game while at the same time you may want to add complexity to entice purchasers like myself who are vastly more interested in crunch than setting.

      Have you seen Low-Life's weapon tables? It's basically a building your own weapon table to increase cost. Something like that can generate hundreds of weapons in the space of a page. Now, it's very easy to mess that up, but those are the kind of design accomplishments I am most interested in purchasing. That does remove the ability to write setting lore for each gun. but honestly I prefer letting my players handle trappings like that and their guns backstory is something they can add to the game world with little disruption.

      I do want to see more cybernetics (not necessarily more pages, Savage Worlds in general seems to get more done with less rules and pages). I do not have a good idea what that would look like. This is where I would suspect more setting information comes in. Like maybe there is bioware for breathing the radioactive waste surrounding a sunken city (no rules for breathing radioactive water) that was a failed experiment to create more land for people to live on in the crowded world and this creates a whole caste of sea people that have a hostile relationship with those on land like how the Belters dislike in the Inners in the Expanse series.
      Also, I missed the malfunction rules for cyberware. I only heard about them in 1.0, but it seems like a level of complexity totally warranted for a cyberpunk game and creates that niche that sets you apart from the Sci-fi Companion. (Also with malfunctions, cyberware can do more and be more interesting without busting the game).

      For Psychic Powers, have you seen Nova Praxis' "magic system"? It's one of the best I've seen and it's not really magic but it's brimming with unique powers and some powers just masquerading as unique (but in such a way as to justify printing them). (Nova Praxis in general is the game pushing yours down the queue for table time, though I did buy both. My request for more crunch is because that is why Nova Praxis won out. I can make cyborgs with wheels)

      Comment


      • #35
        Originally posted by Mara View Post

        Well that is the balancing act isn't it? You need to justify the complexity that you add to the game while at the same time you may want to add complexity to entice purchasers like myself who are vastly more interested in crunch than setting.

        Have you seen Low-Life's weapon tables? It's basically a building your own weapon table to increase cost. Something like that can generate hundreds of weapons in the space of a page. Now, it's very easy to mess that up, but those are the kind of design accomplishments I am most interested in purchasing. That does remove the ability to write setting lore for each gun. but honestly I prefer letting my players handle trappings like that and their guns backstory is something they can add to the game world with little disruption.

        I do want to see more cybernetics (not necessarily more pages, Savage Worlds in general seems to get more done with less rules and pages). I do not have a good idea what that would look like. This is where I would suspect more setting information comes in. Like maybe there is bioware for breathing the radioactive waste surrounding a sunken city (no rules for breathing radioactive water) that was a failed experiment to create more land for people to live on in the crowded world and this creates a whole caste of sea people that have a hostile relationship with those on land like how the Belters dislike in the Inners in the Expanse series.

        Also, I missed the malfunction rules for cyberware. I only heard about them in 1.0, but it seems like a level of complexity totally warranted for a cyberpunk game and creates that niche that sets you apart from the Sci-fi Companion. (Also with malfunctions, cyberware can do more and be more interesting without busting the game).

        For Psychic Powers, have you seen Nova Praxis' "magic system"? It's one of the best I've seen and it's not really magic but it's brimming with unique powers and some powers just masquerading as unique (but in such a way as to justify printing them). (Nova Praxis in general is the game pushing yours down the queue for table time, though I did buy both. My request for more crunch is because that is why Nova Praxis won out. I can make cyborgs with wheels)
        I haven't looked at Low Life, and have only skimmed through Nova Praxis so I can't comment on the rules you mentioned.

        I like the idea of "create your own weapon" tables, but you're right; that sort of thing can get hosed really easily. Item scaling in terms of damage has to be taken into account, as does cost, range increments, and a host of other things I can't even think of right now. You are right in that guns and backstory can be more generic, but keep in mind, gun popularity (especially in a cyberpunk game) is based on name recognition, and that to a certain extent is something of a parody of life.

        If I say "I pull out my handgun," that doesn't have as much narrative impact as it would if I say I pull out my .50 desert eagle. If a Shadowrun character pulls out his Ares Predator, npcs tend to take notice, because they are powerful weapons. Moreover, most talk about assault rifles these days specifically references AR-15s, and that's partly due to name recognition. We're being conditioned to fear the weapon because so many people use it in mass shootings.

        I like cybernetics, and I like bioware, and maybe even nanoware similar to some stuff in Deus EX, but the challenge is always about developing more and varied types that you can give some type of benefit to. It's easier to do that in say, Starfinder, but MUCH more difficult in Savage Worlds, where every tiny bonus becomes HUGE as you rise in rank. Different categories of augments (cyber,bio,nano) suffer alot, because you're getting into situations where theoretically you can have bioware that effectively does the same types of things as cybernetics, and to make sure that people can't power game and start stacking bonuses, you have to write more rules about what can stack, what can't, and so on and so forth.

        The end result isn't anywhere close to what Savage Worlds is as a game system. So, while I REALLY want to do this stuff, it has to be handled with extreme caution.

        I might write rules for malfunctions, but I'm more interested in dealing with them in terms of how they are linked/unlinked to the Tendril Access Processor. It's something I've been dealing with in my work for Starfinder, and I think it will be a lot of fun to explore for Savage Worlds.

        Edit: I really hope I didn't come across like I was "Mansplaining." Based on your username, I was assuming you were female, but it was never my intention to talk down to you. I'm simply trying to convey the things I think about when it comes top these types of subjects.
        Last edited by Gunmetalgames; 07-12-2018, 06:08 PM.

        Comment


        • #36
          The Sci-fi companion and your previous work has things like bonuses covered. Creating more niche (like +2 to dodge a grenade) bonuses is not only difficult to balance, but boring. When I ask for new kinds of cybernetics, I mean incomparables like water breathing or flight or having wheels instead of legs or replacing your arms with spider legs.
          Things like Metallo, radiating radiation at will. Or something like having a fire breathe or poison claws. With Psionics being a thing, negation fields would be cool. Or an inflatable sack that makes the user weightless. Things like grapple wires coming out your wrist or perhaps spitting sticky goo at people.

          I personally consider cybernetics and bioware to just be trappings. I wouldn't mind something like "modification bonuses don't stack". But I do understand keeping them separate in a Cyberpunk game. Nova Praxis got away with making it just a trapping distinction by being a far far future setting where technology is basically magic. Cyberware generating spider threads require far more advance tech than someone scaling up the spider organ and implanting it (with the central conceit of the genre being that the bio-compatibility issues have just been solved and can be ignored).

          Comment


          • Gunmetalgames
            Gunmetalgames commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for the feedback. I think I have an idea of what you're looking for now.

          • Doomande
            Doomande commented
            Editing a comment
            I could see the difference between cyber, bio and nanoware being trappings, that way can you not buy multiples of the same system and stack bonuses. Each trapping could have their own drawback and flair, different healing times, one trapping working better with cyborgs, other with hybrids, some few items being trapping specific perhaps. Sorry its late over here and I am just spitballing

        • #37
          I think one of the best ideas mentioned in this thread so far is the idea 'like corporate trappings for gear'.
          Crafty games' fantasy craft did a simmilar thing with races that meant (for example) that an ork sword and a dwarf sword were mechanically slightly different.

          I never played fantasy craft but yanked that table whole cloth for other d20 games. It added a nice bit of flavour to mechanics with almost zero actuall added complexity.

          I get the whole 'interludes are meant to be roleplay' point but I don't see why they can't be roleplay and mechanical, and prefer the sound of the profession skill ideas being mentioned above over the way occupations currently work. In my interface zero and other savage worlds cyberpunk games (I've also used 2.0 as a toolkit for other games) I've generally dropped occupations. I think adding a whole extra stage to character creation is problematic if your trying to keep as close to savage worlds core as possible.

          written on mobile; apologies for poor spelling/grammar/structure

          spykee

          Comment


          • #38
            Originally posted by Spykee View Post
            I think one of the best ideas mentioned in this thread so far is the idea 'like corporate trappings for gear'.
            Crafty games' fantasy craft did a simmilar thing with races that meant (for example) that an ork sword and a dwarf sword were mechanically slightly different.

            I never played fantasy craft but yanked that table whole cloth for other d20 games. It added a nice bit of flavour to mechanics with almost zero actuall added complexity.

            I get the whole 'interludes are meant to be roleplay' point but I don't see why they can't be roleplay and mechanical, and prefer the sound of the profession skill ideas being mentioned above over the way occupations currently work. In my interface zero and other savage worlds cyberpunk games (I've also used 2.0 as a toolkit for other games) I've generally dropped occupations. I think adding a whole extra stage to character creation is problematic if your trying to keep as close to savage worlds core as possible.

            written on mobile; apologies for poor spelling/grammar/structure

            spykee
            Yeah I really like corporate gear trappings, too.

            Comment


            • #39
              The other day I posted this update. I wanted to share it here, so you all can get a chance to download the links!

              IZ Update
              David Jarvis/Gun Metal Games is raising funds for Interface Zero 2.0: Full Metal Cyberpunk on Kickstarter! A cyberpunk tabletop RPG set in the year 2090 and powered by the Savage Worlds Deluxe system.

              Comment


              • #40
                Hello Sir ,

                First of all ,Sorry for my bad english, I am not a native /fluent speaker ,but I will give my best.

                IMHO the setting is Amazing and just could use a little Bit tweaking here and there .
                For the mechanics i realy would love some alternative chasing rules, since the savage Worlds ones are not very FFF.

                I know, that ist not so much setting specific, but chase happen Quite often in cyberpunk settings and i doubt the SW ones will ever be adjusted.

                Comment


                • DoctorBoson
                  DoctorBoson commented
                  Editing a comment
                  They are actually going to be new Chase rules in the next edition; PEG has mentioned that they will make them available alongside the Kickstarter in October.

              • #41
                Welcome to the forum!
                Originally posted by onkoolaid@gmail.com View Post
                For the mechanics i realy would love some alternative chasing rules, since the savage Worlds ones are not very FFF.

                I know, that ist not so much setting specific, but chase happen Quite often in cyberpunk settings and i doubt the SW ones will ever be adjusted.
                While my opinion differs about the FFF point, the good news that a new version of Chases is coming.
                The new Core rules, the Adventure Edition, will have new chase rules - continuing the pattern of having new chase rules with every single edition of the core rules.

                Congratulations! You're getting new SW chase rules. As soon as the new edition comes out (probably pdf in November and in print around March 2019).
                I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

                Comment


                • #42
                  Occupations/Frameworks:
                  Honestly, while I'm a huge fan of SPF's (even having a signed copy of Shaintar!), I honestly didn't like the frameworks all that well. They are a good solution to the problem of "classes" for savage worlds, but unless you are trying to emulate classes, I wouldn't use them. That may be because as much as I want to, I just don't like the rifts world in practice...

                  I would bring back the original concept of "background edges" (I'll call them "occupational edges" to avoid confusion) where there were special edges that could only be taken at character creation. And then, give players X free "Occupational" at character creation. As an alternative, instead of making those edges "Character Creation only", you might instead create all your edges, and then flag certain edges as "Occupational" which allows them to be taken with the X free edges at character creation, loosening the restrictions as you deem necessary. In that sense, you give the players the freedom to create what they want without needing to fit a specific archetype.

                  ----------------------------------
                  Hacking:
                  Hacking is a difficult option. I would say that you should strive for a system on par with a fantasy settings magic system in SW. Much more than that, and I think you lose FFF. I don't know if you need to make it AB: Hacking, but I would list the following as "On Par" with an AB system.
                  • One Edge, plus 2 skills (Knowledge and Action) makes you competent.
                    • The edge gives you access to the system, while the two skills cover the basics of being able to do something, and knowing about it. If you are not competent with the edge and a d6-d8 in the action skill then I think your system "spotlight" balance is off. By Competent, I mean that the character should be able to expect to be able to meaningfully contribute in encounters without being "shutout" by simply not being capable.
                  • Extra Edges and Additional skills add depth, extra capabilities, and added efficiencies
                    • The basics here is that your edges here expand your character, not necessarily make him stronger (though possible). For example, New Power expands the options of the magic user. Extra Power Points increases combat efficiency, as each spell uses up a smaller share of the magic users reserve. Many other edges play with the resources available. New skills such as "enchantment" add in an additional capability such as crafting, but they also don't make weaker dabblers obsolete.
                    • Equipment can make characters stronger, or give them free "Edges" within the system. (New power tied to staffs, etc.)
                  So, I would think of something along these lines, which I'll use as an AB:

                  Edge: Hacker This lets a player hack.
                  Skill: Knowledge: Cyber
                  Skill: Hacking (Action Skill).

                  In the meatworld, the player has access to a limited number of powers, these are ones that work on machines like drones, security cameras, etc. This would be things like Bolt, Puppet, clairvoyance, etc.
                  In cyberspace,Treat the hacker as if he's just in a different exploration area. Hacking is used as a spellcasting die, and the player has a larger list of powers. Beyond that the player uses the standard skill-list. However, to avoid the need of causing the player to have to be too spread on skills, I would give players a reserve that they can use to purchase skills and then use the better of actual/purchased, In addition, the reserve could be used to house programs that grant edges or cyberspace equivalent of weapons and armor. To keep things simple, use the same equipment as the real-world.

                  Optional: At this point, the Hacker is essentially a spell-caster with extra control over cyberspace. I would open up the cyber world to everyone, limiting the impact a psionic has in the cyberworld to other meatbags, similar to how the hacker can only target computers in the meatworld. This removes the problem of other players unable to do anything while the hacker is doing his stuff.

                  This system would generally keep everything FFF, though might create a little more paperwork for the player.

                  ---------------------------------------
                  Skill Specializations:
                  Honestly, I would split the difference. I would hard-code the specializations as separate skills, but in groups.
                  Piloting: Rotary
                  Piloting: Fixed wing
                  Ranged: Light
                  Ranged: Medium
                  Ranged: Heavy

                  At that point, treat the skills as separate, but allow the player to use another skill within a group with a penalty and no edges. This could be flat penalty (-2), or you could set it per skill group. This would keep your game FFF, but remove the idea of needing specializations.
                  Last edited by Robert4818; 09-25-2018, 09:28 PM.

                  Comment


                  • ValhallaGH
                    ValhallaGH commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Wrong thread, man.

                  • Robert4818
                    Robert4818 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Its a series of suggestions in response to the issues/comments about 3.0 systems. Specifically, the occupations, hacking rules, and skill specializations that were brought up earlier in the thread.

                • #43
                  Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
                  .

                  Congratulations! You're getting new SW chase rules. As soon as the new edition comes out (probably pdf in November and in print around March 2019).
                  Wow......thats actually Quite amazing news....thank you :-D

                  Comment


                  • #44
                    Originally posted by Robert4818 View Post
                    Occupations/Frameworks:
                    Honestly, while I'm a huge fan of SPF's (even having a signed copy of Shaintar!), I honestly didn't like the frameworks all that well. They are a good solution to the problem of "classes" for savage worlds, but unless you are trying to emulate classes, I wouldn't use them. That may be because as much as I want to, I just don't like the rifts world in practice...

                    I would bring back the original concept of "background edges" (I'll call them "occupational edges" to avoid confusion) where there were special edges that could only be taken at character creation. And then, give players X free "Occupational" at character creation. As an alternative, instead of making those edges "Character Creation only", you might instead create all your edges, and then flag certain edges as "Occupational" which allows them to be taken with the X free edges at character creation, loosening the restrictions as you deem necessary. In that sense, you give the players the freedom to create what they want without needing to fit a specific archetype.
                    .
                    Hi sir, Thanks so much for your insights! I really appreciate it.

                    So, let’s unpack this a bit.

                    Occupations/Frameworks

                    I’m a bit leery about doing occupations/frameworks as well, because I’m worried that the system will result in more powerful characters. It’s not off the table yet, however, because while I’m not excited about powerful characters, the system does provide a template to do something I feel IZ 2.0 lacks: The ability to create intensely personal characters with backstories that actually have an impact on the game.

                    Now what do I mean by that?

                    If there’s a single issue I have with role-playing games in general, it’s the process of character creation, and how—for the most part—it’s a numbers game. You have X points you can spend to get abilities and skills, you can choose X edges/feats/class abilities and balance them with X number of hindrances and other negative tools. Your race gives you bonuses and penalties to certain aspects of your character. Once the math is finished, your character is considered to be done.

                    People will obviously have a concept in mind when they create a character, but for the most part, that’s all in the past. It has a marginal effect on who the character is, and what she will become. Perhaps more importantly, the character creation process (especially in bog-standard cyberpunk games) doesn’t delve deep enough into the definition of the more personal aspects of the character, like why the character does what she does, how she comes into contact with her group, what the long-term goals of the team are, and how they can accomplish those goals.

                    For me, my biggest failure with Interface Zero 2.0 was not giving characters focus, not giving them a true place in the world, or ways to achieve the goals. It treated the characters as freelance operatives, gave ideas for missions, fleshed out the world, and then left everything up to the game master.

                    In that sense, IZ 2.0 is no different than other cyberpunk settings, but most importantly, it isn’t a Savage Worlds setting!

                    Every Savage Worlds setting produced by Pinnacle puts your characters into a world and gives them both the freedom to do what they want AND the focus they need to engage in the larger story elements of the setting. The best examples are Weird Wars, Deadlands, Rippers and RIFTS. They give your characters a common cause and a way to adventure together in a very organic way.

                    Sure, some of this is tied together with Plot Point campaigns, but it doesn’t have to be. You can play any of the afore-mentioned games without ever touching the PPC and the framework still works.

                    Reality Blurs also did this very well with Agents of Oblivion. East Texas University also does this extremely well.

                    Now all that said, I still feel the personal elements of the game I mentioned above are missing.

                    So how will Interface Zero deal with these elements?

                    The first thing we’re going to do is deal with ways your character can take some narrative control of a game session. Hindrances help with that, but I’d like to take a page from FATE and Flash Gordon and add tags a player can use to make a scene more personal, or possibly even highlight some kind of augmentation/ability/hindrance(?) in such a way that shines the spotlight on him. I’m still thinking through the concept and will talk more about it in future posts.

                    Next, I want to tie your character’s backstory to the acquisition of those tags (working name) using a robust background generation system that helps you develop deeply personal, unique characters. Your choices (or dice rolls if you want to randomly generate them) give you access to benefits which are defined by the tag. You might think of these as micro-edges, or even a temporary trapping.


                    Finally, I want to introduce a number of campaign frameworks (perhaps 3 or 4) that provide a starting point for both players and GM’s to fine-tune the overall direction and atmosphere of the game. Do you want a more traditional cyberpunk game that focuses on characters as deniable assets who contract out their services to the highest bidder?

                    Perhaps you are part of a movement of some sort, dedicated to bringing justice to the downtrodden masses, or maybe you want to lay bare the dirty secrets of those in power, either in the boardroom or the oval office.

                    Maybe you want to play a game that puts you on the side of law enforcement. You might be a part of a team of special operatives’ ala Ghost in the Shell, or maybe you work for a corporation, hired to protect its interests at all costs.

                    There are a lot of ways we can go with these.

                    OK. That’s enough for now. I’ll address hacking in a little bit when I have more time.


                    Comment


                    • #45
                      Originally posted by Gunmetalgames View Post

                      Hi sir, Thanks so much for your insights! I really appreciate it.

                      So, let’s unpack this a bit.

                      Occupations/Frameworks

                      I’m a bit leery about doing occupations/frameworks as well, because I’m worried that the system will result in more powerful characters. It’s not off the table yet, however, because while I’m not excited about powerful characters, the system does provide a template to do something I feel IZ 2.0 lacks: The ability to create intensely personal characters with backstories that actually have an impact on the game.

                      Now what do I mean by that?

                      If there’s a single issue I have with role-playing games in general, it’s the process of character creation, and how—for the most part—it’s a numbers game. You have X points you can spend to get abilities and skills, you can choose X edges/feats/class abilities and balance them with X number of hindrances and other negative tools. Your race gives you bonuses and penalties to certain aspects of your character. Once the math is finished, your character is considered to be done.

                      People will obviously have a concept in mind when they create a character, but for the most part, that’s all in the past. It has a marginal effect on who the character is, and what she will become. Perhaps more importantly, the character creation process (especially in bog-standard cyberpunk games) doesn’t delve deep enough into the definition of the more personal aspects of the character, like why the character does what she does, how she comes into contact with her group, what the long-term goals of the team are, and how they can accomplish those goals.

                      For me, my biggest failure with Interface Zero 2.0 was not giving characters focus, not giving them a true place in the world, or ways to achieve the goals. It treated the characters as freelance operatives, gave ideas for missions, fleshed out the world, and then left everything up to the game master.

                      In that sense, IZ 2.0 is no different than other cyberpunk settings, but most importantly, it isn’t a Savage Worlds setting!

                      Every Savage Worlds setting produced by Pinnacle puts your characters into a world and gives them both the freedom to do what they want AND the focus they need to engage in the larger story elements of the setting. The best examples are Weird Wars, Deadlands, Rippers and RIFTS. They give your characters a common cause and a way to adventure together in a very organic way.

                      Sure, some of this is tied together with Plot Point campaigns, but it doesn’t have to be. You can play any of the afore-mentioned games without ever touching the PPC and the framework still works.

                      Reality Blurs also did this very well with Agents of Oblivion. East Texas University also does this extremely well.

                      Now all that said, I still feel the personal elements of the game I mentioned above are missing.

                      So how will Interface Zero deal with these elements?

                      The first thing we’re going to do is deal with ways your character can take some narrative control of a game session. Hindrances help with that, but I’d like to take a page from FATE and Flash Gordon and add tags a player can use to make a scene more personal, or possibly even highlight some kind of augmentation/ability/hindrance(?) in such a way that shines the spotlight on him. I’m still thinking through the concept and will talk more about it in future posts.

                      Next, I want to tie your character’s backstory to the acquisition of those tags (working name) using a robust background generation system that helps you develop deeply personal, unique characters. Your choices (or dice rolls if you want to randomly generate them) give you access to benefits which are defined by the tag. You might think of these as micro-edges, or even a temporary trapping.


                      Finally, I want to introduce a number of campaign frameworks (perhaps 3 or 4) that provide a starting point for both players and GM’s to fine-tune the overall direction and atmosphere of the game. Do you want a more traditional cyberpunk game that focuses on characters as deniable assets who contract out their services to the highest bidder?

                      Perhaps you are part of a movement of some sort, dedicated to bringing justice to the downtrodden masses, or maybe you want to lay bare the dirty secrets of those in power, either in the boardroom or the oval office.

                      Maybe you want to play a game that puts you on the side of law enforcement. You might be a part of a team of special operatives’ ala Ghost in the Shell, or maybe you work for a corporation, hired to protect its interests at all costs.

                      There are a lot of ways we can go with these.

                      OK. That’s enough for now. I’ll address hacking in a little bit when I have more time.

                      Given how you want to focus the characters a bit, I would say that it might make sense to introduce some sort of "party" system into savage worlds. Some sort of system that treats the collection of individuals as a single entity. This might be a mercenary group, a mech team, business unit, etc. But, so long as all players belong to the same "unit", the get certain benefits. (Perhaps team "edges" or something). But a team system would help give the group focus, provide incentive to avoid the "too diverse" group, and allow the GM to help cater missions to the players.

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                      • Gunmetalgames
                        Gunmetalgames commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Yep. That's essentially what the campaign frameworks will deal with.
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