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  • Custom Setting Rules

    This thread is meant as a player resource for sharing and discussing custom Setting Rules. Add your favorites, and don't forget to include any useful advice for anyone that may want to add them to their own campaigns.

    I've ported many of them over from the Archives for easy referencing. Some have been edited from the originals for either brevity or clarity. Be sure to check out the original thread for the full list as well as some interesting discussions (or if you just want to see how much of an opinionated jerk I can be).

    Enjoy, and as always Happy Gaming.

    Bloody Mess
    Extras have a -4 to all Aftermath rolls.
    Purpose: Make combat significantly more dangerous for "ordinary people", and allow for gory descriptions of damage and Incapacitation, without increasing lethality for player characters and other Wild Cards.
    Notes: Largely removes the question of what to do with injured or captured foes from player consideration. Rapidly dwindles the ranks of allied Extras.

    Old Wounds
    Success on an Aftermath roll results in a permanent injury on the Extra. A Raise provides a temporary injury. Two Raises lets the Extra escape Incapacitation unscathed.
    Purpose: Cause allied extras to have more interesting Incapacitation, with the chance of losing a limb or eye, acquiring a trick knee or permanent stitch in the side, or other effect of their battles.
    Notes: Interesting effects when combined with Bloody Mess. Can be a pain to track with large numbers of Incapacitated foes. Since only Extras have Aftermath rolls, has no effect on Player Characters.

    The Golden Moment
    On the same or immediately subsequent round to an Extra being Incapacitated by injury, an ally (or, even, an enemy, in cases where you need someone to question after the battle) can choose to provide aid with Healing. This plays out in one of two ways, depending on whether the Healing is power-based or mundane:
    Someone using the Healing Power on an Extra gives them a +1 on the Aftermath roll, with an additional +1 for every Raise.
    If the healer is using mundane Healing, then they must continue to provide aid for 10 minutes (as per the normal Healing Skill use for Wild Cards). They can still act, but if they do, then any actions they take suffer the Multi-Action Penalty, and the final Healing roll does as well. Outside of that caveat, they use the same results as magical healers.

    Some NPCs are somewhere between an Extra and a Wild Card. Tough Minions take wounds like a Wild Card, but don’t get a wild die on their rolls. Competent Minions get a wild die on their rolls, but take wounds like a normal extra.

    Against Cannon, No Man Is a Hero
    Player Characters may not spend Bennies to Soak damage from a Heavy Weapon. They may still spend them on the Incapacitation roll caused by such damage, however.
    Purpose: Remove the possibility of a character being shot by a cannon and surviving.
    Notes: Heavy Weapons become insanely dangerous. Player Characters with Heavy Armor should probably be allowed to Soak.

    That Escalated
    When a player character is Incapacitated, all player characters participating in the scene get a Benny.
    Purpose: Increase fun and reduce lethality for those times when PCs get put down by enemies.
    Notes: Because the Benny is given before the Incapacitation roll, it ensures a player has at least one Benny to spend on the Incapacitation roll. I originally conceptualized this as giving a benny for the complication of, "your ally just went down." The most I've handed out for this rule, so far, was three to each player; they didn't (quite) wipe that battle, but it was nasty.

    Bruises and Pain
    Non-lethal attacks do Fatigue damage.
    Purpose: Tie non-lethal damage to a different game mechanic, one that can incapacitate characters even faster, and one that can recover much faster than the default five days per natural healing roll.
    Notes: Inspired by the Bumps & Bruises rule. Makes non-lethal damage ineffective against Extras. Makes non-lethal damage highly effective against Wild Cards.

    Extra Fatigue
    Everyone has three levels of Fatigue (rather than the normal two levels).

    Better Soaking
    Failure, nothing happens. Success, eliminate one wound. Raise, eliminate two wounds or all but one wound (if more than two wounds). Two raises, eliminate all wounds.
    Purpose: Increase survivability against freakishly high damage rolls, without invalidating more normal damage results.
    Notes: Quickly becomes broken in campaigns where characters can reliably have a +4 or more to Soak rolls. Supers is a prime example, but you'd encounter similar problems in something like Savage Rifts or some sci-fi settings.

    Massive Damage
    A single hit that deals 3 or more wounds beyond Incapacitation kills a character outright. Do not roll Vigor, do not collect 200 dollars, go straight to Dead. You may attempt to Soak as usual.
    Purpose: Adds a bit of realism to gritty games. Some attacks are so brutal, you really don't get up from them.

    Heavy Strength
    Any attack with d12+5 or above Strength (character strength or powers strength such as telekinesis or matter control) has the Heavy Weapon modifier.
    Purpose: Mainly used for SPC. It aims to make super strong attacks more efficient. It seems logical that a character able to lift 2500 pounds can pass through heavy armors.
    Notes: It is derived from the SPC2 rule that turn any 1000 pounds object into a heavy weapon. A Strength d12+5 can lift 2500 pounds, which equals the pure strength necessary to lift 1000 pounds + the weight of the object. I came up with this custom rule when seeing that a "heavy weapon attack melee" trapped as "super strong hits" would cost at least 7 Power Points (One level in Attack Melee (2) + Stackable (2) + Multiple Attack (2) + Heavy Weapon (1))

    Blown Away
    When using a heavy weapon on a non heavy armored opponent, use the SPC knock-back rules. For use in settings without many heavy weapons.

    Variable Knockback
    It's no longer a flat 2d6" knockback for a big attack, it's now either the greater of your strength modifier above d12 (+2, +4, +6, etc) or your level of an attack power. Level 1 (or +2 to Strength) uses 2d2, Level 2 (or +4 to Strength) uses 2d4, etc, up to a max of 2d10; the Enhanced Damage modifier on ranged attacks can increase this up by one die type. Knockback damage is capped at 10d6 (same as falling damage). This is just a consistency thing for me, because I'm really persnickity about this kind of thing.

    Power Points Recharge
    All Arcane Backgrounds regain Power Points at a rate of 1 Power Point every ten minutes, rather than the standard of 1 Power Point per hour.

    Power Compatibility
    Magic is magic in the Iron Kingdoms. There are no modifiers for using powers on another type of magic, such as is normal with the Dispel or Detect/Conceal Arcana powers. A Morrowan priest can attempt to use Dispel on a Greylord’s wizardry without suffering a penalty based on one using AB (Miracles) and the other using AB (Wizardry).

    Bennys Bennys Bennys
    When a die explodes 3 or more times on any roll, you gain a Benny.

    That’s Rough, Buddy
    Any Wild Card (hero or NPC) that draws a Deuce for their action card draws a Benny. This only takes place when they actually have to act on that Deuce (not if they’re allowed to draw another card with Level Headed, for example).

    Resist Temptation--At a Cost
    "Roleplay" Hindrances (that is, those without a strict mechanical effect--Greedy, Arrogant and Overconfident are all good examples) can be held at bay (typically for one Encounter, though a "fresh" temptation might necessitate further expenditures) by giving the GM one of your Bennies. Note--this is not just 'pay a Benny', but rather, "Give the GM one of your Bennies to add to his pool."

    Crushed by the Past
    When a Hindrance imposes a penalty that causes meaningful failure (or failure of a meaningful roll), such as the One Eye penalty to ranged attacks causing the gunslinger to miss his shot against his greatest Enemy as that foe flees into a cloud of smoke, the character gets a benny.
    Purpose: Ensure bennies get handed out for Hindrances with mechanical drawbacks, as frequently as for role playing drawbacks.
    Notes: The Hindrance needs to be important to the situation, and the situation needs to be important.

    Raise the Stakes
    In a situation where a roleplay Hindrance should come into play, but the player is reluctant to do so, I will put up a Benny (from the pool, not from mine) and ask which one of us gets it. If the player plays the Hindrance, he gets it; if he does not, it goes to the GM pool. In situations of conflicting Hindrances, the player only has to play out one Hindrance to claim the Benny; I only get it if they opt to not play out either Hindrance for some reason.

    Seize Initiative
    The player may spend a Benny to have his character seize the initiative to interrupt the actions of another character.
    Purpose: To give characters a chance to do something cool, not covered in the rules such as a burster blocking a railgun blast with his flame bolt to keep it from shredding a companion.

    Emulate Skill/Edge
    Once per session, a player can spend a Benny to gain a one time use of a Skill or Edge he does not possess. A use of such a skill is at d4 without a -2 penalty and a use of an Edge means the character must meet any prerequisites for it's use.
    Purpose: This setting rule is only usable once per session, which means you have to be careful when you use it, and it has come in handy in several games. Spellcasters can use it for a one use of a power they don't have as long as they meet the rank requirements. It is good for those edges that don't come into play like the Mighty Blow or Power Surge edges which only work when a Joker is drawn.

  • #2

    Multiple Languages
    Characters begin play fluent in their local language, and gain a number of language points equal to half their Smarts die.
    For one language point, characters have basic competency in a language. They suffer a -2 penalty to all skill rolls using that language (such as Persuade rolls) and take quite a bit longer to get their point across.
    For two language points, characters are fully fluent in a language.
    A character can spend skill points from an advance and during character creation as though they were language points (so you could advance one skill and get basic competency in a language for one advance, or become fluent in a language for one whole advance).

    Lucky Shot
    When an attack hits with two or more raises, it automatically hits the least armored location, granting all the benefits of a Called Shot in addition to the benefits of a Raise. Example: Johnny is being attacked by a badass raider in full combat armor (+6, arms, legs, torso, head), so Johnny fires his trusty .357 revolver. Johnny Aces a couple of times and gets a spectacular 13, two Raises. Combat armor helmets have good head coverage and a partial visor, but leave the lower jaw and upper neck partially exposed, so the GM rules that Johnny got lucky and shot the raider in the neck; Johnny rolls 2d6+1 damage for the pistol, +1d6 damage for the Raise, and a sturdy +4 damage for the neck shot - some raider is about to have a very bad day.
    Purpose: The source material (video games) has always had interesting critical hits that are incredibly dangerous. This rule is intended to translate some of that.
    Notes: It makes Power Armor even more desirable, since sealed armor has no locations that aren't covered. It's also incredibly dangerous for the heroes, since this goes both ways.

    Radiation Resistance
    All characters have an additional derived stat, Radiation Resistance. It starts at 2 + ½ Vigor, and is modified by such things as race, Edges, and gear. Radiation sources deal radiation damage (ranging from 1d4/hour for a relatively minor radiation source to something like a horrific 3d10/round for standing around in nuclear waste). Radiation damage equal to or higher than your Rad Resistance causes a level of Fatigue; every 4 over your Rad Resistance causes an additional level of Fatigue. Fatigue caused by radiation does not go away over time, but can be healed, usually by RadAway or the assistance of a wasteland doc.

    "As I was saying..."
    Disclaimer: This one is a bit of a joke, but feel free to use it.
    The Situation: A villain enters the chamber, stands dramatically and taunts the PC's from behind his minions. The PC with the biggest gun and highest shooting interrupts the GM and declares his intention to shoot the guy in the head while monologue-in-effect remains. Perfect hit with total overkill.
    The PC in question must draw for initiative against the villain and all other enemies, who may contest them. The GM may spend a Benny to switch cards with the PC if they so choose, applying it to any enemy drawing a card for initiative. Only the highest initiative may take an action, all other actions do not happen, and the scene plays out until the GM asks for initiative from all combatants. Any action taken in this manner gains +2 to all rolls as if it were a Joker.

    Joke's on You
    If the GM pulls a Joker when drawing initiative for a villain (specific, not a group), all PC's lose a Benny and the GM gains one. If a player had no Benny to lose they take a -2 on all rolls for the round.

    Anyone sporting cyberware must take some sort of medication once a day to prevent his body from rejecting the transplants. If he cannot, the character must roll the lowest of his Vigor or Spirit. A failure means his cyberwares suffer mishaps, inflincting -2 on any trait roll tied to the cyberwares and can inflinct minor hindrances (a cyber-eye may inflinct the Bad Eyes hindrance). On a critical failure, or after two consecutive failures, the cyberware simply ceases to function and may inflinct Major Hindrances (a cyber-leg may result with the One Leg hindrance). The cyberware starts working normally one day after taking the treatment again, but the GM might allow for a shorter period if the character has the Cyber-Tolorent/Cyborg edge or some sort of natural regeneration (like the Fast Healer edge or a racial regeneration).
    Purpose: Made to prevent players from mutilating themselves just to wind up better than before. Inspired from Deus Ex.

    Essence Wreacking
    A being is one body and mind, a whole. Cutting pieces of the body is cutting pieces of the very person. When a character gets cyberwares his maximum Power Points are lowered by 2PP for each point of Strain lost, or 1PP if he has the Cyber-Tolerant or Cyborg edges.
    Purpose: Forces players to choose between a strong body or a strong mind. Inspired from Star Wars and Shadowrun.

    Energy Shields
    Characters have an extra layer of protection in the form of Energy Shields. Shields must be “shattered” or depleted before the target can be damaged. Shields have an effective Toughness of 0(zero), and each point a Shield has acts as Wound level, with each Wound inflicted lowering the Shield's strength by 1 point. If the Shield is lowered to zero it is depleted, exposing the target.
    It requires 3 rounds of rest (i.e., not being shot at) for a Shield to recharge. This applies to both partially dropped Shields as well as fully depleted ones.
    Example: A character is protected by a strength 2 Shield when he is unexpectedly shot by a sniper for 17 damage. The Shield absorbs 8 points of that damage and becomes depleted. The remaining 9 points of damage is now applied to the character's Toughness. He must now avoid fire and wait 3 rounds for his shield to recharge.
    Purpose: This makes combat slightly less dangerous against high damage attacks, increasing survivability. Against shielded foes it encourages players to use gang-up tactics.
    Notes: Average Shield strength should probably be around 2 or 3, though you may toy with higher ratings at the expense of recharge time and vice-versa.

    Spray and Pray
    If every shooting roll from a full auto burst hits a single enemy they can choose to roll damage as normal or make one damage roll against the least armored location.

    Bouncing Bullets
    When firing with a ranged weapon, a character can choose to make his bullet(s) bounce on walls, ceiling or other scenery elements to hit an opponent. If he does so, he suffers -1 to his shooting and damage rolls for each bounce. Such a shot ignore cover penalties. How many bounce is needed to reach the target is the GM's call. Scopes do not grant any bonus to a Bouncing Bullet shot, but a laser sight can.
    Purpose: Aims to make the game more "pulp" in essence.

    Drop the Hat
    If a character misses a called shot on an opponent's head with 2 or less points under the roll's difficulty, he instead shoots their hat/helmet off, without harming the character. Additionally, a character who wears a hat or a helmet can spend a benny to negate any damage from a called shot to his head, and his hat/helmet is shot off instead.


    • Soulliard
      Soulliard commented
      Editing a comment
      Were those last two inspired by Steamworld: Heist, by any chance? It's a great game.

  • #3
    I love these! I think I will add a few to my current HoE campaign. A rather small group that needs a little help.
    I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.


    • #4
      Epic Failure: Upon rolling a Failure (especially a Critical Failure in a setting that uses that rule), in addition to any other, established ill effects from failing, the player may suggest an additional complication; if the GM accepts it, the player gets a Benny. This should be something genuinely disastrous or dangerous.

      FREX: The PCs are attempting to interrogate a captive in a mechanic's garage, using a bit of good cop/bad cop, but with three or four PCs playing 'bad cops'. An NPC local is observing, and clearly upset at the notion of strong-arm tactics, but is being placated, quietly, with reassurances that it's all just talk. One of the PCs then Critically Fails their Intimidation roll. The character slips on a patch of oil, grabbing at a chain that releases a hanging engine block, killing the captive, and causing the civilian to immediately go hostile to the party. The player who failed the roll gets a Benny.


      • #5
        Battered, beaten and broken, but still standing.
        Whenever a character rolls for Incapacitation, they don't die, unless they roll snake eyes. A failure still gives a permanent injury.

        The point of this rule, is that I was sick of killing off characters, making the plot slow down. On top of that, permanent injuries are badass and interesting, but never showed up, because whenever a player failed their vigor roll, they usually died. This made my posse in Deadlands into a bit of a freakshow of missing limbs and eyes, but they are following through on the story.

        I like the effect.


        • #6
          Heh, I had recently re-read the original and was wondering why I didn't port it over to the new forums. And now I remember why - Deskepticon beat me to it.

          Shoot 'Em In the Head
          Undead take half damage from bullets, arrows, and other piercing attacks, except for their Weakness.
          Purpose: To make hoards of undead difficult to Incapacitate with normal ranged attacks, ensuring that melee combat will happen. This allows the zombie army to use wave tactics to overwhelm modern and near-future infantry defenses.
          Notes: A generalization of the setting rule from Necropolis 2350, this rule is to ensure a similar dynamic - undead (notably zombies) require concentrated fire, called shots, or non-firearms attacks to quickly kill. Swords, flamethrowers, and explosions are going to be very effective but generally require the combatants to be within biting range.
          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.


          • Deskepticon
            Deskepticon commented
            Editing a comment
            Kill The Brain
            As Shoot 'Em In the Head above, but undead (namely zombies) can only die if the brain is destroyed.
            Purpose: Undead continue to be a threat, even when their arms or legs get blown off, or even if they are merely decapitated. They will continue to snap their jaws and writhe on the floor, attempting to reach their target.
            Notes: This means zombies could be used as Hazards, lying in wait for an ankle to step nearby. Or even as overt weapons, by tossing a severed zombie head at a living opponent. If the setting has intelligent zombies, this may also prove to be comical, as the zombie head may continue to hurl insults at its recent decapitator.

        • #7
          Robust Spandex: This is for a Supers campaign meant specifically to emulate classic DC/Marvel style storytelling. The Healing Power is eliminated. Instead, on top of whatever Power-Level you set for the campaign, all Wild Cards gain 1 level of Regeneration; WCs who have actual super-powers gain 2 levels (and can then increase it from there with points from the campaign).

          The idea is that the Healing Power is really a hold-over from non-superhero genres, where you have a designated cleric to deal with damage. But there's no 'team healer' in the Avengers, the Justice League, etc. And solo heroes are all over the place, without needing healing. Instead, any major character gets to recover from being beaten unconscious in a day or three, at most, and superheroes--even those who aren't considered to have a 'healing factor' inevitably bounce back up an hour or two later. Even supporting, unpowered characters do this all the time. You do have super-scientists who do medical stuff, but those are invariably for treating bizarre ailments that come up from fighting other supers, not just casual beatdowns.

          It would then be fair to include a new Modifier for Attack, Melee/Ranged and similar damaging powers, that makes their injures 'regeneration resistant'. I'd throw that on Doomsday, for instance (along with a "Heroes forget they can fly" custom power, but that's a separate issue...).


          • ValhallaGH
            ValhallaGH commented
            Editing a comment
            Free attacks from someone that dangerous explain why no one flies away from Doomsday. If you end up in Fighting combat with him then you probably won't be running.

          • DoctorBoson
            DoctorBoson commented
            Editing a comment
            I kind of like this, but I disagree with removing Healing as a power; it's still very valuable, and the additional modifiers that accompany it aren't something to discount either—being able to be healed in a few seconds instead of having to wait for days, or hours, or even minutes can mean a lot. One example I can think of off the top of my head is in the first episode of the old Teen Titans cartoon: after getting beat down by Mammoth, Jinx, and Gizmo, Raven gets to Beast Boy and heals what's implied to be a broken leg (probably a non-Permanent Injury from being Incapacitated).

            I know Flash Gordon has a setting rule that increases Natural Healing to 1/day (and racial abilities or powers increase that to 1/hour instead), and it heals Bumps and Bruises Fatigue much faster as well. That would probably be a cleaner fit for a supers game while also allowing for characters to shine for having exceptional regeneration. A Street Fighter could have "Level 4" regeneration and regrowth for per-round Natural Healing rolls!

        • #8
          Resting Recharge
          Magically active characters gain double Power Points when resting. This stacks with Edges such as Rapid Recharge.

          Purpose: This is meant to address the frequently heard concern that PP are too restrictive. It pretty much guarantees that even Novice casters with the Power Points Edge regain full PP after a night's rest (8 hours sleep yields 16 PP).

          Notes: The GM determines what constitutes as "rest". Traveling by foot or on horseback is tiring and should not be considered rest. Lounging in the cushioned confines of a drawn carriage however is.
          Likewise, pouring over tombs in a dusty library to suss out a secret is not rest. Casually reading a book by lamplight is.


          • ValhallaGH
            ValhallaGH commented
            Editing a comment
            I think you mean "tomes" not "tombs". One is for reading, the other is for the dead.

          • Deskepticon
            Deskepticon commented
            Editing a comment
            Yep. Thanks.

            Although, dusty tombs may have secret libraries full of tomes in dead languages... or something like that.

          • Soulliard
            Soulliard commented
            Editing a comment
            Also, you should be "poring" over them, not "pouring", unless you've had an unfortunate spill.

        • #9
          Originally posted by tnbh View Post
          Battered, beaten and broken, but still standing.
          Whenever a character rolls for Incapacitation, they don't die, unless they roll snake eyes. A failure still gives a permanent injury.

          The point of this rule, is that I was sick of killing off characters, making the plot slow down. On top of that, permanent injuries are badass and interesting, but never showed up, because whenever a player failed their vigor roll, they usually died. This made my posse in Deadlands into a bit of a freakshow of missing limbs and eyes, but they are following through on the story.

          I like the effect.
          I am making a Science Fiction setting where I plan to use Last Parsec as the skeleton, but completely rip off all my favorite science fiction books, games, television shows. I am going to use this rule since they will be given cybernetic replacements, that in no way will look human. Get an eye shot out? After the action get a nice glowing replacement implant.


          • #10
            Setting rule that makes it easy to run Godzilla / Pacific Rim style game in SW without having to bother with size difference modifiers.

            Scale matters

            Kaiju or Giant Mecha sized characters are considered as Size 0.

            Human sized characters and vehicles (tanks, jets) and similarly sized Alien ships will not hinder a kaiju unless they are in significant numbers, or when armed with some sort of advanced prototype weapon. When a full army is present, consider them as a Swarm as per the SWD Swarm Monster rules. Any area of effect (blast, burst) or Sweep attack against an army will cause an additional D6 damage against a swarm enemy.


            • #11
              I figure my tweaks to the Mass Battle Rules probably should've gone here, especially since they're for high-powered settings (like Savage Rifts). The combination of Pyrrhic Victory and Defense! also make for a more dynamic game when you've got a large number of PCs, since they can afford to split the party between offense and defense more readily:

              1: Ammo Expenditure: Since SR has a LOT of different weapons, I break down how much ammo/juice is spent by a "Committed" WC (see below) during their Assist Roll by what they're using. Area effect weapons are fairly useful in mass battles, so grenades, missiles and rockets use Xd6. Other vehicular ammo-based weapons use X+1d6 (they tend to affect fewer targets, but when you hit, the baddies go down); personal ammo-based weapons use X+2d6. Casters use X+1d6 Power Points. Fighting characters are getting up-close and personal during ugly combat: Take an Auto-Wound (can be Soaked normally). For SR, I also allow Robot Armor Jocks to wade in physically, using Piloting to smash with their mech; this is gruelling on the Pilot, and he suffers a Fatigue Level. X is determined by the nature of the battle, the number of combatants involved, etc. (In addition, you can spend one Raise on cutting the Ammo Expenditure in half; Wound/Fatigue levels cannot be removed this way.) (This isn't so much an alteration as an embrace of the RAW, of course, which already includes such variance--I just do a fairly wide spread).

              2: Commitment Level. Four of these: Reluctant (-2), Committed (0), Aggressive (+2), Insane (+4). The parenthetical is the modifier applied to the Assist Roll. Reluctant WCs use d4s on the Resources roll, and gain a "Shadow Benny" with which to Soak a Wound from a failed/critfailed Assist Roll. Aggressive WCs roll d8s; Fighters and Pilots take one Wound AND one Fatigue, and the Wound (if not Soaked) is outside the Golden Hour). Insane WCs roll d10s or suffer a Wound AND a level of Fatigue, above and beyond the level they took for using Fighting or Piloting (so wading into a Xiticix swarm at Insane means you take Two Wounds and One Fatigue); the bonus Wound is outside the Golden Hour. (This basically gives the players a chance to overcome bad odds by putting more into the fight, or to try and play it safe, giving a mechanical impact to those decisions.)

              3: Pyrrhic Victory is a Thing: Both sides lose tokens according to the success levels of the opposition's Knowledge: Battle roll, rather than just the loser losing the difference. So even if you do massive damage to the enemy, the enemy can make you pay for it. I've found that a lot of core Mass Battle scenarios tend to be "first round wins', with the other 4 rounds just being a cascade in favor of whoever came out ahead in the initial engagement, and with no losses on the winner's side at all. This means that even Round 5 has a risk for the side that's been cakewalking the opposition.)

              4: Defense! Defense!: Assisting PCs can choose to assign their rolls (before they are made) to hindering the enemy (giving a -1 to the K: Battle roll for every Success/Raise) instead of aiding their own side's offense. (Since the opposition rarely, if ever, has WCs in the mix, this gives the players a chance to be Big Damn Heroes and save their side's troops from grisly death, instead of being Mass-Murder Hobos. It's a great choice for Pacifist PCs, for instance. And it takes some of the sting out of Pyrrhic Victory.)


              • #12
                Lean and Hungry (Setting Rule)

                If the GM wants to keep the heroes feeling like they are living paycheck to paycheck in the setting, then make the following setting changes:
                • Rich and Filthy Rich edges are not permitted for characters.
                • Anyone taking the Noble edge is assumed to be poor and on-the-run, but it may give them a Charisma boost to former followers.
                • Characters start each new adventure with no money except what was earned from the cargo run. It is assumed they frittered their petty cash away on food, lodgings, and other entertainment. During the course of the adventure, the money they have earned is all the cash they have on hand.


                • #13
                  1) Henchmen: Whenever a group of identical Allies would gain an Advance, it can be given up in favor of promoting one of the Allies to a Henchmen. Henchmen have the same base statistics as the Allies they spring from, but gain a Race (including Edges and Hindrances) and a Wild Die. Henchmen serve a specific Wild Card and are controlled by that player. Each Wild Card can only have one Henchman at a time.
                  2) Merciless (Deadlands: Reloaded): A character with No Mercy can spend a red or blue Fate Chip to add +1d6 to their damage roll. Red chips spent this way still grant the Marshal a draw from the Fate Pot.
                  3) Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained: For every Bennie spent by a character during that session, the player rolls a d6. On a 5 or 6, their character gains an additional experience point.
                  • Fate Chips (Deadlands: Reloaded): Red chips give a bonus experience point on a 4-6 and blue chips on a 3-6. If a red or blue chip is used as a white, then it counts as a white for the purposes of this roll.
                  • Super Bennies (Super Powers Companion, 1st edition): These grant a bonus experience point on a roll of 4-6.
                  The Henchmen rule was designed to work in games where you'd likely have a lot of allied Extras, like 50 Fathoms. But it could also come up in a military campaign, or through any Edges which grant Allies like Followers (SWD) or Flock (DLR). NVNG is a tweak I made to the old converting unspent bennies into experience mechanic. My group sessions are on weeknights and are lucky to last 3 hours. So, to help make up for the lack of play time, I give my players extra chances to earn XP.
                  Last edited by Jounichi; 04-04-2018, 03:07 AM. Reason: Forgot to add one earlier, and I cleaned up the formatting slightly.


                  • #14
                    Blades shall be broken! Characters can spend bennies on damage rolls with melee or thrown weapons, but the damage rolled will be applied against the weapon's toughness as well!

                    That was my last arrow: Everyone fantasy hero know that the last arrow in the quiver is lucky. Characters can spend bennies on damage rolls with ranged attacks, but if they chose to do so it turns out that they just spent their last piece of ammunition.

                    Shields shall be splintered! When making a Soak roll while wielding a shield, characters may chose to add their shield's Parry bonus to the Soak roll, but the shield will be ruined by the attack.

                    The first is a variant on Blood & Guts inspired by a setting rule in Dark Sun (I forget if it was in 2e or 4e). It allows for weapon breakage and makes the repair skill more useful, but it's triggered by the player rather than by chance, which most players tend to find more satisfying than random breakage. It lets players chose if they want to risk leaving breaking their favourite axe whilst cleaving the big bad's skull.

                    The second is another variant on Blood & Guts, but for ranged weapons. It could be an alternative to tracking ammo if the GM feels like it. I feel like I've seen something like this used in another game, but I can't remember at the moment.

                    The third is named after a quote from Theoden's speech in LotR, and is a direct adaptation of this cool idea from Trollsmyth's blog: . If the GM feels that it makes shields too good, it can be adapted to an edge instead (like Armour Use from Beast & Barbarians). In this case the bonus should probably be 2 +shield's Parry bonus so that it's better than Iron Jaw, because of the significant drawback of breaking the shield.
                    Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-07-2018, 12:12 AM.


                    • ValhallaGH
                      ValhallaGH commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Would you keep No Mercy around in BSBB? Allowing a character to spend bennies on damage without breaking their weapons?

                    • Shoggoth
                      Shoggoth commented
                      Editing a comment
                      ValhallaGH, Yeah I'd keep it around. It would be useful for someone with Trademark Weapon who really doesn't want to break their ancestral sword, or for someone using ranged weapons. I added another variant on Blood & Guts for ranged weapons as well.
                      Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-07-2018, 12:11 AM.

                  • #15
                    Power Attack: When using Powerful Stance (or Wild Attack if not using Zadmar's Stance Rules) to strike with a weapon held in two hands, increase the damage bonus by 1.

                    This is meant to give some sort of mechanical benefit to wielding a one-handed weapon in two hands, such as an axe or mace. Realistically speaking, it makes sense since if you are striking with a one-handed weapon in two hands, you lose reach, and present a larger cross-section to your attacker, which is represented by the -2 Parry penalty from Powerful Stance (or Wild Attack).

                    As a side-effect, this gives a mild boost to weapons which require two-hands, like greatswords, greataxes, and mauls, which are a bit weak in the core rules.

                    This ain't the Wild West: When shooting a one-handed firearm such as a pistol with two hands, increase the range by 1/2/4.

                    This gives a slight mechanical advantage to shooting two-handed with a pistol, representing the increased accuracy it affords. This could instead be made into an edge rather than a setting rule if preferred, maybe increasing the range by 2/4/8 instead.
                    Last edited by Shoggoth; 04-12-2018, 03:57 AM.


                    • Jounichi
                      Jounichi commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Considering most all pistols are 12/24/48, I'm inclined to increase the range by +3/6/12 to make them 15/30/60.