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Savage Worlds Black: Things to fix/clarify

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  • #31
    there's so much great stuff already covered here. awesome job from the community of savages.

    the one concern i have that i feel may not have already been covered in enough detail, although it's been brought up tangentially, is imprecise and inconsistent use of certain terms, especially "action."
    for example, on page 107, when describing the glow effect of the light trapping, we read "The character must take his action immediately after the caster’s turn to gain the benefit." i'm not even 100% sure what is intended here. but i think both 'action' and 'turn' refer to the same general concept in a single sentence. attempting to explain the rules to a new player can occasionally feel like:

    "on your action card you may take many free actions, for, uh, free. and you can take one non-free action for free. but if you take more than one non-free action on your action card as part of your full action then you have to deal with the multi-action penalty. that applies to your free actions too, assuming they involve a trait roll. but free actions don't count towards the multi-action penalty itself. some actions, like full defense, consume your full action. and often status effects, such as the parry bonus from full defense, stay in effect until your next action. the GM should describe a lot of exciting action when running a game like this."

    clear as mud, no?

    Comment


    • ValhallaGH
      ValhallaGH commented
      Editing a comment
      Flash Gordon already includes tightening this up. I'm sure they're importing that clarification to Black.

    • dap6000
      dap6000 commented
      Editing a comment
      cool. thanks. i talked myself out of buying flash gordon while i still haven't ran slipstream yet. but that means i've missed out on reading the rules changes / clarifications.

  • #32
    Change "Level Headed" to "Level-headed." After all, we have "Two-fisted." Actually, we have "Two-Fisted," and it should be "Two-fisted."

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    • #33
      Notes that I gathered about HABIT hindrance:
      QUESTION: What is the down side of this Hindrance if you DO get your fix?
      CLINT'S ANSWER: Major habits can vary, so there is no specific rule for one version. It's up to the GM to determine the specific effects, but in general most habits are tied to poisons. Using the poison rules with Fatigue effects is probably the best place to start.
      QUESTION: Page 92 says what happens if you lose fatigue, but it doesn't say what a fatigue check is. A vigor check?
      CLINT'S ANSWER: Yep, it's a successful Vigor roll or gain a level of Fatigue.

      Notes gathered about HOLY/UNHOLY WARRIOR edge:
      CLINT'S CLARIFICATION: The Wild Card target suffering a wound occurs instead of an Extra being automatically destroyed (on 1 on the Spirit die).
      CLINT'S CLARIFICATION: Holy Warrior can cause damage on its own, so it counts as a "damaging effect."

      Notes about Unstable Platform:
      CLINT'S CLARIFICATION: ...Note that the quote comes from the Vehicle rules section, specifically under the part on vehicle combat that says "Combat between vehicles and their crews works just like regular combat but with two additional modifiers." So two characters would not suffer the penalty if they were on the same ship (or other vehicle), but if a guy hanging off a car tries to use Fighting to hit a guy on another car beside him, then he would suffer the penalty. Note that this only applies to vehicles, not mounted combat which has its own specific rules for Fighting attacks.
      CLINT'S CLARIFICATION: Also, it doesn't necessarily mean ANY roll on a vehicle. Two characters fighting on the same vehicle wouldn't suffer the penalty (since the platform is equally affecting them both). Any other "fine" physical skill rolls the modifier might apply to are purely at the GM's discretion, but such examples would not be unlikely. Ultimately, it a simple rule of thumb to keep in mind where trying to perform an action that would be hindered on a moving vehicle makes sense.

      Notes about Maintenance:
      QUESTION: What is the PP Maintenance Cost for a power like "Boost/Lower" when used for (lets say) 5 targets?
      CLINT'S ANSWER: 5 Power Points. The additional cost per target applies to both activation and maintaining the power. So boost/lower Trait which normally costs 1 PP per round to maintain for one target would cost 5 PPs per round to maintain for five targets.
      Last edited by Lord Lance; 08-24-2018, 10:54 AM.
      "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance


      Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY

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      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        What is the down side of this Hindrance if you DO get your fix?
        None (usually). The drawback of this Hindrance is the pursuit of your fix... the way that might affect the mission, and dealing with the effects if a fix cannot be found. It's a roleplay Hindrance tied to a possible mechanical penalty on a "failure". By getting your fix, you've presumably already dealt with the consequences.

        However, depending on the Habit, getting a fix might carry its own penalties. Typically it shouldn't though. An alcoholic isn't looking to get smashed; they just need that one drink to hold-off the shakes. But a junkie shooting smack in the middle of a mission might effectively be Incap for an hour or two.

        That brings into question the best way to handle different vices... a heroine addict, for example, might be better served with the Terminally Ill Hindrance (SPC).

        So two characters would not suffer the penalty if they were on the same ship (or other vehicle)... Two characters fighting on the same vehicle wouldn't suffer the penalty (since the platform is equally affecting them both).
        I don't think it works that way. My understanding is that the Unstable Platform always imposes a penalty (unless mitigated by an Edge like Steady Hands). So two pirates fighting on a ship deck would still get -2 to hit each other.

        Only if a GM determines a vehicle is not an Unstable Platform (e.g., a 747 in calm skies) does the penalty not apply.

      • Lord Lance
        Lord Lance commented
        Editing a comment
        Deskepticon I need to better layout those notes I copy-pasted from my stuff. Often they were questions to Clint, and its replies under the question.
        In particular, about the Unstable Platform, those are Clint's replies to the questions that arose in the past. Here that page, for example: http://archive.pegforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=38220

    • #34
      I'd love to see "enhanced Power effects if casted with Raise" for every Power (of course, pure opposed ones usually don't need it, however could be still cool). I created my "Casted with Raise" bonus for Barrier, Beast Friend, Elemental Manipulation, Warrior's Gift etc., still I'd love to see a better treatment for those powers.

      Also, I humbly think that Drain Power Points needs a big beef-up, to become somehow useful.

      Finally, the Teleport Power range is a little odd. You need to choose in advance how many PPs spend to go where you want to - let's say you need to reach a 25" distant square, so you spend 9 PPs: but if you obtain a Raise, well you COULD move up to 45", but USUALLY you don't need it, 'cause you wanted to go to that 25" distant square. So, with that raise, you simply needed to spend 6 PPs to go there, but you already spent 9. So... Do you need to "bet" on your raise, hoping to get it and spend less PPs? Is this by design? Why not to pump up Duration (maybe 2 or 3 turns of "free" teleports), or maybe better, to reduce the cost with the raise? So you have to set your destination, check if you have enough PPs, AND if you roll a Raise, well, you spend 2 PPs instead of 3 (for example).
      Last edited by Lord Lance; 07-25-2018, 04:16 PM.
      "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance


      Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY

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      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, this power could definitely be worded better. But to answer the question, I don't think you "spend" the PP until after the roll, you just need to determine the distance. So if you get raise, you calculate using the 15" scale instead of 10".

        What you can't do is say, "I'm going to teleport 30"... oh, I got a raise so I'm going to teleport 45" instead." You determine distance first, make a roll, then calculate PP cost.
        _____

        But your suggestion is great! Make the distance 3pp for 10", but on a raise reduce the cost 2pp.

      • Lord Lance
        Lord Lance commented
        Editing a comment
        @Deskepticon: Actually, it looks different:
        http://archive.pegforum.com/viewtopi...power+distance
        Roll, see what you got, then you choose where to move. So, if you were hoping to go farther, and you need a Raise to go there... you need to choose another place to go.

    • #35
      As a small thing, I think the Cover rules should point readers to the Obstacle rules. Most folks don’t actually know about the whole “Armor if hitting without cover modifier” thing because all cover actually says is that it subtracts from to-hit rolls.
      My thoughts, musings, and general character adaptations on Savage Everything. Now featuring Suppressive Fire that actually works!

      Comment


      • Jounichi
        Jounichi commented
        Editing a comment
        I see what you there, and raise my post on page 2.

      • DoctorBoson
        DoctorBoson commented
        Editing a comment
        Aha. The thread is becoming too large for its own britches.

    • #36
      Also, uniform (or limit?) the mechanics related to "Roll 1 on the Skill die" "Roll 1 and fail" "Roll 1 or less" etc.
      Here's a partially related old post:
      https://www.pegforum.com/forum/offic...-the-trait-die

      Also, today I still got doubts about Blind power: 1 on the skill die (regardless...): is this still related to a "failure" on the roll, or you can actually succeed with your Wild Die, and still be totally blinded by the "1" on your skill roll?
      Last edited by Lord Lance; 07-27-2018, 06:05 PM.
      "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance


      Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY

      Comment


      • #37
        A minor thing came to mind the other day: invert the Fear table (ie, make it rolling low is bad, high is ok). Some reasons

        The rolls in SW should all be "higher is better". The thing that still bothers me about AD&D pre 3rd was "roll low for this" and "roll high for that". Aside from remembering high/low, how am I supposed to train my dice if its inconsistent?

        Second, you would not have to reverse the sign of the Fear Penalty. Straight roll and adjust with the same penalty. Anything below a 1 is now the heart attack.

        Third - many of us already have in our heads rolling a 1 on a d20 is a crit fail from D&D. Just a psychological reinforcement.
        Jeffrey...
        Left is Death!

        Comment


        • Augusto Antunes
          Augusto Antunes commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree with this one wholeheartedly. The inversion on the fear table always seemed weird, unintuitive and inconsistent to me. +1 to this change. But I'd probably invert the sign of the Fear Penalty too. A positive number to represent a "penalty" is another thing that feels really weird to me.

        • JackMann
          JackMann commented
          Editing a comment
          I think what amerigoV means is that you would use the penalty to the fear rolls as a penalty on the table. Right now, a -2 on the fear roll is inverted to become a +2 on the table. Reversing the table means you wouldn't invert it. A -2 on the fear roll would be a -2 on the fear table, making it much more intuitive.

        • Augusto Antunes
          Augusto Antunes commented
          Editing a comment
          Ah, ok! Now I get it. Thanks for the clarification.

      • #38
        Equipment Weights. Most of the items, if not all seem to be unreasonably heavy. Twice to four times as much as things really weigh.

        Comment


        • Freemage
          Freemage commented
          Editing a comment
          As ValhallaGH says, encumbrance =/= weight. That said, changing the column header to read "Encumbrance" would prevent this from being a constant topic.

        • zgreg
          zgreg commented
          Editing a comment
          Is there any chance that you've missed that the weights are given in pounds, not in kilograms? That'd explain that you find everything weighting twice as much

        • JackMann
          JackMann commented
          Editing a comment
          Doubtful, zgreg. Most of the handheld stuff weighs twice what it should. As Val pointed out, however, that's deliberate. It's meant to be how heavy it feels in your hand, rather than when it's in your pack, say.

      • #39
        I think that when the Supers companion is revised, Heavy Armor needs to be fixed. Right now, Heavy Armor means almost nothing because Heavy Weapons are so cheap and easy to get. I'm running a Super's campaign now with 6 players. Every last one of them has a Heavy Weapon power, and they're only Street Level. The Breakout campaign book makes it clear that Heavy Armor is supposed to be really meaningful, but I just look at it and laugh because it's meaningless. The Heavy Weapon modifier needs to cost more if Heavy Armor is actually supposed to mean something.

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        • Freemage
          Freemage commented
          Editing a comment
          Mara's point would suggest that the solution would be to make Heavy Armor cheaper, rather than Heavy Weapon more expensive. Which, honestly, makes a fair bit of sense to me--most source material I can think of usually portrays body armor as either, "Kevlar by another name" or "You need a tank to hurt me." So why not make the toggle that easy to trigger?

        • MadScientist1023
          MadScientist1023 commented
          Editing a comment
          @Kristian, I understand that is the point of Heavy Armor, and in most settings it fills that need just fine. There should be a rule that keeps someone from easily dispatching something the size of a tank with a pistol. A tank *should* be a serious threat that takes a special brand of weaponry to defeat. My point is that, specifically in the Supers setting, anyone and everyone can have a weapon capable of taking down a tank, and they can have it dirt cheap. Heavy Weapon can be added to almost any attack power as an afterthought, so tanks or creatures built like tanks are no more challenging than anyone else. I think Heavy Armor should be a bit more meaningful than that.

        • Deskepticon
          Deskepticon commented
          Editing a comment
          @MadScientist This is a bit of an apples-and-oranges issue, no? In a typical setting, Heavy Armor is working as intended. But in a Supers game, it's all about the power fantasy; the heroes are supposed to be able to tear the turret off a tank, or blast a hole through a wall with a shout or laser vision.

          It just means you need to ramp-up the threat level. Whereas a tank in a realistic war setting would be a BigBad session-ender, a supers party could face several tanks as merely a tension-breaker.

      • #40
        Speaking of the SPC2. Attack Ranged has the ROF modifier which costs +3SPPs for a second shot with no Multiattack penalty. That is the same cost as one Extra Action, yet barring movement, Extra Action lets a PC do a lot more. IMHO this option should be reduced in cost to +2.

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        • Mara
          Mara commented
          Editing a comment
          Except that Extra action wouldn't let you use range attack a second time.

      • #41
        This thread is for the pending update to the core rules. Companions, especially the most recent ones to get new editions, aren't on the table. Let's try to stay on topic.

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        • Ndreare
          Ndreare commented
          Editing a comment
          Does it really matter? Do you think any special weight will be given to ideas expressed here. After all they are busy working and supporting two business.

          They may not have time to read everything here, especially with so many opposing points of view.

        • Vinzent
          Vinzent commented
          Editing a comment
          Maybe, maybe not. No harm in discussing it.

      • #42
        Having been present for a multi-day online debate over how Rate of Fire works, I'd like all the rules for shooting more than one round in one damned place (ideally, immediately after the rules for shooting one round). This should also include the effects of different weapon tags, such as Auto, Semi-Auto, etc. Right now, people often see one paragraph, but fail to notice the paragraph that provides the explanation or exception because it's on a different page.

        Comment


        • Jounichi
          Jounichi commented
          Editing a comment
          I'm pretty sure those are getting cleaned up. Some of those designations aren't even in the SPC or SFC.

        • Deskepticon
          Deskepticon commented
          Editing a comment
          I mentioned this briefly at some point, noting (as Jounichi has just done) that the SFC avoids using the "Auto" designator.

          Seems the new approach will treat the default ranged attack as "single shot", with any attack at RoF2 or higher being "automatic fire" (i.e., suffer a -2 to each die).

          Semi-auto and 3RB are distinctly different mechanics (by way of different actual mechanisms) from auto fire.

          TL;DR I agree.

      • #43
        I'd like to see the math revisited on Dramatic Tasks. I'm not sure most GMs are going to realize how low the odds of success really are if the party isn't fairly specialized. It's unlikely, unless there have been a lot of other uses for the skill in question, that you'll have anyone with more than a d8 in something as specialized as knowledge (demolitions) or (occult), since putting too many points there is likely to mean they're going to struggle in areas that come up more often. The more specialized a skill, the less likely it is that anyone else took it (unless the GM told them beforehand that it was going to come up). In that case, with a d8 in the skill and three bennies, the player has about a one in three chance of making it on a Hard task (the default difficulty for a dramatic task). With another player with a d8, it changes to slightly under 50%.

        Especially given that several of the examples given are game-ending (the nuke goes off, killing everyone; the occult ritual fails, letting the eldritch god enter the universe and eat everyone) I think it's important the GM has an idea of how likely his players are to succeed so they can plan ahead, either making sure the dramatic task's outcome is one the group can live with, or else make sure the players know how important it is to have knowledge (cantaloupes) to keep the cantaloupe demon from murdering reality.

        I'm not even necessarily saying change the rules for Dramatic Tasks, just how they're framed. I think as they're written they're likely to end up with a lot of TPKs when the GM didn't realize how difficult they really are.

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        • JackMann
          JackMann commented
          Editing a comment
          The problem is, most of the time having a character with, say, a d6 in a skill is just fine. And a newish GM might think that'll work for a Dramatic Task, when it's less than a 25% chance of success even if they use all three bennies.

          The problem is that the math is not clear, since you have to deal not only with the odds of success over five consecutive rolls with the -2 penalty, but also with the odds of clubs coming up. Again, I'm not saying that they need to change the math. I'm saying that it's not clear to someone who doesn't hang out places like this where the math gets discussed how difficult it is, and that the rulebook would be a good place to mention that, so that GMs know what they're going into. We understand that it's important to make sure that you don't use Dramatic Tasks as written in the books unless you A) have a character highly specialized in a skill, B) have multiple players with ranks in the skill, or C) are expecting the group to fail.

          Yes, a GM should make sure at least someone has ranks in the skill in the Dramatic Task. I'm saying it's unclear how many ranks are sufficient, and it's going to mislead a lot of newer GMs. A d8 in a skill is fairly specialized for most characters, but you would need at least a d10 and all three of your bennies just to have even odds on a Dramatic Task with the default difficulty if you were the only character with the skill.

          The way the rules work are clear, yes. But how to implement those rules is not.

        • Jounichi
          Jounichi commented
          Editing a comment
          Such is the risk of being an inexperienced GM.

        • Ndreare
          Ndreare commented
          Editing a comment
          Deaskepticon?
          The topic includes things to fix. I don't see how asking them to fix dramatic task from his perspective could possibly be considered off topic?

      • #44
        Actually, since I'm now thinking about skills..

        In Which Mann Bloviates About Skills

        So, first off, Common Knowledge. Now, the intention is pretty clear. Anytime you would do something that doesn't have a specific skill, you use the most relevant Attribute. The main example is using Agility for dancing, for example. However, there's this line earlier in the description: "A Common Knowledge roll is made by rolling the adventurer's Smarts attribute." This makes it seem as though only Smarts can be used for Common Knowledge. I'd recommend changing that line. Also, the name "common knowledge" makes it sound Smarts-related. A new name like "background skills" might be clearer. It would also remove the necessity of explaining the difference between Common Knowledge and specific Knowledge skills twice (once at the start of the Skills section, once at the Knowledge skill).

        Second, knowledge skills. In many games, Knowledge skills are basically "Jeopardy skills." That is, they let you answer questions about the topic, but they aren't normally used for doing things. In most games, you wouldn't use Knowledge (Demolition) for defusing a bomb. If there wasn't a specific Demolitions skill, you'd probably roll something like Repair. Knowledge (Occult) would let you identify the ritual you needed to do, but not let you perform it. I think it's better that Savage Worlds makes them more useful, but I think that could be mentioned under the skill itself. Right now, the only clue there is the mention that Knowledge (Battle) is used for Mass Battles. You'd have to look at, say, Dramatic Tasks to know some of the other things you can use Knowledge skills for. A player probably isn't going to look there, since that's more of a GM section.

        Finally, it would be nice to have some advice in the optional rules for creating or eliminating skills as necessary for a setting, beyond just Guts. Things like making a specific Hacking skill in for a Cyberpunk game, Disguise for a subterfuge game, or eliminating Gambling or Piloting for games where those skills won't show up, or even combining skills the way Flash Gordon did.

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        • Deskepticon
          Deskepticon commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, Common Knowledge can do with a clarification/re-wording to include any relevant Trait (not just Smarts). Need to know how to tie a knot? Is your Boating higher than your Smarts? Then roll Boating instead. I've let my players justify unconventional rolls by explaining how it applies to their background.

          Same can apply to Knowledge skills. If a player asks, "Can X help me do N?", and it makes sense, I allow it. Knowledge (Biology) to determine a cause of death; Knowledge (Demolitions) to build a makeshift bomb, a la McGyver Edge; Knowledge (Culinary) to locate edible plants.

      • #45
        Hi JackMann (I need to ask you another thing, but I'll probably send you a PM, 'cause it's totally unrelated from this topic...).
        About this phrase of your: "So, first off, Common Knowledge. Now, the intention is pretty clear. Anytime you would do something that doesn't have a specific skill, you use the most relevant Attribute." I have to say that I never had that sensation reading the rules about Common Knowledge. From what I read (pag.23 on my pdf), Common Knowledge is specifically created to be a catch-all "automatic" skill used to simulate all the minor Knowledge-like skills you usually find into other RpG systems (and men, I hate those other RpGs huge skill lists :-D ). So, I'm not sold on the first part of your post.

        About the second one, yeah, Specific Knowledge skill should be limited to bare-minimum, and only for specialistic fields that are used a lot in a specific setting (and probably used as requirements for specific Edges). As I read at pag. 24, you almost shouldn't have any Specific Knowledge skill in your setting, unless really useful and often checked. So, if you are preparing a Cyberpunk setting, and you'll have lot of cyber-things around, probably you'd introduce Knowledge (Cyber) as an useful skill to identify cyber parts, to find weak points in a almost unbeatable cyborg, etc. Or, if you are playing a pirate game, probably you'll have Knowledge Navigation that is used (a lot) when charting your way, while Boating is used only when you need to do the fast meneuvres during combats, chases etc. In short: if it's not rolled at least 1 time each session, probably isn't a Knowledge worth to be in your setting.

        About the third part: sure, that is useful, if they have spare free space to dedicate to that topic. I see that "free space" was a problem in every core book they did, 'cause it has very few pages, and they are forced to keep fluff text and details to bare minimum. Personally, I'd remove the "vehicles wargame movements" part (ie. the turning template etc.), leaving the vehicle based action strictly related to chases etc. On the tabletop, rarely you need to have heroes on foot AND piloted vehicles, and even if this is the case, I think we can simply move that car simply 15" in every direction, and that Apache chopper 60" everywhere in the battlefield. Also, I think the free example adventures are probably wasted space. Sure, they are a nice bonus, however when they have so few pages in the book, they simply could put a internet link pointing to 3 or 4 free PDF adventure you can download and print/play.
        Last edited by Lord Lance; 08-24-2018, 10:58 AM.
        "Balance is the key, Trapping is the word." - - Lord Lance


        Proud reviser of the SAVAGE FREE BESTIARY

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