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  • New Powers, Power Modifiers for High Fantasy

    New Powers

    Contagion
    Rank: Seasoned
    Power Points: 4
    Range: Smarts
    Duration: Instant
    Trappings: Poison cloud, rapid aging, spores
    Contagion infects a victim with some type of disease or adverse condition. On a success, the target must make a Vigor roll (at –2 if the caster got a raise) or contract a Debilitating disease.
    Power Modifiers
    • Area Effect (+2/+3): For +2 points contagion affects everyone in a Medium Blast Template. For +3 points it infects a Large Blast Template.
    • Potent (+2/+4): For +2 points contagion infects the victim with a Chronic disease. For +4 points the disease is Lethal.
    Petrify
    Rank: Seasoned
    Power Points: 4
    Range: Smarts
    Duration: Instant
    Trappings: Breath cloud, calcifying raygun, stoney gaze
    Petrify turns the target into a stonelike object. On a success, the target must make a Vigor roll (at –2 if the caster got a raise) or become Petrified.

    Petrified
    The character (and possibly his gear) is permanently turned to stone. His Pace is reduced to 0" and he becomes an inanimate object; he cannot take any actions, including free actions. A Petrified character is not dead, he exists in a state of suspended animation. While the condition persists, the victim does not age, does not need to eat or breathe, is immune to Poison and Disease, and has Hardness 10 versus attacks. A successful healing (Greater Healing) roll returns the character to flesh.

    A Petrified character can be shattered and still not die. If the pieces are somehow reassembled and the character restored, they return to life with three Wounds. Missing pieces, however, may bestow a permanent Injury or Hindrance (i.e., One Arm, Slow, Ugly, etc.).

    New Power Modifiers

    Beast Friend
    • Duration (+2): For +2 points, the power has a Duration of 10 hours.
    Bolt
    • Rate of Fire (+1): For +1 Power Points, bolt gains a Rate of Fire of 2. Each additional point increases Rate of Fire by one, to a maximum of RoF 6 for +5 PP.
    Burst
    • Line (+0): Instead of a Cone the power fills an area 1" wide, 1" high, and 12" long.
    Detect Arcana
    • Penetrate (+1): The power can now work through most barriers, such as walls, chests, and the like. The range of detection through barriers is reduced to 12" (24 yards).
    Mind Link
    • Missive (+0): Instead of the normal effect, you may send a short, one-way messege to any target(s) you designate within one mile (five miles with a raise). This changes the power's duration to Instant.
    Silence
    • Privacy Sphere (+1): The power still wards a Large Blast Template as usual. Anyone within the area can hear each other normally, as well as any sounds from outside, but sounds made within the warded area cannot be heard outside of it.
    Teleport
    • Traverse (+4/+8): For +4 points, the caster can teleport to any location on her current plane of existance that she's been to before. For +8 points, she can teleport to a different plane of existance. Traveling to an unknown location incurs a –2 penalty to the arcane skill roll.
    ______

    All thoughts, critique, criticism, and suggestions are welcome.

    Cheers!

  • #2
    I don't love save-or-die effects in Savage Worlds. I thought Zadmar 's version of Flesh to Stone in his Savage Vancian Magic book worked well - it basically posited that if you can Incapacitate someone, you can do whatever you want to them after that, and was just a boosted Bolt with the after-effect of "If you incapacitate someone with this, they turn into a statue rather than die".

    The rest of these are pretty good. Bolt with a RoF works fine, but I don't love how it still allows 3d6 bolts for just +2 PP once - as written you could pay 5 PP for three 3d6 Bolts (1 base, +2 for RoF +2, and +2 for 3d6 base damage). I'd be fine with it if you couldn't do both in the same spell, though.

    One thing I've been considering is rank-gated or Edge-gated Power Modifiers; RoF 6 seems pretty nuts for a Novice character to be able to do, even if it costs them half their PP. Maybe cap it at RoF 3 at Novice, and one more at each Rank beyond that?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
      I don't love save-or-die effects in Savage Worlds. I thought Zadmar 's version of Flesh to Stone in his Savage Vancian Magic book worked well - it basically posited that if you can Incapacitate someone, you can do whatever you want to them after that, and was just a boosted Bolt with the after-effect of "If you incapacitate someone with this, they turn into a statue rather than die".
      Yeah, I usually keep Zadmar's stuff close at hand for inspiration. Interestingly enough, with as much material as he managed to cram into his Vancian Magic book, he didn't include a Petrified condition. There is a "Reverse Petrification" spell, so I guess the details of what happens to someone who is turned to stone (or breaks!) is left up to the GM. I just wanted to add a bit more crunch to it.

      As for the power itself, I'm not sure how it can be done with feeling clunky. I don't really care for "roll damage" approach to be honest. It's effective, but counter-intuitive. The "save-or-die" approach is not entirely ideal either, I agree, but it mirrors other powers like confusion or fear, so there's already precedent. It works in way that is already familiar.

      I am always receptive to suggestions if you think you have a better approach.

      I am going to change the "curing" method, though, so it is its own healing Power Modifier. 13 PP is way too high a cost, especially since the chance of being turned to stone is moderately high.

      The rest of these are pretty good. Bolt with a RoF works fine, but I don't love how it still allows 3d6 bolts for just +2 PP once - as written you could pay 5 PP for three 3d6 Bolts (1 base, +2 for RoF +2, and +2 for 3d6 base damage). I'd be fine with it if you couldn't do both in the same spell, though.
      But that's how Power Mods work in SWADE... you pay once and it affects every target designated. Cast boost Stealth, pay +1 PP for Shroud, +4 PP for your allies, and everyone gets Shroud.

      One thing I've been considering is rank-gated or Edge-gated Power Modifiers; RoF 6 seems pretty nuts for a Novice character to be able to do, even if it costs them half their PP. Maybe cap it at RoF 3 at Novice, and one more at each Rank beyond that?
      I like that idea, but that's the kind of stuff I'd rather leave up to individuals to decide, not "baked into" the base mechanic. There's also the risk that by rolling six dice you have a greater chance of Crit Failing, so there's already some built-in controls.

      Thanks for the feedback! It is appreciated.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Deskepticon View Post
        As for the power itself, I'm not sure how it can be done with feeling clunky. I don't really care for "roll damage" approach to be honest. It's effective, but counter-intuitive. The "save-or-die" approach is not entirely ideal either, I agree, but it mirrors other powers like confusion or fear, so there's already precedent. It works in way that is already familiar.

        I am always receptive to suggestions if you think you have a better approach.
        I like the damage mechanic because it naturally separates out Extras and Wild Cards in a way that save-or-die mechanics don't. You can easily petrify an extra with a 3d6 bolt and feel badass, but it's probably not going to one-shot an enemy Wild Card, but it will do something significant to them (at Wound or at least a Benny gone to soak against most enemies). As you have there, against most Extras it's a really expensive single-target kill, and against WCs it's probably not going to do anything at all, or cost them a Benny or MAYBE two to make the Vigor roll, and then the caster is 4PP down the drain. I just don't see it being very satisfying in play or used very often.

        I might try the mechanics I've used before for poisons. Something like... hm.

        Petrify
        Rank: Seasoned
        Power Points: 3
        Range: Smarts
        Duration: Instant
        Trappings: Breath cloud, calcifying raygun, stoney gaze
        Petrify turns the target into a stonelike object over time. On a success on the casting roll, the target becomes Vulnerable. At the beginning of its turn, the target must make a Vigor roll (at –2 if the caster got a raise). On a Failure, they gain a level of Fatigue and remain Vulnerable until their next turn. On a success, they don't take any Fatigue, but remain Vulnerable. On a raise, they shake off the power, stop being Vulnerable, and don't have to roll on further turns. Any target Incapacitated by this Fatigue is Petrified.

        You could also make that run off of Wounds rather than Fatigue; that makes it take longer (one more Wound than Fatigue before you're incapped) but it does get rid of Extras faster. It's more involved, certainly, but not more so than Stunned is in SWADE, and I think it's a fair bit more fun in play and more satisfying to use.

        But that's how Power Mods work in SWADE... you pay once and it affects every target designated. Cast boost Stealth, pay +1 PP for Shroud, +4 PP for your allies, and everyone gets Shroud.
        Oh, sure, that's how it works, but I think it working this way is why you don't have the option of RoF with bolt in the core rules. It's the same reason they dropped the 3 3d6 bolts in Deluxe; it was too good for the cost, and put other ranged options to shame until people were carrying around plasma rifles. Note that when you could boost both the RoF and damage of bolt (back in Explorer's Edition) it increased the cost per bolt. It also ended up more expensive than what you're proposing here (it was 6 PP for 3 3d6 bolts; your proposal would cost 5 PP in an edition of the game that generally makes things a lot easier on casters anyway). Bolt at that time also didn't have the option for freeform AP, Heavy Weapon, increased range, etc. I just think adding the option of RoF and force-multiplying the power of all the existing Power Modifiers again just makes bolt too good.



        There's also the risk that by rolling six dice you have a greater chance of Crit Failing, so there's already some built-in controls.
        Eh? More dice decreases your chance of a Critical Failure, not increases it. If you're rolling 6 Spellcasting dice and a Wild Die, four of them have to be natural 1s before you've got a CF. The chance of that vary based on your Spellcasting die, of course, but they're pretty small. More dice do significantly increase the chances of Innocent Bystanders, though.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SteelDraco View Post
          I might try the mechanics I've used before for poisons. Something like... hm. <snip>
          Hey, I like that!
          It pretty close to how Lethal diseases work now, and I already have the contagion power. It might make sense to just scrap the petrify power completely and make Petrification a Trapping of a Lethal disease.

          On the other hand, Lethal disease causes Wounds, and I think the slow process of turning to stone is better modeled through Fatigue. Hmm... Vulnerable +Fatigue +Pace reduction (1") on each failure? (Slow is still more powerful, so I'm not worried about stepping on its toes.)

          I'll work up a draft, but this has been very helpful. I think it would be more satifying and fun, for both parties. Thanks!

          Oh, sure, that's how it works, but I think it working this way is why you don't have the option of RoF with bolt in the core rules. It's the same reason they dropped the 3 3d6 bolts in Deluxe; it was too good for the cost, and put other ranged options to shame until people were carrying around plasma rifles. Note that when you could boost both the RoF and damage of bolt (back in Explorer's Edition) it increased the cost per bolt. It also ended up more expensive than what you're proposing here (it was 6 PP for 3 3d6 bolts; your proposal would cost 5 PP in an edition of the game that generally makes things a lot easier on casters anyway). Bolt at that time also didn't have the option for freeform AP, Heavy Weapon, increased range, etc. I just think adding the option of RoF and force-multiplying the power of all the existing Power Modifiers again just makes bolt too good.
          In the first draft of that modifier, I actually had it priced at +2 per bolt, but lowered it to +1 about an hour before posting this thread. I was looking at Additional Recipient and how you can essentially "double" a power for just 1 PP. It seemed the right choice at the time, but you bring up some very salient points. I guess I can go back to +2 per RoF... or perhaps I can use a static-progression cost. Something like:
          +1 PP for RoF2
          +3 PP for RoF3
          +6 PP for RoF4
          +10 PP for RoF5
          +15 PP for RoF6

          I dunno, I'm just spit-balling here.

          Eh? More dice decreases your chance of a Critical Failure, not increases it.
          Heh heh. Oops! I must've had a brain fart.

          Comment


          • #6
            I have mixed feelings about contagion. I'm glad to see disease used in the rules. The Potent modifier is very worrisome; I am not a fan of the "Havus Cancer!" spell, and "save or die in one to three rounds" is not cool. Maybe, if every group has a couple of members with healing then I would feel differently, but the Potent modifier takes this from "interesting" to "world breaking".

            How is petrify not just bolt with a "turn to stone" trapping? Because it is "save or die", obviously. But why isn't it just bolt with a "turn to stone" trapping? The aftermath / Incapacitation rules even cover whether or not the target can be returned to flesh.

            Beast Friend, Duration - combine with Concentration Edge to get a 20 hour base duration. Are you trying to replace the Beast Master Edge?

            Bolt, ROF - Why RoF 6? 3 would be enough to better than any fantasy weapon available, and the cost at ROF 4+ is prohibitive when compared to burst with Selective.

            Burst, Line - Seems good. Interesting choice to make it a power modifier instead of a Trapping.

            Detect Arcana, Penetrating - It grants x-ray vision for magic!? Holy crap, that's going to tank so many plans. Lots of consequences from adding this, though it probably won't ruin anything. Would explain why there are so many mundane guards with mundane gear hanging around, from an optimization view.

            Mind Link, Missive - Kind of a Sending effect? I'll have to think about this one.

            Silence, Privacy Sphere - I like it.

            Teleport, Traverse - If you want to add adventure-skipping powers to the setting then this will work. Making long-range teleportation into a big ritual was one of the goals for my ritual magic rules; it's available when I need it, but the players have to put in some work to use it.

            Why no Poison power? Mild for the base, with KnockOut, Paralysis, and Lethal as modifiers.
            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


            • #7
              Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
              I have mixed feelings about contagion. I'm glad to see disease used in the rules. The Potent modifier is very worrisome; I am not a fan of the "Havus Cancer!" spell, and "save or die in one to three rounds" is not cool. Maybe, if every group has a couple of members with healing then I would feel differently, but the Potent modifier takes this from "interesting" to "world breaking".
              In a vacuum, I can agree with that concern. But the power is intended for settings with fairly ubiquitious magic. My concern is actually that Potent would actually become trivial, as the diseases won't run their full course.

              Either way, I guess it'd be fine to drop the modifier.

              How is petrify not just bolt with a "turn to stone" trapping? Because it is "save or die", obviously. But why isn't it just bolt with a "turn to stone" trapping? The aftermath / Incapacitation rules even cover whether or not the target can be returned to flesh.
              Petrify began as a monster Special ability and a custom Condition. From there I thought, "why not make it a spell?" So I just ported over the mechanics, wording them to be consistent with other powers.

              If the option to bestow Lethal disease goes away, petrify can easily use those mechanics. Rather than failure leading to character death, just a creates a minor setback.

              Beast Friend, Duration - combine with Concentration Edge to get a 20 hour base duration. Are you trying to replace the Beast Master Edge?
              Not the intention, no, but I guess that would be the effect. I was thinking about a "fire-and-forget" animal messenger when I drafted that. I'm not attached to it; it can go away.

              Bolt, ROF - Why RoF 6? 3 would be enough to better than any fantasy weapon available, and the cost at ROF 4+ is prohibitive when compared to burst with Selective.
              With the one caveat that RoF can target a single foe. That, I feel, justifies a higher cost. I wrestled with finding a balance for the cost last night; +1 per increase is too low, I realise now, and +2 may be too high... at least at the lower end. RoF 6 just sounded thematically appropriated for High Fantasy. What about capping the modifier at RoF3 and then offering a Veteran or Heroic Power Edge to take it further?

              Burst, Line - Seems good. Interesting choice to make it a power modifier instead of a Trapping.
              A Trapping would require taking the power a second time for both Templates. A Power Modifier simply offers options. Technically a caster can add Selectable and treat blast as a Line, but I prefer the option to actually narrow the area for slightly more length.

              ... ...

              Why no Poison power? Mild for the base, with KnockOut, Paralysis, and Lethal as modifiers.
              Because poison is crazy powerful! If you thought Lethal disease was world-breaking, check out Lethal poison. Death in 2d6 rounds with a single failure. At least disease gives you a few attempts to stave off the inevitable until help arrives.

              Besides, several existing powers can already be Trapped as poison: entangle or sloth (paralysis), sleep (knockout), stun (lethal... ish).
              _______

              Thanks for the feedback! As always, very helpful and brutally honest. Just how I like it!
              Last edited by Deskepticon; 06-10-2020, 10:00 PM. Reason: Typos

              Comment


              • #8
                It seems to me that Petrify would be a variant of the Slumber power.

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