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[50F] SWADE Workshop

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  • [50F] SWADE Workshop

    In case you can't guess by the title, this is a place for those of us interested to figure out how to best update the setting using the new SWADE rules. I'm interested in running it soon, at least, so I guess I'll be starting. I'm thinking of doing the races first. Then maybe gear, though I expect that'll be easy. Magic might mean coming up with new power lists for each element. And lastly, at least for now, I'll be looking at converting the ship maneuvers during a Chase to the new rules. If that doesn't seem tenable, then I'll be looking at how best to incorporate them.

    And if nobody joins in, then this will be as much a diary as it is a workshop. Anyone who wants to make their own submissions are welcome to do so. I'm not sure what the best etiquette for multiple takes on the same idea should be. But I do think if we have feedback on a specific entry, it might be best to keep it to the comments below the respective post.

    That said, it's off to the races. Heh, I made a pun on the same day as the Kentucky Derby.

  • #2
    I figure I may as well go alphabetically. Which means the first ones up are the Atani. Their current build looks like this:
    • Agile/Attribute Increase: Agility d6/d12+1 (+2)
    • Can't Swim (–1)
    • Gliders/Flight: Pace 12" (+4)
    • Reduced Pace: 5" (–1)
    • Skill: Athletics d6/d12+1 (+1)
    • Weak/Attribute Penalty: Strength –2 (–3)
    Don't sweat the flying; I only used that to gauge the price. They'd still descend 1" for every 2" horizontally, but now they can move twice as far as normal. And their Athletics is still at d6, so that's something. In short, they have everything their original versions did. And then some. Those cues (Can't Swim and Reduced Pace) I took from the Avions in SWADE, but they could easily be dropped in favor of reducing their gliding pace. The only reservation I still have is their Weak ability. The flavor text includes a reference to hollow bones. Ever since SWD, that same adjective has been used for a Toughness reduction of -1.

    So, alternatively, they could look like this:
    • Agile/Attribute Increase: Agilityd6/d12+1 (+2)
    • Can't Swim (–1)
    • Frail: –1 Toughness (–1)
    • Gliders/Flight: Pace 6" (+2)
    • Reduced Pace: 5" (–1)
    • Skill: Athletics d6/d12+1 (+1)
    Last edited by Jounichi; 05-05-2019, 05:45 AM. Reason: Formatting


    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      I like v2 better, also. I included Can't Swim and Reduced Pace because the core Avions have them and I was comparing how they evolved between SWD and SWADE. And I'm not concerned about Can't Swim being a -1 ability because Landlubber (can't start with Boating, permanent -2 to Boating) is a minor hindrance in the setting. Nor Glider. I weigh it as +2 because that's how it was in SWD, and Flying was +2. It's already artificially inflated for the setting. Though, now that I think on it, not being able to swim could be major. It also wasn't a hindrance before, though it could be covered by simply not having the old swimming skill. It's worth revisiting.

    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not sure where your thoughts currently are on the atani builds here (the ones you presented and the one I did), but a couple comments on the other things you mentioned:

      Landlubber would be a Major Hindrance in SWADE (and probably should have been one in the original 50F). A -2 to Boating in a water-rich setting, where boats play a prominent role, is a significant setback. With that said, I don't really know if the Hindrance continues to hold water. For example, even if the character increases their Boating to d12, they're still facing that -2 penalty for "not grasping the basics."
      It's illogical.

      I would suggest a rewrite. Maybe:
      "The character cannot buy the Boating skill at character creation, and they treat it as higher than it's linked attribute for the purpose of Advancement."
      This means that an average character, with d6 Agility, would spend the equivalent of 2 additional skill points (i.e., 1 additional Advance) improving Boating than someone without the Hindrance.
      ...However, there's a diminishing slope for characters with a d8+ Agility, meaning they would start spending more "skill points" to improve Boating than another character with the same Agility score. BUT... that just encourages the Landlubber to keep their Boating skill at d6 (which keeps step with the theme of "not grasping the basics").
      ...Incidently, a character with a d4 Agility would only spend the equivalent of 1 extra skill point, but then they've already crippled themselves in numerous other ways for having such a low Agility, so that idiosyncrasy is largely moot.

      The Glider ability the atani have is horribly overpriced. Luckily, there has been 15 years of playtesting and balancing to give Flight a pretty accurate evaluation in SWADE. The atani are not 'flyers,' they're 'gliders'... so I think their Flight ability should be clipped to reflect that. I'm pretty pleased with my version as I think it captures the original feel of the race while putting an accurate pricetag on the ability.

      In the end it's going to be on your table, and you can choose whichever version of the race(s) you like best. I'm not here to toot my own horn. But if you're going to deviate from the source material, it might be a good idea to present a design philosophy so I know how best to help you. But unless I hear otherwise, I'll be sticking as close as possible to the original content.

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      Gliding may, in fact, be overvalued. It's also an incredibly powerful ability in the setting because actually flying is ludicrously fast. Pace 6" is 3 mph, and each grid space on the map is 15 miles across. So even basic flying could outpace the fastest ships with Travel Speed 3. The flyer just wouldn't have the endurance to keep it up 24/7.

      That is a thought for landlubber. So is just buying off the hindrance. They're d4-4 to start off; untrained. One advance brings that to d4-2. Buying it off is, arguably, a more cost-effective investment than simply raising it to d6-2. But that also considers their roll on the ship. A navigator wouldn't necessarily need Boating. A marine who fights hand-to-hand wouldn't, either, but a cannoneer would.

  • #3
    The Doreen and Grael are a little harder to judge. I'm tempted to leave the Doreen alone. Coup and Sea Hunter are tough to accurately judge, though I'm tempted to weigh them as Novice Edges at +2 each. But if I do that, then I'm ignoring that they were essentially +3 races in SWD. They began with Swimming d6 in addition to being Semi-Aquatic, which would mean having Athletics d6 now. But, again, that's a +3 race.

    And if I do the same with the Grael, they're also +3. This is what I have for them right now.
    • All Thumbs (–1)
    • Blubber (+1)
      • Armor +2
      • Environmental Resistance: Cold
      • Environmental Weakness: Heat
    • Dumb/Attribute Penalty: Smarts –2 (–3)
    • Semi-Aquatic (+1)
    • Size +1 (+1)
      • maximum Strength +1 step (included below)
      • Toughness +1
    • Slow/Reduced Pace: 5" (–1)
    • Strong/Attribute Increase: Strength d8/d12+3 (+4)
    See what I mean? If I give them Athletics d6, then they're +3. Unless I give them another penalty somewhere, and there isn't really room for it. Besides that, the biggest change I've made to them so far is swapping the Toughness +1 in Blubber with Armor +2; because the flavor text calls it "natural armor". And now it stacks fully with worn armor, so it seemed appropriate.

    So, should I even concern myself with the Athletics d6? Is Semi-Aquatic fine without it? And, in case you're wondering, the old 50 Fathoms does seem to weigh Semi-Aquatic with Swimming d6 as +1 together. Then again, the old book wasn't really concerned with racial balance. You'll see what I mean later.
    Last edited by Jounichi; 05-05-2019, 05:47 AM. Reason: Formatting


    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      For the sake of completion, I'll comment on the Grael. I agree 100% with your assessment, including treating Blubber as Armor. As I mentioned above, I wouldn't worry about the Athletics die; Grael still get a swim speed of 6".

      Because I'm a nit-picky jerk, Size should have a sub-bullet point about the roleplaying troubles of finding gear that fits, and Slow includes a d4 running die.

      To reiterate the breakdown...
      ▪ All Thumbs (-1)
      ▪ Blubber (+1)
      ▪ Dumb (-3)
      ▪ Semi-Aquatic (+1)
      ▪ Size +1 (+1)
      ▪ Slow (-1)
      ▪ Strong (+4)
      Total +2

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      Good catch on the running speed. I'll update that accordingly. As for their roleplaying troubles, I assume you mean this line.

      "Their Size makes it impossible for them to use most goods that aren’t specifically made for them (such as armor)."

      I initially shied away from including that because it's now a -2 ability (Big) and I'd need to give them another +2 to balance out. Or just remove 2 points of negatives. The only things which come to mind are lowering the Smarts penalty to -1 (-2) and dropping the environmental weakness entirely. Thoughts?

    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      Yeah, that's the line.

      The thing with Big is it specifically calls out a -2 to Traits when using non custom equipment, which is probably where most of the -2 value comes from. Grael can use whatever "brutish" weapon they want (as mentioned under their All Thumbs entry, which by Swade standards already bestows a -2 penalty to "complex" equipment).

      At that point, the rest of what Big offers is generally flavor text. Equipment made for Grael doesn't even need to cost more, it just needs to not always be available.

      It's so inconsequential, in fact, that I've argued myself away from the point. :lol:
      Yeah, you can omit it. It'll be fine.

  • #4
    The Kehana and the Kraken, both fully aquatic, have a number of similarities. But they could use some work. The Kehana, in particular, is essentially neutral. Here are their O.G. stats updated to SWADE:
    • Aquatic (+2)
    • Dehydration/Dependency (–2)
    • Habit: Unwholesome Appetite (–1)
    • Racial Enemy: Doreen (–1)
    • Teeth and Claws (+3)
      • Bite (Str+d4)
      • Claws (Str+d4)
    They need another +1, so what should it be? Interestingly enough, neither the Kehana nor the Kraken has the Low Light Vision ability. I say interesting because both the Aquarians in SWADE and the revised Atlanteans from Necessary Evil do. Thoughts?

    The Kraken people, however, are a more interesting story. It would seem the ability to give a race +10 power points with a specific AB has been dropped. And, in the case of 50 Fathoms, I think that's for the best. There's only one AB to choose from. The question, then, is what to replace their Natural Talent with. Here's how they look right now:
    • Aquatic (+2)
    • Dehydration/Dependency (–2)
    • Natural Talent
    I could just say "screw it" and leave them the same. But then they're potentially lacking in undersea traits the Kehana have. I could give them Low Light Vision and
    +1 Toughness, but then they're identical to the Aquarians in SWADE. And the Kehana have so much more I find them far more interesting to play. Which would mean, I think, the Kraken needs more than just Low Light Vision and another +1 to make them attractive options.

    I'm actually not entirely familiar with the vision of cephalopods and how it works. They might not have Low Light Vision. I know some can regenerate and change their color at-will as a form of camouflage. I'm open to ideas.
    Last edited by Jounichi; 05-05-2019, 05:32 AM. Reason: I priced the Kehana wrong, so I needed to amend that.


    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      I think giving the Kehana Low Light Vision is a brilliant idea (no pun intended). They do remind me of the Trench, from Aquaman, so it is quite fitting.

      For the Kraken's Natural Talent, why not just give them an Arcane Background? Or Low Light Vision plus the (1 point) Power ability?

      Depending on how accurate you want the Kraken to be to real-life cephalopods, I found an interesting research site here. Apparently, their vision is intricately tied to their color changing properties and mimicry ability. That can be another avenue to explore: a bonus to Stealth (although we're now venturing away from the source material, but I'm okay with that).
      Last edited by Deskepticon; 05-05-2019, 11:19 AM.

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      Cephalopods are an interesting sort. From other readings I've come across, the ones that can camouflage by changing their color are also colorblind. Others are sensitive to certain kinds of light. And then there's the regeneration of even lost appendages, which means a PC could recover from even "permanent" injuries. There are a lot of potential options to choose from.

  • #5
    Humans and Masaquani are so basic, I don't think they even need tweaking. But their half-breed progeny, the Red Men (Half-Ugak) are another matter. I was actually worried for a bit, before core skills became a thing and hindrances got tweaked, that the Red Men would get the short change of the stick. A -4 penalty to Smarts rolls for common knowledge would have basically been a "why bother". But now? Not so much. Here's the general feel for them:
    • All Thumbs (–1)
    • Clueless (–2)
    • Dumb/Attribute Penalty: Smarts –2 (–3)
    • Outsider (–1)
    • Strong/Attribute Increase: Strength d6/d12+1 (+2)
    • Tough/Attribute Increase: Vigor d6/d12+1 (+2)
    • Tough as Nails
      • Brawler/Bruiser?
      • Improved Dodge?
      • Improved Extraction?
      • Martial Artist/Warrior?
    The real kicker here is Tough as Nails. Legendary Edges aren't an option for building races, and the old +1 Toughness has been replaced with a fourth possible wound. As is, they have 7 points of negatives and 4 points of positives. That means they need to make up 5 points worth of advantages, or fewer if we can lessen the penalties. Hence why there are a list of possible Novice/Seasoned Edges that, together, would equal five. Though, I realize, if we lessened the Smarts penalty to -1 (-2) we could get away with only four points of positives and maybe have something more thematic. Like Hardy and Nerves of Steel. Or both of those, +1 Toughness, and keep the Smarts penalty where it's at.



    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      Duly noted about humans. They're worth a revisit once we figure out how languages should work. Do we need to stick with the Language skill, or adopt the Multiple Languages setting rule on page 140? It might be worth coming up with more languages, then.

      As for the Red Men, I'm drawn to the following: "Half-ugaks usually have terrible childhoods. Most who survive are raised in secret by their parents or sold into slavery from an early age. Such rearing does little to improve their natural hostility. Pirates and privateers alike find half-ugaks fantastic crewmen. They are simple enough to obey orders yet barbaric enough to terrify many foes before a shot is fired or an axe is swung."

      I'm thinking an Intimidation bonus is in order. Lowering the Smarts penalty, like might be done with the grael above, and adding on both Hardy and a +2 to Intimidation might just do the trick.

      Humans have a Masaquani ability to pick up the language, yes, but nobody else does. On page 10, there's a section which reads as follows:

      "The people of Caribdus speak masaquani. Any human who has been in the Thousand Isles for at least six months can read, write, and speak it, and has a free d6 in Knowledge (Masaquani).
      Kehana and kraken have their own language, which they speak fluently. Player characters of these two races also have a free d6 in Knowledge (Masaquani). Other races may buy Knowledge (Kehana) or Knowledge (Kraken) as usual if desired."

      So either there are abilities missing for the kehana and kraken, or humans are inflated due to a setting rule.
      Last edited by Jounichi; 05-05-2019, 05:32 PM. Reason: Took another look at Languages

    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      I had pondered over Languages a while ago and how Savage Worlds tends to just gloss over them. Characters are just assumed to be fluent in the "common tongue" of the setting (presumably the equivalent of a d10 or d12?), only buying the "uncommon" languages as skills.

      In 50 Fathoms, that would mean every race speaks fluent Masaquani EXCEPT humans. Incidentally, humans would have their own "common" language (be it English, French, Spanish, Portugese, Chinese, or wherever they were from before the Maiden caught them). Humans therefore must learn Masaquani as a second language, which is an interesting roleplay opportunity for them not shared by other races. It also means that humans would have a "secret" language they can use with each other, and which the other races might learn as a skill.

      As for granularizing languages... do you think it's important for the setting? I've never had the pleasure of running or playing 50F so I wouldn't know. (I just look at the book and daydream.)

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      Masaquani seems to be the common tongue among the native species. It would be the dominant language in the empire and a few other places. Each human city would make use of their own tongue. And NPCs don't necessarily have a language skill for communication outside their culture. So some granularity is to be expected. For whatever reason, kehana and kraken have their own tongue. I might houserule a few others do, as well.

  • #6

    Okay, let me try to establish a base evaluation first.

    ▪ Pincers (+6)
    ▪ Mean (-1)
    ▪ Keen Mind (+4)
    ▪ Shell (+3)
    ▪ Telescopic Eyes (+1)

    Pincers: Pincers provide one Free Attack at Str+d6, which I would put on par with Additional Action (+3), or two Free Attacks at a -2 penalty each (+4, for a difference of +1). The pincers also add +2 to Athletics (grappling) rolls (+2), and can presumably target two individual targets at once for a -2 penalty to each (+0). TOTAL +6

    Mean: Standard Minor Hindrance. (-1)

    Keen Mind: +2 to Common Knowledge and any other "knowledge" roll made for mathmatics (Academics?) or "memorization." This ability really depends on how many skills the GM is willing to allow its application to. "Memorization" can literally apply to any of the knowledge skills, essentially functioning like SWD Jack-of-All-Trades. I gave it a +2 for the flat bonus to CK plus another +2 for the floating potential to emulate JoAT (or +2 to Academics). Either way, TOTAL +4

    Shell: +1 Toughness (whole body) and additional +2 Toughness torso. Since torso is center mass and the default hit location, I gave this +1 for each point of Toughness. (+3)

    Telescopic Eyes: +2 Notice vs Stealth and can peer around cover unexposed. A limited skill bonus, and a largely narrative---and very situational---combat mechanic (that any bunghole with a mirror can do). (+1)


    I need to think about how to re-balance this race, which I'll address in a future post. But for now, that's my evaluation. I appreciate any critiques on it in the meantime.


    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      If the idea isn't to impose a restriction on usable weapons and double their food intake, then Big should probably be -1. Personally, I'm okay with forcing them to use specialized weapons. I think their humanoid arms should be weaker than usual.
      That's a good point. I'll change it in the next version I post.

      As an addendum to their pincers, however, the book also describes them as being Ambidextrous. I'm fine just putting in some kind of restriction that their pincers are for Fighting and they don't use "proper" weapons in their "hands".
      The Ambidextrous portion, I think, is covered by the nuance: one pincer attack = one free Action; two pincer attacks = one free Action, one normal Action. Nothing about that suggests penalties... though I suppose it won't hurt to explicitly say pincers have no "off hand" and that any held object is considered an Improvised Weapon, even if it's an actual weapon.

      I hesitate at restricting their "normal hands" from carrying weapons. I mean, is there a reason they couldn't have a specially made crossbow or pistol? And that kind of invalidates your point about Big (unless I misunderstood your point, which is a possibility). If the "custom weapons" were meant to be wielded by the pincers, why give the pincers a damage die at all?

      As for limiting the pincers only to attacks, two things: 1) the book mentions that scurillians generally shy away from combat unless pressed---which could be an argument for Minor Pacifist, and 2) it hampers players from using the pincers in fun and creative ways.

      For example, they could use the pincers to make a free Athletics (climbing) roll to clamber up the rigging and secure a loose sail (Repair)... all without a MAP.

      And that's why I removed the "+2 climbing" from the Claws ability, because that bonus is already abstracted by Additional Action. Besides, the logic behind the climbing bonus doesn't quite follow to the concept of crab pincers, which are arguably more akin to Bite instead.

    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      Scurillians, version 2

      Big: Scurillians are Size 0 characters, but their wide, squat bodies require specially made armor and equipment, and they have trouble using weapons designed for bipedal creatures. Their specialized diet also doubles the cost of their food. (-2)

      Keen Mind: Scurillians have eidetic memories, granting them the Jack-of-All-Trades Edge. (+2)

      Mean: Scurillians are tempermental and ornery, real crabby fellows. (-1)

      Pacifist (Minor): Scurillians tend to avoid combat unless they are pressed into it. (-1)

      Pincers: Scurillians have four arms, two of which are large, claw-like appendages. This grants the character one free Action with no multiple-action penalty. The pincers can grab and carry objects---although fine manipulation is not possible---and any held object is considered an Improvised Weapon (even if it's an actual weapon).
      ... Additionally, the pincers themselves can attack for Str+d6 damage. The scurillian may attack with both pincers, but the second attack requires a normal Action; pincers do not have an "off hand."
      ... These features have no effect on the scurillian's "grasping" pair of arms. (+3)
      Additional Action (+3); Limitation: no fine manipulation (-1); Limitation: Improvised Weapons (-1); Claws d6, but without climbing bonus (+2)

      Shell: Scurillians are covered in a tough carapace, granting them +4 Armor on the torso and +2 Armor on the arms the legs. (+2)

      Sinker: Scurillians can survive indefinately underwater, but they lack the ability to swim effectively, sinking to the ocean floor instead. They must make an Athletics roll at -2 to swim, moving just 0.5" on a success, or 1" on a raise. (-1)
      Aquatic, but without the swim Pace (+1); Can't Swim Hindrance, upgraded to Major for the setting (-2)

      ... ... ...
      I'm more pleased with this version. They have a slightly higher offensive capability, but a reluctance to use it. I don't think they really need Telescopic Eyes as that can be emulated with the Alertness Edge.


      Pincers of Power
      Novice, Scurillian
      The character's pincers are particularly strong. Damage increases to Str+d8 and they receive +2 to Athletics (grappling) rolls.

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      So I've been looking over the scurrilian again, wondering if I missed anything.

      With regards to their pincers, I think we mostly have them done. They're clearly additional appendages, since they're described as having "humanoid arms, and so would have the Additional Action ability. They also don't need any other kind of +1 or half-ability to cover their +2 to grappling since claws already have something similar. (Their +2 to climbing; as listed under Natural Weapons on page 104.) They could still be ambidextrous, but the pincers would no longer behave like an "entirely separate creature" and two pincer attacks would still incur a -2 penalty on whatever else the player wanted to do. But, and I think this is a point of contention, I don't see a mechanical reason for making them so. The off-hand attack now comes out of the three actions a character can make and is no longer treated as its own, separate action. The pincers cannot hold weapons or add to Parry in any way. And, presumably, both would be used to initiate and maintain a grapple. (If there were a Combat Edge which allowed for one-handed grappling then the boot would be on the other foot.) So, for the time being, it's dropped.

      They're not properly Big. They have trouble with armor and clothing due to their anatomy, but that's about it. Just needing to spend double for armor or "clothes" should be fine, and I think is properly worth just -1 They're also not properly Aquatic. As in, they never had the ability before. As such, I'm reluctant to give it to them here; in any capacity. (Admittedly, though, they "realistically" should.) I also dislike saddling them with Pacifist. Even with the lore reasons behind it, there are exceptions to the rule and players shouldn't feel pigeonholed. Or, worse, needing to buy off a hindrance with points during character creation.

      Right now they're about...
      -Big-ish (-1)
      -Keen Mind (+2)
      -Mean (-1)
      -Pincers (+6)
      -Shell (+2)
      -Telescopic Eyes (Does it matter?)

      I'm beginning to wonder if this even matters; that I'm overthinking it. It is just one race, albeit an exceedingly powerful one on paper.

  • #7
    Languages (again)

    There's essentially two philosophies regarding this: handwave Language skills and treat it as a narrative element, or implement the Multiple Languages Setting Rule.

    For the former, humans don't start with a d6 (or d4) in Masaquani; they just get their free Edge. Everyone understands each other unless it's narratively appropriate they don't.

    For the latter, communities are more insular and communication has limits. Tensions may run higher, and venturing into unknown lands carries an extra layer of the mysterious. Humans may or may not start with free d4 in Masaquani (

    As I mentioned earlier, I've pondered over the role of languages in SW before, and expanded the Multiple Languages setting rule to give more control to players. To prevent confusion, let's give it a different name.

    Language Barrier
    Each character starts with a "native" Language skill at d8, chosen from those available in the setting. They also gain a number of additional skill points equal to their Smarts die for buying or improving Language skills. Naturally, they may spend their normal allotment of skill points on Language skills as well.

    For 50 Fathoms, I think a good entry list of languages would be:
    ▪ Atani
    ▪ Chinese
    ▪ English
    ▪ French
    ▪ German
    ▪ Grael
    ▪ Italian
    ▪ Kehana
    ▪ Kraken
    ▪ Masaquani
    ▪ Russian
    ▪ Spanish
    ▪ Ugak

    Scurillions don't have their own language, instead they speak the language of the community they grew up in.
    Last edited by Deskepticon; 05-08-2019, 04:09 AM. Reason: Expanded language list and fixed an silly typo.


    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      Humans from all over the globe are found on the west side of the map. Most tend to congregate in specific cities (Spirith) or make their own (Deiking, New Madrid). The following Earthborn languages are called out by name throughout the book:

      The following Charybdian languages are specifically mentioned on page 10:

      I think a few others should have languages. The ugaks probably have their own, but whether a half-ugak knows it would likely depend on their upbringing. The doreen likely did at one point, but their culture is all but extinct. The atani and grael, I think, should have languages. And scrullians were made by the kraken, so that would be their tongue.

      I'm thinking that making use of the Multiple Languages setting rule is the best course of action.

  • #8
    A day (or two) late, but hopefully not short by equal measure. Here's what I've got.

    The setting's new Hindrances are pretty straight forward. The only ones getting tweaked are Branded and Jingoistic. As you may be able to guess, their Charisma penalties are just getting halved and apply only to Persuasion. This keeps them in line with the other Hindrances which do the same: chief among them being Mean and Ugly. Renamed or consolidated skill prerequisites keep their listed die type unless otherwise noted here. Anything found in the book, but not addressed here, I find already acceptable. Of course, if you're familiar with the book and setting and think otherwise I'm open to feedback.

    The biggest change up front to the new Edges is the Heroism rule. That's being replaced with the Born a Hero setting rule.

    Background Edges
    • Arcane Background (Magic) will be addressed more completely in the magic section. It's fine for now, but I may add a skill requirement.
    • Kraken Bone & Sword Armor: Might adjust the name. Definitely need to adjust the statistics of the equipment. That will be done in later, once we tackle gear.
    • Natural Swimmer: This one needs some attention. Per RAW, a character with this is now faster in the water than a Semi-Aquatic character; which wasn't the case before. May just open it up to the Semi-Aquatic races.
    Combat Edges
    • Improved/Close Fighting: This duo seems a little weak now in the wake of how other Edges have been improved. I'm thinking the best course of action is to merge them into a single Edge. I'm also open to coming up with a brand new effect for Improved Close Fighting.
    • Dirty Fighter: Change the references from Tricks to Tests (page 108).
    • Ramming Speed!: Putting a pin in this for now. I have a feeling this will come up once we get to ship maneuvers.
    Leadership Edges
    • Board 'Em: Change the reference from Throwing to Athletics (Throwing).
    Professional Edges
    • Boarder: Drop both Climbing and Throwing from the skill prerequisites and just have Athletics in their place. Also, change the reference from Climbing and Throwing rolls to Athletics (Climbing) rolls and Athletics (Throwing) rolls. There's probably a shorter, simpler way to say that, but you get the idea.
    • Gunsmith: Replace the Knowledge (Metallurgy) skill requirement with Metallurgy or Science (Metallurgy).
    • Rope Monkey: Replace the Climbing skill requirement with an Athletics requirement. Any references to Climbing will now be handled with an Athletics (Climbing) roll.
    • Ship's Carpenter: Replace the Knowledge (Carpentry) skill requirement with a Carpentry requirement.
    • Whaler: Replace the Throwing skill prerequisite with Athletics.
    Social Edges
    • Good or Bad Reputation: I don't think this is too hard to work with. For now, any penalty to the character's Persuasion is now a bonus to both Persuasion and Intimidation.
    Last edited by Jounichi; 05-12-2019, 03:20 AM. Reason: Finally posting the changes list.


    • Vasant
      Vasant commented
      Editing a comment
      Oof, do you really want Metallurgy and Carpentry as separate skills?
      They both sound like they'd come up only very rarely and mainy serve as "dead" Skill points for the sake of buying these two Edges...

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      I don't see them as being "dead" at all. Metallurgy is a "hard science", so any use for the Science skill in the core book would be appropriate. Carpentry is a trade skill, but the same rules could apply. Those same skills can also be used for Tests, so their uses have been expanded upon.

  • #9
    Was looking over the Setting Rules and think some of them could use an overhaul. For instance, by RAW it's possible to move backward while navigating. And running aground can probably be streamlined.

    Might also be a good idea to tackle them first since it could effect how Edges/Hindrances get worded. For example, if you convert to Swade's Wealth system, that changes Garrulous, Merchant, Treasure Hound, and Frugal... as well as nearly every Setting Rule (costs of repairs, careening, carousing, and crew pay).


    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      You're more than welcome to get a head start on them. My plan is to do the chapters in order and revisit as needed.

  • #10

    A lot of these entries, in my opinion, don't need to be changed. The only question I have surrounding mundane items is the Medicine Chest. Should this be retooled and take the place of the First Aid Kit in this setting? Or should it be allowed to stand as-is? And, if so, is the +2 bonus offset by the lack of a F.A.K. so the net bonus is only +1? There's a possibility of me making a combined gear list using both SWADE and the 50F book, swapping in the setting prices where applicable.


    This section will see a number of straightforward changes. Some are obvious, like using updated weights and minimum strength where applicable. I'll try and cover everything below:
    • Kraken Bone Armor
      • Taking a cue from the Scurrilian's natural armor, this will be upgraded to +4 when worn by a Kraken and +2 by anyone else
      • In other words, it's Thick Hide with a +2 magic enhancement when worn by a Kraken
      • [minor setting spoiler] This would seem to fit with scholarly interpretations of what the biblical leviathan might have been inspired by
    • Adding in Cloth/Light Leather
    • Breaking the Leather (50F) into Jacket and Leggings (Heavy Leather/Tough Hides)
    • Updating the Chain (50F) using the SWADE numbers for the Chain Mail shirt
    • Plate Corselet is now the Plate Mail Corselet
    • Pot Helm uses the statistics for the Heavy Helm
    • Setting price > SWADE price
    • SWADE weight > setting weight
    I haven't decided if all the lighter armors will be available. For example, each armor type now includes head protection. The primary goal will be to update what was there before. Past that, it's a judgment call. Might open up poling.


    The weapons listed all throughout are pretty solid and should only need minimal changes. The ones that strike out at me the most are:
    • Grael Battleball: This was revised once before between the first edition of the setting and the release of Explorer Edition
      • When first introduced, it weighed 30 lbs, cost $250, and had a host of notes: AP2/4 vs. rigid armor, -1 Parry, 2 hands, and was a HW.
      • In EE, it kept the -1 Parry and traded the rest for Reach 1
      • Being the only properly sized weapon for a grael, I feel it needs more than what it had in EE
      • The AP vs rigid armor was similar to the old maul, and a +4 when breaking objects would be a suitable update.
    • Kraken Bone Sword: a longsword that inflicted Str+d10; or Str+d6 in the hands of a non-kraken.
      • A two die-type increase could be swapped out for a +2 enhancement bonus, which would match the bonus of the Kraken Bone Armor
      • It's unclear if the above bonus would need a minimum Str of d10, but the assumption is no.
      • But a longsword should be Str+d8, and I don't think it's game-breaking to let the sword be Str+d8+2
    • Two Barreled Pistol: This should be treated like the double-barreled shotguns in SWADE
      • The RoF is now 1 instead of 1/2
      • Add +4 to the damage total if both barrels are fired at the same time; which would be 2d6+5


    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      If I were to tweak it, I'd probably just allow for a grappling attempt using a Fighting roll instead of Athletics.

    • Deskepticon
      Deskepticon commented
      Editing a comment
      One of things that annoys me a bit in the 50F setting books is the inconsistent use of currency terms. It's established the silver "piece of eight" is the standard coin (with a gold piece being worth 8 silver). But then things are listed with the dollar ($) sign.

      Now, I assume that means to use a piece of eight... but does it? Anyway...

      Medicine Chest
      This is a weird item since its value actually depends on how often characters are catching ill. It heals diseases, and nothing else. What I would do, personally, is just treat the medicine chest as regular first aid kit. Curing rare or exotic diseases should be the basis for adventures, to find some obscure plant or something.

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      It is and it isn't. A Spanish piece of eight was so named because it was made of 8 reales of silver. Each reale weighed approximately 1/8th of an ounce, and each piece of eight was one ounce. Pieces of eight were also known as Spanish Dollars.

  • #11

    Sorry for the absence. In addition to my other responsibilities, I've been trying to work on this and prepare for a court hearing this coming week. (I'm not in trouble, but I have been asked to testify.)

    The next sections I'll be working on are on Setting Rules and Ships, not necessarily in that order. Likely it'll be however they appear in the book, which escapes me at the moment. Thankfully, the recent document on SWD-to-SWADE for Lankhmar came out and has some ship stats included. I may use this as a template or inspiration.

    The very last section I'll write up will be on magic. With how powers got shuffled around, I imagine that'll be interesting to work on. I will not be devising a list of changes for revising the bestiary. Not only is that an extraordinary amount of work, but the bulk of the load can probably be handled with the race updates above. Speaking of which, once I've finished with magic I'll be giving everything else another pass. The scurillians might just see themselves brought up to SWADE mechanics; the bar of "2 points of Positive Racial Abilities" be damned. Trying to get them that low just doesn't seem feasible.

    At the risk of sounding insensitive, have a happy Memorial Day to those in the States.


    • #12

      Sorry for the delay. I've been pouring over this and ships at the same time when I really should have just focused on one. I'll just share the changes and entries I think are noteworthy.
      • Armor & Swimming: I like this rule. For leather (both light and heavy), I'm currently torn between doubling the weight and increasing the minimum strength die by 1. And it may just end up being both. Which number you use depends on how dramatically appropriate it is.
      • Heroism: Replaced with Born a Hero (see above)
      • Contacts: Replace Streetwise with Persuasion

      We're going to leave Contact alone. Admittedly, this could be replaced with a linear Chase using the standard 9-card setup. And I am curious to see how it'd play out with the many different ships. But I'd rather save the cards for the 4 x 4 grid as described on page 119 under Dogfights & Duels. The distances for each card could be adjusted depending on the range of the biggest guns in the Chase, but 25" seems pretty good to me in most cases.

      Most of the listed maneuvers (Broadside, Crossing the T, and Shearing) shouldn't need any changes. In fact, I like them as is. That said, SWADE doesn't have a Bootlegger Reverse maneuver so a Hard About seems unnecessary. On the other hand, if there's a legitimate tactical need for it in a 4 x 4 grid, then I'm all for reintroducing it.

      Vehicle Critical Hits
      • Engine (Locomotion): Reduce speed proportionally, as described in 50 Fathoms
      • Controls (Guidance/Traction): I'm actually fine using the SWADE rules over those in 50 Fathoms


      • #13

        Whew, boy! I said I'd use the Lankhmar conversion as a guide, and that's what I've been doing. The cost of ships in 50 Fathoms is 10 times what it costs in Lankhmar, which I think is insane, but that's a topic for another day. The ships largely don't need to be changed. The only relevant statistics I can see which need clarification are their Size and their Top Speed.

        Size is tough to extrapolate. Only a handful (frigate, galleon, galley, sloop) are clearly defined. Some ships with similar Toughness values are of fastly different sizes. The barge is Size 12 (Gargantuan), but it's less durable than a Size 8 (Huge) frigate. A Size 6 (Large) small merchant ship has the same Toughness as a Size 1 (Normal) longboat. And, surprise surprise, the Science Fiction Companion's rules for building vehicles is of no help whatsoever. And Size is important because the Scale of a vehicle determines to-hit bonuses and the maximum number of wounds it can withstand.

        I have been banging my head against this for over a week, and I'm nowhere close to coming up with a solution. But that's just one problem. The other is speed.

        See, each "square" on the map is 15 miles across. This means a frigate in Lankhmar with a top speed of 30 mph can cross two such squares an hour. That's blindingly fast. But in 50 Fathoms, a frigate's travel speed is 3 squares a day; or 1.875 mph. It's possible to boost that with wind magic and a good Boating roll, but they can only do so much. This also means it's possible to swim faster than your ship. I feel like I'm missing something.


        • dstuffle
          dstuffle commented
          Editing a comment
          If Lankmar frigates really do move 30 mph that's just nuts. WW2 destroyers toped out in the 30 mph range. That's quite something for a sailing ship to accomplish.
          From what I can find, most age of sail ships did 5 - 10 knots depending on how strong the wind was, how much canvas they could put up, and how streamlined (and barnacle free ) the hull was.
          Pirates of the Spanish Main uses this for ship speed:

          Top Speed: This is the maximum number of inches a ship may move per turn on the tabletop.

          Travel Speed: This is the base number of squares the vessel moves in a day on the map of the Spanish Main. See page 128 for a more complete explanation.

          Each square on the map equals 10 leagues (30 miles). Vessels cross as many squares as their Travel Speed each day. If sailing with the prevailing winds, the ship may move diagonally. Against the wind, it may not.