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Savage Races and Level Adjustment (cringe...)

 
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:14 pm    Post subject: Savage Races and Level Adjustment (cringe...) Reply with quote

How would Savage Worlds handle powerful racial types as PCs? I know that they could be built with the racial/alien generators if you ignore the part of generated races having to total +2, but the question comes with how to balance them against less capable (i.e., 'balanced') races.

Would a Race with a net +10 (such as a Space Marine in a WH40K game) and 0 experience be balanced for PC use against a human (the basic +2 'balanced' race) with 40 experience?
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Wiggy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Savage Races and Level Adjustment (cringe...) Reply with quote

HappyDaze wrote:
How would Savage Worlds handle powerful racial types as PCs? I know that they could be built with the racial/alien generators if you ignore the part of generated races having to total +2, but the question comes with how to balance them against less capable (i.e., 'balanced') races.

Would a Race with a net +10 (such as a Space Marine in a WH40K game) and 0 experience be balanced for PC use against a human (the basic +2 'balanced' race) with 40 experience?


Personally, I wouldn't try to balance them. Space Marines are meant to be uber-tough. If you hang around one with you should feel inferior. Balanced out, a Space marine becomes a human with fixed abilities, whereas the 40 XP character has had the advantage of selecting his abilities.
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Emiricol
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't worry about balance, but they start with a negative XP number. So they don't get to advance much for a while. I also don't give them bennies in-game (except for extraordinary actions) until they cross that XP threshold and everyone's caught up.

It isn't the BEST way of handling it (whatever that may be), but it is fast and balanced enough that not everyone wants to play one.
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Personally, I wouldn't try to balance them.

If I didn't intend them for PC use, that would certainly be an option, but it's not one I favor for mixed PC groups of SMs and 'normal' humans. So, if you were attempting to balance them out, how would you do it?

Quote:
Space Marines are meant to be uber-tough. If you hang around one with you should feel inferior. Balanced out, a Space marine becomes a human with fixed abilities, whereas the 40 XP character has had the advantage of selecting his abilities.

True, but there are some uber-humans in that world, such as Inquisitors (especially the ones that are psykers), that can hang with the SMs. I'm trying to figure out how much XP is needed to create parity. Still, the SM is not exactly going to be a human with the fixed abilities - some of the racial powers cannot really be taken by 'normal humans' as advancements regardless of their XP.

However, in retrospect, I'm seeing each +2 racial value equaling 5 XP rather than the +1:10 XP that I originally posted. This would mean that I'd probably rate a +10 race with 0 XP as roughly equivalent to a +2 race with 20 XP.
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Wiggy
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apologies. I got into my head you wanted them to hang around with Joe Nobogy types, rather than Inquisitors, Sister of Battle, pyskers, and the like.

Yep, a +2 racial ability equates to an Edge, which can be gained with 5 XPs. So that would equate to 20 XPs.
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Apologies. I got into my head you wanted them to hang around with Joe Nobogy types, rather than Inquisitors, Sister of Battle, pyskers, and the like.

No apologies needed. However, if I just wanted to run around with Joe Nobody-types I'd have stuck with FF's Dark Heresy. Savage Worlds can do some of the over-the-top epic cinematic action of the setting justice in a way that FF's ruleset fails to do in my eyes.
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 10, 2009 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm looking at the following for a start on a Space Marine. I'm trying to capture the rough feel, so I'm not too worried about specific 'implants' and abilities like spitting acid. Note that the 'beginning' Space Marine character is a SM Scout rather than a fully mature SM. The 0 XP Scout will still be equivalent to a 20 XP human character.

Strength starts at d6 [+2]*
Vigor starts at d6 [+2]*
Fighting d6 [+1]
Guts d6 [+1]
Shooting d6 [+1]
Vow (Major) [-2]
Xenophobic (Major) [-2]
Brawny [+2]
Combat Reflexes [+3]
Fast Healer [+2]

[Total: +10]

The Vow (Major) represents dedicated service to the Chapter and includes aspects of Loyal (to the Chapter first, and other Imperials second) and Vengeful (towards enemies of the Chapter).

* I intend to create an Edge to be taken after character creation that replaces both +2 racial modifiers for the starting Strength d6 and starting Vigor d6 with the +3 racial modifers that grant starting Strength d8 (and allows it to later be raised to a maximum of d12+2) and starting Vigor d8 (and allows it to later be raised to a maximum of d12+2). This is a net change of +2 racial modifier points so it's equivalent to an Edge. Taking this Edge will immediately increase the SM's Strength and Vigor by one die step each along with increasing their maximum steps to d12+2. This will be a required advance taken when the character first reaches Seasoned and represents growing into a full SM Battle Brother.

Any suggestions?
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jpk
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HappyDaze wrote:
Strength starts at d6 [+2]*
Vigor starts at d6 [+2]*
Fighting d6 [+1]
Guts d6 [+1]
Shooting d6 [+1]
Vow (Major) [-2]
Xenophobic (Major) [-2]
Brawny [+2]
Combat Reflexes [+3]
Fast Healer [+2]


Well, what makes someone who is Race: Space Marine Scout actually different than a dude off the street who has selected exactly those stats?

From what you've got there, I'd just assume that's more the template for people who join and train as a space marine. There's nothing that sets them apart from a normal human.

I think you'd be better off to figure out what it is that makes a marine in space into A Space Marine (TM), and set that off as a Professional Edge with requirements that mirror what you've assembled above.

After all, a Psyker is pretty much a guy with one Arcane Background Edge. How good he is depends on how he spends his skill points and Attribute increases, and it would work just as well to do the same with the space marine.

Even if you want everyone to start with an over the top sort of butch character, just give them extra build points and let them customize as they see fit.

Of course, this is all just my opinion. Yours is good too, I'm sure. It'd be better if it were mine, but, hey... Wink
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Odd that I get a post from someone else in Knoxville. I thought that gaming was dead in this town...
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Well, what makes someone who is Race: Space Marine Scout actually different than a dude off the street who has selected exactly those stats?

Not much, but there are a few things:

1. The SM can still select up to 1 Major and 2 Minor Hindrances beyond those that are a part of the racial package.

2. The SM gainst the ability to take his fourth advance in the special Edge I mention, granting increased capability and superhuman potential in Strength and Vigor.

3. A human trying to get high Attributes and still take two Background Edges (Brawny and Fast Healer) is going to be pretty tough to do. The SM could start out with two more Atts if he takes a full load of Hindrances.
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Tuesday
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HappyDaze: So, then, what you want is a Professional Edge that
REQUIRES:
Strength d6
Vigor d6
Fighting d6
Guts d6
Shooting d6

And GRANTS:
Vow (Major)
Xenophobic (Major)
Brawny
Combat Reflexes
Fast Healer
Rank (Space Marine)
Ability to take Space Marine Edges.
Must Take Battle Brother As First Seasoned Edge.

And then you have the Battle Brother seasoned Edge:
Requires: Space Marine
Gives: +1 die type to Strength and Vigour immediately. Raises your maximum die type in each to D12+2.

Now, those two Edges are *extremely* strong for Edges[1] - each one gives you more power than a single Edge normally would, but come with drawbacks - those extra Hindrances in the Space Marine Edge, and the membership in the Marines is going to give you all kinds of duty.



[1]: The Battle Brother Edge, in particular, is INCREDIBLY strong. It grants two Attribute advancements (which are normally heavily limited), those two Attribute advancements do not count towards your Attribute advancement limits, *and then* it gives you the ability to go two steps beyond D12, before you consider Expert/Professional/Master. I might suggest that you:
A) split this into TWO Edges. One for Strength, one for Vigour, both of which are still very very very strong Edges but are less extreme
and
B) instead of raising the limit to D12+2, simply say that this Edge removes the Rank requirement on Expert and Professional for this stat.
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
HappyDaze: So, then, what you want is a Professional Edge that

I've considered that route, but it has some shortcomings in my eyes (not that my version doesn't).

Quote:
[1]: The Battle Brother Edge, in particular, is INCREDIBLY strong. It grants two Attribute advancements (which are normally heavily limited), those two Attribute advancements do not count towards your Attribute advancement limits, *and then* it gives you the ability to go two steps beyond D12, before you consider Expert/Professional/Master. I might suggest that you:
A) split this into TWO Edges. One for Strength, one for Vigour, both of which are still very very very strong Edges but are less extreme
and
B) instead of raising the limit to D12+2, simply say that this Edge removes the Rank requirement on Expert and Professional for this stat.

This is based upon the racial modifier which costs +3 per Attribute for the same effect. Since, under my system, a +2 modifier has already been paid on each Attribute to start at d6, only the difference is paid as a Battle Brother.

Yes, it is quite strong. It's supposed to be while being balanced by other factors. You'll note that my version keeps the SM a full Rank behind numan PCs limiting their selection of Edges somewhat. SMs are powerful, but not particularly versatile or adaptable beyond their intended roles.
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dentris
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would add an hindrance to the lot, though.

Space Marines are trained through hypnosis, making extra learning really hard for them. In game term, they would be unable to upgrade their skill above their attribute after character creation.
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jerepp
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HappyDaze wrote:
Quote:
Apologies. I got into my head you wanted them to hang around with Joe Nobogy types, rather than Inquisitors, Sister of Battle, pyskers, and the like.

No apologies needed. However, if I just wanted to run around with Joe Nobody-types I'd have stuck with FF's Dark Heresy. Savage Worlds can do some of the over-the-top epic cinematic action of the setting justice in a way that FF's ruleset fails to do in my eyes.


Have to agree on the Dark Heresy rules... was pretty bummed out that the game although fine as a game really excluded you from the actually using any of the inspirational material except maybe for a very brief moment just before the GM takes your characters away.

Been thinking of Savaging the game in a serious way. First off personally I think people make too much of a deal about Space Marines and what not in Warhammer. If you go back to the mini rules you find while pretty good Space Marines are not all that over the top. So for a Savage Dark Heresy game I'd just let everyone make Savage Worlds characters and handwave backgrounds. Heck in Eisenhorn and Ravenor series any new folks they pick up seem to be pretty compitent right from the start or very quickly get there much like any Savage Worlds Wildcard. The only special rule I'm thinking of is maybe letting starting characters take being an Interregator as Rank edge much like in Tour of Darkness or Necropolis. That gives the potential for a party to be the entourage of a Interragator right from the beginning and as a later advance allow players to become full Inquisitors. This gives the party the ability to direct its own action rather than having to wait to be assigned tasks by a GM mouthpiece.
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Harboe
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I might suggest an alternative Space Marine (not that I'd personally want a player playing one, as they are living, undiplomatic killing machines).

Space Marine
Bulky: Space Marines gain +1 Toughness and can carry 8x his Strength score. If he takes brawny, the total gain is +2 Toughness and can carry 10x Strength.
Chapter: A Space Marine is dedicated to his Chapter and serves his brothers in battle without hesitation. He gains the Loyal hindrance with regards to his Chapter and furthermore takes -2 Charisma when dealing with non-space marines, as they are intimidated by his unnatural appearance.
Elites of the Imperium: All Space Marines are well-received by the Imperium and will be granted shelter on nearly any Imperial planet. However, the enemies of the Imperium would love nothing more than to destroy him and destroy his body before the valuable gene-seed can be recovered, forever robbing the Imperium of a warrior. This counts as the Enemy (Major) hindrance.
Combat Reflexes: Space Marines automatically receive the Combat Reflexes Edge, even if he does not meet the requirements.

I'd consider it balanced against humans (Vigour and Strength bonus rolled into Brawny and skill bonuses are hardly necessary as they will not be needing any other skills.

Of course, it's a bit on the weak side of things, but I like players working their way up. Otherwise throw in Veteran of the Ol' West (with other results on the card-draw, obviously) for 20 XP and a random Major hindrance to even things out a little.
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, if I decide to go with standard character creation rules, I'm likely to do it in two parts. First there will be a Background Edge to represent the initial implants and conditioning of an Aspirant. Next there will be a Professional Edge to represent a Space Marine with fully developed implants.

Adeptus Astartes Aspirant (Background Edge)
Requirements: Novice, Strength d6, Vigor d6, Human, Male
Your hero has been gifted with the gene-seed implants of the Adeptus Astartes. Aspirants add one step to Strength and add one step to Vigor. The Aspirant's dedication to his Chapter imposes the Vow (Major) Hindrance.

Space Marine (Professional Edge)
Requirements: Veteran, Adeptus Astartes Aspirant, Combat Reflexes, Fighting d8, Guts d8, Shooting d8
Your hero's implants are now those of a fully mature Space Marine. Space Marines add one step to Strength and add one step to Vigor. Additionally, both Strength and Vigor can advance as high as d12+2. The Professional Edge applied to Strength or Vigor requires that Trait be at d12+2 and allows that Trait to increase to d12+3. The Expert Edge applied to Strength or Vigor requires that Trait be at d12+3 and allows that Trait to increase to d12+4. Space Marines have the Brawny Edge and the Overconfident Hindrance.
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HappyDaze
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having looked over Necessary Evil, the Arcane Background (Super Powers) rules can easily be used to create Space Marines. Throw in a mandatory Vow (Major) to show the link to the Chapter and you'll have 15 points of powers to play with. A little Growth (with the add-on to make it permanent) along with Super Attributes, Super Edges, and Super Skills and possibly Toughness thrown in can make for a damn fine Astartes. Of course, this is going to be downright unfair to the 'normal humans' that are merely compensated with an added Edge, but it might work well for an Astartes-centered game.
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DeMyztikX
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The differences between a space marine and a marine in space are a lot further apart than just some stat bonuses. They have to get some extra stuff that lives in the world of fluff and not in the realm of game mechanics. Sure you have to eat every now and then, but a SM can eat a rock and live off of it.
Examples:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Marines_(Warhammer_40,000)#IMPLANTS
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Emiricol
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cybernetics with the serial numbers filed off
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Porkchop Express
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HappyDaze wrote:
Having looked over Necessary Evil, the Arcane Background (Super Powers) rules can easily be used to create Space Marines. Throw in a mandatory Vow (Major) to show the link to the Chapter and you'll have 15 points of powers to play with. A little Growth (with the add-on to make it permanent) along with Super Attributes, Super Edges, and Super Skills and possibly Toughness thrown in can make for a damn fine Astartes. Of course, this is going to be downright unfair to the 'normal humans' that are merely compensated with an added Edge, but it might work well for an Astartes-centered game.


I like this because the player should have a few points to throw around to give the feel of his particular chapter. Space Wolves could take heightened senses, for example.
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