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Thasmodious
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:58 pm    Post subject: Crazy Reply with quote

So my first SW game rolls out Friday (a Firefly conversion). One of the players wants to play a character who is a bit nuts. Not River nuts, Murdoch from the A-Team nuts. In fact, we're using the running gag that he often finds himself committed between adventures. The crews first task is to bust him out from a home. Anyway, as part of his psychosis, he wants to, as he described "walk around at about 75% of ability, then have a trigger that sets him off into a hyper-focused state where he performs at his peak".

I've been thinking of a few ways to do this, but having not played and gained valuable experience with how SW works, I'm not sure what way would be the least troublesome and pull this off the best. Here's some ways I am thinking, but I am very open to other ideas:

1. He builds his character normally, but records all his skill/trait dice at one step lower than they are (d4 minimum for attributes still), represented by a hindrance (major) that applies this penalty. Then when he is triggered, everyone bumps up a die to where they should be.

2. He builds normally and for the price of an edge, he gets a die step bump (too much? a +1 or +2 instead?) to tests for the duration of the situation. As a limiting factor, he can only be triggered once a session (basically a rage mechanic).

3. Stat his character twice, once at novice, once at seasoned, when triggered he uses the seasoned character.
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Winsling
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of the options you listed, I think 1 is the best. Bumping up all rolls for a period of time is far too much for an edge - they'll typically give +1 to a single trait or +2 for a single trait in a very specific circumstance. I don't think that he should outshine the other players when "triggered," and that's the key factor for me.

However, I'd keep the mechanics out of it. If he wants to fail more often than the dice say he should, fine. Just say he's free to apply any negative modifier he likes to his rolls. This saves you from trying to balance a mechanic that only he will use, and you don't have to worry about pushing his trigger. It's all in his hands and he can do whatever he wants - up to the limits the other players are under.
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shadd4d
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another idea might be to let him choose which dice to use; maybe the player chooses to roll a lower sided die or rolls normally and picks the worse result. It makes me think of a situation which can sometimes happen in L5R and 7th Sea in roll and keep, when you might choose to fail something, like an attack on your best friend or healing roll for an enemy.

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FoxBlue
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe he has a permanent level of fatigue that can be removed via the trigger?
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SlasherEpoch
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way it is, it sounds more like an Edge than a Hindrance, albeit one mixed it with a Charisma penalty. Had you considered replicating this with Boost/Lower Trait and the Superpowers AB? The "trigger" is when he focuses, or something snaps, and he rolls his B/L Trait skill. Then he has the skill or stat he needs to overcome the current challenge - the rest is all trappings. We can assume he's in the hyper focused fugue state, but he really only needs a higher Shooting die for a couple minutes, or he just focuses enough to jury rig the Mule when it's shot down.
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Sadric
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give him a edge that allows him to trigger something like rigtous rage (from Solomon Kane). Each time he spend a bennie he take a d6 with the roll. If this die comes up 5 or 6 he has reached his "Hyper-focus" and add a d6 to each roll the nextr three rounds. Tell hem he should take most of his skills on a low level because his absentmindness/nuts.
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jerepp
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could have him build his character normally and simply use a d4 for his wild die in his 'normal' state and then when kicked up he gets the regular d6. That way your not tweeking his sheet too often and a heck of a lot less to remember and if anybody forgets 'no harm done'
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Sitting Duck
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlasherEpoch wrote:
The way it is, it sounds more like an Edge than a Hindrance, albeit one mixed it with a Charisma penalty. Had you considered replicating this with Boost/Lower Trait and the Superpowers AB? The "trigger" is when he focuses, or something snaps, and he rolls his B/L Trait skill. Then he has the skill or stat he needs to overcome the current challenge - the rest is all trappings. We can assume he's in the hyper focused fugue state, but he really only needs a higher Shooting die for a couple minutes, or he just focuses enough to jury rig the Mule when it's shot down.


I second. All in favor?
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Clint
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jerepp wrote:
You could have him build his character normally and simply use a d4 for his wild die in his 'normal' state and then when kicked up he gets the regular d6. That way your not tweeking his sheet too often and a heck of a lot less to remember and if anybody forgets 'no harm done'


I like this. As stated, it's very easy and looks like a good Hindrance. Plus, I think it fits a bit more; the point seems to be that the character is less capable than those around him until he goes into hyper-focus mode not that he is just as capable as anyone else and then gets even better than them.

I'd think something like...

Unfocused (Major)

Your hero just has a hard time focusing on any task he feels is unimportant, which includes most of them. Your Wild Die is a d4 (or one die type lower than normal) for all Trait rolls. If you spend a benny for any reason, then your Wild Die increases to its normal level for the duration of the scene or combat.
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razorwise
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sitting Duck wrote:
SlasherEpoch wrote:
Had you considered replicating this with Boost/Lower Trait and the Superpowers AB?


I second. All in favor?


Aye!

Regards,

Sean
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Ravelli
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestion is similar to your option three. I'd let him purchase a Firefly-d version of the Deadlands Reloaded background edge, Veteran of the Weird West (let's say, Veteran of the'Verse?). As per the DL:R rules, he then begins play as a Seasoned character, with 20xp worth of advances and a drawback representing the wringer his past has put him through. But, instead of drawing a card to determine that drawback you just say that he's "Touched" or "Afflicted" (or somesuch) and can't access the advances the edge has bestowed upon him until his mental "trigger" is squeezed.

Those 20xp will buy four advances: one or two attributes and the rest in edges and/or skills. These can be chosen to represent the core or signature talents he only fully manifests when firing on all cylinders and he's good to go. (If this was Murdoch, then the Ace edge would fit.)

This method is fairly balanced. It is, after all, based on an official edge which he's spent two character creation points for yet can't always access. However, if there's any concern over balance, you could always recquire that he spends a benny to enter his hyper focused state for the rest of the scene or session. If he's already been bringing the crazy then you'll likely have rewarded him with extra bennies for playing to his hindrances anyway.
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Poor Wandering One
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Until I saw Clint's Unfocused I was going to recommend something like a major hindrence that simply prevented the player from spending bennies on non damage related trait rolls unless the 'trigger' is active. However Clint's idea blows mine out of the water.
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Jordan Peacock
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jerepp wrote:
You could have him build his character normally and simply use a d4 for his wild die in his 'normal' state and then when kicked up he gets the regular d6. That way your not tweeking his sheet too often and a heck of a lot less to remember and if anybody forgets 'no harm done'


I really like this one! Nice and elegant.

Clint wrote:
Unfocused (Major)


Coolness! I think I'm going to have to add this to my master list of Hindrances for players to consider as options when writing up their characters for future campaigns. Smile "Spend a benny" is a nice, solid trigger that's probably a fair indication of something "important" happening.
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jpk
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not to stir an already settled pot, but you can do that with the material already in Savage Worlds.

Phobia: Not having anything important to do. That could give him a running -2/-4 during "boring" times, and the mechanics are already set.
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Thasmodious
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, guys, thanks for all the useful ideas! I've scrapped mine completely. There are three here that I really think pull off what he (and me) wants, something a bit dramatic that will fit the Rule of Cool. I'll let the player choose which method bests fits what he wants to do.

First is a combination of jerepp and Clint's hindrance idea to represent his "normal" disengaged state. I think combining it with SlasherEpoch's idea about using superpower AB and Boost trait to cover the hyperfocused triggered state would round it out nicely, 1 edge, 1 major hindrance.

Second, would be to again use that hindrance, and then to use "Veteran of the 'Verse" as suggested by Ravelli. I like this idea as it lets him represent the skilled Alliance pilot that is his background without him being higher ranked than the other players. He has both his disengaged persona and the veteran emerges when he is "triggered".

His mental difficulties arise from what he did during the war - for those of you who know your 'Verse history, he led one of the wings of ships that bombed Athens into a post-apocalyptic setting. Unknown to him at the time, his wife and child were on the planet. When he found out, he snapped.
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