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Pre - Post Apocalypse [Classic]
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reemull
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 6:11 pm    Post subject: Pre - Post Apocalypse [Classic] Reply with quote

I usually run Weird West - but am considering running game of HOE that is before the bombs drop covering the escalation of the hidden war between the South and the North.

However, I'm not totally sure what AB's would be in play prior to the bombs dropping. Can anyone assist or point me in the right direction?

Thanks

Roy
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To the best of my knowledge, here's how the Hell on Earth Arcane Backgrounds would be pre-Judgement Day. (EDIT: Added in the Witches and Voodooists).

Doomsayers: Without all the radiation from Judgement Day, it seems unlikely that anyone would be around with those powers. Besides, the organized doomsayers hadn't been formed until then.

Junkers: The tech spirits that they rely on didn't get released until Judgement Day and the manitous stopped giving Mad Scientists help on July 3, 2063. So there's definitely a void there unless you're turning back the clock that far back.

Sykers: These guys are definitely around, since everybody was using them as of World War II. If you're wanting to emphasize the hidden war between North and South, you'll definitely want to use them.

Templars: Not around yet, since Simon didn't form them until after Judgement day. You could probably justify allowing a Weird West Blessed instead.

Toxic Shamans: Probably fine, since "Some Indian shamans latched onto toxic spirits early" with the increased industrialization of America.

Witches: (Not in Reloaded yet) They're definitely around as How to Serve Your Man was written in the 20th century.

Also for completeness, here's my take on the Weird West arcane backgrounds pre-Judgement Day.

Blessed: With more of the population becoming areligious, they aren't nearly as common any more. I imagine they could still be used for your scenario since the general feeling that "God forsook the earth" that came with Judgement Day hasn't happened yet.

Hucksters: Manitou aren't interested in them as much any more (for the same reason they aren't interested the mad scientists), but sometimes they just can't resist a good gamble. I believe HoE Classic gave them a penalty to their spellcasting rolls to account for this and it would make sense to apply it if playing after 2063.

Mad Scientists: As described above, the manitou stopped helping them in 2063, so they're gone.

Martial Artists: Completely supplanted by Sykers in America, although I imagine they're quite common in Asia.

Shamans: In decline as the nature spirits are being corrupted into toxic spirits, but they're probably still around since the world isn't irradiated yet.

Voodoists: No reason I can tell why the loa aren't still talking to them. They should be fine (although they've always been localized to the gulf area).
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Last edited by Thunderforge on Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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King Snarf
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as hucksters go, remember that many proto-Junkers were also hucksters.

Also, you forgot to mention voodooists. A few are around, mostly in the Gulf region.

Finally, witches would be around as well.
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, how could I forget the voodooists! I agree, they're definitely still around. And I guess I forgot about the witches because they're not in Reloaded (yet), but yeah, they'd be in too.

Post edited for completeness!
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reemull
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brilliant - thanks very much.

Probably a little lighter on the AB's than I first thought.

Are there likely to be power issues with a team that consists of a Syker + non-AB characters?

Roy
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King Snarf
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

reemull wrote:
Brilliant - thanks very much.

Probably a little lighter on the AB's than I first thought.

Are there likely to be power issues with a team that consists of a Syker + non-AB characters?

Roy


I don't know. I can offer a good suggestion for a pre-Apocalypse game: try an Agency/ Rangers type group. One Syker, one infiltrator or light can cyborg, and whatever other characters might fit in with an investigation.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

reemull wrote:
Are there likely to be power issues with a team that consists of a Syker + non-AB characters?

Depends upon the specific characters, but generally No.
This is Deadlands. A dead man with a gun is supposed to be able to kill almost anything, especially if he's got a plan. Sykers are very strong against single characters, but mediocre against groups (many Sykers never take multiple-target powers).
A major weakness of the AB is that Sykers are identifiable at a glance. Anyone under 40 that is bald as an egg? Syker. Shoot them in the head.

Specifics will matter, but generally the characters should be roughly balanced with each other.
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reemull
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My plan is largely to have them as a Special Ops group working for the South that get specific missions.

I plan to start off in 2074 where one of the first missions will be to infiltrate the US area of operations in the Maze and kidnap the Zoologist under the protection of the Agency while a syker platoon sets up a "diversion".
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ValhallaGH wrote:
A major weakness of the AB is that Sykers are identifiable at a glance. Anyone under 40 that is bald as an egg? Syker. Shoot them in the head.

I can't imagine that Sykers, especially those on covert missions pre-Judgement Day, wouldn't at least try to wear a wig.

Mechanically, I don't think it would be problematic having a Syker plus some regular soldiers. Yes, Sykers have more powers, but they risk suffering from brain burn. As is common in all forms of Deadlands: great power comes at great cost.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thunderforge wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:
A major weakness of the AB is that Sykers are identifiable at a glance. Anyone under 40 that is bald as an egg? Syker. Shoot them in the head.

I can't imagine that Sykers, especially those on covert missions pre-Judgement Day, wouldn't at least try to wear a wig.

Too bad they can't use brain blast while wearing said wig. Twisted Evil When it's time to start blastin' they've got to drop the pretense.
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King Snarf
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ValhallaGH wrote:
Thunderforge wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:
A major weakness of the AB is that Sykers are identifiable at a glance. Anyone under 40 that is bald as an egg? Syker. Shoot them in the head.

I can't imagine that Sykers, especially those on covert missions pre-Judgement Day, wouldn't at least try to wear a wig.

Too bad they can't use brain blast while wearing said wig. Twisted Evil When it's time to start blastin' they've got to drop the pretense.


I thought it was only helmets that they couldn't wear while blasting?
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't see anything in Reloaded that would prevent wearing either a wig or helmet. It says that their hair follicles fall out, but that wouldn't matter if you're wearing a wig. Was that something in Classic?
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 05, 2012 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Classic http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29007
Not sure about Reloaded (haven't read over the Sykers in detail).
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ScooterinAB
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My group looked at something like this years ago. What you could do is allow each player to take part in the founding of their magical order and acquire their AB after play starts.

As for the syker thing, I don't recall it every coming out and saying it. I do remember reading in Reloaded that a syker can still grow hair, but the second he starts blastin', it falls out. Think of it this way. When you brain blast, you brain blast through whatever is on your head. If a single brain blast can destroy a tank, it's going to destroy a wig, hat, or bandana too.
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ValhallaGH wrote:
Classic http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=29007

The guy there said that it was a houserule his group came up with due to the trappings description that the power "came from the forehead." The interpretation this user came to was that the point of origin of syker blasts was the forehead, but given the fact that sykers were derived from Asian chi mastery, I'm wondering if that could instead mean that the stored power is located on the forehead (much like how various chakras are said to be located in different parts of the body).

ScooterinAB wrote:
I do remember reading in Reloaded that a syker can still grow hair, but the second he starts blastin', it falls out. Think of it this way. When you brain blast, you brain blast through whatever is on your head. If a single brain blast can destroy a tank, it's going to destroy a wig, hat, or bandana too.

That's not the way that I interpreted the Reloaded description with hair falling out. I saw it as just a side effect of using the power, much like how hair falling out is a side effect of chemotherapy. It's an external effect of internal processes. I didn't interpret it as "you make a mental blast that cuts straight through your hair or any headgear." I would think that if that was the intention, they would have just out and said it Confused

But hey, since this is unclear, we can both have different interpretations as to how it actually works. Perhaps it works differently for different Sykers.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That thread contains all relevant citations from classic. Since the participants all had access to the relevant tomes, very few direct quotations are in the thread, but a lot of notes about where to find things are there.
Thunderforge wrote:
I'm wondering if that could instead mean that the stored power is located on the forehead (much like how various chakras are said to be located in different parts of the body).

As explained in the Classic book Brainburners: the Meridians (power lines in the body) lock into the Syker mode (as indicated by the AB selection) of channeling power from the Hunting Ground, pulling power through the body and focusing it in the mind. From there, the energy leaves the head (frying the follicles along the way) and affects the world. Sometimes the energy is visible, though it usually is invisible.
That part is the same for all Sykers and is not in dispute.

Confusion exists over that effects (if any) head coverings have upon Syker powers. The sykoactive helmet (Waste Warriors) indicates that head coverings have some kind of effect, but what is unclear.
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, and yeah I don't have the Classic stuff to refer to. Given that the only reason to think that headgear would have any adverse affect upon a syker is an ambiguous mention in a Classic supplement for a different AB, I think it's safe to say that it doesn't. When I run Hell on Earth, I'm certainly going to allow sykers to wear wigs, helmets, or hats if they want to, though most don't bother (plus wigs are a pain to keep looking nice in a post-apocalyptic setting).
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thunderforge wrote:
Given that the only reason to think that headgear would have any adverse affect upon a syker is an ambiguous mention in a Classic supplement for a different AB,

Huh? Waste Warriors is the generic 'information about shooting things' book, with a lot of details about what everyone did in the Last War. It's not a supplement for an arcane background.

No, the reasons for thinking that headgear has an adverse affect upon sykers are:
a) Sykers are repeatedly mentioned as being bald and always depicted as bare-headed
b) a unique Syker-only piece of war gear talks about avoiding the downsides of normal headgear; it just doesn't specify what those downsides are.

In a search for those downsides, the consensus was that anything worn on the head is an obstacle for the syker's damaging powers - one for which the Obstacle Toughness rules would apply in Reloaded.
If you want to ignore that drawback then that is your privilege. Just know that you're boosting the arcane background without improving anyone else.
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ScooterinAB
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still of the "blastin' through the head gear" variety. Think of it this way. Place a sheet of metal in front of your gun barrel, then pull the trigger. You are shooting through the sheet of metal. If it is armored (say, a helmet on the barrel of the gun), the armor is affecting the bullet.

For Classic, I would rule the following (based on some of the effects like Rad Tolerant). If you are wearing a helmet, the AV either directly affects any damage rolls from blastin', or acts as a negative modifier to any blastin' rolls for non-combat powers. Any other kind of headgear would be affected by the power (so if you brain blast, the wrech the headgear).

For Reloaded, I would just say no headgear. Fast and Furious and all that.
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Thunderforge
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ValhallaGH wrote:
Huh? Waste Warriors is the generic 'information about shooting things' book, with a lot of details about what everyone did in the Last War. It's not a supplement for an arcane background.

My bad, the description let me to believe that it was for "Veterans" (i.e. Veterans o' the Wasted West) and I read somewhere that it had martial arts rules. I misinterpreted it as a splat book for martial artists.
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