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Savage World of Pale Nights (Homebrew)

 
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IceWulf
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:44 pm    Post subject: Savage World of Pale Nights (Homebrew) Reply with quote

Hello, everyone. For a while, I've been pondering a setting, and only recently had I realized how I might want it to work out. Long story short, the point of this thread is to show some ideas for a custom SW setting, with feedback and constructive criticism in mind. As this is literally and technically my introductory post here, I feel I should mention that I've been playing tabletop games since middle school, and have run a few successful Savage Worlds games using another, yet similar, setting.

The setting I had in mind, at this time, will be dubbed "Of Pale Nights". It is an alternate history game with fantasy-based horror and sci-fi as its sub genres. The game takes place in an alternate 1990's America, some fourty years after paranormal events alter the world and the outbreak of an eldritch disease.

For now, I'll just provide the backstory, to avoid double-posting more info as well as garner interest. Of Pale Nights (title pending, depending on how cheesy it sounds) is inspired by a few different settings: the "Fallout" series, "Shadowrun", and even Pinnacle's own Deadlands setting to a degree.

EDIT: The download link for the Google Docs backstory is here, as BBCode is a pain in the rump to get legible paragraphs to work.

EDIT 2: For anyone unawares, I'd revised the setting to incorporate Valhalla's suggestions. Next stop, in my next reply: Edges/Hindrances and Races!


Last edited by IceWulf on Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that is a lot more ambitious than my first post was. Welcome to the forum.

So, what kinds of ideas and suggestions would you like to get?
Flavor? Mechanics? Adventure ideas?

I'll go ahead and mention that "If its atoms are split in the case of nuclear fission, it produced a thick lavender mist ..." makes "refinement" of this magic rock an extremely dangerous and (probably) extremely expensive process. One that would only be in the hands of governments in the hyper-paranoid Cold War world. No corporation that could be fun by those damn furriners would be trusted with such a powerful and cutting edge technology, even if that corporation is your VaulTek analogue (and VT took about 100 years to get to the levels of power and influence it wielded just before the bombs fell).
I understand that you need a mcguffin to explain your two magic world-altering substances, and that you seem to want something like the Ghost Rock Rush of Deadlands, without using a literal magic rock. Still, your refining method needs to be altered a bit - it's simply too destructive.

With the I.M.P. outbreak, I am amazed that no one dropped The Bomb on anyone. If there's one thing that would start World War 3, it's a mysterious mutating plague that hits the entire world in less than a week. Someone was bound to blame "those damn furriners" and try to nuke them back to the stone age.


You'll want to come up with stats for the alternate races. A light re-skinning of the Elf, Dwarf, Half-orc, and one or two of the other races in the Savage Worlds Deluxe race section should be sufficient - though I didn't see what the other races were.
It sounds like the only Arcane Backgrouns are Psionics and maybe Weird Science. You may want to limit the power lists some, to better fit the late Cold War setting.


Good luck, and I hope some of this was helpful. Cool


P.S. It sounds like you're glossing over the Cold War between the U.S. (and allies) and the Soviet Union (and allies). If you weren't alive during the time, it is unbelievable how much that quiet conflict pervaded society. Study of the McCarthy hearings and the Cuban Missile Crisis, plus a few viewings of the excellent (and frightfully realistic) film Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb, can give you some insight. Dr. Stragelove was one bad week from being a documentary about the end of human civilization - as ridiculous as it seems, it was horrifyingly close to reality. Hence the tragic humor of it.
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IceWulf
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Overall, thank you for replying with the advice and suggestions, Valhalla, and thank you as well for welcoming me. As your response is kinda long, I'll split my replies up based off the different points you've mentioned.

ValhallaGH wrote:

So, what kinds of ideas and suggestions would you like to get?
Flavor? Mechanics? Adventure ideas?

Mostly flavor and mechanics. I'd wanted to alter a few things and include homebrew material for the setting. As I stated, I wanted to garner interest by presenting the backstory itself first.

Quote:
I'll go ahead and mention that "If its atoms are split in the case of nuclear fission, it produced a thick lavender mist ..." makes "refinement" of this magic rock an extremely dangerous and (probably) extremely expensive process...

Fair enough. I'll admit, I chose it to be processed akin to how nuclear energy is attained as it seemed the most recent and modern method for the 50's. Still, you've got a huge point there -- this usage of the magic crystal was a more recent idea in my development, and I feel I went in half-cocked. Thus, sorry for the faux pas.

Quote:
With the I.M.P. outbreak, I am amazed that no one dropped The Bomb on anyone. If there's one thing that would start World War 3, it's a mysterious mutating plague that hits the entire world in less than a week. Someone was bound to blame "those damn furriners" and try to nuke them back to the stone age.

Another very valid point. Again, I'll be honest about my lack of insight toward this one, though I will admit the idea of WW3 starting due to it sounds intriguing -- might have to use that one for revisions. Wink

Quote:
A light re-skinning of the Elf, Dwarf, Half-orc, and one or two of the other races in the Savage Worlds Deluxe race section should be sufficient...

Definitely what I had in mind.

Quote:
It sounds like the only Arcane Backgrouns are Psionics and maybe Weird Science. You may want to limit the power lists some, to better fit the late Cold War setting.

Psionics, yes. Weird Science, perhaps -- hadn't thought of that, as I wanted the arcane technology and powers to be more specific in how they work. Typically in my settings, I try to avoid magic equipment as being a common thing. Still, the idea of limiting the available powers also sounds good, to add to the grit of the setting; Greater Healing, for one is getting the boot. Mr. Green

Quote:
P.S. It sounds like you're glossing over the Cold War between the U.S. (and allies) and the Soviet Union (and allies). If you weren't alive during the time, it is unbelievable how much that quiet conflict pervaded society.

Yeah, I hadn't realized that. x_x I'll definitely look into the given Cold War examples you provided. Overall though, your advice was -very- useful, and I intend to work over the setting with the advice in mind. Very much is obliged for giving this a look-over.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad I could help. Very Happy

It sounds like you could go to some excellent places with this.
Changing the refining process should ease things up (chemical reactions have been giving two or more products for centuries; steel production gives us Steel, what we are after, and Slag, the waste materials which can have other applications); there is a lot of precedent for such things. Nuclear power is the newest source of energy we actually use, and it is so amazingly dangerous that even now governments are paranoid about it (and I can't say they are wrong). In the early days after World War 2, everything remotely nuclear was Top Secret.

In the early 1950's, World War 3 was "winnable". One side could destroy the other with less than 90% of their own country being destroyed. By 1960, this was no longer the case, but both countries liked to pretend that they could win. A limited engagement, one where the victim realizes that the first strike was one nut job and not a full war, could be a really interesting development. Concessions, reconstruction, victimization, guilt, and general lingering animosity could add a lot to international relations without giving you a blank, radioactive slate to build upon.

My idea for Weird Science was unique devices built by tinkerers and utilizing the miracle substances. Then they could have an edge, like Eureka from Deadlands: Reloaded, that shows they worked the bugs out of their prototype and sold it to a major manufacturer (ParaTek or one of its rivals). Weird Science isn't there to give everyone a magic death ray (the setting already does that), it's there to show that things don't work the way everyone thinks they work. Twisted Evil

Best of luck! (and I got the PM)
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IceWulf
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alrighty. As promised with my last edit to the original post of this thread, below are a list of new and edited races, as well as modified Arcane Backgrounds and setting rules (as opposed to Edges and Hindrances). Some are borrowed and/or tweaked for the setting, and will be marked with an asterisk; others are brand-new. Comments and advice for balance purposes will be much obliged.

Playable Races
With the first and second wave of I.M.P., humans changed worldwide, with many becoming one of many 'demi-human' species. The racial traits for each race are as follows below, with the racial edge points set to +2.

Humans
The most common race on Earth, regardless of the birth of the demi-human races, humans stand as the prime example of normality amongst hominids.

*Humans gain one free Edge at character creation, as usual.

Elves*
Resembling the fey beings of Gaelic mythology, elves are fair folk: slender, with pale skin, and slightly taller than the average human.

*Elves' statistics are as listed in the Savage Worlds core book, with one exception -- replace the All Thumbs hindrance with a -1 to Toughness.

Dwarves*
Similar in appearance to the Germanic dwarves of lore, dwarves are rugged-looking folk, shorter and more stout than humans.

*Dwarves' statistics are precisely the same as they are in the core book of Savage Worlds.

Zaubermann* (tweaked from half-orcs)
A compound German name meaning "magic man", zaubermann are hulking and mighty individuals with mottled greyish skin, resembling the orcs of classical Tolkien mythos.

*Zaubermann statistics are the same as those of the core book's half-orc, save for one difference: their Infravision ability is replaced with a +2 to Notice when using their sense of smell.

Canidae
An alien-looking race, canidae are best described as anthropomorphic canines (or their kin, such as wolves and coyotes), possessing a thin layer of fur, a short dog-like muzzle, and animal-like ears, teeth and eyes.

*Canidae possess the following traits:
->Low Light Vision: Can see in the dark and ignore attack penalties in Dim and Dark lighting, thanks to their canine-like eyes.
-> Low Heat Tolerance: Though not as thick as a regular dog's pelt, a canidae's fur is quite warm nevertheless... so much so, that they possess a -4 penalty to resist the negative effects of intense heat on them.
-> Wisdom of the Wolf: Beliefs in the wolf's intellect in totem symbolism might just have an ounce of truth -- somehow, canidae's brains develop to better apply retained knowledge to ever-changing real-life scenarios. As such, canidae start with a d6 for their Spirit attribute instead of a d4.

Felidae
As unusual as the canidae, felidae are another race of animal-like people; possessing a thinner layer of fur than canidae, felidae also possess razor-sharp, retractable claws on all twenty digits as well as cat-like eyes, teeth and ears.

*Felidae statistics are as follows:
-> Low Light Vision: Like canidae and their own eyes, felidae also possess low-light vision, thanks to their reflective tapetum lucidum in their eyes.
-> Claws: A felidae's sharp claws allow them to attack with Str +d6 damage as natural weapons.
-> Cat's Grace: As with regular cats, felidae possess amazing physical prowess; they start with a d6 in their Agility attribute instead of a d4.
-> Outsider: Due to their frankly unsettling appearance, neither fully human nor animal, they suffer a -2 Charisma penalty. Some felidae also possess the sass of some domestic cats, a further reason why they possess this disadvantage.
-> Fragile: Though lean and mean, felidae are also less durable than most people. They suffer from a -1 to their Toughness score.

Arcane Powers
Coming soon...

Setting Rules
Blood and Guts, Critical Failures, Joker's Wild
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IceWulf wrote:
Elves*
*Elves' statistics are as listed in the Savage Worlds core book, with one exception -- replace the All Thumbs hindrance with a -1 to Toughness.


Whoah, that is a bit of a jump. All Thumbs is a minor hindrance, whereas Small (the affect of a -1 toughness) is a Major hindrance. You should make sure to keep everything mechanically sound, because what you have here is an imbalance.

Quote:
Zaubermann* (tweaked from half-orcs)

This seems like a misnomer.
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Sitting Duck
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IceWulf wrote:
*Canidae possess the following traits:
->Low Light Vision: Can see in the dark and ignore attack penalties in Dim and Dark lighting, thanks to their canine-like eyes.
-> Low Heat Tolerance: Though not as thick as a regular dog's pelt, a canidae's fur is quite warm nevertheless... so much so, that they possess a -4 penalty to resist the negative effects of intense heat on them.
-> Wisdom of the Wolf: Beliefs in the wolf's intellect in totem symbolism might just have an ounce of truth -- somehow, canidae's brains develop to better apply retained knowledge to ever-changing real-life scenarios. As such, canidae start with a d6 for their Spirit attribute instead of a d4.


That's four points of abilities with no offsetting Hindrances.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kythkyn is absolutely right about your elves. They're a +1 race (+2 attribute, -2 fragility, +1 low-light vision), making them the weakest race in the setting.
Sitting Duck is wrong about the canidae. They're a +2 race (+2 attribute, +1 low-light vision, -1 heat intolerance). It's probably the name that's confusing him; you wrote it up like an advantage when it's a penalty.
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IceWulf
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alright, so I again had oversights. I had forgotten to give the dogs adequate hindrances, and unbalanced the elves. I'll get on it when I can.
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Follow the guide in the book on race creation and make sure everything is at a net +2.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IceWulf wrote:
I had forgotten to give the dogs adequate hindrances,

No, you did this part correctly. Good job.
It reads strangely, and leaves me thinking "So, I get a penalty to resist Heat but no bonus to resist Cold? That's weird," but it is system-solid. It needs some revision to fit the concept, but it is currently viable.

The elves, though .... Wink You'll get it. Very Happy
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xxlgeeklord
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the Felidae are unbalanced:

- Low Light Vision(+1)
- Natural Weapons(+1)
- Starting d6 Attribute(+2)
- Outsider(-1)
- -1 to Toughness(-2)

this makes them a +1 race

Great fluff tough, really like the story.
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Kythkyn
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am curious as to why so many of your races take a -1 to toughness. Knowing the combat that is bound to happen (I know IceWulf IRL), this makes two races a bit less likely of candidates to be chosen by the PCs.
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