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Special Investigations: Nightshift (Home brew setting)
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Sean-Khan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really high quality stuff Very Happy

Btw I'll have to say something about Noble -edge you banned, that's something that comes up once in a while. In my thread a while ago 77IM said quite well that Noble should have been named 'Status'; It gives you respect and increased resources with a cost of responsibility (probably both up and down) and also being commonly recognized - which can sometimes be very limiting. When trying to think how to convert cyberpunk 2020 roles into savage worlds, I came to the solution that retrapping Noble could handle both media and rockerboy.
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Noble/Status
It sounds like Status is a good variation, but I still don't think it's the right fit for a detective game. By TV show standards, rich & famous detectives are uncommon, so I'm reluctant to include Noble, even re-themed, as it's listed. Famous detectives fit even worse in SINS, as the players are part of the unappreciated Special Investigations Unit, not the place for start detectives with true crime novels and famous cases.

The Lieutenant Edge actually fits fairly well for some purposes. +2 Charisma with officers of lower rank, Automatic Favor Token each session, and control of 3-4 Extras, but you end up with extra responsibilities. Alternatively, players could use Connected, and/or Nepotism to get a variation on Status.

Hinderances
Actually, there is a Hindrance I'm still considering how to implement: Bad Marriage. In cop shows, rocky divorces and bad marriages are common, even on the same show. It's too perfect a cliche not to have a clear minor hindrance associated with it. The problem is how to define it. I'm considering a penalty to Case Board checks as you're distracted from work and thus less likely to stay on top of your case load.

The other major cliche is "functional" alcoholism, but that's easily covered with the Habit hindrance.

Plans for a PDF
I've begun sifting the internet for photos with the rights to re-purpose. Wiki commons and Flickr Commons are both great tools, and I think I'll be able to make a nice looking PDF.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackJaw wrote:
Noble/Status

Inspector Lynly.
Still, you're right that such characters are generally inappropriate for the style and tone of the campaign.

Quote:
Actually, there is a Hindrance I'm still considering how to implement: Bad Marriage.

Treat it like Habit. As a Minor hindrance, it makes you grouchy and frustrated (-1 Charisma). As a Major hindrance, it can lead to substance abuse, eating disorders, medical problems (ulcers, heart issues, etc), financial problems, depression, and so forth - much check for each day you don't spend a few hours trying to make the (nightmare relationship) work, or take a big penalty.

Good luck!
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Zadmar
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackJaw wrote:
Actually, there is a Hindrance I'm still considering how to implement: Bad Marriage. In cop shows, rocky divorces and bad marriages are common, even on the same show. It's too perfect a cliche not to have a clear minor hindrance associated with it. The problem is how to define it. I'm considering a penalty to Case Board checks as you're distracted from work and thus less likely to stay on top of your case load.

If you want to stress the distraction side of it, you could use the "Responsibility to Others" hindrance from War of the Dead - minor if it's just a partner, major if you've got kids as well. You're (probably) not trying to protect them from zombies, but they could cause plenty of other disruptions to your work.
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ValhallaGH wrote:
Inspector Lynly.
Still, you're right that such characters are generally inappropriate for thestyle and tone of the campaign.

Inspector Lynly isn't all that appropriate for New Orleans police work. If the game was taking place in the UK, I'd likely leave Noble in place.

New Orleans does have some old wealthy families with their names on various streets, buildings, etc, which is close to Noble, but for the most past I think Noble is just a bad fit. There are variants on the theme that might work, but not too much. It's similar to why I removed Beastmaster. You could have a detective with a pet hawk, but it's not really prime TV detective trope real-estate. Police Dogs and Horses are more reasonable, but the mounted cop is tougher to work into a game than the dog. That's why I made a K-9 Unit edge. That, and I played the K-9 Unit character in the 80s game and it was awesome.

Bad Marriage
I'm reluctant to make this into a major hindrance. There are only so many times the officer's daughter can fall in with the wrong crowd and need rescuing. More over, the "Here's a Benny, you can't participate in the next scene because your fighting with your wife" shtick isn't so much fun. Treating it like a Habit works better, but sort of makes it bland.
Right now I'm leaning towards it being like Mean or Outsider, mostly a Role Playing thing, but with a bit of game play effect. I do like making it effect the Case Board check as a mechanic. Considering the importance of Case Board checks, it I think it's not a bad way to go for a minor penalty.

I might change the name to Rocky Home Life, or something better, so it can cover bad marriages, nasty divorces where you fight over the kids, or similar common cop home-life tropes.
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Takeda
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Instead of Bad Marriage try On the Rocks be that a bad marriage/relationship, troubled home life of some kind, troublesome brother/neighbour. Basically anything that means home life sucks and working seems somehow better/easier.

Generally it makes the person irritable (-1 Charisma) and a -1 to the Case Board.

As a Major version Broken On the Rocks which doubles the penalties but also allows the GM to throw the kitchen sink at them. Sort of like Dennis Leary's character in Rescue Me. A lot of characters on that series would have On the Rocks if you want to cite examples.

These penalties would likely penalise any chance of advancement or promotion until "they get their #### together".
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Takeda, On The Rocks is a good name.

I think I'll avoid the -1 Charisma modifier. Minor Habit does that already with a wide range of options. If you're drinking all night isntead of going home to your wife, then you've got a drinking habit. Pissing everyone off by always talking about your ex-wifes (Detective Munch) than you've got Habit as well (as it covers saying "Y'Know" all the time to the point of a charisma penalty).

Also, applying a charisma penalty and modifier to case board checks (which can be done with the charisma modified Streetwise skill) sort of doubles down on penalties a bit.

Honestly, I think this hindrance should be about being so distracted by your messed up home life issues, constantly on the phone with your signficant other or your ex's lawyer, etc, that your case work suffers. Pure Case Board penalty. I'm leaning towards a -2, including cooperative checks so it's still a viable hindrance for non-detectives.

On The Rocks (Minor)
You can't seem to balance your home life and work life, and as a result both suffer. Maybe your marriage is coming undone, or your teenage kid is falling in with the wrong crowd. The distractions inflict a -2 penalty to Case Board checks, including cooperative checks. Worse, sometimes the problems in your private life intrude on work.
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a heads up, I'm strongly considering trying to get a license from Pinnacle and making SINS a setting book for Savage Worlds instead a fan notebook.

I imagine making it a cheap PDF or print on demand product. I don't expectations of it being wildly profitable. I'd be thrilled with "Beer Money."

To that end, in my current draft of the rules, I'm stripping out and replacing content borrowed from other SW games. Some of the edges and hindrances are being changed as a result, and I'm going to replace Fear Levels with something having to do more directly with the strength of The Veil in an area.

I'm also taking care to make my own artwork, mainly using content under the Creative Commons Attribution license. I got to tell you, finding (free) pictures of people that would pass as an African american detective is tough. I'm struggling to locate anything appropriately licensed that would pass for Cpt. Decoudreau in particular.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried Storn's Art thread? It's long enough that you can find almost anything there. Laughing
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ValhallaGH wrote:
Have you tried Storn's Art thread? It's long enough that you can find almost anything there. :lol:


It's mostly non-commercial Creative Commons. I'm looking for attribution only. At this point I'm finding it easier to use photoshop altered photographs than it is to find art type artwork. That makes it a bit easier, as it's possible to search Flickr by license.
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warrenss2
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Laughing Laughing

K9 Unit - The character has been infected with the lycanthropy virus.

Laughing Laughing Laughing
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 26, 2012 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

warrenss2 wrote:

K9 Unit - The character has been infected with the lycanthropy virus.


Actually I'm using a spirit based concept of monsters in the game. Partially to help prevent the game from being too cliche, partially because TV shows using the supernatural almost always modify the base concepts a bit (Buffy: Vampires have no human soul, and are a minor demon), and partially because playing up Spirits is closer to Voodoo, and thus helps work it into the New Orleans setting.
As an added advantage, spirit entities tend to fade away when killed, leaving no evidence, and possession driven transformations tend to result in reversion to human form when killed, again, leaving no supernatural evidence.

Werewolves, in this setting, are humans with a nature spirit bound to them, or possessing them.

The more classical werewolf going on killing sprees near full moons is actually a "corrupt" nature spirit inflicted on a person as a curse. Lycanthropoe isn't infectious, but such cursed individuals spread rabies while the nature spirit has transformed them.

Another form of "werewolf" are those that have ritually bound a wolf nature spirit to themselves, and can control their transformation. They do not spread rabies, but a killer with this ability could still be very dangerous. This voluntary ritual can be modified resulting in an "abomination" that

A werewolf on a killing spree could be either a violent person with a wolf spirit bound to them, or the victim of a curse. IN either case you're facing a man-wolf, possibly a hybrid form, and should be using silver. Silver is actually useful on just about all nature spirits, while cold iron works creatures from the other side of the veil (demons through fey), and salt is effective vs ghosts.

Oh, and I like the idea of Vampires actually being based on werewolves (re-read Dracula: fangs, harry palms, speaks to the children of the night, turns into a large dog at night, walks the streets of London in day light) and I have an idea for an episode that starts with a murder by wooden stake, but I don't think I'll force the concept in the book, as some people may prefer to run a game similar to the British Series "Ultraviolet."
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Sean-Khan
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds better all the time! Have you got thoughts of implementing ritual magic more to the setting than just invoking nature spirits? This starts to sound more like that VooDoo -setting (my all-time favorite Gurps book!) I've been thinking of running some day. Gangs are involved a lot in the setting, magic is done with slow rituals except when there's extreme need or the one doing a ritual is a very powerful houngans (or other practicioner). One character archetype there is Spirit warrior, that has a special connection to a Loa or some other spiritual entity, and is able to summon the spirit of that creature to his body, giving him qualities depending on that entity - including hindrance(s). IIRC spirit warrior ability was separate from rituals, but I could see those combined.

It looks like sjgames don't sell Gurps Voodoo as pdf Sad I could well see a voodoo-meddling drug lord casting a lethal curse on the meddling police chief...

Btw, one interesting feature would be an off-the-screen table, where especially home-related hindrances would cause issues... for example rough time at home that would give 1 fatigue until the end of the first action scene - even if that would be a self-initiated fistfight!
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Sitting Duck
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BlackJaw wrote:
Oh, and I like the idea of Vampires actually being based on werewolves (re-read Dracula: fangs, harry palms, speaks to the children of the night, turns into a large dog at night, walks the streets of London in day light)


Well the Hollywood invention that a werewolf's bite causes the recipient to become a werewolf came about from grafting on vampire lore. So turnabout is fair play and all that.
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm still working on making a nice copy of the rules. Here is a cover preview, if you're interested.

@Sean-Khan: I'm reluctant to take too much from other products, as it would make it harder to sell this one, and it is my current plan to make a pdf (possibly print on demand) product.
Also, I don't feel I need to include much in the way of special spellcasting rules. Spellcasting is largely the domain of NPCs and Monsters. People in the setting can mostly only cast spells as rituals, unless they have been endowed with some power through external means. A man that has taken to devouring ghosts will have abilities beyond most mortals. A woman that has made a deal to be the servant of a demon might be able to throw fire, or teleport short distances in a puff of brimstone. Largely it's back-story and trappings. What I will need to include is a nice selection of monsters and npc stats.
I'm not going to limit the game to Voodoo either, although the style will remain. Spirits of various kinds, like dark fey as Boogymen, will exist. 90s monster shows like to mix up their mythologies, so I intend to do so as well.

@Sitting Duck: Good to know. I hadn't really thought much about it, but I supose the infection thing isn't exactly historical, and the historical thoughts are very inspiring.
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warrenss2
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice cover, Blackjaw.

Please, please, please make the pdf printer friendly.... please?
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 27, 2012 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

warrenss2 wrote:
Please, please, please make the pdf printer friendly.... please?

What's your definition of printer friendly?
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Sean-Khan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many publishers do two versions, one to be read and one for printers (works also for mobiles as they are much lighter), I think that works very well. Perhaps they are saved from one source file after removing/changing a few styles.

I'd say mostly white backgrounds (some other light scales may be used a minority etc), no color codings/combos that look bad in B&W and not many dark images. Hopefully the flavor doesn't suffer much as the theme is Night Shift...
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 28, 2012 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figure it shouldn't be an issue to have black & white version and a full color version that looks a bit nicer. I haven't generated too much art at this point, so I can try to keep most of it from being too dark. I was going with a "police file" theme so the artwork is mostly post-it notes and Photoshop modified "Polaroids." The full color "screen" version will have background art of old paper, with the odd blood or coffee stain, but the printer friendly version won't have that.

I don't want to go through the hassle of making a landscape version of the book, as it would require a separate layout, and would make revisions that much more difficult. I'd also really like to avoid having to make a third version of the book for print on demand, but that really depends on the service and size of the book. It's very tempting to just make it 8.5 by 11 paperback. I think it'd cost about $20 in full color, but don't go quoting me on that until I've finished writing it. Right now I'm at 34 standard pages, but I have just over two chapters left to write.
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BlackJaw
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm not sure I'm going to get permission to use Defining Interests in SINS. I've asked for an approval, but I haven't gotten a response back to my specific plans yet.

I'm starting to look at making up my own alternative system. The basic goal is to have a system where players, in the middle of a game, can add a limited amount of back story and related skill experience, to their characters, mostly in terms of knowledge and languages.

Specifically, a character pulls the old "Latin? You know I went to a Jesuit School when I was a kid. This one priest would whack the back of my hand with a ruler when conjugated tenses wrong. I can't look at the stuff without my hands tingling." And poof, your character knows a bit of Latin. It's the kind of thing done on Law & Order all the time. Back story is brought up out of no where because it's useful for the current story, and then it's cannon, or even an important part of the character concept from that moment forward. My example above isn't that far off from Frank Pembleton on Homicide: Life on the Street.

So... what if I actually just make it that easy?

Back-story Elements
You character starts with 3 empty back-story slots. At any point on camera your character can declare a bit of back-story, like having gone to a Jesuit School, fishing in the bayous with your uncle last summer, taking an art class at the community college, or honeymooning Paris. Suddenly you get a single Knowledge: <whatever> skill at d4, as if you always had it, and including languages.
As your character advances, you pickup more backstory element slots at the rate of one per Rank.
Back Story Elements become full standard skills, and may be advanced like any other skill.
The Director has approval over both the back story element and the related skill.
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