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Some questions by new marshal in town

 
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Bandito
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:02 pm    Post subject: Some questions by new marshal in town Reply with quote

Greetings minions, I am excited to start gming a Deadlands campaign - so far we made characters and start playing tomorrow - i want to ease them into the weird west so decided to run Gatling Decision first.

In reading the rules i have a couple of questions:
1. el cheapo mule carrying capacity - some among the posse really min maxed their characters and are too feeble to carry much of a load - the skinflints want to pitch in to purchase an el cheapo mule and an el cheapo saddle bag - am i correct to think that the mule has a carrying capacity of only 5x its strength?

2. Held Action:
a. Since you are going out of order when you hold an action, i am reading this rule to mean that EVERY time you decide to go before any other character or enemy you must roll an opposed Agility roll - is that correct? if no when.
b. Is it possible to interrupt an action of another between their movement and firing, for example, or just go before they do anything? Does the player have to say he wants to interrupt before the other says what he is doing?


3. In a Duel, a character proficient with 2 guns cannot fire twice! Am i correct to think this?

4. Tests of Wills: Is this an action or free action?

5. Trick: Is this an action or free action. If this counts as an action I am confused because if so then attacking in the subsequent round would negate any advantage because: a) if player successfully tricked opponent, then opponent had an action it would remove the penalty to the enemy's parry before the player got to attack again rendering it worthless, or b) if a character successfully used trick after the creature attacked that round, then the player would also have to be lucky enough to draw a higher initiative order to gain the benefit against the creature's parry. So how does this work?

Thanks for your help.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ain't nobody's minion. Angry

Welcome to the forums. Let's see if I can help.

1) Pretty much. Don't ding them too hard regarding what the mule carries, but make it clear that he'll only carry so much before he refuses the load (which is how mules are). For a regular mule, I'd put that weight around 300 lbs, but an el-cheapo mule ... gives you your money's worth. Have it balk at anything over 100 lbs. Twisted Evil And have random stuff fall out of those ratty saddlebags - roll a die and on a 1 the item they're digging for fell out about three miles back.

2) You only roll when you'd be interrupting someone's turn. You can always go before they do, but if you interrupt them (say when the bandit comes around the corner of the saloon) then you make an opposed Agility roll to shoot the scoundrel before he can move into the street, shoot Charlie, and finish getting to cover behind the blacksmith's shop.

3) Correct. The opening shots of a duel are single shots only.

4) Action.

5) Action. Note that action cards are dealt at the beginning of each round, so it is entirely possible to go after your foe this round and before your foe next round. But if your friend is stabbing him before the trick wears off then it was a good idea.

Aside: Tricks and Tests of Will are best used with teammates - they are not very good when you're by yourself.


Good luck, have fun, and I hope that helped. Very Happy
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Bandito
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks! that clears up this round o' questions... i may have some more after tomorrow!



Regarding posse size: I am amazed how many people want to play this at my store and am trying to limit players to 5 - what is the max that can be run and still have fast and furious fun?
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jpk
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandito wrote:
Regarding posse size: I am amazed how many people want to play this at my store and am trying to limit players to 5 - what is the max that can be run and still have fast and furious fun?

That depends on you as a GM, your players, your play environment and your play style.

I prefer to stop at four, but will go to five. I'll do six for conventions because that's the standard, but I personally like three or four.

There are lots of folks out there comfortable and happy with six, eight, or even a dozen. I think they're crazy, but it seems to work for them.
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Bandito
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ran the game and my 5 players and i had a blast! It was very exciting and fast paced - very much room for role play and a couple of very funny moments - frankly it was a welcome change from dming 4e. One thing i really like about it is the open ended feel - i really felt like i did not have to railroad the posse into making any decisions and let them do whatever hare-brained or great ideas they came up with. Posse is a gunslinger (d12 shooting and two gun edges but can only carry 20 lbs), huckster (spent the entire game unconscious after my bar brawler rolled 3 aces on the first punch in the game!) (non-lethal dam and out for 9 hrs!), bounty hunter, texas ranger and mad scientist. The two fisted gunslinger and the mad scientist were pretty devastating, and after the first punch leveled the huckster, they pulled out their equipment and laid waste to the cantina.

One thing that came up were questions about mad scientists: So the mad scientist in the posse has bolt - he devised some ingenious electrical gun like device - i just need to confirm that to activate the device requires a weird science skill roll, and also to discharge the device requires another weird science skill roll for each attack? I thought i read something different in the rules somewhere about there being a shooting roll required.

Also about the trappings of the weapon - My player was telling me something about the electricity arcing around people he did not want to damage - basically that the way he envisioned his creation he did not require line of sight - i like to indulge my players' creativity and imagination, but how should i handle this? - can someone please give me some guidance about it? Who comes up with the trappings and their extra effects? - or is it just for fluff and they have no extra effects? Do i just make some minor extra effects for flavor or extra situational damage? - Are there clearer guidelines for it - the book seems a bit wishy washy on the subject.

Thanks!
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandito wrote:
and after the first punch leveled the huckster, they pulled out their equipment and laid waste to the cantina.

Getting themselves wanted for a dozen counts of murder in the first session!? Your players are so nice to you. Mr. Green

Bandito wrote:
i just need to confirm that to activate the device requires a weird science skill roll, and also to discharge the device requires another weird science skill roll for each attack?

Nope. The lightning gun is activated with the Shooting skill, just like any other gun. But if he rolls a 1 on his Shooting die then the gun malfunctions.
That's usually how weird science, and all derivative arcane backgrounds including Mad Science, work. Use whatever skill makes the most sense for the device, and treat that as the arcane skill when determining malfunctions. Sometimes Weird Science is the only skill that makes sense for the trappings (cloaking field generators, force bubbles, etc.), but most of the time a mundane skill is what fits best.

Bandito wrote:
Also about the trappings of the weapon - My player was telling me something about the electricity arcing around people he did not want to damage - basically that the way he envisioned his creation he did not require line of sight - i like to indulge my players' creativity and imagination, but how should i handle this? - can someone please give me some guidance about it? Who comes up with the trappings and their extra effects? - or is it just for fluff and they have no extra effects? Do i just make some minor extra effects for flavor or extra situational damage? - Are there clearer guidelines for it - the book seems a bit wishy washy on the subject.

Wait, so his lighting bolts will magically arc around cover, pets, and other things he doesn't want to shoot?
My initial reaction is "hell no". My alternative reaction is "okay, but every use costs +4 power points."

Trappings are the in-world description of the power. In this case it is a lightning gun, which means it fires bolts of electricity in aproximately straight lines. Like the following:


Yeah, that's not bypassing cover. But that doesn't stop the character from believing that it curves around cover. After all, he is a MAD scientist. Laughing
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trappings in General:

Trappings can seriously impact the way the power works. They don't have to, most trappings I have seen are cosmetic, but they can fundamentally alter the way the power works.
A weapon that coats foes in gobs of acid that continue to eat away at them? Well, the initial damage might drop by a die type (2d4 for a normal bolt) but it gets to do a die less damage again on the next round as the acid eats into the foe. If you up the base cost of the power, the next-round damage might be the same dice as the original damage.
If a mad scientist takes the quickness power, with the trapping of a fully autonomous machine gun, then you're going to have some serious changes to the quickness power. On the minus side, only gives him additional shooting actions. On the plus side, it provides another combat target, an additional firing position, and might even give the scientist cover from time to time. Pretty potent, so it might be altered as follows:
  1. Weight: the automated gun is heavy. Like 90 lbs. This means that he can't just throw it on his back, he'll need a wheelbarrow or wagon to haul it around.
  2. Tricky Operation: it's activated with the Weird Science skill, as he "selects the rules of engagement" to try and ensure that it doesn't kill him or his allies. This makes it very difficult for anyone else to use the device, unless they are also a mad scientist.
  3. Fast Burning: Upkeep for the power is increased from 2 to 3 for each additional round beyond the base duration.

And those are just some of the ways a power can be altered by trappings. If you have Savage Worlds Deluxe (or Deluxe: Explorer's Edition) then you should read over the suggested trappings. You'll notice that several of them provide AP to damaging powers, but increase the cost of using the power. Other possible trappings only work on a Raise. And some are largely cosmetic. It's going to depend upon the specifics of the individual power.

Good luck!
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Clint
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandito wrote:
Also about the trappings of the weapon - My player was telling me something about the electricity arcing around people he did not want to damage - basically that the way he envisioned his creation he did not require line of sight - i like to indulge my players' creativity and imagination, but how should i handle this? - can someone please give me some guidance about it? Who comes up with the trappings and their extra effects? - or is it just for fluff and they have no extra effects? Do i just make some minor extra effects for flavor or extra situational damage? - Are there clearer guidelines for it - the book seems a bit wishy washy on the subject.


Do you have SW Deluxe? There's almost two pages on adjusting powers for Trappings and one section specifically on Electricity.

But in short, there's no alteration of the base mechanics for a benefit without some equivalent drawback of some kind.

It could be as simple as "Targets standing in a conductor like water take and increased die type of damage, but targets that aren't grounded take a die type less," or it could be more complex.

Sounds the player above wants to bypass the roll to hit entirely. If so, then I'd say the weapon could not have the increased range that comes with range penalties to the attack roll, so just reduce the Range of the power to equal to the character's Smarts die type.

And since it's not an attack roll, the Shooting skill wouldn't be used, Weird Science would apply instead just to activate the item. That restricts allies from using it or the character from benefiting from Edges that apply to Shooting and of course, he'd never be able to make a Called Shot or get a bonus +1d6 damage for hitting with a raise or any extra effect tied to an "attack roll" since there is none.

So with the change in Range, the rest likely comes out in the wash.
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Bandito
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that everyone! I have SW deluxe explorer's edition. I have read the section on trappings - thanks.

So now this is how I understand it:

The Mad Scientist's electric gun is first activated with weird science - then shot with shooting skill - since it is a gun. 1 on activation or shooting is a malfunction.

In my game the Mad Scientist chose no shooting skill because we all understood the rule wrong and thought he activated and shot with the same skill - my options to fix this, the way i see it, is to let the Mad Scientist adjust his character so he has a shooting skill.

Could it also be said that the electric device is not a gun - it is some other device which emits spheres of ball lightning that attack people at range - what i am asking is, does a ranged attack like bolt from a Mad Scientist have to be a gun using shooting or can it be something else that uses Weird Science skill instead?

Also regarding the trappings on electricity - would all the attack based ones apply or we just pick and choose based on his narrative of the weapon or what he likes?

Some of the trappings seem to reduce max damage, increase minimum damage, and increase the chance of malfunction or acing - is that correct? Is there any benefit to taking this?

Thanks!
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Clint
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandito wrote:
The Mad Scientist's electric gun is first activated with weird science - then shot with shooting skill - since it is a gun. 1 on activation or shooting is a malfunction.


Nope. It would only use Shooting, not Weird Science at all. That's one advantage to the AB, they can create an item that uses a "normal" skill for activation, and thus anyone can use it.

If the mad scientist is knocked out, their gunslinger buddy can pick up the Lightning Gun and fire it too.

Bandito wrote:
In my game the Mad Scientist chose no shooting skill because we all understood the rule wrong and thought he activated and shot with the same skill - my options to fix this, the way i see it, is to let the Mad Scientist adjust his character so he has a shooting skill.


Probably a good idea or let him choose a different power that would work with an existing skill he has.

Bandito wrote:
Could it also be said that the electric device is not a gun - it is some other device which emits spheres of ball lightning that attack people at range - what i am asking is, does a ranged attack like bolt from a Mad Scientist have to be a gun using shooting or can it be something else that uses Weird Science skill instead?


It would take a unique trapping to come up with a ranged attack that doesn't use Shooting (or Throwing) the two skills for attacking at range with an item.

Actually, the one I mentioned above could work, where there is no actual "attack roll" to using the power.

Bandito wrote:
Also regarding the trappings on electricity - would all the attack based ones apply or we just pick and choose based on his narrative of the weapon or what he likes?


Each trapping is an example as noted in the introduction; it's not a buffet to pick and choose what the character wants at the time, but a single predetermined choice when the power is first taken that affects it every time.

Bandito wrote:
Some of the trappings seem to reduce max damage, increase minimum damage, and increase the chance of malfunction or acing - is that correct? Is there any benefit to taking this?


Um, none of the trappings for electricity do any of those things in SW Deluxe. Confused

Okay, the one that reduces damage a die type might "increase the chance of acing," but the chance of acing doesn't directly correlate to any kind of in game effectiveness. Meaning while a d4 will "ace" 25% of the time and a d6 aces 16.67% of the time, the d4 still has less effectiveness overall.

Sorry, just not clear on what we're talking about here; seems like two different things.
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Bandito
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Clint"] That's one advantage to the AB, they can create an item that uses a "normal" skill for activation, and thus anyone can use it. [quote="Clint"]

Ok - what is the AB?

[quote="Clint"] Each trapping is an example as noted in the introduction; it's not a buffet to pick and choose what the character wants at the time, but a single predetermined choice when the power is first taken that affects it every time. [quote="Clint"]

Ok - so in the SW rules under trappings it has a list for each topic, such as Electricity - i notice that some are for attack, defense, etc --- what i want to know is, in the case of the Electricity gun, ALL of the attack based electrical trappings apply or just some?

Thanks again - sorry if my question is confusing, but i am confused Smile
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Wibbs
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't answer your second question, but AB = Arcane Background.
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ValhallaGH
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandito wrote:
Ok - what is the AB?

Short for Arcane Background. As Americans (from the USA, no less), we love to abbreviate things. Wink
I learned that acronyms are bad communication when I was in the Marines (not from the Marines, but while I was active). As a humorous example, WWF used to refer to two very different organizations. Similarly, I don't use SW to refer to Savage Worlds except on this forum. Other gamers tend to assume it means Star Wars; cartographers think of Southwest.

Bandito wrote:
Clint wrote:
Each trapping is an example as noted in the introduction; it's not a buffet to pick and choose what the character wants at the time, but a single predetermined choice when the power is first taken that affects it every time.

Ok - so in the SW rules under trappings it has a list for each topic, such as Electricity - i notice that some are for attack, defense, etc --- what i want to know is, in the case of the Electricity gun, ALL of the attack based electrical trappings apply or just some?

Pick one(s) that fit the power. Usually it will only be 1 trapping, but it might be a new trapping you make up that combines a few of the different effects, or it might be that the power uses multiple trapping effects simultaneously due to the specific description of the power.

Clint's big point seems to be that the trapping choice is a permanent choice. That trapping always applies to that device. If the device is destroyed or stolen and the Scientist builds a new device then the trapping could be tweaked, but until that happens the trappings are constant.
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