Friday, April 30, 2010

[FUTURE PERFECT] Turning Points & More

I've had the Turning Points background generation system for Future Perfect done for a while, but had no real means to post it. Now, though, I am finally going to offer put it up on the blog. The system itself is simple enough. Characters have three major turning points in their lives prior to the events of the game, and these events are loosely generated by a few rolls on a handful of tables. Why three? It seemed like a good number since the system may give characters a couple of freebies (or smack them around a bit), and I didn't want character to be broken before even being played. Three turning point events can be broken down easily enough; the simplest in my opinion is to have them represent the end of childhood, the end of adolescence, and the characters realization of his own adulthood. Young or Old characters (with the Hindrances to back 'em up) have less or more turning points, respectively.

Not all results are good, though many are, and most of the system is integrated with the Contact Generation system and Reputation system from prior posts, though the latter has been updated slightly over at Obsidian Portal.

I've scrapped an old game site of mine so I can serve links to PDF files (I hope it works), and I've posted the playtest versions of the Future Perfect Background Paths, Contact Record Sheet, and Character Record Sheet in addition to the Turning Point background generation system. Just click the link above the image and it should go right to the PDF document.

Friday, April 23, 2010

[Future Perfect] Gunships

Designed for long range assault and boarding actions, the Orca packs enough torpedoes to take down or disable much larger vessels. Unlike most other Alliance vessels built to suit multiple purposes, the Orca is made for one task – War. And it excels at its mission.

Orca Assault Gunship

Manufacture: Alliance
Size: Medium, Heavy
Power: 30 (Base 1, LS 4, Computer 1)
Acc: 120 Top: 720 Handling: +0
FTL: Gate Beacon, Alliance H-Space Drive
Crew: 7 Hull: 35 (15) (Armor 15)

Ship Systems:
  • Troopers (20 Marines) [2 Space; 2 Power]
  • Starship
  • Atmospheric (Climb: )
  • Basic Computer System (Auto Pilot, Target Acquisition/Control, Fire Control, Information Library: Knowledge [Astrogation] & Knowledge [Common Starships])
  • Gateway Beacon (1 Power)
  • Alliance H-Space Drive (1 Space; 4 Power)
  • Cargo (1 Spaces)
  • Advanced Guidance Control (+2 to hit with Missiles with a Target Lock; 1 Space; 1 Power)
  • (2) Predator Medium Torpedo [1 Space; 1 Power to Fire any number of torpedoes]: 300/600/1200; Tracking (Range 4800); Speed 1200; 5d10 AP50; Medium Burst
  • (2) Heavy Missile Racks [2 Spaces; 1 Power; 4 Shots]: 250/500/1000; 6d6 AP12; RoF1-4
  • (1) Twilight Gunworks Medium Pulse Cannon Array [2 Cannons, 2 Spaces, 3 Power]: 125/250/500, 3d10 AP8, RoF2
  • (1) Advanced AMCM
  • (6) Additional Torpedoes (1 Space)
  • (16) Heavy Missiles (2 Spaces)

A generic gunship used for security and short run pursuit within planetary systems. Often used on tasks where the end result is a boarding action.

In-System Security and Pursuit Gunship

Manufacture: Generic
Size: Medium
Power: 25 (1 Base, LS 6, Computer 1)
Acc: 165 Top: 900 Handling: +0
FTL: None
Crew: 5 Hull: 28(13)(Armor 13)

Ship Systems:
  • Troopers (10 Marines) [1 Space; 1 Power]
  • Security Brig (6 Cells) [2 Spaces; 2 Power]
  • Starship
  • Atmospheric (Climb: 41)
  • Basic Computer System (Auto Pilot, Target Acquisition/Control, Fire Control, Information Library: Knowledge [Pirate Vessels] & Knowledge [Common Starships])
  • (1) Tractor Beam [2 Spaces, 4 Power]: Light – Small Craft Only
  • (1) Heavy Mass Driver [3 Spaces, 2 Power]: 100/200/400; 6d8 AP8; RoF1

Thursday, April 22, 2010

[Future Perfect] Talon Gunship

One of the great successes among the vessels designed by the Merchant Clans, the Talon Gunship is a fast pursuit vehicle able to generate speeds in short bursts that nearly equal much smaller fighter craft. The ship is equipped with heavy armor, potent weaponry, and a tractor beam. Furthermore, most Talon's carry a full compliment of fighting men ready for boarding actions. The ship also is designed to provide adequate living space for the crew for long term residence, a feature quite often taken advantage of by the clans. The vessel's only real downside is it's poor handling and maneuverability, much of which was sacrificed for the ability to rapidly accelerate in a straight run.

Talon Pursuit Gunship

Manufacture: Pirate Clans
Size: Medium, Heavy
Power: 28 (Base 1, LS 4, Computer 1)
Acc: 168 Top: 720 Handling: -1
FTL: Gate Beacon
Crew: 5 Hull: 36 (18) (Armor 18)

Ship Systems:
  • Troopers (10 Marines) [1 Space; 1 Power]
  • Starship
  • Atmospheric (Climb: 34)
  • Basic Computer System (Auto Pilot, Target Acquisition/Control, Fire Control, Information Library: Knowledge [Astrogation] & Knowledge [Common Starships])
  • Gateway Beacon (1 Power)
  • Cargo (4 Spaces)
  • Enhanced Crew Quarters (Calculated in LS Power Costs)
  • (1) Tractor Beam [4 Spaces, 6 Power]: Medium – Light/Medium Craft Only
  • (1) Twin Mass-Driver Array (Heavy; 3 Spaces, 3 Power): 100/200/400; 6d10 AP8; RoF1

Sunday, April 18, 2010

[House Rule] Concealability

Taken from the assorted rules I've added into my Future Perfect setting, I decided the Concealability rules were suitably generic and may as well be posted on this blog for public consumption.

They offer a light set of guidelines for implementing bonuses and penalties to opposed Notice/Stealth roles or static Notice rolls or similar skill tests involving spotting a concealed object or weapon. In Future Perfect, a weapon's concealability is listed among its defining attributes, however, on can simply go by the general size of an object just as well to keep things loose.


In many cases, questions of how easy or difficult to conceal a weapon or piece of equipment will arise. In the case of weapons, a concealability rating is assigned to indicate under what conditions a weapon in question may be efficiently concealed. The rating for weapons corresponds generally to size and bulk.

The Concealability Value itself indicates where a weapon may be concealed without penalty versus a casual observer at range (GMs discretion, likely around 12”).

Discerning a properly concealed weapon requires a Raise on a Notice roll at that range. At close range (within 2”), the following modifiers to opposed Notice rolls apply:

  • (-2) Tiny / Palm
  • (+0) Small / Jacket
  • (+2) Medium / Long Coat or Robe
  • (+4) Large / Not Concealable

These modifiers should be applied in addition to other bonuses or penalties that would affect Notice rolls normally. Characters of larger than normal size should reduce the listed numbers by half the large character’s Size value.

Concealability is intended to present a set of general guidelines for GMs and players; the needs of the game and the circumstances of the situation at hand should dictate how or if these rules are even applied.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

[Future Perfect] Contacts!

Starting Contacts:

Contacts are as varied as any other character, and may range in power and ability from the most inept to those with truly masterful capabilities. The more potent a contact is, the more that contact costs to acquire. Starting player characters should consider wisely how they spend their initial contact points – spending them all on myriad one point, essentially inept contacts may not be the best choice. Similarly, spending all of one’s points on a single, very potent ally could leave the character overly focused – especially if his actions make that ally into a convenient target for his enemies. Most of the time, it is best to stick to a few contacts of different values and focuses.

Much like a normal character would have, contacts have a number of characteristics. Most of these characteristics act as a kind of short-hand so that each does not have to be built as a complete character. Instead, the contact system is designed so that the Game Master and the Players can take in all the appropriate information they need with only a quick glance at the contact record sheet. The GM may decide to keep full stats on hand anyway, but it shouldn’t be necessary unless the character is a regularly appearing NPC.

Starting Contact Points:

Characters begin play with a number of contact points equal to either their Spirit die or Streetwise skill, whichever is higher. Additional contact points may be gained from Edges, Hindrances, and Background Turning Points. Similarly, certain Hindrances and Turning Points will reduce a character’s starting points of contacts.

The following guidelines apply when determining a character’s starting pool of contacts:
  • Edges and Hindrances that modify a character’s Charisma value in most or all circumstances apply that modifier to starting contact points.
  • Edges and Hindrances that modify a character’s Charisma in particular, but not most (or all) circumstances apply half their modifiers to starting contact points.
  • Beginning play with the following Edges grants an additional two points of contacts for each of these Edges taken: Rich, Filthy Rich, Command, Noble, and Natural Leader.
  • The Connections Edge grants a starting contact point pool equal to the sum of the character’s Spirit die and Streetwise skill, instead of just the higher of the two. This edge also provides an additional five contact points each time it is taken after the first.
  • The Wanted and Delusional Hindrances reduce a starting character’s contact points by one if taken as a Major Hindrance.
If for some reason the character’s total contact points are reduced below zero, then the character should apply a point of Negative Reputation to their character. The scope of the Reputation is determined by the amount of negative contact points: 1-3 points (small/local group), 4-6 points (medium/regional group), 7-9 points (large/system wide group), 10+ points (major faction).

Contacts cost 1 point to acquire at the basic contact level, reflecting a generally inept character – essentially, the contact is just some guy the player character knows. A basic contact has the following characteristics:

Availability: +0
Capability: d4/+1 [with a single Trait, see below]
Influence: +0

Luckily, contacts may be improved with additional contact points. Such improvements cost 1 point per step of increase, and no attribute may be increased by more than five steps. Furthermore, Traits may be added at a cost of 1 point each, with no limit on how many points may be so allocated. The following improvements are allowed:
  • Improving Availability by +1 (Max +5)
  • Improving Capability by a die type/+1 (Max d12+1/+6)
  • Improving Influence by +1 (Max +5)
  • Adding a Trait to Capability (No Max)
  • Adding a Trait to Influence (No Max)
Starting contacts have a single Trait to define the nature of their Capabilities. More advanced contacts will also gain Influence traits; provided a contact has at least a +1 Influence, he gains an Influence trait that corresponds to each Capability trait listed for the contact.

Once a contact is built to the satisfaction of the player and the game master, it should be recorded on the contact record sheet.

Contact Characteristics:

Name: The contact’s name or the alias by which the contact is known to the player character

Occupation: What the contact does for a living / how the contact spends his time.

Location: Where the contact may be found.

Allegiances: The factions and organizations to which the character is allied or loyal.

Attributes: Availability, Capability, and Influence.

Availability: The likelihood of the contact to be available or willing to help if asked. Availability represents how busy the contact is, how hard he may be to find, and how close a relationship the contact has with the player character. The value of this Attribute is a bonus applied to any rolls to determine if this contact may be reached or called into play.

Capability: How skilled and effective the contact is at what he does, it reflects the contact’s general skill level as well as how reliable he is. The value of this Attribute is both a die type and bonus number. The die is the contact’s die to determine any success with his applicable traits and general abilities related to his occupation. The bonus is applied to the player characters rolls when working in tandem with that contact on a long term project.

Influence: How influential the contact is within the general world, and the intensity of those resources he can bring to bear in order to get what he wants. The value of this Attribute is a bonus to rolls usable when the contact is exerting his influence or drawing on his own contacts and resources to benefit the player character.

Traits: The defining foci of the contact’s attributes, illustrating the nature of his abilities. Traits may be split into two types, Capability Traits and Influence Traits. Capability Traits are much like regular skills, and should depict the nature of the contact’s abilities. Influence Traits correspond to Capability Traits, denoting how much influence and resources the contact has in order to reach his goals within each particular sphere. Influence Traits tend to be more social and economic and scope.

Cost: The cost for each Attribute, with added Traits included.

Notes: Any additional information that seems important to know about the contact.

Gaining New Contacts:

Player Characters will gain and lose contacts over the course of a campaign. New contacts may be acquired through one or more of the following methods:
  • The Game Master assigns a new contact to the player, without cost, because of something which occurred in the course of game play.
  • Improving the character’s Streetwise skill, grants the character the point difference between the current value and starting contact point value.
  • Gaining new Edges that affect a character’s Charisma value grant additional contact points equal to the amount of the listed bonus.
  • Taking the Connections Edge for the first time allows the character to increase the size of his contact pool by the difference between his current contact point value and the sum of his Spirit Die and Streetwise Skill.
  • Taking the Connections Edge additional times provides five new contact points to allocate each time that Edge is purchased.
  • Taking any of the following Edges grants an additional contact point for each of these Edges taken: Rich, Filthy Rich, Command, Noble.
If the game is one in which the players are granted significant control over the game world and the events that occur, then the game master should consider allowing experience points to be spent on added contact points. In these instances:
  • Spending one experience point earns the character three contact points.
Any contact points gained during the course of a campaign do not cancel any earlier reputation penalties if the character gained negative reputation for having a negative contact point value.

Losing Contacts:

Some contacts likely will be lost during a campaign. They may die, be betrayed by the character, or be otherwise inaccessible for a host of possible reasons. Characters do not regain any points for contacts that are lost through game play. Those contacts are lost, and the points are gone. The only exception to this situation is those cases where a GM decides that a contact has become so ubiquitous in the game that it should be treated like a fully recurring, friendly NPC. In those cases, the GM may decide to filter some, or all, of that contact’s value in points back to the character to reallocate among new contacts.

Advancing Contacts:

Contacts should not be improved often, except when the story indicates such an improvement is warranted. There are two methods which may be used, depending on the amount of influence the player’s themselves have over the game. In most situations where the Game Master defines the world, contacts should simply be adjusted as necessary, and the changes recorded on the appropriate player’s contact record sheet.

In games where the players have a lot of control or influence in shaping the game world, any earned contact points may be usable to improve contacts in the same manner as new contacts are gained. In most cases, the Game Master still should approve or deny any request to improve a contact to insure the changes are appropriate to the game.

Contact or NPC:

Sometimes a contact is used so often that it becomes a common point of reference and support for the player. As a general guideline, if a contact becomes well known to more than one character in the party and is encounter with an increasing level of frequency, the contact should be converted to a complete non-player character. This better reflects the notion that the person is accessible not just as one character’s contact, but may respond favorably to all or most of the party.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

[Future Perfect] Core Concepts

The folks over at the Apathy Games blog had some nice things to say about my Future Perfect material... unfortunately they said it back in January and I only saw it last week. UGH!

Anyway, they commented that I never articulated Future Perfect's core concepts. And they were correct! I did no such thing. Why? Well, that's because this blog has been more of a design log, mostly notes and information as I get around to posting what I'm developing for my upcoming home campaign. However, I apologize to those few readers who may have wondered precisely what Future Perfect was supposed to be, aside from some flavor of Space Opera.

I gave the the Apathy Games crew a short answer:
Thanks for the positive comments about Future Perfect! I wish I'd seen this post back when it was posted! Since i'm the guy writing it, I'm happy to see that at least someone knows it exists. As for your comments... The blog is more design notes than a complete game; I've been developing the game to the point where I am about to playtest the first plotpoint campaign. The primary concept is effectively a dark space opera in which humanity itself -- scattered across space and connected (in part) only via stellar Gateways -- stands at the precipice of the future. Humanity's own past is a fabrication, individuals are poised at the brink of evolving past anything or anyone recognizably human, and the notion of identity itself has become something fluid and possibly meaningless. In short, the game is post-cyberpunk, trans-humanist, and focuses on attitude and character development. Unlike many space opera settings, every "race" is human -- or at least, once was human. A lot of material explaining these core concepts should filter into the blogger site soon enough.

That got me thinking, so I went ahead and posted a slightly more explicit Introduction to Future Perfect's core concepts over at the Obsidian Portal site, but I'm going to reprint it here:

At its core, Future Perfect is a darkly trans-human space opera with overt cyber/biopunk and post-cyberpunk trappings. It is a game where players take the roles of individuals whose very nature and identity may be as fluid as they want or need them to be. The very nature of personhood, of individual identity is questioned by the universe at large. Most every benchmark for denoting the conditions of individual and social identities have been rendered obsolete or revealed as falsehood and fabrication. Like the Nietzschean superman, character’s in Future Perfect must create their own values, questioning and transcending the limits of morality in the persuit of their own personal evolution. They stand at the brink of the abyss and must create their own measure of self, or be consumed as so many others have been.

Alright, now what the hell does this all mean?

Lets break it down. We can note three defining conceits and a clear statement of game genre.

Future Perfect is a Space Opera, a dramatic science fiction adventure set in faraway space. It is action oriented, with a grand sweeping plot, and follows the activities of a handful of larger than life characters who are, at least vaguely, sympathetic despite their flaws.

Future Perfect is dark, it presents a universe where daily life can tend toward the horrific, despite all the technological advances that have, supposedly, improved people’s lives. Nothing is quite what it seems, and nearly anything of value has been built upon the suffering of others.

Future Perfect is transhumanist, depicting a world where humanity has become enhanced through it’s own efforts, science and technology having provided the tools not only to extend their own intrinsic capacities, but to overcome fundamental aspects of the human condition—such as disease, disability, and even death.

Future Perfect is postcyberpunk, a world in which information is ubiquitous, surrounding everyone in a nearly omnipresent datasphere. Furthermore, it holds as paramount the often tense relationship between man and technology, wherein the continued integration of the technological into one’s pysical being runs the risk of eroding the nature of the human. However, that same technology is essential to the progress of daily life. Thus, it maintains many elements of traditional cyberpunk, but it’s vision is not wholly dystopic. Not all Future Perfect characters have to be gritty loners living on the fringes of society, but they can be if they want to…

Friday, April 09, 2010

Some New Rules

Ok, so I've been a bit slow updating the blog. However, I've wrapped up my long running Hero campaign and now I can really focus on getting Savage!

I've got a couple of new rules I initially worked on for Future Perfect, however, I noticed that there is no reason why they won't work for any Savage Worlds setting.

The new rules are:


Characters may purchase equipment that is considered well-worn or previouly owned for half the listed price. Such gear has considerable wear and tear and is less reliable that if it was new. Thus, armor and clothing is more likely to fall apart, weapons are more likely to break or jam, and technological equipment more prone to malfunction.

  • A penalty of 1 to all rolls to determine breakage or malfunction of a weapon or technological item.
  • A penalty of 1 to all rolls to determine armor ablation after a combat.
  • Any roll for malfunctioning equipment is considered one step more severe.

Furthermore, all such equipment is always OBVIOUSLY well worn, and may affect the reactions of other people in certain social situations.

Only personal equipment may be subject to this rule (it does not apply to vehicles, rent, food, etc).


At the end of any combat scene during which a character is struck while wearing physical armor, the parties involved must check to see if the armor has been damaged, and to what extent.

To test for Armor Ablation, roll a d6 and modify the roll as follows:

  • (+1) No attack ever actually penetrated the Armor
  • (-1) Character suffered a wound in combat from an attack to an area covered by the Armor (take once for each attack, not once for each wound)
  • (-1) Character was in the radius of a blast or burst effect
  • (+1) Armor is of Exceptional Quality
  • (-1) Armor is considered Low Quality
  • (-1) Armor is considered Worn Gear
  • (-1) Armor has been Improperly Maintained

If the total roll is 4 or higher, the armor is essentially fine, needing only routine maintenance to restore its functionality (otherwise, treat armor as Improperly Maintained the next time Armor Ablation must be rolled). Routine maintenance is defined as time spent performing general upkeep of ones gear; it need not be roleplayed or rolled, so long as it is declared as part of a character’s activities or routine.

If the total is 8 or more, not even maintenance is needed.

If the total roll is less than one, subtract a point of armor from its armor value. For every four points less than that, the armor value takes additional damage:

  • (-8) Armor is extensively damaged; reduce the value of the armor by half its full, undamaged value or by -3, whichever is the more negative.
  • (-4) Armor is damaged; subtract 2 Points of Armor
  • (0) Armor is lightly damaged; subtract 1 Point of Armor
  • (+4) Armor is fine, but could use some maintenance
  • (+8) Armor is not even scuffed!

Damaged armor still needs to be maintained, or it counts as Improperly Maintained when making future rolls. Furthermore, Armor may be repaired normally provided its total value has not reached zero. Doing so requires appropriate materials and the successful use of the Repair skill. The skill attempt is modified accordingly:

  • (No Modifier) Armor is reduced by up to 1/4 of its value
  • (-1) Armor is reduced by 1/4 up to half its value
  • (-2) Armor is reduced by half to up to 3/4 of its value
  • (-3) Armor is reduced by 3/4 or more of its value, but is not yet at 0 Armor Value

Repairing armor takes half an hour per point of Armor being repaired, with raises halving the total time to completion.

If Armor is reduced to zero points (or less!), then it is too badly damaged for normal repairs. It must instead be restored. Restoration requires the use of the Repair skill, under the same conditions listed above. Failure means the Armor cannot be restored. Success results in a successful Restoration, which returns the Armor to useable as Worn equipment.