Thursday, July 22, 2010

Some Savage Guidelines

Many of the players in my current Savage Worlds campaign are used to systems with far more - and more specific - skills than what are provided for in the rulebook. Even with a number of expanded and additional skills that we use in Future Perfect, it is a small fraction of what we used often in other game systems. Now, there is no problem with a more generalist skill system. The concern is only over how some players have adapted, or had trouble adapting, to one of the core design conceits of Savage World.

Having played through several sessions, I can see now where some of the problems - disconnects, really - have arisen. The trouble lies not so much in how Skills themselves function, but in how and when certain Skills should be used as opposed to other Skill rolls or even Attribute rolls. In a game where skill lists are exhaustive, their general context and necessity can be readily apparent. However, a more general skill list, coupled with a system that encourages simple attribute tests for activities that fall outside the purview of a skill, can be off-putting simply due to its comparable ambiguity. I've no doubt that with continued play, the FFF assumptions of Savage Worlds will become second nature, just as reasoning from effect became increasingly easier as our previous Hero System games progressed.

The help out my players I've written a simple set of guidelines, shown below:

[Guidelines for Making Attribute Rolls]

AGILITY should be rolled for matters of general dexterity, fast-twitch reaction, acrobatics, or contortionism.

SMARTS should be rolled to reflect Background/General/Common Knowledge, Mental Quickness and Accuity, and general deductive reasoning and insight.

SPIRIT should be rolled for matters of Willpower, personal magnetism, courage, and keeping one's cool under pressure.

STRENGTH is rolled for any concern involving brute force, such as HTH damage, heavy lifting/hoisting/pushing/dragging, and breaking things.

VIGOR is rolled for general matters of health or stamina, including the potential resistance of damage or fatigue, toxins, disease, etc.

[Guidelines for Social Skills]

INTIMIDATION is rolled when you want to make someone do something they might not want to do, for fear of something worse happening.

PERSUASION is rolled when you want to make someone act in accordance with your point of view, even if they may not agree with it.

TAUNT is rolled when you want to make someone do something they may not want to do by compelling a reaction to your own actions.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

[Future Perfect] Punter Eisenbrau

Punter grew up in the mining camps of Arcturus Heavy Industries. Throughout his youth, he and his father moved constantly, going from one mining outfit to the next, from Rakhan Secundus in the Coalition and as far out as the Coronian Asteroid Mines in Regency space. He helped out where he could, first hauling debris and equipment for the adults, and eventually, with preparing and setting explosive charges for breaking less cooperative environments. While Punter loved the travel, he saw how life in the labor camps had destroyed his family. Eventually, he said goodbye to his father and hitched a ride on a freighter.

He worked for his passage from one backwater to the next, mixing with all sorts of folks. His open, candid nature at first made him seem like an easy mark to members of the merchant clans, but in short order his willingness to work hard and earnest desire to learn all about their own travels won them over. He worked alongside clanners and freespacers alike, loving the travel and seeing what the universe really had to offer. Punter helped out where he could and saw first hand how many Faction governments oppress the merchant clans, especially the Regency and the Alliance, who despite their on again off again wars never seemed to miss an opportunity to chase down scavengers, and especially those from the clans, for no reason at all. He built a small scavenging vessel from an old shuttlecraft and rode along with the caravan fleets of junk scavs and pirates.

In time, Punter returned to more civilized regions. In his travels he'd earned membership in a trade guild of Freighthaulers -- making it easier to book passage anywhere. To his surprise, he was offered a job at Nexus Gate Station running a repair shop for their ships. Things worked out well for him, though many of his clanner friends took advantage of his candid nature, and snagged information about non-guild (generally Alliance-owned) freighters passing through the area. Punter caught on pretty quickly, but since the guild didn't care about non-members, he was happy to jab at the Alliance with the proverbial stick.

The urge to move on eventually overtook Punter once more. When he found a ragtag bunch of miscreants who needed some emergency repairs to their custom ship, he left with them. Now, three years later, Punter Eisenbrau is still flying through the void on that same ship.

Name: Punter Eisenbrau

Gender: Male
Occupation: Engineer/Demolitions Expert
Genetic Package: Human
Cultual Package: Labor
Rank: Seasoned [25XP]

Agility d6, Smarts d8, Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d8

Biothreshold: 6 (3)
Charisma: 0
Pace: 6'+1d6"
Parry: 5 (4)
Toughness: 11 (4)

  • Curious (M)
  • Quirk (m; Wanderlust)
  • Lyin' Eyes (m)
Brawny, McGuyver

Drive d6, Fighting d6, Gunnery d6, Knowledge (Demolitions) d8, Knowledge (Engineering) d6, Knowledge (Mining) d4, Language (Imperial Standard; Native), Language (Ranti), Notice d8, Pilot d6, Repair d10, Survival d6, Throw d6

  • (4) Peri Skyforger (Clan Scavenger): Availability +0; Capability d8/+3 (Scavenger); Influence +1 (Pirate Clans)
  • (5) Sixty-One Tommy Oroshi "61to" (Kokoran Hacker): Availablity +1; Capability d8/+3 (Hacker), Influence +1 (Dome 61)
  • (4) Esteban Ruiz (Mining Camp Foreman): Availability +0; Capability d8/+3 (Mining Gear); Influence +1 (Arcturus Heavy Industries)
  • (1) "Stanker" (Blue Diamond Clan): Availability +0; Capability d4/+1 (Information); Influence +0
Turning Points:
  1. Traveler: Extensive travel among the various backwaters lead to some friendships made with people among the Merchant Clans. Learned Ranti, Gained +2 COntacts.
  2. Meeting All Kinds of People: Continued traveling among the Merchant Clans, jumping ship to ship and marveling at their adaptability. Gained +4 Contacts and a +1 Reputation among the Pirate Clans.
  3. Steady Work: Returned to Planet Dust and got a job with a Freight Hauler's Trade Guild running their repair shop on Nexus Gate. Finally left because he wanted to resume traveling. Left on good terms (+1 Reputation with Trade Guild), with some savings (350cr), and reputation for adaptability and quick thinking.
  • Alliance (-1)
  • Merchant (Pirate) Clans (+2)
  • Freighthaulers Union (Trade Guild) (+1)
  • Lowlight Vision Treatment (AV1)
  • Digestive Dietary Enzymes (AV2)
  • Toolkit
  • Demolitions Kit
  • Small Scavenger Tug (See Below)
  • (12) Assorted Grenades
  • Heavy 2H Wrench (Treat as Maul; Damage 1d10+1d8, AP2 versus Hard (Rigid) Armor, -1 Parry, 2H)
  • Heavy Armored Jacket with Inserts (Armor 4)

Light Scavenger Tug (Modified Gremlin Shuttle)

Manufacture: StarJourney Transportation, Modified
Size: Small
Power: 14
Acc: 180 Top: 1200 Handling: +1
FTL: Gate Beacon
Crew: 1 Hull: 16 (4) [Armor 4]

Ship Systems:
  • Basic Computer with Autopilot, Library (General Knowledge), Pattern Recognition
  • Starship
  • Atmospheric
  • Gate Beacon
  • Cargo Hold (1 Space)
  • Tractor Beam (Small; 2 Spaces)

[Future Perfect] Rico Salazar

Over the next few posts, I will be presenting several characters who form a cell of Greyjacket insurgents in the world of Future Perfect. Each character will be presented as a playable build using the normal experience point system (as opposed to my custom XP system) and general rules expansions from the Future Perfect setting. These additions include rules for Contacts, Cultural Templates, the Turning Points Background Generation system, and the rules for Reputations. In some cases, additional rules for Bioaugmentations and variant Gene Templates are used as well.

In total, there will be five characters, a fairly standard size for a Greyjacket Cell, who form the cell known as "Rascal's Reavers". Along with the characters, I'll be posting the design for their customized starship.
  • Captain/Social Expert - Rosco "Rascal" Marinn
  • Firearms Expert - Rico Salazar
  • Melee Expert - Gerry Dee Taylor
  • Ace Pilot - Billy "Badgirl" Taylor
  • Engineer/Demolitions - Punter Eisenbrau
  • Ship - The Jagged Thorn (Custom Ogre-class Freightrunner)
So you'll probably want to go back and skim my previous post so you'll know a little bit about the Greyjackets as an organization.

First up is Rico Salazar, a firearm's expert who grew up on the streets. His resourcefulness and tenacity earned Rico some odd jobs with the Icon Syndicate before he "got out" by joining the Coalition Defense Forces. He served a tour as a field medic and mustered out with honor and a solid understanding of how bad things really were for the Coalition government. He understood some of the hard choices his government had to make in the hope of securing its own future... and he saw clearly how it was the Alliance's machinations that had lead his people to their current, sorry state of affairs. Not wanting to remain with CDF and be stuck on duty on some rickety space station, Rico wanted to do something that mattered.

Traveling into Alliance space, he disappeared among some of the local Scavengers. For over a year he waged a private battle with the security forces of Matterhorn station, doing whatever he could to tie up gate travel. The Alliance is most easily wounded by striking its purse strings, and Rico hoped that enough travelers would find the Gateway at Matterhorn to be inconvenient enough to warrant other arrangements -- possibly through Coalition controlled Gateways. Rico's efforts did not go unnoticed. Even as he ultimately found himself captured and awaiting trial, the Greyjacket's made him an offer. Rico signed on, and with their help, he disappeared... But he still remembers to send Matterhorn's Security Chief a birthday card every year.

Name: Rico Salazar
Gender: Male
Occupation: Greyjacket Gunman
Genetic Package: Human
Cultual Package: Criminal
Rank: Seasoned [25XP]

Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d8, Strength d8 (d6), Vigor d8

Biothreshold: 6 (6)
Charisma: 0
Pace: 6'+1d6"
Parry: 6
Toughness: 10 (4)

Loyal (M), Wanted (M; For some fairly serious crimes against the Alliance)

Quick, Quickdraw

Climbing d6, Driving d6, Fighting d8, Gunnery d6, Knowledge (Home Region) d4, Medical d8, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Shooting d10, Stealth d8, Survival d6


  • (7) Sgt Lars Henderson, Coalition Defense Forces (Retired): Availability +2; Capability d8/+3 (Field Medic, Veteran Soldier); Influence +1 (Coalition Defense Forces).
  • (1) Joey Bitters, Scavenger Kid: Availability +0; Capability d4/+1 (Scrounging); Influence +0
Turning Points:
  • (1) Freelancing: Worked for the Icon Syndicate assisting in the "transport" of people, whether they liked it or not. Performed his job excellently, completing his assignments within specified parameters. Gains +1 Reputation [Icon Syndicate].
  • (2) Professional Mentor: Sgt Lars Henderson (Retired), Field Medic; Learned quite a bit about battlefield medicine and wound care under his tutelege. Gains mentor as a contact (starts at 1d6/+2 Capability).
  • (3) Made an Enemy: An authority figure, after causing them to lose face publicly. Enemy will attack if given the opportunity. Enemy is the Chief of Security at Matterhorn Station in the Alliance.
  • Alliance -1
  • Icon Syndicate +2
  • Greyjackets +2
  • Biopolymer Muscle Enhancement
  • Iplugs
  • Targeting System
  • Reinforced Armored Jacket with Armored Inserts (Armor +4)
  • Tactical Helmet with HUD (Motion Sensor/Target Display/Thermographics/Flash Suppression)
  • Imperial Armories Modular Assault Weapon (MAW; Shared Ammo Source):
  • - Assault Blaster: 3d6 AP2, +1 Acc, 30/60/120, RoF 5, Shots 100
    - Flamer: 2d10 Fire, Cone, No Range, RoF 1, Shots 25 (4 Energy per use)
    - Energy Grenade: 2d8, +1 Acc, MBT, 20/40/80, RoF 1, Shots 25 (4 Energy per use)
  • Ragnarok Arms "Bolt" Heavy Plasma Pistol: 3d8+3 AP2, 15/30/60, RoF1, 15 Shots, STR Min d8
  • (4) Light Power Cells

Monday, July 19, 2010

[Future Perfect] The Greyjackets


Approximately 40 years ago, the last Summit of Known Powers was held. Intended to serve as a means of fostering tolerant co-existence among the major players in faction space, the Summit was a playground for idealists, politicians, and scoundrel's alike. A young but influential Alliance, the enigmatic Kokorans, a Regency strained by civil unrest, A Coalition beginning to crumble, a Collective perhaps even stranger than the Kokorans, and the known universes largest Commercial Powers acting as one political entity all met and attempted to resolve their grievances and plan for a peaceful tomorrow. Unfortunately, every prize earned by one party takes something away from another. And it was the Coalition that lost the most during the summit; with little aid from a Regency attempting to reinvent itself as distinct from its Imperial past, the Alliance stifled all of the Coalition's outcry over how the UIC was split apart. The Summit met and ended, and everyone went their separate ways.

However, unhappy with provisions made at the Summit of Known Powers, angry individuals hailing from the Coalition and the Freespace took up arms against the Alliance. They felt the Alliance had long been sabotaging the Coalition's sociopolitical efforts as well as buying/empowering regional Warlords in the Wilds of the Freespace to use as leverage against the interests of Planet Dust. Coming mostly from the poor slums and labor camps, these people came to be called Greyjackets because of the drab, grey jackets they would tend to wear.

After a few years of Greyjacket militia's posturing, threatening, and protesting the Alliance began to grow weary of them. Beleaguered by increased hostilities from the Regency over Colonial Expansion in the Frontier, the Alliance government had enough. They placed a standing bounty out on the Greyjackets, declaring them terrorists allied with the Regency Government. Pushed into a corner, the Greyjackets respond by blowing up several key government targets on Core Beta. They state the difference between their prior actions and current ones should have been evident. But if they are to be treated as terrorists, then let them be what the Alliance has made them.

Since then, the Greyjackets have recruited heavily from among the Alliance’s own growing population of dispossessed, including ex-military men and even a few rogue mind-cops. An admixture of Coalition, Freespace, and Alliance personnel, they have succeeded where the Summit had failed - in reunifying a sundered people back under a shared vision. Indeed, they are something of folk heroes among the Dusters and the backwaters of Coalition space, said to be fighting to restore the grandeur of a reunified UIC.

Greyjackets act in small cells of four or five people and are semi-autonomous. Greyjacket leadership is secretive, mobile, and seems to excel at misdirection. For example, even one of the few known Greyjacket leaders, Ajax Stone, insists upon using only the rank of Sergeant despite commanding at least a small fleet of Greyjacket vessels. Their efforts run the gamut from promoting civil disobedience, to the promulgation of dissident literature and anti-Alliance information, to blatant piracy (against the Alliance and its allies), murder, and quick-strike attacks against civilian population centers. If nothing else, Greyjackets consider themselves to be at war with the Alliance.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

[Future Perfect] Imperial Juggernaut

Thus far, I have refrained from posting any Capital ships from the universe of Future Perfect. However, I decided that since I've been working on a compendium of ships, it was time that some of the heavy hitters were shown.

The Imperial Juggernaut, despite its name, is one of the smaller of such craft. Relics from the Empire in the days before the Regency, Juggernaut-class command ships formed the core of the Imperial Fleet. It possesses not only a trio of heavy pulse arrays, but a devastating spinal mounted energy cannon able to destroy nearly anything in its path. Indeed, one can see where the Coalition learned the "flying gun" principle when examining the Juggernaut class starship.

A Juggernaut always was accompanied by a small compliment of additional ships including fighters, gunships, and even cruisers.

Juggernaut, Imperial Command Ship

Manufacture: Old Imperial
Size: Gargantuan
Power: 180
Acc: 50 Top: 300 Handling: -3
FTL: Gate Key (1 Space, 1 Power), H-Space Drive (25 Power, 4 Spaces)
Crew: 100 Hull: 81 (40) (Armor 40)

Ship Systems:
  • Repair Facility (4 Spaces)
  • Ship Launch Bay 8 Small or 4 Medium vessels) (16 Spaces)
  • Exterior Docking Clamps (18) (9 Spaces; 1 Power; Small, Medium, Large Only)
  • Sickbay (4 Spaces)
  • Marines (6 Spaces; 60 Marines)
  • Enhanced Crew Facilities
  • Cargo Bay (4 Spaces)
  • Starship
  • Atmospheric
  • Computer with Basic AI (d6 Smarts, Power 10, Spaces 10): Piloting d6, Shooting d6, Knowledge (Astrogation) d6, Repair d6, Stealth d6, Notice d6, Library Data (Common Knowledge; d6), Autopilot, Target Acquisition and Control, Fire Control, and Pattern Recognition
  • (1) Spinal Mount, Beam Cannon (Damage 10d10 AP90, 30 Spaces)
  • (3) Imperial Armories Dual Heavy Pulse Cannon Arrays [3 Spaces, 4 Power each]: 100/200/400, 4d10 AP10, RoF3
  • (2) Advanced AMCM Systems (1 Space each)
Standard Compliment:
  • (15) Imperial ASP Fighters
  • (5) Imperial REPR (Reaper) Gunships (See Below)
  • (2) Imperial R-31 Escort Corvettes (See Below)

The obvious inspiration for the Alliance’s Orca class Gunship, the Reaper (so-called for its functions of Reconnoiter, Engage, Pursue, and Report) was a tried and true warhorse among the old Imperial fleet. The Imperium stopped making the Reaper during the time of the UIC secessionist movement – not because it was obsolete, but because it was said to be Ozkar Rheingold’s favorite light warship and the Imperium feared a war against one of their top military commanders. Some Reapers remain in service in faction space, though most of them have been acquired by mercenary companies and Freespace warlords.

REPR, Reaper-Class Gunship

Manufacture: Old Imperial
Size: Medium, Heavy
Power: 32
Acc: 145 Top: 720 Handling: +0
FTL: Gate Beacon, H-Space Lock
Crew: 5 Hull: 35 (15) (Armor 15)

Ship Systems:
  • Starship
  • Atmospheric
  • Basic Computer System (Auto Pilot, Target Acquisition/Control, Fire Control, Information Library: Knowledge [Astrogation] & Knowledge [Common Starships])
  • Marines (10; 1 Space, 1 Power)
  • Gateway Beacon (1 Power)
  • H-Space Lock (1 Space; 1 Power)
  • (2) External Docking Clamps (1 Space; Small Only)
  • (3) Predator Medium Torpedoes [1 Space each; 1 Power to Fire any number of torpedoes]: 300/600/1200; Tracking (Range 4800); Speed 1200; 5d10 AP50; Medium Burst
  • (2) Imperial Armories Dual Heavy Pulse Cannon Array [3 Spaces each, 4 Power]: 100/200/400, 4d10 AP10, RoF3
  • (1) Advanced AMCM
  • (6) Additional Torpedoes (1 Space)

The classic R-31 design was a mainstay among the Empire’s fleet for nearly four hundred years, pairing suppressive fire capable, high yield pulse cannons with heavy armor and fair acceleration. The R-31 Corvette (or Light Cruiser) often ran escort for freighters and larger frigates, including command vessels, and offered fire support for deployed fighter craft. A small cargo hold and several fire teams of Imperial marines made the R-31 excellent for fast attack and boarding actions as well as for system security – roles not lost on the many enterprising pirate clans and criminal ventures who acquired more than a few decommissioned R-31s.

The Coalition’s Desperado Escort Cruiser is an update to this design offering additional weapons and acceleration, though some suggest that the replacing the two pulse cannon arrays with three independent beam cannons is no improvement at all. However, the change only was made due to Imperial Armories remaining within the Regency; the Desperado’s weapons easily could be swapped.

R-31, Imperial Escort Corvette

Manufacture: Old Imperial
Size: Large
Power: 40
Acc: 110 Top: 600 Handling: -1
FTL: Gate Beacon (1 Power)
Crew: 10 Hull: 54 (26) [Armor 26]

Ship Systems:
  • Basic Computer System (Auto Pilot, Target Acquisition/Control, Fire Control, Information Library: Knowledge [Military Vessels], Knowledge [Civilian Vessels], Knowledge [Planets/Colonies], Passive Scanners)
  • Starship
  • Marines (20; +2 Spaces)
  • Cargo (2 Spaces)
  • (2) Imperial Armories Heavy TriPulse Cannon Arrays [5 Spaces, 7 Power each, Turret Mounted]: 100/200/400, 4d12 AP10, RoF3
  • (2) Advanced AMCM [1 Space each]