Monday, December 27, 2010

[Future Perfect] Professor Jorge Arroyo

Professor Jorge Arroyo was, until recently, the Chair of the History Department of the Coalition Academy of Arts and Sciences.  Renown as one of the preeminent scholars of military history, tactics, and fleet actions, his sudden departure from academia was a shocking turn to most people who knew him as a careful and methodical individual.  And his more recently discovered association with known criminal syndicates only makes things all the stranger.  However, people closest to Jorge know that once he takes an interest in something, he will doggedly pursue it until he's learned all he can on the matter.  So whatever it is that has snatched his fancy won't let go for a while. 

Jorge grew up and served among the mercenary companies comprised of so many in the Coalition fringes and quickly distinguished himself as a masterful tactician and field officer.  He served with the Storm Legion for 22 years before retiring to pursue his interests in academia.  Enrolling at CAAS, he earned multiple junior and advanced degrees, took a position first as a Lecturer, then as a Professor, which he held for nearly 40 years.

Though his age certainly has been catching up to him (he's over 80!), he has taken a number of youth treatments, exercises regularly, and has been fitted with high-end Biotuning and Organ Enhancement systems which provides him a level of vitality and stamina equivalent to a man in his mid-50s.

NAME:  Jorge Arroyo
Gender:  Male
Gene Template:  Human
Cultural Template:  Military

* Agility d6
* Smarts d10
* Spirit d8
* Strength d4
* Vigor d8 (d6)

Biothreshold:  5 (0)
Charisma: 0
Pace: 6" + 1d6"
Parry: 5
Toughness: 9 (3 Armor)

Scholar (Battle and History)
Connections (Paramilitary Forces)
Connections (Academic Community)
Level Headed

Cautious (m)
Curious (M)
Obsessive (m)

Driving d4, Fighting d6, Gunnery d6, Hacking d6, Investigation d10, Knowledge (Battle) d12, Knowledge (History) d12, Knowledge (Military Protocol) d10, Notice d8, Persuasion d6, Piloting d4, Shooting d6, Stealth d6, Streetwise d8

iPlugs [ AV2 ]
Nano-Purifiers [ AV1 ]
Bio-Tuning and Organ Enhancement [ AV2 ]

Armored Academics Robe (Biopolymer, 3 Armor)
Polycarbon Glass Knife
Securitech "Standard" Sidearm
Hacking Rig w/Datapad, SysNet, and SubNet Feeds (+1 to Hacking Rolls)
Vast Digital Library (+1 to Investigation and Knowledge Rolls)

(5) Cabal (Hacker, Teacher): Availability +1, Capability d8 / +3 (Hacking), Influence +1 (Off-Grid Datafortresses)
(8) Dr Janus Camino (President of the Coalition Academy of Arts and Sciences): Availability +1, Capability d10 / +4 (Academics, Employment), Influence +2 (Academic Community)
(9) Lord Johan Mutt (Regency Fleet Admiral): Availability +1, Capability d10 / +4 (Resources, Information), Influence +3 (Regency Military)
(6) Basil Ellington (Senior Design Engineer, Alliance Shipyards): Availability +1, Capability d10 / +4 (Engineering), Influence +1 (Alliance Military Contractors)

Recognized Excellence: 800cr, Storm Legion (Mercenary Company, +2 Rep), Impossibly Good Performance as a Tactical Officer during several key engagements
Professional Mentor: Hacking, plus Mentor as a Contact
Meeting All Kinds of People:  3pts of Contacts, and +1 Reputation with Academic Community

Interfaction Academic Community ( +2 )
Storm Legion Mercenary Company ( +2 )
Rockfall Militia ( -1 )
Blue Mountain Merchant Clan ( -1 )

Sunday, December 26, 2010

[Future Perfect] Cole Turner

Cole Turner is a character made by a player unable to play full time in the Identity Function campaign due to moving out of state. However, the character remains an interesting nexus of activity since he represents a legal authority who has been forced to travel beyond the bound of his jurisdiction and stands in juxtaposition to the criminal fringe represented by most of the other player characters.  

NAME:  Cole "Juice" Turner
Gender:  Male
Gene Template:  Augment
Cultural Template: Corporate

Agility  d8
Smarts  d10 (Cognitive Augment)
Spirit d6
Strength d6
Vigor d6

Biothreshold: 7(2)
Charisma: +0
Pace: 6"+1d6"
Parry: 6
Toughness: 5

  • Bioattunement
  • Authority (Alliance Territory)
  • Investigator
  • Bio-Enhancement Reliance (Major) (Augment): -1 Benny per session.
  • Quirk (Minor) (Augment): Corrects incorrect facts or exaggerations, except his own.
  • Code of Honor (Major)
  • Loyal (Minor)
  • Vow (Minor): Law Enforcement
Driving: d4, Fighting: d8, Investigation: d8, Knowledge (Criminal Underworld): d6, Knowledge (Corporations): d4, Notice: d8, Persuasion: d6, Piloting: d6, Shooting: d6, Stealth d6, Streetwise: d8, Survival: d4, Language: Imperial Standard (Native)

  • Eidetic Memory (Augment) [AV0]
  • IPlugs [AV2]
  • Knocker (1d6+1d4+2, Con P)
  • Stun Sword (Stun, No Range, +1 to Fighting Rolls, Con P)
  • Twilight Gunworks, Hunter Blaster Pistol (3d6 AP2, 15/30/60, RoF1, 30 Shots, High Quality, Str Min d6, Con J)
  • Armored Clothing (Heavy Biopolymer, Armor +3)
  • MKII Defensive Screen: [-2 to Be Hit; +2 Armor vs AoE; 2 Power per Round being used]
  • (1) Standard Light Power Cell (In addition to ones being used by other gear)
  • Optical System with Data projection and SysNet feed access
(4) Amalia Jackson [Ex-Girlfriend, Corporate Contact]: Availability +0; Capability d8/+3 (Corporate Records); Influence +1 (Alliance Corporations)
(3) Skootz O'Schnizzle [Street Informant, Alliance Territories]: Availability +0; Capability d6/+2 (Information); Influence +1 (Fringe Culture)

  1. Enemy: Girlfriend from before joining the Military. Picked on her for her choice to remain in the corporate culture. She stopped speaking to me.
  2. So Much Action, So Little Time: Realized I made quite a few "mistakes" while in the military. Learned the value of loyalty and made amends with my ex when I got out of the military. Gained her as a contact.
  3. Rival: Service Provider/Underling; Targeted/Antagonistic.  Is Backed by a Large Corporation and holds good influence with them
Alliance [+1]

Cole was born to a semi-affluent corporate family on Matterhorn Station in the Alliance. He was augmented at the age of 2 to enhance his memory. Cole took to the augments very well as he aged, but not to his studies. Cole was always more interested in physical activities, even though he was clearly designed for more cerebral work. Using his eidetic memory, Cole was able to put as little effort as possible into his pre-University school years.

Cole had a desire for something different, something adventurous. He joined the Alliance Military when he became old enough. While his parents supported him, he knew they didn't approve. But he didn't care. He joined the Infantry, tried his hand as a “Cloudjumper” HaLo jumptrooper, and finally as forward operator for the special forces. He had a lot of fun during his time there, but he never quite fit in. He was clearly the smartest guy in every squad, which earned him the nick-name "Juice" (for Brain Juice), and his supervisors kept trying to nudge him into positions that didn't require physical aptitude. This never dissuaded Cole, but eventually his common sense won out.

Cole wanted to branch out, and plan a little more for the future. He knew the military wasn't where he wanted to be, so he was drawn to a profession in which he could utilize his cognitive processing, and still maintain an edge of excitement. Using his background in the military, Cole was able to secure a position with the Fugitive Detection Service and became a bounty hunter with a badge.

Once in training for his new position, Cole immediately knew this career would change his perception of the world he lived in. He couldn't fully prepare himself for understanding the type of people he would routinely encounter. Dealing with criminals, back alley deals, and down-right messed up people, it was trial by fire.

He's slowly gotten the hang of it, and dodged a few close calls with being on the wrong end of a gun, but not much feels better than tracking down and capturing people that barely deserve the skin they wear.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

[Future Perfect] Martial Arts Rules (v.1b)

Future Perfect uses the Fighting Skill plus a handful of Edges to represent Martial Arts. This system is designed to be simple, yet flexible, and not make issues of styles or particular techniques. The focus is to be kept on the game play itself; since Future Perfect is neither a game of competing martial arts, nor are they a particularly important component of the setting providing too much detail might otherwise distract from more important matters. Instead, the system presented is one that reflects general groups of techniques, illustrating the character’s increased competence with each particular type of fighting.

All characters wishing to use Martial Arts must select the Martial Artist Edge, provided they can meet its minimum requirements:

Martial Artist (Agility d6, Fighting d6):
The character is trained in the nuances of hand to hand fighting and never is considered to be unarmed in combat. Furthermore, such a character leaves little if any openings to be exploited by multiple attackers, so multiple attackers never gain a Gang-Up bonus against this character in hand to hand combat.

Experienced Martial Artists can go on to buy one or more specialty Edges from among the following:

Brawler (Martial Artist, Strength d6):
The character is trained from a variety of experiences and environments, from the streets to back alleys and bar rooms. Brawlers are adaptable, and may use any object, or even their environment, as an improvised weapon without a penalty. Generally, foreign objects and environmental hazards can be considered to provide +1d6 to Damage Rolls. The GM may decide that small or less dangerous objects only add +1d4 to damage; similarly, larger or more dangerous objects may provide +1d8 to damage.

Hardass (Martial Artist, Brawler, Strength d6, Vigor d6, Seasoned; Edge Track):
Against Melee attacks (and only Melee attacks), the character gets +1 to all rolls to avoid being Shaken or Damaged. Additionally, if attempting to demonstrate how tough he is, Intimidation rolls made by this character are at +1 when initiating or involved in a fight.

Striker (Martial Artist, Fighting d8):
From Fists and Fingers to Elbows, Knees and Feet, this character’s body is a well-conditioned weapon designed for beating an opponent senseless. Strikers inflict an additional 1d4 to damage when fighting without a weapon, unless they score a raise on their attack roll, in which case they may add their Fighting Skill die to damage (in addition to the d6 from the raise).

Counterstriker (Martial Artist, Striker, Fighting d10, Seasoned; Edge Track):
The Martial Artist is skilled at fast block and counter attack combinations. He may take a single free Fighting attack against one opponent who failed their own melee attack against him in the round, provided they are within range. This attack must be a normal attack (no attack maneuvers), though it may be used when paired with the Defend maneuver.

Grappler (Martial Artist, Vigor d6):
Grapplers gain a +2 on all Grappling Rolls, including Escapes and attempts to Damage their opponent.

Improved Grappler (Martial Artist, Grappler, Vigor d6, Agility d6; Edge Track):
Grapplers with this Edge reduce any penalties for called shots while Grappling (and only while Grappling) by two.

Dirty Fighter (Martial Artist, Smarts d6):
Dirty Fighters are those rotten, underhanded miscreants who’d punch a baby just to distract their target, and then follow up with a kick to the targets groin or a nasty eye-gouge. Dirty Fighters gain +2 to Trick Maneuvers.

Really Dirty Fighter (Martial Artist, Smarts d6, Seasoned; Edge Track):
Skilled Dirty Fighters may get The Drop on their opponent automatically, provided a Bennie is spent and the nature of the Trick is described adequately (see Solomon Kane).

Internal Stylist (Martial Artist, Spirit d8):
Fighters adept at Internal martial techniques excel at projecting energy and force when striking their opponents. Their strikes gain Armor Piercing equal to half their spirit die.

Internal Master (Martial Artist, Internal Stylist, Spirit d10, Seasoned; Edge Track):
Internal Stylists who achieved true mastery may hurt their opponents with even a single touch. Even if no damage is taken, a character struck (even with a touch attack) in combat must make a successful Spirit roll or be Shaken.

Mobile Fighter (Martial Artist, Fighting d6, Agility d8):
The fighter may disengage from combat freely without provoking an attack.

Improved Mobile Fighter (Martial Artist, Mobile Fighter, Seasoned; Edge Track):
See the Fleche Edge from Solomon Kane.

Friday, December 17, 2010

[House Rule Musings] Trading Down Dice

One common gripe among my players is that skills in Savage Worlds reach a point where extraordinary successes (in the form of Acing) become less likely despite higher levels in a skill. The concern is over the reduced likelihood for the larger die types to "Ace"; d6's and d8's provide what they feel is the best balance point, despite the higher median rolls of d10s and d12s.

To address this concern, I'm proposing the ability to "trade down" larger dice into pools of smaller ones -- That is, to allow a player to roll more than one die of a lower type than their trait value instead of the trait value itself.

For example, Gabriel has a Shooting of d10. However, his player prefers the odds of acing he had rolling d8s. So, Gabriel can opt to roll 2d8 and keep the higher of the two results, instead of rolling a single d10.

The ability to trade dice down for trait rolls is not something that needs to be universally applied. It need only be an OPTION for high (d10+) traits, and should only reduce individual dice rolled down to d8s. A d12 rated skill could be broken down into 2d10 or 3d8, per the player's wishes. Legendary skill values of d12+1 (or higher) would add their bonus value to the highest die rolled in the pool and not add additional dice. This helps to keep the total pools manageably small, just as restricting die reduction to a d8 at the smallest minimizes confusion with Wild Dice.

If a further restriction of this rule variant is required, another possibility would be to require that trading down die values can only be a valid option for "specialty pools", that is, when engaging in a specialized use of a Skill.
Since Savage Worlds skills are so broad, a specialization can be named once a character reached d10 in a Skill. A Trait Die could be traded down only when rolling for that specialization, and not generally.

For example, if Gabriel has a d10 Shooting, with a specialization in Assault Carbines, he could roll 2d8 and keep the higher result when shooting a Klein-Fulton Komodo Assault Carbine, but would roll his normal 1d10 when shooting anything else.

Listed below is a breakdown of how skill die values could be disassembled.

Skill Value
Trade Value
Trade Value