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Differentiating Mad Scientists

 
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iskandar
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Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Differentiating Mad Scientists Reply with quote

Okie dokie lokie. This is basically a theory I am working on to add a bit of flavor to mad scientists and help encourage players to think outside of the box a bit. It still needs some work, but lets go. See, the way I approach mad scientists is that other magic types learn to do a lot of things somewhat middlingly. In terms of combat, a reloaded shaman, huckster or other magic type person simply cannot put out the damage a normal person with a really big gun can their skills lie in their flexibility. That's why I wanted to work on mad scientists and turn them more into an assassin type class. Essentially, mad scientists do less things, but they do them better. For example, take the bread and death butter of all arcane types in combat in savage worlds, good old bolt. Bolt does either 2-3d6 damage, which in the grand scheme of things is not that huge. Mad scientists with a gun type thing are usually given bolt, for example, morrow in murder on the hellstromme express has a "needle gun" aka a railgun, which does bolt. However, this does not make a lot of sense. You can't dial up the power on a railgun, nor can you magically make it target 3 different people. Same thing with a mad science new suit of armor. One would assume that the armor stays on when you wear it, instead of *poof* gone when pps are out. This is the big thing that seperates mad scientists from all of the other arcane classes. The other classes use magical power while the mad scientists are using "real" things to do damage.

Thus, the idea is simple: mad scientists can upgrade their arcane powers. Basically, when levelling up *ding* instead of taking a new power they can modify an already existing power, lets say by increasing the damage, or the efficiency of the armor, or adding armor piercing. In shot, this represents them tinkering with the device and improving it, just like taking a new power represents the huckster studying. I would also switch the malfunction dice to the mad science skill and not the shooting/driving skill, mostly because the integrity of the device is based on the skill of the scientist, not anything else. Integrity could start at lets say roll a d6 and 1=2 dice steps, 2-5= 1 dice step and 6=0 dice steps less than the mad science skill of the arcane user.

Tinkering with the device could also force a roll, and maybe on a 1-2 the device loses a step of reliability. This could be solved by working on the device, lets say for a period of time x you can raise its die type by y, up to your current mad science skill. Mad scientists already have the decently harsh penalty of dementias for adding new gizmos, so this is a way to play with that and encourage a strongly specialized type class, to represent the scientist and their precious life changing, world shaking, unbelievable super cider squeezy 6000. I mean railgun of doom 6000. Because mad scientists obviously don't watch my little pony. In the story, scientists always have their little darling, so I'd like to move that into gameplay.

So, what do you guys think?
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Matchstickman
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Joined: 02 Feb 2009
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Differentiating Mad Scientists Reply with quote

I'm going to ignore the majority of your post here and focus on one bit...

iskandar wrote:
This is the big thing that seperates mad scientists from all of the other arcane classes. The other classes use magical power while the mad scientists are using "real" things to do damage.


I agree and disagree with this point, I think they can use real things to do damage but don't need to (is a lightning gun any more real than a magical bolt?) and I disagree that it is the distinction between real and magic that is the big thing that separates Mad Scientists from the others, trappings are what separates the men from the boys.

Look at Clint's post in this thread for an idea of what I mean.


I too thought that Mad Scientists were a bit limited compared to other arcane backgrounds until I read that post, it's your trappings that hold you back, not the powers themselves, which is why I'm ignoring most of your post, I no longer think Mad Scientists need to be tinkered with (rules) mechanically to feel more... realistic/specialised.
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iskandar
Novice


Joined: 14 Aug 2012
Posts: 52

PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 10:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Differentiating Mad Scientists Reply with quote

Matchstickman wrote:
I'm going to ignore the majority of your post here and focus on one bit...

iskandar wrote:
This is the big thing that seperates mad scientists from all of the other arcane classes. The other classes use magical power while the mad scientists are using "real" things to do damage.


I agree and disagree with this point, I think they can use real things to do damage but don't need to (is a lightning gun any more real than a magical bolt?) and I disagree that it is the distinction between real and magic that is the big thing that separates Mad Scientists from the others, trappings are what separates the men from the boys.

Look at Clint's post in this thread for an idea of what I mean.


I too thought that Mad Scientists were a bit limited compared to other arcane backgrounds until I read that post, it's your trappings that hold you back, not the powers themselves, which is why I'm ignoring most of your post, I no longer think Mad Scientists need to be tinkered with (rules) mechanically to feel more... realistic/specialised.


the trappings play a part, yeah, but that completely ignores (as you said) the primary point of the post which was to make mad scientists specialized by allowing them to upgrade individual powers, something that is very rare for arcane types. Magic type people are bargaining for power through a set conduit, think of a pipe and water. A huckster is using a premade pipe with the manitou providing the water. He can't upgrade that pipe, he could buy some new different pipes, but at the end of the day he is stuck with what he has. The idea here is that a mad scientist builds his own pipe, a death dealing, steampunk, gyrostabilized, cider making pipe of doom. He buys the water (ghost rock) and he can upgrade the pipe. On the other hand, this takes more time. In short, here is how I view how everyone works:

Blessed: I boost everyone around me while purging stuff of evil.
Voodooist: Screw morality I've got zombies!
Huckster: I can be a jack of all trades, but I can't use my powers too much.
Shamans: I sacrifice combat ability to be a better blessed.
Martial Artist: I boost my own fighting ability with some ability to help others.
Mad Scientist: I limit myself to certain tasks, but can do these certain tasks better than anyone else.

In short:
The difference between all of these lies in concentration and outflow.

The shaman and the blessed take mostly from the same power line and the shaman is also more focused than the blessed, since he has less powers, on the other hand he can reliably pump out those powers while the blessed carry the risk of fatigue.

The voodooist has an even wider net than the shaman, but he also has to lose 3 hours a day chanting and such, meaning that if your posse has its ass over the flames, he does not have that liberty. In short, he is better if you are prepared for a fight, but without that preparation you are doomed.

On the other side, we have our "combat" arcane types.

martial artists are almost purely based upon boosting themselves, they have a weaker burst and for the most part can help boost the party but aren't really meant for it. In short, they augment they're own combat abilities, without those powers they are just some dudes using their fist.

hucksters are the jack of all trades, they can pretty much do anything, yet they are also limited by their low power recharge meaning that they need to stick to normal methods of fighting for the most part. huckster powers are meant for sneaky and other underhanded stuff, not necessarily fighting, because that recquires a bit too much gambling. A huckster is meant to be built it seems for creativity, not damage.

And this leaves the mad scientist. The mad scientist is in many ways like a huckster but with the ability to do more powers yet there is also a greater risk to it all. If you read the post, my personal house rules imho ect, view of the mad scientist is as someone who can do one thing very, very well and reliably often. In times of desperation, the huckster and the blessed can pull a miracle out of their hat and save the day. In normal times, the shaman and the martial artist can reliably be counted on to provide continual support/damage. Lets take a 5 man posse:

1 smooth talking diplomat/healer type (blessed/shaman)
1 smart sneaky knowledgeable guy (agency)
1 in times of desperation smash glass (huckster)
1 reliable ass kicker (ranger)
1 assassin (scientist).

Thus here, we have a nice well rounded posse. The blessed can spin tales and keep everyone healed as well as doing some nice public relations. Or you could have the agent do that, who also can reliably damage stuff as well as discover clues. Then you have the ranger who can always be counted on in a scrap or in situations where the agent may be out of place (i.e. close combat usually or tracking something). rounding this out you have the wild cards: the huckster can sneak you out of a jam and when you really need something dead the mad scientist can bring the pain.

The idea of upgrading powers is just a way to really let the mad scientist be more than a crazier huckster who can unleash hell more often, here he becomes a skilled sniper surrounded by a support team.
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