Dec 17 2012

Monday Monster: Tremorwhip

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Tremorwhips are burrowing, vaguely snake-like creatures native to Coventry. The smallest specimens have deadly venom; the largest specimens have long, barbed tentacles and swordlike stingers on the end of their tails. They are attracted to vibrations in the ground, making them a perennial road hazard and a constant nuisance at industrial stations. This is a fairly typical specimen, roughly 20′ long (rising 12′ from the ground when attacking) with two tentacles.

The Worm King by ~Marauder6272 on deviantART


Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d10, Strength d12+2, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d10, Stealth d10
Pace: 6/20, Parry: 5, Toughness: 12(2), Charisma: 0
Bite/Lash: d6 (Str+d6)
Burrowing 20″: Surprise on Stealth vs. Notice (+2 attack; +4 raise)
Hardy: Once Shaken, further Shaken results ignored
Large: Attackers gain +2 on attack rolls
Natural Armor +2: Natural defenses
Size +3: Adjustment to Toughness based on creature’s mass
Slam: Opposed Fighting vs. Agility for 4d6 damage
Stretch: Reach for slam attack equal to current Size
Swallow Whole: Fighting -2 to swallow target 3 sizes smaller; swallowed target is immobile and takes automatic bite damage each round; attacks from inside the tremorwhip ignore armor and size bonuses to Toughness

Text and “Coventry” setting ©2012 by John “The Gneech” Robey. Artwork ©2009-2012 by Marauder6272. Stat block created by Hero Lab® (Registered Trademarks of LWD Technology, Inc. Free download at Savage Worlds is Copyright © 2004-2012 by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. All rights reserved.

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Dec 10 2012

Coventry: A Savage Worlds Campaign

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I’ve been making a few noises about this for a while now, but the Players Handbook for my new Savage Worlds campaign inspired by Borderlands is finally ready!

Coventry Players Guide for Savage Worlds, by The Gneech
(click through for PDF)

From the guide:

Coventry is a gung-ho adventure campaign somewhere between Mad Max and Cowboy Bebop, with a side of Escape From L.A. The year is 2766 and your characters all live on the quarantined prison world of Coventry, trying to make your way as best you can among the local monsters, the faction wars, the octane-sucking racing circuit, and of course the occasional insane robot. You might be a local, born and raised on Coventry, you might have been “dropped” here, or you might even have arrived here by accident due to a shipwreck or other mishap. However you came to be here, however, it’s all but impossible to leave.

The prison world of Coventry originally appeared in my Star Hero campaign in the early ’90s (Holy crap, was that really 20 years ago? O.o), and I’ve toyed with the idea of running a game there off and on many times since then, but it wasn’t until the Savage Worlds setting 50 Fathoms, combined with playing Borderlands 2, that a solid vision of how to make it work as a campaign finally gelled. By using the Savage Worlds “Plot Point” model, all I have to do is toss out a few hooks and let the players create the actual campaign, by fleshing out the ones they bite on.

Coventry as it appears here is a bit different from my initial conception in details, but much the same in spirit. I originally pictured it as a kind of “lost world” jungle setting with megafauna and people attempting to carve civilization out of it without help from the outside, but after playing Borderlands the idea of it being more like a dystopian “through the looking glass” world full to the brim with its own variety of Mad Hatters really appealed to me. This version is also in a separate continuity from my Star Hero game, not so much to avoid any clash with previous continuity (assuming any of could even remember the previous continuity), as just for stylistic reasons.

I’m thinking about trying to write up the setting for eventual publication as an officially-licensed Savage Worlds setting, but that will take time, development, and probably a Kickstarter campaign to finance some non-cribbed artwork. What I’ve got here is a draft/proof-of-concept more than anything else, but I’m pleased with it and I think the group will have fun with it.

…After we finish the current Ghostbusters scenario, of course. ¬.¬

Still! Players, start your thinkers. If all goes well, we could be playing this game on the 29th.

-The Gneech

Nov 09 2012

Personal Deflector Shields in Savage Worlds

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So I’ve been working on an idea for a Borderlands-ish game for Savage Worlds— SF semi-apocalyptic setting, lots of crazy OTT stuff, largely tongue-in-cheek, hordes of badguys that the goodguys take out in a spray of bullets, that sort of thing. And hero durability is an important aspect of this… SW is not a system of attrition, like Pathfinder. It’s a game in which you are often fine, fine, fine, dead. So taking a cue from the game that inspired it, this homebrew of mine is looking to use personal deflector shields.

My first idea was to have a system where shields gave you a certain number of “free soaks,” negating a number of wounds as you took them. A weak shield would give you one, a great shield would give you three or four. The problem is, this felt a little too much like just putting hit points back into the game, which sorta negates the whole point of the “up, down, or off the table” structure of Savage Worlds.

A new idea have had since and like better is giving shields a rating that subtracts from incoming damage, from d4 to d12+x, just like an attribute. An average shield probably has a value of d8 or d10. Every time you take a hit, your shield’s rating goes down by a step, until it’s finally depleted after d4 and needs to recharge.

So imagine for a moment you have a d10 shield and a Toughness of 6. Someone pulls out a submachine gun and shoots you, hitting twice and rolling 2d8 each time to get totals of 9 and 10. The first hit is against your full d10 shield, so you roll and get a 6. The first hit’s damage becomes (9-6=) 3, well under your Toughness of 6, so the bullet bounces off your shield, reducing its rating to d8. The second hit, you roll your shield’s new rating of d8 and get a 3. The second hit’s damage becomes (10-3=) 7, which overcomes your Toughness of 6 and you become shaken, while your shield’s rating drops to d6.

The effect of this: well you can see in the example above that without the shield, you would have been shaken and had two wounds (shaken on the 9, wounded twice on the 10 because it got a raise over your Toughness), while with the shields, you end up just shaken. The nice thing about shields being a die rating is that you don’t really need to “track” it, just have the right size die handy. The reduction in die size with each hit both simulates the way deflector shields traditionally “go down,” as well as adding some tension to the fight. (“My shields are all the way down to d4! Run for cover!”)

The big question is, how do your shields recover? I’m thinking maybe they go up by +1 step at the beginning of your turn (up to their maximum), or fully recharge if you draw a joker for initiative.

The other question is, how do you handle allies, particularly large groups of them? I’m thinking that they probably have a “group shield value” that drops by one the first time that group is hit on a turn but only the first time. The same way allies’ ammunition levels simply drop a step after every fight, all allies in a group have the same effective rating as an aggregate of all the wild shots that have flown around in the combat. (But since large groups of allies are often being shot at by large groups of opponents, having the rating go down with every hit would deplete the shield immediately on the first turn.)

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions? Keep in mind that the system needs to be “Fast! Furious! and Fun!” and has to scale quickly in large combats. I’d be interested to hear what other savages out there might have to say!

-The Gneech

Jul 26 2012

Verity as a Furry, Development Pics

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Verity as Furry Development Sketches 1 by ~the-gneech on deviantART

Verity, who was intended for Arclight Adventures but never actually appeared except for on the cover, re-visioned as a leopard for a story idea I’m noodling around with that would team her up with Tanya. I think I’ve pretty well settled on leopard as her species, but I’m still trying to settle on a typical spotty type, or “black panther” type.

Thoughts, anyone?

-The Gneech

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