Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Savage Rifts Sample Characters: Juicer, Crazy, TechnoWizard, Burster, M.A.R.S. Mercenary

Had fun making some more Savage Rifts characters, with more to come.

All the sample characters so far

Crazy Vs Juicer

Juicers feel very focused - they're kinda high all the time, they can't use psionics or magic (high. all the time.) and they just seem like super warriors. They're a bit simpler to make - just throw in some Underworld / Thiefy skills on top of a lot of combat edges, and have a blast. You're physically somewhere near Captain America. So you're not great at doing math anymore, so what? Trade-offs. 

Crazies are a bit more diverse in their skill set. They can Frenzy, they have guns and psionics, but can't use either when berserk, by default. They have Edges to change these things - you can be a berserker gun-bunny or a frenzied psi-assassin. This really changes how their frenzies play out, which is very neat. And unlike Burn, there's far less of a downside to one Frenzy per session, especially if you pick the right Edges. Their physical attributes are up there with the Juicers, though they get fewer free physical edges, which seems to fit what I've read about Juicer sporting events in the Rifts universe. Juicers tend to have a bit of an edge at Deadball.

Using Juicer Burn in Fun New Ways (Is Not Where I Went With This Juicer)

Maybe I'm somewhat conservative in my meta-gaming - you might notice I almost always send out magickers / psychics with Armor, in later posts. I also didn't look at a lot of Juicer 'Use Burn In New Ways' Edges. There are a bunch, but you only get to use them 8 times by default, so, yeah. People have complained that a Juicer using these Edges a lot will die quickly - they're right! That's the point! Don't use Burn every session! Not until you want a new character to play.

There are still some nice Juicer-centric edges which don't draw on Burn (Splitting the Seconds being my favorite sp far). That said, if you're playing this as a one-shot, plan for a Juicer Viking Funeral.  Give her some different Edges around going out in style.

Techno-wizards are Unique and other non-surprises

There's a section in the player's guide around making Techno-Wizard (TW) mods to other items. You're going to want to read that (around page 106) if someone plays a TW. It's a really cool spellslinger class. Most require you to pick 3-5 starting powers, and the TW framework is this way (3), but you also have access to all your unchosen spells, thanks to the magic of making TW gizmos on the fly. The sample character can do this 5 times a session, which is going to throw some awesome wrenches into some GM's plans. New players will probably need a GM who can prompt them a bit, because they won't have much exposure to all the Savage Worlds powers. I imagine at least the list as a handout would help, and maybe have a spare to eyeball during any time the players are having trouble planning their daring heist/escape/attack/etc. I didn't recapitulate the list on the character sheet, because I am cruel.

Techno-wizards also wind up having a lot of skills, a lot of Knowledge (Scientific Things), a high Repair. So that's also different, an Iconic character who starts out with a lot of skills freebies.

Bursters Know What to Do

They're going to light everything on fire and watch it burn. Seriously, what an insane psychic combatant. They're on fire (and armored, often to Mega-Damage levels). They're starting small fires as free actions. They're shooting bolts of fire. They're taking half damage from laser weapons, you know, one of the most common Rifts small arms. They have so many Iconic Framework bonuses I ran out of room and had to format things in a different, possibly better way. They don't start out with a lot of other psychic powers, but hey. No one is going to mention this when a flying, burning crazy person floats through town looking for CS Deadboys to wail on. 

Finally a M.A.R.S. Character

I imagine MARS characters will take longer to generate than other Iconic Frameworks, because you get Hero's Journey tables to roll on, a Novice character, 4 advances, and another table to roll on that will probably up your Traits in awesome ways. You wind up with a character who will surprise you in some way, having gained some unexpected (and useful) skills or Edges. They're going to start out with a much broader base of ability than most of the other Icons, even if they are a little less hyper-focused on, say, lighting everything on fire.

This Mercenary is a keen-eyed Investigator, a decent warrior, and a divine Champion who is great at killing supernatural evil. Naturally, he believes that God wants him to do this all the time, and that whenever he finds supernatural evil, it's Fight Night. Hopefully he'll level up a lot before going anywhere near Mexico.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Savage Rifts: Combat Cyborg Sample Character

I've been messing around and making characters in Savage Rifts; this is my clothes-hound former-mechanic-turned Combat Cyborg. The Juicer Uprising was rough on Kal, or rather, the Coalition Shattered Earth campaign against some Juicer irregulars.

Combat Cyborg Sample Character

I originally had one of his edges as Acrobatic, but that seems to go against the spirit of the 'war only, otherwise not dexterous' nature of the Icon. On the other hand, it could be fair enough - it's not going to help with lockpicking, but it definitely applies to moving about the battlefield efficiently and safely. I'd imagine agility tricks would be not hindered by their lack of skin sensitivity and such, but that's subject to your GM. Though I would argue that throwing sand in someone's eyes isn't so different than hurling a grenade at them. Just cheaper.

Regardless, I picked Brawny, Battle Hardened, and Elan instead. This cyborg is going to kick ass at soaking hits, and is still going to be fast enough to maneuver, flank, and even swim. And strong enough to club someone with a tree, doing Mega Damage!

Hindrances were fun. The fellow is a clothes-hound, kitted out like Punished Snake in fancy load-bearing harness, fashionable military fatigue pants, and an over-sized, antiquated hat. So a mix of Snake and Ocelot? Anyway, the clothing won't stand up to a grenade very well, unlike the cyborg, but that's just a good excuse to get revenge on your enemies (who are also the enemies of fashion). Heroic was somewhat obvious what with the Tomorrow Legion, and this borg's background as an aid to the Juicer Uprising. Wanted by the Coalition - I imagine this minor hindrance being that he's wanted for petty smuggling - they didn't find out he helped get Uprising prisoners out of detention blocks, much less that he fought against the Coalition. This may be a weak excuse - maybe he broke some Federation laws traveling through there at some point. Maybe the Coalition isn't sure that he did anything because many combat cyborgs look similar.

Cyborg attributes feel like they're stamped from a common piece of MDC metal - which is the point, after all. Skills and edges allow for more variance, though you're not playing a Lord of War to shy away from being good at fighting. I could've increased one more stat rather than take those 3 edges, but I love the way Elan and Battle Hardened work together, and skipping BH now would mean my novice character couldn't grab it for a long time. And I can't resist the boulder-hurling implied by Brawny. I'd probably want to have this character spend his downtime doing yoga, meditative handstands, climbing, leaping, rolling, etc, such that picking Acrobat in the novice rank would make sense. I've read a lot of Battle Angel Alita, and love the idea of a somewhat-graceful cyborg.