General Discussion.   Posted by GM Erik.Group: 0
Mika no Krynn
 player, 98 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Sun 25 Sep 2016
at 17:25
General Discussion
It is in Palladium Rifts, but not in Savage Worlds. With SW all characters are essentially created equal and so the experience you receive is character points in essence (not quite), so somewhat similar to Mutants & Masterminds. Therefore, having a powerful character is just that and it could be very unbalancing versus a 'regular' character.

Having said that, no one's that tough anymore. The SW game system leans towards much faster game play, again somewhat similar to M&M, and this would necessitate very different tactics. Also Savage Rifts mages do not have set spells like in Palladium, and their hundreds of spells. Rather you select powers that you operate as spells. Again you're seeing a lot of similarities with M&M, which I think would facilitate the transition for some of us who use M&M.

Our current characters, with Sophes maybe being the exception, are just very complex... even for Rifts. Sophes was easier because they had Sunaj as an NPC villain group in the book so I could just work off of that.

The heavy armor/weapons issue can easily be taking care of by modifying some of the stats they presented and nerfing some of the heaviest weapons. One point of contention is they give all railguns an ROF, which in SW means you can roll a number of attacks per round equal to your ROF. So if it's 3 you can get up to 3 attack rolls at once, each scoring separate damage... and for the most part one hit would be more than enough to kill anything. Railguns cannot really fire single shots, so I think it was pointless to give them ROF AND high damage; one or the other. Scaling back the damage and keeping the ROF would probably have been the best way to go capture how they work in Rifts, with the Boomgun being the exception (super high dmg and 1 ROF). So some tweaking of the numbers in that regard would likely make things much more manageable.
Sophes
 player, 61 posts
 True Atlantean
 Undead Slayer
Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 02:22
General Discussion
Well, I am not gonna lie.... makes me feel sad that Sophes isn't as cool and hard to convert as Mika and Vrryl..... But it DOES vindicate me on saying how much more powerful they are than Sophes too!

I guess my only question would be about balance. Since Rifts and Palladium games have traditionally had zero balance is there truly a need for it in the Savage World version? I am all for just needing the flavor of a class or race, the problem is that flavor is pretty much totally subjective. What one person deems as a good fit regarding flavor probably won't fit all palates.

All this just makes me want to spend my hard earned sheckles to read up on the rules even more!
Sophes
 player, 62 posts
 True Atlantean
 Undead Slayer
Tue 4 Oct 2016
at 02:23
General Discussion
Oh, and Mike.... don't vote Trump or Hillary.... remember... it is a TRAP!!!!


On a side note, how are things going for you Erik? Any word on when this is going to get moving again?
Mika no Krynn
 player, 99 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Wed 5 Oct 2016
at 00:13
General Discussion
Yeah, the balance thing is tricky even in Savage Worlds. For example, one guy totaled the point costs of some of the Iconic Frameworks, using the system from their SuperHero Companion, and most came out at around 40, but the Flame Wing Dragon Hatchling was 96! But that doesn't mean the hatchling is over 2x more powerful than most classes, they just have a lot of varied abilities.

In Savage Worlds everyone gets the same amount of base skill points so that's where some of the distinction in Rifts OCCs doesn't translate exactly either, but some frameworks get bonus skill points.

A great equalizer will be gear too; you don't pay points for gear, it comes as part of your framework or you buy it with loot you get in-game. That way you commando guy, with the right armor and guns, comes out just as bad-ass as a dragon hatchling in many respects, and better in some.

With the way combat works and how they've set the MDC system it really changes things up, which make some of the original classes way more combat capable than before. Bursters are super bad-ass now, just like they're described, and can pose a real threat to really tough opponents. Whereas in Palladium Rifts their fire powers did minimal to medium damage, in Savage Rifts they could one-shot guys.

As for Sophes I tackled him first cuz they had the Sunaj in the books already, so that was a great starting point. The problem with DemiGods and ChiangKu is that they're a powerful base race that also gets an OCC, and that kind of messes with the Savage Worlds system. It will probably be easiest to just make the race and then give them the ability to select either a special power set like Ley Line Walker or a set of extra edges and skill points.

I'll say stats is a really tough one that I don't think translate over too well; every step up in Savage Worlds makes big difference. Target for most rolls is 4, and for stat/skill levels you go D4, D6, D8, D10, D12; thus going from a D6 to a D8 is a good step up in success chance. And each attribute presents a limit, of sorts, for skills associated with it (2x cost if you skill is higher than the governing stat). Whereas in Palladium 1~16 essentially does nothing, and then there are various levels of effect after that depending on the stat.

So at the end of the day there will be a whole new sense of balance in the Savage Worlds setting; suddenly everything becomes a more dangerous in a sense. With the exception of having to fix the Robot/Vehicle ratings a bit, which are kind of wacked out.
Mika no Krynn
 player, 100 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Sun 9 Oct 2016
at 22:45
General Discussion
I was thinking the other day that with Savage Rifts our tactics and strategies would be more akin to our old Heavy Gear campaign. In HG we always worked to maximize our damage output while exploiting the character's superior skills, and refined our gear towards that, which in turn allowed us to hit our opponents very fast and very hard and neutralize them before they were a threat.

In Rifts I think typically our strategies revolve around negation of our opponent's offense. We prevent their attacks from hurting us or minimize the damage/effect which then allows us to chip away at them, regardless of how tough they are. This makes total sense because you can't really one-shot too many things in Rifts.

It's a different outlook that may take some getting used to, especially with some classes that traditionally have lacked a great deal of damage capability in Rifts, but now can hit decently hard in Savage Rifts.
Sophes
 player, 63 posts
 True Atlantean
 Undead Slayer
Mon 10 Oct 2016
at 19:15
General Discussion
Interesting. I do remember in Heavy Gear us getting blown up a lot. So that could mean a lot of new characters in Rifts.

I guess I am just interested to see if the Undead Slayers get what I feel as the spirit right. Do they have supernatural strength? Are their stats better than a typical combat human? Do they have great defensive capability and utility?

I know that Sophes rarely was the damage dealer in the normal Rifts campaign. Would he become that much more dangerous in the Savage Worlds version?
Mika no Krynn
 player, 101 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Tue 11 Oct 2016
at 02:16
General Discussion
That was early Heavy Gear; after a while we were wiping out whole gear squads in minutes. But the mindset shift is the important part; quick offensive warfare versus trench/siege warfare styles.

Well that's just the thing; there is no Supernatural Strength in Savage Rifts. You just do damage and it compares against their armor and toughness. Now really tough things, like power armor and dragons, have MDC and unless you have a heavy weapon (MD) you can't damage them at all. This is the biggest digression I think; normal laser rifles and such do not do "MD", they just do regular damage. Only heavy weapons do MD, and a lot of melee weapons (oddly enough).

Thus giving the Undead Slayer, or any class/race, any amount of MD armor rating makes them effectively immune to regular weapons (not just ancient SDC stuff). Which is pretty bad ass, as you need a heavy weapon to take one out.

The reverse doesn't really apply though; so an MD weapon just does it's normal damage versus regular armor. Having said that most weapons, outside of melee, deal LARGE amounts of damage and thus will likely hurt or kill the target that isn't a tank or something with lots of MDC armor.

That's one of the things I'm thinking may need a house rule revision/tweak, but the current logic is that you don't want a guy with a laser rifle one-shot a Glitterboy because of a lucky roll. A scaled effect ratio may have been a better choice though, like 4:1. So your infantry weapons only do 1/4 damage to heavy armor or big monsters. I'm still assessing how those numbers would play out on average though.

Now the Undead Slayer doesn't technically exist in the official game materials yet, only the Sunaj, so everything is still up in the air. But the Sunaj NPCs in the game look pretty tough. Tattoos essentially function just like spells in most respects, though they open the possibility to have some custom powers as well that are outside the sphere of regular spells. For example, their magic weapon tattoo now makes any regular melee weapon an MD weapon, and their vampire tattoo grants them +4 armor and +4 resistance against all vampire attacks. And neither of those cost any PPE to use, their just permanent.

At the end of the day almost everything does more damage relatively speaking, since there are no damage points anymore. If your damage exceeds their armor + toughness the target ends up either shaken, wounded (4+ over armor+tgh) or incapacitated. No-name NPCs are out as soon as they're wounded, but named characters and PCs can take up the 3 wounds before being incapacitated. So while it's unlikely you'll be punching out a Glitterboy or Skull Walker, regulars can taken out with a single hit.

That's why it'd be wise to whip up some regular characters first and run through some sessions first and see how combat plays out before really jumping in to convert our existing characters. And some things, like Mika's demi-god magic ability, simply do not translate over effectively and thus would have to be reworked completely... likely end up just being like a regular Ley Line Walker's spell abilities.
Vrryl
 player, 58 posts
Sun 23 Oct 2016
at 20:38
General Discussion
Definitely agree to rolling some lackies first. Can play a squad on mission from our merc group ;-)

I like the brush down memory lane with Heavy Gear, I'd forgotten a lot of that, but memories started trickling in with your observations. A big part of Heavy Gear too was our understanding of the rules and tactics, combined with our characters levelling up, made us a pretty lethal group. Did I play the LT in that one?

Our Rifts characters have certainly built their strategy around out-surviving an enemy force. We're really good at that. Then.... chip away for the take down. A serious slug fest akin to a Rocky movie fight.
Mika no Krynn
 player, 102 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Tue 25 Oct 2016
at 21:46
General Discussion
Yeah, you were LT, Erik had the Doctor/Ace, Edwin had the Engineer and I had the Duelist. Rob originally had the Sarge when we started. So many battles on that big hexmap.

SW is definitely more along the HG lines of play than traditional Rifts, and so would put quite a different spin on things. One plus is that it really reinvigorates a lot of the old classes that were sort of rendered lame or mediocre by the OCC/RCC power creep in the original.

It also opens up a much broader range of character ideas since you're no longer limited by an OCC/RCC as much.
Sophes
 player, 64 posts
 True Atlantean
 Undead Slayer
Wed 1 Feb 2017
at 21:03
General Discussion
Hey Mike, any chance you have been able to play test the SW system?

I ask because I may want to look at transitioning my game to it based on how long combat takes in Palladium systems.
Mika no Krynn
 player, 103 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Thu 2 Feb 2017
at 01:05
General Discussion
Not at all. But from having read what I have I suspect it would be very similar in pace to Mutants & Masterminds or even 4th Ed D&D. Combat is designed to be quick and vicious, not unlike Feng Shui, but without the over-the-top HK action movie style.

From my perspective it would handle fantasy and modern infantry combat quiet well; gives a lot of options without getting bogged down in minutia. Infantry level Rifts combat should work really well I reckon. I don't think they've got the Rift mecha combat down right though, but that's due to how they handle MD and mecha and the values they provided. The fix would be to tweak some of the stats for power armor and robots, but I haven't fully completed that or had a chance to test the numbers.

One major combat accelerator would be that they have two types of NPCs like Feng Shui; Wild Cards (Named characters) and regulars (Mooks). If mooks get hit hard enough they're down and out; no need to keep track of HP or would levels or whatever. Whereas named bad guys function like characters.

There's a Fantasy Companion available, but I don't have it. Their companion books are pretty solid, I've got the SciFi and the SuperHeroes one and they've got lots of pre-work done for those genres.

Converting Palladium races would be pretty easy since they're not super beings, and half of them are already there (Elves, Dwarves, etc).

One major difference is that there are no classes in SW; you just pick the skills, talents and abilities you want. Lots of customization possible obviously. For spell casting and psionics I reckon the Fantasy companion has a lot of good material to flesh out the options. In general each 'spell' is a power and thus very effective when used, but you do not get many of them (typically only 2~4 to start).
GM Erik
 GM, 191 posts
Sun 19 Mar 2017
at 22:27
General Discussion
Posted the Palladium standard Damage and Recovery rules in the combat rules post.

And yes, this is me saying I am back at it and ready to get Rifts going again. ;)

Feel free to catch up and let me know if you're ready!

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:27, Sun 19 Mar 2017.

Mika no Krynn
 player, 104 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Mon 20 Mar 2017
at 20:54
General Discussion
Well looks like we had a plan setup in IC, so once everyone is back online here, we can just execute that.
Sophes
 player, 65 posts
 True Atlantean
 Undead Slayer
Tue 21 Mar 2017
at 18:02
General Discussion
I am good with the IC plan.
GM Erik
 GM, 194 posts
Thu 23 Mar 2017
at 01:51
General Discussion
So, the new magic spell casting rules, which allowed a spell to be case for every combat action, seem to be quite unbalanced.

It doesn't make sense that by taking Hand to Hand Assassin and Boxing that you get to cast more spells per round.  It also doesn't make sense that mixed combat/magic classes get to cast more spells than master spell casters like the Ley Line Walker and Temporal Wizard.

Further, there are lots of bad guys that simply become impossible with 10-12 actions per round, imagine those as magic!

And finally, the new system totally nullifies the advantages of the rare classes and NPCs that got more than the base 2 spell attacks per round.

So, I created (with some discussion from Mike), a generic basis for new spell casting rules.  Its clear that more magic actions are needed, but the new rules they implemented were just too many spells per round.

It works the same way as the hand to hand tables.  It currently just defines how many magic actions you get per round, magic criticals (when applicable) and a minor strike bonus for targeted spells.  Its posted under the combat rules.
Mika no Krynn
 player, 105 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Thu 23 Mar 2017
at 15:09
General Discussion
Does spell level have any impact on casting actions? Ie. Level 3 spell vs. Level 12 spell, are both considered 1 casting action?

I don't really mind either way as PPE costs will naturally limit all but the most powerful creatures from casting a series of high level spells.

Along the similar lines, I was just thinking that maybe you could have a casting equivalent of an aimed strike; it would cost 2 actions but would provide something like a +1 or +2 to the save target, or +3 to strike? It would simulate taking careful effort in shaping the magic to the exact effect.
GM Erik
 GM, 195 posts
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 01:10
General Discussion
I actually just kept the previous guidelines, level 1-5 is 1 action, 6-10 2 actions, 11-15 3 actions.

I figured that because you get more spell actions each round as you level up, it automatically makes spells take less time to cast as one levels up.

So at level 1 you can do 3 low level spells or 1 high level spell a round, etc.
At level 10 you can do 5 low level spells or 1 high level and 1 medium level, etc.


I'm not comfortable with having an increased save from extra time, since that's what ritual magic does already and save bonuses are a big deal.

I do think it might be possible to think about aiming for a strike bonus on targeted spells, but wonder if it should be skill-based like it is for modern firearms?  The question then would be, can you apply the normal Sniper skill to targeted spells or should it be a separate skill?  Personally, I'm angling towards a separate skill, but I think I would allow a normal Sniper skill or a Magic Aiming skill to both apply to Techno-Wizard weaponry (no stacking though).
Sophes
 player, 66 posts
 True Atlantean
 Undead Slayer
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 03:30
General Discussion
I am interested in how you are going to measure the spell actions against normal actions. Will a spell caster have to give up a spell action to move or pull out a flask? How will it factor against total actions?
GM Erik
 GM, 196 posts
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 04:02
General Discussion
That was one of the reasons I put the phase system in before.  We have always had to replace other combat actions with spell casting actions, now it just changes the ratio.

Its easy in cases if you have 3 magic and 6 combat.

In cases like 4 spell actions and 6 combat actions, every 2 spell actions will use up 3 combat actions. So if you only use 1 spell action in a round it will use 2 combat actions and if you use 3 spell actions, it will use 4 or 5 combat actions.  I use the phase system to help out.  Its really ends up not a lot different than accommodating dodges out of turn and other things like that.
Mika no Krynn
 player, 106 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 15:06
General Discussion
You can take Sharp Shooter with Magic Spells, at least you can if you're a Battle Magus, so that precedent is set. As for Sniper I think it'd certainly have to be a separate skill, but I question how useful it would be given the short range of almost all spells relative to energy weapons. Something like WP: Spells may be better, have it function similar to the Targetting skill, and you could probably have a Psionics version of it too. It would sort of help level the playing field in that regard.
Sophes
 player, 67 posts
 True Atlantean
 Undead Slayer
Fri 24 Mar 2017
at 19:39
General Discussion
I agree Mike, those are good ideas.
Mika no Krynn
 player, 107 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Sat 25 Mar 2017
at 15:50
General Discussion
With regular thrown weapons you get your PP bonus, wp bonuses, HtH bonus and weapon bonus for your total strike bonus. So I think having the spell bonus, Magic Combat bonus and a WP bonus would be about equal. Even if the bonus is pretty high I think it is justified as the mage has to spend PPE and actions for the attack, whereas someone with a sword or gun just uses up one attack, and a shot out of the e-clip.

Targeting normally provides +1 strike at 1,3,7 and 10. I'd probably add another 1 at 12 or 13, not sure why they stopped. May want to modify the levels of the bonuses so there isn't much overlap with the Magic Combat levels, but not really a big deal.
Sophes
 player, 68 posts
 True Atlantean
 Undead Slayer
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 05:42
General Discussion
Here is another question a little off topic. With the changes to the magic system Erik, would you be more willing to allow a battle magus in the campaign? I know in the past their number of attacks translated to spells was the big hang up.
GM Erik
 GM, 197 posts
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 11:57
General Discussion
It wasn't the number of attacks and how it related to spells.  It was because they are overpowered and unbalanced.  They get more physical bonuses than a cyber knight and have more attacks than a juicer.  They get sharpshooting equal to someone from the New West.  Yet, they are a mage with a lots of spells and magic sharpshooting and an extra spell attack for magic energy blasts.  I honestly don't know what to do with those classes from Dweomer because they are all basically Demigod+ power mages - I don't even like them for the current campaign power level.
Mika no Krynn
 player, 108 posts
 High Elf Demi-Goddess.
 Psi-Slayer.
Sun 26 Mar 2017
at 21:22
General Discussion
I concur with Erik on this one; after looking once more those classes are WAY out of line with how they're described vis-a-vis all the other classes in the game. There is no mention of mystical enhancement, just that they train (like everyone else), but somehow are twice as good as everyone else... Juicer's included.

If it has something to do with Dweomer itself or the Lords of it, it should have been spelled out better.

The concept of the classes are sound, it's just whoever designed them took a double-dose of DJ Carella pills in the morning. I mean for a Battle Magus they should have just taken the CyberKnight concept, swapped out the psionics and cyber-abilities and put in combat oriented magic.