New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

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xaielao
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New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#1 Postby xaielao » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:40 pm

So I'm about to run my first Savage Worlds game in a while, since the new shaken rule errata. While I like the rule and am going to use it in my next game if only to see if I like it, I can't help but feel that some of the games powers like Confusion or Stun are nerfed quite heftily by this change, as well as making Tricks & Tests-of-Will much less useful. I haven't seen any further errata that alters those powers & maneuvers that are nerfed by this change so I'm wondering if anyone has come up with some interesting ideas to make taking those powers or using those maneuvers (or other similar abilities in the various settings & supplements)? Perhaps raises when using the powers apply a negative modifier to the roll to break Shaken, or Shaken imposed in such ways follows the old rules. I'm sure folks and content creators have come up with more clever ideas on this than myself. :)

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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#2 Postby Freemage » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:49 pm

xaielao wrote:So I'm about to run my first Savage Worlds game in a while, since the new shaken rule errata. While I like the rule and am going to use it in my next game if only to see if I like it, I can't help but feel that some of the games powers like Confusion or Stun are nerfed quite heftily by this change, as well as making Tricks & Tests-of-Will much less useful. I haven't seen any further errata that alters those powers & maneuvers that are nerfed by this change so I'm wondering if anyone has come up with some interesting ideas to make taking those powers or using those maneuvers (or other similar abilities in the various settings & supplements)? Perhaps raises when using the powers apply a negative modifier to the roll to break Shaken, or Shaken imposed in such ways follows the old rules. I'm sure folks and content creators have come up with more clever ideas on this than myself. :)

Actually, those are some of the most common proposals I've seen. The problem with them is that they basically return to the old combat system, sometimes--which can actually be slower than just ditching the rule entirely. Trying to remember who got Shaken by which method is going to be a pain in the arse in large battles; the game is much better off when rules like that are universally applied.

If you're totally fine with a hard build being able to stun-lock opponents almost indefinitely, while the rest of the team pounds on the victim, understanding that combat as a whole takes longer, go ahead and keep the old rule.

If you want the speed of the new rule, then the players (including the GM) need to adapt to the new environment. Tests, Tricks and stunning Powers are now the set-up for the spike, not game-ending maneuvers in their own right. Characters who rely on these should learn to go on Hold until just before an ally is about to attack, then step in. (Alternately, go on Hold, then attempt to Interrupt the opponent when they start to act, since of course Shaking them spoils their current action, as well as forcing them to roll to unshake next round.)

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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#3 Postby ValhallaGH » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:34 pm

Freemage seems to have covered the issue well.

I'll note that the only thing that was lost with the rule change was the ability for a character to end up stun-locked despite succeeding on their roll to recover from Shaken. I've been on both sides of that as player and GM (I can and have written paragraphs about how unpleasant that was), and I've found the new system to be more fun for everyone.
It does mean that making a foe Shaken doesn't remove that foe for two rounds, but for the purposes of killing a single foe Shaken is just as good as ever. And the primary benefits of Tricks (-2 Parry) and Tests of Will (+2 on next action) are no longer overshadowed by the ridiculous power of stun-locks.
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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#4 Postby xaielao » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:16 pm

Hmm thanks for the replies and thoughts guys. I'll think on this, and see how it actual plays out in action before I make any actual changes. You are right that just using the old rules for powers & tricks that cause stun is a bad idea, which is why I said someone else has probably come up with a better one, and there's no doubt the old rules could be used to stun-lock. :)

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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#5 Postby Zadmar » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:24 pm

In Savage Vancian Magic I use a Dazed condition for spells, which is the same as the SWEX version of Shaken.
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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#6 Postby Porkchop Express » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:01 pm

My group has discussed this issue a bit. One solution we came up with was a slight tweak to the new Shaken rules to make raises matter again. So the spirit roll to remove the shaken condition works like this:
Fail: Character remains shaken
Success: The character is unshaken but takes a -2 on any trait rolls that turn.
Raise: The character is unshaken and may act as normal.

That way shaking a character still feels like it is achieving something on a average roll as it debuffs them a little going into their next turn. The cost of this is that it will slow down combat a little.

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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#7 Postby Phasma Felis » Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:53 am

What would happen if you used the new rule for Wild Cards, but the old one for Extras? I dunno if it's ideal, but it requires no additional bookkeeping, and lets PCs get some mileage out of Shaking abilities without exposing either PCs or important villains to stunlock.

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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#8 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:02 am

Phasma Felis wrote:What would happen if you used the new rule for Wild Cards, but the old one for Extras? I dunno if it's ideal, but it requires no additional bookkeeping, and lets PCs get some mileage out of Shaking abilities without exposing either PCs or important villains to stunlock.

It would increase the bookkeeping for the GM, reduce the threat level of Extras, and reintroduce stunlock to the characters least able to throw it off.

Under the old Shaken rules, a purpose-build combat veteran undead only had about a 50% chance to get to act any round it began Shaken. Despite having a +4 to recover from Shaken (+2 for Undead, +2 for Combat Reflexes, Spirit d6), it only gets to act about half the time it begins a turn Shaken. "Unstopable Zombie Warriors" were actually really easy to stop by repeatedly insulting their mothers (Taunt until get a Raise) or being misleading (Trick).
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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#9 Postby Sitting Duck » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:28 am

Porkchop Express wrote:My group has discussed this issue a bit. One solution we came up with was a slight tweak to the new Shaken rules to make raises matter again. So the spirit roll to remove the shaken condition works like this:
Fail: Character remains shaken
Success: The character is unshaken but takes a -2 on any trait rolls that turn.
Raise: The character is unshaken and may act as normal.


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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#10 Postby Jounichi » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:03 am

What about the old Relentless from the Horror Companion?

Failure: Still shaken
Success: Can only take a single action
Raise: Can act normally
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Re: New shaken nerfs some powers, any fixes?

#11 Postby Lord Lance » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:54 am

xaielao wrote:I can't help but feel that some of the games powers like Confusion or Stun are nerfed quite heftily by this change, as well as making Tricks & Tests-of-Will much less useful.

About tricks and tests of will, I use them vanilla. Simply, now the players (and me as GM) have to better coordinate themselves to take advantage from the just inflicted shaken condiction.
About the powers, I avoided to insert different kind of "shakens", I simply turned the power more easy to activate, so the mage has +2 to activate the power (or the enemy has -2 to resist).
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