[SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

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Brickulos
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[SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#1 Postby Brickulos » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:56 pm

So as it stands, core Weird Scientists cannot make use of TW devices that do not have internal PP storage. I was thinking a way around this might be for them to have the option to sink a New Power Edge into creating a PPE battery. The Gizmo itself would have 10 PPE of it's own and could be hooked directly into the desired TW device. It would also benefit from the Power Points Edge just as all of a Weird Scientist's Gizmos would. This is a powerful ability, to basically have a pool specifically for TW devices, so it might be fair to restrict the number of devices that can be hooked up to half the Weird Scientist's Smarts.

What do you guys think? Is it too permissive?

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#2 Postby Severite » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:12 am

Brickulos wrote:So as it stands, core Weird Scientists cannot make use of TW devices that do not have internal PP storage. I was thinking a way around this might be for them to have the option to sink a New Power Edge into creating a PPE battery. The Gizmo itself would have 10 PPE of it's own and could be hooked directly into the desired TW device. It would also benefit from the Power Points Edge just as all of a Weird Scientist's Gizmos would. This is a powerful ability, to basically have a pool specifically for TW devices, so it might be fair to restrict the number of devices that can be hooked up to half the Weird Scientist's Smarts.

What do you guys think? Is it too permissive?


Well, there are a couple ways of dealing with this. I don't think your thoughts above are a bad option, nor too permissive. Perhaps tie the gizmo instead to a control element, and then have the weird science activate their gizmo as normal, adding one 'charge' for the duration of the scene....., that seems to be a bit more in line with the way weird science works by core.

Personally, I don't think it is unbalanced to simply allow anyone to pick up and use a charged TW device anyway, the same cash flow controlling characters access to recharging e-clips would apply to recharging a magic device, and in the same way an operator could charge e-clips for free, a mage could recharge equipment, and both still require downtime.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#3 Postby Brickulos » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:33 am

Severite wrote:
Brickulos wrote:So as it stands, core Weird Scientists cannot make use of TW devices that do not have internal PP storage. I was thinking a way around this might be for them to have the option to sink a New Power Edge into creating a PPE battery. The Gizmo itself would have 10 PPE of it's own and could be hooked directly into the desired TW device. It would also benefit from the Power Points Edge just as all of a Weird Scientist's Gizmos would. This is a powerful ability, to basically have a pool specifically for TW devices, so it might be fair to restrict the number of devices that can be hooked up to half the Weird Scientist's Smarts.

What do you guys think? Is it too permissive?


Well, there are a couple ways of dealing with this. I don't think your thoughts above are a bad option, nor too permissive. Perhaps tie the gizmo instead to a control element, and then have the weird science activate their gizmo as normal, adding one 'charge' for the duration of the scene....., that seems to be a bit more in line with the way weird science works by core.

Personally, I don't think it is unbalanced to simply allow anyone to pick up and use a charged TW device anyway, the same cash flow controlling characters access to recharging e-clips would apply to recharging a magic device, and in the same way an operator could charge e-clips for free, a mage could recharge equipment, and both still require downtime.


Weird Scientists can already use TW devices. This is just about charging devices. I also don't know what you mean by "control element" or how it relates to the Core usage of the AB.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#4 Postby ValhallaGH » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:46 am

Brickulos wrote:What do you guys think? Is it too permissive?

I like the basic concept (Weird Scientist builds gizmo to use TW devices), I'm just hesitant about that particular implementation.
I feel like a gizmo should be a New Power edge. I'm just not sure which power would be "charge TW devices", other than (maybe) drain power points.
Regardless, since this would have no use other than charging devices, I'd suggest putting its PPE pool at half the size of other gizmos (round down, as usual). For most humans, that would become a 5 to 17 range, or 7 to 20 with the +5 PPE table benefit.
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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#5 Postby Severite » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:07 am

Brickulos wrote:
Severite wrote:
Brickulos wrote:So as it stands, core Weird Scientists cannot make use of TW devices that do not have internal PP storage.


Well, there are a couple ways of dealing with this. I don't think your thoughts above are a bad option, nor too permissive. Perhaps tie the gizmo instead to a control element, and then have the weird science activate their gizmo as normal, adding one 'charge' for the duration of the scene....., that seems to be a bit more in line with the way weird science works by core.

Personally, I don't think it is unbalanced to simply allow anyone to pick up and use a charged TW device anyway, the same cash flow controlling characters access to recharging e-clips would apply to recharging a magic device, and in the same way an operator could charge e-clips for free, a mage could recharge equipment, and both still require downtime.


Weird Scientists can already use TW devices. This is just about charging devices. I also don't know what you mean by "control element" or how it relates to the Core usage of the AB.


That I should have reviewed how AB weird science worked, as I was confusing it with AB super powers (core) with no power points from SPC2. So. after reviewing the core SW AB weird science, and the way it works, I am confused as to why you would even need anything like this. You already have 10 pp, more power points edge would give you more power points, that you can then spend on activating TW devices. To be clear, the rule says that your devices come with as much power points as you have, not that your power points cannot also be used as a pool. It just doesn't come up for most SW games using core weird science, since it is explicit on how new powers for the "class" works.

Also, what I had in mind was a weird science power generating energy, converting the power of weird science into "charges" for the TW device. You know, since between reading your post, and misremembering how it worked, that they did not have a PP pool, and activated their powers by skill rolls. I could see how my confusing "if the power makes sense to use another skill, use that skill to activate the powers, though most will still be weird science rolls" and, hey, supers use a skill for each of their powers" would make the conversation hard to follow. My apologies for confusing those.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#6 Postby Brickulos » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:01 pm

Severite wrote:
Brickulos wrote:
Severite wrote:
Well, there are a couple ways of dealing with this. I don't think your thoughts above are a bad option, nor too permissive. Perhaps tie the gizmo instead to a control element, and then have the weird science activate their gizmo as normal, adding one 'charge' for the duration of the scene....., that seems to be a bit more in line with the way weird science works by core.

Personally, I don't think it is unbalanced to simply allow anyone to pick up and use a charged TW device anyway, the same cash flow controlling characters access to recharging e-clips would apply to recharging a magic device, and in the same way an operator could charge e-clips for free, a mage could recharge equipment, and both still require downtime.


Weird Scientists can already use TW devices. This is just about charging devices. I also don't know what you mean by "control element" or how it relates to the Core usage of the AB.


That I should have reviewed how AB weird science worked, as I was confusing it with AB super powers (core) with no power points from SPC2. So. after reviewing the core SW AB weird science, and the way it works, I am confused as to why you would even need anything like this. You already have 10 pp, more power points edge would give you more power points, that you can then spend on activating TW devices. To be clear, the rule says that your devices come with as much power points as you have, not that your power points cannot also be used as a pool. It just doesn't come up for most SW games using core weird science, since it is explicit on how new powers for the "class" works.

Also, what I had in mind was a weird science power generating energy, converting the power of weird science into "charges" for the TW device. You know, since between reading your post, and misremembering how it worked, that they did not have a PP pool, and activated their powers by skill rolls. I could see how my confusing "if the power makes sense to use another skill, use that skill to activate the powers, though most will still be weird science rolls" and, hey, supers use a skill for each of their powers" would make the conversation hard to follow. My apologies for confusing those.


No worries. Each Gizmo comes with its own pool of PP and each pool is separately increased by the Power Points Edge so by Legendary, a Weird Scientist may have a handful of Gizmos, each with 35 PP. That's a huge benefit, balanced by a Malfunction table and the fact that your powers can be lost or break. In the case of Savage Rifts, Clint has already confirmed that Weird Scientists cannot use their devices' PP to power TW devices, that's why I'm proposing this option in the first place.

Severite wrote:
Brickulos wrote:So as it stands, core Weird Scientists cannot make use of TW devices that do not have internal PP storage. I was thinking a way around this might be for them to have the option to sink a New Power Edge into creating a PPE battery. The Gizmo itself would have 10 PPE of it's own and could be hooked directly into the desired TW device. It would also benefit from the Power Points Edge just as all of a Weird Scientist's Gizmos would. This is a powerful ability, to basically have a pool specifically for TW devices, so it might be fair to restrict the number of devices that can be hooked up to half the Weird Scientist's Smarts.

What do you guys think? Is it too permissive?


Well, there are a couple ways of dealing with this. I don't think your thoughts above are a bad option, nor too permissive. Perhaps tie the gizmo instead to a control element, and then have the weird science activate their gizmo as normal, adding one 'charge' for the duration of the scene....., that seems to be a bit more in line with the way weird science works by core.

Personally, I don't think it is unbalanced to simply allow anyone to pick up and use a charged TW device anyway, the same cash flow controlling characters access to recharging e-clips would apply to recharging a magic device, and in the same way an operator could charge e-clips for free, a mage could recharge equipment, and both still require downtime.


What if we did treat as an Edge?

PPE Battery
Requirements: Seasoned, Spirit d6+, Weird Science d8+
Some Weird Scientists become frustrated with not being able to wield the majority of TW device without modification. The more industrious ones have created a workaround in the form of PPE battery. The battery functions using all the normal Gizmo rules, except it only contains half the Weird Scientist's max, rounded down.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#7 Postby Severite » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:26 am

Brickulos wrote:What if we did treat as an Edge?

PPE Battery
Requirements: Seasoned, Spirit d6+, Weird Science d8+
Some Weird Scientists become frustrated with not being able to wield the majority of TW device without modification. The more industrious ones have created a workaround in the form of PPE battery. The battery functions using all the normal Gizmo rules, except it only contains half the Weird Scientist's max, rounded down.


I think that would be very fair. It would limit available PPE for TW devices to 5, depending on Edge selection, limiting them to only one or two effective TW items, which I imagine is your design goal, and, unless they pick it with starting Edges, makes them wait till seasoned, puts it behind an Edge, and, each new power point edge they pick, will allow them to add 2 points.

Just to clarify my understanding, what balance issues do you see with allowing Weird Science characters the ability to spend pool points on powering TW devices, even if you did limit it to half energy, rounded down? To be clear, I believe your proposed edge does what you want it to, to limit access, without being an endless tax. Therefore, balanced. I am more interested in the balance it has with other casters, from SR, which is why I ask.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#8 Postby Brickulos » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:52 am

Severite wrote:
Brickulos wrote:What if we did treat as an Edge?

PPE Battery
Requirements: Seasoned, Spirit d6+, Weird Science d8+
Some Weird Scientists become frustrated with not being able to wield the majority of TW device without modification. The more industrious ones have created a workaround in the form of PPE battery. The battery functions using all the normal Gizmo rules, except it only contains half the Weird Scientist's max, rounded down.


I think that would be very fair. It would limit available PPE for TW devices to 5, depending on Edge selection, limiting them to only one or two effective TW items, which I imagine is your design goal, and, unless they pick it with starting Edges, makes them wait till seasoned, puts it behind an Edge, and, each new power point edge they pick, will allow them to add 2 points.

Just to clarify my understanding, what balance issues do you see with allowing Weird Science characters the ability to spend pool points on powering TW devices, even if you did limit it to half energy, rounded down? To be clear, I believe your proposed edge does what you want it to, to limit access, without being an endless tax. Therefore, balanced. I am more interested in the balance it has with other casters, from SR, which is why I ask.


Letting Weird Scientists draw from alll there devices gives them many times the number of PPE than other casters have to power their devices. Especially because all devices separately benefit from the Power Points and Rapid Recharge Edges. With a straight PPE battery that doesn't have the half total PPE restriction, they have an entire pool just for TW devices, allowing them to power an unprecedented number of devices without impacting access to other powers.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#9 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:17 am

Severite wrote:Just to clarify my understanding, what balance issues do you see with allowing Weird Science characters the ability to spend pool points on powering TW devices, even if you did limit it to half energy, rounded down? To be clear, I believe your proposed edge does what you want it to, to limit access, without being an endless tax. Therefore, balanced. I am more interested in the balance it has with other casters, from SR, which is why I ask.

As Brickulous said, Weird Scientists have more PPE to spend on powers than any other caster (even a maxed out LLW on a Ley Line).

They get to use their entire PPE pool, which is as large as any other caster's, for each individual power. Having 10 to 40 PPE for each power is potent. If they also have the same size pool solely for fueling TW devices then a large balancing feature of TW devices is negated. It also would make Weird Scientists better at sustained use of TW items than literally any other character type, even Techno-Wizards.
Heck, a Dragon weird scientist is looking at a maximum of 65 PPE for each power. Which is a heck of a lot of power.
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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#10 Postby Severite » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:00 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:snip


Brickulos wrote:snip


I am doing a poor job of asking my question. What are your reasons for locking the ability behind a pay wall (Edge)? By themselves, TW devices are not over powering, and if you employed the same rule of mechanics to the Weird Science guy as your Edge, but just added as a class feature via houserule, you get 5 PP to spend activating TW gear, which already limits it, as they regenerate relatively slowly. And, as you add power points edge, they only gain by your rule, 2 points, so by legendary they can have a total of 13 points, and that is "if" they make it a priority. Also, as far as how they interact with the other AB's, if a dragon takes AB Weird Science, they would gain10 pp, and with your proposed mechanic, would only gain 5 more points to spend on TW gear, that they could already use, TW's also get bonuses to their use of TW equipment have more ppe to spend on activation and their gizmo power is inherently superior. Not to mention, Le


Also, I agree about the balance niche that the Weird Science guy fills, it IS potent, but, it is also by RAW doubly effected by critical failure too, and has it's other downsides. And, has to pay the same Edge tax to reach MOM ( I really hate that as an acronym, as it steps on the MindOverMatter conversion of the crazy as an acronym, but meh :wink: ) that any other non Ley Line Walker/custom IF that doesn't come with it for free.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#11 Postby Brickulos » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:11 pm

Severite wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:snip


Brickulos wrote:snip


I am doing a poor job of asking my question. What are your reasons for locking the ability behind a pay wall (Edge)? By themselves, TW devices are not over powering, and if you employed the same rule of mechanics to the Weird Science guy as your Edge, but just added as a class feature via houserule, you get 5 PP to spend activating TW gear, which already limits it, as they regenerate relatively slowly. And, as you add power points edge, they only gain by your rule, 2 points, so by legendary they can have a total of 13 points, and that is "if" they make it a priority. Also, as far as how they interact with the other AB's, if a dragon takes AB Weird Science, they would gain10 pp, and with your proposed mechanic, would only gain 5 more points to spend on TW gear, that they could already use, TW's also get bonuses to their use of TW equipment have more ppe to spend on activation and their gizmo power is inherently superior. Not to mention, Le


Also, I agree about the balance niche that the Weird Science guy fills, it IS potent, but, it is also by RAW doubly effected by critical failure too, and has it's other downsides. And, has to pay the same Edge tax to reach MOM ( I really hate that as an acronym, as it steps on the MindOverMatter conversion of the crazy as an acronym, but meh :wink: ) that any other non Ley Line Walker/custom IF that doesn't come with it for free.


I don't give it to them for free because it makes them more powerful, and it's worth an Edge. Also your math is a little off. assuming they start with 10 PPE and take every rank's Power Points edge, they would have 7 at Seasoned, 10 at Veteran, 13 at Heroic and 15 at Legendary, which they can spend on only TW devices and gains the benefits of Rapid Recharge and Ley Lines

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#12 Postby Severite » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:12 pm

Brickulos wrote:I don't give it to them for free because it makes them more powerful, and it's worth an Edge. Also your math is a little off. assuming they start with 10 PPE and take every rank's Power Points edge, they would have 7 at Seasoned, 10 at Veteran, 13 at Heroic and 15 at Legendary, which they can spend on only TW devices and gains the benefits of Rapid Recharge and Ley Lines


Thank you for answering my question. While it sounded condescending to me, text can be hard to read that way, so I will continue as if you were being simply direct. I agree on both counts. It makes them (slightly) more powerful, and points wise, is worth an Edge. I think your implementation is fine, given that as your design goal. What I am asking, and I am under no illusion that you somehow owe me an answer, is, why? If your mind is made up, or you don't want to discuss shop, that's fine, I will stop posting. But, the reason I am asking is that I know, cold, what my thoughts on it are, and how I would handle it. I, however, do not have the breath of experience in SW that wither you or VGH do, and so I am looking to see, with the experience that your guys have in the system, if I am missing something. Let me try a slightly different approach.

Presumably, if you were going to make a Weird Science guy specifically for Rifts, and not bring one over from another game/line/core, you would use the personal concept M.A.R.S. option. So, let me get to where my mind has been the entire time. Would a straight AB Weird Science guy, built with M.A.R.S. rules be more or less powerful at the table then either a Techno-Wizard IF, or a Ley Line Walker IF? It seems to me that putting your proposed rule for letting them charge TW devices, is excellent. I am wondering if I would damage the balance by adding it flat, as compared to adding your rule as an Edge.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#13 Postby dentris » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:36 pm

I wouldn't allow it. They have an AB so they can already use Techno-Wizard devices. The device just need to have its own pool of PP. It's the same thing with an Harrowed (from Deadlands) or Haunted (From Weird Wars), or for someone using the no PP AB rules.
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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#14 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:09 pm

Yes, a M.A.R.S. Personal Concept (Weird Scientist) is roughly balanced with a Techno-Wizard or Ley Line Walker.

I can't speak for Brickulous, but my reasoning for requiring an Edge is as follows:
The various core rules versions of Arcane Background are balanced with each other.
All of the core Arcane Backgrounds can use Techno-Wizard devices (TW), however they generally require the user to channel personal Power Points into the device.
Weird Scientists don't have personal Power Points, significantly limiting the TW they can use. This fits thematically, since their magic is very similar (pseudo-science gizmos with magical effects) but fundamentally different (gizmo is self powered, TW is powered by wielder).
Being able to use TW is a benefit that is indirectly defined as being worth about one Edge.
The way Weird Science uses the limited resource of Power Points, it gets more mileage out of increases in Power Points and recovery rates than other casters.
TW can become shockingly powerful, with the only practical limitation being how many PPE they require to stay functional.
Not all Weird Scientists will, or should, want to use TW. Some of these will be for role playing reasons, others for book keeping, and some because it violates the power level, style, or tone of that particular Savage Rifts campaign.
Conclusion: Weird Science would be able to use PPE exclusively for TW, while still retaining full use of all powers. At three or more gizmos, the Weird Scientist has the same (or greater) PPE pool as a fully charged Ley Line Walker, giving the Weird Scientist a similar longevity of combat magic. Combining that with the ability to sustain numerous TW without impacting casting ability is a powerful ability, roughly on par with a Ley Line Walker's improved PPE while near a ley line, easily worth an Edge.

Aside: Brickulous, you're forgetting that Novice is a rank, and you can take the Power Points edge up to once per rank. A normal human Weird Scientist, that doesn't get the +5 PPE Hero's Journey (HJ) result, has between 10 and 35 Power Points, with up to 20 as a starting M.A.R.S. character (once for Novice and once for Seasoned). Half of that would be 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, or 17, with a maximum of 20 if he got that HJ result or was a d'norr (and 22 if both are true).

Aside: Harrowed is not an AB, though a GM could very reasonably state that being Harrowed counts as a special ability that would allow the use of TW items. Not familiar with Haunted (never got deep into WW, with a lack of interested players) but I suspect it would be a similar situation.
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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#15 Postby Brickulos » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:27 pm

Severite wrote:
Brickulos wrote:I don't give it to them for free because it makes them more powerful, and it's worth an Edge. Also your math is a little off. assuming they start with 10 PPE and take every rank's Power Points edge, they would have 7 at Seasoned, 10 at Veteran, 13 at Heroic and 15 at Legendary, which they can spend on only TW devices and gains the benefits of Rapid Recharge and Ley Lines


Thank you for answering my question. While it sounded condescending to me, text can be hard to read that way, so I will continue as if you were being simply direct.


I apologize about the tone. It wasn't my intent to offend. I was typing with my thumbs and that usually makes me more abrupt.

ValhallaGH wrote:Yes, a M.A.R.S. Personal Concept (Weird Scientist) is roughly balanced with a Techno-Wizard or Ley Line Walker.

I can't speak for Brickulous, but my reasoning for requiring an Edge is as follows:
The various core rules versions of Arcane Background are balanced with each other.
All of the core Arcane Backgrounds can use Techno-Wizard devices (TW), however they generally require the user to channel personal Power Points into the device.
Weird Scientists don't have personal Power Points, significantly limiting the TW they can use. This fits thematically, since their magic is very similar (pseudo-science gizmos with magical effects) but fundamentally different (gizmo is self powered, TW is powered by wielder).
Being able to use TW is a benefit that is indirectly defined as being worth about one Edge.
The way Weird Science uses the limited resource of Power Points, it gets more mileage out of increases in Power Points and recovery rates than other casters.
TW can become shockingly powerful, with the only practical limitation being how many PPE they require to stay functional.
Not all Weird Scientists will, or should, want to use TW. Some of these will be for role playing reasons, others for book keeping, and some because it violates the power level, style, or tone of that particular Savage Rifts campaign.
Conclusion: Weird Science would be able to use PPE exclusively for TW, while still retaining full use of all powers. At three or more gizmos, the Weird Scientist has the same (or greater) PPE pool as a fully charged Ley Line Walker, giving the Weird Scientist a similar longevity of combat magic. Combining that with the ability to sustain numerous TW without impacting casting ability is a powerful ability, roughly on par with a Ley Line Walker's improved PPE while near a ley line, easily worth an Edge.

Aside: Brickulous, you're forgetting that Novice is a rank, and you can take the Power Points edge up to once per rank. A normal human Weird Scientist, that doesn't get the +5 PPE Hero's Journey (HJ) result, has between 10 and 35 Power Points, with up to 20 as a starting M.A.R.S. character (once for Novice and once for Seasoned). Half of that would be 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, or 17, with a maximum of 20 if he got that HJ result or was a d'norr (and 22 if both are true).

Aside: Harrowed is not an AB, though a GM could very reasonably state that being Harrowed counts as a special ability that would allow the use of TW items. Not familiar with Haunted (never got deep into WW, with a lack of interested players) but I suspect it would be a similar situation.


My reasoning is the same as Valhalla's. Though he did a better and more thorough job explaining than I would've.

Thank you for catching the mistake also, Valhalla.

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Re: [SR] Possible option for core Weird Scientists

#16 Postby Severite » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:45 pm

Brickulos wrote:I apologize about the tone. It wasn't my intent to offend. I was typing with my thumbs and that usually makes me more abrupt.


No worries! I strongly suspected it was something more along those lines, than a superior tone.

Thank you for the reply, and while I think I disagree with how powerful being able to wield TW devices are by itself, as you still need to buy/have a TW make/ETC, I have said from the beginning I think your edge accomplishes your goal of the void you wanted to fill.


ValhallaGH wrote:Yes, a M.A.R.S. Personal Concept (Weird Scientist) is roughly balanced with a Techno-Wizard or Ley Line Walker.


Thank you for breaking down your internal math, it explains where you are coming from in your replies above. I think I will limit it to a flat 2 energy per power points edge, as it seems more consistent to me, and allow half starting base apply.


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