Friday, October 12, 2012

Savage Odyssey Prime: Portal Operation...

Good Afternoon, All:

Because it's such an integral part of a Savage Odyssey Prime campaign, I feel that I need to take a moment to talk about the game mechanics of operating a portal device. Much of this is inspired by the D20 rules found in the core rulebook, but where I feel I can, I'm applying the "Fast, Fun, Furious" mindset of Savage Worlds to make it easier to remember and easier to use.

Portal Operation
While understanding how portals truly operate requires a great deal of scientific knowledge, the actual operation of a portal relies on the proper use of computers to run the necessary calculations. Operating a portal device, such as the Sherman Ring, requires a Knowledge (Computers) check. Reference the Portal Calculations Time Table to determine the time needed to perform the necessary calculations and operations, and the the Portal Operation Modifiers Table to determine the modifiers for the check. A "guide marker," such as an ancient script with deciphered coordinates, or a detailed star chart, helps the operation of the portal. If two or more people attempt to control the same portal device, then they must make Opposed skill checks to determine who succeeds, with checks modified as per the Portal Operation Modifiers Table.

Table: Portal Operation Check Results
  • Raise: On a Raise, the portal opens as desired, connecting the origin portal device with the destination portal device.
  • Success: On a Success, the portal opens, but suffers a Portal Off-Target Mishap.
  • Failure: On a Failure, the portal does not open.
  • Critical Failure (Or Modified Results Of 0 Or Less): On a Critical Failure (or a modified result of 0 or less), the portal suffers a Portal Error.

The amount of calculation time for determining coordinates depends on the power of the computer. The Portal Calculations Time Table provides the basic information for common systems used to attempt such efforts.

Table: Portal Calculations Time
Equipment UsedTime
Notebook Computer1 hour
Desktop Computer/Wrist Portal Monitor30 minutes
Advanced Computer/Command Portal Monitor15 minutes
“Smart” Computer5 minutes

Table: Portal Operations Modifiers
Equipment UsedModifier
Notebook Computer+0
Desktop Computer/Wrist Portal Monitor+2
Advanced Computer/Command Portal Monitor+4
“Smart” Computer+6
Same galaxy+0
Different dimension/time-2
Let’s Do This Faster/Slower
Half the time-2
Double the time+2
Per additional portal device operating within 500 miles on the same planet-2
Using an alternate world gate on Earth-2
Possess a useful guide marker+1
Possess an excellent guide marker+2

Table: Portal Off-Target Mishap
1-3Destination location off target by 1d4 miles (1d12 for direction).
4-5Destination location off target by 1d10x20 miles (1d12 for direction).
6Destination location off target by 2d6x500 miles (1d12 for direction).
7Another planet entirely.
8Destination time off target by 1d12 years (50% past/50% future).
9Destination time off target by 1d10 decades (50% past/50% future).
10Destination time off target by 1d8 centuries (50% past/50% future).

Table: Portal Error
1-2Explosion deals 3d6 damage to all within 10 squares, and is stuck open for 2d6 hours.
3Everyone within 10 squares of either gate must make an Agility-2 trait check or be sucked to another world.
4-8The gate opens to the correct world, but 2d10 miles off target. The complement gate cannot be activated for 2d10 hours.
9-102d6 creatures each are gated in to the origin and destination sites when the portal is activated.

Hopefully, these rules should be easy to implement once we get used to them. The underlying assumption is that the successful operation of the device still has problems, which is why a Raise grants you no side effects. Most of the modifiers are positive, so they build toward a successful and uneventful trip. If you rush things, or operate under conditions that strain the fabric of reality, then things potentially get bad quick. Otherwise, it should be pretty straightforward.


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