Monday, October 29, 2012

Savage Odyssey Prime: Setting Rules...

Good Afternoon, All:

My Savage Odyssey Prime campaign will operate under a number of specific Setting Rules. These setting rules are detailed below:

Cheating Death
When a hero would normally die, they may spend a Bennie and are saved by a suitable coincidence or act of 'dumb luck.' The character returns at the beginning of the next session, no longer Incapacitated but still bearing the Wounds and Fatigue he suffered prior to his "near-death experience". In addition, the character starts that session with no Bennies, but may earn them during play as normal. (Such is the price of death.)

Defining Interests
At character creation, each character gains a number of defining interests equal to half their Smarts die type. These may be spent on languages or on a +1 bonus on checks related to specific fields of interest.

Dramatic Action
Actions are traditionally resolved at three general levels of difficulty: Average (+0), Challenging (-2) and Heroic (-4). Actions that promote plot, encourage cooperation, make the game fun for everyone and advance a sense of drama that complements the current storyline gain a +2 bonus. Actions that could be anticlimactic, detrimentally sidetrack the story, short-circuit the scenario prematurely or disrupt the flavor of the game, sending the session into the dead plots' equivalent of the Ninth Level of Hell, suffer a -4 penalty. Most actions are considered neutral.

Multiple Languages
As per the Setting Rule of the same name in Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition.

No Power Points (Under Consideration)
As per the Setting Rule of the same name in Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition. Magic, psionics and superpowers are going to be relatively rare in-game, but when I consider how things work in some of the settings I'll use as inspiration, this approach feels appropriate. Still, I'm on the fence, because I don't know how well it will fit. And really, is it even necessary?

Skill Specialization (Under Consideration)
As per the Setting Rule of the same name in Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition. I am torn on this particular one, because I love the concept, but it may add a little extra complication.

Tainted Joker
Traditionally, one joker in each deck of cards is red, while the other is black. Treat the red joker as normal. The black joker works exactly like the red joker, with just one little twist: the GM gets one extra Bennie. He can use this Bennie however he likes, although it is most thematic to apply it to the character who drew the doom. This represents a type of tainted luck, or jumping out of the frying pan and into the firing squad.

Knowledge Skills
The following are the most common examples of Knowledge skills used in this setting.
  • Admin: This skill indicates knowledge of administration, bureaucracy and official red tape.
  • Battle: This knowledge reflects a talent with techniques and strategies for disposing and maneuvering forces in combat.
  • Computers: This skill indicates an aptitude for working with computers, sensors and other technical equipment as an operator and/or programmer.
  • Demolitions: The ability to use demolition charges and other explosive devices, including assembling or disarming bombs.
  • Cultures: This knowledge represents an understanding of religious beliefs, cultural practices, taboos and similar matters.
  • History: This specialty deals with studies of the past, particularly famous events and people.
  • Occult: This skill focuses on miracles, magic and the supernatural, astrology, numerology, and similar topics.
  • Life Sciences: This skill encompasses the study of botany, ecology, xeno-medicine, zoology and other life sciences.
  • Physical Sciences: This skill encompasses the study of astronomy, chemistry, physics, planetology and other physical sciences.
  • Statecraft: This skill describes knowledge of politics, nobility, governments, laws, rules, regulations and other legal practices.

I like settling on my Setting Rules before a campaign begins, because it allows me to define the style of play for the game, and helps set expectations. Some of these are elements I've picked up from specific Savage Worlds settings. The Dramatic Action rules are derived from a conversion of those found in the original rule book for Odyssey Prime. All in all, it should be a fun campaign.

With Regards,

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