A short one, today. Here are a few special rules I use in my homebrew setting. I really like the world building aspect and crowd sourcing it as it both helps me figure out where the players want to go and what they want to do and keeps me from having to come up with everything myself.
And, in a game where you almost inherently have to have a crew of NPC’s following you around, it’s important to set boundaries on what they can do for the PC’s.
Dynamic Fighting arose from playing Edge of the Empire and all the weird things that come up with their success system. It always felt like a waste when you got more than one raise on a Fighting or Shooting roll in Savage Worlds, so with this system, you can actually use them for something.
THINGS YOU CAN DO DURING YOUR TURN DURING WORLD BUILDING
- Define Something About the Universe – This can be almost anything as long as it does not contradict something that is already defined. You could declare that some NPC is your long lost uncle or that there is a new ship in the Ravnivori fleet or that the people of the planet you’re on enjoy a particular type of dish or that a certain type of creature exists or that there is a certain legend.
- Refine Something About the Universe – If something has been previously defined, whether by another player or the GM, you may refine it either by adding or clarifying some detail. Again, this can be anything as long as it does not contradict something already established.
- Spawn a Named NPC – This can be one of two things, either an NPC who lives at whatever location the party is currently at or turning one of the nameless, generic crewmembers into a Named NPC.
When you Spawn a Named NPC you get to define his/her name, race and culture (if they are Imperials.) You also define their Base Abilities and Skills. These NPC’s start with a D4 in each attribute and have 4 points to spend to raise them. Crewmembers get 3 Skills at a D6 and one at a D4 while “native” NPC’s get one skill at D8 two at D6 and one at D4. Named NPC’s get 250 Imperial Marks worth of equipment.
Note that all Named NPC’s start as Extras and thus have only one wound.
- Refine a Named NPC – If someone has already spawned a Named NPC during world building and you would like to further define it, you may choose a Hindrance for the NPC. This may be a Major Hindrance if one has not already been chosen for the NPC or a Minor Hindrance if two Minor Hindrances have not already been chosen. You may then either spend the point(s) generated using standard character creation rules or leave them for someone else to spend. Note that if you spend one point to gain extra equipment the NPC only gets another 250 Marks’ worth.
- Advance a Named NPC – If there is an existing Named NPC that you would like to make better, this is done just like an advance for a PC with the same options for advancement. Additionally, an advance can be spent to add a Wound to a Named NPC. This can be done up to two times which makes the NPC the equivalent of a PC as far as Wounds go and is the limit to the number of times this can be done. Once a Named NPC has 3 wounds, another opportunity can be spent to give the Named NPC a Wild Die and another to give him Bennies like a standard PC.
Each of these options can only be selected once per World Building Session. Thus, a Named NPC cannot get a boost to attributes and skills twice in a World Building Session or gain two wounds in a World Building Session.
- Other – Almost everything should be covered by one of these categories, but if anything comes to mind that doesn’t, suggest it and it can be worked out.
THINGS YOUR CREW CAN DO WITH/FOR YOU
- Make a Skill Check – Several crewmen on the Capital Gains have skills that the player characters do not. Kaylee’s Repair skill, for example. In addition, there will be times when the PC’s do have the pertinent skills but will not be able to perform all the tasks required. For example, the Capital Gains has more weapons than PC’s to fire them. Any player can declare that a member of the crew, or a group of crewmen are performing a skill check. Of course, this exposes them to whatever risk would normally occur around that skill check.
- Assist in a Skill Check – The crew have a number of skills that duplicate those of the PC’s. Any time the crew is available, the PC’s may have them assist. The crew will make a separate roll and for every success and raise they get, the PC gets a +1 to their roll. A number of crewmen have skills that can support the PC’s skills. Granada, for example, has Knowledge: Battle skill and can assist M’Zashi in his checks. Additionally, the crew in general has a Piloting skill and any maneuver or Piloting check made while on the Capital Gains by any of the characters can be aided by the general crew.
- Help You In a Fight – Using the Allied NPC rules from Savage Worlds, the party can always take a few sidekicks around with them. The players will essentially play two characters, their PC and an NPC. These can be named NPC’s like Ishi or generic NPC’s. In either case, they are subjected to the same dangers as the PC’s and are, generally, much more fragile but can be invaluable when the numbers are against you. Too keep the battlefield from getting too crowded, I would like to limit this to one Allied NPC per player. Additionally, the NPC’s have to be available in-game. No running off alone to the Lost Temple and then whipping a side kick out of your magic…pocket.
- Turn a Regular Battle Into a Mass Battle – In any battle involving the whole crew (a boarding action or land based battle where the whole or a significant portion has been taken along) the Mass Battle rules can be utilized. This keeps the party from having to fight a hoard of opponents while their crew twiddles their collective thumbs but ups the stakes as well as each token lost in a Mass Battle represents several crewmen. Of course, a subset of the crew can also be used, only the marines or only the skeleton soldiers, for example. Going forward, we will use the Ultimate Mass Battle rules as much as possible. In that system, a regular Sailor has a Composition Rating of 1. A Marine has a Composition Rating of 2. A Skeleton Soldier has a Composition Rating of 3.
Dynamic Fighting –
On a hit and a single raise on a fighting roll, the rules remain the same as the core rulebook. However, to take into account the spectacular success involved in multiple additional raises and to make combat more interesting, each additional raise can be “spent” for a special effect using Dynamic Fighting. Listed below are several special results that can be “bought” with these extra raises on an attack roll. No matter how many raises are obtained, the same result cannot be bought twice, nor do their results stack. For instance, an attacker could spend one raise to lower the target’s parry only for himself or two to lower the target’s parry for everyone but would only gain a 1 point parry reduction for his own attacks if he bought both. (Much better to buy the parry reduction for everyone and a hit increase for himself.) In all cases, these results are temporary and last only until the end of the attacker’s next turn.
For one raise an attacker may –
Add +1 to fighting rolls against the target for the attacker, only.
Lower the target’s parry by 1 against the attacker, only.
Add +1 to his parry against the target for the attacker, only.
Add +1 to damage rolls against the target for the attacker, only.
Lower the target’s cover bonus against the attacker, only by one level.
Increase the die type of a bonus damage die by 1 against the target for the attacker, only.
For two raises an attacker may –
Add +1 to fighting rolls against the target for everyone attacking the target.
Lower the target’s parry by 1 against everyone attacking the target.
Add +1 to the parry of everyone against the target.
Add +1 to damage rolls against the target for everyone attacking the target.
Add +1 to his parry against everyone attacking him.
Lower the target’s cover bonus against everyone attacking the target by one level.
Push the target back 1” (6’)
Reduce the target’s pace by 2 and lower his running die by one type.
Eliminate any gang up bonuses against the attacker.