Thursday, August 22, 2013

The King is Dead: Give Me Gonzo or Give Me Death


I could insist that The King is Dead is a very serious setting with a very serious political message and everyone should take it very seriously.  I could do that, or I could acknowledge that one of the main influences on this setting is a movie with a set piece fight scene where a supposed American Indian kung-fus a bunch of guys with Wolverine claws and the final fight is against a guy with a crazy anime-style bone whip-sword.  I think I'll choose the latter.

Savage Worlds Arcane Backgrounds in The King is Dead

All five core Savage Worlds Deluxe Arcane Backgrounds are available in The King is Dead.  If you have the Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion and you really, really want to use the new ones in there, then by all means do so.  I'm not going to stop you; I just think we don't need them.  By the same token, characters made with the Super Powers Companion are on a completely different scale than "normal" Savage Worlds PCs, so only use that if everyone in the party is making a Super Powers character.

I think that using Power Points really balances characters with Arcane Backgrounds versus those without them.  ABs eat up a lot of Advances when you use Power Points -- you not only have to buy the Arcane Background Edge and the corresponding Arcane Skill, but you also have to decide whether you want more Power Points with that Edge or if you're going to get the New Power Edge -- so players have to judge whether they want to be merely Arcane powerhouses or if they want to be better-rounded.  You can't raise a mob with Damage Field, and you really, really might want a nice rampaging mob on your side if you storm the Hammerturm.

Arcane Backgrounds in the world of The King is Dead

Magic
My initial reaction to Magic is that it's the one Arcane Background I would like to ban, but that's dumb.  Kabbalism and other forms of occultism were actually pretty popular in the 18th century; there was a huge fad for it in Venice, which Casanova exploited to his advantage.  Le Chevalier d'Eon has freakin' Robespierre tracing magic glowing spells in the air!  So, yeah, magic works the same as always.

Miracles
The Church is in cahoots with the vampires, supporting their reign by preaching the doctrine of Sathaniel, King of the World.
Sathaniel looked out upon the troubled world, and saw that man needed stern guidance and judgement.  "Oh Lord, hast thou forsaken them?" he cried.  Then he appeared to the daughter of the king and offered her his blood...
Hordos 3:16

Good guy miracle workers either worship the Pariah (a mysterious apocryphal demigod of peace and equality), foreign and pagan gods, or simply dedicate themselves D&D 3.x style to a cause or principle.  I see no danged reason to not have adepts in The King is Dead; heck, it's practically required by the source material.


Cruthin Spirit Warrior
Novice
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d8, Faith d8, Notice d6, Stealth d6, Survival d6, Throwing d4, Tracking d6
Charisma: -2; Pace: 6; Parry 6; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Vow/Major (Rid the Colonies of rule by the vampires), Illiterate, Loyal
Edges: Adept (punches & kicks are Str+d4), Arcane Background (Miracles)
Special Abilities:
  • Power Points: 10
  • Powers: Boost/Lower Trait (a confident smile or intimidating stare), Deflection (blinding speed and agility; self only)
Gear: Axe (Str+d6, Range 3/6/12), pair of daggers (Str+d4), ₤250

Isn't Boost/Lower Trait awesome?  Whenever he needs to be better at something, this Novice Mani clone can just give himself a boost, and when he's fighting a gang of thugs he can drop their Fighting Skill (and thereby their Parry scores) down with a sneer.

Psionics

I don't yet know if fairies actually exist in this setting yet, but people born with the Second Sight certainly believe they have fairy blood.

Super Powers
Why not?  Call it exposure to the Newtown Weald meteorite, fairy blood again, vampire heritage, or just don't explain it at all.  Whatever you choose, the core AB: Super Powers is pretty well balanced... except maybe when you have Boost/Lower Trait as your power.  20 Power Points to toss into that whenever you want?  Sick!


"Gifted" Adventurer
Novice
Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills:* Climbing d4, Boost/Lower Trait d6, Fighting d4, Gambling d4, Healing d4, Investigation d4, Lockpicking d4, Notice d6, Persuasion d4, Riding d4, Stealth d6, Streetwise d4, Taunt d4
Charisma: +4; Pace: 6; Parry 4; Toughness: 5
Hindrances: Curious, Greedy/Minor, Poverty
Edges: Arcane Background (Super Powers), Attractive, Very Attractive
Special Abilities:
  • Power Points:20
  • Powers: Boost/Lower Trait
Gear: Dagger (Str+d4), lockpicks, ₤25
* You can't Boost a trait unless you have it, so it's better to have as many as you can get.
Weird Science
Just look at the top of the page.  I think we can all agree we need that in The King is Dead.  Also, why don't we just use Weird Science for alchemy?  They basically work the same.

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