Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Ranged vs Melee (Savage Worlds)

I'm always drawn to perceived issues with systems. Things that my players or other people believe to be broken and in need of a fix.

One that has caught my eye is the supposed discrepancies between melee and ranged combat. Which goes something like this:
Difficulty to hit in melee is 2+ 1/2 your opponents Agility. While to hit with ranged is a set number of 4.
Which gives range an advantage over melee.

By itself, out of context of the rest of the system I can see where this could seem unbalanced. Lets examine both as they pertain to the combat system at large. First I'll examine melee.

In melee your parry of 2+1/2 of fighting skill is only applicable if you are not surprised by an attack and only if you have a proper weapon reddied to defend yourself. If you are unarmed, weilding an improvised weapon, surprised, or making a wild attack your parry will be lower. So the defalt melee defense is assuming you are ready, knowing, and armed. So I say melee by defalt assumes the defender is at advantage to defend against a melee attack.

Now ranged combat on the other hand has a defult difficulty of 4. This assumes that you are not surprised, within close range, and not in cover.
The proper tactic against a ranged weapon is cover (causing cover penalties). The proper weapon for a ranged attack is one that is effective at the range you need (to avoid range penalties). So I say by defult the defender is assumed at a disadvantage against a ranged attack.

In quick summery, in melee the advantage goes to the defender, with penalties to the defender for being unarmed or unprepared. By contrast ranged assumed advantage on the part of the attacker, with penalties to the attacker for conditions and defender tactics.

Within context of the rest of the system I don't find this unbalanced. If anything it seems fair and makes sense given the nature of melee and ranged conditions and penalties.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

GM musings, Believable cyberpunk.

In my games the world revolves around my players. But if I am to make the world believable, it must seem as though it doesn't.

I'm in the prossess of planning my first interface zero game. Although I am new to IZ, I am not new to cyberpunk roleplaying. Shadowrun was the second rpg I ever ran, cyberpunk 2020 a close 3rd.  thought I might share some of my tricks to more realistic world building while running cyberpunk. This might be obvious to some, I just hope it's useful to someone. 

Organizations: make organizations with no ties to the players. Too often we as GMs only create what our characters will interact with as they interact with it. Create street gangs, political activist groups, political leaders, vigilante groups, gun runners and drug dealers. Make an alliance web. Who (atleast at start) is aligned with whom. Who has a beef with whom. Let those alliances shift over time from actions off camera revealed through media or rumors from contacts.

Interaction: create interactions between your groups outside of player interaction, rather these interactions happen around the players.
A few examples:

As the players cross the road to meet a contact gang A commits a drive by against gang B on the block across from the players.

As the players enter walk down the street a buildings windows blow out. A bomb planted by a political terrorist group just blew up the headquarters of their rival.

As the players enter a bar two rival biker gangs kick off a fight.

A bank is robbed right next to the players who are on stake out. With a shootout with police and everything.
A rival gang takes out one of your contacts as a retaliation for something totally unrelated to your characters story.

A corporate take over has random groups suddenly breakout in gunfire, corporate security have checkpoints or areas blocked off.

A living world: As your city or world moves and jumps it will seem to have it's own heartbeat. The players have to decide how to act, react, or avoid each and every group drawing them into your alliance web. Every action will have a consequence in the web.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Assassin's blades (5E D&D)

The Assassin's balade is a cestus that looks like a heavy leather glove with three small blades protruding from the nuckles. Fashioned with tips specifically designed to pierce deep into it's target.

Some are designed to leave the blades behind after use. Leaving the blades deep in the wounds.

These blades are crafted by artisans of the Raven house guild of assassins. They are fine crafted and well balanced.

Assassin's blades 1d4 Piercing light, finesse.

+2 to all concealment rolls.