Wednesday, April 30, 2014

In Case You're Wondering...

Neither I nor this blog are dead, just snowed under with work and thesis writing.
I have some great posts percolating, but they'll have to wait until the final chapter of the thesis is done the end of the month and the new workplace settles into a routine.

Might also get some gaming done after the deadline this month, finger's crossed.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Unofficial Palladium Repair Kit Part II

Part Two – General SDC Combat
Here is the second installment of the Palladium Patch. As before, the houserules are in suggestive order of implementation, so try the first and work your way down if you like it.

1) Armor Rating
AR is changed to reflect how much damage a character or object can take. For living creatures, any damage up to AR is subtracted from SDC, while any in excess of AR is taken directly from Hit Points. Armor takes SDC damage up to AR then passes it on to the wearer.
Watch players get wary of hand to hand and start running from guns…
(NB: Also, use the optional critical damage tables! The risk of a broken arm or leg will force the characters to be creative and not rush headlong into combat).

2) Combat Momentum
Since most characters have multiple attacks/actions, a different style of adjudicating combat is suggested to make the game run faster and build excitement. Roll initiative as normal, but whichever character gets it keeps on attacking until one of the following occurs:
1) they run out of attacks, 2) they fumble (roll a natural 1) 3) they run out of actions (also means no dodging or piloting rolls to dodge), 4) they decide to stop attacking and use their remaining actions later. Note that if you run out of attacks/actions using the CM system, you become a sitting duck and can only parry. This makes burning an action to dodge behind cover essential.
Implementing Combat Momentum made the game much more cinematic and sped up combat immensely for us, but other groups found it jarring after D&D style one attack/player rounds. Give it a try and see where you stand.

3) Target Values
Target values reflecting difficulty to hit, and attackers most roll equal or over the Target Value to hit. Use judgment and be fair in deciding Target Values.
Description (Apply the most appropriate descriptor to find the row for the situation)
Unmissable – Immobilized target, automatic hit
Easy - Huge, slow moving, close range, or no cover targets
Average - Large, walking, medium range, or in 1/4 cover targets
Challenging - Small, slow vehicle/dodging human, far range, or in 1/2 cover targets
Difficult - Tiny, fast vehicle, extreme range, or in 3/4 cover targets
Not allowed - Impossible to hit

4) Automatic Fire & Recoil
When firing a burst from an automatic weapon, decide the number of rounds fired and roll to hit as normal. The first round takes the number rolled (after modifiers) as its hit number, while every subsequent round takes a penalty equal to the gun’s Recoil Value, which is equal to the number of dice it rolls for damage.
For example, a .45 automatic does 4d6 damage and thus has a Recoil of four. If a character is firing a burst of 3 rounds and the player rolls an 18 to hit after modifiers, the first round uses 18 as its Hit Number, the second uses 14 (18 minus the Recoil Value), and the last round’s Hit Number is further reduced to 10 (14 minus Recoil). Firing two-handed, braced, or using a stock reduces Recoil by 1 each, and effects are cumulative, although Recoil can never be reduced lower than 1. Recoil can also be reduced by PS bonus. Beam weapons have no recoil.
(NB: When firing on multiple targets, the space between them requires one round to be shot into it. In the above example of the .45 auto pistol, the player could try to hit an assailant with the roll of 18, sacrifice the roll of 14, then try to hit another foe with the roll of 10).

5) Dodging Missiles
When dodging missiles, apply the following penalties:
 – 1 vs thrown, – 3 vs arrows / spears, – 4 vs guns & rockets, – 6 vs beam weapons, – 9 vs invisible weapons.

6) SDC Damage types
Different weapons have different effects. Blunt weapons doing HP damage also have a 50/50 chance of knocking out or breaking bones. Victim gets a PE save to avoid. Bladed weapons doing HP damage also cause blood loss of 1 HP per minute until the bleeding is stopped. Bullets do damage as blunt and bladed (i.e. KO or broken bones plus blood loss). Burns cause 1 point of PB reduction whenever HP damage is done


Friday, April 11, 2014

Altar of the Machine

An Altar of the Machine is a squat black monolith filigreed with silvery and multicouloured neon veins that look like circuits to modern viewers. It hums of eerie machinery (think Lou Reed’s Machine Metal Music), making sleep impossible within a mile radius.

The altar comes from a Demiplane of Machines, sandwiched between the Plane of Unlife and the Plane of Metals. An altar is sent imbued with enough energy to break into our reality, then make one of the following machinelife monsters.

Roll 3d6
SHAPE (special ability)
Floating Eye (freeze ray & flight)
1 man
Doppleganger (mimic)
2 men
Skeleton (missiles have 50% chance of missing)
4 men
Hook Horror (leaping ability)
6 men
Golem (deafening handclap)
8 men
Mek (high speed)
9 men
* Use as Hit Dice for D&D, adjust accordingly for other games.

Silver – Need magic weapons to hit
Gold – Splits into half strength miniatures when hit
Quicksilver – Unharmed by metal weapons
Chrome – Reflects beams and rays
Steel – Attacker must save vs strength or drop melee weapon on a successful hit
Crystal – Blinding ray when fighting in daytime

The created machinelife sets out procuring victims to sacrifice on the altar. Once it has sacrificed a dozen men’s worth of life it can create a new machinelife and both will try to carry out its mission, sacrificing more living creatures and summoning more machinelife to the world until it is overrun.