Wednesday, January 7, 2015

GM Wednesday! - Tech and Magic

Again, sorry for the late post. I'm still dealing with Geico about the wreck. They've actually switched to being very helpful and I hope to be on a new bike by next week.

Hacking

In a general sense, yes, but not with decks plugged into people's brains. I'm going to leave that level of cybernetics to Cyberpunk. Besides, with the problems I have had with viruses or Windows crashes, why would I want to any of that drek direct access to my brain?

Cybernetics

Cyborgs are more set dressing than techno-wonders in this style of sci-fi. Limbs are usually just replacements and don't have built in auto-cannons. Going full cyborg is the purview of cyberpunk, where one of the major themes is the blurred lines between man and machine.

I want to limit cybernetics but the whole "losing sense of self" just doesn't work for me (especially since I am a huge Ghost in the Shell fan). So I am going to go with cybernetics as an Arcane Background. Using edges represents the difficulty a person experiences in learning to control their cybernetic parts (it's not as easy as plug n' play) and the power points represent actual power points. These limbs run on batteries, so triggering special powers are going to suck up the juice faster.

This approach makes it F!F!F! to implement and understand cybernetics by using the current rules without creating an entirely different sub-system that would take the focus away from adventures and make it more about the tech.

Magic?

Typically in sci-fi, magic is called psionics. The idea is that the power of the mind develops to create stunning effects instead of relying on mystical words and finger waggling.
This might be something that I add or lose depending on my players wishes but I am dealing with space fantasy here. That level of mysticism adds a new layer to my adventures. 

Another type of magic in space fantasy is the technology itself, which begs the question "If you can buy a bacta tank, why would we ever evolve Healing psionics?" It means that while I can base technological devices off of the magic system, I should be careful to not overlap or make psionics a waste of character points.

Ideally I think I would prefer to handle psionic powers the way Babylon 5 handled them. Telekinetics are rare and there are no flashy powers. It's all about monkeying with the minds of others. For this I'm going to borrow the powers breakdown from Slipstream but dump things like Armor. Blast and Burst could still work as mental attacks.

So here's my power list...


From Slipstream:
Block
Confuse the Mind
Empathy
Mind Reading
Mind Riding
Object Reading
Probe
Telepathy

From SWDEX:
Beast Friend
Blast
Blind
Bolt
Boost/Lower Trait
Burst
Detect/ Conceal Arcana (Psionics)
Disguise
Dispel
Entangle
Fear
Invisibility
Puppet
Slumber
Stun

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