Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tinkering with Power Armor

I've long been unhappy with the relative 'underpoweredness' of Power Armor in Savage Fallout. Part of this is due to the problem of converting the game's three distinct parameters for getting hit and taking damage to Savage Worlds' Toughness value and Parry score, and the generic TN4 to be hit with ranged. How to make Power Armor better at protecting a character, without just piling on more Armor value? Another issue is the core mechanic of Extras and Wild Cards in SW, making any NPC underpowered no matter what they're wearing, if they're not a WC.

One idea I had was giving Power Armor a bonus to Parry and penalty to being hit, reflecting the AC value in the games. But this would lead to even more attacks just missing, which is already a common occurrence in SW and quickly gets boring. Extras wouldn't stand a chance against Wild Cards in Power Armor.

Increase the Armor value? This would help out NPCs wearing Power Armor match off against the players, but in turn make players even more powerful once they finally get their hands on Power Armor. With exploding damage, extra Toughness doesn't make that much of a difference anyhow, another area where SW mechanics differ from the game's Damage Threshold and fixed weapon damage ranges.

So in the end what I opted for was a minor change, but something that will hopefully accomplish my ultimate goal: making sure novice Wild Cards don't just plow through groups of Extras in Power Armor. Power Armor now has the armor perk of only being able to be damaged by a) Heavy Weapons or b) weapons with Armor Piercing. These will be weapons that low rank groups will only have few of and need to use sparingly, ensuring foes in Power Armor remain a real threat until mid-high level.

Of course, the players will enjoy the same benefit once they get their hands on some suits, but by that point in the game some simple raiders wouldn't have been a match for them anymore anyway. Any monster of at least Strength d8 or Size+1 can continue to damage Power Armored characters.

18 comments:

  1. Hey Yves I recently took a liking to your Savage Fallout conversion and made a map for my campaign as well as some other documents. The campaign is based in San Francisco with some twists on the overall lore and area of the original Fallout. Keep in mind it is not finished and alot of the descriptions are placeholder from the Fallout wikia. https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1eaAEUfpTMNJFnX-YS9sFicAgIcY&hl=en

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    1. How is this setting in San Francisco coming along? I would love to get a copy! Also, have there been any other adventure developments of the Hubologists and Shi factions?

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  2. Hey Myriad, nice map. I couldn't see a link to the documents you mentioned. Anything to share?

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  3. The power armor only being damaged by heavy weapons is how they do it in the SF companion, but the issue with that is that you can game the system a bit by applying heavy armor to something pretty common. One of my groups did this to their droid - apply 1 point of heavy armor and now nothing short of a bazooka can hurt it. The use of the AP value is an excellent compromise, though you might consider limiting it to AP 2 or greater. Thus, proper rifles, miniguns, etc. can hurt power armor, but most handguns can't. Considering that even police soft armor vests can stop handgun rounds, it makes a lot of sense for power armor to be flat out impervious to it.

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  4. You're absolutely right Matt. One point of Heavy Armor is far more powerful than any number of points of regular armor. The way I rejiggered things is that the low tier melee weapons and small guns don't have AP value, but the high end ones do. So every weapon class still has options to counter Power Armor, though of course explosives/energy weapons/big guns have an edge due to increased AP.

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    1. Ah. I hadn't realized that you rejiggered things relative go the core book, where stuff like a 9mm handgun is AP 1. I haven't gotten that far in the published docs yet, as I was reading the blog. :-)

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    2. Yeah, there's an equipment list in the player's guide, most of the weapons from Fallout 1 and 2 (and a few later ones) translated into SW stats based on their relative merit. But as you noted that may cause some discrepancies. :)

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  5. Any plans for a rules update that may include some of the changes with Fallout 4? Synths, Behemoths, new weapons, etc?

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    1. Hi Brandon, no such plans at the moment really, I've stuck mostly with the west coast setting.

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    2. Fair enough. I am currently in the process of writing up a Savage Fallout campaign that I am hoping to run starting this summer with five players from my rpg group. It will be my first experience running Savage Worlds and I'm excited to have it be in the Fallout universe!

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  6. Hello,
    I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful adaptation of Fallout to Savage Worlds!
    I've used it to start a Fallout Campaign in December last year and we're having a great deal of fun so far.
    I've mastered a Fallout campaign before using the d100 rules taken from the first two games.

    Currently I'm constantly expanding the lists of items and monsters and plan on making it available for others as well. If you like, I can gladly send it to you to use, but it's in German - the weapons etc should be easy to re-use nevertheless :)

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  7. Hi Daniel, that's great, if you have anything to share I'm sure others here would have use for that as well!

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  8. Hi Yves, you can find the file here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/tsoztyvxyxkctvi/%C3%96dland-%C3%9Cberlebensf%C3%BChrer.docx?dl=0 (Barry Oakland was the name of my Fallout 4 character ;))

    As I said, it's in German but I think it would be usable as most terms should be similar. Still WIP obviously, but we're enjoying playing with it so far. :)

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  9. Thanks Daniel! Actually a not unsizeable number of people who frequent this page are German speakers, so I'm sure it will be of use to them. :)

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  10. you don't need impervious power armor. there are already a mountain of ways you can make it harder for ranged attacks to hit you. such as taking cover, dropping prone and crawling, and so on. if NPCs are easy to kill in power armor, it is because mooks shouldn't be wearing it.

    power armor, even for the factions that had it, limited it to their elite units, friggin wild cards.

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    1. Can't say I agree entirely there, Umbrie. Lots of unnamed BoS/Enclave troops had power armor in the games. In the later games even raiders had some suits.

      Also I wouldn't allow characters in power armor to drop prone/crawl, but that's just my take on it.

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  11. Hey, I can't find any way to contact you besides comments on these posts so sorry if I missed something obvious.

    I've been running a Savage Fallout campaign for a while now and had some questions/comments about the rules in general, is there a way I can do that besides these comments?

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  12. Hey Michael,

    if you think it won't be of any benefit to any other readers you can always send me an email to d1lut3d at hotmail com.

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