Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's time for some new Chase Rules in 50 Fathoms.

Our last Chase in 50 Fathoms was just too long. It's convinced me to deploy a more concrete Chase system over the very abstract Chase.

One concept that needs to be explained is Zones. Zones are a concept in FATE, but can easily be exported to Savage Worlds. There are six Range Increments that act as different Zones.

Escape Range: If a character or vehicle ends a Chase Round at Escape Range, they exit the Chase and escape as the pursuer has lost sight of their prey at this point.

Extreme Range: At Extreme Range, the character or vehicle can't be targeted or target opponents and are close to escaping. These ships can be noticed by spyglass at this distance so are still within sight range to try and chase them down.

Long Range: At Long Range, the character or vehicle is at -4 at ranged penalty versus others in the Chase. 

Medium Range: At Medium Range, the character or vehicle is at -2 ranged penalty versus others in the Chase.

Short Range: At Short Range, the character or vehicle is at no ranged penalty versus others in the Chase.

Close Range: At Close Range, the character or vehicle is adjacent to another character or vehicle in the chase and melee attacks are possible if they board the other vessel. If both vessels end the turn at Close Range, move to normal ship-to-ship combat, the chase has ended and the battle has begun.

Starting Range: On a Raise on Notice, the character or vehicle starts at Long Range. On a success, they start at Medium Range. On a failure, they start at Short Range. On a critical failure on Notice, they start at Close Range.  Use the best Notice roll result of the group for this. If the group takes a critical failure result, they all draw a Bennie. If a character has the Scout Edge and succeeds on the Scout Notice roll, they start one Range Increment further away (or one Range Increment closer if desired) than normal.

If the group is looking for trouble such as Privateers in 50 Fathoms, they can make a Boating roll as a Stealth roll for the ship opposed by their prey's Notice. On a Raise, they start at Close Range, On a Success, they start at Medium Range, On a Failure, they start at Long Range, and On a Critical Failure, their prey sees them and they get away before they can get close enough to start a chase. 

Character or Vehicle Tests to begin the round: The Chase roll is made (foot, riding, or vehicle roll as normal) and you can spend each Success and Raise on this roll to get closer or get away from other characters and vehicles in the chase on their Action Card. On a Failure no progress is made. On a Critical Failure, the character or pilot of a vehicle gains a Bennie and then they move one Range Increment closer or farther away in the Chase as they fall behind (Game Master's choice depending on whether the forces he controls in the chase are pursuing or running away from the character or vehicle).

For example, a ship at Long Range versus another ship could move to Short Range or move to Escape Range depending on whether they are moving toward the other ship two Range Increments or away from the other ship two Range Increments if they gained a Raise and if they had the highest Action Card. 

If the other ship merely got a Success acting on a lower Action Card, they could only move towards or away from the ship by one Range Increment.

For example, if the other ship moved to Escape Range, they could move towards it one Range Increment and get to Extreme Range or let the vessel Escape giving up the chase. If the other ship moved to Short Range, they could move towards it one Range Increment into Close Range or run away one Range Increment to Medium Range. 
Action Cards with Clubs still cause complications in the Chase. Characters can give up a Success or Raise from the above Chase roll to gain another Action Card if they wish to avoid the complication; however it isn't a guarantee (24% chance of failure with 1/4 of the cards clubs on average) and slows them down in the Chase as they lose one Range Increment of movement that round per additional Action Card drawn off the Chase roll. Characters with Quick or Level Headed draw their additional Action Cards as normal if on foot or riding, and these edges apply if the pilot of a vehicle has those edges or if a passenger takes an action to help the pilot and succeeds at giving at least a +1 bonus to the Chase roll as an assist, as a bonus they can also apply their Quick or Level Headed Edge to the ship draw (maximum three Action Cards as per Improved Level Headed though from these sources).

Chase Combat rounds: No more Advantage or Disadvantage. Instead ships move on their Action Card a number of Range Increments and characters or vehicle passengers act on their Action Card and make attacks against other people in the chase at relative distances at the end of their or their vehicle's move.

For example, if the group moves into Close Range with one ship and is at Long Range relative to another ship in the chase, they can either make melee or ranged attacks at no penalty versus the adjacent ship or they can make a -4 ranged attack against the ship farther away, their choice.

This system works as a sliding scale with actors in the chase either trying to run away or close in and fight. If one ship grapples another ship and boards the other vessel, the chase ends and a ship-to-ship normal combat begins.  If a ship gets to the Escape Range, they leave the Chase and the Chase ends once all the Player Characters have escaped or been caught in a fight at Close Range. These are the two results we want to determine in the Chase, Escaped or Caught and I want them determined quicker than the current system is performing for my average two hour sessions. We'll see how it goes for the next 50 Fathoms if we get in a Chase.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Return to 50 Fathoms Recap 6

September 23, 2016 @ 9:00-11:00 P.M.


Character Bios

Player Name: Matt

Character Name: Lorlo

Race: Doreen

Archetype: Explorer 

Hindrances: Bloodthirsty (M), Enemy: Kehana (R), Loyal (m), Mean (m) (-2 Charisma, In the right circumstance could have a -10 Charisma against a Kehana who knows his Bloodthirsty nature, specifically a Kehana called Walleye who also worked for Angus McBride).

Notable Edges: Improved Close Fighting

Background: An explorer who set out with Angus McBride to help colonize Torath-Ka for the British East India Company. He helped found the colony town of Vittoria. As supplies began to run out he volunteered to return to Baltimus to get supplies with Unk to get away from an insufferable one-eyed Kehana who worked for Angus McBride called Walleye. Unfortunately, the ship wrecked near Perck and Azy Cay, leaving them both stranded at Azy Cay and unable to get word to Baltimus of the poor supply situation in Vittoria. 

Player Name: Chessie

Character Name: Unk

Race: Half-Ugak Red Man

Archetype: Marine

Hindrances: All Thumbs (R), Clueless (R), Dumb (R), Outsider (R), One-Arm (M), Necrophobia (-2 on fear rolls versus the dead), Habit (m, fits of crying). (Yup -3 Charisma)

Notable Edges: Acrobatic, Ambidextrous (lost his arm during the wreck of the ship and now has a hook hand), Rope Monkey

Background:  Unk's mother had been stranded in a ship wreck on Torath-Ka and a lone, expelled from his tribe Ugak nursed her back to health. She fell in love with the strange Ugak that had saved her and they became mates. When British East India Company sailors went to Torath-Ka for timber to repair their wounded ship, they found her with the Ugak and shot him dead thus 'rescuing' her. They returned with her to Baltimus where she found out she was with child and birthed Unk in secret. She raised him till he was of age, coddling him and making him a bit of a crybaby.

When his mother died, the British East India Company discovered Unk. At her mother's funeral, Unk ran after seeing her pallid skin and lifeless body, becoming necrophobic in his grief for his mother. The British East India Company sent Unk with Angus McBride to found a colony on Torath-Ka. Angus McBride tried to use Unk as a diplomat with the savages but the plan failed completely as the savages refused to negotiate. The Ugaks attacked them instead on the western main island and they were forced to withdraw to the smaller eastern island. With Unk being useless as a liaison, Angus sent him back with Lorlo to get supplies for Vittoria from Baltimus but the ship wrecked and they were stranded on Azy Cay instead.  

Scene 1 Day 36 Azy Cay

The group arrived at Azy Cay. Red Pirate Roberts paid the crew 550 pieces of eight to carouse.  

They went to the Shipwreck Surprise. The crew caroused giving toasts to their dead mates, Calico O' Malley, John Smith, and Caras Cath. Louis and an Azy Cay island pirate got to kissing and left. They met Unk and Lorlo. Something about Red Pirate Roberts seemed to trigger a memory in Unk of his mother. Unk hugged Red Pirate Roberts in a fierce embrace but she pushed him away. Then Unk started crying and tried to give her a 'softer' hug but she avoided it. They told them of how they got shipwrecked at Azy Cay and they convinced Red Pirate Roberts to take them to Baltimus to tell the British East India Company that Angus McBride was alive and that Vittoria was in desperate need of supplies. Stumpy Pete 'showed a little leg with some diamonds' and Red Pirate Roberts agreed to help him retrieve the rest of Pierre La Grange's treasure on an island in the Whips. Stumpy agreed to go to Baltimus with them since it wouldn't be much of a detour as it was on the way to the Whips. Azy asked Red Pirate Roberts to rescue women from bad fortune and bring them to Azy Cay to build a new life here. 

The crew then left Azy Cay to head north and west towards Baltimus on Cuwayo after sailing around Perck. 

Scene 2 Day 39 Pirates & Privateers 

[Encounter: Joker, got a Pirate and a Privateer.]

Lorlo spied a pirate and a British East India Company privateer fighting ahead. 

[As game master I expected them to ally with the privateer and fight the pirates...boy was I wrong!] 

Unk looked for a flag. He found Red Pirate Robert's very well-hidden pirate flag in her quarters. Then he used his Rope Monkey to get to the Crow's Nest and proceeded to put the flag up but upside down.

[Chessie rolled an insane 15 on Notice. I've since learned that putting a flag upside down is a sign of distress or a warning sign such as the crew of the ship is diseased.


Red Pirate Roberts pulled right up next to the pirate ship and then chaos ensued. 

Unk used a rope to swing over to the pirate ship and then simply said "Hi" and waved. This left the pirate he said hi too dumbfounded and he never saw the sling stone hurled by Lorlo coming. It hit him in the temple and he fell off the ship. Another pirate was persuaded by Unk that he had switched to their side. Unk manned a cannon and fired it at the privateer ship and even struck its hull, but in the process 'accidentally' tied up one of the pirates in the rigging.

[Chessie played Barrel O' Monkeys and Unk did a Smarts trick and somehow succeeded. The next round Unk used an Agility Trick to tie up the arm of one of the pirates reloading the cannon just before firing.] 

Natsu Nara started casting earthen cannonballs at the pirate ship. One of them struck the hull and then ricocheted upward making a hole in one of the masts of the pirate sloop. A chunk of wood fell on an unfortunate pirate spearing him through the chest. 

[Summer played Albatross Luck on the poor pirate.]

Horventerous started casting screaming water arrows at the privateer ship.  

The crew of The Adrienne manned the cannon with one cannonball shooting a hole through the pirate vessel. 

Meanwhile the pirates and privateers kept firing at each other after Red Pirate Roberts maneuvered the ship around a rocky shoal and left their line of sight.  

The three ships continued to exchange fire and bolts with Unk grabbing a pirate and cutting a rope to get to the crow's nest. This action 'saved' the pirate from a cannonball that just struck the position he was previously in on the deck. Horventerous attempted to jump onto the pirate ship but fell in the water instead.

When Red Pirate Roberts maneuvered the ship close, Horventerous climbed on to the pirate ship and slew one of the pirates with his Kraken bone sword from behind. The crew fired their cannon at the ship and hit the gunpowder stores. Unk dropped the pirate and swung down to get Horventerous. The pirate was dropped into an exploding fireball as Unk and Horventerous held onto a burning rope before it snapped and they dropped onto the deck of The Adrienne with a massive explosion in the background. 

The British East India privateers proposed letting The Adrienne go in exchange for the remains of the pirate vessel so they could collect their commission. They had technically helped them defeat the pirates after all... 

But Red Pirate Roberts refused. She wanted the loot of the pirate sloop and she was willing to kill the British East India privateers and loot their vessel too. 

The British East India privateers managed to get in close and deliver several volleys but they all missed The Adrienne. They used the rocky shoals to continuously hide from The Adrienne but then Red Pirate Roberts reversed her course and caught them trying the same trick thrice.

[Extras without Steady Hands need a 6 to hit even at short range, so it's very difficult to hit with them using a d6 shooting. Boarding a vessel with an Ugak and Doreen is also not in their favor though. I insist on using Steady Hands rule for this very reason though. When rolling two d6s it is unlikely, but it changes a lot with say 16 Man of War guns, where its almost 3 hits per turn on average with that many d6s rolling. At a 4, without Steady Hands as a rule, that makes it 8 hits, and that is gonna probably destroy a PC ship easily even if they have Ace.]   

Red Pirate Roberts maneuvered the ship in close. The crew fired a cannonball that hit and struck the gunpowder stores of the British East India sloop. It exploded in a fireball.

[I wasn't gonna let them loot the destroyed vessels but then Matt used Pandora's Box so they randomly gained a Huge Potion of Elemental Protection (6 doses) as well as the Pillage/Loot results of the Pirates/Privateers before the two sloops sunk into the water. The potion is powerful but comes with a terrible curse; the GM draws an adventure card to make the lives of the heroes more difficult! On the plus side it's a consumable potion, so the curse doesn't have to last that long if they want to simply drink it! Or is it that simple? Muh ha ha!] 

Equias Logbook Entry 9

Captain Roberts is a Pirate! She's Red Pirate Roberts herself! They had a pirate flag aboard and everything! These are no heroes who will save Caribdus. They murdered those privateers just to claim the loot from the pirate ship and then looted the British East India Company Privateer ship too. I've got to lay low and escape once we get to Baltimus!   

[End of Session]

XP: 2

Loot: 1,700 pieces of eight, Cursed Huge Potion of Elemental Protection (6 doses), Bleeding Heart Potion


I used our two tablecloths to represent green land and blue sea on the tabletop. DramaScape's River Barge is used for the small fishing boat we are using as The Adrienne. Cannons are from DramaScape's Western Keep. Tri-folds used are from the 50 Fathoms Figure Flat Pack by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. The 50 Fathoms metal miniature is also from Pinnacle Entertainment Group. I also used some HeroClix from WizKids for this one.