Saturday, September 12, 2015

Cyborgs and Wizards: A Roleplaying Game

Edit: I started working on this post in April of last year, when my Thursday group was about to start a RIFTS game (but not under me, under another guy) That game never materialized, but here's the original post, now completed with a few missing details. 

Last week, Steven stepped aside from his GMly duties so that a pal of his could test drive a RIFTS scenario he plans on running at conventions later this year. He brought his significant other. Steven, a masterful expert on all things Palladium, launched into a very detailed description of RIFTS. The newbie was a bit overwhelmed, so being the flippant bastard that I am, I said to her: "Basically this is a game about cyborgs and wizards."

...which got me thinking...

And here's a two-page RPG called Cyborgs and Wizards. It isn't play tested, it isn't balanced, and I don't care about either of those things.

The premise: In the distant future (or is it the distant past?!) a cataclysmic event ripped open the seams of the space-time continuum. Now, the world is a post- (or pre-) apocalyptic wasteland filled with the ruins of a technological and/or magical society. The PCs are cyborgs and wizards who have decided to plunder the lost treasures of an ancient (or future) civilization. Flavor to taste, my friends.

Character Generation
Step 1: Roll 1d6 On a 1-3, you’re a Cyborg. 4-6, you’re a Wizard.
Step 2: Name your character. Cyborgs tend to be named a collection of letters and numbers. Wizards tend to have grandiose titles attached to their names. These are not requirements, though.
Step 3: Generate Attributes.
Might: Your ability to lift, break, hit, and endure. Cyborgs= 6+1d6, Wizards=1+1d6
Psyche: Your willpower and presence. Cyborgs= 1+1d6, Wizards= 6+1d6
Tech: Your ability to understand, use, salvage, and repair tech. Cyborgs= 3+1d6, Wizards=1+1d6
Endurance Points: How much punishment you can take. Cyborgs= 10+Might, Wizards= 2+ Might
Astral Points: Your inner magical battery. Cyborgs= 0, Wizards= 5+Psyche
Combat: Your bonus to hit. Cyborgs= +1, Wizards = 0.
Evasion: Your ability to avoid being hit. All characters begin with EV 0.
Move: Your speed in meters/round. All characters begin with MV 12.

Step 4: Generate Particulars. Cyborgs get installed systems, wizards get spells.
Cyborgs: Roll once for each column.
Roll               Weapons                                                   Armor                                                                                  Systems     
2-3          Piston Arm:  2d6                       Lightweight Exoskeleton: AC 6         Adv. Sensors: No vision/range penalties
4-5          Double Chainsaw Arm: 2d8     Titanium Endoskeleton: AC 8          Integral Multitool: +2 to Tech rolls
6-8          Rail Gun: 2d8                            Hybrid Composite Sheath: AC 10         Hydraulic Joints: +2 Might rolls
10-11     Rocket Launcher : 3d6 20 ft. rad. Superalloy Plate: AC 12             Autorepair Module: Heal 1 hp/hour
12                  Particle Death Ray: 3d10     Heavy Superalloy Plate: AC 14         Jump Jets: Double move rate, jump ½ mv

Wizards: Roll 5 times total, choosing your column on each roll.  Alternately, take all spells from one single column.
Roll               Bio-Wizardry                         Necromancy                          Invocations                 Temporal Magic           Tech-Wizardry    
2-3           Healing Touch               Life Drain                          Wizard’s Fire                                   Alacrity                  Imbue Weapon
4-5          Adrenaline Surge          Speak with Dead         Detect Astral Energy                                Trepidation                     Imbue Armor
6-8         Bioelectric Shock          Ghostly Shroud             Mystic Armor                                         Time Freeze                    Astral  Battery
10-11    Bio-Weapon                    Reanimate                   Levitation                                               See the Future                 Repair
12                  Shapeshift             Slay                                   Gate                                          Reverse Time                 Junk Golem                                                                                                                    
Before combat: GM determines surprise. Surprised characters can’t act in the first round.
Step 1: Initiative. GM rolls 1d6 for enemies, a player rolls 1d6 for allies. High roll goes first, ties mean simultaneous pandemonium.
Step 2: Winning side makes ranged attacks , casts spells.2d5+Combat vs. AC. For spells, target can roll vs. Psyche for half effect.
Step 3: Winning side moves .
Step 4: Winning side makes melee attacks.  2d6+Combat vs.AC

Treasure in C&W is generally salvage, either technological or magical. Devices have a Complexity rating from 1 (a toaster) to 10 (a cold fusion reactor.) The examining character subtracts the Complexity from their Tech score. They must roll this or less on 2d6 to decipher the object. They can keep or sell a deciphered object for it’s Value in Credit. (50-5000). Unidentified objects can be sold for only 25% Value.
Magical objects can only be discerned by Wizards, who roll Psyche instead of tech. Magical items have a Complexity from 1 (a potion) to 10. (A powerful artifact.)
At the end of every ruin raid or other adventure, the PCs gain 1 experience point. They also gain 1 XP if they managed a major haul and 1XP if they overcame significant danger. Every 5 (or 10, GM’s option) XP, the PCs level up. Cyborgs gain 1d6+2 EP, Wizards choose 1d6 EP or 1d6 AP. Characters can also gain +1 Combat, +1 Evade, or .

Small Arms: 1d6        Long Arms: 2d6      Rockets: 3d6, 20 ft. Radius   
Vibro Blade 1d6     2 Handed Vibro Weapon: 2d6
Light Armor: 5  AC     Medium Armor: 7 AC     Heavy Armor: 9 AC   Shield: +1 AC

Mutant: EP 10-30, Combat +3, AC 5, Scavanged Vibroweapon 1d6, Gun 2d6, Natural Weapon 1d6 +1
Crazy Robot: EP 50+, Combat +10, AC 12, Rail Gun 2d8, Missiles 3d6 20 ft radius, Mv 24
Evil/More Evil Cyborg:  Create as a character
Evil/More Evil Wizard:  Create as a character.
Demon: EP 30-50, Combat +8, AC 10, Claws 1d8/1d8, Hellfire 2d6+2, Mv 12 Flying 36
Bandit: EP 10-20, Combat +1  AC 6, Gun 2d6, Vibro Blade 2d6

Adrenaline Surge: Target gains 1d6+2 Might, +2d6 bonus EP, and does +2 to hit/damage in melee for 1d6 rounds Cost: 3 AP.
Bioelectric Shock: Delivers 1-3d6 worth of damage if the Wizard can strike AC 4. Cost is 2 AP/d6 of damage.
Bio-Weapon:Gives a creature +2d6 EP, +2 Combat, +2 AC, and +2 damage for 2d6 rounds. Cost: 5 AP
Healing Touch:Restores 1-3d6 EP (1/2 for cyborgs). Cost: 2AP per d6.
Shapeshift:Turn into any type of creature for 2d6 rounds. Stats per GM's discretion. Cost: 8 AP.

Detect Astral Energy: Reveals all active spells, magic items, and magic creatures within line of sight for 2d6 rounds Cost: 2 AP.
Gate: Tears open a Gate to another dimension for 1d6 hours. Cost: 10 AP. 25% chance of opening to the wrong dimension.
Levitation: Caster or subject can fly at double movement rate for 2d6 rounds. Cost: 4 AP.
Mystic Armor: Caster gains 1d6+2 bonus to AC for 1d6 rounds. Cost: 4 AP. 
Wizard’s Fire: Does a ranged attack vs. AC 4 to do 1-3d6 damage. Cost: 2AP per d6.

Ghostly Shroud- Target gains +2 EV for 3 combat rounds. Cost: 3 AP. 
Life Drain- Target takes 2d6 dmg, Wizard heals half. Can't exceed normal EP max. Doesn't work on non-living beings. Cost: 2AP
Reanimate- Body no more than a week dead can be reanimated as a zombie (mutant stats). 3 AP, can't be regained until zombie is destroyed.
Slay- Wizard spends X AP, where Xx2= damage to a single living target. Spell can only be used 1/day or caster loses same EP as target.
Speak with Dead- Ask a corpse three questions. 20% chance of lie on each. Cost: 3 AP.

Astral Battery: Can store up to 5 AP in an object for use later.
Imbue Armor: Armor gains +3 AC bonus for 2d6 rounds. Cost 3 AP.
Imbue Weapon: Hi-Tech weapon does double damage for 1d6 rounds. 5 AP
Junk Golem: Creates a servant from junk. Same stats as Crazy Robot, costs 10 AP for 1d6 turns, 40 AP makes it permanent.
Repair: Can repair technological items that have been destroyed. AP per GM's discretion/size of object. Can heal Cyborgs 1 hp/AP.

Temporal Magic
Alacrity- Target can act twice per round for 1d6 rounds. 5 AP
Reverse Time: Can negate a combat round that just happened. 8 AP. Out of combat, reverse 1 action or decision. Only the caster remembers.
See the Future: Can ask the DM about the outcome of an action. 3 AP. 10% chance of misdirected answer per use in 24 hour period.
Time Freeze: Freeze time in a 50 ft radius for 1d6 rounds. 10 AP
Trepidation: Cause opponent to act every other round for 1d6 rounds. 5 AP.

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