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> Renaissance Varient, Well, at least I kept SOME of the rules.
nezumi
post Jan 27 2005, 05:38 PM
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My wife has asked me to start a game based in Renaissance Italy. No cyber, no magic (yet), no dragons, and NO stupid hit dice. I figured the best system to use, since we both know it so well (and it really IS the best system to use) would be our favorite Shadowrun system. But I've run into a few hitches, and I'd love some opinions.

1) New equipment. Most of the equipment is listed in our current rules, which makes life very easy for me. However, I don't have rules for muskets anywhere. Do any of the gun geeks have rules for the ORIGINAL firearms? It'd pretty much be a tube with gun powder and a pellet in it, and a small fuse you light. I know there was a great big long discussion on revolutionary war muskets. Would they have about the same damage code? What about cannons?

Similarly, what about armors? We already know clothing is 0/0, and leather is 0/2. What about chain mail? 3/3, half vs. blunt weapons? Plate mail? (I'm guessing like 2/7). I'm sure some of the SCA people here have a list of useful pieces of armor and weaponry Shadowrun has missed.

2) Hidden mechanics. She doesn't like rolling dice and she doesn't like seeing numbers. I did get her to make a character sheet, however I'm not keeping track of karma. Has anyone devised any good ways of increasing stats without bugging the player about it? Right now I've thought of the following:

For Active skills, 4 hours of practice or 1 session of practical use counts as a training session. For knowledge and language skills, 4 hours of learning with a book or teacher counts as a training session.

After a training session, if your current skill level is less than the linked attribute -1, roll 2d6. Otherwise, roll 3d6. If ALL 2 or 3 DICE are greater than your current skill level, your level goes up by 1.

So you're guaranteed to get rating 1 no matter what. Most people will max out around 2 or 3 with skills they use infrequently, and 4 to 5 for people who make a career out of it. 6 is really a veteran. This still allows people to advance without waiting forever.

Does that sound fair?

What about attributes? I was thinkig your attribute will increase when you have two or three linked skills at that level (since the attributes only increase through regular use).


I'm thinking karma pool will go up more or less how the rules indicate, except karma has no use.

3) Magic. I was trying to think how to make magic more subtle. SR does a far better job than the Other Game, but I'd like it to be more fluid still, with your diversity of spells linked to your natural magic rating (since the characters magic rating will go up through plot devices). I'm still debating this, since SR does do a fair job, but I thought I'd leave it out there to see what people think.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Jan 27 2005, 06:24 PM
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Can't say I have rules for firearms of the 15th-17th centuries. This thread might be of some use, although I have no idea exactly what kind of firearms you'd be wanting. What years are you interested in, exactly?
QUOTE (nezumi)
Similarly, what about armors? We already know clothing is 0/0, and leather is 0/2. What about chain mail? 3/3, half vs. blunt weapons? Plate mail? (I'm guessing like 2/7). I'm sure some of the SCA people here have a list of useful pieces of armor and weaponry Shadowrun has missed.

Scratch the 0/2 of leather and start over with lower ratings. Honestly. 2 points of armor for just wearing leather clothes is insanely high. Maybe if you change the name of Leather Clothing into Cuir Bouilli or just Hardened Leather it might work, but just wearing soft leather clothes shouldn't be significant protection.

Armor rating of 7 might be overdoing it for plate armor. If you're using canon SR Damage Codes for most melee weapons, it would be easiest to argue for something like 5-6. Although, in renaissance times, you won't see plate except as full plate tournaments, ceremonies, and as breastplates only in common use. Chain mail will be very outdated, and should be a point or maybe two worse for armor. Neither will provide much protection against firearms at close ranges, but Ballistic 2 for Plate and 1 for Chain might be in order. In the 15th century, a tournament breastplate might have stopped or deflected many shots from era weapons, but zooming forward to the 17th century that'll be much less common.

I've never seen any "hidden mechanics" used for SR, sorry. I don't remember seeing any more subtle rules for magic in SR, but I'm interested in seeing what'll come up. In my medieval fantasy SR game, magic is basically the exact same as in canon SR, only it's been downtuned in power so that it isn't all-powerful.

This post has been edited by Austere Emancipator: Jan 27 2005, 06:31 PM
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Puck Wildhorse, ...
post Jan 27 2005, 10:14 PM
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To downplay Magic, I would say that no player starts with more than 2 points in the Magic attribute. This would signify that there has been a minor spike in magic, but only enough to give a normal human 1/3 of the magic available to the modern world magicians. Of course, Magic can go up with initiation and the like as the game goes on.

Expect for weapons skills to center around the fencing sword, the dagger and maybe the axe or polearm. Period firearms are expensive, inaccurate, prone to malfunction and very slow to reload. Pretty much, once the shot has been taken, the gun would take at least 30 seconds (10 combat turns) for an experienced gunner to reload. I'd use the heavy pistols ranges for muskets and the light pistols ranges for pistols and shotguns.

This was also the period when hand grenades were coming into use and a special troop type, the grenadiers, was created. Grenadiers were known to be very brave, mainly because their own weapons frequently exploded early and killed them.

Hope that helps,

Puck
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Arz
post Jan 27 2005, 11:02 PM
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Okay, as a former SCA-man here is my thought on armors...

The time period you are talking about and more importantly the area did not go in for the heavier armors. So allow helmets 1/2, breastplates over cuirasse 4/3, and leather.

My musket experience is limited but make skill a determining factr in how quickly you can reload your matchlock. I used to have a timing chart for reloading sequences on lots of blackpowder that I got from the TMNT: Timescape? book.

Have fun, the italian states were wonderfully political.
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bitrunner
post Jan 28 2005, 03:23 AM
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i always found the skill progression in the Cthulhu game pretty interesting...

if they use a skill successfully during a game session, they put a check mark (or whatever to identify it) next to the skill. at the end of an adventure (not session, but adventure), the GM can let the character attempt to raise those skills. in Cthulhu, it is a percentage system, but you could just use your system instead...if they want to buy a new skill at rating 1, you could probably limit it to one per adventure.

if you're not using metahumans, you could allow them to attempt to raise an attribute by rolling 1d6 (or maybe d6 equal to current attribute) and if they roll above their attribute (either one die or all dice), it can be raised.

[opinion]
all in all, you raised an interesting point - i like the "d6" system for gaming, and i'd worked out some stuff a couple of years ago for a Stargate SG-1 game, until i heard they were going to release a d20 version - which sucks of course...i'm somewhat surprised FanPro hasn't pursued putting out their own version of a "generic d6" game system that could compete against d20...
[/opinion]
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Aku
post Jan 28 2005, 03:35 AM
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on the skills, i think some sort of usage=percentage thing works, think maybe somewhere in each successful action use gets you somewhere between a 2-5% chance of increasing it: that means (depending on exact percentage) somewhere between a 20-50 use skill within whatever timeframe would guarantee a skill raise. I might even say, if it's in the 2-3% range, allow the chance for multiple increases. If you're person is using a single skill enough times to get over 100%, than i think they deserve that chance.

Now, these ideas might have to be modified slightly to only account for straight success skills, successes for things like staging up damage and that sort of hing shouldnt count, i dont think. Keep it so being able to throw an insane amount of dice at a skill wont let you keep raising it every run or so by a bazillion.

One final thought, is Karma successes, again, i dont think they should be able to be counted, as i see it as more luck that something got done the second time using karma, than actualy skill.*

*Statements used for comparisons only, your mileage may vary.

PS whats the code for the TM icon?
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Arethusa
post Jan 28 2005, 07:37 AM
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To be honest, I have to seriously question your choice of system for this game. Shadowrun's heavy level of abstraction— especially in melee— makes for some pretty bland gaming where the only fights are going to be almost exclusively melee and mechanics aren't going to play a big role anywhere else. Something like Riddle of Steel seems like it would be far more suited to what you have in mind.
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elbows
post Jan 28 2005, 03:49 PM
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The abstract melee rules could be a problem. OTOH, if your group is not really focused on combat it could work -- fights will be over quickly and without much fuss.

For skills, here's something I did in a mini-campaign once:
At the end of each session, each player gets to explain to me what they think their character learned that session. If I buy their explanation, they get to raise the appropriate skill.
The game I used this for lasted about 3 sessions, and it worked great in that context. I have no idea how it would work for a longer campaign.

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nezumi
post Jan 28 2005, 05:32 PM
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Yes, the whole point is SR is abstract. She doesn't want to ever see a die or think about AC or anything else. Pretty much she says 'I attack this guy with this weapon' and I do everything else. So I felt that the abstraction was a plus in this case.

I am thinking of semi-cheating and say every 100 posts or so she gets a bonus attribute point. You can increase an attribute for 1 attriute point up to 6, 2 up to 9. Since she does know SR, she hasn't complained about that little tidbit of mechanics.

AE - I did remember that, but I'm simply not enough of a gun geek to know if the muskets in the 15th century are as powerful as those in the 18th, plus the thread was so long and technical it sort of intimidated me. But I'll go with 7S, heavy pistol ranges.

Puck - I was trying to go with that, although I didn't know the details of how long it'd take. It sounds like its a two handed operation as well, but muskets are superior for penetration over crossbows.

Arz - did you mean to give the breastplate higher ballistic than impact? I'd think it the other way around.

Listening to people, I'm thinking of making it 3 or 4d6 for learning the skill instead of 2 or 3, just to make a skill of 6 more impressive. Of course, never any karma pool.
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Arethusa
post Jan 28 2005, 05:50 PM
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Ah, didn't realize you were running it on a messageboard. In that case, Riddle of Steel or anything similar would be a miserable nightmare.
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Austere Emancipa...
post Jan 28 2005, 06:13 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi)
AE - I did remember that, but I'm simply not enough of a gun geek to know if the muskets in the 15th century are as powerful as those in the 18th, plus the thread was so long and technical it sort of intimidated me. But I'll go with 7S, heavy pistol ranges.

So what you want is 15th century? Then no, they won't be nearly as accurate or have nearly as long ranges as the muskets of the 18th century. You'll be stuck with weapons other than flintlocks (those were developed in the 16th century), so the rate of fire will be even worse. I think something like 5M with ˝ Light Pistol ranges (3/8/15/25) for matchlock pistols (if such things existed), 5S with Heavy Pistol ranges for long arms.
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nezumi
post Jan 28 2005, 06:40 PM
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I don't believe those pistols existed yet. Reading up, it looks like I either have a metal tube with gunpowder and a fuse, or possibly wheel lock.

I can deal with 5S.

I'm still ignoring the rules for death by infection for PCs, only because that would be a pretty sucky way to end the game.

Thanks for the help so far!
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Crimson Jack
post Jan 28 2005, 07:37 PM
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I think I would've used Rolemaster for a Renaissance game. They have an entire book dedicated to this era of weaponry, armor and combat. That would be anything but a "hidden mechanic" game though.
QUOTE
She doesn't want to ever see a die or think about AC or anything else. Pretty much she says 'I attack this guy with this weapon' and I do everything else.

Out of curiousity, why the need to never see dice? Just a preference?
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Arethusa
post Jan 28 2005, 08:16 PM
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To my knowledge, pistols as know them did not show up until the 16th century. I think I've seen weapons dated in the 15th century that were classified as pistols (they were still the size of a large modern carbine), but I may be misremembering dates. Been a while since I've been to the Met.
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audun
post Jan 29 2005, 04:06 PM
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If you're to play without too many dice and numbers, use FUDGE. Works well for both newbies and experienced roleplayers.
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Arz
post Jan 29 2005, 09:50 PM
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QUOTE (nezumi)

Arz - did you mean to give the breastplate higher ballistic than impact? I'd think it the other way around.

Listening to people, I'm thinking of making it 3 or 4d6 for learning the skill instead of 2 or 3, just to make a skill of 6 more impressive. Of course, never any karma pool.

Yes. A breastplate over a leather cuirasse was considered the best protection against early matchlocks. They have a very low velocity, are not rifled, and the bullets are round. Later improvements eventually showed that no armor was truly effective against bullets until the 20th century rolled around. Additionally I'm trying to stay consistent with current SR rules 4/3=armor vest with plates. I don't monkey with perfectly good mechanics unless necessary.

As to the muskets, I'd treat them as rifles for damage and shotguns and/or submachineguns for range. Give them different names and be sure to personalize them, since manufacture was a unique process at the time.

Keep the karma pool, it's fun!
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nezumi
post Feb 1 2005, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (Crimson Jack)
I think I would've used Rolemaster for a Renaissance game. They have an entire book dedicated to this era of weaponry, armor and combat. That would be anything but a "hidden mechanic" game though.
QUOTE
She doesn't want to ever see a die or think about AC or anything else. Pretty much she says 'I attack this guy with this weapon' and I do everything else.

Out of curiousity, why the need to never see dice? Just a preference?

She feels it distracts her from the plot, which is true. I don't feel like learning a whole new system (or more importantly, paying for a new system). Actually, the majority of my games I keep the dice hidden (since they're all online). This is both because I don't like to wait for lazy players, I like my GM screen, I don't want to distract them from the story, and I don't want them to know what they're rolling against. Plus, when I'm feeling lazy, it lets me skip dice altogether : P

So I should plan on pistol ranges, 7S damage, and what, 10 complex actions to reload? Wow, what a sucky weapon : P At least it does more damage than a medium crossbow and has no strength requirements.

Thanks for the help, all.
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Crimson Jack
post Feb 2 2005, 08:18 AM
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QUOTE (nezumi)
QUOTE (Crimson Jack @ Jan 28 2005, 02:37 PM)
I think I would've used Rolemaster for a Renaissance game.  They have an entire book dedicated to this era of weaponry, armor and combat.  That would be anything but a "hidden mechanic" game though.
QUOTE
She doesn't want to ever see a die or think about AC or anything else. Pretty much she says 'I attack this guy with this weapon' and I do everything else.

Out of curiousity, why the need to never see dice? Just a preference?

She feels it distracts her from the plot, which is true. I don't feel like learning a whole new system (or more importantly, paying for a new system).

Ah, I see. I can understand that. That's more roleplaying than doing all the math anyhow. Good luck with your game. :)
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Bossemanden
post Feb 2 2005, 02:29 PM
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You might want to increase the TN when using firearms. Depending on the time period you will play, the firearms were inaccurate bastards and prone to misfires.
Of course highly priced duel pistols would hit fairly well.

Edit: IIRC Muskets shot massive round bullets at relatively low velocity. Maybe let them work kinda like flechette? (+1 DL vs no armor. Double Impact armor). Only in this case you would use double Ballistic.
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Demosthenes
post Feb 2 2005, 02:46 PM
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'Renaissance' in Italy covers a loooong period of time - but I'd figure you're looking at the period between 1480 and 1540, right? It's the time when Da Vinci, Michelangelo, the Borgias, the Medici, Macchiavelli, Castiglione, the Sforza, and all the rest of them were making Italy such an interesting place to read about...

QUOTE
Of course highly priced duel pistols would hit fairly well.


Pistols weren't commonly used in duels until the 17th Century at the earliest...and even then, they weren't really that accurate. Short barrels, no rifling, large round bullets, low velocity and all that... Even then, pistol duels in Europe as often as not produced no injuries, as it was satisfactory to simply discharge the pistol into the air: participation in the duel was enough to prove you were honourable and manly! :D

Rifled weapons did exist - I've read (though damned if I can remember where) of rifled muskets being crafted in the late sixteenth century for Henry VIII...

But they weren't cost-effective for a looong time, which is why they were still using massed musketry in the 19thC.
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nezumi
post Feb 2 2005, 04:16 PM
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Demosthenes - I'm looking at approximately 1560-1570. King Henri III the Crossdresser still rules in France, Italy is still broken up into squabbling nation states, relations with the Ottoman empire range from outright war to quiet politicking (have to double check that, though). The Protestant Reformation is still in full swing, and the squabbling with the Catholic Church has become quite violent.

I really am afraid to meet Da Vinci, for fear that he'll really be an IE. But all of the contributions from those people have been made, and it lets me draw on names and stories without worrying that they haven't been created yet.

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Demosthenes
post Feb 2 2005, 04:20 PM
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I shouldn't worry about Da Vinci - by 1560 he's well dead!

And there's no way in hell he was an IE, dammit!
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