Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Scrapping Rifts

The Kickstarter campaign for Rifts for Savage Worlds has launched.  Since Requiem has completely turned me off Vampire for a while, my thoughts turn to this other odd love of mine.

Like many, certain parts of the game always bugged me. One of the big ones is the economy of the damn setting. For example, I just don't see how Triax can afford to manufacturer and sell a suit of power armor in North America, and get 100 million credits for it.

NO ONE has 100 Million Credits. Even for the CS, that's a term used for accounting in national budgets, not something available in hard currency.

In fact, I don't buy much of the "mass manufacturing for credit" economy. Instead, land and people are the key to wealth, and most equipment is custom made by skilled artisans. Yes, even Power Armor. Now, from a macro-economic view, this is incredibly wasteful in time, labor, and material; but the economy of Rifts Earth doesn't really work well on the macro scale. So, gaining raw material that can be converted to something useful is a key part of my idea of Rifts, but I don't want the players tracking down every scrap of rubber they come across.

Oh, and, I assume most MDC materials are ceramic-based rather than metal alloy. Just wanted to put it out there. But, metal is still useful for various structures, as well as wires and high end computer chips, and transparent aluminum for visors and...just all the various components needed to make stuff. The VAST majority of these items are still being "mined" from the wreckage of pre-Rifts cities and recycled. Others are taken as prizes in battle, and some are actually new constructions.  These items need to be processed into something that is useful, and then the final item can begin to take shape.

This is made with love.
In game, it would go like this: Players find various pieces of raw scrap. Scrap is just basic "stuff"--rubber, copper wires, aluminum...whatever. We don't care what it is, it's the crap laying around that is baseline for the economy. There's three basic kind of scrap--Tech scrap, Life scrap, and Magic scrap. Tech scrap is the building block of guns, armor, weapons, etc. Life scrap is food and health, healing, and enhancement drugs. Magic scrap is rituals and magic items and extra PPE to power spells. The scrap can be "worked" by a skilled craftsman into "components"--at this point it gets more specific. Tech scrap could become, for example: melee, ranged, armor, power armor, vehicle, robot or module components. Life could become: food, medicine, enhancement drugs, recreational drugs, or ingredient. Magic would become ritual, artifact, or amulet (PPE battery).  You use the components to make the appropriate items--ranged can be used for pistols or rifles or rail guns, armor for armor, etc. You can even combine between groups--techno-wizard items would need modules from Tech and artifact from Magic, while cybernetics need ingredients and modules.

Instead of HUNDREDS of pages of gear, items are broken down into various defaults. A default light pistol has set values for damage, range, to hit bonus, RoF, and capacity. More components allow you to upgrade these by a certain amount. You can even for a VERY expensive amount Customize the gear, so that YOU get the bonus, but anyone else is at a penalty.

So, i don't have all the rules yet, obviously, so this is a work in progress. But, look at the write up for a CS Deadboy from Mark Craddocks Crossplanes.

C -12 Laser Rifle  Range 50/100/200 / Damage 2d10 / RoF 1 /                               Min Str d8 / Burst Cone                              Notes Auto, Heavy Weapon 
C -12 Laser Rifle  Range Cone Template / Damage 1-3d6 / RoF 5 /                               Shots 200 Min Str d8 /                              Notes Auto, Heavy Weapon 

Special Abilities • Unarmed Attack 1d6 + 1d4 • Block• Heavy Armor (3)• Infravision

I have no idea how official these stats are, but let's pretend they are for now. In my homebrew version, weapons would just go be a "Laser Rifle" and all the features the game offers would be separated out on a list with component cost. Same thing with the Armor and Abilities. Obviously, a number would be "pregenerated" (ie: used as is from the book), but these would be generic templates, not necessarily mass-produced. Though, the "C" series probably is, because the CS I can see having mass manufacturing and dumping the weapons to friendly human groups like the Soviet Union did with AK's and friendly communists.

This is just a rough idea right now, and I obviously don't have the rules for Savage Rifts yet, but this is what I'm working on right now.

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