Friday, March 16, 2012

Psicrystals for Savage Worlds

This is a first draft of bringing psicrystals to Savage Worlds. It includes stats for a psicrystal as well as a Professional Edge based on Psicrystal Affinity from the d20 SRD and Familiar, a Professional Edge presented in Savage Worlds Fantasy Companion. I'm not sure of whether or not this is unbalanced for an Edge, but it's at least a starting point for discussion. (See additional notes at the end of this post.)

Psicrystal

Attributes:1 Agility (as owner's)*, Smarts d4, Spirit (as owner's), Strength d4*, Vigor d12
Skills: Climbing d10*, Notice d6, Stealth d6
Pace: 6 ; Parry: 2; Toughness: 7(1)
Treasure: None; possibly owner's treasure
* With self-propulsion ability activated.
Special Abilities:
  • Armor +1:2 The process of creating a psicrystal hardens the base crystal from which it is made.
  • Construct: +2 to recover from being Shaken; No additional damage from called shots;  Wild Cards never suffer from Wound Modifiers; Immune to poison and disease.
  • Improved Dodge: Unless the psicrystal is caught unaware, attackers must subtract 2 from their ranged attack rolls when targeting it (even in close combat). If it attempts to evade an area effect attack, it gains a +2 to its Agility roll as well (when allowed).
  • Telepathy: Telepathic link with owner, as if under the effect of telepathy, out to a distance of 1 mile.
  • Self-propulsion: As an action, an owner can will the psicrystal to form spidery, ectoplasmic legs that give it a Pace 6 and Climbing d10; it can walk on vertical surfaces at Pace 6 as well. The legs fade into nothingness after one day (or sooner, if the owner desires).
  • Sighted: Although it has no physical sensory organs, a psicrystal can telepathically sense its environment as well as a creature with normal vision and hearing. Darkness (even supernatural darkness) is irrelevant, as are areas of supernatural silence, though a psicrystal still can’t discern invisible or ethereal beings.
  • Size -2: Psicrystals are about the size of a human hand
  • Small: Attackers suffer -2 to attack rolls against psicrystals due to their size.

Psicrystal Affinity

Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (Psionics), Knowledge (Psionics) d10+

A psicrystal is a fragment of a psionic character’s personality, brought into physical form and a semblance of life. It appears as a crystalline construct about the size of a human hand.

Psicrystal Personalities3

A psicrystal has its own personality (a fragment of the owner’s personality), which gives its owner a bonus on certain types of Trait Tests, as given on the table below. These special abilities and bonuses apply only when the owner and the psicrystal are within 1 mile of each other.
  • Bully: +2 bonus on Intimidation checks
  • Friendly: +2 bonus on Persuasion checks
  • Hero: +1 bonus on Vigor rolls
  • Nimble: +1 bonus on Agility rolls to interrupt actions
  • Observant: +2 bonus on Notice checks
  • Resolved: +1 bonus on Spirit rolls
  • Sage: +2 bonus on checks involving any one Knowledge skill owner already knows; once chosen, this does not vary
  • Single-minded: +1 bonus to Arcane skill rolls while maintaining powers
  • Sneaky: +2 bonus on Stealth checks
  • Sympathetic: +1 bonus on Smarts rolls opposed by Taunt roll or when the target of a Trick.
Each psicrystal has a distinct personality, chosen by its owner at the time of its creation from among those given on the above table. Upon taking this Edge, its owner typically gets a feel for a psicrystal’s personality only through occasional impulses, but as the owner increases in experience, the psicrystal’s personality becomes more pronounced.

As the owner advances, it is not uncommon for a psicrystal to constantly ply its owner with observations and advice, often severely slanted toward the psicrystal’s particular worldview. The owner always sees a bit of himself in his psicrystal, even if magnified and therefore distorted.

Psicrystal Advancement4
At each Rank of the owner, the psicrystal has the following abilities:
  • Novice: Armor +1; Smarts d4
  • Seasoned: Armor +2; Smarts d6
  • Veteran: Armor +3; Smarts d8
  • Heroic: Armor +4; Smarts d10
  • Legendary: Armor +5; Smarts d12
A psicrystal can speak one language of its owner’s choice (so long as it is a language the owner knows). A psicrystal can understand all other languages known by its owner, but cannot speak them.

Because of the telepathic link between a psicrystal and its owner, the owner has the same connection to an item or place that the psicrystal does. For instance, if his psicrystal has seen a room, the owner can teleport into that room as if he has seen it too, negating the -4 penalty for the destination being an unknown area; the -2 penalty for not being able to see it presently might still apply.

The psicrystal is a Wild Card with respect to wounds and the Wild Die, but has no bennies. The owner may spend his for the psicrystal, however.

Each additional time this Edge is taken, the psion can pick one of the powers below. Each power may only be taken once. The psion may take this Edge only once each Rank. Taking it during character creation allows the psion to take it again while he’s a Novice.
  • The psicrystal gains Arcane Resistance against psionics.
  • The psion can transfer wounds and Fatigue levels to or from his psicrystal as a free action.
  • The psion can use the psicrystal's senses as if they were his own. This requires concentration. The maximum range for this ability is the psion's Smarts x 100 yards.
  • Whenever the psicrystal is adjacent to or in the possession of its owner, the owner has the Alertness Edge.
  • Any powers the psion manifests on himself also affect the psicrystal. If he manifests armor with a raise, both he and his psicrystal gain +4 Armor for the duration, for example.
  • The psicrystal has 5 Power Points, which the psion may use as if they were his own. They recharge at the same rate as the psion's (usually 1 per hour).
  • The psicrystal can act as a conduit for the psion's powers by delivering touch powers manifested by its owner. The owner and the psicrystal must be in contact at the time the power is manifested. The power must be delivered before the owner can manifest another power. At Legendary Rank, the owner can manifest the power through the psicrystal to a distance of up to 1 mile.
  • At Seasoned Rank or above, the owner, as a standard action, can will his psicrystal to fly with Pace 6. The effect lasts for one day (or until the owner dismisses it, at which point the psicrystal drifts gently to the ground).

Footnotes:

  1. In d20, psicrystals have the same saving throws as their owners. I liked this concept considering how psicrystals are a fragment of their owners, so I tried to base at least Agility and Spirit on their owner's abilities.
  2. Generally, magical crystals have a hardness of 8 in d20, which usually transates to a Toughness of 8 in Savage Worlds. However, Toughness is always based on Vigor. To match the concept as closely as possible, I gave them a Vigor of d12 (they are magical (well, psionic) constructs after all), and Armor +1.
  3. A lot of the bonuses in the original version were +3 to various skills and saving throws. I collapsed the list a bit and tried to translate as much as possible to Savage Worlds Traits and related uses. I decided to keep the bonuses for Attributes lower given their broader and more critical applications, and I tried to make the skill bonuses parallel the bonuses in the d20 version. This is one of the areas in which I'm concerned about balance. Trait bonuses are pretty significant in Savage Worlds.
  4. Unlike the Familiar Edge, psions can't exchange familiars as they advance. To compensate, I gave them the ability to advance a bit, specifically in Smarts and Armor bonsuses to Toughness. I think of it as the crystal's structure continuing to grow as the power within its owner strengthens through advancement.

This game references the Savage Worlds game system, available from Pinnacle Entertainment Group at www.peginc.com. Savage Worlds and all associated logos and trademarks are copyrights of Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Used with permission. Pinnacle makes no representation or warranty as to the quality, viability, or suitability for purpose of this product.”

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