Friday, November 29, 2019

Artificers for Savage Worlds and The Sixth Gun

This article details how the Savage Worlds rules can be used for creating patent medicine and other magical items.

Throughout the world there are many people who can wield magic in one form or another, and a few in every society even know how to imbue it into physical items that can be carried by others and used at a later time. Detailed below are a few of the ways in which this ability could be represented in adventures and campaigns using the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition RPG and the setting of The Sixth Gun.

Game Mechanics for Creating Magical Items
Refer to page 153 of the Savage Worlds Adventure Edition to find rules for the Artificer edge. While there is no cost involved in making many of these items, the GM may wish to require the character making them to acquire certain unusual ingredients, especially ones related to the item being made. For example, a rabbit's whiskers might be part of the recipe for make the Quickening Quaff (see below). Also, the type of Arcane Background being used informs the nature of the item made. For instance, an amulet made by someone with the Sorcery AB might be a metal object inscribed with mystic ruins, while one made a practitioner of Voodoo could be a pouch containing potent materials.

Note, too, that the artificer can feel the ebb and flow of magical energies, without specifically knowing which items have or have not been used. For example, a maker of patent medicine might use all of his power points one day to brew up a batch of bottles; as they are consumed, he feels his power points being restored—and thus can invest in creating new items.

Patent Medicine
The production of amazing elixirs, spectacular panaceas and other such nostrums is no new thing; one need only page through a newspaper to find advertisements for offerings with names like “Kickapoo Indian Sagwa,” “Bonnore's Electro Magnetic Bathing Fluid,” or “Clark Stanley's Snake Oil Liniment.” Even though the medicinal benefits of those concoctions is unproven, there are in fact a few individuals who can brew potables that produce real benefits. Keep in mind that these usually still have fancy names, in order to increase their appeal to potential customers.
  • Quickening Quaff”—(Boost Trait: Agility)
  • Mental Magnifier”—(Smarts)
  • Elixir of Enlightenment”—(Spirit)
  • Potion of Power”—(Strength)
  • Holistic Health Enhancer”—(Vigor)

What is more, the concoction that might make the most sense is the sleeping draught. This might be marketed in a way similar to the items mentioned above, as a home remedy for insomnia, or it could be something created on the basis of need in a more clandestine kind of way.
  • The Sleeping Draught invokes the Slumber power; it must be ingested by the intended target in order to work.

Protective Amulets
These items can take different forms, but all are worn, usually around the neck. As mentioned above, they can be made from precious metals or from natural materials, depending on the Arcane Background used to make them. Some options include the following.
  • Ones with Arcane Protection act as a ward against mystical influences.
  • Those with Deflection are effective wards against ranged attacks.

Divination Tools

Certain items can be endowed with energy similar to the Divination power, but that works in slightly different way. In this case, the device in question is prepared for a specific purpose, including some of the following possibilities. Rather than allowing the user to commune with an intelligent spirit, however, it instead leads to a desired item or provides an answer via a specific set of circumstances.
  • The dowsing rod is commonly used to find clean water, but has also been used in the hunt for buried loot, lost graves and the like. The energy inside it seems to draw the wielder in the direction of the desired item, until reaching its location.
  • The method known as the I Ching use coins or similar items to generate hexagrams, sets of six broken or unbroken lines. Those, in turn, can be compared to standardized lists of meanings in order to provide the message desired.

Spencer Hoyt
This oldtimer makes his way around the American frontier, gathering unusual ingredients and using them to prepare his Hoyt's brand of patent medicines. In this way he has become a font of curious information, picking up little bits of western legends, native lore, and smatterings of the occult.
Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d6, Vigor d4
Skills: Academics d6, Common Knowledge d8, Healing d8, Language d6, Notice d6, Persuasion d6, Research d6, Spellcasting d8, Stealth d4, Survival d4
Pace: 6, Parry: 2, Toughness: 4
Edges: Arcane Background (Sorcery), Artificer
Hindrances: Elderly
Special Abilities
  • Powers: Boost/lower Trait, deflection, dispel; Power points: 10
Gear: Clothing, ox-driven wagon, week's worth of food and water, folding knife (Damage Str + d4). 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Return to Freeport--The Halfway Point

The last session in my weekly home campaign brings us to the halfway point; as such, I've updated my campaign notes on this blog for the first time in about two months.


Return to Freeport Campaign Notes

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Aetherial Adventures at Con of the North 2020

I am happy to announce that I'll be running four rounds of Pathfinder space fantasy at Con of the North 2020, February 14th-16th in the Twin Cities. Check out their website for more information.


The first scenario is called "The Wages of Sin." I'll be running it at 10:00 and 2:00 on Saturday the 15th. Here's the blurb:

When an ally recruits the PCs to help protect a meeting of the Celestial Council, 
it's up to them to prevent an interstellar tragedy.

The second one is "Lead or Gold." I'll run it at 10:00 and 2:00 on Sunday the 16th.

A cryptic message leads the PCs into the pursuit of a valuable treasure--
but how much will they sacrifice to obtain it?