Thursday, April 01, 2004

Simplifying Tech and Wizardry Levels in Gatecrasher

In this series of articles, we are providing advanced looks at the revised 2nd edition of the Gatecrasher Science Fantasy Adventure Game for Fudge. This particular article deals with simplifying the Tech and Wizardry levels found therein.

As written in the Gatecrasher Science Fantasy Adventure Game, Tech and Wizardry levels are rated from -10 to +10, with -10 being a near complete absence of Tech or Wizardry, and +10 being the penultimate Tech or Wizardry acheivements. We want to distill those levels down to a normal Fudge Terrible...Fair...Superb track. Since there are 21 individual levels of Tech or Wizardry from -10 to +10, and seven levels on the normal Fudge track, a simple division operation results in three numeric levels of Tech or Wizardry per Fudge level as shown in the table below.

Tech/Wizardry level Fudge level
-10 to -8 Terrible
-7 to -5 Poor
-4 to -2 Mediocre
-1 to +1 Fair
+2 to +4 Good
+5 to +7 Great
+8 to +10 Superb

A description of each Tech and Wizardry level appears in the table below.

Level Tech Wizardry
Terrible Stone age environment.People live simply and have only basic machinery and simple buildings. Extremely primitive.Magic works more by luck than skill, and uses large amounts of power.
Poor Classical/medieval/Renaissance locale; the realms of swords-and-sorcery adventure. While the basic laws of magic are not defined, magicians can manipulate those laws at a low level.
Mediocre Early industrial age environment, characterized by rapid social change as primitive societies adapt to new ways of life. The basic laws of magic are codified.Magic becomes safely usable.
Fair Late industrial age, very similar to the world in the 20th century.Space flight begins. More experimentation and research into the workings of magic.
Good Primitive spacefaring culture; relies more on brute force than engineering skill to maintain homes on hostile worlds. Blunt manipulation of reality becomes regularly possible, and matter can be created in violation of natural laws.
Great Describes an advanced spacefaring culture with a highly developed technology. Magically warping space is possible, and permanent Gates are built.Magic can be used by common folk to improve their lives.
Superb Technological methods to measure magical energy.Limits of current Lunar technology. Ultimate understanding of physical magic.Almost any magical effect can be wrought with enough power and preparation.

It should be fairly easy to plug the new Tech and Wizardry levels into the existing Gatecrasher rules. When the Tech and Wizardry levels are called into play, simply substitute the proper Fudge level for the numeric Tech or Wizardry level stated in the rules. For example, Earth would have a Tech level of Terrible to Poor and a Wizardry level of Poor to Great.

How are homeworlds affected?

As written, the Gift or Fault cost of the homeworld is calculated by adding the homeworld's Tech and Wizardry levels. That is still done, but use the regular Fudge level's value instead of the -10 to +10 value and determine the cost according to the table below.

Combined Tech/Wizardry Cost
-3 2 Faults
-2 to -1 1 Fault
0 Free
+1 to +2 1 Gift
+3 2 Gifts

As stated in the Gatecrasher rules, Stardard Gravity still costs an additional Gift and Zero Gravity is worth one Fault. So, as an example, a homeworld of Himalia would cost 1 fault: Tech = Great (+2), Wizardry = Poor (-2), (+2) + (-2) = 0, Zero Gravity = one Fault.

How is Magical Effect affected?

When using the revised Tech and Wizardry rules, the character's Magical Effect takes on a normal Fudge level as per the table below.

Id Magical Effect
Terrible Superb
Poor Great
Mediocre Good
Fair Fair
Good Mediocre
Great Poor
Superb Terrible

Using this table, it should be easy to determine if a character's magic will work on technology - if the character's Magical Effect is of a level equal to or greater than the Tech level, the magic works reliably. If the Tech level is greater than the wizard's Magical Effect, make an opposed roll with the difficulty level equal to the Tech level. For example, a wizard with an Id of Great has a Magical Effect of Poor. Should that wizard attempt to cast a spell on a device with a Tech level of Poor or Terrible, the magic would work reliably; if the device has a Tech level of Fair, the wizard must make a Magical Effect roll with 4dF and roll at least a +2.

How are Magic Points affected?

Instead of the Magic Points Table used in the Gatecrasher rules (page 15), use the table listed below. Compare the character's Id along the top axis of the table and to the character's Wizardry along the left axis. The character's Magic Point total can be found where the two traits intersect.

Terrible Id Poor Id Mediocre Id Fair Id Good Id Great Id Superb Id
Terrible Wiz 1 6 11 16 21 26 31
Poor Wiz 7 12 17 22 27 32 37
Mediocre Wiz 13 18 23 28 33 38 43
Fair Wiz 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
Good Wiz 16 21 26 32 37 42 47
Great Wiz 19 24 31 38 43 48 53
Superb Wiz 22 27 37 44 49 54 59

The Gatecrasher Science Fantasy Adventure Game is available from Domibia Games. Domibia Games is currently offering a 50% off purchases of the Gatecrasher Science Fantasy Adventure Game for Fudge Factor authors and readers when purchased directly from Domibia Games. For more information on Domibia Games and the Gatecrasher Science Fantasy Adventure Game, please see http://www.domibia.com - to take advantage of the 50% off special, please see http://www.domibia.com/ffspecial.htm.