OK, maybe not making better ones, but making them in better ways. As mentioned somewhere in a previous post, one thing that really got cemented in my head after the first play test was that I wanted as much of the game as is possible to work in the same way as everything else. Originally this wasn’t going to be the plan for when it came to how humans would work compared to the Automata. I wanted the Automata to be bigger, better and alien compared to the human inhabitants of the game world.
Instead I have realised that I have a different way of showing how opposed and opposite the two forces are; basically by using art and prose. The rules shouldn’t be relied upon to do this job, not when I have other tools available to me. What this means in game terms is that humans will have not only hit points like Automata, but also a Malfunction score. To show how they are different, they just have fewer.
This is how they are different in so many ways, just fewer numbers going into how many Attribute points they have, as well as skill points. Whilst they technically can’t purchase Upgrades – just imagine the mess when they’re fitted – they will have bonuses depending on who they are. As an example, the Luddites will be a bit bigger and tougher, so will be able to take an extra point of damage before they take a malfunction point, much as if they had some Armour Upgrades.
They also suffer some penalties for taking Malfunction points, much in the way of the Automaton, but because they have so few, the penalties begin sooner. Basically when they take a Malfunction point they suffer a minus two to all checks until they get the necessary medical attention. This will work in the exact same way as repairing an Automaton, including time needed to perform the check. If they take a second Malfunction point, they are considered out of the combat until they receive some pretty intensive medical care, or until they die. They lose one hit point a minute due to bleeding, and pass beyond saving once they take enough to reach a third Malfunction point.
If they take three Malfunction points at any time – without any specification that the damage dealt is non lethal – then they die from their wounds pretty much instantly. As mentioned above, when a human takes two Malfunction points they drop out of combat. They will be unconscious and as such at the mercy of any hostile individual. If a character has another in this position at their mercy, they may take a combat action to deliver a coup de grace. This requires no skill check or damage roll, and is considered enough to kill the enemy.
I see no reason why this could not also be applied to a severely damaged Automaton too, but will have to try it out before I commit to the idea. Speaking of which, I should be able to rock another play test this evening, so I’ll get to try out a few new ideas that came from the last play test, and I’ll report back with any other new tweeks that become necessary.
Thank you to everyone out there taking the time to read this blog, and if you are liking the way it’s shaping up, feel free to check out the game in its current form. If you get the chance, I’d love to see what characters you create and maybe even from you if you’ve tried out any of the rules. Any and all feedback would be greatly appreciated.