Thursday, September 10, 2009

Clockwork FAQ

Hmmm…weird to write an Frequently Asked Questions document for a one-page game, but here are a few answers to a few questions that have come up:

RE Bravery (Brv): Do NOT round when calculating Draw or TAC. For example, a Draw of 5 + 3.5 + 2 = 10.5; 10.5 is higher (faster) than 10 but lower (slower) than 11. A TAC of 10 + 3.5 + 2 = 15.5; characters must roll equal or below 15.5 to hit (in other words, roll 15 or less; a 16 is over 15.5 and thus misses).

RE Draw: If Draw is equal, individuals shoot simultaneously. Yes, this can result in Tarentino-esque shoot-outs.

RE Pistols shooting twice: Each shot requires its own TAC roll. Both shots occur at the same time (so the person with Draw 10 shoots twice AFTER everyone with Draw 10.5+ and BEFORE everyone with 9.5-).

[On a related note: if your two-fisted gunman wants to empty both smokewagons at once, all shots go off at the same time...don't forget those TAC penalties!]

RE Clockwork prices: Man, make something up! Generally, never more than a couple hundred dollars (should cost less than a good horse). For pricing in general, I use the costs listed in TSR’s Boot Hill game for both goods and services. Doctor’s fees aren’t THAT expensive (compared to hospital care in the 21st century), and neither should be man-sized clockwork parts (compared to good-excellent horseflesh). Repairs of existing prosthetics should be cheaper than installing new parts (which also require surgery). I assume I’ll be including full price lists in the full-length game (when I get around to writing it).

RE Normal folks: Abilities vary by background. Average townsfolk should have total attributes of 24 or so (Spd 4, Acc 4, Brv 6, Str 10) with only the elderly and young children having less than 7 in Strength (Str). Women of the Old West were just as hardy as the men-folk, as far as I’m concerned.

For those wondering where the hell I got the idea for Clockwork…well, basically I wanted Boot Hill (which I consider to be a mighty fine RPG) to be a bit less deadly, withOUT scrapping the excellent combat system. The only way I could think to do this was to force occasional re-rolls (or “safe” hits) of certain body locations. Since folks in the Wild West didn’t wear Kevlar, I had to think of a way to make limbs resistant without armor. Cybernetic prosthetics sprang to mind, and coupled with the images of the steam-punk anime Steam Boy…well, you end up with Clockwork.

As far as adventures go…heck, pretty much any of the old BH modules can be adapted to Clockwork (just add gears!). I suppose I could write up some quick conversions notes between the original game and the micro-CW, but that’ll have to wait till a later post. Interesting design note: my current “full length” version of Clockwork is much closer to Boot Hill, but due to space limitations of the micro-format I was forced to simplify both character creation and combat immensely…and I think it actually makes the game better (i.e. smoother and faster). I’m beginning to think that the final version of Clockwork will be much closer to the one-page version, rules-wise, than to BH…but we’ll see.

AFTER the B/X Companion of course…
; )

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