Limitless Worlds

Limitless Worlds

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hell on Earth Reloaded Alternatives

So you may be saying, "Oh Tanner, those mechanics are super awesome, but what if I don't have the Sci-fi Companion."

Well I've come to answer your question!

Power Armor

In all honesty, the three suits of power armor in the Savage Worlds Deluxe book hew pretty close to HoE power armor minus all the bookkeeping headache. The Scout, Battle and Heavy Suit are all builds I would not be surprised to see most often in the Wasted West, and you can do small finagles to add variation. I'd reduce cost, though (Scout is $8,000, Battle $9,000 and Heavy $10,000). You'd probably only find power armor with the Steel Knights though. I'd also probably just do 1 pound of ghost rock can power up the armor, and I'd keep the sealing-in-from-elements.

This may show up in play for me, actually, but the answer is there.


Like HoE: Reloaded says, you can rip the mechanics straight from the Smith & Robard's supplement. You won't be getting some things like skill chips, but that's not too big of a concern. I would keep most of those mechanics, though, in terms of installing bionics and etc. Also, scrappers don't suffer the normal Charisma loss that "augers" in the Weird West do.

Both edges I created are also still appropriate, I think.


There is a good post by Clint of Pinnacle Games explaining why they went a more archaic approach with suggesting Augur tech rather than Scrapper tech, and it makes sense to me. But do what you will!

I'd Give My Right Arm: Deadlands Hell on Earth Reloaded Scrappers

And here we are with the rules for scrappers, which I've cobbled together from the Smith & Robbard's Rules for Deadlands Reloaded and the Iron Oasis rules. Bionics were already described in the core HoE:R book, so I won't spend too much time on them here.

Electric Sheep

Certain bionics do exist that not only replace body parts, but improve them. Generally called augments, these are also mostly only found in the haven of Iron Oasis.

The rules for the maximum amount of augments a scrapper can have, i.e. the Strain, is fully described in the Sci-fi Companion. Further, damage to bionics systems is also discussed in the Hell on Earth Reloaded setting book. However, there are a few subtleties that are not addressed there.

The $20,000 Man

Bionics come in two types: Junker or pre-war. Pre-war cost the normal price and are usually Rare, even in Junkyard. However, once the surgery is done, pre-war augments are nearly perfect, and thus never malfunction.

Junker bionics is, of course, constructed by Junkers using Components. The rules utilize the rules for Gadgeteer, with the Power being bound trying to be relatively equivalent thematically to the augment being taken (it's up to the Marshal for this). The Junker also must have enough money for more specialized parts, though the cost is 50% of what a normal augment costs. The drawback to this is that Junker bionics can malfunction, which is described below.

I Briefly Associated With Doctors

Installing bionics of any kind is a messy. It requires a successful Knowledge: Medicine roll, and the surgery takes about 1 hour per point of Strain it applies (pure bionic limbs inflict 1 Strain). A success on the roll means the implant took, though the scrapper still takes a Wound that must be recovered naturally. A raise negates that wound. A failure on the roll means the augment simply didn't take, though the surgery can be re-done.

A crit failure is more dangerous. It appears that the augment took as a success, but every day the scrapper must make a Vigor roll, with a -1 penalty per day after the operation (to a maximum of -4). On a failure, the scrappers body rejects the implant, causing 2d6 damage and the failure of the implant. The only remedy is to remove the augment; it will never work on the scrapper. Yes, this does mean if a scrapper has a high enough Vigor, they could walk around with faulty bionics for possibly months at a time.

Note that bionics can only be installed on living creatures. If a Harrowed wants to be cybered up, he best become a Cyborg.

The Sparks Means It's Working

Junker built bionics are cheap but unstable, tending to break under pressure. Once per day, the Marshal should roll a d6. On a 1, if the scrapper rolls a 1 at all during the day (regardless of Wild Die), one random piece of Junker bionics will Malfunction like a Weird Science Device.

Starting with Bionics

Scrapper - Background Edge

You start off with a few bits of bionics strapped to you. You can either start with 1 Strain of pre-war tech, or 2 Strain worth of Junker tech.

A Hard Day's Knight: Deadlands Hell on Earth Reloaded Powered Armor

"It's the Iron Alliance,
not the Brotherhood of Steel! It's totally different!"
So the Companion for Hell on Earth Reloaded got released yesterday, and while it's awesome, it doesn't contain rules for bionics or power armor. Well let's fix that! Below are my mechanics to implementing power armor into the game, but you must have access to the Savage Worlds Sci-fi Companion to use the power armor construction rules in there. Don't worry, scrappers are coming soon.

I've Been Working Like A Dog

Power armor is expensive, rare, but damn powerful. Though power armor can blow a hole through most anything, it is often used to combat the automatons of Throckmorton’s army.  Power armor pilots are often called “robohunters” or even “knights,” named after the famous group of wandering power armor soldiers called the Steel Knights.

Power armor, and its mods, outside of a Steel Knight base is Rare, with light models costing $5,000, medium costing $10,000 and heavy costing $20,000 (1/100th of the price listed in the Sci-fi Companion). Mods for the armor run at about half the listed price in the SFC.  If you do manage to find a Steel Knight base, and good luck, most armor and mods are usually Scarce. Power armor mod installation works as described in the SFC.

Power armor is complicated to put on and assemble, and takes roughly 5 minutes to put on. The knight can get out of the suit in roughly half that amount of time. Power armor is sized for humans, so cyborgs can generally not wear them. Also note that the default armor bonus for power armor is not considered Heavy Armor.

The only mod that requires modification is Armor, which adds +2 Armor when it is taken the first time. It can be taken a second time by Medium and Heavy armor, but this instead means the power armor is now considered Heavy Armor.

If you are ever Incapacitated while wearing your power armor, some vital system in the circuits has been damaged, leaving the armor useless until it is repaired. This repair requires 1d6 hours, a successful Repair roll, and a number of Components equal to the Mods on the armor.

It's Worth It Just to See Oil Spray

Power armor operates on 'Power,' which is a number that represents the power the armor can expend. Non-modified power armor will have a Power of 72, and once it reaches zero, the armor shuts down until it can be recharged. Using only its default features like the radio and HUD, armor depletes Power by 1 for every hour of use. However, any taxing usage of the armor’s system will deplete 1 Power per scene outside of battle. Some ‘sustained’ abilities, like flight or stealth systems, suck up one Power for every 10 minutes of use (or portion of 10 minutes). A prolonged battle, such as in mass combats, will take the 10 minute charge. Be advised that Power stacks; using both flight and stealth systems at the same time, for example, will cost 2 Power for every 10 minutes.

Battles work differently. If you use a power suit's system in a battle, such as firing an integrated weapon or using a jump pack, that depletes 1 Power, but only on the first use of the system in a battle. Later usage in the same battle doesn't suck up more Power, as the suit's systems have already routed energy there. 

For example, if on one round you fire a weapon mount and use your jump pack, that takes up 2 Power. On subsequent rounds, if you use either the weapon or the jump pack, or both, you don't spend any additional Power. However, if you activate your magnetic boots in a later round, that sucks up another Power for a total of 3.

For "always on" modifications, like Strength Enhancement or Pace, they can be turned "off" to conserve power, reverting the character's stats to normal until they are reactivated. The Armor mod does not consumer Power, as it is purely physical.

For power armor to recharge, your knight needs access to either ghost rock or spook juice. Power armors have an internal battery that can be fueled by either of these substances, given enough time. One pound of ghost rock or 16 gallons of spook juice provide a full Power of 72 (if no battery mods are present), but the armor must be powered down for a half-hour for every ounce or gallon consumed in order for the power armor to properly process it. A full charge thus takes about 8 hours, meaning most brainers charge their armor while sleeping.

Rarely, you may find an old power armor reactor, which were usually installed in combat vehicles to service Steel Knights on the field. These can bring a power armor up to full charge in minutes, though most have been lost to time.

You Know I Feel Okay

In an emergency, power armor can integrate with live wires or industrial batteries to gain a temporary boost to their batteries. The source must be powerful enough (like a full car battery, a live power line, or a huge generator) and the pilot must make a Smarts roll. On a success, the armor absorbs 1 to 3 (your choice) temporary Power, and 1 - 6  (your choice) on a raise. This temporary Power is on top of existing Power, so a fully charged suit that ‘overcharges’ could have 78 Power. On a failure, nothing happens, but on a crit failure, the pilot gets electrocuted for 2d6 damage. 

This power jacking can only be used once before the armor’s circuits have to cool down, which takes a number of shut-off hours equal to half the Power absorbed. Note that this temporary Power can’t be saved during shut-off; it simply vents out.

Starting With Armor

Robohunter - Background Edge
Novice, Repair d6+, Fighting d6+

You have somehow come into the possession of a suit of power armor. Maybe you found it, or perhaps you are a former (or current) Steel Knight.

You start with a suit of Light power armor, though it does not possess any mods.