FTL Races in Savage Worlds (WIP)

Werebat

Visitor
OK, I'm just going to post what I have for now, as well as the issues I'm having. Helpful criticism would be appreciated!

For those not in the know, FTL (Faster Than Light) is a great little Indie roguelike game that runs on the PC and iPad. You can get it from several places online, including Steam and GOG.com.

What follows is each of the six major races in the game, with a quick description and where I'm at right now converting them to SW.



1. Humans: Humans are the "average" race in FTL; their only special ability is that they improve their skills slightly faster than anyone else.

* As normal SW Human, 1 extra Edge at start seems to fit well enough.

No problems here.



2. Rock: Large, xenophobic (apparently due to their culture/religion), and immune to fire, the Rock people of Vrachos IV move at half speed but have 150% standard hit points.

* Environmental Resistance (Fire) (+1), Armor X2 (+2), Size +1 (+1), No Vital Organs (+1)
* Slow (-1), Obese (-1), Outsider (-1)

"Obese" here really means that the Rock are as broad as they are tall, and would find it difficult to maneuver through many human environments (plus it slows their base speed to 3 when combined with Slow). While there are some instances in-game where the Rock seem resistant to disease and poison, I think we can chalk that up to their increased Toughness -- no need to make them immune.



3. Mantis: Fast, aggressive, and capable of dishing out twice the damage in combat that any other race can manage, the Mantis are a race that tends towards space raiding and piracy. They are particularly bad at repairing ships and other things, most likely due to their "hands" being sickle-like weapons.

* Base Pace 10 (+2), Natural Weapons (Claws) (+1), Additional Action (+3)
* All Thumbs (-1), Outsider (-1), (Need -2 More)

The Mantis move at twice standard speed, and need to be able to do so in order to make melee more viable. They look like they should have Claws AND a Bite, but I'm not really sure how that works in SW. I figured Additional Action would help them do more damage per round, but it can be used for other things (not entirely out of keeping with the rest of the race's abilities), and the cost means I need to figure out 2 more points of negatives. I could possibly ditch it and use the extra point to give the Mantis a Bite AND Claws, but would that really be effective? Also, it just bugs me that the Mantis animation makes it look like they spit some kind of goo at range in combat, but I can't figure out how to work it in (a minor point though). I'm also concerned about tricking them out to be melee natural weapon fighters and then having it be more advantageous for them to dual-wield plasma pistols or something.



4. Zoltan: Glowing green members of an old and bureaucratic culture, the Zoltan are frail (70% standard hit points) but able to power ship systems with self-generated energy.

* Power Points (+5, Weird Science) (+1), Power Ship Systems (Ships powered by Zoltan are considered to be 1 size smaller per powering Zoltan for fuel cost purposes) (+?)
* Frail (-1)

Frail makes perfect sense and I like it. The Power Points to Weird Science make sense, but I'm not married to them. I can't really think of a satisfactory way to work their ability to power ship systems. What I've come up with allows larger ships to be entirely powered by Zoltan crew, which might not be terrible. For smaller ships, factoring fuel costs could be a PITA if the Zoltan ever dies and the ship can't use it for power anymore. Would be better to make the ship use less fuel while being partially powered by a Zoltan (rather than have the fuel cost less), but by how much? Maybe make it a Weird Science check, and give the Zoltan Weird Science as a racial ability? What if the check succeeds? I'm really not sure. In FTL, a Zoltan adds one point to the power available to a ship, which starts around 10 and can be raised to about 30. Maybe just have the Zoltan save the ship $X worth of fuel every day that it powers the ship?

Also, in the new expansion, when a Zoltan dies it explodes in a corona of energy, damaging anyone else in the room. Not sure I need to add that racial in. However, they clearly glow in the dark, so that might be worth a racial bonus.



5. Engi: Not quite robots, the Engi appear to be colonies of nanites building a structure around a possibly organic core (they will suffocate if deprived of Oxygen). They are excellent repair crew, able to repair systems twice as fast as most other races, but they are quite inept at combat, doing only half damage to enemies.

* Skill (Repair 1d6) (+1), Skill Bonus (Repair) (+2), Arcane Background (Weird Science) (+2)
* -2 to all Damage rolls (-3)

This seems about right, but I'm not sure. Giving them Arcane Background is not as powerful as giving them the OPTION of taking it via the generic human "pick an Edge" ability. This would be different if I wanted to limit who could get Weird Science (see the Slug below), but I'm not sure I want to. Also, -2 to all Damage rolls isn't an official negatrait; it's derived from the SciFi Companion negatrait Attribute Penalty (page 6), where instead of applying the penalty to ALL Strength or ALL Agility rolls, it simply applies it to all damage rolls. Too much? Too little?



6. Slug: The slug look like man-sized slugs. They have a leisure based society and while not as aggressive or violent as the Mantis, their mental powers and willingness to lie, cheat, and steal in order to get what they want (no matter who gets hurt in the process) mean that few people trust them.

* Arcane Background (Psionics) (+2)
* Outsider (-1)

This leaves Slug with a deficit, and I recognize that AB (Psionics) is strictly speaking weaker than the standard human ability, but my plan would be to limit Psionics to Slugs only. I'm looking at Broken Earth's division of Arcane Backgrounds into different Trappings, and thinking to limit Slugs to the Telepathy trapping and the powers deemed "suitable" there (while similarly limiting Weird Science to the "suitable powers" for Super Science given in Broken Earth). This means that yes, the Slugs are stuck with AB: Psionics instead of having a choice of Edge on creation, but at least the Edge they are stuck with is something special that no one else can get.

It also bugs me a little that Slugs can move as fast as most other races in FTL. They seem like they should have Slow as a racial penalty, and maybe Wall Walker (from the SciFi Companion) as a racial ability. Wouldn't bother me at all to make that tweak.

Note that the Slugs have telepathic powers in FTL that would be amazing in SW. They can detect living beings on enemy starships during combat, "see" inside adjacent rooms, are immune to mind control, can read minds, can communicate telepathically, perform "Jedi Mind Tricks" (well emulated by the Mind Trick power in Broken Earth), etc. This may be one of those cases where it's best to let the individual Slug grow into that sort of power if they choose to, rather than have all Slugs start off with that level of ability (even though all Slugs in FTL apparently do).



So, what do you think, handful of folks with an interest in both FTL and SW?
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
For me...
No interest in Savage Worlds, and limited interest in FTL's species in a Roleplaying context.

Only clicked into the thread by accident; but since I'm here...

If I were motivated to use the FTL setting, I'd need more than just the races, as well; the tech paradigm is vital.

Come to think of it, I've not played FTL in about a year.
 

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Missed this the first time through. Love FTL and SW.

1. Humans: Humans are the "average" race in FTL; their only special ability is that they improve their skills slightly faster than anyone else.

* As normal SW Human, 1 extra Edge at start seems to fit well enough.

No problems here.
Agree

2. Rock: Large, xenophobic (apparently due to their culture/religion), and immune to fire, the Rock people of Vrachos IV move at half speed but have 150% standard hit points.

* Environmental Resistance (Fire) (+1), Armor X2 (+2), Size +1 (+1), No Vital Organs (+1)
* Slow (-1), Obese (-1), Outsider (-1)

I get what you are saying about obese, but I think this is already covered in increased size and slow. To balance it you could probably remove No Vital organs or a level of armor.


3. Mantis: Fast, aggressive, and capable of dishing out twice the damage in combat that any other race can manage, the Mantis are a race that tends towards space raiding and piracy. They are particularly bad at repairing ships and other things, most likely due to their "hands" being sickle-like weapons.

* Base Pace 10 (+2), Natural Weapons (Claws) (+1), Additional Action (+3)
* All Thumbs (-1), Outsider (-1), (Need -2 More)
Yeah natural weapon fighters are tricky, and I think something that that SW race creation over values, since the ability is so easily overshadowed by equipment. If you want to make them focus on melee, I think instead of the generic extra action, they can only use the second to make a claw attack, and reduce the price (maybe 2, since it's similar to the Two-Fisted Edge).

4. Zoltan: Glowing green members of an old and bureaucratic culture, the Zoltan are frail (70% standard hit points) but able to power ship systems with self-generated energy.

* Power Points (+5, Weird Science) (+1), Power Ship Systems (Ships powered by Zoltan are considered to be 1 size smaller per powering Zoltan for fuel cost purposes) (+?)
* Frail (-1)
I think Zolton gets at the difference between balancing for an RPG and a spaceship combat game. Extra power is super useful in FTL, but not that great in an RPG. Maybe it transforms into some other kind of energy control? I'm trying to remember some of the Zolton-only choices choices for the text-based part of the game, and blanking on them.

5. Engi: Not quite robots, the Engi appear to be colonies of nanites building a structure around a possibly organic core (they will suffocate if deprived of Oxygen). They are excellent repair crew, able to repair systems twice as fast as most other races, but they are quite inept at combat, doing only half damage to enemies.

* Skill (Repair 1d6) (+1), Skill Bonus (Repair) (+2), Arcane Background (Weird Science) (+2)
* -2 to all Damage rolls (-3)
Some interesting thoughts with the damage. I'm not sure where I'd go with that. Another thought (also would require some guesstimating) limit their Fighting and Shooting skills at the time of character creation, maybe to a d4, but they can advance them normally?

Side note: I'm imagining space ship combat would have a lot of repair rolls.

6. Slug: The slug look like man-sized slugs. They have a leisure based society and while not as aggressive or violent as the Mantis, their mental powers and willingness to lie, cheat, and steal in order to get what they want (no matter who gets hurt in the process) mean that few people trust them.

* Arcane Background (Psionics) (+2)
* Outsider (-1)
I think in addition to the AB, giving them a sort of "life sense" would be fun and represent what I think of as their most iconic power. Probably limit range, or maybe say that it works one way on a planet, where there are way more thoughts to interfere, and another way in space.
 

Werebat

Visitor
Thanks for the feedback! I am currently working on a one-shot with friends so after I run it I will talk about it here.

I LOLed at your suggestion for the Mantis - this is exactly what I did on my own before I read it! In the end gave them Fast Pace, Natural Weapons (Claw/Bite), and a 2-point ability that gives them an extra action that can ONLY be used to make a natural weapon attack. Left them with All Thumbs, Outsider, and whatever the disad that gives -1 to Parry is (envisioning them as frenzy fighters who attack without regard for defense).

I have changed my take on some of the other races as well. One thing that bugs me is that giving the Rock "Armor" is sort of horrid because even if they have Armor 4 they are still better off buying a standard (for the sci-fi generic setting) suit of combat armor, because that is resistant to AP attacks like lasers. So I just went with Toughness 3 instead of the Armor or No Vital Organs. Kept Obese (it stresses the disadvantage of their large size and also increases Toughness). Part of me would like to take out a Toughness point an replace it with two points in Armor, but again, Armor seems kind of useless in a setting with combat armor that is resistant to AP attacks.

I did some cool stuff with the Zoltan that I like, as well as the Slug. Solved the Engi damage issue in a way as well. I will repost the races again soon with all this info accounted for.
 

Werebat

Visitor
OK, so here is a "take two" on the FTL races:

* Humans: As standard SW human

* Rock: Environmental Resistance (Fire/Heat) (+1), Size +1 (+1), Toughness 3 (+3), Slow (-1 Pace) (-1), Obese (-1), Outsider (Xenophobic) (-1)

* Mantis: Base Pace 10 (+2), Natural Weapons (Claws/Bite) (+1), Mantis Aggression (As Extra Action but limited to making Natural Weapon attacks) (+2), All Thumbs (-1), Outsider (-1), Poor Parry (-1)

* Zoltan: Power Generation: A Zoltan's strange physiology makes their bodies functionally similar to miniature fusion reactors, and they constantly glow with a greenish light equal to that of a torch (although they may douse this glow if they so choose, with similar effect and duration to a human holding their breath). While on board a ship, a Zoltan may use its internal energies to power ship systems, effectively increasing the ship's number of allowed Mods by +1. In addition, they are able to power and recharge devices such as personal shields and energy weapons just by holding them. If a Zoltan dies a violent death, its body ruptures and releases energy in a Medium burst template for 2d8 radiation damage. (+2 total), Environmental Resistance: Radiation (+1), Frail (-1)

* Engi: Skill (Repair 1d6) (+1), Skill Bonus (Repair) (+2), Edge: Mister Fix-It OR Weird Science (+2), -2 to all Strength checks (including Damage rolls) (-3)

* Slug: Arcane Background (Psionics with Telepathy Trapping from Broken Earth pg 37) (+2), Power Points (Psionics) (+1), Wall Walker (+1), Slow (-1 Pace) (-1), Outsider (-1)

I think this tightens things up a bit and I will be using it with an upcoming one-shot with friends.
 

Werebat

Visitor
In case anyone out there playing SWADE cares, here is my update of these races to SWADE:

* Human: Adaptable (+2)

* Rock: Environmental Resistance (Fire) (+1)
Armor X4 (+2)
Size +1 (+1)
Hardy (+2)
Toughness +1 (+1)
Reduced Core Skills (Persuasion) (-1)
Big (-2)
Hindrance (Mean) (-1)
Reduced Pace (Pace 5, Sprint d4) (-1)

* Mantis: Additional Action (Attacks Only) (+2)
Claws Str+d6 (+3)
Pace 8, Sprint d8 (+2)
Skill Penalty (Repair -4) (-2)
Nonstandard Physiology (as Big) (-2)
Hindrance: Outsider (Minor) (-1)

* Zoltan: Power Generation (As above) (+2)
Environmental Resistance (Radiation) (+1)
Frail (-1)

* Engi: Skill (d6 Repair) (+2)
Skill Bonus (+2 Repair) (+2)
Edge: Mr. Fix-It (+2)
Edge: Weird Science (+2)
Attribute Increase (d6 Smarts) (+2)
Skill Penalties (-2 Fighting, Shooting, Athletics) (-6 Total)
Hindrance: Mild Mannered (-1)
Hindrance: Pacifist (Minor) (-1)

* Slug: Edge: AB Psionics (+2)
Edge: Power Points (+2)
Skill (d4 Psionics) (+1)
Wall Walker (+1)
Nonstandard Physiology (as Big) (-2)
Reduced Pace (Pace 5, Sprint d4) (-1)
Outsider (-1)
 

Munch15a

Visitor
Thanks for these I'm going to run a one shot the salvaging of the Kaine with these races with my group to pick up the ruleset.
 

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