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 Spark Rules

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Jondera
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PostSubject: Spark Rules   Thu May 20, 2010 10:56 am

Rather obviously, this thread is dedicated to the discussion of Sparks - what their powers are, how their powers work, and how they get them.

Here's what I've got so far:

New Quality:

Spark

Characters who possess the spark are able to enter a "Spark state," referred to by various names (Including "Madness place," "Madboy/madgirl," and other variations), in which they gain increased speed, strength, endurance, charisma, and technical skill. While in the Spark state, sparks are compelled to solve any problem and overcome every difficulty by using their Spark powers, even if there are more mundane or practical methods, and with a complete disregard to the non-immediate consequences of their actions, other people's opinions, or what any side-effects of the situation might be.

Upon taking the Spark quality, the character gains a Spark score of 1. A character's spark score can be increased at character creation at a cost of 10 BP per point, or after character creation at the same cost as any other attribute. For every point of Spark, the character gains 1 point to spend on buying Spark powers. A Spark character can never have more Spark powers than their Spark attribute.

In addition, when faced with extreme danger, a difficult problem, or a complex device, the character will enter the spark state unless they choose to resist it, in which case they must make a Willpower + (something) check with a threshold equal to their Spark attribute.

While in a spark state, all Sparks gain a bonus to all physical attributes and technical skills equal to 1/2 their Spark attribute (rounded up). While in a Spark state, sparks can compel others to aid them or do their bidding, by making a contested roll of the spark's Charisma + Spark against the target's Willpower (plus Spark, if applicable). If the spark succeeds at the contested check, they can compel one task per net success. People so compelled cannot be compelled by another spark until all such task have been completed, though another spark attempting to compel them can reduce the remaining tasks owed by 1 per net success on the compulsion roll. If the remaining tasks are reduced below 0, the other spark does not automatically compel the target, and must attempt to compel them again on a later action. Finally, when in a Spark state, all sparks must make a Willpower check with a threshold equal to their Spark attribute to take any action that does NOT involve one of their spark powers (Actions that allow or aid the use of spark powers, such as gathering materials or finding tools, are allowed, although these are frequently assigned to compelled minions).

...

Spark powers:

Improbable Mechanics - Used for the creation of unusual machines, vehicles, weapons, and for making and repairing clanks. Each rank provides a certain benefit, enabling those with higher training to do more impressive stuff.

Improbable Biotics - Used for the practice of medicine, and for the creation and repair of constructs (of all 11 types, though cyborgs also require Improbable Mechanics). Higher ranks in this ability enable more impressive feats of construction.

Sparky creations - Enables created clanks and constructs to possess the Spark (though not all do).

Improvised tools - this ability allows a spark to improvise tools from nearby objects, supplimenting their available tools and making them more effective. For each rank of this ability, count the available tools as 1 step higher (none -> kit -> shop -> facility) than they actually are. Each step higher than Facility provides a +2 bonus to all dice pools when crafting items with spark powers. This ability must be taken seperately for Mechanical and Biotic tools.

Others TBD
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Dura
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PostSubject: Re: Spark Rules   Thu May 20, 2010 11:54 am

Transcript of chat, edited for your convenience (feel free to comment on anything):


[Dura] okay, I disagree with this: 'Untrained technical skills boosted in this way are considered trained while in the spark state.' I think more emphasis needs to be placed on technical skills, rather than overlooking them. In the comic, untrained/uneducated Sparks are only capable of making clumsy, uncoordinated Clanks. A formal education is emphasized as just as important, if not more so, to utilizing the Spark's potential.

[Jondera] True. Do you think I should change it so the spark state bonus only applies to trained technical skills, then? Or just remove that caveat?

[Dura] hmm... to be honest, I haven't read the whole thing, so I can't say for sure... but the way it seems to me is a lot like technomancers with machine sprites. The Spark aspect is capable of creating artificial intelligence in mechanical devices where no such hardware to support artificial intelligence exists. but the Spark still has to know how to build in the first place. So I'd say that the Sparkiness should give a supernatural quality to existing techncial skills. In otherwords, the Spark can only build machines that are as good as his or her technical training. However, with Sparkiness, those creations come out with the artificial intelligence/amazing attributes that only Sparks are able to produce.

[Jondera] Well, keep in mind that Agatha was trying to build the clinks long before she knew she had the spark. She didn't succeed, but she was trying.

[Dura] right. she was building the mechanical husk because she had a lot of technical training. She studied under Dr. Beetle and learned the mechanics

[Jondera] And sparks are just as important at building weapons and vehicles as in building clanks - you don't see random street mechanics going around building tanks and death rays.

[Dura] hmm... true. well, a large part of the Spark is an inhuman ability to focus. it's not so much that they build better, just that they can focus more, and are more creative. I'd say that Sparkiness should decrease or get rid of distraction penalties, and penalties for not having proper plans. maybe do something where a Spark can come up with their own plans for things, like an extended test

[Jondera] You recall Von Zinzer's comments on Castle Wulfenbach? The whole "I keep showing him stuff I recall from my days as a mechanic, but he recognizes them as so-and-so's designs."

[Dura] yeah

[Jondera] I guess, that's true. A mechanic with the right tools and plans can build the fancy machines and stuff... but they can't design them in the first place.

[Dura] yeah, they can't design them, and they can't breathe 'life' into them

[Jondera] Of course, also keep in mind that sparks can build such things without the plans in the first place, then write the plans later, allowing others to build copies or repair them.

[Dura] yeah, that'd be like... designing on the fly; quicker, no planning ahead of time, but more likely to have mistakes or errors that need correcting later

[Dura] I like the idea about the improvised tools. But then again, Agatha placed a lot of importance on having the right tools

[Jondera] Yes, she did... but in some cases, she didn't always have the right tools, but she made do. And I think the improvised tools power would be a fairly expensive one, too.

[Dura] that works

[Jondera] Not something that everybody grabs offhand

[Dura] we could just say Agatha didn't have that power

[Jondera] Yeah
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Vanya's Devil
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PostSubject: Re: Spark Rules   Thu May 20, 2010 1:26 pm

You forgot Improbable Sociology, but then, everyone does. Seriously, I told the Baron, give me a thousand orphans, a hedge maze and enough cheese and I can...bah, never mind. I am resigned to it. They are blind fools, one and all!

Improbable Sociology - Used for the organization and training of effective minions and armies, subtle manipulation of economic and social structures, systematic brainwashing, and public relations.

Self-Replication - Allows creations to create more of themselves. Maybe make it a prerequisite for "Sparky Creations"?

Steam King - Allows the Spark to power anything via steam, even things like jetpacks and anthroform clanks that shouldn't be practical to power with steam.
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PostSubject: Re: Spark Rules   Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:57 pm

Is there any work going on for this conversion? Is it still a go?

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Faust
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PostSubject: Re: Spark Rules   Sun Oct 30, 2011 8:51 pm

To be honest, I'd look at doing the Spark Quality in a different manner. Because it's a combination of Adept and Technomancer. It's probably run it something like a Mystic Adept quality, with a certain amount of your Spark going for the physical boosts, and the remainder for "Threading" your technical skills. Instead of Drain or Fading, you have Madness, and when you boost a skill over your overall Spark Rating, you roll to resist it.
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PostSubject: Re: Spark Rules   Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:03 am

My god...adept technomancers? There's no way a mundane hacker can ever hope to beat that. They could literally hack every satellite and toss a bunch of Thor Shots at us. Time for an Ares-sponsored freak out.
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PostSubject: Re: Spark Rules   Mon Oct 31, 2011 8:22 am

Have you read the comic? lol! What do you think the Pax Transylvania's all about?
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PostSubject: Re: Spark Rules   Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:04 pm

I've really only read some of the beginning. What I'm wondering is, are you trying to make a Girl Genius game using Shadowrun rules or are you trying to implant Girl Genius characters into the Shadowrun world? If the former, I might suggest using something like GURPS instead, and if the latter, I could make some suggestions on making the characters more streamlined alongside Shadowrun characters. For example, instead of saying "1 Spark power per level of Spark", you should give them point values similar to adepts. You should also allow things like Initiation/Submersion to let Spark characters develop more powerful, um, metasparks or something. I like the idea of entering the spark state being similar to going berserk, that makes it rather unique. I guess without reading more of the series I can't give any real suggestions, but doing things like giving straight dice pool bonuses per level of Spark is kinda unbalancing, unless all of the players have Spark and are specialized in different things (like Player A works with "clanks" and Player B works with vehicles and Player C works with death rays). I would read more of the comic but I'm not a huge fan of the art style and the title character feels kinda Mary Sue to me (albeit in an original setting).
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PostSubject: Re: Spark Rules   Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:14 pm

That's why I'm suggesting handling it like threading for technomancers. This is more like adapting Shadowrun to Girl Genius. In the story, you have minor sparks, who usually don't have the know-how to make the fullest use of their abilities(why I'd say treat it as threading your Technical skills) and not many of them have the massive moments of insanity that the more powerful sparks do.
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