I’m starting a new campaign with my friends and we created the characters yesterday. One of my new patrol’s Guard is a Guard Captain (the head alchemist of Lockhaven) who is really interested in explosives. My player thought that his character could use explosives also as weapons.
How would you make the bonuses to explosives in-game? I suggested that the explosives could be kind of supportive (like smelly gases and thick smoke) and help in maneuver but he said that it would be better if they were explosives to kill.
So, I don’t want to inject too much opinion, but here are some tips or techniques you could use to implement. First, I’d say this is a spot where you as GM need to establish a ground rule about the level of potency which explosives would have. Here is a graded scale I would suggest:
power scale 1) explosives are rather minimal; possibly cause Injured Condition to Weasels, Mice, and below (think Natural Order on same level as mice)
power scale 2) explosives are rather moderate; certainly cause Injured Condition to Weasels, Mice, and below, but also possibly cause Injured Condition to Fox, Badger, Raccoon
power scale 3) explosives are rather extreme; undoubtedly cause Injured Condition to Weasels, Mice, and below, and also certainly cause Injured Condition to Fox, Badger, Raccoon, but also possibly cause Injured Condition to Wolf, Wolverine, Deer
power scale 4) explosives are beyond extreme; likely to cause unimaginable damage at untold scale
That’s a fairly important conversation to have with the play group: what potency is appropriate for any alchemical recipes?
Next, I’d treat this as an ad-hoc skill similar in nature to Armorer. I’d say this goes far beyond Scientist, yet Scientist can be a Helper in tests. Create a write-up of factors for developing alchemical arsenal. Here are a few rules I’d suggest:
still requires supplies–can’t probably create in wilderness without extensive, lucky foraging
likely requires a workspace–can’t probably create in wilderness without risk of terrible accident
outcome results in limited supply–can’t probably create more than a handful of items with limited expiration
Fuse-Timer: a blink, a wink, a heartbeat, a breath, long enough Effect: smoke-screen, scent-screen, toxic-screen, fire-starter, detonator Potency: less than mice, more than mice, more than fox, more than wolf
From that list of factors, the player can develop a handful stock of arsenal, yet each can be used as designed. The use-case will be the determinant of how it is used in a Conflict–by way of the narrative tool in which the arsenal is used.
After all of this, I want to emphasize that killing in a conflict is (or should be) completely and exclusively linked to the Conflict Goal and degree of Compromise. Those rules are pretty well written. As GM, you can easily enforce the rules for killing and conflicts rather than determine the logic of what device is being used.
In addition, I’ve got to say that anything explosive which can be a detriment to mice or animals is probably also a detriment to mice of the patrol–particularly highly explosive detonators with shrapnel. You should ensure that any explosive used to kill has as much danger to mice as to an opponent.
[opinionated rant ahead]The final comment is that MG really isn’t about the killing, and kinda isn’t about the ‘rule of cool’–it would seem pretty cool for a game of mice with guns and bombs–but that’s a play-group dependent choice. I’d say that MG is largely about the BIGs, and a bit about the relationships, and centrally focused on the Oath and Duties of the Guard.
So, if having explosives is being used as a part of the campaign themes, BIGs, and the relationships, I guess, I’d have to say, “the Guard prevail.” However, if it’s just about being cool and powerful, maybe take a moment to read Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales and/or Legends of the Guard Vol 1 - 3 for ideas about what MG is really about. Yes, there’s some killing, some fighting, and some cool stuff, but there’s also loads of underlying lessons.
[/opinionated rant over]
We decided that bombs in our game can do the same amount of injury than mice with a sword when we speaking of Natural order. The conversation was really good and after that I think we have same kind of realization of the bombs’ powers. And about the ad-hoc skill option, I think it is not a problem that player has the availabilities to craft bombs (scientist) and fight with them (fighter). My group doesn’t have others who hve the scientist ability so it doesnt take anythin away from anyone. It is nice to have an scientist in the patrol after all : )
What would chart like this look like?
Quantity: couple, many, a stack
Effect: Feinting, taunting, demolishing
Power: in same natural order than mice, one higher in natural order, two higher from natural order and structures
The final comment is that MG really isn’t about the killing, and kinda isn’t about the ‘rule of cool’–it would seem pretty cool for a game of mice with guns and bombs–but that’s a play-group dependent choice. I’d say that MG is largely about the BIGs, and a bit about the relationships, and centrally focused on the Oath and Duties of the Guard.
Yes the cause i play with MG is the BIGs an realitionships. But as a whole, one of the GM’s responsibilities is to be flexible with things like this. Pure MG might be better without explosives and talking about the character’s potential of fighting, but with certain role playing group it is good to make changes. My player wanted to play a alchemist mouse with explosives and didn’t want any swords or other ordinary weapons but bombs.