Sunday, 4 November 2018

Insect - Abilities Old and New

(If you're at a miss on what Insect is, read the introduction here.)

The first tweak I'm doing to Knave is to rename and rethink the classic Abilities in order to make them feel more like those of System Shock 2.

"Your flesh is an insult to the perfection of the digital."
~SHODAN

Before I begin I will just say that, since Knave has been released under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (thank you Ben!), I will just quote bits from the manual whenever I need them, and if I don't explicitly say so, I will leave them untouched in the Insect manual.
Still, go get the original game because it's worth it!

Cyberpunk soldier by NeoWorm

"Each ability has two related values: a defense and a bonus. When creating a PC, roll 3d6 for each of their abilities, in order. The lowest of the three dice on each roll is that ability’s bonus. Add 10 to find its defense."
~ Knave, page 1

I will keep six abilities: the first three will basically be the same as the classic ones, while of the remaining two are directly taken from SS2 and one is added to compensate the elimination of Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma.
While in other games these three had a sense, in the universe of Insect I think they are out of place and redundant, and one (and a half, as you will see) is sufficient to the task.
  • Strength: Used for melee attacks and saves requiring physical power, like lifting gates, bending bars, moving crates etc.
  • Agility: Used for ranged attacks and saves requiring poise, speed, and reflexes, like dodging, climbing, sneaking, moving in microgravity etc.
  • Endurance: Used for saves to resist toxins, radiations, hard vacuum, sudden decompression etc. The Endurance bonus is added to healing rolls. A PC’s number of item slots is always equal to their Endurance defense.
  • Cybernetic Affinity: Used for saves concerning cybernetic ware, resisting cybernetic attacks, tinkering with machines and electronics, using computers and interfaces, hacking etc. The number of Cybernetic Implants that a PC can simultaneously use is always equal to their Cybernetic Ability bonus.
  • Psi Ability: Used for saves requiring concentration, perception and intuition, such as using psionic powers and resisting psionic effects, recalling knowledge and lore, navigation, research etc. The number of Psionic Implants that a PC can simultaneously use is always equal to their Psi Ability bonus.
  • Humanity: Used for saves to persuade, deceive, interrogate, intimidate, charm, provoke, and in general to interact with other fellow humans. A PC may lead a squad of followers equal to their Charisma bonus.

Your followers, ready to... die?

I think the Abilities are pretty self explanatory so I'll just say a word about Implants: they work more or less in the same way as spellbooks in Knave.
Both Cybernetic and Psionic Implants will give special skills and powers, and while those given by the first will be usually more static ones (night vision, increased strength, etc.) the latter will be basically "spells in space".
You will be able to swap Implants but only when you are in your home base or a similar place or using certain... Implant swapping devices that you will hopefully find around.
That's the basic idea at least.

More on Implants on the future dedicated post!

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