The PDF of Apes Victorious was released today by Goblinoid Games! (The print version will be available within a few weeks.) It uses the same rules system as Starships & Spacemen, but is also compatible with Mutant Future and Labyrinth Lord.
I’ve skimmed through the book already and am pleased. The sections on Ape Society and the Underdwellers are exceptional, and there is also a lot of good advice for the Ape Master. And although you can run it straight, it’s just begging for a gonzo mash-up. I’m tempted to try the Dungeon of the Apes as a Hallowe’en one-shot…
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything simian-related, and I want to tie up a loose end… In my 2014 Simians & Sorcery post I make reference to a “Scientist” class, but it was never actually described. This post was originally intended as a follow-up, but has lurked in “draft” mode for over two years. In honour of Apes Victorious, I’ve cleaned it up an am posting it today.
Note that these rules are from my former Affiliation Campaign, not my newer Astonishing ACKS game. The “Invention” rules are adapted from the savant class in Fantastic Heroes & Witchery, by Dominique Crouzet.
In Mutants & Magic, science isn’t the ultra-specialized set of disciplines we know today. The lines between different branches of science are fuzzy, and it’s possible for a single scientist to contribute groundbreaking research in multiple fields. While ordinary citizens of the Affiliation (and the Ape Sultanate) use pre-industrial technology in their daily lives, scientists push the envelope and (re)invent things not seen since Ancient times.
Level XP Hit Dice BAB Save 1 0 1d6+4 +0 15 2 2,000 2d6+4 +0 14 3 4,000 3d6+4 +1 14 4 8,000 4d6+4 +1 13 5 16,000 5d6+4 +1 13 6 32,000 6d6+4 +2 12 7 64,000 7d6+4 +2 12 8 120,000 8d6+4 +2 11 9 240,000 9d6+4 +3 11
Game Rule Information
Prime Requisite: A scientist’s prime requisite is Intelligence; a character must have a INT score of 11 or higher to become a scientist.
Alignment: Any (but typically non-chaotic).
Hit Dice: Scientists start with a “hit point kicker” of 4 hp and gain 1d6 hit points + CON mod per class level.
Combat Ability: A scientist has a fair Base Attack Bonus progression. Scientists are proficient with any melee or ranged weapon that can be wielded one-handed. Unlike most characters, they take no penalties when wielding Advanced-Tech weapons. They are proficient with light armour only (no shields).
Saving Throws: Scientists have fair saving throws, and gain +1 on saves vs. technological devices.
Advanced-Tech: Unlike other characters, Scientists are considered Advanced-Tech. They do not need to make Technology Rolls to decipher Advanced-Tech relics, and only take Tech Level penalties for Ancient-Tech devices.
Inventions: Starting at 2nd level, a scientist can create unique devices and machines. These inventions are unique because the Affiliation (and Ape Sultanate) lack industrial facilities that would let them duplicate such items, or they use spare parts of Ancient devices no longer found. There is also often a luck factor involved, since the character may not fully understand the principles underlying the functioning of technology.
Scientists accrue “craft points” with experience and learn new “tricks” at every even-numbered level (2nd, 4th, 6th, etc.), as shown on the Inventions table, below. If a device is lost, destroyed, etc., it can be replaced by the scientist creating another one – and not necessarily the same. (By default, the scientist should get the same number of craft points as had the original device that was lost.)
Use the following guidelines to design inventions. What they can make, their size, ammunition/charges, etc., should be agreed between the player and the referee.
- To create each new device, scientists have a pool of “craft points” as shown below. Each power, effect and/or characteristic of the device costs a number of points.
- The main function of the device should be based on a spell (any spell – arcane or divine – with effects that might plausibly be duplicated by sci-fi technology in the context of the game); this costs one point per level of the equivalent spell. Note that a 2nd-level scientist is limited to the equivalent of a 1st-lvl spell; a 4th-level scientist is limited to a 2nd-lvl spell; etc. (as indicated on the Inventions table).
- Points may also be used to grant additional aspects or effects: combining two functions together (i.e. two spells equivalent effects) costs 1 point; increasing the device’s sturdiness granting it a +2 bonus to saving throws (and AC, if any) costs 1 point; giving the invention two more uses per day costs 1 point; etc. Other aspects or effects would likewise cost 1 or more points.
- An invention should be usable approximately 1d4 times per day.
- An invention conforms to the rules of technology (i.e. they aren’t magical, could be used by anyone who has been told how to use it, probably require ammunition or power packs, etc.).
- Only the scientist who made the invention, and those who were carefully instructed, can use it safely and successfully. Other people need to make a Technology Roll (as per Mutant Future, with the complexity decided by the referee.)
1 – – 2 1 1st 3 2 1st 4 3 2nd 5 4 2nd 6 5 3rd 7 6 3rd 8 7 4th 9 8 4th