Normally when I make rule changes or additions I have players and the general spirit of the game in mind. However there is one supplement I want to do totally for myself. What is this mystery supplement? Medics! Doctors! Shamans! Clerics! Okay, not the last one, but that’s the general idea. In online games and tabletop RPGs I love playing the support character that heals, buffs, and protects his allies. In the first Guild Wars MMO one of my main characters was a Monk. The class was exceptional awesome because they didn’t just “push red bars up” (aka flat out restore health), but instead could use protective prayers to negate or deflect incoming damage. Just look at some of those cool mechanics: Incoming damage is reduced to 10% of target’s maximum health, reduce damage by 5 each time an ally takes damage, heal 80 whenever an ally takes more than 50 damage.
This same idea of support classes being more than “healbots” has rippled across the industry. In 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons the Cleric went from having to memorize a bunch of Cure Light Wounds spells to being able to spontaneously cast them, which freed up slots for funner spells like Bless and Endure Elements. Genius!
So what I’m rambling on about is I’d really like to have a Dinosaur Cowboys supplement for healers. Neotechnoists would call them Medics, Dusters and Bandits would call them Docs, and Savages would call them Shamans.
This wouldn’t be a standard hire for your posse. Instead it’d be closer to a “Hired Sword” from Mordheim, aka a prebuilt mercenary. So you couldn’t customize the Doc with additional Traits (although you could change equipment). You’d just pay a flat Neodollar (and maybe IP) cost to bring them onboard.
A Doc would have a list of powers/abilities that act similar to Traits, except they can be used at different times. These would be supporting and motivating shouts and chants, sort of like “Get Up!” and “Inspiring Shot” that already exists as Traits. Some would be interrupts, so you could make an enemy re-roll a single dice, or stuff like that.
Like I said this Doc “class” or mercenary wouldn’t be an official part of the game, but an optional supplement. And it’d totally be a selfish project done simply because I enjoy that type of role. Right now I’m still working on the extended campaign rules, but my next TODO item will probably be the Doc.
I could actually see doing a bunch of these classes. They’d be called something more wild west-y like “Gunslingers” or “Outlaws” or whatever, but the basic idea of a prepackaged, hireable asset with unique abilities would remain the same. I could also see potentially having these abilities as a “kit” that you could buy/train for an existing member of your posse. For example “Doctor’s Bag: Use the Doctor class features. Costs 20 IP to train and $200 to purchase.” I’m actually liking this idea more. There could be a “Gunslinger Poncho” that lets you go all Clint Eastwood on the opponent, and so on.
After Action Report of Yesterday
The game I hosted yesterday was a lot of fun! Two of my friends made it out so I let them have a 1vs1 showdown. The posses involved were Copper Ravens and The Runaways. In terms of building the posses the Copper Ravens were the result of a request to have a few higher quality troops focused on melee. The Runaways had one request to include a Horned dinosaur, as my friend had a new Triceratops he wanted to use on the table.
The scenario was a simple “kill everything”, which I find is easiest to introduce new players with. There were a few dinosaur eggs scattered around the table that would give +1 to a single dice roll (could be an attack, could be a Bravery Test, etc.) if you were adjacent to it.
I ended up not getting any pictures of the game, but a brief summary was both posses moved forward, and killed a bunch of stuff. But really, there was some melee in the middle, dinosaurs taking the brunt of the early fire and attacks. A late game flank by the last survivor of the Copper Ravens, who was surviving pretty well with his AR 4, until The Runaways sniper hit him with 2 Criticals. A great time was had by all and I potentially might try a short campaign with one of the players sometime this year.
The picture above are some jungle trees from a Heroscape set. My friend brought a bunch over since he bought them way back and they make perfect replacements for my somewhat non-tropical trees. The actual set is called Heroscape Expansion Set: Ticalla Jungle, and I’d love to pick one up. Too bad they are out of print and go for $200-$250 on Ebay! Can you imagine paying that for 9 trees?! Neither can I, neither can I.