Variant Rule: Fleeing Facing

Shot-in-the-BackHave you felt that failing a Bravery Test and Fleeing isn’t brutal enough? Well fear not, as I thought up a quick and easy rule to make it absolutely horrendous and most likely fatal to Flee.

Fleeing Facing: When a character is marked with a Fleeing token immediately change their Facing to be directly away from the most recent attacker.

In other words, free Surprise Hits to their back, meaning 10+ to Crit! This variant adds an extra tactical option of trying to force an enemy to Flee so that the rest of the posse can shoot them as they run. It’s such a simple and effective way to provide additional vulnerability to a Fleeing target. Plus I was able to achieve this using my favorite approach: leveraging existing rules (in this case Surprise Hit).

This makes Bravery much more important as Fleeing might mean a death sentence now.

This also differentiates Dinosaurs further since they aren’t affected by the rule, being based on Discipline instead and all.

Anyway this will be in the next version as an official variant, but feel free to give it a shot in your next game.

Variant Rule: Melee Disengage
This isn’t an official variant rule (yet, at least) but I was thinking today a good option for entities that wish to safely leave melee combat is to take a half Move which does not provoke a Snap Attack, whereas a full Move would. I also wish I had a better name for “Snap Attack”, but I can’t think of one. D&D did so well with Attack of Opportunity, haha.

Force Fields and Ropes

Just knocking around some variant ideas.

The first and simplest is additional rules for Ropes and Ladders. Basically if a rope or ladder is by a cliff face then a character doesn’t need to use double movement to climb (much like the “Climber” Trait). This would allow for some fun scenario scenery with ladders, or just bonus special abilities for some purchasable equipment. Hemp Rope and Micro Rope would fit in this case, and could be slung down a cliff from the top by a character in their Action Phase (to help anyone following them). If they have a Grappling Hook then they could throw the rope up from the base of the cliff in their Action Phase.
This gets back to my earlier idea of having equipment with additional special rules. Like instruments that inspire, or drinks/drugs that boost stats, etc.

The second idea is Shields, not in a “buckler on the arm” sense but more like an Force Field. Or Energy Shield, or Force Shield, or Power Field, or any of the other terms I could use. I think I’d stick with Force Field since that’s kind of pulpy sounding. There are two ideas how these would look, either a personal shield generator that surrounds the person in a globe or a thin layer of shielding, or the “modern buckler” idea of a holdable energy shield. Basically either of these (I would have loved to have found better pictures but I didn’t have much luck!):
Holding:

Globe:

The rules would be simple. Force Fields would have a Power and Frequency rating. Power would be a number of D12s to roll, Frequency would be an X+ value. Any Power rolls greater than or equal to the Frequency would negate 1 point of incoming damage. If the number of Critical Hits on the attack exceeds the Power rating the Force Field is overloaded and cannot be used for just that attack.
For example:

Small Force Field: Power 3, Frequency 6+

Peter is equipped with a Small Force Field and is fired at by Hank with an 80kW Six-Shooter. Hank hits for 4 damage. Peter rolls 3D12 for his Power, hoping for 6+. He gets a 10, 8, and 4, so two successes. That means the incoming damage is reduced from 4 to 2.
If Hank instead got lucky and rolled 8, 12, 12, 12, the 3 Criticals would overload the Power rating of 3, so the Force Field would not take effect. Peter would take his 7 damage.

Simple enough. I would make several such items with varying Power and Frequency ratings. A very basic Force Field would probably be Power 1, Frequency 8+. There are a couple of other options too, such as only having Force Fields block weapons with an “Energy” type. Or even Force Fields for each type of damage. Maybe Kinetic Fields for “Projectile” and “Grenade” types. There could be extra Traits to support this, or new weapon types with a “Piercing” or “Forcebreaker” special property that helps reduce the effectiveness of shields.
Although more complex (ie: additional rolling and tracking) I think these are a pretty neat idea. I had mentioned a while back wanting to play a robot/android invasion and I might use these Force Field rules for the invaders.