Crystal Key Backlash

John Reiher's ongoing Conversion of Fringeworthy to Savage Worlds.
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Edsel
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Crystal Key Backlash

Postby Edsel » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:48 pm

I have been wondering about the Backlash results for Crystal Keys.  As I understand it, especially after listening to podcast #200, the Tehrmelern pretty much left the Fringepaths by about Earth Prime year 1599.  This means that there has been essentially nothing replenishing the Crystal Keys strew along the Fringepath system for at least four centuries and probably much longer than that.  If we say that the average Fringeworthy has a d6 in Crystal Use Skill that means that every time they use a crystal there is a 1 in 36 chance of a Backlash that will reduce the crystal's security rating by one.  Of course you can assume that some bennies are being spent so it will be less than 1 in 36, but still even if only 1 in 100 uses results in a Backlash it seems that before too long there will be almost no crystals with a higher rank than gray left on in the fringes.  There has to either be a way to regenerate depleted crystals or there has to be somebody making and distributing new crystals.

Since the Tehrmelern War it is logical that crystals have become one of the most valuable things on the fringepaths.  People who have crystals are not going to leave them laying around, they are going to be carrying them and using them.  Thus the gradual depletion of higher ranking crystals will occur.  Since the Find Crystal Key power exists all but the most difficult to locate crystals should have been scooped up by the Fringe travelers who exist.  Even if there are few FW travelers, they have had centuries to find what can be easily found.
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kedamono
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Re: Crystal Key Backlash

Postby kedamono » Sun Dec 01, 2013 10:47 pm

That's a good point Eddie. Finding crystal keys is the probably the number one task for Fringeworthy. Trouble is not every key is going to be near the portal, they may be miles away, even on the other side of the planet.

As for backlash, I may do away with the key downgrading. As you pointed out in your notes to me, by this time after the fall, we'd have nothing but gray crystals. However, I'm keeping the backlash on the user if they get snake eyes on their roll. However, that could be countered with a new edge: Crystal key mastery, available at veteran rank, and have the crystal key skill at d10. You've learned how to master the key and you don't suffer backlash and get a +2 to key use.

How does that sound?
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Edsel
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Re: Crystal Key Backlash

Postby Edsel » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:16 am

That would slow down the depletion of the higher ranking crystals.  I think in most cases Fringeworthy will tend to band together (IDET, TAESS, Fringe Pirates, etc.).  In that case I would assume that most groups are intelligent enough to entrust their highest ranking crystals to their most proficient crystal users (in other words those that would have the Crystal Mastery Edge).  Especially after they learned the damage a backlash can cause.

I think there there still ought to be a way to regenerate degraded crystals though.  Perhaps something more obscure that the method I mentioned in my notes.  It could be another Fringe secret.  Place a degraded crystal between an Orange Crystal and a crystal of higher rank and perhaps after a day it will somehow regenerate the degraded crystal (up to its original level or the level of the crystal used to do the regenerating, which ever is lower).  Or perhaps in the rare Tehrmelern cities you can find an obscure machine used to carry out crystal maintenance, if you can figure out what it does and how to use it.  Or perhaps Schmert and other Tehrmelern care takers can have their trees perform such a feat.
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kedamono
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Re: Crystal Key Backlash

Postby kedamono » Wed Dec 04, 2013 4:24 pm

All good points. At least for the teams on the platforms, they might band together. But don't forget that everyone of those groups, UNIDA, T�SS, Pirates, etc., are ultimately loyal to their own worlds. When push comes to shove, the Earl of Greystone is a subject of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, and if ordered to, he would steal UNIDA's keys for God and Country. So all these alliances will be tempered by how loyal the Fringeworthy are to their own worlds and countries.

As for crystal keys, in the most current revision of the rules, I removed the backlash effects. However, now I'm thinking of letting them regenerate naturally. On a backlash, the key temporarily drops one level for d4 hours. If you use it while it is at the lower level and get another backlash, it drops again for an additional d4 hours. If you take it all the way down to gray and suffer another backlash, then the key will drop one level once it regenerates.

That means a level 2 key has a 1:1,296 chance of becoming permanently gray. A level 4 key has a 1:1,679,616 chance. So high level keys are virtually immune from "graying out". How does that sound Eddie?
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