Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

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pkitty
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Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby pkitty » Mon Dec 23, 2019 8:09 pm

Context: See the Darooni Wasp Riders and their Giant Wasps on pp. 81-82 of The God Box. Rules for building a Darooni are on p. 111 but basically boil down to "they're humans, just short ones, and they lost their wasp, sorry."

IMO, having a giant wasp around is attention-getting and weird, but no more so than the other Animal Companion and Aysle "Drake" perks, so I'd like to introduce a short Savagery perk tree to allow Darooni PCs to have their ubiquitous wasps. But I'm not sure how to structure it. So I'm going to just state out loud what I'm thinking and I'd love feedback, suggestions, etc.

Obviously the Giant Wasp itself is much more potent than any of the Animal Companions that Savagery offers, so it would have to start small and then build up to a bigger one, probably at Beta. So the first question is, should this be a two-step perk like the Sabre-Toothed Cat/Tiger? Or one with 3 steps, or even 4 like the Aysle Drake?

I feel like the Giant Wasp, as written, is about the equivalent of the Maturing Drake. It lacks an area-effect breath weapon, but its venomous stinger is arguably more effective and can also be used to coat weapons. So that suggests three perks to get to this level. Sound right?

If so, here's what I'm thinking, to try to keep this in line with the other LL Animal Companions. Note that I'm intentionally avoiding the "take an unrelated perk first" approach of the Aysle Drake, in favor of instead slightly nerfing both levels of the wasp unless a third perk is taken.

1. A standard Animal Companion perk that gives a younger version of the wasp, with modest stats and some sort of venom-stinger nerf.
2. A Beta-level Animal Companion upgrade, like the Sabre-Toothed Tiger, that gives the full version except also with a venom-stinger nerf.
3. A separate perk that removes the nerf above and allows the Darooni to safely coat their weapons in the wasp venom.

Does that seem like a reasonable approach? I'm not sure what the nerf should be. I could just flat-out go with "the wasp's attack is not venomous at all", as it's still a darned effective animal companion. But would it make sense for your wasp to suddenly go from not venomous to venomous? The God Box states that venom is a function of sex (females have it, males don't), not wasp maturity.
Last edited by pkitty on Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby Greymarch2000 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:39 am

Might be easier to just say that only the Darooni is the only one who can use the wasp venom coated weapons straight up, but with no increased malfunction chance. Sure people can come up myriad reasons why that's dumb and limiting, but sometimes it's just easier for everyone involved. In my experience players love the idea of a new gimmick that only backfires on them infrequently - until it actually backfires and then the complaints start. ;)

Given the amount of undead/robot creatures that are flat out immune to poison and the big boys with such high Toughness that even affecting them with venom would be unlikely, and the goobers where even a regular hit is enough to kill them in one shot; I don't know if you really need to limit the venom that much?

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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby pkitty » Tue Dec 24, 2019 2:57 am

Greymarch2000 wrote:Given the amount of undead/robot creatures that are flat out immune to poison and the big boys with such high Toughness that even affecting them with venom would be unlikely, and the goobers where even a regular hit is enough to kill them in one shot; I don't know if you really need to limit the venom that much?

Need to? No. But I'm trying to find some way to fit this into a three-perk chain -- the idea is that when you have a fully functional Giant Wasp as written, you've paid three perks for the whole thing. (Kind of like how you pay a total of two perks to have a Sabre-Tooth Tiger, or a total of four perks as an Elf to have an adult Drake.)

In case my justification for three perks isn't clear: I feel that the Giant Wasp is a step above the canonical animal companions. If I compare it to the Sabre-Tooth Tiger, it has one fewer Wound, but its attack is better (adds AP 2 and venom) and it gives the Darooni two very useful power-ups. First, they can fly, which is way more useful than riding a land animal. And second, they can envenom their weapons, which I agree with you isn't game-breaking at all, but is definitely useful.
Last edited by pkitty on Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby Wotan » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:08 am

pkitty wrote:If so, here's what I'm thinking, to try to keep this in line with the other LL Animal Companions. Note that I'm intentionally avoiding the "take an unrelated perk first" approach of the Aysle Drake, in favor of instead slightly nerfing both levels of the wasp unless a third perk is taken.

1. A standard Animal Companion perk that gives a younger version of the wasp, with modest stats and some sort of venom-stinger nerf.
2. A Beta-level Animal Companion upgrade, like the Sabre-Toothed Tiger, that gives the full version except also with a venom-stinger nerf.
3. A separate perk that removes the nerf above and allows the Darooni to safely coat their weapons in the wasp venom.

FWIW, If I were homebrewing Perks for ride-able wasps, I'd have the third perk's main benefit be the wasp becoming big enough to ride. Other than that I'd pretty much go with a model similar to yours though, IMHO drake riders are a pretty decent template to base the perk line on.

I'm with Greymarch on simplifying the poison stuff. I'd probably say the weapon coating is exclusively the Darooni's toy & when my players grumbled I'd mumble some excuse about the venom containing pheromones which make the Wasp feisty towards anyone who smells of it, other than the Darooni.
And maybe the Darooni can stop their wasp from attacking those using weapons coated in its poison but it's a huge PITA (effectively takes Beast Riding rolls, or at least unrolled Actions) so it's not something the Darooni is routinely going to be sharing round the party in situations where they want to be doing stuff other than controlling their wasp.
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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby pkitty » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:21 pm

Wotan wrote:FWIW, If I were homebrewing Perks for ride-able wasps, I'd have the third perk's main benefit be the wasp becoming big enough to ride.

So are you suggesting this?

PERK 1 (Alpha): You get a baby wasp.

PERK 2 (Alpha?): You get a full Giant Wasp but with the restriction that it cannot pick you up. (Should it have reduced Strength then?) Or is the idea that this is a third, "teenage wasp" stat block? I was hoping to avoid that. Or maybe this should be a "you haven't bonded with it enough to be lofted by it" thing.

PERK 3 (Beta): The Giant Wasp can pick you up.

It'd be nice to find a way to keep the Animal Companion stuff as a "two-perker" like the others, with the third perk being a necessary "aside" to them both, if that makes sense. It's not a big deal, just an aesthetic thing.

I'm with Greymarch on simplifying the poison stuff. I'd probably say the weapon coating is exclusively the Darooni's toy & when my players grumbled I'd mumble some excuse about the venom containing pheromones which make the Wasp feisty towards anyone who smells of it, other than the Darooni.

Sure, either way. I honestly don't care how "other PCs don't get the venom" is handled. I wish I hadn't even brought it up because IMO it's distracting from the reason I made this thread. In fact, I'm gonna delete that sentence from the OP.
Last edited by pkitty on Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby TorgHacker » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:28 pm

pkitty wrote:Sure, either way. I honestly don't care how "other PCs don't get the venom" is handled. I wish I hadn't even brought it up because IMO it's distracting from the reason I made this thread. In fact, I'm gonna delete that sentence from the OP.


I have to admit I chuckled a bit with this because it parallels my feelings about Cyberware Packages.
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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby pkitty » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:47 pm

Okay, I think this might be the best approach, but I'm not 100% and definitely want feedback. Obviously this isn't the final edited form! On the one hand, I feel bad making the Darooni character need to wait until Beta and then buy two Beta perks to pull this off, but on the other hand it would be broken (IMO) to let them have AC (Giant Wasp) at Alpha, considering that the Giant Wasp (as noted above) is easily the equal of the Sabre-Tooth Tiger.

FIRST PERK

Animal Companion (Wasp)
Prereq: Darooni or GM permission, beast riding 3+

You have a young giant wasp companion. It is not yet venomous and is not strong enough to lift you up. Stats = comparable to pterodactyl.

SECOND PERK

Animal Companion (Giant Wasp)
Prereq: Beta, AC (Wasp)

You have a full giant wasp, stats per God Box. It is venomous and strong, but because the "Rider Bond" has not yet fully formed, it will not allow you to harvest its venom and will not pick you up.

THIRD PERK

Wasp Rider
Prereq: Beta, AC (Giant Wasp)

You and the wasp are one. You (alone) may harvest and use its venom. More importantly, you two can now fly together. While aloft, you may act at no penalty; for your wasp, flying is considered an action, so its attacks take a Multi-Action penalty. You may also make Soak rolls for your wasp.
Last edited by pkitty on Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby Atama » Tue Dec 24, 2019 3:56 pm

That’s a cool set of perks.
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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby Wotan » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:47 pm

pkitty wrote:It'd be nice to find a way to keep the Animal Companion stuff as a "two-perker" like the others, with the third perk being a necessary "aside" to them both, if that makes sense. It's not a big deal, just an aesthetic thing.

Two perks works for a combat capable mount, or a combat capable flying companion, but IMHO a combat capable flying mount is definitely worth a third Perk. *shrug*

Your most recent model's looking good, but it might be worth including the ability for the character to Soak for their Wasp, while riding it, in the third Perk. There's a pretty good reason why the Drake line allows this.
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Re: Perks to create a Darooni Wasp Rider

Postby pkitty » Tue Dec 24, 2019 5:49 pm

Wotan wrote:
pkitty wrote:It'd be nice to find a way to keep the Animal Companion stuff as a "two-perker" like the others, with the third perk being a necessary "aside" to them both, if that makes sense. It's not a big deal, just an aesthetic thing.

Two perks works for a combat capable mount, or a combat capable flying companion, but IMHO a combat capable flying mount is definitely worth a third Perk. *shrug*

Your most recent model's looking good, but it might be worth including the ability for the character to Soak for their Wasp, while riding it, in the third Perk. There's a pretty good reason why the Drake line allows this.

Oh, nice. Good idea. I'll add that.
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