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Brittania

Date: Thu, 7 Mar 1996 09:32:01 -0600


From: "John Field" <PY92013@sci1.sci.port.ac.uk>
To: Multiple recipients of list <torg@buddha.intecom.com>
Subject: [TORG:273] Brittania [draft: version 2.0 :]

Okey-dokey, as part of my slow re-shaping of those 13 realities that


I posted some time back, here is the expanded version of Brittania.
A super-hero reality (as opposed to a pulp reality) has alledgedly
been the most requested genre for Torg. So here's my take.
This is still in draft: comments please. And yes, it's serious!!

Brittania
The Victorian Super Powered Reality.

Outside the Houses Of Parliament, two figures were in earnest


discussion. One was the Earl of Strandwicke, a respected old family
man, a member of the gentry and old-style conservative. The other was
the new Member of Parliament, Harold Stiltwell, a much younger man.
Thier discussion? What else but that of importance of late...

'I tell you, Earl, that the recent developments in Physical Knowledge
cannot be ignored! With English knowledge, we can augment a man's
strength and resiliance many times, to little or no detrimental
effect. We can imbue him with abilities that are undreamed of in
normal men, and if you will just read our journal...'
'I tell YOU, Sir, that all these developemtns are somewhat
over-stated. So what if some Johnny Foriegner can see through walls
or... what was it... "move faster than a speeding bullet"! This
development, whilst it demonstrates the Nation's proficency, is
rather pointless and theoretical, just as are discussions about the
atomic nature of matter, stones from space, and other poppycock. It is a brief
infatuation, and it shall have little relevance in a few years time.'
Suddenly, a single Bobby, blowing his whistle, rushed from around the corner.
'Steady on Man, remember your position!' exclaimed the Earl, calming the officer
down. But he did not get far in his attempt, as a man in a single peice costume
zoomed past, carrying something with the distinct gleam of gold. Swiftly, he was
followed by a variety of coloured costumes, who disappeared following the
offender.
'You see, Earl?' claimed the younger man. 'Things are afoot, and we as a nation
cannot stand idly by.' Stiltwell moved with blistering speed, and leapt over the
Houses of Parliament after the group...

Britannia is a cosm that in some ways resembles that of our own in the
Victorian era: except that due to the natural supriority and pluck of
the Englishman, the whole world is a British colony, including the Americas
and the Far East.

The Industrial Revolution is accomplished: huge steel mills, slums, and


intellectual debate is the order of the day. Go and read Sherlock Holmes,
an encyclopedia from those times, and other things to get a feel for the period.
[Even the Orrorsh Sourcebook is a good start, but Britannics arn't so haughty,
because they don't have their relgion king themselves pompous: they have their
World Laws to do it for them.]

In addition, Britannic scientists have such a complete grasp of the physical


world that they can produce effects that are simply not possible in other
realities: yes, they can produce super powers, amazing technological items,
and in general this has led society to be a Victorian version of Marvel or DC.

World Laws:

The Law of Stiff Upper Lip

This law states that those who remain their composture in times of adversity
will often fare better than those who let their emotions control them.

This Law results in an attitude that could be construed as pompous, haughty,


formal, patronising, or worse in the eyes of non-Brittanics.
In addition, it pushes Britannics to a sort of courage that is construed as the
moral backbone required by a gentleman. Britannics may be viewed as heroic
for this reason, although rogues and cads may possess this as well.

Game effects include, but are not limited to:

*A character attempting (or resisting) an action versus another character suffers


a -2 bonus modifier if he loses his composure. The decision is up to the GM, but
bear in mind that being Taunted, Setback, etc. should qualify.

The Law of England

This Law asserts that the Englishman has natural superiority. Not just through
his dress, accent, or composure, or even his intelligence, though these are worthy
factors. No, an Englishman is better simply through virtue of being English.

Game effects include, but are not limited to:

*Non-English possibility-rated characters are contradictory in Britannia simply


through existance. This includes anything from edeinos to the Bastard that lives
several miles down the road [half-caste, and so unworthy.]

*A character attempting (or resisting) an action versus another character suffers


a -2 bonus modifier if he is of non-English stock and is working against the
Britannic Empire (or similar anti-Britannic situation) and his compatriot is of
God's Chosen People and is working to uphold the Nation.

Example: A swarthy Frenchman is attemping to delude an Officer of the Yard


over a criminal matter involving the Crown. He sufers a -2 bonus modifier.

If either of those terms is 'or' instead (for example, it is an Englishman deluding


the arm of the Law, or the frog is merely involved in some trivial offence) then
the modifer is only -1.
Axioms:

Magic: 5 Social: 18 Spiritual: 8 Technological: 19

These may be expanded upon.

Super Powers

Super Science is the pinnacle of Britannic knowledge. Due in part to the Law
of England, Englishmen have mastery over the physcial and technological arts.
n game terms, Britannics may construct and use items that are normally way
beyond Britannic's Tech level without contradiction.

*Items that normally require a Tech level of up to 29 may be constructed and


used by P-rateds under Britannic reality. This requires the Super Science skill.

*These items do not look as wierd as Nile gizmos, nor do they need possibility
energy to function (p-rated operators are enough to power any Super Science
construct). They look 'normal', given that they may be contructed by Victorian
technology. The only time p-energy is used on Items or Powers is when
increasing or buying them [and of course in normal game play, for dice rolls.]
Ord use is a contradiction.
[Her Majesty's Scientists have realised that possiblity energy is linked to
power use and extravagent feats, but of course do not know about the Reality
skill or any extar-reality consequences.]

*Super Science items and powers are contradictory outside Britannic reality,
whatever the Tech levels involved.

Power Use

Basically, powers in Britannia are of a much higher power scale than the Nile,
and can easily overbalance a Torg campaign. This is high-powered antics.

Any particular Power works and uses mechanics agreed upon between the GM
and the player. The GM is encouraged to be lenient with power use in any
specific situation: a Telekensis Power can be effectively a Flight power, a
Shield Power (keep all matter a certain distance away) or even a facsimile
of Super Strength ['pretending' to punch stuff away and lift it, etc.] As a rule
of thumb, the GM can allow 'fake' powers equal to the value of the Power value.

Creating Items [and Powers]

Basically, as 'real' tech and not weird scince is being used, anything that sounds
basically plausible up to Tech 29 is allowed, even if the details are very wacky
and sound more like magic than science. The GM adjudicates.
However, here is a VERY rough and ready system to buld Items and inbue
Powers, more as an 'It's different here than in the Nile' mechanic rather than
'here's how you make Tech' thing. Note that Britannia is meant to reflect the
high-power levels of 'mainstream' comix, so it produces stuff that would
normally overbalence other realities...

Equipment

Determine each Power or Skill that the Item is to possess.


[For example, a Strength value, or Armour value.]
Also determine derived values. For example, a super-sword with a maximum
damage value of 15 will have a plus to speed of its Power Push, here +6.

Determine any immediate properties that the Power requires.


[For example, weapon range or mind-control time value.] Less important stuff,
like jet boots range or size of a psionic bolt, is left out of this process.

Determine any modifiers involving the Power.


[For example, a bonus to Evidence Analysis whilst using a helmet of infra-red
seeing of +2.]

For each Power, work out the sum of the Values [which should be either +1 to
the highest value, or +2 if the two are the same, or, say, +3 if four values in one
Power are the same.]
Add on any modifiers. [For Example, the Infra-Red helmet provides a Find value
of 15, with a range of 13, with a +2 to Evidence Analysis. 15+13=16 [in Torg
terms], and +2=18.

Determine the Tech level of each Power.

After spending the Tech level as design time, spend 1 possibility and roll for a
Super Science total. Using the multi-action modifiers , try and make the required
total for each power. If you fail, you can increase the building time (which is the
Tech level again) by as many as the Power Push of the value of the Power, by
as many points as you failed. The item is then built. Beating the dificulty can
be used to shorten the building time, again by the Push of the Power. If the roll
fails too much, then the attempt fails, and must be re-attempted from scratch
[Tech design time, 1 possiblity, roll].

Example: The Infra-Red Helmet requires a Super Science total of 20. The design
time is 23 [its Tech level]: a roll of 17 means that it can be built, in (23+1) a
time value of 24, or 15 hours. 25 Hours in total to make it.
The Power Push of the value (Find: 15) is +6. A roll of les than 12 is a fail.
Build time can be at least (23-6) 17, of 40 minutes (requires roll of 24).

GM Keyword: Wacky Powers and stunts.

Example: Professor Cartwright is designing a power suit for a wealthy Lord


that is paying good money, no questions asked. It is to possess flight, armoured
construction and a paralysing magnetelectro ray...

Armour: Toughness 21
Power Push is +8
Acts as +8/21 armour.

Flight: speed value of 18 (3000m /10 seconds, or 300 m/s, or mach 1).
The range of the jets (distance) isn't as imediate as the range of the weapon, so
it doesn't figure in to the mechanics (it's covered by Setbacks, etc.)

MagnetElectro ray: effect value 15. Normally 15, but as it's stun, check on the
Damage chart to see what damage value porduce one less wound (stun effect):
roughly a damage total of 3 less produces one less wound, so this difficulty
adder is 12.
Range of the ray: make it 11. Beyond that, add -1 bonus modifier, as it is
energy (it gets lesser and more spread out over distance, so the modifer makes
more sense in this case than the physical short/medium/long idea).
Value of 12 + value of 11 = value of 13.

Looking at the Rijato Batle suit in the Nippon Tech sourcebook, the whole
thing has a Tech Level of 25.

Professor Cartwright makes his Super Science roll: a 24. He produces the first
component. He reduces developement cost by 3, and it takes 6 hours for the
armour.

He then makes a roll of 19, with -2 multi-action, =17. Since the jets are Tech 25
as well, a development time of 26 covers this. (Note that the max add to
development time is push of the value, or +7. A final total of 7 or less is failure.)
He could *not* reduce the speed of the armour to compensate.

Rolling 23, with a -4, he gets 19, easily, making the weapon in a time value of
(25-(19-13)=19,or one-and-a half hours.

Total design time, 3 days. Build time: 52 and a half hours. 3 Possiblities spent.

Later, the Prof adds a Strength enhancer, effectively adding a +7/17 boost.
This requires 1 possiblity, a design time of its Tech level and a roll of at least
23 (including the multi-action -6 modifer) to install in that time.

Note that for an Item, Attributes like Strength, etc work through the +/max idea,
whereas for characters it wrks stragiht: Strength 17 for a person is STR 17, as
simple as that.

Powers:
The same as Items. However, initial Possiblity outlay is equivalent to the value
of the Power [+1 for development]. Increasing Powers costs the new value.
Any power involing, say swimming raises the Limit Value using the new Power
attribute [Incidentially, Britania has no attribute limit].

Example:
Nomen enriches a 'volenteer' with the Teleport power, enabling him to teleport
(value-weight) distance, which can be pushed. The time value betweeen
teleports is the maximum distance value that vcan be achived.
The lucky man wieghs 80 kilos (value 10), and Nomad gives him Teleport 25,
so (25-10) =15 a kilometre can be teleported every (time value 15) 15
minutes, or 10 metres (value 5) every round (10 seconds, value 5).
[Incidentialy giving him a +5 to dodge, GM decision.]

Teleportation is Tech 26.


As it is emPowering a person, it requires 25 Possibilities. [Creating a value 25
Power.] additionaly, Nomen must supply 1 possiblity to embue the Power
[where the other 25 come from is... flexible.]
Nomen rolls Super Science of 21, -2 =19 . Meeting the requirements of 25
means a +6, or development time 32. Although it takes but one and a half
days to work it out, it takes a month for Nomen to grant the power of instant
travel.

Example: Man-Spider has the power of Strength at value 20. He can


lift a weight value of 20 [ten tons]: his Strength Limit is Strength+1
[as in the Torg Rulebook] for a limit of 21. To increase his Strength to 22
requires (21+22) 43 Possiblities.

-
"Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the
stones."
Psalm 137:9, The Bible (King James Version)