Friday, July 21, 2017

[Uncharted Worlds] Pets in SPAAAACE!

A few weeks back Sean Gomes released the long-awaited Far Beyond Humanity supplement for his Uncharted Worlds RPG. FBH contains—among other things—rules for adding not only extranormal powers to one's UW campaign but also alien player characters. I haven't had a chance to read over the book carefully, but I did find my eyes drawn to one page in particular: the page in the "Commercial" chapter on beast Assets.

Ever since I played a Dwarf Hunter in World of Warcraft, I've been obsessed with pets for characters.  (Well, it's possible that watching The Beastmaster all those years on TBS may also be responsible for this predilection.) For example, the lack of a good Beastmaster Ranger option in Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons is a major factor in my lack of enthusiasm for those rules. Conversely, the awesome Animal Companion and Pet rules in 13th Age made that game an easy sell for me (as shown here and here). So finally getting pet rules for UW (something I missed during Sean's open development process for the book) makes me happy.

I'm also happy because the rules for beast Assets allow me to recreate famous science fiction pets right out of the gate.

For example, Kitty Pryde's beloved space dragon Lockheed is a cinch to make: start with a Class 2 Asset beast chassis (basic ability + 2 upgrades), the sort of chassis you'd take if you were going to make a critter-centered PC. A beast Asset can have either Natural Weaponry (one upgrade from the Melee Weapons table) or Natural Locomotion (something other than just walking). I could give Lockheed the Energy upgrade to represent his fiery breath—or I could give him Flying as a form of locomotion. In this case, I'm going to go with Flying because I can also give Lockheed a beast upgrade of Deadly to get the Energy attack. For my second upgrade, I take Tiny; Lockheed is always perched on Kitty's shoulder.

And that's it!

Anne McCaffrey's fire lizards are just as easy to make as Lockheed. Replace Deadly with the upgrade Bond, allowing Beauty and the rest of her flight to telempathically communicate with Menolly. No other changes are needed.

Finally, it turns out that you can make this guy with the FBH beast Asset rules:

Start with Natural Weaponry (the Energy upgrade to represent his lightning Pokémon powers) for free, add the Attuned upgrade (so that Pikachu can't be hurt by the electricity he channels), and then finish him off with the Summoned upgrade ("Pikachu, I choose you!").

A pet like Doctor Who's K-9 is better off handled as a PC built along the lines of the new Robotic Alien Form rules. For more simple critters, though, you are essentially set with this one page alone.

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