Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Troika! Star Wars: The force

So!  A while back I thought I would do a 5e-GLOG hybrid.  However, it seemed that not many people wanted to do that, except 5 Torches Deep who did it 10 times better and... well I found Troika! and that was a big distraction.

Troika is a fun, fast system with a sort of fantasy sci-fi setting.  And you know what else is a fantasy sci-fi setting?  Star Wars!  Troika! is also a setting (very quirky, extremely well written) and a system.  They are interwoven but they can be separated.

A fundamental part of Troika! is a list of backgrounds, ie "classes".  Writing the new backgrounds for a new setting is fundamental in making a new setting for Troika!  If I was doing another fantasy setting like say Warhammer, this would be 90% of the work.  But in Star Wars there are a few more things to convert, so I'll keep the backgrounds for last.

Instead, I'll start by replacing the magic system with THE FORCE!

How does the Force work?  Instead of starting 100% from scratch (and having to do a lot of research), I will using the SAGA system as a reference.  I will keep the basic mechanical structure of Troika's magic system - each "spell" (ie force powers) has a cost in stamina, and a skill check to use successfully.  However there will be a difference.

1:  There will be a "use the force" skill, which will allow you to make small force effects.  "Use the force" is the gateway skill to force powers, but some people have it without powers - they are "force sensitive" but have never been trained.  Use the force may be used in conjunction with certain powers.

2:  Several powers will have two "steps" - you can increase the impact of the power by spending luck along with the stamina.

3:  A few powers are a hybrid between a skill check and a spell - they don't have a stamina cost, but they *can* be enhanced by luck.

4:  There will be no "oops" table, it's just not what happens in Star Wars.

5:  However, there is the Dark Side...

6:  Luck is heavily related to the Force, and how Luck works

So here we go:

LUCK:  Luck will be usable as a "saving throw" as in basic Troika! and also to increase your damage.  But two extra effects are possible:   (This represents the Force being a living thing that infuses all things - ie really lucky people are people who subconsciously use the force to their advantage.)

First, you can do a luck check (spend 1 luck).  If you succeed, a skill check has advantage. Second, you can "search your feelings" (same procedure) to get an inkling about a situation.  Think "I've got a bad feeling about this!!".

ADVANTAGE:  Roll 3d6 and take the best 2  (in some cases this means the lowest 2, in some cases the highest).  Disadvantage is the reverse.

USE THE FORCE:   Use the force is a skill that some people can learn (who can learn this skill after initial character creation is something best decided by individual GMs).  Use the Force is used for the following feats

- Sense the Force:   You can detect disturbances in the force (a location strong in the dark side, a friend in great danger/pain, a huge catastrophe).   A check can allow the detection of a force user in a region (about 100 km).  A force user can attempt to conceal their presence by doing a use the force check, the check becomes an opposed one (ties goes to the person trying to hide).

- Move light objects:  move up to 5 kg with the force.  If this object is use to batter someone, does club damage - you must do a use the force check to lift, then a second one as an attack

- Sense your surrounding:  Do a Use the force check instead of an awareness check, ignoring penalties for cover or concealment.

-  Telepathy:   exchange a single thought with an intelligent and willing creature (such as "run!", "danger!", "help!", "attack!").  The check is done with advantage if the person is on the same planet, normal if done in the same system, and at disadvantage at interstellar range.

- Force trance:  Enter a meditation.  At the end of this meditation, do a use the force check.  If successful, gain 1 stamina per hour spent meditating.


The end or a new beginning?

I stared this post a long time ago - January - and then I started running a UVG campaign, the pandemic hit etc etc.  But I was recently asked about this project, and although I'm not sure I will finish it... well others could pick up the torch I suppose, and it's a start.

I would also recommend using the "general Troika! improvement" from this post to generate slightly more competent heroes.

What's left to do are actual force powers (ie "spells"), weapon damage (my work on UVG will help for that), lightsaber combat, space combat rules (oh boy...) and backgrounds.  And on that, I do have some ideas...

11 Mercenary (heavy gunner)
12 Pirate
13 Armored Fighter (someone pretending to be a mandalorian? An actual Mandalorian? A runaway stormtrooper? Really ugly?  Whatever the reason, you are seldom seen outside your armor)
14 Gunslinger
15 Sniper
16 Combat droid

21 Twilek Smuggler
22 Sly Protocol Droid 
23 Gambler
24 Twilek dancer
25 Bothan Spy
26 Runaway Scion

31 Hunting guide
32 Runaway Farmer
33 Bounty Hunter
34 Archeologist
35 Tusken exile
 1: Force wielding frog-like creature
 2: blood thirsty Ewok
 3: insufferable child pilot

41 Jawa Scavenger
42 Scrapyard Rat
43 Medic
44 Undercity Worker
45 Wookie Spacer
46 Repair Droid 

51 Duros Pilot
52 Corelian Freight Pilot
53 Landspeeder Racer
54 Biker 
55 Runaway tie fighter pilot
56 Astromech Droid

61 Swamp witch
62 Desert Hermit
63 Kel Dor mystic
64 Jedi hopeful
65 Hutt Gym Mystic 
66 Reformed Dark Sider

EDIT:  As requested:

Hutt physique mystique 

Your fellow Hutt are busy building empires, but you are building your body.  You know that if you want to master others, you must first master the self.

Advanced skills
Force Powers:
- Mind Trick 2
- Move Object 1
- Force Slam 1
- Farseeing 1
Advanced Skills
- Use the force 2
- Strength 3
- Galactic Knowledge 1

Ill fitting brown robes
A set of weights
A useless twilek hanger-on

Special:  You are a Hutt. Your thick skin acts as modest armor (and does not take inventory slots), but you are slow, moving only 8 meters (4 squares) per move instead of 12. 

(Required disclaimer: this post an independent production by me and is not affiliated with the Melsonian Arts Council. Also, I hope I won't get sued by the big D)

Monday, July 27, 2020

UVG-Troika! damage conversion - take two (and two important questions)


I recently posted a damage conversion from UVG to Troika!  Unfortunately, I screwed up.  My players protested even before the play-test, I looked at it again, and I realized something fundamental.  Specifically the damages rolled on an 1 are WAY too high.  If you look at the existing weapon damages in Troika!, on a 1 you do 1-4 points of damage, with the sole exception of dragon fire (which is 6).  If you look at my first attempt, you will note that for several weapons, damage on 1 are WAAY above this.

Sausage indeed...

The value you get on a 1 is pretty important because it represents "grazing" damage and, because of armor, it comes up not that rarely (armor imposes a penalty on the 1d6 roll).  It's also important as a determinant of the effectiveness of a weapon vs heavily armored foes.  So I have to re-do this.

First, I'm tweaking my basic patterns:

AVG 6 (base step is 2) -1 2 3 4 5 6
FLAT (can opener, sword) 4 6 6 6 6 8
Average (spear based) 3 4 6 6 8 9
Wild (ax derived) 2 4 6 6 8 10
superwild 1 3 5 7 9 11
Spike  2 2 4 6 8 14

You'll note that the roll on a 1 or less for the average damage is no longer 4, but 3.

The second thing is that the damage on a 1 must NOT change when the average damage is scaled up.  So if I have an average damage of 7 (not 6) I would go +1 to everything *except* on a 1.  The extra missing damage would go on the 6 instead.  So an average spread, average damage 7 would look like:

3 5 7 7 9 11, instead of 4 5 7 7 9 10 (the old method)

On an average damage of 8, the extra goes on the 4, becoming

3 6 8 9 10 12 , instead of 5 6 8 8 10 11

This may have to be adjusted for individual damage patterns of course - for example on the "flat" pattern that extra is applied to the 6 twice.

Once we reach an average of 9, we create a new set of patterns.  You'll note that the damage on 1 has gone up a wee little bit, but not much.  This means that damage will go wilder as it goes up - a pattern that already happens in Troika!

AVG 9 (base step is 3) -1 2 3 4 5 6
FLAT (can opener, sword) 5 9 9 9 9 13
Average (spear based) 4 7 9 9 11 13
Wild (ax based ) 2 6 9 9 12 16
Superwild 2 5 7 10 13 17
Spike  3 4 6 9 13 19

Again, if you need a higher damage you increase damage but *not* on the 1 d6 value.  And when we reach average 12, a new set of patterns is needed.  Note how the minimum damage has crept up, but again not too much.

AVG 12 (base step is 4) -1 2 3 4 5 6
FLAT (can opener, sword) 6 12 12 12 12 18
Average (spear derived) 5 10 12 12 15 18
Wild (ax derived) 3 8 12 12 16 21
Superwild 2 6 10 14 18 22
Spike 3 5 8 12 16 28

So let's apply this to UVG guns...

UVG PISTOLS -1 2 3 4 5 6 7+
Inquisitor squirt gun 2 2 3 4 5 8 10
Revolver 2 3 4 5 7 9 12
Porcelain Prince Pistol 3 6 8 9 10 12 14
Ultra Blaster 5 10 10 10 10 15 18
Blue God Blaster 5 12 14 15 17 21 25

UVG RIFFLE -1 2 3 4 5 6 7+
Heavy Crossbow 4 5 7 8 9 9 12
Scavenger bolter 2 5 7 7 9 12 15
Redland District SMG 2 4 7 10 11 14 17
Violent Cat Riffle 4 9 10 10 12 15 20
Vome Slagger 2 6 8 11 14 19 24
black city matter disruptor 2 7 10 10 13 18 22
Satrap gun 2 8 11 12 14 19 22
Voice of Death 3 6 9 13 17 30 35

This isn't perfect, but it should be a lot better.  There are probably slight tweaks here and there that would make that much smoother, but it's a solid step forward. It feels more in line with existing Troika! weapons, although some of them hit *very* hard indeed. I admit that I may have pushed the damage too high - playtest will reveal this.  But now that I have my patterns down, adjusting them should be fairly easy from now on.

Lastly, the important question.  In Troika, you have skills tied with specific weapons - spear, hammer, knife.... but when it comes to ranged weapon, there are only 4 - bow, crossbow, pistolet, fusil.  So I assumed that if  you had pistolet, you were proficient in all pistols, and fusil in all rifles... but now I am not so sure.  With that interpretation, it will push people towards pistols and rifles.  

Another thing I was thinking about is the importance of melee combat in Troika! Whenever someone attacks another, there are no "misses" - either the defender gets hurts *or* the attacker get hurts (baring the occasional ties).  This makes fights go quickly, it's a very cool aspect of the system!  But in a ranged battle, especially if everyone has cover... fights can go long because there is a lot of of missing going on.  I wonder if this needs a fix or not... 

 "this post is an independent production by me and is not affiliated with the Melsonian Arts Council"

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Zeugma, a city in Anatolia

(I've been asked by a redditor to provide them with more information about my version of Zeugma, so I thought I would clean up my notes and write a post about it.   I'll start with a few comments on Zeugma as a whole, then dive in the details about faction, layout etc etc. )

"Gipsy girl".  Zeugma was noted for its mosaics.  image source: wikipedia

HISTORICAL CONTEXT:  Zeugma was a Hellenistic city on the Euphrates, located near the current city of Gaziantep in Turkey.   It was founded by Seleucia by Seleucus I Nicator, one of Alexander's generals.  It long pontoon bridge, for which it was named, made it an important trading and strategic location for the Romans, and had 70 000 inhabitants at one point.  It was devastated by an earthquake in the 250s and eventually abandoned a few centuries later following numerous raids.

PERSONAL/GAMING CONTEXT:  I've spoken about the campaign I ran in this world previously.  I found information about Zeugma and its mosaic in 2004, and I was so struck by it that I knew there was potential for a setting there.   The gaming system was Warhammer frpg 2nd edition, I wanted to see if the system could be divorced from the Warhammer setting for a low fantasy game (it can!!).  I also used elements of the old Dragon Warriors system (which I highly recommend for any old-school gaming fan). The setting was set in a pseudo-earth, where some cultural groups were replaced by fantasy races - the elves are ancient Egyptians, the dwarves lost their ancient homeland and really don't like the elves for some reason.  I also inspired myself heavily from Guy Gavriel Kay's novels, with some of the same terminology - the Jadites, the Asharians etc.  This was done in 2008. Would I do the same today?  I'm not sure.  The closer you cleave to history, the easier it is to be very offensive without intent; and replacing an ethnicity/culture with a fantasy race is... perhaps unwise.  If you do decide to use this setting, please feel free to not make these choices.

OVERALL THEME:   In my version of Zeugma, it remained a bridge between the East and the West, an independent city-state navigating difficult waters between great rivals - the Byzantium empire, the Sultanate of Rum, Nur-ad Din (the Attabeg of Aleppo) and the Crusader states.  It is a city there different people must live together, filled with intrigue, tension and opportunity.

Ok, now that's done, let's get down to the details:


The city of Zeugma is split by the Euphrates.  The city is crossed by a long low wooden bridge – this bridge has had a number of collapses over the year, but is normally kept in good repair.  Traffic is congested  The other way to cross the river involves hiring a small boat – this service is easily obtained as it is faster than walking across and it’s a quick way for fishermen to make a few coins.  Prices skyrocket when the bridge is closed, of course.  There is a nominal tax for people crossing the bridge, and a greater one for mercantile goods.

It should be noted that the Euphrates is not navigable for long stretches in this area.  Trade with Baghdad is done via road for a significant portion of the way.

The section on the western side of the river, Seleucia is bigger and older, and some is on higher ground – where the wealthier citizens live.   The city walls are old but respectable.  The eastern side, Apamea, is smaller, lower but has better city walls as there are more concerns from invasions from the east.  These walls have been enchanted by dwarven runic magic, increasing their resilience.  A number of narrow sewage tunnels run under the high town, and these are sometimes infested by criminals, goblins or worse.  Patrolling these tunnels is seen as punishment duty within the army.

Speaking of punishment, slightly to the north of the city the Euphrates widens and in the middle there is a long, flat island.  It is unsuitable for inhabitation, but crops can be grown there.  Petty crimes are sentenced by fines or – for those who can’t or won’t pay – periods of work in the island.  Conditions are unpleasant.  Since there aren’t always enough convicts to work the fields, some of the city’s poor are frequently hired to help out, receiving a meagre pay and some food.

The layout is based on archeological maps, although the position of the bridge roads and gates is speculative... To see the image in full size, right click, open image in new tab.


Zeugma is an independent city state and for centuries has resisted attempts by various kingdoms and empire to fully control it.  It acts as a buffer between the east and west.  That being said, the city has always been more closely aligned to the Byzantine empire (and the Romans before that, and the Greeks before that) than the Persians or Arabs.

Zeugma is ruled by five Satraps.  Each Satrap is elected for 10 years.  Zeugma is therefore a sort of democracy, but not everyone gets to vote – only landowners do (this changed following one particular adventure).  The churches also gets a certain number of votes as well.  There is an election every 2 years, giving a certain constant to the government.  Each Satrap has a specific area of control.  The Stone Satrap is in charge of public works and maintaining the walls, the Silver Satrap is in charge of taxes and the budget, the Bronze Satrap runs the military/city watch and the Paper Satrap is in charge of the legal system and the bureaucracy.  Each Satrap absolutely needs the help of the others to do stuff, ensuring that no one has too much power.  The Spirit Satrap is a “recent’ position (a few centuries only) and is both the least and most powerful Satrap – he deals with maters of religion and magic.  Keeping the various religious groups happy is a difficult challenge.  Under Zeugma law, no religion is favored over the other, a very unusual situation.

The city has a guild of mages, whose headquarters is the Zephyr Tower.  The most ancient Azyr Congregation, or the Blue Guild as the commoners call it, specializes in divination magic, and has existed as long as the city has.  Some say they are the true rulers of Zeugma, although they seemingly take no part in the day to day politics of the city – beyond regulating magic use that is.  That being said, there is no doubt that the guild’s foresight has been key in keeping the city independent over the centuries.


The city has been plagued by a thieves’ guild for so long that’s it has almost become an accepted part of life.  Racketeering is the main activity of the guild, and almost every individual of some means (from humble shop-keeps to powerful noble) pays a fee for the privilege of being left alone.  The guild is fiercely territorial, and will aggressively keep out other criminals, going as far as investigating crimes it is not responsible for… leading to the unusual situation where the guild is almost a part of the police system.  Smuggling is also an important activity for the guild, to avoid paying the bridge tax imposed on goods.

The leader of the thieves' guild has the title of Shadow Satrap; something that seems suspicious indeed to some.  Cynics claim that the the guild organizes most burglaries, investigates them, blames their enemies, returns most (but rarely everything) of what was stolen... and perhaps are spying for the other Satraps!  But what can be done?


Zeugma has about 50 000 people in total, which is less than its peak of 70 000.  Several old buildings serve as warehouses.  The majority are human of Greek/Roman origins.  There are well over 5000 Arabs, and the Turks have a good 2-3 thousands present.  There are about 700 Dwarves, haflings are a bit shy of 500 (they ended up playing no role whatsoever in my campaign), half-elves are a bit under a hundred, and elves who's blood is pure enough to rightfully call themselves full blooded elves can be counted on the digit of one hand.

Institutions, customs and personalities:

-The Coliseum
This building is well over a thousand year old and can accommodate about 5000 spectators.  Although they have fallen out of favor in several areas around the world, Zeugma has found a plethora of uses for the building - not only are gladiarioral bouts still featured occasionally, but the place is also used for important public trials and executions, theatre, civic ceremonies, occasional mass auction, militia training, festivals, etc.  To the average Zeugma citizen, a city without a Coliseum is as absurd as a house without a kitchen.

-The public Baths:
Although the same cannot be said for Western Europe, personal hygiene is still seen as important in the Byzantine Empire.  As such, the old baths of roman times have been maintained.

-The Black Dwarf Of Zeugma:
This dwarf is the city's most infamous assassin, mostly because of his rather blunt mode of operation (show up, hack at the target with a sword, leave without a trace).  He's also infamous for carrying a bow - a very big no-no for dwarves due to religious reasons.  A few more recent assassinations (via a trio of arrows) have been speculated to be his doings as well.  Gossips claim he is behind baby disappearances (dwarves eat babies after all), bodies found in the river, accidental death of important people, arson, plagues, and rats. Cynics point out that it's rather convenient for the city to have someone who only actually commits a few murders a year and who can be blamed for all unsolved crimes.

-The White Dwarf of Zeugma:
Rabbi Thrain Silvertouched may be the best liked individual of the city.  Spirit Satrap for over 3 decades (he has been elected without opposition the last 2 elections), he has managed to mediate conflict betweens different churches with uncanny skill and to improve relations between the Blue Guild and the Council.  He is also a powerful runesmith, and has inscribed a Rune of Power on the eastern walls - no one seems to know what it does exactly, but those with sorcerous skills say it will be most potent in defending the city if need be.  To the common man though, the old Rabbi is a white bearded dwarf with a strong but kind voice, who often takes time to walk around the city helping various people with sound advice, a willingness to listen and sometimes either coin or actual labor.  The Rabbi had denounced the Black Dwarf as a vile felon.  This hasn't stopped some people from claiming that perhaps he actually IS the black dwarf!  To the common Zeugma, this is evidence the speaker is either stupid, looking for a fight, or both.

-The Silver Ring Brotherhood
A fairly "new" institution, the brotherhood is a semi-secret organization to which only a select few can enter.  To do so, a person must be two things:  a resident of Zeugma, and a master of the sword.  The workings of the organizations or its goals are not well known, but its membership is:  All members are entitled to wear two silver rings wrapped around the handle of their sword.  Such a swordsman is to be respected - not only has he proven himself to be an exceptional swordsman, but he has the ear of other swordsmen who are probably very well connected.  Gaining the rings is therefore a way to move up in social standing, for even the lowliest born, but carries responsibility as well - the brotherhood does not tolerate villains within its ranks for very long.
(I thought my players would be into this, but nope, not at all).

- Bhavik Singh
This small old man comes from the far reaches of India and practices a religion that is not well known in Zeugma.  He rose through the ranks of the military both through martial skill (he wields his curved blade like a whirlwind, a blade that proudly wears two silver rings) and leadership - he has the capacity to inspire the loyalty of his men and to manage large organizations.  He eventually became watch captain, then was elected as the Bronze Satrap, and is now in his second term.  He wears a colorful, elaborate turban that grows larger with time and has a tendency to attract arrows, sorcerous bolts and worse - proof that it is a very good turban indeed!  Bavik has earned the ire of some of the nobility for only promoting according to talent, not birth, but is well liked by the common man.

I think that this post has gotten long enough, and I hope you enjoyed this look back at my old game.  If people are interested, I can post more about factions, regional politics, Elven customs, conversions from Dragon Warriors to Warhammers frpg 2nd ed, and an extensive NPC list.   Otherwise, this will probably be the last post about Zeugma.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Tiny Servant - the best spell ever?

How to watch Fantasia: Reviewed

Greetings friends and fellow forumites. I am the bearer of great news. D&D has a new best spell.

Those who have the newly release Xanathar's Guide to Everything will of course know that I am talking about the superlative spell, Tiny Servant.

Tiny Servant lasts for 8 hours and doesn't take concentration. But it's much more than say, Unseen Servant. It can *kick some ass*. +5 to hit? 1d4+3 dmg? Send a few of those in and beat your enemies up. Fill one up with a dangerous substance and send it after your foes - even in death, the Tiny Servant will shower your enemies with acid - or worse!

Invisible creatures troubling you? Say no more, the Tiny Servant can handle it. Need someone to hold the torch? Get the torch to hold itself! Feeling squeamish about sending your familiar on a dangerous scouting mission? The Tiny Servant's got this, they aren't unionized! Impress officials with a small box filed with gold coins! Propose to your paramour with an animated ring case! Wow your fans with your own baby-groot! Need to throw that grappling hook up but every party member has 8 strength? Have no fear, with Tiny Servant the hook will climb up the wall, and if necessary impale itself in that troublesome's guard chest!

But this spell is not only good for players. Oh no, any GM with a gram of creativity can have tremendous fun with this spell, especially in dungeons. The party found a priceless vase? It's running away, it's a Tiny Servant. The party manage to vanquish it? Oh well, oops so much for the vase! That brick wall? It's made of Tiny Servants! Oh, I found a magical dagger - oh no it's stabbing me in the face, it's a Tiny Servant!

Mark this moment my friend, we are living in exciting times. One day you will be able to tell your grand-kids where you were when you laid your eyes upon the new signature spell. Tiny Servant - the fireball for the 21rst century.

(this is from an EN world thread I started a few years back - it's worth a read.  I'm copying it here because a: the forum might crash and it would disappear, and that's a pretty good post I think! and b: easy content haha)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Converting Troika! damage: How the sausage is made

As I have mentioned before, I'm currently running a UVG game with troika!  It's a lot of fun, the feel of the rules work well with the setting, it's all good.

But behind the scene, converting Troika to UVG's D20 ish system is not easy.  And this is particularly true for weapon damage.  The Technical Grimoire took a crack at it, but this was done quickly, and I felt that it needed more attention.  (edit: I am glad to note that we are collaborating on this project).

The author of Troika! has kindly given us DIY-type game bloggers permission to create new Troika! material, but with the following disclaimer "this post is an independent production by me and is not affiliated with the Melsonian Arts Council".  And well... the following is going to make Daniel Sell and any fan of Troika! scream, because this is NOT what Troika! is about - it's whimsical and fun and mysterious.  But converting a series of weapons doing 1d8, 3d6 etc damage to the Troika! 1d6 damage chart system is *harsh*.   You either completely eyeball it (and this is much more difficult than it looks).  Or you go about it systematically.

So please Troika! fans, don't throw too many tomatoes... (who am I kidding, no one reads this blog ha!).

Please note that this has NOT been play-tested, and is not the final product.  The interesting thing here is the system, not the end results.

So, in Troika!, to roll damage, you roll a D6 and consult a chart.  The dice can be affected by armor or luck, so a result of 0 or 7 are possible, but the 1-6 range is the most important.  For example, let us consider a few weapons:

1- 2 3 4 5 6 7+

Sword 4 6 6 6 6 8 10
knife 2 2 2 2 4 8 10
Club 1 1 2 3 6 8 10
Greatsword 2 4 8 10 12 14 18

You will note that the "pattern" of damage distribution varies a lot between weapons.  So the sword has a very "flat" damage.  This means that it will be relatively unaffected by luck or armor.  I don't know if this was the author's intent, but the sword is the game's can opener, really good at piercing even heavy armor.  The knife can do as much damage as a sword, but most of the time it's paltry, and armor is very effective against it.  The club is less "spiky" than the knife, but it's almost useless vs armor.  The greatsword can deal devastating blows, and the average damage vs an unarmored character is high, but again not as good vs armored foes than a sword.   (Armor imposes a penalty to the 1d6 that can range from -1 to -3).

So not only do I have to consider the average damage, I have to consider the pattern of the damage on the 1d6 chart.  I also have to consider the "flavor" of the weapon.  If the damage in UVG is 3d6 (fairly high damage and fairly "tight" grouping, very high or very low results will be rare), how do I reflect that in Troika!  And what do I do if the "flavor" of the weapon doesn't match the dice?

So to start, I made 5 damage patterns:  flat, medium, wild, superwild, and "spike", based on existing Troika! weapons.  Flat is the best vs armor, while superwild is the worse, but has a much higher max damage potential.  I didn't include the 7+ in these patterns - that value comes up less often and I just eyeballed it.  I also ensure that all these had the same average damage vs an unarmored foe:  6

AVG 6 (base step is 2) -1 2 3 4 5 6
FLAT (can oppener, sword) 4 6 6 6 6 8
Average (spear) 4 4 6 6 8 8
Wild (ax derived) 2 4 6 6 8 10
superwild 1 3 5 7 9 11
Spike  2 2 4 6 8 14

If I have a weapon I want a higher average damage, I just increase each value by 1 - for example a "wild" weapon with an average damage of 7 would have damage values of 3,5,7,7,9,11.

However, as damage goes up, what was wild before can become very tame.  For example, if I used this for a weapon with an average damage of 12 points (ouch),  and used the wild pattern, the resulting pattern would be  8, 10, 12, 12, 14, 16 ... which seems kinda flat doesn't it?   So I created 2 more patterns sets, one for an average damage of 9, and one for an average damage of 12:

AVG 9 (base step is 3) -1 2 3 4 5 6
FLAT  6 9 9 9 9 12
Average  6 6 9 9 12 12
Wild  3 6 9 9 12 15
superwild 2 5 7 10 13 17
Spike  3 4 6 9 13 19

AVG 12 (base step is 4) -1 2 3 4 5 6
FLAT 8 12 12 12 12 16
Average  8 8 12 12 16 16
Wild  4 8 12 12 16 20
superwild 2 6 10 14 18 22
Spike  4 4 8 12 16 28

The two values to keep an eye on here is the minimum (1 or less) and the max (6).  A six can *really* hurt a PC, but it rarely happens because, in my experience, most PCs wear at least light armor.  The minimum has *very* big impact on performance vs heavily armored foes.   Heavy arrmor is -3 on the damage chart, so rolling a 1 or a 4 results in the same damage.  So a sword would become 4 4 4 4 6 6, while a superwild weapon (average 6) would be 1 1 1 1 3 5!  Again, there is a reason I call the sword a can opener in Troika!.

So that was probably the hardest part.  Now that we have that, we need to decide what average damage in Troika corresponds to what average damage in the UVG.  We are a little constrained here by existing weapons, and it results in a system where bows and crossbows are a little bit better than some cheap firearms... but I can live with that.   The conversion is as follows:

UVG dmg UVG avg. Troika avg.

1d6 3.5 4
1d8 4.5 5
1d10 5.5 7
2d6 7 8
3d6 10.5 10
2d10 11 10
2d12 13 11
3d10 16.5 13
4d8 18 14

Now this level of damage seems a bit dangerous, and it *is*, but remember that large monsters can also hit very hard.  Also, in my version of Troika, heroes can gain a bit of stamina with spending XP.   Lowering (or increasing!) the Troika! damage chart is possible.  You'll note that the Troika versions hit a bit harder for low damage weapons, and a bit less hard for higher damage weapons, this was done on purpose.

Next, we have to decide what pattern applies to each gun.  The "flavor" of the gun was a dominant factor for me.  Again, this has not been playtested yet.  Use with caution!

(edit: ha! we found a serious flaw.  New numbers will be posted, I don't recommend you use this!)

UVG PISTOLS -1 2 3 4 5 6 7+
Inquisitor squirt gun 2 2 3 4 5 8 10
Revolver 2 3 4 5 7 9 12
Porcelain Prince Pistol 6 6 8 8 10 10 12
Ultra Blaster 7 10 10 10 10 13 16
Blue God Blaster 10 10 14 14 18 18 25

The revolver uses slow, fat bullets that armor deal with well... but a lucky shot vs an unarmored foe can hurt a lot (so a tweaked wild).  The Squirt gun is a "dart" gun so I used spike, but I had the jump from 6 to 7 be modest - there is only so much a lucky shot from that can do!  The porcelain prince pistol I put at average - fairly high tech, reliable, but not a huge gun, you aren't going to kill an elephant with one shot.  The Ultra Blaster is a hyper advanced weapon that is very dependable and makes a mockery of today's armor, so I gave it a flat damage.  The Blue God Blaster's dice is 4d8 which suggests a very flat damage - but the power seems wild, so I compromised and made it average.  It's quite effective even against well armored foes, which makes sense for the necrotic nature of the damage.

UVG RIFLES -1 2 3 4 5 6 7+
Heavy Crossbow 4 5 7 8 9 9 12
Scavenger bolter 2 4 6 8 10 12 15
Redland District SMG 3 5 7 7 9 11 16
Violent Cat Riffle 7 7 10 10 13 13 20
Vome Slagger 3 6 8 11 14 18 22
Black City matter disruptor 4 7 10 10 13 16 22
Satrap gun 5 8 11 11 14 17 22
Voice of Death 9 9 11 13 15 21 30

The heavy crossbow is based on the crossbow already existing in Troika! , and is quite effective vs armor.  The scavenger bolter I made superwild - basically it's the revolver on crack.  The redland SMG (submachinegun)  is wild, due to using revolver-like bullets.  The violent Cat Riffle is noted as being dependable, so I gave it average damage.   The Vome Slagger and the Black City matter disruptor both have 3d6, but I figured that the explode-y nature of the Vome Slagger would make it super wild, while the matter disruptor is "merely" wild - keep in mind that it has exploding damage dice, which I still haven't decided how to do in Troika!, and that special power changes this weapon.  The Satrap Gun is a laser gun, and I decided to make it wild as well.  Lastly, the Voice of Death has a spike pattern, given its divine origin and sonic nature.

And that's how you convert damage from a d20 based system to Troika! in a systemic manner!   Should you?  Nah, let those diehards from the internets do it for free for you...  If playtesting shows this doesn't work, adjustment will be made :)

Lastly, I will do melee weapons later!