View Full Version : Customizing the SIEGE Engine

S Ferguson
June 9th, 2013, 20:30
O.K. It's a fairly simple thing to do. But I'm curious, aside from the Doc's western campaign, I haven't seen too many other variations on a theme. So I put forth the question: How much customizing do you actually do with the engine?


June 9th, 2013, 22:15
What kind of customization? In my western game, I just fudge mod numbers around a bit for different classes and items, but it's still plain ol' vanilla SIEGE (I think). My impression from your previous emails to me that the space opera-type game that is based on SIEGE actually teaks with it a bit. What kind of mods are you interested in?

S Ferguson
June 10th, 2013, 21:43
Trying to re-create Expedition to Barrier Peaks, essentially, the CK Guide, and StarSiEGE: Event Horizon twist the SIEGE engine in quite remarkable ways but I'm truly wondering how many people have used Tertiary abilities, etc. used any of the variant systems, or have modified their game to fit a genre such as science fantasy, steampunk or other quasi-fantasy genres.

And how does SIEGE, for you, say work in the "modern world." You have introduced "classes" for example, and the "archetypes" from 3.5. Did it drastically change the CB's or the CL's? And how much did you have to fudge?

June 13th, 2013, 00:47
For my old west game, very little changed, actually. My adaptation has new classes, and the Hero Types (Quick, Strong, etc.). I also added Backgrounds (i.e., Indian, Frontier, High Society, etc.) to represent how people grew up. I was interested in adding extra sources of custom abilities, since the Old West game has no "races" in the fantasy game sense (i.e., everyone is a human). Since classic Old West characters are often of an archetype (fast, strong, etc) and often have capabilities based on their upbringing or background, it seemed like an easy place to add abilities in lieu or fantasy races.

It works very simply: for the most part, all three of these things - Class, Hero Type, and Background - are the same thing: collections of Abilities that you get based on level (except for Background, which is just a bunch of skills you get when you roll your character).

So while the skills/abilities come from 3 places in my old west game instead of 2, it works just the same as the fantasy game. The main shift in game mechanics that a seasoned C&C gamer would notice is that the weapons tend to do more damage faster (it's like everyone is carrying around a heavy war hammer that attacks 2 times per round) and has more abilities than the average lower level fantasy character.

The abilities are more varied, and a bit more 3.5-ish, I think: I have a "Weapon Specialization" ability that is a prerequisite for picking up specialized gun skills. So for instance, you can't get an increased firing rate or increased range on your Henry Repeating rifle without first specializing in it. I normally kind-of avoid that stuff in fantasy games as being too overcomplicated, but in the western genre, the whole weapon "fetishism" thing is a part of that (i.e., the Rifleman and his modified Winchester that he's associated with, Danny Glover's character in Silverado that is super-awesome with his Henry's, etc.).

The only thing I think I do differently than run-of-the-mill SIEGE/C&C base rules (and this might be in an option in CKG) is that I allow players to choose *almost* any skill about every 3 levels (in order to try to help players feel more comfortable choose a class that isn't exactly what they want to play without modification). I also allow that if a player chooses to learn a specific skill twice, I give them an extra +1 on it. That has come up because some classes have skills that the player *really*wants early in their career, but is granted later for free. If they choose it as their optional skill early in their career, when they are granted in later, they'll just get an extra +1 using that skill.

Anyway, I don't know if that all sounds at all complicated, but it's not really... pretty much straight SIEGE, and in line with a lot of the base C&C game mechanics... just some of the game trappings have changed.

S Ferguson
June 13th, 2013, 01:40
Anyway, I don't know if that all sounds at all complicated, but it's not really... pretty much straight SIEGE, and in line with a lot of the base C&C game mechanics... just some of the game trappings have changed.

Actually it's pretty clear. The options you chose are those extensions pertaining to background details in the CKG, The learning new Skills (also in the CKG, and additional classes (the Crusader's companion is full of those). Even the specializations outlined in the CKG on expanding the SIEGE engine. The major thing you've done is incorporated, for lack of a better term, "Stereotype" (Fast, Strong, etc.). This is the type of true "expansion" I was looking for. Something out of the box for C&C, yet gels smoothly once in place.

And Mr. Cleese's Hat looked quite good afterwards; and we all know what two Henry Rifles in the hands off an expert can do....

June 13th, 2013, 03:36
The other thing that I like about the Hero Type (i.e., Strong, Fast) is that it reinforces the player's choice for their primary attribute, as the character's 2 primes are determined by their Class and their Hero Type. If they're the same, such as a Fast Hero (Dex) who is also a Gunslinger (Dex), then they just pick a 2nd prime. There's no special benefit that a character gets from choosing a Hero Type that has the same primary attribute as their Class, so it encourages players to choose what they want, as opposed to what jukes the system in their favor. In fact, they might be better off choosing a Hero Type that augments their class, as opposed to one that just has the same primary attribute.

Whether it's adding Hero Type or Background, I do very much like the idea behind the game mechanic: giving simple but occasionally useful abilities to characters that also reinforces their character's backstory. Something that give players a few more little tricks in their bag and that make them just a bit different than other characters of the same class.

My main concern is to keep the game a simple one to play. Too many extra skills would over-complicate the game. I like this kind of expansion because it's relatively easy to balance as a GM, and fits right into the core rules.