Revised A-B-C's of Shaman Programs (One More Look at How to Run Shamans) -- Big Change in Approach (Simpler)

Mutant Crawl Classics is the warped, mutant sci-fi twin to DCC. All Plantients, Manimals, Mutants and PSH are welcome here...

Moderators: DJ LaBoss, finarvyn, michaelcurtis, Harley Stroh

Post Reply
Melfast
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 43
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:40 pm
FLGS: Empire Games

Revised A-B-C's of Shaman Programs (One More Look at How to Run Shamans) -- Big Change in Approach (Simpler)

Post by Melfast »

Edited for clarity on 12/14/20

Fellow Adventurers in Terra AD

My latest, updated look at how to play Shamans within the context of just what the Core Book tells us. This is a big change to what I've done before, but I think I've figured it out.

MCC classes are at heart, simple. All my previous efforts were complicated, which should have told me something... Shaman are not Clerics or Wizards. They are their own thing with "class" abilities from being PSH in addition to their Shaman abilities.

So, I reached out to one of the folks involved with the design and playtesting of the game, and asked them how to determine Shaman programs and was told the following:

"Should be pretty simple. Intelligence determines the maximum program level possible for the shaman, and the results of the Invoke Patron AI spell determines the number of programs uses available per day, no?" (I have not asked them if I can use their name, so I won't.)

With that in mind, and referring to information from the Glowburn podcast, I've updated and simplified my approach to Shamans.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MCC Shaman Programs (How they Work RAW IMO)

“The maximum number of total wetware programs that a shaman can learn is determined by the program check result of their Patron AI Bond program when run, and limited or expanded by their Intelligence score (see Table 1-1: Ability Score Modifiers).”
-- P 140, MCC Core Book

This really is the rule. All programs learned from your Patron AI after Invoke Patron AI are gift programs, subject to the use limits of your Patron AI Bond check. You learn your Patron AI programs at the rate indicated in Table 2-2 as long as your Intelligence is high enough (Table 1-1). (See MCC Core Book, p 16 and p. 28.)

Your number of gift programs gained from your Patron AI Bond check are limited (reduced) or expanded (increased) by your Max Wetware Programs Modifier on Table 1-1. If you did not roll a high enough Patron AI Bond check to get any gift programs, then you are starting with zero gift programs and modifying that number based on your Intelligence score. You always get at least one (Invoke Patron AI).

A-B-C's

A – First roll your Patron AI Bond and determine how many programs you are able to learn.

B – Second, determine which Patron AI programs you know.

C – Third, write your learned programs on your character sheet along with the other key elements of your Patron AI Bond check -- any Invoke Patron AI bonus and how often can you use your Patron AI's programs. I recommend also writing down the number of your check for later reference.

That's it. You're done.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

More information on MCC Shaman Programs

Table 1-1 Intelligence: The number in the Max Wetware Programs column modifies the number of programs you are able to learn based on your Patron AI Bond check (increasing or decreasing your maximum number of learnable programs). (pg. 16)

Table 1-1 Intelligence: Max Wetware Program Level tells the highest program level you can learn based on Intelligence. This is essentially a hard cap on what level programs you can learn. (Pg. 16)

Table 2-2 Shaman: Max Wetware Program Level tells you when you can learn a program based on Shaman level. You normally learn one program of each level from your Patron AI, and only if they have one to teach you. You learn up to your total number of wetware programs from your Patron AI as you reach the appropriate Shaman level (if your Intelligence score is high enough to learn that level of wetware). (Pg. 28)

Patron AI Bond Check: The result of your patron AI Bond check tells you how often you can use your known programs from that Patron AI, and if you will receive any gift programs. All of your programs from that Patron AI share the same pool of uses. If you fail a check, you can't use that wetware program again until the next day even if you still have available uses per day. (Pg. 203)

Gift Programs: All programs you get from your Patron AI over and above Invoke Patron AI are gift programs. Once you look at them this way, the rest of what is said about programs in the book makes a more sense. Your Intelligence score is limiting or expanding the number of gift programs you are getting from your Patron AI Bond check. If you did not roll high enough to get any gift programs, then you are starting with zero gift programs when you are applying your Intelligence score modifier to your number of programs. This also brings them into the pool of gift uses per week/day in alignment with what the MCC designer told me above that the Patron AI Bond check determines uses. (It is also consistent with the way the Glowburn hosts described Shamans working in games they were in with Jim Wampler.)

Total Programs: Patron AI Bond result (Invoke Patron AI + any gift programs), plus or minus your Intelligence Max Wetware Programs modifier (Table 1-1) -- minimum one (Invoke Patron AI). (Pg. 140)

EX: Shaman of GAEA, Patron AI Bond check of 25 (learn both Invoke Patron AI and one gift program), Intelligence 15 (+1 Max Wetware Program gives you a second gift program). You can learn a total of three programs -- two at 1st level Shaman and one at 3rd level Shaman. At 1st level Shaman, you would know Invoke Patron AI (GAEA) and Elemental Shield (GAEA's Level-1 program). You would learn GAEA's Level-2 program (Corrosion) when you reach 3rd level Shaman. You would not be able to learn any more wetware programs after 3rd level Shaman unless you raise your Intelligence to 17+. Your Patron AI Bond check gives you a pool of two uses per day for your programs. You can use two different programs or one program twice.

Discussion

The game rules seem to expect that at the end of the one week ritual to bond with your Patron AI, you will Glowburn and use luck to get a minimum of a 24 check. With the use of your luck and that of a Plantient party member, who should be fully recovered from using their luck to boos their mutations by the time your ritual week is up, you should be able to get close to the top of the Patron AI Bond check result at 1st level.

It also seems that you are able to re-run this Patron AI Bond check whenever you go up a level, although that could be risky if you are starting with a high check.

The pool of daily uses seems like it could be limiting, but as a PSH you have the advantage of also using artifacts and are the best at them in the game. Compared to the other PSH, it seems like it is about right.

You can also Bond with more than one Patron AI, and you will get a separate set of uses of that Patron AI's programs. Your total number of programs for that Patron are calculated separately from and the same way as your original Patron AI.

If you end up in a situation where you rolled a high enough Patron AI Bond check to get multiple wetware programs, but your Intelligence is not high enough to learn your Patron AI's next program when you normally could, your Judge could allow you to learn a lower level program the Patron provides you -- for example, one from an Allied Patron AI, a converted spell from DCC, a program from a 3PP or an MCC module (when such are available).

If you end up in a situation where your total programs limit is above five (the number of Patron AI programs you can gain), then you would need a Patron AI to provide you other programs to reach your program limit, for example, one from an Allied Patron AI, a converted spell from DCC, a program from a 3PP or an MCC module (when such are available).


Happy gaming...

-- Melfast
Last edited by Melfast on Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
The Disgruntled Poet
Far-Sighted Wanderer
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 3:23 am
FLGS: Tower Games

Re: Revised A-B-C's of Shaman Programs (One More Look at How to Run Shamans) -- Big Change in Approach (Simpler)

Post by The Disgruntled Poet »

"If you end up in a situation where you rolled a high enough Patron AI Bond check to get multiple wetware programs, but your Intelligence is not high enough to learn your Patron AI's next program when you normally could, your Judge could allow you to learn a lower level program the Patron provides you -- for example, one from an Allied Patron AI, a converted spell from DCC, a program from a 3PP or an MCC module (when such are available)."

Yeah, I like this suggestion but I think I would personally use a program from Enchiridion of the Computarchs which is tailor made for MCC before I'd just hack in a DCC spell.
Post Reply

Return to “Mutant Crawl Classics RPG”