8 thoughts on “The Clockpunk. A Dungeon World Playbook – Street Rat Games | RPGNow.com”

  1. Somebody asked me why “punk”. 

    When William Gibson coined the term cyberpunk in the 80’s (you should read Neuromancer) the term referred to the fact that there was a blur between the cyberpunks and their technology. As the 2 merged, they became indistinguishable. Transhuman humans and humanized tech. So “clockpunk” refers to more than just the steampunk or clockpunk genre. It refers to the fact that this character becomes his technology. 

    Here is an example of it: 

    ◊Mechanical eye.

     When you have lost an eye in battle (or otherwise), the next time you level up you may install (with the help of  healing magic to splice gears to nerves) a mechanical eye in your eye socket. It is linked via a zero-point time-space rift to your automaton, so you see everything it sees in real time, even if  it is in scouting the past. You must wind the spring in the removable part of  your eye least twice a day.  

    There is also a move that gives you a clockwork prosthetic arm that incorporates your timehacker device as part of your  body.

  2. Wynand Louw a question about the move “see the future”. Is the Clockpunk suppose to spend time on each of those abilities inside the move? If not it seems awfully overpowered. Thoughts? Overall I love the class. I just want to make sure it’s balanced correctly against other playbooks.

  3. Gary Anastasio 

    Hi Gary

    You are right, it is very powerful

    It gives the him the following buffs in combat: +2 armour, Powerful defy danger, and powerful defend. The other two buffs, parley and Discern realities are not a problem since they are in the domain of the fiction, so they are inconsequential as far as balance is concerned. 

    The first thing I looked at was what his role was: Mainly a fighter or mainly a supporter like the bard or the cleric? He has no supporting starting moves, and only two advanced supporting moves: Mechanical genius, which could be used to disable traps (but NOT finding them) and rejuvenate (healing), which may fail outright on 7-9 or cause memory loss (and confusion) to the recipient of the healing. 

    So his primary role is that of a fighter. He is not a tank (d10 damage like the fighter or paladin) so his base die, based on his role as a secondary fighter should be D8 like the Ranger or Thief. Because See the future is powerful I nerfed him from d8 to d6, and barred him from wearing additional armour. 

    Freeze time is also very powerful, as somebody here pointed out in another thread. You get to do  deal damage three times on 10+, and once on 7-9. So I nerfed it by giving it Mana cost of two, with a total of three mana per battle at the start. At first level he may do the move only once during a battle. And remember his base damage is only d6, so 3d6 damage is not that much compared to what a fighter can do. The second way I nerfed Freeze Time was by putting a hold cost on moving beyond reach range – it could easily nullify the free damage if he is not right next to his target. 

    The other move that people may have problems with is Hack Gravity, as it has the potential of autokilling even the most fearful opponent. I decided on this move because I like to give each character at least one EPIC thing he can do. So it looks very powerful. But in reality the risk for that big payoff of potentially sending a huge monster into space is great. Notice that you have to roll 12+ to have an outright success. On 7-11 “The result is dangerously unpredictable.” This is the type of thing a creative GM will have a field day with. The word “dangerously” gives the GM free reign to make things extremely uncomfortable for the heroes. “You want to send my stone giant into space? OK. But if you don’t roll 12+ your asses are mine! Muhahahahaha!!!” And of course it costs 5 mana.

    The last balance concern is that all his moves are INT based. So he may just buff his INT every level up and be at 18 at third level. This is the major concern for balance with this character. The way I tried to mitigate this was to link time effects to other creatures to a successful hack and slash initially and later to successful volley move. You have to touch your target with your sword before you can age him, for instance. 

    All in all, I believe that the Clockpunk ended up pretty balanced as far as the other characters are concerned. I always refer to the Fighter, who at 7th level can do d10+2d8+1 damage (4-27) with a single blow, killing even the most fearful giant with a single swing of his sword. (And a dragon has only 16 HP, remember!)

    I hope this answers your concerns, and illuminates my design thought  processes a bit!



  4. Wynand Louw Thanks for that post. It was really helpful to see your thought process on the balance. One of my players will probably be playing this class so I wanted to make sure I had any potential balance issues under control before turning the Clockpunk loose on our game. Thanks again!

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