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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:36 pm 
Dangerously Sane
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Sorry for the delayed reply. I tend to get busy with work and go AWOL from the forums for swaths of time. I'm glad you have Sabersonic to bounce ideas off of!

I love the idea of individual quirks defining what makes one pilot's Marauder different from another. This is actually touched on in an old Battletech supplement—I think it was the Tales of the Black Widow Company. Being a ragtag bunch of ne'er-do-wells and misfits, the book gave several of the mechs quirks showing off their pieced together nature. I THINK they were mostly negative—but it nonetheless gave so much character I adored as a kid.

As for Life Support—if it's something all mechs have, I wouldn't pay the points for it. It's needless book-keeping and robs you of a few points you can spend on "cooler" things.

Of course, using Vehicle at all isn't really necessary. In Battletech-y type scenarios, the mech is often a very separate entity from the pilot (to the point that each pilot is likely to command countless mecha in their life). Vehicle, as written, is more to make vehicle characters play nice with non-vehicle characters. It's less "Marauder" and more "Batmobile."

Instead, you can just use any of the character creation rules and create them as separate "characters." That way, they can be assigned to different pilots at will and also break free of Vehicle's limitations.

Your idea for ECM sounds good to me.

Ferrofibrous armor, you might could consider outright adding Evasive to its block. Either as an abstract representation of stuff bouncing off or because lighter armor means the Mech is subtly more nimble in dodging things. Of course Armor that reduces damage AND increases Defense Rolls needs some big drawbacks somewhere.

Explosive sounds like a fun flaw, but it's also one that's at odds with anime's tendency to make death a dramatic proposition. People don't just die, they die blocking super death rays from capital starships. Just a random explosion because you got tapped too hard is...not very conducive to that.

Instead, perhaps you could have the engine plain SHUT DOWN. It's still disastrous for the pilot and the tide of the battle, and something expensive to repair (perhaps the engine turns into a useless hyper-dense block of fusion material) but not a risk punishable with death at least.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:40 am 
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On the grounds of Explosive/Volatile, while it does make the act of dying less of a dramatic event and more of a "luck of the draw" kind of scenario, it should be noted that ultimately its all about risk assessment. Or to be exact, it gives a character a very, VERY good reason or at least a plausible one to disengage and fall back/retreat from combat in order to recover. Of course, any character is able to choose to stick it out and fight on to the very end, but the risk of having such a sudden, unheroic and undramatic death rises as well.

As for the whole Universal Life Support thing, well it may not be warranted to add it to any applicable vehicle's stats if its expected on all of them, but I think it's largely situation and case-by-case. As a GM, for custom Hero machines I probably wouldn't mind their exclusion but for pre-made units and especially canon fodder units I would mandate their inclusion. I mean, they're cannon fodder, they aren't meant to have cool features. They don't live long enough to justify it.

Oh! Before I forget, there's another aspect of Hex-based RPG/Tactical Combat that I think is absent from the current guidelines are Fire Arcs and Weapon Transversions. Basically what targets are within the fire cone of a given weapon and if the vehicle itself has to maneuver around to perform an attack downrage.

Apologies if Battletech doesn't perform such a ruleset (again, not familiar with the original tabletop engine), though if I recall the other two mecha-inspired anime-based tabletop engines correctly, there are four basic Fire Arcs: Forward, Fixed Forward, Wide, and Turret. Not too sure if there's a way to describe a "Limited" turret where the fire arc is able to transverse all but directly behind the vehicle in question, but the first four is enough to illustrate the concept.

Though, with the following Perks and Flaws, it's assumed that the default Fire Arc is "Forward"
Fixed Forward (-5): The weapon in question is on a mount that limit the marksmanship of the attack to such a degree that it's less of a gunnery skill and more of a pilot skill to get a bead on a target down range and thus readjusting for sight correction to hit a target takes considerably more time than the equivalent weapon mount with more transverse and elevation freedom.

Wide (+5): The weapon in question is on a mount that allows for a much broader field of fire and is far more independent to the facing of the vehicle. In fact, its more of a hemispherical, 180 degree arc than the usual 60 degree arc of fire on the average weapon mount, able to sweep across the battlefield to clear a path for itself or allied vehicles.

Turret (+10): The weapon in question is on a mount that gives it a nearly unlimited field of fire and is completely independent to the direction of vehicular movement. When the operator is fully aware and perceptive of the surrounding environment, there is no such thing as a "bad firing angle" when the weapon mount is able to swing towards the desired direction of fire.

I'm sure there are others who have a better execution of what I have in mind with the previously mentioned Perks and Flaw?

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