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 Post subject: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:16 am 
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Hello folks!

So after stalking around on the forums for ages I've decided to write about a little project I've been working on for the better part of several years.

A number of years ago I finally got my hands on a little RPG called Mekton Zeta. Raise your hand if you've heard of it.

Mekton is an incredible RPG and a lot of fun, especially if you whip out the advanced mecha construction rules: Metkon Zeta Plus. Then you're like a kid in a lego shop except the shop is selling mecha parts.

The problem with Mekton, is it's perfectly adequate at making just about any mecha from anything.

Except Battletech.

And the reason for that is heat. Heat literally defines a battlemech's combat capabilities insofar as it's combat endurance. Mekton doesn't have that so about every design that has more than one or two different kinds of weapon systems, which is about every one, is suddenly invalid/makes no sense/worthless/blah blah. I made a neat little set of rules for heat that flowed well with Mekton's idea of keeping stuff rather "duh" but I never got around to testing it. I petered out after messing around with the idea on and off for several years and finally shelved it a few years ago.

Now here comes OVA with a little stat called endurance.

And this seems perfect for what I'm trying to do. The fact that OVA is a very rules-light RPG helps even more. I really like the way it handles everything.

So, to the crunch.

The idea I was going with was my own spin on the world, heavily influenced by anime and manga of course, which brings us to battlemechs.

I've looked at Sabersonic's behemoth as well as a number of other threads regarding the system and how to use it, but I'm looking to keep the idea simple; really play to OVA's strength of a storytelling RPG over a crunchy RPG. My quandary is a few fold:

Creating the varied weapons battlemechs carry
How to handle the idea of heat
How detailed to make the mecha
How to use abilities in OVA to represent things on battlemechs

I have some weapon ideas cranked out already.
Quote:
Machine Gun
DX: 1 End: 0
Accurate, Ranged, Weapon

Autocannon
DX: 2 End: 0
Effective, Ranged; Ammunition, Weapon

Heavy Autocannon
DX: 4 End: 0
Effective x3, Ranged; Ammunition, Weapon

Shotcannon
DX: 2 End: 0
Effective, Ranged, Stunning; Ammunition, Weapon

Ultra Autocannon
DX: 3 End: 0
Effective x2, Ranged; Ammunition x2, Weapon

Gauss Rifle
DX: 3 End: 10
Accurate, Armor piercing, Effective x2, Strike Through, Ranged; Ammunition, Buildup, Weapon

Small Laser
DX: 1 End: 0
Accurate, Ranged; Weapon

Medium Laser
DX: 2 End 5
Accurate, Effective, Ranged; Weapon

Large Laser
DX: 3 End: 10
Accurate, Effective x2, Ranged; Weapon

Pulse Laser
DX: 2 End: 10
Accurate x2, Effective, Ranged; Weapon

Particle Projector Cannon (PPC)
DX: 3 End: 15
Accurate, Effective x2, Impairing, Ranged; Buildup, Weapon

SRMs (Short Range Missiles)
DX: 2 End: 0
Effective, Ranged; Ammuntion, Weapon

LRMs (Long Range Missiles)
DX: 1 End 0
Accurate, Ranged; Ammunition, Weapon, Unique Flaw: Innacurate at close range (-5)

Now some of the weapons are endurance negative: The Autocannon, Ultra Autocannon and the LRMs. And that's simply because I can't think of a way to represent them well. And speaking of endurance that takes us to heat.

To me, the fact that endurance in OVA counts down to zero is perfect. The way I see it: battlemechs have a "heat capacity", they can only generate so much heat before they start having operational problems. Once they hit zero, they have those problems. I'm just not certain what. Shutting down is an obvious choice (No defense roll and/or stunned).

Now, unless battlemechs have massive endurance reserves they're going to be running out of endurance all the time. So, I was thinking that battlemechs regenerate endurance every turn to represent them bleeding off heat through their cooling systems. My idea is 1/5 of their total endurance. So, if a battlemech has 40 endurance it gets 8 back a turn. That way, they're always chasing that balance between effectively losing heat capacity and sacrificing a bunch to kill that guy rightnowomghesrightthere.

As for being at zero endurance, I was figuring either shutting down or you go negative, up to 1/2 your total (so 40 endurance means you can go -20). While you're at negative endurance, you suffer from the impaired complication (-1 to all rolls) until you're in the positive again. Pass negative 1/2 and you shut down (no defense roll). This way it shows how you're over your heat capacity and the battlemech is suffering for it.

For how detailed mecha are, I was going with something like this.
Quote:
Battlemech: GNT-1A Gnat
Height: 8.2 meters
Weight: 19.79 metric tons
Armament: 2x Machine Gun, 1 Medium Laser

Defense: +3
Health: 20
Endurance: 30

+2 Vehicle (Mecha)

Abilities
+1 Armored
+3 Life Support
+1 Perceptive "Sensor Suite"
+3 Quick

Weaknesses
-1 Dependancy (Maintenance)
-2 Frail
-1 Languid

Attacks
Machine Guns
DX: 1 End: 0
Accurate, Ranged, Weapon
The Gnat's machine guns may be tiny, but they're useful

Medium Laser
DX: 2 End: 5
Accurate, Effective, Ranged, Weapon, Affinity: Energy
The Gnat carries a medium laser that has a bit more punch

Gnat's Bite
DX: 3 End: 10
Accurate, Effective x2, Ranged, Weapon
A Gnat firing all of it's weapons can be quite pesky

I think this is simple enough. Certain battlemechs could have traits like:
-2 Ineptitude (One hand)/-3 Ineptitude (No hands)
-1 Awkward size (Large battlemech)
etc

As for abilities, I've been wondering how to represent certain things such as sensors (Heightened sense/Sixth sense) for equipment like the beagle active probe, the ECM suite (Art of invisibility?), and jump jets (Buy half ranks of flying?).

And finally I have a question about Activation and Buildup: They both say you have to wait before you can use an ability, but activation is worded more like you have to wait after the attack and buildup sounds more like before and you can choose how many turns the attack has to "warm up" before it can fire.

This is what I'm working with so far, I really want to figure all this out because battletech is a game that the rules don't make sense a lot of times but the lore and fluff can be pretty darn cool. OVA would let me make the fluff meet the crunch and I'm all for that.

So, what do you guys think of what I have so far? I'm still figuring out how to be creative when it comes to all the abilities/weaknesses and such in OVA, it's so simple compared to a lot of games it can be hard to wrap your brain around it at times.


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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:46 am 
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Maverick Arkguard wrote:
A number of years ago I finally got my hands on a little RPG called Mekton Zeta. Raise your hand if you've heard of it.

Heard of it? Not only do I have Mekton Zeta and Plus, but also the Tactical Display and backed Mekton Zero. Still waiting on that release to be honest after all these years....
Maverick Arkguard wrote:
So, I was thinking that battlemechs regenerate endurance every turn to represent them bleeding off heat through their cooling systems. My idea is 1/5 of their total endurance. So, if a battlemech has 40 endurance it gets 8 back a turn. That way, they're always chasing that balance between effectively losing heat capacity and sacrificing a bunch to kill that guy rightnowomghesrightthere.

Probably best to represent this as a Unique Ability, at least +3 and perhaps call it- Oh, I don't know... "Thermal Recovery" with higher levels indicating an even more efficient method to shed excess heat. Well, if you ever want to bring in the Clans and their double heat sinks that is.
Maverick Arkguard wrote:
As for abilities, I've been wondering how to represent certain things such as sensors (Heightened sense/Sixth sense) for equipment like the beagle active probe, the ECM suite (Art of invisibility?), and jump jets (Buy half ranks of flying?).

ECM's probably less about trying to be stealthy and more like actively impairing the opponent's ability to directly target you. Granted, AFAIK, OVA2e doesn't really have a mechanic where one can directly affect the ability of another character, but I think it can be mickey moused with Perks and Flaws with perhaps the Knowledge Ability with perhaps the Impairment Perk actually giving the target a penalty, and considering that a few fighter aircraft used to have RIOs for a similar task, I wouldn't be surprised if the applicable Flaws be Concentration and/or Assisted.

As for sensors, well it'll probably depend upon what type of sensor you're talking about. For something more mundane such as sight or sound to represent telescopic vision and microphones, Heightened Senses would work. For anything beyond that? Well I don't exactly recall the wording but Perception covers that area rather well.

Jump Jets? Well just take a page from my own book and create a new Ability with some Weakness such as Limited Use. Heck, my Jumping Ability is basically that.
Maverick Arkguard wrote:
And finally I have a question about Activation and Buildup: They both say you have to wait before you can use an ability, but activation is worded more like you have to wait after the attack and buildup sounds more like before and you can choose how many turns the attack has to "warm up" before it can fire.

Well actually both are requirements to not do any other offensive action during that period of time before you can use that ability. When you do after the required time is entirely up to you.

To be honest, I'm not sure what the difference is between the two other then that Activation has a bigger initial Flaw value and Build Up may have more time added-

Oh! There it is; Build Up does not require any Action to be spent before use while Activation does. Or rather all you can do with an Activation is defense rolls while Build Up just needs a declaration and you can occupy with something else in the meanwhile. Guess that explains the difference in Flaw values. Don't know why I missed that....

Either way, thanks for the mention of my other topic. It was largely a conversion from another, similar tabletop engine but had a thicker core book.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:30 am 
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In short, I think you got a good start.

The missiles might be a bit overpowered, especially if that DX is just for one missile, and you launch a full salvo from a SRM-6 (DX12?) or an LRM-20 (DX20?). I might instead try to figure out how big the DX you want from a full salvo, maybe DX5 for a full LRM-20, and work from there, and then build the Attacks off what a full salvo is instead of individual missiles.

The ideas you have for ECM and Beagle probes are probably on the right path. One character I had built who had 'jump jets' used Flight with Limited Uses.

The one idea I had... is not what you are thinking.*

One of the things I liked the most from BattleTech was the different size classes, and figuring out how to squeeze everything into it to build your own 'Mech. With OVA, there really isn't a limit to the attacks someone or something has as long as it's feasible, but that doesn't quite fit BattleTech. Maybe revising the Vehicle Ability to a 'Mech Ability, and each level corresponds to a size class ('Mech +1 is ProtoMechs, 'Mech +2 is Light, 'Mech +3 is Medium, 'Mech +4 is Heavy, and 'Mech +5 is Assault), and each size has a limit of DX Attacks. Say, like twice the level of the 'Mech (so ProtoMechs would have up to DX2, meaning either two DX1 attacks or one DX2 attack; and Assault Mech would have up to DX10, like ten DX1 attacks, or two DX 4 and one DX2 attacks, etc).

Both Activation and Build Up are done before you can do an attack. Build Up doesn't require any specific action from you, you just have to wait the number of rounds of Build Up before you can use the attack (a less crunchy way of either recharging the energy or lowering the heat built up before you can do that attack), but you can do other things while waiting. Activation requires you to do something first, like pumping the shotgun or saying a specific phrase, before you can do the attack.





*Okay, yeah, I was also thinking of that. There is nothing wrong if you don't like the idea, but I would use My Monstrous/Mecha Abilities in this case. For 2 points (or +1 Vehicle level, unless negating the points with some Weaknesses), I could add MDurability +1 and MDestruction +1, which would turn the Gnat into this:
Quote:
Battlemech: GNT-1A Gnat
Height: 8.2 meters
Weight: 19.79 metric tons
Armament: 2x Machine Gun, 1 Medium Laser

Defense: +3
Health: 100
Endurance: 30

+3 Vehicle (Mecha)

Abilities
+1 Armored
+3 Life Support
+1 Mecha Destruction
+1 Mecha Durability
+1 Perceptive "Sensor Suite"
+3 Quick

Weaknesses
-1 Dependancy (Maintenance)
-2 Frail
-1 Languid

Attacks
Machine Guns
DX: 5 End: 0
Accurate, Ranged, Weapon
The Gnat's machine guns may be tiny, but they're useful

Medium Laser
DX: 10 End: 5
Accurate, Effective, Ranged, Weapon, Affinity: Energy
The Gnat carries a medium laser that has a bit more punch

Gnat's Bite
DX: 15 End: 10
Accurate, Effective x2, Ranged, Weapon
A Gnat firing all of it's weapons can be quite pesky

And that looks about perfect for Me. I think you got the spirit of the 'Mech right on with the base Abilities and Weaknesses, but comparing it to a normal character, even giving it Scale advantages, still seems underwhelming. With this, you can take a glance between the Gnat and Miho and see the difference between a character and a 'Mech.

But that's only how'd I do it, and if you don't care for it, then don't use it. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:07 pm 
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One idea is that maybe when they hit 0 END you can let them draw on the HP of the mech for power, That way you can give them the option of staying in the fight but risk overheating the mech and damaging it further.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:51 pm 
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Thanks for your input guys! I've had OVA for several months and I've read the bejesus out of it but that's no substitute for having experience in using it.

Quote:
The missiles might be a bit overpowered, especially if that DX is just for one missile, and you launch a full salvo from a SRM-6 (DX12?) or an LRM-20 (DX20?). I might instead try to figure out how big the DX you want from a full salvo, maybe DX5 for a full LRM-20, and work from there, and then build the Attacks off what a full salvo is instead of individual missiles.

Yeah as I said the ideas for weapons were just a start and sorting some of them out can be a bit difficult. With how OVA works, the difference between, say, a couple of machine guns and a laser is nothing mechanically. Both have accurate, ranged, and weapon the way I have it. That list is about the same its been since a single night of splurge writing where I got down to the missiles and realized, "Well drat, when you get down to it, sometimes the only difference in attacks are the names" as I stated above. That's what unique flaws are for, as I have with the LRMs which I think set them apart nicely.

For the idea of multiple weapons in an attack, such as medium laserS instead of a single laser, just add effective. The idea is more of: for example, a medium laser type attack has these qualities, and if you have say multiple or a bunch, just add a few levels of effective. Easy enough. But then you run into the problem again of "So how is it different from that other attack?" Themes are cool and I love the fact that OVA lives and breaths off them but this phenomenon just makes me scratch my head.

Quote:
One of the things I liked the most from BattleTech was the different size classes, and figuring out how to squeeze everything into it to build your own 'Mech. With OVA, there really isn't a limit to the attacks someone or something has as long as it's feasible, but that doesn't quite fit BattleTech. Maybe revising the Vehicle Ability to a 'Mech Ability, and each level corresponds to a size class ('Mech +1 is ProtoMechs, 'Mech +2 is Light, 'Mech +3 is Medium, 'Mech +4 is Heavy, and 'Mech +5 is Assault), and each size has a limit of DX Attacks. Say, like twice the level of the 'Mech (so ProtoMechs would have up to DX2, meaning either two DX1 attacks or one DX2 attack; and Assault Mech would have up to DX10, like ten DX1 attacks, or two DX 4 and one DX2 attacks, etc).

This is a really neat idea and I've been playing with it in my head on and off. I really, really love how OVA is about "come up with a concept and put an appropriate rating in an ability/weakness" and pow character in two minutes. Battletech is one of those games where everything is defined by the rules and there is no wiggle room for much if at all. It's incredibly constraining and within that it forces you to be creative within the ruleset, which is great, but all that fluff and lore simply isn't possible last time I checked (which is many years ago) within actual play. The whole idea that LAMs were a great idea I can do in OVA and it won't hurt the design at all because I can say "They were made like this from the start" so it's integral to the design from the get go (instead of a compromise) and works within the rules of OVA. It's already accounted for, transforming mecha! Oh, but they're kinda rare and fidgety...

Weakness/unique weakness, bam.

I had kinda been playing it by ear with mecha ratings and just making some (I have several made already to see how it'd work) and totaling up the abilities and weaknesses and seeing what the vehicle level would be. First time I made a Marauder, which I named a Xiphos, it came out pricey.

Vehicle +6.5 pricey.

I've toned it back and it's sitting at +5. But whoboy that's pricey. Then again, that could be just fine. An Atlas is supposed to be about the most terrifying thing in the known galaxy. Maybe a +6 mech is just fine for that: Death's head has come for you. :mrgreen:

But then again, I'm kinda throwing a lot to the wind and doing what I feel represents the lore and fluff. In OVA you can make fluff meet crunch (with some creativity) and that's always satisfying.

And turning Mechwarrior/Battletech into a manga/anime, albeit a real robots kind, I'm just swoony over.

Quote:
Both Activation and Build Up are done before you can do an attack. Build Up doesn't require any specific action from you, you just have to wait the number of rounds of Build Up before you can use the attack (a less crunchy way of either recharging the energy or lowering the heat built up before you can do that attack), but you can do other things while waiting. Activation requires you to do something first, like pumping the shotgun or saying a specific phrase, before you can do the attack.

Ah okay, thank you! I've was scratching my head for ages over that. Sabersonic explained it but it didn't quite click, put that way I get it instantly. Then again, I'm super tired today and I'm oddly perceptive when I'm tired.

And no Malancthon, I don't think I'll be using your really neat abilities. They are just not my taste I think.

Quote:
One idea is that maybe when they hit 0 END you can let them draw on the HP of the mech for power, That way you can give them the option of staying in the fight but risk overheating the mech and damaging it further.

That's an idea I want to shy away from until I figure some other things out. It's a neat idea that allows you to go on and maybe eat endurance for HP on a 1/1 basis as your battlemech is just cooking itself alive. Electronics melting, actuators blowing out, myomers turning to goo, and fusion engines melting through their shieldi-OH CRAP.

(actually I kind of like it now, coughoverheattozeroexplosionscough)

As for battlemechs automatically recovering endurance every turn, the idea came out of the fact that really big attacks tend to cost endurance and well, with some attacks as I have them right now, battlemechs will run out kinda fast. (PPCs of doom anyo-oh, it's out of endurance. Crap.)

Sabersonic might have a good idea in it being an ability you have to pay for. "Cooling systems/Radiator systems" or something like that. Maybe every +1 means you recover 10% of your total endurance a turn. So, at 40 endurance you get 4 back a turn. Which, isn't much (you have okay cooling systems). A battlemech with only a +2 would get 8 back a turn, which would be good. And, a +2 in OVA is good :D . (+3 sounds like improved heatsinks cough)

I've got a lot to mull over with all this, but you guys are helping a lot! I really want to get this sorted and puff out a setting book like some of us have done already. (I'm looking at you Robby)


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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:56 pm 
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Lots of great ideals! I'm really glad you're enjoying OVA's approach to character (or mecha) creation, Maverick!

I'll always have a soft spot for Battletech. It was one of my earliest tabletop game memories—pouring over readouts and building my own 'mechs. Naming them was the best part. :D

Something I touched on last time Battletech was brought up was having Heat count up from zero instead of down. This behaves more like Battletech did originally but still plays nice with most of OVA's Endurance assumptions. When Heat hits 40, then stuff starts to happen.

Having Heat Sinks as a turn-by-turn regeneration would work, but you really don't want to turn end-of-round upkeep into a mathematical nightmare. Instead of 10% or even point by point, I would factor Heat Sinks as 5 Endurance chunks. Perhaps like this:

Heat Sink
1: Remove 5 Heat every other turn
2: Remove 5 Heat every turn
3: Remove 5 Heat every turn, 10 Heat every other turn.
4: Remove 10 Heat every turn.
5: Remove 10 Heat every turn, 15 Heat every other turn.

Obviously you need to play around with these in-game to see how they pan out. But 5-unit increments should keep upkeep from being too much of a bog.

Of course part of the fun of Battletech, as you say, is squeezing everything you can out of your build, which OVA doesn't encourage as much. If you really want to capture that spirit, you're probably going to have to build some kind of slot system on top of OVA. Like there's x number of arm slots, chest slots, etc. in a chunkier analog to Battletech's build system. Then you could create different parts, each of them basically being mini bundles of Abilities/Weaknesses, etc. and objectively consider how many "slots" each part should take up. You can probably just recreate the weapons and so on as you have, then cross reference their Battletech cost, and try to determine the slot cost that way.


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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:15 pm 
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Clay wrote:
Of course part of the fun of Battletech, as you say, is squeezing everything you can out of your build, which OVA doesn't encourage as much. If you really want to capture that spirit, you're probably going to have to build some kind of slot system on top of OVA. Like there's x number of arm slots, chest slots, etc. in a chunkier analog to Battletech's build system. Then you could create different parts, each of them basically being mini bundles of Abilities/Weaknesses, etc. and objectively consider how many "slots" each part should take up. You can probably just recreate the weapons and so on as you have, then cross reference their Battletech cost, and try to determine the slot cost that way.

Yes, utilizing a system similar to Clay's Alvailable Slots-Space Requirements that I've used extensively in my other mecha topic. Granted, in that one I've used weaknesses to indicate that such part swapping requires certain facilities and time to impliment, if not personnel.

Not too sure what the perk value should be for Space Requirements would be, I've always assumed that it was -0 value. Guess I should wait for Clay to clarify on that front like always.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:16 am 
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Clay wrote:
Lots of great ideals! I'm really glad you're enjoying OVA's approach to character (or mecha) creation, Maverick!

I'll always have a soft spot for Battletech. It was one of my earliest tabletop game memories—pouring over readouts and building my own 'mechs. Naming them was the best part. :D

Something I touched on last time Battletech was brought up was having Heat count up from zero instead of down. This behaves more like Battletech did originally but still plays nice with most of OVA's Endurance assumptions. When Heat hits 40, then stuff starts to happen.

Having Heat Sinks as a turn-by-turn regeneration would work, but you really don't want to turn end-of-round upkeep into a mathematical nightmare. Instead of 10% or even point by point, I would factor Heat Sinks as 5 Endurance chunks. Perhaps like this:

Heat Sink
1: Remove 5 Heat every other turn
2: Remove 5 Heat every turn
3: Remove 5 Heat every turn, 10 Heat every other turn.
4: Remove 10 Heat every turn.
5: Remove 10 Heat every turn, 15 Heat every other turn.

Obviously you need to play around with these in-game to see how they pan out. But 5-unit increments should keep upkeep from being too much of a bog.

That's a neat idea, though the parts where you have to keep track of every other turn is a bit too book keepy perhaps. Will definitely put it through the thinker.

Clay wrote:
Of course part of the fun of Battletech, as you say, is squeezing everything you can out of your build, which OVA doesn't encourage as much. If you really want to capture that spirit, you're probably going to have to build some kind of slot system on top of OVA. Like there's x number of arm slots, chest slots, etc. in a chunkier analog to Battletech's build system. Then you could create different parts, each of them basically being mini bundles of Abilities/Weaknesses, etc. and objectively consider how many "slots" each part should take up. You can probably just recreate the weapons and so on as you have, then cross reference their Battletech cost, and try to determine the slot cost that way.

That's one way of doing it. Like "+2 Battlemechs get 4 slots in the chest and 2 in the arms and legs" kind of thing. That way there's no ability costs needed, its inherently part of the system at that point. Sabersonic's Behemoth had me messing around in my head with the idea of using it just for the weapons. I'd really like to not emulate battletech beyond the fluff and lore. It's rules system just makes my head hurt and it's way too strict for me. OVA lets me capture the spirit of things, which is what it was made for, and to me that's worth more than any ruleset in the world. And that's what my goal is with this project.

But, away with the Clay-flattery and back to stompy mecha.

To me, there are already inherent limits to mechs: Their vehicle level. If you want a hard limit, you can say "If you want to change something you have to give something up". So, say, if you want another level of quick or one less level of slow, you'd have to lose a level of armor. You'd never have to worry about your player's ace custom mechs getting out of hand.

That idea keeps things balanced at all times within the vehicle rules, but, I don't think it's too much fun. A question I've always had was if the players start with a vehicle at X level, how do you make it stronger without increasing vehicle level? My thought was you can't. You'd have to buy another level of vehicle if you want to "Make it more powerful". Their "customization" is represented by having +2 more ability points than a "standard" model. Going back to the rigidized idea of how mecha would work for battletech, you could say that you can increase a vehicle's level by 1 but that's it. There's no more room/space/power/ability/otherwise to cram more stuff in. You've gotten everything you can out of your big buddy. Mechanically, it's no different than, say, a light mech vs a medium if we're going with that kind of scale, but thematically I think it's a great idea. "This is a Marauder. My Marauder. There are many like it but this one is mine." Oh how's it different?

"It doesn't have slow -1 and it has +1 combat expert. Tuned targeting sensors." *sips cup of joe*

Boom. I'm already tingling.

A question I've had is: Giving vehicles levels in attack. This could represent the power of their overall weapons system and allow you to tune endurance costs if you really needed to. As I have it now, weapons will have templates you use so that's not neccessary.

But that doesn't stop you ace from tweaking his weapons so maybe they cost less endurance. :mrgreen:

Vehicles having attack could be another upgrade players add. "Hey, the lasers shoot super fricken hard now! And they aren't any hotter! Imma pew pew it up!"

And example of a bigger battlemech I've made up to exemplify what I'm talking about:
Quote:
Battlemech: XPS-1A Xiphos
Height: 15.4 meters
Weight: 64.9 metric tons
Armament: 2x PPC, 2x Medium Laser,
1x Autocannon

Defense: -1
Health: 50
Endurance: 60

+5 Vehicle (Mecha)

Abilities
+3 Armored
+2 Attack
+3 Life Support
+2 Perceptive "Sensor Suite"
+2 Strong
+1 Tough
+2 Vigorus

Weaknesses
-2 Awkward Size (Large Battlemech)
-2 Dependancy (Maintenance)
-1 Slow

Attacks
Autocannon
Roll: +0 DX: 4 END: 0
Effective, Ranged, Ammunition, Weapon
The autocannon is not the most powerful
weapon the Xiphos has but it's useful

Medium Lasers
Roll: +1 DX: 4 END: 5
Accurate, Effective, Ranged, Weapon
The Xiphos uses its medium lasers on pesky
foes who get close

PPCs
Roll: +1 DX: 5 END: 15
Accurate, Effective x2, Impairing, Ranged, Buildup, Weapon
Firing blue beams of coruscating energy, the Xiphos
uses it's twin particle projector cannons, scorching
foes and leaving them reeling

Those of you with sharp eyes will realize this is a marauder. :D And yes, I realize it's a +5 vehicle. I made this thing a while ago. But you get the idea. It's big, badass, and very stompy.

I've also had another question burning in my mind: All battlmechs would have +3 life support. They all can go into space, underwater, vacuum, etc. Since they all have it, would they all need to pay for it? Or would it be an inherent feature? I think paying for it is fine, but it's a good question to ask I think. (And a potential pandora's box!)

What do you guys think? Converse, discuss, discourse!


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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:23 am 
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Would still like to hear about the ideas and questions I posed, but I'll keep this rolling.

Stompy robots don't stop stomping.

...say that three times fast...

So, been having some thoughts about a few things.
Sabersonic wrote:
ECM's probably less about trying to be stealthy and more like actively impairing the opponent's ability to directly target you. Granted, AFAIK, OVA2e doesn't really have a mechanic where one can directly affect the ability of another character, but I think it can be mickey moused with Perks and Flaws with perhaps the Knowledge Ability with perhaps the Impairment Perk actually giving the target a penalty, and considering that a few fighter aircraft used to have RIOs for a similar task, I wouldn't be surprised if the applicable Flaws be Concentration and/or Assisted.
Actually, ECM is about not being seen as well as being hard to target. You fill the air (or whatever space) with electromagnetic radiation and in a few minutes the surrounding area is saturated with garbage EM waves. You can see a big bubble of noise, but nothing specific inside it. You know there's ECM over there, but you can't see what's in it with sensors. Once you get close enough for your sensors to have the acuity through the noise you can target your opponent, though probably still with difficulty. Which leads me to a particular battlemech.

The Raven RVN-3L.

This little birdy from the Cappellan Federation is about the first new battlemech in centuries (which is a big deal in universe). It has some real nice pieces of kit: Ferro-Fibrous armor, an XL engine, and an ECM suite. This thing can, within a given radius, blanket friendly battlemechs and render them sensor invisible. If not that, very, very hard to detect until right on top of you. This wouldn't stop you from looking out your cockpit and seeing them of course, but it would be one heel of a tool for surprise.

So, that brings us to three things:
How to represent ECM
How to represent Ferro-Fibrous armor
How to represent XL engines (Oh boy do I have a rant about these things)

Sooo ECM. Art of invisibity sounds like a good idea with a flaw (Cancel: Visual sensors -5) and Area Affect (+10). And since it would make it harder for you to be targeted, defensive (+5). It now costs 10 endurance every time we want to use it. However, ECM takes time to warm up. Activation or a couple levels of buildup would work, but we need our ECM to work until we want to turn it off. Requirement: Warm up time (-10) sounds good.

We now have an ability that looks like this:
Quote:
Guardian ECM Suite
+2 Art of Invisibility (Area Affect, Defensive; Cancel: Visual sensors (-5), Requirement: Warm up time (-10))
A rediscovered technology brought back for modern warfare, the Guardian ECM Suite is capable of hiding multiple battlemechs while simultaneously confusing targeting sensors.
What do you guys think? I think this fits perfectly. Though, representing the fact that you can't just switch it on I'm not so sure on.

Now, Ferro-Fibrous armor. Who-boy okay this one's a dousy. When I was trying to work this one out in Mekton I was confused there as well. When weight is not a consideration anymore -well it was with Mekton but not a core design concern like it was in battletech- I went with the fluff: It's better armor. But how to represent that? I was utterly confounded. In Mekton there are rules for "Grades" of armor above the standard that were harder to degrade and required higher levels of damage in order to shed armor off. Now, here in OVA, the easiest way to represent better armor is simply: More armor. But that's a straightforward solution. Better armor should be better, in cool ways! I was thinking resistance, but what? Kinetic? Energy? Explosive? Ferro-Fibrous armor is supposed to be better overall, and resistance only really applies to attacks if you're making use of affinities, which I will be. Lasers will be energy, Guns will be kinetic, and Missiles will be explosive. So what to do? I'm all ears guys!

Now, on to the last topic for this post: XL Engines.

*cue small conniption*

God I hate the idea of how these work- Or the justification of how engines weigh so damn much in the first place in battletech. Anyway, abort rant. So, again, no weight concern and they're usually used to make you go faster in battletech. So instead of them being "Extra light" I was going to call them "Extra Large" engines. They give you +1 Quick or remove a level of slow, but they should have a draw back. I mean, having a big billy-badass engine always has a drawback: I was thinking they explode.

Now, there's been much debate regarding battletech about the fact that a fusion reactor can't explode and that's correct, real world, they can't. But you can't tell me that 1,000,000+ degrees of heat suddenly spilling out of that engine and cracking the molecules of everything it touches, which includes everything the battlemech is made out of and the air, and subsequently igniting the ever-loving-crap out of all of it won't cause a tremendous explosion.

So, we need a weakness. A weakness of the blowey-up kind.

Sabersonic's Volatile is a great idea, but I'd like something a bit more meaty mechanic-wise. I'm thinking something like this:
Quote:
Explosive
You have a fatal flaw: You might explode! Whether due to a purely mechanical or chemical means, magic, curse, or perhaps a god just hates you, you have a chance to explode if harmed enough. At -1 it's an even split. At -2 you're chances aren't so good anymore. At -3 you definitely maybe probably will explode. Don't get hurt! When you suffer a combat complication roll adding your levels in explosive with a DN of 4. If you fail you explode killing you and hurting anyone nearby with a DX equal to twice the level in this weakness times how much you failed.
Simple, easy, and to the point. (Though your idea is still cool Saber) Now I was thinking our "Extra Large" engines come with Explosive -1 to balance them out. Soup up your battlemech at the price of it maybe exploding. Another idea is all battlemechs have explosive at -1 to represent the possibility of this happening and XL engines add another level. Or maybe just these big engines. My idea was they have less shielding/armoring for more power generation in relatively the same space so they fit, or whatever would work.

So, what do you guys think of the ideas in my last two posts? Discuss, discourse, dialogue!


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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:51 am 
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Maverick Arkguard wrote:
Actually, ECM is about not being seen as well as being hard to target. You fill the air (or whatever space) with electromagnetic radiation and in a few minutes the surrounding area is saturated with garbage EM waves. You can see a big bubble of noise, but nothing specific inside it. You know there's ECM over there, but you can't see what's in it with sensors. Once you get close enough for your sensors to have the acuity through the noise you can target your opponent, though probably still with difficulty.

It's still a flat penalty to any attack roll against the ECM defender when you get down to the nitty gritty mechanics. Though I think the only difference is that at long range, your targeting solution's limited to the resolution of those sensors which are more easily scrambled at such a distance and thus make it extremely difficult to make a successful strike. Close up, well one can simply use the Mk.I Eyball (which I'm presuming is the reason why BattleMechs have windows and not cameras ala Gundam that might still be scrambled) and just "fire from the hip" as they would say in Mass Effect.

Maverick Arkguard wrote:
Sooo ECM. Art of invisibility sounds like a good idea with a flaw (Cancel: Visual sensors -5) and Area Affect (+10). And since it would make it harder for you to be targeted, defensive (+5). It now costs 10 endurance every time we want to use it. However, ECM takes time to warm up. Activation or a couple levels of buildup would work, but we need our ECM to work until we want to turn it off. Requirement: Warm up time (-10) sounds good.

When it comes to Cancel, it'll probably be less Visual Sensors and more Close Range since arguably one could use visual sensors with telescopic vision. Everything else does sound solid enough for gameplay though.

Maverick Arkguard wrote:
Now, Ferro-Fibrous armor. Who-boy okay this one's a dousy. When I was trying to work this one out in Mekton I was confused there as well. When weight is not a consideration anymore -well it was with Mekton but not a core design concern like it was in battletech- I went with the fluff: It's better armor. But how to represent that? I was utterly confounded. In Mekton there are rules for "Grades" of armor above the standard that were harder to degrade and required higher levels of damage in order to shed armor off. Now, here in OVA, the easiest way to represent better armor is simply: More armor. But that's a straightforward solution. Better armor should be better, in cool ways! I was thinking resistance, but what? Kinetic? Energy? Explosive? Ferro-Fibrous armor is supposed to be better overall, and resistance only really applies to attacks if you're making use of affinities, which I will be. Lasers will be energy, Guns will be kinetic, and Missiles will be explosive. So what to do? I'm all ears guys!

I'm not familiar enough with Ferro-Fibrous armor to make a solid enough suggestion, but I can only assume that said armor is most ideal against high energy attacks such as Particle Beams, Lasers, and High Explosives. Thus, it would be idea to have two different Resistance Abilities; One for Directed Energy Attacks and another for high explosives to stack against the former to show how easier it is to defeat (what I can only imagine) is omnidirectional and brief spikes of energy as opposed to directional and slightly longer duration.

Maverick Arkguard wrote:
Sabersonic's Volatile is a great idea, but I'd like something a bit more meaty mechanic-wise. I'm thinking something like this:
Quote:
Explosive
You have a fatal flaw: You might explode! Whether due to a purely mechanical or chemical means, magic, curse, or perhaps a god just hates you, you have a chance to explode if harmed enough. At -1 it's an even split. At -2 you're chances aren't so good anymore. At -3 you definitely maybe probably will explode. Don't get hurt! When you suffer a combat complication roll adding your levels in explosive with a DN of 4. If you fail you explode killing you and hurting anyone nearby with a DX equal to twice the level in this weakness times how much you failed.

Well the Unique: Volatile is less of how easily one's power core explodes and more along the lines of how powerful when it blows. Kind of like the difference between the gas tank of a car blowing up as opposed to the stereotypical reactor explosion.

Granted, in the original version in the other tabletop engine said Weakness originated, the DN number varied depending upon the value of said Weakness, and in the case of OVA2e ranging from DN 2 to DN 6 with the DX being of a similar progression. Come to think of it, my Unique: Volatile and your Explosive is quite similar in gameplay mechanical execution. The only exemptions would be that it's spelled out in the Unique section of the profile and that I've included any possible scaled advantage in terms of damage. Nearby mecha may only get some crippling damage from a nearby explosion, but the poor footsoldier is extra crispy.

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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:01 pm 
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Sabersonic wrote:
It's still a flat penalty to any attack roll against the ECM defender when you get down to the nitty gritty mechanics. Though I think the only difference is that at long range, your targeting solution's limited to the resolution of those sensors which are more easily scrambled at such a distance and thus make it extremely difficult to make a successful strike. Close up, well one can simply use the Mk.I Eyball (which I'm presuming is the reason why BattleMechs have windows and not cameras ala Gundam that might still be scrambled) and just "fire from the hip" as they would say in Mass Effect.
Think we're making the same point in different words, but yes.

Sabersonic wrote:
When it comes to Cancel, it'll probably be less Visual Sensors and more Close Range since arguably one could use visual sensors with telescopic vision. Everything else does sound solid enough for gameplay though.
Yeah, I was simply trying to impart that it doesn't make you invisible.

That's a super duper lost tech in universe

You could still spot the little bugger way far off with your eyeballs and your battlecomputer would pick up something but not be able to target it/wouldn't recognize it, etc.

Sabersonic wrote:
I'm not familiar enough with Ferro-Fibrous armor to make a solid enough suggestion, but I can only assume that said armor is most ideal against high energy attacks such as Particle Beams, Lasers, and High Explosives. Thus, it would be idea to have two different Resistance Abilities; One for Directed Energy Attacks and another for high explosives to stack against the former to show how easier it is to defeat (what I can only imagine) is omnidirectional and brief spikes of energy as opposed to directional and slightly longer duration.
I was going to explain Ferro-Fibrous armor last night but it was late and I didn't want another marathon post :roll:

To touch on things for a moment, if the tensile strength of a material is higher, the material is stronger. That would make an armor just plain harder to defeat, which is why the material in question would be be overall better, against everything. Hence why I was saying it would really be just another level of the armored ability. And it would be boring.

So, Ferro-Fibrous armor is a rediscovered tech in battletech, like many, lost centuries ago when we all tried to nuke and otherwise WMD ourselves into a glowy, green cloud covered oblivion over a chair. Ferro-Fibrous armor uses a weave of ferro-steel (a redundant name, steel is already ferrous), ferro-titanium, and diamond weave fibers which boost the tensile strength of the armor, and make it weigh less. 12% less per ton. Which only really made it worth anything on big mechs. Oh, and for some reason, it's physically bigger. Why? I have no idea. With all that fancy metallurgy going on I never understood why it made the armor fluffier. Sounds like it's actually worse. (The reason is unjustified ideas for gameplay balance)

What I'm going to do is cut the mess out and make it simple. With a re-envisioning anime twist. (It's what this project is about!)

But how to go about it.

If you have an armor that's overall better, but is supposed to be special, I don't know how to go about it in OVA. Yeah you could give battlemechs +1 Resistance (Energy attacks) and the same for kinetic attacks which is what it would be, explosions are weird science when it comes to materials, but then at that point why not just have the extra level of armor? It's not cool because it's represented in a mundane way. I really don't like this, it's something, but I feel it's lacking refinement. It allows battlemechs to be much tougher while at the same time not being better against missiles and other explosives, but it feels pretty narrow in it's scope. Perhaps I'm thinking too literally. Neat and cool armor does exist in the fluff for the marauder. As I mentioned in a previous post they came out of the factory with a special ceramic armor, whose secret to production has been lost. Ceramics are great at dissipating heat, so a marauder with this armor would have +1 Resistance (Energy attacks). That's neat and cool. Just wade into fire from a battlemaster and let the lasers draw glowy patterns on your mech as you vaporize him with PPCs. Lamellar and Reactive armor exists later in the setting, armor vs laser and vs explosives respectively, but they're whacky and silly. It's really a conundrum for me how to represent some cool kind of armor. Perhaps I'll have to drop it.

Sabersonic wrote:
Well the Unique: Volatile is less of how easily one's power core explodes and more along the lines of how powerful when it blows. Kind of like the difference between the gas tank of a car blowing up as opposed to the stereotypical reactor explosion.

Granted, in the original version in the other tabletop engine said Weakness originated, the DN number varied depending upon the value of said Weakness, and in the case of OVA2e ranging from DN 2 to DN 6 with the DX being of a similar progression. Come to think of it, my Unique: Volatile and your Explosive is quite similar in gameplay mechanical execution. The only exemptions would be that it's spelled out in the Unique section of the profile and that I've included any possible scaled advantage in terms of damage. Nearby mecha may only get some crippling damage from a nearby explosion, but the poor footsoldier is extra crispy.
I didn't feel the need to explicitly state anything about scale advantage because OVA specifically states that if something should get it given the circumstances, it gets it. And yes you have a good point. Do I want it to be about the fact it can explode, or how easily it can? Again, it was late and I tossed something out. Also, I didn't want a hard rule on when it was triggered. It's a weakness and weaknesses can be triggered through rolls/damage. I thought that would make it dramatic when suddenly your mech took a hard hit and you got the big red "ENGINE BREACH IMMINENT" warning flashing in your face. :D

So, yeah. The only hard quandary so far is one aspect, the ferro-fibrous armor that I'd like to represent in a cool way. Everything else so far I think would be rather straightforward. Thoughts? Discussion! I'll start working on refining my ideas and putting some battlemechs up here in the near future. Heck, maybe I'll have my own mecha thread. *winks at Saber*


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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:55 pm 
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Maverick Arkguard wrote:
So, Ferro-Fibrous armor is a rediscovered tech in battletech, like many, lost centuries ago when we all tried to nuke and otherwise WMD ourselves into a glowy, green cloud covered oblivion over a chair. Ferro-Fibrous armor uses a weave of ferro-steel (a redundant name, steel is already ferrous), ferro-titanium, and diamond weave fibers which boost the tensile strength of the armor, and make it weigh less. 12% less per ton. Which only really made it worth anything on big mechs. Oh, and for some reason, it's physically bigger. Why? I have no idea. With all that fancy metallurgy going on I never understood why it made the armor fluffier. Sounds like it's actually worse. (The reason is unjustified ideas for gameplay balance)

Well if it makes the armor fluffier i.e. thicker, then I think Ferro-Fibrous Armor just might be applicable to at least -1 in Awkward Size to show that though it's of equal if not lesser mass than the equivalent BattleMech, it's bulkier and thus have some difficulty navigating enclosed spaces. Perhaps Clumsy as well to show how it's not the most graceful of armor designs?

Also, it appears that Ferro-Fibrous is more resistant to kinetic-based damage simply due to the description of the construction materials. I don't really see any ingredients that make it resistant to thermal or radiation-based energy applications but since it's suppose to be greater armor quality overall, I think it's safe to say that it has no such Vulnerabilities to balance out its greater kinetic protection.

Maverick Arkguard wrote:
I didn't feel the need to explicitly state anything about scale advantage because OVA specifically states that if something should get it given the circumstances, it gets it.

Well it's less about the exploding character that gets hit and more along the collateral damage that it would bring to the surrounding areas. Large enough spacecraft aren't so affected, nearby mecha may be affected, but characters on the ground will be greatly affected and have more incentive to get away.

Maverick Arkguard wrote:
And yes you have a good point. Do I want it to be about the fact it can explode, or how easily it can? Again, it was late and I tossed something out. Also, I didn't want a hard rule on when it was triggered. It's a weakness and weaknesses can be triggered through rolls/damage. I thought that would make it dramatic when suddenly your mech took a hard hit and you got the big red "ENGINE BREACH IMMINENT" warning flashing in your face. :D

Well the narrative portion is equally important, if not more so, than the mechanics to which it would occur. Still, the idea of the dice roll penalty based upon the level of said Weakness does have some merit. Would probably consider it for a revision for Unique: Volatile in the near future. Granted, this would also potentially allow one to add their Lucky level to said dice roll whenever it comes up. Now with Unique: Volatile, it only occurs when the Mech's HP is down to Zero, but with your Explosive Weakness, this would occur on every single successful attack and could make for quite a dramatic point of contention: Should the MechWarrior take their chances and fight further if that one attack didn't cause a breach, or not risk their luck running out at an inopportune and more than likely lethal opportunity and cut their losses. Those Lucky Attribute Levels start to become a valuable commodity indeed.

Maverick Arkguard wrote:
I'll start working on refining my ideas and putting some battlemechs up here in the near future. Heck, maybe I'll have my own mecha thread. *winks at Saber*

I'll be honest and say that my only true experience with the Battletech Universe was, well, with the cartoon. Still, if you do create such a topic, would it be too much to allow for submissions from other similar franchises such as Earth Siege 2 and G-Nome, if only for curiosity sake?

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 Post subject: Re: Future Sphere Mechwarrior
PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 4:52 am 
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Sabersonic wrote:
Well the narrative portion is equally important, if not more so, than the mechanics to which it would occur. Still, the idea of the dice roll penalty based upon the level of said Weakness does have some merit. Would probably consider it for a revision for Unique: Volatile in the near future. Granted, this would also potentially allow one to add their Lucky level to said dice roll whenever it comes up. Now with Unique: Volatile, it only occurs when the Mech's HP is down to Zero, but with your Explosive Weakness, this would occur on every single successful attack and could make for quite a dramatic point of contention: Should the MechWarrior take their chances and fight further if that one attack didn't cause a breach, or not risk their luck running out at an inopportune and more than likely lethal opportunity and cut their losses. Those Lucky Attribute Levels start to become a valuable commodity indeed.
I'm glad you appreciate it! I like the idea of lucky as a counter to it, I think it would totally apply! And if you want to draw inspiration by all means, please. As an aside, as I have it written you would have to have the weakness triggered through the mechanic of taking half your total HP in a single attack. And yes, that would mean attacks with impairing would be the bane of your existence.

Sabersonic wrote:
I'll be honest and say that my only true experience with the Battletech Universe was, well, with the cartoon. Still, if you do create such a topic, would it be too much to allow for submissions from other similar franchises such as Earth Siege 2 and G-Nome, if only for curiosity sake?
If I start a mecha thread of my own it would be something of a "here's an original mecha I did for funsies" or something from another IP like you said. I'd be more than happy to have submissions in such a thread. A "Post your mecha" kind of affair. The forums don't have such a thing yet.

And if your only real experience with battletech was that ill-fated cartoon, all I have to say it's a very fluffy and romanticized version of the universe. More so than the games. But I will say I liked it better than playing the actual tabletop game.

I'll post more as I tackle more quandaries while I slowly crank out battlemechs and neat little additions to OVA's rules for this project. As I've mentioned before I'd like to put out a neat little PDF supplement, a "world book" if you would.

And as a little reminder: I'm trying to make a rendition of the world in anime style, while having the world make sense because holy moly at times battletech just does not. But I like it's basic ideas and think OVA is a great system to use it to tell stories. Stompy robot stories.

But before all that, one more post of conjecture, and I think you guys are going to find this interesting.


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