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Chris Goodwin

Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Hardpoints can be written up as Extra Limbs with limited manipulation and limited mobility (they just "hold" stuff) and their natural reach bonus removed. A Gimble is written up the same with, but without the limited mobility option. Probably both types qualify for the limitation "cannot Grab". They can hold stuff...even drop what they are holding, but they can't "pick up" something else...it has to be installed by a mechanic.

 

The number of hardpoints that can be mounted should be based on the vehicles size (obviously). I'm not sure what that should be. Maybe the same number as the vehicles DCV modifier? Their Size Class?

 

As for how much weight a single Hardpoint can hold, thats pretty easy. It should probably be based on the vehicle/mecha's casual Str. And of course, the Encumbrance rules apply. (be careful not to load too many missile pods on those hardpoints)

 

Weapon and equipment mounted on hardpoints should normally be considered OAF, though in some cases (like the Backpack Flight System above) they can be OIF, but they should never be Inobvious.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Hardpoints can be written up as Extra Limbs with limited manipulation and limited mobility (they just "hold" stuff) and their natural reach bonus removed. A Gimble is written up the same with, but without the limited mobility option. Probably both types qualify for the limitation "cannot Grab". They can hold stuff...even drop what they are holding, but they can't "pick up" something else...it has to be installed by a mechanic.

 

The number of hardpoints that can be mounted should be based on the vehicles size (obviously). I'm not sure what that should be. Maybe the same number as the vehicles DCV modifier? Their Size Class?

 

As for how much weight a single Hardpoint can hold, thats pretty easy. It should probably be based on the vehicle/mecha's casual Str. And of course, the Encumbrance rules apply. (be careful not to load too many missile pods on those hardpoints)

 

Weapon and equipment mounted on hardpoints should normally be considered OAF, though in some cases (like the Backpack Flight System above) they can be OIF, but they should never be Inobvious.

 

Which means, by extension, that we need weight and weight rules, that do not exist in HERO. And we can't go by AP or anything like it, simply because some things are small and expensive, and some things are big and cheap. I do agree that you've really nailed the concept of Hardpoint; an Extra Limb (which I would have taken months to think of). However, I think we should simplify it for our own sanity. Instead of having to model each one, we have Light, Medium and Heavy class hard points and corresponding L/M/H class weapons. Absolutely we can go through the trouble of 'hard core' builds for the benefit of the hard core players, but I envision a book like this as accessible.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

In a Mecha Hero game using the vehicle rules, you can go with bare approximations for weight of weapons. At least, until someone can nail down some more specific rules for weight (I've been trying to do this for a long time and the system keeps breaking when I get close).

 

(Side note: If it matters to anyone, I'm far less averse to the HERO System vehicle rules than I used to be, but I know the Robot Warriors mecha design rules backward and forward.)

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Which means' date=' by extension, that we need weight and weight rules, that do not exist in HERO. And we can't go by AP or anything like it, simply because some things are small and expensive, and some things are big and cheap. I do agree that you've really nailed the concept of Hardpoint; an Extra Limb (which I would have taken months to think of). However, I think we should simplify it for our own sanity. Instead of having to model each one, we have Light, Medium and Heavy class hard points and corresponding L/M/H class weapons. Absolutely we can go through the trouble of 'hard core' builds for the benefit of the hard core players, but I envision a book like this as accessible.[/quote']

 

When using Extra Limbs, it's 5 points for as many as you need of whatever sizes. You can even define them as reconfigurable, though maybe not in the field (you'd need to go back to the shop for that).

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

When using Extra Limbs' date=' it's 5 points for as many as you need of whatever sizes. You can even define them as reconfigurable, though maybe not in the field (you'd need to go back to the shop for that).[/quote']

 

Oh, I know that Chris, but I don't think that's appropriate for this setting/campaign premise. I know that on paper in the HERO system I can build a sports car with a spinal mount rail gun on it; but it doesn't make sense to do so.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Oh' date=' I know that Chris, but I don't think that's appropriate for this setting/campaign premise. I know that on paper in the HERO system I can build a sports car with a spinal mount rail gun on it; but it doesn't make sense to do so.[/quote']

 

Well, sure. :D That's why the GM has the word "No" at his disposal. :lol:

 

I'm almost inclined to make them free, given Extra Limbs is itself a pretty quirky Power, and because it's only 5 points, and especially given the existence of Rapid Fire, Sweep, Two-Weapon Fighting, and Multiple Power Attack. For instance, while I've been trying to work out how to use the Power for mecha arms, I've come to the realization that, if any of the limbs would be Limited in any way, but some of them aren't, just pay the full 5 points and be done with it. In other words, if you have two arms at the mecha's full STR, and two limited to, say, 20 STR, just pay the 5 points and treat it as SFX.

 

The trick is, you have to pay attention to the SFX and enforce the limbs (and/or hardpoints) as written. At worst, I would make "Reconfigurable In Shop" a -0 Limitation on the Extra Limbs Power. (For even more quirkiness, taking Variable SFX at +1/4 would in theory give you as many as you want of any kind, reconfigurable on the fly...)

 

Edit: Yeah, I know maybe I'm being a little self-contradictory here. It made sense to me when I wrote it.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

An interesting effect of defining mass for Foci is that it gives you a way to derive a BODY value for the Focus as well. This is even something that Robot Warriors missed (and may give you a way to work in rules for compartmentalizing damage -- in fact, make each subsystem its own vehicle; for instance, define the hull as a vehicle with lots of STR, maybe some Life Support, and little else, while the engine room is an engine and power system with its own controls, and the bridge is a vehicle with command and control for the whole vessel). Remember that an Accessible Focus is outside of any DEF that it doesn't provide. This also leaves room for the builder to define his weapons' mass values himself; the tradeoff for making it smaller is that it has a lower BODY score.

 

Mecha weapons are almost always Complex items (see the table on 5e p. 304 or wherever the equivalent table is in 5er, and make sure you use the Device Malfunction Table on the same page).

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

I would say that any kind of hard and fast rule on how much you can carry or how much something weighs is inapropriate, that is a setting issue. I do think that there needs to be a discusion of it and a number of examples (one per setting?)

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

I would say that any kind of hard and fast rule on how much you can carry or how much something weighs is inapropriate' date=' that is a setting issue. I do think that there needs to be a discusion of it and a number of examples (one per setting?)[/quote']

 

To an extent. It's fairly nice to have some basics; for instance, Fantasy Hero has a list of armor types and their weights, and Star Hero has a list of equipment and vehicles. But yeah, each setting has room for its own items and numbers (in one setting, a machine gun (3d6 RKA Autofire 5 shots, 256 charges, OIF) may be 25 kg, while in another the same weapon may be 2 tons).

 

BODY by mass, though, is a Hero System construct and independent of setting.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Didn't Cyber Hero have "reduced mass" as a power advantage for focus-limited powers? I always thought that was fairly elegant, though it ran into granularity problems in practice.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

I would say that any kind of hard and fast rule on how much you can carry or how much something weighs is inapropriate' date=' that is a setting issue.[/quote']

 

After some consideration, I'm not sure to what extent I agree with this. Whatever rules I (hypothetically, of course) end up presenting will result in a 3d6 RKA, Autofire 5 shots, 256 Charges, OIF, that weighs the same as every other 3d6 RKA, Autofire 5 shots, 256 Charges, OIF, barring things like, for instance, a culture with exceedingly advanced energy weapons, so that theirs are half the mass of everyone else's for the same amount of damage. Those exceptions will be presented as GM options.

 

A particular mini-setting may use the rules a little differently, but it will be a clearly labeled variant.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

After some consideration, I'm not sure to what extent I agree with this. Whatever rules I (hypothetically, of course) end up presenting will result in a 3d6 RKA, Autofire 5 shots, 256 Charges, OIF, that weighs the same as every other 3d6 RKA, Autofire 5 shots, 256 Charges, OIF, barring things like, for instance, a culture with exceedingly advanced energy weapons, so that theirs are half the mass of everyone else's for the same amount of damage. Those exceptions will be presented as GM options.

 

A particular mini-setting may use the rules a little differently, but it will be a clearly labeled variant.

 

The problem with that is it starts to define a setting. So it brings up a simple question, are you redesigning Robot Warriors, a setting book, or trying to cover a genre? My assumtion is a genre, even though in truth it is not even that but more like a multigenre trope, but I digress

 

To use the Fantasy example, while a sword may be given a weight, what limitations do you put on a spell? of course Fantasy Hero talkes about this and even gives some guidelines, but depending on the type of fantasy you are running is going to dictate the lims you put on it. Weight, hardpoints, str of weapons, these are all part of the campeign building.

 

For instance even what you say above points more towards a setting book than a genre book, "for instance, a culture with exceedingly advanced energy weapons" implies, at least to me, implies a setting with alien race x having this as a special thing.

 

Personaly I would like to see 5-6 mini settings, each with there own guidelines, and maybe in the chapter talking about setting up your campeign use one as a prolonged example (see Ultiamate Martial Artist and the Mongoose Style).

 

Or maybe I misunderstood the idea behind this and it is suppose to be a setting book and not a genre book, in which case tell me so and I will appoligise for my mistaken assumption.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

On the issue of item mass, I'm really hoping (and I mean really hoping) that some guidelines for this is brought up in The Ultimate Gadgeteer. There were some cool rules for this in the original Star Hero book that I think would survive importation pretty well, at least as a starting ponit.

 

On the question of hardpoints = Extra Limbs (with Modifiers), I think this is a case where the optional rule for Extra Limbs (TUMM, page 35) would apply well.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Yah, I got informed that, shows what I get for posting without ever seeing the book in question, so I do appoligize for that.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

I would say that any kind of hard and fast rule on how much you can carry or how much something weighs is inapropriate' date=' that is a setting issue. I do think that there needs to be a discusion of it and a number of examples (one per setting?)[/quote']

 

I disagree with this completely, and I know that I rarely say anything with that sort of hard & fast reaction, but for any sort of 'hard' mecha setting, you do need to know weights, weight classes, distribution of mass, and a clear mesure of reasonability. Odds are you aren't going to put a heavy mortar launcher on a light scout; it's just unbloodylikely.

 

However, because this is HERO, and not everyone is going to want to use said rules, I have no problem with the establishment of two rules sets, or simply having a tag put on items. So if you want a gatling bazooka, you can buy one; but it's marked as:

 

Class: Heavy

Mountable: Shoulder, Back only

Carryable: Two Handed only

 

So you'd need a Heavy HP, that HP would need to be located on one of those places (i.e., you cannot have a Gatling Bazooka mounted as an arm replacement), and you can carry it, but it takes two hands (forcing you to drop your current weapon and likely go straight over your weight limit) which incurs its own penalties, not the least of which may be a loss of Running, Leaping and DCV.

 

Do you see what I'm saying? None of these things are terribly complex, and they can all be paid for in build terms (OAF, Bulky, Bulky Penalty only applies if weapon requirement for mounting/placement not met) and allow people who don't know the system to dive in without knowing the code that we prize, and allow the l33t h4xx0rz to continue to fiddle.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

I disagree with this completely, and I know that I rarely say anything with that sort of hard & fast reaction, but for any sort of 'hard' mecha setting, you do need to know weights, weight classes, distribution of mass, and a clear mesure of reasonability. Odds are you aren't going to put a heavy mortar launcher on a light scout; it's just unbloodylikely.

 

However, because this is HERO, and not everyone is going to want to use said rules, I have no problem with the establishment of two rules sets, or simply having a tag put on items. So if you want a gatling bazooka, you can buy one; but it's marked as:

 

Class: Heavy

Mountable: Shoulder, Back only

Carryable: Two Handed only

 

So you'd need a Heavy HP, that HP would need to be located on one of those places (i.e., you cannot have a Gatling Bazooka mounted as an arm replacement), and you can carry it, but it takes two hands (forcing you to drop your current weapon and likely go straight over your weight limit) which incurs its own penalties, not the least of which may be a loss of Running, Leaping and DCV.

 

Do you see what I'm saying? None of these things are terribly complex, and they can all be paid for in build terms (OAF, Bulky, Bulky Penalty only applies if weapon requirement for mounting/placement not met) and allow people who don't know the system to dive in without knowing the code that we prize, and allow the l33t h4xx0rz to continue to fiddle.

 

I think you miss my point, it's not that guidelines like your talking is bad, it's that if this is supose to be a guide to all mecha then you should have the conversation about how you decide these things for a specific campeign opposed to a pre-determined it does not matter what type of campeign you are in a sholder mounted Bazooka does x damage, weighs this much, etc...

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

I think you miss my point' date=' it's not that guidelines like your talking is bad, it's that if this is supose to be a guide to all mecha then you should have the conversation about how you decide these things for a specific campeign opposed to a pre-determined it does not matter what type of campeign you are in a sholder mounted Bazooka does x damage, weighs this much, etc...[/quote']

 

I agree, and think that the best base model for this is a set of charts similar to the Real Mass/ Str min charts for building Heroic level gear.

 

Essentially a list of a few different formulas for calculating points to mass/volume to account for different flavors of campaign or Tech Levels, with modifiers to increase or decrease mass from that base calculation.

 

While I think the idea of using Extra Limbs for Hardpoints is novel and could be workable, in practice I'd be more inclined to build Hardpoints using a VPP model, but that might just be me.

 

hmmmm.... somewhere on these here boards is a really neat workup for using an END reserve to represent Battletech style heat sinks...

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Well, officially the thread you're looking for is likely this one:

 

http://herogames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31861

 

it's the link to QM's thread for all Battletech Resources, and in there you'll likely find the Heat Sink conversion concepts. It's really a question of taste, but as I recall most people did it as backwards END, with each firing of a weapon 'creating' END instead of spending it, and thus generating HEAT. Then you build your Heat Sinks as "upside down REC" and voila.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

I think you miss my point' date=' it's not that guidelines like your talking is bad, it's that if this is supose to be a guide to all mecha then you should have the conversation about how you decide these things for a specific campeign opposed to a pre-determined it does not matter what type of campeign you are in a sholder mounted Bazooka does x damage, weighs this much, etc...[/quote']

 

Nope, I'm not missing the point; I'm disagreeing with it. The ability to 'build anything' already exists. What does NOT exist is a strong structure that defines:

 

Weight, Displacement, Size Class, Hardpoints, etc. & so forth. Without putting that in, then you WOULD simply be competing directly with TUV. By creating those thing, by defining them effectively for "how to build Mecha" regardless of setting, then you lose nothing. Don't like it? FINE, then we create a subset of rules (just like UEP) and allow people to modify them as they see fit.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Nope, I'm not missing the point; I'm disagreeing with it. The ability to 'build anything' already exists. What does NOT exist is a strong structure that defines:

 

Weight, Displacement, Size Class, Hardpoints, etc. & so forth. Without putting that in, then you WOULD simply be competing directly with TUV. By creating those thing, by defining them effectively for "how to build Mecha" regardless of setting, then you lose nothing. Don't like it? FINE, then we create a subset of rules (just like UEP) and allow people to modify them as they see fit.

 

Emphasis added because this is basicaly what I am getting at, with the empasis on the subset of rules on how to create it instead of a "Here is the system already designed for you" approach. But it is Cris's project, and after a PM conversation I know he has a set idea for it, and will basicaly back off, except to clarify my position

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Yer... not to pick nits' date=' but I don't know that this project belongs to any individual. Can someone fill me in on what you're talking about?[/quote']

 

Well, I did start the thread :D With a "hypothetical and unofficial" idea for writing a mecha book. So I do kinda feel like it's my project. But I'm only claiming it to the extent of what I'm writing and working on, and I'm sure as heck not going to say no to contributions.

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Well' date=' I did start the thread :D With a "hypothetical and unofficial" idea for writing a mecha book. So I do kinda feel like it's my project. But I'm only claiming it to the extent of what I'm writing and working on, and I'm sure as heck not going to say no to contributions.[/quote']

 

Right, okay, good, glad I haven't lost my marbles. But 'hypothetical & unofficial' says to me "neither going to be published nor an official text," which is where I was getting confused. :D

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Re: Hypothetically and unofficially, what would you like to see in a Mecha Hero book?

 

Right' date=' okay, good, glad I haven't lost my marbles. But 'hypothetical & unofficial' says to me "neither going to be published nor an official text," which is where I was getting confused. :D[/quote']

 

Until and unless I hear something positive from Steve Long (I've emailed him) it's going to be... well, I can't really publish Robot Warriors stuff in any shape or form (at least any more than what I have out there) until I hear from him. Anything else, we'll see. It could theoretically see life as a "Wasteland Hero" type of project.

 

Edit: I am in fact writing up a design document/outline, as we speak. The finished product will, if nothing else, and to the extent I can, be posted on the web when I'm finished with it.

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