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Changing Into The Powersuit


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So, one of my players has submitted multiple character concepts. The one I like the most is a powersuit character - a small woman in a large (roughly 8" tall) powersuit. This isn't the Iron Man suit that folds up into a briefcase - it's heavy armor, weapon launchers...definitely not portable.

 

This presents two problems. First, how does she cart the suit around so she has it nearby when trouble occurs? Second, how does she quickly change into the suit without endangering her Secret ID?

 

So far, what I've come up with is a custom van that has the suit stored in the back. She'll also take some sort of disadvantage that reflects the extra time and effort needed to change into her heroic identity. Finally, I suggested having one of the slots in the suit's weapon multipower be Invisibility, so she could get out of the van in the armor without people noticing where she came from. Thoughts?

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

From a build perspective I would say, make sure the character is highly proficient out of armor, so when she gets caught out, she can still make a difference. Then I would let the player figure out an in game solution to the rest. That's what role-playing is for.

 

Also, you might want to make some of the more portable in parts of the suit detachable.

 

Give her an inner suit to go with the outer suit.

Say the suit provides massive armor protection, but say one of it's component systems is a-bullet resistant bodystocking (armor IIF) that she can wear when she's out of armor. Fun with compound powers!

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

Why not give the suit an AI (or perhaps a highly intelligent onboard computer)? That way the suit can move and act autonomously and meet her at trouble spots.

 

For fun, you could give it a slightly antagonistic personality (or perhaps an over-the-top love for the PC - There's nothing more fun than a giant suit filled with jealousy instead of its operator). Just because it's a big suit it doesn't mean it can't add to role-playing.

 

If getting in and out is a problem you could always adapt a similar adaptation to Alpha Flight's Roger Bochs and his BOX construct where the user of the armor "phases" or teleports into the armor.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

To go along with the power armor not being briefcase portable like Iron Man's you could build it as a vehicle instead.

 

Here's a comic character that is more like that: S.T.R.I.P.E.

 

Killer Shrike has created a vehicle based Iron Man like character called Mr. Goodspeed that takes this idea to the extreme:

 

Mr Goodspeed

Mr Goodspeed Flying Base

Mr Goodspeed Mecha

Mr Goodspeed Mecha Hoverjet

Mr Goodspeed Mecha Tank

Mr Goodspeed Powered Armor Suit

Mr Goodspeed Powered Armor Suit (Sunbuster)

Mr Goodspeed Space Fighter

Mr Goodspeed Spacecraft

Mr Goodspeed Supercar

 

:cool:

HM

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

Maybe the powered armour is the vehicle. Think about it.

 

Disaster happens and the heroes are outnumbered, when all of a sudden an armoured mini tank arrives, using automated sensors to target the bad guys with heavy blasts, until the coast is clear.

 

The tank has a back door hatch that allows the PC to climb into it and activate it from inside. Once activated the tank turns into a suit of powered armour (It changes power rangers style, if you watched the original series, but on a much smaller scale). The suit of armour is now in control of the PC and she can join the fun.

 

She can call the tank with a special remote, and maybe she can control it from afar using the remote, until she gets close enough to turn it into a suit of armour.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

I lean towards either the 'she's highly competent outside the suit, so she isn't useless' option (90% of my power armor jocks have a sidearm they can use in a pinch - check out Smith for a recent example), or towards the 'Centurions' option where her armor can be beamed onto her body.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

I'll go with useful outside the suit but when trouble is expected she goes and "launches" the suit. That's what we do in our game since our group pretty much thinks all powered armor should have to be carried around in special vehicles.

 

"Time to go into launch procedure for Power Knight".

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

Suggestion 1:

 

- she could have a remote control button she pushes when she needs it. The suit activates and travels at maximum speed to her location. Of course, this means she'll have to wait awhile so she'd need to do it before combat starts

- she has more than 1 suit in the area for the above and the one closest to her gets to her the fastest

- the above suits are hidden and cloaked so they are extremely difficult to find

 

Suggestion 2:

 

- Buy Instant Change, with a time delay, to represent her getting into her suit. As to how her suit happens to be nearby, have her buy 1d6 Luck representing her suit almost always physically being nearby and don't worry about why it's nearby. She's lucky that way.

 

Suggestion 3:

 

- She has a device that teleports the suit to her. Very similar to above, just changing the special effect. The suit teleports to her and she has to get into it: Instant Change, with a time delay, etc etc.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

Maybe the powered armour is the vehicle. Think about it... She can call the tank with a special remote' date=' and maybe she can control it from afar using the remote, until she gets close enough to turn it into a suit of armour.[/quote']

 

Having her power armour be a transformer style compact is another cool idea. She can jump into a small car like a Volkswagon Beetle (or if you prefer, the latest style of Camaro), give the command to "Transform!", and she is in a 10 ft or so bulky suit of armor. In vehicle mode, she can carry 3 passengers, but in power armor mode, the passenger space is probably used for components, so it only carries her.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

I'd build a special van that has an armorer lab(specifically for the power armor suit. It is open and lying in the back of the van. All she has to do is get top the van, climb in, lay down in the suit. It shuts and seals onto her and either the roof or back door open and the van positions the suit for easy egress.

 

Sure, she still has to get to the van, but it does make a huge armored suit portable.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

Fedifensor is taking about one of my concept toons - American Steel. The actually "suit" looks like a 8' to 9' tall man (one or two levels of growth) but is piloted by a 5'3", female, ex-army chopper pilot named Jessica Holt (you can call her Jess). I was pondering the suit as something smaller than a mini-mech but larger than your traditional powersuit. It comes equiped with all the standard party favors: blaster on one arm, point-to-point multi-weapon pod in the other arm (gatling laser, flamer, cryo spray), mortar on one shoulder (indirect attacks but with the dis-ad requires a parabolic arc) and an SRM rack on the other shoulder. The suit would have some sort of movement power like a jump jet that would allow for long distance movement or low end flight for taking advantage of cover/concealment/firing position. Combat tactics would be more like Army Calavary where helicopters use the terrain to mask their position until they can get into the best possible firing position. Pop up, blast away, and then drop back down. Rise, lather and repeat.

 

Some of the ideas that have been bounced around I have thought of... and others are quite new.

 

1. I was actually pondering the idea of Jess having a small catering company with a trailer (containing said suit). I got the idea last night after watching Bobby Flay in his Throwdown show go against some New Yorker's and their Choc Bread Puddin. Yum. So, kudos to the Catering idea. However, having someone go from Chopper Pilot to Chef, sounds like a let down if you are into thrills. Well, unless you think waiting for the Souffle to get golden and delicious is thrilling ;)

 

2. Having a "flight" suit that offered some protection I had thought about. Like a beefed up nomex flight suit/fighter pilot suit. I had not given any thought to a side arm. Thx.

 

3. I had given some thought to the suit having some sort of AI (Hello Dave, ahem Jess) but I did not know how that would work within the confines of the game. I mean, having a 4 or 5 speed player with a 2 speed suit?! Do we both get to go? I had not thought about how far the AI personality would go because I did not really give any serious thought to the game mechanics behind it. The RP potential behind an AI and the character is a great idea. Kudos!

 

4. I was trying to stay away from the "teleporting" armor. I mean, Instant Change is a low cost/minimal brainpower solution to a real problem. However, the idea of putting a dis-ad for time delay on Instant Change would have never crossed my mind. Ok, you can change in an Instant, but just not right now :rolleyes: Nice.

 

5. I had given some thought to having the suit pose as a car and then transform into a suit. A la Ice Cream truck transformer with with battle cry, "And I give you a Triple Scoop of Justice!" or "Nothing says America like Vanilla!" [tries to sound like The Tick]. But, the entire Transformer idea is getting to be pretty old hat and I wanted to try something different. Hence, a 5'3" lady in an 8' tall powersuit.

 

I could buy the suit and then a transformation/other form/whatever that contained the suit and the pilot... or something along those lines. So, I could be a character that may have an AI suit in one "form" with the power suit being the other "form". I have not looked into the mechanics of this at all.

 

My real worry in a Play by Post game is getting caught with my skirt down (ie out of my suit) where I may be out of combat for a LONG time (in the Real World). Since the suit is a dis-ad I do expect it to come up. In a person to person game it comes up, you deal with it for the session and move on. Its a big deal but not a HUGE deal. The though about having a more combat efficient character being able to do "something" while trying to suit up is a very nice idea. Maybe having at least agent level abilities can keep me in the game while the opportunity for suiting up arises. However, if I get caught in a Villian/Major Villain event out of my suit I am a gonner (and I should be).:eek::help:

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

3. I had given some thought to the suit having some sort of AI (Hello Dave' date=' ahem Jess) but I did not know how that would work within the confines of the game. I mean, having a 4 or 5 speed player with a 2 speed suit?! Do we both get to go? I had not thought about how far the AI personality would go because I did not really give any serious thought to the game mechanics behind it. The RP potential behind an AI and the character is a great idea. Kudos![/quote']

Build the AI with the limitation: Only available out of combat or when unoccupied (-?).

This would reflect the the pilot's neural-interface override of tactical operations of the suit in times of duress.

 

Such a construct keeps the suit a suit (not a vehicle). It also allows the suit some modicum of independent motivation (and "too the rescue" moments) that would solve your "hero in distress" dilemma.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

the Mobile Police PATLABOR approach. highly trained cop in large battlesuit. they had a support team to haul the mech around

 

That would definately work but I don't want a support team following me around, just in case The Mutant Master of Mars attacks the city.

 

That said, Jess did not build the suit... she is just piloting the thing. Now, she is learning how to maintain the suit but the brains behind the outfit is someone else (DNPC with mad science skills). The original American Steel was used in WWII but the pilot was hurt pretty bad near the end of the war. They mothballed the suit when they could not find someone with the skills to pilot it. It has recently re-emerged and is a modernized version of the original. All of the people who where involved in the original project have died through the years, except one: Jess's great uncle. The records on the project have long since gone the way of the dodo but the old, original unit is "probably" still sitting in a crate, in a government warehouse. Waiting for Fedifensor to activate it as an enemy/plot device/etc.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

Having her power armour be a transformer style compact is another cool idea. She can jump into a small car like a Volkswagon Beetle (or if you prefer' date=' the latest style of Camaro), give the command to "Transform!", and she is in a 10 ft or so bulky suit of armor. In vehicle mode, she can carry 3 passengers, but in power armor mode, the passenger space is probably used for components, so it only carries her.[/quote']

http://www.pbfcomics.com/?cid=PBF156-Disassemble.gif

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

Build the AI with the limitation: Only available out of combat or when unoccupied (-?).

This would reflect the the pilot's neural-interface override of tactical operations of the suit in times of duress.

 

Such a construct keeps the suit a suit (not a vehicle). It also allows the suit some modicum of independent motivation (and "too the rescue" moments) that would solve your "hero in distress" dilemma.

 

That is a nice way to roll the dice on the AI. If that is the case, how would you go about purchasing the stats? For instance, I want my total speed to be a 3. Would I purchase 3 for Jess and 2 for the suit? If the suit is solo, its a 2 speed but when Jess climbs in she is bumped to 5.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

Well, I think I should chime in as the GM. This will be brief, as I'm posting via my G1 phone, but I'll post in more detail tonight.

 

Suit as vehicle - Makes sense, but I really don't want to deal with the vehicle rules in this game.

 

AI to control suit without pilot - Very interesting idea. However, what do you use for STUN and BODY when the pilot isn't in the suit?

 

I really like Grimble's take on the van. Anyway, I'll have more to add later.

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Re: Changing Into The Powersuit

 

1. I was actually pondering the idea of Jess having a small catering company with a trailer (containing said suit). I got the idea last night after watching Bobby Flay in his Throwdown show go against some New Yorker's and their Choc Bread Puddin. Yum. So' date=' kudos to the Catering idea. However, having someone go from Chopper Pilot to Chef, sounds like a let down if you are into thrills. Well, unless you think waiting for the Souffle to get golden and delicious is thrilling ;)[/quote']

 

Try managing a 'supers' combat to keep said souffle from falling....:D

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