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Combat Armor that requires having a skill.


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I'm building some Combat Armor based on the Traveller RPG Combat Armor descriptions. The Combat Armor in Traveller requires VaccSuit skill. I'm assuming that means that using Combat Armor is similar to operating in a VaccSuit.

 

In Hero I either require Vacc Suit as a Skill or as a Proficiency. I'm still going back and forth with this overall.

 

Here is what I have determined I need to build for.

 

1. VaccSuit Skill is a proficiency.

2. Manuevers in a VaccSuit under gravity would be normal with encumbrance.

3. Manuevers in Zero-G will require Zero-G Skill rolls.

 

So now how do I build the armor so that it requires proficiency? Right now I"m modeling it off of "Limited Power" limitation. I haven't been able to locate a more appropriate limitation. Here is what I've done so far.

 

+10 PD, Hardened (+1/4), Resistant (+1/2) (17 Active Points); OIF (-1/2), Requires Combat Armor Training (-1/2), Real Armor (-1/4) (Real Cost: 7)

 

If anyone knows of a another Limitation besides Limited Power that applies that would be great.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

I would simply define it as a Transport Familiarity: Combat Armor. I would drop the Requires Combat Armor Training to a (-1/4) Limitation based on the fact that Requires a Roll defaults to -1/2 (and just having a Familiarity would not require any roll). Now if there is some aspect of wearing the armor that is inherently dangerous I might throw on a Side Effect of some sort.

 

I'm also a little iffy on the OIF, but that argument has been had many times about Powered Armor. If it works for you, then it works for me. Personally, I would stick with the Real Armor limitation and maybe an Extra Time Limitation to represent the amount of time it takes to gear up.

 

My build:

Powered Armor: Resistant Protection (10 PD), Hardened (+1/4) (19 Active Points); Normal Mass (-1), Extra Time (Extra Phase, Only to Activate, -1/2), Real Armor (-1/4), Requires TF: Combat Armor (-1/4)

 

Hope that helps.

 

EDIT: Built with Hero 6E, though the 5E version stats out to the exact same cost. Just change Resistant Protection to Armor.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

As you can see, I removed the OIF from my build. I use the Extra Time to represent how long it takes to get into the armor. I chose the time frame based on visuals from an old 80's movie called Leviathan. It might actually take longer to don than that. The Real Armor and Mass limitations pretty much do the rest.

 

The thing about focus is that it has two basic considerations;

 

Accessible Foci can be taken away with a Grab maneuver in combat.

 

Inaccessible Foci can be taken away Out of Combat by spending one turn with a non-resisting character. If your armor can be removed from a non-resisting character in 12 seconds then OIF might actually be appropriate. If it will take longer or the armor is sealed to prevent easy removal of an unconscious pilot (for lack of a better term) then it is not. Even if you choose to use OIF, I would still keep the Mass and Real Armor limitations at the least.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

Following up on Lucius' comment about weapon proficiency, I'd strongly recommend against whacking a -1/2 (requires skill roll) limitation on the armour. There's two reasons.

1. If you treat it like a proficiency (ie: either you have it or you don't) it gives you a pretty big cost break for a little investment (Fam: Combat armour 1 pt)

2. If you treat it like a power that requires a skill roll (and that's what the -1/2 penalty is costed on) your players will hate you. Why? Because with RSR, you make a skill roll every time you want to use the power. And at the default -1/2 level, that skill roll is reduced by 1 for every 5 active points in the power - which means a significant penalty on your skill roll every time someone stabs you with a cutlass! So then you end up with the opposite problem to #1 above - everybody will be spending lots of points on the skill to make sure their armour works properly!

 

So here's how I'd build it:

 

Combat Armor: (resistant protection 10 rPD/rED*), Hardened (+1/4), ( (37 Active Points); Focus OIF (-1/4) Normal Mass (-1), Real Armor (-1/4): real cost 15 points. You could, if you like toss in custom limitation: independant (-2) for a real cost of 8, but unless you are requiring players to pay points for gear, that's largely irrelevant. I'd also add: Radio perception and transmit and Life support in vacuum, which add 12 points, for a total active cost of 49 and real cost of 20.

*You want ED, or the first laser weapon they encounter is going to burn holes right through them :)

 

I would not add extra time for "armour putting-on". Real armour covers that, and in reality, is not that likely to come into play all that often. As noted, a focus has to be easy to remove, and getting someone out of Combat armour is probably not that easy, but if you assume that it has externally accessible locks to release it, you could open it up, and maybe release a piece or two - and in most cases, that would negate its benefits, which is good enough for me.

 

Just as with weapons or vehicles, I's simply say that combat armour requires a proficiency to operate. If you have the proficiency, fine: there are no penalties. If you don't you take the normal -3 on skill rolls, OCV, etc. As far as costing it, I'd say 1 point for Fam:Vaccsuits, 1 point for Fam:Combat armour, 1 point for Fam: powered armour or 2 points for the group Fam:Sealed suits and armour, which covers all of them. That's cheap enough that I wouldn't add a limitation to the armour.

 

As for zero-G movement, that's a skill in itself: you need to make a roll whether you are in a vaccsuit, combat armour or your skivvies.

 

Just a couple of last points: depending on how you scale your weapon damage, in a heroic setting 10 DEF is a lot. It'll routinely bounce all the BOD from a 2d6 killing attack and on average almost all the BOD from 3d6 attack. Add to that the fact that the person inside gets to add their PD/ED vs STUN, and it will take a powerful hit to take someone down. Now that's actually true to the source material: the last Traveller game we played, everybody in the final fight had combat armour and laser rifles. It took forever because the armour bounced almost all of the damage. But in both cases, it will mean that a guy in combat armour can just walk through large mounts of ordinary gunfire.

 

Secondly, I wouldn't worry too much about requiring skills and proficiencies: in Hero system, you have lot more points to play with when it comes to skills than you did in Traveller, so acquiring proficiencies is actually trivial.

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

Mark,

 

Thank you for the thoughts. They match a lot of my own thinking. One thing about Equipment builds. I"m not that worried about point costing RP vs AP. Since no one is paying CPs for the gear. I'm just looking at modeling the equipment down to this level so I can be sure how they should compare.

 

Regarding scaling up the wpn damge and armor value. This is the hardest part of the conversion. Traveller scaled its weapons from HURT YOU BAD to KILL YOU. Armor values also scale from 2 up to 18. Which makes for a wider range that I allow in my Fantasy Hero campaign. So I'm doing two things:

1. Making Combat and Battle Dress Armors between 8 and 10 Defense.

2. Allowing the bigger guns to scale higher. I normally use a non linear leveling system for determining AP. I'm going to use that leveling system to calibrate but allow some of the bigger rifles to go as high as 70 and maybe even up to 90pts. But we'll see who actually has these weapons. :)

 

Again thanks for the write up good to enforce some of my thinking and to get some new input.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

Yeah - IIRC, a laser rifle does 5d6, in Traveller, which would turn your average grunt into roast with one hit. But if you are wearing decent quality combat armour, it means 5 shots out of 6 will just bounce off with no effect. It's important to remember that Hero is slightly different: the ability to leak some STUN through means there is a middle ground between "Significant Injury" and "No Effect", but where you set that boundary will have a major effect.

 

I ran a WH40K game a while back and set powered armour at 9, and Terminator armour at 12 - but many of the weapons were just ridiculously lethal, so even 12 DEF gave you only so-so protection at the military hardware end of things. This was 40K, so a a game setting of "Some of you will certainly die" seemed appropriate. That's not always the case, so it sounds like you have a good grasp where you want things to be.

 

cheers, Mark

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

FWIW, when we converted the Traveller weapons for Traveller Hero, a TL 12 Laser Rifle came out as 3½d6, AP, AF3.

All of the lasers are Armor-Piercing, and the Rifles have Autofire where the pistols and carbines do not.

 

TL10 Combat Armor is 7 rPD/rED Hardened, while Battle Dress starts at 8 PD/ED at TL 10 and goes up to 16 PD/ED at TL 12.

Those were just our numbers; YMMV.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

Another option which may or may not be useful to you:

 

In my campaign, the "skill" for using armor is Penalty Skill Levels. Wearing armor imposes penalties to DCV due to its bulk, anywhere from -1 to -3, and a character skilled in the use of armor will have PSLs to mitigate the penalty.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

Are the characters paying points for this armor or is it equipment. I can't quote, don't have my book in front of me, but, if the characters purchase the piece of equipment with points they are automatically skilled in its use. If it is equipment, who cares if it is a -1/2, -1/4, or even -0...as long as it is balanced in the game. When I am building equipment for characters to use (usually in low-powered fantasy games) I often lay out what it abilities are and make sure it is balanced with the game and if something is rather "who cares" about whether or not it needs a skill or not, then I won't assign it a value.

 

I don't want you to get discouraged or anything and you should always make sure that what you are using is balanced, but something as trivial as needing a skill to use is..well...trivial in this instance and should just be your call as a GM.

 

If it is equipment, the I agree that is should use TF as just armor, but can also use other skills if you add in radar, radio, etc.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

Another option which may or may not be useful to you:

 

In my campaign, the "skill" for using armor is Penalty Skill Levels. Wearing armor imposes penalties to DCV due to its bulk, anywhere from -1 to -3, and a character skilled in the use of armor will have PSLs to mitigate the penalty.

 

I like that as model for Heroic especially in Fantasy. I'm always looking for ways that "feel" more real. This kind of thing that represents different ways to model "training" is great.

 

Thanks for the idea I just may steal it.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

Are the characters paying points for this armor or is it equipment. I can't quote, don't have my book in front of me, but, if the characters purchase the piece of equipment with points they are automatically skilled in its use. If it is equipment, who cares if it is a -1/2, -1/4, or even -0...as long as it is balanced in the game. When I am building equipment for characters to use (usually in low-powered fantasy games) I often lay out what it abilities are and make sure it is balanced with the game and if something is rather "who cares" about whether or not it needs a skill or not, then I won't assign it a value.

 

I don't want you to get discouraged or anything and you should always make sure that what you are using is balanced, but something as trivial as needing a skill to use is..well...trivial in this instance and should just be your call as a GM.

 

If it is equipment, the I agree that is should use TF as just armor, but can also use other skills if you add in radar, radio, etc.

 

Sepia, I agree. In this case I'm modeling this based on the Traveller RPG which requires a skill to use this equipment. Oh and yes this is equipment. I also totally agree that some of this doesn't actually matter since they aren't paying points. Its just my own desire to explore this that is driving it. :)

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

FWIW, when we converted the Traveller weapons for Traveller Hero, a TL 12 Laser Rifle came out as 3½d6, AP, AF3.

All of the lasers are Armor-Piercing, and the Rifles have Autofire where the pistols and carbines do not.

 

TL10 Combat Armor is 7 rPD/rED Hardened, while Battle Dress starts at 8 PD/ED at TL 10 and goes up to 16 PD/ED at TL 12.

Those were just our numbers; YMMV.

 

Thanks for the support and information.

 

Dave

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

also... most forms of armor in Traveller can be fitted with a reflective coating thats going to mitigate some fire from laser or plasma weapons, this can be ablative. I am the one most to blame for any sins on the weapons and armor in Traveller Hero, I had debated some changes/errata later. but a lot of things just didnt happen before it went poof

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

Thanks for the support and information.

 

Dave

 

You're very welcome. If there's anything more you need just post here; I'll keep checking back.

 

BTW, I also like the idea of Penalty Skill Levels; I'm going to use that for my (hopefully starting-next-week) Traveller Hero game.

I did require the players to take PS: Vacc Suit if they want to have the Traveller Vacc Suit skill, but I'm also going to use the PSL idea for Combat Armor or Battle Dress, especially since none of them are Army or Marine characters.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

its possible for a scout to pick up Battledress skill, in the GURPS Traveller universe the scouts have a commando force that sometimes uses battledress, along with theres a set of hostile enviroment armor thats pretty much battledress without the weapons capabilities, and more sensor gear. I could see the HEA also being used for damage control teams on starships, but thats what military starships tend to train marines for also.

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Re: Combat Armor that requires having a skill.

 

I would put Focus on it' date=' at OIF - the 1 Turn 'removal' rule withstanding, adding Focus means you can directly target, and damage, the space suit. Otherwise, there's no way to do that by the rules.[/quote']Well you technically could build it with Physical Manifestation, but I see how much more convenient "OIF" is on the page than "Physical Manifestation."
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