Mecha

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Calden
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Mecha

#1 Postby Calden » Thu May 20, 2010 9:16 am

Hello folks, very new to Savage Worlds, and tabletop RPGs in general. Loving the system so far, and currently running my group through a game of Day After Ragnarok, set mere months after Serpentfall, with a heavy dose of Weird War II to bulk out the game. They're having a blast, but I keep getting distracted with other ideas for adventures thanks to how easy it is to alter the setting in Savage Worlds.

The main reason I chose to post though, was to get people's opinions on my idea to use the Super Powers Companion to form the basis of a mech style of game. The basic idea I have is to have the characters build themselves as normal, and then grant them a free Edge that is their Mech, which is the equivalent of the Arcane Background (Super Powers), worth 15 points.

10 points would be pre-spent on Growth, Armour, Speed and Darkvision to represent the armours in-built abilities, with the remaining 5 being available to them as whatever other starting kit they want on their mech, be it guns, rockets, extra armour or technical gadgets.

As the characters are following the normal character progression their in-suit and out-of-suit characters both develop. So they can spend their advances as normal on themselves, and every rank improve their Mech in some way too.

Obviously this fits smaller scale mechs better than huge mechs, but I reckon it might mean that non-mech people can function alongside the mechs in the rules more easily. Make the mechs too big and I don't think you can have both normal people and mechs functioning on the table together.

What do you folks reckon?

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#2 Postby SlasherEpoch » Thu May 20, 2010 9:24 am

Well heck, if everybody gets the same basic package, why not just give that basic out for free and then let people use their full 10 points on additional gadgets?

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#3 Postby Strickland5 » Thu May 20, 2010 10:24 am

I did package when I was toying with Mecha. I had a Scout, a Close Range, a Long Range, and a Melee/Brute style units but allowed the players to make adjustments to the pre-spent points and if given time they were allowed to make adjustments in-game.
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#4 Postby Squidfisher » Thu May 20, 2010 10:46 am

Given that mechs are basically tanks with bloody great legs (and huge energy swords if you're going down the Gundam route), making them vehicles with a few extra bells and whistles always seemed to make sense to me. Use a tank or car as the baseline, slap on Heavy Armour, Heavy Weapon and Night Vision and a 'Mecha' trait to reflect the humanoid design (off the top of my head, I've have it combine the FWD and Tracked traits from the SWEX) and set to. Whipping up homebrewed customisations like Jump Jets, Phasic Shields or (gods help us all) Sodding Great Energy Blasts Powered by Whiny Teen Angst (sorry, sorry, watched Evangelion recently) should be fairly simple using the existing vehicle enhancements as a template.

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#5 Postby drcheckmate » Thu May 20, 2010 1:47 pm

The supers rules could work. I think my issue with that is the suit is never damaged. Everything adds to the PCs armor and toughness; the suit becomes a second skin.

There are absolutely settings and campaigns in which this works marvelously, but using the existing vehicle rules or the mecha rules from the sci-fi toolkits or the vehicle rules from the pulp tool kit, might serve you a little better I think. Depends on what you are going for.

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#6 Postby Calden » Fri May 21, 2010 2:25 am

I did consider the vehicle rules, but I may be slightly swayed more towards the Supers rules due to me wanting a more "human" feel to the mechs. Not sure if that makes too much sense! Didn't realise there were mecha rules in the scifi toolkits though, will have to take a peek at those and see if they scratch an itch.

I did think about the issue of only one damage track though, not sure if it's a big issue for me or not in the game, but I'm planning on having a good sit down and seeing which set of rules would feel better in play for the style of game I'm going to use, and if I can hybridise it in some way to make something unique.

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#7 Postby drcheckmate » Fri May 21, 2010 4:47 am

"more 'human'"

that makes me think the supers stuff would work pretty well for something like Evangelion. Hadn't thought of that earlier.

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#8 Postby Calden » Fri May 21, 2010 5:28 am

Yup, I think it comes down to how you want the mech's to feel. Something like Mechwarrior or 40k's Titans would likely be better represented with vehicle rules, whilst I think something like a Gear or the more mobile anime mecha would be better with the Supers Companion.

I think I'm after something in the middle...

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#9 Postby Sitting Duck » Fri May 21, 2010 7:28 am

Using SPC for mecha is certainly a viable route. I myself used that when writing up Savage Worlds profiles for GunXSword.

http://sittingduck1313.livejournal.com/285429.html

For a non-SPC take on mecha, I've come up with a system utilizing a modified version of the vehicle rules for my CthulhuTech conversion.

http://www.peginc.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17950
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Squidfisher
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#10 Postby Squidfisher » Fri May 21, 2010 10:06 am

It really is a flavour thing in the end; for my money, vehicles already work enough like characters to fit the bill, but the supers rules seem a great fit for Evangelion or Code Geas-style mayhem too. Telling that every suggestion here is quick, elegant and basically works 'out of the box' (or out of the SWEX, in this case); how many other systems offer that kind of flexibility, eh? :)

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#11 Postby Clint » Fri May 21, 2010 10:37 am

Sounds pretty darn cool to me!

As far as the character and mech taking damage, I think that's easy enough to work with. Damage to the mech causes "feedback" (or something similar) to the pilot who effectively suffers non-lethal damage.

Wounds to the mech have to be repaired as per the rules for Construct. If it is actually Incapacitated maybe create a combination Incapacitation/Critical Hit table.

Or if the "feedback" thing doesn't fit the concept, just say the wounds while in the mecha only apply to the mecha. The pilot only has to worry on Incapacitation, where as above adjust the table. Possibly something like...

Raise - Pilot unaffected
Success - Pilot Shaken
Failure - Pilot Shaken and takes 2d6 damage (mech armor does not apply)
Critical Failure - Pilot Shaken and takes 3d6 damage (bypassing all armor)
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#12 Postby drcheckmate » Fri May 21, 2010 10:37 am

It occurs to me you could do both. Vehicles with SPC powers. But, now I'm just rambling. :oops:

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#13 Postby Calden » Fri May 21, 2010 11:12 am

Another possibility that was floating around my head was simply porting the damage system from vehicles onto the mechs. So the mech and pilot have their own wounds. When the mech is damaged you treat it as you would any other vehicle, complete with critical damage. Then there is the chance of the pilot being knocked around as a result of the critical damage incured.

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#14 Postby Squidfisher » Sun May 23, 2010 9:11 am

@drcheckmate: Had a similar idea. Maybe fuse it with the vehicle traits? The Fantasy Companion's race design template has an 'innate power' option (one power, works off Smarts or Spirit, 5 PP) that feels about right for a freeform 'special gear' trait... Hmm.

C32-A Mass Impact Coils: Originally developed for use by Russian heavy assult units during the Second Kyiv Police Action, the C32-A unit allows a pilot to reinforce their mech's ablative plating with a magnetic charge that helps minimise the impact of incoming fire. (Armour power, Pilot check to activate, 5 PP).

Could work, I suppose. Damn it, now I'm tempted to run up a mecha one-shot just to give some of the ideas on this thread a once-over.


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