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Monday, February 8, 2010

x-Plorers Mecha and Vehicle Rules Part 3 of 3

Well, let's finish this thing!

(New stuff update on Feb 10.  I forgot shields!  Another update on 11 Feb to fix something I missed.)

I will be going back to add in more nifty stuff to our Special Equipment list, this is the last core bit that needs to be done and you too can have some nice rules light generic sci fi mecha and tank rules.

As previously mentioned, Vehicles and Mecha have Weapon Points.  These WPs are generic and not really meant to get into massive detail.  We really don't care much about exactly how many guns or missiles get fired.

The basic setup for a WP weapon is this:  A WP is the cost assumed for an arm & torso (mecha) or turret/sponson mounted weapon that has access to an internal ammunition supply which can run out.  Reducing or improving factors such as Accuracy, Damage, Range, Ammunition, Special Effects (see the first part of my house rules!), and fire arcs can make the weapon cost more or less, but NEVER lower than 1.

With this system you can have high damage but short range siege cannons, hand carried type close combat weapons a mecha can throw down to get into fisticuffs if needed, or anything else.

Like much of my house rules, some GM fiat and a bit of imagination is required to make it all go down smoothly.  This isn't megadetail.  If you want that I recommend GURPS Vehicles.  (Bring a graphing calculator.)

For our purposes there are three weapon types to choose from.
Direct Fire:  Your rifles, cannons, laser beams and other point and shoot type weapons.
Missile:  Rocket propelled death in handy single or multiple missile fun.
Close Combat:  Mainly on Mecha, these are usually low to no ammunition expenditure weapons allowing you to rip things up in a more "civilized" way.  If you mean stabbing a tank with a 1 ton blade is civilized.  I suppose the lack of collateral damage is nice though...

Here is the handy core chart showing what the 1 Weapon Point version of each system costs, plus the costs/bonuses of up and downgrades:
(The #/# tells us what the default is, and the second number is the 1 WP cost/bonus level for downgrading or upgrading. The second number also shows the minimum this can be brought down to outside of Accuracy which can go as low as you want.)

                              Direct Fire Costs
 Damage      Accuracy(To Hit Bonus)    Range(In Meters)     Ammunition   
1d6 / 1d6                      0 / + -1                            200 / 50                  25 /  5

                               Missile Fire Costs
Damage      Accuracy(To Hit Bonus)    Range(In Meters)     Ammunition   
3d3 / 1d3                      0 / + -1                            300 / 50                  10 /  3

                            Close Combat Costs
Damage      Accuracy(To Hit Bonus)    Range(In Meters)     Ammunition   
1d6 / 1d3                     0 / +1-1                              4 / 1                    Unlimited

Special WP Costs:
Mecha Weapons:  A Mecha Direct or Missile Fire weapon made "Hand Held" can be picked up and dropped in exchange for 1 WP.  However it ONLY holds half the ammunition listed (round DOWN).

Vehicle Weapons: A Vehicle Direct or Missile Fire weapon made "Side Sponson" loses its 360 fire arc to a 180 and gains 1 WP.  Or it can only have a 45 arc in whatever direction the weapon is considered to be mounted in as a "Hull Mounted" weapon for 2.

Special Weapon Abilities: The list seen in the original set of X-Plorers house rules by me: X-Plorers Rules By Me For You! each cost a WP to add, except for Neo-Beam, and Anti-Ship which all cost 2 WP instead.  Ordnance costs a point per size.  (1 for Small, 2 for Medium, 3 for Large) Twin Linked costs 1 for the system and not per gun.

Close Combat Weapons: Close Combat Weapons use the Pilot's modified Physique attribute as a base to hit & damage as it is a Close Combat attack.  The Range effect counts for the size and reach of the weapon.  For Mecha the CCW can be made "Hand Held" for a 1 WP bonus, though it becomes a 1d3 Damage base weapon instead.  HOWEVER, if the "Hand Held" weapon is held in BOTH hands (meaning you aren't spending WP on the second hand at all!) it becomes a 2D3+1 Damage weapon.

Now to give an example of making a weapon:  We are making weapons for a Medium Tank.  Its got 4 Weapon Points.  Now I would like to make the guns for my Warhammer 40,000 "Predator" tank.  The model I have has 2 side sponson Laser Cannons, and 2 more turret mounted ones.  At base, we know that the 2 turret mounted guns would give us 2 extra WPs to spend, but the 2 turret mounted ones would cost a WP to be Twin Linked.  In the game it comes from, Laser Cannons are super heavy anti tank weapons with a very long range.  (Though in 40K's game case, its a measly 48", or 96 meters.)

1d6 damage isn't gonna cut it!  I decide to drop each gun's range by 50 meters, making them still longer range then what it has in its home game.  To my knowledge they never listed ammo requirements for the guns, but I decide they will also have 5 less ammo.  I decide not to do any more tinkering, but do choose to upgrade each gun now.

Let's look at what this does to the 2 sponson guns first.  Each gun costs 1 WP.  Dropping to a 180 side sponson makes it 0 WP (which is illegal to BUILD the gun, but its not finished yet!).  Dropping Range and Ammunition by 1 each makes it -2.  I take the 3 points I got and raise the gun's damage to a nasty 4d6.  So a 4d6 Damage gun with no Accuracy bonus and a 150 Meter Range (a nice 75" tabletop range for model based fighting), with 20 shots of ammo costs 1 WP of the 4 my tank has available.

So the 2 sponson guns are done, but now our turret mounted guns have a problem.  As it stands we will have to either make the 2 guns lesser in damage, or give them less ammunition.  I choose the latter, so the turret guns only have 15 shots each.  Now if I want to keep that sweet Twin Linked action I am going to have to go back to my currently designed tank and drop something so I can get an extra Weapons Point.

Shields:   Something many Mecha can carry are shields.  Some are made of metal, others are an electronic form, but either way they give machines a bit of a defensive edge against the more heavily armed tanks they are designed to take out.

Shields can be purchased with either System and/or Weapon points.  Depending on the points spent, the shield may or may not effect any other weapons in the arm(s) equipped.

For each SP or WP spent (up to 5 maximum), the unit gains +1 AC.  1-2 AC shields do not affect a Mecha's ability to use arm or hand weapons with the shield.  3 AC shields penalize weapons in that arm with a -1 To Hit, 4 AC a -2, and 5 AC shields do not allow the arm to use any weapon whatsoever.

Option:  Vehicles may choose to mount a shield on a facing of the tank as well with the same penalties as above.  (Its considered to be things like Bulldozer blades and reinforced armor as opposed to an actual shield.)

And that's it!  Now we have ourselves a nice generic system to make big smashy tanks and robots!

I hope everyone has enjoyed it and can put it into play!

I would like to recommend that any and all designs made using my rules are done by the GM for the campaign he or she is running, or if you allow players to make their own rides and the guns they carry, that you approve them.

Like any point based system, there is always some way one can make an unfairly broken bit of equipment.


Eli Arndt said...

These have been cool rules for vehicles and such. Though I do not want mecha in my games, the vehicles rules are useful. The mecha rules might be adapted for giant killer robots though :)

Captain Rufus said...

They are generic enough for it. Which was my intent. Heck, could make Daikaiju with them too. Instead of a gun, its a breath weapon. Go go Godzila!


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