[SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

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Brickulos
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[SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#1 Postby Brickulos » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:31 pm

So I was considering how to design a Mech piloting character. At first, I was going to go with Gimmick, but I wanted the pilot to be extraordinary outside of the Mech too. Some Super Traits and maybe a level of Extra Actions.

So would adding a Device Modifier to the majority of powers be good way to model a Mech. I think this makes a lot of sense for most powers, though not sure if Construct makes sense, if it's temporary.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#2 Postby Brickulos » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:46 pm

Here's a first pass at the power set with Heavy Hitter level and Super Karma.

Extreme training:
• Super Agility Level 1 +2
• Super Fighting Level 2 +2
• Super Shooting Level 2 +2
Lightning Reflexes: Extra Action Level 1 +3
Mech Suit:
Big Freakn’ Bot: Growth Level 7 (+21), Big Fists (+1), Device (-1), Monster (-2), Long Stride (+2) +21
Handheld Railgun: Attack, Ranged Level 3 (+6), AP 6 (+3), Device (-2), Enhanced Damage (+4), HW (+1), Lethal (-1) Range (+2) +13
High Impact Plating: Armor Level 3 (+3), Device (-1), Heavy Armor (+4) +6
Robot Fist: Attack, Melee Level 3 (+6), Device (-1), Heavy Weapon (+1), Lethal (-1), Multiple Attacks (+3), Reach 1 (+1), Stackable (+2) +11
Robot: Construct (+8) Device (-1) +7
Variable Rocket Boosters: Flight: Pace x2 (+4), Device (-1) +3

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#3 Postby Deskepticon » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:32 pm

Looks alright.
I might also look into using the Switchable mod to swap out his "human" power set with his "mech" power set, since he should lose all those Trait boosts once he steps into the mech.

The guy doesn't need to have "super powers" per se ... simply buy a ton of Super Edge and trap it as extreme training.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#4 Postby Brickulos » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:55 pm

Deskepticon wrote:Looks alright.
I might also look into using the Switchable mod to swap out his "human" power set with his "mech" power set, since he should lose all those Trait boosts once he steps into the mech.

The guy doesn't need to have "super powers" per se ... simply buy a ton of Super Edge and trap it as extreme training.


It makes sense, but I didn't want to make him a fully functional Super without the suit, just be a little less vulnerable.

Plus, at least a few Edges should carry over regardless.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#5 Postby Jounichi » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:34 pm

Because of the limitations of the rules (e.g. growth building off the base attribute), I always envisioned any attempt at a "mech" to be more of a powered armor that merely augmented the base forms statistics. That being said, I do think this proto-build could use some tweaking.

First off, with a power limit of 20 growth can't be 21 PP unless your hero also has Best There Is. This means shaving something down, and if you want all those positive modifiers then you're dropping down to only Size +6. That's nothing to sneeze at, however. Assuming a base Strength of d6 and doubling your load limit with each size increase, that's a Strength of d12+3 with the ability to swing an improvised 16-ton weapon with no problem. While an effective means of doing melee damage should you need to, it's not terribly efficient. You'll never be able to effectively make use of that Str+d12+8 tank as an improvised weapon. In fact, there's almost no efficient model at all unless you hover around Size +3 (which is nowhere near what you're looking for). For now, we'll say improvised weapons are moot, though you can always keep high strength for cool bits of roleplaying.

I say pick a type of attack (melee or ranged) and stick with it. Give your mech some armor (its Toughness is only +6 or +7 over your base, and worn armor won't work given the trapping), and maybe even drop the flight; the Pace x2 doesn't stack with your long stride modifier.
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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#6 Postby Deskepticon » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:45 pm

Brickulos wrote:Plus, at least a few Edges should carry over regardless.


Which ones?
I'm having a little trouble envisioning which somatic-based abilities would carry over to the "button pressing and lever pulling" of operating a mech.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#7 Postby Brickulos » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:54 pm

Jounichi wrote:First off, with a power limit of 20 growth can't be 21 PP unless your hero also has Best There Is. This means shaving something down, and if you want all those positive modifiers then you're dropping down to only Size +6.


Wouldn't the power limit increase to 23 with Super Karma?

Jounichi wrote:That's nothing to sneeze at, however. Assuming a base Strength of d6 and doubling your load limit with each size increase, that's a Strength of d12+3 with the ability to swing an improvised 16-ton weapon with no problem. While an effective means of doing melee damage should you need to, it's not terribly efficient. You'll never be able to effectively make use of that Str+d12+8 tank as an improvised weapon. In fact, there's almost no efficient model at all unless you hover around Size +3 (which is nowhere near what you're looking for). For now, we'll say improvised weapons are moot, though you can always keep high strength for cool bits of roleplaying.

I took the Stackable modifier on the Attack, Melee. Wouldn't that make Improvised Weapons worth it?

Jounichi wrote:I say pick a type of attack (melee or ranged) and stick with it. Give your mech some armor (its Toughness is only +6 or +7 over your base, and worn armor won't work given the trapping), and maybe even drop the flight; the Pace x2 doesn't stack with your long stride modifier.


Good note about Long Stride. I did give it 3 levels of Armor, though I'll definitely do more if I trim something else.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#8 Postby Brickulos » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:58 pm

Deskepticon wrote:
Brickulos wrote:Plus, at least a few Edges should carry over regardless.


Which ones?
I'm having a little trouble envisioning which somatic-based abilities would carry over to the "button pressing and lever pulling" of operating a mech.


The most obvious ones would be Marksman or Rock and Roll!, but it also depends on the type of interface. There's at least one Gundam series where the the pilots' movements are recreated perfectly in a bubble and direct neural interfaces would work too. Plus there's good old Escaflowne.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#9 Postby Matchstickman » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:54 am

Brickulos wrote:
Jounichi wrote:First off, with a power limit of 20 growth can't be 21 PP unless your hero also has Best There Is. This means shaving something down, and if you want all those positive modifiers then you're dropping down to only Size +6.

Wouldn't the power limit increase to 23 with Super Karma?

Nah. Super Karma does not increase the limit, it just gives you extra to play with.

Brickulos wrote:I took the Stackable modifier on the Attack, Melee. Wouldn't that make Improvised Weapons worth it?

Possible. It all depends on how often you see yourself picking up tanks to swing (unless you are building a character specifically to do that I wouldn't bother).
If I were building this I would make the Railgun part of the Mech and then make Attack, Melee a Switchable power, the old idea of re-configuring your Mech mid fight or pulling out the super secret last chance mega weapon.

I'm not sure how Construct interacts with this idea, how much benefit is the pilot going to get out of it? If the pilot is injured before they get into the Mech is the Mech's abilities to ignore a wound penalty going to help? As a GM I would say no, the man/machine interface would not inures you to pain already suffered, it's the Mech with so many redundancies that can keep going when damage, and I don't see that carrying over to pilot injuries. Similarly, how is it going to work with healing via the repair skill? Is the pilot going to be at negatives for every action they take outside the Mech while the Mech is damaged? I might just break the Construct power down into its constituent parts and buy edges and super powers separately for the Pilot and Mech, sealed environment (immunity to disease and poisons) for Mech and Combat Training (Super Edge:Combat Reflexes and Nerves of Steel) for the Pilot, dropping the repair bit all together and "gaining" another 2 points to splash around.
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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#10 Postby Brickulos » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:00 am

Matchstickman wrote:Brickulos wrote:
Jounichi wrote:
First off, with a power limit of 20 growth can't be 21 PP unless your hero also has Best There Is. This means shaving something down, and if you want all those positive modifiers then you're dropping down to only Size +6.

Wouldn't the power limit increase to 23 with Super Karma?

Nah. Super Karma does not increase the limit, it just gives you extra to play with.


Good to know, thank you

Matchstickman wrote:Brickulos wrote:
I took the Stackable modifier on the Attack, Melee. Wouldn't that make Improvised Weapons worth it?

Possible. It all depends on how often you see yourself picking up tanks to swing (unless you are building a character specifically to do that I wouldn't bother).
If I were building this I would make the Railgun part of the Mech and then make Attack, Melee a Switchable power, the old idea of re-configuring your Mech mid fight or pulling out the super secret last chance mega weapon.

I'm not sure how Construct interacts with this idea, how much benefit is the pilot going to get out of it? If the pilot is injured before they get into the Mech is the Mech's abilities to ignore a wound penalty going to help? As a GM I would say no, the man/machine interface would not inures you to pain already suffered, it's the Mech with so many redundancies that can keep going when damage, and I don't see that carrying over to pilot injuries. Similarly, how is it going to work with healing via the repair skill? Is the pilot going to be at negatives for every action they take outside the Mech while the Mech is damaged? I might just break the Construct power down into its constituent parts and buy edges and super powers separately for the Pilot and Mech, sealed environment (immunity to disease and poisons) for Mech and Combat Training (Super Edge:Combat Reflexes and Nerves of Steel) for the Pilot, dropping the repair bit all together and "gaining" another 2 points to splash around.


Yeah I was debating about how much sense it made to use Construct. But your solution works pretty well.

Now I'm considering trying out having a flight mode and ground mode, like in Robotech.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#11 Postby Jounichi » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:55 am

Brickulos wrote:
Jounichi wrote:That's nothing to sneeze at, however. Assuming a base Strength of d6 and doubling your load limit with each size increase, that's a Strength of d12+3 with the ability to swing an improvised 16-ton weapon with no problem. While an effective means of doing melee damage should you need to, it's not terribly efficient. You'll never be able to effectively make use of that Str+d12+8 tank as an improvised weapon. In fact, there's almost no efficient model at all unless you hover around Size +3 (which is nowhere near what you're looking for). For now, we'll say improvised weapons are moot, though you can always keep high strength for cool bits of roleplaying.

I took the Stackable modifier on the Attack, Melee. Wouldn't that make Improvised Weapons worth it?

To a point, yes. If your main damage-dealing method involves lifting heavy objects to smash someone with, then you only ever really need one rank of melee attack (and the minimum requisite modifiers) to guarantee Heavy Weapon damage.

My point was, because of the size of the mech, your character can oddly lift far more than what can effectively be wielded in combat. Anf even if you pump some ranks into super strength, you'll still have a gap which cannot be closed. It's simply a factor of size. Case in point, while a tank might be swingable for Str+d12+8 damage, by having an actual Strength of d12+3 you'll only inflict 2d12+6 with a tank before factoring in melee attack ranks. That's five lost points of damage. Swinging that tank is functionally no different than swinging a large tree, except that you can throw the tree for double the normal range (6/12/24). Maybe that's simply a case of the machinery struggling to handle a load it wasn't built to, in which case you've got a neat trapping for your mech. It's a cool emergency option, but melee is probably not where you should be going.

And that's not even bothering to consider how such a build would fit into a typical game. That mech can't go everywhere.

Brickulos wrote:
Deskepticon wrote:
Brickulos wrote:Plus, at least a few Edges should carry over regardless.


Which ones?
I'm having a little trouble envisioning which somatic-based abilities would carry over to the "button pressing and lever pulling" of operating a mech.


The most obvious ones would be Marksman or Rock and Roll!, but it also depends on the type of interface. There's at least one Gundam series where the the pilots' movements are recreated perfectly in a bubble and direct neural interfaces would work too. Plus there's good old Escaflowne.

Or even the more recent Mech-X4 on Disney XD.

Brickulos wrote:Now I'm considering trying out having a flight mode and ground mode, like in Robotech.

Sounds awesome, and good luck. My only advice is to avoid mass shifting and make your mech be the same size as the fighter. For reference, the jet fighter in the Science Fiction Companion is Size +4. It's also considerably more advanced than the fighter depicted in SWD, so you may want to build a fighter from scratch to see how big your mech should be. Still, Size +4 is Large and a decent place to start. If you limit yourself to Size +4 (or even +5) then your character can have the Out Of Their League Hindrance and put 15 points into five different powers. That's still a Mach 1 (-6 penalty) flight speed if it's not switchable with anything.

Or don't take the Hindrance and then you have 20 to play with.
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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#12 Postby Clint » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:46 am

Brickulos wrote:Mech Suit:
Big Freakn’ Bot: Growth Level 7 (+21), Big Fists (+1), Device (-1), Monster (-2), Long Stride (+2) +21
Handheld Railgun: Attack, Ranged Level 3 (+6), AP 6 (+3), Device (-2), Enhanced Damage (+4), HW (+1), Lethal (-1) Range (+2) +13
High Impact Plating: Armor Level 3 (+3), Device (-1), Heavy Armor (+4) +6
Robot Fist: Attack, Melee Level 3 (+6), Device (-1), Heavy Weapon (+1), Lethal (-1), Multiple Attacks (+3), Reach 1 (+1), Stackable (+2) +11
Robot: Construct (+8) Device (-1) +7
Variable Rocket Boosters: Flight: Pace x2 (+4), Device (-1) +3


A couple of quick comments...

Monster wouldn't apply since by making it a device, the character is by definition not always that big. I'd suggest a Limitation -1 (max size only) instead.

Most of the other powers (listed as Device -1) appear to be Contingent on Growth being active, but don't have Contingent listed.
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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#13 Postby Brickulos » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:28 pm

Clint wrote:
Brickulos wrote:Mech Suit:
Big Freakn’ Bot: Growth Level 7 (+21), Big Fists (+1), Device (-1), Monster (-2), Long Stride (+2) +21
Handheld Railgun: Attack, Ranged Level 3 (+6), AP 6 (+3), Device (-2), Enhanced Damage (+4), HW (+1), Lethal (-1) Range (+2) +13
High Impact Plating: Armor Level 3 (+3), Device (-1), Heavy Armor (+4) +6
Robot Fist: Attack, Melee Level 3 (+6), Device (-1), Heavy Weapon (+1), Lethal (-1), Multiple Attacks (+3), Reach 1 (+1), Stackable (+2) +11
Robot: Construct (+8) Device (-1) +7
Variable Rocket Boosters: Flight: Pace x2 (+4), Device (-1) +3


A couple of quick comments...

Monster wouldn't apply since by making it a device, the character is by definition not always that big. I'd suggest a Limitation -1 (max size only) instead.

Most of the other powers (listed as Device -1) appear to be Contingent on Growth being active, but don't have Contingent listed.


Thanks for the clarification Clint. I though adding Contingent might be double dipping.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#14 Postby Phasma Felis » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:31 pm

Deskepticon wrote:
Brickulos wrote:Plus, at least a few Edges should carry over regardless.


Which ones?
I'm having a little trouble envisioning which somatic-based abilities would carry over to the "button pressing and lever pulling" of operating a mech.

Savage Worlds usually keeps these things broad. The same skill is used for shooting a bow as for aiming a tank gun; I'd imagine the same would apply to most edges unless otherwise noted.

I recall an optional rule where really unfamiliar weapons, vehicles, etc. impose a -2 to the relevant skill until the GM decides you've had enough practice to get familiar, but that shouldn't apply to starting equipment or powers.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#15 Postby Clint » Wed Feb 22, 2017 2:51 pm

Brickulos wrote:Thanks for the clarification Clint. I though adding Contingent might be double dipping.


Just keep in mind the limitations. Someone only has to remove one device not five, and disabling the Growth power in any way also disables all the Contingent powers as well.
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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#16 Postby Brickulos » Wed Feb 22, 2017 5:14 pm

Clint wrote:
Brickulos wrote:Thanks for the clarification Clint. I though adding Contingent might be double dipping.


Just keep in mind the limitations. Someone only has to remove one device not five, and disabling the Growth power in any way also disables all the Contingent powers as well.


I can't think of another way to model what I'm going for though.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#17 Postby Brickulos » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:53 pm

Here's a tweaked version of the mech, solely land-based now.

Extreme training:
• Parry Level 4 +4
• Super Agility Level 1 +2
• Super Edge: Imp. Frenzy (+4), Nerves of Steel (+2)
• Super Fighting Level 2 +2
• Super Shooting Level 2 +2
Lightning Reflexes: Extra Action Level 1 +3
Mech:
Advanced Sensors: Heightened Senses: Contingent: Growth (-1) Device (-1) Eagle Eyes (+1), Infravision (+1), Low Light (+1) +1
Big Freakn’ Bot: Growth Level 6 (+18), Big Fists (+1), Device (-1), Limitation: Full size (-1), Long Stride (+2) +19
Environmentally Sealed Systems: Immunity to poison and disease (+2), Contingent: Growth (-1) +1
High Impact Plating: Armor Level 6 (+6), Contingent: Growth (-1), Device (-1), Heavy Armor (+4) +8
Railgun: Attack, Ranged Level 4 (+8), AP 8 (+4), Contingent: Growth (-1), Device (-1), Enhanced Damage (+4), HW (+1), Lethal (-1) Range (+4) Switchable (+2) +20
Robot Fist: Attack, Melee Level 5 (+10), Contingent: Growth (-1), Device (-1), Focus (+3) Heavy Weapon (+1), Lethal (-1), Multiple Attacks (+3), Reach 2 (+2), Stackable (+2) Switchable +18
Robot: Doesn’t Breathe (+2), Contingent: Growth (-1) +1

I'll post the transforming version sometime soon.

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Re: [SPC2] Building a Mech pilot

#18 Postby Myrmicus » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:49 am

You could also make the Mech a Sidekick power, assuming he'd have an AI.
This means tweaking with hindrances a bit and the GM's approbation... Hindrances that makes the mech surrender to any pilot, as if being targeted by an unresistible Possession or Mind Control power, can be used.

As I see it :
The mech is its own character (the sidekick) with low spirit/smarts and can act on his own.
When the main character is piloting it, they use group rolls (since the AI assist the pilot and vice versa)

If the GM accepts it, the main char is inside the mech and, thus, cannot be targeted through it (unless the opponent use some power that don't need a lign of sight or powers that can pass through matter). If needed be, the character can have a set of power dedicated to the armor granted by being IN the mech (basically, Armor and/or Toughness powers with a limitation -1 "need to be in the mech")

The main advantage of using this is having two power point pools : one for the main character and one for the mech. Making the mech a separate entity also for a different attribute and skills. And, finally, it also allow to represent the fact that the main character isn't growing by entering the mech : the mech can be destroyed without him being hurt... negating any strange things like "the mech suffered a headshot and the pilot, who is in the mech's chest, suffers a head wound as a result".

The biggest downside : unless you dedicate 10 power points to make it immune to mind control, the mech is susceptible to mind control and possession powers.


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