[SR] Automaton Jock

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Brickulos
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[SR] Automaton Jock

#1 Postby Brickulos » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:01 am

So I was looking through the SFNA and noticed the writeup on Automatons. It got me thinking about character options centered around an "Automaton Jock." Like what might the requirements be for the Jock Edge? Plus the bonded status should probably be it's own Edge too. And what should an "Automaton Jock's" Mars package be?
Obviously I should start with the Robot Armor Jock Mars package and tack on an Arcane Background. And I'll need to build a couple more Automatons for use as well. Any ideas? Are the Automatons listed in the SFNA balanced as listed?

ValhallaGH
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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#2 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:00 am

The biggest weakness of Automatons is that you can target the mage. Kind of like going after the Warcaster in Warmachine.

We've only got two Automatons.
The Battlelord is Size 7 and Toughness 32 (15), which is almost as tough as the Size 6 Forager. Offensively, the magic sword is good, the lightning is powerful but bad at penetration and mediocre range, and the eye beams are solid troop killers and longer ranged.
The Earth Thunder is tiny at Size 3, with a respectable Toughness 18 (6), almost tough enough to survive focused fire from a Mini Rail Gun; however, it is tough enough that the mini rail gun will want to focus fire. The attack option is about as dangerous as a stock ogre (average 16.2 Mega damage versus 15.2 damage).
Conclusions: Defensively they seem a bit underwhelming compared to their technological counterparts, but hold their own when you factor in the magical options they bring (stalwart walls and greater deflection are powerful defensive additions). Offensively, they're a bit weak, as magical weapons tend to be in Savage Rifts; it helps explain why summoning demons, daemonix, deevils, and more, is so popular when you realize that Automatons aren't as deadly as those interlopers.

Mechanically, I'd probably just create a new Professional Edge to represent the arcane connection to an Automaton.
Automaton Bond (Professional)
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (not psionic), Spirit d6+, Piloting d6+
The mage has been mystically bound to a mighty Automaton. Without this edge, the controller suffers -2 to all skill rolls while guiding an Automaton. Additionally, a mage with this edge can control a specific bound automaton at a range of Spirit x 2, instead of touch. If the bound Automaton is completely destroyed then a new binding ritual can be performed in 1d6 days, assuming there is an available Automaton.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
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"... We're all gonna die."

Brickulos
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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#3 Postby Brickulos » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:06 am

ValhallaGH wrote:The biggest weakness of Automatons is that you can target the mage. Kind of like going after the Warcaster in Warmachine.

We've only got two Automatons.
The Battlelord is Size 7 and Toughness 32 (15), which is almost as tough as the Size 6 Forager. Offensively, the magic sword is good, the lightning is powerful but bad at penetration and mediocre range, and the eye beams are solid troop killers and longer ranged.
The Earth Thunder is tiny at Size 3, with a respectable Toughness 18 (6), almost tough enough to survive focused fire from a Mini Rail Gun; however, it is tough enough that the mini rail gun will want to focus fire. The attack option is about as dangerous as a stock ogre (average 16.2 Mega damage versus 15.2 damage).
Conclusions: Defensively they seem a bit underwhelming compared to their technological counterparts, but hold their own when you factor in the magical options they bring (stalwart walls and greater deflection are powerful defensive additions). Offensively, they're a bit weak, as magical weapons tend to be in Savage Rifts; it helps explain why summoning demons, daemonix, deevils, and more, is so popular when you realize that Automatons aren't as deadly as those interlopers.

Mechanically, I'd probably just create a new Professional Edge to represent the arcane connection to an Automaton.
Automaton Bond (Professional)
Requirements: Novice, Arcane Background (not psionic), Spirit d6+, Piloting d6+
The mage has been mystically bound to a mighty Automaton. Without this edge, the controller suffers -2 to all skill rolls while guiding an Automaton. Additionally, a mage with this edge can control a specific bound automaton at a range of Spirit x 2, instead of touch. If the bound Automaton is completely destroyed then a new binding ritual can be performed in 1d6 days, assuming there is an available Automaton.


Would just adding an AB to the Robot Armor Jock Template be the way to go?

ValhallaGH
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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#4 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:22 am

Yeah, if you're doing it as a M.A.R.S. (and that seems like the right call) then it would have AB (Magic) and Automaton Bond.
So AB, d6 Spellcasting, three Ley Line Walker powers, Automaton Bond, d6 Piloting, and only two Fortune & Glory rolls.

It looks a bit stronger than Robot Armor Pilot, but robot armors are generally stronger than automatons, so that's probably fine.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

Brickulos
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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#5 Postby Brickulos » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:25 am

ValhallaGH wrote:Yeah, if you're doing it as a M.A.R.S. (and that seems like the right call) then it would have AB (Magic) and Automaton Bond.
So AB, d6 Spellcasting, three Ley Line Walker powers, Automaton Bond, d6 Piloting, and only two Fortune & Glory rolls.

It looks a bit stronger than Robot Armor Pilot, but robot armors are generally stronger than automatons, so that's probably fine.


Yeah, a toe to toe fight between a gunwolf and a Battlelord would not go well for the Battlelord.

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#6 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:47 am

Brickulos wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:It looks a bit stronger than Robot Armor Pilot, but robot armors are generally stronger than automatons, so that's probably fine.


Yeah, a toe to toe fight between a gunwolf and a Battlelord would not go well for the Battlelord.

True.
The Battlelord has no really effective options to hurt the Gunwolf (3d12+6+2, AP 4, averages 29.3 Mega damage, effectively 33.3) without magical augmentation. However, good use of the powers a Battlelord provides means that the Gunwolf will probably have a heck of a time actually hurting it.
That fight would probably come down to starting distances. The Gunwolf has much better ranged attacks, and that will be a huge factor, and careful use of mini-missiles can simply kill the mage and end the fight with an intact Battlelord to salvage. :lol:
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

Brickulos
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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#7 Postby Brickulos » Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:56 am

ValhallaGH wrote:
Brickulos wrote:
ValhallaGH wrote:It looks a bit stronger than Robot Armor Pilot, but robot armors are generally stronger than automatons, so that's probably fine.


Yeah, a toe to toe fight between a gunwolf and a Battlelord would not go well for the Battlelord.

True.
The Battlelord has no really effective options to hurt the Gunwolf (3d12+6+2, AP 4, averages 29.3 Mega damage, effectively 33.3) without magical augmentation. However, good use of the powers a Battlelord provides means that the Gunwolf will probably have a heck of a time actually hurting it.
That fight would probably come down to starting distances. The Gunwolf has much better ranged attacks, and that will be a huge factor, and careful use of mini-missiles can simply kill the mage and end the fight with an intact Battlelord to salvage. :lol:


Effectively having two characters is pretty cool too though. Maybe allow the magic version of Combat Ace apply to casting spells as well.

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#8 Postby Brickulos » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:47 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:Yeah, if you're doing it as a M.A.R.S. (and that seems like the right call) then it would have AB (Magic) and Automaton Bond.
So AB, d6 Spellcasting, three Ley Line Walker powers, Automaton Bond, d6 Piloting, and only two Fortune & Glory rolls.

It looks a bit stronger than Robot Armor Pilot, but robot armors are generally stronger than automatons, so that's probably fine.


So when you say three Ley Line Walker powers, do you mean three additional powers?

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#9 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:14 pm

Nope, I mean the three base powers that come with AB (Magic), chosen from the LLW list. The same way the Psi-Operator gets three powers chosen from the Mind Melter list.
Hell, LLW only get 5 powers for free. No way do these guys rate starting with 6 powers. :lol:
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"... We're all gonna die."

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#10 Postby Brickulos » Tue Mar 28, 2017 4:36 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:Nope, I mean the three base powers that come with AB (Magic), chosen from the LLW list. The same way the Psi-Operator gets three powers chosen from the Mind Melter list.
Hell, LLW only get 5 powers for free. No way do these guys rate starting with 6 powers. :lol:


Ok. Just checking. I didn't think that's what you meant.

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#11 Postby Brickulos » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:00 pm

My attempt at expanding the list of available Automatons. It's not a conversion either, just a cool idea I had.

Stone Tiger
Designed as a long range scouting and ambush automaton. The Stone Tiger is a rare quadrupedal model. It has a covered area for its operator on its back with room for two additional occupants.

Stone Tiger: Size 4, Crew 1+2, Strength d12+4, Toughness 22 (9), Pace 16, 2d10 Running die
Notes: MDC Armor, 18/40 outside of combat

Spellcasting: The operator can cause the Stone Tiger to cast the following spells, using the lower of his Piloting or Spellcasting Skill. These spells draw on the Automaton’s PPE store of 40 (the operator can also substitute his own PPE), and all can be cast using their Mega Powers:
barrier, detect/ conceal arcana, farsight, smite, speed.

Special Qualities: The Stone Tiger has permanent delflection, shared with its controller. It also has Fast Regeneration, but the operator must spend his own 10 PPE to activate it, and it only lasts two rounds per activation

Claws and Jaws: Dam.: Str+2d8, AP 2, MD
Cold Blasts: 30/60/120, Dam.: 4d8, AP 4, MBT, RoF 1, MD
Last edited by Brickulos on Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#12 Postby Brickulos » Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:27 pm

and another

Juggernaut
Lumbering and bulky, the Juggernaut Automaton lacks the ranged options of some other Automatons, but more than makes up for it with its brutal close-combat abilities. Operators sit in a depression on its head, protected by a crown of thorns.
Juggernaut: Size 5, Crew 1, d12+5, Toughness 31 (16), Pace 16, d10 Running die
Notes: MDC Armor

Spellcasting: The operator can cause the Juggernaut to cast the following spells, using the lower of his Piloting or Spellcasting Skill. These spells draw on the Automaton’s PPE store of 40 (the operator can also substitute his own PPE), and all can be cast using their Mega Powers: barrier, confusion, deflection, detect/ conceal arcana, smite, speed.

Special Qualities: The Juggernaut has Greater Armor always on, already figured into the statblock, which it shares with its controller. It also has Fast Regeneration, but the operator must spend his own 10 PPE to activate it, and it only lasts two rounds per activation

Spiked Fists: Dam.: Str+2d10, AP 3, MD
Last edited by Brickulos on Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ValhallaGH
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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#13 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:09 pm

Couple of notes:
Are those Toughness numbers reveresed from the normal pattern? Like, Stone Tiger has Toughness 22 (9)? Or does it actually have 22 armor and total Toughness 13?
The melee attacks can be listed as Str+[stuff], AP, Mega Damage.
I'm surprised that the Stone Tiger has the same lightning abilities as the vaunted Battlelord. Thematically, it seems odd. Maybe replace it with a fireball, with a shorter range (it's an ambush model, so supposed to be in close).
Giving the Juggernaut several buff spells and Improved Arcane Resistance is really strange. Given that you can't repeat an action, such as toggling Improved Arcane Resistance, there will be a round of action during which the automaton and rider are vulnerable to magic.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#14 Postby Brickulos » Fri Apr 07, 2017 6:59 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:Are those Toughness numbers reveresed from the normal pattern? Like, Stone Tiger has Toughness 22 (9)? Or does it actually have 22 armor and total Toughness 13?
The melee attacks can be listed as Str+[stuff], AP, Mega Damage.


That's how I mark things on player's sheets. I'll change it to standard later.

ValhallaGH wrote:I'm surprised that the Stone Tiger has the same lightning abilities as the vaunted Battlelord. Thematically, it seems odd. Maybe replace it with a fireball, with a shorter range (it's an ambush model, so supposed to be in close).


Good point, I figured giving it a ranged attack would make sense, but the lightning bolt might be too much. I'm trying to avoid fire as I feel it is overused as is anyway.

ValhallaGH wrote:Giving the Juggernaut several buff spells and Improved Arcane Resistance is really strange. Given that you can't repeat an action, such as toggling Improved Arcane Resistance, there will be a round of action during which the automaton and rider are vulnerable to magic.


I was having trouble figuring out what "Always on" ability would make the most sense.

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#15 Postby ValhallaGH » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:42 pm

If you want an "always on" ability for an "unstoppable" magical murder robot, Fast Regeneration is about as good as you can get. Having it on always is probably a bit much, but 5 PPE for one minute (10 combat rounds) of fast regeneration is pretty awesome.

It may be too much, though. So ... how about having greater armor on itself and the controller. +5 M.D.C. Armor at all times, for the automatron and wizard, is pretty groovy.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

Brickulos
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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#16 Postby Brickulos » Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:48 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:If you want an "always on" ability for an "unstoppable" magical murder robot, Fast Regeneration is about as good as you can get. Having it on always is probably a bit much, but 5 PPE for one minute (10 combat rounds) of fast regeneration is pretty awesome.

It may be too much, though. So ... how about having greater armor on itself and the controller. +5 M.D.C. Armor at all times, for the automatron and wizard, is pretty groovy.


Yeah, I like that. I considered Fast Regeneration too, but I wanted a buff for the wizard too.

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#17 Postby Brickulos » Tue Apr 11, 2017 12:33 pm

Updated the Juggernaut with the suggested changes. Also here's a new class of Automaton.

Inferno, Blizzard or Storm Demon
This model of automaton come in three different varieties. Each one has a signature energy type that it uses as a weapon and also protects itself and its operators from. The general shape is that of a classical demon complete with horns and claws, composed of riveted iron plates. Its abilities are especially effective against infantry and wreaking general destruction. Its operators sit on a protected throne on its head.

Demon: Size 5, Crew 1, d12+5, Toughness 22 (7), Pace 12 Running Die d10

Notes: MDC Armor

Spellcasting: The operator can cause the Demon to cast the following spells, using the lower of his Piloting or Spellcasting Skill. These spells draw on the Automaton’s PPE store of 40 (the operator can also substitute his own PPE), they are all use a fire, cold or electricity Trapping depending on the type of Demon, and all can be cast using their Mega Powers: barrier, bolt, entangle, darksight, deflection, detect/ conceal arcana, smite.

Special Qualities: The Demon take half damage from fire, cold or electricity attacks and has a +4 to resisting effects with that energy type, it shares this protection with its controller. It also has Fast Regeneration, but the operator must spend his own 10 PPE to activate it, and it only lasts two rounds per activation.

Enchanted Claws: Str +2d8, AP 2, MD
Fire, Ice or Lightning Blasts: 75/150/300, Dam.: 3d8, AP 4, MBT, MD
Last edited by Brickulos on Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ValhallaGH
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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#18 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:05 pm

Juggernaut: Should include the armor benefit in the automaton, and note that it's already included in the ability description.

Demon: Remove the phrase "boiler plate"; non-native speakers, and some native speakers, are unfamiliar with that idiom, making it confusing. Otherwise, looks pretty good.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#19 Postby Brickulos » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:13 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:Juggernaut: Should include the armor benefit in the automaton, and note that it's already included in the ability description.

Demon: Remove the phrase "boiler plate"; non-native speakers, and some native speakers, are unfamiliar with that idiom, making it confusing. Otherwise, looks pretty good.


I mean literally made from boiler plate

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Re: [SR] Automaton Jock

#20 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:16 pm

:o :lol:
Okay, then it's a bit confusing in the other direction.
"Got a problem? I've got the solution: Rocket Launcher."
"Not against a Servitor."
"... We're all gonna die."


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