Username:    Password:      Remember me       
Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Discussion Forum for PEG/GWG
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Savage Battletech
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10, 11, 12  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index -> SW Home-brew Settings & Conversions
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
kronovan
Veteran


Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 729

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peregry wrote:
Again, thanks for those catches! Wink


NP. As I get more savvy with BT, hopefully I'll be able to be more helpful.

I don't know if you saw this in one of my earlier posts, but I had this question about how Classic Battletech MechWarriors might compare skill-wise with SBT MechWarrior PC's?

"...have you put any thought into how the gunnery and piloting skills for a MechWarrior in a Catalyst book would align to the skill dice level in Savage Battletech? The reason I ask, is I'd like to convert the example MW's in my starter book. I'm thinking there's 2 possibilities how they'd allign:

1=d12+1
2=d12
3=d10
4=d8
5=d6
6=d4

or

1=d12
2=d10
3=d8
4=d6
5=d4
6=d4-2"
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I missed that question.

The way we always thought of it was a d6 where a IS Standard MW is expected to start at, and Clanners start at d8s.

This actually leads to an offset list.

For Gunnery:

6 -> d4-2
5 -> d4
4 -> d6
3 -> d8
2 -> d10
1 -> d12
0 -> d12+2

For Piloting:

7 -> d4-2
6 -> d4
5 -> d6
4 -> d8
3 -> d10
2 -> d12
1 -> d12+2
0 -> d12+4

This was going on the idea that a d6 is the "Average" of a trained skill. The sweet spot for the skills seems to be d10 as far as everything goes, though this also seems to be the sweet spot for Fighting in core SW, which SBt combat bears a close resemblance to.

My highest level SBt PC, Sigmund Tachibana of Discord Company has a d10 in both Mech Piloting and Gunnery and he's at 60 XP. He's been at that for a while though, as pilot progression in SBt is less about the skills and more about the balance between the Edges and Skills (plus he's also a highly competent swordsman outside of the Mech)... I guess I should just post the batchal he uses when attacking Clanners to give you some idea of how badass he is... imagine a deep voice with a weird accent that sounds both Japanese and Swedish...

“I am So-sha Tachibana Sigmund, son of Tachibana Hirotaro, son of Tachibana Byorginvindor of the Tachibana Samurai of Vorarlberg; Bearer of the Spear of Odin granted by the Gunjin-no-Kanrei for Slaying Ronin; Field Commander of the undefeated Discord Company, who bloodied the Jade Falcons on Last Chance and withdrew to warn of the coming storm; Guardians of Kooken’s where I captured a Super Nova by dueling their Elemental Commander unaugmented; Pheonix of Alyina where we triumphed despite all odds and the destruction of our dropship; Pacifiers of Apollo where we destroyed the corrupt seed of the Usurper and defeated the commander of the Falcons in an honorable Trial...

...hear my batchall Jade Falcons, I come for Sudeten, and bring Discord Company, what forces will you sacrifice to chaos in a vain defense?”


Sorry, he threatened to kill me if I didn't let him out of the box.

Anyway at this point in his career Sigmund and Discord Company has a very good reputation, not quite to the point of some of the canon groups like the Kell Hounds and Wolf's Dragoons, but we're the next tier down. Sigmund's CBt stats if back converted actually reflect this too, as characters like Morgan Kell and Jamie Wolf are constantly statted between 0 and 2 (and have even dipped into the negatives... no really).

It should be noted though, that while Sigmund's basic piloting and gunnery skills are only slightly less than Morgan Kell's, Edge wise Morgan has the Weird Edge Phantom Mech and Legendary Warrior, meaning that in a showdown between them the deck is stacked (no pun intended) Morgan's favor.

If you look at converting actual canon Mechwarriors, it's not just about their raw skills, but also their Edges. Hit me up here or PM me if you want help converting some of them.
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kronovan
Veteran


Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 729

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

..

Last edited by kronovan on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kronovan
Veteran


Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 729

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you may have answered my next question when you made this comment:
peregry wrote:
As to the second, yeah, that should technically read at the end of the weapon attack phase.

Just for the sake of clarity though; I'm assuming that for Out Of Cockpit scale the turn stucture is the standard one as detailed in SWD/SWEX, but for 'Mech scale all of the standard phases for a BattleTech turn are in effect. So a SBt 'Mech scale turn would be Initiative>Movement>Weapson Attack>Physical Attack>Heat>End Phase. Am I assuming correctly there?

So-sha Tachibana Sigmund sound damn uber. Sounds like he's from the Rasalhague Free League.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, there is no Battletech turn order in SBt. Turns are acted on the same as Savage Worlds. This was done to make transition smooth and easy for people unfamiliar with Battletech. Further, we more or less abstract torso twist and the like for brevity's sake. Mechs automatically return to neutral at the end of their turn, but when firing can be assumed to have the normal range of motion for that mech.

Basically, a player's turn in mech is treated the same as in normal SW, when they move and attack is up to them. Like in SW if they plan on doing things that would accrue multi-action penalty or movement penalties it must be accounted for ahead of time.


Sigmund is/was actually Drac, he was born in 3015, before the FRR formed, and joined the planetary militia. His oldrr brother took the family mech and joined the DCMS. When the FRR formally seceded, they fought against the Ronim who tried to stop it, but as Combine Samurai. This left them in an awkward spot, as the could not return to the DCMS due to to many conservatives who would cause problems for them, plus their family was to strongly tied to their homeworld, which is now FRR. They couldn't join the FRR, as they were too Samurai, or rather, to strongly associated with the old regime. So they got together with a dropship captain friend, went to Outreach, and formed a mercenary company together.

And then the campaign actually began.
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kronovan
Veteran


Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 729

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peregry wrote:
Basically, a player's turn in mech is treated the same as in normal SW, when they move and attack is up to them.


OK cool. That works, although I can see where separating Movement from Attack phases could allow for some nice tactics. What about the calculation of heat; is it accounted for immediately after the 'Mech/PC's turn or is accounted for after all 'Mechs/PC's have had their turn?

[Edit] Another question I have goes back to an earlier post you made in response to the List of tables I posted from the CBT Intro Box Set charts. You mentioned that the "Piloting Skills Roll Table" wouldn't be used in SBt. That table contains penalties for things like "'Mech takes 20+ Damage Points", "'Mech Fusion Reactor Shutd Down" or "Gyro Hit". It seems to me that it would be hard to omit those kinds of penalties from combat.
Is that table really omitted in SBt, or were you perhaps thinking "Random MechWarrior Skills Table"?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heat is generated when the action that generates it occurs. It is dissipated at the end of the player's turn.

On the second question, a little from column A and little from column B. Some of the penalties are used in the system (gyro hits, etc) are in the system (as noted in the General Conversion Rule). Other things are superseded by the rules, specifically the piloting skill roll from damage (we used it for ages, and found it slowed down gameplay to much to be fun, so we came up with an alternate way of simulating it. Bipeds get automatically knocked down at 40 damage and Quads at 60 (this is about where most pilots would start failing the skill roll). Standing up was also modified slightly. The 1 MP and piloting skill roll still allows a mech to stand, but you can also expect 3 MP to automatically stand without the roll.

Thanks for bringing these questions up, it makes me realize that I need to flesh out the general conversion section more.
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kronovan
Veteran


Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 729

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peregry wrote:
On the second question, a little from column A and little from column B. Some of the penalties are used in the system (gyro hits, etc) are in the system (as noted in the General Conversion Rule). Other things are superseded by the rules, specifically the piloting skill roll from damage (we used it for ages, and found it slowed down gameplay to much to be fun, so we came up with an alternate way of simulating it. Bipeds get automatically knocked down at 40 damage and Quads at 60 (this is about where most pilots would start failing the skill roll).

OK I'm following it a bit better now. The Piloting Skill rolls I'm wondering most about are Fusion Reactor Shutdown (+3 BT, -3 Sbt), Gyro Hit (+3 BT, -3 SBt) and when making a DFA (+4 BT, -4 SBt). With SBt involving rolling a d4 - d12 die instead of 2d6, those seem to become fairly severe penalties. I think I'd be loath to make a DFA until my Mech Piloting skill had at least advanced to d10, and even then I'd think twice. Surprised

Quote:
Thanks for bringing these questions up, it makes me realize that I need to flesh out the general conversion section more.


Thanks for being patient and answering my questions. You should probably keep in mind that I'm learning SBt and BT both at the same time - although I feel I've got a fairly good handle on BT now. For someone else who's very familiar with BT, the conversion to SBt might seem a bit more straight forward to them. On the other hand, any of those players may not be as familiar with SW as I am. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damage penalties generally apply. Getting hit in the Gyro sucks, but keep in mind that piloting skill rolls should only be called when dramatically appropriate rather than simming. At the start of an engagement, if a pilot runs their mech down a road and has to end there turn because no enemies are in range or will be in range, there's no reason to make a piloting skill check to prevent skidding. It add nothing to the overall engagement and just becomes a die roll to fill time. However, calling for a check when he run into the middle of an enemy group, well, that can be more interesting.

Despite what the rules say on pg 4, all Charging attacks (including DFA which is just a form of a charging attack) are handled as opposed piloting checks. None of the penalties would be applied to those rolls as frankly DFA is not so powerful that it needs such a huge penalty.
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ketjak
Novice


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am going to come across as a pompous ass. Sometimes I am, but I'm not trying to be this time. I really, really like what you've done Peregry, and it's going to serve as the core of my own SBT campaign when I run one. I offer the following as a way to improve the overall doc.

One of the unique aspects about BattleTech is the use of bicapitalization (BiCapitalization) in many of it's terms. BattleTech. MechWarrior. AeroSpace. DropShip. I think this would be easier for an old-timer to read if this convention were followed consistently in the doc.

Your races should have their advantages and disadvantages listed a little more clearly. I know you are trying for flavor, but some of them are named in ways that don't seem relevant. For example, the Trueborn Elemental's "Small World" should probably just be "Overconfident" with the descriptor "Everything seems small and weak compared to an Elemental Warrior, or a crutch used by the small and weak, including BattleMechs."

All of your Clan Trueborn warriors are out of balance with Freeborn or Inner Sphere humans. They should not be - while they have advantages in military-themed skills and some abilities, they are out of their depth in most social situations and common knowledge about anything that isn't related to war, its people, and its machines. This is world-balance that does not need to be reinforced by rules.

There is nothing in the canonical material that indicates Clan Trueborn AeroSpace Pilots have low light vision. That said, they have a net +2 instead of +1: Bonus Edge (2 pts), Agility d6 (2 pts) Keen Sense (eyesight) (1 pt), Low Light Vision (1 pt); and Small (-2), and Code of Honor (Zellbrigen) (-2).

The Clan Trueborn Elemental Warrior is also net +2 instead of +1. I generally balance these errors by forcing my players to take an extra Hindrance. It has Bonus Edge (2 pts), Size +1 (2 pts), Brawny (2 pts); and Overconfident (-2 pts) and Code of Honor (Zellbrigen) (-2).

Clan Trueborn MechWarriors are not as flashy but are still net +2: Bonus Edge (2 pts), Sibko Training (which is sort of like having a d6 start in two skills) (2 pts); Code of Honor (Zellbrigen).

I haven't played this rule set yet, though I have played a very little Savage Worlds and a great, great deal of what the kids call "Classic BattleTech" since 1985. I know BattleTech very well - and it's not Fast! Furious! Fun! Does using the CBT rules really work in a Savage context? Does Ranged Defense, for example, need to be 1/2 Piloting +2? For that matter is it needed at all?

The Gunnery skill doesn't seem necessary - it's Shooting with the "BattleMech Pilot" Background Edge. The Melee Combat subsystem should just be Fighting with the same Edge applied. Mech Parry is the same as Parry, but with the same Edge applied. Basing melee combat on Piloting was a convention the original designers (Ross & Babcock) used in order to avoid the complication of a third skill.

The BattleMech Melee skill is wholly unnecessary. Fighting and the BattleMech Pilot Edge seem to cover that.

Hacking should be used to avoid shutdown. In all the canon, the MechWarriors are depicted as knowing how to override heat and slap controls to vent heat, which is generally a function of knowing what to do under pressure.

Both Gunnery and BattleMech Piloting skills, if they're used, should be based on Agility, not Smarts. Reflexes and hand-eye coordination, plus a native sense of balance, are essential to those skills, not your ability to recall information. I'm not saying Smarts isn't important, just that it's not important to Gunnery and Piloting. Stephen Hawking, for example, does not make a good MechWarrior (or FPS player).

Charging is just a Push that also does BattleTech damage to a target and requires a BattleMech Piloting check from each participant to remain standing after. Death From Above is like Charging with a -2 penalty applied to the Piloting roll. Add a -1 to each participant for each 10 points of damage that participant takes if you want bigger 'Mechs to have a better chance of knocking another target over. Other melee attacks are just the Fighting skill with the BattleMech Pilot Edge applied - and they do damage like in BT.

Firing a weapon group does not strike me as needing to be a free action. That is probably to compensate for a longer BT turn vs. standard SW, but it's not needed.

Speaking of the BattleMech Pilot Edge, this system needs one to keep MechWarriors in balance with other characters. A "tree" with increasing requirements might be useful in determining the pilot's starting 'Mech:

BattleMech Pilot (Light); Req: Novice, d4 Shooting, d4 BattleMech Piloting skill.
BMP (Medium); Req: Novice, d4 Shooting, d4 BattleMech Piloting skill.
BMP (Heavy); Req: Seasoned, BMP (Light), d6 Shooting, d4 BattleMech Piloting skill.
BMP (Assault); Req: Veteran, BMP (Heavy), d8 Shooting, d4 BattleMech Piloting skill.

Ignore any three requirements if the MechWarrior has the Wealthy Edge. Wink

Simplify, sir. You're using Savage Worlds because it's better than the BT RPG systems, you don't need their mechanical baggage. Smile

Like I said, I'm going to use this; it's good work, and I hope this helps you tune it.

- Ket
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the feedback, I was hoping a more old school Battletech player would show up for some criticism. Wink

Quote:
One of the unique aspects about BattleTech is the use of bicapitalization (BiCapitalization) in many of it's terms. BattleTech. MechWarrior. AeroSpace. DropShip. I think this would be easier for an old-timer to read if this convention were followed consistently in the doc.

Thanks for pointing that out. Formatting the document has generally been a lower concern than being clearly written and organized, but it's something I'll hit in an editing pass, then miss a few times and have to do again. Wink

Quote:
All of your Clan Trueborn warriors are out of balance with Freeborn or Inner Sphere humans. They should not be - while they have advantages in military-themed skills and some abilities, they are out of their depth in most social situations and common knowledge about anything that isn't related to war, its people, and its machines. This is world-balance that does not need to be reinforced by rules.

I was following the format presented in the Savage Worlds rulebook. Even when a racial ability just grants a normal hindrance it has a more flavorful name. Also, it should be noted that bog-normal humans in core Savage Worlds are also a +2 Race, as they get a free novice Edge (+2), so the Clan phenotypes are effectively equal to a normal character. As to the Trueborn Aerospace Pilots getting Low-Light, this was done mainly from needed to find a +1 bonus to bring them into line with rest of the phenotypes. The logic behind this was that they are consistently described in fiction as having overly large eyes. Larger eyes -> more light able to be collected by the eyes -> low light vision. It ain't a perfect fit, I know, but I could not come up with something better.

As to Clan Warriors being out of depth in most outside social situations, this is in many ways true, and perhaps I should add something like Outsider into the Clan Racial edges, but it's also not true that Clanners don't know anything about things outside of War. Clan Diamond Shark/Sea Fox is noted as the Clan where even the most fanatical of warriors keeps one eye on the Clan bottom line. The average Clan Cloud Cobra Warrior will know more about comparative theology than the average Inner Sphere warrior, on par with many Priests of the New Avalon Catholic Church as they are a Clan of Warrior-Monks. The warriors of Clan Goliath Scorpion are well versed in history and exploration (and hallucinogenic drugs). The Clans are as varied a people as the Inner Sphere, in some ways more varied since there's over a dozen of them compared to six Successor States. What you're saying is true for the Invading Clans, which were by far the most bland of the Clans, but even they have their quirks, like the Ghost Bear concern for the idea of Family and love of (American) Football and the Nova Cat mysticism. I did not want to have to create Races for every permutation of the Clans, some of whom are isolationist (Blood Spirit) and some of whom are well versed in the Black Market and seedier side of life (Burrock). The one unifying cultural aspect of Clan Warriors is Zelbrigen, hence why it appears as part of their race... everything else was to varied to account for in the broad-stroke approach the races had to take.

Quote:
oes using the CBT rules really work in a Savage context? Does Ranged Defense, for example, need to be 1/2 Piloting +2? For that matter is it needed at all?

Unless you want to constantly calculate to-hit for each weapon, the Ranged Defense is a needed trait. The reason for it's high value is that in order to help model the system we took an already established formula from SW that works (Parry) and reworked it a bit. Mech Combat in SBt is more like Melee Combat than it is normal ranged combat. My group has been playing this system for 2 or so years, and it seems to work. Calculating to-hit is still more complex than normal SW, but is much less complex than BT.

Now, on to a fundamental design question section. Pretty much everything else you list came down to a conscious design decision on our part in the name of one thing: balance.

The reason for Int over Agl as the governing stat for Mech Piloting and Gunnery? Balance. Agility is nearly a god-stat in core SW. All combat abilities come off it. When designing the system we wanted people to have to make sacrifices to play a MechWarrior. You want to be the best MW right out of the gate? You can do it, but you're sacrificing other combat skills to do so. This forces players down a more well rounded path. If shooting weapons in Mechs was just a Shooting roll, then all these same MechWarriors would be crack shots in out of combat. The same for Melee, etc. Also, keep in mind that Gunnery covers much more than firing a Mech's weapons. It's used for any vehicular mounted guns, from those on Warships to Hovercraft. Controlling such weapons is a fundamentally different skill than firing a pistol or rifle, and we felt that having those skills different from the the normal core skills helped differentiate a MechWarrior from an Infantry Soldier. In SBt, you can look at a handful of stats and know exactly what that character does... Gunnery and Driving, it's a Vehicle pilot. Mech Piloting and Gunnery, Mechwarrior. Piloting and Gunnery, Aerospace pilot. Shooting and Melee, well that's an PBI. To be honest, I'm not entirely happy with Int either, I agree that from a fluff standpoint it should be Agl, but from a Game Mechanics standpoint, Agility is already over-valued and we wanted to balance that somewhat.

As to Mech Melee combat, we've actually talked about it being unnecessary a few times, the fundamental reason it's stuck around is that it offers a way to balance pilots against each other and sweetens the pot for a melee build MechWarrior. It also serves as a way to distinguish Clan from IS warriors, as in canon its stated that Clan warriors are generally against melee combat and are not as adept in it as Inner Sphere ones. As to it not being tied to the normal Melee skill, again, it's a fundamentally different set of skills to swing a sword and make a Mech swing a sword.

Again, like I said, the main reason for the different skills was to make Mech piloting a conscious decision in character building, one that required people to put resources to it. We did not want MechWarriors to be the best combatants both in and out of their Mechs, we wanted them to have to pick and choose the skills they would specialize in.

Quote:
Firing a weapon group does not strike me as needing to be a free action. That is probably to compensate for a longer BT turn vs. standard SW, but it's not needed.

Originally we had an edge called Quicktrigger that allowed folks to fire a weapon group and then take another action without the MAP. It became obvious after a long while (we just got rid of this edge in v9) that this Edge was to powerful not to take and was essentially to make Heavy and Assault Mechs playable. It does do a lot to help speed up gameplay, but it also it reflective of core BT, in which a Mech can fire every weapon it has an a single round without any penalty. Weapon groups were added to help resolve single turns quicker, and that Edge, later made into a core mechanic, enhanced that. Take the Nova Prime with it's 12 ER Medium Lasers. Without the rule, it can only fire half it's weapons per the weapon group rules, with it, it can fire all of them like in BT (that this is a terrible idea to do due to heat build up is beside the point. ;p). It would be possible to play without this rule, but you would likely have to allow all weapons to be fired as one weapon group or allow all weapon attacks to be rolled individually (which greatly slows down gameplay). We experimented with Weapons groups like Autofire rules, but that has complications of assigning specific weapons to specific dies and also slows down gameplay. It is not a perfect solution, I admit, but it is a balanced one. It also allows people who try to be more tricksy (using Electronic Warfare or Taunts and the like) to be a bit more usable in the game, as otherwise it is almost always better to make an attack roll.

Quote:
Speaking of the BattleMech Pilot Edge, this system needs one to keep MechWarriors in balance with other characters. A "tree" with increasing requirements might be useful in determining the pilot's starting 'Mech:

It has a balancing mechanism build in: the Mech Piloting, Gunnery and Mech Melee skills. Wink These skills keep Mechwarrior in line with other characters who specialize in other areas as the skill point and unique Edge investment counterbalance are a cost of being a MechWarrior. A MechWarrior who to heavily specializes in Mech combat will be worth very little outside the cockpit.

As to Starting Mech, my opinion is that generally that should be between the players and the GM. I am a person who tends to like to use one Mech for a pilot's entire career (so far of my two characters one pilots a slightly modified GLT-3 Guillotine and the other a heavily modified Fire Scorpion). The play styles, edges and build of characters who pilot Light Mechs is different from those who pilot Assaults, and it's not something that's easy to reverse. In short, I believe characters should be allowed to start with any Mech that fits their background (an Inner Sphere merc piloting a Timber Wolf is out, but they could pilot a Wolfhound, Orion or Atlas for all I care). Further, loot and upgrades should not be in the form of Mechs, but rather equipment for the mechs. This one is really on the GM though, and it falls to them to balance their people against each other. What we've found is that a requirement of starting the campaign with a tech level 1 Mech, and then letting technology and equipment trickle in helps. My first mech (Gungir) went from a tech level 1 Guillotine (Large Laser, 4x Medium Lasers, 1 SRM-6), to a tech level 2 custom Guillotine (ER Large Laser, 6x Medium Pulse Lasers) to using salvaged Clantech weapons (Clan Large Pulse Laser, 6x Clan Medium Pulse) as the campaign went on and we acquired salvage and Cbills. This type of progression has kept this Mech near and dear to me. If Mechs are treated as just another piece of equipment, I think it devalues them, and by gating them off by XP level it makes people see them as goals rather than a fundamental part of their character.
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ketjak
Novice


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peregry wrote:
Thank you for the feedback, I was hoping a more old school Battletech player would show up for some criticism. Wink

Quote:
One of the unique aspects about BattleTech is the use of bicapitalization (BiCapitalization) in many of it's terms. BattleTech. MechWarrior. AeroSpace. DropShip. I think this would be easier for an old-timer to read if this convention were followed consistently in the doc.

Thanks for pointing that out. Formatting the document has generally been a lower concern than being clearly written and organized, but it's something I'll hit in an editing pass, then miss a few times and have to do again. Wink


I learned to love the FIND & REPLACE feature in Word a long time ago. OOO and even Google Docs have it, too, so don't worry about catching it manually - the the robot slaves do the work. Smile

Quote:
All of your Clan Trueborn warriors are out of balance with Freeborn or Inner Sphere humans. They should not be - while they have advantages in military-themed skills and some abilities, they are out of their depth in most social situations and common knowledge about anything that isn't related to war, its people, and its machines. This is world-balance that does not need to be reinforced by rules.

I was following the format presented in the Savage Worlds rulebook. Even when a racial ability just grants a normal hindrance it has a more flavorful name. Also, it should be noted that bog-normal humans in core Savage Worlds are also a +2 Race, as they get a free novice Edge (+2), so the Clan phenotypes are effectively equal to a normal character. As to the Trueborn Aerospace Pilots getting Low-Light, this was done mainly from needed to find a +1 bonus to bring them into line with rest of the phenotypes. The logic behind this was that they are consistently described in fiction as having overly large eyes. Larger eyes -> more light able to be collected by the eyes -> low light vision. It ain't a perfect fit, I know, but I could not come up with something better.[/quote]

Aiee! What have I done? I have no idea why I made that error. Thank you, sir.

Quote:
As to Clan Warriors being out of depth in most outside social situations, this is in many ways true, and perhaps I should add something like Outsider into the Clan Racial edges, but it's also not true that Clanners don't know anything about things outside of War. Clan Diamond Shark/Sea Fox is noted as the Clan where even the most fanatical of warriors keeps one eye on the Clan bottom line. The average Clan Cloud Cobra Warrior will know more about comparative theology than the average Inner Sphere warrior, on par with many Priests of the New Avalon Catholic Church as they are a Clan of Warrior-Monks. The warriors of Clan Goliath Scorpion are well versed in history and exploration (and hallucinogenic drugs). The Clans are as varied a people as the Inner Sphere, in some ways more varied since there's over a dozen of them compared to six Successor States. What you're saying is true for the Invading Clans, which were by far the most bland of the Clans, but even they have their quirks, like the Ghost Bear concern for the idea of Family and love of (American) Football and the Nova Cat mysticism. I did not want to have to create Races for every permutation of the Clans, some of whom are isolationist (Blood Spirit) and some of whom are well versed in the Black Market and seedier side of life (Burrock). The one unifying cultural aspect of Clan Warriors is Zelbrigen, hence why it appears as part of their race... everything else was to varied to account for in the broad-stroke approach the races had to take.


Welll... the Clanners are less likely to have a variety of social skills compared to Inner Sphere warriors. Each of those skills you mention is largely a single Knowledge (History) skill. The Clanners are better warriors because they have inherent advantages (racial bonuses) and they are, ah, encouraged to focus on military skills. This is rewarded by the Trial system, in which a warrior who doesn't like a result may challenge it in a "might makes right" ritual.

Essentially, a Clanner who takes Streetwise is probably a Freeborn - or a lower caste member. Wink Or Driving. Or Swimming. Or Climbing. Or Stealth. Or... and so on.

That leaves them with a lot more focus in their skill points. They can take Knowledge (Burrock Baskets) and still come out ahead.

Quote:
Quote:
Does using the CBT rules really work in a Savage context? Does Ranged Defense, for example, need to be 1/2 Piloting +2? For that matter is it needed at all?

Unless you want to constantly calculate to-hit for each weapon, the Ranged Defense is a needed trait. The reason for it's high value is that in order to help model the system we took an already established formula from SW that works (Parry) and reworked it a bit. Mech Combat in SBt is more like Melee Combat than it is normal ranged combat.


Well, yes, when you make the primary ranged combat defense work just like Parry, it will certainly work more like melee combat than normal ranged combat. Smile I am not sure what you mean by "constantly calculating to-hit for each weapon" - whether or not the TN is constant (4) or variable (2+1/2 'Mech Piloting), don't each of the weapons use its own modifiers for range, movement, and the like? It's only one more variable, but basing the TN to hit a target on the target's own Piloting seems like it introduces another variable.

As Clint says, there are ways to add penalties to a target in ranged combat that aren't available in melee.

I'm trying to understand it before I adopt it is all. I don't think your explanation helps me.

Quote:
My group has been playing this system for 2 or so years, and it seems to work. Calculating to-hit is still more complex than normal SW, but is much less complex than BT.


The basic to-hit calc of BattleTech isn't that hard... then again, I pretty much hard-wired my brain to run those calculations faster than anyone so I could compress a lot of decision-making into a single turn, so I may not be a good example of it.

I guess my real question is: why carry over that complexity? It's not necessary. Figure out if you hit. Roll a location. The location and resultant effects are where the BT complication carries flavor, but the resolution of the hit mechanic can be more strictly SW.

Quote:
Now, on to a fundamental design question section. Pretty much everything else you list came down to a conscious design decision on our part in the name of one thing: balance.


What confuses me is why you cite balance for moving stats around and for forcing MechWarriors to pay for other skills, but not in BattleMech choice. Both are really GM responsibilities to manage. What I think you're doing is dragging over the conceits from the terrible FASA and subsequent RPG systems and forcing those conceits into SW. I'll admit, I am not sure.

Someone here said recently (I can't recall, most of my reading cuts off the left hand column since I'm mobile far more than not) that the best adaptations looked at what the author considers canonical material and adapts that, rather than trying to convert a different rule system. I think it works for your group in part because it's been 2 years, and I think it's also something you've gotten used to.

Look at skill balance. I am trying to recall a MechWarrior in fiction who was not good at both 'Mech and non-'Mech combat. I can recall skill differences, but not like Kai Allard-Liao being helpless because he "chose to be the best" right out the gate. On the contrary, he was highly skilled. Morgan Kell, Jaime Wolf, Phelan Kell, Natasha... they were all good shots, good fighters, and fantastic MechWarriors.

I attribute that excellence in the cockpit to Edge choices - Trademark Ride vs. Weapon... Ghost 'Mech vs. Martial Artist... and so on.

As for BattleMechs - in that fiction, MechWarriors generally upgrade their 'Mech selection, eventually finding a model they prefer. Some we catch late in their careers - Jaime in his Archer, Phelan in his Wolfhound, Natasha in her Warhammer (before she upgraded to her Dire Wolf). The concept of the inherited family 'Mech which will be passed on is a 3025-era concept, and while I prefer it I think it's not unreasonable to assume a Light 'Mech pilot will want to move into a machine that will keep him or her alive longer. Wink

All things being equal, if I play someone with my skills and I have an Atlas and he a Locust, ensuring that Locust gives only 10's or better on clear shots, I will still kill him. Thus, there's a balance issue to be resolved and I'm curious as to why that one works as a cooperative handwave, when the other doesn't. IMO, they both do - and so rules for one seem excessive next to no rules for the other.


Quote:
The reason for Int over Agl as the governing stat for Mech Piloting and Gunnery? Balance. Agility is nearly a god-stat in core SW. All combat abilities come off it. When designing the system we wanted people to have to make sacrifices to play a MechWarrior. You want to be the best MW right out of the gate? You can do it, but you're sacrificing other combat skills to do so. This forces players down a more well rounded path.


Yes, I can see. I just don't know why that's important to good storytelling.

Quote:
If shooting weapons in Mechs was just a Shooting roll, then all these same MechWarriors would be crack shots in out of combat. The same for Melee, etc.


Yes, as noted there is plenty of reason in fiction to assume they should be. They're much better than other warriors... they are MechWarriors. Wink

Quote:
Also, keep in mind that Gunnery covers much more than firing a Mech's weapons. It's used for any vehicular mounted guns, from those on Warships to Hovercraft.


OK, here's a case where your simplification doesn't match BT, old RPG, or fictional canon except in the rarest cases. Smile The difference between a WarShip gunner and a MechWarrior is that the MW put points into BattleMech Piloting? Smile

Quote:
Controlling such weapons is a fundamentally different skill than firing a pistol or rifle, and we felt that having those skills different from the the normal core skills helped differentiate a MechWarrior from an Infantry Soldier.


Why the effort to differentiate between infantry, with which MW are reasonably expected to share some skills and training, but not AeroSpace gunners/pilots? Look at the skill overlap again.

I am trying to understand before I modify, and so I am trying to correlate the changes you've made from FFF SW.

Quote:
In SBt, you can look at a handful of stats and know exactly what that character does... Gunnery and Driving, it's a Vehicle pilot. Mech Piloting and Gunnery, Mechwarrior. Piloting and Gunnery, Aerospace pilot. Shooting and Melee, well that's an PBI.


Yes... but you're reducing it to the 2-stat checklist on a BT/miniatures record sheet, rather than a more nuanced SW/RPG character sheet. You can still distinguish between those characters if there are multiple skills.

I am tired, I think I am missing something fundamental here.


Quote:
To be honest, I'm not entirely happy with Int either, I agree that from a fluff standpoint it should be Agl, but from a Game Mechanics standpoint, Agility is already over-valued and we wanted to balance that somewhat.


Ah, that I understand! Group flay-vah over rules.

Quote:
As to Mech Melee combat, we've actually talked about it being unnecessary a few times, the fundamental reason it's stuck around is that it offers a way to balance pilots against each other and sweetens the pot for a melee build MechWarrior.


More than buckets of Edges that specialize the Axeman pilot to melee and the Thunderbolt pilot to taking hits and blowing stuff up at range (6 hexes, thank you)? It seems your group has sacrificed simplicity (Fighting and Shooting with a single Edge) for slowing down character advancement and skill levels (Fighting and 'Mech Fighting and Shooting and... all-purpose Gunnery)

Quote:
It also serves as a way to distinguish Clan from IS warriors, as in canon its stated that Clan warriors are generally against melee combat and are not as adept in it as Inner Sphere ones. As to it not being tied to the normal Melee skill, again, it's a fundamentally different set of skills to swing a sword and make a Mech swing a sword.


Never having swung a 'Mech sword, I can only assume that's true. Smile For game play, though, and emulating fiction, it seems like a hair-splitting detail.

Quote:
Again, like I said, the main reason for the different skills was to make Mech piloting a conscious decision in character building, one that required people to put resources to it. We did not want MechWarriors to be the best combatants both in and out of their Mechs, we wanted them to have to pick and choose the skills they would specialize in.


Totally makes sense. I get it, and you definitely accomplished that. I'm sorry to beat that to death... maybe I should delete some of the above since I now totally understand.

Quote:
Quote:
Firing a weapon group does not strike me as needing to be a free action. That is probably to compensate for a longer BT turn vs. standard SW, but it's not needed.

Originally we had an edge called Quicktrigger that allowed folks to fire a weapon group and then take another action without the MAP. It became obvious after a long while (we just got rid of this edge in v9) that this Edge was to powerful not to take and was essentially to make Heavy and Assault Mechs playable.


Well, yeah, but your solution to it being too powerful was to make it free to everyone, not tone the power level down. Smile What did Light 'Mech pilots get to compensate for the H & A's becoming more deadly? Smile

I would apply something like an autofire/MAP penalty to the group. When we played various computer games, including the pods, the group fire mode always had a penalty of triggering weapons in sequence rather than all at once. It was a pleasant balancing act, even more so than the balance of the heat generated on a hex map. Fire it all fast, or fire it all accurately... simple trade off.

And I like how you encourage players to group like weapons by applying all the penalties and none of the bonuses of a mixed group.

Quote:
It does do a lot to help speed up gameplay, but it also it reflective of core BT, in which a Mech can fire every weapon it has an a single round without any penalty.


Remember, BT is a way to model how these silly machines might fight using the preposterous weapons they carry, all in a turn-based mode. When you port (hex map to simulator or RPG) go back to what it's like in depictions. You might find similarities, but I also think you can be free of hex-constrained assumptions.

Quote:
Weapon groups were added to help resolve single turns quicker, and that Edge, later made into a core mechanic, enhanced that. Take the Nova Prime with it's 12 ER Medium Lasers. Without the rule, it can only fire half it's weapons per the weapon group rules, with it, it can fire all of them like in BT (that this is a terrible idea to do due to heat build up is beside the point. ;p).


That attack is the sole reason that OmniMech configuration exists on a record sheet and in fiction. Dump it all ("nova," "tab," or "alpha strike") and kill a target, but expect to be helpless for a few seconds.

Quote:
It would be possible to play without this rule, but you would likely have to allow all weapons to be fired as one weapon group or allow all weapon attacks to be rolled individually (which greatly slows down gameplay). We experimented with Weapons groups like Autofire rules, but that has complications of assigning specific weapons to specific dies and also slows down gameplay. It is not a perfect solution, I admit, but it is a balanced one. It also allows people who try to be more tricksy (using Electronic Warfare or Taunts and the like) to be a bit more usable in the game, as otherwise it is almost always better to make an attack roll.


I'll have to try it. I see your point and just need to see it in play to carry on an intelligent conversation. I will definitely let you know how it goes.

Quote:
Quote:
Speaking of the BattleMech Pilot Edge, this system needs one to keep MechWarriors in balance with other characters. A "tree" with increasing requirements might be useful in determining the pilot's starting 'Mech:

It has a balancing mechanism build in: the Mech Piloting, Gunnery and Mech Melee skills. Wink These skills keep Mechwarrior in line with other characters who specialize in other areas as the skill point and unique Edge investment counterbalance are a cost of being a MechWarrior. A MechWarrior who to heavily specializes in Mech combat will be worth very little outside the cockpit.


In combat, the MechWarrior literally steps on the non-'MechWarrior, or manages through the rules' focus on 'Mechs to shoot down an AeroSpace fighter. Or he sells his 'Mech - even the scrap is a lot more valuable than all of the kit an infantry character can carry.

For free, not even a background Edge. Smile Even in fiction, the MechWarrior is portrayed as having a fundamentally different background from most other characters. It distinguishes him or her from an AeroSpace pilot, tanker, Battle Armor trooper, or a merchant. Seems like the perfect use of background Edges... if they're all MechWarriors, definitely not an issue.


Quote:
(snip 'Mech choices)This one is really on the GM though, and it falls to them to balance their people against each other.


That's what made me twitch. If a GM is concerned about Agility balance, he should ensure the encounters are well-balanced... some require Smarts, diplomacy, seduction, and so on - not just shooting something. If all you're doing is playing BattleTech... why bother with Savage Worlds at all?

Quote:
What we've found is that a requirement of starting the campaign with a tech level 1 Mech, and then letting technology and equipment trickle in helps.


Yes, of course. Basic BT campaign technique including in 3025 with just the basics. Upgrades & repairs come from salvage.

Quote:
If Mechs are treated as just another piece of equipment, I think it devalues them, and by gating them off by XP level it makes people see them as goals rather than a fundamental part of their character.


Absolutely agree about devaluing them, which is why more powerful 'Mechs should be earned. It also makes no real sense that the best military equipment - the new stuff, not the handed-down-for-generations stuff - would be handed to academy graduates, and makes less sense that there isn't a background Edge to reflect how the 'Mech came to the character. Wink You can Edge them in, or Wealth them in to reflect something like Lyran nobility, but it feels like allowing any 'Mech at the beginning dilutes the importance of having that 'Mech. Otherwise... 65-ton IS/75-ton Clan jumper FTW. But, man, if you had to fight your way into that Timber Wolf...

- Ket
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your points about the Clans are well taken, but I'm honestly not sure how to implement further penalties into the racial background without devaluing Character creation or making Clan racials to good to pass up for a min-maxer.

That said, from our group experience, only a few people can actually play Clanners properly, those people who have absorbed a ton of the setting and love the Clan they're playing. No amount of specific rules or edges can change that, sadly. (If any of our players are reading this, I mean no offense! O.o!)

A lot of those differences can be simulated by simply good character building, and to be honest, a GM should be heavily involved if anyone wants to play a Clanner, it's not something I would suggest for most groups. I'll mull over it though and discuss it with the co-authors and our group. There's a reason the authortorial credit for SBt is "Discord Company" and not "Peregry". While I might be the guy who puts the rules on paper and represents them to y'all, I'm hardly the originator of all of them, it has been a true group effort!

----------------------
I'm guessing this might not be well explained in the document itself: Mech Scale combat takes place on BattleTech hex maps. This leads to a more BattleTech feel. While we want Savage BattleTech to be faster, we did not want to lose some of the crunch. To put it in peanut terms. Savages Worlds is creamy peanut butter, Battletech is raw peanuts, Savage Battletech is meant to be crunchy peanut butter.

As to the exact numbers, you'll have to trust me on this, but we've actual run numbers on different TNs and had extensive arguments if Defense is to high, bonuses are to high, etc, etc, ad nausam. The present system of Gunnery vs Ranged Defense has been extensively worked on and tweaked. Provided our group is comfortable with it having used it for so long, which is why I greatly look forward to gameplay feedback from here.

Savage Battletech is definitely more complex in calculating numbers than normal Savage Worlds. The attacker has to take into account what type of movement they did (Walk, Run, Jump), what terrain is between them and the target (light cover, heavy cover, etc) and what their personal modifiers are (weapon bonuses, Wildcard's Edge, Trademark Ride). The target also has a series of modifiers, how far they moved, did they jump, prone/hull down, etc. This was a conscious decision on our part to help keep some of the crunchy feel without having to run TN calculations for every attack. Sure, you have to calculate your to-hit bonus every time, but this is pretty much normal from most systems, but the Ranged Defense is pretty much set for a round.

I was never good at calculating Battletech to-hit numbers, I wrote a program on my TI-83 to do it for me back in school. The SBt system, though, I can calculate stuff quite quickly.

In other words, the attack calculations are pretty much identical to core SW, much more so than BT. Like I said, it's Parry vs Melee just slightly differently. The only real difference between the two is the movement defense bonus, which is there to help balance Light and fast mechs vs the assault mechs (and is something that is core to BT and understandably important here). Wink

-----------------------
Onto Skills, by the way, you just made my night by citing all those Battletech heroes. The thing is, while they were all good, they were not great at anything other than being MechWarriors. Good is a d6 or d8, great is d10s and d12s. The way skills work out, it's quite easy for a MechWarrior to have a d6 or d8 Shooting and Fighting (almost all of our characters have one or the other at least). Sigmund Tachibana fought an Elemental one on one unaugmented (well, technically he had his family sword, but that was an acceptable handicap the Elemental agreed to)... and won (rolling 20s and 30s on damage may have helped... ;p).

The one exception on that list might be Kai Allard-Liao. I statted him once for Savage Worlds as a PC (stats were for just before he became Champion of Solaris). Having read the Blood of Kerensky trilogy multiple times (and having multiple copies some first edition ;p) he is considered a great MechWarrior, but what keeps him alive outside of a Mech? Great Luck. He's statted with Luck and Great Luck, kid has bennies to burn. ;p

In the fiction, the Wildcards generally stuck with one Mech, unless they lost their ride. The PCs are meant to be characters who, later in their careers, could go hang out with Jamie and Morgan be generally be considered equals in skill. I think there may have been some miscommunication on my part. The GM should only allow the player to have Mechs that fit their background. Perhaps we just have a good group, but when given free reign to choose their Mechs, none of our group picked Assaults, we all picked Mechs that were what we liked to control. Some were in Lights and played scout/speed tank. Some took to the Heavies and played strikers (I myself am happiest in the 65 to 70 ton energy boats).

All that said, our group plays very loose with money. (You'll not the equipment section doesn't even list values for gear, that's how little we care about it. ;p) We didn't care that there was a starting discrepancy between character's Mechs as far as value went, but we also don't care about XP discrepancies at the start of a game if it fits the character backstory. I understand that some people do care about it, and we'll give it some thought. My initial gut reaction says a lot has to be up to the GM. If the GM wants to run a game where everyone is in the Davion Heavy Guard RCT, forcing the players to start in Light Mechs is a bit... counter intuitive. At the same time, we can definitely put in some guidelines for starting mechs, as you shouldn't have tach level differences between players at the outset.

As to your Atlas vs Locust example, that Locust is doing something wrong if it's Ranged Defense is only a 10 vs an Atlas and deserves to get shot. And beating a 10 is pretty hard for most of the game. For ease of calculation, let's assume both have d10s in all the related skills. This gives the Locust a base ranged defense of 7. The movement speed easily grants another +3, up to 10. The Atlas though, is likely firing at long range due to the raw movement speed difference (-1), has to run to keep even marginally close (-1) and likely has at least some terrain modifiers (say, one hex of light cover for another -1). So it's a TN 10 vs a d10-3. Even assuming no penalties, 10% of the shots is all that his the Locust, being in Short Range only buffs that to 20%. Meanwhile, the Atlas is lumbering along with a TN of 7 the entire time, give the Locusts a much better chance to hit. An aggressive Locust pilot will generally always be in the rear arc to boot, reducing the Atlas' armor advantage dramatically.

And that's before taking into account edges. Sure the Atlas may only need to hit once, but in a fair fight between to properly built and played wildcards, I would never sell the Locust short on that fight. In the right environment, I would even say the Locust has the advantage. Wink

You're probably skeptical, but I've seen a Wolfhound speed tank three Clan heavies before keeping them pinned to allow heavier friends to come up and finish them off.

Glad you understood on the skill. Like I said, the discussion concerning Mech Melee is still ongoing, but we are happy with the way character balance has developed with Mech Piloting and Gunnery compared to straight simply being Shooting. And I think you'll agree that piloting a Battlemech is definitely not covered by any of the core skills. ;p

---------------------------

Quote:
Well, yeah, but your solution to it being too powerful was to make it free to everyone, not tone the power level down. What did Light 'Mech pilots get to compensate for the H & A's becoming more deadly?

The story of Quicktrigger is an interesting one. It originally started out as simply allowing a second weapon group to be fired after the first without a multi-action penalty. This was changed when some folks started getting creative with things like Taunt and other core Savage Worlds skills. What we determined very quickly was that players who wanted to be creative were punished because it was almost always better to simply fire weapons over doing creative things. Quicktrigger was then changed to allow a second action in a round to help those folks who want to be creative (interesting aside, folks who were creative tended towards Light and Mediums, mechs that had little use for quicktrigger). Then we realized that Quicktrigger was becoming ubiquitous and basically essential for all characters, and so we made it core.

The benefit that Light and Medium pilots is the ability to use more creative actions. Things like taunt and electronic warfare (hacking) are best done in lighter mechs in this system as folks in heavier machines basically need the rule to use all their weapons. It is also useful for allowing optimum weapons fire. For instance, a Mech with a ER Large Laser and a set of 4 Medium Pulse Lasers is best served by triggering the two types of weapons separately even though they can all be fired at once. It also allows better heat management of a Mech. In short, without it, much of the tactical flavor of weapons fire in a Mech is lost.

We did try having an autofire penalty for weapons groups, it did not work well at all due to it heavily skewing the balance in the favor of defense (-2 is a huge penalty). If you did, you would have to then nerf defenses to allow combat to even be resolved.

Quote:
Remember, BT is a way to model how these silly machines might fight using the preposterous weapons they carry, all in a turn-based mode. When you port (hex map to simulator or RPG) go back to what it's like in depictions. You might find similarities, but I also think you can be free of hex-constrained assumptions.

We looked at it like this. One of our stated goals is to make the gameplay feel more like the accounts from the novels than being as crunchy as BT. One thing to encourage this has been to encourage the use of Savage Worlds maneuvers and such into gameplay (something our group forgot for ages) while at the same time keeping a certain level of the tactical feel. It's not quite perfect, but from playing it it feels closer than BT does. One thing we did not take queues from was the computer games, as we were going from a turned based tactical miniatures wargame to a turn based tactical miniature RPG. The thing we wanted to change was wargame to RPG, which was done by focusing on the pilots, but we did not want to lose the tactical aspect of the game. Wink

Anyway, I need to stop rambling and do some work. You have no idea how long I've waited for folks to actually ask from of these design choice questions! I love rambling about this stuff. Thanks again for the feedback! Mr. Green
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ketjak
Novice


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Work, then reply... work, then reply... Smile

I was reading your reply last night thinking "Oh, I love this show." then I read where you wrote that. OK, this is good.

BTW, where I wrote "faster than anyone" I meant "...anyone I knew." I also think I realized this morning why your group chose the targeting system you did... I'll talk more later, but it helps not to be awake for 20 hours before posting. Smile

Thanks, Peregry, this is a lot of fun - and I'm not even playing it yet. Smile

- Ket
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
warrenss2
Heroic


Joined: 12 Oct 2009
Posts: 1046
Location: Augusta, GA

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
From that list you will need:

* Movement Costs table
* Facing After Fall table (Not needed, just roll 1d6 with 1 being towards the front arc)
* Piloting Skill Roll table (Not needed)
* Cluster Hits table
* 'Mech Kick Location table
* Mech Hit Location table
* Attach Modifiers table (Something are modified by SBt rules though.)
* Heat Point table (On your Mech record sheet, so no big deal.)
* Physicl Attack Modifiers table
* Determining Critical Hits table
* 'Mech Punch Location table

I know these tables/charts are free for the downloading, but have you considered adding those needed charts to your next rules revision?

I'm not quite sure what "Defense Bonus" is at the top of page 4. Have you considered making it a minus that is applied to anyone's attack against the defending Mech. Or did I miss something there explaining the Defense Bonus?

<Edited in> Ah... found the Defense information. But is have to ask the same questions as this...
Quote:
Does Ranged Defense, for example, need to be 1/2 Piloting +2? For that matter is it needed at all?

Unless you want to constantly calculate to-hit for each weapon, the Ranged Defense is a needed trait.
Would it be any different from normal SW missile combat (shooting)? I can understand the Parry, but still not quite sure about the need for the Ranged Defense.

A little proofing...

Some of your New Edges are indented further than other edges.

Blank line missing between Tracking Fire & Tracking Trigger. 2 blank lines after Tracking Trigger.
_________________
#gunbattle
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Fri Mar 30, 2012 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

warrenss2 wrote:
Quote:
From that list you will need:

* Movement Costs table
* Facing After Fall table (Not needed, just roll 1d6 with 1 being towards the front arc)
* Piloting Skill Roll table (Not needed)
* Cluster Hits table
* 'Mech Kick Location table
* Mech Hit Location table
* Attach Modifiers table (Something are modified by SBt rules though.)
* Heat Point table (On your Mech record sheet, so no big deal.)
* Physicl Attack Modifiers table
* Determining Critical Hits table
* 'Mech Punch Location table

I know these tables/charts are free for the downloading, but have you considered adding those needed charts to your next rules revision?

I'm not quite sure what "Defense Bonus" is at the top of page 4. Have you considered making it a minus that is applied to anyone's attack against the defending Mech. Or did I miss something there explaining the Defense Bonus?

<Edited in> Ah... found the Defense information. But is have to ask the same questions as this...
Quote:
Does Ranged Defense, for example, need to be 1/2 Piloting +2? For that matter is it needed at all?

Unless you want to constantly calculate to-hit for each weapon, the Ranged Defense is a needed trait.
Would it be any different from normal SW missile combat (shooting)? I can understand the Parry, but still not quite sure about the need for the Ranged Defense.

A little proofing...

Some of your New Edges are indented further than other edges.

Blank line missing between Tracking Fire & Tracking Trigger. 2 blank lines after Tracking Trigger.


Thanks for the editing catches. The spaces between things change up a lot as I try to make sure everything is kept together on pages using the images and sometimes I miss stuff.

The Edges that are indented further than others (when it's not due to an image) is intentional, take a look at the prerequisites of those Edges. Wink

As to needed tables, those have been consciously left out to prevent stepping on anyone's toes. You'll also note we don't duplicate any tables or information from Savage Worlds, nor do we duplicate any information from the BattleTech books. This was, frankly, because we love both systems greatly and wanted people to support both companies through their purchases. While it is inconvenient, we feel it the right thing to do by the actual companies involved.

To explain why Ranged Defense is used rather than a base TN I need to delve into the actual BattleTech system briefly. Battletech uses a TN system against 2d6 to resolve actions. The way an attack is resolved is that each individual weapon's TN is calculated.

Each pilot has both a Piloting and Gunnery skill value between 0 and 7 (lower is better).

For ease of explanation, we're going to assume a weapon with no inherent penalties or benefits.

To figure the base TN you take the Gunnery score of the pilot shooting, add range, add attacker's movement penalty, the defender's movement penalty, terrain modifiers, and weapon modifiers. Added together this is the number that must be rolled equal to or greater on 2d6.

If you look at an earlier post, you'll see where we were talking about BattleTech skills to Savage BattleTech skill conversion. Average pilots have a base of 5. Once modifiers are added, the average TN is easily 8 or higher, as the circumstances to have 0 modifiers are very uncommon (both in short range, neither having moved, no terrain in between them and nothing from their weapons).

Long story short, average pilots in Battletech generally have less than a 50% chance to hit with a single weapon hit. The base TN of 4 from Savage Worlds, with a d6 die (what we set as average) has a 50% chance to hit. To keep with the feel of Battletech, we wanted to keep ranged weapons from hitting with the same ease as in core SW. A further reason was we wanted better pilot to be more durable through a higher piloting skill, as otherwise the actual Mech Piloting skill would be severely undervalues (you get to a d6, maybe, and just leave it at that) since it doesn't come up as frequently as you may think.

Further, without the higher base defense, Light and Medium Mechs become overly fragile and to easy to put down. High defenses allows them to survive longer on the field and be a viable choice for players and GMs alike.

Finally, there was also another layer of flavor. BattleTech has a definate feel of "Days of Future Past", where MechWarriors style themselves as Knights of Samurai and put great emphasis on Codes of Honor and Loyalty to Liege Lords and planets. Where marauding barbarians come out of space and attack the struggling remains of the fallen of a previous Golden Age. In other words, BattleMechs are the sword and steed of Knights, not a simply a walking tank. This subtle vibe is reinforced in Savage BattleTech by using a mechanic that resembles Parry and melee fighting over Shooting.

You -could- go with a base SW ranged TN of 4, but then you would have to seriously adjust everything that goes into Ranged Defense upwards, adjust the range penalties and greatly increase the speed bonus to defense to allow Light and Medium Mech to be viable.
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ketjak
Novice


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peregry,

I'm still lvoing this and I think it's a very good piece o' work on your group's part. I still have some questions, one of which Warrenss seems to have picked up, too.

> Ranged Defense = 2 + 1/2 'Mech Piloting

I see some of why your group did this - in essence, you nerfed the modifiers that make lights and mediums more survivable. Namely, the penalties for hitting a moving target are one less than in BT, and the range modifiers provide a bonus at short range. I... don't think that is advisable.

Taking them separately, why did your group decide to modify the BT movement penalties - at +1 increment at 3/5/7/10/14 hexes/spaces? You have no penalty to hit a target that moves up to five spaces, which pretty much rules out an essential defensive bonus for 'Mechs under 55 tons. That negates one of the key balancing issues between mediums and faster lights and heavier 'Mechs. The Locust, for example, can only give a +4 penalty to be hit for moving 12 hexes in a straight line. Your progression kind of screws all but the very fastest light 'Mechs.

Why did you decide to give a +1 to attacks at short range? That is neither BT nor SW, so my guess is it is in response to some other balance issue introduced in the conversion.

While these two changes affect everyone, they affect lights and most mediums disproportionately since their primary defense is not being hit, while most heavies and assaults use armor as their primary defense.

I have some suggestions on Hindrances, all variations on Outsider:

Defeated (Minor/Major): The character is infamous for suffering a defeat that resulted in dishonor or suspicion. -2 to Charisma when someone knows, and people generally ignore his contributions to planning, and he may not be permitted to have honorable positions in battle or social situations. Major hindrance in Clan environments.

Dispossessed (Minor): -2 to Charisma when someone knows, and he'll be passed over for new 'Mech assignments.

Freeborn (Major): Clan environments only; -2 to Charisma and subordinate to all Trueborn warriors.

I have some suggestions for Edges, which should make this a little more streamlined and should address the Light 'Mech issue:

MechWarrior(background)
Grants a choice of a single light or medium BattleMech, allows Shooting skill and Fighting skill to apply to 'Mech weapons.

Light 'Mech Specialist (combat)
Requires: MechWarrior, BattleMech Piloting skill d6+
The character applies a -2 penalty to to attack rolls from a weapon mounted on a vehicle, BattleMech, or AeroSpace fighter. The character receives a +2 bonus to all BattleMech Piloting skill rolls.

Have you experimented with any of these in the two years you've been at this?

- Ket
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It only looks like we nerfed the modifier, lights and mediums are actually quite durable in this system.

Keep in mind the dice size difference and the averages of the die involved. 2d6 have a max of 12 and an average result of 7. Except for the d12, no other dies used in SW comes close to those numbers. Because of that switch, some numbers needed to be tweaked downwards to keep balance with smaller dice.

Keep in mind that unlike normal Battletech changing facing and turning costs no extra movement. In other words, everything moves faster. This means that even a normal Inner Sphere heavy can be expected to be easily generate a +1 movement bonus to defense assuming a 4/6 base movement. The only category of Mech that regularly doesn't see a movement bonus to defence is Assaults with their 3/5 move. Between the Run and Gun edge and smart play, most lights are generating +3 or more movement bonus to defense.

And that's a huge buff to defense here.

As to range modifiers, that was the result of gameplay adjustments. Originally it was 0/-1/-2 but we determined that those were to high and adjusted them. This also had the effect of encouraging close range combat, which we felt was good.

We've struggled with balancing Defense vs Attack a lot, and some of our team feels that Defenses are already to high, while others feel they are fine where they are at. I can tell you that anything that adjusts Defenses upwards is going to really skew the game balance we've achieved. My only request is that before making number adjustments for your group, try with our numbers, these are a result of two years of testing and tweaking and we've put a lot of thought into them.
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ketjak
Novice


Joined: 21 Jan 2012
Posts: 37

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get that - and I will if I find the numbers are too stacked against Lights.

Good Lord, I haven't talked about BT in depth in over a decade. Smile This is a lot of fun, thank you, Peregry.

What (I think) I'm asking is has your group:

    Used a TN of 4 for ranged combat
    Used BT standard penalties to hit a moving target
    Used range attack modifiers of 0/-1/-2 for S/M/L


The net effect of that change is to add +2 to the effective TN for ranged combat. Using an "average" of d6 'Mech Shooting (aka Gunnery) That means a light 'Mech that moves 7+ hexes (for +3 penalty) and ends at medium range for the majority of weapons (standard approach for running a light IME) has an effective TN of 8 to be hit.

As you state, and I know very well, that's a lot harder to hit with a Savage set of dice, even for wild cards. A d10 (and d6) in 'Mech Gunnery has a (30% + 10%) 40% chance of hitting that target, which feels about right if the target has no terrain modifiers and the shooter didn't move.

Add in terrain (the light that doesn't end in Light or Heavy Woods is probably a dead light) and that drops to 30% or 15%. It goes lower if the Light forces his attacker to move or the Light moves more than 10 spaces.

If the Light 'Mech pilot uses my Specialist Edge, well, the chance to hit becomes a lot more like 5% at best. I think that's the range you folks are in with the best pilots, and that keeps the assault pilots from also having TNs that don't make sense.

By not charging for turns, that makes Light 'Mechs even more survivable... this is good, since one hit and they're generally internal. But they shouldn't be untouchable, and they're not supposed to be balanced against the heavier chaps.

Light 'Mechs are not long for the battlefield, and they're not supposed to be. Crazy pilots and scouts love them, but anyone looking to survive past the next 120 seconds should probably not go toe-to-toe with heavies and assaults, even if they're wearing ballet slippers. Lights are protrayed as recon units, harassment forces, cheap support (hello, Panther and UrbanMech), and crowd (infantry) control - but not front line warriors.

In short, I don't mean to be argumentative. I am sort of working out how I want to use your excellent system as a springboard to a SBT I find more to my view of how the universe works. I am hoping you can point out the solid fallacies in what I'm thinking - but by saying your group thinks the TNs are a bit too high, I think I'm also explaining a solution for your group's problem.

- Ket
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
peregry
Seasoned


Joined: 05 Jan 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Manassas, VA, USA, North America, Terra, Inner Sphere, Milky Way Galaxy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We did not try with the base TN for one main reason:

We wanted the Mech Piloting skill to matter and wanted to add in another form of progression for MechWarriors beyond just raising their Gunnery die.

What you're not accounting for is character progression. As the Gunnery die goes up, the likelihood of hits goes up. This makes sense to a certain degree, but when using a static target number the Defender is at disadvantage. End game play then becomes whoever has the most Assaults on the field, rather than who is playing best.

Allow me to show some numbers to display what I mean. Let us ignore terrain modifiers, as they are to fickle to truly account for, and weapon modifiers, as those are specialized, and look only at what the pilots themselves can control: movement and their own skills.

Using a base TN of 4, the likelihood of success for any given die is as follows:

d4 25.0%
d6 50.0%
d8 62.5%
d10 70.0%
d12 75.0%

These are static and never changing. Using a scaling system like Parry results in a very different appearance:

d4 25.0%
d6 33.3%
d8 37.5%
d10 40.0%
d12 41.7%

These numbers are drastically lower. Now, let us look at the d10 and work it out with the speed modifiers (I am choosing the d10 because this is the die that most players in our group gravitate towards and settle at, as well as for ease of calculation). For the record, this is assuming both a d10 Mech Piloting and a d10 Mech Gunnery.

The first collumn is the TN that is being rolled for, the second the likelihood of rolling that or greater with an exploding d10, and the distance moved is in the third.

Under a static system, accounting for movement:
4 - 70% (Moved <3)
5 - 60% (Moved 3-4)
6 - 50% (Moved 5-6)
7 - 40% (Moved 7-8)
8 - 30% (Moved 9-10)
9 - 20% (Moved 11-12)
10 - 10% (Moved 13-14)

Under the dynamic system as written (assuming that a die is rolling against itself):
7 - 40% (Moved <5)
8 - 30% (Moved 6-7)
9 - 20% (Moved 8-9)
10 - 10% (Moved 10-11)
11 - 10% (Moved 12-13)
12 - 9% (Moved 14+)

In other words, the system as written favors Lights and Mediums more than a base TN and keeps them relevant for longer. Certainly when just starting out a base TN might be superior, but for long term play, a base TN is less beneficial than a scaling number.

Another reason for the generally higher defense is something else: Raises Matter in SBt. A base TN of 4 on an Assault actually makes them WEAKER than a Medium or Light as written. This is due to Raise Critical Threats. A Base TN of 4 doesn't scale, as noted, which means that as Gunnery skill goes up, Criticals happen more and more frequently. A scaling system helps keep Assaults as the massive damage soaks they are, rather than making the game into one of crit-seeking Lights dancing around the Assaults and laughing at them as they tear of limbs with a single Small Pulse Laser.

A final note on character building: this may just be our group, but most folks build characters to have a d8 in their primary combat skills at the outset from our experience. If they don't, they will have it after one or two advances. Savage Battletech was balanced with d8s and d10s in mind, with d12s and d4s treated as outliers and d6s used as what you would expect of a green pilot (meaning inferior but not drastically so).
_________________
- Peregry
It is always giant stompy robot time!


Last edited by peregry on Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Great White Games/Pinnacle Entertainment Group Forum Index -> SW Home-brew Settings & Conversions All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10, 11, 12  Next
Page 4 of 12

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum