DragonMech Questions

Medieval fantasy mechs powered by steam, magic, or the labor of a thousand slaves.

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Reese
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Post by Reese » Sun May 22, 2005 10:26 pm

considering that the additional crew above and beyond the pilot are doing:

shoveling coal
watching guages and the engine for abnormal conditions (keeping everything running)
navigating
helping to control the mech's movement (mainly on larger mechs, though)

and half of them can be doing other stuff, normally (firing weapons and what not durring combat

um... where was i? oh, yeah, a lack of crew would probably mean that the boilers aren't getting stoked, and you would eventually run out of steam, or pressure would run up or something would go wrong without getting corrected immediately

somehting like that

it would take a few rounds for whatever it is to go wrong, though

if i were going to fudge up a rule, i would call for a DC 5 fort save each round, with a cumulative +1 to DC per missing crew member per round spent running without adaquite crew

(in your case, DC 5 on the first round, DC 7 on the second, and so on... as the fuel in the engine burns up and the gears slide out of place and slowly but surely all hell prepares to break loose. a failed check would mean something goes wrong, and i would roll a critical hit, ignoring anything that isn't a boiler, spring, or gear train malfunction

ie: component damage, gyroscope, out of control, and control damage would be ignored results on the steam powered crit table (nohting bad would happen, in other words)
(technically, component damage would have an effect, but there's no damage to double since it's not caused by an external hit)

given average rolls, a steam mech would keep running for a few rounds of combat before anything bad would happen, and some of the problems are repairable on the fly
Namfoodle "Sparklediver" Raulnor
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mythfish
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Post by mythfish » Mon May 23, 2005 7:59 am

Whereas I would suggest nothing quite that serious. The rule I'd fudge would be something more like the mech gets -1 to all rolls per missing crew member, and maybe a small penalty to its speed.

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Post by Reese » Mon May 23, 2005 3:20 pm

well, what i'm suggesting is for normal combat where things are happening and you're puching the limits of your mech

you need more people to keep things running properly when you're putting more strain on the gear, and fewer when you put less strain on it

maybe i would just increse the critical thresholds while they are under-crewed, come to think of it
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Post by captainh » Fri May 27, 2005 7:09 pm

I'm in a campaign where my our party was in a mech that was hit by a lunar dragons breath weapon. So the mech made a save and then everyone in the mech made a save to see how much damage they would take. My question is this how it's supposed to be or would just the mech get a save and everyone inside the mech be protected by the mech itself?

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Post by Reese » Fri May 27, 2005 10:26 pm

everyone in the mech should be protected by it

the exception to this might be if they are riding on the outside of the mech in the area effected by the breath weapon, and the mech fails it's saving throw (if it's a reflex save) or they are crewing an exposed weapon or in an open cockpit (still having them be in the area of the breath weapon's effect)

after all, a cone shaped effect breathed from point blank would only effect a portion fo the mech's structure
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Post by Sword Guy » Sun May 29, 2005 2:12 pm

Okay, I feel like an idiot for asking, but . . .

How does one create a new type of mech armor?

The ashigaru, dire armor, et cetera, are all listed as having stats, but I haven't found anything to explain how to create a new type of mech armor. Can someone fill me in on how the creation process differs from a traditional mech, and how you calculate all of the stats associated with the armor?
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Post by goodmangames » Fri Jun 03, 2005 5:42 pm

Sword Guy wrote:How does one create a new type of mech armor?

The ashigaru, dire armor, et cetera, are all listed as having stats, but I haven't found anything to explain how to create a new type of mech armor. Can someone fill me in on how the creation process differs from a traditional mech, and how you calculate all of the stats associated with the armor?
Good question... which I don't have a good answer to. We adapted things as we went and didn't put together a "how-to" file. I'll look through my notes to see if I can find anything...
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Post by Reese » Sun Jun 05, 2005 12:27 am

mwahaha! I have another question for you :twisted:

you know how a steamborg's abilities function by way of replacing limbs and other body parts with mechanical pieces of similar function?

how does the Regenerate spell in the player's handbook, which reads:
Player's Handbook wrote:The subject's severed body members (snip) grow back. After the spell is cast, the physical regeneration is complete in one round if the severed members are present(snip). It takes 2d10 rounds otherwise.
the spell is listed that it effects only living creatures(and undead are not effected) and that fortitude negates(harmless)

i would assume some sort of damage and artificial limb rejection caused by the regrowth of body parts growing out, followed by healing of damage as listed by the spell (or a portion thereof). Obviously, parts lost in this fasion would stop working, atleast in part, though implants that are in addition to the normal functioning parts of the body (such as the steam engine itself, the metal skin at level 5, and the bone reinforcement at level 9) should remain more or less in place (in theory, anyway).
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Post by goodmangames » Sun Jun 05, 2005 4:24 am

Reese wrote:mwahaha! I have another question for you :twisted:

you know how a steamborg's abilities function by way of replacing limbs and other body parts with mechanical pieces of similar function?

how does the Regenerate spell in the player's handbook, which reads:
Player's Handbook wrote:The subject's severed body members (snip) grow back. After the spell is cast, the physical regeneration is complete in one round if the severed members are present(snip). It takes 2d10 rounds otherwise.
the spell is listed that it effects only living creatures(and undead are not effected) and that fortitude negates(harmless)

i would assume some sort of damage and artificial limb rejection caused by the regrowth of body parts growing out, followed by healing of damage as listed by the spell (or a portion thereof). Obviously, parts lost in this fasion would stop working, atleast in part, though implants that are in addition to the normal functioning parts of the body (such as the steam engine itself, the metal skin at level 5, and the bone reinforcement at level 9) should remain more or less in place (in theory, anyway).
That's pretty interesting -- using regenerate as an anti-steamborg weapon! I'd rule along the same lines as what you're suggesting. If the target fails its Fort save, its missing limbs regrows. Since the spell heals damage it would presumably heal any damage caused by the artificial parts being ripped off as they're undermined by natural organs. Parts that don't replace or interfere with natural appendages and organs (like the steam engine itself) wouldn't be affected. But artificial hands, arms, legs, etc. would be replaced by organic equivalents. The steamborg could perhaps then undergo surgery to have them reattached... but in the meantime, he's suddenly quite organic. That's a cool and unexpected way to use a spell, I must say.
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Post by MagusRogue » Sun Jun 05, 2005 2:20 pm

Mr Goodman, an official answer to the penalties that an undercrewed mech suffers? As noted in the book, it seems you can have half your crew and still suffer nothing at all (as they're suppose to stoke the engine AND man weapons at the same time), but less than that and you shut down.
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Post by Reese » Sun Jun 05, 2005 2:39 pm

i should point out that regenerate only restores 4d8+level (max 35) HP worth of damage to a single target

having a maximum durration of 2 minutes (at 20 rounds) so long as any damage caused by rejection is repaired there should be no problem, since a person can be technically dead (no heart beat) for 2-3 minutes without sustaining permanent damage to the brain (say, if the steamborg's heart or lungs were replaced with steam-powered analogues)

of course, any brain damage would most likely ALSO be regenerated anyway...
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Post by Guest » Mon Jun 06, 2005 7:25 am

Just a question about mechs and grappling.

On page 127 of the main book, it talks about using a buzzsaw "if the mech is grappling", but on page 91 it states that mechs cannot grapple. Is the entry on page 127 just a typo, or can mechs grapple under certain circumstances (mech devil pilot, etc.)?

Also, can two or more coglayers combine their steampowers? Eg: could two level one coglayers, both with intelligence 18, combine their steampowers and create one item with 12 parts? (Using this with high level coglayers and force generators + amplifiers could make force fields for your mechs, like titans from Warhammer 40K, which feel very like these mechs)

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Post by mythfish » Mon Jun 06, 2005 8:04 am

Anonymous wrote:Just a question about mechs and grappling.

On page 127 of the main book, it talks about using a buzzsaw "if the mech is grappling", but on page 91 it states that mechs cannot grapple. Is the entry on page 127 just a typo, or can mechs grapple under certain circumstances (mech devil pilot, etc.)?

Also, can two or more coglayers combine their steampowers? Eg: could two level one coglayers, both with intelligence 18, combine their steampowers and create one item with 12 parts? (Using this with high level coglayers and force generators + amplifiers could make force fields for your mechs, like titans from Warhammer 40K, which feel very like these mechs)
I'd go with the "mechs cannot grapple" rule except perhaps under very special circumstances.

Yes, coglayers can combine their powers. A section in the new Steam Warriors supplement is about this very subject.

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Post by Reese » Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:56 am

mechs that use hooked hammers, barbed blades, and lobsterclaws are considered grappled when they hit thier opponent and thier opponent fails a reflex save

that's the closest mechs come to grappling (actually, i wouldn't put it past a mech devil to figure out how to grapple effectively in a mech)
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Post by MagusRogue » Mon Jun 06, 2005 12:04 pm

it'd be a feat off the Mech Fu tree though....
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Post by Quetzi » Mon Jun 06, 2005 1:36 pm

Okay, I've got a question.

Say I'm not playing a coglayer or a steam mage. Say I am, in fact, playing a druid. I want a nice quick way to get into mechs, so I ask my coglayer friend if I can borrow his steam engine, and along with it a triple stacked drill. This would allow me to get into the mech without turning into a bear and crashing at the portholes for a half hour. I could just drill in and turn into a snake. My question is though, can I use steam powers even though I'm not a coglayer or a steam mage?
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Post by Reese » Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:19 pm

under the current rules, certainly

your coglayer friend would still need to maintain the drill for you, though, and it would diminish HIS over-all power

you would also be considered non-proficient with the drill

lastly, your DM may asses some other penalties... me, personally, i would treat you as though you had worn metal armor if you wield an overtly technological weapon (ie: no spells or abilities for 24 hours)

anyway, if you're in the buisness of singlehandedly busting in to big mechs, rusting grasp is your friend ;)
( who needs to drill noisily through a port cover when you can quietly rust the thing away in a single round :twisted: )
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Post by Quetzi » Tue Jun 07, 2005 11:29 am

Normally yes, but my sixth level is going into Master of Many forms, which doesn't have a caster progression. And if I attempt to drill more into the furnace room then it wouldn't be that noisy comparatively. Less noisy than turning into a bear and trying to break portholes.

I have the distinct feeling my DM won't let me use a drill anyways. 'twould remove from all the power of the coglayer. Not that the party coglayer even uses his steam powers, as much as I encourage him to. He mostly just reloads the steam cannon. I mean, he could make a machine to do that for him! And then one to shoot a crossbow for him. He wouldn't have to do anything. He could probably make one to talk for him too, then he wouldn't really do anything as a character.
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Post by MagusRogue » Thu Jun 09, 2005 8:14 am

isn't LA +2 a bit excessive for Tik'Toks? they seem to have an aweful lot of penalties for such a seemingly better race. They have a negatively-balanced Ability Score Adjustment, not immune to critical hits or mind-effects, vulnerability to rust-based effects, cannot heal themselves wihtout certain spells or blacksmithing, inability to take any magical class but wizard and ranger, what magic they can use is hindered by the 15% spell failure, and affected by the millions of construct-targeting effects out there. In return, they only get a few benefits, the best of which is a free steam power, and even that has to be a cheap power.

compare them to DnD's other Living Construct race, Warforged. Warforged have balanced ability scores, a slam attack, a built-on version of armor (which inflicts a casting penalty), Living Construct traits, can be effected by Cure spells (if only minorly), and light fortification, and they're still LA +0.

shouldn't tik'toks, in this revelation, be la +0, or at the most +1 (and that's pushing it)?
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Post by mythfish » Thu Jun 09, 2005 8:39 am

Do automated steam powers get attacks of opportunity? I ruled no, mostly just for reasons of balance, but I'm interested in hearing other ideas. Heck, maybe it says somewhere in the DM book and I just missed it.

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Post by goodmangames » Sat Jun 11, 2005 8:17 pm

mythfish wrote:Do automated steam powers get attacks of opportunity? I ruled no, mostly just for reasons of balance, but I'm interested in hearing other ideas. Heck, maybe it says somewhere in the DM book and I just missed it.
By "automated" you mean those that have the Automator steam power, right? I think there's a case for both yes and no. Constructs get attacks of opportunity, but they have a form of intelligence. If a steam power has reached the point of rudimentary intelligence (perhaps through the use of a Discriminator), it should probably get attacks of opportunity. I think it would be a judgment call based on the steam powers in question.
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Post by goodmangames » Sat Jun 11, 2005 8:25 pm

MagusRogue wrote:Mr Goodman, an official answer to the penalties that an undercrewed mech suffers? As noted in the book, it seems you can have half your crew and still suffer nothing at all (as they're suppose to stoke the engine AND man weapons at the same time), but less than that and you shut down.
It depends on the mech power source and the mech's weapons and/or other capabilities. I never had a system of "less than X% crew and attack rolls suffer by -2," or anything like that. Powering the mech was all-or-nothing based on the crew count (as on page 92 of DragonMech).

The weapons are a separate matter, based on which crew member handles which weapon. The "new and improved" mech schematic sheet in the Mech Manual has room for noting each crew member's responsibilities. The penalty for a specific crew member dying is the loss of whatever weapon he was firing, at least until someone else can fill that spot.

Other roles, like navigators or spotters, depend on the mech in question. If you have a well-protected mech with only a single exposed observation point, then the mech is effectively blinded if that observation-person is killed. And so on.

In other words, largely case by case with some generalities... does that help?
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Post by MagusRogue » Sun Jun 12, 2005 12:30 pm

most definately!

now the tik'toks?
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Post by Reese » Sun Jun 12, 2005 10:55 pm

and, if you get a chance to go back a page, i have a couple of questions you may have missed...

Linked Here
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Post by walrusjester » Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:44 am

The Tik'toks! Sorry it took so long to get you an answer on this one. Having edited Steam Warriors, I'd say the LA +2 is fair, at least in the context of a DragonMech game. Tik'tok characters get some substantial benefits:

*+10 hp at 1st level.
*Automatic d10 for Hit Dice, regardless of class.
*Bonuses with several skills relevant to the DragonMech setting.
*Most of a construct's immunities. The only big "humanoid" vulnerabilities they have are critical hits and mind-affecting magic, and they get a good bonus to resist the latter. You can't poison them, paralyze them, stun them, drain their abilities, etc.
*+2 AC.
*Racial feats. The tik'tok have a nice array of feats with a stronger combat orientation than most options presented to other races.

Their limited healing/mending ability isn't much of a drawback in Highpoint; you're surrounded by characters with the Craft (blacksmithing) skill, while divine spellcasters are hard to come by. Ditto for the negative ability score adjustment -- it's a minus, yes, but a small one. You can make a case for their magical penalties being a big hindrance, but on the other hand, the tik'tok are a technological race. Few of them are gonna want to use magic at all, for the same reason few humans become steamborgs. It goes against the fundamental nature of the race (unless you're That Guy Who Has To Play The Counter-Culture Character).

So I think an LA+2 is about right. I could see the argument for LA+1, but if nothing else, the massive hit point/Hit Dice bonus counterbalances a lot of minor defects. Outside of DragonMech, they might not do as well; in a setting with steam powers and blacksmiths they'll be fine.

The warforged are another interesting problem. It seems to me that WOTC went to some trouble to create a construct race with an LA+0, and the result is something that's only vaguely construct-like. I know Keith Baker used to hang out on this board (he wrote several of the Complete Guides), so maybe we can get him to weigh in if he's around.

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