DragonMech Questions

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

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goodmangames
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Post by goodmangames » Thu Sep 02, 2004 10:50 am

I never imagined half these questions would come up! :)

Hydraulic armor: I think the answer lies in full plate, which is also a completely enclosed suit of armor that is custom-fitted and includes gauntlets, helmets, and so on. Ask your DM if he'd let you wear gauntlets of ogre power with full plate armor. He'll probably say, "yes" -- but replacing parts of the armor piecemeal might affect its strength. If this were in my game, I'd rule that you could address this in one of two ways:

a. Swap out armor parts piecemeal. In other words, take off the hydraulic armor's gloves and slap on some gauntlets of ogre power. This would reduce the armor's AC bonus and perhaps its other abilities, depending on the part replaced. (For example, the air filter would be pointless if the gloves weren't airtight.) I'd also say that depending on the part, it might not be possible, since hydraulic armor is built holistically. Probably only the gauntlets and helmet could be swapped out like this... although you could always try to find a coglayer to build you a custom suit with more flexibility.

b. Enchant parts of the armor, which is the better option. In this case you'd hire a wizard and go through the usual enchantment process, using the components of the armor as the targets. If gauntlets of ogre power have to be masterwork, then the hydraulic armor gauntlets to be enchanted would also have to be masterwork. If not, then they don't have to be; it depends on the requirements of the magic item in question.

To me, it really comes down to full plate armor. Can a fighter in +5 full plate also wear gauntlets of ogre power? I'd say yes; if full plate blocked the use of gauntlets you'd have a lot of angry fighters! The question then is not whether it's possible (it is), but the specifics of actually enchanting part of the hydraulic armor or working in a substitution.

Does that help?
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Post by Sword Guy » Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:45 pm

Yes, thank you.

So I can wear my Gauntlet of Rust with my hydraulic armor. I'll just have to get someone to enchant the armor itself.

Heh heh heh. The only person who can kill rust monsters with metal fists.

Do Gauntlets of Ogre Power stack with the effective strength of 20 given by the hydraulic armor? Or is the hydraulic armor granting an enhancement bonus, which doesn't stack with the enhancement bonus from most magic items?
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Post by Reese » Thu Sep 02, 2004 2:26 pm

<_< ... >_>

gauntlets of ogre power grant an enhancement bonus to the wearer, so the character's strength would be boosted, not the armor (unless you had a spell to substitute for bull's strength durring construciton that was able to enhance the strength of clockwork/steam powered objects instead of living creatures)
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question about steam powered items.

Post by raptor112 » Sat Sep 04, 2004 5:05 pm

I was reading dragonmech, and I'm a bit unclear on steam powered item. Now I know that a coglayer can only mantain so many items at once, but what about building things for other people? I know steam powered items are technology, and the thing that makes technology better then magic is the fact that anyone can use it. So if a coglayer makes my fighter a flamethrower can I use it? Will there be some future feat like steam item prof. that allows my fighter to use the flamethrower without taking the -4 penalty and maybe be able to maintain the basic functions of that one item? Also if I was to make several item with steam powers but just store them away and only use when needed, do they all count against my normal allotment of steam powers? Even though they aren't in use.

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Post by LVSUBARU » Sat Sep 04, 2004 7:40 pm

The fighter would not be able to preform the maintenence needed to keep the flamethrower running. I supose he would be able to use it for a day untill the device failed.

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Post by Sword Guy » Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:42 pm

The coglayer could keep it maintained, but the fighter would take the -4 penalties. In addition, the maintaining would count against the coglayer's maximum steam powers.

As for storing steam powers and resurrecting them at a later date, I don't think so. It says in the book that steam powers that are not maintained fall apart from lack of repair. But I might be wrong.
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Post by Reese » Sat Sep 04, 2004 10:44 pm

i would rule that, as long as you have a coglayer handy to perform daily maintainence on your steam device, you can use it...

i don't know about proficiency... the coglayer and steam power descriptions don't mention it, but i would assume that proficiency in steam devices is standard with the classes that allow oyu to build and maintain them... but i don't know how i would handle prificiency with them...

maybe an exotic weapon proficiency with each type of attack provided by the devices... (touch, pump, billows, lobber)

and i have a couple more questions now:

1: does the hydraulic armor require a character with steam powers available to maintain it's function? (and, if so, how many steam powers are needed to maintain it?)

2: can a cog layer have more devices built than he can maintain, but select which devices to maintain in any given day?

for instance, a 3rd elvel coglayer with an intelegence of 14 would have 6 steam powers...
could he have a pilot light+amplifyer+amplifyer+pump (4 powers) and a light generator+amplifyer (2 powers) and a rotor arm+boiler(2 powers)

for a total of 8 powers built, and then chose to maintain the flame thrower and either the lantern or the large rotor each day (or, rather, any six of the eight component devices, since any device can be re-configured in one minute per component device)

3: a coglayer needs one hour of each day to maintain his current steam powers, could a coglayer maintain a larger number of steam powers by spending extra hours (say, a cog layer who's job it is to maintain the light generator steam powers lighting the interior of the city mech he lives on)

4: a number of steam powers (wave makers and optical orbs/Image makers) have large ranges... would the cog layer need to maintain the devices that send (say one is left in a place to spy with) every day, or could the device be made to function "without maintainence" so long as the coglayer kept one steam power slot free (or by paying extra before deploying it)
it would be a little odd for a coglayer to go into the grand council chamber on a daily basis for maintainence purposes if there are no (known) mechanical devices to maintain

5: the book mentions mechs keeping touch with each otehr via wave maker and optical orb/imagemaker combinations... should it be assumed that such mechs have atleast one coglayer or steamborg onboard capable of maintaining the device (or that the mech recieves proper maintainence while docked with it's home mech so as to not require a coglayer present while on patrol)

6: could an amplifyer be used to increase the range of a wavemaker or optical orb

7: could a wave maker be used as a relay to catch and re-transmit the signal sent from another wave maker?
(how about a signal from a optical orb, what would be nessesary to catch and retransmit a visual signal?)

8: could a noise maker be modified to record images sent from an optical orb instead of(or as well as) sound?

9: is a metal ear nessesary to send sound with a wave maker?
the description of the metal ear implies that it is, but the description of the wave maker itself implies otherwise
likewise, voice command's description implies that it already has a sound gathering device built in
is the metal ear essentially worthless, since all devices that it would work with seem to already have such a component built in

10: does a mech's hardness work against energy attacks, which normally ignore hardness? for instance, against most objects, acid and sonic do full damage, lightning and fire do half damage, and cold does 1/4 damage... should the same apply to mechs, or does the mech's hardness (from size, if nothing else) have an effect on the damage taken from energy attacks?

11: does the 1 minute per device component for re-configuring a steam power device cover taking parts from multiple devices and re-combining them?

for instance, if i want to take two componets each from three four component devices and combine them all with the components from a fourth four component device, does it take 10 minutes(for the 10 components going into the new final device) or 16 minutes (for the 16 total components involved in the 4 original devices) or something in between? (say, 10 for the ten components minutes plus one minute extra for unhooking the ten components from the original devices, but no more extra time since the six other components aren't going to be re-attatched to the new device)

also, if i had a flame thrower with 1 pilot light, four amplifyers, and a billows, would it take me 1 minute for adding 1 new component (a fifth amplifyer, say) or would it take 7 minutes to put one amplifyer into a now 7 component device?

that's enough from me for now

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Post by goodmangames » Thu Sep 09, 2004 8:51 pm

Reese wrote:i would rule that, as long as you have a coglayer handy to perform daily maintainence on your steam device, you can use it...
I'd agree with that. And I'd agree with requiring the fighter to take an exotic weapon proficiency feat slot to use the equipment without a penalty. I wouldn't go so far as a separate feat slot for every type of attack (touch, pump, billows, etc.), but maybe a slot for "flamethrower" that would allow him to fire weapons that are generally like flamethrowers. I think it would depend on the DM to adjudicate it, but that should generally work.
Reese wrote:1: does the hydraulic armor require a character with steam powers available to maintain it's function? (and, if so, how many steam powers are needed to maintain it?)
No, a character with steam powers is not required to maintain hydraulic armor. To put it in an analogy, I envision steam powers as sort of like cutting-edge technology. Mechs, hydraulic armor, steam guns, and the like are more mass-market technology, almost like watered-down steam powers that have become fairly common. The cutting-edge stuff needs special knowledge to maintain properly, but the mass-market stuff can be used by anyone. Or, at least, the general knowledge of how to maintain the mass-market stuff is fairly well known by now.
Reese wrote:2: can a cog layer have more devices built than he can maintain, but select which devices to maintain in any given day?
If he's willing to spend the money and time, yes. Though if it got abusive, the DM might have to step in... :)
Reese wrote:3: a coglayer needs one hour of each day to maintain his current steam powers, could a coglayer maintain a larger number of steam powers by spending extra hours (say, a cog layer who's job it is to maintain the light generator steam powers lighting the interior of the city mech he lives on)
No. The time required doesn't correlate to the number of steam powers maintained. It's like learning math... when you're in first grade, it takes you an hour to do your addition homework. In fifth grade, it takes you an hour to do your long division homework. In college, it takes you an hour to do your calculus homework. Spending an extra hour on your fifth grade homework won't let you learn calculus.
Reese wrote:4: a number of steam powers (wave makers and optical orbs/Image makers) have large ranges... would the cog layer need to maintain the devices that send (say one is left in a place to spy with) every day, or could the device be made to function "without maintainence" so long as the coglayer kept one steam power slot free (or by paying extra before deploying it)
In general, the devices need maintenance by someone each day. But that's "in general." It's up to the DM to deal with special circumstances (and it sounds like you found some). You could easily rule that certain devices are made to withstand long-term lack of maintenance, or that on certain devices, the maintenance really focuses on one part of it, not the others. For example, keeping a car in running order doesn't really require polishing your bumper very often. A spy device may need the receiving end maintained, but the transmitter could be built to go without maintenance for long periods.
Reese wrote:5: the book mentions mechs keeping touch with each otehr via wave maker and optical orb/imagemaker combinations... should it be assumed that such mechs have atleast one coglayer or steamborg onboard capable of maintaining the device (or that the mech recieves proper maintainence while docked with it's home mech so as to not require a coglayer present while on patrol)
Yes, assume that they need crew somewhere to help maintain the steam power equipment. That's also one of the reasons steam powers aren't more common... you need some pretty savvy crew to keep them working!
Reese wrote:6: could an amplifyer be used to increase the range of a wavemaker or optical orb
Yes, I think that would be OK.
Reese wrote:7: could a wave maker be used as a relay to catch and re-transmit the signal sent from another wave maker?
That's also a cool idea... yeah, I think that would be fine.
Reese wrote:8: could a noise maker be modified to record images sent from an optical orb instead of(or as well as) sound?
Yes, definitely. Part of the idea of steam powers is the "create your own!" aspect -- all of these questions seem within the range of balanced ideas, so the PC should be able to invent these on his own. Or, alternately, maybe he meets another crazy coglayer who already invented them, but the knowledge isn't widespread yet.
Reese wrote:9: is a metal ear nessesary to send sound with a wave maker?
the description of the metal ear implies that it is, but the description of the wave maker itself implies otherwise
likewise, voice command's description implies that it already has a sound gathering device built in
is the metal ear essentially worthless, since all devices that it would work with seem to already have such a component built in
I think you caught something. Yes, they do seem redundant. I probably had something in mind originally that either got lost through revisions to the manuscript... or maybe I just can't remember what I had it in there for. But rereading it now, I think you're right -- the metal ear is basically unnecessary given the description of the wavemaker.
Reese wrote:10: does a mech's hardness work against energy attacks, which normally ignore hardness? for instance, against most objects, acid and sonic do full damage, lightning and fire do half damage, and cold does 1/4 damage... should the same apply to mechs, or does the mech's hardness (from size, if nothing else) have an effect on the damage taken from energy attacks?
This gets tricky. If you have the patience to separate out the hardness that comes from size factors, then yes, that should still affect energy attacks. It still represents "empty space" -- the acid might eat through the mech's shell, but do no damage to anything important because of the gaps behind the mech's hull.
Reese wrote:11: does the 1 minute per device component for re-configuring a steam power device cover taking parts from multiple devices and re-combining them?

for instance, if i want to take two componets each from three four component devices and combine them all with the components from a fourth four component device, does it take 10 minutes(for the 10 components going into the new final device) or 16 minutes (for the 16 total components involved in the 4 original devices) or something in between? (say, 10 for the ten components minutes plus one minute extra for unhooking the ten components from the original devices, but no more extra time since the six other components aren't going to be re-attatched to the new device)
This is like one of those word problems from grade school. :) In your example, it would take 10 minutes. But the extra, leftover pieces would be "stranded" and useless until a minute per piece was spent doing something with them.
Reese wrote:also, if i had a flame thrower with 1 pilot light, four amplifyers, and a billows, would it take me 1 minute for adding 1 new component (a fifth amplifyer, say) or would it take 7 minutes to put one amplifyer into a now 7 component device?
In this case, I'd say 1 minute to add the new part, since it's not a substantial change from the original design.
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test

Post by AcmeHeroesInc » Fri Sep 10, 2004 1:00 pm

Just a test :roll:
That'll be $500. You can make the check out to Super Dude.

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Post by Reese » Fri Oct 01, 2004 2:52 pm

what is the armor proficiency(hydralic) feat's prerequisites?

the feat in question recieves only passing reference in the hydraulic armor description, and no mention at all in the feats section

also, considering the form-fitting nature of hydraulic armor (and that it's practically a mini-mech) could hydraulic armor also be worn inside of a mech without the normal penalties for wearing heavier armor insode of a mech?

could the endurance feat (which allows sleeping in medium armor without penalty) also help against the normal penalties associated with wearing armor inside of a mech?

last on the same vein, considering that the penalties for wearing armor inside of a mech are described as, atleast partially, being due to cramped space, could providing an extra PU of cockpit space or passenger area allow someone to wear heavier armor wihtout penalty? (an extra PU per person to avoid the penalty, that is)
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Post by goodmangames » Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:49 pm

Reese wrote:what is the armor proficiency(hydralic) feat's prerequisites?

the feat in question recieves only passing reference in the hydraulic armor description, and no mention at all in the feats section
I meant it to be a stand-alone feat. That way coglayers can take it after they build themselves some armor.
Reese wrote:also, considering the form-fitting nature of hydraulic armor (and that it's practically a mini-mech) could hydraulic armor also be worn inside of a mech without the normal penalties for wearing heavier armor insode of a mech?
I think the normal penalties should still apply eventually, since you're still getting bounced around every time the mech takes a step. And technically, plate mail is fairly form-fitting, too (at least according to the PHB).
Reese wrote:could the endurance feat (which allows sleeping in medium armor without penalty) also help against the normal penalties associated with wearing armor inside of a mech?
That's a good call. Yes, I think that makes sense.
Reese wrote:last on the same vein, considering that the penalties for wearing armor inside of a mech are described as, atleast partially, being due to cramped space, could providing an extra PU of cockpit space or passenger area allow someone to wear heavier armor wihtout penalty? (an extra PU per person to avoid the penalty, that is)
Even with the extra room, you'd still be getting bounced around and chafed with every step the mech took. I think it would still hurt. :)
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Post by Shadetree » Tue Oct 05, 2004 9:36 pm

7: could a wave maker be used as a relay to catch and re-transmit the signal sent from another wave maker?
I'd say you'd need to attach the relaying wavemaker to a Discriminator to turn it into a switch.
9: is a metal ear nessesary to send sound with a wave maker?
the description of the metal ear implies that it is, but the description of the wave maker itself implies otherwise
likewise, voice command's description implies that it already has a sound gathering device built in
is the metal ear essentially worthless, since all devices that it would work with seem to already have such a component built in

Code: Select all

Mundane Lock + Metal ear + Automator + Discriminator
Cost: 405 gold(+lock)
Assistants: 0
Voice activated Lock, usable by anyone with password.

Code: Select all

Mundane Lock + Wavemaker + Automator + Discriminator
Cost: 435 gold(+lock)
Assistants: 1
Same as above. More expensive, and you need a assistant to build it.  Could be unlocked from greater distance by person with another wavemaker.  (cool idea for mechbay doors) 
Metal ear is not useless just not as cool as a Wavemaker :)
Metal ear is a reciever and not a transmitter/reciever that the wavemaker seems to be.

And just another option

Code: Select all

Mundane Lock + Voice Command + Automator
Cost: 120(+lock)
Assistants: 0
A lock that opens or closes at the Creators command only.
That brings me to my Question

Integrated Parts: I know you take the weight of the smallest part, but what is the size of Iron arm + Imagemaker used in the example for the Coglayer?

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Post by mythfish » Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:06 am

Going way back for a bit:
goodmangames wrote:
Reese wrote:in some of the official WoTC suplements, there are arcane spells for repairing constructs (the "repair damage" spell line in the "tome and blood" book), how would spells designed for repairing magical constructs function as applied to mechs? for the most part mechs are technological in nature instead of being magical constructs, so i was kind of curious (though, considering the spells repair the same amount of d8 worth of damage as thier cure spell counterparts heal wounds, it would take more than a few of them to fix a broken mech :lol: )
Yes, this is a very good question. I had ideas for "repair mech" spells. But the problem was it would reduce the role of coglayers in the world. The reason for their rise to prominence is that they can build these massive constructs capable of protecting entire civilizations... but if spell casters discover a way to do the same thing for comparable cost, who needs the coglayers? Additionally, there's the game balance implication: as it stands right now, it takes a lot of time and energy to repair a mech. Aside from the mech jockey's patchwork repairs ability, you generally have to stop a mech and spend a long time working on it to actually repair it. If spellcasters can use a standard action to cast a spell, you suddenly have a much, much faster way of repairing mechs -- and, potentially, a radical shift in mech combat, because mechs will be repaired in motion while in the middle of combat.

Based on that, I'd treat the spells that affect magical constructs as being limited to magical constructs. Thus, they might work on some of the magically animated mechs, but no others. I'd also question the motives of any mage who used them. In DragonMech, one of the major bones of contention is the fact that the mages -- who used to be powerful heroes -- are now becoming less important in the face of coglayers and others who use steam technology. Any mage with a normal ego would sneer at a coglayer who needed his help... it would be unlikely that he'd assist someone who is a rival in a larger sense and quite possibly in a more personal sense as well.
I would make a similar ruling that spells to repair magical contructs are limited to use on magical consturcts. Mechs are (for the most part) non magical constructs. Repairing a mech, in addition to taking a great deal of time, takes a great deal of specialized knowledge. I'd say that creating a spell to repair mechs requires a similar amount of specialized knowledge, and could probably only be created and cast by a steam mage or wizard/coglayer multiclass. To keep the time aspect involved, I'd rule that its a very difficult and time consuming spell to cast (in other words, it requires a long drawn out ritual). The only real advantage such a spell would have then is that it would magically create necessary parts and you wouldn't have to buy them.

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Post by Sword Guy » Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:33 pm

I know the drill description says that it is a Diminuative item. But it later says that it can be wielded as a weapon as a Medium weapon. Likewise, it says that the weight of the drill is 2 lbs, which suddenly increases to 7 when wielded as a weapon. I'm assuming the extra bulk and weight comes from the steam engine, and that the original stats are for the drill itself. So if you combine two drills and use it as a weapon, does that mean it weighs 9 lbs? What size is it then? Would adding a boiler circumvent the requirement for a steam engine, since the boiler has a steam engine of its own (as said in the reply that steam powers include their own steam engines in the weights)? Would that then allow a boiler and a drill to be combined to make a Diminuative item that weighs two pounds, and does 2d4 damage? Would a boiler speed up the rate of drilling through stone (because it doubles the force) or would that be something restricted to flywheels only? If it did speed the drilling up, would that stack with a flywheel?

Or am I just crazy and coming up with completely random stuff?
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Post by goodmangames » Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:04 am

Sword Guy wrote:I know the drill description says that it is a Diminuative item. But it later says that it can be wielded as a weapon as a Medium weapon. Likewise, it says that the weight of the drill is 2 lbs, which suddenly increases to 7 when wielded as a weapon. I'm assuming the extra bulk and weight comes from the steam engine, and that the original stats are for the drill itself.
One weird quirk of d20 is that a Medium weapon is actually a Tiny object sized for a Medium creature (refer to the PHB, page 113, column 2, paragraph starting "A weapon's size category isn't the same as its size as an object"). I figured use as a weapon would require adding a miniature steam engine to the drill (you're correct in that assumption), which ups the "real" size to Tiny and the "weapon-effective" size to Medium (along with an increase in weight, as you pointed out).

The guys in my campaign used to do a trip-drill combo where one would trip an opponent to knock him prone, then the coglayer would come in and get the double damage from drilling a prone opponent.
Sword Guy wrote:So if you combine two drills and use it as a weapon, does that mean it weighs 9 lbs? What size is it then?
Good question... yeah, 9 lbs sounds OK to me. If it actually doubled it would start getting really unwieldy really quickly.
Sword Guy wrote:Would adding a boiler circumvent the requirement for a steam engine, since the boiler has a steam engine of its own (as said in the reply that steam powers include their own steam engines in the weights)? Would that then allow a boiler and a drill to be combined to make a Diminuative item that weighs two pounds, and does 2d4 damage?
You mean combining them with the coglayer's integrated parts ability, right? That's a sneaky use, but yeah, I think it's OK. It's things like this that make steam powers fun. :)
Sword Guy wrote:Would a boiler speed up the rate of drilling through stone (because it doubles the force) or would that be something restricted to flywheels only? If it did speed the drilling up, would that stack with a flywheel?
I would say that the boiler indirectly increases the drilling speed simply because the drill is now doing twice as much damage (whether to stone or flesh or whatever). However, the drill's length still limits how much it can drill each round. A 12" drill couldn't go through more than 12" of stone each round, for example.

As for a flywheel, it does sort of apply, but it's not quite right... I'm not quite sure how to articulate it, but I always saw a flywheel as more for big complicated things with parts that could could move faster if only they had some extra oomph. Increasing the speed of a drill is just a little too simple for that. I think a boiler's more appropriate (although, according to the rules as written, you're right that a flywheel would work).

Hope that helps...
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Post by Sword Guy » Sun Oct 17, 2004 10:19 pm

I have another question, this time about mechs. It says weapons that are added to a mech take up PU. Does that apply for all weapons, or just for weapons that are actually built into the mech?

For example, if I was piloting a Large mech, where neither hand was occupied with a weapon, could I then "borrow" the magic greatsword from the party's fighter and use it as a weapon? Or would I have to leave mech PU "open" to represent the extra machinery used to articulate the hand and the extra boiler power for using the sword?

If I do have the capacity to pick up weapons, would there be the standard rules for disarming a mech? Would there be penalties? (A mech's not exactly agile) Would there be bonuses? (A mech's hand can really grip) Would the advantage of built-in weaponry then be that you cannot disarm it?

Can you enchant a weapon on a mech in the standard way for a human-sized weapon? And, finally, does the Ethereal modification resemble the Glamer modification more than the Distance modification? (Glamer doesn't take up enhancement bonus slots, but Distance does.)

Thanks
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Post by goodmangames » Tue Oct 19, 2004 6:13 pm

Sword Guy wrote:I have another question, this time about mechs. It says weapons that are added to a mech take up PU. Does that apply for all weapons, or just for weapons that are actually built into the mech?

For example, if I was piloting a Large mech, where neither hand was occupied with a weapon, could I then "borrow" the magic greatsword from the party's fighter and use it as a weapon? Or would I have to leave mech PU "open" to represent the extra machinery used to articulate the hand and the extra boiler power for using the sword?
The sword counts towards the mech's PU. All weapons wielded by the mech count. The "real world explanation" is similar to encumbrance in the regular rules -- weight and bulk, as well the construction and boiler power concerns that you mentioned. The "game balance explanation" is to keep mech weaponry from getting out of hand... if the picked-up weapons didn't count toward PU, you could just build a mech with empty hands, then starting picking up big weapons and get around reasonable limits. "Here's my eight-armed mech. Every arm has an empty hand. Now every hand picks up a steam cannon..." :)
Sword Guy wrote:If I do have the capacity to pick up weapons, would there be the standard rules for disarming a mech? Would there be penalties? (A mech's not exactly agile) Would there be bonuses? (A mech's hand can really grip) Would the advantage of built-in weaponry then be that you cannot disarm it?
I'd think that most mechs would have their weapons welded into their hands, so they couldn't be disarmed. In the off chance that weren't the case, I suppose you could try to disarm the mech. As for the mechanics, I'd have to play with it a little... I'd be nervous to use the standard rules, because of the size modifier of +4 per difference in size increment. A large mech would have an enormous modifier, which would mean an automatic disarm against smaller targets, but that might not make sense given the large mech's clumsiness. It ain't easy to smack a sword out of someone's hand with a city-mech! One option might be the DragonMech called shot rules (page 91), but I'd have to think about it some more. This never came up in my games. Lemme think about it. :)
Sword Guy wrote:Can you enchant a weapon on a mech in the standard way for a human-sized weapon?
Yes, definitely. There's a cool example in the Mech Manual.
Sword Guy wrote:And, finally, does the Ethereal modification resemble the Glamer modification more than the Distance modification? (Glamer doesn't take up enhancement bonus slots, but Distance does.)
I always played with it not taking up enhancement bonus slots.

Hope that helps!
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Post by Sword Guy » Sat Oct 30, 2004 9:41 pm

So, out of curiosity, when a steamborg becomes an assimilated, does this mean that he automatically loses the ability to use steam powers (as per the rule that a steamborg must put all steam powers into artificial part bonuses)? Does he gain the ability to use those steam powers inside the mech? Can clockwork puppets be then considered "part of the mech" that can detach and do things? If he then were to multiclass to coglayer, would the bonus steam powers given by a high Intelligence then apply to "steamborg" parts (ones that must be attached to an artificial part) or "coglayer" parts (ones that can operate independantly)? Would they be able to switch back and forth? If a steamborg has more steam powers than artificial parts, can the steam powers then be constructed as multiple powers to a single artificial part? Again, I might just be crazy and coming up with completely random things.

Oh, and that's the one perfect use I can think of for a metal ear. Mounted to the outside of the mech, it allows an assimilated to hear without automatically transmitting to other people.
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Post by goodmangames » Sun Oct 31, 2004 7:11 pm

Sword Guy wrote:So, out of curiosity, when a steamborg becomes an assimilated, does this mean that he automatically loses the ability to use steam powers (as per the rule that a steamborg must put all steam powers into artificial part bonuses)? Does he gain the ability to use those steam powers inside the mech?
When someone becomes assimilated, there are presumably a LOT of things that change. One of these is the character's body, of course, including both his perception of it and the physical reality of it (as his "body" becomes the entire mech). For steam powers in particular, I assumed that people who became assimilated would probably swap them out for something more particular to their new body. If the steamborg's artificial parts and associated steam powers before assimilation aren't useful in his new mech body (as is probably the case), he does indeed lose the use of them. But once he's fully assimilated he could extend the artificial parts to the mech and make the steam powers apply to the mech, although this might require some involvement of the DM to make sure it doesn't get too out of hand. :)
Sword Guy wrote:Can clockwork puppets be then considered "part of the mech" that can detach and do things?
For purposes of the steamborg's steam powers, I don't think that would be the case; you'd have to stretch it to say that clockwork puppets were somehow hard-wired into the functioning of the mech. But for purposes of coglayer steam powers, those could definitely be used for clockwork puppets.
Sword Guy wrote:If he then were to multiclass to coglayer, would the bonus steam powers given by a high Intelligence then apply to "steamborg" parts (ones that must be attached to an artificial part) or "coglayer" parts (ones that can operate independantly)? Would they be able to switch back and forth?
I think it would be up to the player which group of steam powers the Int bonus applied to.
Sword Guy wrote:If a steamborg has more steam powers than artificial parts, can the steam powers then be constructed as multiple powers to a single artificial part?
Yes.
Sword Guy wrote:Oh, and that's the one perfect use I can think of for a metal ear. Mounted to the outside of the mech, it allows an assimilated to hear without automatically transmitting to other people.
Good thinking. I'd like to say I had that in mind when I wrote it, but I didn't. :)
Joseph Goodman
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Post by 1628 » Mon Nov 01, 2004 6:57 pm

i've got one for you...

i've been giving a lot of thought to using steam-powered mechs in an arid environment like a desert or wasteland, and i've come up with an idea i've got no stats for, but i'd be interested in hearing some suggestions or just your opinions.

i'm thinking that there's no reason that a large (Colossal or bigger) mech couldn't have a water recycling system on board that can recycle as much as 75-80% of the steam they would normally vent. obviously, the steam would have to be condensed, purified to remove all the crap that'd be in it from the engines, and then re-addded to the mech's reservoirs. i'm thinking that an add-on like this would cost a pretty hefty number of PU's based on the size of the mech and would be almost ridiculously expensive. i think it would probably increase the chance of an engine malfunction during heavy usage (like combat) because the engines wouldn't really be able to vent properly...it'd be like the classic over-pressurized boiler, only much, much worse...if it were allowed to get that far. a good way of balancing this out in game terms would be to say that after a given period of time spent in combat or some other intense situation the mech might just shut down altogether for a while as the engines cool down.

thoughts?

-c

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Post by goodmangames » Tue Nov 09, 2004 7:19 pm

That's a cool idea. I'd probably approach it using steam powers. There's already a dehumidifier steam power, which you could use to perform that function. Of course, you'd need a lot of dehumidifiers to recycle a mech's stea output! You could even do two options: water recycling via steam powers or conventional means. If performed with steam powers, there's no chance of malfunction. But if performed using more conventional means (expressed as PU usage and a gp cost, as you mentioned), then there's a malfunction chance -- maybe raising the critical threshold by 5-10% at each increment, or something along those lines?
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Post by Sword Guy » Tue Nov 09, 2004 9:23 pm

Critical! I roll on the new Recycling Critical table . . .

1-16: The water recycling system is disabled.
17-18: The mech shuts down as the boilers lose pressure.
19-20: The mech explodes spectacularly is a great rush of steam. Everyone within 500 feet takes 5d10 bludgeoning damage, 3d10 fire damage, and 2d10 slashing damage.

Guess which one is going to be rolled by an anklebiter?
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Post by Reese » Wed Nov 10, 2004 2:26 am

if i play in your campaign, i'm buying a clockwork mech :p

i figure i should re-post this here, where it'll get answered...

how quickly does dust from the lunar rain accumulate? i figure that, if it's coming down like sand paper most of the time at night, it'll be quite a bit, but i'm trying to figure out how quickly a small structure would be burried if no one takes the time to clear the entrances and such...
(of course, i'm not taking into account the fact that the dust could form drifts like snow or move in dunes like sand in large deserts... meh :P )
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Post by mythfish » Wed Nov 10, 2004 9:16 am

Reese wrote: how quickly does dust from the lunar rain accumulate?
Well, the easy answer is "As quickly as you want it to." The moon in DragonMech is the physical representation of chaos and change, so dust from lunar sources wouldn't necessarily have to follow the normal rules of physics. Perhaps Seroficitacit or some other lunar diety actually has some control over the lunar rain, and it only accumulates where he wants it to.

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Post by Sword Guy » Sun Nov 14, 2004 12:16 am

goodmangames wrote:One weird quirk of d20 is that a Medium weapon is actually a Tiny object sized for a Medium creature. I figured use as a weapon would require adding a miniature steam engine to the drill, which ups the "real" size to Tiny and the "weapon-effective" size to Medium.
Okay, I've been mulling over this for a while. And I think I've got the right answer, but I want to make absolutely sure.

If I use the numerical system for calculating steam power size, and I find that I have created a steam power whose "weapon-effective" size is Tiny, how is that for object size? The PHB gives rules for weapons two size categories less, one size category less, and same size category. However, it does not give guidelines for how to calculate something that is four size categories less, such as the example earlier in this paragraph.

I got around this temporarily by assuming that a weapon four size categories smaller is actually a light weapon sized for a creature two size categories smaller. I was happy with that for a moment, but then I realized that the example above would become a Fine item, leaving no size categories below that for even smaller things.

If you could please clarify the way that steam powers and size categories work, I would be most grateful. They're being confusing, and I'm sure that you didn't mean to write them that way. But written works have this annoying tendency to get . . . misinterpreted.

Thank you for writing this book, and I'm sorry that I have to keep bugging you with questions like this.
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