DragonMech Questions

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

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Post by goodmangames » Sun Nov 21, 2004 12:21 am

Reese wrote: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 )
OK, this is officially an area of the game where there is no official answer. It's up to you. There's a brief discussion in the Mech Manual of lunar islands, which are collections of lunar flotsam that have pooled together due to currents and tides. Other than that, nothing much has been done with the idea. So take it where you will... :)
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Post by goodmangames » Sun Nov 21, 2004 7:15 pm

Sword Guy wrote: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.
OK, don't say I didn't warn you: This is probably the most confusing part of the d20 rules. The easiest way I can think to explain it is a table, so I laid it out in Excel and uploaded it here:

http://www.goodman-games.com/WeaponSizes.xls

That's the best I understand it, based on the explanation in the PHB. While doing this, I also realized I misspoke in an earlier post -- a "Medium" longsword (e.g., a longsword sized to a Medium creature) is actually a *Small* object, not Tiny -- but a "Medium" dagger (e.g., a dagger sized to a Medium creature) is Tiny.

So check out the Excel spreadsheet... does that help clarify it at all??
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Post by Sword Guy » Sun Nov 21, 2004 9:00 pm

Joseph, you are absolutely the most accomodating, helpful, and just plain all-around the coolest author I have ever had the privilege of talking to. If that sentence makes grammatical sense. Yes, this clears it up entirely, and I thank you greatly for it.
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Post by mythfish » Mon Nov 22, 2004 5:39 am

Sword Guy wrote:Joseph, you are absolutely the most accomodating, helpful, and just plain all-around the coolest author I have ever had the privilege of talking to. If that sentence makes grammatical sense. Yes, this clears it up entirely, and I thank you greatly for it.
Ditto that! The spreadsheet is tres useful!

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Mechs and magic

Post by Karasu » Tue Nov 23, 2004 5:32 am

Hi there,
I have some new member questions

Can a Mech use an Ioun Stone?

Could a mage enchant an Ioun Boulder for use by larger mechs?

Could an assimilated use ae Ioun Stone?

If a Mech can use a magic weapon, which magic items can a Mech use, and which not use?

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Re: Mechs and magic

Post by cssmythe3 » Tue Nov 23, 2004 9:05 am

Karasu wrote: If a Mech can use a magic weapon, which magic items can a Mech use, and which not use?
That reminds me, does the pilot/gunner of a Lancer class DMech need to have a level in sorcerer/wizard in order to fire the attached wand of magic missles?

When shooting at the pilot of another mech (in 9/10 cover) do the magic missles still 'automatically' hit? That would be a great tactic on mechs with gunners, close, and have the gunner continuously wound the opposing mech's pilot.
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Post by goodmangames » Sun Nov 28, 2004 5:24 pm

Sword Guy wrote:Joseph, you are absolutely the most accomodating, helpful, and just plain all-around the coolest author I have ever had the privilege of talking to. If that sentence makes grammatical sense. Yes, this clears it up entirely, and I thank you greatly for it.
OK, good. Glad it was useful. :)
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Re: Mechs and magic

Post by goodmangames » Sun Nov 28, 2004 5:34 pm

Karasu wrote:Hi there,
I have some new member questions

Can a Mech use an Ioun Stone?
I think it would depend on the nature of the mech. The DMG description of the ioun stone implies that it can only be used by a sentient owner. Most mechs are vehicles, not intelligent creatures. So, can a wagon use an ioun stone? Probably not, so an unintelligent mech could not, either.

An intelligent mech, on the other hand, probably could. I'd say that animated and undead mechs could use ioun stones, since they're more like magical constructs than vehicles. It seems reasonable that a golem could have an ioun stone, so it seems reasonable that these construct-mechs could, too. But steam-powered, clockwork, and man-powered mechs could not. Their pilots, however, could use ioun stones (assuming the stones had room to orbit in the cockpit).

BTW, the DMG says an ioun stone must remain within 3 feet of the controller's head, so that's also somethin to be aware of (which you adress below).
Karasu wrote:Could a mage enchant an Ioun Boulder for use by larger mechs?
Hahaha... cool idea. Yes, I think so. I'd recommend using the Combine Spell feat (DragonMech page 43) as a way to balance it; require that the costs increase as the size of the affected target increases. Basically, you'd have to have that feat and cast the relevant spells multiple times to affect a particularly large target. The details would up to the DM in your campaign, but that should be enough to start from.
Karasu wrote:Could an assimilated use ae Ioun Stone?
Yes, I'd say so. A 5th level assimilated is fully combined with his mech, so the stone could orbit the mech's head. Below 4th level, the assimilated's humanoid body would have to be the focal point for the stone's orbit.
Karasu wrote:If a Mech can use a magic weapon, which magic items can a Mech use, and which not use?
That's a pretty broad question. Can you narrow it down to whichever magic items you're particularly curious about?

In general, I think the question to ask is, "Can this magic item be used by a construct? How about by a vehicle?" Then relate the answer to mechs.
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Re: Mechs and magic

Post by goodmangames » Sun Nov 28, 2004 5:39 pm

cssmythe3 wrote:That reminds me, does the pilot/gunner of a Lancer class DMech need to have a level in sorcerer/wizard in order to fire the attached wand of magic missles?
Yes, according to the d20 rules, he does. That was a dumb omission on my part; I should have given mech jockeys the Use Magic Device skill, at least if they're of elven origin. I'd just say that most elven mech jockey NPCs start with a level of wizard or sorcerer to begin with, which addresses the problem. We're also working on a prestige class to help address this, as well; it will be described in more detail in Second Age of Walkers, due out in March '05.
cssmythe3 wrote:When shooting at the pilot of another mech (in 9/10 cover) do the magic missles still 'automatically' hit? That would be a great tactic on mechs with gunners, close, and have the gunner continuously wound the opposing mech's pilot.
Yes, according to the PHB description of magic missiles, they do hit automatically! That would be a great tactic. If the attacker were 101 feet away or more he'd still have to make a Spot check to identify the pilot behind the cover (see DragonMech, page 93). But inside 100 feet, it'd be a great idea.
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Post by Reese » Sun Nov 28, 2004 5:48 pm

hmm... and thence we get amazing new tactics...

and begs the question, how accurate would teleporting to the interior of a mech be?

normal teleport targets are stationary rooms or areas, but a mech interior, as a target, would be rocking and tilting as the mech moved (under a certain size catagory, anyway)

on the other hand, the interior of a mech is concrete and un-moving (aside, i assume from controls and hatch ways and such) and would be a better target, under ideal condiitons, than a regualr room in a house, since a room in a house could ahve the furniture re-arranged and the contents of tables would never nessesarily be the same

(i'm having ideas of wizards scrying the interiors of mechs, teleporting in, casting delayed blast fireball multiple times, and teleporting out before they detonate)

huh, i should read up more on exactly how those spells work and are limited... it might also be possible to scry a pilot at longer distances in order to magic missle him :D
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Post by Ken Hart » Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:20 am

I'm still reeling over the concept of ioun boulders... :shock:
Reese wrote:how accurate would teleporting to the interior of a mech be?

normal teleport targets are stationary rooms or areas, but a mech interior, as a target, would be rocking and tilting as the mech moved (under a certain size catagory, anyway)

on the other hand, the interior of a mech is concrete and un-moving (aside, i assume from controls and hatch ways and such) and would be a better target, under ideal condiitons, than a regualr room in a house, since a room in a house could ahve the furniture re-arranged and the contents of tables would never nessesarily be the same
True, the contents might have gotten shifted around a bit, but look at it this way: if a wizard were to teleport to the common room of his favorite inn, he wouldn't have to worry about popping up embedded in a wandering patron or upended table -- he'd simply appear in the room that he envisioned, regardless of the precise location of patrons and furniture. It is magic, after all. :)

Likewise, if a spellcaster or psion in DragonMech wanted to teleport inside the cockpit or other section of a mech (nice tactic with the delayed fireballs, by the way!), the normal teleport rules would apply with regard to his familiarity with the target location, but that's it. If the target location has changed drastically since the character's last visit (and if the player is unaware of such change), then the DM should feel free to secretly lower the percentage chance from, say, "Very familiar" to "Studied carefully" or even "Seen casually."

If the mech were rocking violently -- either by motion or by being attacked -- then a Balance check might be necessary upon "arrival" (say, DC 12) to avoid rolling to the ground like an extra on Star Trek.

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Post by Alekzandr » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:21 pm

Hi! I'm new, so here are my questions:

(1. Why do you have a Shield Bonus box when determining a Mech's AC on your Mech Schematic Sheet pdf?

(2. Can you please clarify how to determine a Mech's saving throws? Do I put the numbers listed on tables 2-5 , 6, 9, 10, and 11 in the "Base Save" box? Is the Reflex save modified by the mech's dexterity again ,implying that the base gargantuan steam powered mech's total reflex save is -3? Is nothing to be written into the ability modifier for Fortitude saves because mechs lack a constitution score?

(3. forgive my ignorence, but what exactly is a "Weapon and Code" in the Onboard Weapondry and Mech Crew sections for?

A word of advice: some boxes are too small to write the proper information into in your Mech Schematic Sheet pdf, mostly the Onboard Weapondry, Mech Crew, and Payload Usage sections suffer from this lack of space. The number of slots are adequate, but I cannot write out "Gargantuan Sword Blade" or "2d12 + 8" (referring to damage), and I cannot write out Mech Feats in the Mech Crew Section, nor their Weapon Code. If it is not too late, could you put this on 2 sheets? you could transfer the Payload Usage and Mech Crew sections on the back or second sheet, and the space freed up could be used to expand the boxes of the Onboard Weaponry section.

As a last word, I would like to praise DragonMech as an excellent book and expansion to the 3.5 D20 world. It truely is the melding of my two most favorit generas.
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Post by Magusrogue » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:34 am

Hi, I'm also new and will be getting a new account soon. However, I have one large question, in regards to Hydrallic Armor.

What you you have a strength of over 20 and you use this armor? Many high-level fighters (especially half-orcs) can easilly manage a Strength of 22 without magical enhancements. An 18th level fighter who started with a Strength of 18 and who put every ability increase into his strength would have a strength of 22, making him stronger than the armor he's wearing. A half-orc can reach this at 16th level. Then you have things like orcs (+4 strength) even sooner than that! plus, wishes and Bull's Strength spells and so on.... So, basically, my question is: what happens when you have a strength greater than the hydrallics on your armor allow?

Also, could you, somehow through steam powers perhaps (boiler? dunno, I'm still incredibly new to this game), up the Strength beyond 20 for a hydrallic armor?

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Post by goodmangames » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:22 pm

Alekzandr wrote:(1. Why do you have a Shield Bonus box when determining a Mech's AC on your Mech Schematic Sheet pdf?
The Mech Manual (which isn't out yet but will be soon) includes a new piece of equipment called the siege shield, which is basically a big shield for mechs.

There's also the possibility of a mech wielding a normal shield. Mechs start out at size Large, so you could have a mech that's basically like a small giant, wielding "normal" weaponry.

(One of the guys in my campaign used to do that when he'd DM. I always focused on the big city-mechs, but he'd always throw these little one-man mechs at us.)
Alekzandr wrote:(2. Can you please clarify how to determine a Mech's saving throws? Do I put the numbers listed on tables 2-5 , 6, 9, 10, and 11 in the "Base Save" box? Is the Reflex save modified by the mech's dexterity again ,implying that the base gargantuan steam powered mech's total reflex save is -3? Is nothing to be written into the ability modifier for Fortitude saves because mechs lack a constitution score?
Sure. Check out page 72 under "Saves" for the official word. Basically, what you said above is true; base Reflex save is further modified by Dex, so the typical gargantuan steam powered mech would have a -3 Ref save. Mechs lack a Con score (usually) so generally the Fort save is straightforward with no modifier.
Alekzandr wrote:(3. forgive my ignorence, but what exactly is a "Weapon and Code" in the Onboard Weapondry and Mech Crew sections for?
That's just to make it simple to keep track of things. You'll see there's a box for "Weapon Code" under the crew section. That's so instead of repeating "Forward-mounted gargantuan steam cannon" beside "Gunner Gary," you can just put "FSC" which refers back to the weapon code you wrote above beside that weapon.
Alekzandr wrote:A word of advice: some boxes are too small to write the proper information into in your Mech Schematic Sheet pdf, mostly the Onboard Weapondry, Mech Crew, and Payload Usage sections suffer from this lack of space. The number of slots are adequate, but I cannot write out "Gargantuan Sword Blade" or "2d12 + 8" (referring to damage), and I cannot write out Mech Feats in the Mech Crew Section, nor their Weapon Code. If it is not too late, could you put this on 2 sheets? you could transfer the Payload Usage and Mech Crew sections on the back or second sheet, and the space freed up could be used to expand the boxes of the Onboard Weaponry section.
Maybe. :) This is already the second version of the sheet!

I actually write pretty small, so I don't have this problem. Do other people also want a larger version? Is this a common issue? If so, post here...
Alekzandr wrote:As a last word, I would like to praise DragonMech as an excellent book and expansion to the 3.5 D20 world. It truely is the melding of my two most favorit generas.
Cool, glad you like it!
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Post by goodmangames » Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:32 pm

Magusrogue wrote:Hi, I'm also new and will be getting a new account soon. However, I have one large question, in regards to Hydrallic Armor.

What you you have a strength of over 20 and you use this armor? Many high-level fighters (especially half-orcs) can easilly manage a Strength of 22 without magical enhancements. An 18th level fighter who started with a Strength of 18 and who put every ability increase into his strength would have a strength of 22, making him stronger than the armor he's wearing. A half-orc can reach this at 16th level. Then you have things like orcs (+4 strength) even sooner than that! plus, wishes and Bull's Strength spells and so on.... So, basically, my question is: what happens when you have a strength greater than the hydrallics on your armor allow?

Also, could you, somehow through steam powers perhaps (boiler? dunno, I'm still incredibly new to this game), up the Strength beyond 20 for a hydrallic armor?
I think I answered this before in another thread, but I can't remember for sure. :) Hydraulic armor is supposed to enhance the wearer's strength and give him a higher base score, but doesn't necessarily impede his ability to be further enhanced by other means. I think it would depend on the effect in question. Bull's strength should stack with hydraulic armor. I think the only things that wouldn't stack would be things that had to be physically connected somehow and might interfere with the armor (like magic gauntlets of some kind).

Actually, I think there is another thread around here somewhere about hydraulic armor, but the question was about whether you could enchant the armor itself.

As for stacking a boiler with it, yes, the intent behind the steam power rules is to do cool things like that, so sure! But your DM has the final say, especially when it comes to something that could massively multiply your PC's Strength! I'd say each boiler applied to hydraulic armor would grant an effective +2 to Strength, or something along those lines. Boilers are supposed to be the kind of item that start off weak (because they double things that start at low numbers) but end up strong (because eventually 2 to the Nth power gets pretty big) so a +2 Str bonus would allow the hydraulic armor to slowly get more powerful.
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Post by MagusRogue » Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:00 pm

how about those who have a natural strength of 20 or more (such as my proposed orc)? do they get any benefit for wearing hydrallic armor? I'm sorry, but I think i know the thread you're talking about, and it was only about enchanting the armor. :-)

Oh and this game is simply outstanding. Even my rabidly anti-mecha wife likes the idea of Dragonmech. And if you can make a mecha game that doesn't make her instantly think of Power Rangers (Don't ask me, that's all she'll say when she says she hates mecha), you have practically performed a miracle on Earth. *grins* Serious.
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Post by Sword Guy » Mon Jan 24, 2005 10:01 pm

Okay, thank you for clearing up the difference between the effective strength granted by hydraulic armor, and magical strength from something like Bull's Strength.

And just for the record, it was me asking about enchanting the armor.

Could we please sticky this thread? I know it's a pain to try and locate it every time I have a question.
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Post by goodmangames » Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:52 pm

MagusRogue wrote:how about those who have a natural strength of 20 or more (such as my proposed orc)? do they get any benefit for wearing hydrallic armor? I'm sorry, but I think i know the thread you're talking about, and it was only about enchanting the armor. :-)
In that case, they wouldn't get any additional Strength benefit from hydraulic armor. It's like a construction worker using a jackhammer... it benefits most of us normal folks. But if you're a giant who can slam the pavement that hard to begin with, the jackhammer provides no extra benefit. It doesn't make you stronger; it just makes you as strong as the jackhammer itself.
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Post by goodmangames » Tue Jan 25, 2005 8:07 pm

Sticky... good idea. Lemme figure out how to do that...
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Post by MagusRogue » Tue Jan 25, 2005 9:35 pm

Cool. Hey, if you want, when i get some time tomorrow, I could compile all your rulings into a FAQ document for Dragonmech here. If you want, of course. *grins* Since I'm going to be asking a favor anyway, it's the least I can do. Sides, I like building things like FAQs. Let's me learn Adobe more. :D
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Release Date for the mech manual?

Post by Timespike » Wed Jan 26, 2005 8:08 am

Any idea when the actual release date for the mech manual is yet? I need more large-sized mechs. (I want my fantasy power armor!) :P
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Post by MagusRogue » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:31 am

I was just wondering something. I haven't had a chance yet to really read the mech combat rules, but do city-mechs have different rules for combat than normal mechs? If they can only take a step once every four rounds, that at the least would limit their trample ability, wouldn't it? is this covered in the book?

Also, for the spark generator. I noticed that to get multiple dice of damage, you simply stack more of the energy-making devices (see Pilot Light). However, in the spark generator text, it mentions that stacking amplifies makes it do more dice of damage. I thought all amplifiers do is increase the die type of the damage, and the radius of effect? Shouldn't it say "more spark generators" instead of "more amplifiers"? and if so, what would an amplifier do? make it make sparks in a radius?
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Post by MagusRogue » Wed Jan 26, 2005 9:54 am

Also, what would happen if, say, I added a boiler to a steam gun/cannon (to increase the pressure of the steam when it fires) or a pilot light to a flame nozzle?

In regards to rotor arms, wouldn't they affect the two squares to your immediate side, not the two front squares? The way the rules state so far (at least as to how I understand) is that they affect things like this:

Code: Select all

         ------------------------------- 
         |         |         |         | 
         |    *    |         |    *    | 
         |         |         |         | 
         -------------------------------
         |         |         |         | 
         |    ^    |    X    |    ^    | 
         |         |         |         | 
         ------------------------------- 
         |         |         |         | 
         |         |         |         | 
         |         |         |         | 
         -------------------------------
x = you
* = where i interpret the rules to say they hit at
^ = logically, where the rotor blades SHOULD hit.

So basically, is * or ^ correct?

What would multiple rotor arms do, as well? And how do fins help vehicles?

Sorry for all the questions. the rules are fantastic, so I'm trying to get a tighter grasp on them
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Post by Sword Guy » Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:02 pm

I think that the original rotor arm attack rules assume you are holding it straight out in front of you, with the "blades" of the arm rotating perpendicular to your own footing on the ground. So, I think the rules are made to represent that the rotor arm hits both out, which put it one square in front, but also hits right or left, which means that the two squares it threatens are the diagonal squares.

The problem with having it hit the squares on either side of you is that the rotor arm would have to occupy the space in the square that you are already occupying.

But this is just what I think. Use it or not as you wish.
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Adamantine Mechs

Post by Esper » Thu Jan 27, 2005 2:10 pm

If a Mech is made (armor) of Adamantine, would it's unarmed attack damage ignore the hardness of an opposing Mech unless it was also made of Adamantine?

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