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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:06 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 5:49 pm
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As the new edition of D&D is out and the DMG and MM are soon to be out. I was wondering if there was any thought about bringing the system over to the new rules.I notce the board is a bit dead but if there is some interest I will keep posting ideas and progress here.

Having playtested and ran a intro of it the system seems fairly on the ball. I was thinking of trying to run Dragonmech in Pathfinder for awhile but I think 5th is more streamlined for this. Though the hardest part I am seeing would be redoing the coglayer, steam borg and their steam powers.

My initial thought is to clean up the powers and costs and how they interact with objects. As it can be a huge drain on a coglayers powers to make something as simple as a two way radio system. Or a basic weapon. As well a combination of powers unless stated requires one hand to activate as an action.

The basis would be making some of the basic damage powers a little more robust starting out but harder to boost. For example the Pilot light.

Pilot light is replaced with Blow Torch steam power. Though a pilot light by any other name this puts it into a utility power like a rotor arm which can act as a shield, flying device and weapon.

This basic tool serves a coglayer in a myriad of tasks such as brazing, welding, removing paint or just starting fuel in a steam engine on fire. The blowtorch can be as part of an action to equip it and while lit consumes fuel at a negligible rate, shedding light as a torch. Running on standard flasks of lamp oil a Blow Torch can be used to deliver an attack 10 times per flask. As an attack it deals 1d6 fire damage in 5 feet dex check 15, sets flammable materials on fire and if they fail the save deals a further half die of damage to any target on their turn if they do not use their action to succeed on a DC 10 dex check to put the flames out. Addtionally expending a use and 10 minutes allows you to weld/braze or otherwise join/cut/repair two metal items, amplified this is cut down to an action. Finally allowing for proficiency bonus to be applied to damage of all steam powers Thus a 1d6+1 with 4 additional damage is mean early on and will scale nicely especially as it gets boosted

Now the interactions to keep it balanced are what are hard to do. We add an amplifier and the damage increases to say 1d8 with 4 bonus damage. but what of the other effects? Should it gain reach or be able to now attack a line without adding a nozzle? I am leaning towards the idea of doubling range on certain steam powers. The idea being that the power mostly supports itself allowing multiple items to be constructed without making a giant amplifier and boiler stack death ray. Example a double amped blow torch can make a line attack of 5 x 3 for 15 feet. a bellows changes this to a spray and a lobber to a burst. While a pump which used to make the line effect doubles it further as does a boiler. So a blow torch + pump + amplifier is 5 x 2 for amp x 2 for pump for 20 feet adding a boiler causes this to be a very respectable 40 foot line attack. Keeping in mind the power has finite fuel reserves.

Amplifiers are a good concept in theory. They let you take a power to the next tier but can quickly get out of hand. While I am loathe to totally dismiss stacking them complety. Perhaps some sort of limiter level or otherwise? An even more radical idea is to have them as one of the perks for leveling. Such as you can only attach one amplifier but At fifth level all your abilities are amplified and again every 4 levels after for free. This stacks with a amplifier installed. So a blow torch goes 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 2d6 and +d6 on this scheme taking into consideration the proficiency bonus on primary and secondary burn damage. makes stacking blow torch + amplifier + bellows into a flamethrower worthwhile but not overboard on extra amps.

Along with integrated parts a secondary ability of interchangeable parts allows one steam power to be used with any combination of powers freely once per turn. Thus a bellows could be used with a blow torch one round and then a cauterizer the next. However said part cannot be intergrated so while having a boiler strapped to your engine is fine it also is heavy.

Looking at some of the other powers

Boiler. now here is one that requires a bit of work the base use of doubling range is good but it also is an example of stacking. Instead of being able to stack them for multiple doubles perhaps it should be like an amp a straight doubling of range.

Cauterizer this device through a combination of heat, alchemical chemicals and stimulating electrical shock is able to soothe and heal injury. Healing 1d4 + proficiency when applied to a living creature but it can only be used once between short rests. Additional uses or cauterizers have no effect. Amplified 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10. Various pumps, bellows and other devices allow for a ray, mist or other such effect which allows healing in area of effect and/or range.

Spark generators are a little odd, as they do not have fuel like pilot lights. You risk having a more reliable infinite attack that does slightly less damage. Also perhaps the most common amp and pump stack powers for making lightning bolts. Base damage of 1d4 going to 1d6, 1d8 ect. with proficiency bonus but no secondary effects. Spark generators roll to hit as a ranged spell attack at int + proficiency bonus. unlike a pilot light spark generators have a base range of 10 before amplification. making them able to cast lightning bolts at an impressive range once boosted.

Rotor arm is a bit funky. using it as a shield for a minor AC bonus is meh. The odd ability to turn it on and weed whack is interesting but rather awkward to say the least. As well it has static damage. Finally it can provide lift and helicopter which is interesting. Idea so far include using to shield from ranged attacks giving disadvantage on ranged attacks against you. gaining fly speed 5 feet and making a d6 damage attack per amp with no damage bonus.

The basic idea being instead of a calculation the effect has a low base which must be boosted to be useful. Though with limits to the steam power stacking. 40 pounds of lift on the rotor arm instead is a 5 foot fly speed which is incredibly slow. Though a weight limit of some sort seems reasonable as you can't fly the party

Some rough idea to be sure I will write up something more concise if anyone is interested.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:46 am 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

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So getting some views and people still come here apparently.

So in regards to my previous post looking at the coglayer I am getting a better feel for how I want to proceed with this.

First off is economy, I want to keep the abstraction rather then the simulation. Yes the engines and all that require coal and water to function. However I do not want to hamstring the game to much with having the party track coppers and petty cash to put forth to buying kindling to stuff into chatter swords and coglayer engines. I think condensing it down to something manageable like rations is acceptable to make up for steamborgs and coglayers having more at will abilities they can continue to use. I.E. Coal functioning as a per week ration rather then daily and maybe a extra water ration for the coglayer.

In regards to various fuels, charges and ammo. Steam powers aren't going to use charges they just do what they do. Bullets and various shot is as normal.

Now back to powers and mechanics. Coglayers steam powers are going to mechanically work like cantrips for the most part. While somewhat powerful they will have weight and the usually limit on active powers. However they can easily change powers by attending to them during a short rest. Now other powers will act like a warlocks invocations to modify or add abilities. The limit being they can only use these on steam powers, mechs or other mechanical constructs, steam weapons and armor I.E. chatter swords or in the case of steamborgs themselves. This last bit is where the Steamborg and Coglayer split heavily as the Borg can tune up time their own effects and bodies. The Coglayer is able to do this to items not in their control such as a fighters steamgun or a mech they arent directly piloting.

In practice Steam Powers by and large are a sort of one handed cantrip that has weight. Without the need to ready or drop them. That uses the class proficiency to boost attack and damage. With lower damage such as 1d6 or 1d8 base and a couple utility or bonus rules. For example the Drill power would now be a melee attack that does 1d6 and ignores resistance, but does double dice to knocked down or immobile targets. While merely a shortsword thats good at busting locks or rocks. It becomes equivalent to a great sword against vulnerable targets. almost all steam powers increase with level. Like cantrips I.E. 1d10 becomes 2d10 then later 3d10. The drill increasing by D6 can be huge but its still melee and makes for a rogue lite sort of ability.

Now interactions with the steam enhancements is tricky. We can group effects like this however into melee, range and performance. Thus what effects a drill also has a similar effect on a chatter sword but might be totally different on a steam gun and different again for a mech or steamborg. Lets take the Amplifier as it was the bread and butter but also wonky effect of 3.5 Dragonmech. As it lead to death ray amp stacks. When the enhancement is used we can have it do double range of powers, possibly reach on melee ones. Give steam weapons increased range and boost to hit on melee. Finally making mechs, constructs and armor move 10 feet faster. I want to stay away from boosting damage as I feel that should increase with level on the powers.

However some powers obviously don't need to scale. Such as a flywheel changed to allow melee attacks to be made as both a move and action, ranged attacked lose loading and if not longer loading already as melee move/attack and finally for borgs, mechs and armor increase in base movement speed by 10 feet or reduction in time to operate by half whichever is applicable. Enhancements also have slots and cannot be stacked thus a coglayer could enhance a suit of hydraulic armor, his steam gun and his pilot light with the same enhancement, However they cannot be stacked to get the bonus higher. Switching a enhancement outside of a rest is like casting a ritual spell requiring 10 minutes to swap the parts to the new device or just reclaim them. powers cease to function if not actively maintained thus if a enhanced item is lost/stolen/destroyed its bonuses cease to function after several hours. During a long rest these lost enhancements can be recovered representing new parts being made to replace them.

Several of the misc powers are going to end up getting lumped together into a effect like filter and air generators used to make mechs or armor operate underwater is now one enhancement. Is it a big effect to covert a mech to operate underwater? Yes, however it eats up a enhancement that could make its attacks better or extra effects. Also if a sealed armor user would want to also use a steam weapon that would also have to be sealed. However any powers run directly off the armor or mechs engine benefit from this protection. Thus a sealed hydraulic suit could have a iron arm power run off it but if it held a chattersword (the one handed sort) underwater the sword would cease functioning. I will get into limitations of steam vs magic at a later time.

Some other enhancements are the automator which allows a weapon or power make limted actions independently. A clockwork puppet could move and attack a target it was ordered to or the nearest hostile. While a automated weapon or power attacks. Allowing perfectly valid tactics to use steam power slots to have multiple iron arms, each with a basic weapon or even shield and then automate them. however while a large amount of basic attacks may be produced you are limited to the weapons being one handed not being exceptionally powerful.

The idea here is to get a decent effect without having to stack a large number of effects to get something rather mundane. Especially things like Clockwork Puppets which I feel should be treated as crafted or bought items rather then powers. Especially as it took an absurd amount of powers to make a medium clockwork puppet then you had to add a discriminator and an automator to make what was basically a level 1 fighter. Following this many mechanical items function as effectively low power magic items would rather then steam powers. With a few exceptional items like perhaps the old adamantine spine power being quasi magical bionics.

Contrasting some examples would be a sprayer it converts liquids into a 10 foot line attack at a 4 for 1 use of whatever is put in it however it turns throwing holy water into a two handed action to pump a directed spray. not particularly burdensome it does have drawbacks. It cannot be enhanced as its not a steam power or item and it has to be fueled by various liquids. However it is quite a versatile item from spraying paint or oil on a mech to spraying a vial of contact poison into a bugbears face to paint into a square to reveal invisible creatures.

The pilot light steam power makes a melee attack like alchemist fire, 2d4 fire and its afterburn effect. while also being able to act like a torch. it is one handed, doesnt use up charges and can be freely boosted by the cog/borgs abilities. Including upgraded it from a melee attack to various cones, line and bursts. as well unlike the sprayer which anyone can use the pilot light levels up to 4d4 and double its previous secondary damage. While not nearly as shock and awe as a fireball it can keep firing.

Though perhaps a custom power which is like a steam power version of the sprayer would be a better comparison, something that converts items into ranged attacks like a pitching machine. decent range and causes blunt impact damage on top of whatever the projectile was. using rocks and trash conveys no benefit but provides unlimited ammo. Give it a 40/120 range and a d8 damage base. Which increases when its a flask of acid or a pressure bomb.

Still a lot of work to do outside of class conversion and adding paths. The coglayer will have various engineering schools like a wizard which give various bonuses. The steamborg will have paths somewhere like a fighter/berserker hybrid. With one of them being akin to the Steam Warriors book where they become like mechanical monsters. Another able to intergrate into piloting mechs as well as equipment ala extending enchancements to multiple items.

Also is streamlining mech combat including a stepped size based damage resistance table which allows for larger things to easily damage other larger things, while ignoring smaller things. No longer can a level 12 barbarian with adamantine axes kill Nedderpik in a few rounds. simplifying mech combat shouldn't be to much work as it will consist mainly of the pilot making a move and attack per normal with other crewman operation additional attacks and repelling boarders or using class abilities and spells to aid the mech.

Thats it for now. Nothing to concrete yet but getting some of the rough bits laid out in order to get some actual documents later.

Hopefully see some more interest in this as time goes by. Would hate to see such a well crafted setting fade away.


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 10:18 pm 
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Been a while since my last update heres some rough excrepts from what I have been working on. See a lot of views but no replies so its still somewhat alive in here I guess.

Coglayer class conversion has been rather a pain. At the core they are rather like a Warlock having a number of enhancements to their abilities but all of them semi-mundane with a great emphasis on strong reusable cantrip like powers. Sort of a mashup between a rogue and a warlock without actual real magic we will outline that in a moment first lets outline how steam powers work now.

Steam powers have been broken down into two separate types for use by Coglayers, steamborgs and anyone who takes a as yet unspecified feat which allows a limited amount of powers. First off we have the Steam powers themselves each steam power has 2 or rarely more functions it does that increase with level like a cantrip. Each power also has a weight associated with it as it is a physical item. Steam powers run off of some form of engine the most basic steam engine, spring power clockwork or something unusual like a blood engine or enchanted device that supplies power. Without a power source steam powers just don't function. Though they may be tied to other devices such as a wagon could have a winch on it that when powered pulled the wagon out of the mud or an iron arm which can defend itself with a weapon or shield. Steamborgs can further integrate these items into their artifical limbs and bodies. A artifical arm with a winch power and a lobber enhancement could for instance shoot a fist and grab or punch then reel either the borg or just the fist back.

Steam powers may be used as an action to activate them for a basic use like the 10 foot line attack of a welding torch or as a ritual for a longer specialized usage such as using a torch to fix a mech or torch through a thin metal door/lock or using a spark generator to charge a capacitor. These effects level up more effectively as the level increases and as the second set of powers Enhancements are applied. A wave maker power starts off as a simple wireless telegraph, then it can send and receive sound and finally images. At its most basic it can send noise to send longform messages to another wave maker or noisemaker. At its next level it can pick up sounds from a metal ear or broadcast a spoke message. Lastly it can see whatever a metal eye sees or send image to a imagemaker.

Enhancements are a separate group that interact not just with steam powers but can be applied to mundane items as well. A pump can be applied to a water source to spray water 30 feet in a line or even steam bled off a mechs boiler. These effects stack up on the item allowing the steam power or other item to benefit from multiple addons. Enhancements unlike steam powers don't need a engine to function, however many improve dramatically when supplied power. Metal legs on a chest don't do much but stand until a small engine allows it to walk. A animator allows it to know to follow and stop. A flywheel increases speed while a boiler increases its power to carry heavy loads. Other powers like Seal are fairly mundane until it should be noted they protect a engine from being shut off due to water leaking in or the wearer of a steam armored suit from being overcome by gas. Likewise a muffler will reduce the noise of a steam gun firing or the clanking of a steamborgs engine. Enhancements can not be turned off normally though some can change modes freely. Thus a pilot light with a hose sprays a 40 (10 + 30) foot line of fire always never shorter but one with a nozzle as well can make a 20 (half of the pump) foot cone and if it had a lobber it could choose to create this fire as a 10 (base) ft burst anywhere inside of 40 (this range is what is modified) feet.

The Coglayer class lets get down to what makes the class operate and how they level

1d8 hitpoints, Armor: Light/Medium/clockwork/steam Weapons Simple and steam. Tools: coglayers tools. 3 skills from Investigation perception, slight of hand, history, persuasion and medicine.

Starting Equipment: One simple weapon and a Steamgun and 20 bullets or one steam weapon. Portable steam engine (Gnomes and tiktok can choose clockwork and those rare Drow coglayers prefer the enigma engine) Chain Shirt or Leather Armor.

Starting Ability: Knowledge is power When making an attack with a steam weapon a coglayer may use their Int bonus for the hit and damage rather then Dex or Str. The same way steam power hit and damage is based on Int

Level Features Active steam powers Enhancements
1 Steam mechanic (Allows creation of daily steam powers and enhancements and ability to strip and add enhancements) Knowlege is power 2 -

2 Steam Enhancements 2 3

3 Mechanical aptitude path, Gear Wright or Steam Weapon Adept. See below 3 3

4 Ability score 3 4

5 Integrated parts: You may now have 1 power which combines two steam power into one and gains all applied enhancements to both 3 4

6 Tinker: You may now have one non steam item such as a shield/armor/weapon or other more exotic item count as a steam version 4 5
Additional items may be upgraded at the cost of a steam power slot. This item supports powers applied to it.

7 Mechanical Aptitude 4 5

8 Ability score 4 5

9 Intergrated parts x 2 4 6

10 Mechanical Aptitude 5 6

11 Its about to blow!: Resistance (own steam powers damage and steam related malfunctions/mech criticals) 5 6

12 Ability score 5 7

13 Ingerated parts x3 5 7

14 Full steam: Once per short rest one activated steam power is maximized on all its damage/healing or double other effect 6 7
I.E. a winch pulls several people up with out of a chasm

15 mechanical aptitude 6 8

16 Ability score 6 8

17 intergrated parts 6 9

18 mechanical aptitude 7 9

19 Ability score 7 10

20 Mechanical Genius: When attempting to solve/fix/create something mechanical the coglayer may count as having rolled 30 (yes 30) this 7 10
may only be used once per long rest

Gear Wright path:

3rd level Amplifier: roll an extra die on steam power effects and discard the lowest. Interchangeable Parts: One of your enhancements may freely be applied to any activated steam power you hold or applied or removed from any item you enhance freely and instantly. This enhancement can't be used with a steam power if applied and does not have to apply to a steam power if you do not wish.

7th Like Clockwork: You may now during your turn activate a steam power as a Action OR as a bonus action but not both in the same turn.

10th Precision Tooling: Any steam power or construct you enhance may now use your proficiency bonus on attack and damage. Normally a iron arm has no damage bonus and a clockwork puppets is based on its str/dex.

15th Grand Design: You may now enhance items of any size including mechs allowing for amazing leaps in engineering ability such as a flying zepplein ship using a scaled up balloon or mech that can travel underwater for hours.

18th Automaton: As an action you may activate any enhanced item such as an iron arm/mech/clockwork puppet or other enhanced item and as long as that steam construct can see and/or hear you may freely control it using your actions to control it else it acts independently as if controlled by an animator.


Steam Weapon Adept

3rd Gain use of Martial weapons and heavy armors, Armor you tinker counts as having all requirements met for strength

7th Combined arms: You may fuse two steam or tinkered weapons into one. When you make an attack with your combined weapon you may make two attacks. Else you may attach a tinkered Shield to a steam weapon.

10th Payload: You may attach a non integrated parts steam power to a steam weapon as an enhancement using both abilities slots. When you attack with this weapon you may activate the power as a bonus action.

15th Improvise: You may as bonus action cause an explosion like a pressure bomb to go off within 30 feet or else reload/refuel any weapon or steam power. This power may be used once per short rest

18th Scrapper: Once per turn when you attack or otherwise deal damage with a steam weapon or power and once of the dice rolls max. Choose that die and roll it again.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:22 pm 
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I'm glad to see some conversions are in the works. Lately I've myself been thinking about the clockwork ranger and the coglayer. Seems we've come to some similar ideas for the coglayer. My own thoughts I was working on:


- Steam powers have a complexity rating, similar to spell levels. And therefore, anything a coglayer builds has a complexity rating, based on the sum of the complexity of all its components. Complexity imposes two limits on a coglayer: (1) they can't have more than X complexity in items built, and (2) no single item can have more than Y complexity. For example: to keep Amplifier shenanigans in check, a coglayer can't put all of their available steam powers (or complexity) into a single item. Perhaps a 1st-level coglayer gets 5 total complexity and 3 complexity per item. Then Pilot Light + Nozzle + Amplifier is a flamethrower, and Spark Generator + Amplfier is taser gauntlets. That second amplifier can't be put onto the flamethrower because that's too complex.

- Higher complexity powers correspond to what previously was large combinations of powers. For example, Clockwork Puppet is maybe a complexity 6 steam power (and therefore can't be maintained at 1st level). It functions more like a Conjure [beast, fey, whatever] spell at its weakest, as it has limited power before it runs out. As you gain levels, you could spend other powers to improve its "battery" life to make it work more like a ranger's beast companion or the zombies/skeletons of animate dead.

- Again, akin to spells, many powers have the option of increasing their complexity to improve them. So a bigger/stronger Clockwork Puppet might be Complexity 15 rather than 6, for example. Or a stronger flamethrower could be a Complexity 5 Pilot Light, instead of a Pilot Light + Amplifier. This is really more of a consideration to streamline finding the info you want: each power comes with a list of higher complexity "parts" that actually corresponds to the more common combinations with that particular steam power. Just to limit the cross-referencing between powers.

As for my thoughts on the clockwork ranger - add "gear forest" as an environment. You can give up the ability to select additional environments to gain access to the clockwork ranger spell list, which includes things like Grease, Giant Insect, Enlarge/Reduce (usually used as Reduce for getting through small areas), Wall of Fire, and Steam Cloud (Cloudkill with fire damage). Probably a Repair Damage spell. Mending cantrip, most likely. Include a sidebar on gear forest analogs, such as Ensnaring Strike = Engine Master's Grasp (changing name and fluff without changing the spell itself). With the dropping of 2 Natural Explorer improvements at 6th and 10th level, a slight boost might be warranted, unless the new spell list is sufficiently more powerful. Maybe something akin to the rogue's Expertise, but only applicable to things like repairing the gear forest, disabling its hazards, etc.? Or maybe just a couple extra spells known (you get Repair Damage and maybe Find Traps for free; better if it were Find Hazards). Or maybe just a higher level ability that's like 1/week Guards and Wards, adapted to gear forests. Basically, add a bit of the Hazard Lord path to the base ranger.

EDIT: Got a chance to look more closely at your own work. Good stuff. I'm a little dissatisfied with the steam weapon adept though. Could just be because I love the original PrC so much. In light of how some subclasses (like the Hunter ranger and Battle Master fighter) get to select from further options within that subclass, I feel like that would be the better path to go for the steam weapon adept. And I would miss the clockwork puppet and resultant automatons if not accessible. You mentioned that in 3.5, it took a lot of powers to make a functioning automaton. Well, maybe some 5e steam powers are more complex now. Like, the clockwork puppet steam power basically functions like clockwork puppet + discriminator + animator + automater + whatever else was needed in the past. (Apologies if I've misnamed, missed, or added powers. I don't feel like looking it up right now. You get the point). Basically, add in a tad more abstraction to steam powers, just so you don't need a ridiculous stack of them to make certain applications functional. Maybe mark some powers as more complex, and require a minimum level for use.

Just to compare to my own version I've been brainstorming - I'm not making everything at-will and autoscaling like you. Gadgets (or some official term for items built from multiple steam powers) have limited uses, basically on par with the warlock's spell slots. The limited uses correspond to consumption of power and other reagents (such as a pilot light's fuel), as well as wear and tear before essentially overheating. This adds a layer of tactics that appeals to me, though I'd need to take care of balance: a coglayer could build one very strong gadget, and then be left basically with a standard weapon when it burns out, or he/she could build two gadgets of lesser power, but greater endurance.

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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2015 8:48 pm 
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And I'm beginning to give some thought to the mech jockey class and mech rules in general. The first thing that stands out to me is that hardness is no longer a thing, and DR is handled simply as resistance to damage types. So unless we add that back solely for mech combat, we need to rethink that approach. I'm comfortable with just handling it as AC. Comparing it to the way AC is listed for various armors in the PHB, I think it makes sense to give mechs a list of AC based on size, with modifiers based on the material used for its armor. Give mechs resistance to weapon damage from smaller sources. Maybe even immunity. So if something is two size categories smaller, damage is halved. 4 or more? Immune. Nobody's gonna chop up mechs with adamantine greataxes anymore.

Second observation: the ranger's animal companion and necromancer's minions give precedent for how the mech jockey class could work: giving proficiency bonus to AC, saves, attack, and damage. Now, it could be proficiency bonus, or it could be based on level in mech jockey, more akin to the barbarian's rage bonus. The latter might be smarter, because it discourages a short dip into mech jockey for a big bonus. But on the other hand, multiclass mech jockeys are a thing we might not want to discourage. MC mech jockeys have a solid niche in DragonMech.

Third: keeping the mech critical hit table is kind of obvious. That leaves Patchwork Repairs and Roll With the Punches as major class features to keep.

Fourth: Prestige classes are no longer a thing, so I think the Hereal ranger/mage jockey should be handled as a path, akin to the eldritch knight or arcane trickster. Give it sorcery points at about half progression, and Mech Metamagic. Most of these work just like Metamagic of the sorcerer class, but on wands and such attached to an animated mech. I expect many spell slots to be used to just burn into sorcery points to keep using this feature. But idk. To keep with the pattern of eldritch knight and arcane trickster, two schools of magic. Probably transmutation and abjuration. Though divination could be a nice nod to Unnatural Pilot. But it could be an out of place nod, as Unnatural Pilot was for worshippers of Dotrak. Not the sort likely to pilot elven animated mechs. Probably include an aside about the necromantic equivalent, using transmutation and necromancy as the schools you learn.

Fifth: If we use Hereal ranger as one path, mech devil makes sense as the other. Since Push the Envelop, Patchwork Repairs, and Roll with the Punches don't apply so well to animated or necrotic mechs, maybe we should move these core features to the mech devil path. And thus the core paths simply reflect preference for technological or magical mechs. It's beginning to sound like the path choice accounts for a significant portion of the class's features. A little unorthodox, but I think that's ok.

And now for some more random brainstorming: how about a class feature to reduce the damage you take? The first name that comes to mind is Roll with the Punches, but that's already a class feature, and the green vs orange vs yellow vs red critical thresholds is a more iconic thing. So definitely keep that. But considering how expensive it can be to repair mechs, I think it makes sense to get a class feature to reduce damage. Also, could Push the Envelop be put back into general class features, just with an aside about what's being done differently if it's an animated vs steam-powered mech? And what sort of non-combat/non-mech features might you get? Things comparable to Quick Fingers, or reflecting the social standing of mech jockeys or their reckless nature? You know, round out the class just a tad.

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I am Omnirahk, half-Rahkshi ("Omni") of the WotC forums. I consider "Psionics in DragonMech" (see my website) my greatest contribution to anything d20 so far. At least, it's my most successful topic.


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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 4:01 am 
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I haven't played Dragonmech so I don't have much to contribute of value here, but I just wanted to say that reading over this thread has gotten me interested in the game and I'll have to search a little more to find out about it. I play and run a lot of 5E, so the crossover in systems is what attracted me to the thread in the first place, but Dragonmech sounds like a blast! 8)

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 1:50 pm 
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Dragonmech is pretty much the best setting ever, in my totally unbiased opinion. :D

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 3:04 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
I haven't played Dragonmech so I don't have much to contribute of value here, but I just wanted to say that reading over this thread has gotten me interested in the game and I'll have to search a little more to find out about it. I play and run a lot of 5E, so the crossover in systems is what attracted me to the thread in the first place, but Dragonmech sounds like a blast! 8)


Well, for a very short overview: the moon is falling. Each night the world of Highpoint (formerly a fairly standard fantasy campaign setting) is bombarded with meteors and red-hot sandstorms as chunks of the moon fall down. Some of the larger ones carry the monstrous denizens of the moon, almost universally hostile. To withstand the "lunar rain" and the lunar dragons and other abominations, the common races have had a renaissance of steam power, building giant mechs. The largest are city-mechs, patrolling swathes of land as a sort of nomadic kingdom called a "mechdom." The major mechdoms are: the Stenian Confederacy - a very strict, militaristic society obsessed with the Law (an offshoot of the dwarven city of Duerok). The Legion - a humanocentric one built from disparate barbarian clans united under the cult of personality of one Shar Thizdic, whom just about no one trusts. The L'Arile Nation - an elven alliance more magically-focused than the others, and centered around the single strongest mech in the world, Tananliel. Its head, Tanan, is secretly dying from the strain of animating Tananliel. The Irontooth clans - not a true mechdom, but a catch-all name for various clans with a feel like a mix of biker gang and monastery.

To further complicate matters, the lunar gods are themselves hostile, and they've laid siege to the terrestrial gods and are winning. The terrestrial gods aren't exactly sharing this with their followers. However, they are so beset that clerics sometimes see their spells fail, and the departed may be press-ganged into the spiritual side of the war, making resurrection less certain than it once was. Between these failings and the lunar apocalypse in general, faith is shaken on this torn and blasted world.

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PostPosted: Sun May 17, 2015 5:14 am 
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Very cool. I had this general sense of mechs battlin' other mechs but not any clue about the campaign background. Must look for a copy of this. 8)

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2015 6:54 pm 
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Thinking a little bit more about the 5e mech jockey class. I'd said earlier I was considering Hereal ranger/mage jockey as one path, and Irontooth as another. Well, what about the DragonMechs as a third? It feels like it conflicts a bit with 3.5, as the DragonMech PRC required some Irontooth training, but it is distinct. After all, the chaotic Irontooth Clans are very different from the martial law and obsession with order of the Stenian Confederacy. I feel like they could be differentiated as paths in 5e. The Irontooth gets more mech fu feel, and the DragonMech gets more coordination and teamwork. I can imagine something akin to the superiority dice of the battlemaster fighter or bardic inspiration. Plus it's got that favored enemy aspect. It wouldn't be hard to differentiate them. And now we get two paths for the steam/clockwork/man-powered mechs, which suits the emphasis of the setting pretty well. But now here's a question: could we come up with a fourth path? There are four powers on Highpoint that saw expansion in The Second Age of Walkers: Stenian, Irontooth, L'Arile, and Legion. The first three currently have an analog in my plans for mech jockey training. But there isn't an established school of thought unique to the Legion. Well, the mech slavers are usually orcish or Legion. But otherwise nothing much stands out.

Anyone got thoughts?

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