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 Post subject: Steam power misprint? Rate of fire too high?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 4:42 pm 
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Alright my first subject is about a possible misprint in the steam powers section. Under the pump section, it gives an example of adding it to a pilot light to make it a ranged attack, then adding an amplifier to increase the range.

Under the amplifier it says that it increases energy in increments of its base value. For example, a device with a base range of 50 ft would have a range of 100 ft with one amplifier, 150 ft. with two... etc.

Here is the problem, under the pump it says that if you add one amp to the above metioned example, it would give the pilot light a range of 10 by 10 feet, or 20 feet long. This makes sense as the base range is five feet. However, it says that a second amp would give it a range of 80 feet! This means its 20 by 20 feet. It should only be 15 by 15 though.

The base range was only five by five to start though, so souldn't it only increase it by this much? According to this, adding a 2nd amp doubles the range, but under the amp it clearly says this is not what it does. Unless, the base range is the range the amp gives it, but here again this would mean that the example under the amp is off. Just thought you might want to know that!


Now! My 2nd conern is rate of fire. While I do love dragonmech, and the ideas are awesome, I was a little surprised by the rate of fire for catapults. Once every round? That means a crew can reload and fire a catapult in six seconds! This doesn't seem possible, as even the DMG it says it takes 8 full rounds just to reload it. I'm assuming these catapults don't come with any kind of steam powers unless otherwise noted. Anyone else think that a catapult firing every around is a bit much? Even a Ballista firing every round is kinda a high rate of fire.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 6:56 pm 
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it's not quite so bad as that with the catapults (it might well take 1 guy 8 rounds to load, aim,a nd fire a heavy catapult, but a full crew could have it loaded, aimed, and fire every 2-3 rounds

never the less... DM catapults do get to fire much faster than a catapult from the DMG... and much easier, too!

the reason behind this, i think, is that they ahve to compete with steam guns, which do have a fast rate of fire when compared to a like-sized catapult, which means that catapults have to fire faster in order to be balanced... especially in cases where you ahve a mech taht does not or cannot use a steam gun, such as the animated mechs of the L'Arile nation and the independant undead mechs

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 8:38 pm 
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Actually in the DMG it does say with a full crew it takes 8 rounds. I do think that is a bit much, but catapults are not rapid attack weapons

As for balance issues, I think that their low costs already balance this out pretty well. Also not all weapons should be balanced, ya spend more, your mech is better ya know?

Also I find it odd that Steam Cannons can fire every round, while the smaller Steam Guns can only fire every other round. I'm thinking in my campign to put rates of fire on the ranged siege weapons. Six seconds is just not enough time to reload these massive weapons. (Perhaps a javlin rack cause it uses those ammo clips)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 9:11 pm 
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i don't know what version of the DMG you're using, then, becasue i am looking at the 3.5 version, and it has these steps to firing:

1: crank (DC 15 strength check; 1 full round action, can have up to 2 people assist)
2: latch arm in place (DC 15 prof(siege engineer); 1 full round action)
3: load ammo (DC 15 prof(siege engineer); 1 full round action)
4: reaim catapult (no check, 4 full round actions, 4 people can do it in a single full round)
5: firing (DC15 attack roll; hits a specified square, no action listed)

you could do the reaiming aprt while other parts are being done, too (and you technically don't have to re-aim at all, if you've already aimed at the target square previously)

now, it would take a single person 8 rounds to fire a heavy catapult by himself (assuming he makes every check, otherwise longer) but you can fire every 5 rounds with a full and competent crew (and faster, if you can over-lap certain activites... like aiming and cranking/loading)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2005 10:01 pm 
Oh I'm actually using the 3.0 version. Here it says that a full crew and prepare it to fire in 8 full rounds. But it also says that 3 to 4 crew members can operate the device in three time this time... I would assume full crew means more then one person. Well it still seems like the catapults fire much too fast at once a round, and like I said I wouldn't go for the 8 rounds, but put it at every 3 rounds or something. Aiming I imagen would be controlled via the mech controls. This could also lead to close combat fighting being so important. As there you cans wing your axe or buzzsaw every round, as opposed to every few rounds with the range weapons.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 12:09 am 
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well, looking at the stats for a catapult in DMG vs. DMcore, the DMcore catapult stats differ like so:

1 less die of damage, crit range added, uses mech attack bonus instead of Int based attack roll

in all else, they're the same

they also do more damage at smaller sizes than an equivalent sized steam cannon (even with the lower damage die type) but have a smaller crit multiplyer

this trade off, ad 1/5 the cost of a steam cannon

btw, costing more to have a greater effect IS balance

i'm thinking i'm going to write up some rules for a steam cannon as a seperate siege weapon (yay, artillery pieces)

you know, it makes more sense for a catapult to do more damage and a steam cannon to penetrate better

i was watching a documentary the otehr day on the battle of the english vs the spanish armada, cannon fire does little noticible damage to sailing ships becasue it punches small, exact holes, easily plugged, and causes little other harm unless it directly hits someone inside a ship... not good for sinking ships

by contrast, a slow moving but heavy catapult stone will literally tear a hole in anything it hits, jagged edges, not easily plugged, etc (assuming it penetrates, of course)

that was a little off-topic, though, wan't it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 2:10 am 
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as to the steam power, i'm afraid you misread the entry ^_^'

a pilot light has a diameter of 5' and pump turns it into a 5' line (5x5 = 25; 25/5 = 5)

a pilot light with one amplifyer has a diameter of 10' and a pump turns it into a 20' line (10x10 = 100; 100/5 = 20)

a second amplifyer makes the diameter 15' and 15x15/5 = 45 foot line effect

a third amplifyer makes the diameter 20' and 20x20/5= 80 foot line

actaully, it looks like there IS a misprint there, a second amplifyer makes a range of 45' and a third amlifyer makes the 80' listed in the example (easy mistake, though)

remember, the amplifyer is factored before the pump, not after

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 3:15 pm 
How did I misread the steam power? There is a misprint, and that is, it says that with a 2nd amp the range would be 80, thats incorrect... how did I read it wrong? I'm saying there is a misprint, this just seems to be agreeign with me but you pharse it like I said something wrong.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 4:26 pm 
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well, partly wrong, partly right

the range is based on the area of the radius of the pilot light, which is based on the amplifyer

if you apply the amplifyer to the pilot light before the pump redirects it, then the progression from 5' to 20' to 45' to 80' with each amplifyer is correct, because you're using the pump based on the amplifyed radius, not the pre-amplified radius

the diameter of the pilotlight's light effect is what determines the range of the fire effect when the pump is applied to it

(d^2)/5
diameter (d) -> range
5 -> 5
10 -> 20
15 -> 45
20 -> 80

if you were to apply the amplifyers after the pump, then you would have a progression of 5' to 10' to 15' to 20' (becasue range would equal the initial diameter)

basically, the amplifyers only indirectly effect the range that the pump gives because the pump bases the range on diameter after the amplifyer increases the diameter in the standard arithmetic manner

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