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 Post subject: Range increments
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:44 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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I was looking at heros of battle and it got me thinking about range increments and max ranges.

just wandering about the maxamum range of the steam canon. are the ranges in the core book max ranges or range incs, and if they are range incs is it the usual 10 incs = max range?

just wandering as this puts the max range of a huge canon at 10,000ft (around 2 miles) where as a trebushay (sorry can't spell) has a max of 1,500ft acording to heros of battle. even a steam gun can out range one.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:54 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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those are supposed to be the increment, i believe

and you may be able to fling the stones 2 miles, but you ain't gonna hit anything

(point of note: circa 1940 battle ships had cannon with a range of over 15-20 miles, and had to have spotters in planes and such because the curvature of the earth provided cover to targets at max range)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2006 11:17 pm 
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The extreme range of steam cannons does raise some interesting questions... namely, is combat almost always held at really long ranges? There are a lot of mech stats with no ranged weapons; do they just charge in and hope for the best? Are they almost always assisted by other mechs?

The Irontooth clans seem to have made a thing about hand to hand mech combat. One wonders how they ply they trade and keep their reputations if any enemy mech with a steam cannon can open fire at ranges at and in excess of 8,000 ft! At that rate, it would take several minutes for even the fastest mechs to close the distance! This leads me to believe that either hand to hand mechs are not so common, filling rather specialized roles along with mechs equipped with ranged weapons, or that such mechs rely on tricks and ploys, like cover, invisibility spells, and outright deception to gain ground for close combat.

I guess there's always lunar dragons; they can cover distance pretty fast, so a good close combat weapon could prove useful against them...

How do most people handle mech to mech combat in their games? Is their much close range combat or it pretty much all long range stuff?

Also, how do most people handle visibility? Can mechs be seen from several miles away on a clear day? What about during a lunar rain?

It would be a shame if all those nice stats for melee weapons went to waste, but I'm beggining to suspect that their use is the exception, not the rule, in mech combat.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:16 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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do remember that maximum range equates to a -20 attack penalty
( -2 per range increment) only the very best of mech jockeys will have even a 50% change to hit at that extreme range... and most will need natural 20s until the target gets MUCH closer

factor in potential poor visibility due to bad terrain, and it would be possible to get quite close (creative ambushes 4tw)

many bows allow for rather large range increments...
a composite long bow has a range increment of 120 feet, which becomes 180 under far shot (and even higher, with the appropriate prestige classes)

but most D&D combat still begins at ranges of under 200 feet

ex:
a Juggernaut mech firing its huge steam cannon at extreme range:
base range attack: -1
range penalty: -20
level 10 mech jockey with a dex of 14: +10 BAB, +2 dex (potential +1 from feats)

total attack bonus: -9

against a Barbagula (standard irontooth mech)
AC: 8 (potentially higher with appropriate pilot skills)

minimum roll to hit: 17 (20% chance)
now, the mech can close at a rate of 200 feet a round (running) once past extreme range... that's 5 rounds at a 1/5 change to hit (1 hit)

let's see here...

it should take 50 rounds for a barbagula to close from longest range

the barbagula will be hit...

10 20% *5 = 1
9 30% *5 = 1.5
8 40% *5 = 2
7 50% *5 = 2.5
6 60% *5 = 3
5 70% *5 = 3.5
4 80% *5 = 4
3 90% *5 = 4.5
2 95% *5 = 4.75
1 95% *5 = 4.75
melee; 31.5 hits @ 11 damage average; vs DR 8 = 3 damage... 1.5 crits @ 22 damage = 14 + effect

3 * 30 = 90
14* 1.5 = 21

~ 111 damage + 1 crit effect

HP of 66... say 2 downed mechs

a running barbagula, with no pilot abilities to enhance it, would take about 31 hits starting from maximum range, enough to turn it to scrap

a group of iron tooth mechs could, therefore, get into melee with the loss of only 2 mechs against a single juggernaut mech with a level 10 mech jockey as gunner on the cannon

with larger groups of experiences irontooth jockeys, that loss would not stop them from tearing the larger mech apart, and there would be fewer hits as well due to pilot skills

as for the begining range of combat:

spot rules state that there is a -1 penalty to spot for every 10 feet of distance

lets say that the gunner is an elf (not likely, but hey) and has the alertness feat

at level 10 he has 13 ranks of spot and a +4 bonus from race and the feat (and maybe a point from wisdom)

thats, say, a +18 bonus to spot

now, riding a mech, it's pretty noisy, hot, and enclosed, so let's tack on the penalty for being distracted (-5)

that gives a nice, fair number of +13

now, for the barbagula mech

it's not trying to hide, lets say, and by itself

it's moving towards the jugernaught (for no particular reason)

so it doesn't even roll to hide, a flat 0, and let's give it the -8 penalty for being huge in size, so it's now a -8 on its hide check

the gunner still needs to roll a 20 at a range of 410 feet to spot the mech, and can't spot it outside of that range becasue skill checks do not grant automatic success on the roll of a 20

even removing the penalty from the gunner and further penalizing the barbagula for it's mech type, the range at which the gunner begins to have a chance at spotting it is within the first range increment of 1000 feet

most engagements probably begin at a range of under 500 feet, which can be closed in three or four rounds by most mechs

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 5:20 am 
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Chaos-Summoning Sorcerer
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glororhan wrote:
How do most people handle mech to mech combat in their games? Is their much close range combat or it pretty much all long range stuff?


Honestly, I try to minimize the amount of mech to mech combat that happens. Or I try to control the circumstances enough that I don't have to worry about the huge ranges so much.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:44 am 
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It is worth noting, I think, that a Barbagula can only run 100 feet a round. Mechs can run at X2 speed, no faster (Dragonmech, page 88). So the casualities would be about doubled, assuming the basic conditions you outlined.

Spot is kind of a touchy matter... Firstly, I believe spot is generally intended (I dont have the d&d players handbook at hand, unfortunetly) to be used to detect things that are trying not to be seen. In other words, things that are creeping along and hiding. If a barbagula is doing that, it would mean moving at half speed, or roughly 25 feet a round... compared to the 40 feet a round of your standard slow mech, that doesn't leave much room for navigation... Also, yeah, according to a strict interpretation of the rules from the dmg, you don't get spot checks on things that are hiding until they are within a 1,000 feet or so in most terrains, such as plains. However, I don't think these rules were designed to incorporate mechs, which generally aren't much shorter than 15ft tall. Lunar rains aside, i can only imagine that a city mech roaming the flat plains could be seen over a hundred miles away, forming an impressive part of the scenery. A barbagula, at only 15 feet could probably escape notice for a bit longer, but I'm sure would be visible (from a common sense standpoint), withing a mile or so, especially if traveling in great numbers on a clear day in a relatively scorched plain.

Also... why build weapons with 800+ ranges if the vast majority (perhaps even all) of combats take place within 500 feet or so?

So yeah, I think your points bare consideration, and I will consider them, but I'm not entirely convinced they account for the problems posed by 800+ foot range guns...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:43 pm 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer

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Does any one have any house rules for the maxamum distance a character could see in open terrain, as the official books don't seem to.

You have to assume that a character can see at least 2000ft in open terain as I'm sure that someone can see further than they can shoot a bow, especially when the target is 15ft tall.

This might be something Goodman Games want to look at, as these huge ranges really can change the way you have to plan your game. To use the rules as they are you probally can't use open plains as a terrain which is strange given the make up of high point.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2006 2:29 am 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

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well, i would figure that most of highpoint, at this time, would probably consist of broken terrain, crater pocks, and some surviving plantlife

in a plains setting, the dungeon masters guide suggests a maximum spotting distance of 6d6x40 feet (making some exceptions for line of sight)

also consider that spot checks do not involve looking in a specific direction for a specific target

knowing a car is due east and a mile away, you could still have trouble spotting it even up to 500 feet away

a good reference, actually, would be to look up WWII naval engagements, specifically the distances at which subs would usually first aquire a visual on single targets, mechs and rolling plains plains make an excelent anology of battle ships and the ocean

also, i think many iron tooth mechs might be painted in appropriately blending colors... not to emntion that many of them are wood armored... or stone at best, which would help them blend into the terrain at longer distances

the illustrations in the book are great, but somewhat misleading as to how a wooden or stone mech might be colored

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{Wounds -12; HP = 11/23}


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