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 Post subject: Mech In the Box
PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 5:38 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Wichita, KS
Here's a mech design I came up with for adventuring mechjockeys. It's for those situations when you have to go into the caves, temple, castle, etc. Since your collossal mech won't fit inside, and you don't want to be running around in just your pilot's armor, you unpack your Mech In the Box.

Size: Large
Power Source: Clockwork
Payload Units: 3
Height: 9 ft.
Space/Reach:5ft./5ft.
Crew: 1 (weapons:1)
Firing Ports: 3
Hit Dice: 12
Hit Points: 66
Critical Thresholds: Green, Yellow 33, Orange 17, Red 6
Base Initiative: +4
Speed: 40 ft.
Maneuverability: Perfect
AC: 9
Hardness: 14 (steel, Armor Plating)
Base Melee Attack: +5
Base Ranged Attack: +4
Unarmed Damage: 2d6+6
Trample: Largest Tiny; Safe Tiny; damage 1d6
Saves: Fort-2, Ref +2, Will -
Abilities: Str 22, Dex 18, Con -, Int -, Wis -, Cha -
Mechcraft DC: 42
Base Planning Time: 84 days
Base Cost: 866 gp
Total Cost: 9796 gp
Labor Requirements: 1280 man-hours
Construction Time: 16 days (10 avg. laborers plus 1 overseer)
Options:: Armor Plating, Combat Spikes, Folding (Folder steam power*2)


PAYLOAD USAGE
PU USE

1 Crew
2 Large Steambreather
3 Total

When folded the Mech In the Box can be stored in any open PU, not only in a mechbay. It takes up 1 PU when folded.


Last edited by Raptor on Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:05 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:26 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:28 am
Posts: 121
Seems to be fairly useful. Definitely better than wandering around on foot, except for a couple of problems.

First, if you're piloting this thing, you'd better know how to make unarmed attacks with a mech effectively. With no melee weapon (not even a normal-sized one), a Mech-in-a-Box will be very hard to control if it gets into close combat. Having a steambreather is nice (particularly for clearing out those small nooks and crannies) but impossible to fire from behind the front lines. I would recommend switching it out for either a melee weapon, or a short-range weapon with some big destructive power (see the grenade cup and the automator steam power). Adding more steam powers wouldn't be a problem, as one level in coglayer plus Gearhead gives at least a total of four. In fact, grenade launching may be your best bet, as it's an easy way to add large amounts of damage and effects to enemies (pressure bomb and tangle grenades are your best bet, with smoke grenades behind).

Perfect Maneuverability is certainly nice, but it seems like this design is very much guided towards mech jockeys, who will have probably picked up the Natural Pilot feat. Pushing the design's maneuverability so high is good for those without the feat, but causes waste when a mech jockey climbs aboard. Of course, that's a function of it being a clockwork mech, which may not be the best choice. The big helpful feature of a clockwork mech is the low crew requirement, but a Large steam-powered mech also only requires one pilot and no one else. Changing it to steam-powered also lowers the cost and the Craft (mechcraft) DC, traits probably highly desirable to mech jockeys.

The other problem I can see is the negative Fortitude save modifier. On larger clockwork mechs, the sheer size can deter opponents from using abilities to harm it. But this mech's going to be seeing a lot of use against monsters with strange powers, some of which can destroy a mech quite quickly.

Finally, a mech jockey within this mech could find himself easily trapped inside it, in case of falling or swimming. It may protect the mech jockey, but it also might cause his death.

Total recommendations: Roughly on par with the usefullness of hydraulic armor, particularly when discussing weapon options. Hydraulic armor, however, contains no need for steam power maintenence, but it also lowers the attack bonus of the jockey. A jockey should not, when adventuring underground, be the front-line fighter, and so should focus more on combat support and reach weapons.

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DragonMech DM soon, with any luck.

Owner of all DragonMech books, Etherscope core book, and DCC 12.5: Iron Crypt of the Heretics.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:27 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:28 am
Posts: 121
Oh, and while in the Mech-in-a-Box, a mech jockey cannot use magic items to affect his combat prowess easily, while in hydraulic armor he can. Use of the Mech-in-a-Box is therefore only recommended for low-level, low-magic, or low-wealth characters.

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DragonMech DM soon, with any luck.

Owner of all DragonMech books, Etherscope core book, and DCC 12.5: Iron Crypt of the Heretics.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 5:20 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Wichita, KS
#1 The mech unarmed attack is a bit of a misnomer. It is considered an armed attack, so doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. As a mech attack, any mechjockey is automatically proficient. With Combat spikes the unarmed attack deals almost (2d6) as much damage as the melee weapons(Buzzaxe 2d8) you can fit on, but leaves PU available for a ranged weapon. The steambreather was just my personal ranged weapon choice, you could easily replace it with another weapon like a steamgun.

#2 I chose a clockwork power source as this mech is designed for use in enclosed spaces, where the smoke produced by a steam powered mech could be a problem. A steam powered version would cost about 75% of this one, and take half the time. It would lose 8 Dex, 10 ft. of speed, and would switch Fort and Ref saves.

#3 The Fort save is a bit of a toss up. Most spell that cause Fort save only effect living creatures (poison, disease), but the ones that do (disintegrate) are pretty nasty. But remember its the mech making the save not you.

#4 The mech could trap you but is not really any worse than wearing heavy armor. You can usually exit your mech much quicker than removing plate mail.

#5 The big advantage for a mechjockey over hydraulic armor is that your proficient with the mech automatically, but would have to spend 2 feats to gain proficiency with hydraulic armor (which has a huge non-prof penalty).

#6 As a large size mech, spells can target the mech normally, and does not need the combine spell feat. The only magic items you would not be able to use normally would be weapons which would have to be installed in place of the steambreather.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 7:35 pm 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2004 11:28 am
Posts: 121
#1: Right, point taken.

#2: I don't think that's a bad tradeoff, especially considering that the clockwork Craft (mechcraft) DC is so much higher than a steam-powered mech. As for smoke . . . it really depends how deep you're planning to delve in this thing.

#3: Yeah, but if the mech fails a save for something really nasty, then it's really, really nasty. Not just the high-level stuff like disintegrate, but spells like gearghoul touch as well. Maybe I'm just being paranoid on behalf of my eventual PCs.

#4: Okay, I can see that. It may get you into problems that you wouldn't have faced in normal armor, though.

#5: Two feats? Armor Proficiency (hydraulic) is a standalone feat. I agree that wasting a feat isn't good, but if you're a human (which most mech jockeys are), then you've got one extra feat, a front-loaded one you can't use later. Best to spend it on something useful.

#6: Not needing Combine Spell is good, but magic items are usually sized for Medium creatures. Things like a gauntlet of rust would have to be sized for a mech (thus ruining the utility outside of it). If you were wearing hydraulic armor, you might need to work around that slightly (maybe enchanting the gauntlets themselves), but it'd still be usable. Unwieldy, but usable, whereas unloading and unfolding an entire mech for one rusting grasp and then folding it back up is just ridiculous.

Don't take this all like I dislike the design, it's a cool idea. I'm just too good at pointing out flaws instead of successes. Sorry. :oops:

_________________
DragonMech DM soon, with any luck.

Owner of all DragonMech books, Etherscope core book, and DCC 12.5: Iron Crypt of the Heretics.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 9:42 pm 
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Mighty-Thewed Reaver

Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:31 am
Posts: 290
Sword Guy wrote:

<snip>

#6: Not needing Combine Spell is good, but magic items are usually sized for Medium creatures. Things like a gauntlet of rust would have to be sized for a mech (thus ruining the utility outside of it). If you were wearing hydraulic armor, you might need to work around that slightly (maybe enchanting the gauntlets themselves), but it'd still be usable. Unwieldy, but usable, whereas unloading and unfolding an entire mech for one rusting grasp and then folding it back up is just ridiculous.

Don't take this all like I dislike the design, it's a cool idea. I'm just too good at pointing out flaws instead of successes. Sorry. :oops:

</snip>



"Many magic garments are made to be easily adjustable, or they adjust themselves magically to the wearer."
(DMG, p 213, 1st paragraph under 'size and magic items' )

I would allow items that do not directly effect the wearer's body in some way to be used by and effect mechs of alrge size, based on that.
(for instance, yes to ring of protection, no to amulet of natural armor)

Personally, I think it's better to craft magical items as mech parts rather than than to put the items on a mech like a character. The magical fit rule for characters could carry over as a magical re-shaping to fit into the mech to use the item, and with the same item slot restrictions, and you would just have a different set of magical items for mechs from those for characters, much like warforged have special items.

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{Wounds -12; HP = 11/23}


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 1:54 pm 
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Deft-Handed Cutpurse

Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 261
Location: Wichita, KS
Quote:
#5: Two feats? Armor Proficiency (hydraulic) is a standalone feat. I agree that wasting a feat isn't good, but if you're a human (which most mech jockeys are), then you've got one extra feat, a front-loaded one you can't use later. Best to spend it on something useful.


Hydraulic is considered heavy armor, so you need Heavy Armor Proficiency too.


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