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Amaril
2013-04-06, 10:03 PM
Well, I haven't done one of these in a while, since the last couple I tried fell a little flat, but lately I've been thinking of giving it another go--with a setting for a mecha game.

I don't have anything specific to put up for the first idea, but I think it would be really cool if we could somehow have mecha battles in space :smallcool:

Go nuts.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-06, 10:13 PM
This sounds awesome! Do you have a system you want to work with, or are we coming up with something just for this? Is this magic, tech, both?

The mechas HAVE to be customizable. At a minimum, something like Armored Core, with a long, long list of parts. But if we can get more in depth than that, awesome.

LordErebus12
2013-04-06, 10:16 PM
magic and tech, of course

Admiral Squish
2013-04-06, 10:32 PM
Well, if we're gonna have magic involved, I could probably give you a big chunk of the stuff I came up with for my old Tome of Iron Project. I've got a lot of parts, cores, and the like we could probably use. It's all aimed at 3.5, but we could modify it pretty easily.

Empedocles
2013-04-06, 10:34 PM
DragonMech for 3.5 is a great 3rd party setting based on mechs you could take a look at, if for no other reason then inspiration and ideas.

Amaril
2013-04-06, 10:41 PM
Whoa, whoa, whoa guys--I'm really glad to see such an enthusiastic response, but before we do ANYTHING else, there's one extremely important question we have to answer:

Japanese mechs or Western mechs?

I'm personally in the mood for Japanese, but hey, this is a community project.

Empedocles
2013-04-06, 10:43 PM
Japanese. All the way.

ShadowFireLance
2013-04-06, 10:47 PM
Japansese All the way. :smallcool:

Dragon-Based Mecha, Yeah, I can do that. :smallcool:

Admiral Squish
2013-04-06, 10:58 PM
Hmm... How exactly are we defining the difference?

LordErebus12
2013-04-06, 11:02 PM
we talking robotech or gundam over here? :smallwink:

also, many terran races (elves, etc.) or humans plus aliens

Amaril
2013-04-06, 11:04 PM
Hmm... How exactly are we defining the difference?

It's basically in how anthropomorphic the mechs look and move. Think of everything that separates the mechs in Gundam from the ones in MechWarrior. It is, of course, entirely possible to balance or combine the two, but which is favored more can also help determine the flavor of the setting, so I think it's important. Also, some systems are better suited to one or the other.

Anyone want to offer something as the first idea post for the world?

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-06, 11:07 PM
EDIT: Better first idea: No FTL travel, but interstellar travel is possible with wormhole gates built up over generations of sending out humans in cryogenic freezing to build them. A recent civil war has erupted and caused this gate network to largely be shut down, leaving most of the colonies cut off until the gates can be fixed.

Amaril
2013-04-06, 11:18 PM
2: Although most mechs are used for military purposes, gladiatorial arena combat between mechs is also an extremely popular sport. Skilled pilots can earn great fame and fortune through these competitions.

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-06, 11:22 PM
3: Mechs, however, are proprietary technology and the building of them is carefully monitored and controlled: New mechs are only made at top secret, heavily guarded facilities back on the home world. Most importantly this means that with the gate network shut down, players have to rely on repairing old and broken mechs: Brand new ones are basically impossible to get.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-06, 11:24 PM
I'm thinking more like Armored core, personally. The basic model is a sorta gundam-style mecha. But you can customize it to easily depart from that basic humanoid model.

Okay, do we want to have piloting be an extension of your body, with brain-controls, or a skill thing with lots of switches and levers and dials, like piloting a fighter jet?

Are we going to have rules for human-scale adventures too? If so, I vote for humans, a few modified human subraces, and alien versions of all the traditional fantasy races, kinda like warhammer.

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-06, 11:27 PM
Okay, do we want to have piloting be an extension of your body, with brain-controls, or a skill thing with lots of switches and levers and dials, like piloting a fighter jet?

I say you need substantial brain and spinal cord implants to even interface with one at all. With the shutting down of the gate network, the medical facilities capable of doing these procedures are out of reach, so people with the implants to pilot one are in short supply and can't be replenished.


Are we going to have rules for human-scale adventures too? If so, I vote for humans, a few modified human subraces, and alien versions of all the traditional fantasy races, kinda like warhammer.

I vote no aliens. An unmodified human majority as well as minorities of different types of modified human.

Amaril
2013-04-06, 11:31 PM
I say you need substantial brain and spinal cord implants to even interface with one at all. With the shutting down of the gate network, the medical facilities capable of doing these procedures are out of reach, so people with the implants to pilot one are in short supply and can't be replenished.

I agree we should have pilot interfacing be done with some sort of implanted technology (it makes sense), but I think we might want to avoid making it particularly gruesome-looking and visible, so the players don't have to be saddled with a character appearance they might not like. Possibly the older, more outdated forms of interface technology are more visible, while the newer ones are subtle.

As for species, I'm cool with having aliens, but I'm not so fond of fantasy races. This is primarily gonna be a sci-fi game, after all, and I think we should stick to that image.

EDIT: And let's not forget, we're going for a Japanese mecha flavor here. I'm not that experienced with that particular sub-genre, but I think it should be our primary source of inspiration.

ShadowFireLance
2013-04-06, 11:39 PM
I think that there Should be Some type of Dragon-Creature that has a unique type of Mecha, Based off of Flesh, In place of Mechanical Engineering.
:smallcool:

Amaril
2013-04-06, 11:45 PM
4: The invention, and later construction, of mechs would never have been possible without the discovery of their primary power source--Jovium, a metalloid element foreign to Earth. Because Jovium is used to power numerous modern technologies in addition to mechs, the dwindling supply remaining on Earth since the beginning of the war has become almost as much of a concern to the homeworld's inhabitants the colonies' lack of mech construction capability is to the colonists.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-06, 11:51 PM
Hmm. I dunno about biomechs. It seems like it'd be so different from other mechs that it would need completely different rules, you know? Maybe we could make some giant space-capable creatures as enemies?

Well, if we're gonna avoid space-adapted fantasy staples, then what kinds of aliens are we gonna have? Humans with funny foreheads, a la star trek, or 'real' aliens? Are they gonna be playable, or purely antagonists?

Grinner
2013-04-06, 11:52 PM
I vote for no standard-issue fantasy races.

Aliens might be okay, depending on how they're handled.


I say you need substantial brain and spinal cord implants to even interface with one at all. With the shutting down of the gate network, the medical facilities capable of doing these procedures are out of reach, so people with the implants to pilot one are in short supply and can't be replenished.

Seconded.

I'm thinking that the pilot's seat melds into the the pilot's spine? Perhaps through a series of plugs like in The Matrix?


I think that there Should be Some type of Dragon-Creature that has a unique type of Mecha, Based off of Flesh, In place of Mechanical Engineering.
:smallcool:

Seconded.

Amaril
2013-04-06, 11:53 PM
The simple thing would be no aliens at all--although I do like the possible idea of a long-dead alien civilization that left a bunch of cool gadgets lying around, partially because of my weakness for cliche, and also because stuff like that makes great sources of loot for PCs. If you want to give them fancy new equipment, have them find alien artifacts.

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-07, 12:00 AM
4: The invention, and later construction, of mechs would never have been possible without the discovery of their primary power source--Jovium, a metalloid element foreign to Earth. Because Jovium is used to power numerous modern technologies in addition to mechs, the dwindling supply remaining on Earth since the beginning of the war has become almost as much of a concern to the homeworld's inhabitants the colonies' lack of mech construction capability is to the colonists.

5: Furthermore, most colonies were not self-sufficient and were relying to some degree on imported shipments of food, water, and oxygen; Shipments that are no longer coming. Some of the more recently founded colonies have already been wiped out by starvation, thirst, or suffocation. The more developed colonies are still surviving, but the shortages have caused mass civil unrest.

Empedocles
2013-04-07, 12:03 AM
What system are we using?

I would argue that the aliens should be more along the lines of Star Trek and less "real" aliens, since additional playable races would probably be welcomed by many players, and because it's actually not that unrealistic (http://www.cracked.com/article_20332_5-unrealistic-movie-cliches-that-are-scientifically-accurate_p2.html), or at least, an argument can be logically made in its favor.

Grinner
2013-04-07, 12:07 AM
Some questions to consider:

What kind of colonies do humans establish?
Are they chiefly space stations, or do terrestrial ones also exist?
Does terraforming technology exist?
If so, why the need to ship air? (Wouldn't they be shipping oxygen recycling products instead?)
Where do the mechs fit in all of this?


Edit:
What system are we using?

I would argue that the aliens should be more along the lines of Star Trek and less "real" aliens, since additional playable races would probably be welcomed by many players, and because it's actually not that unrealistic (http://www.cracked.com/article_20332_5-unrealistic-movie-cliches-that-are-scientifically-accurate_p2.html), or at least, an argument can be logically made in its favor.

These are usually system-agnostic.

You bring up another good point though. How much are we actually going to focus on the mechs? Additional races don't mean much if everyone's inside mechs anyway, unless we emphasize cultural and technological diversity between the races.

Basically, if we add aliens, we really need to make sure they contribute to the setting, rubber foreheads or not.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-07, 12:11 AM
I dunno about ancient long-dead civilizations. That always bugs me when it comes up, ancient artifacts that plug in perfectly to modern tech. Because clearly, ancients use the exact same hardware and software. Though, possibly, I could see some sort of spacefaring giants that created giant weapons that could be wielded by mecha.

Grinner
2013-04-07, 12:16 AM
I dunno about ancient long-dead civilizations. That always bugs me when it comes up, ancient artifacts that plug in perfectly to modern tech. Because clearly, ancients use the exact same hardware and software. Though, possibly, I could see some sort of spacefaring giants that created giant weapons that could be wielded by mecha.

If the mechs are biomechanical like ShadowFireLance suggested, then maybe they could be implants jury-rigged to work with modern mechs?

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-07, 12:22 AM
Some questions to consider:

What kind of colonies do humans establish?
Are they chiefly space stations, or do terrestrial ones also exist?
Does terraforming technology exist?
If so, why the need to ship air? (Wouldn't they be shipping oxygen recycling products instead?)
Where do the mechs fit in all of this?


My answers:

- Self-enclosed arcologies, mostly for the purposes of mining Jovium and other rare materials. People flocked to the colonies because they offered well-paying work in hard economic times back on the homeworld. Most colonists left their families behind on the homeworld and send them the majority of their wages, similar to what many immigrant workers do today. (I'm thinking the homeworld is a separate world from Earth: Making it Earth In The Future gives us too much baggage we have to carry over and explain.)

- Mostly terrestrial, as mining is the entire purpose of the colonization effort in the first place. Space stations are kept and maintained, but aren't heavily populated.

- Mass terraforming? No. If you want something, you have to make it from scratch, recycle it from waste products, or ship it in.

- Oxygen shipping is done at first and is then phased out: It usually takes less than 6 months to get a fully self-sufficient oxygen recycling system up and running that can cover the whole colony. Next to be made are the water and food systems. Water recycling begins immediately but isn't 100% efficient and supplement water needs to be shipped in to make up the difference until water production gets up and running within a year. Food takes the longest and it usually takes over a decade of the colony's first forming for food shipments to no longer be necessary, so only the very first colonies aren't suffering food shortages.

- Mechs are essentially environmental suits designed for both work and combat in extreme environments. Your classic humanoid mech exists, but most "mechs" are non-humanoid shapes and are used for construction and mining work: The neural interface allows for levels of reaction time and easy fine control by users that can't be matched by traditional control consoles, and this adaptability means you only need a handful of mech types to accomplish any task, as opposed to hundreds of specialized machines. The disadvantage of mechs is that humans have to be in them for them to work, but running the colonies is still much more profitable in the end than attempting to run a remotely controlled or fully automated facility due to problems in those systems.

There are a few kinks that need to be hammered out, honestly: Like, why are the rebels shutting down the gate system? Why does food take so long to get up and running? What exactly are the problems with remote-operated and fully-automatic systems that make running the colonies somehow more viable economically?

Grinner
2013-04-07, 12:58 AM
There are a few kinks that need to be hammered out, honestly: Like, why are the rebels shutting down the gate system? Why does food take so long to get up and running? What exactly are the problems with remote-operated and fully-automatic systems that make running the colonies somehow more viable economically?

In protest of social conditions on the homeworld, the Rebels have blockaded the gates in an attempt to starve the governments of Jovium. Having fresh stocks of Jovium, they've been able to operate without being overwhelmed by the under-supplied military navies.

Building agricultural facilities takes a long time. Usually, the crews responsible for them are understaffed. It's fairly cheap to ship food in, and because it's the primary factor in any colony's profitability, mining always takes priority. The facilities themselves take a long time to construct, as they need to be large enough to produce massive quantities of food in less-than-ideal conditions. After the shielding is put up, the facilities then need to be scrubbed clean of radiation, as many colonies exist in hostile environments. Finally, getting harvests in takes another year.

Robotic colonies are nice in theory, but deep space has an interesting way of throwing wrenches into the works. Sometimes, they simply can't operate with local electromagnetic interference. Other times, things just break. In certain cases, micrometeorites have been known to perforate key components, crippling the entire operation. Admittedly, those were really the fault of the engineers for not foreseeing that. Frankly, it's more profitable in the long run to establish human colonies, since the practice provide jobs, alleviates overpopulation, and brings in enough profit to make it worthwhile.

The colonies also give convenient access to new solar systems, ideal locations for new warp gates. Government and corporate parties already have plans drawn up to establish new colonies in these systems...

LordErebus12
2013-04-07, 01:26 AM
Automated Mechs? AI?

Empedocles
2013-04-07, 01:35 AM
Automated Mechs? AI?

Wouldn't those just be robots?

LordErebus12
2013-04-07, 01:37 AM
Wouldn't those just be robots?

depends on the tech, i guess. Something more self aware could be farther up the chain of possibility.

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-07, 02:18 AM
I've generally found AI starts to cause serious problems unless you either very tightly restrict it or just go all the way with putting it everywhere. I think restricting AI to specialized algorithms for specific tasks (no General AI that can design a procedure that can deal with anything you throw at it and certainly nothing sapient), with a broader scope than what we can do today but otherwise still no replacement for a human where higher functions are required, is the best route to go for this particular setting.

Anyway, I think the conflict between the rebels and the homeworld (also needs a proper name) needs to be made more complicated: As it stands, the logical thing most PCs would want to do is get their gate re-opened so the homeworld can come in with reinforcements and wipe out the rebels so the normal operation of the colonies can be resumed. I generally don't like clear-cut villains and I'd like the setting to have more than one story hook for anyone out there in the colonies.

Grinner
2013-04-07, 02:55 AM
Anyway, I think the conflict between the rebels and the homeworld (also needs a proper name) needs to be made more complicated: As it stands, the logical thing most PCs would want to do is get their gate re-opened so the homeworld can come in with reinforcements and wipe out the rebels so the normal operation of the colonies can be resumed. I generally don't like clear-cut villains and I'd like the setting to have more than one story hook for anyone out there in the colonies.

I proposed that the homeworld is a dystopia, and the Rebels have blocked the gates to give themselves a bargaining chip.

It follows that if the Rebels have gained enough support to disrupt the homeworld's supply lines of precious Jovium, then it must be pretty bad. Like The Proles vs The Party bad.

Since the governments are trying to expand and provide for their citizens, they can't be all that bad. Their leaders are prideful however, signified by their refusal to give into the Rebel "terrorists". Fortunately, they have much of the colonies' food supplies, so it's a game of whether the colonies run out of food first, or they run out of Jovium first.

One possible story hook is letting the PCs sign on with a Rebel supply raid. Since they need to keep support among the colonies, it stands to reason that they would attempt to provide for the stranded citizens by procuring whatever supplies they can.

Alternately, one group of colonies may side with the homeworld over the Rebels and refuse to supply the Rebels. Rebel thugs from the local blockade, needing a fresh stock of Jovium, then come to persuade them otherwise. After fending off the desperate Rebels, the players may then attempt to clear the local gate and re-establish contact with the homeworld.

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-07, 03:02 AM
I proposed that the homeworld is a dystopia, and the Rebels have blocked the gates to give themselves a bargaining chip.

It follows that if the Rebels have gained enough support to disrupt the homeworld's supply lines of precious Jovium, then it must be pretty bad. Like The Proles vs The Party bad.

I was thinking more along the lines of: What specific grievances do the rebels have with how the homeworld's governments are handling things? Ideally these grievances should be tangible things felt by the players, not just abstract background details, and need to fit both the tone and style of the setting. No such ideas come to mind right now that don't sound stupid, though.

Grinner
2013-04-07, 03:08 AM
I was thinking more along the lines of: What specific grievances do the rebels have with how the homeworld's governments are handling things? Ideally these grievances should be tangible things felt by the players, not just abstract background details, and need to fit both the tone and style of the setting. No such ideas come to mind right now that don't sound stupid, though.

I haven't got anything either. :smallconfused:

Edit: Did some brainstorming. Here's what I got.


kicking puppies
widespread corruption
general incompetence
abuse of power (In the vein of Julius Caesar)
conspiracy against the people (Think "V for Vendetta" or "1984") *
over-taxation (Get people where it really hurts: in their wallets.)

*That's bit cliche as far as dystopias are concerned.

I don't see anything that screams "Widespread revolution!" to me. Then again, as my 3rd grade history teacher would put it, America split from Britain over tea taxes (Oversimplified, yes, but it was 3rd grade). I guess several of them together might justify war.

Alexkubel
2013-04-07, 03:53 AM
I'm going though how I design mechs,

deside if the cockpit or sensors are in the head
Deside if the head is ridgedly fitted onto torso or is capable of turning
deside how big the mech is
deside how many guns it can reasonably fit
draw first concept art
Talk with GM about needed resorces
deside if direct nural interface is needed (warhammer, Matrix) or is controls are sufficeint (battletech, gundam)
go back to step A and deside if I want to change it
repeat for step 2, 3 and 4
draw secon concept art
check with GM if it is too high level for the character
repeat step 6
check with GM how long it wil take
deside how many guns you can fit an want to it
deside on what weapon systems you want on said mech
draw 'prototype' concept art
repeat steps 6, 11 and 13
deside on name

I only do that if i deside a panzerkafwagon IV J that has been heavily upgraded or an of my other mechs (30 of them), aren't suitable.
List of mechs I have from games and other sorces

XV104 riptide battlesuit (warhammer 40,000)
XV8-05 battlesit (warhammer 40,000)
XV88 broadside battlesiut (warhammer 40,000)
imperial Guard Drop sentinel (warhammer 40,000)
Thor, Mech (battletech)
Madcat, mech (battletech)
Atlas, mech (battletech)
Catapault, mech (battletech)
Cicida, mech (battletech)
CALM-CF, weapons platform (custom design)
AXDR-1D2, Mech varient of desgn (custom design)
ELIS-YD, Mech (custom design)
and more.

but I generally use thePanzerkamfwagon IV as it's better at sneaking.

zabbarot
2013-04-07, 08:09 AM
Due to the vast amounts of time it would take to fly out to a location to set up a warp gate, 'star trek' aliens could just be humans >.> Evolution could easily diverge in the amount of time it would take for them to get that far. It could work even more so if we assume those ships are at least city sized. Now we have slightly different humans at the other side of each warp gate, which is basically what star trek aliens seem like to me.


I haven't got anything either. :smallconfused:

Edit: Did some brainstorming. Here's what I got.


kicking puppies
widespread corruption
general incompetence
abuse of power (In the vein of Julius Caesar)
conspiracy against the people (Think "V for Vendetta" or "1984") *
over-taxation (Get people where it really hurts: in their wallets.)

*That's bit cliche as far as dystopias are concerned.

I don't see anything that screams "Widespread revolution!" to me. Then again, as my 3rd grade history teacher would put it, America split from Britain over tea taxes (Oversimplified, yes, but it was 3rd grade). I guess several of them together might justify war.

Most real world revolutions are about money. The have-nots fight the haves. A large disparity between the rich and poor is common and definitely easy to imagine in space colonies. The poor live in tiny 5x5 steel coffins because space is limited, but the rich have massive palatial suites because they're rich. Things like this piss people off real quick. Basically the more the ruling class can be made to look like hypocrites the easier it is to demonize them and polarize the people.

inuyasha
2013-04-07, 08:41 AM
Just in case it hasn't been brought up:

Has anyone considered perpetraded press's: Arsenal and Factory
They only got to make 2 books before they shut down, Factory is full of mecha and robot and cyborg rules, while Arsenal has all kinds of magitech firearms to attach to said mecha

and does anyone have Doomstriders? another magitech mecha book?

sorry if this wasted your time, I just thought i'd bring it up :)

Amaril
2013-04-07, 10:43 AM
Here's an idea I had relating to the disputes over the inclusion of AI or sentient robots.

6: Although there is tremendous variation in the design of individual mechs, virtually every modern mech in existence relies on two essential, universal components. One of these is the Jovium drive core--the other is a brain-like computer construct called an animus. Mechs are not sentient, in that they cannot "think" in the same sense as humans, but the animus grants each mech a certain kind of simple, basic awareness that is still poorly understood. This awareness is the means by which a mech pilot interfaces with their vehicle, but it is also more than that--every animus is subtly different, and the specific nature--some would even go so far as to call it a personality--of each mech can influence how they interact with their pilot. Over time, many pilots form a powerful bond with their mech's animus, which can make the pairing much more effective.

I got this idea from the way titans work in WH40K, with a sort of simple, primitive intelligence that the main pilot merges with to control the titan. I think warjacks in Iron Kingdoms also have something like this, but I might be remembering wrong.

Amaril
2013-04-07, 11:08 AM
Also, it seems like the most sensible thing to do with aliens would be to follow the EVE model, where they were all initially human and still look pretty much the same, but evolved in subtly different ways because of time and distance.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-08, 12:03 PM
I don't quite understand how the gates mechanic would work.

Does every system have 1 or 2 gates that can be "dialed" to any other gate? Or does each gate only go to 1 other gate?

If a gates is 'disabled' does it only prevent outgoing or incoming as well? I assume the latter, but then how do the PCs leave their starting system if there is nothing they can do to reactivate the gate on the other end?

What effects does travelling through a gate have on a ship? Is it combat capable immediately or is there a delay for some reason?

Are the Homeworld/Rebel home gates active or not? If not, how does that work with regards to logistics?

Are the gates merely deactivated (flick of a switch) or are they sabotaged and need actual repairs and replacement components?

The gates rather bother me actually. They seem like they remove any 'terrain' from the galaxy. Things are too close together and that could make any kind of stability hard to make believable.

Amaril
2013-04-08, 12:40 PM
I don't quite understand how the gates mechanic would work.

Does every system have 1 or 2 gates that can be "dialed" to any other gate? Or does each gate only go to 1 other gate?

If a gates is 'disabled' does it only prevent outgoing or incoming as well? I assume the latter, but then how do the PCs leave their starting system if there is nothing they can do to reactivate the gate on the other end?

What effects does travelling through a gate have on a ship? Is it combat capable immediately or is there a delay for some reason?

Are the Homeworld/Rebel home gates active or not? If not, how does that work with regards to logistics?

Are the gates merely deactivated (flick of a switch) or are they sabotaged and need actual repairs and replacement components?

The gates rather bother me actually. They seem like they remove any 'terrain' from the galaxy. Things are too close together and that could make any kind of stability hard to make believable.

I pictured the gates being more like space stations than the ones from Stargate. That would make them a lot harder to construct, and prevent entire armies from just marching right into the enemy capital (they'd still have to get past orbital and aerial defenses).

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-08, 02:17 PM
Does every system have 1 or 2 gates that can be "dialed" to any other gate? Or does each gate only go to 1 other gate?

The latter. If you want to set up a new colony you need to build both an entrance and an exit gate. I also imagined them as space stations as Amaril said.


If a gates is 'disabled' does it only prevent outgoing or incoming as well? I assume the latter, but then how do the PCs leave their starting system if there is nothing they can do to reactivate the gate on the other end?

Both ends are required to be active for traffic to move in either direction. For now only the colony-side gates are inactive, so if a player in a colony wants to leave, all they have to do is re-activate their gate and they can get back to the homeworld. Not as easy as it sounds considering the gates are rebel-controlled, though! A player on the homeworld who wants to visit the colonies is kinda screwed, though, but the isolation dealt toward both the colonies and the homeworld is the entire point of the lockdown.


What effects does travelling through a gate have on a ship? Is it combat capable immediately or is there a delay for some reason?

I haven't really thought about it, but I like the idea of things traveling through a gate being initially vulnerable.


Are the Homeworld/Rebel home gates active or not? If not, how does that work with regards to logistics?

I imagined the gate network as each colony only having one gate, and the homeworld having dozens of different gates orbiting it, each one connected to a different colony: To make a trip from one colony to another you'd have to stop by the homeworld first.

And the whole point is that it doesn't: Both the colonies and the homeworld are sorta screwed unless those gates can be re-activated soon.


Are the gates merely deactivated (flick of a switch) or are they sabotaged and need actual repairs and replacement components?

Depends. The rebels have every intention to flip the gates back on after they've won, so most gates just need the flick of a switch to start working again. But other gates got damaged by accident in the fighting and need repairs first.

Amaril
2013-04-08, 02:48 PM
I haven't really thought about it, but I like the idea of things traveling through a gate being initially vulnerable.

Maybe passing through a gate temporarily shuts down all electronics on board the ship, leaving them vulnerable until they can get everything turned back on. I don't know how the science (fiction) would work for that, but I'm sure we could come up with something.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-08, 03:19 PM
The problem I foresee with the gates is that once the players finish with the planet they start on, then they have exactly 1 next destination. Homeworld. A potentially extremely hostile, very well guarded homeworld, way out of the players league.

May I suggest several smaller pairs of gates between other systems, not just homeworld <-> colony? This would make sense, it could add days if not months to travel time if you had to move to homeworld first and then fly all the way to the next gate.

There is still the issue of blindness bothering me. You can't see what's going on where you are jumping to, so all jumps are done blindly. I would think that all possible gates are very heavily guarded as they are such natural chokepoints.

Grinner
2013-04-08, 03:41 PM
May I suggest several smaller pairs of gates between other systems, not just homeworld <-> colony? This would make sense, it could add days if not months to travel time if you had to move to homeworld first and then fly all the way to the next gate.

Are our gates more like space stations or Stargates?

I was under the impression that travellers actually had to fly out into space, make a jump, and then fly the rest of the way to a colony. If they're like the ones in Stargate, then that would make sense.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-08, 03:43 PM
I was picturing the gates as space station sized stargates floating out in the void.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-08, 03:55 PM
I have just had a thought that neatly solves the 'why is the homeworld so bad' question and provides neat fluff to explain more colony to colony gates.

The only thing the homeworld is doing wrong is Control. They refuse to allow any autonomy to any of the colonies and they insist on inspecting all cargo that passes through the system which is all cargo since they also insist that gates may only connect to homeworld. This is why some enterprising individuals have erected small hidden gates between certain colony systems. These are highly illegal.

The homeworld government also refuses to allow any but the most trivial governing decisions to be made by the colonies themselves. They are not evil, they even sometimes have the colonists best interests at heart, but these decisions usually take very long to be made.

Basically, the empire has grown too large and the rebellion is merely the end result. This is not a struggle between good and evil, but between an overextended government and a bunch of rash freedom fighters.

Craft (Cheese)
2013-04-08, 04:13 PM
The problem I foresee with the gates is that once the players finish with the planet they start on, then they have exactly 1 next destination. Homeworld. A potentially extremely hostile, very well guarded homeworld, way out of the players league.

That's definitely a problem if you want to use this setting for something more long-term: It doesn't really support planet-hopping unless you majorly disrupt the status quo and the premise of the setting by getting the gate network working again.

My opinion on the matter is that the entire point of the setting is the players have to deal with the problems caused by the war: If the war ends or the problems it creates are otherwise sidestepped, then the campaign is basically over. You could keep playing if you want, but now you're going beyond the bounds of what the setting was intended to support and making up your own thing.

Of course, it's not my setting and you're all welcome to suggest something else if you like. (I like the idea of privately operated, illegal inter-colony gates)

Amaril
2013-04-08, 05:35 PM
I like Rabidmuskrat's ideas for both the illegal gates between colonies and for the cause of the war. Having it be essentially a result of trade and immigration disputes would make it easy to sympathize with either side (the homeworld seems pretty clearly at fault for the problem itself, but it's easy to imagine ways that life would be a lot worse for the colonies without the homeworld government).

And I think it's been pretty clearly decided that the gates are massive space stations, so they have to be reached by ships.

Also, next idea.

7: On one of the farther colonies from the homeworld that still has yet to succumb to starvation, there exist practitioners of a relatively new religion that is regarded as strange at best by most of humanity. Calling themselves the Brotherhood of the Animus, the followers of this faith worship the anima that exist within mechs, believing them to be aspects in the image of their machine god. The central beliefs of this religion likely arose in part because of the incredible secrecy surrounding the process by which the homeworld manufacturers build and program the anima, but that has not stopped it from attracting a slow but steady stream of new followers, even beginning very recently to spread beyond its origins to other colonies.

Alexkubel
2013-04-09, 10:34 AM
Here's an idea I had relating to the disputes over the inclusion of AI or sentient robots.

6: Although there is tremendous variation in the design of individual mechs, virtually every modern mech in existence relies on two essential, universal components. One of these is the Jovium drive core--the other is a brain-like computer construct called an animus. Mechs are not sentient, in that they cannot "think" in the same sense as humans, but the animus grants each mech a certain kind of simple, basic awareness that is still poorly understood. This awareness is the means by which a mech pilot interfaces with their vehicle, but it is also more than that--every animus is subtly different, and the specific nature--some would even go so far as to call it a personality--of each mech can influence how they interact with their pilot. Over time, many pilots form a powerful bond with their mech's animus, which can make the pairing much more effective.

I got this idea from the way titans work in WH40K, with a sort of simple, primitive intelligence that the main pilot merges with to control the titan. I think warjacks in Iron Kingdoms also have something like this, but I might be remembering wrong.

You're thinking the Machine Sprits yes? Also as far as I know the Pilot does not merge with it, it acts as an extra crew member sort of, basically keeping it working when the crew are too shaken to do anything (see 'Blessing of the Omnissiah special rule for the land raider as an example) it's like a small child, except more sensible.


I have just had a thought that neatly solves the 'why is the homeworld so bad' question and provides neat fluff to explain more colony to colony gates.

The only thing the homeworld is doing wrong is Control. They refuse to allow any autonomy to any of the colonies and they insist on inspecting all cargo that passes through the system which is all cargo since they also insist that gates may only connect to homeworld. This is why some enterprising individuals have erected small hidden gates between certain colony systems. These are highly illegal.

The homeworld government also refuses to allow any but the most trivial governing decisions to be made by the colonies themselves. They are not evil, they even sometimes have the colonists best interests at heart, but these decisions usually take very long to be made.

Basically, the empire has grown too large and the rebellion is merely the end result. This is not a struggle between good and evil, but between an overextended government and a bunch of rash freedom fighters.

I agree heartily, the freedom fighters, are too stupid or whatever to actually realise it is for practicality reasons.


Also, it seems like the most sensible thing to do with aliens would be to follow the EVE model, where they were all initially human and still look pretty much the same, but evolved in subtly different ways because of time and distance.

Not played EVE, but in Warhammer 40,000 you have the Abhumans, Mutants and Psykers, which are basically the same provided you stick to humans only. once you leave the human race things get confusing.

8: Scientific Colony 1234 recently developed a device that can redial a gate, these are incredibly rare and rebels and the government pursue these devices as they gate from the other end even if it is shut down.(the players could get their hands on one, and instantly there is a plot) These devices aren't very bulky but they are far more complex then a colony can fabricate whats more Scientific colony 1234 was destroyed in an engagement between government and rebel forces, and in a spectacular explosion the entire stockpile was sent flying though the gate, randomly redialling the gate sending them to locations unknown. the plans have not turned up on any world the government has been able tore establish contact with.

Amaril
2013-04-09, 10:43 AM
8: Scientific Colony 1234 recently developed a device that can redial a gate, these are incredibly rare and rebels and the government pursue these devices as they gate from the other end even if it is shut down.(the players could get their hands on one, and instantly there is a plot) These devices aren't very bulky but they are far more complex then a colony can fabricate whats more Scientific colony 1234 was destroyed in an engagement between government and rebel forces, and in a spectacular explosion the entire stockpile was sent flying though the gate, randomly redialling the gate sending them to locations unknown. the plans have not turned up on any world the government has been able tore establish contact with.

This could actually help quite a bit--I'd been wondering how any armed conflict between the rebels and the loyalists was possible if there was no gate traffic between the two, so having a means to forcibly activate a gate from the other side is pretty essential for this to be a war rather than a stalemate. Are these devices single-use, or are they only limited in that they can only be in one place at once, so each side can only launch as many simultaneous attacks against the other as they have these devices under their control? The latter would make more sense, I think, since otherwise they'd run out of devices really fast and the stalemate would start again. Also, was the colony that developed it allied with the rebels or the loyalists? That'll be a pretty important decision to make, since whichever side created this device would essentially be responsible for ending the stalemate and turning it into a full-on war.

I assume Scientific Colony 1234 is intended to be a placeholder rather than an actual name for the colony. We really need to get around to coming up with real names for the homeworld and each of the colony worlds (I think we should keep the number of colonized planets relatively low, so it's easy to keep track of them all--I'd suggest having eight colony worlds plus the homeworld).

EDIT: Also, I think this device should be called a Skeleton Key, since it's designed to open gates. Just a suggestion.

Alexkubel
2013-04-09, 01:29 PM
This could actually help quite a bit--I'd been wondering how any armed conflict between the rebels and the loyalists was possible if there was no gate traffic between the two, so having a means to forcibly activate a gate from the other side is pretty essential for this to be a war rather than a stalemate. Are these devices single-use, or are they only limited in that they can only be in one place at once, so each side can only launch as many simultaneous attacks against the other as they have these devices under their control? The latter would make more sense, I think, since otherwise they'd run out of devices really fast and the stalemate would start again. Also, was the colony that developed it allied with the rebels or the loyalists? That'll be a pretty important decision to make, since whichever side created this device would essentially be responsible for ending the stalemate and turning it into a full-on war.

I assume Scientific Colony 1234 is intended to be a placeholder rather than an actual name for the colony. We really need to get around to coming up with real names for the homeworld and each of the colony worlds (I think we should keep the number of colonized planets relatively low, so it's easy to keep track of them all--I'd suggest having eight colony worlds plus the homeworld).

EDIT: Also, I think this device should be called a Skeleton Key, since it's designed to open gates. Just a suggestion.

truth be told I couldn't think of a name for the said device, but the original purpose was to redial gates, meaning if a gate faulted the colony wouldn't be cut off until it was fixed.

Amaril
2013-04-09, 01:33 PM
truth be told I couldn't think of a name for the said device, but the original purpose was to redial gates, meaning if a gate faulted the colony wouldn't be cut off until it was fixed.

But if it was already completed before the start of the war, then whatever side had access to it could have just reopened the gates whenever they wanted, and cutting off the gates in the first place would have been pointless. I think they would have had to be completed after the war started, by whatever side ended up in control of the labs where it was being developed.

By the way, I think we should come up with another term besides "dialing" gates. That seems a little too close to Stargate to be entirely okay.

Alexkubel
2013-04-09, 02:12 PM
But if it was already completed before the start of the war, then whatever side had access to it could have just reopened the gates whenever they wanted, and cutting off the gates in the first place would have been pointless. I think they would have had to be completed after the war started, by whatever side ended up in control of the labs where it was being developed.

By the way, I think we should come up with another term besides "dialing" gates. That seems a little too close to Stargate to be entirely okay.

the idea I was thinking of was the completion of the project was what sparked the initial conflicts of the war, the base like I mentioned was destroyed before the Skeleton Keys could be shipped out. Possibly the value of these is one of the real causes of the war

Also I may actually use the setting as one of the worlds I am working on as part of a project that uses more then one material plane, Gysa being the technologically advanced one, I was thinking of actually possibly making it a colony that either had it's gate destroyed or cannot access other systems for another reason.

Amaril
2013-04-09, 02:29 PM
the idea I was thinking of was the completion of the project was what sparked the initial conflicts of the war, the base like I mentioned was destroyed before the Skeleton Keys could be shipped out. Possibly the value of these is one of the real causes of the war


I think you misunderstand me. I'm considering the war to have begun when the rebels deactivated their gates and cut themselves off from the homeworld. If, by that point, the Skeleton Key had already been developed, the homeworld military could have just reopened the gates right then and crushed the insurrection. What I think we've determined here, though, is that the gates remained closed for a significant period before the Keys were completed, which allowed whatever side initially had control of them to begin reopening gates and initiate armed conflict between the two sides.

If I'm the one misunderstanding what you meant, then I'm sorry. This was your idea, and it's ultimately your decision. I'm just explaining what I understood the progression of events to have been.

Alexkubel
2013-04-09, 02:40 PM
to be honest I hadn't even fully developed the idea anyway. but yes thinking about it, the Skeleton key's probably would have been in development for some time, and the government probably had a more substantial force there so it could well have been rebels within the garrison blowing the store room, I was thinking the base was destroyed and/or the rebel HQ location, as the Key's would break the rebels hold, the loss of such a valuable device would hamper any efforts to blockade run to colonies. these keys probably are needed to blockade run though as they open the gates.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-10, 02:41 AM
I like the idea of the skeleton keys. May i flesh them out a bit?

Normally a gate needs an active connection on both ends for accuracy reasons. A one-way gate could end up anywhere within a lightyear radius of the target under normal circumstances, with a disturbing tendency to open inside stars. As such, safety measures have been hardcoded into the gates to prevent gating to anything but another specific active gate.

By combining a gate operating mechanism (the normal one) with a special kind of animus, a Skeleton Key is created. These perform two functions. First, they somehow override the hardcoded safety protocols and second, they make the gating process super accurate allowing you to gate as if there is an active gate at the other end even when there isnt. The key must be attached to the gate in order to do this and as such can never pass through its own gate.

However, because these keys are animi(?) they can be used in place of regular animi in mechs and vehicles. They didnt get blasted through the gate, they escaped through it after hijacking their own transport.

Amaril
2013-04-10, 09:20 AM
I like the idea of the skeleton keys. May i flesh them out a bit?

Normally a gate needs an active connection on both ends for accuracy reasons. A one-way gate could end up anywhere within a lightyear radius of the target under normal circumstances, with a disturbing tendency to open inside stars. As such, safety measures have been hardcoded into the gates to prevent gating to anything but another specific active gate.

By combining a gate operating mechanism (the normal one) with a special kind of animus, a Skeleton Key is created. These perform two functions. First, they somehow override the hardcoded safety protocols and second, they make the gating process super accurate allowing you to gate as if there is an active gate at the other end even when there isnt. The key must be attached to the gate in order to do this and as such can never pass through its own gate.

However, because these keys are animi(?) they can be used in place of regular animi in mechs and vehicles. They didnt get blasted through the gate, they escaped through it after hijacking their own transport.

Huh...I hadn't pictured the anima (that's the plural I'd use) being autonomous enough to do something like that on their own. Normally they just lie dormant inside mechs (as opposed to other vehicles, since the presence of an animus is what distinguishes a mech from, say, a tank), until a pilot links into the animus to control that mech. But if this was the first case of anima acting apparently on their own, that could make for an interesting development in the setting backstory that has everyone wondering what the heck happened. I like that idea.

Since the Keys are powered by anima, I think we should decide that they're built-in components of certain new mechs, replacing the standard animus without Skeleton Key capabilities. That makes it easy to determine who developed the Keys--the homeworld government started building them into a select few mechs in order to mount an invasion of the rebel colonies and crush the insurgency. I think that makes more sense than having the rebels be the ones to initiate the conflict--after all, they really just want the homeworld to leave them alone if I understand their motivations. What do you folks think?

Alexkubel
2013-04-10, 03:52 PM
I actually though of the Keys to be too big to be mounted on mechs, to be honest, this is an reason to have spaceships that and this was very new tech and wasn't miniaturized at all so where very bulky as for animus, this was a device to be operated by a trained individual not by an AI and a semi trained person. this is new tech, only the actually device was finished not any proper interface in making them, they have to be hot wired into things to work and would require some knowledge.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-10, 04:08 PM
Okay, so, you have to have special implants to work a mech. Do they have to be installed when you're young, or can you get the implants at any time?

Amaril
2013-04-10, 05:03 PM
I actually though of the Keys to be too big to be mounted on mechs, to be honest, this is an reason to have spaceships that and this was very new tech and wasn't miniaturized at all so where very bulky as for animus, this was a device to be operated by a trained individual not by an AI and a semi trained person. this is new tech, only the actually device was finished not any proper interface in making them, they have to be hot wired into things to work and would require some knowledge.

Well if we're going to have the Keys be ship-mounted, then I'd kinda prefer that they not include anima, since I'd kinda imagined anima being the definitive feature of mechs not found in anything else. I'd personally be okay with either ship-mounted Keys or having them be integrated into mechs, so I'll leave the decision up to someone else.

I'd suggest allowing pilot modification during adulthood. However, I think it makes sense that testing for possible pilot candidates often begins at an early age, since it seems like something that not just anybody would be able to do. What does everyone else think?

Grinner
2013-04-10, 05:15 PM
I see no reason why pilot implants can't be installed during adulthood. In fact, if they're non-biological, I think they would be installed during adulthood. Otherwise, there's a good chance that they would disrupt the pilot's growth.

Amaril
2013-04-10, 05:25 PM
I see no reason why pilot implants can't be installed during adulthood. In fact, if they're non-biological, I think they would be installed during adulthood. Otherwise, there's a good chance that they would disrupt the pilot's growth.

Yeah, this.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-10, 05:37 PM
A child's implants wouldn't be the full thing, they'd just be some sort of... placeholder, I guess, to let the nervous system grow into them.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-11, 01:51 AM
The keys need some way to hide. Either by themselves through their own action or by looking like something else so that the locals recover and hide them by accident. Otherwise, a simple orbital scan would find them every time.

Alexkubel
2013-04-11, 04:06 AM
that's a good point, I was thinking it would just show up like a large piece of mining equipment to orbital scans. they'd need to investigate it to actually determine that it is a key, I always though of it not having an animus being a piece of tech, requiring a skill or knack to operate because it lacks the animus which would make things far simpler.

umbrapolaris
2013-04-11, 06:41 AM
just for info:

Mechwarrior comes from Battletech board game that itself is inspired from Robotech that is a Japanese anime ^^

if you want use a structure for your mechs, try to get your hands on the battletech's mech sheets.

Amaril
2013-04-11, 10:40 AM
I actually kinda want to design a rule system for this setting. I already have a good idea of the basic mechanics, which all use percentile dice. I don't know if anyone will ever actually play a game in this world, but I'm having fun coming up with rules anyway. Might post them somewhere when they're finished.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-11, 02:09 PM
I have been working on the history of the setting that got us to what we have so far. Here is a bit of a rough, shorthand version. I didn't include an exact timeline to leave things flexible but the time gaps between events vary.

1) Homeworld develops gate technology and sends sleeper ships out to build gates far away.

2) Colonies are settled on the other side of gates.

3) Colonies grow under the management of homeworld as frontier settlements.

4) Colonies grow large enough that they begin to develop some capability of self-governance.

5) Trade begins to develop between colonies, instead of colony <-> homeworld. Upset at being cut out, a trade tax is levied by Homeworld from all ships that pass through their system.

6) In response, colony and corporation spokespeople apply for permission to build additional colony to colony gates. Application is denied as Homeworld is unwilling to lose the control or the additional income.

7) Some colonies push for independence or at least greater independent freedom. Homeworld rejects this out of hand as they had already put so much effort into keeping control and governance. Unrest begins and expeditionary forces are deployed to keep the peace.

8) Taxes are increased slightly both at home and at the colonies to fund the expeditionary forces. The Homeworld citizens complain at having to pay extra because the colonies can't behave and the government eventually relents and only the colonies pay increased taxes. This increases unrest further.

9) During this time, certain enterprising individuals with corporate backing construct their own illegal gates in hidden locations. These gates are far smaller than the public ones and can barely fit small shuttles.

10) Research begins on the Skeleton Keys as a new method for colonization as it renders sleeper ships obsolete.

11) Tensions between the colonists and the Homeworld flares and the colonists sabotage as many gates as they can to cut themselves off from Homeworld's retaliation.

12) Among other systems the rebels occupy, is the one containing the SK research. The rebels don't know what they have there so they leave it alone. Loyalists remaining in the system, however, know of the SK's importance and attempt to steal the research in a daring raid. The result is that the SK's are lost somehow.

13) Resources start to wear thin as Homeworld still refuses to budge and acknowledge the colonies' independence. The rebels intended stranglehold of Homeworld to force concessions has been less than successful, however to give up now would merely result in themselves being executed as traitors.

Amaril
2013-04-11, 02:28 PM
Guys, I'm really loving the way this setting is developing, and I was wondering--would any of the participants mind if I adapt it for my own game? I've been thinking for a while that I want to develop my own system, and this setting seems like the perfect opportunity, but I want to make sure that nobody has a problem with me taking their ideas. I'll probably modify some of the stuff that's already been posted, but it'll still be pretty much the same.

If I end up continuing with my development project and put it up on the forums (or anywhere else, but that's probably just my wishful thinking), I promise that anyone who helped with the setting through this thread will be properly credited.

Grinner
2013-04-11, 04:55 PM
*snip the timeline*

Looks good.


Guys, I'm really loving the way this setting is developing, and I was wondering--would any of the participants mind if I adapt it for my own game? I've been thinking for a while that I want to develop my own system, and this setting seems like the perfect opportunity, but I want to make sure that nobody has a problem with me taking their ideas. I'll probably modify some of the stuff that's already been posted, but it'll still be pretty much the same.

If I end up continuing with my development project and put it up on the forums (or anywhere else, but that's probably just my wishful thinking), I promise that anyone who helped with the setting through this thread will be properly credited.

DO IT.

Amaril
2013-04-11, 05:03 PM
DO IT.

You sure? 'Cause it would mean that I'd be taking the setting we have established so far, editing it so that it's exactly the way I want it (rather than the setting mutually agreed upon by all the contributors so far) and developing the elements of it that haven't been done yet entirely myself.

Of course, this is where the setting started, and if everyone else wants to keep working on it here, that's fantastic--but I'd basically be taking the ideas we have already and going off on my own with them.

I just wanted to make sure everyone's cool with me using their ideas.

Alexkubel
2013-04-11, 05:04 PM
I was going to do so anyway, me and my friends have 2 games running. a entirely dungeon crawl game with tanks from WW2 and an futuristic game, we use battletech rules with some modification for mech battles.

and Remember never pit a mech against a T-34.

Grinner
2013-04-11, 07:56 PM
You sure? 'Cause it would mean that I'd be taking the setting we have established so far, editing it so that it's exactly the way I want it (rather than the setting mutually agreed upon by all the contributors so far) and developing the elements of it that haven't been done yet entirely myself.

Of course, this is where the setting started, and if everyone else wants to keep working on it here, that's fantastic--but I'd basically be taking the ideas we have already and going off on my own with them.

I just wanted to make sure everyone's cool with me using their ideas.

While I can't speak for everyone else, I should point out that this setting will never amount to anything, unless somebody does something with it. It and all of the other homebrew is just going to rot on the Playground's server until the day Rich closes shop for good. Everyone's work is going to waste.

Someone should make use of it.

Amaril
2013-04-11, 08:19 PM
Okay, unless anyone else raises any objections (and if that's the view of the Playground in general regarding homebrew, I doubt anyone else will) I'm going ahead with it.

I already have an idea for a combat system, and once I get something written up for the backstory, I'll have something I can post. Come check it out when you see it :smallsmile:

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-12, 08:41 AM
Go nuts, don't think anyone would have posted here if they had any problems with being ripped off.

I do have one request though, in exchange. That combat system you keep talking about... as soon as you have it ready, post it up. If I ever decide to crib the setting I'm going to need a combat system and I don't actually own any Battletech stuff :smallbiggrin:

Amaril
2013-04-12, 09:16 AM
Go nuts, don't think anyone would have posted here if they had any problems with being ripped off.

I do have one request though, in exchange. That combat system you keep talking about... as soon as you have it ready, post it up. If I ever decide to crib the setting I'm going to need a combat system and I don't actually own any Battletech stuff :smallbiggrin:

Expect it sometime later today (I have it finished already, but not on my laptop).

Amaril
2013-04-12, 05:57 PM
Okay, the combat system design I have right now can be found here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=280073). Please let me know what you think :smallsmile:

Alexkubel
2013-04-13, 12:26 PM
Hmmmm the question is how will space combat work, I think it should work based on 3 factors: speed, range, Damage per second (firepower), direction.
At the start when the ships 'engage' they must 'spin' to target the opponent and fire at them going past and then either re engage or go by or fire at them and slam into the enemy vessel where the 2 crew engage in normal combat on the ships. until they separate or the enemy vessel is captured.

basically like mechs just movement is set and can't be changed you're always going in a straight line, Melee is non-existent (it's replaced by boarding) and you don't have cover (unless an object floats between the vessels).

Amaril
2013-04-13, 12:32 PM
Hmmmm the question is how will space combat work, I think it should work based on 3 factors: speed, range, Damage per second (firepower), direction.
At the start when the ships 'engage' they must 'spin' to target the opponent and fire at them going past and then either re engage or go by or fire at them and slam into the enemy vessel where the 2 crew engage in normal combat on the ships. until they separate or the enemy vessel is captured.

basically like mechs just movement is set and can't be changed you're always going in a straight line, Melee is non-existent (it's replaced by boarding) and you don't have cover (unless an object floats between the vessels).

I hadn't actually planned on including detailed rules for ship-to-ship combat. This is a mecha game, so I wanted the focus of the rules to be on the mechs--I'd kinda imagined ship battles as just happening in the background according to the direction of the gamemaster. If you want to design rules for it, though, I'd be happy to take a look at whatever you come up with.

Alexkubel
2013-04-13, 01:15 PM
I was thinking of a quick modification of mech rules, as really this came from the idea of using mechs on space. it makes logical sense that we should keep it simple and try to change as few rules as possible. I'll use the engines measured in Gs (yes as in gravity) meaning you can't turn on a dime but you can go really fast I you want to. I'll give that to be a free action for temporary measures. and fire arcs will also need to be dealt with. I'll do ship to ship fights, don't worry about it.

Amaril
2013-04-13, 01:19 PM
I was thinking of a quick modification of mech rules, as really this came from the idea of using mechs on space. it makes logical sense that we should keep it simple and try to change as few rules as possible. I'll use the engines measured in Gs (yes as in gravity) meaning you can't turn on a dime but you can go really fast I you want to. I'll give that to be a free action for temporary measures. and fire arcs will also need to be dealt with. I'll do ship to ship fights, don't worry about it.

Actually, I did kinda want to do the rules for mech-to-mech space combat myself--I have some ideas I want to try out. If you want to come up with something for ships alone, though, to differentiate them further, that'd be great.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-15, 08:45 AM
It should also be decided how much detail to put into the world itself and how much to leave for prospective GMs to design themselves.

My personal opinion - but I'd love to hear the op's take on this - is that we design 4 to 5 important planets and then leave an indeterminate amount of smaller colonies to the GM's imagination. This gives some variety of room to play in but leaves space for an individual campaign to be added on to as the GM desires.

Thoughts?

Amaril
2013-04-15, 09:23 AM
I had eight colony planets plus the homeworld in mind. I was planning on describing the climate of each planet, and their biggest settlement (or a couple of big settlements in cases of heavily populated planets), but leaving the rest to GMs. Does that sound good?

Rabidmuskrat
2013-04-15, 10:53 AM
Eight sounds good. And Homeworld would most likely need a bit more detail than the colonies, possibly several 'areas' as if it is several planets stuck together.

I suggest that as part of a colony, we should include its rebel/loyalist state percentage as well. Not every colony would be in full rebellion. I'll work out a nice template we can use later.

Edit/Addition: Since nobody else has posted and I'm bored, I'm going to add the template in here. Just copy the whole thing and delete everything that isn't bold.

Stellar Body Template

Name: The planet's name. Duh.

System: System the planet resides in. Not sure whether this is a thing, probably just leave it.

Type: Planet/Moon/Space Station/Asteroid Colony/Whatever

Environment: This refers to the most common OUTSIDE environment. Ice/Desert/Jungle/Forest/Volcanic/Barren/The usual planet classifications. Use Barren or Hard Vacuum for anything with enclosed atmospheres only, such as starbases and asteroid colonies.

Major Industry: This is what the planet's main production is. It is unlikely that anyone will go through the investment of colonizing a planet unless there is some kind of financial return somewhere, whether it be mineral deposits, food production or some other commodity that can be produced there.

Rebel Influence: This is a percentage to indicate how much of the planet/system/whatever is influenced by the rebels. This does not necessarily imply full-fledged loyalty, it also refers to how sympathetic they are to the rebels' cause and how loyal they still are to the Homeworld.
Example: A planet fully sympathetic to the rebels but still refusing to be disloyal towards the homeworld has a value of 50%.
No system should have 100% or 0% values, as there are rebel sympathisers even on Homeworld and loyalists even on the rebel home planet.

Description:
Here you can put your fluff and anything else you want to say about the planet.

Alexkubel
2013-05-01, 02:38 PM
after a while of being busy I can now publish my workings

Turns are divided into 2 Action slots (some large vessels have more), free actions do not take up a slot and are played in one of three locations, before the first action between action 1 and 2 and after action 2 (an free action canno be done again in the same free action slot), once first actions are decided, both sides do them simultaneously.
e.g. Ship A, a rebel frigate is engaging ship B a home world blockade runner. ship A chooses to use fire weapons in arc, rotating ship fire weapons in arc, Rotating ship, Fire weapons in arc and Safe thrust on engines. Ship B choses to Fire weapons in arc, Maximum thrust, Safe thrust, Maximum thrust, Safe thrust and if possible Boarding.
Actions:

using engines at 'maximum thrust'
rotating ship(changing Arc)
Firing weapons in Arc a second time
Firing weapons in Arc a third time
Repairing damage

Free actions:

using engines at 'safe thrust'
firing weapons in Arc on enemy ship
boarding
surrender
self destruct

Engines: engines may be used at either 'safe thrust' or 'Maximum thrust' always a ships movement is noted as safe thrust, Maximum thrust will be 2.5 times it. using maximum thrust twice and safe thrust in all free action slots, is called 'full thrust' roll a D6 when doing this on a 1 you lose the maximum change in speed of 1 G as the engine crew slightly slow the engine to avoid risking explosion, on a 6 the ship moves as normal at full thrust but the engines explode and it may not use full thrust or safe thrust, again and must check for decompression 2-5 everything goes fine (and dandy) and nothing bad happens.
bulkhead/compartments and decompression: ships are divided into bulkheads and compartments (compartments are 1 square, bulkheads are a group of compartments). should a part suffer a destroying hit, all adjacent compartments. roll a D6, on a 1 the hull breech is contained, on a 2-6 that hull compartment is destroyed and as such must continue with compartment checks. once all compartments in a bulkhead are decompressed or destroyed roll a D20 on 2-4 one compartment in that bulkhead beside the destroyed bulkhead is destroyed and must check for decompression, on a 1 D6 compartments are destroyed and must check for decompression. on a 20 D6 compartments in the destroyed bulkheads are undestroyed (count as repaired) but they retain all weapon damage if they are adjacent to a destroyed compartment they must check for Decompression 5-19 nothing happens, the breach is sealed.

that's all my work so far

Rabidmuskrat
2013-05-05, 02:27 PM
I'll start us off with the first planet. By all means criticize and make suggestions.

Name: Vega

System: Er... skip?

Type: Planet

Environment: Lush and life supporting to icy frozen wastes.

Major Industry: Food production. Also major wood exporter and significant tourist trade, currently in remission due to war.

Rebel Influence: 25%
The planet is firmly in Loyalist hands. It suffers little from the taxes imposed on trade since it can produce most of its basic necessities itself and the populace generally have a higher quality of life than most of the other colonies. Its leadership are direct appointees by the Homeworld government as it is seen as a 'cushy' posting. At least, it was.
The gate in the system is fully under rebel control, however. They have disabled it to prevent reinforcements or blockade runners, but keep a spaceship presence to discourage the locals from repairing things. Groundside, most rebel forces are irregular units basing from the harsh areas and malcontents operating in secret.
With the Great Blockade going, Vega is probably in the best shape of all the colonies and as such refuses to trade with the rebels at all. The rebels themselves would love to gain access to the food production of the planet, but is struggling to convert the populace to their viewpoint while the largish population and garrison force make invasion a very tricky proposition.

Description:
Vega is the only planet found with life. In many ways, it resembles Homeworld. At least, as Homeworld once was.
It is a world that appears to be in the midst of a great ice age. The polar ice caps are huge, encompassing roughly 70% of the total surface area of the planet. This area is frozen and suffers from perpetual snowstorms.
The remaining 30% of the planet around the equator, however, has almost perfect conditions for human habitation. Huge natural forests cover this area, but large swathes of them have been cut down or burnt to make room for the first offworld farms.
It is hoped that by starting a few factories on the planet, their greenhouse emissions could help speed the warming of the planet, shrinking the icecaps and making more land available for use. This, combined with the mild climate of the inhabited area, has made Vega a popular tourist and emigration destination, resulting in a population that is 'closer' to their Homeworld origins than almost any of the other planets.
The only real city on the planet is small by city standards and not very developed. Most of the population lives very spread out over the band of green along the equator.

Alexkubel
2013-06-02, 04:32 PM
Name: Gysa

System: Proxima Centuri

Type: Planet with large count of orbital facilities

Environment: Much of the planet is barren desert or Lush fields

Major Industry: Foodstuffs, electronics, Alien relics

Rebel Influence:
Gysa has a 0.02% rebel influence. the Government still holds out against the rebel who besiege it this has meant much of the populace despises the rebels as scum, orbital facilities are entirely occupied by rebels though

Description:
Gysa was once home to a race of aliens that where humanoid, this race was destroyed as their world got to close to their star as one theory goes another is that, a large build up of oxygen or carbon dioxide killed them off (very few think another race is responsible), they never got past about the 20th century tech wise. The world is in a slowly decaying orbit, but the rate of decay is so slow it is estimated the star will die before the world becomes uninhabitable.

the world was initially though to be barren when in fact entire water supply is trapped in the areas that have become fields, Colonists introduced crops needing less water dramatically increasing the land area used in farming. water systems are only about 90% functional, air is clean. it's a very nice place to farm. and the TV is good.

Rabidmuskrat
2013-06-09, 07:28 AM
0.02% rebel influence means the rebels are practically not there.

Perhaps 20% is a better idea since the rebels clearly control the orbital space. The percentage does not refer to the population percentage but rather a weighted percentage of the terrain (space included) that is controlled by the rebels with high value things (cities, industries, etc) worth more.

I'd say if there are absolutely no facilities in orbit it should easily still count 10% as it controls all access to the planet. With important industries I'd bump it way up. Maybe even 30%? Hell, with rebels actively besieging the loyalist forces on the ground I would just push it up to 50%.

Anyway, just be careful that there aren't too many loyalist holdout planets. The entire plan of the setting was for the rebels to own pretty much everything apart from the Homeworld while the Homeworld had all the food, I think.