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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Honestly, I don't know the system well enough to check your math. But I wouldn't necessarily say you're wrong; the biggest flaw of the Mechwarrior RPG system, since as long as I can remember, is that it's been designed mostly to prevent min-maxing rather than for the purpose of easily and efficiently creating a character. And anything that smacks of min-maxing or overpowering a character tends to be ruthlessly hunted down and eliminated in successive editions.

    It wouldn't be unheard of for them to take a minor issue like what you are suggesting and see it as a problem that needs to be corrected, is what I'm saying. I have to be honest, I was assuming I had read the manual wrong when I got to the cooling vest; in the old games, you could get cooling vests that were also ablative/flak armor vests. Sure they were expensive, but they were really good pieces of gear that allowed you to survive if you had to eject. That the cooling vests were 1) distinct, and 2) offered such minimal protection, I interpreted to me reading the wrong part of the equipment catalog.

  2. - Top - End - #212
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    OK, I've been reading up in the vehicle combat section, and I'd like somebody to check my math because this seems wrong.

    3rd ed had an issue where PC MechWarriors were basically immune to pilot damage from anything except failed ejections. AToW seems to have massively overcorrected and turned PC pilots into eggs in the cockpit.

    An average MechWarrior and his cooling vest has armor 1/2/0/1 and BOD 4 for 8 damage points. A head hit is 1B/3, which the armor reduces by 1 to 2. That's 2 points to the pilot, filling up a full 25% of capacity and creating an injury modifier of 1. Then you're stunned, and you have to make consciousness roll at a TN 7 + your injury modifier + you WIL link modifier (yeah, like anyone's going to buy a 7 in WIL), so TN 8. That's almost a 3/5ths chance of getting knocked out right there, and if you do stay awake, you lose a simple action to un-stun, and then you're taking a -1 on everything. From the first hit, whereas the default is a mere 1/36 chance of unconsciousness. So instead of MechWarrior taking 6 hits with no loss of effectiveness, with the first two almost being freebies, you're dead in 5 hits, taking debilitating penalties if you somehow stay awake through the TNs that start right around the 3rd regular hit.

    Falls are worse as the vest is no protection, so you take 3 damage generating -2 injury modifier. And now that you've taken more than half your BOD in one hit, you have to make a straight BOD check or start bleeding, which is another TN 8. If you fail this and your TN 9 consciousness check, you've got 25 in-game seconds for somebody to get to the cockpit and patch you up before you die. I don't think a failed PSR should give you a nearly 50-50 shot of outright dying.

    A MechWarrior Combat Suit's improved armor at least protects you from head pings at 2/5/1/2, but the falls are still going to mess you up. And I haven't even started on Glass Jaw.

    Also, there doesn't seems to be anything about unconscious characters waking up, so once you're out, you're out.

    Am I missing something?
    Uh, well the damage you take in the mech is about 1 for a headshot to the mech's head. not from the damage from the weapon, but the whiplash and tossling around you suffer as the Mech tries to gyro-stabilize and use the pilot's own sense of balance to auto-correct and avoid falling. It's the same when the mech falls and you fail the piloting check to avoid suffering damage. If you fall what is about 10-20+ meters backwards or sideways or forwards like an unbraced fullbody bodyslam... well you can smack the head against the piloting seat so hard that even the neurohelmet won't absorb the sheer impact of it, or maybe you brace wrongly as sprain your wrist or get a micro-fracture in your hip, etc.
    You're not personally hit by the enemy mech-weaponry, the Mech is. That's why damage to the pilot is usually just 1 whenever Pilot-damage is suffered.
    You roll the Consciousness Roll each time you suffer damage at the level of damage you had prior (aka. from 0 to 1 wound, you roll a 3+).
    That's why you usually pass out prior to straining the body so much that you literally kill yourself from mech-falls, mech-headshots and failed stand up rolls.
    There's also the fact that stuff like Ammo Explosions causes the pilot 2 damage due to electrical feedback through the neurohelmet due to the damage the mech is suffering at such a catastrophic level.

    There's also the fact that the Sample Mechwarrior got higher stats that most of us have given our characters, which means when a character takes the 6th Mech-piloted wound, they'd die.... Although if you go by AToW rules, you should have 10 Health then.
    I just see it that Mechwarriors have 6 Health in their mechs and converted to outside is more of a parting up of health in 1/5ths, so if your character got 6 Health outside the mech, taking 1 damage in the mech means you take 1 damage in total once outside the mech to convert it. Your character dies if taking enough damage to reach their BOD x2 in damage. Or you could just go with a direct comparison...? Or keep it loose that all Mechwarriors are trained to handle the strain of combat in it, so damage is as per Total Warfare rules and once out of the mech, unless at literally 5/6 damage and still conscious, the character just needs rest, basic medical aid, maybe some fractures need time to heal, etc. I guess this is up to the GM to rule on, but I just think it makes sense to keep it to the 6-HP in mech to show that it's a standardized level of survivability for mechwarriors.
    Most of the type of damage a mechwarrior suffers is heavy-impact related like with if the character takes fall damage but only 1 damage when it happens cuz the cockpit is built to keep the pilot as safe as possible. Or it would be related to the emergency of Lifesupport being damaged and the mech is at 15+ heat (which causes 1 damage to the pilot per round as long as the mech is at 15+ heat). Kinda explains why the mech will auto-shutdown if it reaches 14 heat unless you succeed in a Shutdown-Override (of +4) which basically says that the mech is built with a shutdown procedure to ensure the pilot doesn't suffer from being pressure-cooked in their piloting seat.

    Also please remember that bodyarmor is designed to stop the massive penetrating force of something. Not to deal with the impact-force itself. It's why if you wear body-armor irl, you still get bruised even if the vest stops the bullet, maybe even crack a rib. It's all depending on the caliber of what impacts you. As you can see the Mechwarrior Armor Suit is more combat-designed, primarily towards Ballistic Weaponry. The Primary Function for it is wholey the Cooling-coils within it to help keep the pilot cool since Mechs tends to end up running fairly hot for a human being to deal with normally. Without a cooling vest in a mech, you suffer penalties as if Life Support in the mech wasn't functioning correctly.

    I've seen APGamingReals' show of using glass jaw in the mech as well, which I personally think shouldn't be in effect there since it's another sense of damage and pain in the mech - Rather than being shot by a laserpistol to the mid torso. But, this is a GM-specific choice-thing.

    Each turn after your Mechwarrior's passed out, you can try a Conscious check at the same number in reference to your current state of wounds, if you succeed the roll, your mechwarrior regains consciousness (It's on page 42 of Total Warfare).

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    Honestly, I don't know the system well enough to check your math. But I wouldn't necessarily say you're wrong; the biggest flaw of the Mechwarrior RPG system, since as long as I can remember, is that it's been designed mostly to prevent min-maxing rather than for the purpose of easily and efficiently creating a character. And anything that smacks of min-maxing or overpowering a character tends to be ruthlessly hunted down and eliminated in successive editions.

    It wouldn't be unheard of for them to take a minor issue like what you are suggesting and see it as a problem that needs to be corrected, is what I'm saying. I have to be honest, I was assuming I had read the manual wrong when I got to the cooling vest; in the old games, you could get cooling vests that were also ablative/flak armor vests. Sure they were expensive, but they were really good pieces of gear that allowed you to survive if you had to eject. That the cooling vests were 1) distinct, and 2) offered such minimal protection, I interpreted to me reading the wrong part of the equipment catalog.
    The cooling vest is... well, it's more or less the remaining known tech prior to the Cooling Suit's return when the clans invaded since they never lost the tech or knowhow in terms of how to create it.
    It's more or less the stripped-down and slightly more primitive version that only covers the torso, rather than being a full body suit.

    Once the clans invade the Mechwarrior Combat Armor becomes more available as well which is essentially a more armored version of a Cooling Suit.
    Last edited by Hemnon; 2020-04-01 at 01:54 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #213
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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    Honestly, I don't know the system well enough to check your math. But I wouldn't necessarily say you're wrong; the biggest flaw of the Mechwarrior RPG system, since as long as I can remember, is that it's been designed mostly to prevent min-maxing rather than for the purpose of easily and efficiently creating a character. And anything that smacks of min-maxing or overpowering a character tends to be ruthlessly hunted down and eliminated in successive editions.

    It wouldn't be unheard of for them to take a minor issue like what you are suggesting and see it as a problem that needs to be corrected, is what I'm saying. I have to be honest, I was assuming I had read the manual wrong when I got to the cooling vest; in the old games, you could get cooling vests that were also ablative/flak armor vests. Sure they were expensive, but they were really good pieces of gear that allowed you to survive if you had to eject. That the cooling vests were 1) distinct, and 2) offered such minimal protection, I interpreted to me reading the wrong part of the equipment catalog.
    Yeah, in 3rd you could wear a ballistic plate vest in the cockpit-I assumed this was supposed to represent the protective quality of your cooling vest. And it was a major part of why PCs were so indestructible-with most damage being AP 0M you'd need to deal 30+BOD damage on 2d6 to even cause fatigue, with actual injury requiring 40+BOD. Exploding dice make this technically possible, but vanishingly unlikely. Even poorer MechWarriors who could only get flak armor still needed 10+BOD to be fatigued, or 15+BOD to injure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemnon View Post
    Uh, well the damage you take in the mech is about 1 for a headshot to the mech's head. not from the damage from the weapon, but the whiplash and tossling around you suffer as the Mech tries to gyro-stabilize and use the pilot's own sense of balance to auto-correct and avoid falling. It's the same when the mech falls and you fail the piloting check to avoid suffering damage. If you fall what is about 10-20+ meters backwards or sideways or forwards like an unbraced fullbody bodyslam... well you can smack the head against the piloting seat so hard that even the neurohelmet won't absorb the sheer impact of it, or maybe you brace wrongly as sprain your wrist or get a micro-fracture in your hip, etc.
    You're not personally hit by the enemy mech-weaponry, the Mech is. That's why damage to the pilot is usually just 1 whenever Pilot-damage is suffered.
    You roll the Consciousness Roll each time you suffer damage at the level of damage you had prior (aka. from 0 to 1 wound, you roll a 3+).
    That's why you usually pass out prior to straining the body so much that you literally kill yourself from mech-falls, mech-headshots and failed stand up rolls.
    There's also the fact that stuff like Ammo Explosions causes the pilot 2 damage due to electrical feedback through the neurohelmet due to the damage the mech is suffering at such a catastrophic level.

    There's also the fact that the Sample Mechwarrior got higher stats that most of us have given our characters, which means when a character takes the 6th Mech-piloted wound, they'd die.... Although if you go by AToW rules, you should have 10 Health then.
    I just see it that Mechwarriors have 6 Health in their mechs and converted to outside is more of a parting up of health in 1/5ths, so if your character got 6 Health outside the mech, taking 1 damage in the mech means you take 1 damage in total once outside the mech to convert it. Your character dies if taking enough damage to reach their BOD x2 in damage. Or you could just go with a direct comparison...? Or keep it loose that all Mechwarriors are trained to handle the strain of combat in it, so damage is as per Total Warfare rules and once out of the mech, unless at literally 5/6 damage and still conscious, the character just needs rest, basic medical aid, maybe some fractures need time to heal, etc. I guess this is up to the GM to rule on, but I just think it makes sense to keep it to the 6-HP in mech to show that it's a standardized level of survivability for mechwarriors.
    Most of the type of damage a mechwarrior suffers is heavy-impact related like with if the character takes fall damage but only 1 damage when it happens cuz the cockpit is built to keep the pilot as safe as possible. Or it would be related to the emergency of Lifesupport being damaged and the mech is at 15+ heat (which causes 1 damage to the pilot per round as long as the mech is at 15+ heat). Kinda explains why the mech will auto-shutdown if it reaches 14 heat unless you succeed in a Shutdown-Override (of +4) which basically says that the mech is built with a shutdown procedure to ensure the pilot doesn't suffer from being pressure-cooked in their piloting seat.

    Also please remember that bodyarmor is designed to stop the massive penetrating force of something. Not to deal with the impact-force itself. It's why if you wear body-armor irl, you still get bruised even if the vest stops the bullet, maybe even crack a rib. It's all depending on the caliber of what impacts you. As you can see the Mechwarrior Armor Suit is more combat-designed, primarily towards Ballistic Weaponry. The Primary Function for it is wholey the Cooling-coils within it to help keep the pilot cool since Mechs tends to end up running fairly hot for a human being to deal with normally. Without a cooling vest in a mech, you suffer penalties as if Life Support in the mech wasn't functioning correctly.

    I've seen APGamingReals' show of using glass jaw in the mech as well, which I personally think shouldn't be in effect there since it's another sense of damage and pain in the mech - Rather than being shot by a laserpistol to the mid torso. But, this is a GM-specific choice-thing.

    Each turn after your Mechwarrior's passed out, you can try a Conscious check at the same number in reference to your current state of wounds, if you succeed the roll, your mechwarrior regains consciousness (It's on page 42 of Total Warfare).



    The cooling vest is... well, it's more or less the remaining known tech prior to the Cooling Suit's return when the clans invaded since they never lost the tech or knowhow in terms of how to create it.
    It's more or less the stripped-down and slightly more primitive version that only covers the torso, rather than being a full body suit.

    Once the clans invade the Mechwarrior Combat Armor becomes more available as well which is essentially a more armored version of a Cooling Suit.
    Yeah I know how pilot damage in CBT works. My point was that the pilot damage rules in AToW are orders of magnitude rougher than the ones from CBT.
    I am not crazy! I prefer "reality impaired".

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    Yeah, in 3rd you could wear a ballistic plate vest in the cockpit-I assumed this was supposed to represent the protective quality of your cooling vest. And it was a major part of why PCs were so indestructible-with most damage being AP 0M you'd need to deal 30+BOD damage on 2d6 to even cause fatigue, with actual injury requiring 40+BOD. Exploding dice make this technically possible, but vanishingly unlikely. Even poorer MechWarriors who could only get flak armor still needed 10+BOD to be fatigued, or 15+BOD to injure.

    Yeah I know how pilot damage in CBT works. My point was that the pilot damage rules in AToW are orders of magnitude rougher than the ones from CBT.
    Ahh well, true on that.
    That's why I requested when making the recruitment that we used Total Warfare rules for mech/vehicular combat.
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  5. - Top - End - #215
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemnon View Post
    Ahh well, true on that.
    That's why I requested when making the recruitment that we used Total Warfare rules for mech/vehicular combat.
    I second this; Total Warfare rules are plenty sufficient to cause us to think tactically, which I think should be the operative goal. One of the reasons why you have to dance carefully around an SRM carrier vehicle, for instance, is because if you allow an SRM carrier 7's or better on the to-hit roll, they can smack you with 20-25 SRM's without too much trouble, and odds are good that either one or two of those will hit the head, just from random distribution of hit rolls. Which means that even one solid volley has a fairly decent chance of knocking you out, and which point, you're a goner. The possibility of this, just running the numbers, forces you to alter your strategy and work around the SRM carrier, and treat it as a mobile zone where you don't want to go into until it's down.

    That is the kind of challenge I'd like to face. By contrast, I'm not really fond of the changes on the cooling vest, precisely because, while it wasn't balanced inside the cockpit, it was pretty decently balanced outside the cockpit. Taking a shot from an automatic rifle under the 3rd edition rules, even with armor, was likely going to lead to very serious injury. If it got through the armor, or punched into an area where you weren't protected, you could be permanently injured if not killed, really easily. Making it easier for more things to kill you, just to make sure the in-cockpit stuff can touch you? Yeah, that sounds like FASA, but changes the game from "you have to think carefully about what you're doing, and plan things out", which I like, to "either you're really lucky, or you're a triple amputee by the time you're 30", which, not so much.

  6. - Top - End - #216
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    I second this; Total Warfare rules are plenty sufficient to cause us to think tactically, which I think should be the operative goal. One of the reasons why you have to dance carefully around an SRM carrier vehicle, for instance, is because if you allow an SRM carrier 7's or better on the to-hit roll, they can smack you with 20-25 SRM's without too much trouble, and odds are good that either one or two of those will hit the head, just from random distribution of hit rolls. Which means that even one solid volley has a fairly decent chance of knocking you out, and which point, you're a goner. The possibility of this, just running the numbers, forces you to alter your strategy and work around the SRM carrier, and treat it as a mobile zone where you don't want to go into until it's down.

    That is the kind of challenge I'd like to face. By contrast, I'm not really fond of the changes on the cooling vest, precisely because, while it wasn't balanced inside the cockpit, it was pretty decently balanced outside the cockpit. Taking a shot from an automatic rifle under the 3rd edition rules, even with armor, was likely going to lead to very serious injury. If it got through the armor, or punched into an area where you weren't protected, you could be permanently injured if not killed, really easily. Making it easier for more things to kill you, just to make sure the in-cockpit stuff can touch you? Yeah, that sounds like FASA, but changes the game from "you have to think carefully about what you're doing, and plan things out", which I like, to "either you're really lucky, or you're a triple amputee by the time you're 30", which, not so much.
    Do remember that you CAN wear multiple layers of armor without penalty besides the weight of it. You can wear flak over your cooling vest without issue, you can wear Neo-Chainmail under your Ablative Armor, you can wear Ballistic Strike-plate armor over a Clan Cooling Suit. biggest issue is always that it's getting rather heavy to carry it all, there's the expenses of it as well, and the fact that you're having a harder time moving more smoothly around.

    But yeah, this is all about finding the right balance between the tabletop rules and the RPG rules, and I've already stated my ideas earlier and personal preference.
    I mean there's literally traits that doesn't work in a mech, like if you got a regular trait that lets you deal more damage with melee weapons (cuz reason) it doesn't make you deal more damage with an Axman's Hatchet.... there's an Advanced Piloting Skill you can purchase with GM-approval, of course, which does let you deal more vehicular-controlled melee weapon damage or able to cluster your 'spread' a little better through pure trial and error over many a battle.
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  7. - Top - End - #217
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Yeah, I'd hope that the GM uses some decent Rule 0 thinking, and doesn't rely only on the fact that the rules don't specifically disallow it. Stacking armor makes sense in some circumstances; it's reasonable to envision an ablative vest stacking on top of a flak armor suit in the event that ablative/flak armor is unavailable. But putting armor on underneath or over a cooling vest I don't think works, because that inhibits the central function of a cooling vest.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Some notes on the discussion on damage rules.
    • Consciousness checks are a "single attribute" TN of 12 using your WIL score (not Link), with a bonus of your BOD score (not Link). Which is the same as a double-attribute BOD/WIL check with a +6 bonus, but whatever. A BOD 4/ WIL 4 character who takes 2 AToW-scale damage starts at a consciousness roll TN of 5 (8 from stats, -1 from injury, vs a TN of 12).
    • The MechWarrior/pilot damage table is on page 217 of AToW, for those following along but don't know where the (official) damage values are coming from.
    • AToW's stats obviously don't line up 1:1 with the generic MechWarrior data on a TW-only record sheet. A generic TW MechWarrior appears to be equivalent to BOD 5/WIL 4 for the first head hit, but their injury checks accelerate much more aggressively than a PC's, aside from the possibility of bleeding out. (A BOD 5/WIL 4 character making a consciousness check with only 1 health left (a -4 injury penalty) still only has an effective TN of 7 besides any fatigue penalties, while a generic MechWarrior needs a 9 or 11 on hits 4 and 5) TW-only MechWarriors also only have one damage track, while Heat is fatigue damage to AToW characters.
    • I'm still assessing the reduced-lethality options offered by AToW and the companion book in general. At the bare minimum, use 3x your BOD and WIL scores for determining health and fatigue; and I'm leaning towards also using most of the other level 2 options in the companion book, increasing the bleed threshold (to your BOD score), and reducing the impact of the Glass Jaw trait (it's a -3 TP trait, but damage can be a rapidly-cascading effect, as discussed).
    • I'm generally of the opinion that player investment in stats should have benefits (i.e. higher BOD or WIL should make you more resilient), and a simple "each TW-scale point of MechWarrior damage is 20% of your health" would actually hurt high-BOD characters when not also using BOD-modified recovery rates.
    • The AToW Companion offers guidelines on upgrading armor, which would cover up-armoring cooling vests. I've put together some samples of applying that below.


    Spoiler: Upgraded Cooling Vests
    Show
    Item Availability BAR Cost Notes
    Armored Cooling Vest (1) D/B/B 2/3/0/1 300 -1 RFL
    Armored Cooling Vest (2) D/C/B 3/4/0/1 600 -2 RFL
    Concealable Cooling Vest D/B/B 0/1/0/0 300 Concealable

    The RFL penalty applies "to all actions that involve the RFL attribute" according to the book, but I'll have it apply to the attribute score itself rather than the Link (meaning that a RFL 4 character using either up-armored vest takes a -1 penalty to Piloting and Gunnery rolls). Note that the Availability of C requires 2 ranks of the Equipped trait. The concealable cooling vest can be worn under regular clothing (which may be handy if you want to try your hand at stealth missions), but offers no real protection against almost any kind of damage.


    In short, I'm looking at changes that will simplify TW integration, reduce cascading damage effects for players, and still reward investment into durability options.

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    Yeah, I'd hope that the GM uses some decent Rule 0 thinking, and doesn't rely only on the fact that the rules don't specifically disallow it. Stacking armor makes sense in some circumstances; it's reasonable to envision an ablative vest stacking on top of a flak armor suit in the event that ablative/flak armor is unavailable. But putting armor on underneath or over a cooling vest I don't think works, because that inhibits the central function of a cooling vest.
    Easiest way is to abstract it so your character got 6 health in a mech (unless already currently wounded, then some sort of pre-damaged ruling is needed), and when out of the mech post-battle, the damage taken during the mech battle can be translated into a suitable level of damage. maybe a mix of fatigue and damage?

    Yeah but it's also if you have concealed armor (aka. clothing made to be a sub-par version of full bodyarmor, but look unnoticable at first glance, and then put on some ablative armor over flak clothing. that'd at least make good sense if we are talking going into a fight with clanners who'd most likely be using laser weapons over ballistic weaponry.

    Well you should be able to put the armor over the cooling vest since the vest itself is more or less the reverse of a freezer's freon-piping, and you connect the mech (via cable) to the vest so the cooling-circulation is active and will remain active. So you can easly have something over it. I just think the issue becomes apparently if you wear something like Ballistic Strike-plate armor UNDER it since the cooling effect needs to be in direct touch with just regular clothing to really work.
    The cooling vest doesn't work on the principle of needing air to cool, it just needs to be plugged into the mech to be powered and function. I even think you could jury-rig a Power Pack to power the vest if needed (like if Lifesupport takes a critical hit, then the cooling vest stops working.... and you might also have issues with lack of air if on a non-breathable astroid, moon, etc.)
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  10. - Top - End - #220
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    Some notes on the discussion on damage rules.
    • Consciousness checks are a "single attribute" TN of 12 using your WIL score (not Link), with a bonus of your BOD score (not Link). Which is the same as a double-attribute BOD/WIL check with a +6 bonus, but whatever. A BOD 4/ WIL 4 character who takes 2 AToW-scale damage starts at a consciousness roll TN of 5 (8 from stats, -1 from injury, vs a TN of 12).
    • The MechWarrior/pilot damage table is on page 217 of AToW, for those following along but don't know where the (official) damage values are coming from.
    • AToW's stats obviously don't line up 1:1 with the generic MechWarrior data on a TW-only record sheet. A generic TW MechWarrior appears to be equivalent to BOD 5/WIL 4 for the first head hit, but their injury checks accelerate much more aggressively than a PC's, aside from the possibility of bleeding out. (A BOD 5/WIL 4 character making a consciousness check with only 1 health left (a -4 injury penalty) still only has an effective TN of 7 besides any fatigue penalties, while a generic MechWarrior needs a 9 or 11 on hits 4 and 5) TW-only MechWarriors also only have one damage track, while Heat is fatigue damage to AToW characters.
    • I'm still assessing the reduced-lethality options offered by AToW and the companion book in general. At the bare minimum, use 3x your BOD and WIL scores for determining health and fatigue; and I'm leaning towards also using most of the other level 2 options in the companion book, increasing the bleed threshold (to your BOD score), and reducing the impact of the Glass Jaw trait (it's a -3 TP trait, but damage can be a rapidly-cascading effect, as discussed).
    • I'm generally of the opinion that player investment in stats should have benefits (i.e. higher BOD or WIL should make you more resilient), and a simple "each TW-scale point of MechWarrior damage is 20% of your health" would actually hurt high-BOD characters when not also using BOD-modified recovery rates.
    • The AToW Companion offers guidelines on upgrading armor, which would cover up-armoring cooling vests. I've put together some samples of applying that below.


    Spoiler: Upgraded Cooling Vests
    Show
    Item Availability BAR Cost Notes
    Armored Cooling Vest (1) D/B/B 2/3/0/1 300 -1 RFL
    Armored Cooling Vest (2) D/C/B 3/4/0/1 600 -2 RFL
    Concealable Cooling Vest D/B/B 0/1/0/0 300 Concealable

    The RFL penalty applies "to all actions that involve the RFL attribute" according to the book, but I'll have it apply to the attribute score itself rather than the Link (meaning that a RFL 4 character using either up-armored vest takes a -1 penalty to Piloting and Gunnery rolls). Note that the Availability of C requires 2 ranks of the Equipped trait. The concealable cooling vest can be worn under regular clothing (which may be handy if you want to try your hand at stealth missions), but offers no real protection against almost any kind of damage.


    In short, I'm looking at changes that will simplify TW integration, reduce cascading damage effects for players, and still reward investment into durability options.
    So is there damage reduction when in a mech and taking damage from mech-headshot or ammo explosions? It's a non-standard type of damage after all, more related to neuro-feedback and physical freefall when a meck falls over. You can't really reduce fall damage except by bracing and/or doing the right body movements to slow the rate of inertia-loss (which means less harm and strain to the body after all) and Neurofeedback from damage to the mech-head and harmful effects it could potentially have on the pilot on the inside. How'd you do bracing rolls? basic TW rules of making it a piloting roll?

    I also think I should go to sleep now, or I'll end up ranting.


    Nevermind I found page 217!
    Makes sense from there that on average, regular head-damage to the mech would deal on average 1-3 damage depending on what type of armor is worn for the mech pilot, where as something like falling is a melee type damage.
    Also I see that mech-overheating (15+, but below 25) is an energy-damage to the pilot of 2 (but all of it is subduing damage) that is not reduced.

    So yeah, found what I needed ^^
    Last edited by Hemnon; 2020-04-02 at 01:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    I second this; Total Warfare rules are plenty sufficient to cause us to think tactically, which I think should be the operative goal. One of the reasons why you have to dance carefully around an SRM carrier vehicle, for instance, is because if you allow an SRM carrier 7's or better on the to-hit roll, they can smack you with 20-25 SRM's without too much trouble, and odds are good that either one or two of those will hit the head, just from random distribution of hit rolls. Which means that even one solid volley has a fairly decent chance of knocking you out, and which point, you're a goner. The possibility of this, just running the numbers, forces you to alter your strategy and work around the SRM carrier, and treat it as a mobile zone where you don't want to go into until it's down.
    Or you just fry it. SRM carriers are way too flimsy to put up a proper "bubble of doom".

    That is the kind of challenge I'd like to face. By contrast, I'm not really fond of the changes on the cooling vest, precisely because, while it wasn't balanced inside the cockpit, it was pretty decently balanced outside the cockpit. Taking a shot from an automatic rifle under the 3rd edition rules, even with armor, was likely going to lead to very serious injury. If it got through the armor, or punched into an area where you weren't protected, you could be permanently injured if not killed, really easily. Making it easier for more things to kill you, just to make sure the in-cockpit stuff can touch you? Yeah, that sounds like FASA, but changes the game from "you have to think carefully about what you're doing, and plan things out", which I like, to "either you're really lucky, or you're a triple amputee by the time you're 30", which, not so much.
    Aside from the bleeding, personal combat feels about the same to me-you're hurting after one hit from a longarm, down in two. Handguns might take three shots. At least armor is more helpful as it's harder to degrade it. The bleeding is nasty-in 3e, it only kicked in when you were already down, and took a couple minutes to kill you. It's way easier to start bleeding in AToW and you're dead in under 30 seconds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemnon View Post
    Do remember that you CAN wear multiple layers of armor without penalty besides the weight of it. You can wear flak over your cooling vest without issue, you can wear Neo-Chainmail under your Ablative Armor, you can wear Ballistic Strike-plate armor over a Clan Cooling Suit. biggest issue is always that it's getting rather heavy to carry it all, there's the expenses of it as well, and the fact that you're having a harder time moving more smoothly around.
    Your encumbrance level goes up for every extra piece of armor you stack. Although characters in a vehicle don't really notice encumbrance.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    Or you just fry it. SRM carriers are way too flimsy to put up a proper "bubble of doom".

    Aside from the bleeding, personal combat feels about the same to me-you're hurting after one hit from a longarm, down in two. Handguns might take three shots. At least armor is more helpful as it's harder to degrade it. The bleeding is nasty-in 3e, it only kicked in when you were already down, and took a couple minutes to kill you. It's way easier to start bleeding in AToW and you're dead in under 30 seconds.

    Your encumbrance level goes up for every extra piece of armor you stack. Although characters in a vehicle don't really notice encumbrance.
    Which feels like the appropriate level of verisimilitude to me. The old "I got shot, but only in the shoulder, so I'll stagger my way to the end" is precisely the trope they're trying to avoid. The balance is in saying that can be true, but because of future something something, if you take the opportunity to escape, immediately flee, and seek immediate medical help before blood loss and shock knocks you out, you will survive, and you won't be permanently crippled. It's only if you try to gut out a gunshot, and try to pretend it's only a flesh wound, and especially if you then get shot again, that things get really dicey.

    It's the level of "acceptable" in "acceptable breaks from reality" we're discussing. And I feel like "one shot, and you should survive, so long as you seek immediate medical attention" is acceptable levels of lethality to me. Rattling the head of the mech until you turn into chunky salsa is a bit too grimdark for me. Any shot is minimum insta-maim is a bit too grimdark to me. 80's action film is too light and frilly for me. I'd like to keep it at about The Wire levels of realism, where they only very occasionally broke from reality, and even then it was usually more "getting shot in the leg will take 20 minutes to kill you, rather than five".

    Mando:

    I greatly appreciate you whipping up those harnesses. I'll probably end up using the heavier of the two cooling vests for in-combat action.

    Quick Question: when I've played before, we usually assumed that your couch had a built in pack/storage locker for gear if you ejected. You could detach the storage locker and flee the scene for later pickup. The amount in the storage compartment couldn't be significant (we usually put it about 20 kg limit), but it would allow us to store stuff like a bubble tent or flare gun that we wouldn't normally lug around.

    Are you averse to assuming something similar in this game?

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    I think we might have a heavy-hitting scouting-capable Lance, what with a speedy Light Mech, an agile Medium mech and two heavy-hitting Heavy Mechs. With the potential of the light mech to give spotting support for either LRM-capable mechs or even artillery if we have such support.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    The P-Hawk is medium, not light. It's still 25% below the average lance tonnage, though. I'd call it a striker lance. Highly mobile, with not one but two SL tech heavies for teeth.

    Now that the gang's all here, when do we start?
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    The P-Hawk is medium, not light. It's still 25% below the average lance tonnage, though. I'd call it a striker lance. Highly mobile, with not one but two SL tech heavies for teeth.

    Now that the gang's all here, when do we start?
    Uh... I never said it was. We have a Locust on the team, yeah? Locust (light), Phoenix Hawk (Medium) and 2 Heavy mechs (Warhammer and Guillotine).

    That makes it a medium-to-heavy lance with scouting-and-spotting capacity due to the agile mechs in the lance.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    McStabbington upgraded to a Wolverine.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    McStabbington upgraded to a Wolverine.
    Ahh, then we have a Strong Medium-Weight lance - A Striker Lance as you called it.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hemnon View Post
    Uh... I never said it was. We have a Locust on the team, yeah? Locust (light), Phoenix Hawk (Medium) and 2 Heavy mechs (Warhammer and Guillotine).

    That makes it a medium-to-heavy lance with scouting-and-spotting capacity due to the agile mechs in the lance.
    Fraid not. I jiggered my point totals, and enough extra points shook loose for me to boost my light mech up to a medium, and turn my 667 roll into a 6R Wolverine.

    This makes us firmly a battle or striker lance, with an average weight of 60 tons, and a surprising amount of mobility with three jump-capable mechs. We would effectively anchor a battle line, or serve as the mobile hammer in a hammer-and-anvil strategy with the rest of the company. Our primary limitation at the moment is probably our experience; I haven't checked everyone's sheet, but I believe we have at least one green pilot, and my character is only regular (albeit with his piloting skill being better than his gunnery skill, which is unusual).

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    I got to 3/4. It's weird you can graduate from a the academy and serve a full tour of duty and still come out rawer than spring grass at 6/6. At least in 3rd getting a field also brought you up to a regular 4/5
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Nice. I probably could have gotten up to veteran, but it would have cost my character too much in terms of different, necessary skills. The HC has to double as the logistics guy/administrator for the lance, and someone who can sit in and not look like a complete dummy in the strategy session, and whose tactics skill used to serve as the initiative bonus in 3rd. So I couldn't skimp on those just for the sake of punching a little more often with my AC-5.

    But yeah, in 3rd it was possible, even with them splitting the Gunnery skill across ballistic, energy and missile weapons, to start play at veteran skill if you rolled well enough on your life events. And give your character a tour of duty or two, and veteran quality was fairly easy to achieve. Elite skill level was really hard to achieve, even with extensive experience; in player creation, it was close to impossible. The only time I did it was with an incredibly min-maxed Diamond Shark character. The character was so min-maxed that it was borderline unplayable; he pretty much couldn't do anything but pilot a mech. Granted, he could pilot the heck out of a mech, and came a hair's breadth from beating a Phoenix Hawk in the Solaris Arena with an Urbanmech. Seriously, I needed that one last small laser strike to land in the right place, and I'd have cored the jumpy little bugger.

    But regardless, that went out the window with both the event tables (too much randomization, I recall them saying when AToW came out), and the hard xp cap combined with the module xp costs. I really think that their unofficial goal is to prevent min-maxing, far more than it is to design an easy-to-use, flexible player creation system.

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    Fraid not. I jiggered my point totals, and enough extra points shook loose for me to boost my light mech up to a medium, and turn my 667 roll into a 6R Wolverine.

    This makes us firmly a battle or striker lance, with an average weight of 60 tons, and a surprising amount of mobility with three jump-capable mechs. We would effectively anchor a battle line, or serve as the mobile hammer in a hammer-and-anvil strategy with the rest of the company. Our primary limitation at the moment is probably our experience; I haven't checked everyone's sheet, but I believe we have at least one green pilot, and my character is only regular (albeit with his piloting skill being better than his gunnery skill, which is unusual).
    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    I got to 3/4. It's weird you can graduate from a the academy and serve a full tour of duty and still come out rawer than spring grass at 6/6. At least in 3rd getting a field also brought you up to a regular 4/5
    Cool, so a quick-strike overall Lance that is good for use for 'hard-hit a stalemate' or work as an emergency speedbump against invading forces until support arrives.

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    Nice. I probably could have gotten up to veteran, but it would have cost my character too much in terms of different, necessary skills. The HC has to double as the logistics guy/administrator for the lance, and someone who can sit in and not look like a complete dummy in the strategy session, and whose tactics skill used to serve as the initiative bonus in 3rd. So I couldn't skimp on those just for the sake of punching a little more often with my AC-5.

    But yeah, in 3rd it was possible, even with them splitting the Gunnery skill across ballistic, energy and missile weapons, to start play at veteran skill if you rolled well enough on your life events. And give your character a tour of duty or two, and veteran quality was fairly easy to achieve. Elite skill level was really hard to achieve, even with extensive experience; in player creation, it was close to impossible. The only time I did it was with an incredibly min-maxed Diamond Shark character. The character was so min-maxed that it was borderline unplayable; he pretty much couldn't do anything but pilot a mech. Granted, he could pilot the heck out of a mech, and came a hair's breadth from beating a Phoenix Hawk in the Solaris Arena with an Urbanmech. Seriously, I needed that one last small laser strike to land in the right place, and I'd have cored the jumpy little bugger.

    But regardless, that went out the window with both the event tables (too much randomization, I recall them saying when AToW came out), and the hard xp cap combined with the module xp costs. I really think that their unofficial goal is to prevent min-maxing, far more than it is to design an easy-to-use, flexible player creation system.
    I specifically chose for my character to have a full line of 5-5-5 (3-3-3 if we talk Total Warfare rules-conversion) in Piloting-Gunnery-Sensors, although I do know my character got some Attribute weaknesses which will very much be the next thing I'd have my character focus on upgrading stuff like Strength, Body, etc. etc.

    I honestly love the use of the modules since it's also a good way to create backstory as you do the basic crunchwork as well.
    Last edited by Hemnon; 2020-04-02 at 06:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    but I believe we have at least one green pilot, and my character is only regular (albeit with his piloting skill being better than his gunnery skill, which is unusual).
    okay i give how does one tell what skill level the character is?

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by samduke View Post
    okay i give how does one tell what skill level the character is?
    Page 85, there's a table explaining how much XP in a skill is required to reach each level in a skill. On standard you need 20 xp in a skill to be trained in it, at rank 0.

    I'm certain you do know the rules for how skill rolls work and that there's a TN to reach, you roll the dice and add skill level+Linked-Attribute-bonus+Misc. together and if you reach or pass the TN, you succeed.

    I think when in the Mech and using Total Warfare rules, your piloting, gunnery, etc. is 8 minus skill level as the baseline TN.... I think. Still a bit unsure on that specific part.
    Last edited by Hemnon; 2020-04-02 at 11:59 PM.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by samduke View Post
    okay i give how does one tell what skill level the character is?
    It took me forever to find this; it's not in any table. But the rule is 8-(Your Skill Modifer). So Jack's Gunnery Skill Modifier, being 3, means Jack's Gunnery Roll is 5, while Jack's Piloting Skill Modifier, being 4, means his Piloting roll is 4. As a 5/4 pilot, Jack is considered a "regular" pilot.
    Last edited by McStabbington; 2020-04-03 at 12:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    It took me forever to find this; it's not in any table. But the rule is 8-(Your Skill Modifer). So Jack's Gunnery Skill Modifier, being 3, means Jack's Gunnery Roll is 5, while Jack's Piloting Skill Modifier, being 4, means his Piloting roll is 4. As a 5/4 pilot, Jack is considered a "regular" pilot.
    Ahh then my character does indeed have a 3 Mech-battle skill value. I also count in stuff like Sensor Operations because that's always useful to help spot hidden enemies or even detect the enemy prior to them detecting you.

    Also do remember that this is ONLY for Total Warfare 'rules time', so to speak. So regular skill use outside those moments use the regular rules-format, I am fairly certain.... unless the GM will convert it all over to the TN being 'AToW TN minus skill level (and whatever else modifiers you have).
    Last edited by Hemnon; 2020-04-03 at 12:52 AM.
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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    It took me forever to find this; it's not in any table. But the rule is 8-(Your Skill Modifer). So Jack's Gunnery Skill Modifier, being 3, means Jack's Gunnery Roll is 5, while Jack's Piloting Skill Modifier, being 4, means his Piloting roll is 4. As a 5/4 pilot, Jack is considered a "regular" pilot.
    ok help me out here
    I have Gunnery (RFL 4 + DEX 4 =8) both links are at +0, 8-8=0 , Piloting (RFL 4 + DEX 4 =8) both links are at +0, 8-8=0
    so using your example I have a 0/0 - so is that Elite or is that Green?

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by samduke View Post
    ok help me out here
    I have Gunnery (RFL 4 + DEX 4 =8) both links are at +0, 8-8=0 , Piloting (RFL 4 + DEX 4 =8) both links are at +0, 8-8=0
    so using your example I have a 0/0 - so is that Elite or is that Green?
    Nope, has nothing to do with the link attributes. We're just talking straight evaluation of the skill roll modifier. So Jack has, ignoring any attributes, a +3 skill modifier to his Mech/Gunnery Skill. 8 - (+3) = 5, meaning he has a Battletech, AToW Gunnery skill of 5. Jack has a Mech/Piloting Skill modifier of +4. 8 - (+4) = 4, meaning he has a Battletech, AToW Piloting skill of 4. This is traditionally represented by saying that your pilot has Gunnery/Piloting numbers of ?/?; in Jack's case, he's a 5/4 pilot.

    This makes him regular status. Borderline regular, but regular nonetheless. These classifications are somewhat fluid, and more heuristics than firm rules. But generally, if your pilot's Gunnery Skills and Piloting Skills are within one number of one another, and add up to 10 or more, he's green. If it's 8-9, he's regular. 6-7 indicates a veteran-quality character, and 5 and below is elite. So a 2/3 pilot is elite, as is a 1/1 pilot, though 1/1's are substantially better, and substantially rarer. IIRC, Phelan Ward is a 1/1 pilot, and he's generally considered one of the two or three best Mechwarriors in the Inner Sphere. 3/4 is a solid, veteran-quality soldier with several years under his belt. 4/5 is a regular mechwarrior, who either has a tour of duty under his belt, or is one of the better recruits to come out of one of the better mechwarrior academies.

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    Nope, has nothing to do with the link attributes. We're just talking straight evaluation of the skill roll modifier. So Jack has, ignoring any attributes, a +3 skill modifier to his Mech/Gunnery Skill. 8 - (+3) = 5, meaning he has a Battletech, AToW Gunnery skill of 5. Jack has a Mech/Piloting Skill modifier of +4. 8 - (+4) = 4, meaning he has a Battletech, AToW Piloting skill of 4. This is traditionally represented by saying that your pilot has Gunnery/Piloting numbers of ?/?; in Jack's case, he's a 5/4 pilot.

    This makes him regular status. Borderline regular, but regular nonetheless. These classifications are somewhat fluid, and more heuristics than firm rules. But generally, if your pilot's Gunnery Skills and Piloting Skills are within one number of one another, and add up to 10 or more, he's green. If it's 8-9, he's regular. 6-7 indicates a veteran-quality character, and 5 and below is elite. So a 2/3 pilot is elite, as is a 1/1 pilot, though 1/1's are substantially better, and substantially rarer. IIRC, Phelan Ward is a 1/1 pilot, and he's generally considered one of the two or three best Mechwarriors in the Inner Sphere. 3/4 is a solid, veteran-quality soldier with several years under his belt. 4/5 is a regular mechwarrior, who either has a tour of duty under his belt, or is one of the better recruits to come out of one of the better mechwarrior academies.
    that really did not help me out.
    Gunnery (RFL 4 + DEX 4 =8) the skill mod is 8 (8-8=0)
    Piloting (RFL 4 + DEX 4 =8) the skill mod is 8 (8-8=0)
    so if i understand I would have a 0/0 which would be better than 1/1 an Elite rated pilot - thus Should be Elite
    Last edited by samduke; 2020-04-03 at 01:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by RandomLunatic View Post
    Now that the gang's all here, when do we start?
    I'm still double-checking some of the math on some of the characters, since the point totals still seem off to me, and never by the same amount.
    Quote Originally Posted by McStabbington View Post
    This makes us firmly a battle or striker lance, with an average weight of 60 tons, and a surprising amount of mobility with three jump-capable mechs. We would effectively anchor a battle line, or serve as the mobile hammer in a hammer-and-anvil strategy with the rest of the company. Our primary limitation at the moment is probably our experience; I haven't checked everyone's sheet, but I believe we have at least one green pilot, and my character is only regular (albeit with his piloting skill being better than his gunnery skill, which is unusual).
    By Campaign Ops' rules, the lance is pretty solidly a standard medium/heavy Battle Lance. Speaking of, there are two other (NPC) lances (plus a Flight/Air Lance of 2 Aerospace Fighters) in the unit. Which kind of backup would you prefer?

    Spoiler: Support Options
    Show
    Recon/Pursuit Lance: Although it won't have anything larger than a Phoenix Hawk, having a recon lance will give the company additional mobility and scouting capabilities when and where air support is unavailable.

    Fire Lance: A Griffin and friends, providing some LRM support. With more of the "maintain expensive 'Mechs" budget on the battle lance, think more "Trebuchets and Valkyries", not "Archers and Catapults".

    Other Lances: You don't have the muscle available for an Assault Lance, and a Striker/Cavalry Lance will probably look similar to the Fire or Recon Lance options.

    Support Team: Forgo one of the 'Mech lances for additional support personnel. By default, a Union only carries enough quarters for its own crew and the minimum for transporting its combat units (a tech and the MechWarrior/Pilot for each 'Mech or ASF), relying on additional personnel carriers or local support to fill out the ranks of the needed astechs and other kinds of support personnel. By dropping one of the lances, the company's dropship will have been refitted to carry a much larger crew that can see to nearly all of its own needs, and even provide some infantry functions when necessary. Without it, the unit can potentially field more firepower, but will be more reliant on its employer for support services.

  30. - Top - End - #240
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Re: Battletech - A time of Total Warfare (Combo of A time of War and Total Warfare)

    Quote Originally Posted by samduke View Post
    that really did not help me out.
    Gunnery (RFL 4 + DEX 4 =8) the skill mod is 8 (8-8=0)
    Piloting (RFL 4 + DEX 4 =8) the skill mod is 8 (8-8=0)
    so if i understand I would have a 0/0 which would be better than 1/1 an Elite rated pilot - thus Should be Elite
    Okay, sorry about that.

    But no attributes. Forget attributes. They don't matter for this calculation. You could be the quickest draw on the planet, or you could be a cerebral palsy victim, and it would not matter, at all, to what your AToW Gunnery and Piloting Skill is. The only thing that matters is how many XP you put into your skill bonus.

    Jack has the trait "Fast Learner", which means that Jack needed to put 64 XP into a skill to get a +3 bonus. Jack did indeed put 64 XP into his Gunnery/Mech skill, giving him a +3 bonus. As of this moment, the information necessary to calculate Jack's AToW mech gunnery skill is sufficient: it's 8 minus the skill bonus. In this case, it's 8-3=5, which means that his AToW Gunnery Skill is 5.

    You use the Gunnery Skill as the baseline to calculate all of your attack rolls, which is why it's important. Distance, Speed, and Terrain Modifiers all add onto, or subtract from, that base Gunnery Skill number, which is why you want to know it.

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