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Thread: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

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    OPA Belta Wheeljack's Avatar
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    How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    I've been working on a few characters who pilot giant robots. I've usually done them as vehicle and applied the Durable extra from Power Profiles: Vehicles, but I'm wondering if a better approach would be to buy it as a Sidekick Construct with the right level of Growth and perhaps a Feature for the cockpit. What are the pros and cons to each approach? I think the latter is cheaper, at least.

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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheeljack View Post
    I've been working on a few characters who pilot giant robots. I've usually done them as vehicle and applied the Durable extra from Power Profiles: Vehicles, but I'm wondering if a better approach would be to buy it as a Sidekick Construct with the right level of Growth and perhaps a Feature for the cockpit. What are the pros and cons to each approach? I think the latter is cheaper, at least.
    Unless it can act independently from the PC, I don't think making it a Sidekick makes sense. Also, Sidekicks shouldn't be more powerful than the PC. (Mecha pilots tend to be PL 6 or so outside of their mech.)

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    MCRN Admiral FuzzyBoots's Avatar
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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    I'm with Kimera on this. I would build it as a Hard-to-Lose Device if it's exotic equipment, Equipment if it is not, that adds to the player's stats. Optionally, you could add levels of Check Required so that skill checks have to be made for more than the routine.

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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    What is the difference that you see, game-mechanics-wise, between a a mech and a suit of power armor? If you can answer that then there you have your answer. I don't think that there is a difference but it is possible that I am forgetting some detail. To me it seems like a mech and a suit of power armor are really the same thing when you look at the game mechanics. The only obvious difference is that a mech is larger and has permanent Growth. But even suits of power armor can have that.

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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeleyOne View Post
    What is the difference that you see, game-mechanics-wise, between a a mech and a suit of power armor? If you can answer that then there you have your answer. I don't think that there is a difference but it is possible that I am forgetting some detail. To me it seems like a mech and a suit of power armor are really the same thing when you look at the game mechanics. The only obvious difference is that a mech is larger and has permanent Growth. But even suits of power armor can have that.
    I second that, a good power armor with Growth should work fine, but you could also go with a Heroic Summon with Controlled (Or mental link if you want it to have free will) and a feature like "Has a cockpit to my character get inside" and all that, the good point in this one is that you can summon the Mecha Titanfall Style and control it even outside the body.

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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    Are there perhaps three levels?

    A "regular" suit of powered armor, something mass-manufactured, like armor worn by StarCraft marines? (It's pretty weak, but has lots of extra features like most of Life Support, flashlights, IR visors, etc).

    A "super" suit of powered armor, like what Iron Man wears, or a Spartan from the Halo series.

    A mecha.

    Seems like the second one is far more expensive, when maybe it shouldn't always be. However, it's far more portable than a mecha ^^
    Last edited by Kimera757; 11-23-2018 at 08:40 PM.

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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    I think the choice between vehicle and device is much simpler. Is the game a superpowers game or a pilot game? Are the players superheroes with vast access to superpowers or are they just trained people who happen to operate large mechs? In a superhero game, a mech is just a superarmor with growth. It is bought as a device with the removable flaw. In a game of pilots lacking super powers, it is bought as a vehicle using the equipment rules.

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    OPA Belta Wheeljack's Avatar
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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    Quote Originally Posted by SeeleyOne View Post
    What is the difference that you see, game-mechanics-wise, between a a mech and a suit of power armor? If you can answer that then there you have your answer. I don't think that there is a difference but it is possible that I am forgetting some detail. To me it seems like a mech and a suit of power armor are really the same thing when you look at the game mechanics. The only obvious difference is that a mech is larger and has permanent Growth. But even suits of power armor can have that.
    My answer is that a mecha is big enough to have the pilot completely insulated from the outside world. The reason I try the vehicle or construct approach instead of Removable Permenant Growth is to have Immunity to Fort. Effects without paying through the nose for it. The pilot will still have a Stamina score, after all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Elodin View Post
    I second that, a good power armor with Growth should work fine, but you could also go with a Heroic Summon with Controlled (Or mental link if you want it to have free will) and a feature like "Has a cockpit to my character get inside" and all that, the good point in this one is that you can summon the Mecha Titanfall Style and control it even outside the body.
    Hadnít considered a Summon, have to run some numbers on that.

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    OPA Belta Wheeljack's Avatar
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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    Still haven't tried the summon, but have done two builds of a giant robot-piloting character. First is with Equipment, then as a Removable battle suit for the character that's 60 feet tall.

    It came up for a game that is "No Power Level" with 150 CP, so that's why the attack/damage values sum to above 20, BTW.

    Points were much tighter on the Removable build and the pilot is not as well-rounded or capable. It feels weird that the pilot's stamina adds to the defense of the robot suit, or that the robot might be affected by a Fort. affliction. That's the big reason to have it as a construct or vehicle. I wasn't able to get the points for Immunity to Fort. in on that build. On the plus side, you can just have summoning the robot as Instant Change!

    The robot as construct approach has the possible issues of being a construct, and it's equipped to take advantage of that issue, with its Weaken Toughness usable on objects (like other robots). It requires the Vehicles skill, which is expensive but flavorful.

    I'm going to try a build with Morph - Metamorph... one form being the pilot on foot, the other in the mecha, see how that works out. The idea is that in "robot form" the pilot can't be pulled out of the suit, isn't affected by Fort effects and such, as a special effect... not literally becoming a robot.

    GIANT ROBOT PILOT

    Attributes 24 PP
    Strength 0
    Agility 0
    Fighting 0
    Awareness 4
    Stamina 3
    Dexterity 0
    Intellect 5
    Presence 0

    Defenses 35 PP
    14 Dodge 14
    10 Parry 10
    3 Fort 6
    - Tough. 3/6
    8 Will 12

    Unarmed Combat +4/10 to hit/ 0 (10) damage


    Skills: 19 PP 40 points
    Close Combat Mecha 8/+8
    Expertise (Science) +5/10
    Expertise (Everything else) +0/5
    Investigation +0/5
    Insight 0/4
    Perception +2/6
    Technology +15/20
    Treatment +0/5
    Vehicles +8/8

    Advantages 45 PP

    Eidetic Memory
    30 Equipment 30 Giant Robot 150 points
    Favored Environment Piloting
    Improved Initiative 1
    Inventor
    Interpose
    Languages 1: Japanese
    Power Attack
    Ranged Attack 6
    Skill Mastery (Technology)
    Ultimate Effort (Technology)


    Powers 19 CP

    13 CP Blaster Pistol/Energy Blade - Easily Removable
    *Blaster - Ranged Damage 10 Accurate 2 (22 CP)
    *Energy Blade - Close Damage 12 Accurate 5, Incurable, Enhanced Parry 4 (22 CP)

    2 Flight Suit Protection 3 Removable

    1 Tech Savant: Quickness 3 (only for Technology tasks -1) 1 CP

    3 Ace Pilot - Vehicles +12, only with mecha. -1

    GIANT ROBOT - Construct 150 CP

    Attributes 8 CP
    - Strength 12
    Agility 5
    Fighting 5
    Awareness 5
    -10 Stamina -
    Dexterity 4
    -10 Intellect -
    -10 Presence -

    Defenses 12 CP
    6 Dodge 5
    6 Parry 5
    0 Fort -
    0 Toughness 15
    0 Will -


    Iron Punch +12 to hit 12 damage
    Rocket Punch +10 to hit 15 damage
    Breast Fire +10 to hit 20 damage


    Powers 131 CP

    Giant Robot - Growth 12, Permanent, Innate. Immunity 30 Fort Effects Lifting Strength 4 59 CP

    Ultra-Alloy Body Protection 3 Impervious Toughness 15, Evasion 2 20 CP

    Assault Systems 22 CP
    *Rocket Punch – Ranged Damage 9 Strength-Based (15 total) Split, Homing (20 CP)
    *Breast Fire – Ranged Damage 20 Tiring (20 CP)
    *Flying Stomp Area Burst 2 Close Damage 10, target and attacker must both be on ground, requires flying move action -1 (19 CP)


    1 Radar Jammer Concealment 1 Radio Passive

    Propulsion Systems 17 CP
    -Boot Jets + Afterburners Flight 6 + Flight 3 (Distracting) 15 CP
    -Leg Servos Speed 5 (6 total) + Leaping 8 Movement 1 Safe Fall 15 CP
    -Summoning – Teleport 15 Extended Only, Only to pilot's location 15 CP

    *Nightvision camera array Senses 6 Radius, Extended Vision 2, Darkvision 6 CP

    *Radio Scanner Senses 1 Radio 1 CP

    5 Cybernetic Interface Feature 1: Autopilot, Instant Up, Improved Initiative 1, Interpose Senses 1 Communications Link




    Now here's GIANT ROBOT AS LARGE POWER ARMOR

    Attributes 14 PP
    Strength 0/12
    Agility 0
    Fighting 0
    Awareness 4
    Stamina 3
    Dexterity 0
    Intellect 0
    Presence 0


    Defenses 20 PP
    6 Dodge 6/5
    6 Parry 6/5
    - Fort 3/15
    - Tough. 3/15
    8 Will 12


    Iron Punch +9 to hit 12 damage
    Rocket Punch +10 to hit 12 damage
    Breast Fire +14 to hit 20 damage

    Skills: 25 PP 50 points
    Close Combat Mecha 9/+9
    Expertise (Science) 10 /+10
    Insight 0/4
    Perception +6/10
    Ranged Combat Mecha 10/+10
    Technology +15/15

    Advantages 4 cp
    Favored Environment Piloting
    Inventor
    Power Attack
    1 Skill Mastery 1 (Technology)



    Powers 87 CP
    Tech Savant: Quickness 3 (only for Technology tasks -1) 1 CP

    Giant robot removable 108/86
    Giant Robot - Growth 12, Permanent, Innate. Immunity 10 life support Lifting Strength 4 39 CP

    Ultra-Alloy Body Impervious Toughness 15, Evasion 2 17 CP

    Super robot attacks 15 CP
    *Rocket Punch Ranged Damage 6 Str based 12 total 12 CP*
    *Iron Punch Weaken Toughness 12 Objects Only Linked to Str. 12 cp
    *Flying Stomp Area Burst 2 Damage 12 on Strength, target and attacker must both be on ground, penetrating 1, requires flying move action -1 12 CP
    *Breast Fire Ranged damage 20 Tiring, Distracting. Accurate 2 12 CP

    1 Radar Jammer Concealment 1 Radio Passive

    *Propulsion Systems 17 CP
    -Boot Jets + Afterburners Flight 6 + Flight 3 (Distracting) 15 CP
    -Leg Servos Speed 5 (6 total) + Leaping 8 Movement 1 Safe Fall 15 CP

    Summoning – feature 1 instant change*
    *Nightvision camera array Senses 6 Extended Vision 2, Radius, Darkvision 6 CP
    *Radio Scanner Senses 1 Radio 1 CP


    12 Cybernetic Interface Feature 1: Instant Up, Interpose, enhanced Dodge 5, Parry 5
    Last edited by Wheeljack; 11-28-2018 at 10:15 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: How to design a humanoid mecha: Construct sidekick or vehicle?

    I bet that using M&M to run mecha combat would be more fun that playing the old Battletech games. Faster, too.

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