November 19, 2012

Rise, Guardian God Game

I always want to begin these update posts saying how this one took longer than expected, which I really should have been expecting all along by now. So I'll spare you from that and show you 1.4, linky link.


General Changes

-There's some stuff missing, such as a table of contents, index, or list of example NPCs. Those will be back in later.
-The Term 'Actor' was changed for 'Avatar' because the former got a bit messy since it is a relatively common word. The latter still plays up the meta angle without getting confused with its other meaning. Enacting is still a thing, because no one uses that word.


Character Creation

-Natures no longer grant you Power-related Traits, nor do they have fixed lists of Powers. Instead you choose two Packages of Powers when you make a PC, and pick Powers from them when you need to learn one. 
-Default Powers increased to six from three.
-Powers all cost one point, can be repeated even in the same turn at will, and have been obviously rebalanced.
-Starting number of Points is one, but you get another one for each Threshold Level lost as well.
-Genre Points reset every Episode instead of every Arc, but increase in their starting amount by 1 after each Arc.

Mecha Construction

-Nearly everything that is a mecha rule changed in some way, and a good chunk of abilities were eliminated. Rebuilds are pretty much obligatory.
-Designs were cut in half, then reworked to be generally build-defining without being too niche.
-There's four Chassis types instead of five.
-You can assign Upgrades and Weapons to any Area, and there are no space restrictions anymore.
-You do not Enhance Upgrades anymore.
-Exceptional Aptitudes were either rolled into other Upgrades or cut out.
-Potential Upgrades were nixed.
-Most Terrain Adaptability Upgrades were also thrown out, they're either a special mode (in the case of Anti-Gravity) or rolled into Features.
-Enhancements increase your Gear stats but their costs increment gradually like with PC Attributes.
-All Weapon Types have in-built abilities to them.
-You can now create Custom Weapons. Every generic Weapon in the game has been deleted as a result.
-There's a seventh Mecha Attribute, Systems, which is equal to your Genre Points and used for a few specific abilities plus Initiative.


Playing the Game

-Damage calculation changed. Penetration is no longer rolled.
-A bunch of Actions changed, from names to function.
-Terrain streamlined a bit further.


Running the Show

-NPCs come in three tiers: Grunts, Rivals and Bosses. Grunts are simplified PCs, Rivals are exactly like PCs, and Bosses have unique rules.
-Features are special abilities with an upside and a downside that can be applied to any Unit to make them distinctive from regular Gears, such as Kaijus or Squads.

So much red text! It has been a while since I used that, and to think this began with just three changes in mind (Custom Weapons, Faster Damage Mechanics, Better Genre Power rules) the domino effect was reaaally big there. Anyway I hope you have been keeping up with the latest blog posts because they explain a lot of these changes better than I could tackle them all here right now. Instead I'll touch on something else, namely why I removed a bunch of stuff and modified a lot of what remained. All of it is aiming the game in a particular direction so I should probably elaborate on which direction it is.

For the most part a lot of what was excised was, encouraged the slow accruing of benefits - Energy, Tension, Genre, etc. And it did so passively. Whatever replacements exist right now hinge on the fact that they tend to be active and have a limited use (like Support Upgrades) or that you do not control them - such as earning more Genre through getting beat up.

The direction I am pointing the game towards is a more dynamic one, a thing that I have been doing the veeeery first update to the game. One of the big things early on was that I tried to make Tension into as big a part of the game as possible, and it showed. Every Point of Tension was big, it was like an upswing of 1.5 in your Damage output and turns added up fast. I've been slowly making the game faster by diminishing the importance of Tension, with this being the logical end point. This new take on the Damage mechanics is a lot more... generic in comparison, and I'm probably going to miss the charm of the old style, but the game does encourage you less to sit around now, which is a good thing.

Not having a mixed message makes for tighter game balance and sleeker gameplay, since there isn't a bunch of upgrades that can be rendered potentially useless just because you're a slow rolling tank and everyone else in your party is crazy on getting as much damage as possible early on.

Another concern is that more streamlined rules also means less options, which in turn means lack of support for some niche builds. It should be noted that while say, the old Supercharged or Learning Computer are gone mechanically, their flavor lives on in new rules. Maybe a specific build is no longer possible, but the concept of the energizer bunny mecha or the self-learning mecha still does. You will probably have to rebuild, but you're not likely to need to scrap a whole character.

This is a big shakeup, which is why I had to wait to implement all the changes at once and did so after I've been satisfied with playtesting. Even though I've had to take out a lot of stuff I personally liked, I can say that I firmly believe this is where I want the rest of the game to go. With that having been said, it would not be the first time I'm wrong, so we'll see how well this holds and if necessary roll stuff back. Gut reactions aside, I believe that if you give what is there a chance, you will like 1.4 better.

I still want to change the rules for the ground level game, and I would like to see that done by January or February, but I cannot quite make that promise yet - Experience tells me I'm probably going to have to put out fires regarding this new version between now and then.


  1. The link doesn't work...THE LINK DOESN'T WORK

  2. I'm liking a lot of what I see, but there's one thing that's been sticking to me for the past bit:

    There was supposed to be numerous ways of recovering energy, as EN was going to be much lower.

    I'm counting exactly three:
    A 1d5EN genre power
    The Resupply support which recovers 5
    Or Spending your action using micromanage, which grants you 1

    But I'm not really seeing a lowering of energy costs: you're spending 1 of your 5 or 6 to give an action to your remotes, which if beam are gonna cost another 1 to fire, Fields still cost one or two to activate, plenty of non-custom weapons still have a cost, and it is now more expensive to increase your max capacity.

    Is there anything I've missed regarding energy? Somewhere hard to find that says it already recovers slowly on its own, or whatever?

    1. Assistant simply became an important upgrade. Or so I think.

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  5. Love the work, but gonna have to be a little harsh here for a moment

    The Genre Points section is actually named 'dramatic themes' in the book. This makes things very confusing, as trying to find how many genre points one gets and all that leads to a section that just looks at first glance as though the bookmark was aimed wrong. Stats, Tension and the such should be clearly defined and explained, rather than hidden away halfway down a page within a paragraph; yes, even if you used bold text.

    Numerous sections still refer to using Penetration Tests.
    Aim [action], the Inflicting Damage section, Technique[weapon keyword] are the three I've found so far.

    The first line of the Sacrifice ability really muddles the rest of the description. Please clarify this.

    +6 for Reliable on a weapon that already gets the advantage at half range or lower seems a bit high.

    I'd give priority to fixing Energy in general, though [although changing missile reliable to +3 would probably be done with that]

    Is there any point to Beam weapons with so little energy, or is it recovering one per turn as the now-disappeared "Supercharge" ability, but nowhere easy to spot in the book?

    1GP for 1d5EN is worthless. It may save your life, technically, but its still a horrific waste of a point if there's anything else at all you could have used the point for otherwise. This is only acceptable because the power is given to us for free.

  6. Supercharge needs to be rolled in, or you need to be able to take Micromanage or Resupply actions more often. Forgoing move to do this seems fair if we aren't going to get supercharge. Being a D&D oldfag, I wouldn't have a problem with units gaining 1 energy every other round, if you want to keep up scarcity, but that might be too confusing to some.

  7. For those complaining, use this rule

    "Gears always have a minimum of 1 Energy. While this last point of Energy cannot be depleted, Gears cannot use any Abilities, Upgrades, or Weapons or combination thereof which have a total cost of more than 1 Energy in any given Turn until their Energy is greater than 1."

    Additionally, append this to Resupply and Micromanage.

    "A Gear may opt to use this Action during an Offensive Action if they choose to forgo their movement for the Round."

    There, that wasn't so hard.

    1. Can't disagree there. Still, better that the rules themselves be appropriate, rather than needing houserules for the job, right?

      Here's my take on the first paragraph; I'd go with your fix to Resupply and micromanage [Regenerative could use a bit of work come to think of it...]

      "A Gear at 0 EN recovers a single point of energy at the beginning of its turn"

    2. Also works fine, but can result in some active defenses not triggering. This is not inherently good or bad, but may increase the anal frustration.

  8. The main problem I'm seeing is artifacts from when Penetration tests were still a thing. A lot of them.

    Other than that, I'm liking the changes a lot. Although I have a player for my Wagner game making a Metal Gear Rex clone that has a main weapon that's stupid-broken when you throw Smart Bomber, Reload and One Shot One Kill into the mix. Seriously more powerful than the Reaction Bomb that was removed.

    I'm fine with it, though. It'll make for some serious hilarity once he can finally get in the game.

  9. Thanks for the feedback!

    There's been numerous issues with the links today, they should be fixed now.

    I don't think you'll find a lot of trouble with Energy once you start playing the game. It just is not going to be virtually infinite, and should be treated as a resource.

    I like replacing the option to move around with an use of Micromanage, I'll see about integrating that.

    Even with all those last minute delays numerous editorial errors still slipped through, sorry about that.

    Just to be safe, to anyone having difficulty finding anything, I advise to use the bookmarks provided with the pdf, or barring that the search function.

    1. The changes to EN are fine when you look at the Evasive Systems and Defense Field headers. With just one of these on a unit, its definitely a resource, and a well-balanced one at that.

      Unfortunately, there's the special modes, remote and beam weaponry [and worst of all beam remotes] atop those things. In a vacuum, "Three times faster" on its own, with nothing else, would be fine with that 5-6EN base reserve to work from but that's it.

      Anything that uses any TWO of the above can't actually deal with it and currently has no way of even purchasing the ability to do so in a reasonable fashion. Anyone wanting to make a beam or remote using gear is just shooting themselves in the foot: they would have had more output [and possibly more shots per operation] using a One-Shot weapon.

    2. How about something like "Efficient" as a Beam Upgrade? +3 Cost, works like Hungry in reverse. Good for producing low cost remotes if you aren't interested in other Drawbacks. So you aren't spending double to attack with your Efficient Remotes, you just spend the one for the additional attack from them.

  10. I've deleted my earlier comments due to excessive vitrol.

    That said, most of the complaints there are still valid. You promised in the October 23 update that Beams wouldn't be limited-use bullets, which as it stands is a lie. Beams currently offer no advantage over any other weapon type, in fact they are the only weapon type to have no inherent bonus to either Accuracy or Penetration, and do not offer any kind of discount on modifiers to make up for it that another weapon does not also have. In fact, they have the most expensive Reliable, and the only modifier they get a discount on, Remote, is also gotten by Melee. You said in that same post they would get the widest array of modifiers to make them customizable, which is false because Ballistic has more and Missile has the same amount, only Melee has fewer.

    Using any one other means of using Energy is fine with tanks 5-deep or 6-deep, but machines that use Beams are effectively denied any kind of barrier, evasive system, or most of the special modes without being completely unable to fight after far too quickly. You said there would be more ways to recover Energy, there are fewer. You specifically mentioned one that would let you recover fifteen EN at no action cost, no such upgrade exists.

    Anti-Gravity wasn't good in 1.33 when it cost 3 to use it with EN, it was only good Enhanced specifically because that removed the drain. It's certainly not good now that it costs 7 to get and you can only fly once. Too many machines fly all the time for this to make any sense.

    Micromanage being based off your Genre Points is a bad idea because it's the only way to recover energy without wasting turns that has any kind of reliability and thus encourages hoarding Genre Points if you use Beams. Why was this changed from Cooperate using Tension, a good mechanic that had a lot more functionality than this?

    Bosses are oddly designed such that they're apt to be glass cannons, I would have taken a cue from the D&D 4E model and given them multiple Actions per turn.

    1. Multiple Actions is hard to do right, as it is an exponential increase in ability, rather than linear. We've been doing tests at my kitchen table, and right now we're seeing that Energy heavy machines have Assistant as an almost required purchase. It's not an endless flow, but conservative action can keep you going for a full fight. Moreso if you are using a different stat for Systems.


    1.4a Append version, with some of the fixes talked about here. Also some spell check and a minor bookmark fix.

    1. Please do not post such "fixes" here. I'm all for working out things like that into the game, but this is frankly disrespecting of all the work put into the project.

      I appreciate you deleted the download itself already, but I want to make my stance here clear.

  12. As foolish as it may be, I need your answer, about the new transformation upgrade. We had a little argument with my GM regarding how it works. It only allows to select a new chasis, or it allows to design pretty much second mecha, complete with other upgrades, albeit at -10 UP "penalty" due to purchasing Transform?

    1. The former. I overestimated the usefulness of switching your stats around, because that is all it does. A buff is on the way.

  13. A few changes suggested and worked out at my table:

    -When Tension rises to an Even amount [End of turns 2,4,6,etc] all units on the field regenerate 1EN if below their maximum.
    -If not currently Engaged in a Duel, a Unit may forego its free move to recover 1EN

    Remote Weapons
    -Expend action to grant one Remote Weapon its Activation this turn.
    -If you have multiple Remote Weapons deployed and the Assistant Sub-Unit upgrade, you may then expend the Assistant's 'Micromanage' action and 1EN to activate a second Remote Weapon in this turn.
    -The Remote Weapon upgrade is now +2 for both Beam and Melee Customs, +3 for Ballistic or Missile

    Beam Customs BASE: 0-6 Acc+1 Pen 2 EN 1
    -Reliable to +6, Hungry -2, Overheat -4
    -Blind Spot increases min-range by +2, Long Range may be purchased four times.
    -Beam Remotes cost one less EN to fire when activated as a Second Remote Weapon [see above].

    Missile Customs: Base Range reduced to 1-8. Can purchase Long Range Once for +2 max

    Anti-Gravity Cost reduced to 6. Shooting through occupied zones is a given in any terrain unless the target is huge. *Moving Through*[pretty sure 'shooting' was a typo there anyways] is available by default in Space. Space is big.

    Improved Mobility: Cost: 6 Space, 4 Underwater
    -This upgrade may be purchased individually for Underwater or Space terrains.

    Space: Allows you to ignore the effects of Difficult or Extreme Terrain. You may move an additional zone at the cost of 1EN

    Underwater: Allows you to ignore the effects of Terrain or Move through an occupied space. You may move an additional zone at the cost of 1EN

    -The new form retains all Core upgrades including 'Transform', as well as all of its Enhancements. Non-Core upgrades and weapons may be different, so long as the total value of the Gear remains the same in either form.
    -When applying upgrades to the original form, new upgrades must also be chosen to reflect the transformation's improved value.

    Overall value of changes: The terrain upgrades become worth taking again, Energy now recovers freely every other turn in addition to if you do not move, Beam Weapons still have a cost but with energy actually recovering, and their improved base stats and lowered drawbacks, should actually make a difference.

    1. You would want Hungry boosted to -4 rather than -2. -2 means that an extra point of EN cost is worth less of a boost to the weapon's stats, not more.

      Transform, yes, is now frankly bizarre because it no longer allows changing loadouts, which is something of the point of transforming, just chassis types. When was the last time you saw a transformation that kept all the exact same capabilities between forms?

      Also, I will grant that taking Assistant or multiple instances of Assistant, assuming a different stat is used for Systems, allows for a consistent flow of Energy. The issue is that A: Assistant is expensive, and B: there's a lot of situations where it just doesn't make sense to have a subpilot. For mechs being built as rules first, yes, it works fine, but most of the time anyone I know is trying to recreate an existing mech, either from a show or from an original design on paper. Not all of these, not even a lot of these, have subpilots. Certainly a lot less than the number that can fly and shoot a common beam rifle at the same time.

      It's the same reason the area restriction rules are far too constricting. The game seems to assume a machine with a single machinegun and leg missiles, nothing more. Most machines are far too tightly constricted in Arms space in particular, especially because there's rarely anything that makes sense to put in the Legs.

      Say, for instance, I'm trying to build the original Gundam. Nothing fancy about that, is there? Just the RX-78-2 Gundam, pretty much the iconic giant robot for a lot of people. So what does it need? Well, assuming we don't give it any of the wackier weapons, it needs a beam saber, beam rifle, shield and bazooka...ah hell. Where am I going to find three things to put in the Legs? Where am I going to find -one- thing to put in the Legs? The Gundam pretty much just uses its legs for walking. So I can't build the Gundam. Can't build most starter Gundams, really. God help me if I want to build something with any kind of fanciness to it, like V2.

      If Area restriction rules are going to be done this way, they need to be weighted to allow for more equipment in the areas that logic demands more equipment be had.

    2. That was meant to be a 4, indeed.

      How's this for a modified allocation system instead of the current one? Let's start with a single barrier: You gotta try to get something everywhere first.

      -Before any Non-Core section can receive a second Upgrade or Weapon, All Non-Core sections must have at least one installed.

      -The Core may not be worth more than 15 points above the highest Non-Core system on the Gear.

      -The lowest value Non-Core system on the Gear may be worth up to 10 points less than the next lowest available section [that's a difference of up to 20 points with the highest, or up to 35 lower than the Core in lategame if you really must]

      -The three highest value Non-Core systems on the Gear may be up to 10 points apart. Each may be composed of any combination of Upgrades or Weapon Systems so long as the limits are obeyed.

      So you could have Core 40 Arms 25 Torso 18 Head 15 Legs 5, as long as you actually went and put *Something* that can actually be lost in every section there. You'll at least have to store some E-Caps or a grenade or something there, but its a whole lot closer to what we want, without allowing a pure throwaway threshold layer of protection.

      Speaking of ablatives, why don't we have a Shield upgrade? Some One-Shot system that works as extra threshold with a roll?

      ie; If you can 'melee' the accuracy of the incoming shot, then after your armor, this slab of X Threshold gets taken out before we touch your actual unit's health?

    3. Just fluff the Assistant is a fly-by-wire system, Couch. Also, I've been using the legs for non-obvious upgrades like Evasive Systems or Support Modules even before the change in balancing. Seriously, it is not hard to find a couple of systems to stick in the legs.

    4. You don't just have to do it for the legs, though, you have to do it for the head and torso too, all of which are basically sharing the same ability slots. Especially with the Aid Anothers and Anti-Gravity now Core-only, and the other Terrain Adaptabilities having been excised completely, you end up having to purchase a lot of things that your machine cannot logically do just because you need to fill space.

      For example, here's my mech. It's armed with wrist-mounted vulcans, a beam rifle that can adjust between normal fire and stronger charged shots, a pair of beam sabers stored on the backpack, a large two-handed sword that folds up and stores at the waist dock, a suite of leg missiles, and a quartet of remote weapons stored inside its wings when not in use. It has one subpilot and can teleport, otherwise being an all-rounded if generic real.

      That sums to five Arms-mounted weapons, so every other area needs at least four parts. Let's be generous and say the vulcans are too weak to be worth even statting, so three in Torso, three in Head, three in Legs. Assistant covers the subpilot, ECS the teleporting, both of those go in the Torso. The Legs have a Missile weapon and the Torso has the remotes, that's still five slots to fill. Now normally this is where I'd add features like Support Fire and Expert Enabler, but those go in the Core now. So I'll add Resupply, leaving four slots left, and everything I would have used before to take up space goes in the Core now. The machine doesn't use any solid-state weapons but the leg missiles, so Reload doesn't make sense, neither does Jury Rig, but even if I add both of those and Overcharger too, that's still one slot left and I'm out of options without adding things the machine blatantly does not have.

      The Core is easy to fill with Anti-Gravity and some combination of Aid Anothers, the Arms are easy to fill with weapons, but the other three areas are competing for a very limited pool of upgrades if your machine doesn't sport weapons all over its body. Assuming only one purchase of Assistant, one Defensive Field and one Evasive System, there's only seven non-weapon options for those three areas to share between them. Fine if you only have one or two do-everything weapons, not so fine if you have more than that, or want to put a shield on your mech's arm.

    5. Redundant systems and backup weapons are just a really smart idea in a game where getting maimed is a possibility. You generally want a cheap copy of your main Evasive system somewhere in case you need to trash the main one. Also remember that just putting a weapon in another location doesn't necessarily mean it is actually fired from there if that doesn't make sense. It's like you don't like the idea of reskinning or reimagining how these various systems fit in or something.

    6. Backups are actually less necessary now that defender picks where to Maim rather than attacker. I can see the need to not have empty areas, some kind of restriction is reasonable to prevent piling everything into as few Areas as possible. Furthermore I can see the argument for reskinning, and I'm rarely an enemy of that. However, I do feel the system is clunkier this way, requiring many more justifications for why something does or doesn't stop working. Easy enough to explain why a shot to the legs might destroy or disable the missile pods there, harder to explain why that also destroys an unrelated weapon located much higher on the machine's body, unless the explosion was big enough that the whole thing should be gone.

      One of the reasons I was attracted to this game in the first place was its ability to recreate nearly anything, with very good accuracy and typically solid game balance. 1.4 has become decidedly harder to work with in this regard.

  14. What DID happen to all the head gear?
    Used to be supports could go there instead of core, as well as the [now defunct] Potentials.

    Half of it is gone, okay whatever, but the other half is now CORE only.

    Stuff that by all means should be involved with your Sensors area, well, there's no such thing anymore. If anything the Head has it even worse than Legs now.

    Reskinning and Refluffing is one thing, but I was under the impression that you can't buy three of the same system [this gets quite expensive anyways].

    Too many systems were excised from the game to put in such a hard limit as "there has to be even amounts of individual systems everywhere

  15. How about "No area can have more than 3 Upgrades or Weapons in excess of the area which holds the least?"

  16. It goes without saying it is near impossible to respond to everything in the length it deserves right now.

    I suppose Energy merits its own huge-ass post later, along with some solutions. Anyone who wants to focus conceptually on energy will be absolutely fine, but it merits exploring.

    You can hold, attach, or holster weapons in your back or legs. A change to Areas would result in it being easier to get gimped, but we can have it.

    Other things on the way would be more weapon drawbacks, customizable anti gravity, and better transformations.

    1. The holstering makes sense, but then there comes the issue of "if its in use and in your hands at the time you lost your legs, why is it automatically blown up too?"

      Given how the system works, I believe people put it to best use by assigning things to where they are used, rather than where they may be stored. Granted, it would be more realistic to have an "on/off" set of locations but it does little save complicate things for no real mechanical value to the game.

      One Energy every two turns, plus giving up your movement, seems to fix the energy problem quite well. The only 'fix' I would do to that suggestion from above is to make regaining one by giving up your movement impossible if you are using one Energy willingly this turn; your defense field triggering on an enemy turn is no issue, but you can't both fire an energy-using weapon or activate Three-Times-Faster AND regain a point of energy manually like this at the same time.

      some mock battles have shown this to be a pretty decent balance.

    2. To run a little bit of math: the expected result of a Micromanage roll is 5.5 + Arc, so that it's expected you'll recover that amount/5 EN per Assistant dedicated to using Micromanage per round. Thus the expected return is somewhat higher than with Supercharged, and in fact it can sometimes deliver more EN regeneration, but it can also give none. For a unit using one and only one means of using EN, this is likely sufficient, but using two is still impractical, which wouldn't be much of an issue if one of those wasn't an entire type of weapon.

      The issue ends up coming back to three things:

      -Why are Beam weapons punished by requiring EN, a penalty no other weapon type suffers without deliberately purchasing it, when they are no stronger than other weapon types and in fact arguably inferior due to lacking the more useful drawbacks like Recharging? A Beam-user effectively has to spend 10 extra UP just to give their weapons most of the longevity that every other weapon type comes with naturally, and since Missiles have a trait that's much more practical against half of all possible enemies, it can't even be argued that Beams have the best trait to make up for it.

      -Why is flight no longer able to be free, and a Special Mode besides, meaning you can fly once and only once? That's more like jump jets than any kind of accurate depiction of most flying mechs, and further punishes Beam-users by making it so they can't afford to fly.

      -Why are there so few nonweapon systems if the rules demand perfectly equal placement of systems? I doubt your intent was to have players purchase multiple 1-cost weapons for no other reason or function than to serve as filler. Further this means there's no practical distinction between Arms, Torso, Legs, and Head, as all systems are now either Core-Only or Any Non-Core. Arms only have any distinction because the vast majority of mech designs put most if not all of their weapons either there or in the Torso. Not only does stripping out this many systems and putting the rest in the Core drastically reduce the game's flexibility, its strongest suit, it greatly diminishes the value of having distinct areas at all.

      Just a basic example - why is Telescopic Sights not a Head upgrade? Pretty much by definition, Telescopic Sights involves augmenting your main sensors, and every instance of this I can think of is done by additional sensors opening up or being added to the mech's head, with the exception I suppose of the Gun Sniper. Why not an upgrade that boosts initiative count, or allows for Code Geass/VOTOMs-style rollerskating? Returning and adding these small, passive upgrades would do a great deal both to make the game better at representing the genre and to make building more complex units practical. Right now it clearly favors a very specific type of machine and punishes others.

    3. I think a lot of this has to do with the Maiming system as a light way of piling on debuff-style 'wound penalties' while maintaining the genre. But it always seemed to be me to be a little clunky, like the way both arms where considered the same slot, so someone cutting off the Gundams rifle arm also destroys its shield somehow.

      I think the system might work better if it was more about the upgrades themselves being disabled than specfic areas. Like, whenever you're maimed, you must designate an amount of UP equal to the damage of the shot to be rendered inactive. I realise that simplistic writeup would put a lot of defensive power in the hands of the Defender if we stick with Defender Chooses, but thats the kernel of an idea I've been having.

    4. Upgrade-specific maiming was my first idea on fixing this, but encouraged you to take cost one or two abilities as buffers and made the whole mechanic a non-issue.

      I also considered doing it by categories, rather than by areas, so you could choose to disable missiles, or barriers. But this punishes anyone who sticks to one type of weapon severely, and again encourages dipping.

      I can take away the limit on how much stuff you can place in one area, if that is really for the best.

    5. Its not particularly bad in and of itself. Its just that we've gone from one extreme to the other. How about something a little more in the middle?

      Let's assume for a moment that early on, everyone; both players and mooks alike, are going to have an empty 'dumping' ground. In fact, let's drop the head as a specific area and call it a single upgrade: In addition to all the core stuff [all the head stuff got moved there], you can install a single "head" upgrade; which will be a handful of very specific single systems. Not that it gets chopped off before you're well into "dead gundam" territory, just that you can only have one of it. Last thing to go 'fore you eject or whatever. Instead we now have left and right arms.

      From there let's say no one non-core section can have more than 10 points until all of them have at least 4 points, and no non-core section can have more than 20 until all of them have at least 8.

      This forces you to spread your upgrades a little, but not to a ridiculous degree. It still provides a 'dumping ground' of a first maimed area; probably one you stick a one-shot or two on along with a solid shield* or whatever.

      Completely removing the limits goes too far the other way: personally I liked it better when it was max point values, but I understand that needed work as well. Just making sure that going beyond the initial designs requires at least a little work put into your other sections so you lose something would be better than too strict or no limits at all.

      *Shield: Cost ?UP: Any Arm. Cannot be taken multiple times.
      You gain an additional 2 Armor against the first loss of threshold you suffer [this may reduce the damage suffered to 0]. Against the second such hit, you only gain a single additional point of Armor, at which point the shield has been depleted or destroyed.

      Should you lose a threshold layer despite the shield's protection, the arm it is mounted to must be selected as your first maimed area.

    6. I need to work on being more consise. I was certain that wall of text was just two or three really short paragraphs.


  17. I'll respond to energy-based questions and comments in the post proper.

  18. I just don't get why the choice of the maimed area comes to the defender, it doesn't make sense to me.
    In my group we decided that the choice goes to the attacker, when it's a PC, the player chooses the area, when it's a NPC we roll a d5, unless one of the areas is obviously more armed.

    This system demands a bit further description from the GM when an ennemy attacks, but it goes well.

    1. In the previous versions it *was* attacker's choice, but the issue there is that since, again, most machines put most or all of their important things in the Arms or Torso, those are always the first things to get Maimed. This means a lot of battles are really only to first Maim, after that the one who's damaged is sufficiently crippled that they aren't likely to pose a serious threat anymore due to their mainstay equipment being lost. Defender's choice poses its own issues, such as empty Areas, but it makes duels between two mechs less one-sided.

    2. Its easier to balance if each side chooses. You can basically expect them to have a "dump area" that's almost certainly the first to go; we'd more likely see this as an individual arm if the two arms were seperate, but in 1.33 it was often the legs, and in 1.4 its probably the head followed by legs, given there's precious few things you can reasonably put in there any longer.

      If you look up the OGS cinematic of the R-1 vs the Alt Eisen, you'll see a plenty enough good reason for why the defender might be picking what gets maimed. Takes out the chaingun arm and then gets completely ragdolled by the stake and claymores.

    3. Only way I could see "each side" choosing -assuming you didn't just accidentally say that instead of "defender side" as the rest of the post seems to read that way- would be if the first maim is defender-side and the rest are attacker choice.

      This way while still in good shape the defender can choose what to first give up, but afterwards the attacker has the advantage.

      Or maybe whoever has the most parts left gets to choose, ties going to defender?

  19. Having some issue with Assistant Wording:

    You gain a subpilot trained to use the Micromanage
    Action during your Turn, and they have their own Action to
    use that way, though it uses your Genre Points.

    Does this mean that it uses 1 Genre point to Micromanage or does it mean that it just uses your Genre points to use Genre Powers?

    1. The latter. Consider the confusion noted for the next fixup.

    2. Wait. What?
      Wasn't that line referring to the fact that the assistant has a genre package for you to pick from?
      If micromanage with assistant costs a GP the Energy problem just got worse than most of us seemed to be assuming in the Pump-me-up thread

    3. Ah one more wording issue,

      When you create a Remote Weapon, you choose whether
      it is Speedy or Hardy

      Does this mean upon deployment of the weapon on the field or when you create it from custom weapon list?

  20. Regarding Micromanage, I mean the latter, "it just uses your Genre points to use Genre Powers".

    Similarily, the answer to the Remote statblock question is also "the latter", as in, chosen upon creation.

    1. Oh hey your play example still states that Penetration needs to be rolled. Just a heads up!

    2. Also one of my players wants to double check if Tension is added to penetration, though I suppose it's only added to accuracy.

  21. You would be correct in that it only adds to Accuracy. And I was sure I had changed the examples. Oh well, thanks for the tip.


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