June 11, 2013

Another Update for Good Measure

No big rewrites this time, though there's a good number of tweaks toning down the mechanics more prone to being exploitable and tons of clarifications for rules that weren't too clear. Also with this one update we have a number of additional goodies, including:

-A Grayscale version of the game for ease of printing.
-Editable Pilot and Mecha Sheets in PDF form.
-A printable PDF of Ability Cards to reference the rules text of Powers and Weapons and whatnot without checking the book.
-A Mapmaker PSD file to aid in creating your own maps.

All are in the Downloads and Links section.

The Grayscale version is something I have been owing people since basically forever, and it comes with the Ability Cards PDF. Those are functional and not particularly good looking - I chose to skip out on making the cards fancy and colorful or giving them their own art because, well, they need to be printed out.

The new Editable Sheets are much like the other ones but page-sized so you can download and edit them then print them out or just upload your own edited copy for online use.

Lastly there's the Mapmaker PSD (PSD stands for PhotoShop Document, which requires Adobe Photoshop) which is a simple file with Hex and Square grids overlayed on top of example maps made to fit a Letter-sized page if you choose to print it. It is also bundled with two transparent grids (Hex and Square) in PNG format if you would like to take them to another image editor program of choice.

And now, for the Changelog.

General Changes

-Typo fixing, etc. The Enhancements section for Mecha had costs in PP. Seriously. I had to laugh when I found out about that one.

Character Creation

-Limited the number of Enhancements Characters can get to three per Episode Arc.
-Masterwork Tools may now be used as Proxies if applicable.
-Clarified when precisely might Backup Bodies be used.
-Clarified there can't be two instances of Come at me Bro on the same side
-Clarified that Hidden Power can't give you more of something you cannot possibly get more of.
-Buffed Got Your Back and Retroactively Prepared.

Mecha Construction

-Limited the number of Enhancements Mecha can get to three per Episode Arc.
-Increased the limit of Archetypes to 3. However, now Sub Units beyond the first take up Archetype slots. That means you can have 3 of one type and 1 of the other or 2 and 2. This counts your starting Archetype.
 -Sub Units can no longer be combined into one godly Sub Unit.
-Assistant no longer grants Genre Powers.
-Sidekicks cost 5 more UP but can now be repaired at the beginning of your Turn.
-Tweaked Stealth Field a little.
-You can attack while docked to a Base Unit.
-Small buffs to Incinerator, Divine Wind, and to Weapons with the Defective quality -Tweaked Micro Missiles and Nega-G Rounds to make them more attractive.
-Nerfed Disruptor Cannon
-Implemented a limit of one Custom Weapon with a cost less than 5 at a time. You can get around this limit during the initial construction of your Mecha and take multiple cheap Custom Weapons as long as they all have different Costs and no drawbacks whatsoever.
-You can now Enhance Custom Weapons that cost 1-4 until they cost 5.

Playing the Game

-Clarified that any abilities that automatically roll 10 ignore Advantages and Disadvantages entirely.
-Expanded the Time Management sidebar with rules for taking longer in exchange for Advantages.
-Assist cannot be used with area of effect Weapons any longer.
-You can now move after taking a Suppress Action but you take the other half of the Damage it would have dealt.
-Clarified that you cannot escape a Duel through Engaging a different target.

Running the Show

-Toned down Nanoskin Shell and Telekinetic Strike.
-Buffed Hypersonic Striker with the ability to hit and run.
-Changed 3G-Bomb to be a superweapon with high base stats and huge radius.
-Streamlined Payback to use the Damage taken as a workhorse.

And here I was all happy and content thinking 1.7 would be the last one, what with nothing being inherently broken. And then some really embarrassing editorial mistakes happened and I figured you know what might as well touch things up some more. Will there be more changes? If there are, they won't be for several months down the line, because I have a lot less time these days and anything that needs a change would require a large rewriting.

So about the changes proper, for the most part anything that isn't a clarification or a buff is a limitation to just how much you can stack up some of the best options in the game. Sub Units, Enhancements, and Cost 1 Weapons all fit this criteria.

I discussed previously limiting Enhancements to 5 per Arc previously, which was okay... In that it did not really change much. By making it a limit of three per Arc though now they have a considerable opportunity cost, and you have to weigh up whether you want the cheap ones or the good ones more carefully. Mathermatically speaking, a top of the line character will (assuming the guidelines for power level are being followed) not go over fifteen Enhancement total.

That is a big change from not having a limit to Enhancements (other than UP) at all. Fifteen Enhancements is, roughly, a 50% increase in power and is enough to top off three Attributes - or to get +2s to half your Attributes and a +3 to the other half. Either way it is a lot less exploitable and encourages grabbing more toys both as Pilots and Mecha rather than just going for the boring but reliable high numbers.

Custom Weapons under 5 UP are limited to only one of at a time normally, but there's a way around it in a new sidebar (More Weapons for Less, Page 80) that lets you take up to four Weapons for 10 UP total while making a character. Weapons made through this alternative rule may not have drawbacks, making them useful but far from abusive.

Sidekicks can now be repaired mid-battle in exchange for Energy and an Action! That makes them more expensive too, but they're less a waste of points the moment someone looks at them funny. They're still powerful, giving you the equivalent of an extra Turn in a way, but now they cost upwards of 10 UP at a time. Repairing them more than once gets progressively more costly and there is a limit to how many Sub Units you can get now too so it works out.

On Stealth Field, it basically had no drawback if you chose to keep it active while having 0 Energy remaining and that was Not Okay. Now if you can't pay for the Energy cost, you take extra Damage. That it allows energy-draining then comboing an overconfident enemy to death is cool, though I frankly do not expect the extra Damage to come up often - The change is only there so it isn't just free Disadvantages once you're out of juice.

Everything else has already been discussed more or less at length in the previous posts, I think. Well, the Time Management thing didn't but I just forgot to write anything about it and there really isn't much to say anyway. If you have the time for it, you can trade speed for Advantages when it comes to Extended Tests. Pretty obvious stuff.

That's it for now.


  1. The no low-cost weapon limitation and no-drawbacks thing is a little unclear: Is it automatically "No weapons can have drawbacks if you make more than one at character creation that cost 4 or less"? Does this only apply to the second weapon crafted and onwards that's worth less than 5? Is it possible to enhance and give them drawbacks later once most of them break 5?

    No idea how you could give Blast to most inexpensive customs there, as you can't give it a drawback to bring it below 5.

    Another issue, particularly now with these limitations, is the max of one each of remote, slow, one-shot and Technique. The Specific Weapons already use these up:
    melee: All-Out, Gespenst Kick and Radiant Fisting are all techniques, and Technique's the only available 'one-per' drawback in the customs.
    ballistic: Sentry's a remote, Resonance Cannon is a Technique, Armor Break's a Slow.
    missiles are hit almost as hard as melee, with two Slow and two One-Shot options in the specifics.

    With the numerous limitations now on having cheaper weapons, is there really a reason to disallowing someone who wants to have both Bombardment AND Interference Cloud, or Resonance Cannon AND Shining Finger?

    I'd increase that limit to two, myself. A pair of different "slow" weapons you're forced to alternate between could be rather 'ikaruga' in style and make for a bit of a theme.

  2. More Weapons for Less applies to all Weapons under 5 but only during the creation of the Mecha, after that normal rules apply.

    The only Blast you can get that way is Missile for 3, yes. Perhaps I should have added that to the example. Consider that with those four Weapons you can:

    -Cover every Weapon type.
    -Have a Weapon in every Area.
    -Get a cheap Remote.
    -Get a cheap (Missile) Blast.
    -Get a Weapon with longer range than the norm.

    Pretty much the only thing you cannot do with this alternate rule is make them top-of-the-line powerful... Which they wouldn't be anyway because they cost less UP. That said, you -can- make them stronger with UP down the line if you want to do so.

    The limitations on abilities are because of their power level, multiple Remotes are overwhelmingly powerful and both of the named One-Shots are strong enough they are meant to be exclusive from one another, for starters.

    Even Custom One-Shots have high enough stats that one should be wary of them. Unleashing a barrage of One-Shots and then doing it -again- after reloading them all is what killed the old Archetype that let you fire them twice in the first place. The way it is right now, at least they can only do one thing even if they are strong.

    Techniques are finishers, and they basically have no drawback if they are used this way - once you're done, you can just move on to another target and still get the Tension bonus. Having more than one would not only detract from their flavor as big signature finishers but also make it possible to throw them all over the place disregarding non-Technique weapons.

    Having a pair of Slow weapons you do not mind alternating does also take away the drawback aspect. It basically turns Slow into free points. Granted, they're the least exploitable of the bunch, so having multiples could turn out to be okay in the end.

    Two Techniques could also turn out to be okay as long as they use Energy or take a bit of effort to set up. It is the continuous spam of a deadly one-two combo to sweep Grunts all day long that has me concerned for the most part.

  3. Perhaps its just a measure of our gm having taken a few too many pages out of SRWJ then, because we run VERY low on stuff midway through a battle far too often.

    The One-Shots, for example. I'm pretty sure the mook waves are getting made with three or four bombardment strikes in mind; I find my smartbomber significantly lacking in giant AoE ammo but I can see where you're going in many other cases for it. I gotta take it, but I'd have loved to instead have had an interference cloud for the nastier guys later in a battle.

    Two weapons, sharing those three reloads ['last ditch', given what it is now, also affecting just one by sheer "you only have one" changes] wouldn't be too bad I always figured. Just, more variety [and two five point weapons paid for splitting half the shots each]

    How about, for slow and technique: You can have two, but they have to have:
    -Different Weapon Type
    -If one is a Specific, the other must be a Custom and vice-versa
    -They must have either different energy costs or rangebands.

    The idea is to allow switching up, without just "two weapons without the drawback", not that buying two weapons just to bypass the -1 of Slow is the most efficient use of points.

  4. Generally speaking two Grunts are a match for 1 PC, this changes depending on how each is built and whether or not they are deployed all at once or there's waves of reinforcements, but that is the general idea.

    If the Grunts are built to maximize their lifespan, odds are they all have energy-based defenses and increased threshold, making it likely to get grindy against pretty much everything. You're going to need to use Powers aggressively to make up the difference.

    The conditions to Technique and Slow weapons sound alright, and I don't get the feeling that I'm missing any dangerous combinations, though they are very restrictive and add a lot of verbiage, leaving me unsure of canonizing them.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.