June 5, 2013

This is not a Rules Update post.

I got delayed with a few exploitable rules issues that needed handling, plus life getting in the way of explaining all of it in a proper blog post. On the plus side, I've gone over everything so many times by now that if there are any editorial mistakes left I will be surprised.

(I actually won't be surprised, I will just shake my head a little and sigh)

Now though I've got the chance and energy so I might as well discuss what exactly are the rules concerns that delayed the update. Issue one is that there needs to be a limit on how many cheap Custom Weapons you can have. Issue two is that Enhancements need a limitation on how many you can purchase early on. Issue three is yet another adjustment/clarification to how stacked Advantages and Disadvantages work.

Let's get to it.

Limiting Custom Weapons

Custom Weapons are alright as is, assuming you're not actively trying to abuse them. They are the bread and butter to the premade ones' silver bullets and build-arounds. Plus, they can be used to fill up space if you've got spare UP left thanks to their optionally lower cost. This is good.

The bad part is that there is nothing in the rules stopping you from packing only 1 UP Weapons and just leaving them there, spending the UP on Enhancements to buff up your offense that way instead. Suffice to say this is not their intended use, so adjustments need to be made.

Obviously there cannot just be a limit of one Custom Weapon of each type because not only would that not really solve the issue (you can still cover pretty much every angle with just one of each type, after all)  it would also make it impossible to represent anything that has a rocket punch and a sword

The simplest way around it is to make it so you can only have one Custom Weapon that costs less than 5. You can still use them to fill space and represent non-gimmicky weapons, you just will have to pay full price for all but the last of them that you get.

There is another way though, and a more complicated one at that: You cannot have more than one Custom Weapon if the one you have costs 1 UP, should you want to have two they have to cost at least 2, and if you desire three then they need to be 3 UP each. And so on and so forth. This one does not solve the issue itself, but mitigates it considerably and allows more freedom in weapon loadouts.

Odds are the former will be the official one, but the option is there to use the latter.

Limiting Enhancements

Attributes are the core of any character and mecha, so it is no surprise that Enhancements are powerful stuff. They are also cheap, because Upgrades and Weapons are expensive and you need to spend your UP on something. Because of that they can be used to mitigate the weaknesses of your starting Chassis or ramp up their existing strengths.

With the cheaper Enhancements out there, it is possible to do both at once from the start. It is not much of a big deal on its own right now, but coupled with the Custom Weapons exploit it is borderline ridiculous. Even with that one solved, I figure I can apply a relatively benevolent limitation just in case. You should be able to do one or the other, but not both.

You can purchase up to any 5 Enhancements with a new character, and may get up to 5 more per each Episode Arc. This works well with the last change in that it frees up more UP to spend in Weapons early on and should not negatively affect anyone who wasn't ignoring Upgrades altogether. There is not much to say other than that, really.

What about Advantages and Disadvantages now?

There are a few abilities that eschew dice rolls entirely, mostly Weapons that automatically get a 10. These exist to provide a way around enemies that have ludicrously high Evasion and stack Disadvantages to hit them. Some Bosses, for instance, can be downright untouchable through normal means that way, so having a few of these Weapons around (plus One Shot, One Kill) is good.

And they do work pretty well at countering the former! The latter, though? Not so much. Mostly because stacked Disadvantages can be converted to extra difficulty, making an automatic roll of 10 inadequate. I will be adding a clarification to the Advantages and Disadvantages section stating that anything that eschews dice rolls to get a specific result ignores both Advantages and Disadvantages entirely.

Micro Missiles are getting a small touchup as a consequence of this. They will automatically roll a 10 from now on, no longer benefitting from Advantages in the form of a static bonus, but neither will they be penalized from Disadvantages.

That is pretty much it. Hopefully this will be going up on Sunday, but it might have to be during the week.


  1. Regarding custom weapons vs enhancements: Part of the problem is that the cheapest enhancements cost as much as the basic accuracy and penetration upgrades of a weapon.

    Basically, because custom weapons start with their stats so low, and because you may not actually even HAVE the drawbacks required to get a weapon down to 5 or less unless you for the most part left those stats alone, then until you've bought your first few enhancements, there's really no reason you should be dumping points into a single weapon's accuracy or penetration bonus.

    Not necessarily a bug or feature, more of a design... aspect? Essentially, if one's smart, they'll get the basic all-around values of their unit up before trying to specialize. Kind of like how in SRW you'd often grab the first one or two level-ups of all categories, given getting one upgrade everywhere was pretty much the same cost as getting just one of them two higher.

    Still; because of the lack of drawbacks or points to work with in custom weapons, it isn't as though you'll be able to upgrade those weapons much in power later.

    If you have to have a limit, then I'd suggest something in the middle:
    -Initially you can only have a single weapon costing below 4.
    -For every weapon of value 5, you can have an additional custom weapon of value below 4.

    So someone with high cost weapons has no problem: a 4-cost weapon is a solid piece of hardware; you're not throwing that away. If you want more 1 point wonders, you're going to have to at least purchase a few big guns or premade weaponry.

    On Enhancements: Seems alright a change. Pretty harmless for the most part.

    Adv/Disadv: decent change; the missiles really needed it. Rolling a 6 before adv/disadv wasn't all that good due to range [how are these for kiting, again? They're certainly made for chargers since the 'mobile' upgrade no longer exists] and their other advantages falling often quite short of what you wanted that reliability against.

    Looking forward to the new version, that's for sure.

  2. I'm open to suggestions for finding a suitable middle ground but I don't think that one is it. Effectively you can still get two weapons for 6 UP, which becomes four at 12 UP, and six at 18. It escalates out of hand pretty quick. Thanks for the feedback anyway though.

    Perhaps if you can only have one custom weapon of each -cost- that isn't 5, but that still allows 4 Weapons at 10 UP and is rather... Gimmicky. For lack of a better term. Only one below 5 at a time seems to be the safest method in the end.

  3. How is it gimmicky?

    Besides, there are mecha with a ton of weapons (Mazinger and Strike Freedom come to mind), so why make it so prohibitive to replicate them?

    1. Just wanted to clarify that I meant "Gimmicky" in the sense that the 1-2-3-4 costing limits what you can do with them in ways that might end up being repetitive.

  4. Under what I'd suggested, you could have as many 4-5 point weapons as you wish, but to get a second 1/2/3pt requires a five point, guaranteed. Even under "one 1pt per 5pt weapon" you can have two weapons for six points [1 and 5].

    However, a lot of custom combinations, I find, get me 4 or 6, requiring a bit of toying around to get a five. Perhaps its just my style, or the fact that I get annoyed seeing a range of 7 or 9 instead of 6/8/10, but I find a lot of designs net me four points, lest I start diving into +penetration and some drawbacks. The main "cheapness" you were worried about seemed to be the one and two pointers, thus putting the "one past the first per five point weapon" limitation on the 1-2-3pt models.

    On average a 1pt weapon is either quite weak [head vulcan types] OR only cheap because its a one-shot or technique. Having a handful of one-shot weapons isn't necessarily bad; certainly its own style, but not necessarily better or worse, let alone "optimized" as, say, having a single untouchable high value weapon you've built your abilities around that's in an expansion frame.

    Boss Borot is another example of being filled with crap weapons.

    An alternative suggestion would be "1-3pt weapons cannot be more than 1/4 of your total weapons value, rounded up" or something in that style.


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