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Author Topic: "Armor" for a Lancer  (Read 1081 times)
Bhurano
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« on: February 13, 2012, 05:28:42 AM »

Hi there,

after our last round a question came up. One of the guys asked if he could use some kind of armor as a "steed" than an actual animal for an lancer. He feels that this change would be approbiate since some regions have reasonable advanced magitek in their hands.

His basic reasoning went the way that with actual gunpowder and energy weapons in the field, sufficient magical knowledge - which is trainable, instead of randomly determined by birth - to field entire units of wizards, airships, some kind of air planes and at least renessaince tech for any major faction it would be murderous for any lancer to go to war in a traditional idea.

So he came up with the idea to equip the lancer with an armor that acts as his "steed". Mostly used as Very Heavy Infantry, Shocktroops, Drop Troops and general Badass Vanguard. Grin

I know it would lead to something in the vein of W40K, but in itself I like the idea and prefer it even to the "vanilla" lancer - for some parts of the current setting.

The simplest solution I came up with until now is to allow the selection of the "Construct" type option and to rule that several stats are derived entirely from the "armor". Stats taken from the "armor" would be movement types and speed, also DR and - if applicable boosts - to physical attributes. The armor would also need to be one step larger than the occupying character/npc.

So any thoughts about it?
As everytime any opinion is appreciated. Smiley
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paddyfool
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2012, 05:57:33 AM »

A few options for steeds which would fit your setting:

1) Stick to a steed and simply have it be mechanical (maybe fluff as a horse-or-other-large-creature-shaped golem; basically, apply the Construct type and maybe the rest of the unborn package to a beasty of your choice).  Which, within the game, would be a very effective option with the mounted combat combat rider feat (AC), since you can have the damage types that the construct would ignore apply to the construct, and the rider can deal with the rest.
2) Cavalry stayed around long after gunpowder, up to WW1 and after; possibly model after a later type of cavalryman than the traditional knight.
3) He could be riding some magebred augmented flying beasty.  Doable with a few terrain feats.
4) He might not be a soldier, but more of a mounted policeman.  We still have them today, after all.

But if you really want the armour, have another look at 1).  Taking a large bipedal construct as the suit, and absorbing damage to the suit first using the mounted combat combat rider feat could represent magitech power armour taking the hits for him.  Leave the NPC on zero competence, no specialist skills except those you can very reasonably fluff as "features", no interests, and either no attacks of its own or some form of autonomous beam (eye, shoulder, chest, whatever) attack.  Give it lots of health, defence, and resistance, a grade or two of tough, and whatever assisted mobility (fast ground move speed, flight, etc.) he'd like.  I haven't done the maths, but otherwise, I think this would do the job just fine.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 07:12:23 PM by paddyfool » Logged
magustoad
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2012, 06:31:34 PM »

Sounds like the Guymelef from Escaflowne.

Big armored steam/magika-driven proto-mecha.

I'd go number 1 if that was the imagery you were going for.

An alternative is give the lancer some setting-based advantage that makes them desirable in the field.  Perhaps the steeds most often used are inherently resistant to energy weapons/whatever is the Big Tech on the battle field.  The fact that they could carry larger munitions on-target (due to steed carrying capacity) and have speed/maneuverability/resistance makes them dangerous to larger targets.

For example: If you were to focus this on airship combat (for giggles) they might fill a role similar to our fighter-bombers now.  

Your skymanta's peculiar energies it uses to fly also have the handy side effect of scattering most any Neem!ium-based directed energy into a harmless light show.  Although rare, your ilk are tasked with many duties from ferrying commando teams through Neem!ium boarding shields to delivering several types of munition on-target.  Leach-limpets are your favorite, draining the powerplants of Aetherships and making them easy prey for capture... of course the Fwakoom!ium-based "Cloudcracker" ship busters are always a crowd pleaser.

For a ground based one imagine a field that causes havoc with some basic tenant of the 'tech.  The guys driving the 'jacks freak out when they see Wylde-cats cav headed their way, for if they get close enough all of their fancy gear goes bonkers.  At best it gets erratic and worst tears itself (and the operator) to bits.

my $0.02
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paddyfool
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2012, 07:27:37 PM »

Just had an idea: one way to do a lighter-weight suit (i.e. not Large Sized) would be as a small-sized PL which "rides" on your character (using the Combat Rider feat again, only this time, the NPC would have it).  Could be worth taking at some point to have a back-up option for tight situations... but you might want to say no if he asks whether the light suit can "ride" his character while his character in turn "rides" the heavy suit.  That way, madness lies.
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Bhurano
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2012, 04:19:00 AM »

@paddyfool

nice ideas. Personally I like the idea that the armour has some kind of built-in-weaponry. That cavalry in other capacities is there is assumed for the setting - as messenger or constables - but not any more. This is because I didn't mentioned the current setup of the setting (which started as a one-shot). Since magicians can be trained there are a bit more of them usable than usual for tasks like combat... which makes horses or most other living animals obsolete on the field of battle.

In a city or other settlements they are still in use as patrols, guards or messengers - they are just more cost-effective than other solutions.

The option with the "magebred augmented flying beasty" Smiley is something I hadn't thought about... I would include that option for those who don't have the resources (knowledge, production or otherwise) to field the Armor in great numbers.

Your idea with the light suit seems interesting... perhaps in the vein of getting some bigger guns in the field or to offer more protection to its wearer - or anything in between or beyond these things.

@magustoad

Yes, that seems like quite the direction.

To elaborate on the tech used on the battlefield it "was" basically 12th to 13th century tech - we just used earth + its history. The gamechanger in this setup is quite obviously magic and another is religion. The first is knowledge and can be learned by anyone (in theory), the second has true power per it's priest and like in history the church wants power over knowledge. Quite a conflict there.

The few wizards on the other hand accelerated some things - like distribution of knowledge, technology and most importantly but easily overlooked social changes. Their sole presence in itself accelerated the technological advances - since anyone who had power clutched to it. And some wizards wanted it to.

So shortly said, some changes came earlier than in our history and there are quite some things just for Rule of Cool - like these armours. Their main purpose is to protect the airships and act as replacements for the heavy cavalry in some sense. The guns in the setting use gunpowder or are just reflavored to dish out force damage as the "energy weapon" variant. Same goes for the grenades.

The style of combat you describe sounds awesome Grin
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paddyfool
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2012, 09:05:02 AM »

Interesting that horses would be so completely obsolete - for better or worse, cavalry were widely used up to and through WWI, and the logistical use of horses as beasts of burden and a means of quick transport over rough ground was still a big feature up to and through WWII (since they could cover rough ground more easily than any equivalent mechanical vehicle... at least until the jeep came along; something for which most nations in that war never had a real equivalent).

What proportion of the military are you seeing as being mages, btw?  10%, 1%, 0.1%...?
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Coyote0273
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2012, 09:36:16 AM »

Cavalry charges only became obsolete with the invention of the German Bliztkreig. They were still in use during the early years of World War II (Russians and Polish used them to little use against German Tanks). And in truth, that was only because the "typical charge" of either infantry or horses were of little effectiveness against fortified heavy machine guns and the heavy armor of German tanks which were unheard of at those times.

So, unless you have both of those already entrenched? Logically, cavalry would still be around. Not nearly as useful, but still there. Especially if you mix and match. Mongol hordes were renown for their horseback archers.. imagine them with energy blasters and it gets even scarier.
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MilitiaJim
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2012, 11:00:55 AM »

The USMC still uses dirtbikes for scouting, and the US Army has updated their cavalry companies to include tanks, helicopters, scout trucks, and infantry fighting vehicles.

The gear of the cavalry changes, the purpose does not.  (See item c.)

cav·al·ry
noun, plural -ries.
1. Military .
a. the part of a military force composed of troops that serve on horseback.
b. mounted soldiers collectively.
c. the motorized, armored units of a military force organized for maximum mobility.
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2012, 11:25:25 AM »

The USMC still uses dirtbikes for scouting, and the US Army has updated their cavalry companies to include tanks, helicopters, scout trucks, and infantry fighting vehicles.

The gear of the cavalry changes, the purpose does not.  (See item c.)

cav·al·ry
noun, plural -ries.
1. Military .
a. the part of a military force composed of troops that serve on horseback.
b. mounted soldiers collectively.
c. the motorized, armored units of a military force organized for maximum mobility.

3rd Armored Cavalry.  Fort Hood, Texas.  There's nothing more awesome to envision than a battalion of tanks rolling in to save the day. lol
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2012, 11:46:35 AM »



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magustoad
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2012, 09:04:27 PM »



Aren't you a little short for an Ultramarine?
</tangent>

Pure mageness makes the "Wyledcat" even more fun... not could the buggers have a null-field (High magic resist) but their proximity makes spellcasters' magic go spectacularly haywire.  

You wouldn't lead them in a charge against 'melefs but that cohort of battlemages is gonna hate life shortly when they get on the scene. Cheesy

Another fun image: Displacer-beast cav anyone?  The whole bloody charge is coming from a differing direction than you see them.  hee hee  

Perhapse a critter that amps its rider's own magick? Kind of a Dragon-lance in reverse thing.  Hellooo tank.

Anyways I'm runnin' my mouth now.  

« Last Edit: February 14, 2012, 09:08:35 PM by magustoad » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2012, 10:00:20 PM »

I'm thinking more like this:



Because an animal-intelligence companion built to serve as a suit of powered armor is pretty much a Battlemech. I've got a local player who's created an unborn lancer with an unborn "power suit" he essentially jacks into to "ride", overriding the low-grade logicworks of the steed with his own while "mounted". Then he added a PL spy drone that's a mechanical gnat with blindsight and telepathy. He *is* the cavalry.
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2012, 01:14:05 AM »

Man you turn your back for one minute and Grey Knights get some awesome toys.  Makes me wish my income didn't suck.

OT: I've played a human with a construct companion that I "rode", worked out fine.  If you really felt up for it you could make a Power Armour B/M/S chain, but I'd only do that if the suits (and specialist training for said suits) were really common in your setting.  Also, if they were common, you should also do up some preset models.  It'd be sort of like buying a Camaro from a dealer - you get the base model (50xp worth) and can add dodads, wingdings and whatnots to it as your budget (XP value) allows.  Something like Scout, Shock, and Support - focus on mobility vs defence and up close damage vs long range firepower.
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Bhurano
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 09:36:53 AM »

@paddyfool

I see around 10% of the military educated with an arcane background - this does only count for the realm which the wizards occupy. The name for the realm is still pending because Imperium Arcanum sounds cheesy. Roll Eyes Odd thing the very existence of wizards might quell any protestant uprising Shocked, since most forces would unite behind the church - for protection against the heretics and power reasons. Currently they are struggling to hold, establish and expand their base of power. They represent not all wizards... just a sizeable chuck who is fed up with the demonisation and burning of their kind.

Gamewise it goes into the direction that these are the "true" wizards in the arcane realm - read those who devote their entire lives to it. Mish-Mash wizards (Rune Knight, Alchemist etc.) are not counted into these 10%. In general the realm of the wizards has many minor magicians - with that specific part I shot for the impression that even minor folks know quite a chunk of magic and some are even practicioners of the arcane arts. Also the nobility is styled after normal nobility, they just happen to be magicians - which gives them an edge over their mundane counterparts (e. g. better education, general higher mental attributes)

Nearly any other realm is holding a grudge against the arcane realm and employ sometimes rogue wizards... but their concentration of wizards never goes over more than 1% of the entire population. Thanks to the Inquisition - who have this time around real witches to burn Smiley - this number might even be less. Mages associated with these other major european powers do so out of fealty, protection, scorn, power or just good ol' plain money.

The elevated position of the church allows them on the other hand to dispatch "special" priest to hamper the wizards effectiveness. Oh and the crusades go this time right into the north of the holy roman empire... which was unstable enough to be taken be the wizards.

The part with the cavalry is interesting... and I will take it in the direction that the wizards realm lacks the horsepower... they will instead employ magitek - like the armor. Tanks or better some crude versions of it might possible on both sides. I reckon that the presence of magic would - even with the church at the handbrakes - force at least the major powers in europe to develop means to counter the primary advantages of the wizards - spellcasting and artificing.

@Coyote0273, MilitiaJim, TheTSKoala, magustoad

Ok, cavalry has to be there... got the message. Grin In worst case just a bit reflavored.
Hmm, why do I imagine Priest who meddle with their power in the evolution of some beasts - and sell these "special" creatures to all the european powers in their struggle against heretics, non-believers and the damn spellslingers. Grin

I would like to see what the wizards do when they are faced with french knights that displace around the battlefield or as resistant as hell. Evil

@Mister Andersen

Awesome picture Shocked... you just need some bolters and chain swords... FOR THE EMPEROR!!! Grin WH40K is just awesome crazy.

@Gentry

That idea is damn cool... a machine that wears a machine that wears another machine Shocked... hilarious and scary as hell. Grin

@Sletchman

I feel with you on that one... it's the only reason I didn't pick up some WH40K models or... an entire army. Smiley On the other hand I am quite clumsy and would probably botch the paint job. Grin

Was your companion the lifeline for your char... effectively a Iron Man suit... or just to scare the hell out of anyone? Smiley

A feat chain for power armour seems sensible... I'll have to ask my group if they feel the need for it. The idea to put up some base models is genius... it gives a new player a place to start and the experienced ones can customize it to hell. Grin
Would probably right to limit the base models to an 40 xp build... and the rest can be invested in custom options right from the bat.
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