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Author Topic: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3  (Read 23164 times)

NightmareSteel

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #30 on: 13 March 2011, 01:33:38 »
Jackmc- I still play traveller.  1st ed.

Steelraven- In the old days of Traveller, SOP was to roll up right around a hundred characters, and use the one that was neither dead nor full of suck.  About 40% of characters died before having the opportunity to become useful, about 40% of characters never became useful, and about 20% of characters died after finally becoming useful.

Note that those add up to 100%.  That's because (assuming the dice gods hated you as much as me) less than .5% of characters were both not-suck and not-dead.

And that's just in character creation.  Before rolling for the possibility of psychic potential, which could also kill you, and usually just ended in more suck.

I have never played another game that hated players so perfectly, and was still fun.   {>{>

SteelRaven

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #31 on: 13 March 2011, 01:44:37 »
 [wildandcrazy] I'll stick with crazy GMs to make my games crazy stupid

true story during a custum game of Zombies!!!:
"You rolled snake eyes, you drop the can of Gasoline and it explodes..."
"...what?"
"...yeah, and now your out cold, covered in third degree burns and zombies hord thinks you smell like BBQ as they shamble towards you from all corners of the town..."
"...WHAT!?"
"...Yeah, lets see if your team mates are on fire."
"...  #P "

GMs make the game... for better or worst.
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Kamov

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #32 on: 13 March 2011, 02:40:25 »
MW2 is a fine RPG.  The fact that you could create a character who was actually good at what he did was a welcome change from other games.  It's true that you wanted high stats, but that's the case with a lot of games.  I don't understand how a game is better because you fail more skill rolls and there are fewer things your character can do successfully.

You know, if that's a problem, you can just add more power to your characters.  I've played countless D&D games that didn't start the PCs at 1st level.  Point-buy systems make it even easier, since you just get allotted more points to spend.
(The above writing is entirely my opinion based upon my own incomplete knowledge of life, the universe, and everything beyond it and should be taken as such although I don't want to tell you what to do, because that's your right and your freedom to choose your own opinions and ablah blah blah legalese etc etc)

Reaver

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #33 on: 13 March 2011, 02:44:53 »
MW3rd had three big problems:  the character rolls could hopelessly wreck your character if you already had an idea (I've had to completely restart characters after my planned mechwarrior lost his hearing and multiple limbs through a series of catastrophic rolls), power seep made characters from the Federated Suns and Lyran Alliance way way more powerful than characters from early FM's, and it took forever to increase anything that was not a skill ranked +3 or lower.

While each of these can be fixed, it makes the system difficult and unwieldy.  I've found, for instance, that the system works well with an intermediate "buy back" stage, where you simply pool up your earned advantages and traits, start deleting a bunch of them while at the same time writing out the inevitable lost limbs and transit disorientation syndrome you've picked up along the way, keeping only the traits you want to keep.  After years of practice, I can usually create well-fleshed regular or veteran pilots with a variety of different interests, which serves my rp needs.  That being said, the formulas used to scale point buys were just obscene, and resulted in it taking years of fighting once a week every week to get that veteran pilot to elite status, or for that matter raise his manual dexterity by one. 
The Federated Suns.  Exporting freedom, whether we have it or not, whether you want it or not.
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Ice_Trey

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #34 on: 13 March 2011, 04:03:00 »
I didn't have that problem after my first two or three (N)PCs, but I stuck to straight point buys. Are you using the life modules or the point-buy?

The module system

However, the book strictly says that the point buy system is recommended for the creation of NPCs. It's an add-on, rather than the main method.

...if you follow the modules, the main way, then character creation is slow. The main method, however slow, I'd still rather my players use. The largest portion of time is chewed up by picking starting inventory. If I'm making NPCs, I'm just pulling numbers out of my butt and/or basing things on what my PCs already have in terms of stats, as is recommended in the GM'ing guide.

massey

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #35 on: 13 March 2011, 11:15:29 »
You know, if that's a problem, you can just add more power to your characters.  I've played countless D&D games that didn't start the PCs at 1st level.  Point-buy systems make it even easier, since you just get allotted more points to spend.

Or I can play MW2 and not worry about it. ;)

I like MW2.  The combat system works, and that's really all I need in an RPG.  Yes, it's easy to make every character an awesome pilot.  Reflexes and Intuition of 6 and you're set for most stuff.  But MW4 is easy to cheese too.  7 levels of gunnery/piloting is quite cheap, and makes you an effective 0/0 in Battletech.  Fact is you can start with 10 levels in each, and then buy natural aptitude (which works the same as it does in MW2), which is worse than anything you can do in MW2.  The rest of your stuff will suck, but you'll be a monster in the mech.

I can make powerful characters in MW4.  You just have to jump through so many hoops, that character creation takes forever.  The real way to power up in the game lies in the life modules.  Take modules that give you disads you can live with (enemy is great, glass jaw is bad), because you'll be keeping them.  Go for ones that give lots of disads, because it means you'll get lots of points in exchange for them.  Try to balance the points you gain in skills so that you don't quite reach the threshold of actually gaining a level in most of them (interest: arts?  screw that!)  That way when you optimize at the end, you just get those points back.

I built a starting character with a medium mech, 4/5 gunnery/piloting, stats that weren't atrocious, and had 10 levels each in title and landholdings.  It also took me about two hours to get his life modules correct.  MW2, on the other hand, I can build a decent character in about 5 minutes.  It's much easier, and my character doesn't die the first time he gets shot.

Jackmc

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #36 on: 13 March 2011, 13:16:02 »
The main method, however slow

This is a place where the burden really falls upon the GM and any assistant(s) he may have.  IF you become intimatley familair with the system, module-driven charac gen isn't all that slow.  True it's not goign to beat old school D&D's "6 dice rolls and you're done" method but it should run about average for point-buy systems.

You can help yourself become familiar with the system by using it to generate your NPC's.  On any given week, I generate 4-8 NPC's this way, and thus I've come to know what combination work best for a given character and perhaps more importantly know what choices will salvage a cahracter whose backstory takes them through mdules that are far less than optimal.

Also, if you have a little time you can shave a lot of the fustration of players building characters by redoing the life modules in an easier to read format in a larger font.


Quote
The largest portion of time is chewed up by picking starting inventory.

To be fair, any game that does't give totally prepackaged gear kits suffers from this and ATOW suffers less than most because you know what the standard issue gear is for almost every general character type.

Again this is another place a GM can speed up char gen by creating "cheat sheets" that list standard gear packages.


-Jackmc


Dread Moores

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #37 on: 13 March 2011, 13:37:06 »
I'd definitely say AToW out of the available official BT RPGs. I personally found MW2 incredibly broken by being too simplistic, MW3 overcomplicated, and AToW still a bit more complicated but just about on target. Tastes will obviously vary though. One thing, don't treat point buy as optional for just NPCs. Point buy offers a great deal more flexibility for players (and is faster), and as a GM, I want the players to make the character they want to play. Then again, most of my players come from Shadowrun or White Wolf backgrounds, where point buy is always the preferred. (I realize some folks used priority system in SR 1-3, but I just can't imagine why.)

Sartris

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #38 on: 13 March 2011, 17:37:24 »
MW3 made for some tragic (hilarious) character outcomes.

In one campaign, I ended up with a former Death Commando with ~30 skills.  My friend ended up with a one-armed backwoods illiterate whose only redeeming quality was that he could drive.

monbvol

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #39 on: 14 March 2011, 01:26:42 »
AToW is easily the superior RPG for my money.  I have never had a problem with a mechwarrior going unconscious and since we use the reduced lethality rules for armor our group hasn't had too many problems in that regard either.

Character generation is a breeze compared the CBT:RPG/MW3ed.  I have yet to take more than half an hour to create a character unless I was stalling/goofing off for AToW.  CBT:RPG/MW3ed I was lucky to get a character done in under an hour unless I was making a very young character or was allowed to fiddle with the life paths outcomes as desired.

For all the complaints I see my group has had zero trouble with any of them and two members are pretty math adverse.

Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #40 on: 14 March 2011, 11:13:29 »
MW3 made for some tragic (hilarious) character outcomes.

In one campaign, I ended up with a former Death Commando with ~30 skills.  My friend ended up with a one-armed backwoods illiterate whose only redeeming quality was that he could drive.

With just one arm?  What a heart-warming story.  [/The Cat]

Tempus

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #41 on: 14 March 2011, 22:23:59 »
Oh hell no.  MW2 is so basic an RPG, it can barely be called a game.  I've played a lot of RPGs in my day, and only Earthdawn is worse than MW2.  Al you had to do in MW2 was put your point sin to your Attributes.  Skills didn't matter at that point because you could almost default on everything successfully.    It was very easy to come out of Character creation in MW2 with a 1/1 or better pilot that still had other skills.  Might not have much cash, but you only needed a good pistol...


ABSOLUTELY Dead on the mark.   The Balance in MW2 was horrid.. it was ALL attributes, then Traits, Then skills..  buy as many attributes as you can, then buy more if you can find a way.  then get natural apt, and combat sense.


The game in 'theory' only had balance, and in character gen you could in theory build a decent character by doing something like putting skills and  traits first, and then attributes..    Yet every single sample character was build with either 30 or 27 points of attributes.  and if you tried to make someone off less than 27  the character sucked, would always suck, and their was no way around it.


Then there was the issue with advancement..  which was too fast.   


All you had to do was build an attributes monger, plunge all your exp into a few critical skills, and you went from good to godlike in no time at all.. (there was btw no 'zero' unless you built with less than 30 points of attributes.    Clan characters were just SICK and could easily end up with a base 'to hit' roll of -2 or more once some exp was spent on skills   on a 2D6 curve the difference between 4 and -2 is just sick..


Our group created something like 10-15 PAGES of house rules to try and re-balance and 'fix' the game, including about 3 or 4 pages with an alternative system for improving attributes after the fact if you'd started out with less than 30 points of attributes.


ATOW is not perfect, still suffers from the steep 2D6 curve and ability for characters to rapidly go from zero to hero (but not godlike thanks to caps on conversion, and not as fast as MW2).


The other issue I have with ATOW is that attributes don't matter enough.. (for proof of that review all characters posted by players to the boards here, and notice how many have straight 4's for all their attributes) 


Frankly, if you don't like FASA's attempts at RP, the use gurps, d20, or Hero system. 


I'd rather take advantage of the available materials etc, so we play AToW, but with some tweeks to make it attributes matter just a little more, and 2D10 based (and use 2D10 rolls to hit in bt side, but 2D6 for location, cluster charts etc.) which flattens out the skill progression just enough that it keeps things under control.

C4 trumps 4 Aces

Nargrakhan

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #42 on: 15 March 2011, 13:59:25 »
The other issue I have with ATOW is that attributes don't matter enough.. (for proof of that review all characters posted by players to the boards here, and notice how many have straight 4's for all their attributes)

This. This. This. This.

It was brought up when the game was in "public beta" and comments against it were evidently ignored (or firmly defended). No offense: but a flaw is a flaw is a flaw. Now don't get me wrong, I like using AToW, but the attribute -/+ thing is poorly planned IMHO. Of course there was a way to have untrained characters do some pretty absurd things. In fact, it was better at first to create a character going off pure attributes, because he/she could do better than a trained character with "average" attributes. It was excused as "natural skill" of course... but having the natural skill to do successful brain surgery on the fly, when you've never touched a scalpel beforehand, obviously was insane.

The reason why you see 4 in attributes, is because you get no real gain with trained skills, having the associated attribute at 5 and 6. The bonus doesn't hit until 7 – which is 300 points above 4.  :o Cheaper to just max out the skill. Also the negative hits at 3 – so 4 is the sweet spot.

In my campaigns, I just house rule that 3 is the average attribute for normal people, because so many characters stay in the 3/4 range so they can have a mech and be at the appropriate military rank. 5 is when you start being exceptional... 7 is the inhuman mark. The -1 penalty hits at 2. Not exactly the best fix... but it's what my GM experience has been showing works best for my players, so they don't lack in diversification.

monbvol

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #43 on: 15 March 2011, 15:04:24 »
I don't mind seeing a lot of 4s for attributes because it is described as what most people would equate to in AToW terms.  That said I'm not against the idea of having the positive modifiers start at 6 instead of 7.  Considering how many skills can become affected by such a change it is something I still have to toy around with.

Tempus

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #44 on: 15 March 2011, 21:36:27 »
This. This. This. This.

It was brought up when the game was in "public beta" and comments against it were evidently ignored (or firmly defended). No offense: but a flaw is a flaw is a flaw. Now don't get me wrong, I like using AToW, but the attribute -/+ thing is poorly planned IMHO. Of course there was a way to have untrained characters do some pretty absurd things. In fact, it was better at first to create a character going off pure attributes, because he/she could do better than a trained character with "average" attributes. It was excused as "natural skill" of course... but having the natural skill to do successful brain surgery on the fly, when you've never touched a scalpel beforehand, obviously was insane.

The reason why you see 4 in attributes, is because you get no real gain with trained skills, having the associated attribute at 5 and 6. The bonus doesn't hit until 7 – which is 300 points above 4.  :o Cheaper to just max out the skill. Also the negative hits at 3 – so 4 is the sweet spot.

In my campaigns, I just house rule that 3 is the average attribute for normal people, because so many characters stay in the 3/4 range so they can have a mech and be at the appropriate military rank. 5 is when you start being exceptional... 7 is the inhuman mark. The -1 penalty hits at 2. Not exactly the best fix... but it's what my GM experience has been showing works best for my players, so they don't lack in diversification.


Agreed.   we use 2D10, and this is one of the reasons..  we were able to tweak the adjustments just a little and not have it affect things so much that it was back to 'all attributes all the time'    The broader range of the dice allowed us to decide that   4-5 is basically average 6-7 is +1, 8-9 is +2 and 10 is +3 (I think that's what we used, it's from memory)  and something a bit similar on the downside. 


A few of the things we do in mech combat depend on attributes also, (in part) so again a bit more balance (we hope)




The big issue for any BT rpg is that it has to be compatible (almost always) with BT.. which uses 2D6..  Once you accept that, you accept a lot of other limitations that go with it, including a very steep advancement curve.   The mechanics of the numbers are just to limiting and there's really nothing you can do about it no matter how creative you are.   And frankly you run into the SAME problem if you try to adapt any other RPG to bt, unless you run a campaign where nobody pilots a mech.   The only other option is change how you play BT, but that is an even greater form (to most here) of heresy.
C4 trumps 4 Aces

Tslammer

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #45 on: 16 March 2011, 17:32:44 »
For those who don't remember MW 1 avancement was so slow (glacial) that a lot complained or had to award huge amounts of EXP to compensate. Earning EXP was not consistent for each player either.

MW2 strove to fix that and make things simpler and advancement moved faster (to fast it turned out). It was also a rip off of the current version of Shadow Run creation system.  The problem was attributes were to highly valued and post creation to expensive to raise creating a need to get 27-30 points of attributes at creation. MW2 also did not have enough skill diversity for the players to spend EXP on. The MW2 project Tempus mentions went a long way to fixing MW2 so much so I would not have moved to MW3 if we had not found and cannibalized some MW3 solaris rules.

MW3 Character creation was essentially a borrowed page from Cyber punk which is funny considering FASA made Shadown Run. Of the times I used the LP system only once did I have a character I would want to play when they came out the otherside of LP. The points only system was at a serious points disadvantage. Far to many concessions.

MW4 character creation has felt like doing my taxes even with the spread sheets found on the old boards. Its a lot better than MW3 and does not Nanny as much. But we have made quite a few changes to it as well to get it balanced. That and further smoothing of the MW3 Solaris rules combined with 2D10 and we have a very workable system. We have come about full circle from MW2 major edits to a MW4 that needed less edits.

As far as people mentioning how people could have X or Y gunnery or piloting abuses I have to ask where is your GM?

Final comments on the current state of Battletech and Mechwarrior it feels like they adopted just about every house rule they could find and incorporated into the game without enough play testing in an effort to make the game more widely appealing.






« Last Edit: 16 March 2011, 17:48:16 by Tslammer »

Jackmc

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #46 on: 19 March 2011, 20:05:28 »
I don't mind seeing a lot of 4s for attributes because it is described as what most people would equate to in AToW terms. 

Actually a 4 is above average, and a 3 imposes a penalty, so that puts the average at 3.5 (assuming a linear progression).

-Jackmc


Grim_Reaper

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #47 on: 19 March 2011, 20:28:58 »
The big issue for any BT rpg is that it has to be compatible (almost always) with BT.. which uses 2D6..
this is where MW2 rises above the rest. particulary when yousee how damage is recorded directly translates from/to BT's 'mechwarrior damage' on the BT Record Sheet.

personally i dont see what a big issue using 2D6 is but then i dont primarly roleplay. for me its the BT game first and any RP is just to flesh out the guys in the Mechs and MW2 works just fine for that

Tempus

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #48 on: 21 March 2011, 20:42:12 »
this is where MW2 rises above the rest. particulary when yousee how damage is recorded directly translates from/to BT's 'mechwarrior damage' on the BT Record Sheet.

personally i dont see what a big issue using 2D6 is but then i dont primarly roleplay. for me its the BT game first and any RP is just to flesh out the guys in the Mechs and MW2 works just fine for that


In the basic BT game  (correct me if I am wrong) for gunnery 5 was considered 'green', 4 was 'reg' (your average guy) 3 was 'vet' and 'elite' was a 2


In MW2 it was possible to build characters rather easily that would get to zero.


example (again from memory, don't have MW2 next to me right now)  gunnery was  18-(dex+ref)- skill level.   


So, make a top class guy, not 'exceptional' but the top of 'normal' range, with 6 for both dex and reflex.. when he gets to 6 skill, he's 2 stages better (target 0) [rockon]  than an 'elite' (target 2).
Give him a single exceptional attribute and  and suddenly he can get to  [notworthy]  'neg one'   


And really, especially if the character focuses their exp spending, it's pretty easy to advance from a starting point of +1 or +2 skill, up to a 5 or 6 and suddenly be down in the zero range.


Build a 'bloodname capable' clanner with like 7's for dex and reflex, and 'neg two' becomes easily possible. Make it an exceptional clanner, with like 8,7 for dex and reflex and with just a single level of skill the guy is a 2 out of the starting gate, and eventually negative three is possible.


Let me say that again for Emphasis  :o  Negative Three  :o


That means, this guy could be shooting you at long range, jumping, and his chances to hit would be just like a normal 'reg' guy  hitting you flat-footed standing still, at point-blank range.  Unless you've actually played with numbers like this, it's difficult to really truly comprehend what this does to the flavor of the game.  Lets just say zero to hero Demigod in no time flat


The basic problem is that the BT game was never designed for long term campaign along with character progression.  If it had been, it would have used larger number ranges, and dice with more sides to allow for a more linear progression of the character.  It was designed as pretty much a 'tactical' game, but then a bunch of RPG nuts like us said "we want to rpg in this universe"   and it pretty much went off the rails shortly after that..   ;)


If the BT creators had had massive demand for a great rpg game, and they wanted to address that, they would have perhaps changed the main BT game from 2D6 to D20 or 2D10.  Which would allow for a larger range of numbers and more gradual progression of your character.  But that would have massively ticked off the majority of 'tactical' players who don't give a rip about RP, and would not have liked having to change dice and learn all new numbers for stuff.   No big shakes if a majority of the players cared about RP in this universe, as you could have sold the benefits to us.  But unfortunately us RP folks are NOT a giant majority of the players, so the BT folks do the best they can to (with a virtual crowbar and a big mallot) try to fit in an RP game that integrates with the main BT game.  Which AToW does, within limits,do a pretty good job of.  The one big 'gotcha' is a cap on the core MW skills in terms of what numbers will translate over into the BT game.  This eliminates the MW2 neogod players with -2 target numbers), but also places a limit on MW character progression because pretty rapidly you will hit the cap (especially if you have a link bonus) and pretty soon there's no point buying those skills up any higher.   which means you are denied demigod status, but you can still get to 'hero' status pretty darned fast.

C4 trumps 4 Aces

Grim_Reaper

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #49 on: 21 March 2011, 20:49:01 »
Quote
In MW2 it was possible to build characters rather easily that would get to zero.
maybe so but he is going to be completly useless at anything outside teh cockpit. i found you get teh same thing for making a LAM pilot with even just average skills

Quote
Build a 'bloodname capable' clanner with like 7's for dex and reflex, and 'neg two' becomes easily possible. Make it an exceptional clanner, with like 8,7 for dex and reflex and with just a single level of skill the guy is a 2 out of the starting gate, and eventually negative three is possible.


Let me say that again for Emphasis    Negative Three   

negative skills havent been allowed since the origional MW RPG and the only canon character to have any was Morgan Kell (-1 Gunnery)

Tempus

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #50 on: 21 March 2011, 21:56:55 »
maybe so but he is going to be completly useless at anything outside teh cockpit. i found you get teh same thing for making a LAM pilot with even just average skills


Not in my experience.. give them 30 points towards attributes, and make skills the second or third priority..  in MW2 with high attributes everything else was just 'easy'   I can dig out the characters to prove it if necessary, but really would prefer not to since I'd rather leave MW2 to just stay dead for the most part.


I'm part of a group that played MW2 pretty much since it came out till MW3 arrived.. we are INTIMATELY familiar with it's flaws in great detail.


Quote

negative skills havent been allowed since the origional MW RPG and the only canon character to have any was Morgan Kell (-1 Gunnery)


 which puts you right back into the land of 'can't progress due to artificial cap'   what's the point?  everyone else can learn up to skill level 6, getting better each time.   and the max I can go is level 3 or 4?  why?  (game balance, I know, but that's basically one step shy of 'author fiat' and has no logical consistent reason within the game universe itself.)
« Last Edit: 21 March 2011, 21:59:36 by Tempus »
C4 trumps 4 Aces

Carbon Elasmobranch

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #51 on: 22 March 2011, 10:27:36 »
Of late, I've had a crazy idea of adapting the priority system to ATOW.  The 30 Attribute points would be split up amongst eight Attributes instead of six effective Attributes, and skill points would go toward purchasing ATOW-style skills and attendant bonuses. The Attribute maxima would be as per MW2, but with ATOW/MW3's style of affecting rolls.  Advantages would be replaced by a set number of points worth of Traits, and Vehicle would be its own separate trait.

Taharqa

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #52 on: 22 March 2011, 11:10:38 »
So, I what I have gathered is that I should spend $10 and get Mechwarrior 2.  Is that the consensus?

Definitely not a consensus, as you can probably tell at this point. MW2 does have some serious shortcomings, but it is still the closest anyone has come to a good battletech rpg. AToW is a train-wreck IMHO. It has something like 20 pages of life paths that do nothing different than the straight point-buy system, except to force you into ridiculous stereotypes like "all Capellans are xenophobes" and "all Kuritans know karate." It reverses the dice mechanic just to make things complicated when going back and forth from the RPG. It gives you attribute bonuses to skill rolls only when you reach the arbitrary score of 7 or higher meaning that attributes below 7 are functionally equivalent for the purpose of skills. The KO checks are completely out of line with the boardgame. It switched from 2d10 in MW3 to 2d6 but kept the +0 to +10 so that the scale of skill differences completely swamps the RNG. It claims to be Battletroops 2 but combat involves tracking a large number of fiddly bits. It has MW special abilities but the pre-reqs are so ridiculous that your characters will already be munchkins by the time they qualify for them.

I could go on, but I will leave it at that. AToW was a major disappointment for me as I really thought this RPG was going to be "the one." Instead, I have begun to make some significant house-rules to MW2 to address its shortcomings. I will probably be using that for battletech role-playing in the future.

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Jackmc

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #53 on: 22 March 2011, 12:28:28 »
negative skills havent been allowed since the origional MW RPG and the only canon character to have any was Morgan Kell (-1 Gunnery)

They're possible now.  An ATOW character with skill 9+ (8+ with specialization) is in the negatives in BT.

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #54 on: 22 March 2011, 12:52:46 »
They're possible now.  An ATOW character with skill 9+ (8+ with specialization) is in the negatives in BT.

-Jackmc

Or even lower if they have attribute bonuses. Of course, negative skills are an "optional rule" which means that there is no difference between someone with skill 9 and skill 10 in gunnery in vanilla AToW.

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monbvol

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #55 on: 22 March 2011, 12:54:26 »
If I'm working it out right the maximum one can obtain is -7 without specialization and -8 specializing before getting into Special Abilities.  Assuming it is allowed of course.

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #56 on: 22 March 2011, 14:05:16 »
They're possible now.  An ATOW character with skill 9+ (8+ with specialization) is in the negatives in BT.

-Jackmc

Nope, they get capped.  At least by the 'normal' means of translating a character to  BT.  The section on that specifically disallows values (for skill plus link)  over a given size (don't recall from memory, but think it was +5 or +6   If It's really needed I can look up the exact text. 

but yes, the problem with 2D6 for RNG and the range of skill levels swamping it remains.  Capping 'solves' it somewhat going to BT, but inside ATOW it's still busted.   


 That's why our group adapted things to 2D10.   It's fairly easy to do.

1)   targets go from 7,8,9   to 11,12,14
2)  Modifiers go from 1,2,3,4,5,6   to  1,3,5,6,8,10
3)  phase in link bonus a bit earlier at 6-7 = +1  8=9= +2  10= +3 11+ = +4    mirror for 3,2,1 being -1,-2,-3


  I need to spend some time getting all the house rules we have together and then will post them

The BT game changes rather a bit radically in some ways in terms of calculating the 'to hit' numbers but that's really the only major change and from weapon hit location onward is done ala the normal game.    The way we calculate your base 'to be hit' number is based off the MW3 era Solaris book's dueling rules, with a few tweeks.   

One of the things we like about it is that it makes a skilled pilot in a smaller mech a viable foe against larger mechs.  (and there's instances of that in the fluff and books all over the place, but under existing rules it's almost impossible to pull off).  What allows that to be the case is having 'hexes crossed' be a large part of your 'to be hit' value, and capping it at your piloting skill.  The larger number range of 2D10 makes this possible.  It makes a really good pilot in a speedy mech a harder target than a ponderous assault mech with an average pilot.

The other thing we think we've carried off is a fairly good balance between the effect of attributes and skills on how effective you are in combat.   It's not nearly as heavy on the attribute side as it was in MW2 (a HUGE flaw in that system IMHO), but it's not almost entirely resting on skill levels as stock ATOW is.
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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #57 on: 22 March 2011, 14:24:24 »
The other thing we think we've carried off is a fairly good balance between the effect of attributes and skills on how effective you are in combat.   It's not nearly as heavy on the attribute side as it was in MW2 (a HUGE flaw in that system IMHO), but it's not almost entirely resting on skill levels as stock ATOW is.

The problem in MW2 wasn't that attributes mattered too much but that it was too easy to max out. It seems like reasonably good scaling that a 1-point increase in an attribute on a 6 point scale should be equivalent to a 1-point increase in a skill level on a 6 point scale.

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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #58 on: 22 March 2011, 21:06:29 »
The problem in MW2 wasn't that attributes mattered too much but that it was too easy to max out. It seems like reasonably good scaling that a 1-point increase in an attribute on a 6 point scale should be equivalent to a 1-point increase in a skill level on a 6 point scale.


it seems reasonable yes, except when you consider that first of all even that range of 6 is 50% more than the range of skill presented in the original game for Green/reg/vet/elite.  And then consider that skill plus a single attribute combined basically equal the range of the random numbers..  AND that for many things, there were two attributes that factored in.   So it was effectively 2/3 attributes and 1/3 skill   each third with a range of 6  against a random range of 2D6.  Once you run some actual numbers you can see how it starts to just break down.


So take a guy with low attributes, say 2's  his gunnery base target is 14  it's impossible for him to succeed, ever, until he gets trained up to skill level 3  and at that he has a 1:36 chance.   Even trained up to 'master' level in skill, he's a base target of 8  with the absolute highest possible skill level


Now take a guy with high attributes, say 5's  His base target is 8  with no training at all, with one level of training it becomes 7  meaning a little less than a 60% chance of success.  ONE stinking level of skill and he's better than that other guy who is a master skill wise.


The problem is not just that it's too easy to MAX out, it's that it's too easy to MIN out also.   In theory the construction system allowed you to place a priority on attributes ranging from 0 to 4.  In reality if you didn't allocate at least 3, and better 4  to attributes, your character STANK.   Seriously a few of us tried it, and even with max priority to skills,  we were terrible, and we could only advance a little ways, at higher costs, before we maxed out.    If you go through MW2  or the Companion book, and look at every archtype character provided, you will find one thing..  Not a single one, not ONE of them is built with attributes at less than priority 3 (27 points), and quite a lot of them  are build with 30 points of attributes.


If FASA was unable to build even a single archtype character with less than 27 points in attributes, what does that tell you about how important attributes were in that system.


Another way to look at it is this, lets say you are a 'green' mechwarrior  that sounds to me like one or two levels of skill at the most.   So lets say he's an 'experienced' greenie, with skill +2  Now, to make him have a target of 5, which is normal for a 'green' in bt  you have to give him 11 total for dex and reflex..   ELEVEN out of a total range from 2-12 for two attributes added together.  you basically HAVE to come close to maxing his attributes out just to match the regular BT game.   Now, give him a few years and another 4 skill points and he's equal to a vet..  (and trust me, it won't take that many battles or that much exp to raise the skill that far, it can happen pretty fast).


How about someone with just slightly above average attributes?  call it 4's   you start out at skill 1 with a target of 9.. that's like a green at long range in BT terms..  To even GET to green, you need 5 skill  5 out of a total of 6.. JUST to get to be as good as a standard green..  Raise your skill to 6 and tada  at max skill you are a 'reg' and that's as good as it gets unless you bank massive amounts of exp to raise your attributes.


and that to me sums up MW2 in a nutshell.  2 HUGE fatal flaws
  • Character generation is ALL in the attributes  spend on them, your character is great, don't and you stink and will always be hugely behind everyone else and it never gets better.
  • Zero to hero in no time flat.  (assuming you obeyed #1) or zero to zero-1 forever. (if you are in any way 'average' attribute wise)
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Re: A Time for War Vs. Mechwarrior 3
« Reply #59 on: 23 March 2011, 01:48:19 »
Hrm.  I'm starting to wonder whether we could adapt something like Mutants and Masterminds to BT builds.  Obviously converting from d20 to 2d6/2d10 will have to happen, but that struck me as an extraordinarily flexible character creation system.
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