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Author Topic: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait  (Read 5190 times)

A. Lurker

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #30 on: 07 June 2014, 01:12:35 »
Hm, yeah, as I suspected, there's the difference between me and Khymerion: if I may refer back to ye olde Magic: the Addiction player typology, I'm Johnny with a side order of Timmy while he's clearly Spike. ;)

Nothing wrong with either preference (I can respect "competitive" players, I'm just not always in the mood to actually play with or against them), but it's the sort of divide that can readily doom a game from sheer assumption clash if it's not hashed out between players (GM included) beforehand.

Acolyte

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #31 on: 07 June 2014, 01:15:38 »
If they joined a large one, that'd be true. They could keep the old trait and maybe transfer it to the new unit.

In the example above they'd lose the trait. As the unit grew, they could give themselves whatever rank they wanted as founding members of the unit. This effectively give them a new Rank Trait. Now, since chargen is finished at this point, no XP is gained or spent for the changing rank. That new rank trait also only applies to the new unit, of course.

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Acolyte

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #32 on: 07 June 2014, 01:23:23 »
Regarding the Vehicle Trait, would you say this is only relevant during the initial character creation process, or throughout  a campaign?

For example:
During character creation, character Bob allocates 400 XP granting him 4 TP in the Vehicle Trait so that he can either own a Light 'Mech, or be assigned a medium Mech. Bob decides he wants to own a light mech and rolls to randomly determine which one.

Later in the campaign, he salvages medium mech.

As the GM, what do you do?

A) Ignore the vehicle trait for the rest of the campaign
B) "Bump up" the Vehicle Trait by 200 XP, so the trait matches
C) Wait until Bob "earns" enough XP before he can use the 'mech

To the OP: I bump the trait up at no cost in XP. Ignoring the trait after chargen is also fine IMO. This is just me, though, but you were asking opinions.

The "premise" of BattleTech fiction does essentially boil down to "anyone who is a main character and needs a 'Mech can get and pilot one". Hmmm...I wonder who the main characters in a BattleTech RPG campaign could possibly be... ;)

It's also quite fine to play Curatis or someone like him. You can have very good game with nary a 'Mech in sight. You might just be doing all the dirty work that Reg Forces don't do.

   - Shane
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion
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My teeth acquire stains
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It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

A. Lurker

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #33 on: 07 June 2014, 01:31:42 »
It's also quite fine to play Curatis or someone like him. You can have very good game with nary a 'Mech in sight. You might just be doing all the dirty work that Reg Forces don't do.

You can do that as long as no one else in the group has a 'Mech either, at least. As soon as some do and some don't, I think things might just get a bit more complicated.

Which kind of segues back into my original point: what really matters is how well the player characters fit together for semi-coherent campaign purposes. How they compare to the NPCs is irrelevant since those get their traits, assets and whatnot from the GM's infinite resource pool without having to ever actually "work" for them anyway.

Acolyte

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #34 on: 07 June 2014, 02:01:15 »
Actually, it works fine so long as the player's without 'mechs can take over some NPC units when the maps and mini's come out. However 'Mechless campaigns are what I was refering to. Take a look at the fiction interspersed within the AToW rulebook. This looks like a pretty good campaign to me.

   - Shane
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion
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Khymerion

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #35 on: 07 June 2014, 03:10:34 »
Hm, yeah, as I suspected, there's the difference between me and Khymerion: if I may refer back to ye olde Magic: the Addiction player typology, I'm Johnny with a side order of Timmy while he's clearly Spike. ;)

Nothing wrong with either preference (I can respect "competitive" players, I'm just not always in the mood to actually play with or against them), but it's the sort of divide that can readily doom a game from sheer assumption clash if it's not hashed out between players (GM included) beforehand.

Spike/Johnny.
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A. Lurker

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #36 on: 07 June 2014, 04:33:47 »

Jimmyray73

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #37 on: 07 June 2014, 10:54:14 »
For traits like rank I'm not giving the points back if they start the game already mustered out, or retire during play. Sure the rank they earned probably doesn't matter so much at the local diner, but if they need to interact with military folks (something that happens fairly often for mercs) you bet it will make a difference.
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Acolyte

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #38 on: 08 June 2014, 06:07:31 »
For traits like rank I'm not giving the points back if they start the game already mustered out, or retire during play. Sure the rank they earned probably doesn't matter so much at the local diner, but if they need to interact with military folks (something that happens fairly often for mercs) you bet it will make a difference.

OK! The colliery to the rule above also applies: if it is an advantage, it`s a positive trait. Leave it. Personally, I`d think that Contacts would more cover what you`re talking about, but each to their own. :) If they retire during game - again, no points back.

   - Shane
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It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

Jimmyray73

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #39 on: 08 June 2014, 07:30:11 »
OK! The colliery to the rule above also applies: if it is an advantage, it`s a positive trait. Leave it. Personally, I`d think that Contacts would more cover what you`re talking about, but each to their own. :) If they retire during game - again, no points back.

   - Shane

The way I tend to run it is that Contacts equal established sources for info and favors, not necessarily military in nature. Rank gives the character an advantage when dealing with other folks of a military bent, and therefore maybe a possibility to cultivate a new contact if they play it right.  It's a subtle difference sometimes though.
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monbvol

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #40 on: 08 June 2014, 10:44:33 »
Rank as written is also supposed to adjust how much a person is paid, even in a mercenary unit.

Acolyte

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #41 on: 08 June 2014, 18:27:43 »
Rank as written is also supposed to adjust how much a person is paid, even in a mercenary unit.

Sure. But if your character is in the AFFC during Chargen and retires, they aren`t getting that income. If they then form their own merc unit, they can take whatever rank they want and gain the income from that - provided the unit has the income for that. Keep in mind, calling yourself a Major when you only have a lance gets you laughed at by most employers. Until you get a rep, that is.

   - Shane
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion
It is by the coffee that my thoughts acquire speed
My teeth acquire stains
The stains become a warning
It is by caffeine alone that I set my mind in motion.

OpsCon

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #42 on: 29 June 2014, 20:52:49 »
I'd actually go one step further and say "don't charge XP for them at all". If these traits have to have a point cost, let that come from a separate pool altogether.

I mean, you wouldn't ask a D&D player to spend attribute points or feat slots on their character's starting wealth either, now would you? ;)

If I ever get to run AToW, I had planned on having Vehicle and other similar traits be 'Squad Only Traits' and have an XP pool for the Squad (i.e. PCs as a whole) to share, and decide as a team how to allocate their heavy military assets. This size of the pool would depend on what the point of the PCs team/squad was (spec ops/spying needs far less hardware than say, a mobile armored merc company).

solmanian

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #43 on: 08 July 2014, 14:55:20 »
In the companion there's the option of "certification". It means that total vehicle traits indicates which vehicles you're certified on. So even though he decided to own the light mech, he's still certified for medium. I'm not sure what's the penalties for driving beyond the certification, probably a -1 penalty to skill roles for every weight class.

it makes kind of sense, you can't switch from a mini to a semi-trailer without some adjustment and training.
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Col Toda

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Re: 'Mech usage and the Vehicle Trait
« Reply #44 on: 10 July 2014, 18:34:02 »
I always thought the the vehicle trait is up to what weight class you can pilot without penalty .
Unless you have enough in custom you will get a mech randomly assigned to you up to the tonnage you are rated for .