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Author Topic: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)  (Read 4698 times)

Tai Dai Cultist

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A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« on: 04 January 2017, 20:01:40 »
Since a thread recently started illustrating how one makes an ATOW character, I got the itch to play with the system again.

I'm showing how flexible the modules can be, even when you're making very similar characters.  It's perhaps very easy to fall into a rut of each player making similar choices, especially when your campaign is a regular house mech unit. Everyone's the same affiliation, everyone's a mechwarrior... there's only so many ways to get from A to B, right? I'm showing how flexible the modules can be, even when you're making very similar characters.  Each PC entirely uses modules that none of the others used!

Mechwarrior #1: The Noble Scion
DC affiliation, Dieron Sub-affiliation. Noble Born, Prep School, Military Academy (Mechwarrior, Analyst and OCS/Officer Fields)
STR 300
BOD 400
RFL  400
DEX 400
INT  400
WIL 400
CHA 500
EDG 100

Positive traits: Connections 2, Property (Small Farm) 1, Rank (Chu-i) 4, Reputation(Honorable) 2, Title (Kuge) 1, Vehicle(Whitworth) 4, Wealth 3, Well Equipped 1
Negative traits: Enemy(Younger Brother) -2, Enemy(Rival Officer) -3, Glass Jaw, Thin Skinned
Skills: Administration +1
Archery +0
Arts/Ikebana +1
Arts/Oral Tradition +0
Career/Soldier +1
Computers +2
Gunnery/Mech +2
Investigation +1
Interest/Classical Music +1
Interest/Dictum Honorium +1
Interest/Military History +1
Language/English +2
Language/French +1
Language/Japanese +2
Leadership +2
Martial Arts +1
MedTech +1
Melee Weapons +3
Navigation/Ground +1
Perception +1
Piloting/Mech +2
Protocol/Combine +4
Sensor Operations +2
Small Arms +1
Strategy +1
Swimming +0
Tactics/Land +2
Technician/Electrical +1
Training +2

The Noble Scion is a greenhorn fresh out of the Academy, but possesses a pedigree worthy of leadership.


Mechwarrior#2: The Upjumped Peasant
DC affiliation, Galedon Subaffiliation. Life Path: Blue Collar, Civilian Job, Military Enlistment
STR  400
BOD 500
RFL   400
DEX  500
INT   300
WIL  500
CHA  200
EDG  400
Positive Traits: Custom Vehicle (Davion RAT) 1, Rank (Talon Sergeant) 5, Vehicle (Rifleman) 6
Negative Traits: Compulsion/Hate Federated Suns -1, Compulsion/Xenophobia -2, Quirk: Cooling System Flaw -3, Transit Disorientation Syndrome, Wealth -1
Skills:
Acrobatics/Free Fall +1
Acrobatics/Gymnastics +1
Administration +2
Artillery +1
Career/Construction +2
Career/Soldier +1
Climbing +1
Comms/Conventional +1
Computers +1
Demolitions +1
Driving/Ground +2
Gunnery/Mech +2
Interst/Kabuki +2
Interest/Pro Wrestling +2
Interest/Combine History +0
Language/English +1
Language/Japanese +0
Language/Swedenese +2
Leadership +1
Martial Arts +1
MedTech +1
Melee Weapons +0
Navigation/Ground +1
Negotiation +1
Perception +2
Piloting/Mech +2
Protocol/Combine +2
Security Systems/Electronic +1
Sensor Operations +0
Small Arms +2
Streetwise/Combine +2
Support Weapons +1
Swimming +0
Tactics/Infantry +1
Technician/Mechanics +2
Technician/Myomer +2

An industrialmech pilot by trade, enlisted in the infantry for a chance at better social status.  Trained as an anti-mech specialist, he captured a Davion Rifleman and has taught himself how to master its differences from a civilian DemolitionMech.

Mechwarrior #3: The Wanted Man
DC affiliation-no subaffiliation. Life Path: Fugitives, Army Brat, Family Training, Tour of Duty
STR  400
BOD 400
RFL   400
DEX  500
INT   300
WIL  400
CHA  300
EDG  300
Positive Traits: Combat Sense, Connections 1, Rank (Talon Sergeant) 5, Vehicle (Panther) 2, Well Equipped 1
Negative Traits: Compulsion/Addicted to Cigarettes -1, Compulsion/Xenophobia -1, Dark Secret (father abandoned Yakuza) -1, Enemy/Slighted Oyabun -2.
Skills:
Career/Soldier +4
Driving/Ground Vehicles +1
Gunnery/Mech +3
Interest/Yakuza +1
Interest/History of Proserpina +0
Interest/Zero-G Dance +0
Language/English +2
Language/Japanese +2
Martial Arts +4
MedTech +3
Melee Weapons +1
Navigation/Ground +2
Negotiation +2
Perception +2
Piloting/Mech +2
Protocol/Combine +1
Sensor Operations +2
Small Arms +2
Streetwise/Combine +2
Survival/Space +0
Tactics/Land +2
Technician/Weapons +2
Zero-G Operations +0

The Wanted Man’s family has been on the run from a Yakuza boss since he was born.  When the family made it to Proserpina, his father hid among the throngs of support personnel for the mech regiment there where he became informally adopted by the mechwarriors.  He didn’t go to a formal mech academy but trained in the pilots’ simulators and even earned a billet among them when he became old enough.  Even though the campaign starts as a newly formed lance, the Wanted Man already has valuable battle experience from the regiment’s many raiding operations.

Mechwarrior #4:  The Absorbed Merc
Independent Affiliation, Merc Subaffiliation. Life Path: Born Merc, Military School, Ne’er-do-well.
STR   400
BOD 400
RFL   500
DEX  500
INT   300
WIL  300
CHA 500
EDG  400
Positive Traits: Extra Income 1, Fit, Gregarious, Rank (Talon Sergeant), Vehicle (Jenner) 2.
Negative Traits:  Compulsion/Addicted to Gambling -1, In For Life (DCMS Company Store), Reputation/Scoundrel -2, Wealth -1
Skills:
Acting +1
Appraisal +0
Arts/Cooking +1
Career/Soldier +1
Computers +1
Disguise +0
Escape Artist +1
Gunnery/Mech +3
Interest/Gambling +4
Interest/Military History +1
Interest/Motorbikes +0
Language/English +2
Language/Japanese +2
Leadership +0
Martial Arts +2
MedTech +1
Melee Weapons +1
Negotiation +2
Perception +2
Piloting/Mech +3
Prestidigitation +1
Protocol/Mercenary +1
Running +2
Sensor Operations +0
Small Arms +2
Streetwise/Combine +1
Survival/Urban +1
Swimming +1

The Absorbed Merc has the most soldiering experience of the lance; unfortunately the majority of his experience is in cons and shady dealings.  His merc outfit fell so far into debt they sold themselves into House service and were subsequently split up and inserted into line regiments.  Maybe, if he’s lucky, he can pay off his share of the debt and be able to retire before he’s too old to truly enjoy retirement.

« Last Edit: 04 January 2017, 21:14:42 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Decoy

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #1 on: 04 January 2017, 21:43:48 »
Question: How green do you intend them to be? They're all P6/G6 except the Merc who is at 5/5

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #2 on: 04 January 2017, 22:01:55 »
Question: How green do you intend them to be? They're all P6/G6 except the Merc who is at 5/5

That's absolutely a very green lance.  The Lieutenant (Chu-i) is fresh out of the Academy.  The heaviest mech is driven by someone who's only ever operated a walking bulldozer before.  Etc :D

But "low" key skills AND low attributes can be seen as a kind of side effect of doing modules in the life path as opposed to a straight 5000 point buy.   You'll have a lot of points forcibly put into all sorts of things unrelated to being a one-dimensional character.  I consider that a good thing, for the RPG :)

I kept the sample PCs in ATOW in mind as I was building these guys.  +4s are rare, and many characters don't even have any.  And they're nonexistent in the piloting & gunnery skills.  +2s and +3s, given the precedent, don't seem so bad for raw, raw nooblings.  Only two character ideas have seen actual combat at all before, and of the two only one has seen combat as a mechwarrior :D

If they were to be used as NPC opposition/rivals for a campaign, one could easily jack up a few key skills to make them as challenging as desired for the PCs.  I didn't post the exact XPs for each skill, but in all cases but the Noble Scion the skills didn't get optimized down to the minimum available threshold.  Points could be scraped from non-combat skills to plausibly hit the 120 or 170XP threshold (for +4 or +5 skill) for at least one of Gunnery or Piloting, without touching attributes or traits.

One of my regrets in these builds, btw, is not getting higher language skills scraped together for the Noble Scion :D
« Last Edit: 04 January 2017, 22:11:54 by Tai Dai Cultist »

beachhead1985

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #3 on: 04 January 2017, 22:11:25 »
This seems par for ATOW characters; the system is slanted to low skills.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

Daryk

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #4 on: 05 January 2017, 00:32:34 »
I've never had that problem... do you use the aging rules?

guardiandashi

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #5 on: 05 January 2017, 01:00:54 »
its not so much the ageing rules, but not saving xp/optimizing and or pouring flex xp into the core combat skills

I know I have it somewhere...(I put the copy I found into the post) but I made a young noble for a campaign, where the character had a hideous amount of wealth and pretty high equipped, that is basically a LAM pilot, and can assist, and or supervise repairs to both mechs lams, and aerospace units.

Name: Karen Foxfire
Callsign:
DOB: 08-17-3008 (in mm/dd/year)
Unit assignment NA
vehicle/mech NA
AGE 25
Nationality Federated Suns
Ethnic Background Caucasian
height 5'11"
Weight 140 lbs
hair Red
eyes blue
major identifying marks: western style gold colored dragon tatoo breathing fire that appears to be the davion sunburst tatoo on her left bicep

atow char sheet
str 3
bod 4
RFl 5
Dex 4
int 5
wil 4
cha 6
edge 2
Traits personal
Natural aptitude Strategy
Connections (+3)
equipped +6 E/E/E
enemy lvl 3
enemy lvl 2
enemy lvl 1
glass jaw
reputation level +2
wealth level +9
extra income level 2 (500 cb/month)
compulsion hate Capellan Confederation -2
Fit +2
Rank 400 (+4)
fast learner +3 (active)
Skills
protocol federated suns  level 5
fed suns history 1
language spanish1
language english (native) 3
language german 1
language russian 1
administration 1
appraisal 2
art painting 0
interest star league 1
interest military history 3
leadership 4
martial arts 3
medtech 3
melee weapons 2
running 1
perception 2
small arms 4
strategy 1
swimming 2
computers 2
career soldier 3
career technician 2
tech electronics 3
tech mechanical 2
tech nuclear 4
tech weapons 2
tech jet 2
tech myomer 2
tech aeronautics 2 54 of 64 xp
zero g operations 2
pilot aerospace 2 (6)
gunnery aerospace 2 (6)
pilot mech 2 (6)
gunnery mech 3 (5)
navigation air 1
navigation ground 2
navigation space 1
sensor operation 2
tactics space 1
tactics land 1
training 2

gear:
Pulse laser pistol, 10 high cap power packs equipped with laser sight and flash suppressor hip holster
vibro katana 2 power packs
vibroblade 1 power pack
vibroblade with crest, 1 power pack
gyrojet pistol, 10 clips of ammo, shoulder holster
ablative flack suit
set of fed suns std armor kit plus abl/flack pants
cooling vest,
load bearing equipment vest
SLDF combat neural helmet
plasteel boots
Full aerospace pilot kit, (combat flight suit, pilots neuralhelmet, flight gloves, boots
Engineers helmet, engineers suit
~5000 cbills worth of non uniform clothing
snow suit
parka
heat suit
light environmental suit
military communicator
Descartes mk xxi
compad
note puter
personal computer
engineers portable console
verigraph scanner/reader
portable holoprojector
personal music set
rangefinder binoculars
support ppc power pack (holds 1500 power points) she thought it was a good idea for powering tools
the manpack ppc was too high of availability code or I would have picked up one and the waldo/light exoskeleton to make it single user usable
heavy duty recharger
solar recharger
Tool kits
deluxe tool kit
aerospace repair kit
cutting /joining kit
electronics repair kit (2) mech and fighter optimized
fission/fusion repair kit
myomer/actuator repair kit
weapon repair kit
personal weapons kits
energy weapon kit
slug thrower kit
hand held laser torch
75 sq meters of radiation sheeting
advanced field kit
advanced medical kit
10 medical kits
Medipack
NOTE all extremely rare equipment, availability D or higher, or valuable ~500 cbills or more in value is equipped to be locked up with magnetic, and or reinforced magnetic locks
example the entire shipping crate of gear is equipped with reinforced and alarmed magnetic locks. the neural helmet, flight suit, and weapons cases are similar, the tool kits are only secured with magnetic locks as the tools while valuable are mostly not that hard to replace (other than things like the nuclear repair kit)

Nav_Alpha

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #6 on: 05 January 2017, 03:37:25 »
Tai Dai: love the back stories -  these guys have 3025 Legion of Vega written all over them!

Would love to see some Jihad era examples if anyone is keen


"Hold your position, conserve ammo... and wait for the Dragoons to go Feral"
- last words of unknown merc, Harlech, 3067
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Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #7 on: 05 January 2017, 03:57:35 »
Tai Dai: love the back stories -  these guys have 3025 Legion of Vega written all over them!

Would love to see some Jihad era examples if anyone is keen

Well the stories pretty well write themselves when you pick a series of modules for a life path :D  I spent time picking "fun" skills that fit well with the organic stories their backgrounds told (OF COURSE the blue-collar kid who drives a DemolitionMech loves Pro Wrestling!).  I'm pretty happy with how they turned out; they seem to have a mix of skills that would actually work as a coherent campaigning party.

I was actually going for a Proserpina Hussars feel, but totally it was a 3025 era kind of mindset.   A Rifleman (with EXTRA heat challenges), Whitworth, Panther, and Jenner totally screams 3025 to me too :D  And without LosTech, those maneuver profiles were more or less Good Enough for a raiding force!

I think I could do a Jihad era lance.  I'll do something besides Kurita to keep it mixed up.


Nav_Alpha

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #8 on: 05 January 2017, 08:27:45 »
Sounds good!

I dug the Hussars. But the impressed merc and the ranker with the busted arse Davion heavy just screamed Legion of Vegan cast offs waiting for Teddy K to pick them up.
Maybe the green Chu-I gets a Dark Secret and ends up exiled to the Legion because he bedded a low class eta girl and disgraced his family.


"Hold your position, conserve ammo... and wait for the Dragoons to go Feral"
- last words of unknown merc, Harlech, 3067
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Decoy

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #9 on: 05 January 2017, 16:49:42 »
You're not thinking too 3145ish.

Try a Jenner IIC, a PNT-13K Panther, a RFL-7X Rifleman, and a WTH-K Witworth.

beachhead1985

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #10 on: 10 January 2017, 21:08:18 »
I've never had that problem... do you use the aging rules?

Yeah, hours poured into characters who could just manage "Very Green" ratings.
Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries

These, in the day when heaven was falling,      Their shoulders held the sky suspended;
The hour when earth's foundations fled,         They stood, and earth's foundations stay;
Followed their mercenary calling,               What God abandoned, these defended,
And took their wages, and are dead.             And saved the sum of things for pay.
     
A.E. Housman

Daryk

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #11 on: 10 January 2017, 21:24:02 »
I'm honestly not sure how... Boosting gunnery and piloting to regular levels doesn't cost that much. ???

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #12 on: 10 January 2017, 23:03:21 »
Well, if you use point buy instead of modules you can pretty well build elite mechwarriors from the get go.  When using life paths/modules, reason you have a hard time scraping 400-600 points together for piloting and gunnery when you had 5000 points to spend is that you really only have 1000, maybe 2000 discretionary points after you purchase those modules.  And that's before you purchase your attributes.  Or a mech.  Or the rank to be eligible to be put in said mech.

You CAN scrape by and get +6/+7 in piloting and gunnery when using modules, but you'll be very compromised in attributes and/or your mech.  One of the big draws of the modules, for me, is in how it really does facilitate not only a background but capable PCs when it comes to adventuring outside of the cockpit.  If the game focuses heavily enough on mech piloting that nothing else is really relevant, why aren't you just playing a boardgame/Alpha Strike campaign? :)
« Last Edit: 10 January 2017, 23:06:02 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #13 on: 11 January 2017, 00:56:21 »
Would love to see some Jihad era examples if anyone is keen

Without further ado... a Davion lance of mechwarriors!  As has been commented upthread, these are characters exactly on par with beginning PCs.  So, pretty green gunnery/piloting stats as compared to "regular" TW pilots.  Think of this as a brand-spanking new lance scraped together during the Jihad as part of Davion's contribution to Stone's coalition :)

I couldn't quite keep my original idea (not repeating any modules. period.) quite going with this next batch of four mechwarriors... but these four don't share any modules between them and better still they only share a couple modules with the first batch of four upthread!  You can indeed pick from a very diverse set of life paths to end up as a mechwarrior in a House army...

Mechwarrior #5: The MechWarrior Family Prodigy
FedSuns Affiliation, Crucis March Subaffiliation: White Collar, Military School, Family Training
STR 400
BOD 400
RFL  600
DEX 500
INT  400
WIL 300
CHA 400
EDG 100
Positive Traits: Equipped +1, Patient, Reputation/Brave +1, Rank/Leftenant +4, Vehicle (Valkyrie-QD1) 2
Negative Traits: Enemy (Brother-in-Law) -1, Extra Income -2
Skills:
Administration +1
Arts/Piano +0
Career/Soldier +2
Computers +1
Driving/Ground +0
Gunnery/Mech +4
Interest/FedSuns History +2
Interest/El Dorado History +0
Interest/Military History +2
Language/English +3
Language/French +1
Leadership +2
Martial Arts +2
MedTech +1
Melee Weapons +3
Navigation/Ground +1
Perception +1
Piloting/Mech +5
Protocol/FedSuns +3
Running +1
Sensor Operations +1
Small Arms +3
Survival/Forest +0
Swimming +1
Tactics/Land +1
Technician/Myomer +1
Training +1

Freshly minted as a mechwarrior pilot by family masters-at-arms, the Family Prodigy is the product of a tradition of Mechwarrior service.  Where the Clans have trueborns bred for war, the MechWarrior Families of the Inner Sphere too are bred for the cockpit of the mech, and the Prodigy’s lineage predates even the very founding of the Clans.


Mechwarrior #6:  The Good Ole Boy
FedSuns Affiliation, Outback subaffiliation: Farm, Farm, Intelligence Operative Training, Covert Ops
STR 400
BOD 500
RFL 300
DEX 400
INT  400
WIL 500
CHA 300
EDG 200
Positive Traits: Alternate ID (MIIO Counter Intelligence Agent), Connections 2, Rank(Mechwarrior) 5, Rank (MIIO) 4, Vehicle (Javelin-10P) 2
Negative Traits: Bloodmark (MIIO Identity) -2, Compulsion/Addicted to Alcohol -1, Enemy/WoB ROM agent (MIIO ID) -1, In for Life/MIIO (MIIO Identity), Reputation/Hick (Good Ole Boy ID) -1, Reputation/Ruthless (MIIO ID) -2, Unattractive/Terrible Fashion Sense (Good Ole Boy ID), Wealth (Good Ole Boy) -1
Skills:
Acrobatics/Free Fall +0
Acting +4
Administration +1
Animal Handling +1
Career/Agriculture +2
Career/Soldier +1
Career/Spy +2
Climbing +1
Comms/Conventional +1
Computers +3
Cryptography +2
Disguise +1
Driving/Ground +1
Driving/Seacraft +0
Escape Artist +2
Gunnery/Mech +3
Interest/Hunting +2
Interest/Rodeo +0
Interrogation +2
Investigation +3
Language/English +3
Leadership +0
Martial Arts +2
MedTech +2
Navigation/Ground +2
Perception +3
Piloting/Mech +3
Protocol/FedSuns +1
Security Systems/Electronic +2
Sensor Operations +2
Small Arms +3
Streetwise/FedSuns +3
Support Weapons +2
Survival/Arctic +2
Survival/Desert +0
Tactics/Land +1
Tracking/Urban +1

The Good Ole Boy is from one of the many the FedSuns’ Outback worlds, and is correspondingly unrefined and uneducated.  That’s what he wants you to believe, anyway.  When moles planted by foreign intelligence in the MechWarrior corps of the AFFS go missing, the Good Ole Boy is the last person anyone would suspect as the mole catcher.


Mechwarrior #7: The Cynic
FedSuns Affiliation, Capellan March subaffiliation: War Orphan, Adolescent Warfare, Guerilla Warfare
STR  400
BOD 400
RFL  500
DEX 400
INT  300
WIL 400
CHA 300
EDG  600
Positive Traits: Connections 1, Rank(Mechwarrior) 5, Sixth Sense, Vehicle (Enforcer-5D) 4
Negative Traits: Compulsion/Anti-Authoritarian -1, Compulsion/Paranoid -1, Compulsion/Traumatic Memories -1, Enemy(Tikonov Noble) -1, Impatient, Introvert, Poor Vision(missing eye) -3, Reputation (Terrorist) -1, Wealth -2
Skills:
Arts/Graffiti +1
Climbing +1
Computer +2
Demolitions +2
Disguise +2
Driving/Ground +2
Escape Artist +0
Gunnery/Mech +2
Interrogation +2
Language/English +2
Leadership +0
Martial Arts +2
MedTech +1
Melee Weapons +3
Perception +3
Piloting/Mech +3
Prestidigitation +2
Running +1
Security Systems/Electronic +1
Sensor Operations +2
Small Arms +4
Stealth +2
Streetwise/FedSuns +2
Support Weapons +1
Survival/Urban +2
Swimming +2
Tactics/Infantry +2
Technician/Mechanic +2
Technician/Myomer +2
Technician/Weapons +2

In the hellish urban zones of the Chaos March, it is often kill-or-be-killed.  The cynic survived this crucible, and even gained experience operating jury rigged industrialmechs in the chronic insurgencies there.


Mechwarrior #8: The Corrupted
FedSuns Affiliation, Capellan March Subaffiliation: Street, High School, Solaris VII Internship, Organized Crime
STR  500
BOD 400
RFL  400
DEX 400
INT  300
WIL  400
CHA 300
EDG 300
Positive Traits: Connections 2, Rank(Mechwarrior) 5, Toughness 3, Vehicle (Warhammer-8D) 6
Negative Traits: Compulsion/Loyalty to Vory Boss -1, Enemy (Underworld Rival) -2, Gremlins, In For Life/Vory
Skills:
Acting +3
Appraisal +1
Career/Soldier +0
Career/Technician +1
Career/Vory +3
Computers +0
Demolitions +1
Driving/Ground +1
Escape Artist +1
Forgery +1
Gunnery/Mech +3
Interest/Black Markets +1
Interest/Solaris Games +3
Interrogation +1
Language/English +2
Language/Russian +3
Leadership +0
Martial Arts +2
Melee Weapons +2
Negotiation +1
Perception +3
Piloting/Mech +2
Protocol/FedSuns +2
Running +0
Security Systems/Mechanical +1
Sensor Operations +1
Small Arms +3
Stealth +2
Streetwise/CapCon +1
Streetwise/FedSuns +3
Swimming +0
Tactics/Land +1
Technician/Electronics +1
Technician/Mechanical +1
Technician/Myomer +1
Technician/Nuclear +1
Technician/Weapons +1

The Corrupted Mechwarrior’s loyalty isn’t to king or country but was given long ago in childhood to the Russian Syndicate, aka Vory.  After underworld dealings resulted in a powerful enemy, the Corrupted Mechwarrior fled to the AFFS, where his Solaris-gained mech skills overshadowed his questionable past.
« Last Edit: 11 January 2017, 00:57:57 by Tai Dai Cultist »

Nav_Alpha

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #14 on: 11 January 2017, 18:26:56 »
Like these guys a lot


"Hold your position, conserve ammo... and wait for the Dragoons to go Feral"
- last words of unknown merc, Harlech, 3067
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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #15 on: 22 January 2017, 18:19:08 »
I put these MechWarriors (plus this one) into a spreadsheet for comparison.

Attributes:
Basically within +/-1 of Str 4, Bod 4, Rfl 4.5, Dex 4.5, Int 3.5, Wil 4, and Cha 4. (Edg is random.) Four of the ten characters had a single stat at +/-2; only a single character had two at +/-2. Each character totaled 29 to 33 points overall.

Traits:
All ten characters had Rank 4 or 5.
Nine had 2, 4 or 6 points in Vehicle.
Eight had one or more Compulsions; eight had one or more Enemies.
Seven had some Connections; seven had a Reputation; seven had Wealth.
Five were Well Equipped.

Most of them had at least two other situational bonuses or penalties (many characterized as injuries or attitudes). Three were shared by only three characters; three were shared by two characters; and twenty-two were not shared.

Skills:
The characters had an average of twenty-three skills each (not counting subskills). Key combat skills mostly rated 2 to 4 skill levels, while "rounding the character out" skills mostly rated 0 to 2.

All ten characters had Gunnery, Piloting, Sensor Ops, Small Arms, Martial Arts, Perception, and Language/English.
Nine had Career/Soldier; Computers(?!); Leadership; MedTech; Melee Weapons; Tactics. 
Eight had other Languages; Protocols; Swimming.
Seven had one or more Technician skills; Navigation; Driving; Interest in a genre of sport, art, philosophy, or crime.
Six had Administration; an Art; Running; Streetwise.
Five had Survival; Interest in Military History.

Every character had at least two other skills, the overwhelming majority of which came from picking additional MOS Fields. Five skills (including an Interest in the history of a realm or world) were shared by four characters; seven were shared among three characters; eight were shared by two characters; and fourteen were not shared.

...for those of you who've actually played A Time of War, how often do Sensor Ops, Language/English, Career, Navigation, Interests or Art get rolled? And when they're rolled, is it for things the player can consistently leverage, or more for one-off mcguffiny things?

CONCLUSIONS:
The characters shared most of their most highly rated skills, so much of their individuation came from choosing which skills and attributes to raise or lower a little (on a 2d6 die curve, +/-1 is significant), and from how their traits (especially the compulsions, enemies and reputations) were characterized.

I think a simple template could achieve the same result; the modules themselves seem almost superfluous.
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Maelwys

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #16 on: 23 January 2017, 04:19:55 »
Computers in one case atleast was because of the Military School Life Module. It grants you +35 towards Computers, and at that many points even someone with the Slow Learner trait is going to wind up with +0 in it, with most getting a +1.

Which is kind of interesting since Computers is supposed to be for non-standard use of them, such as creating software or hacking, where just using basic programs is assumed to automatically happen, but there you go.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #17 on: 28 January 2017, 01:46:13 »
...
CONCLUSIONS:
The characters shared most of their most highly rated skills, so much of their individuation came from choosing which skills and attributes to raise or lower a little (on a 2d6 die curve, +/-1 is significant), and from how their traits (especially the compulsions, enemies and reputations) were characterized.

I think a simple template could achieve the same result; the modules themselves seem almost superfluous.

Thanks for sharing your considerable thoughts on these characters :)

I have a couple of comments in light of your analysis:

1) Do keep in mind that similarities can't really be parsed from selection bias, at least for the 8 characters I made.  All 8 were made by the same person, therefore all 8 have identical sensibilities underlying the choices made during their generation.  In particular, I think this is evident in the final attribute values.  They're all trying to fall into the same niche as Mechwarriors, so the same stats tend to have the same relative importance.   Furthermore, any character that took a module that gave the MechWarrior skill field sets a minimum value of 4 for REF and DEX, further limiting the low end of variability for those stats across the sample.  My biggest variation was in picking Edge values... my guiding principle was that the more privileged the life the character led, the lower the edge stat should be.  Other people may not see Edge that same way.

2) While not repeating any modules was a big goal of my making the batches of characters, I also was trying to be mindful of keeping trait duplication down to a minimum.  Rank and Vehicle are obviously very redundant across the characters, but that stands to reason again due to selection bias.  They're all intended to end up at the same destination: being a Mechwarrior!  I'm pleased to see that other than Rank and Vehicle, it seems I mostly succeeded in the goal of picking different traits for different characters.  Compulsions, Connections, Enemy, Reputation, Wealth, and Well Equipped tend to get given out a lot in modules.  You'd have seen them even more often but in some cases my characters had bought them off prior to optimization.  Other than that array, nothing shows up more than 2 or 3 times.  I think that ended up being a good mix.

3) Skills: As Maelwys pointed out, modules give you a bunch of skill XPs.  Very often (particularly so in Stage 3 modules) the skills get so many XPs that you can't optimize them away... you HAVE to have them if you do a life path.   The vast majority of the skills in the 8 characters I made were actually given by modules; all I did was optimize their final values.  This includes Interests, Language skills, Career skills, and many others.  I feel that even if you don't find a way to shoehorn a high Interest skill check into an adventure, having such skills is important to portraying a well rounded character.  Think about someone who has literally NO interests.  What is he, a vegetable or in a coma?  As I mentioned upthread, one of my regrets was not always investing heavily enough into those "flavor" skills

4) Skills, part II: Going back to the point that in the end, all of these characters are Mechwarriors and so obviously there's going to be a high degree of skill overlap:  If you take any kind of military mechwarrior training in Stage 3, you get 10 skills with enough XPs that you can't optimize them away.  Obviously Mech/Piloting and Mech/Gunnery, but also Career/Soldier and Sensor Operations and many of the other skills that ended up highly duplicated across the characters.

5) A point I'd like to reiterate about modules: You don't HAVE to take a stage 3 module that gives you the Mechwarrior skill field.  At least one or two of my mechwarriors upthread didn't... they ended up with skills in Mech/Piloting and Mech/Gunnery simply through discretionary points.  I feel that you can "go to a mechwarrior academy" without taking it as a stage 3 module... doing so in that character's case meant that her time in the academy simply wasn't as prominent to her overall life story as the events involving the module you DO take in its place.


As for a template being able to generate a mechwarrior:  sure, it could.  If you're going to not use a life path and use point buy instead, I'm not sure why you'd bother with a template though.  Seems to defeat the purpose of eschewing the life path method.

skiltao

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #18 on: 01 March 2017, 16:02:41 »
You're welcome. :)

The point of a template would be to preserve the flavorful history you generate with the life paths (and to deliver characters to the same power level they'd reach with the life paths) while dispensing with the iterative arithmetic.

1- Looking at the ATOW archetypes, they spend about 400 more XP on attributes than you did and they average slightly fewer skills, but they otherwise seem to fall in the same ranges as your characters here. I think at least some of that similarity comes from the underlying system.

2- It was really interesting to see the traits break into three groups. The most varied were the situational modifers that could easily become relevant in all kinds of situations; then the plot hooks that require some effort to bring into play; and last, the mandatory traits the characters can't do their jobs without. I noticed that the ATOW archetypes all spend about equal amounts on that last category. (Dismounted types using wealth and equipped for their weapons and gear, and social types relying on connections and reputation.)

3- I'm not objecting to the presence of interests, languages or career skills in a character or on a character sheet. I'm just thinking that, if they aren't used as much or in the same way as other skills, maybe they could be generated more simply than other skills. Bundle them with plot hook traits, for instance:  Interest(History of Shuen Wa) at the same level as Addiction(Kincha Fruit), say, or Career Skill at the same level as Enemy(rival).

4- The ATOW archetypes have a quite a bit of overlap in their skills too. So do the civilian skill fields.

5- I agree. I would go a step further, though, and say that the connection between most paths and their mechanical bonuses are even more tenuous and arbitrary.

My vision of the "template" goes something like this:
  • Take 32 points and assign 3, 4 or 5 to each attribute. Some allowance for raising or lowering attributes outside those bounds tied to purchases of up to +/-4(?) points of situational traits.
  • Some number of points to divide among plot hook traits, each bundled with an Interest or other "flavor" skill.
  • Some number of points to divide among "asset" traits (vehicle, wealth, connections, etc).
  • A few prebuilt packages of skill values. Choose your skill fields and some varying number of non-field skills.
  • Choose the stages of your character history, then divide your traits and skills between each stage.

Which is kind of interesting since Computers is supposed to be for non-standard use of them, such as creating software or hacking, where just using basic programs is assumed to automatically happen, but there you go.

I think there's an option in MechWarrior's Guide to Solaris VII, or maybe the MechWarrior Companion, for using a MechWarrior's "computer" skill when rolling to avoid shut down or ammo explosions. Maybe that's where the life path got the idea.
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massey

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #19 on: 02 March 2017, 18:16:20 »
I haven't looked at ATOW in ages.  But the modules really offer the most opportunity for abuse, from what I remember.  You've got to plan it very carefully, but if I recall you can get elite mechwarriors pretty easily as starting characters.  You can make guys more broken than anything in Mechwarrior 2nd edition.

Daryk

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #20 on: 02 March 2017, 19:43:34 »
It's possible, but not quite that easy.  The easiest dodge is not paying for a 'mech (i.e. using whatever 'mechs the unit salvages).  Skills are pretty cheap.

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #21 on: 02 March 2017, 19:57:32 »
...

My vision of the "template" goes something like this:
  • Take 32 points and assign 3, 4 or 5 to each attribute. Some allowance for raising or lowering attributes outside those bounds tied to purchases of up to +/-4(?) points of situational traits.
  • Some number of points to divide among plot hook traits, each bundled with an Interest or other "flavor" skill.
  • Some number of points to divide among "asset" traits (vehicle, wealth, connections, etc).
  • A few prebuilt packages of skill values. Choose your skill fields and some varying number of non-field skills.
  • Choose the stages of your character history, then divide your traits and skills between each stage.

I think there's an option in MechWarrior's Guide to Solaris VII, or maybe the MechWarrior Companion, for using a MechWarrior's "computer" skill when rolling to avoid shut down or ammo explosions. Maybe that's where the life path got the idea.

Interesting idea in tiering skills/traits into how useful they are for a campaign and discounting the ones that are going to be much less useful than others.  Unfortunately you'll have to rejigger the contents of those lists to be tailored to each campaign... passing a Protocol check won't be very important to a gritty merc mechwarriors campaign but passing a check of the same skill is a life and death matter for an undercover PC in a cloak-and-dagger spy campaign.


I haven't looked at ATOW in ages.  But the modules really offer the most opportunity for abuse, from what I remember.  You've got to plan it very carefully, but if I recall you can get elite mechwarriors pretty easily as starting characters.  You can make guys more broken than anything in Mechwarrior 2nd edition.

That's more of a description of 3rd edition rather than ATOW/4th edition.  If you want to abuse/munchkin out, you won't even use modules to begin with and just do a straight point spend.  Modules will "saddle" you with forced investments into a wide variety of things that are likely not going to be considered optimal.

Daryk

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #22 on: 02 March 2017, 20:23:06 »
*snip*
That's more of a description of 3rd edition rather than ATOW/4th edition.  If you want to abuse/munchkin out, you won't even use modules to begin with and just do a straight point spend.  Modules will "saddle" you with forced investments into a wide variety of things that are likely not going to be considered optimal.
It's not as easy as straight point buy, but the AToW modules can also be abused to maximize Gunnery and Piloting.

massey

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #23 on: 02 March 2017, 23:59:25 »
Have to break out my book on this now.

I'm incredibly rusty on this, but the key is in selecting the right life paths and then getting to the "optimizing leftover points" section on page 87.  You want to get several different negative traits at low levels, and you want to get some of your less useful skills at a point where they fall right under the next full level.  You'll get a lot of points back that way.  Then take the full 500 points for additional negative traits.

In this way, a properly built life-path character will have way more points to spend than a basic point buy character.  The game presumes that each step in the life path will give you the same number of points in abilities that the step costs.  But the game is wrong.  For instance, "Solaris Internship" in your Higher Education path costs 700 points.  It gives you 750 points worth of stuff, and a -50 trait in "Enemy".  When you hit the "optimize leftover points" section, if that Enemy trait is still sitting there at -50, then it will be boosted to a full -100 (because you get it in full levels, you can't end character creation with it partially there, you have to either buy it off or take the full amount).  What that really means is that the Solaris Internship costs 700 points, but it actually gives you 800 points in return. 

I have a few text files saved on my laptop, and it looks like the last time I messed with this was 2011.  That's when the files are from.  But I was able to build a starting character who was a full fledged Duke (10 ranks in Title), and he had 10 ranks in Property to go with it (owned several continents).  I mean, he kinda sucked otherwise, but he was a Duke.  I could just as easily have made him a badass in combat.  I remember on this guy I was just making him a Duke to see if I could, there are probably other ways to get more raw points out of it, or a better overall character.  I was able to get an extra 500 points to spend thanks to picking my way through the life paths carefully.

Here are my notes on the character from when I remembered what more of this stuff meant.  The life path he took was noble, military school, family training, tour of duty.


Marik Duke (Andurien)

Str      200
Body      300
Dex      400
Ref      400
Int      400
Will      300
Cha      300
Edge      100


Comp/Hate Liao   -100
Comp/Atrean Opp   -100
Comp/Addiction   -100
Rep      100
Equipped   100               
Enemy      -700
Wealth      100
Rank      100
Vehicle      200
Title      1000
Property   1000

English      20
Lang/Other   20
Perception   30
Protocol/FWL   80
Career/Soldier   80
Computers   30
Int/Any      30
Int/Mil Hist   30
Leadership   30
Martial Arts   80
Medtech      80
Melee Weapons   20
Running      30
Small Arms   80
Swimming   30
Int/HomewldHist   20
Survival/Any   20
Nav/Ground   50
Gun/Mech   80
Pilot/Mech   80
Sensor Ops   50
Tactics/Land   50
Tech/Mechanical   50


Anyway, that's why the life path method is more broken.
« Last Edit: 03 March 2017, 00:09:23 by massey »

Tai Dai Cultist

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #24 on: 03 March 2017, 00:25:09 »
...  I was able to get an extra 500 points to spend thanks to picking my way through the life paths carefully...
...
Anyway, that's why the life path method is more broken.

(apologies if that truncation changes the overall message of your post... from what I got of it that's the core of what you were trying to convey)

Not trying to argue with you, but I do think you're not accurately weighing things.  True, you can end up with more points than had you done a 5000 point buy.  It may sound unbalancing if you can get as much as 10% extra value by using the optimization rules as you discussed, but imo it isn't really.  If you changed the skills and traits to be mechwarrior-y, he'd still be a far cry from "optimized".  As is none of his skills are better than +3 and you're not going to have much to play with to pad them because you'll be eating most of your trait points in making the attributes passable.

That comment segues into the main disadvantage of the life path versus a point buy:  even after optimization, you've spent so many XPs on modules that you don't have much left to spend on attributes.  And modules won't give you enough XPs in attributes to make them viable without further investment.  Those attributes are competing with those desirable skills and traits for the XPs you do have left over, because so many XPs were already spent for you on (possibly nonessential) skills and traits.  Because of this, you'll always have an easier time fine tuning a character to a narrow niche (like being a cockpit killer) if you don't have any XPs tied up, even if you may have a few less XPs total than a well-played life path.

massey

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #25 on: 03 March 2017, 00:50:26 »
Yeah, except take the 2000 xp I spent on Title and Property and distribute them differently.  As I said, that character was an experiment to see if I could actually build a guy with those particular traits maxed out.  You can follow the same method and instead decide to make him a combat monster and be successful.  Though you'd probably want to spread out your negative traits a little more, rather than just dumping them into Enemy for the heck of it.

You'd want to go through the life paths looking specifically to make him a combat badass, as opposed to a wealthy noble.


Edit:  Oh, and I do like the characters you posted. :)

monbvol

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #26 on: 05 March 2017, 17:34:33 »
I still wouldn't say it is broken because each negative trait is another opportunity for a shrewd GM to make life miserable for the PC.

Also did you buy off Glass Jaw?  If not that should be on your character's trait list.

massey

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #27 on: 06 March 2017, 11:38:36 »
I still wouldn't say it is broken because each negative trait is another opportunity for a shrewd GM to make life miserable for the PC.

Also did you buy off Glass Jaw?  If not that should be on your character's trait list.

I'm sure I must have.  Glass Jaw sucks. :)

As far as making life miserable for the PC, you're going to have conflict in the game anyway.  Might as well get points for it.  It's not like you're going to have a game where you sit around playing out the day to day drudgery of a peaceful garrison mission.

"April 3rd, it's now been six years since you took this job.  Traffic was bad this morning, but you've finally got your cup of coffee and you settle into your office chair.  Rachel says that you have an appointment this morning.  You've noticed she has gained a fair bit of weight since she had the twins.  Maybe it's time to get this unit back into shape.  But this coffee is pretty good.  Maybe tomorrow..."

Having enemies and other types of conflict written on your character sheet gives you somebody to fight.  You'll be fighting somebody anyway.  That's just the nature of the game.

monbvol

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #28 on: 06 March 2017, 12:45:04 »
Yes conflict is expected but having an actual Enemy trait means the GM is practically required to make an opponent better than your character thanks to all the extra XP that your enemy has.

Or all the will rolls and potential fatigue for resisting compulsions.


Tslammer

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Re: A Lance of Mechwarriors (SAMPLE NPCS)
« Reply #29 on: 10 March 2017, 11:57:47 »
Classic ATOW low attributes. Ever wonder if the average of 4 is a reaction to how MW2 worked when attributes were king.