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Author Topic: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?  (Read 2341 times)

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #30 on: 18 October 2021, 19:28:14 »
Those can (and should be) tweaked, so I agree with both of you there.

That said, I think AToW overall succeeds.  Sadly, most games have about the same lifespan as the average merc unit (i.e., not particularly long).  AToW works fine in that scope.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #31 on: 18 October 2021, 21:15:14 »
@monbvol
I don't charge the extra XP, that was a response  to Daryk more the you.

And it's  life expectancy in more like that of an orphanage  during a capella air raid.
I have found few player that can get passed character creation  let alone play the game.

Paul

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #32 on: 06 November 2021, 16:27:51 »
I do tend to agree that as they stand as written Rank, Title, Wealth, Equipped, Vehicle(Design Quirk by extension) are the big ones for me for needing fixed going forward.

What would you (and others in this thread) consider a fix for those?
Feel free to link to a thread/post where you've explained your ideas.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #33 on: 06 November 2021, 16:48:15 »
Are TPTB finally able to look at the Fan Rules forum, then?  ???

Paul

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #34 on: 06 November 2021, 20:26:50 »
Sure, we just don't.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #35 on: 06 November 2021, 21:58:08 »
What would you (and others in this thread) consider a fix for those?
Feel free to link to a thread/post where you've explained your ideas.

For me the trait issues are just a symptom of many larger problems with the game. Mainly the overblown and intrusive point system.

Well I would say;

For Rank my first thought is it is not needed at all since your rank should be story/roleplaying based not point based, but if you must have it nothing above captain at character creation. Above this it all should be based on in-game roleplaying and no longer have anything to do with points. While the expanding Rank compassion chart are great to get an idea what the different ranks mean in different states giving them points only leads to PCs trying to get them out of character creation.

Titles fall into the same category as above. These are thing that should be gain through play and not point based. And again if you must have them then limit them to lower levels. Maybe nothing higher then a Baron.

For Bloodname again to me this should be just a GM/Player decision but if it has to be point based I would say the Trait gives the lineage and not the name itself. The act of getting your Bloodname is one of the most important parts of a Clan campaign, so bringing it down to a point expenditure is killing the core of a Clan game.

For Wealth and Equipment I think they both need to be toned back and it needs to be clear that they are a one-time thing in character creation that is not used in play.

For Vehicle, things like Custom Vehicle, Own Vehicle, Design Quirk should be modifiers not their own traits.

The Vehicle trait itself should take into account that the player is spending lot of XP on an item that could be blown out from under them in the first game. This Trait should cost maybe half what it does.
so more like
+1-2=light, +3-4=Medium, +5=Heavy, +6=Assaults. or something of that nature.

Design Quirk should be an optional rule that is only in effect when you uses the Design Quirk in the game as a modifier to the type of vehicle you get.

But the main issues with the game is the Point system.
1. The game has a 5,000 point spread and most things are in multiples of 100?
2. Skills seem to be the way they are just to add Fast and Slow Learner.
3. Lifepath entries are suggestions at best since they don't actually give you anything close to complete at the time. With some so far away from complete that the seem to be their just to waste points.
4. Most of this system could easily be divided by 10 and still work without hindering the game.
5. The Point System is to intrusive in game and should be dropped after character creation.
6. If you must keep Fast and Slow Learner make them a XP bonus/penalty of like 10% and leave it at that.
7. The Lifepaths need to be their own thing and not just a extremely vague/light template for the point system.
8. Things like Starting Attribute (which should start at human norm), universal skills, Etc. should be full pointed out not some small level of the skill or below human norm Attribute.

Overall, the game needs a lot of work in my opinion.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #36 on: 06 November 2021, 23:02:55 »
A lot of my revisions at one point revolved around the idea of making Wealth and Equipped a subset of Rank and Title, up to mashing Rank and Title into a Status trait instead and making it a more relational than absolute trait.

The root idea is that you have to be in a position of power/responsibility to actually have the nice stuff.  It doesn't have to be Military either.  It could be Civilian/Nobility, Intelligence, or Criminal.

I even tossed around the idea of using the same subcategories as Connections for this new Status trait but with both Connections and Status give point pools that the player could distribute among the subcategories as they saw fit.

I don't think I'm really explaining it well or very thoroughly and to an extent I take some of victor_shaw's points about how really a lot of this can be shuffled off into the background a bit or otherwise become a non-factor so when it really comes down to it I have to admit I probably really need to re-think a lot of this.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #37 on: 07 November 2021, 05:17:37 »
I don't really see a problem with Rank.  Anything a player does in character creation is subject to GM approval.  If a GM doesn't think a PC should have more than Rank 6 (Captain) at creation, then they won't.

Wealth is pretty clearly a one-time bonus, especially in light of "Extra Income".

Equipment to me represents connections/authorizations/licensing that works as described.

Given that Custom Vehicle/Owns Vehicle/Quirk are useless without the Vehicle trait, I see them as de facto modifiers.  Would it be more convenient if they were listed with the "Vehicle" trait instead filed alphabetically in the list on their own?  You bet!

As far as points being "intrusive", honestly, I see them as no more intrusive than any other experience point system.  AToW simply made the points the same during and after character creation, and I think that's a feature, not a bug.

I think I'll stop there because I just looked at the thread title again and realized how far afield I am.  Paul, did you want to start another thread for where we've wandered to?  Because if you're actually fishing for input to the next edition of AToW, I'm IN (and my sig block has more than a few links regarding that).

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #38 on: 07 November 2021, 08:50:04 »
I don't really see a problem with Rank.  Anything a player does in character creation is subject to GM approval.  If a GM doesn't think a PC should have more than Rank 6 (Captain) at creation, then they won't.

Wealth is pretty clearly a one-time bonus, especially in light of "Extra Income".

Equipment to me represents connections/authorizations/licensing that works as described.

Given that Custom Vehicle/Owns Vehicle/Quirk are useless without the Vehicle trait, I see them as de facto modifiers.  Would it be more convenient if they were listed with the "Vehicle" trait instead filed alphabetically in the list on their own?  You bet!

As far as points being "intrusive", honestly, I see them as no more intrusive than any other experience point system.  AToW simply made the points the same during and after character creation, and I think that's a feature, not a bug.

I think I'll stop there because I just looked at the thread title again and realized how far afield I am.  Paul, did you want to start another thread for where we've wandered to?  Because if you're actually fishing for input to the next edition of AToW, I'm IN (and my sig block has more than a few links regarding that).

The intrusive of the system is not that the point system is used for Skill progression after character creation. It's that it is used for everything after character creation.

For example lets look at the Bloodname trait.
As the rules stand now if you take it you have a Bloodname at character creation and if you don't you have yet to earn one.
Lets say that a PC and the GM agree that the players lineage is Kerensky.
The player then through the game enters the Grand Melee wining a spot, then wins all the fights including the last round securing the Bloodname over the course of 6 game session. In the way you have indicated you play they would still have to pay 1,300 XP to claim the Bloodname. Why? By all in-game reasoning you have paid for it with you blood sweat and tears (literally) This is where the system becomes intrusive as the player has already done everything they need to do to gain the name in-universe, but do to this system they are being made to pay to collect what they have already earned.

Another issues is that one other game I have every played makes you pay for in-game rewards (Contacts, Titles, Equipment, Etc.) after character creation, and I have played a lot of them. That was Fantasy Heroes, and I have never played it since and most of the RPG player I know will not play it either.

 

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #39 on: 07 November 2021, 08:53:38 »
If that's a concern for you as a GM, simply give the player the XP to buy the trait when they "earn" it.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #40 on: 07 November 2021, 09:24:43 »
If that's a concern for you as a GM, simply give the player the XP to buy the trait when they "earn" it.
Why they already earned it, why would they need XP for it?
That's the point, the game doesn't need to account for this and shouldn't but it does. So the system is broken.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #41 on: 07 November 2021, 09:48:24 »
I think it has use.  It reduces the guess work when balancing encounters, something newer GMs need.

Hammerhead

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #42 on: 07 November 2021, 10:11:47 »
I was always under the impression, with any point-based purchase of equipment, that it was the GM’s responsibility to ensure that a character always has access to said equipment or a reasonably close equivalent.  In this case, for example; if a character spent points on a vehicle with Quirks that got shot to pieces, after the scenario that player would miraculously find that their vehicle was actually salvageable, or they were awarded a replacement by a grateful lord/employer/populace or something similar.

At least, that’s the way I’ve always run it in a Superhero game with tech-based characters.  Unless I’m totally missing the root of the debate, here.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #43 on: 07 November 2021, 10:27:41 »
No, I think you hit it pretty squarely on the head.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #44 on: 07 November 2021, 10:30:36 »
Because of how it matters in certain types of campaigns and for certain characters I think it is fine to have certain things as up front opportunity costs but yes it should also be fine to just award things in a logical, but never trivial, way once the game starts.

Case in point the difference between what kind of favors, leeway, and assistance a Clan Warrior that has already earned the Kerensky Bloodname can expect from other members of Clan Society(even from members of other Clans) is going to be far different than a Clan Warrior that is merely eligible for it and likewise will be different than say a Hazen or Osis.

Or a great example of why I think Equipped is better suited as a subset of Rank/Title.  A Captain in the Davion Assault Guards is going to have access to much different gear than a Squad Leader in the same unit despite having the same total XP invested in Rank which is going to also be different from the kind of gear that a Captain in some Outback March Militia unit has access to.

Yet the system as it is now means you need no Rank or Title to have Equipped at max levels.  Same for Wealth.

I was always under the impression, with any point-based purchase of equipment, that it was the GM’s responsibility to ensure that a character always has access to said equipment or a reasonably close equivalent.  In this case, for example; if a character spent points on a vehicle with Quirks that got shot to pieces, after the scenario that player would miraculously find that their vehicle was actually salvageable, or they were awarded a replacement by a grateful lord/employer/populace or something similar.

At least, that’s the way I’ve always run it in a Superhero game with tech-based characters.  Unless I’m totally missing the root of the debate, here.

I'm not automatically against the idea of replacing a unit or not being up to the GM.  Ultimately there is always going to be a lot of work on the GM's part to figure out what works for them as a balancing factor and how to handle possible min/maxers.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #45 on: 07 November 2021, 10:33:41 »
I was always under the impression, with any point-based purchase of equipment, that it was the GM’s responsibility to ensure that a character always has access to said equipment or a reasonably close equivalent.  In this case, for example; if a character spent points on a vehicle with Quirks that got shot to pieces, after the scenario that player would miraculously find that their vehicle was actually salvageable, or they were awarded a replacement by a grateful lord/employer/populace or something similar.

At least, that’s the way I’ve always run it in a Superhero game with tech-based characters. Unless I’m totally missing the root of the debate, here.

That has never been the way in any of the point based systems I've played. The points spend on the equipment are there to allow a player to start the game with more then they normally would if the did not pay the point, but it is never a free magical way to keep the gear no matter how badly they handle the equipment.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #46 on: 07 November 2021, 10:52:32 »
*snip*
Or a great example of why I think Equipped is better suited as a subset of Rank/Title.  A Captain in the Davion Assault Guards is going to have access to much different gear than a Squad Leader in the same unit despite having the same total XP invested in Rank which is going to also be different from the kind of gear that a Captain in some Outback March Militia unit has access to.
*snip*
You would be amazed at some of the things Sergeants can lay their hands on that Captains would never even think to ask for...

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #47 on: 07 November 2021, 11:25:34 »
You would be amazed at some of the things Sergeants can lay their hands on that Captains would never even think to ask for...

True there is a factor of imagination familiarity that a Sergeant would likely have over a Captain but still there are things a Captain can ask for and get that no Sergeant would be able to without skirting the rules or having said Captain's authorization.  Or some other Officer's authorization.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #48 on: 07 November 2021, 11:31:53 »
Which is exactly why I think Equipped works as a separate trait.  :)

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #49 on: 07 November 2021, 11:53:59 »
Either case it is still very much predicated on the person being in a particular profession and being in reasonably good standing with their employer.  So very much tied to their Rank.

Still it is why my earlier solutions step away from the idea of a certain amount of Rank(Status/Military is what I've renamed it to) equal specific ranks and represent more of what kind of access to Information, People, Wealth, Equipped, Vehicle, and I feel like I'm forgetting something else from the subcategories I tied to Status your character can reasonably access.  So less absolute and more relational.

Daryk

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #50 on: 07 November 2021, 11:56:54 »
Property maybe?  Or did you roll that into Wealth?

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #51 on: 07 November 2021, 12:11:33 »
Just checked and nope I actually didn't forget anything.  Huzzah!

But I probably should stop going into any further details on how I addressed some of this stuff to avoid getting this sent to the Fan Rules section.

guardiandashi

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #52 on: 07 November 2021, 15:59:37 »
Either case it is still very much predicated on the person being in a particular profession and being in reasonably good standing with their employer.  So very much tied to their Rank.

Still it is why my earlier solutions step away from the idea of a certain amount of Rank(Status/Military is what I've renamed it to) equal specific ranks and represent more of what kind of access to Information, People, Wealth, Equipped, Vehicle, and I feel like I'm forgetting something else from the subcategories I tied to Status your character can reasonably access.  So less absolute and more relational.

if I am understanding what you are arguing maybe having title, wealth (iffy on this personally) and rank give bonuses to the equipped trait, I think owns vehicle, and custom vehicle might also be reasonable to benefit if that change was made.

the only question then is what would be a reasonable benefit rate?

edit typo

Paul

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #53 on: 07 November 2021, 19:14:05 »
Why they already earned it, why would they need XP for it?
That's the point, the game doesn't need to account for this and shouldn't but it does. So the system is broken.

??
Why do you think you need to pay for a Bloodname if you've earned it in-game?
Guess we need to expand a bit on p. 332
"In A Time of War, this is expressed by
the Experience Points (XP) a character earns during game
play, as well as other tangible rewards, such as monetary
compensation, rank promotions and the like.
"


victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #54 on: 07 November 2021, 20:36:35 »
??
Why do you think you need to pay for a Bloodname if you've earned it in-game?
Guess we need to expand a bit on p. 332
"In A Time of War, this is expressed by
the Experience Points (XP) a character earns during game
play, as well as other tangible rewards, such as monetary
compensation, rank promotions and the like.
"



Just to be clear I don't think it cost XP. This is just a continued response to:


Again, with those examples, I see temporary situations affecting characters.  If they want those things to "stick", I'm going to extract some XP.

0) Just because you kill an enemy doesn't mean they were friendless or without family to carry on the grudge.  If a player spends the XP, sure, the vendetta ends.  If they don't?  Some other NPC picks it up.

1) When they eventually get shot out of that heavy 'mech, if they want another heavy to be provided by the unit, that only happens if they've spent the XP.  Otherwise, the unit only happens to have a medium available ("Hmmm... your contract says...").

2) Again, if that 2,500 C-Bills of stuff gets damaged or destroyed, don't expect the unit to cough up to replace it unless some XP has been sunk into insurance or favors from the quartermasters (as examples).

3) Same as above.  The unit won't have access to restricted equipment unless they expend capital (financial, political, criminal, or otherwise) on obtaining the licenses (real or forged) necessary to freely obtain it.

To me, XP is shorthand for all the business/political/familial/etc. tricks necessary to make sure a character can KEEP what they get.  Anything they don't spend blood, sweat and tears on can be taken from them as easily as they took it from whoever they got it from.  If they're willing to roll the dice continuously, they shouldn't be surprised when they eventually roll snake eyes.  Conversely, if they sink XP into improving a trait, that advantage will have some systemic protection.  That said, a blatant war crime will have consequences, but even those can be quantified (a new Enemy, a Bloodmark, etc.).  In that situation, the player will gain some XP, but unless they're willing to live with the consequences, they'll bank them to pay off the negative traits when they role play themselves out of the situation.

Again, "and" not "or".

As for a way to fix this argument I would add a paragraph to the start of the Trait section that states
 "Unless otherwise noted in the Trait description a GM is free to assign any Trait that
 is appropriate to the In-game situation without cost or penalty."

With some examples.

Paul

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #55 on: 07 November 2021, 20:51:50 »
As for a way to fix this argument I would add a paragraph to the start of the Trait section that states
 "Unless otherwise noted in the Trait description a GM is free to assign any Trait that
 is appropriate to the In-game situation without cost or penalty."

With some examples.

Seems unnecessary, but I guess the fact that you're bringing it up at all may suggest I'm wrong about that. Call it a blind spot: something I considered so straight forward, it wouldn't need specific mention. Apparently players aren't mind readers. =)

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #56 on: 07 November 2021, 20:58:50 »
Because of how it matters in certain types of campaigns and for certain characters I think it is fine to have certain things as up front opportunity costs but yes it should also be fine to just award things in a logical, but never trivial, way once the game starts.

Case in point the difference between what kind of favors, leeway, and assistance a Clan Warrior that has already earned the Kerensky Bloodname can expect from other members of Clan Society(even from members of other Clans) is going to be far different than a Clan Warrior that is merely eligible for it and likewise will be different than say a Hazen or Osis.

Or a great example of why I think Equipped is better suited as a subset of Rank/Title.  A Captain in the Davion Assault Guards is going to have access to much different gear than a Squad Leader in the same unit despite having the same total XP invested in Rank which is going to also be different from the kind of gear that a Captain in some Outback March Militia unit has access to.

Yet the system as it is now means you need no Rank or Title to have Equipped at max levels.  Same for Wealth.

I'm not automatically against the idea of replacing a unit or not being up to the GM.  Ultimately there is always going to be a lot of work on the GM's part to figure out what works for them as a balancing factor and how to handle possible min/maxers.

As I said earlier I am against the idea of Bloodname Trait in the first place, and I am against the idea of paying for it before the game starts all together. But if you have to have a Bloodname Trait it should be to show you have the blood lineage to compete for it. As for the idea that it's not useful for a player, caring the lineage has already been show in the books and stories to bring a higher level of respect from your peers, but also a higher level of expectation so it is kind of a trade-off.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #57 on: 07 November 2021, 21:06:36 »
Just checked and nope I actually didn't forget anything.  Huzzah!

But I probably should stop going into any further details on how I addressed some of this stuff to avoid getting this sent to the Fan Rules section.

The main reason I have not really given any fix ideas or charts. :thumbsup:
Legal can be a real pain in the butt.

monbvol

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #58 on: 07 November 2021, 21:12:47 »
As I said earlier I am against the idea of Bloodname Trait in the first place, and I am against the idea of paying for it before the game starts all together. But if you have to have a Bloodname Trait it should be to show you have the blood lineage to compete for it. As for the idea that it's not useful for a player, caring the lineage has already been show in the books and stories to bring a higher level of respect from your peers, but also a higher level of expectation so it is kind of a trade-off.

To an extent yes even being eligible for certain Bloodnames does seem to grant a certain level of advantage and expectation but actually having one goes even further in the fiction I am familiar with.

All in all I consider it both a strength and weakness of the official setting.  It makes things like this matter in ways that you have to address it in the RPG and sometimes GMs and players want to play more established characters.  Hence there needs to be an opportunity cost for these sorts of elements for those sorts of campaigns at character creation.

if I am understanding what you are arguing maybe having title, wealth (iffy on this personally) and rank give bonuses to the equipped trait, I think owns vehicle, and custom vehicle might also be reasonable to benefit if that change was made.

the only question then is what would be a reasonable benefit rate?

edit typo

More details can be found in my house rule thread and the master house rules document linked there.  Or feel free to remind me to address your question in that thread so that I can avoid being responsible for getting this thread sent to Fan Rules.

victor_shaw

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Re: AToW Vehicle Quirk rules and Battlemech Manual list?
« Reply #59 on: 07 November 2021, 21:26:19 »
if I am understanding what you are arguing maybe having title, wealth (iffy on this personally) and rank give bonuses to the equipped trait, I think owns vehicle, and custom vehicle might also be reasonable to benefit if that change was made.

the only question then is what would be a reasonable benefit rate?

edit typo

The main issues here is the all or nothing 100 point cost of Traits.
AToW is way to Rigid with its 100 point cost that modifiers would have to be in 100 point clusters.
This is a failing in the design, as it limited the way it can be modified and adjusted.
A better way is like it is handled in GURPS where the game/GM sets a number, 200 for a light mech lets say, and it is set at a light mech at that point. Then you add positive (Enhancements) and negative (Limitations) modifiers to it to get the final cost.
« Last Edit: 07 November 2021, 21:38:28 by victor_shaw »