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GM Spectre

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    Kuat (by way of Virginia, USA)

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  1. I haven't forgotten this! I'm still working on it. In fact, i'm pretty close to posting the V 1.0 rules I've developed. They are mostly concerned with building and running BattleMechs, as might be expected. But hopefully they will be a starting point for players and GMs to experiment with BattleTech Genesys. }I
  2. Hey everyone. I've been looking over the posts in this thread and I have some comments: I think the easiest way to handle missiles is to make them linked. After all, there are only 3 different levels of SRMs and four of LRMs. Linked 1-3 would be the easiest way to model multiple missile hits. you could possibly then spend advantage/triumph to hit specific body locations (maybe with a boost die for having a targeting computer, or some other advantage). Linked is a Genesys mechanic that already exists to handle this exact problem. It works great for all the other weapons too: I always liked mounting three or four medium lasers on one arm and linking them all together to blast away at my enemies! You could even simulate the mech pilot linking and unlinking weapon groups in combat (Maybe linking/unlinking weapon groups is a maneuver, possibly with a talent that makes it an incidental instead). As for the locations, I think they should be, along with hard points and weight, the basis for building mechs in the first place. GiantDad219's posts from above seem like a really good starting point for the basic stats. One of the things I always loved about building mechs in the video games and for the tabletop was the puzzle of trying to fit all the *stuff* onto my mech. Where would it fit? How close am I to my weight limit? How much armor can I afford to install. Can I cram an extra heat sink in my mech's head next to the ECM? I think this load-out customization is one of the hallmarks of Battletech/MechWarrior. I also think Genesys can model it very easily with just a few guidelines. OK, so here it goes: Basic mech chassis would each have a number of available hard points that could be used by the mech builder to customize their mech (just like in the older games but with the much easier Genesys hard point system to use). Weapons, armor, heat sinks, ammo & CASE systems, electronic warfare suites, cargo holds, etc. can all take up certain numbers of hard points. I'll have to put some thought into an easy, Genesys friendly way to make locations work with the combat rules, but I think they could work similarly to the Defense zones and armor of Star Wars/Genesys vehicles (which have "fore, port, starboard, aft" defense zones and an overall armor rating). In addition to the normal Genesys defense zones, each mech could have locations that take the place of the normal armor value and represent the different areas: Head, Center Torso, Left Torso, Right Torso, Left Arm, Right Arm, Left Leg, Right Leg. These locations would be used for armor and equipment placement/allocation as well as being specific areas that could be targeted by attacks or affected by critical hits (yes, I DO want to aim for the legs!). Each location would have a certain number of available hard points, based on the overall tonnage of the mech chassis, which could be filled with armor, weapons, or whatever, based on the builder's desire. Right now I'm thinking that armor could be installed by the location with each armor rating taking up one hard point (for simplicity, instead of trying to work out how much everything weighs, just base the number of hard points a mech chassis contains on it's weight). For example, if I have a 40 ton medium mech chassis (silhouette 3 seems about right for that), I might choose to install enough armor for each of the limbs and head to have an armor rating of 2 and the torso locations to have an armor rating of 3. Lets say a 40 ton, silhouette 3 mech has four hard points in each limb, three in the head, four in each side torso and six in the center torso. The armor would take up two hard points in each limb and the head, and three hard points in each of the torso locations. If I wanted I could increase the armor ratings (maybe to 3 & 4 respectively), but then I seriously have to think about what I want to do with the fewer hard points I have left. I still have to mount weapons, ammo, an engine, extra heat sinks and all the other goodies I want! As far as heat goes: It's very important to getting that Battletech/MechWarrior gameplay feel and I think system strain is another preexisting Genesys mechanic that is perfect for modeling it. Heat buildup basically IS system strain in Battletech. Perhaps each basic mech chassis starts out with a "Heat Threshold" that is essentially the same as a vehicle's Strain Threshold. Mechanically it would work much the same as system strain: pilots can take actions to reduce it and heat sinks would offset and automatically reduce it (based on how many you had installed), but going over your threshold results in an auto-shutdown, or worse... The biggest difference from normal System Strain would be that the primary way of gaining Heat would be through firing your own weapons and each weapon would have a heat cost associated with firing it. That means that managing your heat (much like managing system or personal strain in SW) becomes tactically very important, which feels right for Battletech. I'm thinking that each mech chassis should come preinstalled with a certain number of heatsinks (that go with the engine and are included in its hard points). Each additional heat sink installed takes up an extra hard point wherever the builder chooses to install it (double heat sinks take up two, but might be more efficient somehow). For example, lets say my 40 ton silhouette 3 mech from above has a "Heat Threshold" of 10 and a "Current Heat" value of 0 [which would be normal for a mech not suffering from heat buildup]. I install an engine that comes with 3 heat sinks and I install two more in the body for a total of 5 heat sinks. Then lets say I mount four medium lasers, which each (for the sake of this example) generate 2 Heat every time they are fired. My mech is automatically removing 5 heat every turn, so I can fire two of my medium lasers every turn (+4 Heat) without generating any lasting heat. But if I fire all four medium lasers, I'm generating +8 heat that turn, only 5 of which are reduced by my heat sinks, leaving me with 3 Heat (increasing my mech's "Current Heat" by 3, from 0 to 3). I'm still good for now, but if my "Current Heat" value reaches or exceeds my Heat Threshold (in this case, 10) my mech goes into auto-shutdown and I'm in danger of an internal explosion (a roll on the crit table, Ohh boy!). On my next turn, if I did nothing that generated more heat, my heat sinks would remove 5 heat automatically, bringing my "Current Heat" back down to my normal level of 0 (In this example, I could even fire one medium laser (+2 heat) and still get back down to 0 [ 3 Current Heat + 2 Heat - 5 Heat = 0 Current Heat]). Anyway, I plan on putting some thought into all this and I'll post updates as I come up with more ideas. I welcome any comments you guys have on this stuff too, of course!
  3. Yea, thats one thing I've been doing is trying to render my own textures which I can then use for surface depth or different kinds of cloud cover. I think its pretty cool how messing around with brightness and contrast can make things happen that you weren't even expecting.
  4. Red Giant Star: i did this one as a representation of the star R Leporis. But theres no reason it couldn't exist somewhere in a galaxy far, far away.
  5. Thats pretty cool. I'll have to try that out.
  6. A smoggy planet with an atmosphere possibly polluted by industrial waste, or maybe its a cold cold place with a methane atmosphere:
  7. A water planet and the same planet with different clouds The same planet with an Imperial blockade or interdiction force:
  8. An ecumenopolis with no cloud cover:
  9. So I've been trying to teach myself how to use GIMP and I thought a good way to start would be to make some planets. Full disclosure: I'm not a talented artist by any means. I found a great tutorial on how to do this here: http://mygimptutorial.com/the-ultimate-gimp-planet-tutorial . But I thought I'd share the results of my labours with anyone here who might want to use them. I have two planets done so far and i'll add more if people are interested as I get them finished. An arid world: Edit to this post: As of 03/2019 the above tutorial is no longer available and the link is broken. However... there are others out there for anyone who is interested in making planets.
  10. Yea, that place sounds pretty gritty and far from any spotlights.
  11. Maybe this isn't all that helpful, but have you tried inventing the planets and locations you want? I find that it is often too much of a hassle finding exactly the kind of place I want and, even if I do, half the time its on the other side of the galactic map from where I need it to be. I've spent hours surfing Wookiepedia for a planet that solves all of my problems and, in so doing, i've learned one very important lesson: It's sooo much easier just to invent the planet(s) you need. You can name them whatever you want and detail them however you want. The galaxy is a very big place after all. Chances are the person in your game who cares the most about exactly what planet the action is on is you. Give your locations a little flavor and a spark of adventure, and your players will be happy. You can rest easy in the fact that you are not an FFG game designer who has to use a "famous" location that will sell lots of books! (If Tatooine is such an out of the way, hole-in-the-wall Outer Rim dump, how come every other adventure seems to take place there? Or on Bespin, which is after all supposed to be some third-rate, backwater mining colony that no one has ever heard of?). My advice is make your own. Then it will fit perfectly into your adventure. The locations and NPCs will be yours to do with as you please without risking any pesky Cannon-destroying disintegrations. They will become places your players can relate to on a more personal level; Your places. It's also a lot of fun. If you're worried that you can't do it, trust me, you can. All you really need is a name, a few NPCs to give the place some character (which you should have anyway), and a few locations in orbit or dirt-side (tailored exactly to your needs) where adventure can happen. For example: You wrote: "I need an industrial planet/system that wouldn't be as crazy militarized as something like kuat, but still linked to the Empire. Preferably with orbital debris or interesting cosmic phenomena. Preferably close-ish to Yavin." You're already 3/4 of the way there, man. It sounds to me like all this place needs is a name. Those famous places like Kuat or Alderaan will still be there when you want them. Well, maybe not Alderaan...
  12. The Wikipedia article on neutron stars is a good place to start if you want to learn a little bit more about what pulsars are actually like: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutron_star IMHO, a neutron star would basically present the same sort of hazard to a starship as a black hole would, which is to say Extremely Hazardous! But only if you flew too close. Neutron stars have an incredible amount of density for their size (which is only about the size of a city). So they have gravity. Lots and lots of it. They also whip out some pretty wicked radiation. But that should only be a problem in the Star Wars universe if you as the GM want it to be. One of the most interesting things about neutron stars for our purposes is that they can have planets orbiting around them just like other stars. To quote the wiki: "Pulsar planets receive little visible light, but massive amounts of ionizing radiation and high-energy stellar wind, which makes them rather hostile environments". That screams to me: "A great place to set an adventure!" But maybe i'm just one of those evil GMs.
  13. You can take a cue from historical blockade runners. There are plenty of available accounts of real-world blockade-running. In general, even though blockade runners were/are armed, no blockade running captain would ever want to risk capture/destruction by engaging in a stand-up firefight with a blockading naval vessel. Guns, ammunition, and extra armor are bulky and take up precious tonnage that could be used for carrying goods through the blockade (which is, after all, what blockade runners do. Its all about the $$$$$$!). Speed and stealth are the blockade runner's best friends. Historical blockade runners would try to sneak past blockading ships at night, if possible, and used tricks like smoke screens or false flags to get away if they were spotted. A good smuggling captain will also know all of the reefs, sand bars, and other obstacles in and near a port, and how to navigate through them. When all else fails: speed, speed, speed! A successful blockade runner will always be one of the fastest ships in the theatre. I'm sure you've heard of "fight or flight". Blockade runners and smugglers are flight animals. Any blockade runner will be heavily outgunned by even a modestly sized naval vessel. They should only be fighting as a last resort. Translating that to Star Wars might mean leaving a planet on its night side (to avoid optical detection) and leaving from a desolate or unsettled area of the planet to minimize the chances of other ships or scanners detecting them. Signal jammers, false BOSS transmitters, and other electronic countermeasures should be mandatory on a blockade runner, which could allow them to make stealth rolls (or give them blue dice on those rolls, whatever works). Orbiting junk fields, container yards, or ring systems could provide cover to a ship making a break for it. Give your players some options to use. If they get spotted, their first instinct should be to flee, not fight. A harrowing escape through an orbiting container yard or minefield would make a cinematic and nail-biting encounter. I would have them engage mostly with enemy fighter patrols though. Keep the Customs frigate or Star Destroyer as a looming threat in the background, relentlessly chasing after them, but be careful about letting it get too close. Just like in real life, a Star Wars smuggler is no match for the big guns and boarding parties of a navy destroyer. If they do happen to get caught in a situation where they can't escape, there's always the "dump your cargo and play dumb" routine. That worked for Han Solo that one time. Well, sort of...
  14. No, but I like your taste in ships. I loved the Assault Gunboat in the old Lucasarts TIE Fighter game. I'm actually kind-of surprised FFG hasn't done it yet. It seems like a perfect fit for the mechanics of the X-wing minis game.
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