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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:27 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Fri May 08, 2015 1:34 pm
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"Or, how I stopped worrying about price tags and learned to love the Rifts."

SO, uhm. I feel real stupid saying this, but I just came to the conclusion that the massive price tags on the average weapon and suit of power armor (never mind a robot) were not realistically designed to be accomplish able goals for the average player character or group of player characters. I mean, what D&D player ever spent 10 plus million gold on ANYTHING?

The mad price tags on war machines, cyborg parts and the like forces the characters into a level of quid pro quo. You get that new bionic arm, and the king gets that brodkill problem solved. Yeah, we'll give you a NG combat robot, but weve got a small army of zombies roaming the countryside. Like that SAMSON Power Armor? Well, the mayor's daughter was kidnapped by vampires. Nice UAR-1 you got there. Whats that? Multiplel radar contacts squawking Coalition ID?

You get the idea. Wanna play? Gotta pay. but not monies. No character can amass or steal that much money.

Or worse. Ever seen that movie "Lord of War?" Maybe the characters get paid in super illegal drugs, worth several million credits. Or Necromantic supplies.

Option three is the war campaign, where the entire party gets some form of war machine (robots and armor for the pilots, APC/tank for the non-men of arms characters) and they are hired guns instead of freelance adventurers. The characters are issued their gear, military style, and must return them after missions.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:04 pm
  

Explorer

Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:48 am
Posts: 189
slade2501 wrote:
"Or, how I stopped worrying about price tags and learned to love the Rifts."

SO, uhm. I feel real stupid saying this, but I just came to the conclusion that the massive price tags on the average weapon and suit of power armor (never mind a robot) were not realistically designed to be accomplish able goals for the average player character or group of player characters. I mean, what D&D player ever spent 10 plus million gold on ANYTHING?

The mad price tags on war machines, cyborg parts and the like forces the characters into a level of quid pro quo. You get that new bionic arm, and the king gets that brodkill problem solved. Yeah, we'll give you a NG combat robot, but weve got a small army of zombies roaming the countryside. Like that SAMSON Power Armor? Well, the mayor's daughter was kidnapped by vampires. Nice UAR-1 you got there. Whats that? Multiplel radar contacts squawking Coalition ID?

You get the idea. Wanna play? Gotta pay. but not monies. No character can amass or steal that much money.

Or worse. Ever seen that movie "Lord of War?" Maybe the characters get paid in super illegal drugs, worth several million credits. Or Necromantic supplies.

Option three is the war campaign, where the entire party gets some form of war machine (robots and armor for the pilots, APC/tank for the non-men of arms characters) and they are hired guns instead of freelance adventurers. The characters are issued their gear, military style, and must return them after missions.

We have a very current thread on this already.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:12 pm
  

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Comment: Arrrrgggghhhh!
The other consideration is that the values found in books are merely the Base Price and you go up or down from there with regards to what the current region can afford.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:49 pm
  

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slade2501 wrote:
"Or, how I stopped worrying about price tags and learned to love the Rifts."

SO, uhm. I feel real stupid saying this, but I just came to the conclusion that the massive price tags on the average weapon and suit of power armor (never mind a robot) were not realistically designed to be accomplish able goals for the average player character or group of player characters. I mean, what D&D player ever spent 10 plus million gold on ANYTHING?

The mad price tags on war machines, cyborg parts and the like forces the characters into a level of quid pro quo. You get that new bionic arm, and the king gets that brodkill problem solved. Yeah, we'll give you a NG combat robot, but weve got a small army of zombies roaming the countryside. Like that SAMSON Power Armor? Well, the mayor's daughter was kidnapped by vampires. Nice UAR-1 you got there. Whats that? Multiplel radar contacts squawking Coalition ID?

You get the idea. Wanna play? Gotta pay. but not monies. No character can amass or steal that much money.

Or worse. Ever seen that movie "Lord of War?" Maybe the characters get paid in super illegal drugs, worth several million credits. Or Necromantic supplies.

Option three is the war campaign, where the entire party gets some form of war machine (robots and armor for the pilots, APC/tank for the non-men of arms characters) and they are hired guns instead of freelance adventurers. The characters are issued their gear, military style, and must return them after missions.


Good post.
:ok:

And yes, Rifts lends itself well to bartering and other non-monetary transactions!
It's one of the many cool aspects of the setting.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:29 am
  

Hero

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1377
slade2501 wrote:
"Or, how I stopped worrying about price tags and learned to love the Rifts."

SO, uhm. I feel real stupid saying this, but I just came to the conclusion that the massive price tags on the average weapon and suit of power armor (never mind a robot) were not realistically designed to be accomplish able goals for the average player character or group of player characters. I mean, what D&D player ever spent 10 plus million gold on ANYTHING?


Uhh.. any Warrior or Priest that reached 9th level and wanted their followers did. Castles are EXPENSIVE.

=P No comment on the other parts of the thread, but as an old school D&D guy..

Or, play Spelljammer. Ships are EXPENSIVE. So are Spelljamming Helms.

Edit: Okay, comment on the rest of the text:

Find a CS Patrol driving around in their most common troop transport - the Mark V APC. Ambush and kill the CS Patrol (prefferably with some ruse or subterfuge to get most of them out of the Mark V so you dont have to destroy it); not an insignificant task (as you're likely staring down 20 CS Grunts in Heavy Armor + 6 Old-style or Smiling jack SAMs/4 infantry PA + 2 hovercycles.

Tough pill to swallow, sure, but with a well prepared ambush and the right mix of spells and abilities (assuming your party believes in party diversity), even a batch of 1st or 2nd level characters could pull it off.

If you dont damage the Mark V too much, or can repair the armor damage before selling it, it will net you a little over THREE MILLION credits. (Black Market pays 15% on CS vehicles - or more, but well use the base 15% here).

It's really NOT that hard to make big piles of cash if you're smart. Also, check out the bounties in Merc Ops. Most of those are in the millions of credits and all but one or two (taking out the guys with the uprated Naruni Hovertank might be a serious problem, for instance... catch them outside the tank, IMO) are pretty easy captures or kills as long as you dont run in guns-a-blazin like fools.

And that doesn't even include loot.

Get those guys with the Hovertank outside their tank and manage to capture it? If you didn't want to use it (you know, shot on sight and all, but it does have a cupola mounted Boom Gun as a *secondary* weapon) its worth about 20 million all on its own. That doesn't even include the bounties.

Further edit: Not that im poo-pooing the idea of a game largely based around barter. In fact, i'd agree that the further you get from "civilization", the less and less credits matter because there's no place to spen them so the locals dont care about them.

But i dont think your assertion that PCs were never meant to buy those things because they are expensive is at all true. Depending on the type of game the GM is running and the type of enemies you run into (and how smart your PCs are about taking damage and expending expensive ammo thus racking up high costs of operation) its not that hard to make a decent chunk of change even just selling weapons and body armor.

If you can salvage a few complete suits of armor from an encounter (by taking some headshots on some guys and not on others, for instance), and all their guns and e-clips, even wiping out a band of six to ten CS troops (even in old-school gear) will net you a decent chunk, even at the 10% price the BM pays. Every rifle is roughly 3-5k credits, every pistol another 1-2k, armor is 5k, e-clips actually sell very well (they get a much higher rate), as do explosives like grenades. As long as you didn't incur a butload of expenses, its not hard to make a decent living just selling the crap off the people you kill.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:53 am
  

Palladin

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:11 pm
Posts: 6519
honestly, i don't think there are too many groups of first level PCs who should be planning to ambush a fully loaded mark V APC. i mean, apart from the fact that it means you're probably in or near CS territory (and therefore probably within range of SAMAS patrols, other nearby squads, and maybe even close enough for medium range missiles to offer support from other nearby units within the first couple of rounds), the action economy is really gonna screw you over hard. you better have some absolutely mind-blowingly strong advantages if you're gonna try to pull off this kind of stuff, unless you're talking groups like i've heard kevin used to run with 17 characters in them or something like that.

and then, when all is said and done, *you* don't have 3 million credits. you have one share of 3 million credits (if you weren't the unlucky guy who just got 15 lasers to the face, and didn't ever make it to the part where you get a share of the loot). *if* you somehow managed to persuade everyone to get out and leave the door unlocked, as opposed to, say, leaving the driver inside with a few guards, and probably also having standing orders to do whatever the land version of scuttling a ship is if someone tries to capture it. and given they tend to be on the fanatical side, i honestly wouldn't be too surprised if some of them would just blow it up with themselves inside rather than let it fall into the hands of anything that remotely qualifies as having "party diversity" even if there isn't some relatively straightforward process of rendering the vehicle unusable (but seriously, just cracking open the nuclear power supply should do the trick - i imagine the price for a marv V goes down considerably when the whole thing is irradiated).

now, the general concept, i can more or less agree with; given careful planning, good use of abilities, and some luck, it is possible for a group to come into a fairly large sum of money. but i wouldn't recommend you try to do it by getting into firefights with large numbers of CS soldiers.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:48 pm
  

Hero

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1377
I don't want to get too side-tracky, so if this is going to go on beyond this we can make a new thread about party tactics or something...

Shark_Force wrote:
honestly, i don't think there are too many groups of first level PCs who should be planning to ambush a fully loaded mark V APC.


Considering the abysmal rate at which you gain extra attacks, being higher than first level isn't really a huge advantage for about 90% of classes. Its seriously beneficial to mystic-type magic users and psychics, but that's really about it.

Quote:
i mean, apart from the fact that it means you're probably in or near CS territory


This doesn't wash. the CS patrols hundreds of miles outside its own borders on a regular basis, particularly into the Magic Zone. (SB1, SB1r, CWC, FoM/r, etc)

Quote:
(and therefore probably within range of SAMAS patrols,)


They actually have 6 SAMs on board, standard, if you read the loadout above. Or 4 infantry PAs + 2 hovercycles (which might mean rocket cycles in later times). Never said it was gonna be super easy.

Quote:
other nearby squads,


Only if there are any. This isn't something i'd want to try to pull inside CS territory.

Quote:
and maybe even close enough for medium range missiles to offer support from other nearby units within the first couple of rounds),


This is a non-starter unless the units firing the missiles can target you. There are no rules for passing coordinates or anything like that. if the guys with the MRMs cant pick you up on sensors, they cant shoot at you.

Quote:
the action economy is really gonna screw you over hard. you better have some absolutely mind-blowingly strong advantages


In a typical 40 man infantry platoon, only 4 of the troops will have non-energy weapons with any significant range, and only the sergeants and the platoon LT will have a C-5 pump pistol (which lacks significant range). Impervious to Energy makes the action economy pointless. Let them shoot you. They aren't doing anything. Blow away the guys with the rocket launchers first. Or just shoot the launchers. They dont have a ton of MDC. That way no one else can pick them up and use them.

The real issue is the SAMs. Those rail guns are dangerous.

Also, Carpet of Adhesion is stronk. It can turn that entire platoon into helpless targets.

Invisibility: Lesser is murderously strong - given that it give anyone trying to attack you a -10 to hit. And doesn't go down when you attack. And is hillariously cheap on PPE. (edit: -9 to hit)
Quote:
if you're gonna try to pull off this kind of stuff, unless you're talking groups like i've heard kevin used to run with 17 characters in them or something like that.
and then, when all is said and done, *you* don't have 3 million credits. you have one share of 3 million credits (if you weren't the unlucky guy who just got 15 lasers to the face, and didn't ever make it to the part where you get a share of the loot).


Quote:
*if* you somehow managed to persuade everyone to get out and leave the door unlocked, as opposed to, say, leaving the driver inside with a few guards,


The crew of the APC itself is certainly inside, which is the driver, gunner, assistant driver/comm officer and a door gunner or two. But this is where im talking "party diversity". Telemechanics is a wonderful thing. They cant really lock you out if you have the right (fairly basic) set of powers. A lot of Rifts groups ive seen tend to eschew party balance though, and often end up with no Pisionic or Magic using characters. I wouldn't try this with that party. That'd be suicide.

Quote:
and probably also having standing orders to do whatever the land version of scuttling a ship is if someone tries to capture it. and given they tend to be on the fanatical side, i honestly wouldn't be too surprised if some of them would just blow it up with themselves inside rather than let it fall into the hands of anything that remotely qualifies as having "party diversity" even if there isn't some relatively straightforward process of rendering the vehicle unusable (but seriously, just cracking open the nuclear power supply should do the trick - i imagine the price for a marv V goes down considerably when the whole thing is irradiated).


There is no self destruct listed on the Mark V, and there is nothing to say that the reactor is even reachable. There's also nothing to say it isn't, but the average soldiers in the CS aren't as fanatic as you're painting it for one thing (CWC, SB1/r, SB4 CSN, Lone Star), and a lot of them would probably surrender if they just watched 30+ of their buddies get gunned down and were told theyd be left alive if they bail out and hand over the Mark V. Particularly if they are currently stuck in a CoA and cant move.

Quote:
now, the general concept, i can more or less agree with; given careful planning, good use of abilities, and some luck, it is possible for a group to come into a fairly large sum of money. but i wouldn't recommend you try to do it by getting into firefights with large numbers of CS soldiers.


Now, im not saying that its going to be easy for a low level party. It certainly wont be. Itll be easier for a high level party (because if you have a TW he can outfit the party with some seriously potent gear that makes CS infantry encounters laughably easy) because of better spell and psionics selection, but it's doable if you plan it right.

And the Mark V was just the first thing that came to mind. You dont have to shoot that big. You can rack up decent spoils just collecting weapons and armor, as long as you dont expend too much. Heck, even just wiping out some bandits that all have hovercycles or something can net you a couple hundred thousand pretty quick.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 3:54 am
  

Palladin

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:11 pm
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impervious to energy is a level 6 spell, meaning no guaranteed access for anyone before level 6. grenades are standard issue for dead boys, as is a non-energy weapon of choice, and the CS does have underbarrel grenade launchers on the 12 C-14 rifles that are standard for the vehicle (note: those are not the . and while i'm sure the CS patrols at long range, i have my doubts they're driving a mark V through trackless wilderness for hundreds of miles. simple invisibility doesn't work against infrared or thermal sensors, which are cheap and widely available, including being available to all dead boys upon assignment unless their superior officer hates all of them. long-range radar is fairly standard, and the CS has an air force these days. oh, and also the vehicle itself has a rail gun better than a SAMAS, a pair of mini-missile launchers, and a pair of autocannons that hit a 20 foot radius for heavy damage.

i would not expect all or even most of the group of 4-6 people who try to ambush a mark V to come out alive (and when you're talking about having a "diverse group", level does count for quite a bit as you've already noted). large numbers of people with decent weapons output a *lot* of damage.

now, you can still earn some good money in various ways. i just don't recommend picking fights with groups several times larger than your own to be one of those ways.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:44 am
  

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Why do you have to ambush the Mark V while it's mobile? Wait until they stop to break camp (they will have to sleep after all).

They will probably send smaller squads out on patrols while they are stopped.

Jam their radios. Throw mud at their helmets so they either have to spend time cleaning it or take it off making their heads vulnerable. Don't fight them all at once.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:53 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Just one thought here before this goes all side tracked on if a party of 4-6 people can or can not take out a Mark V (or other group of CS or fill in the blank) and use them as "loot piñatas" is a popular term.

The answer is "it depends."
It depends on how the GM chooses to have their world set up.
It depends on where the "Lethality" dial is turned to at that particular table.
It depends on where the "grittiness" dial is turned to at that particular table.
It depends on where the "realism" dial is turned to at that particular table.
It depends on where the "cinematic" dial is turned to at that particular table.
It depends on what level of tactical planning the GM is willing to allow NPCs to have.
It depends on the level of tactical knowledge the GM has.
It depends on the level of tactical knowledge the PCs have.
It depends on the level of tactical knowledge the Players have.
It depends on what the party is made up of.
It depends on what resources are available to PCs in that particular game.
It depends on what resources are not available to PCs in that particular game.
It depends on where and when the game is being set.
In short it depends on so many variables that there is no way to have a realistic "debate" about it... because there is quite literally nothing to debate. It comes down to "if it is possible in your game then you can do it. If it is not possible in your game then you can't."

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Unread postPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:18 pm
  

Hero

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1377
Shark_Force wrote:
impervious to energy is a level 6 spell, meaning no guaranteed access for anyone before level 6.


Orly? Techno Wizards start with it by default (though, oddly, in their pre-made TW armor that they start with, can't have that spell.... go figure). 3 of the other 5 or 6 top mage classes (Shifter, Temporal Wizard, and Temporal Warrior) can all start with it at first level, just off the top of my head, without going through a bunch of books. Also, sixth level spells are not in the "only available once in a blue moon" range. Theyre expensive, but can be purchased.

Quote:
grenades are standard issue for dead boys,


Arms that throw grenades 1500-2000ft are not, however.

Quote:
as is a non-energy weapon of choice,


If you're playing one as a PC, perhaps, but not as stated in the sourcebooks. (SB1/r, CWC, Siege books for typical coalition squad, their composition and weapon breakdowns).

Quote:
and the CS does have underbarrel grenade launchers on the 12 C-14 rifles that are standard for the vehicle


Theyll have to run inside to get them, as they aren't standard for the Grunts themselves. And they only shoot 1000ft (the grenade launcher; the rifle has a commendable 2000ft range).

Quote:
(note: those are not the . and while i'm sure the CS patrols at long range, i have my doubts they're driving a mark V through trackless wilderness for hundreds of miles.


Doubt all you like, but the average long range patrols are statted out in the books. That's what im going on. They do, in fact, drive Mark Vs through trackless wilderness for hundreds of miles. And sometimes dont even give them Mark Vs. They just go out in platoon strength boots-on-the-ground.

Quote:
simple invisibility doesn't work against infrared or thermal sensors, which are cheap and widely available,


And just about entirely useless during the day and do not see 1500ft+ for the man portable versions. The SAMs may have you dialed in though, or at least, can rapidly close the range.

Quote:
including being available to all dead boys upon assignment unless their superior officer hates all of them. long-range radar is fairly standard,


Great. Im not sure what that's going to do about a bunch of guys shooting you from the trees though. Radar isn't some magical Star Trek like sensor that can pinpoint things over terrain, through objects, from 50 miles away. You have to have clear line of sight.

Quote:
and the CS has an air force these days.


A fairly bad one, to be honest, especially compared to the NGR's Luftwaffe. CS Aircraft simply dont go fast enough to get there in time to help.

Quote:
oh, and also the vehicle itself has a rail gun better than a SAMAS, a pair of mini-missile launchers, and a pair of autocannons that hit a 20 foot radius for heavy damage.


Correct. Youll also remember that i recommended some kind of subterfuge to get the troops to disembark from the vehicle and lead them into an ambush? I know i said that.

Quote:
i would not expect all or even most of the group of 4-6 people who try to ambush a mark V to come out alive (and when you're talking about having a "diverse group", level does count for quite a bit as you've already noted). large numbers of people with decent weapons output a *lot* of damage.


Only if they can actually hurt or hit you. Youll notice im not talking about running up and hugging the Mark V. Engage from max range. The only weapons they have that range you are energy weapons that cant hurt you (if your party prepared correctly) and they have a miserable chance of even hitting you. The Mark V itself has some formidable weapons, but... again, at no point was i like "just roll up and ambush the Mark V at close range with the vehicle, and all people on board at once". Use subterfuge, lay traps, etc. And range them. Stay out of the range of any of their personal weapons that are non-energy, which isn't terribly hard except against the SAMs.

Quote:
now, you can still earn some good money in various ways. i just don't recommend picking fights with groups several times larger than your own to be one of those ways.


Then you're not thinking outside the box enough. Party diversity (read: Magic and Psionics) are a massive force multiplier when used correctly and ways that are hard for the enemy to counter.

However, this entire point can be rendered moot. Screw capturing the Mark V intact. It's only got 350 MDC. Trash it.

Then salvage the reactor, the mini missiles, autocannon rounds, Rail gun and ammo, laser cannons, and all the on-board loot (rifles, plasma cannons, MM launchers and reloads, E-clips), and all the loot from the entire 20-man squad, 60 C-40R railguns (from the SAMs), etc.

Still a few hundred grand in salvage.

Enough derailing, though, if we want to have this talk, one of us can start a new thread if there is interest.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:23 pm
  

Palladin

Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 4:11 pm
Posts: 6519
max range for that carpet of adhesion you want to throw is 60 feet. pretty sure that's well within the range of a thrown grenade, a launched grenade, and all the kinetic weapons on the leopard. and actually, that trend pretty much applies for most of the clever stuff you want to do with magic and psionics.

magic and psionics are indeed great force multipliers, but the better decision is not to pick extremely risky fights in the first place. now, that might be as simple as "hire a group of people that don't like the CS to help" (tolkeen revenge squads, probably certain mercenary companies, have a high level shifter that can summon a ton of tectonic entities to soak damage, etc), but when your whole plan hinges on your target somehow screwing up royally, without a good idea of how you're actually going to make that happen, you've got problems. "somehow get the CS patrol to split up and let you kill them one by one" is not a plan.

now, if you can set things up so you sneak up on a pair of SAMAS (possibly in a TW flying vehicle with superior invisibility, that will become visible once you attack but *does* protect against all kinds of sensors) and you've got a couple mind melters that can use telemechanic remote control, or some other way to reliably neutralize and retrieve the loot, that's the kind of situation where you can leverage your force multipliers to make some good money without taking massive risks. 4 against 40, with nothing more than some vague plan that they're all going to co-operate in their own demise? that's just asking for disaster.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:09 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
*goes and gets popcorn*
I suspect that this thread is now going to be sidetracked into a digression as people talk past each other about how their game is run and thus allows situations to be handled differently than how someone else's game which is run differently and thus handles situations in a different way.

Because as an outside observer here Shark_Force and Colonel_Tetsuya are talking past each other...
...as while they are both, theoretically talking about the same "thing" (raiding a CS patrol) they are both obviously coming at it with utterly different assumptions based on totally different ways that their gaming groups run things.
Neither style is 'wrong', nor is either one 'right' they are just different.
What works perfectly in one group is an invitation to a TPK in another group.
What one group considers to be basic another group considers rare.
What one group considers to be X another group considers to be Y...

If it works at your table then that's fine.
But it wont work at every table... because as I have learned over the years not everyone plays the same way.


For the simplest most obvious example...
Not every gaming group runs E-clips the same way. In fact I have yet to see any two groups that have handled the issue the exact same way.
That means that right there one of the core economic factors of the setting is already a wildcard variable at each table.
From there that means that quite literally every single economic model and game theory at every table is going to be divergently unique just on that one factor alone. That doesn't count any of the other of the dozens of factors I could name off the top of my head.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:32 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2001 1:01 am
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dragonfett wrote:
Why do you have to ambush the Mark V while it's mobile? Wait until they stop to break camp (they will have to sleep after all).

They will probably send smaller squads out on patrols while they are stopped.

Jam their radios. Throw mud at their helmets so they either have to spend time cleaning it or take it off making their heads vulnerable. Don't fight them all at once.


I find river ambushes a great way to attack a group. EBA means you can hide under water that will help you while you wight. If you specialize in taking out a Mark 5 keep a few spare tires for it and shoot out 2-3 tires on one side to stop it.

Destroying a bridge it is on can cause it to fall in a river and get stuck.

Good old fashion tank ditches( A large trench that when the vehicle tries to cross cause the front end to fall getting it stuck and if you use something to hide the pit nice trap) can also stop it with minimal damage and limit its use of built in weapons.

Attacking them while the make camp or while they are clearing a building or running dismounted opps.

Battle salvage over all is a good source of income, every rifle and eclip the other guys have can be sold/traded.
You might pay in E-rifles for repairs or new armor. A e-clip to refuel/recharge vehicles.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:23 am
  

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My players always acquired massive amounts of credits by salvaging...

Basic MDC Weapons of a CS solider (Rifle/Pistol) are worth around 50k credit (avg) evening getting a third or a quarter of that is a nice profit.

Admittedly, players have to be interested in salvaging and the like which most aren't too keen on those sorts of details... But they'll be the first to complain about paying to repair MDC armor and the like... The monetary system of Rifts is ridiculous, but it is in the players favor if they take advantage and or the GM lets them.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:46 am
  

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I found it to be quite the opposite. Players specifically targeting the Coalition just to loot their bodies and steal their gear.

Headshot one guy + Chest shot the next = 1 Full Suit + Salvage

Any enemy I throw at them, the firs thing that goes through their minds: "How much money am I going to make off this?"


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:51 am
  

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Tiree wrote:
I found it to be quite the opposite. Players specifically targeting the Coalition just to loot their bodies and steal their gear.

Headshot one guy + Chest shot the next = 1 Full Suit + Salvage

Any enemy I throw at them, the firs thing that goes through their minds: "How much money am I going to make off this?"


:ok:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:48 am
  

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Comment: Token Right Wing Fascist Totalitarian
"Never hit a man while he's down. Kick them, it's easier" - The Hunt
Killer Cyborg wrote:
Tiree wrote:
I found it to be quite the opposite. Players specifically targeting the Coalition just to loot their bodies and steal their gear.

Headshot one guy + Chest shot the next = 1 Full Suit + Salvage

Any enemy I throw at them, the first thing that goes through their minds: "How much money am I going to make off this?"


:ok:

I will say this: I found the way to counteract it some was time. Time is a factor that does not bode well for a group of adventurers after a fire fight. Things come out of the woodwork once the noises of combat stop. Critters looking for food, other salvagers looking for a pay day. Most importantly other Coalition Patrols backing up their comrades - and in greater numbers.

Depending on the group, and how they act/react to the Coalition, I add tactics to their skillset. Instead of having Storm Troopers who cant hit the broadside of a barn, you have Elite Combat Troopers who coordinate, use cover, use tactics, and use coordinated combat maneuvers.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:46 pm
  

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A plan to take out a Coalition patrol needs to be very well thought out, but I am strongly against the idea that the Coalition should be played with a hive mind "screw the players" ability, like some seem to be suggesting.

Your average Coalition patrol is made up mostly of 18 year olds who have been through basic training, handed a gun and some armor, and told to go shoot bad guys. Even the commanders aren't going to be all that experienced. You're just talking about a generic Mark V APC. The Coalition probably loses those things all the time. Nobody is going to send out stealth bombers or fire medium range missiles out into the wilderness just because Sergeant Jones and his group of nobodies are getting ambushed by some unknown party.

Generally, the GM shouldn't just hand over a fully functional APC and all the gear that goes with it, but neither should he be a killer GM and use his own out-of-character knowledge to save the Coalition grunts from a well-planned ambush. Certain GMs get mad when players have a good idea, and they just scream "Nooooo!!!" and do whatever they can to save their precious no-name NPCs. The problem that Coalition soldiers are going to have, is that they are reacting to an unknown threat. They really don't know who they're facing or what the attackers plan on doing. If you do it right, they may not even know they're under attack. They really shouldn't be able to leap out of their vehicle and respond with the GM's full knowledge of what the players have planned.

Now, repeated uses of the same tactic should make you more and more likely to get caught. At some point, somebody may get a message back to base, or the next guy who comes along might react differently (people are different, after all). So just because the players manage to take one APC and the gear that goes with it, that doesn't mean it's suddenly an endless supply of cash for them. It's the sort of thing that has to be roleplayed out every time they want to do it. And there should always be an element of danger. Getting complacent gets you killed. But it's just an an APC.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 2:51 pm
  

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Recently on FB I participated in a debate about paid GMs.

When I read the thread title I totally thought it was about an offer to perform GMing, or other services, and to get paid in EComics and Rifts books...

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:46 pm
  

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Eagle wrote:
A plan to take out a Coalition patrol needs to be very well thought out, but I am strongly against the idea that the Coalition should be played with a hive mind "screw the players" ability, like some seem to be suggesting.

Your average Coalition patrol is made up mostly of 18 year olds who have been through basic training, handed a gun and some armor, and told to go shoot bad guys. Even the commanders aren't going to be all that experienced. You're just talking about a generic Mark V APC. The Coalition probably loses those things all the time. Nobody is going to send out stealth bombers or fire medium range missiles out into the wilderness just because Sergeant Jones and his group of nobodies are getting ambushed by some unknown party.

Generally, the GM shouldn't just hand over a fully functional APC and all the gear that goes with it, but neither should he be a killer GM and use his own out-of-character knowledge to save the Coalition grunts from a well-planned ambush. Certain GMs get mad when players have a good idea, and they just scream "Nooooo!!!" and do whatever they can to save their precious no-name NPCs. The problem that Coalition soldiers are going to have, is that they are reacting to an unknown threat. They really don't know who they're facing or what the attackers plan on doing. If you do it right, they may not even know they're under attack. They really shouldn't be able to leap out of their vehicle and respond with the GM's full knowledge of what the players have planned.

Now, repeated uses of the same tactic should make you more and more likely to get caught. At some point, somebody may get a message back to base, or the next guy who comes along might react differently (people are different, after all). So just because the players manage to take one APC and the gear that goes with it, that doesn't mean it's suddenly an endless supply of cash for them. It's the sort of thing that has to be roleplayed out every time they want to do it. And there should always be an element of danger. Getting complacent gets you killed. But it's just an an APC.


here's the thing: the PCs haven't repeatedly tried the same tactics (yet), but that doesn't mean that those tactics haven't been repeatedly used by dozens of other groups that hate the coalition.

and actually, it is totally worth calling in an airstrike or a SAMAS patrol or a missile barrage to keep an APC. it's not like they have those resources for something other than attacking the enemies of the CS, and guess what: those guys attacking the APC? i bet there's an *incredibly* high correlation between attacking CS patrols to steal their stuff and being enemies of the CS.

plus, while being attacked is good for the party line (oh look, we're totally under constantly siege and in imminent danger, better not ask for any civil rights or we might collapse), actually losing troops and resources is not particularly good. i would expect the CS likes to have as many of their "losses" be as fictional as possible so that they get the propaganda benefits without the loss in troops and equipment. also, i see no reason to presume typical CS patrols are entirely composed of inexperienced soldiers. they have a gigantic professional military, especially if you go with canon, where their military is probably somewhere between 35-50% of their population. not everyone is going to be an experienced veteran, but more of them should have some experience (maybe levels 2-4) than not, and at least a few are likely in the level 5-9 range.

now, obviously, they must not have cared *that* much about losses in the siege on tolkeen, but consider: most of the equipment was probably recovered (the CS kept moving forward, after all, and guerilla warfare is not conducive to bringing along giant trucks to salvage giant vehicles or to sticking around an ambush site to thoroughly loot anything), and they probably weren't exactly handing out the best equipment to their totally green troops.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:16 pm
  

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I find it hard to believe that "other people" have tried every tactic possible, or that the Coalition has created countermeasures to everything, or that every Joe Sergeant has been trained in those countermeasures. Most of these guys have very little training regarding magic or psionics.

A 1st level psi-ghost can walk right through the walls of a vehicle, and then use telemechanics to know everything there is about it (including how to drive it). At 3rd level, he can use telemechanic possession to take it over and have full control over it. Now sure, he wouldn't want to do that when there are people inside who could shoot his body, but at that point the only challenge becomes "can the players think of a way to get the soldiers out of the vehicle?" Or "can the players get near the vehicle when nobody else is around?" Those shouldn't be impossible tasks.

In my experience, the most effective uses of powers happen when people misinterpret what is really happening. Don't have your psi-ghost show up and say "I'm a psi-ghost, a psychic who can control technology with my mind!" Instead have him put on some zombie makeup, dress in an old style Coalition uniform, go intangible, and have him come out of the woods late at night screaming about how he's the ghost of Colonel Jeb Johnson, and these woods are cursed. Cuuuurrrsssed!!! Then chase the soldiers around the campsite. They'll crap their pants and flee in terror. Some will shoot at you in a blind panic (which won't hurt you, because you're intangible), and they might accidentally shoot each other. If some of them run for the APC, just float through the walls and grab at them. "I have come for your souls..." They'll run right back out.

It's the Scooby Doo trick. It's even better if you've got a mage nearby who can throw a couple of illusions (even just scary sounds and weird lights) to assist. They're never going to guess that you're just a thief who is trying to steal their stuff. You chase them around until they've fled into the woods to escape. Then you get in their APC and drive off.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:05 pm
  

Palladin

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somewhere between 20-40% of those CS soldiers probably ARE psychic to some extent. they're not going to be completely stumped by psionics. all of them are perfectly capable of taking any lore skill, and considering they're expecting to fight against it on a regular basis, i find it incredibly improbable that none of them chose to learn how to defend themselves against magic or psionics. many of them have probably at some point or another been called upon to help deal with some sort of magical or psionic threat at some point in their careers.

they live in a world where psionics is all over the place, and they have numerous magical enemies.

not every single sergeant is going to know every trick, and not every single trick will have been tried, but the CS has been in an low-level war with a variety of nations that use extensive magic and psionics for something like 50-60 years now. the idea that most stuff with standard magic or psionics hasn't been tried is just really implausible. it would require that the CS have enemies who never sat down and asked themselves what kinds of tricks they could use to hurt the CS over that entire time period, and they have probably had thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people thinking about exactly that subject, bouncing ideas off each other, for decades. not to mention dimensionally travelling to find other groups that use psionics and magic a lot and getting ideas from them.

so unless you're talking about something that's either very rare, or very new, it very probably has been tried. or, to put it another way:

imagine you gave your players a challenge, that they would get, say, 10 bucks every time they come up with an extremely effective method to ambush a CS patrol that you haven't heard of. they have access to most spells and man of magic OCCs, as well as most psionic OCCs and powers. now imagine you had them do that for 50 years. now this is one group, probably doing that in their spare time as a hobby, and most likely none of them are geniuses in the field. now imagine that you were also doing that with 100 other groups.

now bring in a new group of 4-6 people and ask them to come up with a method to ambush a CS patrol. they have access to only 4-6 OCCs, and probably at least half of them are not psionic or magical in nature, and odds are good they weren't specifically chosen with an eye towards specifically ambushing CS patrols. how likely do you think it will be that they'll come up with something you have never ever heard of?

so yes, at this point, the CS as a whole most likely has at some point encountered whatever clever trick you're trying to pull. probably multiple times, as different groups think up the same thing. do they happen to have someone in the patrol who is perfectly equipped to handle whatever precise variation of that trick you're trying to pull? maybe not. but somewhere in the training they're getting (and all signs point to the CS army being fairly well-trained, with the number of skills that even grunts get comparing reasonably well to all the other man-at-arms classes), especially for the officers, you can bet there's a class where they learn about all kinds of tricks that are used in combat. just like modern officers are taught about the strategy and tactics of various wars in history, you can bet that officers in the rifts earth setting learn about strategy and tactics used in their own history. and i'm sorry, but no, the PCs are not super-geniuses that routinely come up with never-before-imagined ideas.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 4:47 pm
  

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I use barter/oaths of service in the recruitment of my corporate nation state's military. Want access to hot toys and/or personal power-ups(cybernetics/bionics/genetic/magic)? Fine, it's 5-6 years of service(maybe more, depending on the extent of the power-up). If the characters come in less than perfect shape to the recruitment office, then the sign-on bonus also covers medical costs...it's often convenient to use the remedial medical procedure to install the augmentations at the same time.
Admittedly, this locks the characters into service for a few years, and, being fairly ethical, the company doing the augments doesn't have a foolproof way of keeping characters from going AWOL with their new shiny, but it's an example of a barter of services in-game.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 5:53 pm
  

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The impression I get from many of the earlier books is the CS expects a certain number of patrols to go missing. Air strikes and such would only be used if it is a prolonged fire fight and they know the enemy is still going to be attacking when they get their.

IN FoM they have flavor text of a CS patrol riding on top of the APC with their helmets off for fresh air. The patrol gets hit and taken out there is no talk of a CS air strike.

Now that description shows that for that patrol discipline was lax. That could also be complacency from the sheer number of routine patrols they do.

Is the MarK V worth risking your bomber?
How do you target the people attacking a APC with MRM from long distance?

Some newer books are written with a more CS friendly approach and they talk about the CS trying to preserve life and a change from the earlier books saying the CS main tactic was to Blitz(zerg) with swarms of infantry or skelebots. CS was stated to use WWII tactics in earlier books with the lack of any large scale fight in a long time being the reason so perhaps SoT and the minion war could have resulted in the change.

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Soon my army oc clones and winged-monkies will rule the world but first, must .......


Last edited by Blue_Lion on Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:19 pm
  

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
(I would suggest that discussions of the feasibility of raiding CS patrols, what would be needed to do so, the tactics involved, what the CS response would be, how quickly they respond, how quickly they adapt, if other people have done this before...
...since none of those are economic questions that they be moved to a new thread?

(Honestly I think the discussion is utterly pointless. The answer boils down to "How does your particular gaming group wish to portray the CS at your table" and literally nothing else. And I seriously mean nothing. There is not a shred of book support for any claims or counter claims for CS tactics, patrol make up, patrol levels, tactics, strategy, response times or any of the rest. Its all house rules... which means that all this discussion is is that a bunch of people are trying to argue that their house rule is better than someone else's house rule...
...I have yet to see that actually work.)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:03 pm
  

Dungeon Crawler

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eliakon wrote:
(I would suggest that discussions of the feasibility of raiding CS patrols, what would be needed to do so, the tactics involved, what the CS response would be, how quickly they respond, how quickly they adapt, if other people have done this before...
...since none of those are economic questions that they be moved to a new thread?

(Honestly I think the discussion is utterly pointless. The answer boils down to "How does your particular gaming group wish to portray the CS at your table" and literally nothing else. And I seriously mean nothing. There is not a shred of book support for any claims or counter claims for CS tactics, patrol make up, patrol levels, tactics, strategy, response times or any of the rest. Its all house rules... which means that all this discussion is is that a bunch of people are trying to argue that their house rule is better than someone else's house rule...
...I have yet to see that actually work.)


The connection to the economics question is the idea that you can actually afford Rifts prices if you've got a steady source of income from stealing from the CS. That's what led to that discussion.

There is actually a little bit of info regarding CS patrol make up. Sourcebook 1 has some basic info on that, likely for GMs to use them as opponents for PCs.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:16 pm
  

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Eagle wrote:
eliakon wrote:
(I would suggest that discussions of the feasibility of raiding CS patrols, what would be needed to do so, the tactics involved, what the CS response would be, how quickly they respond, how quickly they adapt, if other people have done this before...
...since none of those are economic questions that they be moved to a new thread?

(Honestly I think the discussion is utterly pointless. The answer boils down to "How does your particular gaming group wish to portray the CS at your table" and literally nothing else. And I seriously mean nothing. There is not a shred of book support for any claims or counter claims for CS tactics, patrol make up, patrol levels, tactics, strategy, response times or any of the rest. Its all house rules... which means that all this discussion is is that a bunch of people are trying to argue that their house rule is better than someone else's house rule...
...I have yet to see that actually work.)


The connection to the economics question is the idea that you can actually afford Rifts prices if you've got a steady source of income from stealing from the CS. That's what led to that discussion.

There is actually a little bit of info regarding CS patrol make up. Sourcebook 1 has some basic info on that, likely for GMs to use them as opponents for PCs.

Salvage in general is a major source of income.
Even a battle with bandits should net you 3-4 energy weapons 10-16 e-clips. SN threats/monsters are less profitable to attack do to lack of salvage.

Generally a party might be able to take less pay if they get repaired and pay may not always be cash. You might get paid in domestic animals, share of crop for X years. Now I do not think PC should be swimming in money after every job but hey should not be struggling to keep up their gear. If they do not improve there standard over time they may loose interest and rage quit.

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Please vote me 4 blue Lion.

The Clones are comming you shall all be replaced, but who is to say you have not been replaced already.

Master of Type-O and the obvios.

Soon my army oc clones and winged-monkies will rule the world but first, must .......


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:22 pm
  

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Each missing patrol becomes more fuel for the CS propaganda engine.
Even in death they serve(to incite paranoia).

_________________
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"Trouble rather the Tiger in his Lair,
Than the Sage among his Books,
For all the Empires and Kingdoms,
The Armies and Works that you hold Dear,
Are to him but the Playthings of the Moment,
To be turned over with the Flick of a Finger,
And the Turning of a Page"

--------Rudyard Kipling
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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:32 pm
  

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taalismn wrote:
Each missing patrol becomes more fuel for the CS propaganda engine.
Even in death they serve(to incite paranoia).

Are you suggesting the CS may send corrupt/under performing troops on patrols so they can be killed to help further the CS cause?

-over all this has gotten off topic of can a group sustain themselves. With salvage in general they can.

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Please vote me 4 blue Lion.

The Clones are comming you shall all be replaced, but who is to say you have not been replaced already.

Master of Type-O and the obvios.

Soon my army oc clones and winged-monkies will rule the world but first, must .......


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:46 pm
  

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Palladin

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Comment: Palladium Books Canon is set solely by Kevin Siembieda, either in person, or by his approval of published material.
Eagle wrote:
eliakon wrote:
(I would suggest that discussions of the feasibility of raiding CS patrols, what would be needed to do so, the tactics involved, what the CS response would be, how quickly they respond, how quickly they adapt, if other people have done this before...
...since none of those are economic questions that they be moved to a new thread?

(Honestly I think the discussion is utterly pointless. The answer boils down to "How does your particular gaming group wish to portray the CS at your table" and literally nothing else. And I seriously mean nothing. There is not a shred of book support for any claims or counter claims for CS tactics, patrol make up, patrol levels, tactics, strategy, response times or any of the rest. Its all house rules... which means that all this discussion is is that a bunch of people are trying to argue that their house rule is better than someone else's house rule...
...I have yet to see that actually work.)


The connection to the economics question is the idea that you can actually afford Rifts prices if you've got a steady source of income from stealing from the CS. That's what led to that discussion.

There is actually a little bit of info regarding CS patrol make up. Sourcebook 1 has some basic info on that, likely for GMs to use them as opponents for PCs.

The issue is that its not really about that.
Its about "the prices work if the GM gives you the money"
Because to raid the CS successfully you have to have a GM who lets you do it. I.e. one who says "Yes, in my game I have decided that raiding the CS for gear is a valid source of credits for PCs so I will make all assumptions work in the favor of the PCs to make that happen."

Let me explain.
Both of the following scenarios are both totally, 100% book legal and both are how the proposed ambush above could play out.

Scenario. The party is hiding in ambush augmented by invisibility behinds some low hills waiting for the CS unit to be fording a river. When they do so they will open up with sniper fire to take out people via aimed shots, there are some guys in EBA in the river who will be shooting out the Mark V tires to immobilize it so that it can be opened up by the party psychic.

Version #1. The GM decides that the CS has never thought of any of this and that none of them have sixth sense or spot ambush and therefor will blissfully walk into the trap totally unaware. This allows the party full surprise on the first round to start in on their ambush. The party uses a magic net spell to neutralize the first samas and a CoA spell on the infantry trapping them in the river. The rest of the group starts pin point fire and is able to kill the second sammas via called shots before the surprise wears off. The psi now moves to telemechanic open the door, triggering a new surprise on the group inside the APC who is unable to respond appropriately to being stormed. With in 5 rounds the group is counting up their salvage.

Version #2. The GM decides that the CS has been doing this for decades and knows that river crossings are dangerous and therefor has pre-plotted all of them for fire. Before crossing they send a Sam up to on recon. Said Sam pilot is a psychic with sixth sense, see invisible and see aura. He runs a scan and, noting the auras calls back to the rest of the group 15 minutes back that they are being ambushed. He sees people at points Bravo 2-7, 2-8 Delta 9-9 and Epsilon 5-5. The APC commander calls in a report to command, which notes this on the action board and orders missiles fired at those points. The APC continues to approach though acting as if they haven't seen anything. 2 rounds out the parties sixth sense goes off giving them initiative bonuses. The party, not knowing that it is incoming missiles and not the APC that is about to get into a gun fight prepares to fight...
...the group is then hit by a barrage of LRMs doing 12d6x10 damage to everyone. Three of the party members are killed outright, One member who had
force field is simply battered down and loses the FF and their armor. The other two members are badly injured but survive. At this time the Sammas then begin a strafing run on the party, which stunned from the missiles is taken totally by surprise. On action 3 the dragon hatchling uses its teleport power to teleport away becoming the sole survivor of the doomed ambush.


BOTH of those are totally plausible, and both of them are totally legal. They both follow canon 100%. The only difference is that they rely on differing assumptions by the GM about how the CS reacts to things, what the CS knows, What the CS training includes and so forth.

Its not a question of economics, its a question of GMing.

_________________
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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."


It's RIFTS Earth; the impossible happens before breakfast, twice on Tuesdays. And if it hasn't, then the GM hasn't tried hard enough and the players are lazy. :D -DhAkael

Knowledge is Power, Power Corrupts, Study Hard


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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:15 pm
  

Hero

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
Posts: 1377
Eagle wrote:
eliakon wrote:
(I would suggest that discussions of the feasibility of raiding CS patrols, what would be needed to do so, the tactics involved, what the CS response would be, how quickly they respond, how quickly they adapt, if other people have done this before...
...since none of those are economic questions that they be moved to a new thread?

(Honestly I think the discussion is utterly pointless. The answer boils down to "How does your particular gaming group wish to portray the CS at your table" and literally nothing else. And I seriously mean nothing. There is not a shred of book support for any claims or counter claims for CS tactics, patrol make up, patrol levels, tactics, strategy, response times or any of the rest. Its all house rules... which means that all this discussion is is that a bunch of people are trying to argue that their house rule is better than someone else's house rule...
...I have yet to see that actually work.)


The connection to the economics question is the idea that you can actually afford Rifts prices if you've got a steady source of income from stealing from the CS. That's what led to that discussion.

There is actually a little bit of info regarding CS patrol make up. Sourcebook 1 has some basic info on that, likely for GMs to use them as opponents for PCs.


CWC has patrols as well, and the SoT books, and a few other places.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:15 am
  

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Eagle wrote:
A plan to take out a Coalition patrol needs to be very well thought out, but I am strongly against the idea that the Coalition should be played with a hive mind "screw the players" ability, like some seem to be suggesting.

If you are pointing to me as painting the Coalition as having a hive mind, then you misinterpret my intention.

Tactics, is not necessarily a bad thing. And it's something that the Coalition should be using. But I also believe this should be used only when you have a group of players who understand tactics as well. I have gamed with ex- and current military folks. I have gamed with all civilians. When you have a group of players who think they can make easy money, they will try it. When you have folks who understand tactics against a GM who doesn't, they tend to walk all over the GM. GM's who use tactics on civilians who have no background in it, the opposition become extremely challenging even for a small group.

If I was going to set it up; most of the opposition players facing against the coalition, would be Coalition Skelebots inside body armor. With human commanders. Dog Boys, Psychics, and Burb-to-Citizens would be the next most common, and they all average 3-5th level. With the idea that once you leave boot camp you should be 2nd Level. They would keep most of the raw recruits performing guard duty on bases and move them to patrol as soon as they weren't too green.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:55 am
  

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Tiree wrote:
Eagle wrote:
A plan to take out a Coalition patrol needs to be very well thought out, but I am strongly against the idea that the Coalition should be played with a hive mind "screw the players" ability, like some seem to be suggesting.

If you are pointing to me as painting the Coalition as having a hive mind, then you misinterpret my intention.

Tactics, is not necessarily a bad thing. And it's something that the Coalition should be using. But I also believe this should be used only when you have a group of players who understand tactics as well. I have gamed with ex- and current military folks. I have gamed with all civilians. When you have a group of players who think they can make easy money, they will try it. When you have folks who understand tactics against a GM who doesn't, they tend to walk all over the GM. GM's who use tactics on civilians who have no background in it, the opposition become extremely challenging even for a small group.

If I was going to set it up; most of the opposition players facing against the coalition, would be Coalition Skelebots inside body armor. With human commanders. Dog Boys, Psychics, and Burb-to-Citizens would be the next most common, and they all average 3-5th level. With the idea that once you leave boot camp you should be 2nd Level. They would keep most of the raw recruits performing guard duty on bases and move them to patrol as soon as they weren't too green.

Wait when did the CS start putting skelebots in armor. seams a wast of resources as the bots are made to take a MD beating, and would get in the way of built in weapons.
To me that makes about as much sense as bolting armor on a tank that covers the turret and main gun preventing their use.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:10 am
  

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Blue_Lion wrote:
Tiree wrote:
Eagle wrote:
A plan to take out a Coalition patrol needs to be very well thought out, but I am strongly against the idea that the Coalition should be played with a hive mind "screw the players" ability, like some seem to be suggesting.

If you are pointing to me as painting the Coalition as having a hive mind, then you misinterpret my intention.

Tactics, is not necessarily a bad thing. And it's something that the Coalition should be using. But I also believe this should be used only when you have a group of players who understand tactics as well. I have gamed with ex- and current military folks. I have gamed with all civilians. When you have a group of players who think they can make easy money, they will try it. When you have folks who understand tactics against a GM who doesn't, they tend to walk all over the GM. GM's who use tactics on civilians who have no background in it, the opposition become extremely challenging even for a small group.

If I was going to set it up; most of the opposition players facing against the coalition, would be Coalition Skelebots inside body armor. With human commanders. Dog Boys, Psychics, and Burb-to-Citizens would be the next most common, and they all average 3-5th level. With the idea that once you leave boot camp you should be 2nd Level. They would keep most of the raw recruits performing guard duty on bases and move them to patrol as soon as they weren't too green.

Wait when did the CS start putting skelebots in armor. seams a wast of resources as the bots are made to take a MD beating, and would get in the way of built in weapons.
To me that makes about as much sense as bolting armor on a tank that covers the turret and main gun preventing their use.

They haven't - that's the point. But you could easily bolt on Borg Armor and make them that much tougher. But this is what I would do, if it was a GM vs Player mentality


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:24 am
  

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There are plenty of ways to get money in Rifts without ambushing the CS.
Not sure why that's become the center of the conversation.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:54 am
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
There are plenty of ways to get money in Rifts without ambushing the CS.
Not sure why that's become the center of the conversation.


All conversations are ultimately about the CS, it seems....

On that subject, briefly, perhaps an opposed Strategy/Tactics roll by the two teams could be used to determine if the CS troopers manage to realize the danger of this particular ambush point? This rewards proper builds (if you're going up against a military outfit without adequate tactical knowledge, you deserve to get pasted), and yet leaves an opening for genuinely skilled ambushers to come up with adequate tactics without having to play a game of 'beat the GM' (a losing cause, always).


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:53 pm
  

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Tiree wrote:
Eagle wrote:
A plan to take out a Coalition patrol needs to be very well thought out, but I am strongly against the idea that the Coalition should be played with a hive mind "screw the players" ability, like some seem to be suggesting.

If you are pointing to me as painting the Coalition as having a hive mind, then you misinterpret my intention.

Tactics, is not necessarily a bad thing. And it's something that the Coalition should be using. But I also believe this should be used only when you have a group of players who understand tactics as well. I have gamed with ex- and current military folks. I have gamed with all civilians. When you have a group of players who think they can make easy money, they will try it. When you have folks who understand tactics against a GM who doesn't, they tend to walk all over the GM. GM's who use tactics on civilians who have no background in it, the opposition become extremely challenging even for a small group.

If I was going to set it up; most of the opposition players facing against the coalition, would be Coalition Skelebots inside body armor. With human commanders. Dog Boys, Psychics, and Burb-to-Citizens would be the next most common, and they all average 3-5th level. With the idea that once you leave boot camp you should be 2nd Level. They would keep most of the raw recruits performing guard duty on bases and move them to patrol as soon as they weren't too green.


Except we know the CS doesn't actually behave that way. They don't put Skelebots inside regular body armor, and their soldiers certainly don't average 3rd-5th level.

A GM always has more resources than the players do. The GM has unlimited characters, unlimited magic, unlimited firepower. That's why a game shouldn't be a competition between players and GMs -- the deck is stacked in favor of the house. Too many GMs take this competitive attitude when they run games, and if the players step outside of the pre-planned scenario, it's "game on" and the Killer GM instincts come out.

My statement of the CS being run as a "hive mind" goes back to somebody else's earlier post. Someone suggested getting supporting fire called in from the CS Air Force or CS medium range missile carriers. Most of these support elements would be half an hour away, at the very least. Yet clearly that guy's plan involved hitting the players with this stuff during the combat. And that's what I objected to.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:14 pm
  

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eliakon wrote:
Eagle wrote:
eliakon wrote:
(I would suggest that discussions of the feasibility of raiding CS patrols, what would be needed to do so, the tactics involved, what the CS response would be, how quickly they respond, how quickly they adapt, if other people have done this before...
...since none of those are economic questions that they be moved to a new thread?

(Honestly I think the discussion is utterly pointless. The answer boils down to "How does your particular gaming group wish to portray the CS at your table" and literally nothing else. And I seriously mean nothing. There is not a shred of book support for any claims or counter claims for CS tactics, patrol make up, patrol levels, tactics, strategy, response times or any of the rest. Its all house rules... which means that all this discussion is is that a bunch of people are trying to argue that their house rule is better than someone else's house rule...
...I have yet to see that actually work.)


The connection to the economics question is the idea that you can actually afford Rifts prices if you've got a steady source of income from stealing from the CS. That's what led to that discussion.

There is actually a little bit of info regarding CS patrol make up. Sourcebook 1 has some basic info on that, likely for GMs to use them as opponents for PCs.

The issue is that its not really about that.
Its about "the prices work if the GM gives you the money"
Because to raid the CS successfully you have to have a GM who lets you do it. I.e. one who says "Yes, in my game I have decided that raiding the CS for gear is a valid source of credits for PCs so I will make all assumptions work in the favor of the PCs to make that happen."

Let me explain.
Both of the following scenarios are both totally, 100% book legal and both are how the proposed ambush above could play out.

Scenario. The party is hiding in ambush augmented by invisibility behinds some low hills waiting for the CS unit to be fording a river. When they do so they will open up with sniper fire to take out people via aimed shots, there are some guys in EBA in the river who will be shooting out the Mark V tires to immobilize it so that it can be opened up by the party psychic.

Version #1. The GM decides that the CS has never thought of any of this and that none of them have sixth sense or spot ambush and therefor will blissfully walk into the trap totally unaware. This allows the party full surprise on the first round to start in on their ambush. The party uses a magic net spell to neutralize the first samas and a CoA spell on the infantry trapping them in the river. The rest of the group starts pin point fire and is able to kill the second sammas via called shots before the surprise wears off. The psi now moves to telemechanic open the door, triggering a new surprise on the group inside the APC who is unable to respond appropriately to being stormed. With in 5 rounds the group is counting up their salvage.

Version #2. The GM decides that the CS has been doing this for decades and knows that river crossings are dangerous and therefor has pre-plotted all of them for fire. Before crossing they send a Sam up to on recon. Said Sam pilot is a psychic with sixth sense, see invisible and see aura. He runs a scan and, noting the auras calls back to the rest of the group 15 minutes back that they are being ambushed. He sees people at points Bravo 2-7, 2-8 Delta 9-9 and Epsilon 5-5. The APC commander calls in a report to command, which notes this on the action board and orders missiles fired at those points. The APC continues to approach though acting as if they haven't seen anything. 2 rounds out the parties sixth sense goes off giving them initiative bonuses. The party, not knowing that it is incoming missiles and not the APC that is about to get into a gun fight prepares to fight...
...the group is then hit by a barrage of LRMs doing 12d6x10 damage to everyone. Three of the party members are killed outright, One member who had
force field is simply battered down and loses the FF and their armor. The other two members are badly injured but survive. At this time the Sammas then begin a strafing run on the party, which stunned from the missiles is taken totally by surprise. On action 3 the dragon hatchling uses its teleport power to teleport away becoming the sole survivor of the doomed ambush.


BOTH of those are totally plausible, and both of them are totally legal. They both follow canon 100%. The only difference is that they rely on differing assumptions by the GM about how the CS reacts to things, what the CS knows, What the CS training includes and so forth.

Its not a question of economics, its a question of GMing.


Oh sure, I understand that you can run your NPCs as a bunch of knuckleheads, or you can run them as total badasses with carefully planned strategies that are always in use. You've got to decide where you are as a GM and how you want to run them. But I still think the economics issue is directly related to how easy it is to get salvage. Some of the crazy prices become somewhat reasonable if you can make a ton of cash. The Coalition has the biggest bank account on the continent, and so salvaging from them makes the most sense if you're trying to get a sense of how the North American economy works.

Quite simply, the Coalition has factories that can produce a very large amount of stuff. They send out X number of patrols per day, and they know that Y number of them won't come back. Salvaged Coalition gear sets the price level in the Black Market, and everything is based around that. They function as the primary supplier of manufactured goods and are the main driving force for the North American economy. Stolen Coalition gear is how Rifts Earth functions, at least on the main continent..

Now I said before somewhere in a different thread (I think a couple months ago), the absolute easiest way to get money in Rifts is not to go after the Coalition. It's in Queenston Harbor. They have an army of 10,000 soldiers, each of whom wears a Splugorth Talisman of Armor worth 10 million credits. It seems easy enough for a pretty girl to convince a drunk, lonely soldier to come back to her hotel room and take off his clothes. Then you sneak out before he wakes up, and you took his talisman (or replaced it with a nonmagical one so he doesn't notice immediately). And this would work well for quick cash for a PC group (at least once), but it's not going to drive the entire North American economy. You need the Coalition for that.

I've got a few criticisms of your "version 2" events (by the time the SAM gets close enough to use his 'see invisibility' power, he's gonna be close enough that the PCs can see and hear him, and they should know he's in range to have seen them if he were using those abilities), but you're right that the point isn't to debate specific tactics.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:26 pm
  

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eliakon wrote:
Its not a question of economics, its a question of GMing.


We have a winner.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:40 pm
  

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Killer Cyborg wrote:
There are plenty of ways to get money in Rifts without ambushing the CS.
Not sure why that's become the center of the conversation.

I just used it as one example.

You could do the same to Bandits, etc.

Or take Bounties. In Merc Ops (as i pointed out), some of those are tns of millions.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:10 pm
  

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Eagle wrote:
..., and their soldiers certainly don't average 3rd-5th level.


CWC, p44: "Approximately half are career soldiers (36-48 years of service), which also means that the CS possesses many of the most experienced soldiers on the continent; the typical veteran has 12-24 years experience and is 5-9th level."

An overall average of 3rd to 5th level seems reasonable. But more importantly, even squads & platoons can expect to have experienced leaders.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:36 pm
  

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Mack wrote:
Eagle wrote:
..., and their soldiers certainly don't average 3rd-5th level.


CWC, p44: "Approximately half are career soldiers (36-48 years of service), which also means that the CS possesses many of the most experienced soldiers on the continent; the typical veteran has 12-24 years experience and is 5-9th level."

An overall average of 3rd to 5th level seems reasonable. But more importantly, even squads & platoons can expect to have experienced leaders.


Context is important in that passage, as is the fact that it is talking about the CS Military before 105P.A.

You're heavily cherrypicking.

Not to mention the statistics for the average patrols and unit breakdowns in every book they are presented in dont back it up at all.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:36 pm
  

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Mack wrote:
Eagle wrote:
..., and their soldiers certainly don't average 3rd-5th level.


CWC, p44: "Approximately half are career soldiers (36-48 years of service), which also means that the CS possesses many of the most experienced soldiers on the continent; the typical veteran has 12-24 years experience and is 5-9th level."

An overall average of 3rd to 5th level seems reasonable. But more importantly, even squads & platoons can expect to have experienced leaders.


Context is important in that passage, as is the fact that it is talking about the CS Military before 105P.A.


Agreed (which is why I always give a book/page reference).

However, this thread did not specify a time period, and much of the SoT's losses were inexperienced troops from the 'Burbs.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:41 pm
  

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Mack wrote:
Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Mack wrote:
Eagle wrote:
..., and their soldiers certainly don't average 3rd-5th level.


CWC, p44: "Approximately half are career soldiers (36-48 years of service), which also means that the CS possesses many of the most experienced soldiers on the continent; the typical veteran has 12-24 years experience and is 5-9th level."

An overall average of 3rd to 5th level seems reasonable. But more importantly, even squads & platoons can expect to have experienced leaders.


Context is important in that passage, as is the fact that it is talking about the CS Military before 105P.A.


Agreed (which is why I always give a book/page reference).

However, this thread did not specify a time period, and much of the SoT's losses were inexperienced troops from the 'Burbs.

I would suspect that the number of experienced veterans is higher now.
The war in Tolkeen was the sort of live fire training that results in recruits being either dead or trained.
(sort of like the Russian Theater in WWII on which it seems to have been heavily based.)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:53 pm
  

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Colonel_Tetsuya wrote:
Killer Cyborg wrote:
There are plenty of ways to get money in Rifts without ambushing the CS.
Not sure why that's become the center of the conversation.

I just used it as one example.

You could do the same to Bandits, etc.

Or take Bounties. In Merc Ops (as i pointed out), some of those are tns of millions.

You could also just favor jobs with high chance of salvage.
A job fighting any tech using force has a high chance of some salvage to augment your pay, a job fighting demons would need a higher base pay as salvage chances are less. (in weapons if nothing else.)
Hunting bandits(or CS) for looting would tend to be something you do when jobs are slow.
There is a limit how long you can hunt an area before they either stop being there or go there with more force than you deal with.

Never over look the value of a stealth charter with pilot robot PA and robot combat basic in getting salvage.
Sneak in their camp at night and get in the enemies PA or robot then signal the attack and dang they lost major fire power and you gain salvage.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:40 pm
  

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The more I think about it, the more I think you don't want to bother fighting CS forces at all if you can help it. The best salvage probably comes from mind controlling a file clerk, or using telemechanics to change a shipping manifest.

Private Bob: "Why are we dropping off 12 crates of mini missiles and 6 skycycles on the edge of this forest?"
Private Steve: "Because that's what General Johnson told us to do. You see this order? If you knew how to read, you'd know that's what it says. And that's his signature at the bottom, right there."
Private Bob: "Well I guess the General knows what he's doing. And we're just supposed to leave it here?"
Private Steve: "Yup. I'm sure he's got a good reason for it. Top secret stuff."

Obviously a more humorous version than what you'd try in a game, but it gets the point across. You want a guy with telemechanics and skills in bureaucracy. Or maybe with telemechanics you just tap into the bank computers and create a bunch of money for yourself. Captain Money-Launderer, to the rescue.

Man, my next character has to have telemechanics.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:45 pm
  

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Eagle wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I think you don't want to bother fighting CS forces at all if you can help it. The best salvage probably comes from mind controlling a file clerk, or using telemechanics to change a shipping manifest.

Private Bob: "Why are we dropping off 12 crates of mini missiles and 6 skycycles on the edge of this forest?"
Private Steve: "Because that's what General Johnson told us to do. You see this order? If you knew how to read, you'd know that's what it says. And that's his signature at the bottom, right there."
Private Bob: "Well I guess the General knows what he's doing. And we're just supposed to leave it here?"
Private Steve: "Yup. I'm sure he's got a good reason for it. Top secret stuff."

Obviously a more humorous version than what you'd try in a game, but it gets the point across. You want a guy with telemechanics and skills in bureaucracy. Or maybe with telemechanics you just tap into the bank computers and create a bunch of money for yourself. Captain Money-Launderer, to the rescue.

Man, my next character has to have telemechanics.


If there was a "Like" button for posts, I would definitely click it for this post. Both for the content and for the presentation.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:13 pm
  

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Eagle wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I think you don't want to bother fighting CS forces at all if you can help it. The best salvage probably comes from mind controlling a file clerk, or using telemechanics to change a shipping manifest.

Private Bob: "Why are we dropping off 12 crates of mini missiles and 6 skycycles on the edge of this forest?"
Private Steve: "Because that's what General Johnson told us to do. You see this order? If you knew how to read, you'd know that's what it says. And that's his signature at the bottom, right there."
Private Bob: "Well I guess the General knows what he's doing. And we're just supposed to leave it here?"
Private Steve: "Yup. I'm sure he's got a good reason for it. Top secret stuff."

Obviously a more humorous version than what you'd try in a game, but it gets the point across. You want a guy with telemechanics and skills in bureaucracy. Or maybe with telemechanics you just tap into the bank computers and create a bunch of money for yourself. Captain Money-Launderer, to the rescue.

Man, my next character has to have telemechanics.


pretty much this.

yes, CS gear is available at the black market. no, that isn't because the black market is hunting down CS soldiers, killing them, and stealing their stuff, it's because they're paying a guy 5% of all the stuff he "misplaces" from the warehouse, or they're blackmailing the quartermaster with video footage of him making out with an elf (who was probably a black market agent all along) and then going into a nearby hotel for a few hours. getting into a gun fight with the CS is playing to their strengths, when you could play to their weaknesses instead.

if you want to have enough money for the fights that matter, my advice is to not get into fights that don't matter if you can at all help it, unless you can set up a reliable overwhelming advantage. 4 of you against 40 of them is just asking for trouble, so don't pick that fight, pick a fight where they would have to be crazy to fight you. or, better yet, get money from something other than fighting. find someone else's wreckage (from a fight, from a crash, from a sunken ship, whatever), and salvage that. find something on your character sheet that doesn't involve you probably needing 50,000 credits worth of repairs or replacements (or more) to make money, and use that.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:27 pm
  

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Shark_Force wrote:
if you want to have enough money for the fights that matter, my advice is to not get into fights that don't matter if you can at all help it, unless you can set up a reliable overwhelming advantage. 4 of you against 40 of them is just asking for trouble, so don't pick that fight, pick a fight where they would have to be crazy to fight you. or, better yet, get money from something other than fighting. find someone else's wreckage (from a fight, from a crash, from a sunken ship, whatever), and salvage that. find something on your character sheet that doesn't involve you probably needing 50,000 credits worth of repairs or replacements (or more) to make money, and use that.


:ok:
Much like in real life.

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