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 Post subject: Cyber-Knight Variants?
Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 11:14 pm
  

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Champion

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So I loved the Cyber-Knight update back in the siege on Tolkeen and RUE. Long overdue. But it is so focused against tech. Has anyone introduced any variants in their games? Something targeted against supernaturals instead of tech? Something more balanced against each? A renegade, fallen or evil cyber-knight? I love the idea of the Cyber-Knights, but what I'd love is a juicer uprising style set of variants giving more options where you could have a group of cyber-knights with more variety between them.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 04, 2019 1:02 am
  

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Champion

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Greetings and Salutations. I don't play Rifts much, but I came up with a variant hand to hand to help accommodate a variety of different Cyber-Knight types:

http://www.prysus.com/hth_spirit_knight.htm

I know others have come up with their own variants as well. Hope that helps. Farewell and safe journeys.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:55 pm
  

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Champion

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LostOne wrote:
So I loved the Cyber-Knight update back in the siege on Tolkeen and RUE. Long overdue. But it is so focused against tech. Has anyone introduced any variants in their games? Something targeted against supernaturals instead of tech? Something more balanced against each? A renegade, fallen or evil cyber-knight? I love the idea of the Cyber-Knights, but what I'd love is a juicer uprising style set of variants giving more options where you could have a group of cyber-knights with more variety between them.


I dislike the anti-tech focus of the Cyber-Knight's post SoT abilities, and I find Zen Combat to be a broken, un-workable mess. Here's how I would change it.

First, I'd provide several paths of abilities among Cyber-Knights, of which the anti-tech Zen Combat fighters would represent one popular option. The options would be:
1. The Melee Cyber-Knight. An advanced hand-to-hand combat skill in lieu of Martial Arts and Zen Combat, such as Commando or a sword-focused advanced martial art from Rifts: Japan or Rifts: China. Just re-name the chosen hand-to-hand "Cyber-Knight" and pretend that it has nothing to do with where it actually comes from.

2. A Cyber-Knight Shooter that borrows some of the psi-slinger's abilities with guns or rifles.

3. A Psi-Knight. This knight doesn't get Zen Combat. Instead, this knight gets to take extra psionic powers and is considered a master psionic. This is a specialized class of knights who grew up in Psyscape who gets all the bonuses associated with growing up there.

4. An Anti-sSpernatural Knight that gets the same bonuses as the revised Zen Combat (see below), but against supernatural enemies, magic users, magic weapons, and psychics.

5. The Current Anti-Tech Knight would remain with the following adjustments:

A. Replace penalties against tech enemies with bonuses to the cyber-knight against a tech opponent. This reduces the book-keeping nightmare of taking an N.P.C., trying to figure out which parts of a bonus to strike come from tech, selectively eliminating them, and adding up the remainder every time you want to roll to strike vs the CK.

B. Re-define "tech" to be "using a weapon that requires explosives or electricity." Thus guns and energy weapons make Zen Combat work, but environmental body armor, optics, cybernetics and such do not.

C. Eliminate the initiative modifiers. They break as soon as non-tech enemies join up with tech ones when you give the CK a bonus, and they break down when non-CK's fight on the CK's side. There's no good way to fix this issue, so just get rid of it.

D. Eliminate all effects on attacks per melee. These penalties break in anything outside one-on-one combat.

E. In place of the initiative modifiers and attacks-per-melee penalties, combine the auto-dodge vs tech and the "attack while moving/off balance" into an "automatic counter-dodge vs guns" in which the Cyber-Knight both does an auto-dodge with none of the usual penalties vs guns and gets a free attack to use as a simultaneous counter-attack. That is to say, the CK gets both an auto-dodge roll and a counter-attack roll. The counter-attack must be directed against the attacker and no-one else (it can be used to shoot incoming missiles). Additionally:

+The counter can only be a single-action attack. That is, no aimed shots, called shots, leap attacks, charge attacks, or power punches/kicks. Just a simple attack or burst/pulse. Maybe a higher-level refinement allows a CK to spend an attack to turn it into a special attack.

+The counter-dodge doesn't move the CK significantly, so it won't move the CK into or out of melee range. Thus, if the CK is getting shot at from a distance, he/she must counter with a distance-attack like a gun, thrown weapon, or power that strikes at a distance, and the CK's attacker must be in range of that attack.

+Other than activating a psi-sword, the CK can't reload or draw a weapon as part of a counter-dodge. That requires a separate action that uses up an attack.

+Counter-dodging doesn't work against melee attackers or other CK's, even if the attacking CK is shooting.

+Counter-dodging works on horseback, but not with horse attacks. Initially, it will not work with power armor or robots, but those might be abilities that a high-level CK could unlock.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:13 am
  

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Champion

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There's a lot to digest there, but some solid ideas. The penalizing opponents always felt more awkward than simply giving the knight a bonus, I've done the same for that in my game.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:32 am
  

Explorer

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:56 pm
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Comment: War to the knife, knife to the hilt.
I've never had a player play one. Reading the mess that the class is now makes me glad I don't currently GM.

I'd basically scrap the entire anti-tech focus of the class. Or make it a distinct sub-class, only available after the start of the CS-Tolk war. As it is, it's basically throwing out the idea of the class in favor of making them an anti-CS weapon. A walking version of the WWII tank destroyer, with a sword instead of a cannon. The whole idea of the class is to be a 'wandering hero', saving people from monsters, bandits, themselves, etc. How much tech does your average monster that slobbered its way out of a rift and started eating villagers have? Not much.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:07 am
  

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I played one shortly after the Cyber-Knights book came out. It was very very effective in the few fights against tech that we had. As I recall I was more effective against the tech than the mega juicer was. However, most of the game was against magic and supernatural. Still decent there. But that penalty thing drove the GM nuts so we just made it a bonus for me.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:32 pm
  

Champion

Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2012 3:22 am
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The only variant i use is the one in the RMB. Because the new one is a mess, and doesn't make any sense with their theme.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 9:42 pm
  

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Knight

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The only change I can see in the theme is in addition to using cybernetics (the armor, perhaps other implants) they also have abilities for detecting them. Plus a little power creep (2 swords, healing armor)


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:42 am
  

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I feel I should also mention that the Savage Rifts take on the Cyber-Knight is quite different and interesting. I'd rather like to see it implemented in the Palladium side as well.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:05 pm
  

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Champion

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I had the thought, what if a Burster became a Cyber-Knight before their powers really manifested? You could end up with a cyber-knight with a fire sword and the fire defense (probably lesser MDC), etc. Other variants could involve the other psychic types, psi-stalker, etc. With some unique powers for that Cyber-Knight variant that neither the cyber-knight or psychic class had and less/reduced powers that the normal cyber-knight or psychic class had.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:35 pm
  

Dungeon Crawler

Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 12:03 am
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LostOne wrote:
I had the thought, what if a Burster became a Cyber-Knight before their powers really manifested? You could end up with a cyber-knight with a fire sword and the fire defense (probably lesser MDC), etc. Other variants could involve the other psychic types, psi-stalker, etc. With some unique powers for that Cyber-Knight variant that neither the cyber-knight or psychic class had and less/reduced powers that the normal cyber-knight or psychic class had.


We actually with played with a Burster-Knight. Replaced the Master psi powers with Burster powers. As for the sword we had it change to flame at level 2 when he got the extra damage. This could easily work with the other classes.

As a suggestion for another knight type. A true Cyber knight, they would get more implants (say half what a partial borg would get) when they go though the ritual that bonds the armor. This would bond the implants the same as the armor. At level 4 all the implants would become living parts of the knight. But i would only work on the non psychic knights.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 9:44 pm
  

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Champion

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LostOne wrote:
I had the thought, what if a Burster became a Cyber-Knight before their powers really manifested? You could end up with a cyber-knight with a fire sword and the fire defense (probably lesser MDC), etc. Other variants could involve the other psychic types, psi-stalker, etc. With some unique powers for that Cyber-Knight variant that neither the cyber-knight or psychic class had and less/reduced powers that the normal cyber-knight or psychic class had.


Cyber-Knights can be Psi-Stalkers and Dog Boys, and you can make the argument that they can be psi-nullifier psi-stalkers, too, since that seems to be a function of luck and/or having had certain experiences during childhood rather than training.

Beyond that, I don't know of other canon P.C.C.'s that could also be Cyber-Knights. I should also mention that there are no rules on how to roll up a psi-stalker cyber knight (do they get all the abilities of both classes stacked, or is it a one-or-the-other sort of thing, or is it a mix?), but it seems reasonable that some other specialized master-level psychic character classes could become cyber-knights by swapping their powers in lieu of the Cyber-Knight's psionics and considering their psi-sword as a master-level psi-sword, while using the CK for skills. A Burster or psi-slinger seems like a reasonable option, while a psi-tech does not.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:14 pm
  

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Knight

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Hotrod wrote:
there are no rules on how to roll up a psi-stalker cyber knight (do they get all the abilities of both classes stacked, or is it a one-or-the-other sort of thing, or is it a mix?),

Nor rolling up Psi-Stalkers who are also Psi-Nullifiers. It's a fascinating area.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:36 pm
  

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Champion

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Axelmania wrote:
Hotrod wrote:
there are no rules on how to roll up a psi-stalker cyber knight (do they get all the abilities of both classes stacked, or is it a one-or-the-other sort of thing, or is it a mix?),

Nor rolling up Psi-Stalkers who are also Psi-Nullifiers. It's a fascinating area.


They sort of do. p83 of Psyscape states that a small minority of Psi-Stalkers develop the powers of the Nega-Psychic and the Psi-Nullifier, and it gives some vague guidelines on how to create such characters.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:22 pm
  

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Knight

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Does it mention specifically which psi-stalker aspects are kept/lost though?

Also: weirdly the Nega-Psychic section itself I don't think mentions Psi-Stalkers like the Psi-Nullifier section does.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 3:49 pm
  

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Champion

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Axelmania wrote:
Does it mention specifically which psi-stalker aspects are kept/lost though?

Also: weirdly the Nega-Psychic section itself I don't think mentions Psi-Stalkers like the Psi-Nullifier section does.


Nope.

My own personal interpretation: Psi-Stalkers keep their tracking/detection abilities, their "turn into MDC against the supernatural/at ley lines" ability, their ambidextrousness, their physical bonuses, and their feeding ability. While these provide some useful abilities, they come at the cost of having to feed on P.P.E. or I.S.P regularly, and they seem appropriate to tie to the Psi-Stalker as a subspecies of humans.

Psi-Stalkers lose all their "other" psionic powers (which I think are a bunch of sensitive powers) and their psionic bonuses, I.S.P., and P.P.E. These all come from their new O.C.C. along with their skills and starting equipment.

I don't see much difference between the powers of the Psi-Nullifier and the Nega-Psychic.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 6:50 pm
  

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I've used a slightly modified set of Demon Queller MA abilities in place of the anti-tech CK level ups.

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