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 Post subject: Palladium Mecha gameline
Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:04 am
  

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Let's say that you've been asked to pitch a gameline for Palladium Books that focuses on Power Armor and Robots. The catch is that it can't be a licensed property: Robotech and Macross are out, as are the likes of Gundam, Patlabor, and various other “giant robot” anime. OTOH, it can and should draw inspiration from such sources. Transformers and combiners are also encouraged.

You can include air force and “space navy” elements in the setting as well; in fact, it's encouraged. Aliens are also an option; but they shouldn't be so weird as to take the focus off of the mecha.

In a nutshell, I'm looking for something that would be to Robotech/Macross as After the Bomb is to TMNT: something that captures the essence of what makes Robotech and Macross great without relying on licensed material that constrains the author's creativity and risks making the material unpublishable after the license expires.

My own take on the idea is a four-stage setting:
Streetfire: inspired by “cyberpunk anime” like Bubblegum Crisis or Ghost in the Shell, you start out in a near-future dystopian world of cyborgs and power armor, along with fast bikes and fast cars. Mecha of this era tend to be small (rarely larger than cars, and usually smaller), and the environment tends to be urban.

Many stories can be told in Streetfire; but one world-changing Adventure is included as a bridge to the next era: First Contact. An alien craft approaches Earth and is shot down; this leads to a scramble as various factions compete to retrieve the wreckage and any survivors, each for their own ends.

Terraforce: set a generation later, this military-oriented setting takes place in a Solar System that's under siege by an alien armada — notably, the aliens from Streetfire's First Contact story. Terraforce is United Earth's military force, and seeks to repel the aliens. Inspired largely by the Masters Saga, Terraforce should feature all branches of the armed services: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Spacy. In addition to giant robots and military vehicles, this era should feature an assortment of Variable Mecha: e.g., the Army's transformable tanks; the Navy's transformable “fighter subs”; the Air Force's transformable VTOLs; and the Spacy's transformable fighters.

Wolfpack takes place a generation later, on a post-apocalyptic and occupied Earth. Drawing some inspiration from New Generation and some inspiration from Genesis Survivor Gaiarth, this is something of a “sword and sorcery” setting, where the swords tend to include vibro- and energy blades and the “sorcery”, such as it is, is digital in nature. The Mecha of this era tend to be “alive” after a fashion, as the Earth is overrun by robotic fauna. This includes at least one species of steed-like mecha which transform into high-speed hovercycles.

Novarise, set a generation after that (or possibly concurrent with it), is inspired by Macross and Yamato (Robotech's Macross Saga and Starblazers in the U.S.), as well as by Battlestar Galactica and possibly Dairugger XV (“Vehicle Voltron”). Where Terraforce was confined to the Solar System and tended toward relatively hard sci-fi (except where it didn't), Novarise takes a much more “space opera” spin on things, and more of an Oddysey-like metaplot: a rag-tag fleet commanded by an experimental warship braves the dangers of hostile territory in a desperate mission to save humanity.

Anyway, that's what I'd do. What would you do?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:23 am
  

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Wouldn't Rifts, Phaseworld or Heroes Unlimited have you covered? You might have to restrict player options, but it would seem to have you covered.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:15 am
  

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Nope. Because while Rifts, Phase World, and (to a lesser extent) Heroes Unlimited include Power Armor and Robots vehicles, they're not the focus. In fact, Heroes Unlimited only just barely allows piloted robots as one small part of one of a dozen possible character types. It's not about “can I play a robot pilot or power armor trooper?” It's about “is the gameline largely focused on playing a robot pilot or power armor trooper?”

As well, all three settings have significant elements of the supernatural. Aside from McKinney's take on protoculture and the “technology so advanced that it's functionally magic” Perytonians, Robotech doesn't have anything in it that could be called “supernatural” — that's just not a thing that it does.

Of the options you list, Phase World comes closest to a Palladium Mecha setting. But it still has its mages, psychics, Cosmo-Knights, and similar elements that the GM would actively have to ignore.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:14 pm
  

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While the lines themselves include supernatural elements and such, a GM could elect to focus on the mecha aspect is what I am saying (and it isn't like some of the WB/SB/DBs don't have that slant going for them).


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:19 pm
  

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Right. And we don't need After the Bomb, because we can use Heroes Unlimited for a setting about mutant animals.

The point here is to build a gamelines that's inherently focused on mecha.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:24 pm
  

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Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
Mechanoids return but humans etc now have mecha. Done.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:52 pm
  

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jaymz wrote:
Mechanoids return but humans etc now have mecha. Done.

Heh. Hardly “done” (Mechanoid Space has been “Coming Soon” for how many decades?) But it's an intriguing idea.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:34 pm
  

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Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
You asked for a pitch. Basically you want alien invasion ale robotech with mecha. Mechanoids are the invader. Humans develop mecha based on old mechanoids tech. It's robotech without being robotech. :)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:13 pm
  

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Yeah, I'm not complaining about your pitch (although, upon review, I forgot how heavily Mechanoid Invasion relied on psychic powers, and that the alien races included some “space wizards”, for lack of a better term). I was “complaining” that Mechanoid Space is vaporware.

That, and I'm still concerned that the Mecha would be more “tacked on” than being the prime feature. Still, I could see Mechanoid Space being reworked to serve as the Mecha RPG.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 5:37 pm
  

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i'd rather see a new threat. we have some examples of threats that have bee name dropped in character back grounds or dimension descriptions that could be mined for ideas easy enough, if you don't want to invent one whole cloth. like the pure-robotic 'swarm' mentioned in Arrak chrome's background in Mercenaries. or the world overrun by giant insectoids mentioned as one of the dimensions Cibola has portals to. etc.

though i would prefer something less robotech like setting wise.. space opera is fine, but the generational "we must defend earth from alien invasion.. over and over and over" could be a bit meh.
i'd rather such a setting put more effort into developing details about factions and plot hooks within a single era, rather than try to cover multiple ones.
so if you are going to use earth, perhaps you could do something where the super-powers of the world have built starships and colonies.. so you could have wars on earth in the 3rd world (and the threat of world war), as well as fighting going on in the offworld colonies, including some nations formed from colonies tat rebelled from earth control. any aliens you add wold just make for an interesting variety. sorta like the setting for the Hammer's Slammers novels, or the like.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 7:15 pm
  

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Comment: Yeah yeah yeah just give me my damn XP already :)
Dataweaver - simple fix. With the focus on tech they slowly lost the magic and psionic capabilities (though iirc robotech has them in lesser levels as well)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:41 pm
  

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glitterboy2098 wrote:
i'd rather see a new threat.
I tend to agree.

glitterboy2098 wrote:
though i would prefer something less robotech like setting wise.. space opera is fine, but the generational "we must defend earth from alien invasion.. over and over and over" could be a bit meh.
I tend to agree about the repetition thing; and you'll note that in my pitch, it wasn't four waves of aliens, one per era. It was the same aliens every time; and in only one of the four eras were they alien invaders.

That said, I find the generational aspect to be one of the more interesting parts of Robotech, along with the notion that each era has its own unique characteristics. In my pitch, each era was designed to evoke a different style of science fiction: Cyberpunk, military sci-fi, post-apocalyptic pseudo-fantasy, and space opera.

glitterboy2098 wrote:
i'd rather such a setting put more effort into developing details about factions and plot hooks within a single era, rather than try to cover multiple ones.
so if you are going to use earth, perhaps you could do something where the super-powers of the world have built starships and colonies.. so you could have wars on earth in the 3rd world (and the threat of world war), as well as fighting going on in the offworld colonies, including some nations formed from colonies tat rebelled from earth control. any aliens you add wold just make for an interesting variety. sorta like the setting for the Hammer's Slammers novels, or the like.
That sounds a lot like Battletech.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:05 pm
  

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jaymz wrote:
Dataweaver - simple fix. With the focus on tech they slowly lost the magic and psionic capabilities (though iirc robotech has them in lesser levels as well)

Yes psionic and magic are part of the Robotech RPG (1E and 2E). Tirolians have psionic powers in both editions (and even hinted at in the show). Sentinel races (at least in 1E, can't comment on 2E) had magic and psionic powers. Even the Invid are painted as having psychic capabilities (in the show, 1E and 2E RPG).

The psychic ones in the show though are more limited in terms of Palladium psionics to Sensitive Category.

dataweaver wrote:
The point here is to build a gamelines that's inherently focused on mecha.

Great, fine. The question is could Palladium really support another game line or would it end up getting a Core Book and maybe a SB or two before languishing? Palladium has what 11 lines in the store (not counting RT or Recon)? How many of those lines have sat without any new material at all* for years (N&SS, BtS, AtB, Splicers, Mechanoids, there also used to be a Y2K one I can't recall the name of but isn't in the store anymore) and the remaining ones get very little compared to Rifts (HU, PF, RCE, DR, Nightbane).

Really probably the best way to market something like this might be to attach it to Rifts (or Rifts DB specifically) or HU with the Book focused on the orientation you desire. Rifts w/superheroes is basically DB4. So why not a Rifts Book w/mecha orientation like DB4 is for superhero? Maybe even a twist to the setting to limit SN aspects (which probably requires a DB). Ironically the closest setup wise to what you seek might be Rifts Mutants in Orbit.

*outside of the Rifter


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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:13 am
  

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Rifts Dimension Book. A world with a human or near human race that had a God/Goddess living among them in their early history(Think Oni or even PF Wolfen as examples. Ancient tech is found by archeologist, leads to transformable mecha and PA designs. Colonized the local group of stars, encounter aliens and the space wars have begun.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:27 pm
  

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How about a post apocalypse, set in the HU game the advances in tech lead to an arms race as well as the development of bio weapons and some slap nuts some where unleashed a genetic based bio weapon that was slipshod and after killing a large amount of the human race the virus unwent a bunch of mutations and started to mutated a large number of the human survivours as well as plants and animals so you have purse strain humans with science, mechs, power armer and the like vs the mutant humans, plants and animals.

Sort of like a cross between Hero Unlimited, Dead Reign and After The Bomb, also in the HU game verce it has been hinted that there would be a conflict between mutants and humans so it should be safe to say that the war between human and mutants was taking place before the killer bio weapon was unleashed either by the humans to kill off the mutants or the mutants to kill off the humans and like I said the bio weapon was slipshod and there was such as mass die off of humans and mutants a like that human civilization has been reduce to a Mad Max 2 world full of mutants and humans with HU tech.

I have been tinkering with a post apoc setting for HU and I'm sure if I can find the motivation to put some serious work into it I could come up with something.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2022 1:18 am
  

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Returning to this after four years:

The other thing lacking in Phase World is transforming mecha. So let's keep that as a central part of the pitch. Call it a Rifts Dimension Book of you'd like; but I'm picturing a Space Opera setting that focuses primarily on technology (specifically of the metals-and-plastics variety; not bio-tech) with a side order of psionics and chi; but no native magic, and even the psionics is… well, you'll see.

Two interstellar societies, at odds with each other; both have their virtues and their flaws. The default assumption is that the GM will pick one side and treat the other as the threat to be opposed; though options will be provided for games where characters from opposing sides come together to try to resolve the differences, or for an external threat to appear that the two sides can unite against.

The first is the Terran Federation, an interstellar society that tends to lean more to the “hard science” end of the spectrum than not. It's a possible future of Earth, one that has colonized the nearby stars.

The second is the Realm (name pending). This society is a pseudo-fantasy society, leaning heavily on Clarke's Law (“a sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”). The aesthetics of the Realm resemble a chromed-up fantasy setting, with knights in armor riding their steeds into battle — except that the armor is power armor and the steed is a ridable mecha.

Terran Federation
In keeping with its mostly hard science aesthetics, the mecha of the Terran Federation resemble vehicles that transform into giant robots — or really small vehicles, like motorcycles, that transform into power armor. For game purposes, the Federation has two relevant aspects to it: military and civilian. On the military side, you have the ground forces, the air forces, the sea forces, and the space forces. The signature mecha of the ground forces is a variable tank; the signature mecha of the air forces is a variable helicopter; the signature mecha of the sea forces is a variable submarine; and the signature mecha of the space forces is a variable space fighter. But in addition to variable robot vehicles, you also have Mobile Troopers whose signature vehicles are motorcycle-sized and transform into Power Armor. You also have Borgs — which also tend to be transformable, to the extent that their fleshy parts will allow. The available OCCs are things like Variable Pilot, Mobile Trooper, Conventional Pilot, Grunt, Technical Officer, and so on.

On the civilian side, the people most likely to end up piloting variable mecha in ways that will matter are first responders, sports racers/duelists, and criminal transporters. That also tends to indicate the kinds of mecha they pilot.

The Realm
The mecha of the Realm generally resemble a mechanical animal in one of their forms, like a horse or an ostrich that you ride on, or a giant lion that you ride in. The other form tends to be either a vehicle (like a motorcycle or tank) or humanoid (either power armor that you wear or a giant robot that you pilot). The owners of the mecha have OCCs reminiscent of Palladium Fantasy's Men of Arms, in keeping with the pseudo-fantasy aspect of the Realm — though the “Knights” and “Rangers” have a bit more going for them than just good skills: kind of like the Cyber-Knights, the Knights and Rangers of the Realm have a chi-like ability to bond with their mecha and drones, respectively.

The Realm is also where you get the various “wilderness folk”, like the ones featured in Robotech New Generation. Unlike the heavily urbanized Federation, the Realm tends to be low population relative to its size, and tends to foster self-sufficiency in its citizens. Thus, you're more likely to encounter the likes of Rook or Rand in the Realm.

The centerpiece of the game would be a combined cyborg/mecha design sequence, similar to the robot design sequence found in Heroes Unlimited but which allows for and encourages multiform designs, which is then used to create every robot, vehicle, power armor, and cyborg in the game.

Finally, a selection of starships, both civilian and military, would be provided for both sides; space permitting, this would be accompanied by a design system letting you come up with your own.

If there's space left, or enough interest to justify publishing a supplement, one element that I left out of the above are the Crazies. The final piece of “all things cybernetic” is the brain implants. The Federation generally doesn't mess with them that much, beyond a single, simple interface link that allows a person to interface with a machine — or with a digital network. If possible, I'd like to take a deep dive into the possibilities, both good and bad, opened up by that. It's something the Megaverse has briefly touched upon here and there, but has never really gone into any detail on.

By contrast, the Realm goes all in on the brain implants — up to and including Psynetics. And that's where Psionics enter the picture: there aren't many “natural psionics” in the setting; but there are cybernetically induced psionics. And that's where the Realm gets its “clergy”, “psychics”, and “practitioners of magic”. Psynetics can give you “warlocks” (hydrokinesis, pyrokinesis, telekinesis, etc.), “bards” (illusions and emotional manipulation through the agency of music), “priests of light” (healing psionics provided by a pseudo-religious order, like Battletech's Word of Blake), and more.


Last edited by dataweaver on Sat Mar 19, 2022 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2022 2:47 am
  

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Can't imagine this hasn't been locked already... but, here we go:

"Tomorrow: Warfare has simply advanced to the point where unarmored humans are useless on the battlefield. Mega-damage weaponry is ubiquitous on the modern battlefield, expert systems, black box technology and true AI has made non-technologically advanced forces nothing more than targets. The initial push was for troops to be augmented, but when those troops ended their enlistment there were questions about what level of technology they were allowed to keep in their bodies. The second generation was for vehicles to become the warrior, and the human within was something to be protected, if not replaced entirely.

Mecha, powered armor, drones, nanite clouds, directed energy weapons, hypersonic missiles and active defense systems rule the day and anyone without those technologies cannot compete."

From there you just make hypersonic aerospace AI fighter aircraft that each are supported by a small team of autonomous loyal wingmen, that increase firepower and will suicide themselves to protect the main airframe.

Powered armor troops are armed and armored just as well as previous generations of tanks and can be delivered anywhere on Earth within 4 hours, supported by orbital fire support and grav tanks that are able to survive tactical nuclear weapons in close proximity. Hunter-killer drones act as assassins across the globe, silently hunting their targets without regard to borders. Nanite clouds are delivered by small missiles that disassemble their targets a molecule at a time. The ultra rich and the politically powerful wage war worldwide without regard to the devastation it causes, because no matter the damage, they are safe in their palatial compounds, orbital sanctuaries or their digital paradises.

Billions fight and die for the opportunity to be noticed and be granted the privilege of joining the warrior elite and donning powered armor, controlling drone squadrons, piloting mecha or frying brains as a computer tech in cyberspace.

You are squalid human trash, a warrior or one of the true elite of the world.

-STS

edit: Building this out a bit further, you can expand it to whatever size setting you want. STL Earth and Moon, STL the inner planets, STL the whole system, FTL the whole system, FTL the local group, however much FTL you want = how totally big you can make your setting.

Alternately, with "nanotech" and cyberspace you can also make your setting as big as you want while still being really small, at least in this dimension.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2022 6:14 pm
  

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Rifts isn't a Power Armor and Robots game? Since when? Yes, there's supernatural in it. A lot more than in Robotech but Robotech did have Psionics and Magic. But no one said you had to use the supernatural elements. My first few Rifts games didn't. It was military vs military. No supernatural.

What Rifts has in smaller numbers is transforming robots. Robotech has a lot more of those. I do think it'd be nice to have more in Rifts. I have wondered about a planet, like Earth only with multiple races, Human, Giants, Elves, Dwarves, etc. There's several powers but they all have very similar origin stories about coming from space. Then a giant space ship is found in the ice by some researchers who feel they have to share with the rest of the world. Fear of alien invasion ends the war as they collectively rebuild the ship, and learn to use the advanced technology on it - Technology they'd lost over time. - and move into space. Of course, rebuilding and launching the ship is what gets noticed and causes the arrival of more. If not one big ship, maybe a couple of medium sized ones that crashed not too far from each other. I haven't put all the details together yet. They're still floating around in my head. To me it has a bit of Robotech/Macross feel to it but it isn't exactly. It's like what happens if descendants of a lost group suddenly meet descendants of the main group and the main group wants them back by any means necessary.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 9:11 am
  

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Sambot wrote:
What Rifts has in smaller numbers is transforming robots. Robotech has a lot more of those.

Now in terms of percentages, yes RT's transforming designs make up a larger percentage of available designs compared to Rifts (RT has ~100 designs in either edition, vs Rifts with 300+), but in terms of actual design quantity (raw number) they aren't all that far off. Now I will admit RT does feel like it has more due to model variants and expansions (either edition), but in terms of core designs they are a lot closer than you might think.

Rifts has (x6 and my collection is far from complete):
-Naruni Sun Chariot PA (DB8)
-Naruni Ovid Robot Fighter (DB3)
-Kittani Robot Fighter (WB2)
-Kittani Robot Hover-Bike (WB2)
-Kittani Robot Space Fighter (DB2)
-Triax Robot Sub-Fighter (WB7)
-not counted but might count would be the Merbot PA in WB7 and the Galapagos 'bot in WB9

Robotech: 2E has (x10*):
-Cyclone (3 main models in TSC, +1 IMU in NG SB IIRC and +4 in Marines.)
-Silverback (3 main models in TSC)
-Alpha (4 models, including shadow found in TSC)
-Beta (2 models, including shadow found in TSC, 3 if we include the failed X-7 prototype)
-VF-1 (6 models, and 2 expansion kits found in Macross SB)
-Logan (1 model, Masters SB)
-VHT-1 (2 model, Masters SB)
-VHT-2 (1 model in Masters SB and 1 IMU)
-AGAC (2 model, Masters SB)
-Invid Overlord (1 model, TSC)
-not counted but mentioned in the text would also be the VF-X-4 & VF-X-5

Robotech: 1E has (x8*):
-Cyclone (3 main models, BK5, +1 prototype in BK8)
-Alpha (3 models +1 Shadow variant, BK5, +1 prototype in BK6)
-Beta (1 models +1 Shadow model, BK5)
-Logan (BK4, BK6 had a variant prototype)
-AJAX (BK4)
-VHT (BK4)
-VF-1 (4 models +2 expansion kits in BK1, +1 prototype in BK8, +1 variant in BK5 these last two might belong under the Alpha properly due to the way they transform)
-Veritech Car "prototype" (BK8)
-not counted but in the books would be the EBSIS rebuild VF-1 variant (BK8) and the RDF training drone variants (RDF Accelerated Training SB)

Macross 2 RPG (x4, for comparison, Palladium's other mecha centric line that was licensed):
-Marduk "Valkryie" (SB)
-Zentran Valkryie (SB)
-VF-1MS Metal Siren Valkryie (SB)
-VF-2 Valkryie (main book, 2 main models, and 2 expansion packs for one model)

*a case could be made for some categories to be broken down like the various Cyclones (I lumped them because they basically transform the same which IMHO makes them more letter variants than separate designs).


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 11:38 am
  

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Sambot wrote:
What Rifts has in smaller numbers is transforming robots. Robotech has a lot more of those. I do think it'd be nice to have more in Rifts. I have wondered about a planet, like Earth only with multiple races, Human, Giants, Elves, Dwarves, etc. There's several powers but they all have very similar origin stories about coming from space. Then a giant space ship is found in the ice by some researchers who feel they have to share with the rest of the world. Fear of alien invasion ends the war as they collectively rebuild the ship, and learn to use the advanced technology on it - Technology they'd lost over time. - and move into space. Of course, rebuilding and launching the ship is what gets noticed and causes the arrival of more. If not one big ship, maybe a couple of medium sized ones that crashed not too far from each other. I haven't put all the details together yet. They're still floating around in my head. To me it has a bit of Robotech/Macross feel to it but it isn't exactly. It's like what happens if descendants of a lost group suddenly meet descendants of the main group and the main group wants them back by any means necessary.

I could see pairing something like this with the Realm notion that I described above. Basically, say that the Realm started as “a Palladium Fantasy like planet; but with mecha instead of magic”.

I'd steer clear of races with innate magic; but it would be interesting to have, say, a faerie-like race of tiny nonmagical humanoids who pilot human-sized “giant robots”. Basically, the “humans vs. Zentran” thing from Macross, except that the humans are the “giants” in this comparison.

Conversely, the “Titan, Hero Giant” entry in CB1 mentions under OCCs (Rifts) that “Any type of power armor would demand the custom design and immense cost of giant-sized armor”. Custom design, sure; but would the cost really be more than the cost of, say, a giant robot? To the extent that it would be more expensive, that would only be because it's a custom design; not because of how big it is. For the Realm, that shouldn't be as much of a problem, as everything tends to be custom designs; so Titanic warriors clad in giant Power Armors could easily be a thing. As could Giant cyborgs, for that matter.

And frankly, while I wouldn't mind there being “fantasy races” like elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs, and the like, I'd want to at least imply that they're actually genetically engineered human variants. There may be no functional difference between an “elf-like human variant” and an Elf; but conceptually, the former fits the desired aesthetics better.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 5:06 pm
  

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i would argue that rifts does not fill the niche, mainly because it is filling a different one.

Genre wise Rifts is post-apoc with magic and tech in roughly equal measure, with robots and PA being a lesser element overall.

while robotech was space opera with tech taking prominance, and especially robot piloting, as a primary theme.

and while phase world is a space opera rifts variant, its main focus is more on the ship combat/travel and non-pilot characters, for more of a star wars and star trek feel.

so there is a gap where "robot pilot centric space opera setting" is that could be filled with an in house product.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 5:49 pm
  

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Agreed. But although he started with a line about “why not use Rifts?”, everything else in Sambot's post is unrelated to that. And I'd rather look at the “everything else” part than rehash the “does Rifts cover this?” part. Because, as you say, it doesn't. I could live with the niche being filled by a Dimension Book; but I'd want it to be something more like Scraypers than Yet Another Supplement For Phase World: something that's designed to stand on its own rather than being an extension of an existing setting.

That said, I have no problem with the setting covering a wide range of ideas. Chi and Psionics are okay in moderation, especially if used in conjunction with the setting's technology rather than as an alternative to it; but the closest it should get to magic is Clarkean “sufficiently advanced technology”, kind of like the Sentinels' Perytonian Wizard-Warriors. “Elves and dwarves” are fine, as long as they're presented as alien race that resemble fantasy elves and dwarves, rather than actually being fantasy elves and dwarves. My notion of “the Realm” a few posts back is supposed to be more “Voltron” or “Genesis Survivor Gaiarth” than “Macross”; but it should definitely be space opera with some fantasy-esque trappings, rather than fantasy with some servos thrown in.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 8:07 pm
  

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honestly your "realm vs federation" ideas remind me of the Aldnoah Zero anime and its Vers Empire vs United Earth conflict.. the Vers being a mars colony using lots of clarkian level alien tech mecha, against "20 minutes into the future" earth and its fairly primative conventional tech mecha. the Vers empire goes all in on the knights concept, with heavily customized mecha all boasting various special abilities, while the Earth forces are a more conventional military and their mecha are slow, and lack the armor and firepower to go toe to toe with the Vers Orbital Knights. (and the alien tech is all gene-coded which prevents earth from reverse engineering most of anything they do take out)

the protagonists are on the earth side as the 2nd war between the worlds starts, and they have to deal with the tech disparity through creative tactics and figuring out the weaknesses in the enemy tech. a war between an army of super-mecha ace customs vs disposable mooks.. and the mooks are the viewpoint protagonists.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 9:03 pm
  

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I mentioned before that I'd like to see a mecha design system in the product, inspired by the Robot design systems found in HU and Rifts Sourcebook 1. A brief outline of what I have in mind:

1. Budget: In a game where the PCs can upgrade their mecha over the course of the game, this should start low and increase as they level up. That is, I'd present a recommended budget range for each character level. But I'd leave it entirely up to the GM how, or even if, that gets implemented in play.

2. Control system: choices should normally be restricted to Robot Accessory Unit (i.e., Robot Vehicle or Power Armor) or Robot Drone; Artificial Intelligence, Neural Intelligence, and Transferred Intelligence would potentially exist in the setting; but they're beyond the default technology; so if they appear at all, they'll either be one of a kind or prototypes with inherent drawbacks that keep them from being used to their full potential.

This step also includes customizing the control system: e.g., Skill Programs for AIs, NIs, and TIs, and “cockpit features” for RAUs.

3. Size and Frame: I'd handle this more like how Mutant Animals handle Size and Animal Type (but with money instead of Bio-E) as opposed to how the existing Robotics systems handle it: that is, you choose Size and Frame separately, with Size working like the Growth Levels from AtB and Frames designed to be size agnostic, though they'd suggest preferred size ranges. Frames come in three main types: Animal (including Humanoid, Quadruped, Avian, Ichthyoid, Insectoid, Serpentine, Octopoid, etc.), Vehicle (including Boat, Submarine, Car, Truck, Construction Equipment, Motorcycle, Hovercraft, Tank, Helicopter, Jet, etc.), and Hybrid: this last one would provide rules for taking two frames from the first two categories and creating a new frame that's a blending of them, as well as some standard Hybrid Frames (Avian/Humanoid=Winged Humanoid, Ichthyoid/Humanoid=Mermaid, Jet/Humanoid=Gerwalk, etc.)

This step would also allow you to select alternate Frames, granting the ability to transform between them. This is the main reason for separating Size from Frame, as the assumption is that every form the mecha has is the same size as every other form. It's also the primary reason for the Hybrid Frames: adding an alternate Hybrid Frame that's derived from an Animal or Vehicle Frame that you've already taken is cheaper than adding other Frames. So Humanoid/Tank/Jet will be considerably more expensive than Humanoid/Gerwalk/Jet.

Finally, this might also include rules for Combined Mecha, like Robotech's Alpha and Beta fighters or Voltron.

4. Power Source. Internal Combustion, Electrical, or Nuclear. The last one might have a minimum size requirement; and the fuel and power requirements of the first two should scale up with Size.

5. Performance: the presence of arms, legs, articulated wings, rotors, jets, and so on is determined by your Frame. This step deals with the performance characteristics of your mecha, with decisions like whether you're built for speed, strength, or durability. Think of it kind of like your mecha having Attributes, and you being able to tweak them.

6. Electronics: this is where you assign sensors, communications systems, and electronic warfare capabilities.

7. Weapons, Armor, and other Gear: there's a space limit to how much equipment you can install, above and beyond any budgetary limits, based on the mecha's Size. The equipment might also be customizable, including how big it is; you could create something like a Boom Gun by installing an oversized railgun, for instance.

Steps six and seven would also be the primary interface between the Mecha design rules and the Cyborg design rules, with the cyborg implants largely consisting of Mecha equipment designed for human-Sized Frames.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2022 9:07 pm
  

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glitterboy2098 wrote:
honestly your "realm vs federation" ideas remind me of the Aldnoah Zero anime and its Vers Empire vs United Earth conflict.. the Vers being a mars colony using lots of clarkian level alien tech mecha, against "20 minutes into the future" earth and its fairly primative conventional tech mecha. the Vers empire goes all in on the knights concept, with heavily customized mecha all boasting various special abilities, while the Earth forces are a more conventional military and their mecha are slow, and lack the armor and firepower to go toe to toe with the Vers Orbital Knights. (and the alien tech is all gene-coded which prevents earth from reverse engineering most of anything they do take out)

the protagonists are on the earth side as the 2nd war between the worlds starts, and they have to deal with the tech disparity through creative tactics and figuring out the weaknesses in the enemy tech. a war between an army of super-mecha ace customs vs disposable mooks.. and the mooks are the viewpoint protagonists.

True enough — though in this case, I'd try to avoid the technology imbalance; I'd like both to be playable factions.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2022 5:44 am
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Sambot wrote:
What Rifts has in smaller numbers is transforming robots. Robotech has a lot more of those.

Now in terms of percentages, yes RT's transforming designs make up a larger percentage of available designs compared to Rifts (RT has ~100 designs in either edition, vs Rifts with 300+), but in terms of actual design quantity (raw number) they aren't all that far off. Now I will admit RT does feel like it has more due to model variants and expansions (either edition), but in terms of core designs they are a lot closer than you might think.




Rifts also has a converting motorcycle. I want to say its in Black Market.

Robotech also has the converting Officer's Pod from the Rifter. #5 I think. If we get into other material, there's the Centaur Hover Tank, and more variations of cyclones and VF-1s, and possible VHT-1s. None of the stats are official though.

With Robotech though, variable Mecha are the main robots used. With Rifts variable Robots are in the minority. Most are also in the hands of "Alien" Powers so their use could cause problems with other groups such as the Coalition States. I do think it'd be pretty cool if there were more converting Robots though. I could easily see Triax creating converting aircraft and land vehicles. Possibly the CS and maybe some Black Market groups.




dataweaver wrote:
I could see pairing something like this with the Realm notion that I described above. Basically, say that the Realm started as “a Palladium Fantasy like planet; but with mecha instead of magic”.

I'd steer clear of races with innate magic; but it would be interesting to have, say, a faerie-like race of tiny nonmagical humanoids who pilot human-sized “giant robots”. Basically, the “humans vs. Zentran” thing from Macross, except that the humans are the “giants” in this comparison.

Conversely, the “Titan, Hero Giant” entry in CB1 mentions under OCCs (Rifts) that “Any type of power armor would demand the custom design and immense cost of giant-sized armor”. Custom design, sure; but would the cost really be more than the cost of, say, a giant robot? To the extent that it would be more expensive, that would only be because it's a custom design; not because of how big it is. For the Realm, that shouldn't be as much of a problem, as everything tends to be custom designs; so Titanic warriors clad in giant Power Armors could easily be a thing. As could Giant cyborgs, for that matter.

And frankly, while I wouldn't mind there being “fantasy races” like elves, dwarves, goblins, orcs, and the like, I'd want to at least imply that they're actually genetically engineered human variants. There may be no functional difference between an “elf-like human variant” and an Elf; but conceptually, the former fits the desired aesthetics better.


I could see small races using robots to be as big and strong as taller races. I do think it'd be expensive for larger races to have PA and Robots. Just look at how much bigger Zentraedi Mech are compared to Earth Mecha. A lot more material goes into making them, so the cost will go up. There's also no reason that there couldn't be robots for Fairy sized, Human sized, and Giant sized robots and power armor.

I don't think magic would be too much of a problem. Maybe limit the types of magic with technowizardy being the main one. Having various sub-species of human would be cool. I don't know that they'd need to be genetically engineered though.





glitterboy2098 wrote:
i would argue that rifts does not fill the niche, mainly because it is filling a different one.

Genre wise Rifts is post-apoc with magic and tech in roughly equal measure, with robots and PA being a lesser element overall.

while robotech was space opera with tech taking prominance, and especially robot piloting, as a primary theme.

and while phase world is a space opera rifts variant, its main focus is more on the ship combat/travel and non-pilot characters, for more of a star wars and star trek feel.

so there is a gap where "robot pilot centric space opera setting" is that could be filled with an in house product.



Much of Robotech was also post-apocalyptic. Sure there was a lot of space-opera too but Earth was devastated world.


dataweaver wrote:
I mentioned before that I'd like to see a mecha design system in the product, inspired by the Robot design systems found in HU and Rifts Sourcebook 1. A brief outline of what I have in mind:


How different is this from what's in the books? It's been a while since I've looked.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2022 6:11 am
  

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Step 1: I don't think Palladium has ever tried associating budget range with character levels before, even loosely. Otherwise, no difference.

Step 2: No difference; all terminology came directly out of Rifts Sourcebook 1.

Step 3: This is where the bulk of the changes are, because the way Bots are currently built doesn't leave any room for variable frame designs.

Step 4: More or less the same, except for the Size scaling.

Step 5: the current system folds performance in with your choice of frame, and is a bit clunky.

Step 6: very little difference.

Step 7: the space limit is a new idea not previously included. Otherwise, no difference.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2022 7:52 am
  

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Sambot wrote:
I could see small races using robots to be as big and strong as taller races. I do think it'd be expensive for larger races to have PA and Robots. Just look at how much bigger Zentraedi Mech are compared to Earth Mecha. A lot more material goes into making them, so the cost will go up. There's also no reason that there couldn't be robots for Fairy sized, Human sized, and Giant sized robots and power armor.

The Zentreadi Mecha were larger than the VFs because the VFs were scaled the same as the Zentreadi pilots. But their power armor wasn't too different in size — especially when you take into account that they're mostly empty space; a Zentreadi pilot takes up a lot of space.

As well, Giant-sized Power Armor need not have as powerful servos as a comparably sized human-piloted giant robot: the power armor can often let the pilot do much of the work, with the servos matching the pilot's motions and ensuring that he can move unencumbered — that is, it can allow him to move around as if he was wearing civilian clothes, as opposed to the tons of armor, weaponry, and gadgets that he's actually carrying. A giant robot vehicle has to do all the work itself: the pilot is sitting in a cockpit directing it, rather than actually doing any of the walking.

So I could easily see Power Armor for Giants being comparable in cost, if not a bit cheaper than, comparably sized robot vehicles.

Sambot wrote:
I don't think magic would be too much of a problem. Maybe limit the types of magic with technowizardy being the main one. Having various sub-species of human would be cool. I don't know that they'd need to be genetically engineered though.

No, not necessarily generically engineered. They could be aliens. Basically, I'm saying that I'd prefer nonhumans in the setting to lean more in the direction of Aliens Unlimited than Palladium Fantasy; leave the “Elves in Space!” thing for Phase World and the Three Galaxies.

As for magic, that has been done to death by Rifts. Literally, in the case of Necromancy. And as glitterboy2098 was pointing out, Rifts and Phase World are designed to be a monster mash of everything; this isn't. Putting honest-to-goodness PPE-fueled Magic in this setting would be like putting robot vehicles and power armor into Palladium Fantasy. Remember, the technology is supposed to be front and center in this setting. So no, no Ley Line Magic; no Shifters; no Elemental Magic; no Biomancy or Stone Magic; no African Ceremonial Magic or Druidic Magic or Necromancy or Cybermancy or even Techno-Wizardry.

Just Chi and Psionics; and even those only in moderation.

Sambot wrote:
Much of Robotech was also post-apocalyptic. Sure there was a lot of space-opera too but Earth was devastated world.

Yes; and that's part of the reason for including the Realm in the setting.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2022 9:16 am
  

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Sambot wrote:
Rifts also has a converting motorcycle. I want to say its in Black Market.

I do not have a complete Rifts Library, though two of the units I mentioned above might be what you are thinking of (Naruni and Kittani designs), one is a uni-cycle and the other is a hoverbike.

Sambot wrote:
Robotech also has the converting Officer's Pod from the Rifter. #5 I think. If we get into other material, there's the Centaur Hover Tank, and more variations of cyclones and VF-1s, and possible VHT-1s. None of the stats are official though.

The inclusion of the REF Zent. VHT (Rifter #5, a fan design) and the Centaur (from the comics) really don't change much in the way of numbers. Putting in variations of existing mecha like the Cyclones or VF-1s (and maybe the VHT) should not count because in that sense RT is more "realistic" than Rifts in that they do have model variations (Rifts approach typically is for an "all new" solution, instead of an evolutionary model variant). I'm trying to keep the count method on the same level, which means a lot of the RT designs would actually be grouped together even though they are presented separately in the books (padding the page count).


Sambot wrote:
I could see small races using robots to be as big and strong as taller races. I do think it'd be expensive for larger races to have PA and Robots. Just look at how much bigger Zentraedi Mech are compared to Earth Mecha. A lot more material goes into making them, so the cost will go up. There's also no reason that there couldn't be robots for Fairy sized, Human sized, and Giant sized robots and power armor.

There are Fairy-sized Robots (Rifts Canada/DBoNA) and "giant" PA* (SA1, WB5/SB3 Gargoyle units, and I want to say there are a few more smattered around) in Rifts. Giant sized robots might be less than practical with them favoring PA designs though, and from a certain POV they could pack the firepower of a "normal" pilot Robot due to their size into their PA which might make full 'bots unnecessary.

It's probably also important to remember that when CB1 for Rifts brings up the cost of giant-sized equipment it is due to the fact it was presented as a custom built thing. Purpose built and mass production would reduce the cost and we know those units exit, and cost in those cases isn't bank breaking as CB1 would suggest (admittedly most of the examples here aren't PA in the books).


*I put giant in quotes because typical Rifts giant races are like 0.25-0.5x the size of a typical Zentreadi IIRC. Rifts/PB giants IIRC also start around 7-8ft tall when you are considered to be giant (funny that in RT a FULL-SIZE Breetai when MICRONIZED would still qualify as "giant" by PB standards).


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 4:42 pm
  

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dataweaver wrote:
Step 1: I don't think Palladium has ever tried associating budget range with character levels before, even loosely. Otherwise, no difference.

Step 2: No difference; all terminology came directly out of Rifts Sourcebook 1.

Step 3: This is where the bulk of the changes are, because the way Bots are currently built doesn't leave any room for variable frame designs.

Step 4: More or less the same, except for the Size scaling.

Step 5: the current system folds performance in with your choice of frame, and is a bit clunky.

Step 6: very little difference.

Step 7: the space limit is a new idea not previously included. Otherwise, no difference.




So the only thing really needed is to add a conversion system?


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 4:48 pm
  

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dataweaver wrote:
Sambot wrote:
I could see small races using robots to be as big and strong as taller races. I do think it'd be expensive for larger races to have PA and Robots. Just look at how much bigger Zentraedi Mech are compared to Earth Mecha. A lot more material goes into making them, so the cost will go up. There's also no reason that there couldn't be robots for Fairy sized, Human sized, and Giant sized robots and power armor.

The Zentreadi Mecha were larger than the VFs because the VFs were scaled the same as the Zentreadi pilots. But their power armor wasn't too different in size — especially when you take into account that they're mostly empty space; a Zentreadi pilot takes up a lot of space.

As well, Giant-sized Power Armor need not have as powerful servos as a comparably sized human-piloted giant robot: the power armor can often let the pilot do much of the work, with the servos matching the pilot's motions and ensuring that he can move unencumbered — that is, it can allow him to move around as if he was wearing civilian clothes, as opposed to the tons of armor, weaponry, and gadgets that he's actually carrying. A giant robot vehicle has to do all the work itself: the pilot is sitting in a cockpit directing it, rather than actually doing any of the walking.

So I could easily see Power Armor for Giants being comparable in cost, if not a bit cheaper than, comparably sized robot vehicles.


If they aren't more then exoskeletons, I can see them being as expensive as a robot. If they're going to be power armor I think they'd be more expensive.


Quote:
Sambot wrote:
I don't think magic would be too much of a problem. Maybe limit the types of magic with technowizardy being the main one. Having various sub-species of human would be cool. I don't know that they'd need to be genetically engineered though.

No, not necessarily generically engineered. They could be aliens. Basically, I'm saying that I'd prefer nonhumans in the setting to lean more in the direction of Aliens Unlimited than Palladium Fantasy; leave the “Elves in Space!” thing for Phase World and the Three Galaxies.

As for magic, that has been done to death by Rifts. Literally, in the case of Necromancy. And as glitterboy2098 was pointing out, Rifts and Phase World are designed to be a monster mash of everything; this isn't. Putting honest-to-goodness PPE-fueled Magic in this setting would be like putting robot vehicles and power armor into Palladium Fantasy. Remember, the technology is supposed to be front and center in this setting. So no, no Ley Line Magic; no Shifters; no Elemental Magic; no Biomancy or Stone Magic; no African Ceremonial Magic or Druidic Magic or Necromancy or Cybermancy or even Techno-Wizardry.

Just Chi and Psionics; and even those only in moderation.

Sambot wrote:
Much of Robotech was also post-apocalyptic. Sure there was a lot of space-opera too but Earth was devastated world.

Yes; and that's part of the reason for including the Realm in the setting.


If that's how you want your world. I think there's room. Not all magic types have to be included. Could be just generic magic. The numbers of practitioners could be small too. Same with psychics. That way the focus is on technology.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 5:27 pm
  

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Sambot wrote:
dataweaver wrote:
Step 1: I don't think Palladium has ever tried associating budget range with character levels before, even loosely. Otherwise, no difference.

Step 2: No difference; all terminology came directly out of Rifts Sourcebook 1.

Step 3: This is where the bulk of the changes are, because the way Bots are currently built doesn't leave any room for variable frame designs.

Step 4: More or less the same, except for the Size scaling.

Step 5: the current system folds performance in with your choice of frame, and is a bit clunky.

Step 6: very little difference.

Step 7: the space limit is a new idea not previously included. Otherwise, no difference.




So the only thing really needed is to add a conversion system?

The only thing needed is to rework the existing frames so that they're compatible with a variable-frame system. As things stand, the characteristics (mass, MDC, etc.) of, say, a Giant Humanoid frame and a Jet Fighter frame aren't even close.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 5:35 pm
  

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ShadowLogan wrote:
Sambot wrote:
Rifts also has a converting motorcycle. I want to say its in Black Market.

I do not have a complete Rifts Library, though two of the units I mentioned above might be what you are thinking of (Naruni and Kittani designs), one is a uni-cycle and the other is a hoverbike.


That's okay. I'm missing the newer books. If the bikes you're mentioning are the two from WB2 Atlantis, I don't remember them being convertible. There is one, I think its in Black Market, that turns from a motorcycle into a little robot. It's like a motorcycle with legs and arms.


Quote:
Sambot wrote:
Robotech also has the converting Officer's Pod from the Rifter. #5 I think. If we get into other material, there's the Centaur Hover Tank, and more variations of cyclones and VF-1s, and possible VHT-1s. None of the stats are official though.

The inclusion of the REF Zent. VHT (Rifter #5, a fan design) and the Centaur (from the comics) really don't change much in the way of numbers. Putting in variations of existing mecha like the Cyclones or VF-1s (and maybe the VHT) should not count because in that sense RT is more "realistic" than Rifts in that they do have model variations (Rifts approach typically is for an "all new" solution, instead of an evolutionary model variant). I'm trying to keep the count method on the same level, which means a lot of the RT designs would actually be grouped together even though they are presented separately in the books (padding the page count).


If we're just going by counts though, Macross has 5 Destroids/Robots and 4 Zentraedi Mecha. Southern Cross has twice that many? Mospeada has another 6 or so that weren't animated. That doesn't include additional RPG prototypes, another 5? plus the production art for the Sentinals. Macross II has maybe 10? That's a few more. Or Mecha from other sources like video games and books.

With Variable Mecha Macross has 1. Not including variants or later series/OVAs/movies. It also doesn't include the Orguss Valkyrie. Or preproduction art. Southern Cross has 4-5 mostly hover tanks. Mospeada has 3. Macross II has 4? Again not including variants or other sources.

All of those together might fill one Rifts book like Northern Gun.

Some designs in Rifts do have variants that while different aren't too far off from the original. Like the VF-1 and it's variants. The Coalition though chose to redesign their units to be scarier and more menacing than the old. An incremental change wouldn't of been as effective as a whole new unit.




Quote:
Sambot wrote:
I could see small races using robots to be as big and strong as taller races. I do think it'd be expensive for larger races to have PA and Robots. Just look at how much bigger Zentraedi Mech are compared to Earth Mecha. A lot more material goes into making them, so the cost will go up. There's also no reason that there couldn't be robots for Fairy sized, Human sized, and Giant sized robots and power armor.

There are Fairy-sized Robots (Rifts Canada/DBoNA) and "giant" PA* (SA1, WB5/SB3 Gargoyle units, and I want to say there are a few more smattered around) in Rifts. Giant sized robots might be less than practical with them favoring PA designs though, and from a certain POV they could pack the firepower of a "normal" pilot Robot due to their size into their PA which might make full 'bots unnecessary.

It's probably also important to remember that when CB1 for Rifts brings up the cost of giant-sized equipment it is due to the fact it was presented as a custom built thing. Purpose built and mass production would reduce the cost and we know those units exit, and cost in those cases isn't bank breaking as CB1 would suggest (admittedly most of the examples here aren't PA in the books).


Yeah, there's a couple but they're pretty exclusive. I think the idea was something more open market that anyone of that size could use.

Mass production would certainly lower prices. They'd still use more material though so the price would still be higher.


Quote:
*I put giant in quotes because typical Rifts giant races are like 0.25-0.5x the size of a typical Zentreadi IIRC. Rifts/PB giants IIRC also start around 7-8ft tall when you are considered to be giant (funny that in RT a FULL-SIZE Breetai when MICRONIZED would still qualify as "giant" by PB standards).


Lol. Yeah he is a giant either way. :)


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 5:42 pm
  

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Sambot wrote:
If that's how you want your world. I think there's room. Not all magic types have to be included. Could be just generic magic. The numbers of practitioners could be small too. Same with psychics. That way the focus is on technology.

Do you also argue this passionately for including futuristic technology in Palladium Fantasy? Mecha don't belong there, and actual magic doesn't belong in a Robotech stand-in. You want a setting that has both? You already have Rifts and Phase World for that.

It's similar to how there's no magic or psionics in Splicers. Granted, there are a couple of classes in Splicers that have powers that are functionally equivalent to psionics; but they're explicitly called out as not actually being psionics. Similarly, the Perytonian Wizard-Warriors in Robotech 1e were written up using the rules for magic; but it was explicitly pointed out that it wasn't actually magic. It was super-advanced technology that appeared to be magic.

And I am okay with something like that in the setting; but only if the setting supports multiple books, as there are more important things for a single book for such a setting to address. If it's to be included at all, it's something to add in later.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2022 6:37 pm
  

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If there are aliens of drastically smaller size than humans, I could see the minis having “pixie power-armor” for their pilots (similar to the flight suits featured in Macross Frontier, but scaled for beings roughly six inches tall, and with insect-like wings instead of airfoils) as well as their roughly human-sized variable robot vehicles.

And that would be another reason for a special “Mecha design system”: both Heroes Unlimited and Rifts assume that the pilots of robots, vehicles, and power armor will be roughly human-sized; some tweaks would be needed to allow for unusually large or tiny pilots. Or, in the case of power armor, non-humanoid pilots. It's one reason I've been looking to After the Bomb for system ideas: it has both a system of Sizes and of non-humanoid characters that could be modified to describe unusually sized and/or shaped robots and power armor.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 9:41 am
  

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Palladin

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
Posts: 6846
Location: WI
Sambot wrote:
That's okay. I'm missing the newer books. If the bikes you're mentioning are the two from WB2 Atlantis, I don't remember them being convertible. There is one, I think its in Black Market, that turns from a motorcycle into a little robot. It's like a motorcycle with legs and arms.

Black Market is in that "don't have" for myself (along w/the NG books).

WB2 Atlantis has 2 "Veritechs": the K-ATV Hover Jet (bi-modal jet/robot) and the K-GTRV Hover Land Skimmer (bi-modal hovercycle/robot), it also has a uni-cycle (KM-700) that is not transformable (all 3 can be found in WB2 pg155-8). Kittani also produce a "Veritech" found in DB2.

DB8 Naruni Wave 2 has 1 "Veritech" Unicycle. Naruni also have a "Veritech" found in DB3.

Sambot wrote:
If we're just going by counts though, Macross has 5 Destroids/Robots and 4 Zentraedi Mecha. Southern Cross has twice that many? Mospeada has another 6 or so that weren't animated. That doesn't include additional RPG prototypes, another 5? plus the production art for the Sentinals. Macross II has maybe 10? That's a few more. Or Mecha from other sources like video games and books.

With Variable Mecha Macross has 1. Not including variants or later series/OVAs/movies. It also doesn't include the Orguss Valkyrie. Or preproduction art. Southern Cross has 4-5 mostly hover tanks. Mospeada has 3. Macross II has 4? Again not including variants or other sources.

All of those together might fill one Rifts book like Northern Gun.

I'm sticking strictly to what was in the RPG (by edition), 1E has ~63 mecha ('bot/pa) in total: 9 of which are Veritechs. 2E isn't much different with ~65 mecha ('bot/pa) and 10 Veritechs. This includes both human and alien and filtering out variants (and IMUs in 2E, and some stuff in 1E that was added in by PB though some of that did make it in). I think my earlier estimate of ~100 included some variants and other hardware I'm filtering out here.

If we move to include stuff that was animated (or other official products) that did not make it into the RPG (either edition) or even stuff that was not included in either from Pre-Production the list will increase even more obviously (or implied). That though can get a bit messy on a variety of fronts, though most of this category are non-transformables, so you are likely going to be hard pressed to increase that ~14% of designs being Veritechs in Robotech and more than likely will depress it if you are being fair about adding to the list. Rifts has a similar number of Veritech units, but far more non-transformables that pushes it down to like 3% (lower since I don't really have a complete Rifts Library).

As for Book size, the biggest (comparable) hardware book I have is WB5 Triax & the NGR with ~50 units ('bots/pa/vehicles) which also has other hardware (gear) not considered and fluff and OCC/race stuff (along with a short comic). The only WB/DB/SB from Rifts that has more (AFAIK) is technically WB7, but that is only if you include the couple of pages with crib note versions of ships (53 crammed into 3 pages), otherwise you're looking at like ~30 as "typical/higher-end". So a pure Robotech mecha book is likely to outclass a Rifts WB, especially when you consider variant configurations/models that get put into their own entry (even if its only crib note version) and vehicles not considered above.

Sambot wrote:
Yeah, there's a couple but they're pretty exclusive. I think the idea was something more open market that anyone of that size could use.

The Farie Bot PA is pretty exclusive, but the one in WB6: SA1 is on the open market (the WB5 ones might also be at Atlantis, but then everything is for sale on Atlantis including the SDF-1). And "giants" are starting to get some coverage in terms of gear (body armor), and to an extent (vehicular) mecha if you include stuff made for "giant" size borgs. Full up PA/'bots are rare, but then there really isn't a Tech "nation" of Giants on Rifts Earth that has been explored AFAIK (I know there are a few "giant" nation states, but most of those are "primitives" IIRC).


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Unread postPosted: Tue May 17, 2022 7:45 am
  

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Adventurer

Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 9:34 pm
Posts: 698
slade the sniper wrote:
Can't imagine this hasn't been locked already... but, here we go:

"Tomorrow: Warfare has simply advanced to the point where unarmored humans are useless on the battlefield. Mega-damage weaponry is ubiquitous on the modern battlefield, expert systems, black box technology and true AI has made non-technologically advanced forces nothing more than targets. The initial push was for troops to be augmented, but when those troops ended their enlistment there were questions about what level of technology they were allowed to keep in their bodies. The second generation was for vehicles to become the warrior, and the human within was something to be protected, if not replaced entirely.

Mecha, powered armor, drones, nanite clouds, directed energy weapons, hypersonic missiles and active defense systems rule the day and anyone without those technologies cannot compete."

From there you just make hypersonic aerospace AI fighter aircraft that each are supported by a small team of autonomous loyal wingmen, that increase firepower and will suicide themselves to protect the main airframe.

Powered armor troops are armed and armored just as well as previous generations of tanks and can be delivered anywhere on Earth within 4 hours, supported by orbital fire support and grav tanks that are able to survive tactical nuclear weapons in close proximity. Hunter-killer drones act as assassins across the globe, silently hunting their targets without regard to borders. Nanite clouds are delivered by small missiles that disassemble their targets a molecule at a time. The ultra rich and the politically powerful wage war worldwide without regard to the devastation it causes, because no matter the damage, they are safe in their palatial compounds, orbital sanctuaries or their digital paradises.

Billions fight and die for the opportunity to be noticed and be granted the privilege of joining the warrior elite and donning powered armor, controlling drone squadrons, piloting mecha or frying brains as a computer tech in cyberspace.

You are squalid human trash, a warrior or one of the true elite of the world.

-STS

edit: Building this out a bit further, you can expand it to whatever size setting you want. STL Earth and Moon, STL the inner planets, STL the whole system, FTL the whole system, FTL the local group, however much FTL you want = how totally big you can make your setting.

Alternately, with "nanotech" and cyberspace you can also make your setting as big as you want while still being really small, at least in this dimension.

I could see using something like this as a sort of “hellworld”, where everything has gone wrong. Forces from the Terran Federation and/or the Realm might end up there for various reasons.

I wouldn't want that as the default setting, though; because frankly, Palladium Books is a bit overloaded with apocalyptic settings. And I'd like this setting to have a bit more variety than “the world is one big warzone”.


I'm also thinking that this setting might benefit from something vaguely along the lines of the Machine People from Phase World: a race of thinking, fully intelligent machines. They'd be exactly like the Machine People except for one thing: their “natural” form wouldn't be that of a metallic humanoid; it would be more like a metallic slug. Rather than being a race of humanoid robots who walk around, pick up and use tools, drive vehicles, and so on, this race would make extensive use of their Machine Melding to effectively operate as a race of symbiotes: attach one to a futuristic, fully computerized transformable semi truck, for example, and it effectively becomes the brain to the truck's body.


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