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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:52 pm
  

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Hero

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The Photosynthetic metabolism for Host Armors uses one of the most readily available sources for food... the Sun. When in sunlight, this armor gets some fairly impressive bonuses, yet also suffers from a major drawback when exposed to darkness, shadows and night for too long a time (20 minutes).

This means that for an average of 12 hours a day (at the least), those wearing these armors are going to be at a major disadvantage. Don't ask someone wearing one of these armors to stand watch at night as their sluggish movements at such time is likely to be more of a hindrance than help.

Then I came across the Glow Cell and Simple Light Cell upgrade and wondered... could these be used to provide enough light for such a Host Armor to operate without penalties? Neither would provide the benefit of True Sunlight (so no extra bonuses). Also, a major draw back to this is that while these cells are on, the Host Armor basically can't prowl in shadows or dark places... and the glow may even make them an easier target (though a strobe/pulse effect similar to the Halo Collar [Rifter 59; pg 23/24] might provide similar penalties too).

There are some plants that do produce their own bio-luminescence... so it isn't completely out of the realm of the plausible... and since the light can be regulated on both... it will be a balancing act on the part of the splicer to balance the need for light (to prevent penalties) and the need for stealth.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 11:32 pm
  

Palladin

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the writeup itself tells you the drawbacks of artificial light in terms of how the host armour responds.

it doesn't elaborate on the obvious stealth disadvantages, but it does already tell you exactly how your host armour responds to created light.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 7:24 am
  

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Hero

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That wasn't exactly the point...

A photosynthetic that can generate its own light seems a little too good to be true. Yes, these features produce artificial light... that isn't in dispute. The question is... should a photosynthetic armor benefit from that artificial light it produces?

Would you allow a host armor to generate its own food to the point where the drawbacks for the metabolism no longer apply? A Thermosythetic armor that can generate its own heat... a parasitic armor that can heal its pilot to the point where he suffers no long term damage... a carnivorous armor that can create enough meat to survive.

The advantage a photosynthetic armor has is that the food it needs is readily available, with the disadvantage that it is substantially weaker after spending time in the dark. Now with these two mods... it can generate its own light to offset that disadvantage easily... sounds too good to be true.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 11:53 am
  

Palladin

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well, i'll put it this way: in your games, have you done anything to make lithovores have a disadvantage? because they're just as easy to feed, enjoy close to the same advantage (plus one or two other small ones, like casting gun bonuses for example), and they don't need to light up like a christmas tree to do that. so long as their is dirt, sand, clay, rocks, or just about anything else you might find yourself standing on top of, the lithovore basically has no feeding concerns. someone already made a metabolism that pretty much entirely negates feeding drawbacks, and it's core. if you want to spend a bunch of bio-e on reducing the feeding drawback that you have, well, you're still worse off than a lithovore, so no big deal really.

as to the rest... a thermosynthetic can produce heat quite easily (just make a fire, shouldn't be hard with assorted upgrades). parasitic and carnivorous armours actually gain much larger advantages, so i'd be less inclined to let them ignore their metabolism drawback.

but i mean, really, what sounds worse: your photosynthetic armour walks around glowing, or your photosynthetic host armour walks around with an umbrella-like contraption that has light cells mounted on it shining downwards onto you?

personally, given the choice, i'd rather have the light cells mounted on the host armour. the visual sounds a lot less ridiculous. and frankly, if you want to argue realism, well, how is your host armour generating MD blasts of energy or rockets with enough fuel to travel a mile and then blow up powerfully enough to destroy a tank from a few hours of sunlight per day, again?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 3:49 pm
  

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Hero

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Okay... you do make a good point about lithovore armors. Thermosynthetic armors however can not get any of the flame weapons (or their upgrades; says they can't in the prerequisites for the flame weapons... plus they don't have mouths for the weapon [though why a mouth is needed is a mystery to me]).

Now the question is... how many Glow Cells/Simple Light Cells would you think it would take to provide enough light for a photosynthetic armor to avoid the darkness penalties?

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:26 pm
  

Palladin

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thermosynthetic armours are, however, perfectly capable of getting heat projectors and super light cells (at level 2, granted), which can definitely start fires. they can also have trench foot mines and organic rockets, which are probably also capable of generating fires. they can have bio-e vents, which can probably start fires but we're not really sure. depending on whether the various acid weapons are exothermic or endothermic, they may be able to generate heat from those (and may therefore be able to start fires as well). the burner and electro-pulse guns from the hand-held weapons section can also be used to start fires most likely, and are available to pretty much anyone. using the official new enhancements in rifter 50, it is likely they could also start fires with a glowfruit-producing cornucopia.

obviously, not all of these are subtle (in fact, most aren't) but they are methods you could use to generate heat for your thermosynthetic host armour. most of them are possible without needing to use any outside source, either.

again, the alternate obvious solution is for your photosynthetic host armour to carry around an external light source, which is at least as silly as being it's own light source. either way, there is still a drawback (you stick out like a sore thumb in dark places, which is the only time you need the light source anyways), so i really don't see it being a problem. if you're using the light, it had better be because you just got attacked already, because otherwise it's very likely that it will lead to you being attacked.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 8:37 pm
  

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Hero

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I think this is why a combination of Glow and Simple Light Cells would be considered.

Glow Cells could provide just enough light to prevent the more debilitating effects of Light Deprivation for Photosynthetic armor, but not quite powerful enough to be considered artificial light. While this also makes the armor a prime target at night, the weak light isn't readily noticeable as being unnatural to the Machine... as many creatures have bio-luminescent qualities. It may cause a scout or two to be sent to investigate (if it is in an unusual location), but unless they are attacked, the Machine won't send in a large squad of robots. This may not be stealthy, but not an instant give away (likely the preferred state when photosynthetic armors need to move at night... to minimize the attention they bring without slowing down the group too much).

Super Light Cells on the other hand produce more than enough light to qualify as artificial light for combat bonuses... light that is clearly too bright to be produced by a natural creature. Such light can also be seen much further away, drawing attention from a larger radius. When detected by the Machine, it will almost always send reinforcements right away. The only time these would likely be used is once in combat to maximize the effectiveness of photosynthetic armor.

Like the Halo Collar for Gorehounds, a combination of these features could create a strobing effect that can blind or disorient opponents (even robots) for a few rounds... as the armor switches randomly from no light to bright light to weak light.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:37 pm
  

Palladin

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i'm not sure a pale glow would be enough to keep your armour active. i'd say you at least have to have enough to illuminate most of the surface of your armour before you can reduce the penalties at all...


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:10 am
  

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Palladin

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Razorwing wrote:
A photosynthetic that can generate its own light seems a little too good to be true. Yes, these features produce artificial light... that isn't in dispute. The question is... should a photosynthetic armor benefit from that artificial light it produces?
Yup, so long as the quantity is enough. In situations where you would actually need to do this (no existing light to take advantage of) you would stand out like a sore thumb though. Only way around this I can figure is to tunnel under-ground and hollow yourself out a cave and then light up within the cave so that no light escapes to give off your position.

Although I assume armor can feed while a user sleeps... I am not sure if you could fix it so your armor produced light while you slept... I'm a bit unclear on how much an armor can do automatically while a user is sleeping. Like if you can leave on lights or a force field or whatev...

Razorwing wrote:
Would you allow a host armor to generate its own food to the point where the drawbacks for the metabolism no longer apply? A Thermosythetic armor that can generate its own heat...

That would be fine so long as you can actually trap enough heat, since they function on the basis of the temperature of the surrounding air. This would mean, similar to above, you would probably have to make a tiny little room somewhere to hole up in. I don't care how much damage a Mega-Heat-Blaster does, even firing it twice a melee, if you are on the top of an icy mountain that heat is just going to spread out and get eaten by the terrain faster than your suit can metabolize it. You would either need to be able to trap the hot air, or else set something combustible on fire to supplement that continual burn. I'm not sure if the Heat Blaster can set stuff on fire though... but it would be easy enough if you carried some matches (presumably the machine cannot infect those)

Although as pointed out by Razor a Thermo/Photo cannot get a flame-breath, you could have 2 different-metabolism Host Armor pilots work in complimentary pairs. Have 1 carnivore with flame breath and 1 thermovore with meat pies, perfect marriage.

Combining Thermo metabolism with the Rifter50p85 upgrade of Napalm with a self-spit could be one way of basking in your partner's heat... but even if you buy Heat Resistance, the damage you take in the process of feeding that way could be pretty rough, probably feasibly if you have maxed-out bio-regen upgrades.

Razorwing wrote:
a parasitic armor that can heal its pilot to the point where he suffers no long term damage
What healing add-on are you talking about which might allow this? The long-term damage a parasitic armor does is irreparable. As for the short-term damage, a single cheap slap-patch used once (of thrice-daily, giving you 2 more uses to save for your armor) will restore more (~5d8) than double (4d4) the HP a parasite will temporarily cost its user each day, so it's not a major cost.

Razorwing wrote:
... a carnivorous armor that can create enough meat to survive.

I'm not sure how this would be possible. All that comes to mind to me is the Meat Pie Cornucopia feature from Rifter 50 page 83 but only Photo/Thermo metabolism armors can grow that. I'm not sure if it is possible for a standard animal herb/omn/carn(ivore) class Host Armors to grow their own food.

That said, Cornucopia CAN produce Glowfruit... which MIGHT count as an artificial light source for the Photosynthetic armors... so that might be one trick. On the down-side, any time you are carrying un-exploded glow-fruit out in the open to bask in their light, you make yourself a target, similar to the GlowCell trick.

If you have a nice opaque satchel you could possibly pick Glowfruit and store them there where they will not be noticed, and even trade them to other Splicers as a form of currency.

Shark_Force wrote:
heat projectors and super light cells
can definitely start fires

I wouldn't say 'definitely' since we are not blatently told this, but it does seem probable enough considering their nature. Even if it wasn't, you wouldn't exactly need a Splicers-Weapon to start a fire, wilderness skills could also allow for that. Carrying matches or a ceramic lighter could also substitute, though I guess the risk there is they might get destroyed or run out.

Shark_Force wrote:
trench foot mines and organic rockets
probably also capable of generating fires

I wouldn't say that, for all we know those are purely kinetic force, not flame. Unlike robot missiles it is pretty sketchy as to the nature of their damage though, which I guess could allow for some flexibility.

If you did opt for flame-based damage I'd say the GM should make that the fixed attribute of every mine and missle on-hand, and keep in mind that this means it will do half damage to Splicer-armor which is heat-resistant. On the plus side, that could mean bypassing kinetic resistances.

Shark_Force wrote:
bio-e vents
can probably start fires
but we're not really sure
Not sure where the probability originates here, perhaps we should not assume that the default nature of a generic energy blast is to ignite.

Shark_Force wrote:
depending on whether the various acid weapons are exothermic or endothermic
may be able to generate heat
may therefore be able to start fires as well
Is heat enough? I thought you had to initiate combustion or something... though I may not understand the physics of this properly.

Of course fire-starting is just a photosynthetic concern. If we're talking thermosynthetic then acid weapons which are exothermic should be enough on their own, right?

Of course... you would still need to find fuel to corrode with your acid, which is pretty similar to having to go find some trees to burn. I guess the bonus here is that you can burn machines or rocks instead, and it wouldn't produce as much smoke to give off your position, so that's a plus.

If a GM made it same-cost they should definitely fix ENDO or EXO for the acid though. The plus to exo being 'feed yourself', the downside being "your acid is producing heat and the robots are now aware of your position" type situations being the cost.

Shark_Force wrote:
the burner and electro-pulse guns from the hand-held weapons section can also be used to start fires most likely, and are available to pretty much anyone.

Sounds fair, but like Living Armor this means you are locked to being near an underground base (or at least a Bao-House outpost) to be able to recharge your weapon, so would not help you in prolonged campaigns where you go on the offensive away from support.

Shark_Force wrote:
using the official new enhancements in rifter 50, it is likely they could also start fires with a glowfruit-producing cornucopia.
Unless it's mentioned as being some kind of energy attack I think we should assume explosions are of a purely kinetic nature, so I think the thermo guys would be out of luck. Plus... there are way cheaper ways of starting fires out there than wasting your MD grenades.

The light-glow MIGHT be enough to qualify as artificial light for the photosynthetic guys though... as mentioned previously.

That said... although glowfruit might illuminate photosynthetic armor enough to get by (and you would have to be willing to be lit up like a bulls-eye for 12 hours a day) I do not think Host Armor could grow glowfruit without the sun.

In Rifter 50 Cornucopia (p83) says that these are small versions of the ones Gardeners grow, and reading THAT description (p68) it says they "capture the sun's energy". It doesn't mention anything about artificial light or thermogenic metabolism being able to grow them. So a thermogenic Gardener with a Cornucopia would have to expose his armor-grown mini-glowfruits to sun the same way he would the larger kind.

So basically if you ever did whip your glow-nades, even if you still had a nade remaining for some light (or even if you could start a fire with it) keep in mind that they will not regrow unless you access the sun. Their regrowth rate should only be active during times you are in sunlight.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 10:57 am
  

Palladin

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most of the "lighting fire" stuff was intended to show how thermosynthetic host armours could generate fires.

as to the energy effects not producing fire, all you need for a fire is a spark (ie heat) and fuel, really. if you can find fuel, you can definitely ignite it with a heat projector. even if you can't, just melt some rock and that'll hold some residual heat for a bit. the light cell is a bit less clear, until you consider that it's designed to basically hit things with enough energy to destroy them. whether or not heat is an intended effect, it's almost guaranteed to be a side effect as it's basically the main type of "waste" energy generated by pretty much everything that uses energy.

as to the explosions, nothing indicates they're particularly unusual in nature. they won't be incendiary weapons per se, but that doesn't mean they won't generate heat just like any other conventional explosion. i mean, high explosives aren't incendiary either, but that doesn't mean if you drop one in a forest it wouldn't ignite small twigs, dead leaves, etc... it just means that it won't coat everything in a layer of incendiary goo that will burn for a while on its own without fuel, because the fire is not sustained.

also, i wasn't suggesting direct application of any of those weapons. i was merely pointing out that napalm and fire-based weapons are not the only way to create a fire which could provide heat for a thermosynthetic host armour.


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 3:23 pm
  

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Palladin

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Not absolutely, just the only guaranteed way, since the effects of other attacks (energy, explosion) may or may not cause ignition. Good idea about rock-melting, better way to retain the heat, would dissipate slower than heating air or water. Also preferable to burning down a forest for numerous reasons.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 6:20 pm
  

Palladin

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depending on what you hit with it, a flamethrower may or may not cause ignition. nothing is guaranteed, but i'd say that an explosive in the right situation (ie there is flammable material available) has a pretty solid chance of igniting *something*.

turning that flame (however small) into a fire that can warm your host armour is not necessarily assured, but you should be able to start at least a small fire given reasonably favourable circumstances with no check required (again, turning that small fire into a bonfire may require some skill use, depending on available resources).


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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:20 pm
  

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Hero

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As for the healing/regeneration for hosts of Parasitic Armor... I was sort of referring to the Super Renegeration (3rd tier) that some armors can get which actually allows them to heal the pilot as well. The example given was of the Host Armor's arm being severed (which may also include the pilot's)... in which case it could regenerate both... though the pilot would need to remain inside the armor until it is done... to prevent the possibility of a lost or misshapen arm if he exits before it can be regrown.

It isn't hard to extrapolate from these regeneration tiers other improvements that could be made to see the pilot is properly taken care of. The Symbiotic Nourishment system installed in all Gardener armors allows the armor to supply food for the pilot from the nourishment it takes in (the needs of the pilot are trivial in comparison to its needs) is just one extrapolation of what can be done to improve the pilot's capabilities within the armor. One of the Daughter's of Chaos has a method of extending her time within her parasitic armor... using sort of a spray tan system to cover her body with a synthetic skin that the armor eats through first. With innovations like these... it isn't hard to assume that they may improve the recovery of a pilot with a parasitic armor... maybe even delay or reduce the long term effects.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:12 pm
  

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Palladin

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That is... a very oddly described power. It just casually segways into describing the regrowth of a pilot's limbs without declaring it outright and not giving any HP or SDC rates.

On it's own I could discount the 'note' at the end to be talking about the limb of the Host Armor, but in the preceding sentence it does oddly mention Host Armor regrowing a human limb... makes me wonder if that was always intended or if it might've been a mistake initially referring to getting a Saint to regrow your limbs for you. Or maybe the self-healing stuff was put in initially and then almost all taken out but they missed a bit? Just very odd presentation... anywhere you would see "your armor will give you a new arm" type stuff you'd figure a damage regen rate would also be given...

I guess just change the MDC regeneration into HP regeneration? Or SDC when that is full? But I would say you have to pick which of the two gets it, so say you roll 5 MDC for the round and you and armor are both down 5, you could give all 5 to the armor (probably the best tactical decision unless you're bleeding into a coma) or not fully heal the armor and heal yourself a bit instead.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 8:42 pm
  

Palladin

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regrowing the limb takes as long as it takes for the host armour to regrow the limb.

finding someone who can feed you through your host armour (if your host armour isn't modified to do that in the first place; some are) is highly recommended ;)


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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:59 pm
  

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Palladin

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It sounds like even though it can regrow limbs that it does not restore HP or SDC (even though I think GMs may house rule that) so you would still be weakened while it grows it back for you...

Actually it would be kind of interesting if regrowing a limb made it suck MORE of your HP juice. Like it was just keeping its food alive by reorganizing it.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:33 am
  

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Hero

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I think you're forgetting that this level of Host Armor regeneration can be applied to any armor, not just parasitic ones. Why would it drain more HP/SDC from the pilot than any other regeneration? Actually, from the description, it seems like the Host Armor with this mod actually extends some of its regeneration to the pilot. As for regeneration rates, I would use the same as the armor, but reduce it to SDC levels... maybe even extend the time it takes by one factor (melee rounds to minutes) or more.

This does present an interesting niche for new features though... healing the pilot inside the armor (not that he will take a lot of damage to begin with... it is supposed to protect him after all). Still... most pilots need to leave their armors at some point, which is when they can be hurt. Thus being able to return to your armor to heal might have some appeal.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:56 pm
  

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Palladin

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In the case of non-Parasitic armor I would say the armor should amp up food consumption (whatever it is) to regenerate the pilot's limb.

It's just very odd since none of the preceding bio-regen features seem to help the pilot heal at all..

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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:54 pm
  

Palladin

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the two previous ones aren't extremely expensive either.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:06 pm
  

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Palladin

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True but still, I feel like they should've put something in the title to make the feature jump out, I never actually noticed it until someone mentioned, primarily due to no hp/sdc rate.

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