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 Post subject: Newbie GM needs guidance
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:02 am
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:52 pm
Posts: 9
So, I'm new to game managing. I've mostly always been a player character. Furthermore, I'm new to Palladium books and Rifts to be exact. I have a player who has chosen the Operator O.C.C. Now, as I read the description, I understand this class to be a fixer of preexisting machinery and weapons. My player sees it as an opportunity to Homebrew current technological advancements available to the military, today. For example, he wishes to build emp missiles and the metalstorm gun that fires 1million rounds a second. I have thought about letting him but still limit the damage to that of the rail guns in the Rifts book but I just don't think that's what he'll want. It is my understanding that Homebrewing would be limited to the existing technology on Rifts Earth. Am I wrong in my belief on that and that such Homebrewing would make him overpowered?


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:24 pm
  

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D-Bee

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:29 pm
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He's right that it's an opportunity to create some cool homebrew items, however, you're right in the sense of game balance. Your job as GM is not to be the storyteller but to guide the players through the world, which has rules that need to be adhered to. Sometimes you can say "yes" to a player, but there'll be times when it'll be a flat "no." This will be the time when you say "No, but..." Unless your party has a godling, glitterboy, and a bunch of supernatural creatures, he should not have to be creating weapons to cause mass destruction and keep up with them.

Obstacles for homebrewing weapons

Logistics - The materials he's gonna need; the time to build, test, and finalize the weapon; the design may not even work; a million rounds would cost so much to just keep and expend at a regular use.

EMP missile? He'll need to find one to reverse engineer or take the large amount of time to design one from scratch. We're talking going through theories and sketches before getting to the building phase - which will require testing- and then see if it even works.

This isn't really to punish or discourage but to keep to the rules that have been established.


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Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:57 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:52 pm
Posts: 9
Thank you for your input. That helps out so much. One of the problems my group hasn't fully grasped is the magnitude of how much the earth had changed in rifts and also how much of the game is going to be based on roleplaying events versus actual combat. As for the party it consists of a dragon hatchling, operator, head hunter, cyber knight, and a cat being wilderness scout.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:20 pm
  

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Knight

Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:50 am
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Quote:
My player sees it as an opportunity to Homebrew current technological advancements available to the military, today.

They could, but consider the following factors (some of which Mack covered):
-material logistics, where are they getting the parts/materials to construct and support this endevour, are necessary parts/materials even available
-how are they going to pay for the materials (this is a GM call)
-factor in time to research, design and construct. (this is a GM call)
-how do they come up with the idea(s)* (the player may know of them, BUT HOW DOES THE CHARACTER)
-does the character have the necessary skills to attempt what they are trying (this is a GM call)
-what are potential consequences of the technology if they are successful. (GM's call, factions are going to want the hardware either for themselves or out of the picture)

I would also suggest reviewing the Techno-Wizard OCC (in RUE) as it is a "home brew" device OCC with some guidelines that might help/be applicable.

*I would point out that EMP/EMP-like technology itself is rare in Rifts. Metal Storm itself is also a potential pitfall, but one that is probably more doable. While MS might be capable of firing 1million rounds per second, the weapon itself might not have that capacity (in terms of actual projectiles loaded) and what type of projectiles will it fire.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:18 pm
  

D-Bee

Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:52 pm
Posts: 9
My players are under the assumption that everything is readily available to them. They don't quite understand that the internet is something the coalition would control and limit. Thank you for your input also, Shadow.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 11:38 pm
  

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D-Bee

Joined: Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:29 pm
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Keith_gearlds wrote:
My players are under the assumption that everything is readily available to them. They don't quite understand that the internet is something the coalition would control and limit. Thank you for your input also, Shadow.


This might be the case of 'Show don't tell' when it comes to worldbuilding. They can assume a lot, they can know a lot, but they need to stop meta-gaming what is out there versus what is actually available to them. They might not get it until they have an experience with it. Have them try to acquire things, put obstacles in front of acquiring it. Internet? Limited access and firewalled everywhere. Certain webpages do not exist. If they do, they are monitored. Think NSA level of stuff.

Even the black market will have limits. "You want what?!" Anything above the normal: guns, armor, ammo, rations, vehicles, power armor, etc. will be noticed. Things will be upcharged, watched, or completely unavailable to people they do not trust.

Let their naivety play out. It will end once the world is brought to them in a steady manner. The world does not flex to them, it has its own rules and codes - it is they who must fit in it. Only then can they figure out who to bend the rules to their needs. The rule of cool has it's place and time. That may not always been at the beck and whim of the players, it will be up to you. You're the one guiding their imaginations through this world and allow them to take action within the rules set upon them. This isn't abusive nor is it setting up the mythical "GM vs. players" mentality. While you can change the canon of the setting to your liking, the bulk of it is there to be used as foundations of the game you'll be mastering, which is what you need to remember you are the game master. You make calls on reason and occasional tug of "well it'd be more fun this way," all the while making sure things don't break.

If these are new players to the Rifts world, then it'll take time for them to adjust to it. Help them with it. It's hard to disengage what we live in versus the imaginary world that seems so much more advanced.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:02 pm
  

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Hero

Joined: Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:52 pm
Posts: 1529
Location: Lehigh Valley, American Empire, Earth
Keith_gearlds wrote:
So, I'm new to game managing. I've mostly always been a player character. Furthermore, I'm new to Palladium books and Rifts to be exact. I have a player who has chosen the Operator O.C.C. Now, as I read the description, I understand this class to be a fixer of preexisting machinery and weapons. My player sees it as an opportunity to Homebrew current technological advancements available to the military, today. For example, he wishes to build emp missiles and the metalstorm gun that fires 1million rounds a second. I have thought about letting him but still limit the damage to that of the rail guns in the Rifts book but I just don't think that's what he'll want. It is my understanding that Homebrewing would be limited to the existing technology on Rifts Earth. Am I wrong in my belief on that and that such Homebrewing would make him overpowered?
A major key will be keeping an eye on what is actually available in the world and what people have been able to accomplish with decades of research by dedicated weapons development teams and in some cases Golden Age knowledge as well.

Archie, Triax, and Japanese New Republic are the high water mark for Earth tech.
The new wave Coalition gear would be next in line, followed by old CS gear, Russians, and the various mass-market producers.
The secrets of the Boom Gun and Chromium armor were things that had to be actively taught even to Triax, with no one managing to reverse engineer how they functioned.

Rather than invent whole new technologies, an Operator player is far better at being the King of Kludge. Taking existing and salvaged gear and using them in unique ways, or getting a larger effect on a budget. Mechanically, it mostly plays out as their ability indicate for souping things up and upgrading. Weapons get trickier, but as long as you keep an eye on what others have accomplished in the setting, maybe lend a +2 bonus to damage to something he tweaks out but doesn't fundamentally change. Change up stats to better models on the market if he's upgrading it enough. He might have an old-style Coalition rifle, but he's upgraded the internals to the point that it's more like the newest Wilks release with a heavier capacitor.

Other ideas, well, they wouldn't really work out, or cost more as a heavier solution to others has solved.

Leaving aside the issues with MetalStorm that has largely seen in abandoned in real life, a high power machine gun would do much the same SDC damage.
Trying to retool the same idea to jet rounds or explosive would prove problematic to say the least, and would tend to be the sort of situation where they roll successfully and I tell them they realize it would be a failure-prone expensive nightmare and they'd be better off building a more conventional multi-barrel solution like kludging two machine guns together.

EMP, there are some weapons and attacks they perform EMP like effects, but to effect hardened MD Military they are fairly energetic lightning-type attacks. If he wants to affect civilian tech, then a conventional approach should work fine. Even current tech versions of this are very limited in effectiveness regarding military equipment.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:04 pm
  

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Demon Lord Extraordinaire

Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:28 pm
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Location: Apocrypha
Comment: You probably think this comment is about you, don't you?
Keith_gearlds wrote:
So, I'm new to game managing. I've mostly always been a player character. Furthermore, I'm new to Palladium books and Rifts to be exact. I have a player who has chosen the Operator O.C.C. Now, as I read the description, I understand this class to be a fixer of preexisting machinery and weapons. My player sees it as an opportunity to Homebrew current technological advancements available to the military, today. For example, he wishes to build emp missiles and the metalstorm gun that fires 1million rounds a second. I have thought about letting him but still limit the damage to that of the rail guns in the Rifts book but I just don't think that's what he'll want. It is my understanding that Homebrewing would be limited to the existing technology on Rifts Earth. Am I wrong in my belief on that and that such Homebrewing would make him overpowered?


Cyberpunk had a similar issue with a couple of their PCs. They addressed it on page 29 in their Referee's Guide. They came up with four levels for creating something:

Quote:
Level 0 = An existing tech adopted to a new use.

This would be something like taking a remote-controlled airplane and making it into a spy drone. Players should have no problems doing this other than from lack of imagination on their part, bad skill rolls, not having access to the equipment, funds, and/or materials needed, and the like. This kind of is an Operator's job.

Quote:
Level 1 = A modification, refinement, or improvement of an existing tech.

This again should be within the realm of capabilities for a player to do. This is basically something like upgrading weapons, mecha units, vehicles, or whatever. The main difference is that this should take hours of research, work, and testing to get it right, and probably a good amount of funding as well. The book points out though as long as it's reasonable the players should be allowed to do it.

Quote:
Level 2 = A new tech for an existing use (a new method).

At this point you're into ground-breaking stuff. The description given in the book is oriented towards Cyberpunk obviously, but a Palladium-appropriate one would be being the first person to invent a laser rifle. The method is new (energy weapon), but the purpose is the same as a rifle (shooting someone). It terms of gameplay, the book says it should take players a good portion of their lives and money into R&D, and that even as a GM, you should avoid entities under your control (CS, NGR, Archie, Splugorth, etc) from developing this level of tech due to potential game-balance issues.

Quote:
Level 3 = A new tech for a new use (a totally new idea).

This is history-changing stuff. At this level you're basically inventing fire, the wheel, electricity, nuclear power, faster-than-light travel, that sort of thing. The book recommends that players should never be allowed to invent that sort of thing, and that GMs should shun it as well. But if your players are hell-bent on inventing something that would fit into this category we have a somewhat recent real-world example of what it would take. The Manhattan Project cost nearly $2,000,000,000.00 in that era's money and had more than 130,000 people working on it in around 30 different locations in the USA.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 12:09 pm
  

Wanderer

Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:14 am
Posts: 54
The Beast wrote:

Cyberpunk had a similar issue with a couple of their PCs. They addressed it on page 29 in their Referee's Guide. They came up with four levels for creating something:

Quote:
Level 0 = An existing tech adopted to a new use.

This would be something like taking a remote-controlled airplane and making it into a spy drone. Players should have no problems doing this other than from lack of imagination on their part, bad skill rolls, not having access to the equipment, funds, and/or materials needed, and the like. This kind of is an Operator's job.

Quote:
Level 1 = A modification, refinement, or improvement of an existing tech.

This again should be within the realm of capabilities for a player to do. This is basically something like upgrading weapons, mecha units, vehicles, or whatever. The main difference is that this should take hours of research, work, and testing to get it right, and probably a good amount of funding as well. The book points out though as long as it's reasonable the players should be allowed to do it.

Quote:
Level 2 = A new tech for an existing use (a new method).

At this point you're into ground-breaking stuff. The description given in the book is oriented towards Cyberpunk obviously, but a Palladium-appropriate one would be being the first person to invent a laser rifle. The method is new (energy weapon), but the purpose is the same as a rifle (shooting someone). It terms of gameplay, the book says it should take players a good portion of their lives and money into R&D, and that even as a GM, you should avoid entities under your control (CS, NGR, Archie, Splugorth, etc) from developing this level of tech due to potential game-balance issues.

Quote:
Level 3 = A new tech for a new use (a totally new idea).

This is history-changing stuff. At this level you're basically inventing fire, the wheel, electricity, nuclear power, faster-than-light travel, that sort of thing. The book recommends that players should never be allowed to invent that sort of thing, and that GMs should shun it as well. But if your players are hell-bent on inventing something that would fit into this category we have a somewhat recent real-world example of what it would take. The Manhattan Project cost nearly $2,000,000,000.00 in that era's money and had more than 130,000 people working on it in around 30 different locations in the USA.


The problem of course, with this, although decent (& semi-realistic) guidelines, is it is a giant "F-you" to anyone who's not a mage (and in particular a techno wizard). In most RPG's (Palladium included), GM's let people innovate new spells all the time (ask yourself what you would do if a ley-line walker PC wanted to develop a unique spell). TW's are worse, they have guidelines to put gadgets together to do whatever they want, re-purposing spells at need. For example: need to recharge an e-clip, well, we will repurpose an attack spell (sub-particle acceleration IIRC) - and poof, e-clip recharger...

What makes it worse, is the imbalances in written rifts technological stats. Things on level 0 break the game effectively. Just in RUE, why wouldn't someone (say the Coalition itself) strap 4 (or more) JA-11 laser rifles together, and combine them on a single trigger - that weights 30 lbs or so, 1/3 the weight of a C-40R rail gun, does 16d6 (54 on average) at 4000' (vs 1d4X10 = 25 on average), unlimited payload if connected to a reactor (and if not, the built in e-clip and cannister give you 40 shots - the C40R with ammo drum (another 190 lbs!) has 50. Those shots are aimed for a +2 to strike relative to the bursts of the rail gun, so they are more accurate! Also, the system has 4 burst capable Ion beams for even heavier punch in closer combat... (and the SDC rifles to boot!). Pretty damn good power armor weapon, no!?! You could improve it even more - say strip off the non-laser stuff and make it lighter or maybe replace them with underbarrel grenade launchers from CP-50 pulse rifles to give them near artillery capabilities...


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:18 pm
  

Adventurer

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:49 am
Posts: 499
Location: Garden of Dreams
Comment: I don't know what i'm doing, that's for realities GM to figure out
pad300 wrote:
What makes it worse, is the imbalances in written rifts technological stats. Things on level 0 break the game effectively. Just in RUE, why wouldn't someone (say the Coalition itself) strap 4 (or more) JA-11 laser rifles together, and combine them on a single trigger - that weights 30 lbs or so, 1/3 the weight of a C-40R rail gun, does 16d6 (54 on average) at 4000' (vs 1d4X10 = 25 on average), unlimited payload if connected to a reactor (and if not, the built in e-clip and cannister give you 40 shots - the C40R with ammo drum (another 190 lbs!) has 50. Those shots are aimed for a +2 to strike relative to the bursts of the rail gun, so they are more accurate! Also, the system has 4 burst capable Ion beams for even heavier punch in closer combat... (and the SDC rifles to boot!). Pretty damn good power armor weapon, no!?! You could improve it even more - say strip off the non-laser stuff and make it lighter or maybe replace them with underbarrel grenade launchers from CP-50 pulse rifles to give them near artillery capabilities...


Alright! Challenge accepted!

First you lose the too strike bonuses because 4 barrels are not more accurate than 1!
Second the damage would be more erratic than a single barrel due to the potential for multiple shots to hit or miss, 8d12 maybe?
Third if its attached to a reactor for a robot thats fine, but you have limited shots due to the power cord overheating, they draw a lotta jucie to shoot 4 at once
Fourth if its not attached to a reactor you only have one clip due to design and wiring concerns followed up by potential fluctuations cause by wiring multiple ones together leading to an energy instability resulting in an unplanned MD energy explosion, you wanna shoot more carry more clips
Fifth to reduce overheating we had to extend it and add cooling vents, this increased the wieght and made it a bit harder for human sized beings to wield effectively

...i can possibly keep going but this is how i think i'd respond to the "i want 4 guns in 1" thing, its all sorta logical (considering i have no idea how MD weapons are wired) and you can still use it but now its more in line with a power armor or vehicle weapon, which is more apporpriate for its damage, its still a bit on the high side for damage and range, but its far from the best damage out there (if you think of it as 1d8x12) and its limited due to overheating (or not if you feel its good as is), if they wanna add in more guns?Reduce the number of shots! it's not that your reactor runs out of energy but that the materials can't take the energy your pumping out, residual heat builds up even on guns we have today, imagine how bad it is with MD weapons, and if its multiple barrels...well thats 4 more barrels adding heat to the main gun.

Also maintenance on it would be a mess...


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 3:35 pm
  

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Demon Lord Extraordinaire

Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:28 pm
Posts: 6232
Location: Apocrypha
Comment: You probably think this comment is about you, don't you?
pad300 wrote:
The problem of course, with this, although decent (& semi-realistic) guidelines, is it is a giant "F-you" to anyone who's not a mage (and in particular a techno wizard). In most RPG's (Palladium included), GM's let people innovate new spells all the time (ask yourself what you would do if a ley-line walker PC wanted to develop a unique spell). TW's are worse, they have guidelines to put gadgets together to do whatever they want, re-purposing spells at need. For example: need to recharge an e-clip, well, we will repurpose an attack spell (sub-particle acceleration IIRC) - and poof, e-clip recharger...


Well I never played with a GM that let mages create new spells, but if I were to GM a player wanting to do that, there's already well written rules to do just that in Through the Glass Darkly. Rules that flat out say the mage has to put in "X" amount of time per week that if he misses he has to start over, their PPE reserve's going to be half as much as usual during this period, and, if the spell's not a variant of an existing spell, has a large chance of failure of being successfully created anyway. And if the chance to make the spell does fail (whether it's an existing spell, variant spell, or new spell) the mage can't try again until he levels up. The only real flaw with those rules is that the failure table is Nightbane-oriented so you'd have to adjust it a bit for settings outside of that game, but all that really is is replacing every mention of hound or Nightlord with something like deevil, demon, demonlord, supernatural intelligence, and what have you.

And yes, the techno-wizards do have rules for creating TW items. Rules that weren't around when Rifts first came out. That's how Rifter 2 ended up being focused on the techno-wizard, and why we now have a clear guideline on what they can do in RUE. Which is why I'm even mentioning the CP rules. We have several character classes throughout the Megaverse which are built around being able to create gadgets and modify existing stuff, but no clear guidelines on what kind of stuff can be created or modified. And as I pointed out, the CP rules did include the phrase "as long as it's reasonable." As Nightmartree pointed out there's a few issues with a hardware character just slapping together a bunch of laser rifles and calling it a day, but this ain't the thread to go into all that. All the OP is looking for is how other GMs handle such characters.

How would you deal with a player wanting to build EMP missiles? Are you saying the player should be allowed to make them? If so, at what point would you limit the player? Should said player be allowed to build and create anything his heart desires? Or do you lean in the opposite direction? That such players should only be able to modify stuff and not create it? If that's the case, again, at what point would you step in and say no?


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:41 pm
  

Wanderer

Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:14 am
Posts: 54
Nightmartree wrote:
pad300 wrote:
What makes it worse, is the imbalances in written rifts technological stats. Things on level 0 break the game effectively. Just in RUE, why wouldn't someone (say the Coalition itself) strap 4 (or more) JA-11 laser rifles together, and combine them on a single trigger - that weights 30 lbs or so, 1/3 the weight of a C-40R rail gun, does 16d6 (54 on average) at 4000' (vs 1d4X10 = 25 on average), unlimited payload if connected to a reactor (and if not, the built in e-clip and cannister give you 40 shots - the C40R with ammo drum (another 190 lbs!) has 50. Those shots are aimed for a +2 to strike relative to the bursts of the rail gun, so they are more accurate! Also, the system has 4 burst capable Ion beams for even heavier punch in closer combat... (and the SDC rifles to boot!). Pretty damn good power armor weapon, no!?! You could improve it even more - say strip off the non-laser stuff and make it lighter or maybe replace them with underbarrel grenade launchers from CP-50 pulse rifles to give them near artillery capabilities...


Alright! Challenge accepted!

First you lose the too strike bonuses because 4 barrels are not more accurate than 1!
Second the damage would be more erratic than a single barrel due to the potential for multiple shots to hit or miss, 8d12 maybe?
Third if its attached to a reactor for a robot thats fine, but you have limited shots due to the power cord overheating, they draw a lotta jucie to shoot 4 at once
Fourth if its not attached to a reactor you only have one clip due to design and wiring concerns followed up by potential fluctuations cause by wiring multiple ones together leading to an energy instability resulting in an unplanned MD energy explosion, you wanna shoot more carry more clips
Fifth to reduce overheating we had to extend it and add cooling vents, this increased the wieght and made it a bit harder for human sized beings to wield effectively

...i can possibly keep going but this is how i think i'd respond to the "i want 4 guns in 1" thing, its all sorta logical (considering i have no idea how MD weapons are wired) and you can still use it but now its more in line with a power armor or vehicle weapon, which is more apporpriate for its damage, its still a bit on the high side for damage and range, but its far from the best damage out there (if you think of it as 1d8x12) and its limited due to overheating (or not if you feel its good as is), if they wanna add in more guns?Reduce the number of shots! it's not that your reactor runs out of energy but that the materials can't take the energy your pumping out, residual heat builds up even on guns we have today, imagine how bad it is with MD weapons, and if its multiple barrels...well thats 4 more barrels adding heat to the main gun.

Also maintenance on it would be a mess...


First, do you like arguing strawmen? Because that's what your doing. It was an example, not the be all and end all. The point that your studiously avoiding, is how to justify "magic" based characters being able to to things that "technology" based characters are hugely hampered from. Note, both are in scare quotes, because they are all made up in game BS, with little to no relation to the real world. (If you want to talk realism, try something like GURPS.) Yeah, as a GM, you are fully entitled to throw obstacles in the PC's way, but at that point, you should be doing exactly the same thing to your TWs and so forth.

Second, if you're going to argue a strawman, don't do it this badly. Just accepting everything you've said, not arguing it, you've still got a PA weapon that is much better than the CS issue, and at least 85% of the PA out there. 1D8x12 = 54 on aveage, 1d4X10 = 25 on average. They have 50+lbs to add cooling systems relative to a C40R. Oh no, my strike bonus is the same as the current railgun...

But all of you individual points are quite arguable. For example, the accuracy bonus is because you are taking a aimed shot (which is a +3 for all weapons, including multibarreled - for example, if you fire both barrels of double barreled shotgun simultaneously, you still get to take an aimed shot (+3)), not a burst (+1 to strike, and a C40R only does 1d4 MD, if it is fired in single shot not burst) . I already took the laser targeting +3 bonus of the original rifle off.
# of shots - each individual rifle system contains enough energy for 40 shots, with short eclips and no modifications, without drawing from the reactor at all. It's a matter of how fast the reactor can recharge the canister. I would suggest at least shot/rifle/round, as a UEL can support continuous (5+ Attacks per melee), with any weapon that does less than 1d6X10 per round.
Cooling systems - you could add twice the mass of the original rifles in cooling systems and still on par weight wise with a C40R. I'm pretty sure PA will manage handily.


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:03 pm
  

Wanderer

Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 2:14 am
Posts: 54
The Beast wrote:
pad300 wrote:
The problem of course, with this, although decent (& semi-realistic) guidelines, is it is a giant "F-you" to anyone who's not a mage (and in particular a techno wizard). In most RPG's (Palladium included), GM's let people innovate new spells all the time (ask yourself what you would do if a ley-line walker PC wanted to develop a unique spell). TW's are worse, they have guidelines to put gadgets together to do whatever they want, re-purposing spells at need. For example: need to recharge an e-clip, well, we will repurpose an attack spell (sub-particle acceleration IIRC) - and poof, e-clip recharger...


Well I never played with a GM that let mages create new spells, but if I were to GM a player wanting to do that, there's already well written rules to do just that in Through the Glass Darkly. Rules that flat out say the mage has to put in "X" amount of time per week that if he misses he has to start over, their PPE reserve's going to be half as much as usual during this period, and, if the spell's not a variant of an existing spell, has a large chance of failure of being successfully created anyway. And if the chance to make the spell does fail (whether it's an existing spell, variant spell, or new spell) the mage can't try again until he levels up. The only real flaw with those rules is that the failure table is Nightbane-oriented so you'd have to adjust it a bit for settings outside of that game, but all that really is is replacing every mention of hound or Nightlord with something like deevil, demon, demonlord, supernatural intelligence, and what have you.

And yes, the techno-wizards do have rules for creating TW items. Rules that weren't around when Rifts first came out. That's how Rifter 2 ended up being focused on the techno-wizard, and why we now have a clear guideline on what they can do in RUE. Which is why I'm even mentioning the CP rules. We have several character classes throughout the Megaverse which are built around being able to create gadgets and modify existing stuff, but no clear guidelines on what kind of stuff can be created or modified. And as I pointed out, the CP rules did include the phrase "as long as it's reasonable." As Nightmartree pointed out there's a few issues with a hardware character just slapping together a bunch of laser rifles and calling it a day, but this ain't the thread to go into all that. All the OP is looking for is how other GMs handle such characters.

How would you deal with a player wanting to build EMP missiles? Are you saying the player should be allowed to make them? If so, at what point would you limit the player? Should said player be allowed to build and create anything his heart desires? Or do you lean in the opposite direction? That such players should only be able to modify stuff and not create it? If that's the case, again, at what point would you step in and say no?


Exactly, look at those rule as a mage, I can make a brand new spell, say making an expendable double of myself - that I can send into a dangerous situation while I stay safe (like the AD&D spell projected image), as an example, say the GM assessed it as 9th level, I need to spend 27 Weeks. I have an in game 14 IQ, and as a 7th level pc sorceror, I have a 84% principles of magic. I have a 22% (14+8.4 round down) chance of making my new spell... As compared to "Level 3 = A new tech for a new use (a totally new idea). This is history-changing stuff... The book recommends that players should never be allowed to invent that sort of thing, and that GMs should shun it as well. " or maybe, if your GM feels really generous "Level 2 = A new tech for an existing use (a new method). At this point you're into ground-breaking stuff. ... The method is new (energy weapon), but the purpose is the same as a rifle (shooting someone). It terms of gameplay, the book says it should take players a good portion of their lives and money into R&D, and that even as a GM, you should avoid entities under your control (CS, NGR, Archie, Splugorth, etc) from developing this level of tech due to potential game-balance issues." Are you going to let "magic" based characters pull stuff out of their butts, and say no to "tech" based characters?

In general I lean towards modify things that exist/create variants on the same concept - eg can create a "custom" suit of PA . I would not permit EMP missiles - because as a concept they become balance changing - "hi, I can one-shot your techno goodies" - just like skin contact nerve gases aren't standard coalition issues (for mages who can't wear full environmental armor and still cast.). One shot kills are generally not fun play...


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Unread postPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:58 pm
  

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Comment: I don't know what i'm doing, that's for realities GM to figure out
pad300 wrote:
First, do you like arguing strawmen? Because that's what your doing. It was an example, not the be all and end all. The point that your studiously avoiding, is how to justify "magic" based characters being able to to things that "technology" based characters are hugely hampered from. Note, both are in scare quotes, because they are all made up in game BS, with little to no relation to the real world. (If you want to talk realism, try something like GURPS.) Yeah, as a GM, you are fully entitled to throw obstacles in the PC's way, but at that point, you should be doing exactly the same thing to your TWs and so forth.

Second, if you're going to argue a strawman, don't do it this badly. Just accepting everything you've said, not arguing it, you've still got a PA weapon that is much better than the CS issue, and at least 85% of the PA out there. 1D8x12 = 54 on aveage, 1d4X10 = 25 on average. They have 50+lbs to add cooling systems relative to a C40R. Oh no, my strike bonus is the same as the current railgun...

But all of you individual points are quite arguable. For example, the accuracy bonus is because you are taking a aimed shot (which is a +3 for all weapons, including multibarreled - for example, if you fire both barrels of double barreled shotgun simultaneously, you still get to take an aimed shot (+3)), not a burst (+1 to strike, and a C40R only does 1d4 MD, if it is fired in single shot not burst) . I already took the laser targeting +3 bonus of the original rifle off.
# of shots - each individual rifle system contains enough energy for 40 shots, with short eclips and no modifications, without drawing from the reactor at all. It's a matter of how fast the reactor can recharge the canister. I would suggest at least shot/rifle/round, as a UEL can support continuous (5+ Attacks per melee), with any weapon that does less than 1d6X10 per round.
Cooling systems - you could add twice the mass of the original rifles in cooling systems and still on par weight wise with a C40R. I'm pretty sure PA will manage handily.


Your picking a fight where none was intended and i'm currently not fit to argue my points nicely and coherently (tired and have a headache for no reason). But the point is slapping a bunch of tech together doesn't just happen, i considered those as reasonable reasons a GM might offer for why you can't (and why the many many much smarter than us people in the game world people have not) just slapped together 4 more guns to make a bigger gun. And if you'll notice I didn't say the gun can't happen, I just put a few modifications to represent "design problems" that changed it from 4 infantry guns taped together to a single heavier 4 barreled laser rifle. So if I built the gun...while offering potential demerits...what is the problem? And can you even have a straw man argument when your neither arguing nor talking about anything that has ANY form of design or structure meaning its all opinion with no facts for either side? Slapping a bunch of magic together doesn't just happen either but I will say that in my group we tend to treat both the same, if it sounds plausible and reasonable to our GM you can do it, if it doesn't you can talk it out till the demerits or effort your character is going to put in makes it plausible. If you wanna spend the resources and effort to make a world changing item or magic then you can...but don't be surprised if it has costs, may not happen in any nearby game session and could potentially put you in more adventures than you can survive to acquire parts, supplies and any resource materials other people may have.

All I was doing was determining the possible reasons they aren't walking around with a 4 barrel laser rifle, sorry if that's offended you


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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:08 am
  

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Keith_gearlds wrote:
So, I'm new to game managing. I've mostly always been a player character. Furthermore, I'm new to Palladium books and Rifts to be exact. I have a player who has chosen the Operator O.C.C. Now, as I read the description, I understand this class to be a fixer of preexisting machinery and weapons. My player sees it as an opportunity to Homebrew current technological advancements available to the military, today. For example, he wishes to build emp missiles and the metalstorm gun that fires 1million rounds a second. I have thought about letting him but still limit the damage to that of the rail guns in the Rifts book but I just don't think that's what he'll want. It is my understanding that Homebrewing would be limited to the existing technology on Rifts Earth. Am I wrong in my belief on that and that such Homebrewing would make him overpowered?


Sounds like he's meta-gaming, trying to give his character real-world knowledge that the player has.
That should be a no-go right there.

If he's determined to try it, and he has a good IN GAME reason for doing so, let him.
Have his character spend years of in-game time on the project(s) while the player rolls dice on research, development, trial & error, and all the crap that makes real-world projects like that take so long. Role-play it out until he gets bored, or until the other players chase him out.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:54 am
  

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Comment: I don't know what i'm doing, that's for realities GM to figure out
Keith_gearlds wrote:
For example, he wishes to build emp missiles and the metalstorm gun that fires 1million rounds a second. I have thought about letting him but still limit the damage to that of the rail guns in the Rifts book but I just don't think that's what he'll want. It is my understanding that Homebrewing would be limited to the existing technology on Rifts Earth. Am I wrong in my belief on that and that such Homebrewing would make him overpowered?


Alright, i'm rereading this and i'm pretty sure I failed to actually answer the question. So take 2

Homebrewing isn't over powered because of one thing, you as the GM set the power level and difficulty to acquire. If you don't feel you can handle it, or that what they want to do would imbalance your game don't do it. Personally in the games I play almost anything is allowed, but you have to have a base for your technology, and the GM has complete rights to add problems or complications to a build to bring either the power level down or difficulty of construction up.

A good way to do this is to think "why hasn't anyone done this before in game?". As an example I've personally considered EMP tech before, my conclusion was that likely all military robots and hardware is heavily hardened vs EMP meaning that even a military level EMP only has a small chance to stop robots. As for metalstorm gun? sure he could build it I guess...but it probably overheats, you touched the trigger and just used 1 million rounds, you have to carry a million rounds, it's hard to make a MD gun using conventional fire arms, most of the means of making a normal gun MD is explosive if you use more than one bullet at a time, if it's built using railgun tech then he shouldn't be anywhere near that rate of fire considering the available tech levels.

A gun isn't much use without ammo, so where is he gonna get his bullets?


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Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:24 pm
  

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Is there such a thing as unballancing in Rifts? I see the GMs job as maintaining a challenge so that there is a challenge. If the player is able to come up with these concepts his opponents have probably come up with worse. Let the player run two characters. His guy who is rarely seen because he is designing and/or building crap and the one that travels with the group, who likely spend much of their time finding his other characters stuff. Essentially you'd be Allowing a player to run an NPC not just that but while he is coming up with the reasons for the group to go places you provide where they have to go (aka where the stuff is) and what they'll face. Leave the "tavern scene" and how or rather why the group would want to get together up to the player to flesh out. If he can't convince the players to go out then you take over and his "shadow character" isn't heard from again in a long while because he has to go and get the stuff himself. Maybe all the characters see of him after they say no are postings in towns for help wanted. Maybe some don't say who they are for and it isn't until after some research that the players find out it is him again.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:18 am
  

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The Beast wrote:
Keith_gearlds wrote:
So, I'm new to game managing. I've mostly always been a player character. Furthermore, I'm new to Palladium books and Rifts to be exact. I have a player who has chosen the Operator O.C.C. Now, as I read the description, I understand this class to be a fixer of preexisting machinery and weapons. My player sees it as an opportunity to Homebrew current technological advancements available to the military, today. For example, he wishes to build emp missiles and the metalstorm gun that fires 1million rounds a second. I have thought about letting him but still limit the damage to that of the rail guns in the Rifts book but I just don't think that's what he'll want. It is my understanding that Homebrewing would be limited to the existing technology on Rifts Earth. Am I wrong in my belief on that and that such Homebrewing would make him overpowered?


Cyberpunk had a similar issue with a couple of their PCs. They addressed it on page 29 in their Referee's Guide. They came up with four levels for creating something:

Quote:
Level 0 = An existing tech adopted to a new use.

This would be something like taking a remote-controlled airplane and making it into a spy drone. Players should have no problems doing this other than from lack of imagination on their part, bad skill rolls, not having access to the equipment, funds, and/or materials needed, and the like. This kind of is an Operator's job.

Quote:
Level 1 = A modification, refinement, or improvement of an existing tech.

This again should be within the realm of capabilities for a player to do. This is basically something like upgrading weapons, mecha units, vehicles, or whatever. The main difference is that this should take hours of research, work, and testing to get it right, and probably a good amount of funding as well. The book points out though as long as it's reasonable the players should be allowed to do it.

Quote:
Level 2 = A new tech for an existing use (a new method).

At this point you're into ground-breaking stuff. The description given in the book is oriented towards Cyberpunk obviously, but a Palladium-appropriate one would be being the first person to invent a laser rifle. The method is new (energy weapon), but the purpose is the same as a rifle (shooting someone). It terms of gameplay, the book says it should take players a good portion of their lives and money into R&D, and that even as a GM, you should avoid entities under your control (CS, NGR, Archie, Splugorth, etc) from developing this level of tech due to potential game-balance issues.

Quote:
Level 3 = A new tech for a new use (a totally new idea).

This is history-changing stuff. At this level you're basically inventing fire, the wheel, electricity, nuclear power, faster-than-light travel, that sort of thing. The book recommends that players should never be allowed to invent that sort of thing, and that GMs should shun it as well. But if your players are hell-bent on inventing something that would fit into this category we have a somewhat recent real-world example of what it would take. The Manhattan Project cost nearly $2,000,000,000.00 in that era's money and had more than 130,000 people working on it in around 30 different locations in the USA.


I like this.
It helps quantify just how good something is be it tech, magic, psi, whatever.
If a tech wants to invent teleportation (level 4) ... sure it is possible... but that is going to proably be a fantastically complex process involving staggering resources backing multiple world class experts in multiple areas who are top minds in their fields.

If a tech wants to invent a slight improvement to a laser rifle as a one of rig... thats level 2 and is probably easily done.

The same applies to spells or TW frankly.
A magic user could theoretically invent a spell that does anything yes... just like a tech could.
But some things are a bit more complicated than others.
Inventing a varient of call lightning that summons a blue bolt from the sky is a level 0 task. Inventing a varient of call lightning that summons a piller of fire from the heavens is a level 1 task. Inventing call lightning itself was level 2 (ranged attack that always hits, ranged attack that is indirect fire, first example of electrical magic). And inventing invocation magic itself was level 3.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:29 pm
  

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eliakon wrote:
The Beast wrote:
Keith_gearlds wrote:
So, I'm new to game managing. I've mostly always been a player character. Furthermore, I'm new to Palladium books and Rifts to be exact. I have a player who has chosen the Operator O.C.C. Now, as I read the description, I understand this class to be a fixer of preexisting machinery and weapons. My player sees it as an opportunity to Homebrew current technological advancements available to the military, today. For example, he wishes to build emp missiles and the metalstorm gun that fires 1million rounds a second. I have thought about letting him but still limit the damage to that of the rail guns in the Rifts book but I just don't think that's what he'll want. It is my understanding that Homebrewing would be limited to the existing technology on Rifts Earth. Am I wrong in my belief on that and that such Homebrewing would make him overpowered?


Cyberpunk had a similar issue with a couple of their PCs. They addressed it on page 29 in their Referee's Guide. They came up with four levels for creating something:

Quote:
Level 0 = An existing tech adopted to a new use.

This would be something like taking a remote-controlled airplane and making it into a spy drone. Players should have no problems doing this other than from lack of imagination on their part, bad skill rolls, not having access to the equipment, funds, and/or materials needed, and the like. This kind of is an Operator's job.

Quote:
Level 1 = A modification, refinement, or improvement of an existing tech.

This again should be within the realm of capabilities for a player to do. This is basically something like upgrading weapons, mecha units, vehicles, or whatever. The main difference is that this should take hours of research, work, and testing to get it right, and probably a good amount of funding as well. The book points out though as long as it's reasonable the players should be allowed to do it.

Quote:
Level 2 = A new tech for an existing use (a new method).

At this point you're into ground-breaking stuff. The description given in the book is oriented towards Cyberpunk obviously, but a Palladium-appropriate one would be being the first person to invent a laser rifle. The method is new (energy weapon), but the purpose is the same as a rifle (shooting someone). It terms of gameplay, the book says it should take players a good portion of their lives and money into R&D, and that even as a GM, you should avoid entities under your control (CS, NGR, Archie, Splugorth, etc) from developing this level of tech due to potential game-balance issues.

Quote:
Level 3 = A new tech for a new use (a totally new idea).

This is history-changing stuff. At this level you're basically inventing fire, the wheel, electricity, nuclear power, faster-than-light travel, that sort of thing. The book recommends that players should never be allowed to invent that sort of thing, and that GMs should shun it as well. But if your players are hell-bent on inventing something that would fit into this category we have a somewhat recent real-world example of what it would take. The Manhattan Project cost nearly $2,000,000,000.00 in that era's money and had more than 130,000 people working on it in around 30 different locations in the USA.


I like this.
It helps quantify just how good something is be it tech, magic, psi, whatever.
If a tech wants to invent teleportation (level 4) ... sure it is possible... but that is going to proably be a fantastically complex process involving staggering resources backing multiple world class experts in multiple areas who are top minds in their fields.

If a tech wants to invent a slight improvement to a laser rifle as a one of rig... thats level 2 and is probably easily done.

The same applies to spells or TW frankly.
A magic user could theoretically invent a spell that does anything yes... just like a tech could.
But some things are a bit more complicated than others.
Inventing a varient of call lightning that summons a blue bolt from the sky is a level 0 task. Inventing a varient of call lightning that summons a piller of fire from the heavens is a level 1 task. Inventing call lightning itself was level 2 (ranged attack that always hits, ranged attack that is indirect fire, first example of electrical magic). And inventing invocation magic itself was level 3.


The other things Cyber Punk did besides that were produce the maximum metal source book and suggest to use mechton Z Plus to build things

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Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:54 pm
  

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I suggest you listen to how we roll on http://strangecorpseposse.blogspot.ca/ we use the Palladium rules and play Heroes Unlimited. You might find a few great hints through the show. :D

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 6:38 pm
  

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Comment: Arrrrgggghhhh!
In my campaigns we usually let Operators go crazy and make all kinds of stuff. It usually doesnt break game balance and also opens new opportunities for adventure and problem-solving.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 11:54 pm
  

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Creating homebrew stuff can be fun, but you're right to be leery of players doing it too much. For most tech-based characters, I prefer to stick to improvising off existing tech, either tweaking it or kitbashing different things together. For example, a +3 to strike scope mounted on a different weapon system is fine (if he has the parts). Modifying a JA-11 to fire its ion and laser weapons simultaneously is fine (though possibly difficult and may require cannibalizing another energy rifle). Creating a whole new type of tech/effect that isn't already in the game is the purview of the GM only, and such items tend to be plot devices first and useful tools for further adventures second (if at all).

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:40 pm
  

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I think an easy answer for this is to point out how information is spread on Rifts earth primarily. Word of mouth.

A lot of people can't even read, nor are inclined to publish a tech magazine, or distribute it.

If you don't even know a certain tech exists, it would be hard to come up with a way to go about something even more cutting edge.

but ultimately, make your super rail gun or hyperbeam laser, or emp missiles. It's fine. other enemies have things that work just as good.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:01 pm
  

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Alrik Vas wrote:
I think an easy answer for this is to point out how information is spread on Rifts earth primarily. Word of mouth.

A lot of people can't even read, nor are inclined to publish a tech magazine, or distribute it.

If you don't even know a certain tech exists, it would be hard to come up with a way to go about something even more cutting edge.

but ultimately, make your super rail gun or hyperbeam laser, or emp missiles. It's fine. other enemies have things that work just as good.

I could swear that somewhere in the books it says that a lot of the information is transferred by video. Like local networks in big cities or just getting a video from a store in a small town. Anyone else remember seeing that?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:50 pm
  

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Shamrock 'Slinger wrote:
He's right that it's an opportunity to create some cool homebrew items, however, you're right in the sense of game balance. Your job as GM is not to be the storyteller but to guide the players through the world, which has rules that need to be adhered to. Sometimes you can say "yes" to a player, but there'll be times when it'll be a flat "no." This will be the time when you say "No, but..." Unless your party has a godling, glitterboy, and a bunch of supernatural creatures, he should not have to be creating weapons to cause mass destruction and keep up with them.

Obstacles for homebrewing weapons

Logistics - The materials he's gonna need; the time to build, test, and finalize the weapon; the design may not even work; a million rounds would cost so much to just keep and expend at a regular use.

EMP missile? He'll need to find one to reverse engineer or take the large amount of time to design one from scratch. We're talking going through theories and sketches before getting to the building phase - which will require testing- and then see if it even works.

This isn't really to punish or discourage but to keep to the rules that have been established.

I agree with this, and would point out that creating an EMP warhead is an incredibly complex and fiddly task. Even today, where we have the internet and a working university system training PHDs left, right, and center, very few have the knowledge or experience necessary to design such weapons, and on Rifts Earth, there is no skill "Nuclear Physics" which is, IIRC, what would allow one to create such missiles. You could go with Astrophysics, but I would, if it were me, apply a steep penalty to the die roll.

As for MetalStorm, there's a reason why nobody is interested in it beyond the wow factor. It's a logistical nightmare and takes forever to reload. As anything but a one shot, it's completely infeasible. If it were my table, I'd let him do it, and leave it as a single shot weapon that requires 2 hours to reload. (simple to do, just time consuming.) I'd even let him have a good amount of damage from it, so it's still worth it to use, just only to use rarely.

If it were me, I'd simplify it into game terms.
How expensive do you want it to be in terms of reloads? I'm pretty sure that it says somewhere what the cost of railgun rounds are, but I'll be damned if I can find it at the moment. Since that's essentially what MetalStorm is, that's what I would base the ammo costs on. Damage output being roughly equal to an appropriate sized burst from a railgun. For example, an NG-101 does a 30-round burst and does 6d6MD, and the NG-202 does a 40-round burst for 1d4*10. So if you want to throw 1000 rounds, I'd list the damage at 2d4*100.

With the reload cost and time it takes to reload, it's only going to be used when necessary, and likely not as the opening shot in a battle. In my experience, players don't go to missiles as a primary weapon because of how expensive they are, they do use them, but do so sparingly, unless of course, someone else is footing the bill for the ammo. Players aren't going to waste a one-shot weapon on turning a CS Grunt into Redmist (tm) when they don't know if they've got back up in the form of an APC hiding behind that hill over there and they might need it for that.

When I played an Operator (one of my favorite classes, along with the Neo-Human, Altess, & Ley Line Walker), I was always more interested in Skelebot Nuclear Power Cores. I always started the game with an NG-P7, and never felt the need to "upgrade" to a different weapon. BUT, the first intact, salvageable skelebot power core I came across, was rigged up with an e-clip interface and went into my NG-P7. Years of unlimited ammo! (keeping track of ammo is one of the great failures of players in my experience) The next upgrade, towards the end-game, would be making it burst or full-auto. (Insert maniacal laughter here) And since every Operator starts with a vehicle, I always wanted to start with a Behemoth or a Triax Hover Hospital, with the hospital being the preference. Those operating rooms convert into electronics laboratories and repair bays very nicely, and with a supply of skelebot power cores, extra weapons can essentially be placed anywhere along the hull, just need enough gunners to control them. And MDC T-Rex generally knows better than to bother Behemoth as it walks through T-Rex's territory, and it's better than sleeping in an SDC tent. I'd rather not be turned into a greasy smear in the middle of a nap...

Just some food for though! :)

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Unread postPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2018 11:52 pm
  

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Nightmartree wrote:
Keith_gearlds wrote:
For example, he wishes to build emp missiles and the metalstorm gun that fires 1million rounds a second. I have thought about letting him but still limit the damage to that of the rail guns in the Rifts book but I just don't think that's what he'll want. It is my understanding that Homebrewing would be limited to the existing technology on Rifts Earth. Am I wrong in my belief on that and that such Homebrewing would make him overpowered?


Alright, i'm rereading this and i'm pretty sure I failed to actually answer the question. So take 2

Homebrewing isn't over powered because of one thing, you as the GM set the power level and difficulty to acquire. If you don't feel you can handle it, or that what they want to do would imbalance your game don't do it. Personally in the games I play almost anything is allowed, but you have to have a base for your technology, and the GM has complete rights to add problems or complications to a build to bring either the power level down or difficulty of construction up.

This, I don't so much agree with, but it's personal preference. IMO, We aren't playing a CRPG, so there's no reason to limit player's imagination. I let my players do essentially whatever they want. Though, I will admit, I won't allow a Sphere of Annihilation Pistol in game again, unless the power level of the game really is above god-characters.

My reasoning for this is that Rifts isn't really about game balance in the first place. Shooters aren't balanced against Casters, and neither is balanced against Psionics users. Each has strengths and weaknesses different from the others. As long as you're giving the same or at least similar opportunities to each type of character, it's all good. If your shooters have plenty of opportunity to acquire new ways to shoot the baddies, make sure that the caster has plenty of opportunities to acquire new spells beyond what they get for just leveling up. I'm not really sure how to do that with something like a Mind Melter, but if they come up to you and say, "I want to combine the effects of these three powers my character already knows and create a new power that does X." I'd let him, and just work out some details. Range, duration, ISP, etc. As long as it's reasonable (you're not trying to break the damage curve for example, nor are you trying to get a deific ability as a mortal, though, I'd allow greatly reduced versions of some of the deific abilities), go for it. I'd suggest coming down on the side of permisivity rather than restrictivity. You can always roll it back later in various ways. Take your player aside and communicate with them that you're having difficulty balancing their new toy/spell/power with the rest of the group. Good players won't take it personally and will work with you to take the thing out of the game for a while until the rest of the party has a chance to catch up in terms of power level. Sometimes, it's just a matter of putting it off for two or three levels, or an opportunity for the gun-bunny to buy his next most favorite weapon in the game and some shiny new armor, or the LLW to find a cache of spell scrolls to pick up a few new spells from. (And no, I let casters like the LLW and TW learn spells from scrolls a lot easier than the game rules intend as well, 4 hours of uninterrupted study per spell level to learn the spell, though that study can be broken into 4 hour blocks, you don't have to do it all in one go.)

Also, keep in mind that small, incremental changes are better than large radical changes, in terms of keeping things relatively balanced.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:01 am
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
Is there such a thing as unballancing in Rifts?

Yes, try a Sphere of Annihilation pistol.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:13 am
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Alrik Vas wrote:
I think an easy answer for this is to point out how information is spread on Rifts earth primarily. Word of mouth.

A lot of people can't even read, nor are inclined to publish a tech magazine, or distribute it.

If you don't even know a certain tech exists, it would be hard to come up with a way to go about something even more cutting edge.

but ultimately, make your super rail gun or hyperbeam laser, or emp missiles. It's fine. other enemies have things that work just as good.

I could swear that somewhere in the books it says that a lot of the information is transferred by video. Like local networks in big cities or just getting a video from a store in a small town. Anyone else remember seeing that?

Yes, I remember that. It's in the section that talks about the Coalition mega-cities, iirc. Everything is taught via YouTube like Videos because nobody is literate anymore, and of course, such distribution methods are heavily monitored and censored by the CS, so only sites outside the CS control, which may well have their own, though presumably different censorship, would have those CS-censored educational videos.

Who would have thought that KS would wind up being a Futurist by describing YouTube 30 years before it existed?

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:42 am
  

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torjones wrote:
Warshield73 wrote:
Alrik Vas wrote:
I think an easy answer for this is to point out how information is spread on Rifts earth primarily. Word of mouth.

A lot of people can't even read, nor are inclined to publish a tech magazine, or distribute it.

If you don't even know a certain tech exists, it would be hard to come up with a way to go about something even more cutting edge.

but ultimately, make your super rail gun or hyperbeam laser, or emp missiles. It's fine. other enemies have things that work just as good.

I could swear that somewhere in the books it says that a lot of the information is transferred by video. Like local networks in big cities or just getting a video from a store in a small town. Anyone else remember seeing that?

Yes, I remember that. It's in the section that talks about the Coalition mega-cities, iirc. Everything is taught via YouTube like Videos because nobody is literate anymore, and of course, such distribution methods are heavily monitored and censored by the CS, so only sites outside the CS control, which may well have their own, though presumably different censorship, would have those CS-censored educational videos.

Who would have thought that KS would wind up being a Futurist by describing YouTube 30 years before it existed?

I love Kev but you're giving him too much credit. Pretty sure he was thinking about the History channel.

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Unread postPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:18 am
  

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This is a simple situation in my games. Sure, your operator has the skills and knowledge to invent things, but why are these inventions better than the commonly available weapons/armor/items?
Your average rail gun has been invented, refined, reinvented, further refined, iterated upon for 300 years, made lighter, stronger, faster, better each time an equally brilliant weapons engineer picked up the plans. Every nut, bolt, and measurement in a mass produced gun has been dialed-in to be the best it could be. There is a reason for the burst size, rail length, materials used, energy consumed, magnetic charge, or any other spec of the tried and true, basic model. You may be able to tweak something for an upgrade, trade off this stat for that, but those are minor and easy enough to do.

You want to reinvent the mousetrap, that's hard. I would allow an operator to build all those wonderful toys, but since he is only one man inventing from whole cloth something nobody has thought of before, I would say that's a hard row to hoe. The player will invest a huge amount of time (when do you plan on adventuring, if you spend 80 hours a week in a lab for the next several years?), resources (a lab/workshop, materials, lab equipment, tools, dies, custom parts, custom electronics, prototyping equipment, custom metallurgy and fabrication, and more, millions of credits.), and effort building a one-of-a-kind item that hasn't been even slightly refined or tested. Bugs, defects, design flaws, and more will reduce the final item from the amazing concept to a lackluster reality. Your high-concept antimatter rifle may do less mega-damage than a particle beam, weigh three times as much, and have half the range. Oh, and if the gun loses half it's MDC the antimatter containment may breach and kill the owner.

I would prefer a nice, well tested, rugged and dependable NG-P7, thanks. My operator could even take that NG-P7 and shave off couple pounds, then paint it red and install a laser targeting system. It's not a metalstorm, but it works first time every time.

Your EMP missiles? Who says your final invention would be even as effective as the magic spell? Works only on unshielded, SDC items, allows save, possibly at a lower difficulty than the magic effect. heck, that's if the missile doesn't fail at launch.If All of North Korea can't hit better than a 50% success rate in ballistic launches, why would one man working alone do better?


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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:22 pm
  

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torjones wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Is there such a thing as unballancing in Rifts?

Yes, try a Sphere of Annihilation pistol.


Is it?

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Unread postPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:10 pm
  

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As was briefly mentioned above, the most important aspect of EMP weaponry is that all military grade borgs and bots are hardened against EMP attacks anyway, so such a thing would only be useful against civilians. It wouldn't even deactivate a skelebot. Thats not a houserule. Thats published.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:25 am
  

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Vincent Takeda wrote:
As was briefly mentioned above, the most important aspect of EMP weaponry is that all military grade borgs and bots are hardened against EMP attacks anyway, so such a thing would only be useful against civilians. It wouldn't even deactivate a skelebot. Thats not a houserule. Thats published.

I believe they will effect hand weapons, pistols and rifles and such, in addition I think they work as a defense against guided and smart missiles. I could swear that was in a description but I can not find it so take it for what is worth.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:42 am
  

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I'd have to say in my campaigns most military grade weapons would be protected against regular EMP attacks, unless damaged already in some manner.

But still, a strong EMP blast would have to affect SOMETHING the pc's are carrying, and it would be fun to figure out what then role-play with that.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:44 am
  

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Zer0 Kay wrote:
torjones wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Is there such a thing as unballancing in Rifts?

Yes, try a Sphere of Annihilation pistol.

Is it?

Go ahead and try it if you don't believe me. Nothing quite like capital ship class weapons damage in the palm of your hand, trigger pull after trigger pull. Part of it I'm sure was perhaps a minor misunderstanding of the, at the time, new TW item construction rules from RUE, but I'm still fairly certain that everything was done by the book. I'd have to seriously go through it all again, and TWs just aren't something I play, so have no great interest in delving that deeply into to satisfy curiosity at this point. When I play crunchy-bits characters, I prefer to play Operators.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:48 pm
  

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torjones wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
torjones wrote:
Zer0 Kay wrote:
Is there such a thing as unballancing in Rifts?

Yes, try a Sphere of Annihilation pistol.

Is it?

Go ahead and try it if you don't believe me. Nothing quite like capital ship class weapons damage in the palm of your hand, trigger pull after trigger pull. Part of it I'm sure was perhaps a minor misunderstanding of the, at the time, new TW item construction rules from RUE, but I'm still fairly certain that everything was done by the book. I'd have to seriously go through it all again, and TWs just aren't something I play, so have no great interest in delving that deeply into to satisfy curiosity at this point. When I play crunchy-bits characters, I prefer to play Operators.

The spell Annihilate (which I am assuming is the primary spell), creates a baseball sized object (~75mm/~3inch in diameter*). Rifts doesn't do a really good job of listing bore size for most/nearly-all weapons. However what weapons we do have available are typically much smaller (25mm grenade launcher, IIRC I've seen a 40mm, gun type tended to be as much as ~20mm)

While a TW can alter the spell effects (per carpet of adhesion for super traction tires ex in RUE), for the Annihilation Spell to be used in a pistol (or rifle), it would IMHO need the proper diameter. The TW could alter the "size" of the projectile, but that will impact how much damage it does (could see it being good for multiple rounds though). Don't just use the diameter, use the volume to adjust the projectile "damage" ratio:
-a 40mm has just 15% the volume but 53% the diameter resulting in a 2d4x10MD weapon (maybe a bit more if you want to get precise with the extra 5%)
-at 10mm less than 1% volume compared to 13% the diameter resulting in only do 2d4MD at best

So there are ways to look at spells and achieve balance in Rifts, including requiring specific type hardware (forum/function) and secondary spells.

*these numbers are rounded off for ease of use and do not convert as I rounded each measurement separately, in reality the size is actually a bit smaller.


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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:11 pm
  

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Warshield73 wrote:
Vincent Takeda wrote:
As was briefly mentioned above, the most important aspect of EMP weaponry is that all military grade borgs and bots are hardened against EMP attacks anyway, so such a thing would only be useful against civilians. It wouldn't even deactivate a skelebot. Thats not a houserule. Thats published.

I believe they will effect hand weapons, pistols and rifles and such, in addition I think they work as a defense against guided and smart missiles. I could swear that was in a description but I can not find it so take it for what is worth.

The rules on EMP are... opaque.
What we have on them is basically a few isolated bits.
-the rules in the spell Electro Magnetic Pulse
-the Flash Grenade and Magnetic Particle ammunition for hand weapons in MiO
-the Scrambler and Magnetic Shield for space ships in MiO
-there is the bionic enhancement "hardened circuits"
-Coalition Navy has the rules for the EMP pulse of multi-kiloton yield nuclear weapons
-and the odd bit about some EM shenanigans from some of the Ley Line storm tables
There might be the odd rule or two hidden elsewhere as well, though I can't think of any at the moment.

It all boils down to "not very well covered by the rules and basically one of the edge case areas where the GM is going to have to make a lot of judgement calls and figure out what works best for their particular game."

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Unread postPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:06 pm
  

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Researching how to modify existing, high tech weapons can take a while; designing things from scratch can take years, as you have to return to the beginning several times to get it working right.

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