DragonMech Battles Designer Diary #3

Medieval fantasy mechs powered by steam, magic, or the labor of a thousand slaves.

Moderators: DJ LaBoss, finarvyn, Harley Stroh, walrusjester, mythfish

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walrusjester
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DragonMech Battles Designer Diary #3

Post by walrusjester » Sat Dec 29, 2007 10:58 pm

DESIGNER'S PING PONG

I think we finally have combat where it needs to be (until the playtesters tell us how screwed up it is, of course). It moves fast. You only need 2 die rolls to attack someone, see where you hit, determine damage, and discover any critical effects. But it also has some options for advanced players who want to try tripping each other's mechs, trampling enemy infantry, climbing cliffs, and so on. Dieter has talked me out of having a complicated chart to cover all the possible outcomes when a prone mech tries to stand, which is probably a good thing, but we kept most of the other advanced rules intact.

We still have plenty to do. The weapons need to be detailed – an axe is different from a sword is different from a lance. We know roughly how they'll be different, but now that we have a working draft of combat we can fine-tune them. We want to put together some small tactical options, things like aiming carefully or taking a wild swing. And our first draft of the mech design rules, although functional, sorely needs to be rebuilt to fit the latest evolution of combat.

...I just went over those first two paragraphs, changing most of the pronouns from "me" or "him" to "we." This has been a very collaborative project, and it's getting hard to tell who did what. I know Dieter did the first draft of combat, and I wrote the first version of mech design. But once one of us writes something, we pass it to the other for editing and expansion. Then whoever rewrote it passes it back, and so on. So far we haven't knocked the ball off the table – nobody's duplicated the other guy's effort, and we haven't lost anything in transit. Can we keep it up as we head into 2008? You betcha. Dieter and I have been working together on game projects for more than a decade now.

Projects like special abilities for mech crews. We know that crew members will be an important part of the game. Coglayers can upgrade or repair mechs, mech jockeys help them move and fight, wizards act as living artillery, and boarders... ah, boarders. You'll have a lot of fun with boarders. I've got Dieter's first draft of the crew rules, and I have some great ideas for what coglayers can do. Back to writing!
DragonMech line developer, freelance writer, tall guy named Matt.

mythfish
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Post by mythfish » Sun Dec 30, 2007 8:11 am

It would be so much easier if we lived in the same state. Curse me for moving!

When I saw the title of this diary, I thought you were going to be talking about ping-ponging back and forth between "simple design" and "detailed outcomes". That's a fine line to walk and maybe a good subject for a later diary. :)
Dieter Zimmerman
[[Faceless Minion of the Dark Master]]

Arek
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Mech Crews

Post by Arek » Fri Jan 11, 2008 5:44 am

I like the idea of mech crews doing special things, so I have to ask:

What about mech crew feats?

Like, say, a crew of a Colossal III mech has been together for a good while and work well together, enabling them to reload faster or coax more performance from their mech (like more speed, or cut a tighter turn) or gain bonuses against invading boarders?

Feats allow you to customize your performance in battle, and open up new tactical options and tricks, so it'd be cool if you could apply the same thing to mechs, and make the crew have an impact on the performance of a mech.

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Re: Mech Crews

Post by Oaksoul Elite » Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:27 pm

Arek wrote:I like the idea of mech crews doing special things, so I have to ask:

What about mech crew feats?

Like, say, a crew of a Colossal III mech has been together for a good while and work well together, enabling them to reload faster or coax more performance from their mech (like more speed, or cut a tighter turn) or gain bonuses against invading boarders?

Feats allow you to customize your performance in battle, and open up new tactical options and tricks, so it'd be cool if you could apply the same thing to mechs, and make the crew have an impact on the performance of a mech.
I like this idea. I'm going to have to strongly support it.
I am Omnirahk, half-Rahkshi ("Omni") of the WotC forums. I consider "Psionics in DragonMech" (see my website) my greatest contribution to anything d20 so far. At least, it's my most successful topic.

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