Steam Powers to reduce crew?

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

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Laughingcarp
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Steam Powers to reduce crew?

Post by Laughingcarp » Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:53 pm

Am I crazy? (I think so) I'm under the impression it is possible to reduce crew needed to operate a mech (or weapon) using steam powers.

I know it would work for a weapon given an animator, targeter, and discriminator. But could you add an automator (for reloading) to a steam cannon to reduce the required crew by 1? I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but gotta ask.

How about a clockwork puppet with an animator, discriminator and voice command? Could that replace a crew member?
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Arek
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Re: Steam Powers to reduce crew?

Post by Arek » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:51 am

Laughingcarp wrote:Am I crazy? (I think so) I'm under the impression it is possible to reduce crew needed to operate a mech (or weapon) using steam powers.

I know it would work for a weapon given an animator, targeter, and discriminator. But could you add an automator (for reloading) to a steam cannon to reduce the required crew by 1? I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but gotta ask.

How about a clockwork puppet with an animator, discriminator and voice command? Could that replace a crew member?
Hypothetically, yes. You can manage all sorts of tricks with clever use of steampowers. The clockwork puppets would be *really* good if they were about Medium-sized and the party managed to score their clockwork puppets being awakened (I just know you're waiting for the 'however' here)

HOWEVER.

That'll be really expensive in steampowers, and you'll need someone to put in the maintenance time on them. Two coglayers, with proper application of their steampowers, may be able to do the work of four people, or, as DM, you could cut the party a break and just say they've got really well-designed mechs. For example, I've thought about a gravity-feed reloader for a steam cannon. You fire it, a new ball falls into place, and you're good to go on the next round, and they may just have to remember to get new cannon balls every few battles.

It might help if you shared what the party's setup will be in this game. Are they all on one big mech? Do they each have individual mechs? If so, are these mechs one-man mechs or do are they big enough to need crew?

As it stands, I can see a couple of different ways that might work well, but they depend on the situation.

mythfish
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Post by mythfish » Wed Feb 06, 2008 7:08 am

While there aren't any "official" rules about it that I know of, I'd totally allow that in my game.

Some kind of auto-reloader would replace a crew on a weapon. The automator/discriminator/targeter combo could replace the person who actually fires the weapon,but it would probably have to be scaled up in size to work on a mech weapon.

Clockwork puppets are good too. Give it a skill box and it could even operate as an autopilot system.

Generally, I think you and the PCs would be better off hiring actual crew. In most cases it would take a lot of steam powers to replace just one crew member, and it would probably be cheaper to pay wages to someone. Crew have the upside that they can make independent decisions, too. Though if you have a particularly stupid or traitorous crew member, its a downside (though that opens up some plots for the GM too :twisted: )
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Laughingcarp
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Post by Laughingcarp » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:31 pm

I'm asking more in general rather than for a specific mech/party. I guess bigger mechs, either huge or gargantuan, are what I'd normally be using. Steam powered, of course. I designed a huge one, worked great with one crew member, up until I tried to tack on a steam cannon. Suddenly, additional crew is required. That is what inspired me to think of this kinda thing. (started with the automator on the cannon, went from there)

I'm not worried about the clockwork puppets having to do anything like piloting or gunning, just to fill in the extra crew slots; the coal-shovelers and whatnot. Like I said, I'd work with smaller mechs, so the pilot should generally cover as gunner too.

And as for using lots of steam powers, I'm still new enough to not to really have any other solid ideas for what to do with them, so for the moment thats not much of an issue.
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Raptor
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Post by Raptor » Sun Feb 17, 2008 2:26 pm

Check out the Higenbopper's (? I think thats the name) clockwork orc, from sourcebook, or the Jaguar Harrier from 2nd Age of Walkers, for examples of mechs with weapons automated by steam powers.
Last edited by Raptor on Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Laughingcarp
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Post by Laughingcarp » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:50 pm

Thats it! Thats what I saw that gave me the idea. Thanks :)
Guess that makes half of my question kinda moot.
The only difference between a mage and a young boy’s pockets is that you’ll find more candy in the child’s
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