Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Character generation for MechWarrior, Transformers, or Star Trek (part 2)

As a rule of thumb, characters should be as likely to lose their Individual Resource ('Mech, informant network, etc) as they are to lose their own arm, and as likely to have it replaced as they are to have their arm replaced.

When a resource is lost, roll to see how long it will take to replace (or if it will be replaced at all). Then reduce the resource score by 1 and, if necessary, reroll the specific item, rank, etc.

Items or resources gained via shared skills (such as Driver or Small Arms) indicate shared resources (such as a shared truck or common armory) which can be lost and replaced more easily.

The following skills, when allocated as an Individual Field, have a particular effect on resources:

Streetwise: ability to navigate the bottom of a social pyramid (common merchants and laborers, low-level military personnel, common criminals, whatever). The Individual Streetwise Field indicates cooperative relationships with spies or information brokers. The breadth & usefulness of this network is proportionate to Resources; how quickly the character can connect with a local network depends on skill. Expands rarity of this individual's Field items and shared items.

Bureaucracy: ability to take advantage of local laws and regulations, and efficacy when requisitioning supplies. The Individual Bureaucracy Field indicates a trusted place in the local bureaucracy or on-planet garrison. Resource points indicate how much intelligence and non-hazardous assistance (licenses and facility access vs. restricted information and rescue from legal or administrative difficulties) the character can get without risk; the speed and cost (in bribes or favors) of the assistance depends on skill. Expands legality of this individual's Field items and shared items.

Protocol: ability to navigate the top of a social pyramid, and to negotiate contracts. The Individual Protocol Field indicates a place in the interplanetary House hierarchy. Ability to improve the party's status or future assignments is proportional to Resources. Improves selectivity of this individual's Field items and shared items.

Leadership: ability to command NPCs, keep NPCs loyal, and expand the amount of situational bonuses party members can give each other. The Individual Leadership Field indicates higher rank, or a more prestigious lateral assignment, with authority proportional to Resources.

Administration: ability to keep an operation running smoothly. The Individual Administration Field indicates a land grant, business or other interest which generates surplus revenue in proportion to Resources. Elevates this individual's Field items and shared items into a pricier tier.

BattleMech [or Tank/Starfighter/Spaceship/Etc] Operations: ability to pilot the vehicle and operate its sensors, weapons and other systems. (Note that the "driver" common skill applies to ubiquitous everyman transportation, though [Vehicle Type] Operations may be a common skill as well in some settings.) Resource points indicates how much regular support the character's vehicle receives from a larger military. This may be a little high or low for the vehicle actually assigned.

Transform [Vehicle]: Transformers gain their "resource" bonus only when transformed. The bonus applies not only to Individual Field tasks, but also to any tasks which are dependent on (or characteristic of) their vehicle type.

Transform [Gestalt]: All characters on the sheet combine into a single larger robot, which receives the "gestalt" bonus to strength-based tasks and to firepower.

[The way that these Individual Fields affect the character's supply situation is inspired by the way that a user called Monbvol uses the Vehicle Trait in the 3rd edition MechWarrior RPG.]