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LUCK System

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  1. Large Unit Care and Keeping System: LUCK System
  2. First Draft: Dec 8, 2013.
  3. Updated: 1/9/2015
  4.  
  5. By SteveRestless (Restless@chaosgarden.net)
  6.  
  7. A note on the system: Deep, Detailed Accountanttech this is not. A system for managing a ragtag band of mercs who can barely eke out a living as if "Serenity" were stenciled on the hull of their beat up, aging union dropper, this is not. Well... it COULD be, maybe. You could probably adjust it to be those things anyway. But its not what I had in mind. What I DID have in mind is the simple, notepad (I use notepad++ because it handles large files better) oriented large unit tracking and skilling system. At the end of the day, we err in favor of keeping the game moving, and keeping the robots fighting.
  8.  
  9. You can go as detailed or simple as you like, I only intend these rules to be a starting point.
  10.  
  11. --------------------------------------
  12. Part 1: Compose your unit
  13. --------------------------------------
  14.  
  15. Your first tasks will be to determine how large a unit you want to design, and how well equipped you want them to be. Often, the picture of the universe presented to us are of intensely average people of average skill levels struggling to get by. But, if they're the average, then naturally there are both better and worse available to you. Personally I like to see depictions of units at all skill level.
  16.  
  17. You'll need:
  18.  
  19. Unit Size. Is it a Company? Battalion? Regiment? is it a Bi/Tri -nary? Cluster? Galaxy? something else?
  20. Unit Equipment Level. Are they working with the best things their faction has to offer? a bunch of clan omnis? industrialmechs with guns ducttaped on? a mix of everything?
  21. Unit Technician Skill and Quantity. Are your techs up to the challenge of keeping that clantech going? was all you could find a bunch of industrialmech service depot personnel in need of a job? You can go full accounting and specify their actual technical skills and technologies they are versed in, or you can simply state green/regular/veteran/elite.
  22. Transport Assets. Personally, I wouldn't fault you if you just handwave these. I tend to.
  23.  
  24. for record keeping, I've been using the following format:
  25.  
  26. \\\Organizational Unit (Like "15th Assault Galaxy" or "Avalon Battalion, First Davion Rangers"///
  27. [Sub-division(such as "Command Company" or "Fighter Binary"]
  28. Mech
  29. Pilot Name with Rank
  30. Gunnery[x], Piloting[x],(Artillery[x])(cmd init[x])(toughness[x])(edge[x])(SPAs)
  31. Kills[x]/XP[x]
  32.  
  33. Mech
  34. Pilot Name with Rank
  35. Gunnery[x], Piloting[x],(Artillery[x])(cmd init[x])(toughness[x])(edge[x])(SPAs)
  36. Kills[x]/XP[x]
  37.  
  38. --- (to seperate lances/stars/Level IIs)
  39.  
  40. As far as how to select the Machines you compose your Unit out of, its really up to you. You CAN just straight up roll randomly, but I feel this results in a fairly poor organization of machines, since the RATs dont care about purpose or speed. If you want to randomize things, I'd suggest deterimining a few of the criteria on your own, and rolling on the random tables to generate a pool of available designs, and then choosing from those pooled designs rolled randomly for building a particular lance or star. You might roll both on your homegrown RAT, as well as frequent opponent RATs to represent salvaged mechs. At the end of the day, the RATs are not the end-all of force availabilities. Maybe you roll 2 or 3 of the machines out of your base org unit on a table, and pick the others by hand.
  41.  
  42. I tend to design the units under fairly ideal circumstances to start with. I've built entire units just by determining what forces a faction has available, looking at what works well together, looking for combinations that just beg to be deployed in formations together, and building off of that. Maybe I find a hover thats a great BA carrier and support unit for them. Maybe I find two identical movement profiles with weapon loadouts that compliment each other. Maybe I determine that a common medium mech really seems to move and fight better with that team's standby heavy. Usually I run out of space in a force, before I run out of combinations I want to deploy.
  43.  
  44. Field Manuals, TROs, any book with RATs, The Master Unit List, and Fellow Players are all invaluable resources in terms of determining what a faction uses. Determining how MUCH of that equipment they use, is a whole 'nother matter. Everyone has their own take, and canon is usually fairly vague on that matter. Even the most detailed looks at forces that we've had in canon are rife with flaws and inconsistencies, so I'm cautious as pertains to availability quibbles. When in doubt, remeber, its your PROTAG unit, what you say goes.
  45.  
  46. For determining skill levels, you can roll randomly as well, but I recommend settling on an average skill level for your unit and basing it off of that. Some pilots, perhaps leaders, perhaps simply aces, should be more skilled, and newer, or trainee pilots should naturally be weaker.
  47.  
  48. You might also assign a cluster or regimental ability like some of the sourcebooks list for canon units. If intent on playing in megamek, make sure it is one you can functionally represent within the limitations of Megamek as we know it. For example, one that I have assigned one of my units, is that any machine from that unit is allowed to deploy its walk-equivalent worth of MP from the edge. so, how far walk/jump/safe would carry you into the map, considering terrain, in place of the standard "within 3 hexes of the edge"
  49.  
  50. -------------------------------
  51. Part 2: Play your unit!
  52. --------------------------------
  53.  
  54. Megamek, Tabletop, ATOW, Alpha Strike, however you like. My preference is to use Megamek to do the heavy lifting. I'm not a mathy sort myself. Really helps move the game along, letting MM handle the number crunching lets me use a lot of options that I'm fond of. We've been dealing with two classes of player/unit/role as concerns this system.
  55.  
  56. The unit you just laid out, above? That's a protagonist or PROTAG unit. They're your unit, they're the ones the campaign is following. Your PROTAG unit might be seperate from anyone else's, or they might be in the same world as somebody's. Most of my PROTAG units are in the same setting as the units run by a good friend of mine, some are even on the same team. We've yet to have two PROTAG units come into conflict with one another, though we've had some PROTAG units evolve out of the second type, OPFOR.
  57.  
  58. OPFOR units are the Opposing Force. They're NPCs, run by someone who was kind enough to agree to run the OPFOR for you. I frequently run OPFOR for my friends, serving much as the Megamek Bot would, but with greater speed and skill. Like the bot, though, victory and failure do not matter terribly much to me. My goal is to present the fight my opponent wants from me. Just shooting paper targets that don't fight back isn't much fun, so its not that I'm not trying to fight effectively, its more that my job is to give them a challenge if they want it, or endure it and make the best of it, if they want an uneven fight. Realistically, not all battles WOULD be even. When you're playing OPFOR, you're playing on the other player's terms. Sometimes they may have an OPFOR unit pre-generated, sometimes you might whip one up quick from RATs or knowlege of the faction. That's up to the PROTAG player's call.  When you're playing PROTAG, it'll be their turn. And, if someone's kind enough to play your OPFOR, make sure to repay the favor.
  59.  
  60.  
  61. ------------------------------------------------------------
  62. Part 3: Track, Fix, and Upgrade
  63. ------------------------------------------------------------
  64.  
  65. Kills and XP:
  66.  
  67. If you want to take the initiative to track every full-and-mission kill for your units, you're welcome to. but that's pretty intense when you're tracking a whole regiment or cluster. I let Megamek do that for me. I record the full kills that Megamek reports for the mechs taken wholly out of service, and award 1 point of XP for each kill earned. If the unit was on a side that succeeded in its objectives, I assign everyone involved a participation XP. On the rare occasion that a battle was fought under exceptional circumstances, I may award two participation XP, but they add up fast enough that it is only rarely justified. Under normal circumstances, a non-victory condition should not award group/participation XP. Optionally, you might choose to deny XP to pilots whose machine has failed to survive to the end of the battle, but I only do this under certain circumstances (notably poor performance, dishonorable or out of character behavior, etc)
  68.  
  69. On occasion, I have used training units under the supervision of an experienced teacher. Not just any experienced mechwarrior, this is one that has been trained to train other units, and grants those units that are deployed under his care a double-xp bonus. I have also chosen to limit that bonus to advancement such that they no longer get this double XP when they reach 3/4 or take Special Piloting Advantages such that they are otherwise equal in experience to a 3/4. This is at your discretion.
  70.  
  71. To incentivize the usage of vehicles and infantry, I have been giving the skill of the crew or platoon as a whole, to each individual member of that crew or platoon. Thus, if they are split and retrained to staff a different role such as mech pilot, and they've already advanced from 5/6 to 3/4, they all get to keep that progress. You might institute a 1 tier worth of penalty, to represent the fact that they've been retrained for a new job (such as starting at 5/6 in a tank, getting to 3/4 in a tank, and then being divided out to pilot salvaged mechs, as 4/5 pilots) or you might institute that, but with an accelerated advancement (such as 2 XP to upgrade back to 3 gun, and 2 more to upgrade to 4 pilot.).
  72.  
  73. Now that you've accrued some XP, how do you spend it? Well, the way I initially learned, was that 4 kills = 1 Upgrade, either to your piloting, or your gunnery. Now, that IS only 36 kills from 4/5 to 0/0. So, you may wish to implement some manner of limit, or some sort of scaling difficulty. You might consider doubling the cost for each upgrade after the first. (you might even compensate for this by making earlier upgrades cost less.) That would be exponential scaling. You could also go linear, and simply start at a cost of 4, and add 4 to the cost each time, rather than doubling. You might even upgrade Piloting and Gunnery by tier, for a the cost that you would normally spend on one, but institute a harsher cost schedule. In any case, I encourage you to decide for yourself how you want to handle the cost of upgrades.
  74.  
  75. Special Piloting Advantages/Other Nonstandard Skills
  76.  
  77. Here's how I handle SPA/ONS costs:
  78.  
  79. Artillery: upgrades like Piloting or Gunnery. if using a simultaneous upgrade schedule, keep Artillery equal to Gunnery.
  80. Toughness: Add 1 Point Per 4 XP
  81. Commander Init: Add 1 Point Per 4 XP
  82. Edge: 8 Points to Buy Edge with 1 point, 4 points to buy each additional point of edge.
  83.  
  84. Dodge: 4 XP
  85. Hot Dog: 4 XP
  86. Jumping Jack: Must have Jumping Jill first. Costs 2 XP to upgrade from Jumping Jill.
  87. Manuvering Ace: 4 XP
  88. Melee Specialist: 4 XP
  89. Multi-Tasker: 4 XP
  90. Oblique Attacker: 4 XP
  91. Pain Resistance: 4 XP
  92. Sniper: 12 XP or Assigned When Initially Statted
  93. Cluster Hitter: 4 XP
  94. Cluster Master: 6 XP, or 2 XP and you Sacrifice Cluster Hitter.
  95. Sandblaster: 8 XP, or 2 XP and you Sacrifice Cluster Master.
  96. Tactical Genius: 6 XP
  97. Gunnery Specialization: 4 XP to take, 2 to Clear, 3 to take anew.
  98. Gunnery/Laser: May only take if first acquired "Gunnery Specialization: Laser" 4 XP
  99. Gunnery/Missile: May only take if first acquired "Gunnery Specialization: Missile" 4 XP
  100. Gunnery/Ballistic: May only take if first acquired "Gunnery Specialization: Ballistic" 4 XP
  101. Weapon Specialization: 6 XP
  102. Natural Aptitude: Gunnery: 12 XP or assigned at initial stat
  103. Natural Aptitude: Gunnery: 12 XP or assigned at initial stat
  104. Iron Man: 4 XP
  105. Jumping Jill: 4 XP, 2 XP if Manuering Ace owned already
  106. Some Like It Hot: 4 XP
  107. Weathered: 4 XP
  108. All Weather: 4 XP
  109. Blind Fighter: 4 XP
  110. Sensor Geek: 4 XP
  111.  
  112.  
  113. Though Megamek lists the EI and Manei Domini implants in the same area as SPA/ONS, I do not assign them costs for purchase. those should only be taken as appropriate to the story of your unit.
  114.  
  115.  
  116. Unit Upkeep and Salvaging:
  117.  
  118. Remember how I told you to pick a tech skill and coverage level earlier? Here's where it comes in. This, I do highly abstracted in most cases. I assign each damaged or salvaged a level of damage.  If missing only head, I mark it simply as "head" or "head/light"(or other damage level) if the damage is largely to armor or simple systems such as heatsinks, basic actuators and so forth, I mark the damage as "light" Light Damage also includes blown-off (but not destroyed) limbs. If the damage is structural, or to complex systems, or entire sections are destroyed, but the mech is capable of further combat, it rates a "medium" damage. If the mech has taken significant damage to its internal structure, is missing multiple segments of its body, or has taken severe damage to key systems like gyro and reactor, the mech is marked as "Heavy" damage.  a mech with its CT Destroyed is unsalvagable and renders only spare parts. a mech destroyed by ammo explosion, or whose CT is destroyed by artillery, or which has no body sections, is completely obliterated.
  119.  
  120.  
  121. Calculating Repair/Modification time in Cycles:
  122.  
  123. +1 per damage rank (head/superficial, Light, Medium, Heavy)
  124. +1 if techs unfamiliar with tech base
  125. +1 if technical team overworked
  126. +0 if tech team elite
  127. +1 if tech team veteran
  128. +2 if tech team regular
  129. +3 if tech team green
  130. +4 if tech team trainees
  131. +1 if improvised facility
  132. +0 if basic facility
  133. -1 if advanced facility (minimum of 1 cycle)
  134. -2 if factory facility (minimum of 1 cycle)
  135.  
  136. If you want to introduce a chance that repairs and customizations will fail, roll 2d6 when processing a repair cycle. Consult the Support Personnel Experience Table in Strategic Ops for the tech team's base skill target. If they fail to meet that target on their 2d6 roll, the repair cycle fails, and must be reattempted.
  137.  
  138. But, how long is a Cycle? a Cycle is however long you feel it should be, but generally will process at the speed of one battle fought. Naturally, some battles fought by different elements of your unit will happen closer together, and should be considered as occurring during the same cycle, or some of your warriors may fight back to back without a chance at repair. Otherwise, consider machines to go through their repair cycles each time you go through a battle. Its not very exact, but the focus of the system is to enable robot battles, not meticulously model warfare.
  139.  
  140. If you've determined that your unit does not have full technical coverage, make sure to apply the overworked tech team time modifier to your repairs AND track which things they're working on in a given cycle. If you've statted out technicians for the unit, append their statblock to the statblock of the equipment being repaired.
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