It's fine, Detritus.
Coming back from my week-long vacation with Stardust now! I'm feeling much
better and in fact was struck with some inspiration regarding the long-planned-but-never-implemented mech system! (Planned for over two years, actually.) After over two years I am finally fully satisfied with a mech system idea!!!
That's something worth celebrating I think.
The way it works is quite simple:
Some examples of flaws might be as follows:
- After the Nemesis has the appropriate medical upgrades required to build and upgrade mechs, you simply pay a fee to have them take apart your body (under anesthesia, thank FSM) and put you into a giant hulking 8-foot robot.
- How much is robot? Your head will still be human (and undoubtedly look a bit small in comparison to your body) but everything else will appear as 100% robotic mech and armor.
- Sound too easy? Yes it is. There are plenty of downsides that come along with being a mech. Harder to fit through doors, you can't eat much (most of you is metal, but some of your organs are still in there, somewhere), you can never leave your body again, children fear you, no more kinky fun time, and so on and so forth.
- But what about the pros? Surely there are pros. There are pros. There are also more flaws. These fall into a system I'm calling (for now) "Upgrades and Flaws" - because with great power comes great responsibility, and with great responsibility comes great sacrifice.
- You will be given a number of "Upgrade points" and "Flaw points". By default, you will receive 12 flaw points, and 12 upgrade points, which you must put into no more than 5 flaws and 5 upgrades. Alternatively, you can receive 16 upgrade points and 20 flaw points, which will go into up to 7 upgrades and 8 flaws, OR, 8 upgrade points and 4 flaw points, with a max of 4 upgrades and 2 flaws.
- Flaws and upgrades are of different "tiers" and some tiers are in "sets", meaning that for sets, you can only choose (for example) the Tier 1 option OR the Tier 2 option, but not both. Alternatively, you could put your points into something else entirely.
- As a mech, you get "Carry bits" instead of the way weapons normally work, starting out as equivalent to your normal footsoldier weapon limit. A small weapon is 1 carry bit, a heavy weapon is 2 carry bits, and a ship weapon is 4.
- Your mech's robotic arms start out as hands, but they can be replaced with items from the Robotics list. They do not, however, roll robotics. Your left or right palm is upgraded with a holo-PDA display and you can use that as your PDA - provided you're not holding anything at the time.
- Belt slot and suit slot items cannot be used with a mech. They do however have mech-oriented replacements, for a price.
■ ■ ■ ■ Large build
-- Your mech is built rather wide, and you're rather clumsy. You are incapable of using full cover to fire around, and need to leave cover completely in order to attack. Full cover only counts as full cover if you are completely concealed and a good distance out of sight. Half cover? You must be joking.
■ ■ ■ No armor
-- Your armor is extremely subpar compared to a standard mech, giving you the durability equivalent of an unarmored foot soldier. Weak panels, open machinery and stray wires characterize your mech's appearance, and you'll fall apart quickly in a fight. You can't take armor upgrades while you have this flaw.
■ ■ ■ Terrible scale compatibility
-- You are utterly incapable of utilizing ship weapons, and can only use infantry weapons, the same as any other footsoldier. You may not be able to fully utilize your carry bits.
■ ■ Botched robotics
-- One of your robotic arms has a serious manufacturing error and is unable to fit robotics items. Not only that, but any melee attacks you attempt with that arm have an innate 50% chance to fail.
■ ■ Sticky servos
-- some of your leg motors are a bit "sticky" and aren't able to operate in full capacity, giving you a -1 to runspeed.
■ Rough handling
-- Though you're incredibly strong, you have a great deal of trouble with delicate operations. Anything that needs to be done delicately will automatically fail (such as picking up a grape or painting) and any action that involves touching or handling an ally has a 50% chance to hurt them.
-- Your mech is built with too much of the weight on the upper limbs, meaning you'll topple over at the slightest provocation. Even an infantryman leaping at you will be enough to send you sprawling on the ground.
Some examples of upgrades might be as follows:
■ ■ ■ ■ Ship-grade armor
-- You're armored at the same level as a CASKET, meaning that most small-arms fire will bounce off of you without you even noticing. It'll take higher-grade explosives (or ship-mounted-weaponry) to even leave a mark.
■ ■ ■ Chameleon armor
-- Tartarus Inc.'s bleeding-edge Chameleon Armor automatically blends into the surrounding environment and can even (to some extent) model itself after it physically. You have an innate 50% chance of success at any stealth roll where the enemy isn't actively looking for you, done before the main roll.
■ ■ ■ No weak points
-- Fully-armored joints, reinforced parts, solid armor; your mech has no weak spots. As a result, it's a lot more difficult to land a critical hit. Epic combat successes by the enemy will require them to roll an 8 instead of a 7 in order to score an epic success.
■ ■ Intimidating display
-- Flamethrowers, flashing lights, and ominous sounds make you a terrifying spectacle. Any enemy near you must throw an immediate willpower roll to avoid panicking. It even works on drones. Can only be used twice per mission.
■ ■ Double joints
-- Your joints have an astonishing degree of mechanical freedom, granting you a permanent +1 to agility. ((note: this and strength/durability/runspeed also exists at this and a tier 4 level))
■ Cover functionality
-- No cover in the area? No problem. Hunker down on the spot and protect any allies hiding behind you. While this is active, you won't be able to move (though you can still fire). When the enemy fires at allies, it hits you instead, and has only a 50% chance of dealing damage.
■ Extra weapon capacity
-- An extra slot on your arm provides +2 carry bits, and increase your maximum weapon limit to 5 items. ((Note: this also exists at a tier 2, tier 3, and tier 4 level, granting you up to +8 carry bits (or two whole ship weapons)))
Later on, for a price, you'll be able to purchase additional Upgrade Points from the medbay/armory. These can be used to remove flaws, add upgrades, or remove upgrades. (Exact price to be determined, but it'll be something really reasonable.)
Overall: Mechs should be really fun to have around, but they won't be an end-all choice that everyone will want. The installation process is expensive, there's no way to revert, and it introduces a lot of problems. The biggest advantage you gain is that you can carry around ship weapons on foot - provided you made those purchases.