Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rifts Psionics errata

Oh em eff gee. I have avoided this post for a long time.

Nega-Psychic: Automatically saves versus most psychic effects without needing to spend mana.

Psi-Tech (and variants): Passive telemechanics gives the base bonus from Telemechanics. Additionally, the Psi-Tech gains a 33% bonus to speed when taking any driving actions to accelerate (20mph for every 15).


Bio-regeneration: Restores 5d6 health per use. Can be used once per minute.

Exorcism: This works on all forms of possession. It does not work on symbiotes, but does work on MPO.

Healing Touch: Restores 2d6 health per use. Activation time is still 2 minutes. Can only be used once per injury.

Increased Healing: Healing speed is increased to 20 health per day. Healing effects on the character heal an extra D6 of health.

Induce Sleep: Involuntary sleep can be used as long as the person is not on any sort of brain-altering stimulant chemicals such as adrenaline or meth. Other chemicals that are light stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine provide bonuses to save up to +3 (in addition to the normal +5) making sleep induction for them hard.

Psychic Surgery: This adds +30% to an existing paramedic or medical doctor skill but does not grant the skills to perform any sort of complex surgeries. Using this power without the paramedic or medical doctor skills is not recommended.


Alter Aura: This ability interferes with any sort of supernatural sense, but cannot hide base mana or ISP from magic sense or a similar sense. It will cloud spell abilities such as detect magic, but not detect psionics (because a psychic power is in use).

Deaden Senses: This ability gives the bonus to everyone attempting the listed skills against the victim, not just the psychic. The bonus is increased to +20%.

Ectoplasmic Disguise: Maintenance of this ability does not impede skill performance, but it increases the time needed by 50%. Physical skills like backflips are basically impossible and combat is impossible. The disguise looks perfect though; it "holds up" under scrutiny, unless supernatural senses are present.

Impervious to Fire: All fire deals no damage.

Levitation: This cannot be used on living things, other than plants and the caster.

Summon Inner Strength: This power resists the effects of inhibiting debuffs. The debuffs are still present, but count down and don't take effect while SIS is active.
  • All psionic debuffs, including mind bleeder debuffs
  • All sleep effects if applied before the sleep occurs
  • Stun and daze type effects such as befuddle, swirling lights or northern lights
  • All sonic debuffs and similar "headache" debuffs (magical or otherwise)
  • Chilling type cold debuffs such as orb of cold or circle of cold
  • Sickness type debuffs such as stench of hades or many magical poisons
  • All sense-diminishing powers (not effective against 100% blinds or silences, nor environmental problems like smoke, loud noises, or leylines)
  • Agony and other pain-type debuffs are reduced by half

TM Operation, Possession, Paralysis: The wielder of the device can make a saving throw to resist the effects of these powers. If it has multiple operators (such as a vehicle with comms/nav/gunner/pilot) the operator with the best saving throw is used. AIs use 15, 12, or 10 depending on sophistication with no other bonuses.

TM Possession: In order to cancel the possession, the psychic's body must be within active range of the power. Additionally, the possessed device cannot go more than 5000 feet + 1000 feet per level of the psychic's experience or the ability is cancelled. If the ability is cancelled remotely (via distance or the power expiring) the psychic takes 1d4 minutes to get to his real body.

Telemechanics: +1 APM and +1 on combat rolls while operating devices to which Telemechanics applies. If the relevant skill is known, Telemechanics provides a +20% bonus if the skill is above 60%, otherwise set to 80% as normal.

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Spellforge Current Custom Orders

    New Camelot -- Merlin

    Advanced Infantry Weapon
    The AIW project is an ambitious project meant to replace the plasma lance with the evolving battlefield of the 2nd century PA Its improvements over the plasma lance include specialized shots that are less effective against human and DB friendlies in the event of friendly fire incidents, but similarly effective against supernatural creatures. It will incorporate an automatic fire function and be much lighter and easier to carry than a plasma lance. A detachable bayonet will provide similar, though not necessarily equivalent melee capabilities. Upon meeting all required standards for the AIW, a contract may be granted for a close combat weapon system to be fitted to the bayonet lug.
    • Compact and easily portable -- entire length under 30 inches (750mm)
    • Lightweight -- under 4kg (8.8lbs)
    • Damage capacity should be on the low-moderate side (greater than 2d6)
    • Weapon should deal extra damage to supernatural creatures
    • Fully automatic with a cyclic rate of 500rpm or more
    • Payload of at least 15 rounds per TW charge or 30 rounds per magazine
    • Reload cost of no more than 15 mana per 15 rounds
    • Range of at least 100m, ideally 200-300m
    • Modular upper and lower rails for scope, front grip, and bayonet
    • Weapon must be highly resistant to wear and moisture damage
    • Easy to break down, clean, and reassemble; should also be easy to perform maintenance on with minimal need for expensive replacement parts
    • With no scope, iron sights should include adjustable front and rear sights; rear sight should have elevation settings for up to 300m and +/- 30 MOA windage, minimum; front sight should be adjustable for +/- 25 MOA elevation. Both front sight elevation and rear sight windage should be spaced in 1 MOA increments.
    Designated Marksman/Sniper Weapon
    The DMSW has a different list of requirements, due to its focus on accuracy at long distances. It is an infantry support weapon, not a true "sniper rifle" and will typically be deployed in infantry companies.
    • Range exceeding 500m
    • Damage should be able to penetrate 30mm of steel (5d6 or greater)
    • Must be equipped with a folding bipod
    • Superior glass scope with 4-8x magnification (+1)
    • Free-floating barrel
    • Minimal moving parts; preferred manual action rather than any machine-triggered action
    • Weight under 7kg including bipod and scope
    • Payload of at least 3 shots
    • Mana cost of no more than 15 per 3 shots, or no less than a 5 round magazine
    • As the AIW: easy to maintain, repair, resistant to wear and moisture damage
    Banishment grenade
    Marketing of the banishment grenade has encouraged Merlin to request a dozen working prototypes for demonstration purposes. The prototypes should be hand-thrown.

    Tear gas grenades
    Likewise, Merlin wishes to test the effectiveness of tear gas grenades against supernatural enemies. He requests a dozen prototype units; upon initial positive results he may wish to procure more. These grenades should be hand-thrown.

    Body Armor
    The slow acquisition of body armor for the army has led Merlin to seek outside contractors. Mana is in short supply for regular army troops, who typically only have enough mana to reload their lance or rifle a few times. Thus, Merlin wishes to procure a low-cost, low-mana body armor that provides moderate protection.
    • Heavy version of body armor should be able to withstand direct hits from HEDP grenades (65 MDC+)
    • Light version of body armor should be more than adequate to resist sustained automatic weapons fire for short periods (45 MDC+)
    • All body armor should be fully environmental including heat, cold, toxin, biological and radiation.
    • Short-range encrypted radio with at least 1 mile range. Must be autonomous without need for a radio base station. Radio should be able to operate for up to 72 hours without needing recharging.
    • Armor should not be made out of metal if possible.
    • Heavy armor should weigh less than 9kg.
    • Light armor should weigh less than 6kg.
    • The only TW function desired is light protection; ideally enough to give a soldier some cover at minimal expense (20-30 MDC). Mana cost should be 5 or less.
    • Helmet must support a variety of modular helmets, including non-SF-constructed TW helmets.

    Saturday, September 17, 2011

    Modern RPG Combat (not Rifts related)

    I've been musing over this for a while. Most games do close combat (melee combat) pretty well, at least acceptably well. Most games don't really do ranged combat really well. In real world combat, a large portion of fights are slow -- combatants in close range often circle each other, looking for openings. At a distance, combatants hide behind cover before popping out, taking a shot, and returning to cover. This is especially true as characters become more skilled; they are less likely to leave openings and less likely to attack unless they have a very specific purpose -- either they can score a hit or they can pin the opponent, trap him, or disable his weapon. Aggression is valuable in combat, but only when it's controlled; blind rushing leads to getting gutted by a spear or gunned down by enemy fire out in the open. This is the theme I'm working with.

    Combat in this engine is dirty and brutal, or at least it's intended to be. Weapons are deadly and wounds are serious. In order to prevent frequent player character death, PCs are granted some form of "luck" which allows them to avoid bad situations -- they're given a certain number of these per adventure and allow them to cancel the effects of a normally terrible situation. For GMs wanting a more realistic game, PCs could be given very few or none of these. I'll cover character statistics in another post; I want this to focus mainly on combat phases and actions. I'll cover dice mechanics elsewhere too, but I'm intending to use a 3d10 + modifiers system (essentially a d20-like system with 3d10 instead of 1d20). I'll go more into reasons for that later.

    Generally this system assumes a few things that are not present in other combat systems:

    1: Imperfect Information. Whenever possible, hide the exact position of things on the battlefield. This can be done pretty easily with MapTool or something similar. You show only the terrain, and not what is on the battlefield. Players then have to use their character skills to identify distances to a particular target, and so on. This is to simulate fog of war; it makes no sense that all characters know exactly which guy was shot by their buddy, or which zone has erupted into melee and so on.

    2: Limited Communication. Players should only be allowed to communicate a small amount of information. In general, this means players should only be allowed to speak on their turns and only small phrases if they are taking other actions. Characters who want to convey lots of information should be forced to spend actual turns doing so; this is why in real life, there are radio operators and officers who are not in the main battle speaking with command units on the radio. If a character is in an emergency situation (eg. gets flanked, gets hit, needs assistance, there is a grenade nearby) it is totally reasonable for him or her to shout a very brief message such as "Help! Medic! Grenade!" and so on. Also, characters who are not within auditory range of other characters may be asked to leave the room temporarily so they do not know what is said. Because communication is so important in real life, it should be assumed that most player comms are over headset/walkie talkie or networked magic communication and that all players can hear what is being said, though.


    • Like any game, the first thing that needs to happen is the initiative roll. Like most games, characters or units (groups of characters typically used for mooks) act in initiative order.
    • The duration of a combat round is 10 seconds.
    • Initiative is determined by a roll-high method; highest numbers go first.
    • If one side of a battle is expecting combat and the other is not, the attackers gain a significant bonus to initiative (+2 to +5).
    • If one side of a battle is ambushing the other or otherwise takes the enemy by surprise, they gain a massive bonus to initiative (+5 or more).
    • Even with ambush bonuses to initiative, extremely combat-aware characters may still be able to go before their attackers; the bonus is a bonus, not a guarantee. Additionally, an extremely lucky character may just be prepared for battle as the attackers are ambushing or spot them just as they come out.

    Melee Combat
    • Characters who have engaged in melee immediately begin brawling after initiative is rolled. Melee combat is exclusive; a character cannot participate in both the melee and ranged combat phases.
    • Characters in melee have "melee actions," allowing them to take many (typically 3 or more) actions in a round. Skilled melee combatants generally have more melee actions than unskilled combatants.
    • Characters in melee are considered to be in constant movement for characters outside of melee, which affects ranged combat rolls.
      Characters in melee are "deadlocked" to whoever was attacking them during the last combat round. If there are multiple attackers, the character may choose which foe to focus on.
    • If a character is focused on one enemy, any other attackers gain a flanking bonus (+3 or more) against him. Some exceptionally skilled characters may be able to fight several attackers without granting any of them flanking.
    • On each character's turn, he may attack his chosen target or use his melee actions to maneuver or defend. Once his turn has occurred, he may still act in the future if he has melee actions remaining.
    • A character may spend melee actions to move a certain distance, according to his movement speed. In addition, each character can move up to 10 feet in a round without costing any movement. This can also be used to disengage from melee; however, a character attempting to disengage from melee must use at least one action for defense if he is not deadlocked.
    • A character who exposes his rear to an attacker while moving immediately gives his attacker a free "flanking attack."
    • Characters choosing to hold actions for defense gain a bonus based on their combat skill to dodge, block, or otherwise avoid a number of incoming melee attacks equal to the number of attacks held. It can also be held for the ranged combat phase to avoid close combat attacks (but not ranged weapons unless the attacker is at close range). Some characters may be able to gain dedicated defensive actions that are always available.
    • Characters who have not acted yet are considered to have all of their actions held for defense when they are attacked. Any unspent actions on defense can then be used on their turns.
    • Attackers roll against the active (held actions) or passive (no action) defenses of the enemy. Because characters in melee are always considered to be moving and on the defensive, the defender always gets some ability to avoid attacks. This may be waived if the enemy is grappled or otherwise unable to move or block.
    • If a melee attacker scores a hit against a passive defense (no held actions), he may continue to make follow-up attacks that automatically hit until he has expended all his attacks. He does not have to make these attacks.

    Ranged Combat (general combat?)
    • Characters in ranged combat act much slower than characters in melee combat. Instead of having a number of melee actions, characters in ranged combat may take up to 2 actions. Some actions take both combat actions.
    • A character may take an action to move up to half his base movement. This movement includes diving behind cover if desired. Slower amounts of movement may be performed in order to sneak through concealed areas.
    • A character may attack an enemy. If this is a close combat attack, this attack generally forces a deadlock and the character will be considered in melee in the next combat round. The attacker may choose not to enter melee (although the defender may attack in kind). A defender with a significant weapon range advantage (eg. polearm vs. knife) can force the attacker to stay out of melee if his defense is successful. Missile weapons don't count as a range advantage, but a rifle with a bayonet counts against an unarmed enemy or one with a knife. Multiple close combat attackers always force a deadlock.
    • Defense against close combat attacks in the ranged phase work like melee defenses, except one action spent defending counts as active defense against all attacks. Characters in melee defending against characters in the ranged combat phase attacking with close combat weapons do so with any held melee actions from the melee combat round.
    • Ranged attackers must aim before firing their weapons; otherwise, any fire executed is wild and generally inaccurate. This does not apply to ranged weapons (guns or crossbows) in melee combat. Aiming takes up one ranged combat action; the character is considered partially exposed while aiming if he is doing so from cover.
    • Wild shooting suffers a penalty based on the difficulty to hit the enemy. Partially exposed enemies aiming in are virtually impossible to hit; firing at enemies out in the open is still like shooting fish in a barrel. Enemies in melee are more difficult, but not impossible; however, wild shooting into melee has a very large chance of hitting other characters in the melee. Blind firing incurs additional penalties.
    • Thrown weapons do not have to be aimed, although aiming may grant bonuses. Drawing and throwing a weapon is a single action.
    • Reloading generally uses both actions. Some abilities may grant the ability to reload extremely quickly as a single or even free action once per round.
    • Non-wild aimed shooting does not include the ability to return to cover after firing.

    • Characters take wounding damage.
      Buffs and debuffs count down if applicable.
    • Any other modifiers take place at this time.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2011

    Brit's character -- Fire Elemental Shaman


    IQ -- 10
    ME -- 12
    MA -- 4
    PS -- 12
    PP -- 30 (+4 while using Totem Gift)
    PE -- 25
    PB -- 10
    SPD -- 30 (+50 while using Totem Gift)

    Derived Values

    HP -- 58 (+1d6 per level)
    SDC -- 60
    Mana -- 141 (+2d6 per level)
    ISP -- 0

    Actions per Melee: 7 (+1 with Totem Gift)
    Initiative bonus: +1
    Dodge bonus: +16 (+4 with Totem Gift)
    Parry bonus (normal): +14
    Parry bonus (knife): +17
    Parry bonus (polearm): +16
    Strike bonus (normal): +10 (+2 with Totem Gift)
    Strike bonus (knife): +12 (+2 with Totem Gift)
    Strike bonus (polearm): +12 (+2 with Totem Gift)
    Strike bonus (rifle, single shot):  +7 (+2 with Sniper)
    Strike bonus (rifle, burst firing): +5
    Strike bonus (rifle, aiming bonus): +5 (+1 with Totem Gift)
    Strike bonus (handgun, single shot): +4 (+2 with Sniper)

    Roll with punch bonus: +7
    Save vs. HF: +3
    Save vs. all magic: +2
    Save vs. possession: +4

    Special Actions and Abilities

    Sniper: When using a two-handed rifle or shotgun, the Shaman gets a bonus of +2 to strike on single shots if she does not move during her turn. If she is attacked by an enemy, she loses this bonus until the next melee round. She may also use this power with a handgun, but only if it is equipped with a shoulder stock.

    Quick Recharge: The Shaman can, once per turn, instantly reload any TW rifle or shotgun she is wielding as a free action.

    Grapple: The Shaman is an expert grappler. She may tackle, takedown, or throw her opponent and can turn a grapple into a pin or hold. She may also turn a pin or hold into a choke or joint lock. She gets her unarmed strike bonus (currently +10/+12) in addition to her PS modifier (currently +0) in any grappling contest. On a natural 18, 19, or 20, any unarmed hand attack or grapple may immediately pin the enemy. This must be declared before the dice are rolled and overwrites any critical hits or knockout attacks.

    Knockout: The Shaman can knock her opponent out with fists, kicks or blunt weapons if she scores a natural 20 to hit. This ability does not have to be declared on her strike roll.

    Ignite Fire: The Shaman can ignite a small fire by spending 2 mana and concentrating. If the fire is touching combustible material, the fire will spread as a normal fire would.

    Fire Resistance: The Shaman is immune to all heat and fire damage, including exposure to high temperature. This does not give the same resistance to her equipment, nor does it confer any other resistances, such as radiation or kinetic energy resistance (eg. conventional and nuclear explosives are still deadly).

    Heat Detection: The Shaman can detect infrared radiation from warm objects. This power does not work through solid objects, but it is always active unless the Shaman is asleep. This power does not grant the Shaman thermal vision, but rather a sixth "thermal" sense.
    • At great distances (1 mile or more) the Shaman can detect large fires due to the large amount of hot air and smoke elevating above the fire. The larger the fire, the greater the distance that can be detected.
    • Smaller fires (medium-sized campfire or bonfire) can still be detected within a 1 mile distance. The exact location is not known but a general direction can be established.
    • Running vehicles or large groups of people or animals can be detected at roughly 2000 feet. At this distance, the Shaman is only -5 to strike at these targets even if she is otherwise blinded.
    • Human-sized targets can be detected at 1000 feet or less. At this distance, the Shaman is -5 to strike them if she is blinded.
    • At 100 feet or less, the Shaman can detect infrared radiation as a second sight and suffers no blindness penalties, except in high ambient heat situations or when the target has no thermal signature.
    Sense Elementals: The Shaman can recognize any Elemental creature by sight, including Spirits of Light, Elemental Spirits, True Elementals or Elemental fragments. The Shaman can also sense the presence of an elemental creature within a 120 foot radius around her, although she cannot pinpoint a location without other forms of detection.

    Summon Elemental Spirits: The Shaman may summon a Lesser Elemental Spirit of Fire who will assist her. She has a 45% chance for a summoning to be successful. The spirit will assist her with her current task until it is completed. The success chance is increased by 10% at a leyline or 20% at a nexus point. She gains +5% to her summon chance for each level of experience.

    Vulnerability to Stone: The Shaman is vulnerable to stone weapons of any kind, both normal and magical. She takes double damage from them. If she is in an MDC form, SD stone weapons deal their base damage in MD.

    Numbers in parentheses are the gains from each level-up.

    Language: Native Tribal -- 128% (+5)
    Literacy: Native Tribal -- 128% (+5)
    Language: American -- 128% (+5)
    Literacy: American -- 60% (+5)
    Language: Spanish -- 90% (+5)
    Language: Elven/Dragonese -- 90% (+5)
    Language: Elemental -- 48% (+3)

    Class Skills
    Basic Math -- 95% (+5)
    Horsemanship: Exotic -- 70%/60% (+5) (note: -10% to ride normal animals)
    Dancing (professional) -- 70% (+5)
    Singing (professional) -- 75% (+5)
    Cooking (professional) -- 80% (+5)
    Preserve Food -- 65% (+5)
    Prowl -- 65% (+5)
    Wilderness Survival -- 80% (+5)
    Lore: Native Americans -- 65% (+5)
    Lore: Animals -- 70% (+5)
    Trap Construction -- 44% (+4)
    Tracking -- 60% (+5)
    Camouflage-- 50% (+5)
    Sense of Balance -- 90% (+5)
    Climbing -- 40% (+0)

    Secondary Skills
    Pilot Motor Boat -- 85% (+5)
    Sewing -- 70% (+5)
    Skin and Prepare Hides -- 65% (+5)
    Land Navigation -- 60% (+4)
    Navigation -- 70% (+5)
    First Aid -- 75% (+5)
    Swimming -- 80% (+5)
    Radio: Basic -- 75% (+5)
    Horsemanship: General -- 70/50% (+5)

    Physical and Combat Skills
    Hand to Hand: Expert
    WP: Semi and Fully Automatic Rifle (Sharpshooting)
    WP: Automatic Pistol
    WP: Knife
    WP: Polearm
    WP: Flail

    Magic and Spell Knowledge

    Level 1 Fire (spell level 1)
    Cloud of Smoke (2)
    - 30ft diameter burst of smoke
    Fiery Touch (5)
    - Buffs self with fiery aura, adds +1d6 to hand to hand attacks
    Fire Bolt (4)
    - Medium ranged blast of fire, 4d6

    Level 2 Fire (spell level 3)
    Heat Object (4)
    - Heats an object, generally used for cooking; long cast time
    Resist Cold (5)
    - Buffs with 100% cold resistance (doesn't prevent damage from cold-based physical weapons)
    Swirling Lights (8)
    - 60 foot long, 10 foot diameter column of bright light from hands; dazes enemies who fail their save

    Level 3 Fire (spell level 5)
    Circle of Flame (10)
    - Starts a SD or MD magical flame at target location; 4d6 damage if passing through
    Extinguish Fire (8)
    - Cancels a large area of fire, can't extinguish magic fire.
    Fireball (10)
    - 90 foot range, 15 foot radius splash fireball, dealing 1d6+1 per caster level (eg 6d6+6 at level 6)
    Fire Gout (10)
    - 30/level foot long stream of fire (eg. 180ft at level 6), deals 6d6 +1/caster level (eg. 6d6+6 at level 6) and suppresses enemy as long as stream is maintained, up to 1 turn (2 seconds). Can hit multiple enemies in a small arc.
    Part Fire (8)
    - Cuts a small path through fire or deflects fire attacks.

    Level 4 Fire (spell level 7)

    Cauterize (15)
    - Burns wounds closed, preventing bleeding and healing 4d6 health. Can only be cast once per injury.
    Flame Friend (20) (ritual)
    - Summons a powerful fiery creature to fight for you. He has 3 APM, is +2 on combat rolls. He is immune to energy attacks, has 50 MDC and deals 2d6 physical melee damage, +1d6 from fiery touch.
    Fuel Flame (10)
    - Triples the size and power of a fire.
    Mini-Fireballs (20)
    - Buffs self to throw medium-range bursts of fire, dealing 3d6 +2 per caster level (3d6+12 at level 6).
    See Through Smoke (12)
    - See through smoke effects and gain the infrared vision ability.

    Level 5 Fire (spell level 9)

    Blue Flame (30)
    - A massive radius attack spell, dealing 1d6+3 per caster level (6d6+18 at level 6) cold damage.
    Fire Globe (20) (ritual)
    - A grantable fire explosive that deals 5d6 damage, +5d6 per round. Generally kills anything it hits if allowed to burn. The magical napalm can be extinguished with normal or magical countermeasures.
    Screaming Wall of Flame (30)
    - Creates a soul-devouring wall of rape. The wall has a fear effect (hf16) to anyone that comes near it.

    Level 6 Fire (spell level 11)

    Dancing Fires (35)
    Creates 1 little fire buddy per caster level. Each one has 2 APM and deals 1d6 MD, has 20 MDC and has +2 to combat rolls. They are immune to energy and physical attacks; magic, ice, psionic, and water attacks are effective.
    Flame of Life (40)
    - Restores a character from coma to sustainable health. Can resurrect dead characters with 50 +3/level chance.
    Flame Whip (30)
    - A self buff, creates a nasty whip that deals 4d6+1d6 per level. +1 to strike and has 6ft + 1ft range per caster level.

    Level 1 Shaman

    Dowsing (6)
    - Find water.
    Nose of the Wolf (4)
    - Greatly increases sense of smell, roughly equal to a dog or wolf.

    Level 2 Shaman

    Animal Speech (5)
    - Grants the temporary ability to speak with animals.
    Contact Spirits (8)
    - Enters a trance to ask the spirits questions.
    Spirit Quest (5)
    - Enters the Astral Domain of the Spirits to ask for favors.

    Level 3 Shaman

    Animal Companion (20)
    - Summons an animal (non-supernatural) to aid the spellcaster as a long-term pet.

    Level 4 Shaman

    Ears of the Wolf (10)
    - Grants self superhuman, canine-like hearing.
    Spirit Paint (10/20)
    - Enchants self or allies with hunting or war paint.

    Level 5 Shaman

    Metamorphosis: Hummingbird (18)
    - A very long-term enchantment that allows the caster to transform into a hummingbird.
    Totem Gift (12)
    - Grants totem animal powers (listed in character section) for 30 seconds per caster level.

    Level 6 Shaman

    Plant Travel (25)
    - Travels at 6mph, relaxing. Can carry the caster with gear, but cannot carry gear alone.

    Level 7 Shaman

    Spirit Blessing: Animal (20)
    - Changes an SDC animal's health into MDC health, and boosts maximum health by 30%. 2 minutes per caster level. Also changes natural weapons into MD natural weapons, but does not grant supernatural PS.

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Helpful Tips on magic for shamans

    Fire Level 1
    Blinding Flash -- A good control effect for very cheap, but easy to find. A staple spell that everyone should have.
    Create Coal -- At level 1, it creates fossil fuel for burning. Has a lot of potential uses, especially for providing fuel for low-income people. It's a really neat spell.
    Fiery Touch -- A must-have. It's a class-defining spell. This should be cast before any sort of melee combat.
    Fire Bolt -- Most notable because it's level 1, making firebolt TW weapons very cheap.

    Fire Level 2
    Cloud of Ash -- Creates a teargas like effect, although not as good as tear gas. Good but skippable.
    Darkness -- Magical darkness that beats passive nightvision spells or abilities. Probably not as good as smoke spells or grenades overall though.
    Heat Object -- A good utility spell for cooking.
    Spontaneous Combustion -- A good way to make non-magic fire, which is nice for... certain other effects.
    Swirling Lights -- Probably the main bread and butter control spell for fire warlocks. Short range but incredibly good.

    Fire Level 3
    Circle of Flame -- Pretty good area denial spell. Better than the wizard version in every way.
    Fireball -- With a blast radius and huge damage, this is kind of scary.
    Wall of Flame -- Also pretty good area denial spell.

    Fire Level 4
    Cloud of Steam -- A better teargas type spell than Cloud of Ash.
    Fire Blossom -- A grantable object to set things on fire.
    Flame Friend -- A fire pet who can fight for you.
    Cauterize/Heal Burns -- The only healing spell in Fire.
    Mini-Fireballs -- A strong buff that can be used in self-defense if you find yourself unarmed.
    See Through Smoke -- Infrared vision at long range is good, even if you have infrared radar.

    Fire Level 5
    Blue Flame -- A huge area high damage nuke. Does a ton of cold damage.
    Eat Fire -- Allows you to survive without food by eating fire.
    Fire Globe -- A grantable napalm grenade. Wow!
    Screaming Wall of Flame -- A spell too good for words. The best warlock area denial.
    Wall of Ice -- Kind of high level for this kind of spell, but a very sturdy barrier that is hard to get past.

    Fire Level 6
    Dancing Fires -- Summons a lot of little flame pets that tear enemies up.
    Flame of Life -- It's a heal and a rez! What else is there to say?
    Fire Whip -- The damage on this spell is ridiculous. A great close combat weapon.

    Fire Level 7
    Fire Sponge -- Lets you absorb fires and unleash a mega-powerful flaming blast. Very short range, though.
    Melt Metal -- This spell ruins anyone with metal armor and does tons of damage to vehicles. Absolutely frightening.
    River of Lava -- Probably the strongest spell in Fire. Probably needs to be nerfed.
    Ten Foot Wheel of Fire -- A gigantic fiery wheel of doom that you control. Causes massive amounts of chaos and destruction.

    Fire Level 8
    All 3 spells in this level are good~

    Shaman Level 1
    You don't actually have a choice here as there are only 2 spells

    Shaman Level 2
    All 3 spells in this level are pretty decent, Animal Speech is kind of must-have

    Shaman Level 3
    Animal Companion -- Gives you a pet animal friend! Permanent and can be recast!
    The other two spells are decent, not amazing

    Shaman Level 4
    Ears of the Wolf -- Gives you super hearing!
    Spirit Paint -- Provides some bonuses to combat and hunting skills

    Shaman Level 5
    Totem Gift -- Must have! Empowers you with your totem's bonuses

    Shaman Level 6
    ...they pretty much all suck

    Shaman Level 7
    Spirit's Blessing (Animal) -- Makes your mounts or pets MDC

    Shaman Level 8
    Only 2 picks and both are pretty awesome

    Shaman Level 10
    Only 2 choices and again, both are great

    Shaman Level 11
    ...3 choices, all are awesome... you probably won't get any of these though

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    The Spellforge Mobile Modular Weapon System Project

    The Spellforge Mobile Modular Weapon System (henceforth MMWS) has the following list of operational requirements (as brainstormed by Nick, Scott, and myself):
    • Unit must be able to traverse most terrain with minimal effort -- swamp, desert, jungle, forest
    • Unit must be able to operate autonomously for short missions without additional crew support.
    • All operational modules must be "hot swappable" in under 30 minutes
    • Unit cost should not exceed 2 million credits and should ideally be under 1 million
    • Platform should be capable of serving in an anti-armor, anti-aircraft and fire support role, depending on mission
    • All modules should be capable of quick deployment and undeployment; under 1 minute and ideally within 15 seconds
    • Anti-armor module should carry firepower capable of knocking out a Coalition MBT
    • Fire support module should be capable of delivering heavy antipersonnel or antistructure payloads precisely to minimize collateral damage
    • Anti-aircraft module must be capable of downing a Coalition SAMAS or equivalent suit in a 1-to-1 confrontation
    • Unit should be transportable via Chinook helicopter and Rift To spells
    • All modules should be capable of arming TW munitions for multipurpose use
    • Unit should have at least one secondary weapon system for close defense scenarios
    With these operational requirements, the ideal MMWS platform is the NG-X9 Samson or CAS-30 Assault Suit.

    The Cheapwell is the most expensive Chipwell option, but it is heavy enough that it can reasonably carry the armaments needed. It also comes with a backup weapon without needing to be modified. The CAS must be heavily modified; a modernized HUD and communications suite are mandatory for accurate fire and the stock motors need to be replaced in order to match the need to negotiate difficult terrain. While this will cost a fair bit of money, the real loss is labor.

    The Samson is a proven heavy weapons platform and has jumpjets, but the grenade launchers probably need to be removed in order to add in a personal defense weapon. The Samson's onboard electronics do not need to be updated to meet the MMWS standards. The Samson costs over three times as much, though.

    Another option is the CAI-100 Warmonger; although it's a terrible machine, it honestly requires most of the same work as the CAS-30 and costs basically nothing.

    The cost of a relatively inexpensive 5 mile radio/1 mile radar suite will cost roughly 25k (radar 20, radio 5). An onboard RPA HUD and computer suite will cost 100,000 or more depending on quality. Replacing the servos and motors for the Chipwells probably costs around 12k total. This is for parts, not labor. The entire job will probably take about 1200 man-hours of labor and requires Robot Electronics and Robot Mechanics. Additional software calibration for piloting with the new HUD and new machine will take another 200-ish hours of labor between the pilot and technician calibrating the new system.

    Mobile Modular Weapon System - Fire Support (MMWS-FS)

    The primary fire support weapon system of the MMWS is a refurbished M102 105mm light howitzer. It uses an impressive 9 charges of mortar propellant to fire rounds at targets up to 7 miles away. The large surplus of 105mm rounds in pre-Rifts armories make it an ideal choice. A shorter-range option is a 105mm mortar, which has a 2 mile range with 3 mortar charges. The advantage of a howitzer versus a HYDRA-70 rocket launcher is that the howitzer can be reloaded by standby support crew and requires less maintenance than the mortars.

    In order to support the firing of 105mm heavy ordinance, the issue of recoil must be addressed. A bipedal robot simply is not stable enough to fire a projectile with that much kinetic energy without a recoilless system. The problem with a recoilless system is reloading; without an appropriate closed chamber and firing mechanism, the weapon cannot really be loaded swiftly. This would not be a huge problem, but the needs of the system (requiring only one crew member) means that an autoloader is required. It is also sort of awkward to reload a 14ft tall recoiless gun, making it not very practical. Thus, the MMWS-FS recoil suppression system:

    The MMWS-FS would use a pair (or more) of long pylons that are held on the unit's back. When conducting a fire mission, the pylons unlatch and are swiveled down by a mechanical arm and locked into a static position in the rear of the machine. This way, no stress is placed on mechanical parts. The rods are angled roughly 30 degrees; although this could be seated in a swivel mount (to match the angle of the gun), that would expose mechanical parts to wear. The pylons should 3-4 inches in diameter. They may be pneumatic; a gas-powered pneumatic system would allow the pylons to be more easily stowed and assist with recoil, but would increase deployment time since air (or some other gas) would have to be compressed in the pylons before the weapon could be fired. Either way, the deployment time for such a system would be within the 15 second timeframe and the undeployment time would be a few seconds, since the robot can step back into a standing position and maneuver away while the pylons are withdrawn by the mechanical arms.

    The next step in constructing this system is fire control, which must be programmed into the unit. Since there is no computer system currently to aim a 105mm howitzer, this would require computer programming. This is a very important reason to have an expensive onboard computer system replacement, since it would better facilitate all of the "unique" features of this weapon design.

    The last step is the feed mechanism. This is a much more difficult task since the entire feed system must be designed from scratch. This includes opening and closing of the chamber, feeding the rounds into the chamber, ejecting rounds from the chamber, operating the firing mechanism, and opening the loader for rounds to be reloaded. There are modern designs for such an autoloader, but none of them are American, since US artillery doctrine supported flexibility of charge size and payloads. This is a virtual impossibility for the design specifications of the MMWS-FS, which must be autonomous. Independent construction of such a system is likely to be very costly, especially since design prototypes must be constructed, tested, and graded -- this is not a system that can be "good enough."

    The last system that must be developed is munitions. Although grid coordinates can be used with great effect for deploying frag or thermobaric shells (CEP of 50ft once all calibrations are made), precision-guided munitions would be able to strike specific vehicles, allowing for diversity in payloads; even possibly allowing for HEAT rounds to hit enemy vehicles. A more pertinent problem is that all American 105mm howitzer rounds are separate from their propellants; a round must be created (ideally at Charge 9) that can be fed into an autoloader without coming apart.

    Mobile Modular Weapon System - Anti-Tank (MMWS-AT)

    The MMWS-FS with laser-guided munitions (or even TW-guided munitions) may be able to function in a limited anti-armor role. However, even in a best case scenario it will take multiple direct HEAT hits to disable an enemy armored vehicle, and the MMWS-FS has a limited fire rate of roughly 1 round per 15 seconds. Thus, the MMWS-AT should be able to disable enemy armor faster; ideally within 15 seconds of engaging.

    Option number 1 is some sort of heavy anti-armor cannon. The RG-14, if once could be acquired, would be a reasonable choice; the recoil suppression system in the MMWS-FS could most likely accomodate the RG-14's recoil energy. A more realistic option is the Royal Ordinance L7 105mm rifled cannon. However, there is simply no way a powered armor can handle the L7; the round is over 2 feet long and has massive recoil. In addition, the cannon is over 19 feet long. There is simply no way to fit this gun in a heliborne weapon system.

    A lighter weapon, capable of more rapid fire is also a possibility, since it could do the duty of both antiaircraft and anti-tank. However, this is really unfeasible. 25mm SAPHE ammunition deals 1/3 damage to tanks, rendering even large bursts ineffective.

    The ideal solution is rockets. A HYDRA launcher loaded with APKWS laser-guided missiles can deliver a rapid salvo of indirect fire ordinance on a laser-designated armored target at 7 miles away. The MMWS-AT with HYDRA rockets could dispense all of its payload in 3 melee actions, allowing minimal time for an enemy vehicle to retreat. This sounds effective for both MMWS-FS and MMWS-AT, since it can carry all the same payloads as the M102 howitzer. However, the howitzer can be reloaded with 10-15 rounds by a skilled reloading team, while a HYDRA-70 would be limited to its 7-rocket payload before having to RTB.

    The installation of a HYDRA-70 launcher would be dramatically easier; depending on the onboard computer installed, it may even have basic software to incorporate a system. It would likely only take 20-30 man-hours of work, including electrical. If no software is purchased or available, it would take another 50-60 man-hours of software development.

    Mobile Modular Weapon System - Anti-Aircraft (MMWS-AA)

    The AA system has many logistical challenges. Without a separate radar vehicle, the 1 mile radar is insufficient to track an aircraft. The vehicle will need to be equipped with a large external electronics package; even then, due to the size of the vehicle and its ground position, it would be limited to a 5 mile radar, boosted to 10 miles with a booster antenna. If a Wild Weasel SAMAS could be acquired and reverse-engineered, its electronics package could be used for the MMWS-AA and would be the most ideal option.

    Another option, although it violates the "independent operation" clause, is the use of a nearby radar truck (within 1 mile) which could relay information to the MMWS.

    As mentioned in the MMWS-AT, an autocannon is an ideal solution but it limits the amount of ammunition that can be carried. Because the radio equipment would be mounted on the rear of the MMWS, it would be limited to a revolving drum feed and the payload would be greatly reduced.

    Also due to the radio equipment, anti-aircraft missile launchers (using IRHS) would be difficult to mount. Still, it is plausible to mount up to two 2-shot IRHS mini-missile launchers for a total of 4 shots. These would be reloadable at an ammo truck by crew (possibly a radar truck could hold ammo), making it a good choice. However, since 4 shots is a rather small payload, this limits its use as an autonomous vehicle. If the electronic equipment was removed, a pair of IRHS launchers would be a strong choice.

    Although little has been discussed about a secondary armament, a railgun would be needed for the MMWS-AA. A NG-202 or TX-250 would be more than capable of providing anti-aircraft deterrent fire for low-flying air vehicles and could be used even while the shoulder missiles are being reloaded by crew. A full-sized railgun would not be really feasible for the other models. The FS and AT could be armed with a small railgun, plasma cannon, or similar personal defense weapon instead.

    The 30 minute swap time is pretty impractical for the MMWS-FS, although it could be done with skilled mechanical labor or specialized equipment. The MMWS-AT with HYDRA-70 would also take mechanical labor or Supernatural PS, but could be done relatively quickly. The MMWS-AA with radio equipment would take the longest, while the MMWS-AA without could be mounted in minutes.