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Two Heads Are Better Than One (warstriders and monsters)

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  • Two Heads Are Better Than One (warstriders and monsters)

    What if a Warstrider had a cockpit for two pilots at once? Like a Pacific Rim Jaeger.


    Each character piloting the warstrider rolls Join Battle and tracks her own separate Initiative total. Whenever a pilot’s Initiative comes up in turn order, she may use her own traits to perform an action through the warstrider, effectively giving the warstrider multiple turns per round.

    Additionally, the shared body of the warstrider allows one pilot to grant the other pilot the benefits of an ongoing effect that applies directly to the warstrider. For example, while one pilot would be unaffected by her co-pilot's Sensory Acuity Prana Charm, she would enjoy the benefits of her co-pilot's Fivefold Bulwark Stance.

    But the shared body also imposes restrictions that multiple pilots must beware.

    For example, such a warstrider may only benefit from one Martial Arts Form Charm at a time, and such a Charm does not grant the other pilot the Martial Arts Ability rating of the one invoking it. If one pilot is using the Tiger Form Charm, then the other pilot may enjoy its bonus to Rush actions and Disengagement checks, gain the Initiative points paid by an opponent who tries to Disengage, and ignore Evasion penalties from being prone, but she may not make Tiger Style attacks or parries if she lacks the Martial Arts (Tiger Style) Ability, and she may not use Style Charms she does not know.

    (Even if two or more pilots know the Single Point Shining Into The Void Form Charm, the warstrider can only use one instance of the Form at a time, and therefore its sword only gets one Initiative track and action to itself.)

    When an opponent attempts to Disengage from the warstrider, only one pilot may apply their traits to contest it. Similarly, when the warstrider is attacked, only one character may apply their traits to the defense. Because of this, one of the major reasons to feature multiple cockpits in a warstrider is to have one pilot concentrate on offense while the other pilot conserves Willpower and motes for seeing to their mutual defense; pilots may also be intended to specialize their skills for those roles.

    All onslaught penalties suffered by the warstrider apply to any pilot. If one pilot initiates a grapple, the other pilot must deal with the penalties imposed by that clinch or else end the clinch. Similarly, the warstrider will lose the benefits of one pilot’s Full Defense action if the other pilot later performs an action that could not be placed in a flurry with a Full Defense action; one pilot must be careful not to perform actions through the warstrider’s body that would violate the restrictions of his co-pilot’s Charms, when those Charms apply to the warstrider's body. Wise co-pilots coordinate, with the first to act in a round taking an attack action or a restricted action, and the other following with a Full Defense action or a Charm which would not have permitted the restricted action.

    As a clarification, one pilot's sorcery shaping actions are never hindered by the warstrider's actions as performed by a co-pilot.

    Finally, the warstrider can only be in one place at one time. Among the common-sense limitations this imposes, mechanically this means that the warstrider cannot simultaneously target and chase multiple characters with Rush actions, and cannot protect more characters with Defend Other actions than a warstrider of its size already could.


    Warstriders designed to accept or require multiple pilots generally hold the potential for Evocations which can work around the above restrictions.

    For example, something as amazing as using the best combination of the pilots' Dexterity, Brawl, and Strength ratings to deliver the most powerful punch, backed by all compatible Charms the pilots can bring to bear. The native Charms of different forms of Exaltation are not compatible with each other or those of other beings, but a Solar could lend his dice-adding limit to the Martial Arts Combo of his Sidereal co-pilot and perhaps help pay the costs of his co-pilot's Charms.


    At some point, I want someone, somewhere, to have a Gundam Fight against a black-and-white warstrider piloted by a yin-yang pair of Getimian Exalted who are each specialized in a different Style.
    Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 11-25-2017, 11:31 AM.


    formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

  • #2
    Oh, and I think that it would be neat if some kind of spirit or Exalt might have a "possession" Charm which offers similar effects. Two characters fighting through one character's body.


    For those who fear, I don't think this would be an appropriate effect for a hypothetical Lunar Charm that involves growing another head. That would essentially just be granting the Lunar player the ability to act multiple times in a round, and the "independent actions" of the previous two Editions were a bad idea.

    Maybe, at most, a Lunar with snakes for hair or a snake for a tail could approximate something like Single Point Shining Into The Void Style's Form Charm, with the hair-snakes or tail-snake having its own action per round to attack with, but nothing more advanced or complicated. (And that's assuming the effect isn't better represented as an environmental hazard suffered by the first enemy in a round who gets too close to the Lunar.)

    There's also the relatively tame merits afforded to the two-headed buck-ogre.


    formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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    • #3
      What if Alchemical Colossi can get in on this action by installing a cockpit Charm that allows them to take a smaller Champion into their bodies? How does this change things?

      Significantly.

      As before, the Champion creates and maintains his own Initiative, and gets to act through the Colossus' body on his own turn in the round. But in their case, he gets to use her own physical Attribute ratings. Submodules to represent a deeper mental connection between them might allow him to use her Ability, social Attribute, and Mental Attribute ratings.

      Getting to use any of the Colossus’ Charms might be possible, or might not, depending on balance.

      Even using his own Alchemical Charms becomes complicated. The Champion can't personally punch someone with Piston-Driven Megaton Hammer nor dodge an attack with Accelerated Response System.

      A cockpit that leaves the Champion's head exposed, or which can expose the Champion's head at any time, offers the most freedom in terms of social performance, but precious little more in terms of attacking. A Colossus might be able to expose the Champion's arm to allow the Champion to shoot with an integrated Essence cannon, but the Champion won't get much effect out of a Chemical Fog Generator (especially not upgrades which could hurt the Colossus).

      Still, there are a number of Charms that a Champion could still use, and thus allow a Colossus to skimp out on when she wants to focus on loading up more combat Charms.


      The cockpit likely includes a Pacific Rim "drifting" mechanic where the minds of the two Alchemicals are merged. This could let the Champion use social resistance Charms to protect the Colossus from undesirable influences. Being directly inside the Colossus, she's also a captive audience to his own social influence, which he can exercise to remind her of her duties when hypnotic Gremlins manage to poison her mind.

      Being nested within and connected to the Colossus' innards allows the Champion to act as the Colossus' "pocket healer", granting her the benefits of Enshrined Divinity Apparatus to flush out a disease (as their connection causes the Champion to be infected as well), the Beneficence Programming submodule of Body-Reweaving Matrix to affect field-repairs on her giant body from the inside, keep the Colossus fueled with Sustenance Replication Engine, and administer medicines through the Multifunction Hypodermic Apparatus. An upgrade or submodule to Omnitool Implant might allow the Champion to extend his surgical tools through the insides of her body to affect quick repairs.

      A sorcerous Champion could gather sorcerous motes and cast spells from inside the Colossus' protection, or simply gather sorcerous motes for the Colossus to cast her own spells.

      A martial artist Champion could guide the Colossus' body through the motions of a Style she doesn't know.

      The wide range of a Champion's Thermionic Orthodoxy Array would allow him to encase his Colossus within a protective bubble of the Great Maker's law.

      With both Optical Shroud and Hidden Assembly Conclave, the Champion could create an invisibility cloak large enough to hide the Colossus.

      If the cockpit is exposed or allows the Colossus to selectively expose her passenger's head, he can serve as her sensory battery with Charms like Optical Enhancement and Secondary Sensor Upgrades. He could also deploy scouts with Mobile Sensory Drone, and the Clockwork Companion Template submodule of Transcendant Multi-Modal Artifact Matrix.

      There are also a few "thinking" Charms like Anticipatory Simulation Engine, Imprinted Data Cluster, and Clarified Data Assimilator.

      .
      Last edited by Sunder the Gold; 11-29-2017, 04:06 PM.


      formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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      • #4
        Does anyone have any feedback on how they feel about these ideas, or how balanced any of the details seem to be?


        formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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        • #5
          Here's a video with all of the cutscenes from Titanfall 2, for anyone who wants to see or remember how Cooper's relationship with BT-7242 could be inspirational for the partnership of a fresh Champion and a Colossus with mid-to-high Clarity.



          formerly Tornado Wolf, formerly Inugami

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