GIWTR 01 – A Mecha in King Arthur’s Court – Part 3 – Mecha Design Continued – The Pendragon

pendragon

So in the last post I took a look at the MZ+ MTS and used it to design an “Average” Knight Armour. This time I’m going to design something more unique and more specialised. The Pendragon, the personal Knight Armour of the Strong Arm King Uther Pendragon.

I started the last Knight Armour design by listing a set of concepts/rules that applied to all (well the majority) of Knight Armours. However during the course of constructing The Sweord some of those changed and so I’m going to restate the general concepts here.

  • Main armament consists of a non-energy melee weapon(s), an energy lance and a shield
  • Majority of KA’s carry at least one form of ranged weaponry. But its used either as a last resort (by cowards) or for utility/recreational hunting (rules wise any Glory earned while using a ranged weapons is reduced by 90%)
  • KA’s have enough room in the cockpit for a pilot and one passenger
  • EW is more or less non-existent
  • Advanced movement systems such as flight or gravimetrics are unavailable
  • KA’s require no fuel, legends say they are powered by the hearts of dragons
  • Knights control their KA’s via thought, this allows them an unmatched degree of control but at the risk of suffering along with their armour (Subject to change)
  • KA’s can repair any damage they sustain, even replacing expended ammunition. This doesnt occur fast enough to be useful in combat. They can only do so when their pilot is inside (The last part is subject to change – basically the thought control feedback and the pilot inside requirements are an attempt to emulate the downtime being wounded creates in Pendragon)
  • No one knows how the KA’s function and as such cant repair or modify them in any large way (swapping armaments is generally as far as it goes). Even if someone did understand they couldnt do anything about it as the world lacks the industrial infrastructure to create parts. Legends tell that faerie smiths under the hill have created Armour for those lucky or unlucky enough to come upon them and willing to pay their price. It’s also said that Merlin understands the KA’s, as he understands all things.
  • KA’s are humanoid in form

Ok with that out of the way its on to designing the Pendragon. Apart from the Fey and some hidden gems the Pendragon is more or less the pre-eminent Knight Armour during the Uther period. MK suggests that 400+ CP for the kind of mecha “a king, prince or hero would pilot”. I think I’ll try aiming for

1. Concept

The Pendragon is Uthers personal Knight Armour and is one of the most powerful Knight Armours active in the world today. Its armament and design perfectly encapsulate Uther’s all out approach to battle. It’s lack of even a backup projectile weaponry is testament to both Uther’s skill and his glory. Uther also has the option of using the Royal Knight Armour Caliburn but refuses to in deference to his deceased brother (and because the Pendragon suits him so well).

The Pendragon is tough but its main advantages are its maneuvarability and its sheer offensive power.

2. Construct a Frame

2a Choose Body Form

Humanoid

2b Buy Servos

The Pendragon is a heavier KA than something like the Sweord so I’m going to go with a mix of Medium Heavy and Armoured Heavy Servos.

Servo            Class           Cost/Space/Kills

Torso Servo      Medium Heavy    16
Head Servo       Medium Heavy    8
Right Arm Servo  Armoured Heavy  10
Left Arm Servo   Armoured Heavy  10
Right Leg Servo  Medium Heavy    9
Left Leg Servo   Medium Heavy    9

I went with heavier/bigger servos on the arms in order to give them a higher base damage and to increase the spaces available for the hand so bigger weapons can be used.

2c Wheels and Treads

None

2d Buy armour

While I went with a mix of servos I’m going to use just the one armour type to cover them, in this case Medium Heavy armour which costs 8 CP per servo. I’m also going to use a better armour type than the stuff on the Sweord, in this case the Beta (b) armour type which has a cost multiplier of x1.5.

SO adding all that up our basic frame comes in at 138 CP. Looking ahead just adding the Thought Control and Regeneration system will push that to 241. Coming in under the budget of 400 CP may be tough.

3. Choose your weapons

The Pendragon is all about blades, blades, blades. Uther refuses to use or equip a shield, lance or projectile weapon.The Pendragon has six main blades, three mounted on the head (the crest blade and two “ponytail” blades), one on each forearm and one handheld.

At this point I ran into a little problem, well two little problems. The first is that hand-held weapons dont benefit from armour, what does that mean? Well weapons that are fitted into spaces on a servo are treated as having the same armour as the armour on that servo (in this case say for example the arm blades would have medium heavy armour). This makes handheld weapons a lot easier to break than other weapons. Not a huge issue really though. The second problem is a bit more of a problem, the way parrying with melee weapons works in MZ is that each time you parry your parrying weapon takes damage and also does less damage, melee weapons can take as much damage as they can dish out. So in this example lets say our main sword does 6 Kills, that means it can also only take 6 kills worth of damage and could parry 6 times before being reduced to 0 kills and being destroyed. This is actually a bit of a problem as dramatic sword on sword clashes are approriate for both the Arthurian mythos and big mecha fights. So its time to bust out some houseruling.

“If the damage of the parried attack is less than the Kills rating of the parrying melee weapon, the parrying weapon loses no Kills. If the parried attack does damage equal to or greater than the parrying weapon’s Kills, the weapon loses 1 Kill. EMW count their Kills as 2 higher for the purpose of determining parry damage if parried by a non-EMW”

3a Build Weapons

Crest Blade

This blade can temporarily be energised, engulfed in a red field of baleful energy that cuts through anything it touches. It can also be used in its unpowered state.

One thing I think is a little lacking in the MTS is the ability to mix elements of EMW (Energy Melee Weapons) in with normal weapons and shields. There are of course workarounds, buy both a powered and unpowered version – which is exactly what I’m going to do here. That does mean its going to take up more spaces than it should, but I’ll adress that if it becomes an issue.

So the Crest Blade – Powered Version will do 5 Kills of Damage (5 CP) with an accuracy of +0 (x0.9) and is useable for one turn (x0.3) for a total cost of 1.35 CP. Actually considering that spaces used = cp cost and limited turns gives such a big discount it may be ok to simply count the spaces of both versions.

Anyhow, Crest Blade – Normal Version will do 5 Kills of Damage (2.5 CP) with an accuracy of +0 (x1.0)

After finishing designing all the weapons I actually came across two ways to mix elements of EMW in with normal weapons and shields. Energy Pools (and the Morphable extra) and Weapon Mating. However as I want the powered version of the Crest Blade to be limited use Weapon Mating is the most suitable choice here. Weapon Mating is “free”, you just have to put up with the inherent disadvantages of having two weapons in one (the main one being that they both take damage and are destroyed as one). Weapon Mating does give a nice space reduction though, you sum the spaces of the various sub-weapons (in this case 3.85) and divide by 1.33 which gives us a final space of 2.9 for the Crest Blade

Ponytail Blade

Despite their rigid appearance these blades are extremely flexible and can used like razor sharp whips.

The ‘Tail Blades will do 4 Kills of Damage (2 CP) with an accuracy of +0 (x1.0) and will allow the user to Entangle opponents (x1.25) for a total cost of 2.5

Arm Blades

The Arm Blades do 5 Kills of damage (2.5 CP), have an accuracy of +0 (x1.0) but are Quick (x2.0). Being Quick means they can be used to attack twice in a single action.

Caladbolg

The Pendragon’s main blade, a gift to Uther from Merlin.

This is the Pendragon’s big selling point and as such its worth going all-out on it. As it’s basically a mecha sized bastard/great-sword its going to be designed to be used two handed (i.e. designed so the hands spaces will need to be combined to use it). So that will be 8 Kills of damage (8 CP) at +1 Accuracy (x1.5) and with Armour Piercing (x2.0) – AP is a pretty powerful ability that halves any armour being attacked. While theyre more or less non-existent during the current era I also want Caladbolg to be able to cut through any type of shield so I’m also adding the Disruptor (x2.0) attribute which basically extends its armour piercing abilities to energy shields as well.

That actually ramps the price up to a stonking 24, which is actually too “big” to be wielded, even two handed. Which means it’s going to need to be “Space Efficiency-ed” (i.e. I’m going to pay to reduce the size). Thinking about it I’d also sort of like The Pendragon to be able to use it one handed as well. The way Space Efficiency works is that you pay 0.5 CP to reduce the Space by 1. So at a bare minimum this is going to need to be reduced down to 20, so thats 4 CP. Ah fuck it, lets reduce it all the way down to 10, so thats 7 CP in total.

So the final cost of Caladbolg is 31 CP, a fitting cost for a legendary blade.

Dragon Claws

One little finishing touch to go and then we’re done with weapon design. As I mentioned when running through the Sweords design arms come without hands and hands are created like weapons. Specifically Damage 1, Accuracy +0, “Handy”, “Quick” weapons which cost 2 CP and take up 1 space. I wanted the Pendragon to have slightly stronger “claws”. Just bumping the damage up also increases the amount of spaces so that needs some space efficiency, which means each hand now costs 4 CP.

3b Do they fit

Crest Blade – Due to weapons mating they fit easily enough in the head
Ponytail Blades – Technically these should probably go in the head, but I’m going to take the spaces out of the torso for them, even then theyre a little bit bigger than I’d like so I’m going to apply some space efficiency to bring their spaces down from 2.5 to 0.5, which costs an extra 1 CP per blade.
Arm Blades – These take up 5 out of each each arms 10 spaces, which feels like a lot but I dont really see anything else going into the arm so I’ll leave them for now
Caladbolg – Thanks to the massive space efficiency on it this fits into either hands 10 spaces
Dragon Claws – Take up 1 space on each arm, no problems there.

4. Consider Shields

Uther refuses to use a shield so one isnt commonly equipped (though the Pendragon is of course capable of using any standard KA shield)

5. Buy Crew and Sensors

Well the basic cockpit is free and takes up 1 space. Its going in the torso and I’m expanding it so it can hold two additional people, for a total cost of 2 CP and 3 Spaces (good thing I slimmed down those ponytail blades or the torso would be getting rather full).

For sensors again I’m just going to take the basic sensor suite appropriate to the KA’s classification, in this case a Medium Heavy sensor suite which costs 16 CP and takes up 1 space.

6. Buy other additive systems

Again the Pendragon, like the majority of KA, doesnt have any EW capabilities. I’m also going to add the same small extras as the Sweord, a Liftwire (0.3 CP) and Escape Pod (2 CP, 1 Space – Torso)

7. Figure base weight

At this point the Pendragon weighs 75.5, which is a bit more than I want it to. At this step we’d also take a look at fuel but like other KA’s the Pendragon doesnt need any.

8. Weight efficiency

I didn’t bother with weight efficiency for the Sweord but I’m going to do so with the Pendragon. A mecha’s overall weight is used to determine its MA (Movement Allowance) and MV (Maneuverability). I want both to these to be fairly high for the Pendragon so one easy way to do so is to reduce the weight. However it’s not cheap, costing 2 CP/-1 Ton. The cost is applied last of all. At the moment the Pendragon costs 211.85 CP, I’m going to allocate 34 CP for weight efficiency, which brings the weight down to 58.5, (slightly lighter than the Sweord in fact).Most importantly down below 60 which pushes it into a smaller weight class in terms of calculating MA and MV.

9. Flight and other propulsion systems

Like most KA the Pendragon has no special propulsion systems.

10. Figure Base Cost

Well at this point the base cost is 211.85, 245.85 if the weight efficiency cost is applied

11. Choose multiplier systems

11a. Choose powerplant

While using the same standard powerplant as other KA’s the Pendragons is overcharged, giving it a +1 MA/MV bonus for a multiplier cost of 0.15 (overcharged) (and also technically x1.0 for using a standard powerplant)

11b. Buy cockpit controls

No need for cockpit controls when you have THOUGHT CONTROL!..ahem

11c. Maneuver Verniers / 11d. Environment protection / 11e. Transformers and Combiners

No MV’s as theyre very expensive and I think the MV is ok as it is. No environmental controls (not least because KA’s generally operate only in temperate environments). And while it should clearly transform into a dragon, it wont, so nothing here.

11f. Other multiplier systems

Just like the other KA’s we’re adding in Thought Control (x0.5) and Regeneration (x0.25)

12. Calculate your mechas multiplied cost

Well theres goes our budget, with the multipliers in place the Pendragon costs 436.5 CP’s. Which to be honest I’m fairly happy with, 400 CP+ is, as mentioned at the beginning, the kind of range this thing should fit into. I didnt want it to be too “super” though so just a bit over is fine with me.

13. Overview Mecha

I’d wanted to add some command armour to the Pendragon but looking at the current cost I’m not going to (I also sort of want Command Armour to be a Saxon thing)

14. Figure stats

As I mentioned last time I used an excel sheet that I found online to calculate these values, however I noticed this time that the excel sheet fails to take into accounts the bonuses for Thought Control systems. Which is a bit of a problem as theyre a) pretty good and b) pretty expensive. So I guess its back to calculating these manually. Here again the irritation of having the MTS split across the MZ core rules and the MZ+ book rears its heads. I mean having to look up a few tables in a separate book is literally the worse thing in the world.

Anyhow, a weight of 58.5 gives a base MA of 4 Hexes, MV of -5 and no bonuse to the MP (Maneuver Pool). Our Overcharged Powerplant gives a +1 bonus to both MA and MV so that brings them to 5 and -4 respectively. At this point I realised I could just simply update the excel sheet to properly account for Thought Control, which I did, but anyhow. Thought Control gives a flat +2 bonus to MV, a +67% bonus to MP and a +1 to WA (Weapon Accuracy). So our final stats are MA 5, MV -2, MP +67% (And all weapons +1 WA)

15. Buy command armour / 16. Scale as appropriate / 17. Remotes

Cant really afford command armours, dont need to scale and dont want remotes

18. Finishing touches

Nothing much to do here. Actually what I need to do is put together a slightly modified mecha character sheet so I can use all these stats in play.

So thats a basic KA and a top of the line KA, next I’m going to put together some stuff for those KA’s to knock the shit out off, specifically the Saxons.

Vent your spleen

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