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Old 08-31-2017, 07:27 PM   #1
Kfireblade
 
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Default Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

I'm going to be trying to run a campaign set in the battletech universe and I'm wondering if anyone has any good ideas for building the Mechs in GURPS?
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:37 PM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Kfireblade View Post
I'm going to be trying to run a campaign set in the battletech universe and I'm wondering if anyone has any good ideas for building the Mechs in GURPS?
After many, many considerations of the question I think the best ides to convert the mechs and still have them look like the original mechs is to build them as characters and use the Weapon Mount feature to hang the cannon class weapons from UT on them.

The advantages of this method would be the potentially great diversity of sizes, armor totals, movement rates and other stats. Other possibilities such as using Spaceships would have much less diversity and fidelity.

Possibly even simpler is to simply convert BT stats to Gurps stats while leaving any design system out of things.

The main conversion issue is that AP warheads (and particularly HEAT types) do not do in Battletech what they do in Gurps which is penetrate massive quantities of armor. When using the chargen system this can be represent by many layers of the Hardened Advantage (possibly as many as 4) with the Ablative or Semi-Ablative Limitations.
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

I know a few folks are fond of running mech fights in their native system and the rest of the game in gurps.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:11 PM   #4
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I know a few folks are fond of running mech fights in their native system and the rest of the game in gurps.
That leaves you with all the problems of the original system. Such as mechs v. non-megh units.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

I would probably use the BT mech creation system and figure out a conversion from those stats to GURPS stats. Something like this:
  • Use the decade damage scale (1dHP = 10 HP)
  • Rule 1 point of BT internal structure is 5 dHP
  • Use BT armor values and say they are all semi-ablative DR
  • Use hit locations as normal in GURPS
  • Convert BT speeds in hexes/turn to yards/second
  • Generate GURPS stats for all the BT weapons; i.e. say an AC2 is: dmg 2d(3), acc 4, range 3000/10000, ROF 8, etc. Here you can either try to closely follow the BT stats, or make stats more in line with Ultratech.
  • You might want to say vehicular combat takes place on a larger scale with longer turns, like spaceship combat in GURPS Traveller, but figuring all that out could be a lot of work.
Now that will be some work, and afterwards you will have to look at the numbers to make sure there is some balance.
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Old 09-01-2017, 05:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

I've run a Mecha game in GURPS 4e - using 5m tall Heavy Gear style mecha, not 12m tall Battletech style mecha, but I think the principles are pretty much the same.

My house rules from that campaign are below. You might want to adjust the scale: I was using MapTools to run the game online, so having 300 hexes on map was no big deal. Most of the rules are just clarifications on the existing rules for vehicle combat in GURPS Basic chapters 12, 13, and 17.

Terrain
'Mech scale combat occurs on maps using 5 yard hexes at rates of 1 second per action.

Trees are concealment, not cover, especially against large weapons. Every 5 yard hex of forest imposes a -2 penalty on attack rolls. This penalty is halved against SM+0 targets or the legs of SM+2 or more targets (since you're not firing through as much of the branches). Modifiers are cumulative.

Movement
'Mech scale combat occurs on maps using 5 yard hexes at rates of 1 second per action.

For simplicity, any large vehicle or giant that is moving on its legs is treated as a very large SM+0 character: they can accelerate to their maximum Move in a single action, or decelerate from their maximum Move to a dead stop just by not moving forward any more. They can also make tight turns, turning up to 180 degrees as part of a step or paying 5 MP per hexside change as part of a move action. They can move into any of their front 3 hexes, and turn to face the right and left front hexes as they enter them for free.

It costs 10 MP to enter a 5 yard hex of forest.

Control Rolls
A control roll is made against Driving (Mech) + Mech Handling - (Current Move MPs/10).

Failing a control roll in a turn causes a skid, so the 'Mech turns the way it intended but spends half of its current Move MPs moving in the old direction. Otherwise, failing a control causes the 'mech to randomly move 5 yards to the left or right or other movement as appropriate. Failing a control roll by more than the 'mech's stability rating also causes it to fall down down (and crash if it was moving at any speed, taking damage as though it collided with the earth).

Attacking
'Mechs have stabilized weapons and can Move and Aim. They still lose their Aim bonus if they make a defense roll, fail a control roll, or get hit by an attack that either does damage or knockback.

Attack and Piloting rolls during a Move and Attack maneuver are at -2 if the 'mech moves in anything other than a completely straight line or has to make any Control rolls. There is no penalty to attack or Control rolls made during an All Out Attack maneuver.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:25 PM   #7
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

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Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
I know a few folks are fond of running mech fights in their native system and the rest of the game in gurps.
That's what I did many years ago based on an article in Roleplayer #19. It was a fun game since the players were familiar with both systems.
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Old 09-06-2017, 11:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

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I know a few folks are fond of running mech fights in their native system and the rest of the game in gurps.
I for sure do not want to use the original system
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

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Originally Posted by Kfireblade View Post
I for sure do not want to use the original system
Then it really depends. Are you looking for the flavor of BattleTech, or just using the 'Mech names?

If you're just using 'Mech names, just build them out of Spaceships and be done with it. If you want the flavor . . . well, that's going to be a massive investment of time on your part. Most of us who have used GURPS to run a BattleTech game have done so by using the original system to keep from having to re-invent the wheel. The BattleTech system works and that's where most of the flavor comes from.

First, You'll want to pick a scale (I always recommend C-scale for 'Mechs, it makes them, generally, superior to tanks and the numbers don't get too high) and build out all of the weapons.

Then, you'll have to decide on how you want to do 'Mech armor. Is it by location, like in BattleTech or is it by facing, like GURPS? Probably the latter, since you don't want to use BattleTech. Also, you'll have to determine if you want the armor to be ablative, semi-ablative or normal. All have advantages and weaknesses. How much and in what location will all have to be determined and tweaked. Extensive play-testing will be a must.

Additionally, you'll have to invent, whole-cloth a mechanic for heat. That's something GURPS has never used. I've tried a few times and never had any decent success. This was the most recent attempt I made (link to local Denver GURPS Board), but didn't get to far.

Based out of GURPS 'Mechs will be incredibly fragile: The old hammer and eggshell problem. So, you'll have to come up with a way to mitigate that. A 100-ton Atlas would have 234 HP (a T-72 has 176 HP), if you calculated from its total weight. But GURPS says from empty weight, which is going to be problematic to generate for every 'Mech.

So, the AS7-D Atlas, from 3025, carries 36 tons of weapons. Utilizing that, the "empty weight" would be 64 tons, meaning it would only have 202 HP.

Since 'Mechs are built with a target weight in mind, and aren't built to carry a payload (unless you're dealing with OmniMechs), it seems logical to use their final weight. For Omnis, I'd actually suggest using their empty weight as that seems to be a nice weakness for them to have to deal with.

Strengths generated from the HP value would inflict anemic melee damage compared to the BattleTech counterparts. The Atlas would only inflict 24d in a punch or kick, which at C-Scale would be, 1d-3. That's not a punch, it's a gentle caress. An average kick wouldn't penetrate the side armor of a T-72, nor move it. At best, the kick would be able to inflict 1 point of cDamage through the side armor (and inflict a major wound). While realistic, this isn't a BattleTech result.

Using BattleTech numbers, the Atlas would kick for a massive 20 points of cDamage, blowing through the T-72's impressive frontal cDR of 12, and reducing its 2 cHP to -6 cHP (-3x HP), likely destroying it.
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Old 09-07-2017, 12:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Battletech/Mechwarrior mechs in GURPS

I'm not super-familiar with the Battletech setting, so I can't help with direct conversions. However, for a system to do those conversions, you might want to check out the system in the article "Modular Mecha", in Pyramid #3/51, Tech and Toys III. It's designed specifically for mechs, so it's got a bit finer granularity than using the Spaceships setting. Comparing the 'Mech classes on the wiki I found, it looks the three categories of mechs in the article, Light, Medium, and Heavy, correspond reasonably well to the Battlemech categories of the same names. You'll have to come up with extrapolations for Assault and Superheavy 'mechs, but that shouldn't be too difficult, I'd think.
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