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Old 06-20-2021, 11:42 AM   #11
Polkageist
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

There are lots of ways to slice it I think. Making it a conglomeration of advantages glues it to the character and makes it a unique and intrinsic part of them that can't really be replicated elsewhere. I'd envision something like a sailor-moon-esque transformation sequence as the armor assembles itself around the character for a fight.
Statting that out would be more hunting through books that I'm up for at the moment, but it'd be a combination of the following advantages: Damage Reduction, Clairvoyance/audience, Extra Strength, Extra Attack, Sealed (or protected breathing), protected sight/hearing, possibly even Flight of some flavor and/or Enhanced Move. Sum those all up, give it a discount for it being a gadget (and also arcane-powered) that can be stolen or broken, maybe an operational cost in FP.
What it'll come down to is that the "magitech power armor" is a set of advantages and disadvantages that copy what you want.

So building it as a powerful magic artifact is more my speed. I think it lends a little more flexibility to what you can do and makes the pricing of it more customizable.

The first step is to define what we want it to do. That goes for the above as well, so both ways laying out the abilities is going to be key. Looking at what SF power armor does there are a couple iconic things that power should have.

1. Self-powered, i.e. it holds itself up so for its protection it's lighter for the operator.
2. That same strength helps it hit harder as well (SF means bigger guns, Fantasy means a bigger sword)
3. Battle awareness, on-board functions that give the user a better view of the fight. Possibly even an on-board "AI" or armor-spirit that helps out. I dig intelligent items anyway.

A full suit of plate armor is a great place to start so let's make it a monster and use Extra-heavy plate at a whopping DR 8, covering the full body.
Special materials, since this is magical it can't be Meteoric so we could go with Orichalcum which is both pretty and pretty indestructible. This also reduces the apparent weight, but I have a better idea for how to adjust this monster so Oricalchum is kinda optional.
Since this is powered armor, technically the strength of the user shouldn't matter much so while wearing this armor the user's ST is set to 30 (affects damage and lifting, does not affect HP) and move is set to 4 regardless of their value outside of the armor.
Now, let's give it some abilities. A ghost lives in the armor, and can whisper in the ear of the user telling them useful bits of information like "There's someone behind you" or "That acid is eating through me!", that sort of thing.
It should have some built-in spells it can cast, I'll pick three for starters, offensive, defensive, utility.
Offensive: Flame Jet, up to 3d.
Defensive: Shield, 2 DB per energy point up to 4.
Utility: Mage sight
These spells can only be cast using a 10-point (and ONLY a 10-point) powerstone (or mana-stone for being purely consumable) that is socketed into the armor's chest-plate. The powerstone can be swapped out, which is a 5-second action: eject the spent stone, ready a new stone, insert the new stone, and 2 seconds for the new stone to incorporate.

So far we have a suit of armor that is DR8, ST30, Move 4, allows the user to cast some spells with a (semi)consumable resource.
Donning the armor takes ~10 minutes as the user climbs in, performs the necessary rituals and incantations to awaken and attune the armor, etc. Removing it is pretty quick as it'll just spit you out in a couple-three seconds or so.
The armor powers itself by very efficiently consuming the fatigue point reserves from the user. It can also drain from Energy Reserve making a wizard wearing this an especially potent combatant! While wearing this armor, the user loses 1 FP per hour AND they cannot recover FP (or ER) by any means while inside the armor. If they lose enough FP to become unconcious the armor spits them out and goes quiescent. Other models have been known to also consume the life-force of the user, draining HP in addition to (or instead of!) FP. What happens when the user's HP reaches a point where they die is probably best not spoken of.

Sell Price: Six figures, easily
Weight: 70-100lb, or ~50 for the Orichalcum model
Power-item capacity: Invalid, it uses them for fuel
Treasure!
- Acquiring such a thing would be a significant quest, perhaps culminating in defeating the user of this armor as they wear it to combat the adventurers. It's likely one of a kind, but if there are more than one then each one should have its own unique theme. For example replace flame-jet with air-jet and shield with flight and drop DR for a more mobile and scouty suit. No matter what, this isn't an item that can be found in a shop!
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Old 06-20-2021, 12:42 PM   #12
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

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Originally Posted by fdsa1234567890 View Post
Hhow could this be done in a lower tech setting using essentially a magic power source and materials science?
You certainly can do something like fantasy powered armor. It would have been in 1980 or so when i observed to my college room-mate that If I combined magic plate armor, a girdle of giant strength, boots of strding and springing and a necklace of adaptation I'd have a fantasy suit of powered armor.

I was scheming back then on a rocket fueled by a decanter of endless water too.

Perhaps more important than "How"" is "Where?" and the answer is obviously in a setting where enchantment is both powerful and common.

So that's your magic power source with only details dependign on how you decide to do it. Your materials science is that you start out (before enhancement magic) with a high but not impossible degree of mundane armor like DR6 or 7 plate. Or whatever is relatively effective against the weapons that will assault armor like that in your setting.
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Old 06-20-2021, 02:37 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

The most simple solution is to just use the UltraTech armor, and the usual GURPS rules for equipment (Basic Set p27, "Tech Level and Equipment" is the big important box here).

I'll make some assumptions for a worked example: Your game is a TL 4+2 clockpunk world with big "thinking engines" and wind-up trains and dirrigables and whatever; that's TL 6-y. You want an Infantry Combat Walker (TL9, $300,000).

Having a TL 9 item at TL 6 is 8x the base cost - this is ridiculously expensive, so you start looking for corners to cut, and the low-hanging fruit are accessories that are hard to justify at clockpunk. Pull out the biomedical sensors (-200), hyperspectral visor (-2000), and laser comm (-400), along with the ESM (-1000), infrared cloaking (base 1500 but adjusted for SM 2 for -7500), and radar stealth (again, base 1500 adjusted to SM 2 for -7500).

This takes 18, 600 off the base cost, and where we are every dollar counts. Finally, make it Cheap, per UT15, which halves cost, but multiplies weight by 1.5; in this context it's easy to understand, a hyper-efficient steam generator and a coal bin need to be strapped on this thing, after all :P
In this context, I'd say the extra 400 lbs count as non-removable encumbrance for the Walker. A clockpunk walker should be less nimble.

So, $300,000 - $18,600 = $281,400. Halve for Cheap, $140,700. Final step, adjust for "out of TL" x8 cost for $1,125,600.

As a major technomagic item that makes you some sort of terrifying siege golem, that's not bad. You almost certainly need a caddy following in your wake, frantically shoveling more coal in.

Adjust the final step as per usual depending on your local TL, classical "Dungeon Fantasy" tends to oscillate between effective TL 3 to effective TL 6, depending on how common magic is. Since you're talking about powered armor, I assumed more on the common side :)
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Last edited by Bruno; 06-20-2021 at 02:41 PM.
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Old 06-20-2021, 02:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

Another approach is to take just the bare exoskeletons, and slap on some size-appropriate exceedingly heavy plate armor. This will be a much more "budget" powered armor, but might be easier to blend in to your setting, and avoid the DR 200 thing. Don't forget the benefits of "cheap" here :)
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Old 06-20-2021, 06:07 PM   #15
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

I've explored the idea in the past. The basic idea then was to buy whatever you can buy with cash as Signature Gear (like the armor part) and then the rest as Gadget.
Nowadays I would simply treat it as new gear and exercise GM fiat to determine the cost.
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Old 06-20-2021, 06:16 PM   #16
Balor Patch
 
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

The simple approach is probably to buy the effects with Granted by Familiar and/or Gadget limitations.

Using the Allies rules to buy something with no free will is, in my opinion, questionable at best.

As an alternative, it could be fun if the player wants to be the armor and have a Dependent who occupies it.
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Old 06-20-2021, 06:21 PM   #17
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

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Originally Posted by Gnaskar View Post
The more flexible rules for Golems you can find here are a great starting point. Then you combine these with the rules for building vehicles with character points. Give it Payload enough to have a human (or dwarf) inside, add Compartmentalized Mind (Controls) to let your passenger direct you, and then buy IQ down to 0. Note that all of this requires GM permission.

That gives you a basic suit of Fallout 4 style power armor, which just stands dormant when you aren't in it, and which lumbers around slowly when worn. Now if you want to improve it, there are rules for making armors for SM+1 creatures in Low Tech Companion 2 and there's nothing stopping you from putting an iron golem in a suit of heavy full plate...

If you want ironman style sometimes independent suits, just don't buy down the IQ, and you have a golem you can ride when you need to. Build wands into the arms for blasting.
Word of warning the "Golem Construction System for GURPS" article is kind of broken as explained in the GURPSwiki Golems page.

Each 1 character point/2 energy points to enchant

So if you replace the IQ-2 [-40]; Automaton [-85]; Cannot Learn [-30]; Disturbing Voice [-10]; and Reprogrammable [-10] (total [-175]) of the clay golem with IQ 0 [-200]; Compartmentalized Mind 1 (Controls) [25] (total [-175]) part of the vehicle meta-trait the net is [0]

So a normal sized clay golem that you piloted like a mech (or a suit of power armor) would cost 250 energy...the same as a regular golem you ordered around.
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Old 06-20-2021, 06:39 PM   #18
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

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Originally Posted by johndallman View Post
I'd suggest making a hollow metal man, and animating it as a golem. Some development work will be needed to get the size and weight right, and the joints bending in the right places. You'll also want a magical set of senses for the wearer, rather than having them peering through small holes in a very thick helmet.
That was also my thought: in-setting, it works the same way that a golem works. Mechanically, it works however you want it to work.

All the usual practical problems with powered armour, like falling through floors or crashing into doorframes, will go double in a low-tech setting. If it is powered by ambient mana, the logistical problems might not apply (and a low-tech setting probably does not have weapons which can kill anyone who tries flying or jumping around the battlefield!)
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Old 06-20-2021, 08:35 PM   #19
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
All the usual practical problems with powered armour, like falling through floors or crashing into doorframes, will go double in a low-tech setting. If it is powered by ambient mana, the logistical problems might not apply (and a low-tech setting probably does not have weapons which can kill anyone who tries flying or jumping around the battlefield!)
The weight and bulk problems depend significantly on the style. Fantasy power armor could be no heavier or bulkier than a plate harness, with the power-assistive magic adding negligible mass or volume.

On the other hand, if it's not outright self-healing, maintenance logistics may be worse in the fantasy context. If the magical elements can be damaged and that damage needs to be repaired by a mage-armorer that could get a lot more problematic than a high tech military handling damage to a light AFV.
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Old 06-20-2021, 09:24 PM   #20
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: Fantasy powered armor

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The weight and bulk problems depend significantly on the style. Fantasy power armor could be no heavier or bulkier than a plate harness, with the power-assistive magic adding negligible mass or volume.

On the other hand, if it's not outright self-healing, maintenance logistics may be worse in the fantasy context. If the magical elements can be damaged and that damage needs to be repaired by a mage-armorer that could get a lot more problematic than a high tech military handling damage to a light AFV.
I think we might have different visions: my vision of power armour is something that encloses the human body and lets the fighter inside wear more armour and weapons than a human can move on their own (as well as providing its own atmosphere and maybe a means of motion like jump jets or contragravity lift). Its not so much about making the wearer stronger or faster. But that gets back to "if the OP can explain what he wants this power armour to to and what role it should have in the story (standard-issue military kit? unique ensouled creations? something the big bad's bodyguards wear?) the forum might have more suggestions."
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