Limitless Worlds

Limitless Worlds

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Hard Day's Knight: Deadlands Hell on Earth Reloaded Powered Armor

"It's the Iron Alliance,
not the Brotherhood of Steel! It's totally different!"
So the Companion for Hell on Earth Reloaded got released yesterday, and while it's awesome, it doesn't contain rules for bionics or power armor. Well let's fix that! Below are my mechanics to implementing power armor into the game, but you must have access to the Savage Worlds Sci-fi Companion to use the power armor construction rules in there. Don't worry, scrappers are coming soon.

I've Been Working Like A Dog

Power armor is expensive, rare, but damn powerful. Though power armor can blow a hole through most anything, it is often used to combat the automatons of Throckmorton’s army.  Power armor pilots are often called “robohunters” or even “knights,” named after the famous group of wandering power armor soldiers called the Steel Knights.

Power armor, and its mods, outside of a Steel Knight base is Rare, with light models costing $5,000, medium costing $10,000 and heavy costing $20,000 (1/100th of the price listed in the Sci-fi Companion). Mods for the armor run at about half the listed price in the SFC.  If you do manage to find a Steel Knight base, and good luck, most armor and mods are usually Scarce. Power armor mod installation works as described in the SFC.

Power armor is complicated to put on and assemble, and takes roughly 5 minutes to put on. The knight can get out of the suit in roughly half that amount of time. Power armor is sized for humans, so cyborgs can generally not wear them. Also note that the default armor bonus for power armor is not considered Heavy Armor.

The only mod that requires modification is Armor, which adds +2 Armor when it is taken the first time. It can be taken a second time by Medium and Heavy armor, but this instead means the power armor is now considered Heavy Armor.

If you are ever Incapacitated while wearing your power armor, some vital system in the circuits has been damaged, leaving the armor useless until it is repaired. This repair requires 1d6 hours, a successful Repair roll, and a number of Components equal to the Mods on the armor.

It's Worth It Just to See Oil Spray

Power armor operates on 'Power,' which is a number that represents the power the armor can expend. Non-modified power armor will have a Power of 72, and once it reaches zero, the armor shuts down until it can be recharged. Using only its default features like the radio and HUD, armor depletes Power by 1 for every hour of use. However, any taxing usage of the armor’s system will deplete 1 Power per scene outside of battle. Some ‘sustained’ abilities, like flight or stealth systems, suck up one Power for every 10 minutes of use (or portion of 10 minutes). A prolonged battle, such as in mass combats, will take the 10 minute charge. Be advised that Power stacks; using both flight and stealth systems at the same time, for example, will cost 2 Power for every 10 minutes.

Battles work differently. If you use a power suit's system in a battle, such as firing an integrated weapon or using a jump pack, that depletes 1 Power, but only on the first use of the system in a battle. Later usage in the same battle doesn't suck up more Power, as the suit's systems have already routed energy there. 

For example, if on one round you fire a weapon mount and use your jump pack, that takes up 2 Power. On subsequent rounds, if you use either the weapon or the jump pack, or both, you don't spend any additional Power. However, if you activate your magnetic boots in a later round, that sucks up another Power for a total of 3.

For "always on" modifications, like Strength Enhancement or Pace, they can be turned "off" to conserve power, reverting the character's stats to normal until they are reactivated. The Armor mod does not consumer Power, as it is purely physical.

For power armor to recharge, your knight needs access to either ghost rock or spook juice. Power armors have an internal battery that can be fueled by either of these substances, given enough time. One pound of ghost rock or 16 gallons of spook juice provide a full Power of 72 (if no battery mods are present), but the armor must be powered down for a half-hour for every ounce or gallon consumed in order for the power armor to properly process it. A full charge thus takes about 8 hours, meaning most brainers charge their armor while sleeping.

Rarely, you may find an old power armor reactor, which were usually installed in combat vehicles to service Steel Knights on the field. These can bring a power armor up to full charge in minutes, though most have been lost to time.

You Know I Feel Okay

In an emergency, power armor can integrate with live wires or industrial batteries to gain a temporary boost to their batteries. The source must be powerful enough (like a full car battery, a live power line, or a huge generator) and the pilot must make a Smarts roll. On a success, the armor absorbs 1 to 3 (your choice) temporary Power, and 1 - 6  (your choice) on a raise. This temporary Power is on top of existing Power, so a fully charged suit that ‘overcharges’ could have 78 Power. On a failure, nothing happens, but on a crit failure, the pilot gets electrocuted for 2d6 damage. 

This power jacking can only be used once before the armor’s circuits have to cool down, which takes a number of shut-off hours equal to half the Power absorbed. Note that this temporary Power can’t be saved during shut-off; it simply vents out.

Starting With Armor

Robohunter - Background Edge
Novice, Repair d6+, Fighting d6+

You have somehow come into the possession of a suit of power armor. Maybe you found it, or perhaps you are a former (or current) Steel Knight.

You start with a suit of Light power armor, though it does not possess any mods.

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