Any Battletech/MechWarrior Adaptations out There?

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kronovan
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Any Battletech/MechWarrior Adaptations out There?

Postby kronovan » Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:47 pm

Hello everyone, 1st time posting here.

I've been a GM of A Time of War (Battletech RPG) for the past few years and finally came to the conclusion that I really don't enjoy GMing those rules. My group of players and I also tried the recently released Mechwarrior Destiny, but that was even less to our tastes. Some of my Battletech players are also in MgT campaigns and are fans of the rules, so that's got me slowly adapting Battletech's Inner Sphere verse to MgT 2.0. My efforts also involves adapting it to the MgT 2 ruleset for Fantasy Grounds. I've made some good progress and are at the point of adapting Mechs to Walkers, which is quite a task even though I'm trying to only adapt them on an as needed basis.

So...I'm wondering if any MgT Referee might have attempted something similar - particularly the different Mechs?
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Ursus Maior
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Re: Any Battletech/MechWarrior Adaptations out There?

Postby Ursus Maior » Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:19 pm

I haven't first hand experience per se, but before MW:Destiny hit, I was toying with the idea of getting into either Traveller (MgT2) or modify the old MechWarrio 2nd edition rules for my liking. Essentially, those were 2d6 rules with some 3d6 rolls used in special situations. As such, they were extremely compatible with the boardgame and the contemporary rules of Classic Traveller.

As Mongoose's rules are close to CT and use mostly 2d6, conversions aren't a problem, really. BattleTech still is a 2d6 game and you mostly use two skills: gunnery and piloting for your respective vehicle. Mongoose rules support this by means of skills like Drive (Walker) and Heavy Weapon (Vehicle). If you want it easy, you should be able to grab some of the old MW2 rulebooks (rulebook and companion being the best choice, some of the publications are available on DriveThruRPG and Ebay) and convert the material necessary. You might want to fork of careers for specialty service branches, such as MechWarriors, battlesuit pilots etc., but the big chunk would be doing conversions of ships and mechs or vehicles. Personally, I would advise against that, in my eyes, it's not worth the hassle. Just use the BattleTech buidling systems as neither system (Traveller or BT) is too deeply routed in the main rules.

So, let's say you're rolling up a MechWarrior and he comes out with gunnery and piloting both at level 2, an average trained professional level. That would somehow have to be comparable to an average BattleTech pilot with gunnery 4+ and piloting 5+. But translated into BattleTech lore and rules, this is more like a +5/+5, given that a MechWarrior will probably also have above average (9+) DEX and INT. So, the remaining difference would have to come from somewhere else, likely equipment. You could create rules for the neuro-helmet for that, which should give a +1/+1. This would be in the range of augmentations found in the Central Supply Catalogue, i. e. the Cockpit Sensory Suite (p. 90, TL9) and the Nerve-plug Response Rig (p. 91, TL13), which give DM+1 to all Pilot, Drive, Flyer and Seafarer checks and DM+2 to all DEX checks made, respectively. Personally, I would go with making a neuro-helmet an external response rig, which is only half as good, since it's not in implant. This would leave room for a full response rig used by ProtoMech pilots.

Everythign else would be icing on the cake, so to speak. The Traveller j-drive and a BattleTech j-drive work different, sure, but that's more an in-game effect, and BattleTech gives you rules for building all its stuff. Traveller remains highly generic and the 2d6 system is very adaptable.

Those were my ideas from around a two years ago. :)
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Re: Any Battletech/MechWarrior Adaptations out There?

Postby kronovan » Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:33 pm

Many thanks for the feedback and suggestions Ursus Maior - much appreciated.

I hear you on MechWarrior 2. I have that ruleset too and liked most things about it, but didn't care for how INTuition gave a big boost to PCs stats and liked even less how players exploited that. I did like the character archetypes for that edition. I'd have to say, that were I to uses those rules again, that there'd need to be a lot of house rules.
Ursus Maior wrote:
Sun Jan 03, 2021 3:19 pm
Personally, I would advise against that, in my eyes, it's not worth the hassle. Just use the BattleTech buidling systems as neither system (Traveller or BT) is too deeply routed in the main rules.
I'm not sure you're suggesting this with your comment, but Something I should probably mention is that I'm not keen on using the Battletech Total Warfare rules for combat. In my recent A Time of War campaign I've actually been using the Alpha Strike rules for combat encounters. The reason my group and I migrated to those, is because it's possible to do more than just a single combat encounter in a 4 hour game session. Whereas with the TW rules (or even the core AtoW rules), that encounter would take up the entire session leaving no time for exploration or roleplaying encounters - the latter being things my group of players enjoy. That got me looking at the possibility of using MgT 2 vehicle/mech combat rules which seem to be more in line with the crunch of AS. Something else...my campaign will be run online via Fantasy Grounds, so I'd be restricted to using the MgT 2 rules for vehicle building and stats. Were it to be a real world tabletop campaign, it would be a different story.
So, let's say you're rolling up a MechWarrior and he comes out with gunnery and piloting both at level 2, an average trained professional level. That would somehow have to be comparable to an average BattleTech pilot with gunnery 4+ and piloting 5+. But translated into BattleTech lore and rules, this is more like a +5/+5, given that a MechWarrior will probably also have above average (9+) DEX and INT. So, the remaining difference would have to come from somewhere else, likely equipment. You could create rules for the neuro-helmet for that, which should give a +1/+1. This would be in the range of augmentations found in the Central Supply Catalogue, i. e. the Cockpit Sensory Suite (p. 90, TL9) and the Nerve-plug Response Rig (p. 91, TL13), which give DM+1 to all Pilot, Drive, Flyer and Seafarer checks and DM+2 to all DEX checks made, respectively. Personally, I would go with making a neuro-helmet an external response rig, which is only half as good, since it's not in implant. This would leave room for a full response rig used by ProtoMech pilots.
This is terrific feedback. While I'm familiar with how to convert AtoW's Gunnery and Piloting skills to TW's Piloting and Gunnery and to AS's single unified skill, I haven't figured it all out for MgT 2. I also did something equivalent for the Savage Worlds RPG, as I ran a short campaign using the fan-made Savage Battletech adaptation.
Everythign else would be icing on the cake, so to speak. The Traveller j-drive and a BattleTech j-drive work different, sure, but that's more an in-game effect, and BattleTech gives you rules for building all its stuff. Traveller remains highly generic and the 2d6 system is very adaptable.
I'm an adherent to the "don't convert the rules, convert the flavor" mantra, so I'm in an agreement with all that. TBH I'm content with even using Drive (Walker) and Heavy Weapon (Vehicle) for a MechWarrior's skills and I know my group of players would be too. As I'm restricted to working with the MgT 2 ruleset for Fantasy Grounds, I'm going to have to make some compromises. As I mentioned in the OP though, from my early explorations using those rules seems very doable.
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Re: Any Battletech/MechWarrior Adaptations out There?

Postby Ursus Maior » Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:27 pm

Glad to be of service, BT/MW is a great universe and Traveller has a splendid rule-system. I understoot that you used Alpha Strike, but also tinkered with MW: Destiny. How did you like the Mech combat rules in MW: Destiny? Could they be a compromise between MW2 and Alpha Strike?
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Re: Any Battletech/MechWarrior Adaptations out There?

Postby kronovan » Mon Jan 04, 2021 4:49 pm

Ursus Maior wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:27 pm
Glad to be of service, BT/MW is a great universe and Traveller has a splendid rule-system. I understoot that you used Alpha Strike, but also tinkered with MW: Destiny. How did you like the Mech combat rules in MW: Destiny? Could they be a compromise between MW2 and Alpha Strike?
My group and I didn't tinker with MW:D combat, as it was the beta and we wanted are play to be a true test or the rules. MW:D uses abstracted range bands for movement and shooting, which IMO make things more awkward than the equivalent in MgT 2 - and Savage Worlds for that matter. Then if you break out miniatures (who wouldn't for Mech combat in an official Battletech RPG?) the rules keeps Mechs so close on the tabletop that it makes using existing BT/TW maps difficult. I'm not a fan of range bands unless there's an implicit reason for having them, but they're at the very core of combat in MW:D. An equally undesirable feature of that RPG though, is that it has character traits solely for fluff and don't impact game play. If the GM runs things in a highly narrative way those traits could, but it's supposed to be a Battletech RPG not FATE.

Bottom line, I much prefer Alpha Strike combat to MW:D and even preferred the combat in Savage Battletech, which is a hybrid of Savage Worlds+Total Warfare. As I said above, due to using the Fantasy Grounds VTT, I'm restricted to using the MgT 2 rules for Mech/Walker and vehicle combat. Not a problem because I like the way those rules play, but using them does require some effort adapting BT Mechs to the MgT 2 vehicle (actually called Craft in FG MgT 2) sheet. Hence my question if anyone else has ever attempted such an adaptation.

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