Battle dress. Who has it?

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MonkeyX
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Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby MonkeyX » Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:41 pm

So my players recently went out of their way to acquire some battle dress from Theev, used of course. They have a pioneers set and a psi commando set. The pioneer set I’m saying is from the imperium (unless anyone can suggest better) but the psi set is an issue. It could be Zhodani but the design is different so I was thinking may Blue. Any idea very welcome.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby Tea Rex » Thu Aug 19, 2021 5:33 pm

MonkeyX wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 3:41 pm
So my players recently went out of their way to acquire some battle dress from Theev, used of course. They have a pioneers set and a psi commando set. The pioneer set I’m saying is from the imperium (unless anyone can suggest better) but the psi set is an issue. It could be Zhodani but the design is different so I was thinking may Blue. Any idea very welcome.
Please excuse my ignorance: Who are the Blue?

It depends a little how your players acquired the battle dresses: I suspect a shady arms dealer on some lawless world. Correct? Therefore, there could be a long, perhaps even a very interesting story associated with this equipment. Players could discover the origin of the suit and its previous owners by chance (e.g. finding records in the suit's memory) or through research.

It may be an old imperial (or Solomani) prototype or the battle dress may have been produced by the Zhodani, but by a different manufacturer who had to stop production some time ago because their product had some nasty quirks.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby cunningrat » Thu Aug 19, 2021 6:50 pm

Well, you need a society with enough psionic individuals to design psi battle dress, enough enemies to *need* psi battle dress, and enough of a tech base to manufacture the things. Blue doesn't really fit any of the criteria (they're TL 13, psi commando battle dress is TL15). I'd say it would almost have to be Zhodani, or an old Sindalian set (because we don't know how the Sindalians felt about psionics).

EDIT: It could also be Zhodani-made but with a purposefully non-Zhodani aesthetic, created by the Zhodani in order to deniably equip some group of Evil Psionicists (tm) for Nefarious Purposes (tm). Fill in the blanks and you get a whole adventure out of "hmm, I wonder where this armor came from".
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby MonkeyX » Thu Aug 19, 2021 9:37 pm

Thank you both. Great ideas.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby ottarrus » Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:16 pm

IMTU, Battle Dress is the sole property of governments or other licensed agencies. My logic is this:
- No government is going to accept private citizens outfitted as well as their own troops; it is simply not in their best interests
- It's not at all unreasonable for a megacorp to realize that any suit they made might one day be used against them
- The Third Imperium and Zhodani Confederation limit the number corporations authorized to make BD suits to large corporations /combines with a vested interest in the continuation of those governments
- The Third Imperium insists that BD manufacturers keep a detailed list of suits sold, by serial number, and their end users. Even Instellarms, who got their start selling battlefield salvage of all sorts, doesn't cross that line.

This doesn't mean that suits of BD don't 'get loose'. Authorized entities include megacorp troops, well-regarded mercenary units, and noble huscarles. Not every suit is owned by the Imperial Marines, after all.

If a situation arises where a suit of BD must be abandoned by it's operator, there is a code entered into the suit's computer to fry all the electrical and electronics systems. This significantly reduces the number of suits available on the open market.

However, there is nothing whatsoever preventing an Aslan BD manufacturer from making a [VERY expensive] line of human sized BD suits for sale in the Trojan Reach. Except for maybe common sense, but since did that ever stop anybody from making a buck? 8)

There is no 'psion suit' that would provide or boost psionic abilities, per se. The Zho's have Noble BD suits that have autoinjectors for Psi Booster or Psi Double drugs. The Guards Commando suits have an inner sensor suit that reduces the temperature differentials and disorientation of Teleport powers. They control access to these suits with every bit of the attention the Imperials do. Quick aside, IMTU, all Imperial BD suits include Psi Shielding as a matter of course. Zho suits have no such protections.

So, if I were a GM in your situation, I'd probably rule the followning:
- If a suit of BD is Imperial in origin, it would be a Very Bad Idea to get caught with it. Evidence of misuse of Battle Dress isn't quite up at the level of 'unauthorized weapons of mass destruction', but it's the next best thing. Referees should have a copy of 'Prison Planet' in that eventuality.
- As for the Psion Suit, if the Zho's catch you with it, reeducation is the absolute minimum you could expect. I'd make a concerted effort to stay the Hell away from Pa'an or any other Zhodani client state if I were you.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby Condottiere » Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:51 pm

1. I'm not quite sure what the issues are, so what follows may not be relevant.

2. You can't wear them in public, because they're not just military equipment, they're really offensive.

3. An engineer specialized in this technology could adjust them to make them manwearable, assuming the alien physiology is about the same.

4. You'd probably need a really good engineer to ensure nothing gets broken.

5. Salvaged material belongs to the finder, though your government may confiscate it.

6. Stolen items can legally be reclaimed.

7. End user certification usually is required, with permission required to resell it.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby ottarrus » Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:41 am

Condottiere wrote:
Thu Aug 19, 2021 11:51 pm
1. I'm not quite sure what the issues are, so what follows may not be relevant.

2. You can't wear them in public, because they're not just military equipment, they're really offensive.

3. An engineer specialized in this technology could adjust them to make them manwearable, assuming the alien physiology is about the same.

4. You'd probably need a really good engineer to ensure nothing gets broken.

5. Salvaged material belongs to the finder, though your government may confiscate it.

6. Stolen items can legally be reclaimed.

7. End user certification usually is required, with permission required to resell it.
Insofar as my reply /thoughts on the subject go, this is an excellent reply that adds to my points.

BTW, for those not familiar with it, there was an entire campaign devoted to a missing cargo of Imperial Battle Dress. The CT supplement "The Spinward Marches Campaign" [GDW 1985] dealt with a sector-wide shipping company, Al Morai, that, um, 'lost' an entire shipment of 50 Battle Dress suits during the course of the Fifth Frontier War. The Player Characters find the shipment, steal it, and are then on the run from the company. It was noted in the campaign that these suits were packed for shipping... their software wasn't loaded, the suits weren't calibrated [which required special facilities and training] and so on.
In addition, if you can find it, MegaTraveller Journal Issue #1 had an excellent article dealing with Battle Dress called 'Dressed to Kill' by Tom Peters. I liked it so much that it instantly become part of IMTU 'canon'.
"Reputation is what others think they know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself." --Odin, Havamal
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby TrippyHippy » Fri Aug 20, 2021 2:03 am

Everybody who could have it would have it, but who can afford it?
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby Condottiere » Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:20 am

I'm pretty sure they would be on an Imperium restricted technology list.

You don't want them getting into the hands of criminals and insurrectionists.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby Garran » Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:47 am

Since we're probably dealing with a Pirates of Drinax campaign in the OP, the laws and regulations that apply within the Imperium won't count for much. Nor are all of those suits going to be stolen. Given the history of the Reach (especially that of Sindal and its successor states) there'll be plenty of suits floating around that were duly inherited, salvaged, and/or manufactured there, which could easily include psionic variants, and they're apparently accessible enough that Prince Harrick can end up giving one to a PC in return for trying to secure him a party invitation. (Granted, it's not just any old party, but still.)

That doesn't mean that you'll have dozens readily available on the open market, but if you're making deals on Theev, a suit or two is certainly possible. (Even a new one: GeDeCo and other manufacturers operating there don't seem to mind selling outright WMDs in Blacksand, so I doubt that they'd develop a sudden case of scruples about powered armor.)

As for wearing it... well, use a little bit of sense. Wearing it during combat operations is reasonable, especially for a pirate. Taking a casual stroll through town wearing it will draw unwanted attention, unless it's the sort of place where the only law that exists is at gunpoint. (Okay, if it's the suit that Harrick gifted you then it's probably also ceremonial and history-laden enough that you could wear it around the palace... just like a bunch of the Star Guard do, so mind your manners.)
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby MonkeyX » Fri Aug 20, 2021 12:19 pm

Garran wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:47 am
Since we're probably dealing with a Pirates of Drinax campaign in the OP, the laws and regulations that apply within the Imperium won't count for much. Nor are all of those suits going to be stolen. Given the history of the Reach (especially that of Sindal and its successor states) there'll be plenty of suits floating around that were duly inherited, salvaged, and/or manufactured there, which could easily include psionic variants, and they're apparently accessible enough that Prince Harrick can end up giving one to a PC in return for trying to secure him a party invitation. (Granted, it's not just any old party, but still.)

That doesn't mean that you'll have dozens readily available on the open market, but if you're making deals on Theev, a suit or two is certainly possible. (Even a new one: GeDeCo and other manufacturers operating there don't seem to mind selling outright WMDs in Blacksand, so I doubt that they'd develop a sudden case of scruples about powered armor.)

As for wearing it... well, use a little bit of sense. Wearing it during combat operations is reasonable, especially for a pirate. Taking a casual stroll through town wearing it will draw unwanted attention, unless it's the sort of place where the only law that exists is at gunpoint. (Okay, if it's the suit that Harrick gifted you then it's probably also ceremonial and history-laden enough that you could wear it around the palace... just like a bunch of the Star Guard do, so mind your manners.)
Yup this is a Drinax campaign and the PCs did indeed pick them up on Theev. I think I’m going to have to thing about these suits history’s a little more.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby Condottiere » Fri Aug 20, 2021 4:22 pm

If the industrial base doesn't exist to barely repair, let alone manufacture, battle dress, you can have the Forty Kay option, that they are artifacts, that probably take twice as long and cost twice as much to maintain.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby DickTurpin » Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:38 pm

Adding a bit more about the PoD campaign where this situation came up; one of the characters is ex-imperial marines and very familiar with the operations and maintenance of battledress suits. The Psi-Commando suit will be less familiar, but the new owner has Teleportation as one of her psionic talents so she can probably figure things out in time. After the fifth frontier war (coming soon to a frontier near you!), the imperial marines will probably have more knowledge of and experience with those psi-commando suits than they could ever want.

As for these suits being available, Theve is probably the best place to find them. When a treasure ship went missing several months ago the marine guard contingent lost all of their equipment. Those suits are still out there somewhere :wink: .
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby MonkeyX » Sat Aug 21, 2021 9:58 am

DickTurpin wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 9:38 pm
Adding a bit more about the PoD campaign where this situation came up; one of the characters is ex-imperial marines and very familiar with the operations and maintenance of battledress suits. The Psi-Commando suit will be less familiar, but the new owner has Teleportation as one of her psionic talents so she can probably figure things out in time. After the fifth frontier war (coming soon to a frontier near you!), the imperial marines will probably have more knowledge of and experience with those psi-commando suits than they could ever want.

As for these suits being available, Theve is probably the best place to find them. When a treasure ship went missing several months ago the marine guard contingent lost all of their equipment. Those suits are still out there somewhere :wink: .
Yes. Hadn’t forgot about those Treasure Ship suits
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby paltrysum » Sun Aug 22, 2021 6:47 pm

Battledress should be extremely difficult (read: nigh impossible) to obtain by civilians. In a Drinax campaign, I’d agree that Theev should be a resource to obtain a suit. However, like all things from TL15 Theev, one never knows if nano-bugs or other such items have been surreptitiously included. After all, Theev is run by “Pirate Lords” who might like to keep tabs on anyone well-to-do enough to buy their own.

In my Drinax campaign, we did have a player with a suit. He was an ex-marine colonel who had the “war hero” event during character creation. He got it on Pax Rulin and it was a used suit that was being relegated for refit. It came in handy every so often.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby Condottiere » Sun Aug 22, 2021 6:53 pm

You could obtain combat armour, and attach an external exoskeleton.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby ottarrus » Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:14 am

Something else to remember...

No matter how badass you feel in your suit of BattleDress, a TL 7 105mm cannon shell is STILL gonna put paid to your account, with interest. Speaking as a former tank gunner, a depleted uranium sabot shell with tungsten penetrator won't leave enough of you to ship home in a 'Get Well' card envelope.

And if the starport has any personnel assigned to it at all, the word of your misdeeds is gonna get out. It's like skipping out on your ship loans that way. Yeah, you'll be able to rampage for a little while but if you make too big a problem out of yourself, there will inevitably come a time when somebody arrives with a solution to that problem.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby Condottiere » Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:04 pm

Which is why the Sword Worlders have a lot of heavy weapon teams.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby Garran » Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:43 pm

It's a Pirates of Drinax campaign, so engaging in misdeeds is pretty much a given, and battle dress is just one more handy tool to use while engaging in them. If the opposition might have enough firepower to pose problem for its wearer, well, that's what the Harrier's particle barbette is for.
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Re: Battle dress. Who has it?

Postby ottarrus » Wed Aug 25, 2021 2:23 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:04 pm
Which is why the Sword Worlders have a lot of heavy weapon teams.
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