getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

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GamingGlen
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getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby GamingGlen » Mon Nov 08, 2021 9:36 pm

I'm running the Pirates of Drinax campaign. After a big haul they run off to Tech World to finish the repairs on the Harrier and every one of them bought battledress. Now I have to deal with getting them out of it at every stop.

Roofies won't work due to the chemical tester add on. ;)

Yeah, yeah, they can't wear them at most places with law level > 0. At least I had a previous player (many moons ago) go wild shooting everything on sight including law enforcement. When he finally went down but survived his character went to a prison planet and the player had to roll up a new character. So the idea that they should obey law levels has been planted.

Because battledress is expensive and and has lots of working parts, I presume it has a high maintenance cost on usage?

I'm just wondering what if they wear them 24/7. Or at least every time they jump into a system instead of putting on vacuum suits. Do people always put on vacc suits every entry or just paranoid PCs?

I can't keep throwing the Chamax plague at them. One player always comments about that adventure from years ago because at the time he had just bought his new battledress and I ruined it. :D
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby adzling » Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:28 pm

use a soft counter.

for example: imagine what folks response would be if they saw a WH40K space marine walking through walmart?

just no.

The only reason to wear battledress is when you know there will be a fraggin' battle AND you don't care about drawing attention, lots of it.

It's most definitely not meant to be worn 24/7 nor would folks encountering people in full space marine gear stop to chat, they would hoof it to the nearest police/guard/army/etc location to report an idiot walking around in a personal tank.

If it became an issue in our campaign (we do have 1 person in our PoD who managed to acquire battledress) I would just flat out stipulate: not to be worn except in combat due to social and comfort issues.

a simple DM fiat in this instance but backed by common sense.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Condottiere » Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:49 pm

I believe that battle dress is supposedly maintenance intensive, somewhat along the lines of a fighter plane.

Off hand, you could use vehicle maintenance as a guide.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby NOLATrav » Mon Nov 08, 2021 10:58 pm

For a while now we’ve been playing that every 6 rolled on damage reduces an armor’s Protection by 1 point. It costs 10% of the armor’s value to replace a point of Prot. So there’s an idea for maintenance that saps cash and adds a vulnerability. And something like BD is going to be pretty tough to repair between its legality and its highly specialized nature.

As far as 24/7 use of it, maybe there’s a way to introduce fatigue or exhaustion after a set number of hours in the suit. Like every 6 hours is a level of fatigue, cumulative. Don’t know, just spitballing here.

But also, having them fight opponents who also have battle dress seems natural. Once the word is on the street your gang is packing a bug punch the baddies will know they need to do likewise. Have them run away and come back later better prepared for the PCs.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby GamingGlen » Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:20 pm

I do remind them that battledress is personal-level protection. The tired security guard warns them, "See that anti-vehicle laser over yonder on the security fence trained on you right now? It will cut through your baby diaper like it was made of butter." (Battle dress = BD = baby diaper). Well, maybe that's not the greatest put down on BDs. I just had an idea on ways to socially disdain the use of BDs, implying people wearing them during non-combat situations are babies/wimps. Not that you would say that to a proper marine, but PCs are civilians at this point (no matter what service they HAD been part of).

Any other BD reference?
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby paltrysum » Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:48 pm

You've let them use it with reckless abandon so far. Now others have seen them in action and your players have a reputation. Word travels. The Drinax campaign is very much about moving around within a sandbox and coming back to the same worlds or clusters of worlds. After an incident or two, the story of the battledress-clad Drinaxi starts to get around. Your players may soon find out that even in the Void, escalation is a thing that happens, and a mid-tech G-carrier with an autocannon is a surprisingly good counter to a guy in battledress. Show them that you can't simply bully independent worlds because you have powered armor. It might cost the life of one or more characters if they don't catch on quickly.

Battledress is great, but generally speaking, it's meant to be kept in the armory until a military situation comes up. If they run around using it in populated areas, there will be consequences.

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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby adzling » Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:51 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:48 pm
....a mid-tech G-carrier with an autocannon is a surprisingly good counter to a guy in battledress.....
Heck a Gauss rifle with APDS ammo is a decent counter to battledress.
It's cheap, effective, can be used by almost anyone.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Sigtrygg » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:00 am

RAM grenades are the tin opener of choice for my group.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby adzling » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:33 am

they must be getting lucky then cause they only do 17 damage on average iirc, not enough to penetrate battledress
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Garran » Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:35 am

It's really down to being reasonable about the situations where it's appropriate. If you're going into something where high-grade violence is reasonably expected, fine - which, in the case of the Trojan Reach, and PCs in a Drinax campaign is likely to be a fair number of circumstances - but it's not appropriate for day-wear, let alone social engagements.

On the other hand, there's an implicit contract with the players there. If it's not appropriate for them to show up in combat kit, it's not appropriate for anyone else to be doing so either; if you're just trying to deny them access to their stuff so that the opponents can point guns at them more easily, you're breaking that implicit contract, and justifiably-cynical players are a much bigger problem for a campaign than PCs in inappropriate attire.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Bill Sheil » Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:02 am

adzling wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:51 pm
... a Gauss rifle with APDS ammo is a decent counter to battledress.
APDS ammunition would not be compatible with Gauss weapons. The point of a Discarding Sabot is to provide a wide diameter in the barrel for a large propellant charge to drive a light hard sub-calibre projectile. Gauss rifles do not use propellants and already project needles or flechettes at the best velocity they can manage with the energy they can provide.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:23 pm

You don't actually need to destroy the battledress, just kill the operator or immobilize it.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:36 pm

Garran wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 6:35 am
It's really down to being reasonable about the situations where it's appropriate. If you're going into something where high-grade violence is reasonably expected, fine - which, in the case of the Trojan Reach, and PCs in a Drinax campaign is likely to be a fair number of circumstances - but it's not appropriate for day-wear, let alone social engagements.

On the other hand, there's an implicit contract with the players there. If it's not appropriate for them to show up in combat kit, it's not appropriate for anyone else to be doing so either; if you're just trying to deny them access to their stuff so that the opponents can point guns at them more easily, you're breaking that implicit contract, and justifiably-cynical players are a much bigger problem for a campaign than PCs in inappropriate attire.
I understand this. I silently groaned about a later adventure* where they explore a research station and the danger was a couple of feral Aslan, armed with claws. So much for the scary/spooky part when the lights went out, they flipped on their "headlights" on the BD. I pretty much narrated the one-sided combat when the Aslan finally attacked. Now the blood-thirsty ones wanted to roll dice so I let them.
"It's dead, Jim". They roll more dice. "It's dead, Jim". :D


* I'm going to remember this adventure when get around to running a pulpy Cthulhu-like game some day.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:43 pm

Condottiere wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 12:23 pm
You don't actually need to destroy the battledress, just kill the operator or immobilize it.
Immobilize with sticky balls, like from the movie Incredibles?

I'm not wanting to destroy the battledress. I'm worried they want to wear them nearly 24/7 like paranoid D&D players want to wear plate armor 24/7. Fortunately the most paranoid of my group had moved away some time ago.

I wonder if "weirding modules" can work? :D
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Condottiere » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:44 pm

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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby GamingGlen » Tue Nov 09, 2021 1:50 pm

I joked about these particular Aslan in the adventure having depleted uranium-coated claws. They laughed, half-heartedly. I think they were worried I was telling the truth. Silly players, depleted uranium claws are for feral rabbits. :mrgreen:
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Annatar Giftbringer » Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:12 pm

Well, as per Aliens of Charted Space vol.1 you can give them arc field claw edging, that’s definitely gonna leave a mark even on battledress…

Oh, and the Mercenary Kickstarter makes battledress quite maintenance heavy, both in money and time, so that’s a possibility limiter. There’s also the psychological aspects of being constantly trapped within the suit. Progressively harder END checks perhaps?
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Being » Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:59 pm

Bill Sheil wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 11:02 am
adzling wrote:
Mon Nov 08, 2021 11:51 pm
... a Gauss rifle with APDS ammo is a decent counter to battledress.
APDS ammunition would not be compatible with Gauss weapons. The point of a Discarding Sabot is to provide a wide diameter in the barrel for a large propellant charge to drive a light hard sub-calibre projectile. Gauss rifles do not use propellants and already project needles or flechettes at the best velocity they can manage with the energy they can provide.
The railguns which are/were in development would probably use an APDS. The sabot is still seen as beneficial. In fact all three different projectile types for the US Navy protype were saboted. Same physics will apply.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Garran » Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:03 pm

In that particular scenario (feral aslan vs well-equipped players) it's simply something to roll with. PCs get to be awesome sometimes and the players were better-prepared than expected and they don't magically level-scale to become adamantine aslan just because the players have some shiny gear. (Creepy survival-horror stuff might also just be a bad fit for the group if they're a prepared-for-anything crowd.)

It wouldn't be any different than if they had standard firearms and cloth armor and happened to roll several double-6s. "How do I take away their RNG" doesn't have quite the same ring to it though.
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Re: getting PCs out of their shiny battledress? maintenance cost?

Postby Bill Sheil » Tue Nov 09, 2021 3:57 pm

Being wrote:
Tue Nov 09, 2021 2:59 pm
The railguns which are/were in development would probably use an APDS. The sabot is still seen as beneficial. In fact all three different projectile types for the US Navy protype were saboted. Same physics will apply.
This is a cradle providing a magnetic element for the EM field to propel the projectile down the barrel. It is always needed as a basic component of the weapon so it is not an additional type of ammunition. It is needed just as a basic requirement and recovered for cost reasons.

The magnetic element could be retained as part of the projectile in the future if it was reactive and cheap enough. The exit velocity at the end of the barrel is at its maximum anyway so there is not actual benefit from discarding it as a sabot so long as it is aerodynamic; and it also would add mass to the projectile which is a good in terms of energy and momentum delivery (penetration) and retaining velocity against air resistance.

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