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Author Topic: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story  (Read 7034 times)

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Offline Mister UglyTopic starter

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A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« on: April 15, 2017, 11:12:50 PM »
Battletech: An Introduction-- The Rageaholic
I know many people have seen bits and pieces here and there about Battletech or MechWarrior. This Video explains the game and setting far better then I could in the limited space here. Be aware the video is NSFW for the language used.

Hope this helps those new to the big stompy mechs I and many others love!

MU





A Fistful of C-Bills: A MechWarrior Story







 
The mercenary has always had a tough life. Lately, life has gotten tougher.
  The mysterious Clans invaded from beyond known space and took over a major chunk of the Inner Sphere, stopping only when ComStar troops fought them to a standstill and forced them to agree to a temporary peace on Tukayyid.
  Just to make a living--Hell, just to stay alive, a merc must depend only on himself and his troops. In a universe where every potential employer might be playing political games, the mercenary must stay honorable and trustworthy as a matter of policy.



  Harlech, Outreach, the day after Christmas 3054. Your contact in the hiring hall had dropped you a lead. A recently formed unit already had a 'by god' contract. They were looking to fill out the needed mechs and had only a few days before they had to leave. It has been long enough since you arrived here and funds were getting low. So out you went into the cold wind, blowing light snow, hoping this time to get hired. Your contact did say they were offering a meal as well as a chance to sign on.
  Sven's House of Noodles was not to hard to find. The sign on the door said closed but when you tried the handle it opened. Inside it was warm with a look more Viking then Japanese. A waiter tried to stop you but you brushed pass and walked in. Around several tables sat other mechwarriors in various outfits. Standing between them and a small group at the back was a man over 6 feel tall. His bearing said a senior noncom and he had the look. The look a warrior gets who has seen the heart and fury of the battle.


Maybe, just maybe this is your lucky day.





  Hello there, I see you have made it this far. Maybe you know Battletech/MechWarrior well or maybe big stompy mechs make you curious. Which ever it may be, good to have you along. This will be a story more about the men and women that pilot the Battlemechs then about the battles they fight. Of course there will be action in and out of the cockpit and this being Battletech mechs are a part of the story.

  A little about me and Battletech and why I love the series. I have been a fan since  the days it was called Battledriods and have run many a game in my time. Battletech has a rich history with many novels and supplements published. If you think Stars wars extended Universe was big you might want to look at the Battletech verse. Think Game of thrones with mechs and you have a good concept.

 I noticed a few months back some interest in a MechWarrior game but nothing came of it so I decided I would offer up a story and see what happens. Let me know if you have an interest and we can go farther!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2017, 11:13:54 PM by Mister Ugly »

Offline Mister UglyTopic starter

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2017, 09:34:24 PM »
I wanted to expand on the setting and the story.
A recently formed unit called "Storm Crows" has gotten a contract for Garrison, training and anti-pirate duties. The Planet is called San Martin, part of the Free Worlds League.

The 'Storm Crows' core members are all former FRR military who fought Clan Wolf and Clan Ghost Bear tooth and nail. They survived 6 invasions and escaped from each when their larger core unit was scattered. After the 'truce' they left the FRR and have struck out on their own.

The core members are 2 with extras as needed to fill out up to a company of mechs.



What can I make as a MechWarrior you ask? Well I am glad you asked that. Inner sphere warriors with 3025 or 3050 mechs or dispocessed [ie no mech the 'crows' have a couple they are rebuilding and can be issued as rides]
I would prefer no clanner unless you have a really good story as to why a clanner would want to hook up with an untested new unit.
Please ask before you make a clanner with a mech.

I want the story to be more about the people and not the mechs and have not yet decided on a free form or a system or some sort of hybred

MU
« Last Edit: April 16, 2017, 09:55:40 PM by Mister Ugly »

Offline Barenmarder

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2017, 01:08:36 AM »
Hello,
I would like to signal my interest if you can build a group. Consider this hat tossed in the ring.

My first-draft character concept is a Draconis Combine officer (a former company commander) who has turned mercenary under mysterious circumstances. As far as a 'mech, I was going to request either a Warhammer or a Wolverine (I have some thoughts regarding variant) depending on the likely makeup of the group. Also, I would prefer rules-lite, just for the storytelling freedom it offers, but I can adapt if I'm outvoted.
*offers a stiff bow*

Tai-i Nathan Forrest, late of the 4th Pesht Regulars under Sho-Sho Stephan Somogyi, at your service. My previous experience includes reconnaissance, garrison, raiding and urban pacification actions. I have seen action against Clan Smoke Jaguar. I wish to see more.
Thank you... for your consideration.

Offline orderNchaos

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2017, 09:39:55 AM »
I'll throw my hat in the ring.  I've got a couple of well established Mechwarriors that I'd love to resurrect for the right game. 

Offline Undine

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2017, 10:44:11 AM »
I'm afraid I know precious little about the game MechWarrior, however, in my [admittedly feeble] defense, I have been craving a lasting sci fi-based story, love the idea of 'big stompy' war droids and squad dynamics, and I certainly don't mind doing background research as needed.  Soooo... *raises hand slowly*  I'd like to offer up my interest.

Offline greenknight

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 11:53:41 AM »
I may have missed it, but will this be a system game?

I'd ask about Clan as PCs (definitely a Freebirth, not a vatjob), but 3054 is a little late for infiltrators a la Natasha Kerensky.

Your opinion on LAMs? I don't want one, I'm more of a (Spartan/Gladiator/)Archer and (Valkyrie/Veritech/)Crusader fan myself (especially if Maximum Tech gunpods are a thing), maybe a (Tomahawk/Excalibur/)Warhammer or (Zentraedi/Glaug officer pod/)Marauder. Basically, if I'm going full on ridiculous with 'Mechs, it may as well have hands so I can engage in the totally most efficient method of destroying other 'Mechs: running (or jumping) up to them and tearing them apart with hands ;D

In terms of concept, I'm looking at a FedCom (either side) minor noble who has been freelancing since graduating from NAIS a few or several years ago. If I can swing it, I'm thinking part of his curriculum involved higher level 'mech maintenance like the techie mechwarrior archetype. He does this 'cause he's a gearhead with enough money to indulge and enough skill to protect it.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 11:57:49 AM by greenknight »

Offline orderNchaos

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2017, 12:16:46 PM »
I may have missed it, but will this be a system game?

I'd ask about Clan as PCs (definitely a Freebirth, not a vatjob), but 3054 is a little late for infiltrators a la Natasha Kerensky.

Your opinion on LAMs? I don't want one, I'm more of a (Spartan/Gladiator/)Archer and (Valkyrie/Veritech/)Crusader fan myself (especially if Maximum Tech gunpods are a thing), maybe a (Tomahawk/Excalibur/)Warhammer or (Zentraedi/Glaug officer pod/)Marauder. Basically, if I'm going full on ridiculous with 'Mechs, it may as well have hands so I can engage in the totally most efficient method of destroying other 'Mechs: running (or jumping) up to them and tearing them apart with hands ;D

In terms of concept, I'm looking at a FedCom (either side) minor noble who has been freelancing since graduating from NAIS a few or several years ago. If I can swing it, I'm thinking part of his curriculum involved higher level 'mech maintenance like the techie mechwarrior archetype. He does this 'cause he's a gearhead with enough money to indulge and enough skill to protect it.

This aint Macross.  LAM's were SOOOO...3025 and before and never really came to anything other than a cool idea that never worked.  If you want something with hands to tear apart an enemy, use an Atlas. 

Offline greenknight

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2017, 12:27:28 PM »
You want me rigging jump jets to an Atlas? I like your style ;D

Offline orderNchaos

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2017, 12:31:05 PM »
OUCH!!  Have fun with that!  There goes your armor class or your weapon load!  But hey...you want jump jets...be my guest.!

Offline greenknight

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2017, 12:48:42 PM »
Well, yeah, less shooty bits. We're going for charging and melee in this experiment you started challenged, right?
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 12:52:20 PM by greenknight »

Offline Mister UglyTopic starter

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2017, 03:20:58 PM »
Well hell's bells, nothing at all yesterday and suddenly the mechwarriors roll out. It makes me all warm and fussy inside!

Let's take this one at a time as I begin collecting all these hats:
@Barenmarder-- You know that kinda sounds like a Blue/red Marauder :o ;) ;) A first draft is great. The concept works as long as your samurai can work with Rasalhague refuges. So 4th Pesht, they fought the Smoke jaguars once If I remember correctly. The 'crows' are based off the medium/light fictional 4th Hussars. So either a Wolverine or a Warhammer works fine. I have no problem with a listed variant. For now though no personal variants are being allowed.

@orderNchaos-- Bring one of those mechwarriors on. As long as none are a reborn Kai Allurd Liao, we can make them work.

@greenknight-- I had planned on using a very quick system light system called Risus. Mainly to have a quick way to resolve an issues that might creep up. I would like a more free form flow to the story and would use the system only when really needed.
Risus plain text
Risus: The Anything RPG

Welcome to Risus: The Anything RPG, a complete pen-and-paper roleplaying game! For some, Risus is a handy “emergency” RPG for spur-of-the-moment one-shots and rapid character creation. For others, it’s a reliable campaign system supporting years of play. For others still, it’s a strange little pamphlet with stick figures. For me, it’s all three, and with this edition, Risus celebrates not only two decades of existence, but two decades of life, bolstered by an enthusiastic global community devoted to expanding it, celebrating it, sharing it, and gaming with it.

Character Creation

The character Cliché is the heart of Risus. Clichés are shorthand for a kind of person, implying their skills, background, social role and more. The “character classes” of the oldest RPGs are enduring Clichés: Wizard, Detective, Starpilot, Superspy. You can choose Clichés like those for your character, or devise something more outré, like Ghostly Pirate Cook, Fairy Godmother, Bruce Lee (for a character who does Bruce Lee stuff) or Giant Monster Who Just Wants To Be Loved For His Macrame – anything you can talk your GM into. With a very permissive GM, you could be all these at once. Each Cliché has a rating in dice (the ordinary six-sided kind). When your character’s prowess as a Wizard, Starpilot or Bruce Lee is challenged, roll dice equal to the rating.  Three dice is “professional.” One die is a putz. Six dice is ultimate mastery. A complete Risus character looks like this:

Grolfnar Vainsson the Viking
Description: Tall, blond, and grinning. Likes to drink and fight and drink and chase Viking women and fight and sail the high seas and raid. Wants to write great sagas about himself.
Clichés: Viking (4), Gambler (3), Womanizer (2), Poet (1)

To create Grolfnar, all we had to do was name him, describe him, and assign his Clichés. You get 10 dice to spend on Clichés, distributed however you like, on as many or few Clichés as you decide (but more than 10 would be odd, considering). The first Cliché listed for your character (“Viking,” in Grolfnar’s case) is his Primary Cliché – the Cliché that most clearly expresses how your character sees himself. In general, new characters may not have Clichés rated higher than 4 dice, so Grolfnar’s “Viking” is maxed out for a beginning PC. Your GM might choose to expand, relax, or otherwise transmogrify such parameters for his game (ask if you’re not sure).

Powers, Tools, and Power Tools

Each Cliché implies a lot about a character, most crucially including his likely abilities and equipment. If you’re playing a Hirsute Barbarian (3), we can assume your character is comfortable with blades and battle. He’s probably a climber, a runner, and all-night reveler. He probably owns at least one sturdy hand-weapon and (hopefully, mercifully) a complete loincloth. If you’re playing a Psychic Schoolgirl (3), you probably have the power to sense (and be freaked-out by) the psychometric residue lingering at a murder scene, and might own a cute plushy backpack filled with school supplies. If you’re playing a Roguish Space Pirate (3), you can do all kinds of piratey roguey space-things, and you probably own a raygun, and maybe a secondhand star freighter. When there’s any doubt about your character’s abilities or “Tools of the Trade,” discuss it with your GM.

Tools of the Trade come “free” as part of each Cliché, but they’re vulnerable to loss or damage, which can (sometimes) cripple or limit the power of the Cliché. A Roguish Space Pirate, stripped of his star freighter, loses all ability to haul booty to distant suns … while a Psychic Schoolgirl loses none of her ability to be freaked out by murder scenes if her plushy backpack is stolen. A Hirsute Barbarian (3), forced into a pit-fight without his trusty blade, can still rely on his bare hands, but he’ll operate at half-dice – a mere Hirsute Barbarian (2) – until he’s once again properly armed. The backpack-deprived Schoolgirl might face similar penalties when it’s time to do her homework.

In the course of adventuring life, lucky explorers may discover enchanted and/or cutting-edge and/or otherwise special equipment. The most basic sort is called Bonus-Dice Gear (such items let you roll an extra die, or more, when using them) but there are other kinds of “special” to be found, in the form of alternate game mechanics (“With this experimental piloting software, you can reroll any 1s”), in-world powers (“Only a Stradivarius can be used to seduce a Vampire Prince”) or even mixed benefits and restrictions (“While wielding the Sword of Mercy, you always roll dice at least equal to your foe, but you must spare his life if you win.”)

The Game System

Whenever anybody wants to do anything, and nobody’s actively opposing it, and the GM doesn’t think success would be automatic, the player rolls dice. If the total rolled beats (equals or exceeds) the Target Number set by the GM, success! If not, failure! Target numbers follow this scale:

5: A cinch. A challenge for a schmuck. Routine for a pro.
10: A challenge for a professional.
15: An Heroic challenge. For really inventive or tricky stunts.
20: A challenge for a Master. Nearly superhuman difficulty.
30: You’ve GOT to be kidding. Actual superhuman difficulty.

The Target Number depends on the Cliché, and anyone can try anything. Crossing a chasm by swinging on a rope or vine would be child’s play (automatic success!) for a Swashbuckler or a Lord of the Jungle, easy (Target 5) for a Pulp Archaeologist, and challenging but definitely doable (Target 10) for a Gymnast, Barbarian, or Cat-Burglar. Even a Wheelchair-Bound Eccentric Occultist could try it (Difficulty 15, but the wheelchair is lost unless the roll beats a 30)!

The Combat System

In Risus, “combat” is any contest in which opponents jockey for position, make attacks, bring defenses to bear, and wear down their opponent to achieve victory. Literally or metaphorically. Examples of “combat” include:

Arguments: Combatants wielding logic, stubbornness and cheap rhetorical tricks to make their point.
Horse-Racing: People on horses running around a dirty track, trying to get nowhere first.
Dogfights: Pilots in airplanes or spaceships trying to blow each other out of the sky.
Astral/Psychic Duels: Mystics/psionics looking bored or sleepy, but trying to rip each other’s ego apart in the Otherworld.
Wizard’s Duels: Sorcerers using strange magics, trying to outdo one another.
Dueling Banjos: Banjo players using strange melodies, trying to outdo one another.
Seduction: One (or more) characters trying to score with one (or more) other character(s) who is(are) trying to resist.
Courtroom Antics: Prosecution vs. Defense. The goal is victory. Justice is incidental.
Actual Regular Combat: People trying to injure or kill each other.

The GM decides when a combat has begun. At that point, go around the table in rounds, and let each combatant make an attack in turn. What constitutes an “attack” depends on the nature of the fight, but it should always be roleplayed (if dialogue is involved) or described in entertaining detail (if it’s physical and/or dangerous and/or does/should involve contraceptives). The GM will determine what type of Cliché is appropriate for the fight. In a straightforward physical brawl, Clichés like Viking, Soldier, Swashbuckler, and Ernest Hemingway are equally appropriate, while Clichés like Hairdresser and Latin Lover are not.

Attacks must be directed at an opponent. Both parties in the attack (attacker and defender) roll against their chosen Cliché. Low roll loses. Specifically, the low roller loses one of his Cliché dice for the remainder of the fight – he’s been weakened, worn down, demoralized or otherwise pushed one step towards defeat.

Eventually, one side will be left standing, and another will be left without dice. At this point, the winners decide the fate of the losers. In a physical fight or magical duel, the losers might be killed (or mercifully spared). In Courtroom Antics, the loser is sentenced by the judge, or fails to prosecute. In a Seduction, the loser gets either a cold shower or a warm evening, depending. While the GM will reject combat outcomes that make no sense in context (if you beat someone at tennis, you aren’t normally allowed to decapitate them and drag their corpse through the city square), the spoils of victory are otherwise down to the choice of the victor.

You needn’t use the same Cliché every round. If a Viking/Swashbuckler wants to lop heads one round, and switch to swinging on chandeliers the next, that’s groovy, too. However, anytime a character has a Cliché worn down to zero dice in combat, he’s been defeated, even if he has other Clichés left to play with.

Dice lost in combat are regained when the combat ends, at a healing rate determined by the GM (based on the nature of the attacks involved). If the combat was in vehicles (space fighters, mecha, wooden sailing ships) then the vehicles themselves are likely damaged, too, and must be repaired. Sometimes, healing takes not only time, but conditions specified by the GM (“now that you’ve been soundly defeated, you can’t even look at your banjo until your girlfriend assuages your ego”).

There’s no standard time or distance scale in Risus; everything depends on context. In a physical brawl, each round might represent just a few seconds … while in a long-term fight between a married couple, each round might represent an entire day (Day One: Husband “accidentally” burns Wife’s favorite dress in the oven, Wife “accidentally” feeds Drano to Husband’s prize goldfish, and so on).

Inappropriate Clichés

As stated above, the GM determines what sort of Clichés are appropriate for the fight. Any Clichés left over are inappropriate. In a physical fight, Hairdresser is inappropriate. In a magical duel, Barbarian is inappropriate.

Inappropriate Clichés aren’t forbidden from the fight. They can still be used to make attacks, provided the player roleplays or describes it in a really, really, really entertaining manner. Furthermore, the attack must be plausible within the context of the combat, and the genre and tone that the GM has set for the game (making this kind of attack more often useful in very pulpy/swashbuckly games, or very silly ones).

All combat rules apply normally, with one exception: if an inappropriate Cliché wins a combat round versus an appropriate one, the losing player loses three dice, rather than one, from his Cliché! The “inappropriate” player takes no such risk, and loses only one die if he loses the round. Thus, a creative hairdresser is dangerous when cornered and attacked unfairly. Beware.

When in doubt, assume the aggressor determines the type of combat. If a wizard attacks a barbarian with magic, then it’s a magical duel! If the barbarian attacks the mage with his sword, then it’s physical combat! If the defender can come up with an entertaining use of his skills, he’ll have the edge. It pays in many genres to be the defender! But … if the wizard and barbarian both obviously want to fight, then both are aggressors, and it’s “fantasy combat,” where both swords and sorcery have equal footing.

Teaming Up

Two or more characters may form a team in combat. For the duration of the team (usually the entire fight), they battle as a single unit, and may only be attacked as a single foe. There are two kinds of team: full-on Character Teams (for PCs, and sufficiently interesting NPCs) and Grunt-Squads (for nameless NPC hordes).

Grunt-Squads: This is just special effects. When a horde of 700 rat-skeletons attacks the PCs within the lair of the Wicked Necromancer (5), the GM probably won’t feel like keeping track of 700 tiny skeletal sets of dice. Instead, he can declare them a Grunt Squad, fighting as a single foe: a Skeletal Rat-Horde (7). Mechanically, the Rat-Horde is the same as any single foe – except it sometimes has more dice (as many as the GM cares to assign it). Grunt-Squads stick together as a team until they’re defeated, at which point some survivors may scatter (though at least one will always remain to suffer whatever fate the victor decides). Taken to logical (or whimsical) extremes, an entire ship’s crew, or even whole forests, dungeons, cities or nations might be represented by a single Cliché.

Character Teams: When PCs (and/or NPCs worth the attention) form a team, the Team Leader is the character with the highest-ranking applicable Cliché (if there’s a tie, the team must designate a Team Leader). Everybody rolls dice, but only the Team Leader’s dice completely count. Other team-members contribute only their sixes, when they roll any.

Clichés joined in a team need not be identical, and (provided the GM can be convinced) they can even be a mix of “appropriate” and “inappropriate” for the fight (a group of warriors might be aided by their able minstrel, for example). However, they don’t triple enemy dice-loss unless the entire team is equally inappropriate (which means the players get to explain to the GM exactly how a Hairdresser, a Parakeet Trainer, and a Life Coach are coordinating their talents to take Darth Viraxis to the mat)!

Whenever a team loses a round of combat, a single team-member’s Cliché is reduced. Any team-member (Team Leader included) may “step forward” and voluntarily suffer this loss. If so, the noble volunteer is reduced by twice the normal amount (either two dice or six, depending), but the Team Leader gets to roll twice as many dice on his next attack, a temporary boost as the team avenges their heroic comrade. If no volunteer steps forward, the Team Leader must assign the (undoubled) hit to a team-member, and there is no “vengeance” bonus.

Victory & Defeat: With teams as with individuals, the victor determines the fate of the loser … but when the loser is part of a team, his fate is generally reserved until the end of the team’s existence (even if he’s defeated while the fight rages on). So, if his team wins, his team – not their opponent – gets to decide. There are some fights where this won’t be so, where the PCs are under such precarious circumstance that their fates must be resolved immediately. But, in most cases, being part of a team – especially a winning team – is excellent insurance.

Disbanding: A team may voluntarily disband at any time between die-rolls. When disbanding, each team-member instantly loses a single die from the Cliché they’d been contributing to the team (equal to “damage” suffered in the fight itself). Disbanded team-members may freely form new teams, provided the die-loss from disbanding doesn’t defeat them. Individuals may also drop out of a team, but this reduces them to zero dice immediately as they scamper for the rear. Their fates rest on the mercy of whoever wins the fight!

Lost Leader: If the Team Leader ever leaves the team for any reason (either by dropping out or having his own Cliché dropped to zero), the team must disband immediately, with consequences as above. They may immediately opt to reform as a new team (with a new leader) however, and if the old leader was removed by having volunteered for personal damage, the new Team Leader gets the double-roll vengeance bonus to avenge his predecessor!

Single-Action Conflicts

“Combat” depends on multi-round jockeying and wearing each other down … but many conflicts are too sudden to be played that way (two characters grabbing for the same gun, for example). Such “Single-Action Conflicts” (SACs) are settled with a single roll against appropriate Clichés (or inappropriate Clichés, with good roleplaying). High roll wins. Note that, in nearly any case, the Game Master may jump between the three resolution methods (Target Number, Combat, Single-Action Conflict) to suit the pacing and mood. Sometimes, an arm-wrestling match works best as a combat … sometimes it works best as a Single-Action Conflict, and sometimes (preferably if it’s against some kind of coin-operated arm-wrestling machine) even as a simple Target Number.

When Somebody Can’t Participate

Sometimes, characters find themselves facing a Combat or Single-Action Conflict where they simply have no applicable Cliché, even by stretching the imagination. Perhaps one character in the party enters a pie-eating contest with his Disgusting Glutton (2) Cliché, but the rest of the characters are astronauts or accountants, neither of whom traditionally engorge themselves on pie. In situations like this, the GM might grant everybody two free “brevet dice” to play with for the duration of the conflict. This means the Disgusting Glutton (2) would become, temporarily, a Disgusting Glutton (4), while everyone else would get a Regular Person Talked Into a Pie-Eating Contest (2) Cliché “on loan” until the last crumb burps forth. The Glutton, naturally, retains his winning edge, but everyone else can still bury their noses in pie. This rule applies only to Combats and SACs, never to rolls against Target Numbers (since, with Target Numbers, the TN itself simply moves wherever it needs to, for any Cliché attempting any action).

Advanced Option: Lucky Shots

This option allows players to spend some of their 10 starting dice on something other than Clichés. A single Cliché-die can, instead, buy three Lucky Shots (spend two dice for six Lucky Shots, and so on). Using a Lucky Shot boosts any Cliché roll by a single die, for a single die-roll. Lucky Shots “reset” between game-sessions. Lucky Shots can represent random good luck, the favor of a deity, a streak of resourcefulness, etc.

Advanced Option: Hooks & Tales

With this Advanced Option, players can bargain for extra character-creation dice by giving their character a Hook and/or a Tale. A Hook is some significant character flaw – a curse, an obsession, a weakness, a sworn vow, a permanently crippling injury – that the GM agrees is so juicy that he can use it to make the character’s life more interesting (which usually means less pleasant). A character with a Hook gets an extra die to play with.

A Tale is a written “biography” of the character describing his life before the events of the game. The Tale needn’t be long (a page or two is plenty); it just needs to tell the reader where the character is coming from, what he likes and dislikes, how he became who he is, what his motives are. Some Tales are best written from the player’s omniscient perspective; others are more fun if written as excerpts from the character’s own diary. A character with a Tale provided before gameplay begins gets an extra die to play with.

Advanced Option: Pumps

Characters may pump their Clichés, expending extra effort at the cost of certain injury (loss of dice). A pumped Cliché receives a dice-boost lasting a single round of combat (or single significant roll, otherwise). After that round or roll is resolved, the Cliché returns to normal, then suffers immediate dice-loss equal to the boost. Such loss is comparable to combat losses, and must heal.

Example: Rudolph the Ninja (3) is attacked by a Monster (6)! Rudy doesn’t have much of a chance against such a powerful foe, so he opts for a tricky tactic: since the Monster is attacking physically, Rudolph decides his first-round response will use his skills as a Cajun Chef (3) – a decidedly Inappropriate choice! He also opts to pump it by two dice to Cajun Chef (5), putting his all into his cooking!

On round one, the Monster rolls six dice, and Rudy (quickly whipping up a tempting Gumbo spiked with Ninja sleeping drug and offering it to the Monster) rolls five. If the Ninja loses, he’s instantly defeated: his Cajun Chef Cliché would drop to Cajun Chef (1) for the pump, then to Cajun Chef (zero) for losing the round. The Monster would eat Rudolph instead of the Gumbo. If the Ninja wins, however, the Monster (6) drops to Monster (3), and Rudy’s Cajun Chef (3) drops to Cajun Chef (1). In round two, Rudolph can switch back to Ninja (3), where he’ll be on equal footing with the groggy, well-fed Monster.

Pumps are legal for any kind of Cliché roll, provided the GM agrees that “pushing it” fits the action involved.

Double-Pump Clichés: If permitting pumps, the GM might also allow double-pump Clichés, which take only “half damage” from pumping. Thus, a Sorcerer [5] could roll eleven dice for a single combat round (six extra dice!) but take only three dice of loss from the extra effort. Double-pump Clichés cost twice as many dice to buy during character creation, and are especially appropriate for Clichés representing supernatural abilities (in fact, some Game Masters may require that supernatural Clichés be purchased this way). The use of [square brackets] instead of (parentheses) indicates a double-pump Cliché.

Advanced Option: Character Advancement

At the end of each adventure, each player rolls against each Cliché challenged during the course of play (ignore lingering “injuries” for this purpose; roll as if the Cliché were whole). If the dice land showing only even numbers, the Cliché advances by a single die (increasing it permanently). No Cliché advances past Cliché (6).

Midgame Leaps: Anytime you do something really, really, really spectacularly entertaining that wows the whole table, the GM may allow you to roll instantly (in the middle of the game) for possible advancement, in addition to the roll(s) at the end of the adventure.

Adding New Clichés: There may come a time when a character has grown and matured enough to justify adding an entirely new Cliché to his character sheet. If the player and GM agree this is the case, and agree on what the new Cliché is, the player rolls for advancement as usual, but new dice earned for that adventure may be put toward the new Cliché instead of the ones that earned them. This can also be applied to “in-game” improvements, if the situation warrants it!

Long-Haul Variant: Instead of rolling against every challenged Cliché, roll against a single Cliché of your choice.

Credit Where It’s Due

Risus grew from inspirations provided by the sadly out-of-print classic, Ghostbusters (1st Edition, West End Games), sparked against an idea from Mayfair’s DC Heroes. Other noteworthy influences have included GURPS, TWERPS, Fudge, Tunnels & Trolls, Over the Edge, and DragonQuest. The list of people on whom Risus depends is too long to even contemplate in a space so tiny, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a few of them: Guy Hoyle, Spike Y. Jones, Dan “Moose” Jasman, Frank J. Perricone, Jason Puckett, David Pulver, Sean “Dr. Kromm” Punch, Liz Rich, Dan Suptic, Brent Wolke, René Vernon, and the thousands of cool gamers, old and new, who’ve populated and enlivened the Risus community.

[Risus: The Anything RPG is S. John Ross’ trademark for his Anything RPG. This is Risus Version 2.01, Copyright ©1993-2013 by S. John Ross, All Rights Reserved. Permission granted to make unlimited copies for private, non-commercial use, and remember: There’s No Wrong Way To Play!

Cumberland Games & Diversions www.cumberlandgames.com


Welcome to the "Master Archive" for Risus: The Anything RPG, by S. John Ross

This isn't the game, here. This is the ReadMe file. But it's still pretty important.

This archive may be freely distributed, provided its contents are not altered, appended, removed, or otherwise futzed-with in any way, and provided the archive is always provided 100% free of charge, regardless of transmission method, medium, the involvement of the supernatural, ancient non-Euclidean alien god-things, or reality TV programs.

In the "Risus Extras" folder, there are some alternate formats, and they're cool, but they're definitely all ALTERNATE and stuff, so if you're asking a rules question on a Risus forum somewhere, remember to use page numbers appropriate to the main PDF (though, with this in mind, I took care to lay out the folding-pamphlet PDFs so the pages break at the same headers ... but there's no way to do that with free-flowing formats like the ePub, Plaintext and Rich Text versions).

The folding pamphlet versions are pretty simple: just print them double-sided on a single sheet of paper, and fold. Voila! Be sure to disable any rescaling when doing so; they're razors-edge optimized for standard U.S. Letter-sized paper (if there's much demand for folding A4 pamphlets or anything, I'll do some of those sometime, too).

Anyway, best to get onto the actual game, so here's a breakdown of the complete contents of this archive (if anything's missing, someone both messed with the archive AND forgot to mess with this ReadMe file, which makes them not as smart as you and me, right? Right):


This system should work for quick contests as needed without bogging down anything. I have used it in one on one setting and it worked well.
As for LAMs, there was a time long long ago [back when the game was new and fresh and only had the 3025 tech readout] that I liked LAMs. In this time frame they are frankly useless. Only Stinger and Wasp LAM's have any parts and neither can get 3050 upgrades save for weapons. So My answer on LAMS is NO!
A Warhammer or Marauder would work but neither have hands to rip and tear with. Might I suggest a Highlander, it has one hand and Jump jets and has an infamous move called the "Highlander Burial". I believe the HGN-732 can be found, rare but is out there in 3054. As luck would have it the FedCom is about the only place that makes Highlanders in 3054. I bet you had that planned didn't you.
In the above system if you are a MechWarrior cliché I would allow you to use that for repairs but with a higher difficulty number.
The 'Crows' will have a very good npc tech/engineer if that helps.

@Undine-- I saved you for last simply because this may take a bit. I also remember you from that aborted attempt I made at a Morrow Project game. Good to see ya again!! The MechWarrior/Battletech game has a deep rich history that would take a realm of words to tell you all about. So I gathered up some sites for you to check out. The gist for this game is that the Clans, former members of the old Star league army that left the inner sphere in 2750, attacked along a board front in 3051 and over whelmed almost every planet they attacked. It looked bleek for the innersphere when ComStar stepped up and fought the clans and beat them and enforced a 15 year truce. The setting is about 18 months after that battle. This is the short version.

http://www.sarna.net/wiki/History  <if you start around number 6 'The Amaris Coup' This should give you decent lead in to the story. you could maybe skip the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Succession wars and go from there and not miss much.

The gist of the Succession wars is that the various Houses blew themselves back to a tech level where they could barely run the few factories that built Battlemechs and there was no knew designs. it seemed they were slowly sliding into a dark age things changed [Look up Helm's memory Core]

I hope this helps and I will be happy to help guide you to getting up and running with a MechWarrior!

MU

--Runs off to open a Millinery with all the hats he collected--
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 09:52:14 PM by Mister Ugly »

Offline Mister UglyTopic starter

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2017, 03:38:05 PM »
Oh Yea I forgot this. If you want a MechWarrior with no mech the Storm Crows are repairing 2 they bought at salvage on Outreach. A Raven and a Hunchback.

MU

Offline Barenmarder

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2017, 04:06:26 PM »
Well hell's bells, nothing at all yesterday and suddenly the mechwarriors roll out. It makes me all warm and fussy inside!

Let's take this one at a time as I begin collecting all these hats:
@Barenmarder-- You know that kinda sounds like a Blue/red Marauder :o ;) ;) A first draft is great. The concept works as long as your samurai can work with Rasalhague refuges. So 4th Pesht, they fought the Smoke jaguars once If I remember correctly. The 'crows' are based off the medium/light fictional 4th Hussars. So either a Wolverine or a Warhammer works fine. I have no problem with a listed variant. For now though no personal variants are being allowed.

--Runs off to open a Millinery with all the hats he collected--

Well thank you for the quick response. Don't worry, I do have plans for my character and a great deal more backstory worked out than I mentioned. I have a plan put together that touches on major events but only peripherally. The real story is his personal one, not that glorious Battletech Metaplot.
My Samurai can work with anyone who opposes the Clans. He fought them on Tarnby when the Jaguars came out of nowhere, and has spent some of the intervening time with the DCMS before he became a mercenary (more backstory around that). The variants I planned to ask for were both the 7K version (WHM-7K and WVR-7K), both fit the time period. I was going to ask about a simple weapon swap if I picked the Wolverine (an ER PPC for the LGPLAS) but I am just as happy to leave things as is.
My goal is to try and provide a rallying point and a support character for the team. Someone with experience and motivation, possibly a little prim and proper. Someone who still thinks of himself as a soldier first and a soldier of fortune second.

I will give the rules a quick read-through and put together a draft character and a more detailed character sketch for you. Do you prefer them sent by PM or posted here in thread?

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2017, 04:28:47 PM »
Well thank you for the quick response. Don't worry, I do have plans for my character and a great deal more backstory worked out than I mentioned. I have a plan put together that touches on major events but only peripherally. The real story is his personal one, not that glorious Battletech Metaplot.
My Samurai can work with anyone who opposes the Clans. He fought them on Tarnby when the Jaguars came out of nowhere, and has spent some of the intervening time with the DCMS before he became a mercenary (more backstory around that). The variants I planned to ask for were both the 7K version (WHM-7K and WVR-7K), both fit the time period. I was going to ask about a simple weapon swap if I picked the Wolverine (an ER PPC for the LGPLAS) but I am just as happy to leave things as is.
My goal is to try and provide a rallying point and a support character for the team. Someone with experience and motivation, possibly a little prim and proper. Someone who still thinks of himself as a soldier first and a soldier of fortune second.

I will give the rules a quick read-through and put together a draft character and a more detailed character sketch for you. Do you prefer them sent by PM or posted here in thread?

Well I try to make up for the Ugly by being quick and responsive!!  ;D
I have no problem with either variant and trust me when I say I have plans on allowing some upgrades!
I love backstory and the core members have a lot of it. I should point out that the contract the unit has will take them far from clan space. Way out toward the Lyran side edge of Marik Space.

As an aside for everyone I prefer face claims over art for this in fact to go with the above opening setting in Sven's House of Noodles.
Meet 1st Sergeant Joshua Thornbald, Senior Non-com for the Storm Crows!



MU
« Last Edit: April 17, 2017, 04:31:25 PM by Mister Ugly »

Offline Undine

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2017, 04:29:49 PM »
@Undine-- I saved you for last simply because this may take a bit. I also remember you from that aborted attempt I made at a Morrow Project game. Good to see ya again!! The MechWarrior/Battletech game has a deep rich history that would take a realm of words to tell you all about. So I gathered up some sites for you to check out. The gist for this game is that the Clans, former members of the old Star league army that left the inner sphere in 2750, attacked along a board front in 3051 and over whelmed almost every planet they attacked. It looked bleek for the innersphere when ComStar stepped up and fought the clans and beat them and enforced a 15 year truce. The setting is about 18 months after that battle. This is the short version.

http://www.sarna.net/wiki/History  <if you start around number 6 'The Amaris Coup' This should give you decent lead in to the story. you could maybe skip the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Succession wars and go from there and not miss much.

The gist of the Succession wars is that the various Houses blew themselves back to a tech level where they could barely run the few factories that built Battlemechs and there was no knew designs. it seemed they were slowly sliding into a dark age things changed [Look up Helm's memory Core]

I hope this helps and I will be happy to help guide you to getting up and running with a MechWarrior!

MU

--Runs off to open a Millinery with all the hats he collected--

Oddly enough Mister Ugly, I don't think my blurb was terribly long at all (once you peek under the spoiler of course ;) ).  I will read what you have offered up, with the caveat I was hoping for something very system-lite with few to no required rolls, for story-telling purposes.  I may not have a handle on all the 'jargon' yet, but I understand political maneuvering, military history and intrigue well, so I'll just read through where you've suggested and cobble a character together.

And yes, hello again!  *waves*  And just so you know, since I obviously can't sling the jargon yet like the rest of the folks whose hats have been tossed in?  If my contribution isn't quite up to par, I do understand if you need to let me know.  I feel confident in my writing, and I want to tell a good story - but not at the expense of keeping anyone else from doing so  ;)

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2017, 04:37:24 PM »
Oddly enough Mister Ugly, I don't think my blurb was terribly long at all (once you peek under the spoiler of course ;) ).  I will read what you have offered up, with the caveat I was hoping for something very system-lite with few to no required rolls, for story-telling purposes.  I may not have a handle on all the 'jargon' yet, but I understand political maneuvering, military history and intrigue well, so I'll just read through where you've suggested and cobble a character together.

And yes, hello again!  *waves*  And just so you know, since I obviously can't sling the jargon yet like the rest of the folks whose hats have been tossed in?  If my contribution isn't quite up to par, I do understand if you need to let me know.  I feel confident in my writing, and I want to tell a good story - but not at the expense of keeping anyone else from doing so  ;)

I too prefer a a system lite story which was why I offered up Risus. To give you an example Sergeant Thronblad can be defined with the system as follows; FRR MechWarrior 5d8/ Soldier 4d6/ Student of war 2d6/ Tech 1d6/ Poet 2d6.
You then simply roll dice that could fit under one of the clichés and if you make the target number you succeed.
I wanted a way to handle any contest that came up without going into a long winded and arbitrary setting.

Cobble something up and myself or any of the others here can help as you need.

Good to have ya along.

MU

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2017, 05:44:02 PM »
Thank you Mister Ugly :)  I have a couple days off now, so on top of catching up on my current roleplays and sleep, I'll have a good lot to read and think about, and get you a character imminently.

Offline Relikai

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2017, 09:35:45 PM »
Might tag here. Won a inter-clan contest of MWO two months ago and got the Marauder Pack as a reward. Come to think of it, should have asked for the Marauder 2-C or Kodiak >_<

Offline orderNchaos

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2017, 09:41:13 PM »
Might tag here. Won a inter-clan contest of MWO two months ago and got the Marauder Pack as a reward. Come to think of it, should have asked for the Marauder 2-C or Kodiak >_<

Marauder 2-C or Kodiak would be a weee bit late stage for 3054.  They don't start seeing field work until about 2065.  At least according to the Tech Readout.

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2017, 09:45:46 PM »
Might tag here. Won a inter-clan contest of MWO two months ago and got the Marauder Pack as a reward. Come to think of it, should have asked for the Marauder 2-C or Kodiak >_<

MWO at best is a shooter that tries for complete balance when such did not exist between the clans and IS. IS tactics were what gave the Clans the defeats they had. I play MWO as a FRR loyalist and have done so for a couple of years. I wish PGI Tried to follow some lore. Example for CW would be equal tonnage but 10 clan mechs against 12 IS.

Anyway if you want to play a clanner there are some restrictions I will impose on mechs. Only second line mechs would be allowed and nothing heavier then medium.  To play a member of the clans I would need a good background as to how he/she ended up on Outreach and not part of the premier units like the Wolf Dragoons.

MU

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2017, 09:51:33 PM »
Marauder 2-C or Kodiak would be a weee bit late stage for 3054.  They don't start seeing field work until about 2065.  At least according to the Tech Readout.

Actually the Marauder 2 came out first in the inner sphere. The clans copied did build the IIc in 2828 but did not upgrade it fully until the late 3050s.

So no to the Marauder IIc

The Marauder II...maybe...give me a good reason!

MU

Offline Relikai

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2017, 09:57:54 PM »
I'm thinking of playing a Female novice, or average pilot going about in a Bushwacker. My knowledge on MW comes from MW4 Mercenaries and MechCommander 2  XD

Offline greenknight

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2017, 06:26:06 AM »
I was looking at someone with solid minor from NAIS with the Team Banzai crew there, that's where the tech angle comes from. Definitely good enough to run a 'Mech bay and figure out why the ER-PPC only hits 12 hexes (usually 'cause the DAM forgot to reset phase array and burned it out with feedback), but he's not designing new 'Mechs or fabricating new containment bottle for the fusion core. Or something.

I'm not really a fan of assault 'mechs, 3/5 (even 6 or 3/6 with TSM or MASC) being positively crawling on a hex map. 5/8 is really about the slowest I'm comfortable with, though sometimes 4/6 is the best you can squeeze in, especially with stock Archers and Crusaders. :-\

Anyway, if we were using MW2, I'd be looking at how to get Piloting and Gunnery to 4/3+ (veteran level), along with getting Tech to at least 5+. I'm curious if Catalyst's B'Tech RPG (is "Mechwarrior" as a game title tied up with "ClickyTech"?) is worth the $18 from DriveThru. Does it build directly compatible skill bases between RPG and wargame engines like both editions of Mechwarrior? And I know you want rules-lite, but heat management is a critical skill. Will that be subsumed in successful piloting related checks?

Reading the Risus rules, I think the following is about as much as I need for a complete character, mechanics-wise.

Hank Hollister

Clichés: Mechwarrior (4), ‘Mech Tech (2), Gunfighter (2), Playboy (2)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 06:35:14 AM by greenknight »

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Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2017, 08:40:43 AM »
I'm thinking of playing a Female novice, or average pilot going about in a Bushwacker. My knowledge on MW comes from MW4 Mercenaries and MechCommander 2  XD

Average works fine! MW4 and MC2 give some decent history but both I believe are set around 10 years later then this story. MechCommander 2 I played up till I got Win 10 and cannot get it to work now. I loved going back to it just because.


I was looking at someone with solid minor from NAIS with the Team Banzai crew there, that's where the tech angle comes from. Definitely good enough to run a 'Mech bay and figure out why the ER-PPC only hits 12 hexes (usually 'cause the DAM forgot to reset phase array and burned it out with feedback), but he's not designing new 'Mechs or fabricating new containment bottle for the fusion core. Or something.

I'm not really a fan of assault 'mechs, 3/5 (even 6 or 3/6 with TSM or MASC) being positively crawling on a hex map. 5/8 is really about the slowest I'm comfortable with, though sometimes 4/6 is the best you can squeeze in, especially with stock Archers and Crusaders. :-\

Anyway, if we were using MW2, I'd be looking at how to get Piloting and Gunnery to 4/3+ (veteran level), along with getting Tech to at least 5+. I'm curious if Catalyst's B'Tech RPG (is "Mechwarrior" as a game title tied up with "ClickyTech"?) is worth the $18 from DriveThru. Does it build directly compatible skill bases between RPG and wargame engines like both editions of Mechwarrior? And I know you want rules-lite, but heat management is a critical skill. Will that be subsumed in successful piloting related checks?

Reading the Risus rules, I think the following is about as much as I need for a complete character, mechanics-wise.

Hank Hollister

Clichés: Mechwarrior (4), ‘Mech Tech (2), Gunfighter (2), Playboy (2)


All good stuff. I have no problem with NAIS nor your character having had some contact with Team Banzai.
Check the Intro Video at the start of the thread. The rager talks about Catalyst's Btech and gives a good review on what they are doing as part of the whole video. We will not be using a hex map for a battle since my skills with that sort of stuff are not up to the part and I think it would slow things down. Heat management was a lot of fun and took skill in the 3025 era. Though many of the IS mechs got a lot better with the new Double Heat sinks, there are plenty that still need a good touch and could easily be addressed in a free form battle. Of course there are few 3050 IS battlemechs that went silly with DbHS [here is looking at you Hunchback 5M]

For Hank I would like to have the MechWarrior cliché defined as FedCom MechWarrior. There were differences in training for each house and using FedCom would allow Hank knowledge on FedCom culture. So he would be able to explain why the Lyran half thinks a Banshee is a scout mech!!  :P

Also I was gonna mention that soldier cliché would encompass all the soldierly things like rifles, handguns, grenades, peeling potatoes.

I will also allow the hook or a tail additional dice. I would give an extra die for a dispocessed warrior. IE one without a mech.  :-[ :-[  a Sad state for any MechWarrior.

One last thing...we will not speak of Clicky tech!!! >:( >:(

MU
« Last Edit: April 18, 2017, 08:44:14 AM by Mister Ugly »

Offline greenknight

Re: A Fistful of C-Bills: A Mechwarrior Story
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2017, 08:55:29 AM »
For Hank I would like to have the MechWarrior cliché defined as FedCom MechWarrior. There were differences in training for each house and using FedCom would allow Hank knowledge on FedCom culture. So he would be able to explain why the Lyran half thinks a Banshee is a scout mech!!  :P

Also I was gonna mention that soldier cliché would encompass all the soldierly things like rifles, handguns, grenades, peeling potatoes.
FedCom specialization of Mechwarrior it is. And he's a Mechwarrior, not a soldier. Peelin' potatoes, are you serious? Not in the contract.

And Banshees, c'mon, y'ever hear of reconnaissance in force? It's an assault 'mech that moves 4/6. That's scouty, y'know, for an assault lance, at least. :D


One last thing...we will not speak of Clicky tech!!! >:( >:(

MU
Only thing it's good for is screwing up FASA naming conventions; BattleTech/Mechwarrior, Renegade Legion/Legionnaire, etc. Oh, wait, that's not good, either. :P