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Energy Armor, am I reading this right?


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In page 259 of the Big Gold Book under Advanced Armor is Energy Armor. From reading the description it looks like its BRP's version of Dune shields. It says that you can set the armor value between 1 and 20, but every combat round (12 seconds) it expends a number of charges equal to it's armor value plus 1 charge for every point of damage that is absorbed. Aside from the tedium of changing the charge number every turn, this looks pretty cool until you realize that a standard power source only provides 200 charges. So the energy armor set at AP 20 will only last for 10 combat rounds or 2 minutes, assuming that the wearer is not taking any damage. Am I reading this right?

If I am, I wanna make some homebrew to make the shield not expend so much charge when the energy armor isn't taking damage. Maybe instead of expending those charges every combat round, it only does so when it takes damage. So whenever the energy armor absorbs damage it expends a number of charges equal to it's armor value plus 1 charge for every point of damage that is absorbed. Or just extend the cycle that it loses charge to a larger time, like maybe 10 minutes or even an hour.

You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

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I would ask for something like 1 charge/round for every 3 points (or fraction thereof) of armor.  Because it should have a continuous power-drain, you shouldn't just be able to turn on a high-power forcefield and have it run forever at 0 cost (nor even long-term at low cost).

So at 20AP, it'll draw 7 charges per round; 200/7 = 28 rounds (passive, not actually blocking damage; just "on").
At 3AP, it'll last 200 rounds passively.

But if you want to go with a more pulpy feel, other choices might be better (including "always on" forcefields, maybe with an active power-source like a fusion-bottle in a backpack (fusion "fuel" is low-mass per energy-out)... or strap a tokamak 'round your waist as a belt... or etc.

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Keep in mind that this was something added to the game in the BGB and not drawn from any previous BRP product (at least as far as I recall). So it is really more of an example of how you can run an energy shield rather than a definitive rule.  So you should fell free to tweak how it works to suit your needs or taste.

Personally I'd:

  • eliminate the variable setting (no body is going to want to run around with a 1 point shield and get their head blasted off when they could have a 20 point shield).
  • Possibly have shields of different protection values at different prices (5 point, 10 point, 15 point, 20 point etc.), along with different storage capacities for charges.
  • Change the energy use to  use to something like 1 charge per hour, plus 1 per point of damage absorbed.
  • Create generators that could recharge the shield at a set charges per minute or hour. Say different one sin size and capability depending upon how advanced or costly they are. 

I think that would reduce the bookkeeping and streamline things while still making it practical. 

 

Edited by Atgxtg
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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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7 hours ago, g33k said:

I would ask for something like 1 charge/round for every 3 points (or fraction thereof) of armor.  Because it should have a continuous power-drain, you shouldn't just be able to turn on a high-power forcefield and have it run forever at 0 cost (nor even long-term at low cost).

So at 20AP, it'll draw 7 charges per round; 200/7 = 28 rounds (passive, not actually blocking damage; just "on").
At 3AP, it'll last 200 rounds passively.

But if you want to go with a more pulpy feel, other choices might be better (including "always on" forcefields, maybe with an active power-source like a fusion-bottle in a backpack (fusion "fuel" is low-mass per energy-out)... or strap a tokamak 'round your waist as a belt... or etc.

The main problem with that way that it only lasts for 5.6 minutes, it's still way too short for something a sci fi warrior is going to rely upon for defense over more traditional armor. It seems more like some experimental tech with loads of problems instead of something you'd see in Halo, Mass Effect or Dune. I think energy armor in those sci fi settings where the shields are always on has a workaround where if the energy armor isn't actively absorbing damage it's in some low power mode until it takes an attack.

1 hour ago, Atgxtg said:

Keep in mind that this was something added to the game in the BGB and not drawn from any previous BRP product (at least as far as I recall). So it is really more of an example of how you can run an energy shield rather than a definitive rule.  So you should fell free to tweak how it works to suit your needs or taste.

Personally I'd:

  • eliminate the variable setting (no body is going to want to run around with a 1 point shield and get their head blasted off when they could have a 20 point shield).
  • Possibly have shields of different protection values at different prices (5 point, 10 point, 15 point, 20 point etc.), along with different storage capacities for charges.
  • Change the energy use to  use to something like 1 charge per hour, plus 1 per point of damage absorbed.
  • Create generators that could recharge the shield at a set charges per minute or hour. Say different one sin size and capability depending upon how advanced or costly they are. 

I think that would reduce the bookkeeping and streamline things while still making it practical. 

 

Still, I think there should still be different rates of energy consumption when you have a shield with 20 AP compared to one with only 5 AP. So my idea was to have an hourly (or another time increment that isn't just a combat round) charge consumption rate based on the AP of the energy armor while its on and not taking damage.

You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

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On 4/1/2022 at 9:20 PM, KPhan2121 said:

The main problem with that way that it only lasts for 5.6 minutes, it's still way too short for something a sci fi warrior is going to rely upon for defense over more traditional armor. It seems more like some experimental tech with loads of problems instead of something you'd see in Halo, Mass Effect or Dune. I think energy armor in those sci fi settings where the shields are always on has a workaround where if the energy armor isn't actively absorbing damage it's in some low power mode until it takes an attack.

Still, I think there should still be different rates of energy consumption when you have a shield with 20 AP compared to one with only 5 AP. So my idea was to have an hourly (or another time increment that isn't just a combat round) charge consumption rate based on the AP of the energy armor while its on and not taking damage.

You can pull a FASA Star Trek RPG shields system.  You will have a Maximum Shield Strength.  This is a number from 1 to 25 and represents the maximum damage the Shield can absorb.  This number is set by the wearer, based on available power and anticipated threat levels.

Then you have your Shield Efficiency Rating.  This number ranges from 1 to 5 and represents the number of Shield Points each point of power creates.  So an Efficiency 5 Shield would generate a STR 20 Shield for just 4 points of power.   When ACTIVELY absorbing damage, this cost would be per round where the user was hit.  When on but "at rest" (not absorbing damage) the Shield's cost would be in power points per HOUR.  

Finally you can have your Shield Energy Absorption Rate set from 1 to 10.  When a Shield absorbs damage, it converts that attack into other energy to prevent it from causing damage.  The most common byproduct of this conversion is HEAT (and light), which will cause the Shield to glow as it discharges that heat (and light).  However, A Shield can only absorb a certain percentage of energy before it lets some of it through.  The Absorption Rate is the number of damage points the shield will absorb before letting 1 point through to the item it protects.  So a 5 Absortion Rate would block 10 points of a 12-point hit and let 2 points through to the PC. 

That's how I would do Shields in a Sci Fi BRP.

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On 4/1/2022 at 9:20 PM, KPhan2121 said:

Still, I think there should still be different rates of energy consumption when you have a shield with 20 AP compared to one with only 5 AP.

But possibly not to just keep it on. Much like an electrical circuit or powertool, the energy draw could be at a low level until the field encounters some sort of resistance and then has to increase the power draw to provide protection.

Since we get to make this up we can tailor the rules to suit the needs of a particular setting. It all depends on what you need to want.

Another workable option would be to handle it just like the  Protection spell, but using electrical power instead of magic points. So 1 power per point with a 15 min. duration. If desired it could be prorated to 3 points of protection for 5 min for 1 power, or 15 points of protection per minute for 1 power, or even 75 points of protection per melee round  for 1 point of power. So for that spell it's Protection x Duration/75. But you could adjust that to give you values that you prefer.

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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