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Invid Scout mecha


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OK, I am late the the BRP Mecha party but I had to wait until I could afford to grab a copy.  Upon my initial skim of the mecha creation rules, I'm having trouble wrapping my head around them.  They seem a little vague.  Point-buy may become painfully crunchy, but at least you have a concrete starting point.

For my first foray, I figured I'd start with something small.  I always thought the Invid Scout "Iigaa" from Robotech:  The Next Generation looked cool and was generally creepy.  This cherry red alien infantry robot is roughly triangular in shape and resembles a crab with a single cat-eye view port.  It is lightly armored but is agile and fast, capable of flying rings around Earth spacecraft and aircraft.  It also can walk swiftly on land on a pair of short legs with over-sized, blade-like feet.  It has a single rear engine and a single pilot, seated behind the "eye."  Its primary armament is a pair of thick crab-like pincers cable of slicing enemy craft like cheese.  Scouts are usually employed in swarms, overwhelming opposing anti-aircraft fire in order to latch upon or ram enemy robots and ships.

There are two Scout variations:  The Scout Fighter adds a pair of fixed, top-mounted plasma cannons.  The Armored Scout has the cannons and adds heavy shields on the fronts of its claws.

For a giant robot, the Scout is tiny.  It stands a little over 8 feet (2.5 meters) tall, is about 12 feet (3.75 meters) wide, and is about 11 feet (3.25 meters) long.  It weighs between 3.5 and 4.5 tons.  Powered by the organic substance "protoculture," the Scout is a sort of biological machine.  The alien pilot floats in a blood-like substance, and the machine smells like blood.  The view port, although small and hard to target, is the robot's Achilles' heel.  A direct shot can pierce the cockpit and kill the pilot, with icky results.

Performance descriptions online (I looked at about eight websites) vary widely.  The Scout walks or runs at 40 mph (64 km/h).  It can make 20-meter hops with the help of its thrusters and can hover in place.  Its flight speed is variously described as 980-992 km/h, 2,345 mph, Mach 7 in a vacuum.

The Scout may be wimpy as robots go, but it an eerie opponent, capable of stalking stealthily through heavy brush and wooded areas to surprise humans not safely encased in powered armor.  I can almost see one of these babies confronting a party of Call of Cthulhu investigators.  In the TV series, the aliens themselves were never actually seen, and their motives were inscrutable.

Edited by seneschal
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I rather enjoy the mecha creation rules. Doing point buy needs you either pick an arbitrary value for all mecha, or figure out relative values for various mecha, before getting down to business. I like being able to take some "real-world" stats and making game stats straight from them and then doing some handwavey arbitrary selections like slightly adjusting armor and/or weapon stats.

And here is a dump of some raw stats from my spreadsheet.

SeriesMechaMass(kg)SIZCONHeight (m)SIZ ClassArmor TypeArmor PointsPOWer Plant (kW)POWThrust (kg)Flying STRLifting Capacity (kg)STRThrust to WeightFlight ACCSTR to MASGround ACCWalking kphMOV/SPDMax SPeeD (Flying kph)MOV/SPD2HP HeadHP TorsoHP LegHP Tail/WingAPSTRengthSTR FlyCONstitutionSIZePOWerMOVACCMOV FlyACC Fly
MOSPEADAInvid Carrier5,670,000142015526126 #NUM! #NUM!000.0000.000.00006,432644853260#NUM!0142#NUM!00640
MOSPEADAInvid Commander28,0008108.75111 #NUM!2,300522,300520.0810.081.151624064353215252081#NUM!2141
MOSPEADAInvid Enforcer28,0008109.7212 #NUM!2,500532,500530.0910.091.251417257353225353081#NUM!1171
MOSPEADAInvid Overlord36,00084010.1212 #NUM!2,500532,500530.0710.070.971526567353225353084#NUM!2171
MOSPEADAInvid Scout4,5006003.25111 #NUM!1,500471,500470.3350.334.67911,08811232114747060#NUM!15115
MOSPEADAInvid Shocktrooper11,5007105.8111 #NUM!2,200522,200520.1930.192.681414805243215252071#NUM!1353
MOSPEADAInvid Soldier2162502.3010 #NUM!1,250451,250455.79815.7981.02713203121104545025#NUM!181381
MOSPEADAInvid Trooper10,0006905111 #NUM!2,200522,200520.2230.223.081414805243215252069#NUM!1353
MOSPEADAVF/A-6 Alpha Series16,7007508.751112,7605419,200772,000511.15160.121.681721,9001924321517707554221916
MOSPEADAVF/B-9 Beta Series29,50082013.72124,1405919,200772,500530.6590.081.191821,930193532253770825921199
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My roleplaying blog: Axes and Orcs. Scramblings of anime, D&D, and RQ-derived games.

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Thanks for the chart.  The mass seems to match my own research.  I'll keep plugging away with the rules and see if I can "get" them.

My problem is, partially, that since mecha aren't real-world vehicles and nothing like anything that exists, it is hard to find something comparable to base them on.  The main reason we have Robotech stats is that the series was wildly popular in the EIghties and Palladium got the game license and already made everything up.  But many robots don't have a Star Trek-like technical manual.  Gigantor?  Voltron?  What if you want to make up your very own special robot rather than copying one?  Since Voltron is mystical and Invid craft are biological, do they even have power plants that produce kilowatts?  Perhaps I'm overthinking things, But if it is mostly guesswork and hand-waving, we might as well be using FUDGE instead of BRP.  And I don't want to get carpal tunnel syndrome.  ;)

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Sometimes superrobots do have their engines rated in kW or hp. One of the reasons I constructed my spreadsheet, which covers Gunbuster, Battletech, CoC, Code Geass, Cross Ange, Five Star Stories, Pendragon, A LOT of Macross, and so on, is so I can make comparisons and plug in numbers that I need, if I need them. A great many mecha anime/manga don't have all the tech specs that BRP Mecha would like, which is why there are guidelines to using other stats to derive the missing ones in it.

And after doing a lot of the data entry, I've noticed how meaningless a lot of these stats. I use the whole proccess to get into a ball-park, and then wiggle stats around until I get a good feeling that the stats when used in the system will give results that will emulate the series they are from.

And I only use Palladium to fill the gaps when I can't data from original source material in Macross/Robotech. The numbers for the Macross franchise feel a lot more internally and real-world consistent.

One of the things I like about the BRP family is how robustly it can handle a certain amount of arbitrary handwaving.

Besides as far as having the "right" POW for an invid/inbit, unless you are going give it fuel consumption and track that fuel consumption, or it you want to give it enough firepower that it can't always fire all of its weapons every round, its POW is generally going to be meaningless. Similar reasoning can be applied to STR, even STR is more likely to come up as important in its raw form, STR vs STR etc, but in BRP Mecha moving around other mech or objects is based of the Size Class anyways.

I went through a very similar thought process. In the end, as long as you make internally consistent choices with your conversions, the mecha should be as relativly powerful as they appear on screen.

My roleplaying blog: Axes and Orcs. Scramblings of anime, D&D, and RQ-derived games.

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