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version 1.1 written by Kenneth and David Olson with help from Rogue Squadron members

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Mecha Combat
  3. Personal Combat

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Introduction

As an avid Robotech fan, I have played the roleplaying game, created by Palladium, for years. However I have always found the rules to be somewhat lacking. This is mainly due to the fact that I have not been happy with the basic Palladium system, which was originally created for fantasy gaming. In order to incorporate rules for playing with mecha sized and strength vehicles, Palladium invented the concept of the M.D.C. unit. Many would say that this melding of fantasy and the cumbersome S.D.C / M.D.C units creates an unworkable system. The purpose of this addendum is to rework the basic Palladium rules in an attempt to devise a system that satisfactorily recreates the excitement of the original series.

Note: For readability purposes, I have used standard masculine pronouns when referring to persons of uncertain gender. In such cases, these pronouns are intended to convey the meanings he/she, her/his, etc.

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Mecha Combat

The Module

Definition / Justifcation: A module is defined as 1/4th of a melee or 3.75 seconds. A module is essentially treated as a miniature melee round. This was devised because I felt that the Palladium system placed too little emphasis on the initiative roll. The module was designed to find a middle ground between the Palladium system and allowing a combatant to make all of their attacks in order of initiative roll (our previous system).

Usage: The number of attacks per melee that a character possesses is divided evenly into each of the four modules, which make up a melee. Any remaining attacks are randomly distributed to a module with a 1d4 roll. Each module is a self-contained combat round. The initiative is rolled at the first module and re-rolled at the beginning of each melee round.  Combat during each module begins with the character with the highest initiative. The character may then use any or all of their attacks for that module. Combat proceeds according to initiative. Any unused attacks for that module are used at the end of the module in order of initiative.

Example: Player one has 5 attacks per melee and player two has 10. Therefore, player one has one attack per module, and his extra attack occurs during a random module determined with a 1d4 die roll. Player two has two attacks per module, and his extra two attacks are determined with two separate 1d4 die rolls. The two extra attacks cannot occur during the same module.

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Auto Dodge

Definition / Justifcation:  Contrary to Palladium’s rules, I find it unbelievable that a vehicle with the ability to auto dodge could do so indefinitely without penalty. The following rules are implemented to correct this fallacy.

Usage: For units that have an autododge, the following rules apply.

    1. Autododges occur at the same time as an automatic parry. Therefore the character must decide whether or not he would like to use an autododge or an automatic parry.
    2. For every autododge attempted after the first, a cumulative -2 penalty to dodge is applied until the autododge "resets".
    3. The autododge "resets" at the beginning of two randomly determined modules in a melee round. The modules in which the autododge "resets" are determined by two 1d4 rolls. Identical rolls are, of course, not allowed and should be re-rolled. The first melee round is an exception to this rule because the autododge is automatically "reset" in the first module, and so only one 1d4 roll should be made.

Example: A Cyclone enters into combat with three Invid Armored Scouts. After determining initiative and         during which modules he gets his extra attacks (if any), he rolls to see when his autododge "resets". The player then rolls one 1d4 roll (this is the first melee round of combat) and this roll results in a 4. This means that the Cyclone’s can autododge, but each dodge will incur penalties until the start of the 4th module (when his autododge "resets"). Let’s say that the cyclone has used his autododge 4 times when the 3rd module is finally at an end, and used it once in the fourth. This means that his first dodge had no penalties, the second was at a penalty of –2, the third at –4, and the fourth at –6. The cyclone’s single autododge in the 4th module was again at no penalty because his autododge "reset".

We now enter the second melee round. The cyclone rider must again roll for initiative and distribute any extra     attacks. He must also roll for when his autododge "resets". Let’s say this time he rolls a 2 and a 3 (he must roll   twice in this and any subsequent rounds). Let us also say that the cyclone dodges 2 times in the first module,    twice in the second, once in the third, and no times in the fourth. His first dodge in the 1st module is at a     penalty of –2 (his autododge has not "reset" yet) and the second in at –4. His autododge "resets" in the second module, so the first autododge in this module is at no penalty, and the second is at –2. His autododge also "resets" in the third module, so his autododge in this module is also at no penalty. However, the cyclone rider must also be aware that any autododges he makes until his autododge "resets" the first time in the next melee round will incur penalties.

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Tilt Dodge

Description / Justification:   Tilt dodges are described in more detail in the skills description of all Robotech RPG books, but  simply put, a tilt dodge allows the character to dodge without using an attack by making a piloting skill check. Rules are laid out in the Palladium books, but they are inadequate. The most glaring concept is that there are no modifiers to this maneuver due to the attack roll being dodged. The rules that follow further expand upon Palladium’s.

Usage:

  1. Only mecha in fighter mode, spacecraft and aircraft may tilt dodge.
  2. Making a tilt dodge requires a piloting skill roll, instead of the normal d20 dodge roll.
  3. There is a cumulative penalty of -5% to the piloting skill roll determined by the enemies strike roll. The penalty is calculated as follows:    For every number the strike roll is above 4, there is a -5% penalty. [(Modified strike roll-4)*5] = Penalty applied to piloting skill roll (in percentage)
  4. A natural 20 to strike may be tilt dodged by rolling 01 to 05 on the piloting skill roll (this is the equivalent of rolling a natural 20 on a twenty sided die)
  5. Every attempt to tilt dodge that a character makes, regardless of success, receives a cumulative -2 to strike. This penalty applies to all attacks for the next two modules.

Example: An alpha fighter is in fighter mode, and has been attacked by an Invid Shock Trooper. The strike roll is 9. The pilot decides to attempt a tilt dodge knowing that he will receive a –2 penalty to strike for all subsequent attacks this module and the next; However, he will not use up an attack. The penalty to the pilot’s skill check is then calculated as: (9-4)*5% or a -25% penalty. If the pilot’s Pilot Alpha skill is 75%, he must then roll a 50 or below on percentile dice to tilt dodge.

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Radio Radar

In space the range of the radio/radar is multiplied by 10.

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Invid Inorganics

Definition / Justification:   Invid inorganics are able to provide an incredible amount of armor protection for their relatively small frames. I feel that Inorganics armor values could not be so high without having some sort of penalty/weakness.

Usage: Invid Inorganic armor tends to be brittle when attacked with armor piercing weapons. This means that any strike roll with a natural 18,19, or 20 will do three times the amount of damage (including missiles)

 Example: None needed.

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Firing Multiple Weapons with One Attack

(I.e. Extended Paired Weapon Usage; Applies to mecha combat only)

Definition / Justification:   In our early roleplaying years, we assumed paired weapons allowed someone to use any type of weapons in a paired fashion. I have decided to continue to use this as a rule, and allow characters to shoot two weapons simultaneously using only one attack. Please note that some mecha-mounted weapons may automatically be fired simultaneously with no penalty. For the rules that follow here, these type of "pre-paired" weapons are considered as one weapon.

Usage: Any player may fire two (or more) weapons at a single target using only one attack. The rules are different for players who have paired weapons and those that do not. These rules apply to beam and projectile weapons, not to missile pods and the like.

Characters with Paired Weapons: Two weapons may be fired together with no penalty. Both these weapons will strike the same location from point blank to short range, and will hit random locations beyond short range.

Firing additional weapons along with the first two:

    1. A separate strike roll is made for each additional weapon fired.
    2. A cumulative -4 penalty to strike is applied for each weapon.
    3. The target is allowed a single autododge that applies to all paired attacks beyond the first two.

Characters without Paired Weapons: Any hits besides the first are applied to random locations.

    1. Each weapon fired requires a separate strike roll.
    2. The first weapon fired receives a –2 penalty to strike, the second weapon receives a –4 penalty.
    3. A cumulative –4 penalty to strike applies to all weapons fired after the first two.
    4. The target is allowed a "free" autododge, which applies to all paired weapons fired beyond the first.

Example: A character piloting a VF series veritech in fighter mode decides he would like to fire his GU-11, nose, and head lasers at a pesky Tactical Battle Pod. He will fire his GU-11 "first", followed by his nose and then head lasers. We will use this example in two instances.

Instance 1: Let us assume that this pilot has paired weapons. His attack with the GU-11 and nose lasers will occur in one strike roll. Assuming the strike roll is successful, both these weapons will strike the same location (provided he is within short range). A separate strike roll must be made for the head lasers. This roll receives a –4 strike penalty, and the battle pod may make an autododge against it with no penalties. If the strike succeeds, the head lasers will do damage to a random location. If this pilot had fired one additional weapon (say a wing mounted GU-11), the strike penalty would be –8.

Instance 2: Let us assume this time that the same pilot does not have paired weapons. He must make separate strike rolls for all weapons fired. The GU-11 receives a –2 strike penalty, the nose lasers a –4 strike penalty, and the head lasers a –8 penalty. The battle pod may make an autododge against all weapons except the GU-11 with no penalties. If this pilot had fired one additional weapon (say a wing mounted GU-11), the strike penalty would be –12.

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Sprays

Definition / Justification: I have been unhappy with the way that sprays are defined in Palladium’s system, especially for mecha. Sprays from mecha-mounted weapons are not very specific, and seem to vary from mecha to mecha. There are also percentage chances of hitting innocent bystanders that I feel should be just as high as if you had shot the spray intending to hit them. Here I present rules to replace the Palladium spray rules for "Spraying an area" when in mecha.

Usage:

  1. Mecha with burst weapons are allowed to perform this type of attack.
  2. A spray must be declared before the strike roll is made. One strike roll is made for the entire spray.
  3. The spray will include all targets in the general area of the attack, including friendly units.
  4. The amount of damage to each target is equal to the total burst damage divided by the number of targets.
  5. The player may choose the primary target of the spray. The remaining targets will be selected in random order, and will be called here "Secondary Targets"
  6. A cumulative –2 penalty to strike applies to each secondary target. Once the strike roll falls to four or below, any remaining secondary targets of the spray are missed.
  7. Secondary targets receive a free autododge against the spray.

Example: The pilot of an Alpha fighter decides to fire a medium burst as a spray against 3 Invid Armored Scouts which are rather close to each other. , unfortunately a fellow Cyclone rider in also in close combat with the same Invid foes. The Alpha pilot callously decides that the Cyclone rider can take the damage, and shoots anyway. The Alpha pilot decides that Armored scout #1 will be his "Primary Target", and rolls a strike roll of 10, not too good, but a hit nevertheless. Next, the pilot rolls for damage (1D4x10) and gets a 4 for a total of 40 points of mega-damage. There were a total of 4 targets (don’t forget to include the Cyclone Rider), so each target will receive 10 points of mega-damage if they are hit. The primary target (Armored Scout #1) decides to take the damage and will not attempt a dodge (he would have to use an attack). The first secondary target is randomly determined to be Invid Armored Scout #2 followed by the Cyclone rider, and lastly Invid Armored Scout #3. A penalty of –2 is applied to the strike roll against the first secondary target, making the modified strike roll a total of 8. Armored Scout #2 makes his free autododge but fails, and therefore takes 10 MD. A penalty of –4 is applied to the strike roll against the second secondary target (the Cyclone), making the modified strike roll a total of 6. The cyclone makes his free autododge and succeeds, taking no damage. A penalty of –6 is applied to the strike roll against the third secondary target (Armored Scout #3), making the strike roll a total of 4. This means that this target is missed, and if there were any more targets of the spray, they would have been missed also.

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Robotech Missiles

 Definition / Justification:   Missile attacks are a large part of combat in the Robotech universe, but there are some problems with the Palladium missile statistics. The main problem is that there is virtually no reason to take certain types of missiles over others, and so I have devised the following revised missile table.

Usage:

Mini Missiles

Type

Damage

(MD)

Speed

(mph/kph)

Range

(Mi/km)

Blast Radius

(ft.)

Special

High Explosive

1D4*10

1000/1609

1.5/2.4

10

 
Fragmentation

5D6

800/1287

2/3.2

15

 
Armor Piercing

3D6

400/643

1/1.6

2

Crits on 18-20

Plasma

1D6*10

400/643

1/1.6

5

No Roll allowed

HEAT

1D4

200/322

1/1.6

1

Crits on 15-20

Smoke

-

200/322

1/1.6

10

 

Short Range Missiles

Type

Damage

(MD)

Speed

(mph/kph)

Range

(Mi/km)

Blast Radius

(ft.)

Special

High Explosive (Light)

1D4*10

800/1287

15/24

10

 
High Explosive (Medium)

1D6*10

700/1127

12/19

15

Lose 1 attack on 20

Fragmentation (Light)

1D4*10

500/805

10/16

20

 
Armor Piercing (Light)

6D6

450/724

4/6

3

Crits on 18-20

Plasma (Light)

1D6*10

500/805

6/10

10

No Roll allowed

HEAT

1D6

400/644

2/3

1

Crits on 14-20

Tear Gas / Knockout

-

300/483

2/3

20

 
Smoke / Fire Retardant

-

300/483

2/3

20

 
Counter

-

300/483

2/3

20

Anti-missile warhead

Medium Range Missiles

Type

Damage

(MD)

Speed

(mph/kph)

Range

(Mi/km)

Blast Radius

(ft.)

Special

High Explosive (Light)

1D6*10

2200/3541

100/161

15

 
High Explosive (Medium)

2D4*10

2000/3219

80/129

20

Lose 1 attack on 20

High Explosive (Heavy)

2D6*10

1800/2897

60/97

25

Lose 1 attack on 19-20

Fragmentation (Medium)

2D4*10

1600/2575

70/113

35

 
Armor Piercing (Medium)

1D6*10

1400/2253

50/80

3

Crits on 18-20

Plasma (Heavy)

2D6*10

1200/1931

40/64

15

No Roll allowed

Multi-Warhead

2D4*10

1400/2253

50/80

10

-2 to strike missile

Smoke / Fire Retardant

-

1000/1609

40/64

40

 
Counter

-

1000/1609

40/64

40

Anti-missile warhead

Ragnarok (Ajax Only)

4D6*10

1000/1609

40/64

10

**See Note**

Note: A Ragnarok Medium range missile is only available to Ajax mecha. These are special multi-warhead guided missiles that release eight guided plasma submunitions at a specified proximity to target. These submunitions do 5D6 mega-damage each. For simplicity, for every two submunitions that strikes the target, 1D6*10 MD is done. One strike roll is made for all submunitions, but they must be jammed individually (presuming jamming rules are used). Every group of two submunitions strikes a random location on the target.

 

Long Range Missiles

Type

Damage

(MD)

Speed

(mph/kph)

Range

(Mi/km)

Blast Radius

(ft.)

Special

High Explosive (Medium)

2D6*10

3200/5150

250/402

30

Lose 1 attack on 19-20

High Explosive (Heavy)

3D6*10

2800/4506

200/322

40

Lose 1 attack on 18-20

Fragmentation (Heavy)

3D4*10

3000/4828

150/241

50

 
Armor Piercing (Medium)

2D6*10

2800/4506

100/161

3

Crits on 18-20

Plasma (Heavy)

3D6*10

2500/4023

100/161

30

No Roll allowed

Proton Torpedo (Heavy)

4D6*10

600/966

200/322

60

Full dmg in blast rad.

Reflex (Medium)

2D6*10

2600/4184

200/322

10

+5 Strike, +5 Dodge

Reflex (Heavy)

3D6*10

2200/3540

175/282

15

+5 Strike, +4 Dodge

Reflex Multi-Warhead

4D6*10

1800/2897

150/241

20

+5 Strike, +3 Dodge

Counter

-

2200/3540

175/282

50

Anti-missile warhead

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Dodging missiles

Definition / Justication: I feel that Palladium’s rules for dodging missiles are both incorrect and incomplete. I do not see how a mecha can dodge one, two or three missiles with no penalties, but once a volley of four is fired it is impossible to dodge. This seems very unrealistic, and if you watch the T.V. series, you can see volleys of four or more missiles being dodged all the time. You can attribute some of those "dodges" to enemy misses, but it occurs much too often. Another item that Palladium does not specifically address is dodging unguided mini-missiles. What follows are rules to replace and enhance what Palladium presents in their rulebooks.

Usage:

Dodging unguided missiles: The mini-missile has no active guidance, and therefore is totally dependent on the user to aim and fire it, therefore the following rules will govern mini-missiles:

  1. The only strike bonuses to mini-missiles are those from the mecha, any weapon systems bonuses, and the pilot’s P.P. bonus.
  2. The target can dodge any number of missiles. If the target succeeds in his dodge, all mini-missiles in the volley are dodged.
  3. Failure to dodge the volley does not necessarily mean that all the missiles strike use the following to determine the number of mini missiles striking the target:  (strike roll - dodge roll)*20% of volley hits the target. Using this formula, one can figure out that the entire volley will strike the target if the dodge roll is equal to or less than 5 under the strike roll. There is one exception to this rule; a natural 20 means all the missiles hit and can only be dodged with a natural 20.

  Dodging guided missiles: The following rules apply to dodging guided missiles

  1. Any ground-based vehicle/mecha can only dodge a maximum of 3 missiles per dodge, as it is confine to a two-dimensional plane.
  2. Any air-based vehicle/mecha, or vehicles/mecha with jumping capability, can attempt to dodge any amount of guided missiles shot at it. It may attempt to dodge a volley of up to three missiles without any penalty. If it attempts to dodge over three missiles, each additional missile will incur a –2 penalty to dodge the volley because each missile makes the volley more difficult to dodge. In addition, if the pilot wishes to dodge more than three missiles, he may not use an autododge; he MUST use an attack.
  3. A pilot of either a ground-based or an air-based vehicle may attempt to dodge up to three missiles out of a volley of any size without penalty, allowing the remainder of the volley to strike.

Example: A Cyclone rider is under attack from a Commanchero attack helicopter. The Commanchero fires a volley of 5 short range missiles at the cyclone. The attack roll (with bonuses) is a 15. The cyclone rider decides to attempt to dodge all of the missiles and rolls a 26 (with bonuses). There is a -4 penalty to dodge the volley because it contains 5 missiles, at a penalty of -2 per missile over three. Therefore, the final modified dodge roll is a 22, still plenty high enough to dodge the entire volley of 5 missiles. The cyclone must have had a free attack to dodge the entire volley as written. If the cyclone rider wanted to use only an autododge, he would only have been allowed to dodge three missiles from the volley at most.

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Shooting missiles down (With Missiles)

Definition / Justification:   I feel that Palladium's rules for shooting missiles down are both incomplete and unrealistic. I do not think that the chance of destroying a volley of missiles should be the same for all types of missiles. I also think that the amount of counter missiles fired should make a difference in the amount of incoming missiles destroyed. This is justified by watching the T.V. series; One sees in the show numerous times where the heroes shoot a plethora of missiles to destroy a volley of missiles aimed at them, e.g. Scott Bernard in 'Symphony of Light'.

Usage: I introduce a new type of missile called simply a "counter" that releases hundreds of tiny bomblets used to fratricide the missiles on contact. These type of missiles are best seen in the 'Macross Plus' series. These missiles do no combat damage, but are the most effective type of counter to incoming missiles. The following table is used to determine the number of missiles destroyed per counter missile fired (Table 2). The type of counter missile used (Table 1) and the difference in the two strike rolls also affects the results (Table 2).

Table 1

Type "A"

Counter Missiles

Type "B"

Counter Missiles

Type "C"

Counter Missiles

Counter Plasma Armor Piercing
Proton Torpedo Fragmentation HEAT
Ragnarok High Explosive  
  Reflex  
  Multi-Warhead  

Table 2

 

Result (MAR-MDR)

Type "A"

Type "B"

Type "C"

10+ 0.3 0.1 0
8,9 0.5 0.25 0.1
6,7 1 0.5 0.25
4,5 2 1 0.5
2,3 3 1.5 .75
0,1 4 2 1
-2,-1 5 2.5 1.25
-4,-3 6 3 1.5
-6,-5 7 3.5 1.75
-8,-7 8 4 2
-9,-10 9 4.5 2.25
-11+ 10 5 2.5

Notes:

Example: Let us suppose a Zentraedi Fighter pod launches a volley of 4 medium range plasma missiles at a Cyclone rider. The Fighter Pod strikes, rolling an 18 plus 3 because the missiles are guided, for a MAR of 21. Since the missiles are medium, another 2 is added to the MAR for a total MAR of 23. The Cyclone rider fires six high explosive mini missiles at the assailing volley. He rolls a 12, and has a total bonus of +4 to his strike roll (from stats, weapon systems, etc.) for a MDR or 16. Since the defending volley is composed of mini missiles, 2 is subtracted from the MDR for a total MDR of 14. Consulting Chart 1, we see that high explosive missiles are considered type "B" counters. We then subtract the MDR from the MAR and get a result of +9. Consulting table 2 in the column for Type "B" counter missiles at the +9 entry gives us a number, 0.25 in this case. 0.25 means that for every ONE counter missile fired, 0.25 missiles from the assailing volley are destroyed. This means that 1.5 missiles from the assailing volley are destroyed. 0.5 is rounded up, and so the cyclone destroys 2 missiles out of the volley of four and will be struck by the other two.

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Shooting missiles down (with guns)

Definition /  Justication:  I don’t think that Palladium's system for shooting missiles down with guns is entirely realistic.  Here I devise rules which take into account the type of weapon used and the skill of the defender in the results of the defense. The rules I have devised are somewhat similar to the rules for shooting missiles down with missiles, and appear below.

Usage: The rules for shooting missiles down with guns vary depending on whether the defender uses a burst weapon or a single shot weapon. Whether using a burst weapon or a single shot weapon, the attack must still destroy at least one missile in order to use these rules. All fractional results are rounded down from .5 and below.

  1. Single shot weapons: Use the B column in the table above as if a single type "B" counter missile had been fired at the entire volley, and calculate results according to "Shooting missiles down with missiles".
  2. Burst weapons: Calculate the difference between the two strike rolls and consult the following table.

 

Result (MAR-MDR)

Percentage of volley destroyed
+10 0
8,9 10
6,7 20
4,5 30
2,3 40
0,1 50
-1,-2 60
-3,-4 70
-5,-6 80
-7,-8 90
-9,-10+ 100

Notes:

Example: An alpha fighter has a volley of 20 short range missiles shot at it. The modified strike roll of the assailing volley is 12 (MAR = 12). The alpha pilot is all out of missiles, and decides to fire his GU-XX at the volley. The pilot rolls to strike and gets a modified strike roll of 15 (MDR = 15). The damage of the burst is rolled, and turns out to be 20. This is enough damage to destroy a short range missile, so the burst chart above is consulted. Subtracting the MDR from the MAR results in a -3 (12-15 = -3). Consulting the chart yields a percentage of 70. This means that 70% of the entire volley was destroyed (or 14 missiles), so the alpha will only be struck by 6 short range missiles.

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Range Modifications

Definition / Justication: I have never been completely satisfied with Palladium's strike roll system. There is a reference to a strike bonus for point-blank range, but no other modifications for range seem to exist. Apparently Palladium thinks that a shot just beyond point-blank range is just as likely to strike the target as a shot at extreme range. I don't believe that this is correct, so I have implemented the following range rules to make these situations more realistic.

Usage: Use the following chart for applying strike bonuses or penalties due to range. Consult this table only for non-missile weapons and for unguided missiles. These bonuses also apply to the number at which the target is missed. This means that if a +1 bonus is applied here, an attack hits on a 4-20, but if a -1 penalty is applied, attacks only strike on 6-20.

Range

Bonus to strike

Roll required to strike

0-5% Point Blank

+1

4-20

6%-25% Short

+0

5-20

26-50% Medium

-1

6-20

51%-100% Long

-2

7-20

101-150% Maximum

-3

8-20

Example: A Vindicator pilot wants to fire his Destabilizer at an Invid armored scout that is 500m away. With a quick calculation, it can be seen that this distance falls between 26 and 50% of the maximum range listed. This means that the invid is in "Medium Range". Therefore, a -1 penalty applies to the pilot's strike roll, and a roll of a 5 or below is considered a miss.

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Called Shots

Definition / Justication: I think that the rules needed to "call a shot" on a specific location needs some improvement. In addition to the range argument laid down above, almost no consideration is taken for the size of the location that the attacker is attempting to strike. The rules that follow address these issues.

Usage: For making called shots against any mecha-sized target, use the following tables. The target must be within short range for a called shot to be made. Please note that if the target is in point-black range, a +1 bonus to strike is applied, and this modifies the threshold numbers required to strike (see range rules above). There are also some terms used in the tables which need to be defined:

In addition, the required strike rolls listed below are for natural and modified rolls. This means that the lower of the two numbers is used when consulting the table below.

 

Type of location Bonus to strike Roll required to hit target random Roll required to hit location desired
Servo -1 6-11 12-20
Location -2 7-12 13-20
Instrument -3 8-13 14-20

Example: The Vindicator pilot in the previous example wants to fire his destabilizer at the sensor eye (classified as an instrument) of an invid shock trooper that is at point blank range. A called shot is allowable since the target is within short range, so the pilot rolls to strike. The natural roll is a 13, but adding the strike bonuses of the pilot and mecha (+2) yields a total roll of 12 after subtracting the strike penalty shown in the table above. Since distance affects the natural and modified rolls required, the point-blank range of the target makes the natural roll a 14 and the modified roll a 13. This means that the pilot has not struck the desired location because even though the natural roll was high enough, the modified roll was not. If the Vindicator pilot's strike bonus was one point higher, he would have hit the desired location.

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Nuclear Weapons

Definition / Justication: The use of nuclear weapons in Robotech has always been problematic. Nuclear weapons Justification: were most likely used during the Robotech wars, however, the use of atomics can be extremely unbalancing. I have calculated what I believe is realistic mega-damage for nuclear weapons, and the formulae are listed below.

Usage: The damage done by nuclear weapons to both mecha and spacecraft is listed below.  Where kilotonnes is the yield of the weapon and r is the radius from the center in meters.

Mecha:

Spacecraft:

Please note that r is the radius, in meters, from the center of the blast. Also note that the above formulae listed for spacecraft calculates mega-damage in MD per square meter.

The exponential component in the atmosphere is added to provide a rough estimate for the attenuation of the blast in the atmosphere.  For mecha, total the damage and then divide it into 50 MD increments. Roll random location locations for all 50 MD "packets". Any mecha caught in the blast are also allowed to attempt a roll with the punch. Furthermore all nuclear missile attacks the players make should be done in secret to add to the suspense.

Example: A 100 kilotonne nuclear device explodes in a city, and catches an Alpha veritech in the blast. Assuming the veritech was 500 meters away from the center of the blast when it was struck, and that it failed to roll with the punch, the damage to the veritech is…

1,000,000/500^2*[e(-500/750)]*(1D4*100 MD) = (4)*(.51342)*(1D4*100 MD) = 1D4*205 MD.

The die is rolled, and a 3 results. This means that the alpha fighter will sustain 615 MD from the blast, but it would have been half that if the alpha had successfully rolled with the punch. The damage is divided into 13 increments, twelve 50 MD "packets", and one 15 MD "packet". Each of these "packets" hits a randomly determined location on the mecha.

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Rolling with the punch

Definition / Justication:   When our group initially began to play the Robotech RPG, there was a bit of confusion as to how rolling with punches was performed. Did rolling require an attack or not? We initially decided that rolling with a blow did not require an attack, but over time (and by reading subsequent RPG's released by Palladium) we have come to realize that Palladium intended for rolling to require an attack, except under special circumstances. I have decided to stand the middle ground between our initial interpretation, and the actual intent; After all, if rolling with a blow requires an attack, the character might as well dodge it.

Usage: A player, in mecha or not, receives two "free" rolls every melee round, one during the first two modules and one during the last two. A player may use these "free" rolls at any time he chooses, but will be made aware that any subsequent rolls until either the 3rd module or the beginning of the next melee round will require an attack to perform. In addition, rolls may be declared after a dodge has failed, if the player has the attacks or the "free" roll available.

Example: An AJACS pilot is being attacked by a volley of missiles in the first module of combat, and has three melee attacks available in that particular module. The pilot elects to dodge the first volley, but is not successful. He then declares he will use his "free" roll with the punch. The pilot is then allowed a roll, and is successful. Since the pilot used his "free" roll, he still has two available attacks this melee. The enemy fires another volley at the AJACS, and the pilot attempts to dodge the second volley, but is unsuccessful. Since the pilot has used his "free" roll, if he wishes to roll with this volley, or any other volleys until the start of the 3rd module, he must use an attack.

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Evasive Action

Definition/Justification: Over the years, our group has become increasingly frustrated with the way that palladium treats evasive action maneuvers.   We have seen in the series many times where the characters maneuver TOWARDS a rapidly firing enemy target weaving and dodging all the way.  This is not accounted for in standard Palladium rules.  Another troublesome aspect of the standard evasive action rule is the "all or nothing" way that it is applied.  A failed evasive action roll often means the death of the pilot.  Also, it seems a little artificial that  if based on the outcome of one piloting roll, ALL enemy attacks either hit (assuming the attackers roll above a 4) or miss.  The following
rules have been devised to correct these apparent flaws.

Usage: Evasive action is declared for two full modules ( a melee round), and must be declared before attacks are rolled. Penalties to the piloting skill roll are as follows:

The amount of the success or failure on the piloting skill roll determines the advantages that the pilot receives.  Regardless of the amount of success or failure of the roll, the evading pilot is entitled to a free dodge attempt against EVERY attack against him.  As a penalty, the pilotmay not take ANY offensive action except maneuvering into position. Bonuses to dodge are based on the amount of success (or failure) of the roll:

All other modifications to the dodge bonus apply, such as attempts to dodge volleys of more than three missiles.  The pilot's regular bonuses to dodge (in addition to the evasive bonus) apply as well.  If the pilot (during evasive action) is entitled to a free autododge for some reason, the dodge bonus above also applies.  Natural 20's rolled by enemies must still be dodged by a natural 20 however.

Example: An alpha pilot is beset by 10 invid armored scouts.  The pilot decides that he cannot face these foes (for whatever reason) and elects to take evasive action to attempt an escape.  The pilot rolls a piloting skill roll at -25%, and succeeds by 27%.  Therefore, the pilot receives a bonus of +9 (+4 for succeeding, and +5 for succeeding by 25-29%) to dodge all incoming attacks for the first two modules of the melee round.  The pilot has not fully shaken his invid pursuers after the first two modules, and so he elects to attempt evasive action for the last half of the melee.  He makes another piloting skill roll, but this time he fails by 15 percent. This means that he will have a penalty of -3 to dodge all attacks against his for the last two modules of the melee.

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Mecha Physical Combat

Definition / Justication:   I think that the damage given in the Palladium books for physical attacks from mecha is  ridiculous. I find it hard to believe that a normal punch from a cyclone does 1D4 MD, but a punch from a Vindicator only does 1D6. To correct these errors, I have devised a set of rules that will handle physical combat between mecha with a little more realism.

Usage: All mecha will be classified by size, giving us a general idea of the power of a physical attack. Some mecha, such as the Gladiator series of mecha, will be classified as "power" mecha and given a larger amount of damage than its size would indicate. There will also be other combat bonuses and penalties due to combat with mecha not of equal size. First, I will define a few terms that are essential to this rule.

Table 1:  Mecha Size

Mecha Size  
Tiny: Cyclone, Carbonarian PA, Micronian PA, Enforcer, Cestus Battlesuit, etc.
Small: Invid Scout Series, Invid Trooper Series, Logan, Invid Inorganics (except Odeon), etc.
Medium: Invid Pincer, Royal Command Battloid, AJACS, Alpha, Hovertank, REF Z-Pods,

REF Destroids (except MAC III), Bioroids, Odeon Inorganic, etc.

Large: RDF Destroids (except MAC II), VF Series Veritechs, Vindicator,

Beta fighter, Zentraedi Pods, Zentraedi PA, etc.

Extra Large: MAC III
Huge: MAC II

"Power Mecha": The following mecha are considered to be one size larger than they are for the purposes of calculating damage only: RDF Gladiator, REF Gladiator, Beta Fighter, Hovertank, Zentraedi Male Power Armor.

Table 2:  Physical Combat Damage

 

Tiny

Small

Medium

Large

Extra Large

Huge

Punch

1D4

1D6

2D6

4D6

6D6

8D6

Power Punch

1D6

1D8

2D8

4D8

6D8

8D8

Kick

1D6

2D6

4D6

6D6

8D6

10D6

Leap Kick

3D4

3D8

6D8

8D8

10D6

11D8

Body Block/Tackle/Ram

2D4

4D4

6D4

8D4

9D4

10D4

Body Flip/Throw

1D6

1D8

2D8

4D8

6D8

8D8

Physical Combat Damage (all values are multiplied by 3) All bladed weapons do the damage specified in Palladium’s rules multiplied by three.

Table 3: Parrying Physical Attacks (penaliteis due to size)

 

Tiny

Small

Medium

Large

Extra Large

Huge

Tiny

-

-1

-2

-4

-6

-8

Small

+1

-

-1

-2

-4

-6

Medium

+2

+1

-

-1

-2

-4

Large

+4

+2

+1

-

-1

-2

Extra Large

+6

+4

+2

+1

-

-1

Huge

+8

+6

+4

+2

+1

-

Columns denote the size of the attacking mecha, rows denote the defending mecha

 

Table 4: Bonuses to dodge physical attacks from mecha due to size differential

 

Tiny

Small

Medium

Large

Extra Large

Huge

Tiny

-

+1

+2

+4

+6

+8

Small

-1

-

+1

+2

+4

+6

Medium

-2

-1

-

+1

+2

+4

Large

-4

-2

-1

-

+1

+2

Extra Large

-6

-4

-2

-1

-

+1

Huge

-8

-6

-4

-2

-1

-

Columns denote the size of the attacking mecha, rows denote the defending mecha

Table 5a:  Damage from physical attacks

MAR-MDR

% of full damage taken

-1+

0%

0

0%

1

50%

2

75%

3+

100%

 

Table 5b:  Damage from bladed weapons

MAR-MDR

% of full damage taken

-6+

0%

-5

25%

-3,-4

50%

-1,-2

75%

0

100%

 

MAR is the total attack roll after all bonuses are added; MDR is the total parry roll after same

Notes: A strike roll of a natural twenty means that the target will be hit unless the target mecha also rolls a natural twenty. If the target mecha rolls a natural twenty on a parry, it takes no damage whatsoever, no matter what the strike roll of the attacking mecha happens to be or whether the attacking mecha is using a bladed weapon or not.

Example: The pilot of a Vindicator (Large mecha) wishes to power punch an Invid Shock Trooper (Small mecha). Consulting the damage tables, we see that this means if the Vindicator connects, it will do 4D8x3 MD. First of all, the pilot of the Vindicator has an initial penalty of –2 to strike with this type of attack (power punch). Further consulting the tables, we see that if the shock trooper elects to parry the attack, it will have a –2 penalty to parry. If it elects to attempt to dodge the attack, it will have a +2 bonus. Let us assume the strike roll of the Vindicator with bonuses is 14. There is a –2 penalty (power punch), making the final total (MAR) a 12. Let us also assume the shock trooper attempts to parry the attack, and rolls a 12 with bonuses. Due to the size differential of the two mecha, the shock trooper has a –2 penalty to the parry attempt, making the final total (MDR) a 10. Consulting the damage table for physical attacks, we see that for a MAR-MDR (12-10) of 2, the total damage sustained by the invid is 75%. This means that the invid’s parry was partially successful. The Vindicator rolls for damage (4D8), and gets a 20. This total is multiplied by three, for a total of 60 MD. This is multiplied by 75% for a total damage of 45 MD sustained by the invid. This damage will be applied to a random arm of the shock trooper. If the shock trooper had failed the parry by one more point, it would have taken the full 60 MD to a random location.

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Personal Combat (i.e. Non-mecha combat)

Autododge

Definition / Justication:  I have come to think that personal combat, at least with projectile and energy weapons has become  a bit too deadly. This is especially so with the release of the 2nd and 3rd generation equipment which can do a substantial amount of mega-damage for personal weapons. Although this is somewhat acceptable in instances when personnel are assaulting mecha, it is very, very deadly when the combat becomes person to person. To combat this problem, I am allowing personnel to have an autododge.

Usage: All human sized, unpowered units receive an autodoge that functions in almost all respects as an autododge from a mecha. There are two differences.

    1. There is a penalty of -4 to dodge for the first attempt to autododge, and a cumulative -4 penalty to dodge for every attempt thereafter until the autododge "resets".
    2. The autododge for personnel "resets" at the beginning of every module.

Example: See the example for the autododge in the mecha combat section, but use the above alterations.

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Partial Cover

Definition / Justication:   Palladium has not seriously addressed partial cover in its rules for robotech, so here I create my own.

Usage: If a player has partial cover (i.e. Partially hiding behind some obstacle) and the random hit locations indicate that the attack hit in an area that is covered, then the bullet will first strike the material behind which the player is hiding. Note this does not necessarily mean that the player takes no damage. This rule also may apply to mecha combat, particularly ground-based units, but is most applicable here.

Example: A soldier is hiding behind a concrete barricade, and is engaged in combat with two enemy troops. One of the opposing troops fires his sidearm at the partially covered soldier. The strike hits, but the hit location specifies the right leg, which is covered by the barricade. This means that the bullet strikes the barricade first, and then the soldier. If the enemy trooper had used armor piercing ammunition, he would likely still have damaged the soldier.

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Ranged Attacks

See the mecha combat section presented above. The same rules apply to personal combat.

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Called Shots

See the mecha combat section presented above. The same rules apply to personal combat.

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Damage from burst fire weapons

Definition / Justication: I have never liked the rules Palladium presents for burst fire weapons. According to their rules, a certain percentage of the clip is fired, and a fixed amount of damage is done. I have never liked this because this means that for a weapon with a 10 round clip, 2 shots are fired for each short burst doing 2x damage for one round; In other words, all rounds fired always hit. Conversely, for a weapon with a 100 round clip 20 rounds are fired in a short burst, doing the same damage as a burst of two rounds. This means that only 10% of the total rounds fired strike the target, with the only potential difference being the size of the clip used. I find this unrealistic and unacceptable, and so follows our new rule. These rules can be applied to mecha sized weapons as well, and will be used if there is any doubt, however most mecha sized burst weapons already state the amount of rounds fired and the total damage for many of the weapons.

Usage:

If a weapon does not have the ammunition in its clip to fire the number of rounds listed, it may not be used to fire that type of burst. If there is a conflict between any two burst types, use the most damaging of the two.

Example: If a weapon has a clip of less than 10 rounds or has less than 10 rounds remaining in its clip, it may not be used to fire long bursts. If a weapon has a 10 round clip or has 10 rounds remaining in its clip, a full melee burst may not be declared but a long burst can, as it is the more damaging of the two.

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Dodging bursts

Definition / Justication:  In an effort to make personal combat slightly less deadly and a bit more realistic, I have devisedspecial rules for dodging bursts. When a single shot is fired at a target, the target either dodges the shot or he fails to dodge it. When a burst is fired at a target, I think that there is a range of effectiveness, that is the dodge may succeed against a few rounds of the burst, but a few rounds will still strike the target as well. There are no rules in the Palladium system to account for this phenomenon, so I have created them. Please note that these rules may be applied to mecha combat as well, but I feel that they are most needed in personal combat.

Usage: If a player attempts to dodge a burst, and the dodge roll is equal to or greater than the strike roll, he still dodges the entire burst. If his dodge roll fails, damage is calculated as follows.

Burst damage * (strike roll-dodge roll)*10% = total burst damage inflicted on the target.

Please note that if a target does not dodge, full burst damage is inflicted it the target is struck.

Example: A soldier is being attacked by an enemy trooper with a MAC-10. The enemy trooper fires a long burst from his weapon and strikes, with a total strike roll of 22. The soldier elects to attempt an autododge (see rules above) against the burst and rolls to dodge. The natural roll is a 16, and the soldier's dodge bonus is +8 giving a total dodge roll of 24. There is a -4 penalty for attempting an autododge however, so the final modified dodge roll is 20. This means that the burst was only partially dodged (the soldier has not used an attack though). The total damage inflicted is… Burst damage * (22-20)*10% = 20% burst damage.

 

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