View Full Version : [Original RPG] Let's start an RPG FAQ

2007-04-05, 05:40 PM
While the staff were compiling the new rules, there were a few things we felt could be cleared up but weren't exactly rules per se - TF concepts that were never properly defined. So we thought we'd make it a separate thread, but why not involve everyone? This is for you, and so we figured we might as well get your input.

So! We're looking to start a FAQ of questions that would make the RPG easier to play. What sort of things have you always wanted to know? What needs to be cleared up? These don't even need to be RPG-specific issues, just things that'll make everyone's vision of events coincide a little better. Here are a few examples we've come up with so far:

Subspace: Question - Subspace can hold Weapons, Ammo for weapons, Pretender shells that are bonded to the 'bot: can it hold anything else?
Comment 1 - I think of it sort of like a design parameter that varies based on the 'bot. For example, Omega needs to store his entire rocket base if he's doing any interplanetary travel and intends to transform when he gets there; whereas someone who doesn't even have a gun like, I dunno, Tailgate would basically have no need for subspace. Accessing subspace frequently or for big objects is also probably really draining on energy, and it may be more fuel fiscal to maglock your rifle to your hip or something.

Comment 2 - Since we're essentially talking about a portable one-sided distortion space/time/ect. to be used as a mobile locker, I imagine there ought to be some hazards that go along with it accordingly (such as the threat of falling off the G1 spacebridge if you didn't have a pilot to keep things on track...)

My thoughts is that there's always the potential that something could go wrong and the item put in the locker might get lost, or not able to be retrieved properly. Of course having a strong bond to the item, such as a pretender shell, would minimize the chances of this happening since the owner could find it much easier. With the potential of this being able to occur, though, any characters might not necessarily want to put anything particularly important in there that they'd be afraid of loosing. A character such as Aero, who's highly attached to his tools wouldn't dare take the chance, which is why he carries his stuff around with him all the time. Anyone less worried about loosing stuff (like a bot who carries a ton of guns raided from the armory) would likely be less concerned about loosing one or two in subspace, and not think twice about it.

Mass shifting: Question - What kind of limitations, if any, can / should be placed on this? For instance, Overkill can get stuck as a cassette sized t-rex as a weakness: is it possible such a thing could be done by choice?
Comment 1 - I'd think of mass shifting as having limits - going from a 20' robot to a 30' fighter jet shouldn't be too much hassle, but I think Dreamwave had the right idea when they mentioned in MTMTE that Broadside's armor would be extremely thin in aircraft carrier mode. I think it's used by few enough active characters that it shouldn't be much of a problem though.

Comment 2 - Definitely. After all, the Insecticons routinely shrunk down to the size of real insects in the comic, but they could just as easily be TF-sized bugs when they transformed. And Megatron, of course, seems to be able to switch from being a TF-sized gun to a human-sized one on a whim.

The same sorta thing applies to Pretender shells, in a roundabout way. Characters like Jazz and Bugly have been known to shrink their shells down the actual size of what they were based on (a human in Jazz's case, and a housefly in Bugly's).

Other potential questions could include the continuity the game is based on, relative TF sizes, the capacities of radio and other non-human senses, such and such. I'll put in some comments for each of those when I've given them some thought.

I invite all of you to post questions you feel need to be cleared up, comments on questions others have posted (including these), and hopefully we can come to a consensus on what's important and how to phrase the answer to everyone's satisfaction. Once we have that, we'll compile it in a list and stick it on the main forum.


2007-04-05, 10:08 PM

are they mechs who have better control over there mass shifting than most and can choose to transform into a smaller size to conserve energy? Given that they need to be able to mimic earth scale vehicles.

2007-04-05, 11:17 PM
Originally posted by optimusskids

are they mechs who have better control over there mass shifting than most and can choose to transform into a smaller size to conserve energy? Given that they need to be able to mimic earth scale vehicles.

I'd imagine this to be true, as they were also designed to conserve fuel within th G1 comic continuity: it would take greater concentration to do so, but I'd be happy with Micro-masters retaining the mass of human sized robots in Vehicle mode. To be clear though, I wouldn't be too happy with the reversal, as that would go against the main "idea" of the MMs.

2007-04-06, 08:22 AM
There would probably be limits which would explain the need for micromaster combiners to mimmick larger vehicles.

2007-04-06, 10:28 PM
That's the main pain and joy with MM's: so many subdivisions. You have the Standard, the Combiners, the Transports, the Bases...

Heres an example:
Flattop turns from a 8ft robot to a Jet Fighter, which at a glance at Wikipedia comes to about 60ft. His Transport turns from a Jet Fighter suitable to carry his good self (working from toy dimesions here), about 30ft long: this transforms to an Aircraft carrier, which in the real worls clocks in at 1'000ft+, but workig from the toy comes in at... 300ft, or there abouts.

Broadsides entry on the MTMTE profiles says his hull is left exceptionally thin as an Aircraft Carrier due to the extreme expansion: In Flattops case, he'd be paper thin, unless he had a shedload of spare material in Subspace to draw on (thusly limiting what he could actually use subspace for, if at all.

2007-04-08, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by optimusskids
are they mechs who have better control over there mass shifting than most and can choose to transform into a smaller size to conserve energy?

I think that's pretty good, though I'm not sure I'd call it control - maybe just another option. I'd think of size-shifting as having quantum levels rather than being a continuum, so that Micromasters can turn into Earth-scale cars or tiny cars, but can't do anything in between, and they can't change the size of the their robot modes.

I'd mimic what vt said about armor too.

2007-04-08, 10:18 PM
To further question the concept of Subspace supplemting Mass shifting: Characters who do a lot of mass shifting on a regular bassis (Cassettes, Micromasters), should they be thought of all as having the reserve mass in subspace, and thusly limiting their capacity for additional storage?
Should this be reflected with Pretenders as well? Decepticon pretenders would need the space assigned to their shell on a permanant bassis, which wouldn't be much of a problem, but Autobot pretenders that shift size in shell form on choice as well as store the shell in Subspace when not in use... Could this be a major hamper on their abilities?

In a real, game play case, this doesn't actually limit the characters in question, more opens up fields of oppurtunity for others. Normal characters, like say, Smokescreen, would have a vastly underused subspace locker.

2007-04-09, 03:09 PM
Agrees on the armour thing makes a lot of sense

On a related topic what about minibots are they a design stage to micromasters or has the RPG broken away from there toys and given them alt and robot modes similar to the other autobot cars etc.

2007-04-10, 07:41 AM
Minibots: like Bumblebee, Brawn etc?

Their needs with Mass shifting are only minimal aren't they? If the average Transformer in height is prowl, ratio to be said 6 foot, then Bumble bee and co are about 4 foot? That's how I've always seen it my little head at any rate... So, the mass shifting rules for the standard bots would be fairly much the sam fo these guys, with a little extra attention maybe: most of them turn into civilian cars after all, except for Warpath (Tank, fairly impressive) ad Seaspray (Hovercraft: think about it, they're not too small reall either are they?).

On a related note, nearly all transformers under go mass shift in transformations: the seekers would tower over most other Gee wunners if they didn't, as would all the Dinobots. anyone that turns into a tank would undergo a mass shift as well, and all the tips and higher would utilise it a lot as well.

2007-04-10, 05:06 PM
Good points but whats to stop Huffer say being a similar height to Prime rather than sticking to a height ratio based on the toys what about one based on their alt mode. Although i guess that would make Seaspray one of the larger transformers second only to Omega and the Gestalts

2007-04-10, 10:56 PM
Can you imagine a humungous Seaspray? That would be fantastic.

Seriously, what stops the Mini's from being as big as they could? I dunno, same thing as the Micro's I guess.
You could say that every transformer has their 'Height' assigned to them from Inception, and their altfom is something decided after that. So, shorties like Warpath find themselves bigger than their compatriots in vehicle form.

2007-04-11, 03:19 AM
Well...if you're going to tie a character's robot-mode size to his alt mode, then most of the gestalts wouldn't work at all. :( Blast Off would be bigger than the other four Combaticons put together. Silverbolt would be so huge that Superion's limbs would be useless. Same for Menasor. One of Defensor's arms would be the size of his torso while one of his legs would be tiny. The same would hold true for Computron. Predaking would be shorter than Prowl and the same could probably be said for Piranacon. Devastator might actually work, and he'd be bloody huge. Same for Raiden. Abominus and Monstructor...well, who can tell?

Unless we turn this into an Alternator RPG, scale is a lost cause. :(

What? It'd be fun! We could fill out the roster with all the repaints opskids has done...


2007-04-11, 07:27 AM
tries to stop laughing at some of the mental images conjured up there .

Lots of good points there so the height thing doesn't work on the other hand Seaspray would work on the opposite principle to Broadside in that because he's mass shifted from huge Hovercraft to tiny robot he must have really thick armour i suppose the same could be said for Broadside he must have really thick armour in Aircraft mode.

a humungous Seaspray would be quite fun he'd make quite a useful transport if he was one of those car carrying Hovercrafts i guess because he's a minibot no one thinks of that, and what about Cosmos is he a one person spacecraft or a huge flying saucer.

2007-04-11, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by optimusskids
tries to stop laughing at some of the mental images conjured up there... and what about Cosmos is he a one person spacecraft or a huge flying saucer.

Cosmos comes under the really special, like special ed special rules of Artistic Licence. In the past I've played him big enough to fit a Minicon inside, but if anyone asks me to pin down his actual size... Then they'll find me hard to pin!

2007-04-12, 03:45 PM
Seaspray is one of these:


It's the only logical explanation...


2007-04-13, 11:27 PM
Originally posted by Sixswitch
Seaspray is one of these:


It's the only logical explanation...


Sixswitch to the rescue! Fantastic.
Your next mission is to find a likkle tank. A likkle red tank. ;)

2007-04-26, 05:10 AM
Okay, even though I already took the initiative as far as my character is concerned, and for those who are unfamiliar with the Kalis thread - I'm speaking of Ratchet, but I had some concerns surrounding the whole "sub-space" issue, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't going over board.

Anyway, I regularly have Ratchet utilize sub-space as, which was aslo stated somewhere in a previous post, a sort of locker space for materials and extra equipment. Mind you, he still retrieves his main tools (welder, scalpel, diagnostics, etc) from various compartments through out his body (ex: has pen-shaped welder that ejects from a slot under his wrists, sliding easily into his hand). My question is, is there a preferred limit to subspace storage, as far as techs, medics (etc) are concerned? Weird question, I know.

My Ratchet accesses sub-spaced caches on several occasions, which he has organized by file type (sort of like using Windows, really - which I have had him access though a voice activated system. Kalis people may understand what I mean.) . Generally, the supplies I've had him retrieve from subspace caches tend to contain"kits" consisting of parts and materials, with some technology thrown in (ex: once I had him use a "proximity disk" generated force field, which he borrowed from one of his sub-spaced kits). Is this an unfair advantage - I'm not exactly having him "conveniently" make weapons or items magically materialize on a whim.

edited: rephrased just a touch

2007-04-26, 12:18 PM
Limits are hard to define: If the most extreme examples here (Broadside and Airwave) utilise subspace to store the extra mass needed for their alt forms, then it can be safely assumed that Ratchet has atleast enough room for various kits that he'd need in the field. Even if Airwave and Broadside have some subspace upgrade, Ratchet doesn't shift mass at all, so his subspace locker would have a fair amount of room.
I've wanted to say this before but never got around to it: you play ratchet and his technical side very well. The Kits you mentioned have all been of the field medic type, and the technobabble is Excellent.

Edited for colloquism

2007-04-27, 02:10 AM
Ooooh, Thank for the kind words
Awwwww....sniff, sniff...I told my self I wasn't going to cry.
Oh, you like him, you really like him!

gives everyone a big bear hug

My what?....my acceptance speech?!.....errr...ummm....I would like to thank the...ummm...academy and the folks at TFA's RPG section for giving Ratchet the opportunity to shine. Ratchet thanks you too!

2007-04-27, 09:27 AM
Hmmm: here;s one I thought of:

Should we be packing a list, or amend the current roster to list where a character was last seen? IE if a character were to be dropped by a player, and after many months some one wanted to carry him on, should they be playing from where the Character was left?

Would this be too limiting to new players, or is it something that current players would appreciate?