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View Full Version : [New RPG] Mass-shifting / size-changing


Warcry
2011-01-13, 08:37 PM
What say you?

I can think of good reasons in both directions: if characters change size it makes it easier for them to interact in robot mode, but if they can't then it makes things more realistic and might force us to invent different tactics when it comes time to fight.

verytired
2011-01-13, 09:02 PM
I'll say again: my votes against mass shifting. I know this is science fiction, but that stuff basically magic.

miked23
2011-01-13, 10:08 PM
I think mass shifting is needed.... in moderation.

Some characters alt modes would be incredibly useless with out it. Characters like Soundwave and Shockwave need to be able mass shift or else there is no point in them transforming at all. Radios and laser pistols are kind of useless if they're the size of a truck.

That being said even if we did get rid of it, I donít think that there would be a terribly huge impact considering both those characters could probably easily use different alt modes.

tahukanuva
2011-01-14, 12:52 AM
I'm for mass-shifting. It's the only way for aircraft and such to interact with cars and such. Plus, triple-changers. Without mass-shifting they're pretty broken.

Aero Blade
2011-01-14, 05:13 AM
I agree with mass-shifting within reasonable limits. Most likely those bots that turn into smaller thing would be smaller bots themselves (aka: Bumblebee) while large ones maintain larger sizes. There can be some gimmie here and there, but nothing like a mech the size of Grimlock turnning into a tiny bug.

optimusskids
2011-01-14, 07:13 AM
The Insecticons need mass shifting to enable them to interact with others otherwise they end up the Transformers equivalent of Tinkerbell visible to others only as a tiny glowing light.

Blackjack
2011-01-14, 08:29 AM
I'm for it, but only for selected Transformers. Since Grimlock is going to be in his Alternators mode and everything, and it wouldn't do for him to be only as tall as, say, Sunstreaker. No intimidation factor. Ditto for Gunrunner, since he'll have to shrink to fit in his jeep armour.

Plus, the Insecticons. And Soundwave and Blaster and Reflector.

The Stunticons, Predacons, Seacons and Protectobots would be dwarfed by guys like Devastator and Superion as well.

And Motormaster would be four times the size of Optimus Prime.

And Razorclaw would be the size of Ravage.

And the Seekers could literally punt guys like Bumblebee, while Optimus Prime would only reach their midriff.

And Broadside.

Keep the size-changing.

Springer85
2011-01-14, 02:52 PM
And Razorclaw would be the size of Ravage.

He won't.

Aero Blade
2011-01-14, 06:06 PM
And the Seekers could literally punt guys like Bumblebee, while Optimus Prime would only reach their midriff.
Well when you say it that way, it sounds extremely fun :D
But I agree, sizechanging is used in every transformers series, and there's no necessarily viable reason to not include, just so long as we insure it isn't abused. Should be kept.

Brave Maximus
2011-01-14, 09:32 PM
Personally, I think it covers some issues, that otherwise would cause problems:

Prime's trailer
Pretenders in their shells
etc.

On the other hand,
I'd love it if Metroplex, Brave Maximus, Trypticon, etc were MASSIVE. Literally the size of a city (or at least a few square blocks of one) lifting off the ground and standing up.
Who knows though...

I like the "used sparingly" if we can.
But then again, I always thought Tape decks, guns and other such things were a bit silly for TF's...

Clogs
2011-01-14, 11:19 PM
I've always has a soft spot for the absurdity of mass shifting, but I do agree that that is more for the cartoons than 'reality'. I support using the idea sparingly; perhaps some characters have a slight edge and can mass shift to some minor amount? I'm thinking the Insecticons here, 'natch.

Shockwave, anyway, IS a bloody great big flying gun and was shown in the comics continuum as retaining his original size. I do not expect him to shrink down a la G1/comics Megatron for anything, not least of all his pride (which he'd deny, in any case).

One assumes from other threads that Soundwave won't encounter the problem as it'll be his Bayverse incarnation that's in play.

verytired
2011-01-15, 12:55 AM
Hmmm. I would make some more arguments against mass shifting, but everyone seems for it, albeit sparingly.

Blackjack
2011-01-15, 02:12 AM
Personally, about the Cities: I've always imagined Metroplex and Brave Maximus to be gigantic, literally city-sized. But Scorponok and Fortress Maximus' size in my mind has always been... well, big, but not city big. The Marvel comics were more prominent in their show of making the two great characters, and to make them cities would mean that they won't be able to interact with others.

Metroplex and Trypticon, on the other hand, have always been massive, gigantic cities (Trypticon does have his comic moments in Marvel and Dreamwave, but none particularly prominent to me, unlike Fort Max or Scorponok). I guess it would be up to their players how big the cities will be.

I mean, the Movieverse had Starscream be a wide, rather thick robot in order to distribute the mass of a F22 and be only slightly taller than Optimus Prime, and even then he should still be a head or two taller.

More arguments: let's say we take the G1 Autobots at face value. Huffer and Optimus would be the same size, while Powerglide and Seaspray (look at Seaspray's windows!) would tower over everybody else. Perceptor and Blaster would get stepped on, Cliffjumper would be as tall as Jazz, Inferno and Grapple would be a head or two above everybody's head, the Aerialbots would be as large as the Seekers...

And, um, the BW guys. Take the Maximals. If Optimus Primal were the size of a real gorilla, he's reach probably up to Bumblebee's chest. Rattrap, assuming that he's a big rat, would only be as large as, say, Primal's chest. On the other hand BW Megatron would absolutely tower over Bumblebee like Grimlock should be, while Waspinator, Inferno et al would transform basically into robots smaller than their real toys are.

So long as we don't abuse mass shifting like making Trypticon a toy T-Rex that could sneak into Autobot bases and then transform into an entire city... I say we can't do without mass shifting.

Warcry
2011-01-15, 03:34 AM
I say we can't do without mass shifting.
When you say things like that, I take it as a challenge. You know that, right? :)

Starscream and Megatron are too big for Prime to take on? Sounds like an excuse for him to combine with his trailer to me! And while Astrotrain might require a little fudging the only triplechanger who'd really be in trouble is Broadside. And really, **** Broadside. ;)

And to me at least, things like Freeway being so much smaller than Tracks or Air Raid being so much smaller than Skywarp make absolutely no sense to start with, what with them having the exact same alt-mode. Sure, one can be bigger than the other because they transform differently -- and with those examples in mind Freeway probably would be smaller than Tracks and Air Raid would definitely be a lot shorter than Skywarp -- but when one is four or five times the other one's size it's verging on ridiculous. I mean, if you turn into something big, you should be big in robot mode and vice versa. Just my opinion, though.

That aside, size-changing in moderation isn't going to bother me, but I think "in moderation" should be our key word. For example, if Red Alert is an average-sized car, Bumblebee is a bit smaller than him and Grimlock a bit bigger, it's not even something we need mass-shifting to explain. Hasbro's toy designers do that all the time so we know it's physically possible to do it without cheating.

I also like the idea that IDW had in the initial comics, of size-changing being rare because it's so energy-intensive, and so they only use it when they absolutely have to. So folk like Blaster, Perceptor or Reflector have it (if their players want them to) because their job requires it and Jetfire doesn't have it because his doesn't.

Blackjack
2011-01-15, 04:35 AM
When you say things like that, I take it as a challenge. You know that, right? :)

Fun, what?

Starscream and Megatron are too big for Prime to take on? Sounds like an excuse for him to combine with his trailer to me! And while Astrotrain might require a little fudging the only triplechanger who'd really be in trouble is Broadside. And really, **** Broadside. ;)

What about Sandstorm? He's either a tiny helicopter or an absurdly large dune buggy.

Broadside is awesome.

That aside, size-changing in moderation isn't going to bother me, but I think "in moderation" should be our key word. For example, if Red Alert is an average-sized car, Bumblebee is a bit smaller than him and Grimlock a bit bigger, it's not even something we need mass-shifting to explain. Hasbro's toy designers do that all the time so we know it's physically possible to do it without cheating.

This one is good. Grimlock would feasibly be a head taller than Red Alert despite changing into a car that's basically the same size.

Although Motormaster and Optimus Prime. Explain that without subspace.

I also like the idea that IDW had in the initial comics, of size-changing being rare because it's so energy-intensive, and so they only use it when they absolutely have to. So folk like Blaster, Perceptor or Reflector have it (if their players want them to) because their job requires it and Jetfire doesn't have it because his doesn't.

:up:

This, I think, is the best solution. Guys like, say, Grimlock or Ultra Magnus or Erector or Skywarp don't get to mass-shift because it won't do them any good. Imaginably mass shifting would take a hell lot of energy. Like Megatron in the IDW comics.

But don't forget mass shifting when combining into a gestalt. Really, compared to Superion and Devastator and especially Raiden, the other gestalts would be dwarfed. Menasor for example, wouldn't be much bigger than someone like Lugnut or Silverbolt without size-changing. While Defensor has a motorcycle as a limb while the others are big things (a helicopter, a police car and an ambulance), and Bruticus has gigantic space shuttle Blast Off, tiny jeep Swindle while his other limbs are a helicopter and a tank. And that's without going to the fact that with Predaking, a rhino is larger than a lion, and an eagle would be tiny compared to the others. Computron? Afterburner, being a Tron light cycle, would be tiny compared to large spaceships although the whole 'futuristic whatchamacalit' thing gave them a free pass.

Warcry
2011-01-15, 05:06 AM
What about Sandstorm? He's either a tiny helicopter or an absurdly large dune buggy.
There are some pretty tiny helicopters out there... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_47J_Ranger) I've never really understood how Sandstorm is supposed to be a dune buggy, mind you. He doesn't look a thing like one.

Broadside is awesome.
I wonder if he can land on his own carrier deck...

Although Motormaster and Optimus Prime. Explain that without subspace.
If we don't use mass-shifting and he keeps the same transformation scheme, I'd just figure on Motormaster being Ultra Magnus-sized.

But don't forget mass shifting when combining into a gestalt.
Gestalts don't exist yet. We can worry about that if/when they're invented. Most of them are absolute messes, though. Bruticus could probably stand up inside Blast-Off's shuttle mode, for one thing. If we try to make realistic Scramble City-type combiners we're in for a tough time.

Blackjack
2011-01-15, 05:53 AM
There are some pretty tiny helicopters out there... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell_47J_Ranger) I've never really understood how Sandstorm is supposed to be a dune buggy, mind you. He doesn't look a thing like one.

Futuristic dune buggy! Like how Blurr and Kup and Springer has funky alternate modes.

I wonder if he can land on his own carrier deck...

He can. He's that awesome.

If we don't use mass-shifting and he keeps the same transformation scheme, I'd just figure on Motormaster being Ultra Magnus-sized.

His feet are as big as Prime's torso... While Magnus has Prime's torso as the main bulk of his chest.

Gestalts don't exist yet. We can worry about that if/when they're invented. Most of them are absolute messes, though. Bruticus could probably stand up inside Blast-Off's shuttle mode, for one thing. If we try to make realistic Scramble City-type combiners we're in for a tough time.

Yeah. That's where mass shifting comes in, silly!

Wouldn't it be feasible for the TFs to have developed E=MC2 stuff so with enough energy mass could be shunted elsewhere?

Warcry
2011-01-15, 06:20 AM
His feet are as big as Prime's torso... While Magnus has Prime's torso as the main bulk of his chest.
You'd be well-advised not too think too hard about Motormaster, lest you realize that he's completely hollow above the ankles. IDW's design makes a whole lot more sense, but I'd guess that he only turns into the cab.

Wouldn't it be feasible for the TFs to have developed E=MC2 stuff so with enough energy mass could be shunted elsewhere?
Well, probably, but the technology level that would imply...the Transformers would have to be much, much more advanced than what we're used to. You're basically talking about mass-produced, portable mech-sized wormhole generators. It wouldn't take long before everyone could teleport like Skywarp. And that's without even thinking about how you could weaponize something like that. What's to stop you from warping your enemy (or parts of him if you're a sadist) away into the ether?

Nah, trying to explain mass-shifting with real physics would only create more problems that it would solve. "It's magic" is probably a better answer in the long run. :)

Blackjack
2011-01-15, 06:37 AM
You'd be well-advised not too think too hard about Motormaster, lest you realize that he's completely hollow above the ankles. IDW's design makes a whole lot more sense, but I'd guess that he only turns into the cab.

-looks back at the IDW design-

So if I'm reading it right, IDW's Motormaster is mainly formed from the trailer section. The cab forms all of the legs (which would make him only marginally taller than Prime, if bulkier), the hollow bits in the trailer section gets compacted into the bulky upper body and there are a bunch of redundant parts that would only be used to form Menasor's lower arms.

I like it. Not that anyone's using Motormaster, though.

Well, probably, but the technology level that would imply...the Transformers would have to be much, much more advanced than what we're used to. You're basically talking about mass-produced, portable mech-sized wormhole generators. It wouldn't take long before everyone could teleport like Skywarp. And that's without even thinking about how you could weaponize something like that. What's to stop you from warping your enemy (or parts of him if you're a sadist) away into the ether?

The same reason that we haven't been using nuclear fission and fusion at larger scales -- money and the impracticality of using them, leading only a select few to be able to mass shift. And more importantly, resources.

Plus, it takes a lot of time, perhaps? And unstable.

Nah, trying to explain mass-shifting with real physics would only create more problems that it would solve. "It's magic" is probably a better answer in the long run. :)

But it's fun! :(

Brave Maximus
2011-01-15, 07:00 AM
Just thinking about making bruticus for a second

Since we're updating/changing some alt modes, and it's set slightly in the future:

Arty truck
2 man re-entry vehicle from the ISS
Scout-type helicopter
Hummer type jeep
small, brit type tank

should be in relative scale to each other.

Same with superion
Keep him as a concord, Valkyre or even a B-1b Bomber
With 4 jets of similar size for the others.

Defensor... would require some redesign...

Aero Blade
2011-01-15, 02:09 PM
:) Well I think the consensus is that size-changing is a necessary process for some mechs, even if we don't understand how it works. But only certain mechs in particular will be able to do it dramatically (like Soundwave/Blaster)