Should the Mini Tank provide improved cover?

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Although the Mini Tank Omega card doesn't mention cover, one of my players was wondering if it should maybe provide improved cover (or even just regular cover) to it's occupants. Although I have my own thoughts, I thought I'd put it to the board. Thoughts?


"Mini Tank (O; R; Area 52) It even has a cannon! HP 200, Space 2 by 4 squares; AC 22, Other Defenses 20; Speed 6; Driver and Gunner: A driver and gunner each occupies 1 square of the mini tank’s space and must have both hands free to move it or use its power. As a standard action, a gunner can recharge the tank’s power (reload) with a DC 16 Mechanics check.; Load: 5 Medium creatures; 600 lbs of gear.; Power: Encounter Physical; Standard Action, Area Burst 1 within 20; Target: Each creature in burst; Attack: Level + 8 vs. AC; Hit: 3d8 + Intelligence modifier + your level physical damage.; Salvage 4: A 4th-level character can salvage the minitank. It becomes a vehicle as above, but has no attack power."
Actually, I think the idea is that attacks against characters inside the mini-tank hit the mini-tank instead. That's why it has an AC and HP of its own.
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL
Actually, I think the idea is that attacks against characters inside the mini-tank hit the mini-tank instead. That's why it has an AC and HP of its own.

An Omega card that makes the entire party invulnerable seems a tad powerful. I'm unsure how fun encounters would be at that point... balance would be pretty much out the window. I thought the mini-tank was supposed to be an 'open-aired' vehicle. But if not and enemies can't attack in, then the PC's probably shouldn't be able to individually attack out either.

That's why it has an AC and HP of its own.

For reference (if desired):
"Skycycle (O; R; Area 52) It's a flying “motorcycle.” Beware of power lines. Hp 50, space 2 by 1 squares; AC 18, Other Defenses 15; Speed Fly 20; Driver: A driver occupies the front square of the sckycycle's space and must have on hand free to move it.; Load: 2 Medium creatures: 200 lbs of gear; Salvage 6: A 6th-level character can salvage the Skycycle. It becomes a special item, as above."

Also (if desired) D&D Vehicle rules are available in Adventurer's Vault p.14-20, and Oraibi's adaptation of those rules for Gamma World are available here.



The general rule for cover and concealment applies: The GM determines whether something has cover/concealment.

So... just decide, if you're the GM.

Caoimhe Ora Snow

Game Designer, The Queen's Cavaliers

5e D&D Stuff: Birthright Conversion

One of my players got the Mini-Tank the first time out, and managed to keep making successful Omega Tech rolls all the way into the third session. I hate, hate, hate the Mini-Tank. I ran the Pax Extraterrestria adventure, and was sorely tempted to drop the giant rock on it out of spite.
An Omega card that makes the entire party invulnerable seems a tad powerful.



It does no such thing. It grants excellent protection, but the old adage that "anything that has hit points can be killed" is as true from the DM's side of the table as it is from the player's side. If a player draws a mini-tank, you let them have a little fun with it. Design an encounter or two that lets them play armored cav, then destroy it with some well-placed heavy firepower. If you can't figure out an encounter that can dish out 200 hp against a 22 AC, let me point you to page 128 of your Gamma World Rulebook.

If using a big baddie to blow it up isn't your style (or you fear that the ability to trade Omega Tech for XP on occasion is too strong), then keep in mind that a tank can't just go anywhere. They offer maximum protection and maneuverability on roads and open fields, but a dense forest, narrow tunnel, or unstable crater edge are all places that tanks are not really meant to go. A capable DM should not have much difficulty forcing the party out of that tank for level-appropriate encounters with some creative terrain.

Now, all that said, if you still don't like the idea (or don't want the headache of derailing your campaign every so often in order to blow it up), please feel free to rule that the mini-tank merely provides cover or improved cover. It will still be a fun toy either way.
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL
An Omega card that makes the entire party invulnerable seems a tad powerful.

It does no such thing. It grants excellent protection, but the old adage that "anything that has hit points can be killed" is as true from the DM's side of the table as it is from the player's side. If a player draws a mini-tank, you let them have a little fun with it. Design an encounter or two that lets them play armored cav, then destroy it with some well-placed heavy firepower. If you can't figure out an encounter that can dish out 200 hp against a 22 AC, let me point you to page 128 of your Gamma World Rulebook.

Just because vehicles have hitpoints does not mean that those hitpoints have to be exhausted in order to damage a PC in it. That's not how vehicles work.
Just because vehicles have hitpoints does not mean that those hitpoints have to be exhausted in order to damage a PC in it. That's not how vehicles work.



Two points:

1. Unless you have the vehicle rules from Legion of Gold in your possession - a product to which most of us do not yet have access - then I'd like to know how you can definitively state, "That's not how vehicles work." If you DO have the vehicle rules from Legion of Gold in your possession, then please feel free to enlighten me.

2. Your first post here stated that ruling a mini-tank my way would make the party invulnerable. Now you're stating the exact opposite. Please pick a position and stick with it for the duration of the debate.
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL
I'd like to know how you can definitively state, "That's not how vehicles work."

Because I read the references mvincent provided above. All D&D vehicles have HP and defense, but they explicitly state when they provide cover or completely enclose characters. Your interpretation would imply that someone would have to get through the skycycle's 50 HP in order to damage an occupant. That's not how it works in any other D&D supplement, and I feel pretty confident that it's not how it works for the Skycycle in Gamma World.

2. Your first post here stated that ruling a mini-tank my way would make the party invulnerable. Now you're stating the exact opposite. Please pick a position and stick with it for the duration of the debate.

You are not making any sense. You have evidently not read my post correctly. And, to follow your lead on phrasing: please do some research before continuing the debate.
1. While I personally adhere to the philosophy that anything that isn't specifically addressed in Gamma World follows the rules of 4e, that is an opinion, not an official ruling. Although I would definitely agree that her work is some of the best that the community has to offer, Oraibi's rules are also not official. Ergo, a DM is free to rule either way.

2. Let's review:

Referencing the mini-tank: "An Omega card that makes the entire party invulnerable seems a tad powerful."

"Just because vehicles [in this case, the mini-tank] have hitpoints does not mean that those hitpoints have to be exhausted in order to damage a PC in it."

These statements state conflicting concepts. (Italics mine, of course.) Either my ruling on the mini-tank makes the party invulnerable, or it does not. Which is your opinion? Mine is clearly that it does not, albeit for different reasons than what you've stated.

I am simply stating that I think it would be fun and within the spirit of the game for the PCs to be able to have a fight or two in which they can go toe-to-toe with an Eradicator at a relatively low level. That's hardly a statement of an official ruling. I fail to see what "research" you think my position requires.
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL

1. Unless you have the vehicle rules from Legion of Gold in your possession - a product to which most of us do not yet have access - then I'd like to know how you can definitively state, "That's not how vehicles work." If you DO have the vehicle rules from Legion of Gold in your possession, then please feel free to enlighten me.



I've had the LoG book for a week. There are no vehicle rules. (There are, at least, rules for mounts.)

1. While I personally adhere to the philosophy that anything that isn't specifically addressed in Gamma World follows the rules of 4e, that is an opinion, not an official ruling.

The skycycle reference was from Gamma World.

Referencing the mini-tank: "An Omega card that makes the entire party invulnerable seems a tad powerful."

"Just because vehicles [in this case, the mini-tank] have hitpoints does not mean that those hitpoints have to be exhausted in order to damage a PC in it."

These statements state conflicting concepts.

Your ruling makes the party invulnerable. The second quote does not contradict that... it indicates that your ruling is also incorrect.

1. Unless you have the vehicle rules from Legion of Gold in your possession - a product to which most of us do not yet have access - then I'd like to know how you can definitively state, "That's not how vehicles work." If you DO have the vehicle rules from Legion of Gold in your possession, then please feel free to enlighten me.



I've had the LoG book for a week. There are no vehicle rules. (There are, at least, rules for mounts.)


I would use the mounted rules for vehicles as well... page 21 in LoG rulebook, and going by those rules...

I would make a diagram and divide the number of HPs by the squares the tank occupies and keep a diagram of the vehicle with where PCs are located in it. If PCs want to make an individual attack (not using vehicles weapons) you take the -2 modifier and are exposed for remainder of that turn...

The skycycle seems like it would be a little more vulnerable and if you took a big hit... would be knocked off and subject to falling, but thats a whole other debate...




Why did the hoop cross the road?

In any Boards battle of positions, I tend to support the one presenting published rules over fan rules.
In the absence of published rules, I tend to support the one acknowledging there are no such rules.
In the absence of such acknowledgement, I tend to support the one with internal consistency.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.

In any Boards battle of positions, I tend to support the one presenting published rules over fan rules.
In the absence of published rules, I tend to support the one acknowledging there are no such rules.
In the absence of such acknowledgement, I tend to support the one with internal consistency.


This.  Is.  Fantastic.  QFT and archived somewhere for later use.
     Not sure how this is suppose to work, but I can tell you what we did at my table.  Basically we figured the tank blocks line of sight and line of effect for everyone but the driver who is most likely going to be firing the big gun.  So no one in the tank can attack anyone out of it and vice versa.  This isn't really that over powered either when you consider that it basically means the party is getting one attack per round.  Granted, it is a nice attack. 
     This is not to say that this is the right way to do this, but it is what made the most sense to everyone at my table. 
I was stuck with a mini-tank in my game for several sessions.  I ruled that it blocked LoS & LoE for characters inside.   The driver & gunner could see out of it, but only use the gun to attack.  Other passengers couldn't attack from inside, obviously.  I ruled that there were two hatches, one in the rear, one in the turret, characters wishing to sit in a hatch had cover, and LoS & LoE outside the tank. 

Reallly wasn't that bad.  One character chose to ride outside the tank, one drove it a lot - none of them had good enough mechanics to dependably re-load it, so they generally had to exit the tank to fight.

It was a low-level game, so they couldn't salvage it once the Omega Charge Check was finally failed, but the tank's AC & hps would have been a real obstacle to level-apropriate attackers had they chosen to button it up.  In a higher level game, the tank's AC and hps wouldn't be too much to chew through.

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

As an aside, the in-depth discussion on this card has convinced me that when my players get one, we're gonna go on a Metal Slug story arc.
In any Boards battle of positions, I tend to support the one presenting published rules over fan rules.

fwiw: I was actually the only person to mention Oraibi's fan rules (and even then I merely provided the link for discussion purposes). They're nice rules, but I don't think I actually saw anyone using them to advance an argument.

Of course, there's no real 'right answer' to this topic, but I was curious about other people's thoughts (and I was also trying to provide references to further the discussion, without offering an opinion).

The D&D vehicles rules can definitely be handy for insight, but the only official vehicle references we currently have for Gamma World are from the Mini-tank and Skycycle Omega cards. However, the skycycle card at least provides insight that a vehicle having HP and defenses doesn't inherently mean that a PC is protected by it.

Still, the notion that the tank is entirely enclosed has merit (even if it is not referenced on the card). However, a DM would probably also have to make some calls on how this affects those inside attacking out. One method was presented in D&D for the Apparatus of Kwalish (AV p.17):
"Sealed: Creatures inside the apparatus of Kwalish cannot gain line of effect to those outside (and vice versa), though they have line of sight to each other through portholes."

The Apparatus also had Claws that could be used to attack creatures.

Again though: I'm merely trying to provide information that other DM's may (or may not) find useful.
@ Toki - I'm going to take one more shot at explaining this...

They are contradictory statements, because "invulnerable" means "not able to be damaged." If characters inside the tank can be damaged by means other than direct attack, they can not also be invulnerable. My ruling only stated that the PCs could not be attacked directly while they were inside the tank. Ergo, my ruling does not make the PCs invulnerable.

You are right about your second point. The difference between your argument and mine is that I am talking about story methods, while you seem to be referencing some unexplained rules method. That being the case, I would like to see the rule in question, please.


I didn't really get into details in my initial post, but I'll add this: I would also rule that being inside the mini-tank would block line-of-sight, etc. If a PC (or an enemy) has some method of attack that does not rely on line-of-sight, then by all means, I would allow that to work. Other than that, the party would be limited to the attack granted by the mini-tank while taking shelter within the vehicle.

The D&D vehicles rules can definitely be handy for insight, but the only official vehicle references we currently have for Gamma World are from the Mini-tank and Skycycle Omega cards. However, the skycycle card at least provides insight that a vehicle having HP and defenses doesn't inherently mean that a PC is protected by it.



This is pretty much what I would use as the basis of my ruling. The skycycle specifically calls out that it does not inherently protect the driver... which is what one would expect from a flying motorcycle.

Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that a lack of such wording on the mini-tank allows me to rule that a mini-tank works like a vehicle specifically designed to provide maximum protection to its occupants... which is what would expect from a small tank.

tl;dr: Mine is not an official ruling, because no official ruling exists. But if I choose to rule this way, I am not violating any written rules, nor am I making my party invulnerable.

@ dodonna - I don't have the book myself, but I was under the impression that there were going to be vehicle rules in Legion of Gold. Oh well... I guess I'll have to tap Oraibi's rules if we're going to play a Mad Max campaign.
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL
While it's obvious that the SkyCycle shouldn't provide any protection to it's riders, what about the third Omega Tech 'vehicle' - the 'Heavy Lift Harness?'

It's obvious what it's based on, and that wasn't exactly enclosed...

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

mvincent: I did not view you as engaged in a Boards battle for position. You offered fan rules in the absence of published rules as an option for handling the question raised in the OP. But you did not use those rules at any time to refute someone else's position. (In other words, you appropriately used fan rules in a conversation.) Others brought them up to reinforce a position in a disagreement.
Here are the PHB essentia, in my opinion:
  • Three Basic Rules (p 11)
  • Power Types and Usage (p 54)
  • Skills (p178-179)
  • Feats (p 192)
  • Rest and Recovery (p 263)
  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
A player needs to read the sections for building his or her character -- race, class, powers, feats, equipment, etc. But those are PC-specific. The above list is for everyone, regardless of the race or class or build or concept they are playing.
Haha... now you're just stirring the pot, Tony. Tongue out
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL
I didn't really get into details in my initial post, but I'll add this: I would also rule that being inside the mini-tank would block line-of-sight.

That sounds good to me then. It's one option I was suggesting in my initial post.

The skycycle specifically calls out that it does not inherently protect the driver

Where?

you did not use those rules at any time to refute someone else's position. (In other words, you appropriately used fan rules in a conversation.) Others brought them up to reinforce a position in a disagreement.

Where?
While it's obvious that the SkyCycle shouldn't provide any protection to it's riders, what about the third Omega Tech 'vehicle' - the 'Heavy Lift Harness?'
It's obvious what it's based on, and that wasn't exactly enclosed...

Ah. I missed that. Thank you for pointing out another Gamma World vehicle:

"Heavy-Lift Harness (O; R: Xi) “Get away from her, you -!”  HP 100, Space 2 by 2 squares; AC 20, Other Defenses 17; Speed 5; Driver: A driver occupies 1 square of the heavy-lift harness’s space and must have both hands free to move it or use its power.; Load: 1 Medium creature and 4,000 lbs of gear.; Power: At-Will Physical; Standard Action, Melee 2; Target: One Creature; Attack: Level + 8 vs. AC; Hit: 2d10 + Constitution modifier + twice your level physical damage, and the target is immobilized (save ends). The immobilization also ends if you are no longer adjacent to the target.; Salvage 4: A 4th-level character can salvage the heavy-lift harness. It becomes a special item as above, but without the power."

Hmm... you're right, skycycle doesn't actually say that. Someone else implied that it did, and I sort of ran with it without going back and checking. Mea culpa.

(Actually, on further review, what mvincent was implying was that my reasoning on the mini-tank having its own AC and HP was faulty. It was a good point, and one which I completely misread.)

Still, I don't think that invalidates the fact that it's reasonable to expect a skycycle to provide protection as one would expect a flying motorcycle to do (i.e., not really at all) and a mini-tank to provide protection as one would expect a small tank to do (i.e., quite well).
Encounters DM, Season 4 & Season 5 - Amorous Armadillo Game Shoppe - Oviedo, FL
@ dodonna - I don't have the book myself, but I was under the impression that there were going to be vehicle rules in Legion of Gold. Oh well... I guess I'll have to tap Oraibi's rules if we're going to play a Mad Max campaign.


The author of "Hometown, Gamma Terra" mentioned in a thread that rules for vehicles were coming soonish.  I assumed this was in another article.
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