View Full Version : d20 Transformers

2009-07-27, 10:39 PM
Using the Star Wars Saga Edition as a base from which to start, I am trying to create a Transformers RPG. But I am truly only in the earliest of beginning stages. I don't even know what kinds of classes I'll be putting in yet. So, naturally, I would like help developing the idea into an actual working set of rules.

I have already made a few descisions about the system:
-Huge is the new Medium. All players and most NPCs are likely going to be upwards of Twenty-something feet tall. So for simplicity's sake, I've shifted the size categories so that "meduim size" is still "the size that most people are".
-A player's choice of vehicle form will be much like choosing a race. +2 to this score, -2 to that score, determines your size, small bonus to a couple of skills or something...
-I want transforming to matter. there should be plenty of reason to transform, and each form should have sufficient tactical advantages and disadvantages that players will want to use it. If everyone spends 95% of their time in robot form, then something is wrong.
-I want the rules to work with any Transformers universe with minimal changes. Generation 1, Beast Wars, Armada, Live action movie, Animated, everything.

Beyond this, however, I don't have much planned, yet.
Anyone have any ideas where I should start with this?

2009-07-27, 10:49 PM
Vehicles modes should be considerably faster than robot modes.

Important NPCs can be transported safely in vehicles, while robots would have to try to hold the NPCs in the robot's hands. If a robot was trying to do that, the NPC could get knocked out by any attack on the robot.

Also, the vehicles can offer individual abilities. A jet can fly while the robot cannot. A compact can hide much better than a two story robot. A motorcycle could traverse small areas in order to outmanuver the enemy.

Disguising onelself as a normal vehicle might be important for a variety of reasons.

2009-07-27, 10:50 PM
Alright... um...

My first question is why?

I do not mean this as an insult, it's an honest question - what do you seek to gain out of using specifically SWSE as a base? The Force Power system is basically completely non-relevant - the only thing similar that I am familiar with is Tigerhawk in Beast Wars. There's a few more in the old comics if I sit down and think about it, I'm sure. But definitely not a staple of the series.

You can probably stick to the main four classes - my Avatar project is finding them very versatile. There really isn't even a need for a Jedi class in SWSE, but that's an aside.

I would probably do transforming similar to the Wild Shape variant in PHB II - that is to say, static bonuses and a special attack or two in alternate forms. Thinking...

- Vehicle modes carry limited (but equally powerful) methods of attack as humanoid modes, and far more speed. Can't make AoOs.
- Robot mode picks up a second attack or a third, and is more durable. Higher damage threshold. Better at moving at low speeds - represent this as vehicles always having either charge behavior or stopped?
- Beast modes have the least methods of attack and damage, but give fast healing and good overall mobility.
- Transmetal beast mdoes are more like vehicle modes.

Also, the vehicles can offer individual abilities. A jet can fly while the robot cannot. A compact can hide much better than a two story robot. A motorcycle could traverse small areas in order to outmanuver the enemy.

I can't think of any transformers in G1 or Beast Wars that could fly as vehicle, but not as robot. A few who were the other way around...

2009-07-28, 12:06 AM
I didn't pick Star Wars for any one particular reason. When I was reading through the rules, everything just kinda "felt" right.
Right now, the biggest obstacle I have is deciding whether to use a small number of relatively vague classes like Star Wars, or go with a greater number of more specialized classes. (A few D&D classes I can see functioning more-or-less exactly as-is, such as the fighter, rogue, or monk.)

I'm leaning slightly toward the Star Wars classes if for no other reason than it would be easier to change them to fit my game. (just add or modify talent trees, and you're pretty much done.)

I do think I'll have to add in a "tech specialist" type class, though. I can't see "scoundrel or noble trained in mechanics" really cutting it in the Transformers universe...

As for the robot modes being able to fly, I'm doing away with that. It never really made sense to me. Especially since only Decepticons could do it. What's the point of taking a jet as your vehicle form if you can fly on your own? Not to mention that tons of Autobots would likely switch sides if suddenly swapping out all your Autobot symbols for Decepticon symbols let you defy gravity...

No, in my game, the only way to fly is to transform into an aircraft or board one.

2009-07-28, 12:18 AM
I wouldn't flatout deny robot forms the ability to fly, even still - just make it more expensive.

I like Saga's generic classes. Prestige classes and talent trees offer a lot of diversity without making a quagmire of classes to open up with. I would consider making tech specialization like Force Powers/Talents in SW and like Bender Forms/Talents in my own project, where a feat allows you to take talents relating to it in any class. Technology has a similar level of ubiquity as those things do to their universes, even if you can't do a "Prime Processor Trick" with a handwave. :smallbiggrin:

2009-07-29, 08:54 PM
I've started fleshing out some of the vehicle forms, and I've decided that since after cutting Jedi, there just weren't enough classes, that I would use the d20 modern classes, written up in Saga Edition style.

Vehicle forms I've thought up so far:

Car- No ability modifiers. A bonus trained skill, and a bonus feat at 1st level. It's the "human" choice.

Truck- +2 STR, -2 CHA, Reroll Endurance checks.

Jet +2 DEX, -2 CON, Reroll Acrobatics checks.

Tank- +2 CON, -2 CHA, -2 INT, Some amount of natural armor, Reduced speed (probably a square or two) Reroll Endurance, Fortitude Defense bonus.

Racecar- +2 DEX, -2 WIS, reroll Acrobatics, Reflex defense bonus.

That's all I've made up so far.

I haven't gotten around to making up or reassigning Talent Trees to the classes, but what I've got so far is:

Strong- d10 hit die, 2+Int trained skills, Good BAB, +2 Fort, +1 Reflex

Fast- d8 hit die, 3+Int trained skills, Average BAB, +2 Ref, +1 Fort

Tough- d12 hit die, 2+Int trained skills, Good BAB, +2 Fort, +1 Will

Smart- d6 hit die, 6+Int trained skills, Poor BAB, +2 Ref, +1 Will

Dedicated- d8 hit die, 4+Int trained skills, Average BAB, +2 Will, +1 Fort

Charismatic- d6 hit die, 5+Int trained skills, Poor BAB, +2 Will, +1 Ref.

Still working on starting proficiencies.