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MyGURPS - BAE Shields

BAE Shields

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In Borderlands, Shields are the most common personal defense. They project a damage-absorbing field around the user that regenerates over time and sometimes comes with cool bonus effects. Seriously, don't leave the bunker without one.

How Shields Work

Shields act as ablative armor, soaking damage before it can hurt the wearer. At its most basic, a shield has two attributes: Capacity and Recharge. Different shields will also offer helpful benefits, of course. In all cases, the maximum levels referred to apply only to what's available to PCs; foes (especially bosses and mini-bosses) can break these limits, as can GM-designed legendary shields!

Capacity

A shield's maximum Capacity ranges from 2 to 20, though values above 12 are rare (for PCs). Track Capacity on scratch paper, with a spare die, or using these shield trackers ?.

Every time an attack exceeds the wearer's Toughness (including any Armor), his shield automatically expends Capacity to momentarily raise his Toughness so that it's higher than the Damage inflicted. If it doesn't have enough Capacity to do that, it will spend all of its remaining Capacity.

Example: Zeela has Toughness 7 and a Capacity 6 shield (currently full). A bandit shoots her for 11 damage. Her shield expends 5 Capacity points to raise her Toughness to 12 so that Zeela isn't even Shaken. But then a second bandit shoots her for 13 damage. Her shield expends its remaining 1 Capacity to bump her Toughness to 8, but she still takes a Wound.

The shield expects Capacity for each attack, not for each attack action. If the wearer is hit multiple times in a single action (e.g., from rapid fire or Frenzy), each is a separate attack that requires a new expenditure of Capacity.

A shield with current Capacity 1+ is often referred to as "up" or "active" while one with current Capacity 0 is "down" or "disabled."

Recharge

This is an abstraction of both recharge delay and recharge rate, represented as a die roll (d4-2, d4-1, or d4). Increases to Recharge improve the die type, but keep any modifier (e.g., d4-1 becomes d6-1). Recharge above d12 becomes d12+1, d12+2, etc., which may offset the penalty from Anshin or Pangolin shields.

At the beginning of the round, when the GM is dealing out Action Cards, everyone rolls this recharge die (which can Ace). The roll is at -2 for anyone who was hit by an attack last round. If the result is 1+, their shield recovers that much Capacity, up to its maximum limit.

A character can switch their shield's ability to recharge on or off as a Simple Action. This can be useful for things like Roid shields. This does not stop the shield from spending Capacity when the wearer is hit; that cannot be turned off.

Swapping Shields

Treat shields like weapons: a Simple Action to stow one and a Simple Action to pull out and clip on a new one. If both actions are done in the same round, the new shield starts with the current Capacity of the old shield, or its own maximum Capacity, whichever is lower. If the wearer started the round with no shield, the new shield starts with Capacity 0.

Allies and Enemies

Shields can be programmed to tell friend from foe. Well, you can tell it who your friends are, and the shield assumes that anyone else is a foe. This allows effects like Nova blasts that hurt enemies but not allies, Power Charges that only your friends can pick up and use, etc.

Adding or deleting someone from your shield's "friends list" takes about a minute and doesn't require a roll. In an emergency, it can be done as a standard Action but this requires a Hacking roll.

Generating a Shield

Use the following steps to create a random shield, usually when it came up as the result in BAE Guns, Glorious Guns!.

Manufacturer

First, roll d6 to determine the manufacturer, which will set the base stats of the shield.

1‑2AnshinCapacity 4, Recharge d4-1, Wt 2.
3‑4HyperionCapacity 2, Recharge d4, Wt 2.
5‑6PangolinCapacity 6, Recharge d4-2, Wt 2.

Upgrades

A White shield for a Novice character has the stats above. Rarer shields and/or more experienced characters get additional Upgrades:

RarityUpgrades   PC RankUpgrades
Green+1 Seasoned+1
Blue+2 Veteran+2
Purple+3 Heroic+3
Orange+5* Legendary+4
* Orange shields get +4 normal Upgrades plus an extra "11" result Upgrade applied at the very end of the process.

For each Upgrade, roll d20 on the following table. Unlike when generating guns, do apply all Upgrades as you roll them, since those values affect certain table results.

For special abilities, you can just note the ability, level, and (if applicable) element as you go; e.g., "Defensive 2" or "Nova 3 Cryo". It's easier to wait until the very end to write down all of the special ability details.

1

+2 to shield's Capacity unless it already has Capacity 6 or better. If it does, reroll on this table using d12+7.

2

+2 to shield's Capacity unless it already has Capacity 8 or better. If it does, reroll on this table using d12+7.

3

+2 to shield's Capacity unless it already has Capacity 10 or better. If it does, reroll on this table using d12+7.

4

+2 to shield's Capacity unless it already has Capacity 12 or better. If it does, reroll on this table using d12+7.

5-6

If shield is Orange or has Capacity 12 or lower, +2 to its Capacity. Otherwise, reroll on this table using d12+7.

7-9

If shield has no special abilities, roll to add one (below). Otherwise, improve one of its special abilities by one level*.

10

If shield has zero or one special abilities, roll to add another one (below). If it already has two or more, instead improve one of its special abilities by one level*.

11

If shield has fewer than three special abilities, roll to add another one (below). If it already has three, improve one of its special abilities by one level*.

12‑14

If shield has no special abilities, roll to add one (below). Otherwise, improve one of its special abilities by one level*.

15

Improve shield's Recharge unless its Recharge die (ignoring any modifier) is d6 or better. If it does, reroll on this table using d12+1.

16

Improve shield's Recharge unless its Recharge die (ignoring any modifier) is d8 or better. If it does, reroll on this table using d12+1.

17

Improve shield's Recharge unless its Recharge die (ignoring any modifier) is d10 or better. If it does, reroll on this table using d12+1.

18

Improve shield's Recharge unless its Recharge die (ignoring any modifier) is d12 or better. If it does, reroll on this table using d12+1.

19‑20

If shield is Orange or its Recharge die (ignoring any modifier) is d12 or lower, improve its Recharge. Otherwise, reroll on this table using d12+1.

* If it has multiple special abilities, roll randomly (among those that aren't already maxxed out) to see which to improve. If all of its special abilities are maxxed out, roll d4: (1-2) Improve Capacity, (3-4) Improve Recharge.

Shield Special Abilities

Many shields have some sort of special ability; a few even have multiple. Each special ability has 3 levels. These are not cumulative; only apply the benefits from the listed level; e.g., a shield with Defensive 2 has Projected, not Turtle and Projected.

To determine a special ability randomly, roll d10:

1Absorb 6Nova
2Amp 7Roid
3Anti-Element 8Speed
4Defensive 9Spike
5Drop 10reroll

Absorb

If the shield is up when the wearer is directly hit by one or more bullets or rockets (but not when caught in the splash of an area effect or attacked by an energy ray, vomit, etc.), roll a single d10. If the result is within the range listed below, the attack does no damage and the ammo is added to the wearer's supply.

The ammo added is equal to the number of successful hits, regardless of how much ammo the attacker expended. For example, a 3RB attack would add +1 ammo, despite the fact that it cost the attacker 3.

  • Level 1: Absorb (10)
  • Level 2: Absorb (9-10)
  • Level 3: Absorb (8-10)

Amp

If the shield is at full Capacity when the wearer successfully shoots someone, the shield immediately loses Capacity but the attack does extra damage.

Amp only enhances bullets, not rockets or melee attacks (which is what Roid is for). If used with a rapid-fire attack, only the first shot that hits gets the extra damage.

  • Level 1: Lose 1 Capacity for +2 damage
  • Level 2: Lose 1 Capacity for +3 damage
  • Level 3: Lose 1 Capacity for +4 damage

Anti-Element

These shields grant resistance to an element. See BAE Elemental Damage for details; in brief, attacks of that element do -4 damage and don't inflict status effects. The resistance applies whether the shield is up or down.

Resistant shields protect the wearer from one specific element, determined when the shield is made. Resistance to explosive damage protects from explicitly "explosive elemental" weapons as well as rockets and grenades that don't have any other element.

Adaptive shields instead switch to protect the wearer from whatever element they were last hit by (except for Explosive). This means that the first attack gets no such benefit, but subsequent attacks do. (For example, if someone whose shield is currently Adaptive against incendiary gets hit by radiation, the radiation attack does full damage. If they're hit by radiation again, that second attack does -4 damage.) Level 2 Adaptive shields reset to a blank slate between fights, only adapting again once hit by an element.

  • Level 1: Resistant. Roll d20* for the element: (1-3) Corrosive, (4-6) Cryo, (7-10) Explosive, (11-13) Incendiary, (14-16) Radiation, (17-19) Shock, (20) Slag.
  • Level 2: Adaptive, for the next 5 rounds.
  • Level 3: Adaptive, indefinitely (even between fights).
* Exception: If a different special ability already involves an element, use that element instead.

Defensive

The shield is especially adept at protecting the wearer, though the specifics depend completely on the level of this Upgrade. The Projected and Health effects are not dependent on whether the shield is up or down.

  • Level 1: Turtle. After generating the shield, add +4 Capacity — but while the shield is down the wearer has -1 Toughness. (Don't apply this penalty until after the attack which downed the shield.) If a Turtle shield is unequipped, the Toughness penalty lingers for 5 rounds.
  • Level 2: Projected. While the wearer is crouching or prone, the shield projects an extra force-field that gives +2 Armor.
  • Level 3: Health. The wearer gets +2 Toughness.

Drop

First, roll d10 to determine what type of power-up the shield drops. This is determined now, not rolled randomly each time.

  • (1-4) Shield Booster. Immediately restores d4+1 Capacity to the recipient's shield (can Ace).
  • (5-7) Fortify Charge. +2 Armor until the beginning of the recipient's next turn.
  • (8-10) Power Charge. +2 to all Damage the recipient does (by any means) on this turn.

Every time the shield loses Capacity because the wearer is hit, roll a single d12. If the result is within the range listed below, the shield drops the above power up (as a small energy construct) d4" away in a random direction. The shield will drop no more than one power-up per round. The wearer or any friend (not foe) can pick up the power-up as a Simple Action, at which point it grants its benefit.

Multiple Charges of the same type are not cumulative.

  • Level 1: Drop (9-10)
  • Level 2: Drop (8-10)
  • Level 3: Drop (7-10)

Nova

When the shield goes down (for any reason), it releases an elemental area-effect attack centered on the wearer. The wearer and their friends are safe; everyone else is targeted. The nova can be evaded, but at -2. Once expended, the shield must recharge to full Capacity before the Nova ability resets.

Roll d20* for the element: (1-3) Corrosive, (4-6) Cryo, (7-10) Explosive, (11-13) Incendiary, (14-16) Radiation, (17-19) Shock, (20) Slag.

  • Level 1: 3d4 in an MBT.
  • Level 2: 2d12 in an MBT.
  • Level 3: 3d10 in an MBT.
* Exception: If a different special ability already involves an element, use that element instead.

Roid

While the shield is down, the wearer's melee attacks do extra damage. Simple, yeah? Some users turn off their shield's Recharge completely (see rules above) once it goes down, though that's obviously a risky move.

  • Level 1: +2 melee damage.
  • Level 2: +3 melee damage.
  • Level 3: +4 melee damage.

Speed

The wearer is faster in some way, though the specifics depend heavily on which level of Speed Upgrade the shield ends up having.

For levels 2, roll a d4: (1-2) Fleet (faster when down), (3-4) Vagabond (faster when full).

  • Level 1: Adrenaline. While the shield is down, all guns reload faster. Reload 2 becomes Reload 1, Reload 1 becomes normal (Simple Action), and normal guns reload as a Free Action. COV weapons instead get +1 to Overheating rolls.
  • Level 2: Fleet or Vagabond. While the shield is [down/full], wearer gets +2 to Pace and improves their Run die by one type.
  • Level 3: Trigger-Happy. While the shield is down, all guns gain +1 to RoF. This can exceed the usual maximum.

Spike

While the shield is up, if the wearer is hit by a melee attack, the attacker automatically takes damage.

Roll d20* for the element: (1-3) Corrosive, (4-6) Cryo, (7-10) Explosive [doesn't become area-effect, but does +2 damage], (11-13) Incendiary, (14-16) Radiation, (17-19) Shock, (20) Slag.

  • Level 1: 2d6 damage.
  • Level 2: 2d8+1 damage.
  • Level 3: 2d12 damage.
* Exception: If a different special ability already involves an element, use that element instead.

Final Step

If Resistant, Nova, or Spike have the Slag element, give the shield the Red Text: This stuff's still around?


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