Hard Suit

Hard Suit

Imagine a hard suit like an oversize suit of armor, three times the size of its pilot, but with smooth, organic components.

Hard Suit is Runehammer's latest campaign. I was surprised to learn it is supported by a hard book, and, since I like Runehammer's work, I ordered a copy.

Hard Suit can be used as an ICRPG add-on or as a setting for the system one uses. The world of Hard Suit is called "Atria" and is meant to be "hexcrawled" or to stand as a sandbox.

Speaking of hexcrawl, Hard Suit comes with a "Hex Roll" system. Here below is the base formula, but each region in Atria gets its own table, the formula is the skeleton, Atria provides the flesh.

1: Terrible — Encounter the worst this location has to offer.
2-4: Bad stuff — Danger appears, the ground is giving way, or bad weather.
5: Neutral — A quiet afternoon, uneventful, a few passers by.
6-7: Minor boons — NPCs met, or supplies discovered.
8: Rare luck — Destination reached, help received or kindness found.

Players are expected to stack factors, each granting a +1 to the Hex Roll, while the referee stacks -1 factors against them. The players are thus expected to prepare their hex entrances.

That's it, there is a single further point to remember. The Hex Roll while wearing/riding a hard suit starts at -2. Hard suits consume power and power is hard to come by, they are quite big, up to twenty feet tall, and are illegal in many places.

So the Hard Suit setting has two modes for the players, on foot and in the hard suit. With the -2 above and the hints in the world description, suits are better kept for combat. Entering a suit takes 1 round, it can be made instantaneous by consuming one Hero Coin, so switching between "on foot" and "in suit" shouldn't be too difficult. Unless ... unless the the suit is stashed on a cart, under a tarp, and powered down.

I have the impression that "in suit" hex rolls are rare. En Force reconnaissance? No rather scouting followed by "in suit" raiding.

The mini-system for suits is nice. Basically, a fresh suit starts at power level 100, you have to roll 1d100 under the power level to success (attack, physical feat, etc...). 0-5 always succeeds and no power is used, 95-99 always fails and power level is decreased by 10. A regularly successful action costs 10.

So if your suit is fresh, at 100, you have 10 rounds. Definitely, no armored reconnaissance.

Once a hard suit has been depleted of POWER, it must be recharged by some means. In effect, hard suits cannot ‘rest’ to recharge unless equipped with a power cycler. New POWER canisters can be found, but are terribly rare. POWER can be regained by various means such as draining other tech, lightning rods, sorcery or connecting to a power source built to charge hard suits.

Argh, logistics, AA batteries or button cells?

There is much more to Hard Suit, I have just exposed two systems in it. Hard Suit also comes with an entry angle to it, guiding the players into the characters and into hard suits and then leaving them to explore the Atria continent.

Let me finish with some of the points laid out in the Hard Suit pitch:

• Hard Suit has fantasy aesthetics. The world in this game is ancient, empty, and mostly wilderness. More ruins in jungles than giant cities and space stations... the suits are the exception, not the rule.
• The game has a ‘press play’ front end. Hard Suit expects you and friends to sit with the book knowing nothing about the game. Learn, grow, decide, and master as you play.
• Suits are like extra characters. Building, modifying, repairing and piloting hard suits adds a whole new layer to play.
• The creatures and loot are crazy. I know you like rolling on epic tables for weird monsters and gear. Hard Suit has ‘em.
• You said you loved me. I made nachos. You’re coming over.

Oh, and there are STL files available and also VTT Tokens.


Update 2022-08-06

The latest Runehammer video has a section presenting the Hard Suit book and concept. Excellent.