Awesome 80s: Transforming Cycle Armor (for Starfinder)

Some weird, awesome stuff came out in the 1980s, that impacted my geek trajectory significantly. The Awesome 80s line of blog posts is about sharing some of the things I have been inspired to create by movies, shows, games, and literature of that decade. In this case, it’s armor that can transform to have a motorcycle or additional protective plates (depending on the need of the wearer).

(Art by Raven)

Dragoon Frame [Armor Upgrade]

Model Level Cost Crit Effect Negation Cycle Speed
Brass ___ 2 _____ 450 _ 10% ________________ 30 ft.
Bronze _ 4 ____ 2,850 _ 20% ________________ 40 ft.
Copper _ 9 ___ _7,000 _ 30% ________________ 50 ft.
Silver __14 ___ 30,000 _ 40% ________________ 60 ft.
Gold ___ 19 _ 200,000 _ 50% ________________ 70 ft.

A dragoon frame is designed to enhance the mobility of armored infantry units, allowing them to choose between greater mobility or greater resilience. When installed, a dragoon frame appears to be a series of angular armored plates and curved matte black highlights that fit around the armor. While in this reinforcing plates mode, the dragoon frame grants the armor’s wearer the listed percent chance to negate the critical hit effect of a critical hit (though it does not negate the double damage of the critical or any ability triggered by a critical hit). This chance is rolled separately from any chance to completely negate a critical hit (such as might be gained from high-level force fields).

As part of any action that allows the armor’s wearer to move (including guarded steps and the movement element of a trick attack), a dragoon frame can unfold from the armor it is in, and reassemble as a motorcycle ridden by that armored character. In this mode it does not offer any protection against critical hit effects, but does give the rider the listed land speed, and the ability to carry one additional creature of the same size as the armor wearer or smaller without worrying about bulk or using any arms to do so. As long as the armored character is not overburdened, the cycle’s speed is not reduced by armor modifiers or encumbrance. If the armored character is overburdened, the cycle’s movement is reduced to 0.

However, a dragoon frame in cycle mode isn’t as maneuverable as being on foot. When moving in cycle mode, the armored character’s land movement acts a great deal as if they were flying (though limited to movement on the ground) and had average maneuverability (see Chapter 8 of the Core Rulebook). This includes it costing you an additional 5 feet of movement to turn 45 degrees, needing to make Acrobatics checks (see the skill description) when driving in high winds (though you gain a +8 bonus to such checks and may choose to use Piloting rather than Acrobatics). When moving in motorcycle mode, the armor wearer can also use Piloting in place of Acrobatics for the balance and tumble tasks.

It does not take any hands to pilot the cycle – everything is managed by the onboard system of the linked armor. No one but the wearer of the armor with the dragoon frame upgrade can normally pilot the frame in motorcycle mode. The armor wearer can leave the cycle, but it cannot be piloted (or change from cycle mode to reinforcing plates mode) when not ridden by someone wearing the armor is an upgrade for.

When in cycle mode, the dragoon frame can fold back onto its armor as part of any move or full action taken by its pilot, setting any passenger that was riding it on the passenger’s feet in an adjacent square of the armor wearer’s choice when it does so.

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About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at https://www.patreon.com/OwenKCStephens

Posted on November 28, 2022, in Game Design, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is amazing, and evokes one of my absolute favorite things from Robotech. Thank you. Looking forward to things in a similar vein.

  2. This looks mad fun. A friend of mine is going to run Starfinder soon, and I was considering playing a Nanocyte and asked him if I could use this and your conversion of the Tron Cyber Discs. Any advice on using something like this Dragoon Cycle as some kind of kit for the Nanocyte?

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