Mastodon

6 min read


Context

This article is about a warframe fighter in the Warframe video game. Some other articles might be best read before it :

  1. The article presenting the Warframe setting, if you aren’t familiar with the game.
  2. The “base camp” article about what warframes are and how they work. This one is recommended even if you’re well familiar with the game. It has the design notes, for starters.

You can also check our FAQ about video game characters. Which discusses such things as adapting and developing the material so it can be used in a TTRPG.

Okay, let’s start with the shooting.

Advertisement

Powers & Abilities

A Mesa-class warframe is a medium-range combat expert. She excels at shooting things, and at not being shot by things.

Mesa can emit an invisible force field. It loosely evokes the multicore cyclonic shields installed on the Normandy in Mass Effect. The field can :

  • Accelerate projectiles shot by Mesa and/or her allies.
  • Jam guns held by nearby enemies, forcing them to go through a quick reboot (or rap-tap-bang, depending on the tech level).
  • Reflect incoming bullets and deflect incoming beams. It’s not impossible to bring down a Mesa frame via gunfire, but it requires a *lot* of it.

Mesa warframes also have a talent with handguns. This may be a property of the cloned, Infested biological body within. Or it may be optimisations in her hand-eye targeting assist systems.

Mesa warframe - near-default immortal skin

Near-default Mesa-class warframe (though yes it’s an Immortal skin). With the strange “bandit bandana/bandage mask” thing and a zylok heavy pistol.

High noon showdown

Mesa is equipped with a particularly powerful pair of pistols, called Regulators. These have unusually long barrels, and vaguely resemble the Remington New Army revolvers of the Old West.

Normally, the Regulators are held folded against her forearms – and Mesa uses other warframe-wieldable weapons. They are only used by putting the Mesa warframe in a special mode, nicknamed the Peacemaker Mode. When it’s activated :

  1. The Regulators flip into her hands.
  2. Her targeting systems are greatly overclocked.
  3. Her legs become almost immobile, as the energy is redirected up.
  4. The servos for her arms and shoulders get overclocked for speed.

As a result, the Mesa warframe will be able to acquire and shoot about a score of targets per second. Anything she can see and is within 50 metres of her is so going to get shot. At superhuman speed and with unerring accuracy.

It’s a bit like an Agent in The Matrix movies dodging. But with shooting. Blamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblamblam.

In Peacemaker Mode, a Mesa can do a sweeping pass to slaughter lesser enemies – for instance to clear the field if she’s too badly outnumbered. Or it can be focused on a particularly tough target that needs to be taken down ASAP.

However, Peacemaker Mode eats a lot of energy and generates a fair bit of heat.

Mesa prime warframe custom appearance

The custom Mesa warframe appearance I use. And yes, the epaulets are a She Wore A Yellow Ribbon joke, because I’m a hilarious bloke. I mean feller.

Description

The “Prime” version of Mesa warframes (the one used in most illustrations here) has a strong cowgirl visual theme.

She’ll put a yee in your haw. In space.

It evokes a masked Old West vigilante, with riding chaps, a cool hat and a pair of big irons.

Mesa prime warframe custom appearance - akvasto prime

Aiming a brace of vasto prime revolvers. So there’s both the vastos (dark beige and gold, held) and the regulators (greenish, folded against the forearms).

DC Heroes RPG

Mesa warframe

DEX 08 STR 07 BOD 10

Powers:

Cling: 04, Damage capacity: 06, Gliding: 02, Invulnerability: 12, Jumping: 03, Radio communications: 16, Running: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Cling can only be maintained for 3 Phases (if running) or 1 Phase (if stationary).
  • Cling doesn’t work on surfaces at more than a 100° angle from the ground (such as ceiling, or protrusions along walls).
  • Gliding can only be maintained for 3 Phases.
  • Invulnerability – see below.
  • Jumping has the Catfall Bonus.
  • Radio coms includes video. It also allows The Lotus to anchor her Eye of Cat Power to a warframe. It usually links to the Orbiter and/or Landing Craft, which acts as a relay to the network.

Warframe-specific Powers:

Enchant: 01, Flash: 08, Force field: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Enchant has a selective 2 APs Area of Effect.
  • Enchant only to increase the EV of ranged weaponry.
  • Enchant does not cost any Action to be active.
  • Enchant can only be active if at least as many weapons are currently shooting at the Enchant beneficiaries as there are weapons to be Enchanted.
  • Flash has a selective Area of Effect with a radius of 2 APs.
  • Flash doesn’t take an Action.
  • Flash is Minimal Marginal.
  • Flash RAPs only apply when attempting to fire a weapon with a R#. All other rolls and Tasks are unaffected.
  • Flash isn’t bright light, so Shade doesn’t help. But it is resisted by Force Field, Force Shield and Force Wall.
  • Force field has a radius of 1 AP.
  • Force field only vs. ranged weaponry (whether it’s projectiles or energy).

Skills:

Acrobatics: 08, Medicine (First aid): 05, Thief (Security systems, Stealth): 06, Vehicles: 07, Weaponry: 08

Bonuses and Limitations:

Medicine applies to warframes without penalty.

Advantages:

Area Knowledge (Real-time mapping and positioning), Leadership, Schtick (Paired weapons (all), Fast-Draw (all)).

Equipment:

  • SHIELDING [BODY 02, Damage Capacity: 08, Bonus: Damage Capacity has Instant Recovery].
  • REGULATORS (Peacemaker Mode, sweeping pivot) [BODY 05, Accuracy (Projectile weapons): 11, Projectile weapons: 09, Sharpness (Projectile Weapons): 02, Bonus: Projectile Weapons has No Range, but has a selective Area of Effect with a 4 APs Radius, Limitation: Using the Regulators for one Phase is Minor Marginal].
  • REGULATORS (Peacemaker Mode, focused barrage) [BODY 05, Accuracy (Projectile weapons): 12, Projectile weapons: 11, Sharpness (Projectile Weapons): 03, Bonus: Projectile Weapons has a 0 APs selective Area of Effect, Limitation: Projectile Weapons has a Range of but 04 ; Limitation: Using the Regulators for one Phase is Minor Marginal].
Mesa prime warframe custom appearance - regulator pistol

Regulator revolvers deployed. Note the shower of sparks around the forearms as the servos get overlocked and enter peacemaker mode.


Design notes

These stats reflect my circa-2020 Mesa “dura pistolera” build, since it’s what I know best. I barely ever use her 1 or 2, and mod more for durability than for energy. Which means Peacemaker will be used in short spurts, rather than go aimbot all through a Primed Flow-sized energy reserve.

No Reflection/Deflection. Warframe typical video game shootah asymmetry where enemy gunfire can be dangerous for the players, but not so much for the enemy.

So merging the weapons damage boost and the reflection damage as Enchant is simpler and models what’s going on in-game.

I also went for simplicity with the Flash thing to model weapons malfunctioning. It’s loose modelling, clearly, but it’s clean and standard.


Writeups.org writer avatar Sébastien Andrivet

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Warframe vidjagame.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 26th of January, 2021.