Chapter 14 - Mecha

Mecha are large war machines used for land and space superiority. There is no telling what kind of work these machines are used for whether for mining, escorting or war they often resemble a larger from of a humanoid. Mechs can be as large as dragon or as small as troll in all cases they generally need a space for a pilot to manipulate the machine. This section will explain all the parts and costs to construct or buy a Mecha.

Movement & Combat


Stronger than they would otherwise be, and they can wield truly frightening weapons. However, they still obey the essential rules of movement and combat. They still threaten squares within their reach, take move actions and attack actions, duck behind cover to gain a bonus to Defense, and so forth. In some respects, however, mecha movement and combat differs from character movement and combat. The following sections describe specific situations that arise when mecha maneuver and clash on the battlefield.

Cockpit Access


It takes a full-round action to climb into a mecha's cockpit and a move action to activate its various systems so it can move and fight. It takes a full-round action to get out of a mecha unless an HV-5 Haven escape pod or similarly expeditious device is used (see Miscellaneous Equipment).

Mecha Skill Usage


Mecha operators use the Drive skill to operate their mecha on the ground and the Pilot skill to operate their mecha in the air or in space.

In general, mecha operators don't need to make Drive or Pilot checks to steer their mecha around the battlefield. However, these skills may come into play in combat under the following circumstances:

• When trying to move past a foe without provoking an attack of opportunity, a mecha operator can make a Drive check or Pilot check (as appropriate) instead of a Tumble check.

• A mecha operator can oppose a trip attempt with a Drive check (if on the ground) or a Pilot check (if in the air).

• A successful Pilot check can pull a mecha out of a stall (see Flying Mecha, below).

• A character in a copilot cockpit can use the aid another action, making Drive or Pilot checks (as appropriate) to aid the Drive and Pilot checks of the mecha's operator.

Flying Mecha

The vehicle rules are entirely appropriate for ground cars and other normal modes of transportation; however, even a clumsy mecha is more maneuverable than a normal vehicle.

On the ground, mecha move as characters. They can turn at any time, move in any direction, and stop on a dime. In the air, though, they are more limited.

Most flying mecha have to s low down to make a turn, and many are limited to fairly wide turns and must maintain a minimum forward speed. Each flying mecha has a maneuverability rating, as shown on Table: Flight Maneuverability. A mecha's flight systems determine its maneuverability.

Minimum Forward Speed: If a flying mecha fails to maintain its minimum forward speed, it must land at the end of its movement. If it is too high above the ground to land, it falls straight down, descending 150 feet in the first round of falling. If this distance brings it to the ground, it takes falling damage. If the fall doesn't bring the mecha to the ground, the operator must succeed at a Pilot check (DC 20) to recover. Otherwise, it falls another 300 feet. If it hits the ground, it takes falling damage. Otherwise, it has another chance to recover on its next turn.

Hover: The ability to stay in one place while airborne.

Fly Backward: The ability to fly backward.

Reverse: A mecha with good maneuverability uses up 5 feet of its speed to start flying backward.

Turn: How much the flying mecha can turn after covering the stated distance.

Turn in Place: A mecha with good or average maneuverability can “spend” some of its speed to turn in place.

Maximum Turn: How much the mecha can turn in any one space.

Up Angle: The angle at which the mecha can ascend.

Up Speed: How fast the mecha can ascend.

Down Angle: The angle at which the mecha can descend.

Down Speed: A flying mecha can descend at twice its normal flying speed.

Between Down and Up: An average, poor, or clumsy mecha must fly level for a minimum distance after descending and before ascending. Any flying mecha can begin descending after an ascent without an intervening distance.

Table: Flight Maneuverability

Maneuver Perfect Good Average Poor Clumsy
Minimum forward speed None None Half Half Half
Hover Yes Yes No No No
Fly backward Yes Yes No No No
Reverse Free –5 ft.
Turn Any 90°/5 ft. 45°/5 ft. 45°/5 ft. 45°/10 ft.
Turn in place Any +90°/5 ft. +45°/5 ft. No No
Maximum turn Any Any 90° 45° 45°
Up angle Any Any 60° 45° 45°
Up speed Full Half Half Half Half
Down angle Any Any Any 45° 45°
Down speed Double Double Double Double Double
Between down and up 0 ft. 0 ft. 5 ft. 10 ft. 20 ft.

Outer Space Mecha


Only a mecha equipped with space skin (see Miscellaneous Equipment) can operate in outer space. However, the mecha's operator takes a –4 penalty on all attack rolls and skill checks unless she has the Zero-G Training feat or has equipped her mecha with a zero-g stabilizer.

In outer space, mecha fly just like they do in the atmosphere, with three exceptions. First, all flying mecha improve by one maneuverability category (clumsy becomes poor, poor becomes average, average becomes good, and so on). Second, all mecha can ascend and descend regardless of the limitations on Table: Flight Maneuverability, and their speed is unchanged if they do so. Finally, all mecha can hover in space and need not maintain a minimum forward speed.

Mecha Critical Hits

Whenever you confirm a critical hit against a mecha, you may choose to roll percentile dice and consult Table: Mecha Critical Hits instead of dealing the normal critical hit damage for the attack. However, you must accept the results of the roll, even if those results are less than desirable

Table: Mecha Critical Hits

d% Roll Effect(s)
01–15 Normal damage, crew dazed
16–35 Normal critical hit, crew dazed
36–45 Normal critical hit, mecha knocked prone
46–50 Severe critical hit, crew dazed, mecha stunned
51–55 Severe critical hit, mecha knocked prone
56–60 Crew hit (normal damage)
61–70 Normal damage, equipment damaged
71–80 Normal damage, equipment destroyed
81–90 Normal critical hit, slot damaged
91–100 Normal critical hit, slot destroyed

Normal Damage: The attack deals normal damage (do not apply critical hit multipliers).

Crew Dazed: Each crewmember aboard the mecha, including its operator, must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15) or be dazed for 1 round. Unable to act, a dazed character can take no actions, but still retains his or her full Defense.

Normal Critical Hit: Roll critical hit damage normally.

Mecha Knocked Prone: The force of the attack knocks the mecha prone. All crewmembers and passengers aboard take 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage as they are knocked about their cockpits. A prone mecha takes a –4 penalty on melee attack rolls and can't use thrown ranged weapons. The mecha gains a +4 bonus to Defense against ranged attacks, but takes a –4 penalty to Defense against melee attacks.

Standing up from prone is a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

Mecha Stunned: The mecha automatically drops what it is holding and can take no attack or move actions for 1 round. While the mecha is stunned, apply a –2 penalty to the mecha operator's Defense (even though the operator is not stunned).

Severe Critical Hit: Roll critical hit damage using a x5 multiplier instead of the weapon's normal multiplier.

Crew Hit: The attack bypasses the mecha's armor and superstructure. Apply normal damage to one crewmember or passenger (determined randomly), ignoring the mecha's bonus hit points.

Equipment Destroyed: One piece of equipment (attacker's choice) is damaged and ceases to function until repaired. It can be a flight system, sensor system, defense system, weapon (handheld or integrated), or miscellaneous system. Repairing a damaged system requires 1 hour of work and a successful Mechanics check (DC 20).

Equipment Destroyed: One piece of equipment (attacker's choice) is destroyed and ceases to function. It can be a flight system, sensor system, defense system, weapon (handheld or integrated), or miscellaneous system. A destroyed system cannot be repaired, only replaced.

Slot Damaged: One of the mecha's equipment slots (attacker's choice) is damaged. Any piece of equipment wholly or partially installed in that slot will not function until the slot is repaired. Repairing a damaged equipment slot requires 1 hour of work and a successful Mechanics Skill check (DC 25).

Slot Destroyed: One of the mecha's equipment slots (attacker's choice) is destroyed, along with any piece of equipment wholly or partially installed in it. Rebuilding a destroyed equipment slot requires 12 hours of work and a successful Mechanics Skill check (DC 30).

Attacks of Opportunit


Mecha only provoke attacks of opportunity from creatures of their own size or larger (including other mecha) when they fire a ranged weapon in a threatened area.

Stowing Equipment


Any piece of mecha equipment integrated into a mecha's hand slot—and only the hand slot—can be stowed magnetically against the mecha or in a storage compartment as a move action. This frees up the hand to perform more delicate manipulation (such as opening a door or pressing a button) or grabbing another piece of mecha equipment.

A mecha may have more pieces of equipment for its hand slots than it has hand slots available; it just can't use them all at once.

Cargo:

Although they are not built to haul cargo, mecha superstructures have a limited amount of storage space. Table: Mecha Cargo Capacity lists the maximum weight in additional cargo (not including crew, weapons, or other integrated equipment) a mecha can transport in its internal storage compartments, as well as the maximum size of an object that will fit inside one of these internal compartments.

Table: Mecha Cargo Capacity

Mecha Size Cargo Capacity Maximum Object Size
Colossal 1,250 lb. Huge
Gargantuan 500 lb. Large
Huge 250 lb. Medium-size
Large 50 lb. Small

Mecha Body Size


Mecha bodies come in Large, Huge, Gargantuan, and Colossal sizes. A mecha's size determines how many equipment slots (places where weapons and additional equipment can be installed) it has, and how well it measures up in combat. See Table: Mecha Sizes for a summary of this information.

Size Modifier: Apply this modifier to the mecha's attack rolls and to its Defense.
Equipment Slots: The number of locations where weapons and other mecha equipment can be installed.
Hit Points (HP): The mecha's hit points, and the number of hit points the mecha provides its operator.
Base Speed (BS): The mecha's base land speed. Certain types of armor reduce base speed (see Mecha Armor).
Height: The mecha's height in feet.
Weight: The mecha's weight in pounds.
Fighting Space: The mecha's fighting space.
Reach: The mecha's reach, even without weapons.
Price: The base price of the mecha without armor, weapons, and other equipment.

Mecha Equipment


This section will describe some of the space crafts that could be found in the confederation space fleets. Below you'll find some stats on Confederation Moblie Suits, Star Fighters and Starships. These stats are generic reference sheets to be used during game play.

Mecha Superstructure


A mecha's superstructure—its exoskeleton, interior braces, and other structural parts—can be made from any sufficiently advanced metal alloy. Whatever its composition, a mecha's superstructure has a hardness that reduces the damage the mecha takes from weapons and collisions.

Construct Mecha Superstructure: To build a superstructure from scratch, a character must follow the stipulations from the Construct Mecha Super Structure in Chapter 10 - Experiments.

Hardness: The amount of damage the material absorbs from a weapon hit or collision.

Mecha Armor


Armor can be welded or otherwise fixed securely to a mecha's superstructure, providing an equipment bonus to the mecha's Defense. Mecha armor does not impose a maximum Dexterity bonus upon the mecha operator (as worn armor does) and does not require a special proficiency feat to use.

Installing armor on a mecha requires a Mechanical Skill check (DC 20). The check is made after investing an amount of time determined by the mecha's size: Large 3 hours, Huge 6 hours, Gargantuan 12 hours, and Colossal 24 hours. Armor can be removed in half the time with Mechanical Skill Check check (DC 20).

Different types of mecha armor are presented below, along with the following statistics:
Equipment Bonus: The equipment bonus that the armor provides to the operator's Defense

Armor Penalty: Mecha armor applies this penalty on its operator's Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble checks.

Speed Penalty: The amount by which the armor reduces the mecha's base speed.

Price: The cost of the armor.

Mecha Equipment


Mecha equipment falls into several categories: flight systems, sensor systems, defense systems, weapons (both hand-held and integrated), and miscellaneous systems.

Installing a piece of equipment on a mecha—be it a weapon or some other integrated system—requires a Mechanics Skill Check (DC 20). The check is made after investing an amount of time determined by the mecha's size: Large 10 minutes, Huge 30 minutes, Gargantuan 1 hour, Colossal 3 hours. If the weapon or system occupies more than one equipment slot on the mecha, multiply the installation time by the number of slots it takes up. An integrated Ranged weapon or system can be removed in half the time with a successful Mechanics Skill Check (DC 20). In addition to a general description, each piece of equipment includes the following information:

Equipment Slots: The number of equipment slots needed to install the equipment. Some pieces of equipment are limited to specific body slots, as noted here.

Activation: How long it takes to activate the piece of equipment (usually an attack action).

Range/Range Increment: A range listing indicates the maximum distance out to which the equipment functions. If a range increment is listed instead, it represents the distance at which accuracy begins to decline, as per the rules on range increments. Unless otherwise noted, equipment with a range increment has a maximum of ten increments.

Target or Targets/Effect/Area: This entry starts with one of three headings: Target, Effect, or Area. If the target of the component is You, you do not receive a saving throw (and there is no saving throw entry for the piece of equipment). If a component is a weapon capable of autofire, it will be noted here.

Duration: The amount of time a piece of equipment continues to operate before it needs to be reactivated, or how long its effect lasts. A duration of persistent means the equipment functions until the mecha is destroyed (reduced to 0 hit points) or the mecha's operator turns it off (usually as a free action).

Saving Throw: If a piece of equipment calls for a saving throw, the type of saving throw is listed here, along with the effect of a successful save.

Price: The purchase price to acquire the equipment.

Leave Room for the Pilot: When equipping a mecha from scratch, make sure to leave at least two vacant equipment slots for the mecha operator's cockpit. (The cost of the cockpit is already factored into the mecha's base price.) On Large mecha, the operator always occupies two of the following three equipment slots: helmet, torso, and back. On Huge and bigger mecha, the designer has more choice when placing the operator's cockpit. Copilot and passenger cockpits are described under Miscellaneous Equipment.

Mecha Flight System


All mecha are equipped with legs that allow them to walk and run. A mecha's size determines its base speed, as noted in Table: Mecha Sizes. This section describes various optional flight systems.

Mecha Sensor System


Sensor systems make it easier for mecha operators to perceive their surroundings; however, not all mecha are equipped with sensors (or even require them). In such cases, mecha operators must rely on their own acute vision and hearing.

A mecha equipped with sensors conducts passive scans of the surrounding area constantly, without the operator's attention. A passive scan extends in all directions at once, providing the operator with data on surrounding terrain, obstacles, and the location of other creatures, vehicles, and mecha within several miles of the mecha's position.

A sensor system can also be used to conduct an active scan of a single target. With a successful Computer Use check (DC 15) and a move action, a mecha's operator can use the onboard sensor system to actively scan a single nonliving target (usually another mecha or vehicle) and determine specific information about that target, as specified in the sensor system's description.

Mecha Defense System


Defense systems include energy shields, life support systems, and other equipment intended to protect the mecha and its operator from harm.

Mecha Weapon Systems


Mecha's have many different type of weapons that are mounted in the slots available on the frame of a Mecha. This section explains mecha weapons much in the same way as weapons for characters are explained. Weapon has a damage score defined by dice, a range of in which it causes a critical hit, the type of damage the weapon does, the rate of fire it has, the ammo it holds, it's size, weight and price.

Miscellaneous Equipment


This section describes various other pieces of mecha equipment that don't fall neatly under the other categories, including a variety of electrical systems.

Sample Mecha

This section describes some sample mechas.

Mecha Samples:

Size: The mecha's body size (and its size penalty on attack rolls and to Defense, in parentheses).

Bonus Hit Points: The bonus hit points the mecha gives the operator. This value also represents the mecha's total hit points.

Superstructure: The chief material used in the construction of the mecha's superstructure.

Hardness: The hardness afforded by the mecha's superstructure. Hardness reduces the amount of damage the mecha takes from an attack.

Armor: The type of armor installed on the mecha. Some types of armor reduce a mecha's speed.

Bonus to Defense: The mecha's equipment bonus to Defense, as provided by its armor.

Armor Penalty: Apply this penalty to the operator's Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, and Tumble checks.

Reach: The mecha's reach.

Strength Bonus: The equipment bonus the mecha provides to its operator's Strength.

Dexterity Penalty: The penalty the mecha applies to its operator's Dexterity (if any).

Speed: The mecha's base land speed (and fly speed, if applicable).

Base Price: The mecha's base purchase price does not include armor or equipment.

Standard Equipment Package: The standard equipment found on the baseline model.

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