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A mecha making use of the Mecha Fling feat

Chapter Nine: Mecha

A mecha (plural: mecha) is like an automated suit of powered armor. Not only does it surround its driver or pilot with armor, but it can also be equipped with an impressive array of defenses and state-of-the-art weapons.

Mecha technology can be found in societies of PL 6 or higher. The technology evolved from simple piloted loadlifters and powered exoskeletons used for heavy industrial work. Once someone realized that armor could be welded to the framework to create a "bulletproof cop," the idea really took off, both in law enforcement and the military.

The first mecha were frighteningly efficient in military roles, though less so in law enforcement. Essentially armored giants, mecha could wade into enemy positions and simply pick up artillery or overturn vehicles. Police mecha operators had to be much more careful, obviously, learning not to step on cars or topple onto houses.

The following rules allow you to create a mecha -- from the hulking close-combat models slightly larger than the average human, to the gigantic mobile artillery platforms that take small crews to operate.

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.

Huge Mecha

Common weapons on the futuristic battlefield, Huge mecha offer a solid balance between cost, agility, and sheer bulk. They perform well in any combat environment, but they favor locations with some variation in terrain. In the wide-open desert or depths of outer space, they can fall prey to larger mecha.

Combat Statistics: A Huge mecha adds a +16 equipment bonus to a character's Strength score. It imposes a -2 size penalty on attack rolls and to Defense. Depending on the material used, a Huge mecha has 200 bonus hit points, which are added to the character's total and subtracted first when the character takes damage. It takes a -8 penalty on Hide checks.

A Huge mecha has a single slam attack that deals 2d6 points of damage (plus the character's increased Strength modifier). Its reach is 10 feet.

Base Purchase DC: 44.

Equipment Slots: A Huge mecha has 11 equipment slots available. These slots are located as follows:

Helmet: 1 slot.
Visor: 1 slot.
Back: 1 slot.
Left arm: 1 slot.
Left hand: 1 slot.
Right arm: 1 slot.
Right hand: 1 slot.
Shoulders: 1 slot.
Torso: 1 slot.
Belt: 1 slot.
Boots: 1 slot.

Here are just a few examples of the equipment you can load up on your mecha:

Jetpack (PL 6)

A jetpack combines vectored thrust with simple avionics, granting the mecha a fly speed of 100 feet (clumsy). The jetpack carries enough fuel for the mecha to travel a total of 1,000 feet; refueling has a purchase DC of 16.

Equipment Slots: 1, must be back or boots; or 2, must be left leg and right leg.
Activation: Free action.
Range: Personal.
Target: You.
Duration: Persistent.
Saving Throw: None.
Purchase DC: 10 + one-quarter the mecha's base purchase DC.
Restriction: None.

Class II Sensor System (PL 6)

This sensor system includes an electromagnetic (EM) detector array that localizes electromagnetic emissions, and an infrared detector that tracks targets by their heat signatures. It also incorporates a high-resolution video system that differentiates targets by their visual profile. The hi-res video system incorporates a zoom feature, allowing close inspection of distant targets.

A Class II sensor system grants a +2 equipment bonus on the operator's Navigate and Spot checks.

With a successful Computer Use check (DC 15) and a move action, the operator can use the sensor system to actively scan a single nonliving target (usually another mecha or vehicle) and determine all the following information about that target:

  • The target's size.
  • The target's locomotive capabilities.
  • The target's present direction or trajectory.
  • The number of living creatures aboard, if applicable.
  • The composition of the target's hull or superstructure, as well as the type of its armor, if any.
  • The target's weapon systems (functional and nonfunctional).

Equipment Slots: 1.
Activation: Move action (active scan mode only).
Range: 1-mile-radius emanation centered on your mecha.
Area: 1 nonliving target (active scan only).
Duration: Persistent (passive scan mode) or 1 round (active scan mode).
Saving Throw: None.
Purchase DC: 21.
Restriction: None.

Delphi Defense Suite (PL 7)

The Delphi defense suite consists of a heuristic collision avoidance system, enhanced crew restraints, and a series of adrenal and nonadrenal autoinjectors for the mecha operator. The Delphi defense suite grants the operator a resistance bonus on all saving throws for 1 minute: +1 for the Mark I version and up to +5 for the Mark V version.

Equipment Slots: 1 (Mark I and Mark II versions), 2 (Mark III, Mark IV, and Mark V versions).
Activation: Attack action.
Range: Personal.
Target: You.
Duration: 1 minute.
Saving Throw: None.
Purchase DC: 21 for Mark I (+1), 23 for Mark II (+2), 25 for Mark III (+3), 27 for Mark IV (+4), 29 for Mark V (+5).
Restriction: None.

Cloaking Screen (PL 8)

The cloaking screen warps light and energy around the mecha, rendering it invisible to visual and electronic sensors.

A cloaked mecha has total concealment. To attack a cloaked mecha, an attacker must guess in which square the mecha currently is (or determine its position based on where it attacked last), and even if the guess is accurate, there is a 50% chance that the attack misses.

A cloaked mecha gains a +40 bonus on Hide checks if immobile, or a +20 bonus on Hide checks if moving. Pinpointing the location of a cloaked mecha that isn't attempting to hide requires a Spot check against DC 40 if immobile or DC 20 if moving (as if the mecha operator had rolled a 0 on the Hide check).

Equipment Slots: 1.
Activation: Attack or move action.
Range: Personal.
Target: You.
Duration: Persistent.
Saving Throw: None.
Purchase DC: 20 + one-quarter the mecha's base purchase DC.
Restriction: Military (+3).

M-9 Barrage Chaingun (PL 5)

Essentially a high-tech version of the medium machinegun, the M-9 Barrage has multiple barrels that fire large-caliber ammunition, dealing 5d6 points of ballistic damage on a successful hit. The base unit has enough room for four 50-round ammo belts. Each additional equipment slot devoted to ammo storage has room for six more ammo belts. Each additional ammo belt has a purchase DC of 8.

Equipment Slots: 1, must be hand (or arm if Large), arm, or shoulders.
Activation: Attack action.
Range Increment: 60 feet.
Target: Single target within 600 feet, or autofire.
Duration: Instantaneous.
Saving Throw: None.
Purchase DC: 21.
Restriction: Restricted (+2).

RP-91 Reaper Laser Scythe (PL 8)

The RP-91 Reaper is a two-handed melee weapon with a crystal carbon shaft housing laser and magnetic field generators. When activated by the mecha operator, it suspends a laser beam within a razor-thin magnetic "envelope" shaped like a farmer's scythe. As a mastercraft item, it grants a +1 bonus on attack rolls.

Damage with a successful melee attack depends on the size of the wielding mecha: Large 4d10, Huge 6d10, Gargantuan 8d10, and Colossal 10d10. On a successful critical hit, the damage is quadrupled. Half of the damage the energy sword deals is slashing damage, and the other half is fire damage. The mecha applies one and one-half times its Strength bonus on damage rolls when wielding the weapon.

The laser scythe's size category is one size category larger than the mecha's size category (for example, a Huge mecha wields a Gargantuan laser scythe), up to a maximum size of Colossal.

Equipment Slots: 2, must be hand (or arm if Large).
Activation: Attack action.
Range: Touch.
Target: Single target within reach.
Duration: Instantaneous.
Saving Throw: None.
Purchase DC: 15 + one-quarter the mecha's base purchase DC.
Restriction: None.

Space Skin (PL 6)

Space skin colloquially refers to a series of environmental stabilizers that allow the mecha operator (and other living creatures aboard the mecha) to ignore the effects of vacuum, thus enabling the mecha to operate in space.

A mecha equipped with space skin has one less equipment slot.

Equipment Slots: 1 (equivalent).
Activation: None.
Range: Personal.
Target: You.
Duration: Persistent.
Saving Throw: None.
Purchase DC: 18.
Restriction: None.

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