The Ascension Project
Mech Movement and Combat
MOVEMENT AND COMBAT
Combat between Mechs is conducted much as it is between characters. Characters operating a Mech are simply much larger and 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, Mech movement and combat differ from character movement and combat. The following sections describe specific situations that arise when Mech maneuver and clash on the battlefield.
It takes a full-round action to climb into a Mech’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 Mech unless an HV-5 Haven escape pod or similarly expeditious device is used (see Miscellaneous Equipment).
DRIVING, PILOTING, AND MOVEMENT
Mech operators use the Piloting skill to operate their Mech on the ground, in the air, or in space.
In general, Mech operators don’t need to make Piloting checks to steer their Mech around the battlefield. However, these skills may come into play in combat under the following circumstances:
A Mech operator can oppose a trip attempt with a Piloting check.
A successful Piloting check can pull a Mech out of a stall (see Flying Mech, below).
A character in a copilot cockpit can use the aid another action, making Piloting checks (as appropriate) to aid the Piloting checks of the Mech’s operator.
The vehicle rules are entirely appropriate for ground cars and other normal modes of transportation; however, even a clumsy Mech is more maneuverable than a normal vehicle.
On the ground, Mech 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 Mech have to slow down to make a turn, and many are limited to fairly wide turns and must maintain a minimum forward speed. Each flying Mech has a maneuverability rating, as shown on Table: Flight Maneuverability. A Mech’s flight systems determine its maneuverability.
Minimum Forward Speed: If a flying Mech 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 Mech to the ground, the operator must succeed at a Piloting 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 Mech with good maneuverability uses up 5 feet of its speed to start flying backward.
Turn: How much the flying Mech can turn after covering the stated distance.
Turn in Place: A Mech with good or average maneuverability can “spend” some of its speed to turn in place.
Maximum Turn: How much the Mech can turn in any one space.
Up Angle: The angle at which the Mech can ascend.
Up Speed: How fast the Mech can ascend.
Down Angle: The angle at which the Mech can descend.
Down Speed: A flying Mech can descend at twice its normal flying speed.
Between Down and Up: An average, poor, or clumsy Mech must fly level for a minimum distance after descending and before ascending. Any flying Mech can begin descending after an ascent without an intervening distance.
|Minimum forward speed||None||None||Half||Half||Half|
|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|
|Between down and up||0 ft.||0 ft.||5 ft.||10 ft.||20 ft.|
Mech IN OUTER SPACE
Only a Mech equipped with space skin (see Miscellaneous Equipment) can operate in outer space. However, the Mech’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 Mech with a zero-g stabilizer.
In outer space, Mech fly just like they do in the atmosphere, with three exceptions. First, all flying Mech improve by one maneuverability category (clumsy becomes poor, poor becomes average, average becomes good, and so on). Second, all Mech can ascend and descend regardless of the limitations on Table: Flight Maneuverability, and their speed is unchanged if they do so. Finally, all Mech can hover in space and need not maintain a minimum forward speed.
Mech CRITICAL HITS
Whenever you confirm a critical hit against a Mech, you may choose to roll percentile dice and consult Table: Mech 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.
Mech Critical Hits
|.d%|. Roll Effect(s)|
|01–15| Normal damage, crew dazed|
|16–35| Normal critical hit, crew dazed|
|36–45| Normal critical hit, Mech knocked prone|
|46–50| Severe critical hit, crew dazed, Mech stunned|
|51–55| Severe critical hit, Mech 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 Mech, 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 their full Defense.
Normal Critical Hit: Roll critical hit damage normally.
Mech Knocked Prone: The force of the attack knocks the Mech prone. All crewmembers and passengers aboard take 1d6 points of bludgeoning damage as they are knocked about their cockpits. A prone Mech takes a –4 penalty on melee attack rolls and can’t use thrown ranged weapons. The Mech 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 full round action action that provokes attacks of opportunity.
Mech Stunned: The Mech automatically drops what it is holding and can take no attack or move actions for 1 round. While the Mech is stunned, apply a –2 penalty to the Mech 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 Mech’s armor and superstructure. Apply normal damage to one crewmember or passenger (determined randomly), ignoring the Mech’s bonus hit points.
Equipment Damaged: 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 Repair 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 Mech’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 Repair check (DC 25).
Slot Destroyed: One of the Mech’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 Craft (Mechnical) check (DC 30).
RANGED ATTACKS AND ATTACKS OF OPPORTUNITY
Mech only provoke attacks of opportunity from creatures of their own size or larger (including other Mech) when they fire a ranged weapon in a threatened area.
STOWING HAND SLOT EQUIPMENT
Any piece of Mech equipment integrated into a Mech’s hand slot—and only the hand slot—can be stowed magnetically against the Mech 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 Mech equipment.
A Mech 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.