Mechs in Starfinder, With a Twist!


General Discussion


I have read that a lot of people want mechs in Starfinder. I do to. But not just any mechs. I want the kinda mechs from Titanfall 2, jumping in and out of your mech as need be. For example, a pesky rogue with a grenade is on the back of your mech. Hop out, shoot the nuisance, hop back in. Or a high value target is about to escape, and you cant very well blow him to pieces with a 40mm Cannon. Hop out shoot him in the legs and capture him. These mechs wouldn't exactly be rare, but not common, kind of "Where they need to be" kinda thing. I want to know what other people think about this.


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I would definitely make a Mech build character and be interested in a Mech oriented Campaign.

I could really see vehicle and technology books being as necessary as a bestiaries for this line.


Bio-Mechs

Golem-Mechs

Religious Artifacts-Mechs


I think there are some similar ideas in either the Thunderscape line or one of the Legendary APs (Legendary Planet or maybe Hypercorps 2099).

With that said, are you thinking some Xenoblade Chronicles/Xenoblade Chronicles X? I am all over that like gravy on a biscuit.


I'd like to see mech suits as a form of archetype. Something like an iron man suit (but preferably bulkier in the interest of artistic style and realism, maybe like the suits in the more recent call of duty games but incorporating armored plating) that could function as a class feature/features. Seeing mechs that function more like vehicles and powerful magic items/artifacts would be cool too, but would be difficult to incorporate in a campaign that doesn't specifically focus on mechs or epic/mythic enemies.


hehehehehe

Crittertech...


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Here are a few ideas and things that can balance the types of mechs were talking about. (For reference to the rest of this Google "Titanfall Titan Height.)

1. Not all mechs are equal. I will use Titanfall 2 for an example, a standard issue Titan has few defense systems and limited A.I. while Vanguard Class Titans are equipped with regenerative energy shields and A.I. so advanced they are legally alive. Make it so that player characters don't have a Vanguard Class titan off the bat.

2. A mech might be big and scary, but it is still limited. A fast moving rogue with a grenade launcher, a powerful psionic attack, a well placed rocket, or just sheer overwhelming gunfire could cripple a mech of the size were talking about. Bigger mechs would be like Archmage Variel said epic/mythic level.

3. Take your fights to the z-axis. If your adding mechs, make the area in which you encounter said mech peppered with areas that the mech cannot reach and high and low points that characters can climb to put pressure on the mech with gunfire. If a character or the entire party is using a mech, don't be afraid to give them a few times that they can gun down an infantry squad. Let them let their guard down for that mech armed with an armor piercing railgun that can see them immediately because they have no cover.

4 (Bonus). Make sure that the mech is able to be customized. Not as in sheer "I can deal/take more damage", I mean if a player killed a monster and took its skull as a trophy, let them put it on the front of their mech as a way of customization. Or if they are now favored by a faction, let them emblazon the factions symbol, have some of the mech sculpted to show something like wings on the shoulder pads. This plus paintjobs and decals (think WW2 plane decals) would add depth in my opinion.


Due to magic, some ride mechs, others grow giant and wear mech-like battle suits.


KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Due to magic, some ride mechs, others grow giant and wear mech-like battle suits.

Good point. There might even be species that big without using magic to grow, so either they have no mechs or their mechs are gargantuan.


In one D&D campaign world I ran, the party came upon an arsenal of "golem armor" of various kinds (Adamantine, Mithril, Iron, Stone, etc), along with a collection of talismans. Each talisman was keyed to one specific golem. The "golem armors" were considered magic items and vehicles, as well as constructs.

If you had the correct talisman for a golem, and spoke the correct command word while touching that golem, you would be magically absorbed into the golem and assume control over it, like a Synthesist Summoner does with their eidolon. The physical body of the 'pilot' was tucked away in a pocket dimension inside the golem, while the pilot took spiritual possession of the golem. There were likely certain conditions and game effects which could force the golem to eject the pilot as well, but we never really explored that aspect of it.

The requirements of the talisman, command word, and physical contact were all security measures to prevent these war machines from being captured and used against their creators, although the talisman itself could be stolen if the owner did not take sufficient precautions. It was never decided what would happen if a talisman were destroyed or damaged. The talisman went into the golem along with the pilot, though, so it would have been pretty hard to disable a piloted golem by targeting the talisman.

The party also Awakened a couple of them, which was pretty cool too. At one point the party gave back the Awakened golems their own talismans so no one could ever possess them against their will.


Matthew Shelton wrote:

In one D&D campaign world I ran, the party came upon an arsenal of golem 'mechs' of various kinds, along with a collection of talismans. Each talisman was keyed to one specific golem (not golem type). Whoever wore the talisman and spoke the correct command word while touching the golem would be magically absorbed into the golem and assume control over it, like a Synthesist Summoner does with their eidolon. The "golem armors" were considered magic items as well as constructs.

The physical body of the 'pilot' was tucked away in a pocket dimension inside the golem, while the pilot took spiritual possession of the golem. There were likely certain conditions and game effects which could force the golem to eject the pilot as well, but we never really explored that aspect of it.

The requirements of the talisman, command word, and physical contact were all security measures to prevent these war machines from being captured and used against their creators, although the talisman itself could be stolen if the owner did not take sufficient precautions. It was never decided what would happen if a talisman were destroyed or damaged.

Our party also Awakened a couple of them, which was pretty cool too.

You raise a good point, security. Something like a neural link between pilot and mech would have to be established as a rule to prevent a mech from being stolen in a Science-Fantasy setting. Also, did you keep any of those golems, because that sounded like a pretty amazing asset to the party.


That Doom Guy wrote:
KahnyaGnorc wrote:
Due to magic, some ride mechs, others grow giant and wear mech-like battle suits.
Good point. There might even be species that big without using magic to grow, so either they have no mechs or their mechs are gargantuan.

Heh. This makes me mentally picture a non-evil race of giants who wear special "howdah/backback armor" with a halfling commander and a couple archers/riflemen, and perhaps other halflings who telekinetically aim and fire remote cannons mounted on the giants wrists or hips.

Oooo, perhaps the giants are prone to mutations that impair their somatic nervous system, so they have developed a mutalist society with halflings who telepathically help control the giants' movements (ala drifting from Pacific Rim)?

Archmage Variel wrote:
I'd like to see mech suits as a form of archetype. Something like an iron man suit (but preferably bulkier in the interest of artistic style and realism, maybe like the suits in the more recent call of duty games but incorporating armored plating) that could function as a class feature/features. Seeing mechs that function more like vehicles and powerful magic items/artifacts would be cool too, but would be difficult to incorporate in a campaign that doesn't specifically focus on mechs or epic/mythic enemies.

While I'd be fine with a synthesist summoners and alchemists/tinkers summoning/building their own technoarmors/exhansiles, I think the majority of mechs and landmates should be vehicles or gear, usable by nearly any character that provides a baseline level of performance. But certain class archetypes, like cavaliers and fighters, would be able to push their mechs to the peaks of performance, past what normal folks are capable of.


I have a sneaking suspicion that that's going to be the kind of thing that the Mechanic can pull off. At least, I hope so.


So what do we want for Mechs that we cant already do with just a bit of fudging?

- We have rules for creatures up to colossal (64+ feet tall) which is actually larger than most mechs that i can think of. 45ish seems more common? So we already know how to handle things of their size in play.

- Most mechs seem like they would fall under the Costruct type with the Robot subtype. Starfinder will probably have Robot as a type all of its own. Give each mech a hardness rating of 10, 15 or 20 depending on if its a labor, military or custom job.

- We have tech weapons and a scale for increasing weapon size. Pilots either take Mutli-Attack or the Mech's computer provides the feat to allow use of multiple integrated weapons at once.

So for Mechs do we really need a ton of new rules or just a consolidation of existing materials?

as Examples,

A) Gundam, Gargantuan Construct (robot) with hardness 20, comes with an upscaled Plasma Blade (3D8) and laser rifle (4D6)

B) Assault Battlemech, Colossal Construct (robot) with hardness 15, has two integrated Railguns upscared to 8D10 each, two integrated Plasma Throwers at 12D6 and two open hands to use either melee or ranged weapons as equipped. Grants Multi-Attack to pilots.

Apply physical stats and HP in set increments dependent on the intended CR and use the BAB of the pilot and are we basically there already?


I agree, Starfinder has many fantastic things, adding Mechs would be just a drop in the bucket. You know it would be interesting to do a Starfinder movie or television series! That would most definitely not be Star Trek if done properly. A lot of science fiction settings have things scaled towards human sized medium creatures. I think in the Starfinder setting, a lot of intelligent spacefaring creatures won't be medium sized. You will have creatures ranging from the size of pixies to storm giants. I'm not sure where dragons would fit in, they are intelligent creatures as well. I don't know who well they would build starships or whether other people would build starships for them to get around. Dragons aren't very social they way they are presented in the Pathfinder bestiary, it does not seem likely they would do a lot of manufacturing.


I hope there will be different categories of mechanized infantry with different sets of combat characteristics.

- exoskeletons that's not much for kinetic or energy AC, but it punches hard and runs fast and could carry weapons (Edge of Tomorrow, Aliens)

- power suits that protect more like modern field-plate or full-plate, with motorized joints and mounted heavy weapons (District 9, Iron Man, )

- walking tanks with a driver's seat in the chest, and manual controls (Avatar, Matrix Reloaded)

- articulated walkers, where the cockpit is in its own section of a bipedal, quadropedal, or hexapedal assault vehicle (Star Wars, Pacific Rim, Battletech)


You first two ideas seem like something that is basically already revealed, they have talked about self sealed enviromental armors available from early on in the game and enhancing them with special bonuses, like the rune etched power armor they teased way back when, yeah? Its an assumption, but a safe feeling one, that you can get good stat boosts on a "light" armor for your first point or just wield heavy weapons in heavy armor to get the feel of your second point.

for your third and fourth point, that is kind of what i was thinking about above, even if they dont hand us ready made options like that you could still make a Construct (Robot) with a slot for a pilot to fit and let PCs/NPCs control it. Really once you are looking at two sizes up from the pilot than you could easily fit in a chest cavity and at three sizes you could fit in the head.

Continuing my thoughts on the matter, i would say that Power Armor must be equal to or up to one size larger than the user. effectively you are wearing your robot. True 'Mechs must be at least two sizes larger than the pilot and are piloted rather than worn. this allows for small sized creatures to pilot large sized mechs inside most medium size habitats, Halfling revenge!

Aside from preset STR/DEX scores and Hardness, i would also lean towards allowing mechs to count as one size larger for purposes of using weapons, either as integrated or wielding.


Torbyne wrote:

So what do we want for Mechs that we cant already do with just a bit of fudging?

- We have rules for creatures up to colossal (64+ feet tall) which is actually larger than most mechs that i can think of. 45ish seems more common? So we already know how to handle things of their size in play.

- Most mechs seem like they would fall under the Costruct type with the Robot subtype. Starfinder will probably have Robot as a type all of its own. Give each mech a hardness rating of 10, 15 or 20 depending on if its a labor, military or custom job.

- We have tech weapons and a scale for increasing weapon size. Pilots either take Mutli-Attack or the Mech's computer provides the feat to allow use of multiple integrated weapons at once.

So for Mechs do we really need a ton of new rules or just a consolidation of existing materials?

as Examples,

A) Gundam, Gargantuan Construct (robot) with hardness 20, comes with an upscaled Plasma Blade (3D8) and laser rifle (4D6)

B) Assault Battlemech, Colossal Construct (robot) with hardness 15, has two integrated Railguns upscared to 8D10 each, two integrated Plasma Throwers at 12D6 and two open hands to use either melee or ranged weapons as equipped. Grants Multi-Attack to pilots.

Apply physical stats and HP in set increments dependent on the intended CR and use the BAB of the pilot and are we basically there already?

I agree that mechs shouldn't require entirely different mechanics than what the game already provides. I disagree with some above posts saying that larger mechs should be reserved for epic play, when colossal constructs and robots already have been existing for some time now and barely ever reach past CR 17.

There is already a mech-like magical item, so maybe mech mechanics could be derivative from this http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/wondrous-items/wondrous-items/


Matthew Shelton wrote:

I hope there will be different categories of mechanized infantry with different sets of combat characteristics.

- exoskeletons that's not much for kinetic or energy AC, but it punches hard and runs fast and could carry weapons (Edge of Tomorrow, Aliens)

- power suits that protect more like modern field-plate or full-plate, with motorized joints and mounted heavy weapons (District 9, Iron Man, )

- walking tanks with a driver's seat in the chest, and manual controls (Avatar, Matrix Reloaded)

- articulated walkers, where the cockpit is in its own section of a bipedal, quadropedal, or hexapedal assault vehicle (Star Wars, Pacific Rim, Battletech)

Don't forget to add the possibility of multiple modes (Robotech)


Mechanical shapechangers might have a place I guess. But I feel like such a feature would have to be something you could only do with a vehicle through transmutation magic. It could 'transform', and mechanically operate as a robot or as a vehicle, but the mechanism itself that causes the transformation is magical.

Imagine an ordinary laptop, you warp and twist it into the shape of a metal kobold--will you ever be able to boot it up again even if you put everything back? Nope, it's ruined, it's junk. But a magical laptop that can polymorph into an electric kobold and still work perfectly fine either way, that's something interesting. All the little gizmos, pipes, circuits, actuators, and whatnot have to get rearranged without completely trashing the internal workings. It needs transmutation magic to make that happen. Now scale up that analogy to mecha?


Adding smaller-than-pilot remote or consciousness-upload mechs to the list of suggestions.


Sometimes this violates the laws concerning the conservation of mass and energy!


http://static.gamespot.com/uploads/original/1504/15040578/2426681-titanfall titansize.png

When I started this little thread I didn't think I would get many responses. Pleasant surprise this is! The link I have above is the size I am considering for a mech based Starfinder campaign. The idea is to have the party spend the lower levels, like 1-5, proving themselves worthy of becoming Pilots for Titans (the types of mechs in the picture.) Just wanted a more experienced opinion(s) on the idea.


give me a mad catish mech and I'll be good......

and by ish, it has to resemble the mad cat but not copy it....


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The problem they'll have with doing mechs is damage. They mentioned ships are in their own category for damage, which is why there are certain monsters you just need a ship to fight. But mech sits are used to fight creatures big and small. So if you Don a mech suit and need to take out humans and a ship, as well as another mech, how do you make this balanced with, say, the envoy in the party

Contributor

That Doom Guy wrote:
I have read that a lot of people want mechs in Starfinder. I do to. But not just any mechs. I want the kinda mechs from Titanfall 2, jumping in and out of your mech as need be. For example, a pesky rogue with a grenade is on the back of your mech. Hop out, shoot the nuisance, hop back in. Or a high value target is about to escape, and you cant very well blow him to pieces with a 40mm Cannon. Hop out shoot him in the legs and capture him. These mechs wouldn't exactly be rare, but not common, kind of "Where they need to be" kinda thing. I want to know what other people think about this.

Ever since I started watching Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, I've been trying to get Owen to O.K. them for Starfinder. Turns out Owen is a BIG fan of mechs, especially dieselpunk. ;-)

Personally, I don't think that we'll see mechs in Core Starfinder for a long while, but I feel like I can probably get him to do something Third-Party with me.... You know, IF people go to the 3PP Starfinder board and ask him nicely. (And loudly.)

It turns out that Owen has his very own 3PP thread for this sort of thing! >:)


Baldur's Gate 2 has the infamous Big Metal Unit...

Personally I like the idea of a mecha-building class that develops his mech as he levels up. Have the mech function like a pet, but that the character can control from within. His class abilities revolve around improving his mecha.


I mean, we can already sorta-replicate a mech class with PF- the Synthesist. Just apply reflavoring paint by the bucket.


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
The problem they'll have with doing mechs is damage. They mentioned ships are in their own category for damage, which is why there are certain monsters you just need a ship to fight. But mech sits are used to fight creatures big and small. So if you Don a mech suit and need to take out humans and a ship, as well as another mech, how do you make this balanced with, say, the envoy in the party

Ideally, you allow the Envoy to do useful things in combat without overshadowing the person whose 'schtick' is the big-mech-suit-of-doom that dominates fights. And then the Envoy gets to be exceptional in other areas, where the mech really isn't that useful.

Balancing this around a Soldier - that's a lot harder, if other classes can use the gear. I think it's a fair assumption that the Soldier will already be very good in combat situations so they don't get as much benefit from a mech, but if you let other classes have toys that match the Soldier for combat and plenty of non-combat ability as well then the Soldier really starts to look superfluous.


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
The problem they'll have with doing mechs is damage. They mentioned ships are in their own category for damage, which is why there are certain monsters you just need a ship to fight. But mech sits are used to fight creatures big and small. So if you Don a mech suit and need to take out humans and a ship, as well as another mech, how do you make this balanced with, say, the envoy in the party

Just for situations like this, where an untrained VIP has to be escorted through hostile territory, there can be models of mecha built around solid defensive systems which operate autonomously and driven by AI (or perhaps commanded by a remote operator or an escorting mech pilot). The entire interface for the untrained VIP is often set for "Easy Mode" with user-friendly functionality emphasized over micromanaging of critical systems.


FiddlersGreen wrote:

Baldur's Gate 2 has the infamous Big Metal Unit...

Personally I like the idea of a mecha-building class that develops his mech as he levels up. Have the mech function like a pet, but that the character can control from within. His class abilities revolve around improving his mecha.

I could see a theme or speciality for Mechanics who build companion bots that they ride inside of, the Tony Stark types, half robot and half exo-skeleton and all custom built.


2ndGenerationCleric wrote:
The problem they'll have with doing mechs is damage. They mentioned ships are in their own category for damage, which is why there are certain monsters you just need a ship to fight. But mech sits are used to fight creatures big and small. So if you Don a mech suit and need to take out humans and a ship, as well as another mech, how do you make this balanced with, say, the envoy in the party

I was thinking of that before, why not make a modifier for weapons that is basicaly "mech built" or "ultra heavy" these weapons deal damage as one or two sizes greater and all have some innate AP quality so they have big bonuses right off the bat but can only be wielded by creatures with either ridiculously high STR or with the (Robot) subtype and of the proper size. it makes them better than normal weapons but not automatically of ship scale.


I don't think Paizo will focus on Mecha for Starfinder, that it definitely going to be a field that TPPs are going to fill.

As can be seen from this thread (and others), there is a wide variety of Mecha types\concepts on the technology - technomagic- magic scale. I can't wait to see what TPPs come up with! :)


i dont think its high on their to-do lists and we will probably see a few TPPs try it out first but its not an uncommon trope. If they end up doing a Starfinder take on Highguard as many people seem to be hoping for than a mecha book could easily follow suit. i could see a few ways to work them in for story reasons and with the existing frame work you could probably knock out a rules set, gear and example mechs all in a 64 page product. Maybe even a 32 page one.

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