Fatigue is hitting me. Help zap some energy into my work on Mechfinder.


Homebrew


Just tell me what you'd want to see in a Starfinder-compatible mech addon.

What do you want mechs to be capable of?

What cool stunts would you try to pull off in a mech?

What kind of magical additions would you want on a mech?

What class features would you like to be usable in a mech?

Note that they are not just big power armour. The mech system is fully realised and compatible with both personal and space combat, with mechs as customisable as SF starships (in fact, using a tier and BP system).


While mechs aren't just big power armours, I'd think that the simplest one of them are just that. I was trying to make use of a power suit for carrying heavy weaponry and came to conclusion that no weapon was heavy or big enough that they kind of required a specialized suit to carry. Any half decent soldier type could just hoist just about every weapon anyway and at the same time the ship weapons are too big already and way too powerful as is for what I was thinking.

I felt that the game could use a weapons category in between the personal and space combat weapons and thinking about it, it would probably fit as 'vehicle size' weapons.

As for other mechs than just my boring artillery toting suit, I could see all kind of mechs having a place in. Whether it's battlemech style mechs whose role is like that of a main battle tank as mobile armored fighting unit to very high tier gundam like mechs that can do just about everything and anything.


san320 wrote:

While mechs aren't just big power armours, I'd think that the simplest one of them are just that. I was trying to make use of a power suit for carrying heavy weaponry and came to conclusion that no weapon was heavy or big enough that they kind of required a specialized suit to carry. Any half decent soldier type could just hoist just about every weapon anyway and at the same time the ship weapons are too big already and way too powerful as is for what I was thinking.

I felt that the game could use a weapons category in between the personal and space combat weapons and thinking about it, it would probably fit as 'vehicle size' weapons.

Mechs have their own selection of weapons, all of which are terrifying to people, even those in power armour. The smallest mech gun probably weighs at least half a ton or more. The most powerful mechs can even threaten starships (if they are in a position to actually shoot at them). Mechs occupy an intermediary point between personnel and starships.

Quote:
As for other mechs than just my boring artillery toting suit, I could see all kind of mechs having a place in. Whether it's battlemech style mechs whose role is like that of a main battle tank as mobile armored fighting unit to very high tier gundam like mechs that can do just about everything and anything.

I'm trying to make accomodations for all manner of mechs, including tanks, artillery, urban operations, electronic warfare, space support, etc.


The biggest issue is how you resolve combat between human sized things and mecha.

In general mecha should be so sufficiently strong that humanoids have little chance of winning against them except when using heavy weapons designed to take them down.

Kind of like a human vs a tank. Tank wins, unless the person has a rocket launcher or some other specific antitank device.

In which case, it's just becomes a back and forth of escalating defense vs offense and I'm not sure how to ultimately balance a mecha vs a person.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am probably going to set mech balance as equipvalent creature CR being 5 higher than their tier. So a single mech can be an epic encounter for a party that's at a higher 'tech level' than the mech, and a supremely advanced party can combat low-tier mechs. But in general, mechs will have the advantage. Mechs also beat the action economy in a few ways (they function much like starships, but only require a single pilot to use all their abilities).


So basically you should be using mecha always.


The system assumes that either no party members have mechs, or all party members have mechs.


I tried to make a setting revolve around this one time. I love mechs. But my problem came from thinking of story hooks. What do you do outside of combat? Where do you leave your mechs when you aren't in them? What is the drive for the story? Are worlds battling each other with mechs as the key weapons? Who has them, is it a government against a rebellion? What does it take to make a mech run? If it is a rebellion who is fighting how do they get the power supplies?

Instead of what can a mech do have you thought about these things? Building a mech would be easy but what is he "why"?


JetSetRadio wrote:

I tried to make a setting revolve around this one time. I love mechs. But my problem came from thinking of story hooks. What do you do outside of combat. Where do you leave your mechs when you aren't in them? What is the drive for the story? Are worlds battling each other with mechs as the key weapons? Who has them, is it a government against a rebellion? What does it take to make a mech run? If it is a rebellion who is fighting how do they get the power supplies?

Instead of what can a mech do have you thought about these things? Building a mech would be easy but what is he "why"?

-If you have a space ship, you have to have a loading bay dedicated to each mech in your position (transport becomes an issue)

-Many planets completely restrict use of mechs in populated areas, some areas won't even let you land if you're carrying one in your ship. (Gives pros/cons to having one)

-They are strong tool but limited by certain capabilities of pilots. Like Titanfall (I think?) or Pacific rim. Only certain people are even capable of driving them so it limits how many are available

-They can't fit certain places. So they're generally left on your ship. If you don't have a ship to store them you're SOL?

In a big scary universe it might make sense to have a giant mech at your disposal for tackling certain problems, but based on the logistics of cost, pilots, transportation, and close quarters guerrilla warfare they're generally not used except in specific situations.

Building a campaign your characters could all be capable of piloting mechs and that's how they meet, and as a scarce resource they all have to decide who they want to support.

How's that all sound?


I've been thinking about doing a Battletech variant (my Clan phenotypes are built for Pathfinder, however, sadly!), so if we can do any cross-motivation, PM me, lol.

JetSetRadio - That's why I wanted to do Battletech specifically and not just something mecha. Though in my own D20 Future fantasy-space game from forever ago, the gnomes were the mecha users...it was all a cultural thing dealing with them overcompensating for their stature among the other major races.


A pilot theme and/or feat tree would be high priority in my mind. I don't think a new class would be required.

Partly it depends on the mecha you have in mind before someone can determine the nature of those feats. If flight or jump capability exists, tons and tons of new feats based on maneuvering are possible.


....Robotech.

also Knights and Magic manga has some neat ideas. Fairly classic ideas but presented in a more magic-tech way than say gundam.

It would be cool to have a way to have limited AI in a mech so it can work with you abit. Or at least keep up with you and handle its own walking/stooping/carrying crap for ya'll. (Most recent example I guess is Titan FAll)


I've always been a fan of a Forward Observer ability.

Mech 'A' that is close to the target can relay information to Mech 'B' that is further away, letting Mech 'B' use Mech 'A's range modifiers, and with an indirect weapon, even attack an opponent that they can't see (but that Mech 'A' can).

I suppose you could easily build that into a Computer system, making it possible that the information could be hacked...


Ithnaar wrote:

I've always been a fan of a Forward Observer ability.

Mech 'A' that is close to the target can relay information to Mech 'B' that is further away, letting Mech 'B' use Mech 'A's range modifiers, and with an indirect weapon, even attack an opponent that they can't see (but that Mech 'A' can).

I suppose you could easily build that into a Computer system, making it possible that the information could be hacked...

It's in. :)

I'm also adding 'Mech Perks'. They are like feats, but do not come from your normal feat allotment.

A character familiar with mech piloting gains a Mech Perk at 1st level, 4th level and every 5 levels thereafter. Mech Perks are gained retroactively if a higher-level character learns how to pilot a mech.


I have a bone to pick with mechs in the realistic tactical sense, is that they usually present a big silhouette, and super destructive weapons often get miniaturized to the infantry level. Unless the mechs are little bigger than infantrymen like how powered armor is presented, you're just kind of a big target that enemies could range out.


I have no idea what to suggest as far as what class-features should be functional with mechs. Magic could be interesting, though without other options I'd be concerned it would make casters the go-to for pilots. Solarians could maybe manifest through the mech/its weapons? Maybe Mechanics could control larger, mech-launched drones while piloting (if they chose a drone), or the ability to interface directly with their mech (if exocortex)!

As far as 'stunts', I've always been a fan of mobility. Orbital drops, jump-jets, that sort of thing. For instance, I'm reminded of the WH40K Rogue Trader RPG, specifically the Tau sourcebook. One of the "Classified Competencies" that a Tau character could choose allowed them to, as a reaction to an attack on an ally, take a move action to dash in front of them and take the hit themselves.

(Also, I'd definitely like to see a starship module allowing orbital drops. Maybe separate from any "mech-suit storage" module, or a sidegrade from it, so you have to want it?)

Regardless, godspeed! I've been practically *vibrating* with excitement since you mentioned this project in another thread.


I would make it so the mecha in my game would be between power armor and space ships and stick exclusively to gargantuan and colossal sizes i would lay out their weapon die size loke they did for star finder here i would most likely treat mecha weapons fired at pcs asan aoe with DCs based on tier of mecha dmg multiplied by 5 since ships multiply by 10 and all it would be neat imo


For my "Xenoverse" setting, I'll go with two types of mecha.

T.M.W.S (Tactical Maneuver Weapon Systems):
- Roughly power armor sized
- 1 pilot
- Wielding heavy/scaled up close combat and ranged weapons
- Remote power supply via energy transfer from a relay (spaceship, station, etc.)

A.M.W.S (Assault Maneuver Weapon Systems):
- Huge and larger ins size
- 1-3 operators
- Wielding low tier space ship weaponry and further scaled up melee weapons
- Autonomous, self replenishing power supply (reactor)


Minimum size for mechs is huge at the moment. The pilot must be at least two size categories smaller than the mech.

There are options for multi-pilot mechs.

Orbital drops are in! There are three ways down:

1. Landed ship with mech bays.
2. Orbital ship with drop pods (medium-sized ship that can carry mechs to and from orbit and latches onto a larger ship).
3. Reentry shell (disposable cocoon for dropping mechs from orbit).


Fantastic! Glad to hear that.

Any plans for biomechanical or undead variants? I imagine Eoxian mechs are quite removed from, say, Iomedean Mecha-Templars or the like.


There are going to be a number of options for magical devices on mechs. 'Necromechs' might work the same was as normal mechs and just have a different aesthetic, like Eoxian starships.

I have an option for Solarions to add some fancy effects to their mech through a Solar Conduit. I could put in a 'Divinity Node' to allow paladins to smite evil with a sword that weighs five tons.


Definitely consider ways of changing type from construct. I recall favourably a certain series with blood pumps installed so magic would treat it as living.

How about an augment for remote operation?


Not sure about remote control. I really want players to be in as much risk piloting their mechs as they would be on foot against appropriate foes.

If it is included, I'd say a remotely-piloted mech should suffer some penalties. Maybe it can't use 'focused actions', which are a thing pilots can do.


I never got to play it out but I stole a lot from the d20 Mecha Compendium to make magic still relevant. Mainly because, unless it's a class feature, Mecha are too grand to be fair and feel appropriate. Everyone has Mecha or no one has Mecha.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Have you ever played Mechwarrior: Mercenaries? I felt their modular, color-based weapon system was really cool. It might pretty cool when converted to tabletop. However, a chassis-with-modules system might be too complex, so perhaps different classes of mechs based on weight and role?

Long-range light: Sniper
Long-range medium: Missile "boat" type mech
Long-range heavy: Uses high-caliber heavy artillery

Medium-range light/Medium-range medium/Medium-range heavy: These use all sorts of plasma, beam, and gauss rifles and maybe have some supplemental rockets

Short-range light: Skirmisher that uses shotguns
Short-range medium: Swordfighter
Short-range heavy: Punches stuff

Utility light: Recon mech that can paint targets to assist other mechs' targeting
Utility medium: Shieldbearer
Utility heavy: Drone Carrier

Idk, just an idea dump. Hopefully it gets you thinking.


I am absolutely aiming for an 'everyone has mechs or no one has mechs' balance. It's the only thing that seems fair without making mechs the same power as people on foot... which is just weird.


Spastic Puma wrote:
Have you ever played Mechwarrior: Mercenaries? I felt their modular, color-based weapon system was really cool. It might pretty cool when converted to tabletop. However, a chassis-with-modules system might be too complex, so perhaps different classes of mechs based on weight and role?

There are three 'weights' of mech (huge, gargantuan and colossal) and they have mounting points like starships. They use the same customisation system as Starfinder starships, but with a different list of parts.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think Mechfinder might be nearing completion! At least, a point where it is entirely functional (if not balanced).


I loved the 5 Star Story's mechs and the Fatima's that acted like super computer interfaces with the pilot. Gives multiple characters roles and role playing possibilities.
You could have Pilots, Co-pilots (Fatima's or just gunners etc.), Mechanics, Ship Pilots etc. Lots of roles for PC's and NPC's.


Have you considered a Voltron like component?

Individually piloted vehicles that combine to make a mecha which is piloted by the party together?

Wayfinders

I only glanced through the document, but just things I want:

Can there be mechs that are caster based rather than attack based?

Have you considered ones that can change shape? Mostly for terrestrial mechs, combat mode and transport mode? It's more flavourful than just adding Jets, but might be a lot of work.

Combine mechs for like Voltron status?

Stealth? Obviously a giant mech is big and nosey on the ground, but you might be able to work out something in space.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Man that sounds cool. Is the document for it public, I've been having some trouble finding it.

Community / Forums / Starfinder / Homebrew / Fatigue is hitting me. Help zap some energy into my work on Mechfinder. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Homebrew