Powered armor is or is not small Mechs


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

I need a clarification here before turn into a bloodrager.

I look at the power armor rules and I see small mechs. All but one are at least large, they have language in them with words like cockpit and weapon mounts and stats that are independent of the passenger/operator.

I read some of the Heavy armor descriptions and a lot of those sound like what I am used to calling power armor.

then I talk to other folks and it just seems like they haven't even read the descriptions, and jump to the same conclusions I might have if I hadn't actually read the book.

for example I argued with one guy today about the spider harness and he insists that this is like Doc Ock or the Iron Spider. I'm like "no Doc Oak wears a cumberbun that gives him extra arms x4 and reach. Not the same thing." (don't get me wrong, i'd F'ing love to be able to do the Iron Spider)

clearly this is a large thing which the medium sized character gets inside of. think spider the size of your car, you crawl inside and stretch out, the back six legs are for mobility and the front two are the powered arm braces with weapon mounts.

so can someone officially come out and clear up the issue. maybe explain why you chose to name things the way you did? is the spider harness a cumberbun or a mini-spider mech?

Thanks!


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"Power Armor", as the core rulebook lays out, seems to cover a wide ranger of things, from exoskeletons up to mecha. There is a plainly laid out exoskeleton, but if you look at the Flight Frame, it is size huge and said to be a massive humanoid machine. And from the sounds of it, the Spider Harness is more exoskeletal in nature (which seems less Doc Ock and more like that one boss from No More Heroes 2).

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

There are no formal definitions of "powered armor" and "mech." They're called powered armor in the game, so they're powered armor. Heavy armor is neither powered armor nor a mech. From looking at the Core examples, what sets apart powered armor from all other types are:

- So long as they're powered and the minimum usage strength is satisfied, they do not require the user to bear the physical burden of wearing them.
- They run on batteries.

A mech, if one is ever explicitly introduced, would likely be categorized as a vehicle.

Grand Lodge

Tarpeius wrote:


- So long as they're powered and the minimum usage strength is satisfied, they do not require the user to bear the physical burden of wearing them.
- They run on batteries.

A mech, if one is ever explicitly introduced, would likely be categorized as a vehicle.

I would add that the Powered armor has a cockpit. only one of them is med size, the rest are large or larger and they have a separate set of stats that they use, regardless of the wearer/drivers stats. hence my calling them "small" mechs.

I agree the giant mechs should be considered vehicles, I think these things are a hybrid of a vehicle and heavy armor. That's what I'm reading.

My issue is the vast number of people who think that they are just wearable armor like plate mail or something.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The battle harness clearly corresponds with an "exoskeleton." The cargo lifter may be Large, but it doesn't mention a cockpit. I wouldn't be surprised if it's meant to resemble a slightly bulkier Power Loader from Aliens. As the armor itself gets larger, the cavity where the person goes will likely more and more resemble a cockpit. So we could even say the difference between "powered armor" and "small mech" is one of degree rather that discrete kind.


Jarlslayer is only Large, and going off the image of it it is pretty much powered armor.


From what I've read, I visualize them as such:

Cargo Loader: Riply's loader from Aliens

Battle Harness: Typical powered armor such as Mjolnir from Halo or the Chozo Power Suit from Metroid

Flight Frame: Typical mech such as a Gundam or the Knightmare Frames from Code Geass

Jarlslayer: like a hybrid of mech and powered suit such as the MEC Troopers from XCOM Enemy Within or the prototype for Mjolnir armor from the Halo anime "Prototype"

Spider Harness: ...okay, all I can think of is the transforming Knightmare Frames (Alexander) from Code Geas Akito the Exiled


Here's a related question to powered armors: how do weapon slots actually work?

I can have 2 Heavy Weapons installed on my Jarlslayer in addition of wielding a doshko?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Yes? It a bit unclear if weapon slots work like the drone ones or not.


The picture of the Jarlslayer shows both weapon slots being used and the hands are still free. I would say go for it.


I would say all of them except the flight frame easily fall under power armor.

In Fallout power armor is definitely "large" in comparison to the normal character size. This is a picture of a life size replica that someone built.

So I would say normally power armor is one size category larger the the user. An exoskeleton suit would be the same size (practically).

Why is the flight frame huge? I don't know. It actually seems silly.

Still not mecha sized though. I always think of mecha being at least like 30ft tall. But more generally I think of Gundam style mecha, which were usually about 60ft tall.

Edit: The flight frame is like really oversized power armor or really small mecha.


I think of the Jarlslayer as the crusader armour from Overwatch (though Rienhardt is actually that big unarmored) and the flight frame as like the Face units from Xenoblade (it was difficult to find a good size comparison without spoilers).

But that's me being a vidgame nerd.

Grand Lodge

K-kun the Insane wrote:

From what I've read, I visualize them as such:

Jarlslayer: like a hybrid of mech and powered suit such as the MEC Troopers from XCOM Enemy Within or the prototype for Mjolnir armor from the Halo anime "Prototype"

I see it like the goblin machine at the gates of the goblin city in the Labyrinth. The neck is the cockpit in which the dwarf rides so he can stare eye to eye with the hill giant he's killing.

Grand Lodge

Are you considered proficient with weapons mounted on powered armor?


Peat wrote:
Are you considered proficient with weapons mounted on powered armor?

Doubt it... but any kind of ranged weapon can be added, even a basic pistol.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Peat wrote:
Are you considered proficient with weapons mounted on powered armor?

That it's mounted on armor is immaterial: You're proficient with a mounted weapon if you're proficient with the weapon.


I think a developer mentioned we might see mech rules in a later book.

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