Powered Armor Weapon Slots- What do they DO?


Rules Questions


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Ok so what do weapon slots on powered armor actually do- rules as written?

Do weapons placed in them no take up hands? Can they not be disarmed? Did I miss a passage somewhere?


I don't think you've missed anything (or if you did, I missed it too) - Powered Armor feels like one of those awesome things that they really wanted to have in the book, but they had to cut a few paragraphs to make it fit. As such there are a few things that are a little hazy, like how armor-mounted weapons work.

Barring rules text, all we're left with are some assumptions and common sense. Let's make a go of it!

Right off the bat I'd limit Mounted Weapons to ranged weapons, based on "powered armor (...) has weapon mounts on which ranged weapons can be installed" and "Ranged Weapons can be installed in most powered armor". IE if you want a melee weapon you'll either have to use the suit's unarmed attacks, or wield a melee weapon in your hands.

A mounted ranged weapon is hardwired into the suit - as such it cannot be disarmed, but it can be sundered. It takes 10 minutes of work to mount or unmount the weapon and secure all connections.

A mounted ranged weapon does not require free hands to fire, that's what the weapon mount is for.

I'd say that by default reloading mounted weapons is impractical, since you need the Automated Loader armor upgrade to reload a mounted weapon as though it was a normal weapon. Maybe have it cost a full round action that provokes attacks of opportunity, or have it require the assistance of someone on the outside of the armor - once the dust settles the power armor pilot can exit the suit and reload a mounted weapon himself, but that's normally not feasible in pitched combat.


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Melee weapons can be added to powered armor, but it uses an upgrade slot. I think its in the second Dead Suns adventure path module.


Ravingdork wrote:
Melee weapons can be added to powered armor, but it uses an upgrade slot. I think its in the second Dead Suns adventure path module.

Could you be awesome and get the exact text for that?


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Scott_UAT wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Melee weapons can be added to powered armor, but it uses an upgrade slot. I think its in the second Dead Suns adventure path module.
Could you be awesome and get the exact text for that?

You can add a one-handed basic melee weapon of light or negligible bulk to your armor to act as weapon spikes. You pay 125% of the cost of the selected basic melee weapon to add it as an upgrade. You must have a hand free to attack with the weapon spikes (so you can maneuver a foe into a position where the spikes are effective), unless the foe is grappling you or you are grappling the foe (in which case you can attack with the weapon spikes even if you do not have a free hand). You can also make attacks with weapon spikes when pinned, though only against the creature pinning you.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Unless I'm missing something (which is definitely a possibility), there are no rules against using weapons in your hands when in power armor. So even without weapon mounts, you should just be able to equip any weapon you'd like that you'd normally be able to use.

Seems a bit weird, considering how bulky power armor is, but that extra strength would be a waste if you couldn't use any decent melee weapons.


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Hm... That's a different issue actually. Medium and small creatures can both use medium weapons. Large and up can't use medium weapons, they need custom weapons to fit their size.

Can a large-size powered armor use medium-size guns, or do you need to buy custom weaponry for all the power armors after the battle harness?
If it's the latter and you ever reach a point where you won't be able to bring/fit your large/huge power armor you'll be both disarmed and unarmored. That's a pretty steep price to pay. :-/


Dot.


Ravingdork wrote:
Scott_UAT wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Melee weapons can be added to powered armor, but it uses an upgrade slot. I think its in the second Dead Suns adventure path module.
Could you be awesome and get the exact text for that?
You can add a one-handed basic melee weapon of light or negligible bulk to your armor to act as weapon spikes. You pay 125% of the cost of the selected basic melee weapon to add it as an upgrade. You must have a hand free to attack with the weapon spikes (so you can maneuver a foe into a position where the spikes are effective), unless the foe is grappling you or you are grappling the foe (in which case you can attack with the weapon spikes even if you do not have a free hand). You can also make attacks with weapon spikes when pinned, though only against the creature pinning you.

That's not the same thing.

I am asking about the game term "weapon slots" that are listed on powered armor. No upgrade slots for armor.


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I never said they were the same thing.


Bascially the weapon slots on the armor allow you to mount weapons into those slots and fire them without having to use your hands to equip/hold them. They even have an optional automatic reloader mod that lets the suite reload itself without you having to use your hands for it. Not a huge deal but it allows you to have more different weapons equipped at once or leaves your hands free to do other things while still being armed.


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The autoloader may leave your hands free, but you still need to spend the actions to reload, right?

I've heard some people claim that you had to use the autoloader to reload suit-mounted weapons, unless you wanted to exit your suit to do it manually.


Ahh sorry Ravingdork. Thought that was what you were saying. My bad.

And @Kaid, is there a section that describes them or text that expressly says that?


Ravingdork wrote:

The autoloader may leave your hands free, but you still need to spend the actions to reload, right?

I've heard some people claim that you had to use the autoloader to reload suit-mounted weapons, unless you wanted to exit your suit to do it manually.

I believe you are correct. You still need to spend actions to reload but you don't have to equip/unequip weapons which is some action economy savings.

I believe that is also correct in that to reload them otherwise you either need to hop out of the armor or somebody who is outside your armor needs to do it for you. It makes sense given where most of the stuff is mounted reloading yourself without the autoloader would be impractical a best to physically implausible at worst.

If I recall correctly it does talk about the weapon mounts in the power armor section but it does not give a ton of detail.

That is one issue I have with power armor currently we have some general guidelines but some are kinda vague and there are not enough examples of power armor to really build a character to specialize in them. Given their battery burn rate for most of them they are just impractical as anything but use in case of emergency or short duration high conflict situations. Given most adventurers spend a bunch of time wandering around as they adventure the battery burn rate for most of them is just not sustainable for general use.


kaid wrote:
(...)They even have an optional automatic reloader mod that lets the suite reload itself without you having to use your hands for it. Not a huge deal but it allows you to have more different weapons equipped at once or leaves your hands free to do other things while still being armed.

Just wanted to note that this is an alternate reason for the autoloader armor upgrade to exist that I hadn't considered. It's entirely possible the autoloader option is there to accommodate PCs that want to reload a mounted weapon without taking a hand of their two-handed weapon, and that you can still reload mounted weapons with a move action provided you have a free hand. :)

Personally I was planning to mount a weapon in my powered armor that would be nice to have on hand, but I'd fire relatively rarely so reloading wouldn't be an issue - like a utility grenade launcher. I've gotten a lot of mileage out of smoke grenade barrages. :)


Can you not also have an AI computer with a Complex Control module control the auto-loader to do it for you? And then command it with voice activation. "Jarvis, reload left plasma cannon!"

It depends on whether you would consider an auto-loader as:
A) A basic device with an on/off switch (unlikely)
B) A device that can already operate autonomously (maybe)
C) A device that require a skill check (maybe)

It's a move action, so it's not likely that it's A, but it definitely could be B, possibly C.

As for type of weapons, it lists:

Weapon Slots - CRB Pg. 204 wrote:
Ranged weapons can be installed in most powered armor. The maximum number is equal to the powered armor’s weapon slots.


Helot_Commander wrote:
As for type of weapons, it lists:
Weapon Slots - CRB Pg. 204 wrote:
Ranged weapons can be installed in most powered armor. The maximum number is equal to the powered armor’s weapon slots.

So can they be two-handed? Can they be disarmed? If the suit loses power do they lose power? What kind of action is it to mount/remove it?


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Scott_UAT wrote:
So can they be two-handed? Can they be disarmed? If the suit loses power do they lose power? What kind of action is it to mount/remove it?

Yes. No. No, but you can't use them. Dunno.


Scott_UAT wrote:
So can they be two-handed?

Probably? Come to think of it, the Mechanic Drone requires two "weapon mount" upgrades to fit a two-handed weapon but that's an entirely different subsystem, so I wouldn't lend it too much weight. The language for Powered Armor doesn't mention such a limitation and restricting Power Armor mounts to pistols seems counterintuitive. I'm pretty confident you should be able to mount two-handed ranged weapons on a powered armor.

Scott_UAT wrote:
Can they be disarmed?

I'd be inclined to say no, since weapon mounts are not "held in hand". They are however "readily available", so they would be a viable Sunder target.

Scott_UAT wrote:
If the suit loses power do they lose power?

I think it makes sense that the suit would need to be powered in order to aim & fire weapons mounted on it, but the weapon battery charges are tracked independently of the suit. If you run out of juice for the suit you could exit it, disconnect a mounted weapon and use it as a handheld gun instead.

Scott_UAT wrote:
What kind of action is it to mount/remove it?

Again, we don't know at the moment. Earlier in the thread I suggested 10 minutes, since that's the time required to install or uninstall an armor upgrade. Barring any other language, I think it makes for a decent baseline.


I really appreciate the feedback :-)

I'm looking for RAW answers as I do some 3rd party stuff (I'm Scott from Little Red). We were just running an 18th level mechanical, mathematic, playtest to see how the numbers work out and whatnot. One of our players was using the Armor Storm soldier style and not having some clear, RAW, answers to stuff made it a bit difficult.


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Ah, that's trickier. Honestly, some of the rules just aren't there (like what kind of action it is to mount/unmount a weapon) so the best we can do is offer guesses and advice. Since you're on a publishing schedule and waiting for a FAQ would be counter-productive, maybe you could try contacting Paizo directly?

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Typically, if an action isn't explicitly said to be different it is a standard action.

But I think our best bet here (to mount/unmount a weapon) is the Manipulate an Item section of the Move Action as its very likely that weapons that would be mounted to a powered armor is considered heavy.

CRB wrote:


Manipulate an Item
Moving or manipulating an item is usually a move action. This
includes retrieving or putting away a stored item, picking up an
item, moving a heavy object, and opening a door.

Weapon Slots in the Powered Armor section says that Ranged Weapons are what gets installed (not saying there couldn't be a giant lance or something installed but this is what the CRB states) so unless you are carrying your ranged weapon (for example a powered armor sized rifle) you have to retrieve your weapon from wherever it is stored, unmount an existing mounted weapon (if one is there), and mount the weapon which would be 2-3 move actions.

CRB wrote:


Weapon Slots
Ranged weapons can be installed in most powered armor. The
maximum number is equal to the powered armor’s weapon slots.

So if you have a currently open weapon slot, and you are holding your powered armor rifle, you move to mount and then standard to attack with it. Or you move to mount, and move to draw your powered armor sized sword and next round you look super awesome while you attack with your mounted weapon (which should be a standard) and use your sword to threaten spaces!


Apologies in advance if this has been brought up before, but... are we not assuming you go buy your power armor, and then mount a gun on there, and now there's a gun mounted there until you say otherwise?

I don't think I'd be holding my gun ever again, unless I was going somewhere without power armor.


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Pantshandshake wrote:

Apologies in advance if this has been brought up before, but... are we not assuming you go buy your power armor, and then mount a gun on there, and now there's a gun mounted there until you say otherwise?

I don't think I'd be holding my gun ever again, unless I was going somewhere without power armor.

I think the idea is you may have to exit the armor quickly and want to take the dakka with you.


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Pantshandshake wrote:

Apologies in advance if this has been brought up before, but... are we not assuming you go buy your power armor, and then mount a gun on there, and now there's a gun mounted there until you say otherwise?

I don't think I'd be holding my gun ever again, unless I was going somewhere without power armor.

Outside of the battle harness, you won't be going anywhere in the power armor without your GM letting you pull some shenanigans - the others all run down every 40-100 minutes, and then you can't move, which may mean move as in walk or may mean move as in move, which means the arms won't move, either, and you'll have to get out to slot in a new battery. Either way, it means you won't practically just be leaving the thing on all the time.


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Well, sure. That's basically what 'I don't think I'd be holding my gun ever again, unless I was going somewhere without power armor.' means.

What I meant was, theheadkase's post made it seem like at the start of an encounter, you're carrying your gun and wearing your armor, and during the encounter you're spending your time mounting your gun.

I've not seen anyone say that before, so I wanted to know if this is the common conception, or if my way of thinking (the whole 'nope, this gun is part of this armor now' thing) was the more widely held idea.

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@Pantshandshake

That was just an example I made if a person *wanted* to do such things in combat. I would totally expect the norm to be "I mounted a rail gun to my shoulder weapon mount and I'm wielding my giant sword" while coming up to a potential combat.

But there will be, I'm sure, a fair subset who want to emulate some anime/books/movies/etc. in which you see powered armors a little more quick and they change weapons during combat.

I'm hoping that we'll see classifications of Powered Armors (like Light and Heavy) that will allow some more nuanced flexibility or even an entire book on Mecha (that include Powered Armors) that has rules for them being armor, vehicles, AND starships (because you'd need all of that to cover the different Powered Armor tropes).


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Fear the deadly might of my 8-armed, powered armor-wearing skittermander cyborg that wields 10 guns simultaneously!


@theheadkase
No worries, I just start getting nervous when people say things that seem contrary to what I think should happen, because I start thinking "Oh yeah, this guys probably read more rules than me."

@Ravingdork
While I'm sure you can do that by RAW, you can't by RAI, because then the skittermander wouldn't be the cutest fuzziest little thing ever made that I want to squeeze until I die.

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Ravingdork wrote:
Fear the deadly might of my 8-armed, powered armor-wearing skittermander cyborg that wields 10 guns simultaneously!

Heh, still can't make more attacks than what normal combat allows.

Although this makes me think of some interesting design spaces to play in (Powered Armor feats!)


From our own playtests at various levels the whole "I have 8 arms" thing is less useful than you'd think. Extra arms basically only gives you options ("I am wielding a reach melee weapon, a KAC long arm, a EAC heavy weapon, and I am leaving 2 arms open to do things like reload and give high fives.") Also lets you get Fusillade if you really want and stuff like that.


I've heard of a build that keeps two swords for both sides of Deflect/Reflect projectiles, while focusing on a gun. Could have secondary firearms or smoke grenades at higher than four.


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Pantshandshake wrote:

@Ravingdork

While I'm sure you can do that by RAW, you can't by RAI, because then the skittermander wouldn't be the cutest fuzziest little thing ever made that I want to squeeze until I die.

Maybe it catches you by surprise and death comes quickly?

;)


Skittermander surprise death hugs are how everyone should die.

I actually toyed with a Shobhad soldier build for a little while, but the combination of my GM only allowing 8 points instead of 10 for alien archive races and not wanting to deal with the headache of a Large size character trying to get power armor out of my GM (I'm 100% positive he'd impose some kind of 'not only is it more expensive now, but also harder to find!' nonsense) made me scrap it.

In two weeks I'm bringing my Vesk Armor Storm soldier to the table, and I'm hoping it goes well.


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The Sideromancer wrote:
I've heard of a build that keeps two swords for both sides of Deflect/Reflect projectiles, while focusing on a gun.

That's a good idea!

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