Tests and Combat in a Mech
The equation for pilots making passive and competitive tests while inside their mech is: 2d6+(Inside Mech Attribute)+System. A pilot’s combat skill (Fighting) and overall perception (Acquiring) are penalized inside a mech (scores reduced by 2), but mech systems (TMP) can reduce that penalty and even enhance it. Target numbers for passive tests (5 easy – 13 legendary) are the same. Competitive tests are handled the same as in Rogue Space, but with the appropriate TMP score added to the rolls as well. Adding the pilot’s attribute to the mech’s system represents the pilot controlling the mech’s actions. Common mech+pilot tests are:
Inside Mech attributes are simply the pilot's Fighting and Acquiring scores -2. A character knowing how to brawl in person, is completely different than knowing how to brawl in a mech. Also instead of our own innate perception we have unprotected, inside a mech you are completely reliant on what the mech's computer is feeding you. Instead of completely omitting the pilot's Fighting and Acquiring skills when using tests, I still wanted them to influence your performance. A pilot with a high Fighting still has that instinct and reflexes necessary for controlling the mech for a good fight, and a pilot with a high Acquiring still knows what to look for and make sense of the information being fed to him.
- Fighting+Power= Melee attacking/melee defending/grappling
- Fighting+Movement= Dodging/evading
- Fighting+Targeting= Range attacks/throwing objects
- Acquiring+Power= Climbing/non-combat breaking things
- Acquiring+Movement= Stealthing/difficult maneuvering and positioning
- Acquiring+Targeting= Sensor sweep/detection/information gathering
In combat, modifiers are generally the same, as in cover, aiming, range, etc.
This -2 penalty to Fighting and Acquiring still allows the referee to keep the basic TN table the same. If there was no penalty, then the base attributes plus the TMP would create really high rolls, making difficult TNs easier to achieve, or the referee would have to adapt on the fly.
All in all I feel I have created the best and simplest way to represent both the mech's and pilot's capabilities being represented in tests.
InitiativeIf a referee was feeling bold enough to try tracking both mech action and those of people not inside mechs, I knew I wanted infantry to act before mechs do. Initiative for everyone outside of mechs are still tracked by 2d6+current health, but mechs are simply 2d6+Movement System. In keeping with simplicity, I didn't want damage on a mech to be represented in initiative like it is for individuals. It's enough that they usually go last.
While pilots are inside their mechs, initiative is determined by each player rolling 2d6 and adding their mech’s Movement score. Characters not inside mechs still roll 2d6 plus their current HP total. This means infantry (people outside of mechs) generally act first.
Mech Damage and ProtectionThis is where I really struggled to try and make a simple solution. I wanted mechs to have weapons from Light to the Extra Heavy range, but a Light weapon on a mech is not the same as a Light weapon on an infantry. So I came up with a simple solution. Mech weapons have a second number in parenthesis. When a mech weapon is used against infantry, this is the damage type it's treated as, which is significantly higher. If there is no second number, it is assumed to be fatal when hitting infantry, bypassing armor and killing them outright, unless of course the referee deems different. For infantry weapons against mechs, Light and Medium are useless, but Heavy and Extra Heavy work as Light and Medium damage respectively.
When mechs and armored vehicles are fighting against each other, damage is treated the same as if it were between infantry. All mechs have Light armor by default, unless they got upgraded, which is determined in mech construction.
When rolling damage dice, roll a different colored d6 with it. This represents the hit location. It determines what part the attack hits and damages if any bypasses the targets armor roll.
Mech weapons are much larger than those carried by infantry. Some mech weapons have a damage rating in ( ). This is to show what damage rating that weapon is when used against infantry. When there is no second rating, it means it bypasses all infantry armor and kills them instantly.
Light and Medium infantry weapons have no effect on mechs. Heavy and Extra Heavy weapons do, but at reduced damage. An infantry Heavy weapon deals Light damage against a mech, and an infantry Extra Heavy weapon deals Medium damage against a mech.
Jarom has been excitedly working over the mech construction rules which I will preview soon. Having someone else try to break the system allows me to adjust things where needed. But as in normal Jarom fashion, he sketched a couple designs out. If this stuff doesn't get you thinking about your own mechs then I don't know what will.