Let's Talk About Mechs, Baby

How great are mechs? So great! Wait, wait, wait… I can see you shaking your head and closing the browser tab. I know, I know. You don’t want fancy, overpowered suits of armor ruining your epic fantasy campaign. I’ve already walked a dangerous line with firearms, swifty gear, and airships. Now I’m asking you to adopt some thinking about mechs into the game?!

Well, in my defense I have this to say – Mechs are fun! I think I’ve got an idea of how we could hold onto that without them breaking every game.

I mean, you got to admit… that looks fun!

Inspiration

I can remember playing Megaman X series back in the day on the old PlayStation. How fun was that game? There were a lot of levels where you got to jump into a big suit of armor and really punch, shoot, or drill the crap out of baddies.

These ride armors were tons of fun to use. You tromped around in them fighting some baddies and eventually the armor blew up or you got to a place where the mech couldn’t go because it was too big or too immobile and so it was left behind.

I want to apply the same principle here with mechs in Exploration Age.

Mech Guiding Principles

Still looks really fun to me.

Here’s a lit of design points I used while creating the mechs.

  1. Mechs are badass! These mechs should be powerful and more fun than a whole barrel of monkeys. Big, honking, damaging attacks and then some cool flashy attacks with fun effects.
  2. Mechs are slow. You don’t need to run from danger when you are the danger. As fun as busting some heads in a mech is, making them slow means they aren’t going to be anyone’s main mode of transportation. They’re big, heavy, and you can’t just park one in front of a tavern. These are not made for travel, but rather for being badass (though, I have no doubt they are a chick magnet).
  3. Mechs are big! Mechs being big is lots of fun and helps bring balance to the game and make it more interesting. Imagine a troop of adventurers meeting a hobgoblin army out in the field. The adventurers are outnumbered, but they’re all driving mechs, so the hobgoblins are outgunned. Being big is also a disadvantage. Once those hobgoblins run back to their tunnels, good luck getting a mech suit to fit and fight in those cramped hallways.
  4. Mechs are expensive. I’m pretty sure this speaks for itself. These things ain’t cheap. ‘Nuff said.

The idea here is that mechs are well beyond the means of low-level adventurers and even if they do find one, they don’t have anyway of taking it everywhere they go due to the mech’s slow speed and Large size.

Mechs in Exploration Age

Come on! This one is even called Steam Golem. It’s a sign. Open your heart to mechs!

So without further adieu, here are the mechs from the Exploration Age Campaign Guide

There are a variety of mechs in Exploration Age used for everything from war to mining. Every mech has its own AC, HP, Speed, and Mech Modifier, a bonus applied to attack and damage with mech weapons. A driver who has mech proficiency may apply their proficiency bonus to attack rolls made with the mech’s weapons as well. An attacker using individual ranged and melee attacks may choose to target either the mech or the driver. Once a mech is reduced to 0 HP it ceases to function.

Here are a few of the mechs one may come across in Canus. All the mechs below are Large in size and have a 10-foot melee reach, unless noted otherwise.

Mech HP AC Speed Right Arm Attack Left Arm Attack Mech Modifier Price Special Abilities
Lifter 30 14 10 ft. Slam – 2d8 bludgeoning Slam – 2d8 bludgeoning +1 20,000 gp Grab, Rend
Lumberjack 50 15 10 ft. Chainsaw – 3d8 slashing Slam – 2d8 bludgeoning +2 35,000 gp Grab
Miner 75 16 10 ft. Drill – 2d8 piercing Pick – 3d8 piercing +3 50,000 gp Drill Press, Scoop Kick
Gladiator 125 16 15 ft. Trident – 3d8 piercing, 15-foot reach Net Thrower – see Special Attacks +4 75,000 gp Net Throw
Destroyer 150 17 10 ft. Cannon – 4d12 piercing, Ammunition (range 50/150) Hammer – 3d10 bludgeoning +4 100,000 gp Explosive Shot
Pyro 150 17 10 ft. Flame Jet – see Special Attacks Axe – 3d10 slashing +4 100,000 gp Flame Jet
Knight 200 20 15 ft. Sword – 3d12 slashing Shield – 2d8 bludgeoning +5 150,000 gp Sword Sweep, Shield Defense
Lifter

This mech suit was created by Bragonian dwarves to do some heavy lifting. These mechs can be found all over Canus – in shipping yards, warehouses, mines, forests, and more. The huge suits are equipped with two strong arms meant for lifting everything from lumber to boxes.

Grab A creature hit by a Lifter’s slam attack is also restrained. On its turn, a restrained creature may make a DC 14 Strength or Dexterity check to break the restrained condition as part of a move action. If one of the Lifter’s arms is being used to restrain a creature, that arm cannot attack a different creature without first letting go of the creature it is currently grabbing. A Lifter cannot restrain more than two creatures this way at once.

Rend This attack requires the Lifter to be restraining its target with one arm and have no creature in the grip of its other. The Lifter attacks the restrained creature with both arms dealing 4d8 bludgeoning damage to it on a successful attack.

Lumberjack

This suit was crafted by the elves of Taliana to aid in their lumber industry. One arm of the mech is a mechanical saw, made for cutting down trees. The other is a large, two-pronged claw made for picking up several logs at once.

Grab A creature hit by a Lumberjack’s slam attack is also restrained. On its turn, a restrained creature may make a DC 14 Strength or Dexterity check to break the restrained condition as part of a move action. A Lumberjack may only restrain one creature this way at a time. While restraining a target, the Lumberjack cannot attack any creature with its slam attack other than the one it has restrained.

Miner

Another Bragonian creation, these mechs were built to carve tunnels through the hearts of mountains. As a result, they are heavily armored to avoid damage from the debris their pickaxe and drill arms kick up. The feet of the Miner mech suits sport large scoops and can kick debris in several different directions to keep their path before them clear.

Drill Press The Miner may use this attack against a prone creature only. If the Miner makes a successful drill attack against a prone target, that creature is pinned to the floor and restrained. At the start of the Miner’s driver’s turn, if a creature is restrained in this way, the target automatically takes damage from the drill and the driver may still use its action to attack with the pick, cast a spell, etc. On its turn, a restrained creature may make a DC 15 Strength check to break the restrained condition as part of a move action. If the mech moves more than 10 feet from the restrained creature or attacks a different target with the drill, the restrained condition ends.

Scoop Kick The Miner’s driver may use the mech’s scoop kick as a move. The driver attacks a target adjacent to the Miner using its Mech Modifier and, if applicable, proficiency bonus. If the Miner hits, the target is pushed 5 feet and knocked prone.

Gladiator

The Gladiator is one of the first mech suits ever designed for combat, built by the dragonborn of Marrial. The Gladiator stands tall, is quicker than most mechs, and has an impressively long trident arm. The mech suit sports a second arm capable of launching nets into throngs of enemies.

Ammunition A Gladiator can hold up to 10 nets at once. During a rest the Gladiator’s net launcher can be reloaded.

Net Throw As an action, a Gladiator’s driver may launch one net. When launched, a single net covers an area 15 feet by 15 feet. Creatures within the net must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC = 12 + the driver’s proficiency bonus, if applicable). Those who fail the saving throw are restrained. On its turn, a restrained creature may make a DC 14 Strength or Dexterity check to break the restrained condition as part of a move action. A creature may attack the net, which has AC 5. If the creature causes 20 points of damage to the net it can itself or another creature free. A net which is dealt 100 damage becomes useless.

Destroyer

The heavily armored Destroyer is a bipedal tank designed by the empire of Bragonay. Its slow speed doesn’t hinder it as much as other mech suits, since it has a powerful cannon which can shoot a ball a far distance. For those creatures which get too close, the Destroyer has a backup defense – a mighty hammer arm.

Point-Blank If the Destroyer attacks an adjacent creature with its cannon it has disadvantage on the attack.

Ammunition The Destroyer can carry 10 cannon balls at once. During a rest the Destroyer’s cannon can be reloaded.

Explosive Shot Every Destroyer has a special space for a special explosive ball which can be loaded into its cannon. As an action, this ball can be fired with the same range as a regular cannon ball. The ball explodes on impact in a 20-foot radius and creatures in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC = 12 + the driver’s proficiency bonus, if applicable). A creature takes 6d6 fire and piercing damage on a failed saving throw, half as much damage on a successful one.

Pyro

Sometimes it’s all about making your enemies fear you. That’s certainly what Parian’s inventors had in mind when they created this mech suit. The armored Pyro mech moves through the battlefield, spouting flame out of one arm and hacking down enemies with the axe in its other.

Ammunition The Pyro can carry 30 alchemical charges at once. During a rest the Pyro’s flame jet can be reloaded.

Flame Jet As an action, the Pyro can be made to shoot a 15-foot cone of flame from its flame jet and creatures in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw (DC = 12 + the driver’s proficiency bonus, if applicable). A creature takes 2d8 fire damage on a failed save, and half as much damage on a successful one. The fire ignites any flammable objects in the area that are not being worn or carried.

Knight

Aeranore’s contribution to the world of mechs is the most expensive and powerful suit of mechanized armor Canus has to offer. The Knight is fast, super-armored, and ready to cut through anything with its powerful sword arm. Its heavy metal shield arm protects the driver and companions alike.

Shield Defense When a creature the Knight’s driver can see attacks the driver or a target within 10-feet of the Knight, the driver can use its reaction to impose disadvantage on the attack roll with its shield arm.

Sword Sweep As an action the Knight’s driver picks four creatures within 10 feet of the mech. It makes a sword attack against all of those creatures.

So there you have it. Remember, the idea here is that mechs are a sometimes food. As always, please let me know what you think, and if you haven’t yet, please fill out the survey below. I’m trying to see if I should turn all this hard work into something more. Thanks!

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