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Magic Items & Mechs

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:37 pm
by Raptor
This thread is going to be dedicated to what magical items are most & least useful to build into mechs, and some suggestions for rules adapting some items for mechs. Each Post will be for 1 general type of magic items (armor, wands, rods, etc).
The first area I will deal with is Armor.

Magic Armor

Posted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:10 pm
by Raptor
While you can't equip a mech with a magical suit of armor, the Mech Manual includes Mech Shields & Siege Shields. Siege Shields are an unusual case because they have to be used in pairs to have any effect. This means you need to decide that they opperate 1 of 2 ways: as 2 items for costs and effects (remembering that if 1 is destroyed the other is useless), or treat the pair as a single magical Item for costs and effects (that is +1 would only cost you 1000 thousand gold for both shields, but would only increase AC by 1). As stated in the Mech Manual, both types of shields are rarely used because of the amount of space they need, but with the right enchantments, they are much more worth while. With 1 of these on a smaller mech, combined with a pilot with the Mech Dancer feat, you could potentially get your mech's AC to around 20, instead of in the single digits.

Next we have the various special abilities you can put on a shield. Several of these are very useful on a mech. Animated shields are great as they can be added to almost any mech since they take up no space. Since "A character with an animated shield still takes any penalties associated with shield use, such as armor check penalty, arcane spell failure chance, and nonproficiency" I personally require the appropriate crew is still necessary. Arrow Catching is useful for protecting your crew from being sniped. Since any projectile aimed at a target with 5 ft. (the crew) of the user (the mech), only magical attacks can target your crew. Blinding shields are a great way to discourage boarders. Fortification shields, of the various types, are a great addition to the mechanical mech types, protecting agains crits. An Undead Controlling shield is a useful addition to a necromech, giving them control over an additional 26 HD of undead minions.

The remaining special abilities are fairly situational (energy resist, spell resist) but still useful, but there are 2 that are either unapplicable to a mech or are of reduced utility. Arrow Deflection is of little use, because it is usable only 1/round, can't effect exceptional projectiles, and requires a fairly high DC reflex save, which most mech have a low modifier. A Wilding shield is of course useless on a mech.

You could potentially convert any of the specific magic shields to a mech shield fairly easily. Simply subtract the cost of a masterwork shield of its size from the item cost, then add the cost of an appropriately sized masterwork mech shield. The most useful are the Absorbing Shield, Lion Shield, and the Spined Shield. A Winged Shield is useless as it's weight limits are to low to lift a mech.

Magic Weapons

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:40 pm
by Raptor
Probably the easiest magical items to integrate into a mech are magical weapons. Of course any weapon can benefit from the increased to hit & damage from an enchantment bonus, especially when trying to penetrate another mech's hardness. One area not covered by the rules is cost for larger ammunition, I personally recommend 1/2 the amount for each size category of the weapon over large, rounded down. For example, ammunition for a medium weapon would be 50 shots for the same cost as an equivalent weapon, for a huge weapon 25, gargantuan 12 and so on.

Special abilities that can be useful for both melee & ranged weapons are as follows: Bane weapons targeting Constructs (mechs), Undead (necromechs), or Dragons (lunar dragons), Holy weapons can be useful since most lunar creatures are evil. Brilliant Energy melee weapons & ammunition are great for attacking the crew of the mech directly (although don't forget they will have concealment).

In Melee specific abilities, If you've already invested in a mech shield, Defending weapons can be quite useful (especially in large numbers). If you have problems with Necromechs, a Disruption Mech flail or hammer could be just what you need. Dancing weapons can be helpful if you have more weapons than crew. Given their monastic heritage, many of the Iron Tooth clans member have levels of monk, and feats to allow them to pilot mechs, so a Ki Focus weapon can be very useful.

For ranged abilities, Distance is very useful allowing you to engage from truly incredible ranges.

There are a several abilities that although of use against monsters, will be of little to no use against enemy mechs. Energy & Energy Burst weapons, as their energy damage is applied seperately to hardness, and Wounding & Vorpal weapons have no effect on constructs.

Re: Magic Items & Mechs

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:04 pm
by Oaksoul Elite
I love the Brilliant Energy idea. What an amazing thought! I think I'd use something like the warmind's Sweeping Strike to deal with the enormous size of a mech-sized weapon. Maybe allowing an attack (with concealment) against up to all occupants of the mech (depending on the size of the weapon and the target mech. I'd have to adjudicate the matter on a case-by-case basis, but bigger sword -> more potential targets, and bigger target mech -> more spread out crews -> lower percentage of crew in one sweep. But there's probably still more targets in a larger mech).

Re: Magic Items & Mechs

Posted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:22 am
by cssmythe3
Heck, just empty out the water from your steambreather, replace it with holy water, and go vampire hunting!

Re: Magic Items & Mechs

Posted: Wed Feb 17, 2010 6:48 am
by Oaksoul Elite
cssmythe3 wrote:Heck, just empty out the water from your steambreather, replace it with holy water, and go vampire hunting!

...Dang, this isn't Facebook....