Interesting alternates -- have you used them in play? I don't tend to have much mech-vs-mech combat when I do things with DragonMech, so the chain tentacle hasn't posed these kinds of questions to me. Not until now, anyway.
Unfortunatly I haven't got a group to play in at the moment so these options haven't been tested.
I like the heavy Duty Chain Tentacle (but I would reduce the DC to 32), would you mind if i used it? I was hoping to do some thing similar after hearing some comments on the points raised above. In relation to those.
1. I didn't realise that no size bonus was used in the strenght check (found out that PHB defines a normal strenght check in skills section as 1d20 + ability mod), and with that in mind the normal DC of 28 is ok. But it raises the question of why the DC for binder barbs in Second age is so high at 34 (unless that is a modified check including size as those chains opperate more like a grapple?). Thanks to Flush master for pointing that out.
2. I didn't put this very well. I meant to say something more like this. As the weapon is based on a winch (abit like a fishing reel) an attacking mech has the opption to wind in a target, hold it at a fixed lenght or allow it to move away in a controled manner. As mechs are not dexterous enough to grab the chain and pull on it, the defender has no option to do anything except move. In the core book it says the defender can pull the attacker in on an opposed strenght check. I don't see whay it would want to do this or how it possibly could as it could not shorten the lenght of chain between itself and the attacker (by pulling on it hand over hand). As such I think that opposed strenght checks should have the following results?
On Attackers turn: Move action to wind in chain: Strenght checks
Attacker wins - defender pulled closer
Defender wins - No change, Defender and attacker remain in same positions. If check exceeds DC28, chain is broken.
On defenders turn: Move action to move or escape: Strenght checks
Defender wins - defender can move at upto half speed away from attacker, who must reel out that distance of chain. If 500ft appart then defender drags attacking mech in direction of choice. If defender closes with attacker, attacker reels in chain as normal and new strenght checks are needed to move away again (next round). If check exceeds DC28, chain is broken.
Attacker wins - No change, Defender and attacker remain in same positions.
3. I still think that the rule:
"A dragged opponent is pulled half its normal movement toward the attacker"
is strange as it means larger, faster mechs, are pulled in more quickly
I think the 4th paragraph in the weapon discription should read:
"The attacker must declare how he is using the chain tentacle before rolling his attack. On a successful spear attack, the target is chained to the attacker. The chain immediately tightens and the target may not move outside the radious of the attack range untill he escapes. The attacker can attempt to drag the defender closer with an opposed strenght check. If attacker wins opponent is dragged closer, a dragged opponent is pulled towards the attacking mech at a rate of the attackers speed minus half the defenders speed, minimum 10ft, per round. On their turn a defender can try to move away from the attacker or escape the chain. If the defender wins an opposed strenght check they can move at upto half their speed away from attacker, who must reel out that distance of chain. If 500ft appart then defender drags attacking mech in direction of choice. A defender can always choose to close with the attacker. If they do the attacker reels in chain as normal and new strenght checks are needed to move away again in subsiquent rounds. Even if the defender loses any of the opposed rolls, if his check is high enough (DC 28), he brakes the chain (leaving the weapon inoperative) and is free."
I think with these few little clarifications the chain tentical could be once of the mose useful weapons in dragon mech (especially with the addition of the heavy duty varient - bring on the city mechs)