Unapologetically I tell you Exploration Age has mechs. In fact you may remember my original post about mechs which I created using the rules in the final D&D Next playtest packet. Well I’ve updated those mechs to fit into the official Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition rules now that we have all the core rule books.

So take a look at the excerpt from the upcoming Exploration Age Campaign Guide below and let me know what you think of these sweet, sweet mech suits.

This is in my workplace right now and I think of it as our mech.

Mechs

Mechs are special suits of mechanically powered armor which completely surround a single driver. Mechs are designed to handle tasks of manual labor and war. A driver inside the mech can uses its action to perform one of the mech’s actions and it can use its own movement to make the mech move. Getting into or out of a mech requires an action.

Destroyer

Large mech

Armor Class: 17

Hit Points: 150

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

The heavily armored destroyer is a bipedal tank. Its slow speed doesn’t hinder it in combat as much as other mechs, since it can attack a distance with a powerful miniature cannon arm. For those creatures which get too close, the destroyer has a backup defense – a mighty hammer arm.

Multiattack. The destroyer makes two attacks with its hammer, or one attack with its hammer and one with its cannon.

Cannon. Ranged Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, range 100/400ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Hammer. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 6) bludgeoning damage.

Explosive Shot. Every destroyer carries a special explosive cannon ball. The ball can be shot 100 feet and explodes in a 20-foot-radius sphere on impact. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creature who fail take 22 (4d10) fire damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage. Because of the sensitive way this ball must be carried, each Destroyer can only carry one explosive ball at a time.

Gladiator

Large mech

Armor Class: 16

Hit Points: 125

Speed: 20 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

The gladiator is one of the first mechs designed for combat. It 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.

Multiattack. The gladiator makes two attacks with its trident, or one attack with its trident and uses its Net Launcher ability.

Trident. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8 + 6) piercing damage.

Net Launcher. The gladiator launches a net 30ft. The net covers a 15-foot-square area. Creatures within the area must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or become restrained in the net. On its turn a creature use its action to make a DC 10 Strength to free itself or another trapped creature from the net. Dealing 5 slashing damage (AC 10) to the net also frees a creature.

Knight

Large mech

Armor Class: 20

Hit Points: 200

Speed: 20 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

The knight is fast, super armored, and ready to cut through anything with its powerful sword arm. Its heavy metal shield arm protects the mech and allies in battle.

Multiattack. The knight makes three melee attacks.

Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 22 (3d10 + 7) slashing damage.

Shield. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage and the target is knocked prone.

Shield Defense (Reaction). When a creature adjacent to the knight is targeted with an attack, the knight can impose disadvantage on that attack roll. The knight’s driver must declare the use of this ability before the result of the attack roll is announced.

Lifter

Large mech

Armor Class: 14

Hit Points: 30

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

This mech suit was created to do some heavy lifting. Anywhere physical labor is being done might have a lifter – shipping yards, warehouses, mines, forests, and more. The huge suits are equipped with two strong arms ending in claws meant for lifting everything from lumber to boxes.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8 + 3) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). The lifter has only two claws, each of which can grapple only one target.

Lumberjack

Large mech

Armor Class: 15

Hit Points: 50

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

This mech was built to aid in the lumber industry. One arm of the mech is a mechanical saw. The other is a large, three-pronged claw made for picking up several logs at once.

Chainsaw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) slashing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). The lumberjack has only one claw, which can grapple only one target.

Miner

Large mech

Armor Class: 16

Hit Points: 75

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

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 sports large scoops which can kick debris in several different directions to keep the path before them clear.

Drill. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage.

Pick. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) piercing damage.

Drill Press. The miner makes a drill attack against a prone creature. If the attack hits, the target 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 it automatically takes damage from the miner’s drill attack and the miner may still make a pick attack. If the miner attacks another creature with the drill or moves to a space not adjacent to the target, the creature is no longer restrained.

A restrained creature can use its action to make a DC 14 Strength check to free itself from the drill.

Scoop Kick (Bonus Action). Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: Target is knocked prone.

Pyro

Large mech

Armor Class: 17

Hit Points: 150

Speed: 15 ft.

Damage Immunities: poison, psychic

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

Multiattack. The pyro makes two attacks with its axe.

Axe. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 6) slashing damage.

Fire Spray. The pyro shots a line of fire 100 feet long and 5 feet wide. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 33 (6d10) fire damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

Flame Jet. The pyro shoots a 15-foot cone of fire. Creatures in the area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. Creatures who fail take 33 (6d10) fire damage. Creatures who succeed take half damage.

Time For a Change!

Of course the way I’ve updated my rules for siege weapons and mechs now means that to operate them proficiency is no longer necessary. That means I’ve needed to update my original backgrounds. The demolitions expert, harvester, and tinkerer had proficiency in these bad boys, so I’ve swapped those for other proficiencies. The PDFs have been updated below and on the Free Game Resources section of the site.

Demolitions Expert

Harvester

Tinkerer

All Backgrounds

PDF

Speaking of PDFs, if you like these rules for mechs and want to use them in your campaign, they are now available in a downloadable PDF from the link below.

Mechs

If you want to grab this PDF at a later date, it will live in the Free Game Resources section of this site along with monstersD&D fifth edition rules modules, backgroundsspells, magic items, and more.

If you like what you’re reading, please check out my podcasts on The Tome Show, follow me on Twitter, tell your friends and share this blog post, and/or leave me a comment and let me know you think. Thanks!

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Comments
  1. riosps says:

    Yay! Mechs are back! Really like what you’ve done with the mechs, especially with how each has its own powers and fighting style. One thing I’m curious about, how do they take damage from spells? I don’t see that they have a Dexterity score, so would they use the driver’s? If so, would my halfling rogue suddenly make the mech able to dodge a fireball as opposed to the dwarven fighter? Seems like with the natural bulkiness of mechs, they should impose some sort of disadvantage on Dexterity saves and maybe advantage to Strength saves.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a good question and one I’ve gotten a lot on forums and such were I posted this article. I thought of the mechs as objects (like carts and carriages) so they don’t get a saving throw… but maybe they should. You can make a check with proficiency in vehicles (land) to do certain things. Maybe it should be a similar check or save?

      Like

      • joelastowski says:

        Ooh, or diff mechs could grant a bonus to diff saves. So a super strong mech uses the character’s saves, but adds a +3 to any Str saves, while a Mech built for speed (that you’d release in a future supplement) would give the bonus to Dex saves. And maybe a mech designed to assault the illithid nations would have special shielded cockpits that gave a bonus to Wis saves.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Nice! That’s a really cool idea.

        Like

  2. joelastowski says:

    Also, I know the original article mentioned how expensive mechs are (though the prices seem gone in your new version), but I think it’d be extra cool to pay homage to one of the greatest fantasy-based mech animes out there (Escaflowne) and require some mystical component (like the heart of a dragon) to activate a mech.

    Liked by 1 person

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