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d20 Future Tech Excerpt

d20 Future Tech provides you with gadgets and gear to add to that which you can find in the d20 Future supplement. Intended for use by both players and Gamemasters, d20 Future Tech expands upon d20 Future by presenting even more options for a futuristic campaign. More than just lists of equipment, though, this book presents guidelines for developing futuristic societies, generating nonstandard heroes (such as robots), and conducting combat using the kinds of weapons and vehicles available in high-technology settings. The excerpts below provide you with the contents of the book, some of the introduction for the book, expanded crew actions, new mecha combat rules, and statistics for the bomber, the sledgehammer, and the reaper.

For more excerpts, please check out the February 2006 Previews!

New Mecha Combat Rules

Standard mecha combat works in much the same way as combat between characters. Just as characters have many options available to them during combat, the pilots of mecha must be equally as versatile if they are to emerge victorious. All mecha pilots can use the following new rules in combat, and certain supplemental rules have been included for the Gamemaster's benefit.

Mecha Copilot Actions

Some mecha have a copilot cockpit, allowing another character to ride along inside the mecha and help operate it. Though the basic rules information on page 165 of d20 Future detail several potential actions for the copilot, the following section expands upon these. Each action's entry describes rules for use, including activation time.

Fire Weapons: As an attack action, the copilot can fire any of the mecha's ranged weapons. This action does not grant the mecha additional attacks. Each ranged weapon can be fired only once (regardless of whether it is fired by the operator or copilot). The copilot can fire only in the direction the weapon is facing when he takes his action, though he can delay his action to act simultaneously with the operator in order to fire in the appropriate direction.

Operate Sensors: The copilot can operate the onboard sensor systems (provided the mecha has any installed) as a move action. The copilot can use the sensors to learn any information they normally provide, making a Computer Use check as explained in the description of the sensors.

Aid Another: The copilot can use the aid another action to provide a bonus on one of the operator's skill checks. This action functions in exactly the same way as the standard aid another action; the copilot must make at least a DC 10 skill check with the appropriate skill, which provides a +2 bonus on the operator's skill check.

Emergency Repairs: The copilot can make emergency repairs to a damaged mecha to keep certain systems running temporarily. Using the Repair skill, the copilot can reroute power, shut down nonessential systems, engage autorepair devices, divert the flow of chemicals and coolants, and perform any number of small but useful actions that temporarily repair damaged systems. Whenever a mecha system or piece of equipment installed in one of the mecha's slots is damaged (either through critical hits or through intentional targeting), the copilot can attempt to return that system to functional status, if only temporarily. The copilot makes a DC 25 Repair check as an attack action; if successful, the damaged or destroyed equipment becomes functional for a number of rounds equal to the copilot's Intelligence modifier (minimum of 1 round).

Boost Weapon Damage: By funneling power to mounted weapons and increasing energy efficiency, the copilot can provide a temporary boost to one weapon's damage. As an attack action, the copilot makes a DC 25 Computer Use check; if successful, the copilot increases that weapon's damage dice by one step; d6 becomes d8, d8 becomes d10, d10 becomes d12, and so on. This increase in damage applies only until the next round; if the weapon is not used within 1 round, the bonus disappears and the copilot must once again take this action to boost the weapon's damage. This action can be used only on mounted weaponry and cannot affect carried, held, or thrown weapons.

Send/Jam Communications: As a free action, a copilot of a mecha with a comm system can send a transmission in the normal way. Additionally, as a move action the copilot can attempt to jam the communications of another mecha within a range of 1 mile. The copilot makes a Computer Use check to send out jamming static and data noise on all frequencies; to break through that jamming, the operator (or any copilots) of the targeted mecha must make a Computer Use check, with a DC equal to the result of the jamming copilot's original Computer Use check, otherwise no transmissions can be sent.

Provide Targeting Data: As a full-round action, any copilot of a mecha with a sensor system can provide targeting data for the operator's attacks, revealing holes in the enemy's defenses or weaknesses in its armor. The copilot makes a DC 15 Computer Use check to provide a +2 equipment bonus on the operator's attack rolls this round.

Throwing Large Objects

As towering juggernauts that dwarf even buildings, mecha can pick up and hurl large objects as improvised weapons. In urban environments, mecha fling vehicles and even chunks of destroyed buildings at their opponents; in less-developed areas, pieces of earth and stone are equally suitable. Throwing large objects is similar to using any thrown weapon in character combat: The mecha must first pick up the object, and then make a ranged attack against an enemy. The differences in character and mecha combat become evident both in the range of these objects and in the damage they deal.

First, the mecha must be at least one size category larger than the target object to throw it as a ranged weapon, and it must have an empty hand to grasp the object. Though objects that are the same size as the mecha can be picked up, they are too bulky or unwieldy to be thrown effectively in combat. The range increment of the thrown object is determined by the object's size and mass, and a thrown object can target enemies at a maximum of five range increments. The mecha then makes a ranged attack against its target, subtracting 2 from the attack roll for each range increment beyond the first, and if successful the object strikes its target and deals damage. If the object being thrown is two size categories (or more) smaller than the mecha, the mecha's Strength modifier is added to the damage.

Stationary objects, such as pieces of buildings or vehicles without drivers, can be picked up as a move action. If a vehicle or object is moving, the mecha must make a touch attack against that object to attempt to grab it. If the object is inanimate and has no pilot or driver, the mecha successfully grabs the object and can use it as an improvised weapon. If the object is a piloted vehicle, the mecha pilot and the pilot of the vehicle make opposed skill checks (Drive or Pilot, as appropriate for each vehicle); if the mecha pilot is successful, the vehicle has been grabbed and can be thrown, otherwise the vehicle escapes and can continue moving normally. Consult Table 4-1 for sample objects, range increments, and damage.


Object Size Range
Large mecha Large 30 feet 6d6
Motorcycle Large 30 feet 4d6
Small car Large 30 feet 5d6
Stone/concrete fragment Large 35 feet 5d6
Street lamp Large 35 feet 4d6
Huge mecha Huge 60 feet 9d6
Standard car or van Huge 60 feet 8d6
Stone/concrete chunk Huge 65 feet 8d6
Telephone pole Huge 70 feet 8d6
Helicopter or airplane Gargantuan 130 feet 11d6
Gargantuan mecha Gargantuan 120 feet 12d6
Tank Gargantuan 120 feet 12d6
Yacht Gargantuan 140 feet 10d6

Sundering Mecha Equipment

When two mecha are engaged in combat, they attempt to destroy the opponent's weapons and equipment to whittle them down to more manageable size. Though damaging mecha equipment in combat can be difficult, the loss of that object's use can be devastating. Similar to striking a held object in character combat, attacking a specific piece of equipment requires targeting a small portion of the opposing mecha's body. The character declares which piece of equipment is being targeted and makes a normal attack roll against that object.

The size of the mecha and that of the targeted equipment determine the object's Defense and hit points. A piece of equipment on a mecha has a base Defense determined by its size and slot; consult Table 4-2 for those values. Objects in the torso or back slots cannot be targeted for sundering, because they are usually tightly integrated into the mecha's main body and an attack against them would be like a normal attack against the mecha. The equipment's final Defense value is equal to:

Base Defense + mecha's armor bonus to Defense + pilot's Dexterity modifier + pilot's class bonus to Defense + any miscellaneous modifiers to equipment Defense

Armor bonus to Defense is not calculated into the Defense of any held object, nor in any touch attack. Any combat actions that would add to a pilot's Defense score, such as fighting defensely, also modify this number.

On a successful hit, the attacker rolls damage as normal, subtracting the equipment's hardness (determined by the material of the target mecha's superstructure) before applying the damage. When a piece of equipment reaches half its hit points, it is considered damaged and ceases to function, and when it reaches 0 hit points it is destroyed (see descriptions of damaged and destroyed equipment on page 170 of d20 Future). Most pieces of mecha equipment have a number of hit points based on their size; objects carried by Large mecha have an average of 30 hit points, objects carried by Huge mecha have an average of 60 hit points, objects carried by Gargantuan mecha have an average of 90 hit points, while objects carried by Colossal mecha have an average of 120 hit points. More fragile components (such as sensors and computers) might have half as many hit points, while sturdier elements of a mecha might have twice that many hit points. Damage dealt to a piece of mecha equipment does not subtract from the mecha's total hit points.


Slot Large Huge Gargantuan Colossal
Helmet 11 10 9 8
Visor 12 11 10 9
Cranium 12 11 10 9
Arms 10 9 8 6
Hands 11 10 9 8
Shoulders 10 9 8 6
Belt 12 11 10 9
Legs 10 9 8 6
Boots 11 10 9 8

Damaging Equipment Slots

When a piece of mecha equipment is destroyed (by reducing it to 0 hit points), that slot on the mecha can be further damaged in order to render it useless. First, the attacker targets the equipment slot, which must either have a destroyed piece of equipment or have no equipment installed in it. The Defense rating for this slot is the same as for a piece of equipment that would be installed in that slot. If the attack succeeds, roll damage as normal and subtract hardness (determined by the mecha's superstructure). Each slot on a mecha has the equivalent of 10% of the mecha's total maximum hit points (not its current total). Additionally, half of any damage dealt (after subtracting hardness) to a mecha equipment slot is also applied to the mecha's total hit points. Thus, if 40 points of damage are dealt to an equipment slot, the mecha takes 20 points of damage to its total hit points. When that slot reaches half its hit points, the slot is considered damaged; when it reaches 0 hit points, it is destroyed (see descriptions of damaged and destroyed slots on page 170 of d20 Future).

Blowing off Limbs

On occasion, destroying the equipment slots on a mecha will result in limbs being blown off entirely. When this happens, the equipment on those limbs is completely destroyed; new limbs and equipment must be purchased before they will function again. To blow off a limb, all the equipment slots on that limb must be destroyed; this means all hand and arm slots, as well as one shoulder slot, for the arms, and all leg and boot slots, as well as one belt slot, for the legs. Once all the equipment slots are destroyed, the limb is blown off. If a leg is blown off, the mecha falls to the ground and cannot walk or move until a new leg is attached.

Replacing a limb requires a Wealth check with a purchase DC equal to one-half the mecha's total purchase DC. Attaching the replacement limb requires 24 hours of work and a DC 35 Craft (mechanical) check. The limb comes with functional slots just like those on the original limb, though any replacement equipment must be purchased and installed separately.

Disabled/Destroyed Mecha

When a mecha reaches the end of its bonus hit points, it ceases to function. What happens to the mecha at that point depends on a number of factors. In all cases, the mecha is immediately disabled. The pilot can no longer use any of its systems, cannot move the mecha as normal, and cannot make attacks in the mecha until it is repaired. The pilot can still eject (if using an escape pod) or simply leave the cockpit and fight normally.

However, certain situations make disabled mecha considerably more dangerous to the pilot (and copilot, if there is one). Once a mecha reaches the end of its bonus hit points, the danger to the pilot increases. Not only does the pilot no longer have the cache of hit points to rely on, but also internal hazards can wreak havoc on the pilot as he tries to escape. There is a 10% chance of toxic fumes and gases venting from damaged systems into the cockpit, and a 20% chance of cockpit fires. Use the standard rules for toxic gases (using cyanogen gas from Table 2-5: Poisons in the d20 MODERN Roleplaying Game) and fires to adjudicate such situations.

On occasion, a totally destroyed mecha ruptures and explodes, dealing massive damage to both the pilot and any adjacent characters and mecha. Unstable power cores are particularly susceptible to this problem, though even the safest and most efficiently designed mecha sometimes explode. If a mecha reaches the end of its bonus hit points as the result of an attack that deals 50 or more points of damage (after subtracting hardness), the mecha explodes 1d4 rounds later, dealing 12d6 points of damage to the pilot and any copilots or passengers. Additionally, any characters, vehicles, or objects within 60 feet of the mecha take 10d6 points of damage (Reflex DC 15 half). Certain types of power cores deal more damage when exploding and at greater range, as described in each power core entry.

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