Something Creates – A Mech!

Okay! It’s been about two months since the last installment of Something Creates. I won’t go into too many details, but suffice to say that between my personal life and #PaizoAccountability my creative juices were stymied quite a bit. I can easily say that I am a supporter of the #UnionizePaizo movement though, and I’m hoping for the best for United Paizo Works and the company as a whole!

With that being said, today we’re going to walk through the steps of creating a Mech that is presented in Tech Revolution! We’re going to use RakTech as the manufacturer to sort of keep my world-building going!

PC vs. NPC Mech

It isn’t pointed out to readers until pg. 109 in Tech Revolution that NPC mechs can actually be built using a system more akin to the Alien Archive system of building NPCs in general. There are a few math changes pointed on in the step to put it in line with mechs still, but if a GM doesn’t want to keep super close track of MP for their NPC mechs and there is little chance of the PCs using the mech they should totally use this alternate system. Today though, we’re going to build one meant for PCs. 

Step 1: Conceptualize

A RakTech covert vehicle-to-mech thing. Think James Bond car, but a vehicle that turns into a mech. Although Jam12es Bond is a solo actor, let’s assume we’re making this for 1-2 6th level operators. 

Step 2: Allocate Mech Points

A few of the pre-built mechs have 1-2 operators. I tried my best to backward engineer a couple of them and it looks like when they have 1-2 operators they use enough MP to land somewhere in the middle of operator level being 1 more than the tier of the mech and there being 2 operators. If I was building this with a specific party in mind, I would adhere to the MP points, but when designing for an unknown, I’m probably going to strive to be a little bit more than a Tier 5 Mech, but not so much that we’re creeping into Tier 6 with 1-2 operators. The minimum is 90 Mech Points for a Tier 5 mech, so that is the benchmark we are working with. With the tier we can go across the table on p. 98 of Tech Revolution to get our most basic stats:

Tier 5
SP: 12 Hardness Bonus: +2
Base AC: 19
Base Save Bonus: +5
Base Attack Bonus: +9
Strength Modifier: +1

Step 3: Select Frame

If we’re going with a spy-type Mech, I know I want a Recon Frame. This will need to be able to move. I also want to keep some magic about it since RakTech is controlled by native outsiders that have innate magic talents. While the Skyspy frame has the perfect name, the Phantom frame is the one I’m going to go for because of the phase tag it has. 

The Phantom Frame gives us:
Base HP: 10; HP Advancement 7; Hardness 0
EAC +2; KAC +2; Fort +0; Ref +2
Speed 80ft.; Strength +2
Frame Slots 1; Aux Slots 4
Operators 1-2
Cost 2.5 * tier [12.5 Mech Points]

Step 4: Select Limbs

Lower Limbs

We already get a lot of speed from being a recon frame, so let’s go with Agile lower limbs:
Biped, Agile lower limbs gives us:

Base HP +0; Hit Point Advancement +0
EAC +2; KAC +2; Fort +0; Ref +1
Lower Limb Slots 0; Speed +10 ft.; Other Movement None
Cost 1.5 * tier [7.5 Mech Points]

Upper Limbs

While the assault arms look particularly useful, I’m thinking that this sort of mech doesn’t want to really be in any knockdown, drag-out fights so we’ll give it Precision Arms. Here we get a choice to an additional bonus to ranged or melee attacks with the precision arms, and for the base model we’ll give the bonus to ranged attacks

The Precision Arms gives us:
Hit Point Advancement +0; EAC +1; KAC +1
Upper Limb Slots 2; Melee Attack +1; Ranged Attack +2;
Cost 1 * tier [5 Mech Points]

Step 5: Select a Power Core

All Rakshasa have spell-like abilities, so we want the Aeon Core (although honorable mention to the Corpsegnawer Core). Also, note that core templates are a great way to show different manufacturers or origins for the mech. What this means to me is that it is a wonderful design space to really put a custom spin on a mech. I won’t be doing it today, but we’ll see in the future! 

I’ve looked ahead a little and I know that this mech will want to have plenty of power points ready to go for a quick escape. And like I said earlier, most operators won’t be interested in a brawl, so we’re not so worried about regenerating power points (not to mention with the Aeon Core template we can get some back that way!). All of that being said, lets go with a Mk. 4 Eternal Aeon Core.

This will give us:
Rate: 2; Initial 8; Maximum 17
Special: Once per round, an operator can expend an unused spell slot to grant the mech a number of Power Points equal to half the spell slot’s level, rounded down.
Cost: 10 Mech Points (Rate * Tier)

Putting the Basic Unit Together

Here, I think we have enough information to put together the basic stat block without any weapons, auxiliary systems 

Infiltrator Tier 5
Huge Phantom
Operators 1-2 PP 8 (2/turn, max 17)
Speed 90 ft.
Senses blindsense (vibration) 30 ft., darkvision 120 ft.,low-light vision
HP 45; SP 12; Hardness 2
EAC 24 KAC 24
Fort +5; Ref +8
Immunities construct immunities
Base Attack Bonus +9
3 slots (1 frame, 2 upper limbs)
Strength +3
Power Core mk 4 eternal (aeon core); Lower Limbs agile biped; Upper Limbs precision arms (+1 melee, +2 ranged);

Step 6: Select Weapons

When I started going through the weapons section, I really wanted some magical options. While I know that I can flavor just about all of these weapons as magical in one form or another, none of the options that we currently have scream “magic” to me. I’m really hoping that we get a few mech options in Galatic Magic, but I’m also not holding my breath simply because there is so much more Galatic Magic can cover besides a new subsystem that was released in the previous book. 

Weapons in my opinion are the part that is really going to be up to the operator if they have a choice, but with the “basic” model of this mech, let’s assume that we want to pack a wallop from a distance, but have at least 1 melee option should somebody get next to us!

We’ll go with the Plasma Rifle in the frame slot, Rotary Cannon in an upper limb slot, and for that melee, we’ll keep a Hammerfist. All told, these weapons will cost us 45 MP. 

Step 7: Select Auxilliary Systems

What is neat about these, it that most of them don’t cost Mech Points, but instead have PP cost when being used. Some of the more interesting ones have Frame requirements. Our Infiltrator will have a Recon Array, Cloaker, Teleport, and a Systems Jammer. These auxiliary systems are the reason I wanted to ensure that the mech had plenty of power points to stay flexible in their use. 

Step 8: Select Upgrades

This is where we spend our leftover Mech Points to further specialize our mech. For those keeping track, we’ve spent 80 Mech Points so far, leaving us with at least 10 that we need to spend. We’re going to give our Mech a Reinforced Frame, a Superior Computer (with the feedback countermeasure), and unbreakable armor. 

All told, this will bring our total Mech Point cost to 97.5 MP. That puts us over the minimum for our Tier, and about halfway to the Tier 6 minimum. That is about right where I want to be for something that can be used by 1-2 operators at the Tier that I wanted. 

Putting it all together!

After adding our weapons, auxiliary systems, and upgrades we are given our final stat block for our RakTech Infiltrator mech!

Infiltrator Tier 5
Huge Phantom
Operators 1-2 PP 8 (2/turn, max 17)
Speed 90 ft.
Senses blindsense (vibration) 30 ft., darkvision 120 ft.,low-light vision
HP 55; SP 12; Hardness 2
EAC 24 KAC 25
Fort +6; Ref +8
Immunities construct immunities
Base Attack Bonus +9
Melee Hammerfist (upper limb – 3d4+8 B analog, penetrating)
Ranged Plasma Rifle (frame – 3d8+5 E&F line (100ft.); wound) or
Rotary Cannon (upper limb – 3d8+5 P automatic)
Strength +3
Power Core mk 4 eternal (aeon core); Lower Limbs agile biped; Upper Limbs precision arms (+1 melee, +2 ranged); Auxiliary Recon Array, Cloaker, Teleporter, Systems Jammer; Upgrades Reinforced Frame, Superior Computer (feedback), Unbreakable Armor


I’m really digging how customizable that any particular mech has the potential to have. While I wish that Tech Revolution had a few examples of a wider range of tiers covered in the 16 examples we do have, I don’t think it is an end-all-be-all situation. Each mech is going to be different based on each party. Coming from a published adventure running background, I hope to see mechs put into future adventures but I hope opportunities for groups to customize before using them is written into the adventure because that is where some great fun can be had!

Next installment, I’m hoping to tackle the vehicle side of the RakTech Infiltrator!

Andrew Sturtevant

I have two bachelor degrees, one in Psychology, the other in Computer Science. I've been playing some version of D&D, Pathfinder or Starfinder since about 2000 when my Dad started teaching me. I've been GMing for most of that time as well. I am active in the Organized Play Foundation as a volunteer and organizer, along with volunteering to help my fellow military spouses as a Key Spouse.