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Mechs / Mech Overview

Designing Mech Encounters

Source Tech Revolution pg. 92
Mech combat uses the same rules and functions on the same scale as most other Starfinder combats, such as using square-grid maps, means of resolving attacks, and more. As a result, designing encounters involving mechs is not substantially different from designing any other combat encounter. The following are some things to consider when designing encounters for mechs.
CR: PCs that are operating mechs appropriate for their level have an Average Party Level 3 levels higher than normal, and therefore are able to overcome stronger threats as a result; consider the following when designing encounters for mechs: First, mechs with multiple operators are typically highly maneuverable, capable of both moving and attacking skillfully. As such, slow-moving foes with limited ranged options are less threatening for PCs operating mechs that can often run circles around them. When presenting a small number of foes, consider favoring maneuverable or long-range combatants, or consider providing terrain or objectives that encourage the PCs to engage the enemy at close range.
Second, many mech weapons excel at attacking multiple targets at once, so mechs excel at fending off large numbers of lesser foes. Enemies whose CR are lower than the mech’s tier rarely pose a threat to the mech, unless they’re in large groups. However, using only a few mechs to defeat a small army (or a large foe with numerous minions) can be extremely gratifying.
Experience: Even though the PCs can overcome much more powerful threats than usual in a mech, mech encounters should provide a similar amount of experience to encounters appropriate for the PCs’ APL. Combat encounters the PCs overcome while using mechs typically grant experience points as though the CR of each challenge were 3 lower than usual. Do not reduce the experience points earned from challenges that aren’t substantially affected by the PCs’ access to mechs, such as story awards for performing heists or overcoming encounters without mech combat.
Space: Mechs are big. Huge mechs may be able to navigate conventional adventure spaces, but Gargantuan and Colossal mechs require a larger area to maneuver and fight effectively. When creating mech encounters, aim to provide each mech at least four times as much area to maneuver in than the mech occupies, and make sure any paths, halls, or other passageways are large enough to accommodate all of the combatants. Alternatively, if the goal is to create an encounter where the mech is forced to struggle to maneuver or engage foes due to restrictive terrain, consider treating the encounter’s Challenge Rating as at least 1 lower. An encounter in which the PCs fight an immense foe by exploiting claustrophobic terrain can offer fun tactical challenges!
NPC Mechs: Nonplayer character mechs are built using a different set of guidelines to provide a balanced encounter for player characters. See page 109 for advice on building NPC mechs.