System Hack: Genesys Mecha Critical Hits

The pilots of Genesys Mecha clash against one another on the battlefield. An Ogo Rifleman sends fire tearing up into the sky as a Capax soars above it, launching missiles that slam into the older machine and topple it the ground. Suddenly more rifle fire catches the Capax in a crossfire as two Dacars move in to avenge their fallen comrade. One shot goes wide, but another slams home . . . and there are 3 Advantage on the dice, enough for a Critical Hit! So, what’s the result going to be? It’s time to grab a d100 and roll on the table, as we add the last basic piece of the combat puzzle and figure out Mecha Critical Hits in Genesys!

Now there’s nothing wrong with using the Critical Hit table on Genesys Core Pg. 230 for smashing your mecha to bits. I just think that, in a vehicle-centric campaign like Genesys Mecha, the Critical Hit table could do with a bit more variety. A Genesys Mecha game is going to spend most, if not all, of its combat encounters in vehicles. The same old twelve results will probably get boring pretty quick. There’s also the fact that some of the items on the Critical Injury table make a lot of sense when we’re talking about humanoid machines, such as limb loss.

Originally I thought I’d simply be plugging in more options to the table on Pg. 230 but . . . it’s kind of all or nothing, isn’t it? This is something I actually find I dislike about the rules as written: when components in the Vehicle Alternate Rules in the Genesys Core Rulebook become ‘Compromised’ they pretty much become useless, and seven out of twelve results land a vehicle with a compromised component. A compromised hull reduces Armor straight to 0, propulsion trickles down Speed to 0, that sort of thing. Several of those have their place towards the bottom of the table, but I wanted to introduce a little more nuance to it, some more room for things to get worse before they became truly dire.

So, what follows is a combination of the Genesys Core table, the Critical Injury table, the Vehicle Critical Hit table from Age of Rebellion, and a few brand new things to go wrong.

1 to 5 Easy Mechanical Stress: The mecha suffers 1 point of system strain.
6 to 10 Easy Jostled: A small explosion or impact rocks the mecha. All occupants suffer 1 strain and are disoriented for one round.
11 to 15 Easy Sudden Jolt: The mecha drops something hand-held (a weapon, a shield, a person, etc.).
16 to 20 Easy Off-Balance: Add 1 Setback to the mecha’s next skill check.
21 to 25 Easy Rattled: The vehicle suffers 3 system strain, and the occupants each suffer 3 strain.
26 to 30 Easy Gear Damaged: One piece of gear (weapon, attachment, hand-held, Built-In, etc.) the attacker chooses is damaged one step, following the rules for Sunder on Genesys Core Pg. 88.
31 to 35 Easy Knocked Off Course: A particularly strong blast or impact sends the mecha staggering or careening off in a new direction. On their next turn the pilot cannot perform any manuevers and must make a Driving/Piloting check to regain control. The difficulty of this check depends on their current speed.
36 to 40 Easy Shrapnel Spray: Chunks of metal blast back into the cockpit at deadly velocity. The occupants must make a Hard Resilience check or suffer 1 Wound, plus 1 additional wound per Failure on the check. 3 Threat or a Despair may be used to inflict a Critical Injury on the character(s).
41 to 45 Average Gear Destroyed: One piece of gear (weapon, attachment, hand-held, Built-In, etc.) the attacker chooses is Destroyed.
46 to 50 Average Bowled Over: The mecha is knocked prone and suffers 1 strain. If flying or in zero gravity, the mecha suffers 1 strain and is Knocked Off Course. Depending on Speed and GM Discretion, this may result in a Collision as detailed on Genesys Core Pg. 222.
51 to 55 Average Defensive Opening: Reduce defense in all defense zones by 1 until the Critical Hit is repaired. If the mecha has no defense, suffer 2 points of system strain.
56 to 60 Average Hamstrung: The mecha loses its free maneuver until the end of the encounter.
61 to 65 Average Damaged Propulsion: The mecha’s maximum speed is reduced by 1 point, to a minimum of 1, until the Critical Hit is repaired.
66 to 70 Average Power Fluctuations: The mecha is beset by random power surges and outages. The pilot cannot voluntarily inflict system strain on the mecha until this Critical Hit is repaired.
71 to 75 Average Discouraging Damage: Move one player pool Story Point to the Game Master pool (reverse if NPC).
76 to 80 Average Overpowered: The target leaves themselves open, and the attacker may immediately attempt another free attack against them, using the exact same pool as the original attack.
81 to 85 Average Defenses Down: Reduce defense in all defense zones to 0 until the Critical Hit is repaired. In the case of hand-held shields, those pieces of gear are Destroyed. If the mecha has no defense, reduce Armor by 1 until the Critical Hit is repaired.
86 to 90 Average Compromised: Increase difficulty of all skill checks using the mecha by one until the end of the encounter.
91 to 95 Hard Reactor Damage: The mecha suffers 1 system strain every time it performs an action.
96 to 100 Hard Armor Damaged: The mecha’s armor is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 0, until the Critical Hit is repaired.
101 to 105 Hard Crippled: One of the mecha’s limbs (selected by the GM) is crippled until fixed or replaced. Increase the difficulty of all checks that require the use of that limb by one.
106 to 110 Hard Maimed: One of the mecha’s limbs (selected by the GM) is permanently lost. Until the limb is replaced the mecha cannot perform actions that require the use of that limb. All other actions gain 1 Setback.
111 to 115 Hard Ruined Propulsion: The mecha’s propulsion is compromised (see Vehicle Components, on Genesys Core Pg. 221)
116 to 120 Hard Sensors Destroyed: The primary visual and targeting systems are taken out, forcing the pilot to depend on secondaries and sheer blind luck. All Gunnery, Clash, Vigilance, and Perception checks are upgraded twice until the Critical Hit is repaired.
121 to 125 Hard Armor Breached: The mecha’s hull is compromised  (see Vehicle Components, on Genesys Core Pg. 221).
126 to 130 Daunting Major System Failure: One component of the attacker’s choice is compromised (see Vehicle Components, on Genesys Core Pg. 221).
131 to 140 Daunting Breaking Up: The mecha begins to come apart at its seams, disintegrating around the occupants. At the ending of the following round, it is completely destroyed, and the surrounding environment is littered with debris. Anyone aboard the vehicle has one round to dive for the hatch before they are lost.
141-150 Daunting Reactor Critical: The mecha’s reactor begins to go critical. Unless stopped, the reactor will detonate upon the ending of the round after next, inflicting 20 Damage (Planetary Scale), Breach 5, upon everything within long range.
151+ Vaporized: The mecha is completely destroyed, consumed in a large and dramatic fireball. Nothing survives.

So, what do we think? What did I add that maybe I shouldn’t have? What did I miss that I should have added? One thing that could probably use a bit of more work is the order and Severity of some of the transplanted results, so I’m curious to see if others have any thoughts on the matter.

Many of these results sort of hinge upon the target being a (mostly) humanoid mecha: hand-held gear being lost, staggering about, the loss of limbs, that sort of thing. If I needed to address Critical Hits for non-mecha vehicles in Genesys Mecha, I would probably fall back on the Genesys Core version, or perhaps haul out the Age of Rebellion variety if I want a few more options.

So, this a pretty straightforward System Hack entry. Pick your pilots, launch your mecha of choice, and see what goes horribly wrong when your machine starts getting hit hard by the enemy. Let me know how things shake out (and how many pilots, upon getting hit with Reactor Critical, decide to accelerate to ramming speed). Next time we’re going to see what the really advanced machines can do, as the Super Prototype CHX class of mecha marches off the assembly line!

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