I created this 1-2-3-4 I Declare A Mecha War Trial to play, as a follow-up to the Behemoth Trial, in a solitaire let’s play video which you can watch on my video channel. This is a micro scenario of three Moments for use in the Warp Shell setting of Index Card RPG Core. Here’s how you can play this Trial. You will need Runehammer Games’ Index Card RPG Core and may also want Index Card RPG Vol 3.
1-2-3-4 I Declare A Mecha War
A plague of Behemoths ravaged the planet, showing up like cicadas, all at once, in many different places. The heroes are awakened from their merely robotic dreamtime into sentient Mecha consciousness by the attempt to process this overwhelming chaos. Each hero was sent out to battle a Behemoth and survived, where so many others failed and fell. After their success, each was brought to the same lab where they were augmented in some mysterious way, and find themselves together as prisoners being used for these experiments.
Setup: Create 5 Mecha bio-form characters in Warp Shell. Overcome all three Obstacles. If you are killed, you can be rebuilt; but will have your mysterious augments removed and will have all your parts and pieces abandoned as a failed project, dumped on a pile of other robotic trash.
The Last Behemoth: Target 10. Suddenly an alarm is raised, and you are sent into battle. The last Behemoth has been sighted heading this way. Once in position, you feel something strange happen. Each individual hero starts to be drawn toward the others, and arms, legs, even bodies begin to alter and transform. After much contortion and connecting, the heroes have formed a Giant Mecha, a vehicle with 5 chunks. Each player takes their TURN, using Actions whatever they are able; but all must move together as one unit. Defeat the Behemoth, a 4 HEART creature, who will charge in order to ram, and then continue to physically attack the Giant Mecha until one or the other is dead.
When the Last Behemoth is killed, the next Moment begins. Optionally, start a Countdown Timer for the next Moment. The Death Droid will target the Last Behemoth until defeated, and then go after the heroes.
The Death Droid: Target 11. Frightened Powers That Be, not aware of the Giant Mecha project, have sent a Death Droid to track down and destroy the Last Behemoth. The Death Droid, a 5 HEART creature, with one ranged weapon, was programmed to locate and destroy its target, which has now become the Giant Mecha. The Death Droid will attack at range until its last HEART, at which point it will attempt to close distance in order to ram.
When the Death Droid is killed, the next Moment begins. Optionally, start a Countdown Timer for the next Moment. The Giant Robot will target the Death Droid until defeated, and then go after the heroes.
The Giant Robot: Target 12. Like the proverbial spider sent after the fly, frightened Powers That Be have sent a Giant Robot following after their Death Droid, to destroy each other after dealing with the Last Behemoth. The Giant Robot, a 6 HEART creature, with 2 ranged weapons and 2 attacks, will attack at range until it reaches its final HEART, at which point it will attempt to close distance in order to ram.
The Giant Robot can overheat, just like the Giant Mecha heroes, so that unit also begins with a 1d6 Heat Counter.
Optionally, when the Giant Robot is defeated start a final, end of scenario Countdown Timer for an explosion that inflicts Ultimate damage to all Near units as the Giant Robot is remotely and completely annihilated by the Powers That Be. (Heroes better hope they are not overheated and stuck unable to move out of the blast radius!)
Conclusion: Managing to defeat all opponents, the Giant Mecha formed by all five heroes disconnects, leaving each in a daze on the battlefield. Teams of technicians come to collect you while you are incapacitated, unclear how the Giant Mecha augment is activated or deactivated, and return you to captivity in the lab while they pore over the data gathered from this field test.
This Trial uses the vehicle rules provided in the Speed Kills adventure from Core as a mechanic for a Giant Mecha battle. When ramming, treat each as a vehicle with HEARTS equal to CHUNKS, and visa versa.
Damage taken by the Giant Mecha is spread evenly across all players, through some function provided by the augment connection. Giant Mecha will remain a 5 CHUNK vehicle until it takes 5 HEARTS of damage, at which point all characters will disconnect and become individuals with 1 HEART left.
Optionally, instead, as the Giant Mecha takes each full HEART of damage, one character is forced to disconnect from the whole, becoming an individual with only 1 HEART remaining. Disconnected characters act independently, and cannot reconnect to the whole.
Optionally, as a unit, Giant Mecha or other, takes damage, its number of remaining HEARTS also determines how many CHUNKS count for ramming. Thus, the more damage a unit takes, the less damage it is able to inflict. Otherwise, each unit retains its full initial CHUNK count when ramming.
As Giant Mecha and Giant Robot fire their energetic weapons, they increase their heat levels, similar to the Dynamic Dice rule for Spell Burn. For example, using a Duranium Blade will not increase heat levels, but firing a Pulse Rifle or using an Energy Blade will. Place a d6 on each unit, set to 1. Each discrete energetic weapon attempt roll, whether successful or not, will increase the heat counter by 1.
When the counter reaches 6, the unit must make a CON check against the Target. Success will reset the counter to 1. Failure on this check will overheat the unit for 1d6 ROUNDS, during which time the unit is incapacitated, neither able to move nor take action.
If a character holds all actions for their TURN, decrease the heat counter by 1. If a character takes any action, but does not fire an energetic weapon, the heat counter neither increases nor decreases.