Evening the Odds Edit
One of the more unique combinations of magic and science is the EXO-Frame. These massive constructions are
essentially hollowed out that have allowed normal sized person to go toe-to-toe with a giant. Most are under the impression that the Dwarves developed these war machines to fight frost giants in their never ending rivalry in the north. However, even older models have been found in ancient elven strongholds that seem to serve non combative rolls, and appear to be far more advanced. The debate among scholars rages on to this day.
Most EXO-Frames today, are adapted and evolved from Dwarven models. Shath is a common fuel source for these constructs, and all sorts of variants exist today that serve rolls outside of combat. Dockworkers commonly use a variant to help with handling cargo, while construction guilds have put other designs to great use in build towers and walls.
While these constructs have revolutionised quite a bit, they still have their drawbacks from making them more mainstream to the everyday adventurer. While most will employ the use of an EXO-Frame against a hill giant, or a hydra, these constructs are also loud, expensive to maintain, and can be cumbersome at times.
On very rare occasions, ancient elven variants that are still intact or restored can be operated. These EXO-Frames are powered by a Maji-Crystal source, and are far more quiet and agile then their contemporary counterparts. However, engineers and mages alike have attempted to reverse engineer these marvels for centuries with very little luck. But some believe a breakthrough is on the horizon...
In Game Edit
In game, players may have the opportunity to operate an over sized suit of armour called EXO-Frames into combat, or employ them for other purposes. These constructs are designed to replace the physical attributes and AC of the one that operates it. Different parts such as the arms and legs can be switched out for other variants for different effect. For example, a sword arm can be replaced a cannon variant to added limited but devastating ranged attacks.
The following mechanics are suggestions for in game application, but feel free to change things out to suit your narrative.
STATS - Almost any type of humanoid creature can ride and operate an EXO-Frame. All the creature's normal Dexterity, Strength, Constitution, AC and HP stats should be replaced with the EXO-Frame they are operating. These stat changes should applied when attacking, dealing and taking damage, and saves that use the replaced stats. Skill checks should still use the player's normal bonuses.
START UP - All EXO-Frames will require an Intelligence check, or Knowledge Arcana to initially start up. Base difficult for the DC should be set to easy, but the more augmentation or other complex variants should increase this DC.
TAKING DAMAGE - When taking damage, EXO-Frames should be treated similarly to a Druid's Wild Shape ability. So when all of the EXO-Frames HP takes all the damage, and once it is depleted, any additional or continue damage will go directly to the operator.
MAGICAL BASED - All EXO-Frames are magical based, so players that operate them should be aware that spells such as Dispel Magic will cause the construct to "shut down". Players may attempt to use their full turn to reactive their EXO-Frame but at a higher difficulty DC.
RESISTANCES & WEAKNESS - Most EXO-Frames can be made or given kind of resistance to certain types of damage, but there are also inherent weaknesses. For example, because most are essentially a giant suit of metal armour, Acid damage should be a prime weakness with every 10 points of Acid Damage reducing the AC by at least 1. Players and Game Masters should be aware of this beforehand.
TOO MUCH DAMAGE - While the EXO-Frame is a mechanical marvel with an impressive AC, one of the biggest drawbacks is that too much damage can shut down the whole thing. Players should be made aware of how much damage their variant can take before shutting down and forcing them to use their turn to restart it, or escape. As example, if an EXO-Frame takes 25% of its total HP from a single attack, the whole construct will shut down.
Base Models Edit
The following are examples of models players can purchase, build, or find. These are meant as base examples with variants and different upgrades at the DM's discretion.
|Normal||N/A||DEX + STR + CON + AC||N/A|
|Fast||DEX||CON||STR + AC|
|Heavy I||STR||CON + AC||DEX|
|Heavy II||AC||STR + CON||DEX|