Thursday, June 17, 2010

Main Rulebook Addenda

These rules addenda supersede and expand on rules in the Heavy Gear Rulebook Second Edition.


5.4.4 - Creativity Skills (p. 60)

Delete Electronic Warfare.

Insert after Forgery.

Information Warfare

Specializations:  Sensors, ECM, Underwater Sensors, Coded Messages, Jamming
Often Possessed By:  Combat Pilots, Communications Specialists, Explorers

Information Warfare is a catch-all Skill that covers the myriad aspects of communications, sensor operations, electronic counter-measures (ECM), and electronic counter-counter-measures (ECCM).  This skill is used for detection roles, electronic jamming, and other similar activities.  It is also used in the design and breaking of codes used for communications between two parties.  This skill is essential in successfully operating a Trace-Buster-Buster-Buster.

5.4.7 – Knowledge Skills (p. 63)

Delete Communications.

5.4.8 – Perception Skills (p. 66)

Delete Sniper.


Add after 6.1.4 - Chance Tests (p. 99)

6.1.5 – Action Chips

In order to add a little extra drama, players will each receive one Action Chip at the beginning of a session.  Additional Action Chips may be issued by the GM as rewards for excellent roleplay, particularly good movie references, and other such circumstances.  Action Chips may, in rare circumstances, be taken from a player, usually as a reaction to shameless metagaming, out-of character action, or atrocious puns.

Action Chips may be spent in game in one of four ways:

1)  Action Chips may be used before an action to add one die to the attempt for every chip spent, increasing the chance for success and the possible degree of success.

2)  Action Chips may be used after an action to re-roll one die for every chip spent, possibly mitigating a botch, or slightly improving a result.

3)  Action Chips may be spent to affect the in-game situation slightly.  This use is difficult to quantify and largely depends on player/GM interaction.  An example of such a use would be when a player uses his Action Chip to convert the bartender from a complete stranger to an acquaintance from the old days.  Greater impacts require greater Action Chip expenditures.

4)  Action Chips may be spent as Command Points.

Players may pool their chips in anyway they please; collaboration in this manner is encouraged.

Action Chips may not be saved.  They accumulate during a session and expire at its end.

Add this section after 6.2.2 – Actions (p. 100) Leadership in Personal Combat

The Tactics and Leadership Skills may be used to enhance the abilities and response time of a group in combat. Tactics represents the training and experience that the characters have working together as an effective fighting force.  Leadership represents the leader of a group of warriors shouting commands and orders, organizing his group into an effective combat force.

Decide on a leader for the group — it can be any character. When combat starts, the leader of the group gets a number of Tactical Command Points (TCP) equal to the rating of his Tactics Skill plus his modifiers.

A combat group must consist of at least two people; a lone individual may not generate Command Points. Tactical Command Points may be used by any member of the combat group, but only in response to the active enemy (ie. rolling to Dodge an attack) or by himself when he is active.  Throughout a combat round, a character may never use more Tactical Command Points than his own Tactics Level.

The Tactical Command Point pool is a finite pool which does not refresh; once the Tactical Command Points are used, they are gone for the rest of the encounter.

In addition, at the beginning of any round, the leader may spend one standard action to generate a number of Leadership Command Points equal to his Leadership Skill plus his modifiers.  Leadership Command Points have the same effect as Tactical Command Points, but the leader must give them out (by shouting, hand signals, etc.).  The leader may not use Leadership Command Points but may use Tactical Command Points.

A group leader may not give more Leadership Command Points to a character than his Leadership Skill rating, per round.

Command Points

A character may use Command Points in one of three ways:

1)  One command point may be used before an action to add one die to the attempt, increasing the chance for success and the possible degree of success.

2)  One command point may be used after an action to re-roll one die, possibly mitigating a botch, or slightly improving a result.

3)  Two command points may be used at any time to take an additional action.  This may take the form of an interrupt or a follow up action.

6.2.10 - Burst Fire (p. 103)


Burst fire consumes 5 shots per +1 ROF in each attack (rather than 10).

Add this section after Walking Fire (p. 104):

Saturation Fire

A burst fire weapon (ROF equal to or greater than +1) can be used to saturate an area.  The weapon is put on full automatic fire and ammunition is emptied liberally in the target zone, filling the air with a virtual wall of projectiles.  Everyone who enters the beaten zone, crosses the firing lane, or who started in the beaten zone and takes an action suffers an attack automatically.

To perform saturation fire, the attacker chooses an area (up to 5-meter wide at the weapon’s Medium range band) to lay fire on,  then rolls his attack normally, except that the weapon’s maximum ROF is added to the result.  Attackers can augment the size of the area affected by spreading the projectiles around; this doubles the width of the area affected, but divides the Saturation Fire Threshold in half (rounded up).  Record the result: that’s the Saturation Fire Threshold.  Anyone or anything which enters that saturated zone or crosses the firelane later during the combat round must beat the Saturation Threshold or take damage. If the defender fails, the Margin of Failure is multiplied by the Damage Multiplier of the weapon and the resulting damage is treated as usual.

If the defender is already in the saturated zone before the attack and under cover, they cannot move this round unless they first pass a Willpower Attribute test against a Threshold equal to 2 + (RoF used in the Saturation Fire).  If they move from cover into the saturated zone, they will be attacked as above.  Defenders not in cover will be attacked on their action as if they had moved into the zone.

There are two limitations to Saturation fire: the saturation zone must be within the medium range of the weapon or closer and the weapon must use its maximum ROF, consuming the appropriate amount of ammo.. If the weapon doesn’t have this much ammo left, round up to the nearest ROF; the result still stands but the ammo magazine is emptied (5 shots minimum are required for saturation fire).

6.2.12 - Injuries (p. 105)


Add after paragraph 2:


Being struck by bullets is unpleasant in the extreme.  A character may be thrown off balance or simply bowled over by the transfer of energy.  Successful ballistic hits may knock the character down.  Roll an Agility test against a threshold of the Margin of Success of the attack + 1; failure results in the character falling to the ground.

Insert between Deep Wounds (p. 105) and Knockouts (p. 106).

Hit Location and Damage

Though it is often best to leave damage as a generic entry to keep play fluid, sometimes more details are required (for called shots, for example — see Aiming, section 6.2.7 for more). Different areas handle damage in different ways. If a limb is incapacitated it cannot be used in action or combat in any way.

Arms and Legs: An arm or leg can only take a certain amount of damage until it is incapacitated. Two Flesh wounds or a single Deep wound will render a limb useless (in addition to the standard Action Penalties). An Instant Death result is considered a Deep wound, but crushes or severs the limb. Ignore any additional damage aimed at an incapacitated limb.

Hands or Feet: An hand or foot can only take a bit of damage until it is incapacitated. A single Flesh wound or Deep wound will render a limb useless (in addition to the standard Action Penalties). An Instant Death result is considered a Deep wound, but crushes or severs the limb. Ignore any additional damage aimed at an incapacitated limb.

Head or Vitals: A hit to the head or other sensitive area (groin, throat, etc.) can be painful indeed. The defenders Wound Thresholds are halved (round up) for the purposes of these attacks. Armor still has its full effect, if it covers that area.

Add after 6.5.2 – Integration with the Tactical System (p. 118)

6.5.3 - Electronic Warfare

Electronic Warfare is a catch-all term for Communications, Sensors and various Electronic Countermeasures and tricks used to secure the war zone for battlefield command and control.

Communications, ECM and ECCM

Communications is used for transmitting Command Points, calling for Indirect Fire, artillery strikes and air strikes. Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) will interfere with enemy Communications, while Electronic Counter- Countermeasures (ECCM) will help negate enemy ECM and boost friendly Comms. For convenience, friendly ECM does not affect friendly Units, only enemy Units.

Every Unit has an Automated Comms value, representing its base Communications capability. Some more specialized Units have ECM or ECCM. Automated ECM and ECCM values are equal to the base Rating of the system if present. Crew with an Information Warfare Skill higher than the Automated ECM or ECCM value may add 1 to the Automated ECM or ECCM (or both) if the system is present, representing the crew augmenting the basic hardware and software. You cannot gain a level 1 in ECM or ECCM if the system is not present on the Unit, no matter what your crew’s EW skill is.

Using ECM and ECCM

ECM and ECCM are turned off by default, but may be turned on at no action cost at any point during a Unit’s Activation. Turning ECM or ECCM on means that the unit in question generates their Automated ECM or ECCM Rating until the system is turned back off.

There are times when you may wish to increase the ECM or ECCM values above their Automated Ratings. In this case, the EW operator must spend an action to roll Information Warfare and add the appropriate Rating. The result is the new ECM or ECCM value, which degrades by 1/round as opposing EW software or operators work to defeat it, UNLESS the operator spends an action maintaining the jamming. A Unit may attempt this multiple times a round, but they must take the highest result of all the attempts. If multiple ECM or ECCM values are on the field, take only the best value from each side for each system.

If there is no enemy ECM in play or the Automated Comm value plus friendly ECCM value exceeds the enemy’s ECM, then the Unit has Open Communications and no roll is required to Communicate with friendly Units. This means you may freely transmit Command Points, act as a Forward Observer and relay co-ordinates for Indirect Fire or call in support options such as Off-Board Artillery and Air Strikes. If the Unit does not have Open Comms, a Communications roll will be required to perform any of those actions or anything else that requires Communication. Roll Information Warfare plus the Comm Rating and the friendly ECCM value. If the total beats the enemy’s ECM value, the communication has successfully gone through. (Note the sender does the test, not the receiver.) Even though the communications test required a roll, it does not eat up one of the Unit’s actions. Active Comms may only be used to attempt to punch through ECM jamming once per Forward Observation or Call (Reserves, Air Strikes, etc.) Action. In addition, it may only be rolled once per Command Point transfer attempt.

Target Designators

If a Unit carrying a Target Designator has LoS to an enemy Unit, you can attempt to tag that enemy Unit with the TD. The nature of the Target Designator makes it much like Sniping with your electronics, and, as such, the procedure works like a cross between shooting and communicating. The Tagging Unit makes an Information Warfare roll, adding in the TD and Comm ratings of the Unit, as well as attack modifiers for movement. The Threshold is equal to 5 plus the enemy’ Defensive Movement modifier. If enemy ECM is present, it gets added to the Threshold and friendly ECCM will get added to the EW roll as per the ECM/ECCM rules above.

Roll: Information Warfare + Comms Rating + Target Designator Rating + Attack Movement

Modifiers + ECCM if ECM is present 

Threshold: 5 + Defensive Movement Modifiers + ECM if Present

If successful, the Targeted Unit is considered tagged. All Guided weapons gain a +2 to attack Units that are tagged (if using Indirect Fire, this is added to the placement roll, but not to damage). The test also serves as a Forward Observer call for Guided weapons only, allowing Guided weapons with Indirecct Fire to fire on the location of the tagged Unit without LoS. Any IF weapons that are not Guided would require a normal Forward Observation check. Units remain tagged until the end of the round or until they move, whichever comes first.


Hermes 72 - Heavy Gear RPG - Most artwork Copyright 2002 Dream Pod 9, Inc.