Per a special request, here’s some information on Core Earth Mecha and Power Armor – and how to buy such things.
Mecha – essentially just oversized suits of Power Armor – are fairly well obsolete in the Core – and are either inert or relatively useless in many realms of the Manifold.
In the Core, genetic enhancements, advanced personal armor, force fields, and exotic systems, make many characters nearly as tough as an old-style Mecha without the drawbacks of being huge, clumsy, expensive, and an obvious primary target. Current military-style weaponry includes hand-held versions of most of the old mecha weapons at near-equal effectiveness – and a thousandth of the weight.
Serious military-style armor and weapons consists of layered force field and negative-energy spacefields and nuclear and antimatter-powered weaponry.
Still, there are a few things hard power suits and mecha can do better. Miniaturization is nice, but energy manipulation circuitry still has to get heavier as the power output goes up. That’s why Orbs still have hard-component cores. In recognition of this fact, here are a few special gadgets which can be built into the bulkier forms of armor – or sometimes into cybrenetic replacement parts. They’re far too bulky for use as implants. Still, for those who want such things, here are a few gadgets – and enhancements thereof – to add to their characters. As usual, these require the allotment of one or more ranks of the user’s relevant Gadgetry skill to the item(s) in question.
Augmented: +2 to effective Strength per level applied (12 maximum). Unfortunately, this augmentation does not add to the user’s innate DR.
Enduring: The suit provides (1) 10, (2) 20, or (3) 30 extra hit points and/or (1) +1 universal DR, (2) +2 universal DR, or (3) +3 universal DR.
Flight: (1) low-gravity thrusters, (2) can break falls (similar to a paraglider) and add +30 to Jump under earth-gravity conditions, (3) limited flight (like an ultralight aircraft), (4) high-speed flight.
Growth: (1) Large, (2) Huge, (3) Gargantuan. Apply standard size modifiers (the increased Str does add to DR) and bonus construct HP for size (30/40/60 HP). Arguably, this should “cost” a great deal more – and it may in money – but the sheer inconvenience makes up for the low cost in skill ranks. Any weapons built into armor get a free level of extra ammunition. Those built into Large armor are presumed to be two-handed models, those in Huge armor are presumed to be Heavy, and those in Gargantuan armor are both presumed to be Heavy and get a free improvement. Suits with Growth and Effector Modules or Force-Weapon modules may create suitably-sized weaponry (2d6/3d6/4d6 for Large/Huge/Gargantuan).
Insulated: The suit is insulated against a particular form of energy, gaining +5/10/20 points of protection against it which stacks with generic, strength-based DR. “Radiation” is a popular choice for those roaming the more desolate or war-devastated reaches of the Manifold.
Sensors and Communications: While Smartclothes sensors cover most systems, they have a very limited range. Using booster systems can extend their active scan/transmission range out to roughly 300/3000/30,000 feet for grades 1/2/3. For an additional +1 the user may add tight-beam and/or laser-link circuitry as well.
Weapon Enhancements can only be applied to weapons built into the suit, and include Extended Range [(1) double, and (2) quintuple] and Battery (1) (links five weapons together so that they can duplicate the effects of the Autofire enhancement, minimum size of Huge) and (2) (links ten weapons together so that they can all fire to gain either a +6 bonus to hit, to hit 2d4 members of a small group on a successful attack, or to inflict triple damage (against 3x the targets applicable DR, if any, critical hits only inflict quadruple damage, requires Gargantuan size), at the user’s option.
Growth is actually a throughly obsolete technology: why use masses of actual matter – which has to be maintained and repaired – when you can simply use reformable fields of energy which can be reconfigured and regenerated on the fly?