Keeping the Peace - A small mecha for Harp SF

Copyright Clint Fell © 2017

Edited by Mario Butter for The Guild Companion

"The Peacekeeper was intended for urban riot suppression as well as combating Megacorp mercenaries and provocateurs."

In 2469 the Colony of MacBeth nationalized its manufacturing and enacted large tariffs in an effort to fight economic hardships. Megacorp manufacturers and trading companies with interests on the world objected to this… vehemently. The megacorps sent lawyers to the Terran Federation, mercenaries to MacBeth to protect their assets, and “PR specialists” to “inform and educate” the populace of MacBeth. The ensuing insurrections and riots prompted MacBeth’s government to produce the “Peacekeeper” model Walker.

The Peacekeeper was intended for urban riot suppression as well as combating Megacorp mercenaries and provocateurs. Peacekeepers were being built as quickly as one per hour at the height of the MacBeth insurrection, and it became a symbol of government abuse by the common people of MacBeth.

The MacBeth insurrection came to an end due to a disgruntled administrative assistant, a high level board meeting, a lot of household chemicals, and one very sharp pair of scissors. The provisional government installed by the Megacorps quickly sold all the Peacekeeper Walkers offworld in a gesture to placate their citizens and reduce the financial hardships caused by the coup. Now Peacekeepers can be found all over the Terran Federation.

A victorious mecha

Game Statistics

Peacekeeper Model Small Walker

Cost: 150000
Mass: 5 tons

Passengers: 1
Cargo: 0.3 m3 unsecured (125Kg)
Speed/Accel: 30 KPH
Energy: 3v
Weaponry: 1x +0 Medium Support Laser, 1x +0 Medium Machine Gun, Point Defense System
Features: AI “Co-pilot” Integrated on secondary computer system, Bio and Construct Sensor Suites, Point defense system can operate in either Dazzler mode for crowd control or normal point defense mode.

Init: -12
Hits: 12
Armor: 10
Shields: 0
EW: 0
PD: 10
Man: -7 (walk)

Endurance and Ammunition: 39 hours of continuous operation on a full charge. Medium Machine Gun carries 1000 rds of ammunition. Additional ammunition can be carried in the cargo. Every 150 shots from the Medium Support Laser reduces the endurance by 1 hour.

Peacekeeper Copilot — A.I. Militaristic Pilot (1)

EP: +16
PEP: -16
Init: +24
DB: 0
BMR: 2.8

RR Bonuses:
Stamina -25
Will +42
Magic -17
Electronic +48

St: 50 0
SD: 77 +6
Co: 50 0
Qu: 50 0
Ag: 50 0
Re: 71 +5
In: 66 +4
Pr: 61 +3

Talents: Pilot Level Bonus, Electronic Reflexes, Perfect Memory, Zero Sleep, Lightning Reflexes

Key Skills: Climbing (5) +25, CS&M: Combat Driving/Piloting (6) +34, Gunnery:Modern Direct Fire (6) +34, Weapon Skill-Support Energy (6) +30, Computer Operation (4) +29, First Aid (1) +14, Language: Racial (S) (6) +39, Language: Racial (W) (6) +39, Language: Other Racial (S) (4) +29, Language: Other Racial (W) (3) +24, Lore: Own Culture (1) +15, Lore: Cosmography (1) +15, Lore: Geography (4) +30, Perception (5) +35, Resistance: Electronic (4) +48, Resistance: Will (4) +42, Signaling: Sensors and Countermeasures (5) +34, Navigation: (5) +34, Armor Skills (2) +10, Endurance (2) +16, Jumping (3) +15, Swimming (1) +5, Stalking & Hiding (1) +11, Electrical/Communications Engineering (1) +14, Transport Engineering (1) +14, Weapons Engineering (1) +14, Air Pilot: Gravitic (2) +14, Driving: Walker (6) +44

Resistance: Magic (0) -17, Stamina (0) -25, Will (4) 42, Electronic (4) 48

Languages: Racial (S6/W6): 39/39, Other Racial (S4/W3): 29/24

Technical drawing

Author’s Notes

This is a very small mecha that can be used by PCs or NPC adversaries. It is small and inexpensive enough that experienced characters could realistically afford one, and should not pose a significant threat to unbalancing most games. I deliberately made this a single seat vehicle as an alternative to the one party one ship style of play, and if the GM and Players wished it, every member of the party could pilot their own mecha. Alternatively it could be used as more significant threat to a party on foot. The Peacekeeper packs a lot of firepower at the personal scale of combat, but does not have the defenses or Hits to be able to ignore personal scale weaponry.

The Dazzler option for the point defense system is a bit of liberty I’ve taken with the design. The point defense system makes sense for the design due to its exposure to tank buster missiles and mortar, but with the crowd control aspect of its original purpose requires a non-lethal option as well. So I envisioned this as a laser point defense system with a dazzler power and modulation setting. I did not adjust the price for this feature, but may look into what impact it would have for later designs.

The AI co-pilot is an idea I’ve wanted to use for a while now. The Harp SF vehicles rules can be a bit harsh on single pilot vehicles (probably rightly so) and with the availability of AI entities and fairly inexpensive computer systems this option makes sense. I suspect this could really help take some of the burden off many pilot characters and allow them to move, shoot, run the sensors, and/or engage the countermeasures that the pilot is too busy to do themselves. I intentionally left the co-pilot at 1st level to keep costs down and the focus on the main characters. The copilot is intended to be an assistant to the actual pilot and assumed to be “property” which fits with the default Tintamar setting. Even as property I would encourage Players and GMs to develop custom names and personalities for the Copilots, this adds a bit of flavor to the vehicle and increases player interest and attachment to their mecha.

I really enjoy creating and using these vehicle designs, I hope they can be of use in your games.