Squad leaders transform those under their command from individuals, into well coordinated units far stronger than the sum of their parts. Using their mechs to tear through enemy lines and establish unassailable beachheads, squad leaders are a sought-after asset on any battlefield.
Starting at 1st level, the squad leader gains a mech as described in the Mech Rules and Body Types section.
This ability replaces the coordinated strike and lesser strategies class features.
The squad leader’s bond with his mech has strengthened and reinforced his mental pathways and receptiveness, creating neural networks that can be utilized for other purposes as well. As a standard action, a mech pilot can join any number of willing targets into his collective (up to his limit, see below). The mech pilot must have line of sight to each target, each target must have a Wisdom score of at least 1, and all targets must be within Medium range (100 ft. + 10 ft. per class level). The collective can contain up to his Intelligence modifier or half his class level, whichever is higher. The squad leader is always considered a member of his own collective and does not count against this limit. If another squad leader is present when the collective is established, both pilots may be added to each other’s collectives and do not count against the total number of targets in the collective.
The squad leader can choose to remove a member as a free action on his turn, and any member can voluntarily leave the collective as a free action on their turn. Any member whose Wisdom drops to zero or who moves out of range of the collective is automatically removed. If a member enters a null psionics field, the connection to the collective is suppressed until the member leaves the field. A member who leaves the collective for any reason immediately loses any and all benefits they may have gained from being a member.
A squad leader is aware of the status of his collective and can, roughly, sense the presence of each member, although beyond telling if such a creature is still a member, this has no mechanical benefit until higher levels (see the tactician’s telepathy class feature).
A squad leader can manifest certain powers through his collective. If a tactician power specifies one or more willing targets (or is harmless) and has a range greater than personal, he can manifest this power on a member of his collective regardless of the range of the actual power. All other non-range restrictions still apply. He may manifest any power with the Network Descriptor this way, regardless of their actual ranges or targets. If he is capable of manifesting powers or casting spells from a different class (as is the case for a multiclass mech pilot), any compatible spell or power with a range greater than touch can also be used through the collective.
If a member of the collective dies, the member is removed from the collective and the mech pilot must make a Fortitude save (DC 15) or lose 1 power point for every Hit Die of the fallen member or be sickened for an equal number of rounds.
This modifies the standard tactician’s collective class feature.
Remote Interface (Su)
At 4th level, the squad leader gains the ability to graft unpiloted mechs into his collective, controlling them from afar. Unpiloted mechs are always treated as willing members of the collective. The squad leader can command the mech to take any action it is capable of performing by spending an equivalent action himself (for example, a squad leader could command an unpiloted mech to charge an enemy by expending his own full round action). Commanding a mech in this fashion does not provoke an attack of opportunity. At 7th level, the squad leader reduces the action cost require to command a mech by one step (full round > standard > move > swift > free), though he can never reduce the action cost required to utilize an immediate action. This would allow a squad leader to, for example, expend his standard action to command an unpiloted mech in his collective to charge (normally a full round action). At 10th level and every three levels thereafter, the squad leader may command one additional mech with each action he expends. Mechs commanded in this way must all take the same action (such as a charge, move, or attack action), but may have different targets or destinations. Mechs controlled in this way use the squad leader’s base attack bonus, feats, and skill modifiers.
The squad leader cannot command a mech whose hit die are greater than his class level -5 with this ability, except for his bonded mech.
This ability replaces the strategy class feature.
Bonded Unity (Su)
At 20th level, the squad leader can combine the power of unpiloted mechs currently added to his collective. The squad leader’s bonded mech must serve as the core of this unit, referred to as the “prime” mech. As a full round action, the squad leader can command a controlled mech currently adjacent to the prime mech to fuse with it. The fused mech is no longer able to take an actions, but the prime mech gains a bonus to armor class and saving throws equal to the squad leader’s Wisdom modifier, and a number of temporary hit points equal to one-half the fused mech’s current hit points. The squad leader may fuse additional mechs in this manner; each mech beyond the first increases the bonus to armor class and saving throws by +1, and the temporary hit points granted to the prime mech by an amount equal to ½ the new fused mechs current hit points. The squad leader may fuse up to three mechs to the prime mech in this manner. If the prime mech’s temporary hit points are completely depleted, the fused mechs automatically separate into the nearest adjacent square with ½ the number of hit points they had before fusing. The squad leader may command one or all fused mechs to detach as a standard action.
This replaces the master strategist class feature.
Arcforge: Technology Expanded © 2018, Legendary Games; Authors: Matt Daley, Michael Sayre.