Battletech Campaign Guide

Handling RPG Characters in Battletech Combat

This section contains general principles and concepts which can be applied to RPG characters generated using any system on this site to enhance Battletech game play. These rules are intended to increase the personalized feal of RPG characters on the battlefield and allow some of each character's strengths and weakness influence the flow of a battle beyond basic piloting and gunnery skills.


These rules provide alternative initiative rules for use with RPG characters in Battletech. When setting up a campaign, GMs should decide which, if any, of these rules will be in effect during the campaign and make sure all of the players are familiar with the new rules.

Personal Initiative
Each player character makes their own initiative die roll on 2d6, adding any appropriate bonuses or penalties based on the rules on this page, or on any additional RPG conversion rules which may be in effect. The GM has the choice of rolling individually for each NPC, breaking the NPCs down into groups and rolling for each group, or sticking with a single initiative die roll for the whole enemy force. Every unit on the board moves in initiative order starting with the lowest initiative and proceeding to the highest. Note that this system replaces the normal alternating initiative system used in regular Battletech game play.
Satellite Communications
A pilot whose battlemech is equipped with a sophisticated communications array/satelite uplink can improve unit cohesion and battlefield coordination.
Effect: The pilot must choose to use his comm array at the beginning of the turn. If he activates the comm system, the pilot's entire unit (up to company size) benefits from a +1 initiative bonus. While providing this bonus, the pilot using the comm array suffers a +1 penalty on all piloting and gunnery checks. If the pilot's battlemech suffers a sensor critical hit, the comm system is disabled and cannot be used.
Battlemechs that include such sophisticated equipment include but are not limited to:
  • Ostcout
  • Hermes II
  • Crab (SLDF Version)
  • Black Knight
  • Marauder
  • Cyclops
  • Atlas
  • Marauder II
There is no benefit to having more than one unit providing communications support for a single company. The communications bonus can never exceed +1.

Hero Points

The characters in a Battletech campaign are the main focus of the story being told. Hero points are designed to represent that 'special something', which separates PCs and major NPCs from the rest of the teaming masses of the greater world. In the Mechwarrior RPG (First and Second Editions), this is reflected as Edge. Hero points are similar, in concept, but work differently in practice. Among other things, Hero points serve to keep the capriciousness of the Battletech playing field from snuffing out a major character inappropriately before the story ends. Both player characters and NPC's can have hero points. It is assumed that all of the characters in the campaign are 'special' in some way. Only important NPCs should have hero points to spend.

All characters have a pool of hero points upon which they can draw. The number of points a character posesses is determined during character creation, or during character advancement. See the rules for the RPG conversion you have selected for more information on how to purchase hero points. A character begins each gaming session with a full pool of hero points. That is to say that a character who has three hero points may spend anywhere from zero to three hero points each and every session. Once a character has run out of hero points he or she must wait until the next campaign meeting for them to refresh.

The GM may invent uses for hero points as the campaign progresses. Similarly, there are a number of optional rules and special abilities spelled out in the various RPG rules on this site which require the expendature of hero points to gain some kind of effect on the battle field. This section provides a listing of general benefits which may be purchased during game play.

The standard uses for hero points are the following:

It is not normally possible for a character to have more than five hero points, however GM's are encouraged to award characters free temporary hero points for good role-playing or clever actions as play progresses. Such temporary awards can bring a character's hero point pool above five points, but any such awards are one time awards and do not carry over or refresh between campaign sessions.