Battletech Campaign Guide

'Mech Fu

This section contains a number of advantages that can be made available to characters in a Battletech™ campaign. These advantages are designed to personalize Battletech 'mech combat and allow players to get an advantage out of customizing their play styles. GM's are also encouraged to grant some special powers to NPC's to help them stand out from the pack a bit better.

The inspiration from these powers comes (loosely) from the Feng Shui™ role playing game. Readers familiar with that game system will find a number of the concepts presented here to be quite familiar. These advantages are analogous to the various schticks from that game. Like Feng Shui fu powers, most of these 'schticks' are organized into paths. You must take one or more of the schticks from the beginning of the path as prerequisites for the later schticks.


Cost: Like most things, schticks are not free. Worse, as in Feng Shui, the more you have the less free they get. The exact cost of a schtick depends on the game system you are using.

GURPS: A character created with the GURPS™ conversion presented on this site character may purchase any number of schticks. The cost of each schtick is equal to four plus the number of schticks that character will have after buying the new schtick to a maximum of fourteen points per schtick. Thus the first schtick costs five points and the second six. A character's tenth schtick and all schticks thereafter would cost fourteen points each. If a character purchases two schticks at the same time (for example, during character creation) compute the cost of the schticks as if they had been purchased sequentially.

A Time of War: I have not yet had a chance to read and review the rules for Catalyst's new A Time of War rpg, but I will update this site with new information when I have.

Limits: As of the time of this writing, very few of these schticks have undergone any playtesting. While I have tried not to make them seriously game-breaking, some schticks or combinations of schticks may prove to be too overpowering for most campaigns. In order to limit this effect, it is recommended that characters be limited. A green mechwarrior should be limited to 0-2 schticks, a regular pilot to 1-4, and a veteran pilot to no more than 5 'mech schticks.

In GURPS terms, a good rule of thumb is to limit a character to no more than one schtick per 30 character points. For example, a character that is built with 100 character points could have no more than three schticks until he or she earns at least 20 experience points and became a 120 point character.


A number of Battlemech 'fu' paths are described here. For the most part these are based on the world background of the Battletech universe or on play styles that have come up in Battletech campaigns in my local area. GM's are encouraged to experiment and to write up new paths of their own.

Path List:

Path of the Clenched Fist
Path of the Blazing Inferno
Path of the Graceful Behemoth
Path of the Roaring Avalanche
Path of the Careful Marksman
Path of the Glittering Rain
Path of the Hornet's Nest
Path of the Shadow's Companion
Path of the Soaring Titan
Path of Ultimate Mastery

Each path's description is accopmanied by a diagram which indicates the order of the schticks in that path. A character must buy all of the prerequisites for a schtick before he or she is eligible to buy that shchtick.

Path of the Clenched Fist

Some pilots just like to get in up close and personal. There is just something oddly satisfying about pummeling your enemy's machine into scrap in physical combat rather than picking them apart with lasers and missiles.

Special Restriction: This path is not available to trueborn clan mechwarriors without their GM's explicit approval.

Dextrous Kick
The pilot does not need to make a piloting skill check after missing with a kick attack.
prerequisite: none
Fearsome Punch
Normally a battlemech can perform two punch attacks in a single turn. Using this power a mechwarrior may choose to make only a single more powerful punch attack. A punch made using this power inflicts two points more damage than a normal punch from the battlemech up to a maximum of 11 points of damage. (i.e. a 100 ton battlemech only gets one extra point of damage.)
Prerequisite: Dextrous Kick
Flurry of Blows
The pilot may perform three punch attacks in a single turn rather than the usual two. In order to use this ability, both of the pilot's 'mech's arms must be functional, and the pilot may not fire any arm or torso mounted weaponry during the preceding firing phase. All three punch attacks inflict one point less damage than a normal punch attack. This ability may be combined with Fearsome Punch allowing the pilot one fearsome punch attack and one regular punch during a single turn. If the pilot chooses to do so, both punch attacks suffer a +1 penalty to hit. The fearsome punch attack will inflict its full normal damage, but the other attack will inflict one point less than normal. This schtick is incompatible with triple strength myomer.
Prerequisite: Fearsome Punch
Instead of performing a physical attack during the physical attack portion of the sequence of play, the pilot may attempt to block an incoming physical attack. To block a punch or club attack, the pilot must block with an arm. To block a kick attack the pilot must use a leg. The pilot may not have fired any of the weapons mounted on the limb in question during the turn in which the block is attempted. To perform the block, the pilot must make an attack roll. The difficulty of the attack roll is equal to the number the pilot would need to hit if he was making a punch attack against the 'mech whose attack is being blocked. If the check succedes, the attack is blocked. If the check fails, so does the block. A blocked attack inflicts half of its normal damage on the limb used to block it. Normally, the other half of the attack's damage is lost, however If the attacking 'mech weighs at least twice as much as the blocking 'mech, the attack inflicts the other half of its damage normally. (i.e. as if it had not been blocked.) A 'mech may only block an attack that is targeted at it; it may not block for another unit. A battlemech may block two punches, one kick, or one hatchet attack in a single game turn. Blocking two punches requires the 'mech to block with both arms. (One block per arm)
Prerequisite: Fearsome Punch
This schtick is similar to the block schtick, but rather than blocking an attack with a 'mech's limbs, the parry maneuver blocks an attack using a weapon such as a hatchet or club. A battlemech may parry a single kick, punch, or club attack each turn. A parrying battlemech may not fire any weapons which are mounted on the limb(s) which are wielding the club during the turn in which the parry is to be attempted. To determine if the parry is successful, follow the rules described for blocking an attack above. The 'mech receives a -1 bonus to the attempt when parrying an attack from an improvised club such as one salvaged from a rubble hex or a blown off limb. If the parry is successful, the attack is canceled and no damage is done. If the damage that would have been inflicted by the attack exceeds the damage that would be inflicted by a normal attack using the weapon that was used to parry, roll 2d6. On a roll of 10+, the weapon suffers a critical hit. If a battlemech parry's an attack with a built-in hand to hand weapon such as a hatchet or sword and the 'mech's pilot has the Flurry of Blows schtick, the 'mech may also make a punch attack with its other arm as long as all of the required conditions for making a punch attack have been met. (i.e. The battlemech may not have fired any weapons on that arm during the turn, etc.) If the pilot does not posess the Flurry of Blows schtick, the battlemech may not make any other physical attacks on the turn a which it attempted a parry.
Prerequisite: Block
Rock Crushes Scissors
Using this schtick a pilot may attempt to destroy an opposing 'mech's weapons using physical attacks. To do so, the attacker must first choose a weapon mounted on the target battlemech. The chosen weapon must be mounted in either an arm or a torso location on the target 'mech. Head and leg mounted weapons are not legal targets. The attacking 'mech must be inside the firing arc of the selected weapon during the physical attacks phase of a Battletech game turn. If the above conditions have been met, the attacker may spend a hero point to perform a Rock Crushes Scissors punch attack. Resolve the attack as if it were a normal punch attack. There is a +2 to-hit penalty imposed by the Rock Crushes Scissors schtick. If the attack is successful, the punch automatically hits the location which contains the target weapon and inflicts its full damage on that location. After applying the normal punch damage from the attack the attacker may roll for a critical hit against the location containing the weapon. If the punch inflicts less than five points of damage, subtract two from the critical hit roll. If the punch inflicted any damage on the internal structure of the target 'mech add three to the critical hit roll. Any critical hits caused by this attack are applied directly to the selected weapon. Any critical hits left over after the target weapon is destroyed are lost. A battlemech may not make any other physical attacks during a turn in which it makes a Rock Crushes Scissors attack. This schtick may be combined with the Fearsome Punch schtick, but doing so incurrs an additional +1 to-hit penalty.
Prerequisite: Flurry of Blows

Path of the Blazing Inferno

If you like pushing the heat scale and daring the dice gods to strike you down with an ammo explosion this path is for you. You know just how to angle your heat sinks to get the most out of them and you're absolutely sure you know the combustion temperature of autocannon propellant whatever that damn computer says. Well... pretty sure...

The pilot gets a +2 bonus on all shutdown checks that result from overheating.
Prerequisite: none
Redirecting the Coolant Flow
At the beginning of any turn a pilot with this schtick can declare that he or she is 'redirecting the coolant flow'. For the rest of the turn the pilot may elect to ignore either the first two points of movement penalties or the first two points of targeting penalties from the heat scale. During any turn in which the pilot is redirecting the coolant flow the battlemech's weapons generate one extra point of heat each when fired. Note that the pilot may not choose to ignore both movement and targeting penalties during a single turn. Only one benefit from this schtick may be used during any one turn.
Prerequisite: Override!
Maximum Cool
The pilot knows how to get the most from his or her heat sinks. When the battlemech runs it may dissipate one extra point of heat during the heat phase at the end of the turn. If the battlemech is standing in level one water during the heat phase it may dissipate an additional point of heat. The point of heat from running and the point from immersion are cumulative. The point from immersion in water is also cumulative with the extra heat dissipation water normally supplies to leg mounted heat sinks.
Prerequisite: Redirecting the Coolant Flow
Drastic Measures
The pilot may voluntarily destroy one heat sink on his or her battlemech at the end of the combat phase of a turn. Doing so will cause the battlemech to immediately dissipate three points of heat. This ability is used before the battlemech must check for shutdown or ammunition explosion. The heat sink that is chosen must be intact and contained within an undestroyed body segment to be used. If a double heatsink is sacrificed in this manner it dissipates five points of heat rather than three. No more than one heat sink may be sacrificed in this way in a single turn.
Prerequisite: Maximum Cool
Firestorm of Fury
The pilot may make a final furious assault. A pilot may only use this ability once per Battletech scenario. A pilot with the firstorm of fury schtick may activate it at the start of the firing phase of any Battletech turn. Once the firestorm of fury schtick has been activated the pilot's battlemech ceases to suffer penalties for overheating. There are no targeting penalties or movement penalties for the battlemech and the pilot need not make shutdown or ammunition explosion rolls. The battlemech must overheat by at least six heat points every turn or the firestorm of fury will end. Regardless of heat generation the firestorm will end when the battlemech reaches thirty or higher on the heat scale. If none of the other conditions for ending the firestorm are met, it will end after three combat turns. When the firestorm of fury comes to an end the pilot's battlemech seizes up completely. The joints fuse, the myomers start to smoke and smolder and the fusion reactor goes into emergency shutdown. when this happens the 'mech is out of the fight. It will take a minumum of two days for a qualified technician to replace all of the burned out circuit boards and actuator parts and get the thing back up and running.
Prerequisite: Drastic Measures

Path of the Graceful Behemoth

You wouldn't think 80 tons of hulking steel and ferro-ceramic armor could just dance out of the way of an incomming missile strike, but some pilots just seem to have the knack for coaxing their machines into performing amazing feats of agility and grace.

Special Prerequisite: A pilot must have a GURPS battlemech piloting skill of 18 or better in order to take any of the schticks in this path.

Nimble Movement
Once per Battletech game turn, a pilot with this schtick may automatically pass a single terrain-related piloting skill roll. This includes running down a slope, moving through water, moving through rubble, and avoiding a skid when running on pavement or ice. The pilot must decide whether or not to use invoke this schtick on a particular skill roll before rolling the dice.
Prerequisite: none
Evasive Maneuvers
During the movement phase the pilot may spend up to three movement points on dodging instead of regular battletech movement. For each movement point the pilot spends in this way, anybody trying to shoot at the pilot's battlemech gets a +1 to hit penalty. Unfortunately, since the pilot must spend the turn dancing about to avoid incoming fire, he or she suffers the same +1 penalty for each point of dodge used during the turn.
Prerequisite: Nimble Movement
Eyes in the Back of Your Head
A pilot with this schtick has an uncanny knack for knowing just when an enemy attack is about to strike and dodging out of the way at the last possible moment. To use this ability the pilot must save one movement point during the movement phase. That movement point can not be used for any other kind of movement or with any other fu schtick. During the shooting phase the pilot may spend that movement point after an enemy unit has declared fire against his or her machine. The effect of this is to give the chosen enemy unit a +2 penalty to hit the pilot's 'mech. No more than one movement point may be saved in this way in any given turn. If these movement points are not spent by the end of the turn they are lost and can not be carried over into another turn.
Prerequisite: Evasive Maneuvers
Resilient Maneuvering
The pilot may ignore up to two points of movement penalties that result from leg damage. For example, a pilot whose battlemech has lost a foot actuator could use this schtick to ignore the -1mp penalty that would normally result from the destruction of that actuator. If the pilot's battlemech has lost more than two movement points due to leg damage, only the first two are ignored. Apply any remaining penalties as normal. A Battlemech with no legs cannot move.
Prerequisite: None
Fluid Steel
To activate this schtick, a pilot must spend one movement point during the movement phase of a Battletech turn. That movement point is lost and does not change the battlemech's position nor may it be used to pay for other piloting schticks. During any turn in which this schtick is active the pilot may add or subtract one from any hit location roll made against his or her 'mech. This adjustment is made after the roll is made but before the attacker rolls to see if critical hits are scored. There is no limit to the number of incoming shots the pilot may re-allocate in this manner. This schtick may not be used to re-allocate a shot whose hit location die roll was either a 2 or a 12 on 2d6. This schtick may not be used against physical attacks. If the pilot's battlemech is hit by an attack that does not require a hit-location roll while this schtick is active, such as a precision attack made with a targeting computer, the attack suffers and extra +1 penalty to hit in lieu of the hit location adjustment. While this schtick is active, the pilot using it suffers a +1 to hit penalty when firing any weapon. A pilot may not make any physical attacks during a turn in which he uses this schtick.
Prerequisites: Eyes in the Back of Your Head, Resilient Maneuvering

Path of the Roaring Avalanche

There are those pilots who just keep coming. No matter what the enemy throws at them they just won't go down or retreat. These pilots often wade into the midst of the very thickest fighting regardless of the cost or the odds.

Inexorable Advance
During any turn in which the pilot is moving generally towards the enemy and expends at least the full walking movement allowance for his or her battlemech, the pilot is exempt from the penalties and piloting skill checks that result from sustaining twenty or more points of damage during the turn. Any other modifiers and checks apply normally.
Prerequisite: none
Advancing Thunder
During any turn in which the pilot expends his or her battlemech's full walking movement points he or she does not suffer from movement penalties that result from his or her own movement to any to-hit rolls made that turn. Note that penalties that result from the target's movement still apply. The battlemech may run and still gain this benefit. If used while the battlemech is running, this schtick reduces the +2 targeting penalty imposed by running to a +1 penalty. This schtick may not be used while jumping. The battlemech must move a minumum of two hexes forward to gain this benefit. (Moving backwards does not help.)
Prerequisite: Inexorable Advance
Intimidating Charge
During the movement phase of any turn the pilot may desegnate an enemy unit. The pilot must then move directly towards that unit along the straightest available route. In doing so the pilot must move at least one hex forward. Once all of these conditions have been met, the desegnated enemy unit suffers a +2 penalty to hit when firing at the charging machine.
Prerequisite: Advancing Thunder
This schtick may only be used with a battlemech which weighs 60 tons or more. A pilot with this shtick may move through building or woods hexes for one movement point less than the normal requirement, smashing aside obstacles as needed. When using this schtick to move through a building hex the pilot does not make a skill roll to avoid taking damage to his or her machine. Instead the battlemech automatically takes damage from the move as if the pilot had failed the usual piloting skill check. When using this schtick, the pilot's machine also takes damage from moving through woods hexes. Light woods will inflict four points of damage. Heavy woods inflict seven. Apply the damage as if the battlemech had tried to move through a building and failed the usual piloting skill check.
Prerequisite: Intimidating Charge
Avalanche of Steel
Normally a pilot may not fire any weapons when performing a charge attack. A pilot with this schtick may fire while charging, but is still subject to a few restrictions. The first restriction is that the pilot may only fire at the target of the charge attack. Second, all shots made while charging suffer a +2 to-hit penalty in addition to any penalties they would normally receive. (terrain, movement, heat, etc.)
Prerequisite: Intimidating Charge
Freight Train
This schtick allows a pilot to make a charge physical attack during the movement phase of a turn, and to continue moving after making the attack. To resolve the attack, follow the normal procedure for a charge attack with the following exceptions: First, the attack suffers an additional +1 penalty to hit. Second, the attack is resolved immediately during the movement phase, rather than in the physical attacks phase. Third, if the attack is succsesful, and the attacking unit remains upright, it may continue moving using any movement points it has remaining for the current turn. The first hex of movement after the charge costs one additional movement point, as the attacker recovers from the collision. This schtick may not be combined with the Flying tackle schtick.
Prerequisite: Avalanche of Steel

Path of the Careful Marksman

This is the path for aspiring sharp shooters. Pilots who follow his path are practiced at the art of precision shooting. They don't like to miss. They don't like to waste shots.

Special Prerequisite: A pilot must have a GURPS battlemech gunnery skill of 18 or better in order to take any of the schticks in this path.

Nowhere to Hide
If the pilot's battlemech does not jump during the movement phase of a combat turn, the pilot may draw his line of sight through one more hex of light woods than is normally allowed. In other words, it takes a combined +4 modifier to fire from forest hexes to block the pilot's line of sight rather than the usual +3. Note that the pilot still suffers the full to-hit penalty associated with the forest hexes when firing; this schtick only affects line of sight. Rocket Launchers, MRM's and flamers may not be used with this schtick.
Prerequisite: None
Walk and Chew Gum
A pilot with this schtick may reduce the penalty incurred by firing on multiple targets by one. Thus such a pilot could fire at two targets with no penalty but would suffer a +1 to hit penalty when firing at a third.
Prerequisite: Nowhere to Hide
Long Range Targeting
Normally a pilot suffers a +2 penalty to hit at medium range, and a +4 penalty at long range. This schtick reduces the pilot's range penalties to +1 and +3 respectively. This schtick provides no benefit during a turn in which the pilot's 'mech runs or jumps. Missile weapons may not benefit from this schtick. This includes Rocket Launchers, and ATM, SRM, MRM, and LRM missile weapons.
Prerequisite: Walk and Chew Gum
Nowhere to Run
A pilot using this schtick may ignore the first point of movement related to hit penalty caused by his target's movement. The pilot may only fire at a single target during any turn in which he wishes to use this schtick. The pilot's battlemech must not move during any turn in which he wishes to use this schtick. This schtick may not be combined with Artemis IV or NARC guided missiles.
Prerequisite: None
Patient Aim
At the start of any turn a pilot using this schtick may secretly designate a single enemy unit as his selected target. If the pilot does not move or shoot for the remainder of that turn and does not lose line of site to the designated unit, the pilot may spend the turn aiming at that target. If the aiming mechwarrior still does not move during the following Battletech combat round, he or she receives a -2 bonus to hit the designated target. A pilot may spend two turns tracking a selected target instead of one. In that case the pilot gains a -4 bonus to hit for one turn rather than -2. There is no increase in the aiming benefit for tracking a target for more than two turns.
Prerequisite: Nowhere to Run
Precision Targeting
A pilot can use this schtick during any turn in which his or her battlemech does not move. A pilot using this schtick may choose to aim high, low, left, or right. This choice determines which hit location table will be used when determining where the pilot's weapons hit the target that turn. If the pilot aimed high, use the punch hit location table. If the pilot aimed left, use the left side hit location table, etc. The pilot may only fire on a single target during the turn in which he uses this schtick. The pilot also suffers a +4 to hit penalty to all fire while using this schtick. If the pilot is facing the left or right side of the intended target, the pilot may only choose to aim high or low, not left or right. Missiles and flamers are not precision targetted weapons and may not be used with this schtick. LB-X Cluster munitions may not be used in conjunction with this schtick.
Prerequisite: Patient Aim
Cheat'n Range
The pilot is so amazingly good at precision shooting that he or she can hit targets from farther away than his or her weapons would normally allow. A pilot with this schtick gains a new 'extreme' range bracket. The extreme range bracket for a gun is equal in size to half of the gun's long range bracket. (minimum of one) For example, a PPC which has a long range bracket of 13-18 would gain an extreme range bracket which runs from range 19 to range 21. Round fractions of .5 or more up. The pilot's battlemech cannot move during any turn in which the pilot wishes to make use of the extreme range bracket. The range penalty for the extreme range bracket is +6. The precision targeting schtick may not be used at extreme range. ATM's, MRM's and LRM's may not be used at extreme range.
Prerequisites: Long Range Targeting, Precision Targeting, GURPS Battlemech Gunnery 22+

Path of the Glittering Rain

For those who are curious, this path was largely inspired by the cover art for the first eddition Mechwarrior RPG.

Scissors Cut Paper
A pilot with this schtick knows how to make shells tear through foliage without slowing down. Using this schtick, a pilot may ignore up to one point of to-hit penalties when firing any sort of autocannon, machine gun, or Gauss rifle through woods. Note that the pilot must have LoS to the target in order to fire at all. Line of sight is determined normally before this schtick is applied.
Prerequisite: none
Ride the Kickback
A pilot with this schtick has learned to correct his targeting even in the midst of firing a weapon. If a pilot with this schtick misses by one when firing an autocannon or machine gun, he can make a second attack roll. If that roll succeeds, the pilot may still apply half of that weapon's damage (rounded down) to the weapon's target. That damage is applied to the target as a normal hit. If this schtick is used with cluster ammunition, determine how many submunitions would have hit the target if the autocannon had hit normally and then apply half that number of cluster submunition hits to the target.
Prerequisite: Scissors Cut Paper
A Slug too Far
Unlike many other weapons on the modern battlefield, ballistic slugs have an appreciable mass; a pilot with this schtick has learned how best to use the momentum that provides by destabilizing an enemy 'Mech. For every full 20 points of ballistic damage the pilot inflict on a 'Mech, he may add a +1 penalty to the Piloting Skill check that the target 'mech must make to avoid falling down. If ballistic damage is inflicted on a 'mech by a pilot that has this schtick, it might have to take a piloting skill check to avoid falling down at the end of a turn even if it took less than 20 points of damage during that turn. The check is based on how much ballistic damage was inflicted with this schtick during the turn: 0-9: damage, no check, 10-14: check with a -1 bonus, 15-19, normal check. A pilot may not use this schtick during a turn in which his 'mech runs or jumps. This schtick may not be used in conjunction with cluster munitions.
Prerequisite: Ride the Kickback
Clearing the Jam
This schtick can be used to unjam a jammed autocannon. To do this the pilot must announce his intent to do so at the beginning of a turn. During that turn the pilot's mech may not jump or fire weapons. At the end of the turn the pilot must roll 2d6. Add two to the roll if the 'mech has an arm with a full set of operational actuators that does not contain the autocannon in question. Add one to the roll if the autocannon is arm mounted. Subtract two if the battlemech has no elbows. (Much like the Urbanmech, Rifleman, etc.) Subtract one from the roll if the 'mech runs during the turn. All of these modifiers are cumulative where applicable. If the modified die roll is eight or higher the weapon becomes fully operational. If the die roll is a two, the weapon suffers a critical hit and cannot be repaired until after the battle.
Prerequisite: Scissors Cut Paper
Rain of Brass
Using this schtick a pilot can push an autocannon well beyond its normal operating limits at the risk of jamming or destroying the weapon. This schtick allows a non-ultra autocannon to be fire twice in a single turn. An ultra autocannon can be fire three times in a single turn. In theory this schtick could be used to fire an ultra autocannon twice per turn like a regular autocannon, but it would be less reliable than firing it in regular ultra mode. The procedure for firing an autocannon using 'Rain of Brass' is the same as the procedure for firing an ultra autocannon in ultra mode. Unlike a normal ultra shot, a non-ultra autocannon fired using this schtick will jam on a die roll of 2 or 3. An ultra autocannon fired in this way will jam on a die roll of 3 or 4. On a die roll of 2, an ultra autocannon will misfire and inflict its full damage on the hit location occupied by the autocannon. To determine how many shots hit when firing in triple shot mode, roll on the 3 missile hit table. This schtick provides no benefit to rotary autocannons.
Prerequisite: Clearing the Jam
Torrent of Steel
When firing an autocannon in rapid-fire mode, a pilot using this schtick may add one to his or her role on the cluster hit table when determining how many shots strike the target of the attack. This schtick may not be used during a turn in which the pilot's battlemech runs or jumps. This schtick applies to any rapid fire autocannon attack which makes use of the cluster hit table, including ultra autocannons, rotary autocannons and autocannons fired using the Rain of Brass schtick.
Prerequisite: Rain of Brass

Path of the Hornet's Nest

Perfect Arc
A pilot with this schtick may ignore the +1 to-hit penalty that is normally imposed when firing missiles indirectly.
Prerequisite: None
Know the Path
During the movement phase of any turn a pilot with this schtick may desegnate an enemy battlemech to which he has line of sight as a target for an attack with this schtick. This declaration may be made at any point during the movement phase, even in the middle of another unit's movement. During the firing phase of that turn, the pilot may make an indirect fire attack on the designated unit even if there are no friendly spotter units that have LoS to the target. The pilot may not make any other attacks during turn in which he makes a 'Know the Path' attack. Furthermore, any such indirect attack suffers a +3 penalty to hit. This penalty may not be avoided in whole or in part with the 'Perfect Arc' schtick.
Prerequisite: Perfect Arc
Paper Covers Rock
A skilled gunner can arc LRM's over terrain with ease. A shot fired from an LRM rack using this schtick can ignore the +1 to-hit penalty imposed by partial cover. If the firing pilot elects to do so, damage inflicted by the attack is allocated using the normal hit location table and leg hits are applied normally. This schtick may not be used to avoid cover that cannot be arced over. For example, it provides no benefit against a 'mech standing in level 1 water. Any attack made using this schtick suffers a -1 penalty on the cluster hit table when determining the number of missiles which hit the target.This schtick may not be combined with The Swarm Converges, but may be combined with Artemis IV FCS, or NARC-equipped munitions.
Prerequisite: Know the Path
Stirring the Nest
The pilot has learned how to arm his missiles right before launching them when firing at close range. The decision to use this schtick is made during fire declaration. Some, all, or none of a 'mech's missile weapons may be used with this schtick during a given turn. A missile rack fired using this schtick suffers only half of the usual penalty imposed by firing at or below its minimum range. (round all fractions down.) The drawback is that if the player firing the missiles rolls a two on 2d6 when rolling to hit, the attack misfires and the full damage of the attack is applied to the firing 'mech as an ammunition explosion. (i.e. 10 points of damage for a misfired LRM 10, 15 for an LRM 15, etc.) Missile racks that do not have a minimum range gain a -1 bonus to hit when fired at short range using this schtick. STREAK missiles may never be used in combination with this schtick.
Prerequisite: Perfect Arc
Spreading the Pain
By widenning the spread of missiles fired by a missile rack, a pilot can improve the odds of scoring a hit in exchange for reducing the number of missiles that hit the target. When a missile rack is fired using this schtick, the attack gains a -1 bonus to hit but if the attack hits, the missile hit die roll suffers a -1 penalty. If the adjusted die roll is less than two, use the missile hit result listed for a die roll of two. The decision to use this schtick is made separately for each missile rack. It need not be the same for all of a 'mech's missile racks. This schtick may not be used with STREAK missile racks, but is compatible with artemis IV and NARC equipped missiles.
Prerequisite: Stirring the Nest
The Swarm Converges
A pilot with this schtick can program his missile launchers to fire in a tighter than normal pattern. This makes it harder to hit the target, but it means that when an attack does hit, most, if not all of the missiles will hit the target. When firing a missile rack, a pilot may elect to activate this schtick. Using it adds a +1 penalty to the to-hit roll but adds a +1 bonus to the attack's roll on the missile hit table if it hits the target at all. This ability may not be used with MRM's but it is cumulative with artemis IV FCS and NARC. The decision to use this schtick is made separately for each missile rack. It need not be the same for all of a 'mech's missile racks.
Prerequisite: Spreading the Pain

Path of the Shadow's Companion

Pilots who choose to follow this path are masters of stealth. They know intuitively just how to best hide their machine in combat and how to sneak up on the enemy at the most opportune time.

Hidden in Stillness
A pilot with this schtick is better at hiding his machine in cover than other pilots are. As long as the pilot's battlemech occupies a hex that provides some measure of cover (penalty to hit), enemy units firing on the pilot's 'mech suffer an additional +1 penalty to hit over and above the normal penalties they would suffer for shooting at a 'mech in that hex. In order to gain this benefit, the pilot may not expend more than half of his 'mech's walking movement points (rounded up) during the movement phase and may not use jump movement at all.
Prerequisite: None
Squirrel's Shelter
A pilot with this schtick is a master of hiding among the trees. Two hexes of light woods or one hex of heavy woods will block line of sight to the pilot's 'mech rather than the usual three hexes of light woods. While using this schtick, pilot's battlemech may not jump. Furthermore, all of the pilot's attacks suffer a +1 penalty to hit while this schtick is in effect. If a pilot with the Nowhere to Hide schtick attacks a pilot with the Squirrel's Shelter schtick, use the normal Battletech rules regarding line of sight. The two schticks cancel each other.
Prerequisite: Hidden in Stillness
Living Cover
The pilot has learned to use his enemies as a form of living cover. To use this schtick a pilot must desegnate on enemy battlemech during the movement phase of a Battletech turn. Any unit firing at the pilot's machine suffers a +1 penalty to hit if their LoS to the pilot's machine passes through the designated unit. This penalty is cumulative with penalties imposed by other 'mech schticks. Should an attack against a 'mech that is piloted using this schtick fail as a result of this schtick (i.e. If the attack roll is one less than the number it needed to hit.) the attack will hit the the 'mech designated as cover instead of the attack's intended target. Resolve the damage of the attack as normal. While using this schtick a pilot suffers a +2 penalty to hit when firing at any target other than the unit designated as cover using this schtick.
Prerequisite: Squirrel's Shelter
A pilot with this schtick has mastered the art of hiding in his or her opponent's psychological blindspot on the battlefield. Once per Battletech game turn, a pilot with this schtick may designate a single enemy unit and attempt to enter that opponent's blindspot. This action is taken after all movement for the turn is complete but before reactionary actions such as turret and torso adjustments take place. The blindspot pilot's 'mech must be outside of the designated enemy's forward firing arc for this schtick to be effective. The blindspot pilot must then roll 2d6+1 while the pilot of the designated unit must roll 2d6. Subtract the blindspot pilot's Battletech piloting skill from his roll and subtract the target's Battletech gunnery skill from the target's roll. If the blindspot pilot's modified die roll is higher than the target unit's modified die roll, the blindspot pilot has successfully hidden from that unit. The designated enemy may not fire upon an enemy that is hidden from it or act as a spotter for indirect LRM or artillery fire targeted at the hidden unit. This effect wears off at the beginning of the following Battletech game turn. Once a pilot has successfully hidden from a particular enemy unit, he or she cannot hide from it again during the next two game turns. Infantry units of all kinds are immune to this schtick.
Prerequisite: Living Cover
Hidden in Plain Sight
This schtick is a more advanced form of blindspot. A pilot may activate this schtick during any turn in which no opposing unit can draw line of sight to his or her 'mech. Once activated this schtick will remain in effect until either the pilot ends it (voluntarily or by performing an action that voids the power) or until an enemy unit spots the pilot's 'mech (see below). While this schtick is active enemy units may not fire upon the unit that is hidden in plain sight unless they can spot it. To spot the protected unit, an enemy must have valid line of sight to the protected 'mech and roll less than the hidden pilot's Battletech piloting skill on 2d6. This roll is modified by any terrain between the spotter and the target. (Use the standard Battletech terrain modifiers.) Named characters get an automatic -2 bonus to this roll and a further -1 bonus if their GURPS™ IQ score is 14 or higher. All units within ten hexes of the hidden 'mech get a -2 bonus to the roll. Units within four hexes get a -4 bonus to this roll. Units which are more than fifteen hexes away from the hidden unit suffer a +2 penalty to the spot roll. If the hidden unit has an active stealth armor system, add a +1 penalty to the roll. These modifiers are cumulative. In any case, an unmodified die roll of two or three will always succeed. If the hidden pilot's 'mech uses more than half of its walking movement points (rounded up), jumps, or makes any kind of attack, the schtick will be voided instantly.
Prerequisite: Blindspot

Path of the Soaring Titan

In most cases a battlemech has the aerodynamic capabilities of a brick. Still, there are some mechwarriors who seem to have an uncanny knack for performing some surprisingly agile manuvers in mid-air.

The pilot's battlemech takes less damage when it falls. When calculating the damage the 'mech takes from a fall, subtract one from the number of level it fell. (to a minimum distance of 0 levels.) In other words, the 'mech will take the same amount of damage from a 0 level or 1 level fall. A pilot with this schtick also receives a -1 bonus to any piloting skill rolls he or she must make to avoid taking pilot damage as a result of a fall.
Prerequisite: None
This schtick allows a pilot to make substantial elevation changes without the use of jump jets. Using this schtick a pilot may drop down up to five levels in a single hex of movement while walking or running. The cost of the elevation change is only 1MP regardless of the height of the drop. The pilot must make a piloting skill check each time he uses this schtick. If the 'mech drops more than two levels in a single leap, that check suffers a +1 penalty for each additional level dropped in the leap (i.e. +1 for a level 3 drop). If the check is successful, the 'mech takes damage equal to its mass divided by ten (round up) distributed in 5 point groups using the front/back kick hit location table. If the check is not successful, the falls and takes damage as if it had accidentally fallen down the elevation change. The Tumble schtick may not be used to cushion a fall resulting from a botched leap. If the terrain at the bottom of the elevation drop is forest hex, water, rubble or rough ground, the difficulty of the piloting skill check is increased by +2. A 'mech which attempts to leap into water of depth two or greater automatically fails and falls.
Prerequisite: Tumble
Smooth Sailing
A pilot may use this schtick when jumping. When a pilot uses this schtick the to-hit penalty he or she suffers due to using jump movement is reduced from +3 to +2. The down side is that the 'mech's smooth trajectory grants enemy units a -1 bonus to hit the jumping unit. (effectively cancelling the +1 penalty which results from using jump movement)
Prerequisite: None
Flying Tackle
Using this schtick a pilot may execute a charge attack using jump movement points. A charge attack made using this schtick gains a -2 to-hit bonus. Work out the damage dealt from the attack and the final positions of the attacker and defender after the charge normally. If the charge is successful, defender must pass a piloting skill check to avoid falling. That check suffers a penalty equal to the attacking 'mech's mass divided by 20. (round up) Regardless of whether or not the attack was successful, the attacking mech will suffer a level 0 fall.
Prereqisite: Smooth Sailing
Flying Kick
This schtick allows a pilot to use a unique variant of the infamous "death from above" attack. The procedure for performing and resolving a Flying Kick attack is identical to that for a regular DFA attack except as noted below: First, the damage inflicted by a Flying Kick is equal to the weight of the attacking battlemech divided by 5 plus one. The damage inflicted by a Flying Kick is applied to the target 'mech as a single hit; it is not divided into 5 point groups like the damage from a DFA attack. The hit location for this damage is determined using the punch hit location table. The damage inflicted on the attacking 'mech is also applied as a single hit. (Use the kick hit location table for damage to the attacker.) The piloting skill rolls made by both the attacker and the defender after the attack suffer a +1 penalty in addition to the normal penalties imposed by a DFA attack.
Prerequisite: Leap, Flying Tackle

The Path of Ultimate Mastery

This path is optional. GM's should feel no guilt in prohibiting it. This is the path for the ultimate ace mechwarrior. To date only four warriors are known to have achieved Mastery of Self and three of them are dead.

[Ed. Note: The effects of this schtick are derrived from the Warrior trilogy written by Michael A. Stackpole. It's a little bizarre and quite illogical, but I have had a number of players who wanted to know how good they needed to be to be Morgan Kell or Yorinaga Kurita. This path codifies those powers into game mechanics.]

Special Prerequisite: In order to take any schtick in this path a pilot's battlemech gunnery and piloting skills must both be 30 or higher and the pilot must have fully mastered a minimum of two other Battlemech schtick paths as described on this page.

Mastery of Arms
A pilot with this schtick hardly, if ever, misses. When firing at unnamed characters a pilot with this schtick will always hit if his to-hit die roll equals or exceeds 4. This is true regardless of any heat, range, terrain or movment related penalties that the pilot might otherwise suffer. The pilot will always hit a named character on a die roll of 7 or better. If the number that the pilot needs to hit using the normal targetting rules is lower than the number dictated using this schtick, use the better to-hit number. Note that the pilot must have line of sight to his target to fire at all. This schtick may not be used with indirect fire.
Prerequisite: None (The pilot must be eligible to start this path)
Mastery of Movement
The pilot may move through difficult terrain with alarming ease and often manages to dodge incoming fire at the last moment. A battlemech piloted using this schtick may move through difficult terrain such as woods or water for one less movement point than the normal Battletech rules require. For example, the pilot could move through light woods or level 1 water for 1 movement point per hex or through heavy woods for 2 movement points per hex. Furthermore, any enemy who does not have the Mastery of Arms schtick suffers a +1 penalty to hit whenever they try to fire on a unit piloted with this schtick.
Prerequisite: Mastery of Arms
Mastery of Self
A pilot with this schtick has gone beyond merely mastering the petty mechanical details of piloting a battlemech. Such a pilot has begun to master the fusion of man and machine that allows him or her to transcend the abilities of ordinary warriors and become a truely fearsome force on the battlefield. Once a pilot has reached this level of mastery, even computer equipment begins to have trouble detecting and targeting the warrior's machine. TAG, artemis IV FCS, active probes, and targeting computers will not work on the machine piloted by a pilot with this schtick. In addition, all enemy pilots will only be able to hit a battlemech piloted by a warrior with this schtick on a natural roll of 10 or better on 2d6. Note that if an 10, 11 or 12 would not hit the 'mech using the normal Battletech to-hit calculations, that to-hit number should be used instead of the 10+ imposed by this schtick. Pilots that know the Mastery of Self schtick are immune to this effect. Named characters may expend a hero point (See the combat section for more on hero points) to remove this restriction for a single Battletech combat turn. Characters that have more than one hero point may do this more than once in a single scenario.
Prerequisite: Mastery of Movement
Superior Mastery
A pilot who posesses the Superior Mastery schtick is immune to the negative effects imposed upon him or her by schticks used by other pilots. For example, a pilot with this schtick may ignore targetting penalties imposed by scticks from the path of the Shadow's Companion or the path of the Graceful Behemoth. The only schtick that cannot be trumped by this schtick is Ultimate Mastery.
Prerequisite: Mastery of Self
Ultimate Mastery
A pilot with this schtick is the ultimate master of mechanized combat. A pilot with this schtick may cancel a schtick that is being used by another pilot. If that schtick has a continuous effect like Firestorm of Fury or Hidden in Plain Sight, that effect is ended. The maximum number of times a pilot may use this ability during a single Battletech scenario is equal to one plus the number of hero points he or she posesses. Each use of this schtick cancels one schtick for one combat turn. (See the combat section for more on hero points.) Note that the ultimate master does not need to spend a hero point to generate this effect.
Prerequisite: Superior Mastery

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