D20 Mechanic: Techs
Tech is the general term used to describe abilities used by anyone played by the GM, with the exception of "heroic" NPCs and monsters that follow standard character rules (as a general rule, these will be few and far between).
Techs follow their own set of rules, and follow the same set of rules regardless of the origin of the ability: biological, trained, or supernatural. Given the amount of attention given to the differences between the Forces in Trinity for characters (and in lore), it may be jarring to use a monster system that - essentially - completely ignores those differences. Indeed, the very nature of this monster design methodology was originally geared towards a very different play style than one would expect given the nature of the player-focused material.
However, it is important to note that, while each player needs only be able to play their character, the GM must play the role of every other creature in existence. Especially in combat situations, the GM may be running anywhere from one very complex entity to over a dozen smaller, simpler creatures. It is therefore nonsensical for the rules of monsters to conform exactly to those used by players: while the two must be able to interface with one another (and do so fairly, from a mechanics perspective), the simple truth is that the mechanics for monsters need to be simpler for the GM to run to ease play.
That said, it is also important that the integrity of the lore is maintained. One would not expect an NPC mage to be able to reproduce abilities solely in the domain of epochents, nor archers use abilities that look like those used by berserkers. This system will attempt to account for that.
Each tech is a separate ability that you can add to an NPC or monster. They fall into the following general categories:
|Free||These abilities can be freely used with no restrictions.|
|Recharge||These abilities must be recharged before they can be used again.|
|Triggered||These abilities can only be used in response to some other action.|
|Limited||These abilities can only be used under specific conditions, or can only be used once in an encounter.|
Note that almost all creatures have at least one basic attack, which is not considered a tech. Some monster roles may have restrictions on the type of basic attack they can have.
Some techs have other restrictions; for instance, bloodied breath is only available to dragons.
Tech descriptions will typically refer one of three types of attack form: physical attacks, tech attacks, and force attacks.
Physical attacks follow the same rules as for players.
Force attacks are always of the same Force as the monster; if the monster has multiple Force alignments, each tech can have its own Force alignment specified (and cannot be changed).
Tech attacks are representative of abilities that are unusual, not physical in nature, but not Force-aligned; these abilities are typically things that a monster is capable of due to its physiology, instinctual behaviors, or has been trained to do such a thing.