Minefield Mechanics

There are no rules for using mines in the books (as far as I am aware), and it just leaves it up to the GM.

Wordy explanation

To trigger the mine, in some situations, Threat could be used. In others, proximity. And in some, a (failed) Vigilance check. However, there is no set method, and the obvious are often lackluster in certain contexts.

Secondly, there is the question of setting mines. What is usually called for is a Mechanics check, determining both the mine’s damage and whether or not it triggers crits or other qualities such as Blast.
This is very sketchy to use, especially on a large scale such as with a minefield, and is not especially reflective of reality. Damage and severity is not caused by how well-placed the mine is so much as it is by the victim’s proximity to the mine among other variables.

So, I have a few suggestions for how to handle the two main circumstances in which you’d encounter mines:

First: Single mines, or at least a (very) small number of mines in predetermined locations, where it would be plausible to set each individually.
For this, I would suggest a Mechanics check to place the mine, which in this case determines not the damage etc., but rather the difficulty to notice/avoid it. There’d be a base difficulty (say, Average), modified by the results of the check. Success increases the difficulty once, and each subsequent two success increase the difficulty again (to a maximum of Formidable). Each 2 Advantage upgrades the difficulty once. Setback is determined by the GM, based on the surroundings (is it hidden on a wall, just around the corner, but in plain view? No Setback. Is it concealed in a pile of mechanical junk? 2 Setback).
Failure and Threat or Despair on the victim’s Vigilance check are spent like Success and Advantage or Triumph, increasing damage and activating qualities. This allows both the minelayer’s skill and the victim’s awareness to affect the final outcome, which I think works well.

Second: Minefields.
Here, I have two suggestions. One based on a conventional roll, the other based on “luck.”
Conventional: To lay the minefield, the acting character(s) must make a Mechanics check (Survival, Leadership, and Knowledge [Warfare] are acceptable alternatives) of an appropriate difficulty to lay the mines well. Threat can be used to leave some avenues uncovered, failure decreases the minefield’s efficacy by increasing its difficulty once. Triumph could be used to upgrade its attack roll, and 3 Advantage to add a Boost.
Then, anytime someone takes a movement maneuver inside the minefield, it (the minefield) “attacks” the character and rolls YYG against a base of Easy (at GM discretion, it ignores the target’s Defense).
If it fails, no mine detonates. If it succeeds, resolve like a standard combat check.

“Luck” based: This is the simplest and easiest, and my preferred method. The minefield is lain automatically with no check (or it could be rolled, but it would affect things outside the minefield’s efficacy). Whenever a character makes a Move maneuver within the minefield, he must roll a Force die. If it generates a LS pip, he’s fine. If it generates a DS pip, he detonates a mine and takes base damage. If it generates double-dark, he detonates a mine and takes base damage and either activates Blast or suffers a crit, at GM discretion.

Drawbacks to luck-based: A given character has a greater than 50% chance of triggering a mine. One way to adjust this would be to flip who’s getting “lucky” and have the mines trigger on light pips, and gives a greater chance that Blast/crit is triggered.


I had a minefield in a game once. I upgraded the relevant difficulties and ruled that any Despair result meant a mine had been triggered. It worked quite well.

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I like the differentiation between the single mines and the field. It doesn’t feel right to have an opposed Mechanics check for every range band (also the Imperial quality control is much better, so no eifference between the layed mines, just sayin… :smiley: )

I’m usually not a fan of luck based solutions (well
it’s a dice game, but you know what I mean), rather let the players roll. The minefield “attacks” the player though makes much more sense.
How do you come up with the difficulty? Generally YYG? I’d probably make it opposed to player Vigilance so they feel they have some agency over the situation.

I’m not entirely sure what you mean by that, but it’s a matter of how thickly laid and how unfortunate the stepper. So the minefield would have a universal “value,” but you might have different results from different rolls. Someone who steps just near enough to trigger it, vs. someone who steps in exactly the wrong place and takes the full force of the blast, etc.

The idea here is that the mines are buried en masse. The player’s abilities wouldn’t really come into play unless they have Farsight or something, in which case I’d have them make the check, then make a Coordination check or something to avoid any “attacks” from the minefield.

I gave it a base of YYG because it’s a fairly balanced roll (you see it quite frequently with Rivals) and gives the minefield a pretty reliable chance to hit and enough potential to trigger weapon qualities such as Blast or a Critical Injury. It could fairly conceivably be reduced to YY, which makes it a bit more of a toss-up, and allows a Triumph to add an Ability die with the upgrade. All to personal taste, of course.

As for the difficulty, Easy for the same balance reasons. It also gives greater flexibility to increase the difficulty without making it too ineffectual.

For more precise/detailed rules:
Minefields vary though; some are much more concentrated than others, and that could be represented by the base Ability of the minefield. Perhaps a base “cost” for a minefield, granting a single Ability die. Double that cost for two, and triple for three.
Then give a base number of upgrades based on a factor such as the skill of the minelayers (be that an arbitrary number or linked to an actual skill) or the result of the roll (such as one upgrade with a success, plus one for each additional 2 Success).

For my taste, for “NPC minefields” rather than those placed by PCs (or at the PC’s direction), I would simply set the pool (both positive and negative) to my tastes and ignore an initial check to lay the mines (leaving “open avenues” or the like up to PC narrative results on subsequent checks).

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I just meant that I would avoid a solutions that tests the PC everytime it makes a maneuver.


Everytime you move within a minefield, you risk setting off a mine.

True, I’m just afraid it becomes too tedious.
Hard to find the balance between the narrative and simulationist play.

Perhaps, but the goal is to make minefields really dangerous.
You could say “oh, base it off of Threat/Despair,” but then it allows someone to just run safely straight across without taking actions, while someone who stops in the minefield, doesn’t move, but shoots at the enemy could trigger several.

The intention would be that you do something to avoid running through a minefield, such as use the gravitic mortar, some sort of mine detector, use a jetpack, go around it somehow, etc. If everyone chooses to run across a minefield four maneuvers across, they’ll probably be incapacitated by the time they reach the other side.

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Yeah, that’s true.
I think I’m going to try the “minefield attacks” version. We’ll see how it plays out.

Thank you for the brainstorming!

No problem! I hope it works well for you.

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The way around that is to say, if they don’t cross with care theu automatically trigger one.
Make crossing with a care an active roll using Coordination (or knowledge Warfare, Mechanics, etc.)

The problem with making a PC the acting “character” is that they have no knowledge of the minefield’s layout (unless of course, they do, in which case it would make sense), and skill isn’t a factor. It’s more about luck and the thickness of the minefield.

Something to always keep in mind is the higher end of the power scale. While at the beginning of the game an Average Coordination check will frequently result in failure, when your PCs each have 4-5 Agility at a minimum and a couple ranks in Coordination since you’ve used this minefield trick before, you’re going to have to pump up the difficulty, and that makes it harder for others to cross the minefield.

If the minefield “attacks” then it’s consistent for everyone, and you don’t have characters who are better at “dodging mines” unless they’re simply lucky.

I suppose if it’s a Minefield they’re unaware of, the first one could be random, followed by further random attacks if they procees without care.
But after that you really should reward the player XP investment by letting them use their skills to then traverse it carefully.

Should I make it a Vigilance check to avoid getting shot by another character, to reward their XP investment?
This isn’t something their skill affects.

It isn’t like they see the mines laid out ahead of them and just have to not step on them.

There ARE various ways that their XP investments can help them in this situation, but not if they simply try to walk across the minefield. I don’t care how carefully they step, it’d still be straight luck if they didn’t get blown to kingdom come.
Appropriate scanner equipment, if they brought that, and Computers or Perception checks. Inventive ideas for avoiding it. They aren’t supposed to just walk straight across.