Thinking like a near future mecha pilots vs. cthulhu-type monsters game... open to suggestions for both setting and system. Any thoughts /tg/?
Sources of inspiration toward this idea so far:
CthulhuTech (I've heard the setting and system are both bad... which is why I'm asking for help with this)
It's bad but it's not *quite* as bad as /tg/ makes out. The fluff is okay… nothing grand but okay, a bit too much edgy but nothing out of place. The system is serviceable if nothing amazing It's not FATAL bad.
The only major problem is how broken the power level is of the different classes. There is no over lap. Your players either all need to be taggers or no ones is.
But if your looking for a cthulhu vs robo tech game it will do the job.
Cthulhutech isn't that bad. There's issues, yes, but mostly they're easy to handle. The only thing you can't do, that breaks everything utterly, is something it straight up warns you about: Do. Not. Mix. Splats. Taggers will laugh at anything but other Taggers. Mechs step on anything not on mech scale like they're ants. The... shit, the Evangelion expies, whatever they're called, the shit on anything, including most mechs.
Except that even though they claim inspiration from Macross for part of the setting, the only part that resembles Macross is their Zentraedi knockoffs.
WHERE THE FUCK IS MY VALKYRIE, CTHULHUTECH?!
The system is awful but you could easily salvage the setting for any system of your choice.
Hell, you could pick up BRP Mecha and just play it in the actual Call of Cthulhu system.
Battle Century G is exactly what you're looking for.
Not only are there pilot-scale magic abilities and sanity damage subrules, but more importantly, it covers the gamut of mecha genres, and can easily support biological enemies, as well as enemies that break the rules and do crazy shit.
I had the joy of playing a Ctech game in BCG where we houserules a 'mythos' skill(that caused damage like a miracle) using Resources as the key stat, and it worked fairly well.
It's easy for players to pick up, the rules are clear-cut, and it is made for fast, furious combat.
Here's a link!
They don't claim inspiration from Macross, they claim inspiration from ROBOTECH. A miss mash of works with no prior connection to each other.
So yeah Cthulhu Tech….
Any when i'd if you don't want to make to much work for yourself OP i'd go for Heavy Gear, it's straight forwards but tactical as hell.
For what you described you do want CthulhuTech. It's not nearly as bad as /tg/ makes it out to be. It's a fine game, just not a great one.
And it has some great art.
In my experience, the best system to run mecha combat in is 4e, with your 4e combat mechanics representing your mecha, and your role-play representing your pilot (possibly with a rules light system tacked on if you HAVE to.) People's biggest complaint about it is that it's essentially watered-down mech-warrior with magic lasers, but that's kind-of exactly what you want.
I've done this and had fun.
Paragon Paths? They're your obligatory mid-series upgrades.
Epic Destinies? They're your movie/OVA finale mech, the crazy OP bullshit that you pull out when you're fighting apocalypse tier enemies like the ELS.
>mecha vs Lovecraftian horrors
I'm surprised that Demonbane wasn't mentioned as an inspiration.
These people are lying CthulhuTech is exactly as bad as everyone says it is.
Its a bloated system that has way too many complicated rules and ideas crammed together in a twisted mess that is totally unfaithful to the source material. Dont use it. Use the future supplement for CoC.
There are no Bad games. Only games that that benefits from a Good GM and games that need it.
Cuthul tech can wrong fine as long as you have a discerning GM to throw 80% or fluff and crunch.
I normally rip people to shreds when they pull the 'you can house rule it' weasel. But if you're looking for can mecha Lovecraft this *is* the system for it. I reckon you should just play it with a pinch of salt rather radically reskined an unrelated system.
Or just run BRP Mecha. Which is apparently a thing.