There was a thread on mecha RPGs this week and it had me wondering: What are must haves in a mecha-based TTRPG from a crunch/attribute side? Are games where you never get out of the mech more fun?
Well Meckton zeta, especially with the plus book, just has such a ludicrous amount of options for building and designing mecha it's actually a bit overwhelming, and you can run pretty much any style of mech game in it. But it tends to be crunch heavy
Remnants is fun because your basically spear hunting post apocalypse guys who got there hands on an evolving mecha that was built so god damn well, that it survived the apocalypse, and more than likely, the last few pilots of it before it got to you. But the game tends to be rules light, and can be a problem if you want allot of flexibility.
So yeah, fun for the exact opposite reasons.
I've never found a mecha system I've really liked. They're either overly crunchy and detailed, which makes statting things up a pain and the combats often quite dull, or they're so rules light that it barely feels different to playing an on foot character and the combat lacks any depth.
I'd love to see a mecha RPG balance those two things, depth of customization and combat without getting overloaded with rules, but given there are only two RPG's I've encountered which fit the bill (within my personal definitions, this is purely a matter of preference), there not being a mecha option isn't that surprising.
Remnants is okay, but I found the combat a bit lacking, even if a lot of the ideas were cool. Giant Guardian Generation was okay, and I've not yet seen the sequel game that IIRC was actually kickstarted and published, but none of the mechs felt different from one another, the mechanics were almost too uniform.
Yes. GGG was fun, BCG was essentially the same game with a lot of the fun surgically removed because the author was tired of trying to balance it to every single whiny faggot's satisfaction and didn't have the balls to just stick to it.
Battle Century G, that was it, thanks. I'll look into it, and see if it's any better.
And the two games that most fit my personal taste are Legends of the Wulin and D&D 4e. Both games have a nice balance of mechanical complexity and distinction between characters accompanied by a narrative focus. This might be more obvious in LotW with its large and complex Secret Arts systems, but even in both the nature of the combat is built around the narrative idea rather than attempt at 'realism'. A lot of 4e's powers feel like snapshots of a movie fight scene, awesome things you can pull off every now and then or the reliable things you use to take down mooks. Again, purely personal preference, but I'd love to see more RPGs try the same thing, building a complex and mechanically satisfying system off a more narrative focused set of assumptions. Of course, neither is perfect, both need a lot of tweaking to work properly and there are unique flaws that have to be dealt with, but it's a design direction I really enjoy and hope to see more of.
This isn't strictly a space game, but check out Strike Legion, it's a pretty easy system, and is the best shameless rip off RPG I have ever seen.
Seriously, there is nothing stopping you from playing a Superhuman Clairvoyant bunny person mage Jedi who tools around in an mech suit with a scaled up lightsaber killing actual 40k space marines as mooks.
I'm not kidding, in that setting a state of 1 in something makes you better than a modern human in that category, and you get something like 60 state points to start, it makes exalted look tame in parts.
I've played a lot of mecha RPGs,including most of the ones in this thread and the last one (I've tried BCG but not GGG).
My current favorite so far is just houseruled D6 Space. Build a mech as a space ship and give it a ground speed. Boom, done. And the system plays super fast and simple while still allowing most any level of detail you want to have.
The worst I've ever played is probably d20 Future's system. It works ok for Large power armor size Mecha, but breaks if mecha are Huge, and becomes virtually unplayable at larger sizes.
>BCG was essentially the same game with a lot of the fun surgically removed because the author was tired of trying to balance it to every single whiny faggot's satisfaction and didn't have the balls to just stick to it.
I even saw this happen with GGG betas as well, GM had a game planned in like november, that we decided to delay starting until after the holidays and like, someone's January vacation, and literally every time I settled on a build for my PC, a new beta would come out and not just NERF my build, but instead just make it straight up illegal.
Eventually dropped that game after I asked him to tell me when he settled on the version he was actually going to use so I don't keep doing that. He finally decided on one, the game got delayed another few weeks, and a new version came out that did the exact same thing and he decided we were using that instead, and then blamed ME for being mad at him for going back on his word.
Really just left a bad taste in my mouth for GGG/BCG afterwards.
To start, I should say this is extremely subjective, and that even if people agree a balance point exists you'd likely never find a clear consensus on exactly where it lies.
For me, personally? I like a sufficient amount of crunch paired with the assumptions rules light systems often use. Crunchy systems often rely heavily on attempts at realism, trying to model a world and logical functions of systems above other priorities. This isn't exclusively true, but generally when systems go really in depth, it's out of some desire to model reality, or a sufficiently complex internally consistent fantasy. With mecha systems you see this as incredibly complex setups and systems for assembling really interesting and unique machines, but it's not particularly user friendly and often ends up being imbalanced as heck towards a few optimal setups- Which is realistic, and valid for some settings, but not for others.
Rules light stuff, meanwhile, always feels lacking to me. I like every character I play, within the same system, to feel distinct. I like to be able to play two characters within the exact same role/class/archetype and still have them work in sufficiently different ways that each is a uniquely enjoyable mechanical experience, alongside the roleplaying component.
I guess it's not so much a midpoint as a defiance of a false dichotomy. You often see people talking about rules light and narrative as being virtually the same thing, similarly for crunchy and simulationist. It's not that I object to the amount of crunch in crunchy systems, but I prefer a different focus. Instead of modelling every system on a mecha, focus on the systems that matter. Brush over nitty gritty details and focus on ideas, concepts and interesting mechanics that you can plug together to create a cool, functional and thematic mecha without having to get a degree in engineering, or having the only difference between the mechs on your team be what you've named your attacks.
Didn't run into that, but my rebel group started out with identical Tomcats-turned-Veritechs (Or Valkyrie for the Macross purists) retrofitted with modern electronics and GAU-8s when weapons were still customizable, and ended up with a lot of distinction between eachother with minor customizations and different Techniques based on the same weapons.
Mah fucking nigga.
This is the best goddamn sourcebook I have ever seen for EPIC Science Fiction. If you've ever wondered what demigod level play would look like in SF, this will be the best 2 bucks you have ever spent. Or you can just do a google search and find the PDF. Seriously /tg/, read it. I want to discuss the insanity.
Anyway, back to the thread topic.
Strike Legion is interesting as a mech game because it has rules for dealing with human sized characters against mecha
AND WINNING. I've always loved that David vs Goliath match up. Strike Legion's Factor system is a really elegant way to do it.
With the right talents and and one gun, you can make a character who can snipe a target on foot, even if that target is a frame, from the next planet over (or really any distance, the talent that nullifies any range personalities is broke as fuck), at a mere moderate difficulty.
Also, Singularity grenades that can be shot from and rifle mounted grenade launcher. As one reviewer put it
"This makes Strike Legion probably the only game where you can legitimately have an underbarrel mount that risks destroying the planet you are standing on."
When the game said that Legionnaires are the absolute best in the universe it wasn't kidding. If I'm ever going to run this I'll be limiting Legion gear a bit though.
Also the Empress of Humanity naturally took the infinite sniper rifle into account. Earth and the Solar system is in a different dimension and is protected by a legion of reality benders.
The Nova Laser sniper rifle is a bit meh against star ships though. For that I prefer the Energy Saber. Legionnaires with this motherfucker can slice capital ships in two.
Well there's the piloting skills and what have you, but your still going to be flying circles around most mooks until the Imperium starts throws weaponized battleship sized Kaiju around. or just an army of Alex Mercers, depends on the day of the week really.
Someone's bound to know their way around Mekton here right?
People keep commenting on the internet that Mekton can handle everything from Gundam, to Mazinger, to Giant Robo, yet post nobody posts any builds.
Gundam, I know it can do. Someone stat up Giant Robo and Mazinger. Can Mekton make them behave like an SRW Super Robot? Tough as hell?
Something I haven't seen yet is a game where pilot's out of mech capabilities and in mech capabilities are kept separate (and thus balanced to avoid 'non-combat character' issues), but there is still a distinction between the skills of the pilot and the capabilities of the craft so you can have pilot swap sessions.
Even early AdEva, which has this to some extent, doesn't really put much consideration to it.
Jovian Chronicles might be right up your alley. Heavy Gear's older sibling put together by guys who were fresh off of watching Stardust Memory.
I'd recommend 1st Ed, the Pre-Silhouette Core version for it's relative simplicity. You get jockeying for range with particle cannons, ship splitting plasma shanks, and high speed attack runs. A bit of abstraction with hits either mattering in some way or they don't, but it keeps things from bogging down too much especially when you are using the Newtonian style physics.
If you want smaller ground based Votoms type designs, with customization up the wazoo, Heavy Gear 2nd E wight tickle your fancy.
Rifts is awesome, maddies swerve.
>help help my pet rpg will never be as popular or well written as the magnificent Rifts RPG!
I certainly don't know that feel as I'm over here playing good games like Rifts while you struggle with your peasant shit every day weeping about your bad luck.
I only have experience with Mekton Zeta. I am a pretty big fan of it despite some of its issues.
Speaking of which, I am playing a UC Gundam game on roll20 with Mekton Zeta. The game takes place in UC201 around Jupiter, and involves the early days of Nanomachine technology. The group is looking for one new player if anyone is interested.
>Something I haven't seen yet is a game where pilot's out of mech capabilities and in mech capabilities are kept separate (and thus balanced to avoid 'non-combat character' issues),
I think this is less an issue with keeping things separate as it is an issue with there being even a chance of correlation between player skill and mech piloting ability.
An ECW specialist would presumably need high intelligence or an analogous stat/skills and that *should* mean they're a pretty intelligent person both inside and outside of the mech. Likewise a sniper *could* be good with the mecha's automatic aim assist and bad with personnel-sized guns, but it seems unlikely.
I think its more a matter of having provisions of in place so that combat characters don't steal ALL of the spotlight and having a GM who can balance both kinds of players in way that's fair and interesting.
>but there is still a distinction between the skills of the pilot and the capabilities of the craft so you can have pilot swap sessions.
I think that's depends on the kind of game. If everyone is using a basic machine with almost no personalization, then yeah, that should be something to keep in mind. If you have a machine built for sniping or electronic warfare specifically (as an example), I don't think its fair or balanced to expect a character who specializes in something else to leap into a different machine and perform well just because they're a pilot.
Even if the machines have little differences outside of their loadout, I'd expect them to stick to weapons and systems they know best and ignore the sniper rifle/radar systems entirely. I think a proper mech game should not only keep that in mind but encourage characters who stick to what they know in that kind of situation and punish those who try to operate things they have no business operating.
I haven't read Mekton Zeta and Mechwarrior but I think I've miscommunicated my point. I specifically meant to avoid asking >>44869403
but I've apparently failed.
In BCG, and in a several other games, you see a split where you have XP that can be spent on combat/in-mecha skills, and XP that can be spent on non-combat/out-of-mecha skills, and there is no crossover.
By doing this you establish that it is mandatory that everyone be at roughly the same power level in combat because everyone has spent the same in-combat XP. You establish noone has cause to whine over being useless because it'll be an on the ground session because everyone has spent the same out-of-mech XP, even if say, one person is a diplomat and the other is a mechanic.
What I'm asking is after the idea that WITHIN THE XP ONLY SPENT ON 'COMBAT' EFFECTS there is a further delineation between XP spent on your skill as a pilot and your unit proper.
Within the games that don't even bother to differentiate combat and non-combat expenditures this is hyper common because of course you are selecting your piloting skill, talky skills, motherfucking vegetable cooking skills, and robot traits from the same XP pool.
I mean I am interested in a crunch mode where you have 3 rather than 2 non-interacting pools of XP.
No, because that's terrible and way too bean-county for only one reward (PCs are good at combat outside of mechs.) If you really want to make PCs better at combat outside of a mech, make 2 pools of XP where the Combat XP can applies to on foot and in mech types.
I seriously have little idea why you'd want it outside of trying too hard to emulate a sentai or power rangers series.
You'd have to have known the GM was making that kind of game before you built a dirt farmer. And even then there's no reason whatever civilian can't meet the other combat-oriented PCs and become entangled in their plot so to speak.
>If you really want to make PCs better at combat outside of a mech, make 2 pools of XP where the Combat XP can applies to on foot and in mech types.
That makes the most sense to me. Make overall combat one pool and non-combat another pool.
I would be more open to RIFTS if way, way back in the early days of the internet, there wasn't an autistic faggot constantly wailing about every niggling gripe with AD&D and declaring the Palladium handling of any given situation or issue to be superior.
It was a thrice-weekly blog.
What's your point? That every system should have accommodations in place for the most ass-backwards of players who don't want to break the system by being overpowered but by being hideously underpowered?
Macross is actually a pretty good setting because of how open it's become since the original SDF series.
As of the newest series there's numerous colonized planets scattered across a galaxy begging to be explored further, multiple races (it's not just humans and zentradi anymore), possibly multiple factions, a built-in excuses for all kinds of strangeness (SCIENCE!/Protoculture did it!), and plenty of superscience. The setting is ripe for all kinds of campaigns from space opera to galactic exploration to gritty military drama to fucking singing magical girls with tech powers
GIRI GIRI AAAAAAI.
Plus if you don't think VFs are sexy as fuck I don't want to know you.
Badly written yes
Complex not at all.
It's a skill roll based on your character's class skill where you make shit up and the GM gives a difficulty which will either do jack shit mechanically which will require you to make another roll to inflict the mechanical effect or will produce a positive or negative modifer to something since the other shit is to be used on pcs only which itself can be increased to a major penalty/bonus.
Three of the same add-ons do the same damn thing but in different ways of creating a penalty or bonus effect connected to an opposite condition the other two let you make attack rolls and make it hard to notice you're inflicting status effects on them. The other shit is a grab bag of feats which can be neato or shitty feat taxes like the one that make warrior worth a damn since he's so damn limited in what he can do without any of the feats.
>Unassailable Battle Saint Technique (5)
>You can spend 1 Joss when you roll a Critical Success to create a Combat Condition for yourself to make it a Major Condition
>Player: Li's Howler Monkey Shining Nipple Rub technique stimulates his fighting chi the more he rubs his nipples and yells like an imbecile
>GM: Hmmm... That'll be a hard difficulty 40 senpai.
>Player checks his dubs and gets a 69 earning him a crit and spend his joss
>+10 to all rolls so long as he mentions in his flavor text the character rubbing his nipples and screeching
Strike legion is fun but fuck the dice pool system for it.
Played it once and one guy maxed out strength and the combat was fucking boring since he got a shit ton of turns and was one shotting everything.
That's basically how BCG works. XP you gain during play is given to both pilot and mecha.
Although there is combat outside of a mech too, it's just a lot more stripped down (being better armed just grants an extra d10, for example)
A lot of games have this problem though. In D&D 5E at least, an Archer Fighter is going to be pretty darned good at trapfinding, stealth, and just being sanic fast in intiative (at least ours is) because the game correlates DEX with some skills. Attribute is almost more important to your character's ability to actually DO anything than your class or what you've got on you (which is why Rogue Expertise and Thieves Tools are a thing, I imagine).
Okay. Well, how does this sound for a good compromise?:
–Mecha are part of a mass produced series with a handful of role-based variants providing a (admittedly minor) degree of differentiation between them.
–Differences between variants consist mostly of weapons/specific systems, which are designed for and provide bonuses to their specific role.
–After choosing their basic mech variant, the player chooses specific loadout sets to bring with them just before their next mission.
–They may create their own loadout by spending experience/requisition or they may select one of the preassembled loadouts at a discounted price and potentially lose out on having mission relevant gear.
–Pilots are created through pointbuy and pilots need minimum stats to pilot certain variants.
–These minimum piloting stats are separate from the non-combat stats, though some variants might require out of combat stats as well.
–Being a pilot is something you have to buy into, so you can buy extra combat/non-combat skills/attributes if you choose not to be one so you can still create a plot-relevant character.
I second this. I had variable fighters in mind with my above reply. Variable fighters of the same series are largely the same machine spec-wise, but they have role specific several variants: VF-25F (Assault), VF-25G (Sniping), RVF-25 (AWACS/ECW), VF-25S (Commander), etc.
They might be more or less tuned in one area or another, but they've got very similar weaponry for the most part and can carry almost all of the same loadouts for different missions.
Could you elaborate?
Do you mean you'd like to lessen the overall amount of rolls necessary to combat?
Do you mean some sort of "take" system where you auto-succeed or hit on a certain difficulty or less?
Do you mean you'd like only the attacker to roll instead of having opposed rolls made by the defender in every combat?
I'd like to hear your opinion, honestly.
Not but the GM was pretty retarded since he didn't know the basic character creation rules.
Str has no impact on the number of actions you get, Agi and Per does, and even then only if they are above 8.
>Could you elaborate?
None of those.
Games have decision-making steps and resolution steps. All of those are different mechanisms of resolution. In most mecha games, "making your mech" is the only real decision step. I'd like more games which had a variety of combat actions to facilitate more decision-making.
As in, extensive and specific rules for different types of combat (melee, ranged, etc) or different rules for a variety of ordinance? Rules for combat actions with a non-combat bent like rescuing civilians and the like?
Exactly WHAT kind of combat actions do you think would facilitate more decision-making? That's statement alone is a bit nebulous.
>In most mecha games, "making your mech" is the only real decision step. I'd like more games which had a variety of combat actions to facilitate more decision-making.
I can't think of a single Mecha game that does the former and doesn't do the latter.
I can't either, which is why I'm asking that he elaborates more. I understand that what people like specifically is subjective, but if you're not specific it just feels like you can't possibly be satisfied by anything a dev could possibly come up with and so they don't even try.
>No mention of Chromestrike.
Guerilla mercenary shit at the Gasaraki scale. Tanks and airstrikes can still kill the shit out of your whole team, be careful.
Great fun, though it hasn't updated in a year.
Pretty much you're fighting actual ground wars in a Gibsonrun game, megacorporations pulling international strings and you stick your nose in the middle for profit.
Also the Japanese put totally-not-orphan-brains "bioprocessors" in fifteen-foot-tall killer robots and use them as drones.