Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Recommend A Mech Game

I figure I'm going to try and do something different here today. How so? Well, today I want you to make a suggestion to me - and to anyone else who is reading this blog. I want a mecha game to run. I may, or may not, be able to run it in the near future but mecha and space operas are such a big part of the things I'm interested in that it seems absolutely criminal that I don't have more options for it on my gaming book shelf.

I do have John Wick's new game The Aegis Project to go through still. It looks like it could be fun, but my play group doesn't enjoy the rolling over narrative control aspect of his games as much as they like just being able to focus on their character and letting the game work itself out. Maybe it needs a second try in a new venue? Not sure, maybe.

I have played Silhouette Core, and generally find it enjoyable. No such luck with BattleTech of late. I've also heard good things about Jason Marker's remake of the Robotech RPG for Palladium - granted, from Jason Marker himself the day I was lucky enough to talk with him on G-Chat.

So, hit me with a game. I'd prefer to be able to have a physical book, but I can work with lots of things. Be sure to list why you like the system/game as well. Especially if it has any inherent strengths or weaknesses.

For example, while I enjoyed the Mecha and Manga supplement for Mutants and Masterminds 2nd Edition, I felt there were definite issues with scaling the pilot power level, game power level, and power level I wanted out of the mechs for each other. We got around it in the game I ran, but it was definitely an issue.


  1. Are you a Battletech player? If so, I recommend adding the RPG rules; A Time of War to your collection. For the first time it is possible to zoom in on amy scale of play you like, from meat to warship. It is scaleable as you get into it, plays easily, has a fantastic setting and support, and will keep you in ideas until you die.

    If you are looking for a game that abstracts combat, and is contained in a single volume that is not in your list, you might want to try Remnants by Outrider studios (pdf on DriveThruRPG) for an open-ended apocalyptic setting with some very compelling mecha.

  2. If your looking for something a little rules light you may want to consider Mecha RPG. I have yet to get a chance to play it, but the rules are pretty unique and really seem to gel with the genre. http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product/82258/Mecha-RPG

  3. You want Mecha, Mekton, or Heavy Gear/Silhouette.

    A Time Of War is very crunchy like Battletech in general.

    Oh, and for all that's (un)holy, stay away from Robotech - sadly, the nicest thing I can say about it is that it won't set you back a lot of money. The mechanics do jack to emulate the feel of the series, and the book still needs multiple passes by an editor. Shadow Chronicles is the only RPG book in 20 years that I threw away in disgust.

  4. Also don't forget Jovian Chronicles, with mechas in space. It's also from Dream Pod 9 (same as Heavy Gear) and it uses the Silhouette rules.

  5. Seeing a lot of love for Silhouette Core and its derivative systems. May have to give them a more in depth checkout.

    I /have/ heard of Mecha, even read it a bit, and it seemed interesting. I may have to give it another pass through.

    Mekton and Remnants are new to me. I'll be sure to check those out.

    Thanks for the suggestion guys, keep 'em coming.

  6. I can loan you Silhouette Core and Heavy Gear next time I see you if you'd like. They're definitely the one I'd recommend. I've been running Battletech: A Time of War lately, and with a very mathy/engineering group we're still having a rough time with the crunch of the system and are considering a system change with the same characters.

  7. One of the issues with running a Mecha Game, is agreeing on scale. For example, I prefer Street-level Mecha games. Bubblegum Crisis the RPG appeals to me very much because it is that small level.

    However, I often have found that running Mecha games to be really hard, simply because of the balancing act of Robot Action vs. Out of Robot time, and the way systems don't handle it well. If I were to do such a game now, I'd probably be using a Superhero RPG system. Either M&M or Heroes.