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Voros

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The recent news about Robotech got me thinking about checking out a Mecha RPG but which one? I was never too taken with the genre outside of loving Robotech as a kid but then barely being able to remember it by the time I hit adulthood. I do remember some friends playing some mecha game in junior high but it seemed to be more a minatures based tactical game not an RPG.

I often wonder what the approach of the RPGs are as the cartoons I recall were full of melodrama, romance and soap opera level theatrics along with the rock 'em sock 'em battle bots.

I assume that almost all the options are pretty crunchy as that is part of the appeal but perhaps there is a lighter system out there? After all at a certain point of crunch I might as well be playing a tactical mini game rather than a RPG.

My instinct is to go with Mekton Zeta because I like Pondsmith as a designer.

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I like the idea of a mecha RPG but wonder (possibly because of limited familiarity with the genre) what is it that the PCs do, if anything, when not engaged in mecha combat.

I’m all for RPGs that have mecha (Rifts, Exalted, SWN, Godbound, hell, if there’s a Traveller/Cepheus supplement for mecha I’m in) but revolving wholly or mostly about mecha — even when you have a cool setting like Heavy Gear or Jovian Chronicles — stumps me as a potential GM.
 
I'd love to play a mecha RPG in a setting like Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team; set in a more real world war zone not just in space. Your mech can get seriously damaged and you have to scavenge for parts or struggle on with an arm missing. Ammo and fuel for your mech is scarce so you have to be careful about how and when you use it.

That way you have to do missions out of your mech to get resources or scout ahead before risking it as a precious tool/weapon. It allows for moments of comradery where you have to heal each other and rest or deal with the locals in an area to make sure you have their support if you need to fall back or hide your mech when it's out of fuel.
 
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Robotech works fine in the hands of a ref who doesn't need advice and suggestions for subplots and things to do outside of giant robot fights. I had another more anime-inspired game a while back but didn't much care for the rules. Whatever system it is, I'd want (1) rules for creating different giant robots with various options, but not overly complicated, (2) compatible rules for actions outside of giant robot fights, (3) reasons to have PCs not always be operating their 'bots, and (4) ideas for why there are giant robots in the first place.

Edit: The 2nd game may have been Mekton, not sure.
 
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I've never played Mekton Zeta, but I had a blast making Mecha with it using one of its expanded creation rules sourcebooks
 
Your mech can get seriously damaged and you have to scavenge for parts of struggle on with an arm missing. Ammo and fuel for your mech is scarce so you have to be careful about how and when you use it.
Good old Mechwarrior was basically about that IIRC.
 
Have there been any RPGs aimed at 'super robot' stuff like Mazinger/Grendizer ? Or does Mekton cover those as well?
 
Have there been any RPGs aimed at 'super robot' stuff like Mazinger/Grendizer ? Or does Mekton cover those as well?

Keep your hands off ma Zingers.
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Have there been any RPGs aimed at 'super robot' stuff like Mazinger/Grendizer ? Or does Mekton cover those as well?

Cartoon Action Hour is the only one I can think of and its not a spectacular job
 
Heavy Gear?

It created some quiet waves in the 1990s, I remember, and had quite a polished and neat system with a lot of meta plot development.
 
I think it depends on what you want out of your mecha experience. I've only read parts of Mekton II and Mekton Zeta - never played it - but it sounds like MZ would be the closest to the mark. It's got a lifepath chargen system that brings into play the theatrics, melodrama, and romance of the genre; task resolution handles both man- and mecha-scale combat; and the mech construction system has been lauded but from my understanding there's some crunch there to manage.

I'm not a huge anime/mecha guy but I do enjoy the hell out of both Jovian Chronicles and Heavy Gear - more the setting in the case of JC. Heavy Gear has a grittier, smaller-mech, world-war type of feel. JC is another open-warfare setting, but more over-the-top, mechs-in-space. My preference is more towards smaller-mechs - military power-armor - kind of play.
 
I like the idea of a mecha RPG but wonder (possibly because of limited familiarity with the genre) what is it that the PCs do, if anything, when not engaged in mecha combat.
I think you have to view it in the same sense as if you were running a military-style Rpg. The big mech conflicts are going to get most of the spotlight, but you can work in portions of recon/intelligence-gathering, infiltrating into locations, sabotage. The more subtle stuff that's more easily done on a man-scale. Infantry can also work into the mech conflicts, because most mecha rpgs I've seen have included man-portable, mech-damaging weapons.
 
There's Remnants. The rules are quite simple, uses D6. However, the setting is quite unique so it really wouldn't work for a generic mecha campaign. It's basically a post-apocalyptic game where no one knows how to use nor create technology anymore. However, various left-over mecha litter the landscape, waiting to be found. Once a mecha is found, it grows in both power and size the more it connects with the pilot. Should the pilot die or stop using the mecha for a while, the mecha returns to its original state that it was found in.
 
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Mekton Zeta is great. I'm a big fan. I really like the setting of Heavy Gear, but I honestly do not remember anything about the system. I'm also a big fan of Armored Trooper VOTOMS. Which has an RPG, that I really like.
 
Battle Century G by Juan Herrera; the rules are free, the setting and lore are not.
 
If you don't mind, if you're going to suggest a game/system, could you also post reasons why you are recommending it? Just tossing a name out there doesn't tell me a darned thing aside from "this game exists."
 
I'll have to look out for Mekton Zeta. How does it differ from just the regular old Mekton?
 
MOr options, and stuff. Includes the road striker rules amongst other things.

What are "road strikers"?

And why would I want MOR options? That's about my least favorite radio format.
 
Just looked up various Mekton stuff on Amazon...geez, they are expensive. Gotta look for a deal somewhere else. I used to have Mekton II based on the cover art I saw.

Edit: damn all you guys, I think I am going to have to try to win an eBay auction to reacquire Mekton II and maybe the Road Striker book I've never seen.
 
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I've got a copy of Mekton II I could part with...
Thanks, but unfortunately I already made a deal. Once it arrives I am going to see who wants to play by post on here. I have some ideas to mash together elements from some cartoons that I have vague recollections of, plus some notions from perhaps The Fronde.
 
Battle Century G by Juan Herrera; the rules are free, the setting and lore are not.
I'd noticed that one on OBS but it's got no reviews there and I'm not really clear what sets it apart.
The cover suggests a more 'super robot' type setting, vs. Battletech/Heavy Gear style mechs... and now Nomon's posts elsewhere have me watching The Big O and that is very much the sort of thing I'd like to play.
 
If you don't mind, if you're going to suggest a game/system, could you also post reasons why you are recommending it? Just tossing a name out there doesn't tell me a darned thing aside from "this game exists."

My bad.

I'd noticed that one on OBS but it's got no reviews there and I'm not really clear what sets it apart.
The cover suggests a more 'super robot' type setting, vs. Battletech/Heavy Gear style mechs... and now Nomon's posts elsewhere have me watching The Big O and that is very much the sort of thing I'd like to play.

Battle Century G is a rule-set for Mecha as a whole which can be adapted to Super Robot or Real Robot settings but has a strongly Anime flavor. There are separate but similar character creation rules for Pilots and Mecha, and special rules that, although they are not strictly realistic, add a sense of urgency into pilot and mecha fights. There is a wide selection of weapons and upgrades that add Advantages/Disadvantages to a roll instead of just a straight plus to an attack, along with rules for playing anything from Evangelion to Voltron. Again, it's fun.
 
and now Nomon's posts elsewhere have me watching The Big O and that is very much the sort of thing I'd like to play.

That show was so good, like Batman the animated Series crossed with Mazinger
 
Jovian Chronicles and Heavy Gear are awesome Mecha games and great sci-fi settings as well. Jovian Chronicles is one of the best Solar System settings out there (well if you can find it).

Good old Palladium has Robotech and Rifts. Had metric megatons of fun when the big Rift in Old Chicago opened onto a battle between Invid and Robotech Masters right in the middle of a Coalition sweep.

Mekton and Mekton Zeta are great. I prefer the older Interlock versions to the Fuzion version. Can be crunchy, but has a good design system to make the mechs you want.

Mechwarrior is probably the heaviest of these but still a good system and leverages the entire Battletech universe. The strength (and weakness) is that it allows you to run pretty much every type of combat in Battletech from a finer, pilot-level scale, which adds on the crunch.

Cyberpunk 2020 had rules for full conversion borgs, power armour, and military vehicles if you want to keep it on the smaller end of the Mech scale. It’s also Interlock, so you could mix and match with Mekton, plus you have the setting of CP2020 to start with (Mekton had no setting, you chose what setting you wanted, then built the mechs to fit).

Interface Zero also has borgs, power armour, robots and medium size mechs. It’s for a bunch of systems at this point, but the Savage Worlds version is probably best suited for a combo of roleplaying and tactical Mecha goodness.

There’s a bunch of narrative/story Mech games concerned more with Anime themes, tropes and genre emulation, but I’ve never seen one I liked enough to remember the name of.
 
What are "road strikers"?

And why would I want MOR options? That's about my least favorite radio format.

Road strikers are basically the kind of transformable mechs you see in Genesis Climber Mospeada/Robotech Invid Invasion. Cars and motorcycles that transform into small mechs/power armour. It also had rules for larger transformables like tanks, tractor-trailers, subs, etc. one of the Mekton books had rules for Voltron like combination mechs, dunno if that was Roadstrikers or not, been too long.

Keep in mind Mekton II is not Interlock, it’s a percentage based system. I think Roadstrikers was originally released for Mekton II.
 
Keep in mind Mekton II is not Interlock, it’s a percentage based system. I think Roadstrikers was originally released for Mekton II.
No, you're wrong there. Mekton 1 was a percentile-based system. Mekton II uses the same dice mechanic as Mekton Zeta (d10+Stat+Skill vs difficulty levels 10/15/20/25/30).

On the back cover it explicitly says that Mekton II is "compatible with Mekton, Edition 1, Roadstriker, Advanced Combat and all Interlock Systems Games", and it bares an Interlock Systems logo, and states "An Interlock System Game". (I'm not sure how it's compatible with "Mekton, Edition 1"; it clearly uses Interlock).
 
Ok, yeah, I got second edition mixed up with II.
Mekton - percentage
Mekton second edition - percentage
Mekton II - Interlock
Mekton Zeta - Interlock or Fuzion
 
I don't know about "best," but for the Fate fans (there's at least one other one here ... ), there's Camelot Trigger in the Fate Core Worlds of Adventure, Volume 2: Worlds of Shadow setting book. I haven't actually played it, but from a read-through, it looks like a good application fo FC to mechs, and I think they way Fate models damage with stress tracks and consequences could be especially handy for mech combat.
 
If I didn't already own a load of Jovian Chronicles PDFs I would have jumped at the bundle.
 
I just cant buy any more pdfs that are going to sit on my hardrive unread. I have hundreds of PDF RPGs, but only the ones I own in hard copy ever get read or played
 
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