Tell me of your Love (Hate) for the Palladium RPG engine [Mega-Damage!!!]

TristramEvans

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I am relatively convinced Siembieda originally wrote the "can't dodge 4 or more missiles" rule because he saw it in Airwolf. There is an episode of Airwolf where there's a super high tech missile system which launches four missiles at the target. As a character is describing it, he describes it in a similar wording to what Siembieda used for the infamous Robotech rule. The Airwolf episode would have originally aired in the period of time before Siembieda had started writing, or perhaps concurrently, but it definitely aired a full year before the Macross RPG was released.

Also, at the time there were these odd asides in his writings about how helicopters could definitely not fight jets.

Robotech RPG Tactics also has a variant of the rule, which I'm sure is deliberately put in there to troll Robotech fans.

I want this to be true, even if it's not
 

Gabriel

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Isn't there like two new Robotech RPGs?
Yes.

There's the Savage Worlds version, meant to be a worldbook for Savage Worlds Adventure Edition. My evaluation of it is that it is a first pass at doing an adaptation of the Palladium version of the game to Savage Worlds. To me, it had all the hallmarks of a superficial conversion where Macross things are mapped to existing stat sets in the target system. I think it has serious problems as written.

Then there is the version by Strange Machine Games. It uses their Advantage 6 system, and it's a much more narrative game. It reads much more promisingly. It definitely has more of a feel of being built from the ground up to emulate Robotech. How well does it play? I couldn't tell you. I never seem to get around to actually running it.
 

Brock Savage

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I am relatively convinced Siembieda originally wrote the "can't dodge 4 or more missiles" rule because he saw it in Airwolf.
Dude I think you are right! When I was a kid I imagined it was because in OG Robotech no one every dodged a big volley of 4 or more missiles and instead shot a lot of them down (never verified this) but your suggestion makes more sense. Regardless I was pretty pissed and confused as a child that the Robotech system didn't match the fiction. Like Zentraedi stuff in the book was way tougher than it was in the fiction. It didn't occur to me as a child that a good GM would fix it with houserules.
 

Malleustein

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That the dodge 1-4 missiles but not 5 rule comes from Airwolf is the most amusingly Kev' notion. True or not, that sounds very him.
 

Picaroon Jack

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Kevin's Airwolf inspiration borders on needing an editor shout "cite your sources!!"

I like picturing Kevin watching TV and thinking: "Well, that makes a lot of sense, actually. And if it is on Airwolf, it must be true." and nodding sagely as he paraphrases.

It does make me want to go back and check all his dogfighting rules as well as helicopter stats with Airwolf in mind. :smile:
 

VisionStorm

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I am relatively convinced Siembieda originally wrote the "can't dodge 4 or more missiles" rule because he saw it in Airwolf. There is an episode of Airwolf where there's a super high tech missile system which launches four missiles at the target. As a character is describing it, he describes it in a similar wording to what Siembieda used for the infamous Robotech rule. The Airwolf episode would have originally aired in the period of time before Siembieda had started writing, or perhaps concurrently, but it definitely aired a full year before the Macross RPG was released.

Also, at the time there were these odd asides in his writings about how helicopters could definitely not fight jets.

Robotech RPG Tactics also has a variant of the rule, which I'm sure is deliberately put in there to troll Robotech fans.

Edit: Found it. The Airwolf episode is "Fight Like a Dove" from the first season, and was originally aired March 10, 1984. From a transcript the line is:



And Robotech Book One: Macross on page 37 reads:
LOL, OMG! Great catch—straight out of Airwolf!

“They said it in a TV show, under a specific set of conditions, therefore it must be universally true.” Probably Kevin Siembieda :hehe:
 

TristramEvans

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Manimal returned to TV for one episode of the 90s TV show Nightman based on the Malibu comicbook. The episode was intended as a backdoor pilot for a new Manimal series
 

Malleustein

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Airwolf was the only thing in the 80s that came even close to being as cool as Knight Rider. At least as far as 8 year-old me was concerned.
By my expert reckoning, Airwolf was cooler because more stuff blew up. Admittedly, many of those explosions were stock footage, but still... 'splosions!

Both shows had equally awesome theme songs, kick-ass vehicles, and bland but likeable leads, so it comes down to how many things burst into fiery death on the sides of mountains.
 

Rogerdee

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The 80's had the best theme tunes, like EVER!

Knight Rider
Airwolf
Fall Guy
TJ Hooker
Ninja Master
Last Ninja (film)
Equaliser (nearly forgot this - for shame)
Dynasty
Dallas

They were just so iconic, no one has equalled them since.
 

Rogerdee

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Even though I don't think I could endure watching Battle of the Planets again, I still love that opening.

But Battle of the Planets is 70s, not 80s. :tongue:

BUT, if you're gonna fight dirty. Then...

Pfft!

It's a Two-fer



Dai-X Bomber FTW
 

Fenris-77

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The opening song for the Gummibears show was enormously earwormy. Bouncing here and there and everywhere, high adventure that's beyond compare...
 

Gabriel

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I'm going to have to hold off on spamming the Like button. I haven't heard some of these, so it will have to wait until I'm somewhere I can listen to them.

But it did remind me I have that 90s Gatchaman OAV on DVD somewhere. I haven't watched that in a while, and as stated it was pretty decent. I might have to watch that one tonight.

I'm going to drift back to the topic now with my Palladium hating ways.

This may be just me. It may just be the negative lens I have grown accustomed to viewing Unca Kev through, but there is something I definitely perceive in his writing and even in interviews. I really do get the feeling he is anti-player.

First, there are the mechanics. Unca Kev makes his enemies very tough. They'll often have 5 times the hit points and double the combat bonuses of PCs. They usually don't have particularly good damage profiles, but he almost always gives them strong strike bonuses.

Let's take the Shadow Chronicles version of Robotech he wrote. In that, he increased the MDC of things. Earth Mecha got their MDC increased by about 50%. On the other hand, Invid got their MDC increased by a full 100% or more. Earth Mecha damage output stayed roughly flat, while all the Invid got a double or triple damage boost to their weapons.

On top of this is the change in the combat system which eliminates the concept of multiple dodge (now dodging each attack takes one action instead of one dodge lasting against multiple attacks until your next turn comes up). This effectively makes any situation where the Invid outnumber Earth mecha (any combat situation that will actually come up) a complete stomping for the Earth forces. I personally don't think this was an intentional change, as I think it's a case of someone else writing a new combat section when they didn't understand how it worked, and Unca Kev not caring about rules. But this change does synergize with the other player disempowering MDC and damage output changes.

It could be that Unca Kev is just used to large groups. He has stated on one occasion that he doesn't feel comfortable with or feel it is worth running a RPG with less than a dozen people. He has stated he's used to games of 20 people or more. In situations like that, you'd have massive concentration of fire. So maybe he just makes bad guys like that because that's the way they can be a reasonable threat in the games he likes to run.

But the other factor is Unca Kev's tales of gaming. Unlike other writers, like Wujcik or Coffin or Carella, I am unaware of any story where Unca Kev says anything positive about his players in the context of the game. He doesn't have any stories of cool player actions. He doesn't share any stories of where the player came up with a cool idea that improved the game. Instead, all his stories are about putting the player in their place and showing how he (the GM) is the only smart guy around. All his GMing advice comes from the "GM is always right" Viking Hat school of gaming.

Once again, that probably comes from his history of gaming and the type of gaming he likes to do. I have some player experience in large groups of 20 or more players, and I know the only thing that keeps a game that large in any semblance of control is Viking Hat GMing.

But nearly every story Unca Kev shares about players in his games are how they did something he thought was stupid or didn't agree with, and how he humiliated them. Every story I've ever read about people gaming with him at a convention focuses on highlights which consist of Unca Kev singling out a player to make in-game jokes at the expense of. It's all about showing the superiority of Unca Kev.

Honestly, it's very jarring. Unca Kev says himself in Rifts Ultimate Edition that he sees characters as the most important thing in an RPG. One of the draws of Rifts is the variety of character archetypes you can run with. Every one of them is cool in some way. I know I have often looked at Rifts OCCs and thought, "this guy is cool. I can't wait to play this cool new character!" But then Unca Kev's GMing advice is so mean spirited and geared towards making character's uncool, because he has to be the guy in the Viking Hat.
 

Picaroon Jack

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I hereby declate this thread well and truly derailed. Great work everyone, same time tomorrow. :grin:
I will say scrolling down past those above video links, they at least look VERY Rift-esque. Giant brain D-bee, robots, power armor, fraggles, fast ships, ghost hunters, big eyeballs. That's basically Rifts, man. :tongue:
 

Séadna

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Trying to remember this show for fucking ages and then I saw it in the recommended videos after Gabriel's link!

 

Malleustein

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I'm going to have to hold off on spamming the Like button. I haven't heard some of these, so it will have to wait until I'm somewhere I can listen to them.

But it did remind me I have that 90s Gatchaman OAV on DVD somewhere. I haven't watched that in a while, and as stated it was pretty decent. I might have to watch that one tonight.

I'm going to drift back to the topic now with my Palladium hating ways.

This may be just me. It may just be the negative lens I have grown accustomed to viewing Unca Kev through, but there is something I definitely perceive in his writing and even in interviews. I really do get the feeling he is anti-player.

First, there are the mechanics. Unca Kev makes his enemies very tough. They'll often have 5 times the hit points and double the combat bonuses of PCs. They usually don't have particularly good damage profiles, but he almost always gives them strong strike bonuses.

Let's take the Shadow Chronicles version of Robotech he wrote. In that, he increased the MDC of things. Earth Mecha got their MDC increased by about 50%. On the other hand, Invid got their MDC increased by a full 100% or more. Earth Mecha damage output stayed roughly flat, while all the Invid got a double or triple damage boost to their weapons.

On top of this is the change in the combat system which eliminates the concept of multiple dodge (now dodging each attack takes one action instead of one dodge lasting against multiple attacks until your next turn comes up). This effectively makes any situation where the Invid outnumber Earth mecha (any combat situation that will actually come up) a complete stomping for the Earth forces. I personally don't think this was an intentional change, as I think it's a case of someone else writing a new combat section when they didn't understand how it worked, and Unca Kev not caring about rules. But this change does synergize with the other player disempowering MDC and damage output changes.

It could be that Unca Kev is just used to large groups. He has stated on one occasion that he doesn't feel comfortable with or feel it is worth running a RPG with less than a dozen people. He has stated he's used to games of 20 people or more. In situations like that, you'd have massive concentration of fire. So maybe he just makes bad guys like that because that's the way they can be a reasonable threat in the games he likes to run.

But the other factor is Unca Kev's tales of gaming. Unlike other writers, like Wujcik or Coffin or Carella, I am unaware of any story where Unca Kev says anything positive about his players in the context of the game. He doesn't have any stories of cool player actions. He doesn't share any stories of where the player came up with a cool idea that improved the game. Instead, all his stories are about putting the player in their place and showing how he (the GM) is the only smart guy around. All his GMing advice comes from the "GM is always right" Viking Hat school of gaming.

Once again, that probably comes from his history of gaming and the type of gaming he likes to do. I have some player experience in large groups of 20 or more players, and I know the only thing that keeps a game that large in any semblance of control is Viking Hat GMing.

But nearly every story Unca Kev shares about players in his games are how they did something he thought was stupid or didn't agree with, and how he humiliated them. Every story I've ever read about people gaming with him at a convention focuses on highlights which consist of Unca Kev singling out a player to make in-game jokes at the expense of. It's all about showing the superiority of Unca Kev.

Honestly, it's very jarring. Unca Kev says himself in Rifts Ultimate Edition that he sees characters as the most important thing in an RPG. One of the draws of Rifts is the variety of character archetypes you can run with. Every one of them is cool in some way. I know I have often looked at Rifts OCCs and thought, "this guy is cool. I can't wait to play this cool new character!" But then Unca Kev's GMing advice is so mean spirited and geared towards making character's uncool, because he has to be the guy in the Viking Hat.
On the confusing addition to M.D.C., I agree entirely. The last thing Robotech needed was tougher Invid!

As for "Viking Hat Kev" (a title I expect him to have copyrighted by tomorrow), I don't know. I'm not saying prove it or you're a dirty liar, but I've not seen this in the G.M. guides or Rifters. If there is any examples of his refereeing anyone could point me to, I'd be fascinated though.

His advice has never been exactly how I do things, but it hasn't seemed overly condescending or adversarial.

He definitely sees the games master as the creative force and final authority. Which might go someway to explaining why he's happy to give player characters cool but specific and narrowly applicable powers rather than freeform abilities.
 

sureshot

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I think it was in Palladium Fantasy where he through the avatar of an NPc god punished one of his players (ex-wife ) I think because she mouthed off to the GM. In this case deservedly so imo as going from memory she was being sent on one quest after another after another. To the point where the character and the player became annoyed. I would be too as I want to have fun at the table not roleplay the ten labors of Hercules. At the very least not without a heads up by the GM. Apparently the god takes offense punishes the character even after the character apologies and tries to explain she did not mean what she said. Another example of hs "great" GMing is he is the type to take forever to make players level up. It is in one of the books. Who can forget the quite frankly insult rant in Heroes Unlimited where he accues anyone who wants to play comic heroes of not wanting to play a thinking mans rpg.

With all due respect if one is going to name their supers rpg Heroes Unlimited well guess I expect to be able to make characters from comics, movies and TV shows and not to be insulted for my play style. It's kind of sad because one can see how he really did not want to add the Mega-Hero section to HU2 and clearly shows how begrudgingly he did. Same thing with the expanded Techo-Wizard rules in RUE. If the fans ask for the rules don't bother telling how as a writer he would have done it differently. Just give us the damn rules.
 
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