I’ve been thinking about options for what game to run after I finish the current Legend of the Five Rings Campaign that I’ve got going on (not that I’m looking to wrap it up just yet!) and for some reason I’ve got Sci-fi gaming on my mind. I’ve already had a chance to evaluate Fading Suns, and it’s a strong contender for a campaign, right up there with an nWoD conversion using the Cyberpunk rules included in the WoD Mirrors: Bleeding Edge supplement set in the world of Posiedon of Blue Planet.
But the one possibility that won’t leave my mind is the idea of running a Mecha campaign.
Old readers of the blog are very well aware of my love-hate relationship with Mecha campaigns. I want to run them, but they don’t seem to click when I’m trying to put it together. If anything this is exactly why I want to give it a shot, I want to challenge myself, to see if I can pull it off or if I’ll end up crashing and burning in the merciless depths of space.
So, let’s take a look at possible candidates for games to run:
1.) Heavy Gear & Jovian Chronicles by Dream Pod 9
I have to admit that I’ve been charmed by these two games for the longest time, but I’ve held back on purchasing the PDFs for them because I’m worried that they might not be very clear images. Heavy Gear and Jovian Chronicles neatly sidesteps the issue of having to build individual mechs, while presenting a concise, and interesting setting with conflicts that work from both a roleplaying and a tactical combat perspective. Having rules for both scales are always a plus as well.
The latest edition of the books come in a D20 variant, as well as a version that uses their home Silhouette corebook, so cost-wise I’ll have to purchase two pdfs as well. Hopefully you guys can tell me if they’re worth picking up.
2) Battletech by Catalyst Game Labs
The great grand-daddy of many a mecha game is a prime candidate as well, but I’ll have to admit that I haven’t the foggiest as to where to start with this. The sheer number of books is intimidating, and the latest RPG, A Time of War, focuses on only personal-scale combat, and requires the Battletech game for the mechs. I was hoping to avoid having to spend too much on this, but it’s hard to dispute the fact that this game has a LOT of followers… so it has to be doing something right.
3) Mekton Zeta by R. Talsorian Games
Here’s another oldie. While definitely a mecha game, Mekton Zeta is also prone to showing its age. Still, it works, and I don’t have any complaints over the ability to build mechs, but the setting of this particular game doesn’t grab me as much. So this is a possibility but I’m considering it as a distant third.
And that’s it. Not a lot of options sadly, and while there are some new games out there like the Aegis Project, or Remnants, I was hoping for something tactical along the lines of these three. And so I turn to the readers… do you guys have any advice on what Mecha games there are that I haven’t seen? Or if it’s any of these three, do you have any advice on how I can get around to finding a good copy?