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Attilargh
2009-07-09, 12:17 PM
Well, maybe more of a combat system than a proper RPG. Anyway!

A few months back I came to the conclusion that there really aren't that many good options if one wants to run a game where humongous mecha of all sorts pound each other into scrap. So I made my own!

I give you... G-System! (http://www.megaupload.com/?d=PHT31L45) (I couldn't think of a better place to put it, so I stuck it on Megaupload.)

Ădit: Here (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgh6rbg4_13ffwwrc7) is a Google Docs version of the rules. In case a change needs to be made but is too small for me to bother uploading a new .pdf, I might update this version instead.

The design goals were roughly as follow:
The game should support a Super Robot Wars -esque mishmash of mecha (as well as magical girls)
The game should be simple and free of pointless number inflation that occurs in games designed for human-scale combat
The game should be abstract, because neither I nor any sci-fi writers have a sense of scale
The game should be tactical without needing a battle map, because battle maps are a bit of a pain when played online
And, of course, the game should be more fun than a barrel of power-armoured monkeys

Now, I have a bit of a problem with playtesting. Or rather, the lack of it. See, because I managed to finish this thing just now and am going to enter the Finnish Army this Monday, I haven't had nor will I have the time to playtest this properly. And so I ask thee, O Playgrounders, to have a look-see at the game, maybe even try it out if you're feeling adventurous, and tell me how it all works. Pretty please?

Hunter Noventa
2009-07-09, 12:21 PM
Oh how I loathe that I spot this at work. Rest assured, this shall be examined by me and my friends, as we've been looking for a some way to do SRW-esque feats of robot combat for a while now.

TheThan
2009-07-09, 12:31 PM
just downloaded it, i'll give it a run through

Attilargh
2009-07-09, 12:45 PM
Great, there is interest! :smallsmile:

...And of course, now I am told it doesn't say anywhere how many points starting characters receive. Oops. :smallredface: Uploaded the fixed version and corrected the link in the first post.

Emong
2009-07-09, 12:50 PM
You don't seem to have listed the effects of an accurate/inaccurate attack or how many points it's worth.

Fri
2009-07-09, 12:51 PM
You're what? Entering finnish army? At this point? What a coincidence. Do they secretly have giant robot?

Attilargh
2009-07-09, 01:00 PM
Right, more things I should've caught before uploading. :smallredface: I guess I'll just collect a bunch of these and fix them all at once for the next draft.


You don't seem to have listed the effects of an accurate/inaccurate attack or how many points it's worth.
Accurate and inaccurate should raise and lower the attack roll TN, respectively. The costs are +1/3 pts. and -1/-1 pts. (Looking at that, I could've made faster and slower weapons miscellaneous traits as well. Oh well.)


You're what? Entering finnish army? At this point? What a coincidence. Do they secretly have giant robot?
I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. :smallamused:


Ădit: Just remembered about Google Docs, so I put up a copy of the game (http://docs.google.com/Doc?id=dgh6rbg4_13ffwwrc7) up there for those who want to have a fresher version than the pdf.

TheThan
2009-07-09, 01:21 PM
There is also no definition on how much damage any given attack does, there is no formula for determining how much damage any given weapon type deals.

Whatĺs the base damage for an energy weapon? Or a melee attack with a physical weapon? How about ballistic ranged weapons or missiles?

Attilargh
2009-07-09, 01:25 PM
You buy the damage with points, much like in Mutants & Masterminds (the damage starts at zero). Also much like M&M, the weapon type is a matter of description and has little mechanical benefit.

TheThan
2009-07-09, 01:32 PM
You buy the damage with points, much like in Mutants & Masterminds (the damage starts at zero). Also much like M&M, the weapon type is a matter of description and has little mechanical benefit.

ahh, well I suggest you put that information in the document. Its good to know this stuff after all.

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-09, 01:47 PM
Seems like a nice, simple system that could be fun, and very cinematic as opposed to exactingly mechanical. Great for representing cartoons, as it were.

A few thoughts and copy editing things:
On page 3 under Native Environment, you mention a -1 Penalty to rolls in non-native environments - this is repeated later throughout the rulebook. This is confusing since you want to roll low; I suggest making it a -1 Penalty to the target number.
Similarly, under Attacks (Speed), wouldn't you want to spend points to lower the number of ticks it takes to execute?
On page 4, under Attacks (Ammo) [One-shot], you probably want to say "once before needing to be reloaded", so people don't think you mean "once ever" (BOOTS, FIRE!)
Page 4, Attacks (Misc) You didn't specify point cost/gain for Accurate/Inaccurate.
Ticks are a cumbersome way of doing things, but fun if you can get used to them. I enjoyed them in Scion, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt here.
I like the combat rules. They're based on SRW's counter/dodge/defend mechanic but still seem to work well in the Pen & Paper environment.
Is there really no way to say a mech is officially out of the fight except with a Finishing Move (which destroys the mech outright)? You just have to keep piling on penalties or sapping Willpower (which happens as the penalties start making rolls impossible I guess) until the enemy gets bored and retreats?
Bit of a quirk with willpower gain/loss and dodging: what happens when you succeed on your roll to dodge, but don't beat your opponent's attack roll, getting hit anyway? For willpower purposes, is this a success or a failure?
I like the size difference thing, but do you think larger things should maybe get a bonus to damage against smaller things? So far size seems kind of disadvantageous, just giving an HP bonus while also giving a penalty to attacking and defending.
I think I understand moving and cover. You just have to take special actions to do either, yes? Could there perhaps be an advantage that lowers movement tick costs for faster mechs (there's a signficant speed difference between, say, a flying VF-19 Excalibur and Mazinger Z)
All in all, looks like a fun system. I'm going to cobble together some example characters as a preliminary test. There are a few features missing that I'd like to see:

Mechs that can transform. In some cases, this can be abstract (if a Valkyrie is moving at top speed and spamming missiles, it's probably in Fighter mode. Holding still and taking cover probably mean Battroid mode. Etc.) but for some mechs, there are big differences in attacks and capabilities between one form and another.

Mechs with multiple pilots. Actually, this one is a hassle in any system, unless you want to count the team as one character, which kind of defeats the point.

Ninja'd so many times I feel like I just met Schwarz Bruder. I even missed that you didn't say "1 point per point of damage" for attacks, but you really should write that in there.

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-09, 02:14 PM
Posting these based on the rules version 1.001

Bog Standard Real Robot

Amuro Ray/RX-78-2 Gundam
Let's go!

Skill: 3
Spirit: 3
Sense: 4

Finesse: 4
Power: 3
Construction: 3

Size: 5
Native Environment: Zero-G
WP: 6
HP: 11
EN: 9

Head Vulcans: Damage 1, Melee and Close Range, Speed 4, 10 shots. 5 points
Dual Beam Saber: Damage 3, Melee Range, Speed 3, Infinite. 7 points
Beam Rifle: Damage 3, Close Range, Speed 4, Restricted (Underwater), 10 shots. 7 points
Hyper Bazooka: Damage 4, Close Range, Speed 6, 6 shots, Finishing Move. 9 points

Reinforced Armor 1. 2 points

As fitting for a beginning character, this is Amuro Ray from the first few episodes of Mobile Suit Gundam, before the Gundam got any fancy add-ons, he learned how to fight, or he was smacked into having a higher Spirit score. This brings up a question: how about character advancement? Characters in mecha shows tend to improve a lot with experience (or get new stuff strapped to their mech). The starting rules are good for creating a fairly standard robot and rookie pilot, but there should be a method to giving your kid who just fell into the cockpit some more points as he grows up.


Bog Standard Super Robot
Kouji Kabuto/Mazinger Z
Pilder On!

Skill: 3
Spirit: 4
Sense: 3

Finesse: 2
Power: 4
Construction: 4

Size: 5
Native Environment: Land
WP: 8
HP: 13
EN: 12

Photonic Beam: Damage 2, Melee and Close Range, Speed 4, Draining 1. 5 points
(Assorted flavors of) Rocket Punch: Damage 3, Melee and Close Range, Speed 6, Infinite. 9 points
Breast Fire: Damage 4, Melee Range, Speed 8, Draining 5, Finishing Move. 2 points

Reinforced Armor 2. 4 points.

There was no good way of modeling the corrosive Rust Hurricane attack, and I was running low on points anyway (Infinite Use makes Rocket punch ridonculously expensive), so I left it out of the four "classic" Mazinger attacks.

Attilargh
2009-07-09, 02:25 PM
All very good points. I'll just share my thoughts on couple and fix the rest come next draft.


Is there really no way to say a mech is officially out of the fight except with a Finishing Move (which destroys the mech outright)?
No, there isn't. I actually asked myself the same question when I got around to writing the section. It doesn't look like a very good idea on paper, but I'm hoping it turns out good in the actual game.


Bit of a quirk with willpower gain/loss and dodging: what happens when you succeed on your roll to dodge, but don't beat your opponent's attack roll, getting hit anyway? For willpower purposes, is this a success or a failure?
I'd say you fail, because, well, you fail to defend yourself. :smalltongue: Could go either way, I suppose. Don't know if it actually matters, so if someone could test it in-game I'd appreciate it.


I like the size difference thing, but do you think larger things should maybe get a bonus to damage against smaller things? So far size seems kind of disadvantageous, just giving an HP bonus while also giving a penalty to attacking and defending.
That was a last-second change I made when I started thinking my original idea doesn't make much sense. The original idea was that bigger things get a penalty to hit (because there's so little to aim at) while smaller things don't get either a penalty or a bonus (because not everything visible on that big ship is particularly vital). I'll revert back to the original idea in the next draft.


I think I understand moving and cover. You just have to take special actions to do either, yes? Could there perhaps be an advantage that lowers movement tick costs for faster mechs?
Yes, and I'll look into those.


Mechs that can transform.
Mechs with multiple pilots.
I thought about both (as well as GaoGaiGar-style combining machines), but just couldn't figure out a way that wouldn't be a total hassle. Transforming machines probably work best as a permission to have two character sheets for a flat point cost (maybe, Iunno, ten?) and the ability to change between them as, say, one round long action.


I even missed that you didn't say "1 point per point of damage" for attacks, but you really should write that in there.
If you mean the formula for determining the point cost of an attack's damage, I did. It's right there, on page three in the paragraph with the italicized "Damage". For the record, it's two points per point of damage. (I had a good reason for making it so. Probably that with a few negatives added, the damage would jump unreasonably high and beamsabers became too good.)

Ădit:

This brings up a question: how about character advancement?
I'm anything but an experienced GM, but I was thinking of going the easy way and just giving more points for attacks and advantages is the way to go. They could be cashed in during downtime maintenance. Maybe a stat point every now and then for finishing important adventures or showing character development.


Anyhow, about the next draft: I'm going to try and get it up Saturday evening, maybe Sunday (that'd be cutting it a bit too close for comfort, though), so y'all have until then to point out unclear and missing rules, as well as things that are obviously broken from the get-go. I'll try to fix those and make the whole thing readable. After that, I'm going to be gone for at least three weeks before my first weekend off, and it's unlikely I'll have the energy to work on this on the free days I'll get. So, the fine tuning's up to you guys. If you could run some playtest games and make lists of the houserules and fixes you end up using, I'd appreciate it very much. :smallsmile:

Knaight
2009-07-09, 02:54 PM
Transforming mech-You can buy up the stats for the each transformed form at half the cost of the main form, but the transformed form can never have more than half as many points in it as the main form. In addition weapons can be bought up at one and a half times as many points on the main form, and work in any transformed form.

Multiple pilots-This is probably a lot more difficult. No advice here.

On the sizes of mechs. Take a look at Fudge, its online. It has a mechanic called Scale, a very elegant mechanic that you might want to look at.

Tengu_temp
2009-07-09, 03:09 PM
I think there should be discounts on attacks other than your most expensive one - otherwise you promote buying one, strong attack that's good in every situation, instead of a wider variety of situational ones with various uses and power.

Attilargh
2009-07-09, 03:16 PM
On the sizes of mechs. Take a look at Fudge, its online. It has a mechanic called Scale, a very elegant mechanic that you might want to look at.
I might be a bit tired, but I found the Scale system rather mathy and confusing. Thanks for pointing it out,


I think there should be discounts on attacks other than your most expensive one - otherwise you promote buying one, strong attack that's good in every situation, instead of a wider variety of situational ones with various uses and power.
Good catch there, I'll certainly put some thought into it.

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-09, 03:26 PM
The standard in BESM Tri-Stat, which this is closest to, is 1/2 price for attacks other than the strongest one. Just FYI.

It would certainly make a wider variety of attacks more plausible.

TheThan
2009-07-09, 08:56 PM
Ninja'd so many times I feel like I just met Schwarz Bruder. I even missed that you didn't say "1 point per point of damage" for attacks, but you really should write that in there.

Schwarz Bruder! Who is that guy!

Nerd-o-rama
2009-07-10, 04:01 PM
Thought.

You know, I think the core of my problem with enemies only being destroyed with finishers is that in a lot of mecha anime, the hero fights quite a damn few enemies at once, and usually ends up trashing them even with his basic moves. This is in opposition to when the hero duels a more capable enemy, which usually does end in a fighting retreat by one side if the hero doesn't FINISH HIM.

I'd like to propose a rule for NPC "minions" - just something that says that generic enemies are destroyed at zero hit points, even without a Finishing Move. This is to cover your Zakus, Leos, Grasshoppers, Megillots, Space Monsters, whatever. Other NPCs (i.e. named characters) function the same as typical characters.

Attilargh
2009-07-11, 04:14 AM
I'd like to propose a rule for NPC "minions" - just something that says that generic enemies are destroyed at zero hit points, even without a Finishing Move.
Would you believe that I did actually intend to add that rule, but forgot? :smallredface: It was to go in the Bad Guys section, which I decided not to do because of time constraints.

Speaking of zako, there is one other anime trope that is rather hard to replicate with the current ruleset - that of one attack sparking of a wall of explosions in the distance. Easily fixed by treating a bunch of mooks as a regular character.


Ădit: A new draft appears! (Updated link in the original post.) I tried to fix a number of things and make it a bit clearer how attacks are created. How does it look?

Otogi
2009-07-11, 04:32 PM
Hmm. I like what I see, very customizable yet simple. You don't mind if I use it in my project, do you?

Attilargh
2009-07-12, 11:02 AM
Not at all! I'm just glad someone's using it.

Anyway, this is my last post in here for a while, so, uh, I hope you can get some games going and have tons of mecha fun. :smallsmile: Bye-bee!