View Full Version : Non-Combat Challenges in Sci-Fi RPGs

2013-05-23, 12:06 PM
Hello all,

I've recently been wanting to run a tabletop campaign designed around Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam . I want the game to be focused around character development and interaction, with a cinematic take on combat. (I want to avoid using a battle mat as much as possible.) That being said, I don't want players to feel like they have to play a Mobile Suit pilot to get a decent chunk of the action.

My problem is that I'm drawing blanks on what some of these non-pilot roles would be doing during vehicle/space combat. I want these roles to feel just as important to the conflict and story as the Mobile Suit pilots, but I also don't want the players to feel like their role in combat is being shoe-horned in. I have a couple of ideas for a few roles (Captains/officers would be coordinating Mobile Suit and ship movements, standard soldiers would have boarding action scenes), but how do I make these scenes exciting for someone playing an engineer or a medical officer without it just being a string of simple skill rolls? What kind of challenges do these support-role characters face when the hot plasma starts flying?

I eagerly anticipate your responses.

2013-05-23, 12:27 PM
For Gundam...err, signals intelligence like hacking communications?

I realize it's not great, but Gundam is pretty much all about giant space robots clobbering each other.

Brother Oni
2013-05-23, 01:16 PM
Ship based combat is somewhat rare in Gundam, which is where support roles would get involved in combat.

About the only thing I can think of, is for engineers as either combat engineers (demolitions, mine field clearance, etc) or emergency repairs for damaged/incapacitated mobile suits on the field while under fire.

A medical officer (ie a doctor) would be far too valuable to be let near the enemy, so you'd be using medics, which do pretty much the same role as the engineers, except that they'd be recovering pilots.

EW roles are very thin on the ground due to Minovsky particles, although there's some scope for intelligence/counter intelligence. Unfortunately the combat component of that role is very much infiltration as intelligence guys are again, generally too valuable to be let near the enemy.