View Full Version : Did anyone ever actually play Mekton Z?

Rob Knotts
2007-04-28, 12:04 AM
Back in the 90s, Mekton Z was pretty much THE game system for anime-style giant robots. Unfortunately I live in the U.S., and american gamers tend to prefer Battletech-style mecha or Robotech-specific mecha (including the robots inherited by Rifts). I never found more than a handful of people who wanted to play in Mekton, and none of them are currently in my game group.

My players know I'm a big fan of anime mecha, and they're willing to play any game I'm willing to put a lot of work into. However, I'm not sure I want to try to sell them on a game they didn't take to when they tried it years ago, especially when I'd end up dumping half the rules anyway (Mekton Z treats characters very simplisticly compared to mecha).

Mekton Z is probably not an option, but now I need to weigh what system I want to use instead:
BESM, d20 Mecha, M&M: Similar enough to GURPS and Hero for the players to be comfortable with, but Mekton would actually have a lot more sophistication when it came to mecha.
d20 Modern PCs + Mekton Z mecha: At first glance, not at all a bad idea, but there are lot of differences between the two combat systems I'd need to figure out.
GURPS: Can handle mecha quite well, but "Innate Attack" just doesn't offer as much detail as Mekton's weapons system.
Hero System: Can offer all the detail you could want for mecha, from weapon construction to combat rules, but it comes at the cost of being at least twice as complex as Mekton Z, if not more so. Even with players familiar with the system, I'm hesitant to ask them to play such a sophisticated game based on a genre for which I'm the only fan.I'd appreciate any constructive suggestions:smallsmile:

Single Shot Zombie
2007-04-28, 07:21 AM
You know, last June someone actually started a Mekton Z game here. On these very boards. Not pulling your leg.

Got several people interested with the "new", supremely customizable system, including yours truly. So we make characters for his campaign setting, get our own preassigned bots (we're told we'd get a chance to make our own custom ones later [*drool........*]), and we're all raring to go even though half of the rules still seem like Greek to us.

Then he disappears from the boards right at the start of the first combat. Grrr. :smallmad:

Can't remember how the heck Mekton worked anymore; it's been months since we all gave up and went elsewhere. (Other than the fact that characters need to somehow deal 25 points of character-scale damage to even scratch a mecha's hide. Or something. Yeah, humans themselves suck like nobody's business.)

As for alternatives........one of the forum members recently fleshed out his modified take on the D20 Modern/Future mechanic for his mecha-battling campaign setting. While more simplistic than Mekton, it's good in it's own right, and doesn't have such an insane learning curve as Mekton did. The site's not getting much business, unfortunately; Solaris is off to the army until June, and the person who's subbing in for him can't get much interest. Here's the link to Metal Combat (http://z6.invisionfree.com/Metal_Combat), if you're interested.

Rob Knotts
2007-04-28, 11:27 AM
The guy proposing the game must've been doing something wrong. Character creation is literally just this: you choose or roll your stats, then you pick packages of skill levels. The only complex part of character creation is the "Lifepath", a bunch of tables you roll on for your background, and not only can you ingore that part, you should for an online game where players don't have access to the Lifepath charts themselves.

The mecha construction isn't simple, but it isn't particuarly complicated either.: You build the mecha by spending Construction Points on body parts. Each body part has a certain number of "spaces" that determine how much equipment can go into each body part. Then you design weapons (each weapon type has it's own section), and in the process you find out how many CP each weapon costs and, more importantly, how many spaces it will take up.
Any weapon you can't find space for in a body part either needs to shrunk down at additional cost, or becomes a handheld weapon (each hand can hold as many spaces as the arm it's attached to, 2 hands equal 2x as many spaces).There are other bells & whistles, but that's pretty much the core rules for the mecha building system. If you're someone who builds Gundam models or collects robots like Transformers, it all seems pretty obvious, but really most games wouldn't have much of a problem with it. Also, combat in Mekton Z is really, really simple, maybe even simplitic compared to d20, GURPS, or any other major RPG popular right now.

Single Shot Zombie
2007-04-28, 11:42 AM
Like I said, I can't quite remember already; it's been nearly a year. Now that you mention it, though, we were assigned certain bundled skills based on our backstory and in-game age........

As for actual creation........pre-genned mech to start us off, along with this nifty Excel macro he said he'd explain to us when we'd gotten further into the story.

2007-04-28, 03:19 PM
Er... just use the Interlock system. It's fast and simple, and was written with giant anime robots in mind.
Cut and paste Cyberpunk 2020 rules in as necessary, and you'll be catering for more complex character too.

Rob Knotts
2007-04-29, 12:55 AM
Er... just use the Interlock system. It's fast and simple, and was written with giant anime robots in mind.
Cut and paste Cyberpunk 2020 rules in as necessary, and you'll be catering for more complex character too.
Warning: Major R. Talsorian Games nerdiness incoming.

I'd just as soon paste in rules from Basic Fuzion, the rules Talsorian at one time planned to replace Interlock. Bubblegum Crisis and VOTOMS really aren't useful, they had much more in common with Champions: New Millenium than Mekton.

2007-04-29, 02:44 AM
I'd use HERO, but then, I'm very comfortble in the system.

Honestly though, there's nothing wrong with basic Mekton Zeta. It works well.

Rob Knotts
2007-04-29, 12:57 PM
Aside from the fact that my players never expessed much interest in the system, my only real problem with using Mekton Z as-is comes from it's terribly simplistic character rules. Mekton charactes a little simpler than in 2020, and even BESM does a more thorough job with characters than anything based on Interlock.

The players still with the group loved Cyberpunk 2020*, though mostly for the guns and cyberwear. To be honest, thier lack of interest in Mekton probably was due mostly to one player who actively discouraged the other players from giving Mekton Z a chance. As a fairly rabid Battletech & Robotech fan, he had a hard time seeing Mekton as anything other than a Power Rangers game. We haven't heard from him in years, I should probably stop letting him discourage me...

*Nowadays they prefer using GURPS for cyberpunk games.