Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Solar System Mecha

A couple of weekends ago I picked up the Solar System RPG from Arkenstone Publishing.  At first I wondered, What in the world is this?  But I finally got the hang of things after actually giving the game a whirl and poring over the original Shadow of Yesterday rules for clarification.

Anyways, I've long been wanting to run a Robotech/Macross game and have been putting effort in a FATE/Starblazer Adventures conversion.  I love FATE 3.x.  It's one of my go-to systems.  After grokking Solar System (tSoY) it really seemed that the series could be emulated with even less effort.

Here's what I've got so far:

Solar System Mecha
  • Treat as Effects
  • Character Secrets can be used to power abilities that mecha provide
Character Abilities
  • Mecha Pilot (Reason)
  • Mecha Weapons (Instinct)
Missiles and Guns
  • Are their own Effects attached to the mecha
  • Examples: GU-11 2, Missiles 2
Mecha as Effects
  • When a mecha's Effects (Veritech 3, for example) are used up it is immobile/inoperable.
  • Damage is not tracked at the mecha level.  Remains on the pilot's stress track
Mecha Scale
  • Man to Mecha: -3
  • Mecha to Mecha: +-0
  • Mecha to Ship: -3
  • Rolling against a lower scale does not count toward transcendence
Mecha Secrets
  • Sensors (Reason): Adds 1 bonus die to Tracking, Jamming, Communication actions.
  • 57 [controls] to be exact: For 1 Instinct point can use the mecha ability Transform along with another ability as one action. Prerequisite: Mecha Pilot 1
  • Fokker's Feint: (2 Reason) You can maneuver a Veritech better than almost anyone else making you an elusive target.  For each success vs. the enemy, one penalty die is assessed to their next action.  Fokker's Feint also counts as defense. Since this is an extremely difficult maneuver, failure can place you into a more perilous position.  For each success the enemy wins by a penalty die is assessed to your next maneuver. Prerequisite: Mecha Pilot 3
Mecha Abilities
  • Transform 1: This is a simple action that can be used to build dice as part of a parallel action or can be tapped with the 57 [controls] to be exact secret.
Weapon Secrets
  • Smart Missile: The next round, after a miss, the missiles attack again on their own but with an additional penalty die.


  1. Seems good to me! I'd do this sort of thing along these same lines. Considering that you have mechas be Effects and Effects cost upkeep in Pool points, this means the character has to dedicate some of himself to his mecha upkeep on a permanent basis. This can get a bit straining if mechas consist of more than a couple of Effects. Alternatively, you could have some sort of Secret to mitigate the upkeep:

    Secret of support team
    The character has a mecha support team with the necessary resources for keeping his mecha supplied and in working order. All of the character's mecha-based Effects switch to Instinct, as his team takes care of their support and replenishment. The player can make a Backing (I) check during refreshment to reduce his mecha Effect support cost by check level. Failure causes the team to temporarily withdraw support from the pilot and his mecha, forcing him to fix things before drawing on the team's support again.

    Backing (I)
    The Ability depicts the character's position and contacts in his organization. It's useful for getting special resources and freedom from the system.

    What does the scale difference between people and mechas and ships actually do rules-wise? I seem to remember that I've done something similar at some point... ah, we discussed space battles a while back on the forums. Perhaps that has some useful ideas.

    The Secrets seem like a fine starting point to me.

  2. Thanks for checking it out, isabout and for the Secrets tips and the link back to the Forge. Somehow I missed that thread about space battles completely.

    Mechanically, Scale is a defined advantage/disadvantage for causing harm. It's a rule of thumb really. I'm thinking that the Cyclone motorcycle mecha would fit between man and mecha on that scale at +-2 to represent it not being as tough as a typical mecha such as a Veritech.