Friday, 23 February 2018

Campaigns I'll Probably Never Run - Shisa Squadron TTS for Mekton Zeta

So I know it's been a while since I posted something for the Blog.  Some of you are probably wondering "Where's the next part of Yakuza 2019 you bastard?!" to answer your question.  It's going to be delayed for quite some time, probably until Summer.  Due to the fact that there was a College Faculty strike up here in Ontario, which basically meant the School year got kind of messed up.  What does that have to do with my ability to write stuff?  Quite a lot actually, since that means the GM for the Campaign doesn't have time to run it anymore or to play in any other games for that matter.  So I'm left with nothing to do until that gets cleared up.  Fortunately boredom is a great motivator, which is why I present you another Campaign Pitch I've been working on.

Now I can't really take all the credit for this one.  It in fact comes from a Hillfolk supplement called Blood on the Snow.  Those of you who've been with the Blog a long time might remember some of my earlier posts about adapting another setting from the same book.  Shanghai 1930 a series of posts about adapting that to the Call of Cthulhu system which you can find by clicking here and here.  The campaign pitch comes from a Playset within Blood on the Snow called "Article Nine" referring to the part of the Japanese constitution that prevents Japan from participating in foreign conflicts.  (Page 125 of Blood on the Snow if you're interested).  It's one of those settings that when I read it said "Wow I would really love to run a game in this world."

Artwork for the Article Nine Setting, the robot
looks a little too bulky to outmaneuver a F-35.
To briefly summarize Article Nine takes place in a Near Future (20XX) where war threatens to break out between East Asian countries in the Pacific.  China and Vietnam being chief among them.  While the United States, Japan and Russia are at risk of being drawn into the conflict to protect their interests in that area.  During one of the initial skirmishes a patrol of Chinese Warships were attacked out of nowhere!  By what observing American F-35s reported to be Giant Flying Robots!  Before losing sight of the two craft the American Military observed that they resembled a prototype developed by one Dr. Yamaguchi, a Japanese Scientist for use in Earthquake rescue and Mars Exploration.  Who disappeared along with his prototype as well as a good chunk of Kyoto.  (That kind of thing happens when you develop a Nuclear Fission-Powered robot that generates an eleven-dimensional forcefield, that can only be maintained by a Machine-Brain link with a Teenaged Pilot).  The robots that attacked the Chinese patrol were dead-ringers for Yamaguchi's missing prototype.  Only these one's were equipped with weaponry.  The Japanese government in coalition with the Americans quickly summoned the only surviving member of Yamaguchi's research team.  It was clear that the Japanese and their American Allies had fallen behind in the Giant Robot Race.

One of the few Mecha Anime I've seen Fullmetal Panic!
I forgot what the Mecha in this looked like, honestly I think the
one's in the campaign might look similar.  They've got that
boxy look that Military Hardware usually has.
The other Mecha Anime I've seen Neon Genesis Evangelion.
A.K.A. The series they stole to make Pacific Rim.  More fighting
giant monsters than the campaign calls for.
So yes this is going to be Campaign, along the lines of so many Mecha Anime.  A genre that I never really took an interest in.  I've seen Three Mecha Anime in my entire life.  Fullmetal Panic (which I liked more as a Comedy), Code Geass and Neon Genesis Evangelion (which I found to be incredibly overrated, I can feel the rage of so many Otaku everywhere).  Simply put it's a genre that I never really explored before.  The setting was so interesting to me, that I couldn't pass it up.  In this case I'm going to be taking a setting for a more Story-focused game (like Hillfolk) and give it a little more crunch.  Not that different from taking setting published for D&D and running it really.  So now it just comes down to what system to use, I had thought about using GURPS, but I found their Mecha book a little lacking.  Another that sprung to mind was the Mecha & Manga Sourcebook for Mutants and Masterminds.  I decided to drop that one as well because of a previous short-lived Super Hero Campaign.  Which caused me to lose faith in that System's validity.  That's when it hit me, Mekton Zeta!  Made by the same folks that brought us one my favourite game Systems Cyberpunk 2020.  With a great many of the same mechanics.  It was also written during the Golden Age of Mecha Anime by people who love the Genre rather than a company trying to fill a niche.  It even has some elements to it that I think make it superior to Cyberpunk (putting the Lifepath, which I think is the greatest mechanic first for one).  I've fiddled around with the Mecha Construction rules a little over the last few days (and still haven't got the starting Mech I want for the campaign down-pat yet), but at least the elements are all there to build the Robots described in Blood on the Snow.  Anti-gravity, reactive shields (forcefields to you laymen), mind-machine links,  it's all there.  Everything I'd need to build one of these super-robots.  I just need to tweak it a little.  I'm building these in the 350 to 400 point range, since these are largely prototypes rather than Standard-Military Issue.  The players would probably be playing Teenage JASDF (Japanese Air Self-Defense Force) Mecha-Pilots in training.  (This setting uses the trope of only Teens being able to pilot Mechs.  A cliche that used to piss me off, but I will let slide for now).  Probably built on 65 points and Rookies (though an argument could be made for 18 year old Professional Graduates from Elite Training Programs).  If the players so desire they could build secondary non-combat focused characters.  Military Officers, Researchers and Technicians around the base.  Built as 70 point Professionals.  A special rule I'd have to implement is that no Pilot would have Mech Piloting at higher than +3 to start and no Mech Combat Skill at higher than +2.  Since this is a setting where Mech technology is still in its infancy as are the training programs for Pilots.  In fact training exercises will make up quite a few of the earlier sessions.  I think it'd be a nice opportunity to help myself and the players get the hang of the system.  As well as get to know the inhabitants of the small Okinawan Island that their airbase is located.  Click here for more information on that.  

Anyways I think that about wraps it up for this short little campaign pitch.  Tell me what you think in the comments below.  Be sure to +1, follow and reshare.  As always have a nice day and may you roll many crits.