Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mekton II - review

Mekton II is an mecha/anime RPG dating back to 1987. This edition is large A4ish paperback and 94 pages long. Thin card cover, colour illustration on the front with black and white throughout.
Inside, the rules open with the title “Danger! Romance! Giant Robot Combat!” which gives you an idea of what the game is shooting for. The designers have crafted a relatively light game, but by “relative” I mean relative to games of its vintage.

The book jumps straight into character creation with you generating D10 based statistics for Intelligence, Reflexes, Cool, Tech Ability, Luck, Attractiveness, Education,  Body Type and Movement Allowance. There’s a nice table relating to statistics that details what each value for each stats means. For instance a Luck score of 2 indicates “The gods hate you”, and an Intelligence of 8 indicates “Gifted”. This really adds some flavor to the bare numbers.

The next step is to work through a “life path”. This generates details of your characters family and fiends. Are your parents alive? What’s your goal in life? Does your brother hate you, what about your boss? After you’ve worked through these tables you’ll have a whole relationship network set up.
The next step is to buy skills. These are linked to career with each having a set of associated skills. You spend a number of points based on your Education stat. Skills, like stats range from 1-10.
The skill system works by you adding your skill to a stat to a D10 die roll and trying to beat a difficulty level, with all the usual modifiers.

The book now moves into kit and equipment. There's a table of weapons followed by the descriptions  of all the high tech kit you would expect from a any sci fi game, including vehicles and mecha.

The next 17 pages of the book detail the man and mecha combat rules. It’s a tactical combat system based on hexes. Mecha combat works the same as man to man combat but with bigger hexes, which means you don’t have to learn two systems.

The next few pages details the medical rules, so they obviously expect your characters to get hurt!
The really juicy bit comes next. Building mecha oh delightful tech crunch. Pick a size (weight) of mecha, add armour weapons and other bits of kit. I love this stuff.

The final section presents an adventure and default world in less than 20 pages.

I love this game. The character creation is a delight, the skill system simple. Admittedly I don’t use the hex based system of combat as I always prefer the more narrative style. The book looks good with line art on almost every page, it exudes theme and the rules back up that theme without getting in the way of quick game play.

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