Jan 6, 2012 1
Hey gang, remember this? Posts where I talk about every RPG/Wargame/Boardgame I’ve played? Well it’s back.
And what better place to pick it up again, than R Talsorian Game’s mecha-themed roleplaying game, Mekton. Running on the same system as their Cyberpunk RPG, I picked up Mekton II second hand while at university. Then never got round to playing it. This is a recurring theme in my RPG purchases.
That didn’t stop me purchasing their next edition of the game Mekton Zeta, and its supplement Mekton Zeta Plus. While Mekton II, like earlier editions of Teenagers From Outer Space, didn’t really wear its influences on it’s sleeves, Zeta was clearly shouting I AM AN ANIME RPG. The cover had upgraded from Ben Dunn’s pastiche on Mekton II, to having the real thing in a painted Yuji Kaida cover. Inside you had a chapter called “Running Anime” that addressed how to get an anime tone to your games.
As good as the basic game was, once you added the Mekton Zeta Plus supplement, it really became the anally retentive mecha fan gamer’s dream. Not only would it let you create stats for pretty much any mecha you might want to imagine, the level of detail meant if had “official stats” for mecha (like weight/height etc) you could effectively reverse engineer a mecha into the game stats.
RTG eventually were involved in the second volume of the anime magazine V-Max, leading to anime gaming articles where you could see the power of that reverse engineering in practice. Do you want to pilot Giant Robo in a RPG? Well volume 2 issue 2 of V-Max gave you that chance.
Not that I did. Instead I ran a couple of heavily derivative campaigns of the my own design. The first was MYSTERY HUNTER ROBO. Which was basically X-Files with giant robots. Including one based on Ninjzz from The Bots Master. This is what happens when you players make their own robots. The problem I ran into was that only about half my RPG group liked anime. So after I put that on hold, we formed a splinter rpg & anime watching group and ran a sequel campaign called HADES EXPLORER Q. Or HEQ for short.
In that campaign the heroes travelled in the titular ship to another dimension called Hades where the villains of Mystery Hunter Robo (a terrorist organisation made up of dragons) had come from. They then got mixed up in the politics of that world while trying to prevent an invasion of Earth.
A third campaign, BONE MACHINE, never got off the ground and instead I returned to the campaign years later using a different anime themed RPG, but that’s another post.
Other campaigns I had sketched out but never ran included GIGA INFINITUS: THE BIGGEST ROBOT IN THE UNIVERSE and I.D.O.L. FORCE. The latter involved David Bowie forming a team of new robot piloting pop stars to battle his former team mates, the now evil Iggy Pop and Lou Reed. In the 70s the three had piloted a Getter Robo style combining mecha together.
If you are interested in finding out more about the game, check out MektonZeta.com