I’m scheduled to run Mechaton at Ubercon this weekend. But it’s scheduled in the role-playing room, so I felt I should do what I could to add RPG elements to the wargame. Here’s my notes-in-progress. All comments welcome, including “Cool idea,” “Lame idea,” and “Happy Birthday.”
MechAcademy: Finals Week.
Only the best and the brightest make the cut to train at MechAcademy. Young men and women learn to operate the most cutting-edge mechs and hone their skills in defending the United Worlds from the murderous onslaught of the Nebula Confederation. It’s finals week, and it’s time to prove you’ve got the right stuff. Will you graduate with honors, or be scrubbed? Will go to the graduation ball with your secret crush, or be the laughing stock of the senior class? Will you be assigned to the flagship, or end up a desk jockey?
The basic setup is going to be two final exam battles fought at the school. The first is going to be for “Mechs vs. Conventional Forces” class. All the players will essentially be on the same side, and I’ll fight them w/ tanks and the like. This will allow players to familiarize themselves w/ the rules, and get comfortable w/ their characters.
Then there will be some role-playing scenes about advancing personal goals and preparing for the last final exam battle: “Mech vs. Mech Combat.” The players will each be out for themselves in an effort to secure glory and their personal goals.
DUTY: To defend the United Worlds from the murderous Nebula Confederation.
Each character has a Duty goal (same for all characters), a Team goal (same for all of a single house), and a Personal goal. Each station in each combat has points you can win toward achieving those goals. However, you can also spend the points to help you in the combat.
In battle you can spend points like this:
- Spend 1 point to bump up 1 die 1 point before placing it into a category. No more than 1 point per die per turn. Cannot bump a d6 to a “7” or a d8 to a “9”.
- Spend 2 points to reroll 1 die before placing it into the grid. No more than 1 point per die per turn.
When you spent points, you need to describe how that goal is helping you now, or how your current actions are making it more difficult for you to win that goal.
For non-combat scenes, they’ll play like Enrichment Scenes in WGP… The player decides what they want, and bids points to get it. I bid points about how much I don’t want them to get it. Winner gets their Stakes, loser gets both bids worth of points. Ties go to the player.
After the final battle, we’ll survey overall number of unspent points in the various goals, and use those to describe epilogues.
Character Name #1 – To take Character Name #3 (my secret crush) to the graduation ball.
Character Name #2 – To prove I can be trusted even though my father defected.
Character Name #3 – To prove I deserve everything I got, even though my father is chancellor of MechAcademy.
Character Name #4 – To be the first clone assigned to the flagship.
Team Celestial Fury
Character Name #5 – To be the first in my family to pilot mechs, rather than just repair them.
Character Name #6 – To prove that a self-aware robot can pilot a mech as well as a human.