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GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011





Giant Guardian Generation is a game where you make awesome characters and have them board robots to punch other robots in the face, without a care in the world for realism and a lot of care for dramatics. It is a game that aims for a balance between the cinematic action and narrative flow of games like FATE with the tactical depth and diversity of gameplay present in systems like D&D 4E.

The core resolution system is 1d10 + Modifier (Usually an Attribute) against a Difficulty Number. If you match or pass that number, you succeed at what you wanted to do, pretty standard stuff so far. But not a lot of things change those modifiers, instead there is an Advantage/Disadvantage System that lets you roll multiple d10's and keep the better of those rolls, or keeping the worse roll for Disadvantages. You can trade stacks of Advantages for additive d10's if you're feeling lucky, or do it with Disadvantages to increase the base Difficulty instead, letting you manipulate the odds a little.

So how is it different from every other anime-themed Mecha game out there? Glad you asked. Here's the disclaimer you can find in the first few pages. It says a lot, but at the same time it is not very specific, so I will add commentary to it.

What you will find in GGG:
-A streamlined Mecha system that is easily adapted to any kind of game.
The system is largely effects-based and point-buyish, leaving just enough room to reskin the hell out of it. You can use it to do battle with giant walking demigods, semi-realistic spidertanks, or even to rip off Medabots as the fluff calls for it.
-Gameplay that emphasizes both a smooth flow of narrative and tactical gameplay.
Action while on the ground is cinematic and aims to make the PCs feel awesome, during said scenes each character can earn Genre Points from roleplaying their personal Themes. Genre Points can be used to do cool things like turn successes into failures, unlock a secret technique in the middle of combat, do a combination attack with your buddies and a myriad of other things.
-Modular mechanics that can be as simple or as complex as the group wants them to be.
The general rules are quite simple, and at its core the system lets you resolve each turn with a single roll. Things get considerably more complex when you want a transforming battleship that can also combine with another PC, that also has its own platoon of mooks to command. But you can tweak or disallow rules you don't like to your heart's content and the rest will hold together just fine.
-Balance that allows any kind of PC to be just as good a pilot as all the others.
The base statblocks for Pilots and Mecha are separate, making it so the experienced soldier and the average salaryman are both just as good when riding a giant robot. They do intertwine when it comes to Genre Points and the various rules related to them, but since those behave the same for all Characters regardless of build, all PCs are great Pilots no matter how ludicrous the concept.
-A setting with three possible game modes, each being evocative of classic and modern Mecha series.
In true Super Robot Wars-esque fashion there's a sixty-page setting at the back that includes three scenarios. There's the Hiryu Soaring Dragon Fortress, who fight giant aliens from their base that is a dragon's head on top of a mountain. The Mobile Battleship Wagner wages a guerilla war against THE MAN who has aligned themselves with the aliens. And lastly there's the Clarke Foundation in the space colonies investigating the appearance of spontaneously born monsters that assimilate everything around them.

What you will NOT find in GGG:
-Mecha customization requiring enough mathcraft to mimic an engineering simulator.
GGG doesn't care whether your giant robot actually uses aluminium foil for armor or if you take the idea of gold-plated armor too far. If you really like the minigame of managing the minute details of your giant robot to make them feel realistic, then I'm sorry to say there's other games that do it better - which is to say, games that do it at all.
-Gameplay that prioritizes narrative control over all other mechanics.
Genre Points go a long way towards making things follow the rules of drama, but they're not a way to sidestep the rest of conflict resolution. If you don't really want involved combat mechanics or character creation, you should look elsewhere.
-Tables and charts that need to be referenced while playing the game.
There's a few optional tables for spicing up character creation or coming up with a random plot for a session, but that's it. Gameplay is meant to be fast, and checking tables forces things to pause momentarily, so if you like extra randomness in your resolution mechanics, you will not find that here.
-A system for standalone or one-shot adventures, more like a movie than a TV series.
GGG is meant for episodic gameplay, with story arcs being a part of the rules for character growth. It is a game that wants a plot with defined start and end points, not to be played indefinitely or just once. It can do those things, but is not optimized for it.
-A miniatures-based combat system. Individual Mecha are too complex to field them in numbers.
Combat is at its best with small groups of no more than 10 units out there at once, and battlefields are also smaller and more abstract than in most RPGs. While you can theoretically make a wargame with huge armies on each side out of it, and doing so would probably be fun, chances are you're better off with a dedicated wargame.

A few snippets of things not mentioned above:

Intense Combat:
There's a Tension system that grants a bonus to all offensive rolls equal to the current round, adding another layer of depth to combat tactics - timing your abilities. You want to save your decisive attacks for that perfect moment when they will hurt the most, taking your time to gauge the enemy is actually a decent idea, and stalemates will not last for long.

Anime as gently caress:
The game does not just incorporate a lot of anime conventions into the rules, it makes them badass. You can make dramatic speeches to keep your allies in the fight even if they're barely holding up together, and you can jump across the battlefield to shield an ally from a lethal blow at the last possible second. Not anime enough for you? Fine, you know when your enemies reveal the trick they had up their sleeve and totally screw your plans? In this game you can go "I knew you would do that, so I prepared a countermeasure in advance. " stopping them cold.

Fun for the GM:
Enemies come in three types: Grunts, Rivals and Bosses. While Rivals are just like PCs, and thus somewhat complex, Grunts and Bosses take minutes at most to build. Bosses in particular are very satisfying to play with and to fight against, because rather than having loads of HP, they get stronger the more you beat them up, going from above average bruisers to horrible monsters that set everything around them on fire or are in four places at the same time. Because there's in-built mechanics for the PCs to survive being defeated, a GM can go all-out on the party and enjoy the tactical combat without worrying over a TPK.

Now this is a game that I've written myself, so you will have to excuse me if my pitch comes across as overly excited. But you don't have to take my word for it! Go ahead and check it out, because the game is free, and if you've read this far then you don't have anything to lose by giving the first few chapters a skim.

Useful Links:

Download Link
Development Blog
Google Docs editable Character & Mecha Sheets
More Compact, slightly prettier version of said Sheets.

GimmickMan fucked around with this message at Jul 2, 2013 around 21:24

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Crono S. Magnum
Feb 29, 2008


If this system actually works, it could be badass. Love me some giant robots!

SuperMonkeyJoe
May 14, 2009


This sounds like a helluva lot of fun, downloading it now. The name of it must be a nod to the anime series GaoGaiGar no?

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Partially, yes. All I knew when it was time to name it, was that I wanted something to do with the letter G due to how prolific it is as far as japanese robots are concerned (Getter, Gundam, etc.), then figured that since the game was likely going to be a gigantic reference, might as well go all the way with the G's like GaoGaiGar did.

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid


So have you designed this game yourself? Dude that's pretty sweet, it'll take me a while to work through the book, but have you tested this game out with folk and if you have, what was your favourite moment?

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Yes and yes, its been playtested openly for a year and by now I think it is pretty solid, so that's why I made a thread. As for favorite moments? There's a lot to choose from, but the most recent would be against a single Boss. Now this was reaching the end of a very long running game where everyone is a psychic and fluffwise the robots would be optimized for abusing that, so the power scale was out there by then.

The bad guy in question had dimension-altering powers, and could launch "Time-Space Shockwaves" that would wreck everyone in the vicinity by rapidly compressing and uncompressing anyone exposed to it - including himself. The cherry on top was that he could heal himself, or rather, revert himself to a previous and less damaged version. It was a race in figuring out how to get through his space-bending and time-manipulating defenses, while keeping the characters alive between the waves of unblockable damage.

The PCs pulled through when the last standing character chose to dive into the detonation of the time-space weapon and ride the shockwave all the way to the Boss, punching him everywhere forever. But mostly in the face.

The fluff was completely ridiculous and over the top. And yet in rules terms all the Boss did was use a special Boss-only weapon with unblockable area damage (3G-Bomb) with the victorious PC resorting to a Genre Power (Martyr) that hurts someone when they hurt you. I made the game, I know its ins and outs, and that fight had me scrambling to eke out a victory all the way to the end - which I failed at, anyway, because that last detonation took my PC out. But the day was saved even though I got put out of commission, and it was intense all the way to the end. I think that fight was the one that really sold me on the way that Bosses are designed.

Arashiofordo3
Nov 5, 2010

Warning, Internet
may prove lethal.


I'm finding some of the phrasing pretty confusing and unclear. For example when designing a mecha theres an option to make it a transformer. The explanation of the cost mechanics are just so obtuse that I can't work out what the hell the result is. There were a couple of other points like that. I'm just finding a lot of the writing quite difficult to get through, and the large walls of text really aren't helping. It's a shame because the system itself looks really fun and simple.

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid


Are you intending to run a play-by-post to show off this system? Try and get some interest for it going?

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Frankly I agree that some rules (specifically Transformations, Sub Units, Combinations and Remote Weapons) are too wordy. I would like it if they weren't, but given all the other moving parts in the rules they do need all those clarifications. I try to go for simplicity whenever possible but in the case of those four it made them terrible/overpowered.

A Transformation boils down to paying 15 UP to grab two sets of things worth 10 UP each, and you can alternate between both sets of abilities every turn. It isn't complicated but is worded somewhat weirdly to avoid rules loopholes, and if I knew how to make it read more in english and less in legalese (but keeping things functional), I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I also have no idea how to run or play a PbP, though I'm considering taking it to F&F or maybe using this thread to that same end.

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid


What's F&F exactly? I'm not familiar with that abbreviation.

How mod-able is the system in general? For instance if I were to break away from the four gear types and start making my own what would be the best way to avoid making anything game breaking?

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



F&F is the Fatal & Friends thread.

Modding or adding new Powers, Upgrades, and Weapons is a lot safer to do than modifying the other Chassis types. I would like to add more of them later, but the current set has the ones that I found 'safe'. They have their own specific roles without being locked on to them.

That said there are three general rules you can follow to mod them without wrecking anything.

1) Armor, Energy and Accuracy are worth the double of Evasion, Threshold and Penetration. You can take out a point of Accuracy and get two Threshold or trade one Evasion and one Threshold for one Energy.
2) Don't take out more than 5 to any single Attribute from the current ones, and no Attribute may go under 0. If you're modding the Dynamic (Starting Evasion 9) then their Evasion can't go under 4.
3) Don't go over the existing maximums for each Attribute. Don't make a Chassis with higher Evasion than the Eagle, or more Energy than the Destroyer.

It actually is a lot more complicated than that. Chassis was one of the hardest parts of the system to balance and required the most playtesting, but that's an okay approximation of the process.

JohnOfOrdo3
Nov 7, 2011

My other car is an asteroid


Cheers! That should come in pretty handy. Plus it makes sense from a rule perspective since you need to spend two UP to increase Armour, Energy and Accuracy.

I can imagine it would be the hardest part of the game, since the entire combat focus is on them and you don't want to make any substantially better then all the other. Otherwise why take any of the others at all?

I think I'm going to try running two different campaigns of this, one with a serious tone which most of the modifications will be going into to create background details and world building (Plus perhaps the occasional combat gimmick like "Today you're piloting a stolen garbage disposal mech." to make the situation tense and make them all the happier about getting their own mech back). The other using the base rules and seeing exactly how crazy things can go. It should be fun

Dj Meow Mix
Jan 27, 2009

cat scratch fever


Found this just scrolling through TG and it looks pretty awesome, so my group is going to try to play it. Great work on the manual!

Is there any way you can think of to incorporate races into the game? Most robot pilots tend to be standard humanoids, but I have a few people that would like to try to have a Macross style set up with Zentradi characters and we're not sure how to work that into character creation without breaking things too much. I was thinking making it an anomaly, with a huge physical buff but a movement decrease or something, along with a stricter punishment for limb maiming. Would that be the best way to go about it?

Thanks, keep up the good work.

Xenomorph Zero
Oct 27, 2008


This seems absurdly cool, because I have always enjoyed my giant anime robots. Are there any thoughts on a physical manual?

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



I am hoping to get a system update out this weekend with some tweaks (in the interest of full disclosure, there has been an update since I made the thread, but I did not post it because it really needs some corrections) and with it there would be a grayscale version of the manual in US Letter size that should not cost an arm and a leg to print out. That's about the most I can do without getting into legally dubious territory.

As for giant characters... Well on the Mecha side you can just give them the Power Suit Feature and call it a day. That's the easy part.

The hard part is for the PCs proper. The pros of being huge largely outweigh the cons if we're being cinematic, specially if they're supersoldiers who can survive in the vacuum of space like the Zentraedi can. Anomalies won't cut it.

Your best bet might be to just treat them as characters with a micronized form normally, but give them a macro form as an equipment of sorts. It doesn't need to be equipment per se, it just needs to cost PP like other Traits and to not be 'always on'. You can roll the benefits of say the Body Suit and an Ether Drive (Using Somatics to buff themselves) together into a Giant Form that both grants protection and lets them exert themselves beyond what regular-sized PCs can do. That's what I can come up with off the top of my head, anyway.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Doubleposting to bump because there's been an update. The 1.81 version makes small tweaks (mostly buffs) here and there and puts a limit on how many times you can take some of the more universally good options to encourage diversity.

Captain Walker
Apr 7, 2009

Mother knows best
Listen to your mother
It's a scary world out there


This is cool enough that it should get more love in TG. Haven't read yet but regardless of actual quality it's a goon made tactical anime robot game that apparently can be reskinned into a goon made tactical anime Persona game, and that's great.

AnEndcat
Mar 20, 2013


I've been looking for a game to do a fantasy mecha game, and this looks perfect if I re-skin Miracles to Sorcery, remove electronics, etc. There's nothing mechanical in the system that requires it to be sci-fi based, right? I mean, I'm guessing it was built to be able to handle stuff like Escaflowne and Cybuster.

Captain Walker
Apr 7, 2009

Mother knows best
Listen to your mother
It's a scary world out there


I know it's only like halfway through October but I'm eagerly awaiting the write-up of the Persona reskin which you promised in the "What System Should I Use" megathread. Do you have any more info on that? I'm trying to get a game together for some friends and I'd like to ask you for some advice, but one of them is a goon so the forums are not a spoiler-free zone for him. If you can send an gmail to pika132 (at gmail, obviously) with whatever you can offer I'd appreciate it.

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Out of curiosity, do you roll a Penetration Test when you hit with an attack? Most of the rules seem to hint against it, but the mecha fight example mentions it explicitly, which mucks things up. Is that a holdover of a previous version or intentional? Seems like it'd make fights incredibly short since you'd double dip Tension and add an extra 1d10 damage with each hit.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



So sorry I missed these posts for the entire month guys.

AnEndcat posted:

I've been looking for a game to do a fantasy mecha game, and this looks perfect if I re-skin Miracles to Sorcery, remove electronics, etc. There's nothing mechanical in the system that requires it to be sci-fi based, right? I mean, I'm guessing it was built to be able to handle stuff like Escaflowne and Cybuster.

Exactly, even the equipment is easy enough to just reskin into magical rather than sciency stuff. You could also replace bullet and missile weapons with other types of projectiles, or just take them out entirely and work with melee and magic (beams).

Captain Walker posted:

I know it's only like halfway through October but I'm eagerly awaiting the write-up of the Persona reskin which you promised in the "What System Should I Use" megathread. Do you have any more info on that? I'm trying to get a game together for some friends and I'd like to ask you for some advice, but one of them is a goon so the forums are not a spoiler-free zone for him. If you can send an gmail to pika132 (at gmail, obviously) with whatever you can offer I'd appreciate it.

I blogged a preview of what I'll end up doing (a Social Link variant for the Genre Theme rules) but I'll email you with some advice regarding what works and what doesn't until the real stuff is written up.

Transient People posted:

Out of curiosity, do you roll a Penetration Test when you hit with an attack? Most of the rules seem to hint against it, but the mecha fight example mentions it explicitly, which mucks things up. Is that a holdover of a previous version or intentional? Seems like it'd make fights incredibly short since you'd double dip Tension and add an extra 1d10 damage with each hit.

That line is indeed a holdover from an older version, about a whole third of that example no longer works since this January. In other news, I really need an editor.

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Whew, good to know. I was sure it wasn't meant to work that way since it would be way too fast, but you never know.

On a different note, out of curiosity, can I ask you for your take on three things?

A) I've been crunching some maths lately to get to know the system a bit better, and learned a pretty interesting thing: Even on Beams, there's pretty much no reason to take bonus Accuracy over Penetration once you've pushed it high enough that you won't miss the target no matter what you roll, except as insurance against ECS and other active defenses (because two extra points of penetration just add damage more quickly than one point of accuracy). Likewise, since advantages can be so fickle, taking Reliable is a chancy proposition at best unless you're sure your allies can keep you from taking disadvantages and you won't have to face Afterimaged or Hypersonic Striking enemies. Are Reliable and Accurate intended to not be quite as good as Penetration for damage even on Beams or is that just a quirk of the pricing scheme?

B) Are there any extra advantages or disadvantages you would consider adding to the custom weapon system, like for example a low-gain Hungry for Ballistic and Missiles? Fiddling with the system a bit, I was surprised to learn how hard it was to make a mecha that had a 'strong' weapon and a big badass finisher, because taking the disadvantages that would make the 'strong' weapon reliable to finish off mooks and minor enemies meant the big weapon became considerably less impressive, due to losing things like Technique, Slow and so on (because you can only feasibly slap Hungry on one of the two weapons to any degree past maybe one rank, since otherwise you'll be unable to use the other one when it's meant to be used due to sharing one energy pool for both weapons). That seems like a bit of an oversight, since you can't really make a mecha like the Cybuster with its Cyflash and Cosmo Nova right now.

C) Is it me, or does G-Buster really, really suck? Most battles I've played in and directed don't go past Round 5 unless the enemies are spamming Overcharge + Gravagne Field or high-rolling ECS. Adding 2 or 3 accuracy and damage to one beam attack just seems way worse than being able to kite with missiles, close gaps with melee, or attack two different targets. Is there something to it that makes it better than it looks, or are you really just better off pretty much always with using Try Again, Righteous Fury, Target Lock or Keeping Up (Penetration), depending on what you need?

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Ask all you want, questions get me thinking and the more I think about the game the better it can be.

A) As far as pure damage goes, Penetration is intended to be superior, since that's all it does. Accuracy pulls double duty, but is also more expensive for that. It is a quirk of the attributes themselves, rather than the pricing scheme. When it comes to high end optimization Advantages are essentially a gamble, and you're betting on that you'll stack multiples so you can turn them into extra dice, which is quite lethal if you roll well enough. I've considered changing the relationship between Accuracy and Penetration to make them both more equal, but it works well enough as is at encouraging you to have at least a little bit of both.

B) Techniques are fine for repeated use as long as it is against different enemies, so as mook finishers there is no downside to their use. Of the many drawbacks that originally existed, the ones that survived were the ones hardest to abuse as 'free points', with some of the sacrifices becoming the downsides of specific weapons like the Long Rifle or Giga Blaster. I also have considered giving everyone a natural Energy regeneration but doing it at this point would basically require to rebalance everything around that change. Seems like it would be for the better, though.

C) The effectiveness of Tension-based effects is somewhat out of the Player's control, which bothers me a little but there is not much I can do about that. The pacing of combat depends on whether your GM likes to send enemies all at once or in waves, grouped up for Blast sweeps or separated, placing them on the other side of the battlefield or deploying them already in range, etc. What you can do to make better use of it is have a defensive build that outlasts enemies and takes advantage of other Tension-based effects like Learning Computer, that way the gradual increase is much more likely to give you a bigger payoff.

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Super insightful answers, thanks for replying!

For the second question, what sort of bugged me is that taking Technique on the lesser of the two big weapons meant that the big finisher got weaker by an appreciable degree - not a dealbreaking one, but it was noticeable and it also felt sort of weird to apply Technique on what was really the mook wiper instead of the true 'big finisher'. It feels like there's room for one or two more major flaws besides the ones in the system already. Were flaws that inflicted a disadvantage (like a reverse Reliable), had limited scaling (no Tension benefit, no extra dice or rerolls from Advantages without an equivalent way to pay off Disadvantages included in the package) or lowered defensive stats (halving evasion, setting armor to 0) or required special conditions in some way (either by performing a specific 'setup' action like the Long Rifle, being completely out of energy or having used a specific upgrade since your last turn) considered? I could see how some could be gamed (requiring an upgrade to have been used specifically, if it was something you'd have used anyway like Support Fire), but a lot of these seem like they'd have no way you could play around them. A disadvantage is always going to hurt unless you're only facing Grunts (and even then, only Grunts without Stealth Field or Three Times Faster) for example, because Rivals and Bosses can use powers like Not So Fast, Confusion In The Ranks and You Are Too Slow to increase their Evasion by 5, either lowering damage or causing outright misses.

Meanwhile, on the Tension discussion, I actually think the problem is the exact opposite, and it's why G-Buster seems so bad to me: The Tension-staller only really works if the entire party is on board with dragging things out. If they're trying to finish a fight quickly, all your investment goes to waste, because a build based on consistent chipping damage followed by a super blast after a grueling match gets outshined when everybody else is dropping their bombs on turn 1 or 2. It's not as big a problem with the Learning Computer and the like because you still get to make the enemy waste actions if you keep shrugging off Tension increases, but G-Buster doesn't get that luxury. When compared to both One Shot, One Kill (which lets you laugh at blinktanks and acts as a big damage amplifier unless you're used to the devil's luck) and Signature Weapon, G-Buster just seems like so much work for so little payoff. Shouldn't one of the weapon-specific powers be more dependant on the traits of the weapon and less on how a party likes to handle its business?

PS: Oh yeah, there was one thing I was curious about that's mentioned in sidebars but I don't think really comes up anywhere: How do enemies get Genre Points? Do they get only the arc pool each fight? Do Rivals and Bosses gain extra GP as their sections get blown up? Do you just set a number that sounds cool and go with that? I think the answer is that they use the arc pool and then Rivals and Bosses get GP as normal, but I have no idea if that's true.

Transient People fucked around with this message at Nov 9, 2013 around 10:28

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Breaking down the post for the sake of clarity.

Transient People posted:

Super insightful answers, thanks for replying!

For the second question, what sort of bugged me is that taking Technique on the lesser of the two big weapons meant that the big finisher got weaker by an appreciable degree - not a dealbreaking one, but it was noticeable and it also felt sort of weird to apply Technique on what was really the mook wiper instead of the true 'big finisher'. It feels like there's room for one or two more major flaws besides the ones in the system already. Were flaws that inflicted a disadvantage (like a reverse Reliable), had limited scaling (no Tension benefit, no extra dice or rerolls from Advantages without an equivalent way to pay off Disadvantages included in the package) or lowered defensive stats (halving evasion, setting armor to 0) or required special conditions in some way (either by performing a specific 'setup' action like the Long Rifle, being completely out of energy or having used a specific upgrade since your last turn) considered? I could see how some could be gamed (requiring an upgrade to have been used specifically, if it was something you'd have used anyway like Support Fire), but a lot of these seem like they'd have no way you could play around them. A disadvantage is always going to hurt unless you're only facing Grunts (and even then, only Grunts without Stealth Field or Three Times Faster) for example, because Rivals and Bosses can use powers like Not So Fast, Confusion In The Ranks and You Are Too Slow to increase their Evasion by 5, either lowering damage or causing outright misses.

The grand majority of drawbacks were conditional Disadvantages, like underperforming when used outside of a Duel or against aerial targets, that kind of thing. The problem there was that you could give all of your Weapons one or two very specific weaknesses, and end up with a very powerful arsenal for few points, and it was up to the GM to make said drawbacks relevant most of the time. You would only be in trouble if you fought enemies that were both fliers and melee-centric, because otherwise you would just use your other Weapon and it would be fine. This way the burden of minimizing drawbacks is on the Players, and while it can be a little restrictive at times, having fewer powerful Weapons around keeps them special.

For example Gallant Kick started as a thing you could do only while flying. It lasted that way like a month, since it basically either had no drawback or could not be used at all, neither option being particularly fun to play with. With that said, upping the limitation on Techniques to two as long as you have no One-Shot types would probably be fine. What I don't want are characters who only have Techniques but they just have so many they would never have to repeat them.

Transient People posted:

Meanwhile, on the Tension discussion, I actually think the problem is the exact opposite, and it's why G-Buster seems so bad to me: The Tension-staller only really works if the entire party is on board with dragging things out. If they're trying to finish a fight quickly, all your investment goes to waste, because a build based on consistent chipping damage followed by a super blast after a grueling match gets outshined when everybody else is dropping their bombs on turn 1 or 2. It's not as big a problem with the Learning Computer and the like because you still get to make the enemy waste actions if you keep shrugging off Tension increases, but G-Buster doesn't get that luxury. When compared to both One Shot, One Kill (which lets you laugh at blinktanks and acts as a big damage amplifier unless you're used to the devil's luck) and Signature Weapon, G-Buster just seems like so much work for so little payoff. Shouldn't one of the weapon-specific powers be more dependant on the traits of the weapon and less on how a party likes to handle its business?

I agree with your conclusion and I'm frankly not satisfied with the power spread between similar abilities that differ in whether they draw from either Tension, Attributes, and plain old randomness for that little extra oomph. I'd like to streamline things a bit more in the future so that there's less of a disparity. If possible, I'd like to have more Tension-based abilities than random ones though, since Tension is one of this game's most unique traits and randomness is swingy by its very nature. That means Bombardment would do Tension damage instead of using a d10, for example.

Oh, and their unique Power only makes them stronger (instead of giving them some special utility value) because that is more or less their shtick: They hurt and hurt a lot. I would agree it is kind of boring, but if you have the GP to spare you can stack it with all the other options for an even more lethal finisher.

Transient People posted:

PS: Oh yeah, there was one thing I was curious about that's mentioned in sidebars but I don't think really comes up anywhere: How do enemies get Genre Points? Do they get only the arc pool each fight? Do Rivals and Bosses gain extra GP as their sections get blown up? Do you just set a number that sounds cool and go with that? I think the answer is that they use the arc pool and then Rivals and Bosses get GP as normal, but I have no idea if that's true.

Both Rivals and Bosses use the stock pool and gain GP when taking damage, but don't get any from roleplaying since they are NPCs. The PCs essentially have a slight upper hand against them there by design, just to minimize the odds of unwinnable encounters further. Bosses do get two GP per Threshold Level they lose though, so that compensates a little. The Boss entry should state this.

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

quote:

Both Rivals and Bosses use the stock pool and gain GP when taking damage, but don't get any from roleplaying since they are NPCs. The PCs essentially have a slight upper hand against them there by design, just to minimize the odds of unwinnable encounters further. Bosses do get two GP per Threshold Level they lose though, so that compensates a little. The Boss entry should state this.

I don't think the amount of GP bosses gain on threshold loss is stated anywhere. I've looked from Page 116 to 122 and nothing seems to suggest it. Here's what their statblock says:

Bosses, P. 116 posted:

Tier 3: Bosses
The toughest of the tough, Bosses are the movers and shakers of the setting as Non-Combatants and fearsome Enemies. Bosses generally fight until they die in battle, and are meant to be rare sights that should not be fought more than once or twice per Arc. A Boss is more or less comparable in power to two PCs.
Because Bosses are powerful, and because the creation of such complex characters can require a lot of time and effort, they are simplified instead. The process is similar to the creation of Grunts, but with vastly more powerful results. The special options available to Boss-type
Combatants are detailed in the next section.

Non-Combatants
Nature: Any. Choose one of Fitness, Intellect or Empathy and another of Awareness, Willpower or Resources. Enhance the chosen Attributes by 5.
Skills: Maximum of 20 PP worth of Skills.
Traits: Maximum of 20 PP worth of Traits.
Genre: No Genre Points or Themes. They get a bonus to Initiative equal to twice the Starting Points of the PCs.
Progression: Choose one of Fitness, Intellect or Empathy and another of Awareness, Willpower or Resources. Enhance the chosen Attributes at the end of every Episode Arc by 1, even past their normal limits.

Combatants
Genre: One Boss Power.
Archetype: One Boss Archetype
Chassis: Any. Choose one of Evasion, Threshold or Penetration and another of Accuracy, Armor and Energy. Enhance the chosen Attributes by 5.
Weapons: One Boss Weapon.
Features: Bosses are immune to Maiming.
Progression: Assign them one of either another Boss Power, Boss Archetype, or Boss Weapon for every Episode Arc past the first. Also enhance all Attributes by 1, even past their normal limits. A Boss may only have two Boss Archetypes starting with the third Episode Arc and needs to be at the fifth Episode Arc to have three Boss Archetypes

(On that note, the sidebar beside Bosses and Rivals mentions granting Rivals Boss weapons, Archetypes and Powers, but isn't 100% clear on what it costs to take them. Reverse-engineering the tradeoffs a Boss makes for normal stuff, a Boss Power costs you your default Genre Powers and three picked powers, a weapon costs 15 UP, and an Archetype likewise costs 15 UP too. Is that correct?)

---

quote:

The grand majority of drawbacks were conditional Disadvantages, like underperforming when used outside of a Duel or against aerial targets, that kind of thing. The problem there was that you could give all of your Weapons one or two very specific weaknesses, and end up with a very powerful arsenal for few points, and it was up to the GM to make said drawbacks relevant most of the time. You would only be in trouble if you fought enemies that were both fliers and melee-centric, because otherwise you would just use your other Weapon and it would be fine. This way the burden of minimizing drawbacks is on the Players, and while it can be a little restrictive at times, having fewer powerful Weapons around keeps them special.

For example Gallant Kick started as a thing you could do only while flying. It lasted that way like a month, since it basically either had no drawback or could not be used at all, neither option being particularly fun to play with. With that said, upping the limitation on Techniques to two as long as you have no One-Shot types would probably be fine. What I don't want are characters who only have Techniques but they just have so many they would never have to repeat them.

That's super interesting news, and is going to make the weapon specialists on my group really happy. Once you take that first Technique, you really start feeling the lack of options and this will help a ton. Thanks!

---

quote:

I agree with your conclusion and I'm frankly not satisfied with the power spread between similar abilities that differ in whether they draw from either Tension, Attributes, and plain old randomness for that little extra oomph. I'd like to streamline things a bit more in the future so that there's less of a disparity. If possible, I'd like to have more Tension-based abilities than random ones though, since Tension is one of this game's most unique traits and randomness is swingy by its very nature. That means Bombardment would do Tension damage instead of using a d10, for example.

Oh, and their unique Power only makes them stronger (instead of giving them some special utility value) because that is more or less their shtick: They hurt and hurt a lot. I would agree it is kind of boring, but if you have the GP to spare you can stack it with all the other options for an even more lethal finisher.

I actually feel like something like Bombardment is needed. Last night, the party got involved in an ambush fight that lasted only four turns, but the Shield got hit with every status effect in the book (at one point it had an Interference Cloud, Disruptor Cannon and Extreme Terrain set of effects on it, and the fight opened with taking an Armor Breaker shot) and still barely even noticed because high armor plus Gravagne Field is just too hardcore when you have an allied unit running Resupply for you (and the entire fight centered around doing base defense instead of just beating up the bad guys). A decent tankbuster option that isn't the Armor Breaker and works from the get-go is sorely needed, because the Shield had a point when he mentioned that the GM had been throwing Armor Breakers at him every mission to try and get him to feel threatened in the same way as the rest of the PCs, and it was tiresome to have his schtick of 'tanky guy' invalidated every other turn every fight. Since Tension always starts at 1, having to rely on it to do tankbusting duties seems like something that wouldn't work too well.

As for G-Buster, have you considered going for the reliability angle of beams instead of their damage potential? Something like ignoring Active Defenses for one shot or one round would give it a clearer niche compared to the other Common abilities and Defaults. It would have a bit of overlap with the Assassin package, but its two defense-ignoring abilities have their own special perks beyond ignoring defenses that give them a unique schtick. Ignoring defenses would be especially helpful because Beams are the one weapon group against which using the Reactive Booster option is very practical, since it basically provides total immunity to beams forever unless you have a genre power to bypass it. It'd be a shame to lose the one Tension focused Common power in the game, but on the plus side that means there'd be design space to make a new power that focused specifically on using Tension in fun ways.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



I somehow remembered to give them an initiative bonus (because getting an increase to it midfight would be useless/annoying to track) but did not write the part that actually makes them stronger! (And yes, reverse engineering boss stuff costs 15 UP/three powers. That's the guideline, anyway, hence why it is a recommendation in a sidebar and not a hard rule.)

The tankbusting is a bit of an issue, but that's more because the Chassis basically optimizes defense in place of... Well, everything else. The other templates have more versatility to them, so I regret writing Shield types that way a little.

I like the idea of the G-Buster piercing active defenses! It makes sense as a thing that charged/aimed blasters would do without being overpowering. Consider it as good as official. I also wrote Weapon Specialization and Elite Mook rules a while ago that your group might find useful to even the playing field and add some variety to encounters a little.

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Yay! I'll go tell my group the good news then. Out of curiosity, do you prefer the v1 Weapon Specializations or the type-specific ones? We added them a while back and left both options on the table, since they both seemed like good ways to increase the amount of customization available to the players. So far only the Beam specialist has taken one (the v1 spec, to make himself some super accurate finishers), but I think the Missile specialist is considering Dogfighter, to suppress big swathes of enemies with missile rains. Both of them seem pretty good and support different playstyles. Would anything too unbalanced happen if both of them are allowed?

Speaking of Shields and tankbustings, I just remembered two questions I forgot to ask before:

A) If I put Divine Wind into an expansion pack and use it, what happens? Would I add no Penetration, always add a full threshold's worth, whatever amount I have at the time or something else? Would it purge the Expansion Pack, blow up one of my limbs, or both? If the former, would it still down me a level of threshold so you could have more usable areas than remaining threshold levels until you restored yourself to the first layer? And if you did that, would you regain use of the Expansion Pack or would it remain busted for the rest of the operation?

B) Would a weapon that dealt true damage equal to the current Tension on a hit (in addition to the normal damage) be a good way to threaten Shields without being too overpowering? Would it be too busted if used against other Chassis? A quick look suggests to me it wouldn't be too bad for the most part, but I could be missing something blatantly obvious that would make it much too effective against the faster or less beefy machines. What price point do you think this ability should have, for a Specific weapon?

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



I personally like the v1 best because of its simplicity, though the v2's are better designed and more interesting to play with. There really shouldn't be a problem since combat goes pretty fast with your group already so things are fast and swingy by default. I know some who swear it is difficult to end things before Tension 10, where the attrition from an ever-present offensive boost might lean things too much towards the users.

Divine Wind sacrificing an Expansion pack would not lose you any health, but would not grant any extra Penetration either. It also does blow up, so don't do it unless you're desperate for more defense-piercing moves.

I would say that, as a middle point of sorts between Bombardment and Gallant Kick, an ability like that would be alright for a specific weapon that does just that and has no other significant bonuses. Make it a Beam that eats up 1 Energy to both optimize it a little against its intended targets and give it a limitation on its spammability. However, you got me thinking about an anti-Shield Weapon specifically, and that led me to this:

Sonic Scabbard
Range: 0-1
Accuracy: +0
Penetration: 0
Energy: 1
Special: Melee. If this Weapon would deal at least 1 Damage, it instead deals half the Enemy's current Level of Threshold in Damage instead.
Description: A scabbard that crafts Sonic Daggers out of raw Element G in mere seconds. These Sonic Daggers are designed to stab a giant robot and then shatter body parts with vibrations from the inside, self destructing the blade in the process. The daggers are worthless if used as traditional weapons, and require taking advantage of openings to strike at the chinks in an opponent's armor.

This little guy is almost always worse than Customs against things that aren't either a Destroyer or a Shield, where it is either decent or fantastic. It is Melee though, so you have to get up close and personal to use it, and the energy cost keeps it from being consequence-free. It is, however, more of an attrition Weapon than a flashy supermove, but it gets the job done.

(The flashy supermove would be Resonance Cannon which, incidentally, doesn't mind being a Technique against low-Evasion types too much)

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Yoinked! That'll come in handy for taking care of tanks. It'll still take a lot of blows to take one down, but now there won't be a need to take away all their toys in the process. Thanks!

BTW, what do you think of a weapon like this, as a companion to it?

Repeating Ray
Range: 0-5
Accuracy: +1
Penetration: 1
Energy: 1
Special: Beam. This weapon deals additional Damage equal to the current Tension on a hit.

Not quite as punchy as the Scabbard, but much safer, plus it has a bit of utility since it becomes a decent anti-Eagle or Dynamic weapon by Round 3 or so. It's very similar to the Long Rifle in a bunch of ways, but less sustainable and with a tiny bit more stats to make it so the early low-Tension period doesn't suck quite as much, since it doesn't gain increase hit-chance like the Rifle does.

EDIT: Hmm...one of the players brought an interesting point up. I'm posting it here since I'm curious on your take on it.

quote:

So the problem with busting down (upgraded) Shields is that with a +0/+0 weapon, it's kind of hard to come up with the base penetration value needed to actually breach their armor. 2 Armor upgrades and a Power Module later and you're checking against Armor 11, possibly even more with a defensive system in place. No unit can possibly muster up a high enough accuracy/penetration combination to actually do 1 point of damage in the first place using the Scabbard without expending Genre Points (which the Shield can counter by employing Counter Intelligence or Believe in Myself).

Against standard factory models, its probably a different story, but still really drat hard if you're an eagle or dynamic.

You could actually increase the penetration value on that weapon (by...+4 or so) and it would not unbalance the weapon at all. If anything that would actually guarantee that it works as intended in most situations.

He makes a pretty interesting point. Due to how the Scabbard works, giving it an insane Penetration value (even a 10!) doesn't actually change anything, but due to how it works right now, it can't actually hurt supertank Shields reliably since they can put up incredible armor values. That seems like it shouldn't work that way. Shouldn't the Scabbard either have very good Penetration or work off of simply landing a hit instead of dealing at least a point of damage?

Transient People fucked around with this message at Nov 11, 2013 around 06:48

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



In theory the Scabbard works so that you have to punch through all that Armor yourself somehow, if it ignored Armor (or had a high Penetration bonus) it would be up there with the Armor Breaker in that there's just not much you can do to resist it. But this is just that, theory, since this thing is just a spur of the moment idea and playtesting might prove you right.

With that said, I'd rather take a risk and make something too good than make it too boring, so here's a buffed up version:

Sonic Scabbard v2
Range: 0-1
Accuracy: +0
Penetration: 6
Energy: 1
Special: Melee, Slow. If this Weapon would deal at least 1 Damage, it instead deals half the Enemy's current Level of Threshold in Damage instead.
Description: A scabbard that crafts Sonic Daggers out of raw Element G in mere seconds. These Sonic Daggers are designed to stab a giant robot and then shatter body parts with vibrations from the inside, self destructing the blade in the process. The daggers are worthless if used as traditional weapons, and require taking advantage of openings to strike at the chinks in an opponent's armor.

This has much better odds of fulfilling its purpose, but being Slow means you cannot use it twice in a row to take out a Level, you have to put in some effort instead. Give the blades some time to grow back!

I would argue the Repeating Ray is more of a problem to Eagles than Shields. While it probably won't hit the former at all until it can take Levels down by itself, the latter won't even care about being poked at until Tension is really high, since they just have so much more Threshold.

I have two modifications you might like:

Sonic Rifle
Range: 0-7
Accuracy: +0
Penetration: 5
Energy: 0
Special: Ballistic, Defective. On passing the Accuracy Test, this weapon deals an amount of Damage equal to the current Tension, even if the Penetration would fail to overcome the target's Armor. This extra Damage will be reduced when Defective does trigger.
Description: Like the Resonance Cannon but miniaturized or something.

This one is good for plinking endlessly at tanks, guaranteeing you will always do a little bit of Damage. But it has low Accuracy and lacks the armor-piercing nature of Beams, so you need Advantages, high Tension, or good offensive stats to make it really hurt.

Final Beam
Range: 0-5
Accuracy: +5
Penetration: 5
Energy: 5
Special: Beam, Overheating. On passing the Accuracy Test, this weapon deals an amount of Damage equal to the current Tension, even if the Penetration would fail to overcome the target's Armor.
Description: An Incinerator variant that melts whatever it hits from the inside and likes to explode on your face.

This is a pretty mean finisher with full Accuracy rollover, good attack bonuses, and essentially a 2xTension bonus on top. It is not even a Technique, but repeated uses need setup and might end up killing you.

I like Final Beam more because it is not strictly a Shield-destroyer since no one likes being on the receiving end of it. You could also use it as a slightly less prohibitive Lux Cannon that eats less Energy but hurts you, and refuel consistently to suicidally launch multiple superattacks. But until Tension is 5+, it is just a mediocre custom weapon.

Hope this helps!

GimmickMan fucked around with this message at Nov 12, 2013 around 00:28

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

It definitely does. That's a really, really awesome trio of weapons. Thanks TK-31!

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


So just to check, size of the units don't have much effect, do they?

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

veekie posted:

So just to check, size of the units don't have much effect, do they?

For the most part, it makes no difference at all, besides for fluff when you have to determine if a Gear can actually fight in a specific location (a 3 kilometer tall monstrosity can't assault an underground complex without massively wrecking everything, for example, and a battleship can't enter a building) and for Base and Fortress units, where the Features tell you what all changes.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



Size is entirely a flavor thing, yeah. One of the first things I realized was that there was no way to make size relevant if I was going to have Gunbuster-sized titans next to your average mass produced Mecha. I considered having a Feature for being really big or really small earlier during the year, but not much came out of it.

I'm revisiting the idea now, with a 'Colossus' enemy Feature that makes them occupy multiple zones. Zones occupied by a Colossus count as Extreme Terrain, so they destroy Tokyo as a byproduct of just walking around a la Godzilla and you want to stay as far away from them as possible. Still playtesting it, though.

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


Mmm, yeah, just thinking of Tekkaman sized units using say, Big O sized units as terrain.

Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

TK-31 posted:

Size is entirely a flavor thing, yeah. One of the first things I realized was that there was no way to make size relevant if I was going to have Gunbuster-sized titans next to your average mass produced Mecha. I considered having a Feature for being really big or really small earlier during the year, but not much came out of it.

I'm revisiting the idea now, with a 'Colossus' enemy Feature that makes them occupy multiple zones. Zones occupied by a Colossus count as Extreme Terrain, so they destroy Tokyo as a byproduct of just walking around a la Godzilla and you want to stay as far away from them as possible. Still playtesting it, though.

...That's interesting. I actually saw something like that in play two weeks ago, as an intentional hazard. During a trip through space, the party's battleship got ambushed and hit by a missile that warped hyperspace. What this did was that the battleship got represented on the battlemap as occupying three zones in a line, and every zone within a distance of 3 from it counted as Extreme Terrain for everybody else. The GM also instituted a one time only rule tweak to allow units to dock or exit the ship as a free action once per turn, and the end result was the players alternatively chose to stay inside the ship to play support for it, popped in and out of it to take potshots and Micromanage the damage from Extreme Terrain away, fired themselves off the ship's cannon into an enemy ship in a display of ingenuity (), or simply spammed Gotta Go Fast to traverse the battlefield without fear of getting hurt by the danger zones. It certainly made for a pretty cool battle, but I imagine that if it could hurt enemies Shields (and to a lesser extent Destroyers) would be absolutely frightening, since they could just wade into melee using Overbooster, Engage enemies and watch them die while tanking everything. It'd be like giving Melee weapons a bonus Incinerator effect. I like it, but it'd probably require free backwards movement to make workable, since otherwise 'stay as far away from the Colossi as possible' means giving up attack actions while they can just keep shooting at you nonstop.

GimmickMan
Dec 27, 2011



veekie posted:

Mmm, yeah, just thinking of Tekkaman sized units using say, Big O sized units as terrain.

Something like Extreme Terrain that moves around would work. As long as you can fly, you are more or less safe, but otherwise you get crushed or swatted. You may want to have Extreme Adaptation as a Special Mode variant (for say, 3 or maybe 5 UP) to give your Mecha a 'climbing mode' for a more Shadow of the Colossus-esque feel.

I am still messing around with weaknesses to a larger size. I tried distributing Areas around the various Zones so that each can be individually targetted and destroyed, as well as granting a bonus to area of effect weapons that cover multiple body parts (+1 final damage per extra area they cover). The former is cooler but a bit more complicated, the latter is simpler but a bit more boring.

edit: Did not see Transient's post. I'm going to say that battle sounds pretty metal. The main problem with Colossi is that, well they are extremely lethal () the moment you stop being immune to them. It should probably be reserved only for Bosses, because I can't see having half a dozen Colossi running around ending well. It just doesn't quite make sense as a Boss Archetype.

An ability to get the heck out of dodge while firing at them would make things a lot easier to handle. Perhaps that should be their weakness: You can run away from them and shoot at the same time. It doesn't fulfill the flavor in the same way the others do, but it works better from a mechanics angle. Maybe it should be combined with the other weaknesses.

GimmickMan fucked around with this message at Nov 14, 2013 around 20:31

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


Spreading Areas across Zones certainly is interesting, as well as the fastball special idea. Gives some advantages to having mixed sizes in a battle too.

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Transient People
Dec 22, 2011

"When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to every thought succeeds indifferently."
- Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan

Definitely use the former idea for sure somehow, because it's and makes for hella cool kaiju and super big robots. As for a weakness, something like 'Non-Colossus, Base or Fortress units may Disengage when Engaged with a Colossus as a free action during their turn's Beginning Phase, but may not move one free zone as normal if they do so' would probably do the trick without it being possible to cheese runaway tactics to shoot the Colossus' friends while running away from him (or alternatively, something like 'In an exemption from the normal movement rules, non-Colossus, Base or Fortress units may use their free movement while attacking to move backwards, but their attacks must have the Colossus or one of his zones as their central target'). Means the only way a Colossus can lock someone down is through Difficult Terrain or them choosing to stay in range. It does have a slightly weird rule interaction where it's harder to escape a Colossus if he chooses not to try and lock you down, but on the other hand that seems to fit pretty well with how units that big cause lots of incidental damage so it may just be a feature and not a bug. vv

EDIT: Speaking of Extreme Terrain! I actually have a question that popped up while reading Terrain rules. When the Extreme Adaptation feature refers to paying 1 additional energy to gain extra movement with your actions, does this refer to all movement not done specifically with an action, only to movement gained from the Boost action, to all movement beyond the usual one free zone or something else?

Transient People fucked around with this message at Nov 14, 2013 around 14:32

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