Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Thu, 10 Feb 2000 15:05:30 -0800


CT Chin writes,

> Ok I've finally decided to try and learn what Mekton is like. But err
> after some surfing, I still have no idea how Mekton is played.

  Well, like most pen-and-paper RPGs (or, as they're known in Japan,
"table-talk RPGs"), there's a fairly detailed set of rules packaged as a
rulebook (presumably available from publisher R. Talsorian Games,
www.talsorian.com). I don't think anyone's posted the whole set online, but
maybe some of our gamer list buddies can give you a sense of what the game
play is like. Here's my two-minute take:

  In general, pen-and-paper RPGs are exercises in collaborative
storytelling. One player gets to be the referee - setting up the plot,
controlling the secondary characters, applying the rules to determine how
actions and events are resolved, and describing the results to the other
players. Everybody else gets to act out the role of their character, e.g. "I
saunter into the room, haul back, and punch Char right in the nose."

  Within this genre, Mekton is noteworthy for its extensive selection of
character skills; its emphasis on anime-style storytelling, including a
random tragic-life-story generator; and its elaborate mecha construction
system.

  Unlike, say, Warhammer, Mekton has an emphasis on character development
and storytelling. I'd suspect that most players spend more time designing
their robots than fighting in them. ;-)

> How does the Gundam RPG work? Pretty similar to Mekton? Is it popular in
> Japan?

  No idea on that last point. But, like Mekton, it has a heavy emphasis on
charecters and story, with a fairly lightweight combat system. I recall it's
been criticized for its relatively simple combat mechanics...

> So what's the total? My guess is 140 MS's, 8 MA's (that's easy), 40
> tanks, 50 jets, (43 episodes series). Am I close?

  Not exactly. The tally they present is actually almost identical to the
one I'd come up with a couple years back (I thought I was the only person
obsessive enough to do this!). To get the tally of 142 victories that's
cited in EB 39, they count not only planes and tanks, but also mobile
armors, ships, air carriers, even trucks and gun turrets. Since the tally
only covers on-screen events, you can assume that Amuro racked up a lot of
off-screen scores at Jaburo, Solomon, and A Bao A Qu. I'd assume that these
unshown exploits would at least equal the extra ships and trucks and stuff.

  I don't have their tally handy right now, but referring to the Amuro pilot
profile I did for the Gundam Project, I counted "at least 60 enemy mobile
suits, 35 fighters, seven mobile armors, and seven capital ships". That's
about what the Gundam Senki staff came up with, plus tanks (which I didn't
list on the site).

-- Mark

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