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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13299 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Lunar Reckoning 69: Speed is life. [Mecha RPG]  (Read 7601 times)

Posts: 2

« on: January 06, 2012, 06:35:08 PM »

In the world of mechs, Battletech/Mechwarrior reigns supreme on the big, lumbering, tank-like side. There also exist many systems which simulate 'super robot'-style antics fairly competently. However, the high-speed, jet-fighter like nature of many other mech shows and media is often underrepresented. The most famous system, Mekton, is kind of a mess, and the rest are often written by people who don't really understand or care about the genre - technically competent, but not really inspiring. Even the good ones are rules-heavy and unmanagable compared to what I want to play.

So, in the face of my desire to run a mecha campaign and the lack of any system I felt met my needs, I decided to go my own way.

Welcome to Lunar Reckoning 69.

LR69 is an RPG which takes place in the titular Lunar Reckoning era (2223 CE, to be exact), and takes heavy inspiration, in both setting and mechanics, from the video game series Armored Core, known for its high speed combat and heavy use of booster engines as the main method of locomotion. Other inspirations include the VOTOMS series (the main mechs, the Armored Personnel Units, are slightly smaller than the already small Armored Troopers), The High Frontier (mostly through its influence on certain other mecha series, to be fair), and the works of Arthur C. Clarke and his contemporaries. Players take on the role of a Magus, a powerful mercenary with a custom-built APU, with sufficient skill and influence to turn the tide of battle on their own. Lunar Reckoning 69 requires only six-sided dice, with no battle map or other polyhedral dice needed.

But enough of that. Here's how the game works!
  • In this style of mechanized action, speed, momentum, and reaction time are as important, if not moreso, than firepower. To this end, Initiative, usually a static way of determining the battle order in most games, becomes a resource. All mechs have a stat known as Initiative Increase, by which their Initiative count goes up each round. Certain actions, like firing guided missiles, become easier with high Initiative. Other actions, like intercepting an enemy attack on your ally, require it. And some actions or effects, like melee attacks, drain Initiative! There is no range or movement mechanic currently, but there is one in the works, and you will be able to drain Initiative to move faster in a given round!
  • Weapons don't always hit or miss cleanly. Attack rolls are 3d6 plus stat, opposed by a similar Evasion roll, but it's not just a matter of beating the roll. While some weapons are all-or-nothing, most have a range of results; the difference between Attack and Evasion determines damage. So, for instance, your bog-standard machine gun deals 4d6 damage when Attack and Evasion are equal, but can deal up to 6d6, with each number your Attack roll beats the Evasion roll increases damage, and vice versa. A large-scale cannon might deal 12d6 damage when Attack and Evasion are equal, but it will deal no damage when Evasion beats Attack!
  • Player characters get to customize their loadout and their skills, but they also get special abilities called Magus Maneuvers. These abilities are fire-and-forget abilities which allow a Magus to manipulate the battle beyond what their dice would allow - automatic hits, evasion increases and damage reduction, even the ability to deny enemies Initiative increase or double your own!
  • There's great depth to character customization, with a lot of valid options to take. Ballistic or energy weapons, evasion or armor, offense or defense...
  • The main roll is a 3d6, which has a bell curve distribution. This means that a better machine is generally going to win a fight. However, criticals and automatic evasions happen on a relatively common event, that being a sequence of numbers (ie, 4,5,6). This means that even cannon fodder can contribute to a battle! There's also a rare failure event on triples.
  • Enemies get to get in on the customization game as well. Standard chassis types are given for enemies, and many enemy types have a wide variety of weapon types, auxiliary equipment, and even propulsion! It's still much simpler than the PC customization, however, allowing GMs to make quick decisions about encounter types.
  • Several other systems exist for tactical choices - Chaining, Spotting, Interception, Stunning, and more.

The system has already been through a few playtesting periods, from both myself and others. I've just recently released the system with a new layout, done in full color and with a bookmarked PDF. I also added a simple non-combat skill system. This isn't just an idea - the game is already quite playable as it is right now. You can download the full package through this link, which includes an Excel autocalculating character sheet, and some (bad) art and rendered logos. The setting information is also all there. Future plans for the game include a range and movement system to increase tactical depth and excitement, as well as balance certain deficiencies like the Electrolaser or melee combat, as well as an overhaul of the current text. And while this uses a much earlier version of the system, which has since changed considerably, I have a log of an IRC game session that should hopefully help demonstrate the kind of battles that can be had here.

While there's been playtesting and many revisions, there's surely plenty of problems I've missed, as well as opportunities I haven't considered. I'll be glad to answer any questions, though, and I look forward to your input!

Posts: 2

« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 11:44:10 PM »

All right, after a few delays and a lot of thought on how to get it working with the mechanics I already had and the momentum I wanted to convey, I finally got a proper system for movement on the battlefield and weapon ranges going. Using a 1-D plane, I manage to do this while maintaining my current 'no battle map' restriction and philosophy.

Units are placed on what's called the Range Band, and the difference between their positions determines range. Movement is performed in two ways - you get one free move on your turn, and, in the spirit of the system, you spend your built-up Initiative to move as well! This creates a kind of 'tug of war' feeling and adds new tactical depth to the system, while not changing the feel or the intent of the mechanics significantly. All of it is meant to convey a feeling of momentum and speed, and I think it does a damn good job.

I also added some new statblocks and fluff content, a new and significantly improved character sheet, an updated autocalculator, and other such things. This might be the last release for a while, as I've got a new project in the works which requires my attention, but if major issues are found I'll do another update.

I'm planning a new playtesting period soon, now that I've got some free time, and I'd enjoy any opinions on the updates as they are. Since I neglected to do so last time, here's just the PDF for the main rules and the Personal Skills, and the new content: Movement & Range, APU Variants, a new full package, and the update package which includes all the new stuff that isn't in the original zip. Please let me know what you think!
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