Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mekton Zero!

Wow, R. Talsorian is Kickstarting another Mekton edition.This one promises to be the best yet, and if the kickstarter goes well enough, it will be a fully supported line of splatbooks, minis, manga, etc.

All of this is set on the world of Algol - a planet whose technology is entirely mecha based. The kickstarter page describes it better than I can, but in essence, it's a world where you will find scenarios that would be at home in any settings from Patlabor to Robotech to Pacific Rim.

I was mildly excited about the release until I watched the video. Now I'm very excited. Could this edition be the one that anyone (not just hard-core fans of crunchy, stompy mecha action) could get into?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Traveller Tuesday, Session #1

We had our first gameplay session of the "Traveller Tuesdays" campaign today over lunch. With only an hour to play there are limits to what you can get accomplished, but the group got pretty far - they established reasons to travel together, where their next stop is, and cleared any legal hurdles to departure. Now, they need to pick up passengers and crew, and take the sky.

Next week if all goes by schedule, I'll introduce them to their passengers and available cargoes, guide them through a gas giant refueling dive and fire the jump drives for Jenghe! Here are some highlights of the session:

  • The crew of the newly refurbished and registered Karman Brevit, or K.B. for short, having been given the runaround for a while about their Exit Visa (I decided to spare the players actually RUNNING the "Exit Visa" scenario), were blowing off steam at Regina Startown.
  • The recent death of a major econo/political figure (actually one of the players) has the system on high alert, which is part of the reason that the K.B. has been denied Exit Visa. Duke Norris swore vengeance on whoever killed "his great friend, Sir Charles Ponzi" and appears to be using Ponzi's "death" to advance Norris' own political ends. 
  • The "dead" character's accomplice (a doctor of no mean abilities) approached the crew seeking passage offworld, but found that the crew, while willing, was not able to travel yet. In return for passage, the doctor had Sir Ponzi (still incognito) assist the crew in clearing up their legal troubles. A Diplomacy briefing from Ponzi (with a ridiculously high effect) assisted the engineer's next meeting, and after a few tense minutes (and 50Cr slid to an officious but receptive admin), the K.B. was given a 48 hour launch window.
  • However, the crew of the K.B. is still broke, and cannot afford to outfit their ship yet. They decided to carry some passengers (the two incognito players were unamused but decided to not draw further suspicions on themselves) and plan to make a deal with the local starport supply clerk against future earnings. (In essence, they'll get X% value once they prove they have boarded their passengers, and the tickets will be surrendered to the harbor master on the next world.)

The Karman Brevit is a 40 year old safari ship originally converted into a Far Trader, then captured by pirates, and now "rebranded" as a legitimate trader, though with only J-1 capability. A measely 5MCr will fix that drive up though. Three players scored a "Merchant Ship" (5 ship shares), so I let them take a 40 year old ship "for free".

Mongoose Traveller didn't keep the (IMHO excellent) MegaTraveller concept that starship drives are composed of modules, and that you need a certain number of modules to get a certain level of performance out of any given hull displacement. So, I've decided to retrofit the concept. The KB's jump drive is composed of 3 units, 5MCr each, which in concert can propel the ship 2 parsecs per jump. However, one of the modules is damaged beyond repair (in fact, they had the useless hulk of it removed during refit), the ship has the equivalent of a Type-A drive, and until another jump module is acquired, they can only achieve 1 parsec per jump. Each additional jump module they install will give their 200dt hull another parsec of range, but they'll need to convert 20 tons of cargo into fuel for each module and add another power plant module to provide the energy required.

As a side note, I decided a Ship Share is 4%, rather than 1% of a ship's cost. So a single "ship" result (5 shares) is effectively a downpayment on a new ship, and 25 shares (5 "ship results) get you a ship free and clear. 20 years of age is equal to 5 ship shares. Which means a 100 year old ship is effectively free, but will be in such poor repair that it is essentially junk.