PDA

View Full Version : Let's Build a Different Kind of Mecha Setting



Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 09:03 AM
OK, so there's a Mecha Setting being built in this subforum right now, but I was hoping I might attract people towards building a different kind of "mecha" setting. One based on Custom Robo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Custom_Robo) or Medabots (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medabots), where it ends up being a fusion of MechWarrior and Pokemon.

Anyone interested in helping out?

Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 09:18 AM
I'll try and get it started:

A Mysterious Corporation (Tm) has released a line of robotic toys, workers and companions available to the mass market, finally fulfilling everyone's lifelong dream of having a robot butler. The design of parts available is numerous and color schemes abound, which naturally leads to kids wanting to build their dream buddy.

Because these robots are built to fulfill multiple functions they are humanoid in shape (usually) and often sport unusual design features.

Recently, The Mysterious Corporation (Tm) has developed a line of "fighting parts" to capitalize on the children's market. The use of these parts has resulted in the explosion of a new sport, "Gladibots" (from Gladiator and Robot, better name TBD).

Most families can only afford 1 or 2 robots, meaning that kids won't always have access to their robotic buddies, and will have to balance the needs of the family with their desire to engage in the sport.

All robots are three laws compatible, of course.

Grinner
2013-04-15, 05:37 PM
Out of completely natural concerns over handing children deadly weapons, most weaponized "fighting parts" are, at best, glorified tasers with built-in weakpoint-circuit breaker-thingies. Even these come under intense scrutiny by parent associations.

Actual weapons are available (for defensive purposes), but their purchase is restricted to licensed adults.

And then there's modded parts and the underground gladiator scene...

Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 05:49 PM
Most combat capable Robots are defined by six targetable and customizable areas.

1. Head
2. Torso
3. Right Arm
4. Left Arm
5. Legs
6. Power Core

The arms and head are most likely to contain actual "weapons" which have various base powers and attacks. Sometimes the arms are capable of fine manipulation via hands, but typically combat capable arms are fitted with a singular weapon.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-15, 06:41 PM
Hmm. I think the system should have two modes. We have the relatively tame children mode, for those who want to play as kids with cool toys. Little permanent damage, it has a more cartoony combat feel. Then you have the real weapons version, a more gritty combat system, dealing real damage with serious, lingering penalties.

Also, how big are these robots? Fully adult sized, or like 4 feet tall, like medabots?

Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 06:44 PM
I would say no more than 4 feet tall. Adult size robots always go rogue.:smalltongue:

Grinner
2013-04-15, 07:41 PM
"You know those fighting robot games kids used to play? You know, the ones where you and your friend would make these two robot-looking action figures punch each other until one hit the sweet spot. Then, you'd just reset it and play again. Those are the vanilla GladiBots parts and rules.

An underground GladiBots match is a no-bars-held, last-deathmachine-standing beatdown. Seriously, I've seen bots armed with diamond-edged sawblades, with EMPs, and with plastic explosives."

-Eric Macon, GladiBots enthusiast

Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 07:46 PM
"You know those fighting robot games kids used to play? You know, the ones where you and your friend would make these two robot-looking action figures punch each other until one hit the sweet spot. Then, you'd just reset it and play again. Those are the vanilla GladiBots parts and rules.

An underground GladiBots match is a no-bars-held, last-deathmachine-standing beatdown. Seriously, I've seen bots armed with diamond-edged sawblades, with EMPs, and with plastic explosives."

-Eric Macon, GladiBots enthusiast

I like this. I like this a lot.

EDIT: Although should we focus on the underground battles or make this more of a kid friendly game? Originally I thought that some of the roleplaying and conflict might come from kids having to balance their free time against what their parents need the robot for or having to earn the priviledge of participating in the GladiBots matches with schoolwork/chores/whatever.

Admiral Squish
2013-04-15, 08:03 PM
I think we should have both options. Basically, you'd have two different kinds of damage. Sorta like lethal/nonlethal damage. Kid version would deal in nonlethal, while the real stuff deals lethal. There's some things that would deal lethal damage even in kids mode, like falling.

Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 08:12 PM
I think we should have both options. Basically, you'd have two different kinds of damage. Sorta like lethal/nonlethal damage. Kid version would deal in nonlethal, while the real stuff deals lethal. There's some things that would deal lethal damage even in kids mode, like falling.

Always an option, and certainly a good one.

So what about weapon types? Obviously there should be melee damage, probably punches, kicks, swords/claws. And then ranged weapons: lasers, missiles, bullets, tasers... anything else?

Grinner
2013-04-15, 08:25 PM
Always an option, and certainly a good one.

So what about weapon types? Obviously there should be melee damage, probably punches, kicks, swords/claws. And then ranged weapons: lasers, missiles, bullets, tasers... anything else?

Is this a system or a setting?

If it's a setting, let's focus on fleshing it out first. Then we can worry about paring it down into mechanics.

Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 08:31 PM
Well, I guess I'm using the weapons as a way to home in on the Tech level of the setting. I already have a rough idea of the mechanics of this from a game perspective.

So, how big of a sport should GladiBots be? Major corporate sponsorships, underground street fights? Yu-Gi-Oh level cosmic power? :smalltongue:

Grinner
2013-04-15, 08:56 PM
Well, I guess I'm using the weapons as a way to home in on the Tech level of the setting. I already have a rough idea of the mechanics of this from a game perspective.

So, how big of a sport should GladiBots be? Major corporate sponsorships, underground street fights? Yu-Gi-Oh level cosmic power? :smalltongue:

Somewhere between Magic: The Gathering and go-cart racing. It enjoys a fairly small but extremely loyal following. Professionals, and I use that term lightly, would get minor corporate sponsorships at best. Finding a match outside of local hobby shops is difficult, but those shops hold open matches often enough.

Underground leagues form when technically-inclined people with far too much time on their hands and a taste for anarchy convene. The scene is small, but it's growing.

Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 09:01 PM
Somewhere between Magic: The Gathering and go-cart racing. It enjoys a fairly small but extremely loyal following. Professionals, and I use that term lightly, would get minor corporate sponsorships at best. Finding a match outside of local hobby shops is difficult, but those shops hold open matches often enough.

Underground leagues form when technically-inclined people with far too much time on their hands and a taste for anarchy convene. The scene is small, but it's growing.

Personally, I'd go with on the level of the (real world) Pokemon franchise. All kinds of merchandise, with TV shows, movies, and toys built around a core concept/line. Highly profitable for the manufacturing company, but it requires a dedicated fanbase of people to keep the sport alive.

Grinner
2013-04-15, 09:04 PM
That works too.

zabbarot
2013-04-15, 09:17 PM
So it's marketed for children and modded for adults?

Elricaltovilla
2013-04-15, 09:20 PM
So it's marketed for children and modded for adults?

Yes exactly.

smoke prism
2013-05-01, 05:42 PM
What if it is like the pokemon games and shows, were everyone is in the spot.
(No clue why everyone is in to it, and is the main sport in the world)

Elricaltovilla
2013-05-02, 11:59 AM
What if it is like the pokemon games and shows, were everyone is in the spot.
(No clue why everyone is in to it, and is the main sport in the world)

Well that was where I started, but I kind of find that too unrealistic.


Ideally, I'd like to find a way for the game to have characters who have to balance practical real world concerns with their love of violent robot fighting tournaments. Also lots of meta-humor, because I love meta-humor.

For example:

A pokemon type show put on by the company that makes the Gladibots, which follows a kid and his personal Gladibot as they battle the (insert name here) construction company and their evil plot to turn the world into a megaoplois. In reality, (insert name here) construction company would just be a major sponsor of the show, and most people would be rooting against the annoying kid protagonist.

smoke prism
2013-05-04, 05:55 PM
I'v being thinking about how would these robots be controlled. So I'v come up with two Idears.

Non-elite

The Non-elite robots are controlled through highly accurat voice recognise software. The robot comes pre-programmed with a set of commands (I.e, fallow, stop, run, gaurd ect). There is also free software that let's the robot only recognise you're voice. There is also software that allows you to program new voice commanders.


Pro and Elite

In the Pro and Elite gropes the main method of control is the use of an interfacing chip in the controllers for head, that is linked to a computer that containce special interfacing network software that converts the thoroughs
of the user into commanded that are then transferred to A computer onboard the robot that then follows these commanders (near instantaneous). The robots onboard computer also sends information to the controller. This has the advantage of near instantaneous feedback and the scope of commanded the robot can carry out is only limited to the users imagination (and the desine of the robot).

Thoughts?

Elricaltovilla
2013-05-04, 10:49 PM
I'v being thinking about how would these robots be controlled. So I'v come up with two Idears.

Non-elite

The Non-elite robots are controlled through highly accurat voice recognise software. The robot comes pre-programmed with a set of commands (I.e, fallow, stop, run, gaurd ect). There is also free software that let's the robot only recognise you're voice. There is also software that allows you to program new voice commanders.


Pro and Elite

In the Pro and Elite gropes the main method of control is the use of an interfacing chip in the controllers for head, that is linked to a computer that containce special interfacing network software that converts the thoroughs
of the user into commanded that are then transferred to A computer onboard the robot that then follows these commanders (near instantaneous). The robots onboard computer also sends information to the controller. This has the advantage of near instantaneous feedback and the scope of commanded the robot can carry out is only limited to the users imagination (and the desine of the robot).

Thoughts?

I think I like option one better because its more "20 minutes into the future" which is the kind of overall feeling I'd like to keep. The second option just seems too cyber punk

JeenLeen
2013-05-09, 08:38 AM
Most combat capable Robots are defined by six targetable and customizable areas.

1. Head
2. Torso
3. Right Arm
4. Left Arm
5. Legs
6. Power Core

The arms and head are most likely to contain actual "weapons" which have various base powers and attacks. Sometimes the arms are capable of fine manipulation via hands, but typically combat capable arms are fitted with a singular weapon.

I get fleshing out the setting before mechanics, but for this aspect, you may want to look at the Front Mission games. You play a group of mech pilots, and part of the game is designing your mechs using purchased/salvaged parts. Mechs have a body, right arm, left arm, and legs... I think the body provides the power core, but that could be another part (been a while since I played it.) The arms can hold weapons or shields. There is also a shoulder space (for heavy artillery) and the back (for storage, extra power packs, or other systems) slot. Another aspect is that each part has a 'weight' stat, and you need enough power to carry all your weight. I forget exactly how this is utilized and balanced, but it works out well to have your artillery units be slow, ranged weaponry decent move, and melee-fighters fast.

FMIII for the Playstation is the best one I've played of the series, but even if you're not into the games, you could look up how it works there for ideas.

Elricaltovilla
2013-05-09, 11:00 AM
I get fleshing out the setting before mechanics, but for this aspect, you may want to look at the Front Mission games. You play a group of mech pilots, and part of the game is designing your mechs using purchased/salvaged parts. Mechs have a body, right arm, left arm, and legs... I think the body provides the power core, but that could be another part (been a while since I played it.) The arms can hold weapons or shields. There is also a shoulder space (for heavy artillery) and the back (for storage, extra power packs, or other systems) slot. Another aspect is that each part has a 'weight' stat, and you need enough power to carry all your weight. I forget exactly how this is utilized and balanced, but it works out well to have your artillery units be slow, ranged weaponry decent move, and melee-fighters fast.

FMIII for the Playstation is the best one I've played of the series, but even if you're not into the games, you could look up how it works there for ideas.

Shhhhhhhhhhh.... let me think I'm being totally original instead of trying to ape one of my favorite TRPGs:smalltongue:

Razziel_GB
2013-06-17, 08:11 AM
Well that was where I started, but I kind of find that too unrealistic.


Ideally, I'd like to find a way for the game to have characters who have to balance practical real world concerns with their love of violent robot fighting tournaments. Also lots of meta-humor, because I love meta-humor.


Hello people,
I'm Razz, one of the authors of Gladibots video game (under development). Just add the "www." and ".com" to the term and you'll find our work. (Just figure out my face when I typed "Gladibots" in google and found this threat).

Well, we have a space and futuristic mecha setting, but we work on a mecha setting too. I'm also a DM and I think you could find some interesting ideas or points of view in our lore posts (I sketched the Gladibots' history lore in the first posts of the blog).

Let's talk about that "PokeMecha" setting and how to take that potential yet used idea to a possible new point of view. Codex Alera setting comes from the fusion between pokemon and roman legions, so don't judge an idea because it's used in a well-known children's game setting.

We agree the major point of any setting is coherence*1. Without coherence there isn't rational or logical reactions. Without reactions, role is dead. No role, no meta-jokes and all other fun and funny things you expect from rpg session. Without a good setting, you can achieve a brutal table game system but players won't role a single character, nothing too deep at least. As DMs, that would be a half success, and we want the full prize.

Real world problems and human customs and habits are just "silly" when you reduce them to the basis. "X generates money, that's why we do it" explains "too much" things.

Using Elricaltovilla's dissmissed example
For example:

A pokemon type show put on by the company that makes the Gladibots, which follows a kid and his personal Gladibot as they battle the (insert name here) construction company and their evil plot to turn the world into a megaoplois. In reality, (insert name here) construction company would just be a major sponsor of the show, and most people would be rooting against the annoying kid protagonist.

Since rule of cool (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RuleOfCool) its on your side, let's work from/with this.

First, if you want to balance practical real world concerns with robot fights, you just have to put robots there. Just think about similar things in our world and extrapolate them. Would it be another fighting discipline, with a bunch of few enthusiastic fans and short impact? Then you can role about "my wife is going to leave me because wrestle with my mecha is my life and she can't see that, because she only thinks in the unpayed bills".

Second point is that your characters aren't the only ones who do that. How many products in this world has just one producer? Very few, the most rare products got few producers, but there's always competition in every sector. Don't think in just one company. Someone was the first, that's true. And 10 minutes later someone thought "I can make that too and take more profit than he does".

Third point, since you work in a setting, don't think in a story. Irl there are good people, bad people and selfish intermediate points. If you want your setting to be real, that has to be real too: not everybody wants the same from your characters. I.e. You put your chars in front of a vendor. Maybe he knows his mecha is junk and has no qualms. Maybe he's the new guy and wants to get the sale so bad that your players can role the scene until get the robot almost for free. Or your players find out the robot is junk, but the vendor turn out to be a poor boy who wants to sell the armor of his dead father*2. And those are just the sort of vendors you have in that setting, think in everything else "not-so-relevant-yet-present" things to make a setting grow.

Returning to the Pokebot example, you know what they say, "If you have to be a copy, be a good copy". Or if you're using a setting already developed, use what do you like about it and rewrite the weak points. And forget the original story. In the example you just retold the story of pokemon (which marketing target was children) changing pokemons for mechas. That's obviously boring, because you're already "tired" from pokemon's story. Since you just want the good parts from the setting, don't repeat the same story everybody knows with a few changes. We all have in mind the original story of the setting, the real challenge is make people forget about that and start to tell new stories, great ones, in a similar context.

Because it's obvious the annoying kid protagonist deserves a shoot between the eyes by a hired gun of INH Co. "Insert Name Here Co., We do the best [Insert product here]". But don't blame the setting, blame the story.
If we change Ash and his crew for a bad-ass robot fighter, with his "personal team", which are none but his long-life friends, the pacific yet obsessed with martial art friend, another heavy weapon/combat robots-fa**, the girl next-door with awesome programming skills and the rogue (you always need a rogue) the story sound better.
Then we add some competition to INH co., some big co., some Lovely Mom's Robots Tinny-Co. and everyone with its own attitude about their business sector. It's more interesting the illegal and ocult acts of a company when they are actually ocult to the public. Team Rocket is like Cobra forces, the only stealth they know is to walk on tiptoes. When the real bad guy is unexpected causes impact, if players can figure out who's the evil team in the first description coherence get lost, because why nobody did anything about that before the players came to town?*3


Shhhhhhhhhhh.... let me think I'm being totally original instead of trying to ape one of my favorite TRPGs

Well, I hope something of this will help you to create your desired setting. I guess you ended with something more worked than all this so take some time to explain you final setting, ok?

See you soon and if you read all the post until here you m8 are an internet superhero.
Razziel

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

*1 Paranoia role setting consists in a non-coherent yet logical setting, rules ain't carved on stone.

*2 And his father died fighting cos they need the money to pay the treatment of her sick wife. The boy's mother is now a sick widow and the boy is quite desperate. Oh, and the interesting part for the players, it's not junk, it's a formidable battle suit, just broken from the last battle. If you put well a setting, its dwellings come out really easy.

*3 Well, they could be like the Empire, but if a company starts to adquire so much power that compites with other forms of power (goverments, religions, etc) be sure the former power groups will have something to say about the matter. Because maybe that Co. is like the Evil itself for the players, but is just the new guy in the block for others.