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Mekton – anime-mecha action

Mekton – anime-mecha action

Monday 22 July 2019
In July 2019 we presented the Mekton Bundle, featuring the 1994 Zeta edition of Mekton, the high-action mecha-anime giant-robot RPG by Mike Pondsmith (Cyberpunk, Castle Falkenstein) from R. Talsorian Games. Mekton conjures worlds of Macross-style high adventure and Gundam-like mechanized combat in a far future where science fiction meets Japanese anime. At stake: the survival of entire civilizations, entrusted to the skilled few who can master the giant robotic war machines of this future age.

Mekton, Mike Pondsmith’s debut design, was also the first American RPG inspired by Japanese giant-robot manga such as Mobile Suit Gundam. The primordial Mekton “white box” (1984, with Mike Jones), a tactical wargame with minor character elements, was quickly succeeded by the full Mekton RPG (1985); then the 1987 Interlock-based second edition, Mekton II; and finally (so far) the 1994 Mekton Zeta. (Or, according to the katakana characters on the cover, “Super Dimension Mobile Warrior Mekton Z.”)

More than some other giant-robot RPGs, Mekton goes all-in on epic anime melodrama. Its Mek design rules are robust and versatile (especially when you add Mekton Zeta Plus), and its 1d10-based “Interlock” task resolution system (adapted from Cyberpunk 2020) is effective; but flavorful Mekton experiences happen when the pilots get out of their Meks. The Lifepath character generation system, a Pondsmith specialty, sketches a backstory full of hard knocks, tragic romances, and vendettas. “Lifepath is a way of recreating the complex mental landscape of a typical anime character,” Pondsmith writes in Mekton Zeta. “It doesn’t take much imagination to expand a result of ‘enemy pilot who hates you’ into a full-blown tale of the old friend who betrayed you, jealously murdered the lover you both wanted, and changed sides, the start of a bitter grudge match that isn’t going to end until one of you lies dead.” And as the campaign progresses, your character’s actions generate a wide range of Reputation scores you’ll have to live up to — or live down.

In several published campaign settings, the universe of Mekton widened to cover entire galaxies and many anime styles: Mekton Empire (inspired by Captain Harlock and Voltron), Invasion Terra (inspired by Macross), Starblade Battalion (a Gundam-like extrapolation of the Cyberpunk 2020 future), and Operation Rimfire (all of the above). This offer presented all four settings, plus the Zeta rulebook and several key supplements, for a bargain price. And this Mekton Bundle marked the debut in .PDF of the two Mecha Manuals (1994-95). R. Talsorian also rescanned several of the older titles and added bookmarks to every .PDF. These are top-quality image scans of the original hardcopies with OCR (optical character recognition) applied.

There were four titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $42.50) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Mekton Zeta core rulebook, the Mekton Zeta Plus rules expansion, the Mekton Techbook, and the Mekton Tactical Display referee’s screen.

Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price¬†also got our entire Bonus Collection with six more titles worth an additional $44.50, including no less than four complete campaign settings — Operation Rimfire, Mekton Empire, Invasion Terra, and Starblade Battalion — plus, debuting in .PDF in this offer, both Mecha Manual 1 and Mecha Manual 2, big books of robot designs.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to this offer’s designated charity, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.