How would you stat Mobile Suits from Gundam in Star Wars Saga Edition?


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As some of you may know, I recently expressed interest in using Pathfinder to play in the Mobile Suit Gundam universe. But now I realize that Star Wars Saga Edition might be a better system to do that in.

The problem is, I'm terrible at statting things up from scratch in RPGs, so I might have trouble statting up the Mobile Suits. I haven't found any homebrew stats online, so any advice or ideas on how I could adapt Saga Edition to play within the Gundam universe?


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I am not sure it can be done, at the risk of sounding negative. I'll double check saga edition stuff later on tonight to be sure but it doesn't sound feasible.


Why not just use the Battletech system rules?


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Other things that might be worth looking into for this...

- I never thought I'd be recommending this system, but GURPS. I'm pretty sure there's some mech rules somewhere for it.

- CthulhuTech (system is a little janky, but they're working on 2nd edition now, and there's a lot of various mechs available in the system already... just trying to ignore the metaplot books, they head into unbelievable ick territory very fast, even more so than the fluff in the main books did, something else that 2nd edition is apparently working to fix)

- Mekton Zeta (it's pretty much Gundam: The RPG anyway)

- Silhouette Core (aka SilCore) or it's sister game, Heavy Gear

- Mecha vs Kaiju (just use the mecha rules)

- Palladium also released a Robotech RPG, though being Palladium it's a little... weird. Addiction rules ahoy!


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Claxon wrote:
Why not just use the Battletech system rules?

because Battletech and gundam aren't compatible rules-wise.


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Definitely use Mekton Zeta. It is the core system that was used for the official Gundam Senki RPG.

Star Wars Saga, I suppose you could use droid rules, but remember that the rules in SW:SE are, as much as I love that system, really not designed for that sort of thing. The D20 system doesn't handle things like robots with internal structure frameworks, instead treating things like a big pile of hit points with abilities instead. Not even D20 Mecha does it as well as it could.

I don't mean to pull the rug out from under my very esteemed colleague Tinkergoth, but using GURPS Mecha would only make things almost infinitely more complex than they need to be. It's a complex and intricate system, yes, but it's so utterly rules heavy, it's just not fun to play.

I'd say Mekton Zeta/Mekton Zeta Plus as a first choice.

SilCore, if you want what is basically the MZ/MZ+ system with more advanced math.

I don't know anything about Cthulhu Tech or Mecha vs, Kaiju, but I've heard good things about them.

And I'd suggest D20 Mecha or GURPS before I'd ever suggest Robotech (and I say that having run, and loved, a weekly Robotech game for 4 years).


jemstone wrote:

Definitely use Mekton Zeta. It is the core system that was used for the official Gundam Senki RPG.

Star Wars Saga, I suppose you could use droid rules, but remember that the rules in SW:SE are, as much as I love that system, really not designed for that sort of thing. The D20 system doesn't handle things like robots with internal structure frameworks, instead treating things like a big pile of hit points with abilities instead. Not even D20 Mecha does it as well as it could.

I don't mean to pull the rug out from under my very esteemed colleague Tinkergoth, but using GURPS Mecha would only make things almost infinitely more complex than they need to be. It's a complex and intricate system, yes, but it's so utterly rules heavy, it's just not fun to play.

I'd say Mekton Zeta/Mekton Zeta Plus as a first choice.

SilCore, if you want what is basically the MZ/MZ+ system with more advanced math.

I don't know anything about Cthulhu Tech or Mecha vs, Kaiju, but I've heard good things about them.

And I'd suggest D20 Mecha or GURPS before I'd ever suggest Robotech (and I say that having run, and loved, a weekly Robotech game for 4 years).

Heh, yeah, I'm not fan of GURPS, I just knew there were mecha rules out there.

I find it pretty funny that you've heard good things about CthulhuTech :P most people hate on that game mercilessly. I'm a fan, but I freely admit it has issues. The poker dice mechanic is really swingy, and the authors definitely went waaaaaaay too full on with some parts of the setting details. Even for Lovecraft there's way too much squick, at times you have to wonder what the guys writing it are into... thankfully the more problematic authors have apparently left, and the new edition is being written by guys who have taken feedback about the issues on board.


Bear in mind, I've heard "good things" about a lot of games - I have a lot of people in my gaming circles who like very esoteric games.

I'd have to check to see if they were saying good things about the game system or the setting itself. Could be either, or!


jemstone wrote:

Bear in mind, I've heard "good things" about a lot of games - I have a lot of people in my gaming circles who like very esoteric games.

I'd have to check to see if they were saying good things about the game system or the setting itself. Could be either, or!

Oh both setting and system have their supporters. I like both, I'm just understanding of the fact that they need work (come ooooooooon 2nd edition!) and that there are problematic areas in setting that need to be avoided. Also, there are certain character types that should not be played in the same group (like Tagers and anyone else, or mech/Engel pilots mixed with normal soldiers). That's something else 2nd edition is working on, they've actually split the gameline into two books, the Shadow War (Tagers vs their foes) and the Aeon War (everyone other than the Tagers vs the cultists, the aliens and the horrific monstrosities).


Freehold DM wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Why not just use the Battletech system rules?
because Battletech and gundam aren't compatible rules-wise.

Why not?


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Claxon wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Why not just use the Battletech system rules?
because Battletech and gundam aren't compatible rules-wise.
Why not?

Been a long time since I've looked at Battletech, but from memory my guess would be because Battletech tends towards a pretty gritty, grounded style of mech combat (this is the setting that spawned the Mechwarrior games right?). Gundam is very much anime mecha, flashy and fast and acrobatic with lots of beam swords and stereotypical anime stuff. Kind of a thematic mismatch, and Battletech is likely to get a bit too technical for what the OP seems to be after.


Tinker nails it directly on the head.

Consider also that the actual physics of the two genres are different. Battletech mecha are essentially walking tanks with skins of paper. Sure, they're heavily armored and all, but simply tripping can do them in, if they're not careful. They overheat readily. Sensor ranges are ridiculously short even by the standards of the decade the game was written in.

Gundam, on the other hand, has mecha that can do pratfalls, belly flops, and acrobatic rolls without breaking stride. Heat is a non-issue, unless you're reading the original novels, and then only as a temporary set back to unit design. Sensor ranges are fantastic, even if radio ranges are often flummoxed by the thematic fiat of Minovsky Particles.

The BT system simply cannot support the physics of the Gundam universe.


jemstone wrote:

Tinker nails it directly on the head.

Consider also that the actual physics of the two genres are different. Battletech mecha are essentially walking tanks with skins of paper. Sure, they're heavily armored and all, but simply tripping can do them in, if they're not careful. They overheat readily. Sensor ranges are ridiculously short even by the standards of the decade the game was written in.

Gundam, on the other hand, has mecha that can do pratfalls, belly flops, and acrobatic rolls without breaking stride. Heat is a non-issue, unless you're reading the original novels, and then only as a temporary set back to unit design. Sensor ranges are fantastic, even if radio ranges are often flummoxed by the thematic fiat of Minovsky Particles.

The BT system simply cannot support the physics of the Gundam universe.

It would be relatively easy to change those rules.

Hands down better than trying to shoehorn Pathfinder or Star Wars into a mecha game.

However, I will admit that the suggestions made by Tinkergoth do sound like they would require less modification of the rules than battletech rules. But I am not familiar with any of those RPGs.*I'm familiar with Gurps and CthulhuTech but he's not really suggesting them.


D20 mecha/iron crusaders(? Can't remember the name) was amazing.

Sovereign Court

Tinkergoth wrote:


- CthulhuTech (system is a little janky, but they're working on 2nd edition now, and there's a lot of various mechs available in the system already... just trying to ignore the metaplot books, they head into unbelievable ick territory very fast, even more so than the fluff in the main books did, something else that 2nd edition is apparently working to fix)

Maybe 2e will be better, but while I love the CthulhuTech fluff - the mechanics of the system are a hot mess. A very swingy hot mess.

Sovereign Court

The easiest way would be to use the fluff of one of the Gundam series which has some sort of nervous system hook-up between the mecha and the user. That way you can have the mecha just use all of the stats of its pilot, only scaled up, and with its weapons/armor/movement - and make HP more blatantly abstract so it makes sense that the pilot's HP is used. Use some sort of scaling system (25 to 1 maybe) and make it so that some personal weapons do damage at the mecha scale (rocket launchers etc) against mecha, but personal damage against people (there's a reason rocket launchers aren't an awesome anti-personnel weapon).

I'm actually working on a sci-fi RPG which have mecha in it which use scaling & the same stats, but the mecha nowhere near as big as Gundams as it's a relatively hard sci-fi setting, and mecha as big as Gundam make no freakin' sense. :P


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Charon's Little Helper wrote:
it's a relatively hard sci-fi setting, and mecha as big as Gundam make no freakin' sense. :P

let's not go in this direction.


I reiterate my suggestion of using a system that was actually designed for Mecha and their accompanying physics and dynamics.

In fact, the Mekton Zeta products are fifty percent off on Drive Thru RPG right now.

Sovereign Court

Freehold DM wrote:
Charon's Little Helper wrote:
it's a relatively hard sci-fi setting, and mecha as big as Gundam make no freakin' sense. :P
let's not go in this direction.

I have nothing against Gundam style/sized mecha - it's no sillier than space wizards with laser swords, and both can be a lot of fun. But they are also both inherently set in settings on the space-opera/future fantasy side of the sci-fi spectrum.

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