Longshot Interest Check - MechWarrior...1st Edition?


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Total Longshot, but would anyone be interested in doing a FIRST EDITION MechWarrior game? I had an electronic copy of the book for years but only recently actually took a look at it. I kinda love it...easily the best version to integrate with actual Battletech.

It would be an intrigue on Solaris VII type of setup where the characters are a gladiator stable up front and a spy shop in the back. Likely set just after the 4th Succession War. If folks wanted in I would be looking at three or four players with two characters each. One mech jockey (because it isn't a front of you don't have someone in the games) and one other character who is not.

I could consider something more like a combined arms set around the Clan invasion era, but I feel like the added complexity would be too difficult to deal with. As it is I don't know how feasible combat would be...

Had me at mechwarrior.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

While I am a bigger fan of 2nd edition (I love me some life path character creation). I am 3000% always down to play some Mechwarrior RPG regardless of edition.

Also a huge fan of the clan invasion era (I'm a big fan of playing fish out of water clanners in the inner sphere.)

Edit: Which now that I think about it could be done in a 4th succession war era as an ex Wolf's Dragoon or something.

Willing to try... Never played. All I remember is Gray Death Squadron.

Man...this brings back memories...

DOTTING for interest.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh man. Looking through my books I had my editions wrong. 3rd Was the one I was familiar with (Although I have the second & 4th editions as well. I don't think I've ever actually seen a first edition book. (still totally willing to play)

Wow. Not remotely sure where my books are. I know the old BT stuff (and Mechwarrior) is split between two boxes, but not sure where the wife has them stacked . . ..

Not convinced 1st Ed was the best for, well, anything, but I certainly get the "it is what I have in hand."

If I do this I'm for sure going to do something based on Solaris VII. I've been thinking about it and the main reason for this comes down to "you can't NOT have battlemechs!" contrasted by not wanting to bog things down overly with tactical fights. The occasional mech duel satisfies the need for 'mechs without going overboard.

So I also had an idea for something a little more heroic and less gritty. Instead of being a House (or maybe independent contractors a la Shadowrun) intelligence operation, perhaps something a little more A-Team/Leverage in Solaris City? Out to help folks, possibly out to help folks specifically done wrong by criminals and the powerful.

Regarding editions: I could be persuaded to change my thoughts on that given that folks actually sound interested. I have absolutely no familiarity with third, but then again I don't really have any practical experience with first, so....IDK. I don't have as much experience with what I assume is 4th (but have been confused by what I think might have been a 3.5 version) if that's the one retitled to "A Time of War". I honestly adore that system, but the character creation is either a total mess of complexity or a pointless min/max point-buy.

So, what would folks think about 2nd? There was a fair amount of supporting material for it, it is the one I'm most familiar with, though I haven't played it in forever, and honestly, in terms of tactical combat being super small number of opponents, the weirder aspects of integrating RPG and wargame for that edition actually work.

Also, I have a pretty deep library on all things BT on PDF, so I can easily get info and details to folks.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

A Time of War was what I was referring to as 4th. And yeah, the character creation for that version was.... complicated. I do agree that it was probably the best system gameplay wise. Either way I am content with whatever system you end up deciding on. I too have an incredibly deep library of battletech/mechwarrior books. Pretty much anything printed after 1991 or so, novels and game supplements. To say it is one of my all time favorite IPs would probably be an understatement. =)

I found a PDF of first edition last night, and whoa. It was definitely printed in the 80's. I didn't have time to read over it, but at first glance it seemed very... archaic.

As far as character wise I think I would probably lean towards some form of current/former intelligence officer, or maybe someone interested in uncovering the secrets lostech.

Some possible story concepts, the first two would be mostly Solaris based, the third Periphery. The second and third could be variable on timeline, but probably just after the clan truce or Star League rebirth.

Gritty Spy Drama - in the tense period after the 4th SW. Indie contractors or House specific espionage experts using the gladiatorial games as a cover.

Neighborhood Heroes - a comic-book tale of MechWarriors righting wrongs. They're a stable of gladiators by day, heroes by night.

Treasure Hunt - just because LostTech was mentioned above, I started thinking about it while getting a haircut, lol...I can see allowing a variety of characters with personal vehicles without it being a military thing and requiring me to have large tactical battles that would slow things down more than typical for PbP.

I would for sure be interested, I have always wonders how the game would work out

I always thought second was the best of the versions, and integrated well with the Battletech combat -- but, that said, would be interested for any version but 4th.

..and now that I see later in the thread you're looking at 2, I'm down with that.

In terms of 'mech combat concerns, I don't know if it'd be as bad as you think -- in the normal system, the 'pain' would be the movement phase - adding like a second full combat round to the process, but there are ways to streamline that. Weapons fire would just all be posted at the same time and then resolved in order of initative -- just to make sure that attacks made with weapons that got ruined before your turn don't happen.

I seem to recall the Solaris dueling rules eliminated the need for distinct move/weapon/physical attack phases - but it's been at least a decade, so don't quote me - but if my memory is accurate there, it would actually work pretty well in PbP.

MW 2e works for me...and from what I recall of mech combat, it doesn't translate well into PbP but I am sure we can work around that.

DM Dickie, how close will you stick with canon here. Will we have the opportunity to change the storyline in anyway or will we just be doing our own thing?

We will for sure need to take some liberties with tactical combat, yeah, and you're right that a lot of things can just be grouped for ease of play into one post.

Yeah, I think the dueling rules from the Solaris VII boxed set was specifically intended for MW2e. It adapted a similar action economy, IIRC. I am going to be loading that up and looking at it in a little while.

The Mackie in the room however is mapping. I have used Google paint and Roll20. Both have positives and negatives. I think Roll20 would be most useful overall for this, but I can be persuaded or introduced to another mapping tool.

I think the heroes by night/professional fighters by day would be the most fun overall, but searching for LostTech has potential and allows for different settings and weird beasts...

So as to canon: I try to be faithful, but not rigid. It largely depends on the story needs. Of course, I'm not really looking to do Kingmaker here, so changes would likely be relatively minor and localized. More, the Clans fail to capture a world or WoB is prevented from nuking a factory rather than exposing Thomas Marik as a ComStar double and causing the collapse of the FWL. I mean, anything's possible, just that the bigger the change, the less likely it would even be doable.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'll work up a couple of characters tonight just to re-familiarize myself with the system and lay them out. I think regardless of which campaign type you end up with I will probably make some form of covert ops/tech guy.

I'm surprised by the interest and pleased! I need some more sci-fi gaming and have been into BT since Crescent Hawk's Inception on the Commodore 64.

I will create an official recruitment thread sometime over the weekend, but we would make standard enough starting characters regardless. MechWarrior Companion is fine, can't think of other specific resources to mention.

I am still debating between the slightly tongue-in-cheek heroes by night, Solaris stars by day OR scrappy treasure hunters on the edge of space trying to find that big score they know is out there...either way clanners are in play but be aware that you'll be far away from your crechemates.

Lots of questions about how to do things still, but yeah, look for link to official recruitment thread to be posted here in the next few days.

Heh. Second Book Box I checked had both 2nd Ed and the Companion in it.

You know? I still have that figure. In the (really battered) original packaging.

Grand Lodge


Def interested.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
DM Dickie wrote:

MechWarrior Companion is fine, can't think of other specific resources to mention.

Thoughts on using the Intelligence Operations Handbook?

Random musings:

Still debating what sort of story exactly to run. I feel like S7 thing would be more manageable by far, but that the treasure hunting offers so much more space to be in the universe, even if mostly on the fringes, so it seems likely I will go that route. Plus, I have a solid main story arc I've been turning around in my head all weekend.

I will probably put a cap on total numbers of clanners because I am a loyal citizen of the Federated Suns and just don't want to tell a Clan story, lol.

Assuming treasure hunt, we will be Clan adjacent, so either operating near the edge of the LC or DC. I lean a little more towards Steiner space because the bandits and periphery areas that way provide lots of side work to pay for jump ship transit and would allow me to add a dash of "Firefly" to things.

Also assuming treasure hunt, a dropship will be available, modified as needed. If someone really wanted to play the captain, well, Companion has the rules, but it will for sure mean you're commander, not master, and someone holds the bank note.

@Saleem Halabi - Yes. I know there are at least one or two other books with MW2e stuff, Intelligence Operations is one of them so for sure you can use it. I think some of the field manual books had more detailed faction information, trying to dig up any other MW2e sources.

So, then, the plan is that we're outcasts with a bad reputation headed out to find treasure - so scoundrel borderline pirate-types instead of honourable mercs?

As I recall,Intelligence Ops has excellent training courses for this kind of campaign - you're not as specialized in one area as the university packages, so you're not useless outside your cockpit.

I assume we'll have NPC (hired) techs to help out...

VERY VERY Much interested.
Solaris or Periphery are booth very cool.

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@Tilnar - a little in between. I prefer more heroic types, so loveable rogues who sometimes do mercenary work to finance the big score. For sure a dash of "Firefly" that way. There will be a patron type that is essentially the dropship owner who has been looking for something big. This could easily be one of the PCs, but ideally I wouldn't want a dropship owning PC because it makes me feel like I need to put the ship into fights here and there or otherwise place it at risk for drama :-P

Patron needs hired guns, tech experts, and folks who can get into places they shouldn't be getting into. In other words: he or she needs the PCs.

Cool. Sounds fun!

Hmmmm . . .. Outcasts in the Periphery says to me that the skill packages might not be available. They are from attending fairly prestiguous military colleges (or VERY prestiguous if you take the big package) in the IS. Not generally where loose scoundrels get their training.

The Intel Ops book makes much the same assumption.

Just noting for an intelligent decision about the suspension of disbelief.

Depends on the backstory - figure it's not hard to have been expelled at the end, or bounced from a unit afterward, or, for that matter a small unit that got screwed - sole survivors of a doublecross, for example.

Battletech lore is rife with self-imposed exiles. Tukayid means patriots searching for that thing to give their nation an edge when the fighting starts again. A war injury may have made you unsuitable for front-line combat by the Houses. You're on the run. You graduated just before the Truce and don't want to wait to put your skills to the test. You've always dreamed of going off the grid and forging your own path. Periphery states have their own academies. You believe relatives of a crucial Clan bloodline live on a backwater world in the area. You were a recently freed clanner PoW with nowhere to go.

Some of these were from brainstorming possible "campaign traits".

Also, just because it calls that university or academy training doesn't mean you can't explain it as a lifetime Merc brat or battlefield experience.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I accidentally made 4 potential characters. Oops. None of them have a backstory, as the finalized campaign outline and recruitment hasn't started yet and I would want to write it to fit. Basically I made 4 builds I wouldn't mind playing (whichever would fit the GM vision/party better), each with a skeleton of a backstory in my mind. 3 of them are intelligence operatives from various walks of life, and one is an Elemental. Because I love Elementals. =)

I will say this character creation system is waaaaay more complicated than I remember it being. Very counter intuitive.

Anyways. Here are 4 builds I'm noodling around if anyone wants to look them over.

Mechwarrior Characters!

I would apply with a Lyrian Mechwarrior, a minor noble lost in the turmoile of the political infighting.

I was originally going with a House Capellan intel officer, but since Saleem has that covered I think I may go Clan here. A Mechwarrior from one of the Crusader clans, cut off from his clanmates due to his sympathies to the Inner Sphere.

While he would have access to an Omnimech, keeping the 'Mech running with the lack of spare parts is gonna be a nightmare!

I was thinking something similar, actually, Eric - an outcast Jade Falcon -- though I was thinking he'd be more likely to have a second-liner.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

If someone else wanted to play a clanner I would probably do the Noble Intelligence officer.


I only got to play table top BT once but I loved it. I remember playing it on old consoles, both SNES and Genesis if I remember right. Recently bought the new one in Steam and have really enjoyed it. (This is making me want to play it right now.)

Never got a chance to play Mechwarrior though. I would really like to give this a try. Guess I’ll have to dig around online to see if I can find the right books.

I have an Azami light mech pilot who specializes in scrounging and negotiating for whatever the group needs if we go treasure hunt or Solaris route.

I’m thinking of a LAM pilot.
Maybe someone who likes the rush of going fast, but is still a capable pilot on land or in the air.
”If it can move, I can tell it where to go. And I can do it with style.”

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This has piqued my curiosity, if nothing else.

I'd probably be bringing an eta from the Draconis Combine who only got her 'Mech in a Ghost Regiment billet because she was able to *fit* in it. ((thinking something like Stinger or Assassin or Vindy, one of the legendary 'hard to fit in cockpit' rides)).

She was involved in some of the heavy fighting during the Clan Invasion, and kinda broke a little.

That's what I have atm, if this is a continuing thing..

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I was just pointing out that we either have to work without those skill kits, or be prepared to swallow some disbelief for everyone to have them. Which isn't important, as long as the choice is a conscious one.

I'm looking to avoid a clanner character, mostly because I expect a bunch of people to want to play them. I enjoy the clan mindset, especially the bits about doing everything possible to restrict damage while deciding/claiming victory. The core of their ideology is actually EXTREMELY honorable. Not so much for most IS politics/warfare.

I'm looking at an old Tech/Mech specialist for the primary plot character. Maybe Kurita roots.

For a pilot, I figure a light recon guy.

You can start with some amazingly easy TNs on the battlemat for Mech combat using this character system, but that's up to the judge to control during character generation.

Also, core generation, or 10 point total? Makes a difference for that Tech/Mech guy. 0 for race and 0 for mech gives him another point to bump one of the others . . .. 4/4/2 or 4/3/3 instead of 4/3/2 . . .. Either way is easily doable, but I have to know which is clear before I can build to specs.

I hadn’t planned on playing a Clan member.
I was thinking Inner Sphere human with a medium LAM, probably 55ton Phoenix Hawk.
Possible second character would be a tech/non-mech pilot.

Dark Archive

Hi there!

To echo up top, you had me at 'Mechwarrior".

(Um, I'm been a fan of all things FASA for so long, I took my handle from the name of a certain 100 ton mech. ^_^)

Has everyone here played the BT video game that FASA-resurgent has out? It's AMAZING.

It's also a firm logic point for why we should start with 3025 tech and work our way up.

@Spacefurry, LAMs are exceedingly rare, so it's possible that the GM might not allow it. If you get a normal PH, please be happy. It's a cool mech.

ALSO! I'll be submitting a mechjock, probably Steiner originated.

ALso also, I firmly make the mental commitment that combat will resemble more a D&D type of "state attack roll dice" than the headache the table top always has been.

(My suggestion would be the Gordion solution of space battle which is to take away one dimension. Treat all fights as if there's no terrain, and everyone is in a straight line. Hence, you can move 9 hexes to get the defensive bonus, but then also say how many hexes you are moving toward, away from the enemy.
i.e. The enemy Warhammer is 5 hexes from me. I move 9 hexes for the defensive bonus, but circle around, only increasing our distance by 2 hexes. Giving me the status of:
Gross movement: 9 hexes
Distance to WH: 7 hexes.)

Or whatever. IMHO. =)

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As much interest as I am getting I'm wondering if I should split the difference and do both stories. I'm not sure I have the energy and time to do both, however. Also, I forgot how much of a headache 2nd edition was!

So I'm still sussing things out, even considering just figuring out a way to use Pathfinder or StarFinder rules and just keep the setting. Hell, we could make that a community project if you guys wanted.

I am half thinking I should just use A Time of War because it really does have the depth I would want in a system. Yeah, character creation is a headache, but we could just do something like a point buy HEAVILY INFLUENCED by life paths, but without the extreme math and need for complicated spreadsheets.

There are a few options for simplified combat, even built into the classic boardgame rules. That's something else I'm thinking about.

I am more than happy to use the time of war character gen as is. It is in depth and gives good background fodder for characters.

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I am one of like 3 people in the world that actually liked A Time of War character creation, but I'm a data analyst for my day job, so numbers is kinda my thing.

I can see where data analyst would enjoy it. How do you feel about the old villains and vigilantes system of fractional bonuses?

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I'm not familiar with it, but I actually prefer there to be as little math/modifiers in actual game play as possible. I'm a huge proponent of complex character creation, simple game play.

Don't get me wrong, I really love AToW's character creation from a longtime fan standpoint. That is a lot of history and flavor packed into a very comprehensive list (including the companion book's added materials). It allows you to totally craft a history as you work and amazing opportunities to customize.

It just also happens to be such a major PitA that folks who made characters from Aftermath! think they got off light, lol.

Treasure hunt in MW sounds awesome. I'm very interested

I don’t have the books myself so I would need help creating a character. Sorry. It sounds kinda like the creation system for the sci-fi rpg ‘Traveller’.

@Atlas I would understand if a LAM is disallowed and would be happy with a regular one. I just liked the versatility of a LAM. Fly over to scout, land and engage before shifting to back off and quickly reposition, then shift again and provide some air cover. :)

Edit: Just as long as you don’t take a direct hit to the cockpit...
No, I’m not still bitter about my first BT game ever. :p

Don't have the AToW books, either. Was spending my money on being Dad by then, instead.

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