bythenumbers
 member, 16 posts
Sun 20 Aug 2017
at 19:01
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
I want to run an IGPX-like mecha racing league, probably here. My problem is I can't decide on a system. I'm hoping for a narrative-based dice pool system, so things are balanced for a large number of players (I'm hoping to keep things PvP so I don't have to run a ton of opposition for multiple racing teams).

Rather than start with a list of specifics, here are a few systems I've contemplated & my thoughts regarding each:

Cortex Plus: Flexible enough to hack & do well, the dice pool mechanics are well-defined, and the system at large (in my experience) is well-balanced. Unfortunately, I don't see much support in online dice rollers, so actually adjudicating rolls would be tricky.

Fate Core: I've got a few ideas that could turn FC into a decent dice pool system, but the character growth is weird for me. Ditto the reckoning around whether various Aspects are beneficial or not for a given situation. (Cortex Plus' Distinctions are a nice way around this)

Exalted 3rd: LOVE the initiative combat, and I plan on hacking it into whatever system I end up using. Separating the pilot from the mech should be pretty straightforward, though damaging/repairing/modifying parts of the mech may be tricky.

SilCore: I like the dice mechanic, but the mech design rules are just arcane to me, either the layout of the book is just that terrible, or I'm just not understanding. As far as I can tell, the costs aren't too clearly laid out, so I'd have to re-balance the costs in a more narrative way.

Now to what I'm really looking for:

- clear separation b/w pilot and their mech. I plan on discouraging combat outside of mecha.
- Modular construction rules for mecha, to swap parts/weapons between races, or repair/jury rig something together, as well as the potential for parts to "wear out" or run out of energy/ammunition.
- simple, flexible rules, so I don't need to do much hand-holding for players to create their own systems and implement their own ideas in the system.
- I'm open to having players play "support" chracters, like team technicians, strategists, and managers, as well. This is where the narrative component is key, as I'd like these characters to have something to do during the races as well.

I know this is a lot to shoot for, but if all goes well, this could be a solid, long-running game. With enough players, multiple seasons could get played, with tiered leagues, schedules & everything else found in modern sport!

Any thoughts/questions/advice on what system to use or how to hack one or more of the above systems for RPoL?
Hendell
 member, 66 posts
Mon 21 Aug 2017
at 02:00
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
First off you need to decide how much of this is racing, and how much is 'kill the other guy so only I make it across the line' style last man standing.  And if you want system mechanics or some kind of in setting 'rule' to reinforce that distinction.

If you separate the rules between mech and pilot then it almost does not matter what rules you use for pilots if any, and you just need rules for the race.  Battletech leaps to mind as the best core system for mech combat ever made but you could go for a lower detail version just as easily.

Spycraft has some excellent chase scene rules in which the pilot is more important than the nit picking details of the vehicle but the style of vehicle is still a variable not to be ignored.
bythenumbers
 member, 17 posts
Mon 21 Aug 2017
at 21:03
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
There's definitely a demolition derby component to the setting, in which case "race" placement is in reverse order of defeat.

As far as statting up pilots, I'd like to see how different pilots will emphasize different aspects of the mech(s) they pilot, so a team might have a roster of multiple mechs to choose from for a given race, in which case individual pilots may "prefer" a particular model. There may be room for socializing/trash-talking outside of mechs, or other subterfuge, but no real violence beyond light fisticuffs.

But this is another reason I'm leaning toward more narrative systems.
icosahedron152
 member, 783 posts
Tue 22 Aug 2017
at 13:54
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
You could try a hack of Car Wars. It's an old game, but it has the simplicity for players to do it themselves, it was made for demolition derby, and you can find the rules free if you look hard enough. The game was flexible enough to have had numerous add-ons over the years.
bythenumbers
 member, 21 posts
Tue 22 Aug 2017
at 20:37
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
In reply to icosahedron152 (msg # 4):

Cool tip! I'll definitely look into this!!!


EDIT: Gave it a quick perusal, the system is more simulationist than I'm really looking for, but the lists of modules, maneuvers, and so on could be useful for inspiration.

This message was last edited by the user at 00:33, Wed 23 Aug.

GreyGriffin
 member, 138 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Wed 23 Aug 2017
at 21:32
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
IGPX was so underrated.  I was actually poking around with a board game version based loosely on a combination of Circus Maximus and Formula D.  My notes on it were pretty sparse, though, if I can even find them...
Raiu
 member, 42 posts
Thu 24 Aug 2017
at 19:12
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
Risking being off topic, but if anyone remembers the game Split Second, which is pretty much Michael Bay directs NASCAR, you could have the various "support" crews be able to change the course drastically.

On note of what system, you could use the /tg/ version of the F-Zero RPG (easily found on 1d4chan) as a base. By adding in the weapons rules (except making it able for the mechas to shoot backwards, grapple an opponent in order to drag both of them down [which could be useful in a team race], etc) you might have a good basis for what you want to run.

It might be a little heavier than what you want, but it's not too insane.
bythenumbers
 member, 22 posts
Thu 24 Aug 2017
at 20:55
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
In reply to Raiu (msg # 7):

That F-Zero RPG looks AMAZING!! I'll give that a closer look, even if I can't adopt it, it might give me insight to hack one of the other systems.

I remember Split/Second, too! Really liked that game. Yes, I expect "support" characters to be able to strategize & plan ahead. To use Fate as an example, a more strategic support character might roll to Create Advantages, warning them of upcoming obstacles and generally giving pilots advice from the sidelines. I'm not sure how much more they can do in-race, except mechanics perhaps having a mobile repair kit, but hacking/modifying the track or other mechs are possibilities I'm considering, too.
Caranamon
 member, 161 posts
Sun 27 Aug 2017
at 09:24
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
In reply to bythenumbers (msg # 8):

Interesting game concept. :)
For usable rules I could think of "Instant FUZION" Mekton. Car Wars was mentioned above. And a small mecha game that mixes pilot and mecha abilities with narrative contend is "MECHA".
A tabletop/rpg-game named "War Bird" (or War Birds) has some racing and dogfighting related rules as well as seperating the pilot from the vehicle. Maybe a worth a look.
bythenumbers
 member, 24 posts
Tue 29 Aug 2017
at 01:46
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
In reply to Caranamon (msg # 9):

Read through everyone's suggestions, but I'm leaning towards Cortex Plus at this point, since it's a system I know fairly well & the mechanics adapt well to players getting to create their own mech parts and technologies. But I'll definitely include these rules (and others) as references that players can draw from for inspiration!!!

Any ideas on what people might like to see in such a game & how that might be handled mechanically would still be great, as well as other inspirational systems are very much welcome!!!
GreyGriffin
 member, 148 posts
 Portal Expat
 Game System Polyglot
Tue 29 Aug 2017
at 03:04
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
If you're using Cortex Plus a la Marvel Heroic, you might subdivide traits into Mecha and Pilot.

I definitely would like to see some strategic gameplay that's more than just shouting loudly and throwing dice at the table.  Some sort of positioning and handling system.
bythenumbers
 member, 25 posts
Tue 29 Aug 2017
at 20:34
PbP-safe Mecha Racing!!!
In reply to GreyGriffin (msg # 11):

Definitely included. I'm going to hack in Exalted 3rd's Initiative Combat as a way of tracking who is "ahead" in the race, and maneuvering will be handled with Cortex Plus Asset generating rolls, which will be very much encouraged.