Mike Pondsmith recently sat down and began to write a series of articles about the development process of Mekton Zero. Thank you for joining us for this first Dev Note.
Creating Two Characters
In Mekton Zero, you don’t just create one character; you actually create two. One is your “Pilot” character—the person who drives around in a giant robot. But the other Character is the MEKTON your Pilot drives. Drives is actually a poor way of describing the relationship between your Pilot and their MEKTON. A better way to describe this relationship would be interacts with. On Algol, mecha are considered to be somewhat dimly sentient—about as bright as a really stupid horse—and your relationship with a given mecha is somewhat similar to that of a rider and their mount rather than a driver and an automobile.
The Profession you choose will usually shape the Mekton you end up with. All of these designs have been built in the original MEKTON ZETA construction rules, and then converted into the simpler MEKTON ZERO format. As a rule, we encourage GMs to set the basic parameters (All Military, All Civilian, Mixed Used Suits, all Experimental) for all the players in a single game group. But within those parameters, there’s a lot of possibilities.
One thing that makes Mekton Zero different than other mecha games/shows is that every mecha is unique. If two players both end up with Maulers, it doesn’t mean that those two Maulers are identical, because just like Pilot Characters, MEKTON Characters also have stats, skills and personality quirks. Having Stats means that there can be a pretty wide variation even between the same make and model of MEKTON.
The idea behind it:
I really wanted to make MEKTONS more than disposable vehicles. This meant giving them some reason to be memorable. The breakthrough came when I realized that in almost every mecha show, the hero mecha is treated like an individual, even if it really is just a hunk of steel. Some shows (like Zoids) take this even further, giving the mecha a definite awareness. I didn’t want to take the player’s agency away from them, but I wanted their MEKTONs to be more of a personal vehicle. The compromise is a vehicle that has enough awareness to be interesting, but never enough to act independently of its “master.”
Sunday of GenCon 50 is coming…
There are now two bundles of holding featuring R. Talsorian products! 1 is this bundle that includes 13 books from the classic game. The second is an amazing Anime bundle which features 11 books including Teenagers from Outer Space from RTG.
Hey there everyone,
Cody here! I’ve managed to un-glue my face from my layout monitor for a little bit to write another dev note! I don’t have a lot to talk about as far as system at the moment but I can say that we are so deep in layout that I think I see glimpses of light at the other end. Months of changing border colors and retyping introductions and we’re almost there! In the mean time we’ve been hard at work in the last stages of layout and writing the last lore bits. We’ve sent out play test pamphlets to a lot of wonderful people around the globe to get their input and have them try their best to break and exploit the system. So far, feedback has been very positive and our brave play testers are generally having a great time. Like I said, past that I don’t really have a ton to say at the moment. Layout tends to be a long and boring process. We did get to go to Pyrkon in Poznan, Poland where we met up with a bunch of great people and got to do a Q&A with the fans over in Poland. The convention was amazing and I’d go back in a heart beat. Anyhow, it’s time for me to go back to the dark pits of the Talsorian Layout Dungeon. If everything goes smoothly, I’d like to get on some time late next week and do another dev note about our progress and where we are at the moment. Until then, best wishes to all!
Hey there, everyone! It’s been a busy time for us here at Talsorian. Last week we were running around the convention floor at the GAMA Trade Show, scoping out the industry and talking to distributors and retailers about the Witcher RPG! Back at the office, things are going well and the book’s layout is coming along smoothly. I want to talk about the world state part of the GM section. One of the great things about setting the PNP RPG in-between the settings of the Witcher 2 and the Witcher 3 is that the setting can change based on the events of the first 2 Witcher video games. I know that I love to reference things that happened in my play-throughs. It allows you to continue your story that you played through in the Witcher video games. And if you haven’t played any of the Witcher video games, this small section allows you to customize the world that you play in. All of the major world decisions are listed with their outcomes.
Granted, this choice can be difficult. Describing world lore in other sections of the book without mentioning any of the direct outcomes is a bit challenging, (especially when you have to describe the fate of an entire region). But we feel that it would be cheating to just decide on one world state and throw all of the other options to the four winds. If you played the video games we want you to be able to play in the world that you built and if you didn’t play the video games we want you to be able to customize your world and decide how the events of the first two Witcher games unfolded.
Hey there everyone!
We’ve been head down here at Talsorian for quite some time but I wanted to drop in and talk a bit about the project. I know people have been asking about a release date but I can’t clarify a release date for the book yet. We’re working with CDPR to make the best game we can and as they say “it’ll be ready when it’s ready”. I can say that we are deep in layout and have been working with CDPR to finish the Lore section of the book. It’s taken some time, to compile information from all around the franchise and clarify certain confusing contradictions but it’s all coming together nicely. In the next week I hope to get some free time to post a Dev Note about the Game Master’s Section, specifically the world states and how to integrate parts of the video games into your table top campaign.