Welcome to the exciting world of Mecha Aces, a mecha anime RPG built upon the FUDGE system. Mecha Aces uses the FUDGE system as a foundation, and builds upon the system to create the perfect synergy between a pilot and their machine. Mecha Aces re-examines the mecha/pilot paradigm in RPG's, and establishes an innovative system built around the simplicity of the FUDGE system, and the power within the system's potential.
Mecha and the Pilots who drive them
Mecha Aces uses the FUDGE system to represent Mecha as if they are a type of character. They have Traits such as Attributes, Gifts, and Faults, so keeping track of a Mecha is as simple as keeping track of any other character. While piloting Mecha, pilots use their appropriate skill to guide the machine in the intended action. However, the system of a skilled pilot and superior machine is more than simply the sum of its parts. Mecha Aces adds the concept of Synergy to the Mecha/pilot paradigm, incorporating small bonuses to rolls made by a pilot within a Mecha (such as skill checks), and vice versa where a Mecha makes a roll guided by a pilot (such as attribute checks).
FUDGE Foundation Toolset
Mecha Aces includes a variety of optional features to enhance game-play in any situation and genre. This toolset of features will allow the person running the game to be flexible in their inclusion. You can use some or all of the features in the toolset; effectively controlling how terse or complex your game will be. Some features are fairly standard to RPG's, such as Magic and Psychic Powers. Other features are more experimental and cutting edge, such as Techniques and Artificial Intelligence. A brief description of each feature is outlined below:
Mecha Aces uses a combination of Gifts and Skills to accommodate an innovative Magic system. When the Magic Gift is purchased, a certain number of Spell Points are used to construct the spells known by the character. Depending upon the Magic System used, the player can create a huge variety of magical powers to be used at their disposal. Several Magic Systems are included in the book, including Technomancy, Elementalism, and Shinto Mysticism. Each spell requires its own set of material requirements, such as foci to channel the power, and a reagent that is consumed by the spell (if required). Once the character knows their spells, certain skills are used to determine their success once cast. The exact skill used depends upon the Magic System.
The powers of the mind are included within Mecha Aces by using (primarily) skills. Once the character purchases the Psychic Power Gift, they are free to purchase levels of skill within the variety of powers available. The level of the skill determines the amount of potency associated with the power. Some example psychic powers are Telekinesis, Clairvoyance, Precognition, and Telepathy. There are many more powers described thoroughly in the Psychic Powers chapter of the Mecha Aces rulebook.
Some pilots, in the course of their experience, develop signature moves that they can use to crush their foes. This does not only occur from within the cockpit; skilled martial artists can also develop certain forms, stances, strikes, and other moves to improve their effectiveness. These little tricks of the trade are represented within Mecha Aces as Techniques. Techniques are associated with a character's Attributes. Three Attributes can support piloting techniques, and the remaining two are slated for martial art techniques. Thusly, choosing Techniques for your character is an important decision, as you can only ever have up to five. Techniques, however, are powerful assets to a skilled pilot. They not only inflict potent damage to your foe, but the pilot can also purchase Rises and Falls for them as if they are weapons. This is more accurately described within the Mecha Aces rulebook.
While representing Mecha within an RPG, it is important to consider the aspect of AI. Having a potent machine at your disposal is one thing, but to have a thinking partner on the battlefield can produce even greater synergy that that produced by its sheer ability alone. Mecha Aces includes a system of keeping track of a Mecha's AI in a terse and easy to use way. Using the Mecha Aces system, you can even create a totally sentient robotic character.
High technology begs for high speed, so put the pedal to the floor, and hold on! Mecha Aces includes a suite of Racing rules to put your pilots into the seat of the action. A full set of Racing actions are used to adjust the racer's Throttle, a score of how well they are doing in the race. Obviously, the racer with the highest Throttle score is the current leader of the race. It isn't all about power; many of the racing moves are strategic plays at changing or taking advantage of a racer's situation, so put your thinking caps and driving gloves on.
Mecha Aces includes a variety of sample settings, including back-stories and sample characters. There are four settings included with the rulebook, and each one takes advantage of one or mores optional features from the Toolset, so you can see examples of how they can be used.