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Other comments left for this publisher:
Chris Perrin's Mecha
by Antonio E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/08/2013 03:09:44
First of all, I am not going to repeat what other reviewers said: if you like the Mecha genre, there is probably no better product out there which offers the same mix of roleplaying and strategy and "crunch". But I want to address some things regarding the 2nd edition, and a few issues I had with the 1st edition.

So what's new in 2e?

1) It's still the same game, which is a good thing. Sadly, the author doesn't specify what's really new. On a cursory reading, I couldn't find any difference in the rules; perhaps it's in some Mecha configuration or some other little detail? It would be useful if the author produced a small document which tracks the changes. I have already a print-out of the 1st edition with which I am familiar, and it would be nice if I could avoid to print it out again.

2) Despite the fact that an editor was hired for this new edition, the number of typos has not been reduced drastically. On a random sampling of pages throughout the book, I reckon less than half the typos has been corrected. And the number of typos in the 1st edition numbered at an average of approximately 2 per page. That's really, really annoying. PLUS, there is a boat load of page XX references. 31, to be precise (and what's worse, they are in the cheat sheet which is supposed to be helpful.) That's just sloppy editing. The layout on the other hand is better, and a few glitches in the graphical presentation have been fixed.

So, all in all this 2nd edition needs work, perhaps more than the 1st edition did (at least there weren't any page XX references.) I am only giving a rating of 3 because of the presentation and the annoying typos, and the lack of a "what's new" list.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Chris Perrin's Mecha
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Publisher Reply:
Hey Antonio, thanks for taking the time to review Mecha. Strangely enough, the biggest changes with this version was supposed to be the cover and typo correction. It looks like we have a ways to go on the typos. Anyway, I hope you got an email, but if not, I uploaded a new version with the XX page numbers replaced with actual page numbers. I hope you like it better!
Eldritch Races - Runeborn
by Sean H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/16/2013 14:28:00
Eldritch Races: Runeborn presents (surprise!) a new race for Pathfinder, the Runeborn are accidental exiles from the moon and are bonded with lunar silver making them half-constructs thus able to survive in inhospitable habitats such as their home. They are an intriguing race well suited to play as adventurers or be encountered in unusual and unexpected locations.
The Runeborn has an interesting set of abilities, mostly from their status as half-constructs but also due to them being tied to both the moon and the magic of words. The society of the Runeborn is sketched out as is their relation with other races and religions allowing them to be easily adapted into a setting. Supporting the race are variant racial abilities (and examples of how they can be expressed in as racial subtypes), favored class options, five new feats, one piece of new equipment (only of use to the Runeborn) and a new spell round out the product giving a good amount of material to work with. The author includes the Advance Race Guide’s scale of points to show how the racial mechanics fit together and where they are in relation to the abilities of others races while another sidebar talks about other useful character options from non-core Pathfinder books.
Overall, the Runeborn are an unusual race but one with considerable possibilities for use in a campaign.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Eldritch Races - Runeborn
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MECHA - Quickstart
by william b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2011 10:44:44
look good so far, havent really had a chance to get into the systems though

Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
MECHA - Quickstart
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Chris Perrin's Mecha
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/12/2011 19:57:59
I love this game. It is my all-time favourite mecha RPG. It really captures the feel of anime mecha battles and does what other mecha games have failed to do, intergrating the character interactions with the combat system so they both have an effect on each other. This is certainly low on the "crunch" scale or mecha RPG's, but is all the better for it. It focuses your attention on the pilots, their relationships and their goals. I also really like the tactical "bullseye" map used to manouvre mechs. It is simple and straightforward to use, but offers enough tactical depth to make combat interesting. A really well made game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chris Perrin's Mecha
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Chris Perrin's Mecha
by Tun K. P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/21/2010 10:11:33
Ever since I've started preferring lighter systems, Chris Perrin's Mecha RPG has become one of my favorites. Combat is still tactical enough that your choices matter, and there's just enough differentiation between different mecha to make any two characters (and their mecha) distinct in their combat styles. But it's definitely a much simpler system, and fairly influenced by indie design elements like scene framing. I've ported Heavy Gear to this system and it works great. Highly recommended.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Mecha - SRS Paper Minis - Steel Gunner
by Michael H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/29/2010 02:06:33
Although Steel Gunner paper minis are designed to be accessory for the Mecha RPG, they're generic enough to use for almost any anime-styled mecha game. The PDF includes 6 different mecha minis, along 10 character minis (including one in power armor). The product is black & white line art, although the characters are shaded in varying shades of grey. The art is quite good - the character art excellent with very good detail and shading. The mecha art is decent but somewhat washed out and flat looking since they're strictly B&W line drawings without any shading.

Overall, given the low price, I think these paper minis are a great value and well worth purchasing for anyone looking for some mecha minis on the cheap.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mecha - SRS Paper Minis - Steel Gunner
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Chris Perrin's Mecha
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/16/2010 23:30:23
Really, there's one thing I have to ask you, the reader:

Why don't you have this?

At $12, this is quite possibly the only Mecha game you'll ever need. The rules are simple, but contain all that you need for a rough-and-ready mecha campaign.

I like the multiple-die success system, which I personally believe is the way to play. So get this! It's cheap, and it's good. Decent art, bland but forgivable typesetting, it's all good. It's a good game for the whole family, as well, due to its simplicity, but it's not by any means so simple as to be only part of a game.

I give it a five-star rating, just because it's got everything I look for in a mecha game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chris Perrin's Mecha
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MECHA - Quickstart
by Antonio E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/07/2010 04:28:34
I won't write a the detailed description since other people did it already. I will only add that this seems the perfect tool to reproduce mecha anime action in a fast and true-to-the-genre way.
I am in the process of preparing a mecha sci-fi campaign based on the Universal Century timeline (Gundam), and I have been considering the options as to which game to use, the main contenders being Mekton Z and Jovian Chronicles.
Well, if Mecha here will allow customisation of mecha and characters in a reasonably complete way, it will be my game of choice replacing those classics above. It's THAT good! Brilliant game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
MECHA - Quickstart
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MECHA - Quickstart
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/27/2010 16:01:53
Mecha is the best mecha RPG I have seen, hands down. I have struggled for years looking for or trying to shoe-horn other games to capture the feel of mecha anime, but too often they are either RPG's that get bogged down in the mechanical details of mecha construction, or tactical simulations with roleplaying elements tacked on. Not so in this product.
Here we have a game that is built from the ground up to handle both roleplaying and tactical combat with simple, straightforward rules. Play is divided into episodes and each episode is broken into a "personal scene" and a "combat" scene. In Personal scenes each character has a spotlight scene doing something you are interested in. I particularly like how "success" in a roleplay scene gives you a bonus in a future combat scene. In combat scenes you put down a "bullseye" map and play out the tactical encounter. Rules such as "overdrive" and "cut scenes" mean that the cool action and description don't end when you put the map down though - when you roll really well you get another spotlight scene to describe the awesome thing your character just did!
Overall, I am impressed; The personal scenes are very roleplay driven - there is only ever one die roll made, at the end of the scene, and players who don't have a character in the scene get to be the "npc's"; Combat is tactical but not overly complex (it concentrates on the important "scenes" and doesn't get bogged down); And the sample mecha are pretty damn cool!
I am really looking forward to the full game - check out this quickstart NOW!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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MECHA - Quickstart
by Andy H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/23/2010 19:49:47
I've seen products which attempted to emulate the anime genre by taking some generic system and slapping the "anime" label on it. Yes, some systems do add in features which resemble anime elements...but there's still something missing. I was somewhat expecting more of the same from this product, but something in me was curious, and so I took a look. The cover alone was enough to grab my interest. That's one hardcore mecha.

In my mind, any system which attempts to emulate anime (when I say "anime", I'm using it as the standard American uses it, being the action-centered shounen variety of anime) should be quick and snappy, with plenty of room for cool, and the ever-essential "character berserk drive mode", where a character has a burst of intense action and epicness.

This system fulfills all of that. It's a dual-dimension dice pool mechanic. Stats give you dice to roll, skills give you a difficulty to roll against. The elegance of the system is stunning. There's also a resource called "Overdrive", which you get for rolling lots of successes at a time. Roll enough successes, and you actually get a "moment of awesome" to narrate, and some bonus oomph to boot. But that's not all...

The actual game structure is brilliant. It's divided up into episodes, just like any good anime. In the first part of each episode, characters roleplay character-interaction scenes. The characters do stuff, and in doing so gain resources which can be used in the second half of the episode, which is combat. So, you have character development first, and follow it with a conflict. This snap structure to episodes does a great job of emulating the feel of the anime genre. It's also a very short structure. The rules suggest that you could play through 6 to 8 episodes in a session, which means that over four sessions, you can play through a 26-episode plot arc.

As for Combat? Slick and streamlined. The game uses an abstract "Bullseye Battle Map" to mark battlefield position. I think that's very cool. It makes for tactical decisions, and lets you describe actions in a vague sort of manner, which befits a genre where giant robot suits are constantly maneuvering around one another. No bogging down in strict realism here! Total annihilation is also not required to win the conflict, another plus.

All in all, this looks to be a superb product. I can't wait to see what it looks like in its final form.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Bounty Head Bebop
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/15/2009 12:29:11
Without further ado, Chapter 1: The Basics launches into explaining that Bounty Head Bebop is all about fast-paced anime-style solar-system-hopping bounty hunters, and before you've got your breath back details the 'inverted D20' game mechanic used. This is designed to be fast and simple, yet able to deliver action both cinematic and gritty. Basically, you roll under a target number on a D20, with some harder tasks requiring that you also exceed a minimum target number as well; with an additional twist that you can use - when appropriate - the 'unit' number of the roll to calculate damage thus eliminating the need for a second die roll. And so - still on the first page! - to character creation, with six abilities that reflect the character's physical and mental prowess. Characters also have skills, edges and flaws, saves, vitality, and so on; and may have psychic powers or develop Feng Shui mastery as well. Despite the breakneck speed at which everything is addressed, it's explained clearly and is easy to follow. The chapter ends with experience, and how to use it... so even before your character starts, you have some idea of how you can develop him.

Chapter 2: Skills goes through the skills in detail. There are four types: general, combat, specialty and advanced. Anyone can have general skills, and most people can make an attempt at performing them even if their level is low. Specialty skills general require training of some kind before yo can use them, while advanced skills involve high levels of education. There follows comprehensive listings, explaining the skills available, what they let the character do and, from the game mechanics point of view, how to apply them. There's also a list of commonly-spoken languages, and where in the solar system you are likely to hear them.

And so, on to Chapter 3: Edges and Flaws. Many of these will be innate to the character, but some can be trained for (or out of) by spending experience points and perhaps a bit of role-playing later on. Combat edges can usually be acquired by training, but general ones are less likely to be got after initial character creation. Flaws are, as you'd imagine, potentially disadvantageous, but can lead to some good role-playing, and some can be overcome by a combination of role-playing and experience point expenditure.

Next, Chapter 4: Feng-Shui Powers explores the 'magic equivalent' of this system. Having taken the Feng-Shui Master edge, characters then have to learn (spend experience points on) the various powers in strict order, as well as acquire a lopan (traditional feng-shui dial). The powers are quite simple, but applied with cunning will prove useful to the character choosing to take this path. Chapter 5: Psychic Powers follows, these are more diverse powers of the mind which are divided into seven spheres - the character must choose one and all his psychic powers fall into that one. Again, powers must be gained in a strict order. Some quite dramatic and handy effects can be produced by the skilled practitioner... but there's a downside, the character risks losing his sanity as soon as he begins to develop his psychic powers - and has to roll EVERY time he uses one to avoid some nasty effect. The more powers he knows, the greater the chance of a problem.

That's character generation out of the way. Next comes Chapter 6: Money & Equipment, probably one of the first things this new-minted character's going to be interested in. However, the chapter begins by discussing money as plot device. In a cinematic game, you don't want to account for every last detail, so it can be assumed that the characters generally have sufficient for day-to-day living - but for those special purchases, even if you have the money, is it available? What you're after may be rare or illegal... so you have to find a supplier and strike a deal. Next comes some weapons lists. There's a fair range of items, although they are generic - this is not a list for the gun-bunny. There are also lists for clothing and assorted equipment, including medical costs and the scale of charges for hiring a specialist, along with vehicles including spacecraft.

Although the rule mechanics have been explained as appropriate in the above chapters, Chapter 7: Doing Things brings it all together and lays out all the detail. Primed with this information, Chapter 8: Combat looks at the one area where formal task resolution is always necessary. It's pretty straightforward, beginning with a single initiative roll for the whole combat and proceeding round by round thereafter, everyone acting in turn (although there are mechanisms for pushing ahead or falling back in the order if desired). For those who like added detail, there is plenty of scope for area effects, modifiers for just about any situation and so forth. Naturally, the next bit is all about injuries and healing. There is also a section on vehicle and starship combat, with again pretty much all you need to know laid out clearly. Indeed, an impressive amount of information is packed into this chapter, well organised and clear to use.

Up til now, what we have is a slick cinematic near-future game which could be used for, well, just about any near-future adventure. Chapter 9: Setting Notes is designed to set the rules into the context of the Bounty Head Bebop setting, laying out what is going on in and providing the background for our adventures. The year is 2073AD, and the whole solar system has been altered by a stray comet which shattered Earth's moon into little bits. While hiding from the inevitable rocks hitting Earth it was discovered that they had strange powers, including the ability to form a wormhole to anywhere else in the solar system, so exploration began and most of the habitable bits were visited and settled. It's a wild and lawless setting, with underworld organisations and corporations vying for control and the Solar System Policing Bureau (SSPB) fighting a losing battle against crime and corruption. There's a summary of what the inhabited places are like to visit, along with the hazards to be found there. And the characters? Well, the SSPB is bogged down in its own bureaucracy, corruption and jurisdictional squabbles, so someone has to catch criminals and bring them to justice - hence the need for bounty hunters.

Next, Appendices demonstrate the character generation process, provide more information on awarding and spending experience, present a character sheet and round up with a comprehensive index. All done? Not quite...

There is an introductory adventure called "Small Fry" to get you started in your bounty hunting ways, a quest for a fellow who stole some milk homogenizing equipment... or was it? The clue trail to enable the neophyte hunters to discover the truth and the thief is quite neatly laid out, both the GM and the characters should be able to cope. It's a nice example of this kind of detective adventure layout, with clear indications of options of places to look, what you might find and the possibilities for follow-up and developing that line of investigation.

Overall, this is a well-developed game with plenty of potential, whether you want to stick to bounty hunting or develop into a more general near-future game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Bounty Head Bebop
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Bounty Head Bebop
by Jesse B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2008 19:09:47
I just got this last week. I haven't had a chance to play yet, but I like what I see so far on an initial read through.

I love the source material and I really look forward to getting a game up and running. While only 130 pages, the rules are comprehensive and cover most situations that characters will encounter with not only an excellent selection of skills and equipment, but also vehicle combat rules, which can often be overlooked in core rules. Also, as the game is based on the d20 system and is published under the OGL, it should be pretty easy to talk 3.0/3.5 players into a game (or at least I hope). However, even if the OGL background, the rules are not your normal d20 fare. Instead, they appear to be simplified for speed of play while maintaining tactical options and good character generation options.

While the majority of the book is composed of rules, there is a nice discussion of the setting - laying out some key points and leaving a lot open for GM's to build on. While the included setting is pretty neat and great for playing games based on the source material, I am thinking the rules would be pretty good for a Jovian Chronicles game.

Overall, I think this product is a good value and my only real complaint is that I want more material!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Bounty Head Bebop
by Patrick N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/11/2008 21:05:43
Hi,

I originally bought this game mostly just out of curiosity, though I have pretty muchly like what I have seen. Unfortunately I haven't yet had a chance to run a game yet, so right now all I can really comment on are the game basics.

The rules are 130 pages long and include chapters on "The Basics", "Skills", "Edges & Flaws", "Feng-Shui' & "Psychic" Powers, "Money & Equipment", "Doing Things", "Combat", "Setting Notes", and an Appendix with stuff like Sample Character Creation, a Character Sheet, a sample intro scenario and an index.

In general the game uses something called an"Inverted 20 System" for resolving all action, with all rolls being done with a single twenty sided die.

One of the things I really liked about the rules is the character creation and the use of things like "Luck & Surge Points" and "Edges & Flaws". All characters start with a certain number of Ability Points and its up to the player to to distribute them among the 3 basic physical and 3 basic mental abilities. The game provides tables for all these abilities to help new players relate the numbers to what they represent. For example, a rating of 2 in one of the physical abilities might be typical of an adolescent character, whereas a rating of 5-6 might be more typical of an olympic type athlete, which I found helped me better understand the character and made them more than just a series of numbers.

Characters also start with a certain number of skill points, which the player can allot to a range of different skills. Here the rules also provide tables that relate skill level to real world equivalents (such as 0 signifying that you are untrained in that skill, 3 meaning that you are average and 4 being above average, etc). In addition to this the player can select a small number of edges for their character (such as acute eyesight or hearing, being a marksman, being ambidextrous, or having political, law enforcement, or underworld ties). Similarly, you can also give your character some flaws such as being clumsy, having allergies, or maybe being a compulsive gambler etc. By giving your character flaws you can select additional edges, and together the use of Edges & Flaws seems to be another nice touch that also helps better flesh out your character.

Overall I also really like the layout and look of the rules, and the artwork is nice though very limited, with some images being re-used in several places. It would have been nice if the authors could have included more/different images.

In conclusion, its clear that the game is meant to reflect the setting and feel of the similarly named anime series, and I guess this is one thing that may be an issue for some players. On the one hand the rules can be seen as an homage to the anime series, though its possible that others may instead see it maybe a possible exploitation of other's work. In general, I think I fall into the first category, but I suspect that each player may have to decide for themselves. Overall, my rating is 4 stars.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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