Mekton Zeta: For Mecha Fans, By Mecha Fans

It was one idle day in /m/ when some anon talked about this obscure RPG system called Mekton Zeta, along with a download link for the rulebooks. Now, I had only a passing interest in tabletop RPGs back then, but I thought a 278 MB download wasn’t much, so I went for it. It sit on my hard drive for around a year.

That soon changed. For some of you who are following me on Twitter, you might receive some incomprehensible reports about a certain Strike Witches tabletop RPG we play using Dive Into the Sky rules. It’s simple enough for a total newbie like me, with everything settled by a normal six-sided die. My character is a pastiche of a certain Norwegian children’s book author/fighter pilot using a Hawker Hurricane Striker Gear. Roll, grave, etc.

Somewhere along the way, my mind wandered back to Mekton Zeta. If I’m hot enough for mecha musume, why not play with actual mecha? So I sat down to read the Core Rulebook.

And damn.

This game–it is made for me. The designers of Mekton Zeta have made the feel of the game to be as anime-like as possible, possessing an acute knowledge of what makes mecha anime exciting (it even uses katakana for the chapter names). I found myself swimming in hundreds of pages of amazing fluff. It is a highly-complex beast, with the mecha part being the toughest nut to crack  (naturally). But I want to play this so bad, I’d even code a helper program for it. And pull some PH-based anime bloggers into it.

Interested to know more? Here are some pages out of the Core Rulebook:

Check: Parental Fate. Tomino would be pleased.

“…one really racy set of clothes, but is too shy to wear them.” Yeah right. Wait, it says Girlfriend/Boyfriend… FFFFFFFFFFFFF

zomgwtf Geist!

Attention to detail: astounding.

This is an entire section for referees/DMs. I tell you, these guys are really into it.

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26 Responses to Mekton Zeta: For Mecha Fans, By Mecha Fans

  1. I WANT TO PLAY. I CAN BE POP IDOL TOO?

    Fine, I can be a Newtype with fannels?

    • schneider says:

      I’m thinking of a Gundam-based campaign, but we can work other mecha into that. Nothing’s final yet, so I suppose I’ll go around asking interested parties what they want~

      • Shance says:

        I WANNA BE A BRIGHTSLAPPING COMMANDER! CAN I HAS BE A BRIGHTSLAPPING COMMANDER?

      • Crimson says:

        after watching Turn A gundam, I got a huge craving to play MZ with a low tech campain, Tech Lv 4 ( Industrial age ) Mecha are rare but very much Feared. after a while players manage to find/steal their own and either become an Elite team for the nations militia, ack ! had to stop myself before rummaging off on ideas.
        but yea, a total Steam sorta machine that walks on two legs, fires basic rockets and is loaded with machine guns.
        I am not helping my urge to play by ranting here.. but….. thats what happens when I go off MZ cold turkey… not that I had a choice.

  2. ToastCrust says:

    I’m totally interested.

    I’ve been really into tabletop these days, but of course, Warforged in DnD are a sorry excuse for mecha 😦

    Assuming you’re thinking online rather than in-person of course, lol.

    • schneider says:

      Ah, the problem is that I don’t have the skill and experience to conduct online sessions, so I’ll need to try it first with my friends.

      • toastcrust says:

        Ah, I see. Well, I actively use my email if you’re ever out to do one.

        In my experience though, a common vector used is a chatroom or IRC channel (one with some basic dice rolling support). Personally, however, I’ve been having a lot of success running my Etrian Odyssey game based in DnD 3.5 using MapTool by RPTools.

        http://www.rptools.net/

        It supports fairly well a really large variety of systems and settings. Not too difficult to get into and build in, and has a good archive of tutorial videos and resources. I doubt there’s a prepackaged system made for Mekton on their forums though.

        Only drawback is it takes slightly more effort to coordinate, as you have to get people to tinker with things that might confuse some.

  3. toastcrust says:

    This post reminds me of how sad I am that I haven’t been able to try out Dive into the Sky either.

    I did barely manage to run a Maids game though, but even that didn’t go too well, but mainly due to my inexperience and most of the people I meet for TRPG’s in person being rollplayers rather than roleplayers.

  4. JELEINEN says:

    Mekton is obscure? Huh.

    It’s a pretty good system with it’s biggest flaw being that all the combat skills are based off of the Reflexes stat, so pretty much everyone maxes it out. Not too hard to housefule though.

    If you plan on doing a lot of tinkering with the construction rules, then the Zeta Plus supplement is a must have. I do like that the crunchyness of construction rules doesn’t actually bleed over into rules for actually playing the game, which are fairly light weight.

    In Japan, there’s an official Gundam adaptation that was supposed to get translated into English, but it never materialized. Supposedly there was also a new edition of Mekton in the works (Zeta is actually about the third edition of the Mekton system, IIRC), but R. Talsorian Games has pretty much all but shut down. From what I’ve heard, the owner moved on to the computer game industry.

    • schneider says:

      Is that so? Plus will probably be obligatory reading, then. I’ll keep in mind the Reflexes stat.

      • Crimson says:

        I hated that as well, Everything is reflexes. REF REF REF, if you don’t have reflex your game will be very… annoying.
        Ah, one thing if you just have the core rule book, you might want to add a stat that isn’t in there: CULT, short for culture, this stat is rolled for or chosen it is essentially just your Family wealth you got in the life path, just see the number rolled for it on the chart and thats your cult.

        Cult is better when doing professionals, as just 2d10 yen per TWO whole years of work is lame, you use CULT X CULT for your money per year. and besides that you could use it for Social roles as well in stead of INT or ATT depending on the skill.

  5. moritheil says:

    Best advice I can think of: if you’re new to GMming, start small.

  6. Crimson says:

    I’m glad I found this, I have played MZ in about 5 sessions… but then the darn GM decided to huddle back into his room and write a book….
    MZ got me ripped away from Fantasy and into Tech. I was already into anime.

    I now waist a fair amount of time going back over the rules ( I have MZ+, MZ core rulebook, Instant Mecha, and Terra Invasion. )
    so thanks to his pause I had nothing to do but pour over rules on Creation, Combat, ect. as a result he will be hiding behind swarms of bosses after I reveal combos and moves I’ve picked up… make him think twice before ditching us.
    I’ve also read from MektonZeta.com

    I have searched for MZ stuff online many times, I found nothing within a years timeframe, glad to see MZ isn’t dead to ALL the rest of the world yet.
    but.. I’m dieing to play again T_T

  7. Matt G. says:

    Where can I get the rulebooks for this damnably amazing RPG? link plox!

    • schneider says:

      Well, I’d recommend you buy if from Talsorian’s website if you can do it (they have it under their store), but as for download links, I got mine from 4chan’s /rs/ board.

  8. Thom Wulfgar says:

    Glad to see folks are still interested in the Mekton system! I’ve been a fan since 1986,and it’s one of those systems that never fails,making believers out of players begging for more! I’m partial to the original “Algol” setting,which is saying something since I don’t use “ready-made”worlds very often. If anyone wants to swipe tips and advice,e-mail me!

  9. Thom Wulfgar says:

    OOOOOPS!!!! Forgot to leave my e-mail address ! : maj.war@hotmail.com

  10. Alexandre says:

    Mekton is my favourite RPG ever! I just played a 26 episodes campaign, but it was pure gold. Try to search for two books: Mekton Wars, vol. 1: Invasion Terra and Mekton Mecha Manual 2: Invasion Terra Files – you’ll have a lot of fun. 🙂

  11. Alexandre says:

    Mekton is my favourite RPG ever! I just played a 26 episodes campaign, but it was pure gold. Try to search for two books: Mekton Wars, vol. 1: Invasion Terra and Mekton Mecha Manual 2: Invasion Terra Files – you’ll have a lot of fun.

  12. Hey everyone! We’re doing a new Mekton Kickstarter project! Mekton Zero is a new launch of the classic Algol setting, designed for anime-roleplaying. Check out the KS at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1888572386/mekton-zero and find out even more at RTG’s new blogsite: http://rtalsoriangames.wordpress.com/
    Mike, Cody, Lisa, Benjamin Dave and the rest of the RTG Crew.

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