My copy of Tech Revolution shipped yesterday, I downloaded the PDF on my lunch break and revised one of my Pacific Rim playtest posts, and wrote up Mad Max’s v8 Interceptor using the vehicle rules.
Today I’d like to lay some groundwork for playing one of my favorite franchises, Mobile Suit Gundam.
I often start Gundam adaptations by building the MS-05 Zaku, it’s the weakest Mobile Suit that you can build and everything only gets stronger, and better armored from there. You might think the RGM-79 has weak arms, but they aren’t weaker than the MS-05, I would accept the argument that the GM has weaker legs than a Zaku. The RGM also makes a decent starting point for a baseline mecha.
Tech Revolution notes, Paizo included the idea of single-pilot mecha in the final version of the rules, most OYW Mobile Suits are 50ft high making them Gargantuan in Starfinder, they also fit well in the Gargantuan tonnage range. There are no Gargantuan frames in Tech Revolution that require less than 2 pilots. The good news is Gundam won’t be official Paizo or Starfinder society legal, so if you make Gargantuan mecha single pilot capable, I won’t tell if you won’t.
With that accommodation, it seems like a Legionnaire frame is the best one for most mobile suits.
Gargantuan mech (combat)
Base HP 10; HP Advancement 9; Hardness 1
EAC +2; KAC +2; Fort +1; Ref +1
Speed 60 ft.; Strength +5
Frame Slots 3; Aux Slots 4
Cost 3.5 × tier
There’s a good argument for the MS-05 Zaku and RGM-79 to both have the Basic arms and even possibly Basic Biped legs, I want to work with the cheapest least function servos first and let the design limits of the system push me into higher categories. Models like the Gundam, Gouf, and Gelgoog will have improved abilities despite the Gouf looking like it’s made of Zaku parts. The differences in performance can be chalked up to more reactor power, Autotarget systems, and better servos, but again I don’t want to use up all the design space immediately.
The Zakus carried 90mm, 105mm, and 120mm machine guns. We’re going to need some slugthrowers to do this right, we can make them custom or just re-flavor one of the existing rifles. The Laser and Plasma Rifles in Tech Revolution could easily fill in for the Beam Rifles of the Federation mobile suits, not only does that leave out the Zakus, but it also leaves out a lot of the ground type MS from series like 08th MS Team. Of the two rifles, the laser rifle does less damage so we can call any of the grunt mecha machine guns laser rifles and save the plasma rifle for any of the beam rifles carried by officer mechs like the Gundam and the Gelgoog.
The Zakus also carried the heat hawk which seems like a lower damage flame doshko with no cleave ability. The heat hawk is closest to the alloy sword with fire as its damage type. The heat saber of the Rick Dom and the Beam Madu of the Gelgoog could both use the flame doshko and the cleave property.
The Zakus are kind of known for their one big knobby shoulder pad and the shield worn on the other. With the Zaku II and later we can say they have the tough arms that add to KAC, but for some of the variant Zakus we might want to add the Spiked Shield weapon.
Looking at the Spiked Shield weapon for the Zakus, I don’t see a regular shield for the Federation mobile suits, the RGM and Gundam all carry large shields, as does the Gelgoog. So we’re going to need a protective shield capable of performing the block maneuver while not being more powerful than the mobile suits other melee weapons.
It’s worth noting that some Zakus had 100 round drum magazines and others carried multiple box magazines for reloading their machine guns so the Ammo Reserve auxiliary system would be appropriate. 0080 and 0083 are prime examples of this.
Zeon Mobile Suits — from early to late One Year War models
MS-05 Zaku — one pilot — biped basic — basic arms 0 — dynamo mk 0 — laser rifle — alloy sword
MS-06 Zaku — one pilot — biped basic — tough arms x1 — dynamo mk 1 — laser rifle — alloy sword — shield
MS-07B-3 Gouf — one pilot — biped agile — tough arms x1 — dynamo mk 2 — rotary cannon — alloy sword — shield
MS-09 Dom — one pilot — biped fast — tough arms x1 — dynamo mk 1 — flame doshko — rocket launcher
MS-14 Gelgoog — one pilot — biped fast — tough arms x1 — dynamo mk 3 — plasma rifle — plasma doshko — shield
The Gelgoog and Gundam both had thrusters for flying in space, many of the mobile suits had enough thrust to jump short distances so the Thruster auxiliary system would be appropriate. Since actually using these thrusters to jump costs power points, I wouldn’t recommend trying it in a mobile suit with a low-powered reactor.
The Rick Dom hovers in the series and moves fast which is why I recommended them the fast legs, since they fly over the ground, I might recommend the Plow Plating auxiliary system to let them ignore difficult terrain.
All of the mobile suits in Gundam have entry hatches since it is so universal I don’t know if it is better to give them to every machine as an auxiliary system or just say all of the mobile suits include them as standard.
Since all of the mecha pieces and parts are multipliers, we made assumptions about the minimum viable mobile suits in a playtest post.
I’m going to revisit the post above for final Tech Revolution changes and then finish this post.
More to come.
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