Gundam Campaign Guide

These guidelines were originally posted to rec.games.mecha in early 1996. This version was originally posted on Rob Hull’s Mekton Bastion site.


Since I'm starting up a Gundam ZZ campaign, I had to finally nail down how to do Gundam In MZ. So here's the scoop, as I see it. Comments and questions are welcome, as always.

Oh yeah:
GUNDAM and all associated terms are copyright of Bandai. This system is the sole creation of Benjamin Wright and is not the business of R. Talsorian Games. Blah blah blah... Anyway, enjoy!
Benjamin


MS Gundam in Mekton Z

Version 1.3
by Benjamin Wright

Background

Campaign Voice
Serious
Tech Level
Gundam is generally Tech Level 5, plus or minus 1 (depending).
Mecha Combat Skills
In Gundam, the seem to be only three truly relevant skills for MS combat-- Gunnery, Melee and Piloting. Hand-to-hand and missile combat do occur, but they are sufficiently rare as to be absorbed into Melee and Gunnery, respectively.

Optional Rules

Anime Leaps
Not allowed.
Stats Above 10
Not allowed.
Skills Above 10
Allowed.
Missile Travel Time
Strictly enforced.
G-Factor
Always applies.
Extra Actions
(MZ+ p49) Is not used; use "Extra Crew" method.
Fuel
Always used.
Let's Active!
Not used.
Missile Priming
Not allowed.

Character Creation

Stat Generation
Stats can be generated however the Ref likes, but Cinematic Primary Characters (with 70 points to distribute among INT, EDU, REF, COOL, EMP, TECH, LUCK, ATT, MA, BOD & NT) is recommended.
Skills
Characters can be Rookies or Professionals.

Psionics

Newtypes are handled very differently from MZ+ ESPers. Use "Psi Potential Stat" as Newtype ranking (non-Newtypes may have 0 in Newtype). Psi Points are not used. Active/Latent rules apply (especially Bonding), but Wild Talents do not. Note that some Refs prefer using EMP as an indicator of Newtype level, while others like to add NT to EMP. In any event, the character's Newtype level (NT) has the following abilities:

Newtypes are also notorious for throwing psychic fits, with unpredictable results. Hence, the referee can grant a Newtype character "Newtype special effects," but only under special circumstances.

Whenever the referee feels it is dramatically appropriate, he can allow a newtype character to exercise a Psi-skill. There are two ways this can happen: if the character wants to conciously perform a "Newtype special effect," and the Ref feels it is appropriate, the character may choose a psi-skill (again, approved by the Ref) from the list and then rolls his (Stat) + NT + 1D10 vs the defender's (Stat) + NT + 1D10 (+Luck, if added). "(Stat)" refers to the Statistic the psi-skill is associated with (Mind = INT, etc.). The results are always left up to the Referee; whatever skill-level result the Ref likes is allowed.

The other way such skills can be used is when the character is in an extreme situation. Then, the Ref can (if he wishes), tell the character to roll 1D10. If the result is lower than his (COOLx2 minus NT), then the referee can allow the character to choose a skill from the list of Psi-skills and then use it. Again, the results are up to the referee. Certain Skills are not appropriate to Gundam and should never be used: (Pyrokinesis, Telekinesis, Levitation, Regeneration, Teleportation,etc.).

Mobile Suit Construction

Interpreting Stats

Height

Head Height (not overall) in meters/1.8 = Torso's Kills.

Dry Mass

If Mass Ratio number is not available, but this number is available, then build MS without fuel, ammo, missiles, external weapons & ditchable shields (note: Beam Sabers ARE included in Dry Mass, but shields and rifles, bazookas, etc. are NOT). Next, use Weight Efficiency to match Dry Mass. Next, buy ammo, external weapons & ditchable shields and apply same percentage of weight efficiency to them as was used for Dry Mass. Add the efficient weight of the ammo, external weapons & ditchable shields to the Dry Mass. The rest of your mass is fuel. This method is less precise than using the Mass Ratio number (below).

Loaded Mass

This is the mass you will use to calculate Fuel load, land MA and flight system cost/space.

Mass Ratio

This number represents mass of MS to mass of its fuel. If this number is available, divide Loaded Mass by Mass Ratio to get Unfueled Mass. Then build MS without Fuel, and use Weight Efficiency to match Unfueled Mass. Loaded Mass minus Unfueled Mass tells you how much fuel you have.

Generator Output

(Generator Output in KW / Mass in Tons) = Bonus to Maneuver Pool, thereby determining level of powerplant; if the amount is less than 0, then the powerplant is Underpowered. 0 - 16.6 = Standard, 16.7 - 33.2 = Over, 33.3 - 66.6 = Super. If the bonus is greater than +66.6%, buy ACE to cover the remainder. Always use the exact modifier to MP that you get from the calculation (MSs can have HUGE Maneuver Pools); all Powerplants are Hot.

Rocket Output

Use normal propulsion rules to determine flight MA. Try to determine how much thrust is in each location, and assign Thruster spaces accordingly.

Verniers (or Apogee Motors)

# of verniers / 5 = bonus to MV (nearest). # of verniers = spaces (use exact number of verniers, and try to figure out exactly how many are in each location). Important! If the MS has Magnetic Coating, consider the MS to have another +1MV worth of verniers (yes, you do have to pay for this, but the 5 Spaces taken by the extra MV bonus are Space Efficiencied -- 2.5 CPs -- to zero). Also note that Magnetic Coating grants "Efficient Transformation" (yes, you must buy this too).

180-Degree Turn Time

If the number of verniers (Appogee Motors) is not listed, but 180-degree turn time is (as with 0083 MSs), then use the following formula:

  1. Divide 4.2 by Turn Time
  2. Divide Total Rocket Thrust by Loaded Mass
  3. Find square root of the result of step 2.
  4. Subtract the result of step 3 from the result of step 1.
  5. Multiply the result of step 4 by the Loaded Mass.
  6. Divide the result of step 5 by 10.0; that's the number of verniers!
Armor Materials

Anything made from steel and/or titanium is Standard armor; Lunar Titanium and Titanium-Ceramic Composite is Alpha; Most Gundarium is Beta. Only Gundarium Gamma, its composite derivatives, and the armor of x10-Scale Mobile Weapons (such as the BigZam) are rated at Gamma.

Sensor Range

Buy Sensors with closest possible Range to what is listed, but use MS' listed Sensor Range.

Weaponry
Beam Weapons

Ranged energy weapons (Beam Rifles, Mega-Particle Cannons, etc) have their damage (and thus range) determined as follows: if the megawattage of the weapon is 10 or greater, 1mw = 1 Kill. However, if the megawattage is less than 10, find the "log" of the megawatts, then find the square root of the result. Take this number and multiply by 10 to determine Kills (always round nearest).

Almost all Beam Rifles have a limited number of Shots and are clip-fed; the ZZ's Double Beam Rifle and the Gaza series' Knuckle-Busters have their own dedicated generators, and thus have Infinite shots.

Scattering Mega-Particle Guns usually have a60-degree Wide-Angle effect, but note: Many beam weapons are tagged as "mega" or "hyper;" however, just because a weapon is called a "Mega-Particle Cannon" or "Hyper-Megalauncher" does not necessarily mean it's a Mega-Beam Weapon (or a Hyper-Beam Weapon -- possible through cross-pollenating the EMW effect with a Beam Weapon; the SMT "Special Effect Weapon" modifier of x1.33 weapon cost could be used to do this).

There is no hard and fast way to set whether or not a weapon is Hyper, Mega, Hex-effect or vanilla--inconsistencies abound; the Gaza-D has a Knuckle-Buster of 8.5mw, but the Ga-Zowm's "Hyper Knuckle-Buster" is only 4.1mw. Go figure; maybe the Hyper Knuckle-Buster should actually be given the Hyper effect... Anyway, remember that unless the beam actually engulfs the MS (like the ZZ's Hi-Mega Cannon and the Type-100's Mega-Bazooka Launcher), it's probably not a Mega-Beam Weapon.

Energy Melee Weapons

Energy melee weapons (Beam Sabers, etc) add 0.1 to their Megawatts, then multiply by 10.0 to determine kills of damage. Almost all Beam Sabers have a limited number of Turns In Use and are rechargeable.

Projectile weapons

Projectile weapons (Head Vulcans, Zaku Machineguns, etc.) take their millimeters of bore diameter divided by 8.0, then use the square root of the result to determine kills of damage (and thus range). However, very large-bore weapons (primarily, Bazookas of all types) have specially-loaded ammo (blast-radius, scattershot, nuclear, etc.).

Calculating MV and MR

In Gundam, MSs tend to limit their pilots' reflexes rather than modify them. Thus, the rules regarding MV and MR are handled differently. Subtract the MV from 10 (in the case of positive MVs, add to 10); this number is the MR, or Maximum Reflexes, the MS will accomodate. Compare to the pilot's Reflexes; in MS combat, always use the lower of the two numbers. Hence, a slow MS will hinder a hot pilot, and a hot MS will not meet its full potential with a slow pilot. A Positive MV (aka, an MR over 10) can only be utilized effectively by a Newtype.

Prohibited Systems

Refer to list below: