Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Mechwarrior Decision

The Apprentices have been digging into Battletech more the last few weeks. Part of it is that Blaster is reading some of the old novels, and part of it is that Blaster and Red are both playing a lot of Mechwarrior Online. They've been poring through the original rules and the 3025 technical readout, designing mechs and rebuilding the ones that suck, just as my friends and I did years ago - it's quite a bit of fun to watch.

The thing is I know that eventually they are going to want to play the RPG - partly because I've told them about our old campaigns - and frankly the RPG rules for all 3 editions are pretty clunky and not really anything I want to mess with anymore. So I've been looking at alternatives.

Option A is to run it in Savage Worlds. I like the rules and it plays fast and there are analogues of pretty much all of the weapons and armor available in various sourcebooks. It may be a little more cinematic than MW campaigns typically are but I think it's manageable.

Option B is to run it in Traveller. This one feels more like the older MW rules and the gear is there, so it's another strong contender. Plus it would give me an excuse to pick up some more Traveller stuff. The downside is that I would need to sit down and come up with a career table for the various career types - mechwarrior, tech, aerospace pilot, tanker, trooper. That's not a huge downside as I like the idea of doing it, but it will take some time and probably some tweaking to get it right.

Option C is to run it in GURPS. One of my groups played MW in GURPS years ago and there were several guides to it on the net back in the late 90's. I know it would work, but I'm still hesitant. I have pretty much let GURPS drift off of my "current games" radar for the last few years and I would have to get familiar with it again. Also, I'm not sure I'm all that fired up about GURPS anymore when I have these other lighter rulesets available.

Those are the 3 main options in my head right now. They aren't ready to start a new campaign right now anyway between our D&D and our Supers campaigns. This is good because it will give me time to come up with a starting situation and look through my old BT/MW material for ideas. The basic idea right now is "mercenaries" where they roll up all of the members of the unit as characters then play who they want in each session. Oh, and they also need to round up some more players too. This may end up being this summer's extra campaign, but the wheels are already turning.

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