I found an old copy of Mekton Zeta. Mekton remains one of the best games for mecha-anime action, provided you’re looking mostly for simulationist play. But I remembered that most of these old school games aren’t too hard to revamp if you throw a new reward system on top of them… so, I figured I’d come up with some house rules to make Mekton more anime-like in play.
These rules replace the Improvement Point system in Mekton. These are pretty close in function to how Spiritual Attributes work in Riddle of Steel or Blade of the Iron Throne.
Player characters and major NPCs get 3 Drives. A Drive is a motivation which they are willing to risk and push for – protecting planet Earth, someone they’re in love with, revenge, finding out the truth about the Secret Government, whatever. You can change these over play, but ultimately they’re Flag Mechanics for everyone to know what to angle your scenes around and where the fun conflicts are for you.
It’s probably a good idea to channel these Drives into general categories for your setting for your particular campaign – “Make a Drive about the Aliens and how you feel about them”, “Have a Drive about one of your team mates”, “Give a Drive about what you wanted to do with your life that got interrupted by the war…” etc.
Drives have a score from 0 to 3. They start at 0, and every time you take a risk or major action for a Drive, it goes up a point, up to a maximum of 3.
Drives affect dice
When you take actions that are in line with one of your Drives, you can roll a number of extra D10s equal to the current Drive score that applies, and keep the highest die. So if you have a Drive 2, you get to roll an extra 2D10 for a total of 3D10 and take the best of the bunch.
As you can see, high Drive can make a big difference in your rolls.
Criticals are no longer infinitely exploding dice – you can’t just keep rolling 10’s and get some outrageous score. You can explode the dice only when your action applies to one of your Drives AND only as many times as your Drive score.
So, if you’re fighting to Save the Earth (score 2) and you roll a 10, you can explode the die and roll again, and if you get another 10, you can explode it just one more time.
Drives and improvement
You can improve your skills by spending down your Drives. Between your 3 Drives, spend down a number of points equal to the current rating of the skill to raise it one rank. For example, if you had Melee 5, you’d need to spend 5 points from your Drives and the skill would go up to 6.
For stats, you have to do this twice – the first time put a check or a star by the stat. The second time you spend down, the stat raises by 1.