Mobile Suit Gundam Guard

I have this idea for a Gundam campaign rolling around in my head. I even wrote up notes for several factions and plot points, but I got stuck in one particular place. I wanted a more fluid system/less complex system than Jovian Chronicles to run it in, and given a choice of 2 major factions to join up with for support in opposing the faction that disavowed them, the players couldn’t give me any direction.

It takes upwards of 35 minutes to write up statistics for one mecha in JC when you’re on a roll. I didn’t want to have to write up every mech in the game to get started, just in case the players picked a different group in play than what I had notes for.

Then I thought about it, Mouse Guard is pretty simple, and it’s rich and best of all, the players have to tell me what they want to do by writing their beliefs and goals.

Does anybody have any input on how to handle large vehicles with massively dangerous weaponry fighting at high speed in the vacuum of space? One thing I really like about JC’s mecha (after they’re statted out) is that they accept penalties with each hit that gets through the armor, lose systems etc. They don’t really have hit points, just damage thresholds. It’s possible to wing one, or to pop it in one hit, depending on the hit. If you get winged 20 times it’s like driving a jalopy when it used to be the equivalent of a Tesla roadster. So you can still be the hero in a Mecha with a gaping hole in the head and no right arm, it’s just harder.

I don’t own Burning Empires, and it seems like nobody has really completed a ship hack yet, although I could be wrong as I didn’t look into this sub-board until last week. Anybody have anything I can adapt?

I’d make a separate mecha stat block with separate mecha conditions. Pilot’s skills are used, mecha’s stats are used. Mecha takes conditions first, and I’d use special rules for transferring conditions from mecha to pilot.


These are my very loose notes on implementing Luke’s advice. I’m certain more input would be beneficial.


Mobile Suits have the following condition track -
Operational, which corresponds to Healthy (or the condition of having no conditions)
Running on Fumes, which corresponds to Hungry and Thirsty
Overheated, which corresponds to Angry
Taxed, which corresponds to Tired
Impaired, which corresponds to Injured (normally corresponds to a loss of limb(s))
Malfunctioning, which corresponds to Sick

The Natural Order is as follows

1 - Small animals
2 - Children
3 - Adults and Young Adults
4 - Small Civilian Vehicles (Motorcycle), Exo-Frames
5 - Other Civilian Vehicles (Automobiles, Boats, Large Trucks), Small Military Vehicles (Tanks, Aerospace Fighters)
6 - Large Military Vehicles (Naval Vessels), Small Spacecraft, Mobile Suits, Small Mobile Armors
7 - Capital Ships, Gigantic Mobile Armors
8 - Small Asteroids, Colonies
9 - Large Asteroids, Terror Weapons*

  • Terror Weapons often have to be defeated with a plan, as they are too big to simply blast or have too many parts to blast at once. The order is not in terms of size. Most mobile suits can land on naval vessels and fight other mobile suits while doing so and can be carried by Large Trucks with flatbeds. However, a single shot from a mobile suit to most capital ships, naval vessels is capable of destroying them. Much like a strike to the brain via the eye socket or a cut through the jugular on a larger animal from a mouse.

Piloting a vehicle changes your place in the Order temporarily. You still interact with the order as per normal.

It is possible to obtain many conditions as the result of compromises in a fight, as the fights are broken up into duels. Duels occur between a handful of opponents, and often the heroes will be fighting their own duels against opponents or teams of opponents. You can only get one condition per Duel.

Mobile Suits have a few stats:
System (which corresponds to Will), and Power (which corresponds to Health), as well as Order (their place in the Natural Order), Armor, Features, and Weapons. As a rule, non-gundams have +1D armor, while Gundams have +1s Armor. Civilian craft and particularly easy to defeat military craft (like most planes) have 0 armor.

It is suggested that all mobile suits have these statistics as they often will be called upon to be vehicles for the heroes as well as their opponents, but other vehicles simply have a Nature rating, and an Order rating.

When piloting a vehicle that does not have the correct Ability, use its Nature for everything that is not a skill check. When piloting a mobile suit, or similarly statted out vehicle, substitute System for Will, and Power for Health. You use your own Nature when appropriate. System corresponds to resisting hacking, Sensors, Communications through interference, etc.

Example Mobile Suit:
Zaku II (Original Gundam)
System 3, Power 4, Order 6, Armor +1D
Features: Jumps, Nuclear-Powered
Weapons: Machine Gun, Heat Hawk

Example Airplanes:
Cargo Plane
Nature 3, Order 6, Armor 0

Medea (Original Gundam)
Nature 4, Order 5, Armor +1D

Example Gundam:
Freedom Gundam (Gundam Seed)
System 5, Power 6, Order 6, Armor +1s
Features: Flies, Barrages up to 5 targets or combines fire on 1, Nuclear-Powered, Missile Defense Vulcans
Weapons: Beam Cannons (3), Rail Guns (2), Beam Sabers (2), Shield

Very cool!

QFT (I don’t even like Mecha games and I’d play this)

What’s mecha/vehicle Nature represent? And how come the Zaku II doesn’t have one? I should think it just as important for PCs to be able to have a Nature stat to tap via spending persona.


Odie, read it again. The terms are confusing in the context of mecha, but he’s trying to keep everything in the language of MG for now.

Vehicle Nature is Animal Nature.
Piloting a mecha, you use your Pilot’s Nature.

Exactly. If you can think of a better term that all-inclusively covers vehicle prowess/durability/etc. please suggest it. I left it Nature because I couldn’t think of anything myself yet.

For condition transfer, I’m currently thinking something like if you would logically receive a condition twice on the mecha, then you take the corresponding human condition instead of the mecha taking one.

So as an example, if you are racing against time, and failed a navigation check, you might have gained Taxed in order to accomplish what you wanted, which was to arrive on time. Then if you enter into a string of duels and would have gained another Taxed condition because the enemies are seeking to delay you and win with major compromises, then you yourself become Tired. I don’t think the penalties should stack, but even after you leave the mecha and begin running towards the final battle on foot, you’re still Tired.

Also, depending on intent, the pilot could be affected primarily, and if the victor wins with no compromise or a minor one, then it can be a condition.

I think I’ll tackle the skill list, and newtypes next, then weapon effects.

Aha, I see what confused me. The Medea’s an airplane. It has (Original Gundam) after it, and I didn’t realize that was the name of the series it was from. I thought it was saying the Medea was one of the original gundams, or something, and so it didn’t make sense to me that it had a Nature score. I get it now.

My bad!