Kaiju and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

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TorgHacker
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Kaiju and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby TorgHacker » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:34 pm

So here's another 'trial balloon' I want to float.

As mentioned in the Beta GM's primer, Pan-Pacifica Contagion mutates by the end of the year so that we begin to get larger creatures, called kaijuAbominations.

Initially they're not going to be very big. They're "big" but not "colossal". And we don't currently have mecha to fight them. But we could.

The question we've been debating on and off awhile is how far we want to go with this. Did we even want to introduce this sort of scale into Torg Eternity?

It certainly is a popular genre, so we need to at least consider the possibilities (sorrynotsorry). But it's not a trivial thing to add to the game.

So, since you folks are the superfans, I'm going to throw it out there and see what falls out. We do have an idea of the pros/cons of this, and we have some ideas on how to implement it, but I don't want to bias the discussion one way or the other.
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Count Thalim
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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby Count Thalim » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:05 pm

I am having flashbacks to Rifts and it's mega damage escalation. Which is something I really don't want to see in TorgE.

My main concern is how you include them without it taking up too much space that it harms other, more usable, aspects of the game that could fit in a sourcebook. We know how tight your space is in them already.

TorgE is at it's heart about the party dynamic and everyone working together. Unless you have multiple mecha you will have one person in the driving seat, as it were, and everyone else playing support to them.
At least with Car chases and similar there is a lot other players can do to have a direct impact (often literally) on the situation.
If a Mecha is the only thing that can realistically battle a Kaiju then the others don't have the influence in the same way.

I would rather see (and would use in my games) Mecha as a plot point type event rather than something they can get their hands on themselves. Which requires a lot less mechanics.

That is my view at least.
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ZorValachan
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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby ZorValachan » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:27 pm

Personally, the Rifts aspect comes to mind for me as well. Not only in the monsters vs. mecha, but the region X had A, so now we'll have A. Just because it's Asia, doesn't mean it has to have kaiju and mecha. Living Land didn't bring cowboys and Indians. Tharkold didn't bring Baba Yaga and Occultech Cossacks. Etc.
Going along Resident Evil "abominations bosses" flows with the zombie plague... Adding Mothra or Pacific Rim Kaiju, and mechs just seems to be throwing in the kitchen sink just to have the kitchen sink kuz it's kul.

Back in the 90s, i loved Torg and I loved Reading Rifts books (playing seemed to fall apart rapidly). I just like keeping them separate.

I hope that did not sound too harsh. I just had this thought from the first time I heard kaiju mentioned months ago... Either way, they will not be present in my cosmverse.
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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby Zackzenobi » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:43 pm

I love Giant Mecha! I grew up on Gaiking, Tranzor Z, Starvengers, Voltron, and Robotech! I even enjoyed Pacific Rim. Even though the first one lacked characters with personality. It's so great to see Mecha put a stop to Kaiju!!

That being said, Please DON'T include them in Torg Eternity. I really dont think they scale well at all. If you feel you have to the biggest I would want to see would be the Cyclone Armor from the Invid Robotech series. I think those are 8-10 feet and would STILL seem OP to me.

These are my 2 cents. YMMV.
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Spatula
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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby Spatula » Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:48 pm

I don't think mecha belong in Pan-Pacifica. Aside from game concerns, PP is just 1 tech point above Core Earth - basically they have stuff that we can conceive of now but are still just out of reach. Mecha is a bit beyond that, IMO.

I always did like those motorbikes that turned into armor. Having those would solve the problem of needing to cart your bike around with you when traveling. :)

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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby Zackzenobi » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:13 pm

I also have to agree with Spatula. I didnt even think about the Tech level problem.

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Matthew Surridge
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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby Matthew Surridge » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:30 pm

I also feel that mecha don't fit in Pan-Pacifica. I will concede that I'm not massively familiar with mecha stories, but I have a hard time seeing the ones I *do* know fitting into the tone of the realm. What happens if you add mecha to the Law of Intrigue and the Law of Vengeance? I mean, those could make for interesting stories, but not something I'm used to seeing. I also agree that there's a real question of how a whole party gets involved in a mecha fight, though I suppose a Storm Knight Voltron might solve that. I think ZorValachan is right — just because it's a predominantly Asian genre doesn't mean it's a natural part of Pan-Pacifica.

Kaiju I feel a bit differently about. Having one or two of them coming along makes for a nice story element; a looming unstoppable threat that spurs on all kinds of chaotic behaviour among those about to be flattened. So I have no problem there.

I think if I felt a need to have mecha in my game, I'd handle it through a pocket dimension. I imagine a story where a massive abomination's threatening Tokyo, everything's flipping out, there are riots, the foundation of the Kanawa Corporation is trembling as the head office bugs out — then the players discover a strange portal to another dimension, an alternate Tokyo where history went differently. In this other reality atomic testing had the unexpected side effect of creating giant monsters, leading to the development of giant mecha to fight them. Unfortunately, the mecha are so attuned to the reality of their personal pocket dimension they can't be replicated in any other reality and inevitably decay to nothing if somehow they cross over to another world — say, for example, to fight an unstoppable kaiju (Gordanra!). Of course the challenge for the players is get one of them across to this world, either because they stole it and are collectively trying to figure out how to pilot it, or because the aging noble pilot seeking one last blaze of glory is prepared to give their life in battle. So that's a nice three-act plot: Act I the discovery of the abomination approaching, Act II begins with panic in the streets, at the midpoint the heroes find the portal to the pocket dimension, the back half of Act II is them finding out the rules and background of the mecha and getting one across to this world, Act III is the fight of the great mecha against the great abomination.

But yeah, having mecha around for more than one-off is difficult for me to square with the setting otherwise.
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coyotegrey
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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby coyotegrey » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:51 pm

It would be interesting to stick with the bio-punk theme and maybe go with a guyver style suit instead. In my own Pan-Pacifica, that's how I describe the electric samurai, anyways. :p

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Kuildeous
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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby Kuildeous » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:05 pm

The idea does not thrill me. I've never been much for mecha. I mean, I enjoyed Voltron growing up, but I didn't get into any others. So keep that bias in mind.

I like keeping monsters rare. The Borr Aka is legendary, and it makes sense in Living Land. It is a terror, but it's an unapproachable terror that you hope you don't agitate. I could see other legendary monsters popping up in other cosms but not many.

I think it'd be a great one-shot. A kaiju could mutate from the contagion. Maybe that could even be in the Pan Pacifica mega-adventure. It'd be as unapproachable as the Borr Aka. But it could have a weakness, which is exploited through the story.

This is also something that I think Kanawa would not want. With the contagion, she's able to keep people locked away inside the borders and drain their possibilities. If there are gigantic monsters that look even worse than nearby Orrorsh and Tharkold (and across the pond in America), then she risks losing her precious sources of energy.

But that's not to say that any single Darkness Device (or all 7) couldn't conspire behind Kanawa's back and create one for the sake of destruction. But I feel that's a plot device and not a routine threat.

So, not a fan, but I'm not even the audience this would appeal to.
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Re: Kaiji and Mecha in Pan-Pacifica

Postby Staffan » Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:56 pm

I'm also mostly opposed to mecha - mostly because it's hard to have a party where one guy has the mecha and the other is an elf with a bow and a wolf companion. Mecha can be cool, but you pretty much need to design the game around them if you're going to feature them to any great extent. Plus, as others have said, it meshes poorly with Pan-Pacifica's world laws and axioms. I mean, I might be able to imagine a universe in which both A Better Tomorrow and Species takes place. I don't think that universe also has room for Pacific Rim.

That said, I could see a humongous abomination as the plot for a single adventure, á la Cloverfield. But it's probably not that good an idea for a cosm theme.


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