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Mobile Armour Fighting Team Risus 1.0

Using the Risus Roleplaying Game for the Mecha Anime Genre by Peter Barnard

What is Risus? Risus is a free universal roleplaying game by S John Ross. For more information, and to download the core rules visit http://www.io.com/~sjohn/risus.htm. You will need the core rules to play Mobile Armour Fighting Team Risus.

Introduction Animated TV shows about giant robots and their pilots are very popular in Japan and to some extent here in the West. The shows range from political drama and gritty war stories, to comedy romps and even romance! Some of the settings are ideal for Risus

What are Mecha and Anime? Anime is Japanese animated cartoons. Mecha is a term used for mechanical constructs - often giant piloted robots or powersuits. However it can also refer to spacecraft, robots that can transform into fighter jets, and mechanical dragons for example.

Character Creation Characters are created as normal with a few exceptions.

Some examples are:

For many mecha games military, paramilitary, and thriller clichés are appropriate for characters like Soldier, Corrupt Politician, Jet Fighter Pilot, Inept Officer, Engineer, Police Chief, Arms Dealer and Medic.

The games-master should also decide if mecha are covered by a character's clichés or whether they are bonus gear dice. In a game where characters use a variety of mecha and vehicles, bonus dice are appropriate and you should create a few profiles of mecha. In a game where each player has a unique or signature mecha, personal clichés are fine.

Mecha clichés Whichever method you use you will need to define the mecha's clichés, and decide whether a single cliché will do, or if extras are needed. Mecha clichés can always be double pumpable.
Example: Heavy Arms from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing is simply an "Artillery Mecha". However EVA Unit 01 from Neon Genesis Evangelion is a "Close Assault Mecha" with "Berserker Mode" and a Hook of "Limited by Power Cables". In one episode it is also seen with an "Ultimate Weapon", so bonus dice mecha can also acquire bonus dice gear.

Suitable clichés for mecha include:

Close Assault Mecha
(agile, dodging damage, lots of damage at close range)
Example Evangelion Unit 002 from Neon Genesis Evangelion
Artillery Mecha
(slow, tough, lots of damage at long range)
Example Gundam Heavy Arms from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Flying Mecha
(aerial combat, manoeuvring, escaping, getting somewhere fast)
Example Gundam Wing from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Space Mecha
(zero G combat, moving in space)
Example Aestavalis from Martian Successor Nadesico
Underwater Mecha
(submarine combat, torpedoing ships, moving underwater)
Example Pisces from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Ultra Weapon
(Blowing up planets, cities etc)
Example Mega Beam Cannon from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
Transforms into Fighter Jet
(dogfighting, inspiring model kits)
Example VF1 Valkyrie from Super Dimensional Fortress Macross
Can be summoned
(pilot may call the mecha to his position)
Example Zords from Power Rangers (Dinosaur Task Force Juranger)
Berserker Mode
(Frenzied combat, eating enemies, freaking out opponents)
Example Evangelion Unit 001 from Neon Genesis Evangelion

Mecha can also have hooks if they are bonus dice equipment, such as

Enemies, Targets and other things Antagonists and other things will also have clichés, although in games that feature a lot of mecha combat, an enemy team may be a single clichés such as "Tank Division" or "Enemy Power-suit Squad". As with Vin Diakuw's Hi Octane Risus, locations may also have clichés like "Heavily Defended Army Base", "Stompable Metropolis" and "Secret Lunar Mecha Factory".
In many genres a villainous pilot may be a good enemy for the players. These can be created like characters or simply given a single cliché like "Dastardly Mecha Pilot" or "Noble Enemy Mecha Pilot". You must also decide whether or not to give them bonus mecha dice.

Sample Genres Some of the more popular genres are listed below, but you can also combine genres. Neon Genesis Evangelion is a gritty urban drama with conspiracy, paramilitary organisations and silly rubber-monster style alien invaders.
This list is by no means exhaustive or definitive.

Paramilitary
There have been many anime series focussing on the exploits of a group of pilots fighting for or against governments, or even alien invaders.
Players will be military pilots, renegade military pilots, mercenaries, revolutionaries, or even the crew of a large mecha, such as a battleship or submarine.
Action adventure clichés are best suited to this genre, and mecha should be bonus dice items as players may switch from Main Battle Tank (3) to Ground Effect Skimmer (2) to Attack Helicopter (3) in a single session.
Examples: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Armoured Trooper Votoms, Venus Wars, and Starship Troopers. This also covers Western movies like Top Gun and television series like Space Above and Beyond.

Pseudo Fantasy
There are a number of series and video games set in a fantasy world with magic and swords, which also include mecha. Players in this genre may take traditional fantasy clichés as well as mecha ones. A "Renegade Wizard" might find himself at the helm of a "Steam Power Battlesuit" in this sort of game. This genre is suitable for dark themes or light hearted ones. The GM should decide if mecha is retro tech, from an alien or lost civilisation, or just magical. This genre can also include alternate history.
Examples: Vision of Escaflowne, El Hazard, The Final Fantasy videogames and Sakura Wars

Urban Drama
Gritty and dark, these series often focus on shadowy groups operating above the law or specialist police units. Criminal clichés are prevalent, as are weapons based clichés. Global political conspiracies may also happen in this genre. A GM should also decide if the setting is modern or near future.
Examples: Mobile Police Patlabor, Bubblegum Crisis and Appleseed.

Comedy
In the comedy genre mecha can be unrealistic and silly. Pilots may be madmen, children, intelligent goldfish or mechanical cats. The actual mecha can be something serious like a powersuit or tank or something weird like a giant robot schoolgirl. Buildings are often flattened and people squashed Tom and Jerry style, but no one really gets hurt - unless a naughty child has destroyed Tokyo and the parents resort to a spanking. All clichés are appropriate, and you can even spoof or satirise serious genres with clichés like "Overcompensating Macho Pilot", "Angst-ridden Floppy-Haired Poncy Pilot" and "Giant Mecha With Too Many Unfeasibly Large Phallic Guns"
Examples: Project AKO, Moldiver, and Scramble Wars

Mecha versus Rubber-Suit Monsters
Mecha are colourful, silly looking and often are designed to work as a team. They regularly fight monsters that look like a man in a funny suit, or stop motion animation. Baddies may also be regular sized monster blown up to giant proportions by a badly dubbed villainess. The GM may assign clichés to mecha when certain players work as a team. For example, if all five Power Rangers work as a team (i.e. combine their mecha) the team leader can use the Megazord Sword (4). Mecha teams may also be colour-coded, racially diverse or just have a theme such as dinosaurs or bugs.
Examples: Power Rangers, Ultra Man, and Godzilla.

Sample mecha

Wing Zero (Mobile Suit Gundam Wing)
Description: A shining white mecha with beam sword, shield and twin beam cannon. This suit is made of super alloy Gundaniam, and is a one of a kind design far ahead of conventional technology. Clichés: Close Assault Flying Space Mecha (3)
Ultimate weapon [3]
Berserker mode (2)
Hook: Tries to control pilot. Will initiate combat without pilots consent.

Aestavalis (Martian Successor Nadesico)

Description: Space capable mecha that operate from a starship hanger like jets from an aircraft carrier. Clichés: Space Mecha (3)
Hook: Restricted range

EVA Unit 000 (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

Description: Spindly organic humanoid mecha, designed from alien and human DNA. This blue and white machine can use a variety of weaponry, and has a strong force shield. Clichés: Long Range Mecha (3)
Force Shield (3)
Hook: Require power cable.
Hook: May only be piloted by a child born after 2000AD

Sample Adventure Hooks

Grab the Rabbit
Paramilitary: The enemy have designed a brand new fast-recon craft called Jack Rabbit. Break into the design factory and steal it.
Pseudo Fantasy: The only thing that can stop the plague hitting the elven race is a spell that requires a unicorn hoof. Unfortunately unicorns can only be found on one plateau in the world, and that can only be reached by a mountain trek through hazardous terrain and scary monsters.
Urban Drama: Legendary getaway driver Jack Rabbit Slim has been arrested and shipped off to a top security prison, can you jailbreak him?
Comedy: Snooty rival school Justice High has kidnapped the football teams rabbit mascot, can the science team, mecha club and football jocks team up to get it back before the big game.
Mecha versus Rubber-Suit Monsters: Nasty Mothra has kidnapped Ultraman's pet bunny. Go grab it back.

Hold the Bridge
Paramilitary: Defend the evacuation at the beachhead from the restless natives and their ex-Soviet mecha
Pseudo Fantasy: The orc hordes are coming, can you hold them off with just a few 100ft steam powered knights?
Urban Drama: The police have your terrorist cell pinned down in a city block. You know you have backup on the way, as long as you can survive an assault from the swat mecha teams.
Comedy: Grade War! The playground rightfully belongs to the eighth graders, and you and your buddies from the mecha club are going to keep it that way. Watch out for that spoiled girl in the ninth grade whose father runs a military mecha design facility.
Mecha versus Rubber-Suit Monsters: Godzilla wants to stomp Angel High, but it's prom night. Can you keep your date and hold off this fiend with your Dinozords?

Generic Mecha Just to get you started here are some genre bonus dice vehicles and mecha.
These presume an average mecha of 3 dice.

F-16 - Jet Fighter (3)
M1 Abrams - Main Battle Tank (3)
EE9 Cascavel - Armoured Car (2)
Land Rover - All Terrain Jeep (1)
Hover Jeep - Air Skimmer (1)
M41 Bullock - Jet Bike (2)
'Aliens' Loader - Power Loader (2)
Unimog - Cargo Truck (2)
Fiat Panda - Police Car (1)
Rover Pursuit Car - Police Car (2)
Electric Train - Freight Train (3)
USS Enterprise - Battleship (10)
HMS Ark Royal - Aircraft Carrier [8] - pumpable to represent launching all aircraft. Alternatively pair up with some Sea Harrier - VTOL Attack Fighter (3)
Cheyenne Drop Ship - Drop Ship (3) with room for APC (2) or Marine Squad (2)
Hercules - Cargo Plane (2)

Afterword Congratulations on getting this far. Mobile Armoured Fighting Team Risus is still in testing form. If you use this supplement to run a game and have any feedback drop me a line at BlakeKLaurel@NOSPAMhotmail.com. The best stuff will be credited in future versions and may even get an appendix of its own!

 

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Content is (C)2002 Peter Barnard. Email BlakeKLaurel@NOSPAMhotmail.com
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