Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thorough Thursdays : MEKTON

Prior to this post, I have only mentioned Mekton, the Japanese Anime/Manga themed Mecha Role-Playing Game created by Mike Pondsmith, and published by R. Talsorian Games, in blog entries thirteen times before.

That's just wrong.

The KG-6 Sleipnir, from the Anime Aldnoah Zero.

If there is a RPG among my list of tags whose number of related posts is the most inversely proportionate to the number of times I've run and played it, that game would have to be Mekton (although Teenagers from Outer Space and Star Wars would come in as close runner ups).*

Truth be told, I haven't run more than a handful of one-shots of it in the last several years. And, you know what? That's a damn shame. I love the game, I love robots, I love Anime, and it's a very simple system to learn, and play.

So why no Mekton for the man who loves mecha?

Same as with many other genres, my current group's opinions on the subject are too divided. All of us are Anime/Manga fans to a greater, or lesser degree, but our interests within the medium are very different. Some prefer gonzo comedy, others more romantic comedy. Most of us like some kind of action/adventure, or another, while slice of life stories interest about half of us (maybe a bit more).

As for Mecha Anime and Manga, I would say two of us love them, two like them, two don't really care about them one way, or another, and one or two don't actually like them that much. I think. I'm not sure where our newest member stands on the subject. I'll have to ask him.

Another thing that's held back my enthusiasm for giant robot gaming has been my lack of model building over the last five years (perhaps longer). I don't have the time, and I certainly don't have the disposable income, to purchase Gundam, and other series models, like I once did.

I've been a fan of Gunpla, and model building, painting, customizing, and kitbashing since I was about 11. After years of trying to get me interested in building model airplanes, and cars, my Dad took me to a store in New York City's Chinatown that sold Star Trek, and Star Wars models, and I discovered the early Mobile Suit Gundam kits. In subsequent years I would work for various comic book, toy, and gaming stores that sold these kits, and their vastly improved descendants.

Gunpla Customizing Contest
May 2013

While I was never much of a miniatures fan (though I did collect, and paint some on and off in my younger days), I found running Mekton without some kits around was like eating pumpkin pie without the whipped cream on top. You could do it, but it just wasn't the same.

I was digging through some old boxes of books a little while ago, and I found I still have one kit remaining, the packaging completely unopened. It's a favorite of mine, one I've built, and customized so many times I've lost count.

I think I'm going to give it a go. See if I still have the touch.

Anyway, that is it on Mekton for now. I could say a lot more, and perhaps I shall in future posts. If I can complete the kit I have, I'll post some pics of the finished product.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to this game before too long. It is one of the rare crunchy games I like as well. While not overly complicated, and not nearly as math intensive as Champions, or even Mutants & Masterminds, it does have more combat rules, and construction options then I usually bother to deal with. For this reason I prefer Mekton II over Mekton Zeta. Mekton II, the game's second edition, is just chock full of building blocks enough without driving me wiggy with complexity.

Plus, there is a new edition on the horizon. Hmmm.

Alright, onward and upward...

Barking Alien

*Teenagers from Outer Space, and Star Wars, are likely candidates for later Thorough Thursdays features.


  1. The thing I liked about Mekton was that it was such a good simulation of anime games, and a pretty solid ruleset. I'm sure now, in the age of RPG-related forums, that if Mekton had come out today there would be tons of rules-lawyers cobbling up the most over-efficient mechs, but at the time I could just try to recreate Macross or Gundam or do my version of Frank Herbert's Dune with giant robots (which is what I did).

  2. Totally agree.

    Also, if I haven't mentioned before how awesome I think your Dune with giant robots idea is, it's freakin' awesome.

    I had an idea for MegaTraveller with giant robots called, aptly enough, 'MechaTraveller'. I think I might have run a few sessions of it years ago. I think. My memory is a bit hazy on the subject. I may have designed the campaign, but never actually got the chance to run it.

    What I liked most about Mekton was that it wasn't a Gundam game, or a Macross game, or a Dunbine game. It was a system for emulating any kind of Anime Mecha story you wanted to do, including, as examples, Gundam, Macross, or Dunbine.

    ; )