May 26, 2013

Mechanical Make-Up VII

Ah, Chapter 5. It has a lot less mechanics when compared to pretty 2, 3 and 4. Enough to go over them all right now. A part of me wants to expand NPC rules immediately, with more Boss goodies, wacky Features for weird enemies, and more Tiers for NPCs - Like the old Elite that was in between Grunts and Rivals. But it will have to wait. First we do maintenance on the house, then we see about building a second story on top.


All of these these get a single lone section to themselves because... Well, that is what their relevance deserves. Basically, non-combatant npc "rules" are for those times you just need to whip up a quick statblock and just eyeballing two or three stats isn't enough. Grunts are fast and easy. Rivals and Bosses are a different matter, though frankly between this and the suggestions in the "The Big Bads" sidebar you should have a good idea of how to stat these in a matter of seconds. Natures really help in making this process easier, too, another reason I favor them so much.

Grunts and Rivals

Grab two Weapons, maybe one or two Upgrades, and a Chassis. Enhance if appropriate. Grunts take very little effort to write up. And while they are weak individually, they can give PCs fits. In other games Grunts are plentiful and outnumber the PCs about four to one... Not so in GGG. Partly because managing up to a dozen of NPCs is a chore, partly because each one is supposed to be an actual threat that needs to be overcome, and is not just there for show.

Two Grunts are said to be a match for a PC, but it is more like three really if you want the PC to be genuinely against the ropes. With that said, the sheer variety in loadouts available to them means that you can throw Grunts at PCs just to warm them up without offering much of a challenge or give them devious combinations of abilities, abusing the likes of Support Fire and Divine Wind. This way they can represent generic goons or elite troops with the same set of rules.

Rivals are almost the same as PCs if not for the fact that they usually pack less Genre Points, and depending on how much of a difference there is a GM might have to toss in an extra Grunt to make for a real challenge. With that said, PCs are fine having a slight mechanical advantage over their Rivals because you (as GM) want them to win anyway. Even then, the fact that Rivals can retool themselves around the opposition and show up with a new giant robot if the plot demands gives them an advantage over the PCs that might be worth a lot more than just one or two Genre Points.

The big issue is that they take the most time to stat. A part of me wants to throw away these rules and come up with something like what Grunts and Bosses have but more on equal with the PCs. But I recognize that as they are, they function as a clear mirror to the PCs, and that is what they are supposed to be. You know, Rivals.


Bosses have been the toughest ones to design, but now overall they're challenging and easy to create or customize, without being impossible to beat. Yes, some of their abilities are extremely powerful, but the worst ones don't even trigger before getting considerably beat up. Overall they're one of the things I'm the most proud of in the game as a whole.

Boss Powers are much like Boss Archetypes in that they represent individual abilities which make the user much harder to deal with, their main difference is that they don't either need getting beat up to be activated, nor do they grow stronger over time. A few stand out from the rest, for a few reasons. One is I Believe this is Yours, which can be taken multiple times to cover all Weapon Types, if you so wish. Another is Die for Me!, which is by far the most brutal ability in the game then a Boss has a lot of Genre Points. Lastly there is Behold my True Power, which can be combined with Overfreeze and Wormhole Assault from the Boss repertoire for an obvious combo, or lets you get crafty with other ideas like Bombardment and Resonance Cannon for sheer brutality.

Honestly since they are active abilities that can be used from Turn 1 onwards, they can get a bit repetitive at times. But considering that they're supposed to be a piece of the puzzle that PCs need to solve in order to beat a Boss, I would say that being repetitive is the point. Other Powers are a ton less crafty and sometimes kind of boring (like Show me your Resolve and Resistance is Futile) but they get the job done. Also, while Genre Powers in general have great names, Boss Powers have the best names. Ever.

Archetypes are a bit more interesting, and two of them need some changes. Nanoskin Shell is by far the strongest to the point of it being preposterous - 60 extra HP granted by a single ability is insane and the damage buffer needs to be halved at least. Hypersonic Striker is also not as good as it could be, because extra movement stops being useful once you are in range, so it will be given the unique ability to do hit and run tactics with any kind of Weapon - it will only trigger after losing a Level of Threshold so it won't create any unbeatable Enemies.

Then there's Weapons. G-Leeches are are probably the weakest right now, though the latter would get much more interesting with the changes to Hypersonic Striker. Graviton Wave is similar in that it is not very good at killing its targets, but by golly is it amazing at softening them up. The most exploitable one right now is Telekinetic Strike, not only almost always dealing unblockable damage but also controlling the positions of its enemies. The least I can do is make the bowling ball effect require passing the Evasion of secondary targets. The other one maybe worth retooling is 3G-Bomb, which went from being overwhelmingly powerful to being a tad too slow to be really threatening to anyone with a Threshold of 10 or higher. Perhaps making it deal damage not directly dependent on Tension is for the best, after all.


Biological, Fortress, and Squadron are pretty straightforward. They are used to represent things that are neither the average giant robot, nor are they usually under PC control. More interesting is Cryptid, which is not only all upside for most enemies, and a dangerously powerful upside at that to boot, but is a gigantic middle finger to one of the most effective strategies in the game otherwise - tanking via healing.

It is the closest the game ever gets to having an unfairly powerful ability for enemies, but it is only genuinely devastating against anyone who relies on restoring Threshold entirely instead of even trying to prevent Damage. It is also acknowledged as being powerful to the point that even Grunts should be considered to be an even match against PCs, so it works out.

Operation Actions

Well, That was kind of short, so I might as well also touch up some general mechanics while I'm at it, Chapter 4 here we go.

Most of the Operation rules are fine, with all Actions being viable alternatives to just Attacking now. Micromanage is still a tad powerful, but I'd rather keep it useful than nerf it to being a sub-par option. Suppress though, currently lets you stop anyone from moving at all ever again. And movement is more important now than it used to be, so we're reworking that a little. I don't want to complicate things too much, so we'll make it a simple choice: The victim of a Suppress Action can still move after being suppressed, but doing so means they take the other half of the Damage the attack would have dealt normally.

This is a lot more representative of using suppressive fire to pin someone down, and also gives them a way to escape your grappling attempts. It also weakens Suppress a bit, but because the enemy still suffers a Disadvantage to their own Offensive Actions it is worth using even then. Fortunately, it is still a lot less complicated than every other attempt to represent grappling rules since D&D became infamous for having some really bad ones.

Next week, the update in question, with a few bonuses.

May 19, 2013

Mechanical Make-Up VI

I went over a lot of the math behind the mechanics for Pilot rules in my Tribute to Player Agency during January and February, so I'll be commenting on the utility of the specific options today and comparing them balance-wise. But before that, a question for those who would want to print out their own copies of the finalized book: Would you prefer a grayscale version with everything exactly as it is right now, or grayscale but with images removed and formatting looking kind of awkward as a consequence? Leave a comment!

And now, to finalize an analysis of character creation:


There is not much to say about these other than Professional kind of gets a bad rap for not being the best at anything. In a game that encourages generalism, though, that is kind of undue. As is, they are the only characters who will never roll under a 5 for anything, saving them from worst case scenarios unless there's some serious Disadvantages stacked against them.

The secondary Attributes (Awareness, Willpower, Resources) do a pretty decent job of balancing the other three with each other, though of course that depends on just how many rules you're using. Resources gets better if you're allowed to have your own battle tank, and high Willpower is oh so much more desirable when you can use it to fuel superpowers.

Skills - Mundane

Some Skills are more generally useful than others. Investigation and Medicine will usually be more useful than Presence and Survival, the latter of which will need a concept that focuses on them to bring them up to par with the likes of the former. The neat thing about Skills is that they are cheap enough you can get some of the worse ones for 3 or 5 PP without really hurting your character in the process, and there simplified skill system gives any Adept or Master skills a lot of value.

A few Skills might merit being split apart into different categories, and strong cases have been made for Craftsmanship to be divided into say, Arts and Industry. On one hand, defusing a bomb and composing a sonnet are very different things. On the other hand, the line between crafting something for practical or aesthetic purposes is an easily blurred line, such as when customizing a motorcycle, which is both of them.

In rules terms, splitting them up would also likely make Craftsmanship Tests considerably easier to anyone who can argue that whatever they're doing takes both Skills, assuming they have purchased both that is. Then again, maybe rewarding people who really, really want to be the best at crafts & arts is an alright thing.

Skills - Miracles

Balancing these is tough, not to mention that there's so many neat ideas for superpowers that avoiding a glut of them was its own problem. To avoid the issue of spell lists taking up hundreds of pages, I've tried to make each Miracle do the most things it could reasonably get away with conceptually. You can have Pyrokinesis and Cryonesis or Life and Death as one package, because he who giveth can also taketh away.

Some of them get away with a lot though. For instance Somatics and Sight provide tremendous value at Adept level alone. The trick is that the rest do things that are impossible to replicate through mundane means, such as shooting lightning out of your hands or making people see ghosts, thus making themselves worth it just for being unique.

Traits - General

Generally Traits worth between 3 and 5 PP tend to be rather conditional or depend on the GM more than usual, while the high-end ones are a lot more powerful and straightforward, but of limited use. Some of them are Traits because they're simply not worth being Skills (like Animal Person or Gamer) though they can be rather fearsome when combined with existing Skills to grant them extra Advantages (Such as with Intimidating and Weapon Expertise) but they pale in comparison to the sheer ridiculousness you can get away with when you build around Traits such as Leadership, Psychic Power and Spirit of Steel.

Traits - Deathblows

The most powerful of these by raw damage output is Multitargeting, multiplying your Damage by the number of enemies you've got. Though of course it does nothing 1v1. Tearing follows up, which, assuming you deal at least 1 point of damage on your own, can take out a baseline Coordinator with an average roll of 5... But needs 5 turns to do so. Precise is about the only one worth combining with other Deathblows if you want a crazy powerful finisher, as the Disadvantage more or less cancels out after a couple turns' worth of Tension.
Stunning and Defensive are alright on their own, but if you add Multitargeting to them, a single action can turn around an entire combat scene.

Traits - Assets

These are all mechanically the same so there is not that much to say that hasn't already been covered. Maybe the standardized debt mechanic could be taken out and all of them could be given unique mechanics, but I'm not sure about that.

I also like having hard(ish) rules for relying on your network of contacts and money a bit too much, and don't think coming up with specific mechanics to represent being indebted or putting your career at stake would be much of an improvement over what we've currently got.

Perhaps the one thing that I do regret a little that you can grab all four of them and use each in turn to pull yourself out of a jam, without ever repaying the debt back. Then again, someone who slowly gives up on everything they've got as a story progresses could be interesting in its own right.

Traits - Anomalies

Cyborg, Reanimating and Wild are the most interesting, with the last one even potentially letting you communicate with the giant monsters you're fighting if the setting allows for it. Flight and Nightmare can also serve as 'rules to represent pilot-scale monsters'. Technobane can range from extremely useful to absolutely terrible depending on the game

An Anomaly that was considered but ultimately discarded was 'Ghostly'. And it did not come to pass simply because the ability to pass through objects either has no downside because you can control it at will or the downside is absolutely crippling and kills you dead the moment something goes wrong. Maybe one day I will come up with a better way to go about it.

Traits - Equipment

These are the least effects-based of the bunch, with most having abilities highly tuned to represent being specific objects... Which is kind of the point, anyway. The cheapest ones (Ether Drive, First-Aid Nanomachines and Omni-Counter) are all very useful and a fantastic bang for your buck, though they don't really have as big an effect as some of the others.

An Invisibility Device is much more efficient than the Phantasm Miracle at adopting Plan B, though it is more limited in use. A Digital Aide is not just useful, it can spice up scenes as a helpful NPC that is always in your pocket. The Masterwork Tool and Personal Facility are both very useful for their cost, though thinking about it, the former should be able to act as a Proxy. That also makes the Resources-based opportunity cost worth it when compared to just grabbing a Skill.
 The Energy Shield, Icarus-Class Powered Armor, and Armored Land Vehicle all can spice up ground-level encounters, either in the hands of PCs or NPCs. The Miniature Chemical Weapon is also a good replacement for Extreme Terrain-esque rules for walking into a supervillain's lair full of traps.

Last but not least is The Cloneforge Backup Bodies. Which is just plain awesome, but could use the rules text being a bit more clear on its use. It makes a lot more sense if it is used between scenes... but not between any kind of Scene. At some point I forgot to add this clarification and now it is kind of wonky by the rules as written even if, ironically, the rules text is extremely simple.

So that's character options. Next time I examine the mechanics in chapters 4 and 5. And after that, the (hopefully) final revision with some extra goodies.

May 11, 2013

Mechanical Make-Up V

Moving over to examining the Pilots themselves, and what better way to bridge them than using the rules bridge between Pilots and their Mecha? Today is about Genre Powers. So how are they faring on a general sense? Pretty good I'd say.

While having a varied suite of Powers with multiple costs of which only one could be used per Round made things more strategic, it wasn't as fun as the current version is. The standardization of Powers limits what can be done with them somewhat, with the grand majority of Powers being straight offensive or defensive. There's less room for utility or off-the-wall Powers around. Having all of them cost 1 also really hurts most defensive buffs, which have slightly weaker effects and last one Round. Specially since you can always change your strategy slightly to ignore the guy with super defenses for another Round.

Characters start with 3 Powers, plus the Default six, and can have up to 8 -or beyond if the game goes for a really long time and the power scale is entirely off the hook. Most will take 2-3 Powers necessary to their build and team role (such as Believe in Myself, Take one for the Team, Strength in Union and Exhaustion) plus 1-2 offensive ones (of which there's so much variety just in the Common pool alone that you're bound to find some you really want to have) then pick the more conditional Powers that support their 'core' ones (Examples include Keeping Up, Impetuous Style, Gotta go Fast and Retroactively Prepared)

This means that nearly every character will have enough Powers to pull an alpha strike when pressed against the ropes, more so taking into account the extra three Genre granted from taking Damage. And since there's so many offensive options, strategies tend to revolve around managing how often and when to do your special moves. This would get repetitive fast if there wasn't so much variety in the power and weapon selection, also if it wasn't badass as heck.

On to the Powers themselves!

Default Powers

These six are pretty self explanatory, they work well and aren't in much need of an evaluation since everyone gets them for free anyway. The only ones that sometimes irk me a little are Synchro Attack (though I'm sure I'm done finding ways to break it by now) and Data Scanner which could stand to be shorter but simply spending a Genre to learn everything about one or more Enemies is such a gimme there's no reason not to do it, and that just takes out the fun of discovering stuff for yourself.

Common Powers

Of the ten Common Powers, a whooping seven are purely offensive, with Counterattack being an arguable number eight. This really cements the idea that everyone wants to have a couple of genre-based ways to put some oomph into their moves. Ready for Another Go and Counter Intelligence are the most universally useful of the Common pool otherwise, and if they weren't so good at what they do, they'd be Default Powers. Keeping them as Powers that everyone can grab (but don't automatically get) helps keep things like Energy abuse in check and stops Bosses from having their abilities shut down constantly.

Champion Powers

Really good for a Shield type Chassis. They're actually pretty useful in general, but Shield Mecha just make them amazing to the point it feels like a waste to use them without being a Shield yourself. Perhaps ironically, Get a Hold of Yourself is kind of unsustainable if your build is a regenerative, long term type and not a damage prevention one.

Trickster Powers

Hidden Power is amazing. Variable Range is useful, and a solid 'tier 2' utility Power to grab once you have all the important stuff. Keeping Up is fantastic if you can actually make use of it, and two characters doing it in concert together with what the other lacks is pretty scary, the Setup speed hurts its defensive uses but it was kind of overpowered when you consider just how huge the swings could be and how few offensive Powers can be used at reaction speed.

Assassin Powers

Three really good powers. Target Lock and Pierce are fantastic, while Impetuous Style ranges from being alright to being very very good depending on the Weapons used. This might be the best Package overall, all things considered, which is frankly kind of understandable in a game about blowing up giant robots.

Scout Powers

Do you have high Evasion? Then odds are your Threshold isn't that good, and you really don't want to be caught in area effects like those of Finger Net or Incinerator. Good thing this package not only makes evading blows easier, it also gets you to move faster! Where'd he Go? makes a pretty amusing combo with Come at Me Bro, if you want to be the group's tank. Overall these lack the direct impact of the top tier Powers, and are suited for specialized characters, but they fit their niche really well.

Supportive Powers

So-so. Got Your Back is a small buff short in duration. Guiding Hand is a bit weak by itself, but the moment more Advantages come into play it can help turn them into additional d10's, which is nothing short of devastating. In that sense, it works as intended since you want to save it for when it will be of decissive help. Retroactively Prepared is the best Power of the three, and that is mostly because you can use it to support yourself through Regenerative... which kind of goes against the point.

Protective Powers

I never noticed before that Come at me Bro is absolutely bananas if there's two users on the team. I'll errata in immediately that a second instance overwrites the first. Take one for the Team is like a weaker Sacrifice on demand, and obviously a fantastic combo with Champion Powers. But the real gamewinner here is Martyr, which if not for the once-per-Enemy limitation would pretty much guarantee victory on targets with lower health totals than yours. Now I could take that limitation away and make it deal, say, half the Damage taken (or a fixed amount like 1d10)... But I think this feels a lot more awesome to use, and at the end of the day the game is about awesome characters in awesome robots doing awesome things.

Director Powers

Strength in Union does exactly what you would expect it to and gives everyone a push to stay in the fight. Or heals 1 Threshold and the character utterly fails at friendship speeches this time. Luck is fickle! With that said, you're looking at a 15 points-ish swing in health for the group on average, and that would be ridiculous if you could repeat it. Last Ditch Effort rewards the group having a plan and sticking to it. On the Double is situational but can prove a life saver when it does become necessary, and since it is the only one that can be used more than once per Operation it will make its presence deeply felt then.

Controller Powers

Confusion in the Ranks is either completely devastating or a worse Not so Fast depending on whether you're facing an army of Grunts or a single Boss. Of course, in practice it only gets used in the former scenario, so the 'once per Operation' limitation is reasonable. It is almost necessary for someone in the group to have Exhaustion, as it can make battling Rivals and Bosses who rely on that resource a lot more manageable. Finally, the Weakest Link also might not seem like it does much, but when everyone is focusing fire on a single enemy, it counts for a lot. Depending on the build, the target will suffer between three and seven more damage per strike. That adds up. Fast. This is another solid Package.

Assassin and Trickster might be the best overall Packages, the latter simply because of Hidden Power's sheer utility. Director, Controller and Protector would be the second most useful, of which it is recommended that every group has one person with that selection of Powers. Champion and Scout are good at the specific, singular role they are dedicated to as party tanks... And then there's Supportive.

All Packages are worth taking as is, except for Supportive. Got Your Back can be bumped to Reaction Speed, making it slightly better than Not so Fast. Retroactively Prepared would make a lot more sense if you could choose the type of Support on the spot, too. I'm not sure I like the idea of a Power that can reliably be used to evade enemy hits, and I am a bit worried about the exponential increase to Retroactively Prepared's utility, but the Package in general could use the push. Arguably it would still be at its best when used to buff yourself (Though there's honestly better Packages for that), but at least it makes supporting your Allies much more useful than the current version.

Next up, Pilot abilities proper.

May 5, 2013

Mechanical Make-Up IV

Continuing to look at the various Mecha abilities, we finish up with some of the more crucial and distinctive ones. Plus Modules, I guess.


Probably the most important ones of the bunch. Archetypes are some of, if not the, strongest abilities available and you can only have two of them. They're all pretty effective, in terms of both representing types of giant robots and improving PC performance.

As a designer, my favorite is Limiter Release, because it plays differently depending on the Chassis type that you use.The Eagle class has plenty of Accuracy but is lacking in Penetration, so it benefits from the occasional activation. Destroyers have a good enough buffer of Threshold to maximize their already high Penetration to devastating results, aiming for quick victories. The Shield chassis, meanwhile, is the only that can afford to burn through their own health with every hit.

Custom Blueprints and Integrated Weapons are the main reason there's an opportunity cost attached to Archetypes now. The former moreso than the latter, because it is just oh so very efficient and would be an instant pick for nearly everyone.

I already compared between Regenerative and Tactical UI for supportive purposes last time, while talking about Aid Another and Support Upgrades, so the only one that remains worth calling out now is Berserker. The 10 UP Weapon gained from Berserker is, perhaps unintuitively, at its most useful as a Melee weapon in the hands of a sniper that has been pushed to the limit. I'm not sure how to feel about that, but it is what it is, and the extra 5 points can make any kind of finisher rather fearsome, specially with Technique or One-Shot on top


Features are one of those things it took me way too long to come up with, yet they sound so obvious in retrospect. They're all pretty open-and-shut in that you either want them, or you don't, and odds are you will only want them as part of Frames or Transformations.

Base Units benefit a lot from the streamlining of Base Terrain, making them an asset rather than a liability that maybe you will use sometimes. Though only now do I notice that nothing stops you from using your Base Unit as a mobile platform (from which you can attack and stuff) after you have Docked into it.

This isn't bad, because it makes sense from a flavor standpoint and has its own downsides mechanically (such as not being able to cover your mothership) but I should make it explicit. And maybe streamline it further by removing the Docking Action entirely and just having the effect take place as long as you are sharing a Zone with your carrier.

I like Power Suit the most, though, even if it is a tad... Wordy. Riders and their ilk are perfectly playable using the regular Maiming rules, but this is a nice option to have around if you would like something that makes more sense or hate losing use of your Upgrades and Weapons.

Attribute Modules

Very, very useful and cost-efficient. Great with Hidden Power or an Expansion Pack, making it impossible for foes to disable them. If you've ever wondered why there aren't Threshold or Energy Modules, the answer is that they don't exist because Maiming them makes a complete and utter mess of things. Not so much for recalculating your Energy (which is fiddly an inelegant even then) but in that figuring out your new maximum and current Threshold values post losing a limb would have been hilarious. And by hilarious I mean terrible.

Alternate Forms

And so we hit the first of the Really Wordy Upgrade Categories. They play out fine (if you don't mind a really busy character sheet, or using more than one) but I hate that they need all these words written in semi-legalese so that they work properly without being super exploitable or entirely useless.

The one thing worth pointing out that the book doesn't address is that you can, if you build properly, use Transformation to net yourself a free 5 UP. This is kind of an exploit, but not really. Since you can only transform during your Turn, you can't really take advantage of that with Upgrades and must keep it to Weapons. Most of the Weapons you would want to do this with (the big finishers) are One-Shots or Techniques, which you cannot take more than one of anyway. And when it comes down to energy-free, standard use Weapons you shouldn't need more than one of those - perhaps two.

These free '5 UP' are kind of really conditional in how they can be used, so while I do recognize that I could fix that up, the ability text is already bloated enough and the 'exploit' limits your character to spending 15 UP on utility weapons anyway, so it isn't a big deal.

Other than that, Frames are a personal favorite of mine for really cheap ways to make versatile characters that play differently from time to time.

Sub Units

And now we come to The Upgrade Line That Might As Well Have Been Archetypes. Nearly every type of Mecha could use any of these after they've been upgraded a bit to round them out. I am okay with this, because it makes sense in flavor terms: How often do main characters get those after, or as part of, their mid-season upgrades after all? Plus, making them Archetypes would make it impossible to combine them into a single super Sidekick, and it would also lock you out of... Well, every other Archetype.

It is tempting to do so, though. Maybe if I also increase the limit of 2 Archetypes to 3.Sidekicks would need a small buff too.

Sidekick is potentially the best of the bunch, but they're easy to blow up and impossible to repair mid-combat so they can be countered without too much trouble. Expansion Pack is essentially a fifth Layer of Threshold with its own Area, keeping your toys safe and sound and purging itself to make instances of massive Damage more manageable.

And Assistant is the one that stands out over the rest here. Slow and unreliable, but ever-present and persistent to the point that the luck-based element of its utility should make it worth its UP cost in gold. It has come a long way from the days when it was a bonus couple of Genre Powers with the potential to sometimes let you use one of them for free.

Now the extra versatility in Genre Powers is more of an afterthought when compared to its main use. But it is a dangerous afterthought. Most Packages only have one or two Powers that you really want to have. Assistant removes the strategic value of carefully choosing your two Packages by letting you make up for it later, and gives you an awesome bonus ability to boot!

Yeah, that free Power has got to go. It kind of hurts the fact that the ability is supposed to represent a whole extra pilot, but Assistant is already so good that I think its users will manage.


Three Upgrades, two columns, and a whole page of text. We've hit peak rules density here folks. I wish there was an easier way to format this without spreading the rules between several pages and through the use of keywords. It is not pretty to look at, but I'd rather have function over form and keeping it all together is less annoying in the long term. Still bugs me, but oh well.

So! Combinations are powerful stuff. They need some forethought to implement, for obvious reasons, and there's already a paragraph in the book handling that. I really don't have much else to say, other than I really dig how Unison Combiners play very differently than God Combiners, and nearly everything else in the game really. It gets the feeling of "Our hearts together are as one" across pretty well, I think.


Originally 1 UP was more or less the equivalent of what is now 10 UP, you would only earn one UP per Arc, and everything would cost 1 UP as well. The need to have small bits of mechanical growth here and there made me add weaker abilities here and there, and change the 'per Arc' recommended XP gains from 1 UP to 10 to 15 (the last one was after taking Enhancements into question).

I bring this up because every time I look at some of these, mostly Alternate Forms, I think "Man, this would be so much more readable if it just said that you can switch between one Upgrade and another" and the non-Unison Combinations likewise could just share maybe one or two Upgrades/Weapons after docking, instead of the rules text puzzle we've got.

On the other hand, I think I can count on one hand how many games make shapeshifting simpler than GGG does (without making it ridiculously broken or terribly sucky) and I've got a few fingers to spare. Let alone combining PC Mecha together. As of this writing, I'm convinced that does not even exist yet, though FATE Core will likely prove me wrong soon.

I might experiment with boiling things down to reduce the base 30 UP to 3 or perhaps 5/6 in the future, but it would change the dynamics of character growth considerably (Dragging down the usefulness of Mid-Scene Upgrade with it) and would essentially require a full rewrite of the rules so it is not likely to happen, but maybe I can do a quick conversion (sacrificing some of the cost 3 and 7 stuff or modifying it slightly) for an alternate streamlined ruleset.