Saturday, May 23, 2009

MZST Update

"What if Star Trek were an anime?"

That's the question that inspired my MZST posts, which present Mekton Z write-ups of key Star Trek characters and ships. It's a chance to show that Mekton can be about more than mecha, and to take the average Star Trek RPG in a different direction. One of the difficulties of running a Star Trek game is that cannon can often be constraining. It's a problem that Bat in the Attic commented on just the other day. By taking things back to TOS/TAS era and re-imagining the whole in terms of the stylistic elements of anime the idea is to take a step back from canon and give the GM and players the freedom to move in a different direction if they want.

One of the reasons it occurred to me to do this is that Star Trek is often referenced in the Mekton Z rulebook to illustrate a point, but to the best of my knowledge nobody has yet done a Star Trek write-up. So I did one. I'm sure my take on things may not be how others would do it. I treated the Enterprise's chief officers as standard PCs that could be used in a game, or more importantly as example characters for a game set on another starship. The is quite different from the view that Kirk, Spock and McCoy would have the status of legendary NPCs in the game, and should have extraordinary skills. I don't have a problem with that, and if you want to portray them that way just multiply the key skills (or all the skills) on my write-ups by 1.5 -- or do me one better and share your own write-ups.

Things didn't go without a hitch, and I noticed there were some mistakes in the starship designs, especially the Klingon battlecruiser. That's because it started out with a Medium Striker hull and when I upgraded it to the Heavy Striker configuration it has now I didn't adjust all the stats. That's what happens when you don't use a spreadsheet. The other glitch was the ship's sensor ranges, which were way off. They're pretty much ad hoc anyway, and don't add to the ship's cost. They're extrapolated from the basic sensor package (sensors 7 km; comm. range 1,000 km) and intended to give the ships enough sensor range to use their weapons effectively. I didn't use the full Mekton Technical System, or MTS, to design them because I wanted to keep things simple.

There were a few items of common equipment that I didn't cover, so here they are to round things out.

Communicators (as per Tech Level 7 Communicator, MZ pg. 47)

Tricorders act as a combination Bio-Scanner (MZ pg. 47), Micro-cam, Micro-Comp, and Techscanner (MZ pg. 48), but weighs only .5 kg. It can also scan minerals, chemicals and electro-magnetism. It can make general scans out to 3,000 m, and detailed scans out to 20 m.

Medical Tricorder (as per Medscanner, MZ pg. 48, but weight only .5 kg)

Medkit (MZ pg. 48)

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