Tabletop Game: Jovian Chronicles
is a tabletop RPG put out by Dream Pod 9. Set in the 23rd century, its primary metaplot revolves around the start up and ongoing war between the Jovian Confederation and the Central Earth Government and Administration (CEGA). It's very much a western take on the Gundam
style of mecha anime.
The game is notable in that, despite being touted as an anime-style setting, the setting maintains a very firm hold on real-world physics. Fuel is expended when you fire thrusters, the only artificial gravity is gained through rotation or thrust, and so on. Also notable for its Grey and Gray Morality
- no one group in the solar system is without blood on their hands.
The big players in this universe are: The Jovian Confederation
, who are arguably the good guys
in the entirety of this mess; The Central Earth Government and Administration (CEGA
, pronounced like the game company), a somewhat more despotic republic and the "villain" of the piece; and finally, The Venusian Bank
, wholesale owner of the planet Venus, its residents, and Man Behind the Man
to many of the key players in the setting.
And that's not getting into the minor powers and their squabbles.
Has been published for three separate rulesets: Mekton
, BESM d20
, and DP9's own Silhouette rules.
And, has two sister games (both of which exploit the minis game/RPG bifecta), Heavy Gear
(smaller gears, ground-based, more distant future) and Gear Krieg
World War II).
Jovian Chronicles uses the following tropes:
- Attack Drone: Utilized primarily by the Venusian forces. Not particularly durable, but they tend to be very fast and always in numbers.
- The Lucifer class terror drone is a frightening example. Basically X-9 Ghost about the size of a space shuttle designed for independent commerce raiding. Faster than all but the fastest of exos and packing immensely powerful particle cannons it easily qualifies as a Lightning Bruiser.
- Artificial Gravity: Mostly maintained by thrust on shorter ranged ships. Longer ranged vessels such as the Jovian Confederation's Alexander, Forge, and Valiant class and CEGA's Poseidon have rotating habitat wheels or revolving spokes that create rotational gravity. Venusian vessels actually rotate the entire ship to simulate gravity.
- The Battlestar: The Jovian Godsfire class super carrier and the CEGA Poseidon class Battleship. Somewhat justified that both were originally designed as battleships, but had exo and fighter bays added later on. The Valiant carrier qualifies due to its Wave Motion Gun described below.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The CEGA Dragon Striker prototype packs a whallop with vulcans, armor crushing claws, and heck, even a few nukes. The Full Armored pack adds a capital ship strength beam cluster to its crotch. The mass production variant moved the beam cannons to another location.
- Expy: This game has numerous ones for Gundam. These include CEGA ace Ranho Garand and the Wyvern which are Expys for Char Anzable and the Zaku respectively. The Jovian Stormrider and its prototype predecessor are reworked Dendrobium Gundams.
- The Federation: The Jovian Confederation comes closest, although it is definitely in the grey area of the spectrum.
- Holding Back the Phlebotinum: The Edicts, a Solar-System-wide treaty, restrict most attempts to produce artificial intelligence, genetically engineered organisms, nanotechnology or antimatter.
- Laser Blade: Magnetically contained plasma blade, actually. For however long the fuel cell in the handle lasts. The fiction is unclear about the actual length of "blade" though.
- Macross Missile Massacre: Averted for the most part. Exceptions include the Jovian Vindcator, Stormrider, and smaller Retaliator. The latter is fully capable of launching its entire payload of 10 seeking missiles at a single target in one volley. Also notable is the Venusian Kaminari which is armed with multiple missile pods and a belt-fed bazooka.
- Man Behind the Man: The Venusian Bank is this to a lot of people.
- Mega Corp.: The Venusian Bank.
- The Plan: The Venusian Bank. Success levels vary.
- No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Averted in the mecha available to the players, but invoked and played horribly straight in the fluff text on Jovian Armor Works' Skunk Works division.
- Power Armor: Exo-Suits. They are utilized in a variety of roles, from exploration, mining, construction, maintenance, and, of course, combat. The Mars Republic Sand Stalkers best fit the vision of Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers.
- President Evil: President Alexandra Itangre of the Jovian Confederation, who enjoys power more than anything.
- Real Robot: Exo-Armors and their smaller Exo-Suit cousins (and, in earlier editions, their Exo-Ship big brothers.)
- Shout-Out: Exo-Armor.
- Space Cold War: Instead of engaging in large-scale conflict, CEGA and the JC are supporting opposing factions in a proxy war on Mars.
- Space Elevator: Earth has a variant called a Skyhook to transport from the surface to the Orbitals. A proper one was built by the Martian Federation on Mars. It was destroyed in a Colony Drop. This event predates the one from Gundam 00, being instead the climax of Red Mars with the Serial Numbers Filed Off.
- Space Stations: The Jovian colony cylinders, big O'Neil-island type habitats, which house the majority of the Jovian population. They are the biggest artificial objects (by volume) in the solar system.
- Super Prototype: The Prometheus and Dragon Striker Prototype. Later the Prometheus Tetra and Typhon.
- Wave Motion Gun: The spinal laser on the Valiant Class Carriers which can one shot the heaviest space craft. Commonly referred to as The Spinal Laser of Doom.