Mekton is a Humongous Mecha Tabletop RPG published by Mike Pondsmith under his R. Talsorian Games studio (who also published Cyberpunk 2020 and Teenagers from Outer Space), and was, in fact, the first Mecha RPG ever published. All official settings are Real Robot settings, but it is possible to run a Super Robot game within the rules as well.
- "White Box" Mekton:The very first Mekton published, it was more of a wargame or boardgame than an RPG. The mecha battle on a hexmap representing an entire planet.
- Mekton:Published in 1985. The first anime mecha role-playing game (BattleTech was only a boardgame at this time.) Introduced the world of Algol.
- Mekton II: Second edition rules
- Mekton Zeta: Third edition rules, with greater emphasis on replicating anime.
- Mekton Zero: A planned new edition, backwards compatible with Zeta. Was successfully funded on Kickstarter, but has since failed to materialize
- Algol: The first published Mekton setting. A chilly world on the brink of an impending ice age, Algol is home to a lost colony of humans struggling to survive against an increasingly hostile environment, alien invasion, and each other. Was Rebooted with each edition before being abandoned due to editorial policy changes- or was, prior to Mike Pondsmith's taking control of the company. Makes a comeback in the upcoming Mekton Zero.
- Bendar Empire: Introduced in Mekton Empire, a Mekton II supplement - The Bendar Spiral Galaxy is home to a vast and ancient Imperium in decline. The forces of darkness threatens the Imperium from without while decadence and decay destroy it from within. It is a time of adventure and intrigue, of political machinations and star-spanning battles. Mekton Empire provides epic scope to the game of Mekton. Giant battlefleets ply the void, scheming politicians maneuver for power, and great mysteries hide secrets that could destroy, or save, an entire Galaxy. Mekton Empire is a cross between Dune and The Five Star Stories, where characters can become heroes for their deeds of honor and turn around to be stabbed in the back by their closest friend. Abandoned, but containing the Algol setting as yet another planet.
- Jovian Chronicles: Originally a setting for Mekton II created by Dream Pod 9, before being published as a game in its own right under a different system. Has been described as "American Gundam" (well, Canadian Gundam actually), revolving around a conflict in our own solar system between the powers of the Jovian Confederation and the Central Earth Government and Administration.
- Invasion Terra: The default setting for Mekton Zeta, with Earth being invaded by an expansionist galactic empire. Heavily influenced by Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Initially developed as a test-game for the Zeta edition before being published.
- Imperial Star: Introduced in Mekton Zeta - similar to Mekton Empire, but set in our own galaxy. Written up in the Mekton Zeta rulebook before being abandoned.
- Starblade Battalion: The last published sourcebook in the Mekton line to date. A sequel to Cyberpunk 2020, but set so far in its future that you wouldn't notice. Earth and its Pleiades Colonies locked by their respective governments in a war that nobody really wants, that the titular Starblade Battalion (a rebel group made up from disidents of both sides plus Space Pirates) tries to stop. Easily comparable to Zeta Gundam and Gundam 00.
- Gundam Senki: Japanese release only - a licensed Gundam RPG note using the Mekton rules. An English-language release was planned, but fell through.
- Virtual Mekton : Teenagers battle it out in virtual-reality mecha combat, in between school and other activities. Inspired by the game Virtual-ON and the manga Break-Age
A new edition of Mekton has been bandied around since the ninties under various names such as Mekton Double Zeta and Mekton ZERO. However, the game itself has been essentially out of print and all attempts to revive it have thus far resulted in extensive delays and cancellations. After a well-funded Kickstarter project, Mike Pondsmith 's new edition Mekton Zero has slipped from its expected delivery date by over five years and Pondsmith has begun refunding backers, which makes a lot of people (including backers) wary of its status.
Mekton provides examples of the following tropes:
- Chunky Salsa Rule: The rules for nukes are heavy on this sort of thing; if you're in the hex where it goes off, you're dead. The same applies to supernovae, except that every hex within about 100 AU of the star is treated as 'where it goes off'.
- Combining Mecha
- Doppelgänger Spin: The Shadow Imager
- Failure Is the Only Option: Dremmond's death and exocution of his Master Plan in Rimfire cannot be averted, no matter what the players do.
- Also somewhat descriptive of the game's current state with numerous false starts and abandoned products over the last two decades, the latest being the Kickstarter-backed Mekton Zero which has so far had numerous issues pop up (detailed on the Trivia page) that resulted in many people losing faith in that project ever getting finished.
- Falling into the Cockpit: Likely to be invoked at least once.
- Frickin' Laser Beams
- Graceful in Their Element: In Zeta, Mark Benjamin Michaels is described as "terminally clumsy outside of a cockpit".
- Gratuitous Japanese: Many of the headings of the Zeta books include hiragana or katakana as well as English.
- Humongous Mecha
- Laser Blade: Energy Melee Weapons
- Little Miss Badass: Quite a few in the VM setting
- Macross Missile Massacre: Missile weapons were worthless unless fired in huge swarms
- Mecha Tropes: DUH. Their Mekton Plus sourcebook reads like a checklist. A Mech by Any Other Name? Check. Meta Mecha? Check. Mini-Mecha? Check. Motion Capture Mecha? Check. Animal Mecha? Check. Telescoping Robot? Check.
- More Dakka: Burst 8
- Burst Infinity (for beam weapons) may finally be the long-sought Enuff Dakka... Maybe.
- Organic Technology: An expensive but potent upgrade from that Mekton Plus sourcebook.
- Point Defenseless: Somewhat averted in that a properly-designed point defense system can utterly shred Mektons, and do it from a much further range than they can be effectively replied to. However, for this reason, many GMs prefer NOT to properly design their point defense systems.
- Powered Armor
- Proud Warrior Race Guys: The invaders in Invasion Terra are depicted as a warrior culture with a strict code of honor. Consisting primarily of clones of their finest warriors, scientists and other specialists, they seek to subjugate other humanoid species whenever they encounter them.
- Psychic Powers
- Purely Aesthetic Gender: Except that females have a slightly higher chance of having psionic powers if those rules are used.
- House Rules: Although slightly encouraged all around, The Mekton Z+ rulebook makes it clear that the method provided for determining random psionic abilities in PCs is just a suggestion and that referees [the Game Masters] have the final say in how to determine them.
- Railroading: The Operation Rimfire module for Mekton II read more like a script then an adventure - everything was predetermined, right down to the villain's Narmy death.
- Despite the railroading, Rimfire is easily the single most popular Mekton module there is, which says a lot about the Mekton playerbase.
- Rasputinian Death: Lord Dremmond.
- Real Robot: All official settings.
- Running Gag: similarly-named NPC pilots asking the also similarly-named NPC techs to build outrageous designs and being hit on the head with a wrench are depicted in almost all versions of the game
- The Mekton Z mailing list has a few, the largest of which involves action figures after Cyberpunk V3's rather unique choice of illustration materials.
- Shout-Out: Several, to various mecha anime
- Statuesque Stunner: Jalia Zell, an elite Imperial military clone in the Invasion Terra campaign setting is depicted (in her statistics and in the couple of fairly low detail drawings of her) as being tall, long legged and very attractive. In quintessential anime fashion, her official story line has her become intrigued by the Terran pilot who captured her, as well as in human culture and life beyond war, before returning to her people. She later defects to the Terran side mid-battle to be with her adversary-turned lover and joins his squadron.
- Super-Deformed: Yes, it even has rules for this.
- Super Robot: It can do these too. Super robots statted out in the first Mecha Manual include the Zeiru Ronin and the combiners GodFang Y, GodWing X and GodGriffon VX.
- This Is a Drill: The Mekton Zeta corebook lists drills among the weapons
- Transforming Mecha
- Space Pirates: Starblade Battalion
- The Tetris Effect: If you're on the mailing list, odds are this trope probably applies. A casual player wouldn't take the time to stat Tupperware, after all.
- Vaporware: The various new editions bandied around since the late nineties, none of which have ever come to fruition.
- The latest of these would be the Kickstarter-backed Mekton Zero, originally planned for release in December 2013 but plagued with issues throughout its development. Mike Pondsmith is still determined to get it out, regardless of backers getting refunded, and confirmed as such in a very impromptu Mekton Seminar in 2018.
- Wave Motion Gun: You can set up a charging time for your energy weapons, which gives a steadily more significant discount as the time gets longer. Add this to Mega-Beam, which lets you hit every location on your target at once, and make the weapon big enough...
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The infamous PC Hair Colour table
- Lampshaded mercilessly in Starblade, where blue hair is mentioned as a typical heroic trait...