This first thing the players and Game Master should decide is how they are going to use the Shogo setting. While giant robots in a military drama are predominantly featured, this is not the only type of game that can take place. The setting also allows for a cyberpunk story about megacorporations and shadowy gridrunners and spikers attempting to steal secrets for revolution or profit. Conversely, the game could be a crime drama taking place on the worn torn streets of a city between rival gangs for dominance and survival.
In the Shogo setting their are a number of new skills that revolve around the operation of mobile combat armor (MCAs). Operation of these giant robotic battle suits take much training and skill to be effective. The following new skills are:
MCA Fighting (Agility)
MCA Fighting works similarly to the fighting skill with the exception it is used while piloting a MCA. Any edges that can be used in conjunction with normal fighting rolls (bot not Parry, see MCA Piloting) can also be used with a MCA. Most pilots devote little training time to this skill (with the exception of duelists) as it impractical to fight more than one or two MCAs hand to hand without being risking destruction.
MCA Piloting (Agility)
MCA Piloting is the training and knowledge to operate Mobile Combat Armor under combat situations. Use this skill if the pilot wants to carefully move their MCA, climbing, moving at high speed, using jump jets, or any situation requiring precise or quick control of the armor. The MCA Piloting score can be used for Parry. If the MCA transforms into another vehicle form, use Boating, Driving, or Piloting accordingly while in that form.
MCA Shooting (Agility)
MCA Shooting works similarly to the Shooting or Throwing skill with the exception it is used while piloting a MCA. This covers any sort of hand weapon including grenades, as well as, mounted weapons like mortars, rockets, and missiles. Any Edges the character posses that modifies normal Shooting rolls also apply to MCA Shooting.
Important Knowledge Skills
There are a number of Knowledge skills that are important in the Shogo setting worth mentioning. They are listed to aid both players and game masters for common actions for this setting.
Knowledge: Battle (Smarts)
This skill is used in determining appropriate actions in combat typically for large force deployments (Mass Combat).
Knowledge: Business (Smarts)
The character has an understanding how political and governmental system of the Mega-Corporations that control all of Cronus. They also know who is in certain positions of power and authority among the Mega-Corporations. The character also has a good understanding of the known human history of Cronus.
Knowledge: Computers (Smarts)
Essential for any spiker this skill goes beyond the daily use of high-tech devices. A character with this skill understands programming language and can navigates systems well enough to bypass security countermeasures.
Knowledge: Science and Engineering (Smarts)
The character is studied in all fields of science and engineering including: biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, and physics.
Unused skills: Because this is not a horror setting, the Guts skill is not used. Instead if a fear roll is ever required, use Spirit instead.
Mega Scale (M")
Due to the size of MCAs and amount of area they can cover while battle is too large to fit in the normal Savage Worlds inch system with out taking up large amounts of game table space, the Mega scale was introduced. Mega Inches (M") are five times larger than normal scale. 5” becomes 1”, 30” becomes 5”, etc. This allows human sized combats to battle MCAs while giving the space needed for the giant robots to maneuver.
MCAs, MEVs, and other mecha replace the Strength and Vigor dice of the pilot when in operation. The pilot retain their Smarts and Spirit Attributes rolling them as normal. Agility and MCA Piloting is modified by the mecha’s Maneuverability score. A negative score incurs a penalty wi positive score adds a bonus. Most Agility Tests will be covered by the MCA piloting skill. The character has the option to use MCA Fighting or MCA Piloting for their mecha’s Parry score.
Mecha and Edges
All Combat Edges with the exception of Hard to Kill and Nerves of Steel (and their improved versions) can be utilized with a Mecha. Many other Edges may be used with a Mecha (such as the Leadership Edges) on at the discretion of the Game Master.
The following section are additional rules and notes for some of the gear used by mecha. The first is Equipment Points. Depending on the mission type determines the number of weapon points available to the MCA pilot. Because MCA weapons are powerful, expensive, and salvageable most military forces limit the number of weapons to the minimum needed to accomplish the mission. The thinking is the successful pilots with be the taking the weapons they need off the destroy wrecks of their enemies.
Mecha Weapon Additional Notes
One Handed: While a mecha can carry a weapon in each hand, most mecha weapons require both to fire effective. One handed weapons can be used effectively in each hand of mecha without penalty.
Static: The weapon is difficult to aim and requires the MCA to stop to fire properly. The MCA must not move for a turn to fire without penalty. Pilots with Marksmen may add the Edge although the weapon requires the MCA to stand still while firing. Firing static weapons and moving in the same turn causes a -4 penalty to MCA Shooting rolls.
Saturation: The weapon has fires an area effect attack that is smaller than a Small Burst Template at Mega Scale (M"). Saturation has no additional effect on other mecha and vehicles, but targeted against human sized targets is highly effective. When a saturation weapon fired at human sized targets the mecha pilot selects 1 inch square, hex, circle and makes a shooting roll TN 4 (+/- modifiers such darkness and cover but not size). If hit, all targets must make an Agility roll (-2 if the mecha pilot scored a raise) or take the weapon’s damage.
Example: Sanjuro Makabe fires a pulse rifle at bunker of Fallen artillery troops. Pulse rifles are saturation weapons. Sanjuro rolls his MCA Shooting looking for a 6 or better (Base 4 with 2 penalty for the bunker cover). Sanjuro’s player rolls a 10, forcing the Fallen troops to make their Agility rolls at a -2 to avoid the damage.
Stoppable: Rockets, missiles, mortars, and other stoppable weapons fire a projectile that is relatively slow and can be shot down before hitting its target. If these weapons a fired a less than short range they do not cause damage until the Pilot’s next action. During that time stoppable weapons can be targeted and shot down. Because they are still fairly small and fast moving their is a -2 penalty to shoot at them. Additionally, there is another -2 penalty to shoot these weapons down mid-flight for any but the targeted of the weapons.
MCAs, MEVs, and other may move their full Pace in a round as per Core Rules. The mecha can also run gaining 1d6M" for the turn but suffering a -2 penalty to all actions (a Multi-Action Penalty). Differing from normal movement are Crawling and Going Prone. Any mecha that attempts to crawl or go prone must spend a round to upright the mecha. Crouching requires a MCA Piloting roll to upright and act in the same round (with a -2 Multi-Action Penalty). Pilots that want their MCA to jump roll MCA piloting to land the jump. Standard MCA vertical jumping height is 1/4 the MCA’s height.
Here is a list of some of the actions a MCA pilot can make during combat and the amount time it normally takes in combat rounds:
Change Weapon (drop current)| 1 action | Multi-Action Penalty
Jury rig Mecha | 1 Full Round | Repair Roll after Incapacitation
Perform full sensor sweep | 1 action | Roll Notice (MAP)
Recover from prone (MCA) | 1 Full Round |
Retract MCA wheels | 1 action MCA | MCA Piloting roll (MAP)
Start up a MCA quick | 1d4 Full Rounds | Roll MCA Pilot check at -2 penalty
Mecha combat flows much like normal combat except for after an MCA has been hit the area where the MCA was hit is factored. If the attacker did not aim for a certain portion of the MCA use the following table by rolling a 2d6:
10,11=Left Leg, 3,4=Right Leg, 6,7,8=Torso, 5=Right Arm, 9=Left Arm, 2,12=Head
Sometimes a MCA pilot wants to save some ammo but stepping on his/her opponent. For human sized targets trampling attacks work like saturation weapons except that the MCA pilot player rolls MCA Fighting to hit instead of MCA Shooting. The target number is still 4 modified by cover, vision, but not Size.
Once a part of the MCA has all wounds to an area removed, roll Vigor to determine what systems are damaged (if any) by reading the result on the following table:
indicates that the affected part of the mecha is completely destroyed. Mechas can function without arms and legs but not without head and torso. The pilot suffers a -3 to all Mecha related actions until repairs can be made. If a leg is destroyed, the Pilot must make MCA Piloting roll at a -4 for every action or action done to the mecha to stay standing. The Pilot may move 1M" per round as long as the MCA is standing (crawling is fast movement for a mecha with only one leg).
indicates a major system failure. Several major components of the technology are knocked out (unless MCA is equipped with Redundancy systems which automatically go online at this time). The MCA with require repair in a hanger bay for 24 hours per wound sustained. Head and torso damage will indicate a need for ejection. A pilot that can continue to operate the MCA by shutting off the automatice ejection ssytem, but they will have to manually eject before another wounding head or torso shot or risk death. The pilot suffers a -6 to all MCA related actions until repairs can be made.
indicates a minor system failure. Perhaps a couple of minor features or technology no longer work (unless the MCA is equipped with Redundancy Systems) or a weapon was destroyed. The systems can be repaired in the field in a few hours. The pilot suffers a -4 to all MCA related actions until repairs can be made.
indicates the MCA is still mostly functional however the pilot suffers a -2 to all MCA related actions until repairs can be made.
Spiking (Computer Hacking)
Sometimes hacking (called spiking in Shogo) requires more than a simple Computer roll. Corporations have elaborate security and counter measures to ensure that their data is protected from would be thieves. Despite huge defensive programs and a near army of counter spikers working for mega-corporation interests, the single spiker can still manage to break in and take what they want if they are daring enough, smart, enough and have a primo computer.
Basic Spiking Flowchart
Firewall: The spiker makes a Computer roll to enter the system TN Program Capacity (plus any additional programs).
_Purpose #1Destroy _
The spiker’s purpose is to cause havoc and destroy as much data and programming as possible. The spiker uploads their virus or data corruption program
Purpose #2 Steal
The spiker’s purpose is to take data from the computer or network.
The spiker makes a Research roll to locate the desired file
Purpose #3 Control
The spiker’s purpose is to take control of automated systems
The spiker rolls a Computer roll to attempt to take control of particular system
In the Network
Every roll the spiker makes in an unauthorized system man draw the attention of security, watchmen programs, and detection software. Every roll the Network Adminstrator draws a card. Other than a club or Joker nothing happens. On the draw of a club a program, user, or counter-spiker is accessing the same portion of the network.
When a spiker is detected they are draw into a fight. To begin spiker combat each side makes a Smarts roll to determine who goes first. If a spiker wishes to ‘run’ they automatically succeed if they go first in the first round. If all side engage in combat they have a few options:
Fight – Roll Computer to hit versus Target’s Spiking Parry (Computer/2 +2)
If hit compare damage result versus Target’s Toughness (Processor Capacity)
If it is a program it is destroyed, if it is a Spiker, they take a fatigue level or ‘booted from the system’. If a spiker loses consciousness or gets, ‘booted from the system’ they lose all active programs and any data they have downloaded.
Run - Make an opposed Smarts roll versus target’s Computer roll. If successful, the spiker may log out with all data collected. If unsuccessful, the spiker is held in combat by opponent.
Use - The spiker can use any program in active memory. Some programs are designed for this purpose of spiker combat. However, they are easily countered if used a second time.
Swap - The spiker can change his programs using active memory.