MechaZone 223 is a roleplaying campaign I wrote up some time ago. I wanted to do a mecha action campaign, but I've always been a world builder, so I wasn't happy with any of the products commercially available. Thus MechaZone 223 was born.
MZ223 is heavily influenced by japanese animation, anime. It is my homage to the creators of the originals.
MechaZone 223 ran for 36 episodes, lasting little over a year. Due to positive feedback, MechaZone is back with Act II, which is currently in it's second quarter.
- Prince Dram Hashaquiel commenting on MechaZone 223
I realize the naming conventions are a bit fuzzy. The first campaign is called MechaZone 223 for two main reasons: The action was based on a mercenary mecha base codenamed just that and I never really intended to do a sequel. The sequel is MechaZone Act II because it is not quite so location tied. So, you're not missing parts 3-222. Act II will probably gain a more descriptive subtitle as it matures. MechaZone 223 originally had the subtitle "A Tale of 1001 Days" but it disappeared somewhere along the way.
I did a special publication of MechaZone 223 for the Finnish Roleplayers' Association, which they published in the fall of 1994. I also did a limited edition Perfect Memory set based on campaign diary notes, and a very limited edition Perfect Collection combining the two. Unfortunately this material is written in Finnish, and my work schedule probably won't allow a full translation.
Please don't beg me for a copy if you don't have suitable bribes ready :-) If you want to do the translation, please contact me.
Player characters were mercenaries hired by the government of Fuhro on Mars. They were assigned to a mercenary panzer base codenamed MechaZone 223 to work as panzer pilots for a period of 1001 days. The contract required them to pay part of their own equipment and they received pay based on mission success.
Mecha combat had a very prominent part in MechaZone 223, but I tried very hard to avoid the "Mission of the week" syndrome. For this purpose I filled the base with a zany crew only a zombie could avoid reacting to. I was determined to advance the background plot pretty much regardless of player actions, to keep them on their toes and to convey the feeling of an active world. To this I added numerous sub-plots and mysteries, great many of which remain unsolved to this day despite the players' best efforts. For flavor, a liberal dash of references to more and less well known anime and science fiction sources.
I like to think I succeeded, and based on the feedback I got, this probably isn't a totally groundless assumption.
As the players in the original series were mercenaries working for the Fuhro government, I drew up the contract they had to sign. It probably could sound a lot more legal and official, but hey, I'm not a lawyer.
The contract is available in English both in ASCII and PostScript formats.
The character gallery for MechaZone 223 contains descriptions and, in some cases, illustrations of the major non-player characters in MechaZone 223. I have not included Act II characters because the information is still classified.
MechaZone 223 characters were created using GURPS, the Generic Universal Role-Playing System by Steve Jackson Games. GURPS was chosen mainly because we are very familiar with it, but also because it adapts very well to different backgrounds.
Since GURPS does not handle mecha combat very well, Mecha! by Seventh Street Games was used for that purpose. Mecha! is a nice, fluid and fast system, but slightly lacking in detail for RPG purposes.
The short version, with only episode names, is available in English. Much more stuff can be found in the SRP Riimukiwi archive in the MechaZone extras. They are in Finnish, though.
I also put the character appearance guide table here, but you need a viewer that supports HTML3 tables. The table lists all major appearances by all major characters in all episodes.
MechaZone contains numerous in-jokes and references to anime and science fiction sources. Some of those are explained in this little cheat-sheet I wrote up.
Act II shifts the focus quite a bit, centering on underfunded protest (some say terrorist) organization called Anti Euro Union Guild, AEUG. Following the last events of MechaZone 223, Fuhro is strictly controlled by PanMa through a puppet government. The player characters come from all walks of life to oppose the Neo-Imperialists and fight for freedom, democracy and peace for all mankind.
Those are the ideals, anyway.
I'm not going to give anything away yet, but great things are afoot. Discoveries have been made and AEUG may rise to be an important political figure and military might. However, there are those who would crush the fledgling organization and those who would use it for their own purposes -- persons and organizations far more powerful than AEUG currently is.
Because of the shift in focus, Act II uses FUDGE for characters. We recently switched from fully subjective FUDGE to somewhat objective FUDGE, because the lack of character sheets was perceived as a problem.
Act II hasn't seen mecha action yet, but I've drafted a version of Mekton rules for that purpose. I'm writing a computer application to handle the mecha building and I want to finish that first.
I must admit I haven't had the time to properly update the diaries since Act II started. I hope I'll have the time to do that and even possibly put a translated version here.
Act II is currently on a hiatus. Reasons for this are many, but they include some group members soon going to serve their term in the army, general summer disruption due to my other hobbies and a slightly unsatisfactory state of the current game. I guess I overestimated my players again...
Act II ran for 13 episodes in the first quarter and 6 in the second. I still haven't decided whether I shall kill the game entirely, start with new characters in Act III or continue from the current situation. In any case, I doubt the players will soon forget Act II's closing quote:
The prince and half the solar system for one thing...
Bring me the head of Hans van Hagel!
- Iron Mask, Leader of Kosmo Valhalla
Of all MechaZones active in the Fuhro civil war, the highest denomination was MechaZone 555.
Over ten years later, led by two former enemies united for a common goal, MechaZone 556 began recruiting.
The rest will be history.
MechaZone 556 is not being played as a RPG anymore. I didn't have the time to prepare it properly and it never really took off, so I decided to kill it rather than drag along.
But it is an ongoing Full Thrust campaign. The campaign info has the details. I will be adding more info here as it progresses.
Some of the more unusual terms are explained in the glossary. I have not included typical SF or anime terms though. You'll have to figure those out by yourself.
MechaZone files are available here in the archive here. The ones I've had time to put there, that is. All stuff contained there is copyrighted, but freely distributable in unchanged form.
No more excuses! I did it. Check out the Picture Gallery.
As I stated before, MechaZone draws heavily on anime and some other Science Fiction sources. For those interested, the most important sources of inspiration are listed below,
I express my heartfelt thanks for Mikko Torvinen for his excellent illustrations. He really brought the characters to life. Pasi Jouhikainen and Antti Hulkkonen also deserve kudos for their photography, even though they did destroy one of my models in the process...
MechaZone would be preciously little without the players.
Descriptions of player characters will be added when such descriptions are provided to me.
What would anything be without the Jazzman touch?
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Maintained and copyright by Mikko Kurki-Suonio