Friday, December 27, 2013

Project plans and Palladium 'missile circus' houserules

Wow. That whole 'Weird in Mystic Japan' thread went on longer than I had intended. I still have one more post, maybe two maximum, but thought I'd break things up with this.

I have a prelim exam first week of January, so expect a slowdown until after that. Projects I have simmering are (in no particular order) some dystopic Traveller tables; finishing my Stormbringer 1e adventure 'Spiders and Angels'; more D&D semiotics; and starting my retroclone, Iceships & Inuit.

I also intend to roll out my Palladium Patch at some point. Anyone who responds 'Why bother?' has missed out on some gonzo playing with an admittedly clunky old ruleset. My patch aims to make Palladium's funky old school games playable to gamers with more modern sensibilities who'd dismiss them offhand because of their rusty rules.

To give a taste, here are the Mecha Missile and Melee Mayhem Houserules. We used these back in the day last time I played and the feel of an Itano missile circus a la Robotech was pretty spot on. Give em a try and tell us what you think.

Mecha Missile and Melee Mayhem Houserules

High Explosive Missile – Does an equal number of dice of SDC damage to human pilot or each passenger, pilot can roll for half. Ignore MDC damage multipliers. (i.e. 1d6x10 MD missile does 1d6 SD to pilot or passengers).

Fragmentation Missile – Apply each dice of damage to a different part of the mecha within the blast radius. (i.e. a missile doing 3d6x10 will instead do 1d6x10 to 3 different parts of the mech).

Armor Piercing Missile – In addition to damage, causes critical damage per critical damage tables if any of its damage dice rolls maximum. (i.e. a missile doing 2d6x10 will also inflict critical damage if either dice comes up 6).

Plasma Missile – Does full number of dice in damage first round, then one less dice per round thereafter until no dice remain. Pilots may make a stunt roll to shake plasma off, but can take no other actions while doing so. (i.e. a missile doing 2d6x10 MD will do that the first round, 1d6x10 the second, then 0 thereafter).

Multi-Warhead Missile – Attacker rolls a number of d20 equal to the damage die, then takes the best as his attack roll. (i.e. a 2d4x10 MD missile allows the attacker to roll 2d20 and keep the best as his attack roll, while a 4d6x10 MD missile allows 4d20 to be rolled).

Hand to Hand– Always does critical damage on a maximum damage roll. (i.e. a 1d4 damage punch also incurs a roll on the critical damage table if a 4 is rolled).

Chaff (NEW!) – Each chaff fired automatically leads a number of missiles off course as follows: Mini-missile chaff 1d4, short range 1d6, medium range 2d4, long range 3d6.

Penalties to Dodging or Shooting Missiles – Either roll gets a – 1 per multiple of 5 missiles/ (i.e. – 1 to dodge or shoot down 5-9 missiles, – 2 for 10-14 missiles, – 3 for 15-19 missiles, etc).


  1. I met Ichiro Itano when he was a guest at a convention. I got to ask about the infamous Budweiser missile, and he drew me a valkyrie mecha head.

    1. I thought I replied to this a long while ago, but you are a lucky dog!

  2. This is good stuff. I like the idea of melee attacks having a good chance of causing critical damage, but if it only happens on a maximum damage roll, expect to see players using attacks that use smaller dice (because it's more likely to get max damage on 1D4 than on 1D6).

    1. Yep, and I have no problem with that. Two mecha punching each other out should be causing shutdowns and power outages - it makes the game more awesome, in my opinion! Also, any talk of game balance in Palladium is clearly barking up the wrong tree...

    2. I hope I don't sound like I'm picking at the rule -- I think it's a great idea and I definitely want to encourage mecha to duke it out. I also don't really give a crap about game balance. I just want to think of a way for a heavier melee attack to be more likely to cause critical damage than a lighter melee attack.

    3. Pick away - that's how rules are improved. Heavier attacks are doing heavier damage anyway, PLUS they get the chance to do crit damage on the side. Regardless, if you do think of something cool let me know.