I first encountered Robotech on weekday afternoons on "The Supper Ones" Channel 11. I was hooked immediately with the transforming robots and the battles with alien invaders. When Palladium Books started publishing the game I was ecstatic, though in retrospect, the system was not that great, and when I ran it, most of the rules were ignored. Since that time, I have played many systems and eventually settled on Savage Worlds as my goto system. Then I heard that someone was putting out a version of the game using those rules, I was intrigued. Now that I have read the book, I have some thoughts on it.
The book starts off with some basic time line and setting information which is a quick read, but if you were a fan of the cartoon, you know most of it, even if you don’t remember the dates.
This chapter provides some templates and the basic rules for character creation. As it is, this is pretty standard Savage Worlds Adventure Edition rules, though they do give out extra skill points. There are tweaked skills, minor changes and additions to edges and hindrances. We also are told that the "Born A Hero" and "Gritty Damage" setting rules apply. A lot of the new edges and hindrances revolve around being part of a military organization.
This chapter covers notable characters from the Macross sequence of the Robotech plot. We get both Zentradi and Humans, characters who survived the arc and those that died during this section of the story. About the only named characters that I remember that aren’t detailed are Lynn Minmay’s Aunt and Uncle who ran the restaurant.
This chapter covers the gear that the humans use. There is nothing terribly special about the gear in the gear section other than the mecha, but it is also where you find special optional rules for things like Protoculture Powered vehicles, Dynamic missiles both of these rules would be instrumental in capturing the feel of the show in game, at the expense of added complexity. Though I do wish there was more to the Portoculure Powered vehicles rules.
This chapter covers the Zentradi with some history as well as some rules for creating Zentradi characters. To be fair the rules for creating Zentradi characters are pretty poorly thought out and lacking. For example we are given a toughness on most at 18 with four points of armor, but no explanation of how they got that value. The closest I can come up with is 10 (6 for Vigor die, +4 for Size 8, what I think they are doing is adding 8 to the Vigor die result), equally bewildering is the Zentradi strength score. The more that I look at this, the more I think the rules are modeled after the Growth/Shrink power, which fits the toughness, but not the strength. Needless to say, this chapter would need some work if you want to play a Zentradi as a player character.
This chapter breaks down the different equipment that you can find in Zentradi possession, and like with the chapter on human gear, it covers pretty much everything seen in the show, without giving you much in the way of surprises.
This chapter covers the new setting rules like Dramatic Ammunition, Mecha, Environmental hazards, Special Qualities for vehicles and weapons, Mass Battles, Sensors & Communications, and the table for the Veteran of the Global Civil War. The Mecha rules cover how to treat the robots as extensions of the character as opposed to just a vehicle. Which is on point for the setting. For example when piloting a mecha, you use your pilot skill as the mechas agility attribute. I like what was done with this a lot.
This chapter is all about tables to generate a random mission. It is adequate, and covers the different types of things that the characters would need to do during this time frame. There is also a section on the various types of campaigns that you might run and some of the mission types and locations for the campaign.
What follows last is a brief adventure about protecting a Recon plane as it targets a Zentradi outpost that is being constructed on an ecologically fragile island. It is simple and and to the point, making it a good one shot or potentially a campaign starter.
For the most part I liked this book, though the Zentradi section does bother me and need some cleaning up. I liked the optional rule about Protoculture Power a lot, though I wish there were more options to use the Protoculture Power points on than the four options given. This is my second favorite of the Robotech time frames. The only one I like better is the Invid Invasion, which I think would have been a much better setting to base a game off of than any of the other time periods just because it has so much more freedom. I am looking forward to seeing what else they do with the license and I believe they will be putting out books for both the Southern Cross and Invid Invasion (Genesis Climber MOSPEADA). At least I am really hoping they do just so I can have the complete set.