M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rogue Space - MECHS

There is a lot to like about Rogue Space I've discovered. I am currently in a campaign with some friends that utilizes another rules-lite rpg system, but it's just too rules-lite. He's a great GM with a cool story, but it's just too abstract of a die system. I find myself rolling the same d20 repeatedly for seemingly arbitrary results. I have on my shelf several rules-heavy systems, which i like all of them. The 40k rpgs, shadowrun, and alternity just to name a few. But coming across a good light system can be refreshing from time to time. I've only read the little rules preview booklet for Rogue Space (a format of which i really love, and borrowed for Angry Miniatures) but I can already see the elegance of its quick character creation and easy-to-pick-up-and-play mechanics. One of the things that I think makes it work is the categorizing of effectiveness of weapons and armor. By keeping everything in the Light, Medium, Heavy, and Very Heavy range, it makes dice references very easy to remember and work with.

So as I read through the game, my mind immediately worked toward that 2 syllable word common in our culture: Mecha. I've tried to make mecha rules for several other games but I usually stop when things become overly complex or convoluted. With Rogue Space however I think I have stumbled onto something that keeps things very light and is able to treat our bipedal battle machine friends properly, as apposed to larger player characters. That's one thing that really gets me with some mecha games, the large machines are treated exactly as the infantry or characters just on a different scale. I want things to be different enough to provide the feel of it while keeping with the same core system.

Again all I have to work with in creating this project is the preview rules, but coming this Father's Day, I should be holding the full rulebook and even get a few playtests in on it. Periodically I will update here some of the rules previews, and so far (with the rules mostly done), everything is fitting on an 8-page mini rulebook. I am excited about this little project. I would love to be part of the Rogue Space community and next chance I get with my gaming group to be GM, I know exactly what game I strongly suggest we play.

Oh, and the cover of the mini rulebook for Rogue Space - MECHS will be by none other than Jarom Swenson.


  1. WOW, that is fantastic!! I can;t wait to see it all come together and really am stoked to see how it fits into your own pocket mod book!

  2. Thanks for the enthusiasm. I'm excited to see your Rogue Transmission periodical and see that grow as well.

    One of the challenges I'm finding with Rogue Space - MECHS is it's very easy to overcomplicate things. For the sake of adding more and more features or special rules, it can get out of hand. I'm trying to keep with the game's simplicity yet keep its dynamics.

  3. This is very cool news, and in turn I shall use your Rogue Space: MECHS to create the Cerebus Atlas for MERS. Creative synergy is a wonderful thing!

    1. That's perfect! My rules are still untested, but I would like to hear what your experience with it is.