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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Robotech - New Generation Sourcebook

Yes its true, im actually doing a full review of this book, mainly because it is one of the best books Palladium has put out for the Robotech line. I will start by saying that Palladium was the first non D&D system I had ever played and it was because of Robotech (on local morning cartoons) that hooked me. Who wouldn't want to fly a jet fighter that transformed into a robot! 

The first thing I want to point out is that Palladium finally went back to its original 8.5 X 11 format. Which makes it a lot easier to read and take notes while making a character, plus they fit better on the book shelf next to the rest of the palladium books. The other nice thing about this book is that it doesn't replace the original Invid Invasion book, it adds more to the setting. Giving players more options and a more in depth look at the earth after the Invid Invasion.
Lets get started, first off as most people know, character creation can be a long process. Like the other new Robotech books, the optional Quick Character Creation section starts off the book and I recommend everyone go through this section and use some if not all of the tables for your character generation. You can play as a Human, Zentraedi, Tirolian or an Invid character, even a Human/Zentraedi or Human/Tirolian Hybrid. There is also a section of random tables that lets you roll on a characters feelings toward aliens. The nice thing about the New Generation setting is that it lets players use characters from any and all of the Robotech eras.

New Generation O.C.C.s (Occupational Character Class)
Freedom Fighter
    M.O.S. (Military Operational Specialty) Special Training unique to the Freedom Fighter
     - Cell Leader
     - Covert Ops
     - Mechanized Combat Specialist
     - Medic
     - Optional : Special O.C.C Skills "Alternative"
     - Special O.C.C Abilities of the Urchin
Wasteland Rider
     - Special O.C.C Skills
Invid Genetics Experiment
     - Invid Experiment Side Effects Table
     - Protoculture  Experiment Mutation Table
Invid Cybernetics Experiment (Invid Cyborg O.C.C)
     - Invid Experiment Side Effects Table
     - Invid Cybernetics Experiment Table

All of the O.C.C.s do a fine job of giving you all the skills and bonuses you need to build a wicked character. Along with these new classes you can use the existing O.C.C.s from the Shadow Chronicles(UEEF Military), Masters Saga Source book and Macross Saga Source Book. This system has always done a great job of building a solid base for Role Playing a character and not just a battle heavy campaign.

The next section that I love about this book is the Improvised Mecha Units (IMUs) aka "FrankenMecha". Lets face it, if you are on an occupied world your not going to have a brand new Veritech to climb into after an Invid shreds your ride. The next best thing is to scavenge parts off of Downed Battloids and/or Veritechs to rebuild and get back into battle. This chapter gives you details on how to add or change Sensor/Weapon Modifications and Limb Replacements, along with a sweet Malfunction Table. Because you cant patch something together with out it failing from time to time. Here is a list of the common "Frankenmecha" listed in the book:
               VFH-10G "ARES" - Ajax/Defender
               VRM-32 "Typhoon" Hover Cyclone - M-32 Hover Cycle/VR-50 Series Cyclone
               VHR-2S Myrmidon "Widowmaker" - Myrmidon/Spartas Hover Tank

Random Military Salvage Recovery Tables - Here is another very cool feature they added to this book, there are two tables - crash site and military facility, these give you a great cross section of items to randomly roll on. They consist of personal weapons/gear, mecha and mecha armaments. This gives the GM another great RP possibility for the players to discover equipment they may need to help them survive.
             UEEF Crash Site Random Salvage Table
             Army of the Southern Cross(ASC) Military Facility Random Salvage Table

The rest of the book gives you details on the Invid high caste, the flower of life and Protoculture . Including Hive layouts and other details to help GMs create a fun and exciting Robotech adventure. The NPC resistance fighters from the cartoon have been included in the book minus Scott Bernard. I'm guessing they excluded him because this book is geared more toward earths resistance fighters not the military. 

Overall impressions: This is a very solid RPG source book, it has a nice lay out which makes it easy to navigate through. It is a very content heavy book which is great for GMs who want to add as much detail to their game as they can. The character art is a bit lacking, previous versions of the Robotech franchise did a much better job of depicting Veritechs and characters but it doesn't detract from the over all content.  I would highly recommend this book to any fan of Robotech or the Palladium game system in general. So go to your local game store or directly to Palladium Books web store and check out all they have to offer.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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