Gunwave is a tabletop role-playing system using giant robots. The rules strike a balance between speed and rich tactical options, in a simplification of rules from D&D and World of Darkness in an attempt to capture the fast-moving fun of an anime mecha series.
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- The 113-page Colony War Handbook. This book contains everything you need to game in the Colony War setting, in which a desperate group of space colonies wage a war of independence against the United Earth Government. Besides rules, weapons, equipment, and everything else you'd expect, this book includes 12 sample characters and 12 statted-out mecha.
- The 10-page Rule System. This condenses the rules down to a short booklet that you can print and bring with you to the table. All rules have been reviewed and, when necessary, revised to be more clear when read out of context.
Both of the above books are in PDF, AZW3, EPUB, and MOBI formats for all major eReaders.
Gunwave in a Nutshell
In Gunwave, you play with a pilot character and a mecha.
Each pilot character has the following stats:
- Race — Human (flexible), Augmented (uses psychic blasts), Super Human (has various psychic abilities), Mutant (super-strong), or Shinken (gives bonuses to allies)
- Specialty (class) — Brawler (fighter), Infiltrator (spy), Cyborg, Munitions Expert (destructive), Scavenger (repair expert), Sniper, or Squad Leader (helps the team)
- Stats — Body, Brains, and Charisma
- 0 — Average
- 1 — Good (works out at the gym; above-average IQ)
- 2 — Excellent (wrestler or full-time negotiator)
- 3 — Amazing (world-class bodybuilder or genius)
- 4 — Nearly superhuman (Einstein or Jackie Chan)
- Skills — Acrobatics, Diplomacy, Dual Mecha Weapons, Dual Personal Weapons, Hacking, Insight, Martial Arts, Massive Machinery Operation, Mecha Intuition, Perception, Ship Schematics, Stealth, and Toughness
- Traits — Twisted Psychic Blast, Rescue of a Loved One, Mutated Power Boost, Unbelievable Domination, Making It Hurt; about 5 available, from a pool of about 75. Some can be used every turn, some once per battle, and some only once a day.
- A Background Trait, which is some event in your past or present that gives you a special ability now. Examples include Parents Killed, Was Super-Soldier, Child Soldier, and Lover Is Spy.
Each mecha has the following stats:
- Type — Bio Armor (Evangelion), Bruiser (heavy Gundam), Combiner (Voltron), Converting Fighter (Valkyrie or Veritech), Drone Swarm Commander, Giant Fighter Power Battler (Mazinger Z), Heavy Missile Platform (BattleMech), Penetrator, or Striker (standard Gundam)
- Stats — Armor (how much damage it can take), Energy (how long it will last in battle), and Speed (how fast it can move)
- Traits — Missile Barrage, Fist Rocket Attack, Massive Bombardment, Air Strike; about 7 available, each specific to the type
- Weapons — Up to three at a time, choosing from 13 energy weapons and 5 ballistic weapons, with 9 different kinds of ammunition.
In combat, you use a weapon's dice value to get a count of the dice you roll. You then roll that many 6-sided dice. Every die that rolls 5 or 6 deals one point of damage to the enemy, and is subtracted from the enemy's Armor (for mecha) or Body (for people) score.
You can have as many weapons active as your mecha has hands (usually two). However, each active weapon consumes energy during every turn it's out, and consumes the same amount of energy every time it's fired. Your mecha also consumes energy for every square it moves.
Outside of combat, when performing a difficult operation you use one of your traits (such as Acrobatics or Perception) to get a count of how many six-sided dice you roll. If any of the dice roll 5 or 6, you succeed. Extremely difficult maneuvers may require multiple 5's or 6's. If you roll many 5's or 6's, you may succeed beyond your expectations.
As with D&D's powers, traits are divided into three classes: At-Will, which can be used every turn; Battle, which can be used once per fight; and Daily, which can be used once per day. Daily powers usually do double or triple normal damage, and have cool effects. At-Will powers usually give you some side effect, such as more speed or resistance against certain attacks.
At the beginning of every day, your character gets a Hero Point, which you can trade in to re-roll any dice pool, or to take an extra attack/heal action. More Hero Points are earned by exemplary playing.
Several different universes are available for you to play in, depending on your play style and story preferences. Detailed universes include Angsty Military (Gundam), Epic Space Action (Robotech), Freewheeling Mercenaries (Outlaw Star), Hulking War Machines (BattleTech), Powered Armor (Starship Troopers), and Mighty Warrior (Mazinger Z).
You can also pilot other vehicles, such as fighter jets, hovertanks, and space yachts. See the Vehicle Compendium for a list of vehicles.
If you do play Gunwave, please let me know.