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Appendix: Optional Rules VM

Nope, we are not gonna make any Murphy's Rules joke.



Appendix: Optional Rules

The following are a few new rules that may add some extra flavor to your Virtual Mekton games - or to any Mekton game, for that matter.

You'll find two kinds of rules here. First of all (although they are placed at the end of the document!), some official new rules and/or rules clarifications. These have been posted by RTG on the Mekton Z Mailing List, on, or on other places, after MZ and MZ+ came to the stores.

.Second (although they are placed at the beguining of the document!), you'll find some new, unoffficial (read: optional) rules. You need not to use them all in your games, actually you don't need to use any of them at all, but most of them add considerably to the flavor of the VM setting, as have been thought specifically for it.

jyoukyuu-henkei-kosutoAdvanced Transformation Costs

A time ago, following a rather intense debate on the MZML about how to design several kinds of mektons that didn't exactly fit into the existing MTS forms, Benjamin Wright posted a semi-official, partial breakdown of how the costs of the diferent forms were calculated, along with his blessing to use it as we wished to create new forms. We took his sugestion and run away with it, of course!

The result of the work of the MZML people, and very particularly of Dataweaver, was a complet breakdown of the costs, pros and cons of everything you could need to create your very own MTS Form, which is 100% MZ-compatible. You can read it on a spiffy PDF of the 2.5 version of the rules, made by Kyn MacGowan (you'll need Acrobat Reader 4.0 or greater, there is also available a version of the PDF for the version 3.0 of the Reader). Or, if you don't own the Acrobat Reader and can't download or install it for some reason, there's also available a text version of the 2.04 version of the rules (of which also is available a PDF version)

Also note that this maneuver can be used on the VM setting but CAN'T be used on most "realistic" settings. It could be used on a "sentai" or "giant robot of the week" campaign, however.

biimu-pariiNew optional combat maneuver:

Yes, it's hokey, but we've seen this phenomenon in far too many animes to ignore it. Oftentimes in the more cinematic, or over- the-top anime, someone will fire a big beam weapon at the hero, who will counterattack by firing his own big beam weapon. In complete defiance of physics and common sense, the beams will meet somewhere in between, waver for a moment, then the more powerful beam will push the weaker beam back, slowly, to its point of origin, usually vaporizing the hapless opponent. To represent this bit of silliness, I give you: the Beam Parry Of course, this only works if both units involved have beam weapons of vaguely comparable power. Preferably really BIG beam weapons.

BEAM PARRY: When a mech is attacked by a beam weapon, the pilot can choose, instead of his normal parry attempt, to counterattack the incoming beam with his own beam weapon. To do this the defending mecha must expend one of his actions for that combat round. This can be a held action, or he can opt to sacrifice an upcoming action, if he has one left in that turn. The defending pilot makes a roll of Mecha Gunnery + Mecha REF + D10. If the total is equal to or greater than the attack roll of the incoming beam, the two beams will meet. If not, the defender's shot goes wild, and the attacker's beam strikes him as normal. Once the beams meet, one of two things will happen: If the beams have exactly the same kill rating, they will cancel themselves out entirely. If not, the more powerful beam will push the weaker one back to its point of origin, and the stronger beam will then do its full damage minus the Kills of the weaker beam to the mech on that end. Clearly, this is not something you want to do unless you are pretty sure you have the bigger gun. At the GM's option, if both beams are of the same strength, the stronger one can be considered to be the one with the higher BV -then it will be considered as a "normal" (i.e., w/out BV) beam once it hits.

Note that this parry does NOT include the WA! This tends to goof those people wanting to parry weak but accurate beams with their own gigantic beams -they tend to end like Swiss cheese!.

Remember, these rules are OPTIONAL! VM is 100% compatible with all other MZ suplements, and you don't need to use this rule to play it. Be sure to get the OK of all your gaming group before using them.

The game is not "expected" to use it, and actually all of the listed VMs would need reconstruction if this rule is used

bideogeemu-kankakuAll-Ablative Videogame-Feel: Armors and Shields.

Virtual Mekton is meant to simulate a VIDEO game using Mekton Z rules and the MTS system. But there is a important difference betwen your typical videogame and your typical MZ game: Armor Ablation.

On most videogames, all units behave like if they have ablative armor. That means that, eventually, you can destruct any enemy that can be damaged using any weapon, even the weaker ones. You can take a LONG time, but you can do it.

On Mekton Z, on the other hand, most armor types are not ablatives. That means that a low-enough power weapon can manage to not even DENT the armor of a rival! Even more, the standard reactiv shields aren't ablative, too, so if your foe's got a shield bigger than all of your weapons, you're on a probable no- win situation.

Most pre-made VM designs are already balanced to avoid that kind of situations, but what about player-made designs?

To avoid this problem, you should always follow the design guidelines (see the VM Design section) for weapons and armor sizes. Also, all reactive shields should have a proper weakness if they are bigger than the advised Kills/SP range. As an example, let's look at Cora's shields; they are BIG shields, but are Enclosing! That means that if its (her?) pilot wants to fire, he must DROP the shields -both shields, for a moment -and during that moment, any enemy could fire at him.

If you still want a greater videogame-feel on your VM games, or simply want to ensure that nobody will find himself on a no-win situation (Megabuck$: "If you can't stand to a joke, log off, you coward!"), you can use the following OPTIONAL rules. The game is not "expected" to use it, and actually all of the listed VMs would need reconstruction if this rule is used, although, this rule have a great advantage: a highly armored/ shielded VM like Cora or Fubuki are not invulnerable against VMs with weaker weapons(such as Excalibur or DeathPanzer) anymore. As a disadvantage, a VM with projectile or limited ammo weapons will have trouble. Because this new rule makes VMs very harder to crush, especially when it have multiple Reactive Shields.

Remember, these rules are OPTIONAL! VM is 100% compatible with all other MZ suplements, and you don't need to use this rule to play it. Be sure to get the OK of all your gaming group before using them.

Videogame-Feel Armors and Shields

  • Armor Type

    • All armors are ablative, and the SP acts like a "Hit Point", or "Screen" type reactive shield.
    • Ablative(x0.5): KILL=SP
    • Standard(x1.0): KILL=SPx2
    • Alpha(x1.25) : KILL=SPx3
    • Beta(x1.5) : KILL=SPx4
    • Gamma(x2.0) : KILL=SPx5
    • A-P attacks give x2 damage on the armors. Non-Reactive shields use same rule as this.
    • Reactive Shield
    • All reactive shields MUST have "ablative" weakness.
    • Disruptor attack give x2 damage on this shields.
    • Beam Shields are treated as Reactive Shield that must make Parry roll( and have KILL=SPx5).

  • RAM vs A-P

    • When RAM armor get hit by A-P Energy attack, absorb the fraction first, then apply x2 damage bonus.Ex: When VM with 1/3rd Absorption RAM Armor got hit by 10K+AP Beam Rifle, the RAM absorb 3K damage first, then subtract 14K(7Kx2) from KP of the Armor.


    • Happens when Attacker beats Defender's roll by 5 or more.
    • If Weapon's damage KILL is greater than armor's remaining KILL Points, attacker may choose to roll on Normal, Special or Cinematic Chart as normal MZ rule.
    • If Weapon's damage KILL is smaller than armor's remaining KILL Points,the attacker can DOUBLE the damage(or add +1 to damage multipliers of A-P, Disruptor). But even if the damage evaporate all remaining KPs, it won't damage Servo.
    • Note that this damage bonus won't applied to Hyper EMW: it already gets x5 or more damage bonus!


    • Happens when Attacker beats Defender's roll by 10 or more.
    • Attacker can ignore Armor's KPs as normal MZ rule.
    • If Defender had Reactive Shields, Attacker can TRIPLE the damage (or add +2 to damage multipliers of A-P, Disruptor). If it evaporate all KPs of Shield, Defender take 1/3 (fractions rounded-up) of penetrated damage by ignoring armor.
    • Note that this damage bonus won't applied to Hyper EMW: it already gets x10 or more damage bonus!


    • Do not apply it on five-group points. Use normal values instead.?


weapon damage beats parry roll by
1 2 3 4 5
1K 1K - - - -
2K 1K 1K - - -
3K 1K 1K 1K - -
4K 1K 1K 1K 1K -
5K 1K 1K 1K 1K 1K
6K 2K 1K 1K 1K 1K
7K 2K 2K 1K 1K 1K
8K 2K 2K 2K 1K 1K
9K 2K 2K 2K 2K 1K
10K 2K 2K 2K 2K 2K
11K 3K 2K 2K 2K 2K
12K 3K 3K 2K 2K 2K
13K 3K 3K 3K 2K 2K
14K 3K 3K 3K 3K 2K
15K 3K 3K 3K 3K 3K
16K 4K 3K 3K 3K 3K
17K 4K 4K 3K 3K 3K
18K 4K 4K 4K 3K 3K
19K 4K 4K 4K 4K 3K
20K 4K 4K 4K 4K 4K

Optional Rule: Cinematic Sword Duels

How often have you seen this picture? Sword Swingin' Warrior A slices through the enemy troops like a bandsaw, dispatching dozens with a single stroke - perhaps two - each. Everythiong's in the bag until his sword is met (ting!) by the blade of Sword Swingin' Warrior B. The two excange witty banter, then have a three minute duel, their weapons somehow having lost the ability to cut someone into six bloody chunks with one blow. There are two main theories regarding this fact: a) it's a well proven fact, as anyone with real combat experience will tell you, that the best defence against a sword is another sword, and b) the Anime drawers just plain love this dramatic swordfights stuff. The VM crew is largely following the "b)" theory, but we have agreed to come with an explanation along the lines of the "a)" theory.

To simulate this, particularly given the large EMWs favored by certain rivals, the GM can implement the following rule, thouhg it is suggested to have the players know about and agree to it as well to avoid a lynching.

When attacked by a sword, a VM wielding a sword of its own can opt for concentrating on defence with its own sword (the time-honored technique of swashbuckling) instead of defending the way he would normally. This has the advantage of greatly hindering the enemy's attack, to the point that even attacks that couldn't be completly parryed are efectivelly reduced in their strength. However, this also has the disadvantage for the defender that the simultaneous usage of any other kind weapon would get in the way of the defence, nulifying its advantages. Thus, the defending mecha is also limited itself to attacking with a sword if using this technique.

In game termns: if both opponents are using a sword and only a sword (or a sword and a second blade for parrying) the usual damage of the weapons is ignored for the most part, and each hit does damage only on groups of 1/5 of the weapon's damage, one group per every point it beats the oponent's Parry roll, much like the rules for BV and Scattershot. The damage of each group is divided as evenly as possible, with spare points going for the first groups, of course.

Example: I hit with a 6K sword. Its damage groups are 2K, 1K, 1K, 1K and 1K. I beat the parry roll by 3 points. I manage to score 3 hits for 2K, 1K and 1K, for a total of 4 points of damage.

For the math challenged, the just plain lazy or the combo of both, there's the table on the sidebar.

When sword-swingin' Mecha A meets sword-swingin' Mecha B, swords do not degrade when parrying. This lets them hack away at each other for a while, and makes shield-less melee mecha a bit more viable. Swords would break normally on critial hits and called shots.

It should be noted that that all the damage from a single hit is added together, not treated as multiple hits, to avoid rules-layering that if Sword Swingin' Mecha A has, say, Gamma armor then Sword Swingin' Mecha B can't even ablate the armor with a 20K sword. Hyper still works normally, though.

Example: SSMA has a 6K hyper beamsword, and SSMB a 10K regular one. SSMB makes the attack roll by 4 points, and does 2+2+2+2= 8K damage. SSMA feels the burn, but rolls almost as well, succeeding by 3, so it does 2+1+1 + 2+1+1 + 2+1+1 = 3 hits at 4K each, making a nice "Z" on SSMB's chestplate, though the armor stops damage from penetrating. Sword Swingin' Mecha A's pilot gains some style points, too.

This optional rule works great with the official Optimized Armor rule!

Extended Armor Design

Armor contains two aspects: Stopping Power and Damage Co-effient. Each stopping power is equal to a kill in weight. Damage co-effient can be any number from one on up. The 1/5 armor should scale on par with all other armors. (If you want your beginning 5DC, buy it fairly. ;)

Reverse enginering anything from Mekton Zeta+ to here will come out to be identicle in cost. (It somehow came out that way. How, I don't know.)

The damage co-effient for any amount over one is a system multiplier cost of (DC/8 +1). The table below includes up to DC of 10, though it may be extended beyond it.

Damage Co-effient Multipler Cost
DC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 etc...
Cost, Standard 1.00 1.25 1.36 1.50 1.61 1.75 1.86 2.00 2.11 2.22 etc...
Cost, Brittle 0.50 0.75 0.94 1.45 1.31 1.60 1.73 1.88 1.99 2.11 etc...

(values which equal the armors of the MZ+ book are shown in Bold)

Brittle armor is a multiplier to the armor based on the Damage Co-effient. With brittle armor, divide the damage by the co-effient of the armor and round down. This is the amount of stopping power the armor has lost in that attack. Ablative armor is now bought as Co-effient 1, Brittle Armor, and has identical effects and costs as the previous mekton incarnations of ablative. It loses one point for every point of damage it takes. The multipler cost is equal to (1-(1/(DCx2)). The table above

Note: Notice that brittle armor gets less of a cost advantage the higher your Damage Coeffient is. This is intentional, as the brittleness of the armor has less effect if the armor is less suceptible to Ablation in the first place. And to be fair, It souldn't be allowed for DC of over 10. The only time this should happen is if the referee lets you design weapons greater then 20 kills damage for the scale. And I find this to be possible due to the information within MZ+ that lets you determin

If you want armor that is affected differently by kinetic attacks and energy attacks, simply average the two cost multiplers together between the two forms. It is completely within the realm of possibility that the armor is defiant to energy attacks (DC 10 for example) and will shatter under impact (Brittle DC of 1). The multiplier would be (2.22(Standard DC10)+0.5(Brittle DC1))/2=1.36.



Additional Missile Rules

Tunneling (x1.3):

The Tunneling advantage is a x1.3 cost multiplier to missiles (that is, it adds 30% to the missile's cost). It gives the missile the ability to fly through the air as normal, but to also strike the ground and burrow underneath to attack a subterranean target. It can also be shot while underground (doing so does not reveal the location of the firing unit), whereupon it tunnels through the ground, bursting from below to strike its target at the last moment. Tunneling Missiles work well with the Blast Radius advantage.

Home-On Jam (x2.0):

These are Smart Missiles that, when defeated by ECM, home in on the source of the ECM (something that the AIM-120 is able to do). This is a x2.0 cost multpilier. Note that the Home-On-Jam option is available only for Smart Missiles.

Having been jammed by ECM, the HOJ-Missile will begin to home in on the source of the jamming. The operator of the ECM does get a chance to avoid this calamity by making an INT+EW Skill+1D10 roll vs the Smart Missile's Skill+WA+1D10. If the ECM operator succeeds, he recognizes the change in the Missile's activity as a Home-On-Jam function and momentarily shuts off the ECM; this completely defeats the HOJ-Missile, which spirals away randomly. However, if the Missile wins the roll it uses the ECM's Value as a bonus for its attack!

When facing ECM generated by mecha other than the target (such as Radius and/or Beamed ECM) the missile would first attack its target normally, but should the missile miss the protected mecha, it will then change course to home in on the mecha emitting the ECM Beam.

(VM crew's note: Notice that this system is rather limited on a VM game, for you need a power source to be present on the Arena... and usually there's none unless you actually code for it or play on an Arena that allows for them. But the Spare Power Cell rule never hurts!)

Broadcast Power (official)

Broadcast Power is a fairly recent shtick in anime, and as such MTS doesn't cover it. Broadcast Power means that the mecha uses an external power source (like the extension cords of the Evangelions, or the Aestivalis that runs off power broadcast from the Nadesico). Similarly, the Qubeley from Zeta Gundam (and all MSs and MAs with Funnels) broadcasts power to its funnels, so they need no generator--which is why they're so small.

Broadcast power is an interesting kettle of fish, but with a reasonably simple solution. The advantages of using broadcast power are:

  1. You can't have a Powerplant Explosion, since you have no Powerplant;
  2. You might be a bit lighter or save some space in your Mek, since you don't have to hold the Powerplant (although you will need a collector system of some sort).

The disadvantages include the fact that you'll have a limited range which is dependent upon the broadcasting method (such as energy wave or extension cord), and the fact that your source of power is not under your own control, so you can't really guarantee its continued safety or reliability.

Because of this balance of advantages and disadvantages, Broadcast Power is a x0.0 Cost Multiplier (i.e., it doesn't affect your cost in any way). Essentially, it's a great big Special Effect.

Also worth considering is the possibility of limited onboard battery power which can allow the mecha to function for a short time if it is not receiving broadcast power. That's just a matter of buying an extra Power Cell for your Mek, which means paying the x0.15 as a POSITIVE Cost Multiplier RATHER than as a negative Cost Multiplier like it normally is.

Benjamin Wright

 (VM crew's note: Notice that this rule wouldn't actually see much use on a VM game, where all damage from anything but guns actually causes Bonk! damage just like the Super-Deformed Stupid mekton Trick)

Bruise Damage (official)

Fists From Hell

As it stands now, human-scale combat in Mekton Z is simply too deadly. Your players should be able to slug obnoxious NPCs without being put on trial for attempted murder (just try to use that spin kick on someone without killing them). In the likely event that you're not running "Fist of the North Star," the new Bruise Damage rules make hand-to-hand combat much more workable. I've been using it for a few months in my game, and it seems to work well.


There are two distinct types of damage: Wounds and Bruises. Wounds are the standard type of Mekton Z damage, while Bruises are caused by unarmed combat attacks (punches and kicks), and blunt attacks (clubs, tonfa, sticks, saps, barstools, and thrown bottles). Really big impacts (falling, being run over by a car, or being drop-kicked by a 78-ton Mekton) are still considered Wounds.

A character can take the same amount of Bruises to a given area as he can Wounds. The difference is that the amount of Hits to the head or torso that would kill a character in Wounds will only render him unconscious with Bruises. Similarly, the amount of Hits that would cause the character to lose a limb with Wounds will only apply cause spraining with Bruises.

You do not need a separate damage monitor for Wounds and Bruises. They both use the same monitor, and are cumulative with each other. For example: Jeff can take a maximum of 10 Hits of damage to his torso. If he takes 5 Hits of Wounds and 5 Hits of Bruises, he then has 10 Hits of total damage to his torso; this is his maximum, and he is unconscious, but he will not be killed until he has a full 10 Hits of Wounds.

Wraparound Damage

For each Hit of Bruises or Wounds that you take to a given location which exceeds the location's damage capacity, one Hit will convert from Bruises to Wounds. You never go into negative numbers until all your Bruises have become Wounds (in which case you either die or lose a limb). For example: Jeff takes the 5 Hits of Wounds and later takes 7 Hits of Bruises; since he only has the capacity to take 5 more Hits of damage, the 'overflowing' 2 Hits of Bruises wrap around and become 2 Wounds. He therefore ends up with 7 hits of Wounds and 3 hits of Bruises, likely rendering him unconscious.

Before you panic, this isn't as complex as it sounds. This system works work best when you monitor damage with checkboxes; just mark Wounds with X'es and Bruises with slashes. Then, if you get any wraparound, it is easy to just double up the slashes, making them X'es. Simple. When all your checkboxes are full, you're unconscious. If they are all full of X'es, you're taking the long dirt nap.

Sprained Limbs

When a character takes as many Bruises to a limb as the number of Wounds that would cause its loss, that limb is Sprained. A character suffers a -3 penalty to all skill rolls involving the use of a Sprained limb, due to the pain, and this penalty is cumulative per Sprained limb.

Healing Bruises

Unlike wounds, Bruises heal at the rate of 1 hit for each full hour of rest (remember that that's one per hit location). 'Rest' does not necessarily mean sleep -the injured party cannot be doing anything more strenuous than reading, talking, or watching TV.

Armor snd Bruises-

Ballistic mesh and most other soft armors offer NO protection against Bruising damage, which makes PC fistfights actually practical.

Optional: Ballistic Impact Bruises

Since mesh armor is designed to prevent bullet penetration, but not their impacts, any ballistic weapon Hits stopped by mesh armor are converted to Bruises (mesh armor will keep you alive, but not necessarily conscious). Any armor designated as padded armor gets half its SP against Bruising damage... in exchange for possiby reducing your mobility. Hardened armor (helmets, polymer plate, stove doors, etc.) can stop impacts, and therefore work as normal against either Bruises or Wounds. Beam weapons, Ônatch, deliver no impact and are not subject to this rule.

A word of warning: This rule may to make it too easy to drop someone with a gun -some referees might not mind if they are going for a realistic style, but it may be overly nasty for other campaigns. If you feel so, just ignore this optional rule.

Benjamin Wright

...I'd consider the proposed modular metaforms method to be perfectly legal, but I offered the combiner armor option as a simpler way to deal with this particular concept... which, now that I think of it, isn't all that uncommon. I've seen 2 such designs in Gridman, as well as one each in Brave Express Might Gaine (a less-famous forerunner of the current "Brave" show, Gaogaigar).

Benjamin Wright

Combiner Armor (official)

I've been considering another way besides using Modular Metaform to create Command Armor for Combiners becuase while this way is perfectly MTS-legal, it is admittedly damn complicated! To that end, I came up with a way to build what I call Combiner Armor.

In essence, Combiner Armor works the same as any other Combiner, except that the Damage Scale is worked out differently. Let's say you have one or more "remotes" (or vehicles, or mecha, or whatever) which you want to become a suit of armor for your "main mecha". In this case, consider your "main mecha" AND the one or more "remotes" (or vehicles, or mecha, or whatever) to ALL be the Lesser Mecha of a Combiner. Build the Combiner as you like, following the standard Combiner rules.

However, where Combiner Armor differs from standard Combiners is in the Damage Scale: When normal Combiners take damage, the damage is divided evenly between ALL Lesser Mecha (namely, the "main mecha" and any "remotes") who have locations which map to the location which was hit. However, when Combiner Armor takes damage, the damage is first applied to any/all "remotes" who have locations which map to the location which was hit. Any "main mecha" locations which map to the location which was hit will remain UNTOUCHED, UNTIL the "remotes" who have locations which map to the location which was hit are destroyed. That way, the "remotes" are effectively serving as armor for the "main mecha"; once they decombine, the "remotes" will be much the worse for wear, but the "main mecha" will have suffered far less damage (if any).

Benjamin Wright

Mechaheads take note, this is the kind of construction that real-world cars do use.

Monocoque and Semi-Monocoque Construction (Official)

Monocoque and Semi-Monocoque servos are just a different form of construction for mecha. Instead of having a skeleton holding it all together, your mecha's hull would bear the weight of it all. It's a multiplier system. These rules are from V-Max #7 volume 2:

Monocoque(X -0.1) Your hull bears all of the weight, with no internal bracing, like an exo-skeleton on a bug. For this negative modifer, your servo's space all go up by +50%. But your Mv goes down my -2, and can never be less than -2 despite all of the other goodies you put in your mecha.

Semi-Monocoque(X -.05) Your hull only bears half, or a small portion of the weight. Unlike Monocoque construction, it has additional internal bracing. For this negative modifer, your servo's space are increased by +25%, and your Mv goes down by -1, and can never be lower than -1.

You are gonna NEED a calculator now!

MZ+ Formulae

Ever notice that sometimes you can't get the exact range you want when creating a weapon based on outside stats (other RPGs, official mecha specs from anime source books, or just older versions of Mekton)? What if you need a specific range or angle arc that isn?t covered in the Weapon tables MZ+ provides?. How do you figure out the Cost Multiplier?

For those who look for a specific value that falls betwen two steps of the table, these optional calculation formulae may help you somewhat in determine it out.

There are several formulae that determinate all these things, that were used to get the values you see in the tables. Some of them come from the game designers, other have been reverse-engineered, but all of them, tested against the original values, come out exact and equal to listed costs.

Base cost of weapons

Beam Weapon = Kills of damage x 1.5
Projectile = Kills of damage x 1.0
- Ammo = cost of gun / 100
Missile = Kills of damage x 0.1
Melee weapon = Kills of damage x 0.5
Energy Melee = Kills of damage x 1.0

Standard Shield = SP x 1.0
Active Shield = SP x 1.5
Reactive Shield = SP x 3.0

Range of a weapon

Base Range of a weapon

sqrt(Kills of damage) x modifier
Melee weapon: 0
Beam Weapon: 4
Missile Weapon: 3.5
Projectile Weapon: 3

True range cost for a weapon

Multiplier = (Base range + 1) / 2

Alternate formula for range of a weapon:

Range cost = ((desired range/default range) x 0.5) + 0.5

Burst Value

Multiplier = (BV + 1) / 2

Damage Coefficient of armor

For DC of 0, Cost = 0.5
For DC greater than 0, Cost = (DC/8 +1)

Damage Co-effient Multipler Cost
DC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 etc...
Cost 1.00 1.25 1.36 1.50 1.61 1.75 1.86 2.00 2.11 2.22 etc...
Std Alfa Beta Gamma

Reverse-engineering the pre-Space Efficiency cost and space

((cost x 2) + space) / 3

Or, in other words, the average of the cost, the cost, and the space. So if you have, say, a 45-point weapon that you've speffed down to 15 space, thus increasing the cost to 60 (45 + 30/2), the formula is:

((60 x 2) + 15) / 3 = 45

This is useful for reverse-engineering other's designs, or modifying your own if you've forgotten the original cost.

Smart multiplier of missiles

Multiplier - (4 + Level) / 2


Cost Multipler = (Combat teleport range (hexes) + 3) / 10
Global Teleport range = Combat teleport range ^ 4

Wide Arc Cost

Cost Multi. = (Xs/Ms) x Mcm

Xs = The specific number you want in a particular table.
M = The stat that is the step highest between the two steps.
N = The stat that is the lowest between the two steps.
Mm = The M stat's Cost Multiplier.
Nm = The N stat's Cost Multiplier.

Example: Figuring out the Wide Angle of 90° (Xs) for a Beam Weapon (MZ+ Pg. 25).

In MZ+, there is only 60° and then a 180° Wide Angle stated in the book.
Where 60° (N) Costs x3.0 (Nm) and 180° (M) costs x5.0 (Mm).

Cost Multi. = [(Xs/M) x(Mm ?Nm)] +Nm
Cost Multi. = [(90°/180°) x(5 ?3)] +3
Cost Multi. = 4

Therefore a 90° Wide Angle has a x4.0 Cost Multi.


Notice, too, that VM uses a few optional stats and skills of its own (look for them in the Character Creation section, in the chapter 2)

New Skills

Endurance (BOD-based)

The ability ot withstand pain or hardship, particularly over long periods of time, by knowing the best ways to conserve strength and energy. Useful when a character must continue to be active after a long period without food, sleep or water. This skill also allows a character to withstand higher than normal G-forces, as experienced during extreme acceleration and high-speed maneuvers.

Hacking (INT-based)

Rather than the purely creative skill of Programming, this skill represents a combination of knowledge of code and protocols, intuition and fast-thinking responses. Hacking skill is used against a difficulty number representing how tough the target computer is to penetrate.

Strategy (INT-based)

The knowledge of how to best deploy large forces (as opposed to small groups, which is Tactics).

Tactics (INT-based)

The knowledge of how to best deploy small groups (as opposed to large forces, which is Strategy).

Fencing (REF-based)

Rather than the generic skill of Blades, this skill represents a mastery of swords, rapiers, sabers, etc.. Fencing adds +1/2 its Skill level to damage (round down).

Martial Art (REF-based)

Rather than the generic skill of Hand-to-Hand, this skill represents training in a systematized fighting style such as Karate, Kung Fu, Ninjitsu, etc.. Martial Arts adds +1/2 its Skill level to damage (round down).

Demolitions (TECH-based)

Farmiliarity with explosives; knowing the best explosives to use for which jobs, how to set timers and detonators, and how much explosives to accomplish a desired result. Evaluating a structure for weak points: Diff 20. Using an explosive as a grenade: Diff 15. Using an explosive weapon (grenade, etc.) for demolitions: +5 difficulty.

Forgery (TECH-based)

The skill of copying and creating false documents, records and IDs. This skill may also be used to detect forgeries; if you can fake it, you can usually spot a fake as well.

Benjamin Wright

These official rules work great in combination with the optional extended Armor rules!

Optimized Armor

Greetin's all, RTG here. Well, this is an MTS system I really wish I'd thought to put in Zeta Plus at the time, but I didn't. However, enough people have requested such a thing that I figger, why not? SO here you are: use it as you will.

There are two categories of attack, for Armor purposes: Energy and Phyiscal. Energy Attacks are Beam Weapons and EMWs, while Physical Attacks are Projectile Weapons, Missiles and Melee Weapons. Armor may be "optimized" for one attack type or the other, or may be particularly protective or vulnerable against one specific type of attack.

At the most basic level, Armor may trade effectiveness versus one category for vulnerability to the other category. The bonus to SP must be balanced; i.e., if the Armor's SP is x1.5 versus Energy attacks, then it's SP versus Physical attacks should be x0.5 (an easy way to determine SP balance is that the two SP ratings should add up to 2.0). If there is any imbalance, the deficit must be made up for by paying double the percentage in CP.

For example: Due to ablative conductor-fibres laced through its surface, the Zenith's Armor is highly resistant to beam weapons (SP x1.8 vs Energy). However, the network of ablative fibers reduces the armor's structural integrity, making the Zentih somewhat vulnerable to kinetic impacts (SP x0.6 vs Physical). In terms of balanced SP effectiveness, the Zentih's Armor has a deficit of 0.4; SP x1.8 vs Energy would normally be balanced by SP x0.2 vs Physical (1.8 + 0.2 = 2.0), but the Zenith's Armor is 0.4 over (1.8 + 0.6 = 2.4). Thus, the Cost of the Armor must be increased; 0.4 x2 = 0.8, or an 80% increase in the Armor's Cost. Thus, the Cost of the Zenith's Armor is multiplied by 1.8.


  1. Add Armor's SP multiple vs Energy to Armor's SP multiple vs Physical.
  2. Subtract 2.0 from the result of Step One.
  3. If the result of of Step Two is positive, multiply by x2.0; if the result of Step Two is negative, multiply by x0.5.
  4. Add (or subtract) the result of Step Three to 1.0.
  5. The result of Step Four is the Cost Multiplier for the Armor.

It should be clear that Optimized Armor is only cost-effective if you intend to either: 1) balance an increased effectiveness with a vulnerability, or 2) give the Armor an inherent vulnerability without granting any increased protective capabilities. Using Optimized Armor to increase overall SP is highly inefficient, unless you are increasing SP above the maximum of 11 Kills; in that case, the Cost Multiple to the Armor is x5.0 (the same multiplier as for Scaled Armor). Hmmm...

Highly Specialized Optimization: Armor may also be optimized (or rendered more vulnerable) to more specific attacks than simply "Physical" or "Energy." Perhaps your Armor is highly proterctive against Lasers, but Plasma, Particle Beams and other Energy attacks are fully effective. In such a case, all the normal Armor Optimization rules apply, but Step Three's multipliers are x1.0 if postive, x0.25 if negative.

For example:

The Zeus's Armor is fully effective against all attacks, but it is vulnerable to Maser weapons. In this case, it's SP is x1.0 versus all attacks, but it's SP is x0.5 versus Masers only. 1.0 + 0.5 = 1.5; 2.0 - 1.5 = -x0.5; -x0.5 x0.25 = -0.125; 1.0 - 0.125 = 0.875. Thus, the Zeus's Armor Costs x0.875 normal.

Note: Highly Specialized Optimization only applies if the attack you are specializing against is actually available in the game; no vulnerability against Fairy Dust Blasts if you're playing a hardcore military game! A vulnerability that is not a vulnerability grants no points.

"What do you mean, 'overkill', Chiisai?"


Out of Scale Weapon Accuracies (Official)

This is regarding a matter that has been discussed quite a bit, but was recently brought to a head by a particularly astute message -- Out-of-Scale weapons (also known as OSWa) and their Weapon Accuracies. So, without further ado, here is the definitive skinny on OSWs:

Weapons of a smaller Scale than your Mek (SSWs): SSWs offset penalties, but do not add bonuses.

Thus, SSWs will act as their own Scale ONLY when attacking targets of a Scale smaller than your Mek.

Example: My x1-Scale Mek uses its x1/5-Scale gun to attack a x1/5-Scale target: I am at -0 to attack. However, if my x1-Scale Mek uses its x1/5-Scale gun to attack a x1-Scale target, I am still at -0 to attack (rather than at +3).

Weapons of a larger Scale than your Mek (LSWs): LSWs do allow bonuses, but may incur penalties.

Thus, LSWs will act as your Mek's Scale ONLY when attacking targets of a Scale larger than your Mek. They will act as their own Scale when attacking targets of a Scale equal to or smaller than your Mek.

Example: My x1-Scale Mek uses its x10-Scale gun to attack a x1-Scale target: I am at -3 to attack. However, if my x1-Scale Mek uses its x10-Scale gun to attack a x10-Scale target, I am at +3 to attack (rather than at +0). Similarly, if my x1-Scale Mek uses its x10-Scale gun to attack a x100-Scale target, I am at +6 to attack (rather than at +3).

This way, out-of-Scale weapons serve the purposes they are supposed to be used for, but they are not subject to the min-max abuses that they might otherwise be prone to.

I hope this is clear and answers any questions. Keep on stomping suit!

Benjamin Wright

To Ryoko.


Molecular harmonics technology. Desolidification engines. Perpetual teleportation loops. Interdimensional decpoupling systems. Astral formation converters. Ghost mecha. No matter what you call it, the result is the same--Phasing Systems allow a mecha to become insubstantial, so that it can move through walls and ignore attacks. When Phased, the mecha is immune to all physical and energy attacks; the mecha is also immune to Piracy Systems and Disruptor-type weapons, as well as being immune to the effects of the environment.

In general, Phased mecha have no impact on the physical world. The mecha can also move through walls and other solid objects at its normal movement rate. When Phased, the mecha will not register on Sonar or Radar and it emits no heat (so it doesn't need Stealth). It does not become invisible, but does look somewhat hazy, making it easy to tell that it is Phased. Note that Cloaking can be used in conjunction with Phasing (if the mecha has paid for a Cloaking System).

Although a Phased mecha can walk on or through the ground, it won't be able to "walk on air"; to do that, it has to have some kind of propulsion. In addition, when the mecha is Phased, it can't affect the physical world in any way; it may launch no attacks of any kind. If the pilot wants to attack, he'll have to de-Phase (and therefore become vulnerable) unless it has paid for the Fire Control capability.

While Phasing is highly effective, it is not almighty. There are still ways for an enemy to affect the mecha while it is Phased:

First of all, Phased mecha are still affected by Electronic Warfare systems--their Sensors, Spotting Radar, and Missile targeting systems can be confounded by normal ECM systems, and their own ECM systems can be countered by normal ECCM systems. There is no way around this situation; there is no special "Anti-EW Phasing" capability. The same is true for Psionic powers; Phased mecha (and their pilots) care as vulnerable to Psionic attack as the next guy.

Second, weapons can be tuned to an "Anti-Phase Frequency," which allows them to affect Phased mecha. Usually, this function must be designed into the weapon when it is built, but sometimes a Beam or Energy Melee Weapon can be modified in the field to operate on an Anti-Phase Frequency. To jury-rig an Anti-Phase Beam Weapon or EMW, one must use a Target Analyzer to make an INT + Electronic Warfare skill roll vs 25; this takes one Action and determines the target's Phase Frequency. Next, spend another Action to make an INT + Electronics or TECH + Mecha Tech or TECH + Jury Rig skill roll vs 20; this allows the mecha pilot to tune the weapon to affect Phased targets... only. However, if the roll equaled or exceeded 25, then the weapon can be used normally AND against Phased targets!

Third, Reactive Shields will stop Phased mecha as if they were an energy attack; Phased mecha cannot pass through forcefields unless the Phasing System is bought with the Disruptor ability. Beam Shields, however, will not stop a Phased mecha.

Phasing: x0.75 Cost Multiplier
Frequency Universal Specialized Unique Variable
Cost Mult x1.0 x1.1 x1.25 x1.5
Duration Inf 10 5 3 2 1
Cost Mult x1.0 x0.9 x0.8 x0.75 x0.66 x0.5

Options Cost Multiplier
Fire Control
Disruptor Phasing
Energy Damage


Universal (x1.0): Normally, all Phased mecha in the same campaign setting will use the same Phase frequency. Thus, any Anti-Phase weapon will work against any Phased mecha. Phased mecha can only affect each other if they use the same frequency.

Specialized (x1.1): For added cost, all the mecha fielded by the same organization can use a special frequency which is different than the Universal one. This means that if more than one organization uses Phasing technology, not all Anti-Phase weapons will work against all Phased mecha; the weapon must be tuned to the frequency used by the side which the Phased mecha is allied with.

Unique (x1.25): For an even higher cost, a Phasable mecha can have its own unique frequency, which means that each time an Anti-Phase weapon is used against a new Phased mecha, it will have to find the frequency all over again!

Variable (x1.5): Taking the whole "What's the frequency, Kenneth?" arms race to the ultimate degree, mecha with Variable-Frequency Phasing Systems will require the enemy to constantly fiddle with their weapon settings... because the pilot of the Phased mecha can change his mecha's own Phase Frequency in one action! This can also lead to pilots constantly changing their mecha's own Phase Frequency to match that of their opponents (which follows the same rules as described above for energy weapons).


Fire Control (x1.4): This allows the mecha to make attacks when Phased as well as when it is not. Mecha which can become Phased and still affect the physical world can be very powerful, and the Referee should think carefully about allowing such mecha in his a campaign.

Disruptor (x1.3): This allows the mecha to pass through Reactive Shields just like it can pass though any other object. Forcefields, however, can be jury-rigged to block Phased objects using the same procedure as is used for energy weapons.

Energy Damage (x0.5): If the designer wishes, the mecha's Phasing System may be vulnerable to attacks made by Beam Weapons and Energy Melee Weapons. In this case, any attack made by an energy weapon does full damage against the Phased mecha.

Energy Weakness (x0.75): The designer may make the Phasing System only partially vulnerable to energy attacks; in this case, the mecha takes 1/2 damage from Beam Weapons and Energy Melee Weapons.


While it is generally assumed that Phasing Systems work as effectively as any other MTS system, some Phasing Systems may put a tremendous strain on the mecha's powerplant. In these cases, the Phasing System can only operate for a limited number of Rounds before it must be deactivated, and then the powerplant must be allowed to charge up again.

On top of having a time limit, Limited-Duration Phasing Systems require that the Phasing System be turned off for as many Rounds as it was on before it can be used again. Thus, if a Duration-5 Phasing system was on for 5 Rounds, it would have to be off for 5 rounds before it could be activated again. A mechapilot may operate his Phasing System for twice the listed duration if he makes a Mecha Tech, Electronics, or Jury Rig roll at difficulty 20, but after the extended time has run out, the mecha will be depleted of energy and will suffer the same penalties as those of a Turbocharger (see Zeta Plus, page 79).


Dr. Marcel Graves thinks he has figured out how to make a Phasing System from technology scavenged from the Hyperlight Drives of the Imperials' starships, so he sets to work constructing a Phase-capable Hermes.

First, he takes a Hermes II-E (246.6 CP). He installs Phasing System (x0.75) which uses a different space-bending algorithm than that used by the Imperials' ships (Specialized Frequency, x1.1). However, the Hermes' powerplant is much smaller than a starship's, so the Phased state can only be maintained for a little less than a minute (Duration 5 Rounds, x0.8). However, since they use similar technologies, the Phasing System will allow the Hermes to slip right through the screens of the Imperials' Hydra-class Flagships (Disruptor, x1.3). Overall, the Cost Multiplier for this Phasing System is x0.858(0.75 x 1.1 x 0.8 x 1.3), so the add 211.6 CP to the Hermes IIE's cost.

ANTI-PHASE WEAPONS: x1.33 Cost Multiplier

Any Beam Weapon, Melee Weapon, EMW, Missile, or clip of Projectile Weapon Ammunition can be designed for use against Phased mecha. By applying the x1.33 Cost Multiplier of the "Special Effect Weapon" Stupid Mekton Trick, the weapon will deliver its full effect against a Phased target. However, if the target is using an unknown Phase Frequency, or is able to change its Phase Frequency, the weapon's own Frequency will also need to be changed. This can be achieved in one action by using a Target Analyzer to make an INT + Electronic Warfare skill roll vs 20. Anti-Phase Weapons are usable against Phased and non-Phased targets equally; if the designer wants a weapon which works only against Phased targets, the cost is multiplied by x0.67 (instead of x1.33).

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