Mecha Hack, what if mech tabletop RPGs didn't require a calculator?

I ran my first game of Mecha Hack last night and had a blast!

For awhile now I have been really wanting to find a mech game to run and that is honestly kind of a hard thing to do if you’re not wanting something that is super crunchy but still want the big mech power vibes. Mecha Hack ended up fitting this bill.

Mecha Hack is based on The Black Hack like so many others and it just makes running a mech tabletop game really easy. There’s only 4 attributes: Power, Mobility, System, and Presence. Power is anything normally related to combat and mech strength. Mobility is anything movement related. System is anything related to your mechs systems like radar, hacking, etc. Presence is just charisma. What makes it great though is all tests are just a d20 and check if you rolled under your stats value. If you did that’s a success if not failure. DM only rolls for damage.

Weapons are straight forward and simple. Is it one handed? Then it’s light and does normal damage. Two hands? That’s heavy and all your damage is +2. You can of course gets some additional qualities that make your weapons a bit more unique with extra properties such as a scope.

Combat is dead simple just perform two actions of your choice. If you try to do two of the same action such as attack roll your reactor die. If you get a 1 or 2 downgrade your reactor die to the next lowest die (e.g. d6 becomes d4) if you roll a 1 or 2 on a d4 then you overheat and have to lose a turn. Mechs and pilots of course have abilities that they can use through out with most requiring a reactor roll. There’s even a subsection of rules at the back if you want to have a multi pilot mech like Voltron or a Power Rangers megazord.

Anyway as someone who found out Wednesday morning that their group wanted to run a mech game on Friday this game was great. Everyone had their mech and pilot built out along with some backstory along with a recap of the rules in about an hour. After that it was a lot of fun just space pirates in mechs nonsense of hunting for space treasure.

The game is also really cheap only costing about $7. If you’re looking to run a mech game without a lot of rules I would definitely recommend it. We ran it completely in discord with a dice rolling bot. I also get the impression you could probably combine it with other Black Hack games as well if you want to add some out of mech encounters.