Hello everyone. As any number of obvious and readily available statistics will attest, I am entirely new to these forums, so I hope I am not being too forward in asking for this community's help. Before I get any deeper into that, though, I think I should establish that while I have yet to establish myself as a contributor, I am no outsider. I've got a good 25 years of Transformers fandom under my belt, a quality that has been undergoing a resurgence in more recent years.
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was having a discussion with my buddy Chronos (whose love and knowledge of the franchise dwarfs mine) about the endlessly fun pass-time of staging a massive Transformers toy battle. He is a hardcore collector, and so eventually the conversation turned toward the issue of avoiding the potential dangers of this undertaking, focusing mostly on how to protect his investment should we ever get enthused enough to start such a battle. This is a perfectly reasonable concern, of course- toys go through a lot of manipulation they otherwise wouldn't in that kind of environment; lots of clacking together of plastic, tipping over, bits and pieces getting mixed together, etc.
Now, we have both been avid tabletop gamers for almost as long as we've loved Transformers, so the solution came to us pretty quickly: devise a simple system that could handle the combat for us, removing the childlike but intense urge to physically manipulate the figures into acting out bitchin' spin kicks, for example. This would essentially turn the prospective toy battle into a tabletop war game- something neither of us had much trouble getting enthused about. He had to leave my house not long after, but the seed had been planted.
Now, it's important to know that I love making games and devising systems. I wish I had realized just how much I loved these things before I went to college for history, as my career would probably be a lot more entertaining and fulfilling. Enough digression, though. Chronos and I hadn't really gotten any further than deciding that whatever system we were going to use would be strongly tied to Tech Specs, as they are a handy set of numbers that do a decent job of quantifying a bot's abilities- a perfect start for an adversarial combat system. It took less than a day for my system-obsessed mind to decide, however, that the toy battle was not enough.
In the time since then, I have been hip-deep in turning that idea into a fully realized pen & paper style roleplaying game. I've been poking around online and have seen a few similar attempts, but those that I have come across are all some sort of hybridization of an existing system (d20, for example). The system I have been working out, however, is being designed from the ground up for the Transformers universe. Overall, the game is being approached as love letter to all aspects of the franchise and also to its fans. So far, the way that the systems, themes, and possibilities for the players have begun falling into place has been really exciting and encouraging.
Here, at last, is where I get around to where I started: asking for help. For the sake of making this project the glorious shout-out to everything we love about this universe that I hope it can be, there is really only one thing to ask: what aspects of the Transformers would you
most want to see in a tabletop RPG? What couldn't you live without? I don't want to miss anything, and I can't imagine a better group of people to ask.
I'll be happy to keep up with this post and answer any questions that might come up about the work that has been completed so far. I take these types of projects of mine quite seriously, and take great pains to produce something that looks and feels as professional and real as something you can buy off the shelf. My biggest problem, historically, is waning enthusiasm, which I hope I can avoid this time around by reaching out to all of you. Please let me know what you think, and above all else, what you want!
a Gray House