Kantaisen ("Fleet Battle," named for one of the battle music pieces in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam) is the primary system for coded combat between players at SRTMOO. It allows characters to easily simulate one-on-one, one-on-many, and many-on-many fights in mobile weapons. The goals of Kantaisen are twofold:
- make for exciting, dynamic resolution of conflict between characters in mobile weapons, and
- be fun to play in its own right!
Please note that Kantaisen is a work in progress, despite being in a release-ready state as a technical object; while we've been balance testing and have already made some adjustments (early drafts had shockingly low damage!) we will continue to make adjustments as needed.
Data on Kantaisen will be covered in several pages for ease of reference. This page will cover basic concepts in Kantaisen, while others will cover more detailed elements such as unit abilities, pilot abilities, and attack attributes.
Kantaisen Basics: Covers the introductory elements and terminology of Kantaisen. You are here!
Pilot Stats and Abilities: Covers pilot stats, abilities, spirit commands, and proficiencies.
Unit Stats and Abilities: Covers non-weapon elements that live on a unit, such as its base stats and abilities.
Weapons and Attacks: Covers units' attacks, including the construction of weapons in the system and attack attributes.
Kantaisen Flow: Covers how battles resolve in the system, including relevant elements such as Engagement and Fields.
Inspirations and Differences: Covers the major inspirations for Kantaisen's various structures, and how things may differ for players used to one system or another.
Ace Of The Day: A generic pilot system for players running combat scenes without their own character bit.
Kantaisen follows conventions set by player-versus-player combat systems that have been used on MU*s for the last few decades. The goal of a Kantaisen-based combat scene is to deplete opponents' health while avoiding having one's own health depleted. Kantaisen is a supplement to a scene, not a replacement.
Kantaisen combines a player's stats (pilot elements) and a mecha's (unit elements) to arrive at the actual play-state.
- A pilot represents a player character who participates in large-scale combat using a mobile weapon. Pilot stats are attached to character bits (i.e., a player's login information for a given character).
- Characters have a stat total spread across four statistics expressed in Character Points (CP). These statistics range from 100 to 200 on PCs, with the value of each point steadily decreasing as the stat climbs, encouraging broader, more comprehensive builds and discouraging minmaxing.
- The CP a character has is determined by the character's Tier, which typically ranges from Capable (500 total) to Great Ace (575 total) in increments of 25, though other values exist in rare circumstances. Tier is only a modest determinant of power; while characters will outperform each other, the gains from being particularly high-Tier are marginal, and while having more base points to spend will make some abilities more or less attractive, abilities (which are universally held as a constant across Tiers) tend to be the heftier element of a character's overall kit in terms of how they play.
- A pilot has Pilot Abilities, which represent unique flourishes to their approach to combat. A pilot might have an ability representing a significant preference for ranged combat, or an ability representing solid defensive capability using tools and weapons. If Tier shows that a pilot excels, Pilot Abilities show how that pilot excels.
- A pilot has six Spirit Commands, which represent a combination of piloting style preferences, emotional approaches to battle, and areas where they can further push their performance. Note that Spirit Commands are less effective than they are in the Super Robot Wars video games, offering modest-but-significant performance improvement rather than absolute pass/fail binaries. In exchange, the same Spirit Command can be stacked multiple times.
- Finally, pilots have Proficiencies in various types of mobile weaponry, including Autobalanced, Manual, Crewed, Kinesthetic, Mental, and Cybernetic interface methods. These proficiencies increase the performance of units of a given type when that pilot drives them. This allows a pilot to excel with specific categories of units, such as planes and Variable Fighters (Manual), battleships and trainer units (Crewed), or psycommu weaponry (Mental). Occasionally, the latter three proficiencies -- which tend to be less common as whole control schemes -- also figure into a unit's attacks.
- Units represent mobile weapons, battleships, monsters, transformations, and other forms of engagement in large-scale combat. Super Robot Taisen MOO does not have an on-foot combat system, and trusts players to treat each other respectfully regarding on-foot conflict. Consensual-RP rules apply.
- A unit's Tier, like a pilot's, is a representation of its overall in-character power and role in the narrative. For particularly long-running series, such as Universal Century Gundam or Front Mission, there is a timeline element to Tier as well -- earlier units tend to be weaker than later ones simply due to the passage of time. Timeline and narrative role are greater determinants than raw technical specs when it comes to comparing units between series. A small amount of this is inevitable -- some series deal much more with off-the-shelf mass production units than others, and trend lower; Front Mission has roughly five units depicted at its 2112-era "cap," compared to the dozens of top-end things in various Gundam series -- but if you expect hard comparisons of reactor output between franchises to be modeled 1:1, giving things hundreds of times more damage output... that's a mistaken set of assumptions. The SRW games don't do it and we won't be either.
- Hit Points (HP) measure the base health of a unit. These derive from the unit's base HP value, a number that is constructed in rough parallel with a unit's other stats and then multiplied to create the final HP of a unit. Attacks deal damage to a unit, reducing this number.
- Energy (EN) is a resource you spend on attacks and on making non-basic reactions. A handful of units have other ways to spend EN besides these. After each action a unit takes is resolved, its "reactor cycles" -- that is, an amount of EN based on a unit stat value is added to its current reactor storage value.
- Unit Stats, besides Base HP, comprise Sight (SGT), Mobility (MOB), Armor (ARM), Reactor (RX), and Weapon Space (W-Space, WS), and -- when added to the base HP value -- total up to the unit's Build Points (BP). These stats affect the hitrate of incoming and outgoing attacks, the damage incoming attacks do, the amount of EN you gain from round to round, and the amount of weaponry your unit can mount. Unit stats, like pilot stats, range from 100 to 200, with the value of a single point steadily decreasing as the stat increases.
- Attacks comprise various weapons, techniques, and systems on a unit (or, rarely, a pilot) that allow them to act on others. The attack list is populated by cross-referencing a list of "weapons" the unit has (which can also include techniques).
- Buffs and debuffs are persistent effects that are applied by attacks during combat. Buffs improve a character's capabilities, while debuffs hinder and impair them. Both buffs and debuffs have set durations. Most buffing and debuffing maneuvers run through the attack system, as they take your action for the turn and "cycle the reactor" on processing.
- Abilities represent static, unchanging elements of a unit's loadout not covered by attacks. A unit having a particularly strong barrier, or the ability to enter a temporary super-charged mode that overclocks its reactor, usually gets covered as an ability. Ability slots can also be used to buy modest increases to a unit's base stats over its expected Tier. A unit, at launch, has five ability slots to spend. Any unspent ability slots become...
- Power Parts. Power Parts are weaker-than-ability elements of a unit's loadout that can be changed freely between missions. Bringing along a lucky charm with a mechanical benefit, or spraying a unit with a thin layer of beam-resistant coating beforehand, constitutes a power part. On mass production units, power part slots are generally already filled; on a character's personal units, they can be freely swapped at the Intermission Screen room.
- Traits are filed in the same category as abilities, but unlike abilities, do not cost any ability slots. They represent ways for a unit to work that are not necessarily better or worse than not having them, simply different.
- Power is the base numerical damage of an attack. It is also the element of the attack that determines its base EN cost, before attributes are applied.
- Range tells you whether an attack is a ranged or melee attack, which affects how it may be reacted to. Some attacks are neither ranged nor melee, and can only be accepted.
- Type tells you how an attack does its damage. The system currently has four types: Physical, representing blades, bombs, and other purely physical acts; Beam, representing charged particle weaponry such as Minovsky beam weapons, uncharged GN particle weaponry, and Photon Power; Force, representing gravity, lasers, electricity, fire, and other things that are still purely physical phenomena but not covered under either of the previous; and Magic, representing things that defy any conventional explanation.
- Attributes further modify the attack, enabling it to deal bonus damage under certain circumstances, change the circumstances in which it can be used, or otherwise further modify what that attack does. Attributes adjust the EN cost of the attack, sometimes by a flat value and sometimes by a percentage.