The RoboTech Macross Saga Sourcebook is one of the many new source material books from Palladium Books for their Robotech role-playing game: Amongst those to enhance this excellent War of the Bots game are the Masters Sage, the New Generation, Genesis Pits, Zentradi Protectorate and the UEEF Marines books One and Two.
The RoboTech Macross Saga Sourcebook has all the usual suspects involved: Kevin Siembieda (as Additional Writing, Stats, Tables & Ideas; naturally), Alex Marcinisyzn, Wayne Smith and Kevin Siembieda as Editors, but it was written in the main by multi-game book author Jason Marker (check out how prolific this guy is here).
It seems as if RoboTech has been around forever and indeed it has been a PALLADIUM rpg since 1986 and now these latest books are a new perspective on RoboTech, updating, revising and keeping them in line with the television upgrade. The artwork is all new but more importantly the story has been looked at from several different angles and been reworked to make it more plausible, more playable and more exciting for the players and GMs. The World was at War, Nation versus Nation, Continents ablaze and then thesky opened and a huge alien craft plummeted towards the Earth. The Nations stopped warring amongst each other and joined together to form the UEDF (United Earth Defence Force) in preparation for an invasion, but when none came they spent the time to learn as much about alien technology as they could and then rebuild the massive spaceship, perceived to be a Battlecruise of some sort, so that it could be used should the alien invasion become a reality. But a serious mistake was made.
The invading Zentraedi arrived 10 years later and before they could land or send out an envoy the newly re-built alien craft somehow sensed their presence and fired at them causing the incoming Armada's leader, Lord Breetai, to react against what he saw as an ambush. All the Zentraedi wanted was their spaceship back but by the time the dust had settled nearly 90% of the World's population were dead and the World's cities were in ruin.
Men of all ages rushed to join the UEDF and be ready for when the now expected second wave of aliens would arrive; this is where the Macross Saga begins for players of this role-playing revival. To help begin their adventures the author(s) have included Quick Character Creation Tables and Stats for just about everything a character, Marine, Infantry, Ground Mobile, Valkyrie and all manner of Techs, will need to do the job. Players can learn about the Ventraedi and even create Ventraedi characters to play from the regular sized Ventraedi (averaging 55 feet tall) to the Micronized (6 feet and over). I have to admit that playing a character over 50 feet in height is a tall order for even the most experienced role-players.
Role-Playing a character in any form of Robot or Mech is great fun but it's also something you need to work at if you are going to get the best out of the character and each situation they find themselves in. There's a lot more to controlling a mech than just pushing a button or waggling a joystick (or using an iPad type device) and it's up to the GM to ensure that players don't take their vehicular style armour for granted.
Whatever you need to play Robotech as a beginner can be found in this book and in your mind. Naturally the other books will augment and advance the storyline but a cool GM along with some imaginative players (I mean players with good imaginations not players the GM imagines are there - thought I'd better clear that confusion up) plus the knowledge available in The RoboTech Macross Saga Sourcebook will set you on the right road for adventure, fun and a World saving crusade.
The advice I would give to players thinking about playing Robotech is to try to watch some of the televised Robotech shows. They are available in the UK on DVD though Amazon are out of stock at the time of writing; they do have the Macross Saga series on DVD from about £28.00. Not that I suggest you buy from Amazon (I only use them as a last resort after they failed to take action when I fell foul of a fraud set up through their website). Ebay has the full series of Robotech on at £35.00 inc postage.
PALLADIUM BOOKS are really pulling out all the stops to ensure Robotech is once again a force to be reckoned with and apart from the galaxy of role-play books they also have what looks to be a super Robotech board game, Robotech Tactics that brings the use of miniatures into the fray. Hopefully one day I will get to play this figures game, but until then I have my imagination and the Robotech Macross Saga Sourcebook to keep me going.