Grade the Silhouette System

How do you feel about the Silhouette System?

  • I love it.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It's pretty good.

    Votes: 5 8.6%
  • It's alright I guess.

    Votes: 9 15.5%
  • It's pretty bad.

    Votes: 3 5.2%
  • I hate it.

    Votes: 1 1.7%
  • I've never played it.

    Votes: 11 19.0%
  • I've never even heard of it.

    Votes: 29 50.0%


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They looked like really nice books. The anime vibe didn’t attract me back then but thinking about it now, I might actually appreciate it better these days…
That was something DP9 always stood out for, more so (IMO) than even R. Talsorian or GOO, although the latter covered a much broader range of anime subgenres. Very clean technical anime art, generally good book layouts, plenty of example gameplay images (at least in the minis games). Their Mecha Press and Protoculture Addicts magazines were an important part of North American anime history, and their working relationship with R. Talsorian probably helped both companies quite a bit back in the day.

One might-have-been that didn't come to pass was GURPS Heavy Gear, which SJG had a license for for a couple of years but eventually decided not to produce sometime around 2010. That would have been interesting to see, especially given that several early reviews of Silhouette directly compared the two game universal engines.
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
IIRC it was the mechanical design that had the wonky maths in Silcore, something that fortunately didn't affect the 'branded' games. Well, that and the concept of "Complexity" on skills to complement skill level that while interesting was half-baked. :)

(Do you know if there was another part of the math that was really off?)

I was hearing about problems with the maths back when I was looking at Tribe 8, and that well predated Silcore. Don't ask me what they are; its been decades.
 

Kannik

Hero
One might-have-been that didn't come to pass was GURPS Heavy Gear, which SJG had a license for for a couple of years but eventually decided not to produce sometime around 2010. That would have been interesting to see, especially given that several early reviews of Silhouette directly compared the two game universal engines.
Huh, from my feel of GURPS, it's got a different intent than Silhouette so that could've been interesting to see.

Someone did do a D6 system conversion for Heavy Gear (though not through a commercial license).
 

aramis erak

Legend
I know about these games because as a Quebecer there was a certain pride about a Montreal-based publisher at the university game club, but I must admit I never played them.

They looked like really nice books. The anime vibe didn’t attract me back then but thinking about it now, I might actually appreciate it better these days…
The settings are remarkably gritty, and the mecha are only in the 3-5m tall range - the same range as the logging walkers developed in the 1990's.
Not the 8-12m mecha I've seen coming out of Tatsuonoko or Bandai Namco.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
The settings are remarkably gritty, and the mecha are only in the 3-5m tall range - the same range as the logging walkers developed in the 1990's.
Not the 8-12m mecha I've seen coming out of Tatsuonoko or Bandai Namco.
I remember the gears being smaller (and more agile) than your typical mechwarrior rig or Gundam robot, and the American civil war north vs south analogies. My friends played a game which essentially boiled down to a gear pilot and her pit crew, and the issue was brought that a lot of the game was a build-up to mech combat at which point only one player was really playing. Granted, we have a lot more tools in our GM toolbelt to make it work today, but it was a letdown at the time. Note that this was high Vampire; the Mascarade era where every PC was playing for themselves with some backstabbing expected.
 

aramis erak

Legend
I remember the gears being smaller (and more agile) than your typical mechwarrior rig or Gundam robot, and the American civil war north vs south analogies. My friends played a game which essentially boiled down to a gear pilot and her pit crew, and the issue was brought that a lot of the game was a build-up to mech combat at which point only one player was really playing. Granted, we have a lot more tools in our GM toolbelt to make it work today, but it was a letdown at the time.
Yeah, that was the argument against HG by some of my players. And against Mekton. And Robotech. And Battletech.
The solutions are multiple... but the big one is "everyone plays a pilot." More subtle is "Everyone plays a pilot AND everyone plays a support character."
Note that this was high Vampire; the Mascarade era where every PC was playing for themselves with some backstabbing expected.
Not an aspect of VTM I ever encountered. The players I knew playing it were usually playing a single elder's coterie, with shared goals. I'd heard of it happening via WWIVnet, OPUS-Net, and GEnie. (OPUS-CBCS was a fidonet enabled BBS system from the 80's; there was fidonet interconnection of many BBSs using the OPUS-CBCS software. My first interstate email was via an OPUS BBS...).
 

dbolack

Adventurer
t of VTM I ever encountered. The players I knew playing it were usually playing a single elder's coterie, with shared goals. I'd heard of it happening via WWIVnet, OPUS-Net, and GEnie. (OPUS-CBCS was a fidonet enabled BBS system from the 80's; there was fidonet interconnection of many BBSs using the OPUS-CBCS software. My first interstate email was via an OPUS BBS...).
Now there's a name I have not heard in a long time....
 

Thomas Shey

Legend
Yeah, that was the argument against HG by some of my players. And against Mekton. And Robotech. And Battletech.
The solutions are multiple... but the big one is "everyone plays a pilot." More subtle is "Everyone plays a pilot AND everyone plays a support character."

That was more or less what I did during my one mecha-cyberpunk-post apocalypse game; even the techs were also pilots (partly for social reasons).
 

The settings are remarkably gritty, and the mecha are only in the 3-5m tall range - the same range as the logging walkers developed in the 1990's.
Not the 8-12m mecha I've seen coming out of Tatsuonoko or Bandai Namco.
Striders were a little bigger, and as the timeline advanced there's been some marked "scale creep" at the higher end of things, although they're exceptions rather than the rule and really raise the question of how many eggs you want in a single basket. Thankfully, the tiny Ferret and its butt-wheel are still as beloved as ever, giving the IP a strong answer to the equally inexplicable popularity of Battletech's Urbanmech. :)
 

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