Commandroids: A World Transformed! The Robots In Disguise RPG Kickstarter You Were Waiting For
As both a Tabletop RPG and Transformers fan I’ve always been personally intrigued by the concept of a Transformers-themed or inspired TTRPG. The Transformers offers a rich concept and world to build a story in. I’ve followed and collaborated on a few fan made TF RPG concepts, but none have bore fruit the way this project has. Commandroids: A World Transformed borrows inspiration from Transformers, Voltron, and other 80s Robot Toys to create its own unique world and RPG system that’re really More Than Meets The Eye!
Commandroids: A World Transformed is a bit more than an expy of Transformers, of course, taking roots in 80s Toy Robots from Voltron to Gobots to Robotech but growing from there. Commandroids creates its own unique narrative to better fit TTRPG and set itself apart from its venerable forebears. As Quoted from the Kickstarter Campaign:
You’re a normal kid in a normal town, until things change.
Until you hear the Command Code Line.
Commandroids is set in the mid-80’s amidst the tensions of political turmoil at home and cold wars abroad, a time of unparalleled technological advancement. Into the traditional routine of American suburbia, an invasion begins, not of the land but of the technology. In the wake of a great comet, our machines begin to awaken and search for pilots. Some, known as the Symbitron Resistance, seek willing human partners. Others, known as the Nemesite Capacitors, are just looking for organic batteries to power their servos.
Commandroids: A World Transformed is our follow-up the the hit RPG Rememorex. It is an obvious love letter to things like the Transformers, Robotech, and Voltron, but also maintains a foot in the world of suburban 80s adventure. There’s still a strong element of things like Short Circuit, Knight Rider, and the Iron Giant. In play, our villains, the Nemesites, developed a rather Cronenbergian element of body horror as they brutally meld flesh and machine. This brings the horror element into the game in the big way. In our playtests, we developed a world in which players take on the role of both robot and pilot, each one a fully-realized personality with hopes, dreams, ideals, and relationships.
It then goes on to explain what sets Commandroids apart from (Most) Transformers stories, the synthesis of Human Pilot and Commandroid Machine, working together to protect Earth and navigate their own unique goals and personalities.
One shall stand; one shall fall.
The Commandroid is a sentient machine bonded to a human pilot, usually a human between the ages of thirteen and twenty. Together, pilot and machine act as one to seek out and battle the Nemesite Threat from their former home world. This war must be fought in the shadows; necessitating the need for disguise- as cars, planes, arcade cabinets and, yes, even boom boxes.
But of course, it’s hard to resist the sheer fun of a core feature of many a Robot Toy: Combination!!
Sometimes, when one robot is not enough, you must form the mighty Shogun Configuration: a truly epic machine comprised of multiple Commandroids forming one great, legendary warrior robot.
Best of all, you are in command.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a TTRPG without mechanics, and fortunately Commandroids: A World Transformed, makes it easy to dive in with both its own Omni System and the classic and more familiar Fates System. The Omni System(Seen here on DriveThruRPG) is simple and rules light, requiring a single roll to hit a target for most actions.
Character creation is said to be a breeze as well, based on Functions and Attributes, and includes both your Human and Robot Characters. The systems are explained here:
Commandroid plays with the Omnisystem, a streamlined, narrative-driven game engine designed to be nearly invisible when the story gets going. Character creation is based on just three player-created stats and a simple chart of relationships will instantly form powerful bonds not just between the plucky kid pilots but the robots themselves. You roll your stats against a target number set by the GM, and that’s conflict resolution.
There are three innovative mechanics in the system that were introduced in Rememorex: The Tracking Error, the Clip Show, and the Montage. With a Montage, characters can collaborate on a massive project to achieve impossible results, like outfitting a Power Wheels car with an EMP device or rigging a stink bomb to go off in the vice-principal’s car. With the Clip-Show mechanic, players can do a short, rules-light storytelling game that explores their shared past. Omnisystem most popular mechanic, however, is the Tracking Error: a simple mechanic that lets players of characters not presently in the scene affect the story in major ways when the group splits up.
Now we’re introducing a new system: Shogun Configuration. All Commandroids are capable of reconfiguring their bodies to combine into a towering robot warrior. When the going gets tough, all of your players will be playing equal parts of a massive robot… a legendary defender.
Also, If you’re a FATE player, we’re excited announce that COMMANDROID will( along with the Omnisystem) have a full set of rules for FATE CORE system so you have your choice! Same 80s transforming robot action in FATE, so go with whichever system you’re happiest playing.
Commandroids: A World Transformed has a simple but easy to expand upon setup giving the players ample room to grow in their fight against the evil Nemisite Capacitors!
Players create and control both a human pilot character and a giant transforming robot. The roles are fun and interchangeable, so while you will no doubt be caught up in redline robot races and giant mech-battles, you’ll also be be exploring the motivations and relationships of a millennia-ancient race of machines who have brought their civil war to our tiny world.
Balancing your daily life among your pilot’s responsibilities and your Commandroid’s duties to the cause will be part of your experience, and thanks to that binary bond, there’s always the possibility that you’ll flip consciousnesses. Then it’s up to your friends to help sneak you out of gym class while you have the relative mindset (and powers) of a heroic Spyplane, Bulldozer, Sports Car, or something even stranger still.
Creating a Robot is super fun and modular, and the core book contains over seventy-five cars, planes, motorcycles, and other machines to build into a character. Robot characters also have access to a wide variety of Functions, or programming sets: are you a high-speed spy? A saboteur? A powerful warrior? Lastly, determine your otherworldly Quazartech powers: do you have an animalistic Primatronic Core that lets you shift into a robot-animal form? Are you a wily Trinary Convertor with two Vehicle Modes? Or do you have access to the mighty and noble Source Code? Building a robot is almost as much fun as playing one!
My closing statement and one sticking point is that this is a Kickstarter, and it still needs backers to reach it’s goal of $15,000 over the next week. I’ve linked to the Kickstarter a few times but I’ll do so again here, and I encourage you all to take a look, and consider kicking in your support! I certainly hope this gets funded, and maybe with a little energon, and a lot of luck, it will.
Transformers and Tabletop RPGs are both popular topics in our community, why not discuss it with us on the Allspark Boards, the Allspark Discord, or on the Facebook page?
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