Resource: A
From 57 reviews
Game: A
From 81 reviews

Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters

Tiny Frontiers: Revised


Publisher Description

Tiny Frontiers: Revised is here! All new art, expanded and revised rules, and all new micro-settings come together with the minimalist TinyD6 rule system for a revision of the bestselling minimalist space opera roleplaying game!

Powered by the TinyD6 engine, with streamlined mechanics that utilize only one to three single six-sided dice on every action, characters that can be written 3x5 notecard, and easy to  understand and teach rules, Tiny Frontiers: Revised is great for all groups, ages, and experience levels!


A Minimalist System For Giant Monsters and Mecha [ edit ]

Tiny D6 is a system that strives to "grease the (gaming) wheels" by keeping the rules as short and as simple as possible.  The game uses the same core success mechanic throughout, and that mechanic simply requires rolling a 5 or a 6 on 3d6 (or 2d6 or d6, depending).  The rest of the system is similarly minimal, as can be seen from the fact that an entire character sheet fits on a single index card.

Tiny Frontiers is the "space opera" or sci-fi version of the Tiny D6 rules, and Tiny Frontiers: Mecha and Monsters uses those rules to create a giant robot campaign (either against other mecha, or against giant monsters).  The supplement adds a variety of new rules, in particular rules for creating new mecha and new monsters.

As one might expect, these rules are fairly minimal, but still provide enough depth that no two mecha or kaiju will be the same.  Mecha have three different "chassis sizes", which determine their stats, such as HP and fuel (which is used to launch the special attacks they choose during creation).  Kaiju have a similar mechanic called "energy", which they use to power their attacks (also chosen during creation). 

Like other Tiny D6 supplements, Mecha and Monsters doesn't provide a pre-built campaign, but rather a variety of "micro-settings" that a GM can expand to start their campaign.  These include a setting where a terraformed Mars is attacked by space kaiju, one where an Aquatic Strike Force defends Earth against kaiju rising from the ocean depths, and a world where the brightest minds build robots to battle giant monsters in globally televised competitions.

TinyD6, Tiny Frontiers: Revised - Rules SummaryCollapse

Character Creation [ edit ]

One of Alan Bahr's goals in creating the Tiny D6 system was to be able to fit an entire character sheet on a single index card.  This should give some indication of exactly how "rules light" Tiny D6 truly is.

To create a character in Tiny D6 you simply decide four things:

  •  their three "traits" (ie. class abilities)
  • their heritage (ie. race)
  • their "drive", which is somewhat similar to an alignment, eg. "No one harms my city"
  • the gear they are carrying

That's it: creation is expected to take less than 20 minutes.

Core Mechanics [ edit ]

To succeed at an action in Tiny D6 you roll 2d6, and must get a 5 or a 6 to succeed.  This is known as a "test".  If the test is at a disadvantage you only roll one die, and if you instead have an advantage you roll 3d6.

For instance, if one of your traits is relevant to the action, you gain an advantage to the roll, and get to roll 3d6. Because the entire game revolves around this system, 3d6 is the most dice you need to play.

Combat [ edit ]

​As you might expect, combat in Tiny D6 is handled as a series of these tests.  Combat goes in rounds, with initiative set through a test.  Each round the character gets two actions, and a successful attack normally does only a single point of damage (most characters have <10 hit points).​

The Best "Rules-Light" Option for Mecha and Monsters [ edit ]

Although Mecha and Monsters doesn't yet have enough RPG Geek reviews to rank, the four reviews it does have give it a 7.88/10.  And on Drive Thru RPG (where it has a much more respectable 43 reviews), it's maintained a very high average score of 4.5/5.

The underlying Tiny D6 rules (specifically the Tiny Frontiers version) have a similarly level of popularity: there's only a single (10/10) review of the system on RPG Geek, but on Drive Thru it has an average of 4.5/5, from 55 separate reviews (all of whom have actually purchased the book).

What all this means is that if you're looking for a minimalist set of RPG rules, that still offer a more traditional RPG experience (as opposed to the more story-focused emphasis of other lighter rules systems, like Fate or Cypher), Tiny D6's Mecha and Monsters will give you everything you need to start a monster-battling campaign.