I can now reveal to you that I was in negotiation to use the Heavy Gear 2nd Edition rules-set to power the next incarnation/edition of Cloak of Steel. Unfortunately those negotiations fell through at the last minute and so the prospect of a new edition of the game is now set back (perhaps not a horrible thing since I already have so many other projects – big and small – on the go).
It does leave me with a problem though. I no longer know what system to develop the new edition of Cloak of Steel for. I was rather dead-set on using HG2 as the Silhouette system is simple, graspable, scalable and easy to use for things like minis gaming if people wanted to take it in that direction. Now I don’t know quite where to go with it.
Cloak of Steel is a fantasy game with magitech and anime stylings, it draws inspiration from Escaflowne, Sakura Wars, White Knight Chronicles and a host of other influences drawing them into a fantastical version of Europe on a magical flat Earth with a detailed background and a distinctive array of cultures, peoples, religions and technologies. It’s also one of our only games to be translated (into French) as Mantel D’Acier.
Developing a new system would be frought with problems at this time and extremely time consuming.
Using Pathfinder wouldn’t fit the theme/mood of the game without a great deal of rules tweaking to make it work. It would also too closely resemble the old d20 version, which I want to move away from.
Xpress – our house system – isn’t as suited to high octane adventure and doesn’t scale to the kinds of mecha and vehicles that this game would include particularly well and would get bogged down at this scale of play for similar reasons that the same thing happens with Exalted.
OSR systems are manifestly unsuited, class/level does not – IMO – suit this style of play.
Wayfarer/RQII – Too gritty, unsuitable.
FATE, I like FATE and I’ve already done some makeshift conversion work but I don’t like putting all my development work in one basket.
D6 system, could work, but I have two projects developing for D6 at the moment and it might not be good to have three all together at once.
4C, an open version of the rules that powered Marvel Superheroes back in the day. Simple, fast, eminently scalable but possibly too simple.
At the moment I’m leaning towards FATE, using a modded version of the Agents of SWING rules set.