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Using Essence20 To Make The Perfect Transformers Crossover

Renegade Game Studios published PDFs of Transformers The Roleplaying Game in August. The studio will publish the third TTRPG using the brand-new Essence20 System. This feature will not only cover the review of this RPG, but also the crossover between Transformers and Power Rangers.

The flexibility of Essence20’s TTRPG and the toy-like nature of its properties, as we have already mentioned, practically screams out for teaming ups. The Power Rangers and GI Joe have already been combined in a previous feature. Now, let’s add some cars which can transform into robots to the mix. Where to begin?

Transformers RPG Autobot Team in Tunnels - Using Essence20 To Make The Perfect Transformers Crossover

What To Do When You Want to Make the Perfect Transformers Crossover: Scale and Tone

Transformers, unlike other properties that we have discussed before, is not a stranger to cross-overs. Many comic book crossovers have taken place, many of which involve GI Joe. The 2016 IDW Comics Megacrossover Revolution was arguably the boldest. It created a Hasbro universe containing Transformers and GI Joe as well as MASK, Rom Space Knight Micronauts and Action Man.

There are many options for tone. Transformers offers a wide range of interpretations in comic books and videogames. The iconic G1 cartoon from the 1980s, the Cybertron games developed by High Moon Studios and bizarre “what-ifs”, like the Shattered glass continuity, where hero and antagonist roles are reversed, can all be found here.

Transformers, when stripped to the frame of its storyline, is an epic space opera. The story is always centered around two opposing factions that are divided along ideological lines and refuse to compromise, even though their worlds are being destroyed. If we go back to our superhero comics, if Power Rangers represents The Avengers, and GI Joe represents SHIELD, the Transformers represent the Shi’ar Empire or Kree Empire. The scale of the battles with Transformers can provide a platform for reflection on the cost and impact of war.

It’s almost a given that launching a crossover between the robots and humans in disguise is destined to be incredibly successful. What do the Joes do when they are faced with threats that are right in front of them? What will happen to the Rangers if the threat is beyond Earth’s borders? What happens when Cobra and Zedd attempt to collaborate with Megatron prior to the third act of betrayal. What will happen when Cobra gains access to cybertronian tech? What is the Machine Empire’s reaction to planet Cybertron being destroyed?

Transformers TTRPG Decepticon Artwork - Using Essence20 To Make The Perfect Transformers Crossover

PC Group Dynamics – How To Make the Perfect Transformers Crossover

This difference in scale is incredibly important when looking at a Transformers Crossover. Transformers has a much larger health pool than GI Joe or Power Rangers. Cybertronian computers have the largest possible health pools in all three TTRPGs. They can be as low as 3, or as high as 5, before conditioning is taken into account. Each PC has a set amount of Energon that they can use to continue fighting, even if their health is zero. Certain classes can ignore lethal damage in exchange for a lost limb. There are also armor upgrades that PCs can purchase to completely negate or even reverse certain kinds of damage.

The Joes still have a great deal to offer. I said that in terms of games, the Rangers are wrecking balls and the Joes have a lot of little successes. This distinction is still valid when compared to the Transformers. In fact, it’s only become more important. Energy is the type of damage that most Rangers deal. The energy-type attack is one of only a few attacks in Essence20 which cannot be deflected by upgrades or absorbed.

Rangers and Cybertronians also share some similarities when it comes sci-fi alien interaction. Cybertronians might have the universal salutation, but Blue Rangers can get an universal translator for Grid Power. This can reduce friction in extraterrestrial diplomatic relations.

What To Do When You Want The Perfect Transformers Crossover?

We will also discuss how you can mix major villains from all three franchises to create unique threats in a Transformers Crossover. The fun in a crossover comes from seeing the different PC teams show their skills, and the second half of it is to see how they deal with the rogues gallery.

The Transformers and Power Rangers are the most immediate Transformers Crossover threats. It’s perfectly acceptable to have a team of Rangers fight the Decepticons, whether it be in “David and Goliath battles” on the ground or a long-drawn out Zord brawl. Keep in mind that size shifts can affect attack rolls. Gridblink, and the area control ability I have discussed before can be used by Autobots to help fight a monster sent from Rita or Zedd.

Cobra is the only option left. Cobra has a variety of enemies and vehicles to choose from. Due to this, it is important that you make tactical use of your terrain. In terms of how this could pose a danger to Transformers: Cobra, a terrorist group that is always looking for new technology and weapons that give them an advantage; cybertronian tech definitely fits the description. It should be easy to set up ambushes, create macguffins and name villains. Do not be afraid to go a little crazy with your configurations, Cobra also has its own spy network.

Making the Perfect Transformers Crossover: Minor Homebrew Changes

Finaly, I would like to recommend a couple of personal tweaks that will give your Transformers GI Joe & Power Rangers crossover a bit more punch. You can do whatever you want with these.

  • Cybertronian Characters can get the Combiner Perk. It can be used to allow Autobots and a Ranger Megazord to merge, resulting in some explosive setpieces. Their combined health and defenses will also be added. To resolve attacks, add the Autobot team’s group skill check to the Ranger PC skill roll. You can also use Megaform rules to create your own Decepticon combiners.
  • Limit the Joes’ access to Transformers weapons and armor. Treat each upgrade category as being one higher than the ones in the book to represent their attempts at adapting cybertronian tech. Limitation becomes Restricted and Restricted is Prototype, etc.
  • Set up a weapon resistance and immunity scale. In the Transformers Core Rulebook, a GM may rule that a weapon’s attack will have no impact on a sufficiently large opponent. Duke shooting Unicron in his pistol for instance won’t make a difference. Mark all weapons that aren’t anti-tank in GI Joe. Rangers and Cybertronians are not affected by these weapons. When using heavier artillery treat Cybertronians as immune and Zords resistant. Apply damage to Rangers normally. You can make any exceptions you want at the time.

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