The Megaversal system, sometimes known as the Palladium system, is a role-playing game system which involves roll-under percentile skill checks, roll-high d20 combat checks and roll-high d20 saving throws, and uses differing amounts of d4s, d6s, d8s, and d10s for damage, which is applied to Hit Points, Structural Damage Capacity (S.D.C.), and Mega-Damage Capacity (M.D.C.).
Character creation Edit
Character creation varies across the games. Players may or may not select a race, depending on the game (all characters in Ninjas and Superspies, for example, are assumed to be human; in Palladium Fantasy, they very often are not). All games share the same eight [[attributes, which are randomly generated and depend upon the character's race:
- Mental Affinity (MA) - The character's personality and how well they can deal with others.
- Mental Endurance (ME) - The character's willpower.
- Physical Endurance (PE) - The character's basic level of toughness.
- Physical Prowess (PP) - The characters agility.
- Physical Strength (PS) - The character's strength.
- Physical Beauty (PB) - The character's physical attractiveness.
- Speed (Spd) - The character's running speed.
- Hit Points (HP)
Most of these stats are determined by a roll of three six-sided die (D6) for humans, with other species' determined by more or less depending on how they compare to humanity.
Other stats that may be used are:
- Structural Damage Capacity (SDC) - Often used as a supplemental to hit points. Also serves as hit points to non-living objects.
- Potential Psychic Energy (PPE) - Energy commonly used for magic and other non-psychic supernatural abilities.
- Inner Strength Points (ISP) - Energy used for Psychic abilities.
The game (and the character's race and attributes) will impact their selection of one of a few types of classes:
- Occupational Character Classes (O.C.C.), which describe skills and abilities based on a person's training.
- Psychic Character Classes (P.C.C.), which focus around psychic powers.
- Racial Character Classes (R.C.C.), which describe abilities and skills which are primarily a function of race, or are limited to members of a certain race.
Depending upon the game, skills can come exclusively from the character's O.C.C. and a related list, or can come from a character's educational or occupational background. Games set on modern Earth tend to favor the second; all others favor the first. O.C.C.s tend to be more specific than character classes in other games, with a wide number of O.C.C.s within a profession that could be made generic (such as six or seven specialized mecha pilot classes in Rifts which could easily be boiled down to a single "Robot/Power Armor Pilot" class).
Other system variations Edit
Each game has its own variations to make the system better suit its genre. After The Bomb, Splicers, and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness RPG use 'BIO-E' (for 'Bio Energy') to purchase mutations; Palladium Fantasy assumes that non-humans will be routinely played, and so most races will use normal O.C.C.s instead of R.C.C.s; games with super-technology, like Robotech, Splicers, and Rifts use a special category of damage called Mega-Damage. Mega-Damage is 100 times more powerful than normal damage(i.e.: 1D6 MDC = 1D6x100 SDC), and normal weapons cannot damage a Mega-Damage structure at all, unless they are capable of inflicting 100 SDC or more in a single shot/burst; the archetypical example of Mega-Damage is a tank, which can only be effectively destroyed through the use of powerful weapons designed to overcome its armor.
Palladium's alignments are described in detailed terms with alignments describing how a character acts in a certain situation; whether they will lie, how much force they will use against innocents, how they view the law, and so on. The alignments are organized into three broad categories: Good, Selfish, and Evil. The seven core alignments are:
- Principled (Good)
- Scrupulous (Good)
- Unprincipled (Selfish)
- Anarchist (Selfish)
- Miscreant (Evil)
- Aberrant (Evil)
- Diabolic (Evil)
An eighth alignment, Taoist, was introduced for Mystic China, but has not seen wide use.
Kevin Siembieda has a noted distaste for "neutral" alignments, as used in Dungeons & Dragons. This is stated in most core rulebooks in the alignment section, and stems from the idea that a truly neutral character would not do anything particularly interesting, like fight or adventure.