As one of the primary creators of Mana Punk, I will be the first person to admit that the “Engineering” system in Mana Punk needs some fleshing out. While it was added with intent to be a key feature for Mana Punk without feeling too ‘tacked on’ the final result is a set of mechanics and products for characters in-game having landed somewhere in-between those two points. Engineering products can mimic or even replace various pieces of gear for any and every character type with no class / archetype restrictions to be seen. This has created a category of equipment available to any and all, provided they can meet one or two potentially minor requirements and financial commitments.
While saying this however I fully realize that “Engineering” as a skill set turned into much more of a niche product than the actual engineering equipment itself. Points must be allocated for the “Engineer” trait during character development not to mention a larger starting budget in an effort to afford said engineering kit. After crossing through an extensive list of choices and sacrifices that must be made to start off as an Engineer, the end result can sometimes be disheartening for a new player, especially after they start comparing their engineering-capable character with other members of their adventuring party.
Tread carefully, dear Game Master, as the steps you take will do more than directly sculpt the imaginations of your players but also direct what sections of a game system in which your players will maintain interest. If you run a game that is combat centric, players will quickly learn that their heroes must have fighting skills in order to survive; if this point is pushed too far and your games cross over from “combat-centric” to “combat-heavy” the players will immediately evaluate this as your judgement on the rest of the gaming system: “Participate by fighting, or do not participate at all.” Other aspects of any system should always be touched upon if not completely embraced in order to maintain a balanced tone for the rest of your campaigns, lest your players become bored with repetition. A sprinkling of social intrigue surrounding a situation can be just enough to add an entirely new levels of flash and awe to the players’ collective experiences.
Keeping this in mind, we circle back around to our initial subject: Engineering. While this skill set is still in its stages of infancy within the Mana Punk game system, we still highly recommend that you try to keep it as even a minor aspect of your gaming rhythm. Engineering may appear shallow now, but future supplements to the system will expand upon this aspect of the world of Zethyria within the Mana Punk system. Always keep in mind that one of the primary mantras driving our system is that of control through simplicity: Massive tomes full of esoteric and overly complex rule systems do no favors for the players trying to use them. Enjoyment can still be achieved through streamlined system mechanics under the players’ control. This means that the best judge of rules should be you the Game Master and the people with whom you game.
If you see an aspect of the Mana Punk game system that you feel could be expanded up, and we have not done so as yet, please feel free to flesh things out yourself! Do not be shy when trying to add life and vibrancy to your gaming experience. The larger the paint brush used, the wider the canvas must be.