Just wondering what you guys can help me come up with.
Premise: PCs are spartan IIIs (halo universe). They're fighting covenant pirates - namely, they've had an unfortunate skirmish with some jackals (with the collapse of the covenant heirarchy, many of the nomadic Jackals are quite mighty and independent, thinking they might profit from piracy more than mercenary work) or they've been ordered by a government struggling to fight erosion in its rebuilding phase, to exterminate them and free up the space lanes. They might encounter flood later on.
This is after 2553, which makes plenty of lee-way for fanon stuff.
So my set up for combat is that it occurs spontaneously - enemies are typically everywhere, so players will encounter them depending on how they decide to reach the waypoint (the main objective most of the time). The objective typically isn't extermination of the enemy, unless there's a boss fight (which would involve the flood or a covenant weapon or biggie, like a hunter pair for obligatory mini-bossing). I'll be using a system that tries to make combat as quick as possible and themed on conserving resources as well as some minor tactical options (namely, only two weapons at once).
The way point isn't really a rail road - sometimes there's multiple way points, allowing players to make choices. Since the fresh batch of spartans (there's now over 1000; spartan budget has naturally expanded) are a bit willy nilly in the uncertain rebuilding times (following the fall of high charity, etc., etc.), they can talk back to high command and try to intimidate them into what exactly mission objectives are (kinda hard over a radio though; results will obviously vary). Because they're in the military, there are certain lines they can't cross - they can't abandon a designated battlefield. But they can change that designation through mission objectives modifying.
Spartans will make enemies in the UNSC, since it's feared that they will slowly develop into their own powerful social class of 'perfect humans'. So even nice PCs will face social challenges.
Spartans will swap out armor types (slight modification) and load outs (the most major modification) to suit their battlefield roles. Since people love load outs so much with Halo: Reach, it obviously gives me an excuse to expand on that. One idea I have is the 'amped' load out, which slows the spartan's move speed (first affect of having less power for the armor's locomotion) allowing a spartan to carry an extended feature of their armor. The extended feature might have more utility - ie. one would be drug channels with chemicals to give the spartan extra strength or agility (drugs grant very minor abilities and are the source of saves; most players would get armor to supply drugs automatically - in halo, it's special though, not like my starcraft game where drugs nearly go without saying). Another lets the spartan carry more than two weapons etc.
Swapping out utilities may be quite easy if the spartans want to carry every single utility with them. Swapping load outs in the battlefield is a luxury. Jet packs, ie., aren't a utility because they can't benefit from the bulk provided by the mjolnir amplifier and it already takes a heck of a lot of power out of the suit itself just to supplement as a capacitor for whatever jet engine is in a jetpack.
Anyway, any encounter ideas? It should follow the format above. I'll write something down if I get any ideas.
So one of the questions that comes to mind wright away.
What system are you using?
I think you should also kind of remember that at the end of Halo 3. It's pretty much pointed out that the Elites alone could crush what is left of the Humans. Even with the break down of the covenant. (Which is never really spelled out) I don't think the humans are really in much of a position to mess with anyone.
Now that being said, You are righting the story at this point. Maybe there could be a Brutes & Jackals Vs. Elites & Grunts War Going on. And the Humans are using it to rebuild with little notice by the others. Or even siding to some extent with the Elites and grunts.
As for missions, Don't be afraid to side them Against Humans.
And if your going to have some tention between the Spartans and Humans, You might want to give a reason.
Maybe some Spartan-III on Spartan-III fights in there.
I mean you could even do something wear a third party human group has stolen some of the tech to make Spartans.
The elites are honorable, not horrible. Just confused. Their relationship is basically a bunch of american marines against indonesia (humanity). They're probably more concerned about Jackals - which are more like Somali pirates (still not pure evil, but a nuisance and very deadly if you're unarmed, haha) and a lot more numerous.
In any case, the elites aren't gonna touch the humans. They aren't part of the covenant anymore. That means ALOT. That means that if they are gonna start any wars or crusades, they are going to make sure they're honorable. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some infighting amongst elites. They aren't a stretch from us psychologically.
And yet, brutes are undefeatable, without every other player in the galaxy banding against them.
Lek'golo are a simple race of contemplators. They'll fight only to defend themselves. If they offend, then it's by what they'd consider accident. Lek'golo are naturally prone to fight back though. To live with them (provided they can create their own suits, or continue to use covenant made ones for whatever their boring future holds), would be like living with crocodiles. They could attack at any moment. But if you're careful, you'll survive (maybe).
You could never be best friends with a lek'golo - they only 'trust' you that much more. Most violent races will try to enslave them and fail many times over.
Jackals will remain pretty much the same as they always have. Their ultimate goal in life is profit and freedom. Combine the two, and you have violent anarcho-societies and mercenaries around every corner. They're so numerous that they could cause serious dissarray if they banded together. Other races (including humans in 2553!) will attack them for commiting piracy. With the fall of the covenant, their confidence has only grown. A free society means that a jackal is weak or strong. Either way, the creature is always rude, and quick to reach for their weapon. If they're in command, they're foul tempered in general.
Grunts are pathetically predictable. They'll be a major contributor to anyone's slave army. Rarely will they successfully serve their own needs to an absolute. The humans would segregate them. The brute's would enslave them. Jackals would enslave or assimilate them. The flood would enslave them. Elites would enslave, assimilate or segregate them. Grunts do whatever serves their survival. Their advantage is humility - with the covenant, their own life was their greatest privilege (and nothing else... to a point).
The drones are a bit like the lek'golo, although they are more likely to bore themselves. This means they'll occassionally serve jackals for profit. The brutes would feast on their bones or trick them into slavery before they could experience their society. Drones are already decent physical specimens, and they don't really fear death (only sometimes). With the fall of the covenant, drones have a chance to be respected. This means they might often elevate themselves above a grunt.
Humans are... well, rebuilding. At least that's what the propaganda says. In the rebuilding times, everyone has a much more clear head. The apathy so famous among all humans has diminished somewhat. Insurrectionists have called off the fight with the UNSC - this might have been received in a faint broad cast or whatever. The UNSC still has a (relatively abysmal to their former glory) fleet, so they have the fire power to patrol a few old space lanes and receive broad casts. In a few years, some ambassadors may arrive from whatever is left of the former insurrection.
The flood is still out there, though it has no means of reaching other life forms. This is a gross underestimate of it's potential scale though. The main attraction of having no covenant is that there are thousands more worlds for the UNSC to explore. The UNSC cannot track the location of all flood - this is one of its major projects, however. Who's up for the job? Yep, spartans. One of my ideas I have going is that different flood have different grave minds - with the end of the ark, the flood's evolution has slowed down to a rate that any existing grave mind can't control. The flood lacks hosts to ascend up to the level that it was evolving during the big war. So whatever covenant/insurrectionist/unsc human it has assimilated - the flood has stagnated.
To make up for this, each grave mind in turn (however many might exist; unable to contact each other) has created a variety of different brand new creatures. All of these such creatures are technically pure forms, but less 'volatile' - this means they can't transform. They might even be unable to assimilate. Think of each grave mind as a mad scientist: he struggles with the resources he has available and the technology of the times. Eventually, he ends up with hundreds, or even thousands of failed experiments. When it comes to a fight, he'll have no choice but to use 'failures' against the enemy. So a flood fight could be pretty exciting, I think. The flood was at its pinnacle during high charity - now its caught in perpetual desperation. If you encounter a flood world, it'll be like Halo: CE all over again. They'll only come out when they think they've cornered you.
It's possible that some graveminds have become disilussioned with their connection to the flood as a whole. Making sure they don't kill you on sight and attempt assimilation anyway (think of a man with erectile disfunction - that's the miracle of assimilation when it only begins experiencing technical difficulties) will take some heavy diplomacy, however.
And... already talked about elites.
The story could go anywhere, as you can see. But if you like, I could dial it up to 2583 - around this time, the spartan program is in high gear. 2553 assumes that the UNSC was still able to crank out spartans. The idea behind them is that they always have something new up their sleeves, even though they 'near extinction'.
Lets hope the rpg doesn't turn into this.
And be more like this. At the bare minimum of course.
I'm working on a system. But not just any system (tm!).... okay, yeah it's like any old system. There's very few out there that truly accomodate shooters though.
Don't ask to see it yet. It ain't finished (tm!).
Shut up trademarks! God, why do those things keep popping up. *fetches broom and vacuum*
So, I guess for now I can ask - assuming you're playing this magical roleplaying system that replicates Halo: Reach in every way (the ways that matter enough for it to be fun so that players want to get involved in combat)....
How would you gear up an encounter with jackals? What is a good setting to make an encounter with jackals that are better equipped than spartans? What if the spartans have been hunting down the remnants of a fleet (their over all mission), for some time, etc., etc.?
Plot Hooks (not all coming from the same plot)
- Their are insurrectionists that have hired the jackals for some missions, but they aren't really there. Naturally, a jackal corvette that may be only partially hijacked (it's very easy to justify that many spartans have inadequet hacking skills) crashes into an insurrectionist hide out (town planet AKA obligatory 'planet with one base', where their are jackal guards, and the like - jackals make their presence known on the planet). Within the base, some humans are encountered. They will do what humans do best against spartans (waving arms, yelling 'don't shoot!' or 'I have a wife and kids', yaddayadda... thog acknolwedges that humans love talky). Diplomatic intrigue ensues. If players aren't into the social aspect of 'role playing', they can just shoot 'em (no unsc issue neural lace = less than human, rite?). What scenarios could arrise from the resulting diplomatic intrigue?
- If spartans are in the wilderness but it isn't SPACE. Could be ambushed by Jackals at any moment - admittedly, the players are nervous; their endless training didn't prepare them for this. Maybe they get captured. Escape scenario?
- One of the players is an elite while everyone else are spartans. How would the elite be introduced into the group? He would need a more complicated backstory.
- One of the players is a very crafty drone or grunt - his lack of raw physical might made up for by his intelligence, and creative use of salvaged tech and general rogue-ishness/survivalist-ism (either way, he has a detailed backstory). Or the player is an engineer, using his natural abilities to benefit the party as a whole. How would either be introduced to the group?
- One of the players is a hunter - mighty but slow and unco-ordinated relative to a typical human soldier and (due to missing his pair mate), not very bright either (lowering them to the effectiveness of a typical non-decorated spartan, minus the potential for better equipment load outs than the fuel rod cannon and tower shield). How would he be introduced to the group? What happened to his pair mate?
- The spartans inadevertedly obtain strong evidence of a powerful traitor within the ranks of the ONI, having long ties with jackal pirates (the now fully realized scum of the universe). One problem has prevented regular legal action: this traitor is well connected, and the beauracracy (publicized legal procedures, even lobbying, etc.) prevents anything short of an assassination (of which any attempts made in the past have failed). How will the spartans deliver this information to command so that they can get a properly authorized (authorization means better equipment; players could do things like hire lawyers to barter greater authority) mission out of it? In what manner will command order the spartans to carry out the assassination? This is mostly to get the ball rolling for GMs, but the players could just as easily be introduced and devise something themselves.
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