The Sport of War
War was messy business. Thousands of people die every battle, buildings are destroyed, lands polluted, stockpiles burned and fortunes lost. The bloodshed was horrifying in both scope and scale, the death tolls second only to the injured and missing. It took decades for the first stages of the recovery process to take root, and hundreds of years later, the ache still remained. Memorials to the fallen, ambiguity between nations, ingrained hatred between people for reasons left buried between blood and soil.
In this age of enlightenment, war has been turned into a clean, civilized sport rather than the barbaric slaughter it once was. In the sea of stars, our great Commandants direct their Mechanized Infantry in strategic competition to vie for planetary resources based on galactically agreed upon schedules. The battles follow distinct rules and death is kept at a clear minimum and limited only to those willing to die. No innocent lives lost in vain! No legions of unknown soldiers! War has become sport! War has become entertainment! War has become everything!
We bring you.. The Sport of War!
Brought to you by the Galactic Federation of Empirical Civility.
You have heard these advertisements as a child. You grew in a culture that believes that to fight means to puppet machines, following special rules to bring about good, clean entertainment. Progress is determined by the empire with the greatest champions. Politics ruled through sport, people guided by the media-circus of this 'good, clean war'. Civilized society believes itself to have risen above the muddied trenches and bloodied fields.
What fools they are.
You have seen the battles first hand through the cockpit of your massive war machine. You have brought low enemies in the name of victory. You have brought glory to your empire through these continental gladiatory bouts. You have seen the true cost of these battles and for your own reasons, you have grown sick of them.
I can see it in your eyes; the glimmer has dimmed, your spirit has been wounded. The soul living inside this fleshy shell screams against the acts it's forced to commit. You want out. You want people to know the truth. You want to end the hypocrisy and to bring the truth to the world.
You will have the chance.
If I am right about you, you will mark your barracks door with a smear of red. Then, when you are next brought to battle, your unit will be unleashed, and we will collect you. Together, we will turn their war games around, and reveal to the galaxy the truth behind war.
War is not clean. It is not controlled. It is not sport. War, is simply war, and they will know it by its true name soon enough.
Point of Note #1: Still fleshing out stuff but I'm mostly done. Questions and analysis would help greatly.
Point of Note #2: The system to be used will likely be Mutants and Masterminds 3e.
The concept is standard enough. Pretty much been played to the point of cliche- but still worth considering if the rest of the setup's good.
So that's the question- where's the rest of it?
The game starts at the turning point of 3402.
For those with tl;dr syndrome, the difference between the two is that the public one doesn't acknowledge the FWF as existing, and each Empire blames the others for any strife that they have suffered. Your empire is perfect. There is no flaw with your empire. The others are jealous and seek to take away your perfect empire for themselves. Love the Empire. The Empire loves you.
Right, more stuff! If the images are too large, I can throw them into spoilers; people just hafta lemme know.
Each Empire has different views on their mecha designs and therein, each Warrior prefers their mech a little differently. The Sovereign Birthright, for example, prefers theirs to have a melee weapon of some sort, and to bear heraldry, as the knights of old. The United People's Republic prefers a more functional design to their mecha, which brings about a little blockier look, where their drones are function over form, giving them a more beastial appearance. The Rule of the Resplendent Crane and The Empire of the Golden Lotus both hold esthetics in high regard, and have very angular designs with a fair amount of decorative excess while The Sol Empire holds a more organic mindset, theirs often smaller in size but more rounded and sinewy.
Here are a few
As a note, these are just examples. Players are wholly welcome to decide upon their own designs or assume they have a similar variant herein.
The Free World's Federation and The Unjudged
After their separation from the Empires, the Free World's Federation were placed on somewhat habitable planets with limited amounts of technology. Where the Empire was using clean, replenishable fuel, the FWF had to reinvent the cart and buggy. Where the Empires had automated mining drones, the FWF had pickaxes and shovels. Of course, the FWF had inventors and engineers and such, so they weren't trapped in the stone-age, but they were set back a few centuries of technology to say the least. The only advanced tech they had access to were the terraformers, which they weren't able to take apart due to their critical requirement in their survival. However, from these, innovations were brought to bear. Advanced ground vehicles were researched, the secrets to the clean energy became less of a dream and more of a reality. However, their most major leaps in technology came when The Sport of War began to ravage their homeworlds.
The democratically elected leaders of the FWF knew that while the Empires were playing nice, they had no true view of equality with the FWF. To the 'civilized' Empires, the FWF were nothing but turncoats, traitors and savages at best. War would come eventually. They hadn't expected their genocide to come in the form of Sport though...
During the battles, the FWF were simply sideline creatures, their firepower not enough to scratch the paint on one of the towering war-machines let alone bring one to heel. They were often routed before a conflict, and if ignored, they were usually crushed as 'collateral damage'. After the Sport was won, those FWF that survived were rounded up and either executed or put to work as slaves, never to be heard from again. As most planets claimed by victors of The Sport were manned only by automated workers (or loyal militants) their cries of anguish fell on deaf ears. From this suffering, rose The Unjudged.
The Unjudged are the Free World's Federation's only significant fighting force. When The Sport of War games started to take place on their planets, they were the ones who scavenged downed mecha like rats stripping flesh from corpses, stealing technology, analyzing it and cannibalizing it to try and make up for the gap in technology between the FWF and the Empires. They hosted raids on some of the automated mining camps, sabotaged chemical refineries, all to damage the occupying Imperial forces while stealing away whatever they could get their hands on. Through these raids, they were able to begin work on their ultimate liberation engine.
The Black Star.
This will become the Command ship of the FWF's battle force, developed in secret, launched into space to hold the Warriors and mecha that they have turned to their cause. This, is the FWF's last great hope for survival and independence.
Basically, this will be the ship that holds the PCs and their allied NPCs in the game. Every empire has a few command ships like this, albeit the designs are different, but the scope is similar. They are flying cities with the most high grade communications and sensor suites the fielding Empire can manage, all with one Commander and one goal; victory at any cost.
No thoughts/opinions whatsoever?
this sounds like it's made of pure awesome!
I have funny enough been thinking of something along the same lines (my idea however was more like shadowrun, drones would do the fighting while the personnel was at a safe distance away) However this sounds very interesting. I will floow it closely.
:3 I had considered remote drones, but having the pilots physically there means that the characters are exposed to the subtext of the game, which is basically that even in a shiny new package, war is still war.
War. War never changes.
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