The year is 3057.
The place is the Inner Sphere.
The business is War.
Humanity has long ago set out from Terra in revolutionary JumpShips, colonizing the stars for many many lightyears around them and establishing empires spanning many thousands of stars, called the Inner Sphere. As man has set out to advance in their expansion and technology, so they have evolved on the battlefield. Tanks and planes are no longer the spearhead of war, no longer the tool with which to take ground, having instead been reduced to a supposrting role like infantry was many centuries earlier. BattleMechs rule the fields of war now, titanic bipedal monstrosities capable of carrying a whole company's worth of weaponry into the field. There are as many variants of 'Mechs as there are roles for it in war, ranging from the small and agile scouts called Light 'Mechs to the colossal plodding warmachines known as Assault 'Mechs.
Like the long forgotten world of Alexander the Great, the Inner Sphere was united under the Star League. Like Alexander, the Star League died before its time. Like the successors of Alexander, the Great Noble Houses fought many wars to take its place, tearing humanity back from the high technology of the Star League to a darker age where the only things keeping humanity from losing contact with each other are the HyperPulse Generators, sending communication pulses between the stars.
Only ComStar, a blooming communications company turned mysterious religious order, knows how to maintain these machinery and use that knowledge to police the actions of the Great Houses, impending communication blackouts on anyone that grows too powerful or too ambitious. Even so, the Inner Sphere has seen four wars of succession in the last few centuries. The Fourth was ended just about three decades ago, in 3030.
The embers of the Fourth Succession War had barely cooled, yet new turmoil threatened to engulf the Inner Sphere once more. Returning from their long selfimposed exile, Kerensky's Star League Defence Force and their decendants invaded the Inner Sphere, now as the aweinspiring and highly technological Clans. To destroy them the Great Houses had to put aside their differences and stand united against the onslaught of superior BattleMechs. Old grudges die hard though and it was a race against time as every day the Clanners come closer to their ultimate goal: Terra.
After almost three years of conflict the Clans were finally stopped in their tracks at the Battle of Tukayyid by the concentrated effort of the ComGuards, the military arm of ComStar, and forced them to a 15 year long truce with the Inner Sphere. While the Clans remain in the territories that they have conquered, they can only make war amongst each other. This victory was overshadowed by the reveal of ComStar's treachery. Their highest ranking leader, the Primus, had effectively planned and steered the Clans towards destroying the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere. Even though the ComGuards had stopped this treachery as well, the damage was already done. It would take very long before the Inner Sphere fully trusted them again.
Since then, as always, war has been a constant factor. It is a time where entrepreneurs and adventurers find themselves held in high regard as each faction tries to scramble their military might and either desperately try to hold on to what they have left or grab as much space as they can before the besieged can retaliate. Lone Wolves and Mercenary Companies can pretty much pick and choose their employers and missions as they want, because the demand is pressing ever higher while the supply dwindles with every month. This is where you come in, MechWarrior. You are in possession of the greatest warmachines humanity has ever mustered and the skills to do terrifying things in them. You are an asset, a resource and an invaluable treasure.
Are you ready to claim your destiny?
What is this?
If you haven't played the BattleTech tabletop wargame, the MechWarrior video game series or the A Time of War P&P RPG, do not fear. The most important thing is that you see giant Mechs and fall in love with them. Even so, if you want to enjoy playing around with a whole bunch of BattleTech-nerds you are better off knowing a little bit more about the game and setting of BattleTech. If you are not familiar with BattleTech or MechWarrior at all, be ready for a proper reading session. You could go to Sarna BattleTech Wiki
and delve its depths, but I recommend you read the 101 courses below. They contain the basics (still quite a read) and if something strikes you as particularly interesting you can always go to Sarna and take an advance course there. Still here? Good! Let us begin...
The game is set in the 31st century and centers around the human empires, the Successor States
, of the Inner Sphere
, a vast portion of space within 500 lightyears surrounding Earth (Terra
). As the name implies, they are the successors of the Star League Era
, a portion of BattleTech history that saw the most widespread peace the Inner Sphere has ever known thanks to the Star League Council
. These factions are separated by cultural, political and social variation and ruled by five great noble houses, based on a feudal system and class societies. Power is often inherited, be it titles or BattleMechs. Only a few small states exist outside of their direct influence, which will be mentioned in the Factions
section later on.
Outside of the Inner Sphere is the Periphery
, several independant states that sometimes predate the Successor States and rivals some of them in size, though being far from as influential and powerful economically and military-wise. Most however are only moderate in size and the political and social aspects vary from the feudal of the Inner Sphere to even great democracies.
Beyond that lies the Deep Periphery
, unknown space colonized by a few human societies and a dark shadow looming over the Inner Sphere in the form of the Clans
, the remnants of the Star League Defence Force
that left the Inner Sphere in a self-imposed exile, vowing to return when the time was right to make peace once more. At the year 3050, that time came and as they say; si vis pacem, parabellum
While early BattleMechs
in the tabletop wargame used Macross
designs, the similarities to the Japanese Mecha genre ends there. While Mecha's are usually quick, agile and action packed, BattleMechs (or more commonly referred to as 'Mechs
) are generally slow, lumbering and more down to earth. They are large warmachines consisting of four key elements; Internal Structure
The Internal Stucture is the skeleton in the 'Mech, keeping the construct together and distributing the weight. It makes up most of the bulk of a 'Mech. Internal Structure come in standard and Endo-Steel
, which is lighter, stronger but more expensive to buy and maintain.
Actuators are the joints of the 'Mech, artificial "musculature" consisting largely of myomers
, bundles of polymer fiber which contracts in the presence of electrical currents. As such, just like in our own bodies, the myomers contract and relax to move the Internal Structure.
Engines are without exception (in the scope of what you will encounter at least) fusion reactors which powers the actuators and weapons of the 'Mech. Yes, nuclear fusion, be glad you are properly shielded in your cockpits.
The Gyro makes sure weight is properly balanced and distributed when the 'Mech is in motion. Without it the 'Mech and its pilot would land on their pretty faces.
Added to this is of course armor plates, weaponry and heatsinks
. Weapons are attached to hard points allocated so that weight balance is maintained as much as possible. Armor comes in standard and Ferro-Fibrous
, which is lighter and tougher but more expensive, just like the Endo-Steel internal structure. Armor plates are discarded and replaced when damaged. Heat sinks reduce and expel the heat building up in the engine from using weapons and moving the 'Mech around. Heat sinks can be damaged by excessive heat and if a 'Mech overheats it is usually put in a powered down mode until the heat sinks can expel enough heat for the 'Mech to function without failing.
There is also a cockpit for the MechWarrior
, the pilot of the 'Mech. Much like its counterpart in an airplane it contains a myriad of instruments and controls as well as a Neurohelmet
, a device which allows the MechWarrior to control the balance of the 'Mech. It uses the human brain's instinctual sense of balance to control the gyro. It also displays a HUD as well as allowing the MechWarrior some control of the 'Mech's visual input, giving him overviews and 'Mech perceptions that are otherwise a nuisance at best to aquire from within the cockpit.
'Mechs come in four classes. Light
Light that are mostly used for recon and hit and run tactics and spans from 20 to 35 tons. Their greater speed and agility makes them very much suited for this task, but they can only carry a limited amount of weaponry.
Mediums are the most numerous class weighing in at 40 to 55 tons. They fall between the Light and Heavy classes and are generally considered the infantryman of the BattleMechs, a sentiment reinforced by the fact that most military powers sport these as a majority of their forces.
Heavy 'Mechs are those designed for frontline combat duty, and weigh in between 60 and 75 tons. Their slower speed is countered by an impressive arsenal. Most often used to break through lines and give support to their lighter brothers and sisters.
Finally the Assault 'Mechs are the centerpieces of any 'Mech Company. They weigh in at between 80 and 100 tons and often sports half their weight in weaponry. There are not many that exceeds 50 km/h, which means they often slow down any advance to a crawl. When it get there however, they dominate the battlefield. Commanders often take seat in these as they carry superior armor, important when you are the one coordinating the attack and giving orders.
The weaponry commonly used in BattleMechs come in three categories; Ballistic, Energy, Missile. Ballistic Weapons
fire high-speed, unguided projectiles designed to inflict kinetic and/or explosive damage. When compared to Energy Weapons, ballistic weapons produce far less heat, but are generally bulkier and dependent upon limited ammunition. Energy Weapons
deal damage by directing a concentrated beam of particles or radiation against a target. Unlike Ballistic Weapons, energy weapons are extremely light and compact and when linked a fusion reactor are ammunition free, but produce very large amounts of waste heat. Missile Weapons
are Rockets and Missiles that are fired from tubes and include an engine in the projectile. Some of these weapons travel a flat trajectory, others have an arcing trajectory that allows them to clear terrain features.
Personal arms like pistols, machineguns and assault rifles are all ballistic weapons, as well as the Autocannons
that the 'Mechs and other vehicles are armed with. They are often classified as AC/x where x=damage in the tabletop wargame. While it doesn't make much sense in the setting, they are still classified as such. The most common types are the AC/2
. Three more exotic variants in the Inner Sphere are the Ultra AC/5
), which has a higher rate of fire but more prone to jamming than the regular AC/5, the LB 10-X AC
), which is basically a large caliber shotgun which delivers devastating damage at close range but it deteriorates the farther away the target is, and the Gauss Rifle
, which shoots a small projectile through magnetic coils, projecting it at supersonic speeds to cause devastating damage. The actual calibers of the different autocannons vary depending on manufacturer but generally range from 30mm (AC/2) up to 203mm (AC/20).
Energy weapons generally come in three variants. Lasers, flamers and Particle Projection Cannons (PPC). Lasers
come in three sizes as well, small, medium and large. As a point of comparison with ballistic weapons, Small Lasers
do 3 points of damage in tabletop, Medium Lasers
5 and Large Lasers
8. The larger the laser the more heat it produces and the longer recharge rate it has. Lasers also come in Pulse format in the same sizes. Pulse Lasers
differ from traditional laser weaponry, in that instead of firing one powerful beam, they maintain several laser beams fired off in quick succession. While offering an overall increased rate of fire, the heat output also increases accordingly. Pulse lasers increase damage because they allow vaporized armor to dissipate from the location of damage. This allows subsequent pulses to reach the target area without being diffused by the vapor. Point of reference: Small Pulse Lasers
4, Medium Pulse Lasers
6, Large Pulse Lasers
are simply flamethrowers, but instead of being fueled by gases or volatile fluids it is powered by the fusion engine. Flamers are mainly used as anti-infantry weapons and won't do much damage to 'Mechs.
The Particle Projector Cannon
is a unique energy weapon. PPCs fire a concentrated stream of protons or ions at a target, causing damage through both thermal and kinetic energy. As such, despite being an energy weapon, it produces recoil and very high heat levels. The lethality of the weapon rivals that of a higher-caliber autocannon; just three shots from a PPC will vaporize two tons of standard military-grade armor. Targets hit by multiple, simultaneous PPCs can also suffer electrical side-effects, such as overloaded computer systems or targeting sensors. The ion beam also extends to much farther ranges than autocannon fire, though PPCs generate large amounts of waste heat. PPCs are equipped with a Field Inhibitor
to prevent feedback which could damage the firing unit's electronic systems. This inhibitor degrades the performance of the weapon at close ranges of less than 90 meters. Point of reference: 10 points of damage.Missile Weapons
generally come in three variants. Long Range Missiles (LRM), Short Range Missiles (SRM) and Streak Missile Launchers (Streak SRM or just Streaks). Missile weapons, like ballistics, are denoted with a number, but denotes number of missiles fired in a volley rather than damage. LRMs come in groups of 5 (LRM 5, 10, 15 and 20) while SRMs come in groups of 2 (SRM 2, 4 and 6). Streaks come only in 2. All these launcher types has an automatic reload system which means the Mech can fire several volleys before running out of ammunition.Long Range Missiles
are designed to engage the enemy at great distances at the expense of damage dealt, these missiles are capable of indirect fire and disperse over a smaller area than Short Range Missiles. LRM launchers achieve this range by firing at a ballistic launch angle, making them less accurate at close range.Short Range Missiles
are direct-fire missiles that sacrifice range for hitting power, these missiles are less sophisticated than Long Range Missiles and particularly effective against infantry and combat vehicles. The unguided nature of the missile means it comes in a natural spread like a shotgun effect, which often means several missiles in the volley may miss. SRMs also come as an Infantry support weapons, technically a shoulder mounted SRM 1 without autoloader.The Streak SRM Launcher
is relatively similar to the standard SRM launcher but linked to a unique fire control system. This system is designed to guarantee a hit against any target onto which the pilot can get a lock, a special feature of this system preventing the weapon from firing at a target when there is no lock-on, saving ammunition by preventing shots that would miss.
A fourth type is the Rocket Launcher, which is a single fire weapon that has become obsolete in the Inner Sphere but are still popular in the Periphery where times are not as dandy.
It is important to note that no single faction is made up entirely by one single race. Scottish decendants can be found in the very Chinese dominated Capellan Combine and many of Japanese heritage live in the Free Rasalhague Republic. Do not feel restricted by your chosen faction when you pick out the heritage and background of your character. Likewise, the Cultural Influences are not a definite parallel but rather the factions are caricatures of these nations.
Inner SphereCapellan Confederation:
The Capellan Confederation is the smallest Successor State, ruled by the Chancellor, the leader of House Liao. The Capellan Confederation started out as collection of states united for common defense & well-being, but over hundreds of years, through the influences of certain schools of philosophy and the leadership of House Liao, it has evolved to become an autocratic state with a controlled economy. The lives of the regular Capellans are dystopian, were citizenship is not given at birth but rather earned through worth of skill and ability in an exam given as the young come of age. Should an applicant fail several times they become indentured servants of the state. A majority of the population are of Chinese and Russian heritage.Cultural Influence: Soviet Union, People's Republic of ChinaDraconis Combine:
The Combine is ruled by the Coordinator, the head of House Kurita. Unlike most Successor states it is a military dictatorship guided by the warrior codes of Bushido and each soldier is dedicated to the point of death to the Coordinator. It still operates on the basis of a feudal system however, so most governmental apparatuses are roughly similar. The main difference for the common person is that they have no rights, only duties. Enlistment in the Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery is seen as the fastest way to get ahead in the world, as every person in the military, even a lowly rifleman, is respected. A majority of the population are of Japanese heritage.Cultural Influence: Imperial Japan, Tokugawa ShogunateFederated Suns:
The Federated Suns is the most powerful and largest of the Successor States, ruled by House Davion. It could best be described as a hereditary and constitutional monarchy. Officially the High Council, a group of both democratic, hereditary, and other officials chosen by the leadership of the member-worlds of the Federated Suns, presided over the nation. It is however nothing more than a "rubber stamp" used by the First Prince. The Suns have very few allies since they have aggressively expanded in to the Capellan Federation and made enemies of House Kurita. They did however have a strong ally in the Lyran Commonwealth due to the Federated Commonwealth Alliance and intermarriages between the two. Since their split however, they have grown increasingly colder against each other. A majority of the population are of British and French heritage.Cultural Influence: British Empire, French EmpireLyran Commonwealth:
Perhaps the most BattleMech-heavy of all states due to its powerful industrial capabilities, the Commonwealth is ruled by House Steiner. The Lyran Commonwealth is renowned for its strong economy, powerful nobility, and its military policy of promotion based on pedigree as well as talent. It is basically a feudal monarchy with an assembly that served in a largely advisory capacity. This does not mean, however, that the people do not have rights and freedoms. The Steiner Archons have traditionally been rather liberal rulers, allowing their people the right to assembly, freedom of speech, and freedom of the press. Indeed, occasions in which these rights were taken away have been cause for crisis in and of themselves. A majority of the population are of German heritage.Cultural Influence: Holy Roman Empire, German Confederation.Free Worlds League:
The League is ruled by a Captain-General, leaders of House Marik. The Free Worlds League is notable as the first successor state founded in the Inner Sphere. It is multicultural, with strong European, Oriental, American and Hindu influences. It also traditionally offered great autonomy to its component regions. The government of the Free Worlds League is a representative democracy operating under martial law. The League is generally looked down upon by the other Successors because of its "unruly" population. There is some truth in it of course, as secessions and civil war is an everyday occurance in the League. There are no real racial majority in the Free Worlds League.Cultural Influence: United States of America, Middle and South American states.Free Rasalhague Republic:
The Free Rasalhague Republic is a nation born in the wake of the Fourth Succession War were the Draconis Combine and Lyran Commonwealth convinced by ComStar to grant the Rasalhagueans independence. All positions of power and responsibility are either directly or indirectly elected by the people, even the Nobles and Prince of the realm. No position is hereditary save if the son of the current holder impresses the electoral population and is raised to the parent's honors. The Republic suffered the most during the Clan Invasion and barely even exists anymore thanks to a treaty for ComStar's protection. The majority of the population are of Scandinavian heritage.Cultural Influences: Scandinavia.St.Ives Compact:
The Compact is a secessionist of the Capellan Confederation and protectorate of the Federated Suns, ruled by Prime Minister Duchess Candace Liao. The Compact was formed in 3029, as a direct result of the Fourth Succession War. Duchess Candace Liao fell in love with Justin Xiang Allard, a Federated Suns spy. Rather than stay in the Capellan Confederation with a double-agent who helped the Suns conquer a third of it, she fled the Confederation and took the St. Ives Commonality with her. The majority of the population are of Chinese heritage.Cultural Influences: Taiwan, Thirteen Colonies.ComStar:
Not really a true nation but rather a telecommunications-company turned semi-religious sect, ComStar nonetheless enjoys massive influence over the Inner Sphere due to their monopoly on the knowledge of the workings and maintainence of the HyperPulse technology that enables interstellar communication. They often use this as an "encouragement" against particularly ambitious and aggressive Successor States to maintain a status quo between the factions and keep peace in the Inner Sphere, when it suits their own purposes of course. They are based out of Terra, which is the only world under their direct control.Cultural Influences: Knights Templar if they were a telephone company.
Q&A and GuidelinesQ:
Can I play a Clanner and/or with a Clan BattleMech/Tech?A:
To a degree, yes. The focus will be on a mercenary company, so a bonded clanner is fully possible. As for the 'Mechs and Techs, I will be a little restrictive. A non Clanner is less likely to have a Timberwolf/Mad Cat and even a Clanner will have problems finding replacements for their damaged tech. In the end, ask if you are unsure.Q:
Don't you already lead one of these BattleTech games?A:
I did. It finally died down after 664 posts. My goal was always larger than that but I will take the mistakes and lessons to heart with this new installment.Q:
How many players do you accept?A:
As many as possible. For every company (8-12 'Mechs) I will need another volunteer co-GM though. If you are interested or know someone who might be, PM me.Q:
Which BattleMechs will you allow.A:
Any class, any tonnage, as available in 3057, with some discretion to the more exotic and rare samples. If you are unsure, ask.Q:
Can I make a custom 'Mech?A:
No. The available BattleMechs more than make for a long list of varieties. Pick an existing 'Mech and modify it as you want, as long as it follows tonnage, availability, etc. More so, the existing 'Mechs are classic staples and any BT-nerd will know what an Atlas or Vulture is and looks like by name alone. It just tickles our spines to hear and imagine those names.Q:
Which section will this be in?A:
Light: Human Small Groups or Bondage: Human Small Groups depending on the players.Q:
What gender roles/sexualities are accepted.A:
EVERY SINGLE ONE within human possibilities. BattleTech is a human-only universe (*cough* Far Country *cough*).Q:
How will the plot progress?A:
Partial sandbox with an overlying meta-plot. Players will have a choice of missions that they can take on and it is up to them to complete or fail them.Q:
Will there be a system?A:
Still on the fence about this. If there will be it should be as simple as possible.Q:
Can I ask further questions?A:
Yes you can!
[b]Description:[/b] (A few sentences describing the physical characteristics of the pilot)
[b]Background:[/b] (A paragraph or two about the pilot's history and career)
[b]Personality:[/b] (Just a few sentences on the pilot's personality)
[b]Speciality Skills:[/b] (Anything that doesn't have to do with piloting a 'Mech)
[font=arial black]BattleMech Characteristics[/font]
[b]Description:[/b] (A few sentences describing the looks of your mech. Any special paint scheme or extra bits for looks?)
[b]Loadout:[/b] (Listing the armament of the 'Mech)
[b]Modules:[/b] (Module upgrades of the 'Mech's systems as well as secondary systems, i.e. Anti Missile Systems, Artemis, BAP, etc.)
[b]Upgrades:[/b] (All upgrades to the structure itself, including Ferro-fibrous armor, Endoskeleton, DHS, etc.)
If the sheets look overly simplistic to you, good. It's not a battle report, it's a descriptive action RP.
With that said, here are some general rules as well.
- Oath of Drake
- Use the character sheet supplied. Make it prettier if you want but cover all points in the CS.
- Post your CS here in the thread. If there are certain points you want to keep secret, PM me the details.
Good links and stuff:Sarna.net:
The unofficial wiki, excellent for scouting for that 'Mech you've been dreaming of!Master Unit list:
Great for cross reference to 'Mechs and their availability through the ages. Remember, 5057 and down are mostly fine with some exceptions.Solaris Skunk Werks:
A program for building and tinkering out your Mech. I find their own archives for existing 'Mechs to be lackluster and recommend HMP.Heavy Metal Pro Archives:
A program like SSW, but it costs money. All their 'Mech Archives are available for free though. The link takes you to the archive, the BattleMechs are a few scrolls down.