I'm wondering if you /m/en would mind helping me with a bit of Mecha-related world-building for a Mecha RPG campaign I'm working on. I have all the pieces I want to include, but I'm having the Devil's own time trying to fit them all together so I'd like to ask if you /m/en have any suggestions or input. Any help would be appreciated
The setting ideas:
-Early 23rd Century
-Earth is a blasted, post-nuclear wasteland blighted by pollution and radiation. Most of the population live in huge, Judge Dredd-style Mega-Sprawls.
-The main movers and shakers in this future are massive Mega-Corporations who are practically states unto themselves.
-There is massive discrimination against the Genetically modified. Some are Mutants, people whose genes have been altered by exposure to Radiation or Mutagenic chemicals. Others are Clades, people who have had animal DNA spliced into theirs either by choice, by their parents (it was all the rage about 20 years ago) or by accident when some Gene-Mod parlor didn't store their Nanites properly. Either way, they are looked down on by Normal Humans.
-Mars and Venus have been terraformed.
-Mars is a cold, dry world under hostile Corporate occupation. The Martians tried to rebel but were ultimately crushed.
-Venus is a lush, paradise world (if you don't mind the 4-month-long days) where all the rich, corp kids live.
-The Mecha are Stompy contraptions with wheels or treads in their feet (VOTOMS or Heavy Gear style)
-Some models also include Jump Jets allowing them to boost or hop short distances
-Most Mecha pilots are Mercenaries hired by the Corporations.
So that's what I have so far. Any suggestions you /m/en can offer are welcomed.
Posting Armored Core concept art, because AC is one of my main influences.
OP, I've read your post and something just didn't sit right with me, but no matter what I thought I just couldn't put my finger on it. THen it hit me.
If technology in your world has progressed to the point where we can change the environment on VENUS to be livable, why don't we just fix Earth?
OP here, I have been giving that some thought and the answer is simple. There's no profit margin in it. Earth is a world that has been stripped of natural resources there's very little left, and the resources that do remain are controlled by the Megacorps who jealously guard them.
mars or venus would be like a clean slate to work with. add simple plant life that will eventually populate the planet and change the atmosphere over time into a breathable one. mars needs to be warmed up, this can be done by deliberately causing a greenhouse effect on mars.
on the other hand, radiation does not easily go away, some types taking hundreds to millions of years to go away. pollution can be mitigated, but maybe there can be other reasons, like widespread devastation from some horrific event or political/economy reasons why efforts weren't being focused on earth (maybe massive terraforming of venus and mars was already underway when earth was ravaged, and they decided to continue with terraforming instead of stopping to rebuild earth)
The Majority of the population still lives on Earth. The parts of Earth that aren't a post nuclear wasteland are very much Pic Related. Millions and millions of people packed into a few dozen square miles, where they cluster for safety from the radiation and unending war just beyond the boundary walls.
Mars is quite varied. There are some Corporate factories there, but much of the planet is wild and undeveloped or farmland. Mars is an incredibly resource-rich world so Corporate Mercs fight it out in the wilderness over Copper and Potassium.
Bumping with small mecha.
Why mecha, because they're cool that's why. For a more in-universe explanation, the mecha are used either as part of a combined arms approach, or for lightning raids against other Corporations assets (think Heavy Gear or Chrome Strike). One of the main reasons they are used on Earth is because the mecha are environmentally sealed, and he environment outside the Mega-Sprawls is just so nasty. Whole areas are still contaminated with industrial pollution or chemical weapons. Some places are filled with drifts of radioactive fallout, and you will sometimes get Fallout Storms which are radioactive dust storms made of said fallout.
For mood; I'm going for something in line with Thatcher-Era British sci-fi comics. Judge Dredd being the best known example but not forgetting Strontium Dogs or the Rogue Trooper reboot. They are bitter, cynical and nihilistic. Also I want an in-universe justification for my players to blow up other Mecha and be rewarded for doing so with Cash that they can use to upgrade their mecha or buy bigger and better ones.
>One of the main reasons they are used on Earth is because the mecha are environmentally sealed, and he environment outside the Mega-Sprawls is just so nasty. Whole areas are still contaminated with industrial pollution or chemical weapons. Some places are filled with drifts of radioactive fallout, and you will sometimes get Fallout Storms which are radioactive dust storms made of said fallout.
To be honest, it doesn't seem like a good reason for mechs, tanks can be made that way too.
If I were you, I'll include a part about Earth still having ruins of old cities and such everywhere, where mechs with their grappling hooks and boosters can scale the buildings and get to better shooting positions where tanks are unable to get to.
Yes, there is. Many battles of the Martian Uprising were fought on Earth as well as Mars. There are people on both planets who make their living scavenging old battlefields and the ruins of old cities for salvage and supplies.
i think a cool thing to have
what kind of mech rpg is this anyway? like tabletop, right?a max like character. i like the post apocolyptic bit, with there being otehr places more civilized. also you should have venus have bits where they're still terraforming and its swampy, like the swamps in louisiana.
To prevent future Martian rebellion, the corporations rigged their Huxley Vats to be unable to support males, planning to introduce loyalist men in a generation.
However this just means the next generation of Martian rebels are all cute girls.
I'm still on the fence for what system to use. I'm torn between Mekton Zeta which is probably the best, most detailed Mecha TTRPG ever made but the rules and options for human-scale stuff SUCKS, or Savage Worlds which is simple and fast-paced, has great character options but might be lacking a little in the mecha department.
Personaly, after years of RPG campaign-running, me and my common players decided, that most of the "rules" are just in the way of imagination. I mean, too much dice-rolling, calculations, paper work. So, we use a very simple set of homerules, that occupy one side of A4 sheet. The only roll players make is "hit-or-miss". Everything else, including hit results is up to GM. By "hit" I mean the success of any action imaginable.
Well, such approach require deep trust between GM and players, but allows to run your campaign on "real" stats and common sense, wich add a lot to the fun.
OP Here, something else I wanted to discuss Mutants and Mutation.
Part of my concept here is that most mutants don't have superpowers. A few of them develop psychic abilities and they are hunted by the Corporations because the Corps want to unlock the secrets of Psychic powers.
Any other thoughts
<What your average mutant looks like.
maybe have a rebel group made up of mutants who's leader is both a psychic and mech pilot, and is trashing assets of the coporations on earth.
They want to run the corps out from earth entirely so they can start over and fix the planet.
Hell, I even have a name for them.
THe New Earth Army.
Well, whats the tone you're aiming for? If you want a grittier cyberpunk feel in the megacities, then combining MZ with Cyberpunk (2020? I know one edition has the same ruleset as Mekton). But if its more about frontier shenanigans, more of a western feel, then Savage Worlds with its basic mech rules in the Scifi Toolkit should be fine.
There is. His name is Proteus. He's a mysterious, masked psychic who was largely responsible to rebuilding the Martial Liberation Front after the Martian Uprising (Where the MLA fought on the Martian side). After the Martian Federation surrendered, he became further radicalized. He was convinced that Norms cannot be trusted. Under his leadership, the MLA have become vicious terrorists who have declared all Norms legitimate targets and demands a part of Earth be sectioned off as a Mutant Homeland.
how did they terraform Venus OP? Venus is a massive greenhouse planet; with her surface temperature, no living things can stay there let alone sustaining a lush jungle. Venus has potential to be lived yes, but not by terraforming. You build a flying platform in her atmosphere where the temp is bearable, and you mine the gas there for your purpose.
You can use mechs as the primary builder and maintainer of the platform, and they are equipped with booster to be able to jump to other platforms
also mars is geologically dead, no magnetic shielding to protect from harmful solar ray. So unless you yave something to revive the planet itself or create a replacement like dome building or something, Mars is not livable.
Actually it IS possible to terraform both Mars and Venus. In case of Venus you have to get read of greenhouse effect - that means radical change of atmosphere composition. Venus itself orbits within a "habitable zone" just like Mars. So, if you change the atmosphere (bacteria seeding, or radical way, like it was shown in Venus Wars), planet will cool down and became habitable.
In case of Mars, there is a hypothesis, that large enough asteroid impact under correct angle, can "restart" the planetary core (that stopped, arguably, because of another collision) and re-ignite planetary magnetic field.
How about large screens only micrometers thick to act as sunshades? Every little bit helps. Then again, something that light & thin might as well be a solar sail.
While we're on the subject of terraforming Venus the radical way, what if one or more of these hits Earth, accidentally or deliberately?
Now, for SCIENCE! & DORAMA! purposes, these impacts set off the supervolcanos under Yellowstone & other places which trigger various seismic events, climate change from all the volcanic ash in the atmosphere & other massive disturbances all over the world which leads to 23rd Century Earth. Of course, all those earthquakes, tsunamis & whatnot lead to a lot of nuclear power plant incidents, destruction of major land transport networks, and a whole lot of tracked AFV-friendly terrain turning into Nature's equivalent of anti-tank trenches.
Oh, and while we're going overboard, have those volcanoes keep spewing crap into the atmosphere often enough that it puts a lot of wear & tear on aircraft, especially ones using turbines.