Mechwarrior:Hair of the Dog ~ part 2

As you may have guessed, the working title for the campaign is ‘Hair of the Dog.’  It struck me as I was walking my dog a few days ago, that the parallels between alcoholism and the ongoing warfare of the Battletech Universe are too strong to pass up. Once that amusing thought formed in the pre-dawn light, I could almost hear Kirk at some imaginary addiction meeting in space extolling the virtues of the mantra, “I’m not going to ____ today!” 

Kirk knew. Why don’t we?

In part 1 of this series, we looked at the basic themes and setting of the campaign. In this entry, we will look at characters and story potentials.

If I were asked to play in a Mechwarrior campaign, I would both expect and want to play a mechwarrior. I don’t see this as a problem. The original RPG was developed to enable players to add more characterization to the game and expand ways they could explore the lives of their pilots. That shouldn’t be viewed as a shortcoming. That other options are open is great, and I intend to listen carefully to what the players choose to explore as character concepts, but… I think, if the players don’t want to be mech jocks, or at the very least aerospace fighter pilots, then we should be playing something else.

With that in mind, the focal point of the opening scenes of the campaign will be the military academy mentioned in part 1. Believed closed by most, its last year and its last group of cadets tainted by scandal and the hint of dishonor, it will end up being the vital heart of the resistance movement which will feature prominently in the initial stories of the campaign. Students, teachers, technicians, and other specialists will all have vital roles to play in organizing the school and the neighboring town to fight back against impossible odds (cue music) and lead an uprising to throw off the shackles of conquest! Yeah! In ‘Mechs!  (and more practically in dangerous raids and espionage assignments far from any mech).

The biggest issue for this aspect which still needs thought is the location of the planet on which all of this would take place. In which part of the Inner Sphere, and in which time period would this best take place?

I am partial to 3025-3050, and never much cared for the Clans as anything but that brief period where they are an unknown and inscrutable force out of nowhere, however, the new material and era has some appeal. Decisions decisions. Suggestions are welcome.

As the themes are very personal, I do not want to employ troupe style play,  and would prefer to run the game face-to-face – especially for the wargame aspects – but I will plan it from the point of view that it will run as a PBeM campaign. One big benefit of that format is the control and retention of information, and a very real fog of war.

Initial stories will be in maintaining the secrecy of the academy. Enemy intelligence operatives missed it as a target in their assessments, and that has meant a fully operational training academy resides in ‘rebel’ hands.  This will give players access to a wide variety of ‘mechs and other military equipment. Secrecy will be easily lost once the group takes action though, so initial stories will need to deal with what the PCs choose to do, how they plan to wage their war of resistance, and from where.

An alternate title for the campaign should probably be, ‘Abandon all hope of salvage, all who enter here.”

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