HEAVY GEAR -- WAR ZONE

CAMPAIGN PLANNING


Campaign building starts with GM having a good campaign concept on mind. This is overall picture of what one wants to game in. This gives GM bottom line of what is wanted and gives players rough overall idea of what to expect in campaign. Actual campaign building depends on individual GM. The following method is structured, top-down approach to campaigns and building them.

Campaign concept is a combination of four factors of campaign setting, reality distortion factor, and campaign genre and campaign style. Campaign setting describes overall general game setting. Reality distortion factor is DP9ís method of setting just how heroic action character can do in set game setting. Campaign genre ponders on which genre campaign gets its ideas and ethos from. Finally campaign style examines various game styles and selecting what kind of style would suit best.

Campaign setting is first question. While most Heavy Gear players use DP9ís Silhouette system this is not necessarily always the case. Similarly Silhouette can be used with other games and campaign settings. Setting depends on GM in question. For example, lately various video games (such as Front Mission 3) have been inspiration to various campaigns. Similarly Japanese animation and comics have come into mainstream approval in America and have been increasingly used as a source of inspiration for role playing game settings.

In my War Machine campaign setting I decided to use Dream Pod 9ís Heavy Gear game universe as background setting. There would be omissions, changes and additions but overall it would use Heavy Gear background. Some aspects would be lifted from popular console games (G-Police and G-Police: Weapons of Justice), movies and literature as well to flesh up this setting.
At this point it would be good to consider and decide who would be protagonists and antagonists of the campaign as well as their basic relations against each other. These relations could be competitive (for example a keen competition between two elite formations) or destructive (for example two military sides facing each other). This directs designing further and allows GM to focus on relevant details further on.
Terra Nova and their various militaries were presented rather glamorously in both official products and by fans in Heavy Gear Mailing List. However, all these felt somewhat lacking certain amount of tough ruthlessness and griminess seen in Rogue Trooper comics. As none of Terra Novaís nations seemed suitable enough the obvious choice was Colonial Expeditionary Force.

CEF had several advantages. For one they seemed ruthless, capable forces that would field super soldiers like Rogue Trooper. Their equipment of hover tanks brought memories of David Drakeís grim military science fiction novels and lack of description made it much easier to start inventing new material on them for my own use. Terra Nova and its inhabitants would be elaborated by DP9.

Campaign Milieu
     Technological Level
     Nastiness (How Dirty Business?)
     Realism (How Much Unreality?)
     Actions and Consequences
     Power Level
     Scale
     Surprises
Taboos
     Religion
     Sexuality
     Politics
Physical Setting
     Static
     Moving
Building a Military Universe
     Narrative Structures
          Escape
          Gauntlet
          Nemesis
          Random
          Quest
          Mixture
Character Insertion
     Official Involvement
     Caught in Act
 
 
 
 
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