Vir's Archive

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Outer Edge of the Permissible (aka Why mecha?)

One of the challenges that this setting is going to give me is reconciling my vision of mecha-centric space combat and the hard-ish SF elements I want to feature.  I feel that adding elements of realistic politics is complemented nicely by realistic technology -- it creates an overall feel of being grounded in the possible (rather than the fantastic).

So.  Mecha.  Yeah.

You see mecha, I see possibilities!  
Thats going to be my conceit.  Mecha will be in the setting.  They will play an integral role.  In fact, the default PC will be a mecha pilot.  Mecha will set the very outer edge of what makes sense in terms of the science of the setting.  I plan to set parameters by walking backwards from mecha in terms of technology.  If it is less advanced than humanoid robots powered by DNI, then its probably permissible.  In this way, the technological setting element I just cant do without (and which might break the setting) will serve as a useful tool for defining other setting elements.

So, theres no getting away from Mecha.  Now, if I am going to ground the setting in what seems, at the very least, plausible then I have some work ahead of me (and probably no small amount of handwaving and demanding that Dorothy ignore the man behind the curtain).  I need to present mecha in such away that the reader finds them an organic extension of the setting -- and that means a lot of thought into what they look like, how the perform, and their background.

This will be my attempt at that.  I am very open to suggestions about how to improve the presentation and/or development of mecha in the setting.

Oh?  And why wont I get rid of mecha?  Because they are awesome.  Full stop.  They might not make perfect sense, but they are too cool not to feature in the setting.  Plus, I can do a lot of things to give PCs agency by using mecha.  Want to play in a military-style campaign?  Sure.  Want to play in a medical SAR-focused game?  Okay.  Want to fight in space?  No problem.  Want to fight underwater?  We can do that.  Want to do a kickass spinning kick while underwater while planning to blast into space to fight the forces of the colonial hegemons?  Yeah, thats possible.

No.  No they dont transform.  Thats not possible.  Sorry.