Battletech Anxiety

So I have been working on my campaign for our up and coming Battletech/Mechwarrior game (starts this Sunday), and at first I was a little intimidated by the setting. For those who are not as familiar with the Battletech Universe, the primary part (and most important portion) of the timeline stretches from around 2750 (if you want to play during the last portion of the Star League), all the way to 3071, and if you want, there are even conversions for Dark Ages (the Clix version of the game) that happens all the way up to 3130+. That’s hundreds of years of history (380 years to be exact), and a lot of it is accounted for.

But as I sat down to plan the major points of the early campaign, (important NPCs, major events that will happen, that sort of thing) I realized that the history was written by the major movers and shakers, people like Stefan Amaris, Richard Cameron, Aleksandr Kerensky, Hanse Davion, Jaime Wolf, Thomas Marik, Phelan Ward, and Katherine Steiner.  Our equivalents in the real world would be people like Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, George Washington, Napolean, Joan of Arc, Ghengis Khan, Julius Caesar. People who not only seized their own moments, but made history along the way. People whose names ring throughout the ages as beacons shining through the fog of history.

In short, people that, despite their unique status as player characters, the group would likely never deal with. It just isn’t in the scope of the game. Sure, the characters can make their own mark on history, and hell they may even turn some heads and get their moments of fame, but I don’t need to worry about the nuances of exactly what went down on a specific planet during this skirmish or that war.

All I need to concentrate on is the setting itself and how to present it to the players. I need to present compelling stories for them to interact with and show them the history that I know and love from the Battletech Universe through the eyes of their characters.

(Slight Spoiler Alert for my players incoming)

So no, they may not lead the charge against the Clans when the times comes, they may not be the ones to land the killing blow that stops the Clan Invasion. They may not even lead the strike against the Clans when the Star League reforms to fight against the Clan threat. And they may not even become involved in the FedCom Civil War (for those unfamiliar with the setting, these are major upcoming events). But they will have their own battles to wage, their own stories to tell, and their own victories and losses to deal with. At it’s heart, isn’t that what role-playing is all about?

I am now really looking forward to Sunday.

Category(s): BattleTech, General

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