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Author Topic: Help Requested: Clan Scenario Ideas  (Read 1709 times)


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Help Requested: Clan Scenario Ideas
« on: 07 August 2020, 10:46:39 »
Hello, community.  I need some help in coming up with scenarios for a MegaMek/MekHQ campaign for trueborn Clan MechWarriors.  We don't (and won't) use Against the Bot, so it is all me for mission and scenario design.  Some quick background on me:

I've been running a merc campaign for my group of friends for the past 7+ years, and recently paused it to do an "interlude" campaign where everyone starts a Clan character that is about to take their first Trial of Position in the Clan.  We've now gotten past the Trials and are playing through the careers of these Clan MechWarriors.  I am very knowledgeable in Battletech history in general, albeit slightly less so in the day-to-day view of life in the Clans, even though I've read nearly all the novels.

But the Clans stump me a bit because, unlike newly formed merc units, brand new trueborn front line units don't go out hunting bandits or taking backwater assignments to cut their teeth / get their feet on the ground.  Instead, their wheelhouse is going toe to toe with other Clan trueborn/front line units in Trials of Possession and the like.  With the rules of Zellbrigen being what they are, this means signing up my players for a bunch of battlefield duels for which their inexperienced Stars are ill equipped to handle the average Clan front line troops they encounter in such engagements.  I don't want to hand them easy assignments, but neither do I want to hand out a constant shin-skinning procession of frustration.

Assuming I'm not being too easy on them (let me know if you think so), I'm hoping some of you have even more specific knowledge on what a month -- or even a year -- in the life of a trueborn Clan MechWarrior might look like.  What sorts of missions do they fight?  How often?  And are there any deep Periphery realms that the Clans actively interact with, that they haven't already conquered?  I don't know much about this space of Battletech lore, admittedly.  I just know they pretty much stuck to themselves during the Golden and Political Centuries, fighting little skirmishes over resources and what not. There are vague references in the novels of things like Cyrilla Ward saying it would be good to fight the Smoke Jaguars once again, but the stories I've read don't cover what the various Clans are doing with all their warriors every day when they aren't invading the Inner Sphere.  Even the War of Refusal doesn't help me much because that seems to be all-out war with little or no Zellbrigen in the few scenes we see, which doesn't seem right to use as an example for a lore-ful Clan campaign like the one I'm running.
« Last Edit: 07 August 2020, 11:00:41 by Vengeant »
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Re: Help Requested: Clan Scenario Ideas
« Reply #1 on: 07 August 2020, 21:24:50 »
In a typical month downtime would vary between clans, Ghost Bears work on their great work, Jade Flacons do falconry. I’d wager a fair amount of their on duty, but not actually in battle time, is spent wishing they were in battle. Up until after the Jihad, where warriors actually saw “war” not just the clan approximation; that’s all warriors, and their clans, wanted.

But some ideas for a month:
1-12 maneuvers
13-17 R&R
18-22 trinary simulators
23 inter-unit trials (if not on restriction due to orders)
24-27 star simulators
28-30 back to maneuvers

Plenty of the books made most clan warriors seem uneasy outside of the cockpit/battle. That’s why the leadership positions are often providing poor direction (well one reason).
Some might busy themselves with clan politics or bloodnames but (until the end of the invasion when they are able to really see the IS peoples) they have spent all their life breed for fighting.

Front line units will be sent out and ordered to find conflict, second line will have to prove themselves to get their orders, and garrison units let the fight come to them. A frontline cluster operating all together can wage war the clan way until supplies run out, the mechwarriors might not like it but they’ll do it. They can rearm and repair in transit and if they can’t repair just swap a pod and go.

A book I might suggest is Roar of Honor. It’s about a new ghost bear command (trinary) that is sent to defend a world and their trials and tribulations about becoming a unit and integrating personalities. They were also a front line command (albeit brand new) and ordered to defend, super lame but important.

Example trials:
Diamond shark merchant warriors have something to sell, win for a discount

Star Colonel Meany Kerensky wants your units (player rank+1) to vote a certain way in a bloodhouse meeting, you are now in a trial of refusal. If you are worried about the skill disparity this Star Colonel doesn’t think highly of the units commander and sends his lamest unit.

Enemy clan X wants to use your planets recharge station after a campaign, they use their “reserve” (less skilled so the players have a chance) [same unit size as players] as their bid.

Your players unit commander is mad at Star Captain So-n-so, so he has hand picked 4 who might succeed him, three trials (PC1vNPC1 , PC2vNPC2, Winner v Winner, Winner v So-n-so) can always adjust to the number of PCs who might want a command role

NCKestrel’s new favorite.


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Re: Help Requested: Clan Scenario Ideas
« Reply #2 on: 07 August 2020, 23:26:44 »
Part of the trial system is that among the Clans they do include battle records with their bids for the defending force.

The attacker will use this information to decide what they will bid in terms of skilled opponents.

Now this doesn't mean they will always match skill ratings and number of units as under zell it is permissible for a more skilled warrior to engage multiple opponents with a slightly superior machine but it does mean the fights will be reasonably close to a coin flip.

For other ways to help keep things balanced and interesting warriors have been known to bid away, and thus disable, weapons and equipment on their mech to make a fight more interesting.

As far as what their time as warriors will be like that will depend a lot on era.

Before the invasion there'd be mostly trials of refusal and trials of grievance and yes even non-solhama units would deal with Dark Caste/bandits/pirates.  Yes the odd trial of possession would occur.  From what I can gather of this time the warriors of the Clans were not kept super busy.

In the immediate lead up to the invasion there would be an uptick in trials of possession as the invading clans would be stocking up on warriors and materials to aid in their conquests.  In these so called 'harvest trials' it was not uncommon for the defenders to get a bit ridiculous and fudge things so they could get in on the invasion.

During the invasion there was a ban placed on launching trials against the invading clans so that they would not be distracted and/or other clans to play ilclan maker.  For the other clans it'd largely be business as usual.

After the failure of the invasion?  I'd recommend the Wars of Reeving to give some insight.


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Re: Help Requested: Clan Scenario Ideas
« Reply #3 on: 08 August 2020, 12:31:38 »
This is great -- thanks to both of you!  A friend of mine who part-time GMs in this campaign impressed upon me that a Clan defender will only sometimes be a front-liner setup; garrisons are there to defend, after all.  I will check out Roar of Honor, too.

I neglected to mention the era:  we're starting fresh-out-of-the-sibko MechWarriors in March 3040.  Intention is to give them a chance at a promising career, and then Operation Revival happens.
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Re: Help Requested: Clan Scenario Ideas
« Reply #4 on: 20 March 2021, 11:48:53 »
I'm not sure how cannon this would be, most of what i have read is from, but any clan warrior, even one who just barely passed his trial of position, still represents a 20 year investment in resources and training. That is not something you want to just throw away. I could see clans having minor trials where they send young warriors against equally young warriors from other clans. It help them get experience while also helping to refine their training programs, different clans might have different methods so a way to see what works is to pit the graduates against each other.