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Author Topic: Starting a new ATOW game centered on the Clans at the Invasion's Beginning...  (Read 876 times)

Trajan Helmer

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I am starting my first campaign using the Clans in 3048.  Tomorrow night, my new gaming group of about 4-5 people are getting together to make characters and run the first Trials of Positions for those characters.  While I've run Inner Sphere campaigns before (including one that continues from 2011 with another group), I may be in need of some tips to take these new players into the Clans and then into regular BattleTech play.  I know the lore but practical application may be tough for them seeing as only one of the players knows about the Clans and their society.

The Clan will be chosen 6-12-2019 and if it isn't one of the canon invaders, we'll have to run the trials which qualified the Invading Clans. So canon will be used as the guideline until they might affect things to change that. 

Thanks for any hints or tips
Anyone can redesign the Hellbringer's base chassis.  Real men work only with the pod loadout- Natasha K (forum poster)

Do not taunt Happy Fun Aegis. http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,42045.msg968574.html#msg968574

fever_Dream.)

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Something I had contemplated in another thread was about character backgrounds in such a case.  Sure, you'd be, say, Jade Falcon, but could you create a character that was originally sibkin or touman from another Clan and taken as a bondsman?  I'm very interested, because I like the 'alien' mindset of the Clans, but not sure I'd be able to make it.

What is the means of gaming?  A virtual tabletop?  Voice chat?

BiggRigg42

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Type up one page of information that your player's characters should know about the clans and clan culture, and give that page to your players. Then, tell them the same information orally. It is important for people to get the same information in different ways to truly learn it.

I did the same kind of campaign as you once. However, I started the players off in a sibko as 12 year olds; that way, I could gradually introduce them to clan culture as their characters learned about clan culture. We even had a history class. Of course, what I did is not available to you now.

My players decided that they wanted to not use contractions, so there where in game effects to using contractions. Likewise, see if your players are ok with having negative consequences to using contractions.

Please keep us informed of your campaign's progress.
« Last Edit: 12 June 2019, 15:02:01 by BiggRigg42 »

Trajan Helmer

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Update:

Over the last month, we have gained another player, remotely.  He lives in Omaha, NB and I told him there may be a regular gathering I may be able to hook him up with.  Out of five players now, we have completed three Trials of Position, with one nearly finished (time grew too late) and the newest player being the one in Omaha.

All players chose to be Smoke Jaguars circa 3044.  I told them the canon storyline will continue around them unless they do something to change it as time goes by.  With three of four being returning players to BattleTech, it was easy to run that side of the game.  We ran three full Trial of Positions with a fourth close to being completed.

NOTE: So far, all players are doing their level best to have their characters as combat gods which will lead to some embarrassing defeats off the field...

The results were nothing short of spectacular.  The first PC, Axion, was given a Summoner C to pilot and given three opponents: An Adder Prime, Stooping Hawk C, and then a Gargoyle B.  He advanced on the Ice River/Canyon map from Mapmaster (I own most of his works and love to use them) to contact and was given three commanding hits in succession from the Adder.  Axion became shy after that and lured the Adder into hilly terrain and managed to corner it there.  With a double sounding from his giant UAC/20 beatstick, the Adder folded like a paper napkin. The pilot crashed from damage and passed out, making Axion a Mechwarrior.  Despite some serious damage to his armor (the player later told me his greatest worry had been fighting the smaller mech because of its powerful weaponry), he quickly sounded his agreement to fight the Stooping Hawk C.  The durable mech came up the frozen canyon eager to deal defeat to Axion.  Unfortunately, this would not happen. Axion used the terrain intelligently and jumped out on the right side of his enemy and double-clutched the UAC/20 again, savaging the right side of the mech.  It reeled and managed only a paltry medium laser hit on Axion's Summoner.  The next turn, Axion fired the UAC/20 again and blew the head off of the Stooping Hawk, prematurely ending that fight.  As the NPC, I was flabbergasted this had happened so quickly, only four turns into the this Trial's second phase.  Now Star Commander Axion decided, "What the hell, I only have two rounds for the UAC left, let's see what can happen."  He looked at the Gargoyle bearing down on him with a beatstick of its own and turned into the hills to prevent a quick victory for the assault mech's nameless pilot.  Over the ensuing turns, Axion was riddled by several ER medium laser shots and ate one UAC/20 shell but remained standing.  On the last turn of the Trial, Axion managed to play the terrain in his favor and jumped to the right side of the Gargoyle B and blasted the right leg off of the mech.  It toppled and knocked the pilot out.  It took two more turns for the pilot to revive but as GM, I declared Axion the winner via KO and he became the newest Star Captain of the Smoke Jaguar Clan.

Cadet Astro (a big fan of The Jetsons apparently), marched forth in a Lupus B, handily defeating a Hellhound sent as his first opponent.  He outranged the mech and just beat the hell out of it before it could register any worrying damage.  Mechwarrior Astro's second duel was against a tougher foe, a Lupus Prime.  He took serious damage internally but managed to knock out the Lupus Prime's gyro, effectively killing the mech.  Star Commander Astro started to attack the Wakizashi that came after him on that green, wide open plain they fought on, but a withering attack by that design's LBX 20 put Star Commander Astro down in short order.

Our final contestant was Tytos of Bloodhouse Levi. The star's sole Elemental Point, He started off leading his point against fellow Ellies. By combining fire, he managed to wipe out the other point (which took time to attack their opposites singly) which gave them the win and entry into the Warrior Halls.  Since his point had not been savaged badly, an old Star League Falcon was pitted against them.  Bidding away his terrific speed and jumping, the pilot maintained only his walking MP and a single ER medium laser to fight with.  Tytos, who had saved an SRM volley fired it alongside his point's ER small lasers.  The Falcon had his laser knocked out via a Golden BB hit and should have admitted defeat but he broke his bid and brought his other laser to bear.  By keeping his Elementals in the center, the Falcon had to keep its firing side constantly exposed to the incoming fire.  After a few more turns which saw the Point reduced to two effectives, a lucky shot managed to core the engine, making Tytos a Star Commander.

-----------------
When the last Trial completes, I will post that.  In the meantime, the ristars were scooped up by the Jaguar Grenadiers to replace combat losses...
Anyone can redesign the Hellbringer's base chassis.  Real men work only with the pod loadout- Natasha K (forum poster)

Do not taunt Happy Fun Aegis. http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,42045.msg968574.html#msg968574

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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  I GMed a Clan Burrock campaign where only one player took Administration as a skill, while another had NatAp: Gunnery (He was such a bad player, he needed it). NatAp (Started with a Timby) won the ToP as Trinary commander and "allowed" Star Captain Edmund Blackadder to do all of his paperwork...which was hilarious because soon, the members had custom omnis, carried gauss smgs, and scored big on the black market supplying the Dark Caste... Eventually NatAp was under investigation and stepped aside, while Blackadder rose to Cluster Commander...then NatAp challenged him over Cluster command. Blackadder's jumping Timby got mauled but he was armed with 5 Streak SRM6s and aimed high. Imagine rolling 30d6 and hitting head on a 6...Not wanting to turn into Burrock burger, NatAp autoejected on the first missile hit. Treachery wins over skill again! 

Daryk

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+1 for the Blackadder reference... still not a clan player, but that was very amusing...  :thumbsup:

Mohammed As`Zaman Bey

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+1 for the Blackadder reference... still not a clan player, but that was very amusing...  :thumbsup:
  I like having my players model their characters after actors or tropes and RP them. My campaigns always have a Stallone or Eastwood, while I've modeled NPCs after Belushi, Slim Pickens, Woody Allen and Joe Pesci. I ran a campaign where all the support personnel were the office characters from "Archer", including the senior doctor and holographic assistant.
  Every campaign should have a Blackadder, a Machiavellian cynic, ready to betray anybody for personal gain.

Trajan Helmer

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Well, time for an update. We only get to play twice a month based off of my work schedule. Going off of memory...

We finished all the Trials of Positions with two Mechwarrior, two Star Commanders, and a Star Captain.  All the characters are set up to be combat gods with the barest of other skills.  Assigned to the Grenadiers, Brandon Howell sent them on maneuvers to see how they would fit in.  They maneuvered well and quickly through good leadership. As the exercise was ending, Tosgetios tagged Howell's WarHawk with an UAC 2 from outside of Howell's weapon's range. Tosgetios was made XO of the Command Star of Axion's Beta Trinary, Jaguar Grenadiers.  The PC also (true to his US Army job as a SFC in charge of training) created a training schedule identical to what I remember seeing when I was still serving years ago.  Flashbacks, man.  He's been making one for every month since August for the PCs.

 In a Trial of Grievance, Tytos the Elemental lost against Mechano the former Nova Cat, in a fight to the first landed blow. Astro now looks down on Tytos because a Nova Cat beat him in a fight.  Since this was accomplished back in August, the group was then sent on extended raid throughout Clan Space after a Grand Council vote went against the Jaguars and Leo Shower's will.  As a group they fought and defeated the Hell's Horses with:

Tytos the elemental, (Levi) captured a Bloodnamed elemental, Decker Mazzoni, but his point was nearly massacred doing so.
Astro (Showers) beat Henrik Lassenerra, Star Captain of the trinary they were fighting. He refused to take the Horse as a bondsman, returning him to his clan. His WarHawk scrapped Henrik's Woodsman Prime in two turns!
Axion (Osis) lead the command star in a Summoner C,  well through dense forests and bested an older warrior taking her as a bondsman, a Lupus B pilot, but refused to take a Stormcrow pilot after beating him as well.
Tosgetios (Freelander) piloted a Kingfisher with aplomb, taking a mechwarrior, Hillary as a bondsman.
Mechano (Rwabdogo), a Nova Cat sibbie taken in a spiteful Trial of Possession years past, gained respect by defeating a second elemental point which launched an ambush while he was inspecting a bloodhouse chapel for the Lassenerra's.  The elementals destroyed the arm with the UAC5 on his Adder B and nearly took him down. He gained yet more respect taking a Piranha down right after beating the ellies.  He took both pilots as bondsmen.

They won their Trial of Possession against the Horses for two trinaries' worth of Mad Dogs and Vipers on Niles.

The players have struggled with the Way of the Clans, most of the players having served in the US Armed Forces and being familiar with the American School of Firepower and the right (Inner Spheroid) way to prosecute wars and fighting. They are coming along on Zellbriggen so other things will fall into place. 

It was on Glory Station where the command star of Beta Trinary of the Jaguar Grenadiers gelled.  Brandon Howell, acting upon orders, issued a Trial of Possession for the warrior, Taion Tutuola and his spawn. Dwilt Radick performed horribly, his 16th Battle Cluster whiffing the fight.  The Grenadiers trounced them, pursuing them into a bunch of canyons where they were cornered and Radick was felled in his Hellbringer Prime to Axion's Summoner Axion a custom configuration. Mechano led a heavier Stormcrow Prime on a merry chase crippling the mech just as it was crippling his Viper.  Tosgetios scored a kill against a Gargoyle A in the canyons while Astro handily beat a Timber Wolf near the Wolf base. Tytos scored again, this time beating Taion Tutuola and his elemental point, winning the Trial after conserving his last volley of SRMs to finish them off.  Able leadership by Axion gave them a cushy job on the next leg of the trip, going to Tathis to resupply the Cluster's water reserves.

This adventure will be covered in the next post I make.

Base characterizations are as follows:

Star Captain Axion (Osis) is a go-getter mechwarrior who knows jack about Clan politics let alone House politics in the Jaguar Clan.  He is a combat murder machine. He has not lost a Trial yet.  While a good leader, someone with better political skills may run circles around him in the power structure.  The current contest against the Nova Cats on Brim may change him irrevocably. His peers view him as a soft warrior relying on big guns instead of skill to win.  They also detest his softness towards bondsmen and a general lack of concern for his leniency for the lower castes. Rumor has Axion actually sparing the lives of castemen who were openly rebelling on Brim in exchange for some resources to continue a fight against the Nova Cats in the ongoing conflict there.

Point Commander Tytos (Levi) is a traditional Smoke Jaguar, if a little brash.  He stands his ground and is willing to fight at the drop of a hat. Capturing two Bloodnamed warriors in separate Trials  before reaching the age of 20 has put him on the map for the Clan and it is whispered in the Levi Bloodhouse that he may be the choice of the House's leader, Baldwin Levi, for the next Trial of Bloodright.

Star Commander Tosgetios (Freelander) is the very model of a good executive officer.  He runs the unit when Axion is away but is beginning to excel in backroom deals and machinations behind his commander's back. 

Mechwarrior Mechano (Rwabdogo) was in the Nova Cat Mystic Might Sibko when it and two other sibkos were Trialed for and taken by the Jaguars when he was 15.  The Trial was a result of the 3RD Jaguar Cavaliers failure to win a different Trial against the Cat's 32ND Assault Cluster. After winning the sibkos, they spitefully leveled the structures of the training base.  The Star Colonel was not punished for the incident. Constantly derided and beaten, Mechano affected a zen-like attitude to complete Smoke Jaguar training to test as a Mechwarrior.  Strangely, after handily beating his first opponent in the Trial of Position, he powered down his 'mech and refused to continue his Trial.  He knows a former sibmate, Greta, also tested into the warrior caste but no more than that. Seen as insubordinate and unwilling to fully buy into the Smoke Jaguar way, he was shipped from unit to unit until a certain Trial in which his Kit Fox was disabled in combat. Further information on the next two years of his life are restricted to Khan's eyes only, according to Mechano's codex.  Rejoining the Jaguar Touman at the age of 22, he spent another year being mistrusted and distrusted by his various commanders.  He was assigned to the ristar Axion's command star by Star Colonel Brandon Howell (ain't that a mouthful?) His excellent skill in a light or medium 'mech is all that has kept him in the touman. Within months of turning 24, he is the oldest member of Beta Trinary's command star by a full generation.  An arm-length tattoo of a Nova Jaguar irritates and angers Cats and Jaguars alike.

Mechwarrior Astro (Showers) is arrogant past a fault.  He brooks no bullshit.  He hates anything Nova Cat. Contemptuous of Tytos for his loss of face against Mechano, he is likely to take the reins of the movement to unseat Axion if he does not improve politically. Unfortunately, the water bugs on Tathis ended his career early when he was pulled by the same into the water-filled, honeycomb-like structures of the central continent on Tathis.  While officially MIA, it is not expected that he will survive being eaten  by the water bugs subsurface.
Anyone can redesign the Hellbringer's base chassis.  Real men work only with the pod loadout- Natasha K (forum poster)

Do not taunt Happy Fun Aegis. http://bg.battletech.com/forums/index.php/topic,42045.msg968574.html#msg968574

 

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