View Full Version : On a Front Mission: Let's Play Heavy Gear

07-14-2011, 05:32 PM
The World of Heavy Gear

Heavy Gear is the story of Mankind thousands of years into the future -- a bit over four thousands years, to be precise. Civilizations have prospered and then vanished, hard times have come and gone again, and after millennia spent on Earth, Humanity discovered the key to the stars through science. Unfortunately, like a spoiled child, Mankind reached out too fast and found itself scattered and almost isolated on one of a dozen faraway worlds.

Most of the early action of Heavy Gear takes place on Terra Nova, the most ancient colony established by humans outside the solar system. Terra Nova is almost Earth-like: it has an oxygen atmosphere and a carbon-based ecosystem. However, it lies on the inside limit of its star's "life zone," so it is much hotter than Earth ever was. The entire equatorial region of the planet is a vast desert called the Badlands.

The Terra Nova has the independent communities and settlements of the Badlands dividing the two polar confederations that are antagonistic towards each other. The Badlands finds itself the region where the two powers fight. They are able to do this because of the advent of the Gear.

The Heavy Gear

Gears are the one of the most significant advances in military technology of the past millennium. Combat walkers have been used before in the past as far back as the third millennium, they were cumbersome and too easily targeted to be effective. The Battle of Pioneer of TN 1669 introduced and proved the worth of combat walkers, when the expansionist United Mercantile Federation repelled an allied attack from the Northern Lights Confederacy and Western Frontier Protectorate.

Since then, the Gear has defined warfare on Terra Nova. Its maneuverability, resilience, and flexibility combine the strengths of both infantry and conventional ground vehicles. Although it is not the ultimate machine in warfare, it comes close and is a powerful tool.

The Setting

The year is TN 1913 (A.D. 6118) and Terra Nova is wracked by a series of political breakdowns referred to as the "Judas Syndrome". Tensions are rising between the Confederated Northern City States and the Allied Southern Territories. Militarism is increasing and the Badlands are going to be caught between the two and become another battlefield.

War is coming

I will GMing a campaign of Heavy Gear taking place during this time period. I am looking for four players, and have found that a few are already interested in playing. I am looking forward to this and hope that everyone will have fun. The game and world are very similar to Front Mission, including Gears and Wanzers. The opening cinematic to Front Mission 4 is a great introduction. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8gXcijcvpg)

If you are interested, please post. Also, I would prefer that you not read up on the material as it will dampen the game I am planning. I also would prefer to do this with voice over Skype. If you are not keen on that, we can figure something out, especially once the players are group are formed.

Player Limit will be at four
I am a new GM and think that having any more will be too difficult for me. If I find my stride and things are going well, I might increase the number later.

The Game
This will be played using the 2nd edition rulebook. The system used is the Silhouette rules and it is played entirely with six-sided dice. These are not added together, but do result in a bell curve. The characters grow and develop by spending experience points on increasing attributes and skills, rather than leveling up along classes or levels. Although it can be cinematic, the system is grounded on plausibility and realism. This is an unforgiving system at times and things can and will be lethal.

07-14-2011, 05:40 PM
I'm interested. If there's a lot of people clamoring to play though, I can bow out since I have IRL games, and not everyone has that. Looks like a great setting though.

07-14-2011, 06:16 PM
I'm interested if being a total newbie isn't an issue.

07-14-2011, 06:22 PM
I'm interested, but I will be out a week (from the 22nd to the 30th of July), so I don't know how able I will be to do this. I am also a total newbie.

07-14-2011, 06:58 PM
being totally new to the system, and RPGs in general, is totally fine. I will be working with everyone closely when characters are rolled and I'll likely scan some pages out of the rulebook so that folks can mull over them. But suffice to say, I will committing the book to memory so that things can be as seamless as possible.

07-14-2011, 08:11 PM
The system used is the Silhouette rules and it is played entirely with six-sided dice. These are not added together, but do result in a bell curve.

I totally fail to see how both those sentences can be true.

Also, yeah, I'd presumably be down for this... but oh hey, so are 4 people who said so before me.

07-14-2011, 08:59 PM
Based on my internet searching, it's a tally system similar to Cortex+ or Savage Worlds.

Your skills have a number of dice, in addition to a bonus. You roll some number of d6s, take the highest, and add/subtract the bonus. So the highest roll, before taking your bonus into consideration, is a 6. The probability curve changes depending on the size of your dice pool, where 1d6 is a simple linear probability, and 3d6 starts to weigh very heavily on the high end.

Edit: I stole the term 'tally system' from Rob Donoghue, who always manages to blog something interesting the day before I need it (better than the day after!): http://rdonoghue.blogspot.com/2011/07/bread-and-butter-and-dice.html

07-14-2011, 10:29 PM
Most rolls are going to be 2d6, but 3d6 for things you are good at. You roll it and take the highest number and add your modifiers. If you roll more than one 6, each additional 6 counts as an additional +1 modifier. It basically plateaus at 6.

07-17-2011, 04:27 PM
It looks like the players will be Nich, Kaisel, Pointzeroeight, and Umby. I'm going to need some times that are good for people. Please PM me your availability. I was thinking a weeknight would be good, or afternoon on Saturday. Since Umby will gone next week, I would like to roll characters this week. During the week off I will see about compiling some texts and images for the players so that they can actually see some of the world and rules.

07-17-2011, 04:32 PM
For clarification, I will be gone from the 22nd through the 30th. So I can roll characters and do whatever up until that date, of course. I start school on the 10th of August, but I'll be free every day except the 1st and every night until the night before the first day of school.

07-18-2011, 08:03 AM
I think the only days that I'm busy is August 4th-7th (wedding number 2 of 3 that I'm going to this year), other than that I can make time just about whenever.

If 4th-7th of August look like they'll be the best fit, Google can take my place so you don't have to work around my schedule. Otherwise I'm looking forward to this.

07-18-2011, 05:00 PM
The times so far are sort of staggered at the moment and it seems the first session either Umby or Kaisel won't be available for. I might just run their character as an NPC at first or introduce later, depending.

In the meanwhile, I would like to get characters rolled and was thinking Wednesday the 20th. Tuesday or Thursday would work as well, but this is just a notice. Please contact me when you want to go through character gen. I am usually on #TalkingTime and Steam. You can find me on Skype as well as Joacheim. It'll be best if we can all roll characters together but individually will be fine as well.

07-18-2011, 08:05 PM
This is kind of a weird question, but if you do end up getting several people together at once for character creation, would you mind if others sat in? I realize I'm more than late for getting into the game itself, but I still feel compelled to make a character.

07-20-2011, 12:34 AM
Tonight, Wednesday, at 7.00pm PST please log onto skype. We're going to do character creation. If you can't make, that's alright; try to get a hold of me before then. I will try to provide the relevant pages from the rulebook and possibly others.

07-20-2011, 12:15 PM
Hey Heron, do you need Skype names or anything? I'm pretty sure Nich and pence have mine if they log on before I do (if you don't have mine already).

07-20-2011, 12:53 PM
Oh, boy, I can't wait! Hopefully my internet on my good computer will be working, but needless to say I will be there.

07-20-2011, 06:35 PM
Just found out I'm going to my cousin's wedding, so I don't know how much I'll be around from the 28th to the 5th or 6th. Still bringing my laptop with me, but actual internet access may be limited depending where I'm staying. Hopefully this doesn't cause too much trouble.

07-20-2011, 10:47 PM
Since we all have the book now, I want to remind folks to not read too much of the beginning pages, and 1-43. Pages 44 (54 on the pdf) and onward are safe. There are some busy schedules in the next few weeks, but I think we can get one game in next week and then have a hiatus until everyone returns. In the mean time, please PM me your characters. I'll go over them and see if anything might need changing. Afterwords, I'll write them down onto character sheets and return them to folks.

Thanks again to everyone and their patience, I had fun figuring out how to get things started and have a much better idea how to do it next time.

07-28-2011, 08:01 PM
I love Silhouette! So nice to see someone other than me be the topic starter for a HG thread someplace. I like Jovian's setting more, but the engine itself is just awesome. I'll have to keep an eye on this board more.

07-31-2011, 04:32 PM
I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack