I’m going to assume you’re already familiar with role playing games. If you’re not, check out your local game store and talk to someone at the store. You can usually find an opportunity to be a part of the audience around a game group so you can learn and see what it is like. So why Battlelords? We love it! The top two things I highlight when telling people about the game are flexibility and the rich background. Let’s talk about flexibility first.
I like variety. I want to be able to run a combat heavy game one session, and maybe a roleplaying heavy game the next session. Similarly, sometimes I’ll run a game that pushes the plot and maybe the next I’ll let the players explore.
Let’s walk through some examples. I’ve had a game group buy a starliner and run a business. Ever run a cruise line in a game? Ever protect a starliner from pirates while making sure the passengers have no idea that attack is imminent?
During a different campaign, I ran a storyline involving a rift run. What is a rift run you ask? It’s exploring a planet from an alternate dimension or parallel universe that can be reached by traveling through a rip in the fabric of space-time. The team was charged with finding a planet in a rift and bringing back any technology they could find. They explored and found a security gate manned by a high tech robot guard. The guard attacked them and combat ensued. Fortunately team survived the combat. Well most of them survived. Then the team had to figure out how to drag the technology and their wounded back to the ship so they could get medical attention. The survivors made it back and made a lot of money in the process. High-risk work and high reward pay.
Another setting the game encourages is corporate espionage. Perhaps the team has to figure out how to sneak into a facility or ship and acquire something (information or something of value) then escape. Ideally, the team escapes without notice. On the other hand, they could have been set up to fail by a boss trying to cover their tracks. If the team figures out they’ve been set up before they die, they might change their plans from completing the mission to getting revenge on their double-crossing employer!
A quick note for the strategic gamer. For those of us that like games like wargames, you’ll find something to love in Battlelords. The personal combat system allows players to get highly tactical, particularly with the highly customizable armor and myriad of weapon choices. There’s a weapon for each defense and a defense for each weapon. Creating a structured team that can work together can be half the fun. A well-balanced team is one where each member plugs a hole in the team’s defenses, while also providing a unique offensive capability against a particular defense that might employed by an opponent. Play style in this type of gaming has more roleplaying than in a wargame, while also having a lot of the customization and strategy wargamers are familiar with. There are over a dozen of weapon systems, each with specific characteristics. There are dozens and dozens of options to customize armor. The playtest document will give you a peek at some of the variety we have in Battlelords.
Let’s change gears about talk about the background material in the Battlelords books. There’s a lot of material so I’ll highlight some of the big picture elements. We have an alliance composed of alien species and they don’t all get along. Each species knows that they need help to survive and if they don’t participate in the Alliance, then billions of their species may perish. At the game level this is reinforced through roleplaying of the interspecies tensions. For example, it wasn’t that long ago when the Eridani and Phentari were at war. A team with Eridani and Phentari members will have a tension between those characters due to decades of hatred, and that can provide for some great roleplaying opportunities throughout the game. In addition, the entire book is laced with dark humor and irony, which is both entertaining and helps to lessen the impact of the sometimes brutally realistic futuristic combat.
Layered on that backdrop are mystery, conspiracy, and the Machiavellian maneuvers of the Mutzachan leadership. Why are they giving away so much technology to humans? What happens if the Arachnids are defeated? Will the Mutzachans still support humanity? Come to think of it, why do humans get such special treatment by the Mutzachans? What really started the war leading to the invasion by the Arachnids? Are the Mutzachans telling the whole truth? Is it possible that the Anarchist Rebellion Movement (aka ARM) is exposing facts that the Alliance doesn’t want to come out? The members of ARM say they are trying to expose what they believe is the real truth to the citizens of the Alliance. Are the anarchists just a group of crazy people in a cult led by a mad scientist? Perhaps they are… or maybe they are onto something. There are so many more stories to highlight than I have space for, but universe of Battlelords is rich and filled with opportunities for your characters to become heroes. Imagine the possibilities then pick up the playtest rules and try it out.
So what’s in the book?
15 different highly detailed species to choose from for your character.
Diminutive and easily annoyed Chatilians who possess telepathic and empathic powers.
The feline-like Cizeracks, possessed of amazing speed and agility.
The militaristic Eridani with their samurai-like Swordsaint warriors.
The Fott. Human-rabbit hybrids created as the galaxy’s biggest practical joke.
The insect-like Goola who are mechanics extraordinaire. They can also fly!
Humans. We are now the most populous and productive of all the Alliance members.
Our distant relatives; the mischievous, entrepreneurial, and adventurous Orions.
The stealthy Keen. Capable of gliding, sticking to walls, and becoming nearly invisible.
The Shape shifting blobs known as the Mazians can impersonate just about anyone.
The architects of the Alliance, the pint-sized Mutzachans are ancient, supremely intelligent, and can manipulate energy with a thought.
With their cunning exceeded only by their cruelty, the squid-like Phentari are not to be trifled with.
The huge, lizard-like, amphibious aliens called Pythons are the tough as nails and immensely strong.
The larger, dumber relative to their aquatic cousins, Ram Pythons are terrestrial and without a doubt the biggest, toughest species you can play.
The gaunt and benevolent Zen Rigeln are masters of medical science and beloved throughout the Alliance. It doesn’t hurt that they can heal most wounds with a thought.
The ostracized and sometimes outright evil Za Zen Rigelns have beliefs and abilities that make them outcasts in Rigeln society. On the up side, they can telekinetically pull your heart out of your chest cavity or turn you to a pile of goo.
Detailed campaign information, including ready-to-play teams, for:
Battlelords is famous for its armor, and its unique armor mechanic that accounts for stopping power, impact absorption, and the structural integrity of the suit itself.
Protect your character with state-of-the-art, armored suits, ranging from light body armor to mechanized battle armor to the massive walking tanks called Ultra Armor.
There are dozens of armored suits and helms to choose from when armoring up! o Each suit of armor is highly customizable, with over a 150 armor options to choose from, including electronic warfare systems, flight systems, and flux shields.
Arm your character by choosing from over two-dozen weapon systems, totaling hundreds of weapons.
Each weapon system chews through armor in unique ways. Lasers melt through that hard outer shell, but ignore the impact protection. Omega weapons bypass the hard outer shell entirely by concussing the suit with a giant projected flux shield, forcing the target to rely on the impact absorbing properties of their armor. Disintegrators ignore the hard outer shell and the padding, eating away at the structural integrity of the suit until it crumbles.
Arm yourself with projectile weapons, plasma swords, combat chainsaws, lasers, disintegrators, pulse weapons, flamethrowers, gauss cannons, grenade launchers, frost guns, web guns, flux parasites, and Omega weapons!
Battlelords features hundreds of items of gear every mercenary or spy could want.
Want to walk through walls, regenerate lost limbs, or wander through a chemical weapons dump? We’ve got you covered.
Chatilians, Mutzachans, and Zen Rigelns possess amazing psychic powers, allowing them to generate specific effects called a matrix.
Chose from dozens of matrices, allowing you to heal wounds, read minds, start fires, teleport, rip out hearts, and crush skulls. Everything an aspiring Battlelord could want and desire!
No self-respecting Battlelord walks into combat! Choose from armored personnel carriers, light armored vehicles, main battle tanks, or the famous suits of Ultra Armor!
Trying to be a little more discrete? We’ve got plenty of daily-drivers for you espionage types as well.
Hey, it’s a big galaxy! About 100,000 light years across, and you’ve got places to be and things to blow up.
Choose from our collection of spacecraft, each tailored to your specific needs.
Hauling freight? Making an assault drop? Search and rescue? Salvage? Family RV? Don’t worry, there’s a ship for everybody, and we’ve include deck plans in case you need to duke it out with hostile boarders or remember where you put all your stuff.
Battlelords Quote of the Day
"Sucking chest wounds are nature's way of telling you to slow down."