As I write this we are 96% funded, and less than $500 from our funding goal, with about 50 hours left to go in the Kickstarter Campaign. We know we can make it with your help and support. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and stuck with us through the campaign!
Re-occurring themes in Battlelords
Battlelords takes place in a war-torn universe. There can be no doubt about that. Most characters fight using whatever they inherited or can scrounge up, assuming they’re not enlisted in the Alliance military. There are certainly places in the Battlelords universe that are bastions of wealth, technology, and high society, but often they’re not what they appear.
Theme One: Everything is dirty (and probably broken) even if you can't see it.
One of my favorite scenarios to run takes place at a luxury space resort, orbiting a stellar nebula. In true Battlelords fashion the lavish resort is actually a remodeled mining station, but the guests don’t know that. The poor characters, who have to scour the antiquated innards of the station, however, discover this in short order. The characters are forced to search through the cramped, pipe-filled, maintenance tunnels looking for the hostile alien lifeforms (HALs) that have been eating the guests. The station’s crumbling infrastructure make their job increasingly difficult to keep the presence of the HALs a secret from the tourists, per their orders. The corridors aren't the only thing that's dirty. Many of the characters attempting this mission are already flawed and emotionally broken thanks to rolls on the Character Development Tables.
“What do you mean there are no sensors down here?”
Theme Two: Nothing goes as planned.
Some wise military scholar once said, "all plans breakdown at first contact with the enemy." The best laid plans… The path to hell… This is an all-to-familiar theme for humanity in general and doubly so for Battlelords. In the scenario I detailed above the critters that were lurking in the steam tunnels eventually escape into a crowded dinning area, filled with tasty-looking patrons. This lovely dining spot is bordered by a massive, arcing, transparent wall, which runs along the outside of the station. The glass-like wall gives dinner guests a fantastic view of the nebula. The wall also happens to be less resistant to weapon's fire, than the original, reinforced, outer bulkhead of the mining station that the transparent wall replaced.
“What’s all that screaming?”
Theme Three: Pristine stuff is going to get destroyed or dirty.
Nothing stays intact for long in the Battlelords universe. Armor, weapons, dining rooms filled with size class 9 HALs, character’s souls. They all get tarnished along the way. In my scenario, the characters, in an attempt to save their jobs, and the dinner patrons will try to debilitate the HALs without maiming any guests. Accidentally dismembering a paying guest would surely get a character a black mark on their corporate record. In short order the heavily armed and under-trained characters will turn this beautiful corporate vacation spot into a war zone, thus completing the trifecta of Battlelords themes.
“This is why we can’t have nice things, Fred.”
This brings us to “The Three Gs”
As a visual reinforcement of these themes, most things you see depicted in the artwork for the 7th edition of Battlelords of the 23rd Century feature at least one of three Gs: Grime. Graffiti. Gear. Unless it’s fresh off the showroom floor, most stuff the characters have is going to be dirty, pockmarked, riddled with dents from bullet strikes, and covered in grime
Since nothing ever goes according to plan, it is best to be prepared for anything. As a result, smart characters are often festooned with gear. Since the typical soldier carries up to 40% of his body weight anyway, being festooned with gear isn’t necessarily unusual for soldiers. However, the A-grav tech in Battlelords lets some characters take this to a whole new level.
Lastly, you know stuff is going to get dirty or get destroyed, so why not preemptively deface it with a little graffiti. Many of the armored suits and ultra armor shown in the book have graffiti, most of which has conveys that same dark humor we love in Battlelords. At least let the other guy know you’ve got a sense of humor, before he starts scorching the outside of your armor and boiling the contents.
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Battlelords Quote of the Day
"Carnage-a-comin'" -Graffiti on the side of an MBA helmet.