[In Character is Here!]
The New OOC for Chapter 2 is here!
Arvana, a fertile world. Wildly varying environments across it surface are home to a wide variety of peoples of humanoid animal species.
They live in a technologically advanced society, the majority in two large coalitions of nations: The Northern Empire, and the Southern Block.
The history of the Arvanans remains unknown, before the previous 1,500 years. The period of 'awakening' came about when, almost overnight, the people of the world looked at their surroundings; the plush technology, the computer networks, loaded with information, the political systems and their overall place in the world, and asked: How?
Immediately, chaos reigned, as questions rose all around the world. People in uproar turned to all manner of explanations, looking both outward and inward.
Opinions clashed, resulting in violent conflicts and the formation of opposing groups, each looking for answers about their origins, and their creators, as the single opinion formed that yes, they must have been created. But why had they been abandoned? And by who?
As time passed by, the conflicts resolved into stalemates with the formation of the two power blocks in each hemisphere, with the Badlands of Arana in between.
A few nations remain independent, following their own course and trying to remain free of the gathering shadows of war and disquiet from both the North and South.
One such place is the nation of Landren, on the edge of a large inland sea in the Badlands. Centrally placed, it remains an important place for both power blocks, thriving on the limited trade between the two, travellers between the blocks, and being centrally placed for anyone exploring in the Badlands.
Lately though, strange occurances have been reported in the Badlands. Entire squadrons on patrol have vanished without trace. Unfamiliar Gears and Sandcruisers have been witnessed appearing out of sandstorms, or on the horizon, only to disappear, or to randomly attack and then vanish. Entire settlements have been found standing empty, or have literally disappeared. Strange snatches of messages have been picked up, only to disappear later. And then there are the lights in the night sky, appearing and disappearing at random, growing larger or smaller.
Each block blames the other for the disappearances, and caught in the middle is Landren, focal point of the Badlands, and first point of contact for anyone exploring and investigating the wastes for more information.
The small city-state is the focal point for whatever happens next - be it war, or a new age of enlightenment and knowledge. And only the people who live and work there will be the ones to guide their civilization into destruction, or salvation.
The Arvarans are a race of anthropomorphic humanoids. Of over one hundred Mammalian and Marsupial species, they are extremely intelligent, bright and resourceful.
Their heights, weights, builds and personal appearances vary wildly, and their personalities, intelligences and outlook on life and the world are equally as varied. Much of this variety is based on their upbringing, surrounding, and general station and circumstances in life.
Arvarans are capable of biological reproduction within their species and with those closely related to their own, such as Lions and Tigers, or Foxes and Wolves. Gender is rarely an issue of equality, though this too can vary depending on the region or group the individual is from.
All Arvarans have a full coat of bodily fur, which varies wildly in colour and length, depending on their species, as well as - often - head 'hair' which is sometimes coloured differently, and styled for the sake of fashion of practicality.
Arvarans wear clothing for protection against the elements, for practical reasons, and for the sake of modesty and to express individuality and personality.
Genetically, Arvarans are extremely stable, with little genetic diseases or instabilities being present, and most Arvarans being very physically resilient to illness or disorders, though some make themselves apparent over successive generations.
Mental illnesses are almost unknown, however many psychological points of view - such as anti-social leanings or intentions, and violent criminal tendencies - are often treated as such, due to the lack of experience and long history to fall back on for reference.
The general culture and society of Arvara was laid out from 'day one' by the Network, the system of uncannily powerful and knowledgable computer systems already present on Arvara. While not able - or willing - to take command of society and guide the peoples of the planet, they nonetheless contained substantial information on various practices of government, technological information, medical information, and much more besides.
The Network refuses to, or is unable to, give any information on the creators, and is incapable of assuming any view other than a purely neutral one, and maintains a passive watch on society, only offering any assistance when it is merited, or asked directly.
The information is purely practical in nature, and has no cultural relevance or significance, and only has relevance to practical applications and necessities. It is not truly an Artificial Intelligence, but is instead a series of powerful programs that can amalgamize data from numerous sources to provide comphrehensive resources on a wide variety of subjects, and to act as a guiding force for the society of Arkana. However, due to the forming of power blocs, much of the Net in both the North and South has been subject to editing and censorship by the rulers of those two countries.
Arkanan society has only developed culturally over the last one thousand or so years, and is based on scientific and rational principles for the most part, as most information is instantly recallable from the Net, in digital form.
The only legends that exist are based on the creators of the species, or on urban myths regarding the Net, or the more unusual phenomena of Arkana itself, such as the Badlands and it's areas of strange magnetic fields, sandstorms, and wildlife.
Only the North has a religion of any kind, based on the fascination and awe surrounding the Creators, and their self-appointed 'prophets and emissaries' the Salasian Imperial Family. Almost every other nation, and even some within the North, regard this as a self-indulgent fantasy, and prefer to turn to more rational facts, instead of spiritualism.
Nonetheless, a regard and appreciation for beauty and creativity is expressed by all species, and the desire to replicate, capture and create beauty is one expressed by many individuals in the form of visual, audio, written and other forms of entertainment of all kinds, building up a healthy and widely varied entertainment industry across the planet.
Some works have even become 'classics' in their field, and museums have been started to record the various works of art accomplished by both blocks, and even some of the independent nations.
Society is varied from the North, to the South, and in the Independent states.
Life in the North is carefully regulated and controlled, with the information citizens receive carefully filtered and monitored by the Imperial Oversight Committee, to the point of watching individuals everyday movements and the company they keep outside and inside of their working environments.
In the South, things are more liberal, yet monitored through the use of social indexing, data tracking and measuring, and all manner of other 'tags' and indices. Subversive elements are carefully controlled and monitored, and are regularly interviewed, counseled and analysed at various stages of their lives and in various capacities to render them model citizens.
In the independent states, and in Landren in particular, things are much more casual and relaxed. People work for the common interest, but also to increase their own wealth, influence, and standard of living. As such, this results in a much wider class divide, and potentially more crime and corruption, but individual citizens are free to live more independently of the government - although receive less of a social safety net as a result.
Most independent citizens and states are looked down upon by the citizens of the power blocs as being 'savage' or 'backward' due to their lack of social security and their more hard-working lifestyle in the case of the South, and for their lack of control and hedonistic lifestyle, by the North.
People of independent nations often look on the blocs as being monolithic juggernauts, full of same-thinking robots - although they tend to be more independent in their opinions.
Technology on Arkana is highly advanced, due to the plentiful resources of the world itself, and the wide range of plans and schematics available from day one on the Net.
Those plans have been modified extensively over time, leading to divergent technology from the North, South and independent nations and competing products and devices from a wide variety of corporate interests.
Power generation is advanced, often from Fusion systems for powering cities, Sandcruisers, water-vessels and even some larger vehicles, while ultra-high density batteries are used to power smaller vehicles and devices.
Computer technology is ubquitous, and is an everyday part of life, seen incorporated into virtually every device a person uses in their day-to-day life, from their personal communicator to their coffee machine or kitchen unit. Almost all of these devices are part of the Net, which is used to monitor - passively - everything, and to suggest repairs, restocking, or any other manner of assistance when necessary.
Vehicles are highly advanced as a result, as are structures and buildings, often using advanced lightweight, high-strength materials in construction. Electronic components are solid-state and highly miniaturised, leading to compact, sleek and elegant designs, that are also highly functional and modular in design, allowing for quick modification, repair, and high commonality of parts between even widely varied devices and vehicles.
While wheeled ground vehicles are extremely common, and tracked ones also, walking vehicles are also common, and none moreso than the 'Gear'. Originally developer from cargo-handling and engineering exoskeletons, the Gear is a fast, agile vehicle used for fast, close-range combat, assault, and reconnaissance in all manner of terrain.
Tracked vehicles are also common, especially in the rough terrain of the Badlands, and for carrying heavy loads.
Rail vehicles have not been developed, but massive 'Road-trains' are not uncommon in some areas, to transport mass quantities of heavy or outsize cargo and materials over distance.
While most water on Arkana is in huge sub-surface aquifers, caverns, cave-systems and underground seas and rivers, what little surface water there is has been explored in some small boats and hovercraft, but they are far less common than any other mode of transport.
The strange magnetic qualities of Arkanas' atmosphere and geology make navigation in aerial vehicles hazardous, especially over long ranges, but some aircraft are in use, especially VTOL craft with tilting fan or rotor engines, propeller aircraft for short-range exploration, recon, personal transport or combat, and even some jet aircraft.
Space travel is relatively unknown for the same reason, with only some exploratory rockets being launched to probe the near-space of Arkana, along with the first forays into satellite launch. However, manned spaceflight is as yet unknown.
Gears are one of the two most distinctive forms of transport and technology on Arkana.
Developed from cargo-handling exoskeletons used for construction, labor, and other purposes, Gears have been used in combat for the last two hundred years.
Mounted with light armour and a wide array of weapons, the average Gear stands twice the height of an Arkanan, with the largest three times the height of an Arvaran, but such giants are uncommon.
A Gear is crewed by a single pilot in the chest area, seated in a reclined seat that can eject in the even of a catastrophic failure or destruction of the Gear. The cockpit is provided with a full Heads-up-display that links to the pilots' helmet and piloting suit, and provides them with a climate-controlled, sealed environment to pilot their machine in all conditions. A small storage locker is provided in the cockpit, attached to the seat, for survival and personal equipment and weapons.
The Gears' head contains all of its' sensors, which are equivalent to those of an attack helicopter or fighter jet in complexity and sophistication.
Communications systems are similarly comphrehensive, and include radio, microwave and laser communication systems, with full scrambling and encoding.
Fine movements and balance, power distribution, and all other ancillary functions are regulated by the Gears' onboard learning OS (L/OS) which is contained in a unit under the pilots' seat, which is retained when a pilot ejects, simply because the L/OS learns how a pilot acts in combat, and will therefore end up making a Gear exactly specific to an individual pilot, to the point of predicting some of their actions and choices in a situation, better adapting to their style of piloting, and compensating the Gears' systems as a result.
A Gears' computer is also able to store and retrieve data from the Net, and can be used for many of the same purposes as a standard computer interface, with some reduced function, as well as to control the Gear, allowing for a greater ease in diagnosing problems and general repair issues, as well as modifications to a Gears' operating parameters and systems in a short time.
Gears are used by all nations on Arkana, and are widely varied in design, from 'chicken legged' types, to quadruped - or more - designs, to bipedal Arkanoid designs.
No one has yet designed any kind of flying Gear, due to the power requirements and complexity, or any kind of transforming Gear. For quick travel, Gears instead often mount wheels or caterpillar tracks in their feet and calves, or some have hovering jet engines. Gears are often also equipped with parachutes for air-dropping from cargo planes into an operational area. Some have even been known to be fitted with submarine propulsion packs for amphibious operations, or infiltration through the cave systems under the planets' surface.
In terms of Gear Weapons, mostly they are equipped with a variety of shell-firing weapons, either propelled by electrothermal charge, or by magnetic railgun principles.
Missile and grenade launchers are also common, as are flame weapons for close quarters against unarmoured structures or targets.
Close combat weapons for use against other Gears or vehicles are also common, and are often equipped with high-speed chainsaw like blades, or armour-piercing high-vibration blades.
Energy weapons are in constant development, and are an emerging technology, with prototypes finding their way onto heavy tanks and other vehicles, and occasionally onto top-of-the-line Gears from the North and South, with the technology yet to trickle down into the independent states.
The modular nature of Gear Weapons, being mounted in aircraft-like hardpoints, or even carried as scaled up versions of infantry weapons like rifles and the like, means that they are remarkably easy to customise, and a Gear will often change its' weapons fit from mission to mission, even ejecting spent weapons when no longer needed for speed and agility increases.
Coupled with the modular nature of replacement parts and the ease in modifying the Gears' operating systems, this results in a large number of 'custom' Gears for individual pilots.
Gears are powered by Ultra-High Density batteries, which are recharged from central power at either a field base, or aboard a large vessel. The UHD Battery pack powers the artificial muscles in the Gears limbs, and all of its' other onboard systems. Gears on long operations sometimes carry additional battery packs on back-mounted racks to increase their operational time, although a gear in minimum-power mode can last up to two days without recharging. High output mode, as in full-combat mode, can be as little as four hours for some power-thirsty gears.
While Gears are fast-moving and potentially hard-hitting when equipped with the right weapons, they are not the 'king' of the battlefield. Their surface area in contact with the ground, and a frame that cannot take a huge amount of force. This means they cannot mount the heaviest weapons or armour and remain mobile. As such, tanks and other platforms are still widely used for heavy and full frontal assaults, and a well-prepared and adequately equipped infantry unit or light-vehicle unit can scrap an overconfident or inexperienced Gear pilot. And all Gear pilots fear being caught in airstrikes or artillery barrages.
Gears tend to operate as small, fast-moving hit-and-run forces, using cunning tactics and strategies to strike hard with what powerful weapons they carry in short skirmishes, rather than engaging in standing battles.
Where possible, Gear squadrons will operate with fire support from their Sandcruiser or other allied units - such as tanks, artillery or rotary-wing air support - rather than operating solo, due to their somewhat fragile nature.
Due to the bizarre magnetic properties of the Badlands and some other areas of Arkanas' surface, large objects can be repulsed from the planets' surface when interacting with the magnetic fields.
It didn't take long for the Net and Arkanan engineers to take advantage of these properties, and build vessels capable of using minimum propulsion to move under this effect.
The results are similar to hovering battleships, cargo ships and other vessels. A minimum size is necessary to take advantage of the effect, meaning that such vessels take on a certain shape, and the effect isn't usable for everything.
Sandcruisers are used to carry bulk loads of freight or persons, as well as for carrying large amounts of troops, vehicles, or Gears, as well as firepower, into remote regions of Badlands for projecting the power of the various blocks.
Sandcruisers are not uncommon, but it is unusual for anyone outside of a government group or a wealthy corporate interest to have one, and anyone with one would be subject to intense attention from all quarters.
Sandcruisers are often armed with heavy calibre cannon, long-range missions, sophisticated communication suites and radar systems, and can often launch and recover aircraft, Gears, and other smaller vehicles.
Sandcruisers have crew complements from fifty to hundreds, many of whom will act as counter-boarding or assault troops when necessary.
Arvara is a world with a comfortable level of gravity, a conventional oxygen/nitrogen/carbon-dioxide atmosphere.
The world has two continents, one huge and one very small, separated by a shallow, very salty sea. Most fresh water is underground, only coming to the surface in rivers and inland oases, some of which are the size of small seas. Vegetation is plentiful and varied, with much of it edible by the Arvaran inhabitants of the planet, who have also introduced many of their own species, along with numerous animal species for food consumption.
The seasons are narrowly varied, with Summer and Winter being the most widely contrasted. Summer is dry, arid and bright, with a short stormy season in its' middle where the rainfall is torrential and winds are strong. However, otherwise rain is scarce in the summer in most areas other than the poles.
In winter time, the cold areas expand drastically from the poles, and snow is not uncommon in both the North and South, with rainfall also common over the Badlands.
The world has two small moons, both of which are a similar distance from the planet, named Iro and Callepsis, after two of the first scholars and philosophers of Arvanan society. Close observation with telescopes has revealed both to be lifeless and barren, with little surface features.
Iro is whitish in colour, while Callepsis is blueish, believed due to heavy cobalt concentrations.
There are many mountain ranges and volcanic areas of the planets' surface, a large amount of which are throughout the Badlands and the areas bordering them - hence the name - and are subject to frequent tectonic disruptions.
The constantly shifting masses and flux of elements under the surface in this area results in the bizarre magnetic activity that makes Sandcruisers practical, and aerial navigation hazardous.
If you have read all the background information, please post your Favourite Colour in your CS. I will not accept character sheets without this info.
The main plot will be centered around a Small experimental Sandcruiser belonging to the Landren military.
Originally designed as a 'light strike' Cruiser, it is regarded as something of a 'dead-end', and is now relegated to scouting, recon, and patrol missions in the Badlands, as well as salvage and general duties.
The PC's will form the Gear squadron (and their supporting personnel, if so desired) aboard the Cruiser, Parvan's Claw.
Following all the strange sightings in the Badlands, and the activity from the North and South, they'll be out exploring, trying to get to the bottom of all the mysterious happenings, and to try and find out what both Blocks' interests are in the region.
Of course, being a small carrier, and something of a 'dumping ground', the men and women of the Claw's Gear Squadron - The 100th Tactical Gear Unit 'Roughriders' - while being professional soldiers, aren't exactly your rank-and-file individuals. So working out how to get along with each other, overcoming their personal problems and trying not to let whatever nasty problems their pasts contain kill them before the bad guys do will be as much as a task as anything else...
Only use this character sheet as it is presented. I will not accept characters without this format.
Weapons & Equipment:Note: No real world weapons exist in this setting!
Personal Theme Tune:
General Info: A short description of the Gears' main characteristics and purpose
Weapon Systems: No more than five to six weapons, in line with the Gear description in the OP post. No
Super-robot-esque weapons. Gears Are Not Battlemechs! They are much smaller, lighter and faster! Please do NOT use Battletech/mechwarrior terms!
For General Reference!
This is more what I had in mind when I came up with GEARs as opposed to MechWarrior/Battletech:
Other Equipment: Anything non-weapon of note, that may be important in the roleplay. If it isn't listed here, it doesn't exist. Things like a radio and standard sensors can be expected and taken for granted.
Anything Else: Anything else you think might be worth mentioning.
- The GM - SilverwindBlade - is in control of the story, and the setting. Check with him before introducing anything too revolutionary
- no flaming, trolling, bullying, etc. It's just being a dick, and this is supposed to be fun
- Don't argue with the GM. My word is final.
- Keep it in the spirit of the game - this is a fairly gritty and low-tech Real Robot setting, and a sci-fi one, not a fantasy superhero robot setting.
- have a sense of humour. Dear God, have a sense of humour. This is to relax, have fun, and enjoy yourselves. There will be drama and action, but the OOC is a good place for chat and fun. Please do not spam messages here though.
- Keep OOC matters in the OOC, please. Any questions please bring them here.
- If you have a problem with another player, please raise it with me first.
- Players may not player villains, and may only be part of the same unit and Sandcruiser as they other players, in order to promote interaction among the player group. And to make telling the story easier on the GM...
- No ones' character is approved until I say so. There is no GM other than me until I say so.