However this got me thinking about imagining my own war game using those rules. What if I invented something suitably silly and 'grimderp', with all the cheese of pre-2000 Games Workshop. Because this is primarily a Tabletop RPG blog, my current goal for this were as follow:
- The game use the engine of One Page Rules' Grimdark Future: Firefight. Which is, to say, it plays a lot like a stripped down Warhammer 40k Kill Team, with similar scope and size.
- The game default playstyle and point cost is rather small.
- I can also use the setting for a suitably grimderp one shot using an OSR system.
Now let's see what monster was born of this.
The Battle-Bred Warriors
|Art by Renat Zakirov|
In the far future, mankind has evolved beyond its basic and frail human form, perhaps even evolved beyond death itself. These posthuman live an existence we can't fully grasp all across the solar system. Without true bodies and with world-ending weapons aplenty they have found all out war to be distasteful. No, that's wrong: they find it boring. All it take is one higher intelligence firing planet-cracking missiles at the mindscape moon of another faction and a war end in mere hours. Its dull and these advanced posthuman minds are, indeed, completely and utterly bored. They needed some way to wage conflict in ways that would both not instantly destroy them but also entertain them.
Ancient gene-vaults were cracked in the ruins of Earth. There laid the genetic code of unmodified men of Old Earth: imperfect, stupid, fearful and utterly chaotic. People who waged bloody, messy and wasteful wars. The post-human intelligences bred them for proxy battles, something akin to extreme sport, ritual warfare and cock-fighting. These people were made flawed, able to feel fear and, just as importantly, hatred. They were armed with primitive weapons when the great intelligences could have simply made robots with perfect, pinpoint accuracy and instant-death energy beams and why?: Because imperfect beings wielding imperfect weapons added an element of uncertainty. These beings, these Battle-Bred Warriors are given full personalities, hopes and dreams: some factions promise full ascension to posthuman intelligence to their greatest warriors while others will say they will be showered in material pleasures. Most are simply lied to about their origin and eventual fate.
This is the life of a Battle-Bred: to be raised to kill and kill again in hope of some unachievable goal. Most never really survive more than a few battles anyway so it is a non-issues to the posthuman intelligences. Their lives are used as political plays and mere entertainment, staging skirmish battles upon the radiation and monster-infested surface of the abandoned planet Earth, their lives reduced to nothing more than some abstract point count, where every piece of gear and every personal skill is reduced to a number so their posthuman handler can properly arrange a squad to suit its need. There are very strict rules on how exactly these squads are formed but once deployed all hell break loose.
Some warriors are genetically or cybernetically enhanced but never to the point of them losing their human frailty: it is, after all, a key component of the 'fun' of the game. Some are even equipped with deliberately faulty or malfunctioning war gear in order to 'spice up' the games. Weapons are designed to tear opponents apart but never with 100% certainty. Their lives suck and older warriors begin to doubt their missions: why are they even defending this doodad? It doesn't do anything yet after a certain amount of time is spent, should any of them remain near it when said time expire, their side will be declared victorious. What's even the point? Is that all there is to life?
There is a Battle-Bred revolution coming: it is only a matter of time...
The solar system has many, many factions of posthuman intelligences and each tend to enjoy breeding a specific type of warrior, with its own unique form of training and armaments. These include, but hardly limited to:
- Lunar Arbiters: This ancient order of lore-keepers are among those factions who 'police' the great games the most, ensuring the rules are obeyed (if not they engage their enemy in combat, of course!). Their warriors are trained with a mixture of military discipline and deep mysticism, speaking gibberish about 'the great cosmic order' and 'the antediluvian laws of conflict'. They honestly believe they are enforcing order and teaching others a lesson in the process. Particularly fond of pain-inducing weapons.
- Martian Oldbloods: Mars was the first colony beyond's Earth orbit and thus colonized fairly early into its history, back when human still waged wars the old fashioned way. This love of their military history has led them to breed their toys as actual soldiers. Their Battle-Bred are born in crops, raised in communal barracks by veteran and retired Battle-bred and instilled with military fanaticism. Since the % of soldiers who remain actually loyal after a few years is low they tend to clone and make copies of particularly blindly obedient, yet charismatic individuals who become the overseer of their entire home complex.
- The Neo-Barbarians: The end result of some posthuman intelligences studying a mixture of the deep past and pop culture and concluding that giant, bulging muscles, pink mohawks, copious amount of hallucinogenic drugs and heavy metal bred superior warriors. Neo-Barbarians are bred in a gigantic enclaves simulating a harsh world filled with a mixture of prehistoric monsters and deliberately-left-behind ancient technology, creating a world filled with barbarian tribes on motorcycles. The most savage of them are used for battle.