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Firestorm fluff

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Honestly Fracas, your version sounds shockingly generic as a sci-fi setting.  As someone who's been following the game since V1, I know the fluff isn't as deep as some other systems, but there's always been enough to keep me intrigued by it.  

 

Breaking things down to "Humans vs the galaxy that's also fighting itself" removes any real draw for me.  It feels like countless other forgotten sci-fi settings that fail to make an impression.  So there's 'internal conflicts' within the humans.  We have that with the directorate now, and there's almost no effect ont he game at all, beyond Omnidyne and Works Raptor not playing well together.    Hooray.  

 

One of the things I've always liked about the setting is that, for once, it actually draws lines in the sand, makes two large but diverse power blocs that are going to just rip the frak out of one another.  And they do!  If I had any complaints about factions, it'd be that the Marauders groups got folded in a little too tightly.  There was no need to have the Syndicate becomes besties with the Terrans, I liked them being their own thing.  I liked it when we had the Free Worlds Trade League, not the Syndicated Trade League.  I liked that the Marauders were largely their own thing, being a wildcard faction that could swing either way.  There was enough possibility for depth in those groups that they could easily have been fleshed into something greater.  But Spartan copped out, went safe, folded them in.  

Boo

 

I will also say I am vehemently opposed to the idea of making Firestorm into Dystopian war IN SPACE!  If I wanted to play Dystopian wars with it's background and factions I would go play fraking Dystopian Wars!  FA has always been it's own thing, and all the better for it.  

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Rageofaeons

 

no it is not epic; a fight between light and dark, good and evil or order and chaos. But it is realistic to think that the state of humanity will continue as is for a few hundred years.  I am surprised this is the most controversial fluff suggestions.

 

i find the current firestorm fluff bland: a fascist regime, evil corporations and religious fanatics, reptilian and insectoid aliens, and a human dominated galaxy.

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The current fluff isn't epic either.  Aside from the Directorate, there isn't really a clear 'Bad Guy' in play.  It's a shades of grey environment, which is fine.  

Even the fluff largely explained why humans were so much more widespread than others: We cracked portable FTL first.  I think.  Relthoza might have beaten us, or come close, but they were explained to have expansion cycles and only really expand when they hit an overpopulation point.  Aquans took centuries to get places, Sorylians used gates, but had to get there first to build them.  So yeah, it's a human dominant galaxy because we breed like rabbits, and could go farther, faster, than other groups.  

 

I mean no offense by this Fracas, but seriously, you've proposed this change 2-3 times and each time no one likes it but you. Maybe let it go?

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I am not pushing my ideas on anyone!

just providing rationale for them.

 

i would appreciate hearing other ideas. I think the current fluff really needs to be better; even if not by me.

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As far as I am concerned, the current fluff is good. It just needs lots of meat added to the bones and the Overseers excised from the current narrative.

Warcradle has indicated they want to revise the narrative to make the sides less cohesive and eliminate the Blue-On-Blue games that happen factions from either side fight each other. The two most logical ways to do that is either:

  1. to setup a zone of conflict where everyone is trying to conquer unclaimed systems that have suddenly become available 
  2. turn the setting into a disintegration of a galactic empire

Historically, free for all conflicts only happen away from everyone's home turf or during the collapse of a political entity. Even if there are number of one-on-one wars going on, they either stay separate or eventually line themselves up into a pair of us-vs-them sides. Heck, the US didn't even get officially involved in WWII in Europe until the Nazi's foolish declared war them after they declared war on the Japanese.

Option 2 could be interesting if the various factions are all "states" within a Galactic System setup by the now missing Overseers and someone decided, "those guys haven't been around forever, forget following those old rules".

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The biggest problem with the fluff isn't the volume of it.  It is there, and there is a lot of it.  

 

The problem was availability.  

 

It was widespread, scattered, and often got removed from the Spartan site.  Also retconned once or twice.  In V1 the Razrthorne was the newest, most cutting edge battleship the Terrans had made, with a turret that fired torpedoes instead of coil guns, but did so at such a high rate of fire the PD was useless against it.  V2 it was an aging warhorse that had been in service since Jesus was in the 3rd grade.   

 

I did listen to Warcradle's outlook, and I have to say I'm disappointed in it.  Turnign everything into a general furball with everyone fighting everyone seems...well, kind of lazy.  Lumping all like groups into one section feels very generic, so does dissolving everything into a general brawl.  

 

To me Firestorm always felt kind of interesting because it was two large blocs with subgroups within it hammering away at once another, with some wild cards in the mix.  Turning the galaxy from drawn up battle lines to a bar brawl feels like a big step back towards safe generic sci-fi

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I agree with WC that fluff needs help.  A recent podcast said they are talking to professional authors and I applaud that effort.  

As for how this translate to change the game: 

1. Faction abilities, objectives (public and secret) and varied scenarios.   I felt 2.0 could get quite repetitive.  Games like Malifaux excel at variety - no two games are the same.  

2.  More variance in weapons systems, upgrades and loadouts.  In 2.0 a few inches of rangeband and some weapon types getting a little bonus IMHO doesn’t differentiate significantly enough.   Example: With only a few notable exceptions like torpedoes and the Destroyer class, RB2 is king for nearly every ship, weapon and fleet.  After as many games as I’ve played it’s worn thin    

3. Totally agree with WC that ship capability, fluff, and ship appearance can be more closely tied together 

Count me in as curious to hear more and cautiously optimistic!

 

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Hopefully  Warcradle will at least keep the big 6, but if they could keep as many of the subsections  that will make me pretty happy.

I agree with @RageofAeons I prefer it when you can tell one side from the other. I would think that the Blue Vs Blue could be lessened by getting more players involved.

 The backstory was pretty good I thought, but it could have used more meat. The whole thing with the Saurians being the Overseers thugs didn't make much sense to me though . They could have done something interesting with the Overseers themselves I bet.

Just my 2 cents.

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I'm actually of the opinion that the Overseers should just be culled out.  

It came out of left field, felt really tacked on, and just didn't seem to fit with the rest of hte established background, to the point that thigns were getting retconned to accomodate them.  I mean, if the Saurians are working for them, why would they trade shield technology tot he Terrans?  Why would they leve functional FTL gates all over the place?  I was enjoying the universe in it's form, when there was an "Ancient Dominant Threat" getting ready for return.  I mean, there were vague hints that somthing like that might be coming, what wuth teh Tarakians establishing their Fortress Worlds, adn waiting for some super threat that hadn't shown up.  Still, if it was going to be done, I liked the concept and hint that it was another race that was coming from an other galaxy, pursuing hte Tarakians for some reason.  Not just an extra dimension bad guy.  

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6 hours ago, RageofAeons said:

I mean, if the Saurians are working for them, why would they trade shield technology tot he Terrans?  Why would they leve functional FTL gates all over the place?  I was enjoying the universe in it's form, when there was an "Ancient Dominant Threat" getting ready for return.

I agree that Saurians in their kickstarter rendition didn't make a whole lot of sense to me either . What I was thinking was that the Overseers could be the ancient threat. Maybe I am just seeing them for what they could be rather than what Spartan was trying to make them.

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On 1/4/2018 at 12:40 PM, RageofAeons said:

I'm actually of the opinion that the Overseers should just be culled out.  

It came out of left field, felt really tacked on, and just didn't seem to fit with the rest of hte established background, to the point that thigns were getting retconned to accomodate them.  I mean, if the Saurians are working for them, why would they trade shield technology tot he Terrans?  Why would they leve functional FTL gates all over the place?  I was enjoying the universe in it's form, when there was an "Ancient Dominant Threat" getting ready for return.  I mean, there were vague hints that somthing like that might be coming, what wuth teh Tarakians establishing their Fortress Worlds, adn waiting for some super threat that hadn't shown up.  Still, if it was going to be done, I liked the concept and hint that it was another race that was coming from an other galaxy, pursuing hte Tarakians for some reason.  Not just an extra dimension bad guy.  

 

The Saurians, in the old fluff they were involved in a huge civil war between two factions of themselves.  The whole reason they gave Terrans shield technology was as an apology for not being able to honor their mutual defense treaty with the Terrans against the Dindrenzi. With their own forces tied up in the civil war they couldn't spare the ships/fleets to the Kurak Alliance  so instead offered to outright give the Terrans the long-coveted secrets of Shield tech.

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You're not going back far enough Fracas.  

In V1 Saurians weren't part of hte Sorylians, that was a relatively new development, they used to just be a completely different race.  Like I've said, there was plenty of fluff out there, it was just hard to find.  

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You know, I don't actually disagree with you. :P  

Because the fluff is so scattered, if you're not a long standing FA Grognard, it's very likely that there's vast swathes of information that there was just no way to know.  So I don't dislike the idea of consolidating thigns, making, as you said, a soft reboot of things, or at least a proper consolidation of them.  

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19 hours ago, RageofAeons said:

if you're not a long standing FA Grognard, it's very likely that there's vast swathes of information that there was just no way to know.

So true, most of what I'm quoting above was on the very first Firestorm forum which crashed with all info lost and has since been replaced three times over IIRC.

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I really hope no factions get chopped completely - Though I see no real rationale that the corporate shipbuilders Hawker and Works Raptor need their own fleets in an intergalactic struggle - I feel these ships should simply in the fluff be old refitted or advanced (respectively) ships available to their parent factions.  (USA using McDonnell Douglas as standard but Lockheeds for some services IRL. )

EG: If Hawker make ships for the Terrans there should be no Hawker faction navy -  Functionally here the alliance rules simply limit the number of Hawker ships in a Terran fleet (Fluff reason - There are less Hawker ships than the Standard Terrans). Want an all Hawker fleet? - No problems - Just use the Hawker fleet rules to represent a fleet entirely using ships provided by Hawker - No rules changes neccessary - Models retain their usefulness, fluff tidied.

TBH, the more I think about it, the more this is basically a Non-point...

In terms of the main fluff - I actually really liked the exisiting fluff (What little of it there was) and DETEST excessive retconning.  What Warcradle are doing with Dystopian seems to handle the amalgamation of Dystopian and their WWX worlds pretty sensitively for such a huge change and I salute that.

As for a lot of the science - I feel we don't need to know what kind of handwavium powers the Shunt Engines in order to enjoy a space battle - and spaceships built like wet navy ironclads clearly don't worry too much about gravity under thrust or the realities of Naval engagements in 3 dimensions etc. I'd agree with a couple of points made upthread - Work out what the rules tell us and work out from there if neccessary.

Someone mentioned Battletech - (Which is a setting I love) They never fall into the trap of letting the fluff get carried away - In essence Battletech is about giant stompy robots - Fluff and Fiat (Or FASAnomics as they callit over on the battletech forums) is employed to limit the 'realistic implications' of (for example) world-killing black navy assets on that focus. Something we would do well to remember here. 

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I'm against breaking humans away from any alien allies they have. Once you have spider people and the several races of aquans, the diversity of the galaxy makes it a lot more interesting. On paper, allowing you to supplement from a couple other fleets is cool. In your own canon, you are absolutely not bound to those rules. Who's to say the Relthoza or Ba'kash don't tread on the toes of the RSN from time to time? At least in the Zenian League your ties to your neighbors are as close as you feel comfortable allowing. 

I'd like to see rules on atmospheric gravity and the like be optional such as orbiting terrain, but there's no real opposition to that. The 3D range bands ideas I might scrap for personal taste, I don't really mind the game taking place on a 2D map. There's a hundred ways they can do 'warp' technology and I'm fine with the grand majority of them. We could pass out one to each faction as long as their fluff supports the game rules, it makes total sense to me that one faction would have developed wormhole generators where another had put centuries of research into jump drives. 

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I totally agree with Spenetrator. Get the rules solid first - and get them solid without changing things up too much from what v2 was to fit a new fluff.

I'm good with adjusting fluff from the perspective of filling out the universe more, or to make conflicts more interesting, but I'm not a fan of a complete rewrite. For example - removing the Relthoza from being giant non-hive mind spiders is not good. The idea they use lots of nano-tech is cool. Don't rewrite them to make them made of nanobots or something else equally silly. Keep the general core and make it improved.

Handwavium can explain anything in the universe if you want, but get the fluff to align with the rules  - not the other way around.

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On 1/9/2018 at 9:42 AM, Spenetrator said:

I really hope no factions get chopped completely - Though I see no real rationale that the corporate shipbuilders Hawker and Works Raptor need their own fleets in an intergalactic struggle - I feel these ships should simply in the fluff be old refitted or advanced (respectively) ships available to their parent factions.  (USA using McDonnell Douglas as standard but Lockheeds for some services IRL. )

EG: If Hawker make ships for the Terrans there should be no Hawker faction navy -  Functionally here the alliance rules simply limit the number of Hawker ships in a Terran fleet (Fluff reason - There are less Hawker ships than the Standard Terrans). Want an all Hawker fleet? - No problems - Just use the Hawker fleet rules to represent a fleet entirely using ships provided by Hawker - No rules changes neccessary - Models retain their usefulness, fluff tidied.

TBH, the more I think about it, the more this is basically a Non-point...

In terms of the main fluff - I actually really liked the exisiting fluff (What little of it there was) and DETEST excessive retconning.  What Warcradle are doing with Dystopian seems to handle the amalgamation of Dystopian and their WWX worlds pretty sensitively for such a huge change and I salute that.

As for a lot of the science - I feel we don't need to know what kind of handwavium powers the Shunt Engines in order to enjoy a space battle - and spaceships built like wet navy ironclads clearly don't worry too much about gravity under thrust or the realities of Naval engagements in 3 dimensions etc. I'd agree with a couple of points made upthread - Work out what the rules tell us and work out from there if neccessary.

Someone mentioned Battletech - (Which is a setting I love) They never fall into the trap of letting the fluff get carried away - In essence Battletech is about giant stompy robots - Fluff and Fiat (Or FASAnomics as they callit over on the battletech forums) is employed to limit the 'realistic implications' of (for example) world-killing black navy assets on that focus. Something we would do well to remember here. 

I largely agree.  However, we don't necessarily have to change the names TOO much in order to get Hawker and Works Raptor to be practical.  Honestly, I would take a partial page out of the Rense System Navy for Hawker, and make them the "National Guard" of the Terran Alliance, and call them Hawker Defense Fleet, or something.  Works Raptor just needs a dark name added to it to represent their more "spec ops"/"dark projects" of the Directorate, rather then as a full corporation.  Otherwise, everything else is in a rather good place in the fluff.

We don't necessarily NEED to have the science behind WHY things work in a game, but it helps when trying to create your own stories, scenarios, or campaigns.  For example, a lot of what I read about the normal drives that are used is that they are not jump drives, in that they do not quickly transition between stars (the Wormhole stations do that, but they have to be so deep in interstellar space to be impractical).  A fleet COULD jump deep in to enemy space, but would find it impossible to jump out again, or even properly engage, but the trips still take time to complete, either way.

I also enjoy Battletech.  They don't really let the fluff interfere with the rules, just look at the ranges (previously fluffed as being the targeting systems were just THAT bad).  GW, however, does allow the fluff to interfere with the rules, much to the mockery of the launch of AoS (Settra does not kneel, so the player can't either; an Empire Duke who gives bonuses based on how the player interacts with an imaginary horse; etc), and the horrid rule/point balancing found in 40K.

I look forward to seeing what WarCradle brings in and hope to see their product in my local game stores, along with a positive reaction from my groups.  That may be hard with X-Wing having a solid lock on the starship scene, with Dropfleet having a considerable presence on the east side.

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I strongly feel like directorate groups such as Works Raptor and any strong corporate entity should remain relatively unchained. I don't think the overall goals of Works Raptor or Hawker Industries are terribly different than the Directorate or Terran Alliance respectively. It's more interesting to let Works Raptor or Hawkers operate as an immensely rich corporate police force in my opinion. This distance them from groups such as the RSN by giving them autonomy rather than 'You are the elite of the elite.' 

I think there's more interesting stories to write about corporations and smaller political factions rather than rolling everything into the warmachines of the Kurak Alliance and Zenian League and having the individual cogs of those machines lose their individual objectives and methods.

 

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I just hope they don't roll Directorate, Works Raptor, Omnidyne, and Hawker Industries just because they happen to be corporations.

It makes sense that both sides have corporations that only work within that sphere. For example there that many corps in real life that only operate in China or the US due to things like regulations. Makes sense that some Dindrenzi corps exist that refuse to, or are tied from working with Terrane and vice versa.

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