Monday, October 19, 2009

The future sure is filled with history!

Today I feel far from great, with the great autumn cold coming on, so I hope I'm not to rambling or to unfocused today. It will pass. I hope.

If you have read what I've written lately, you know that I have gotten back into Battletech again. I have, due to that, been looking a lot at the official Classic Battletech site for information on the game, and on the setting.

Back in the days I never got the impression there was a world. You and a friend had 12 meter tall robots throwing hot lead and plasma at each other. Do you need anything more? Apparently those hints in my 2nd ed rulebook about some futuristic power blocs or whatnot, had been developed further in sourcebooks. I never saw anything except a myriad of Techical Readouts, which meant even more mechs. I never felt the need for more mechs, since I did have rules for creating more on my own. Why would I buy a book of mechs when I could design them myself? That was part of the fun, right?

Now when I browse the BT site, my eyes almost glaze over from the information overload. While it's extremely generous of Catalyst game labs to provide so much goodies from the OOP back catalog for free, I don't know if I want it! But, I still want to give them a pat on the back for being so forthcoming with previews, outtakes and whole OOP books online. Even someone who just want to browse around, or find inspiration for personal futuristic campaigns can go nuts and enjoy.

So why wouldn't you want to read the background books? Well, I always feel a bit daunted by the challenge if I see that I need to read a huge pile of imagined (future) history textbook to "get" a setting. Game settings with a very rich backstory are nice, in a way. You know that a game book will feel like a meaty piece of entertainment even if you don't get to play much. For those of us that get to play less than we want, it's nice to have some other use of the game books we buy. But, on the other hand it's sometimes a little bit to much. Where do I start? What do I need to start? How much do I need to know to be able to play in tournaments? You get the picture.

Battletech sure is fun, and the setting have some good drama and amazing scenes with excellent special effects and stunning visuals. Will I drown in it? Time will tell.

3 comments:

  1. This is exactly the way I feel about expansive published settings, Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, Third Emperium, Harn.

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  2. I have a more complicated relation to that kind of setting. The possibility of diving into a strange world and read about mysteries is quite enjoyable. I do love some settings with lots of material published, like Glorantha. I guess it also depends on if I am going to game there, or just read.

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  3. Use it if it works for you, lose it if it doesn't.

    Necroposting... I did say I would be back. ;-)

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