Jump to content


Recommended Posts

Vent mode on


I see this time and time again, and its starting to irritate the heck out of me. (and I'm a pretty laid back guy, so figure). Anyway, too often then not, I hear other players voicing their opinions about not enough CAV galaxy fluff. it creeps in from time to time, yeah I'm guilty of it too.


Alright, everyone obviously realizes there is more going on in Reaper than just CAV, you got Warlord, AICOM , Dark Heaven, Imperator, yada, yada. I know I have a lot of work just tracking one story, imagine juggling five or six.


My question simplying being, if the lack of CAV fluff is such a problem, then whats stopping you from submitting some material. Do you have to wait until Reaper spoon feeds you your gaming backdrop? and whats the worst, the guys at Reaper are going tell you? No? WAAAAH!


The guys at Reaper have always been fair about what think would benefit their product, I repeat THIER PRODUCT and in almost every case, where I've seen them not go with an idea or writing submission, they usually have been fair enough to tell a person the reasons behind their decision. I can deal with that.


And oh, wait, they said no, is that the end of the world? heck NO. Are they stopping you from using said writings in your own unit backdrop?


I've come to read their current fluff as a history textbook.


example: in 2181, the Rach plasma bombed the Earth.


OK, you realize there is a lot more to that than that right?


How did they know where to bomb?


How did they fight past the Terran spacefleet?


How did the survivors amass a Legion so quickly, and they then kicked the Rach's butts in Orion?


Get it? Read between the lines and fill in the blanks yourself, playa!


this game has been out what, 2, 3 years? is it gonna be anywhere near the level of fluff in CBT, but then again, I remember CBT had a lot of player participation coming up with fluff. I remember player battles in a freakin Tesla pod determining outcomes in some situations, or am I remembering something different?


For cripes sake, if your not a writer, get a campaign going with a bunch of guys, and use each game as "unit history", now your writing fluff together. We've been having fun doing this since the JoR2 came out. use that as your personal history for your area of influence; you can't expect Reaper to publish every fine detail of over 200 settled systems, can you?


Sydes Guide can wait.


I'm not even worried about ROE, I'm already playing scenarios and trying to get guys involved.


Theirs plenty of guys online, who could chat force organization with you, and break down the theory behind what a Turma or a Company is supposed to do.


Theres plenty of smart guys who know the ins and outs of a lot of things, targeting, ESM, military conduct, infantry manuever, Armor tactics, military history and how real military tactics could be made to apply in CAV.


Vent mode off


just got into a private discussion, where this came up


WUUUUUUUU, breathe Hoyusha-san breathe.. (Dueno)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 40
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

I think the big break in BTech fluff came roughly simultaneously in 1987-1988. Before that we had only snippets from the Boxed sets (Battletech, Citytech, Aerotech), the background material in Mechwarrior RPG, and snippets from the handful of products out at the time. Then along comes The House Books (best gaming products EVER! almost 100% fluff and in an instant the universe became a very detailed, deep place) and Technical Read Out: 3025 & 3026. Add to that the 4th Succession War stuff that came out a year or so later and the setting went from sparsely detailed overview to extremely well detailed in just about ALL facets (ever wonder what the Catholic Church was doing in the Next Millenium? Its in there! Who's the most popular pop group in 3025? Its In there! What is...etc.)


I never heard of player participation shaping the universe, at least in the early days.


Here's what I think CAV should get to make it a more detailed universe, approaching that of Battletech:


A series of Faction books. From what I've seen so far, CAV can be divided up into 2 faction types (and correct me if I'm wrong): Established Governments, and Corporate Entities. A series of books detailing the major players, as well as perhaps one volume detailing minor players. Most would be fluff, but mix in some "crunchy" bits (rules and stats) to give the pure gamers something to do. Stuff like history from the perspective of that faction, socio-political situation, a complete military roster (ships, regiments, divisions, etc...I personally would want to see more than just a listing of CAV units) and perhaps an atlas/gazeteer of major planets/holdings. page count between 64-96pgs selling for around $20-25.


A series of scenario books centered around major conflicts, perhaps introducing some new rules but focused on the conflict itself. The scenarios should be integrated to almost tell a story of the conflict, with a chapter dealing just the history, and the rest the scenarios. Should definitely have maps (not just for the scenarios!) Keep them around 32pgs and $10.


A single volume handbook, for people that want some fluff but don't want to invest so much in the above. A simple "Life in the CAV universe" book, with general overall history, notes on the major factions, everyday life, tech, and a large section on Life in the Military. Definitely aimed at beginners. Keep the page count to 40-64pgs and priced between $15-25.


The thing about all these books is that they should cater to all the game systems eventually intended for CAV, and general enough that if you want to RP in the universe, its easy to do so (99% of any RPG campaign is setting!).


Kamut, if you're ramting about this stuff, how comes you're not writing??? Not meant to be a flame (more like a zing :P)



Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, Lars

I've written a ton of stuff, and submitted too

not just fluff, little ideas here and there, they liked some, they disliked others.

The campaign I run is unofficial, meaning, I can write whatever the heck I want and whatever they like or like to expand on, they can have.




you'll be there for a while reading so grab a drink. and theres a few guys still writing along, from here and there.


on the issue with factions and stuff, the guys at Reaper heard it enough times, so I figure they have something in store.


as for my campaign area, ask me anything about IGS 160 and I can tell you a whole story behind it. Now it my be my perspective but everything uses the offical fluff as a framework.


Do you want a layout of the entire UTDF, or is 7th Division enough?


The UTDF War college produces fine young leaders, but doesn't have its own football team, we tend to root for the Dorado Aztecs.


Jill Mclemore is a fine looking hottie whos a bit of a local celebrity, she's the neice of current 7th Division Principal War Cheif Joseph Mclemore.


Jack Burton is a bit of a rough neck, scoundral, and a risk taker, but he's fighting a pitched battle to save Awenasa from an invasion from a hostile renegade faction called the Disciples of the Blood Apaches.


see for yourself....

Link to post
Share on other sites
For CAV fluff to really kick into high gear, CAV would need its own Michael Stackpole. It was he who made Battletech fictional history popular with his blood of kerensky series. Any Michael Stackpoles out there?

I wish...


I wrote some fan fiction on the CBT website and they plaguerized it for the new book without even offering me a production credit.


So I jumped ship and here I am, a CAV player.



I have tons of stuff I'd love to share and everyone says it's good, really good. But I'll be damned if my ideas get stolen again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When the idea of fluff springs into my mind, which it is not often for anything to spring into my mind. It tells me that when you are trying to bring new players into the fold, and they ask, " So what is the history besides that of the fact that there are many different mercenary groups attempting to gain the Templars favor." You just stand there with a blank look on your face and go " Well". I mean the fact that I could hand a new player a book that detailed the races, or the planets of interest, or some house specific army list would be great. I understand that the Reaper peeps are busy, but something official would be awfully nice. And it would keep the interest of the player. I can say from experience that players after learning the system, start to look for a reason to play the game. When this happens the need for fluff, or a set of official campaign rules would be nice. Which everyone around here was waiting for the Rules of Engagement to solve these issues, but it is still not available. And we have no clue when it will be available.



Also the create your own fluff rule is nice, but when you have other games that have the fluff already in existence, the players are more interested in the official thing, then some guy going " This would be great guys, but when So and So puts out the official stuff we will trash this and go with what they say."



Well I have ranted enough.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, on the issue of plagerization, stuff I write for CAV is theirs, being its their product. I have no issue with that, so as long as they play fair and at least give up the props. I have other projects and writing credits would look good on the "resume".


Now on the issue of my own personal projects, only with a lawyer present, will I start messing around, and thats with anybody. I got life's work to protect and I'll be damned if anybody is going to screw me on that; not without a little "just us" if you feel me. I take that same approach with our Hip Hop too, since I'm also protecting Pharoah's interests too. If I trust someone, I'll let them in on the secret, but otherwise, thats the way it is.


But in Reaper's defense, Official fluff is not an issue they are not already aware of. they've only heard this umpteen times, and its pretty safe to say, they're on it. So what I'm saying is, OK, yeah, now chill; they know this already.


I highly doubt anybody here is gonna trash what we already got going; Blood Apaches/Wild Apaches/Ndee are here to stay, regardless of the official word. Reaper's not going to legitimize anybody's campaign for that matter, so be it.


Does it mean the Wild Apaches never really fought the Battle of Cassini? I got more than enough pages outlining the battle reports, that tell you how it happened. And is that to say the Ndee people don't exist in the CAV galaxy?


Ndee existed in some shape or form for several thousand years, they exist now, and will continue to exist in the future. All I did was merge the identities of several Native American tribes, north and south, including my own peoples, the Tiano-Boriquenos of Puerto Rico/St. Croix/Dominica (Maya of the Antilles), and took it to another level.


Principal Cheif Pedro Torrez (Cacique of the Tiano Tribe) seems to enjoy it and inspired me to use the prophesy of the great "One Tribe (Ahme ke kia)". The Ndee are basically that entity.


That would never be trashed, regardless of Reapers take on it; which by all accounts has been one of understanding. They're not going to get involved with the perception of how I feel our cultural evolution is going to go, simply put, some tribes won't agree with my perception, no matter which direction we take. (You can't please everyone all the time) its not Reaper's place to get in the middle of that.


So I can accept Reapers decision, though it still doesn't mean I'm not going to push for some kind of acceptance. again, they've been pretty fair on their judgement, and I can respect that.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Regardless of what happens fluff-wise, the Spartans will live on. Their back-story is just too good not to keep them.


Oh, and Amen Froy. ::):



I agree with you KAMUT, that if you write CAV stuff it technically should belong to Reaper. I'm not an attorney and I don't know all the laws about intellectual properties but I do know that any fiction I create I consider mine.


I got burned so bad by WK that I wouldn't even consider posting fan fiction here or anywhere else again. Please understand that I by no means am implying that anyone at Reaper is anything less than ethical. I love the company and the people are great, I can't wait to meet them.

Link to post
Share on other sites

KAMUT, some good points but you also make some good points for those who complain. I am extremely voiciferous over the fact there is very little fluff. Sure 3 years and sure they have all this other stuff but maybe that's the problem. Maybe in a rush to get everything else out there other products suffer? I shouldn't have to submit my own work to see a universe unfold, although I am not opposed to doing it, it's often a waste of time more then not. My contention is that the fluff is just one aspect o fthe game that gives me the impression it was sort of half assed. Let me explain -


There's very little fluff, which leads me to believe the company created the game to sell minis more then anything else, I'm ok with that, but why bother putting aything out at all except as a free download on the web? Everyone knows you don't make a whole lot of money on rules sets anyway.

The system itself, while tight, is almost too tight, not a whole lot of room to make thinsg interesting and there doesn't seem to be a whoel lot of interest in making it more interesting, too many cries of "overcomplicated" and whatnot. It's borderline beer and pretzels as it is, which is ok, but for some gamers it doesn't hold the attention for very long. In essence, some things can be too simple.


Your campaign has certianly made things more interesting for me but that's the point, you have added your own fluff, given it a time line and a place to be "in". That's WHY it's interesting. Believe it or not many gamers are sophisticated as those things go, they like fluff.


The other issue is making fluff consistant with the game. So far, since there is very little fluff that doesn't seem to be too much of an issue :)


honestly what it comes down to for me is there is very little fluff and the fluff that is provided is pretty flat. The race thing sticks in my kraw more then anything else. We have several different races who all for all intents and purposes behave the same on the battlefield, not to mention their technology is almost identical for all intents and purposes. Players and gamers like to be able to associate themselves. When we sit down to play, often I want to identify and asoociate with some faction that my play style fits into. Some people like to play the hard case, charge in for the glory types, and others like to play with finesse.

Consistancy would be nice too. It strikes me as really strange that while you have factions and races from Reapers fantasy line in CAV, they aren't related in anyway, it seems like sort of a lazy way of doing it if you ask me. Why not tie them in? You certainly might attract a few people who already have a collection of Malvernians into playing CAV so they can play their favorite fantasy faction in the future.



honestly all of this stuff can be worked around but my point is that if you're going to put something out, why half butt it? It's my contention with WARLORD, my fear is it's going to have the same issues that CAV does, not enough variation, not enough room for variation, and very little background. Why would I want to urchase the rule book if all it is is essentially rules? there are a hundreds of rules sets out thre with no fluff, just little paperback books usually with cardstock covers, tah sit on shelves and collect dust. more then a few of those rulse sets realy are pretty cool, but they are neglected because they don't have the flash some of us enjoy.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kamut what you say has merrit. But...(don't you hate that word).. It doesn't do any good for anyone to submit anything if nothing ever gets published.


Sure Reaper has other games and they have decided that it is more important at this time to get those products out than the CAV ones they said would be out a long time ago. I could almost live with that if they would just post some fluff online.


The way it is now if a fan sends something in it might be years before they put it out for all to see. There is nothing preventing them from putting fluff online. They did it before the game came out they could do it again. They have just haven't done so.


For me the fluff is what got me interested in the game. They way things have gone so far I bet we see JOR3 before ROE even though ROE was supose to be out a long time ago. Frankly if that happens I will just stop playing. I am in need of more fluff not more units to play with.



So the point is while what you suggest people should do send in stuff is a great ideal I admit. It just isn't going to do anygood if nothing is published on paper or online.

Link to post
Share on other sites


I understand the frustrations and thanks for the vote of confidence, heres one thing you may or may not realize. (I'm guessing you do) The campaign fluff I did, works hand in hand with the official fluff. You hit the nail on the head a long time ago; I'm presenting the "dirty version" of the official timeline.


example; Official fluff states during the era of strife, the United States was so enmeshed with violence, the central government was eventually no longer recognized by the states.


Heres what that implicates for my campaign; with no federal government there is no bureau of Indian affairs, thus the states (who the tribes are in constant litigation with) would roll over any of their established rights and confiscate the remaining lands.


2012 Blood Apache nation is reformed


2027 Official Fluff states the UN building was destroyed by an unknown terrorist


My campaign goes on the premise, the Blood Apaches were the most likely to be responsible.


the fact that Reaper doesn't "officialize" any of these events, actually lend the Blood Apaches more credence; BUUUUUT that doesn't mean they don't follow along where I'm going with it.


point is, all I've done was look for a few hooks to tie into the official setting; very little we've done actually changes or contradicts the official timeline, and if it does, it works to strengthen the overall story; Hint- What you don't know is just as important as what you do know......


What I'm telling all of you, listen up.


Reaper is working on it. They know. its a moot point.


I don't really even care about the fact they drew from their fantasy setting; I did the same thing years ago with my storyline for Exodus Star, drawing from my D20. In some ways I regret it, because one of the questions I got was, "why isn't magic prevelant in this world now?" my answer "because I hate the idea of my work turning into a Star Wars clone, I think I'm more original than that."


Theres a truckload of issues associated with that, and getting to the meat and potatoes of the subject, The Dark Heaven world doesn't quite fit the mold I see CAV striving for. they recycled a few names (God knows I'm guilty of it) so be it.


On Generals statement, are you so sure, Reaper hasn't already published a few odds and ends here and there which was inspired by players input? I can name plenty of instances, including a few of my own screamings, that actually found their way into the "official work". So thats an unfair statement.


The JoR is a source for fluff; Look at the PMA. How about the Cybots from the first JoR? I surely found a hook with them.


ROE is simply a book of scenarios and more add ons, guess what? I have no problem creating scenerios and add ons; I even have my own method of negotiating contracts, ask Red about that. The ROE is just an assesory, nothing more. When it comes out, sure, I'll run through a few scenarios, but after I've gone through them all, what happens? Cry and moan until the next ROE comes out?


If the fluff is what got you into this game, then why are you complaining about fluff?


The mechanics of the system is what got me into this game, I always provided my own fluff, regardless of what I'm playing.

Link to post
Share on other sites
The system itself, while tight, is almost too tight, not a whole lot of room to make thinsg interesting and there doesn't seem to be a whoel lot of interest in making it more interesting, too many cries of "overcomplicated" and whatnot. It's borderline beer and pretzels as it is, which is ok, but for some gamers it doesn't hold the attention for very long. In essence, some things can be too simple.


honestly what it comes down to for me is there is very little fluff and the fluff that is provided is pretty flat. The race thing sticks in my kraw more then anything else. We have several different races who all for all intents and purposes behave the same on the battlefield, not to mention their technology is almost identical for all intents and purposes. Players and gamers like to be able to associate themselves. When we sit down to play, often I want to identify and asoociate with some faction that my play style fits into. Some people like to play the hard case, charge in for the glory types, and others like to play with finesse.

As far as the "tightness" goes I have to agree. My players are honestly bored with the system. Because the rules are somewhat limiting I have a super hard time generating interesting scenarios.

I also have to be careful what I run because of the policy of keeping house rules away from demo's. We only play once a week and it's in a public place so I don't have much latitude to add in house rules for a given scenario. I'd hate to face a situation where someone is interested in learning but I have to take them aside and show them something different from what they were watching.


The faction thing really needs to be capitalized on also. when I played StarFleet Battles I chose the Feds. because I liked the Federation. I also played the klingons because I liked them too. I never played the Romulans or Gorn because I didn't like them, regardless of how good their ships were. Some really minor changes regarding weapons and tactics would really go a long way towards people choosing to play because the Rach are close combat gods or the Malvernis are better shooters at long range or the Terrans are lucky beyond belief or etc..etc..

When I played CBT hot and heavy I chose to be mostly Davions because I liked them. Thats part of what kept me playing for so long. They seemed to do whatever it takes to win and I happen to agree with that philosophy. Special Forces teams and dirty tricks are right up my alley.




Anyway... It seems we all agree Reaper could use some more staff writers or at the very least some outsourcing of official fluff. Someone mentioned earlier publishing official fluff onto a website. Sounds like a dandy idea to me. CAVHQ or Mil-Net would be perfect for this. Let players register their faction affiliation and send them a faction mini when they do.

Something else we could use is a good old fashioned war. A Malvernis invasion of Terran space seems ripe. Nothing attracts wargamers like a war. ::):



Just my opinion...I could be wrong ::):

Link to post
Share on other sites

War; hmmmm OK. I'll pitch

Give me a quick outlay of the Spartans; how many CAV sections, vehicle sections, ETC, ETC. a couple names and callsigns.


Contract rate is 25% (its what everyone is getting at this point.) you'll get an excel file tracking our previous operations.


You'll need to go to autodesk.com and download Volo view. You'll be able to open and read the Tactical map. DWG file. plus I have to send you a few special font files; you'll be confused without them.


We'll deploy you to augment the Lucky 8 operation zone. I don't think Red would mind, and he could use the assistance.


You'll need a freind to play out the opposition, and the map would give you a rough outlay of the environment. really general so you free in most cases to do as you like.


I think once you get a feel for the action, you'll pick up on whats going on pretty nicely. Let me know when you have volo view and get ready for "War".....

Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, info sent.


Ideally, this is to demonstrate how player participation can shape a backdrop. A little creativity goes a long way, and could turn even the most "mundane" ruleset into an epic. You just gotta be able to build from a thought, thats all.


I think the overall point, is that we as players have to be willing to do more to create an enjoyable gaming experience ourselves. I think too often we find ourselves blaming Reaper for our own lack of creativity. I do it too.


anyway, CAV is a great game, and with a little creativity, you can take the game farther than just a few numbers on a peice of paper and a few minis. Its a question of are you just playing a game or are you "fighting an epic battle". or how about, is Dana Murphy just a name tossed out, or is she a young Red Spades Captain who prefers tea instead of coffee.


Is IGS 160 just another system or is this a hotbed of Terran political social regression, and hot tempered Ndee warriors ready to raise havoc on the RAM coalition.


really, that depends on what you the player makes of your gaming experience.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...