It feels like it's been a while since I've done one of these, and some of you may start to doubt my word that I've generally got several campaigns just itching to go. So, for today, I'm going back to Campaign Proposals and am going to touch on one of the more recent ones to be niggling at the back of my head. Namely, Invasion: Earth.
Generally speaking, I am a huge fan of the mecha genre. I like mecha movies, anime, and games. Sadly, I don't get to play in enough of them, and I haven't ran one in a long long time. Tragicallly, the mecha genre is a fairly niche genre, even amongst gamers. So, the idea here is to have a game that can be a mecha game, but will also give the non-mecha lovers some things to do.
The idea for the game would be "near future". By that, I don't mean the next 20-30 years, but maybe sometime in the next one hundred years or so. Technology would be close to ours in most area, with key differences in military technology and from that, communication speed. Other areas haven't benefited as much, because the world has been too busy being at war over what few resources are left on the planet to sustain its dwindling population.
The game would ideally take place all over the world. I might change the earth to a Strangereal world - one that is a close mirror of the real world, but different nations and land masses - but the real world could work just as well. Either way, the countries have united into several factions for strength in number, and are at war. The PCs should be split up among those coalitions. Yes, that's right, starting the game off the PCs are at war with each other.
As mentioned, the PCs would be from the different nation coalitions that are at war with each other. They would ostensibly be military, but cases can be made for non-military personnel. The military does allow for a wide range of character types and skills, particularly with multiple decades of war and the various needs a major military would have in those cases.
Finally we get to the meat and potatoes of this. The idea is simple, during a big battle - perhaps even a climactic battle - in the war for Earth's limited resources, aliens strike. At first it isn't clear what they're here for, and all sides will assume one of the other coalitions is using this as a secret strike. As the opening days of fighting conclude though, it becomes clear. Earth has been invaded, and they have no interest in negotiations with the humans.
The aliens are interesting in the one resource earth has plenty of, even if it isn't all useful to us: water. Even the water in those people they can catch is harvested. With the enemy clear, the coalitions join together to fend off this enemy.
The mechs would come in the early part of the war; captured enemy tech putting the final touches on designs that the various nations already had. Some PCs could easily be test pilots for this new form of armored infantry, serving as the work horses for military endeavors. Other PCs, if they so wanted, could easily be mechanics and engineers, working to get as much out of the limited number of mechs as possible, and finding ways to mass produce them faster.
The ideal feel for the game would be desperation and hope. An overwhelmingly strong enemy has showed up, and kicked humanity in the teeth. Humanity is nothing if not resilient though, and will be pushing back with everything they have to protect their planet. At times, the decision may even come close to simply denying it for everyone instead of losing it.
For the PCs, I'd want to make them feel like heroes. Not necessarily in the power level (though that too) but in the pressure from their peers. They would end up as the people that everyone looked up to, that everyone expected more and more from, and that would be viewed as responsible when things didn't work out as planned.
System wise I'm not sure what would be best for this. With the idea being for early mechs - at least starting off - I think Silhouette Core would be the best choice. Other mech systems I know of are simply too fast and nimble with their mechs. Silhouette Core on the other hand can cover a wide range of things well, and the particulars of its skill system would be ideal for the game. Letting players choose to specialize or generalize while getting a full range of benefits for both.