Heavy Gear: The Skimpy Worlds

Some of the worlds in the canon Heavy Gear RPG setting have not been developed beyond a few sentences of text, in either the original roleplaying game or the current Blitz! rules. Not only is there little to go on, I’m not sure I would use them anyway.

Botany Bay. Considered only “marginally” habitable, Botany Bay was converted into a prison planet, then its population of prisoners and guards were left to their fate when Earth abandoned her colonies.

The best idea I’d had was to make this a haven, as odd as it sounds. After Earth returned to her colonies and conquered them, its clone supersoldiers had nothing to do, so they became increasingly restless and resistant to their mental conditioning (referred to by the human officers as “malfunctioning”). To keep the troops in line, the Earth high command decided to add a carrot to the stick of their brutal discipline: Follow orders and behave, and you’ll be transported to Botany Bay to make a world or your own. (The degree to which this is true remains to be seen.) I don’t have much more to this concept yet, but it’s a start.

Home. Home was bought wholly by a megacorporation, which moved all of its personnel and operations there, and was a healthy, successful colony at the time of Earth’s withdrawal.

That’s it. “Company towns” are one thing, but I don’t know what story I’d want to tell about a company planet. I’ll likely replace this.

Jotenheim. This world was purchased by a group of private citizens, who are known as hostile to outsiders. One book described the world as “New Switzerland,” due to its “cantonment” style of government.

This is the ignorant American in me, but I don’t know what this means. I’ve read articles about Swiss government and cantonment methods in other parts of the world, but I’m just not getting it. This will probably be replaced unless I can find a better explanation, or an example I can follow.

New Jerusalem. This world was bought wholly by the Roman Catholic Church, which relocated to the planet several hundred years before Heavy Gear’s present day. New Jerusalem is described at the time of Earth’s withdrawal as being “a medieval agricultural nation ruled by a religious technocracy.”

I’ll probably replace this completely. Some folks have suggested using this to explore things like a Second (or Nth) Reformation, but I’d much prefer to use something else, like my collection of books for the Harn roleplaying game. If I can figure out how to make a medieval-level setting fit into the Heavy Gear universe, I’ll use that. If not, I’ll replace it.

So, of these four “skimpy” worlds, I have a concept for one of them, a possible source for a second, and two that I know I’ll replace completely if possible. As I said before, there are few worlds developed to the same degree as Terra Nova that would fit in the Heavy Gear setting, but the search continues.

That leaves Earth, which I’ll discuss separately.



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