As promised, this is the "something new" that we've been working on: our new RPG campaign will be based on none other than the current Generations toyline, Titans Return! Our own unique take on it, anyway.
Decades ago, Cybertron was ravaged by the Combiner Wars. Combiners were created by resource-strapped factions desperate for a cost-effective way to fend off attacks by the terrifyingly powerful citybots who had become the dominant force on the battlefield. The gambit was a success, with swarms of smaller, cheaper combiners proving more than capable of defeating Metrotitans, Omega Sentinels and anything else that stood in their way. But their success came at a cost: most of those who had undergone the combiner process were driven slowly, inexorably mad. In many cases the combiners found themselves physically incapable of separating, and took to roaming the wastes between cities, destroying anything that came between themselves and the energon they needed to fuel their continued rampages.
Building the combiners had exhausted the Autobots and Decepticons' already-depleted reserves of energy and resources, and their conventional troops were nearly helpless to stop them. Rogue combiners spread across nearly the entire surface of Cybertron, destroying infrastructure and fighting massive battles when their paths crossed. Casualties on all sides were massive, with Autobot and Decepticon alike left with no choice but to abandon their home planet to the monsters that they'd unleashed.
The war has gone cold since, but that should not be mistaken for peace. Treaties prevent the combatants from building new combiners or citybots, but skirmishes are common as deep-space scouts from both factions fight over the scarce resources needed to keep themselves alive. Energy shortages have forced both sides to make sacrifices, downsizing into smaller, more energy-efficient bodies. Some of those downsized Autobots and Decepticons have trained as Titan Masters, elite troops capable of combining with larger, more powerful "Titan" bodies as a part of combat or exploration missions. The rest mostly serve in support roles, with bodies no larger than a common Minibot in the days of old.
Cybertron is a ruined cinder of a world, haunted by the ghosts of the past. Rumours persist that some combiners still wander the ravaged world looking for new victims. But some brave souls have returned, combing through the ruins for valuables, relics and bits of their lost history. And as they dig deeper, rumours have begun to circulate that they've found something very valuable indeed, and that not all of the citybots had been utterly destroyed in the Combiner Wars after all...
With Autobot and Decepticon alike unwilling to let a functional superweapon fall into enemy hands, both sides scramble to send a crew to investigate. But Cybertron is a much different, far more dangerous place than the world they left behind. Will anyone survive the Titans' return?
If you're wondering why we're sticking so close to a toyline this time around...well, the honest reason is that we've never done it before, and it sounds like fun! We're very interested in exploring the Headmaster concept and how it impacts the characters who've undergone it.
We've had a lot of discussions on staff about how the Titan Master/Titan relationship is going to work. And the conclusion that we've come to is that every one of them should be different! In some cases, the Titan Master was involved in the war before Cybertron was destroyed, and the Titan that they're bonded with is their own original body. In that case, head and body would get along very well, without too much personality conflict. On the other hand, a Titan who's been through several partners will have a very strong personality of its own that may not mesh at all with a new Titan Master. And a Titan that's been freshly built starts life as something close to a blank slate, but will very quickly develop a personality of it's own as it spends time bonded with its Titan Master. But in most cases, both head and body have a personality of their own. And when they're combined in robot mode, those personalities blend into a single mind in ways that might not always be predictable. So basically -- have fun with it!
A full rules post will show up in the next little while, as well as a sign-up thread, but if you're familiar with how our previous games ran you already know how this one is going to work. The only thing that's new are the character rules. We don't want to run into a situation where the whole game is dependent on one or two people to keep it going, so all players (including staff) will be restricted to a maximum of three permanent characters.
We'd like to encourage you to pick characters that are a part of the Titans Return toyline. But if you're interested in playing someone who hasn't got a toy, that's alright too -- but you need to reinvent them in the style of the toyline. That means that smaller characters either become solo heads driving around minivehicles, minibots designed to interact with TMs or "tabletbots", and larger characters must be Headmasters or something functionally equivalent (your Titan Master can turn into a codpiece for all I care as long as the spirit of the idea is the same). Same goes for characters from non-G1 continuities: if you can TMify them, they're fair game. Just let the staff know your plans for them before you claim them so that we can tell you if we think they're a good fit or not.
If you've got any questions, feel free to ask! If you're interested in playing, keep an eye out for a sign-up thread in the next few days.
Don't dream it, be it.
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