Scrap-Brawl Setting Concept

Genre: Science Fiction Sports Action
Aspects: Life in the Fast Lane, “Real Steel”
Current Issue: Sparks Will Fly
Impending Issue: War is a Business

Welcome to the Future of High Octane Sports Entertainment! Roaring down the field and onto your vidscreen is Scrap-Brawl, the no-holds barred mechanical mayhem that has swept the solar system. 8 Teams of elite pilots in sophisticated war machines compete for the HardCASE Mechanized League Cup. Alright all you Hard Heads out there; ARE YOU READY TO MASH SOME METAL!?!

In the twilight of the 21st Century, Mankind has reached out to the stars and colonized the majority of the solar system. However a phenomenon is capturing the attention of the public, the system’s most popular motorized sport is the HardCASE League. An organized tournament where skilled pilots control Computer Augmented Specialized Exoskeletons, towering robotic frames bristling with military weaponry and battling for the adoration of billions across the stars that watch the outcome unfold. Few compete for Fame, Some fight for Fortune, and Others strive to get their message out to the stars as this Melodramatic melee plays out. It’s opening day, and everyone’s eager to see which team is going to be at the top of the heap. Because in the HardCASE Mechanized League, WINNING IS EVERYTHING!

Sol System

Humanity’s own little piece of the galaxy, it had some trial and tribulations, and quite a few near extinction level events but for the most part humanity has managed to very neatly carve out a nice niche for itself. Granted when humanity left the cradle of its creation for the stars, they did not leave under a united banner and humans remain far from united in their various factions, political blocs, and governments to every really hope to come together. Nevertheless, the Sol system stands as a Human centric space, and for the time being so it shall remain.

The various planets of the solar system are nations unto themselves collaborating or competing among one another for resources or political gain. It is because of this constant conflict that something like Scrap-Brawl became so popular, a highly sensationalized professional sport that allowed society to temporarily forget the despair that pollical conflict has on their situation, as well as allowing the public to alleviate their stress through proxy violence. It helps the league even more that many companies and corporations sponsor teams and equipment to showcase and test out prior to marketing sales.

Mercury: The 1st planet of the solar system is a small manufacturing settlement whose main export are the processed metals and minerals of the resource rich planet as well as high quality electronics. Given the tidal locked and practically lifeless world most mining and processing is done through automation of machines. This is all headed by an association of companies known as the Merchant Guild which is not only headquartered there but also provides transportation of said resources throughout the system.
Venus: Venus stands as a miracle of human ingenuity and engineering as well as the bread basket of the solar system. Terraformed by a consortium of corporations, Venus has been an agricultural world, providing food for most other planets. It is the only planet to receive a universal neutrality status as its role is far too important to have any one faction controlling it. Most Venusians live in habitat arcologies in the polar regions of the planet where also the terraforming processors are located.
Earth: Once the crown jewel of the system, after centuries of ecological damage, overpopulation, and planetary civil wars, have left the motherworld of humanity as a shadow of its former self. However, much like most humans, possibly more so, Earthlings are stubborn even to a fault. Their government the Terran Government Administration (TGA) has long believed and touted that Earth as the center of the human civilization should lead the solar system.
Orbital Colonies: When many fled earth’s plight, most salvation in the stars in space stations parked within orbit of the planet. Most Orbital colonies are protectorates of the TGA for protection.
Moon: The industrial center for the TGA, its inhabitants live in massive underground hive cities. Most of Earth’s heavy industry was moved to the moon long prior to any major military conflicts during the opening years of space exploration.
Mars: How fitting that the red planet named after the Roman God of War would be under almost constant conflict. Mars is a divided planet, marked by unrest and war, home to the Interplanetary Martian Republic, and the Free Martian Coalition. Border classes between these two forces are frequent with the region near the equator of the planet being something of a neutral zone where no one political group holds dominance and many refugees, and independent groups live to avoid conflict with the two superpowers.
The Belt: The asteroids are populated by mobile nomad communities, each a microcosm country of its own, most such communities owe their allegiance to no nation. Most Belters make their living as miners or caravan traders plying metals and rich mineral deposits to be sold to companies or nations for a high price. Of course this doesn’t mean there is no conflict, there is a concerning criminal element in the Belt, of roaming pirate families that hound or harass travelers for their resources. Most follow a code of taking only what is necessary, but like much of the Belt, this is up to the group you run into.
Jupiter: The Jovian system houses what ever initially the second wave of refugees leaving Earth when even Mars became to overcrowded. These individuals have shown their robustness and resourcefulness by constructing planetary habitats on many of Jupiter’s moons. The Jupiter Confederacy is also known as the first government to develop and field CASEs. Thanks to the resources of the Jovian sub-system, the Confederacy is the richest nation in the system.
Saturn: The farthest human settlement in the system, the planet itself is uninteresting, however it’s largest moon Titan is the main source of a complex chemical compound that plays an important role in the industries of the solar system. For the most part the people of Saturn are left to their own devices given their distance from most other planets.

GM Notes: I had been working on a “competitive” mech sport setting for FATE since I got into it, but I lacked the hacks, rules and understanding to fully be able to make it happen. It wouldn’t be until Rockapocalyse, FATE of Mechs, and the fan-made work on professional wrestling that I felt I had enough material to make it work. I imagined this setting on the tail end of a great system wide war, that blew most major powers back technologically by about a century. They’re capable of traveling from planet to planet and most military grade ships have thinned to the number that they’re used more defensively to deter than engage. However one of the most numerous relics of the war would be the HardCASES, frames retooled for construction, law enforcement, and even entertainment. I like this timepoint, because there could be political unrest and drama among factions and add spice to the game world.

The Collector

If the HardCASE Mechanized League were to have a notorious villain, it would most definitely have to be Cyptonetic’s own Nikolai Luka, more commonly referred to as “The Collector”. Formerly Jovian Confederate Space Militia, dishonorable discharged under the rumors of insubordination and striking a superior officer though if the rumors are to be believed it also includes a laundry list of other infractions.
Chauvinistic, Egotistical, and a sadistic streak as long as the asteroid belt; Nikolai enjoys terrorizing his fellow pilots and pounding them into scrap, the fact he ALSO gets paid for it is a happy related bonus. The Collector gets his name from his macabre ritual of taking pieces off of defeated HardCASEs as trophies and adding them to his “collection”. For almost as universally hated as he is on/off the Shatterdome, the Collector has surprisingly a small but loyal fanbase of people that show up to his games; they’ve come to call themselves “Repo-Men” as they cheer “The Collector” on to greater and brutal displays for the crowds.


She is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and, for some, the end; she is the reigning champion of the HardCASE League and her kingdom is the Shatterdome and all the people that congregate there. “Malkia” is the name she responds to, and thus everyone has come to call her that. Rumors are abound as to where she comes from; some say she is a refugee of the African Wars of Earth given the origins of her name, others whisper that she is veteran of the Martian Conflict fed up for fighting for patriotism and politics that she could not stomach, and many still believe her to be a Mercurian Merchant Marine. Whatever her origins are Malkia had long taken the League by storm, in only a period of 5 years she and her team Aerocorp’s “Eisensturm” have dominated the competition and reigned as 3 year consecutive champions. She’s surgical on the track, and can lead her team with such authority that her legions of fans have called her “Queen”. When she takes the field all eyes are on her, amongst the cheers of “Long Live The Queen!” and she intends to reign for a long time.

There are many CASE stadiums across the system, some are humble affairs due to available resources, and other are lavish displays of economic prosperity; Corporate sponsored teams and National Stables of CASE Pilots number in the potential hundreds of thousands all jockeying for position of dominance. However only one stadium stands as the pinnacle jewel of all CASE professional pilots and teams, the Shatterdome of Conjunction. Nestled in the DMZ of Mars, Conjunction is the unofficial third power of the red planet, once a humble city state struggling to remain independent now stands as the nerve center of the expanding sports industry of CASE professional leagues.
Conjunction, also known as the “City of Scrap” has earned it moniker well; as initially it was built on the mountains of refuge that was dumped by the major interplanetary shipping train lanes. Being on one of the major arteries of planetary industry allowed the simple city state to make itself a center of commerce, legal or otherwise. Individuals from across the planet and across the system rub elbows with each other, corporate employees share the roads with, gamblers, pimps, black market dealers, mercenaries, and the upper crust from many planets to “live on the edge”.
Conjunction has thrived on this dangerous edge, pilots come from all across the system to attempt to make a name for themselves, many die in the attempt, some return home banged up but alive, and the small few that remain go on to become major fixtures that are broadcast across the stars. These men and women offer something that few other sports can, the spectacle of civilized warfare to quench the interstellar man’s morbid curiosity. Where honor, treachery and waged skills can exist without the deprivation and loss of the political squabbles of interstellar powers and horrors of past wars that have been visited on the Sol system. To some it’s an exhilarating escape from degradations of today, for others it’s a dark drama that represents a dark reflection of the galaxy, and from some still a chance for the average citizen to be caught up in extraordinary events.
But Conjunction is not a city of dreams.