Well, for Christmas I got HALO 4. It’s a beautiful game, and very slick, and it reminded me of everything I love about sci-fi, and especially military sci-fi. So, now I have this idea for the first supplement for Life of Rage. I call it Galaxy of Rage, and it is based on the premise that Orcs from a traditional fantasy setting are taken off-planet and thrust into a world that combines magic with high technology.
The premise is actually pretty old. Games Workshop has been using it for decades for their Warhammer 40K game, and its various offshoots. Additionally, Fantasy Flight Games had a D&D add-on game called Dragonstar that did exactly what I am talking about with all facets of a traditional fantasy world. In fact, that’s where my idea originally came from.
So, my thought is to use the basic rules and mechanics from Life of Rage, and add on things like high tech weapons, futuristic skills, and of course, space battles and vehicles. Originally I was thinking of writing it as a complete game, but now I am thinking I might just do it as a supplement. Meaning, in order to play Galaxy of Rage, you would need to also have Life of Rage.
Anyways, it’s just an idea, and I will probably chip away at the project for a while, until I decide to make it a priority. In the meantime, here is a vignette I wrote. It was originally intended to be the beginning of a “Rambo”-type of story, but I think I will go a different route for this setting. Enjoy!
Call of Duty
By Tom Doolan
Burkak the orc still remembered the Old World. “Karneer” they called it. Though to his tribe it was simply, “the world.” He remembered when there was nothing beyond the lands of the orcs, elves, dwarves and men. Wars were fought with axes and spears and swords. Magic was what the mad sorcerers used to enslave his kind, and those who did not possess the power to fight it, or the will to withstand it.
But that was before the great Sky Ship came. Before General Ortak came, and killed the Chieftain with a hand-held device that Burkak would later learn was called a pistol. Ortak spoke of worlds beyond theirs, where orcs lived alongside men, dwarves, and even the hated elves. Where petty racial squabbles were a thing of the past, and where the Great Empire of the One defended the citizens of hundreds of worlds from the threat of annihilation at the hands and claws of creatures far worse than those that existed on Karneer.
Ortak had asked for volunteers. Burkak had been among the first. He had found a new home in the Imperial Defense Force, and soon was serving in an infantry squad on faraway worlds. Gone were his axe and shield; replaced by an Arcanoplast vest and helmet, and a plasma rifle. However, he still carried his old war knife, as many of his kind did.
But the universe wasn’t as black and white as Ortak had painted it. Yes, people of all races lived side-by-side within the Empire. But the Emperor wasn’t nearly as benevolent, nor as all-powerful as the general had painted him to be. And the IDF was actually only a loose collection of mercenary companies under contract. During his first tour, Burkak had spent his time moving from one planet to another, fighting members of his own adopted Empire.
Even now, his unit, Hammer Squad of the 2nd Orc Company, was stalking a group of “renegade” elves on a planet covered by oceans and jungle-encrusted islands. Their primary mission was to destroy a landing beacon, thus delaying the renegades’ support from arriving.
“Snaag to Burkak.” The orc’s squad leader’s voice was loud in his head as the helmet amplified the telepathic transmission.
“Burkak here.” He hissed. He couldn’t quite master the art of speaking only with his mind.
“SitRep, over?” Situation Report.
“Target is active. Count: two-zero combatants. Primary: Sightlocked, over.” Burkak adjusted his cheek on his DragonEye sniper’s rifle, and focused on the elf in chainmail, a rifle over his head. Even at a distance of twelve-hundred paces, the orc could faintly hear the elf’s rousing speech as the small unit of commandoes prepared to board their stolen stealth shuttle.
“Roger that.” Came Snaag’s reply. “Boomer is set. Will blow on your signal, over.”
“Affirmative. Stand by.” Burkak focused his site on center mass of the elf’s chest. He let out his breath, held it there, and squeezed the trigger. He was rewarded with a echoing “pop” and a buck, as the rail-gun fired its projectile at twice the speed of sound. In an instant, the target’s chest exploded in a crimson spray, as the adamantine projectile the size of a man’s little finger impacted, tearing through the chainmail and the body beneath with devastating effect.
As the elf was flung off of his stand, an explosion ripped through the camp. At the far end of the small clearing was the homing beacon, and in a fireball that would make a red dragon envious, the metal and wood structure was vaporized, taking with it several soldiers.
Before the remaining elves could regroup, the woods at the edge of clearing opposite the smoldering ruin of the beacon erupted in automatic fire. In a handful of heartbeats, the elves were reduced to less than ten, each taking cover behind whatever they could find. Burkak focused on one of these and fired again, to the same effect. Return fire began shortly, but it was sporadic and wild. Another target of opportunity was taken by Burkak’s rifle, but beyond that there was no more.
Over the helmet set Snaag’s voice called for “All clear.” At that, Burkak gathered his gear, slung his rifle, and immediately began picking his way down the rough mountainside to the clearing.