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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 8:54 pm 
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I am getting a new UC RPG campaign started up for my local gaming group. It is set at the time of the Gryps War, before and during the events of Zeta Gundam. So the main antagonists (run by yours truly) will be Titans. This will actually be my first attempt at directly running Titans as NPCs, so I am interested in a little creative feedback from fellow writers/gamers here.

1. The Powers of Titans
What does a Titan character actually gain by joining the Titans? What are their official powers and advantages as stated or inferred in the Zeta story? Are there any unofficial ones, or "fringe benefits" beyond the usual ones that accrue to mechajocks with a nifty uniform?

2. The Disadvantages of Titans
What part about being a Titan would be a disadvantage to a character? There definitely are some drawbacks, or else AEUG would not be a factor, or at least the Titans would be more sympathetic. What parts of the faction's characteristics would prove detrimental Or, are the flaws more likely to derive from the character rather than the organization?

3. Layout
Size is an issue, because the Titans are very active, but they never seem to be very numerous. How many ships, MS, bases, and personnel can be described as "Titans", rather than "EFF on Loan"? Do they have their own training facilities, or would a Titan character be directly recruited from the Academy/prior assignment and be given a new uniform?

4. Newtypes
The Titans have several Newtype characters, although you would think they would definitely be Oldtypes of the first and worst sort. What would make a Titan become a Newtype? Would it make them more accepted, or not? Would they be held as superior or inferior to the cyber-newtype living weapons?

Let me know what you think. There are no wrong answers! Admittedly I will like answers with the most connection to the Zeta stories. However, any truly interesting ideas/views may get a character built from them, just because it will make things interesting for the players! :)

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I am Ral-san, enthusiast of Zeon MS, maker of Zeon gunpla, encouraging mentor of younger fans, and an admirer of mature beauty.


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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:29 pm 
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at least for the first two...

The obvious advantage that anyone gets when they join a Praetorian Guard such as the Titans is power and privilege. Zeta states that Titans members get treated as though they are two ranks higher than their actual rank, which means more days off and (presumably) more pay. The other obvious benefit is the power that comes with being part of an elite unit that exists outside the formal military rules and answers to a man whose adherence to ethical military conduct may be severely understated as "tenuous." More by implication, if you join the Titans, you can be sure that the leaders will take care of you (as long as you don't wind up on the wrong side of internal politics and/or crazy bloodlusting colleagues), because you are the source of their power.

The disadvantage, of course--other than associating with a bunch of puppy-kickingly-evil people--is that you get swept up in a world of internal politics and crazy bloodlusting colleagues. Also, when the Titans collapse, you may be on the hook for, y'know, war crimes.

And if you have a conscience and are a Titan, then you're really screwed.


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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:33 pm 
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1. Titans seem to have an unwritten "do whatever you feel like doing" policy in effect. Bright is absolutely shocked that Bask and his goons would hit him, but they don't suffer any sort of repercussions for this. It's the first in a long line of instances of the Titans violating basic protocol (and decency) and no one outside of the AEUG lifting a finger to stop it. I think some of it has to do with that "two ranks higher" standard ShadowCell mentioned. Bask is merely a Captain, but he seems to have much, much more clout than that. A lot of this casual disregard for traditional behavior has to do with shady back room deals form Jamitov and Bask simply not caring, but at least some of it seems to be Federation-sanctioned. They are elite, and the Fedeartion gives them the leeway to act this way.

2. So, while Titans likely enjoy mundane benefits like more pay, they also get a longer leash. The trade off is that everyone outside of the Titans seems to hate them for their barbarism or their arrogance. As Lila points out, the EFSF regulars generally seem to feel the Titans are a bunch of overblown idiots who go throwing their weight around without really understanding anything about space. (Not to mention the whole war crimes pissing off some regulars so badly they went rogue, but that should go without saying.)

3. The Titans actually are quite small at the beginning of the Gryps Conflict. Minor guerrilla scraps like those in Advance of Zeta notwithstanding, the Titans haven't really done much of the Zeon-hunting in their mission statement. The Federation apparently doesn't see any reason to expand a counterinsurgency unit that doesn't have any insurgents to fight. Even when the Titans come under attack, they dragoon a lot of their forces from Luna II to chase the Argama and disrupt the Jaburo drop. Only as the war escalates does the Federation begin expanding their ranks, which, up until that point, were bolstered by regulars and Republic of Zeon support. Even then, you see a lot of stuff like Federation Galbaldy Betas launching from the Dogosse Gier when Axis chases them off the Argama's tail. Despite their ever-expanding ranks, the Titans continue to rely on Federation resources until the Federation turns on them.

As for facilities, well, clearly, they have Green Noa/Gryps. The Feds also handed them Jaburo, but they seemed not to care about it. Kilimanjaro is another biggie, and I believe it was implied they have other bases scattered across Earth. They eventually pick up the Gate of Zedan/A Baoa Qu, too. The Titans roster seems to be a mix of new and old, given the presence of both OYW veterans like Buran Blutarch (that Asshimar pilot who chases the Audhumla) and newbies like Jerid Messa, who was most likely recruited straight out of the academy. The Titans seem to be a grab bag of whoever fits the bill.

4. You phrase this as if you can choose to become a Newtype. Either way, I don't think it would go over amazingly well. As the entire Cyber Newtype research program tells us, the Titans don't see them as anything more than weapons. A Titan-Newtype might be treated with more interest from his superiors, maybe even the perk of a higher-spec suit, but there's also a chance it could poison the well. Newtypes are closely associated with the Zabi philosophy and the deadly Newtype Corps that did so much damage during the war. The average Titans may dehumanize a Newtype comrade as a walking weapon or mistrust them as a traitor-in-the-making.

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 Post Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:20 pm 
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Imperial wrote:
1. Titans seem to have an unwritten "do whatever you feel like doing" policy in effect. Bright is absolutely shocked that Bask and his goons would hit him, but they don't suffer any sort of repercussions for this.

I personally think Bright was shocked that the Ttians were going to use him as the scapegoat for their careless actions. The beating was an added incentive for him not to object to the game of "pin the tail on the Feddy". Still, the Titans do have an ability to act beyond what most people would consider the proper limits of authorized behavior. It is useful, but it doesn't seem to make them many friends at the way that power is used, ne?

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I think some of it has to do with that "two ranks higher" standard ShadowCell mentioned.

I thought it was a 1-rank higher capability myself, but maybe there is some further information I have missed? At any rate, that ability to command beyond additional rank helps them compel others to act, even if it means overriding the local EFF chain of command. That is a great power, but it is one guaranteed to develop EFF resentment, especially among the officers whose hard-won authority and experience may be automatically invalidated by a mere chu-i or tai-i. For that matter, all the Titans seem to be officers as well; I cannot remember an NCO TItan beyond the Albion crew at the end of Stardust Memory, and they might all have gotten a gratis promotion to ENsign anyway.

Quote:
A lot of this casual disregard for traditional behavior has to do with shady back room deals form Jamitov and Bask simply not caring, but at least some of it seems to be Federation-sanctioned. They are elite, and the Federation gives them the leeway to act this way.

There is something to be said for the existence of the TItans as an independent force, responsible only to the main governing entities of the EUG, and maybe even not too much even then. The Titans appear to be the bad-wish fulfillment of everyone who always wanted to see the Government create a force that would boldly go forth and righteously kick bad-guy booty without any annoying political or constitutional limits in their way! Congratulations guys, this time you got your wish. Sort of like Aesop's fable of the frogs who petitioned Jupiter for a king.

Then again, the rapid creation and empowerment of the Titans, barely a month past Operation Stardust's ending, suggests that Jamitov and Bask have the support of a lot of influential people, and that the plan may already have been written down, and only needed to be submitted for approval. Awfully convenient there, hmm? May be that's why the dissidents call themselves "AEUG"?

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2. So, while Titans likely enjoy mundane benefits like more pay, they also get a longer leash.

Indeed, this freedom of independent action makes them the prominent force in the Federation during their tenure. It is in direct contrast to the EFF, who are strategically bound to their bases and regular patrols, barring orders from above. The Titans have the authority to go where they will, investigate what or who they want, and do something about it without having to ask permission first.

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The trade off is that everyone outside of the Titans seems to hate them for their barbarism or their arrogance. As Lila points out, the EFSF regulars generally seem to feel the Titans are a bunch of overblown idiots who go throwing their weight around without really understanding anything about space.

I suppose this is where the arrogance counterbalances the power. The Titans can do whatever they want, so they get the victories the EFF isn't allowed to get, and they get the credit and promotions and enhanced budget for it, while the EFF gets an "attaboy" for providing most of the workforce to clean up. The ability of the Titans to take action without fear of consequences seems to really rub people the wrong way, even when they are successful. Maybe that is what contributes to Lyla telling Jerid that his group lacks "understanding" of operating in the Inner Sphere without causing more trouble than they are supposed to solve.

I am also indebted to Black Knight and Trioknight for their UC fanfics which nicely give examples of EFF & Titans clashing over problems of cause and effect.

Quote:
3. The Titans actually are quite small at the beginning of the Gryps Conflict. Minor guerrilla scraps like those in Advance of Zeta notwithstanding, the Titans haven't really done much of the Zeon-hunting in their mission statement.

I am not so sure of that, considering the presence of many Zeon units and their allies. The Titans by 0087 seem to have done a good job of forcing the Zeon remnants to keep their heads down, except for some who decided to shoot it out, to their loss. It's the "and allies" part that seem to lead the Titans to 30 Bunch, and riling up the lunar industrial combines to support AEUG.

Quote:
Despite their ever-expanding ranks, the Titans continue to rely on Federation resources until the Federation turns on them.

That is another power I ascribe the Titans, the ability to call on local forces to give them all the logistical support and Gundam fodder they need. Like other elite forces of Earth's past history, the Titans rely on a lot of grunt work to set them up to fight according to their elite capability.

Quote:
The Titans seem to be a grab bag of whoever fits the bill.

The Titans use some formula of skill, loyalty to the Federation, devotion to their brand of EUG loyalty, possible Newtype potential, and just plain usefulness when deciding who gets to join up. Even among themselves, there seems to be some confusion over what makes up a "proper" Titan, especially since Tomino and his imiaters don't give us an exemplary persona. I might have to do that myself. :)

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4. You phrase this as if you can choose to become a Newtype.

I didn't say it well. What I meant, was what could cause a Titan to awaken as a Newtype? They don't seem to meet the qualifications, at least according to some of the UC characters who claim to have an idea how Newtypes come about. Scirocco is the obvious exception that proves the rule.

Quote:
Either way, I don't think it would go over amazingly well. As the entire Cyber Newtype research program tells us, the Titans don't see them as anything more than weapons. A Titan-Newtype might be treated with more interest from his superiors, maybe even the perk of a higher-spec suit, but there's also a chance it could poison the well.
[/quote]
in this regard you seem to follow Ecole du Ciel and Zeta Gundam itself. The Zeon remnants have Newtypes, so the Titans feel they should have some Newtypes as well. If Newtypes must exist, they should serve to protect the Federation from their fellows...under proper guidance of course! Although if Newtypes = power and Titans = power, at some point Titans = Newtypes. Getting non-Newtype Titans to accept their psionic teammates as comrades and friends....well, that's where the drama comes into the story. ;)

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Gundam Unicorn I wear my loyalty on my Sleeve.

I am Ral-san, enthusiast of Zeon MS, maker of Zeon gunpla, encouraging mentor of younger fans, and an admirer of mature beauty.


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