Personality and Role Play Primer
Clan Warriors and Civillains and their personalities are just as complex as any person in the Inner Sphere, but are formed by a society that most of people would see as unusually cruel, barbaric and Orwellian.
Birth through training:
Clan Warriors are born and bred in a Eugenics system that eschews traditional pregnancy and instead uses a batch system where a large number or genetically related embryos are gestated in artifical wombs and birthed in a clinical setting. This group is known as a Sibko, a shortened term for a “Sibling Company.” The term for a mechanical bred warrior is “Trueborn.” The Sibko is educated and physicaly trained until shortly after puberty in a manner that isn’t dissimilar to a modern military academy. The members are taught the minimum math, science and historical education to make them viable soldiers, while they are also trained in grappling, boxing, martial arts, shooting and other similar pursuits from the time they can walk. Deaths are rare. Around the age of 16 they are transferred to their main academy where they enter a multi-year training to become official members of the Warrior Caste. Sibko member may quit at any time, and many do considering the brutal beating and training they receive. Deaths are frequent and a it is not uncommon for an instructor to kill a student simply to set an example. The students compete against each other and deaths are a not infrequent result of personality spats and honor duels. In a given Sibko of 100 children, only 4-5 will make it through their main warrior training and 60% will have died. Of the 35% who fail out but survive some will be assigned to a lower warrior Caste, but most will join one of the civilian Castes. The warriors who pass/ survive their competitive live fire graduation test are the best of the best, and ready to kill anyone, anytime, anywhere. A warrior who shows particular promise is called a Ristar (Rising Star).
Clan warriors have only a single name and title unless they have survived and won a ritual form of combat to earn a Bloodname. Bloodnamed warriors are the most elite of the elite and have earned a right to have their genes passed on to another generation. There are a limited number of Bloodnames available per Clan and they are earned through ritual, live fire combat that often leaves many of the entrants dead. The Bloodname takes the place of an Inner Sphere Surname. Clan warriors look down on Inner Sphere surnames, unless that surname is the same as one of their founding Bloodnames. Inner Sphere warriors that carry a founders surname are considered almost like distant cousins by most Clan Warriors. On the spectrum of reaction Wolf Clan will treat that person well, while Smoke Jaguar will treat them as unworthy or insulting to the name they carry.
- Mechwarrior Horse
- Point Commander Rachel
- Star Captain Tiberius
- Star Colonel Gunther Ortiz
- Galaxy Commander Mary Helmer
If an OpFor is to be led by a Bloodnamed character the name should be chosen from the appropriate “FOUNDERS LIST” for the given clan
Base Personality Traits:
All Clan Warriors are supremely confident in their abilities. Most are battle tested in ways that Inner Sphere warriors are not. They view themselves as morally, mentally and physically better than all but their peers and superiors; especially so compared to Civilians and Inner Sphere members.
Bargaining: Clan warriors prize efficiency and follow Zelbrigen, an honor code that limits collateral damage to structures and resources. They will willingly bid away forces if they believe they can capture an objective using less force. The rules of bidding are too complex to talk about here, but Clan Warriors can be talked out of fighting to the death, or into fighting a battle that does not favor them.
Clan Warriors have dialect idiosyncrasies, such as never using contractions. They will mock and look down on those who do because they see it as a bastardization of pure language. The most common example of Clan slang are Aff and Neg. The are an affirmative and negative response to the query: Quiaff or Quineg. Example:
“You destroyed the evidence, Quiaff?”
“Neg, Star Commander. I did not have time.”
Clans use Battle Language during combat, usually meaning shorthand military slang in clipped sentences. While there are few examples, a Clan Warrior giving orders would do so using an economy of words and this can be simulated by following this pattern.
(Desired unit to be instructed) + (action to take) + (positive or negative callback)
“Beta Star, Alpha point, proceed to echo 6 and engage, Aff.”
This isn’t a perfect simulacrum but by keeping the language tight and efficient it plays up the waste nothing, kill quickly attitude of a clan warrior. Clan warriors do engage in idle chatter and goading. They view it as a form of psychological warfare. Some are better than others. Some say nothing at all.
Personality Traits by Clan:
Every Clan is known by their totem animal, and many warriors reflect the skills, traits and idiosyncrasies of the totem. Role Playing as a Clanner is enhanced by picking one or more of the below traits for your character.
Clan Wolf: Hunters, clever, patient, full of guile, politically astute, treacherous, protectors.
Clan Jade Falcon: Prideful, attackers, vindictive, angry, brutal, impetuous, grudge holders.
Ghost Bear: Strong, patient, protectors, overwhelming force, slow, stable, wise
Smoke Jaguar: Hostile, aloof, genocidal, traditionalist, stalkers of prey, goading, feral
Clan politics are complex, but generally fall into one of two categories:
Wardens: Followers of the Warden philosophy believe that their role is to understand and save the Inner Sphere from external threats. They see the Inner Sphere as a place that can grow to be like them. During the invasion they seek to conquer Earth and preserve it as a jewel for all mankind and preserve the Inner Sphere from the destructive forces of the Crusader Clans.
Crusaders: Crusaders seek dominion over the Inner Sphere via Earth. They do not care to understand the Inner Sphere and seek only to change it via their own dominion and force of will.
The clans fall into political affiliation as follows:
Zellbrigen has been mentioned prior to this and it is both a personal honor code and a military ethos similar to that of the modern Geneva Conventions, or the Inner Sphere Aries Convention. The code limits the use of force against civilian targets and infrastructure, while also requiring defenders and attackers to bid their war material conservatively in order to avoid conspicuous loss of martial strength or life. On a personal level a warrior will only engage one target at a time, until that target is destroyed. If they are attacked by another hostile force, or their target attacks one of their compatriots the honor duel is broken and a general melee ensues where everyone can attack anyone. Below is general chart showing probable actions and attitudes should an Inner Sphere combatant break a rule of Zellbrigen and start a general melee.
|Wolf||May break zellbrigen on their own if they see an advantage to it.||Will taunt or admonish the breaker if opponent. Will use cunning and tactics win battle. Is pleased by clever opponents.|
|Jade Falcon||Adheres to zellbrigen 75% of the time||Will reprimand breaker of rules regardless of who broke them. Will use force and focus to win battle, taking delight in the chaos.|
|Ghost Bear||Adheres to zellbrigen 95% of the time||Will admonish breaker of the rules and use brute force and bring in other assets to win. Is only happy when opponent shows both skill and intellect.|
|Smoke Jaguar||Adheres to zellbrigen 100% of the time||Will rage against the breaker of rules and will cheat, lie and otherwise attempt to destroy the opponent and leave none standing as a warning. Is happy only when the enemy is wiped out, or dies violently.|
The limitation of casualties and efficient use of material are also large components of Zellbrigen. Here are examples where Zellbrigen was celebrated and used to great effect, or ignored and decried.
|Wolf||Phelan Ward conquered an entire star system just by personally showing up and negotiating with the leadership. He used threats, cunning, and negotiation so save the lives and material of both the defenders and attackers.|
|Jade Falcon||Aidan Pryde broke zellbrigen during his trial of position, creating a general melee in an attempt to kill more targets and win a higher rank. He failed, but later was given a second chance.|
|Smoke Jaguar||Facing planetary-wide resistance the Smoke Jaguars waged a campaign of terror on the populace. Unbowed by the punishment the civilian resistance continued, including Yakuza operatives smuggling royalty off-planet. The Smoke Jaguars broke the rules of zellbrigen completely and decided to use warships to bombard the planet and capital from space as punishment, killing millions and destroying critical planetary infrastructure.|
For more information on zellbrigen and other complex Clan behaviors and codes see Sarna.net
A list of Common Clan Terms:
Insults are red, military language is green, all other terms are FYI. If you RP you should memorize all green and red and look after the rest as character background and purpose needs.
Abtakha– A warrior captured but then accepted into his new Clan as a warrior.
Aff– Clan abbreviation of “Affirmative”. Generally used in place of “Yes”.
Batchall– A Ritual (its not a ritual but this is a quote from Sarna) by which Clan warriors issue combat challenges. Though the type and phrasing of the challenge varies, most begin with the challenger identifying himself, stating the prize of the contest, and requesting that the defender identify the forces at his disposal. All batchalls are closed and final when the phrase “bargained well and done” is spoken by both members of the bid.
Binary– A Clan military formation consisting of two Stars.
Caste– Primary division within Clan society, which is rigidly divided into five castes in order of importance: Warrior, Scientist, Merchant, Technician, and Laborer. Each caste has many sub-castes, which are based on specialties within a professional field. A sixth, unofficial caste, the Bandit or Dark Caste, exists outside Clan society.
Chalcas– Clan term referring to persons or beliefs which challenge the Clans’ rigid caste system.
Cluster– A Clan military formation consisting of four to five Binaries or Trinaries, roughly equivalent to a reinforced battalion or understrength regiment. At this level, Clan units are often combined-arms formations.
Cutdown– Clan term referring to the minimum force necessary to win a trial for which there has been bidding. Bidders who can push their opponent into making a bid below the cutdown are considered clever, while those who win with a force smaller than the cutdown are greatly honored.
Dezgra– is a Clan term for a disgraced individual, unit, or Clan.
Galaxy– A Clan military formation consisting of three to five Clusters, roughly equivalent to an SLDF Brigade or a ComStar Army.
Genetic Repository– A Clan facility designed to store, maintain and create new Clan Warriors using the DNA of the founders and their Bloodname successors. Two separate DNAs are put into device known as Iron Wombs, where a child develops.
Hegira– Honorable withdrawal from battle granted by a Clan warrior to a defeated enemy. Hegira allows the opponent to withdraw honorably from the field without further combat or cost.
ilChi– State Messenger, a title and office specific to Clan Blood Spirit, an ambassador from the Blood Spirits to a particular Clan.
Iron Womb– Clan device used to artificially conceive children. These devices are usually found in genetic repositories.
Isorla– The spoils of battle, including bondsmen, claimed by victorious Clan warriors.
Nathaculor- A series of zellbrigen duels.
Naval Star– A Clan formation consisting of 5-6 individual JumpShips or WarShips under the command of a Trueborn officer with the rank of Star Admiral.
Neg– Clan abbreviation of “Negative”.
Nova– A Clan military formation consisting of a Star of OmniMechs and a Star of Elementals. Rather than just being two separate Stars deployed together, Novas are trained in combined-arms tactics and operate as a single cohesive unit.
Oathmaster– Clan name for the master of any particular clan ceremony. This can be a temporary position for small ceremonies or events such as trials, or a permanent position who answers to Khan of a Clan. Oathmasters are also responsible for knowing rules and laws he/she must use to conduct or judge in various ceremonies.
Point– The smallest Clan military formation, consisting either of one BattleMech, two Land Vehicles or Aerospace Fighters, five Battle Armored Infantry or ProtoMechs, or five Squads of conventional infantry (25 men total). Commanded by a Point Commander.
Point Commander– A Clan rank, given to the commander of a Point.
Provisional Galaxy– A 2nd-Line or reserve Clan formation consisting mainly of 2nd-line BattleMechs and other equipment. Provisional Galaxies are used to garrison and defend Clan worlds.
Quiaff– Clan word used at the end of a question in which an affirmative response is expected.
Quineg– Clan word used at the end of a question in which a negative response is expected.
Rede– Clan honor-bound promise. Breaking a rede may be punishable by death.
Remembrance– Ongoing heroic saga detailing Clan history from the time of the Exodus to the present day. Each Clan has a slightly different version reflecting their own opinions and experiences, and all Clan warriors can quote whole verses of this marvelous epic from memory.
Ristar– Clan compound word for “rising star”, referring to a particularly gifted warrior on his or her way to high position.
Rite of the Vision– Clan Nova Cat ritual which a warrior meditates before a large fire to bring on a vision of that person’s future. The ritual uses objects known as a Vineer to bring about this vision. The warrior also does not sleep for over 24 hours and fasts.
Star– The base grouping of Clan mechs consisting of 5 points
Stravag– A Clan epithet favored by members of the Warrior Caste, loosely translated as “freeborn.”
Surat– A monkey-like creature from treated as a pet, or pest. Used as a slur.
Supernova (Unit)- A Clan military formation that consists of two Novas, i.e. two Stars of OmniMechs and two Stars of Elementals. A Supernova Trinary consists of three Novas.
Vineer– A Clan Nova Cat name for a object from a warrior’s past which is used for their Clan’s Rite of Vision. The object is usually a fragment of the person’s life in which they throw into a fire to bring about a vision of warrior’s future.
For most purposes you can treat the a Clan Civilian as you would any traditional character in the Inner Sphere. Most Civilians have families, jobs, neurosis, and the kind of personality traits you would associate with any person doing their particular profession. While the specific profession is unique to the person they generaly fall into one of a few Castes.
Scientist: Academic, medical or research professional fall into this cast. They are the brains of the clan Civilian Castes
Technician: Tradespeople, IT specialists, plumbers, mechanics, architects
Merchant: Traders and seekers of profit, the manufacturing and supply arm of the clans
Laborer: manual labor like construction workers, janitors etc
Dark: Bandits and renegades from Clan society they are shunned and hunted