Here's the first section of the current draft of the Gravstrike world background document I've been working on between playtesting and iterating the rules of the game.
Enjoy, and let us know what you think!
It’s the far future. Hovertanks battle for sport.
Piloting a turbine is power. In the arena and out of it. No one’s got more pull and no one can do more damage than the greatest pilot in the arena. Why else would I be here?
—Raptor Wills, Megastar Pilot
Hovertank battles — the Sport — take place in every corner of the galaxy. Its pilots are heroes (and villains), its tech is obsessed over, its dramas are watercooler conversation on a thousand worlds.
There's the Sport, and that's all. What else matters?
—Murdock, Megastar Pilot
Organized religion takes a distant back seat to enthusiasm for the Sport, and to the adoration of its megastars, intelligentsia, celebrity commentators, and even the big-name researchers who push its technology forward season after season.
The executives, the board members, and to a certain extent even the shareholders own and run the universe. There can be no doubt that the masses live under the collective thumb of galactic corporate power. But if this mega-commercial oligarchy put an end to the Sport? There'd be an uprising from the Arms of Orion to the Core Worlds.
— Wester J. Mercier, Doctor of Political Science, The Spinward University
If religion was once the opiate of the masses, the Sport is Opiate 2.0, a social nexus that both ties together an interstellar humanity and obscures the social compromises that fueled the galactic expansion.
The Sport’s celebrities are megastars and messiahs, its duels are polestars of popular attention, its technology pushes innovation in every area of human knowledge, its rules are known as the capital-L “Law.”
I love the Sport because of this: Do you see [duelist superstar] McKenna McKnight today? That's me in five years. I'm going to make it in the arena, I'm gonna drive a Falcon IX for Crowne, and everyone in the universe is going to know my name. Watch me.
— “Vapor Trail” Quale, Talented Rookie Duelist
Kids in every corner of the galaxy dream of becoming turbine pilots. Wage-slaves shake off their ennui to watch and re-watch duels and their commentary. Brand managers connive to associate their products and commodities with teams and pilots that will put their logos in front of trillions of eyeballs.
The most popular duelists in a community are its nobility. The most popular duelists in a system are its cultural ambassadors, for good or ill. The most popular duelists in the galaxy are humanity’s deities. And anyone can ascend to god-hood.