World Building: BattleFrames

With BattleFrames, we diverge a little from classic cyberpunk tropes, and into Anime territory.

BattleFrames were first discussed here.

Cyberpunk-styled Anime, such as Ghost in the Shell and Mobile Police Patlabor, heavily inspired aspects of Glass Shadows. Additional inspiration came from reading about military exoskeleton projects.  Thus was born the BattleFrame. These series mixed classic cyberpunk with a distinct Japanese flair and a nod toward the giant robot heritage of Anime.

In the context of the campaign world, BattleFrames started out as construction tools with limited power storage which, naturally, limited their functionality.  Picture, if you will the power-loader Ripley uses in Aliens. Now add long power cables running from her back to a generator (Something we are dealing with today) and generally being more of a nuisance than getting French kissed by a face-hugger.

The question was how to carry this technology forward in a reasonably realistic manner? There needed to be a way to overcome the energy requirements.  This lead to the concept of SolarSkin, a thin film of solar collectors and capacitors fabricated through advanced nanotech.  SolarSkin, combined with high-capacity power cells and a little JP-7, give BattleFrames their mobility and staying power in the field.

Your average BattleFrame is between 2.5 and 3.5 meters in height, and piloted through direct neural connection.  First generation Frames used interface suits with haptic feedback and neural receptors to give the pilot control. Today, the Direct Neural Interface has replaced these suits. Jack in, and the BattleFrame becomes your body.

Today, military forces and police units around the world use BattleFrames to augment their troops. The modern BattleFrame enhances the user’s strength and speed, while protecting the pilot with high impact ballistic plating. On the battlefield, Frames target entrenched forces and hardened targets. On the streets, the CED and police use Frames to combat Headcases and gangs with too much access to military ordinance.

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