What’s a Gear?

Here is an excerpt from the alpha of the introduction to Heavy Gear. An introduction is not required by the rules but for a player to understand the context of the game it is a stage worth indulging in.


People who appreciate Mecha and other military tech love the small details these little technical snips of information. It really pleases us to see care taken to get it right, to put the dirt under the fingernails of the universe.We care about the Gears because anyone would care about how they function.


The devil is in the details in a future reality world the Heavy Gears embody and realize that in the best way possible. Today in the modern era designers are building mecha prototypes and I find myself viewing robotics and vehicle  tech videos and noticing that the Heavy Gear future is coming. How long until police give up horses and start riding riot mecha? How long until urban work exoskeletons replace forklifts and ladders in many workplaces?

So here you go:

The Heavy Gear (Draft 82/635).
The core combat vehicle in the Heavy Gear universe is the Heavy Gear. It is a Mechanized Walker Vehicle also known as a Mecha. In Heavy Gear a Mecha stands between four and six meters tall and can weigh between 5000 and 10,000 Kg. The pilot sits in the chest of the vehicle with their head often extending up into the sensor head turret of the Gear. Normal piloting is achieved by VR HUD helmet, standard joystick, throttle, foot pedals, and control panels to direct the Gear.


When needed the pilot can override the Gear’s movements by using waldos that connect to the pilot’s arms to mimic the movements with the Gear. Normally all autonomous control of the Gear is achieved by the Gear itself. A powerful computer called an ONNet, usually situated under the pilot’s seat, is trained to be able to control all the standard movements of the Gear. Some ONNets are so intelligent that they can even supplement the pilot’s decisions with attacks or reactions of their own. A Gear chassis is mass produced but a good ONNet, like a pilot, must be trained and the best ONNets develop basic personalities and form attachments to their pilots.
End excerpt.

There you have a Gear in a nutshell. Though not noted here it’s important to the background of Heavy Gear that players understand that a Gear is like a car or a tractor. It’s a vehicle with enhanced capabilities but it’s common, cheap, and easy to manufacture in large numbers. Much like the modern ATV, snowmobile, or the smart phone. Over time the tech becomes cheaper and more accessible and the future Gear is no exception.

We’re taking care to ensure that the Gears from previous editions of Heavy Gear still feel and function as they always have, and that they match the background, history, and scale of the game.

Til next time when we talk about how Skill ratings and model attributes work in the new Heavy Gear.
-David McLeod

forum handle: dave
Currently painting: Voltigeur Tank Details