Hardlife: The Character

The player in Hardwar is represented by a generic pilot, distinguished only by their moth and its gear. It’s possible to buy and sell moths, though, and hopefully I’ll be able to save up enough to do so.

The default starting “trader/fighter/scavenger” options (plus some more exotic ones for experienced players) offer ten grand in cash, plus a generous range of basic equipment and software. As before, however, I have tampered with the fundamental order of the universe to make my start more challenging.

The Ship

My moth is the worst available: the Silver-Y. It’s slow, weak, handles like a sedated mule, and can’t accomodate much equipment, however it is very small, making me a tiny bit harder to shoot. Installed are:

Smallest cargo pod: allows me to carry up to 10 units of 2 different types of cargo. So if I have, say, 3 units of kittens and 1 of rainbows, I won’t be able to carry anything besides more kittens and rainbows.

Salvage drone: the most expensive item I have, but an important one for most pilots, and fundamental to scavengers. It allows me to pick up any cargo on the moon’s surface. Without this I would have no way to make money.

Mark 2 targeting software: this allows me to target cargo, which is required for the salvage drone to function. However, it’s the only software I am starting with, so I will still have to visually locate any salvage before I can target it.

That’s it. Without even the most basic software (eg: radar, shield charging, flight control), I won’t have the Heads-Up Display (the overlay and instrument readouts on the cockpit, aka ‘HUD’) to tell me what state my ship is in, although I will get an audio warning if my energy drops too low. I also have no weapons or countermeasures to enemy missiles, and no money, so scavenging in the truest sense will be my only chance to survive, at least for a while.

So, eschewing the glamorous life of the bounty hunter, the dangers of piracy, and the plodding bean counting of the trader, I shall enter this world as a scavenger. Lowest of the low (at least in the sky. You never truly see the world below, but it’s implied to be rather unpleasant), the scavenger is a lurking, snatching beast whose primary activity is circling the hunter and is prey, waiting for the chance to make off with discarded cargo and scrap metal from wrecked craft. Sniggering is optional.

It is here I will make my living. It is here I shall thrive or dive by my skills, my cunning and my near-total lack of shame. On the distant horizon is a dream of owning a powerful ship, my own hangar, and the industrial machinery to build a trading empire of my own, or even to discover the secret of escape, to charter our return to Earth. But first, I must survive.

It’ll be a Hardlife.

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Filed under Hardlife Rules, Hardwar

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