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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

Mors Rattus posted:

So you're saying that the evil wizard is dancing naked on a mailbox.

In my heart, yes.

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Maxwell Lord
Dec 12, 2008

I am drowning.
There is no sign of land.
You are coming down with me, hand in unlovable hand.

And I hope you die.

I hope we both die.


:smith:

Grimey Drawer
I imagine him trying to keep a low profile, blend in, and just have a quiet drink, meanwhile the room smells of brimstone and dark tendrils of living smoke rise from his shoulders shrouding him in an unholy aura.

Angrymog
Jan 29, 2012

Really Madcats

Bieeardo posted:

Oh, yes, like one of those MMO players who decks their characters out in vantablack dyes, rare and gaudy particle effects, and some highly unlikely-looking staff.

In Ultima Online they'd be doing this and sitting on the roof of West Brit Bank on their nightmares. And yes, there were several different skins of Nightmare, some of which didn't spawn any longer (the shaggier one iirc)

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
If Sigmar is going to take 20 years to reach such level of "this place is awesome and I want to be a muderhobo in this world" of the Middenheim posts, I should probably just leave the hobby till then.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

Angrymog posted:

In Ultima Online they'd be doing this and sitting on the roof of West Brit Bank on their nightmares. And yes, there were several different skins of Nightmare, some of which didn't spawn any longer (the shaggier one iirc)

Staves in various shades of blazing neon too, from what I remember. God, those were some days.

Obligatum VII
May 5, 2014

Haunting you until no 8 arrives.

Mors Rattus posted:

So you're saying that the evil wizard is dancing naked on a mailbox.

Depends how many drinks they had that night.

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

....?

PurpleXVI posted:

That last one is amazing. I love the idea that Darklord Grimdeath the Negasorcerer just bellies up in some random tavern for a pint. In fact I like to imagine he shows up on purpose to wow everyone with his new Nightmare and show off.

If I bound a flying, flaming demonic horse to the material realm as my steed, I'd totally ride it on daily errands or out to the bar. It's intelligent enough that you could trust it to remember its way home if you'd had a few too many, too.

Nuns with Guns fucked around with this message at 22:29 on Nov 26, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

So like, a nightmare is a horse but intelligent and eeevil.

This is a horse that shits on things strategically.

SirPhoebos
Dec 10, 2007

WELL THAT JUST HAPPENED!
Man, get a job that requires your attention, and suddenly I can't keep up with all my old SA thread-haunts (let alone contribute to them)

sexpig by night
Sep 8, 2011

by Azathoth

Mors Rattus posted:

So like, a nightmare is a horse but intelligent and eeevil.

This is a horse that shits on things strategically.

it's D-Horse from MGS 5, but on fire

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?

Mors Rattus posted:

So like, a nightmare is a horse but intelligent and eeevil.

This is a horse that shits on things strategically.
Poor old Freckles, thought of Lawful Good and died.

SpookBus
Aug 22, 2015

sexpig by night posted:

it's D-Horse from MGS 5, but on fire

Can't you get a skin for D-Horse that makes him on fire?

Ghost Leviathan
Mar 2, 2017

Exploration is ill-advised.
Bad Horse, Bad Horse, the thoroughbred of sin.

Mors Rattus posted:

So you're saying that the evil wizard is dancing naked on a mailbox.

Well if he isn't by the end of the night then the PCs aren't trying.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010
You need at least a 13 INT and a 15 WIS to fully appreciate the majesty of

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 40: The Deck of Ogres, Oases, and Owlbears

240: Dividing the Spoils

Seven ogres (a group of four and a group of three) are arguing over who gets to eat which of the six captive human peasants. The PCs could attack them, or try to Gandalf them into killing each other or whatever. One of the peasants is actually a noble in disguise, come to check how the crops were doing. He’ll reward the PCs with fine horses if saved.

It’s basically just Bert, Tom, and William. I guess we can keep it, but what comedically exaggerated dialect would we give them? I’m thinking upper-class Victorian, obsequiously trying to implore the other side to partake first.


241: Wild Hunt

Not to be confused with #118: The Wild Hunt. This is a different wild hunt.

Six ogres are hunting for food, very loudly, so all the wildlife is running away from them. They'll pick a fight with the PCs if they don't make themselves scarce, or take some draft animals if they're offered or left behind.

So that's pretty boring. It's basically what I would have happen if I rolled "1d6 ogres" on a random encounter table and then rolled a "6."

But at least the PCs might be able to evade the fight. And the ogres will flee if one or two of them die, "preferring not to die on a simple hunt." Hallelujah, a basic sense of self-preservation! And the card notes that if the ogres don't find anything, they'll return to their lair, which has a good vantage point, and will notice any camp fires in the area the next night. Logical consequences for PC actions are always good. Keep.


242: Asking for a Raise

An orc warlord is away from his army camp with six ogre bodyguards, and runs across the PCs. He approaches and tries to set them on the PCs, but the ogres (facing heavily-armed murderhobos) decide to negotiate for a raise (they’re currently getting 10 sp a week, plus room, board, and looting rights). If the PCs speak orcish they can listen in easily enough, and probably beat the orc’s offer (though he’ll lie and promise more than he intends to pay later). If they do employ the ogres, they’ll serve for a couple of days until they notice the PCs are (probably) incredibly loaded, then try to kill them and take all their money at once. Keep.


243: Icy Desert

There’s an oasis in the desert that’s just completely frozen solid. It’ll melt with sufficient magical fire, but not from ordinary fire or heat. Despite that, it doesn’t radiate magic or melt if dispelled. (It’s also very bizarre that there are grasses and trees growing around it, though the card doesn’t call that out specifically.) The card says it’s up to the DM to determine why this is happening, though it offers a few vague suggestions: curse, trap by “denizens of the underworld” (how is this a trap?), or weird natural property.

This is an OK hook, but without providing any explanations, it’s asking too much work of me to make it gameable. Pass.


244: The Clutch

Basically the PCs are in a forest, wander too close to a hill with a cave, and an owlbear rushes out trying to murder them. It’s a father, and in the cave is a mother and four young, who will also fight if the PCs go in (complete with ‘mama bear’ +2 to hit and damage for the mother if the youngsters are threatened).

There are four “shallow graves” in the cave for the owlbears’ previous recent victims. (Do bears do this? Do... owls?) These four had about 500 gp worth of treasure and a dagger +3. That’s both a surprisingly powerful weapon to lie around in an owlbear cave, and a very boring one.

Isn’t this just a repeat of #69: Owlbear Lair, with slightly different emphasis? Boring “monster attacks!” setup, uninteresting execution. I passed on that one, and I’ll pass on this one, too.


245: Big Birds

Two owlbears laid a clutch of eggs and are going hunting for food that the chicks will need when they hatch. They’re dragging back a buck when the PCs run across the nest of eggs.

The card puts what follows next in absolute terms: “While the PCs are wondering at the eggs and discussing what kind of carnivorous bird laid them, the owlbears come back with their prey. They are not pleased to find intruders at the nest and thus attack without mercy.” (And with attack bonuses.) Obviously, this is the extremely boring, railroady way to present the encounter. It should be that the PCs only have a minute or two before the owlbears return… but if they act quick they can get the hell out of dodge, steal the eggs and run (though if they’re hoping to sell them, they’ll be thrown when the eggs hatch within the hour), or back up and find places to hide to observe what’s going on.

That’s an easy fix, and it makes it better than the previous encounter, at least. Keep.

Dallbun fucked around with this message at 04:47 on Nov 28, 2017

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
Shallow graves? Pfft. There should be four enormous owl pellets lying in a nearby ravine.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Lipstick Apathy

LatwPIAT posted:

GURPS: Reign of Steel

I originally read this as GURPS: Living Steel and was really excited for a second.

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.

gradenko_2000 posted:

I originally read this as GURPS: Living Steel and was really excited for a second.

Reign of Steel is basically the future portion of the Terminator where several triumphant AIs rule over the remnants of humanity. It is good as far as I remember, so it's okay to have been excited.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.

FMguru posted:

Pulver did some setting books for BESM, I'm pretty sure they all had catgirls in them, too.

I distinctly remember wondering why a sci fi catgirl was the only character that appeared in multiple images in the second edition core book.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

gradenko_2000 posted:

I originally read this as GURPS: Living Steel and was really excited for a second.

I have occasionally given thought to converting Living Steel's scavenging, repair, and building system to GURPS. Both are 3d6 based and use a large number of skills for design, repair, and manufacture.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy: Ashes of Middenheim: Paths of the Damned Part 1

Mund, mund, ja, ja.

The Grafsmund-Nordgarten District is west of the palace, nearer to the west gate. Like other wealthier parts of the city, it isn't suffering from damage from the siege so much as the loss of economic activity and clientele. Grafsmund is full of the ostentatious townhouses of the lesser nobility, wanting to stay close to the seat of government. Nordgarten is a little further away, and a little less exclusive, and so it's the home of wealthy businessmen and 'new' nobility.

One thing you'll notice all over the Empire as we get into it is that the barrier between Noble and Merchant, especially, is beginning to crumble. The Empire doesn't have anywhere near as strict of rules about who can be which as Bretonnia, and it is very possible to simply buy a title of nobility, especially with the Empire in heavy debt from the war effort and rebuilding. Keeping up appearances by keeping to one's accustomed lifestyle isn't just a matter of fat merchants being unable to live without their fresh goose, either. A wealthy merchant who no longer spends on parties, gifts for others, or the finest tutors for their children is admitting they can't afford it, which hurts their reputation and their business. Thus, despite the loss of trade from the war, the loss of population from so many being away in safer climes or off fighting with the army, and the damage to the city, the nobles and merchants of Grafsmund-Nordgarten and other wealthy spots continue to spend as best they can, determined to pretend nothing is out of order.

The Prospect and Graf's Repose are birds of a feather; they're the better sort of inn, for nobles and merchants rather than scruffy adventurers. They normally deal in expensive home-away-from-home private rooms for individuals or traveling families, an unheard of luxury to the average traveler, but they're packed to the rafters with minor provincial nobles who fled the countryside to find safety behind the walls, and suddenly the fancy rooms are stuffed like a common room all the time. If the PCs need to find a minor count or lord from the countryside, it's good odds that they're stuffed into a room with several other margraves and freiherrs in the Prospect or the Graf's Repose.

The Harvest Goose has an actual adventure seed, being the best restaurant in all of Middenheim. You'd expect it to be run by a halfling, but it's actually tended by an exiled elven chef who arrived with an entire wagon full of gold that he used to start his business, sixty years ago. Fanamiss Shassarn is a master of pastry and confection, but his signature goose (which costs a full 20 gc for a single meal for 8!) is said to be to die for. During the war, Elven officers used the Goose as their headquarters, and the refined tastes of High Elf nobles vastly depleted the chef's stock, leading him to have to serve cheaper, humbler fare that he passes off as traditional Wood Elf cuisine instead. He's concerned, though, and looking to hire adventurers to go out into the currently-very-dangerous Drakwald to hunt, collect herbs, and pick up the things he needs to get his signature food back on the menu. He'll be especially happy to employ any elven PCs, Wood Elf, High Elf, it doesn't matter to him.

Ulricsmund is a very important district, both to the city and to the adventure that's coming up. It's a middle-class burgher district, as far as its residents, but it contains the Great Temple of Ulric, one of the most important buildings in the city (honestly, in the Empire. I might kid about Ulric being on the outs, but he's still the second most important God in the Empire). The siege would have left this district untouched, except that a Chaos Dragon was shot down above the residential district and managed to cause a pretty serious fire before pikemen surrounded it and stabbed it to death.

Ulricsmund contains a great memorial to the Black Plague of 1111, where Manfred Skavenslayer dealt with The Rat Issue and saved the Empire, assisted by Graf Gunther of Middenheim, who made the decision to seal the gates and ensure Middenheim stayed plague free. Despite ratmen being officially passed off as yet another minor variety of Beastman, the monument depicts a well-built man holding a child on either shoulder as he crushes the neck of a vile rat beneath his boot. There's been talk of adding a second statue to commemorate the Middenheimers who died fighting off Archaon, and some dishonest folk have already taken to taking up collections 'for the siege memorial' before an official subscription has been called, keeping the money themselves.

The Temple of Ulric is the center of the entire Ulrican faith, built on top of the mountain he punched for them. Supposedly, Ulric himself appeared before the priest Wulcan and the son of Artur, the chief of the Teutogen tribe (Artur couldn't be there, being dead after losing a duel with Sigmar). He then smote the hell out of the rock (Ulric's signs almost always involve him smiting something) and caused a blazing silver flame to rise from the ground on that very spot, a flame that is still burning nearly 2500 years later. As long as the flame burns, according to Ulric, humankind will never die out and his city will never be taken. The Great Temple was constructed on that spot, because if Ulric actually takes the time to show up to point something out it's serious business. Ever since Magnus showed his piety by testing himself in the sacred flame, the priests have had to try to keep others out so they don't do the same. The Temple is heavily fortified, able to hold well over a thousand worshipers in its main hall, and a stunning achievement of architecture, having a 120 foot high vaulted ceiling without any magical assistance.

The local Temple of Verena isn't far from the Temple of Ulric. It contains either the best, or the second best, library in all of the city (depending on if you ask a Verenan or a professor at the Collegium Theologica) and is the preferred place of worship for the lawyers, scholars, and wizards of the city. I've always found the wizardly acceptance of Verena interesting; wizards often like to talk about the possibility that the Gods are just the better ideals of man made physical in the Aether (this comes up a lot in Realms of Sorcery) yet they almost all seem to worship Verena, even if they disdain the other Gods a bit. Similarly, the Verenans don't have the prejudice or suspicion towards wizards that's common among other priesthoods.

The Guild of Physicians stands opposite the temple, handling the licensing, compensation, and training of physicians and barber-surgeons within the city. As in most places, they have a bit of a long-standing grudge against the Shallyans for undercutting them and stealing business.

The Commission for Elven, Dwarven, and Halfling Interests is an interesting government office. It provides a place for the city's non-human population to lobby for their interests to the government, making sure that the voices of all of Middenheim's residents are heard. I wonder if the Middenheimer propensity for rabble-rousing riots and mass protest rubs off on its elves, dwarfs, and halflings?

Finally, there's the Bierbaden, a natural hot-spring that some scholars claim is heated by the same phenomena that causes the great sacred flame over in the temple. Whether that claim is heretical or not hinges on if the scholar in question is claiming it's a natural phenomena, or piously pointing out that the lovely bathing springs are obviously also a gift from Ulric to His favored people. The baths here are warm year round, and it's a popular gathering place to relax and get clean in the cold, cold winters.

Next: More City. There's a lot of city.

Feinne
Oct 9, 2007

When you fall, get right back up again.
Dark Matter: The Killing Jar

Act Two, Scene Three:

Now it’s time for the final scene of The Killing Jar, where we go to the Mammoth Caves and see where this all started.

The Mammoth Cave section starts with the potential for the PCs to ask the park ranger on duty for some information. He can tell them where AHD’s lease is on the site, though he warns them not to trespass. It’s possible to convince him to come along, and not entirely unhelpful but equally unimportant.

AHD’s plot is staffed by two botanists who are doing legit research and aren’t aware of any of the creepy poo poo and the two thugs who capture mothmen for them. It’s definitely possible to snow the botanists into showing the PCs the new cave entrance AHD found and has been using, because they don’t know of any reason to care too much about security. The park ranger is especially helpful in this regard though again not necessary. A peaceful resolution being easy here is kind of nice given these people haven’t really done anything to deserve violence.

There’s a bunch of rules to support spelunking next, which is really nice. There’s all sorts of descriptions of cave formations and conditions, and the rest of the section continues on with laying out how hard the rooms are to traverse.

When the PCs get down into the cave entrance, the two researchers there actually assume they’re with AHD (because how else would they be there) and it’s totally possible to bluff them into giving you quite a bit of information before they figure things out. They’re not really combatants even if they do get alerted and shouldn’t even really impact party resources.

Early on the rooms are pretty normal. The PCs eventually get roadblocked by the same thing AHD has been stopped by, a literal magic wall. A nasty little spell strikes the first player to touch the wall unless the mask from Act One is produced, which is also a way to dispel the wall (the drum from the burial mound will also do). From this point on they’ll start running into ‘mummies’ petrified in argonite (naturally eventually in one room they’re animate) and a cnidocyte. There’s not much to the area though, because the adventure recognizes the PCs really need to have as many resources as possible for the bullshit it’s about to pull.

The end of area and climax of the adventure is coming upon a gathering of mothmen shamans, who have in fact gathered after foreseeing the coming of the players. They’ll lay out the basic story behind all this, namely:

There was a big shapeless horror monster from the loving HOLLOW EARTH they call the Beast. While they banished it, a small portion of it was left behind, which they call the Residuum. In order to banish it they agreed to a Pact that prevents them from trying to actively kill the Residuum, and with AHD’s attacks against their tribe they’ve lost the ability to contain it. So they want the PCs to kill the Residuum for them (they can assist in an extremely important way but not actively fight it). They’ve got the cure to C. cnidirae and that’s the only way they’ll agree to give it to them. One of the shamans will give the party a sweet item that will negate d6 physical hits on one person (if they pass a Will check) if they agree, and they’ll remove the nasty spell from the wall, then they’ll summon the fucker.

So Residuum is a goddamn hand made out of jellyfish poo poo the size of a bulldozer.



So what the shamans are doing is channeling a ritual that prevents the Residuum from using its savage Dissolve/Mind Blast combo to just frag them like toads on a stove. It’ll try to do just that on its first action before realizing something’s wrong and trying to get to the shamans. The PCs need to kill it before it can manage to end the ritual, pretty much. Their biggest advantage over it is that it’s kinda poo poo at hitting things due to its awkward size. It’s not written this way but I’d probably allow fire to ignore its armor and maybe even temporarily weaken its defenses given fire is notably its weakness. Still it’s actually not as hard to kill this thing as you’d think if you’ve got some solid guns (which there’s no reason not to have rolled out by this point).

Once you’ve killed and burned the ugly gently caress thing the mothmen will give you the cure and take you to see the loving HOLLOW EARTH real quick before escorting you back to the surface. Assuming he’s still alive Agent Balance tries to jump them once they reach the surface, when I ran this the outcome was amusingly satisfying given a lucky Amazing success killed him in one hit. If the party resources don’t look so hot after Residuum I’d probably have the mothmen show up here to get revenge on AHD (but have Balance manage to slip off to potentially bother the party in a later adventure). If you ever do manage to kill him during the adventure Balance does have a loving sweet gun he managed to acquire through some shady dealings, a really sweet pistol that’ll be hard as gently caress to get ammo for.

I kind of like the adventure overall honestly because developing the plot thread of ‘shady corporation exploiting Stranger poo poo and everything usually goes wrong’ is not exactly hard. Also giving whoever you work for the cure and very possibly having given them samples of C. cnidirae is always a nice thing to remember if you ever want them to turn out to have been evil all along.

In the next couple of days or so I'll probably start going over the Xenoforms book, which is full of some charming takes on cryptozoological poo poo.

Humbug Scoolbus
Apr 25, 2008

The scarlet letter was her passport into regions where other women dared not tread. Shame, Despair, Solitude! These had been her teachers, stern and wild ones, and they had made her strong, but taught her much amiss.
Clapping Larry

One of my favorite game settings ever. I did an example character generation which is posted somewhere in this thread and the 2e system is so much better than the 1e (I've run both).

edit: Link to the archived Character Generation post. https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3609987&userid=135246#post426295653

Humbug Scoolbus fucked around with this message at 20:33 on Nov 27, 2017

Nuns with Guns
Jul 23, 2010

....?
Man, I swear that Blue Planet got a full write-up years ago, but I guess all the ocean rpgs are running together in my head? I'm pretty sure I'm not thinking of the RIFTS ocean books or that awkward one with an unhealthy focus on breeding the fertile people.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!
There was a System Mastery on it, and it got discussed in thread.

LongDarkNight
Oct 25, 2010

It's like watching the collapse of Western civilization in fast forward.
Oven Wrangler

Dallbun posted:

You need at least a 13 INT and a 15 WIS to fully appreciate the majesty of

The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 40: The Deck of Ogres, Oases, and Owlbears

Just want to say this is one of the best write ups in FATAL and Friends. Consistently funny commentary.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



Poseidon: A Complete Survival Guide

This section comes after the general “What is an RPG? WHat are dice?” section, and is an introduction to the setting in finer detail. It’s in-universe fiction, and is pretty well written. The Revised books do this very often, and it’s actually fun to read and gives a better sense of the world than just reading text.

The scene is a makeshift film studio in a warehouse. It’s a filming of essentially a travel guide/immigration handbook for new arrivals to Poseidon hosted by Robby, a human, and Skimmer, a bottlenose dolphin.

Narrator posted:

“Welcome to New World Underground’s multimedia production, Poseidon: A Complete Survival Guide. I’d call it two point zero or something lame like that, but all we’re doing here is condensing our award-winning programs into one for the convenience of our audience. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you have legs or fins, this guide is for you. With me here today, representing the cetacean species, is our good friend Skimmer. She’ll be chiming in with in-the-know tips for cetes.”

We get introduced to the current status of Earth!



Turns out it sucks! Earth’s an industrial polluted wastehole. While reconstruction efforts to replenish the biosphere are ongoing, in general the planet is a hellish cyberpunk wasteland. Noise, air, water, all polluted. The American midwest is a giant desert, etc. etc. picture of a crying dolphin here.

We get the distance to Serpentis, the solar system of Poseidon! 35 Light Years, though with the wormhole it’s only a six month trip one way. Not that it’s easy to get to there. There’s a few ways to get to Poseidon, depending on your status, luck, and connections. The easiest, most reliable, and most comfortable is on a GEO ship. This is pretty much restricted to government agents and employees, or official GEO colonists. The requirements for that are basically the same as immigrating to a first world nation: Do a lengthy application, it helps if you’re in a skilled high demand low supply field like medical or engineering, and it’s gonna take at least two years before you have a shot at getting a ride.

The second option is lower class but easier to get on, which is to ride on an Incorporate ship. This means you either work for a company that sends you to Poseidon, or pay a company enough money that they give you a ride. The third is private organizations, nation-states, charities, etc. Sometimes they scrape enough money together for a decent ride to Poseidon.

The last option is dirt cheap and dangerous: Black market body-smugglers. Pay a reasonable fee to someone who doesn’t ask questions and doesn’t give a poo poo if you make it to the other side of the galaxy alive and you get to ride in a ship older than your parents staffed by med-school dropouts and alchoholic astronauts. This is obviously not idea for MANY reasons.

Narrator posted:


The narrator rolls up his sleeve and peels back the flesh on the inside of his right arm. He thumbs open a tiny panel, about a centimeter square, and displays the complex electronics to the holocamera.

“It seems the ship’s coolers were about as old and well-maintained as it was. When I got here to Poseidon, my arm was deader than Nebraska farmland. The med school dropout who woke me just shrugged and said I was lucky it was my arm and not my head. I’d have decked him, but I never could lead with my left.”

Yeah, you don’t get a comfy chair. Travel to Poseidon is accomplished with the aid of Induced Hypothermic Metabolic Suppression. The process is invasive and dehumanizing! First they pump you full of chemicals to clean out your system of any and all bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other nasties that might be hiding out. There’s lots of fluid evacuation involved. Then they dunk you in a caustic bath that burns all your hair and the top few layers of skin off, and chuck you in quarantine until you’re ready to go in the cooler.

The coolers are about 3 meters long, or appropriate size if cete. They stick you in the Cooler, cram a catheter up your pisshole, stick you full of IVs, cover you in electrodes and then pump you full of sedatives to knock you out cold. Then they lower you to just above freezing and hold you there for the whole journey in cold storage.

Narrator posted:

“You’ll wake up in post-flight on Prosperity Station feeling like warmed-over manure. Your body will be feeling all those chemicals and engineered viruses they put into you to hold your cells together while you were frozen and thawed. Being a centimeter this side of death for half a year takes a certain toll on a person. They make sure the lights are dimmed, but when you open your eyes, it’ll feel like your head is going to explode. You’ll be so weak it’ll be hard to sit up. You’ll most likely try puke all over yourself, but you won’t be able to. You’ll have the worst case of the dry heaves you ever had, though.

“After these preliminary unpleasantries, the itching will start. Those electrodes they stuck on you will leave little red welts all over your body, and these welts are going to itch like all hell for about a week after they unplug you. We Poseidoners call it the Spots, and it’ll be a signal to us that you just got off the boat and haven’t a clue what you’re doing. It should remind you of the same.”

Oh, and you’ll be bone tired but can’t sleep because they pumped you full of stimulants so you’re a twitching tweaker mess with muscle atrophy and stomach cramps for the next three goddamn days. Once you’re recovered enough to walk in a straight line you get a grilling by Customs and Immigration hardasses, then you finally get to wait for your shuttle down to the planet. Spaceports are located in the cities of Haven, Second Try and Kingston. Robby recommends not going to Haven because it’s an overcrowded and over expensive mess.

Skimmer posted:

[i[The holodisplay clears and is filled with the image of a narrow, dirty city street in a commercial district choked with pedestrians and civilian vehicles. Buildings demonstrating a chaotic variety of architectural styles squeeze the street, and holographic billboards light the scene with an unpleasant multicolored glow. Overhead, jumpcraft move through the city in layered traffic lanes stacked ten high. [/i]

Skimmer breaks in, “Haven isn’t that bad a stop for cetes. Go down to Slippery Jake’s or Aquatech on the waterfront for your CICADA and other equipment. Both places are honest and fair-priced. If you need a guide, ask Jake who he recommends. He knows all the good guides. They’re not cheap, but you won’t end up stranded in the middle of the nowhere. Or you could fly into Second Try and check out Aquatech HQ. They have everything the store in Haven does plus the owner, Vendor, is full of good stories. Some will scare the flukes right off you. Tell him I sent you, and say hello for me.”

Now we get to what Poseidon is like proper. First, it’s very multicultural and Poseidon culture heavily emphasizes personal freedom and expression. Earth is a corporate conformist shithole so Poseidon is overwhelming to new immigrants. The air also smells weird, heavy and organic, due to a different atmospheric composition.

Then we get into the economy. There’s two main currencies on Poseidon: Incorporate Scrip and Long John. Scrip is a goddamn nightmare. Every Incorporate has their own scrip, and the value of the scrip goes up and down based on the company’s quarterly earnings. Also there’s a speculation market of people buying and selling various scrips to each other. So, it’s a mess. Thankfully most people have a computer program that wrangles all that for them so they don’t have to care and their net-worth stays pretty stable day-to-day. Scrip is both electronic and in paper form.

The second is Long John, worth roughly 1,000 Scrip per Gram on average. Most often carried in 1 milligram wafers. Long John is vastly preferred over Scrip because its value is relatively stable if inflationary, compared to the fluctuations of Scrip. Barter is also a popular form of trade among the Native population.



Businesses are mostly small, independent, and local. The corporate places are around in the big cities, but they haven’t gotten a solid foothold yet. Mom-and-Pop independents are the majority of the businesses on Poseidon that you’ll interact with in person. Smaller settlements will generally have a trading post as a centralized area for commerce. Specialized or expensive equipment can be bought, but due to the lack of a manufacturing base you’ll be on a waiting list for the more complex stuff like electronics and machinery.



Next up is transportation: Unless you want to settle wherever the shuttle dumped you you gotta work out getting around. You can either get your own vehicle or charter transport. There is no public transportation on Poseidon, so you’re paying no matter what. People on Poseidon are also very very very serious about their vehicles and it’s a killing offense pretty much everywhere to mess with someone’s vehicle. On a planet that’s 97% ocean getting stranded is a serious thing and nobody messes around.

As a fun side effect vehicle theft is a very lucrative, if incredibly dangerous, career option as everyone needs a ride but not everyone wants to pay MSRP. Another possible career due to this preoccupation with travel is professional salvager, as any lost or abandoned vehicles are considered property of whoever gets to it first. This actually leads to weird races between salvage crews and Emergency Response Teams to get to disaster areas to get as much loot as possible before the GEO claims it.

Fuel is actually not much of a concern: Vehicles in 2199 are all powered by Hydrogen which can be produced cheaply anywhere. Even the smallest villages will have a solar hydrogen generator, though you’ll be paying a premium for the resulting fuel. So running out of gas won’t be a problem unless you’re WAY out in the boonies.

Next up make sure you’re signed up for CommCore (the GEO’s communication network on Poseidon) and GPS service. This makes sure you don’t get lost and can maybe get in contact with someone for rescue even if you are. Then, get a guide to show you the ropes. Poseidon is really loving dangerous if you don’t know anything, so hire someone who does and get them to teach you how not to die horrifically.


And that wraps up the bit that’s relevant to getting started as a new immigrant to Poseidon. The rest of this section is more a tourist-guide, giving basic facts of how the planet works. As such, I’ll switch to bullet pointed list format to wrap this up as we’re basically getting a vomit of FUN FACTS!

  • Natives are often living in a much lower-tech lifestyle than than the later colonists: this does not mean they are primitive in any way. Most natives prefer a low-tech way of living but are fully aware of modern technology and are not afraid to use it.

  • On a related note, not all Natives are happy about what’s been going on post-Recontact. Most point their ire at reasonable targets; Incorporate states, poachers, and the like. Others aren’t so picky and just go after anybody non-Native. The worst of these are the tribes of the Sierra Neuva Cluster. Led by a transient orca, they have developed an isolationist warrior-culture that preys on any traffic in the region. While both Incorporates and the GEO have attempted to “pacify” them, their villages are mostly underwater and therefore a nightmare to take out. Also, they are NOT primitive: They happily steal tech from those they raid and have quite an arsenal of modern military equipment. Also they like coating their weapons in a potent neurotoxin so that’s fun!



  • Long John prospecting is a good way to make a living, but it’s hard and dangerous and most end washed up on a beach to be stripped by scavengers. If you aren’t already a skilled deep-sea miner and geologist, don’t go into it on your own: Find an already successful prospector and get yourself apprenticed to him. If you’re competent and useful you’ll learn the trade and stay alive.


  • Official law enforcement is ran by the GEO. The Highest form of law is the GEO Marshal, who are given full authority to carry out the entire legal process: Judge, Jury, Executioner in total. They also are equipped with top of the line cybernetics, genetic modification, and equipment, so don’t gently caress with them. Thankfully there’s only a few dozen on the planet. Marshals are assisted by Patrol officers, who make up the rank and file of the GEO’s peacekeeping forces. OF course many Incorporates have their own security forces and internal rules, and native villages and settlements often have a Native Patrol or local militia.

  • The GEO is the de-jure government of Poseidon, but it’s hardly comprehensive. There’s several competing factions besides the GEO to deal with. The first is the Incorporate States, which are literally Megacorps from Shadowrun. Basically, during the Blight a lot of governments collapsed, and your Cyberpunk Megacorps stepped in and became their own nation-states. Refreshingly though, they aren’t actually all cartoonishly evil! Most are basically just… nations. They do nation stuff, and while some (GenDiver) are pretty loving horrible (Massacres, strip-mining, polluting, etc) while others are actually not terrible.

  • The GEO is under a lot of political fire. Created by the UN to help fight the Blight many now see it as a relic, past its purpose. But, the GEO still has enough clout, and the rules of the UN, to make disbanding the organization effectively impossible. The end result is that some Incorporates are close allies of the GEO, others are actively hostile, and others just ignore them as much as possible. Natives hate the GEO because they won’t defend them against Incorporate states, and don’t recognize their land claims. Newcomer settlers hate the GEO because of taxes and regulation from a body they have no say or control over. It’s a rough situation all around.

  • Leisure! There are Holoplexes (Future Movies), Virtual Arcades (full-immersion VR holodeck type deal), traveling theater companies (Check out the New Orleans Burlesque Company!). Recreational drugs are a thing, with some being legal and others not. Mentioned is Pharium, a powerful narcotic created from indigenous plants to Poseidon. It’s basically Super-Opium complete with Pharium Dens of catatonic addicts.
  • Prostitution is legal and everywhere! Male, female, and other. More popular in smaller towns (Virtual Arcades are fierce competition) in the form of your traditional Old-West style Brothels. Professional prostitutes often give customers their medical records to guarantee health. While it’s legal, the GEO is very serious about catching “flesh merchants”, traffickers and sex-slavers who import people from Earth to act as unwilling “entertainers”.

  • Bars, nightclubs, saloons, get your drink on, you know how it goes. These are also often doubling as casinos: popular games include poker, bridge, gin rummy, dice, craps, and everything else appropriate to your Old West gambling parlors. Kingston is the Las Vegas of Poseidon, and is the only place to find dedicated casinos offering games like blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and slots.

  • Earthly professional sports aren’t a thing on Poseidon: There just isn’t enough money to bother importing pro-athletes across the wormhole. The planet has grown up some of its own sports though! The main sport on Poseidon is hydroshot. It’s essentially soccer, but played in the water. The field is triangular, with three teams playing at a time. It’s a violent full contact sport, and is incredibly popular. There are separate human and cete leagues, as a human has no chance against a cete.



  • There’s also the Storm Belt 10,000. An annual 10,000KM endurance Hydrofoil race straight through the Storm-Belt at the height of storm season. In addition to the natural dangers of the sea, you have to watch out for other races. Short of the rule that you can’t have actual weapons, there are no limits. Each competitor puts up a 1,000 Scrip fee towards the pot, with over a hundred competitors on average the race has some major prize purses.

  • Now to music: There’s two genre’s unique to Poseidon: image-sound and Native Tribal. Native Tribal is as expected the music developed by the Native population of Poseidon. It also, like many music genres, has been co opted by lovely corporations and authentic Native Tribal is unheard off Poseidon, replaced by lovely imitators. The other is made by cetes. Humans have to use specialized neural-jacks to experience them properly. It’s essentially a combination of music and visuals as experienced by cetaceans as a echolocation-soundscape.

    echo/motion posted:

    The screen fills with the image of hundreds of cetaceans crowded together in a noisy bay. They are arranged in a loose ring, bobbing up and down as they watch a submerged groups of belugas and fins painted in wild colors and designs. Suddenly a group of smaller commons appear, also painted in wild colors. They dive and sprint seemingly recklessly through the submerged group and watchers alike in a coordinated pattern that’s hard to follow. Others clap their jaws, slap their flukes on the water surface or leap from the water landing on their sides, creating resounding underwater echoes. All the sounds and movement combine to make a rhythm of sound and motion.

  • The final paragraphs is just some advice to cetes, though it’s also useful for anyone planning to live in the ocean, and gives some more info about the ecology of the planet. We learn that Poseidon has a slightly saltier sea, and a stronger magnetic field. Poseidon lifeforms are totally edible and compatible with Earth life. It’s also loaded with life, far more than the Earth’s seas, and a lot of it is dangerous. “Greater and lesser whites, polypods, blood hunters, pseudo-eels, and translucent jellies” are all things that can pose a genuine threat to what on Earth is an apex predator. IT’s advised swimmers carry weapons. Like, freaking torpedos. There’s also apparently rapidly fatal parasites, fungus, and disease. “Angel Wing larvae, fast fungus, and needle darts”. Oh, and the storms can grow to thousands of kilometers in diameter and last for months.

So that wraps up this section: Poseidon so far is a Cyperpunk Aquatic Transhumanist Wild-West. Next up we get to Character Creation, which will be crazy condensed but still hope you like more bullet lists!

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007

Wapole Languray posted:

First they pump you full of chemicals to clean out your system of any and all bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other nasties that might be hiding out. There’s lots of fluid evacuation involved. Then they dunk you in a caustic bath that burns all your hair and the top few layers of skin off... cram a catheter up your pisshole, stick you full of IVs, cover you in electrodes and then pump you full of sedatives to knock you out cold.

Um.... any chance I could get the sedatives a bit earlier in the process?

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.

You'd probably accidentally drown in the caustic bath if you were hopped up on enough sedatives to make all of that not feel awful because, well, kind of for the same reasons one does not get drunk and go swimming.

MadDogMike
Apr 9, 2008

Can I come out and play?

Hostile V posted:

You'd probably accidentally drown in the caustic bath if you were hopped up on enough sedatives to make all of that not feel awful because, well, kind of for the same reasons one does not get drunk and go swimming.

Also sedation is not entirely a safe process because for obvious reasons humans are not evolved to go completely unconscious on command, being completely sedated is closer to being put in a temporary coma than sleep. Suffice it to say there are reasons anesthesiologist is its own specialty. Given that and the likelihood the process is being done by a megacorp it wouldn't surprise me if they leave it to last to avoid issues and just expect the colonist to suck it up. Hope they get goggles in the bath or something at least though, that can't be good for the eyes.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.

MadDogMike posted:

Also sedation is not entirely a safe process because for obvious reasons humans are not evolved to go completely unconscious on command, being completely sedated is closer to being put in a temporary coma than sleep. Suffice it to say there are reasons anesthesiologist is its own specialty.

I believe a fair number of operations, your chance of dying from the anesthesia is actually higher than the procedure.

Robindaybird
Aug 21, 2007

Neat. Sweet. Petite.

Night10194 posted:

I believe a fair number of operations, your chance of dying from the anesthesia is actually higher than the procedure.

yep, and if the mixture is wrong, you get the lovely experience of being awake during the procedure and being unable to move or alert anyone that you're not out cold.

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

IT *BZZT* WASP ME--
IT WASP ME ALL *BZZT* ALONG!


And there is probably a chance of that while in a six month freezing coma trip. :stonkhat:

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010

LongDarkNight posted:

Just want to say this is one of the best write ups in FATAL and Friends. Consistently funny commentary.

Good to hear! :) I worry that it might get too repetitive, so I'm glad people are still looking forward to it almost a month and a half in.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.

Dallbun posted:

Good to hear! :) I worry that it might get too repetitive, so I'm glad people are still looking forward to it almost a month and a half in.

Naw, it's real fun, and the material can be surprisingly charming, too. What with its drunken evil wizards and insecure snake ladies with abandonment issues and mimic bouncers.

Leraika
Jun 14, 2015

slime time

The snark and the material are both wonderful.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer
Yeah, you've got a great rhythm going on with the Deck updates. :)

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

RIP Lutri: 5/19/20-4/2/20
:blizz::gamefreak:

Robindaybird posted:

yep, and if the mixture is wrong, you get the lovely experience of being awake during the procedure and being unable to move or alert anyone that you're not out cold.

It's longer than you think, Dad!

JackMann
Aug 11, 2010

Secure. Contain. Protect.
Fallen Rib
The only problem I have with your write-up of the Deck of Encounters is that it makes want to write up a better version, but that's a personal failing.

Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!

Robindaybird posted:

yep, and if the mixture is wrong, you get the lovely experience of being awake during the procedure and being unable to move or alert anyone that you're not out cold.

Thank you for basically writing up what apparently turns out to be one of the most horrific things I can imagine. Yikes!

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Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.


Grimey Drawer

Kurieg posted:

It's longer than you think, Dad!

Pfft. It was only a little Jaunt...

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