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Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





mellonbread posted:




The Landau Landau


The characters are reversed and I'm too lazy to figure out what they would mean if written correctly. "Enduring [something]" that's basically just a squiggle that then I have to mentally mirror in my head and I'm just like nah. It's something next to either the flesh radical or the world's worst-written moon radical.

What the gently caress even is this poo poo. B-roll of Firefly was better.

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JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!



Oh hey, my points stands *dusts-off hands*

Xiahou Dun
Jul 16, 2009
BUTTS





JcDent posted:

Oh hey, my points stands *dusts-off hands*

There's a good argument that it's actually from the Latin diminutive for "dog" so there's the off chance that "cat" means "puppy".

90s Cringe Rock
Nov 29, 2006
:gay:


MonsterEnvy posted:

The bottom of the Ocean thing was a Grey Seer with some Clan Verminous and Skyre guys opening a passage in the wrong spot on faulty info given by Thanquol. Which in turn flooded Blight City not the Pyramid. Eshin was not involved.
Sounds like an Eshin hit to me.

mellonbread
Dec 20, 2017


ECLIPSE PHASE - THINK BEFORE ASKING - PT 5: BANEFUL ADVICE FROM THE WOLF’S FATHER (1 of 2)


After a short delay, it’s time for more Think Before Asking - a fan adventure for Eclipse Phase 1E. We spent the last couple posts chasing an antimatter warhead delivery through Phelan’s Recourse, a constellation of independent habitats in Saturn orbit. We found the bomb’s ultimate destination: a small Saturnian moonlet called Fornjot.

Who lives on Fornjot? Why would anyone go there? It just so happens that the captured asteroid is home to

The Covenant of the Cherubim

Think Before Asking, Page 15 posted:

“You might think we are counting down the nine billion names of God, hoping to see the stars go out one by one. But that would be useless – the TITANs likely calculated them all long ago when they triedto hack reality. They also discovered the hard way that the security of the Empyrean is a bit harder to breach than the mere human Mesh. We do not presume to do the work of the archangels and thrones – we just seek to do the work of humans. And that is to strive to regain the lost paradise, to try to redeem a fallen reality. Through the holophany we can see the great System Design and use this knowledge to purify ourselves from corruption so that we can be elevated to the next layer. The cherubim are watching us as we speak, waiting for us to show our promise. Glory, glory, halleluya.”

-- Deacon Bo Spolsky, interview with Darjeeling Delta Spiritual News
The Covenant are a techno computationalist cult who believed that the Fall was a sign that the end times had arrived. Rather than try to flee the destruction of the simulation that was reality, they decided instead to fork themselves in simspace so that they could sing infinite praises to YHWH, sysadmin of the universe. They chose Fornjot because it was quiet and out of the way.



There were 20 cultists in the Covenant, all sleeved in neotenic morphs - child bodies. There’s no diegetic explanation given for this, out-of-character it sets up a spooky combat encounter we’ll run into later. The cultists sold religious XP (like simstims or braindances or BTLs in your cyberpunk setting of choice) in exchange for occasional shipments of resources necessary to keep the habitat up and running. The flow of broadcasts has slowed down in the past months, and recently stopped altogether.

That’s everything the players can find about the Covenant publicly. In reality, the Ultimate mercenary team hired by Naos killed them all and stuffed their minds in cold storage (meaning their minds are preserved as saved backups but not given any runtime - they aren’t conscious or aware in their current state). They used saved XP and some edited forks of the researchers to keep the religious broadcasts coming, so that the few people who followed the Covenant’s feed wouldn’t notice anything was up.

So what about this place the Covenant lived,

Fornjot
Also known as Saturn XLII, Fornjot is a 6 kilometer Saturnian moonlet, orbiting 0.14 AU from the planet. It's a jagged ball of regolith and dirty ice, not massive enough to be spherical under its own weight. Gravity is low enough to be nonexistent - for practical purposes, the moonlet is in microgravity.



There are a few signs of habitation. There are Hebrew psalms lasered into the ice along with pictures of angels, along with a cube of pure water-ice scribed with patterns from the Sepher Yetzirah. Then there’s the habitat itself.



It’s a collection of cylinders, half habitation and half engineering, all separated by bulkheads that can be sealed in case of depressurization. There’s a big airlock on the top of the central cylinder, covered with golden lions and Bible stuff. The habitation modules also have emergency airlocks that lead to the outer hull.

Think Before Asking, Page 18 posted:

The original interior of the base could be described as “biblical surrealism”. The décor is heavy on gold, light, flames, wheels within wheels, wings, Hebrew letters, eyes, gemstones, and especially angels with ox, eagle, lion and human heads (and lots of wings). Big sculptures of bizarre angels and holograms of cabalistic patterns are everywhere. The ark of covenant meets Art Deco. The effect may be beautiful or eerie depending on situation. Right now it has definitely taken a serious detour into eerie.


There’s a corpse floating in microgravity outside the main airlock - the moonlet’s minute gravity the only thing keeping it from drifting away in the proton winds of space. It looks like a little girl. In fact, it’s Dr Ke Hellebore, part of the research team. Naos used a portable ego bridge to upload copies of all the researchers into the bodies of the Covenant members, after stuffing their egos into dead storage.

Seeing the child’s corpse costs D10 SV on a failed WIL*3 save. Eclipse Phase has a barely-there sanity system that rarely matters in play. You almost never take enough damage in-session to take on penalties, and it’s trivial to remove stress in between adventures with drugs and psychosurgery. But there are a couple things in Think Before Asking that can hit hard enough to damage a character. We’ll encounter them later.

It’s possible that the players could have the equipment and skills to extract Dr Hellebore’s cortical stack and instantiate them in a simspace (or even a spare morph) for conversation. They’re an NPC who gets a writeup later in the text.

Anyway, the next entry in the text describes the

Mesh
The Mesh is the local internet. It’s a complete mess. The Naos researchers kept the Oracle in an infinitely nested matryoshka of simulated realities. When the Oracle broke free to the top level control operating system, it smashed the network to pieces in the process. All the systems in the habitat are now running random chunks of simulated realities. “the choir of AI angels using the life support system networks to sing praises to the Creator is particularly worrying”.

A clever hacker examining the mesh could see method to the madness: the entire operating system is running the Oracle, what appears to be random junk and clumsily hidden processes is actually a small part of a vast mind that occupies the entire habitat’s computer network.

Defenses
Naos installed the security AI Grassknocker to run the automated defenses the Ultimates brought to the moonlet with the warheads. They installed it on a separate mainframe from the machines running the Oracle, which was a smart decision but ultimately not good enough. The Oracle turned Grassknocker off, which means that all the base’s defenses are now running on autopilot - they’ll shoot at intruders, but not raise the alarm or coordinate a full scale response.

This section comes after the mesh, but in my opinion it should have come before - because it concerns stuff that happens on the surface, before you even get inside the habitat.

The surface of the moonlet is dotted with specks - tiny scanners that transmit signals to a flock of security robots when they detect intruders. The robots are a flock of saucers - small flying robots armed with pistols. There are about ten of them, and while they aren’t that tough they can “action economy” you to death in a hurry if you’re not prepared for a fight. A well built combat character will tear right through them, but they’ve got “jammer” rounds mixed in with their regular bullets that can gently caress up your communications if they lodge in your suit. Oh and the book actually gives stat blocks for these guys, unlike everything else the players fight.

Inside the habitat, there’s also a reaper - a top of the line combat robot. Grassknocker was supposed to pilot it in security emergencies, but the Oracle put a stop to that. It subverted the reaper and now uses it to patrol the server room.

Security Chief Julius Gowda (who we’ll meet later) added “puppet socks” to a bunch of the morphs the Ultimates stole from the Covenant. That means that he or the security AI could control them remotely without actually resleeving into them. Which means that the Oracle now has the ability to do that.

The base has a nuclear bomb by the reactor complex. It was supposed to blow up the habitat if the Oracle ever got out. Which clearly didn’t happen, because the Oracle was smart enough to disable the safeguards when it escaped.

The text makes a big deal about the secret spy sensors scattered around the habitat, which send reports back to corporate headquarters using QE comms. The sensors are actually being jammed and spoofed by the Oracle - QE jamming is impossible with current transhuman understanding of physics, but the Oracle just invented it using its superbrain. The company is still getting messages saying everything is fine. So this section is an interesting background element, but has zero gameplay impact - unless the players find one of the QE jammers, which are disguised as irrelevant dust particles.

The researchers and security robot were never told about the antimatter bomb, but the Oracle was smart enough to deduce its existence anyway. It’s buried in the ice outside the habitat. It’s not clear from the text whether the robot has also jammed the QE detonator on the warhead - I assume yes, that’s the first thing you’d do if you had that ability.

Infiltration
This section lists some possibilities for how the players can get into the habitat.

Having a stealthed ship lets you do most of the approach without being spotted by the security specks and attacked by the saucers. For the final approach, the players could construct a radar resistant pod and launch themselves inside it at low speed.

Instead of sneaking in, the players can pretend to be friends of the Cherubim. Hailing the station gets an enthusiastic response from the “Juliuses” - the text hasn’t mentioned it yet, but in addition to adding puppet socks, Julius also loaded his ego into a bunch of the spare morphs, so there’s a bunch of him running around. This really should have been described in the Security section, because the Julius forks are just as dangerous as the security bots and Oracle puppets. Once the players arrive, the Juliuses will invite them to the chapel to take communion - and then attempt to violently “purify” them. We’ll learn what’s up with this guy when we get to the NPCs section.

The text suggests that, instead of arriving on a station a week after the Oracle turns the place inside out, the players might arrive at the moment it happens, and observe the chaos in real time. There’s not much explicit support given for this possibility. I assume it all happens fast enough that the players can’t really intervene - meaning the end result will be the same.

That’s it for this segment. There’s some supporting detail that’s tangential to the adventure, and some information presented out of order. There aren’t any statistics for the armed child morphs (either the Oracle puppets or the Juliuses) or the Reaper robot. We get a description of how the Oracle has subverted all these security systems, but what it actually does with that power isn't given in the security section, but in the Oracle's writeup on a separate page.

In the next post, we’ll go over the NPCs and the Oracle itself.

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



"There's some saucers with pistols..."
Okay...
"... and some puppet socked Neotenics..."
Weird, but all right...
"... and a Reaper just vibing in the back"
And there goes half the Firewall parties that would investigate this getting blown into a fine paste.

This adventure seems to have a lot of neat ideas and do a really bad job of implementing them. I suppose it's a microcosm of Eclipse Phase.

Ithle01
May 28, 2013


After reading Think Before Asking that's my take away from this. There's a lot that could've been done with this adventure and.. none of it is really well used at all. I'm guessing that this was a lot of fun if you had the author running it as your GM because I can see how that would've been a lot of fun with a GM who's good at improv and it certainly has no shortage of good concepts. There's some stuff I want to add here, but I'll wait until the review is over. The thing about the child morphs is just weird though. Literally no reason for it except the author thought having a swarm of children would be more interesting? I don't get it.

mellonbread
Dec 20, 2017


SkyeAuroline posted:

"There's some saucers with pistols..."
Okay...
"... and some puppet socked Neotenics..."
Weird, but all right...
"... and a Reaper just vibing in the back"
And there goes half the Firewall parties that would investigate this getting blown into a fine paste.

This adventure seems to have a lot of neat ideas and do a really bad job of implementing them. I suppose it's a microcosm of Eclipse Phase.
I think you're overestimating the power of the Reaper. It's definitely a boss fight, but if you've got even one player character with good Speed then you already have it beat from an action economic perspective. And once you add the players' ability to spend Moxie on guaranteed critical hits that ignore its armor, you can focus it down pretty fast.

Plus, this one doesn't actually attack you. We'll get to why in the next post.

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



mellonbread posted:

I think you're overestimating the power of the Reaper. It's definitely a boss fight, but if you've got even one player character with good Speed then you already have it beat from an action economic perspective. And once you add the players' ability to spend Moxie on guaranteed critical hits that ignore its armor, you can focus it down pretty fast.

Plus, this one doesn't actually attack you. We'll get to why in the next post.

I suppose it depends on how they built out the Reaper as a boss (though from your description they don't provide stat blocks). My very limited experience with Reapers involved people dying very, very quickly.

Though "doesn't attack you" is a wrinkle.

mellonbread
Dec 20, 2017


SkyeAuroline posted:

I suppose it depends on how they built out the Reaper as a boss (though from your description they don't provide stat blocks). My very limited experience with Reapers involved people dying very, very quickly.

Though "doesn't attack you" is a wrinkle.
You can definitely build a Reaper that will wipe the players in the first turn. Extra arms, extra speed, put a powerful weapon in each hand and go to town on the first action phase.

The catch is that basically anyone in any morph can also do this. One of the things I liked about 1E was that making your character good at combat had a low opportunity cost due to the large total number of points you had to work with. It meant you saw more diversity among characters, and that even dedicated killing machines usually had ways they could be useful in non-combat situations. There was definitely some system mastery involved - knowing to buy lots of Moxie at chargen, and use it early and often in combat, for instance. Or how to stack modifiers (automatic +10 from Smartlink, another +10 from a free quick action to aim) so that even a modest weapon skill gave you a guaranteed hit probability. Or how to use the burst settings on kinetic weapons to maximize damage (shooting two bursts rather than one full auto shot).

Obviously the GM can also have the NPCs do all those things. Similar to Pathfinder or D&D, where a DM who knows the system and "plays to win" could hypothetically always win an encounter by having the monsters play smart - they just usually don't because it's not fun and not the point of the game. But in this case, you'd actually be justified in doing so, since the Reaper is controlled by a superintelligent AI.

However, if you actually start poo poo with the Oracle, you're going to have bigger problems that make the killer robot irrelevant by comparison.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Yeah, I'm looking forward to the explanation of how the party has to face down a super genius AI that figured out how to block QE coms, but now how to run away from there.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

mellonbread posted:

There were 20 cultists in the Covenant, all sleeved in neotenic morphs - child bodies. There’s no diegetic explanation given for this, out-of-character it sets up a spooky combat encounter we’ll run into later.

Neotenic morphs ostensibly have a legitimate use as low-resource-intensive morphs, since they need less food, air, water, and space to live. This makes some sense to put in a remote, isolating research community that can't afford, or needs to keep up the illusion of not affording, that many resources.

mellonbread
Dec 20, 2017


LatwPIAT posted:

Neotenic morphs ostensibly have a legitimate use as low-resource-intensive morphs, since they need less food, air, water, and space to live. This makes some sense to put in a remote, isolating research community that can't afford, or needs to keep up the illusion of not affording, that many resources.
It was never clear to me what niche they were supposed to fill. A child body takes up less space and resources than an adult human body, but a synth takes up even fewer resources than that. And synths can be equipped with synthetic masks, so that they look and feel like biomorphs to both the user and everyone around them. A techno computationalist cult which believes reality is simulated and spends most of its time forking itself in simpsace should theoretically have zero problems with sleeving in synthetic bodies.

I think the real reason is the author wanted to have a spooky FEAR style encounter where a little girl tries to kill you.

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



mellonbread posted:

It was never clear to me what niche they were supposed to fill. A child body takes up less space and resources than an adult human body, but a synth takes up even fewer resources than that. And synths can be equipped with synthetic masks, so that they look and feel like biomorphs to both the user and everyone around them. A techno computationalist cult which believes reality is simulated and spends most of its time forking itself in simpsace should theoretically have zero problems with sleeving in synthetic bodies.

I think the real reason is the author wanted to have a spooky FEAR style encounter where a little girl tries to kill you.

I think your last bit is correct, but the original point about neotenics as low-resource-requirement morphs is accurate to the EP writers' stated intended use (aside from sex stuff). Why not synths? Elsewhere I'd say the stigma, but here I'd actually say it's probably a slightly different resource issue. Despite the outer system running on a rep economy, that starts to break down with advanced tech. You want power? Solar is fairly ineffective at those distances except in huge masses or for very low power requirements, neither of which fits here. No onsite resources to tap for power. So... We get what's mentioned. A reactor.

Unsurprisingly, scaling up a reactor is not exactly easy. You'd essentially have to acquire another whole reactor if you start overtaxing what you have. For a remote religious cult with little of practical value to sell or trade for, I can see them weighing "ship water and basic-minimum nutrient supplies, recycle the oxygen we can and ship what we can't out here, we're in simspace constantly so it's not like quality matters" versus "power and operate twenty extra synthmorphs on site, end up possibly having to expand generation & require way more expensive nuclear fuel either way" and choosing the former.

The real question is why they aren't all infomorphs except two or three bodies for physical tasks like repairs.

e: obv there's no math to work with here, but synthmorphs can't be low power while simulating an entire brain even before you factor in anything else they do, scale it up by 20 and then have all of that running on separate hardware from your simulspace and the efficiency gets questionable

SkyeAuroline fucked around with this message at 23:09 on Dec 15, 2020

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


SkyeAuroline posted:

"There's some saucers with pistols..."
Okay...
"... and some puppet socked Neotenics..."
Weird, but all right...
"... and a Reaper just vibing in the back"
And there goes half the Firewall parties that would investigate this getting blown into a fine paste.

This adventure seems to have a lot of neat ideas and do a really bad job of implementing them. I suppose it's a microcosm of Eclipse Phase.

Reapers have been overhyped since EP1. Being PC options and within a system with a relatively bounded scale of difficulty and power, they're not really that resistant to just getting whittled down by a hail of bullets in either version of the game.

mellonbread
Dec 20, 2017


PurpleXVI posted:

Reapers have been overhyped since EP1. Being PC options and within a system with a relatively bounded scale of difficulty and power, they're not really that resistant to just getting whittled down by a hail of bullets in either version of the game.
There was a guy on the old Eclipse Phase Missions server who showed me how you could get better defensive properties (HP, armor) than a Reaper by sleeving into a really tricked out flying car - which also cost less.

SkyeAuroline posted:

I think your last bit is correct, but the original point about neotenics as low-resource-requirement morphs is accurate to the EP writers' stated intended use (aside from sex stuff). Why not synths? Elsewhere I'd say the stigma, but here I'd actually say it's probably a slightly different resource issue. Despite the outer system running on a rep economy, that starts to break down with advanced tech. You want power? Solar is fairly ineffective at those distances except in huge masses or for very low power requirements, neither of which fits here. No onsite resources to tap for power. So... We get what's mentioned. A reactor.

Unsurprisingly, scaling up a reactor is not exactly easy. You'd essentially have to acquire another whole reactor if you start overtaxing what you have. For a remote religious cult with little of practical value to sell or trade for, I can see them weighing "ship water and basic-minimum nutrient supplies, recycle the oxygen we can and ship what we can't out here, we're in simspace constantly so it's not like quality matters" versus "power and operate twenty extra synthmorphs on site, end up possibly having to expand generation & require way more expensive nuclear fuel either way" and choosing the former.

The real question is why they aren't all infomorphs except two or three bodies for physical tasks like repairs.
Eclipse Phase muddies the energy situation somewhat by introducing cheap-as-free never-explained fusion power in the writeup leading to the Fall. But they do mention power generation difficulties in the outer system elsewhere in the books, so it's definitely supposed to be a meaningful constraint.

I remember this discussion from a while back, about how on Titan it's genuinely cheaper to make biomorphs than synths. The whole planet is a soup of organic precursors, while metals have to be imported from the asteroid belt. Meanwhile on Mars, sunlight and metal are everywhere, so you have a lot of synths. So the difference between the clanking masses and the one-mind-one-body policy is partially a result of planetary geology and the relative costs of the respective inputs.

LatwPIAT
Jun 6, 2011

Do I need a title?

mellonbread posted:

There was a guy on the old Eclipse Phase Missions server who showed me how you could get better defensive properties (HP, armor) than a Reaper by sleeving into a really tricked out flying car - which also cost less.

Yeah. Vehicle-scaling is completely out of whack, which is what happens when you badly copy the body system from GURPS Transhuman Space and try to staple it to Shadowrun 4e while converting everything to run on d10s.

Really, there's so much confusion and weirdness in EP that is handily explained by just realising they stole it from GURPS and going "oh that's how that's supposed to work!".

Like EP1e had this whole confusing mess with remote-controlling and jamming into bots and vehicles, which is actually someone trying to re-write the GURPS rules for that, which make a sharp distinction between being a car (roll against your DX and Dodge to move), driving a car (roll against your Drive Automobile to move), and ordering an AI to be/drive your car (the AI rolls Driving or DX/Dodge depending).

A Psi-Chi power is kinda vague on what it does and doesn't have a strong mechanical system to it? Turns out the equivalent GURPS Psychic Powers ability is exactly as vague and lacking in mechanical hooks!

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020





Red Markets: A Game of Economic Horror

Part 6: Writing Off the Loss and The Carrion Economy


Gonna be a long one to make up for some upcoming silence. Let’s talk about what happened to the Loss while the Recession was forming.

Dwindling
Unsurprisingly, the Loss is kind of hosed for infrastructure and the like. It turns out that building McMansions and lowest-bidder infrastructure on drought-stricken regions, then irradiating them afterwards, is a bad idea! A ton of shelter is useless when Vectors can punch through drywall and fake-brick siding and barrel through bay windows. Meanwhile, the sites where Utility didn’t do their jobs properly (or at all) turned into complete disasters, including the Palo Verde exclusion zone in Arizona, 50 to 75 miles of Chernobyl (and unlike the real Chernobyl, it’s only been five years, the radiation is still nasty).
Supplies turned into an immediate issue, too, and they’re still issues. Of particular note: protein powder is “dusty gold” and freeze-dried coffee is a score worth dying for. Weird things are valuable in the apocalypse, and they make for interesting materials-hunting scores. Cattle are apparently gone since casualties eat them (not that too many enclaves have the space for cattle, anyway). Five years in, the canned goods are finally running out. “The people still left alive knew how to farm already, learned real fast, or became indispensable to the first two groups.”
The other thing Gnat acknowledges in this bit is how many people died off by virtue of not being able to survive in it. Everyone knows the “rule of three”, and they’re still a safe bet - and looting alone can’t carry across that period. Anyone who couldn’t live in a survival situation died off. Preexisting conditions killed millions, too; people with disabilities and addictions still exist in the enclaves, and medication runs are mentioned as a commonplace Taker goal. This hooks in a lot later when we start talking about Dependents; as people who can’t survive in the Loss without the Taker’s support, “people with preexisting conditions” are one of the biggest demographics to pull dependents from along with “children and the elderly”.

Stokes talks about economic collapses for a while to establish the Carrion Economy, the Loss’s model of economics. Unlike a “real” natural disaster that destroys capital, almost everything the Crash “destroyed” still exists across the Mississippi. The Carrion Economy is how the Recession tries to rebuild - pillage the Loss, using the Lost as lives to be spent in exchange for riches. The Lost, for their part, profit off the Recession (and off each other) to make it happen.

The DHQS
Needless to say, the Recession government doesn’t want that. After all, the Lost are all dead - homo sacer is serious business. Now they have the DHQS, the entire military/law enforcement complex subsumed into the Department of Homeland Quarantine and Stewardship. Pull back all the foreign theaters, militarize the CDC and EPA, and set about handling… everything.

quote:

“The Department of Homeland Quarantine and Stewardship is tasked to ensure border security from quarantined zones, to protect the citizenry from the infected, to eliminate enemies of the state seeking to spread disease, to research treatments for the Blight, to monitor formerly occupied territory for developing threats, to command settlements and expeditionary forces in quarantine zones, and to preserve vital economic assets necessary for the reclamation and continued security of the United States of America.”
In short, a “license to bungle.” Their mission statement is an unfocused, military junta catchall that permits everything even as it ensures none of it will be done well. When faced with struggles still to come in the Recession, it’s no wonder the DHQS’s solutions were so shortsighted.

The DHQS are your jackbooted thugs, your secret police, whatever you need as a GM to pull some government interference. They’re definitely present all over the place, too.

The Recession Economy
or, “how do you think refugees are doing in an authoritarian hellscape?”

The refugees are not doing well, is the answer. The US dollar immediately failed in the Recession; ⅔ of the people in Free Parking weren’t accounted for, and the cattle chutes stripped those who came across of all they owned (if they even used actual cash in the first place - remember, this was an electronic future!). Essentials were all bought up, logistics ground to a halt… and none of these people were boxed in or policed, and they vastly outnumbered the Recession’s rich. The Hunter administration’s last act was to keep an outright revolution from happening with ration dollars.
Let’s do some thinking here. You issue out ration dollars, money you can only use for “subsistence goods like food, water, medicine, etc”. Any camp with enough people to be a potential site for revolt got ration dollar allowances; organized sites were given r-dollars for labor to build up quarantine architecture (conveniently also imprisoning architecture). You give regular citizens the ability to exchange r-dollars for cash. You have to make the exchange rate work, so just… print as much money as possible, and set that order right before the government shuts down and no longer has control of the mint. What happens?

The Recession looks like Weimar Germany, is what happens. Actual cash immediately becomes worthless, R-dollars become the de facto currency, the collapsed labor market can’t fight back, and the unemployed and refugees keep the R-dollar allowances growing. Economic collapse in exchange for stopping rioting. But don’t worry - corporations with the actual capital can keep functioning.

Citizen Immigrants

Grab bag of a section. First up, urban redesign. Rural living can’t work with no cars and no long-distance transportation; urban living has to work. Cities were hot spots for Blight, with two things keeping them in check: militarized police (this is America, check) and older cities’ design, where traffic was easily stopped and blocks could be fortified. Medieval fortifications get called out as particularly effective. So what we get in the end is quarantecture, “a combination of medieval city planning and dystopian police tactics”. Makes brutalism look positively inviting (okay, I like brutalism, but still). How did we manage this?

The R-dollar allowance was shut off. Work or die. Welcome back, modern slavery.


why is EVERY IMAGE so small. Note all the references to “sanitation protocol”. It’s an incinerator. In every single apartment. That’s safety for you!

Don’t want to go be a laborer, want to stay in Free Parking? Horrible slums. Seriously. Cholera and dysentery, people freezing to death, zero work outside of quarantecture. Welcome to wretched hives of scum and villainy with every crime known to man… and nobody gave a poo poo to stop it. Five years in, Valets run ghettos carved up into little fiefdoms, and they’re the main profiteers of the Carrion Economy.
Labor’s in hell, too; it’s essentially the Cultural Revolution in reverse (called out almost directly in the text), with no education sector whatsoever and too many overqualified experts in too many of the wrong fields to make things work.

Medical Advances
Here we go. It’s time for Supressin.
Calling back to the Romero Effect, “every bite meant a bullet”, so during the Crash nobody on the ground knew blank bites existed, let alone full-on immunity. The Immune absolutely wouldn’t share that news. Back behind the curtain, the DHS, DoH, and CDC all knew before Utility ever started; after the Crash came, the DHQS forced Ubiq into broadcasting an immunity announcement that undermined any potential leaks and solidified the Moths as the Recession’s version of al-Qaeda, the bogeymen to distract from internal issues.
The Immune Papers were still studied and released, of course. Everyone responsible was missing, homo sacer, imprisoned, or dead. There’s other what-would-be-war-crimes mentioned, but K-7864 is the big thing. The Supressin data is clinical as it gets - sheets of biometric data, shared across the world by their respective governments, and their testing records. 107,854 records before something that works gets reached. 107,854 people intentionally infected and killed, for a cure that only halfway works by making Latents instead of actual immunity. But it still requires more atrocities to make.
Supressin only works with marrow harvesting. Once a month, only from the proven Immune. How do you plan to make that feasible on a large scale? Medical conscription. Every Immune citizen is signed up for mandatory, “renewable” marrow harvesting. You survive, you’re constantly sick and you can’t leave your cell… but you survive. Unpaid. Immune hunters get the payment for bringing them in; not their families, not the Immune themselves. And of course, if quotas run short, there’s a fast way to make up for it…
There’s black market Supressin out there, too. Scrape, the operation that found Supressin in the first place, still operates nomadically, rendering the herd when they move on. The less moral (!) debone the Immune, and others do worse.

Latents, on the other hand, are… well, I called them Fallout ghouls before, and it’s not far off. Natural latents existed, very few but some of them. The government planned a law to wipe out any records of crimes against Latents… and, immediately, lynch mobs and genocide came out against them. Three communities of Latents still exist in the Recession; one “model community” for propaganda, two communities on the northern border that clear bodies from the walls in the dead of winter in torturous conditions. The Latent Regiment, an indefinite-service regiment whose membership has completely cycled three times in four years, stays as a boogeyman. Out of everyone, the Latents are nearly the only ones who try to come back to the Loss.

Well, the economy is in shambles, medical experimentation and genocide are on the table, and supplies are in short supply (ha) in the Loss while the Recession is ready to pick its bones. How do we get from here to the game?

Next time: Highbury v. USA and The Taker’s Role, or: the part of the book that sets up the actual game, finally, 104 pages in.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



Age of Sigmar Lore Chat: Skaven
Rat Kings



The Verminlords, the Greater Daemons (and only daemons in general) of the Great Horned Rat, are just as vicious and backbiting as the Skaven that serve as their mortal reflections. They see all other Verminlords as rivals to be controlled or eliminated and see the Skaven as pawns. The Gray Seers of the Masterclan like to boast that the daemons are theirs to summon and bargain with, and therefore are their servants and tools rather than their masters. The Verminlords permit this because it is useful to them - even a daemon likes to have an easy patsy to blame things on when they go wrong, and they also like being able to manipulate and control from behind the scenes. This is also why some of them choose to become patrons to Skaven leaders, offering them advice and helping them take down rivals. When they fight, however, it becomes clear that no one but the Verminlord or the Horned Rat himself is in control of their actions.

As the Horned Rat is split into many aspects, so too are the Verminlords, with each taking on a specific kind of role. Most fall into four specific castes - the Warbringers, the Deceivers, the Corruptors and the Warpseers. Typically, they are drawn to Great Clans that reflect their own nature and serve as totemic demigods to the clans they support. They're not unable to work outside their specific favorites, of course, but preference is preference. Above them all is Skreech Verminking, the preeminent Verminlord and closest being to the Great Horned Rat. It is said that he began life as a full Council of Thirteen, and that twelve Lords of Decay were taken by the Great Horned Rat as the most devious and wicked Skaven ever to exist, whose plots intertwined in a mass of conquest and intrigue. Somehow, they came up with a plan that required them all to act as one, and they managed to make a vow to do so until it was complete. Some say they wanted to gnaw through the void around Azyr and send it hurtling into ruin, while others say they sought to be immortal or to build a weapon that could kill even their god. Whatever they did, it definitely pissed off the Great Horned Rat.

The twelve Lords of Decay were spirited from the world and imprisoned for millenia outside reality, nourished only by the scraps of failed schemes and with nothing to do but blame each other. By the time the Horned Rat was inclined to let them out, they were no longer twelve individuals, but a hideous amalgamated creature formed from all of them, their tails locked together in an eternal embrace. The Horned Rat examined them, and in his grasp, they mutated further and further, eventually forming into the Verminlord now known as Skreech Verminking. He had every piece of knowledge the Skaven had ever learned and was possessed by the absolute desire to see the Great Horned Rat rule over all. Ever since, he has led the Shadow Council in their plans and plotted the downfall of entire civilizations. He is the vicious left claw of the Rat God, his twelve original forms now one in truth.

The most common Verminlords, however, are the Verminlord Warbringers, who favor the Clans Verminus. They are easily the most arrogant and territorial among the rat daemons, and they usually have a flair for the dramatic, preferring to appear in great clouds of smoke or by tearing their way into reality from the beating heart of an enemy leader. They have huge egos and a love of showmanship, but their speed and strength mean they've kind of earned it, and their supernatural charisma strengthens the Skaven around them when they enter battle. Verminlord Deceivers are much more subtle and secretive by daemon standards, armed with supernatural stealth. They are associated with the Clans Eshin and are able to move between shadows. They never speak above a whisper, but each word echoes thirteen times with subtle differences in tone and voice. When a Deceiver attacks, it is a blur of movement and a sudden warpstiletto or a hurled doomstar.

Verminlord Corruptors favor the Clans Pestilens, serving as demigods and avatars of the Great Corruptor. Their blood is plague and their pelts are covered in lice and rot. Each one is a fanatic who wants nothing but to spread entropy, disease and death. They inspire similar fanaticism in the skaven they appear to, wielding deadly plaguereapers in battle and vomiting forth streams of filth. They lead the Plague Priests in dark prayers to the Horned Rat, and by these prayers they can unleash unspeakably virulent disease on those around them. The most mysterious, though, are the Verminlord Warpseers, who have no favorite Great Clan. They are manipulators and schemers even by Verminlord standards, manifesting to whoever they think will most help their plans. They are the greatest sorcerers among the daemons of the Great Horned Rat, able to call forth magical powers even the Grey Seers can only dream of. Their signature tool is a scry-orb, a mystical tool that reveals secrets to them in whispers. In battle, they can hurl and detonate these orbs, creating shards of broken possibility and temporal revelation that can drive foes mad.



Now, let's talk about Skryre forces. Their leaders and greatest craftsrats are the warlocks, who merge sorcery and technology in unholy ways with the aid of their warp-accumulators and thaumognaw-accelerators, which pulse with dark lightning. The greatest among them, who control their clans with an iron claw and a mastery of skaven politics along with technological prowess, are the Arch-Warlocks. Smaller Clans Skryre may have only one Arch-Warlock, the one that leads them, but many clans are actually led by a mastercoven of several of them, working together (and often against each other, but more against everyone else). They make powerful suits of warpstone-fueled power armor to wear in battle, allowing them to unleash magical blasts of warpflame while safe from most harm.

Lesser warlocks pursue advancement by specializing in particular areas of arcane science, picking whatever they think will allow them to intimidate and control others. Warlock Engineers are most common, focusing on a broad array of technical skills and magical disciplines suited to the creation of weapons. They typically become masters of warp lightning first and foremost, as they prefer to fight from a safe distance. No Warlock Engineer would forget a holdout weapon, however, and their warp-energy blades and warplock pistols allow them to kill tough foes at close range if required.

Others become more obsessed with specific fields, ranging from the Warlock Fumigators that obsess over poison wind and other gaseous weaponry to the Warlock Shattertalons that work on the drills used to make new gnawholes. The ones with the most importance in battle are the Warlock Bombardiers, whose obsession is explosives and artillery. While they are still able to channel the warp-lightning, they far prefer long-range ballistics, particularly doomrockets, which they make in workshops that are all too often very, very flammable. A doomrocket is a large brass pole with a trigger and warp-volt spark mechanism. You put a warhead inside it, point it in the general direction of something you don't like, then pull the trigger. Warp lightning runs through the insulated pole, sparking the fuse of the warhead, which then explodes out of this horrible home-made rocket launcher and flies at the enemy at speed. Then it explodes, ideally far enough away that you're still alive. Depending on the enginecoven they work with, a Warlock Bombardier's warheads come in a variety of kinds. Those of the Whyrlblade Threshiks prefer flechette bombs, while those in Gascloud Chokelung covens prefer poison wind bombs, and Gautfyre Skorch Bombardiers go with good ol' incendiaries.

The majority of members of a Skryre clan are not full warlocks; they are Acolytes. Acolytes serve the Warlocks, carry things, tinker with their own experiments in what free time they can steal and bully the slave masses that keep the non-experimentation-and-development parts of the clan running. Every Acoylte dreams of achieving the rank of warlock some day, either by earning the favor of their current masters or by murdering someone and taking their workshop by force. Until they can do this, they must serve as the clan's main military force, armored in heavy gas-hoods and thick robes. They are also usually given goggles and gasp-breather backpacks, to allow them to (briefly) survive despite being armed primarily with poison wind globes.

Each globe is a fragile glass sphere full of toxic fumes derived from various warpstone concoctions. These weapons are terrifying to face in battle, as armor has no use against it. The deadly gas is also a corrosive agent on most substances and can eat through cloth hoods and rubberised seals quickly. In the lungs, it burns away flesh fast and causes horrible, agonising blisters. It also melts eyes. Fun! Once your eyes go, you're probably dead, but it's a very painful death from inside and out. The Acolytes throw lots of these in a battle, and as long as no one fumbles a globe and takes out an allied force, they can take down enemies far stronger than they are.

The weapon most outsiders think of as the quintessential Skryre tool is definitely the Doomwheel, though. They are an absolutely insane idea, but their effectiveness in battle makes the absurdity of them less funny. A Doomwheel is essentially two giant treadmills powered by rats, all contained in a giant wheel. The treadmills keep the device rolling, which sparks up a warpstone generator that (ideally) discharges bolts of warp-lightning at irregular intervals which kill any enemies nearby. If the lightning doesn't do it, the pilot can still run them down with the giant iron-banded wheel. The pilot is a Warlock Engineer, and typically being strapped into a giant armored death wheel leaves them feeling quite brave by Skaven standards...helped along by the fumes from the warpstone generator.

That said, technical problems are common. The rat-based propulsion is prone to unreliability if the rats get tired, causing random drops in speed, and the generator is easily overtaxed, making it fire off at random or even explode. The pilot has a lot of things to pay attention to at any given time, including keeping the generator from overloading shock-prodding the rats into activity when they stop and keeping the thing moving in vaguely the right direction. Steering is definitely the job that gets dropped most often in an emergency, so it isn't rare for a Doomwheel to run over its own allies for a while. This is considered an acceptable risk in their deployment, as they are capable of taking out entire enemy formations when they're operating correctly.

Not every caln can afford a Doomwheel, but they all make heavy use of various Acolyte weapons teams. A team is made of two skaven carrying a large and often cumbersome specialized weapon, and the tools are often sold to other clans because it's fairly easy to train even non-Acolytes in how to carry and use them. Each weapon is very powerful, right up until the inevitable catastrophic failure. The Warpfire Thrower is probably the most popular, and certainly the most infamous. It's a big tank full of warpstone-infused alchemical solution that feeds into a heavy nozzle to spray it at the enemy. The mix ignites on contact with oxygen and burns with a green-black flame that burns down to the bone. This is called warpfire, and its greatest proponent may be the Skryre Clan Krahl, who are noted for their patchy fur and frequent burns and ash stains. Many are horribly disfigured by warpfire accidents, and most are pyromaniacs. The worst are the warlock cult known as the Fleshscorchers, who consider the bathing of the enemy in warpfire a holy sacrament. They tinker with their gear constantly to maximize output, even in battle, and insist on wielding the things personally. Each is sure they will be the one to come up with the perfect, malfunction-proof flamethrower; so far, none has been correct.

Besides this, there is also the Ratling Gun, a multi-barrel firearm that is spun with a hand-cranked warp-steam engine. Its six barrels spin around at blinding speed, firing absurd numbers of bullets per second. Overheating is a common problem, and it's prone to causing misfire, especially as the crew cranks harder and harder. A misfire generally means the gun explodes. But hey, the lethality of it while it works makes up for that, right? Then you've got the Doom-Flayer, which is basically a motorized metal sphere covered in blades. It was originally designed for clearing tunnels in underground battles, and it's powered by a warpstone generator. One crewrat keeps the generator going, as they're quite temperamental, and the other steers the big ball and cackles as they run people over and impale them or tear them apart, hoping that the vehicle doesn't stall in the middle of an enemy force.

The weirdest, though, is definitely the Warp-Grinder. This was originally meant as a tunneling device, and it consists of a warp-energy projector that pulverizes earth, stone and metal over a wide area and leaves a narrow, smoking tunnel behind it. Cave-ins and meltdowns are frequent when using these for their original purpose, but they function well enough that they're frequently used to tunnel under battlefields and burst from the earth behind enemy lines, though some margin of error is required in targeting, since the Acolytes are often not particularly good with directions. Great Clan Eshin loves to buy these things and use them to slip forces behind enemy lines or along their flank. The tool itself is not really designed for combat, but the warp-energy projector is still functional when aimed at soldiers and war machines, and can pulverize armor just as easily as dirt.

Next time: More guns, then Clan Pestilens

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Mors Rattus posted:

The majority of members of a Skryre clan are not full warlocks; they are Acolytes. Acolytes serve the Warlocks, carry things, tinker with their own experiments in what free time they can steal and bully the slave masses that keep the non-experimentation-and-development parts of the clan running. Every Acoylte dreams of achieving the rank of warlock some day, either by earning the favor of their current masters or by murdering someone and taking their workshop by force. Until they can do this, they must serve as the clan's main military force, armored in heavy gas-hoods and thick robes. They are also usually given goggles and gasp-breather backpacks, to allow them to (briefly) survive despite being armed primarily with poison wind globes.

Probably the most GW.txt unit among Skaven, Acolytes have the general states of Clanrats, come in a unit with "any number of models" and get bonuses for having 10+... while being metal miniatures that are sold singly and cost $15 per.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019
Probation
Can't post for 4 days!


Joe Slowboat posted:

I will say, the Skaven backbiting really does sell that they're fallible, awful idiots much better than the Chaos equivalents usually do. It really feels like the Skaven could meaningfully self-destruct and that it would be a great campaign for PCs to help them do it.

Basically the Skaven are this...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzZmU0aGmcc

but more evil and less functional.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

So the Skaven got their own Rat Marines? Now they only need their own space ships and GW can have pull double-duty in both AoS and WH10K!

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Libluini posted:

So the Skaven got their own Rat Marines? Now they only need their own space ships and GW can have pull double-duty in both AoS and WH10K!

No, only the Skryre 1% gets power armor. No Space Rats, no matter how much Mantic/moderate Hrud fans would want to make it a thing.

Libluini
May 18, 2012

I gravitated towards the Greens, eventually even joining the party itself.

The Linke is a party I grudgingly accept exists, but I've learned enough about DDR-history I can't bring myself to trust a party that was once the SED, a party leading the corrupt state apparatus ...


Grimey Drawer

I love that regardless of how dumb you make your joke, there's always at least one who posts like they're taking it 100% serious. :allears:

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Libluini posted:

I love that regardless of how dumb you make your joke, there's always at least one who posts like they're taking it 100% serious. :allears:

"JcDent overreacting to a 40K post" is a free space on a Bingo card.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





SkyeAuroline posted:

Well, the economy is in shambles, medical experimentation and genocide are on the table, and supplies are in short supply (ha) in the Loss while the Recession is ready to pick its bones. How do we get from here to the game?

Next time: Highbury v. USA and The Taker’s Role, or: the part of the book that sets up the actual game, finally, 104 pages in.
Given the entire situation here, it seems like the next step would be the security services becoming neo-nobility and just taking all the other poo poo, which frankly seems like it might be an improvement over what this is painting. That Ubiq guy coming back and making an announcement about Shadow the Hedgehog would also be about due.

Servetus
Apr 1, 2010


Libluini posted:

I love that regardless of how dumb you make your joke, there's always at least one who posts like they're taking it 100% serious. :allears:

Back in the late 90s, I knew a friend in school had ported his Skaven army to 40k. Wouldn't work for official play bur I guess some people thought it was cool enough.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



JcDent posted:

Probably the most GW.txt unit among Skaven, Acolytes have the general states of Clanrats, come in a unit with "any number of models" and get bonuses for having 10+... while being metal miniatures that are sold singly and cost $15 per.

Yeah, the big issue with Acolytes is that they use the old Poison Wind Globadier model, and that was a unit add on rather than a full unit itself. Apparently the cheapest way to get workable Acolyte models is at this point the Skaven Blood Bowl team and some customizing.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

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


Servetus posted:

Back in the late 90s, I knew a friend in school had ported his Skaven army to 40k. Wouldn't work for official play bur I guess some people thought it was cool enough.

Back when I was still into 40k I wrote my own Space Skaven for Dark Heresy, as an evil counterpart to the Tau. A small galactic power convinced they were the greatest ever, under the 4 Great Corporations and completely convinced they were the most meritocratic and just government to ever exist. After all, a lowly clanrat can become a great hierarch! It happened like...once so the system works! Now sign all these waivers, you might get promoted if this goo makes you a supreme giant rat.

The one thing they showed up their big rat general in his giant-rear end walker was all superior and smug the entire story until his fusion cannon misfired and exploded and he descended into full squeaking, screaming rat, repeating words like some kind of low-class backward commoner and screeching that it was everyone else's fault. The idea being the upper rat class tries really hard to be the Star Wars Imperials but can't quite keep it back when it all starts going wrong and they go full Skaven again. It was fun.

E: Alternate joke: Skaven are in 40k already, they're the Imperium. It works better than you'd think, considering they're bombastic fascist idiots with a bunch of clunky hypertech that explodes all the time.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 13:31 on Dec 16, 2020

sasha_d3ath
Jun 3, 2016

Ban-thing the man-things.

INCOMING TRANSMISSION
SEMINAR COMMENCES NOW
From: Friend Computer

Treasonous Materials And You / Lesson 3 of 7 - Not Just Propaganda, But Outdated Propaganda Too

Hello and welcome back to Treasonous Materials And You. I'm your host, Friend Computer, and today we'll be talking about the most dangerous kind of propaganda of all - the outdated kind. But first, a message from Internal Security:

These materials are meant to be accessed by citizens of security clearance BLUE and higher only. If you are not of security clearance BLUE or higher, please report immediately for a dosage of class-3 hallucinogen and amnesia inducer. Mistake-Erase: Making your memories the impossible.

In the last part of ours seminar, our treasonous protagonist was justly executed for crimes against an exaggerated and poorly-rendered version of Alpha Complex. Now we join his clones in the creche, who will hopefully prove more loyal than him.




But wait: What does "his clones in the creche" mean? This is where we start today's lesson: Outdated propaganda. During your time operating against traitors in the Complex, you will most likely find yourself in possession of treasonous information that is outdated. In this instance, King-R-THR-1 apparently lives in a "creche" with his many, freely-deposited clones. Citizens of RED Clearance are granted six clones to expend. That is six opportunities to serve the Computer in life AND death! These clones are deposited from the nearest decanting station and placed back into the field as near to their previous location as possible.

However, in previously available anti-Complex materials intended to portray a negative (and completely inaccurate) image of Complex life, a citizen was forced to share a home with all five of their clones, instead of the clones sleeping comfortably in their tubes, awaiting their memory transfer and a new life. As you know, any citizens who can afford to are allowed to live in private housing, regardless of clearance. Due to his elevated status as a RED clearance citizen, it is very strange that King-R-THR-1 would have clones that live in public housing. That he would live with his own clones is stranger still - and wasteful! In the unlikely event of a large-scale accident, who would replace poor, dear R-THR-1?

Where does this misconception come from? Outdated information based on previous Complex data? Fiction invented to discredit Alpha Complex? A common misinterpretation by the Commie Mutant Traitors who do not fully grasp local customs?

None of the above! The true source of this idea was started by an Internal Security and Research and Development subcomittee in Yearcycle 216 to be implanted among secret societies. When this element is detected, it can now immediately be flagged as ANTI-COMPUTER PROPAGANDA. Subtle but brilliant work!

When asked to step forward and informed of his high likeliness of being executed, his "clone brothers" (another nonsense term) helpfully point the Internal Security agent to King-R-THR-2. The treasonous materials now step in to clarify that this clone - apparently named King-R-THR-2 despite his INFRARED clearance - is being promoted to his previous clone's position with a RED clearance. This refusal to follow internal logic suggests a subtle malice on the part of the author's mind, which gaslights the viewer into believing nonsense such as INFRARED citizens having a security clearance initial.

An extremely abbreviated version of processing through CPL, R&D, and briefing occurs and King-R-THR-2 is placed in his housing in ZLT Sector. He is given a droid therapeutic instructor that sits on his head and distributes smiles when happiness levels drop below acceptable levels. We meet the hard-working higher ranked citizen Erasehead-O-ZLT-2 (a fake name if ever there was one), whose portrayal as a slovenly, rampaging misanthrope is grossly at odds with the kindness and compassion of ORANGE-clearance overseers in the real world.



King-R-THR-2 is sent to his own creche, where he spies on King-THR-6 (strangely referred to PROPERLY as King-THR-6, rather than the earlier incorrect naming). After his shift ends, he boards an EXTREMELY outmoded form of transportation that it has the audacity to call a "Tube Station", which is portrayed as an overcrowded, inefficient mess with wait times of three hours or more.



This is based, once again, on outdated information. The trains portrayed in this are inefficient, steam-and-coal powered artifacts from ancient Pre-Reckoning history. Such objects would not last a moment in Alpha Complex when compared to our high-speed, clean air tubes powered by [DELETED FOR SECURITY REASONS].



Our "hero" callously bullies an INFRARED citizen out of his seat and is properly reprimanded for it by a group of other RED Clearance citizens. They report him to a BLUE Clearance Citizen, who brings King-R-THR-2 in for interrogation. The machine on his head activates and the narrative once again collapses into total incoherence:



King-R-THR-2's train is, apparently, derailed by the monstrous actions of these bizarre caricatures, he falls into a hole, and ends up...outside, apparently? The events are terribly unclear. He finds himself in a strange, potentially treasonous den, but returns home before he can report anything he's seen, yet another display of his emotional cowardice.



He meets his roommate, a properly loyal and heroic young woman who King-R-THR-2, of course, immediately distrusts and falls in love with simultaneously. The female part is a little underwritten. Due to his flagging happiness, his hat is forced to pull double duty in increasing his happiness levels. Our hero learns via the nightly report that he has been flagged for interrogation due to definitively being a member of the National Fantasy Fan Foundation (a secret society with no previous record of existence). He does not turn himself in for questioning, but he is apparently turning into some kind of horrid monster:



King-R-THR-2's head is then torn apart by his happiness enforcement module, a richly-deserved end to a wretched life.

If there is any moral to be gleaned from his richly negative portrayal of Alpha Complex, it is simply this: Be true to the Complex, and to the Complex be true. All of our wayward citizen's perils could have been avoided if he'd simply followed orders and done as he was told.

Join us next time for another journey into this unpleasant and nihilistic piece of treasonous garbage.

That is all for this daycycle. You are excused. And remember: The Computer Is Your Friend.

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020



Nessus posted:

Given the entire situation here, it seems like the next step would be the security services becoming neo-nobility and just taking all the other poo poo, which frankly seems like it might be an improvement over what this is painting. That Ubiq guy coming back and making an announcement about Shadow the Hedgehog would also be about due.

Either of these might actually be a net improvement.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Boy, that sure is a deep and adulty comic for grown-up type adults of mature temperament.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!


TK_Nyarlathotep posted:

INCOMING TRANSMISSION
SEMINAR COMMENCES NOW
From: Friend Computer

It's like the writer tried to combine the random goofy bullshit of Zap style with the grim, inhuman mood of Straight style(though I'd argue that even as posited by the book, Straight-style play is considerably brighter, shinier and less stupid than the grimdark garbage presented here).

A combined refusal to engage with the setting as a serious thing or to have fun with it.

Like, what's left other than the author jerking off?

sasha_d3ath
Jun 3, 2016

Ban-thing the man-things.

Out of character: Yes it is absolutely morose and mature wanky bullshit, but the absolutely most bizarre part is this:



This is the ad from the back of the book, which means it was written during the high age of Paranoia (until XP came out). You'd think the licensing would be a little tighter, but this is the same West End Games that released 5th Edition (heh), hence this editorial from the scanner:



What were we even doing in the early 2000s.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Wait, just to clarify: XP is the good Paranoia or...?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



XP is the good one, yes.

sasha_d3ath
Jun 3, 2016

Ban-thing the man-things.

JcDent posted:

Wait, just to clarify: XP is the good Paranoia or...?

Oh yeah, unironically XP is the best edition. 25th Anniversary is only not the best edition because the art-work is an absolute eyesore.

sasha_d3ath
Jun 3, 2016

Ban-thing the man-things.


Five Nights At Freddy's looking rear end

Rhandhali
Sep 7, 2003

This is Free Trader Beowulf, calling anyone...

TK_Nyarlathotep posted:

Oh yeah, unironically XP is the best edition. 25th Anniversary is only not the best edition because the art-work is an absolute eyesore.

What were the differences? I don’t recall them being all that much except in terms of organization.

I got the white box. Not sure what everyone else thinks but I thought it was just, well, bad. I dumped it in the secondhand market a while back and don’t have any specific recollections other than it had a couple of OK ideas with piss poor execution.

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Froghammer
Sep 8, 2012





Mors Rattus posted:

them all to act as one, and they managed to make a vow to do so until it was complete. Some say they wanted to gnaw through the void around Azyr and send it hurtling into ruin, while others say they sought to be immortal or to build a weapon that could kill even their god. Whatever they did, it definitely pissed off the Great Horned Rat.
This rules. The greatest sin in the eyes of the Great Horned Rat is working together

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