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HitTheTargets
Mar 3, 2006

I came here to laugh at you.


occamsnailfile posted:

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 2: “Souls for Lord Lesion”



Well that got a lot metaler than I expected. Will RIFTS actually let me play a motorcycle riding crusader with an Ace of Spades coat of arms?

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Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



Bitchtits McGee posted:

TORG always sounds so awesome until you start talking about the rules.

I know I say this every time, but I say that Torg would work so well with either Fate Core or Savage Worlds. Both systems handle multiple genres well and have meta-currency already in place.

Amechra
Sep 9, 2012


I've been thinking that a *World system would probably go really well with Torg.

Like, really well.

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


That's exactly what I said two months ago!

I actually considered trying it for the August contest, but I haven't exactly been drowning in free time this month.

Anticheese
Feb 13, 2008

$60,000,000 sexbot




Amechra posted:

I've been thinking that a *World system would probably go really well with Torg.

Like, really well.

Cyberpapacy World

Evil Mastermind
Apr 28, 2008



I don't know how well, *World would work, because it's generally a very focused system; I think you'd have to make a bunch of realm-specific moves because with Torg, the same system can be different between realms. Like, cybernetics use the same basic system between the Cyberpapacy and Tharkold, but there are mechanical differences between the two.

Plus you'd either need to come up with a ton of playbooks or a do-it-yourself playbook creation system.

HitTheTargets
Mar 3, 2006

I came here to laugh at you.


Oh yeah. You'd basically be making a full hack for each Cosm, then slam-jamming them all together. Just making such a game would be amazing, never mind how well it works.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Evil Mastermind posted:

I don't know how well, *World would work, because it's generally a very focused system; I think you'd have to make a bunch of realm-specific moves because with Torg, the same system can be different between realms. Like, cybernetics use the same basic system between the Cyberpapacy and Tharkold, but there are mechanical differences between the two.

Plus you'd either need to come up with a ton of playbooks or a do-it-yourself playbook creation system.

I think the best and most simplified solution would be to have the playbook characters represent each cosm and that they could be tweaked by the player to get your variations out of. For example, they could take different starting abilities and have trees for those abilities. A Cyberpapacy character could start off as a punk with a streetwise ability, a transformed Catholic priest who has got the cyberware but rejected the False Papacy could have an ability to call upon his fatih (which would be a roll Weird), a rogue legionnaire might have something similar to the Gunlugger abilities, but they could all be merged into the same playbook.

Or they could be the major archetypes from each cosm: the Corporate Ninja, the Pulp Hero, the Cyberpunk, the Lizardman, the Victorian, etc.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I think *World would be terrible for TORG, and I like *World games a lot. Even before you get to completely rewriting playbooks, or making the players swap back and forth when they get forcibly connected to a new Cosm, there are big problems with adapting mechanics like Reality points and even the resolution system.

If cosm flips and the like are going to be a thing, they need to happen in a form that isn't going to screw the character and cause a lot of math. Make cosms something like the racial modifiers from Dungeon World, a simple Move or bonus to Moves thematic to the cosm. Sure, it isn't going to have the same mechanical effect of 'Pulp inventor becomes eidenos, loses everything down to awareness that friction=heat', but that was a pretty big mechanical gently caress-you. Or maybe it does: Core TORG might say it happens in a flash, but that doesn't mean an adaptation can't have it drain more slowly from someone who's Possibility rated, to the effect that they (temporarily?) swap playbooks or Moves between games.

I think I've said it before, but a system that lets you build a basic character, and apply swappable templates or overlays (like the arse-ancient Amazing Engine, and I'm not sure what else, nowadays) would be a lot more elegant if you're dead set on emulating the obnoxiousness of cosm swapping and axiom shift.

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

The way TORG works requires a more structured system. The reason that I brought up Cinematic Unisystem was because the Drama Point rules would plug in very easily among other things.

Stuff like *World, FATE, and the like rely on a more freeform method, and one of the core frameworks of TORG is that the situation is structured by the rules that the High Lords have set up (World Laws and Realm Levels). To have things not feel stifled is against the tone of the game in a large part.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

TORG: The Metagame Has a Name...

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 3: “Condensed excerpts from her soon to be released book”


We knew she’d be here. There’s no escaping Erin Tarn She told us she’d been to Wormwood at the beginning of England. Here she’s presenting us with some pieces of a book she’s writing about her experiences in Wormwood. She describes how they were hot and tired and just wanted to get where they were going and the Mexican ley line walker opened the rift and it was really cool and impressive and “Maybe it’s because I’m a woman, but I always thought the rifts looked like a womb.” Really, you have to go there, and then can’t bring yourself to say ‘vagina’?

Anyway, more about how interesting and painless stepping through it was, and I suppose some description of the actual act of walking through a rift was needed since it was not clear if it had any other effects.

Wormwood is a living planet, she tells us, and maybe it was created by cosmic-level bioengineering, maybe there’s a connection to the Mechanoids (there isn’t) but we’ll never know. The day is 25 hours long, thirteen night and twelve day. There are two moons. The sky is yellow with bluish hints (which would be green then?) and the landscape tends to be pastel pink and tan. If they’d ever made a color version of this comic, eyes would bleed. Also there are no trees, there are these stone-like pillars, with occasional shrubs or vines and such but they’re invasive species.

Even the buildings are grown from the planet’s substance and ‘have the texture and warmth of the hide of a rhino-buffalo’ which sounds singularly unpleasant. She compares this to how she’d read about Millennium Trees and their little houses. Apparently all the home furnishing is done by priests or ‘shamen’ (sic) called wormspeakers. Oh good, after all those classes in England who just made potions and cauldrons, I was looking forward to one that just did interior decorating.

Also, apparently Wormwood people speak perfect American, having adopted the language before the time of Rifts. Because reasons. They learned this because they met a group of adventurers who helped them get out of the demon wastelands they rifted into. Apparently a shifter on Wormwood let in the Host led by something that calls itself the Unholy. All the bad guys are Forces of Darkness and they are very bad, they’re all into using souls as mystic energy.


only picture in this section

The wormspeaker summoned all their food, which was grubs and worms from the ground. Erin Tarn did not care for this a lot, preferring “vegetable-like” fibers from food caves, but you eat what’s available. Wormspeakers are apparently kind of gross, with worms instead of a tongue and worms on their bodies that serve as armor and stuff.

At one point while they were resting, Erin noticed that one of the weird stony pillars had moved. Everyone got alarmed that there was a Crawling Tower nearby. The priest in the little adventuring unit summoned some little domes for them to hide in as some of the evil bat warriors from the comic flew overhead. Apparently everything on Wormwood is mega-damage, including the humans, and the Unholy has found ways to mutate its living structure.

Travelling through Wormwood, they saw frequent signs of death and destruction and recent ruins. I would say this is not different from Rifts Earth really but the ‘recent’ part does change some of the ruins a bit. And that the ruins would heal themselves so just the corpses would be still lying around.


second to only picture in this section

And at the last, Erin and friends paused to gather some food from a food cave. Two “Leaper” parasites jumped out, being ridden by demonic humanoids. Apparently they are insectoid, and Sir Thorpe started fighting them. More “Tick” parasites appeared and the priest turned them. The Leapers seemed to be causing some significant trouble for our hardy band when a dude in blue and silver appeared and told the monsters to go home and they were all “Lazarus Vespers, you’re a jerk.” I may be embellishing the dialogue slightly, GMPC to the rescue of another GMPC. When GM-worlds collide.

Anyway the monster points and there’s a big demon with an axe. Wait! No, it’s just the Confessor. He scared the demons back into their cave and then took off his mask to show his handsome handsome face. “It was quickly apparent that he and Vespers were uncomfortable companions. Neither seemed particularly comfortable with one another.” Yeah, okay. They were in town because of the crawling tower spotted previously, and Vespers had to go but but the Confessor would escort them.

Erin then concludes that they travelled for five weeks more, through a bunch of communities of dirty and tired people. Some of them rallied around local heroes, though the Confessor always made them leave because the towns were more likely to be attacked and also there might be spies. End of transmission.

So this time we got an expository comic and an Erin Tarn letter. The letter is about as heavy-handed as the comic though it told us some necessary things (living planet) the comic left out--it’s just way less metal and way more full of

Next time: Key Locations in and around the Kingdom of Light. I’m glad this is at the front this time.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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






Chapter 4: Enemies

Why does SCAR keep getting work?

quote:

The Wyrm has been in Australia longer than any Garou. When the Bunyip arrived in Australia, fleeing the rage of their brethren, they found Wyrm-beasts active in the land. The Bunyip destroyed some such monsters, binding others with the aid of Dreamspeaker mages among the Aboriginal people. Today the Wyrm's most powerful tools are humanity, and the resources humans can unwittingly bring to bear against the environment.
Yup, it's all our fault. Don't we feel bad.

Black Spiral Dancers
There are a few Spiral packs scattered across Australia, with the ultimate goal of controlling the Dreamtime and all the spirits therein. They hope to use the corruption of the Dreamtime to hasten the corruption of the physical world. They arrived shortly after the rest of the Western Garou, and "discovered to their delight that the Wyrm's work was already being done in Australia." They just spurred the Europeans on to greater atrocities in the name of "civilization", and laughed as the Garou let it happen.


It kind of kills the mood of the whole murder-death-kill-atrocity train when you've got two dudes lovingly embracing and whispering into each other's ears. Not to mention the guy leaning against the frame of the page

Were the Spirals an actual unified force, the Dreamtime would have fallen decades ago. Thankfully they're fragmented and insane. The occasional schemer can rise to prominence, but they're usually either quickly killed by someone else's insane plot, or fail to find the organized traction to get their ideas done. The one thing there is a unified front on, is interest in Bunyip lore and artifacts. Most of the Garou nation sees this as hilarious as they are "Afraid of an enemy long dead." But the Stargazers rightly believe that they're trying to get control of Ngalyod the Rainbow Serpent, and use it to do their work in the Dreamtime.

quote:

Australian Black Spiral Dancers are fanatically religious and often kidnap other Garou in order to deprogram them, opening their eyes to the wonders of the Wyrm. Such unwilling converts usually end up dead rather than enlightened. Worshipping the Wyrm as a force of balance, the Black Spiral Dancers present Australia's vast areas of wilderness and plagues of introduced animals as evidence that the Wyld is out of control. The Black Spiral Dancers are agents, not of destruction, but of necessary restraint - or so they claim. They contend that the cities, constructs of the Weaver, must be allowed to thrive, supplanting the Wyld so that order may be restored.
This is actually a pretty good argument, and a very good plot hook. Unfortunately this is the same tribe with the plot to infest office workers with sentient wyrm cancer, and the rest of the book will completely ignore the whole 'cities are necessary' thing.

But they won't ignore religion.

The Priests of Polution: A Sample Dancer Pack


Moonscreamer: Rank 5 Homid Theurge
Moonscreamer's possessions include Greyflank's still glowing heart, It's been enchanted as a fetish that hides the Wyrm Taint of any that carry it. And yes, he's dressed like a priest, complete with collar.

quote:

Moonscreamer's Kinfolk parents raised him according to the strict rules of their religion. His childhood was punctuated by regular beatings, reinforced guilt and long periods of loneliness. When he reached puberty and the Change overtook him, Moonscreamer killed his parents, laughing insanely all the while. From that night on, Moonscreamer has restrained his madness, conducting his life in a cold and rational manner.
Yup. One of the authors really hated their Christian upbringing. I'm not sure if he's supposed to be Catholic or Anglican, but later information leads me to believe Catholic.

Anyways, his ultimate goal is to corrupt all the spirits of Kakadu National Park, his pack is based in the uranium mine on the grounds. They do this by capturing and torturing the spirits caught on the Bawn of the Sept. Moonscreamer's ambition is such that he believes he can even corrupt Namarrkon, the Lightning Spirit.


Darren Mate-of-the-Wyrm: Rank 4 Metis Ahroun

quote:

In his Homid form, Darren is solidly built man of 22. He is always naked from the waist up; his chest is covered in coarse black hair. He wears kangaroo-skin boots and his jeans are held up with a belt of dingo leather.
He also kicks baby seals for fun. But oh it gets worse.

quote:

Darren is the product of a rape. His mother was a Black Fury, his father a Black Spiral Dancer. The young pup, after eating his way out of his mother's womb, trotted up to the gates of the Ranger mine, sensing that the Wyrm would give him a home. Moonscreamer adopted the pup, who grew up astonishingly quickly.
No.

The rapid aging thing isn't just a throwaway thing, his metis deformity is that he's incredibly short lived, he's probably going to die at 5 years old. Because of this, he's incredibly concerned with his legacy, and spends most of his free time visiting Darwin and "using his Animal Attraction to impregnate rich women, ruining their lives and hopefully providing himself with a Garou heir." No that isn't a typo, he's apparently a fertile Metis. When he's not going around breaking the rules of the game, he's trying to die a glorious death in battle.


Sister Mary McMartin/Cavorts-in-Blood: Rank 2 Metis Galliard
Yup, her metis deformity is that she has a split personality, and that split personality is a Nun.

quote:

Flowing black hair frames her soft white face; her sympathetic eyes gaze dreamily into the distance. As Mary, she captures her hair beneath her black nun's habit. As Cavorts-in-Blood, she dresses like a street prostitute, in fishnet stockings and a low-cut dress.
And her non-split personality is a Hooker.

There's two pieces of artwork of the Hookernun, and none of the other members of her pack. I leave it as an exercise to the reader as to why.

She was a child to two Spiral Parents from the Hive of the Corrupted Flesh. After she was forced to walk the spiral, her personality fractured. Part of her embraced her heritage, but the other half "rebelled" and went as straight laced as possible. Moonscreamer found her when she was 'Mary', and took her under his wing since she fit into his already existing delusion.

Mary is unaware of Cavorts-in-Blood's existence, though the reverse isn't true. And... oh come on.

quote:

Having recently become pregnant as a result of her alter ego's orgiastic reverence of the Wyrm, Mary believes herself to be blessed with an immaculately conceived Wyrm-child, the savior of the Black Spirals.
Two fertile Metis, in the same pack? I guess the author thought that being a Black Spiral makes you immune to that little clause.


I think it's the crosses on the one-piece leather tutu that really sell the picture for me.


Pustulent Claws (Bluey): Rank 1 Metis Ragabash
A third metis, but at least he's not fertile (that I know). Instead he's a petulant acne scarred teenager. He was spoiled as a child, as his parents provided him with plenty of small animals to torture and kill. Eventually they decided it was time for him to learn how to hunt and kill humans, not just animals. But of course he rebelled at this because he just wanted to 'play'. So his parents forced him to walk the black spiral early. Of course, being a petulant child he kept his eyes closed so he isn't completely insane, just deeply disturbed. Moonscreamer took him into the pack to use him as his chief torturer.

quote:

The small pack keeps to itself, avoiding the workers who live in the mine compound. Inquisitive workers soon disappear, and the mine staff has learned not to question the presence of a priest, nun, psychopath, and teenage boy on the premises.

I know people in the World of Darkness are supposed to be blasé about evil, but seriously. Do they wave to the nun as she walks by? What about the man-eating prostitute?

Pentex

quote:

Pentex has maintained a presence in Australia for only 50 years, but in that short space of time has fostered much environmental degradation and spiritual corruption. Pentex-controlled companies have the worst record of job-related accidents in Australia and house their workers in notoriously poor conditions. Unknown to employees, Pentex buildings are constructed over chemical dumps and insulated with asbestos. Air and water supplies are saturated with minute but dangerous concentrations of toxins.
This seems counter-productive. I mean sure they're an evil business, but they're still a business. Couldn't they keep their workers alive and turn them into better trained, more efficient tools of cartoonish villainy?

Major Pentex operations are their paper mills, that use Australia's hardwood forests to make low-quality paper bags rather than building materials or just leaving them be. They're also high-cost/low-efficiency and dump a lot of waste mercury into the rivers. They've got extensive mining interests, and sludge and slag waste runoff into the water tables and by extension the ocean. They've also got their hands in multiple surveyors offices, falsifying records to make mineral-poor/vegetation-rich areas look more appealing than they are. They support the gun lobby and pay a bounty on dingo scalps, and support the sheep and cattle industries in their efforts to lobby for more grazing land. They support the tourism industries, but only in as much as they degrade and exploit the environment, like skiing, fishing, water-skiing, motor racing, and 'eco-tours' through environmentally sensitive areas with overloaded diesel buses. The two main offices in Australia are in Sydney and Perth, with a branch office in Wellington, New Zealand that they also oversee.

Remember the great spaghetti spill of '89? Man that was a terrible year.

Jeffery Blight, QC
The COO of Pentex Australia, he first rose to Pentex's attention when he was studying law at Melbourne University. Ruthless and Corrupt even then, he would seduce and blackmail his lecturers to gain the highest possible marks. He was also a member of the debate team, and made waves during a nationally televised debate competition when he argued in favor of medical experimentation on prisoners. He went on to become a corporate lawyer, and used bribery and extortion to ensure he never lost a case. When Pentex asked him to join up, his only stipulation was that they use their considerable power to have him appointed Queen's Counsel.

At Pentex, he was appointed head of the Special Projects Division, where he pioneered genetic manipulation and cybernetics research for the company. I guess he minored in biotech while he was learning to be a lawyer. After two years he decided it was time for a promotion, and he bribed and murdered his way into the position he holds today. The Board of Directors is aware of how he got his position, and approve of it. But now he's seeking appointment to the Board himself.

Jemina Christianson

quote:

Jemina was born to a wealthy, upper-class family and educated in private European schools. In Switzerland she first encountered the supernatural powers that pervade the World of Darkness, in the form of an elder Ventrue. Having read Plato, Machiavelli, Dante, Marx, Kropotkin, Stirner, and Neitzche, Jemina was ready for a lesson in true power.
I'm not sure what her encounter with the elder Ventrue entailed, or how that relates to her reading habits. What happens next makes even less sense. She returns to her home of Perth, and seeks out James Stirling, the existence of whom she apparently learned about while in Europe. She seduced him and learned everything she could, including knowledge of the Technomancers. She decided that something that could make a mage feel fear was powerful enough for her needs, so she went to join them.

Their entrance exam for her required the death of Perth's Vampire Prince, since they thought he was working with Stirling. Rather than risk her own life, she riled up the Anarchs and told them where his haven was and how to get past his defenses. The technocracy accepted her with open arms and promised to protect her from the vampires and James Stirling. Then they had her infiltrate Pentex, and a combination of her own ambition and technomantic power has seen her rise to the Head of the company's Perth branch. Her relationship with Jeffery Blight can best be described as "a deadly game of chess/murder with occasional pauses for hatefucking".

The Squattocracy
The Squattocracy is all but defunct, only being kept alive by a few conservatives within Pentex who still see it as necessary. The powerful members within it's structure don't want to see it fail, and are more concerned with their own wealth and prestige than the service of the Wyrm. The influence they have with more traditional members of Pentex has so far kept Blight from streamlining them into a shallow grave.

Let's play a game, how long does it take you to notice the chicken?

Sir Vivien Winchester
Winchester owns a vast ancestral sheep ranch in the outback of New South Wales. His ancestors were the original founders of the Squattocracy, and he sees Pentex as brash American upstarts lacking in breeding and gentility. He's never seen without his suit and monocle, his skin is leathery, his eyes are bright and hard, and he wears a white hairpiece.

Oh and he used to hunt Aboriginals for sport, with a gun. He regrets the Aboriginal Protection Board's incarceration of the tribes on reservations as they have robbed him of his fine sport. He spends his days in his sprawling homestead, only leaving when he has to go to board meetings. He hates Blight and Martina Loupenski, and has been sending his son George to Perth in a vain attempt to enlist Jemina as an ally.

Aborignal Protection Board
Rather than killing through violence, the APB kills the spirit in the guise of cultural assimilation. Stealing children from their mothers, preventing Aboriginals on their reservations from practicing their religion or speaking their own language, and just generally being assholes. The APB still exists today in GOTHIC PUNK AUSTRALIA even though it doesn't in the real world. It's an independent organization, though it's head sits on the Pentex Australia board of directors so they can coordinate efforts.

Martina Loupenski
Born to Polish parents in a working-class suburb of Melbourne, Martina studied as a social worker before joining the APB.

Oh and she was raped by her father as a child, which caused her to attract a Bane which possessed her and turned her into a formor.

Now she's the Head of the APB, and is Blight's easily manipulated pawn. She hates Vivien for his derision of her Slavic heritage and his outdated clumsy methods of corruption.

Also we have one of my favorite pictures in the book here

I have no idea what's going on, but that is the politest pouch monster I've ever seen.

Vampires
Australia's Geographic isolation prevented Vampires from arriving here until the mid 1500's when Portugese ships found the Continent seeking a mythical isle of gold south of Java. They were fleeing the political turmoil of Europe, with the Inquisition and the Anarch Revolt. When the continent was rediscovered in 1616 by Dutch Explorers, the Brujah and Malkavians that came with them were swiftly slain by the Bunyip or the Sun.

It took the arrival of the English prison ships for them to establish a real foothold. As the human population grew and new settlements were founded, the vampires moved with them, though they were kept in check by the Bunyip. But then the War of Tears happened and the vampires moved into every city large enough to hold them. Now they're too firmly entrenched for the Western Garou to get rid of them, good job guys.

Bat wings do not work that way! Tongues do not work that way! What is wrong with you?

Melbourne
Melbourne is ruled by the crime boss Squizzy Taylor. She deposed and diablerized the previous ruler Montague Lytton. A gangster in her mortal life, she was embraced by a Brujah in the 1920's and saw no reason to stop with her current career just because she was dead.

Perth
Perth is under Anarch control following the death of Lumley. They gave the rest of the Vampires in Perth a 'join or die(again)' ultimatum, and their numbers have been shored up by a steady stream of refugees from the East who chafe under Camarilla rule. Of course James Stirling isn't too happy with the state of affairs, and the Glass Walkers are cooking popcorn and waiting to watch the inevitable shitstorm.


Does getting turned into a vampire gently caress up your hands? Is that the new clan weakness? Nosferatu: get hosed up bat wings. Toreador: get hands like that deer from Adventure Time

Sydney
Sydney's kind of fractured right now. The current Prince Sarrasine is an enigma. He claims to be Toreador but no one knows who his sire is, even him. Most dismiss him as Catiff and therefore able to safely be ignored, most of the Suburbs are ruled by lesser Princes that Sarrasine hasn't brought low either because he lacks the power or is planning on using them as a part of his own schemes.

Oh and he makes regular trips to the Hive of Corrupted Flesh to have orgies with the Black Spirals. Just thought you should know.


Up Next: The Dreamtime- It's like the Umbra, but better!

Robodog
Oct 22, 2004

...how does that work?


Kurieg posted:

Melbourne
Melbourne is ruled by the crime boss Squizzy Taylor. She deposed and diablerized the previous ruler Montague Lytton. A gangster in her mortal life, she was embraced by a Brujah in the 1920's and saw no reason to stop with her current career just because she was dead.

Squizzy Taylor was a bloke.

Synthbuttrange
May 6, 2007



Yeah, that's a pretty accurate depiction of life in Australia.

DAD LOST MY IPOD
Feb 3, 2012

Fats Dominar is on the case






Pictured: The Pentex Board of Directors

also, the content of RaA isn't worse than a lot of oWoD (which is not really saying much, I know) but man, the art is so bad. I keep expecting a semi-professional piece to pop up and it's all just so awful, uniformly, with no respite. What the gently caress, really?

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 4: “Battle Star, non-galactica”



I was wrong, we are far from done with Erin’s ramblings. They decided to put some key locational info in the front, but from everyone’s favorite unreliable narrator, Erin Tarn

Of course, Erin dots her writings with Kevin Siembieda’s love of random geographical and population figures. Apparently most settlements are 2,000 to 10,000 people and 20 to 50 miles (32 to 80km) apart. Also people treat the Confessor badly because he used to work for the Unholy or something.

The first named community the party reaches is called Battle Star. The city has a large wall around it, and lots of interior fortifications, which must be awkward when half the forces of evil just fly over it. It has the name “Battle Star” because there are five battle saints are located around it in a five-pointed configuration on hills around the city. This “city” of 10,000 people somehow supports a warrior population of 8,000. Mostly human, a few D-bees.

From Battle Star and Stone Haven (details to follow) one can see the Northern Mountains which mark the border between the Kingdom of Light and the Unholy’s empire. Supposedly the mountains were created by prayer for a natural defense, but they’re still full of monsters.

Stone Haven is another cluster of communities “a day and a half” from Battle Star. They are named for having built parts of their community with imported stone from other dimensions. Okay. Rifts Earth stone isn’t naturally mega-damage so that might not be a great bet.

There’s also Stone Wall, which is not a community of demon-slaying gays, alas. It’s a 30-ft tall crescent that stretches eleven miles, apparently a defensive fixture whose builders have been forgotten. This is probably at least partly because a random 11-mile wall is not all that useful.


this is one of several panels from the comic that have already been re-used in the book

Kravenville! A promising name. Only a third of this city of 11,000 is composed of soldiers. Why did they choose a prime number for their fraction? I hate you, Palladium. They get attacked a lot and are wary of strangers but not hostile. Again, they made a bunch of their city out of imported stone, but ‘Stone Haven’ and ‘Stone Wall’ were already taken so...time to kill Spider-Man? Okay, here’s at least some explanation for the stone: Thomas Kraven, city founder, wanted walls that enemy priests and wormspeakers couldn’t breach. That is an actually valid reason. It’s just that thing about the stone again, where did they get it from? There’s a decent-sized stone castle on the Kraven estate, and there are a fair number of temporal wizards here, because Thomas Kraven was one I guess--it doesn’t mention them being evil or even suspicious so this might be a rogue school. The T-wizards couldn’t immediately rift Erin & crew back to Earth because “The Cathedral” needed them for a battle the next day, but they’d discuss it later.

Next, Stone Finger. Come on. The town is home to a Thunder Lizard dragon and some other warriors, including a Holy Terror named Max, and the dragon built a big stone pillar, thus the name. Holy Terrors remind Erin of robots. From the one stone pillar we get to the Forest of Pillars which is a bunch more of those stony pillars that pass for native vegetation thick enough to be kind of a forest, defining the eastern border of the Kingdom of Light.

In the western distance were the Resin mountains. These are apparently full of wild parasites and skelter bats, as well as flying animals from other dimensions, and bandits. Apparently the mountains are made by a mucus-y secretion of the planet and people use it to make stuff. All kinds of stuff, furniture, chainmail, what have you. Giant planet-snot IKEA. Two mining towns called the Hammer and the Chisel rest at its foot. Hammer shapes raw material venting from the planet, Chisel does finished goods and artistic stuff. They have some knights and such. Past the mountains are some more small hills, thinly populated.


here, have some knights to break up the text.

Erin continues on from here with more rambling about the Kingdom of Light, which I thought we were already talking about. Though we weren’t, too much, as this is a kingdom whose king has not yet been named. And they have a lot of ‘knights’ which suggests some kind of nobility, but Erin just kind of glossed that generally too, except to mention the currently-reigning Kraven brothers.

So next time: Kingdom of Light, for real

Count Chocula
Dec 25, 2011

WE HAVE TO CONTROL OUR ENVIRONMENT
IF YOU SEE ME POSTING OUTSIDE OF THE AUSPOL THREAD PLEASE TELL ME THAT I'M MISSED AND TO START POSTING AGAIN


Robodog posted:

Squizzy Taylor was a bloke.

I was about to point that out. Thanks, promos for Underbelly: Squizzy, for that knowledge.

quote:

This seems counter-productive. I mean sure they're an evil business, but they're still a business. Couldn't they keep their workers alive and turn them into better trained, more efficient tools of cartoonish villainy?

The asbestos thing comes from companies actually covering up asbestos deaths. The paper mill is in there because local environmentalists hate some pulp/paper mill; I can't remember why. I think these Pentax NPC's lack the flair of their real-world counterparts. Where's the corpulent Gina Rinehardt and her odes to industry? Where's Clive Palmer and his dinosaur park and Titanic 2? Where's Murdoch?

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

occamsnailfile posted:

There’s also Stone Wall, which is not a community of demon-slaying gays, alas. It’s a 30-ft tall crescent that stretches eleven miles, apparently a defensive fixture whose builders have been forgotten. This is probably at least partly because a random 11-mile wall is not all that useful.

I choose to believe this is a section of the Maginot Line, displaced in space and time.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Just caught up with this thread after my PC blew and grad school started. So I wrote some things down!

So what is the Jovian religion entail? Right now I know they have a thing about cortical stacks and apparently are techno-amish as all gently caress because. What's the reason for forsaking such things as the O'Neil cylinder?

TIGER TRANSIT is awesome as all get out, but why doesn't the Hound just erupt from the angle created by the victim's shoes resting on the floor? It'd be kind of awesome to see a time travelling horror game the system.

The CoGs in W:tA could work in the setting if they had just been rewritten so that they used violence as a final act when all else failed and felt guilt over it. Then the CoG could be both the pacifists and still werewolves. And the concept of metises being able to breed thanks to the wyrm would be an awesome plot hook if it was based around a rite. Important werewolves have gone missing and started popping back up in a good mood but being secretive, the PC pack is dispatched to find out what is going on and stumble upon nurseries full of little werewolf cubs that stink heavily of the wyrm while the garou parent doesn't appear readily turned. Now the PCs are over the barrel as they have to kill wyrm monsters but they're surrounded by children who are attached to a loving parent. It'd make for an interesting arc.

And as always, the RIFTS are is great.

J Miracle
Mar 25, 2010
It took 32 years, but I finally figured out push-ups!

saved for later

J Miracle fucked around with this message at 18:41 on Sep 2, 2013

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

J Miracle posted:

Ah Wormwood, a world where, if I recall correctly, all humans are minor mega-damage creatures, but don't have supernatural strength, meaning on Wormwood you never have to worry about a kid hitting a baseball through your window or cops kicking your door down. Additionally, fist-fighting is a pretty pointless endeavor, and its not exactly clear how anyone is cutting that mega-damage hair or trimming those mega-damage toenails. Doesn't the setting imply that swords and whatnot still do SDC damage? If so why is everyone carrying around like 30 useless knives, is it just part of the strap/buckle/pouch fetish everyone seems to have developed?



Shh! ...that's actually the single dumbest thing in the book but they don't get to explaining it for quite a while, just acting like everything is SDC-normal. And it's never addressed in mundane detail.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 5: “The three major cities part 1”



I am really hating this Erin Tarn geography lesson thing. I complained all through England that they talked about New Camelot and its problems for the entire book before just shoving that in at the back, this time all the setting stuff is up front, which is good, but written by a snowflaky old bat.

Anyway, this “Kingdom of Light” has three major cities: True Heart, The Golden City, and Cathedral Stronghold. Lots of smaller towns and a large military presence, probably a total population of 5 to 10 million--which is a lot of variance but is at least a respectable figure larger than these hamlets they’ve been calling cities.

Since they mentioned the three big cities first, we’re going to talk about a secondary city next. The Greenery has 34K residents at the northernmost edge of the Kingdom. It is named for its extra-terrestrial gardens, basically the ‘elder counsel’ (sic) imported dirt and plants from a bunch of worlds to make a garden. This is actually kind of neat as a city feature on a very alien planet, though Erin talks about how overjoyed she is to see plants and rolled around on the grass and such.

She also talked to some monks who get their own boldfaced section. They don’t say what order they’re from, just that they’re committed to peace and justice but very, very argumentative and constantly criticising the Light governments, especially the Cathedral. Tarn wasn’t real sure about this as they seemed way nicer than anything you might find in the Coalition. They also warned her about High Priest Matthew Pentecost, uncle of heroic young Dorsey Pentecost. The latter is the third ‘NPC hero’ who gets a writeup along with Vespers and the Confessor.

They did not visit York Town which is home to the Monastery of Inner Strength, perhaps home to those monks above. Then they went to True Heart, the first of the three main cities. Their priest had to take off to go report to his superiors here. 100K residents, 60K soldiers of various kinds. It is apparently the home base of the Knights of the Hospital and they like to ride motorcycles. Wormwood doesn’t have any indigenous equivalent to horses so motorcycles rule the day, often converted to Technowizard versions that use psychic or magical energy. They also saw a lot of Coalition/Northern Gun/Triax armaments, and even Kittani stuff because this is a stand alone supplement.

And here’s some more of Rifts dropping random rules into place descriptions: Apparently a lot of the knights like to use TW versions of old black powder guns from the American Revolutionary War. The dumbness of that aside, they detail some stats for these weapons in the city description. Where you’ll never find it. And even if you are “skilled” in an undefined way, you still have to spend a melee action to reload your average-damage guns.

Tarn goes on to talk about the Knights Hospital a little, saying they’re the more blue-collar knights compared to the Templars, who “come from noble heritage.” At least there is a continuous culture that could breed up a nobility here, rather than the shattered randomness of England. They’re just, you know, using a historical knightly order from Earth for their name and then admitting anyone whether they were noble or not and only maybe taking a vow of poverty if they feel like it helps them avoid temptation. I’ll probably complain more about these respective knightly orders and their use in this book in the class writeups.


i’m not sure how to describe this...Mad Max meets Robin Hood?

And then like, a shitload of about how the Hospitallers are struggling with conflicting vows of service to the Church and to more general principles of justice and whatever. Basically the Cathedral has been getting high handed and snooty and treating apoks and freelancers badly and kicking out knights who dissent and such. It’s more or less exactly what you’d expect to hear about an organization claiming to serve good in a Rifts book.

Next: the rest of this goddamn letter

J Miracle
Mar 25, 2010
It took 32 years, but I finally figured out push-ups!

occamsnailfile posted:

Shh! ...that's actually the single dumbest thing in the book but they don't get to explaining it for quite a while, just acting like everything is SDC-normal. And it's never addressed in mundane detail.

Oh man did I mess this up, I can edit my post.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

It's cool, it is a critical point about Wormwood and the MDC system in general, and it definitely merits discussion.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 6: “The three major cities part 2”



Having heard these vague rumbles of discontent, our intrepid heroine made her way to Cathedral Stronghold itself. 500,000 people in one place, why, it’s a veritable sea of humanity. Only 110,000 warriors though. It’s apparently very big and gleaming with lots of pomp and ceremony. The Cathedral campus itself is a two mile area and very lavish, perhaps one might say ‘Vatican-y’. One of the two battle saints in the city sleeps under a hill on the campus, and they have a big parade ground for all their knights. Of course, Erin describes all this and then says they remind her of the CS, the seeds of corruption are taking root even though these guys have really good intentions, etc.

But more about that later, first we’re going to talk about the Templar knights. In some ways this is almost refreshing that they’re just a bunch of arrogant rear end in a top hat knights rather than a conspiracy theory. But they are definitely described as haughty jerkwads. They’re still a symbol of hope and still fight for the Light or whatever but they’re arrogant and dismissive of everyone else.


i don’t understand the cross imagery in the context of Wormwood

Matthew Pentecost enters the picture next, as Tarn talked to his nephew in True Heart and figured his uncle would also be chill. She was very wrong. He basically interrogated the group for hours about stuff their priest guy had already told him, and she chalked this up to him being a mean petty tyrant. He also said the Cathedral could not devote any resources to rifting her party back to Earth, which seems weird since it’s fairly clear by now that elements of this society visit Earth fairly regularly.

With that pronouncement, Erin and Crew packed their things and left Cathedral Stronghold and headed to the Golden City, which is a “sparkling clean place inhabited by sparkling clean people.” Kay. The wormspeakers and priests can apparently change the colors of the buildings a little bit though it isn’t clear if this is unique to the Golden City or they just like doing it more. It’s a thriving metropolis in which one might briefly not feel like being in the middle of a warzone. That’s because it’s for rich people. It’s an upper-class suburb-city. They met up with their temporal wizard friend from Kravenville and he was all impressed with Erin Tarn now, having gotten ahold of “an NGR edition” of one of her books--isn’t she also banned in the NGR now? Who cares.

They had to go from richtown to a place called Worldgate. They do so by teleportation, and Tarn contradicts herself by saying that unlike their rifting to Wormwood, there was no sensation of travel or disorientation. This place is apparently a dimensional trade center with a lot of rifts in it. Cool, fine, actually nice to see some interdimensional trade not firmly in the claws of cartoonish cackling evil. Tarn didn’t care for it, it reminded her of the Chi-town burbs and it was all noisy with kids playing the raps and carrying on.

Anyway, Worldgate is “the last of the powerful free cities” which I assume means “not in the Kingdom or the Empire” but then that’s made extremely unclear by explaining that King Luke Shrombek is the benevolent ruler at 14th level Shifter with unprincipled alignment. The Ruling Council is a Temporal Raider, a Temporal Wizard student of the raider, a Morphworm (one of the few anarchist members of this humanoid-eating species), a sowki (who is aberrant evil) and a techno-wizard. They all mostly pile into Palladium’s neutral-esque alignments which would almost make them unusually nuanced for Palladium if the alignments weren’t so crazy. They dislike the Cathedral and the Cathedral’s bullshit and the Confessor says that while they let things like Sunaj in, it was just so they could plant spies in the monsters’ ranks. Sure it is, buddy. You win the medal for most naive former demon-slave. Erin Tarn of course was flattered to be trusted with this delicate information.

The Cathedral dislikes Worldgate right back, but have decided they don’t merit military action...yet. It probably helps that these are easily the most prolific arms and stone and other imported goods dealers in Wormwood. In Gnomoria you could get rid of all your extra dirt by ‘selling’ it at 0 value to a merchant. Now I know where it was all going.

Rifts Earth is a popular destination, to nobody’s surprise but Erin’s, and the Earth rift director is a fan. She paid for their passage home with autographs. Of course, they could only fly them to England and besides that book came out first.

It ends with Erin comparing Wormwood’s desperate struggle with the Coalition’s, and understanding some of the fear that clutches at the hearts of the masses. Of course, she still condemns them and they’re big skull-fascist jerks, and warns everyone to not be like them or we’ll have become the monsters. Ugh, I am so glad this is over.

Oh, there’s a map


i’m not sure if this is meant to cover the whole geography of Wormwood or just like, a main part of it or what. also is battle star marked with a star because it’s a capital or because it’s literally star-shaped?

What was not explained in this superlong rambling travelogue: the government of the Kingdom of Light. It does not seem to have an actual king. Looking ahead a bit into the Cathedral section, it suggests that they rule directly and theocratically in some areas. The Cathedral was always a paramilitary organization and I could easily see them having stepped in to take control if a previous government fell but this is never explored. I don’t want to be too hard about government on a living planet covered with demons but I feel like a GM would have to sort of make this up on the fly, in some cases for each city because some pledge to the Cathedral and some just support it and some are ambivalent and etc. We’ll revisit this in the Cathedral section a bit.

Next time: More about the planet, like ecology and stuff

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I'm not sure what the deal is with the cross imagery either, but there's a heck of a lot of it. You've got martial orders named for historic Christian ones, and a guy named Pentecost of all things standing cheek and jowl with weird pagans against the forces of clearly demonic figures.

Less the RIFTS connection, it feels like a love letter to Heavy Metal Magazine. Which is cool.

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012

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





Robodog posted:

Squizzy Taylor was a bloke.

Count Chocula posted:

I was about to point that out. Thanks, promos for Underbelly: Squizzy, for that knowledge.

How did I miss this.

Earlier in the book they were talking about a "Leslie 'Squizzy' Taylor", which I tried to look up and found this guy. So I was assuming they just grabbed the name and made up a character. I didn't think to see if there was a Squizzy Taylor.



The fact that they were fairly insistent on Taylor's lack of bloke-hood also directed my research elsewhere.

I'm guessing they saw Leslie, decided that it was a girls name, and hit a full stop.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Kurieg posted:

How did I miss this.

Earlier in the book they were talking about a "Leslie 'Squizzy' Taylor", which I tried to look up and found this guy. So I was assuming they just grabbed the name and made up a character. I didn't think to see if there was a Squizzy Taylor.


The fact that they were fairly insistent on Taylor's lack of bloke-hood also directed my research elsewhere.

I'm guessing they saw Leslie, decided that it was a girls name, and hit a full stop.

Maybe it's an Orlando thing and Squizzy transitioned from a man to a woman thanks to the gift of immortality.

citybeatnik
Mar 1, 2013

You Are All
WEIRDOS





Young Freud posted:

Maybe it's an Orlando thing and Squizzy transitioned from a man to a woman thanks to the gift of immortality.

Vykos did it.

It wouldn't be the most fucktarded thing WW has ever come up with. Didn't the old New Orleans by Night book have subways or something in it?

wdarkk
Oct 26, 2007

Friends: Protected
World: Saved
Crablettes: Eaten


citybeatnik posted:

Didn't the old New Orleans by Night book have subways or something in it?

Hurricane Katrina: WoD edition would be loving hilarious.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


occamsnailfile posted:

It ends with Erin comparing Wormwood’s desperate struggle with the Coalition’s, and understanding some of the fear that clutches at the hearts of the masses. Of course, she still condemns them and they’re big skull-fascist jerks, and warns everyone to not be like them or we’ll have become the monsters. Ugh, I am so glad this is over.

She does this all the time. As an Erin Tarn letter grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving the Coalition or Prosek approaches 1, to paraphrase a certain lawyer.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

citybeatnik posted:

Vykos did it.

It wouldn't be the most fucktarded thing WW has ever come up with. Didn't the old New Orleans by Night book have subways or something in it?
I seem to recall a London citybook that had the Thames flowing in the wrong direction. If not London, it was some other major city with a river that was going the wrong way.

Those nutty Malkavians...

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

The original Seattle Sourcebook for Shadowrun 1e had a notorious lack of comprehension for just how hilly the place is among other problems.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 7: “Ego, the living planet”



So now we’re out of Erin Tarn’s documentary narration and back into some normal Siembieda-ish exposition about the specifics of how the planet functions. This is important because it is extremely alien. Wormwood appears to be an artificially designed living being meant to grow into a suitable human habitat. Psychics trying to object read on it discover that every single ‘rock’ and weird protrusion are alive and part of its body, therefore cannot be read. It doesn’t say what happens in trying to use telepathy. The only other living planet known is Eylor, though that’s a well-kept secret of the Splugorth and doesn’t appear to be related.

Supposedly it’s about half the size of Earth (anyone feel like checking that against the map, go ahead) and they don’t explain why the gravity is the same. It doesn’t have regular plants, insects or wildlife, just an artificial ecosystem designed to create the environment. Invasive species have moved in a bit, but Wormwood is pretty hostile to most Earth-like life. The origins of the first humans on Wormwood is unknown. Colonists, prisoners, builders, finders, it’s completely lost.

Wormwood is alive, but doesn’t appear to be sentient. It seems to have a great deal of instinctual programming that causes it to create a livable environment for humans. Some people want to draw similarities between Wormwood and the Millennium Trees. These people are dumb. It does explain that the planet does not communicate psionically as the trees do.


this section is really image-sparse, so have a byrne

The planet grows habitats for people, generally in rounded or otherwise organic-looking shapes. They have mouth-like doors that open on approach or command, though this makes me wonder about locks. Sometimes they grow horns or teeth or similar things as decorations, which, eww, I don’t want a house with teeth. They have ingrown indoor plumbing and garbage disposal. The buildings will grow and change according to the needs of inhabitants, and cities will change size likewise. If abandoned, over decades, the dwellings will sink back into the ground.

Priests and wormspeakers can manipulate these constructions more directly to make them grow faster and more elaborately. The forces of the Unholy have warped the planet into growing the Crawling Towers by their dark nature. The towers don’t skitter on a million centipede legs (which would be awesome), they sort of ooze or flow along the ground more like a snail I guess.


drat crows

Wormwood’s surface is generally smooth and kind of desolate, but it does grow the occasional pimply hill or scarification of mountain. The book states that they are sometimes ‘generated to create recognizable landmarks for its human inhabitants’. Also there’s all those stony pillars instead of trees. Many of the recorded mountain ranges sprang up within the last few hundred years of recorded history, as barriers to the Unholy.

The big mountains are just jagged upthrust Wormwood matter, up to 2000ft. The small ones up to 900 ft are “secreted mucus or resin.” The resin is compared to lava but is not hot when it flows out and is completely non-toxic and can really only hurt someone if they lie down in its flow and allow themselves to suffocate. The resin can be poured into molds and will harden. It’s pretty unclear to me why it is liquid at first if it isn’t heated to dangerous temperatures. Once hardened it can be sculpted a bit like rock, though its consistency is closer to plastic. Here the book chooses to refer to the resin as “all-purpose boogers” to give voice to what we had all been thinking.

This is not the end of Wormwood’s useful secretions however. Angel Hair is white, yellow or tan fiber from 6 to 12 ft long that just magically appears in the air and floats to the ground. It’s like cotton, but three times stronger, and gets used for cloth stuff. Water, likewise, is stored inside the planet--there are no seas and rarely rain. Priests and wormspeakers can summon water through fountains in the planet’s surface, and they pop up naturally here and there, especially near large habitats.

Next: Food, Symbiotes, and some other stuff. This section is really verbose.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I did the math on the map the other night. I think it was roughly 1/8 Earth diameter east-west.

Eerily enough, Angel Hair isn't unique to Wormwood... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_hair_%28UFO%29

My suspicion when I read Wormwood back in the day was that the 'hair and the boogers were forms of ectoplasm extruded by the planet.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Even though it came first, this is where Wormwood really starts to resemble Low Life, particularly the Incredibly Huge Monster.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Bieeardo posted:

I did the math on the map the other night. I think it was roughly 1/8 Earth diameter east-west.

Eerily enough, Angel Hair isn't unique to Wormwood... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_hair_%28UFO%29

My suspicion when I read Wormwood back in the day was that the 'hair and the boogers were forms of ectoplasm extruded by the planet.

I hadn't heard of the Angel Hair thing as a UFO phenomenon before, that's kind of neat--it's also less gross than the snot-resin. Though an art comparison of Wormwood and Low Life might yield hilarious results.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

Rifts:™ Dimension Book One: Wormwood Part 8: “Slimy but Satisfying”



Food was discussed a bit in Erin Tarn’s rambling travels, and consists primarily of edible fungus and worms. There are also various invasive species from other dimensions running around at this point, so you might be able to get that ratburger of your dreams. There are also food caves that generate a natural greenish light and grow green and brown fibers along the floor and walls. The green are sort of spinachy and the brown like a squash and the caves tend to form near human settlements.

Also, fairly obviously, Wormwood has a breathable atmosphere. It seems to keep itself regulated and prevents cosmic radiation from penetrating. Occasionally “hot spots” appear in the path of invading demons, with temps of 100 degrees, but otherwise it’s about 80, everywhere.


not sure if symbiotic

There are some native fauna to Wormwood besides humans. Worms, crawlers, claws, angels, battle saints, crystals and blood stones are all listed as living manifestations of the planet. These symbiotes generally don’t disfigure or damage the host body and provide beneficial powers, which puts them up by two on all the symbiotes from Atlantis, though the ‘don’t disfigure’ thing is kind of a lie as most of them have a PB cost. The Cathedral doesn’t like the symbiotes for <reasons>, but they grasp the judeo-christian imagery of the angels and battle saints and latched onto that. The Forces of Darkness have found ways to create or summon aggressive and corrupt versions of these things of course.

That leads us into talking a bit about the Infection, aka the Unholy and their ilk. The germ analogy is hammered thoroughly into the ground and it is the job of the human antibodies to drive them out. Wormwood has done what it can to try and burn the infection away with bad weather and hostile terrain manifestations but these have not been nearly enough. The invaders are like an autoimmune disorder that starts turning parts of the body against itself, creating hostile parasites and towers and soul-draining cauldrons and all sorts of nastiness. If they win, Wormwood will die. Which the Unholy might actually find inconvenient.

Much of Wormwood’s history is shrouded in mystery. Its origins are long lost. It’s clearly engineered to act as it does but by whom and for what purpose is unknown. They make a few obvious suggestions like ‘maybe some humans from a parallel Earth’ or ‘True Atlanteans’. There’s a myth that Wormwood was once wholly peaceful and happy but such times of plenty always lead to idleness and greed and hubris and the builders of Wormwood started trying to conquer other supernatural worlds. This went more or less exactly as one would expect, though the myth says that the Host were called up deliberately to halt the original problem of enslaved demons getting loose, and turned into a far greater menace themselves. And this is why old ladies should not swallow flies. The current era is the Age of Darkness and true to form for a Rifts book, it looks pretty grim for the good guys.

Next: Technology! With worms.

(This is a short post because it looked longer in draft, and also because I don't want to spam the thread. I think everybody went back to school.)

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Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Wormwood gets a more extensive history article in The Rifter #42, of all things, published fifteen years later.

Which I only really remember because I just I picked it up at Gencon. Hey, four issues for $4 was a pretty fair buy!

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