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Valatar
Sep 26, 2011

A remarkable example of a pathetic species.


Lipstick Apathy

Nessus posted:

I feel like you're saying that the most horrifying thing possible for a modern audience is being convinced of the authenticity and validity of a religious belief system, in the first case. I do not think that is necessarily going to be so, although I could see a certain degree of this for a committed Christian, say, who is (by whatever means) put in a situation where he is facing the complete and incontrovertible validation of Shia Islam. The second one seems to be an amplication of the fear of death, which, to be fair, is very common and universal.

My brevity failed to get the depths of my point across. I wasn't just saying that finding a real religion is horrifying, it's not a, 'oh noooo the mormons were right now I'm insaaaaaane', but a 'we found the creator of the universe, not one human in history guessed right as to what it is, and it personally hates each and every one of us'. If Vishnu just dropped by one day and was all, "Sup, guess what, the hindus were the right ones," some people would lose their poo poo, but I think humanity as a whole would just all be hindu in short order. It's a scenario that people could grasp and adapt to. But if it turns out the creator of the universe is a space tarantula that lives in black holes and humanity's aversion to spiders is the instinctual knowledge that we are doomed to spend an eternity locked between seconds in an event horizon while our atoms and time itself are shredded and eaten by spiders, that's not something that people can deal with. There's no possibility of an okay outcome, nobody's getting to space tarantula heaven, nobody gets to just cease existing, everybody's just inevitably hosed and the moments before our hearts stop beating are the best moments we will possibly have in a trillion trillions of years.

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Terrible Opinions
Oct 17, 2013





8one6 posted:

Two pages back but...


... "Yeah, they're Deep Ones, but they're A-Mer-ican Deep Ones!"
Abe Sapien is a national hero.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

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





Valatar posted:

My brevity failed to get the depths of my point across. I wasn't just saying that finding a real religion is horrifying, it's not a, 'oh noooo the mormons were right now I'm insaaaaaane', but a 'we found the creator of the universe, not one human in history guessed right as to what it is, and it personally hates each and every one of us'. If Vishnu just dropped by one day and was all, "Sup, guess what, the hindus were the right ones," some people would lose their poo poo, but I think humanity as a whole would just all be hindu in short order. It's a scenario that people could grasp and adapt to. But if it turns out the creator of the universe is a space tarantula that lives in black holes and humanity's aversion to spiders is the instinctual knowledge that we are doomed to spend an eternity locked between seconds in an event horizon while our atoms and time itself are shredded and eaten by spiders, that's not something that people can deal with. There's no possibility of an okay outcome, nobody's getting to space tarantula heaven, nobody gets to just cease existing, everybody's just inevitably hosed and the moments before our hearts stop beating are the best moments we will possibly have in a trillion trillions of years.
Eh, Arthur C. Clarke did it, if with less total extreme death-metal grinding at the end.

The thing is that you're approaching this backward, I think. You want to start at the effect you're going for, and then develop backwards from there until you reach a more-or-less normal state. Try to go for that nightmare logic. You also probably want to lower your stakes a little; there would be a subtle and profound horror in something like that point-source map that let that British doctor determine that one particular water pump was contaminated with cholera.

Only, you know, with vampires. Or Deep Ones. Or Man's Inhumanity to Mans.

Mr.Misfit
Jan 10, 2013

The time for
SkellyBones
has come!


KidSurreal sounds like something, that, if mixed with Golden Sky Stories, could be a real kicker.
Not necessarily horror, but just little stories, heck, if you want to go full-blown horror, you could do
a perfectly well Stranger Things game with that premise. Yet all we got was perverts. Perverts all the way down. drat.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010

Ask me about mapping out all the best limousine routes in Moscow for you and the little miss ;)

Lipstick Apathy

Feinne posted:

To be fair to Lovecraft that chain of events is pretty much what I'd expect down to the liberal strawpeople uniformly deciding that in the face of weird fish-frog-person hybrids maybe it's not racism after all to discriminate against them.

Now you're making me want a story about the Deep One Civil Rights Movement.

There's a faction in Red Markets that treats the zombie apocalypse in this way, though in that case it's less of a "darn liberal SJWs!" dig so much as "people got broke-brained from their inability to deal with the loved ones turning into inhuman monsters, and enough of them found each other to form a congregation"

The Lone Badger
Sep 24, 2007



wiegieman posted:

You've clearly not kept apace with the latest advances in mechanical design:


That's part of the housing for an FTL drive, isn't it?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.


Replacement part for a retro encabulator.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Robindaybird posted:

It's by Harry Turtledove unless there's another book by that name I'm unaware of. I honestly love his weird little urban fantasy more than the alt-history stuff he's more famous for.

Yeah, I meant Turtledove, Anderson did Operation Chaos and Operation Luna, which are in a similar genre about a werewolf and his witch wife and somehow I elided the two together which is why I shouldn't post right before bed.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



gradenko_2000 posted:

There's a faction in Red Markets that treats the zombie apocalypse in this way, though in that case it's less of a "darn liberal SJWs!" dig so much as "people got broke-brained from their inability to deal with the loved ones turning into inhuman monsters, and enough of them found each other to form a congregation"

See, the difference is that Deep Ones just want to marry us and have kids, not eat us.

Barudak
May 7, 2007





Last Exodus the Interactive Story Arc of the Third and Last Dance is a roleplaying game from Synister Creative Systems published in 2001 and designed Sean and Joshua Jaffe. It’s a metaplot heavy, playing card deck using, religious themed urban grunge game. Unless I am otherwise notified it appears to be completely out of print with no digital versions available. Should this be incorrect I will update to include where it can be bought to give the original developers income.

Part 5: These Characters Will Judge You

We now get to my absolute least favorite section of the book. It turns out I can churn through metaplot, read through asinine rules, and min-max how ugly my soul is to get minor bonuses to using both hands in combat but I can barely make it through a single one of these insufferable Apostle Interviews. I shouldn’t be burning out a scant 32 pages into a 196 page book but here we are, in a world bereft of dinosaurs.

This section of the book is twelve nearly un-interrupted interviews with all twelve of the Apostles even though it makes no sense they’d let someone interview them like this given that God wants them dead. The interviews use nearly the exact same questions for each one to the point of being narratively jarring in some cases and, as you’d expect, the authors of this book aren’t really good enough to provide twelve distinct voices. If you think, “Well Barudak, after that worthless metaplot, I’ll just skip this section” the introduction to this section ends with:

”These twelve men and women aren’t going to finish the Last Exodus, but they did start it. They are you leaders and advisors, your protectors and your guides. They have set the stage for you to complete the Last Exodus, and they’ll be watching you from here on in.”

The good six are called the Apostate and the bad six are called the Sanhedrin. The game provides art of what they look look like as well as what their soul’s true form looks like (the game calls that your Deiform). Note, I’m using “good” and “bad” here because while the game layout treats them that way the actual writing tends to undermine that. The questions the interviewer asks are basically what is your name what religion do you lead, what do you think of your enemy, what is your end goal, and for no reason other than to show off the Jaffe brothers’ musical knowledge what their favorite music is?

Since theres so much jawwing with these mostly dull as dishwater characters, let’s do like we did with the metaplot and just focus on highlights, starting with a general summary:

12 Apostles
  • 9 male 3 Female
  • 4 Non-white Caucasian (one hispanic, one east asian, two AA)
  • 7 are born in the US, but only 3 aren’t U.S. Citizens
  • 10 are heterosexual, 1 is bisexual, and 1 is a nine year old child so I will punch you if you ask
  • 12 live in New York City now
  • 2:1 dead to living wife ratio


Yes, brother, Les Lionceau Terribles

Apostate
  • Jedediah Bronson - White South African Mercenary who undoubtedly lived through apartheid and loves killing. Owns a PMC, and the game mentions he has committed at least one atrocity personally, so congrats Apostates on getting this guy on your side. Deiform is a screaming buff lion man with no shirt and a gun. Owner of dead wife #1
  • Emily Vasquez - 9 year old child wise beyond her years with AIDS, you get the sob story drill here. Deiform is an adult woman who only has a skeleton for the chest, but flesh everywhere else. In game mechanics, she probably shouldn’t be able to have AIDS much less die of it as the healing rules note that traveling to Eden cures you of all disease, infections, and regrows organs. She a charming revenge story where she mind controls a man and forces him to cut off pieces of himself and feed it to shelter dogs until he passes out from bloodloss, whereupon she keeps cutting him up until nothing is left. Haha, so precocious
  • Srdjan Dragomir - Your prerequisite priest who lost his faith but is now finding it again. Owner of dead wife #2. Deiform is a generic angel of death. This guy has nothing interesting about him so let’s just end this here.
  • Tomohiko “Dexter” Tenchikashi - Japanese rave DJ hacker whose Deiform is a Gundam with subwoofers and turntables. I believe I have a bingo
  • Tane “Maintane” Jackson - Urban black guy whose religion is his street gang. Has been to prison, loves rap battles, and has a girlfriend he refers to as his baby momma. I swear to god his Deiform is best described as “What if Blade was played by Rick James?”
  • Ursula Tango - She is your passionate artist bohemian. Her musical taste that is supposed to be eclectic comes across more as “top 40 from the 80s and 90s”. The game refers to her as hispanic later, but the character box and her bio says Caucasian. Despite her supposed free nature, unconventionality, artistic nature and bisexuality, her deiform is a sexualized white woman clad fully in fishnet stockings and high heels with an expensive electric guitar


G-Gundam would have rejected this design. G-Gundam!

The Sanhedrin
  • Madison Vaughn - Is basically a trust fund baby family gently caress-up turned leader of the Hells. He is like a cooler, hipper, slightly more eloquent George W. Bush. His Deiform is a boring generic demon, just like his musical taste which is Thrill Kill Kult, KMFDM and Ministry.
  • Evan Rutherford Powell - This is TLE’s crazed uncontrollable ultra-edgy spree killer all the other Apostles are afraid to interact with whose terrifying deiform is the same thing he is normally; a 30 year old white dude rocking the grunge look with sandals. If you haven’t figured out by the third paragraph his gimmick, he states his hobbies as “rape” and “murder”. There is absolutely no good reason any of the other Sanhedrin would ever hang out with him but they do because [error: reason not found]
  • Franklin Talbot - Does not belong in the Sanhedrin. Like, flat out, the dude is by far the coolest of all the apostles from the fact that his “revenge” story he tells is using his massive wealth to financially ruin racists and buy back and destroy the icons of his degradation at their hands to the fact that his Deiform is undead Sun Ra in a business suit. His interview admits that that while he has the wealth to do unspeakable evil he’s not interested in that at all and funds the arts and sciences instead. The guy even reaches out to the Apostles for business partnerships on the regular because he is a successful businessman first, death of Ahura Mazda distant second
  • Virginia-Mae Buchanan - Remember how cool Franklin Talbot was? That seems so long ago already. Virginia-Mae is the leader of the ultra KKK and her Deiform is a dragon because, *sigh*, get it? She's probably the most mysterious of the Apostles, not because of her goals, motives, techniques, or backstory but because she wastes nearly the entire interview getting madder and madder that the interviewer won’t say that he’s Jewish. Im also not sure how racism works when everyone involved knows tour body is a ashell and we all have equivalent souls that can be any shape color or design we can imagine. Further, remember how there is no reason any other Sanhedrin would ever would hang out with Evan? Franklin Talbot is black
  • Dr. Alistaire Stone - Look at that spelling, this guy is obviously from the UK. He’s our mad-scientist trope, and so of course his Deiform is a four armed ninja cyborg straight from a RIFTS fever dream. Huh, that doesn’t seem right. Anyway, he has a clone of the Apostate hero Dexter from earlier saved to his hard drive that he makes do his evil empires tech support which is frankly hilarious and I love it
  • Captain Maxemillian Stayne - ACAB and to drive it home, his Deiform is a gooey, blood Nazi with a trident. It’s at this moment the writing decides to gently caress up everything because despite the fact his soul is a blood nazi, he’s actually a decent guy and probably second to Franklin on the good scale. He comes across as painfully earnest and square rather than evil: his goals are to protect the freedom of Americans to live their lives and he wants to uniformly enforce their rights and protect them from a list of threats that includes most of the other Sanhedrin along with the Apostates so like Franklin, why is this guy here. He’s so by the book his religion’s special gift doesn’t even work if you treat someone unfairly for crying out loud. In closing; he would like you to know his wife is alive, and he loves her very much, thank you


Stayne believes in good copy / gooey cop

And with Stayne finished, the section just ends. There are two more pages in this part of the book, but they’re about world geography and the very next section with a splash page break and a separate chapter number is world geography so I’m not sure they’re actually supposed to be here. The good news is the next section is the last before we begin discussing actual game mechanics. The bad news is the next section is a bunch of fantastical places that aren’t interesting at all unless you find it fun to ponder the question, “What does Satan need with a strip club?”

Next Time: Honestly, Here Could be Dragons

Barudak fucked around with this message at 13:33 on Oct 20, 2017

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



The Sanhedrin are the villain group, really? Motherfucker what is wrong with you.

The Sanhedrin was Jewish Supreme Court. Every city had one, and they reported to the Great Sanhedrin. They got dissolved because of persecution by Christians. The only reason to make them evil is if you totally buy into surface-level readings of Christianity and just go 'oh these were Herod's dudes, therefore bad.'

But literally the Sanhedrin were just rabbinic courts of greater authority than normal which served as community leaders.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.




Table of Contents Part Ten: These Boots Were Made for Walking
Historically, boots on the road is how armies have moved from place to place. All that marching they drilled into you in basic wasn't just for show, though--it was teaching you how to walk to a set pace, which is vital for getting large groups of people from point A to point B on foot. Without a pace, people walk at their own speed, which leads to your unit being bunched up or stretched out on the road, which not only leads to delays and communication problems, it leaves you vulnerable to ambush. This kind of marching is usually only to get from base to base or staging area--soldiers haven't marched this way in battle since the age of muskets. (Well, not effectively, anyway.)

The modern army is motorized, which means the infantry actually has cars and trucks assigned to it, so most of the "marching" you'll do is actually riding. Still, Vietnam isn't exactly friendly to large vehicular convoys, and in the theater of war things always go wrong, so you can expect to end up on the old two-foot express plenty often.

Now, combat movement, when you're in hostile territory and expecting enemy action, is a whole other kettle of fish. The first and most important thing to do is to keep distance between your squad members--bunching up is just asking for Charlie to lob a grenade into your midst or open up on you with a machine gun. The ideal distance is said to be a 5-meter gap between soldiers--close enough to easily keep track of each other, but spread out enough that your unit is more empty space than soldier. (I'll note that this is good real-world advice, but since mechanically a Unit is defined as "any group of people with no more than 10 meters between any of them," this spread has no actual effect on the enemy's odds of hitting you.) Beyond that, you should avoid worn trails, move in dips in the terrain, and for God's sake never walk along a hill or a ridgeline where you'll make an obvious silhouette.


Shortly after this photo was taken, all thirteen of these men were shot by snipers.

The most common formation for a squad on patrol is Mobile Overwatch, in which the Point ranges ahead of the rest of the unit as a scout and pathfinder. If the enemy ambush him alone, they blow their surprise against the rest of the squad--and if they wait to hit the rest of the squad, the Point can double back and flank them. The rest of the team moves along behind him, single file and slightly staggered, with each soldier watching a specified direction. You usually put your heavy weapons near the back of the squad, because if you spot the enemy, you'll want to pull up into an L-shaped ambush.


Much better than the H-shaped ambush.

This formation does a good job of boxing the enemy in without the risk of you shooting your own buddies.

Digging Holes
Let's be real, though; the thing that's most likely to kill you, the infantryman, is artillery--whether that's a Soviet-made piece fifteen kilometers away or the mortars carried by the V.C. raiders you've been tracking. Since artillery shells basically work by flinging large chunks of jagged metal relatively low to the ground, your defensive options are somewhat limited. Hitting the deck might help if you have enough warning, but the soldier's best friend is a hole that puts him below the contour of the ground. This will make sure the shell fragments fly over your head, and the dirt provides protection against the pressure wave of the blast. You'll want to make your foxhole as narrow at the opening as you can, though, because nothing's going to save you if a shell falls into it with you.

The Army has a lot of different classifications for holes, from the shallow "shell scrap" for sleeping and prone-position cover (also ghoulishly termed a "Ranger grave") to the shoulder-deep foxhole to the slit trench (which is basically just a long foxhole for the whole squad). If you have time, you can make yours more comfortable with a sump (a narrow trench in the bottom for drainage/emergency grenade disposal), a firing step, or a cover. Throw a camouflaged tarp over the top and you've got yourself a spider hole, perfect for letting Charlie pass by so you can pop up and attack from behind. Or, if you instead line the bottom of the hole with sharpened bamboo, you've got a tiger trap--one of Charlie's favorite tactics. (They like to go the extra mile and smear the spikes with animal venom or human feces for added risk of infection.) If you have to fight at night (and assume you're going to), you can pre-select a field of fire before you bunk down and mark out the start and end of your fire arc with sticks. That way you can tell by feel if you're shooting in the right direction.

This is My Rifle, Etc. Etc.
You know roughly how a gun works, right? Generally speaking, as PATROL puts it:

PATROL posted:

Guns come in many shapes and sizes. As a general rule, if it fits in your hand, its a pistol, and if its long and has a thing to put against your shoulder, its a rifle. If its somewhere in between, its a carbine.

Contrary to what you've seen in the movies, most gunfights happen at ranges around 200 meters, at which range gravity, windage, and other factors have a remarkable impact on your bullet's trajectory. Since time to aim isn't always a luxury in a combat situation, the general strategy is to shoot a lot of bullets and hope some of them hit.

During WWII, a combat historian named S.L.A. Marshall conducted a study that claimed that, in combat situations, 75% of soldiers would not fire their weapons with intent to kill, and many wouldn't fire at all. The US military took that study to heart, and now infantry training is heavily focused on "when in doubt, shoot, and shoot a lot." Countering the instinct to not harm your fellow man is a key part of military training doctrine. There's just one problem: Marshall's study was absolute bullshit. His methodology was trashed, and both logistical reports and accounts of actual veterans disputed it, but the Army top brass liked the theory, so soldiers coming into Vietnam were trained to vastly overcompensate for threats both perceived and actual. Best estimates are that US troops in Vietnam expended about 52,000 rounds for every confirmed casualty.


That's as many bullets as people living in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Next up, some popular misconceptions. Most enemy snipers aren't highly-trained badasses who can shoot the wings off a fly at 2 klicks--they're just guys with rifles who can get close on their own and take a shot before you start going for cover. Also, silencers don't make gunshots go "fwip fwip" like in the movies, they just make them go "THWACK THWACK" like an industrial staple gun. Also, a magazine and a clip are different things, but really only pedants and assholes get upset about the difference.

Next up is a brief history of service weapons, from the bolt-action rifles of WWI to the gas-operated semi-automatic of the M1 Garand, but we're mostly going to focus on battle rifles and assault rifles. Battle rifles, like the M14, are select-fire weapons firing full-sized rifle rounds, but since rifle rounds have ridiculous recoil, the automatic fire option was basically useless. The assault rifle was the answer; firing smaller, lower-recoil rounds for a more useful automatic fire mode. The iconic assault rifles of the war, of course, are the M16 and the AK-47.

The M16 was a revolutionary weapon in a lot of ways--lightweight, accurate, and balanced, but its original iteration suffered from design oversights and an inexplicable campaign advertising the weapon as self-cleaning (which no weapon on earth is), which led to a propensity for jamming. By the notional time frame of PATROL, the M16 has been mostly replaced by the M16A1, which fixed most of these issues, but the stories of dead Marines at Khe Sanh found next to their disassembled, jammed rifles have still tainted its reputation. The AK-47, by contrast, is famously reliable even in the worst conditions, but the V.C.'s problems with it were logistical: it was hard to get Soviet bloc ammo in South Vietnam, so both sides would frequently, albeit unofficially, steal weapons from fallen enemies. (Personally, I'd probably say the original M16 adds one Failure to all attack rolls for purposes of FUBAR, while the AK-47 negates one, but by the RAW they're identical).



Next Time: Boom Boom - Surviving a firefight.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Not to mention "Let's make the group that takes its name from a traditional Jewish organization have Nazis and Klansmen in it goes right past edgy and into "gently caress you, you talentless hacks"

Barudak
May 7, 2007



I love these patrol posts because the game seema both neat and I feel like im learning. Not useful things to my boring life but, still, learning

By popular demand
Jul 17, 2007

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




A Patrol post right after that pseudo gnostic nonsense? I think I got a concussion from the quality gap.

Bieeanshee
Aug 21, 2000

Not keen on keening.




Grimey Drawer

I think they call that shock and wha?.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Starfinger Core Rules Part #22: "As is always the case, I got super excited by all these ethical quandaries and was keen to put them in the game."

James Sutter, Starfinger Creative Director, Starfinger Reddit AMA posted:

At which point the rest of the team pointed out that games are supposed to be fun, not just a vehicle for philosophical treatises.



Beyond the Pact Worlds

We get some notes that most other locales are wild frontiers, but there are other empires likt the Azlanti Star Empire (who?) and the Veskarium. Most places haven't arranged interplanetary empires, though. Some of the other notable places listed are:
  • Cynosure: Apparently once the polestar of Golarion, this is supposedly home to the goddess Desna (who?) and her servants known as the Spheres (what?).
  • Ironstar: A massive Dwarven space station equipped with a Drift engine, this travels through the galaxy looking for a mythological promised land for dwarves.
  • Kasath: The home planet of the kasathas, this is a desert planet being irradiated and overheated by its sun, which is an expanding red giant. There are some karathas that remain here stubbornly because gently caress the sun, seriously.
  • Lausill: A water planet with water people who don't go into space because legends.
  • Taru Seco: A binary system with ruins left behind by ruin-leavers.
  • Xio: A space station in deep space that broadcasts distress signals in an unknown language, but nobody who has gone there has ever returned ooooo..


After that short list, we get a longer list! Lists on lists.
  • Arquand: A self-aware planet that shapes itself to the needs of its animal inhabitants. With sentient visitors, though, it brings their dreams and wishes true in the usual GM-screwy way and drives pepole dead or insane, but people travel there to try and use this ability to their advantage (it doesn't work out).
  • Azlanti Star Empire: Apparently formed from an interstellar outpost created by a former Golarian Empire of humans, they apparently became magically and technologically advanced, and have been busy conquering star systems ever since. It has a variety of barely-described alien races as well as android slaves.
  • Daegox 4: A super-prison in a nearby system run by Daegox Corporation which is run by the appropriately-named Daegox, a "mysterious humanoid race", doubly mysterious in that they're given no description. Nobody has ever escaped!... except for one person who probably has?
  • Daimalko: Populated by the "gray-skinned Daimalkans", this planet apparently was wracked by war until colossi awoke, which were apparently also called "kaiju", because sure, why not, may as well call then titans while you're at it. In any case, people had to retreat underground until mysterious "Guardians" showed up with magic orbs that could direct the colossi, and the people have started to repopulate the surface, but there are still various dangers and blah blah blah why would you go here I dunno.
  • Embroi: A sea planet run by "regal mollusks", headed up by the Embri, who are masked and follow proscribed roles, having quashed out all freethinking. However, few realize that this is apparently a fiefdom of Hell, with the demons apparently being homebodies- sorry, "exist only in the planet's shadows", which I'd interpret as living in your parent's basement. They have plans and a small bowl of word salad that isn't explained.
  • Lothun: So, a big metal planet settle by the group called the Prospectors (who?), they tried to use nanotech that went haywire and though there's some wandering pockets of atmosphere now, the Protectors can no longer be contacted, and it could be a target for those looking to gain their terraforming tech either for good or eeevil.
  • Orikolai: A halo- er, toroid-shaped plent, the odd shape creates long seasons that local life has adapted to. Some spectuate this was some kind of lab or experiment by a long-vanished race (with a moon at the center), but apparently there's a a race against time to study it, as it's about to collapse! Well, in centuries, anyway. But it's immediate!
  • Orry: Once a technomagical utopia, well they hosed up and blowed it up. Of course they did. Never once have I heard the word "utopia" in a game without the sound of a train crash or diving plane immediatley following it. In any case, is is now 10 swaths of land that float in the same atmosphere, and they don't collide despite at times crossing close enough for people to grapple hook between them. Also there are mysterious artifacts that prevent planes and teleportation from working, so better work on that swingin' arm. A land of contrivance.
  • Preluria: An acidic gas giant inhabited mainly by "psychic gas oozes", but there are a number of settlements on its 23 (mostly) inhabitable moons for those seeking extreeeeme isolation, from the rich to the criminal. There are a variety of factions that struggle for control, though I'm not sure why you'd bother so much, given there's nary a mention of valuable resources or really any reason to stick around.
  • Riven Shroud: A damaged... ruin... of a Dyson Sphere, though much is still inhabitable. There's a variety of named but totally undescribed races, and it's also got defenses that engage approaching ships from time to time. However, it's seemingly using ruined ships to try and repair itself. But what happened to the crews? Spooky stuff, no doubt.
  • Shadari: We just had the "Riven Shroud" and this is entitled "A Shrouded Confederacy". There must have been a 2-for-1 shroud sale. In any case, this is a system where Shadari is the largest world, and it's a space pirate and outlaw refuge dominated by an "entropic religion" where the worshippers "bear the mystic Eye of Enlightenment". Not sure if that's a literal eye or what. Supposedly they have a weapon called the "Unmaker" which could blow up the universe, which is certainly a not the best plan, but they're just evil and generic enough to do it!
  • Tabori Cluster: A number of stars around a now-collapsed supergiant, the resulting nebula caused a mining rush for rare "siccatite" deposits, whatever those are. However, some people here have been stranded by "interference destroyed their vessel's engines", which certainly is some interfering. Others just like living on a rustic shithole with a pretty sky.
  • The Veskarium: This is a large solar system that the Vesk conquered prior to Drift technology, and they have a variety of client races, including "stone-faced squidfolk", "feline humanoid barbarians", and "pacifist frost behemoths". It's run by vesk autocrats obsessed with honor, but are ruthless and see non-vesk as inferior.



And so, we come to the end of space. We've got a lot more to cover still, but I just want to stop and just emphasize how many races we're gotten to tease us for the Alien Archive:
  • Efreet
  • Salamanders
  • Anacites
  • Formians
  • Shobhads
  • Ashok
  • Ikeshti Lizardfolk
  • Verthani
  • Sarcesians
  • Elebrians
  • Ryphorians
  • Dragons
  • Dragonkin
  • Dreamers / Barathu
  • Kalo
  • Maraquoi
  • Urogs
  • Drow
  • Orcs
  • Orocorans
  • Neskinti
  • Vilderaro
  • Neskinti
  • Daegox
  • Daimalkans
  • Embri
  • Devil (malebranche)
  • Orrians
  • Draeliks
  • Skrell
  • Balrodds
  • Haan



Also, we have a variety of unnamed races - "pulsating philosopher worms", "hyperevolved energy beings", "several advanced aquatic civilizations", 15 unnamed Azlanti client races, "stone-faced squidfolk", "antlike beings", "feline humanoids", and "pacifist frost behemoths".

Starfinger Roleplaying Game posted:

This book contains all the information you need to play Starfinger...

Oh, shut up.

Next: What if you could Slide into a thousand nineteen different worlds?

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

New thread title request

FATAL & Friends 2016-17: ...because Vampire Heartbreakers should obviously be called Heartstakers.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Do the people writing Starfinger know how large a Dyson sphere and how difficult constructing one would be? Like “a Dyson sphere exists” seems to be the most shocking thing in the pact worlds by several orders of magnitude.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Well, it's construction is a mystery.

Let us wave our hands in the direction of The Gap (not the store).

Kaza42
Oct 3, 2013

Blood and Souls and all that

DalaranJ posted:

Do the people writing Starfinger know how large a Dyson sphere and how difficult constructing one would be?

Yeah, it costs 210,000 minerals, 55 years and 300 influence, unless you have the Master Builders perk, which cuts time in half.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



DalaranJ posted:

Do the people writing Starfinger know how large a Dyson sphere and how difficult constructing one would be? Like “a Dyson sphere exists” seems to be the most shocking thing in the pact worlds by several orders of magnitude.

It's fine, it was built around a really small star. The whole sphere is the size of Alberquerque. The star was shrunk by magic so it's not all super-magnetic and reality warping.

hyphz
Aug 5, 2003




Betrayal at House On The Hill, 2

Ok. Let's talk Haunts. Before we begin, a quick disclaimer: you're not supposed to know these in advance of playing, and you especially aren't supposed to know both sets of rules, but I'm going to be merging them both together. Knowing them doesn't make the game unplayable, but if you're really worried about spoilers, you probably shouldn't read these posts.

Secondly, there's plenty of weird interactions possible between the rules. One of the problems with the ongoing effects on some of the Event cards is that while the rules say the traitor's can choose to ignore Event cards, it doesn't say anything about ongoing effects of existing ones. That means that the Traitor can end up bumbling around in the dark because their torch has gone out, which they will do forever, because they have to go to a friendly PC to get batteries, but they no longer have any friendly PCs. Alternatively they can end up dropping dead from Grave Dust.

Ok, let's start the haunting.

The Mummy Walks
Trigger: Find the Girl in the Abandoned Room, Catacombs, Gymnasium or Junk Room.

Whichever room you found the Girl in, that's where the Mummy's Sarcophagus now is. The Girl, however, gets moved 5 squares away (if possible) to a room on the same floor. (So finding the Girl triggers the Haunt, then it turns out the Girl is not actually there. That's not uncommon.) The traitor now wants to help the Mummy capture the Girl, plus the Ring or Holy Symbol, and bring them both back to the Sarcophagus. The heroes want to banish the Mummy, by learning its true name and using it in a banishing ritual. To find the true name, they need to make a Knowledge roll in one of three rooms - the Research Lab, the Library, or the room where the Haunt began. Then, they need to look it up in the Book with a similar knowledge roll. Once those are done, any hero can attack the Mummy with the Book, triggering Sanity combat. If they win, the Mummy's gone and the heroes win.

In the mean time, they're free to beat on the Mummy if they want to, but they can only stun it (this is the case for most monsters) - although they can use the rule to steal the Girl back, which is probably what they'd want to do. The Mummy's might 8 but has to lower a character's Speed to the minimum before it can start damaging their Might. It can steal too, though. It's Speed 3, but remember that it gets to roll dice for its motion, so it'll actually be moving at Speed 0-6. If it rolls a 0 or a 1, it can go to any room in the house via secret passage.

So, let's look at all the ways this can go wrong. This is an item dependent Haunt. The authors have made sure to mention that if the Ring, Holy Symbol, or Book are not in play, then the next time the heroes (or traitor) find a room with an Omen, they can search the deck for one of those. But it does have the problem that where these items are is going to make a huge difference to how this Haunt runs. If the traitor's already got the Ring or Holy Symbol, all they need to do is hand it off to the Mummy, and it's possible that the Mummy will grab the girl in one turn (since she's five squares away it's quite capable of moving that, or rolling 0-1 and using the secret passage). Can the heroes get to the Mummy in two turns? If they're split up to explore, probably not. But the heroes usually will have split up to explore.. because being separate from the heroes is usually good for the traitor, but anyone could have been the traitor when they were exploring. See how confused it gets? Or maybe the heroes are already in one of the rooms where they can find the Name and one of them's already got the Book. Who knows? At least this one's reasonably stable apart from the item conditions.

The Seance
Trigger: Find the Spirit Board in the Balcony, Furnance Room, Kitchen or Master Bedroom.

A strange voice echoes through the mansion - a ghost wishing to be put to rest. But, for whoever found the Spirit Board, it spells out another message - "kill them all". Oddly, their mission is not to kill all the other players. It's to be the first to summon the ghost.

So. Both the traitor and the heroes are now trying to summon the Ghost. Doing that requires making Knowledge or Sanity rolls; each success gives a token. The heroes need a number of tokens equal to half the number of players, of any combination of types. The traitor needs one of each. Also, the heroes have to go to the Pentagram Chamber to try to summon the ghost, but the traitor can use the Spirit Board to do it anyway. Where's the Pentagram Chamber? Well, the traitor gets to place it as far away as possible from themselves when they start the Haunt. No way that's going to get it placed somewhere horribly out of the way.

If the Traitor summons the ghost, it becomes the monster du jour. If the heroes summon it, they get 5 rounds to prevent it turning hostile by giving its bones a proper burial. Finding the bones requires a Knowledge roll in one of three specific rooms, then burying them requires a similar roll in the Crypt or Graveyard (you have to bury them in the right place or something). If they manage to do this in 5 rounds, they win. The traitor doesn't get to know any of this, so if the heroes summon the ghost first, basically all the traitor can do is to run around aimlessly trying to bash the heroes while they're rolling in certain places in ways that don't seem to have any reasoning behind them.

Once the ghost turns hostile, the traitor gets to play it. It has speed 4 and makes Sanity attacks. The ghost can only be harmed by making a Sanity attack against it while holding the Ring, or being in the Pentagram Chamber. If all the heroes die, the traitor wins. Also, when the ghost is hostile, the mansion starts falling down; one room per turn is destroyed, with it being that player's choice. Collapsed rooms are impassible to anyone except the ghost, and anyone in a room that collapses is killed.

So, yea. This one's kind of a mess. The hero control thing could be really confusing, and if it doesn't work, then - well. The Ghost is forced to move towards a hero on each turn, but because of the collapsing mansion, it's actually a better idea for it to stay away from the heroes if it can, since it wins if nothing happens. This means that your traitor may end up being munchkin enough to move the ghost back and forth between two heroes on their turn. The only really viable hero strategy is to huddle in the Pentagram Chamber so that the ghost will be forced to move there, so it's basically a bunch of determined moves, a lengthy waiting period and then a roll-off. Ok, it's a risky business if the Pentagram Chamber might collapse, but hunting the Ring while defenseless is much more dangerous. Plus, if the traitor has the ring, they might well decide to run into an edge room and collapse it on top of themselves. The ring drops in the room where they are, but since it's collapsed, no-one can ever get it. And the traitor can explicitly win when dead, if monsters are capable of achieving the win goal, which they evidently are.

Frog Leg Stew
Trigger: Find the Book in the Dining Room, Gallery or Kitchen.

There's a fairytale witch. You just stole her spellbook. She's pissed.

The Witch moves around at Speed 4. She's only Might 3, but she's got a personal force field which prevents her attacking or being attacked. All she can do normally is to cast spells. She's got three by default: a fireball which gives her a ranged attack within line of sight that does 2 dice damage, a teleport that moves her anywhere, and a spell that makes a Sanity check against a hero in the same room to turn them into a frog. Frogs drop all their items and can't do anything but move around aimlessly, although they can be carried. If everyone's a frog or dead, the witch wins. Just to really hose anyone who gets hit with that spell, once someone's been frogged, the witch's cat spawns in the same room where the haunt started and starts hunting down the frogs to eat (in a single Might attack).

The Heroes are all about grabbing the book. A hero with the book can turn a frog back into a human with a Knowledge roll. Heroes are also allowed to kick the cat, although it only gets stunned, not killed. To deal with the witch, they first need to drop her force field, for which they need to find a Mandrake Root. These are in three specific rooms which are fixed, but known only to the witch - although they must put a marker on the rooms in question when they are revealed, or if they already are. To get a Mandrake Root you need a Knowledge roll in the room with one of them, then another Knowledge roll against the Witch to drop her force field, and then a Might roll to actually kill her rear end.

And. Oh, yea. The traitor. The traitor's the person with the lowest Knowledge. They get to.. uh, well. Help the witch I guess? If the traitor manages to get the book, they can cast the fireball and frog spells, and the witch can cast teleportation on them. Oddly, the witch isn't actually allowed to carry her own book, so this is probably most of what the traitor's going to be doing.

So. Hum. This one's ok, I guess. There's only one critical item and its placement is set by the trigger, but there's still the risk of a short circuit based on the selection of those rooms - especially since the Kitchen is one of the rooms where a Root appears, so if you find the Book there, you'll grab the Root too and be fully equipped to take on the witch on the very next turn. Although there is the problem of that teleportation spell which potentially could allow the game to be stalemated if the traitor just keeps moving the witch out of reach of the remaining players. This is something which comes up a fair bit on other Haunts, too.

Wow. So, I was going to do more than 3 in a post, but it seems these are taking more text to write up than I thought, so I'll go smaller updates. But you can probably see the patterns now. Lots of good ideas, but very easily hamstrung by the random placement rules, and often having stalemate or short-circuit potential. And these are just some of the more "normal" ones.

inklesspen
Oct 17, 2007

Here I am coming, with the good news of me, and you hate it. You can think only of the bell and how much I have it, and you are never the goose. I will run around with my bell as much as I want and you will make despair.

Buglord

Worth noting the whole Starfinger solar system appears to just be cut-and-pasted from Pathfinder: Distant Worlds which had the same solar system overview, but also statblocks for a few of the creatures. (robot dudes yes, sarcesians no)

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Wait, most of these places are in the same solar system? Like the dozen planets that all have 1x gravity?

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

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



What exactly is a sarcesian?

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




It's a creature with the power to make 0th level male commoners go insane.

CaptainRat
Apr 18, 2003

Smooth




Halloween Jack posted:

It's a creature with the power to make 0th level male commoners go insane.

:drat:

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

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



Barudak posted:

What sucker doesn't choose to have cool dreams?

Also KidSurreal seems like an interesting concept and then suddenly Perverts. Thanks.
Cool Dreamer means that while you're asleep, your sense of self and your Attributes are enhanced so you can do fight more better in the dream.

Dallbun
Apr 21, 2010


Look, you guys were shouting and clanking around in plate armor. Of course I’m going to draw from


The Deck of Encounters Set One Part 4: The Deck of Beggars and Bugbears

27: Dispute

The PCs are passing farm houses on either side of the road. There’s some description, but let me cut to the chase - two farmers are feuding over water rights to the stream that passes between their land. It’s not enough to irrigate both, apparently. The situation is on the verge of violence. The farmers ask the PCs to be arbitrators/judges (why them?) and agree to live by their decision.

“There is, unfortunately, no easy decision aside from the use of magic.” I wonder what magic they were thinking of here…?

I like the idea in theory, but there’s zero basis for rendering any kind of judgement, so I can’t imagine the roleplaying that ensues would be too interesting. I’d prefer if each farmer had a different sort of claim, but I’m probably not going to think up anything good off the top of my head. As such, as a random encounter, I’ll pass.


28: The Prince or the Pauper

In the poor area of town, the PCs notice an elven beggar who has no legs. A burly rich dude kicks over his offering bowl maliciously, then tries to shake him off when the beggar grabs his leg.

The beggar is actually an elven prince, and the other man an accomplice, and this is some kind of avant-garde interactive public theater thing (or, in other words, a test of character). If the PCs intervene in defense of the beggar, he will reveal himself to them as Prince ~Thidouris Starmantle~ and say he might have need of their services later. Great, dude, thanks. You could at least have bought us lunch.

Surprisingly, the card does not specify that the disguise was magic and that the prince has functioning legs after all. A Glorfindel-style badass legless F7/W8 elven prince and his brawny aide? I would use those supporting NPCs in a heartbeat. Keep.


29: The Golden Ring

In a quiet, out of the way area in a city, without too many passerby, the PCs notice a ring glinting on the ground. Just as they are (presumably) leaning in to pick it up, a shabbily-dressed guy goes after it too, claiming he was on his way to pawn it to get food for his family and dropped it. He tries to sell it to the PCs for 20 gold. He’s a con-man, obviously, and the ring is copper with a thin gold plating.

I’ve got no complaints. It’d be nice if the encounter gave a ballpark estimate of what such a ring would cost if it was really gold, because that’s the first thing the PCs are going to ask. But keep.



30: Prankster

The PCs wander into a pixie’s glen in the forest. The pixie doesn’t like strangers in general, and is especially militant because someone’s been harvesting pixie wings for dust of disappearing. Of course, the pixie version of being aggressive is to use illusions to make people run into trees while fleeing from bees and such. It’ll giggle audibly if its tricks work. If they reason with it and convince it they’re not wing-harvesters, it’ll “give any PC it has injured a potion of extra-healing. (!)

Sure, that's fine. Keep.


31: The Trees of the Forest

Low-danger monster encounter in the forest. A bugbear has set a trap - a tripwire-activated net... to try to catch its dinner. The PCs came make a Dex-4 check to avoid it, and those that fail have fight at a penalty when it races out to kill them. When they defeat it, they can find its hovel nearby, which has a bunch of weapons and armor that it’s collected, including dwarf-sized plate mail +1 and a long sword +2.

A decent hook, and it’s short and to the point. I'll say ke...

WAIT WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH THAT TREASURE!? IT'S A SINGLE BUGBEAR. IT WASN'T EVEN USING THE LONG SWORD.

Sigh. I’ll still say keep, but I’m dropping the long sword +2 at the very least, and the +1 dwarf armor is inscribed with highly-visible clan runes that cannot be removed without breaking the enchantment. Sure, dwarf PC, you can totally wear this magic armor you found. It’s not your clan’s, though. Your call, nobody’s forcing your hand.


32: Raiding Party

Not to be confused with #24, Kobold Raiding Party. This is a different raiding party.

Plains with tall grass and small potholes. If the PCs make their WIS-3 check, they notice movement in the grass that’s not from the breeze. It’s a Pokemonfour to eight Bugbears, split off from a raiding party in hopes of finding their own treasure. “The DM can therefore adjust the number of bugbears to fit the abilities of the party.”

At this point, I stopped reading. What? I’m the DM, of course I can adjust the number of bugbears if I want. But no other card has ever given me explicit permission to do so. They’ve just said “there are six bugbears.” Why is this one different? Then I thought, aha! This must be some kind of Gygaxian naturalism thing. Bugbears must ordinarily be found in larger groups! The card must be giving me the “split off from a raiding party” backstory to in order to justify there being fewer bugbears than normal. That’s why it says that I can choose how many there are, when otherwise, it would be unrealistic.

Smug in my RPG insight, I checked the Bugbear entry in the Monstrous Manual. Number appearing: 2-8. So four to eight is, in fact, 100% within the bounds of an ordinary bugbear encounter. :iiam:

Anyway, the bugbears want treasure, they’ll fight until only 25% of them still stand, then they’ll flee. Fine, I guess. I like the tall grass environment, anyway, and it’s good to know that there’s a larger bugbear raiding party around. It means there’s some useful information if the PCs interrogate bugbear captives. Keep.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


inklesspen posted:

Worth noting the whole Starfinger solar system appears to just be cut-and-pasted from Pathfinder: Distant Worlds which had the same solar system overview, but also statblocks for a few of the creatures. (robot dudes yes, sarcesians no)

It's heavily, heavily based on that, yes.

But the future.

Barudak
May 7, 2007



Spoilers for that bugbear card: The person writing that one thought they had to before the person writing the other cards told them they could still get paid even if they didnt.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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#1 Builder
2014-2018



Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's heavily, heavily based on that, yes.

But the future.

The future is exactly like the present, except that crossbows shoot lasers.

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!


Dallbun posted:


28: The Prince or the Pauper

...

Surprisingly, the card does not specify that the disguise was magic and that the prince has functioning legs after all. A Glorfindel-style badass legless F7/W8 elven prince and his brawny aide? I would use those supporting NPCs in a heartbeat. Keep.


Maybe he rides around on the Aide's back, Master Blaster-style.

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

Mors Rattus posted:

The future is exactly like the present, except that crossbows shoot lasers.
:wookie:

Barudak
May 7, 2007




Uh, that casts lasers, not shoot them.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Mors Rattus posted:

The future is exactly like the present, except that crossbows shoot lasers.

I haven't done research save where I absolutely have to, admittedly. I wanted to read this from the perspective from somebody who wasn't neck-deep in Pathfinder already (I'm about knee-deep), so I don't know that much about Golarion.

DalaranJ
Apr 15, 2008

Yosuke will now die for you.


Barudak posted:

Uh, that casts lasers, not shoot them.

Finally, technology has progressed to the point where we can make spell storing crossbows.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Nessus posted:

Eh, Arthur C. Clarke did it, if with less total extreme death-metal grinding at the end.

Childhood's End really is a fantastic work of science fiction. It's not really horror in tone, but it absolutely is in concept.

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Freaking Crumbum
Apr 17, 2003

Too fuck to drunk






Chapter 5: The History of the World - Mesoamerican Canvas




After the cockup with the Atlanteans, the Greys became much more conservative in how they would approach dealing with human beings. They were hesitant to ever interact with them directly again, or uplift them with their technology & knowledge of psionics. That doesn't mean that they didn't interact with other early human civilizations, it just means that they were much more apt to present themselves as divine beings and create mystery cults around their divinity and engage with humans that way. Plus, the Kinori were still solely limited to the Mediterranean basin region, so the Greys could meddle with other human beings without having any competition for their interest.


1,300 BCE - The Olmec civilization arises in Mesoamerica and more or less flourishes without significant interference from the Greys. Although there is limited evidence to indicate that the Greys did make contact with the Olmecs, there's no significant body of information concerning this interaction within the Grey archives (they kept records of Atlantis so that they would never forget their hubris and hopefully avoid making the same mistake ever again). Actual archaeologists have discovered a plethora of artwork from the Olmec civilization, primarily carved from jade or basalt. The book abruptly decides that jade is a powerful focus for arcane magic and that it's possible that the plenitude of jade artifacts recovered from Olmec ruins indicates that they were sorcerers of no small accomplishment. Apparently the Olmec civilization died out somewhere between 400 and 200 BCE and there's nothing directly tying their extinction to the Greys, but if the Olmecs were accomplished arcane spellcasters, it's entirely possible the Greys found reason to hasten their decline. Again, no Grey living today has been willing to discuss the matter at length.


300 BCE - The Mayan culture is up next, and the book posits that the beginning of their civilization overlaps with the decline of the Olmec civilization and that it's entirely possible that the first Mayans were Olmec refugees. Here's where things get distasteful - between 426 and 488 CE a Grey that claimed to be a deity among the Mayans (by the name of Kukulcan) traveled across the length and breadth of the Mayan empire, and the book states that Kukulcan is directly responsible for teaching the Mayans astronomy, stonework, agriculture and metalworking. Supposedly this Grey felt bad about whatever had happened to the Olmecs and decided that it was the Grey Being's Burden to enlighten the surviving Olmec refugees and teach them the basic skills necessary to create a civilization so that they could survive in the jungles. That's right, all of the Mayan civilization only began because a well-intentioned Grey "civilized" the indigenous jungle peoples. Stay classy Dark*Matter.

Supposedly, whatever Kukulcan was trying to accomplish by teaching the indigenous people how to build a civilization backfired, because shortly after the Mayans got a handle on farming and metallurgy, they told the Grey to piss off and not come back; they didn't need an itinerant deity telling them how to build their empire. This goes pretty well for them, until some unknown plague starts to depopulate entire Mayan cities, starting around 534 CE. This continues across the Mayan empire for years, until finally the Mayan capital of Teotihuacan is put to the torch sometime between 650 and 700 CE. Again, the Greys are tight-lipped about what caused the steady decline of the Mayan civilization, but it has been hinted by other Strangers that the Greys were mad that the Mayans didn't accept them as a de-facto divine pantheon and instead wanted to do their own thing without living under the Grey yoke. The story from other Strangers goes that the Greys started unleashing biological attacks on Mayan cities to try and scare them into compliance; when even that didn't work, the Greys purposely activated another Doorway located in or around Teotihuacan and used their previous experience with the Atlanteans to taunt out an army of the Heavenly Host, let them wreck up the joint, and then closed the Doorway again once the Host left to return to the High Heavens. Even today, the Greys refuse to discuss the incident, making it impossible to verify this story (although it's possible that this story is also just propaganda created to engender distrust between human beings and Greys for some other unknown purpose).


1,325 CE - The Aztec empire explodes onto the scene covering most of what is now Mexico. The Aztecs were powerful mercenaries before they started empire building, and their skill at warfare ensured that they were able to enslave and destroy their surrounding neighbors in record time. The book claims that there is zero direct interaction between the Greys and the Aztecs; although the Aztecs did consider the ruins of Teotihuacan to be a site of divine significance, when the Greys attempted to capitalize on this and present themselves as the deities to which Teotihuacan was dedicated, the Aztecs told them to gently caress right off. The book then claims that the reason that the Aztecs were later unable to defeat Cortez and the Spanish in 1519 CE is because they did not ally with the Greys, hence they had no alien technology or psionic abilities, and that without them the Aztecs had no way to overcome the guns, germs, and steel of the Spanish. That's right, the only Mesoamerican civilization that the book claims completely rejected interaction with the Greys were then unable to defend themselves against foreign invaders because the Greys weren't there to save their bacon; silly Aztecs, didn't you know that Mesoamericans just can't do anything without having their alien masters spoon feed it to them? Stay classy Dark*Matter.



In case it wasn't obvious enough from the text, let's make sure the accompanying artwork beats you over the head with the fact that indigenous Americans were cave-dwelling savages before the Greys showed up to civilize them.


1,440 CE - The Incan empire begins its short-lived rule of the Andes. The book is very clear that the Incans did next to nothing to build their own empire - supposedly their two greatest cities, Cuzco and Machu Picchu, were already built by some unknown pre-human civilization and the Incans just found the ruins sitting unoccupied and decided to move in. Then, the mysterious Kukulcan (the Grey that taught the Mayans astronomy, stone working, agriculture and metalworking) pays a visit to the new Incan empire, uses a different name - Viracocha - and then teaches the Incans astronomy, stone working, agriculture and metalworking. Kukulcan/Viracocha is also the voice of reason that civilizes the Incans and teaches them communism (really) and tells them not to embrace ceremonial human sacrifice, because those ceremonies have a funny way of getting your civilization disappeared by the gods. Wait, did the Greys purposely wipe out the Olmecs and Mayans and "allow" the Aztecs to fall to the Spanish because they wouldn't give up their rituals of human sacrifice? The book leaves this question unanswered. Anyway, in 1,530 CE Kukulcan/Viracocha fucks off back to the Grey mother-ship for reasons that aren't explained and, surprise surprise, Spanish Conquistadors just happen to discover the Incans in the same year. Actual history takes over here, with the Incans being murdered and all of their gold and jewels stolen by the Spanish; that's right, the Incan empire also was unable to defend itself against foreign invaders because the Greys weren't there to save their bacon. Stay classy Dark*Matter.


Which brings us to the end of the Mesoamerica section. The Greys are huge assholes to indigenous Americans and basically treat them like a breeding population of lab rats. Unlike with Atlantis, there's no real justification for why the Greys decide to start loving with Mesoamerica, nor what they were trying to accomplish, nor what they got out of the whole thing. Each Mesoamerican civilization reaches an arbitrary point where the Greys just decide to stop spoon feeding civilization to the indigenous Americans and then European invaders show up and push in everyone's poo poo. The implication here is that indigenous Americans were basically incompetent infants that couldn't handle complex ideas about civilization and that without the Greys to lead them around by the nose, the inherently superior Europeans (who didn't need Greys to teach them civilization, no sir) swoop in and murder everything. It feels like the book is saying that it's the indigenous Americans' own fault for being enslaved by Europeans because they rejected the obviously superior intellects of their Grey benefactors. Stay classy Dark*Matter.


NEXT TIME:
:eng101: What's the Dark*Matter alternate history for sub-Saharan Africa and the entirety of Asia and Australia?
:eng99: Apparently non-existent, because we jump from the European Renaissance straight to the United States in the mid-19th century.

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