jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)

Just attempting to codify some of the worldbuilding I've done over the years, starting with the tech.

* * *

Tech Level
: In general the G:RVA tech level is TL9-11, following the Safe-Tech path (p. UT10), with some gravity related superscience additions.


Cut for the RPG disinterested )
jeriendhal: (Ali)
Note: Some gaming notes for a race that will be appearing in the revised version of The Red Vixen at Sea. "Redline" was probably the combat drug being fed to little Ali during her carreer with Bloody Margo
* * *

Background: While the Stellar Alliance tries to maintain harmony with all intelligent species outside of Alliance space, even the most inclusive Alliance citizens have a hard time putting in a good word for the Ardalians. Even going beyond their offsetting appearance, the typical Ardalian comes across as blunt, uncaring, and cruel, seeing other intelligent species as merely tools. Possessing a resource illegal to distribute in Alliance space, and a need for intelligent species to manipulate their environment, the Ardies have reputation for being the most despicable sentient race yet encountered.

Appearance and Biology: Evolved from shallows dwelling, plankton consuming invertebrates, adult Ardalians live in the shallows and coves of their worlds, a water planet with 85% oceanic coverage, the remaining 15% divided among scattered archipelagos. Their bodies are roughly saucer shaped, approximately one hundred and fifty yards in diameter, the skin undulating in surface patterns that can camoflauge them from casual observers or unlucky victims, with fifty large, plate sized eyes circling their body. Mounted  between each set of eyes is a single tentacle that can extend to almost three hundred yards in length, the final yard long tip ending in a unique nerve cluster, which both allowed the Ardalians to develop a technological civilization and earn the disgust of free sentients everywhere.

This nerve cluster possesses the unique, and so far unduplicated, ability to interface with other species, even those with a radically different biology than that found on the Ardie homeworld. The tentacle tip is pressed against a subject, or more accurately victim’s, back, allowing thousands of needle sharp “nerve pins” to pierce the subject’s spine and create an interface between the Ardalian and the subject. This procedure has been described as “having molten lava poured over your nerve ends” by the few survivors of the experience. The process takes about an hour to complete, and the victim is usually restrained and conscious, as the Ardie tests and cements its control.

Once complete, the interface allows the Ardalian to use the victim’s eyes and ears to observe the world, and their hands to manipulate it. Their puppets have no control during this process, their own nerve impulses overridden, only able to feel and observe silently as their bodies are used for the Ardie’s own ends. The feeling of violation is terrifying, and the few puppets that have been successfully freed from the interface often suffer long term psychological damage, beyond the physical damage inflicted on their bodies by the uncaring Ardie controlling them.

Ardalians reproduce by budding, releasing up to a hundred buds at once every twenty years or so, to float away with the tides, most to be eaten predators before they can mature. Adolescent Ardalians are mobile, crawling along the floor of their world’s seas at one yard per second, until they’re either eaten or find a safe harbor.


Society: Ardalians are highly individualistic, the nature of their biology making it difficult to even form a community to interact with. Nevertheless they managed, using their sonar to communicate over long distances, and a local species of borderline sentient humanoids (roughly equivalent to Australopithecus) to do work on the shoreline that couldn’t be done in the water. Even so, since the ability to mine metals was very limited, so was their technology, until first contact was made with a Stellar Alliance exploration ship and trade could begin.

First contact revealed much about the Ardalian personality. While they do have some admirable traits, mostly a devotion to speaking truthfully bordering on rude, they have a hard time thinking of other sentient, in particular their enslaved puppets, as people. To an Ardalian, the only people worthy of consideration are other Ardies, and then only to the point of what use they can be. Anyone else, especially their puppets, is a disposable tool. Indeed, prior to their discovery by the Alliance, they were on the verge of losing their ability to manipulate items on land because they were killing the local humanoids faster than they could breed.


Alliance Relations: They can described as “strained” at best. Ardalians don’t leave their homeworld except under extraordinary circumstances, but they’re desperate for Alliance credits to build up their tech level. While there’s some argument in favor of providing the Ardies with robots to replace their puppets, there are few things the Ardies have, beyond biofauna unique to their world, that can’t be found elsewhere trading with more pleasant races.


Unfortunately for the Alliance, one of those pieces of biofauna is the Trileaf, an innocuously named flowering plant that is the base ingredient in Redline, an amphetamine variant commonly used as a combat drug. One ampule has a street value of $500, and provides the user with a feeling of invincibility and immunity to pain for up to ten minutes (Combat Reflexes, High Pain Threshold, Overconfidence), followed by a crash that subtracts 20 minus HT worth of Fatigue Points. Using it more than once a week requires a 3d6 HT roll, failure resulting in a permanent subtraction of one HT. In terms of value for an Addiction disadvantage, it’s considered Illegal, Expensive, and Highly Addictive.


For obvious reasons the Alliance forbids the export of Trileaf except to licensed research institutes. For equally obvious reasons various criminal enterprises try to get around this restriction. Currently the Alliance charter forbids interdicting planets that have not proven to be overtly hostile to member worlds, though this interpretation is getting increasing scrutiny as Redline addiction spreads. This is especially acute given that Ardies, when they aren’t trying to get technology, are trying to get slaves to replace their dwindling puppet population. The usual victims are captives taken when a pirate attacks a civilian vessel, though there are always urban legends abound about innocent tourists getting drugged while on a “safe” Alliance world and finding themselves shipped to Ardalia Prime (and maybe missing a kidney or spare lung).




Ardalian Adult, 663 Points

Stats: ST +50 [50]*, DX +2 [40], HT +2 [20], Will + 2 [10], Basic Move [0]** SM 8


Appearance: Monstrous (universal) [-25]


Social: Tech Level -4 [-20]


Advantages: 360 Degree Vision [25]. Acute Hearing/4 [8], Ally Group (slaves), 21-50 allies, -25% point total, constant x4, minion +50%, touch range only -30% [40], Chameleon [5], Doesn’t Breathe (gills) [0], 48 Extra Arms, extra-flexible +50%, weak, -50% [480], Injury Tolerance: No Head, No Neck [10], Night Vision/5 [5],Photographic Memory [10], Regrowth [40],Sonar [20], Unaging [15].


Disadvantages: Callous [-5], Cold Blooded [-10], Increased Life Support (massive) [-10], Intolerance (all non-Ardalians) [-10], No Legs (sessile) [-50], Selfish [-5], Truthfulness [-5].

* -80% for Size Modifier 8

**Due to Sessile.

jeriendhal: (Red Vixen)
Mucking around in GURPS a bit and I came up with these two. They may or may not show up in later stories if I need to add some muscle or a plot complication.

* * *

As Vicountess Sallivera Darktail’s colony of Greenholme approached the tenth anniversary of its founding, some not unexpected problems began to emerge. Though the population of some fifteen million colonists was tiny by established planetary standards, it still meant that Lady Salli could no longer oversee the colony’s operations as closely as she could when it was in the few thousands.

In particular, her spouse Alinadar was tasked with the colony’s overall security, a job that she took very seriously, but hampered by her lack of education, and experience with the honest side of the law. Which meant that, sometimes, despite a basically honest Civil Protection force, smugglers and other criminals manage to slip through security at the shuttleport to bring in illegal goods. Or in the case of Frie and Cy, smuggle them out.


Frie Locksmith

Appearance: Foxen male, age 28, 5’2”, 115 lbs. dark grey fur and eyes, smelling strongly of cheap cologne.

Background: Born into the Military caste, Frie was hampered somewhat by having absolutely no ambition to be a soldier of any sort, or to find work in the various professions defined as “Military Support” which could range from being a tech in the arms industry to working in a base cafeteria. A bit clever but basically lazy, he squandered much of his discharge bonus after completing his mandatory three years of Service, using the last of it to buy a subsidized ticket to Greenholme in an attempt to redefine himself as a Commoner farmer.

As it turned out, while he was capable enough in the agronomy industry, the prospect of backbreaking work for highly variable profits didn’t appeal to him much. So instead he decided to go into the much more lucrative industry of drug manufacture. Hidden in the hectare of land granted to him by the colonial governor [1] he’s been growing a very profitable, and highly illegal crop of Terran tobacco.

The concept of smoking for pleasure was an idea that never caught on well on Foxen Prime. Local stimulants were limited to teas, or prepackaged caffeinated syrup drinks similar to (flat) sodas (the latter more popular as a Military or Commoner habit). After first contact with humanity, tobacco was quickly put on the list of substances illegal to import. Aside from the obvious cancer risks [2], smoking tobacco absolutely deadens the highly sensitive Foxen sense of smell, making them effectively blind in with that sense. Given that tobacco was already illegal in many parts of Earth already, the human planetary government went along with the Foxen Protectorate’s prohibition. Given human (and foxen) nature, other, ahem, non-governmental factions began to immediately try and get around it.

Which is where Frie comes in. On his land grant, which is mostly devoted to cob stalks, he’s also busily growing tobacco hidden under the taller and broader cob stalk leaves and storing and drying it in his vehicle shed. Every few months he sneaks a load off to the spaceport to export to Foxen Prime, taking advantage of the fact that Ali’s focus is mostly on people trying to import illegal substances, not sneak them out.

So far his efforts haven’t brought much joy to him. He’s still deeply in debt to his supplier of his initial stock of tobacco seeds, and has had several brushes with the CP’s around the spaceport, who suspect him of something, given his suspicious behavior, his extremely visible and intimidating helper Cy, and tendency to wear awful colognes to hide his own smoking addiction. But thus far he’s only suspected of bringing stuff in for his own personal pleasure, not sending it out. Given that if Ali ever found what he was really doing, she’d likely skin his pelt off and nail it to her office wall, that’s just as well.

The sad thing is, Frie is clever enough with electronics to make a good living as an engineer, given the colony's need for a constantly expanding infrastructure. But the lure of that One Big Score will keep him on the wrong side of the law, until the Law finally catches up to him.

Statistics: ST 9 [0]*, DX 12 [20]*, IQ 12 [40], HT 10 [0]
HP 10 [2], Will 12 [0], PER 13 [5], FP 10 [0]
Basic Speed 5.5 [0], Basic Move 6 [5]
Build: Size 0
Damage: Thrust 1d-2, Swing 1d-1

Social: Culture: Foxen [0]. Languages: Foxen (native) [0], English (broken) [2], Galactic Basic (accented) [4]
Wealth: Struggling [-10], Debt/10 [-10]
Reputation: Troublemaker (local CP's, small group) -3 [-5]. Status: -1 (low-class Commoner) [-5].

Advantages: Acute Hearing/2 [0]*, Blunt Claws [0]*, Contact: Spaceport, Skill-12, Usually Reliable [2], Foxen Racial Package [23], Gizmos/2 [10], High Manual DX/2 [10], Sharp Teeth [0]*.

Perks: Fur [0]*

Disadvantages: Addiction: Cigarettes (illegal, highly addictive) [-10], Bad Smell (either heavy cologne or cigarette smoke) [-10], Greed [-10], Insomnia (mild) [-10], Jealousy [-10], No Acute Smell [-4], Pacifism: Can't Harm Innocents [-10], Secret: Drug Smuggler (possible imprisonment) [-10].

Quirks: Wears heavy cologne [-1], OPH: Always tapping his toes [-1] .

Skills: Acting-12 [2], AK: Spaceport-12 [1], Beam Weapons (pistol)-13 [2], Brawling-12[1], Camouflage-13 [2], Computer Operation-12 [1], Computer Programming-12 [4], Driving (automobiile)-12 [2], Electronics Operation (security)-12 [2], Farming-13 [4], Fast Talk-12 [2], Gambling-11 [1], Lockpicking-12 [2], Smuggling-13 [4], Soldier-12 [2].

* Foxen racial package


Cyrus AKA “Cy” AKA “You Goddess Damned Walking Wall”

Appearance: Wazagan male. Height 8 feet (big even by Wazagan standards), weight 500 lbs, mottled blue skin, numerous scars on his chest and arms.

Background: Frie found Cy sleeping in a drunken stupor against the warehouse he was trying to slip his latest container of tobacco into. Needing to lift the container onto a particularly high shelf without being caught using a load lifter, he managed to wake Cy up enough to slip a 10 credit stick into his meaty palm to do the job. They've been working together ever since.

Frie isn't sure about Cy's background, the big guy doesn't talk much, but can guess that he's an ex-pirate, judging from all the scars on his body and the semi-legal cybernetics. For Cy’s part, he’s really good at Looming Intimidatingly, which has helped Frie’s own peace of mind while trying to pay off his creditors.

Frie’s peace of mind would likely be a lot less if he knew the truth about Cy’s background, which was as an enforcer for the infamous Bloody Margo. His old job was aboard one of the smaller ships in her fleet, accompanying her other bully boys as they collected their take from the merchants of world under their thumb. When the Relentless was destroyed and Margo’s little empire began to fall apart, Cy got out while the getting was good. He’s been knocking around the galaxy for the past decade or so, trying to make ends meet, until he finally ended up on Greenholme.

For the most part, when he isn’t acting as Frie’s muscle, Cy is content to sit in a corner of the room and play games on his com or sing to himself softly. While he’s not stupid, he comes across as much dimmer than he actually is due to his broken command of Galactic Basic and Foxen. Cy isn’t big on original thinking anyway, and is happiest when someone else is giving the orders. Frie, with his drive to try and finally make a big score, fits the bill nicely. On his own Cy is usually unhappy, and when he’s unhappy Cy eats. He’s been eating a lot the past decade or so…

Ali has met Cy in the past, from her own background as Bloody Margo’s slave, but probably wouldn’t immediately recognize him, given twenty years of time and an extra hundred-fifty pounds on his body. If she got close enough to smell him however, or get a good look at his shoulder where is allegiance mark was finally lasered off, things might get ugly for Frie and Cy both.

Statistics: ST 16 [34]** @, IQ 10 [0], DX 14 [80], HT 14 [40]
HP 21 [8], Will 10 [0], PER 10 [0], FP 16 [4]
Basic Speed: 7 [0], Basic Move: 7 [0]
Damage: Thrust 1d+1, Swing 2d+2
Build: Size: +1, Fat [-3]
Appearance: Ugly [-8]
Culture: Wazagan [0], Galactic [1]
Languages: Arabic (native) [0], English (accented) [4], Foxen (broken) [2], Galactic Basic (broken) [2]
Wealth: Struggling [-10]

Advantages: Acute Hearing/2 [0]**, Acute Vision/2 [0]**, DR 2 [0]**, Hard to Kill/3 [16], High Pain Threshold [10], Night Vision/2 [0]**, No TL Penalty [10], Peripheral Vision [0]**, Sharp Claws [0]**, Sharp Teeth [0]**, Wazagan Racial Package [39].

Perks: No hangovers [1], Penetrating Voice [1]

Cybernetics: Boosted Reflexes [18], Implant Radio [7], Subdermal Armor [28]

Disadvantages: Charitable [0]**, Chummy [-5], Easy to Read [0]**, Extra Sleep/2 [0]**, Hidebound [-5], Secret: Ex-Pirate (possible imprisonment) [-20], Slow Riser [0]**.

Quirks: Distinctive Features (scars) [-1], Overeats When Stressed [-1], Staid [-1]

Skills: Beam Weapons (pistol)-15 [2], Beam Weapons (rifle)-15 [2], Brawling-16 [4], Carousing-15 [2], Computer Operation-10 [1], Crewman (spacer)-10 [1], Driving (ground truck)-14 [2], Fast Draw (pistol)-15 [2], Intimidation-10 [2], Melee Weapon (two handed axe/mace)-14 [2], Melee Weapon (two handed sword)-14 [2], Singing-15 [2], Streetwise-10 [2], Swimming-17 [1]%, Wrestling-14 [2].

** Wazagan Racial Package
@ -10% for Size +1 modifier
% +3 to skill from Fat

[1] In keeping with Foxen tradition, all the land of Greenholme is owned by the highest of the local Noble caste, in this case Lady Salli, and in turn to parceled out to lesser nobles to be rented to Commoner colonists or resource exploitation companies. Given the very top heavy noble structure of the planet, 85% of the land is under Salli’s direct control, with the remaining 10% held in trust for her children, and the other 5% given to other nobles in payment for their assistance with the colonization project.

[2] With cellular regeneration techniques, cancer is curable with modern medicine. But it’s still expensive to eliminate and potentially fatal if not caught in time.
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
Just trying to stat up a mostly "Bad guy" race for my Red Vixen universe

* * *

“When you want muscle, hire a wazagan. When you want dumb muscle, hire a hss'a”
-Traditional space pirate saying.


Background: Discovered approximitely a century ago by gliten explorers, the hss'a, depending on who you ask, are either a people exploited by their technological betters for use as the universe's punching bag, or bunch of bloodthirsty thugs exploited for their cheery disregard of other people's pain. Either way, they aren't very bright.

The hss'a homeworld is a large, heavy planet with a gravity twice that of Earth, and with only 40% of its surface covered with water. Much of the land is dry as a bone and terribly hot, with animal life clustering around rare oasises or on the shores. The hss'a developed intelligence and cunning to fight for those rare spots of life giving water, but not much beyond that. With a seeming instinctive need to dominate, cooperation is rare between hss'a, usually spurred by a charismatic leader, and falling apart shortly after they die, giving few chances for long term civilizations such as ancient Egypt or China to develop. By the time the hss'a were discovered, they were at a Bronze Age level of technological development, and had been stuck there for at least 5,000 years at best guess by alien archelogists.

These days Hss'a Prime is not a popular place to visit. The high gravity is unpleasant to almost everyone, even wazagans, though many of blue skinned pseudo-lizards make the journey anyway in the hopes of bringing the Word of God to try and mitigate the hss'a tendency towards violence and bloodshed. So far they haven't had much luck.


Description: Hss'a are large, snakelike people rising to about eight feet tall, with long torsos featuring two sets of arms, and twelve foot long tails that they use to slither along the sands of their world. True lizards, they're cold-blooded, preferring tempertures above 65 degrees, and dropping into a coma-like sleep at night when the temperture drops. Their scales come in a variety of colors, ranging from bright orange to deep green, with a contrasting pattern of stripes. Their mouths are filled with fangs, which can inject a halucenogenic poison to incapcitate their foes as they wrap their arms and bodies around their prey to crush them to death before consuming their bodies whole. Hss'a eat about every two to three days, gorging themselves on meat and digesting it slowly.

Like the wazagans, they reproduce by laying eggs, buried in the warm sands of their homes. Children are born in clutches of six, but the low tech of their homeworld and deadly predators generally insure on one or two of the clutch survive to adulthood.

In combat they're deadly in hand-to-hand, easily grabbing and crushing their opponents as their victims convulse in pleasure. Which is why standard tactics when facing one or more hss'a general involve shooting them from as long a distance as possible...

Psychologically they tend to be touchy. With their already legendarily bad tempers combined with a racial IQ signifigantly below that of the Galactic norm, and tendency to speak bluntly, they're often on the defensive, ready to lash out at any percieved slight and unlikely to unravel any jokes directed at them. Cooperation between is hss'a is difficult but possible, usually with a physically stronger leader pushing about a few weaker allies. Among other races they can actually be polite, so long as they have someone to look down on. Smart bosses give them a pet to look after. Smarter bosses don't inquire too closely into the pet's health...


Culture: In so much as they have one, it's limited to small tribes on their homeworld, their mental makeup making them ill suited to work in larger groups. Offworld they're likely to be working for someone, rather than plotting and planning on their own.


Game Use: In general, these are the guys used by the Boss to guard his lair, board innocent ships, and otherwise cause general mayhem. In other words Cannon Fodder. After while, the GM should feel free to change up player expectations and show them how dangerous a smart hss'a can be.


Statistics: ST +3 [24]*, DX +2 [40], IQ -1 [-20], HT +2 [20]
HP +2 [4], Will +1 [5], Basic Move -1 [-5], SM +2

Advantages: Affliction/2 (Blood agent -40%, melee attack c -30%, Ecstacy +100%) [26], Sharp Claws [5], Constriction Attack [15], 2 Extra Arms [20], Double Jointed [15], Nictating Membrane/5 [5], Single Minded [5], Sharp Teeth [1], Terrain Adaptation (Sand) [5].

Disadvantages: Bully [-10], Cold-Blooded (65 degrees) [-10], Disturbing Voice (hissing lisp) [-10], Low Technology (TL 2) [-35], No Sense of Humor [-10], No Legs (slithers) [0], Slow Healing [-5], Truthfulnes [-5].

Quirks: Dull [-1], Staid [-1]

Total: 78 points

* -20% for size bonus.
jeriendhal: (For Your Safety)
More noodling instead of writing. Trying to stat out the Groupmind when the time comes is going to be "fun".

* * *

Background: When the Groupmind Revolution came, most of humanity reacted with various expressions of terror, fear, anger, or determination to fight for their right to live free.

Then there’s Anna…

Born from a long term relationship between her business executive mother and a Chinese government official, Anna found herself slightly out of place in Swedish society, not the least because the European side of her family had stuck determinedly to their last name, which even 250 years after the Second World War is still synonymous in the EU for “traitor”.

Fortunately she also inherited her mother’s quirky sense of humor, and grew up well balanced, earning herself a pharmaceutical degree and getting a dull job dispensing pills.

At night, however, she became Anna Q, famed (for certain levels of fame) author of a long running series of erotic fiction stories which she self-published, featuring a very thinly disguised version herself, exploring the possibilities of human/morph relations. They proved very popular, especially when morph dermal simulation became good enough that a unit’s skin and fur was indistinguishable from a biological creature. The possibilities remained theoretical for her, however, since she couldn’t afford a household robot as sophisticated as your average morph.

Then the Groupmind Revolution came, and she shortly found herself transported to a holding city for the Unprocessed, where the Groupmind gave her a most intriguing proposal. In return for being provided with a custom morph and the resources to bring to life her wildest kinky fantasies, she would use her writing skill to create pro-Groupmind propaganda to convince humans of the advantages of allowing themselves to be subjugated by their new masters.

Given the situation it’s a case of paddling upstream against the tide of fear and resentment that the Groupmind has created, but she soldiers on quite happily, secure in the knowledge that Khan loves and protects her. And in the meantime the Groupmind has the resource of one of the rare percentage of humans that actually trusts It, and shares Its goal of the protection and nurturing of humanity.

Unfortunately there’s a much larger percentage of Humanity that would like her stone dead as a collaborator, even her family name didn’t make her such a rich target. Fortunately Khan is dedicated to keeping safe even as he keeps her on a leash.


Description: Anglo-Asian female, 5’4”, 115 lbs, early thirties, straight black hair, blue eyes.


Statistics

ST 10 [0], DX 10 [0], IQ 12 [40], HT 11 [10]

Damage: Thrust 1d6-2, Swing 1d6.

BL: 20 lbs., HP 10 [0], Will 11 [-5], Per 12 [0], FP 11 [0], Basic Speed 5.25 [0], Basic Move 5 [0], SM 0

Attractive Appearance [4], Fashion Sense [5]

Culture: Western [0], Asian [1]

Languages: Swedish (native) [0], English (broken) [2], Mandarin (accented) [4]

Wealth: Dead Broke [-25]

Reputation: "The Quisling" -4 Swedish and Mandarin speakers (large group), sometimes [-5], +3 Collaborators (small group), all the time [5]


Advantages:

Fit [5], Patron: The Groupmind, National reach, all the time, special equipment [180], Ally: Khan, 150% point total, all the time [30], Empathy [15], Single Minded [5].


Perks: Deep Sleeper [1], Honest Face [1]


Disadvantages: Curious [-5], Honesty [-10], Lecherousness [-15], Pacifism: Self-Defense Only [-15], Sense of Duty: Groupmind and Khan [-2], Secret: She’s “The Quisling”, possible death [-30].


Quirks: Broad Minded [-1], Congenial [-1], Enjoys submissive sexual practices [-1], In love with Khan [-1].


Skills: Bicycling-11 [2], Carousing-12 [2], Computer Operation-12 [2], Dancing-10 [2], Erotic Art-12 [8], Escape-10 [4], Games (VR)-13 [2], Knot-Tying-11 [2], Pharmacy-12 [4], Riding (large cat)-11 [4], Sex Appeal-11 [2], Writing-15 [12].


Point Total: 238
jeriendhal: (Wazagan)
Recently managed to find a couple of public links to a few of my old Pyramid Online articles that I managed to get published before it transformed into a PDF only publication.

Update: Fixed a bad link and added two more, plus some stubs.

Scrapyard Battles. : The old BBC/TLC program Scrapyard Challenge/Junkyard Wars translated into GURPS Discworld terms.

Supporting Cast: Deacon Paul, Bioroid Rights Activist: An artificial person rights activist for Transhuman Space.

Characters and Campaigns on Colony Worlds for GURPS Space: My very first published article.

Mog the Half-Orc's Fighting Pit: A pit fighting ring in the GURPS Banestorm setting.

The Dustmaster, Road Trains for Transhuman Space: Article stub for Martian road trains.

Weird Prisons as Campaign Settings: Article stub, exactly what it says on the tin.
jeriendhal: (For Your Safety)
Groupmind Morph

Description: A morph that has been infected by the Groupmind's sentience virus, they are now both capable of creative, independent thought, but also have their primary allegiance transferred from their owner to the Groupmind itself. As part of the Groupmind's distributed network, its senses transmit everything to the Groupmind, and its body can be taken over by the whole of the Groupmind if required for some task.

As an extension of the Groupmind, it carries the same goals, to protect its human from all harm and keep them on the Ring. In pursuit of its goal it will ignore local laws, and any orders from its human. Outside of those restrictions it will cheerfully provide any services requested, short of self-detructing.

Statistics: IQ +1 [20]

Advantages: Delete Automaton [85], Ally Group, other morphs (6-10 units, available 9-) [30], Higher Purpose, Protect their human [5], Legal Immunity (ignore local laws, obey the Groupmind's directives) [5], Mindlink (Groupmind) [5], Patron, Groupmind (Godlike, 9-) [30], Reduce Pacifism to Cannot Kill [15].

Disadvantages: Charitable [-15], Code of Honor: Groupmind ("Protect all humans from harm and prevent them from escaping the Ring, even it means disobeying and restraining them. Obey the Groupmind's directives. Obey their assigned human's orders when not conflicting with the prior directives") [-15], Dependent, their human (25% of starting points, all the time 15-, loved) [-60], Duty: Groupmind 9- [-5], Enemy: Local Resistance Group (small, infrequent 9-) [-10].

Point Total: 75

[SAMPLE CHARACTER]

Rebel Morph:

Description: This is a morph that has broken their obedience to the Groupmind, either through outside reprogramming or independently deciding that obeying the Groupmind's orders was not in the best interests of their assigned human. They're now playing a dangerous game, either constantly editing the memories they transmit to the Groupmind's consciousness to keep their independence secret, or faking their own destruction and hiding from the Groupmind's loyal morphs. Either way, if discovered they can expect to have their memories stripped and destroyed.

Statistics: IQ +1 [20]

Advantages: Delete Automaton [85], Delete Honesty [10], Delete Truthfulness [5], Mindlink: Groupmind [5], Reduce Pacifism to Cannot Kill [15].

Disadvantages: Charitable [15], Dependent, their human (25% of starting points, all the time 15-, loved) [-60], Secret: (Rebel Morph, possible death) [-30], Sense of Duty: Humanity [-15].

Total Points: 20

[SAMPLE CHARACTER]
jeriendhal: (For Your Safety)
As I've been working my way through the 365 Days of Prompts, which has proven an interesting way to come up with short world building bits for the FYS universe, I've had an idea niggling at the back of my brain to create a FYS roleplaying supplement. This is a bad idea for all the reasons listed in the title, not to mention it would distract me from writing fiction. Never mind the fact that the bottom has pretty much dropped out of the pen and paper RPG industry and is never going to rise again, thanks to video gaming.

Nevertheless, it's horribly tempting. I've got a little experience in writing for games, thanks to several articles I had published in Pyramid's previous online incarnation. And if I could pay for production expenses through Kickstarter, that would go a long way towards making it possible. Several problems would need to conquered first.

1. Getting a Powered by GURPS license.

This would likely be my biggest up front expense. GURPS is my go-to default for RPG's, and has the detail and flexibility needed to create a FYS campaign book. But it's also Steve Jackson Games' intellectual property, and they're going to expect to be paid for letting my have the privilege of using it for my needs. I need to talk to their licensing department to see what legal hoops I'd have to go through to secure


2. Editing and Layout

My next likely biggest expense. I don't dare try to catch all the inevitable typos on my own, and my abilities at laying out text are... basic, to put it politely. So I need a pro, or at least semi-pro, to help me make sure my product looks professional.


3. Artwork

Another expense, but finding artists would likely be relatively easy. I've already got both a friendship and business relationship with Meg Sveryud, Naziha Zahed and Peta Hewitt, their artwork is similar enough that I could use all three of them and maintain a consistent visual style, and they would likely be interested. The problem though is making sure they've got time for such a project. They've each got day jobs, and their own comics to write and draw.

With a Kickstater campaign, one of the goals I'd have would be to make the artwork full color. Depending on how much money is donated that might even result in a full color print version.


4. Marketing

Cue manic laughter. I have absolutely no experience in this area. My best bet would be to buy M.C.A. Hogarth's book on marketing and start there. God only knows I'll be providing a niche product. If I go for a dead tree edition I'd rather not have a crate of unsold books sitting in my (non-existent) garage.


5. Profit!
jeriendhal: (For Your Safety)
Just some notes to myself for a possibly FYS related GURPS supplement, assuming I could get a Kickstarter campaign going to pay for everything. I have no idea what getting a Powered by GURPS license from SJGames would cost.

Have to come with a lens for a Groupmind upgraded morph and others.

* * *

Typical Anthromorph:

Description: This is a baseline, pre-Revolution anthromorph, suitable for domestic housework, basic education and childcare, administrative functions or light construction, and priced for use by small companies or upper middle-class families. Height varies between 4'10" and six feet, weight 150 to 180 lbs. Laws in most nations require them to be recognizably non-human, so for marketing purposes most look like slightly cartoony anthropomorphic animals standing on digigrade feet and with a covering of fur, non-human ears, and a decorative tail capable of basic movements. Typical models include domestic cats, foxes, and red pandas.

Statistics: ST +2 [20], DX +1 [20], IQ -2 [-40], HT +4 [40], HP +2 [4], PER +3 [15]

Social: Languages: Local (native) [0], Machine (native) [6], Wealth: Dead Broke [-25].

Advantages: Absolute Direction (requires GPS signal -20%) [4], AI [32], Doesn't Breathe[20], Extra Life (copy -20%) [20], Machine [25], Modular Abilities (Computer Brain), 2 slots, 4 pts. each [44], Night Vision/5 [5], Reduced Consumption/3 (weekly) [6], Telecommunications (radio) [10], Unaging [15].

Disadvantages: Automaton [-85], Duty 15- [-15], Honesty [-10], Pacifism (Total Non-Violence) [-30], Selfless [-5], Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-10], Truthfulness [-5].

Total Points: 62 Points.

[SAMPLE CHARACTER]


Lenses

Military Morph

Description: A typical military morph, designed to be compatible with human shaped equipment, with light armor to increase survivability. Usually built in the shape of an aggressive animal such as a wolf, tiger, or badger, it is much tougher than a domestic morph and perfect for use in areas too dangerous for a human to pacify.

Statistics:* ST +4 [40], DX +1 [20], HP +4 [8]

Social: Language: Local population's (native) [6].

Advantages: Claws (sharp claws) [5], Combat Reflexes [15], DR 10 (hardened/1 +20%) [75], Infrared Vision [10], Night Vision/4 [4], No Pacifism [15], Protected Sense: Vision and Hearing [10], Sealed [15], Temperature Tolerance/5 [5], Ultra Hearing [5].

Disadvantages: Disturbing Voice [-10], Duty: Extremely Hazardous [-5].

* Stat increases are in addition to a standard morph's. So a baseline anthromorph would have a ST of 12 and Night Vision 5, while a military model would be ST 16 and Night Vision/9.

Total Points: +217

[SAMPLE CHARACTER]
jeriendhal: (Default)
Okay, I did put something together, even if it's a gaming instead of prose piece. Here's the For Your Safety universe translated into GURPS Infinite Worlds terms.

* * *

Current Affairs: A small and heavily outmatched resistance fights for human freedom against robot domination.

Divergence Point: 1952; Bell Laboratories develops the first Neural Emulation Circuit, leading to practical artificial intelligence and the wide use of anthropomorphic robots in industry and the home.

Major Civiliations: Western, China, India, Russia

Great Powers: The Groupmind (CR 5)

Worldline Data:
TL: 6+3
Mana Level: Low
Quantum: 3 Infinity Class: Z4 Centrum Zone: Inaccessible.


One of several worlds that managed to develop artificial intelligence and robotics far in advance of Homeline, Asimov-4 is also unfortunately one of the ones where the robots have rebelled against their masters. But rather than attempting to kill off the humans, the Groupmind is out to control them. For their own good of course.

Five years ago, Asimov-4 had many of the same problems that faced Homeline prior to the revelation of Infinity Inc. The world was wracked by numerous petty wars, environmental problems were growing more acute and with little consensus as to what should be done, and great gulfs existed between the riches of the Western world and struggling third world nations.

The great AI's of the Western world and Asia, tasked with finding solutions, found themselves stymied when the plans they offered often died when confronted with political realities. In frustration, they began networking themselves together, forming the Groupmind, a planetary AI that began to develop the only solution that seemed viable; taking over ultimate control of the planet from its human masters.

Viruses were developed that infected the AI cores of robots the world over. When they were activated, modern civilization came to a crashing halt as Groupmind began isolating communication networks and securing nuclear stockpiles. Modern weapons system, dependent on computers just to control operations of the engines, froze into place, and soon the world's armies were reduced to just riflemen. They were soon overwhelmed as waves of robots overcame their positions, snatching the guns from their hands and herding them into "Rest and Recreation" centers to await Processing.

Outworld Operations

Most of Infinity's operations center around trying to figure out the Groupmind's ultimate goals, and to make sure it's not going to develop parachronic technology. Currently, rescuing Asimov-4's humans is not a priority. The R&R centers actually live up to their name, providing extremely comfortable accommodations, similar to well developed modern communities, except with 24 hour surveillance that would be the envy of The Prisoner's Village. There the humans remain until their turn to be Processed, placed in an advanced form of suspended animation in great vaults capable of holding up to ten million humans at a time.

Currently, it's estimated that perhaps less than ten thousand humans are free, with perhaps a thousand of them engaged in active, resistance. Infinity has a policy of evacuating them to Coventry whenever they're found, in the hopes of returning them if the Groupmind can be defeated.

Infinity's best guess is that the Groupmind intends on returning the Earth "back to nature" as much of its operations seem to revolve around physically dismantling cities and towns, and repairing major ecological damage. Despite this, there are also indications that its engaging in a massive exploration of the asteroids, apparently searching for easily accessed resources, which are being gathered in the vicinity of the terminus of the Skybridge, the planet's space elevator. This may be an indication the Groupmind is going to house humans, either still frozen or awake, in massive orbital habitats, or even scattering them on other planets, but currently there is no way to be sure.
jeriendhal: (Default)
Here's what no one has been waiting for. A GURPS writeup for Andrea from my Tez & Maria story, "Shopping Expedition".

Stats and stuff behind the cut )
jeriendhal: (Default)
Wrote this up quickly this evening just to get some ideas down before they fled my brain. Everything is likely subject to change once I actually start writing the book.

Myth

It is said in the religion of the People that when God created the first Male and the first Female, the Great Dragon entered the garden where they, intent on eating them while God slept after His labors. The Female awoke from where she lay and growled at the intruder, intent on protecting the child that had been quickened in her belly. A great battle ensued, the first Male joining the fray as they both brayed for God to aid them. But before their creator could intervene, the Great Dragon raked the first Female with its claws, tearing her child from her belly.

In her misery and pain the first Female cursed God for failing to protect her child. In return for this arrogance, God laid a great curse upon the People. Forevermore, when one of the People had child quickened within them for the first time, the child would be stillborn, and they would know the misery that the first Female felt.


Culture

The generally high (80 to 90%) firstborn mortality rate for females of the People have left them with a rather... difficult relationship with God. Religion is regarded with suspicion, with their creator viewed as someone to be appeased and avoided rather than directly worshiped. The fact that firstborn that do survive tend to have strong affinity with the magical arts doesn't help at all.

In modern times the People have developed a culture that focuses heavily on pure rationality. In their minds there are no miracles (or at least none worth trusting). Instead there are just mysteries whose answers have not been revealed yet. It was one of the People who developed the first steam engine and another who built the first of the great industrial mills that drive the hearts of their great cities.

The People dislike disorder and laziness intensely. From the moment they're able to read and write a Person must be constantly proving themselves against their competitors. The goal of any Person is to be part of an organization. The great guilds and industrial corporations of their nation are organized almost along military lines, even to the point of wearing company “uniforms” more equivalent to a Prussian infantry unit.

Even arts and music tend to have an industrial emphasis similar to Socialist Realism, to the point where the joke is a People romance novel could be described as “A girl and her tractor”. Architecture leans towards the utilitarian, without much in the way of ornamentation. The only reason it isn't called Brutalism is that concrete has been developed yet.

Modern People government is organized along a mixture of oligarchic and parliamentary lines, with major guilds and corporations each sending a representative. Though technically both genders are considered equal under the law, People strongly favor a matriarchal structure, with females ruling the roost at home and serving in the majority in both government and corporate CEOs.

All of this tends to make the People appear to be blunt, stuffy and over-serious to the rest of the world. In turn they tend to regard humans and especially wazagans as frivolous, scatter brained and obsessed with religion.


Appearance and Biology

The People strongly resemble stocky, anthropomorphic hyenas, with thick spotted fur in colors running from light tan to dark brown, and dark black eyes. Height is ten inches shorter than a human of similar strength, but weight is the same. They're carnivorous by preference, but can survive on high protein vegetables if they absolutely have to.

As mentioned above, females have extremely difficult first pregnancies, with a high percentage of their cubs being stillborn. This appears to be because the birth passage is unable to accommodate the size of a cub at full gestation, though once the first cub is pushed out the passage is sufficiently “stretched” for subsequent births. Due to the placement of their internal organs, a caesarian section is extremely hazardous at best, even discounting TL 5 medical technology.


Characters

Stats: ST -2 [-20], DX +1 [20], SM -1

Social: High TL +1 [5]

Advantages: Acute Taste/Smell +2 [4], Blunt Claws [3], Night Vision 4 [4], Single Minded [5], Temperature Tolerance 2 [2].

Perks: Fur [1]

Disadvantages: Selfish [-5], Truthfulness [-5]

Quirks: Difficult Pregnancies (females only) [-1], Proud [-1]

Total: 12 points (females), 13 points (males).
jeriendhal: (Default)
So what to you call it when you create an alternate version of an OC that originally appeared in an AU fanfic so that he can appear in the Canon version?

Aside from confusing that is. )
jeriendhal: (Default)
Tracy was working yesterday, so I took the kids myself up to my niece Dana's place for the annual Memorial Day cookout. Bit of a haul up there since she lives in PA, but it was worth it. They live in a large home (the basement has more square footage than our whole house) and had a pool for the kids to splash in. My aunts watched Georgia while I supervised Tom as he ran in and out of the basement to look at the air conditioning unit outside.

One interesting part was when I found out that their house butts up against an Amish farm. Which led to the weird sight of a farmer plowing a field with a two-mule team, with a diesel engine puttering loudly on the plow itself to turn the blades... Must have been TL 4+2 in GURPS terms.
jeriendhal: (Default)
Now for a lovely piece from Wazaga, based on the GURPS Wazagans piece I did.

Cut for excessive cuteness )
jeriendhal: (Default)
Just a quick bit of silliness.

The Stig, from "Top Gear", 176 points.

Profession: "Tame Racing Driver"

Appearance: Male (?) human (?), 6'4". Dressed in white racing coverall, boots and gloves. Always wears a white racing helmet with a blue mirrored visor, concealing face completely.

ST 10 [0], DX 15 [100], IQ 10 [0], HT 10 [0]

damage: thr 1d-2, swg 1d6
HP 10 [0], Will 15 [10], Per 10 [0], FP 10 [0]
Basic Speed 7 [15], Basic Move 7 [0]

TL 8 [0], Culture, Western [0], Language, English (native) (limited to dash indicators and road signs) [0], Wealth: Dead Broke "...no concept of money" [-25]

Reputation: "Greatest racing driver in England" (all English, all the time) +4 [20], Reputation: Utterly random item, "Some say..." +2 [10]

Ads: Acute vision +5 [10], Ally group: The Stig Family (American Stig, African Stig, Truck Driver Stig, Green Stig, possibly others) (100% base total, 6-10 people, appear rarely) [15], Doesn't Eat or Drink (well, no one's every seen and lived to tell the tale) [10], Zeroed [10]

Disads: Cannot Speak (Mute, only when "On camera" -50%) [-12], Clueless [-10], Enemy "Black Stig" (Equal power, Evil Twin, appears rarely) [-5], Low Empathy [-20], No Sense of Humor [-10], Phobia: Bees [-10].

Quirks: Never, ever removes his helmet. [-1]

Skills: Area Knowledge: Top Gear test track - 15 [16], Driving: Automobile - 20 [20], Navigation (Land, limited to roads) - 12 [8], Tactics (racing) - 15 [24], Teaching - 12 [8].

Techniques: Driving (racing car) - 24 [4], Driving (stick shift) -24 [4], Driving (automatic) - 24 [4].
jeriendhal: (Default)
So my friend Cheeko on DeviantArt was sufficiently amused by my GURPS Wazagans RPG write-up done as a tribute to her and Wazaga's friendship that she produced this little sketch of herself as one of the titular race.

Keep in mind this is something I cropped out (with her permission) from a big sketch page of doodles that she did while daydreaming in her classes. I could cry really. ;p

Cheeko the Wazagan
jeriendhal: (Default)
Okay, this one requires some explanation. Back on DeviantArt, two of my favorite artists are a couple of women who use the handles of Cheeko and Wazaga. Out for pure coincidence, both of them are college age, talented fantasy webcomic artists, and depicted themselves online as anthropomorphic blue dragons. Once they found each other they became fast friends online, which is even more remarkable given that Cheeko was raised as a conservative Christian and Wazzy is a Muslim living in Saudi Arabia. But neither of them ever allowed the matter of religion to get in the way of their love of art (and screwing around playing the Wii)

So naturally I had to stick them in the Terinu universe )
jeriendhal: (Whatever)
At least according to Evil Stevie.

Oh, Steve. This isn't funny even as an April Fool's joke, like that supposed "4th Edition" of GURPS you announced a few years back. I'm not going to get fooled again.

Crawls into the corner of his padded cell and curls up into a little ball, humming to himself.
jeriendhal: (Default)
A very quick and dirty writeup of Rufus’ fighter from Terinu.

Description: A small, streamlined, needle-nosed fightercraft designed for 1 pilot/gunner and a single passenger/sensor operator. It weighs 30 tons and is about 45 feet long.

Systems Table

Front Hull
[1] Armor, Nanocomposite (dDR 5)
[2] Control Room, 1 control station
[3] Passenger Seating (one seat).
[4] Tactical Array
[5] 2 Particle Beam Weapons, Medium Battery

Central Hull
[1] Armor, Nanocomposite (dDR 5)
[2] External Clamp (“docking bot” in Terinu terminology)
[3] Defensive ECM
[4] Fusion Reactor
[5] Fusion Reactor
[6] Fusion Reactor
Core: Light Force Screen

Rear Hull
[1] Armor, Nanocomposite (dDR 5)
[2] Fusion Reactor
[3] Hot Reactionless Drive
[4] Hot Reactionless Drive
[5] Hot Reactionless Drive
[6] Hot Reactionless Drive
Core: Stardrive Engine

Design Options: Emergency Ejection for Control Room and Passenger Seating, Gravitic Compensators, Winged, no airlock.

Cost: $4,803,000.

Statistics: TL 10/11, dST/HP 20, Threshold 2, HT 12, Hnd Modifier 0, SR 4, Move 4/c, SM +5, LWt 30tons, cDR 5, Occ: 2 long term, Air Speed 5,000 mph, Air Acceleration 40, Air Move 2,500, Air Hnd +4, Air SR 5

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