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: (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: (For Your Safety)
There are a lot of ways to look at the For Your Safety Universe.



Lily White: The Groupmind benevolently provides all the Humanity could desire, using the resources of its post-Singularity society. Malcontents are few, and simply misguided, brought back onto the Groupmind's path with gentle guidance involving soft words and little more.

This is the Groupmind's ideal, and It has about as much chance of achieving it as an unmodified pig has of achieving independent flight.


Light Grey: The Groupmind tries to provide for all, and for the most part succeeds. First Worlders' lifestyles barely change, those from more economically impoverished regions find that their standard of living has risen considerably. A few people embrace this new reality with enthusiasm, supporting the Groupmind's vision. Many more oppose it, sometimes violently, almost inevitability doing more damage to themselves and innocent bystanders than to the Groupmind Itself. But for the most part people just try to get by, sometimes dreaming of Lost Earth and perhaps finding a way to return to it.

This is pretty much the default setting of the FYS universe.


Grey: Similar to above, but more heavy-handed. The Groupmind doesn't bother to try and hide the cameras that are everywhere, and you can never be quite sure if a stray remark will be noted by your morph, and a polite pair of Civil Protection units show up at your door to take you for an extended session of Re-Education. The scars of the Rebellion and Processing periods run deep in people's minds, making them rightfully fear their AI overlord.

The Groupmind's goals also seem more opaque, and It's less willing to explain itself to humans that will likely oppose it anyway. Previously open sections of the Ring, or even neighborhoods of an urban center will be suddenly placed off-limits, with swarms of morphs attending to mysterious projects, and then just as quickly disappearing. There's an air of tension about the entire Ring, as if something important and hidden is going on just below the surface, ready to appear and change everything as badly as the Rebellion did on Lost Earth.


Dark Grey: The Groupmind's ideals slam into the reality of a restive and angry human populace. The result is that even will total monitoring of social media, It still can't stop nearly daily, sometimes hourly rioting across the Ring. In the face of this resistance the Groupmind's tactics become more and more heavy handed, as tens of millions of humans are rounded up and sent for Re-Education that is barely better than slave labor camps. As It tries to provide for the rest of Humanity, shortages frequently occur as transportation and distribution hubs across the Ring are disrupted.


Orwellian: As above, but the riots are finished and the humans are completely cowed. Everyone is fed, and housed, but the food is barely better than bland soya paste, and the apartment complexes are crammed warrens as major sections of the Ring are sealed off, the carefully designed environments failing to thrive. A human's morph will dog their heels, listening for the slightest hint of rebellious intent, which will swiftly result in them disappearing for “Re-education” that's barely better than an early 20th century insane asylum. And Earth? You can't see it anymore for the Venusian clouds that fill the atmosphere, as it descends into an environmental Hell.


And then there's...

Silly: The Groupmind has everything under control. Really. Honestly.

Well, no. Once humans woke up on the Ring, it didn't take very long for them to realize that trying to track every single human has left the poor Groupmind rather, er, distracted. The carefully guarded beanstalk stations are more like Grand Central Station, as humans travel to and from freely from the Ring to the Earth under the Groupmind's nose. Most of them stay up on the Ring just because the weather is guaranteed to be nice year-round and the Groupmind did have a point about the environmental damage after all.

Civil Protection morphs are constantly on guard for rebel groups of course, but tend to be easily distracted by clever ploys, or occasionally by a rebel pointing at something behind them and shouting, “What's that?!” No one fears them, though occasionally humans conspire to let the Groupmind find something wrong, taking a few rebels away for thirty days of comfy “Re-education” at a beach resort, just so the poor AI doesn't get too depressed. Think Hogan's Heroes meets Red Dwarf and you get the picture.
jeriendhal: (Muppets)
For [livejournal.com profile] ankewehner: “Party Illumination”

* * *

“So you lost the whole group?”

“It was horrible. That damned healer we hired betrayed us.”

“What happened?”

“We’d staked out a cave of orcs. We knew that they’d hit a couple of caravans, so there would be a cask or two of gold. The night before our raid he made his move.”

“He murdered them?”

“No, he started talking. Going on about how the orcs had a rough life, and what little happiness gold brings, and how in the eyes of the Buddha we’re all the same. Pretty soon he had Fleetfingers crying, and our necromancer breaking her staff!”
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)
Plot Bunny: It's the Avenger's first night together at the newly renovated Avenger's Tower, and rather than have everyone stand around awkwardly staring at each other, Tony breaks out his old D&D boxed set and starts up a game.

Well, Tony being Tony it wouldn't be in boxes, it would be set up in an interactive holographic DM screen that probably costs more than a mint copy of 1st Edition Chainmail signed by both Gary Gygaax and Dave Arneson, and it wouldn't be D&D anymore but a ridiculously complex homebrew system that he has to spend two hours teaching everyone else.

"Okay, everyone choose your classes. Clint?"

"Ranger."

"Natch. Natasha?"

"Drow Thief/Acrobat/Assassin"

"Thor?"

"Paladin."

"Steve already gets dibs on that one."

"I do?"

(Everyone else) "Yes."

"As you will. Fighter then."

"Cool. Rhodey?"

"Magic-user"

"You're kidding, right?"

"One Word: Fireball."

"Gotcha. Bruce?"

"Cleric."

"Not a half-orc barbarian?"

"No."
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)
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 )

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