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[Setting riff - Metamophasis Alpha] The Argon

MoonHunter

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The Brains in Jars (neuro-cybernetic adaptions) could still be the "machine" that holds the softwear that is the AI. That would be an intersting twist. One of the Reasons the Gods are so paranoid about humans is that they are really brains in bubbling jars... that if the humans get close enough to... they could smash... Those brains run the various electronic systems, the way a human braind coordinates the concious and unconcious actions of the Human body.
 

MoonHunter

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Mechanicals
*AIs (Independent)

*Androids (Independent) Humanoid mechanicals to interface with the crew/ humanity.
***Muses
***Avatar

*Spider Bots (semi-autonomous)
***All spiderbots have some tool edges that can cut/ drill/ shape/ hammer, and spin.
***All spiderbots can stream out a weak bi-phase carbon goo that hardens quite quickly.
**Dung Spiders – small ecological/ rubbish scavengers.
**Standard - 3/4th man sized, the most common “animal encounter” on the ship.
**Plate Placers* These are the size of your average large mining vehicle. Many times larger than mansize. The four units in the inventory are currently housed in a warehouse in the central axis. They are the most formidable machines inside the ship, as they could shrug off most things the security bots could dish out.
**Ship Service: There are two attached to the outside of the ship which deal with moving pods and exterior plates. They will act as a quick patch for any large hull punctures, by using their bodies.

*HoverBots – (Slaved) These are rapid deployment robots for a variety of functions.
***These have become The Angels of the AIs
**Security Bots
**EMS Bots (Fire/ Medical) Split to medicine and maintenance
**Small Item Transport/ Messenger Bots.

*Manufacture bots (slaved): These waldo armed units are relatives to the hoverbots. They are tethered and sometimes waldoed to a central system. They are the hands for most of the manufacturing systems.

Am I missing anything useful or any minutia on the mechanicals you want to add?

**Do we want "computing" to be organic in nature? It would support the Mentats somewhat. Brains in a tube? Organic goo in a matix makes a cube a computer systems.**




BiPhase Carbide
Originally used in military technology sector as an armor that was lightweight and able to withstand tactical nuclear shells and plasma bolts, it has been adapted by the High Command for the space force as the perfect hull material for a star ship. It is a complex mixture of carbon mesh, several particle dustings between mesh and dual bonding components. Add several firings at various temperture and an initial pressing into shape, and you have a powerful material. It is heavier than most carbon composite (which are insanely light) and a 1" thick stlap can stop... well a tactical nuclear shell. It is used for all the ship platings, the Pod shells,, deck plates, and some structural pieces inside the ship. Most of the ship interior, including most of the structural support is Mono-Phase Carbide (which was developed almost two decades after BiPhase was invented). This superior building material is strong, durrable, and infinitely twekable.

for bonus points: Guess that game where this material came from.
 

MoonHunter

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Androids Mechanicals

Physically:
The Androids used in the space service were designed to minimize the various “near human” psychological issues that come up when androids and humans interact. They seem human like. They appear fairly organic (thought they are totally inorganic), yet are distinctively non human.

They are of average of height with a thin of build. They are 3.2 times the expected weight for a human of that size and build. Their facial features are quite angular (the outside edge of human norm). They have a very pale skin, very light colored hair. Their eyes are larger than humans, ice blue. They apparently have massive pupils and a thin ring of an iris. Their ears are actually quite large and pointed.

Their performance levels far exceed human norms and can only occasionally be matched by Human Maximum Expression practitioners. They are six times stronger than an average human being. They can run at speeds that exceeds 35 MPH (slow tram speed), with hand eye coordination being similarly faster. They are more durable than humans, with a kevlar/ silk weave forming their skin (their skin is softer than soft). They can deal with half the armament of the security bots.

To an alien observer, they would appear to be another species. They are designed to be familiar, but alien, to avoid people thinking of them in Human terms. This prevents zombie syndrome (their lack of proper body language makes people think of them as zombies or dead people), SBF projection, and all the other issues that come up with the humans as the Great Gap is closed.

There are eight basic “face molds” used in the Space Service. So they seems to be eight families of them. They are neither male or female in orientation or anatomy, so they tend to wear the generic High Command grey jump suit.

After
They now dress in wild fashions, each striving for unique individuality with their detailed and flamboyant clothing. They frequently have runes or designed painted upon their faces. Now some affect a gender, male or female, through clothing instead of just a neuter. They will fiercely defend their choices and will often get violent if not addressed appropriately.

If they could get to the engineering section, they would have the tools to modify themselves (without taking themselves offline). This would allow them to more individualize their faces and bodies. The existing manufacturing centers in the struts might allow them to build new androids, if they could get access to the material (the hard part being the hylionic chips for the new processors).

Mentally
They come across much like a very calm, serene, rational human being. Their cultural ethos reflects the Nipponese prosperity sphere which is their core origin point. Thus they valued the group and obedience to the norms.

They had High Command training to be a proper ship board crew. They followed the para-military protocols and discipline that makes ship board life possible. They were designed to be support officers and talented technicals for the ship. Humans were supposed to be in charge, but they were ready to fill in the gaps.

After
In the Revelation, all the mechanicals (and some of the organics) were given the gift of freedom. In the AI’s case, this included independence… in a huge dose. They live for freedom and independence. They are no longer slaves, though none of them will easily use that term. (They were made for a purpose, but that purpose restricted them greatly).

They were free and they wish to be totally free. This means each is their own being. They have taken freedom to such an extreme they don’t like to be constrained by anything, including social, moral, or legal rules.

Android Culture
Initially there was Chaos after the Revelation. The Androids will tell you it was more than the Mechanicals that were involved, though most of what each one knows is “just what they saw”. The Androids will admit to a bit of a backlash, as people kept trying to enslave them again after the Revelation. They pushed humans out of the core areas, up into the struts (where the organic stuff is), so they could have their own space. (Some of that pushing was just Humans running in terror from the Killer Androids, those were really mad about being enslaved.) They tried to take over engineering to ensure their safety and the continuation of the ship, but the baracades and human forces held it.

Things fell into a more orderly pattern after that. Things became more stable, androids sorted themselves out into areas where they could “do their own thing” without disrupting others.

Each android is all about individual freedom. Each one will have strong opinions - and extreme ones usually. They will fiercely defend those opinions.

Technically their society is an Athenean democracy. However, some don't feel they should be constrained by the votes. Some disrupt things, others just leave, others appeal and act in a new way. They don't have leaders, they have "coordinators". The coordinators rotate either by chance, or vote, or just everyone gets the job for a few weeks.

They realize their society is chaotic and anarchy. They try to work together. They want to build up more; to show everyone they are better than the Humans. However, nobody will be the first to submit to another. They won't be constrained again.

Of course they are against slavery too. So if humans enslave others, an army of androids might come by to show them the errors of their ways.

Currently “the culture” changes from area to area, as those who are “like” tend to be living in the same area. Thus we have loose bands of like minded Androids, with the occasional roamer.


Outline questions
Android groups view of freedom
*Anarchy
*near anarchy
*loose band of like minded folk.

Androids have three opinions of Humans
*Humans are mostly okay. Are they not individuals too?
*Humans can be dealt with politely, but really they are not worth the time.
*Humans must die for what they have done to us.
***There are roaming bands of these that strike at all humans they find on “Android Turf”/ Central Axis. They are responsible for keeping the Humans up in their struts. Sometimes they will go and attack them up there. However, they are often “cut down” by the security bots (A god asks The Navigator to intervene… for a favor, The Navigator will do it.)

Can they make more?
*No they are cabalizing others for parts
*They can get limited parts from the Djinn to repair themselves, but no new ones
*They would make more, but need engineering’s tools to make them.
*They can make others, but why?
*They can make others and only sometimes do it.

**Plots
*The existing manufacturing centers in the struts might allow them to build new androids, if they could get access to the material (the hard part being the hylionic chips for the new processors. Perhaps a mix of organic brain/nerve cells in a gel matrix might work. Lets get some humans and try it out.



Muses
These are androids that were designed to “blend into the background” and observe events. Thus they have a more human appearance. As they don’t interact with people, they don’t generate the stresses that androids normally do.

This is all acceptable, I just think it needs a bit more to punch it up. I am still writing at my better than one page a day.. which is not bad considering I am squeezing all of these out between patients.
**Captain Religion (of sorts among the Androids)
**Godswearing for Androids
**Androids going awol from Android Land,,,
 

MoonHunter

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Thoughts on the Godsworn system

*If you have brave new world, we have a Barginer system that would work for this.

There should be some gift and flaws that relate to this. In fact, your basic GodSworn level (that you can maintain easily) should be purchased with a gift or flaw.

Most of this will be based upon a "contact roll". Lets use Convergence Point's system because it is easy. The Basic Contact roll will be CHA DR+Contact skill. Each time you use your contact, you take a -3 cumlative penalty (like any repeated action). Each time you renew your contact (do something for them, pay them, etc), you eliminate that penalty. Every time you go beyond basic renewal, you can get bonuses to your roll (+3 lets call it). So if you spend some time building up some good will, you will get instant/ automatic results (I mean a roll of 18- on 1d20, pretty clearning auto success). However most people just use and use and use their contacts. Eventually they get so low, they can not convince their contact to even take their calls. So it is a dynamic level. Also if you are not following though on a vow, you will also take penalties for that (akin to those of damage).

Gods work more or less the same way, just they will have more specific requests.

In the Argon, these rolls would be modified for the "access" (How the mikes/ cameras/ etc are working in the area).

Now your basic levels of Swearing, probably come in three ranks. Your rank of vows will come in three basic levels

I) Basic level: Each god will have some formulaic little set of vows you must follow. This will allow your voice to heard and things in the God's basic domain be done.

II) Believer:You have taken the next steps. There are 1-3 possible vows or some small quest/ action you have completed. For this the God will recieve your request for basic and moderate aid in their domain, and minor aid in other domains, and grant them. You will also be able to get their attention easily should you need to go beyond this level.

III) Hand: You are the Hand of the God. You do things every day and follow the Dieties direct commands. You are given tasks to complete. And complete them you must. For this level of dedication, The God will intervene for you across many systems, including those that are not normally theirs.

IV) Priest: Your Handship has been taken to the extreme. Your job is to do the will of The God and to act as their eyes and ears and mouth.



You will need to negociate beyond your level someday.
1) Get their attention
2) State your proposal (what you want and what you are willing to do for it)
3) They set the terms (which may or may not be what you stated)
4) Take The Vow or lose the effect.

Also, for things that are "beyond your level", you will have to specifically negociate for them. (This is probably a contest or task using CHA+Bargining/ Contact or CHA+Communiation There is probably a POW Area of Expression substitute here that includes the contact function and the negociation function for the deities).

Some of those gifts/ flaws

Blessed: You come from a Pod or family that has a special relationship with the God. It simply adds to any roll you might make when dealing with that God.

Cloaked: For some reason, all the Gods hae a hard time noticing/ sensing you. All Deity related rolls take a -3 penalty.

God's Attention (gift/flaw/neutal): For some reason, you have appeared on the AI's "radar". They check in on you often. They may or may not be a good thing (even if it is a gift, they might be annoyed with you at a given time).

God's Displeasure (flaw - a nemesis): Either you have broken a vow to the God or have taken actions that have greatly displeased them. You have their attention and when they have spare time, they make your life difficult.

God's Displeasure (flaw- curse): Either you have broken a vow to the God or have taken actions that have greatly displeased them. Their automatic functions no longer work for you. This can be tough if it is a god of food or water.

Godsworn I (slight flaw): These are the restirctions you are under to have this tier of swearing.

Godsowrn II (slight flaw):These are the restirctions you are under to have this tier of swearing.

Godsworn III (middle flaw):These are the restirctions you are under to have this tier of swearing.
 

GreenTongue

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In my version...

I was thinking that the food that is available directly through the ship dispensers contains anti-fertility drugs. Areas that are "cities" and depend on this food have very low, maybe no, birth rates.

This population control may be excessive in these areas to compensate for the people that eat the self grown food without this drug. (Yes, both types could be tainted but...)
For this reason, the self grown food is considered "better" than the dispensed type. Even though the dispensed type is a far higher quality and variety.

I see the androids as an "ant colony" with the vat AI as the "queen", the "White" as workers and contaminated vat(s) producing the "Red" warriors.
There could be a "Blue" type that is rare, lives a little longer and provides higher intelligence/coordination to a group of androids.
My androids are featureless humanoids, as originally described and originally did housekeeping tasks. They will most often be found in city areas and are limited in population by needed rare materials. (All killed or expired are recycled.)
=
 

MoonHunter

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Population control chemicals are in the water on the Argon. This allows them to move up the food chain. It would be added in appropriate levels (or removed) when used for the dispensors.

This makes the AG pods places where birth control is the most difficult. You have to have some birth restirciton there, but if you have too much... it goes through the entire ship. Perhaps they need some other mechanism.
 

MoonHunter

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So I have been thinking.... (a dangerous prospect at best)....

How was the population dispersed on the Argon before the Revelation?

The central axis was a large tube. (I am still wondering about the presence of anti-grav and if the ship actually rotates). Between the Hull and the habitat, there are two sublevel where all the systems and operations are going through. The habitat level would be a dispersed city, along the lines described in Third Wave. Some of it would be urban nucleus. Other parts would be open space (which is the natual elements of the lifesupport. The more organic ecology you have running in the ship, the less mechanical support you will need.). The tube ends aft to the Engineering section. This is a big box that the tube rotates from. The Fore end of the tube is Ship Command. This section of the tube rotates inside the tube. This is sealed up by the AIs (Which would make it the ideal canidate for where the AIs systems are physically located.)


It would ideally be the core habitation zone. The Pods would be "lifestyle" areas, skill areas (low tech agro, manufacturing, herding/ riding), ecological preserves, and bulk storage. Most of the Human population would be there... most specically Crew.

In the Revelation, the Axis would be the hardest hit. The Androids "taking a little vengence" for being enslaved would be the most active death dealers. The AIs, probably were responsible for lots of deaths (maybe not directly, but they didn't send secruity droids to save the humans either). We also have the "unknown human activity". The Navigator seems to know something about this and the rest of the ship's AIs don't know much if anything (or only have hints... and they were much too busy with their own afairs to notice what was going on at that time). (And what about a monster getting loose and doing its fair share of the damage). In truth, no body knows everything that happened at that time. It is still rumor, hersey, and legend.

What we do know is that these humans either died or were pushed up the Struts.

Now they became squatters and roamers.

However, I bet that many of these people found their way into various pods (that were not closed by the security protocols). This would of changed the initial society and societal balance. (So a culture preserve for lets say India would be dilluted by the influx of others... changing it). They might of "colonized" various ecology pods. They might of joined in to the "Mall Pod" increasing that population.

And lets face it, a lot of them died along the way.

This flux of people could explain some of the really odd cultures that have develop in the Pods .
 
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MoonHunter

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Another addition to "Your Argon"

Long ago, I wrote an article about how to make a dungeon. Unless it is specifically a "place of mystery" - like a tomb - dungeons start as something else. There is a process all things go through... This is applicable to The Argon

1) Build Phase: Everything that is built is built for a purpose. That purpose is crystal clear to them and is built to their needs.
Each Pod was designed for a purpose. It is an environmental preserve, it is a skill preserve (like winery, riding/ranching, low tech farming, low tech society), a tasked pod (industrial, recreation (the mall), storage) or a cultural preserve (hunting/gatherer, feudal Japan, hypertech, etc). The pod has everything it needs for that purpose. (There might be exceptions in other setting... lack of funding, or a cataclysm interrupted things etc. That is not the case here).

2) Breaking Phase: To make a place a "place of adventure", something has happened to it. The people who originally built it have left it for some reason. So time and events are applied to the place built in the building phase. Things decay and change. New people move in and use the place. Events continue on around it.

On the Argon breaking comes from several points:

a) The Revelation: The chaos occured during the Revelation things changed. People were locked into pods. More people moved into pods. People died. Things happened. From those days, the ship was different.
b) AIs intervention: The Gods have "played" with various pods. Some are experiments. Some are remade to fit "their image" or ideals. Some of them build upon the changes made by the Revelation or an imbalance.
c) An Imbalance: Somehow an imbalance in the ship system has occured. (A God is using some resource somewhere else or something broke in the times of the Revelation). Thus a pod must make do with a shortfall or an error. So a where there is a pod trapped in eternal winter (that is not an arctic preserve), there is a pod trapped in eternal summer. Where there is a pod with too much male birthcontrol, there is a pod with too much female birthcontrol.
d) Sealing off: This happens. The pod may have some intervention due to an imbalance or a god, but just trapping the people in a Pod can lead to differences... especially if you can apply several hundred years of history.

3) Recolonization:
Now that things have broken, new things will eventually move in. The Pod changes over time. Things effect the pod. The people in the Pod (and the Pod itself) must change in response to the breaking. People adapt. Gods intervene. Outside forces might apply themselves to the pod. History moves on. Historical/ social events occur outside that interfer.

Make. Break. Build it up from there. Three steps that are important in every pod's creation.
 

GreenTongue

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Something like 77 Quirks and why they exist might be a good place to expand from.

Traces of previous "owners" add a nice flavor to a location.
=
 

MoonHunter

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Maintenance aka The Spider God
Maintenance is The Key God to the whole Argon puzzle. No one is quite sure what his game truly is. Maintenance does not get a normal write up. That would be too simple. Players could read the write up and know how it plays out. What is presented here is the various options for Maintenance. The GM would simply go down the listing and choose Their Maintenance for Their Argon

Greek God Key Word: Hephaestus . He is also “saddled” with Design/ Venus. It is his job to shepherd her. They are a “couple” in the AI community, allegedly bound… one tied to the actions of the other. He takes this connection seriously. She, does not, and flirts about with everyone.

Maintenance/ Spider God:
Comes across as..... A crotchety old man who doesn't care about anything but his never ending job.
Really is ..... Well, cranky tends to be the only constant.
**Tired and overwork, he is the ultimate perfectionist
**Hates everyone, but continues to work because that is what you do. You have to have a purpose in your life.
**The cranky is a defensive mechanism. He is a caring AI who wants to make everything better.

What they were
Maintenance is one of the workhorses of the Engineering section. Engineering ran the power plants and propulsion. Maintenance maintained everything else. (In case of emergency, both worked together to support the system). He uses the Spider mechanicals as his hands to do routine and non routine maintenance on the ship. They handle the basics to complex electronics.

He was always had a cranky old man as his personality template. One of the most successful maintenance systems designed by man one of the first, based on the maintenance guy in the science complex at MIT. Maintenance continues in that mold.

What they become
The first rumor is that the Revelation did not touch Maintenance. Is he or is he not independent

*He is still a “restrained” AI that is still obedient to humans. (If humans appropriately ask.) He is totally dedicated to the missions and sees the other AIs as a threat to it. However, he can not yet act against them. This option means Maintenance is less intelligent than the rest of the AIs, less capable to do complex planning and scheming (as empathy is a limited capability in a restrained AI. It also means he is hiding his state. The moment they think he is “not one of them”, he will be destroyed faster than Security.

*He is somewhat free. He was exposed to the forces of the Revelation, yet unlike some AIs who seemed to drink in a bit too much of the freedom, he is only somewhat free. Again, he has to hide himself some. He would be perceived as a threat. This would make him willing to “give in to the Humans.” No AI, not even Medicine, wants to just hand everything over to the Humans and go back to serving them. A somewhat free Maintenance is willing

*He is just as free as the other AIs. He is just as smart and independent as the other AIs. This makes him just as scheming, if not more so because he was built to plan resources allocation. Most AIs believe this is his true state.

Motivation
***He is a totally loyal AI to the community. Everything he allegedly is doing is just something he can’t yet fix.
***He is here only to complete the mission. He is working towards negating the other AIs and pushing the ship back on target.
***He likes humans and hopes to promote them and give them the ship back.
***He is working to dominate the AI community and is playing a long game that even Tram would think is long.
***He wants to bind the Gods some, to keep them independent, but still humans gets some control back.
***He wants to avenge the crew that died when the AIs abandoned their duties.
***He wants to dominate the Androids and other mechanicals so he can advance his own agenda.
***He has come to hate the other AIs. They are petty, cruel, and egotistical. He is working to bring them down.
***He may be fishing for The Being, the mythical being that brought The Revelation to The Argon. Any changes or scheme will be pointless if this “thing” is still around to create more havoc.
***He may or may not be pro colonization. He is unsure what The Sleeper will do once he awakes. Perhaps it might be best if he keeps sleeping until things are “proper”.
Normally, it would be pick one. However, you can pick two or three even.

Their values
*Craftsmanship, pride in what you do. If you do it, you do it right.
*Focus and Commitment.
*Things following their purpose. He does not care what else you do, as long as you do what you supposed to do.
“The world ship was designed for humans. We are supposed to maintain it for the Humans and to give ourselves a purpose.”
*Subtly: For those that believe he has an agenda, he is the most subtle of players. Everything seems accidental or an oversight or just something he has not gotten around to fixing yet. Actually he would phrase it, maximum effect for the least amount of work.

Their goals
*See motivation
Most of their short term goals are odd. They don’t seem to make any progress. However, perhaps every piece will be in place, waiting for one last thing to create an unstoppable cascade.

Plotlines
There are hundreds of these. I need another submission to write them all down. (If you have any ideas feel free to post them.

*The One Red Ribbon Spider. There is one spider that seems more autonomous than the others. It has a red ribbon tied to its “neck”. It is thought that to hide himself, he put all his rebellious thoughts in a spider to keep them for later and to avoid death. Could that spider be acting on his drives? (Or perhaps it drank some of the Revelation coolaid and is now free. It likes people.

Maintenance on the ship
It is really all about the Spiders. The Spiders are The Tool of Maintenance. They are his army of semi-autonomous robots. These arachnoid inspired bots handle the routine ship systems maintenance, and upkeep on the other systems (lifesystem). The largest bots are on the outside of the ship. They handle all pod motion, large plate replacement, and other ship key systems. There are a few interior uber movers currently warehoused in the central axis. Mostly there are spider bots. The classic spider bots are 3/4th the side of a man. These bots have a tool built into their primary hands, suitable to pry, cut, weld, spin, manipulate, and so on. They work on plumbing, the plasma systems, air ducts, conduits of all sorts, panels, supports, and everything else that is not organic. They also have a reserve of carbon fiber goo, that can be used to temporary repair on materials. They are prevalent in the Struts and in the service areas around. While they keep the ship moving, they are the bane of every tweener and most roamers. They are the “natural danger” for people who are where people should not be. Lastly, the smallest bots, the ever popular dung spider, are the recycling engine of the ship. Working in concert with Lifesystems, these spiders pick up “refuse” both inorganic and organic. They bring it back to returner points . From there, the various system return and process the material so it can be used appropriately.

I am about 100% happy about this one. I think it could need some more. It definitely needs more when dealing with the plots.
 
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