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đź’€ Necro WIR Base Raiders

Teapot

Drunk
Validated User
Lets look at minions, they come in quality from +1 to +3, they gain a bonus as a group +1 per added minion and they can't take consequences. They don't have skills they have scopes and use their numbers quickly then they vanish under the weight of the PCs. You can use your FATE point budget to buy them better tiers or gifts. There's a note that getting them more defense is just going to make the conflict drag, much better to give them chainsaws.

Here's a street gang:

Average Minions: The Rank and File
• Scopes: One scope at Average (+1).
• Stress Threshold: 1 (For every point of stress the
group takes, it loses a Minion)
• Default Group Size: Five. A group of five Av-
erage quality Minions will have an effective scope
of Superb (+5).
• Best Purpose: To make the PCs look good. At
this quality, a PC with a Superhuman Tier attack
skill will go through most Average Minions like a
hot knife through Minions. The whole point of these
Minions is that they go down in one punch. If you
want the PCs to face a literal horde of enemies
and emerge victorious, make them Average-quality
Minions.
• Recommended Power Tier: Mundane or Ex-
traordinary. If you want them tougher or more of a
threat than that, use Fair or Good Minions instead.
For human Minions, an Extraordinary Tier scope
should usually be justified with special equipment
as opposed to inherent ability. (If they had that
much inherent ability, they probably wouldn’t be
stuck being Minions.) No Average-quality Minion
should be even close to a match for a PC in a one-
on-one fight, so don’t beef them up too much.
It's pretty quick and easy for building combats. A bit more work than the ORE version but that's okay.

And we're building adversaries. They have a different starting refresh, because you see they have unlimited FATE points, so spend all that refresh on magic swords. However they gain refresh (to blow on gifts and tiers) when the PCs spend FATE points on them and it goes over their refresh. Which is really cool.

They play fast and loose with the rules, their best skill can go to +5 and there's only reason to write down their important skills, not the whole pyramid. They have group consequences.

Villains are like super PCs, they start with 12 or more refresh and their skills go to +6 if you like. In their element they should be a match for more than one PC.

Group consequences come up, you have a number depending on the number of adversaries, it's a pool for all of them to use.

Next time is a totally different part with power interaction rules.

And a question, how much do we care about these sections? I feel like I'm putting a lot of unneeded words here.
 

DannyK

One Shot Man
Validated User
I'll be honest, when and if I get a chance to run Base Raiders, I'll probably do it with Atomic Robo RPG since that has a lot of the good features of Strange Fate but is a lot more streamlined, so I'm not as interested in the mechanics as the fluff. But I'm reading the whole thread either way.
 

Teapot

Drunk
Validated User
Cool, I'll cool it on the rules talk a bit, plus the FATE stuff is I assume pretty standard for FATE and not the interesting bit. Now to fly in the face of that let's talk about the Advanced Power Interaction rules. But in my defense this is something new and semi definitive for Base Raiders.

[Total tangent: back when dirt was newer I remember playing Heroes Unlimited, I also remember the April Fool's edition of the Rifter(tm, © etc.) where they had the joke question about mutating a character with other superpowers and giving them gadgets etc. The answer was a joke about powergaming but it's kind of a fair question if a source is available.]

Back on track:

In a world with super science, magic, psychic powers,
and alien technology, occasionally one person gains
power from two or more sources. This was a rare event
before Ragnarok, as the Ideal and the UN did every-
thing they could to limit access to superpowers. Even
their own members were discouraged from pursuing
additional powers. As a result, even their greatest sci-
entists and mystics knew little in how superpowers in-
teracted with each other. Today, base raiders who ex-
periment on themselves have learned more about the
art of mixing disparate superpowers in a single body.
At chargen you can't get burn, so spend your points and no more. Also some non-humans can't get some sources (no drugs for robots etc.) focuses are special and you need two sources to get any of these.

As long as you've got the skill/refresh to buy skills you're golden. But when you spot weld a plasma cannon to your chest without the points for it things get interesting. Interesting is from Burn, the power sources eating you from the inside out. Burn is a number, skill points are 1 to 1 and refresh are worth 3. So being 2 skill and 1 refresh away from paying means you have 5 burn. At 16 burn you're dead and walking but under that you're just taking on negatives like losing stress capacity and taking special consequences from the Miscibility Table.

Your Burn comes from one of three options, I feel like each option is an extra aspect on the power but it isn't said here.
Untrained: not enough skill points, may be invoked to reroll a success or hit the wrong target.
Unstable: not enough refresh, gets invoked to re-roll success and make the power fizzle.
Best is Chaotic: short on both ends, this can be compelled to do anything the GM thinks is funny/harmful with the power, maybe uncontrolled laser blasts in the bathroom or your flight turning off or targeting random people with mind control.

I like this. I think it needs to be a bit more explicitly called out as a temporary aspect until you pay it off but it's cool and I would totally use it.

Then you look at the burn table again and see if you need any more consequences, there are three levels, minor which you have to pay 2 refresh for, moderate which costs 1 and severe which is totes free. Examples of the three:

Weakened Power: One of the character’s
Strange Skills loses one of its trappings of the char-
acter’s choice.

Inefficient Power Mixture : One of the char-
acter’s Strange Skills becomes dramatically weak-
er. The character chooses one of his Strange Skills
and halves its skill bonus (round down). The skill
drops one power tier unless the Strange Skill is
already at mundane tier. In that case, the skill loses
all but one trapping of the player’s choice.

Nullified Power: One of the character’s other
Strange Skills no longer works. The character may
not choose the power that inflicted this Miscibility
consequence on him. If the power tier of the nul-
lified Strange Skill is lower than the new Strange
Skill, the character permanently loses a number of
composure or health stress capacity equal to the
difference in refresh cost, which is 0 for mundane,
1 for extraordinary, 2 for superhuman, 4 for ascen-
dant, and 6 for godlike. For example, a character
that loses a superhuman Strange Skill (2 refresh
cost) in exchange for a godlike Strange Skill (6 re-
fresh cost), must give up 4 points from health and/
or composure stress capacity. If the character can-
not do this, the character cannot use either Strange
Skill until he can lower his burn rating.
Similarly each level has a appearance change consequence which starts at something like white hair and ends with ye liveliest awfulness. Biggest gripe here is I'd like to see a few more.

But you can get positive consequences too, they cost refresh and are not especially interesting beyond what they represent, a potent mix of capabilities from multiple sources working in concert.

Focus based powers work differently, they can be accessible, which means no cost, just grab and use, which are valuable and awesome to skilled which cost points and only for specific people/groups. It's a bit confusing though, I think most of them are “Training” which means spend points, but it says no refresh which is odd though nice for power armor... I assume that's not how it works? The example “Rust Bucket” suit of power armor seems to want refresh so let's say that's settled.

Now we have example power sources such as:
Cybernetic Network Implant
Cost: 6 skill points and 1 refresh
Power: Satellite Network Link (p. 145)
Time to Gain Power: 6 hours for surgery and 1
day of training
Description: The implant is very small, but must be
surgically installed from a skilled doctor. This requires
a Science +2 (E) skill test and 6 hours of surgery. Once
installed, the character must spend a day to learn how
the mental interface works.
Fun.

I like this section, it adds the chance for comedy and tragedy in equal measures, it's also a fun idea that wasn't in other games. I would like to add that a bit more about mixing would be nice. But it's good.

Next time is base building which is fun. When I did it with my group we wound up with a model of the Hoth base from The Empire Strikes Back that Harrison Ford built while crazy in the 90s, it had been taken over by psychic penguins who piloted mecha, they were locked in war with Scientoligists who were also interested in the island.

To get a taste, listen to the first bit of Bayou Beatdown where the RPPR crew builds a base for their later targeting.
 

Teapot

Drunk
Validated User
So a base has seven aspects:

1. Location gives the overall feel, a place under a junkyard gives a different vibe than a place in the suburbs which is different than a place in another dimension.
2. Builder/Owner may or may not be the same, who built it and who used it.
3. Purpose gives the base its' goal, was it for logistics or to guard something, a workshop or prision.
4. Inhabitants were here but now who knows. The people or things that watched the base, cyborg animals or bound spirits.
5. Contents what did the owner keep here? Gold? Weapons? Stolen art? Vintage vinyl? The good stuff.
6. Defenses traps, guardians, monsters, spells, what keeps the base safe?
7. History, changes in ownership or neglect or hidden crimes, may be secret from PCs.

So these things are the elements and aspects of building a base. It's a cooperative thing though. You start with the PCs picking one and saying what it is. Then the GM chooses one to be connected, so if the PCs say it's “Full of demons” (the inhabitants) the GM may decide it's a prison (purpose) or if the players say the contents are “Shittons of gold” the GM might decide it was built by Goldbug.

That's as far as it has to go, then the GM uses the elements to create the base. To get more elements is where the fun begins. The PCs use their skills to learn about the base, for each remaining element each PC suggests a rumor. The GM sets a target number and everyone dices for it with an appropriate skill. You can't use the same skill twice in a row. The highest roll gets to pick the rumor to be true. However depending on the party's rolls the GM may also get to modify or outright change the rumor, so the PCs won't know that aspect.

In the base you can use the aspects in situations where they come up, but beware, if the GM changed the aspect you'll lose a FATE point for nothing tagging a non-existent aspect.

Having done this it's great fun, the rolling is pretty quick and the going around the table for different elements gives the players a chance to come up with crazy fun stuff. I had hoped for a livelier thread where we could do a base, if a few people want to we can certainly give it a go.

When I did this I was using ORE, so I just rolled a pool and after the PC's gobbled each other for the naming rights I checked my roll, if I was above the PCs I quietly made changes.

Next time is Loot, which is the life blood of your characters.
 

Teapot

Drunk
Validated User
Loot, the cause and solution to most problems. It's the abstraction for wealth and how you total value for stolen/looted goods. It comes in bulk, a new FATE thing for encumbrance.

You sell it on the black market or at the recycling center at a ratio somewhere between 2:1 (good luck) and 10:1 and take the proceeds to use to upgrade yourself and pay off burn or put them towards goals.

And I think I just failed a math roll because I'm still not quite seeing this:

On average, selling
to the black market on a short notice will get a 5:1 to
ratio. In other words, when the characters sell to the
black market, for 50 points of loot, they can gain 1
skill point. The advantage of selling to the black mar-
ket though, is their availability and their speed. The
bazaars are always open and characters can sell their
loot in a matter of hours.
My best guess is that it's not “selling” as much as “laundering” then you convert? Either way you can get points to upgrade and such.

Also, if the PCs are selling something and want a better value they can make a contacting roll and take time (days) to arrange a more appreciative buyer. The GM rolls in secret and a failure means the authorities notice or the buyer double crosses them or another team jumps them for their shiny loot.

I like this and selling something of immeasurable worth would make a pretty good game. I'm thinking a potion of youth might be in this category.

Next we have a bit about salvaging loot from bases, including a list of kinds of loot, including debris (1 loot point per 200 bulk, so bring a dump truck) to data which has no bulk and variable loot value. Also note that the price/value of super powers and sources isn't here, it'll come up in the Boost Patch supplement.

But Loot, like building bases is one of the new parts of the game and kind of a major one. Given how you need to clear a chapter (I think) to get a skill point, you only level up by loot and getting it is a big deal. It locks the PCs into a place where they need some kind of supply chain of loot if they want to work on goals and develop new powers. It's a good way though and the GM can control the growth by controlling the loot offered.
 

Teapot

Drunk
Validated User
Chapter 9, NPCs with names.

So we start with a note that each NPC is either a hero or villain, the most important difference being that the hero ones are built as pre-gens. Also a little talk about the new powers, importantly what motivates them. To sum up:

Whatever the case, the new generation
does not believe they are defenders of the Status Quo
(like the old heroes did) or rebels against a corrupt
regime (like the old villains). They have their own agen-
das and see their powers as a tool to realize them.
Lastly please note that the hero NPCs are loosely connected and loosely tied to The Zombie Factory (a scenario in this very book.)

We get a “how to use” bit for the NPCs but let's skip that for now.

Instead meet Beatrice, the pretty porcelain golem and a leader of The Underground. She was created by an alchemist to be a spy and over time came to fear him and ran away. She has some sorcery and is a bit of a social monster, but she's weak against kinetic force so there's that. She could be a patron, a ruthless boss, a confidant (she has the aspect “Base Raiders Tell the Best Stories”) or a PC going along with the party working on agendas of the council. Pretty cool.

Death Token is the big ugly guy from the front cover, he was once a man but now is sort of an alien zombie maker. He's a combat monster we'll get to a bit more in the adventure.

Emily: You can now read “Pariah,” a short story about her for free. Cool. Short version she's the connected to the Dark Pariah a psychic force/being of immense power. Emily wants to save her sister from cancer, the Dark Pariah wants a host body but the saving can come first. She and her little buddy Edge Cutter (a companion gift) have tricked the cops and made friends with Fetch in their quest to loot Biomancer's stuff. Also nicely added in is her father who is apparently a deeply flawed parent but just wants his daughter to come home, he's reported her missing but kept quiet about her powers. He's a good hook for new PCs to hunt her.

She's listed as medium power but a note about her one unique skill:

Power Tier: Godlike
Shoot + Psychic, Variable [Scene] x5 + Psychic

Holy crap. If she shoots at a normal human she gets a +12 from tier difference, with her +4 skill bonus she's pretty unstoppable even with the oodles of drawbacks. Anyhow.

Fetch is a friendly yet naĂŻve gecko/lizard/misc reptile human hybrid created by Biomancer in his less heroic actions. Fetch was raised by robots and taught to be a robotic killer, he hid his empathy deep for survival in those days, and eventually made the rank of base guardian. There he was very lonely until Emily broke in and used her powers to mind link and they became friends. Now he's learning about the big world with his new friends. He's another cool character and a him/Emily team is pretty potent. Also I think there may be an error in his skill point calculations but that's neither here nor there.

Haruspex was a conwoman before Ragnarok and after she popped up with her new name and a crystal from the Tunguska Zone, it talks to her and offers her power in exchange for spreading its' song. She started by starting a cult, preaching meditation and such and using lots of money and her crystal given psychic powers to avoid trouble. Now she wants to keep brainwashing new converts and give them some powers so she had better minions.

She's a psychic powerhouse and noteworthy for being from the New Arcadia game (more or less) with the Peace Aura, so she's a problem that is pretty unsolvable by punching. Here the aura is just for herself but I think I'd extend it a bit so everyone has to play nice. She's a mastermind type though more of a socialite.

Iconoclast, one of two partial clones/daughters of Pangloss, Iconoclast is the fun punk rock one, who wants to upgrade humanity and be a hero. She pays for this by selling on the black market, she set herself up there by robbing the mob, they are angry. She's the lady from the front cover, sharp and connected with an alarmingly effective gun.

Knight Errant is the dude from the cover, once a CSI guy and super fanboy he found an energy sword and power armor after Ragnarok and became a super hero/mugger of criminals. Naturally crime went up, because that's what happens when you run around punching poor people and breaking things. So now he's trying to get a team and make inroades to the base raider community. He's teamed up with Iconoclast as long as she'll fight crime with him. He's a bit crazy and full of himself but he does have a big fuck off sword and that counts for a lot.

Paragon, the stern unfun daughter of Pangloss, while Iconoclast got the science part of Pangloss, Paragon has the ruthless organizational skills and some psychic powers. She's consolidating power in the criminal world though the book doesn’t give her a firm goal. I liked her in the New Arcadia campaign where her plan was to turn California into a libertarian paradise where humans could evolve into superhumans in freedom. Either way she's pretty good on most fronts and would work well as a major antagonist. But might want to upgrade some of her tiers if she wants to survive two shots from Emily.

Peter Silvertail, part coyote, part bugs bunny, he used to be a lawyer for the Ideal and before that he was a trickster from a children's book brought to life by crazy magic. When the heroes came to fix everything he tricked them and stayed right in existence. He's good with knowing things and talking, and thanks to his walking human disguise he can be physical as well. Though he also has the aspect “Actually a Rabbit” which the GM invokes to make him chew all the wires. He's a fun guy and another hit from the New Arcadia game.

Pilgrim/Scrap Man a former sidekick, he missed Ragnarok and was trying to figure it out when some base raiders came into the base he was using, he beat them and realized he would need to protect his friends pads while they were gone. It's going to be more and more impossible and that's going to make him more and more angry and violent. He's set up to start sympathetic and go towards murderous, his powers are meant to keep him versatile and he's got a space station to hide in so he's pretty dangerous.

And those are the named folk. They're a pretty good mix, the heroes together would be a hell of a party, a bit OP really. But each has goals and plans and I appreciate that. Also they did keep to the idea of not the old guys here. So it's a pretty successful chapter. And I'd be remiss if I didn't call out the artwork as being extra good. Especially Paragon and Iconoclast come out with interesting looks and good details. I'll try to get it up in the next couple of days.
 

Teapot

Drunk
Validated User
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As promised here are the daughters of Pangloss. There's a third one but no one knows anything about her, if the New Arcadia story is a thing to go on she's a memetic virus and more dangerous than every named NPC in the whole book.

Anyway these two pictures capture the NPCs pretty well, I think this is one of the cases where the image is at least the equal of the words for describing them/giving us a feeling of how they live and what they're like.

The other pictures in this section are good too. Emily looks like a BAMF, Pilgrim is dedicated but kind of losing. Also, special shout out to the Peter Silvertail one, he's so cute, even though he looks like he's on the can reading.
 

Teapot

Drunk
Validated User
Chapter Ten: Campaign advice

We start talking about the world and get to:

The current generation of superpowered be-
ings are not doomed to repeat the mistakes of the pre-
vious generation. The future has endless possibilities.
I like it.

You can do a lot with Base Raiders, you don't have to do it all though. Or any, or just a bit. You are kind of in control of your destiny here according to the book. But there are five set out ideas, and at least you ought to grab some of the pieces from these. Which I suppose most people will since they're pretty good and comprehensive.

The first is going towards the super hero story. Still different though, you bought your powers and it's a new world too. That's a bit important because here you can kind of set the tone of the world or at least your corner of it. Think of it as setting boundaries as a PC. Want to kill the bad guys? Go for it. Want to hunt corporate criminals? Seems like a good idea. Going to save the day and teach everyone magic? What could go wrong?

Here is the range of more powerful characters, more direct villains and more open relations between the two. The new breed of super villains are going to be just as inexperienced as the PCs. But the looming danger is going to be criminal orgs boosting up and escalating violence. And they're the bush leagues of what is to come. The section leaves us with a warning that the Status Quo isn't excited about another Ideal:

Taking down street
gangs, serial killers, and costumed villains is fine, but
targeting corporations or other large institutions is not.
Depending on how the characters act, they may be
viewed as dangerous amateurs who needed to be con-
trolled, political dissidents who need to be discredited,
reckless criminals who need to be arrested and put in
jail, or violent terrorists who need to be shot on sight.
Well this ends with campaign structure, which is mostly about connecting various threats and how a mastermind type makes most conflicts better or at least better organized into a story structure.

So since I'm getting slower at this I'll do this section by campaign style, there are five I believe. This first one is both the strongest and the weakest as it's the closest to punching evil and not directly about changing the world. On the other hand it's the strongest idea we have about hero games and becoming the “New Ideal” lets the PCs wind up in a position to change the world anyway. It's the closest to the RPPR New Arcadia game and likely a bunch of fun.

I'll also start this here but I think that making a campaign where different PCs are doing different styles may work as well. I'm trying it now, but the idea of mixing being a hero on a team of base raiders works for me. The hero will naturally drag the others into world saving gambits and against various criminals, assuming a willingness to loot the mafia after you fight them it'd be pretty similar. The real question starts when the escalating happens and how that shakes out.

For this brand of super game I'd suggest the third(?) volume of Manhunter from DC, the intro of Kate. If you assume the evidence room counts as a base she even starts by base raiding, slamming a costume together out of different parts and pressgangs her own version of the Underground:



And seems to be trying to "send a message" though often she also seemed just to be on a vengeance kick. To be fair, it wasn't OOC for Copperhead to murder a couple of guards on his escape but it's also hard to feel bad about him being put down. There was a brief moment with Shadow Thief where she seemed to be trying to go with "do what the courts say and I won't hunt you." Which would be an interesting meme to spread. A lot of dropped threads too, I'm kind of sad they never went further with her being a lawyer for super villains while spying on them and working to flip them. Same with the lack of ripples from that company she toppled (I think that was around the end of the run though.)
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Interesting read. I thought the idea of Base Raiders was fascinating, but Fate versions are a nonstarter with me and anyone I play with, and I'm not sure ORE is much more usable in practice. On the other hand the structure of the game doesn't sound like porting it to other systems would be trivial, so...
 

Teapot

Drunk
Validated User
We're almost to the conversion talk. I think it's both easier and harder to do.

Next up is professional Base Raider, wherein our heroes do as the book title suggests and crack open the Batcave, steal the data from the Bat-computer, grab all the bat shaped weapons they can, and sell the giant penny for scrap.

You're doing it for an agenda but that might just be “get filthy rich.” The opposition here goes beyond the bases and to governments, corporations and rivals all looking for those sweet sweet loot points.

The book suggests three main kinds of adventure, dungeon crawls, mysteries, and MacGuffin hunts. They can be linked, finding a MacGuffin and figuring out where it needs to be then breaking into the place being one combination.

This also suggests a part that I need to use more which is the inherent danger and disruption of being a base raider. Most raiders have to give up their jobs, laser turrets will shoot you and some of those drugs will turn you into a cancerous freak. So in this kind of game make the goals front and center, dangle carrots and keep them in with sticks.

The next type is “Life in the Underground,” where the PCs find themselves being members and possibly agents of the Underground trying to get by in a human world. Here they're non-humans at least according to the Status Quo, without society they have to live below. Here's a good description of a game using this:

They will be expected to raid
bases, fight criminal syndicates, and spy on human
governments for the good of the Underground. If they
survive, they can become influential members and
push the policy they want to implement. Eventually, the
player characters can ascend to the High Council and
see if their decisions save or destroy the Underground.
The players will have to contend with keeping the Underground secure amid criminal plots, corporate skullduggery and disinterested government oppression. More than the first two this seems to be a game of factions, stopping a plot gets the PCs a vendetta and any choices they make will likely annoy two or three of the groups in the Underground. But it's also a game with a chance to play politics, a trusted enough agent can rise up to the leadership and then start making choices that really effect everyone. They might be good ones though.

Next up is “Empowerment Now,” the PCs are a group of people who've plugged in to the DIY superpowers movement. Maybe to survive a tough life or to get ahead at work, maybe they're fulfilling a life goal. The book gives some groups the PCs could be, such as an occult study group and this:

The Ill and Infirm : Many superpowers can re-
verse or heal certain illnesses and long term injuries.
Missing limbs can be replaced with cybernetic pros-
thetics. Some terminally ill people decide that a gam-
ble with an unproven power source is better than cer-
tain death. Many do not even want to extend their lives
though. They want to accomplish something important
before they die.
That's kind of a thing. I like the idea of the game starting with a breakout from the local hospice and a group of people reaching for something that desperately. On the other hand a group of neighborhood guardians trying to keep super meth dealers out seems more like the replacement Ideal than this. On the other hand it recommends Breaking Bad and Downtown Abby as inspiration. And an important thing here seems to be the PCs trying to keep up their lives as normal humans, something kind of left out of the others as much.

It seems pretty cool but I'd be a bit more interested in it for one shots.

Then we have The Truth Behind Ragnarok (is out there) here the PCs powers or no are trying to solve the mystery of the age. What happened and why. Here the opening seems to be the PCs finding something pointing to a truth and have to follow that. They'll be in pitched social battles with rivals and possibly brawling cosmic horrors as they get closer to the elusive truth. Bases are followed here to join clues and open new areas, such as space travel etc.

This style of game focuses on one big mystery from the professional base raiders set, though it's made up of smaller mysteries. It's pretty doable as a framework and nice beginning-middle-end campaign.

So those are the styles presented. I feel like they're a bit more of PC style than game. Example, in the game I'm running now one guy is looking for the truth behind Ragnarok, one wants to be a hero and two are professionals. But I also feel that mixing the motivations of the PCs and the expectations is good too. A lot of these can overlap, base raiding can be a source of money, advancement and clues at the same time bringing people from different styles together, just as a growing bond might bring the professional base raiders along to help a budding hero against criminal goons.

Also this section should have had a small counterpart in the character creation section. It's a good spread of motivations and backgrounds as well as goals.

So next time we'll break from the book itself and talk about the conversion guides, I only can speak about ORE but if any Savage Worlds or Mutants and Masterminds players want to drop in and talk about those that'd be great.
 
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