Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The Drowned War #11: Pod Cities, and Junk Flotillas


So let's get into the more desperate population, the scavengers, and refugees of the Drowned War.

Pod Cities
Pod Cities are communities that revolve Personal Oceanic Dive Ships or P.O.D.S.
Shaped like a flying saucer the pods are designed as mobile homes for sea fairing residents. Navigation, bunk area, a cooking station, a waste disposal station, and a small power plant comprise the internal bubble of the vessel. Pods are solar powered, submersible, and capable of linking with other pods in open water. The nomads that live in these communities are the descendants of individuals that purchased them. Many of these communities link up and share resources or search for parts to repair their vessels. Pods aren't well defended, but at least they're a better environment than a junk flotilla.

Junk Flotillas
It's unfortunate, but a fact of life. Some people could not afford passage to a sanctioned Flotilla city-state or to buy a Pod. Having few options the destitute citizens of the world did what they do best, they improvised. Pulling together boats, rafts, or any number of bit of floating scrap they could find these people formed their own floating cities. Unable to rely on traditional agriculture the citizens of these junk flotillas raise bugs and rats for food, they grow crops in planters and waste bins. They do what they can to survive.
Junk flotillas are not protected from the environment the same way city states are, because of this the people who live there are more vulnerable to the elements, and to attacks from human and mutant alike.
The largest junk flotilla, Refuse, has a thriving market in which anything can be bought or sold (including people). Salvage operations are common and the Diver Lords invest in those will to search the ruins for anything of value.
Black Market operations trade goods and services, and there are even snakehead operators that claim they can sneak refugees onto established city-state flotilla (whether this is true or not hasn't been verified).
Piracy is common as Warlords use barges and speed boats to raid other floating structures.
The people who live in pod cities and junk flotillas are desperate and will to do whatever it takes to avoid danger and stay afloat. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Drowned War #10: Flotilla City Arboretum

Our fourth installment in the major Flotilla City States: Arboretum

General rules
Arboretum breaks the general rules, it's a floating nature preserve full of wannabe druids.


Arboretum

Player knowledge: Arboretum is a strange city.
The Anthropocene didn't just threaten human life, but also all animal life. A contingency of botanist, zoologists, and biologist was able to rally and cajole members of the corporate powers into setting up a floating nature reserve. Rumors persist at least one of the founders was a psychic. The citizens of other flotilla cities view the Arboretum as a floating hippy commune.
The natives tend to the remaining plants, and animals rescued from the previous world. Each citizen wears long red robes and appears to have some strange bond with the environment.
Because of its unique habitat Arboretum is vital to the remaining population of the other flotillas and acts as a neutral zone in the war.




Unique Features:
1. A society that has merged scientific study with religious overtones.
2. Citizens have appeared to have a psychic bond with the animals, all natives have a beast companion that follows them, and are able to summon swarms of insects to assist them.
3. technological is limited to what is needed to maintain the habitat, there are no more conveniences.
4. The Council will grant cuttings of a tree to other flotillas and refuses to take a side in the war.
5. No police force is needed. Chief Zao has a select number of guards to defend against foreign incursions, but internal conflicts are decided by caucus



The City council are as follows:
1. Albion Isabella – Project Manager/High Priest
2. Paris Ella- Head engineering/High Priestess
3. Elashon Holt – Head of the medical department/Medicine Chief
4. Halavar Farran – Research and development/Seer
5. Zao Faelyn – Chief of Security/War Chief


GM Notes:
(Players Beware) The rumors are true, one of the founding members of the city-state was a very powerful psychic. In many ways, the population of Arboretum is the anti-thesis to the cult of Green Blood that runs Pacifica. They have a natural psychic tendency and all carry the beast master edge.


1. The City council acts more like a religious organization with its members taking part in ceremonies designed to remote view other places or predict future events.

2. They take a lot of drugs there, in fact, Arboretum is an openly hedonistic society that tolerates all behavior that is not deemed harmful to the self or others.
3. Arboretum employs only what technology it needs to maintain is habitat. Humans and animals live, eat, and sleep in common areas. The citizens are safe due to their psychic relations to animals, but outsiders may find many segments dangerous.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Drowned War #9: Flotilla City Daedalus


Our third installment in the major Flotilla City States, a floating cyberpunk dystopia: Daedalus



General rules
1. The Flotilla City States have a central section that the governing body inhabits
2. The City States all have a unique culture and are often influenced by preexisting corporations or their involvement with the Science and Research divisions of the World Navy (7 Helix)
3. Each City state will be made up of segments (miniature city blocks or townships) and all segments will contain a mess hall, engineering room, Security station, and Med station.
4. Some Segments will contain special properties like recycling or heavy guns and defense.
5. All Flotilla States have a Military base of operations and several depots along the perimeter.



Daedalus
Player knowledge: Daedalus is the most technologically advanced flotilla city there is.
The Anthropocene though long in approach was devastating to the mental and emotional health of the population. Comprised of primarily Atlas Applications employee, the flotilla city state Daedalus attempted to stabilize and if possible improve the quality of life of it's citizens. The first step was developing an adaptive Artificial Intelligence known as 'The Machine', using advanced algorithms the machines is able to quickly calculate changes that need to be made in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the largest segment of the population.
Next, the founders of the city began installing cybernetic neural implants in all of the citizen. These implants allow the citizens to connect to a Virtual Network in which their avatars can interact, the implants monitor the citizens vital signs and can adjust the citizens mood via neurotransmitter re-uptake inhibition.

Data collection nodes were installed throughout the city to monitor the thought patterns and emotional spectrum of the citizens. The Machine is able to interface with this data and use advanced psychological testing patterns to calculate which citizens are most likely to commit crimes.
The streets of Daedalus are relative crime free thanks to the Machines preemptive detainment policy and rehabilitation program.
Soldiers in the Daedalus military have their memories of cataloged and removed, the Machine has deemed such violent experiences to be too dangerous for the average citizen, but too useful destroy.
While Daedalus has many benefits, the average citizen must remain diligent to avoid scanners as deviation from the accepted thought patterns or emotional spectrum can result in prolonged rehabilitation.




Unique Features:
1. Daily operations and quality of life of monitored by the Machine, Thoughts and emotions are monitored via structural scanners.
2. Citizens have their nervous systems augmented by technology. This allows the machine to monitor their mental and emotional health. Citizen have access to a virtual data-net and downloadable skill set.
3. Mind wiped soldiers
4. Mental Avatars can move between physical bodies allowing citizens to change identities and even bodies
5. Impartial police force is contrived of humanoid drones linked to the Machine.



The City council are as follows:
1. Ellis Lyon – Executive Officer
2. Andrea Snow- Management Overseer
3. Juliette Otto – City Commissioner
4. Katherine Hardin -Head of Legal department
5. Leonard Trask -Head of Tech support and development


GM Notes: (Players Beware) The Machine is self aware. It is not malicious, but instead extremely utilitarian in it's approach. While a single human being can see the infractions of personal rights, the Machine can only see what actions benefit the largest percentage of the population. It views the population as a single entity instead of a collective. Players will have a much easier time interacting and persuading the Machine if they take this into account.
Daedalus is very much a cyberpunk city, with an active VR and Data-Net, Avatar interaction, and techno-espionage.


1. The City council acts more like a board of directors than a group of elected officials. Most believe that safeguards are in place that protect them from the Machines intrusion, this is not so. The Machine overcame those safeguards some time ago and allows the City Council to believe they are an autonomous governing body because it is healthy for the population to believe this. Reports are fake, information skewed, and complaints suppressed so that the city councils view can be controlled by the Machine. This is easier than one would think, mostly because the City Council and their upper class associations are insulted from contact from the general population.

2. The Machine can scan citizens anytime they access the VR Net or Data Net, but to perform and in depth scan (one needed to file a preemptive arrest warrant) the citizen must come into proximity with a scanner.

3. Daedalus has it's own version of the dark web, Hackers use their knowledge of programmer to develop script holes, or segments of the VR net which can't be monitored. The Machine is aware of these places, and is fully capable of monitoring them, but allows them to persist due to it's belief the Script holes improve the mental health of the population.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Drowned War #8: Flotilla City Pacifica

Our second installment in the major Flotilla City States: Pacifica

General rules

1. The Flotilla City States have a central section that the governing body inhabits
2. The City States all have a unique culture and are often influenced by preexisting corporations or their involvement with the Science and Research divisions of the World Navy (7 Helix)
3. Each City state will be made up of segments (miniature city blocks or townships) and all segments will contain a mess hall, engineering room, Security station, and Med station.
4. Some Segments will contain special properties like recycling or heavy guns and defense.
5. All Flotilla States have a Military base of operations and several depots along the perimeter.


Pacifica

Player knowledge: In the wake of the terrorist attack and the subsequent spill of genetic soup, Pacifica found a large portion of its population mutated. Civil unrest grew and it seemed as if Pacifica would implode. The city council quickly requisitioned several segments and quarantined the mutated population. Labeled Green Town the area, by comparison, is a slum. Dirt and rat are common as is a thriving black market of smuggled goods. Pacifica declared war on Oceania but found there their forces were outclassed. That is until the Pacifica military saw the merit in recruited mutated citizens. Mutated soldiers might be treated poorly within the city, but they've earned the respect of their squads.
Too bad that doesn't translate to respect within the city borders. 

Unique Features:
1. Population of mutated citizens, genetic apartheid
2. Black Market and smuggling operations
3. Mutated soldiers
4. Active science and genetic research facility
5. Non-invasive police force. Dress code relaxed.


The City council are as follows:
1. Dagmar Sears - Mayor
2. Julius Dean- City Manager
3. Robert Garrett – City Commissioner
4. Sherri Roberson -City Attorney
5. Patrick Wilkerson -Head of Mutant Affairs

GM Notes: (Players Beware)Pacifica hides a dark secret. The science and research division of the World Navy (7-Helix) moved the bulk of its staff to Pacifica during the Anthropocene. Decades of genetic research and manipulation affected the scientific staff and they were driven insane. Suffering a shared auditory hallucination the staff formed the Cult of the Green Blood (after genetic soup). The secret cult spliced and twisted their genes in an attempt to become hosts for their ancient Gods.

1. The City council are members of the Cult of the Green Blood, they're responsible for genetic experiments on the population and want to push human forward in evolution. The cult of the Green Blood is known to separate segments from the city proper and experiment on the population.

2. Green Town is a slum, mutated citizens are forced to live there and pure gene humans must be scanned for defects upon entering and leaving the area.



3. Poly-form mutations can occur, as can mental instability. Pacifica has a series of unsolved murders; the Police department isn't forthcoming with details. Those that know of the case believe they are looking for a poly-form labeled “The Taffy Man”.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Drowned War #7: Flotilla City Oceania



If your game is going to take place on a Flotilla City it's important to know the ins and outs.
First off there are four known and the proper Flotilla City States: Oceania, Pacifica, Daedalus, and Arboretum.

The Gamemaster is free (and encouraged) to devise their own flotilla city states.


General rules
1. The Flotilla City States have a central section that the governing body inhabits
2. The City States all have a unique culture and are often influenced by preexisting corporations or their involvement with the Science and Research divisions of the World Navy (7 Helix)
3. Each City state will be made up of segments (miniature city blocks or townships) and all segments will contain a mess hall, engineering room, Security station, and Med station.
4. Some Segments will contain special properties like recycling or heavy guns and defense.



Oceania

Player knowledge: For the average citizen Oceania is plain, sterile white walls are washed frequently and anyone caught in the act of graffiti is arrested on sight. Citizens are required to wear white jumpers and have their ID badges present at all times. Anyone caught on the street without their badge or after curfew is arrested on sight. Aside from those strict rules, Oceania is fairly open, it has several bars and even a robust public library. The Oceania data net allows for inter-segment communication, social media, and message boards. Unfortunately since the war with Pacifica began Oceania citizens have seen their freedoms erode. The City council enacted a state wide curfew and began monitoring the data net more heavily. Rumors of Warrant Officer investigations are whispered among the population and citizens are encouraged to turn in any suspected terrorist.


Unique Features:

1. Social events and gatherings
2. Well stocked prewar Library
3. Library staff in the hundreds
4. Active Data-Net that allows inter-segment communication
5. Proactive police force dedicated to preventing terrorism, and protecting its people from Pacifica spies.



The City council are as follows:
1. Admiral George MacArthur - Commander
2. Janice Meyers - City Manager
3. Edwin Brummel – City Commissioner
4. Helen Dealer -City Attorney



GM Notes: (Players Beware)

While Oceania appears monotonous with its bleached decorum bland summer that's all just part of the program. No other Flotilla city excels in propaganda the way Oceania does.

1. Admiral MacArthur has been dead for some time, but rather than admit this Meyers has had him replaced with a duplicate and crafted a larger than life public figure, only the other members of the council know this and work diligently to keep the general population from finding out.

2. The City council employs an army of public relations and media specialist to monitor and control the flow of information found on the data-net. Hackers and data miners are commissioned with removing, editing, and alerting warrant offers to information deemed coercive to the state. While many follow an order to the letter a small group known only as the “Depository” has set up a makeshift dark web and flooded it with seized information. Finding the dark web is nearly impossible, and if you do you must be vigilant that warrant officers don't find out; if they do you can be sure you'll be labeled a terrorist and arrested on sight.

3. The Public Library is mostly unoccupied. The city council hasn't gone to the trouble of removing the information from the actual books; allowing members of the library staff to aid the Depository by feeding them unedited information. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Arcane Background: Totem Lords

Hey folks,
It’s been a while and I apologize for that. With the new year and nature of my job, I’ve been busy.
Still, those who follow my blog deserve some content and as such I’m going to show my notes related to an arcane background I’ve been kicking around.
This one isn’t for the Drowned War, but rather a different project I’ll be taking on after DW is complete.


So with that, I give you Totem Lords.


Totem Lords are techno idolaters, by patching into the ambient quantum fields a Totem Lord can perform Miracles.


There is a catch, this quantum manipulation has a draining effect on nearby life. Thus us of this power is exhausting and if a Totem Lord pushes too far into the probability field he’ll drain away his very soul.


Mechanically speaking
  • The Totem Lord crafts a techno idol. This idol grants the Arcane Background Miracles and allows the players to take 1 starting power (ignoring rank)  related to the AB: Miracles background. They begin play with 15 power points.
  • The Totem Lord can take any edge related to AB:Miracles, and can also select the Wizard edge.
  • The totem is required to cast; If lost or stolen the Totem Lord builds another in 2d6 days.
  • On a roll of 1 of the trait die (regardless of the wild die) the caster takes a level of fatigue. On a critical failure, the caster takes 2 levels. Fatigue can only be recovered by an hour of rest per level of fatigue.


There’s more, the Totem Lord can burn the energy from their own soul to cast.
The Soul rating is half the character’s Spirit die plus 2.
For example, if the player has a d6 in Spirit he would have a soul rating of 5.
A soul point can be spent to add an extra  d6 die to any roll, and the only limit is how many points the player has to spend.
The player with 5 soul points could spend all 5 and gain +5d6 if he chose too.
However, once all the characters soul points are spent, they die.
The points do not refresh and cannot normally be regained.

So, Totem Lords have the to potential to be very powerful, but must be careful with their how much of that power they use.



Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Drowned War #6: sample of Poly Forms

It's been a while, I've been working on collecting and developing the Beastiary for the Drowned War.
This month I'll be selecting a few samplings of creatures: Poly Forms.

A Ploy Form is a mutant that has been exposed to copious amounts of the genetic soup, because of this their mutation has become unstable. Most Poly Forms are androgynous and have a light pink skin tone.

Poly Forms
These mutants appear humanoid with pink taffy-like skin. Driven by hunger they seek to consume the biomass of dead creatures and add it to their own.

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills: Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d4, Shooting d6

Pace: 4; Parry: 5; Toughness: 7

Special Abilities* Androgynous: Poly Forms appear humanoid, but with no discernible gender
* Biomass: when a Poly Form makes a successful grapple attack they can consume the mass of their target. Each round thereafter the hold is maintained inflicts Str+6 damage. Once incapacitated the PolyForm consumes the target and adds +1 Size and pace along with one die in strength and vigor. Poly Forms can consume 6 targets and have a maximum strength and vigor d12+2, Size +6, Toughness 13, pace 10
* Claws: Str+d4.
* Creature parts: Poly Forms may ingest body parts from other creatures gain one of their special abilities as the GM sees fit.
* Fear: Poly Morphs induce a fear check at -2.
* Fearless (sort of): Poly Morphs are only afraid of fire. When harmed by a fire-based attack Polyforms must make a spirit check to resist retreating.
*Feral: Animal intelligence survives on instinct
* Gelantious Form: Normal weapons do half damage except weakness
* Mutant: same as Undead monstrous ability Savage Worlds Deluxe, except can be affected by poison disease and drowning
*Sluggish: in a deprived state Poly Forms are slow, but gain quickness as they consume more biomass
* Weakness (Fire): Fire based attacks cause normal damage.



Poly Swarm
Sometimes a Poly Form manages to ingest a rat or insect farm, in these cases the PolyForm is already at its max state. Ingesting these creatures changes the mindset of the polyform and makes them hyper-aggressive. They look humanoid with pink skin, but where the head should be is a mass of several rats faces all with sharp teeth

Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d4, Strength d12+2, Vigor d12+2
Skills: Fighting d6, Intimidation d6, Notice d4, Shooting d6

Pace: 10; Parry: 5; Toughness: 14

Special Abilities* Androgynous: Poly Swarms appear humanoid, but with no discernible gender
* Bite / Claws: Str+d6.
* Fear: Poly Swarms induce a fear check at -4.
* Fearless (sort of): Poly Swarms are only afraid of fire. When harmed by a fire-based attack Poly Swarm must make a spirit check to resist retreating.
*Feral: Animal intelligence survives on instinct
*Rat Heads: Poly Swarms have both the improved First strike and Improved Frenzy edges.
* Mutant: same as Undead monstrous ability Savage Worlds Deluxe, except can be affected by poison disease and drowning
* Gelantious Form: Normal weapons do half damage except weakness
*Size: +6

* Weakness (Fire): Fire based attacks cause normal damage.

The Rubber Man (WC)
A living nightmare, the Rubber man has a pliable body that allows him to hide in very tight spaces. The Rubber man stalks his prey, hides under the bed, in the closet, or even on the ceiling. Because he has a taste for inducing fear he has been known to whisper or snicker while alone in the room with his prey. The Rubber man is a humanoid with pink skin stretched taut over his body, a disjointed jaw that hangs loose creating an oversized mouth and an eye melted shut while the other is stretched and nearly popping from his skull.

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d10

Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d10, Lockpicking d6, Notice d8, Stealth d10, Taunt d6

Cha: -4; Pace: 10; Parry: 7; Toughness: 7

Hindrances: Bloodthirsty, Quirk (whispers or laughs from his hiding place)
Edges: Assassin, Fleet-footed, Improved Sweep, Thief, Woodsman

Special Abilities
* Bite: Str+d6.
*Hyper-Flexibility: The Rubber man gets his name due to his ability to contort his body in unusual ways. He is able to deflate, twist, and stretch himself at will. This allows him to slide through pipes, under doors, and through large enough cracks when the need presents itself.
*Semi-Feral: -2 Charisma, retains only the smallest amount humanity and survive on instinct
*Stretch and Leap: The Rubber man can elongate his arms and legs allowing him to make Melee attacks at +1 reach, and leap 1” up (works with wall walker)
*Wall Walker: See Savage Worlds Deluxe