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Thread: Future Shock

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    Default Future Shock

    This is what I wrote quite a while ago; Enjoy

    Future Shock

    Are humans merely terrestrial creatures? Beyond the solar system, beyond even the Milky Way, in the insurmountably vast universe, parallel strains of humanity have evolved and flourished.

    Planets, some devoid of life, others teeming with an array of species orbit massive suns, themselves caught in the vector of galaxies. Humans are not alone here, other races too share the abundance, or sometimes lack thereof.

    The future has come to these civilisations, for good or ill. Colossal transporter ships seed more planets, while agile Fury class fighters vigorously defend their homeworlds. Cybernetic enhancements and biomechanical upgrades are freely available to those wealthy enough to afford them.
    There is a dark side, crime on many worlds is rampant, on some it has progressed beyond endemic. Brought upon by crushing poverty and draconian rule, these inhabitants wallow in the filth and despair of existence. Wars have extinguished entire peoples. Plagues and diseases have wiped out many more.

    In the midst of all this, these races have ceased to become afraid. Desensitised to the point of extremity, they have ceased to know fear. Calamity to those "lucky" enough.
    For the supernatural is real, a tangible, alive thing. Demons sow discord and devils damn. Evil gods demand worship. Angels and benevolent deities strive to help in any way they can. Hell is very real.

    Curiously, as a remnant of past overdeific might, a phenomenon known as the Iscariot or Sicarius Restrictive greatly limits fiendish incursions or celestial benevolence. Fiends have found a loophole, possessing races so as to liberally indulge in vice and sin, damning their souls for eternity. Angels influence those who have yet the spark of goodness in dreams and visions.

    The winds of change are on the horizon...technologies and spells guarding the races are failing, protective sigils are crumbling into so much dust and ash. An epic spell has reversed the inability to feel fear, magnifying the emotion tenfold.

    One thousand years has passed, like quicksand in the hourglass, fiends and other nasties have began to walk the worlds again...

    The XX

    Based on the world of Novus Lucia, The secretive XX or 20, are a private, almost philanthropic organisation dedicated to the censure and extinction of fiends.

    Originally founded as the Knights of the Rose Cross ten thousand years ago during an event lost to memory, the organisation has survived numerous attempts to destabilise it and tumultuous powerplays.

    The members of the organisation rigorously and diligently adhere to the principle "that which does not kill me only makes me stronger." It is unfortunate though oddly fitting that its rank and file are composed of those who have suffered terribly in some way, mostly if not entirely because of fiends.

    Having witnessed the true nature and full extent of the horror of these fiends first hand, most of these individuals have become emotionally deadened. Most if not all will cry, though without remorse and unflinching, as they exorcise the world of demons, devils and the foul.

    The title of the organisation refers to the sections or departments that comprise it and the individuals that make up the ruling council.
    There are 20 departments, with three each dedicated to combating the three fiendish "races." Raw recruits and those yet inexperienced are naturally present in the lower tiers, with the progressively more powerful in the higher.
    One substantially larger section is devoted entirely to reconnaissance, information gathering and digestion of facts, while another is devoted to surveillance and monitoring.
    One more is devoted to procurement and manufacture of arms.
    Another is the research and experimental division.

    The remaining seven divisions are unknown to the rank and file and kept, and continues to be kept, in confidence. It is whispered that the ruling council makes up the final department.

    The members willingly work effectively together and they are usually briefed in depth. It is with a confidence in their abilities and desire to work well that enables and empowers the ruling council to make that decision.

    The organisation seeks to help the general populace as well as it can, though because of its organised "lawlessness," fraternising with the order is frowned upon by governments. The order has also made an enemy and rival in the Most High church sanctioned ordos.

    While there are members of faith in The XX, most if not all prefer the hard steel of an enchanted longsword or the solid comfort of a rapid fire rail gun. It is because of this lack of faith and its willingness to associate with the dirt of society that has made the ordos look upon it with a mixture of pity and disgust.

    The secretive nature of the order allows to it to maneuver behind enemy lines and leave little trace of its presence. This is opposition and contrast to the ordos, who seek out heretics, bringing the wrath of the inquisition down upon them.

    The XX make liberal use of genetic, technological or biomechanical enhancements, with little to no visual difference. As a consequence, its members are able to effectively deal with fiends; without such an obvious advantage, thousands of souls would have already been lost.

    Little is known of one of its powerful members. A sybarite, he is a descendant of the exceedingly powerful maletherions.

    The Pulse

    To those willing enough, the internet is able to be perceived as a reality construct. Marketed as a cybernetic upgrade, the Pulse allows the everyday individual to directly imprint a computer unto his or her brain and traverse cyberspace. It has become exceedingly popular, as it allows a direct wetware-cyberware interface and enables the person to manifest a physical entity within the virtual world and interact with the contents of the internet and with others.

    Would it be so that things are so simple. The surgery required to get the implant is curiously inexpensive. With minimal side- and after-effects, millions have flocked to get it implanted, eager to explore and savor the physical delights of the internets.

    However, not all is as it seems. To ensure continuation, the integrity and maintenance of the enhancement, consumers are required to consume quantities of the expensive food Cyblex. Essentially a drug, Cyblex forces total addiction upon the consumer, and soon the consumer is focused totally upon the internet. Inevitably, as Cyblex is not a real food and contains no nutritional value, death occurs.

    Though such is often a slow, agonising process; the consumer does not feel any physical pain from wasting, muscular dystrophy, etc as the mind is fully fixated upon experiencing cyberspace. Cyblex also prolongs the longevity of the consumer to beyond what would normally be a healthy lifespan. Such are the dark delights of the future.

    The Fleshvats of Segmentum Nocture

    Hidden within the Segmentum Nocture; those seeking intellectual illumination have always been at the forefront of the accumulation of knowledge. Numerous treatises have expounded upon various phenomena, from the seemingly inscrutable indifference of the ghost elves to the social control endorsed by the Extensialecclesiarchry of Hyperios.

    Despite scholarly interest in acquiring yet more lore, there are bits of knowledge unattainable, unspeakable, forbidden. For the persistent however, such illumination is not a question of how but a question of when.

    The fleshvats of Nocture fall solidly within the category of forbidden lore. Speculation is rife where their history is concerned. For the Extensialecclesiarchry, such an attitude is perfectly reasonable. But for those powerful enough or unassuming enough to dodge the red tape of bureaucratic fascism, a disturbing image appears.

    For those academics of antiquity, commonality may be found with the fleshvats of the Nocture Segmentum and the fleshvats of the Segmentum Intarias, perhaps suggesting a shared past and prehistory.

    Those delving further have uncovered what is perhaps the most damning article ever, cementing rumor that perhaps both Intarias and Nocture are merely experiments of the ashtariel.

    As for how each dominion controls a fleshvat, the fleshvat as a non-sentient was constructed to respond willingly and well to commands imposed upon it by someone wielding the correct "key."

    Now, what are fleshvats really? The one conjecture that raises the most questions and perhaps is the singularly correct theory details a failed experiment on part of the ashtariel to create a magocracy/arcanocracy. This civilisation was probably the precursor that led to the formation of the Extensialecclesiarchry.

    These mages rebelled and in their hubris contrived to become deities themselves. They very nearly succeeded...which some point out was the very plan of the ashtariel all along. The ashtariel did something that caused a tremendous arcane backlash that caused each and every mage to merge. The mages of that forgotten civilisation, who once prized their intellects now were in a comatose limbo, in a vegetable state. They forever lost their ability to think and rationalise.

    The primary use of the fleshvat is to grow creatures, namely humanoids; indeed, the fleshvats used by the Extensialecclesiarchry are tasked with the "production" of van'us (the powerful assassins of the Extensialecclesiarchry).

    A fleshvat is able is to produce any kind of humanoid to a certain point (their character level cannot exceed 45 HD) along with any template that is deemed appropriate (so, no templates that will turn the creature into an undead).

    A fleshvat cannot create outsiders (native or extraplanar) and cannot produce aberrations. But those it can create are created at an accelerated pace. A fleshvat also serves to nullify most unfortunate and degenerate effects. Only the "most advantageous genetic material" is made use of; those created by the fleshvat may (operative word) have sweeping immunities or resistances. Ie, a van'us has immunity to poison, resistance to cold and electricity 10.

    Rumor has it that thieves, murders, dissenters, traitors and heretics are recycled in the pool as stock to be used for the creation of something else.

    A fleshvat is a curious design, appearing as a pool of sanguine liquid some 700 km across. Obstensibly it is composed of living muscle and bone, nutrients and oxygen cause the pool to emit a throbbing, sickly green glow.

    A fleshvat is a non-sentient DvR 17 entity with the following SDAs; Power of Nature, Mind of the Beast, Mass Life and Death, Gift of Life, Life Drain, Increased Damage Reduction, Increased Energy Resistance, Increased Spell Resistance, Grow Creature, Create Object, Create Greater Object, Divine Creation, Divine Splendor, Unique, Unique, Unique, Divine Spellcasting, Energy Storm
    To see the world in a grain of sand
    and Heaven in a wild flower
    To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    and eternity in an hour.

    - William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

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    Default Re: Future Shock

    What system is this? It clearly isn't 3.5, though it's mostly fluff anyway and thusly hard to judge.

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    Default Re: Future Shock

    What system do you think the Fleshvats use?
    To see the world in a grain of sand
    and Heaven in a wild flower
    To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    and eternity in an hour.

    - William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

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    Default Re: Future Shock

    Quote Originally Posted by Amiel View Post
    What system do you think the Fleshvats use?
    Yes, they're using the Deity rules from 3.5. However, the rest of this is entirely fluff and is not attached to any setting I know anything about. It makes reading, PEACHing, or figuring this out immensely difficult, since I have NO IDEA what I'm looking at. Some introduction that was less prose-heavy might be in order.

    All that I say applies only to myself. You author your own actions and choices. I cannot and will not be responsible for you, nor are you for me, regardless of situation or circumstance.

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    Default Re: Future Shock

    "Fiends have found a loophole, possessing races so as to liberally indulge in vice and sin, damning their souls for eternity."

    This raises several questions, first are what fiends are to sin in your world are what fiends are to evil in another? Namely is simply being hedonistic qualify a humanoid for damnation? This makes fiends a lot less dangerous and their battles with celestials a lot more petty if this is just a battle between stuffy people and party animals like in disgea. Also what kind of shotty method of damnation does not take the removal of free will into account? Edit: By shoddy I'm not exactly criticizing you, I'm just saying a system like that seem to be the product of a demiurge (an incompetent or possibly outright malevolent deity on the top).

    This is why I've personally modified Succubi (of the any evil alignment) in my campaign simply energy draining people does not seem to benefit themselves or the lower planes, which is why I took away their energy drain and ethereal jaunt and replaced them with temptation (a feature of atonement) and planeshift (so they can actually get to the prime) where they try to make men of renown into tyrants.

    "A fleshvat cannot create outsiders (native or extraplanar) and cannot produce aberrations."

    Why not, would an elan be considered an aberration? It seems to me that if you give a any human enough biological abnormalities it becomes an aberration.

    Are there undead in your campaign? Or would creatures similar to undead just be aberrations because of a disease? Like vampires in blade, or the Nemesis?
    Last edited by Geiger Counter; 2010-03-27 at 12:39 AM.

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    IDK, when creating something, I've always assumed flavour/fluff was and as being critically and centrally important, with the mechanics less so. If you have a great flavour concept and are able to build from that, the mechanics should be pretty straightforward.
    Of course, other players within and of the setting can also modify or create their own for personal use.

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Yes, they're using the Deity rules from 3.5.
    Not only however, the entry also describes that it grows creatures; the stipulation being that it cannot create outsiders (native or extraplanar) nor aberrations, nor can it apply "inappropriate" templates. It goes on further to state that grown may have sweeping immunities, in the form of immunity to poison, or resistances; resistance to cold and electricity 10.

    Saying that it clearly doesn't use 3.5 is remarkably disingenuous.

    However, the rest of this is entirely fluff and is not attached to any setting I know anything about. It makes reading, PEACHing, or figuring this out immensely difficult, since I have NO IDEA what I'm looking at.
    While PEACHing may be difficult, considering there are limited mechanics to PEACH, I am confused why reading it is immensely difficult...
    As for figuring this out, an initial intent of mine was to write it in a way to have each reader determine and come to their own conclusion.
    There doesn't necessarily have to be a right or wrong way of interpreting it.

    Some introduction that was less prose-heavy might be in order.
    But aren't all good campaign settings like/follow this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geiger Counter View Post
    "Fiends have found a loophole, possessing races so as to liberally indulge in vice and sin, damning their souls for eternity."

    This raises several questions, first are what fiends are to sin in your world are what fiends are to evil in another? Namely is simply being hedonistic qualify a humanoid for damnation? This makes fiends a lot less dangerous and their battles with celestials a lot more petty if this is just a battle between stuffy people and party animals like in disgea. Also what kind of shotty method of damnation does not take the removal of free will into account? Edit: By shoddy I'm not exactly criticizing you, I'm just saying a system like that seem to be the product of a demiurge (an incompetent or possibly outright malevolent deity on the top).
    The various sins exemplified in the forms of fiends would be personified in petty fiends as petty sins and in greater depravity by greater fiends.
    Petty sins may include extortion, vice in the form of gambling; these sins may be highly specialised evils and vices.
    Sins of greater depravity will be much more general, both in broad scope and content. These may be genocide, greed. These sins should act upon a grander scale.

    While the demons may not care about free will, each burns equally well; they just want to defecate upon you while ripping your head off, the devils will be much more inclined to offer a veneer of hope. As the saying goes, free choice is all an illusion.
    Devils may not actually lie, but they would only speak in half-truths, doublespeak to the point that the only free will is choosing a path preordained and sanctioned by the devil.
    The demon is (still) going to set you on fire regardless of who you are.

    This is why I've personally modified Succubi (of the any evil alignment) in my campaign simply energy draining people does not seem to benefit themselves or the lower planes, which is why I took away their energy drain and ethereal jaunt and replaced them with temptation (a feature of atonement) and planeshift (so they can actually get to the prime) where they try to make men of renown into tyrants.
    Like the temptation idea; also succbi may not care for making men into tyrants, more so depraved individuals. The erinyes may have a vested interest in the mortal coil and in making tyrants out of the pathetic mortals.

    "A fleshvat cannot create outsiders (native or extraplanar) and cannot produce aberrations."

    Why not, would an elan be considered an aberration? It seems to me that if you give a any human enough biological abnormalities it becomes an aberration.
    It may be dependent on the "key" in effect. Some fleshvats may not allow elans to be created, "processing" them as aberrations and so destroying them accordingly. While other fleshvats may be more agreeable.

    An intent of the flesh vats was to obliterate unwanted, disadvantageous and degenerate abnormalities, all the while imposing its own views of what is pristine, pure and needed.
    In other words, it may take away traits, qualities, abilities only to replace them with others.

    Are there undead in your campaign? Or would creatures similar to undead just be aberrations because of a disease? Like vampires in blade, or the Nemesis?
    Yes, there are undead in this, admittedly unfinished, campaign.
    The undead will be more powerful than their WotC or even Blade counterparts; some may retain their mortal appearance, while others may undergo horrific transformations.
    To see the world in a grain of sand
    and Heaven in a wild flower
    To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    and eternity in an hour.

    - William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

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    as Cyblex is not a real food and contains no nutritional value, death occurs.
    This just doesn't make sense. Can't they just come in injectable form? Can't people just have a bologna and Cyblex sandwich?

    While the demons may not care about free will, each burns equally well; they just want to defecate upon you while ripping your head off, the devils will be much more inclined to offer a veneer of hope. As the saying goes, free choice is all an illusion.
    Devils may not actually lie, but they would only speak in half-truths, doublespeak to the point that the only free will is choosing a path preordained and sanctioned by the devil.
    The demon is (still) going to set you on fire regardless of who you are.
    Yeah because demons are savage warriors while devils are schemers.
    Which is why Barbazu are savage warriors and Glabrezu are schemers.

    And which type of demon does all the possessing? Which I thought was their only loop hole to the prime. Which they use to force mortals to be sinful which has nothing to do with being evil, ergo fiends in your CS aren't evil and being evil is not what causes people to go to the lower planes. But a person who was otherwise sin free could be dominated to committing a sin which would make her destined for the lower planes.

    The various sins exemplified in the forms of fiends would be personified in petty fiends as petty sins and in greater depravity by greater fiends.
    Petty sins may include extortion, vice in the form of gambling; these sins may be highly specialised evils and vices.
    Sins of greater depravity will be much more general, both in broad scope and content. These may be genocide, greed. These sins should act upon a grander scale.
    Okay gambling is a sin, so all bankers and investors are destined for the lower planes. Also genocide isn't sinful. If your god commands you to wipe someone off the map and if you don't, that's a sin.

    Edit:
    Just on the 7 deadly sins
    Lust is taking pleasure from sex.
    Gluttony is taking pleasure from food.
    Sloth is taking pleasure from lack of activity.
    Pride is taking pleasure from your better qualities.
    Greed is taking pleasure from monetary and material resorces
    Wrath is using aggression against someone who diminished your pleasure.
    Envy is comparing your sources of pleasure to someone else's and finding your own lacking.

    Personally I would put the 7 deadly sins in the CN category.

    Like the temptation idea; also succbi may not care for making men into tyrants, more so depraved individuals. The erinyes may have a vested interest in the mortal coil and in making tyrants out of the pathetic mortals
    Why would personifications or vengeance have a vested interest in some mortal kingdom. I can't understand this love people have for redundancy in outsiders. No you do not need both a balor and a pit fiend. Also this is some additional stuff on my succubi.

    The Succubus/Incubus is actually a single creature, it's natural form is a beautiful yet androgynous being with claws, horns, bat wings a pointed tail and can be of any skin colour (red blue green black purple). The succubi collectively are the greatest force for the lower planes in the material realm. The succubi are frequently used by their fiendish overlords as liaisons to their most powerful devotes. The succubus planeshifts from the lower planes and tries to find humanoids of great influence. She convinces that being to commit questionable moral acts until he is ready to be drawn to her alignment. Succubi (like most true outsiders in my setting) cannot give birth, however they can store genetic material and use it to impregnate women as an incubus to produce half fiends (usually with the same skin colour as it's fiendish parent). Succubi aren't all that motherly, they find their offspring merely as valuable and often take them to give to a compatible evil church, however sometimes saddling a woman with a fiend spawn is reward enough. Succubi are extremely territorial and will not stand for the presence of another of her kind in the same area (even if they have the same alignment) and will use their influence to turn the town against the new succubi. A lawful succubus might even be willing to marry, if their mate is powerful enough. To get around the fact they can't produce an heir, they will take the appearance of pregnancy then use a stolen infant as the heir.
    Last edited by Geiger Counter; 2010-03-27 at 10:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geiger Counter View Post
    This just doesn't make sense. Can't they just come in injectable form? Can't people just have a bologna and Cyblex sandwich?
    How doesn't it make sense?
    It is a "food" with no nutritional value; emphasis is on no nutritional content.

    And which type of demon does all the possessing? Which I thought was their only loop hole to the prime. Which they use to force mortals to be sinful which has nothing to do with being evil, ergo fiends in your CS aren't evil and being evil is not what causes people to go to the lower planes. But a person who was otherwise sin free could be dominated to committing a sin which would make her destined for the lower planes.
    Not only demons; it is fiends who do the possessing. Evil is a non-discriminatory and equal opportunity employer.

    Since D&D uses an objective alignment system, sinning (irrespective of who is in control) is indeed an evil act, ergo it is evil.
    You can still shift in alignment, even if is only your body that commits depraved acts; of course, the fiends will first target those already with evil in their hearts, and there is no reason for the fiends not to first tempt or otherwise corrupt the mortals before possessing them.

    Okay gambling is a sin, so all bankers and investors are destined for the lower planes. Also genocide isn't sinful. If your god commands you to wipe someone off the map and if you don't, that's a sin.
    Genocide is the systematic extinction of peoples, races, cultures, religions et al for no other reason than to wipe them out; it is immensely evil.
    What definition of sin are you operating under? the meaning of sin here should be analogous to evil, wrong and wickedness.

    Edit:
    Just on the 7 deadly sins
    Lust is taking pleasure from sex.
    Gluttony is taking pleasure from food.
    Sloth is taking pleasure from lack of activity.
    Pride is taking pleasure from your better qualities.
    Greed is taking pleasure from monetary and material resorces
    Wrath is using aggression against someone who diminished your pleasure.
    Envy is comparing your sources of pleasure to someone else's and finding your own lacking.
    Actually, the seven deadly sins are about all taking excessive and perverse pleasure from indulging in them. It also has much to do with abhorrent selfishness and the evils that arise from that. Where the seven deadly sins are concerned, the sinner should also cause pain, anguish and similar to others in pursuit of their cardinal sin.

    Personally I would put the 7 deadly sins in the CN category.
    Why?

    Why would personifications or vengeance have a vested interest in some mortal kingdom. I can't understand this love people have for redundancy in outsiders. No you do not need both a balor and a pit fiend. Also this is some additional stuff on my succubi.
    Erinyes within the D&D framework are less personifications of vengeance than tempters that seek to install tyrants that dominate the matter and flesh of the mortal coil. If you are arguing that they are indeed vengeful warriors of wrath, you're going to have to edit all the other monsters whose roots lie in mythology.

    Redundant to you perhaps, it makes much sense to me. Chaos is as different to law as evil is dissimilar to good.
    If you cannot see a way to have demons and devils within the same setting, it doesn't mean they shouldn't exist; indeed, demons and devils and daemons operate under different fundamental principles, under different concepts of evil, under different ways to proliferate evil.
    To see the world in a grain of sand
    and Heaven in a wild flower
    To hold infinity in the palm of your hand
    and eternity in an hour.

    - William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amiel View Post
    How doesn't it make sense?
    It is a "food" with no nutritional value; emphasis is on no nutritional content.
    I can understand a substance can be addictive, but not because it's filling. people who die from lack of nutrition while on drugs is typically because there to out of it to take care of themselves. Your drug's users have enough cognition to navigate within a complex virtual world. It is impossible to believe that these people wouldn't save enough room for a fried eggs with ketchup (as egg white provides every nutrient humans need exempt vitamin C, which is where ketchup comes in) Or take some vitamin pills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amiel View Post
    Since D&D uses an objective alignment system, sinning (irrespective of who is in control) is indeed an evil act, ergo it is evil.
    You can still shift in alignment, even if is only your body that commits depraved acts; of course, the fiends will first target those already with evil in their hearts, and there is no reason for the fiends not to first tempt or otherwise corrupt the mortals before possessing them.
    I would like you to point out anywhere in describing alignment do they mention anything about sin. Or just use a dictionary, an evil act is one of unwarranted aggression, a sin is simply disobeying the edicts of a god.

    Also this stuff you mention about possession is not in the possession rules.
    I'm not even sure how you could pull off the system you describe.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amiel View Post
    Genocide is the systematic extinction of peoples, races, cultures, religions et al for no other reason than to wipe them out; it is immensely evil.
    What definition of sin are you operating under? the meaning of sin here should be analogous to evil, wrong and wickedness.
    As I said before, sin and evil are usually unrelated. Sin is disobeying a god. So if a god asks you to wipe out a people not doing so is a sin.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amiel View Post
    Actually, the seven deadly sins are about all taking excessive and perverse pleasure from indulging in them. It also has much to do with abhorrent selfishness and the evils that arise from that. Where the seven deadly sins are concerned, the sinner should also cause pain, anguish and similar to others in pursuit of their cardinal sin.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpugML3CsSQ
    So hedonismbot should go to the lower planes just because he likes it when his menservants rub him with chocolate icing? Your fiends don't sound that scary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amiel View Post
    Why?
    Individualism and hedonism are chaotic aspects. Also the whole aborance of sin is an extremely lawful trait, think frollo, or any ascetic.

    Edit: Also the reason why sin isn't mentioned under chaos and order is because if you are hedonistic you are likely to follow a hedonistic god. Such a god would obviously not treat what we traditional know to be sins as sins.
    Last edited by Geiger Counter; 2010-03-28 at 09:28 PM.

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