Stimnet Junkies

With a drive port on their forehead these sense junkies spend their downtime processing footage, data, media etc so that in exchange they get tokens which can be spent at sim and jack-high dealers for a jump drive with the latest simulated thrill in sound, visual, and physical stimulation. These guys are Stimnet junkies.

stimnet-junkie-2

Specifically these individuals have been body modded with a small sensory simulation computer inside their skull which has a variety of connectors and tubes which can be inserted into your nose, plugged into your ears, stretched to the sides of your eyes, and finally down the back of your spine.

Where you meet them

These guys look over street cam footage, they are customer support, they are the outsourced at home secretaries for tons of corporations and businesses. Essentially they trade their computing power and ability to scan and digest information for time which can be spent enjoying a different reality that is just stimulation.

Loud and pulsating noises, sweet and bitter tastes back to back, a concoction of memory triggering smells, and a constant tapping in the spine to give the sense of a loving touch (or rough one). That is what they do it for and it is how they get paid.

Some details

First off, Stimnet is the online marketplace for where noobies and collectors can look through digital catalogs of simulations and experiences. Giving information including how many copies were made, developer profiles, street value, where you could get a copy legitimately (if a legitimate source is available).

What could their place look like…

Stimnet junkies spend all their time in a seat. As such their are two ways to go about this, the messy way and the streamlined way of living. The messy way involves piles of junk and garbage and empty pizza boxes and moldy cola jugs. The benefits of having a messy way is that it is incredibly easy to hide security cameras and trip traps which could be set off by intruders.

The streamlined way involves a bundled mass of tubes and cylindrical containers full of liquid nutrients which are fed via tube down the esophagus and via needles into the forearm. The positive note here is that people who use this system have very clean houses. The downside is that they are essentially never “here”, waving your hand won’t get their attention, throttling them won’t get their attention. They are wholly gone and the only way to mess with them is to talk to them online or via a terminal.

Because if you cut someone off, they could die from shock. No, really, they could.

What are some things they could be experiencing…

Everyone has an experience that they can afford to simulate but not actually do in real life. Here are some:

  • Fantasy Warrior Fighter Online: Return of the Barbarian Hunters – fighting barbaric hunters in the age of blood, steel, and brutal finishing moves.
  • Edge of the Atmosphere Ski Diving – atmosphere ski diving is way too expensive and way too dangerous, falling to the earths surface from near space (so close your fingers could probably skim the edge of some space junk) while riding on skis is pretty thrilling though and on the TV feeds all the time.
  • 364 Conflict – essentially a first person shooter which allows you to shoot and kill and work together to take objectives to capture the simulated world. Each website and server can be its own randomly generated battleground to fight over. Its like a sense of danger that is always constant that can be played or experienced passively. People pay equally to just watch other people play and feel what their character feels when they play.

If they need to defend themselves…

  • Tiny usb powered turrets – hide them in places, stick them to the wall with a suction cup, put them in the mail box, whatever works.
  • nerve gas – doesn’t affect the people who pay for oxygen! also puts people down on the ground long enough to call up the proper authorities or a local ganger to remove the body (person).
  • digitally simulated floors – fall right through the hologram if you aren’t in the know or don’t check to make sure the floor is real. Usually a cell is down their or a pit trap. Whichever works.
  • sensory overload – blaring audio and lights to over stimulate intruders into crippling state of sensory confusion.

For more my last post on adventurohl, check it out here.

Adventurohl slice

Adventurohl is a drug-fueled kick in the teeth type of fantasy setting. Use it with your favorite fantasy system, I imagine it isn’t that hard to do. I’ll be using Into the Odd (most likely).

The city has bright green edges, and flickers of orange neon bounce off the scum water in the streets. Bikers ride hard, ork tats and sharpened teeth with big blue and black checkered jackets, they grab a tankard and smash it over the head of pedestrians trying to cross the road. In a dilapidated building, forgotten by the government that is so fat it can’t see the people it is stepping on to reach for another bar of chocolate, a few people have just O.D.’d on some T. Rrollertall. In the Saltwater Tavern, the door behind the fat dumpster where Ricky Lee was found dead and bare with cuts all over, a small group sits at the bar twitching just a bit as their last bag of IV drip (Adventurohl) comes up dry. Great timing too, because a contract just came up, four bags from Fat Jack for whoever can take out the two Trolls at the construction site on 4th. They’re holding up a crew and are getting a little blood in their eyes.

Grab your baseball bat, throw on a mask, and hop in the deathroller (a repurposed City Police jeep). It’s time to chase your high and beat the shit out of those who cross the line, all for another bag of Adventurohl.

What is this about…?

The core idea is this:

  • Prescription drugs are prescribed to felons and people who commit crimes. Each gives off a high or causes a stimulation of some sort to simulate the feelings that the person gets when they commit a crime. So satisfying some with drugs so that they don’t do the “real” thing.
  • These drugs if abused by people and O.D.’d on, they don’t cause death but a physical transformation of sorts. So, if you were taking gobloilokustus gas for multiple accounts of theft and armed robbery and overdose on it. Your skin will turn a soft green hue, small yellow lesions will appear across the face and you’ll feel the physical need to steal increasingly more valuable objects. Stealing with no concern for other people’s lives, but no amount will satiate your need so it will just continue to escalate, which will sometimes involve buddying up with other gobloids to rob some arktek pawn shops.
  • This is a spin of fantasy in a cyberpunk like world. That means tech is magic, it’s to allow people to indulge themselves in guilty pleasures, avoid working too hard, and to make dull life entertaining. To make a miserable existence bearable. As such there is a big gov that’s fat which has all the cake to make us smile. But cake is not evenly distributed by lower tier skumlords. You do favors, you get cool stuff. You do some dirty work, and they slide you a month’s supply of calmers (pills that put your body in a trance like sleep, makes the whole world better for you, it’s like supreme bliss and is hella addicting).
  • Taverns are dive bars. Dungeons are the buildings that have been built so many times ontop of itself that they have hidden walls and so many interconnected rooms that it might as well be a maze of life. Dragons, the wise people that hoard the riches, are people who have their mind stimulated by hallucinogenic incense that allows them to mentally control their lackeys and make sure they keep the illegal arms network full of military grade body supplements and Steelsword brand heavy magnums. Adventurers are people who are addicted to adventurohl and are running low or out of supplies.

Notes for playing with Into the Odd

Roll’em up as usual, roll for starting packages as usual, if it gives you a weapon keep its equivalent as detailed later on down. But, with everything else roll a d4 for each (such as, if you have “Club (d6), Ether, Crowbar, and a Flute” you would roll a d4 3 times and make something up that combines what you roll and what you had):

  1. Status Symbol; chains and talisman, interactive tattoos, specially made tools. These things are violent, sexual looking and generally gaudy as can be (or primal, whichever).
  2. Late Night “As Seen on TV” Tech; an invention that has the same effect and purpose but is commercialized and branded with big blocky letters. Usually with some type of stupid and useless gimmick (“it comes with a lanyard to wrap it around your wrist!”).
  3. Mechanical Components for Simple Biomechanical Enhancements; these individual parts aren’t as great as a whole concussive knuckle bone mod, but the individual parts hold simple quirks and value as is. Tell everyone what this thing is one among many parts of what kind of enhancement.
  4. Streetwise Outfitters and Stuff; think the dicks sporting goods but in seedy pawn shop form full of clothes and camping tools and “living in a box” gear.

No duplicates in a single character’s gear, if you roll a 6, you can’t get a six again. But someone else may.

If you have arcana that you need to roll for, roll a d6 for some special thing…

  1. Gain 3 HP to your max
  2. Same as 1.
  3. Your a muscle man, bump Strength by +2 and your weapon is now a melee weapon (field weapon class, roll a d6 for special effect)
  4. Your a gun-natic, bump Dexterity by +2 and your weapon is now a heavy gun class rifle (with chip, if you get caught with it or go through a scanner a pack of cars will be on that chips locator looking for you)
  5. You make your own calmers, just the right amount of sanity and cool to never have a poker face. Bump Willpower by +2 and you now have d8 chews worth in a tin (each chew lasts for 1 hour). Using it means your hidden motives cannot be discerned, only your exact words can throw you under the bus.
  6. You are craving Adventurohl right now. You can choose to make a willpower test once per fight, if you fail lose a point and your next attack does damage+4 as you will tear them apart to get where you need to go.

Equipment

As for equipment here are the direct replacements/conversions:

Hand Weapons; as is but replace with steel baseball bats, tire irons, personal defender (one shot till ya reload) snub nose, long shiv, etc

Field Weapons; it’s not a musket it’s a SMG (shitty muscle gun, the kind of multiple shot shooting weapon under the coats of bouncers and bodyguards, roll a d6 after each attack if you get a 5-6 you need to spend your next turn swapping mags), swords are replaced with magnums (4 shot, roll a d20+4 to see how many bullets you keep in your coat pocket, if at a decent distance you do damage-2), if it’s definitely a melee weapon (roll a d6) then it has teeth (1-2, cripples hands and feet, blinds when used on the head 50% of the time) or electrified (3-4, 50% of the time stuns someone into a shaking fit) or is superheated (5-6, 1 out of 6 times that person will catch on fire meaning they will not be able to fight you unless someone else puts that fire out).

Noble Weapons; it’s a fancy version, has a bar code or faux military insignia etched on it. It’s bigger, has more angular features or has pretty lights and gizmos on it. Nothing special besides that and its higher price tag and a little more QC.

Heavy Gun; it’s a heavy gun. Actual military or corporation operations approved. Compact, tight, made to slay and illegal to have without up to date credentials. Some require an up to date chip in your hand to be able to use.

Shield Armour; its armour I. Think big heavy pads filled with expensive metal beads. Only effective against melee weapons, bullets don’t care.

Modern Armour; gel meshes under your coat, not going to be seen by most other people. Heavy guns ignore your armour on this one, but will still knock you down onto the pavement.

If anything else needs a genre/setting shift, make it up on the spot and keep the stats.

Playtesting Runaway Hirelings!

If you weren’t already in the know, then here is what there is to know: Runaway Hirelings Ultimate Peasant Edition has a playtest packet and you can check it out right now.

Here is the base premise of the game (as described in the rules):

“Here you are, your bosses are dead on the floor, blood pooling under their cloaks and mighty swords. A shattered wand is spread like used toothpicks all around the big bad guy. They led you in, they defeated great monsters and solved complex puzzles to reach this, the treasure room. THE RUMORED FORTUNE!

Gold, jewels and the most magnificent fabrics. But, they could not have been prepared for what would wait here, protecting such delicious riches. They fought valiantly, you cowered behind a rock, they were hit with mighty fists, and you hid behind a rock, and they suffered the blasts of explosive magicks! And they died just as the boss monster did, but you survived, hidden behind a rock.

But what now? You have gold in your packs and have buried your heroes, tears have been shed (maybe), and now you must flee back from whence you came. You must run away as fast as you can back to the entrance.

Hopefully the path out is easier when you blindly flail your way forward!”

Playtest Packet Contents

In the google drive folder (https://goo.gl/8gbsvy), there are the following documents:

  • The Hireling’s Handguide; everything that a player would need to know to play the game.
  • The Dunarch’s Manual; all the extra information that the Game-Master or referee needs to read before running the game,.
  • The Needlelands Dungeon Template; a short template for playing a session set in the Needlelands caverns.
  • The Cheater Sheet; think of this like how the basic moves for a powered by the apocalypse game are presented. It is a during play rules reference, also works great for getting new players into the game quickly. One for each player printed out should work well.
  • Character Sheets; 7 half sheet character sheets which have the information for each type of hireling on them. These are used and referenced during play by everyone. On set printed out should work fine.

besides that? Oh yeah!

I am Playtesting!

Yes, that is right, play this game! Send me feedback! Tell me all about it! Shoot emails to me!

Also, I will be running games at a moments notice. Specifically, on Saturdays, I’ll post and ask if anyone wants to play this game! If we get some people, we play! But there are other days too, so here is the playtest schedule as it stands:

  • Wednesdays; 6:30PM EST to 8:30PM EST start time. I will be aiming for at least 2-4 Players besides myself for this game. I’ll make the post at the beginning of the week and then reshare it on the day of the game. Games should last 2 to 3 hours in length.
  • Saturdays; 8:00AM EST to 8:00PM EST start time. I will run games for at least 2-4 Players besides myself. I’ll make the post the beginning of the week (Monday) and then reshare it on the day of the game. Games should last 2 to 3 hours in length.
  • Other Random Times and Days; I can run the game 1-on-1 for a single player. If you want to play (just like with all the other times and dates, follow me on Google Plus). It’s fun and awesome! These type of games are best condensed down to about 1 hour in length, but it is a good shot of Role-Playing to scratch that itch. Or send me a private message there and we can set something up!

So yeah guys! This is getting closer and closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. And it feels soooooo worth it!

 

Runaway Hirelings Playtest Documents!

A couple days ago I released for all to see the current playtest documents for the new edition of Runaway Hirelings. I have gotten some good comments so far and words are still being added to each of the two documents, I am hoping to start doing some playtesting over the next couple weeks to try out a bunch of the new rules and mechanics.

If you would like to take a look at the new rules, go check out the playtest folder over here.

I am still adding text to each document as I make changes to things along the way, I will use this blog post as the updates/changelog for this current revision as I go about things.

Changelog

9/27/2016

  • Having just finished playing a 1-on-1 game of Runaway Hirelings. I have decided that the final text will have a section on accommodating 1-on-1 style play.
  • Rewrote some rules in the Hireling’s Handguide (specifically the one involving refusal to answer a question posed by the rules).
  • Also added “Creating Characters” text to the Hireling’s Handguide document.
  • In the Dunarch’s Manual the “Starting the Game” section has been expanded so that the questions before the game are better explained and what their purpose is, is more clearly defined.
  • Also the “Dungeon Template” section at the end of the Dunarch’s Manual has been filled out a little more. Enough to supplement the information that was explained earlier in the Dunarch’s Manual.
  • Added the Needlelands Dungeon Template to the playtest packet.
  • Added a PDF called the “Cheater Sheet” which helps with quick referencing the basic player rules during play.

9/17/2016

  • Made this blog post
  • Writing more in the Dunarchs Manual to finish up the blank areas

A Map of Uldridge City Handout

If you are unfamiliar with my secret writings of blasphemous materials and histories unknown, then let me tell you what Uldridge City is. Uldridge City is a large dark gothic amalgamation of shapes and spikes and shadows cast onto moving men and the shadows follow them even when they leave the footsteps of towers. The people within are apathetic to the wants of most others besides themselves, if you fall into the drained canal, screaming a hundred feet down and crashing through the roof of a hut in a makeshift town. No one will really blink an eye at the news article except for the guy who had lived there.

Magic is not practiced in the open or even at all, the source of all magical energy is residual within the bricks and masonry of the city. The foul wickedness of twisted figures chanting in the hope to summon malnourished gods of destruction who can answer the cries and wishes of their followers. So, the entirety of magic within the city and monsters worth fighting are the product of residual energy bent to the whim of long dead evil men but filling the form of the city (similar to a jello mold if you could morph the mold with magic and use it also an ingredient).

Originally, I had written Uldridge City to be a short set of tables and rules to have this Bloodborne aesthetic inspired setting which I could use in Into the Odd (that short OSR awesome minigame fantasy rpg by Chris McDowall). But, now I am working on putting together a bigger version which I could use with the forthcoming Flames Will Die RPG that I am working on. But since I am still working on all this stuff, I am just going to post the map handout at the moment, also because I am in a rush today and don’t have the patience (not energy) to write up a better introduction.

So introduction comes later.

 

Click here to download.

Black Candle light: Setting Notes

The last couple days I have been working on “The Flames Will Die” which I am hoping will be my first big book game to have written and designed all by myself. But I have other game thoughts too, specifically, a spinoff game that uses the same rule system but a bit lighter in weight and complexity. Most the weight being shaved off is the rules for organization creation and complex management, so this short version would be all about testing the basic rules.

That game would be called “Black Candles” and is about members of the Black Candles Society. An organization that collects, catalogs and protects the otherworldly Black Candles that have been scattered across the world.

What is a Black Candle?

A Black Candle is exactly what it sounds like, a candle of completely black wax and wick which when burned emits a sour scent and an invisible smoke (made only visible on a moonless night).

The inhalation of the smoke of a burning black candle will transport an individual to another world where a duplicate candle is burning at the exact same time and rate. These two candles are linked, no other candle can bring you to this world or take you from this world.

But just inhaling the smoke of the linked candle will not bring a person back home, the only method of return is by putting out the flame on either of the two candles. At which point the transported parties will be brought home immediately regardless of distance from the candle or state of being (if you are now a grotesque monster, then you will be coming home as a monster).

Worlds traveled to…

The places that the candles transport people to places within time, outside of space, and can be parallel or alternate realities and timelines. But, as Perry and Finn wrote in the members handbook, the majority of worlds traveled to are in a place where there is not even darkness or a space that could be called a void. It is without existence, but by being without anything it is something. This area is called “the third Apothecary”, the name meaning that there is the possibility that there are multiple spaces like this that house worlds that cannot be viewed or touched except by transport via a black candle, but also that this could be the last area like this (these are all just half formed conjectures on Perry and Finn’s part, but it is the best the group has so it is believed).

As far as the group knows there is 273 Black Candle worlds. That number being the number of candles discovered in the ruins of Erloppeth. Erloppeth was a city that allowed dark magic and practices to be legal and was known across the land as a foul and dreadfully sinful place. So it was no surprise to anyone at the time (a thousand years ago) that the mountain above would erupt into a volcano turning the city into stone. Commonfolk saw it as a cleansing by god.

How Black Candles work

To travel to a world you just have to light the candle and inhale the scent and you will be transported. To return someone must put out one of the two candles (the world at home and the world travelled to).

By travelling to a world through a Black Candle the candle will become shorter and shorter with each trip. However, the amount of wax spent for a specific amount of time is different from candle to candle but can be measured after a single trip through the candle in question. This is explained as time is a form of energy that is flexible but also distinctly different from place to place (thus why time slows in some spaces and speeds in another).

But since time is so fickle and strange, the time that passes between each burning is not measurable. So if you travel for a day through a candle and return to find less than half an inch is gone and immediately travel back. You may be travelling to a world that is hundreds of years older than the last time you visited; the consequences and fruits of your interference being sometimes visibly apparent.

Finally, one thing that is definitely certain is that when a candle is burned out, the connected world dies. Our world seems to be exempt as the candle for our own world does not exist or has not yet been discovered (this candle, in theory, would just transport an individual from this world back to this world in a different time).

What is the Black Candles Society?

The Black Candles Society is an organization that collects, catalogues and guards information about as well as the physical Black Candles. Using a variety of spaces within the pinnacle city of Diro as a base of operations, they have a general headquarters on 68th of Powell Street (a group of small apartments on the second floor that has had walls knocked down and connected together).

There are a number of agents in the city and beyond, but most do not know each other but may know of a handful each (controlling information!). In total, there are probably around 40 agents in the city at any one time, and 20 out beyond its walls searching for the rest of the candles.

(I’ll talk more about the society itself in a separate post)

Exit

This is the rewrite of my notes that I made on my phone. It should be a little better I hope…

In the future (and what is on my plate to rewrite then post for Black Candles):

  • The Dark Room (the equivalent of the stargate room)
  • Terms of Membership and Leadership Guidelines
  • Expedition Equipment and Procedures
  • The “Black” House
  • Friends and Safehouses
  • Member Tools and Equipment
  • 11 Candles from the Captains lockbox

Anyways, I’ll put more up on the Black Candles stuff after I finish up my back catalog of posts and Actual Play reports (and work).