Manticore.   Posted by JohnA1nut.Group: 0
JohnA1nut
 GM, 110 posts
Fri 26 Dec 2014
at 11:37
Re: Manticore
She gets out a deck of cards and says "Um, You know how to play Crazy Eights? It's kinda like Uno. You uh gotta match the suit, the number or have an eight. The um, eights are wild. If you drop an eight, you can call the suit and play another card. If you can't, you gotta draw until you can play one. It's easy and kinda challenging at the same time."

So she gets out a deck of cards. The deck has four suits, 56 cards. Ace-10, then the face cards are Jack, Knight, Queen, King. She takes the deck and starts shuffling them like a dealer at the Royale Casino. One handed cuts, rifle shuffling, then she lays them down on the table and spreads them out with a wave of her hand. She's obviously played cards before.

"Pick a card. Highest card goes first." You draw an Ace and she draws a 5, so you go first. She deals you each eight cards.

And you rolled a GE of 3 on how the evening goes with Carly. 1 in 1,000 good luck. So that means you tell me what happens. Anything except sex. And that would include playing strip crazy eights where you win every hand. As long as it doesn't go beyond that.

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:47, Fri 26 Dec 2014.

Manticore
 player, 88 posts
Fri 26 Dec 2014
at 12:06
Re: Manticore
The evening consists of simple games, light conversation as I try to learn a little more about verser society and what I've gotten into in unwittingly becoming one. No delving into secrets or powers, just wanting to learn the basics of what might be expected and the customs. I behave as respectfully towards Carly as I would for a doctor or nurse, staying respectful of her wishes and person.

The soup gets finished, and while I briefly considered trying to ask the cauldron for more, I restrained myself. Maybe next mealtime I could try it out.

Oh, and at least one point during the evening, I ask where the restroom is, find out (it should have been obvious, knowing hospital rooms), and use the toilet once washing my hands afterwards before returning to the bed.

OOC: Sex with her is the last thing on my mind. I don't bend that way. And despite my interest in the mystical, tantra is not a tradition I study or try to practice.
JohnA1nut
 GM, 111 posts
Fri 26 Dec 2014
at 12:36
Re: Manticore
quote:
The evening consists of simple games, light conversation as I try to learn a little more about verser society and what I've gotten into in unwittingly becoming one. No delving into secrets or powers, just wanting to learn the basics of what might be expected and the customs. I behave as respectfully towards Carly as I would for a doctor or nurse, staying respectful of her wishes and person.


Carly tells you that this is also her first verse. She's been here for hundreds of years. She doesn't even remember her home, and really hopes she never verses out of here. She couldn't handle it. She's not the type who gets into trouble which would cause her to verse out. As far as the verser society, she tells you that it's largely Anarchist. That doesn't mean extreme Chaos. Anarchy literally means "No Rulers." There is The Council, but they're not rulers. They just band together to keep an eye on things. Mediate disputes. The versers police each other for the most part. When you tell her how Magehammer stopped the Roman from killing you, she tells you that most of the people here would have done that if they had the ability to. Magehammer was just the first one to reach him. There's not a lot of crime. It's kind of hard to steal things from someone when they can scriff in on it and find it. Also, it's generally accepted that a verser is the worst person to make enemies with. They might be a thousand times more powerful than you now, but their next verse could be your millionth verse, and you will be a thousand times more powerful than them and still holding a grudge. It's mostly peaceful. You must have just said the wrong thing to the wrong person. Most people here are decent enough.

She tells you that the currency is mostly gold, silver and platinum. But since it's also a barter society, bartering is quite common. The axiom "One man's trash is another man's treasure" could not be more true here. If you look hard enough, there's someone here who will trade for something you believe to be absolutely worthless. There are also those who will not accept gold, silver or platinum and will only barter. Basically, things are worth what you and the other person can agree that they're worth.

The Tower has most of the machine shoppes and electronics. You didn't really think Ray arrived with all of those ray guns, do you? No, he probably arrived with schematics or one of each and had them duplicated. He's the only one who can access those schematics, since he owns them. But he can make as many copies as he needs to to sell.

Carly relaxes a lot as the evening wears on. She becomes less shy and opens up a lot, finally looking you in the eyes. When her shift is over, and it's time for her to leave so you can sleep, she writes something down on a piece of paper and tells you. "Hey, I just met you. And this is crazy. But here's my number. So call me maybe?" and hands you a piece of paper with a 10 digit number on it, signed Carly Rae.

And if you want to see what she looks like. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWNaR-rxAic

quote:
Oh, and at least one point during the evening, I ask where the restroom is, find out (it should have been obvious, knowing hospital rooms), and use the toilet once washing my hands afterwards before returning to the bed.


It's in the room. The closet looking door.

quote:
OOC: Sex with her is the last thing on my mind. I don't bend that way. And despite my interest in the mystical, tantra is not a tradition I study or try to practice.


I know. I was just saying so you'd understand. You rolled a 3. 1 in 1,000 good luck. You tell me what happens.

This message was last edited by the GM at 12:49, Fri 26 Dec 2014.

Manticore
 player, 89 posts
Fri 26 Dec 2014
at 13:22
Re: Manticore
I listened with interest, occasionally asking what some of the scriff-related terms she used meant. The barter system was, oddly, reminding me of the Bazaar in the Myth Adventures novels. Especially the comic book adaptation.

Accepting the paper, I puzzled over it after Carly left. So there was a phone system of some sort around, I decided. But was Carly thinking of me as a potential riend, or something more? I hoped the former as I curled up against the pillow(s). It would be hard breaking the news to someone that they were doomed to heartbreak, if the latter meant she had romance in mind.

And drifted off into sleep.
JohnA1nut
 GM, 112 posts
Fri 26 Dec 2014
at 13:30
Re: Manticore
Carly told you that she lives in The Tower. You have to be in here to call her. Like from your own room here or something. The feeling you get is that she's not overly hopeful that you will call her at all. It was more just a shy girl's attempt to see what happens next.

When you wake up, the same doctor who was there before is there with Alice. He tells you that you're discharged, and that Alice will take you to get your belongings. Don't forget to come back with the literature. Alice is kind of responsible for you since she didn't tell you to get them.
Manticore
 player, 90 posts
Fri 26 Dec 2014
at 13:52
Re: Manticore
Greeting both of them, I listened closely. Taking a brief visit to the restroom to pee, it was back out to follow Alice (presuming there weren't any papers to fill out and sign first as part of discharging). Gathering up my cauldron & spoon (but forgetting about the chain for the moment unless reminded), I thought I was ready to follow her lead and get the books and music to pay the hospital.


OOC: What am I wearing? And did the hotel keycard survive the Roman's attack? It was in my pants pocket.
JohnA1nut
 GM, 113 posts
Fri 26 Dec 2014
at 14:07
Re: Manticore
I'm assuming you're just going straight to get your gear and straight back. Retcon this if you want.

You were wearing a hospital gown. But they gave you back your clothes. The hotel key was in the pants pocket. You're just about to leave and the doctor hands you the chain and says "Don't forget this." No papers to fill out.

And then Alice takes you by the hand. She waves her arm theatrically and then the world tastes purple, you cease to exist for a moment, and you're outside, standing right outside the bubble. You know it's the right one because Magehammer's shoppe is right across the way.

Still holding your hand, Alice leads you into the bubble. She tells you "These bubbles are about a quarter mile across in The Hub, but they can open anywhere in the world they connect to. They seem to center on scriff. If there's a verser or their belongings in here, it will be within a quarter mile of where we come in. That's how I found you so quickly. I check them once a year. Time is relative between universes. A year in The Hub can be any amount of time here. So whenever I check it, it will be not more than a day after someone arrived in the universe. Hard to understand, I know." And she holds your hand whilst you go collect your gear. Once you've got that, you exit the bubble, Alice waves her hand, and you're back in your hospital room. The whole move took you less than 10 minutes.

The doctor looks over your books and tells you he'll get them checked at once.

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:22, Fri 26 Dec 2014.

Manticore
 player, 91 posts
Sat 27 Dec 2014
at 06:23
Re: Manticore
From listening to Alice, I'm getting even more of an idea just how far from the reality I've always known I am now. Time variances that reacted to people? How bizarre. It was almost like Erfworld, where different hexes on the map had their own time independent of other hexes during a sides' turn.

Coming back with the suitcase and books, a thought occurred to me. So I asked whether books about fictional magic could be used to make real spells. Because at least one of the hard copies I had was the Book of Ebon Bindings, and the spell to summon Origob was in there... a real crap-your-pants nightmare of a demon in a game, but imagining someone summoning that for real? Egads, NO! Even worse, it dawned on me, was the Book of Bone & Ebony on my flash drive, and that was just the tip of the iceburg.
JohnA1nut
 GM, 115 posts
Sat 27 Dec 2014
at 07:47
Re: Manticore
The doctor asks you what kind of magic you have. When you tell him none, he kind of winces. "I advise you to go into a sub-universe if you're planning to try it. Alice knows which are safe to enter. If you have a botch, it will be confined there. If you actually manage to summon a demon, it too will be confined there. Only scriff-infected people and belongings can cross the barrier. And take along an experienced wizard. Do Not be the one who ruins this world for Everyone by doing something stupid with forces you Cannot Fathom!!!! Most of the versers really like this world a lot. If you ruin it, you will end up with about three billion pissed-off versers chasing you across The Multiverse. And nobody wants that. So if you try it, go into a sub-universe."

OOC) That bit about only scriff-infected stuff crossing the barrier might not seem consistent with what has happened so far, but actually it is. The only thing you've brought over so far was a key in your pocket. It was surrounded by scriff infected material. Like how the metal Terminator can time travel by being surrounded by human skin. If you took anything else from that world, let me know. You can bring it if you can put it in your suitcase.

Also, how many books do you have? It's 5 ounces of your choice of precious metal for each book. And that's any precious metal. Here, lead is a precious metal. It's one hydrogen atom off from gold. Lead is valuable in a lot of worlds. But copper, aluminum, stainless steel, pretty much any shiny metal is precious here. Carly said gold, silver and platinum. Those are just the three most widely accepted among the versers. But other than that, they're all equal value to the hospital.

(Doing Therapy)

This message was last edited by the GM at 07:55, Sat 27 Dec 2014.

Manticore
 player, 92 posts
Sat 27 Dec 2014
at 08:00
Re: Manticore
I let the doc know that I don't want to use such a spell. I'm more worried about what might happen if someone finds things like that in the database. Cookbooks, normal gaming books, music and the like don't worry me, but when you're talking about a demon that is reputed to be able to flip entire continents over (topside down into the mantle, lavaside up on top) as an at-will ability, you have reason to worry. And the other book deals with necromancy that goes lightyears beyond just making undead monsters; think prayer-numbing musical weaponry made from the ritually desecrated bodies of young girls and played using the souls of the doubly-damned as the keys.


I have maybe a dozen books with me in hard copy. There are many more on the flash drive and a pair of DVDs. I can check the flash drive at present and count those, but until I have access to a working DVD reader in real life I can't count the number of books on those. The CDs and the rest of my DVDs are music and movies rather than books.
JohnA1nut
 GM, 116 posts
Sat 27 Dec 2014
at 08:39
Re: Manticore
The doctor looks at you without expression and says flatly "And your point is?" Then he gets slightly condescending. "What? You think you're the first person to bring in that kind of material? The versers know not to mess with it here. If someone chooses to mess with it when they verse out of here, there's not really much anyone can do about it. It's not our concern. If they don't get the information here, they will get it somewhere else. And at least here, they can seek guidance from someone who has done it or something similar before. They can go to an unpopulated world and do it in relative safety."

On the books on DVD, (I'm assuming multiple books per disk.) the doctor tells you "Those each count as one, regardless of how many books are on them. I'm sorry about that, but some versers have technology and some don't. So, to be fair, each book, DVD, CD, and the flash drive count as one. Unless you use your own resources to print them out into separate paper editions. But that would probably cost more than you would get back."

The exception being if they held a much, much larger than normal amount of data, but he can tell right now they don't.

(Doing Therapy)

This message was last edited by the GM at 11:02, Sat 27 Dec 2014.

Manticore
 player, 93 posts
Sun 28 Dec 2014
at 21:13
Re: Manticore
"My point being, I'd rather play it safe than risk endangering people, Doctor." But with his assurance that they'd dealt with such before, everything was handed over. 1 flash drive, 2 DVDs of other computer files (including my own writings, characters, and resume as well as more books), 6 movies on DVD, 1 TV show on DVD (multiple discs, but I'd count it as one item), 16 CD cases (two have multiple CDs, but again I'd count it as one item, along with the librettos), and 12 hard copy books (2 cookbooks, an employee handbook, a medical book, a book of Chinese mythology, 1 book on chess & other classical board games, 1 book on a CCG, and the remaining 5 are roleplaying books).
JohnA1nut
 GM, 118 posts
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 02:15
Re: Manticore
OOC) I'm counting 38 items. That's 190 ounces of precious metal. Please correct me if I'm wrong. You are responsible for recording your skills and gear.

And it suddenly occurs to me; why would a doctor be dealing with information storage?


Doc says "Take those down to Central Processing. They will take care of everything there."

This message was lightly edited by the GM at 02:16, Mon 29 Dec 2014.

Manticore
 player, 94 posts
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 02:54
Re: Manticore
"Are there signs which way I should go?" A sensible question, it seemed to me, since I was new here and this tower was gargantuan.
JohnA1nut
 GM, 119 posts
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 03:26
Re: Manticore
"Yeah, just go down the hallway to the elevator and tell the elevator where you want to go."

So I assume you do. Whilst you're leaving, you pass Carly Rae. She's just arriving for her shift. Unless you do something else, she's just going to give you a wave and a smile as you pass.

So you get in the elevator. It verbally asks "Where to?" And you tell it "Central Processing." and the doors close. Then the world tastes purple, you cease to exist for a moment, and the doors open. Looking out, you see a sign that says "Central Processing". Following that, you see a couple of guys behind a desk. There's also a sign up that says "Now Hiring." So hospital janitor/laborer aren't your only options for employment.

They look at what you've brought and say "Thirty eight items. Five ounces of metal each. What kinds of metal would you like?"

They also ask you if you'd like to hear about alternate payment options. Instead of getting the metal, you can get it credited towards different things. For example, five ounces will buy you fifteen days stay in an apartment in The Tower.

This message was last edited by the GM at 03:35, Mon 29 Dec 2014.

Manticore
 player, 95 posts
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 05:19
Re: Manticore
I gave Carly a wave and a friendly "Hello Carly!" in passing, but did not stop as we both had places to go.

-----------

In the elevator, I tried not to freak out as that winking out, winking in happened again. It was one think to go through it with Alice in control, because I trusted her. But a machine did the same effect? Hmm. Magic item? Which led to several thoughts about possible sorts of magic in use. Unfortunately, the main one that came to mind was the Fair Folk and usage of waypoints. No, jumping between the mirrored bubbles that way made plenty of sense. Jumping between levels of a single building that way screamed wrongness to me, so I decided fairly quickly that that couldn't be the kind of magic involved. Well... maybe it couldn't. A vague, imprecise memory of freeholds wafted across my mind's eye, but the details didn't come. Maybe next time I had a chance to sit down and re-read what was on my flash drive. This really wasn't the time or place to be pondering it deeply.

After getting my items scanned, copied, or whatever into their Database, my first priority is paying my hospital bill, with say, 30 days towards an apartment or other such place to sleep after that. As far as the kind of metal, I just ask for whatever is standard here and not too heavy, explaining that I'm new - like, 2nd day as a verser new.

I'll take a look over the hiring board while things are being scanned/copied/processed/whatever, as well as any other important looking notices (whether services offered, warnings about problems, regulations, etc.).
JohnA1nut
 GM, 120 posts
Mon 29 Dec 2014
at 09:19
Re: Manticore
The hospital bill is paid just by scanning the items into the Database. You don't owe anything after that. The new data is the payment. Apparently the hospital gets a kickback from the information services for referring you.

When you mention that you're looking for work, the clerk at the desk points you to an information kiosk. "Just sit down there, tell it what kind of work you're looking for, and it will tell you what's available."

They also tell you that it will take a few hours to scan your information into the Database. They'll give you a receipt for it, and have it returned to your room when they're finished with it. Unless you want to wait.

"So, 30 days apartment stay. And the rest as the standard. Well, there is no standard. So I'll give you 60 ounces gold, 60 ounces silver and 60 ounces platinum. Sound good to you? I don't know which of those was more valuable where you came from, but here they're pretty much equal in value."

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:21, Mon 29 Dec 2014.

Manticore
 player, 96 posts
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 03:13
Re: Manticore
"Sounds good," I said. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was wondering why something like platinum would be viewed as a precious metal outside of a game, but oh well, different culture and different reasoning.

Heading to the information kiosk, I sat down and looked things over for how to input requests. Let's look for something entry level first, I told myself, seeing how very different this place was from home. Sure, folks would want entertainment, but what kind? ANd unskilled labor, hmm, with the abilities I'd seen being used so far just doing boring gruntwork might not even be an option. So... see what's out there for a guy with no declared skills, and willing to train the employee?
JohnA1nut
 GM, 439 posts
Wed 15 Jul 2015
at 18:04
Re: Manticore
OOC) Good to see you back!!! It's been about 7 or 8 months. I like that though. You just replied to the game like it was yesterday. I would love to know what's kept you away. Perhaps send me a PM telling me of your misadventures?

quote:
Heading to the information kiosk, I sat down and looked things over for how to input requests. Let's look for something entry level first, I told myself, seeing how very different this place was from home. Sure, folks would want entertainment, but what kind? ANd unskilled labor, hmm, with the abilities I'd seen being used so far just doing boring gruntwork might not even be an option. So... see what's out there for a guy with no declared skills, and willing to train the employee?


There's a literal Neanderthal sitting at the terminal next to you, and he seems to be doing just fine with it, so you don't anticipate any problems.

You sit down and the computer speaks to you. It's basically the Next Gen Enterprise computer, as far as ease of use. It says "With what do you need assistance?" You ask it about employment options. It scrolls a list of anything you can think of, and plenty you can't. It would take you at least half a day to read through them all.

Then it says "Do you wish to redefine your search parameters?"

You ask "Entertainment."

Again, a list that would take hours to go through scrolls down. But you do see listed several categories for entertainment fighting. There are descriptions not unlike the WWF, and the UFC. There's the Roman gladiators. They train fighters. There's listings for stuntmen. Apparently this place has its own version of Hollywood.

You ask it about unskilled labor.

A huge list comes down. Concrete work. Stone cutting. Tree cutter. Most of them offer on the job training.

Asking about Education, it lists off every high school or collegiate course imaginable. There's also listings for wilderness survival, magic and psionic use, weapons training. All kinds of things.

Magehammer teaches a wilderness survival course. The description says that this is highly recommended. If you can live off the land, you can make a life for yourself on just about any world, regardless of money, language or social issues.
Manticore
 player, 97 posts
Thu 16 Jul 2015
at 14:22
Re: Manticore
Egads, this place had a huge course catalog! It seemed like you could study everything from English Lit. ('ENG 702: Snubbing Stephen King') to things that I had no idea what to even begin to think (Martian Studies 104: Yargling for Vurgs'). And more kinds of psionics than I'd even heard of in gaming.

Hmm. So much to choose from, in every catagory I looked at. Perhaps, given the enormous number of options, I could find something that combined multiple needs as well as my interest in entertainment?

I tried a new query, seeking entertainment employment with on the job training in magic; a clown sorcerer's apprentice/assistant or some such.

This message was lightly edited by the player at 14:22, Thu 16 July 2015.

JohnA1nut
 GM, 440 posts
Fri 17 Jul 2015
at 14:04
Re: Manticore
quote:
I tried a new query, seeking entertainment employment with on the job training in magic; a clown sorcerer's apprentice/assistant or some such.


OOC) I'm not exactly certain I understand what it is you're looking for here. Be a bit more specific if you can.
Manticore
 player, 98 posts
Thu 23 Jul 2015
at 16:42
Re: Manticore
OOC: Okay, let me try and re-write what I'd been thinking of. This is a case where character-me and player-me have slightly different ideas, after all. Character-me is looking for a job that meets three criteria in this search. A) the entertainment industry, B) paying work, and C) something in which he can learn more about magic on the job. On the other hand, player-me is thinking of/hoping for something that meets those criteria and is also fairly outre, with elements of being someone's apprentice, being a (circus or rodeo) clown, and perhaps incorporating living in an enchanted state for an extended period as a way to learn an oddball body skill in the bargain. The concept of a magical proxy in Unknown Armies was one that crossed my mind as well, a bond between master and employee or apprentice so that the boundary between them in the eyes of the multiverse is blurred, letting the master get away with things he normally cannot do because his taboos or peculiar actions necessary to empower his spells have been partially transferred to the apprentice through ritual magic and legal agreement.
JohnA1nut
 GM, 443 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 07:58
Re: Manticore
Refining your search, you find listings for:

Harry Houdini, need assistant for dangerous escape tricks. Must be willing to risk verse-out.

Ringling Brothers Circus, need clowns for various purposes.

Annie Oakley's school of trick shooting. Ever wanted to learn to catch bullets? Guarantee you can do it once!!!!

OOC) Anything specific you'd like to suggest here?
Manticore
 player, 99 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 11:08
Re: Manticore
A dubious eyebrow went up reading these, followed by the other eyebrow. Sure, Annie Oakley was justifiably famous for both her shooting and her showmanship, but what the HECK was going on in a world crammed with versers from every imaginable (and unimaginable) time and place that the only entries that came up were acts that I'd heard of back home in history class? Something wasn't adding up there, in my head. A few more moments' thought told me that the criteria I'd tried to use weren't being met in at least two of them as well, and probably not in Ringling either.

I made a note of the Ringling call for clowns though, to come back to later, cleared my search and tried doing a general (not just employment) search on my own name to see who or what came up. The only other person I knew I shared it with in fiction was a prince and architect, the designer of a (in that fiction) highly advant garde airport terminal. Were there other me's here? Other hims? Complete strangers bearing a common name?



OOC: I'll come back to job-seeking with a specific after my character-self finishes trying to wrap his head around a computer that's reminding him/me a bit too strongly of the 'Future Imperfect' episode of Star Tek TNG.
JohnA1nut
 GM, 445 posts
Sun 26 Jul 2015
at 11:38
Re: Manticore
OOC) Okay, I think we might be in need of a retcon here or something. That was written by a tired referee at 4 in the morning.

quote:
with elements of being someone's apprentice, being a (circus or rodeo) clown, and perhaps incorporating living in an enchanted state for an extended period as a way to learn an oddball body skill in the bargain.


This was the part I was kind of focusing on. Apprenticing to Houdini to learn an oddball body skill. Escaping from a straight jacket is a rather oddball body skill..... That's why I also asked for suggestions about what you would want to find. I'm sure you realize the referee can't always think of everything.

So how about you tell me exactly what it is you're looking for???