How Did We Get Here?   Posted by Game Master.Group: 0
Game Master
 GM, 40 posts
Sat 21 Oct 2017
at 18:30
How Did We Get Here?
It was a golden age of technology and culture. War was all but extinct, as were plagues and hunger. Technology had reached a pinnacle, with artificial intelligence and new energy sources allowing humans to attain their true potential. Leisure was the sole occupation worth mentioning.

Then the volcano detonated. A supervolcano, so great as to cover half the world with a cloud, erupted and continued erupting for years. Ash was the only weather, aside from bitter acid rain. The sun became a distant memory, the constillations myths.

New parasites flourished and ancient microbes awoke. Humanity sacrified all else in the natural world to save themselves. Ultimately their attempts were fruitless, and the only survivors were those who hid themselves away.

Then there were the nuclear detonations. Not out of malice as was so long feared, but neglect. Reactors, no longer staffed, and old weapons, allowed to degrade, began to leak deadly rads. Soon the earth itself was a poisonous dust.

Some few survived. Humans resigned themselves to short, miserable lives. Their children were rare and knew no better than the hardscrabble lives of their forebears. They struggled for basic sustenance, fighting in the graveyards of excess.

Androids, humanity's artificial servants, remained. Lacking the imagination to understand the scope of the world's decay, they attempted to continue their existences of uncomplaining toil. The few humans remaining were not part of their database and so they were ignored. The Robots guarded luxury and power in the midst of ruin, waiting for their long-time masters.

Those who survived were witness to changes in themselves. Those who could not endure the hostile environment adapted or died off. A few strains of mutation allowed a fleeting advantage in a world with no mercy. The more arrogant of these abhumans would style themselves inheritors of the broken world.

Most humans have given up all hope. They live lives of short-sighted desperation, fighting for another moment of breath. A few visionaries have acquired a following of these hopeless souls. They promise escape from their miserable existence in exchange for service. Often these are fell-handed warlords, reveling in violence and pleasure. Some of them are self-proclaimed prophets, exhorting their followers to strange rituals and bloody sacrifice. Some are technocrats, hoarding knowledge of the fallen world to their advantage. All have some source of power that gives them an edge in this dying world.
Game Master
 GM, 42 posts
Mon 6 Nov 2017
at 22:07
How Did We Get Here?
Vampire
In a world with little to eat, there are few animals rich with meat. Everything still has blood, though, hot and salty and filled with protein. If you are careful, you can drink from a creature without killing it, though most vampires don't bother. The vampires are a new breed of human, with needle-teeth and agile tongues. They also have pale, thin skin. Even the slightest sunlight burns them terribly. Their sensitive eyes water and their joints ache in the sun that peeks through the ash clouds.

 Flaws: Light Sensitivity
 Mutie: Regenerative (Variant): Use Normal Bite to inflict damage. Restore 1 Health for every point of damage inflicted. Fresh dead humans provide 1 health.

Gargoyle
Ash streams down from the sky, and the ground gets it the worst. Small wonder then that a few chose to make their homes up high. The people of the fallen world were thoughtless in many of their endowments but they did leave splendid artificial mountains. The bones of skyscrapers still hang gleaming in the air, far above the concerns of the world below. If you look closely, you may see the gargoyles who nest there. They resemble apes in some ways. They are most comfortable leaning down on their heavy hands rather than standing upright. Their hands have changed, from many tiny fingers to three thick, mutually opposable ones ending in sharp keratin claws. They clamber up walls and across girders with greater ease than walking across flat ground.

 Flaws: Partial Biped. Clumsy Hands.
 Mutie: Wall crawling. Claws.

Golem
Too few leafy greens and too much poison is hard on the liver. When it can't process all the minor nutrients, it spreads them throughout the body to create deadly toxicity. Some humans gradually evolved to store some extra minerals in the skin. These Golems, as they are called, have mighty hides that resist blows. Their digestion and immune systems are weak, so virtually any disease or poison can kill them.

 Flaws: Weak to Toxins: double damage.
 Mutie: Armoured.

Ichathyian
As the rad levels rose and the ash fell, some sought the bosom of the sea. The waves provided some shelter from rads, but the pollution we had long dumped in it caused its own problems. Those who survived endured painful mutations that allowed them to, finally, live beneath the waves. Now they had thin scales and gills, with large eyes and huge mouths. Their hands became more like flippers, to move more easily in water. Their eyes had adapted to the dark depths as well.

 Flaws: Crude hands. Light Sensitive.
 Mutie: Amphibious. Night Vision.

Taurian
During the final days of science, Man became arrogant in our knowledge. We learned how to manipulate our own bodies, and decided we would do a better job than our origins had provided us. Some people engaged in genetic and surgical alterations to give themselves animal characteristics. Beast-like legs and enhanced senses seemed like great advances, but there was a cost. In trying to improve ourselves, we created unforseen side effects.
There are a variety of Taurians, but generally there are two groups. One descended from those who wanted equine characteristics, and one who wished to be more canine.

 Flaws: Tail (either dog-tail or horse tail). Selective Diet (Only meat or only vegetation).
 Mutie: Swift: Beast-legs (end in either dull claws or hooves).

Kanite
 Humans dreamed of flight. We spliced ourselves with the genetics of another mammal that had mastered the art. We got what we asked for, but it wasn't what we wanted. In these people, thin, strong membranes connect the arms to the sides, like a bat. The eyes became large and sensitive to light. Their voiceboxes changed to allow them to shriek, but cost them much of their speech.

 Mutie: Patagia. Echolocation. Night Vision
 Flaws: Light sensitive. Speech Impediment. Thick fur.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:09, Sun 18 Mar 2018.

Game Master
 GM, 44 posts
Tue 6 Mar 2018
at 00:05
How Did We Get Here?
The people of the World Before hoarded their wealth jealously. No one was to touch anything that did not belong to them, and they were willing to corrupt their own bodies to see this remain true.

Corpses found from those before often have tiny pieces of metal and plastic embedded into their heads. These wires and circuits allowed them to control their vehicles with ease, and prevented anyone else from using them. They also told the Robots who their masters were, ensuring servile obedience.

Anyone who lacks these Lockjacks can command no engines of the World Before. These shining vehicles sit idle, waiting for long-dead drivers to take their seats again. The art of installing these Lockjacks correctly has been lost, but some desperate few will try. After a painful and dangerous surgery, they may ride once more in the fastest, most powerful vehicles that were once a common sight. All others must content themselves with crude vehicles of simple design.

The Lockjack is not without a cost of its own, however. To avoid having ones' body reject the implant, the driver must take a steady supply of medicine to suppress their own immune system. This drug, called Synerject, used to be common. Now, it is worth its weight in jet fuel.

Many years after the end, life is cheap and violence is everywhere. A survivor would like the finest weapons available, but the greatest guns of the World Before are useless to them. Soldiers used to have special chips implanted in their arm that allowed access to powerful guns. Assault weapons and military vehicles require their operators to have Milchips to operate.

****

Most vehicles require a Lockjack to work. The ones that don't usually fit into one of these categories:
 Old classic cars; museum pieces; some construction vehicles; very old planes such as biplanes; recreational vehicles such as dirt bikes, quads, or airboats; anything drawn by a beast; anything driven by wind power; anything driven by muscle-power.

Some guns require a Milchip to be implanted to function:
 Assault rifles, heavy handguns, all machine guns, medium & heavy rifles, pump shotguns, submachine guns, flame throwers, all grenade launchers, rocket & torpedo launchers

Other guns do not usually require a Milchip. Vehicles that have a weapon attached require the gunner to have a Milchip.
Game Master
 GM, 111 posts
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 17:09
How Did We Get Here?
It wasn't long ago that detonations of great volcanoes were not rare at all. The planet used to be a barren dustball, with little atmosphere and a climate hovering around zero on the equator. At some point, seed probes from the far distant homeworld arrived and began improving matters. By automated terraforming, the planet became more suitable for colonization. Volcanoes were triggered to thicken the atmosphere, which melted the ice caps and created oceans. Once the volcanoes had done their work, the magma flows were diverted to stem further detonations. The oceans and lands were seeded with vegetation, and eventually vat-grown clones of animals were released onto the land.

The first colony ships arrived just in time, and humans poured out. The first generations were smart, hardy stock. The best and brightest of humanity were needed to turn this new frontier into a self-sustaining mecca of civilization. They emerged into the light of the bright new star and got to work. Soon, the verdant wilderness was tamed to become a fertile breadbasket. Resources, such as minerals thrown to the surface by many volcanic detonations, were mined. What little the planet could not provide was scavenged from the colony ships. This new world provided its hardworking settlers with challenge and opportunity in equal measure.

Generations later, communities of all sorts had been created. Though their descendants were not as prepared to face uncultivated civilization, they approached the challenges of a new world with seriousness and care. Cities and governments were created to balance the production of resources with its equitable distribution. The hungry were fed, the poor were housed, and all contributed according to their abilities. The people had passed beyond the rough needs of simple survival. They began to continue research into the sciences, that this world might feed the mind as well as the body.

The second wave of colonist ships arrived on the planet. This group was not as numerous as the first, but far better equipped. Their ships did not land, instead staying in orbit and sending the people down. These colonists were far from pleased at what they found. They had expected a hedonistic paradise rather than a practical, ongoing endeavor. They used their resources to buy interests in the industries, flooding the planet with more wealth than the existing population had ever seen at once. The descendants of the original colonists were soon convinced that the planet could become a paradise, where labour was obsolete.

The planet's industry was retasked. Agriculture was changed from home-grown food crops to exotic plants, and much of the remaining produce was used for liquor. Factories that had produced construction vehicles now produced hot rods. Construction shifted from affordable housing to mansions and shopping centers. Educational media was defunded to make room for entertainment programming.

Eventually the colony, which had been founded as an agricultural endeavor, became a pleasure world. No expense was spared to make life as luxurious as possible. With wealth came suspicion and resentment. New security measures were necessary to maintain the distribution of wealth. Soldiers and security guards were armed with newly-forged guns. Prisons and military camps sprung up. Eventually entire nations became military rivals. Deadly superweapons, long only present as blueprints in ancient archive, were constructed.