Friday, December 28, 2018

Infra-Red Part 2: The United States


THE UNITED STATES


GOVERNMENT

THE UNITED STATES IS CURRENTLY RUN BY JOHN F. KENNEDY, A DEMOCRAT. FOREIGN RELATIONS HAVE WORSENED SINCE THE TAKEOVER OF BRAZIL, LEAVING THE UNITED STATES ALONE AGAINST ITS MANY ENEMIES.

MILITARY

THE AMERICAN MILITARY IS CENTERED IN WASHINGTON, D.C AND FACILITY 1, BUT THEY ARE BEGINNING TO TEST CONTROLLED INFRALS IN VIETNAM AND BRAZIL.
THE ICRA IS GENERALLY REGARDED AS PART OF THE MILITARY, BUT IS GENERALLY USED IN DOMESTIC ACTIONS IN THE UNITED STATES AND BRAZIL. THE ICRA DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO MILITARY EQUIPMENT, BUT ARE USUALLY GRANTED INFRALS DURING OPERATIONS IN BRAZIL. THEY ENJOY AN UNUSUAL DEGREE OF FREEDOM: ICRA ASSET COLLECTION TEAMS TASKED WITH RECOVERING INFRALS ARE GIVEN ALMOST COMPLETE AUTONOMY AS LONG AS THEY FOLLOW THEIR MISSION'S OBJECTIVES AND MINIMIZE CASUALTIES.

LIFE IN THE US

THE UNITED STATES HAS BECOME MORE AND MORE DIVIDED SINCE THE TAKEOVER OF BRAZIL. CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTS HAVE ABSORBED DISPLACED BRAZILIANS, INCLUDING MEMBERS OF THE MNB, OR MOVIMENTO NACIONALISTA BRASILEIRO: A VIOLENT BRAZILIAN NATIONALIST GROUP.
AS MNB MEMBERS PUSH CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENTS INTO EXTREMISM AND VIOLENCE, THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT RESPONDS IN KIND WITH SWEEPING POLICE MILITARIZATION INITIATIVES.
OUTSIDE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, LIFE CONTINUES AS NORMAL: THE ICRA HAS SUCCESSFULLY HIDDEN INFRALS FROM THE GENERAL POPULACE, FEARING THAT THE DISCOVERY OF ALIEN LIFE WOULD CATAPULT SOCIETY THE REST OF THE WAY INTO COMPLETE CHAOS.


CURRENT EVENTS

1. PROJECT HIGHRISE HAS MADE IT'S FIRST BIG BREAKTHROUGH, HAVING DISCOVERED HOW TO CONTROL INFRALS: ELECTRIC SIGNALS DIRECTLY TO THE "BRAIN" USING METAL NEEDLES CONNECTED TO BATTERIES.

2. SOME MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT THINK INFRALS MIGHT BE NEEDED TO QUELL RIOTS

3. MNB MEMBERS ARE PLANNING AN ATTACK ON A FACILITY IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST

4. ICRA ASSET COLLECTION TEAMS SUSPECT A GROUP UNAFFILIATED WITH THE MNB TO BE HOLDING INFRALS IN A WAREHOUSE IN NEW YORK

Thursday, December 13, 2018

A Positively Monstrous Way of Thinking

heh, puns

Back in 2010, noisms posted a piece on fighting large groups vs. single large enemies. In his experience, D&D is often paired with the first method, where encounters are against groups of monsters, with single foes only appearing as rare boss fights.

I'm more interested in the second approach, which he titles "Giant Slaying": rare encounters with large, threatening, and unique single enemies. In my opinion, this could be expanded even further into a monster of the week style game, where entire adventures are built around a single monster.

Each of these adventures are split into two portions: the chase and the kill. For some monsters, the chase is the hard part, while others are easy to find, but difficult to kill.

For example, I used the Forge to create 4 monster names: Soul Halcyon, Pale Antler Dragon, Needler Heart, and the Lotus Beak Wyrm.

All of these are meant to be difficult fights for 1st or 2nd level parties, so stat accordingly.

Soul Halcyon
The Soul Halcyon is an infection as much as it is a monster. It spreads between people, connecting a hyper-empathic hivemind: the infected are so nice they'll point you towards the Soul Halcyon itself: the problem is catching up to it.

The Chase: The Soul Halcyon's physical form is fast, but the hive will point you straight to it. The Soul Halcyon will seek large population centers to infect.

The Kill: The Soul Halcyon's speed continues to reward it in combat: it's twice as fast as a man, and can fly short distances. Along with melee attacks, its scream forces WIS saves to resist inclusion into the hivemind (treat as a Dominate Person spell).

Pale Antler Dragon
The Pale Antler Dragon doesn't fit in the forests it lives in: it only feels comfortable when its wide spines scrape against the trees.

Image result for dragon with antlers 
The Chase: The Pale Antler Dragon shifts through the densest parts of trees, constantly scraping as it moves. Its cowardly nature leads to its use of simple traps and diversions: creating decoys to lead the party under a falling log, for instance.

The Kill: Getting the Pale Antler Dragon into a straight fight mandates trickery and traps to stop it from barreling over a tree and vanishing into the forest. When finally cornered, the Pale Antler Dragon is a violent melee combatant, throwing PCs across the forest with wide sweeps of its horns and crushing them with its claws.

Needler Heart 
The Needler Heart is an immobile construct buried underground, slowly infecting the earth with spiked tunnels and fractal pathways.

Image result for hyper light drifter immortal cellThe Chase: Navigating the maze-like passages around the Heart takes time as they shift around you: every round there's a 1-in-6 chance they flail wildly, requiring DEX checks to avoid the waving spikes.

The Kill: The Needler Heart is immobile but surrounded by writhing spikes: cutting them off is easy, but they attack you freely as long as you're in range. The Heart can grow spikes from the floor to effectively remove parts of the terrain, or attack directly by extending a massive needle.


Lotus Beak Wyrm
The Lotus Beak Wyrm's scales flake off constantly, creating a hallucinogenic haze around it, that remains as it moves through the mountains its made home.

The Chase: Following the Lotus Beak Wyrm directly only gets the PCs more lost as the hallucinogens set in.

The Kill: The Wyrm is very lightly armored, but the combination of the waving fronds on its body and the hallucinations create a very unpleasant environment to fight. The hallucinogens are deactivated by water: shoving the Wyrm into a lake or stream will make it far easier to kill or capture.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Wormgod's Harvest Part 1

"And the worm consumed the world, and shed the Light by which we live."  

So, a quick sort of overview of Wormgod's Harvest, another setting because I don't have the attention span to finish anything. The Wormgod shattered the world in the Age Before, and is sleeping in the dead core. The mites from its skin fill the air, turning it faintly yellow. They're afraid of living things, but eat dead things.

Magic

Shaping (a type of constructive biomancy) is a large part of Wormgod's Harvest, along with Miteworking, the other magic system. Houses are usually either grown with Shaping or built out of stone, and travel between islands (yes I'm using that trope) requires Shaped creatures.

Miteworking is the equivalent to religious magic: by praying against the Wormgod, you can intimidate the Mites into doing things for you. Unlike Shaping, Miteworking doesn't require long, drawn-out rituals, but the Mites don't stay afraid of you for very long.

Related image 
This is heavily inspired by Scrap Princess's Another Gristly Campaign Skeleton.

Infra-Red Part 2: The United States

THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT THE UNITED STATES IS CURRENTLY RUN BY JOHN F. KENNEDY, A DEMOCRAT. FOREIGN RELATIONS HAVE WORSENED SINCE...