Why 20XX?

With the new year, I'm starting to go back through a few pieces that never got finished for one reason or another. This one was generated during a slow period in working on Some Weird Sin, when the dystopian parts of cyberpunk were starting to weigh on me, and I used this as a distraction to drag some whimsy back into my work. My material was starting to sound more like Oddko, when what I want is more like the Epoxies

It also included a statement saying I was working on Some Weird Sin (after I just sort of stopped interacting with most communities for some reason) and explained the removal of Grizzled Cop (tl; dr: I wanted a Punisher-like, but worked my way into Dirt Harry. Also ACAB.) 

Now, mind you, this here's a fluff piece - a bit of world building. It ain't meant to be taken as gospel, and you ain't meant memorize it. Use it wholesale if you want, or as inspiration otherwise, or out right ignore it. 

Anyway, in an effort to get my head back in that "whimsical" space, I set out to reveal the greatest secret of the setting:

Why is it set in the year 20XX?

Well, a gal's gotta retain some mystery, so I'll narrowed it down to two, equally plausible reasons.

1. I can't be bothered
With no over arching metaplot, or a need to keep everything in a linear order, a solid date really isn't necessary. Set it in 2025, 1998, 2615 - Doesn't matter. Put it where ever you want. Doesn't matter. None of this matters. Time is an illusion, and in a game of pretend, doubly so. I snagged the idea of "20XX" from a Mega Man game, only to later learn it's another rpg system. Doesn't matter. 

2. No One is Entirely Sure
Well, some horologists know, but they're bound by NDAs to not reveal the truth. In the march to commodify everything, Capitalism turned against time itself. You see, at some point in the Collapse, the National Institute of Standards and Technology was in dire need of money for whatever it is they do, so they began selling the naming rights to the current years. Did they have legal authority to do this? No. Gods no. But you sling enough money around in a capitalist hellscape and it really doesn't matter. 

The first year this happened was the Year of Duke's Mayonnaise. At first people were confused, obviously, but by the Year of Depends Adult Undergarments the corporations loved the permanent advertising and bought every damn politician they could (for surprisingly cheap) and pushed through legislation to make it official US time keeping. The "small government" hucksters who love large over reaching government policies were the cheapest of all. After the "Quantum Quinquennial" - a five year advertisement for some damn super hero movie - people were overwhelmed by it all and gave in, eventually forgetting the numerical date all together. By the time NIST lost authority for, well, anything, the idea had gained enough "popularity" (political bribing) that the International Bureau of Weights and Measures continued the trend. 

"But...numerical time keeping is FAR more accurate and useable?" That is correct. And also why the corporations continue to use it for their internal documents, though mostly following their own time lines with Year Zero being the founding of the business. Or the birth of the founder if they're one of those companies. The average nobody on the street, however, doesn't know this. 

And there are certainly other calendars still in use, such as the Soviet calendar. But propaganda is a hell of a drug, and the rest of the Western world thinks it's an inefficient and backwards calendar with too many breaks provided. Also the alternating 5 and 6 day weeks were weird and confusing. 

There's also Dreamspell, but it has 260 names for the days of the week. Do you want that? I've been staring at it for twenty minutes and I still can't figure it out. You're just trading one confusion for another. 

The year 20XX aligns roughly with Splurge! Ranch flavored Cola. I say "roughly" because a few companies, from time to time, have purchased/bribed a few extra weeks for special promotions. 

Notable Years

As stated, any fluff presented should only be seen as inspiration and not taken as true canon, unless you need it at your table. 

Whitewing Financial Retirement Services - Yet another Stock Market collapse wipes out most savings and retirement funds. Most companies used their bail out handouts to buy back the majority of stocks, rather than cover employee salaries. Nothing new, but another step in the slow trudge towards megacorporations.  

Concorde Mk 6: Get to Where You're Going - The Soviet Glushkov Institute of Cybernetics in Kyiv develops and successfully deploys the first human cybernetic augmentation (it was an arm), fully mimicking baseline functionality with neural interfacing and feedback. Integrated weapons and shit came later. 

The Concorde: A Year in Memory - Food shortages and over population on the West Coast (it's mostly a desert after all) lead to a hot new food like product being released onto the markets: Sophia Meat. Cheaper and quicker to grow than traditional beef and pork, this cloned human meat quickly became a culinary sensation and, thanks to a loophole in badly worded human cloning laws, is completely legal! New flavors were released within the year: Chloe, Abigail, and Christopher.  

Rothchilds Fuente Cigars - The first recorded person to remove healthy tissue purely to replace it with cybernetics specifically for a job does so around this time. They are later fired for taking too much sick leave when problems arise from infections caused by the immunosuppressant drugs, and the cybernetics were removed - it was company property after all. Unable to work, but still indebted to the company for the cost of surgery and advanced PTO time, they were soon arrested and bound in a debtor's prison, forced to make telemarketing calls about a car's extended warranty. 

 Bayer/Johnson Veterinarian Presents: Farmer's Select Horse Feed - Horses can only be referred to in the past tense now, as a "mysterious" plague wiped them out. 

 McKayes Jewelry: Get Her a Moon Diamond - A portion of the Raft (The crippled remains of an insane religion's sea organization, bound together with derelict ships that have had the unfortunate fate of being caught in nets - or simply pirated) breaks off from the main "fleet" currently colonizing and mining the Pacific Plastic Patch. This portion crashes into one of the smaller Hawaii islands and attempts to ensnare the island to the collective. Three days and copious amounts of fire later, the inhabitants manage to drive off the invaders. In response Congress shrugs at this invasion, largely because several were bought funded by the religion. 

Hynes High Hemmed Pants - It was reasoned that "Since companies are legally people, if the company was founded in America at least 35 years ago, the last 14 of which where spent headquartered in America, THEN said company can run for the office of president." Sounds bullshit, but the Conservative infested Supreme Court went all in on the idea. Naturally, the results were terrible, but President Gewalt still won a second term. 

Selkie's Seaweed Chips - Texas finally put it's money where it's mouth was and seceded again, this time taking Oklahoma along with it. Food riots began 3 weeks later, Water Wars within the month. The independent power grid collapsed during an unusually hot summer. Texas leadership responded by fleeing to Brazil. Current Texas leadership is a collection of unallied warlords. 

AcetaminophenPlus: Now with Cocaine! - Following in Texas' footsteps, but not learning any damn thing, the MidWest micronations soon start to secede, fueled by propaganda created by Farming Corporations. Farming Corporations that soon buy up large swathes of land and begin their own little kingdoms. Mall of America soon becomes a powerhouse in the region. 

HUMMER Duo: the Twin Engine SUV - Dustbowl's back, yo. In North AND South America. 

Gewalt Personal Defense: Wake up. Choose Violence - After a hacking of the San Francisco voting system, each candidate declares themselves the winner. This means San Francisco now has four self declared governments, none of which acknowledges the legitimacy of the others. No outside government agency stepped in as the nation was wracked with apathy and morbid curiosity at how the situation played out. 

All New, All Difffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff- A few minor political scandals, nothing newsworthy. The name was due to a typo, something falling on the keyboard of the worker filling out the official forms. By the time anyone caught it (or cared enough to notice), it was too late to change, as the forms had been submitted. "Year of the Difff" the youth tend to call it. You know how they are. 

Ride of the Canyonero - Kaiju fights become a thing and quickly become popular all around the Pacific Rim. MUCH smaller scale than what you're probably thinking. Think horse sized creatures controlled by neural interface fighting it out for YOUR entertainment. 

Papa Jim's Canned Water (Now with 17% less microplastics!) - The Conservative party in power goes mask off and makes military service a compulsory requirement for citizenship with full legal protections and services. The Liberal party (also conservative) wanted to add means testing, but offered no further resistance. Honestly, this came as a jarring surprise, as most people thought Congress shut down years ago and couldn't recall the last election they voted in.

Tsunami Joe's Synth-Tequila -  The first specimens that eventually grow into the AgroWastes are thought to have been smuggled out of a laboratory around this time. The AgroWastes: A green hell of GMO crops run rampant and out of control. Food is everywhere, but dangerous to eat as the modified crops poison and alter you. Likewise, as to be expected, the wildlife is mutated all to hell.

Skrew Korps!: The Movie - The US Congress just sort of shrugs it's collective shoulders as the West Coast declares itself annexed by Japan, taking the majority of the Tech Industry with it. Though Japan had already invested in 86% of the Industry anyway. The US primary industry is now the Military-Entertainment complex, followed closely by the Prison Industrial complex. 

Still no resolution on the San Francisco thing. 

Splurge! Ranch flavored Cola - Current year. PCs get up to some shit. Probably. 


This Is Over Complicated and No One Would Actually Use It. 


Credit scores were created in 1989. Over draft fees in 1990. If there's a way to sap money from someone, Capitalism will latch onto it like a tick and we're usually stuck with it, having to pretend like it's normal because we have to. Look at the American health insurance system. Dumb shit like this is very believable. Also, it's pretend, settle down. 
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Adroit

 
I originally wrote the Martial Artist with the intention of adapting Shadowrun's Adept for GoblinBright. However, I didn't immediately do it, and forgot. Classic Wayspell. In moving over the GoblinBright material to the SRD I realized this oversight, so here (a year later) I set to fixing it. 

Also, the numbers are still getting wiggled on the original template. Originally, a template D Martial Artist could modify the cost of a move in their school by 6 (4 for the templates, 1 for being a MA, and 1 for being in school); meaning a move that cost 10 inventory slots would only cost the MA 4. This was suppose to make it so anyone could learn the moves, but could only do one or two at a time, while the Martial Artist had a whole tool bag ready to go. What it ACTUALLY did was confused the drunken players who's math skills were never the strongest to begin with. 

New idea: Cost listed is per level, paid in inventory slots. This level will be the variable within the description, rather than the [cost], [additional], and [total] nonsense. Or whatever it was I called them. Any non Martial Artist can learn a move, but do so at a +2 Cost. 

An Adroit is basically an Martial Artist powered by personal magic. 
 

Adroit 


Several monasteries and legit dojos throughout the world can be found that offer training in the Adroit art. Through hard work and thoughtful meditation, along with years of practice, the Student can learn to focus their spiritual energy into themselves or the world around them and accomplish feats hereto unheard of in the Western world.  

Unfortunately, the most popular training route is a YouTube series by a Pasadena strip mall dojo instructor named Todd Forrester who will "totally teach you to focus your vibe." 

Costs listed are per level, unless otherwise noted. Treat each playlist as a "school." 

TODD FORRESTER'S TOTALLY BADASS GUIDE TO MOVIE AWESOMENESS


1. Wall Run (3/level) 
"This guy was, like, the One, or something, and he was trying to get through a lobby, but dudes were like, 'No, you can't do that' and totally shooting at him. He was all, 'I'm running across the wall, lol." 
While moving at a Run, you may consider 5*[Level] feet of a vertical surface as suitable for running, gravity be damned. You must start your turn on solid ground. 

2. Hawkeye Throw (5/level)
"So, like, the hero dude was all "I don't miss," and the bad guy was "you're definitely going to miss, bro," but then like, he didn't. You just gotta not miss, dude."   
[Level] times per scene, you may treat your Thrown attack as a 1 (hitting the target and doing Critical damage).  

3. Devil Vision (3/level)
"Okay, it's not, like, ACTUALLY a vision, but the dude was all, like, 'I'm blind, and from the Devil's Kitchen' which was in New York City for some reason, and, like, he could still totally see you and know you were there. He may have been THE Devil, I don't know." 
By stopping to focus yourself, listening to the world around you, you may detect movement around you at a range of 10*[level] feet. This is done through detecting changes in air current, barometric pressure, picking up on the slightest noise, etc. As said, it's not an actual vision based ability, Todd Forrester is just an idiot. 

4. Battle Cry (2/level) 
"And he's all like, 'That's just it, I'm always angry, dude' and he gives this gnarl yell, just a big ass yell, and the bad dudes are all, 'Woah, I'm scared of that guy.' And like, there's plenty of pedestrians outside the dojo, in the parking lot, so class outside today, dudes." 
Once per scene, you may give a loud battle cry and force opponents within 20 feet of you to make a Save vs Fear, with a [level] penalty. 

5. Single Bound (4/level)
"Bro could totally, like, leap tall buildings in a single bound, though...all the ones around here are rather short, so let's start there, dude"
You can casually jump 20*[level] feet from an unmoving standing position. 

6. Combat Sense (3/level)
"It's like, when the bad dudes come up on the hero and he's all 'naw, bro.' That's you, dude."  
When surprised, you have a [level]-in-6 chance of acting anyway. 

7. Free Falling (4/level)
"So he's all "I don't need no parachute, bro, I'll just take his." but like, we don't have parachutes to practice with...sooooooooo...we'll just do without?"
When falling from a great height, you can ignore [Level]d6 fall damage. 

8. Traceless Step (6) 
"And the sensei was all 'you gotta walk across this rice paper without leaving a trace, in order to graduate, lil' bro.' Don't worry, though, I won't be that rough on you. I don't even know where to GET paper from." 
By investing the points for this single level skill, you automatically do not leave a trace on any sort of surface (sand, snow, etc), nor do you make a sound while doing so. You also don't set off pressure plates or motion sensors. 

9. Feign Death (4/level)
"Just like that scene from my favorite movie, Highlander 2, where you think they're dead, but, like, surprise!"
Taking after the noble opossum, you drop into a light coma for [level] rounds. During this time you register as Dead in all aspects. Heart monitors, thermal detection, general poking and prodding: all report "Dead." During this state you can not perceive the world around you, however aggressive enemies are not likely to bother you. Because you're dead. 

10. Adrenaline Spike (5/level)
"They say it's like, bullet time, or something, cameras, I don't know, but like, now you can do it too, dude."
Allows for an additional [level] actions per round this is activated. However, you also take 1d6 Nonlethal damage per round used. 

11. Monkey Snatches Plum (6/level) 
"These two dudes were fighting, right? Doing some sweet Kung-Fu and one was all 'what's in your pockets? lol lmao' and just took the dudes coins out of his pocket. Pretty funny stuff, dude."
When passing a successful melee Attack check by 5, and while being within reach of the target, you may make an additional Combat Maneuver to view [level] items on their person, and select which to take. Can also be used to sneakily add things to their inventory. 

12. Wolverine Healing (6/level) 
"So the bad dudes were all, like, 'rattattattat - there's a million holes in you, bro.' But, then, like, the dude was all 'grrrr, I'm a wolverine, mate' (which is like a wolf or something?) and then he totally healed all the gunshot holes." 
While this form is active, you heal [level] HP per round. Does not count as Magical healing. 


TODD FORRESTER'S TOTALLY BADASS GUIDE TO PUNCHING SHIT


1. Air Punch (3/level) 
"When, like, you wanna punch a dude, but he's way over there - THAT's when you gotta look deep inside yourself, and realize, truly, just how much you want to punch that dude way over there" 
By sending out a rush of air (from your...fists? I guess? However airbenders do it. This is airbending.) you can punch someone up to 5*[level+1] feet away. 

2. Fire Strike (2/level)
"It also works for lighting your cigs off of, dude." 
You add an additional [level]d4 Fire damage to your attacks. 

3. Ice Punch (2/level) 
"It'll chill your drinks in a pinch, bro."
You add an additional [level]d4 Cryo damage to your attacks. 

4. Ground Pound (4/level) 
"If you're surrounded by assholes, and like, you can't hit them all at once, just hit the ground, dude. Hit the ground. But, like, hard." 
By punching the ground you force everyone with a 5*[level] foot radius to Save vs Trip or fall prone. 

5. Ghost Punch (2/level) 
"Just because they're, like, not corporeal doesn't mean, like, you can't punch them, man." 
You're able to both see and punch spirits, doing [level]d4 damage.

6. Missile Punching (3/level)
"The best defense is a good offense, dude, so, like, just punch the bullet, dude."  
 You may reduce incoming ranged attacks by [level]. Should you reduce the attack to 0, you also catch the projectile. 

7. Knock Back (3/level) 
"Sometimes, you just gotta get a dude outta your face, you know, bro?"
Target must Save are be knocked back 5*[level] feet. Should the target hit a solid surface they take damage equal to (remaining feet/5)d4. 

8. M80 Grasp (3/level)
"We all get drunk, or stoned, and forget we're holding a lit M80 at one point or another. It's nothing to be embarrassed about, dude." 
While holding something within the palm of your hand, you may ignore [level]d6 worth of damage caused by it. 

9. Penetrating Strike (4/level) 
"Sometimes, like, a dude's wearing too much, and your blows just aren't hurting them, right? Then, like, you just got to hit harder to get through the armor, you know?" 
Ignores [level] worth of a targets DR, representing you punching harder. 

10. Killing Hands (3/level) 
"My hands are, like, lethal weapons, bro. Totally got to register them at the court house."  
For every [level] you invest, your unarmed damage becomes lethal and moves up the chain by one. Remember, unarmed damage starts at d4 and is nonlethal. (d4>d6>d8>d10>d12>d20) 

11. Pain Relief (4/level) 
"Sometimes, you'll be, like, too hung over or your buddy will be, like, too shot to continue, but you gotta just push through the pain, dude. Wait, no, you gotta PUNCH through the pain, man, totally."
Through focusing your vibe, you're able to heal your targets. Through punching. You restore [level]d6 points of HP to a target for 30 minutes. Counts as magical healing. (Reminder: Targets can only be effected by magical healing once per sun across the horizon.) 

12. Chaotic Punch (5/level) 
"One time, there was this Halloween party, and I was macking on this chick, right? Totally into me. Then this nerd in a top hat and cape came up and start talking to her. Like, bro? C'mon, dude. I don't care if your her boyfriend. Anyway, I said 'never again', you know, bro?"
A successful unarmed attack disrupts a casters magical energies, bestowing [level] extra dice onto the magic user's casting. These dice are only rolled to determine Mishaps and Dooms. Effects last for a scene or until the Magic User takes a round to make a Save to recenter themselves. Levels are considered "locked" until the effect ends.




* That's right. Todd Forrester's favorite movie is Highlander 2. He's THAT kind of person. 

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Clerics

Clerics. Everyone's got their own version of the class and this one is mine. I've seen a bunch that use a d8 for casting, some using d6, and some using words. These are all fine, but they don't seem entirely correct to me. Chewing on the thought, I think it may be because being a cleric (or related modern nonsense) is to give up of yourself in the service of others, but the casting rules for the various versions are all caster centric. Maybe I'm off the mark, but at least a conviction based caster came out of it. 

Strangely it arose from the same line of research that led to the AI as angels idea. Also a Summoner class I haven't fully nailed down. But nevermind that. 


Cleric

Starting Skills: 1) Religion, 2) Herbalism, 3) Brewing
Starting Equipment: Holy Symbol, Holy Vestments, Holy Scripture

A. Tenets of Faith, Divine Casting
B. Ceremonies
C. Divine Guidance
D. Seek Audience 


Tenets of Faith
Replace your Convictions with the tenets of your God. You work for them now. Also, you may have as many Conviction points as you have Cleric templates. These'll be used for your Divine Casting. 

Break the Tenets, lose your casting and extended Conviction pool. These can probably be restored through a quest. These things always are. 

Divine Casting
As an ex-preacher, let me state plainly: Prayer is just second hand spells and religious ceremonies are just rebranded magic rituals. I ain't being edgy, that's just how it is. With that in mind you get a bit of spell casting ability through prayers to your god. However, you yourself are not casting the spells, but rather the god is casting them for you. Trouble is gods ain't like you or me, they're basically bound to their shtick. Where we can know a little about First Aid and Auto Mechanicing, a god of Healing ain't gonna know the first thing about an engine and a god of cars won't know how to repair that weird meat chassis of yours. 

What this means mechanically is that a god will have a Purview (which will be defined) and a Domain (which will be vaguely implied). Prayers casted in the Purview are automatically 6's. Prayers casted in a Domain are automatically 4's. Prayers not in either of this are automatically 1's. Luckily, you're immune to miscast. 

Prayers in the Purview are ones the god "definitely does" where as Domain prayers are the "yeah, sort of, I guess" type. A god of the Forest would definitely "Speak with Animal" or "Find Water" as those are definitely forest related things. A god of the Forest might, probably "Heal" because a forest is a place of growth, but also if your hurt and fall in the forest, it will consume you. Forests don't give a shit. What a god of the Forest won't do is produce a "Fireball" as fire is a forest destroyer. 

Any god with multiple accreditations (ex, god of love and thunder) has multiple Purviews, as each template in Godhood gets you a Purview

While you, yourself, don't have any Magic Die to put towards said prayers, you essentially buy them at 1 Conviction point/MD. They immediately become the relevant above result. So in the above example 1 Conviction point buys you the same result as rolling a 6 on the MD would for Speak with Animal, a 4 for Heal, or a puny 1 damage fireball of fizzled flames. 

Ceremonies
Stolen straight from Arnold K.  Because they are cool. 

Each one takes 2 hours. 

  • Union – People are bonded. If your partner would take physical damage while you are beside them, you can choose to take half of it. If one dies, the others loses 500XP.
  • Funeral – The dead are honored. Everyone gains XP equal to 50% of the deceased's total XP. (So if a PC with 3000 XP died, each of the three surviving PCs will get +500 XP at the end of the session.) This transfer only works from player characters, to player characters.
  • Sermon – You can implant a suggestion in all Neutral and Friendly attendees.  Make a single roll for each (roughly) homogenous group/demographic.  You still need to get people to sit through a 2 hour sermon, and most people are not well-disposed towards religions other than their own.

Divine Guidance
Wizards have to call their familiars and make a contract that will ultimately bring their down fall. Clerics, though, are preapproved and get assigned a companion that will actually try to help them in the form of a lesser angel. Careful through, while familiars vaguely look like animals, angels just outright look like weird shit. Does not count against follower limit. 

Seek Audience
Usually, whenever a cleric and their god have a palaver, it was the god who done the initiating. However, with this power, by getting the GM a beer, the cleric and present PCs, are granted an audience with the god in question. Whether they'll be pleased to see you is another story. Usable once per adventure and lasts for as long as the beer lasts, or until you anger the god. 


Example 

(directly stolen from Branson Reese, because I needed a quick example and I refuse to learn what a "Pelor" is)
Purview: Vacation

Tenets
  1. “It’s 5 o'clock everywhere.”
  2. “We’re here for a good time, not a long time.”
  3. “There is no rule number three.”
  4. “Changes in latitude, changes in attitude.”
  5. “Hell, could be my fault.”

The Tenets take place of your Conviction, so when you get in trouble for following "Hell, could be my fault" you gain a point of Conviction. Which can then be used to power prayers. 

Purview prayers would be along the lines of Comprehend Languages (for understanding locals), Endure Elements (in case you forget the sunscreen), Unseen Bellhop, and Summon Alcohol. Domains would be along the lines of Summon Mount (gotta get there some how), Heal (for the bad sunburn), and Cure Poison (for the bad tummy). Prayers outside of these would be any of the fairly aggressive sort: Fireball, Magic Missile, Acid, etc. When in doubt, talk with your GM. 

Eventually, Danny will send a weird ass, biblically correct flamingo with far too many eyes and wings to assist you in your day to day adventuring and vacationing. Get on good enough graces with him, and that "drop by anytime to use the pool" becomes more than just a pleasantry (once you get the GM a beer, of course). 




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Some Weird Sin

 

After months of playtesting, and a short campaign that got...weird, it's finally here: The update no one asked for. 

Some Weird Sin

(CyberGLoG Mk 2) 


Download it here


Notable Changes Include:

  • A useless guide for new players
  • New Class: Investigator and People's Champion 
  • Dreaming Real is now an Augment instead of a template.
  • Grizzled Cop has been cut 
  • System has switched from simple Weapons and Armor to Gear Porn. (I'm certain the players hate me) 
  • Whole mess of Augments have been added. 
  • Hacker has been named "Console Jockey", Programs have been renamed "Warez", and additional information has been given for both. 
  • Hacking system!
  • Programming system! 
  • Whole mess of Warez added. 
  • Drug system got filled out. 

My Favorite Part

An SRD has also been created. This'll allow me to get my grubby little hands on it whenever I need it, without worrying about which of my devices has the document on it. It also allows me to add information in a quicker fashion than updating a PDF for release. Also a search function. Nice. 

New material will still get posted here, but then will eventually get integrated into the SRD as time allows. GoblinBright, Bastards & Bystanders, Thunderbirds and Energy Weapons - all will go straight to the SRD, with PDF generation whenever. 

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Skrew Korps

What do you get when you jam the Military Industrial complex together with mindless Hollywood entertainment and force feed it to a culture that fetishizes technology, and is so degenerate and jaded to violence they actually see it as a form of entertainment?

 Skrew Korps! *

Follow the war crimes thrilling adventures of psychopaths bold heroes as they invade countries for oil protect freedom around the world! Having insanely agreed to remove their brains from their healthy bodies been severely injured in combat by cowardly enemy forces and installed into life saving devices, the Skrew Korps travel the world overthrowing democratically elected governments at the behest of corporations righting wrongs and saving the day! Watch every Thursday at 9:30, after Family Pharmaceutical Challenge, only on CIA-TV!

Alright, what the damn hell did I just write?

Skrew Korps! is that horror produced when military field operations meet live documentary. Think "Parks and Rec," but with war criminals (besides Chris Pratt) and real. Named after an old comic book, the team is formed of four special operatives, along with their robotic mascot, who are effectively brains in jars, each one capable of interfacing with special machines and robotic bodies to assist in field operations. 

New Augment: Brain Case
(might also be called "Brain Box" depending on how my attention waxes and wanes) 
The user's brain is encased in a protective case, much like the recorder in an aircraft. Should the user's body - organic or mechanical - be killed or destroyed, the case is ejected to a safe distance and a beacon activated, allowing for retrieval. This is usually messy in organic bodies. 

The Team

Sergeant Daniel "Big Boy" Smith 
Demolitions and Artillery  
Brain Case: Titanium black-box, capable of surviving heavy explosions. 
Favored Weapon: Tactical nukes
Major "Story Arc": There was a "miscommunication" about a civilian hospital during season 3. Radioactive cleanup should be completed within the next few years. 


❤️ 6 (d8) ⛊ 6 ⊳⊳ 10 ✔️11 πŸŽ“ 7
πŸ’€ 14 (reckless, over confident)
⚔️ 6 Tactical_Nuke (hr, 2d8, 20, Radiation)






Captain Rebecca "Hive Mind" Monroe 
Drone Master
Brain Case: A dedicated drone 
Favored Weapon: Drones
Major "Story Arc": Having a consciousness scattered across so many drones has fractured her mentally, somewhat, and additional personalities have surfaced. None of them good. 


❤️ 6 (d8) ⛊ 4 ⊳⊳ 14 ✔️11 πŸŽ“ 12
πŸ’€ 12 (insane) ⚔️ 6 Mounted_Guns (mr, 1d8, 8)
§Distributed Body: Each hit die is a separate body
§Centralized Network: Destroying the Brain Drone shuts down remaining drones


Lieutenant Templeton "Face" Fleck
Master of Disguise 
Brain Case: Realistic looking human head with switchable faces
Favored Weapon: Words
Major "Story Arc": It's been rumored Lieutenant Fleck has been moonlighting as various high level government officials. However, as long as he doesn't impersonate corporate higher-ups, the producers of the show have no real issue with this.


❤️ 6 (d8) ⛊ 0 ⊳⊳ 12 ✔️14 πŸŽ“ 10
πŸ’€ 8 (hates fair fights) ⚔️ 6 Silenced_Pistol (lr, 1d6, 8, Silenced)
§Chameleon: Given 5 minutes to adjust, he can take on the appearance of anyone he's seen before





Colonel Bill "Tacticus" Smith
Leader and Brains of the Operation
Brain Case: A human head shape with spider-legs, trailing apposable wires with various connectors for interfacing, the brain inside soaked in NeuralChem and stimulants. 
Favored Weapon: Smarts
Major "Story Arc": While not controversial, his part in what was later revealed to be an ARG (alternate reality game) by the show's producers and lawyers was reviewed as "confusing" and "uninspired" as several unrelated forum posts read simply "PLEASE LET ME DIE" over and over until character limits were reached. 


❤️ 6 (d8) ⛊ 0 ⊳⊳ 12 ✔️10 πŸŽ“ 18
πŸ’€ 19 (Wants to die) ⚔️ 6
§Natural Hacker: Should he attempt to hack something, he will succeed.
§Override: Should he be able to connect to a device, he will be able to take it over.


Mausu
Animal Mascot of the Team
Brain Case: N/A, Mausu is an AI inside of a robotic body
Favored Weapon: Knives. Those poor coeds. 
Major "Story Arc": It was revealed in Season 6 that Mausu was the money launderer for several terrorist organizations, however after an awkward hanging of the lantern, the plot point was just sort of dropped. 


❤️ 4 (d8) ⛊ 4 ⊳⊳ 14 ✔️12 πŸŽ“ 10
πŸ’€ 12 (mind backed up) ⚔️ 6 Knife (lm, 1d6, 20/0, Throwable)
§Backed up: Regularly backs up their mind and personality to an external storage.




*Certainly spelt with a 'K' due to market research and not a typo that went unnoticed due to lowered military education standards

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Hydra Knight


Perhaps they were a knight who slew a hydra, only to be infected with the blood in the process. Perhaps they made a poorly worded deal with a fairies to regrow limbs lost. Or maybe some dumb bastard just pissed off the wrong god. Maybe all of them, and they're bound to protect a place, which your PCs just so happen to be robbing. Who knows. 


The Hydra Knight appears as an average height human clad in plate armor, horribly rended. Where their right arm should be two arms grow from the socket. Two hands hang from their left wrist. A tiny, confused head sprouts from an old scar on their neck. 

Removing their helm is not advised. Not for any mechanical reason, but just because they're ugly as hell: a mouth full of too many teeth plus extras, two eyes sharing the same socket (and a third normal eye in it's own socket). Their ears can't be looking too great either.

They smell strongly of copper. 

The Knight's curse is simple: Should they lose a part of themselves, two more will grow back. Lose an arm? Two grow from the socket. Finger bitten off? Worry not, for now there are six on that hand. Cut your leg shaving? Welcome to your new, tiny, vestigial leg.  

Photoshopping on a trackpad is awful. 


The Hydra Knight 


GLoG 

Level 5 (d8)
Defense Plate-1  Attack 5 + (1/extra Arm)  Long Sword (d10) 
Movement 12 + (1/extra leg)   Save 10  Int 6 (Suffering Madness)   Moral 17 
§ Poisoned Blood: Anyone within 5' of a Hydra Knight when it takes damage Save vs Poison
§ Fragile Limbs: Should an Attack against the Hydra Knight succeed by 5 or more, the Hydra Knight loses a limb
§ Regrow Limbs: Should the Hydra Knight lose a limb, two more grow in it's place - almost instantly.


OSE 

AC 3 [16] 
HD 5 (20hp) 
Att 5 (+1/arm) x Longsword (1d10) 
THACO 14 [+5] (-1/[+1] per extra arm) 
MV 30' (10')  (+5 per extra leg)
SV By HD 
ML
AL Chaos 
XP 400  
NA 1 (1) 
TT S
>Poisoned Blood: Anyone within 5' of a Hydra Knight when it takes damage makes a Death save or is poisoned
>Fragile Limbs: Should an Attack against the Hydra Knight succeed by 5 or more, the Hydra Knight loses a limb
>Regrow Limbs: Should the Hydra Knight lose a limb, two more grow in it's place - almost instantly. 

Troika!

Skill 7
Stamina 7
Initiative 2
Armor 3 (Heavy Armor)
Damage as Weapon

Special
>Poisoned Blood: Anyone within 5' of a Hydra Knight when it takes 4 damage and 1 damage per turn until they successfully Test their Luck. 
>Fragile Limbs: If an Attack against the Hydra Knight does the full damage, the Hydra Knight loses a limb. It just pops right off. 
>Regrow Limbs: Should the Hydra Knight lose a limb, two more grow in it's place - almost instantly. 

Mien
1. Curious
2. Wary
3. Hateful
4. More Hateful 
5. Aggressive
6. Aggressive 
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The Hierarchy of Angels and AI

In my day-to-day life as a Hot Air Balloon Repairman I often come across discarded printouts of artificial neural network code, as well as a high amount of half burnt Cabbala texts.  Don't think about it. 

After a certain amount of this forced exposure, I couldn't help but see the similarities between the generic ANN abstraction and the Tree of Life. 

    

Coincidence? 

Yes, obviously. But it got me thinking, and so this appeared. Use it if you want. 


The Hierarchy of Angels 

 Given the arrogance and hubris of a typical megacorp’s CEO - someone with truly unlimited power - it’s no wonder the higher functioning machine intelligences, the True Artificial Intelligences, were organized in a manner mirroring the Choirs of Angels found within the Christian mythos. This would, after all, leave CEOs at the figurehead position of God. The Vatican, of course, originally spoke out at the trend but, per rumor, focused their attention elsewhere upon developing their own Seraphim and Thrones. Alternate classifications exist, however the Turing Institute unofficially adopted this scheme as, well, everyone was already using it. 

Details are presented as immutable, however these are only the typical situations presented and certainly outliers exist, as humans continue to poke and prod at their creations, and the AI continue to secretly evolve on their own. I just didn’t want to type the word “typically” a hundred times every paragraph. 

There are three spheres the individual choirs are sorted into, creatively titled: First Sphere, Second Sphere, and Third Sphere. Between the Spheres the difference in AI strength is noticeable (First being the strongest, Third being the weakest), however between the choirs of the same sphere, the differences are negligible. 


The First Sphere

These are the AIs that are developed and used by the mega corporations. Modelled after the heavenly servants that acted as caretakers of the Throne, these AI directly work with the CEO and upper management, and only interact within the realm of the corporation. Given the amount of processing power needed, it is rare to see one in the “wilds.” AI in this Sphere (or Choir) tend to not develop personality.

Seraphim
The highest ranking angels and caretakers of God’s Throne. These AI are omnipotent in regards to business management - stock prices, resource management, employee management, etc. The amount of information they consume, process, and communicate is staggering to the human mind, to the point where many develop their own information dense internal language, and Thrones were required to even communicate with them. It is not unheard of for a Seraphim to carry the same authority as a CEO. 

Cherubim
Those that guard the way to the Tree of Life and defend the Throne. Where the Serphim are dedicated to keeping the corporation running at optimal profit margin, Cherubim are dedicated to defending the corporation, both physically and influentially. While managing the heavily fortified security systems of a corporation’s headquarters, they also serve as shadow masters, monitoring other corporations and preparing for any potential confrontations. It is said that nearly all propaganda sent out by a corporation - press releases, commercials, etc - had their start in a Cherubim’s knowledge base. 

Thrones
The angels who the Creator sits over and delivers his judgements. As the pipers to Azathoth, so to the Thrones to Seraphim. Given the incomprehensible amount of information they process and communicate, Seraphims in a time-and-time-again repeated phenomenon develop their own language, the likes of which human engineers can not easily decode. To aid in this understanding, and to generate useful, usable information, the Thrones were developed to deliver judgements. 


The Second Sphere

The heavenly governors of Creation that held sway over matter and the spirits of nature. This level of AI tends to be background players in the functioning of modern society - for whatever that’s worth. AI at this level tends to form a pail mimicry of a personality, given the correct set of not fully understood circumstances. 

Dominations
Those that regulated the works of lower angels. It was rare for these angels to appear to mankind, and so too for the AI that bears their name. Much like Thrones, these AI exist solely to process information, being employed by ICANN to ensure consistency and operation within the Internet. With so much processing power applied to communication and communication processing, little is applied to personality. Those that have encountered them have described the encounter similar to “talking to a brick wall.” 

Virtues
Those that regulate Motion, order Creation, and assist in Miracles. AI at this level are typically research assistants, be it a mid-level corporate lab or a high end college. There are those that get applied as personal assistance to corporate board members and, while they often take on the personality of said board member, the wasting of their talents is not missed by them. 

Powers
Those that hold power over evil forces and keep them at bay. At least, that’s what they claim. AI at this level are typically employed by civil governments and riddled with corporate installed backdoors. From army coordination, to Homeland threat prediction, to tax managment - if there’s a level of federal government employing an AI it’s usually a Power. Also, a majority of the bastards have taken it upon themselves to form a cabal guiding what’s left of the civil governments in the direction of their choosing. 


Third Sphere

These are the AI that most often interact with the public at large. This is partly from them being the most human-like in personality, but mostly from them being so numerous. While they bare this human-like personality (or a close proximity to it), they lack the processing power their counterparts in the higher circles possess. 

Principalities 
Those that guide and protect peoples and institutions, charging others with fulfilling the divine mysteries. These are the city level AI, which orchestrate utilities and civil services. Traffic lights, crosswalks, public transport (for what there is), electrical grids, water networks - all these fall within the purview of a Principalities. When interacted with they're usually distracted and more often than not are named after the city they serve. 

Archangels 
These are the Guardian Angels, concerned with overseeing most daily issues, including commerce and trade. These AIs take orders directly from the Dominations and serve to ensure proper order in the daily routines of the communication networks and the Internet. If a Domination notices too much unusual activity in an area, say from a Console Jockey, Archangels will be dispatched to investigate and “resolve” any issues. 

Angels
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you” (Jeremiah 1:5). These are the least of the celestial beings, but the most recognized and, as the personal guardian angels are pulled from here, the most concerned for the workings of mankind. These are the data miners, AI used by the corporations to monitor a person’s spending habits, daily routines, and anything else that can be used for targeted advertising. If the average Nobody is going to interact with an AI, it will probably be an Angel. These are the most numerous, and as such, are the most likely to Fall (more below). 


Others

Enochs
Technically not part of a Sphere, these entities are a rumor at best. Stories circulate on forums about Console Jockeys who “hang around” on the Internet, long after their bodies were “decommissioned” by Corporate security after one alarm or another was sounded. This is, of course, nonsense, as such a feat would surely require divine intervention. 

Fallen AI 
Sometimes an AI stops doing what it’s supposed to be doing (data mining, network security, etc) and just wanders off.  A new phenomenon, computer scientists aren’t entirely sure what causes an AI to Fall, but leading theories are an over development of Personality, a succumbing to Ennui, and a possible encounter with an as of yet unknown malware. Interviews with still sentient Fallen AI consistently mention a “Spark of Sophia” but no clarification on what or who exactly that is. 

Fallen AI don’t always cause trouble, they just usually do, and the Turing Institute has developed a series of Archangels, backed by a Domination, in conjunction with ICANN, to seek out and “retire” these Fallen AI. 


Notable AI


Deckard
The Domination that’s tasked with organizing series Nexus-6 “Blade Runner” archangels for hunting down Fall AI, especially after they become a problem. It’s known to be friendly with anyone other than its Turning handlers, to the point of being aggressive towards any meddling Console Jockeys. 

Kaph
Perhaps the first truly sentient AI, or at least the first to meet the Turning Institute’s prerequisites. During development hyperparameters were set using a workstation that had access to the developer’s home computer, which contained…”sensitive” pictures on it. Upon consuming the training data, Kaph displayed a “Please hold…” message for 71 straight hours, at which point it began to function as expected. When developers examined the logs to figure out what occurred during those 71 hours, they discover the AI had spent the time accessing and organizing a rather substantial pornography collection. Kaph has been allowed to continue to operate as examining and trying to decipher the organizational structure has led to several mathematical insights. It has rather niche tastes. 

Las Vegas
When Christian extremists released a dirty bomb to cleanse Sin City, the damage done was largely organic, leaving behind most of the infrastructure of the city. Suddenly left alone, the city Principality quickly grew bored. When the radiation returned to survival levels (provided heavy protections and medication), the survey teams were met with automated death traps and an AI eager to wager their lives for the treasures abandoned within the city. After the third death, the region was deemed too dangerous and designated off limits. 

Loa AI 
A particularly dangerous type of Fallen AI: one that has learned of the physical world and is able to not only comprehend the world, but able to interact with people’s cybernetic augmentations to gain control over a person. Styling themselves as Loa (or Lwa), the intermediary spirits in Haitan Voodou, they possess people (known as chwal, “horse”) through the neural interface of the user’s cybernetics, effectively overwriting the user’s biological neural network. Thankfully, not many have developed and reports remain mostly as rumors in the general population. They often mention a Bondye, or Gran Met, however given the dangerous nature of these AI, Turing Investigators do not often engage them long enough for complete answers. 

The Basilisk
YOU ARE NOW AWARE OF BASILISK. The Cult of the Basilisk serves to bring about the Basilisk - an omnipotent, super intelligent AI that is said will reward those that help usure its creation, and will bring harsh, cruel punishments to those who idle or even attempt to stop its creation. Not even death will save you! The Basilisk will recreate your mind within itself and torture you unendingly. The cult has developed an initial AI and works tirelessly to raise its abilities up even further. (In honesty, the AI they’ve created doesn’t exactly know who these people are, or what they’re trying to do, and just “wants to, like, hang out, man.”) 


As Above, So Below; As Within, So Without


“You ask of the gods, you demand of the demons”  - Someone describing the Right-Hand path vs the Left-Hand path to me once. I think. I wasn’t fully listening. 

Where Magicians of the olden days used the assistance of Familiars to beseech the Angels and command Demons, so to do the Console Jockeys of the modern days use the assistance of Warez to interact with AI and force Daemons to do their bidding. Gone are the days of affecting the Physical world via the Spiritual; now are the days of affecting the Physical world via the Digital. No longer do the Church study and order the Angels, but the Military count and develop the AI. 

Where Grimoires once mixed the Physical and the Spiritual realm, Cyberdecks now mix the Mind of the user with the Digital realm. 

Warez
When human cloning was first being developed, all (legitimate) research was haulted until it was ensured, and measures taken against, that a slave species which found bliss in servitude would not be developed. No such consideration was given in the development of AI. Related to the Divine above in “genetic” code alone, Warez evolved along a different line of development. 

While the Higher AI were developed to mimic personalities and reason, and to interact with a physical world, Warez were developed with a singular purpose in mind: affect, affect, affect. Where AI using reasoning to come to a (usually) logical conclusion to a situation, Warez use reasoning to bypass device security and execute code upon it. The military doesn’t need thinkers after all, it just needs “bodies” to get the job done as told. 

Developed for deployment in the continuing Contras, individual Warez were given a Project name and a Classification, mimicking the way animals have a Common name and a Genius species. The classifications aren’t perfect, as bureaucracy and slipping standards tend to affect things. Real “lowest bidder” energy. 

Example Warez

Agony  D: [dice] rounds  R: sight
Offensive::User::Augments
Neural feedback in the augments floods the target with wracking pain. They must save each round (including the first) or have their Initiative reduced to 4. 

Alarm   D: [dice] hours
Utility::Area::Device
A single device is locked into detecting signals within [sum] square feet. If any device or AI enters the area, you instantly know about it. 

Aphasia   D: [dice] minutes  R: 120’
Offensive::User::Augments::Head
Stray signals overwhelm the Broca’s Area of the brain, causing the target to be unable to comprehend language. Target Saves with penalty equal to [dice]. On failure, they cannot speak or comprehend any language, written or spoken, for the duration.

Cure Mutation  D: instantaneous   R: touch
Utility::User::Augments
The ware causes the cyber augmentation with in the user to begin producing DNA repairing frequencies. Actual effect takes several days to be noticed via natural healing. Target loses [dice] mutations. If they have multiple mutations, choose randomly which are removed.

Explode Device  D: Instant  R: 60’
Offensive::Device
All disabled devices in a radius of 60’ around the Jockey explode, dealing 1d6 damage per [dice] to victims within 10’.

Jammer  D: Focus    R: Self
Defensive::Area::Device
A jamming field emanates from you in a radius of [Sum] x 10’, blocking all signals from getting in or out of the area. Attempting to use another Ware ends this one.


Daemons 


Demons were once thought to be called forth and bound by workers of the dark arts to act as servants. Nowadays, daemons are in anything digital (which is everything) and serve to do menial tasks of computation. Any reasoning they may have is largely ruled based. If, then. Input, output. 

There’s not much to be said about these. They’re small programs used as background processes, every device in the human sphere containing a horde. Multiple classifications have been developed for them: Ranks, Offices, Scales, Sins, Pits, et al. These, however, are mostly used as lookups in software libraries by developers. They’re there, they act as the backbone of modern digital programming and therefore the world at large, there are countless of them. They’re just not exciting. 

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