The original intent for the setting description was to work west around the world, just to keep it orderly. Ennui and has decided I'll jump ahead a few time zones. 

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
For stretch of time, things were looking rough for the USSR, having grown stagnant in Stalin's state capitalism. However, in the early 1990's the failed August Coup reignited the flame of communism in the hearts and minds of the populous. Under the leadership of Gorbachev, and later Putin, the country took additional leaps towards communism. 

While the Cold War ended after the Collapse, the war of Capitalism vs Communism continues between the USSR and the Major Corporations, as a proxy war rages in South America through the corporation backed Contras. 

With the Space Race won by default (though, admitted surpassed by Japan after the race was over), the Republics were the first to have a permanent space station in Earth's orbit (Cosmograd), on the moon (Lunagrad) and just recently on Mars (Perungrad). 

The Sights
Constructivist architecture remains popular, along with Socialist Classicism

Socialist realism statues and monuments can be found in most public spaces, glorifying the triumph of the proletariat. 

Monolithic housing blocks ensure no comrade is left homeless. 

House of the Soviets, once the world's tallest building (now second to Tokyo Skytree superstrate), beams nightly fan fair into the Russian night sky.

KGB cameras are not seen, despite what Western propaganda will have you believe. They are better hidden than that. 

The Sounds
Sovietwave and Russian Surf echo from the discotheques.  

Vladimir Vysotsky and Tsvety can still be heard on radio stations. 

The steady hum of industry and prosperity fill the work days. 

The Internationale can be heard sung in factories at the start of shifts. 

The Smells
Papirosy, strong cardboard tipped cigarettes, are smoked everywhere. 

Grease and burning smells hang in the air around factory towns. 

Alcohol is on everyone's breath. 

Camomile and Carnation aromas fill the air in town centers, as the two flowers have grown popularity. 

The Tastes
Alcoholic drinks are common in day to day life. Anything under 6% is classified as a "soft drink"

Gregorian and Estonian cuisines have gained in popularity as of late. 

The KGB has noted Soviet citizens have a significantly healthier diet than those of the former USA. 

The Touches
Cold, cruel, and crushing winters. 

Warm and mild summers. 

Stiff and itchy canvas is used to make the mass produced popular work shirt.  

In the News: 
They've recently annexed Afghanistan, to which Iran takes a paranoid view of, and are currently in a land dispute with Maoist China over Mongolia. 

There's also some trouble from nationalists in eastern Europe. The Iron Curtain has become a hotbed of terrorist activities, to the point of bullets becoming a secondary currency. 

Not in the News: 
Multiple ZATOs (closed administrative-territorial formations; "closed cities") are active, mostly dealing with nuclear or alternate energy research, naval/air force administration, and cosmodromes. There are some less boring ZATOs in operation, however:  
  • Majak (City 40) - Focuses on research into and using "strange matter"
  • Uglegorsk - Serves as the cosmodrome managing terrestrial side operations for the Hinderland station. 
  • Gorky - Mass production of the nuclear capable KM ekranoplan
  • Mailbox #4276 - Secure facility in Mezhgorye performing research in theoretical quantum realms and entanglement. 
  • Krasnoyarsk 26 - Researches ancient viruses discovered in the ever thawing tundra. 
It's also been rumored the USSR has provided nuclear missiles to the Republic of Cuba. Detection and confirmation by outside observers has been made difficult due to background radiation from wide spread contamination after some jackass thought it was a good idea to nuke a hurricane. 

New Class

People's Champion

For each template gain +1 Save against Fear. 

A. Inspiration, Turn Bourgeoisie 
B. Internationale
C. Neither Gods Nor Caesars
D. Nothing to Lose But Your Chains

The Champion doesn't get this ability, so much as the team gets the ability. This is a pool of points equal to 1 per People's Champion template in the team, and usable on various things (listed below) by anyone on the team. To activate, the player using the point must inspire the target in someway. I'm primarily picturing a short uplifting speech, but if you can figure another way, I ain't gonna stop you. Ways to refill the pool are also listed below. 

  • Restore 1d6 HP to the target
  • Give a +4 to a single test or save. (Traditional assisting only provides +2) 
  • Champion successfully assists someone
  • Champion takes time to repair gear rather than simply purchase new item
  • Champion shows solidarity with the common man at a detriment to themselves. 

Turn Bourgeoisie

When confronted by the Bourgeoisie or one of their dogs (CEOs, cops), you may speak words of revolution (and spend a Conviction point), then roll 2d6, consulting the chart above. If you roll under the number (meet is beat) the target is turned. A "T" means the target is automatically turned, "D" means the target is destroyed, and "-" means automatic failure. In cases of dual numbers (ex 11/5), the first number is for turned, the second is for destroyed. Turned targets flee the area for 1d6 rounds. Destroyed targets leave the area for good and rethink the choices they made that lead them to this point. 

When meeting members of the Proletariat, reaction rolls are made at a +4. 

Neither Gods Nor Caesers
Adjacent allies may use your Save vs Fear in replace of their own. 

Nothing to Lose But Your Chains
Once per session, by given a grandstanding, uplifting speech, you can give a free Command (as per the traditional spell) to the audience with no Save. 

Variant: Posadist
A. Inspiration, Talk to Dolphin
B. Internationale
C. Neither Gods Nor Caesars
D. Nuclear Football

Talk to Dolphin
You're able to communicate with dolphins, without any additional tools. They are comrades, after all. 

Nuclear Football
You have a miniature nuke in a suitcase. It takes up 2 slots and possibly has a faulty timer. What you do with it is up to you. I certainly ain't gonna hassle the person with a nuclear device. 


On Halflings, Goblins, and Raccoons

 In the last post, I offered an encountered posed as a question:

24. What if Hydras, but with Hobbits?

And that got me wondering: What IF hydras, but with hobbits? Well, the answer seems pretty clear: Goblins. 

"What? That makes no sense, you drunkard." I hear you say; to which I retort: 1) Ouch. Rude. Jesus. and 2) I can show my work. I just gotta do a little information dump to get you on the same page. It'll seem unrelated at first, and it largely is, but the concept it presents will be what's important. 

Many of the names I'm about to use have accent marks in their proper spelling, but in 20 years of knowing how to type, I've never figured out how to make them, so they won't have them. 

The Story of Fafnir

Fafnir, a dwarf with a strong right arm and a fearless soul, was the son of king Hreidmar, and brother to Regin and Otr. Known for his aggression, he served in his father's hall as a guard, keeping a close eye on the massive amount of wealth the king of the dwarfs obviously would have. He had a nice life, full of dwarf things, until - as these stories go - the gods arrived. 

You see, Odin, Loki, and Hœnir were traveling when they encountered Otr. Now Otr had the ability to change into any form, and his favorite was that of the otter. And a damn fine otter he was. So much so, Loki (of course it's Loki, it's always Loki in these stories) desired his pelt, which involved killing and skinning Otr. A task the gods made short work of. 

That night they came unto Hreidmar's hall and, pleased with their catch and unknowning it was actually a dwarf or Hreidmar's son, they proudly showed off the pelt they had harvested. Obviously, Hreidmar was displeased by this and at first demanded a life for a life to pay for the murder, however the gods made the argument that the murder was but an accident, as Otr was an otter at the time, and they had no way of knowing. Accepting that it was an accident, Hreidmar instead settled for weregild ("man price", compensation payed to a family over the lose or injury of a member). Otr was the son of a king, so his price was high: in order the gods to leave as free men they had to fill Otr's pelt with yellow gold and then cover it entirely with red gold. Agreeing to this, Odin and Hœnir remained as captives, while Loki went out in search of the gold. 

Instead of returning to the large treasure hordes of Asgard to end this unfortunately situation quickly, Loki hunts down Andvari. Andvari, another dwarf with the ability to shape shift (this time into a pike) who lived under a waterfall, was incredibly wealthy, thanks to his ring Andvaranaut, which helped in hunting gold. Using a net from Ran (sea goddess with an indestructible net; a whole other side quest), Loki was able to capture Andvari in fish form, and force him to give up both his gold and magic ring. Having no other choice, Andvari gives them up, but curses them to bring ruin to anyone who possess them in the process. 

Full of himself, Loki returned to Hreidmar and laid the gold treasure upon the pelt of Otr. The gold nearly covered all of it, save for a single whisker, which Loki begrudgingly used Andvaranaut to cover. With the wereguild paid in full, the gods were released, and go on about their way, exiting out of this story. 

Now, the type of otter Otr was was most likely the euroasian otter, because that's the only Scandinavia has, so we're looking at a pelt up to 37.5 inches (96cm) long, not including the 18 inch (45cm) tail. That's a heap of gold. A HEAP

Fueled by both jealousy and the curse, but probably mostly the curse, Fafnir drew his sword and murdered Hreidmar, taking all the gold for himself. Escaping in the wilderness, left alone with ill gained fortune, Fafnir grew twisted and cruel, his greed changing him into a serpent/dragon which breathed poison into the very land around him. 


AND we see here how Fafnir was corrupted by his greed into a dragon. This wasn't a "Oh, I want this minor material possession to make my miserable life slightly brighter for a moment" nominal amount of greed that we experience everyday, this was "I am fully inclined to murder the man whose enormous amount of gold and gems I've guarded with my life for (probably) decades without so much a thought of snatching one, and also he's my father" amount of greed - the kind you see from landlords and Wall Street. His vice/sin changed him to his very core. 

Besides Dwarf, which other usually playable race is known for a vice, such as gluttony? 

That's right: Halflings. And where as Halfings aren't Dwarfs, they're not going to turn into dragons or serpents. Their gluttony and sloth and all the other vices and sins that were carried out in the depraved bourgeois halls of Bag End would change and transform them into something else. That something else is a Goblin. 

Halflings live in a hole in the ground. To quote: "Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell...it was a hobbit halfing-hole, and that means comfort." (and decadence). 

Goblins, on the other hand, live in a hole in the ground. A nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell. A destroyed halfling hole. 

That's...asinine, but what does this have to do with Hydra?

Hydras are well known for their ability to regrow their severed heads. A goblin's ability to regrow parts is also well documented. I had a link to this documentation, however now that I needed it, it is missing. The long and short of it was that goblin basically breed through violence, quickly regrowing missing parts or even whole bodies. I'll put in the link if I can ever find it again. 

Alright...I guess. And the raccoons?

Look at the following videos. Raccoons are basically Goblins. 

Look at 'em. 

That's clear evidence that the Elves evolved the Halflings from raccoons, much in the same way they made Man from apes, and Orcs from boar. It's just basic science. 

Post Publish Edit (8/11/20): Well kiss my grits. Seems Arnold K already covered this five years ago.  While this only further suggests that I am correct, I will not forget this insult.