Seize the GM
Seize the GM
Episode 156: Music of the Apocalypse
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Main Topic

Zendead’s Music Recommendations

Cryo Chamber has lots of play lists on You tube

Aim to Head 

Spacewave on You Tube

Ghost I-IV by Trent Reznor

Joules’s Music Recommendations:

The Day the World Died – Miracle of Sound

Hollow Knight OST – Christopher Larkin

Beauty Bleak – Miracle of Sound

Soundtrack to every Supergiant game – Daren Korb

Closing remarks 

    Zendead – Planet of the Vampires a sci-Fi movie where two ships land on this 

    Joules – Cyberpunk – Edgerunners

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Episode 155: Eden Ship Locales and Beyond
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Main Topic

As we talked about a bit last time, the locations in and around the ship are easy focal points for adventure. This time we are going to add a few more locations and at least one will be from beyond the ship and its sphere of influence. 

Stat Blocks

    Zendead

Fighter Bay 2

Fighter Bay 2 is for the Fold Drive Wing, also called the Polo. While it might seem that a fighter wing bay would not be a place that much happens on you would be mistaken. The Polo Boys when not flying missions tend to hang out here working on their ships. While most of the pilots are not able to make major changes to the ships they have found ways to tweak and fiddle with them. The wing is the smallest one in the fleet since they were not able to create the number of fold drives that they wanted before the launch. This wing is only eight strong now. Two ships have had mishaps over the years. 

The ship’s bay is big for the number of ships in it. That is because they are the pilots that get to jump away from Eden and look for fuel and supplies. Fold engines use a special type of ionized element that is not common. Polonium is that element and it is rare so the fields that keep it from having radioactive leaks must be maintained. So if things here were to go sideways then you never know what might happen. 

CB 549AJ

CB 549AJ is a super earth sized planet but the sun that it revolves around is much too cold to have life on as we know. The Polo Boys scouted it fast since there isn’t much fuel left for the fold drives. Water supplies are getting low at present but this Celestial Body shows hope for being able to get the water needed. The hydroponic fields will also be needing the other minerals that should be found on a planet this size. While it will not be able to set down, there is the option of getting some supplies and getting back on track. 

There is an atmosphere but it is very thin. Its major component is Fluorine gas, at 85% and Nitrogen makes up the majority at 10.2%, and Oxygen is only at 3% with a few other gasses present. The ambient temperature of the planet is around -55⁰ C at the equator. The poles get much colder in the range of -300⁰ C. The water that is there might be under a sheet of Fluorine liquid which is highly dangerous for humans. What kind of creatures, if any, can survive on this toxic ice cold ball of hell.  

The Gene Cradle

The Gene Cradle is a part of the Life Science Section on the ship. While it seems like the main cradle would be massive it is only part of the full genome of the crew and animals humankind are bringing along to the new world. The biggest part of the cradle is filled with the genomes of humans. It is kept frozen in the hopes that that will keep the genes that have been sequenced from getting damaged by radiation. The biggest thing is though that the people on the ship are also having babies, They are the ones that are bringing the most mutations into the ship.

The Cradle is made up of the freezers, the massive computers and storage for those genomes that they were able to download to the ship. In addition there are the tanks that are capable of rebuilding the dna while that is just part of the process these tanks contain free nucleic acids and nanobots. In this state the tanks can not be corrupted by the cosmic energy that sometimes gets into the ship. But what if there was someone that had ideas on how humans and the creatures we bring to this new world will be shaped to fit it or their idea of how to fit in. 

    Joules

Collegium

The collegium was meant to serve as the ship’s seat of diplomacy and politics.  Unfortunately not enough people made it on the ship to make efficient use of the space.  The space was then designated to be a place of learning.  Students attend lessons, engineers share discoveries, navigators update the star maps, and security and military run tactical simulations.  The Collegium is equipped with various holo emitters (large and small scale both), terminals, and various recording devices.  Pretty standard.  What made the place special was its full modularity.  It doesn’t take long to re-configure the space to an amphitheater, planetarium, war room, even an all school classroom. Each wall piece is attached to a modular arm with 360 degree rotational capabilities.  It is a simple matter to program in a new configuration, and within a few moments, the room has been reset.  As the voyage continues, the uses for this room will probably expand exponentially.  And hopefully the children will stop sticking gum under the chairs.

Crazy Paytons Discount * Bazaar

While Crazy Payton’s Discount * Bazaar doesn’t have a defined location, it definitely has become a fixture on the ship.  (and yes the “*” is part of the name. since what type of bazaar is up to the whims of its proprietor.)  The Bazaar pops up randomly in different areas of the ship.  The items proffered are equally as random.  Although, they do always follow a theme.  One day it may be snack treats, another may be random technical gewgaws.  A month ago, the Bazaar hosted the first “Doomsday Tuesday” sale. (Security is still trying to run down all the contraband that was sold.)  While the proprietor is definately crazy, they’re not stupid.  Keeping physical items front and center is risky (Contraband in the open? Are you out of your mind)  and dangerous (ok who pushed the on button on the 4th dimension doomsday device).  The items for sale are all digitally displayed.  If an item catches your interest, you select its digital simulacrum.  An encrypted payment prompt is then displayed.  After payment is sent and confirmed, you’re given a location as to where to pick up your item.  (Some of the old timers call it a “dead drop” location.)  And as mysteriously as it appears, the bazaar vanishes.  To this day, no one is sure who “Crazy Payton” is, as they have gone through great lengths to hide their identity as well as their stock from well trained prying eyes of the ship’s security.

Hydrosphere

“It’s not safe out here. It’s wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it’s not for the timid.” – Q from “Star Trek: The Next Generation”

Liquid water is almost impossible to find in space.  For water to remain liquid, specific pressures and temperatures must be present.  Else it either freezes into ice or sublimates into a gas.  Which makes the hydrosphere one of the greatest mysteries discovered thus far.  It’s a free standing sphere of water, a kilometer across.  Readings have not been able to identify any natural or technical reason for its existence.  It’s just… There.  No external forces have been identified that would allow the hydrosphere to remain entirely liquid (gravitational/radiation and the like).  And no external forces seem to affect its shape for long.  It kind of “snaps” back into shape.  Like a rubber band.  There is no reason under the current understanding of physics why this would happen.  Analysis of the water has found that it is similar in makeup to the comets that once orbited our solar system.  However, the strangeness of the Hydrosphere precludes the ship from harvesting the water.  Or messing with it in any way, shape, or form for that matter.  There’s something out there causing this, and right now the ship has way too many other issues to consider.  It’s best to leave something that can break the laws of physics well enough alone.

Closing remarks 

    Zendead – Syrinscape I haven’t talked about it recently but I do still love this audio soundboard. I use it all the time with my daughter’s game I am running. I will be doing more with it again soon. 

    Joules – Untitled Goose Game – Be Goose.  Be Jerk. Honk Honk!

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Episode 154: Locales on the Eden ship
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Main Topic

Locales are a thing that you must have in a game. We are going to talk about a few in this episode. They can help to create backdrops for action as well as places that NPC’s push characters. 

Stat Blocks

    Zendead

Printing Bays

The printing bays are a series of places that have 3d printing bays.  They can print anything from plastic junk all the way to parts for the ship. It is possible if the materials are present to print any part of the ship. The printing mediums are growing, they started with plastic and some aluminum. There was also concrete as well as some ceramic. Now they are able to do a few materials that Eden has run across since being out past the Kuiper belt. The bays stretch a big section of the area near the habitable section that is close to the outer shell of the ship. 

While it is a big section and capable of creating huge things for the ship it is still bound by the greater needs of the ship. So corners have been cut and steps forgotten so now the shielding is suffering because of it. This has been how the printers were one of the first groups to show signs of mutation in the gene lines. In the early days after the ship first deployed it was a place on the ship that was almost constantly running to keep up with the demands of the crew. This was also why they have lost the least knowledge at least until recently. 

Asteroid km5719

Asteroid km5719 or at least what is left of that rock is caught in the wake of the ship. It is being mined and used up for everything that it can supply to the ship. It is just too big to bring into the biggest bays at least for now. That is going to be where it sits soon though. Mining on a rotating and speeding rock is dangerous at the best of times and these are not those times. The center of this rock is something both new and scary. 

Inside the center of this rock is the degenerated form of life that is not something humans would classify as life. It is liquid-like, more like a non newtonian fluid that is starting to wake up from its slumber in deep space. The after effect of so much motion on it is what is going to “wake” it up. The rock is one of the few things it is not capable of melting. There might be more but since no one has seen this life yet there are many mysteries. It looks like a silver fluid once the shell holding it breaks and it leaks out into the ship. Maybe sections will fall to it, maybe it will die from contact with humans. Only time will tell.

Navigation Sub bridge 1

Sub bridges are in a few locations on the ship mainly since a ship this size might have issues. So people created redundancies for some of the critical features of the main bridge. Also each sub bridge has a low functioning AI to network with the main bridges AI. This creates a way for info to be passed quickly even if the main bridge comes back up or goes down. While the main bridge has the best of the proper stations like Navigation the sub bridges do not get the second best they get a very low ranking person that knows how to do what needs to be done here. 

The Nav Sub Bridge 1 is a perfect example of this. The best 5 navigators are on rotating shifts for the main bridge and the next 5 are on this bridge. The second nav sub bridge is the next 5 so we are seeing a rapid loss of skill and knowledge. This bridge runs usually a bare bones crew because there hasn’t been a need to have a full crew going in all the time. There are even times when it is empty so it could be a way to have a villain mess with things on the ship. More of these things will come later though. 

    Joules

The Quiet Room

No matter where in the ship you happen to find yourself, there’s always some background noise.  The thrum of the engines, the small electric fizzling of debris being vaporized against the shields, the mild creak of the ship’s superstructure during velocity changes.  However there’s one room in the ship that’s absolutely bereft of sound.  No ambient ship sounds ever enter this room and no sound escapes the room into the ship proper.  And no one knows why it’s there.  Folks just call it “The Quiet Room.”  The schematics for the ship were partially corrupted during its emergency launch.  But this room’s existence is indeed deliberate.  The placement is definitely strategic. The distance ratios between critical areas of the ship and this room are also seen in orbital harmonics, the golden spiral, and some well known Pythagorean triangles. 

However the captain declared investigating the nature of the room carries too great of a risk.  The standing orders are to leave the room alone except in the most dire of circumstances.  No one wants to risk running a tensile strength scan which triggers a harmonic resonance that tears the ship apart. So the materials, construction method, tolerances and so forth are unknown.  So the quiet room remains an enigma.  This has given rise to a plethora of rumors, suppositions, and theories.  Some have a more scientific nature.  Like the room being a sort of universal vibration damper to prevent constructive interference.  Others have a more esoteric bend, like the space being haunted by the souls whose voices have been silenced.  Whatever the true nature of the “Quiet Room” is, the crew, either out of safety or superstition, gives it a wide berth.

Sense Dep

The rigors of space travel definitely have an effect on the crew.  Both physically and psychologically.  The medical team, driven by necessity, worked with the engineering team to build a set of zero gravity sensory deprivation pods. These pods are attached to the outside of the ship when not in use.  When active, the pods are “dragged” behind and to the side of the ship.  The pods are tethered to the ship with an umbilicus cable that powers and supplies the pod. The pod’s simple design, reduced shielding surface area, and lead infused carbon nanotube construction material offers supreme protection from cosmic rays, micro meteors, and the 3 degrees kelvin vacuum of space. 

The pods also may be filled with a limited selection of liquids for additional therapeutic/medicinal effects. (for example: Saline, water, healing biomaterial suspended in hydrogel)  Away from the artificial gravity of the ship, these pods provide a sterile, isolated, environment for risky surgical procedures (usually robot and AI assisted) or post injury convalescence.  These pods also serve as sensory deprivation tank to provide necessary psychological treatment.  They’ve also housed various scientific experiments from time to time.

The pods have extra shielding to stop random high energy particles from penetrating the pod, keeping the technology and occupant safe.  Additionally, the pods have been used as makeshift bunks for extended EVA jobs.

While initially conceived to function as an off the ship therapy pod and medical theater, Sense Dep has become an indispensable location to many of the ship’s various roles.

Prototyping

After research and countless simulations, an idea gets physical form in Prototyping.  (This is different from the fabrication bay where tested and approved designs are made on an as needed basis)  Originally the space was used to build and test new tool designs, basic repair solutions, and improvements for the ship.  Over time, the scope of the prototyping lab expanded to include integrating terran technology with alien technology. This carries an elevated risk since resources are scarce and the alien tech may be destroyed during prototyping and testing.  Not only that, the various fabrication machines may be damaged trying to integrate or modify alien tech with our own.  Standard procedure requires that each part of the fabricators have a replacement on hand.  However these replacement parts have a tendency to “walk.”. Pilfered by less scrupulous individuals. (Thanks Jazz). 

Even though the lab is under constant monitoring, the user must confirm that all spare parts are present and accounted for before and after using the lab.  They also must test and calibrate each machine before and after prototyping.  (Even the machines they don’t intend to use)  Any variances and anomalies must be brought up immediately.  (Honestly, the ship’s armory has less security than prototyping.) It’s become terrifyingly apparent over the years that the Prototyping Lab is vital to the continuing survival of Earth’s remaining organic life forms. Since survival is predicated on adapting, evolving, and overcoming.

Closing remarks 

    Zendead – Horrified a fun co-op board game where you hunt down the monsters of Universal Pictures. Played it with the family and we had a fun time.  

    Joules – Cult of the Lamb – You’re a cute little lamb.  You’ve been ordered by a demon to start a cult and gain power.  Then fight the bishops of the old gods and destroy them.  A cute and horrific mashup of a roguelike dungeon crawler and resource management.

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Episode 153: Antagonists NPC’s
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Main Topic

Npc’s are so very important to any game that is being run. While some of the NPC’s are big bad guys and some are protagonists, some fall in the path of the PC’s. These are the antagonists to the group. That is who we are going to present today. 

Stat Blocks

    Zendead

Stilgon

Stilgon has been working quietly and behind the screens for many years now. The reason they have to do it this way is because when you are a nonhuman that is a stowaway things can be bad. Most things on the ship are rationed and that would make some things hard to do. Not being a human makes survival easy for Stilgon since he doesn’t eat normal human things. 

While Stilgon is in hiding making plans for how to build the ship that will get him away he must still be careful. Humans are scared at the best of times and the rest they are terrified. Stilgon just needs a ship that will keep radiation out. While that seems easy it is a very short supply idea. It is also very much watched all the time because of the nature of the ship. 

Stilgon is trying to find ways to get shielding left in areas that it can get them from. It will be more than happy to burn a few humans if it means it can get off ship. The biggest problems are no one will stop work early and leave shielding in an easy to reach place. So Stilgon has started to get more bold in how it gets the things it needs. Which of course will put him on a crash course with any characters that get in the way. 

Prisoner 274

Prisoner 274 is loose. Those that are old enough to remember when the sections had trials and put prisoners in stasis will remember Prisoner 274. They have been locked away since the early days of the exodus. With all the issues on the ship it was bound to happen. Thirty days ago there was a loss of power in the detention sector and while most of the pods were fine one wasn’t. That being the one housing prisoner 274. Once they had woken from stasis they had to get out of the area in case someone came to check on things. 

The guard that did come to check was just checking the boxes on things and could care less. Which in hindsight might not have been the best option. Sammy didn’t even know what was in this section. That might have been the first mistake since 274 was a hardened killer. They had killed 61 people in a manner that was unlike anything the people on the ship ever thought they would see. 

Prisoner 274 has had time to get supplies and found a place to hide in the ship. The part that most people are having issues with is that most people have been tracked by the computer. After they shook off the stasis illness they have been unable to be tracked. Which is leading to concerns about when they are going to start killing again. 

DJ 01001011 or DJ K

Recreation is a truly important thing to remember when you are on a ship for many generations. Some folks just never know how to unwind. Well DJ 01001011  has no problem like that. DJ K is one of the most sought DJ’s in the Rec Sector of the ship. She has been a DJ for awhile now but before she did this she was something else.

She was originally a person that was playing the sections against each other. Well at least a few of the smaller factions in the various sections. Then she ran a scam that cost her all the things she had gotten. So Kelly had to reimagine herself. She started going to clubs in the Rec Sec to hide. While she was able to hide she figured out she could make it as a DJ since she would be hidden but also present and able to talk to anyone and everyone and no one would notice the DJ. 

Building her network of assets has taken time. She has set her eyes on you to be the next to help her get back at the people that did this to her. 

    Joules

Analiese

Plutocrats always need someone to do the dirty work.  To keep the so called “unwashed masses” distracted.  Analiese’s official position on the ship is crew liaison, but in reality she functions more like the propaganda arm for the plutocrats.  Through sly disinformation campaigns, mob manipulation, and preying on general unease of the crew, Analiese is able to sow a subconscious feeling of distrust and unease amongst the crew.   It takes time and effort for strangers to trust each other.  Trust between crewmates would normally be built and reinforced while all worked together to prep the ship for its maiden voyage. 

Since the ship was rushed to launch, trust and loyalty was in short supply.  Sometimes, a shared trauma serves as a unifying force, but more often people will regard each other with mistrust and suspicion.  Leading to an insular tribal mentality.  Analiese works to reinforce that mentality, but walks a fine line to  ensure that inter-faction open conflict never erupts.  She is also aware how tenuous her position is with the plutocrats.  It serves her well to build strategic alliances between factions, ensuring mutually assured destruction if her benefactors ever see fit to have her removed

Enforcer Hannigan

Order must be maintained at all costs.  Risks need to be identified and dealt with efficiently and swiftly.  Anything else risks the safety and stability of the ship and the crew.  Enforcer Hannigan is the embodiment of this philosophy.  But over time, Hannigan has begun seeing risks and dangers around every corner.  And has reacted as such.  From a child getting sick from eating a handful of dirt to an argument between colleagues about data interpretation.  There is no grey area. 

Illness puts the crew in jeopardy.  All dissent now is seen as a risk to the mission.  And are dealt with severely.   Extended quarantine, solitary lockup, quarters arrest are the kinder punishments meted out by the enforcer.  The more severe punishments have all been redacted. (for security purposes of course).  As of late, people are terrified to speak their opinions, debate ideas.  They hide when they’re feeling sick.  They fear the judgment of Enforcer Hannigan. 

Trevor “Jazz” Kilkenny

Simply put, Jazz is a thief.  And an indiscriminate one at that.  Doesn’t matter if the target is living or dead.  (he’s said he prefers the dead since he knows they won’t need it anymore.) Any outward showing of wealth or privilege instantly becomes an “Item of Interest.”  And he’ll sell to almost anyone, provided the price is right.  While prolific, Jazz does seem to have a code of ethics as it were as to his targets and items. 

He never targets “comfort items” or “memorial trinkets”  He also keeps a keen eye out for items that are essential to the running of the ship. (heck he has even “procured” items that contained the raw materials that engineering needed for urgent repairs.  And sold them for a surprisingly reasonable price.)  While it’s common knowledge that Jazz is a thief, there’s never been any evidence or witnesses to his crimes.  It’s the strangest thing?  Monitoring blind spots, maintenance schedules, security routes… He claims to know them all.  But his ability, his knowledge wouldn’t be enough.  Seems he has the blessing of luck on his side.  Whether a divine, infernal, or something else entirely, it seems that someone doesn’t want him to get caught.  He’s simply too valuable.  To someone.

        

Closing remarks 

    Zendead – Dig into music that you don’t think you will like and give it a real chance. You    might be surprised. 

                      Epic Encounters– really cool mini and a single encounter.

    Joules – The Monsters Know what They’re Doing/  This is a four (as of recording) book series.  Full of easy to understand, yet insightful, tips, tricks and strategies for running monster encounters.  While it’s geared for Dungeons and Dragons, the lessons can be applied anywhere.  And you may gain some inspiration on how to craft a really memorable encounter.  

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Episode 152: Eden Ship NPC’s Part 1
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Main Topic

This Episode is going to be going into and talking about a few new NPC’s that will be showing up in the setting. So let’s dive right in and get to it. 

Stat Blocks

    Zendead

Ivonette deFaria

Ivonette is a highly trained and skilled geologist and planetary architect. This is why she is in charge of all plans that come into the purview of her group. While she is aware of the needs she also knows the amount of energy and or fuel that this takes. All of her calculations as to if the group should undertake missions are based on a cost benefit analyst. 

She has spent her whole life in a pampered state. For that reason she wants to stay in that style that she has been accustomed to for her life. Most people don’t need the things Ivonette thinks she does. Lavish living and waste is a set of behaviors she does because she is certain she is entitled to them. She has few others in her close circle that helps to keep the peace with factions that feel like they need more supplies. 

Stanford VanRichard

Stanford has never done an honest day’s work in his whole life. He is certain that the galaxy owes him anything and everything he wants. Part of the reason for that is he is a pilot. Not just any pilot though, he is able to pilot the fold ships. With there being a small number of them in the ship, three in fact, he is sure he is special. 

Each ship uses huge amounts of energy to fold space. With that being the case they only fold to places that seem possible to have the supplies that are needed. The big things that the pilots are looking for is fuel for the ships and water. Anything else that is needed is tertiary to those main two things. Stanford only answers to Ivonette so he does whatever she asks of him, even if it doesn’t make sense at the moment. While he is a fold ship pilot he doesn’t lead them, at least not yet.

Dotse Obeng

Dotse is a woman of few words. Her mind is as sharp as a razor. Dotse or Dot for short, is a chemical engineer, one of the best on the whole ship. She understands how molecular bonds are forged as well as broken. People and the bonds they form and break are also visible to her. 

Dot is different from almost all of the people in the command section. She started out as a printer and created one of the new styles of printing materials. This got Command’s attention which got her formally educated in the education beds. The technology of which is tricky at the best of times, which these are not. 

This is part of why Dot doesn’t talk much. She can show how something works but can not explain it to others. The technology has from time to time been able to teach but not explain the knowledge to others. It just works for the few that survive. Also the printers are having an issue which is becoming more pronounced as time goes by. That of muddled and mutated gene sequences. Dot is no different. She has a few mutations, one is she has six toes. Three on each foot. Her other one is not visible. She can read someone and tell their moods. Not because she pays attention but because she is a psychic empath. Maybe one of the strongest on the ship. 

    Joules

Gestalt:

Gestalt (human moniker) is a recent addition to the crew and serves at the “navigator.”  A short (and somewhat cute) tripedal alien with features that resemble a geko, he was discovered amongst some alien wreckage that the ship was collecting.  During the salvage operation, his life pod was discovered.  After extended (and contentious) debate, he was allowed to stay on board in exchange for assisting the ship.  Gestalt readily agreed, with the alternative being jettisoned back into space.

Gestalt, while not perfect, possesses a decent working knowledge of the local area.  Specifically, high risk areas.  Additionally, it was recently discovered that Gestalt perceives things in four dimensions, unlike the three dimensions that earthlings perceive.  How this varied perception will impact the ship and the crew is yet unknown.  But the consensus is that the rewards outweigh the risks, for now.

Sharon

Sharon serves as the ship’s “Shinigami”.  She was initially assigned to be the ship’s coroner and mortician. (Graduated with a masters in anatomy/physiology and had just completed mortician’s school)  But over time her role has expanded and morphed.  As the only resident of the crew with experience up close and personal with death, crew members naturally sought her out for guidance and solace when dealing with death.  

With the extensive risks that accompany space travel, her skills are essential.  Information gleaned from autopsies may help protect crewmates in the future.  Her knowledge of “green burials” has helped reduce natural resource waste.  And her knowledge of grief and mourning has allowed her to navigate the personal and cultural minefield that accompany death and loss.

While Sharon tries to perform her duties with precision and dignity, the stress and the weight of her role have taken their toll.  Her nightmares grow worse with each autopsy.  And as the list of the dead grows, her grip on sanity becomes more tenuous.  Who would offer comfort to the Grim Reaper?  Who could?

Dewey

Dewey (His nickname, his birth name is Ian Paul Freeley, which led to no end of teasing) is the ship’s archivist.  But his role is more akin to a genealogist and historian.  He leaves the cataloging of all the science stuff to the scientists.  Dewey felt that cataloging the human experience during this journey is necessary.  Over time he has amassed a considerable collection of photos, diaries, music, drawings, and various other sundries of humanity.  The entire collection is cataloged by individual/family, type, and “stardate” (time on the ship is officially recorded as stellar transit year, but stardate has a nostalgia that many crewmembers find comforting). Since storage space is limited (both digital and analog), Dewey is often required to digitize and compress what he can and select items from the archive to be “recycled” for necessary raw materials.  He’s been working more and more with the tinkers guild to find new ways to preserve the ship’s human history.  Dewey knows better than most what humanity has lost and strives to preserve what he can for humanity’s future. 

Closing remarks 

    Zendead – While the summer is winding down remember that time to rest is so very important. While we all work hard, take some time to rest and relax. It helps to make you more productive when you need to be. 

    Joules – 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Episode 151: Factions of the Eden Ship
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Main Topic

Last episode we touched on a faction in the ship today we are going to touch on a few more. They are going to have a bit of info about them and how they try to get things done. Factions are a simple, in air quotes, way to set up organizations. These are groups of people or power structures with shared interests, goals, and methods allowing you to shorthand the political and sociological conflicts that can occur in a game. 

Zendead-
Civilian Civil Defense Force 

The CCDF of CDeF is a ragtag group of people that have started to protect the Civilian Sector of the ship. From the other sections coming in and stealing everything not bolted down. They are not a very large faction but they do try to keep the other groups out. It doesn’t work very well all the time. They do keep the bigger groups at bay when they come into pillage. 

Saveron is the head of the group and he used to be a Regulation Officer in his younger days. Now he takes time to recruit and train the new members of the CDeF. He does have a hard time though. Since many in  this section of the ship have started to turn to gangs to protect their own.  He has made some headway though. 

GuardaManger- 
Gaians

A problem with having a supercomputer around is that eventually, organics like to assume it knows all the answers. The Gaians have fallen into the belief that GAIA will be the solution to all the problems faced on the Ark. Simply put they worship at the input port of their computational overlord. To this end, Gaians can be a help to the rest of the Ark because they will prioritize finding ways to fix, protect, or ensure GAIA maintains operational capacity. Conversely, they will be underfoot as they attempt to commune with their “god”, impair other factions in the name of preserving GAIA’s access to the data, and protect with occasional violent intent the mechanics of the Eden Ship they associate with GAIA.

High Tesh Fedir Saetang leads the Gaians with a renewed vigor. While they were once more passive and merely omnipresent, Tesh Fedir has taken a more evangelical approach in spreading the practice of GAIA worship, though this has not come without some ecclesiastical dissent. 

Prophylaxis Phylum

It is hard to keep a long-term perspective when you are mired in the day-to-day operations of something. The Prophylaxis Phylum recognizes that and works in secret to ensure that the Command Section keeps the “best interests of all aboard Eden” moving in the right direction. Simply put, the Prophylaxis Phylum see themselves as a secret line of defense against a corruption of the original mission and the last best hope for Eden to ensure the continuity of the human species.

Chosen from among promising, but disruptive, youth to be indoctrinated into the secret orders of protection, the members are incredibly loyal to each other and their cause. That cause often seems to be maintaining the power system from which they benefit, but that structure does allow them to keep the food being produced in volumes enough to feed everyone aboard, replace the failing oxygen scrubbers when they are growing old, and even put a stalking horse candidate for leadership up to prevent a radical Xenoseperatist from taking control. Eggs. Omelets. A sad truth. 

The Right Honorable Constance Kazuya quietly leads the Phylum when not acting as an Adjudicator Minimus in the Command Section. Adjudicator Kazuya comes from a long line of well respected movers and shakers on Eden, but nobody has noticed the small shield like sigil of the Phylum on her garments even when she opposes sending exploratory teams with valuable resources away from the ship.

Rump Shakers

The cover of a raucous social club is the perfect camouflage for this out in the open political movement. A rising tide of discontent has been given a voice in the backrooms of Eden under the Rump Shakers’ banner. While most see “rump” as a side-eyed reference to dancing with an energetic shaking of the posterior, the inner circle of the Rump Shakers chose it for its other meaning. As the final remaining unbroken descendants of the launch crew, the Rump Shakers’ inner circle saw the factionalizing of the inhabitants of Eden tearing apart any chance for completing the mission – finding a new homeworld. Survival was never enough, but thriving was what was required.

Knowing that the social aspect of humans needed its own feeding and also hiding the political movement in plain sight under the haze of beer goggles, the Rump Shakers were born as an organization. Distributed in a cell-like structure, the Rump Shakers work to protect the everyday inhabitants of Eden, humans and whatever else there may be, from the vacuum of space, the clinical coldness of GAIA, and the bureaucratic failings of the Command Section. Food drives, a new post modern space version of Saint Nicholas, and a low key get out the vote whisper campaign are all hallmarks of the Rump Shakers. Too bad they can’t organize to be a stronger force on Eden or maybe things would actually get better. 

Tall, dark, and handsome, if Ethlebert Boer had a sense of organization as developed as their sense of righteousness, then Eden would be a very different place. Ethlebert has never shied away from attention, but also never sought it out. In the quiet places, they befriended the people who work the longest and the hardest. This drove the overeducated and underemployed Ethlebert to form the Rump Shakers … an organization that has slowly grown beyond their ability to steer. 

Closing remarks 

Zendead –

Predator 2 Yep it is campy and fun but shows how you can take an IP that seemed like a one movie wonder. And make it into a multiple movie franchise.  

Guard-A-Manger – The Sonnets of William Shakespeare. 14 line iambic pentameter poems that break the rules ever so slightly with a hint of cheekiness in each, the sonnets are a poetic inspiration for mood, theme, and tone for any english speaking gamemaster.

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Episode 150: Gencon Recap
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Main Topic

Joules got to go to the best 4 days in gaming this year and she and I will be sitting down to talk about all the cool stuff she found and folks she talked with as well as anything that is going to be coming out this year she found out about.

Closing remarks 

    Zendead – Vinland Saga Cool history about the viking age as an Anime. Check it out. There is a second season coming as well.

    Joules – She-Ra and the Princesses of Power 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Episode 149: Building the Setting
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Main Topic

The basics of the setting is the Ark. While there are potential asteroids and planets that may expand the horizon of the world, these will be primarily tackled when we talk about locales in a future episode. This episode is focused on the ship and relationship that a party will have to that main point. Each section will include a key location and an NPC or two we can come back to when we look at NPCs in more depth. 

Each “section” of the ship can be large enough to encompass entire campaigns, as a generation ship could be as massive as needed. This allows for shifting priorities within the ship, and potential mutations to take over entire sections without compromising the integrity of the ship as a setting and turning it into a horror game as a default. Imagine something close to the size of a continent, but not quite the size of a moon. 

Ark ship sections of note include:

  • Life Science Section – The Life Sciences section means more than just where you can find the best medical care, but also the hydroponics and green water and air facilities. You have the equivalent of the lush jungle of an unexplored planet in the middle of the ship. With the less than optimal crew complement, there are even rumors of entire villages or groups of … something not quite human within its folds. 
    • Great Expanse – The Great Expanse is 160 acres of grassland using genetically modified grasses that grow 3M high providing not only a rotational planting rich soil but a CO2 sink. Of course, nobody knows just how deep the roots of these grasses actually reach. At least three floors “below” the Great Expanse are blocked off on the ship schematics with nobody admitting to finding a way to tell if it is just soil, constantly regenerating from the refuse dumped in the Expanse or something more.  
    • GAIA Analysis (AI) – GAIA Analysis, or “Gaia A” is a top of the line science AI.  She works assisting everyone who comes into the life science section.  The soothing disembodied female voice serves as a teacher, a research assistant, doctor, data analyst, therapist, and a friend.  Some of the old timers refer to her as “Super Siri.”  She also works to gather real time data regarding all the biological specimens.  Sentient and non.  But she is still just a program, which leaves her vulnerable to code corruptions.  And if the hardware on which she resides is damaged, she may be lost forever
  • Engineering Section – A misshapen MC Escher design of winding corridors with questionable gravity make the Engineering Section a habitat left for the fearless or optionless. The inherent danger of a long forgotten experiment run amok or just a shifting mass of supplies precariously balanced on an outcropping means being constantly alert. And constantly tired. You do get really wiz trinkets and gear … if you can live long enough to make them work consistently. 
    • Tinkers Guild – Springing up where the command structure collapsed, the children of the actual engineering crew ended up turning a tween gang into a functioning guild. It doesn’t hurt that the scruffy little ragamuffins are the most adept at tinkering and repairing parts of the ship. Dealing with them can feel a lot like trading chocolate for bullets, but you have to do what you have to do and the TInkers Guilds’ twinkling eyes and mischievous nature make them especially dangerous in the enclosed space of the Ark. 
    • Duct Goo – A lovely little product thought up and then made real by the tinker’s guild.  Old School duct tape has been in use for various engineering flash repairs for such a long time.  So why not improve the go to quick fix?  Necessity being the mother of invention and all that.  The guild took into account the need for it to work in a wide variety of environments (Irradiated, extreme heat, extreme cold, zero grav, under water, etc) and came up with an amorphous substance that will take on specific qualities when exposed to different electromagnetic frequencies.  Once exposed, the solid “remembers” its properties.  And works to “duct tape” whatever is broken in place so it can be fixed at a later date.  Thing is that this substance requires unique and rare substances to make, so it has to be used sparingly. 
  • Storage/Bullhead – This is where any and all raw materials, scavenged or brought with are stored.  Also unidentified items, which need to be analyzed for usefulness and safety are kept here in isolation, to prevent accidental contamination.  Depending on the day/event/situation, the place can look like a tetris expert organized it or the aftermath of somebody shaking a lego box everywhere, writ large.  The area can also be used as an impromptu research station as the need arises
    • Research Block Zeta – Coming across strange and unique organic and inorganic materials is almost expected on this journey.  Research Block Zeta is set up with various scanning/analyzing tools as well as storage containers.  Standard storage containers from flasks and test tubes are mingled in with high power magnetic and plasma “bottles”.  While this research area is a lot less organized than the ship’s lab, many researchers enjoy the rustic and “cutting age of science” feel of the area.  It is also the most dangerous assignment for any of the science minded, since they have no idea what may be stored next to them.  Or what may happen when a power fluctuation lowers the containment strength of the magnetic bottle.
    • Lemurian Wyvern – One undisputed fact about the bulkheads is that a predator stalks its darkened recesses. Slipping in and out of different storage areas and bulkheads, the killer called the Lemurian Wyvern has been a threat to lone Arkers for over a century. The best information anyone can share, or is willing to share, is that victims are often damp with water, rent with sharp and devastating claws or blades, and branded with a wyvern somewhere on their body when found. It is a constant tension because the beast’s origin can’t be found in the computer system leaving many to believe an alien has infiltrated the ship while others claim its a ploy of the Command Section to keep everyone else in line. Or maybe just a fungus in the wheat. 
  • Command Section – Command holds an outsized importance on the Ark and the vast majority of controls for the Ark’s functions reside there … but these systems come with the downside of being the most frequently malfunctioning. The high tech, high demand computers require constant upkeep which means inhabitants of Command are constantly trading favors and resources to keep not only their little corner running but the ship flying. 
    • Leftenant Grigori Hayabusa. Inheriting the title of Leftenant from his father who inherited it from his father before him and who inherited it from his father before him … or maybe some sort of ceremonial competition, Grigori is best described as a well intentioned buffoon. Griks, as he is also called, can’t seem to help but stumble over his own ideas and plans. Perhaps it is the insulation from any responsibility growing up in the lap of technological luxury that kept him from actually internalizing the skills of his parents, or perhaps it’s the well hidden extra temporal lobe that showed up in an early brain scan. A quietly dangerous and calculating inhabitant of the “Command Section”, Grigori may harbor more answers than his inept appearance seems. 
  • Civilian Welfare – The section that was to be the most important section for the generational long trip is now the biggest wreckage of the ship. With little to provide a structure to its place, Civilian Welfare was the first area stripped of useful materials and mined of its components as immediate repairs had to be made in the first few decades. Perhaps the Arkers will come to regret having cannibalized their own civil society but it was in the name of pure survival. The miles and miles of run down and abandoned shops, faux parks, and recreational expanses are dotted with outcasts and exiles who couldn’t find a way to keep their wits in the horizonless Ark coupled with an ever present question of whether any particular room has been exposed to the vacuum of space. Taking a walk on the welfare side is to take your life into your own hands, if you are lucky.
    • Felix Chin – Felix is the person who is most likely to slip into and out of other Sections with “special deals” from Civilian Welfare leftovers! Felix is the head of a roughly organized chain of smugglers and grey market dealers who provide access to nearly anything you can imagine, often made from parts or pieces of a bygone recreational era. A special deal, this week only, and found virtually untouched by vacuum by yours truly! What is it? A box, my dear girl, a box! What is in the box? What IS in the box . . . 

Closing remarks 

Zendead – Enhance Game Bags I have been looking for a new GM go bag for awhile and I found one that does everything I need. It holds enough books and minis as well as all my dice and pencils. It even has a cool map strap for your maps that are too big to go in the bag.  I love mine. 

    Joules – Makai Kingdom – Turn Based Grid/esque video game.  It is intentionally over the top, campy, and crazy silly.  If you liked the mechanics of Final Fantasy Tactics, but want something insanely sillier?  It’ll overlord your faces off!

    Guard-a-Manger – Ms. Marvel. A reimagining of the quintessential Marvel comics story of a teenage outsider who has to come to grips with special powers in a world that doesn’t automatically love them. Ms. Marvel takes the breakout smash Ms. Marvel comic book hit and not only seamlessly adds it to the MCU but does it with a wit, charm, and poignancy other shows have lacked. 

Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae

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Dog Days of Podcasting Day 5
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 Deter the Meter

What do you need to do kid? Are you kidding me? The Layout artists approved this? I don’t think so. I may be old but I sure as hell ain’t stupid. You know that the time to print that is going to be so long that it is going to show up on the Shift manager’s log. Get out of here before I let Samiel know you were down here trying to do this. 

Deter is an old timer that still works to help maintain the printers. He can tell by looking at a spool if it will be enough to finish a print. Not because he is that good at printing as a matter of fact he does have anything to do with printing anything. He has been cleaning up since he was a kid. Maintenance came as second nature to Deter. He can replace anything on a printer from the small ones that see almost daily use to the vehicle printers that don’t get used very much. The parts for them all he has to ask for since he can’t figure out how the software works.

Deter has been doing this job forever but his true passion is to go to one of the observation decks and stare out into the void. He lets his mind wonder which then opens him up to the crowd of voices that are always pushing into his mind. It is these moments that give him the piece to be a person. Because most of the time Deter is sure that something is not right in his mind. 

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Dog Days of Podcasting Day 4
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Sammie “The Worm” Gregory

Sammie is a scrounger and cleaner. She is working on her understanding of the printers and how to work them. The big printers all the way down to the smallest ones hold her attention like no one’s business. She has been trying to get a berth in the guild since she could run under a printer and scraped some of the hot resin to soak in the chemical bath that makes it possible to reuse filament, at least after it has been extruded again. 

Sammie hates the nickname of the Worm. How would they like it if she started calling all the others by a gross feature that they had? Not everyone these days is born perfect. Some people can not help the fact that they didn’t have parents that were important. Getting children checked for genetic anomalies before birth is something not for the average person on the ship. Which is why Sammie has the issue she does. Her left arm has no bones in it and a musculature similar to that of a cephalopod.