So over the last couple of episodes we did character creation for a FATE game. We are at that time of the year for another round of Statblockopolloza. All of us thought it might be fun to keep working on doing a bit more work in that setting. So here we go with three more people, places and things for this setting.
While the Empire is coming in to make nicey nice with the Assembly there is another group on the station that wants something else. They want to be independent from both the Empire and the Assembly. Those that are born on the station are called Rotators by those not born on the station. They wear it as a badge of honor and as the name of their revolution that has been brewing under the surface for years. With the stakes growing by the day they feel the need to be at the table since they see this as their station and home. Yet neither side sees them.
That is where Theo comes in. He has been a mid level operator for the Rotators for the last several years. There was a purge of the upper ranks once the Empire said they wanted to have talks. He was able to step in as the de facto leader. He has always been at the right place at the right time to move up the chain. Since he has taken the reins he has been pushing in different directions to force things to come to a head and to get a seat at the table. If he can get it then he will be working for the folks of the station. Long live Theo!!!
How to Use Theo Maxim in Game:
He is the lucky guy that seems to always find the things he needs to get ahead. Use him in that same way but for whatever reason you need him to fill.
The hand gestures that flash between the bookie and the betters are fast. Then bets are stopped as the two combatants come rumbling into the dome that is at 1.5 earth gravitational pulls. The engines can be heard whining up as the pilots get their mechs ready for the go signal. The countdown starts and then the two man-like shaped mechs charge toward each other.
Welcome to the Rumble Dome on Asteroid BD2184. The Other name it goes by is Rumble Rock. The whole asteroid is set up to be a gambler’s dream. While there are lowend things to gamble on like cards all the way up to fights and races. The biggest draw by far is the Mech battles. They are constantly being worked on and refined to make the fights even more exciting.
The owner or owners are an unknown variable to this place. The most important reason is no one is sure who they are. They just stay out of the light so their location can speak for itself.
How to Use Rumble Dome in Game:
This place is a gambler’s favorite place because the money flows from hand to hand fast. If you need a place that has all the best things to gamble on then this is your place.
The Bounder E-19 is a state of the art work of mechanical as well as electrical engineering. It measures in at 14 meters in height and masses at 65 tonnes. While it is a big mech it is still able to move at high speed averaging at about 95km/h. While this is nowhere near the speed of fighters it is capable of going from in an atmosphere to the hard vacuum of space with no problems. It also has a propulsion system that makes it possible to move in space but its speed is much slower clocking in at 45km/h but stopping at that speed is not easy.
The number of Bounders on the open market is only about 12. Each one costs a small fortune to purchase and maintain. They are only really usable for combat. Though the private versions do not come equipped with anything in the realm of military armaments. They do come with a few things that can be used to fight with. All but one of these is setup to do mech fighting. Small range things like flamethrowers and hydraulic rams for the fists and reinforced joints and solid steel balls in place of hands. The work done to them is totally custom and each is a work of art.
How to Use The Bounder E-19 in Game:
This is a mech that could be the basic framework for your military that uses these to fight battles. Or as a special corp of fighters that use them to battle other mechs or an alien race that happens to be huge compared to humans.
Political tensions, mutually assured destruction, contracts and treaties.
The Vanguard station really doesn’t have the luxury of egos, laughter, and self indulgence. At least it shouldn’t have the luxury.
Enter Zeke McMarsh, the self proclaimed “coolest guy on Vanguard station.” Seems he never got the memo. He was assigned to the Vanguard janitorial detail a few cycles ago. He doesn’t talk about life prior to his arrival on Vanguard, and his records are restricted at the highest level.
During his time here, he’s gained a reputation with both the CAN and the Empire representatives for being arrogant, self centered, and loud. Just mentioning his name causes the most stoic diplomat to roll their eyes.
But to the station’s lower class citizens, refugees, and outcasts? Less annoyance and lot more respect. Seems that Zeke has an uncanny ability to find those who society has given up on or those that have given up on themselves. He talks to them. Listens to them. Treats them with respect.
Over time, they formed their own sort of tribe on the station, with Zeke as the leader.
Zeke takes great pride in his position and in the members of his tribe, which he has named the “Warp Cats.” He extols the virtues of coolness, being yourself, and maintaining the perfect hair style. (Word around the station is that he is the sole reason that hair gel still exists.) He also is an advocate for indulging ones curiosity and creativity.
Zeke is vain, proud, and surprisingly self aware. As he loves being the center of attention, he tries to lead and teach his fellow Warp Cats by personal example. He’s happy to go first and bare his soul at a poetry slam (his poem was an ode to his favorite comb and hair drier). The first to apologize when he’s made a mistake or hurt someone’s feelings. He is quick to congratulate and just as quick to call someone out on their bullshit.
The rank and file of the station really don’t know what to make of Zeke. They only know that he’s here to stay, since all methods to get him off the station (Including trying to jettison him out of an airlock) have failed.
How to Use Zeke in Game:
Zeke is a great go-to to change the atmosphere of the game. Is politics getting really heavy? Have Zeke come in and offer to teach a character how to style their hair. Zeke, also being a collector of knowledge, may offer the character some advice, as long as they have the right hair gel.
Warp Cats Garage
With the arrival of Zeke on the station and the subsequent formation of the Warp Cats, the station’s security chief, Doyle, needed to do something. Namely find a way to contain them without invoking their ire. So Doyle made a deal with Zeke. Doyle would give them the use of an abandoned station hangar as a sort of base. The hangar would be monitored, but only Doyle would have access to the feed. And as long as they didn’t cause too much of a ruckus, they’d be left alone.
Zeke agreed to the offer, and christened the hangar “The Warp Cat’s Garage.”
The Warp Cat’s Garage serves as a meeting place and hang out spot for Zeke and his Warp Cats. The Garage has a couple of bunks and a few fold away cots. Standard crash accoutrements. Zeke installed a deluxe shower setup as well as a vanity station with variable lighting, a decent assortment of hair products (only one is labeled “Zeke Only”, the rest is free for anyone to use), various brushes and combs, as well as a handy “how to” holovid on hair styling.
Tucked away in the corner, behind some privacy screens is a first aid station. It’s stocked with various medical supplies, basic surgical tools, some “how to” medical holovids, and a portable sterilization field generator.
There is a small library with a varied assortment of manuals, books and holovids on a wide variety of topics. Topics from robotics to medicine, from survival to flower arrangements. Zeke is always encouraging his Warp Cats to add to the library. Doesn’t matter the topic. “Cause how will you discover something cool if you don’t even know it exists.”
The rest of the space is a combination living room/workshop/science lab/music studio. Zeke encourages his Warp Cats to make use of the facilities however they like. To discover new hobbies and talents, to practice, to fiddle around and destress. Zeke likes it when someone tries and experiments randomly. Learning something by hands on discovery. That’s how Rowdy discovered that Zeke’s preferred hair gel can be used as a fuel additive which will give a ship a quick burst of speed. Sadly, It gunks the engines up something terrible and the smell is rancid as heck.
The Warp Cat’s Garage is the perfect home away from quarters. A private gathering place for the station’s outcast, hidden from the scrutiny and judgement of the Station’s more proper inhabitants. And the acoustics are pretty swell, giving the latest slam poetry night an epic feel.
How to Use Warp Cat’s Garage in Game:
The Warp Cat’s Garage is a kind of non-standard location for the players. They may be able to scrounge here. Meet up with a Warp Cat’s informant. Or maybe just crash out. This can kinda serve as a weird kind of info/ability repository, akin to a wizard’s tower in a fantasy setting.
The Vanguard has no dedicated long range ships. Part of the agreement that established DMZ. However it does have it’s own fleet of short range shuttles with various capabilities and accessories. The most popular is the Jupiter Spectrum. It’s a short range shuttle with neural interface capabilities, a variety of view portals with various filters, and variable artificial gravity settings.
This ship was built with observation and research, but has taken on a secondary function of “sightseeing.” The various filters allow the passenger to see cosmic events in a variety of spectra. The neural interface allows for precision positioning, giving the passenger an optimal view. The variable gravity allows the passenger to move about the cabin with ease. This gives them the ability to quickly move from portal to portal.
The Warp Cats have made some “unauthorized” upgrades to the Jupiter Spectrum. The most recent was a sound system. They routed it through the neural interface, so the traveler could hear whatever music was on their mind. Unfortunately, they didn’t install a “mute” or “off” setting. While most of the time, this isn’t an issue. However when a passenger is dealing with a particularly persistent ear worm, a relaxing jaunt can turn into an auditory experience from hell.
How to Use Jupiter Spectrum in Game:
The Jupiter Spectrum can be used by the players to go exploring. And the tingering that the Warp Cat’s have done may have caused some other technical issues that may lead to an interesting side quest. It also can serve as a fast travel type system so that downtime is minimized
How often do you actually notice what a busybody is up to? When they putter around and just keep themselves in the way of everything, do you even care? When a nosy interloper interjects and starts asking questions for no good reason, does it even register as a person? Isshin Nilsson is banking that you don’t.
It isn’t that Isshin is a bad person, instead that he is using your own blindspot against you. Why focus on the annoying and nattering unpleasant cad in a room? He knows this because that’s how his parents lost everything. In the Confederated Assembly of Neo, times were booming just thirty years ago! When the economy is up, everybody is up but his parents may have been a bit too loose with their own accounting. They didn’t notice the bumbling sanitation engineer who ratted them out to the C.A.N. Directorate of Oracular Support, the CAN DOs for short, and their life was as good as done.
Isshin escaped, or more accurately was sent, to Vanguard Station where his status as a minor ward seeking asylum because of his parents political prisoner status cut through some of the paperwork. On Vanguard Station, he learned the ins and outs of the Most Glorious Empire of the Expanding Reach as well as the bureaucratic purple tape of the CAN. He became a professional nobody able to slip between the two warring factions and pilfer whatever useful items he can.
He even changed his name to Isshin Nilsson.
How to Use Isshin Nilsson in Game:
Isshin can be used in a myriad of ways – as an Artful Dodger type who embodies the underbelly of Vanguard Station and those who were left behind by the two main powers, as a smuggler with a devil may care attitude running guns, money, drugs, or whatever else across barriers, or as a quiet spymaster whose obnoxious personality is just a persona while he pursues his own goals.
Olsen (B) 7463
Everybody loves an asteroid, right? They look so pretty floating out there . . . even the ones with pirates. Pirates don’t really happen in space. There is nowhere to go. You have to make sure you have a way to offload stolen goods and wash them clean of identifying marks before getting them back into the stream of commerce. A stream of commerce that everybody knows where everything comes from. It would be lunacy to try to be a pirate.
Where would you refuel or refresh your oxygen scrubbers without a good station or planet to dock? Those scrubbers won’t last forever, even if you do properly delouse, sanitize, and cycle them. Neither side would want to start a war and pirates would just have no place to go no matter what the newsvids say. Right?
Unless it’s Olsen (B) 7463. Safely erased from all maps of habitable asteroids and exoplanets, Olsen (B) 7463 has been made into the spitting image of a pop culture space pirate waystation! From the secretive station masters who have some kind of a deal keeping them stocked with air and water to the semi-lawless atmosphere of the station, Olsen (B) 7463 is the best kept ill kept secret in the Galaxy. The Reach and the CAN both have someone “on the ground”, though its hard to say who exactly that is. Where the station masters manage to get their tech and goods remains a mystery, but just don’t make any jokes about their height. The people in charge all seem to be around 4’ tall … must be the low gravity and high radiation, right?
How to Use Olsen (B) 7463 in Game:
The seedy neutral ground where both sides can mingle is a staple trope of cold war fiction, and Olsen (B) 7463 provides that as well as the reason for pirates in an otherwise contained world. What happens on Olsen (B) 7463 stays on Olsen (B) 7463 … and what is up with those station masters anyway?
The world is built around information. It is the currency of the realm, if you will. That information is guarded well with locks, safes, and myriad ways to scrambling any attempt to utilize it by the undesirable. One problem underlies that entire supposition – nobody has created a new file structure in a few centuries. Improvements have happened, storage has improved and code is more elegant …. But the underlying architecture is the same.
Enter the Chimera Key. The Chimera Key is the closest thing to an artifact that you may ever see. It exists as rumor and phantasm in the governmental, military, and infosec circles – a way to cut through existing encryption no matter what; a cyber skeleton key. The few people who know what to look for know that the Chimera Key is a specific combination of hardware and software, well firmware. To break into the backdoor of the entire file structure used requires hardware not manufactured in over 150 years. The unique key holds the firmware exploit every one wants.
Hildebrand Hiyazaki is one of maybe a dozen people who can confirm the existence of the Chimera Key. On the precipice of a disastrous war, Hiyazaki knows that the Key may be the only thing to prevent a war, or at least ensure the CAN doesn’t fall apart as losses inevitably mount.
How to Use the Chimera Key in Game:
This is a McGuffin pure and simple. It is something that, if lost, will be highly sought after to affect the balance of power and if in the possession of one or the other major powers will be an impetus to dispatch your players on missions.
Zendead – Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer– This is going to be so good I can hardly wait to see this film.
Joules – Psychonauts. (Link to Steam Store)
Guard-a-Manger – Look for inspiration. Every Frame a Painting Channel on Youtube. While it is defunct for the last 4 years, this is a great channel that shows you how to analyze and deconstruct directorial choices on film. How do the directors and cinematographers do what they do?
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
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