The TITAN City

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shark3006 shark3006's picture
The TITAN City
Through a series of events, my players are going to wind up in a domed city out in the Kuiper Belt that was constructed by the TITANs before they left the system. I'm picturing a large city built on the flattened surface of an asteroid, so there's plenty of room for buildings and whatnot. The layout I have in mind is a circular city divided into four quadrants, with a fifth area at the center. In the very middle is a megalithic, obelisk-type building a mile or two high. My players will have to find information that's hidden somewhere in the city and then get out again. My thought is that the city is going to be populated with horrible things: most areas would be abandoned, but there has to be a lot of creepy, terrifying and deadly things to fill other parts of it to give my players something to explore. I'm taking all sorts of ideas from all of the EP books, but I thought I'd turn to the forums, too. I want to have lots of different things in each quadrant of the city for my players to find. Some of them could be mundane but creepy, some should be terrifying and some should be deadly (there will be at least one TITAN nanoswarm). I know everyone here is great at coming up with ideas to torture...er, I mean, engage their players. I'm hoping you all might be able to share some ideas with me: either thing's you've used or wanted to use. Some of it could just be things the TITANs created that don't make sense, because how can transhumans really make sense of the machinations of god-like intelligences? Some of the ideas I've had so far are: -A park where all of the bushes are small Fractals. -A part of the city that's an exact recreation of a part of historic Earth (say 16th century Florence or 19th century London) -Copies of the players in different morphs -The remnants of a massive Uzumaki outbreak (page 384 in the source book. Freaking terrifying) -Security drones hunting them down -Factors That's just what I have to start. Some of the things could take minutes to resolve and some could take an entire game. I'm planning on having my players stick around here for a few sessions, so I'll take whatever you guys throw at me. Thanks in advance!
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads/ A power more strong in beauty, born of us/ And fated to excel us, as we pass/ In glory that old Darkness: nor are we/ Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule/ Of shapeless Chaos.
Undocking Undocking's picture
Exhumans!
The TITANS did capture many egos... maybe whatever TITAN(s) built the city decided to experiment on how far it(they) could go in creating exhumans. The Uzumaki outbreak would lend itself to this if there are 'herbivore' exhumans that graze on this writhing skin carpet and carnivores that feed on the herbivores. Regarding large amounts of fractals, you have to make sure the PCs at least have the firepower to take out these things. If you goal is for them to run out of ammunition then go right ahead.
shark3006 shark3006's picture
Exhumans who graze on the
Exhumans who graze on the Uzumaki growth. That's horrifying. I love it! And you're right: a large amount of fractals wouldn't be fair. Maybe it would be something more fractal-like: bush nano-manipulators that can't move or think autonomously. They're more like sea creatures and capture and devour whatever happens to come close enough. As for the ammo, the players are going to start off unarmed. The only way to get to this city is to farcast, so they're going to be sleeved into whatever bodies happen to be available (which are leftovers from TITAN experiments and are also horrible). There will be weapons scattered around, but they'll have to find them. I was thinking about how to handle one of the players dying (since they'll be pretty far from a standard resleeving facility), and I think I decided that if they die, they'll just be instantly downloaded into a new body with all of their memories in tact right up to the time of their death. Because TITANs.
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads/ A power more strong in beauty, born of us/ And fated to excel us, as we pass/ In glory that old Darkness: nor are we/ Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule/ Of shapeless Chaos.
Undocking Undocking's picture
@ammunition
@ammunition Maybe these fractal-anemones sting things that get too close with Uzumaki and roll around like tumbleweeds or scuttle like sea urchins. Finding weapons could be easy, especially if you let one of the morphs have a the ability to see t-rays or gamma rays. The cool way to get gear would be off derelict TITAN warbots. @death If the characters know they are going against TITAN tech, death should be a lot like it was in the short story "Lack" at the beginning of Core. Since death usually voids Rez gained and because player rewards are important, you could start the session with them sleeving into distorted exhuman morphs and ask them "what the hell did Firewall promise you to send you here?" They can have a fistful i-rep and a Scarce favour from Firewall regardless of making it back. You could make it a suicide run. Those that don't get harvested by head-hunters or preyed on by exhumans suffer so much Stress that it isn't likely any of them will escape or want to. There could be the option to farcast out, but maybe just sending the XP and information is enough. The players/characters may not trust the state of their rapidly downloaded selves. The TITANs could have YGBM'd them or worse. As long as the cortical stack is around, you could have piles of abandoned synths at street corners that characters can easily resleeve into (just a single Action turn). Though there may be something hiding in the piles or using them as traps...
shark3006 shark3006's picture
I love the idea of tumbleweed
I love the idea of tumbleweed fractals even more. And the reason for the players going to the station is to get key information to stop an organization that's trying to destabilize the system (long story). I was going to tell them that they could send Alpha forks, but without knowing how long they're going to be gone, that can cause some severe mental trauma when they reintegrate. Of course, they could send the forks and not reintegrate, but then they wouldn't get any Rez. I like the idea of giving them a favor from Firewall, too, regardless of the outcome. I also came up with a new TITAN nanovirus that will be on the station: Darwin. When infected, it causes the morph's DNA to destabilize. Over the course of 1D10/2 hours, the morph "evolves" to be best suited for whatever sort of environment it is currently occupying. If it's cold, it will evolve thick, blubbery skin and fur. If it's dark, it will evolve features like cave-dwelling animals: pale skin and large (or no) eyes. Darwin doesn't kill, but most of those infected wind up killing themselves rather than living in whatever monstrous form they've grown in to.
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads/ A power more strong in beauty, born of us/ And fated to excel us, as we pass/ In glory that old Darkness: nor are we/ Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule/ Of shapeless Chaos.
Kaworu Kaworu's picture
Recreating of historical
Recreating of historical place? Nazi camp, Gulag? Maybe [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Planned_destruction_of_Warsaw]destroyed Warsaw[/url] or post-atomic bomb Hiroshima with all the radiation and kidnapped egos resleeved into flats with no shielding? [Sorry, if too heavy] Also, what would you say to underwater ecosystem filled with prehistoric, neogenetic predators?


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shark3006 shark3006's picture
I like the idea of
I like the idea of prehistoric underwater ecosystem. As for the historical replica, I like the idea of the destroyed, bombed-out area more than the concentration camp. Maybe it's London during the Blitz, but it's always during the Blitz: bombs fall and destroy buildings, nanomachines rebuild the structures and then bombs fall again. The players would, of course, arrive between bombings.
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads/ A power more strong in beauty, born of us/ And fated to excel us, as we pass/ In glory that old Darkness: nor are we/ Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule/ Of shapeless Chaos.
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
Be wary of describing a human
Be wary of describing a human city, with creepy touches. They are truly alien, and their city will be truly alien. Arenamonterous has posted some good inspiration pieces on this. Consider playing with size, four-dimensional space, apparent breaks in physical laws, and other weird stuff to break your players' brains.
Revinor Revinor's picture
Looping history
For the historical part of the city - make it looping. Same event (probably something brutal, think about Kawru suggestions) played over and over, in exactly same manner. Probably 15-30 minutes long. Well, almost exactly the same - if players stay there for long enough, they will note some miniscule changes done each time - bird sitting on the fence, when it was flying before, bullet hitting somebody in the knee instead of calf, different song coming from guards phonograph, etc, etc. Small TITANs experiment in trying to analyze 'butterfly effect' influences on human mind. Why they do it in 'real space' instead of simulation? TITANs know, but maybe simulation loses this special something they are trying to study. Especially 'reset' procedure between then replays can be disturbing - bodies restored to former glory by reverse-meat-grinder putting limbs together, nanobot shower to fix up internals/skin, small vacuum cleaners working busily in meantime - and when everything is reset to zero state, one hoverbot/something comes and modifies that small element before everything commence again. Yes, players will try to kill that hoverbot - up to you to decide what happens then...
shark3006 shark3006's picture
Great suggestions
Those are both great suggestions. I think I decided to change from the circular domed city I was initially visualizing to a cube. Each side has its own gravity, so each wall of the cube is built upon. And at the edges where buildings intersect, they occupy the same space, even though it's physically impossible (because TITANs). I was thinking something horrible for the historical part, like London during the Blitz: bombs drop from the sky, people die in horrible infernos, and then it's all reset and begins again. And @Revinor: the hoverbot is the key to everything! Just kidding. But I think I taught my players a lesson about shooting first and asking questions later when I allowed them to completely fail their Firewall mission in one of my last games (the bad guys won!). I'm just going to start making a list of horrible things and then deciding where they're going to go in the city.
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads/ A power more strong in beauty, born of us/ And fated to excel us, as we pass/ In glory that old Darkness: nor are we/ Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule/ Of shapeless Chaos.
Undocking Undocking's picture
Go for the entertainment factor
shark3006 wrote:
Those are both great suggestions. I think I decided to change from the circular domed city I was initially visualizing to a cube. Each side has its own gravity, so each wall of the cube is built upon. And at the edges where buildings intersect, they occupy the same space, even though it's physically impossible (because TITANs).
Make it a tesseract. Listening to them navigating 8 cubes would be great.
shark3006 shark3006's picture
I'm not opposed to the idea
I'm not opposed to the idea of a tesseract, but I don't know if I'd be able to plan enough stuff to fill it. My idea was to have X number of things to investigate/interact with/be terrified by on each part of the city (face of the cube). I was thinking 10 to 12 per face. Doing a tesseract would be...a lot. But if I can come up with lots and lots of ideas, I might just throw that at them.
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads/ A power more strong in beauty, born of us/ And fated to excel us, as we pass/ In glory that old Darkness: nor are we/ Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule/ Of shapeless Chaos.
Undocking Undocking's picture
Should they be able to
Should they be able to understand and reach the entire tesseract? What if they discover that the TITAN experiment is coming to a close and they will not be able to investigate everything.
shark3006 shark3006's picture
The way I was picturing it,
The way I was picturing it, it was already abandoned. The TITANs built it and then left it. (got bored? Accomplished their goals? Who knows?) When the players come across it, there will still be people and things (or people-ish things) there, but the "experiment," whatever it was, is done. Hmmm. To make it even more terrifying, what if there was no ground? What if there was some sort of completely translucent force field that was the "ground" and it was the outer layer of the tesseract that kept it in place? If that was the case, you'd think you were going to fall out into space as soon as you stepped outside the first time. Hehehe.
So on our heels a fresh perfection treads/ A power more strong in beauty, born of us/ And fated to excel us, as we pass/ In glory that old Darkness: nor are we/ Thereby more conquer'd, than by us the rule/ Of shapeless Chaos.
Lorsa Lorsa's picture
shark3006 wrote:The way I was
shark3006 wrote:
The way I was picturing it, it was already abandoned. The TITANs built it and then left it. (got bored? Accomplished their goals? Who knows?) When the players come across it, there will still be people and things (or people-ish things) there, but the "experiment," whatever it was, is done. Hmmm. To make it even more terrifying, what if there was no ground? What if there was some sort of completely translucent force field that was the "ground" and it was the outer layer of the tesseract that kept it in place? If that was the case, you'd think you were going to fall out into space as soon as you stepped outside the first time. Hehehe.
And there could be places where there aren't any ground and you do fall into space. Learning where the traps are could be difficult just in itself but maybe there's a pattern to it that a clever individual can find out?
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nerdnumber1 nerdnumber1's picture
WHY ARE THEY THERE AND WHY
WHY ARE THEY THERE AND WHY AREN'T THEY CALLING AN ERASURE SQUAD WITH ANTIMATER! I know plenty of players who would, with good reason, opt for the "nuke it from orbit... twice" option. There has to be some very compelling reason to step foot in a TITAN compound, especially one that is as active as you describe.
thezombiekat thezombiekat's picture
Well I see one very valuable
Well I see one very valuable item of technology. Artificial gravity. It has not been used in any of the books they may wish to acquire it. The other reason to be there is to blow it up. Its out in the crupper belt, getting a nuke there is a time consuming task. But maybe a group of clever sentinels can find and destabilise sufficient high energy sources on the station to take it out.