Chuckg Posted July 5, 2014 Share Posted July 5, 2014 If I wanted to start a high-power Aberrant game in 2030, based loosely on the same themes that Children of Quantum Fire did but not using the same storyline or some of the base story assumptions they did, then I have about 15 years of alt-history to design as Worldwide Phase II only takes me so far. But I'm lazy, so why design it all by myself when I can stea-... errr, be inspired by the brilliant work of others. Besides, traffic been sorta slow in here recently so meh, let's inspire some post count. Now, the reason I don't just steal CoQF's timeline -- well, asides from the fact that I'd be using a shit ton of other people's storyline and characters -- is because I started with a different set of design assumptions than they did, notably about Taint (see my house rules thread for details on that) and about some of the 'A Breed Apart' content that I'm not going to use. Specifically, my starting thoughts were these: On Nova Fertility Not going to use 'Motherhunters' because, let's face it, we are talking about professional baby murderers here. Guys who can get up in the morning and go 'Today I am going to stalk and kill some innocent people and small children whose only crime was in wanting to have a family/being born'. While I grant that you can entirely find some people this evil, in order for the 'motherhunting' strategy to work you have to find an army full of people this evil. Even from a strictly utilarian and amoral standpoint, the 'motherhunting' strategy only works if you actually can ensure 99.9+% clean-out; just getting 80% or 90% guarantees that the surviving 10-20% really direly want to kill you. And since the entire point of the strategy was the eventual fear that 2nd gen novas would become worldshakingly powerful, you can't afford even 10-20%. As any hunter knows, you do not just wound the grizzly bear. "Never do an enemy a small injury" applies here, epically. Also, any world that can reliably find enough hundreds of operatives to do a job this dirty, so reliably that they don't get a dozen Slider Incidents or more on their hands, is a world slightly above tolerance on the grim-o-meter. That having been said, Proteus is certainly going to do something about nova fertility, once the sterilization drugs aren't enough. They just need to do something evil that's a more "ostensibly intelligent people could actually believe this was going to work" evil, as opposed to a strategy that's pretty much inevitably doomed to cause precisely the type of backlash that happened in CoQF. Thetis might be crazier than a shithouse rat, but let's at least write her smarter than this, so she makes a more satisfying thump when she hits the floor. So, what are they going to do? 'Some type of airborne contact sterility virus' is what first comes to mind (even with the risk of a million or several baseline deaths from mutation, etc. Thetis would still do it; like she cares? It's getting 11 minutes to doomsday here! Release the germs!). So, some type of Spanish Flu type incident, but hey, at least Utopia solved it soon enough, right? Meanwhile, nova birthrates crash-dive again... only this time, the novas who were already working on it know enough to figure out that Proteus just fired the next shot in the war... On The Directive My players and me have always had a sympathy for the Directive. Far too often the canon treats them 'Like Proteus, only with better wiretaps but a lot fewer novas, and also much stupider and more ignorant'. Far too often they're depicted as basically the General Rosses of the setting, always out there to get in your way when you're trying to save the world, but never really saving it themselves. Yeah, well, toss that. This is the 21st century and we prefer something more like the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of SHIELD. Even with all the problems that was revealed to have recently. I can entirely buy a Directive that does gritty spy shit all the time and doesn't trust most novas farther than it can spit. But I don't want to buy one that sits around wishing it were in the Marvel Universe so it could build some giant purple robots, let's put it that way. So, what would this 'slightly less of a dick and slightly more on the ball' Directive be doing with its opportunities? Hrm, the first thing that comes to mind is 'Remember General Endicott's exoskeletons? Maybe if it applied some of that blacktech research budget into coming up with something that let the average Directive agent at least compete vs. novas harder than your average mitoid could, they'd be slightly less paranoid-fear all the time.' Besides, as the 'world without DeVries' thread got into, it took massive writer's fiat to delay effective VARG research into the Trinity era anyway. In the real world, we went from the Wright Flyer to the F-22 Raptor in 100 years... for it to take 200 to go from the Nova Age to exoskeletons at least as effective as the ones in the recent Tom Cruise timeloop movie is silly. Also, slightly relax the nova chargen restrictions for Directive operatives. "Absolutely no Taint" stays, because that entirely makes sense (and is even easier to achieve under my house rules), but as the DeVries recruiter always says 'There are no worthless nova abilities, some are just worth more than others.' Yeah, isn't really much of a set of starting thoughts, is it. I'm staring at a piece of blank paper and trying to make it a timeline. So, any random bits from your own prop boxes that you've never gotten a chance to use, that you want to toss in here? 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