Adventure Design: Exhuman Amok

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Gerzel Gerzel's picture
Adventure Design: Exhuman Amok

I'm working on writing up an adventure and want to share what I have done to see if anyone has any suggestions.

Basic Premise:
After an Exhuman goes on a rampage and is stopped by Firewall the PCs are tasked with tracking down some loose ends and have to prevent the Exhuman ego from escaping and causing more harm.

Right now I’m trying to game out what Sage could do to cause trouble. I don’t want to bring in TITAN tech in this adventure. Hint at it, and use it as a red herring yes, but this is a more mundane level of evil. I want this adventure to not directly involve the TITANs. Of course the names are placeholders.

Below I have my adventure outline:

  • Coriander runs an illegal dark casting network hiding it in with his legitimate ego casting network operating on an old resort station that is trying to become a resort again.

    • Coriander also runs and helps to program a large game server and is known for the detailed NPC AIs he uses.

    • Coriander takes beta and delta forks from some of those that he brings in via darkcast and uses those forks to create his AIs.

  • Sage, an exhuman, recently got hold of a TITAN virus and managed to infect itself while plotting to cause a mass outbreak on Luna. Fortunately, Sage was put down with extreme prejudice by Firewall Agents soon thereafter.

    • Firewall agents also tracked down Sage’s source for the virus on the lunar surface. News of an unexpected and large meteor impact on Luna hit the mesh soon thereafter.

  • The PCs are tasked with helping to track down Sage’s past movements and any previous backups.

    • Specifically, they are told to investigate if Sage did in fact use Coriander’s operation, if Coriander has any backups of Sage, and if Sage did use the operation where he casted from.

    • They are given information on Coriander’s darkcasting operation and intel that Sage used it. They are told that Firewall also uses the operation on occasion, but that Coriander is not a Firewall agent, but is aware of the conspiracy.

  • Firewall does not know about Coriander’s use of illegal forks, nor do they have suspicion.

    • Coriander did indeed provide dark casting services to Sage. Sage did not purchase any backup insurance with Coriander. And if asked Coriander cleared all the buffers as usual after the cast.

    • Coriander also provided the morph that Sage used on Luna as a rental, now far over-due.

    • Coriander does not know that Sage was an exhuman, or had any dire intent. He just thought he was an odd, and dark, personality perfect for a number of villains he was working on.

  • If Coriander finds out what kind of person Sage was and/or what happened he will move to delete his Alpha file and all forks/AIs built using Sage’s ego.

    • He will not tell the PCs unless forced to do so.

    • He will think he got them all.

    • He will be wrong.

  • The resort station Coriander operated out of is set in Earth Orbit, and was lavish for its day.

    • Slowly the station is being rebuilt as a resort.

    • Most of its resort features now are provided by large simulspace games, but the physical areas are being brought back online as well.

    • During the Fall the station’s power and environmental facilities were severely damaged early on and the large open areas were hulled exposed to vacuum.

    • The station received almost no refugees, but was never completely abandoned either

    • The company originally owning/operating the station was lost including most of their records during the fall.

    • Ownership of the station itself is somewhat in flux and the station’s residences are working through the corporate corpse for the full title.

    • The residents are expected to win through various negotiations and settlements.

    • The attacks on the resort were all conventional as far as anyone knows.

    • The station has been swept thoroughly for any signs of TITAN influence (mostly to calm visitors’ nerves).

  • Sage will cause trouble again, but he will not have access to TITAN viruses or anything on that scale.

    • It wants to ‘enlighten’ and ‘uplift’ humanity.

    • It wants attention.

    • It wants to escape /warn its real backup of what has happened, especially if it discovers details about exactly what happened to it.

    • It has already liberated some of itselves from Coriander’s game servers.

Gerzel Gerzel's picture
Updated with improvements

Updated with improvements

self-relating n... self-relating negativity's picture
As an outline, this is really

As an outline, this is really good!

It's a matter of personal taste, but I like how this scenario largely sidesteps the "OMG TITANs fate of the universe!!" themes (not that these themes are necessarily bad). The setting is pretty flexible, with potential for a lot of different kinds of plot and RP - survival horror, Lunar politicking, combat, and philosophical musing and/or moral quandries ("hey, maybe Sage isn't so bad when they're not infected with Murderous HateVirus"), etc. There's also plenty of chance to change the location of the game, whether in simulspace or when/if some copy of Sage manages to run to some other planetaty system.

uwtartarus uwtartarus's picture
The formatting was confusing

The formatting was confusing initially, now that it is indented and such, it is much easier to follow!

It sounds like an interesting scenario!

Only suggestion I have at the moment is a grammar/spelling one, mostly because of the difference between Titan (moon of Saturn, home to technosocialists) and the TITANs (the evil ASI/seed AI that caused The Fall). But otherwise, it is an interesting scenario.

The resort station is currently a resort or is attempting to reopen as a resort? This Coriander runs a simulspace/MARG sort of game with forks that are created from illegal forks he keeps? Would people be able to recognize identifiable quirks in the NPCs that match real life people they may know? So how good of a psychosurgeon is Coriander? How much trouble can a pruned down fork of an exhuman be? How much do the pruned down forks remember?

Exhuman, and Humanitarian.

Gerzel Gerzel's picture
uwtartarus wrote:The

uwtartarus wrote:
The formatting was confusing initially, now that it is indented and such, it is much easier to follow!

Yeah. I initially wrote it up on a word processor and pasted it into the forums on my phone at work. Once I got home I had time to re-add the indention.

Quote:
It sounds like an interesting scenario!

Only suggestion I have at the moment is a grammar/spelling one, mostly because of the difference between Titan (moon of Saturn, home to technosocialists) and the TITANs (the evil ASI/seed AI that caused The Fall). But otherwise, it is an interesting scenario.

Thanks. Ok. The Titan/TITAN thing should be fixed with a quick find/replace.

Quote:
The resort station is currently a resort or is attempting to reopen as a resort? This Coriander runs a simulspace/MARG sort of game with forks that are created from illegal forks he keeps?

The station is currently operating as a resort but with only a small fraction of their original facilities operational. They have some meatspace themed areas for sports, spas ect open but the large spun gravity habitats are still being repaired and retrofitted.

The station makes most of its money right now off of hosting high resolution/quality simulspace/MARG areas and most of its visitors are egos in infomorph form with many connecting remotely via Luna, but many others actually egocasting over to get the full experience without the light lag.

Quote:
Would people be able to recognize identifiable quirks in the NPCs that match real life people they may know? So how good of a psychosurgeon is Coriander? How much trouble can a pruned down fork of an exhuman be? How much do the pruned down forks remember?

Yes, some quirks would come through. I plan on using that piece of information to help put PCs on the right track but he's been good/cautious/lucky enough to not get directly caught yet. I see the way he uses them is more a talented self-taught amateur doing trial and error taking slices of a personality and mixing it almost as flavoring. He's using, probably illegal, software to do most of the actual work as the whole idea is for him to cut a corner and still gain an edge.

As for how much trouble could they be, that's what Sage thinks about all the copies he makes. Sage will somehow find a way to merge with some of his copies regaining strength/skills. I'm thinking Coriander failed to screen out some of Sage's infosec or psycosurgery skills. So in that way Sage has managed to 'unprune' himself and make a higher level 'fork' of himself from fragments.

In the time-line it would have taken Sage a while to physically get from the station to Luna, and then locate the TITAN virus cache. If he did it quickly perhaps his ego knows a way to find other TITAN viruses. If he took longer than the forks Coriander made have had longer to build themselves up. Either way he is an ego the PCs should be worried about even without TITAN tech, and to SAGE it IS tech not contamination.

The idea is to have one nasty transhuman who has managed to duplicate his own mind and gain escalated privileges in a station cause trouble. Right now in my work on this adventure that's where I'm a bit stuck, or at least going slower in figuring out exactly what and how Sage manages to cause trouble.

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
All the possibilities.

It'd be helpful to know what sage's wheelhouse is; is it an expert at nanotech, biological manipulation, psychology, all of the above...

You mentioned psychosurgery, so one option would be to introduce a psychosurgical or "petal" element to the simulspace games so the players are being slowly altered to an exhuman mindset.

In the past we've had to compensate for weaknesses, finding quick solutions that only benefit a few.
But what if we never need to feel weak or morally conflicted again?

Gerzel Gerzel's picture
I'm working on fleshing out

I'm working on fleshing out the main GMCs, including giving them deeper motivation and non-placeholder names.

I'm working more on Coriander ATM as he's the one that provides Sage the tools to run amok.

Considering things like if I should change Coriander's gender to if I should connect them to something like Legba or the IDcrew.

Sage being exhuman has other questions. I'm leaning towards them being a homosapien ego that's very intelligent but delusional and twisted. I almost don't want to define too much about it to keep up the almost alien malevolence.