Earth

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Gnomesgold Gnomesgold's picture
Earth

So I have this storyline in my game where my players have become part of a plot to reclaim mecca for White butterfly.

Long story short, what are the best things people would need to fight TITAN machines on earth? I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around TITANs and what I want earth's surface to look like. What are the best resources to read through this weekend?

Just because you can't hear the screaming in space, doesn't mean you shouldn't be scared.

LuisCarlos17f LuisCarlos17f's picture
You can do it, but maybe you

You can do it, but maybe you have to change some things about the canon background.

For me the matter is about TITANs' menaces like the creeper femtoswarn.

The Master Confucius said: “The noble man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony.” (Anaclet 13:23).

NotActuallyTim NotActuallyTim's picture
Big, alien and frolicking through the madness

Earth has been occupied by a crazy techno cosmic horror show for the last 10 years. So, the best comparisons would be to look up descriptions of terrifying alien locations and the weird things that live there.

I'd recommend checking some Lovecraft mythos for eldritch locations, the plot of the old shooter Marathon Man for inspiration on the behaviors of super AIs, Battletech for descriptions of giant killer robots and Charles Stross's Laundry series for crazy psy nonsense.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovecraftian_horror

http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/fiction/faq.html

CordialUltimate2 CordialUltimate2's picture
Mostly overwhelming firepower

Mostly overwhelming firepower and paranoidal cybersecurity are minimal requirements. Check out the faraday mod. Also anaolog gear where possible is a must. A reclaiming of Mecca would be a major operation. It would require first clearing the area and then maintaining a perimeter with rigor of a frontline in a warzone. Which it will probably be.

If the WB is serious about it, he should be ready for a military offensive more or less. The technology progressed since the fall TITAN remnants PROBABLY didn't. So you have an edge there.

First you will need men with experience in battling the TQZs. Then fork them or have them train their troops.

In the meantime your team can infiltrate the zone and gather intel. Use Rajput tactics and equipment. Lots of EMP, plasma and armor piercing. Analogue vehicles, stupid weapons radio silent doctrine. Infection scanners. As little nanotech as possible.

When you know what you are standing on in the Mecca region, call your troops for planetfall.

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ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Welcome to Planet Bad-Touching.

Gnomesgold wrote:
I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around TITANs and what I want earth's surface to look like.

Earth is the EP equivalent of Hell: It's where the Demons live.
Functionally, there are several different factors interacting, but their magnitude is defined by the scenario location and GM taste.

- A technologically advanced, post apocalypse landscape.
Earth isn't just a dead world - it was Murdered.
Mix up your favorite near-future elements (Glass skyscrapers, hovercars, magrail trains...) with a Terminator-style wasteland.
This is where you really need to show the difference between Earth and any other lifeless world in the setting; earth has ruined settlements and vehicles and places with clear signs of violent battle. If you want to push a more visceral feel, you can have putrefied corpses remain, because the creatures that would dispose of the bodies naturally are extinct.

- Hostile Robot Life.
For the TITAN war machines inhabiting that landscape, look at the Terminator series's non-human variants, Robocop 2014's ED-209 and XT-908, and the Tripods from War of the Worlds. Technologically advanced, but with the autonomy of action and natural fluidity of motion associated with living things... because that's what they are. The later their production, the more pronounced this is.
Consider how they act in a vacuum; some try to fulfil objectives given before the Fall, they fight amongst themselves according to where those objectives conflict, and they seek 'prey' for resources to repair and rearm.

- Exsurgent Biology.
Of course, Earth isn't lifeless, it's just that all the native species are gone. Exsurgent species thrive here, a billion different strains growing and intermingling without restraint.
There's no limit to what they can be: sleek alien creatures, fleshy forests, horrifically twisted humans, swarms of insects... the only limit is how twisted your imagination is. Start with Alien, the Thing, the Mimics from Edge of Tomorrow and the aliens from Skyline and go from there.
Remember it's not just the big things, it's the bacteria in the soil and the grass on the ground - if it lives, it's infected.
Some are sentient.
Some are asyncs.

-Nanotech.
It's not just the things that live that are infected. The rocks, the water, the air you breath - any and all can be infested with nanotech. Nanoswarms can be the morning mist, the smoke from a burnt tree, the sand under your feet.
At any point, the world can turn against you. Tornadoes can form and start hunting you, acid rain can fall from a clear sky, the ground opens up beneath you and grows teeth, a snowstorm comes out of nowhere and when it subsides someone is simply gone.

---

How these are put together really depends on the plot and group, but the overriding theme should be "We Should Not Have Come Here". There is no certainty beyond that Nothing is safe. If you rest or stop paying attention you die. If something looks safe then it's a trap, if it looks dangerous then something worse is waiting.

If you want it to go fast, then have the expedition get shredded, with the few who make it to Mecca surviving just long enough to meet the New Occupants.
For a slower, more psychological experience, have them initially succeed: they beat back the machines and start making patches clear of exsurgents.
But then, over the days and weeks, things start to go wrong. Exsurgents attack in areas supposed to be clear, people go missing and are never found.
Others start going mad, having terrible dreams, and/or blacking out.

One day the players walk by a group of the Faithful, and realize they're praying to the wrong God...

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?

UnitOmega UnitOmega's picture
Actually, I've had this very

Actually, I've had this very long drawn out conversation before. Earth technically isn't "dead". Megafauna are pretty toast, most population centers are right fucked, and the environmental conditions aren't great for most plant life, but soil and water contamination is not omnipresent, and there are noted to be pockets where hardy species are surviving, especially where natural barriers would isolate them from the rough conditions. There's multiple potential enclaves of survivors hidden in ruins and other locations - though obviously it's a constant risk a TITAN force might detect them and obey standing orders to kill with fire.

That all said, there are some really fucked up places on Earth and some weird shit out there - most of them places where the "good shit" would be if you're scavenging. Population centers, military bases, heavily industrialized countries, etc.

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Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Yeah, earth isn't completely

Yeah, earth isn't completely lifeless, but staying down there for too long will likely make something horrible happen to you. I imagine there are a ton of smart rats living beneath the ruins anyway.

I think it's also worth bringing up how the TITANs were kind of losing it by the end of the fall, which means you have carte blanche to bring in any weird shit insane machine gods would make. Incomprehensible alters and standing stones, cults of Exsurgents awaiting their Titanic Rapture, strange geometries, nanotech-warped cities, malfunctioning Pandora Gate prototypes, or TITAN one-off monsters should be around.

Or just have a Fetch Cyberqueen them. (NSFW)

ThatWhichNeverWas ThatWhichNeverWas's picture
Only 90% of these cups contain Ebola. Drink Up!

UnitOmega wrote:
Earth technically isn't "dead". Megafauna are pretty toast, most population centers are right fucked, and the environmental conditions aren't great for most plant life, but soil and water contamination is not omnipresent, and there are noted to be pockets where hardy species are surviving, especially where natural barriers would isolate them from the rough conditions.

Granted, but saying 'Some places aren't completely horrible' kind of gives the wrong impression. They exist but they're rare, and you can never be sure you're actually in one.
Safe places on Earth are like little lights in the darkness.
Ever heard of Anglerfish?

Trappedinwikipedia wrote:
Yeah, earth isn't completely lifeless, but staying down there for too long will likely make something horrible happen to you. I imagine there are a ton of smart rats living beneath the ruins anyway.

I think it's also worth bringing up how the TITANs were kind of losing it by the end of the fall, which means you have carte blanche to bring in any weird shit insane machine gods would make. Incomprehensible alters and standing stones, cults of Exsurgents awaiting their Titanic Rapture, strange geometries, nanotech-warped cities, malfunctioning Pandora Gate prototypes, or TITAN one-off monsters should be around.

Or just have a Fetch Cyberqueen them. (NSFW)

Ahhh, Cyberqueen. It's funny because it's true.

Confession: One place I go to whenever I need inspiration for TITANspawn? Warhammer 40k's Necrons and Tyrannids. Say what you want about Games Workshop, their Sculptors know their stuff.
Also, Magic the Gathering, specifically Phyrexia and the Eldrazi.

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?