The Five Deadly Poisons

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Kojak Kojak's picture
The Five Deadly Poisons

I've been running my players through the From Blinding Heights adventures since our campaign started in August of last year. However, I'm coming up on the end of the existing material, and so I'm trying to kludge together a conclusion using what details can be gleaned from the extant info in the first three adventures. As part of that I'm trying to stat out the Five Deadly Poisons, the radical neo-Buddhist synthmorph-rights activists/militants/assassins. So far all I have are names and a rough idea of which morphs to give each of them, but I'm still at a loss as to how I want them to be skilled and equipped, or what kind of roles each of them have. Here's what I have:

Avidya: Fighting Kite
Raga: Galatea
Dvesha: Arachnoid
Mana: Slitheroid
Irshya: Sphere

I'm not really married to any of those morph choices (maybe a stalker swarmanoid or a daitya or something else I haven't thought of in place of one or more of those), but it seemed like as good a place to start as any since no particularly satisfying character ideas are coming to me. So I thought I'd throw this out there, as I've done in the past, to see if you guys can spur my creativity again. Any vague/half-formed thoughts will do, I just need something to break me out of my GM-writer's-block.

"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
- Steve Webster on Kojak's lollipop

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
I messaged the writer about

I messaged the writer about some of the incomplete stuff like the 5 deadly poisons myself, though my game diverged pretty hard before I had a chance to use any of it. Going TITAN bughunting through the Jovian Trojans was cool, but outside the scope of the written stuff. I don't know how useful you'll find it, but I'll post their message.

The 5 Deadly Poisons (Pride, Anger, Ignorance, Doubt, and Attachment) have created an biological version of a headhunter drone that lays eggs in the corpse, that hatch and replicate with astonishing speed. They are going to use ComEx to seed the Olympus area with hives of these things and frame it as a TITAN attack (hacking doors and stuff with a digital virus in order to spread them more quickly). ComEx, who use a lot of synths compared to the OIA, will be prepared and restore order and basically make the OIA look like chumps, leveraging a takeover bid of the space elevator. The Chain Reaction virus sort of threw a minor monkey wrench in the plan as it drastically increased the preparedness of the OIA but has not quite stopped their plan (yet).

In Right Round the characters are tasked by Proxy 21 to get into a data auction. The results of that lead the characters to two ComEx employees and a elevator courier (one of which has already been murdered by Dr. Revolution). The characters have to solve the murder and (optionally) prevent the murder of the other two by Dr. Revolution.
At the end the characters should do one or two things:
1) Get the evidence from the ComEx employees which they hopefully will realize was fake (it was planted by Stellar Intelligence to implicate ComEx in the Chain Reaction bombings in an effort to diffuse the hostilities with Locus) or
2) Trace Dr. Revolution back to his real Identity (he is a researcher for Ecologene working on smart insects). Where they will find out about Project Savior and Operation Warmonger and the reasons behind them creating the Chain Reaction virus (to simultaneously stop Project Savior/Operation Warmonger, get back at ComEx, and derail the 5 Deadly poisons plan all with one stroke).

I'd make one of them an infomorph personally, if only because the teleoperating assassin Mystic X from Kill The Queen made for a very compelling combat in my play through of it. I'd also go for one (Attachment ideally) using disposable cheap morphs like cases, pods, or synths. There's no need to escape an assassination when you just broadcast out and let the morph be lost.

I think you'd also want to look at the various ways to actually kill someone (at least cause them Lack) such as erasing backups (a physically infiltrating hacker using a swarmanoid or mimic/flexbot could be interesting), using stackbuster, or even being able to covertly forknap someone and overwrite any troublesome memories before returning them could be worth looking at.

As Synthmorphs they enjoy a lot of "social stealth" where they could easily get through many lower to medium security areas by behaving like AI drones, or just blend into the clanking masses. I don't think it's worth finding a single "perfect" morph, assassins or other conspirators probably have to go through them a lot, and Buddhists would probably avoid sticking to a single type of morph for religious reasons.

For themes I might use stuff with the following, but I might be using slightly different naming conventions:

* Attachment: A disposable morph using person who's beyond attachment to their morph and continuity. Basically like the Phoenix trait but without a chance of failure. As they don't require or desire a way out of one of their operations they are fully willing to use various plans others wouldn't touch. Forking yourself to stage suicide attacks as a diversion? Easy. Massively public assassination which grab the news spimes but bring enough of a police presence that escape means lying low in Mushroom or further, or just losing the heat by losing enough memory to change your brainprint into a new person.

They don't have an attachment to a past or body.

* Ignorance (Avidya IIRC) sounds like a good candidate for the psychosurgeon forknapper, someone who's got the hardware and skill needed to remove troubling memories from a target (effectively killing the right part of them) without disrupting their daily habit enough to warrant suspicion. They'd need to be good at getting into places, but that could take the form of social stealth more than being a cyberninja, and they'd need to be able to execute complex psychosurgery in a matter of hours, which calls for a lot of hardware and skill. (60x time dilated simspaces hand thing pretty well). Probably handles some of Attachment's ego modification.

I don't immediately have ideas for Pride, Envy, and Aversion. Maybe pride could be some kind of social network assassin who can discredit people or ruin their image?

Kojak Kojak's picture
Oh wow, that is MASSIVELY

Oh wow, that is MASSIVELY helpful. Did Daberton give you any info on Zaizan Bosshard and Doctor Revolution, by any chance?

"I wonder if in some weird Freudian way, Kojak was sucking on his own head."
- Steve Webster on Kojak's lollipop

Trappedinwikipedia Trappedinwikipedia's picture
Glad to help, but that's all

Glad to help, but that's all I've got on them unfortunately.