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Story Hooks and Prompts

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jKaiser jKaiser's picture
Story Hooks and Prompts
One of the biggest challenges I've frequently had with EP is figuring out just one thing to pursue for a plot or story amid the incredibly full 'verse so far. So, I thought it would be fun to see what sort of monster list of story prompts or ideas people can come up with. Make them as long or short as you want, themed or no. I'll start with a list of hooks and flavor bits I wrote while trying to wrap my head around how to use the Scum in an early game and how different barges/swarms might clash. Some of these are intended for larger swarms, others for small little scum-lettes in itty bitty barges. 99 Scum Ideas
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[List] [*]Outsiders have intercepted a distress call from this Barge...from one of its own who is being forbidden from leaving. [*]The barge or one of the swarm’s ships has been previously IDed as a high-profile theft from a powerful entity. [*]Tensions and resentment from a past conflict with another group of Scum seethe under the surface and are about to boil over. [*]These scummers are openly giving asylum to a Planetary Consortium traitor. [*]A small Factor plurality has established itself as part of this Barge. No one is sure why. [*]The Scum of this barge have found an asteroid displaying Pandora Gate-like spatial anomalies, and debate is raging over what to do about it. [*]A prominent group of hypercorp specialists have recently joined this Barge, and their former employers are not happy about it. [*]The last four elected emergency captains of this barge now exist as one merged transhuman. [*]Anarchy and autonomy be damned, someone’s definitely in control of this group, and plenty in it are considering a revolt. [*]These scum claim to have found another Pandora gate. [*]One of the scum aboard has amassed an extensive collection of Old Earth artefacts. [*]Regardless of how libertine they are stereotyped, consent is law aboard this barge, and the fallout from a jealous affair is threatening to rip the whole community apart. [*]If there are truly cursed or haunted items in the universe, these scum are carrying a prime contender, and suffering for it. [*]The Nine Lives cartel has forknapped several members of this barge repeatedly over the last two years. [*]This is one of the very, very few groups of scum that stubbornly operate solely on the Old Economy system. [*]This barge served with distinction as an evacuation shuttle during the Fall. [*]One of ships in the swarm has been radio-silent and completely sealed for months, but is still following the rest without incident. [*]There are several asyncs aboard this barge. [*]After news of the Futura project broke, this swarm was particularly outspoken with offers to shelter the Lost. [*]This swarm is home to an eclectic artist who insists on wiping the memory of his works from every audience after a showing. [*]The overwhelming majority of scum here are sleeved in pods. [*]Cooking in microgravity is legendarily difficult, but this barge is becoming known for having several masters of the craft aboard and a curiously good supply from Europa. [*]There has been a recent celibacy trend aboard this barge. The non-participants aboard don’t understand it either. [*]These Scum call it a part of their unique morphological freedom; Firewall calls it exhuman; Project Osma calls it theirs. [*]This barge serves as a major darkcast relay for the Barsoomians. [*]This is a group of scum that toes the line between scum and outright pirate. [*]Almost all the scum aboard are sleeved into homemade or modified flexbots [*]This barge openly operates as a brothel, but the pleasure pods all house forks of the same three entertainers. [*]No one’s found any reports of anyone ever meeting the scum of this fleet in person; they only seem to communicate with outsiders via mesh avatars. [*]The creative fight clubs aboard this barge have become an obsession in several habs, to the authorities’ dismay. [*]These scum are outright fiends, and are actively pursuing psychosurgery to push themselves into greater deviancy and degeneracy. [*]While investigating an asteroid that wasn’t where the charts said it should be, this barge has discovered a massive group of Factors swarming over the rock. [*]A radical morph designer aboard this barge claims to have developed a “pure” mix of organic and synthetic components in her most recent design, and is adamant that it isn’t a pod. [*]This scum barge got its start as a displaced group of cultural refugees and still clings to its pre-Fall heritage. [*]A forgotten compartment of this barge was recently rediscovered during repairs, and with it, the dormant TITAN headhunter within. [*]Open-source piracy is common amongst Scum, but this group is engaged in a particularly vicious hack war against another organization, leaking blueprints designed to destabilize and cause as much damage as possible. [*]Several members of this barge have become mesh celebrities, completely unintentionally. [*]These scum adapted to life support failure unconventionally: they are entirely sleeved in morphs designed or modified to exist indefinitely in hard vacuum. [*]These scum are leeches, seeking out conflicts to scavenge the still-cooling debris. Rumor is they started doing this during the Fall. [*]These scum are engaged in a full-out war with another scum barge, and the collateral damage is mounting. [*]A member of the Lost is a prominent part of these Scum and open about her bloody past. [*]A shock artist aboard this barge has programmed a main corridor’s AR with recordings of TITAN swarm attacks, and is currently hiding for his life from some veterans-turned-scum aboard. [*]Nanoviral infections in the swarm’s Makers at some point in the past has led to a distinctly agricultural bent in this swarm, with extensive hydroponics crowding most every corridor and harvest celebrations forming the community’s core. [*]A micrometeorite’s impact and the resultant repairs revealed that the barge’s outwardly normal appearance hides the fact that its core has elements that are incredibly strangely designed; no one aboard seems to know where the ship originally came from, either. [*]While passing through Sol-Earth Orbit, this barge stumbled across a destroyed ship, and a sealed crate containing thousands of cortical stacks. [*]A series of disasters has left a majority of these scum resleeved in ramshackle morphs and displaying increasing mental instability. [*]Activists aboard this barge are waging a campaign for improved AGI rights...and are doing more damage to the cause than good. [*]They aren’t part of the scum proper, but a half dozen well-known ego hunters call this swarm home. [*]A vehemently anti-hypercorp meme has taken hold of this group of scum, and they would rather destroy any hardware or software coming from the corps than use it, no matter how helpful or beneficial. [*]Most of the scum are infected with a strain of the Exsurgent virus, but they are unaware as it has been entirely asymptomatic...so far. [*]This barge is actively flooding the meshes of nearby habs with propaganda for a No-Gravity lifestyle movement. [*]Three rival splinter groups have formed within this barge and a vying for dominance. [*]Conspiracy theorists have flocked to this particular barge, to the beusement of the scum aboard. [*]Enough of the scum aboard have criminal ties that g-rep is rapidly supplanting @-rep, to the concern of other autonomists who trade with them. [*]These scum have a particular vendetta against the Jovian Junta, but have bizarrely accepted several Jovian bioconservatives into their ranks. [*]This barge is the only link a large group of Out’sters still have with the rest of the solar system. [*]While smart roaches are common enough pets amongst the Scum, this group has a major problem with the (surprisingly well-adapted to microgravity) old-fashioned kind, and are getting desperate. [*]Other scum groups have come to see this particular barge as nothing but poseurs. [*]This barge is a major petal design and distribution hub. [*]An Iktomi artefact acquired in a swap meet with another scum barge has everyone onboard nervous and superstitious. [*]No one aboard this barge is sleeved into a humanoid morph, nor are humanoid passengers allowed aboard. [*]Is it possible to have too many weapons? Not according to this group of scum, and it’s making a lot of people nervous. [*]Something happened, and they aren’t open to talking about it with outsiders, but this group of scum is openly and violently opposing the Autonomist Alliance now. [*]Former gatecrashers from the Love and Rage collective founded this scum barge. [*]One iceteroid later, this barge is now populated almost entirely by aquatic morphs, including a growing population of cetacean and octopus uplifts. [*]A meme campaign this scum barge has been waging with a Lunar-Lagrange Alliance hab has turned out to be a much bigger bite than they could chew. [*]Information’s hit the mesh implicating this barge with the destruction of a habitat several years back. [*]The scum on this barge worked side jobs for the Hidden Concern for years, but now they’re on the wrong end of a one-sided deal. [*]Passage aboard this barge is cheap: all they want is for you not to vent the hull and to leave a beta fork behind when you disembark. [*]While a peaceful group of scum as far as that goes, this barge is notorious for never docking; they insist on keeping empty space between themselves and any hab or ship. [*]This is a new group of scum, formed in the last year by a rogue company of Ultimates. Their former allies are not happy to see Ultimate-spec Remade morphs rapidly flooding fringe black markets. [*]Three years ago, this barge vanished without a trace. It returned just as suddenly, with holds full of bizarre wares, possibly alien in origin, and about a third of its crew desperate to get off and as far away as possible. [*]The scum here have been taken by a new fad: hologram projectors implanted with regular nanotats. [*]Disagreements aboard this barge are settled via elaborate simulspace duels; physical, realspace violence is otherwise a good way to get hurled out an airlock. [*]A lucky bet has seen this barge win big at a PC lottery, and a lot of confusion about what to do with the winnings. [*]An attempt to turn the barge itself into a floating sculpture has gone horribly wrong, and this group has gone silent. [*]These scum are attempting to sabotage the Vulcan Gate, though if they have any connection with past bombings is anyone's guess. [*]Scum don’t always get along, but this crew and another in a similar orbit have a deep-seated rivalry...and very, very strange ways of expressing it. [*]A scum aboard is a long-surviving beta fork, and the group has just found evidence that his past self is still active. The problem is that the evidence is pointing toward a self-styled pirate king operating out of Fresh Kills. [*]The barge’s best genehacker’s running into the problem that his assistant alpha fork can’t stand him enough to merge. Again. [*]An attempt to score some relics to trade turned into a fight for their life when this barge’s salvaging operation revealed a derelict ship to be full of vacuum-adjusted exsurgents. [*]The scum aboard have a culture closely mirroring that of the Solarians, and they maintain close ties. [*]A group of argonauts booking passage on this barge has sparked a fervor of scientific curiosity, and the barge has begun to be converted into something of a mobile university. Albeit one with more drugs and brawls. [*]One of the members of this barge is one of the only living uplifted elephants left, and they are actively looking for morph designers to create a proper morph for them. [*]Brothel, bazaar, art gallery, this barge has it all, but it’s really come into its own serving the Belt as a high-stakes casino, and is being remodeled to suit. [*]They killed the exsurgent that started it, but a self-reproducing basilisk hack has still infected part of the swarm and the quarantined crew has gone worryingly silent. [*]Scum as a rule prefer an embodied existence; this is an exception to the rule, a barge that is essentially a mobile processor locus catering almost exclusively to infomorphs and famous for its simulspace artists. [*]Drugs that this barge develop and sell are wreaking havoc on every hab they’ve visited; survivors are starting to hear things in their heads… [*]It’s one for the vids: a scum from his barge, a Lunar hyperelite, and a Venusian uplift have fallen into a messy love triangle after a chance encounter, and passions are getting very close to violent. [*]An XP allegedly from the point of view of a Factor has been traced to this particular scum barge. [*]The first egos to found this scum barge were forks of the same eccentric hypercorp director. [*]Numerous scum aboard this barge want to beat the Carnival of the Goat at their own game. [*]The outer hull of this barge has been converted into an incredibly challenging, and sometimes lethal, microgravity obstacle course. [*]Despite self-identifying as scum and adhering to the nomadic, unrestrained lifestyle, the only thing this barge’s inhabitants trade are mercenary services and kill teams. [*]These scum hold to a fringe religion, deifying and worshiping the electromagnetic spectrum and stars. [*]This swarm works as a testbed for Ilmarien-designed morphs, but their usual testing ground asteroids have been claimed by hypercorp interests. [*]A genehacker collective aboard is publishing claims of increasingly implausible extinction reversals of Earth plantlife, but several argonauts are crying foul. [*]They’re stubbornly attached to it, but the barge is a true lemon, and radiation leaks and other hazards are starting to affect even the most augmented morphs aboard. [*]A hivemind has started to take root in this barge; to say the opposition is fierce would be a gross understatement. [/list]
Anyone got any other ideas for your favorite factions?
jasonbrisbane jasonbrisbane's picture
Actually I had an idea that I am toying around with:
Spoiler: Highlight to view
* PC's (with a ship) get Requested/blackmailed/etc into going wreck diving in an exospace colony system. They arent told that the ship is 7+ years old and has both scum and factors built into it. Its also bleeding radiation/etc (other dangers). and has no engines running... So How the heck did it get all the way into these systems? (aka: Titans/prometheans/Exsurgent virus on board in a very much System Shock 2 style game!)
Regards, Jason Brisbane